The European Union envoy coordinating talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, Enrique Mora, will visit Tehran on Thursday, the Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday, as a date is still to be set to relaunch the stalled negotiations. "(Mora's) trip will take place on Thursday. It follows consultations between the two sides on issues of mutual interest, including relations between Iran and the Union, Afghanistan and the nuclear accord," ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told Iranian state media.
Iran has asked Saudi Arabia to reopen consulates and re-establish diplomatic ties as a prelude to ending the war in Yemen, with timing emerging as the key sticking point in Iraqi-brokered talks between the regional rivals, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. While world powers push for negotiations to resurrect the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic has quietly held four rounds of discussions aimed at easing years of tension with Saudi Arabia. The focus has been on Yemen, where the two countries back opposing sides.
Iran is preparing to execute a man convicted of a crime that took place when he was still a child under international law. He was sentenced to death followed an unfair trial marred by confessions obtained through torture, according to a human rights group. Arman Abdolali has been moved to solitary confinement in Raja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, on the outskirts of Tehran, in preparation for his execution on Wednesday, Amnesty International said.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Tuesday that Iran is “becoming a nuclear threshold state.” The unusually stark wording was used by Lapid during a meeting with Jake Sullivan in Washington and was reiterated by the foreign minister in a later sit-down with a delegation of Congressional leaders headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The message built on the one delivered by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in his speech to the UN General Assembly last month, when Bennett warned that the Iranian nuclear program is at “a watershed moment.”
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
The lawyer for an Iranian American jailed in Iran for security offences urged Tehran to allow him to leave jail temporarily if his elderly father undergoes surgery in the country, a news website reported on Tuesday. Baquer Namazi, 84, was convicted of "collaboration with a hostile government" in 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Iranian authorities released him on medical grounds in 2018 and closed his case last year, commuting his sentence to time served. His son, Siamak Namazi, 49, remains in prison in Iran after being convicted of the same offence. The U.S. government has described the charges against both as baseless.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Iran’s nuclear ambitions and China’s global aspirations will be at the top of the agenda for a trilateral meeting between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his counterparts from Israel and the United Arab Emirates set to take place on Wednesday. The secretary is hosting Israeli and Emirati officials in Washington to mark the one-year anniversary of the Abraham Accords, the normalization agreement orchestrated by the Trump administration that established ties between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Iran has arrested 10 people in a southern province it says are linked to foreign intelligence services, the official IRNA news agency reported Tuesday. The report said Iran’s intelligence agency arrested the 10 after “sophisticated and continuous” surveillance in Bushehr province. It didn’t name the countries the suspects were linked to. The 10 worked for “regional” countries whose intelligence services acted as accomplices and proxies for the spy agencies of “hostile countries,” the news agency reported, a reference to Iran’s arch-enemy Israel and the U.S. The report said the 10 people were Iranian expatriates in the regional countries. Bushehr is home to Iran’s sole nuclear power plant that went online in 2011 with help from Russia.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
An influential committee in Iran's hard-line parliament submitted a concluded investigation and formal lawsuit to the judiciary demanding former President Hassan Rouhani be put on trial. The parliamentarians advancing the complaint argued their probe had established Rouhani's misconduct and failure to honor his presidential duties during his two consecutive terms (2013-2021). Deputy parliament speaker Abdolreza Mesri, who presided over the Oct. 12 session, declared the lawmakers would respect any decision by the judiciary, "which is an independent entity." Iran's judiciary has traditionally been a conservative entity whose chief is directly appointed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Victims of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi are urging British authorities to arrest the number two leader of the theocratic state if he attends a climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, starting in late October and running until November 12. “[First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon and [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson have a duty to act if they really believe in human rights,” Ahmad Ebrahimi told the Daily Record, who, according to the paper, “came face-to-face with the despot during his 10 years as a political prisoner when he was physically and emotionally tortured in the notorious Section 209 of Tehran’s Evin House of Detention.”
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Russian President Vladimir Putin will host Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for talks on Iran's nuclear programme and other regional security issues, Bennett's office said on Tuesday. The meeting, held at Putin's invitation, will take place in Sochi on Oct. 22, the Israeli statement said.
An Israeli last-resort military action against Iran is a risk of American appeasement and emboldens the Islamic Republic, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said Tuesday at the Jerusalem Post Conference. Military action is “not in the best interests of anyone,” he told Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Yaakov Katz. Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s decision to leave the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), known as the Iranian nuclear deal, in 2018, saying the policies it adopted had made the world safer from the Iranian regime.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iraqi voters delivered a sharp rebuke to Iran's allies in an election this week, but loosening the grip of Shi'ite militia from control of the state will still be a politically delicate goal, with the threat of violence always in the background. The main winner of the election was Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, a populist who has positioned himself as a staunch opponent of both Iran and the United States. Sadr proclaimed the result a "victory by the people over ... militias". There was elation among his supporters.
Two days after Iraq’s legislative election, pro-Iranian Shiite Muslim parties and armed groups on Tuesday denounced early poll results suggesting waning support as “manipulation” and a “scam”. Sunday’s parliamentary election - the fifth in the war-scarred country since the US-led invasion and overthrow of dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 - was marked by a record low turnout of 41 percent. Parties representing Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority have dominated Iraqi politics since the aftermath of the invasion, but early results from Sunday’s vote deepened a rift between powerful factions within that camp.