The United Nations Security Council must renew its arms embargo against Iran when it expires next year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said while in Israel, as he warned of a new Middle East arms race. "Because of the flawed Iran deal, the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year. Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons," Pompeo tweeted prior to meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Friday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria. Pompeo and Netanyahu met in Jerusalem hours after Turkey agreed with the United States to pause its offensive on Kurdish forces in Syria. Turkey launched its assault against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria last week after President Donald Trump pulled a U.S. contingent out of the way, creating a new front in Syria's eight-year war and prompting 200,000 civilians to take flight.
A global dirty money watchdog said on Friday it had given Iran a final deadline of February 2020 to comply with international norms after which it would urge all its members to apply counter-measures. The Paris-based FATF said in the meantime that it was asking members to demand scrutiny of transactions with Iran and tougher external auditing of financing firms operating in the country.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Some 59 percent of Iranians are in favor of withdrawing the country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal, according to a poll from the Center for International and Security Studies and IranPoll, Al-Monitor reported Oct. 16. The poll indicates dwindling support for the JCPOA among Iran's population, which raises the risk that Tehran may withdraw from the deal.
Israel is known for doing what it thinks it needs to do to remain secure against any threat. Approaching eight o'clock on the morning of January 12, 2010 Professor Massoud Alimohammadi walked to his car parked next to his house in North Tehran, passing a small motorbike on the side of the road. The fifty-one-year-old elementary particle physicist was a leading Iranian theorist on quantum-field states, and known to his friends as a political moderate.
SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS
The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it has extended by 120 days a waiver to sanctions allowing Iraq to import gas and electricity from Iran as it pushes Baghdad to make the country more energy independent. "The waiver ensures that Iraq is able to meet its short-term energy needs while it takes steps to reduce its dependence on Iranian energy imports," the State Department said in an emailed statement. "We engage regularly with the Iraqi government to support measures that improve Iraq's energy independence."
President Hassan Rouhani's chief of staff has said October 17 that Iran is still able to sell its oil and those who try to block it do not know how it is done, according to official news website IRNA. "Enemies tried to prevent Iran from selling its oil, but we continue to do that, and they still don't know how Iran sells its oil". Mahmoud Vaezi said in a speech in Garmsar, southeast of the capital Tehran.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHT
From his homes in France and Turkey, Ruhollah Zam called on his 1m followers on social media to reveal what they knew about the Tehran political elite's alleged corrupt dealings and sexual affairs. Through the Amadnews channel on the popular Telegram app, Mr Zam encouraged Iranians to try to overthrow the Tehran regime, even going so far as providing online tutorials on how to make petrol bombs during the unrest of late 2017.
Nobody can imagine how I loved Iran, but I will never go back to the country, says a Russian journalist who was detained October 2 after arriving in Iran. The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Intelligence agents stormed her room in a hotel in Tehran and took her away. During her arrest, Yulia Yuzik was given only one minute to talk to her family in Moscow.
In a letter to the Islamic Republic head of the judiciary, political prisoner Farhad Maysami, has protested against the appointment of a new warden for Tehran's notorious prison, Evin. Explicitly accusing the newly appointed warden of "violating prisoners' rights" in an "unprecedented manner," Maysami has called upon Ebrahim Raeesi (Raeisi) to dismiss Gholamreza Ziyaee.
U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS
The Pentagon is trying to put the finishing touches on a plan to use irregular warfare tactics to temper Iran's military escalation in the Middle East, Al-Monitor has learned. In a still-classified review ordered by former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the Pentagon is aiming to find new ways to counter Iran's lower-cost military operations, such as the shooting down of a $100 million US surveillance drone over the Gulf in June.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
President Hassan Rouhani has called on Iranian university students to lend their energy and rigor to the campaigns ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Iran. Rouhani made the remarks during an eventful presence at a ceremony October 16, to mark the beginning of the academic year in Iran, while angry students on campus were demanding an opportunity to voice their ideas about the state of affairs in the country.
The arrest of an operator of a popular Telegram channel on Oct. 14 shocked many Iranian dissidents abroad. Rohollah Zam, the administrator of Amad News, was residing in France as a political refugee when the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Intelligence Organization announced his arrest and shortly thereafter aired a video confession. Many dissidents and observers abroad wondered how someone could be apprehended by the IRGC in the relative safety of Europe. According to BBC Persian, Zam was arrested in Iraq and handed over to Iranian authorities.
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, have discussed situation in north eastern Syria and expressed their readiness to facilitate relevant talks, Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday. Both Lavrov and Zarif said it was necessary to reach long-lasting stabilization on the eastern side of the Euphrates river via the "dialogue between Damascus and Ankara, as well as between the Syrian authorities and representatives of Syrian Kurds".
Ten years ago there were numerous reports about Israeli actions in the Red Sea, primarily directed against Iranian arms smuggling to the region and against weapons manufacturing sites in Sudan. The international media attributed various operations to the IDF, including aerial bombardments and commando raids on the Sudanese coast. Back in 2002, in the Red Sea south of Sharm al-Sheikh, Israeli naval commandos raided the Karine A, a ship loaded with weapons that the Iranians were attempting to smuggle to the Palestinians.
IRAQ & IRAN
Iran-backed militias deployed snipers on Baghdad rooftops during Iraq's anti-government protests that left more than 100 people dead, two Iraqi security officials told Reuters. "We have confirmed evidence that the snipers were elements of militias reporting directly to their commander instead of the chief commander of the armed forces," said one of the Iraqi security sources. "They belong to a group that is very close to the Iranians."
TURKEY & IRAN
The Turkish Defense Ministry is claiming that a soldier has been killed on its border after gunfire from Iran. In statement released by the ministry Turkey alleges that, one soldier was killed and two other soldiers were lightly wounded. The incident was supposed to take place in the eastern Van province near border town of Caldiran.