Eye on Iran: Iran's October LPG Exports Fall for Second Month As New Sanctions Loom

TOP STORIES

Iran's October LPG Exports Fall for Second Month As New Sanctions Loom | S&P Global Platts

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.

Tiny U.S. Base Assumes Outsize Role in Trump’s Syria Strategy | Washington Post

To understand how the United States is countering Iran’s expansion across the Middle East, consider the outpost at Tanf.

Israel Says It Finds Hezbollah Outpost on Lebanon Border | Associated Press

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

Iran's Oil Minister Says U.S. Sanctions Cannot Stop Crude Exports | Reuters

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

Iran-backed Hezbollah Sanctioned by US Senate | Voice of America

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.

Iranian Terrorists Lurk Abroad in Guise of Diplomats, Dissidents Report | The Washington Times

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.

Jaish Al-Adl Militias Claim Responsibility for Iran Troops’ Abduction | Agence France-Presse

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

‘No More Hangings’ Iranian Opposition Party Holds London Protest Demanding End to Torture | Express

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.

For Iran’s Activists, Prison’s Just the Start | Human Rights Watch

Iranian officials, under international pressure and facing domestic unrest, have reacted by increasing their pressures on activists.

Human Rights Watch: Palestinians Crush Dissent with Torture | Associated Press

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

Suppressive Militia Sanctioned by U.S. Runs a Network in Iran and Middle East | Radio Farda

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 Upholds Death Sentences for 2 Convicted Of Fraud | Associated Press

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

Iran Intensifies Presence West of the Euphrates River In Syria | Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia / UAE)

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.

Russian Air Defense Boost to Syria Seen Unlikely to Shield Iran’s Forces from Israel | Voice of America

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.

Iranian Great Game In Syria: Strategy and Interests | Piero de Luca for Geopolitica

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.

Qatar Denies Reports Iran Transporting Arms to Lebanon Via Doha | Middle East Monitor

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 Arrests Militants Planning Attacks on Pilgrims: Minister | Reuters

Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested 15 militants planning attacks on Shi’ite Muslims making an annual pilgrimage to Iraq.