Norman Roule, who served 34 years in the CIA and retired last year as the national intelligence manager for Iran, said the lack of a tougher European response, especially in the wake of Iran’s support of terrorism on the continent, has likely sent a message to Tehran: “You can get away with pretty much anything.”
Weeks before it is to reimpose another round of punishing sanctions on Iran, the Trump administration warned the world’s banks on Thursday that Tehran might try to use duplicitous means to soften the sanctions’ bite and continue to fund terrorism.
With Iran bracing for tougher US sanctions, resentment is growing against the well-connected who flaunt their wealth.
UANI IN THE NEWS
I always thought the Iran nuclear deal was a bad deal. We gave up most of the economic sanctions on Iran for very little in return, and now the President says that’s not good enough. So we’re squeezing them economically, that’s the one way short of military action to bring them to the table to renegotiate a better agreement.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
After months of a drastic and ongoing depreciation, the Iranian rial started recouping losses last week, mostly on the back of government intervention. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has since been largely successful in maintaining the value of the national currency, which has taken a beating due to structural problems in the economy and psychological factors relating to the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
With many of its buyers walking away, Iran is gearing up to offer 1 million barrels of oil on its dormant domestic exchange -- a venue it last used four years ago with limited success to get around US sanctions that are again threatening its exports.
India has not yet worked out a payment mechanism for continued purchase of Iranian oil, a finance ministry official told CNBC TV18 news channel.
Saudi Arabia is set to deliver extra 4 million barrels of its oil to India in November, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing several sources familiar with the plans, in what could be a Saudi move to replace the loss of Iranian barrels due to the U.S. sanctions on Tehran returning early next month.
India’s oil imports from Iran edged up in September from the previous month as refiners pushed back loading of some August cargoes due to a delay in obtaining government approval to use Iranian ships and insurance, data obtained from sources showed.
There is cheating going on now, and the sanctions have not even started. Already, the volume and destinations of the Iranian oil trade are being concealed.
India, a country the Trump administration has called “a key security and economic partner,” will soon test U.S. resolve on Iran. Two Indian firms are reportedly seeking to purchase Iranian oil in November. Should the imports go through, they would contravene the stated U.S. aim of bringing Iran’s petroleum exports “as close to zero as possible” by Nov. 4.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
Nearly three weeks have passed since a deadly terrorist attack targeted a military parade in Iran’s southwestern city of Ahvaz. Some say this attack was the result of negligence on the part of the military and security forces, with resulting calls for these organizations to be held accountable.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
An increase in crude oil production in September by OPEC and its ally Russia more than made up for declining Iranian output, the oil-cartel said Thursday, as it vowed to keep filling the gap created by impending U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
On October 7, 2018, Mahmoud Vaezi, Chief of Staff for President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, responded to reports publicized in Iran over the past few days that one of the senior officials in the President’s Office traveled to Switzerland, where he requested political asylum. According to Vaezi, the official traveled to Switzerland “for a private consular visit without his family” and has not returned since.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Lebanon Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said earlier on Wednesday that some saw “a positive, promising atmosphere” in talks about forming a new government and his office was engaged in contacts on the issue… [T]here have been signs of a break in the deadlock, which has existed since May this year, when Lebanon held parliamentary elections. One of the stumbling blocks in the talks was expected to be the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), charged with investigating the 2005 murder of former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The STL is expected to issue its final verdict before year’s end.
Lebanon’s Hezbollah group should get the Health Ministry in the new government, a senior Hezbollah figure said on Wednesday, a more important state agency than any it has controlled in recent times as it provides services to millions of people.
Hezbollah’s demands to take over the Health Ministry in the upcoming Cabinet could spark several negative repercussions against U.S. aid to Lebanon, Washington analysts believe.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Given that Saudi Arabia is Iran’s main regional rival, Iranian censors have allowed the Iranian media to extensively cover the disappearance and possible murder of The Washington Post columnist and Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.
IRAQ & IRAN
Since the Iranian regime seized power in 1979, its goal has been for Iran to become a regional power and to restore the Shias as the rulers of the Muslim world. A cornerstone of its strategy is to build and control a land corridor stretching from Iran to the Mediterranean Sea. Will Iran succeed in completing its land corridor? By analyzing the current situation in Iraq, there are identifiable developments which thwart Iran’s plan to complete and maintain control of the corridor.
Head of Supreme Commission of Agricultural Societies in Iraq Haider al-Abadi denied the access of large quantities of water from Iran to Iraq for nearly three years now.