Insider news & Analysis in Iran

On Monday, it was reported that Iran’s vice president for legal affairs, one of only three females appointed to serve in positions during President Hassan Rouhani’s second term, had begun to wear the full body covering chador, instead of the less conservative hijab, which covers only the hair and is legally required for all women. The change was widely regarded as further capitulation to hardline pressures, especially in light of the fact that the official, Laaya Joneidi, was responding to pressure coming directly from the supposedly moderate Rouhani.

On Tuesday, it was reported that the Islamic Republic of Iran had once again voiced its rejection of American efforts to push for international inspections of the country’s military sites. The latest major example of this push came in the form of a visit by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, to the International Atomic Energy Agency. In that visit, Haley sought answers to American concerns regarding the extent of IAEA inspections regarding Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. But the Iranian Foreign Ministry complained about the meeting and asserted that the US was attempting to sow doubt about the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on an international scale.

The Iran Human Rights Monitor website reported on Tuesday that the hunger strike in Rajai Shahr Prison had continued to expand since its start nearly three weeks ago, and had come to encompass other prison facilities in the Islamic Republic.

A report by the Associated Press calls attention to a new wave of political controversy that is sweeping the Islamic Republic of Iran in the wake of President Hassan Rouhani’s appointment of new cabinet members for his second term in office, which began in early August. The social media outcry about Vice President Laaya Joneidi’s change of wardrobe is not the first criticism of its kind as pro-reform Iranians evidently become more and more resigned to the notion that serious political change will not be realized as a result of Rouhani’s May reelection.

On Monday, The Guardian reported upon the pressure supposedly being exerted on American intelligence agencies by the White House as US President Donald Trump looks forward to the October deadly for the quarter-annual report to Congress on Iranian compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement. On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly referred to that agreement as one of the worst deals ever negotiated, and in recent weeks he has indicated that he would have deemed Iran to be out of compliance at his earliest opportunity, thus precipitating the deal’s cancellation, if not for the intervention of his foreign policy team.

Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was in Vienna on Wednesday for meetings with officials in the International Atomic Energy Agency. As was reported ahead of those meetings, their declared purpose was to address American concerns and questions about the ongoing implementation of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Those advance reports also indicated that Iranian officials had taken exception to Haley’s visit, with the Iranian Foreign Ministry writing an official letter to IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano and complaining that meetings were really intended to sow the seeds of doubt in the international community regarding Iran’s compliance with the deal.

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