News DIgest: Week of April 4

April 4

Diplomacy: Tehran blamed Washington for the pause in talks on restoring the 2015 nuclear deal. “If there’s a pause in the Vienna talks, that’s because of the excessive U.S. demands,” Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian tweeted. “If the White House behaves realistically, an agreement is achievable.” At a press briefing, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Khatibzadeh warned that Iran would “not wait forever” for the United States to make a decision on how to proceed.

Diplomacy: During a phone call, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that their countries could help “establish stability and security” in the region through closer cooperation. The two leaders also discussed the possibility of using Iran’s Kish Island for holding World Cup events or to host tourists in late 2022, when Qatar is slated to host the games.

Women's Rights:


April 5

Terrorism: An attacker stabbed three clerics at Imam Reza Shrine, a major pilgrimage site for Shiite Muslims in the northern city of Mashhad. As of April 7, two of the clerics had died from their wounds. Authorities said that five people, including the assailant, were arrested. Tasnim news agency said that the attacker was an Uzbek national named Abdollatif Moradi.


April 6

Diplomacy: Secretary of State Blinken said that he was not “overly optimistic at the prospects of actually getting an agreement to conclusion.” He warned that time was running out. “But this is something that we’ll be talking to our European partners about this afternoon and then over the course of the next day,” he said during a trip to Belgium for the NATO Foreign Ministerial.

Nuclear: Iran provided documents to the U.N. nuclear watchdog about uranium particles found at three undeclared sites. “We have handed over the documents on March 20 to the agency. They are reviewing those documents and probably the agency's representatives will travel to Iran for further talks and then the IAEA will present its conclusion,” nuclear chief Mohammad Eslami said at a press conference. In March, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran agreed on a roadmap to resolve the outstanding issues.  

United States: Federal officers arrested Arian Taherzadeh, 40, and Haider Ali, 35, for impersonating Department of Homeland Security officers. The two men provided gifts ranging from iPhones to rent-free apartments to members of the Secret Service. The Federal Bureau of Investigation found a trove of weapons, ammunition, and other tools of law enforcement at the luxury apartment that Taherzadeh and Ali shared in Washington, D.C. Both were U.S. citizens. Ali had traveled to Iran and Pakistan, and he had told witnesses that he had ties to ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service. Investigators were also examining potential links to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, according to CBS News.


April 7

Regional: Iran-backed militants reportedly fired several rockets at the Green Village, a base in eastern Syria used by U.S.-led forces from the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Four U.S. personnel were injured.