The Week in Review: January 24th – January 31st

U.S. President Donald Trump announced sanctions waivers for Iran’s nuclear program with a lifespan of 60 days. Meanwhile, Iran’s lawmakers called for a debate in the Majlis (Iran’s Parliament), to discuss a motion for Iran to leave an agreement addressing global nuclear arms control.

Additional U.S. sanctions were launched, this time targeting the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and its head, Ali Akbar Salehi.

The U.S. House of Representatives committee said it had reached an agreement with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to testify at a public hearing on Iran and Iraq policy. Congressmen and women from both the Republican and Democrat parties wanted more information from the Trump Administration about the assassination of former Quds Force leader, General Qassem Soleimani.

Trump announced his Middle East Peace Plan, which was developed in partnership with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling it ‘the deal of the century.’ The plan, designed to end the Israeli-Palestine conflict in the region, was met with mixed reactions. The UK, the EU, Egypt and several Gulf states welcomed the document, and said it was a workable jumping off point to start more detailed negotiations.

Palestinian leaders rejected Trump’s 181-page peace plan, calling it a conspiracy which was likely to create apartheid in the region. Key measures in the plan include making Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel and allowing Israel to annex the Jordan Valley and the majority of its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The plan also outlines land swaps and a cap on settlement expansion.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called the peace plan the ‘most despicable plan of the century,’ while Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the plan would be a ‘nightmare’ for the region and the world.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met with Pompeo in London to talk about the future of the Special Relationship between the UK and the U.S., at think tank the Policy Exchange in Westminster. Raab and Pompeo discussed Iran at length.

And finally, details about a British correspondent being secretly detained by Iranian officials in July 2019 were revealed. Nicolas Pelham, a senior journalist writing for The Economist with more than 30 years’ experience in the Middle East, said he had been held by the IRGC for two months, even though he had a journalist’s visa issued by the Iranian government.

  • Award winning human rights activist Masih Alinejad talked to Kayhan Life about her meetings in Davos, and the ongoing ‘gender apartheid’ in Iran.
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  • After criticizing the right-wing political party Alternative for Germany (Afd) in an Instagram video, Omid Noripour, a member of Germany’s Green Party, is now facing a complaint filed at Berlin’s prosecution office.
    Link to source
  • A report by the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) ranked Iran as having one of the lowest national minimum wages in the Middle East.
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  • And the Persian Bono, singer and actor Andy Madadian, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    → Link to source.