U.S., EU, UK Impose New Sanctions On Iran Over Protest Crackdown | Reuters
The West on Monday stepped up pressure on Iran over its crackdown on protests as the United States, European Union and United Kingdom imposed fresh sanctions on Tehran. The actions, which reflect a deterioration in the West's already dire relations with Tehran in recent months, are the latest response to Iran's deadly clampdown on unrest after the death of young Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in morality police custody in September. The protests by Iranians from all walks of life mark one of the boldest challenges to the ruling theocracy since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran accuses Western powers of fomenting the unrest, which security forces have met with deadly violence.
US To Boost Pressure On China To Stop Importing Iran Oil, Envoy Says | Bloomberg
The Biden administration’s top Iran envoy said it will increase pressure on China to cease imports of Iranian oil as the US tries to enforce nuclear sanctions. “China is the main destination of illicit exports by Iran,” and talks to dissuade Beijing from the purchases are “going to be intensified,” US Special Envoy for Iran Robert Malley said in a Bloomberg Television interview Monday. The US reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic and its petroleum exports in 2018 after pulling out of an agreement aimed at containing its nuclear program. In response, Tehran has ramped up uranium enrichment activities and restricted international monitoring.
Iran’s Regime Is Trying To Execute Its Way Out Of Trouble | CNN
The cries of the women outside a Tehran courthouse swell to a collective wail. The gathering is reminiscent of a vigil, but it is one of the vestiges of a nationwide uprising that has all but died down after the Iranian judiciary’s breathless handing down of death sentences in recent weeks. Children stand at the front of the courthouse protest chanting “No to execution” in a January 14 video shared by the Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA). Despite the blurring of faces in the video, one girl can be seen wiping her tears. She appears no older than 10 years.
UANI IN THE NEWS
How Can The EU List Iran's IRGC As A Terrorist Organisation? | The National
…Some analysts such as Jason Brodsky, policy director of US non-profit organisation United Against Nuclear Iran, believe that the EU can list the IRGC as a terror group without waiting for a European court verdict. Mr Brodsky told The National that this has been done before…Mr Brodsky said that the EU currently lacked the political will to list the IRGC because officials were attached to reviving the now-defunct nuclear deal. “Iranian people are chanting: death to the IRGC. Standing with them would be a very powerful move,” he said.
EU Slaps Sanctions On Dozens In Iran, Won’t Add Guards To Terror List | i24 News
…”The sanctions are important, they are necessary, but not sufficient. The EU should be on the same page as its ally the U.S. in adding the IRGC to its terror list," said Jason Brodsky, a Middle East analyst and policy director for United Against Nuclear Iran. He noted to i24NEWS, though, that the U.S. should also “demonstrate more leadership on the issue,” suggesting that Washington publicly expresses its support for world powers to add the Guards to their terror blacklists.
Iran Claims Panama Oil Tanker Cancellations Were Politically Motivated | Oil Price
… The AMP’s statement came in response to an op-ed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in which he claimed Panama had been helping Iran’s regime to survive by helping the government smuggle oil in violation of sanctions. Jeb Bush sits on the advisory board of an organization dubbed United Against Nuclear Iran. The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), the entity in charge of the Panamanian Ship Registry, rejected the assertions made by Jeb Bush, a member of the United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Advisory Board, in a Washington Post op-ed from January 16, 2023, titled “How the United States can stop Panama from helping Iran avoid oil sanctions,” the AMP said in its statement.
US Politician Links Iran Sanctions Evasion To IMO Secretary General Election | Ship & Bunker
…Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and an advisory board member of United Against Nuclear Iran, wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Post last week objecting to that prospect. He alleged Panama is not doing enough to prevent tankers under its flag from carrying sanctioned Iranian cargoes, despite receiving significant investment from the US. “Incredibly, Panama wants to lead the International Maritime Organization, a UN agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and combating illicit maritime activities,” Bush wrote in the article.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Youth Arrested In Iran Tortured To Accuse Each Other | Iran International
An activist group says sixteen young people arrested in Urumieh in November, including several minors, have been tortured and threatened with rape to incriminate each other. Follow Up Iran (komite-ye Peygiri-ye Bazdashtshodegan) which on its twitter account introduces itself as a group of activists said in a brief report on its Telegram page Sunday that the IRGC’s intelligence organization in West Azarbaijan Province has been torturing these young people to ‘confess’ against each other and say their group was in contact with foreign intelligence services. State media reported in November that intelligence bodies had arrested 25 members of Youth of Urumieh Neighborhoods and accused them of trying “to deceive young people and incite them [to riot]”.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Two Police Officers Killed In Armed Attack In Iran’s Southeast: State Media | Al Arabiya
Two police officers were killed in an armed attack in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan early on Tuesday, state media reported. The attack occurred in the city of Bampour at 2 a.m. local time when “miscreants” targeted a group of police officers on patrol, state news agency IRNA cited Mohammad Ghanbari, Sistan-Baluchistan’s police chief, as saying. A third officer was injured in the attack, he added. A “special team of detectives” has been formed to investigate the attack and arrest those responsible, Ghanbari said. “
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
U.S. And Israel Launch A Massive Joint Military Exercise To Send A Message To Iran And Others | NBC News
The United States and Israel began a massive joint military exercise in Israel on Monday to show adversaries like Iran that Washington is not too distracted by the war in Ukraine and the threat from China to mobilize a large military force, a senior defense official said. Juniper Oak 23 is “the most significant exercise between the United States and Israel to date,” the official said, citing the enormous number of aircraft, extensive coordination with the Israel Defense Forces, and the complicated live-fire component. Approximately 6,400 U.S. personnel have joined 1,100 Israeli personnel for the exercise, which will employ 142 total aircraft. Of them, 100 aircraft are from the U.S. military, including four B-52 bombers, four F-35 fighter jets, 45 F/A-18 Hornet fighters and two MQ-9 Reaper drones. Six U.S. ships, including a carrier strike group, and six Israeli ships will also participate.
Details About IRGC Building Air Defense Network In Syria | Iran International
Amid new sanctions by Western countries on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard for human rights violations and other mischiefs, the multi-role organization is ramping up Syria’s air defense system, despite rampant poverty in Iran. According to a report by the Newsweek earlier in the month, the Islamic Republic has invested tens of millions of dollars from the country's public budget for the deployment of a comprehensive aerial defense network in Syria. Newsweek cited an unnamed intelligence source from a nation allied with the United States that the IRGC over the past two years has been “promoting the deployment of aerial defense capabilities on its behalf in Syria at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in order to deal with the Israeli airstrikes.”
IRAQ & IRAN
Analysis: Iraqi PM Walks Diplomatic Tightrope In Crackdown On Dollars Smuggled To Iran | Reuters
Under pressure from Washington to stem the flow of dollars into Iran, Iraq's prime minister sent elite counter-terrorism forces more accustomed to battling Islamist militants to shut down dealers smuggling the currency to the Islamic Republic. Saturday's raids in Baghdad represent an early test for Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani, who took office in October after more than a year of political paralysis and must now tread a delicate diplomatic path. The New York Federal Reserve introduced tighter controls on international dollar transactions by commercial Iraqi banks in November. The move was designed to stop the illegal siphoning of dollars to Iran and apply more pressure along with U.S sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear programme and other disputes, leaving Tehran struggling to source dollars. Aqeel al-Fatlawi, a Shi'ite lawmaker, accused Washington of deliberately using the new regulations as a political weapon.