European Concerns Raise Prospect Of Renewed U.N. Sanctions On Iran

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European Concerns Raise Prospect Of Renewed U.N. Sanctions On Iran | Reuters 

Europe's threat to trigger a mechanism that could reimpose United Nations sanctions on Iran marks a significant breakdown in diplomacy to try to save the 2015 nuclear deal and could presage its death knell, diplomats say. Britain, France and Germany have sought to salvage the pact, under which Iran undertook to curtail its uranium enrichment program in return for relief from sanctions crippling its economy, since the United States withdrew last year.

Rouhani Admits Without Oil Exports The Government In Iran Is Broke | Radio Farda

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says his country's situation has never been as "difficult and complicated" as it is today. Rouhani admitted that U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports are making it difficult to run the affairs of the country. The remarks are in sharp contrast to Rouhani's previous statements in which he portrayed a promising picture of the country's economy. In recent months, he and his senior aides have said repeatedly that the country's economy was growing, the inflation rate was on a declining curve and non-oil exports were making up for lost oil sales.

Saudi Arabia Says Iran Being 'Deceptive' On Nuclear Programme | Reuters 

Saudi Arabia's cabinet on Tuesday said Iran was being "deceptive and evasive" about its nuclear programme and accused it of delaying giving information to the U.N. atomic watchdog. A cabinet statement carried on the state Saudi Press Agency also called on Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency and its inspectors. Last week Iran resumed enrichment at its underground Fordow nuclear facility, banned under a 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

UANI IN THE NEWS

Beirut Burning Again | UANI Senior Advisor Norman Roule For The John Batchelor Show 

"This represents a trend which is occurring throughout the Middle East. These sorts of protests are leaderless, rudderless, there is mass dissatisfaction and anger, but they are also peaceful. They are being generated by populations who in essence are angry with the entire spectrum of political leadership. They are tired of unemployment, nepotism, corruption and mismanagement and often, Iranian involvement in their activities. These will be very difficult demonstrations for the governments to put down."

Europe Finally On Board With US On Iran's Terror Airline | UANI Research Director Daniel Roth For The Times Of Israel

In 2011, the United States designated Mahan Air as Iran's 'terrorist airline.' As the Treasury designation noted, Mahan Air services the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF), providing "transportation, funds transfers and personnel travel services" to the fanatical terrorist arm of the Iranian government. Reporting directly to Ayatollah Khamenei and commanded by Major General Qasem Soleimani, the IRGC-QF is the tip of the spear in exporting the Islamic Republic's revolutionary terrorist doctrine across the globe.

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM

Iran: Europeans Hypocrites For Condemning Steps Away From Deal | Al Jazeera 

Iran accused European nations trying to salvage the moribund 2015 nuclear deal of hypocrisy for criticising and threatening to reimpose sanctions after Tehran took a major step away from the historic agreement. Iran's president and foreign minister on Tuesday said the UK, France, Germany, and the European Union have failed to uphold their end of the bargain to protect Tehran from "maximum pressure" sanctions imposed by the United States in the wake of Washington's withdrawal from the deal in 2018.

New Signs Iran Is Creeping Closer To Making A Nuclear Bomb | Jonathan Ruhe For The Hill 

Iran's regime likes anniversaries. This month it celebrated 40 years since the U.S. embassy hostage crisis by unveiling new nuclear centrifuges and redoing anti-American murals at the site of the former embassy. In May, it marked one year since the United States left the 2015 nuclear deal by beginning its own steady departure from the agreement. But the past week's anniversary surprise is much more momentous.

Rouhani Says Iran Won't Scrap Nuclear Deal, Defends Breaches | Al Monitor 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani once again shrugged off criticism from his hard-line critics at home by throwing his full weight behind the 2015 nuclear deal, which is hanging by a thread due to the US pullout in May 2018. Addressing a meeting of local officials in the southeastern city of Kerman Nov. 12, Rouhani said the phased reduction of commitments his administration has started is the "right path" of "resistance" against what Iran laments as the European signatories' failure to live up to their side of the agreement.

SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS

U.S. Software Company Discloses Potential Sanctions Violations | The Wall Street Journal 

...Altair suspected an unaffiliated third-party consultant in Poland may have provided proprietary software to an individual subcontractor residing in Iran, according to a regulatory filing in May that disclosed the potential breaches. The commercial software involved was developed by a Greek subsidiary of Altair, according to the May filing. Altair said it conducted an internal investigation, and in July it disclosed the results to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces U.S. economic sanctions, and to the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security, which administers export control regulations.

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS

Trump And Macron Discussed Syria Coordination, Iran, Trade: White House Spokesman | Reuters 

U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron on a phone call on Monday discussed Syria, Iran and trade according to a series of tweets posted by White House spokesman Judd Deere on Tuesday. "The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to continue coordination on Syria. They also voiced concern over Iran's steps to advance its nuclear program," Deere wrote. "President Trump further emphasized the importance of ensuring an even playing field for American companies.

The Ball Is In Iran's Court On Talks, Senior US Energy Official Says | CNBC 

A senior State Department official on Tuesday said current tensions between the U.S. and Iran are entirely within Iran's power to fix, speaking at a panel event on energy and geopolitics at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (Adipec). "The ball is in the Iranian regime's court, as it were," Frank Fannon, U.S. Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Energy Resources at the State Department told CNBC's Hadley Gamble on stage.

MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS 

The Ayatollah's Den Of Espionage | Maysam Behravesh For Foreign Affairs 

Forty years ago last week, a group called Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam stormed the American embassy in Tehran and took its staff hostage. Iran's new revolutionary government, under the leadership of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, dubbed the embassy the "den of espionage." The ensuing hostage crisis cast a long shadow over Iran's relations with the United States-one still visible today. Perhaps less remarked upon in Washington, however, is the lasting influence of the event and its symbolism on the Iranian government's view of intelligence and counterintelligence.

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS

Poor Air Quality Closes Schools In Iran's Capital | Associated Press 

Dangerously poor air quality has forced Iran's government to close all primary schools in the capital, Tehran, a city home to 10 million people. A thick smog is hanging over the city, caused by heavy traffic and factory pollution. It's been worsened by a lack of wind and rain in recent days. On Tuesday, the official state news agency IRNA cited Anoushiravan Bandpay, the governor of Tehran province, as announcing the following day's school closures.

In Closed-Door Session Iran's Parliament Scrambles To Find Money | Radio Farda 

The share of crude oil in Iran's next year budget (beginning March 21) has dropped to zero, Mehr news agency reported November 12. The report coincided with the Islamic Republic parliament's closed-door session on Tuesday, debating ways to reduce the dependency of the country's budget on oil revenues. The report, if confirmed, shows that Iran's income from selling crude has significantly dropped under U.S. sanctions and has forced President Hassan Rouhani's administration to seek other sources of income to draft next year's budget.

Proposal To Separate Prisons From Judiciary Fails In Iran | Radio Farda 

Iranian parliament's legal affairs commission has decided not to separate the country's prison system from the Judiciary, a proposed reform that could have helped legal and humanitarian protection for prisoners. Iran's Judiciary is only accountable to the Supreme Leader and has often violated even Iran's laws and constitutional rights in dealing with detainees. The head of the Judiciary is appointed by the Supreme Leader, who is not an elected official and in practice not accountable to anyone. 

Iran's Rouhani Shows Spark Of Old Self Against Hard-Liners | Al Monitor 

In the past few weeks, Iran's moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, has sought to defy hard-liners by bringing up controversial issues in his speeches. During the past two years, Rouhani has disillusioned his fans and supporters who assumed that he would be committed to his promises: increasing social and political freedom and solving the long-standing dilemmas the country faces, including Tehran-Washington ties. What prompted people to stand behind Rouhani in the 2017 election was in part their recollection of his image from the 2013 race.

