From [Norman Roule’s] vast Middle East experience, he has good knowledge about the Israeli intelligence community and has met many of its past and current senior officials, including Mossad heads Meir Dagan, Tamir Pardo and Yossi Cohen, and military intelligence chiefs such as Amos Yadlin… We met last month in a New York hotel. He came to town to moderate a panel at a conference organized by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), a bipartisan NGO of former US senators, diplomats and intelligence officials as well as European and Middle Eastern personalities – among them, the late Meir Dagan and former German BND (Federal Intelligence Service) chief August Hanning.
South Korea did not import any oil from Iran in September for the first time in six years, before U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country take effect in November, customs data showed on Monday.
Russia and Iran have agreed on a mechanism to spare Iran the impact of what are intended by the US to be crippling sanctions on its oil industry from next month, an Israeli Foreign Ministry document reportedly warns. The mechanism provides for Iran to export crude oil to Russia across the Caspian Sea.
UANI IN THE NEWS
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the national security adviser, spoke at a meeting in New York of United Against Nuclear Iran, a well-financed hard-line group. Mr. Bolton was especially belligerent, warning the Iranians, “If you cross us, our allies, or our partners, if you harm our citizens, if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.”
Trump and Bolton both singled out Iran during remarks at the United Nations General Assembly late last month. The president urged other member nations to "isolate Iran's regime as long as its aggression continues." "If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be Hell to pay," Bolton said in a speech at an event organized by a group called United Against a Nuclear Iran.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
While the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran is deepening week by week, the Islamic Republic's official news agency, IRNA, says, the number of Iranians travelling abroad in the past six months has dropped by 13%, compared with the same period, last year.
India hasn’t worked out yet a payment system for continued purchases of crude oil from Iran, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary at India’s finance ministry, said on Friday.
US and India will resume high-stakes negotiations Friday over the US request for India to slash its Iranian oil imports when sanctions snap back in about three weeks. Platts Analytics expects Iranian crude and condensate exports to fall to 1.1 million b/d by October loadings, and to 800,000 b/d by Q4 2019, down from 2.91 million b/d in April.
President Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has run into an obscure obstacle at the heart of the global financial system.
Iran's president on Sunday tried to downplay U.S. sanctions targeting the country's vital oil and gas sector that are set to be restored next month. Speaking in Tehran University to mark the start of the academic year, Hassan Rouhani said the Nov. 4 sanctions "will have no effect," because "the U.S. has already done whatever it wanted to do."
Iran is resurrecting its stock exchange, last used four years ago, to sell one million barrels of crude, the National Iranian Oil Company said in a statement quoted by S&P Global Platts. Now, the analysts quoted by the news outlet are of the opinion this won’t do much about the country’s oil exports after November 4, when the U.S. sanctions will come into effect, but it does demonstrate what some warier observers have noted repeatedly: Iran is not as helpless as it may seem.
Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan has stressed that US sanctions on Tehran are aimed at changing the Iranian regime’s behavior, saying Washington is working with its allies to enforce them.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
An Al-Qaeda-linked militant group is using Iran as its main transit point for illegal charcoal exports from Somalia, enabling the group to earn millions of dollars in profits, a report to the UN Security Council seen by media says.
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday it was not clear whether a foiled attack on a Paris-based Iranian opposition group was ordered by the higher echelons of authorities in Tehran.
Ali Kourani, 34, was arrested on terrorism charges after he tried to become an informant for the F.B.I., offering information about Hezbollah.
Iran dismissed reports on Monday of a suicide bomb threat at its embassy in Ankara, Iranian state television said, after a Turkish newspaper reported a planned attack on the building.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Iran's judiciary spokesman is saying a court has sentenced a dual national man to eight and a half years in prison after finding him guilty of infiltration of important governmental bodies.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has condemned a reported call by the Islamic Rebulic's judiciary, including the head of Qazvin Judicial Department, for issuing the death penalty against 17 activists involved in a widespread truckers’ strike.
Last week, Iranian authorities executed Zeinab Sakaavand for allegedly murdering her husband when she was 17. During her trial the court discounted Sakaavand’s claims that her husband frequently beat and abused her.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
The United States is seeking “regime change” in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that the current U.S. administration is the most hostile that the Islamic Republic has faced in its four decades.
One of Iran's top foreign policy officials has called for negotiations with "anti-Trump movements" in the US to dampen the impact of sanctions, local media reported Saturday.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran's official IRNA news agency is saying that authorities have detained a member of the military over the September attack on a military parade in the southwestern city of Ahvaz that killed 24 people.
At an outreach centre in southern Tehran, teenagers are learning to be journalists, while upstairs their mothers are fine-tuning their sewing skills and rushing to fill an order for hospital uniforms.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
The U.S. Senate passed two measures targeting Hezbollah by sanctioning its funders and supporters, as well as those who assist in the Lebanese terror group’s using civilians as human shields. Both bills were approved Thursday with bipartisan sponsorship.
The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah made no mention of weapons capability on Friday in his first speech since Israel claimed that the Islamic militant group has a missile-launching facility near Beirut’s international airport.
The anti-Iran Lebanese Saydet el-Jabal gathering announced on Friday that it was again barred from holding its annual conference. Two weeks ago, it accused the Hezbollah party of preventing it from meeting at Beirut’s Bristol hotel.
A senior cleric in Iran has once again threatened Tel Aviv with destruction, while on Thursday, October 11, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Chief Commander has also claimed that "Israel is near its end."
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Yemeni Minister of Endowments and Guidance Ahmad Attia slammed Iran for training and brainwashing loyalists with radical ideology on its territory. Houthi militia leaderships are attending Iran-tailored intensive courses abroad and are then being sent back home to Yemen, he said. “Houthi loyalists and followers are being schooled in terrorist-run programs in Lebanon,” Attia said in a phone interview with Asharq Al-Awsat.