Aggressive and undiplomatic, certainly, but also extremely effective. With nearly 50 days to go before new U.S. oil sanctions against Iran enter into force, President Donald Trump has already managed to crush the country’s petroleum exports, dealing severe economic damage to Tehran.
The Trump administration is disowning a plan presented by U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley for President Trump to hold a meeting at the United Nations next week focused on Iran, according to diplomats familiar with the planning.
Russia has said Syria shot down one of its military planes - but laid the blame for the deaths of the 15 personnel on board with Israel.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Top energy officials from the U.S. and Iran clashed on Monday with warnings that international peace is at risk as America’s sanctions noose tightens on the Islamic Republic.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
OPEC must stick together for the good of the global economy as founding member Iran faces renewed U.S. sanctions, the head of the cartel said Tuesday — though he did not address how an already-tight market will make up for the loss of Iranian supply.
United States' sanctions on Iran's oil industry are unproductive and there will be consequences to such a move, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. "Our position remains that this is unproductive; this is wrong," Novak said when asked about the possible impact US sanctions on Iran's oil industry could have, CNBC reported.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a September 16 tweet, "many countries are taking actions to leave Iran" as "a different set of rules" would apply to "anyone who wants to engage in economic activity with the regime in Iran”.
Timing is everything, so Washington should coordinate its designations with Baghdad to avoid upsetting the government formation process or throwing Iran a lifeline.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Five French trade unions have called for the release of Iranian teacher Mohammad Habibi and other teachers imprisoned in Iran in an open letter to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
The United States’ re-imposition of sanctions on Iran prompted the Iranians to appeal to the International Criminal Court to block the re-imposition. President Donald Trump appears determined to take a hard-line stance against the Iranian regime. However, to effectively bring Iranian aggression across the globe to a halt, it would behoove President Trump to also invest in assisting Iran’s minorities in their quest to topple the mullahs’ government.
It was the blatant subversion of the president’s sole authority to conduct American foreign policy, and the political class received it with fury. It was called “mutinous,” and the conspirators were deemed “traitors” to the Republic. Those who thought “sedition” went too far were still incensed over the breach of protocol and the reckless way in which the president’s mandate was undermined.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Iranian Kurdish militants who were targeted by Iranian missile strikes earlier this month at a headquarters in Iraqi Kurdistan have declared intentions to step up their activities against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Since January, Iran's housing sector has been in a long-awaited boom phase after a five-year recession — the longest dip in recent memory. But now the sector is in danger of sliding back into negative ground due to the sudden and massive price hikes across the country spurred by the ongoing currency crisis.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN.
Israeli strikes on Syria over the past month have led to the deaths of 113 Iranian soldiers, officers and Tehran-backing militias, a report released Monday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday claimed.
Hezbollah’s experience in the seven-year long Syrian civil war has been a mixed bag, with both positive developments and negative consequences. While the so-called ‘Party of God’ has suffered significant casualties in Syria, losing nearly 2,000 fighters throughout the course of the war, it has gained valuable combat experience, and improved its interoperability and exposure to new weapons systems.
In a rare admission, Israel has broken its “no-comment” policy on air strikes to confirm that it has carried out over 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria over the last two years. In addition to those attacks, a new report claims that Israel has secretly armed and funded at least 12 Syrian rebel groups in southern Syria since 2013.
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
A group of anarchists has attacked the Iranian Embassy in Athens to protest Tehran's treatment of its Kurdish population.