The station had been giving extensive coverage to anti-government demonstrations that erupted in Iran last year, and said two of its senior journalists received death threats in response to their reporting. Acting upon police advice, it closed its base in the UK capital in February, but said in a statement on Monday that "Iran International TV has begun broadcasting from its new London studios". "This resumption marks a return to London for Iran's most-watched news channel after broadcasting was temporarily moved to the United States earlier this year because of the credible, state-sponsored threats against its staff," it added. London's Metropolitan Police last year installed concrete barriers outside the old studios in Chiswick, west London, to prevent any attack by vehicle and warned of "imminent and credible threats" to the lives of the channel's journalists.
An American-Iranian dual national died in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on Saturday due to lack of medical attention, according to reports. An anonymous source told BBC Persian that Faramarz Javidzad, 60, was taken to hospital after he suffered stomach bleeding, but he was later returned to the prison in the Iranian capital where he later died due to lack of medical care. He was returned purportedly at the behest of the prison authorities, IranWire reported. Faramarz's physical condition reportedly had been deteriorating for several days. Javidzad lived in the United States for two decades before returning to Iran a few years ago, where he ended up facing charges relating to “the transfer of illicit funds, involvement in the formation of a counterfeit and fraudulent network,” Iran International reported.
A mystery explosion shook the western Iranian province of Lorestan, reportedly near an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) base. The explosion was reported from the city of Khorram Abad, in province of Lorestan, near the Imam Ali IRGC base that houses a large underground facility for missiles and drones. The Director General of Crisis Management for Lorestan told Iranian state TV that it was not an earthquake that shook the area, saying there was a possibility of an explosion. The IRGC's Tasnim news later reported that officials also ruled out an explosion, saying that the Imam Ali Missile Base had last experienced a deadly explosion in Oct. 2010, resulting in at least 32 casualties.
UANI IN THE NEWS
…Despite such efforts, the trade in sanctioned oil from countries like Russia and Iran has boomed over the last year. Iranian monthly oil exports alone hit an estimated five-year-high in August of this year, according to watchdog group United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI). The group estimate that 91% of that oil was imported by China.
…Jason Brodsky, Policy Director at United Against a Nuclear Iran noted that “there have been mysterious explosions at Imam Ali Base before in Iran,” in a post on social media. He referenced an incident back in 2010 and other incidents.
German and Austrian companies attended Iran’s annual Oil Show that is run by the US-sanctioned National Iranian Oil Company, according to the handbook issued for the Oil Show. The NIOC finances the Iranian terrorist organization the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, whose chief strategic ally is Hezbollah, and is responsible for the murders of over 600 American military personnel in the Middle East. The German manufacturer of turbomachines, JCL plant solutions, had a stand at the Oil Show. A representative from JCL recently told Iran International that JCL was present for a “form of interview” at the May Oil Show. United Against a Nuclear Iran (UANI) provided the Jerusalem Post with a copy of the Iran Oil Show handbook. According to the handbook, the German engineering companies JCL and Heggel, along with the Austrian engineering company Rotorise, were present at the Oil Show.
…Jason Brodsky, United Against A Nuclear Iran, said Raisi's administration is clearly trying to “normalize him in the West”. Writing on X, he said, “I hope @ThisWeekABC invites someone on the show who is actually representative of the people of #Iran and the Woman, Life, Freedom movement to respond to Jamileh after this interview.”
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Security in the Middle East depends on an agreement to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands despite an existing deal being “de facto suspended”, senior UN officials have said. Rafael Grossi, who on Monday was formally appointed to a second four-year term as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said talks between the UN body and Tehran “have not made the progress I was hoping for”. Iran told the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna that the country's co-operation should not be “taken as granted”, as it insisted the aims of its nuclear programme were peaceful.
The head of UN's nuclear watchdog, Rafael Grossi says ‘significant safeguards issues remain outstanding’ in Iran’s nuclear program. Speaking at the IAEA General Conference on Monday, Grossi admitted that there has been no progress in ‘implementing the activities outlined in the most recent joint statement he made with Iran in March 2023. Back in March, a few days before a quarterly meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, Grossi visited Iran to reach an agreement that would avert yet another resolution requiring Tehran to cooperate to resolve long-standing disputes. Out of that trip came a Joint Statement in which the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed readiness “to provide further information and access to address the outstanding safeguards issues.”
