EU Plays Down Chance Of Any Iran Talks Outside Vienna

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EU Plays Down Chance Of Any Iran Talks Outside Vienna | Reuters 

The European Union on Monday played down the prospect of serious talks on Iran's nuclear programme outside the framework of negotiations between world powers and Iran in Vienna, with the EU's foreign policy chief saying time was not on Iran's side. A senior EU official said last week Iran was not ready yet to return to actual talks with world powers over reviving its 2015 nuclear programme and related U.S. sanctions but could discuss with the EU in Brussels texts from when negotiations ended in June. Contradictory reports in Iranian media on Sunday had suggested a possible meeting on Thursday in Brussels. 

Iran Sets Third Execution Date In Eight Days For Convicted Killer | The National 

Iran has set a third date for the execution of a man convicted of a murder he committed at the age of 17 after the sentence was twice postponed amid an international outcry. Arman Abdolali, now 25, is due to be executed on Wednesday after he was convicted of killing his girlfriend, rights group Amnesty International reported. Iran has signed an international agreement banning the death penalty for people who committed crimes while under the age of 18. Campaigners say Abdolali was sentenced to death in December 2015 following an unfair trial marred by confessions obtained under torture. 

Iran Says It Will Hold Talks With Russia Over Military Cooperation | Bloomberg 

Iran and Russia will convene a “joint military commission” in Tehran within the next three months in order to discuss defense and security cooperation, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, Mohammad Bagheri. Bagheri, who is in Moscow for meetings with his Russian counterpart, Valery Gerasimov, said the commission will also be tasked with outlining areas of cooperation in the field of military training, without giving more details, according to IRNA.

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UANI IN THE NEWS

Let's Plug The Sanctions Gaps That Enable Iran To Sell Oil To China And Venezuel | UANI Research Director Daniel Roth And UANI Chief Of Staff Claire Jungman For The Hill 

For all the sanctions on Iran, Tehran has secured willing customers for its crucial oil and gas exports in the world’s leading authoritarian and communist regimes: Venezuela and China. Caracas has taken a creative route, first paying gold for oil and then bartering its own heavy crude for Iranian gas condensates. Beijing, by contrast, pays cash straight up — $280 billion in 2019, followed by a deal worth $400 billion this year. Naturally, this illicit trade weakens efforts to compel Iran to moderate its destructive behavior and end its pursuit of nuclear weapons, potentially harming U.S. interests and national security.   

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM 

U.S. Says 'Intermediate Step' Of Meeting In Brussels Not Necessary For Iran Talks | Reuters 

The United States does not think talks in Brussels are necessary before the resumption of indirect negotiations with Iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday. A senior EU official said last week Iran was not ready yet to return to actual talks with world powers over reviving its 2015 nuclear program and related U.S. sanctions but could discuss with the EU in Brussels texts from when negotiations ended in June. After initially suggesting optimism that preparatory talks in the Belgian capital could take place soon, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell played down the possibility on Monday and dismissed Iranian reports of discussions planned for Thursday this week.   

Tehran Says Nuclear Talks May Go Many More Rounds: Iran Snapshot | Bloomberg 

Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers could last for several more rounds, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday. The comments came ahead of a meeting in Brussels on Thursday between Iranian and European Union diplomats to try to end the deadlock. There have been six rounds of negotiations in Vienna to revive a 2015 deal that limited Tehran’s atomic activities in return for U.S. sanctions relief, including on oil exports. The Brussels meeting will be “a preparatory step towards resumption of real negotiations in Vienna,” Russia’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mikhail Ulyanov, said in a tweet. 

SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS   

Poll: Iranians Blame Economic Woes On Corruption, Not Sanctions | Al Monitor 

A polling company released survey results Monday on Iranians’ views of the economy, the United States and more. The Toronto-based IranPoll conducted the poll with the University of Maryland’s Center for International and Security Studies. The data was gathered between Aug. 30 and Sept. 9.  The poll, which was sent to Al-Monitor, found that 63% of those surveyed believed economic mismanagement had the biggest negative impact on the Iranian economy, while 34% felt foreign sanctions had the biggest negative effect. 

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN

Israel Said To Approve $1.5 Billion Budget For Potential Strike On Iran | The Times Of Israel 

Israel has approved a budget of some 5 billion shekels ($1.5 billion) to be used to prepare the military for a potential strike against Iran’s nuclear program, Channel 12 reported Monday. The NIS 5 billion budget is made up of NIS 3 billion from the previous budget and an additional NIS 2 billion from the next budget slated to be approved by the government in November, It includes funds for various types of aircraft, intelligence-gathering drones and unique armaments needed for such an attack, which would have to target heavily fortified underground sites, the unsourced report said. 

OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS    

Iran, Venezuela To Sign 20-Year Cooperation Accord | Al Jazeera 

Iran will sign a 20-year cooperation accord with Venezuela when President Nicolas Maduro visits Tehran “in the next few months”. In a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia in Tehran on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian announced the news and added that a joint economic cooperation commission, which will be formed in Iran’s capital before the end of the year which, will finalise the details of the agreement. “All of this confirms that relations between the two countries are on the rise,” Amirabdollahian said, adding that some of the agreements made earlier on cooperation on a wide range of issues, including energy, are currently being implemented.