Iran's LPG shipments lifted, or scheduled for loading, in October fell for the second month to 279,400 mt so far, ahead of new US sanctions next month, initial fixtures from shipping sources showed.
To understand how the United States is countering Iran’s expansion across the Middle East, consider the outpost at Tanf.
The Israeli military on Monday said it uncovered a militant outpost on the Lebanese border that Hezbollah guerrillas have set up under the guise of an environmental advocacy group.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The United States cannot stop Iranian oil exports by imposing sanctions on Tehran, Iran’s oil minister said on Tuesday, warning that such restrictions will ensure the market remains volatile.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
U.S. Senate has recently passed two bills sanctioning the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Once signed by U.S. President Donald Trump, the sanctions will target foreign nationals and companies that provide financial, material or technological support to Hezbollah and its affiliates in the region.
A report from Iranian dissidents shows how the hard-line Islamic regime places terrorist operatives abroad under the cover of diplomacy. From Austria to Albania to Iraq, an expansionist Iran has turned embassies into terrorism planning sites to meddle in host governments and hunt down the opposition, according to the report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran. The coalition includes the activist chapter known as MEK, which operates far-flung spy networks in Iran.
An extremist militant group has claimed responsibility for the abduction of 12 Iranian security personnel near the border with Pakistan, Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA reported Monday.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Members and supporters of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a demonstration outside Downing Street on Saturday in the hope of attracting the Prime Minister’s attention. According to the opposition party, in 2017, Iran executed over 500 people which accounted for nearly 60 percent of all executions in the region. Amnesty International says that of the over 500 executions, at least 31 of them were done so publicly.
Iranian officials, under international pressure and facing domestic unrest, have reacted by increasing their pressures on activists.
Security forces of the rival Palestinian governments routinely use torture and arbitrary arrests, among other tactics, to quash dissent by peaceful activists and political rivals, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. The charges came in a new report released by the New York-based watchdog, following a two-year investigation that included interviews with nearly 150 people, many of them ex-detainees. It accused both the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Islamic militant Hamas in Gaza of using “machineries of repression” to stifle criticism.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
A new batch of US sanctions announced on October 16 targeted some 20 companies and financial institutions that finance Basij Resistance Force, a paramilitary organization linked to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Iran’s state TV is reporting that the Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for two individuals convicted of financial crimes.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Iranian militias intensified their presence west of the Euphrates River in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said, noting these militias’ presence in Abu Kamal and Mayadin east of Syria near the borders with Iraq.
Israel is expressing confidence that it can pursue attacks on Iran’s forces in Syria even after Iranian partner Russia transferred an advanced air defense system to Syrian territory earlier this month.
The alliance between Iran and Syria is a historical constant. A strategic axis since 1979, the year of the Iranian Revolution. It is a privileged relationship that revolves around three factors: hostility towards Israel, the counter-balancing of Western influence in the Middle East and the containment of revanchist Sunnism.
The Qatari government has denied rumours that a cargo plane carrying weapons from Iran landed in Doha before heading to Beirut, according to an official statement issued by the Qatari Ministry of Transport and Communications yesterday. “Qatar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications is aware of the surprising news being reported in some media outlets, which claims that arms shipments have passed through Doha from Tehran in a cargo aircraft that landed at Hamad International Airport and then left for the Lebanese capital Beirut,” the ministry’s statement read.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested 15 militants planning attacks on Shi’ite Muslims making an annual pilgrimage to Iraq.