Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

Iran said it would follow the limits of the nuclear deal if remaining parties, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, help Iran mitigate US sanctions. (File/AFP)
Updated 23 July 2019

Iran to meet nuclear deal parties on Sunday

  • The meeting was requested by the European parties of the nuclear deal
  • Iran threatened to continue increasing their enriched uranium production limits

TEHRAN: Iran said it will attend a meeting in Vienna on Sunday of diplomats from countries still party to the 2015 nuclear deal, as they try to salvage the landmark agreement.
The hard-won deal has been threatened with collapse since the United States withdrew from it last year and reimposed biting sanctions against Iran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
“It was agreed to convene an extraordinary meeting of the JCPOA joint commission in Vienna on July 28,” Iran’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday, using the acronym for the deal’s formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
The meeting would be held at the level of deputy ministers and political directors, it said in an English-language statement.
It was requested by the European parties to discuss the “new situation,” the statement added, referring to Iran’s reduced nuclear commitments under the deal in response to the US withdrawal.
Iran said on May 8 it would disregard certain limits of the deal as long as the remaining parties — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — fail to do more to mitigate the impact of the US sanctions, especially to sell its oil.
Tehran has also threatened to take further measures.
It has since exceeded limits the deal had set on its enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles, as well as passing a cap the deal had imposed on its uranium enrichment.
The 4.5 percent enrichment level it reached is well below the more than 90 percent required for a nuclear warhead.
Iran has yet to specify what further steps it may take, and has repeatedly emphasised that its actions can be reversed “within hours” if European partners deliver on their commitments.


Iran sentences British lawyer to 10 years in jail for spying

Iran has a long track record of detaining foreigners and political prisoners in Evin prison (pictured). (File/Reuters)
Updated 11 August 2020

Iran sentences British lawyer to 10 years in jail for spying

  • British-Iranian dual national is accused of recruiting Iranian officials to work for MI6
  • Latest convictions highlight Iran’s ‘arbitrary’ targeting of foreigners with Western links

LONDON: A British-Iranian lawyer has been convicted on charges of spying and sentenced to 10 years in prison, along with four other Iranian nationals.

Iran’s judiciary said Shahram Shirkhani, a Tehran-based lawyer, spied for British intelligence services and tried to recruit Iranian officials to work for MI6.

Shirkhani, who also taught law at the Islamic Azad University at the time of his arrest, previously served as a legal adviser to Iran’s foreign investment authority.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a judiciary spokesman, said Shikhani had passed on classified information about Iran’s central bank and defense ministry contracts.

Shikhani was one of “five Iranians who were spying for foreign intelligence services” to be arrested over the past few months, Esmaili said, alleging that they had been working for Britain, Israel and Germany.

The only other person named by Esmaili for spying was Masoud Mosaheb, an Austrian-Iranian national who served as secretary-general of the Iran-Austria friendship association.

In a separate case to that of Shikhani, Mosaheb was also sentenced to 10 years in jail for spying for Israeli and German intelligence agencies, Esmaili said.

Tehran has been widely criticised for its judicial process and for targeting foreigners perceived to have links with Western nations.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has previously noted the pattern of Iran detaining dual nationals, and said the arrests and detentions of many of those detained by Tehran are “arbitrary,” and that authorities targeted people based on their “national or social origin.” 

Human Rights Watch said Iranian authorities “systematically deny” foreigners charged with national security crimes — such as Shikhani and Mosaheb — with access to lawyers of their choosing.

They also said that many of those sentenced in Iran to long jail terms or even death “did not have access to any legal counsel during investigation.”

Last month, Iran executed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd, a former translator convicted of spying for the US and Israel. He was accused of helping locate Qassem Soleimani, the powerful commander killed by the US in a drone strike.

Reza Asgari was also executed in July after he was convicted of spying on Iran’s missile program for the US.