Daily Memo: Unrest in Iran and Kyrgyzstan

A memorial in Tehran turned into an anti-government protest.

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It’s been a bad week for Iran. The U.S. Treasury on Thursday rolled out a new round of sanctions against 18 Iranian financial institutions and major banks, with the goal of squeezing Iran’s ability to fund operations abroad. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said this latest move in America’s maximum pressure campaign would deprive the Iranian government of the ability to support “terrorist activities and nuclear extortion.” By targeting financial institutions affiliated with the Iranian security forces, Washington also aims to undermine those forces and weaken their ties with the government. Things aren’t looking much better for the Iranian government closer to home. After a beloved classical musician and singer who was also a government critic died Thursday from kidney cancer at the age of 80, thousands of Iranians gathered in Tehran outside the hospital where he was being treated. The memorial quickly turned into an anti-government protest, with chants of “death to the dictator” (referencing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei). There are reports of clashes between security forces and demonstrators, and the government allegedly disrupted internet service to thwart the protests. ‘Elements of chaos’ in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz President Sooronbai Jeenbekov is holding on for dear life, less than […]

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