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Country profile for Iran

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk)
Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Tehran
  • Major Languages: Persian
  • Currency: Rial
  • Timezone: GMT +3:30

Country Map

Map of Iran

Relations between Iran and the West took a significant step forward in July 2015 when a historic nuclear agreement was reached in Vienna, Austria. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by Iran, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, UK and US), Germany and the European Union. Under the agreement economic sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for strict limits on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. Foreign journalists were also granted access to the country for the first time since the 2009 election.  However, in May 2018 US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal and reimposed sanctions against Iran. The decision hit the Iranian economy, which was barely recovering from the pre-2015 sanctions, while the country's foreign policy has become increasingly aggressive. 

In June 2019 US and Gulf officials claimed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was behind a series of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The IRGC also shot down a US surveillance drone which it claimed had entered Iranian territory. In July an Iranian tanker was detained in Gibraltar on suspicion that it was transporting oil to Syria in breach of international sanctions; Tehran retaliated by seizing a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The UK and US have both increased their naval forces in the Gulf in an attempt to prevent further attacks on ships transiting through the area. 

In December 2019 members of an Iranian-backed Shia militia - Kataib Hezbollah - attacked the US embassy in Iraq's capital, Baghdad. Hundreds of people tried to storm the site in protest at US airstrikes, which killed 25 militia fighters in Iraq and Syria. Then on the 2 January 2020, President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that killed Iran's most senior military commander, General Qasem Soleimani, and the founder of Kataib Hezbollah, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The incident sparked outrage in Tehran, which made immediate threats against all US interests in the region. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered across Iran to mourn the death of Soleimani, who was head of the elite Quds Force. Iran responded by firing more than a dozen missiles at military bases in Iraq which housed US troops. No casualties were reported during the incident, although it significantly increased the risk of a military confrontation between the US and Iran, while anti-Western sentiment in the country is also extremely high. Hours after Iran launched the missile strike in Iraq, Ukrainian International Airlines flight PS752 crashed minutes after takeoff from the Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran. Western intelligence services claim that the plane was hit by an Iranian surface-to-air missile which mistook the passenger plane for a US fighter jet.

Israel denounced the 2015 nuclear deal and remains adamant that Iran is seeking to destroy the Jewish state, either directly or through proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon. Saudi Arabia - the region’s key Sunni power - has accused Shia Iran of backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen, including sending missiles and other advanced weapons. Iran has also been involved in the conflict against Islamic State (IS) – providing support to President Assad in Syria and arming Shia militias in Iraq. There have also been claims by Kurdish politicians that Iran sent around 30,000 troops and support staff across the border to fight against IS.  In June 2017 IS claimed responsibility for an attack in Tehran that left 17 people dead and more than 40 others wounded.  Iranian officials also claimed that Saudi Arabia was involved in the attack and was actively supporting Sunni militants inside Iran. In September 2018 gunmen killed 24 people when they opened fire on an IRGC parade in the western town of Ahvaz. Both IS and the Ahvaz National Resistance group claimed responsibility for the attack. In February 2019 at least 27 members of the IRGC were killed in a suicide bomb attack near the border with Pakistan. The bombing was later claimed by the Jaish al-Adl armed group. There have also been limited skirmishes along the western border of Iran between members of the Iranian Republican Guard and fighters from the Kurdish rebel group the Free Life Party of Kurdistan (PJAK), which operates from north-eastern Iraq. A series of clashes were reported throughout the summer of 2011, during which more than 100 rebels and troops were reportedly killed. In June 2016 five PJAK militants were killed amid clashes with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Sardasht.

There were widespread protests in Iran following the disputed 2009 presidential elections, which were described as a ‘Green Revolution’. The government responded to the protests by arresting hundreds of people, while members of the Basij militia were filmed firing live rounds into the crowds. The killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, who was shot in the chest by a pro-government militiaman, was broadcast around the world and drew widespread criticism of the regime. A further series of demonstrations began on 14 February 2011, known as ‘The Day of Rage’, which coincided with the Arab Spring movement. Several months later protesters attacked the British Embassy in Tehran, setting the building on fire and forcing the UK government to withdraw its staff. Another wave of protests erupted in early 2018 as people took to the streets across Iran to complain about the costs of basic goods. Dozens of people were killed in clashes with the Iranian security forces and thousands more were arrested. These anti-government rallies continued into 2019.

Iran is situated in an area of high seismic activity, and earthquakes occur frequently throughout the country. In October 2012 two large earthquakes struck in the northern province of Semnan, killing over 300 people. A 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck close to the Iran-Iraq border in November 2017, killing more than 400 people and wounding 7,000 others. Most of the deaths were reported on Iran's side of the border, with the town of Sarpol-e-Zahab in Kermanshah province particularly badly hit. In 2003 a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Bam resulted in the deaths of more than 26,000 people, making it one of the worst natural disasters in Iran’s recent history.

Iran is one of over 200 countries worldwide, where the novel Covid-19 virus has broken out. The outbreak in Iran originated in the Qom area, south of the capital, Tehran. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

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Alerts for Iran

US and Iranian vessels have 'encounter' in Strait of Hormuz

The US Navy said that if forces had an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Strait of Hormuz. The USS Sirocco and USNS Choctaw County fired a warning flare after an IRGC speedboat approached them. The Navy said the Boghammar came within 45m of the Sirocco during the incident. The IRGC's “actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behaviour, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” said the Navy in a statement.

Man executed for killing Shia clerics

A Sunni man has been executed after he was found guilty of killing two Shia clerics. Abdolatif Moradi, 21, was hanged to death at the Vakilabad prison in Mashhad on Monday morning, according to the local judiciary chief. He was accused of carrying out a deadly stabbing attack at the Imam Reza shrine in April. Iranian media said that he had entered the city illegally in 2021 from Pakistan.

Three earthquakes strike off Iran

Three earthquakes have struck off southern Iran. The US Geological Survey (USGS) recorded two quakes of 4.7-magnitude before a 5.3-magnitude quake struck off Kish Island on Wednesday. No damage or casualties have been reported, although tremors were felt as far away as the UAE.

Dozens wounded in explosion at chemical factory

Dozens of people have been wounded in an explosion at a chemical factory in southern Iran. State TV reported that a leak from an ammonium tank caused the blast in Firouzabad in Fars province. More than 130 people required hospital treatment but most of them have been discharged with minor injuries.

Labor minister quits after protests against living costs

Iran's labor minister has resigned amid protests against rising living costs. Hojatollah Abdolmaleki had been criticised for his handling of the labor market and for only providing a small increase to pensioners. ”His failure to create a planned number of jobs and the growing protests over insufficient raises in the retirement pensions had fueled speculations that parliament will impeach him,” reported the semi-official Tasnim news agency. Mohammad Hadi Zahedi Vafa has been named as the acting labor minister.

Two aerospace workers die in separate incidents

Two people working in Iran's aerospace industry have died in separate incidents. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said that Ali Kamani died in a "driving accident" in Khomein, while 33-year-old Mohammad Abdous was reported dead by the semi-official Fars news agency. The pair are the latest in a series of mysterious deaths in Iran.

Seventeen killed in train derailment

At least 17 people have been killed in a train derailment in eastern Iran. Dozens more were wounded in the accident, which occurred between the cities of Mashhad and Yazd. Local officials said the train hit an excavator before it four of the seven carriages derailed. The wounded have been taken to local hospitals for treatment.

Protests continue in Abadan following building collapse

Protests against authorities in Iran are continuing in Abadan, Khuzestan province after a building collapse last week that killed at least 34 people. Thirteen people, including the mayor and the building contractor, have been arrested over the collapse but protesters say that negligence and corruption on the part of the government and wider authorities are to blame for the incident. Demonstrations have also been reported in other parts of Iran, including the capital, Tehran. Unverified video footage allegedly shows violence between police and protesters during some of the demonstrations. 

Death toll rises to 31 after building collapse in Abada

The death toll from a collapsed building in Abadan has risen to 31, according to local media. The announcement was made on Monday after two more bodies were pulled from the rubble of a building that collapsed last week. Rescue teams continue to search for victims and clear the debris of the 10-storey building, which was under construction when it collapsed. Authorities have since detained Abadan's current and past mayors and several municipal employees amid accusations that the officials ignored safety warnings prior to the incident. 

Engineer killed in accident at military complex

An engineer has been killed and another person wounded in an "industrial accident" near an Iranian military complex. The official IRNA news agency said the accident occurred near the Parchin complex, south-east of Tehran, on Wednesday evening. The facility has been scrutinised by the International Atomic Energy Agency, while Iran has denied that the site was related to any nuclear activities.

Two pilots killed in jet crash

Two pilots have been killed after their F-7 fighter jet crashed near Anarak. "The jet's mission was to practice shooting but there was an accident at 8:30 a.m.," an official from Isfahan province told the IRNA news agency. An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.

Five killed after building collapses in Abadan

At least five people have been killed and dozens more are reportedly trapped after a building collapsed in the south-west city of Abadan. The Iranian Red Crescent said it had sent rescue teams to search for survivors following the incident. The building was under construction at the time of the collapse, the cause of which has not yet been established.

Quds Force officer shot dead in Tehran

An officer from Iran's Quds Force has been shot dead outside his home in Tehran. Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was targeted near Mojahedin-e-Islam Street on Sunday afternoon by assailants on two motorcycles. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Khodayari was assassinated by "enemies of the revolution." He previously served in Iran and had been accused of planning operations against Israelis. Following news of his killing, the IRNA news agency said “thugs related to the Zionist regime’s intelligence service [Mossad]” have been arrested in Iran.

Iran seizes foreign ship and detains crew

Iran has seized a foreign ship and detained its crew, according to the IRNA state news agency. The vessel was accused of attempting to smuggle fuel out of the country. “We were able to identify and detain a ship carrying smuggled fuel intended to transport large-scale smuggled fuel shipments east of Maru Island,” chief of provincial border guards Hossein Dehaki said.

Iran claims detained French nationals helped organise protests

Iranian officials have claimed that two French nationals arrested in the country last week had helped organise a protest by teachers. State television reported that Cécile Kohler, 37 and her 69-year-old husband were being monitored by Iranian intelligence officers after they arrived in Tehran on 28 April. “The intelligence ministry observed them in organisation and coordination meetings with people who regard themselves as members of the Teachers Guild Union,” the report said. France has condemned the arrests as "baseless" and called for the pair's immediate release.

Bus drivers go on strike over low wages

Bus drivers went on strike in Tehran on Monday to protest over pay and living conditions. Staff from the Tehran Bus Company condemned the decision not to implement a recommendation by the Supreme Labour Council of a 10 percent salary increase. The strike comes after a protester died during a rally against rising food prices in the south-western city of Dezful.

Two Europeans detained in Iran

Two Europeans have been detained in Iran, according to the country's Intelligence Ministry. The announcement comes as EU envoy Enrique Mora visited Iran over its stalled nuclear negotiations during talks in Vienna. The ministry said the two suspects were  “professional expert” agents that were hired by a European country’s intelligence apparatus.

Syrian president meets Iranian leaders on Tehran trip

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi during a surprise visit to Tehran. It was only Assad's second trip to Iran since the civil war began in 2011, with his only other trip taking place in 2019. The Syrian president was quoted as saying that  "the strategic ties between Iran and Syria have prevented the Zionist regime's [Israel's] dominance in the region," and said the two countries were also curbing US influence in the Middle East.

Syrian president meets Iranian leaders on Tehran trip

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has met with Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi during a surprise visit to Tehran. It was only Assad's second trip to Iran since the civil war began in 2011, with his only other trip taking place in 2019. The Syrian president was quoted as saying that  "the strategic ties between Iran and Syria have prevented the Zionist regime's [Israel's] dominance in the region," and said the two countries were also curbing US influence in the Middle East.

Swedish tourist detained in Iran

Sweden's foreign ministry has said that a Swedish citizen has been detained in Iran. A man in his 30s was arrested as he tried to leave the country with a group of other tourists. The news comes after Iran's foreign ministry summoned Sweden's ambassador to protest at the imprisonment and trial of a former Iranian official accused of human rights abuses. Hamid Nouri, who is accused of torturing inmates at the Gohardasht Prison in 1988, was detained in Stockholm in 2019.

Eight die after drinking homemade alcohol

Eight people have died after drinking homemade alcohol in the city of Bandar Abbas. More than 50 others were taken to hospital for treatment, with 17 of them in a critical condition. Police have arrested eight people in connection with producing and distributing the alcohol.

State TV claims Iran foiled cyber attack

Iran has foiled cyberattacks on its public services, according to state TV. More than 100 public sector agencies were reportedly targeted in the attack, which took place in recent days. The report said the people behind the attack were based in the Netherlands, the US and the UK.

Police officer attacked by leopard in Ghaemshahr

An Iranian police officer has been attacked by a leopard in the northern city of Ghaemshahr, 260km from Tehran. The incident sparked panic among local residents before the animal was captured and transported to Semeskandeh wildlife refuge. Officials said the officer was taken to hospital and is in a stable condition.

IRGC general survives attack

A general from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has survived a shooting in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Brigadier-General Hossein Almassi was uninjured in the attack, although one of his bodyguards was killed. The IRNA state news agency said "criminals" opened fire on a checkpoint near the border on Saturday. Several people were arrested in connection with the attack in the provincial capital of Zahedan.

Three arrested over alleged Mossad links

The Iranian security forces have arrested three people accused of spying for the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad. The Fars news agency did not reveal the nationality of the suspects, who were detained in the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

Iran summons Afghan envoy after attacks at diplomatic missions

On Tuesday, Iran summoned the Afghan envoy to Tehran following alleged attacks on its diplomatic missions in Afghanistan. The move came after unverified videos circulating on social media showed protesters in Afghanistan throwing rocks at Iranian diplomatic missions in protest of Iran's treatment of Afghan refugees. Iranian officials have denied any mistreatment of Afghan refugees. Iran typically has good relations with Afghanistan, but Iran's government has not formally recognised the Taliban government and there have been longstanding tensions along the border between the two countries. 

One killed in stabbing attack at Mashhad shrine

One person has been killed and two others wounded in a stabbing attack at a Shia shrine in Mashhad. A cleric died at the scene, while two others were rushed to hospital following the incident at the Imam Reza shrine. The motive for the attack is still under investigation, while police have arrested one suspect.

Women pepper-sprayed during World Cup qualifier

A large number of women have been pepper-sprayed during a World Cup qualifier football match in Mashhad. According to reports, the worm en had been promised seats at the stadium to watch Iran play against Lebanon. However, they were prevented from entering by security guards, who discharged pepper spray when they started protesting. Iran's football federation said that women should not have been allowed to purchase tickets.

Australian national dies in Evin prison hospital

An 83-year-old Australian-Iranian jailed on fraud charges has died in Tehran. Shokrollah Jebeli's family said he died at Evin prison hospital on Sunday. They said the charges against him were based on false accusations, while Amnesty International said his treatment in jail had in effect been torture. Earlier this week conservationist Morad Tahbaz, a British-US national held since 2018, went on hunger strikes after he remained in detention but two British-Iranian nationals, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anoosheh Ashoori, were released.

Human rights groups condemn internet bill

Human rights groups have condemned a 'draconian' internet bill that they claim limits human rights. The Regulatory System for Cyberspace Services Bill is set to be ratified by parliament and will increase censorship and state control of the internet. “We further call on the international community, along with states engaged in dialogue with Iranian authorities, to ensure that the promotion and protection of human rights in Iran is prioritized, including by urging Iran’s Parliament to rescind the bill as a matter of urgency,” said a group of rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

UAE-flagged cargo ship sinks in Persian Gulf

A UAE-flagged cargo ship has sunk in the Persian Gulf. Iran said it had rescued 29 of the Al Salmy 6's 30 crew members after the vessel went down around 50km from the port of Assaluyeh on Thursday. A search and rescue operation is underway to track down the missing sailor. According to manager of the car transporter, it was heading to the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr when the accident happened amid strong winds and rough seas.

British-Iranian woman freed after six years

A British-Iranian national detained in Iran for almost six years has been released. Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 43, is on her way back to the UK after her passport was returned to her. She was detained in 2016 on allegations that she was plotting to overthrow the Iranian government. Another British-Iranian, Anousheh Ashouri, has also been released from prison. He was sentenced to 10 years in 2019 for spying for Israel's Mossad spy agency.

IRGC launches second satellite

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has launched a second satellite into space, according to the state IRNA news agency. The Noor-2 satellite was launched from the Shahroud Desert in north-eastern Iran. The announcement came as talks continue in the Austrian capital, Vienna, to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. In recent days there have been reports that these talks could be damaged by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russian demands that its economic trade with Iran will be exempted from US sanctions.

Parliament sets conditions for return to JCPOA

Iran's parliament has called upon President Ebrahim Raisi to ensure strict conditions are adhered to in restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In a statement issued on Sunday, a majority of parliamentarians established a set of terms for Iran's return to the nuclear deal. The terms include a guarantee by the US and European parties that they will not pull out of the deal again and the lifting of all sanctions. The establishment of these terms comes as delegates from Iran, the US, France, Germany, Russia and the UK meet in Vienna for active negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, which began in early February. 

Fighter jet crashes in Tabriz

Three people have been killed after a fighter jet crashed in an urban area of Tabriz on Monday morning. Local army officials have stated that the F5 model jet crashed due to technical issues. The victims include the two pilots aboard the aircraft and one civilian who was sitting in a parked car at the time of the crash. 

President Raisi negative about nuclear deal

President Ebrahim Raisi has cast doubts over the chances of the 2015 nuclear agreement being revived. “We put our hopes on the east, west, north, south of our country and never have any hope in Vienna and New York,” Raisi said in a televised speech. Iran and the US resumed indirect talks in the Austrian capital earlier this week but little progress has been made to resolve the differences between the two sides. US President Joe Biden’s administration said it will be impossible to return to the accord unless a breakthrough is made over the next few weeks.

Footage of man with decapitated wife's head spark outrage

Footage of a man parading the decapitated head of his wife has sparked outrage in Iran. Sajjad Heydari allegedly killed his 17-year-old wife, Mona Heydari, in the south-western city of Ahvaz and was filmed in the Kasaei Square on Saturday. According to reports, the victim was forced into marriage when she was 12 and had recently fled to Turkey, but was compelled to return home by her brother. Kiomars Keshvari, the head of the Ahvaz police headquarters, announced that Sajjad had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Gunman killed by IRGC near Pakistani border

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has killed a man accused of attacking its intelligence office near the border with Pakistan. The incident happened in the town of Saravan in Sistan and Balochistan province. Officials did not reveal the identity of the deceased and said the case was under investigation.

Parliament suspended as Omicron spreads

Iran's parliament has been suspended in response to a sharp rise in the Omicron variant of Covid-19. On Monday politician Nezam Mousavi announced that at least 47 members of 290-seat parliament had tested positive for the virus. All public sessions scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday have been cancelled. The number of cities classified as red - with the highest rates of infection - has risen from one last week to 15 on Monday.

French national jailed on espionage charges

French national Benjamin Briere has been jailed for eight years on espionage charges. He was detained along the border with Turkmenistan in May 2020 while flying a drone. “This verdict is the result of a purely political process that is … devoid of any basis,” said Briere's lawyer, Philippe Valent, in a statement on Thursday.

French tourist on trial over espionage charges

A French tourist has gone on trial to face espionage charges. Benjamin Briere, 36, has been detained since May 2020 for flying a drone near the border with Turkmenistan. His lawyer said Briere has been on a hunger strike since December. "The feeling of abandonment - and distress – has led Benjamin Briere to embark on a hunger strike in order to alert Iranian and French authorities to the absurdity of his detention," his sister Blandine Briere and lawyer Philippe Valent said in an emailed statement at the end of 2021.

Rally marks anniversary of jet downing in Tehran

A rally was held in Tehran on Saturday to mark the two year anniversary of the downing of a Ukrainian airliner. The Iranian security forces shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 after it departed Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport in January 2020. All 176 people on board died in the incident, including a large number of Iranian nationals. The crowd gathered to demand justice for the victims of the crash.

Eight killed by floods in southern Iran

At least eight people have been killed in flash flooding in southern Iran. “Following the floods and rains of the past few days in the southern regions of the country, we have seen an increase in casualties and deaths,” Mojtaba Khaledi, spokesman for the national rescue service told the IRNA news agency. Two people are missing and 14 others have been injured, with five of the deaths reported in the Fars province. Iran's Red Crescent said it has more than 500 teams providing support to people affected by the flooding.

President Raisi demands that Trump face trial for Soleimani killing

President Ebrahim Raisi has warned that Iran will take revenge against the US unless its former president, Donald Trump, face trial for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani. "The aggressor, murderer and main culprit - the then president of the United States - must be tried and judged under the (Islamic) law of retribution, and God's ruling must be carried out against him," Raisi added. He made the threat during a speech to mark the second anniversary of Soleimani's death. He was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq in January 2020.

Senior diplomat dies of Covid-19

A senior Iranian diplomat has died after he contracted Covid-19. Hassan Irloo, who was the top diplomat in Yemen, died after he was flown to Tehran for treatment. Officials said his transfer from Yemen to Iran was delayed “due to the late cooperation of some countries.” According to reports, Saudi Arabia had demanded that the Houthi rebel group release a number of Saudi prisoners before they would allow Irloo to be flown out of the country.

Anti-government protests take place

Anti-government protests have been taking place in Kamyaran, Kurdistan province. The unrest has been sparked by the recent execution of a Kurdish man. Heidar Ghorbani was convicted for the murders of three individuals linked to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps; however, Ghorbani denied any connection and human rights groups claim he was a political prisoner. He was also found guilty of membership to an exiled armed opposition groups - the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).

Iran-Taliban forces clash in border area

A border clash has reportedly occurred between the Iranian and Afghan Taliban security forces. The clash allegedly broke out near the Iranian village of Shaghalak, Hirmand, where Taliban border forces opened fire on Iranian farmers thinking they had violated the border, prompting intervention from Iranian security forces. No casualties have been reported following the incident, which has since ben described as a "misunderstanding". Initial reports of Taliban seizing Iranian border outposts are understood to have been exaggerated to a degree, with Iranian officials confirming their border forces now have complete control over the country's border.

Dozens arrested in Isfahan water protest

Iranian police have arrested 67 protesters during a violent demonstration in the city of Isfahan. The protests were sparked over the drying up of a river and the government’s lack of action. Further rallies were held in the city earlier in the week.

Thousands protest to demand revival of Zayandeh Rud River

Thousands of people have protested in Isfahan to demand action to restore the Zayandeh Rud River. Years of drought and political mismanagement have left the river barren at certain times in the year. “Give Isfahan its breath, give our Zayandeh Rud back,” the protesters chanted during the rally on Friday. First vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, said the administration was taking the situation "seriously" and had ordered the agriculture and energy ministers to come up with a solution.

Three police officers killed in clashes with armed group, Kerman

Three police officers have been killed in clashes with an armed group in the south-eastern province of Kerman. Two members of the armed group - which police chief of Kerman province Abdolreza Nazeri described as bandits - also died in the exchange. The fighting erupted while police were patrolling an area bordering Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Strong earthquake hits southern Iran

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.5 hit southern Iran at a depth of 47km (29 miles) near Bandar Abbas city, southern Iran. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) originally reported the quake as 6.1 at a depth of 10km, however, the strength of the quake was later upgraded. At least one person has been confirmed dead so far.

Government blames foreign state for cyberattack

Iran's government has blamed an unnamed foreign state for the cyberattack on its fuel network on Tuesday. The attack targeted the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company, causing long queues at petrol stations in the country. President Ebrahim Raisi said Iran's enemies were "aiming to stoke public anger by creating chaos and disrupting people's lives." An online hacking group - Predatroy Sparrow - claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes three months after they announced it had targeted Iran's rail network.

