**NOTE: UANI’s Eye On Iran will be suspended on Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. It will resume Monday, November 14.**
Russia and Iran’s security chiefs pledged Wednesday to deepen the military cooperation between the two countries, further cementing ties that have seen Tehran supply drones to bolster Moscow’s war effort in Ukraine. During a meeting in Tehran, Russian security council secretary Nikolai Patrushev and his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani said they would jointly fight what they called Western interference in their countries, and expand economic ties in a mutual effort to evade sanctions.
Iran has built a hypersonic ballistic missile, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace commander as saying, in remarks likely to heighten concerns about Iranian missile capabilities. "This missile has a high speed and can manoeuvre in and out of the atmosphere. It will target the enemy's advanced anti-missile systems and is a big generational leap in the field of missiles," commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying. Hypersonic missiles can fly at least five times faster than the speed of sound and on a complex trajectory, which makes them difficult to intercept.
Protests in Iran raged on streets into Thursday with demonstrators remembering a bloody crackdown in the country’s southeast, even as the nation’s intelligence minister and army chief renewed threats against local dissent and the broader world. The protests in Iran, sparked by the Sept. 16 death of a 22-year-old woman after her detention by the country's morality police, have grown into one of the largest sustained challenges to the nation’s theocracy since the chaotic months after its 1979 Islamic Revolution.
UANI IN THE NEWS
A grounded oil supertanker under U.S. Treasury Department sanctions being refloated in Indonesia is filled with Venezuelan fuel, according to vessel monitoring services. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control last week imposed sanctions on the stranded tanker, Young Yong, for its part in an international oil smuggling network that Washington said supports Hezbollah and Iran's Quds Force. Last month, the Djibouti-flagged Young Yong received cargoes through ship-to-ship operations from U.S.-blacklisted tanker Silvia I and from the Eagle Brenda before becoming marooned off Indonesia's Riau Islands, according to research by non-government organization United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI).
The circumstances around the Djibouti-flagged tanker than ran aground in Indonesian waters near Singapore are growing increasingly complicated. Initial reports said that the vessel was carrying a cargo of crude from Malaysia to China, but days after the grounding, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted the vessel as part of a scheme linked to Iran. Now in a report first carried by Reuters, the NGO United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and TankerTrackers.com are reporting the vessel was transporting Venezuelan fuel oil supplied to Iran.
…The US allowed some “transactions” necessary to dock and anchor the Young Yong safely, and to make repairs and protect the environment, Reuters reported. The vessel is said to be carrying 284,000 tonnes of crude, according to the transport ministry’s Indonesian Sea and Coast Guard. The NGO United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) and TankerTrackers.com are now reporting the vessel was transporting Venezuelan fuel oil supplied to Iran. The Young Yong had been heading to Nipah, a ship-to-ship transfer hub, before the grounding.
…The controversial VLCC Young Yong was refloated today, two weeks after it ran aground off the Riau Islands in Indonesia. The laden ship, owned by Hong Kong’s Technology Bright International, has been sanctioned by the US for carrying illegal oil. It has emerged that the cargo it was carrying when it ran aground was sanctioned Venezuelan oil, according to investigations carried out by Reuters, TankerTrackers.com and United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). The ship’s class society and flag have since dropped the ship, which is now under tow, after 44,000 tonnes of oil was taken off it to refloat it.
…over the past three months, Iran’s oil exports averaged between 810,000 and 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude and condensate (a light liquid hydrocarbon), according to estimates from TankerTrackers, Vortexa, Kpler, and United Against Nuclear Iran. Most of this flow went to companies in China, with entities in Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela receiving some as well (the oil sent to the UAE is likely reexported to Asia).
