The U.K. foreign secretary will travel to Tehran this weekend and push for the release of a British-Iranian mother imprisoned on espionage charges (The Guardian). Boris Johnson condemned Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s conviction for spying in Iran recently as a mockery of justice, adding that she was “simply teaching people journalism”—a statement her employer and family both said was false. Three days after Johnson’s statement to a parliamentary committee, Zaghari-Ratcliffe was summoned before an unscheduled court hearing in Tehran, where the foreign secretary’s comments were cited as proof that she was engaged in “propaganda against the regime.” Johnson also plans to end a legal dispute with Tehran over a 1976 arms deal. The four-decade legal dispute with the Iranian government is over hundreds of Chieftain tanks that Iran bought from the U.K. in 1976, but never received because of the 1979 Revolution. The British government admits it owes Tehran up to £300 million, but the countries have gone back and forth over the precise sum and whether any payment could be made while Iran was still under EU sanctions. Downing Street insists that there’s no link between this dispute and ongoing efforts to release Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
The Supreme Court allowed the third version of the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban to go into effect while legal challenges against it continue (New York Times). The court’s orders mean that the administration can fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from seven nations—Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Yemen—six of them predominantly Muslim. For now, most citizens from these countries will be barred from entering the United States, along with some groups of people from Venezuela.