Cyber attack targets fuel network

Long queues have been reported at fuel stations in Iran after the country's fuel network was targeted in a cyber attack. Some digital billboards were also hijacked and displayed "Khamenei! Where's our fuel?". The attack targeted the National Iranian Oil Products Distribution Company on Tuesday morning.

British-Iranian aid worker loses appeal

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has lost an appeal against her latest jail sentence. She was originally jailed for five years in 2016 after she was found guilty of plotting against the government. In April an additional sentence of one year was applied on charges of "spreading propaganda." Zaghari-Ratcliffe served the last year of her term on parole at her parents' home in Tehran, although her family fear that she will be returned to prison.

Former bank chief jailed in Iran

The former governor of Iran's central bank has been jailed along with several other officials. Valiollah Seif, who was in charge of the bank between 2013 and 2018, was given a 10-year prison sentence after he was found guilty of “participation in disrupting the country’s financial system through illegal smuggling of foreign currency.” The alleged activities took place during a time when Iran's currency heavily depreciated after US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Warship repels pirate attack, Gulf of Aden

An Iranian warship has repelled a pirate attack on two Iranian oil tankers in the Gulf of Aden. “The attacking boats were forced to leave the scene and their offensive was repelled through the timely response of commandos,” said Admiral Shahram Irani in a statement. The attack took place on Saturday and the two tankers passed safely through the area.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister and EU official meet in Tehran

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri met with the Deputy foreign policy chief of the European Union Enrique Mora on Thursday (14 October) to discuss bilateral, regional, and international issues. The discussions included; relations between Iran and the European Union, Afghanistan, and the negotiations to lift sanctions on Iran imposed under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran warns Israel against military action

Iran’s ambassador to the UN has warned Israel against military action towards Iran saying, “we warn the Zionist regime against any miscalculation or military adventure targeting Iran and its nuclear programme”. The ambassador, Majid Takht, also accused Israel of “provocative and adventurous threats” being taken to “alarming levels.”

Azerbaijan and Iran agree to mend diplomatic crisis

Azerbaijan and Iran announced on Wednesday (13 October) an agreement to resolve the ongoing diplomatic crisis between the two countries through dialogue. This agreement comes weeks after accusations that Israel’s military was active in Azerbaijan soured relations and Iran vowed to take necessary action, staging military operations near their border with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry said “the sides noted that recent rhetoric has harmed bilateral relations and that any differences should be settled through dialogue.”

Saudi Arabia confirms talks with new Iran regime

Saudi Arabia confirmed on Sunday that it had held its first round of direct talks with Iran's new government last month, part of a strategy begun earlier this year to reduce tension between the two main Gulf rival powers. Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks were held in Iraq in the months before Iran's new president, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said the latest round had taken place on Sept. 21. He did not give the location of the meeting. The two countries have backed opposing sides in regional conflicts and political disputes in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and most notably in Yemen. 

Cyclone Shaheen hits Oman and Iran

At least nine people have been killed after Tropical Cyclone Shaheen hit parts of Oman and Iran on Sunday. In Oman, two foreign workers died when their car was caught in a landslide while a child was swept away by storm surges. All flights to and from Muscat airport were suspended and flood warnings have been issued. Six deaths have been confirmed so far in Iran, all of them in the south-eastern port of Chabahar. “Infrastructure, including electrical facilities and roads, was damaged,” provincial Governor Hossein Modarres-Khiabani told Iran’s official IRNA news agency.

Iran conducts military drills near Azerbaijan border

Iran has conducted military drills near the border with Azerbaijan. Tanks, helicopters and soldiers were deployed to the north-west of the country, where long-range drone tests were carried out. The drills are being conducted amid tensions between the two countries over Azerbaijan's close military ties with Israel. “Every country can carry out any military drill on its own territory. It’s their sovereign right. But why now, and why on our border?” said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev earlier this week.

Earthquake hits southern Iran port

Genaveh Port in southern Iran was hit by a 5.2-magnitude earthquake at around 04:45 am on Friday (1 October).  No casualties or damages have been reported. The Tehran University Seismological Centre of the Geophysics Institute reported that the earthquake occurred at 04:45 am, local time, at a depth of 10km.

IRGC disband human trafficking gang

A statement released by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) details the dismantling of a human trafficking ring following clashes that killed one and resulted in five gang members being arrested. The IRGC also noted that 30 hostages were freed with signs of torture and abuse on their bodies. The gang, in Khoy city, are accused of kidnapping foreigners, torturing them, and blackmailing their families to extort money.

Iran reportedly one month from creating nuclear weapon

Following US withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, Iran has been steadily building up its nuclear fuel resources and is reportedly only one month away from being able to create a nuclear weapon. Experts from the Institute for Science and International Security have said that, after five months, Iran could have enough fuel to manufacture three nuclear weapons. This means that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s negotiating position will be much stronger before talks to restore the nuclear accord begin and could mean fewer sanctions. The US pulled out of the accord in 2019 under President Donald Trump, however, Britain, France, Germany, and China have continued to try to preserve the accord especially as a new UN report says that Iran have violated the 2015 accord with their new programme.

IAEA and Iran reach agreement over nuclear site monitoring

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran have reached an agreement over the monitoring of nuclear sites. IAEA inspectors will be permitted to service cameras used at Iran's nuclear facilities after officials in Tehran previously said they would hand over the footage. IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said the "indispensable work" that Iran and the IAEA had to carry out "requires that we get to know each other". It was the first meeting between the agency and Mohammad Eslami, the newly appointed head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

Iran reports surge in Covid-19 infections

Iran has reported a surge in the number of Covid-related deaths and infections in recent days. The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Thursday (9 September) that “a sum of 26,821 new patients infected with Covid-19 have been identified… during the last 24 hours.” It also added that “505 patients have lost their lives in the past 24 hours, increasing the number of the dead to 112,935.” The ministry warned that 246 cities are rated red, 144 cities are orange, and 58 cities are yellow. Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Rayeesi said in August that the country will import 30 million doses of vaccines to help combat the spread and build immunity.

Passengers killed and wounded in bus crash

Sixteen people were killed and 12 injured when a passenger bus fell from a road on a mountainous route in Iran’s Kurdistan province. The incident occurred on the road between Mariwan and Kamyaran as the bus was transporting 28 people to visit Owais Shrine. Nine ambulances and an air ambulance were dispatched to assist the injured passengers. Iran has one of the world’s worst road safety records with the Mariwan-Kamyaran road rated one of the worst in Kurdistan province.

IRGC forces kill multiple opposition fighters

In a battle on Thursday 26 August, the Islamic Revolution Guard Forces (IRGC) located and dismantled a group of opposition fighters in Sarvabad, Kurdistan Province, western Iran. The IRGC border force engaged in armed conflict with an anti-Islamic Revolution group that resulted in several deaths and injuries from the opposition forces and the seizure of a large amount of weapons and ammunition. The group were ambushed by the IRGC border force after crossing into Iran from the Iraqi Kurdistan border.

Iranian parliament approves new Foreign Minister

Iran’s parliament approved, Wednesday (25 August), the appointment of Hossein Amirabdollahian as foreign minister in newly elected President Ebrahimi Raisi’s Cabinet. Amirabdollahian replaces Javad Zarif, the foreign Minister who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal and has years of experience with US officials. Amirabdollahian, on the other hand is on the EU sanctions list for human rights abuses allegedly carried out while he was a judge. Iran’s parliament approved 18 of 19 candidates put forward, several of whom are on EU or US sanctions lists. 

Coronavirus death toll passes 100,000

Iran's official death toll from the Covid-19 outbreak has passed 100,000. The health ministry reported 564 new deaths and 31,266 new cases on Thursday following a surge blamed on the Delta variant. The actual figures of deaths and cases are believed to be significantly higher than the official data. Only 20 percent of the population has had one dose of the vaccine so far.

Six-day lockdown announced in Iran

A six-day nationwide lockdown has been announced in an attempt to curb rises cases of Covid-19 in Iran. Intra-city travel will be banned from Sunday morning and all banks, offices and non-essential businesses forced to close until next Saturday. On Saturday officials announced 466 Covid-related deaths and almost 30,000 new cases of the virus in the past 24 hours.

Iran, Nicaragua Foreign Ministers meet to discuss bilateral ties

Foreign Minister of the Republic of Nicaragua Denis Ronaldo Moncada Colindres has held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. The two conferred over the latest developments, discussing their resistance to unilateralism and foreign interference. Zarif pushed for the use of appropriate ways for the resumption of cooperation, and noted their mutual success in enduring economic pressures exerted by the US Administration.

Iranian volunteer firefighters die in wildfire

Four volunteer firefighters from the same family have died in a wildfire in Hayghar Canyon in Firoozabad county, Fars Province, the local governor has confirmed. The victims were a 46-year-old man, his 19-year-old son, his 18-year-old nephew, and a brother-in-law whose name and age have not been made available. The four died whilst battling a fire that had ripped through an area known as “Iran’s Grand Canyon,” 35 kilometres southwest of Firoozbad. The tragedy comes just as Iran announced that they will be assisting with Turkey’s efforts to contain their wildfires.

President Raisi meets with Iraqi counterpart in Tehran

Iraqi President Barham Salih met with the new Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi in Tehran on Thursday. A statement issued by the Iraqi presidency congratulated the Iranian president, wishing him success and achieving more progress and prosperity for the “friendly Iranian people.” Topics discussed included the “bilateral brotherly relations between the two neighbouring countries” as well as issues related to economic sectors, promoting trade between the two countries and “Iran’s supportive role for Iraq in fighting Islamic State (IS)."

Israel ‘ready to attack Iran’, says Gantz

Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz has said that his country is ready to attack Iran and that there must be a global response to the threat that the Islamic republic poses. His comments come amid growing tensions following a deadly drone strike on an Israeli-operated tanker off the coast of Oman. Israel, along with the US and the UK, has blamed Tehran for the attack last week that killed two people. Iran has denied involvement. Gantz said: “We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now” adding that Iran had “violated all of the guidelines” in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which US President Joe Biden wants to restore.

Iran sentences two dual national activists to 10 years in prison

An Iranian Revolutionary Court has sentenced two dual nationals, German-Iranian Nahid Taghavi and British-Iranian Mehran Raouf, to more than 10 years in prison both on national security charges. Iran's Revolutionary Guards have arrested dozens of dual nationals and foreigners in recent years, mostly on espionage and security-related charges. Taghavi, 66, a human rights activist who lives in Germany but retained an apartment in Tehran, was arrested there in October 2020 and her trial began on April 28. A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said during a regular news conference in Berlin that Germany could not extend consular assistance to Taghavi as she was on trial in her home country. Raouf, a 64-year-old labour rights activist who lived between Iran and Britain, was arrested at his residence in Tehran by the Revolutionary Guards, according to Amnesty International.

Hijackers left the Asphalt Princess vessel off UAE coast

The British navy reported that the hijackers who seized the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in the Gulf of Oman have left the ship. Satellite-tracking data for the Asphalt Princess showed it gradually heading toward Iranian waters off the port of Jask early Wednesday, according to Later, it stopped and changed course toward Oman, just before the British navy group announced that the intruders had left. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for the attempted hijacking; earlier this week the US, UK and Israel blamed Iran for a drone attack on an oil tanker linked to an Israeli billionaire off the coast of Oman that killed two people. Iran has denied involvement in both incidents.

Panama-flagged vessel hijacked and taken to Iran

The Panama-flagged MV Asphalt Princess has been hijacked by armed men in the Gulf of Oman. The vessel was forced to sail to Iran after it was captured near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. The UKMTO had earlier advised vessels in the area to exercise extreme caution following the drone attack on a product tanker off Oman last week, which killed two crew members. The UK, US and Israel all accused Iran of carrying out that attack; Tehran strongly rejected the claims.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi claims he will take steps to lift US sanctions

Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi said on Tuesday he will take steps to lift the sanctions imposed by the US. "We will seek to lift the tyrannical sanctions imposed by America," said Raisi, who is himself is under sanctions over allegations of human rights abuses. Iran and six nations have been in talks since April to revive the nuclear deal. Iranian and Western officials have said a common ground is still to be reached.

Iran rejects claims that it was behind tanker attack

Iranian officials have rejected allegations that it was behind the attack on a product tanker off the coast of Oman last week. Israel, the US and the UK all said they believed Tehran was responsible for the apparent drone strike on the MV Mercer Street on Thursday that killed a Romanian and a UK national. "The world recently received a reminder of Iranian aggression, this time on the high seas.  The Iranians, who attacked the ship 'Mercer Street' with UAVs, intended to attack an Israeli target," said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet. The Liberian-flagged vessel is managed by an Israeli company owned by billionaire Eyal Ofer. US State Secretary Anthony Blinken said on Sunday he was “confident” that Iran was responsible, while UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was “highly likely” that Tehran carried out the attack.

Covid-19 infection numbers double for second day running

Iran recorded 34,951 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday (27 July). This is the second day running Iran has recorded its highest daily infection numbers for Covid-19. The total number of infections in Iran has now reached 3,758,197. Yesterday officials warned that daily hospitalizations could reach 9,000 in the next few weeks.

Iran rejects UN criticism over deadly Khuzestan protests

The Iranian government has rejected criticism from the UN over the deaths during protests against water shortages in Khuzestan. On Friday UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concerns about deaths and injuries during the unrest. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that Bachelet’s comments “on the recent events in Khuzestan (are) regrettable”, decrying “false accusations and incorrect information”. At least 10 people have died and dozens more wounded, while over 100 have been detained.

More deaths as protests continue

One person was shot dead in the eighth consecutive night of protests over severe water shortages, bringing the death toll to at least five. Two people also suffered gunshot wounds in the streets of Aligurdaz. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Iranian authorities “appear to have used excessive force” against the protestors. The protests continue to sweep Iran in the midst of the worst water shortage in the country for 50 years.

Police officer killed in violent protest

An Iranian police officer and three civilians have been during unrest in the south-western city of Mahshar, amid ongoing demonstrations over water shortages. There have been six days of continuous protests in Iran’s oil-rich Khuzestan province, home to ethnic Arabs who complain of discrimination by Iran’s Shia theocracy and the ongoing drought. The protest followed the rolling blackouts affecting the province for several weeks. Precipitation had decreased by almost 50 percent in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies.

Lockdown imposed in Tehran amid Covid surge

A six-day lockdown has been imposed in Tehran in response to a surge in Covid-19 cases. The new measures, which cover Tehran and neighbouring Alborz province, come ahead of the Eid al-Adha holidays. No essential shops will be closed along with entertainment venues. Officials say the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus is now dominant across the country. There have been 27,444 new daily infections in the past 24 hours.

Iran-Afghanistan border to remain closed for five days

The three border gates of Milk, Mahiroud, and Dogharoon between Iran and Afghanistan will remain closed from Monday to Friday due to Eid Al-Adha, the spokesman for the Customs Administration of Iran said on Saturday. Mahiroud and Dogharoon were previously closed due to the Afghan conflict, re-opening to trade only last week until Saturday. From next Saturday, according to the customs spokesperson, trade will resume.

One killed in protests over acute water shortages

One person has been killed in the city of Shadegan, Khuzestan province during protests over acute water shortages, Acting Governor Omid Sabripour said. According to Sabripour "people in a crowd opened fire at security forces. As a result, a 30-year-old man died." Police have detained some of the alleged shooters and a manhunt is underway to detain the escapees.  

Hundreds protest water shortages

Citizens took to the streets to protest the country's worst drought in five decades with demonstrations spilling over from the night into the morning. Protests occurred in several cities across Iran's Khuzestan province late Thursday night, with hundreds chanting their needs for drinking water calling out, "We're thirsty! We want water!" Whilst most of the protests were peaceful, demonstrators in Mahshahr, Kut Abdullah, Khorramshahr, and Mollasani were reported to have attempted to blockade roads and set fire to tyres in protest. Some videos online show shots being fired, reportedly from Islamic Republic security forces. Iran has been grappling with droughts for more than a decade with this year seeing a reduction in rainfall in some places of 50 to 85 percent.

President Hassan Rouhani claims Iran could enrich uranium up to 90 percent

President Hassan Rouhani has claimed that Iran could enrich uranium up to 90 percent purity as negotiations continue between Tehran and six world powers to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that was abandoned by Washington three years ago. "Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation can enrich uranium by 20 percent and 60 percent and if one day our reactor needs it, it can enrich uranium to 90 percent purity," Rouhani said in a cabinet meeting. Iran’s nuclear deal caps the fissile purity to which Tehran can refine uranium at 3.67 percent, well under the 20 percent achieved before the agreement and far below the 90 percent required for a nuclear weapon. Iran has been breaching the deal since the US withdrew from the agreement in 2018.

Iran claims to be holding talks on prisoner exchanges with the US

Iran said on Tuesday that it was holding talks on prisoner exchanges with the US aimed at securing the release of Iranians held in US jails and in other countries. "Negotiations are under way on the exchange of prisoners between Iran and America, and we will issue more information if Iranian prisoners are released and the country's interests are secured and the talks reach a conclusion," government spokesman Ali Rabiei said. There was no immediate US comment on his remarks. Meanwhile, Iran's talks with world powers on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in 2018, have been suspended for three weeks.

Three killed in pipeline gas leak explosion

An explosion caused by a gas leak at a pipeline pumping station killed three workers and injured four others in south-western Iran on Tuesday 6 July 2021. Three technicians were killed and four other people who were resting in a nearby room were seriously injured. The blast occurred along a pipeline connecting the Cheshmeh Khosh oilfield and the city of Ahvaz.

Protests erupt over electricity blackouts

Multiple protests have been reported across Iran in response to a series of power cuts. Rallies were held in the northern city of Amol, along with Shiraz and Shar-e Rey near Tehran. The government has apologised for the blackouts, which it blamed on high temperatures and an increase in demand. "I apologise to our dear people who have faced problems and suffering in the past few days and I urge them to co-operate [by cutting their electricity use]. People complain about power outages and they are right," said President Hassan Rouhani.

UN Secretary-General appeals to US to remove sanctions against Iran

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appealed to the US to remove sanctions against Iran. He also appealed to Iran to return to full implementation of the deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) 2015 aimed at stopping Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran accepted curbs on its nuclear program in return for the removal of foreign sanctions against it. Former US President Donald Trump abandoned the pact in 2018 and imposed sanctions, prompting Tehran to start violating some of the nuclear limits in 2019. Iran's president-elect, Ebrahim Raisi, has said any attempt to revive the deal must be in Iran's national interests and said its ballistic missile programme was "non-negotiable."

UN investigator calls for probe into 1988 state-ordered killings

The UN investigator for human rights in Iran has called for an inquiry into the execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988. Of significant importance is the role covered by President elect Ebrahim Raisi, at the time deputy prosecutor of Tehran. Javid Rehman, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, explained how his office has gathered evidence and testimonies over several years which they are ready to share if the United Nations Human Rights Council, or another sanctioned investigative body, sets up an impartial investigation.

Iran claims attack on nuclear building foiled

Iranian officials claim to have foiled an attack on an Iranian nuclear building. Social media channels linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said a drone had targeted the building, while sources linked to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said that the attack was halted “before causing any damage to the building.” The incident occurred near Karaj City, 40km west of the capital Tehran. Iran has accused Israel of conducting several attacks on its nuclear facilities in recent years.

US shuts down Iranian websites

The US has seized more than 30 Iranian government-affiliated media website hosted on US-owned domains. Press TV and Al-Alam are among the websites affected, along with Al-Masirah TV channel of Yemen’s Houthis and three linked to the Iraqi group Kataeb Hezbollah. Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday called the seizure an example of a “systematic effort to distort freedom of speech on a global level and silence independent voices in media.” The US Department of Justice said the websites violated US sanctions.

Iran's nuclear power plant goes offline

Iran's sole nuclear power plant went offline on Saturday, according to state TV. An official from state electric company Tavanir, Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, said the shutdown would last for three to four days. The issue was caused by a “predicted rise in temperature” and “limitations in power generation due to ongoing repairs at [the] Bushehr plant,” said Tavanir in a statement. The plant is fuelled by uranium produced in Russia, not Iran, and is monitored by the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Ebrahim Raisi elected president

Conservative judiciary head Ebrahim Raisi has been elected Iran’s eighth president, the interior ministry announced on Saturday. He will take office in August, replacing moderate President Hassan Rouhani. Former Revolutionary Guard commander Mohsen Rezaei, moderate candidate Abdolnaser Hemmati and conservative candidate Amir Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi conceded ahead of the Saturday announcement. Raisi’s election marks a consolidation of power by the conservative faction. 

Iranians vote in presidential election

Iranians have been voting in the countries presidential elections. Ebrahim Raisi, the conservative head of the judiciary, is the current favourite to succeed President Hassan Rouhani, who has served the maximum two terms. The Guardian Council, a 12-member constitutional vetting body under Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei, barred hundreds of candidates including reformists. Polls close at 19:30 local time and turnout is predicted to be low.

Steel plant fire in Kerman province

A fire broke out at a steel factory owned by the Zarand Iranian Steel Co. in southern Kerman province on Sunday morning, the country’s fifth reported infrastructure fire in less than two weeks. The other incidents include a refinery fire on 22 May, a fire at a petrochemical plant on 27 May, a fire in a refinery in southern Tehran on Wednesday, and a fire in an oil pipeline on Thursday. This week, one of the Iranian Navy's largest warships was sunk by a fire while anchored off the coast of Oman. Iranian officials have blamed unusually hot temperatures for the latest fire.

UN suspends Iranian General Assembly voting rights

The UN has suspended Iranian General Assembly voting rights due to its failure to pay its dues. The move comes after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the application of Article 19 of the UN Charter, which provides for the suspension of the voting rights of a country that fails to pay its dues for the past two years. Iran has described the move as "shameful and unacceptable" and has blamed its inability to pay UN contributions arrears on US sanctions. 

Navy ship sinks in Gulf of Oman

An Iranian navy ship has sunk after catching fire in the Gulf of Oman. The blaze started on the IRIS Kharg in the early hours of Wednesday morning close to the port of Jask in the Strait of Hormuz. Almost 400 crew were safely evacuated before the vessel sank, although 20 people suffered minor burns. No officials reason has been given as to what caused the fire.

French citizen charged with espionage in Iran

Iranian prosecutors confirmed on Sunday that they have charged French citizen Benjain Briere with espionage and "propaganda against the system." Mr Briere's lawyer, Said Dehghan, said "The prosecutor is preparing the indictment and sending it to the revolutionary court for the continuation of the judicial process." The allegations come amid separate talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal and to secure the release of British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Guardian Council approves seven presidential candidates

Iran's top election supervisory body has approved seven presidential candidates ahead of elections on 18 June. The Guardian Council disqualified several reformist candidates, including a key ally of President Hassan Rouhani. One of the leading candidates is judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeisi, who lost to Rouhani during the 2017 election. The other contenders include Supreme National Security Council secretary and nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and Mohsen Rezaei, a former head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Two PDKI fighters killed in clash with IRGC

Two fighters from the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) were killed in clashes with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near Mahabad. The PDKI said its fighters ambushed in Western Azerbaijan province. Three members of Iran's intelligence service (Etelaat) and two IRGC troops also died in the exchange.

Pro-Palestinian protest held in Tehran

A large pro-Palestinian protest is being held in Tehran today. The crowd waved Palestinian flags and condemned the Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which have killed over 200 people since last Monday. Earlier Iranian officials called on the UN and fellow Muslim nations to stop "apartheid" Israel from carrying out airstrikes on Gaza.

