The U.S. has imposed sanctions on an Iranian drone maker that officials said supplied Russia with weapons used in Ukraine. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control on Tuesday announced the sanctions against Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center, also called SAIRC, a company linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that designs and produces drones. One of SAIRC’s drone models has been used in attacks targeting civilian infrastructure in Kyiv, Odessa and the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, the Treasury Department said.
Iranians went on strike in several cities on Tuesday to commemorate the 2019 protests over fuel prices, a display of dissent that was crushed by security forces in the bloodiest crackdown in the history of the Islamic Republic. The move will add to pressure on Iran's clerical rulers, who have been battling two months of nationwide protests triggered by the death of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini in the custody of the morality police.
Missiles fired from Iran targeted bases of an exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition group in neighboring Iraq on Monday, killing at least one person and wounding eight, local officials said. It was the latest in a series of such attacks in recent weeks. One official with the Iranian opposition in Iraq later put the death toll at three while the health minister in Iraq’s semi-autonomous, Kurdish-run region said the casualty number was expected to rise. Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard confirmed the attack in Iraq’s Sulimaniyah province and said it had targeted the bases of “terrorist groups” by drones and missiles, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
UANI IN THE NEWS
The international ship registries of Djibouti and the Cook Islands suspended the flags on five oil tankers, following sanctions by the United States this month for having facilitated oil trade for Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force, nongovernment organization United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) said on Monday. The U.S. Treasury Department in early November imposed sanctions on a wide network of companies, people and vessels accused of concealing the Iranian origins of shipments and exporting them around the world.
…Wagner declined to say who from the German government was involved in the “behind the scenes” talks based on Kramer’s comment. Wagner told the Post that the LBBW does not have business with Iran. According to the website of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), the LBBW conducted financial transactions with Iranian banks in 2010. Moritz said on the LBBW website that the sanctions imposed on Iran’s regime are at “the expense of the people.”He provided no evidence about how sanctions are impacting the population.
Russian insurance company Ingosstrakh has cancelled blue cards for all the sanctioned vessels WHICH RAN AGROUND OFF INDONESIA IN LATE OCTOBER. SHIP registries of Djibouti and Cook Islands have moved to deflag more US-sanctioned vessels linked to Iranian and Venezuelan oil smuggling networks. Djibouti International Ship Registry has deflagged the panamax product tankers Bueno (IMO: 9282443), Bluefins (IMO: 9221657), Boceanica (IMO: 9267132) and B Luminosa (IMO: 9256016), according to a spokesperson with advocacy group United Against Nuclear Iran, citing the information received from the flag registry.
Viktor Artemov and his 11 tankers were sanctioned for carrying Iranian oil, but the ships appear to have been working Venezuelan trades as well, according to a US lobby group. United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) — a New York-based group opposing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and any potential revival — said it has tracked several of the ships and found they loaded oil from both countries under heavy sanctions by the US. “[There are] definitely Iran connections here, but also Venezuela connections,” said Claire Jungman, the organisation’s chief of staff. “That seems to be where the US is targeting this network.
NUCLEAR DEAL & NUCLEAR PROGRAM
Negotiations with Iran surrounding a revamped version of the 2015 nuclear deal are "not on the agenda" for the Biden administration, which is instead working on "ways to confront" Tehran, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday. Reviving the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, "is not our focus right now," the White House official, speaking only on background, said in response to questions about whether the administration is recalibrating its diplomacy with Tehran.
PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS
The U.N. human rights office is calling on Iran’s government to immediately release thousands of people who have been detained for participating in peaceful protests, faulting its “increasing harshness” as Western countries seek to ratchet up scrutiny of Tehran’s crackdown against demonstrators. Spokesman Jeremy Laurence of the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was calling for all charges to be dropped against the demonstrators and cautioned that Iran can only mete out the death penalty for the “most serious crimes” under international law — amid concerns that some protesters could be facing capital punishment.
Iranian shopkeepers across the country closed their stores and went on a planned three-day strike starting Tuesday in solidarity with a monthslong protest movement demanding the ouster of the clerical leadership. The strikes this week are also meant to mark the three-year anniversary of a violent crackdown on protesters in 2019, the last time Iranians seriously challenged the ruling establishment. In Tehran, shopkeepers in the Grand Bazaar, a key node in the country’s economy, closed their stores and chanted “death to the dictator.”
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock singled out Iran for using the death penalty to suppress members of the opposition at a conference on Tuesday which aimed to outlaw the punishment around the world. Speaking at the World Congress against the Death Penalty, with delegations from about 90 countries in Berlin, Baerbock said execution was used especially by authoritarian regimes. "We are experiencing this again in Iran, where a death sentence has now been pronounced against a person who has done nothing other than stand up for their liberal and civil rights," she said.
Several French intelligence agents were arrested in relation to protests in Iran, the country's Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi told state TV on Wednesday, as anti-government demonstrations persist throughout the country. The Islamic Republic has accused Western foes of stoking nationwide protests ignited by the death of Iranian Kurdish young woman Mahsa Amini on Sept. 16 in the custody of the morality police. "People of other nationalities were arrested in the riots, some of whom played a big role. There were elements from the French intelligence agency and they will be dealt with according to the law," Vahidi said. France's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last week, France's Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said a total of seven French nationals were detained in Iran
RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN
Georgian security officials foiled a recent attempt by the extraterritorial arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, to kill a prominent Israeli-Georgian living in the capital Tbilisi, The Times of Israel has learned. This isn’t the first time Iranian forces have tried to attack Moshe, according to an Israeli security official. Moshe, 62, served in the past as a senior Jewish Agency representative in Russia, and founded Israeli House, which seeks to improve Israel’s image in Eastern Europe.
OTHER FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Australia's ambassador was summoned by Tehran over comments made by the Australian prime minister regarding Iran's internal developments, Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday according to the semi-official Nournews news agency. "It seems that the prime minister of Australia has taken a wrong approach based on false information, which does not help the relations between the two countries," Nasser Kanaani said.