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN 

Israel Targets Islamic Jihad Leadership, Sending Message To Iran | Associated Press 

Israel on Tuesday targeted two senior commanders from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, killing one in the Gaza Strip and missing the second in Syria as it stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region. The death of Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza set off the heaviest fighting in months between Israel and Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed militant group that is even more hard-line than Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Iran Accuses Israel Of Committing 'Terrorist Attack' Against Gaza | The Times Of Israel 

Iran on Tuesday condemned Israel for its targeted killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad senior commander Baha Abu al-Ata and described Israeli retaliatory strikes to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip as a "terrorist attack" requiring criminal prosecution. Israel said al-Ata was the "prime instigator" of rocket attacks and other terrorism from Gaza over the past year. In a statement, the Iranian foreign ministry "underlined the need to prosecute and punish the occupiers in international courts as war criminals" and "condemned the Israeli regime's terrorist attack on Gaza Strip and the assassination of an Islamic Jihad commander."

Iran Appoints New Ambassador To Russia | Asharq Al-Awsat 

Former member of the Iranian Parliament Kazem Jalali has been appointed as Iran's new ambassador to Russia, replacing Mehdi Sanaei. This comes amid growing concerns towards the future of the Iran nuclear deal. In an open session on Sunday, Iranian lawmakers accepted Jalali's resignation with 146 yes votes and 58 no votes. Nine lawmakers also abstained from voting.

Inside Hezbollah: How Lebanon Protests Are Breaking 'Fear Barrier' | The Christian Science Monitor

The veteran Hezbollah fighter can't count how many times he has been to Syria, and vivid and gruesome battle videos on his phone testify both to his efficiency as a warrior and how effective his units could be in producing corpses of Islamic State and other jihadists. But the fighter now refuses to return to Syria, and he curses the organization to which he has devoted his life.

Israel Targets Islamic Jihad Leadership, Sending Message To Iran | Politico

Israel on Tuesday targeted two senior commanders from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, killing one in the Gaza Strip and missing the second in Syria as it stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region. The death of Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife as they slept in their home in eastern Gaza set off the heaviest fighting in months between Israel and Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed militant group that is even more hard-line than Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Hezbollah Supporters Turn On Party In Demonstrations | The Daily Star

At a roadblock on the Beirut "Ring Bridge" in late October, Karim, a 19-year-old physical education student from Beirut's southern suburbs, said the Lebanese uprising had made him realize that he had to cut ties with Hezbollah.

IRAQ & IRAN

US-Iran Conflict Casts Shadow On Iraqi Protests | Asharq Al-Awsat 

Protests in Iraq have become embroiled in the conflict between the United States and Iran. Washington had called for early elections but was met with the rejection of many Iraqi forces, blocs and political parties. To political parties, especially those close to Iran, the call for early elections is an attempt to alter the country's political course in favor of Washington and against Tehran.

Discontent In Iraq And Lebanon Is A Way To Expose Iran's Corruption | James Durso For The Hill 

The sanctions against Iran are obviously working as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has again called for the United States to return to the 2015 nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Instead, the U.S. should continue the policy of "The worse, the better" and use the recent protests in Iraq and Lebanon against Iran's "system" to create additional leverage against the clerical regime.

OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS     

Europe Seeks Diplomatic Next Steps On Iran | Al Monitor 

Hoping to try to revive diplomatic efforts to get the United States and Iran back to the table, and to keep the 2015 nuclear deal alive through the 2020 US elections, three European powers and the European Union foreign policy chief on Monday expressed regret as the United Nations atomic watchdog agency confirmed that Iran had resumed enrichment at the underground Fordow facility. The fortified site, built into a mountain near Qom, had been converted into a research center where no enrichment was to take place for 15 years under the 2015 accord that the Donald Trump administration withdrew from last year.

MISCELLANEOUS

What A New Film Gets Right About The Iranian Hostage Crisis | Arash Azizi For The Washington Post

The specter of history looms large over the contentious relationship between Iran and the United States. As the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 just passed its 40th anniversary, Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple has waded into the topic with "Desert One," a documentary on the disastrous botched U.S. operation to rescue the hostages, which is having its New York premiere this week at DOC NYC festival.