US Coast Guard fires warning shots at Iranian vessels

The US Coast Guard has fired warning shots at Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. In a statement, the Pentagon said 30 shots were fired after 13 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) boats came close to US Navy vessels, including USS Monterey and nuclear submarine Georgia. The IRGCN rejected the reports and said its vessels adhered to the legal distance, claiming that the "terrorist" US Navy was trying to avoid responsibility for its "reckless" behaviour.

Flash floods kill six in south-eastern Iran

Six electricity workers have been killed in flash flooding in south-eastern Iran. The victims, who worked for the state-run electricity company Tavanir, were trying to restore power in Kerman province when they were caught up in floodwaters. Their bodies were later found on the banks of the Haramak river. The Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) said that at least eight provinces in south-east, central and eastern Iran had been affected by the floods and heavy rains since Monday.

IRGC officer killed in clashes with Kurdish militants

An officer from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been killed in clashes with Kurdish militants near the border with Iraq. The fighting took place in the mountainous area of Dara Nakhi on Tuesday and follows a series of skirmishes in recent weeks. Last month two IRGC members were killed near the town of Mariwan.

Swiss diplomat found dead in Tehran

A Swiss diplomat has been found dead at the bottom of a tower block in Tehran after falling from the 17th floor. The 52-year-old victim, who was the embassy's first secretary, was discovered by a gardener at the residential tower in the northern Kamranieh district. “The FDFA and its head Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis are shocked by the tragic death and express their deepest condolences to the family,” said the Swiss foreign ministry in a statement. Investigations are ongoing into the cause of the fall.

Iran-Pakistan land border closed

The land border between Pakistan and neighbouring Iran has been temporarily closed in line with measures with prevent the further spread of Covid-9 amid the ongoing pandemic. The move to suspend all cross-border passenger travel was confirmed by the Iranian authorities on Wednesday. Border crossing routes will remain open for trade and commerce vehicles, as well as for returning nationals on either side. The measure is to remain in place until further notice, with no definitive end date identified yet. The travel ban comes amid fears of possible new variants as Covid-19 figures continue to rise in Pakistan.

British-Iranian charity worker sentenced to further jail term

The British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been sentenced to a further year in prison after she was found guilty of propaganda against the Iranian regime. She was first jailed in Tehran in 2016 on spying charges; her lawyer said the latest charge relates to a protest in London 12 years ago. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "I don't think it is right at all that Nazanin should be sentenced to any more time in jail. The government will not stop, we will redouble our efforts, and we are working with our American friends on this issue as well."

Foreign minister recorded criticising IRGC

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has been recorded criticising the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). In a leaked audio recording, Zarif bemoaned the IRGC's attempts to dominate Iran's foreign policy. He claimed General Qasem Soleimani - who was killed in a US drone strike in January 2020 - was responsible for taking Iran into the conflict in Syria and that the IRGC made several attempts to scupper the 2015 nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The leak comes ahead of presidential elections in Iran.

Strong earthquake hits southern Iran

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake has been reported in southern Iran. The state-run IRNA news agency said five people had been injured but there were no reports of significant damage following the quake, including at the nearby Bushehr nuclear complex. The earthquake struck near the town of Rig, while there have been reports of power cuts in the city of Gonaveh.

Officials vow to take revenge on Israel for Natanz incident

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has vowed to take revenge against Israel over the incident at the Natanz nuclear facility. He also claimed that Israel was trying to derail multilateral efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). “If they think our hand in the negotiations has been weakened, actually this cowardly act will strengthen our position in the talks,” said Zarif. The site was targeted by a large-scale blackout on Sunday; Israel has not officially claimed responsibility but has allowed Israeli media to report on the speculation.

Israel suspected of 'terrorist act' at Natanz facility

Iran has condemned what it has called an act of 'nuclear terrorism' against the Natanz nuclear facility. Although the alleged terrorists were not identified, Israeli media suggest the incident was a result of an Israeli cyber attack. This would follow the fire that broke out at the Natanz underground facility last July, which authorities alleged was the result of a cyber attack. The latest incident comes as diplomatic efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear deal have resumed.

Electrical ‘incident’ at Natanz nuclear site

Parts of the electrical grid at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility were compromised after an 'incident' early on Sunday. A spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran said: "The reasons behind the incident are being investigated and additional information will be provided later." It was added that no casualties were reported at the site that was hit by a large explosion last year. A spokesman for the UN nuclear watchdog said “We are aware of the media reports. We have no comment at this stage.”

Iran unveils civilian nuclear ‘achievements’

Iran has unveiled new uranium enrichment centrifuges and dozens of 'nuclear achievements' to mark its national nuclear technology day in a breach of the abandoned 2015 nuclear deal. The display comes after the first week of negotiations in Vienna to restore the framework in an effort by Iran to demonstrate that its nuclear programme is peaceful and will have civilian uses. The engineer who answered Rouhani’s questions further emphasised that "[Iran] can industrialise these machines without any reliance outside the country.”

South Korean tanker released

Iran has released the South Korean tanker seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in January. The Hankuk Chemi was detained as part of a dispute over funds of $7bn frozen in South Korea under US sanctions. The ship, with its captain and 12 other crew members on board, left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas on Friday morning.

Iranian vessel targeted by mines in the Red Sea

An Iranian vessel has been targeted by limpet mines in the Red Sea. The MV Saviz cargo ship, which is reportedly used as a base for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), was hit on Tuesday morning near the coast of Djibouti. “Fortunately no fatalities were incurred due to the incident, and technical evaluations on how the incident occurred and its origins are underway,” said foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. The US military said it had no involvement in the incident.

First shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines arrives in Iran

Iran has received its first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine through the WHO's COVAX initiative. A shipment of 700,800 doses arrived at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Airport on Monday night. “By the end of May, 3.6 million doses of the 16.8 million doses purchased through COVAX will be delivered to Iran,” said Kianush Janahpur, spokesman for Iran’s Food and Drug Administration. The country has already received 500,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine along with 250,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm jab and 125,000 doses from India’s COVAXIN; however, the roll-out programme has been slow and less than one percent of the population has been vaccinated.

Iran rejects 'step-by-step' sanction easing

Iranian state broadcaster Press TV conveyed on Saturday the inadequacy of a 'step-by-step' easing of sanctions proposed by the US. Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Saturday that “no step-by-step plan is being considered. The definitive policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the lifting of all US sanctions.” Iran and the US will hold talks in Vienna next week to revive the 2015 nuclear deal framework abandoned by the Trump administration, focusing on “the nuclear steps that Iran would need to take in order to return to compliance.” 

Iran and China sign cooperation agreement

Iran and China have signed a 25-year cooperation agreement following talks in Tehran. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi signed the deal on Saturday. The details of the accord have not been released, but they are believed to include significant Chinese investment in Iran's energy and infrastructure sectors, along with military cooperation.

French tourist charged with spying

A French tourist has been charged with “spreading propaganda against the system,” according to his lawyer. Benjamin Briere was detained last year while flying a drone near the Turkmenistan-Iran border. “On Sunday, he (Briere) was charged with two counts of espionage and propaganda against the Islamic Republic,” said lawyer Saeid Dehghan. He is being held at the Vakilabad prison in Mashhad.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe appears in court over new charge

British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was previously given a five-year sentence for spying, has appeared in a Tehran court to face a new charge of “propaganda against the establishment”. Her lawyer Hojjat Kermani told Al Jazeera that Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s court session was held on Sunday, where the new charge was introduced. The charge is linked to her participation in a gathering outside Iran’s embassy in London following the 2009 disputed election results and an interview she gave to BBC Persian.

IRGC says plane hijack plot foiled

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has said it has foiled a hijacking attempt on a passenger plane on Thursday night. In a statement released on Friday, the IRGC said the plotters had targeted an Iran Air Fokker 100 regional commercial plot heading from Ahvaz to Mashhad. The guard claimed that said the flight made an emergency landing in the central city of Isfahan and no injuries were reported. The identity of the hijacker(s) has not been released.

Two Kurdish men shot dead by security forces

Two Kurdish brothers have been shot dead by the Iranian security forces in Western Azerbaijan. The Hengaw Organization for Human Rights said the troops opened fire on Abdollah and Osman Naderi without a warning. Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence issued a statement after the incident and claimed that the pair were planning a terror attack.

Suspected suicide bomber arrested in Tehran

A suspected suicide bomber has been arrested in Tehran. The city's police chief said the suspect was found with an explosive vest at the entrance several days ago. "This person, who was led by dissidents, tried to commit acts of sabotage in one or two parts of Tehran, but was arrested with vigilance and intelligence on the Qom-Tehran toll road," said Brig Gen Hossein Rahimi.

Lawmakers call for legal action against president

Lawmakers in Iran have said that an agreement reached between the government and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is illegal and that the president should be legally punished. President Hassan Rouhani reached a deal with the IAEA over the weekend that will allow limited nuclear inspections to continue for three months. Politicians argued that the deal violates a law passed in December which stipulated that inspections could only continue if sanctions against Iran were cancelled. However, the Supreme National Security Council said in a statement on Monday the IAEA agreement falls in compliance with the parliament’s law.

Foreign minister claims lifting of sanctions prerequisite to reviving 2015 deal

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran, has said that the US must first lift sanctions before talks to revive 2015 nuclear deal can start. Former President Donald Trump abandoned the deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. The initial stages of negotiations appear to have reached a stalemate as Iran insists the US must first rescind sanctions while Washington says Tehran must first return to compliance. This comes a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered traces of uranium at Iranian sites.

International Atomic Energy Agency finds uranium traces at Iran sites

The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has discovered traces of uranium at two Iranian sites it inspected after months of stonewalling, diplomats report. The discovery has the possibility to complicate US efforts to restore Iran's 2015 nuclear deal. Although the sites are believed to have been inactive for approximately two decades, opponents of the nuclear deal say evidence of undeclared nuclear activities demonstrates Iran's culpability. Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Kazem Gharibabadi, declined to comment, as did the agency itself.

South Korean crew released from Iranian tanker

Iranian officials have released the crew of a South Korean ship that was seized last week. “Following a request by the South Korean government … the crew of the Korean ship … have received permission to leave the country in a humanitarian move by Iran,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh. Officials in Tehran have also pressed their counterparts in Seoul to release $7bn in Iranian funds that have been frozen in South Korea due to US sanctions.

US Secretary of State claims Iran close to producing enough material for nuclear bomb

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that Iran is close to producing enough nuclear material to create a bomb. Blinken said Tehran was "a matter of weeks" away if the government continues to ignore the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. The new US administration has said that it will return to the deal and then negotiate a "longer and stronger" accord; however, Iranian officials have refused to renegotiate. “The nuclear accord is a multilateral international agreement ratified by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which is non-negotiable and parties to it are clear and unchangeable,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh.

Iranian military holds major drills amid tensions with US

The Iranian military has held further drills amid increased tension with the US. The army held land, air and sea war games along the coast of Makran and the Sea of Oman in southern Iran, days after the US flew B-52 bombers over the Middle East. “The power and might of the army’s ground forces in responding to threats will be displayed in this exercise,” Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Dadras, deputy chief of the Iranian army.

IRGC unveils underground missile base

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has unveiled an underground missile base along the Persian Gulf. State footage released clips of IRGC troops entering the base amid increasing tensions with the US. “Behind us, you can see a column of these missiles and their launch systems. These columns stretch for kilometres,” said IRGC chief Hossein Salami. Earlier the US deployed two B-52 strategic bombers to the Middle East, citing "threats" from Iranian officials.

Iran resumes enriching uranium to 20 percent

Iran has resumed enriching uranium to 20 percent purity at the Fordo facility near Qom. Government spokesman Ali Rabiei made the announcement on Monday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Israel will not allow Iran to manufacture nuclear weapons," while European Union spokesman Peter Stano said Iran's move would constitute a "considerable departure" from its commitments under the nuclear deal

IRGC seize South Korea-flagged ship

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seized a South Korean vessel over alleged environmental pollution in the Persian Gulf. The vessel was said to be carrying 7,200 tonnes of ethanol and was taken to the port of Bandar Abbas. “The South Korean oil tanker vessel with the commercial name Hankuk Chemi was stopped by the Guards’ Navy this morning due to violating environmental protocols,” the IRGC Navy said in a statement on Monday.

Climbers killed in avalanche north of Tehran

At least 10 climbers have been killed in an avalanche and blizzards north of Tehran. The Red Crescent said 14 climbers have been rescued in the Alborz mountain range but at least seven others are missing. Search operations resumed on Sunday morning, although the operation is being hampered by bad weather.

British-Iranian academic jailed

A British-Iranian academic has been jailed in Iran. Kameel Ahmady was convicted of "collaborating with a hostile government" and sentenced to eight years in prison. He has previously studied child marriage, female genital mutilation and sexuality in Iran. He was arrested in August 2019 and was held for 100 days without access to a lawyer.

Journalist executed in Iran

Iranian journalist Ruhollah Zam has been executed. Zam was hanged on Saturday after the supreme court upheld a death sentence against him. He was accused of using the messaging app Telegram to incite protests in 2017-18 and was reportedly detained in Iraq in 2019. France, Germany, Italy and Austria have announced that they are withdrawing from an online business forum in Tehran in response to the execution. The EU also strongly condemned the killing "in the strongest terms".

Arrests made over killing of nuclear scientist

Iranian officials said several suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of the country's leading nuclear scientist last month. Parliamentary adviser Hossein Amir Abdollahiah said the details of the arrests could not be released for security reasons. He added that there was evidence that Israel was involved in the attack. There were conflicting reports over how Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed, with Brig-Gen Ali Fadavi recently claiming that a satellite-controlled machine-gun with "artificial intelligence" was used.

Rouhani opposes bill on suspending UN inspections

President Hassan Rouhani has expressed his opposition to a bill to ratify the suspension of UN inspections on the country's nuclear program. The bill would boost uranium enrichment but would also be harmful to diplomacy. The president claims the bill would hinder the process of relaxing US sanctions and could also risk damaging diplomatic attempts to restore the 2015 nuclear agreement. The bill has five days to be approved before it can legally come into force.

Officials claim nuclear scientist killed by remote-controlled weapon

Iranian officials have accused Israel and an exiled opposition group of using a remote-controlled weapon to kill nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Security chief Ali Shamkhani made the claim at Fakhrizadeh's funeral in Tehran. "It was a very complex mission using electronic equipment," he said in a statement. "There was no-one present at the scene." The scientist was killed in the town of Absard on Friday.

Nuclear scientist assassinated, claim defence ministry

A leading Iranian nuclear scientist has been "assassinated", according to the defence ministry. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot dead in the city of Absard near Tehran on Friday. “Unfortunately, the medical team did not succeed in reviving him, and a few minutes ago, this manager and scientist achieved the high status of martyrdom after years of effort and struggle,” the defence ministry said in a statement. It is not clear who was behind the attack on Fakhrizadeh, who was reportedly the mastermind behind Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

Soldier killed near Iraqi border

An Iranian soldier has been killed in Kurdistan province, close to the border with Iran. Mohammed Rasul Khatami was on patrol in the town of Mariwan when he was targeted. The Kurdistan Free Life Party (PJAK) often targets the security forces in the region, although there has not been any claim of responsibility for this attack.

British-Australian academic released in Iran

A British-Australian academic has expressed her relief after she was freed from prison in Iran. Kylie Moore-Gilbert said she had been through "a long and traumatic ordeal" since she was detained on charges of espionage in September 2018. She was released as part of a prisoner swap, according to Iranian officials.

Tehran criticises Minsk group's peace efforts in Nagorno-Karabakh

Iran's deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, has criticised efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group aiming to bring about a peaceful resolution of the conflict between neighbouring Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory. According to reports, Araghchi accused the Minsk Group of failing in its mission to establish a lasting truce in the area, as three ceasefire efforts brokered by Russia and the US have been violated within hours of being agreed. “Some of the member countries of this group are not even in the region and their inefficiency has been proven,” said Araghchi, claiming foreign players such as France and the US were too far removed from the region politically, emotionally, and ethically, and thus have "no real desire to establish peace in Karabakh".

Over 8,000 new virus cases reported

Iran has recorded more than 8,000 new cases of Covid-19, taking the country's total number of diagnosed cases to almost 605,000 as of Friday 30 October. The official death toll for coronavirus has also risen to 34,478 following the latest daily increase of 365 newly-registered virus-related deaths.

Detained Australian academic transferred to notorious Evin prison

An Australian academic who have been detained in Iran for over two years has reportedly been transferred back to Tehran's notorious Evin prison. The transfer of Kylie Moore-Gilbert - who is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of espionage - has sparked fresh concerns over her wellbeing. During her previous stint at Evin, Moore-Gilbert reported being held in restrictive conditions and needing psychiatric medications for “gravely damaged” mental health. Australia’s foreign ministry commented on the situation, saying securing Moore-Gilbert's release remains an “absolute priority”. She is one of several Westerners being held in Iran on national security grounds.

Covid death toll rises by over 400

Over the last 24 hours, Iran's coronavirus death toll has risen by over 400. The latest daily increase of 415 new Covid-19 fatalities takes the country's death toll to more than 33,700 as of Wednesday 28 October. An additional 6,824 new cases of infection have also been diagnosed in the last day, bringing the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases up to almost 589,000. Of these, around 87,000 cases remain active, including 5,012 in serious of critical condition.

Cyberattack targets government institutions

A number of unspecified government institutions have allegedly been targeted in a cyberattack. According to reports, the Iranian authorities claim no significant impact or damage has been reported as a result of the cyberattack, which is being investigated by the authorities. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that the institutions targeted may have included a number of banking institutions.

Covid-19 curbs tightened as infections rise

Covid-19 restrictions have been tightened in iran as the number of infections being diagnosed continues to rise daily. Additional measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus have been imposed for the capital of Tehran, and penalties may be issued for those breaking the rules. A partial lockdown which was introduced in Tehran last week has now been extended until Friday 16 October, as the city is classified as a red-level virus threat. Face masks have been made compulsory outdoors and all cafes, schools, museums, cinemas, and leisure centres have been forced to close. Overall, more than 496,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Iran so far.

Iran announces new record of daily coronavirus cases

Iran's health ministry has reported a record daily number of new coronavirus cases. Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said there were 3,902 new cases and 235 deaths in the past 24 hours. There have now been more than 475,000 deaths and 27,192 deaths in Iran since the outbreak started in February. All but one of the 31 provinces are classified as "red" zones, while in Tehran the authorities have ordered the closure of schools, universities, libraries and mosque to limit the spread of the virus.

Gunmen kill three IRGC troops in south-east

Gunmen have shot dead three members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) in south-east Iran. The IRNA news agency said two assailants were also killed in the incident, which occurred near the town of Nikshahr in Sistan-Baluchistan province. Previous attacks in the area have been blamed on the Sunni separatist group Jeish al-Adl, or Army of Justice.

Iran on red alert due to rising Covid deaths

Iran is on red alert due to rising deaths from coronavirus (Covid-19). “The colour classification doesn’t make sense anymore. We no longer have orange and yellow. The entire country is red,” deputy health minister Iraj Harirchi said on television. “If the current course continues, the death toll will reach 45,000.” The official death toll rose by 144 to 23,952 on Friday, while hospitalisations have increased significantly in Tabriz and Qom.

Wrestler executed despite international outcry

A wrestler has been executed in Iran despite an international outcry. Navid Afkari, 27, was sentenced to death over the murder of a security guard during anti-government protests in 2018. He was executed by hanging in the southern city of Shiraz. Afkari claimed that he was tortured into making a confession and said he was innocent of the charges. Amnesty International said the secret execution took place "after a grossly unfair trial, is a horrifying travesty of justice that needs immediate international action."

Iranians vote in delayed parliamentary polls

Voting is underway in the second round of Iran's parliamentary elections in 10 constituencies. The vote has been delayed for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first round, which was held in February, resulted in a record low turnout. "As the health ministry has warned against any public gathering, we asked the candidates to take their campaigns online," said Jamal Orf, the president of Iran's election commission.

Jailed British aid worker hit with new charge

British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been hit with a fresh indictment. Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was arrested in April 2016 and accused of spying on the Iranian regime. She was granted temporary released during the Covid-19 lockdown but had to remain in the country and wear an electronic tag. She will face the new unspecified charges in court on Sunday.

Iran increasing stockpiles of enriched uranium, according to UN watchdog

Iran is increasing its stockpiles of enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In its report, the agency said Iran had 2,105.4kg of low-enriched uranium, a significant increase on the 1,571.6kg reported in May. Iran is also accused of enriching uranium to a purity of 4.5 percent, above the 3.67 percent permitted under the nuclear deal. US President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions against Iran.

Amnesty International accuses government of human rights violations during 2019 protests

Amnesty International has accused Iran's security forces of committing "catalogue of shocking human rights violations" against protesters who were detained last November. In a report released on Wednesday, Amnesty said that it had spoken to dozens of men and women who were beaten and tortured while they were detained. "Torture was used to punish, intimidate and humiliate detainees. It was also routinely used to elicit “confessions” and incriminating statements, not just about their involvement in the protests, but also about their alleged associations with opposition groups, human rights defenders, media outside Iran, as well as with foreign governments," said Amnesty. Iran's government has not responded to the allegations.

Old nuclear sites to be inspected by global watchdog

Iran has granted global watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect old nuclear sites. IAEA inspectors are to be allowed access to two suspected former nuclear sites to inspect them in accordance with international standards. It has been reported that the gesture has been made by Iran in good faith to resolve outstanding issues related to nuclear safeguards. The IAEA has directed criticism at Iran in the past for failing to answer questions regarding possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at the two locations. Iran has denied ever seeking to develop nuclear weapons and insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. However, the IAEA claims evidence in 2003 indicated Iran had conducted "a range of activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device".

UN dismisses US call for 'snapback' sanctions on Iran

The UN has dismissed the US' demand to impose so-called 'snapback' sanctions on Iran. The president of the UN Security Council (UNSC) stated that the UNSC would be taking no further action on the issue at this time. In response, the US ambassador to the UN accused the opposing countries of supporting "terrorists". The US wants to reinstate full UN sanctions on Iran for allegedly violating the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal. The US is widely deemed to have lost its power to enforce snapback sanctions after the Trump administration pulled the US out of the deal with Iran in 2018; however, the US claims it maintains the right through membership of the UNSC, which endorsed the deal.

Date set for presidential elections

Iranian authorities have announced that the country will hold its presidential elections next year, on 18 June 2021. The Interior Ministry has confirmed the date for the election. Candidates to success President Hassan Rouhani are yet to be decided, with the selection process due to get underway by April next year.

UAE ship and crew detained

Iran has reportedly detained a UAE-registered ship and its crew following an incident in which a number of fishermen were killed. The detention of the ship came just hours after UAE coast guards shot two Iranian fishermen dead and seized their boat on Monday. According to reports, the vessel was seized for illegally entering Iranian territorial waters in the Arabian Gulf. According to reports, Iran has summoned the UAE charge d'affaires in Tehran over the incident. The recent developments come amid high tensions between the two countries following last week's surprise deal between the UAE and Israel to normalise ties. Iran has condemned the agreement, with President Hassan Rouhani warning "against opening the path of Israel to the region". Rouhani's ambiguous comments were received as a threat by the UAE, prompting Abu DHabi to summon the Iranian charge d'affaires to protest "inflammatory" rhetoric.

US to demand UN sanctions restored

The US is expected to demand that UN sanctions on Iran be restored. US President Donald Trump stated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to present the country's demand to reimpose sanctions on Iran to other UN members. The move comes after Trump's failure to obtain an extension on an arms embargo against Tehran and could lead to a contentious dispute if UN members ignore the US' demand. The US has accused Iran of significant non-compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, prompting the Trump administration to call for all international sanctions which had been eased under the deal to be reimposed. However, other UN nationals claim the US lost its so-called 'snapback' standing to make the demand after Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018. The US claims it retains its snapback standing as a permanent member of the UN Security Council (UNSC), which endorsed the 2015 agreement. As with the arms embargo, Russia and China are opposed to reimposing sanctions, along with the UK and France - meaning the issue could lead to a fall out over the legitimacy of the UNSC, as it's unclear whether other UNSC members could stop the US' snapback through technical procedural means.

