Insider news & Analysis in Iran

 

By Iran News Update Staff 

 

GAZA AND MIDDLE EASTERN FACTIONS

Late Wednesday, shortly before the announcement of the short lived cease fire between Israel and Gaza, Major General Qassem Suleimani, the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force, dismissed notions of ceasefire or disarmament and called upon Palestinian militants to “turn the land and skies into Hell” for the Israelis, The National reports.

This firm commitment to the fighting reflects not only the traditional anti-Semitism and regional intrusions of the Islamic regime, but also the growth of distinct factions spanning the entire Middle East region. CNN quotes Fareed Zakaria as saying that the current conflict between Israel and Hamas is “a proxy war for control or dominance in the Middle East,” with Iran and other supporters of extremism facing off against the more moderate Muslim powers, which have been less inclined to support the fighting.

In this context, when Iran urges other Muslim nations and non-government organizations to participate in arming Hamas and encouraging a broader war, it is not just acting against Israel. It is also striving to radicalize those nations and groups. This is apparently the case with its recent efforts to pressure Egypt, which remains somewhat on the fence between the leadership of its current, moderate Muslim president and the radical Muslim leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was voted into power but then overthrown last year.

Middle East Monitor reports that Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdullahian on Thursday condemned Egypt for delaying Iranian shipments of what it claims is humanitarian aid to Gaza. Iran has formerly helped to supply Hamas with missiles and other military components, and the effort to speed supposedly humanitarian shipments through Egypt may double as an effort to open up a more direct channel for arms shipments.

ASIA AND OIL

According to Reuters, US Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the Prime Minister of Japan on Thursday, in order to discuss cooperation over key foreign policy issues, including Iran nuclear negotiations. The two officials reportedly agreed to coordinate closely, thus extending Japan’s former support for the negotiations and for American activities more generally.

Japan was a loyal backer of US-led sanctions on Iran, having slashed its imports from the Islamic Republic after those restrictions were put in place. The promise of close coordination going forward could mean the continuation of this policy, or it could mean following the American lead in opening up to Iranian business. The Obama administration’s actions during nuclear negotiations indicate that officials believe that sanctions relief and extensive good will provide significant incentives for Iranian cooperation. The truth of this claim has certainly been called into question by US congressmen, citing an apparent lack of compromise from Iran.

If Japan was coordinating closely with the United States on Iran trade policy last month, then the United States is in favor of expansion. Japan reported nearly 50 percent more imports of Iranian oil over the previous month, according to Gulf News. And these figures contribute to a more general increase in exports of Iranian oil to Asia. The four main buyers in that region – China, India, South Korea, and Japan – reportedly took in 25 percent more Iranian oil in the first half of this year, as opposed to the last.

China, typically an ally of the Islamic Republic, has naturally led the way on this increase. This may be indicative of more general expansions of trade and economic relations between the two countries. The Brookings Institution points out that Iran has reportedly increased its Chinese imports by 122 percent under the presidency of Hassan Rouhani.

OIL AND KURDISTAN

Thanks in part to the above figures, the outlook for the Iranian oil and gas industry is apparently inconsistent for the time being. While some exports increase, the website Companies and Markets claims that the continuation of sanctions will prevent Iran from being able to fulfill its rising domestic energy needs even though the size and value of its oil reserves has increased in the past two years.

The oil and gas sector may also be having an impact on Iran’s relationship with Iraqi Kurdistan. This relationship is also being impacted by the threat of Iran losing its grip on Iraq as militants from the Islamic State continue to put pressure upon the Shiite, Iran-backed government of Nouri al-Maliki. Despite its historical repression of its own Kurds, Iran has reached out to the Kurdish government in northern Iraq in an attempt to gain their help in fighting the Sunni uprising. Now Iran may be using Kurdish oil as an incentive to that cooperation.

Iraq Oil Report indicates that Iran has just reopened its border to Kurdish oil imports. The former ban on tanker truck transit across the border highlighted the Kurdistan Regional Government’s dependence on Iran as an export market. The re-opening provides even greater relief to that government in light of the fact that it is unable to sell its oil to most other markets. Baghdad has disputed the KRG’s rights to sell Iraqi oil, and foreign governments are largely unwilling to make oil purchases that may later been deemed illegitimate.

According to Reuters, Iraqi Kurdistan is currently paying 75,000 dollars per day to keep three oil tankers at sea without ports to which they can deliver their 300 million dollars’ worth of oil.

