Iran, already struggling to attract investors to its energy industry, may find things tougher still as U.S. President Donald Trump tries to undermine the nuclear deal that eased sanctions on OPEC’s third-largest crude producer. His efforts won’t immediately curb the flow of some 2.3 million barrels of daily Iranian crude exports -- more than three times the amount of oil the U.S. has sold abroad over the past year. For investors, however, the risks could be higher. Companies such as Total SA, which in July became the first major Western energy company to sign a production deal with Iran since the 2015 accord, may face new hurdles in contributing to the Persian Gulf country’s estimated $100 billion need for oil and natural gas investment.
U.S. President Donald Trump will make an announcement this week on an “overall Iran strategy,” including whether to decertify the international deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday. .. Trump, who has called the 2015 pact agreed between Iran and six world powers an “embarrassment,” is expected to announce that he will decertify the deal ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline, a senior administration official said last week. Trump is also expected to designate Iran’s most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, as a terrorist organization as part of a new Iran strategy. “The president has reached a decision on an overall Iran strategy and wants to make sure that we have a broad policy to deal with ... all of the problems of Iran being a bad actor,” Sanders said.
A decision by President Trump to back out of the Iranian nuclear agreement could derail billions of dollars in Western investment heading toward Iran and trigger European economic retaliation against U.S. businesses, analysts say… [T]he climate of uncertainty surrounding the deal would likely make companies in Europe, Japan and elsewhere think twice about investing in Iran for fear of violating reimposed sanctions.
UANI IN THE NEWS
(6:14) “[I]t’s in all the P5+1’s interests to renegotiate the problematic provisions…”
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week admitted an inconvenient truth. The U.N. watchdog, said Yukiya Amano, has proven unable to verify Iran’s compliance with Section T of the 2015 nuclear deal, which prohibits activities that could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device. This disclosure comes as no surprise to critics of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), who have long noted its failure to secure full access to key military sites such as Parchin, where Tehran previously engaged in weaponization efforts. But Amano’s statement also quashes another myth. Contrary to widespread media reporting, the IAEA has never fully certified Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA.
President Donald Trump is taking considerable heat for his expected announcement this week that he will “decertify” the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Critics say he is heedlessly discarding a deal that has been working, and needlessly putting America on a collision course with Iran. As it turns out, Trump is actually not poised to “rip up the deal.” By decertifying it, the president and his advisors are, in fact, signaling their intent to strengthen it, with the help of Congress, so that the deal advances U.S. national security interests.
Britain has urged the United States to extend the Iran nuclear deal, with Prime Minister Theresa May saying it is “vitally important for regional security.” May’s office said she and President Donald Trump spoke late Tuesday and both sides agreed their teams would remain in contact ahead of Trump’s decision on the pact.
Angry at the options he was presented with last July when he reluctantly agreed to certify to Congress that Iran was in compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal (the JCPOA), President Trump demanded another option for his next certification decision due by October 15. He didn’t get it. Instead, the president’s national security advisers – led by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson -- have presented him with two absurd options to “decertify” the JCPOA but to keep the United States in this deeply flawed agreement. These options are so bad that they are best described as “dumb” and “dumber.”
NUCLEAR & BALLISTIC-MISSILE PROGRAMS
Iran is illicitly proliferating nuclear weapon and ballistic missile related technology? No shock, Sherlock.
[Iranian President Hassan Rouhani] gave a full-throated defense of his one-time rivals in the Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, as the country’s pragmatist and hardline factions rallied together in the face of threats from Donald Trump.
A spokesman for Iran’s armed forces warned U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday against threatening the Islamic Republic and said Iranian forces would teach the United States “new lessons.”
CONGRESS & IRAN
President Trump should try to negotiate new restrictions on Iran's "malign behavior" without declaring an international nuclear deal with the regime at odds with American interests, according to a Senate Democratic foreign policy leader. "Call on Congress to join him in a bipartisan way in supporting the tougher measures we should be taking against Iran," Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, who sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters Tuesday. "That would demonstrate genuine leadership domestically."
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal, is not in America’s best interests, and President Trump should not recertify this so-called ‘deal’. The JCPOA is not a blueprint for how to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. It is the pathway for exactly how Iran can acquire a nuclear weapon. .. If Iran wants to save the JCPOA, the regime will need to step up to the plate and help turn this into a reasonable agreement. The verification regime must become adequate and transparent and many of Iran’s other bad activities will need to cease. If Iran does not want to save the JCPOA then the sanctions should immediately ramp back up. I am confident that our great partners abroad recognize the urgency of supporting this necessary course correction.”
An Italian asset manager has become the first foreign investment group to buy a stake in an Iranian financial company, amid threats by US President Donald Trump to withdraw his endorsement of the nuclear agreement which opened the country to inward investment. Azimut, a €48bn group headquartered in Milan, is to acquire 20 per cent of Mofid Entekhab, an Iranian asset manager, for an undisclosed sum.
It is, perhaps, the worst kept secret in Washington that President Donald Trump will later this week announce that America is about to enter a new era of confrontation with Iran. The president will herald his new approach by announcing that he is not prepared to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal it agreed in 2015 with six world powers, including Britain and the US, which was supposed to end decades of hostility over the ayatollahs’ obsession with developing nuclear weapons.
In the aftermath of the September 25 Kurdish independence referendum, Iran has deployed additional military forces and equipment to the border with northern Iraq, deliberately moving them through Iranian Kurdish towns in broad daylight as a show of force to audiences at home and abroad. The deployments are in keeping with Tehran's hardline posture leading up the vote, with the political leadership and military branches explicitly signaling that the outcome is unacceptable. Iran also appears to be soliciting Baghdad and Turkey's help in preparing for potential escalation against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
Iran’s Judiciary chief Sadegh Larijani delivered a direct response to statements of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a quick return of skirmishes and deep disputes among high-rank officials in Tehran. “Someone said that the judiciary body is summoning people due to its unemployment. If someone has to be unemployed then it is you, who have abandoned the country affairs four years ago and pursued the nuclear agreement as if Iran has no other problems and affairs,” Larijani stated.