Coronavirus death toll passes 20,000

The death toll for Covid-19 has surpassed the 20,000-mark, after 153 new deaths were confirmed yesterday. Iran remains one of the worst-hit countries by the pandemic in the Middle East, and the milestone death toll comes as Iran goes ahead with university entrance exams for over a million students. Iran is also preparing for mass Shia commemorations later this months, when the Islamic new year begins. Some experts have expressed concerns that the government's decision to allow entrance exams and mass commemorations to go ahead could further exacerbate the outbreak. International observers remain dubious of the reliability and accuracy of Iran's official coronavirus data, with many suspecting the actual death toll could be twice as high as reported figures.

Two convicted on foreign espionage charges

Two Iranian men have been convicted by Iranian courts on charges relating to spying for foreign powers. Both men have been separately sentenced to 10 years in jail for allegedly carrying out acts of espionage on behalf of the UK, Germany, and Israel. One of the men has been identified as Massud Mossaheb, who reportedly travelled to Iran with a delegation from an Austrian research centre. Mossaheb was detained in January 2019 on suspicion of illicitly disseminating information relating to Iran's nuclear, missile, medical, and nanotechnology fields. The second man, Shahram Shirkhani, is accused of spying for the British intelligence services and passing on classified information about Iran's Central Bank and defence ministry contracts. Shirkhani also allegedly tried to recruit Iranian officials to MI6. Five more arrests have also apparently been made over espionage charges recently, although no details on the other detainees have been given.

Government accused of hiding coronavirus figures

The Iranian government has been accused of hiding the true number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in the country. The BBC said that the government's own records show that almost 42,000 people had died by 20 July, compared to the 14,405 deaths reported by the health ministry. The number of infections is also reported to be more than 450,000, whereas officials have announced 278,000 cases. The data was sent to the BBC by an anonymous source.

First-round talks with Ukraine conclude

The first round of talks between Iran and Ukraine on plane downing damages have concluded. The negotiations came about after the downing of a Ukrainian airliner in January. The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 airliner was shot down by the Iranian air force shortly after takeoff, killing all 176 passengers and crew on board. Iran initially blamed the accident on a technical problem, but later admitted the plane had been unintentionally shot down amid heightened tensions with the US forces in neighbouring Ira. The first round of talks were described as "constructive", although it has not yet been agreed how much compensation Tehran will pay. The next round of talks are expected to take place in October.

Almost 200 new coronavirus deaths reported

Almost 200 new covid-19 deaths have been reported in Iran over the last 24 hours. The new death toll from coronavirus there now stands at 16,766 following the latest daily increase of 197 newly registered virus-related fatalities. Some 2,674 new cases of infection have also been diagnosed - taking the national tally to 304,204 confirmed cases of covid-19.

IRGC fires missile at replica US aircraft carrier

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has fired a missile at a mock US aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz. Footage of the exercises, which were dubbed "Prophet Muhammad 14th," was broadcast on state television. The US Navy condemned the "irresponsible and reckless behaviour by Iran", calling it an attempt "to intimidate and coerce."

British-Australian prisoner transferred to infamous jail

A British-Australian woman serving a 10-year prison sentence for espionage has been transferred to an infamous facility in the desert. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who has been incarcerated in Iran since 2018 following a secret trial, was moved to Qarchak women’s prison, south-east of Tehran, over the weekend. A report by the Human Rights Activists News Agency in March detailed acts of violence, including torture and rape, as well as lack of medical services at the prison. Moore-Gilbert denies all of the charges against her and claims that Iranian officials have tried to recruit her as a spy.

Passengers hurt as US jet flys close to Iranian plane

Several passengers have been hurt after an Iranian plane was forced to drop altitude to avoid a US fighter jet. The Mahan Air A340-300 was heading from Tehran to Beirut when the pilot took evasive measures over Syria. US Captain Bill Urban, the senior Central Command spokesman, said the F-15 "conducted a standard visual inspection of a Mahan Air passenger airliner at a safe distance of about 1,000 metres (3,280 feet) from the airliner this evening".

Seven ships catch fire in Bushehr port

Seven ships caught on fire at a shipyard in Bushehr on Wednesday. Crisis management official Jahangir Dehghani said the blaze started in the afternoon in the southern port city. There were no reported victims, and the fire was eventually contained. The incident is the latest in a series of fires and explosions throughout Iran in recent weeks, leading to speculation that Iran is being targeted by either internal or external actors.

Former defence ministry employee executed over CIA links

Iran has executed a former defence ministry employee who was accused of selling details about the country's missile programme to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Reza Asgari was killed last week, according to judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili. Another man, Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, has also been sentenced to death for providing intelligence to the CIA and Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

Fire investigated at industrial complex in north-east

Officials are investigating a fire at an industrial complex in north-eastern Iran. A gas storage tank exploded at Kavian Fariman complex, 32km from the city of Mashhad, on Monday. The incident follows a series of fires and explosions at sites across Iran, including nuclear and military facilities. It has not been established if any of the incidents are linked.

Officials deny reports of fresh explosions

Iranian officials have denied reports of further explosions near the capital, Tehran. On Thursday reports of loud explosions in the cities of Garmdareh and Qods appeared on social media. However, local officials in Qods said that there had been a short power outage and the mayor of Garmdareh said there had been a small explosion at a factory which produced gas cylinders. The reports come after a series of mysterious explosions and fires at nuclear facilities across Iran in recent weeks.

Two killed in factory blast

At least two people have been killed in an explosion at a factory near Iran's capital, Tehran. State news agency IRNA said human error was the cause of the blast. "The explosion that was caused by some workers' negligent handling of oxygen tanks ... was so powerful that the walls of a factory nearby were also totally destroyed," said local official Amin Babai. The incident comes after an explosion at a nuclear plant in Ardakan and a fire at the Natanz facility, which is used for Iran's uranium enrichment programme. There was also a blast at a medical clinic north of Tehran that left 19 people dead.

Border guards shoot dead Kurdish shepherd

Iranian border guards have shot dead a Kurdish shepherd in Western Azerbaijan province. The shooting took place in a remote area of Sardasht early on Tuesday morning. The victim has been identified as Yousif Ahmadi from the village of Alwatan.

Nineteen killed in explosion at Tehran clinic

At least 19 people have been killed in an explosion at a clinic in Tehran. Several others were wounded in the blast at the Sina Athar clinic on Tuesday. Officials said the explosion was caused by a gas leak. "An explosion was reported at 20:56 (16:26 GMT) followed by a fire at Sina At'har clinic. Medical units were dispatched immediately," the EMS said in a statement.

Journalist sentenced to death for inciting dissent

An Iranian official has been sentenced to death after he was found guilty of "corruption on earth." Ruhollah Zam was accused of using messaging apps to incite dissent and anti-government protests in 2017-18. He had been living in France after he was granted political asylum but he was arrested by the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), who said they were able to "deceive" foreign intelligence services in the operation to capture him.

Iran issues arrest warrant for President Trump

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for US President Donald Trump. Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said Trump and 30 other US officials were responsible for the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January. Alqasimehr said Iran would ask Interpol for help in detaining Trump, although the organisation has not yet responded to the request.

Iran reports 2,596 new Covid-19 cases

Iranian officials have confirmed 2,596 new cases of coronavirus (Covid-19), bringing the total number of cases to 197,647. Sima Sadat Lari, a spokeswoman for Iran's Ministry of Health and Medical Education, said 87 new deaths were recorded and 2,795 remain in a critical condition. There have been an average of 3,000 new cases a day since the start of June, prompting fears of a second wave of the pandemic in the country.  On 20 April officials started relaxing lockdown restrictions after the number of daily cases fell below 1,000.

US release Iranian doctor in prisoner swap

Majid Taheri, an Iranian-American doctor, has been released from a US jail as part of a prisoner swap with Iran. Taheri, aka Matteo Taerri, is a dermatologist who was based in Florida. He was accused of violating US sanctions by exporting a technical item to Iran and of violating financial reporting requirements by making a series of bank deposits under $10,000. In exchange for Taheri's release and repatriation to Iran, American citizen and Navy veteran Michael White was freed and allowed to fly home to the US. White was detained in 2018 while visiting his girlfriend in Iran and was convicted last year of insulting Iran's supreme leader and posting private information online. The exchange signifies a small thaw in relations between Iran and the US, following a rise in tensions over the past two years.

Deaths of three Afghan refugees sparks anger at police

The deaths of three Afghan refugees in central Iran has sparked anger at the local police. Officers had opened fire on a vehicle, sparking a fire during which three people died and four others were wounded. Local officials said the driver of the vehicle had refused to stop at a checkpoint, but footage of the incident has been released on social media, prompting a wave of outrage about the treatment of refugees in Iran. "Iran has no right to kill Afghan refugees, they can seal their borders, expel all Afghans but not kill them," Ali Noori, a lawyer and rights activist. Last month Afghan officials claimed dozens of Afghan migrants drowned when border guards forced them into a river at gunpoint.

Fears over second wave after sharp rise in Covid-19 cases

Iran has reported a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases, sparking fears of a second wave of infections in the country. The health ministry said there were 3,574 new cases 59 deaths on Wednesday. More than 3,000 cases were also recorded on Monday and Tuesday. "If our people fail to respect the health protocols... we must prepare ourselves for the worst situation," said Health Minister Saeed Namaki.

Iran records highest daily Covid-19 cases in two months

Iran has recorded the highest daily number of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in two months. Almost 3,000 new cases have been reported in the country, prompting fears of another peak in the outbreak. "People seem to think the coronavirus is over... some officials also believe everything" is back to normal, said Health Minister Saeed Namaki. "The coronavirus is not only far from over, but we could at any moment see (another) dangerous peak."

Teenage girl killed by father for eloping

A man has been arrested for killing his 14-year-old daughter who ran away from home in Gilan province. Romina Ashrafi and her 35-year-old boyfriend were found by police, who sent her home despite telling them that her life was in danger. The honour killing has sparked outrage in the country, with thousands condemning violence against women on social media. "Romina is neither the first nor will she be the last victim of honour killings," said Shahindokht Molaverdi, a former vice-president for women and family affairs and the current secretary of Iran's Society for Protecting Women's Rights.

Iranian sailors killed in 'friendly-fire' incident

At least 19 sailors have been killed and 15 others wounded after an Iranian missile struck a support vessel on Sunday. The incident happened during a training exercise near the port of Jask. "On Sunday afternoon, during an exercise by a number of the navy's vessels in Jask and Chabahar waters, the Konarak light support vessel had an accident," said a statement on the army's website. The support vessel had been putting out targets at the time of the incident.

Afghanistan investigating reports of Iran guards torturing Afghan migrants

The Afghan authorities have launched an investigation into reports of Iranian border guards torturing and drowning Afghan migrants in a river. According to reports, the migrants were caught by the guards trying to enter Iran illegally from the western province of Herat over the weekend. The migrants were apparently beaten up and forced to jump into the Harirud river, with some of them dying as a result. The incident allegedly took place on Afghan territory and it's believed dozens of migrants were abused and at least seven are thought to have died, with more still missing. A search party has been dispatched to the area to retrieve the bodies. Iran has denied the allegations, while Herat's provincial governor, Sayed Wahid Qatali, has threatened to "settle accounts" over the incident in a tweet to Iranian officials.

Government appeals for $5bn loan from IMF

Iran's government has requested a $5bn emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help it deal with the coronavirus (Covid-19). President Hassan Rouhani said the IMF would be guilty of discrimination if it withholds the money. "I urge international organisations to fulfil their duties ... We are a member of the IMF," Rouhani said at a televised cabinet meeting. "There should be no discrimination in giving loans." Iranian officials claim that the US has been trying to block the funding by stating that the country has sufficient funds.

Hundreds killed after drinking industrial alcohol

Around 300 people have died after drinking industrial alcohol in Iran. More than 1,000 others have required medical treatment for alcohol poisoning following rumours that the substance was a cure for the coronavirus (Covid-19). “Unfortunately in some provinces, including Khuzestan and Fars, deaths from drinking methanol has exceeded the number of deaths from the new coronavirus," said Dr Hossein Hassanian, an adviser to Iran’s Health Ministry. There have been 29,000 confirmed cases of the virus across Iran and more than 2,200 deaths.

Heavy rain causes deadly flooding in Iran

At least 21 people have been killed and dozens more wounded after heavy rain caused flooding in central and southern Iran. Officials said 11 people died in Fars province, three in Hormozgan, three in Qom, two in Sistan and Baluchistan. Further deaths were also reported in Bushehr and Khuzestan. Further heavy rain is forecast over the coming days.

Iran issues warning to US over Patriot missile deployment

Iran has issued a warning to the US following reports that Patriot air defence missiles are being deployed to Iraq. The US deployment runs "counter to the official position of the Iraqi government, parliament and people", said Iran's foreign ministry in a statement. The Patriot is expected to be used to defend US military interests against missile attacks and comes after a series of missile and rocket strikes on army bases and the US embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone.

Officials claim terrorist attack halts gas flow

Iranian officials claim that a terrorist attack near the border with Turkey has halted natural gas exports. "This morning, terrorists attacked a natural gas pipeline inside Turkey near Iran's Bazargan border with Turkey ... flow of gas has been halted," said Mehdi Jamshidi-Dana, director of National Iranian Gas Co on Tuesday. He claimed that PKK militants are believed to have carried out the attack as Turkish border guards have abandoned their posts due to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Prisoners riot in southern Iran over coronavirus fears

Prisoners at a jail in southern Iran have staged a riot over fears about the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).  Governor Enayatollah Rahimi said the protest broke out in the early hours of Sunday at Adel Abad prison in the city of Shiraz. Iranian officials have released around 100,000 prisoners in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading in jails. There have been more than 40,000 infections and 2,757 deaths in the country.

Government restricts internal travel

The Iranian government has banned internal travel in an attempt to limit a "second wave" of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases. Spokesman Ali Rabiei said people had ignored official advice and travelled to visit family during the Nowruz new year holidays. On Wednesday 143 new deaths were recorded, bringing the total to 2,077 since mid-February.

US hostage dies in custody

A former US FBI agent who disappeared in Iran 13 years ago has died in custody, according to his family. "We recently received information from US officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died while in Iranian custody," Robert Levinson's family said in a statement on Wednesday. It is thought that he died before the outbreak of coronavirus in Iran. Levinson was working as a private investigator for an unauthorised CIA mission when he was detained by the Iranian security services in 2007.

Two killed, hundreds wounded in fire festival

At least two people have been killed and around 600 others wounded during celebrations to mark the fire festival, Chaharshanbe Suri. Events took place despite requests from officials that people avoid large gatherings due to the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The fire festival is celebrated by Iranians on the eve of the last Wednesday before Nowruz, the Iranian new year.

Iran temporarily releases thousands of prisoners

Iran has temporarily released thousands of political prisoners in an attempt to ease pressure on its overcrowded prison system. "So far, some 85,000 prisoners have been released," judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said on Tuesday. "Also in the jails, we have taken precautionary measures to confront the outbreak." The British-Iranian charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is among those to be freed under the emergency measures. Earlier Dr Afruz Eslami warned that 3.5m people could die from the virus if the population fails to cooperate with government efforts to reduce infection rates.

Coronavirus deaths rise in Iran

Iran confirmed 113 new deaths from the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak in the country. There have been 724 confirmed deaths in the country and almost 14,000 confirmed cases. On Sunday officials warned that the scale of the outbreak could overwhelm the country's health network. "If the trend continues, there will not be enough capacity," said Ali Reza Zali, who is leading the campaign against the outbreak. Despite the scale of the outbreak in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani has rejected calls to start a general quarantine in the country.

Health ministry reports 63 new coronavirus deaths

Iran's health ministry has reported 63 new deaths from the coronavirus (Covid-19). This is the highest number of deaths reported in the country in a 24-hour period and brings the total death toll to 354. There is still some uncertainty over the accuracy of the figures from Iran, with reports from doctors and medical staff claiming that the actual number is significantly higher. The official number of cases confirmed in the country is now 9,000.

Three thousand pilgrims quarantined on Iran-Pakistan border

Some 3,000 pilgrims have allegedly been quarantined on the Iran-Pakistan border for the last two weeks due to coronavirus fears. Long queues have formed at the border crossing as the large group is being held across the border in a camp at Taftan in Pakistan, which closed all borders with Iran following the reent outbreak. The pilgrims have been protesting and complaining of unsanitary conditions. Most of the pilgrims had travelled on foot to Iran for the pilgrimage and were on their way back to Pakistan when the border closure was enforced. Most other countries with similar travel restrictions have allowed nationals and residents returning from affected countries to self-quarantine for two weeks; however, Pakistan has made no moves to allow the group to do so.

Seventy-thousand prisoners temporarily released

Some 70,000 prisoners have been temporarily released amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Iran. The move comes as part of containment measures in the country, where at least 6,566 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported, along with 194 deaths. "The release of the prisoners, to the point where it doesn't create insecurity in society ... will continue," said Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi on Monday. It has not yet been specified when those released will return to jail. Priority will be given to those with underlying health conditions - deemed to be at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Schools and universities closed until April

Schools and universities across Iran will be closed until early April due to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country. "People should not consider this as an opportunity to go travelling," health minister Saaed Namaki said. "They should stay home and take our warnings seriously. This virus is highly contagious - it is a serious matter, do not joke about it." The official death toll from the outbreak is 107 from 3,513 confirmed cases.

Authorities release 54,000 prisoners due to coronavirus outbreak

The authorities in Iran have temporarily released 54,000 prisoners in an attempt to stop coronavirus spreading throughout jails. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said the prisoners, who had tested negative for Covid-19, had posted bail before they were freed. The death toll in Iran increased to 92 on Wednesday, with 2,922 confirmed cases.

Official coronavirus death toll hits 66

The official death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran has reached 66 out of 1,501 confirmed cases. Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raisi announced the latest figures in a statement. However, anonymous officials earlier told the BBC that at least 210 people have been killed in the country and that the true figures were being supressed by the government. The health ministry rejected the allegations as foreign propaganda.

Iran cancels Friday prayers over coronavirus outbreak

Iran has cancelled Friday prayers to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. Parliament has also been suspended and no sessions will be held until further notice. There have been 388 confirmed cases and 34 virus-related deaths in the country so far, with the majority of cases reported in the city of Qom. The deputy health minister tested positive for the virus earlier this week, while several other officials, including lawmakers Mojtaba Zonnour and Mahmoud Sadeghi and the Iranian Vice President for Women's and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar also contracted the virus.

Deputy health minister tests positive for coronavirus

Iran's deputy health minister has tested positive for coronavirus. Earlier this week Iraj Harirchi had denied reports that he had covered up the scale of the outbreak in Iran. There have been 95 confirmed cases, mostly in the city of Qom, although a parliamentarian claimed there had been at least 50 deaths and dozens of more cases.

Iran denies claims of coronavirus cover-up

Iran's deputy health minister has dismissed claims that officials have covered-up the scale of the coronavirus (covid-19) outbreak in the country. A lawmaker from Qom, Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani, said there had been at least 50 deaths in his city. Officially there have been 61 cases of covid-19 in Iran and 12 confirmed deaths. Several other countries in the region have reported cases linked to Iran, prompting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan to impose travel restrictions on people travelling from Iran.

Nine killed in Iranian earthquake

At least nine people have been killed in an earthquake that had its epicentre in western Iran. A further 37 people were wounded and hundreds of buildings were destroyed by the 5.7-magnitude quake, which struck on Sunday afternoon. At least 75 people were also wounded in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. A series of smaller aftershocks were also reported on both sides of the Iran-Turkey border.

Coronavirus cases increase in Iran

Two people have died in the central city of Qom following an outbreak of coronavirus (covid-19). Five other people have been transported from Qom to Tehran after it was confirmed that they had contracted the virus. The Iranian health ministry said a crisis response unit had been set up to deal with the outbreak, which comes a day ahead of parliamentary elections in the country.

Five killed by avalance in northern Iran

At least five people have been killed and around 80 others wounded in an avalanche in the northern city of Rudbar. The spokesperson for Iran’s National Emergency Service, Mojtaba Khaledi, said rescue teams have been dispatched to help people stranded on the Qazvin-Rasht Highway. Around a meter of snow has fallen across Gilan province, while strong winds have created drifts and caused avalanches.

Man sentenced to death for spying for the CIA

A man has been sentenced to death after he was convicted of spying for the US intelligence agency, the CIA. Amir Rahimpour was found guilty of obtaining secret information regarding Iran's nuclear programme. Two other "American spies" have been jailed for acting against national security. US officials have not commented on the ruling.

Ten killed in Isfahan bus crash

At least 10 people have been killed and 18 others wounded after a bus crashed in the central city of Isfahan. Local police said the driver of the vehicle fell asleep at the wheel before the crash, which occurred in Sepahan Shahr on Tuesday. Iran has one of the highest rates of deaths caused by road accidents in the world, with an average of 20,000 fatalities per year.

Key drug trafficker executed in Iran

A high-profile drug trafficker has been executed in Iran. The man, who was known as the "crocodile" was arrested while transferring more than 100 tonnes of narcotics in international waters. "He led one of the biggest and most vicious drug-trafficking networks in Iran and the region," said Hormozgan province chief prosecutor Ali Salehi. Other members of the gang were jailed for up to five years.

Basij commander shot dead in Khuzestan

A commander from the paramilitary Basij forces has been killed in the south-western Khuzestan province. Abdolhossein Mojaddami was targeted by masked gunmen in the town of Darkhoein on Wednesday. The Basij forces are part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Mojaddami's death comes after Iran's most senior commander, Qassem Soleimani, was killed in a US airstrike in neighbouring Iraq.

New Quds leader vows revenge for Soleimani killing

The new head of the elite Quds Force has vowed to get revenge for the killing of his predecessor, Qassem Soleimani. Esmail Qaani made the comments at an event held by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) on Monday. "They (US) hit him (Soleimani) in a cowardly way, but with God's grace and through endeavours of freedom-seekers around the world who want vengeance over his blood, we will hit his enemy in a manly fashion," he said. Soleimani was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport in neighbouring Iraq at the start of January.

Supreme leader delivers Friday prayer sermon

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei delivered a Friday sermon in Tehran for the first time in almost eight years. "The Iranian nation will once again demonstrate their unity and magnificence," said Khamenei in the public address, which comes amid increased tensions with the US over the killing of Iran's most senior military commander, Qassem Soleimani. He also called for unity after the country's security forces accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane in Tehran, killing 176 people. He last led Friday prayers in 2012 on the 33rd anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

European states trigger dispute mechanism over nuclear deal

France, Germany and the UK have triggered a dispute mechanism over Iran's alleged breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iran has removed limits on its production of enriched uranium, which could be used in the production of a nuclear weapon. The dispute will be referred to a Joint Commission and could be referred to the UN Security Council. "The usage of the dispute mechanism is legally baseless and a strategic mistake from a political standpoint," said Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Hundreds gather in Tehran for anti-government protests

Hundreds of people gathered outside two universities in Tehran on Saturday night to protest against the Iranian regime. Police fired tear gas outside the Amirkabir University of Technology to disperse the crowds, who gathered to denounce the shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane. The government originally denied any involvement before subsequently admitted that a surface-to-air missile "unintentionally" hit flight PS752. The UK ambassador to Iran was also briefly detained while attending a vigil for the 176 people who died in the crash, which took place near the site of the protests. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the arrest was a "flagrant violation of international law."

