The Week in Review: July.19th – July.26th

By Natasha Phillips

France told Iran to comply with the nuclear deal this week, as part of an effort to deescalate tensions in the Middle East. French President Emmanuel Macron spoke with Iran‘s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi during a meeting in Paris, after Iranian officials announced they had engaged in activities which breached the terms of the agreement.

The Iranian government sent out more conflicting messages over its willingness to negotiate. While President Hassan Rouhani signaled that the Islamic Republic would be willing to talk with the U.S., Hossein Dehghan, a senior commander of Iran‘s Islamic Revolutionary Guards and the Supreme Leader’s top military aide said that negotiations would not be possible.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he was less inclined to make a deal with the Iranian government as tensions between Tehran and Washington remained high. Trump used his power of veto to stop legislation going through Congress which would have blocked the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, a key ally against the Islamic Republic.

Disputes around seized Iranian and British oil tankers in Gibraltar and the Persian Gulf culminated in a potential offer of a swap from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Meanwhile, the Iranian government vowed to secure the Strait of Hormuz after the UK proposed a naval mission to ensure safe passage for ships in the Strait. The U.S. welcomed the UK’s initiative.  

  • After Iranian officials seized a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, Imam Mohamad Tawhidi explains that the government’s justification for the seizure may come from a little known loophole in Islamic jurisprudence.
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  • The Iranian government’s armed forces launched a project called “Return to the bunker” for soldiers who go AWOL.
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  • Disabled Iranians held a protest in front of the Ministry of Health and Medical Education in Tehran demanding the government enforce their rights to therapeutic services.
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  • Marine wildlife in Iran is at risk, after the government failed to build artificial reefs in accordance with best practice, using toxic scrap and cement blocks instead.
     Link to source