Nov. 19 – An investigation into the leak of a confidential audio recording of Iran’s former Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is still ongoing, according to Iran’s judiciary spokesman.
In the recording, Zarif can be heard criticizing Iran’s military for interfering in the country’s foreign policy, and refers directly to former Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated in a drone strike in Baghdad last year.
The publication of the three-hour interview by online news outlet Iran International on April 25, caused the Iranian government embarrassment and led the former President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to launch an investigation into the leak.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was questioned about the British government’s handling of its detained dual nationals in Iran this week, following ongoing claims that the detention of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was linked to a $557 million debt legally owed by the UK to Iran.
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt asked Johnson whether the money could be physically flown over to Iran in a plane to avoid falling foul of US sanctions, in a debate in the UK House of Commons on Wednesday.
Johnson told ministers at the debate that the proposal was “worth considering,” as a row over whether the money should be defined as a ransom rather than a debt, intensified.
And a new law in Iran which would enable the death penalty for abortions at clinics and other medical facilities carried out beyond limited exceptions set out in the legislation has been condemned by the United Nations.
The “Youthful Population and Protection of the Family” law — which is part of a series of laws and policies to increase Iran’s population — was ratified on Nov. 1 and prevents the use of abortion unless the mother’s health and life are at risk.
United Nations experts said the law was “inherently discriminatory” and violated the right to life and health, and to freedom of expression. The experts also warned that the law would not stop abortions, and instead force women to access life-threatening and unsafe procedures.