U.S. And Iran Enter ‘Decisive’ Period To Revive Nuclear Accord Or Risk Failure, U.N. Watchdog Chief Says

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U.S. And Iran Enter ‘Decisive’ Period To Revive Nuclear Accord Or Risk Failure, U.N. Watchdog Chief Says | The Washington Post 

The next few weeks will be “decisive” in determining whether the United States and Iran can return to indirect negotiations and resume efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between them, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday. Iran, in response to an urgent appeal by IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, has now extended an invitation for him to meet with its political leaders in Tehran in the coming days, Grossi said in an interview. On his agenda are interruptions in international monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program and other questions that, if they are not resolved, could make it virtually impossible to return to the agreement. 

U.S., European Officials To Discuss Iran On Friday In Paris -Sources | Reuters 

The U.S. special envoy for Iran will meet British, French and German diplomats in Paris on Friday to discuss stalled efforts to get Iran to resume compliance with the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, three diplomatic sources said on Wednesday. While saying for weeks it would return to talks "soon," Iran has yet to announce a date to resume discussions in Vienna about reviving the pact under which it curbed its nuclear program in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. economic sanctions. Then-U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the pact in 2018 and reimposed harsh U.S. sanctions.

Iran Holds Nationwide Air Force Drill, Latest Armed Exercise | Associated Press  

Iran on Thursday kicked off an annual air force drill across the country, a week after holding another massive exercise in air defense, state TV reported. The report said bombers, jet fighters, and attack and surveillance drones will participate in the drill, using heavy weapons including laser-guided missiles. It said all Iranian military air bases will participate in the maneuver. Reportedly, Iran has 12 air bases. The report did not say how long the drill will last. It came a week after Iran held a two-day annual air defense drill in the country’s sprawling central desert, with both the army and the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard taking part. Iran regularly holds such drills and says they assess the troops’ combat readiness and demonstrate the nation’s military capabilities.

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UANI IN THE NEWS 

Iran, A Dammed Nation | UANI Senior Advisor Sir Ivor Roberts For Spectator World 

The recent events in Afghanistan have made us think we know what regime collapse looks like. Militias roaming the streets, soldiers scrambling to helicopters, up against the clock to escape the anarchy below. But in some instances, the reality can be far more mundane. Across from Afghanistan’s own border, another Islamic theocracy — Iran — is struggling to manage a dangerous water shortage. As one hardline Muslim regime arose in Central Asia this year, another could yet be at the very beginning of its fall. In July, during the worst drought in half a century and scorching heat of over 120°F, protests erupted in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan as a water crisis that has been slowly bubbling for decades hit boiling point. 

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM 

Saudi Foreign Minister, U.S. Special Envoy To Iran Discuss Nuclear Talks – SPA | Reuters 

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud and U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley met in Riyadh on Wednesday to discuss the Iranian nuclear talks, the state news agency SPA said. Prince Faisal and Malley, who earlier visited Qatar on a regional tour to coordinate with Gulf allies, also discussed strengthening "joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias" threatening regional security, SPA added. Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi has not yet agreed to resume indirect talks with the United States on both sides returning to compliance with the deal, under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for economic sanctions relief. 

MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS 

Why Drone War By Proxy Is Iran’s Favored Form Of Asymmetric Warfare | Arab News 

In recent months multiple waves of attacks by so-called loitering munitions, a type of unmanned aerial vehicle designed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, have been launched against civilian facilities in various parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Iran’s political pawn in Yemen, the Houthis, has been given the know-how and components to use the technology as part of a regional strategy that has led to a spike in drone attacks throughout the Middle East. 

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS 

Iran, Turning More To Imports, Plans To Abandon One Of Its Homegrown Covid Vaccines | The New York Times 

Iran plans to abandon production of its Fakhravac Covid-19 vaccine for lack of demand, its defense ministry said on Tuesday. Iran’s five other domestic Covid vaccines could also be in jeopardy, as Iranians have shown they prefer imported vaccines. The Iranian vaccines have been undermined by the health ministry’s decision to back away from initial promises to purchase large quantities of doses from domestic manufacturers. “We are in the process of planning to end production, because who will we sell it to?” Ahmad Karimi, the director of the Fakhravac vaccine program, told Iranian news outlets on Tuesday. 

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN 

Russia, China, Iran To Work With Taliban Towards ‘Regional Stability’ | AFP

Russia and Central Asia powerbrokers agree to work with the Taliban to promote security in the region and call on Afghanistan’s new leaders to implement “moderate” policies. Representatives of 10 countries at talks in Moscow agree to “promote security in Afghanistan to contribute to regional stability” while calling on the Taliban to “practice moderate and sound internal and external policies, adopt friendly policies towards neighbors of Afghanistan.” 

Liberman: Conflict With Iran A Matter Of Time, Not Far Off | The Jerusalem Post 

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman said Thursday that "a confrontation with Iran is only a matter of time, and not a long time." In an interview at Walla studios with Tal Shalev and Yaki Adamkar, Liberman stressed that "no diplomatic move or agreement will stop the Iranian nuclear program. They see North Korea, despite the diplomatic moves, they see its unprecedented intensification. The Jewish people must not live in illusions. Hitler wrote his book in 1923 and then seized power. This is a problem of the international community but first of all ours because they have stated that their policy is the destruction of Israel, and they do mean it." 

Russia And Iran To Hold Military Cooperation Meeting In Tehran | The Defense Post 

Iran’s military chief has announced that a joint Russian-Iranian meeting on military-technical cooperation will take place in Tehran in three months, Russian news agency Interfax reported. Mohammad Bagheri of the Iranian General Staff pushed for stronger military ties between the two nations as he met his Russian counterpart Valery Gerasimovis in Moscow this week. Before meeting Gerasimovis, Iran’s official news agency IRNA cited the Iranian military chief as saying that he would pursue a contract with Moscow which includes the purchase of Russian fighter aircraft, training aircraft, and combat helicopters.