EU Sanctions Iran Revolutionary Guards' Investment Wing | Voice Of America
The European Union on Monday imposed an asset freeze on the investment arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, over Tehran's brutal crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. The latest round of sanctions — the eighth imposed by the EU over the repression — came after Iran hanged three more men convicted in relation to the demonstrations. The 27-nation bloc added the IRGC Cooperative Foundation, which handles the Guards' investments, to an EU asset freeze and visa ban blacklist for "funneling money into the regime's brutal repression."
Mahsa Amini's Family Accuses Iran's Security Forces Of Vandalizing Her Grave | Radio Free Europe
The family of Mahsa Amini have blamed Iran's security forces for vandalizing the grave of the young woman whose death while in police custody in September 2022 ignited nationwide protests that have turned into one of the biggest threats to the Islamic republic's leadership since it took power in 1979. The Amini family's attorney, Saleh Nikbakht, told journalists that early on May 21, "individuals, known for such distasteful actions in the past, attacked and destroyed the tomb of Mahsa Amini." He then showed pictures of the damaged gravesite that he received from Amini's parents.
Israel Accuses Iran Of Using Civilian Ships As 'Floating Terror Bases' | Reuters
Israel accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on Monday of turning commercial ships into platforms for launching missiles, drones and commandos, saying the objective was to spread Tehran's clandestine naval clout well beyond the Gulf. The allegation by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant came as tensions between the regional foes surge afresh over Iran's nuclear drive and support for Palestinian and Lebanese militias. Showing images of six purportedly repurposed Iranian vessels, five of them named, Gallant told the Herzliya Conference security forum that these were "floating terror bases" and that one had recently sailed toward the Gulf of Aden.
UANI IN THE NEWS
Biden, Congress Must Take Advantage Of Their Chance To Reset Iran Policy | UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky For The Hill
The Biden administration has held power for over two years but still lacks an Iran policy built for 2023. Meanwhile, Tehran is not standing still. The Islamic Republic is arming Russia with drones for use against EU candidate country Ukraine, the consensus among the P5+1 — which produced the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — no longer exists, and neither does the basic bargain undergirding the 2015 agreement. These trendlines and the rapidly approaching October expiration of U.N. restrictions on the Islamic Republic’s missile program under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the JCPOA, necessitate an urgent rethink of a broader U.S. policy on Iran.
‘Dark’ Ship-To-Ship Transfers Present Daily Risk In Sanctioned Tanker Trades | Tradewinds
When tankers carrying Iranian oil take steps to obscure where that commodity originated or where it is headed, Claire Jungman and her team are watching. The chief of staff at United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), who also runs the organisation’s programme using satellite imagery to track tankers that carry sanctioned Iranian oil and petrochemicals, said the group sees ship-to-ship (STS) transfers practically on a daily basis.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Iran Does Not Have A Nuclear Weapon Yet - IDF Intelligence Chief | Jerusalem Post
IDF Intelligence Chief Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva said on Monday that Iran has not yet decided to break out to a nuclear weapon, on either the uranium enrichment or weapons group fronts. The IDF intelligence chief reaffirmed that, “Iran is the greatest threat to Israel, their conflict not just restricted to the nuclear issue or the precision missiles issue, or the proxies issue, or Hezbollah.” Rather, in agreement with Defense minister Yoav Gallant, he said the Islamic Republic is trying to go after Jerusalem in a comprehensive way on multiple fronts simultaneously.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Iranian Leader Visits Indonesia To Deepen Economic Ties Amid Global Geopolitical Challenges | Associated Press
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo on Tuesday during a two-day trip aiming to strengthen economic ties between the Muslim-majority nations amid heightened global geopolitical tensions. Widodo hosted Raisi at a ceremony in the colonial-style presidential palace in Bogor, just outside the capital, Jakarta. Raisi was visiting at Widodo’s invitation as Indonesia aims to speed up its post-pandemic recovery by increasing its exports. The visit was expected to deepen Iran’s ties with Indonesia as Tehran seeks alternatives to the United States-led Western domination of international affairs and looks to garner further cooperation after the two nations concluded negotiations this month on the Indonesia-Iran Preferential Trade Agreement worth $20 billion.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
A Look At The Women Who Don't Want You To Forget What's Happening In Iran | Spectrum News
For six months, the Iranian community has been standing in solidarity with Iranians back home. Organizers of the Women Life Freedom March want the public to remember what happened — and continues to happen — in Iran. Six months after Masah Amini’s death, protestors and demonstrators are still taking to the streets and facing arrest — or worse. Several days before the march, three men were executed in Isfahan without due process, with the government citing “deadly violence” as the reason for the execution. Just days before, Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi was arrested after posting a video of himself dancing with protestors.
