Eye on Iran: Iranian Official: Tehran Has Ballistic Missiles to Target Navigation

TOP STORIES

Iranian Official: Tehran Has Ballistic Missiles to Target Navigation | Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia / UAE)

Hossein Salami, the deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said on Monday night that Iran possesses unique ballistic missiles that target navigation and international shipping, the Iranian news agency IRNA reported. Colonel Turki al-Malki, the Arab Coalition’s spokesperson, said earlier on Monday that Iran has supplied Houthi militias with weapons to target the international shipping route in Bab al-Mandeb strait.

Rohani Says Talks over Iran Missile Program Out of Question | Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Iran's President Hassan Rohani has again ruled out negotiations on the country's missiles program, saying it did not aim to make weapons of mass destruction.

France Says Turkey, Iran Violating International Law in Syria | Reuters

France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that Turkey and Iran were among those violating international law by their actions in Syria and warned that Ankara should not add “war to war”.

IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

Iran Pledges Commitment to Nuclear Accord Even If US Withdraws | Financial Times

Hassan Rouhani said Iran would remain committed to its nuclear accord with world powers even if the Trump administration pulled out of deal.

MILITARY MATTERS & PROXY WARS

Iran Orders Armed Forces to Sell All Energy, Business Assets | Bloomberg

Iran’s armed forces, some of which are under U.S. sanctions, must divest from energy assets and other businesses to help save the Persian Gulf nation’s economy, President Hassan Rouhani said.

IRAN PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Family: Ailing US Citizen in Iran Forced Back to Evin Prison | Associated Press

An ailing Iranian-American dual national held in Tehran was returned to prison Tuesday after Iran's government refused to agree to an extended medical release, his family and attorney said. Iran's judiciary had allowed 81-year-old Baquer Namazi to leave Evin prison for a few days following recent surgery to install a pacemaker, but his family had hoped it would be extended.

HEZBOLLAH & LEBANON

US Sanctions on Hamas and Hezbollah Indirectly Target Iran | Michael Wilner for the Jerusalem Post

The Trump administration has laid out several new sanctions designations over the last month that target individuals and entities connected to Hamas and Hezbollah who have strong links to the Iranian government. The newly aggressive posture against Tehran’s proxy network are part of the administration’s broader strategy to push back against Iran’s activities in the region, which it views as hegemonic and destabilizing to the greater Middle East.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Sydney Couple Accused of Breaching UN Sanctions with Nickel Exports to Iran | ABC News (Australia)

A man and woman from New South Wales who allegedly exported 90 tonnes of nickel alloys to Iran have become the first people in Australia ever charged with breaches of UN sanctions… Nickel containing heat- and corrosion-resistant alloys can help in nuclear power stations.

SYRIA & IRAN

Iran Urges Turkey to Stop Army Offensive in Northern Syria | Reuters

Iran urged Turkey on Monday to stop its military offensive in Syria, saying the operation in the northern Afrin region breached Syrian sovereignty and would increase tension in the war-damaged country.

Turkey Minister to Visit Iran on Wednesday to Discuss Syria: Erdogan Spokesman | Reuters

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will travel to Iran later on Wednesday to hold talks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said.

IRAQ & IRAN

Military Audit Confirms US Tanks Ended Up With Iran-Backed Militias | Al Monitor

As many as nine US tanks provided to Iraq’s military for the fight against the Islamic State (IS) have ended up in the hands of Iranian-backed militants, a government audit revealed on Monday.

Iran-backed Iraqi Groups Urge Full U.S. Withdrawal, Hardliners Threaten Attacks | Reuters

Two Iraqi Shi‘ite groups backed by Iran are demanding all U.S. forces leave Iraq, opposing plans by Baghdad and Washington to retain some in training and advisory roles. But Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters U.S. forces were needed “to completely finish the job” of destroying Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iraqi Kurds Maneuver To Get Closer To Iran | Al Monitor

Iraqi Kurds have given reassurances to Tehran that they will not allow Kurdish opposition groups to launch cross-border attacks from Iraqi Kurdistan, a major development in the warming up of relations between Erbil and Tehran.

AFGHANISTAN & IRAN

State Department: Russia, Iran a Threat to Afghanistan | Washington Examiner

Russia and Iran might undermine Afghanistan’s central government by supporting the Taliban and other local forces, U.S. officials fear.

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS

Iran Arrests Son of Shirazi Cleric after Calling Khamenei a Pharaoh | Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia / UAE)

Farsi sites reported that the Iranian authorities on Monday arrested Hussein al-Shirazi, the son of Sadiq al-Shirazi, the famous Shiite cleric in Qom, because of a lecture in which he described the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei as "the pharaoh."

Iranian Government Must Listen to Demands of the People: Rouhani | Reuters

Iranians have political, economic and social demands which must be heard, President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday, one of his clearest statements of the right to air grievances since demonstrations were put down violently in December and January.

Ahmadinejad Criticizes Iran's Judiciary After Arrests Of Supporters | Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Iran’s former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has renewed his criticism of Iran’s powerful judiciary following the arrests of several of his supporters.