Iran’s COVID-19 death toll continued to climb this week, with more than 25,000 reported fatalities in total.
The number of deaths related to the novel Coronavirus is the highest in the Middle East. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani warned that some restrictions could be reimposed due to the ongoing rise in infections.
The Trump administration has imposed a new raft of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, after failing to secure approval at the UN to extend an arms embargo which expires next month.
The new penalties target Iranian officials and organizations, including a judge who sentenced Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari to death. Mr. Afkari was executed on September 12 for allegedly stabbing a security guard to death and taking part in the 2018 protests.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman also called for a block on Iran to obtain weapons of mass destruction, during a speech at the UN’s annual meeting of world leaders.
An explosion at an arms depot belonging to Iran-backed Hezbollah injured several people in southern Lebanon, one of the group’s political strongholds in the region.
A security source told Reuters the blast was caused by a “technical error,” while another source said the militia group had cordoned off the area and prevented journalists from entering the location.
And in a diplomatic first for Britain, France and Germany, collectively known as the E3, coordinated an effort to address Iran’s human rights abuses this week.
The UK Foreign Office summoned Britain’s Iran ambassador on Tuesday to hand over a letter which said the Islamic Republic’s policy of arbitrary detention was seriously affecting its international standing. Iranian ambassadors in France and Germany were also summoned.