British-Iranian woman ends 5-year sentence, but not free yet
The twists and turns of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's years-long case have sparked international outrage and strained already fraught diplomatic ties between Britain and Iran. Her trial was then indefinitely postponed, stirring hopes for her return home when her sentence ended. Ratcliffe, who for years has campaigned vocally for his wife’s release, has said that Iran was holding Zaghari-Ratcliffe as “collateral” in the dispute. Authorities in London and Tehran deny that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case is linked to the repayment deal. Or Is it that they are going to whack her with that second sentence?” her sister-in-law Rebecca Ratcliffe told U.K’s Sky News.
UK lawmaker: Trial of woman held in Iran since 2016 deferred
LONDON – A British lawmaker says a new trial that a woman with dual nationality expected to face in Iran on Sunday has been postponed, with no new date arranged. After speaking to dual-national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe's husband, Richard Ratcliffe, Parliament member Tulip Siddiq said in a tweet that the “trial” has been postponed. Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been detained in Iran since 2016, when she was sentenced to five years in prison over allegations of plotting to overthrow the Iranian government. The new indictment came as Britain and Iran negotiate the release of some 400 million pounds ($530 million) held by London, a payment the late Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi made for Chieftain tanks that were never delivered. The shah abandoned the throne in 1979 and the Islamic Revolution soon installed the clerically overseen system that endures today.
Iranian TV: British Iranian dual national faces new charge
FILE -- In this Jan. 16, 2017 file photo, Richard Ratcliffe husband of imprisoned British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses during an Amnesty International led vigil outside the Iranian Embassy in London. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, Iran's state TV, citing unnamed official, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces a new charge but did not elaborate. Zaghari-Ratcliffe had been released from prison due to the coronavirus pandemic after serving nearly all of her five-year sentence. She was arrested during a holiday with her toddler daughter in April 2016. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)
Iranian TV: British Iranian dual national faces new charge
FILE -- In this Jan. 16, 2017 file photo, Richard Ratcliffe husband of imprisoned British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, poses during an Amnesty International led vigil outside the Iranian Embassy in London. On Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, Iran's state TV, citing unnamed official, said Zaghari-Ratcliffe faces a new charge but did not elaborate. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)TEHRAN – A British Iranian dual national held in Tehran in an internationally criticized espionage case faces a new charge, Iranian state television announced Tuesday, raising fears she could be forced to return to prison following her temporary release. A U.N. panel has described “an emerging pattern involving the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of dual nationals” in Iran, which Tehran denies. The Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO, Antonio Zappulla, condemned the new charge, saying it would prolong Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s “inhumane and unjust ordeal."
Messages claiming Iran nuclear site fire deepen mystery
This Friday, July 3, 2020 satellite image from Planet Labs Inc. that has been annotated by experts at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies shows a damaged building after a fire and explosion at Iran's Natanz nuclear site. An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to "security reasons." (Planet Labs Inc., James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies via AP)
Iran declines to disclose cause of mysterious nuke site fire
They also focused almost entirely on Iran's nuclear program, viewed by Israel as a danger to its very existence. Iranian nuclear officials did not respond to a request for comment from the AP on the analysts' findings. A video claimed the group included “soldiers from the heart of regime’s security organizations” who wanted to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. The video did, however, call it the Kashan nuclear site, rather than Natanz. Iranians uniformly call the nuclear site Natanz.
Cables: US falsely said British queen backed 1953 Iran coup
The shah grew fearful of Mosaddegh's growing power and prepared to flee Iran in February 1953, months before the coup. That suggests Queen Elizabeth herself had sent a message. “I don’t think the 1953 coup would have happened if the shah had fled then. An initial 1989 release outlining the years surrounding the 1953 coup in Iran whitewashed the U.S. role in the coup. The 1953 coup is their first piece of evidence.
Iran remembers 1979 Islamic Revolution amid high US tension
(AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)TEHRAN – Hundreds of thousands across Iran marked the anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution on Tuesday amid some of the highest tensions ever between Tehran and the U.S. in the past four decades. The shoot down also marred funeral processions that drew millions of mourners for Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad. In November, protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50% blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police. A series of attacks across the Mideast culminated with the U.S. launching the drone strike that killed Soleimani in January. "You are too desperate to bring Iran to its knees.”Iran’s Islamic Revolution began with widespread unrest over the rule of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
Correction: Iran-Plane Crash-Echoes of 1988 story
FILE - In this July 3, 1988 file photo, the crew of the USS Vincennes stands at attention to salute the USS Samuel B. Roberts which left the Persian Gulf. The Western allegation that Iran shot down a Ukrainian jetliner and killed 176 people offers a grim echo for the Islamic Republic, which found itself the victim of an accidental shootdown by American forces over 30 years ago. (AP Photo/Greg English, File)
Trump retreats from threat to attack Iranian cultural sites
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump on Tuesday backed away from his threats to target Iranian cultural sites if Iran retaliates against the U.S. for killing one of its top generals. Targeting cultural sites is a war crime. Separately, in 2017, the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the destruction of heritage sites. UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, has called on governments to remember that cultural sites are not targets. Questioned about the matter again Tuesday, Pompeo said every action taken by the U.S. “will be consistent with the international rule of law,” though he did not specifically rule out Iranian cultural sites.
AP Explains: Rising Iran, US tension after general's killing
That could include anything, from challenging U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, firing ballistic missiles or deploying the asymmetrical proxy forces Iran has cultivated to cover for its long-sanctioned conventional forces. Iran denied being involved, though it did seize oil tankers in response to one of its tankers being seized off Gibraltar. But as Europe largely hasn't been able to offer Tehran a way around American sanctions, Iran has begun taking steps away from the deal. To counter that, Iran has put much of its money toward developing a ballistic missile program operated by the Guard. The U.S. has blamed car bombs and kidnappings never claimed by Iran on Tehran as well.