The Week in Review: March 8th – March 15th

March 15 – The United States held secret talks with Iran in an attempt to persuade the Islamic Republic to use its influence over Yemen’s Houthi militia group to stop its attacks on vessels in the Red Sea, according to US and Iranian officials.

The talks are believed to have taken place in January, and included discussions about Iran’s nuclear program.

The negations are the first between the two nations in almost a year, and were held between the US’s Middle East adviser Brett McGurk and its Iran envoy Abram Paley, and Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s deputy Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator.

A fact finding mission commissioned by the United Nations to look into the Iran regime’s treatment of Iranians during the 2022 anti-government protests found it guilty of crimes against humanity.

The committee also found that female protesters had been targeted because of their gender and that the regime was directly responsible for the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Jina Amini, who died while in police custody.

Responding to the report, Iranian officials accused the UN of fabricating evidence and misrepresenting facts, and said the committee had engaged in “deliberate distortions and falsehoods.”

And Iranians across Iran held anti-government protests during its Fire Festival celebration this week. Chaharshanbeh Suri is the first festival marked in the run-up to the Iranian new year, and is rooted in ancient Zoroastrian tradition.

Iranian women and men took to the streets to sing and dance together, which is forbidden under the Islamic Republic, while large groups also chanted anti-regime slogans.

More than 100 people were arrested in at least two provinces during the celebrations, according to police officials in the country.

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