OPEC members Iran and Venezuela could lose almost 30 percent of their oil output next year due to U.S. sanctions and economic upheaval, requiring extra supplies from the group’s Gulf members, the International Energy Agency said.
Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in last month’s parliamentary elections, has announced an alliance with an Iran-backed coalition ahead of marathon negotiations to form a new government. The move, announced by al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri of the Fatah coalition in the revered southern Shiite city of Najaf, came largely as a surprise as al-Sadr has been touting himself as a nationalist leader who opposes Iranian influence in Iraq.
UANI IN THE NEWS
I think the summit at Singapore was a success… What is the relevance to the Iranian negotiations?... In some ways, what the Obama administration and our European allies did with the Iranians is a template for what not to do here.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
President Hassan Rouhani says Iran will not be able to remain in the 2015 nuclear accord unless it benefits from the agreement's provisions. In a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, Rouhani said the Europeans must find a way to compensate Iran if they want to preserve the landmark agreement, following President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the deal and restore sanctions.
With a new wave of US sanctions just two months away, there appears to be growing opposition in Tehran to the Iranian government’s long-standing policy of falling into line with international rules to prevent terrorism financing and money laundering.
French President Emmanuel Macron told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday that he remained committed to the nuclear deal with world powers, but that Tehran needed to fully comply with its commitments.
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron by phone on Tuesday, expressing his pleasure at Europe’s continued support of the nuclear agreement despite U.S. withdrawal.
President Donald Trump’s triumphant assertions about the success of the unprecedented Singapore summit are being met with skepticism and outright derision from critics seizing on the contradiction between his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and his willingness to accept vague pledges from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
No sooner had President Trump shaken hands with Kim Jong Un than President Barack Obama’s deputy secretary of state started arguing that the ideal template for the Korean talks is — wait for it — the Iran deal… What strikes me about the situation in Korea, though, is not the similarities in respect of Iran but the differences. They tend to work in favor of Trump — though no one denies the risks in Korea.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Iran will issue bonds in the coming months to fund oil projects, the head of its Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) said on Tuesday, a month after the United States withdrew from a nuclear deal and said it would reimpose unilateral sanctions.
India’s oil imports from Iran surged to about 705,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May, their highest level since October 2016, according to data from shipping and industry sources, despite the threats of fresh U.S. sanctions. From June India’s oil imports from Iran could drop because at least two refiners — accounting for about 35 percent of Indian refining capacity of around 5 million bpd — are preparing to curb purchases under pressure from the U.S. sanctions.
SYRIA, RUSSIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Trump was right to call on the Saudis in particular to play a bigger role in Syria. If Saudi Arabia is truly concerned about the Iranian presence in Syria, it should seek to get Tehran out itself and not wait for the Americans or the Israelis to do it. When Syrians are able to gain the freedom they have demanded since 2011, only then will Iran be forced out of the game.
It is a commonly held view that Iran has emerged as a winner from the war that has raged in Syria since 2011. Though the survival of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is now virtually guaranteed, this is a Pyrrhic victory: Iran has been dragged into a costly quagmire with no end in sight. Iran is obliged to remain in Syria for years — possibly decades — with Russia, to prop up a hollowed out and brutally corrupt regime.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
The U.S. is expected to soon tighten the screws even further by imposing the “strongest sanctions in history” in an effort to limit Iran’s missile program as well as achieve broader aims of restraining its foreign policy or even regime change. Even though the U.S. acted without the other five countries that signed the deal, this has already hurt Iran’s economy and pushed its currency to a record low. As a result, truckers and other aggrieved workers, who were already under pressure because of low wages, have begun protesting for better pay and conditions. Does this suggest President Donald Trump’s harsh anti-Iran strategy is working?
In the wake of the nationwide protests that gripped Iran at the turn of 2018, leading to over two dozen deaths and putting hundreds behind bars, President Hassan Rouhani was among the few within the ruling elite to express the need for “authorized protest sites.” After a few months, the idea now seems closer to being translated into action.
A female Indian chess player said Wednesday she has decided to not participate in an Asian championship being held in Iran next month because she could not comply with an Iranian rule requiring women participants to wear a headscarf.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
The United Kingdom Home Secretary Sajid Javid plans to outlaw all of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah in Britain later in 2018, according to a report in the London-based Jewish Chronicle on Tuesday… The United Kingdom merely banned Hezbollah's so-called military wing in 2008 because Hezbollah attacked British troops in Iraq. The only European country to have imposed a full ban on Hezbollah is the Netherlands.
Israel's Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan urged social media giant Twitter to deactivate accounts linked to terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad, warning that the microblogging site could face possible criminal charges in Israel if it refuses to do so.
The Trump State Department said Tuesday it is taking a top Iranian official's explanation of events linked to the travel of the 9/11 terrorist attackers as an admission of guilt in facilitating the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon.
The incoming head of Ontario’s local government said he will work to ban an annual anti-Israel rally from taking place in Toronto in the future, after a speaker at a march last week called for the “eradication” of Zionists… The Iran-initiated annual day of worldwide protest takes place on the last Friday of Ramadan, and usually features flags of the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah and sees calls for Israel’s destruction from speakers and activists.
TURKEY & IRAN
Turkey is in contact with Iran about conducting a possible military operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the northern Iraq region of Qandil, close to the Iranian border, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Surprising the opposition, Liberals in the [Canadian House of] Commons passed a strongly-worded Conservative motion condemning the Iranian regime on Tuesday. The move saw Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and much of his caucus rise to agree to “strongly condemn the current regime in Iran,” to call on the government to “abandon its current plan and immediately cease any and all negotiations or discussions” to restore diplomatic relations, and to immediately list a branch of Iran’s military as a terrorist entity under Canada’s Criminal Code — an action that not even the United States has taken.