Diplomats from Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia met Iran and the U.S. separately in Vienna on Tuesday to discuss how to bring both countries back to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.
The diplomats acted as intermediaries for the U.S. and Iran, following Tehran’s rejection of face-to-face talks with Washington, in meetings which spanned Tuesday and Wednesday.
The parties to the deal agreed to form two expert groups tasked with combining a list of sanctions the U.S. could lift, with a set of nuclear obligations Iran could meet.
An Iranian carrier in the Red Sea described by analysts as a spy ship for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Commandos, was damaged by a limpet mine believed to have been attached by Israeli special forces.
The explosion, alleged to have been in retaliation for previous attacks on Israeli ships, is part of an ongoing maritime conflict between the two countries.
Israel’s prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu — who opposes the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal — told major powers on Wednesday that any agreement with Iran would allow the country to grow its nuclear arsenal and threaten Israel with extinction.
And Amnesty International published its annual report on the state of human rights around the world. The 408 page document included a section on Iran, which criticized the country’s access to justice, violence against women, and impunity for government officials who continued to cover up crimes against humanity in the country.
The report noted the use of unlawful force by police to suppress peaceful protests; the oppression of ethnic and religious minorities as well as women, by government officials; and found that hundreds of people had been arbitrarily detained for peacefully exercising their human rights.
Amnesty’s report also raised concerns that the legal age of marriage for girls was still set at 13, and that fathers and grandfathers were still able to obtain permission from courts for their daughters to be married at a younger age.
According to official government figures an estimated 30,000 girls under the age of 14 are married every year in Iran.