When a convert from Islam in Iran was sentenced to two years in exile in Sarbaz last year, the judge warned him that religious extremists in the remote desert town would treat him harshly.
When Ebrahim Firoozi arrived in November to southwest Iran near the border with Pakistan, though, he discovered the fear the judge had tried to instill in him was unfounded – local Muslims were helpful, open and hospitable, the Christian said in a recent online interview.
A petition is calling for the release of an Iranian pastor imprisoned for allegedly evangelizing to Muslims. As conditions in the Evin prison decline amid the coronavirus pandemic, the risk level of the pastor contracting the virus increases.
The Trump administration today announced new sanctions for Iran even as it appeared to step back from initial claims that it ordered the drone strike on Gen. QassemSoleimani because of an “imminent strike” he was planning on U.S. personnel.
“This was gonna happen, and American lives were at risk,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when asked for his definition of “imminent."
The new sanctions cover construction, manufacturing, textiles, mining, steel and iron, while other sanctions target specific Iranian officials, USA Today reported.
“The president has been very clear: we will continue to apply economic sanctions until Iran stops its terrorist activities and commit that it will never have nuclear weapons," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
The world is anxiously waiting to see if there will be more fallout after the Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Soleimani and several others. On Wednesday, in retaliation for the general’s death, Iran launched dozens of missile strikes at Iraqi military bases housing U.S. troops. There were no casualties in the attacks, although U.S. intelligence and other world leaders believe Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner that crashed near Tehran, hours after the missiles were launched. The crash killed all 176 passengers.
So how did the United States get to this point? Are the U.S. and Iran so different? Are Christians really being persecuted by the Islamic country?