Iran's Raisi Says Thwarting U.S. Sanctions Needs New Solutions

TOP STORIES 

Iran's Raisi Says Thwarting U.S. Sanctions Needs New Solutions | Reuters 

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Friday that thwarting "draconian" U.S. sanctions required new solutions, asserting that an expanding central Asian security organisation could help defy Washington's unilateralism. Speaking at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Raisi also called for an expansion of free trade among the SCO's member countries, alongside financial and banking cooperation. "The SCO needs to adopt new solutions and take specific measures to counter draconian U.S. sanctions and its unilateralism, such as sustainable trade among its member states," Raisi said.  

Families, Ex-Prisoners Urge Biden Administration To Secure Release Of Americans Held In Iran | NBC News 

As nuclear talks with Iran remain deadlocked, families and advocates of Americans imprisoned in Iran are appealing to the Biden administration to take urgent action to bring their loved ones home. Neda Sharghi, whose brother Emad Sharghi has been imprisoned in Iran since 2018, told lawmakers on Thursday that the Biden administration and Congress needed to show the courage necessary to win the release of detained Americans. “We all have everyone’s empathy and sympathy. What we don’t have is the moral courage to make the really difficult decisions that have to be made to recover our hostages,” Sharghi said at an event on Capitol Hill.  

Bipartisan Opposition To A New Iran Deal Continues To Grow | National Review 

U.S. and Israeli officials suggest that Washington’s potential return to the nuclear agreement with Iran is unlikely to take place before America’s midterms and Israel’s latest round of elections, as the talks appear to remain gridlocked over Tehran’s demands. But this doesn’t mean that the talks are dead. Although it seemed that American and Iranian negotiators had resolved the differences that, in March, had hindered an imminent conclusion to the talks, the two sides have now traded proposals and counter-proposals for weeks.

NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM 

Iran Nuclear Deal 'In ER Room' -Israeli Defence Minister | Reuters 

Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers is "in the ER room" and is unlikely to be renewed soon, if at all, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Thursday after European leaders voiced doubt about Tehran's willingness to revive the pact. Israel, Iran's arch-foe, supported the U.S. withdrawal from the accord in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, who deemed it too limited, and has been advocating against a re-entry into the pact sought by President Joe Biden's administration. Iran, whose nuclear ambitions are seen by Israel as an existential threat, denies seeking atomic bombs.  

Iran And Russia Drone Alliance In Ukraine Casts Shadow On Nuclear Deal | The National 

Iran's supply of attack drones to Russia is taking their partnership to a new level as a fragile nuclear deal hangs in the balance, experts told The National. The US and UK accuse Tehran of supplying potentially hundreds of drones to Moscow for its war in Ukraine, despite efforts to revive a 2015 nuclear accord that would reopen trade with Iran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear activities. The nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which former US president Donald Trump scrapped in 2018, is now hanging by a thread in part because of energised Iran-Russia co-operation.  

China Sees US Double Standard Over Stalled Iran Nuclear Deal | Bloomberg 

China is warning that global rules prohibiting the spread of nuclear weapons are at risk because of different non-proliferation standards being applied to Iran and US allies. The “double standard” means a half-century of efforts to restrict possession of atomic warheads could begin to unravel, potentially pushing countries toward crossing the nuclear threshold, said China’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Wang Qun. Western nations expect Iran to limit its nuclear-fuel stockpiles in order to revive a 2015 pact and remove sweeping economic sanctions, according to Wang.  

PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS 

Iranian Dissidents Sue Ebrahim Raisi For Torture | The Washington Free Beacon 

A group of Iranian dissidents and former hostages is set to sue the hardline regime's president, Ebrahim Raisi, in a landmark case in federal court alleging torture and other human rights crimes. The case will be filed ahead of Raisi's travel to the United States to attend annual U.N. proceedings in New York City, according to information about the case provided to the Washington Free Beacon by the National Union for Democracy in Iran, an advocacy group comprised of pro-democracy advocates.  

