Iran Unveils Latest Version Of Ballistic Missile Amid Wider Tensions Over Nuclear Program | Associated Press
Iran unveiled on Thursday what it called the latest iteration of its liquid-fueled Khorramshahr ballistic missile amid wider tensions with the West over its nuclear program. Authorities showed off the Khorramshahr-4 to journalists at an event in Tehran, with the missile on a truck-mounted launcher. Defense Minister Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said the missile could be prepared for launch in a short period. “One of the prominent characteristics of this missile is its ability to evade radar detection and penetrate enemy air defense systems, thanks to its low radar signature,” the general told journalists.
UN Rights Chief Urges Iran To Decriminalize 'Mandatory Veiling Laws' | Voice Of America
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights is urging Iran to decriminalize mandatory veiling laws, warning that the harassment of women, including what they do or do not wear, appears to have intensified as street protests have died down. “Women and girls face increasingly stringent legal, social, and economic measures in the authorities’ enforcement of discriminatory compulsory veiling laws,” Volker Türk told reporters in Geneva Wednesday. “I urge the government to heed Iranians’ calls for reform, and to begin by repealing regulations that criminalize non-compliance with mandatory dress codes.
Egypt And Iran To Exchange Ambassadors This Year In Landmark Move Towards Normalising Ties | The National
Egypt and Iran are expected to exchange ambassadors within months, part of a process mediated by Oman to normalise relations between the two regional powers, Egyptian officials told The National. Two officials said that a meeting has been agreed in principle between President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt and his Iranian counterpart, Ebrahim Raisi. They said the meeting is likely to take place by the end of the year.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Scoop: Israeli Officials Expected To Visit White House For Talks On Iran, Saudi Arabia | Axios
Israeli Minister for Strategic Affairs Ron Dermer and national security adviser Tzachi Hanegbi are expected in Washington next week for talks at the White House as concerns grow over advances in Iran's nuclear program and as the U.S. seeks to push for an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace deal, four Israeli and U.S. officials told Axios. The big picture: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took power about five months ago, still hasn't received an invitation for a meeting with President Biden at the White House.
Iran To Archive Nuclear Deal Soon, Former MP Warns | Iran International
Former MP Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh claims the country's nuclear dossier will now move to the Foreign Ministry, meaning the end of the JCPOA. Speaking to Setareh-e Sobh newspaper, he said: “It seems likely that foreign policy cases will be transferred from the Council to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which means issues like the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will be archived,” he claimed, referring to the recent change to the leadership of the Supreme National Security Council. Iran's Security Chief Ali Shamkhani stepped down Monday with President Ebrahim Raisi appointing a heavily sanctioned Revolutionary Guards commander as his replacement.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Bank Of Russia Chief Visits Iran In Rare Trip Abroad Since War | Bloomberg
Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina held talks with her Iranian counterpart during a visit to Tehran, a rare foreign outing since she was sanctioned over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The discussions included a focus on strengthening relations between commercial banks from the two countries as well as “increasing banking infrastructure cooperation,” Iranian central bank Governor Mohammad-Reza Farzin said, the state-run IRNA news service reported. Nabiullina also held talks on the sidelines of an Asian Clearing Union meeting in Tehran, which Russia is attending as an observer along with officials from Belarus and Afghanistan, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news service reported Wednesday.
