The Week in Review: August 21st – August 28th


Washington pressed for the extension of a U.N. arms embargo on Iran this week, after the U.N. Security Council turned down its request. The U.S. tried to invoke a sanctions snapback provision embedded in the 2015 nuclear deal.

While parties to the nuclear deal, Germany, France and the UK, did not agree on terms in the Trump administration’s resolution to renew the arms embargo indefinitely, the three countries have opposed lifting the embargo in October.

Foreign ministers from France, Germany and the UK, and their Israeli counterpart, said the embargo was needed to prevent any further destabilization in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said talks would be possible with the U.S. if they returned to the deal, after U.S. President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

Tehran gave in to a request by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog to inspect two locations suspected of once being secret nuclear sites. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced the development alongside Tehran in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The statement confirmed that days for the inspections had been set as well as the remit of the atomic watchdog’s inspections and activities at each site. The agency’s chief Rafael Grossi said the inspections would be carried out “very, very soon,” but did not give specific dates.

And lawyers for detained dual-national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, said the UK government was deliberately stalling on a plan to process her release to avoid offending Donald Trump.

In a letter to defence secretary Ben Wallace, the legal team criticized the UK’s efforts to free Nazanin and accused the government of using stalling tactics to delay the payment of a £400 million debt owed by the UK to Iran. The debt stems from an arms deal during the late Shah’s reign, involving the purchase of 1,500 tankers which were never delivered to Iran.

The legal team said the delay “plays politics with the lives of British citizens.”