EUROPEAN INTEREST

If Kurdish and other sources of additional crude help Iran to meet its domestic energy needs, oil exports continue to increase, and sanctions continue to be alleviated by the Obama administration, the Iranian petrochemical industry will be an increasingly attractive new market for European entities that expect Western sanctions to be dropped.

Many reports have suggested that governments and businesses are angling to position themselves to be among the first to enter that market. But the continuation of sanctions and the uncertainty of negotiations still contribute to overall cautiousness. In an example of both of these tendencies, Trend.az reports that Austrian President Heinz Fischer has developed preliminary plans to visit Tehran, but that this visit will wait until after nuclear negotiations are completed in November.

 

 

 

Iranian Opposition

Maryam Rajavi: Iranian People Forging Ahead Towards Certain Victory: Part 3

During the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3, Albania, last month, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, gave a speech a...

Maryam Rajavi: Iranian People Forging Ahead Towards Certain Victory: Part 2

During the Free Iran conference in Ashraf 3, Albania, last month, Maryam Rajavi, leader of the Iranian opposition, gave a speech a...

Infightings

Iran's Expediency Council Undecided About FATF Bills

Iran's Expediency Council Undecided About FATF Bills

By INU Staff INU - Ahmad Tavakoli, member of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned about imminent "strategic political and security t...

Iranian Theorist Predicts End of Regime

Iranian Theorist Predicts End of Regime

By INU Staff INU - A well-known Iranian hardline theorist has predicted the fall of the regime, explicitly telling the government...

Nuclear

Is Iran getting ready to launch a new satellite?

The Iranian Regime seems to be getting ready to launch another satellite into orbit, following two failed attempts this year, even...

Iran Continues to Exceed JCPOA Limits

Iran Continues to Exceed JCPOA Limits

By INU Staff INU - The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or 2015 Iran nuclear as it is more commonly known, has limits ...

Human rights

40 people given flogging sentences in Iran

Forty people in Iran’s northwestern Ardabil province have been given flogging sentences, according to a judicial official, most of...

UN report condemns executions in Iran

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran said that there were increased restrictions on freedom of expression...

Women

Iran labor activist sentenced to 7 years and 74 lashes

A female Iranian labor activist has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 74 lashes after her trial at the Revolutionary Cou...

Maryam Rajavi Says “No to Compulsory Veiling”

Maryam Rajavi Says “No to Compulsory Veiling”

By Mahmoud Hakamian Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, has been very vocal about her opinions on the forced vei...

Economy

German Exports to Iran Take a Nosedive as Sanctions Take Effect

German Exports to Iran Take a Nosedive as Sanctions Take Effect

By INU Staff INU - Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comp...

Corruption in Iran’s Oil and Health Ministries Revealed

Corruption in Iran’s Oil and Health Ministries Revealed

By INU Staff INU - The Iranian Regime is facing intense unrelenting pressure under the twin forces of the Iranian people and thei...

Sanctions

Europe must cancel Zarif’s visit

The Iranian Regime’s state-run news agencies are reporting that Mohammad Javad Zarif, the mullahs’ Minister of State for Foreign A...

Iran Regime Officials Scared of US Sanctions

Iran Regime Officials Scared of US Sanctions

By INU Staff INU - After the US imposed sanctions on Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, regime officials began to vo...

Middle East

Release of Iranian Tanker Creates New Uncertainties about Persian Gulf Tensions

It was reported on Monday that a tanker laden with Iranian oil, which was ordered released by authorities in Gibraltar last week, ...

Iran: British Government Sends Further Reinforcements to Gulf to Guarantee Safety

Iran: British Government Sends Further Reinforcements to Gulf to Guarantee Safet…

By INU Staff INU - Following the arrival of a second British warship in the Gulf, the United Kingdom is set to send further milit...

Terrorism

Iranian Supreme Leader Pledges Support for Houthi Rebels in Yemen

Iranian Supreme Leader Pledges Support for Houthi Rebels in Yemen

By INU Staff INU - Earlier this week, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed Iran’s support for the Houthi ...

Iran’s Terrorist Training Camps Exposed

Iran’s Terrorist Training Camps Exposed

By INU Staff INU -  The Iranian opposition has been warning the international community about a number of threats that the Irania...

#IranProtests

#FreeIran 2019

latest INU tweet

GETTING TO KNOW IRAN'S REVOLUTIONARY GUARDS

THE STORY OF THE 1988 MASSACRE IN IRAN

Copyright © 2018 Iran News Update