Iran admits to shooting down Ukrainian airliner

Iranian officials have admitted to "unintentionally" shooting down the Ukraine International Airlines flight near Tehran. Flight PS752 came down shortly after it left Imam Khomeini International Airport on Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board. Iran previously denied any involvement in the crash and rejected allegations that a surface-to-air missile had been fired at the plane. Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a senior commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said the Boeing 737 had been mistaken for a cruise missile. "I take full responsibility and I will obey whatever decision is taken," said Hajizadeh.

Evidence that Ukrainian airlines flight was targeted by missile

Western leaders have suggested that there is evidence that the Ukrainian International Airlines plane that crashed after taking off from Tehran was targeted by a missile. All 176 people onboard flight PS752 died when the plane came down on Wednesday evening, shortly after Iran had fired multiple missiles at military bases in neighbouring Iraq. A video has emerged which appears to show a Russian-made Tor missile hitting the plane after it left Imam Khomeini International Airport. Iranian officials have denied the allegations and called on Boeing to send representatives to join the investigation.

Twenty killed in bus crash

At least 20 people have been killed and 24 others wounded in a bus crash. The vehicle was travelling from Tehran to Gonbad when it overturned. The ILNA news agency said a mechanical failure was the cause of the accident. Iran has an extremely high rate of traffic accidents, estimated to be 20 times the world's average.

Strong earthquake recorded near Bushehr nuclear plant

A 4.9-magnitude earthquake has been recorded near the Bushehr nuclear plant in southern Iran. The US Geological Survey said the quake hit 10km south-east of Borazjan at 02:20 UTC, followed by a 4.5-magnitude tremor. There was no immediate reports of any casualties.

Supreme leader threatens US with further attacks

Iran's supreme leader said his country has delivered a "slap in the face" to the US after a series of missiles were fired at military bases in Iraq which house US troops. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also threatened to carry out further attacks against US interests if the Americans responded. "They were slapped last night, but such military actions are not enough," said Khamenei. He also reiterated calls for an end to the US presence in the region.

Ukrainian passenger plane crashes after leaving Tehran

A Ukraine International Airlines flight has crashed shortly after taking off from Iran's Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran. More than 170 people were onboard flight PS752 when it came down at around 06:12 local time. There are no reported survivors and investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing. Ukraine's embassy in Tehran said engine failure appeared to have occurred after the flight took off. The incident happened shortly after Iran fired multiple rockets at military bases housing US troops in neighbouring Iraq, prompting speculation that Iranian air defence systems might have been involved in the crash. There were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three Germans and four UK nationals onboard the flight. Multiple airlines said they will be avoiding Iraqi and Iranian airspace until further notice, including KLM, Lufthansa and Air France.

Stampede during funeral for General Soleimani in Kerman

At least 50 people have been killed and dozens more wounded during a stampede at the funeral of General Qasem Soleimani in his hometown of Kerman. The streets were packed for Soleimani's burial at the Cemetery of the Martyrs, which is taking place later today. The former head of the elite Quds Force was killed in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on Friday, prompting anger and threats of retaliation from the Iranian regime.

Thousands gather to mourn commander killed in US strike

Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in Iran to mourn General Qassim Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike in Iraq. His body was flown to the south-western city of Ahvaz on Sunday morning along with five other Iranian officials and an Iraqi militia commander who also died in the strike. Soleimani's body was then transported to Mashhad for another funeral march later on Sunday. It will travel to Tehran and Qom on Monday before he is buried in his hometown of Kerman on Tuesday.

Thousands join anti-US rally in Tehran

Thousands of people have gathered in Tehran to protest against the US airstrike which killed General Qasem Soleimani. Iran's leaders have vowed "harsh revenge" over the killing of Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, in neighbouring Iraq. Crowds chanted "Death to America" during the rally, while other demonstrations are also being reported in Arak, Bojnourd, Hamedan, Hormozgan, Sanandaj, Semnan, Shiraz and Yazd. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has announced three days of national mourning, while Esmail Qaani has been named as Soleimani's successor.

US airstrike kills top Iranian commander in Iraq

The head of Iran's elite Quds Force has been killed in a US airstrike in Iraq. General Qasem Soleimani was targeted near Baghdad airport in the early hours of Friday morning. Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis also died in the strike, which was ordered by US President Donald Trump. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said "severe revenge awaits the criminals" and announced three days of national mourning, while the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said its forces will avenge Soleimani's death. The US State Department has warned of possible retaliation: "Due to heightened tensions in Iraq and the region, we urge US citizens to depart Iraq immediately."

Chinese-American national released in prisoner swap with US

A Chinese-American researcher has been released as part of a prisoner exchange with the US. An Iranian scientist was also freed as part of the deal, which was announced on Saturday. Xiyue Wang was detained in Iran after he was accused of "collaborating with foreign governments" in 2016. "Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly," said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Eight people arrested over alleged CIA links

The Iranian security forces have arrested eight people accused of having links to the CIA. "These elements had received CIA-funded training in various countries under the cover of becoming citizen-journalists," the intelligence services told the IRNA news agency. The arrests come as Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed that the anti-government protests in the country was part of a foreign conspiracy.

Footage reveals brutal crackdown against protesters

Video footage has emerged which appears to show police officers using violence during a crackdown on protesters. Images and videos have started reaching the outside world after internet access was partially restored in the country. Amnesty International said at least 143 protesters have been killed in Iran since 15 November, although Iranian officials have not released any figures. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier announced that the protests were a foreign-plot and part of a “very dangerous conspiracy.”

Internet access returning after protest shutdown

Internet is being restored in Tehran and several other provinces after a nationwide shutdown in response to anti-government protests. "The internet is being gradually restored in the country," reported the semi-official news agency Fars. Protests erupted after the government cut subsidies on fuel, prompting prices to rise by more than 50 percent.

UN fears dozens of deaths amid protests

The UN has issued a statement saying the organisation fears that dozens of people may have been killed amidst violent protests across Iran which broke out last Friday following fuel hikes. A UN spokesperson has urged the Iranian security forces not to use excessive force, including live ammunition, and have called for internet access to be restored. Meanwhile, Amnesty International estimates that at least 106 people have died and unofficial reports claim as many as 200 people have been killed and 3,000 others have been injured. The Iranian government has denounced protesters as 'rioters' and disputed death tolls, insisting only a few people have died. The near-total internet shutdown which was enforced on Saturday has made reporting out of the area extremely difficult, with the current situation still unclear.

Three Iranian security personnel killed by rioters

Three Iranian security personnel have allegedly been killed by rioters near Tehran. The victims were members of the Iranian security forces and were apparently stabbed to death on Monday by 'rioters' wielding knives and machetes in an ambush attack. According to reports, the deceased have been identified as two volunteer force soldiers serving in the Basij militia (22-year-old Majid Sheikhi and 33-year-old Mostafa Rezaie) and a commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Morteza Ebrahimi). The deaths raise the total number of people killed amid violent demonstrations across Iran to five. The violent civil unrest erupted nationwide last Friday after a surprise fuel price rise was announced.

Twelve killed in fuel price rises

At least 12 people have been killed since protests erupted over fuel price rises in Iran. The authorities have shutdown the internet across the country, while the government has said that the situation on Monday is calmer. Earlier President Hassan Rouhani warned that "anarchy and rioting" would not be tolerated and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said Iran's "sworn and evil enemies" were trying to "sow discord." Protests erupted on Friday after the government announced that the price of petrol would be increased by at least 50 percent.

Protests erupt over petrol price hikes

Protests have erupted across Iran in response to a rise in petrol prices. The government announced on Friday that it was rationing fuel and increasing prices by at least 50 percent. At least one person was killed when protesters clashed with police in the central city of Sirjan on Friday night. Major rallies have also been reported in Tehran, Kermanshah, Isfahan, Tabriz, Karadj, Shiraz, Yazd, Boushehr and Sari. The government said it was reducing fuel subsidies in order to provide extra financial support to low-income families.

Dozens killed in Iran bus crash

At least 28 Afghan nationals have been killed in a bus crash in south-east Iran. A further 21 people were wounded when two vans collided near the town of Khash in Sistan and Baluchistan province. State TV said a driver of one of the vehicles lost control when a tyre exploded, forcing it to careen into the path of the second van. People traffickers often transport Afghan migrants across the border into Iran.

Rouhani announces new oil find

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has announced the discovery of a new oil field.  In a speech in Yazd, Rouhani said the field in the south-western Khuzestan province contains around 53bn barrels of crude. The discovery could boost the country's proven reserves by around a third. Iran's has struggled to export oil since the US reimposed sanctions after President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran shoots down foreign drone

Iranian officials claim that its forces have shot down a drone belonging to a foreign country. The drone was targeted near the port city of Mahshahr on Friday morning. "The downed drone definitely belonged to a foreign country. Its wreckage has been recovered and is being investigated," said the governor of Iran's southern Khuzestan province, Gholamreza Shariati. The US Central Command released a statement denying any involvement.

Strong earthquake hits north-western Iran

At least five people have been killed and 120 others wounded after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake hit north-western Iran. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck 57km north-east of Hashtrud early on Friday. Mohammad Baqer Honar, crisis management chief of the province, told Press TV that rescue teams have been deployed to East Azerbaijan province. Several aftershocks have been reported in the area, with damage reported in Mianeh.

President Rouhani announces plans to inject gas into uranium centrifuges

Iran's President Rouhani has announced plans to inject gas into uranium centrifuges at its Fordow facility. Rouhani said the 1,044 machines at the plant will be injected with the uranium gas as of Wednesday. The move is a further breach of the 2015 nuclear deal and is seen as a response to the US decision to withdraw from the agreement and reinstate sanctions on Iran. "We know their sensitivity with regard to Fordow. With regard to these centrifuges, we know. But at the same time when they uphold their commitments we will cut off the gas again... So it is possible to reverse this step," Rouhani said.

Five killed in clashes between protesters and security forces

At least five fatalities have been reported amid violent clashes between anti-government protesters and the Iranian security forces in nationwide demonstrations over the weekend. According to reports, three of those who died were allegedly hit by tear gas canisters which were fired by security personnel in the capital Baghdad. Two others were also killed when protesters tried to storm an official's private residence in the city of Nasiriya. The violent unrest was triggered by a day of protests which left dozens dead on Friday. Protesters are allegedly demanding more jobs, better public services, and an end to corruption.

Thief punished with finger amputation

A thief in Iran has reportedly been punished with having his fingers amputated at a prison in the northern Mazandaran province. Amnesty International has condemned the Iranian authorities for cutting off the mans fingers, calling it "an abhorrent form of torture". According to Iran's penal code, a first account of theft is punishable by the amputation of four fingers on the right hand. Iranian officials claim the man was found guilty of 28 cases of theft and have defended amputation as the best way to deter thieves, despite criticism from international human rights groups, such as Amnesty. 

Iranian hacking group targeted by Russian rivals

A Russian hacking group has targeted a rival network in Iran, according to US and UK intelligence agencies. The Turla group piggybacked on the Iran-based OilRig to carry out attacks on more than 20 other targets. Officials at the UK's intelligence agency GCHQ said that state-backed hackers were developing new techniques to hide their identities and cover their tracks. “We want to send a clear message that even when cyber actors seek to mask their identity, our capabilities will ultimately identify them,” said GCHQ official Paul Chichester.

IRGC arrests exiled journalist

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) has arrested an exiled journalist who had been critical of Iranian officials. The IRGC said Ruhollah Zam, who had been living in Paris, was "guided into the country" before he was captured. Officers also shut down his channel on the Telegram app, which had over one million subscribers. The government accused the US, Israel and France of supporting Zam, who spread information about the nationwide protests which erupted in late 2017.

Iranian oil tanker hit by explosion off Jeddah

An Iranian oil tanker has been targeted in a suspected rocket attack off the Saudi port of Jeddah. The National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) said two blasts, which were "probably caused by missile strikes," hit the ship's hull around 05:30 local time. The blasts have caused oil to leak into the Red Sea, although there have been no reports of casualties. In September two Saudi oil installations were targeted in rocket attacks; the Houthi rebel group in Yemen claimed responsibility, however, Riyadh and Washington both blamed Tehran for the strikes.

China withdraws from $5bn oil deal

China has withdrawn from a $5bn deal to develop a section of Iran's offshore natural gas. Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said the  China National Petroleum Corp was "no longer in the project" for the South Pars field. The reason for CNPC's decision has not been revealed but over the weekend Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complained that US sanctions were damaging foreign investment in Iran. "We have been facing plenty of problems in the field of investment because of the US maximum pressure policy," said Zarif.

Plot to kill IRGC commander foiled

A plot to kill a commander in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been foiled, according to Iranian officials. Three people have been arrested in connection with the plot to target Major General Qassem Soleimani. Government officials said the suspects were linked to Israeli and Arab intelligence agencies. Hossein Taeb, IRGC's intelligence chief, said they planned to detonate explosives under a mosque in the city of Kerman.

Three convicted of spying for US government

Three people have been convicted of spying for the US government by a court in Iran. “One person has been sentenced to death for spying for America … but the ruling has been appealed,” said Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the Iranian judiciary. Two others, identified as Ali Nafriyeh and Mohammad Ali Babapour, have been jailed for 10 years, while a fourth suspect was sentenced for spying for the UK government.

British-flagged tanker released

The British-flagged tanker seized two months ago has been released. The Steno Impero has departed from the Bandar Abbas port, where it has been anchored since the troops from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) seized it in the Strait of Hormuz. Seven crew members were freed earlier this month but 16 others are still onboard the vessel.

Five killed in train derailment

At least five people have been killed and more than 80 others after a train derailed in south-east Iran. Rescue operations are underway and the wounded have been transferred to hospitals in the city of Zahedan. The train was travelling to the capital Tehran when the accident happened,

Saudis claim Iran behind oil attacks

The Saudi Arabian government claims that Iran was responsible for the attacks against two oil facilities over the weekend. Colonel Turki al-Malki said a total of 18 drones and seven missiles were launched, including what he called Iranian Delta Wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). "The attack was launched from the north and unquestionably sponsored by Iran," he told reporters. "We are working to know the exact launch point." Tehran has denied any involvement, while the Houthi rebel group in Yemen said it was behind the attacks. Following al-Malki's statement, the Houthis threatened to target sites in the UAE. "We announce ... we have dozens of targets in the UAE - among them Abu Dhabi and Dubai - and they can be targeted at any moment," said Yehia Sarea, a Houthi military spokesman.

IRGC seize another vessel near the Strait of Hormuz

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seized another vessel near the Strait of Hormuz. The ship was allegedly smuggling diesel fuel to the UAE when it was seized and all 11 crew members arrested. Iranian officials are still holding the British-flagged Steno Impero, which was detained in July in response the British seizure of an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar.

Australian citizens held in Iran identified

Two Australian citizens who are currently being held in Iran have been identified as Mark Firkin and Jolie King. The pair are thought to be bloggers and were allegedly detained around 10 weeks ago near Tehran. They had reportedly set off from Western Australia for a major trip across Asia to the UK and were documenting their travels through social media, often using aerial footage caught with drones. Few details about their arrest have been released; however, some news channels have reported that they were caught flying a drone without a permit. Australia has said it is trying to open a dialogue with Tehran over the matter. Ms King is also said to hold a British passport, making her the second British-Australian woman to be detained in Iran recently, after it emerged that another British-Australian woman (said to be a University lecturer) was allegedly tried on unknown charges and jailed for 10 years - a sentence typically handed out for spying charges.

Iranian tanker sells cargo after release

The Iranian tanker previously impounded in Gibraltar has sold its cargo despite threats from the US. Iranian officials said the Adrian Darya-1 had delivered its cargo after docking "on the Mediterranean coast." The US vowed on Sunday to impose sanctions on any country that purchased the oil, while satellite images appeared to show the vessel off the Syrian port of Tartus on Friday.

Tehran set to lift uranium limits

President Hassan Rouhani has said that Iran will lift all limits on nuclear research and development. The country breached its 300kg limit on low-enriched uranium in July, while Rouhani said more centrifuges will be developed to speed up the enrichment of uranium. "The Atomic Energy Organisation [of Iran] is ordered to immediately start whatever is needed in the field of research and development, and abandon all the commitments that were in place regarding research and development," said Rouhani on Wednesday.

Iran set to release crew of British-flagged tanker

Iran has said it will release seven of the 23 crew members of a British-flagged tanker seized in July. Officials said the five Indians, one Latvian and a Russian sailor will be freed on humanitarian grounds. "They have left the vessel and the final procedures are underway to send them back to their countries," said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi. The Stena Impero was seized in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July and taken to the port of Bandar Abbas.

Rouhani rules out bilateral talks with US

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ruled out the possibility of resuming bilateral talks with the US. Rouhani has stated that he will only consider re-opening a dialogue with the US if sanction are lifted. "There have been a lot of offers for talks but our answer will always be negative", said Rouhani to parliament on Tuesday. US President Donald Trump has said he's open to renegotiating the 2015 nuclear deal which he abandoned last year, reinstating sanctions.

US blacklists Iranian oil tanker

The US has reportedly blacklisted the Adrian Drya 1 (formerly known as the Grace 1), claiming the tanker is being used to ship oil to Syria. The vessel had been detained by the British authorities in Gibraltar in July but was released last month despite a last-minute attempt by the US to block the ship's release, which was granted on the condition that Iran gave assurances it would not discharge its cargo in Syria. It was last reported that the ship was bound for Turkey; however, US Secretary of State Mile Pompeo recently Tweeted that the US had "reliable information" that the ship was on course for the Syrian port city of Tartus.

Previously detained oil tanker en route to Turkey

The Iranian oil tanker which was previously detained in Gibraltar before being released earlier this month is said to be en route to Turkey. The Adrian Darya 1 (formerly known as the Grace 1) is currently travelling through the Mediterranean and is said to be on course for Iskenderun Port in Turkey. The ship was seized by the British authorities in July on suspicion of shipping oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions. The vessel has changed course a number of times throughout the last week and it remains unclear if Iskenderun Port will be the ship's final destination.

British-Iranian dual national convicted for spying

A British-Iranian dual national has been convicted on charges of spying in Iran. According to reports, Anousheh Ashorui has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly spying for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency. Ashouri was also handed a two-year term for illicitly acquiring money and fined £29,850. An Iranian citizen, Ali Johari, was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for supposedly passing information on to Mossad. The UK Foreign Office has been offering Ashouri's family consular support; however, Iran does not recognise dual nationality and denies consular access for foreign diplomats.

US President open to meeting Hassan Rouhani

US President Donald Trump has stated that he apparently open to meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani given the right circumstances. As the G7 summit came to a close, Trump said that the US isn't looking for a change in leadership in Iran and that he would be willing to meet Rouhani. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since last, after the US withdrew from a 2015 deal to limit Iran's nuclear activities. Trump expressed hope for the prospect of a new nuclear deal being struck with Iran, implying Iran would have to cooperate before he would agree to meeting though. Rouhani stated that he was prepared to meet with anyone if he felt it would benefit Iran.

US to sanction Iran tanker

The US has announced that it will sanction the Iranian oil tanker which was recently released from being held by the British authorities in Gibraltar. The Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, was released earlier this month despite efforts from the US to keep it detained. The ship is now said to be heading towards Greece in the Mediterranean, although Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis claimed it was not heading to his country. The sanctions enforced by the US aim to prevent the private sector from assisting the Adrian Darya. According to Reuters, a US officials stated that the US will act against anyone directly or indirectly helping the tanker. The ship was originally detained in Gibraltar on suspicion of violating international sanctions prohibiting trade with Syria, where it was thought to be transporting the oil to.

Gibraltar to release Iranian tanker

The government of Gibraltar has announced that the Iranian supertanker, the Grace 1, is to be released after being seized last month. The Grace 1 is carrying Iranian oil and was intercepted by the Royal Marines on 04 July after the government of Gibraltar suggested it was en route to Syria, sparking a diplomatic standoff with Iran. The US had submitted a last-minute request for the continued detention the Grace 1, which was considered in a court hearing in Gibraltar today. It had been implued by Gibraltar's attorney general that there was no further order for the vessels detention. It's hoped that releasing the Grace 1 could lead to the release of the Stena Impero - a British-flagged vessel seized by Iran in the Persian Gulf.

British-Iranian academic arrested in Iran

A British-Iranian academic has been arrested in the Iranian capital Tehran. Kameel Ahmady, a social anthropologist, was arrested at his home on Sunday, according to his family. He had been researching child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) and had lived in Iran for fifteen years. His arrest has not been confirmed by either the UK or Iranian officials.

IRGC seize another tanker in Gulf

Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has seized another tanker in the Gulf. The vessel, which was carrying 700,000 litres of fuel, was intercepted near Farsi Island on Sunday. "The IRGC's naval forces have seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel for some Arab countries," Ramezan Zirahi, an IRGC commander, told state TV. Last month the IRGC seized the Panama-flagged MT Riah and the UK-flagged Stena Impero amid increased regional tensions.

US introduces sanctions against foreign minister

The US government has introduced sanctions against Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. "Javad Zarif implements the reckless agenda of Iran's Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei)," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. Zarif responded on Twitter by claiming the sanctions would have no impact on him as he no interests outside of Iran. "Thank you for considering me such a huge threat to your agenda," he said. There have been increasing tensions between the two countries since the US withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal. 

BP-flagged tankers to avoid Strait of Hormuz

All BP-flagged oil tankers are to avoid the Strait of Hormuz amid heightened tensions between the UK and Iran. According to Reuters, the CFO of British Petroleum (BP), Brian Gilvary, announced that all BP-flagged tankers will be avoiding the strait due to the ongoing risk to shipping in the region. BP has instead chosen to use chartered tankers to transport oil through the strait, and has been doing so since a July 10 attempt by Iran to seize one of its vessels in the strait, when three Iranian vessels tried to block the path of a BP-operated tanker, but withdrew after warnings from a British warship. Tensions spiked this month when Iranian commandos seized a British-flagged tanker in the strait, just two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar, which was suspected of violating EU sanctions on Syria.

IRGC border guard killed in Kurdistan

A member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has been killed by gunmen in Kurdistan province. Seyyed Hadi Ojagh was targeted by "counter-revolutionary" elements in the city of Sarvabad. Several militants were also killed by the IRGC in the exchange, according to the Corp's press office.

Iran claims to have arrested CIA spies

Iran claims to have arrested people accused of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The 17 suspects all worked at sensitive sites, such as military and nuclear facilities. The intelligence ministry said several of the alleged spies have been sentenced to death. US President Donald Trump dismissed the reports as "totally false" in a tweet. "Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do," said Trump.

Iran seizes British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seized a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23, was heading for Saudi Arabia when the vessel's owners lost contact with it. The UK Foreign Office said it was looking at the incident urgently, while the British government has called a meeting of its emergency Cobra committee. Iran had previously warned that it would target UK tankers after the British Navy seized an Iranian vessel in Gibraltar. There are also reports that another British-owned tanker - the MV Mesdar - has changed course and is heading towards Iran.

US shoots down Iranian drone, Strait of Hormuz

The US Navy has shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. President Donalud Trump said USS Boxer "took defensive action" when the drone came within 914m of the vessel. "This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests," said Trump in a statement. Iran has not commented on the reports.

Iran seizes oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has seized a foreign oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian state TV said the IRGC intercepted the vessel, which hasn't been identified, near Larak Island. "The vessel that Iran towed to its waters after receiving a distress call, was later seized with the order from the court as we found out that it was smuggling fuel.” said officials in a statement. US officials suggest that the vessel was the Panama-flagged MT Riah, which stopped transmitting its location at the weekend.

Two killed by roadside bomb, Kirkuk

Two people were killed by a roadside bomb in Kirkuk governorate on Wednesday. The victims were riding on a motorcycle when the device exploded near the March 1 Bridge in southern Kirkuk. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bears the hallmark of the Islamic State (IS).

