Insider news & Analysis in Iran

By INU Staff
INU - On Tuesday, Fox News reported that the White House had refused to make Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes available to a House Oversight Committee hearing that took place that same day. Rhodes and the rest of the Obama administration came under fire this month after the New York Times Magazine published a profile of him in which he was quoted as boasting about how he had exploited a naïve media to shape the narrative that helped to sell the Iran nuclear deal.

By INU Staff
INU - In April, the Obama White House announced that the Department of Energy would be spending 8.6 million dollars to buy 32 tons of heavy water from Iran. The substance, a byproduct of nuclear reactions, has research and medical applications but can also be used in the production of enriched plutonium. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran is required to maintain only very low stockpiles of heavy water and low-enriched uranium, but it has apparently struggled to find a buyer for the heavy water, thereby leading to the US Energy Department stepping in.

By INU Staff
INU - On Friday, a number of news outlets ran commentaries upon a profile of Obama administration foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes, which had been prepared for Sunday’s New York Times magazine. The commentaries generally expressed outrage at what they perceive as deliberate deception by the White House in delivering its narrative on the Iran nuclear negotiations that concluded last July.

By INU Staff
INU - In the midst of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to Tehran, the Iranian government announced that its oil exports to the Asian country had increased four-fold between January and April, to 400,000 barrels per day. Such figures serve to suggest that the two countries joint goal of increasing overall trade and tourism to about 18 billion dollars per year may be realistic. This target represents about three times the current level of trade, which has been held down by South Korea’s compliance with economic sanctions led by its longstanding ally the United States.

By INU Staff
INU - On Thursday, Senator Tom Cotton appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss his reaction to last week’s announcement that the Department of Energy would be purchasing 32 tons of Iran’s heavy water, associated with the production of plutonium, at a price of 8.6 million dollars. During the brief interview, Cotton repeatedly described the plan as using taxpayer money to “directly subsidize the Iranian nuclear program.”

By INU Staff
INU - Last week, the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court’s ruling that domestic judgements against the Islamic Republic of Iran for its sponsorship of international terrorism could be recouped from Iranian assets frozen in US banks. The ruling has since become a clear source of anti-American rhetoric, coming not only from recognized hardliners but also from key figures in the administration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who have been regarded as moderates by some Western policymakers.

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