Iran’s top nuclear official said Monday that his country might rethink its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency if President Trump scrapped American participation in the 2015 agreement limiting Iranian nuclear activities.
An Iranian reformist lawmaker said Tuesday that some 3,700 people were arrested in the days of protests and unrest that roiled Iran over the past two weeks, offering a far higher number than authorities previously released.
The Trump administration is planning to impose blanket sanctions on Iranian state television, as part of measures to punish those involved in the crackdown of protesters following the recent unrest. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), a state-run organisation whose head is directly appointed by the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been subject to US sanctions since 2013, but both Barack Obama and Donald Trump have signed presidential waivers every 180 days to prevent them coming into force.
UANI IN THE NEWS
In just three days, President Trump must once again decide what to do about the much-debated Iran nuclear deal. Most are framing his choice as a binary one: Kill it or keep it? Although the emergence of a popular uprising against the Iranian regime undoubtedly complicates the politics of Trump’s decision, the president should reject such false choices and find a path that can sustain broad consensus at home and abroad. There is always a middle path to discover in foreign policy—and, in this case, a path that can uphold American values, defend our national security and keep our commitments to close allies.
In fact, what’s important is that the protests represent the basic constituency of the supreme leader, of Rouhani, of Ahmadinejad, and, in some cases, of the Green Path movement. The protestors didn’t have an actual leader. And one most wonder: if there were an actual leader, what would have happened to these protests? Would they have grown significantly?... We should stand up for the right of protesters to peacefully express their feelings and stand up also against oppressive regimes who put these people in jail. And it’s important that we stand up now for the many Iranians who are imprisoned by the security forces.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
The EU has called Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to talks in Brussels on Thursday with his French, British and German counterparts in efforts to preserve the hard-fought deal to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Iran warned the world on Monday to prepare for the possible withdrawal of the United States from the landmark nuclear deal agreed in 2015.
If the international response thus far is any indicator, Iran's protests risk driving a wedge between the United States and Europe, potentially imperiling the West's ability to forge a common front on a wide range of regional and proliferation issues. To close this rift, Washington may need to reassure Brussels that it will not scrap the nuclear agreement—a message that must be delivered quickly given the decisions President Trump will make on a series of sanctions waivers that expire in mid-January. According to senior U.S. officials working on Iran, however, European governments and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini would need to respond in kind by showing a much greater willingness to address the deal's shortcomings and challenge Tehran on its human rights record.
In a swipe at his hardline rivals, President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday young Iranian protesters were unhappy about far more than just the economy and they would no longer defer to the views and lifestyle of an aging revolutionary elite.
A senior official of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps has announced that the paramilitary Basij Force will soon begin patrolling missions in the capital city of Tehran, IRGC-affiliated media outlets reported.
Tehran University has set up a committee to track the whereabouts of students who have been arrested in anti-government protests in Iran.
Although Iranian President Hassan Rouhani may be neither the primary target nor the proximate cause of the demonstrations, his record in office since winning reelection last May has been an enormous disappointment to the nearly 24 million Iranians who voted for his second term. Instead of seeking to be his own man, Rouhani has repeatedly fallen back into following the playbook of the unelected Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, widening the already dangerous disconnect between ordinary Iranians and the ruling Shiite Islamist elite that purports to represent them. Nothing short of major reform can save the Islamic Republic in the long term.
The current revolt may not lead to the immediate collapse of the regime, but we are witnessing the death throes of the Islamic Republic. Even if the uprising ends today, it is but one step in a long struggle to achieve a more representative, democratic and popular government. Khamenei and Rouhani may blame foreign enemies for the rebellion, but their enemies are the hungry and oppressed people of Iran. They are awake. And they are legion.
Whatever the ultimate outcome, however, the protesters have already accomplished a great deal and shattered many myths in the West. Let’s review their achievements.
CONGRESS & IRAN
President Trump should impose sanctions against any entity that received a waiver under the Iran nuclear deal, a House Republican argued following the recent Iran protests. “It’s time to deprive the regime of further resources to repress their own people and terrorize its neighbors, and target all regime-owned entities with robust economic sanctions — no person, bank, or commodity should be off-limits,” Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., told the Washington Examiner.
We have been down this road before, and we must learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. As freedom-loving Americans, we must support the Iranian protesters in their inherent right and noble quest to create a more free and peaceful country, one that ensures a brighter future for not only their children, but our own.
Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. bought alternative supply after a fire on board an Iranian oil tanker that was destined for the South Korean company. Crew members of the vessel were still missing following a collision in the East China Sea with another ship that’s left it in danger of sinking.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
Amber Rudd is facing calls to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation over its suppression of protesters and support for militants. Dozens of MPs from across the Commons have backed a motion calling for the Home Secretary to include the regime's elite unit on an official list of proscribed organisations and impose sanctions on its officials.
Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, considered to be a successor to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, faces protests and possible criminal prosecutions in Germany for his widespread executions of Iranians, which took place while he was the country’s justice minister.
RUSSIA & IRAN
[W]hile Washington should certainly be wary of the Russian-Iranian relationship, it is less a strategic alliance than a marriage of convenience – and one whose cracks are already showing.