Jan. 14 – A hardline conservative lawmaker in Iran accused the head of the labor ministry of engaging in nepotism this week.

Naser Mousavi Largani said Labor Minister Hojat Abdolmaleki had given the ministry’s top jobs to friends whose credentials had been rejected by Iran’s intelligence bodies.

A letter allegedly written by the labor minister asking Iran’s Employment Office to disregard current employment standards and approve 12 of his personal friends for senior roles was shared by activists on social media.

Iran’s foreign ministry unveiled a website which invites foreign nationals to enter their details and see if they are eligible to enter the country.

The portal — which alerts expatriate Iranians to any existing legal cases against them in Iran — has been met with suspicion by the Iranian diaspora, who have suggested that the online tool is a government initiative to collect information and source new hostages.

Jason Rezaian, a journalist and former political prisoner who was held in Iran, said the website was a way to woo the diaspora and its collective wealth back to Iran to boost the country’s ailing economy, in an opinion piece for the Washington Post.

And a hearing in New York for the trial investigating an alleged plot to kidnap human rights campaigner Masih Alinejad was postponed. The lawyer for one of the defendants told the court he had received a large amount of paperwork from state prosecutors.

Ms. Alinejad said she was the target of a plot to kidnap her, which was foiled by the FBI. Details about the charges were outlined in the federal indictment submitted to the court.

The hearing has been rescheduled for Feb. 4, at a district court in New York.

Week in Review Archive: 2022