Mohammad Eslami, president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, reaffirmed on Monday Iran’s commitment to continue its “peaceful” nuclear activities despite facing sanctions. Speaking at the 67th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Eslami stated that Iran aims to increase its nuclear electricity generation to 20,000 megawatts per year by 2040. Eslami emphasized Iran’s adherence to its obligations under the safeguards agreement with the IAEA and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. He urged the IAEA to maintain “neutrality and professionalism” in its verification reports on Iran and called for an expedited resolution to the remaining differences between the two sides.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
Washington DC and Tehran have reached an important deal including a prisoner swap and the unfreezing of $6bn of assets. The assets would be transferred to Qatar’s central bank, where they could be used to purchase “humanitarian goods” approved by the US. Five prisoners are to be freed from each side, a point that many commentators have missed. Unlike with other countries under broad economic restrictions, such as Venezuela, Iran has a longer history of enduring sanctions and asset seizures. While they still harm the economy, the Islamic Republic has learned how to operate around them. The broader implication of the deal is that it signals a willingness of the White House to negotiate with Tehran. Until recently, President Joe Biden had maintained much of the legacy of the Trump administration. Some insiders claim that the Biden administration could try to get oil flowing from sanctioned Iran and Venezuela, to counter Saudi Arabia and Russia’s production cuts.
Beijing said on Tuesday it "firmly opposes" American sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals the US Treasury Department says have connections to Iran's drone and military aircraft development. Washington last week slapped sanctions on "seven individuals and four entities" based in Iran, China, Russia and Turkey it said had facilitated shipments and financial transactions involving Tehran's military hardware programme. The United States accuses Iran of supplying Russia with drones, which have become a major feature of Moscow's war in Ukraine and are in regular use in Syria. Iran denies sending drones to Russia for use in Ukraine. "China notes that the United States has included some Chinese enterprises and individuals in the 'Specially Designated Nationals List' on the grounds of the so-called development of drones and military aircraft involving Iran, which China firmly opposes," a commerce ministry spokesman told state broadcaster CCTV.
TERRORISM & EXTREMISM
The spokesperson for Iran's Revolutionary Guards has threatened a vigorous response to counter the “hostile activities of the enemy in the media sphere.” Ramezan Sharif called for launching an offensive against anti-regime media as the revolutionary tide continues to deepen and threaten the Islamic Republic's stability. Iranian regime authorities, including commanders from the Revolutionary Guard, have frequently issued threats against media outlets operating abroad, such as Iran International. During his address on Monday, Sharif alleged that media outlets globally are under the control of individuals who shape the narrative for their respective organizations while pursuing their own vested interests.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reportedly sought to travel to visit Iran's consular interest section following the United Nations General Assembly in New York. "They did make that request and it was denied by the State Department," spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters. "We do have an obligation to allow Iranian officials and other officials of foreign governments to travel to New York for UN business. But we do not have an obligation to allow them to travel to Washington, DC," he said. "Given Iran's wrongful detention of US citizens, given Iran's state sponsorship of terrorism, we did not believe it was either appropriate or necessary in this instance to grant that request."
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
Iran's government has put forth a new spokesperson to defend its policies toward women: the president's wife. Jamileh Alamolhoda accompanied her husband to the annual meeting of the United Nations in New York. She took questions from NPR as her country marked the one-year anniversary of nationwide uprisings that were triggered by the death of Mahsa Amini, a woman who died in police custody for allegedly not wearing the compulsory headscarf correctly. Alamolhoda's husband came to New York last year as those protests swept across the country and famously canceled an interview with CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour after she declined to cover her hair. Now, a year later, his wife strove to make a different impression, though she defended her government's policy.
Four individuals were sentenced to death in Iran for selling fake alcoholic drinks that killed 17 people earlier this year, according to the country’s judiciary. The unidentified people were found guilty in a series of alcohol poisonings in June that also left 191 others blind or hospitalized in Alborz province, west of Tehran, Judiciary Spokesman Massoud Setayeshi said at a news conference on Tuesday.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
One person is dead, and four others were injured in an incident at Iran's southern refinery of Bandar Abbas last week, Iranian state media reported Monday. The Iranian Oil Ministry's Shana news agency said the incident occurred late on September 22 during emergency repairs, adding that five maintenance workers were hurt, with one worker dying from the injuries. "During the emergency repair operation in one of the process units of this refinery, five people were injured, and one of the injured died on Monday," an official from Bandar Abbas refinery told state media. The incident did not impact production at the refinery, which is one of Iran's largest, Shana added.
A member of the Iranian parliament says the Expediency Council has exempted the executive and judicial branches from the transparency law. The "Transparency of the Three Branches" draft law was presented by a group of parliament members in April 2022. After several debates between the parliament and the Guardian Council, the Expediency Council ultimately took responsibility for the final decision. The Expediency Discernment Council is an administrative assembly appointed by the Supreme Leader with supervisory powers over all branches of the government. The Guardian Councilis 12-memberbody – half of whomwere directly appointed by Khamenei – that also has veto power over legislation passed by the parliament.
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Maldives have restored diplomatic relations with Iran, which the Indian Ocean islands broke off seven years ago in support of Saudi Arabia, the Iranian foreign ministry said Saturday. The move, which came in a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, followed a Chinese-brokered rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March. Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen their respective embassies following the deal announced in March. Earlier this month, the countries reopened their respective embassies and sent ambassadors, cementing their ties going forward.