U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says allied countries like the U.K. shouldn't count on winning exemptions from sanctions against doing business with Iran stemming from President Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Gunmen disguised as soldiers attacked an annual Iranian military parade Saturday in the country’s oil-rich southwest, killing at least 24 people and wounding 53 in the bloodiest assault to strike the country in recent years. The attack in Ahvaz saw gunfire sprayed into a crowd of marching Revolutionary Guardsmen, bystanders and government officials watching from a nearby riser.
President Donald Trump is willing to meet with Iran’s Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations this week, said U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo -- even as another top official took credit for the U.S. sending Iran’s economy into free-fall with crippling sanctions.
UANI IN THE NEWS
President Trump and his European counterparts square off at the United Nations this week on key policy issues dividing old allies: the fate of the Iran nuclear agreement and how to constrain the Islamic Republic’s regional ambitions… Also on Tuesday, Mr. Pompeo, White House national security adviser John Bolton and Mr. Hook will speak at a conference held by United Against a Nuclear Iran, a group that opposed the nuclear accord. The foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Iran’s regional rivals, are among the others scheduled to speak at the event.
Several of the president´s top lieutenants will address a meeting on Wednesday billed as a “United Against Nuclear Iran Summit” that will also feature speakers from Arab allies.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Nations that struck the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, except for the United States, meet on Monday in what many diplomats fear may prove a quixotic effort to keep the agreement alive after U.S. sanctions targeting Iranian oil exports resume in November.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Iran’s economy is faltering after the U.S. pulled out of a nuclear deal earlier this year and Europeans are deciding not to do business there, said Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Iran appeared on Sunday to soften its stance on potential increases in OPEC oil output, saying it was the group’s responsibility to balance the market if production from Iran or any other member declined.
When the Navarin, an oil supertanker carrying 2 million barrels of Middle East crude, docks at the Malaysian port of Pengerang on Monday, the arrival will signal the start of a torrid time for Asia’s oil market. The ship is delivering the first cargo to a new mega-refinery, one of three scheduled to come on line in the region in the next few months.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned U.S. and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Sunday dismissed Iran’s assertion that Washington and its Gulf allies were to blame for a deadly parade attack and said Tehran should look closer to home.
President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said on Sunday that a Persian Gulf country allied with the United States was behind the attack on a military parade that killed 25 people and wounded nearly 70 others. Mr. Rouhani did not identify the country he was blaming for the attack, which was claimed by both the Islamic State and an Arab separatist group.
A deadly assault on an Iranian Revolutionary Guards parade dealt a stunning blow to Iran’s security establishment, which has often said it can repel any threat no matter how big, even from the United States and its chief Middle East ally Israel. Saturday’s shooting attack, among the worst ever on the Guards, illustrated that Iran’s elite force, which answers directly to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, can be vulnerable to guerrilla-style operations.
A video circulating on the ISIS-affiliated Amaq News Agency claims to show three of the four assailants accused of carrying out a deadly terrorist attack on an Iranian military parade.
Iran summoned the envoys of the Netherlands, Denmark and Great Britain on Saturday night over the shooting at a military parade in which 25 people were killed, accusing them of harboring Iranian opposition groups in their countries, IRNA reported.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
President Donald Trump said Friday that the subject of a United Nations Security Council meeting he’ll chair next week will be Iran, undercutting administration officials who have insisted the topic is a broader effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction. The distinction is important because if the session is focused on Iran, United Nations rules allow Iran to participate in the meeting.
President Donald Trump enters the United Nations General Assembly this week with America’s closest allies frustrated over fraying ties and the entire world wary as it awaits critical U.S. decisions on Iran and North Korea. Again.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump was a threat to the Middle East and to the global community.
[S]ome in Trump’s national security circle have another fear: that Iranian leaders may wise up to the fact that agreeing to meet Trump directly could lead to immediate sanctions relief—and a deal that isn’t actually that tough.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that despite increased tension with Iran, the United States was not seeking regime change there or anywhere else.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran’s former Central Bank Governor Valiollah Seif, who’s under investigation, has been banned from traveling abroad, state-run Tasnim news agency reported, citing a judiciary official.
Hard-liners batter President Hassan Rouhani over his faltering nuclear deal, sending his popularity plummeting. Women in the streets film themselves removing their mandatory headscarves, or hijabs, in protest. Meanwhile, state television airs moments from a major corruption trial. Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of Iranian politics.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Brazilian police arrested a fugitive Friday who is alleged by U.S. authorities to be Hezbollah’s financier and who has repeatedly been accused of illegal activity in a lawless border area where three South American nations meet. Police took Assad Ahmad Barakat into custody in the city of Foz do Iguacu, which is home to the famous Iguazu Falls and sits where Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay converge.
A military alliance between Russia and Iran to back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is giving way to an economic rivalry as Syria’s war winds down, a contest Moscow is leading.
IRAQ & IRAN
Hajar Youssif was on her daily commute to work, staring at her phone and flicking through her Instagram account when she looked up to find herself in an unusual location. The taxi driver had turned into an alley. When she questioned the driver, he sped up. "I started to feel uneasy and knew that something bad was going to happen," said the 24-year-old office administrator, who had taken part in protests over lack of clean water, frequent power cuts and soaring unemployment in her hometown of Basra, Iraq's oil capital and main port… Youssif believes the attack was part of what she and other activists describe as a campaign of intimidation and arbitrary detentions by powerful Iranian-backed Shiite militias and political groups that control Basra, a city of more than 2 million people in southern Iraq's Shiite Muslim heartland.