Nov. 5 – An office in London which acts as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s UK base of operations received more than £100,000 from the British government as part of its furlough scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The figures were disclosed in documents filed at Companies House in October, and show the Islamic Centre for England was given £109,00 seemingly for staff wages.
The centre, a Shia Muslim mosque in Maida Vale, also offers education and family support services, which its website says are designed “to focus on religious guidance and cultural issues,” to members of the Muslim community and “the wider community at large.”
Richard Ratcliffe, the husband of unjustly detained dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe entered the 13th day of his hunger strike on Friday, to highlight the lack of progress with his wife’s case.
Ms. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been continuously detained in Iran for more than five years on charges which lawmakers and human rights experts have called baseless. Ratcliffe asked the British government to review its strategy for securing his wife’s release, but the request was denied at a meeting with UK Foreign Office officials last week.
Ratcliffe was joined outside the Foreign Office on Tuesday by Aryan Ashoori — the son of unjustly detained British-Iranian Anoosheh Ashoori — to call on the British government to give his father’s case stronger support.
Attorneys for Anoosheh filed an application for diplomatic protection on his behalf several weeks ago, but have yet to receive a response from the Foreign Office.
And women in Iran are still banned from entering soccer stadiums, despite an earlier announcement from the Iranian government that women would be able to watch the match between Iran and South Korea which took place on Oct. 10 at the Azadi Stadium in Tehran.
But just two days before the match, the Iranian Football Federation announced that no spectators would be allowed because of difficulties arising from current COVID-19 protocols in the country.
The announcement was met with skepticism by Iranian soccer fans online, who accused the federation of implementing a blanket ban to avoid giving in to pressure by international football body FIFA, following calls by the organization to allow female fans to enter the stadium.