German authorities are considering a request by Iran to withdraw 300 million euros from bank accounts held in Germany and transfer the cash to Iran, Bild newspaper reported Monday, citing unnamed government officials. Tehran is seeking withdraw the funds from the Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG (eihbank) because it is worried that it could run out of cash when fresh U.S. sanctions against its financial sector take effect, Bild said.
The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it had sanctioned a Malaysia-based sales agent for Mahan Air, an Iranian airline already under U.S. sanctions in connection with Iran’s alleged support for international terrorism.
A new book has revealed a multimillion-dollar North Korean blackmail plot targeting Israel in which the hermetic regime threatened to sell ballistic missiles to Iran unless Israel paid a billion dollars for it not to.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The U.S. ambassador to Germany has called on Berlin to block an Iranian bid to withdraw large sums of cash from bank accounts in Germany to offset the effect of new U.S. financial sanctions imposed after Washington withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iranian Vice President said on Tuesday it would be a mistake to think the fresh U.S. sanctions against Tehran would have no impact on Iran’s economy when Washington has started a trade war with its European allies and Beijing. Eshaq Jahangiri was quoted as saying by Fars news agency that despite U.S. efforts to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, “We will sell as much oil as we can.”
Germany remains committed to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement with Iran that was rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, but it was for individual firms to decide if they wanted to invest there.
Iranian oil shipments to some U.S. allies are being threatened even before America’s Nov. 4 deadline for buyers to curb imports and comply with renewed sanctions on the OPEC member. September-loading cargoes are set to be the last to head for Japan if the Asian nation doesn’t receive an exemption from the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.
Asian refiners are seeking alternatives to Iranian oil from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq after the United States pledged to renew sanctions on Iran, Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Chief Executive Officer Nizar al-Adsani told Reuters on Monday.
The United States wants to eliminate all Iran’s crude oil exports from November, and is relying on Saudi Arabia and other OPEC and non-OPEC members to fill the gap in supplies.
The alpine country’s Austrian Airlines announced on Friday that it will stop service to the Iranian cities Isfahan and Shiraz, delivering another business set back to the Islamic Republic of Iran’s already fragile economic situation.
In a letter to the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, more than fifty Iranian dissidents have urged him to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for its role in violation of human rights in the country.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
An Iranian woman who peacefully protested the obligatory hijab rule by removing her head scarf in public in Tehran in December says she has been sentenced to two years in prison in addition to an 18-year suspended prison term.
People in the southern Iranian city of Borazjan held protests Sunday evening for a second day in row over lack of drinking water.
Women in Iran have posted videos of themselves dancing online, in support of a teenager who was arrested.
Hua Qu is fighting to save her husband — one of at least seven U.S. captives being used as pawns in a nearly 40-year secret history of hostage taking.
SYRIA, RUSSIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
The Israeli cybersecurity firm ClearSky has exposed several cases in which Iranian hackers impersonated legitimate websites.
IRANIAN REGIONAL AGGRESSION
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that America and its Gulf Arab allies want to show Iran its actions have “a real high cost,” stepping up his warnings after Tehran threatened to disrupt Mideast oil supplies.
CHINA & IRAN
An independent Chinese refiner has suspended crude oil purchases from the United States and has now turned to Iran as one of its sources of crude, media reports, citing an official from the refiner, Dongming Petrochemical Group. What’s more, the source said that Beijing is planning to slap tariffs on U.S. crude oil imports and replace them with West African and Middle Eastern crude, including crude from Iran. China has already said that it will not comply with U.S. sanctions against Iran and it seems to be the only country for now in a position to do this.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Foreign military experts are training the Houthi rebels in Yemen and have provided them with an integrated communications network, said the Arab Coalition.
A Saudi-led coalition has made no major gains in its offensive to wrest control of Yemen's Hodeidah port from the Iran-aligned Houthis, leaving it without the decisive increase in leverage it had sought against the group in U.N.-sponsored peace efforts.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran is exerting pressure on Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to remove more than 5,000 US experts and consultants from the country, an informed Iraqi source told Asharq Al-Awsat on Monday.