Iran Says Deal To Buy Russian Fighter Jets, Helicopters Finalized

TOP STORIES 

Iran Says Deal To Buy Russian Fighter Jets, Helicopters Finalized | i24 News 

The arms trade between Tehran and Moscow has grown in scope since Russia invaded Ukraine. Iran has finalized arrangements for the delivery of Russian made Sukhoi su-35 fighter jets and helicopters, Iran’s deputy defense minister told Iran’s Tasnim news agency on Tuesday, as Tehran and Moscow forge closer relations in military field.  

Iran-Backed Houthis Fire On US Navy Ship Answering Distress Call From Israel-Linked Tanker | New York Post 

Iran-backed forces in Yemen fired two ballistic missiles at a US warship early Monday after the Navy responded to a distress call from an Israel-linked commercial tanker that had been seized by Somali pirates, the Pentagon said. The commercial tanker, known as the Central Park, issued a distress call late Sunday stating its crew was “under attack by an unknown entity” after five gunmen boarded the vessel in the Gulf of Aden, according to a US Central Command statement. The USS Mason guided-missile destroyer responded to the call, along with an accompanying US helicopter gunship and a Japanese destroyer, while Central Park crew members sealed themself inside the ship’s Citadel safe room. “Upon arrival, coalition elements demanded release of the vessel,” CENTCOM said in its statement. “Subsequently, five armed individuals debarked the ship and attempted to flee via their small boat.”  

The US Used A Contentious Surveillance Power To Disrupt Iran’s Weapons Program | Politico  

U.S. officials say a controversial surveillance authority has been key to helping them stop the sale of certain weapons parts to Iran in recent years. The CIA and other intelligence agencies used information gathered by monitoring the electronic communications of foreign weapons manufacturers to stop several shipments of advanced weapons parts to Iran by land, air and sea, according to two U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the matter. The campaign came as the administration pushed to prevent Iran from building up its ballistic missile program – one officials continue to worry Tehran is using to help Russia on the battlefield in Ukraine. Officials have also focused on limiting Iran’s intervention in conflicts that impact U.S. national security more broadly, including the war between Israel and Hamas. The disclosure is the administration’s latest argument that the spying authority — Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — is crucial to national security as it fights to get Congress to reauthorize the tool before it expires at the end of the year.  

UANI IN THE NEWS 

US Insists Red Sea Ship Hijacked By Somalis, Not Houthis | Iran International  

…Others even questioned the fact the attack was blamed on Somalis, who have been relatively inactive in the region for several years. Jason Brodsky, from United Against a Nuclear Iran, called it an “excuse for more inaction from Biden. David Friedman, former US ambassador to Israel, also said inaction was making US forces “sitting ducks”, victim to attacks to Iran’s proxies. “Show some strength,” he wrote on X, unperturbed by the news of the Somali allegations, many feeling the trademarks of the Houthis’ recent attacks were simply too close to question.  

MISSILE PROGRAM 

Iran Unveils New Deylaman Warship Capable Of Launching Cruise Missiles | Al-Monitor 

Iran’s navy unveiled a domestically produced destroyer it said is capable of launching cruise missiles and detecting a variety of military objects including vessels, drones, helicopters, submarines and aircraft. The new Iranian warship, dubbed the Deylaman, is 95 meters (312 feet) long and 11 meters (36 feet) wide. It is reportedly capable of reaching 30 knots (56 kilometers or 35 miles per hour) while repelling air, surface and subsurface threats. It will join Iran's Caspian Sea fleet, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Sunday.

PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS 

Violence Against Women ‘Systematic’ In Islamic Republic, Activists Say | Iran International  

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, civil society groups emphasized that serious violations in Iran is deeply ingrained and systematic. The Women's Revolution, a coalition of rights activists advocating for social and economic equality, modernism, and the separation of religion and state, highlighted the roots of women's rights violations in the laws and governance of the Islamic Republic. These violations include granting men the right to divorce and child custody, obliging women to provide marital relations on demand, endorsing child marriage, imposing death sentences on women for extramarital relationships, idealizing traditional gender roles, restricting women's entry to stadiums, and imposing limitations on their education and professions. “We, the signatories of this statement, know very well that women will never be freed from violence and this cycle of sexism will continue given the domination of a gender apartheid system. But we believe that the Woman, Life, Freedom revolution has sparked the hope in everyone's hearts that the end of this tragedy is conceivable,” the statement said.  

Iranian ‘Ballad Of A White Cow’ Directors Behtash Sanaeeha & Maryam Moghadam Banned From Travel As They Face Trial Over New Film | Deadline  

Iranian directors Behtash Sanaeeha and Maryam Moghadam, whose last collaboration Ballad Of A White Cow made waves on the festival circuit, have been banned from travel and face a trial in relation to their upcoming film My Favourite Cake. The pair discovered they were subject to a travel ban at Tehran airport at the end of September after their passports were confiscated as they went to catch a flight to Paris to work on post-production of the new film. They were subsequently told that they faced a trial related to the production. Local media reported that Iranian security forces had raided the house of the film’s editor, seizing rushes and other materials related to the production.  

