Insider news & Analysis in Iran

While visiting Iran on Thursday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino took the opportunity to comment on the escalating war of words between the Islamic Republic and its Saudi Arabian adversaries, and specifically on the impact that that diplomatic strife has had on the sporting world. As Agence France Presse reported, Infantino called attention to the fact that Saudi soccer clubs have been refusing to compete in Iran since January 2016, coinciding with the suspension of diplomatic relations between the two countries following attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and the consulate in Mashhad.

On Wednesday, the UN Dispatch pointed to the previous day’s speech to the UN Human Rights Council by Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaei, in order to highlight the “contentious” relationship between that body and the Islamic Republic. Avaei’s speech had been a source of controversy since the list of speakers at the newly opened session of the HRC was publicized last week. The council noted that the Iranian official was not directly invited and that any UN member state may address a session’s opening and choose its own representative. Nonetheless, human rights activists and opponents of Iran’s clerical regime urged world powers and the HRC to condemn Avaei and cancel his speech.

It was widely reported on Tuesday that Russia had vetoed the resolution brought before the United Nations Security Council that day regarding Iran’s apparent provision of ballistic missiles and other weapons to Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

On Friday, the Washington Post published an article highlighting the potential impasse faced by European leaders and the United States government as they struggle to address perceived flaws in the Iran nuclear deal.

On Monday, the New York Times published a feature which highlighted the clash between Israeli and Iranian forces based in Syria which took place earlier in February and reportedly brought new attention to the issue of Iran’s deepening and potentially permanent foothold in the Arab nation just across the border from the Jewish state.

On Thursday, the United Nations Panel of Experts released a 329-page report detailing the evidence behind recent accusations levied against the Islamic Republic of Iran regarding its provision of advanced weapons to regional proxies, in violation of UN sanctions. The document was eagerly welcomed by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the international body, who said that it corroborated much of what the White House has been saying about Iranian misbehavior for several months.

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