News Digest: Week of August 24

August 24

Health: Iran’s Ministry of Health reported 361,150 infections, including 20,776 deaths from COVID-19. Health Ministry spokesman Sima Sadat Lari announced that 311,365 Iranians had recovered from the virus.

Politics: Iran’s Guardian Council set the date for the next presidential election for June 18, 2021. Candidates are required to register in early April for approval by the Guardian Council, and a final list will be announced in early June.


August 25

Health: Iran reported 363,363 cases and 20,901 deaths from coronavirus. Health Minister Namaki warned against public complacency during the Islamic holy month of Muharram. “I am asking people not to pack bags and hopscotch around the country just because their children are done with university entrance exams,” Namaki said in a press conference. “If citizens travel again, we should expect the resurgence of the virus one week after the holidays,” Tehran Governor Anoushirvan Mohsen Bandpey added.

Diplomacy: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran would consider talks with the United States if Washington agreed to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal. “Washington’s maximum pressure policy on Iran has failed 100 percent ...If Washington wants an agreement with us, then they should apologize for exiting the deal and return to it,” Rouhani said in a press conference. “Trump has been talking a lot ... The next president, whether it is Trump or someone else, must adopt a different approach towards Iran.”

Nuclear: Rafael Grossi, the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief, pressed Iranian officials for access to two suspected former nuclear sites. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) met with President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. “Our conversation today was very constructive. It was agreed that the Agency will carry out its independent and professional responsibilities and Iran will fulfil its legal commitments,” Salehi said after discussions.


August 26

Health: Iran recorded 365,606 cases and 21,020 deaths from COVID-19. “Unfortunately we have been facing a surge in coronavirus infections in recent weeks. I urge everyone to avoid unnecessary trips,” Health Ministry Spokeswoman Lari said in a press conference.

Nuclear: Iran agreed to provide the global nuclear watchdog with access two suspected nuclear sites in Iran. A joint statement with the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran was “voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve the issues.”