Chinese, Middle Eastern and Western banks have provided banking services to Iran’s sanctioned energy and industrial sectors, corporate documents show, as part of Tehran’s efforts to steer capital toward its embattled economy and defy U.S. pressure to restrict its nuclear program. Through a network of proxy companies, foreign exchange houses and intermediaries, Iran holds bank accounts that collectively transact tens of billions of dollars a year in trade that is otherwise banned under U.S. sanctions, according to Western diplomats, intelligence officials, corporate documents and bank statements.
A court in Iran on Thursday ordered the United States government to pay over $4 billion to the families of Iranian nuclear scientists who have been killed in targeted attacks in recent years, state-run media reported. The largely symbolic ruling underscores the escalating tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program, with negotiations to restore the tattered atomic accord at a standstill. Although Tehran has blamed Israel in the past for slayings targeting Iranian nuclear scientists since a decade ago, Iran did not directly accuse its arch-foe Israel in its announcement. Iran has not recognized Israel since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted the pro-West monarchy and brought Islamists to power.
Iran has dismissed the powerful chief of the Revolutionary Guards intelligence service, Hossein Taeb, Iran's state TV reported on Thursday.The station gave no further details about the dismissal of Taeb who, before becoming the Guards Intelligence Chief in 2009, worked at the office of Iran's top authority Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. TV said Taeb has been appointed as an advisor to Guards Commander-in-Chief Hossein Salami.
UANI IN THE NEWS
…The 260,000-ton cargo, carried by vessel Dorena which is owned by the National Iranian Tanker Corp (NITC), was discharged at Zhanjiang port, according to shipping tracking specialist Vortexa Analytics as well as US advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI.) Earlier in June, UANI said that China has paid Iran $22 billion in oil purchases since US President Joe Biden took office. Some of these circumventing sanctions have been the US looking the other way so as not to antagonize Beijing beyond the areas where the two countries are already in a trade war and facing off in a technological race.
…The 260,000-ton cargo, carried by vessel Dorena which is owned by the National Iranian Tanker Corp., was discharged at Zhanjiang port, according to shipping tracking specialist Vortexa Analytics as well as US advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, which specializes in tracking Iranian oil flows. A Vortexa analyst told Reuters the cargo was for state reserves. Previous imports of Iranian oil for China’s state reserves have also been facilitated by NITC vessels and discharged at Zhanjiang.
…La sua rotta, raccontata su Formiche.net, è piuttosto particolare. “Il petrolio originario proveniva dall’isola di Kharg, in Iran, ed è stato poi trasferito da nave a nave alla ARC 1”, aveva dichiarato Claire Jungman, chief of staff di United Against Nuclear Iran, a Formiche.net. La petroliera, poi, “è stata impegnata in un altro trasferimento da nave a nave, probabilmente per rietichettare il petrolio iraniano. Questi trasferimenti ripetuti da una nave all’altra sono una tecnica comune dell’Iran, assieme allo spoofing dei transponder Ais”, cioè la produzione di false rotte, aveva continuato l’esperta.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Iran on Wednesday, Iranian state TV reported, as world powers and Tehran are struggling to revive their 2015 nuclear pact and negotiations are stalled. Russia's foreign ministry posted a clip of Lavrov's opening remarks during a meeting with Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi in which he said Moscow was adapting to what he called the West's aggressive policies. "In all the countries experiencing the negative influence of the selfish line taken by the United States and its satellites, there arises the objective need to reconfigure their economic relations so they can avoid relying on the whims and vagaries of our Western partners," Lavrov said.
The European Union has expressed concern over Iran’s non-compliance with its nuclear commitments. Talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal are ongoing, EU spokesman for foreign affairs and security policy Peter Stano told a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday. “We are very close to reach a final agreement, but we are not there yet,” he added, stressing that this requires diplomatic effort, without providing more details on outstanding issues. He affirmed that the EU is responsible for coordinating among negotiating parties and can’t comment on the talks, AFP reported.
Jordan and Saudi Arabia announced on Wednesday that they support international efforts aimed at preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The two countries expressed support for Arab efforts to urge Iran to stop meddling in the internal affairs of Arab countries and avoid all “destabilizing activities.” In addition, Saudi Arabia expressed support for Jordan’s role as custodian of the Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem. Unconfirmed reports over the past few years claimed that Saudi Arabia was seeking to replace Jordan as custodian.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
A senior Iranian judiciary official has warned that waste-recycling factories owned by municipal contractors have been employing children in an "organized" manner. Mohammad Fathi, director-general of the judiciary's Office of Women and Family Affairs, said on June 22 that municipal contractors had been "forcing children to work long hours in completely harmful conditions" and called on the contractors to improve monitoring of worksites. The warning came after another official, Mehdi Aghrarian, the head of the Legal and Supervision Commission of the Tehran city council, called for an end to the practice.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Iran is threatening a possible assassination attempt on former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with high-profile Twitter accounts posting inflammatory messages against him. Pompeo, now a Fox News contributor, has been highly critical of Iran both while serving in the Trump administration and after. He was in office when U.S. forces killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, whose daughter is now threatening the former secretary of state. "[P]ompeo whines about Iran on Saudi TV. Home of 9/11 plotters," Zainab Soleimani tweeted Friday, adding, "Live in fear liar." The tweet included an image depicting Pompeo in a cage.
Commander in Chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hossein Salami spoke about the United States and Israel in his latest speech. “Our enemy is in a state of flight and defeat,” Salami said. “Today you see the news of the Zionist regime and how they are in a political collapse, and if you look at the US, it is thinking of an honorable exit and cannot stay in the Islamic world.” Salami continued, “Today the enemy is depressed, withered and bored from pursuing its goals and is searching for an exit.”
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
The administration of President Ebrahim Raisi in Iran is continuing its push for regional diplomacy as tensions with the West over its nuclear programme continue to build up. The conservative president came to power in August 2021 with the promise of “extending a hand of friendship and brotherhood” to other nations, with a special focus on the region. His officials continue to advocate for a “balanced” foreign policy approach that does not neglect any opportunity to improve relations – with the exception of Israel – but his administration has so far been mostly only successful in strengthening ties with only the east.
TURKEY & IRAN
Just before the arrival of Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to Turkey, Turkish intelligence revealed on Thursday that it managed to thwart an Iranian attack attempted in Istanbul last Friday, Israeli media reported. According to intelligence reports, Iranians planned to kidnap Israeli diplomats and tourists in Istanbul. The report states that the perpetrators were already in Istanbul. One of the targets, according to the report, was the former Israeli ambassador and his wife who were staying at a hotel in the city.
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Ukraine crisis can only be resolved diplomatically, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said on Thursday during a press conference in Tehran alongside his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. The Russian foreign minister arrived in Tehran on Wednesday for a two-day visit to discuss Iran's 2015 nuclear deal, boosting bilateral and energy cooperation, and international and regional issues, according to Iranian state media.