American and western intelligence sources believe Iran has been increasing its shipments of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah, deliveries that now include Global Positioning System (GPS) components to make previously unguided rockets into precision guided-missiles, increasing the threat to Israel.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed academic Farhad Dejpasand as the new economy and finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on Sunday, state television reported, as the country faces mounting U.S. sanctions. The proposed cabinet changes come as the government faces intense pressure over the economic instability mostly caused by U.S. sanctions.
The international group that monitors money-laundering worldwide said on Friday Iran had until February to complete reforms that would bring it into line with global norms or face consequences. The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force said after a meeting of its members that it was disappointed that Tehran had acted on only nine out of 10 of its guidelines despite pledges to make the grade.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
European and Asian leaders are giving their backing to the Iran nuclear deal, saying the pact is good for global security and that it's important to respect international agreements.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
German exports to Iran have dwindled since the United States pulled out of the international nuclear deal with Tehran, data showed on Friday, despite Berlin’s attempts to shield companies from renewed U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it will be harder for countries to get waivers on Iran oil sanctions than during the Obama administration and dismissed concerns that oil prices could rise, saying the market had already factored in the losses.
The Trump administration fears Russia could help Tehran evade US sanctions by buying up Iranian oil and reselling it as its own.
European nations are seeking to ensure at least one Iranian bank stays connected to the world after the US imposed new sanctions against the country, a French senator said in Tehran on Sunday.
While secondary sanctions are aimed at influencing the behavior of non-U.S. companies, U.S.-based companies are the ones that must monitor and ensure compliance. The risks for violations of the sanctions can be high.
Scores of Iranian executives running private businesses converged on the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture on Saturday to meet their Syrian counterparts and secure a foothold in a market that is now ripe for business after years of conflicts.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
More international bodies have lent their voices in defense of Iranian truckers who are on strike, demanding that their hardship be addressed..
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Russia, China, Iran and some other foreign countries have “ongoing campaigns” to influence U.S. elections ahead of the November midterms that are causing concern within the national intelligence communities.
A court in Iran sentenced to death a financial trader known as the “Sultan of Coins” on Sunday, along with another man, the judiciary’s Mizan Online news agency reported..
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Renowned international human-rights lawyer Irwin Cotler is nominating Syria’s famed White Helmets, a group of volunteer humanitarian workers Canada helped rescue from the war-torn country, for the Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minister who helped co-ordinate last summer’s rescue effort with Israel, said he plans on nominating the White Helmets for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. The civil-defence organization, which has been credited with saving more than 100,000 civilians during Syria’s ongoing civil war, has been nominated for the international award before, but never won.
Iran’s economic problems have reportedly decreased the flow of financial patronage to the group, forcing it to seek another slush fund at home.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
The deputy minister of education in the coup-government of the Houthi pro-Iranian militias, Dr. Abdullah al-Hamdi, said that he broke with the militias, calling to rise up against these rejected militias from 90% of the Yemeni people who are suffering from hunger, death and poverty due to the militias. Hamdi revealed in a television interview on Sunday that these militias import Iranian ideology and their destructive project to enslave the Yemeni people, exploiting them to terrorize and control the society.