LATEST: Iran Rejects International Appeals and Executes Dissident

Iran and the 5+1 Powers (US, Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia) will continue the process for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with expert-level talks this week.

Hamid Baeidinejad, the Foreign Ministry official leading the Iranian experts, confirmed the arrangement on Saturday.

Stephen Clement, an aide to European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, will head the 5+1 delegation.

The next round of high-level discussions are scheduled for June 16 in Vienna. Since the last round in mid-May, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Ashton have met, with Baeidinejad and Clement holding talks on the sidelines.

The two sides are seeking a comprehensive deal by the expiry of an interim Joint Plan of Action on July 20. Issues include Iran’s number and level of centrifuges for uranium enrichment, the status of facilities such as the Arak heavy-water reactor, and the lifting of US-led sanctions on Tehran.

Iran Rejects International Appeals and Executes Dissident

Iran executed a prisoner on Sunday morning, despite international appeals.

Official and semi-official news agencies announced the hanging of Gholamreza Khosravi Savadjani.

Khosravi Savadjani was arrested in 2008 and sentenced to death in 2010 for allegedly donating money and providing assistance to the Mujahedin-e-Khalq group, who have pursued the overthrow of the Islamic Republic since 1980.

Amnesty International called for a halt to the execution after Khosravi Savadjani’s family were summoned to Raja’i Shahr Prison to meet the detainee in anticipation of his hanging.

Detained Opposition Leader Mousavi Gets Visit from Brother

Mir Hossein Mousavi, the opposition leader and 2009 Presidential candidate held under strict house arrest since February 2011, has been allowed a visit from his brother for the first time in two years.

Mir Mahmoud Mousavi was barred from visits after he spoke to the media about the detention of the former candidate and his wife, activist and academic Zahra Rahnavard.

Hardliners have warned the Rouhani Government against any attempt to free Rouhani, Rahnavard, and Mehdi Karroubi, who also ran for the Presidency in 2009.

Human Rights Activist Mohammadi Threatened Again With Prison

Human right activist and former political prisoner Narges Mohammadi has been summoned to appear on Sunday in the Court of Evin Prison.

Mohammadi, deputy director of the Center for Human Rights Defenders, was sentenced in 2012 to 11 years in prison for “actions against national security”, membership of the Center, and “propaganda against the regime”. The term was reduced on appeal on six years.

The activist spent three months in prison before, suffering from poor health, she was released on bail in July 2012.

Mohammadi provoked authorities in March when she and other women met the European Union’s Catherine Ashton, the head of the 5+1 Powers in nuclear negotiations, at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran.

Iran Says 30+ Countries to Attend 2nd “Friends of Syria” Conference

More than 30 countries will participate in Tehran’s second “Friends of Syria” conference on Sunday, according to a senior MP.

The participation “shows that many other countries have joined the peace caravan and many people support the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policies on the Syrian crisis”, said Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Parliament’s National Security Committee.

Declaring that Syria’s President Assad is growing in power each day, meaning “the failure of Washington’s policies”, Boroujerdi asserted, “Most of the countries believe that the Syrian crisis only has a political solution and…the policy of strengthening terrorism pursued by the US and its allies has today turned into a serious and potential problem.”

Iran hosted legislators from Syria, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Russia in March in the first Friends of Syria Conference.