March 24  – Key figures forming part of Iran’s regime held secret talks with western officials  about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal and prisoner swaps, according to sources who spoke with news outlet Middle East Eye this week.

The sources told the media platform that the head of Iran’s government, President Ebrahim Raisi, was not notified of the talks, which were believed to be held in Europe.

The discussions were led by Abbas Araghchi, the secretary of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, according to the sources. The council is an advisory body to the Supreme Leader, a position currently held by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The UK’s human rights ambassador Rita French said Iran’s government was responsible for “egregious continued human rights violations” in the country, during a United Nations conference in Geneva.

Addressing the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Iran, she urged the UN to hold Iran’s government to account for its human rights breaches, following a report by the UN expert which said the violations could amount to crimes against humanity.

And a British-Iranian staging a hunger strike outside the UK Foreign Office to demand that the British government list the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, marked his 30th day on strike this Friday.

Vahid Beheshti has been visited by Richard Ratcliffe, who undertook a hunger strike in 2021 to raise awareness about his wife Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s arbitrary detention in Iran, and was also visited by Alicia Kearns, the chair of the UK foreign affairs select committee.

Beheshti is the husband of British-Iranian Mattie Heaven, a Conservative Party counsellor for Coventry in England. Ms. Heaven said she had grown concerned about her husband’s health in a tweet on Thursday.

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