LATEST: Oscar-Winning Filmmaker Farhadi Summoned for Questioning
Just over a week after US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew expressed hope that increased sanctions against Iran would be effective, because “the alternatives are worse”, Iran’s Foreign Minister has said that Washington should begin to “cooperate with Iran”.
In an interview with Fars News — close to the Revolutionary Guards — about new Executive and Congressional sanctions on Iran that came into force on July 1, Ali Akbar Salehi said the move was “illegitimate” and a continuation of a policy that began after Iran’s 1979 Revolution.
“This approach has gone on for 34 years and so far has not taken them anywhere…. Our recommendation here is that the Americans learn from history and begin to cooperate with Iran.”
The new sanctions — agreed before Iran’s June 2013 Presidential election — target the shipping and automobile sectors, financial transactions involving gold, and holdings of Iran’s currency.
Salehi’s comments urging Washington to “cooperate” with Iran come after the Supreme Leader published a digest of his anti-American comments over the past years, a hint that Khamenei could oppose any move to engage with Washington.
Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning “A Separation”, has been told he must appear before Iranian authorities to provide “certain explanations”.
Farhadi’s passport was briefly confiscated when he arrived at Imam Khomeini International Airport near Tehran on Tuesday.
Farhadi’s latest film “The Past”, filmed in France, was screened at this year’s Cannes film festival and has recently been released in Iranian cinemas.
Ahmed Shaheed, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran announced on Thursday plans to undertake a fact-finding mission to the US and Canada, to gather information about alleged human rights violations in Iran.
During the 14-day mission, from 14-28 July, Shaheed is set to meet with individuals from the Iranian diaspora, including victims and witnesses of alleged human rights violations, as well as civil society organizations, to gather information about allegations of human rights violations in Iran. Shaheed will then report back to the UN General Assembly in October.
Former President and current head of the Expediency Council Hashemi Rafsanjani has expressed concern that Iranians are suffering because of difficulties in assigning foreign exchange to purchase drugs.
In a statement on his personal website, Rafsanjani said the situation was disturbing and painful” for families affected by the situation.
Rafsanjani said he hoped that the new administration would be able to gradually solve the problem with policy reform.