The Week in Review: May 8th – May 15th

The Iranian government warned of a fresh Coronavirus cluster hitting another province, after it announced 71 additional deaths and more than 1,800 infections across the country.

Iran’s spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Kianoush Jahanpour said that North Khorasan province could join Khuzestan province on a list of areas considered to be in critical condition.

U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, said the United States would look to trigger United Nations sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council did not extend an arms embargo on the Iranian government. The embargo, which is set down in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), comes to an end in October. Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif called the measure “foolish.”

Iran’s oil exports sunk to an historic low, as U.S. sanctions and the Coronavirus pandemic battered the sector. The country’s exports averaged 70,000 barrels per day in April, down from 287,000 barrels in March.

Iranians inside and outside of Iran called on the Iranian government to step down and dissolve the Islamic Republic. The petition, which garnered 172 signatures, was signed by several prominent Iranians, including Nazanin Afshin-Jam, co-founder and President of Stop Child Executions and the wife of Peter Mackay, Canada’s former Justice Minister and Defense Minister.

And Amnesty International asked Iranian officials to disclose the whereabouts of four prisoners sentenced to death, who Amnesty said were forcibly disappeared after being transferred to unknown locations.

Hedayat Abdollahpour, Naser Khafajian, Ali Khasraji and Hossein Silawi have been forcibly disappeared since March, raising concerns that they may be at risk of torture or executed in secret. Amnesty International said there had been a rise in the number of executions inside Iran since April.