Negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal are close to completion, the European Union’s senior negotiator at the talks said Sunday evening, but it remained unclear whether Tehran will accept the final deal. The text of an agreement could be closed in coming hours, said the EU’s Enrique Mora, the coordinator of the talks. However, Iran must still decide whether to set aside its demand that the nuclear deal can only be revived if a multiyear United Nations atomic agency probe into its nuclear program is closed. “We were negotiating some technical questions that were open in the text,” Mr. Mora told reporters in Vienna. “We are advancing and I expect that we will close this negotiation soon.”
Iran is demanding the closure of a multiyear probe by the United Nations atomic agency into its nuclear program as a condition for restoring the 2015 nuclear deal, diplomats said, a major hurdle blocking an agreement. Negotiators from the U.S., Iran, the European Union and other parties to the deal resumed talks in Vienna on Thursday aimed at restoring the 2015 agreement. The negotiations seek to agree the steps Washington and Tehran must take to return to compliance with the deal’s terms.
“This time their objective was to kill you,” a special agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation told me. “We detained him with a loaded AK-47.” When I saw the photos of the weapon, I was filled with shock, fear and disbelief. In 2014 I launched a campaign challenging compulsory hijab in my native Iran. For defending a woman’s right to dress how she wants and my endless criticism of the regime, I have been targeted multiple times by the Iranian government on American soil. Video security footage at my home showed a man on my porch last week trying to break in.
UANI IN THE NEWS
…Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) protected Saif Al-Adel during his time in the country, and the regime permitted him to plan deadly terror attacks, including a May 2003 operation in Saudi Arabia that killed eight Americans. “Adel’s suspected presence in Iran has raised further questions regarding Iranian influence on al Qaeda if Adel were to be named leader”, according to United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an advocacy group that closely tracks Iran’s regional terror operations.
…Some experts noted that the Houston video, which was widely shared by Iranian state media, closely resembled propaganda videos produced inside Iran and could indicate collaboration between Iran and the IEC. "The production quality is quite similar to what's come out of Iran," said Jason Brodsky, policy director of United Against Nuclear Iran. "It's very familiar packaging of 'Hello Commander' and raises questions about potential Iranian propaganda involvement." Prominent Iranian activist Hanif Jazayeri flagged online that someone who had been promoting the IEC event on Twitter had an IP address in Iran.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Top negotiators in renewed talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal indicated Sunday that they are optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement to impose limits on Tehran’s uranium enrichment. “We stand 5 minutes or 5 seconds from the finish line,” Russian Ambassador Mikhail Ulyanov told reporters outside Vienna’s Palais Coburg, four days into the talks. He said there are “3 or 4 issues” left to be resolved. “They are sensitive, especially for Iranians and Americans,” Ulyanov said. “I cannot guarantee, but the impression is that we are moving in the right direction.”
Iran's foreign minister called on Saturday for a "realistic response" from the United States to Iranian proposals at indirect talks in Vienna aimed at reviving Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, state media reported. The comments came as talks continued for a third day on Saturday with few expecting a breakthrough compromise while Tehran's disputed uranium enrichment programme surges forward. "Hossein Amirabdollahian... stressed the need for a realistic U.S. response to Iran's constructive proposals on various issues to make the deal work," state media reported, without providing details on the proposals.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Iranian journalist and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad called out the Biden administration following an attempt on her life in the last week. On July 31, Brooklyn police arrested a man with a loaded AK-47-style rifle near her apartment. This came one year after Alinejad described a plot by the Iranian government to kidnap her for her work documenting Iranian women fight back against the oppressive regime. While Iran has denied her allegations, Alinejad has said the plot was infiltrated by the FBI.
MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS
Tehran says Iranian experts will control “from day one” an Iranian satellite due to be launched by Russia next week, rejecting reports that it will be first used by Moscow to "enhance its surveillance of military targets" in Ukraine. "All orders related to the control and operation of this satellite will be carried out and issued from day one and immediately after launch by Iranian experts based in Iran's...space bases," the Iranian Space Agency said in a statement on August 7.
Unmanned drones fired by Iran-backed militias at targets across the Middle East in recent years, sometimes with lethal effect, are being supplied from China, a senior US official revealed. Barbara Leaf, the State Department’s top Middle East policy official, called it “an irony” that Beijing has been pushing sales of its military drones to Arab Gulf states while doing nothing to stem the flow of other Chinese-made drones to militias backed by Iran in the region.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
Police in Iran arrested an Afghan man suspected of stabbing 10 other farm laborers to death following a quarrel over land, Iranian state media reported Monday. The rampage in a remote village in southeastern Iran was a rare such incident in the Islamic Republic. The official IRNA news agency said four Iranians and six Afghans were killed, and one farm worker was wounded in the rampage on Sunday and was in hospital. According to the report, the suspect was mentally unbalanced.
CONGRESS & IRAN
Several Republican senators have urged the US administration to deny visas for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his delegation to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City in September. In a letter to US President Joe Biden, Senators Tom Cotton, Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Chuck Grassley, Joni Ernst, Marsha Blackburn, and Ted Cruz said: “Raisi’s involvement in mass murder and the Iranian regime’s campaign to assassinate US officials on American soil make allowing Raisi and his henchmen to enter our country an inexcusable threat to national security.”
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
The commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that Israel would pay a high price for its latest attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza, Iranian state TV reported. "The Israelis will pay yet another heavy price for their recent crime," it quoted Major General Hossein Salami as saying in reference to Israeli air strikes on Gaza, as he met with Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala who is currently in Iran. On Saturday, Israeli aircraft struck in Gaza and Palestinians fired rockets at Israel after an Israeli operation against the Islamic Jihad militant group ended more than a year of relative calm along the border.
The world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism – the Islamic Republic of Iran – is behind Palestinian Islamic Jihad's firing of over 600 rockets at communities in Israel over the weekend, according to top military experts. Brig. Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi, a former deputy commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Gaza Division, told Fox News Digital that there is "more than a slight possibility that Iran ordered [PIJ attacks] or it was supported by Iran." Israel launched a preemptive mission—Operation Breaking Dawn—on Friday to stop "PIJ from firing anti-tank missiles from northern Gaza into Israel," said Avivi.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran is seeking the release of one of its nationals it says was arrested in Saudi Arabia during the haj pilgrimage, as the two regional rivals appear poised to resume contacts aimed at restoring relations. Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian raised the issue during a call with his Iraqi counterpart in which he asked for the incident to be followed up by Iraq, which has hosted several rounds of Iranian-Saudi talks. "In this call, our foreign minister (Amirabdollahian) pursued the fate of an Iranian compatriot arrested during the haj in Saudi Arabia and asked that a message be conveyed towards his release," Iranian state media reported on Friday.