Iranian vessels attempt to intercept UK tanker

Three Iranian boats have attempted to intercept a British oil tanker near the entrance to the Strait of Hormuz. They were repelled by HMS Montrose, a Royal Navy frigate which was escorting the British Heritage tanker. No shots were fired during the incident, while the UK Ministry of Defence said the Iranian's actions were "contrary to international law." Officials in Tehran have previously threatened to seize British tankers after one of its vessels was detained in Gibraltar for transporting oil to Syria in breach of international sanctions.

US plans military coalition for Gulf waters

The US military has announced plans to form an international coalition to protect waters in the Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden. Gen Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said discussions were ongoing with several countries to ensure "freedom of navigation" for international shipping. The move comes after several attacks were targeted in the region by alleged Iranian naval personnel. Iran has also threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz if the US prevents Tehran from exporting oil.

Dozens wounded in 5.7-magnitude earthquake

Dozens of people have been founded after a 5.7-magnitude earthquake struck near the border with Iraq. One person died of a heart attack, which Iran’s relief and rescue organisation, Morteza Salimi, blamed on the quake. The epicentre of the quake was in the Masjed Soleiman area of Khuzestan province on Monday.

Iran vows to breach uranium

Iran has vowed to breach the limit set on uranium enrichment agreed in the 2015 nuclear deal. Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said European signatories to the deal had failed to live up to their commitments. In response to the statement, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it would lead to further sanctions against Tehran. "Nations should restore the longstanding standard of no enrichment for Iran’s nuclear program. Iran’s regime, armed with nuclear weapons, would pose an even greater danger to the world," said Pompeo on Twitter.

Iran demands UK release of oil tanker

Iran has summoned the UK ambassador in protest at the "illegal" seizure of an oil tanker in Gibraltar. Mohsen Rezai, a senior commander in Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), said Iran would seize a UK tanker in retaliation. The Grace 1 was boarded and seized on Thursday on suspicion that it was heading to Syria, in breach of international sanctions.

Iran breaches uranium limit

Iran has breached the limit on its stockpile of low-enriched uranium, violating the 2015 nuclear deal agreed with world powers. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that the 300kg cap had been exceeded, while Iran has threatened to enrich uranium even further. "Our next step will be enriching uranium beyond the 3.67% allowed under the deal," said Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. "The Europeans have failed to fulfil their promises of protecting Iran's interests under the deal." US President Donald Trump warned that the country was "playing with fire," while European powers have called for Iran to reverse the decision.

Tehran says US sanctions end hope of diplomacy

Iran has warned that additional US sanctions have ended the possibility of a diplomatic solution to the current crisis. "Imposing useless sanctions on Iran's Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the commander of Iran's diplomacy Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif) is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy," Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said. US President Trump signed an order introducing "heavy-hitting" sanctions against Iran's supreme leader and other officials. The tensions between the two countries were exacerbated when a US surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missiles.

Commercial airlines to avoid Iranian airspace

Several commercial airlines have said that they are re-routing flights to avoid Iranian airspace. United Airlines, Emirates and British Airways are among the airlines which said they will cancel or change routes after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency order prohibiting US airlines from flying over the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The warning came after the Iranian military shot down a US surveillance drone.

US targets Iranian air defence systems in cyberattack

The US military has targeted Iranian air defence systems in a cyber attack. American officials told the Associated Press that President Donald Trump authorised the attack after a US surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian missiles, while the White House has also vowed to increase the economic pressure on Tehran. "We are putting additional sanctions on Iran," Trump told reporters. "In some cases, we are going slowly, but in other cases, we are moving rapidly."

Qantas suspends flight routes over Strait of Hormuz

Australian airline Qantas has suspended flight routes over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman due to increased political and security risk in the region. The change in policy will impact flights between Australia and London, which will be rerouted. The decision to reroute flights was prompted by heightened military tensions in the Strait after an unmanned US Navy drone was shot down in the area on Thursday. According to the BBC, the drone was shot down by the Iranian forces, which claimed the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, although the US insists the drone was over international waters. The incident came after the US accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with mines in the Strait last week.

IRGC shoots down US drone

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has shot down a US drone after it entered Iranian territory. Tehran claimed they used a surface-to-air missile to target the Global Hawk surveillance drone in the southern province of Hormozgan. US officials confirmed that the drone was shot down but claimed the incident occurred while it was in international airspace. Washington officials also said that the drone was a US Navy MQ-4C Triton.

US sends more troops to Middle East after tanker attacks

The US army is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid increasing tensions with Iran. Washington and its Gulf allies Saudi Arabia have both accused Iran of carrying out attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. The situation was exacerbated on Monday when Iran said it will breach the limit on its stockpile of enriched uranium that was agreed in the 2015 nuclear deal. "This is a pattern of 40 years of behaviour, it's consistent with how the Iranian regime behaves," US state department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.

MBS claims Iran behind tanker attacks

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has accused of Iran of carrying out the attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week. "We do not want a war in the region... But we won't hesitate to deal with any threat to our people, our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our vital interests," MBS told reporters on Sunday. The Crown Prince also claimed Tehran was behind the previous attacks on four tankers off the UAE. On Friday the US released a video which they claim showed Iranian patrol boats removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers.

US claims Iran behind tanker attacks

US officials claim to have evidence that Iran was behind the attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. "At 4:10pm local time an IRGC Gashti Class patrol boat approached the M/T Kokuka Courageous and was observed and recorded removing the unexploded limpet mine from the M/T Kokuka Courageous," Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US military's Central Command, said in a statement. Iran said it "categorically" rejected the allegations, as it did when the US accused Tehran of targeting four tankers off the UAE last month.

Nationwide protests take place for Quds Day

Nationwide protests are taking place for Quds Day (aka Jerusalem Day). Thousands are expected to rally across major towns and cities on Friday to take part in the annual demonstrations in support of the Palestine. The protests come in the context of heightened tensions between Iran and the US over the deployment of American troops to the region. The protests are expected to cause significant disruption and travel delays should be anticipated and large crowds avoided - particularly in the capital Tehran.

British national jailed on spying charges

A British woman has been jailed for 10 years on spying charges. Relatives named the woman as Aras Amiri, who worked as a member of the British Council. Iranian officials alleged that Amiri confessed to "co-operating" with UK intelligence when she was detained in March 2018. "The person travelled to the country [Iran] using a false name in order to implement design, plan and lead various projects regarding the implementation of the cultural objectives of the old colonialism [UK] inside Islamic Iran," said Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili.

Tehran threatens to resume uranium enrichment

Iran has threatened to resume high-level enrichment of uranium if the other signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal do not keep their promises. President Hassan Rouhani said France, Germany, China, Russia and the UK had 60 days to protect the oil and banking sectors from US sanctions. "The decision of the high-security council to 'stop acting on some of the Islamic Republic of Iran's commitments under the JCPOA [nuclear deal]' was communicated to the heads of state of the countries," said Iran's foreign ministry in a statement. The US withdrew from the accord last year and restored sanctions against Tehran.

Female boxer wanted for arrest for violating dress code

A female Iranian boxer, Sadaf Khadem, has reportedly cancelled her return home to Iran after a warrant was issued for her arrest. Khadem planned to fly back to Tehran after competing in France over the weekend. Although no official reason has been given for the arrest warrant, Khadem stated that she believes she has been accused of violating Iran's compulsory dress code by competing in a vest and shorts. Under Iranian law, sportswomen are required to cover their hair, neck, arms, and legs when competing. According to the BBC, Iranian officials have not released a statement yet; however, the head of Iran's boxing federation denied that she would be arrested if she returned.

Earthquake hits Kermanshah

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake has occurred, hitting the Kermanshah province in Iran. The earthquake reportedly occurred on Monday, near the Iranian-Iraqi border. Preliminary reports indicate the earthquake also affecting the adjacent Diyala province in neighbouring Iraq. At least 23 casualties have been reported as a result of the earthquake, all of whom were injured on the Iranian side of the border.

Protests reported in Khuzestan

Protests have taken place in the Khuzestan province over the weekend, where residents of Ahvaz have rallied together to demonstrate against the government's alleged ineffectiveness in delivering aid to flood victims. A severe widespread flood have been affecting parts of the country since last month, with recent reports indicating the flood is set to cost the Iranian government more than $2bn. On Sunday the death toll for the floods climbed to 76 confirmed fatalities. Ahvaz was ordered to evacuate last week due to continued flooding concerns.

US designates IRGC as terrorist organisation

The US has designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) as a foreign terrorist organisation. This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognises the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances, and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft," said President Donald Trump in a statement on Monday. In response, Iran's national security council declared US Central Command (Centcom) a terrorist organisation.

More evacuation orders issued due to flooding

More towns and villages have been evacuated in southern Iran due to further flooding in the region. At least 70 people have been killed since torrential rain caused flooding in March. The Chazabeh border crossing with Iraq was closed on Iraq due to rising water levels in the Karkeh River. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said flooding might affect about 400,000 people in Khuzestan, while thousands have also been displaced in Lorestan province.

Iranian airline to launch direct flights to Venezuela

Iran's Mahan Air is planning to launch a direct flight service from Tehran to Caracas, Venezuela. A spokesman to the Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation, Reza Jafarzadeh, said that the first flight to Caracas took place on Monday and transported a foreign ministry delegation. Negotiations to maintain a regular flight schedule are ongoing. When fully implemented, the non-stop flight between both countries will take 16 hours. Mahan Air has been previously slapped with US sanctions for alleged links to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard of Iran (IRGC). Iran is among the countries that continue to support the government of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro.

Villages evacuated over flood risk

More than 70 villages have been evacuated in the Khuzestan province due to the risk of flooding. The state-run IRNA news agency said heavy rain had raised water levels in the Dez and Kharkheh rivers. Dozens of people have been killed in flooding across the country in recent weeks. On Monday Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif blamed sanctions imposed last year  US for hampering the rescue operations in Iran.

Flash floods kill 17 in Iran

At least 17 people have been killed and more than 70 others wounded after flash flooding hit southern Iran. Torrential rain hit the city of Shiraz on Monday, while the provinces of Fars, Kurdistan, Qom and Isfahan are on flood alert. Last week five people were killed in flooding in the northern provinces of Golestan and Mazandaran.

Rights lawyer jailed for 38 years

A prominent human rights lawyer has been jailed for 38 years and given 148 lashes. Nasrin Sotoudeh was found guilty on several security-related offences. She was arrested last June after she represented women detained for appearing in public without wearing a hijab. Rights groups including Amnesty International have condemned the sentencing.

Navy thwarts piracy attack in Bab el-Mandeb Strait

The Iranian navy has thwarted a piracy attack in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. Iranian state media said pirates in 11 skiffs targeted an oil tanker on Thursday. Attacks on vessels in the region have fallen dramatically since 2011 when more than 200 incidents were reported.

Eight killed in highway bus crash

Eight people have been killed and at least 36 others have been wounded after a bus crashed whilst travelling along a main highway. The crash occurred along the Qom-Tehran highway on Friday morning. Accident reports indicate the bus driver fell asleep at wheel, losing control of the fast-moving vehicle and causing it to overturn.

Foreign minister announces shock resignation

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif offered his resignation on Monday. "I am apologising you for all the shortcomings ... in the past years during my time as foreign minister ... I thank the Iranian nation and officials," said Zarif on social media. President Rouhani has not yet accepted the minister's resignation. In an interview on Tuesday, Zarif said fighting over Iran's foreign policy had become a "deadly poison."

IRGC members killed in suicide bomb attack

At least 27 members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have been killed in a suicide bomb attack near the border with Pakistan. The incident occurred on the main road linking Zahedan and Khash in the south-east of the country. Thirteen other guards were wounded in the blast. The Jaish al-Adl armed group claimed responsibility for the attack, according to local media.

Thousands mark 40th anniversary of Islamic revolution

Iranians have taken to the street to mark the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution. President Hassan Rouhani addressed crowds at Freedom Square in Tehran on Monday, during which he condemned the country's enemies. "The presence of people today on the streets all over Islamic Iran ... means that the enemy will never reach its evil objectives," said Rouhani. "We have not asked, and will never ask for permission in developing our missile arsenal as we continue to pursue our path to military might." The statement comes after the US reintroduced sanctions against Iran, which have coincided a deterioration in the economy.

One killed in south-eastern Iran

A member of the Revolutionary Guards has been killed and five others wounded in an attack in Sistan-Baluchistan province. Gunmen targeted a base from the Basij militia in the town of Nikshahr on Saturday. The jihadist Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) claimed responsibility for the attack on social media. The group carried out another attack last week

Three police wounded in Zahedan bombing

At least three police officers have been wounded in a bombing in the south-eastern city of Zahedan. Two devices, reported to be percussion grenades, exploded in the city on Tuesday. Last month a suicide car bomb struck in the nearby city of Chabahar, killing two police officers and wounding 42 others.

Fifteen killed in cargo plane crash

At least 15 people have been killed after a cargo plane crashed near the capital, Tehran. The Boeing 707 hit a wall while trying to land in bad weather at Fath airport. A flight engineer survived and was taken to hospital for treatment, the army said in a statement.

US national detained in Iran

A US citizen has been detained in Iran, according to the country's foreign ministry. Michael R White, a former member of the US Navy, is being held in a prison on unknown charges. He went missing in the north-eastern city of Mashhad in July. In a statement, the US Department of State said: "We have no higher priority than the safety and security of US citizens abroad."

Steel mill workers detained after protests

An unconfirmed number of steel mill workers have been detained after weeks of protests over pay and conditions. The workers were detained in the south-western city of Ahvaz, although the state-owned National Iranian Steel Group said they were "summoned." The steel mill was returned to state ownership in 2016, but the restoration of US sanctions have coincided with a worsening economic crisis in the country. Last month workers at a sugar cane mill were also arrested for protesting at the non-payment of their salaries.

Activist dies on hunger strike in prison

A political activist has died after spending 60 days on hunger strike in a prison in Iran. Vahid Sayadi Nasiri was jailed after he was found guilty of insulting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was released in March but re-arrested on the same charges in August and sent to the Qom prison. The US State Department has condemned Tehran for the "unconscionable"  death of Nasiri, stating that he had "no access to legal counsel", and "was held in inhumane conditions."

Three killed in suicide bomb attack, Chabahar

At least three people have been killed and several others wounded in a car bomb attack in the port city of Chabahar. The assailant detonated the device near a police post on Thursday morning. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. In 2010 the Sunni group Jundallah killed more than 40 people in a suicide attack at a mosque in the city.

Soldier killed in attack near Pakistan border

An Iranian soldier has been killed in an attack by unknown assailants near the border with Pakistan. The incident occurred in the Miraveh area of Sistan and Balochistan province on Wednesday. The Iranian government has not commented on the attack.

Hundreds wounded in Iran earthquake

At least 700 people have been injured after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck western Iran. The quake was recorded at a depth of 10km near Sarpol-e-Zahab in the Kermanshah province. The majority of the injuries were minor, according to officials, with around 30 people requiring hospital treatment. Last year more than 600 people were killed in an earthquake in Kermanshah. 

Five kidnapped border guards freed in Pakistan

Five border guards kidnapped by militants near the Loukdan crossing in Sistan and Baluchistan province in October have been freed. The group were released in Pakistan and handed over to government officials. Seven other guards seized in the same incident are still reportedly being held by the militants.

Iran executes currency trader

Iran has executed a currency trader, Vahid Mazloumin, after he was found guilty of "spreading corruption on earth." Officials said Mazloumin and his associates had amassed around two tonnes of gold in the country. The Iranian rial has fallen around 70 percent against the US dollars following the latest round of US sanctions, pushing up demand for gold.

US reimposes sanctions on Iran

The US has fully restored its economic sanctions against Iran after withdrawing from the nuclear accord. More than 700 individuals, entities, vessels and aircraft are now on the sanctions list, including banks, oil and shipping companies. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the aim was to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero, while President Donald Trump said he wants to get Iran back to the negotiating table. "Trump's administration is addicted to imposing sanctions ... America's economic pressure on Iran is futile and part of its psychological war against Tehran," said Iran's foreign ministry in a statement.

Fourteen Iranian border guards kidnapped

Fourteen Iranian border security personnel have reportedly been kidnapped by suspected militants along the Iran-Pakistan border. The abduction occurred in the Lulakdan border area in Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran. According to Reuters, some of the 14 who were kidnapped are thought to be members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The kidnappers are believed to be members of a terrorist group, although no claim of responsibility has been made thus far. While militant groups regularly carry out attacks in Pakistan's bordering Balochistan province, armed Sunni Muslim separatist groups have increasingly targeted the security forces in eastern Iran throughout the last few months, and are likely to be behind the kidnap.

Four killed by flooding in northern Iran

At least four people have been killed by flooding in northern Iran. Heavy rain has been reported across the Mazandaran, Gilan, Ardabil and West Azerbaijan provinces since Friday. Rescue teams were dispatched to rescue people caught in flood waters, while several bridges and houses have been destroyed.

Dozens killed by bootleg alcohol

At least 42 people have been killed by contaminated bootleg alcohol in Iran. A spokesman for the health ministry said 16 had gone blind and 170 had undergone dialysis after drinking the alcohol. Last week a couple was arrested for producing home-made alcohol in the southern city of Bandar Abbas. Alcohol is banned in the country but people often make homebrews using ethanol or toxic methanol.

Iran fires missiles into eastern Syria

Iran has fired missiles into eastern Syria in response to the recent attack on a military parade. In a statement, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) said: "Our iron fist is prepared to deliver a decisive and crushing response to any wickedness and mischief of the enemies." The strikes targeted "takfiri terrorists" near the city of Al-Bukamal early on Monday morning. Both the Ahvaz National Resistance and Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack in Ahvaz last week that killed 24 people.

Israel accuses Iran of hiding nuclear storage facilities

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of hiding a nuclear storage facility in Tehran. Netanyahu made the allegations during an address at the UN General Assembly on Thursday. He also criticised the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for failing to interrogate Iran about their nuclear ambitions. Iran's foreign minister dismissed the claims at an "arts and craft show" and said the IAEA had consistently verified Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

Police arrest 22 over Ahvaz attack

Iranian police have arrested 22 people in connection with the attack on a military parade in Ahvaz. Gunmen killed 24 people in a targeted attack against members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IGRC) on Saturday. Both the Ahvaz National Resistance group and Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, while the Iranian government accused the US and their Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE of orchestrating it. Weapons and communication equipment were also seized during the arrests, according to the Tasnim news agency.

Revolutionary Guard vows to avenge Ahvaz attack

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has vowed to avenge the attack on a military parade in Ahvaz on Saturday, during which 25 people were killed and 70 others wounded. The IRGC said the people behind the attack will face a "deadly and unforgiving revenge in the near future". After the shooting Iranian officials blamed the US and their allies in the Gulf (Saudi Arabia and UAE) for the attack, which was claimed by the al-Ahvaziya group.

Gunmen open fire on military parade, Ahvaz

Gunmen have opened fire on a military parade in Ahvaz, killing at least 24 people and wounding 50 others. The assailants, who were dressed in military uniforms, opened fire from a nearby park. The Ahvaz National Resistance group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which the government blamed on "terrorists paid by a foreign regime".

UK FCO issues warning to dual nationals

The UK FCO has warned all British-Iranian dual nationals against all but essential travel to Iran. "The Iranian authorities don’t recognise dual nationality for Iranian citizens and therefore don’t grant consular access for FCO officials to visit them in detention. If you’re a British-Iranian dual national and are subsequently detained in Iran, the FCO’s ability to provide consular support is extremely limited," said the FCO in an updated advisory. Several dual national citizens have been arrested in Iran, including charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe who was jailed for five years in 2016 on charges of spying.

Twenty killed in Isfahan road accident

At least 20 people have been killed in a road traffic accident in the central Isfahan province. A passenger bus collided with a trailer transporting flammable materials on Monday evening, although the cause of the accident has not yet been confirmed.

IRGC target Kurdish rebels in Iraq

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has carried out missile attacks against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq. At least 11 people have been killed and 50 others wounded after rockets targeted the offices of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI) in the town of Koya on Saturday. Earlier this month the IRGC killed a group of Kurdish fighters along the border with Iraq.

Large anti-Iraq protest held in Abadan

A large anti-Iraq protest was held in the southern city of Abadan on Thursday night. “The demonstrators were protesting the influx of Iraqis from the southern provinces looking to buy Iranian goods following the collapse of the Iranian currency,” according to the Khuzestan TV channel. Iran's currency has weakened significantly in recent months, partly due to the re-imposition of economic sanctions by the US.

Intelligence chief claims Israeli spy

Iran's intelligence minister has suggested that his country has a spy in Israel. Mahmoud Alavi claimed his agency had a “member of the Cabinet of a hostile country” during an interview on state TV. Israel imprisoned former government minister Gonen Segev in June for “committing offenses of assisting the enemy in war and spying against the state of Israel.”

President Rohani grilled in parliament over economic woes

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has been questioned in parliament over the country's poor economic performance. Rouhani was grilled by MPs for the first time during his presidency to demand explanations for rising unemployment and high food prices. The lawmakers were dissatisfied with several of the reasons Rouhani provided and the issue will be referred to the judiciary for review.

Two killed in Kermanshah earthquake

Two people have been killed and 240 others wounded after a 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck the western Kermanshah province. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at a depth of 10km, with the border town of Tazehabad the worst affected. The earthquake hit near the site of a 7.3-magnitude quake which killed more than 600 people last November.

BA and Air France halt Iran flights

British Airways and Air France have both announced plans to stop direct flights to Iran next month. The airlines both claimed that the route was no longer commercially viable following the reintroduction of US sanctions, which has caused a drop in the value of Iran's currency. The final BA flights will be on 22 September, with Air France ending flights from 18 September.

Moderate earthquake hits Kerman province

A 4.3-magnitude earthquake has been reported in the south-eastern Kerman province of Iran. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at a depth of 10km around 50km south of Gerash. No injuries have been reported.

Police officer shot dead in Kermanshah

An Iranian police officer has been shot dead by unknown gunmen in the western Kermanshah province. Major Hassan Maleki was targeted in the city of Ravansar on Tuesday night. An investigation is underway to track down the assailant.

IRG kill militants near Iraq border

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have killed 10 militants during a security operation near the Iraq border. "A well-equipped terrorist group ... intending to infiltrate the country from the border area of Oshnavieh to foment insecurity and carry out acts of sabotage was ambushed and at least 10 terrorists were killed in a heavy clash," the Revolutionary Guards said in a statement carried by IRNA. The identity of the group was not confirmed.

Explosion reported in Saravan

An explosion has been reported in the Sistan and Baluchistan province, where a number of buildings and vehicles have been damaged in the blast. According to reports, the explosion occurred outside a hospital in Saravan. No casualties have been reported and it remains unclear what caused the blast. The security forces have responded to the incident and suspect 'counter-revolutionary' actors may be behind the blast.

Central bank official arrested in Iran

A foreign exchange official from Iran's central bank has been arrested, Ahmad Araghchi, a vice-governor at the bank, was detained along with several other bank workers on Monday. He was fired over the weekend over his handling of the currency crisis, with Iran's rial losing half of its value since April. The news comes amid the reintroduction of US sanctions on Iran, which will include a ban on oil exports in November.

Protests erupt over economic struggles

Protests have erupted in several cities across Iran over the weakening currency and struggling economy. The unrest started on Tuesday night and led to some clashes with the security forces. Troops fired tear gas at protesters in Shiraz, leaving several people needing medical treatment. Other rallies have been reported in Sari, Ahavz and Mashhad.