Jailed Nobel Laureate Mohammadi Denounces Iran’s “Execution Machine” | Iran Wire 

Iranian human rights defender and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi, who is incarcerated in Tehran’s Evin prison, has denounced a spike in executions in the country, calling it a "disgrace to the oppressive and authoritarian system." "The execution machine has accelerated across the country, conveying the message of the oppressive Islamic Republic to society: the continuation of massacre and execution,” Mohammadi said in a letter published on her Instagram page on November 26. “I do not consider it anything other than the ‘war’ of the government with all its tools of suppression and death against the oppressed, protesting, and defenseless people of Iran," she added. Mohammadi made the comments after last week’s execution of a 17-year-old boy who had been convicted of murder and a 21-year-old protester accused of killing a member of the security forces during protests that swept the country in 2022.  

MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS 

Gaza Truce Brings Halt In Iran-Linked Attacks On US Troops In Iraq, Syria | Al-Monitor 

A steady barrage of rocket and drone attacks targeting bases used by US troops in Iraq and Syria came to a halt last week as Israel paused its war against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. Pentagon spokesperson Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said Monday that the last reported attack occurred on Nov. 23, just hours before Israel and Hamas halted hostilities in order to exchange Palestinian prisoners for hostages held by the militants in Gaza. “As for why Iranian proxies have chosen not to conduct attacks [since then], I’d refer you to them,” Ryder told reporters. Since Oct. 17, Iran-backed proxies in Iraq and Syria have targeted US positions 74 times. In response, the US military carried out airstrikes four times in both countries.  

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS 

Deep Dive: Is Iran’s Foreign Ministry Losing Authority? | Amwaj Media 

The story: Iran’s parliament has voted to exempt the armed forces, intelligence ministry, and the nuclear energy organization from coordinating their international engagements with the foreign ministry. The move has been strongly criticized by Reformists, who accuse the conservative-dominated legislature of trying to weaken the ministry. If the legislation becomes law, it could indicate a further strengthening of the intelligence and security apparatus—especially since conservative President Ebrahim Raisi took office in 2021.  

CONGRESS & IRAN 

Tillis, Colleagues Call On Biden Administration To Enforce Sanctions On Iran | US Senator Thom Tillis 

Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently sent a letter to President Biden urging him to immediately enforce oil sanctions on Iran as mandated by Congress. The letter also urges the administration to permanently freeze the $6 billion funding mechanism established in September’s hostage agreement with Iran. “We write to you during a time of global outrage and sorrow following Hamas’s unprecedented massacre in Israel which has left 1,400 dead, including at least 33 Americans. Iran’s fingerprints are all over the events of October 7th and ensuing escalations across the Middle East. Its leaders have provided Hamas and Hezbollah hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, weapons, and training, bolstering terrorists on Israel’s borders,” the senators wrote. “We ask that you take immediate action to permanently freeze the funding mechanism established in September’s hostage deal with Iran. This $6 billion would free up money for Iran to use not for the well-being of its own people but for nefarious purposes in the region and beyond.  

AFGHANISTAN & IRAN 

Iran Expels Over 24,000 Illegal Afghans | Iran International  

Over 24,000 illegal Afghans have been expelled from Iran by border guards amid rising calls to prioritize the needs of Iranian citizens amid the economic crisis. The Commander of the Border Guards in Khorasan Razavi province, Majid Shojai, stated on Monday that “within the past 10 days, the individuals, present in the country illegally, were identified and handed over to the Afghan government's representative at the zero point of the Dogharoun region.” Khorasan Razavi province, sharing a 531-kilometer border with Turkmenistan to the north and northeast and a 302-kilometer border with Afghanistan to the east, has been a focal point for border control. Simultaneously, a member of parliament, Abolfazl Aboutorabi, proposed measures to penalize those renting houses or providing employment to “unauthorized foreign nationals”. According to Aboutorabi, both Iranian landlords and employers who engage unauthorized foreign nationals will face legal consequences.  

OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS 

Iran's Raisi Not Coming To Turkey On Tuesday: Ankara | Voice Of America 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will not be making a previously announced visit to Ankara on Tuesday, the Turkish presidency told AFP, without providing a reason. The visit had been announced earlier this month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said the two leaders would focus on forging a joint response to the Israel-Hamas war. "Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is coming to us on the 28th of the month," Erdogan told reporters on board his flight back from a Nov. 11 regional summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was also announced by Turkey's official state media and discussed heavily on Turkish television as late as Monday. Erdogan spoke by phone with Raisi on Sunday, according to the Turkish presidency. It was not immediately clear whether the visit had been canceled or postponed.