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
The head of the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog on Wednesday said Iran did not offer anything new during a recent meeting in Vienna about its nuclear program but added that talks would continue in the coming weeks. Tehran had announced on Nov. 2 that it was sending a delegation to Vienna to try to narrow differences with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is trying to keep tabs on Iran’s nuclear activity. “So, they didn't bring anything new,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi told Reuters on the sidelines of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The European Union will seek to adopt new sanctions against Iran next week over the Islamic republic’s deadly crackdown on protests, Germany’s foreign minister said Wednesday. “We are working flat out on the next package of sanctions,” Annalena Baerbock said on Twitter. “We want to adopt it next week.” “We won’t let up,” she added. “We stand with the men and women of Iran, not only today, but as long as it is necessary.” EU foreign ministers are due to meet in Brussels on Monday. The bloc had already imposed sanctions in mid-October against Iran’s “morality police” and 11 officials including the telecommunications minister.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Iran's Army Ground Forces Commander said on Wednesday that "rioters" would have no place in the Islamic Republic if the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered a tougher crackdown on nationwide protests, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported. " ... should he decide to deal with them, rioters will no longer have a place in the country," Brigadier General Kiumars Heydari said. Anti-government demonstrations erupted in September after the death of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, who had been detained by morality police for allegedly flouting the Islamic Republic's strict dress code imposed on women.
According to the activist HRANA news agency, Iranian security forces have arrested at least two Spanish nationals during the nation-wide protest. One has been identified as Santiago Sanchez, a 41-year-old Spanish soccer fan who was last heard from on Oct. 1 when he sent friends a picture of himself on the Iraq-Iran border with the caption: “Entry to Iran.” HRANA has identified the second individual as Ana Baneira, 24 years old. Baneira’s whereabouts and the date she was arrested are still unknown.
Hundreds of doctors gathered outside Iran’s Medical Council in Tehran on Oct. 26 to take a stand — protesting the presence of security forces in hospitals and the arrest and intimidation of their colleagues during two months of nationwide unrest. The protesters formed small groups. Some chanted “Death to the dictator,” a common rallying cry against Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader. Security forces, mostly plainclothes agents, had set up positions around the building and vans were parked nearby to transport detainees. Then, without warning, riot police on motorcycles began shooting metal pellets at the crowd, two witnesses told The Washington Post.
Iran has executed two men convicted of killing four police officers in 2016 in a region hit by a wave of violence in September, the judiciary said Wednesday. "Two members of the Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) terrorist group, Rashid Baluch and Eshaq Askani, were executed yesterday in Zahedan prison," the judiciary's Mizan Online website reported. Jaish al-Adl was formed in 2012 by former members of an extremist Sunni Muslim organisation that led a bloody rebellion in Sistan-Baluchistan, on Iran's border with Pakistan.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
The U.S. midterm elections are likely to result in a continuity of bipartisan congressional support for the Iranian people's aspirations for freedom from Islamist rule, but the impact on President Joe Biden's Iran policy is unclear, according to some Iranian American observers. Majid Sadeghpour, policy director for the Organization of Iranian American Communities, told VOA that he foresees a bipartisan group in Congress continuing to side with Iran's seven-week-long uprising in which Iranians have protested mostly peacefully in universities, factories and streets against their ruling Shiite clerics.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Israel carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria targeting a convoy of vehicles suspected of smuggling Iranian weapons after it crossed the border from Iraq, people familiar with the attack said Wednesday. The attack late Tuesday near Abu Kamal—a border town often used as a transshipment point by militant groups with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—destroyed several vehicles and killed at least 10 people, including an unknown number of Iranians, according to the people and Iraqi militia members.
Pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar reported on Wednesday that U.S. President Joe Biden's administration informed Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati of "Washington's refusal to allow Lebanon to accept the gift of Iranian fuel, at the risk of being subject to U.S. sanctions.” Iran's "gift of fuel" - an offer to provide Lebanon with over 660,000 tons of gasoline - was announced in September as an attempt to ease power shortages in the Mediterranean country. Naturally, deepening Lebanon's dependence on the Islamic Republic is always a plus for the Ayatollah regime.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, & IRAN
Iran's intelligence minister told its regional rival Saudi Arabia on Wednesday that there is no guarantee of Tehran continuing its "strategic patience," according to semi-official Fars news agency. "Until now, Iran has adopted strategic patience with firm rationality, but it cannot guarantee that it will not run out if hostilities continue," Fars quoted Esmail Khatib as saying. "If Iran decides to retaliate and punish, glass palaces will crumble and these countries will not experience stability anymore."
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
An Italian travel blogger arrested in Iran has been released and will return home, the office of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said Thursday. "After intense diplomatic work today Alessia Piperno was released by Iranian authorities and is preparing to return to Italy", a statement said, adding that Meloni had called her parents to inform them. Piperno and other foreigners were arrested in late September, with Iran accusing them of taking part in protests that erupted in the country after the death of a woman in the custody of the morality police.