Eye on Iran: Justice Department Pushing Iran-Connected Charges in HBO Hack, Other Cases

TOP STORIES

Justice Department Pushing Iran-Connected Charges in HBO Hack, Other Cases | Washington Post

Justice Department officials are preparing to announce several cases involving Iranian suspects in the coming month, including charges stemming from the high-profile hacking of HBO, according to people familiar with the matter.

Arab League Delivers Harsh Criticism of Iran, Little Action | Associated Press

In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

Britain to Pay 400 Million-Pound Debt to Iran Soon, Iranian Envoy Says | Reuters

Britain will soon repay a decades-old debt of over 400 million pounds ($527 million) to Iran, the Iranian ambassador said on Friday, adding that the payment was not linked to the case of a British-Iranian charity worker jailed in Iran.

NUCLEAR & BALLISTIC-MISSILE PROGRAMS

France Should Not Interfere in Iran's Missile Program: Adviser To Iran's Supreme Leader | Reuters

France should not interfere in Iran’s missile program, Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, said on Saturday according to state media. French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that Tehran should be less aggressive in the region and should clarify the strategy around its ballistic missile program.

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS

Trump’s Iran Strategy Needs Much Improvement | Kenneth Pollack and Bilal Saab for the Wall Street Journal

[T]he Iran policy the Trump administration rolled out last month is important. It’s an effort to forge a comprehensive strategy. Its smartest aspect is that it recognizes that merely curbing Tehran’s nuclear ambitions won’t end its aggressive behavior across the region. But there are good and bad ways to push back against Iran, and the administration so far seems focused on the bad. Syria and Iraq are the places to execute an Iran strategy effectively—not Yemen or Lebanon, and certainly not over the nuclear deal.

BUSINESS RISK

Iran Has No Problem with Aircraft Deal Financing – Official | Reuters

Iran does not have a problem obtaining financing for its aircraft deals and the delivery of purchased aircraft is on track, its deputy transport minister Asghar Fakhrieh Kashan said on Saturday, according to state media. The state news item noted that an Iranian media outlet, which it did not name, had reported recently that Airbus had sold aircraft intended for delivery to Iran to other customers because Iran was having trouble obtaining financing.  

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Macron to Iran: France Stance "Balanced” Not "Biased" | Reuters

Iran accused France on Friday of fuelling tension in the Middle East by taking a "biased" stance on Tehran's regional policy, and President Emmanuel Macron said Tehran misunderstood its "balanced" position.

Macron Seeks to Quell Iran Furor, Avoids Taking Sides with Saudi | Bloomberg

French President Emmanuel Macron sought to quell a mounting dispute with Iran, vowing not take sides in a regional conflict between the Shiite country and its Sunni rival Saudi Arabia.

Arab League: Iran’s Regional Threats Have Crossed All Limits | Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia / UAE)

The Secretary-General of the Arab League has said that Iran seeks to be a “dangerous dagger” in the region, especially toward Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries.  

SYRIA CONFLICT

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander, Another Fighter, Killed in Syria: Iranian Media | Reuters

A commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards and a lower-ranking Iranian fighter have been killed fighting Islamic State in Syria in recent days, Iranian media reported on Sunday. The Revolutionary Guards, Iran’s most powerful military force which also oversees an economic empire worth billions of dollars, have been fighting in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for several years.

The U.S. Must Prepare for Iran’s Next Move in Syria | Josh Rogin for the Washington Post

While the Trump administration celebrates a new deal meant to freeze the battlefield in southern Syria, the Assad regime and Iran are preparing for the next phase of the long-running war, in which they will attempt to conquer the rest of the country. Whether Iran succeeds depends largely on whether the United States acknowledges and then counters that strategy.

Iran, Russia and Turkey Diplomats Meet Ahead of Syria Summit | Agence France-Presse

Top diplomats from Iran, Russia and Turkey met Sunday in Antalya to discuss the civil war in Syria ahead of a three-way summit in the Russian city of Sochi Wednesday.

GULF STATES, YEMEN, AND IRAN

Saudi Arabia and Arab Allies Push for Unity Against Iran, Hezbollah Meddling | Reuters

Saudi Arabia and other Arab foreign ministers criticized Iran and its Lebanese Shi‘ite ally Hezbollah at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday, calling for a united front to counter Iranian interference.

IRANIAN DOMESTIC ISSUES

Iran’s Supreme Leader Visits Quake-Hit Area, Urges More Aid | Associated Press

Iran’s supreme leader has visited the earthquake-hit region along the border with Iraq and urged for more efficiency and aid for the people in the stricken area. The temblor killed over 530 people and injured thousands.