A fire that broke out on Thursday at a key Iranian nuclear facility has caused “significant damage”, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear energy body has said. He said the cause of the blaze at the Natanz enrichment site had been determined, but gave no details. Other fires and explosions have also occurred in the past week in Iran.
Iran has put out an arrest warrant and requested a red notice be published by Interpol for President Donald Trump following the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January, the Iranian state news agency FARS reported Monday. A red notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action.
An Iranian who spied for U.S. and Israeli intelligence on slain Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani has been sentenced to death, Iran said on Tuesday, adding the case was not linked to Soleimani’s killing earlier this year. On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force. Washington blamed Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.
Iran’s president has called for swift action to outlaw so-called “honor killings” after the death of a 14-year-old Iranian girl. Hassan Rouhani urged his cabinet to act after Romina Ashrafi was allegedly killed by her father for running away with her boyfriend, 34-year-old Bahamn Khavari. In traditional societies in the Middle East, including Iran, blame would typically fall on a runaway girl for purportedly having sullied her family’s honor.
One Iranian warship accidentally struck another with a missile during an exercise, killing 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, Iran’s navy said on Monday. The incident took place during training in the Gulf of Oman, a sensitive waterway that connects to the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes. Iran regularly conducts exercises in the area.
Iran has hit back after Donald Trump said he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass it at sea. Tehran responded by saying it will destroy “any American terrorist force” if its security is threatened in the Gulf. It comes as tensions escalate between the two countries again, with Iran’s Republican Guard announcing the launch of the country’s first military satellite.
Vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative.” According to the U.S. statement, 11 Iranian vessels approached six U.S. military ships while they were conducting integration operations with army helicopters in international waters in the Gulf.
The family of former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared 13 years ago on an island off Iran, said Wednesday that he died while being held in Iran as the longest-held hostage in American history. Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman at Iran’s Permanent Mission to the U.N., said Wednesday: “Iran has always maintained that its officials have no knowledge of Mr. Levinson’s whereabouts, and that he is not in Iranian custody.”
British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been released temporarily by the Iranian authorities because of the coronavirus outbreak, says her husband. Richard Radcliffe said unlike other prisoners given temporary release, his wife has to wear an ankle tag, which her parents had to hire from the authorities and her movements will be restricted to 300 meters from her parents’ home.
Iran has temporarily freed about 85,000 prisoners in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus, a judiciary spokesman in the country has said. Javaid Rehman, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, said on 10 March he asked Tehran to temporarily free all political prisoners from its overcrowded and disease-ridden jails. The number of dead from the coronavirus has reached 853 in Iran.