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Iran nuclear negotiations

Tehran says a humanitarian prisoner exchange will take place with the US and the UK if Washington and London meet their obligation under the swap deal. In a tweet, Iranian deputy foreign minister Araghchi said 10 prisoners on all sides may be released on Sunday. He warned the US and Britain to stop linking a humanitarian exchange with the Iran nuclear deal. Araghchi said the talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement will resume after the administration of President-elect Ebrahim Raeisi takes charge next month. Three years after Washington’s unilateral withdrawal, Iran and the remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal began talks in April to revive the accord.

Using Israeli-made spyware

Saudi Arabia has reportedly received help from Israeli cybersecurity firms to silence dissent. The New York Times cited sources as saying Israel authorized several companies to cooperate with the Arab Kingdom’s surveillance activities. The report says Israel gave the go-ahead to another firm even after the 2018 murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, an incident that drew international condemnation. Among the companies were the NSO, best known for its Pegasus program which has been used by numerous governments to spy on and often imprison human rights activists.

Bahrain crackdown

Bahrain’s main opposition party al-Wefaq has condemned the Al Khalifa regime for dissolving the political party fours ago. The group accused the ruling family of trying to marginalize Bahraini people and get them away from politics. It said the Bahraini regime has proven that it cannot govern the country with its criminal acts. Al-Wefaq insisted that the country needs a comprehensive political plan to get out of the current crisis. It also called on Manama to respect Bahraini people’s freedoms and rights. The Persian Gulf nation witnessed a popular uprising in early 2011 that was met with a deadly crackdown from the Bahraini government with the help of Saudi Arabia. Scores of people have been killed and many others jailed since then.

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