Iranian Woman Brain Dead After Arrest By Morality Police Over Hijab Rules | Radio Free Europe 

A 22-year-old Iranian woman has been declared brain dead just hours after reports spread that she was beaten and arrested by morality police in Tehran for not complying with the country's mandatory hijab rules. According to reports published on social networks, Mahsa Amini had traveled from the western Iranian province of Kurdistan to Tehran to meet relatives when she was arrested on September 13. Eyewitnesses at the scene told journalists that Amini appeared to have been beaten inside the morality police van while being taken to the detention center, though she was conscious.  

MILITARY/INTELLIGENCE MATTERS & PROXY WARS 

How The Fighting In Ukraine Could Lead To A War Crimes Case Against Iran | The Washington Post 

More than two years after Iran shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, killing all 176 people onboard, family members of the victims are asking the International Criminal Court to investigate the incident as a war crime. Lawyers representing the families filed Wednesday a formal submission with the court, which is seated in The Hague, arguing that Tehran intentionally downed the airliner in January 2020 in the context of a military confrontation between the United States and Iran. The move represents an unusual legal strategy made possible in part by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which has drawn renewed attention to the international justice system.  

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN 

Putin Says Delegation Of 80 Large Russian Companies To Visit Iran Next Week -RIA | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that a delegation of 80 large companies will visit Iran next week, Russian state-owned news agency RIA reported. President Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Samarkand, in Uzbekistan. Earlier, Iran's foreign minister said that Tehran had signed a memorandum to join the bloc. 

More Robust US Presence In Syria Could Deter Iran, Russia And Other Threats And Ensure Stability, Experts Say | Fox News 

The Biden administration’s Syria policy has a laser-like focus on combating the largely defeated Islamic State terrorist movement, but some observers say it appears to be short-sighted when it comes to zooming in on the growing threat from both Iran and Russia which could lead to more instability across the Islamic heartland. "We have had three administrations that have not prioritized Syrian stability. If you do not attend to it, it attends to you, like the main problems in the Middle East. The instability in Syria spills over to broader changes," said Brian Katulis, a senior fellow and vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute.

Israel Stands With UAE Against Iranian Terror – Lapid | The Jerusalem Post

Israel stands with the United Arab Emirates against Iranian terror and looks forward to a burgeoning economic relationship, Prime Minister Yair Lapid told visiting UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, when the two met in Jerusalem to mark the second anniversary of the Abraham Accords. “Israel stands shoulder to shoulder with you in the face of any terrorist attack,” said Lapid. The creation of regional defense architecture to combat Iran has been one of the important byproducts of the agreement, under whose auspice Israel forged peace with four Arab states including the UAE.  

CHINA & IRAN 

China’s Xi Set To Meet Iran’s President At Regional Summit | AFP 

Chinese President Xi Jinping will have his first face-to-face discussion with his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on Friday, state media reported. The meeting comes days after the European Union warned that negotiations to bring Iran and the US back into a nuclear deal curbing Tehran's nuclear program are in “stalemate”.  China is one of the key members of the multilateral dialogue -- alongside France, Germany, Britain, Russia and the United States -- that is trying to revive the troubled 2015 nuclear deal.  

CYBERWARFARE 

Iranian Hackers Moonlight Their Expertise | The Washington Post 

Yesterday the Justice Department unsealed an indictment alleging that three Iranian men encrypted hundreds of systems around the world and demanded ransoms to unlock them. But the unsealed indictment said the men did so independently of the Iranian government, while the Treasury Department said they were linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). That called attention to how — for some of the United States’ top adversaries in cyberspace — the lines between nation-state hacker and cybercriminal, between government employee and freelance contractor, aren’t always clear.

US Offers $10 Million Reward For Information On 3 Iranians Over Hacking Scheme | Asharq Al-Awsat 

The State Department is offering a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of three Iranians, who it said have worked for tech companies linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. The Iranians have been charged with trying to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from organizations in the United States, Europe, Iran and Israel, including a domestic violence shelter, by hacking in to their computer systems, US officials said on Wednesday.