Dissident Ghadyani Says Iran May Be Ripe For Revolution Amid Executions | Radio Free Europe
Abolfazl Ghadyani, a prominent Islamic revolutionary-turned-dissident, says that Iran may be ripe for a revolution to overthrow the Islamic leadership as anger turns to rage over the execution of protesters, oppressive policies, and poor living standards. The 78-year-old Ghadyani, a senior member of the reformist party the Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution of Iran Organization, said in a published statement on May 22 that the most peaceful path for political change in Iran would require Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to "willingly resign, ask for national forgiveness, and make way for a democratic system of governance."
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Next Destination For Iran’s Warships: Antarctica | The Maritime Executive
The Iranian Navy is considering deploying a flotilla of warships to the Antarctic in the near future, according to state-owned Tasnim News. The outlet reports that this was the motivation for the routing of a recent Iranian circumnavigation voyage, which diverted from the Panama Canal to take the long, southerly route through the Strait of Magellan. In September, Iran dispatched the destroyer IRIS Dena and the converted Aframax tanker IRIS Makran on an eastbound voyage.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran Vows To Avenge Deaths Of Border Guards In Southeast | Iran International
Iran's police say the forces are determined to avenge the deaths of border guards killed in Sistan and Baluchestan Province. At least five Iranian patrol officers died on Saturday in a clash with what the regime calls “terrorists” on the Pakistani border. In his remarks at the funeral in Zahedan, Deputy Police Chief Qassem Rezaei warned the culprits that they would face a decisive and firm response. However, Rezaei stressed that the longstanding relations between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan should not be strained by the attack.
Iran Faces Battle To Boost Birth Rate To Stop Demographic 'Black Hole' – Analysis | Jerusalem Post
Iran is facing declining birth rates. This has been an increasing issue in the last several years and one which the Iranian regime is keenly focused on. A new report at Iran’s pro-regime Fars News says that the country is facing the prospect of large numbers of families who will only have one child, and the regime wants to warn the people about this population “black hole” that may lead to further demographic decline. Last year, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei also warned officials against an aging population and demographic decline.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Israel Has Doubled Strikes On Iranian Targets In Syria, Says Defence Minister | The National
The number of Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria has doubled since the current government took office at the end of last year, Israel's Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has said. These aim to damage Iran's intelligence capabilities and prevent its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from becoming established near the border with Israel, Mr Gallant told a security conference on Monday. Mr Gallant did not say how many strikes have been conducted this year, in what were rare comments on Israeli military activity in Syria.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Iran Names Alireza Enayati As Ambassador To Saudi Arabia | The National
Iran has appointed Alireza Enayati as its ambassador to Saudi Arabia, almost two months after the two countries agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations. Previously, he served as the head of the Gulf Bureau at the Iranian foreign ministry and as ambassador to Kuwait. Iran and Saudi Arabia cut ties seven years ago but re-established diplomatic relations through a China-mediated dialogue last month.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran May Carry Out More Attacks In Iraq Against Kurdish Groups – Analysis | Jerusalem Post
Iran’s regime is apparently considering more pressure on Iraq to prevent dissidents from entrenching themselves there. A report in the Kurdish Rudaw media said that “the Iranian Intelligence Ministry renewed their threats against Iraq and the Kurdistan Region on Sunday, warning that unless the border areas are secured and Kurdish opposition groups in the region are disarmed, they will continue their military attacks on the region.” This is important because Iran carried out numerous rocket and drone attacks in Iraq last year during the Iranian protests.