News Digest: Week of September 7

September 7

Health: Iran’s Ministry of Health reported 388,810 infections, including 22,410 deaths from COVID-19. It was the highest daily increase in new cases in 10 days.

Health/Education: Education Minister Mohsen Haji Mirzaei clarified that students were not quired to attend in-person classes after receiving heavy criticism from health experts. “From the beginning, we said that students' presence at schools is not mandatory,” Mirzaei said in an interview. “We said that our priority is face-to-face education, which is more appropriate for several reasons. That is why we are preparing all schools for in-person education. Therefore, the priority has been given to in-person education, and schools will be running, regardless of the number of students attending them."

Economy: Masoud Babaei, an official from the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labor, and Social Welfare, said that 850,000 Iranians had lost their jobs between February and August due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that 59 percent of jobs lost were in the service industry and 31 percent were in the industrial sector.


September 8

Health: Iran recorded 391,112 cases and 22,542 deaths from COVID-19. Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari announced that 337,414 patients had recovered from the virus.

Nuclear: Iran began construction of a new centrifuge production hall in the mountains near the Natanz nuclear facility after the previous site was severely damaged by a mysterious explosion in July, which the Iranian government blamed on sabotage. “Due to the sabotage, it was decided to build a more modern, larger and more comprehensive hall in all dimensions in the heart of the mountain near Natanz. Of course, the work has begun,” Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran’s nuclear chief said in an interview with state media.

Justice: Iran’s judiciary announced a new indictment against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian aid worker detained in Iran on espionage charges in 2016. “Branch 15 of the Islamic Revolutionary Court summoned Nazanin Zaghari and her designated lawyer this morning and informed her of a new indictment,” state television reported. Britain’s Foreign Office called the new charges “indefensible and unacceptable” and demanded her release.


September 9

Health: Iran reported 393,425 cases and 22,669 deaths from coronavirus. Health Ministry spokeswoman Lari said that 3,457,743 Iranians had been tested from the virus.