Earthquake jolts Kerman province

A powerful 5.8-magnitude earthquake has reportedly struck in the Kerman province. The earthquake occurred on Monday in the Sirch area of Kerman, at a shallow depth of just 10km. The earthquake was felt through a widespread area and as many as 79 deaths have been reported, while a further 290 have reportedly been injured. Significant damage has also been caused to various buildings and infrastructure as a result of the earthquake.

Ten soldiers killed in border post attack

At least 10 Iranian soldiers have reportedly been killed in a suspected terrorist attack on a border security post in western Iran. The attack allegedly occurred over the weekend, at a border post with a weapons depot. No claim of responsibility has been made for the attack, which most likely occurred along the country's border with Iraq.

Explosion reported at Khomein oil storage facility

A large explosion has been reported at an oil storage facility in the Khomein area. According to reports, the blast has killed at least two people, while another person has been wounded. A fire broke out following the explosion, which the fire service have responded to. It remains unclear what may have caused the explosion as investigations go forward.

Three killed in Duran vehicular incident

At least three foreign nationals have been killed and two others have been wounded following a vehicular incident in Duran city of the Khuzestan province. According to local reports, the casualties have been identified as Iraqi nationals. It's believed an Iranian citizen rammed the group of five Iraqi citizens with a privately owned car. Further information is yet to be released as police investigations into the incident are launched.

Four terror suspects arrested in Zanjan

Four suspected terrorists have been arrested by the Iranian security forces in Zanjan. The intelligence-led operation targeted a suspected Islamic State (IS) cell believed to be operating in the area. According to reports, the suspects are thought to have links to the IS and were allegedly planning to carry out violent terrorist attacks in Iran. 

Bus and oil tanker crash in Kurdistan, 27 dead

At least 27 people have been killed after a bus and an oil tanker collided on Wednesday morning. The accident happened in the city of Sanandaj in the north-western Kurdistan province. Police said the tanker's breaks failed, causing it to crash into the bus, after which both vehicles went up in flames.

Eight IS members executed over 2017 attack

Eight men have been executed in Iran after they were convicted of belonging to the Islamic State (IS) and carrying out the deadly terror attack in Tehran in 2017. Authorities said the executions were carried out on Saturday morning but did not confirm where it took place. At least 18 people died and more than 50 others died when IS targeted the parliament and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s mausoleum, the first major attack by the group inside Iran.

Police clash with anti-government protesters in Khuzestan

Iranian police have clashed with anti-government protesters in the south-eastern region of Khuzestan. At least 11 people were wounded when unknown men fired live rounds during a rally in the city of Abadan. People have been protesting over a lack of clean drinking water in the region.

Pakistan ambassador summoned over border attack

Pakistan's ambassador to Iran, Asif Ali Khan Durrani, has been summoned by the Iranian authorities over a recent border attack. It's alleged that a group of armed militants attacked the Iranian border security guards from the Pakistani side of the border, killing at least three guards and wounding eight others. Iran has allegedly issued an official complaint, sparking a bilateral meeting in Pakistan next week to review border security measures.

Mass protests hit Iran

Thousands of people have taken to the streets of Iran's capital, Tehran, in the largest protests in the country since 2012. Riot police fired tear gas as the crowds headed to parliament after people massed in the historic Grand Bazaar earlier on Monday. Much of the public unrest has been sparked by Iran's struggling economy, which led to a wave of mass protests at the turn of the year.

Two border guards killed in south-east

Two Iranian border guards have been killed in an attack in the south-eastern province of Sistan and Balochistan. Warrant officer Mohsen Sharaki and soldier Jalal Behboudi died during clashes with smugglers on Wednesday evening. Two smugglers were killed and three other guards wounded during the exchange, while more than 1,000kgs of narcotics were seized.

Man hanged over bus-ramming incident

A man has been hanged over a bus-ramming incident which left three police officers and two members of the security forces dead in February. Mohammed Salas was hanged at a "correction facility" in Tehran on Monday. He was part of the Gonabadi Dervish Sufi order that held protests over the arrest of their leader, Noor Ali Tabandeh. In a statement on Monday, Amnesty International said it was "shocked and saddened" at the news of Salas' execution. 

Strong winds injure 18 in Tehran

At least 18 people were wounded by strong winds in southern and eastern districts of Tehran on Monday. The city's Emergency Centre said winds above 80kmp/h knocked down trees and power lines, while lighting set fire to wheat fields in the Varamin district. A similar storm at the end of May killed one person and wounded more than 70 others.

Two guards killed near Iraq border

Two border guards have been killed in clashes in north-eastern Iran. Unknown gunmen opened fire on the border post near the city of Sardasht in West Azerbaijan province.  General Qassem Rezaei said the assailants fled back to Iraq following the exchange.

Dozens wounded in Tehran storm

At least one person has been killed and dozens more wounded after a storm swept through the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Wednesday evening. The fatality occurred when strong winds forced a building to collapse in the south of the city. Flights were also briefly grounded at the Imam Khomeini and Mehrabad airports.

Eleven killed by mushroom poisoning

Eleven people have been killed and more than 800 others poisoned after eating toxic mushrooms in Iran. The deadly fungi grow in the mountainous regions of western Iran in late-Spring and are sold at local street markets. There is no known treatment for this type of poisoning, according to local health officials.

US warns of strong sanctions against Iran

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned that the White House is preparing to impose the "strongest sanctions in history" against Iran. Pompeo said Iran would be "battling to keep its economy alive" when the new sanctions are implemented. "We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them," Pompeo said in a speech in Washington. "Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East." Earlier this month President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, although the other signatories have vowed to uphold it.

Security forces arrest teachers during protest

Iran's security forces have arrested at least six people during a teachers' protest in the capital, Tehran. Several others were assaulted when police moved in to break up the protest on Thursday. The Coordinating Council of Iranian Teacher Trade Associations organised the strike action to call for increases in salaries and greater investment in the education system.

US withdraws from Iran nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump said he is withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear deal. In a statement, Trump said the deal was "defective at its core," and vowed to reintroduce sanctions. The other signatories to the 2015 agreement - France, China, Russia, Germany and the UK - said they remained committed to it and expressed disappointment at Trump's decision. However, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he fully supported the US, days after he claimed Iran had lied about its nuclear intentions.

Dozens injured in Iran quake

At least 82 people have been injured after a 5.1-magnitude earthquake hit south-western Iran. The quake struck in the Chitab region in the Kohkiloyeh-Boyer province on Monday morning. Around 70 of the victims were treated at the scene, while the others were transported to hospital. Last week a 5.3-magnitude quake struck near the town of Sisakht.

Earthquake hits southern Iran

At least 31 people have been wounded after a 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the southern town of Sisakht. The quake struck at a depth of 10km on Wednesday morning and caused damage to buildings in the area. Last November a 7.3-magnitude earthquake killed more than 400 people near the western border with Iraq.

Six arrested at Labour Day protests

Six people have been arrested at a protest for International Labour Day. Hundreds of people defied a ban to gather in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Tuesday. The arrests took place outside the country's parliament building.

Israel accuses Iran of secret nuclear programme

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of running a secret nuclear weapons programme. During a televised address, Netanyahu said his intelligence agency obtained thousands of "secret nuclear files" which he claims contain proof that Iran lied about its programme before the nuclear deal was signed in 2015. Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the move was a stunt aimed at forcing US President Donald Trump to cancel the agreement later this month.

Three troops killed at Pakistan border

Three members of the Iranian security forces have been killed by militants at the eastern border with Pakistan. A police officer died in an ambush at a border post in Mirjaveh in Sistan-Baluchistan, while two soldiers died when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED). The Revolutionary Guards said the assailants were later killed by the security forces.

Three Iranian security personnel killed in cross-border attack

Three Iranian security personnel have reportedly been killed in a cross-border attack in the Sistan-Baluchestan province. Reuters has reported that an Iranian police officer was killed in a militant ambush on a border post near the city of Mirjaveh, while two Iranian soldiers were killed when their vehicle hit an improvised explosive device (IED).

Iranian networks targeted in cyber attack

Multiple networks in Iran were targeted in a cyber attack over the weekend. Iran's IT ministry said the assailants left a message with a US flag on screens with text which read: "Don't mess with our elections." Hadi Sajadi, deputy head of the state-run Information Technology Organisation of Iran, said no data was lost. Thousands of devices across the world were affected by the attack, including 55,000 in the US and more than 14,000 in China. 

Earthquake hits near Esfarayen

A 4.5-magnitude earthquake has struck near the town of Esfarayen in North Khorasan province. The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at a depth of 10km on Wednesday morning. No injuries or damage has been reported in the area.

Turkish plane crashes in Iran

A Turkish plane carrying 11 people has crashed in western Iran. The private jet was carrying three crew and eight passengers when it came down near the city of Shahr-e-Kord. The plane was reportedly owned by Turkish business tycoon Huseyin Basaran and was carrying his daughter and her friends from Dubai when it came down. The cause of the crash is being investigated. 

Three police officers die in clashes

Three police officers have been killed in clashes in northern Tehran. A protest was being conducted in the area by members of the Dervish minority - a Sufi Muslim religious community. The clashes broke out when the protest became violent and a police officer was hit and killed by a bus. According to the BBC, nine Dervish protesters and the bus driver have been arrested following the incident.

Commercial plane crashes in Zagros mountains

A commercial plane carrying over 60 passengers has crashed on Kuh-e Dena mountain in the Zagros range over the weekend. Aseman Airlines Flight EP plane was en route from Tehran to Yasuj when it came down on Sunday amid heavy wind and snow. According to the BBC, the poor weather conditions have hindered rescue operations, forcing teams to suspend efforts. It's thought as many as 66 people were aboard the plane at the time of the accident. It remains unclear if there are any survivors.

Man shot trying to break into Rouhani's office

A man has been shot and wounded after he tried to break into President Hassan Rouhani's office in Tehran. The suspect was carrying a knife when he tried to force his way past a checkpoint on Pasteur Street. “We are trying to identify the person and his motivation," deputy governor of Tehran, Mohsen Hamedani, told the Fars news agency.

IRGC clash with IS militants near Iraq border

Members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard have clashed with Islamic State (IS) militants near the western border with Iraq. The Tasnim news agency said three IRGC and three IS militants were killed in the clashes, while 16 other suspects were arrested. Last June a group of IS fighters attacked the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, killing at least 18 people.

Twenty-five protesters killed in continuing unrest

At least 25 protesters have allegedly been killed over the weekend amid ongoing civil unrest across the country. Unconfirmed reports suggest the judicial authorities of Iran claimed none of the fatalities were caused by confrontations with security personnel. Around 3,700 people are thought to have been arrested, with over 460 people still being held in police custody. Anti-government demonstrations have been ongoing in Iran since protesters gathered in Mashhad in late December to protest against the rising costs of basic goods.

Protester commits suicide in Tehran prison

A 22-year-old man arrested during the recent anti-government protests has died in prison in Tehran. Sina Qanbari killed himself at the Evin facility, according to officials, although activists have called for an investigation into the full circumstance behind the death. Qanbari was among more than 1,000 people arrested over the course of the last two weeks, while at least 21 people died in the protests.

Thousands join pro-government rallies in Iran

Thousands of people have joined pro-government rallies across Iran after Friday prayers. The supporters answered the calls of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has blamed external "enemies" for the wave of anti-government protests which erupted last week. At least 22 people were killed and more than 1,000 others arrested during days of unrest.

Protest death toll rises to 22

At least 22 people have now been killed in days of anti-government protests in Iran. Nine people died overnight on Monday, while hundreds of people have been arrested since the demonstrations began last Thursday. Six people died after allegedly attempting to seize guns from a police station, while a man and an 11-year-old boy died in clashes with a member of the security forces. In response to the unrest, President Hassan Rouhani said: "Our great nation has witnessed a number of similar incidents in the past and has comfortably dealt with them. This is nothing."

Anti-government protests erupt in Iran

A series of anti-government protests have been held across Iran. More than 50 people were arrested in the north-eastern city of Mashhad, while rallies were also held in Tehran, Kermanshah and Shiraz. The protests were sparked by rising prices and alleged corruption.

Deadly earthquake strikes near Tehran

At least one person has been killed and 56 others wounded after a 4.2-magnitude earthquake struck near Tehran. The quake was recorded 50km west of the capital early on Wednesday morning. Many of the casualties were wounded as they tried to flee buildings.

Strong earthquake hits Iran

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake has struck near the south-eastern city of Kerman. The US Geological Survey said the quake struck 85km south-east of the city, which has a population of more than 800,000. At least 40 people have been wounded and several buildings damaged in the quake, which comes less than a month after hundreds of people were killed in 7.2-magnitude earthquake near the Iraqi border.

Border guard killed by landmine in Kurdistan

An Iranian border guard has been killed in a landmine explosion in the western Kurdistan province. The device exploded near Baneh city and another guard was wounded in the blast. It is believed that the mine was left over from the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, and there are reported to be large amounts of unexploded ordinance in the area.

Hundreds killed in earthquake on Iran-Iraq border

At least 400 people have been killed after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck near the border between Iran and Iraq on Sunday. The epicentre of the quake was recorded 32km south of the Iraqi town of Halabjah, at a depth of 23km. The majority of the deaths were reported in the Iran's Kermanshah province, where around 4,000 people were wounded and 70,000 people required shelter. The town of Sarpol-e Zahab was particularly badly hit, with buildings including the main hospital severely damaged. Iraq's health minister said 321 people had been wounded in the northern Kurdistan region, with the most extensive damage in the town of Darbandikhan.

Kurdish boy killed by border guards, sparking protests

Iranian border guards are accused of beating to death a 13-year-old Kurdish boy in Irmia province. Local human rights groups claim Rasoul Yusufi, who worked as a backpack carrier, was killed near the Iran-KRG border on Monday evening. The incident sparked protests from members of the local community, although Iranian media claim the boy was killed by fellow workers. Two other carriers, known locally as kolbers, were allegedly killed by Iranian Revolutionary Guards last week in the same area.

Bus crash leaves 14 dead near Tehran

At least 14 people have been killed and 18 others wounded in a bus crash near the Iranian capital, Tehran. The bus was driving from Tehran to Gonbad-e-Kavus when it fell into a valley. Investigations into the cause of the crash are underway.

Four suspected terrorists killed in Chaldran

At least four suspected terrorists have been killed in an operation in Chaldran along the provincial border with West Azerbaijan province in Iran. A group of armed terrorists allegedly crossed the border from West Azerbaijan before attacking civilians in Chaldran. At least two civilians were killed, prompting the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corp (IRGC) to launch a counter-offensive, killing four of the terrorists and confiscating weapons, equipment, and ammunition.

Swedish doctor sentenced to death for spying

An Iranian-born doctor has been sentenced to death after he was convicted of spying for Israel. Ahmadreza Djalali, who is a resident of Sweden, was arrested in Iran in April 2016 and held without access to a lawyer for seven months. Human rights group Amnesty International said Djalali was convicted following "psychological torture, false confessions and a grossly unfair trial". Tehran's prosecutor said the suspect has passed information about 30 nuclear and military scientists to Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Strong earthquake hits southern Iran

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake has been reported in southern Iran. There are no initial reports of damage or injuries following the quake, which struck 80km north of Minab at a depth of 34km. Earthquakes are common in Iran, with the country located on several major fault lines.

Two gunmen killed in clash with police

Two armed men have been killed in clashes with police in the south-eastern province of Sistan and Balochistan. The incident occurred in the city of Iranshahr in the early hours of Friday. Officers seized four AK-47 rifles and ammunition following the encounter.

Tehran launches missile test

Iran launched a new ballistic missile during a test on Saturday. The Khorramshahr missile has a range of 2,000km and can carry multiple warheads, according to state-run broadcaster Press TV. US President Donald Trump condemned the launch, claiming that Iran is "also working with North Korea." Trump has been heavily critical of the nuclear deal agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama.

Kurds protest against killing of porters in Baneh

Hundreds of people have joined a protest against the killing of two porters in the Kurdish city of Baneh. Iran's Revolutionary Guard allegedly killed the porters for smuggling goods across the border from Iraqi Kurdistan. Two protesters were wounded when the security forces fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Twelve killed as school bus crashes in Darab

At least 12 people have been killed in a school bus crash in Darab. The bus had been transporting school girls to a sports and culture event in Shiraz when the driver appeared to lose control of the vehicle as the bus overturned in the early hours of Friday morning. Along with the bus driver, at least 11 school girls have been killed while 30 others have been wounded - 13 of the casualties are in critical condition. The cause of the accident remains unclear; however, investigations suspect that reckless driving played a part in the crash.

One killed in knife attack at Tehran bus terminal

One person has been killed and two others wounded in a knife attack at a bus terminal in Tehran. The incident occurred at the South Bus Terminal at 16:30 on Tuesday afternoon. Police say the attack was sparked by an argument and was not terror related.

Thirteen injured in 4.9-magnitude quake

At least 13 people have been injured in a 4.9-magnitude earthquake in northern Iran. The quake struck at a depth of 10km in the Sharabian district of East Azerbaijan Province on Monday morning, where damage to some buildings was reported. As many as 19 aftershocks were recorded within five hours of the initial tremor.

Qatar restores diplomatic ties with Iran

Qatar has restored full diplomatic ties with Iran - a move that will spark anger from other Middle East countries. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) all cut ties with Qatar in June and demanded that it ceases relations with Tehran. Qatar's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, met with his Iranian counterpart and "discussed bilateral relations and means of boosting and developing them as well as a number of issues of common concern."

Iran threatens to resume nuclear programme

Iran has threatened to resume its nuclear programme if the US imposes new sanctions. "Those who try to return to the language of threats and sanctions are prisoners of their past delusions," President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised address. Last month the US sanctioned six Iranian firms for assisting the development of a ballistic missile programme after Tehran launched missile tests.

IS threatens new attacks in Iran

The Islamic State (IS) has threatened to carry out new attacks in the Iranian capital, Tehran. "The same way we are cutting the necks of your dogs in Iraq and Syria we will cut your necks in the centre of Tehran," said an IS militant in a video released on the Amaq news agency. Earlier this week 27 people were arrested for alleged involvement in the jihadist group.

Soldier kills three at air base

An Iranian soldier has opened fire on his colleagues at a base south of Tehran, killing three and wounding 12 others. The assailant was also killed in a shootout with troops at the base in Kahrizak on Sunday. state TV said the reason of the shooting was either the assailant’s “mental problem” ‘’or accidental” firing. 

Earthquake hits western Iran, 10 wounded

A 4.8-magnitude earthquake has hit western Iran, leaving at least 10 people wounded. The quake struck the Hamadan province at a depth of 2km on Friday morning. The Emergency Medical Center of Hamadan said six of the injured required hospitalisation, while response teams have been dispatched to the scene to assist affected residents.

US Navy fires warning shot at Iranian vessel

A US Navy ship has fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel in the Persian Gulf. "The IRGCN boat was coming in at a high rate of speed. It did not respond to any signals, they did not respond to any bridge-to-bridge calls, they felt there was no choice except to fire the warning shots," a US defence official told the AFP. The incident happened on Tuesday as the USS Thunderbolt was taking part in military exercises in the Persian Gulf.

Earthquake hits south-eastern Iran

A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck the south-eastern province of Kerman on Sunday. Some damage to buildings and power lines has been reported but there are no confirmed casualties. The quake struck near the village of Sirch at a depth of 40km, according to the US Geological Survey.

Three killed in clash with IRGC

Three gunmen have been killed and four others wounded in clashes with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in north-western Iran. IRGC Major Yasin Qanbari and another İRGC officer were wounded in the confrontation.  On Friday the IRGC announced that the suspects planned to carry out "terrorist acts" inside the country, although the identity of the group was not revealed. 

Iranian soldier kills three colleagues

An Iranian soldier has opened fire on his colleagues, killing three and wounding six others.  The incident happened at a military base in the town of Abyek, 40km north of Tehran.  The gunman turned the weapon on himself following the attack. "The reason for this heartbreaking incident is being examined and we can’t speak about it now before investigating," said Ali Reza Rahmani, the town's governor.

Police shoot dead suspect after Tehran stabbing spree

Police have shot dead a man suspected of stabbing several people in an attack at a metro station in the capital, Tehran.  The incident happened at the Shahr-e-Ray station on Saturday, where an assailant stabbed a clergyman and several other people before police arrived at the scene.  After refusing orders to surrender, armed officers opened fire on the suspect.

Saudi coastguard opens fire on Iranian fishing vessels

The Saudi coastguard has opened fire on two Iranian fishing vessels in the Persian Gulf, killing one person.  “Two fishing boats were in the Persian Gulf and strayed due to high waves. The Saudi coastguard say the boats entered Saudi waters and killed one of the fishermen,” said Majid Aghababaie, head of border affairs at Iran's interior ministry. "The action of the Saudis does not comply with humanitarian and navigational principles."

Security forces kill two militants in south-east

Iran's security forces have killed two suspected militants and arrested five others in the country's south-east.  Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said the pair were killed in a shoot-out with troops in the city of Chabahar in Sistan-Balochistan province.  The raid came a week after the twin terror attacks in the capital, Tehran, which were later claimed by the Islamic State (IS).

Twelve dead in Tehran attacks

At least 12 people have been killed and scores more wounded in the twin attack in Iran's capital, Tehran.  Gunmen and a suicide bomber targeted the country's parliament, while another suicide bomber detonated explosives at the mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini.  The Islamic State (IS) claimed both attacks - their first inside Iran - via its Amaq news agency. A state of emergency has been declared across the country, according to Iran's deputy interior minister for security affairs Hoseyn Zolfaqari.

Two police officers shot dead in south-west Iran

Two Iranian police officers have been killed by gunmen in the south-western Khuzestan province.  Unknown assailants carried out the attack in the city of Ahvaz on Monday.  “Since the earliest moments after the attack, efforts have been underway to identify and arrest the assailants,” said police official Ali Qassempour.

Three killed in Iran earthquake

Three people have been killed and more than 200 others wounded in an earthquake in north-eastern Iran.  The 5.7-magnitude quake struck near the town of Pishqaleh in North Khorasan province, close to the Turkmenistan border, on Saturday.  Search and rescue teams, including Red Crescent relief workers, are leading the rescue efforts.

Iran threatens to target militant 'safe havens' in Pakistan

Iran has threatened to carry out strikes against areas sheltering "terrorists" in Pakistan.  The head of the Iranian armed forces issued the warning on Monday in response to the killing of 10 Iranian border guards last month, which Tehran blamed on Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni armed group.  "We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases. If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are," said Major General Mohammad Baqeri.

Death toll from mine explosion hits 35

At least 35 people have been confirmed dead following the explosion at Zemersanyurt mine in northern Iran.  The accident occurred at 12:45 on Wednesday when workers tried to jump-start a locomotive.  State media said many of the victims died trying to reach 32 colleagues, who are trapped more than 1,300m underground.

Fifty trapped in coal mine explosion

At least 50 people have been trapped in a coal mine in northern Iran.  An explosion at the site in Azadshahr, Golestan province is also reported to have killed two people and wounded 25 others, who have been taken to hospital suffering from gas inhalation.  A rescue operation is underway to free the trapped miners, while investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blast.

Ten border guards killed near Pakistan

Ten Iranian border guards have been killed by "terrorists" from neighbouring Pakistan.  The Sunni militant group, Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), have claimed responsibility for the attack in Sistan-Baluchistan province.  In a statement, the Iranian military said: "The Pakistani government bears the ultimate responsibility for the attack."  Jaish al-Adl has carried out several attacks against the Iranian security forces since they were formed in 2012.

Ahmadinejad banned from Iran elections

Iran's former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has been banned from running for re-election in May.  The decision on Thursday was taken by the Guardian Council, a clerical council which has vetted all candidates ahead of the vote.  Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had previously urged Ahmadinejad not to run.  A list of 19 candidates, including incumbent Hassan Rouhani, will be released on 27 April.

