News Digest: Week of November 8

November 8

Nuclear/Diplomacy: Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh outlined Iran’s demands for the United States ahead of the resumption of nuclear talks on November 29. Washington “must lift the oppressive sanctions completely and effectively.” And it must “guarantee that no administration in the United States mocks the world and international law” by abandoning the nuclear deal again. 

Iraq: Iraqi security officials said that Kataib Hezbollah and Asaib Ahl al Haq, Shiite militias supported by Iran, carried out the drone attack against Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al Kadhimi on November 7. 

Human rights: Authorities shut down newspaper Kelid after it published a front-page graphic on November 6 that seemed to portray Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei’s left hand drawing the poverty line. 


November 9

Nuclear: Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in a phone call with his French counterpart, expressed a desire to expand bilateral ties. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that nuclear talks must resume where they left off on June 20. 

Israel: Israel was “speeding up the operational plans and readiness for dealing with Iran and the nuclear military threat,”Israeli army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi announced

Military: Iran wrapped up a three-day war game, Zolfaghar-1400, in which the conventional navy, army, air force and air defense force participated. The military tested a wide variety of weapons, including cruise missiles, torpedoes and suicide drones. The exercise was held around four key waterways – the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean – an area totaling more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers).

A Qader anti-ship cruise missile


United States: President Joe Biden, like his predecessors, renewed the national emergency with respect to Iran. The emergency status was first declared on November 14, 1979, shortly after the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran.

November 10

Afghanistan: Some 300,000 Afghans had entered Iran since the Taliban took control of most of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Norwegian Refugee Council estimated. “Thousands of exhausted women, children and men are crossing from Afghanistan into Iran every day in search of safety. Iran cannot be expected to host so many Afghans with so little support from the international community," the organization said. It urged the international community to provide more aid to Afghanistan and neighboring countries hosting refugees before the winter.

Climate: “Oppressive sanctions” must be lifted before Iran can ratify the Paris Climate Accords, Department of Environment chief Ali Salajegheh said on the sidelines of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference. “Our principal message in this summit is that countries commit to discussing lifting the sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran as a priority,” he added. 

Human rights: Human Rights Watch condemned Iran’s new population law as a violation of reproductive-health rights. The bill, approved by the Guardian Council on November 1, would prohibit public healthcare facilities from providing sterilization and free contraceptives. The legislation will tentatively become law in December and last seven years. 

Human rights: Gholamali Mohammadi replaced Iran’s Prison Organizations head Mohammad Mehdi Haj-Mohammadi. The change in personnel followed the leak of video footage of apparent human-rights abuses in Evin Prison.