The Week in Review: May 15th – May 22nd

One of Iran’s deputy health ministers said that at least 10,000 health care workers in the country had been infected with the novel coronavirus. According to the Ministry of Health, more than 100 health workers have died from the disease.

The government reported at least 7,249 deaths and 129,341 infections attributable to the virus, as well as 2,392 new cases of the virus.

Official government data on COVID-19 was called into question by a research team inside Iran’s parliament, which estimated that the number of infections and deaths could be almost twice as high as reported figures suggest.

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s interior minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, for committing serious human rights breaches. Minister Fazli authorized the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) of Iran to use lethal force against anti-government protesters in November, leading to the deaths of more than 200 demonstrators including at least 23 children. The Iranian government said the latest round of sanctions were “fruitless” and “repetitive.”

Money Iran spent on Syria amounting to $30 billion dollars should be reimbursed, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a conservative lawmaker in Iran said. The request comes as Iran buckles under crippling sanctions and one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world.

And British dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was granted an extension of her furlough while on temporary release. Iran’s judiciary extended Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s temporary release from Evin prison by one week, until May 27, when the judiciary will decide whether the rest of her sentence can be commuted. Mrs. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical government.

Our thoughts are with everyone in Iran, and around the world, affected by the outbreak.