July 29 – A United States senator called alleged human rights violations by the Iranian government “outrageous” this week, during an interview with media outlet Iran International.

Democratic Senator Benjamin Cardin said the US sometimes failed to acknowledge the Iranian regime’s violations of international law and called on US lawmakers to be more proactive in addressing the violations.

The comments follow reports that Iranian officials threatened citizens with imprisonment if they shared protest videos with gender equality campaigner Masih Alinejad, who is a vocal opponent of mandatory hijab laws in Iran.

Iran’s parliament is set to discuss a treaty allowing prisoner swaps between Iran and Belgium, after Belgium’s parliament approved the agreement last week.

The bill has already been approved by Iran’s cabinet and has been sent to parliament for review, according to a report by Iranian news agency IRNA.

The treaty has raised concerns among Belgian lawmakers who said the agreement could enable the release of an Iranian diplomat imprisoned for planning to bomb a rally held by an exiled opposition group and could also lead to hostage diplomacy.

And thousands of anti-Iranian regime demonstrators in Iraq descended on central government headquarters in Baghdad to protest corruption in the country and the nomination of Mohammed al-Sudani, a regime-aligned candidate tipped to be Iraq’s new Prime Minister.

The demonstrators, who also voiced support for the leader of the Sadrist Movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, pulled down walls to enter the Green Zone, an area which holds several government departments.

Al-Sudani — who was nominated by the Coordination Framework which has close ties to the Iranian regime — is also supported by Iran-backed Hezbollah and former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

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