The Week in Review: September.6th – September.13th

U.S. President Donald Trump announced the departure of his U.S. Senior Security Advisor John Bolton. Speaking to White House reporters, Trump said that Bolton had been a”disaster” on North Korea policy, “out of line” on Venezuela, and did not get along with key administration officials. Despite their disagreements, Trump said that he hoped to part with Bolton on good terms. 

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that Trump would not be meeting with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani for the time being and said that the Maximum Pressure Campaign was still ongoing. A report from Bloomberg said that Washington had begun preparing for a meeting between Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month. 

Signaling a renewed intent to breach the nuclear deal, Iran said it had implemented advanced centrifuges to enrich its uranium stockpiles. In a separate incident, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said it had found traces of uranium at a warehouse in Iran. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the building was an atomic warehouse which had housed 15 kg of unspecified radioactive material, which had since been removed. Iran has yet to explain the traces of uranium found in the warehouse located in Tehran. 

International football governing body FIFA, announced that it would visit Tehran following the death of Blue Girl, Sahar Khodayari. Sahar died after setting herself on fire. She had been charged by Iranian officials for attending a football match dressed as a man, and had been given a six month jail sentence. 

FIFA officials said that the visit was not a direct response to Sahar’s death. However, the officials confirmed that they would check to see if the Iranian Football Association had made provisions for women to attend an upcoming match on October 10 in Iran. According to Amnesty International, Iran is the only country in the world that arrests and punishes women for trying to enter football stadiums.   

The arrest and detention of a British-Australian woman and her Australian partner in Iran sparked world-wide concern. Jolie King and Mark Firkin were charged with flying a drone near Tehran, and have spent ten weeks in Iran’s Evin Prison. Ms King was kept in solitary confinement for what is believed to be an extended period of time, but is now believed to have been removed from the one-person cell. 

A second British-Australian woman is also believed to be in Evin prison after receiving a ten year sentence, of which she has already served almost one year. The academic, who has not been identified, is also reportedly being held in solitary confinement. The woman’s charges have not been made public.

  • Iran’s dismal human rights record is entangled with its government’s challenges on the global stage. An international spotlight on its human rights violations could bring relief, and change.
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  • Following the death of Blue Girl, Sahar Khodayari, Iranian activists are calling on men to boycott Iran’s football stadiums. Other groups are asking FIFA to fine Iran’s Football Association.
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  • Iran’s parliament will review the Human Trafficking and Organ Trade Bill, after concerns were raised that there was no data available on the scale of human trafficking and of illegal organ harvesting in Iran.
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  • Rising production costs in Iran are turning staple goods into luxury items, according to the Iranian Association of Canned Food Industries. A 105 gram tin of tuna now costs $5.50.
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