Critics Call Out Biden Administration For Not Walking Away From Iran Nuclear Deal Despite Recent Rhetoric

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Critics Call Out Biden Administration For Not Walking Away From Iran Nuclear Deal Despite Recent Rhetoric | Fox News

The Biden’s administration’s Iran policy, beset by criticism that it is too dovish on Tehran’s bloody crackdown on peaceful protesters and the clerical’s regime ambition to build a nuclear weapons device, is facing new blowback from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, former American ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, and European politicians. Critics say the Biden administration’s statements over this month show its fealty to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name for the Iran nuclear deal, that, according to one U.S. think tank study, would funnel $275 billion in benefits to Tehran in its first year and $1 trillion by 2030. A spokesman for Senator Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital that "Sen. Cruz believes that the Biden administration is ideologically obsessed with reentering a nuclear deal with Iran, and that they are doing everything possible to keep that possibility open.  

UN Atomic Energy Head Says Iran Has Processed Enough Material For ‘Several Nuclear Weapons’ | Voice Of America 

The head of the United Nations’s nuclear monitoring agency says he will travel to Iran next month in hopes of reviving the 2015 accord aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear activities. Speaking Tuesday in Brussels before members of the European Parliament’s security and defense subcommittee, Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the Islamic Republic has accumulated 70 kilograms of uranium enriched to 60% purity, with another 1,000 kilograms enriched to 20% purity, “enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons — not one at this point.” The threshold for making nuclear weapons is considered to be 90% purity.  

Ex-Hostages Call On World To Stand Up Against Islamic Republic | Iran International 

Several former foreigners and dual citizens held hostage in Iran as well as their families have launched an online campaign to demand release of Iranian political prisoners. Several former foreigners and dual citizens held hostage in Iran as well as their families have launched an online campaign to demand release of Iranian political prisoners.   British-Iranian businessman Anoosheh Ashoori and his daughter Elika, Kylie Moore-Gilbert, an Australian academic previously jailed in Iran for over two years, Ghazal Sharmand, the daughter of German-Iranian journalist and software engineer Jamshid Sharmahd – facing execution in Iran, and the daughter of Nahid Taghavi, another German-Iranian rights activist sentenced to 10 years in Iran since October 2020 are among the most prominent figures in the campaign.    

UANI IN THE NEWS 

Pressure On China To ‘Intensify’ Over Iranian Oil Imports, Says US Envoy | Lloyd’s List 

China will face increased pressure to slow down its imports of Iranian oil, according to US envoy for Iran Robert Malley. “We have been in contact with the Chinese authorities, and we will continue to take steps to sanction those who are involved in the import of Iranian oil,” Mr Malley told Bloomberg TV, adding the US will “intensify” talks with China to curb its imports of Iranian oil, saying the talks have been going on for several months. Iran’s oil exports increased in the past year despite a reinvigorated crackdown by the US. According to tanker trackers from United Against Nuclear Iran, China accounted for almost 71% of Iran’s exports in 2022. Iran’s oil exports surged in December to 1.2m-1.4m barrels per day, according to Vortexa and UANI. The US State Department has been approached for comment. Mr Malley’s interview on January 23 came after the US sanctioned more Iranian entities it accused of brutally repressing Iranian protestors.  

Ban Panama-Flag Tankers From EU Ports Over Iran Trades, Says US Pressure Group | TradeWinds 

… Iran’s oil exports increased in the past year despite a reinvigorated crackdown by the US. According to tanker trackers from United Against Nuclear Iran, China accounted for almost 71% of Iran’s exports in 2022. Iran’s oil exports surged in December to 1.2m-1.4m barrels per day, according to Vortexa and UANI. 

How Can The EU List Iran's IRGC As A Terrorist Organisation? | National News 

… 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.

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM  

UN Nuclear Chief Headed To Tehran In February | The National 

The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog on Tuesday described a now-defunct nuclear deal between Iran and western nations as an “empty shell” but indicated that he is likely to travel to Tehran next month to discuss the country's nuclear activities in a bid to keep the door open to dialogue. Speaking to members of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defence in Brussels, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said that he hoped “to be making some progress” during his visit to Tehran. “One thing is true: They have amassed enough nuclear material for several nuclear weapons, not one, at this point,” said Mr Rossi, claiming that 70kg of uranium had been enriched to 60 per cent purity and 1,000kg to 20 per cent.

SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS 

Inflation Tops 50% As Iran Starts Offering Gold On Stock Market | Iran International 

Despite haphazard state measures such as injecting dollars into the currency market and selling gold on the stock market, inflation is soaring and the rial maintains a downward trend. The point-to-point inflation rate reported by the Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) for the past Iranian month, which ended on January 20, has surpassed 50 percent, with food inflation hitting an average of over 70 percent. The SCI put overall inflation at 51 percent, taking into account 12 groups of goods and services. The highest jump was reported in the hotel and restaurant sector with 78.5 percent, followed by food. The SCI announced food inflation to be over 70 percent, considering the rise in prices of bread and cereals, red meat, dairy products, fruits, etc. The inflation for edible oils and fats was about 248 percent in comparison with the corresponding period of the previous year.  

EU Sanctions Chinese Video Surveillance Firm’s Representative In Iran | Iran International 

The European Union has sanctioned a company and its manager for violating human rights through the sale of Chinese Tiandy video surveillance equipment in Iran. As the only official representative of Tiandy in Iran, Radi Vira Tejarat Company imports and sells surveillance equipment to government security outfits such as the Revolutionary Guard, its Basij paramilitary force and the police. Earlier, NBC news in a report investigated Tiandy's cooperation with Iran's security and military institutions that helps them to identify protesters.  

Iran’s Friends Restrict Relations Due To US Sanctions: Official | Iran International 

A member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce says that the scope of US sanctions has been extended to friendly countries, including China, the UAE, and Iraq. Mehrad Ebad told ILNA Tuesday that these countries have limited their commercial dealings with Iran. Previously, some Iranian officials had confirmed that an important part of the country's exports rely on hidden middlemen and barters, including the exchange of oil with goods, which increases the cost of imports and reduces the profit of exports. Ebad also stated that currently exports from Iran to Europe have reached their lowest level and the largest volume of Iranian exports to Europe, especially Eastern Europe, is carried out through Turkey.  

PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS 

New Data Suggest More People Died In Iran During Protests | Iran International 

Official data show a surge of about 5,000 deaths in the Iranian month of Aban, which corresponds with days the regime intensified its crackdown on nationwide protests. Iranian Journalist Amir-Hadi Anvari cited the data released by Iran’s National Organization for Civil Registration that shows the number of deaths registered in the country from October 23 to November 21 was around 5,000 more than in the previous month. This can be an indication that security forces killed many more people than what human rights groups estimated, that total 500 civilian casualties in four months. Moreover the October-November period was when the regime used more deadly violence against protesters, compared with the previous month of Mehr and the following month of Azar.  

Iran Second Worst Country For Internet Censorship In 2022 Following Protests: Report | Al Arabiya 

Iran was the second place in the world for internet censorship in 2022 after repeatedly shutting off the internet in parts of country and blocking access to social media platforms to curb protests sparking from of Mahsa Amini’s death, a new poll has showed. As anti-regime demonstrations spilled onto the internet and social media, with videos of women burning their hijabs going viral, Iran responded by repeated internet blackouts and the shutdown of mobile networks across the capital of Tehran and other parts of the county. For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app. As anti-regime demonstrations spilled onto the internet and social media, with videos of women burning their hijabs going viral, Iran responded by repeated internet blackouts and the shutdown of mobile networks across the capital of Tehran and other parts of the county.    

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS  

Iran Says US 'In No Position' To Talk About Human Rights | Iran International 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has said that the United States is in no position to even speak about human rights. In a tweet on Tuesday, Amir-Abdollahian said as a result of Washington’s “interventionism” two million people have been “slaughtered” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria, and the United States is also “enflaming the fire of the Ukrainian war”. “Stop hypocrisy. The great nation of Iran knows well the malevolence behind nice-sounding words,” he added.

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN

Iran Vows To Rebuild Syria Amid Own Dire Economic Needs | Iran International

In a meeting with the Syrian defense minister, Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has said the Islamic Republic is ready to help Damascus financially in rebuilding the country. Raisi also described the relations between the two countries as strategic stating that Iran will always stand by Syria. “The Islamic Republic of Iran is a true friend of the Syrian nation because it stood by the Syrian nation and government during the period of resistance against terrorism and is ready now to stand by them during the reconstruction period by boosting all-round economic cooperation,” Raisi told the Syrian minister Ali Mahmoud Abbas.