News Digest: Week of January 16

January 16

International: Thousands of protestors marched to the E.U. parliament in Strasbourg in support of Iranian protesters. On the same day, the words “Stop Executions in Iran” were displayed in a light show on the Eiffel Tower in Paris. 

International: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol characterized Iran as “the enemy” of the United Arab Emirates during a visit to the small Gulf country. “The enemy of the UAE, its most-threatening nation, is Iran, and our enemy is North Korea,” he said. Iran’s foreign ministry condemned the remarks. Both countries summoned the other’s ambassadors on January 19.  

Domestic: Residents of the northeastern city of Torbat-e Jam gathered to protest over gas shortages. Gas prices in the region had increased sharply in the last few months.


January 17

International: U.S. and British officials vowed to hold Iran accountable for violating the rights of its people. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stated that the allies will “stand with the brave and dignified people of Iran as they demand their rights to live free of terror and oppression.”

International: The French foreign ministry said that it was “extremely worried” about the health of its citizen, Bernard Phelan, who was being held in Iran. Phelan was arrested in October 2022. His sister said that Phelan “is not doing well,” and that he had not been officially charged with any crime. 

Domestic: Oil and gas workers began new rounds of strikes in several cities in the south and southwest amid a natural gas shortage. 


January 18

Domestic: Judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi claimed that 5,200 people – 98 percent of detained protesters in Tehran province – had been released. He said that the rate was about the same nationwide.    

Domestic: A 5.6 magnitude earthquake struck West Azerbaijan province. At least 70 people were injured. More than 300 houses in 15 villages were damaged, officials said

Domestic: A man who decapitated his 17-year-old wife and displayed her head in public was sentenced to eight years in prison on assault charges.


January 19

International: Pakistan “strongly condemned” a terrorist attack in Pakistan allegedly launched from Iranian territory. “We hope that Iran would take an action against the responsible factors,” said Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch. Four security personnel were killed in the attack. 

Cyber: Cloudflare CEO Mathew Prince revealed that the White House had asked the tech company to help circumvent Iran’s censorship measures after protests began in September. Prince, however, said that sanctions had prevented the company from sending equipment to iran. 

International: In a nonbinding resolution, the European Parliament called on the European Union to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization. The move came as several E.U. citizens were being detained in Iran and European governments condemned Iran’s crackdown on protesters. 


January 20 

Domestic: Police arrested a stonemason who was hired to make a gravestone for the executed protester Mohammed Hosseini. Hosseini had no living relatives, but mourners had gathered at his grave.