The Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will reimpose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a U.S. government official said on Friday.
Iran’s parliament voted Sunday to join a global convention to cut off terror financing, hoping to avoid further international sanctions as the 2015 nuclear accord unravels.
The UN human rights chief is condemning Iran's execution of a woman convicted of murdering her husband five years ago when she was 17 years old.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Iran is finding it hard to receive payments for its natural-gas exports to Iraq, as U.S. pressure hits one of the Islamic Republic’s most crucial sources of revenue beyond crude. Iran’s latest difficulties highlight the ways in which U.S. sanctions, set to take effect in November, are already affecting the country’s key industries and its international customers.
Iranian exports of ultra-light crude oil known as condensate fell 46 percent in the six months to Sept 22 from a year earlier, the semi-official news agency ISNA reported on Sunday, quoting figures form Iran’s customs.
India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, two industry sources said, indicating the world’s third-biggest oil importer will continue purchasing crude from the Islamic republic despite U.S. sanctions coming into force on Nov. 4.
The United States has secured a judgment in a civil action seeking the forfeiture of $396,589 associated with a United Arab Emirates-based company, Royal Pearls General Trading, that allegedly engaged in illegal business dealings involving a company in Iran, announced U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu and Sean M. Cox, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Springfield, Illinois Field Office.
Oman has long been nicknamed the “Switzerland of the Middle East” thanks to the nation’s peace-focused diplomacy measures and a tendency toward neutrality and mediation… Now, for the first time in many years, Oman’s policy of neutrality is being challenged thanks to increased pressure on Iran coming from the United States, as well as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Through the center of this dilemma runs a proposed natural gas pipeline between Iran and Oman.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom has met its promise to Washington to make up for Iranian crude oil supplies lost through U.S. sanctions.
As if they needed it, U.S.-China relations face a new flashpoint on Nov. 4, when Washington’s new sanctions on Iran take full effect with the stated objective of cutting Tehran’s oil exports to zero, from a current 1.7 million barrels a day. China, which buys about one-quarter of Iran’s crude, is shaping up as the center of global resistance to this unilateral action.
Iran's oil buyers have a month to halt their trades or risk getting banned from the US financial system for violating secondary sanctions that return November 5.
Declining relations between the U.S. and Iran may thus signal affirmatively an increase in military and economic support to the GCC countries, shoring up regional defenses and substantially raising the cost of Iranian military action. Escalating tensions, however, also come with a higher chance of war, which, with a nuclear Iran, would pose an existential risk to the region. In such an eventuality, defense against incoming nuclear and non-nuclear missiles would be a top regional priority.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
Austria’s conservative government plans to impose a ban of Islamic extremist symbols from the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Hamas.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
On the one-year anniversary of the global #MeToo movement, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared a solution for Western women facing sexual harassment: wear a hijab. His statement comes amid growing unrest over the law that mandates that Iranian women wear the hijab, or headscarf, in public. In recent weeks the Iranian government has arrested several activists who have protested the law.
It has been more than two years since Qu Hua saw her husband Wang Xiyue. The Princeton doctoral student was in Iran studying century-old archives when he was arrested in August 2016. The US citizen is now serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted on two counts of espionage.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
The United States will confront Tehran at the UN's top court on Monday over billions in frozen assets, in a case that could deepen the Trump administration's rift with international justice.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
An Iranian businessman accused of defrauding thousands of investors was returned to Iran with Interpol's help on Saturday after he fled abroad, state media reported, a week after Tehran sentenced three people to death in a drive against economic crimes.
The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to witness a rise in the amount of seized opium and opiates such as heroin or morphine, owing largely to its location on the Golden Crescent, a drug pathway leading from Afghanistan and Pakistan through Iran to European markets.
Nearly 280,000 have been killed and more than four million injured in car accidents in over a decade in Iran, says the Islamic Republic's traffic police chief.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Russia is working quietly to open avenues of communication between Jerusalem and Tehran “in order to reduce tensions and prevent friction” in Syria, London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported Saturday, citing a senior Russian source. The source told the paper the move was made in light of Moscow’s decision to provide the Assad regime with advanced anti-aircraft missiles.
The deputy commander of Iran's revolutionary guards warned Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday to "practice swimming in the Mediterranean" because he would be forced to abandon his country.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, in an interview with Bloomberg, in response to a question regarding Yemen and how he sees the conflict evolving and when it will end, said: “We hope it will end as soon as possible. We don’t need that on our border.”
French government revealed that the Iranian Intelligence Ministry was behind the plan to attack the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq conference near Paris, causing a diplomatic crisis between the two countries… This time, the French authorities have accused Tehran directly, while Iran and its agents have been suspected of planning other operations in France and Europe.
Israel was dealt a bad hand when it comes to regional security, and Syria is the latest—and trickiest—card in the deck. On the one hand, the weakness of the Bashar al-Assad regime diminishes a leader whose country has never reconciled its past conflicts and territorial disputes with Israel and often proved a remorseless foe. On the other hand, Iran and Hezbollah are exploiting Syria’s instability, and Israelis fear the country will become a new launching pad for Iranian influence and attacks—essentially, another Lebanon.
IRAQ & IRAN
Why are members of an Iranian Kurdish resistance group based in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan being targeted by Iranian missiles? And what can the West do to help?
AFGHANISTAN & IRAN
Russia continues to compete for influence in Afghanistan, where international reconciliation efforts are underway, while Iran is playing both sides of the Afghan conflict, according to a top U.S. military official… Russia is not the only nation seeking influence in Afghanistan. CENTCOM's [Gen.] Votel said the Iranians have "hedged their bets" in Afghanistan, by trying to have relationships with both the Afghan government and the Taliban.