The Trump administration on Monday is set to reimpose the first batch of Iran sanctions since the U.S. withdrew from the nuclear deal. The more significant tranche of sanctions, including on oil sales, won’t come back into force until November. But Monday’s action fires a shot across the bow, telling businesses, European allies and Iran that President Trump is serious about keeping the United States out of what he’s called the “worst deal ever negotiated.”
IranAir aims to take delivery of five more ATR turboprop aircraft, it said on Saturday, easing a state of limbo surrounding Western plane deals since Washington exited a nuclear sanctions pact between Iran and major world powers.
Sporadic protests broke out in several cities in Iran for a fifth night on Saturday, a day after demonstrators attacked a Shi’ite seminary, according to Iranian news agencies and social media, as Iranians brace for a return of U.S. sanctions.
UANI IN THE NEWS
Speaking on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has long criticized Obama's Iran deal, said Monday will be a "very important day -- and a day I didn't think would happen”... "I give credit to President Trump on this one, for getting us out of the agreement," Lieberman said. "Hopefully it will bring the Iranians back to the negotiating table. ... The regime in Tehran has a lot of troubles. The economy is tanking."
“It’s a very important day… Tomorrow’s the day that effectively the Iran nuclear agreement of 2015 dies… [Foreign] business are not going back into Iran because it’s risky business. They basically don’t want to make the choice that will shut them out of the American economy, which is putting these sanctions back on. So I think if the government in Tehran is sensible and not extremist—which it usually is—it’ll come back to the table for its own well being or there may well be a second Iranian revolution.”
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Germany’s central bank is changing its terms and conditions to provide for deeper scrutiny of cash transfers, a move that comes as Iran seeks to repatriate cash held in a Hamburg-based bank and the U.S. presses allies to get tough on Tehran.
The United States intends to fully enforce sanctions due to be reimposed against Iran early this week on orders from U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday. Washington’s so-called “snapback” sanctions are due to be reinstated against Tehran at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, a U.S. Treasury official said… Pompeo, speaking with reporters returning with him from an Asian trip, said the White House would detail implementation of the measures on Monday morning.
China has rejected U.S. requests to cut Iranian oil imports, damaging Washington's efforts to isolate Tehran. While the U.S. failed to persuade Beijing to stop importing Iranian oil, the Chinese government did say it would not increase the imports, according to Bloomberg, which cited two anonymous officials "familiar with the negotiations."
Scania’s entire sales into Iran could be lost if the United States reinstates sanctions against the country, the Swedish truckmaker’s head warned on Friday, a day after first-half results showed the company’s Iranian order book was already being hit.
Iran's steel, metals and minerals trade with the rest of the world may be severely curtailed following the United States' reimposition of sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation from Monday.
Iran will ease foreign exchange rules, state TV reported on Sunday, in a bid to halt a collapse of the rial currency that has lost half its value since April due to fears about U.S. sanctions likely to be imposed this week.
With the Trump administration set to re-impose some sanctions on Iran on Monday, the country's Central Bank lifted a ban on exchange offices, allowing them to resume work in a move aimed at bringing in badly needed hard currencies. The bank also gave the green light for Iranian "legal institutions and businesses" to bring gold and foreign currency into Iran, according to the governor, Abdolnasser Hemmati.
Iranians are hoarding gold as a safeguard against a collapsing local currency and soaring cost of living as the U.S. is poised to impose economic sanctions on Iran, pushing the metal’s price to records in Tehran.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency reports that authorities have detained the Central Bank of Iran’s deputy chief as part of a crackdown on financial fraud.
Threat of dwindling sales is forcing Tehran and its clients to consider creative ways to keep the oil flowing
In three months’ time, U.S. sanctions on Iran are due to enter into force that could drive the Persian Gulf nation’s exports down toward zero and upend the global oil market. There are already signs that it will be harder for the country to export, as some international insurers stop covering shipments.
Speaking with reporters on Air Force One on Sunday, Pompeo described Tehran's leadership as "bad actors" and said the president's goal is to get Iran to "behave like a normal country." He said the administration is willing to look beyond the sanctions, but to do so, it would "require enormous change" from Tehran.
The European Union on Monday said it deeply regretted the re-imposition of sanctions by the United States on Iran, adding it and other signatories would work on keeping financial channels with Iran open.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
A slate of investigations into alleged terror plots and killings sponsored by Iran has opened a new front in U.S. efforts to persuade European governments to cut ties with Tehran following President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal in May. Washington, Israel and Iranian dissident groups say the alleged recent operations show that Iran has ended years of caution about hunting its enemies in Europe.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
While anti-government demonstrations in Iran continued for the fifth day and unconfirmed posts on social media called for protests of a media blackout, the principal of a Shi’ite seminary in Eshtehard, a small town west of Tehran, says some 500 demonstrators attacked the seminary on August 3. The seminary is well-known in Iran for its teachers and students’ hard line on social and political issues.
Across Iran’s heartland, from the sweltering heat of its southern cities to the bustling capital, protesters have taken to the streets with increasing intensity in recent months, much to the satisfaction of the Trump administration, which is hoping the civil unrest will put pressure on Iranian leaders.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran will be rigorously enforced and remain in place until the Iranian government radically changes course. Speaking to reporters aboard his plane on his way home from a three-nation trip to Southeast Asia, Pompeo said Monday’s re-imposition of sanctions is an important pillar in U.S. policy toward Iran. He said the Trump administration is open to looking beyond sanctions but that would “require enormous change” from Tehran.
President Donald Trump on Saturday said any meeting with the Iranian regime is "up to them." "Iran, and it’s economy, is going very bad, and fast! I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter - it is up to them!" Trump wrote on Twitter…
U.S. President Donald Trump and his allies in the Middle East have become isolated by their hostile policies toward Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday, state TV reported.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Iran said its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps held a naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz last week "within the framework of their annual training program."
Tehran would have the world believe that it quietly developed its own stealth jet way back in February 2, 2013… It didn’t, however, look like something that could actually fly...
NORTH KOREA & IRAN
North Korea's foreign minister is scheduled to visit Iran on August 7, as both countries deal with stepped up political and financial pressure from the United States over their nuclear programs.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN.
A newly released European Union report on terrorism states that Lebanese nationals worked with organized crime organizations to finance Hezbollah’s terrorist activities.
Israeli lawmakers say Israel will not tolerate Iranian-backed Shiite fighters remaining near its northern frontier with Syria, signaling Israeli suspicion of Russian assurances that Iranian forces have left the area.
The head of a Syrian research facility, who was assassinated Saturday, had been linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program and the facilitation of several of Hezbollah’s depots in the country… The source also said that the scientist, who was close to Syrian President Bashar Assad, had been the link between experts from Syria, Iran, Russia and North Korea since the end of 2015.
European appeasement of Hezbollah begins and ends with their failure to designate its political wing as a terrorist organization, despite Hezbollah itself having no distinction between its terrorist and political entities.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Saudi Arabia has agreed to admit an Iranian diplomat to head an office representing Iranian interests in the kingdom, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported on Sunday, in a rare move after the rivals broke off relations in 2016.
Nearly 100 Iranian Christians due to be resettled in the U.S. are in legal limbo in Austria as their cases are reviewed.
Iran’s former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s quest to return to the spotlight now includes weighing in on a spat between President Donald Trump and basketball star LeBron James.