Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for November 12, 2022

Newsline: France’s top diplomat says more citizens held in Iran

Two more French citizens are likely being held in Iran, taking the total of its nationals detained there to seven, France’s foreign minister said in remarks published on Saturday. France lashed out at Iran on Oct. 6 accusing it of “dictatorial practices” and taking its citizens hostage after a video was aired in which a French couple appeared to confess to spying, after weeks of unrest that Iran has linked to foreign foes. “We have concerns over two other citizens. We are trying to check the contradictory information,” Catherine Colonna told Le Parisien newspaper in an interview. (https://wsau.com/2022/11/12/two-more-french-citizens-likely-held-in-iran-foreign-minister/) On Friday, Le Figaro newspaper reported that the two nationals had been arrested prior to the start of anti-government protests in September over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Newsline: Iran’s top diplomat demands to release national imprisoned in Sweden

Iranian Foreign Minister Hosein Amirabdolahian has held a telephone conversation with his Swedish counterpart Tobias Billström, to whom he demanded the release of Hamid Nuri, an Iranian citizen sentenced to life imprisonment for the mass executions and torture of opponents in 1988 in a prison in the city of Karaj. Amirabdolahian has warned in the call of “consequences” in bilateral relations for the “illegal detention” of Nuri, according to the official Iranian news agency IRNA. The head of Iranian diplomacy criticized the “politicization” of Nuri’s case. (https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/tehran-demands-the-release-of-an-iranian-imprisoned-in-sweden-for-the-execution-of-opponents/) Nuri was arrested in the European country in November 2019, after which a trial was opened against him in 2021 for his role in the killing of thousands of people. The executions were carried out following a secret edict issued by the then-great leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, after an armed incursion into Iran by the PMOI, an Iraq-based opposition group outlawed by Iranian authorities, according to the report published by Amnesty in 2018.

Newsline: US visa processing time to go down in India

The wait time for issuance of US visas is expected to see a significant fall by summer 2023 and is likely to move towards normalcy by summer next year, according to a senior US embassy official in New Delhi. After students, our next big case is H&L (IT workers’ visa – H1B falls under this). We have opened up 100,000 slots here. This brought the wait time down by half,” said the embassy official. (https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/for-india-finally-some-good-news-on-us-visa-processing-time/) Officials have stated that they are expecting Indian visa applications to surpass those from China by next year and take the second spot worldwide after Mexico. The current wait time for drop-box visa applications (visas that do not require an interview) is about nine months, and measures are being taken to reduce the waiting period. The senior embassy official also claimed that for Washington, India is the top priority in terms of visa applications. The reason cited for the current backlogs is due to Covid, which led to troubles in onboarding, vetting, and transferring councillor staff.