The UN’s atomic watchdog chief Rafael Grossi, said a nuclear deal with Iran in 2021 would need to be redrafted in order to address the Islamic Republic’s ongoing breaches of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who begins his presidency on January 20, said the United States would rejoin the current deal if Iran resumed compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would return to the deal within an hour of Washington reinstating the U.S. as a party to the JCPOA.
Conflicting opinions about how the deal should be reinstated and whether the original agreement should be scrapped and redrafted were aired this week. A senior U.S. official said there should be no deal unless the Iranian government freed all of its detained U.S. citizens, after Tehran confirmed it had executed Iranian opposition campaigner and journalist Ruhollah Zam.
Responding to the execution, Josep Borrell, Europe’s foreign policy chief said Mr. Zam’s death should not be a stumbling block to resuming negotiations with Iran.
Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave permission for an anti-money laundering bill to be reviewed. The legislation, which implements compliance procedures related to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also establishes international banking connections with continents including Europe.
The decision to review the bill comes at a time when the Islamic Republic faces an economic crisis worsened by systemic corruption inside the country, U.S. sanctions and the Covid-19 pandemic.
And Iranian Instagram influencer Sahar Tabar, whose real name is Fatemeh Khishvand, has been released on bail in Iran after being arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison on charges including obscenity and insulting the hijab.
Ms. Tabar became famous for edited photos she posted of herself on social media which viewers said resembled Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie. Iranian human rights activist Masih Alinejad, who shared details of Ms. Tabar’s imprisonment, said the release came after ‘massive media pressure’ on the Iranian government.