The chief of Iran’s nuclear agency says the country’s effort to acquire uranium has resulted in a stockpile of as much as 950 tons.
Iran has built a factory that can produce rotors for up to 60 centrifuges a day, the head of its atomic agency said on Wednesday, upping the stakes in a confrontation with Washington over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear work.
Russia and Kazakhstan are cutting back sales of hot-rolled steel coils to Iran in part because of new U.S. sanctions on Tehran, steel traders said.
UANI IN THE NEWS
I thought the president’s performance today [at the meeting with President Putin] was [not only] disappointing but profoundly troubling… How are you going to make America great again if a foreign power can determine the winner in our elections?
The Tri-Border Area (TBA) between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina is an important area for Hezbollah’s global activities.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Iran is ready to boost its uranium enrichment to higher levels if talks fail with Europe on salvaging the nuclear deal, a top official said Tuesday.
Tehran will likely resort to measured countermoves in the nuclear domain at first, but successful U.S. pressure could spur it to challenge JCPOA limits, take action in non-nuclear domains, or push back against U.S. and allied forces.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
There is one big hitch in U.S. plans to stem buying of Iranian oil: China. Some in Washington now expect that China will vacuum up much of the Iranian oil that other nations won’t buy because of the threat of U.S. sanctions, according to a senior U.S. government energy official.
The U.S. embargo on Iran oil shipments has put Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a quandary. If he plays along, India could find itself on the right side of President Donald Trump on trade but lose cheap supplies and precious foreign exchange.
Iran has filed a lawsuit against the United States alleging that Washington’s decision in May to impose sanctions after pulling out of a nuclear deal violates a 1955 treaty between the two countries, the International Court of Justice said on Tuesday. A State Department official said the application was without merit and the United States would fight it in the court.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that international parties remaining in the Iran nuclear deal have kickstarted practical measures ensuring banking relations and the resumption of Iranian oil sales, two weeks ahead of the first phase of US sanctions.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Iran and Israel were heading towards a direct confrontation in one of the most keenly contested territories in the Middle East, as forces loyal to the Assad regime and Tehran routed rebels in Syria… The Syrian army, supported by Iranian militias, was pushing towards the Golan Heights, a strip 40 miles west of Damascus snatched by Israel in 1967.
A pro-Iranian event held in Gaza on Monday did not go according to plan, after Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, apparently failed to deliver an expected address to the audience, and Egypt reportedly told high-level Hamas officials to stay away from the event.
Syrian rebels and Iranian-backed negotiators have reached a deal to evacuate thousands of people from two rebel-besieged Shi’ite villages in northwestern Syria in return for the release of hundreds of detainees in state prisons, opposition sources said.
New weapons and friends make an attack on Tehran’s nuclear facilities a more thinkable proposition.
OTHER IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran has been gripped with drought for over a decade, and the country’s precipitation has dropped to its lowest level in the past half-century.