The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday sanctioned a network of individuals and companies it said counterfeited Yemeni bank notes potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars for Iran Revolutionary Guard’s Qods Force.
Iran’s listing goes back to 1984. A State Department report in July called Iran the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism and said it has supported Shia militias in Iraq and attempted to smuggle weapons to Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. The WMD issue, also a factor with North Korea and Syria, has been cited by the State Department regarding Iran because of the proliferation threat posed by its nuclear program.
Iran on Monday rejected a harsh statement by Arab League foreign ministers condemning the Islamic Republic and its proxy Hezbollah, saying the tirade was “full of lies” and the product of Saudi “pressure and propaganda.”.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
If our trading partners had to choose between access to the American market or access to the Iranian one, there's no doubt which way they'd go. Given the obvious crisis caused by North Korea, why would we not do everything possible to prevent a repetition with the Islamic extremists of Iran? Regarding Obama's ghastly deal with Iran, our motto should be clear: Fix it or nix it.
At the Middle East’s oldest oil refinery, giant, yellow-brick silos that stored Iranian crude and fuel products are mottled by bullet marks from the war with Iraq in the 1980s. One has a large puncture from a tank shell. The conflict is now economic, but this area of southwest Iran near the Persian Gulf is strategically important again. U.S. President Donald Trump’s talk of jettisoning the nuclear deal that was supposed to plug the Islamic Republic back into the global marketplace has given fresh urgency to plans to transform a region as rich in petroleum reserves as it is in battle scars. With the help of China, the aim is turn the century-old Abadan refinery from a millstone costing the government up to $700 million a year into a cash cow that can meet Iran’s domestic demand for better quality fuel rather than relying on imports.
A judge postponed jury selection in the trial surrounding a conspiracy to help Iran evade economic sanctions after the star defendant, an international gold trader who had been trying to broker a diplomatic solution to the case, was a no-show Monday. The case against Reza Zarrab, a citizen of Turkey and Iran, has strained relations between the U.S. and Turkey.
It may seem that we have come a long way since the Dark Ages, but there are still some countries in the world that have made little progress in according equal rights to women and men. There is even a country where misogyny is the order of the day and where women have no legal rights. It may come as a shock to many, but Iran continues to run in this way. The Iranian regime may keep up pretences in public on issues related to women’s rights, but in practice women remain second class citizens in that country.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and the European Union held their third round of high level talks in Tehran on Monday.
The presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet on Wednesday for the first in a series of summits aimed at re-booting the peace process in Syria, now [that] regime forces have an upper hand over rebels and the Islamic State group.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will be hosting his Turkish and Iranian counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani, at a trilateral summit Nov. 22 in Sochi, to discuss Syria and regional developments… Although these meetings can be seen as a sign of a growing cooperation between the three parties, they can also be interpreted as a reflection of distrust between them. When it comes to Russia’s agenda in Syria, both Ankara and Tehran have their own fears as they are concerned that Moscow might exploit them at some point to achieve its own goals.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, AND IRAN
Lebanon is used to lurching from one crisis to another, but the political drama that has unfolded in Riyadh, Beirut and Paris the past two weeks is unprecedented even for this tiny Mediterranean country and could yet herald a protracted political battle as Lebanon is dragged into the simmering regional confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The abrupt resignation of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri during a trip to Saudi Arabia earlier this month and the events surrounding his presence in Riyadh appear to have increased Iran-Saudi tensions and brought to the fore the possibility of a new military confrontation in the region.
IRANIAN DOMESTIC ISSUES
When Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, makes public appearances, there are often two individuals trailing close behind him: the white-turbaned Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, head of the Office of the Supreme Leader, and the balding Vahid Haghanian, a towering, plump man partial to multipocketed raincoats… Rarely, if ever, has Haghanian made comments to the media, which has increased the mystery surrounding the extent of his influence. Thus, when he attacked an official for politicizing earthquake relief efforts in the western part of the country, his comments lit up Iranian social media.
Iran's supreme leader has criticised the government's response to last week's earthquake during a visit to the scene of the disaster.