Sept. 17 – Iran’s senior negotiator for the 2015 nuclear deal talks being held in Vienna has been replaced by one of President Ebrahim Raisi’s hardline favorites.

Ali Bagheri took over from Abbas Araghchi, who is known for his  tough stance on concessions with the West. Bagheri worked as a deputy for international affairs during Raisi’s term as Iran’s judiciary chief.

Diplomats who follow the International Atomic Energy Agency, said female inspectors for the UN watchdog had been subjected to inappropriate searches by Iranian security staff.

In a statement, the watchdog said several incidents had taken place at an Iranian facility which were described as “unacceptable.”

Raisi traveled to Tajikistan to confirm Iran’s membership to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a growing Eurasian group led by China and Russia.

The organization has previously helped Tehran to limit the effect of  US sanctions, and currently has eight members which represent half the world’s population and a quarter of its economic productivity.

And Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi was arrested by Iran’s security forces for criticizing the Islamic Republic in his music. Salehi’s home was raided on Tuesday, and he was then taken to an undisclosed location according to human rights agencies in Iran.

Salehi is known for his critical views about Iran’s regime, and uses his lyrics to highlight state-sanctioned oppression and vulnerable groups targeted by the regime. Iranian human rights campaigner Masih Alinejad lent her support to the rapper on Twitter, asking her followers to “be his voice.”

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