News Digest: Week of June 6

June 6: 

Domestic: The death toll from the collapse of a 10-story building in Abadan on May 23 rose to 41. The incident had triggered week-long protests against government corruption.

Religion: Iran demanded an apology from India after two officials of India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), made derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed. Officials from other predominantly Muslim countries including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates criticized India for allowing the Islamophobic remarks.

United States: Representatives Gregory W. Meeks and Michael McCaul, Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged the Biden administration to “vigorously pursue” the release of Americans detained in Iran. “Getting our Americans home must be the highest priority and remain an active line of effort, no matter the status of nuclear talks,” they said in a joint statement.

 

June 7:

Economy: The value of Iran’s currency, the rial, hit a low of 320,000 to one U.S. dollar – the lowest since October 2020.

Domestic: A court sentenced a 21-year-old man from Afghanistan to death for murdering two Shiite clerics and wounding a third in Mashhad, a holy city in northeastern Iran. The killer, an ethnic Uzbek who held radical Sunni views, stabbed the victims.  

Domestic: Burglars robbed 250 safe deposit boxes by cutting through a wall of a branch of Melli Iran, a government-owned bank. The break-in triggered the alarm system, but the manager ignored the alert because the bank had a history of false alarms.

 

June 8

Nuclear: The Board of Governors of the U.N. nuclear watchdog passed a resolution that formally censured Iran for failing to explain traces of uranium at three undeclared sites that date back to a covert program before 2003. The resolution, sponsored jointly by the United States, Britain, France and Germany, passed 30 to 2, with three abstentions. Russia and China, which have veto power at the U.N. Security Council, opposed the resolution. India, Pakistan and Libya abstained. The overwhelming majority vote “sends an unambiguous message to Iran that it must meet its safeguards obligations,” the United States, Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement.

Domestic: At least 17 people died and dozens were injured after a train derailed in eastern Iran near the city of Tabas. 

 

June 9

Nuclear: Iran will remove “basically all” the extra monitoring equipment, including 27 cameras, installed as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.N. nuclear watchdog announced. If Iran does not restore the cameras within three to four weeks, “this would be a fatal blow” to reviving the historic agreement, Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned at a snap press conference. “I think the window of opportunity is very, very, very small,” he said. “This, of course, poses a serious challenge to our ability to continue working there. “

Updated