The Week in Review: March 13th – March 20th

The novel Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has claimed the lives of at least 1,433 people in Iran. Kianush Jahanpur, Iran’s health ministry spokesman, said one person every 10 minutes was dying from the novel Coronavirus inside the country.

Washington imposed sanctions on five United Arab Emirates-based companies, which it said had purchased hundreds of thousands of metric tons of petroleum products from Iran.

The Trump administration also sanctioned Chinese and South African companies, which the administration also accused of trading in Iranian petrochemicals. The new sanctions freeze U.S. assets held by the companies and bar Americans from doing business with them.

Dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was released on furlough from Evin prison for two weeks along with several thousand other prisoners, as part of the Iranian government’s attempts at containing COVID-19.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been given an ankle tag to wear, and is only allowed to go up to 300 meters outside of her parents’ home in Tehran, where she is staying. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, said Nazanin was the only political prisoner who had been made to wear a tag, in a press release published on Tuesday.

As Iranians prepared to celebrate their New Year (Nowruz), reports from inside Iran painted a somber picture of life in isolation. Soaring death tolls and the economic impact of the Coronavirus have left Iranians feeling scared and alone. Around two million Iranians could lose their jobs as the disease impacts businesses and trade, leaving many Iranians concerned about how to care for their families.

Our thoughts at Kayhan Life are with all those Iranians and their families in Iran affected by the outbreak.

  • Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a member of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Majlis (Iranian Parliament) said COVID-19 was a bio-terrorist attack directed at Iran and China.→ Link to source
  • Iranian religious groups clashed with security forces in a bid to keep several holy shrines open for worship.→ Link to source
  • An exhibition entitled “Reimagining Home” pays homage to pioneering photographer, Bahman Jalali. → Link to source.
  • Iranian authoress, Shiva Shakoori, talks about her experience as a female writer and immigrant trying to find her feet in a foreign land.→  Link to source.