Thirty killed in flooding in north-west

At least 30 people have been killed in flooding in north-west Iran.  East Azerbaijan was worst hit, while West Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kordestan have also been affected.  Torrential rain caused flash flooding across the region, while several landslides have also been reported.

Ahmadinejad registered as presidential candidate

Iran's former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has registered to run as a candidate in presidential elections next month.  Ahmadinejad has registered despite being told not to run by the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.  Incumbent Hassan Rouhani, who negotiated the nuclear deal with the international community in 2015, is expected to run for a second term.

Powerful earthquake hits north-west Iran

At least one person has been killed by an earthquake in north-western Iran.  The 6.1-magnitude quake struck at a depth of 33km near the holy city of Mashhad.  Rescue teams and helicopters have been deployed to Khorasan Razavi province to assess the damage.

Son of senior cleric arrested in Iran

The son of a prominent Iranian cleric has been arrested and summoned to a special clerical court.  Ahmad Montazeri was arrested on Wednesday for releasing a decades-old audio tape in which his father denounced the mass executions of political prisoners in 1988.  Montazeri, the son of Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, will reportedly serve a six-year term in prison for releasing the audio tape.

Authorities shut down protests in Ahvaz

Authorities in Iran have ended five days of protests in the oil-rich region of Khuzestan.  Demonstrators had been calling for the resignation of the local governor and Iran's energy minister over ongoing power blackouts and water shortages.  The provincial capital, Ahvaz, has some of the highest levels of pollution in the world, while many of the residents - who are ethnically Arab - complain of political and cultural repression by the state.

Iran launches missile test

Iran has carried out a ballistic missile test, potentially violating UN Resolution 2231 which was signed in 2015.  “The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles (about 1,000 kilometers) before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle," said the US Pentagon.  UN Resolution 2231 “calls upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”  Iran said it does not have a nuclear weapons program and so the test is not covered by the 2015 deal.

Six villages evacuated due to flooding

Six villages have been evacuated from the south-eastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan due to flooding.  Around 100 families have been removed as rescue operations continue in the area.  There have also been unconfirmed reports of fatalities in the villages of Khash and Chabahar.

Firefighters killed in Tehran high-rise blaze

At least 38 people - many of them firefighters - have been killed in a fire at a high-rise building in Iran's capital, Tehran.  State TV said 200 firefighters were deployed to the 17-storey Plasco building at 08:00 on Thursday morning, where a reported 300 people were trapped.  The building later collapsed at around 11:30 and the the death toll is expected to rise.  The cause of the fire is not yet known, although fire department spokesman Jalal Maleki said the building managers were repeatedly warned about safety concerns.

Bailed suspect kills six people in central

A murder suspect who was on bail has killed six people in the central Iranian city of Arak.  The assailant, who has not been identified, shot dead a policeman and seven other people in two separate attacks in the city.  Five of the victims died instantly while a sixth later succumbed to their injuries in hospital.  The gunman had been released on bail of two billion rials ($50,000) on 1 January.

Thousands gather in Tehran for Rafsanjani's funeral

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets of Tehran for the funeral of the country's former president, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader, led the prayers at the ceremony for Rafsanjani, who he recently described as a "comrade and ally".  Some reports said more than four million attended the funeral, which was held around the Tehran University campus.  Rafsanjani, who was president of Iran between 1989 and 1997, died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 82.

Earthquake kills four in southern Iran

At least four people have been killed in a 5.3-magnitude earthquake in southern Iran.  The quake struck at around 02:33 in the country's Fars province, while the deaths were reported in the remote village of Seif Abad. State TV said the victims were all Afghan labourers.

Iranians march to demand activist's release

Hundreds of people have joined a march in Tehran to call for the release of a student activist, who is on hunger strike.  Arash Sadeghi was jailed for 19 years in prison for alleged conspiracy and propaganda against the state.  He went on hunger strike when his wife, Golrokh Ebrahimi Iraee, was also jailed for writing a fictional story about Iran's practice of stoning.  Around 800 people joined the march to the capital's Evin Prison, where Sadaghi is being held.

Security forces kill Islamic State (IS) militant at border

Iran's security forces have killed a leading Islamic State (IS) militant at the border, according to the Fars news agency.  The individual - known as Abu Ayesheh Kurdi - was attempting to travel to the capital, Tehran, when he was killed.  Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi made the announcement on Tuesday but did not specify where the encounter took place.

Train collision kills 31 in Iran

At least 31 people have been killed and more than 70 others wounded after two passenger trains collided in the northern province of Semnan.  The crash occurred at the Haft-Khan station in the city of Shahroud, about 400km east of the capital Tehran.  "The death toll has reached 31 and we are expecting this number to increase," Semnan Governor Mohammad Reza Khabbaz told the Fars news agency.

Labourers protest outside Iranian parliament

Iranian labourers have gathered outside of parliament in Tehran to protest against low wages and labour reforms.  An estimated 2,500 workers have taken part in the rally, during which they were confronted by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Police officer killed in clashes with smugglers

An Iranian police officer has been killed in clashes with drug smugglers in Iran's south-eastern Sistan-Baluchestan province.  The Fars news agency said Sergeant Major Sadeq Amiri was killed "in clashes with drug smugglers in Mehrestan County", close to the border with Afghanistan.  Police seized almost 600kgs of opium during the operation.

Tehran schools close over air pollution

The Iranian authorities have closed schools in Tehran over high levels of air pollution in the capital.  "Kindergartens and primary schools are closed on Monday in Tehran and most of the cities of the province," the Education Ministry said.  The level of the deadliest PM2.5 particles hit 156 on Monday - three times higher than the WHO's accepted safe level.

Several protesters arrested at rally near Shiraz

On 31 October, Iranian officials arrested several organisers of a rally at the tomb of King Cyrus the Great, near Shiraz. Iranian prosecutors have stated that key organisers of Friday's rally were arrested for "violating norms and chanting slogans against the values of the Islamic Republic of Iran." No further details were released about the rally, the number of those arrested or the action to be taken against them.

Iran sends warships to Yemeni coast

On 13 October, Iran sent two warships, a logistics vessel and a destroyer, to the Gulf of Aden off Yemen's coast, officially to protect commercial vessels in the area. The announcement comes after US warships destroyed three Houthi radar sites after coming under missile attack in the Red Sea. 

Security forces foil attack in Fars and arrest foreign citizens

On 13 October, the Iranian intelligence minister, Mahmoud Alavi, announced that security forces thwarted terror plots in Fars province, arresting several foreign citizens linked to extremist Sunni armed groups. At least 100kg of explosives were reportedly seized from the terrorists. The identities of the foreign nationals or their targets have not been divulged by the Iranian government. 

Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps repels attack by PJAK militants

Late on 10 October, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) fought off an attack by the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) separatist group in the Golchidar region of Marivan Country, Kurdistan Province. The PJAK militants reportedly failed to do any damage and fled when IRGC forces responded. No casualties were reported and a number of arms and equipment were seized by IRGC troops. 

Two killed in reconnaissance plane crash

On 11 October, an Iranian reconnaissance plane belonging to the Islamic Republican Guards crashed near Iranshahr, in Sistan-Baluchistan province, killing the pilot and co-pilot. The aircraft was returning from a mission when it went down. The cause of the crash is not yet known and authorities have begun investigating. 

Fourteen Afghan migrants killed, 11 injured in car accident

On 29 September, 14 illegal Afghan migrants were killed and a further 11 were injured during a car crash on the Saravan-Khash road, in south-eastern Iran. The incident reportedly involved two pickup trucks, but the authorities do not yet known the causes of the crash. 

Iran and Switzerland sign nuclear safety agreement

On 28 September, Iran and Switzerland signed a memorandum of understanding on nuclear safety. The agreement was written by the director of Iran's Nuclear Safety System Centre and his Swiss counterpart at the Permanent Mission of Iran to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. The agreement is expected to foresee bilateral cooperation in nuclear safety. 

One killed in air ambulance crash

One person was killed and several others injured when an air ambulance hit an electricity pole as it was landing, causing it to crash in the north of the country. It was on a mission to transport injured passengers to a hospital in a mountainous area. Rescue teams have been deployed to the area. 

Five suspected terrorists killed in Sistan and Baluchestan province

On 11 September, Iranian state-sponsored Press TV reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) killed five suspected terrorists in Sistan and Baluchestan province. Sources state that the suspected terroristsare believed to belong to the Jaish ul-Adl group. Weapons, ammunition, explosives and equipment were all seized in the military operation.

Thousands join anti-Saudi protests in Tehran

Thousands of Iranians have taken part in a protest against Saudi Arabia in the capital, Tehran.  The Mehr news agency said the demonstrators shouted “Death to the House of Saud” and “Death to the House of Khalifa” during the rally, while anti-US and anti-Israeli slogans were also reported.  The rally comes ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, where last year a stampede left more than 460 Iranians dead.  As a result of the incident relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have soured, and this year Iranians will not be taking part in the Hajj.

Four workers killed and eleven injured when partially constructed metro tunnel collapses in Tehran

On 7 September, at least four workers were killed and 11 more injured when a partially constructed metro tunnel collapsed in Tehran. A statement issued by state media on 8 September said that the accident occurred when the concrete coating on the tunnel fell on the construction crew. Traffic and transport officials have stated that it was caused by "human error."

Shia clerics protest in Qom over Bahraini trail of religious leader

A group of Shia clerics staged a protest in Qom, northern Iran, over the trial of a Bahraini spiritual leader on Wednesday. Sheikh Isa Qassim is being tried over his alleged involvement in illegal sponsorship and support of terrorist organizations. In June, Bahrain's government stripped the nationality of Qassim, triggering a wave of protests in the Bahraini town of Diraz and severe threats issued by the Hezbollah group.

Retired Iranian general killed fighting Jihadists in Aleppo

A retired Iranian general, Ahmad Gholami, was killed on 30 August when he was voluntarily fighting Jihadist militants in Aleppo, norther Syria. He is one of hundreds of Iranian volunteers and advisers that have died in Syria and Iraq in recent years, although the Iranian authorities do not provide exact casualty figures.

Anti-Aircraft S-300 missiles deployed at Fordow Nuclear Site

The Iranian government has reportedly deployed a Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missile system at the Fordow uranium enrichment facility, 100km south of Tehran. Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) air defense force, stated that their "...main priority is to protect Iran's nuclear facilities under any circumstances." 

Three Sunni militants killed during Kermanshah clashes

Three Sunni militants were killed in clashes with Iranian security forces in Kermanshah, southern Iran. According to police reports, a Kalashnikov assault rifle and one suicide vest were seized from the unknown assailants. The police crackdown comes weeks after 20 members of several Sunni militant groups were sentenced to death.

Iran executes suspected Sunni terrorists

At least 10 prisoners suspected of terrorism links were executed in Iran on Tuesday. The Sunni Muslim prisoners were condemned to death on terror charges; however the Norway-based Iran Human Rights (IHR) group said that: "Many if not all of these prisoners were subjected to unfair trials and sentenced to death based on confessions extracted under torture”. Iran's Intelligence Ministry stated that the men were suspected recruiters and intended to carry out attacks against the Iranian state.  The IHR, which monitors executions in Iran claims that so far in 2016, over 230 people were sentenced to death.

Scores arrested for terrorism links in eastern Iran

Iran's Minister of Interior announced on Thursday that 40 people with links to a banned terrorist group have been jailed. Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said that in the past two days security forces detected a subway tunnel in the country's eastern region, used to move explosives and other equipment. The arrests come nearly one month after Iranian intelligence services foiled a terrorist attack in Tehran.

Iranian MP survives assassination attempt

An Iranian member of parliament has survived an assassination attempt in western Iran.  Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh was ambushed by five gunmen near the village of Rijab in Kermanshah province on Sunday.  Local authorities suspect that the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) carried out the attack, although there has not been any official claim of responsibility. “Security and disciplinary forces are looking for them,” said the acting Minister of the Interior Hosseinali Amiri.

Thousands join rally against Israel on al-Quds day

Tens of thousands of people have joined anti-Israel protests across Iran to mark al-Quds day, held each year on the last Friday of Ramadan.  The largest rally was held in the capital, Tehran, were demonstrators trampled Israeli flags and chanted "Death to Israel".  "In Lebanon alone over 100,000 missiles are ready at all times to fly ... at the heart of the Zionist regime," said General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the elite Revolutionary Guards at Tehran University. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who also attended the rally, called for greater unity between Muslims and solidarity with the Palestinians.

Revolutionary Guard kills 11 Kurdish rebels near Iraq border

Iran's Revolutionary Guard has killed 11 suspected Kurdish rebels during two days of clashes near the Iraq border.  Four Guards also died in the fighting, which occurred in the Sarvabad region of Kordestan province.  Gen Mohammad Hossein Rajabi said the rebels belonged to the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan (PDKI).

Iran foils terror plot in Tehran

Iranian intelligence agents have disrupted "the biggest terrorist plot" to target the capital, Tehran.  The intelligence ministry said members of "Takfiri-Wahhabi groups” had been arrested and explosives seized.  According to state television and the Tasnim news agency the group planned several bombings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Five PJAK militants killed near Turkish border

Five suspected members of the PJAK militant group - an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - have been killed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near the Turkish border.  In a statement the army said the five died in an ambush in the Sardasht region.  "The slain terrorists were behind the martyrdom of two local Basij members in the border city of Sardasht last April and a Bajisi engineer,” it added.

Hard-line cleric elected chief of Assembly of Experts

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, 90, has been elected as Iran's chief of Assembly of Experts. The hard-line cleric gathered 51 votes to chair the political-religious body for two years. The Assembly of Experts is responsible for the nomination and supervision of the Iranian supreme leader. Jannati is part of the main opposition against President Hassan Rohani, who has increased dialogue with the West in a bid to attract trade and foreign investment.

Four journalists jailed on propaganda charges

A court in Iran has jailed four journalists for between five and 10 years. Afarin Chitsaz, Ehsan Mazandarani, Saman Safarzai and Davud Asadi were found guilty of charges including "spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic" and "acting against national security and contacting foreign governments." The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders both strongly condemned the sentencing.

Iran frees detained US sailors

Iranian authorities have released 10 US sailors who were detained after entering Iran's territorial waters on Tuesday. "We have concluded that passage of Americans in our territorial waters was not a hostile passage or for espionage or similar acts," said General Ali Fadavi, the naval commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The two small riverine vessels were travelling between Kuwait and Bahrain when one of the boats suffered a mechanical failure and drifted into Iranian waters.

Iran accuses Saudi Arabia of bombing Iranian embassy in Yemen

Iran has accused Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led coalition of "deliberately" bombing its embassy in San'a. Members of staff have reportedly been injured in the air strike. A spokesman for the coalition said that air strikes targeted rebel missile launchers, and that rebels had used abandoned embassies for operations.

Swine flu outbreak kills 33 in Iran

At least 33 people have been killed in a swine flu (H1N1) outbreak in two south-eastern provinces over the last three weeks.  Five people died in Sistan-Baluchistan and 28 others in Kerman province, said Iran's Deputy Health Minister Ali-Akbar Sayyari. "The health ministry predicts that the virus will spread in the coming days to Tehran, West and East Azerbaijan and Kermanshah provinces more than to other places," he said.

Washington Post journalist convicted of spying in Iran

A Washington Post journalist has been convicted on charges including espionage by a court in Iran.  Jason Rezaian, who has been detained for over a year, faces up to 20 years in prison.  A spokesman for the Iranian judiciary refused to discuss any details of the case but said the verdict could be appealed. The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, described the guilty verdict as “an outrageous injustice”.

Flash flooding leaves 10 dead in Iran

At least 10 people have been killed in flash flooding near Iran's capital, Tehran, and the southern province of Hormozgan.  State television reported that six people died in Pakdasht, 20km south-east of Tehran, while at least eight people have also gone missing in the area.  Rescue and relief operations are underway.

Four dead in clashes between Revolutionary Guard and Kurdish rebels

Four people have died in clashes between Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Kurdish rebels in the West Azerbaijan province, northwest Iran. Two Republican Guardsmen were killed, along with two Kurdish rebels. The fighting happened on Monday night. Regional governor Hussein Sivani said that "two PJAK (Party of Free Life of Kurdistan) terrorists were killed and five were injured." Iranian news agency IRNA said that the clashes occurred at Razi-Kapikoy, a border crossing between Iran's West Azerbaijan province and Turkey's Van province, which has been closed for ten days as a result of unrest in Turkey. 

Kurdish town hit by rioting

At least 25 people have been wounded in rioting in the mostly Kurdish city Mahabad in north-western Iran.  Hundreds of protesters clashed with police following the suspicious death of a 25-year-old woman, Farinaz Khosrawani. “Iranian police will not stay calm forever and if the [protests] continue we will strongly crack down on the protesters,” said Alireza Radfar, a security official.

Iranian forces seize cargo ship in Straits of Hormuz

Iranian forces have boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship in the Straits of Hormuz.  Pentagon officials say they are monitoring the situation after the MV Maersk Tigris made a distress call on Tuesday. A US government official said the ship was intercepted by the Naval force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) at 0905 GMT. The cargo ship "complied with the Iranian demand and proceeded into Iranian waters in the vicinity of Larak Island," said US Colonel Steve Warren.

Eight border guards killed by gunmen in Iran

Eight Iranian border guards have been killed in clashes with gunmen in the south-east of the country, close to the Pakistani border.  The Fars news agency reported that the gunmen had crossed into the Sistan Baluchistan province before fleeing back into Pakistan. The deputy governor of the province, Ali Asghar Mirshekari, said "armed terrorists" had infiltrated Iran and killed the border guards on Monday.

Iran and Pakistan trade fire along border

Iran have fired six mortar shells at a Pakistani border town, leading to the Pakistani army returning fire.  The clash comes a week after Iranian forces killed a Pakistan Frontier Corps guard in the Mand district, with Tehran angry at Islamabad's failure to stop terrorist attacks in the Sistan Baluchestan province. 

Hundreds wounded in Iran earthquake

More than 250 people are reported to have been wounded after a powerful earthquake struck western Iran.  The US Geological Survey said that the 6.3-magnitude quake struck around 36km south-east of Abdanan, close to the border with Iraq. Ilam Governor Majid Asghari told the state news agency IRNA that authorities expected to find severe destruction in rural areas close to the epicenter.

Washington Post reported held in Tehran

An American journalist from the Washington Post has been detained in the Iranian capital, Tehran.  Jason Rezaian, who is a dual US-Iranian citizen, has been held along with his wife and two freelance photographers on unspecified charges.  An official from the Justice Department said "Iranian security forces are vigilant towards all kind of enemies". 

Four killed in Tehran sandstorm

At least four people have been killed and 30 others wounded after a powerful sandstorm hit Iran's capital, Tehran.  The storm struck on Monday evening with winds of up to 130km/h, blowing over trees and damaging power lines.

Iran confirms two cases of deadly MERS virus

Two sisters from Kerman province have tested positive for the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, the first cases to be reported in Iran.  There is no vaccine or effective treatment for the disease, which has so far killed more than 175 people in Saudi Arabia.

Relatives of political prisoners rally in Tehran

Hundreds of people have rallied outside the offices of President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran to protest against the treatment of political prisoners.  Opposition groups claimed that riot police stormed a cell block at Evin prison and beat more than 30 inmates last week.  Several MPs have called for an inquiry into the alleged beatings; however, the Justice Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi insisted that it was "just a routine inspection".

Iran threatens to send troops into Pakistan

Iran's interior minister has threatened to send troops into Pakistan unless five Iranian border guards are released.  The guards were seized by a Sunni rebel group in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan region around 10 days ago, and Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli has demanded that the Pakistani government "takes the necessary measures" to secure their release.

Suicide blast kills army recruits in Baghdad

A suicide bomb attack has killed at least 13 people at an Iraqi army recruitment centre in the capital, Baghdad.  A further 25 people were wounded in the blast, which occurred at the Muthanna airfield.  No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Revolutionary Guards killed in roadside bombing

Three members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard have been killed by a roadside bomb in south-eastern Iran.  The men, who were members of the Guard's engineering division, died when the device exploded beside their vehicle near the city of Saravan in Sistan-and-Baluchistan province.  The Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl have claimed responsibility of the attack.

Iranian border guard killed in clashes with militants

An Iranian border guard has been killed during clashes with militants in the south-eastern region of Saravan in Sistan and Baluchestan province, bordering Pakistan.  The deputy-governor of the province said that the militants targeted the border post from inside Pakistan before retreating.  The Sunni rebel group Jeish-al-Adl, who carried out a similar strike back in October, have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Deadly earthquake strikes southern Iran

At least seven people have been killed and dozens more wounded after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck southern Iran.  The quake's epicentre was recorded near the town of Borazjan, 50km north of the port city of Busher which is home to a nuclear power plant.

Deputy industry minister shot dead in Tehran

Iran's deputy industry minister has been killed by an unknown gunman in the Iranian capital, Tehran.  The state news agency IRNA reported that Safdar Rahmatabadi was shot twice while he was driving in the Sabalan Square region of the city.

Prosecutor shot dead in restive south-east

Gunmen have shot dead an Iranian public prosecutor and his driver in the restive south-eastern province of Sistan Baluchistan.  The killing of Mousa Nouri, prosecutor in the town of Zabol, comes only two weeks after militants killed 14 border guards in the region.

Thousands gather in Tehran for anti-US demonstrations

Tens of thousands of people have gathered in the Iranian capital Tehran to take part in an anti-US demonstrations.  Crowds chanted "death to America" and set fire to flags outside of the former US embassy, which has been closed since the hostage siege in 1979.

Sunni militant group claims responsibility for border attack

A previously unknown Sunni group has claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 14 Iranian border guards on Friday night.  The Jaish al-Adl group said it had carried out the attack in response to "the crimes of the Revolutionary Guards in Syria", while also vowing to avenge the execution of 16 prisoners by authorities in Zahedan on Saturday.

Rival protesters clash after Rouhani returns from the UN

President Hassan Rouhani's return from the UN in New York has sparked rival protests at Tehran airport.  A small group of hardliners chanted "death to America" and threw stones at the president's car, while hundreds of others had gathered to cheer his moderate stance during the trip, which included a 15-minute phone call with US President Barack Obama.

Suspected suicide bomber shot dead in Chah Bahar

A suspected suicide bomber has been shot dead by police in the southern city of Chah Bahar.  The IRNA news agency reported that the man, who was later found with a suicide vest and hand grenades, was attempting to enter a police headquarters in the city.

Outcome of election

Hassan Rouhani wins the Iranian Presidential election with just over 50% of the vote.

Funeral descends into mass anti-government rally

The funeral for a senior dissident cleric has descended into a mass anti-government protest in Iran's second city, Isfahan.  Tens of thousands of people attended the procession for Ayatollah Jalaluddin Taheri, who died aged 87 on Sunday.  Mourners chanted slogans against Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, calling him a dictator.

Powerful earthquake reported along Iran-Pakistan border

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake has been reported in south-eastern Iran, close to the border with Pakistan.  Tremors have been felt across the region, including as far away as the Indian capital New Delhi.  Initial reports suggest that at least 40 people have been killed in the quake, although that figure is likely to increase significantly.

Deadly earthquake reported in southern Iran

At least 37 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded by a 6.1 magnitude earthquake in southern Iran.  The quake struck the town of Kaki in Bushehr, while 12 neighbouring villages were reportedly destroyed.

Iran Data Sheet

77.3 million
Major Religion/s:
International dialing code:
International dialing prefix:
Emergency services:
Police 110, Medical 115, Fire 125
Arid-semiarid, subtropical along the Caspian coast
Ohter Major Cities:
Mashhad, Esfahan, Tabriz, Karaj, Shiraz
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan