The State Department delivered a non-public assessment to Congress about death threats from Iran aimed at former president Donald Trump and top officials from the administration’s Iran envoy.
The assessment, viewed by the Washington Free Beacon, alerted Congress on January 11 that a “specific threat persists with respect to former special representative [for Iran] Brian Hook.” The unclassified but non-public assessment does not name the individuals behind the threats, but refers to them only as a “foreign power or the agent of a foreign power.”
The Free Beacon reports Hook was at the helm of Trump’s maximum pressure campaign on Tehran and was instrumental in the assassination of Iranian terror leader Qassem Soleimani. Soleimani was killed in a 2020 drone strike, and Iran has vowed to take retaliatory action for his death.
The State Department warns Hook has been under a “Serious and credible” threat since at least January 2021. Top Iranian leaders have threatened the lives of Trump and senior members of his administration on Iranian government accounts on Twitter and other social media sites.
Multiple times this month the accounts have promised to assassinate Trump, “with the regime issuing an official video that depicts a drone strike on the former president.” The Biden administration says it takes these threats seriously and will do everything to protect former and current officials.
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Mental health crisis spikes among Afghan women after Taliban regained control two years ago
The women of Afghanistan are suffering a mental health crisis since the Taliban regained power two years ago. According to a joint report from three U.N. agencies released Tuesday, approximately 70% of women experience feelings of anxiety, isolation and depression.
The numbers continue to rise, as there has already been a significant jump between April and June of this year alone, with an increase from 57% the preceding quarter.
The report, conducted by U.N. Women, the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, interviewed women online, in-person and in group consultations as well as individual telesurveys.
592 Afghan women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces took part in the study. The Associated Press reports:
They have barred women from most areas of public life and work and banned girls from going to school beyond the sixth grade. They have prohibited Afghan women from working at local and non-governmental organizations. The ban was extended to employees of the United Nations in April.
Opportunities to study continued to shrink as community-based education by international organizations was banned and home-based schooling initiatives were regularly shut down by the de facto authorities — a term use by the U.N. for the Taliban government.
Afghanistan is the only country in the world with restrictions on female education and the rights of Afghan women and children are on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
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