Iran’s President Raisi Visits Indonesia, Signs 11 Cooperation Agreements | i24 News
Iran is seeking new trade connections as its economy has been battered by Western sanctions. Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi made a two-day visit to Indonesia, where he signed 11 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) and other cooperation documents to boost relations between the two countries.The meeting with Raisi's Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo was focused on economic ties between the two Muslim nations. On Tuesday, Indonesia and Iran signed a preferential trade agreement.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
Exclusive: Mysterious Attack On Iranian Dissident In California Has Friends, Family Blaming Iran | New York Sun
A police report accusing a recent law school graduate of assaulting his father, who is a critic of the Iranian regime, is being disputed by friends and relatives of the family, some of whom insist Iran is behind the attack. The police report also contradicts visual evidence seen by the Sun. What is hardly in dispute is that an Azeri-language broadcaster, Ahmad Obali, was badly beaten up at Santa Clara, California, on Saturday and was subsequently hospitalized. Persons close to the senior Mr. Obali were initially convinced the assault had to do with his advocacy on behalf of Iran’s Azeri minority and his widely heard broadcasts against the Islamic Republic’s regime.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Rights Group Urges Global Governments To 'Radically' Increase Pressure On Iran Over Executions | Radio Free Europe
The Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) says it has sent a letter to 75 governments around the world asking them to "radically increase" pressure on Tehran to cease the "flagrantly unlawful executions" of protesters and others that are surging in the country. “The Islamic republic is hanging young protesters -- after torturing them into making ‘confessions’ and convicting them in sham trials -- and targeting minorities for executions for lesser crimes, in order to cow its restive population into silence,” Hadi Ghaemi, CHRI's executive director, said in a statement on May 24. Officials have launched a brutal crackdown in Iran amid a wave of unrest sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in September while in police custody for an alleged infraction of the country's mandatory hijab law.
At Least Seven More Protesters At Grave Risk Of Execution In Iran | Iran International
At least seven more Iranians have been given the death sentence in connection with nationwide protests, according to rights group Amnesty International, with dozens more at risk. At least 259 Iranians have been executed since January alone, according to the United Nations. Amnesty claims Ebrahim Narouie, Kambiz Kharout, Manouchehr Mehman Navaz, Mansour Dahmardeh, Mohammad Ghobadlou, Mojahed (Abbas) Kourkour and Shoeib Mir Baluchzehi Rigi are at grave risk of imminent execution with four others facing retrials on capital charges.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Ukraine's Zelenskiy To Iran: Why Support Russia And Terror? | Reuters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged Iranians on Wednesday to reconsider the supply of deadly drones to Russia in order to stop their slide into "the dark side of history." Iranian-made Shahed drones supplied to Moscow have played a major role in Russia's attacks on cities and infrastructure, though Zelenskiy said Kyiv's air defences were now skilled at downing them - about 900 of 1,160 aimed at Ukrainian targets. "The simple question is this: what is your interest in being an accomplice to Russian terror?" Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen Ranked Highly Miserable Nations – Study | Jerusalem Post
The Islamic Republic of Iran and countries linked to Tehran, Lebanon, Yemen and Syria, were classified as some of the world's most miserable nations due to economic mismanagement, corruption, violence, and war, according to a report by a prominent American economist at John Hopkins University in Maryland. Israel fared well in the report with a ranking of 145 among the nearly 160 countries ranked. The wealthy central European country Switzerland is at the bottom of the misery table (157).
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Sultan Of Oman To Make First Visit To Iran Amid Regional Thaw | Al-Monitor
The Sultan of Oman, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, will travel to Iran on Sunday, his first visit to Tehran since coming to power in 2020, Omani state media reported. The sultan will stay in Iran for two days upon the invitation of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. His delegation will include Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad Al Busaidi, along with other defense, investment and royal officials, the official Oman News Agency reported. "The visit will also touch on means of promoting cooperation between Oman and Iran in different spheres," the report said. Why it matters: Oman has maintained the role of mediator between Iran and Gulf states. Just this week, Sultan Haitham visited Egypt in likely mediation between Cairo and Tehran as they attempt to normalize relations.
AFGHANISTAN & IRAN
Iran Says Taliban Must Adhere To Water Treaty To End Deepening Dispute | Iran International
Tehran's water dispute with the Taliban must be solved through arbitration, says the country's vice president for legal issues who claimed the Afghan fundamentalists were not acting according to agreed terms. Mohammad Dehghan said Wednesday that “we have a completely reliable treaty to solve the problem, and accordingly, we expect the Afghans to act based on the treaty.” Due to Taliban damming to halt the flow of water from Afghanistan hundreds of thousands of civilians' lives have been badly affected in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan.