The Week in Review: May 22nd – May 29th

U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, told Tehran this week that it could either negotiate with the United States, or manage economic collapse. Hook said U.S. sanctions, which are part of the Trump Administration’s Maximum Pressure campaign, were pushing Iran to make a choice.

Iran’s new parliament convened for the first time since its formation, amid strict health protocols designed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. All attendees had their temperature taken before entering the building in Tehran, and several wore face masks. A number of officials have already died from the infection.

Former Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was elected as the Speaker for the ultra-conservative parliament. Qalibaf served as Tehran’s Mayor prior to being elected.

Yigal Unna, Israel’s Director General of the National Cyber Directorate, warned of a “cyber winter” descending around the world, after confirming that the government had stopped a cyberattack on control systems at a water facility. Unna acknowledged media reports blaming Iran for the malicious activity but did not confirm who was behind the attack.

And a father who beheaded his 14-year-old daughter after she ran away with a 29-year-old man has sparked outrage in Iran, after the so-called “Honor Killing” was reported by a media outlet inside the country.

Romina Ashrafi fled from her home in May with the man, but was eventually detained and returned to her family. Romina’s father attacked  her with a sickle while she slept. He has been remanded in police custody.

The murder has placed pressure on Iranian officials to do something about the number of “Honor Killings” in Iran. Massoumeh Ebtekar, the vice president for women and family affairs, called for a bill protecting women to be prioritized during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

While official data on “Honor Killings” has not been published, Iran Human Rights Monitor said a senior police official had suggested that such murders make up 20% of all homicides in Iran.

We are dedicating this update to Romina, and every woman senselessly murdered in “Honor Killings” around the world.