All in News

Iranians Line Up at Dawn for a Sanctions Meal They Can Afford

◢ Iran isn’t facing a Venezuela-style collapse, but renewed U.S. sanctions have slashed oil revenue, battered the rial and pushed prices beyond the reach of many. Shortages, in meat, medicine, even gasoline in some regions, are spreading; proof, say hardline conservatives, that President Hassan Rouhani’s engagement with the West has failed.

Tehran Aims to Sue US Individuals Over Sanctions

◢ Tehran is preparing a lawsuit in Iran against US individuals involved with economic sanctions imposed by Washington, President Hassan Rouhani said Monday. Rouhani said the presidency's legal affairs office as well as the justice and foreign ministers have been tasked with "drawing up a lawsuit against all those within America involved with designing and executing these sanctions.”

Oil Market Can Weather Zero Iranian Exports: U.S. Officials

◢ US officials said the global oil market can withstand the removal of all Iranian crude exports this year, a conclusion that could be pivotal in the coming weeks as President Donald Trump weighs whether to end sanctions waivers granted to several nations. The message from American officials comes as OPEC and its allies prepare for a ministerial meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Iran's Rouhani Meets Iraq's Top Shiite Cleric

◢ Iran's Hassan Rouhani met Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Iraq's Najaf on Wednesday, an AFP photographer reported, in the first encounter between an Iranian president and the country's chief Shiite cleric. Sistani famously called Iraqis to arms against the Islamic State group in 2014, giving rise to the Hashd al-Shaabi paramilitary alliance, which includes Iran-backed Shiite groups.

Iraq and Iran Build Economic Ties as a Sidelined U.S. Looks On

◢ In the contest for Iraq’s loyalty, geography is proving irresistible. Baghdad is being urged to take sides in the U.S.-Iran confrontation that’s escalated into one of the Middle East’s top flash-points. President Donald Trump is pushing Iraq to stop buying natural gas and electricity from its neighbor. President Hassan Rouhani wants it to purchase more to ease the pain imposed by American sanctions.

Iran's Rouhani Makes First Official Visit to Iraq

◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrived Monday in Iraq for his first official visit, as Baghdad comes under pressure from Washington to limit political and trade ties with its neighbor. Shiite-majority Iraq is walking a fine line to maintain good relations with its key partners Iran and the United States who themselves are arch-foes.

Iran Demands Pakistan Acts 'Decisively Against Terrorists'

◢ Iran's President Hassan Rouhani has demanded Pakistan act "decisively against anti-Iranian terrorists" in a phone call with the country's premier, Tehran said, a month after a bloody attack on security forces. Iran says a Pakistani suicide bomber was behind the February 13 attack that killed 27 Revolutionary Guards in its volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. 

Ultra-Conservative Cleric Appointed Head of Iran's Judiciary

◢ Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday appointed ultra-conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, a one-time presidential hopeful, as head of the judiciary, the leader's website said. Former judge Raisi, who currently heads the holy shrine of Imam Reza, was the leading rival to President Hassan Rouhani at Iran's 2017 election and has close ties to the supreme leader.

Before Saudis Go Nuclear, They May Have to Follow Iran's Lead

◢ International monitors reminded Saudi Arabia this week that it still has work to do before delving deeper into an ambitious nuclear program that could transform how the kingdom generates its energy. Focus on Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program has risen in the last month after the U.S. Congress opened an investigation into the potentially illegal transfer of sensitive technologies to the kingdom.

Iran to Set Up its Part of Nuclear Deal Mechanism 'This Month'

◢ Iran hopes to have its part of a new payments vehicle—devised to bypass US sanctions—ready within a fortnight, its Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Wednesday. "We hope it will be before the end of the Iranian calendar year," Araghchi told reporters in Vienna, referring to March 20 when the Iranian year ends.

Iran, France to Swap Ambassadors After Strained Ties

◢ Iran and France are set to exchange ambassadors, officials said on Wednesday, after months of tensions including over an alleged Iranian plot to bomb an opposition rally near Paris.  Bahram Ghasemi, a former envoy to Spain and Italy and current spokesman of the foreign ministry, has been appointed as Iran's new ambassador to France, an official source in Tehran told AFP.

Iran Thrown a Nuclear-Medicine Lifeline Ahead of Vienna Meeting

◢  The world’s atomic watchdog said it’s ready to meet shortages of nuclear medicines in Iran created by the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions, as top diplomats gather to salvage a 2015 deal with Tehran. The Islamic Republic has struggled to obtain some humanitarian goods as suppliers worry over contravening U.S. penalties, prompting Switzerland and the European Union to open new trade channels.

Dutch Recall Envoy From Iran in Murder Plot Row: Minister

◢ The Netherlands has recalled its ambassador from Tehran in a dispute over an alleged Iranian plot to 
assassinate regime opponents on Dutch soil, the Dutch foreign minister said Monday. Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the envoy was called back "for consultations" after Iran expelled two Dutch diplomats in February in a row over the murders of two Iranian dissidents in 2015 and 2017.

Iran and Armenia Propose Gas Transit to Georgia

◢ A state visit by Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Iran has resulted in an agreement between the two countries to cooperate on the potential transiting of Iranian gas through Armenia to Georgia. The possible export of Iranian gas to Georgia was first raised in 2016 with the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC) making successive claims of a deal with both the Georgian state and an unnamed private sector company.


Iran to Merge Five Financial Lenders Linked With Military

◢ Iran will merge five lenders linked with military institutions into state-run Bank Sepah amid a wider push by President Hassan Rouhani for the armed forces to divest from businesses. The entities being consolidated include Ansar Bank, Ghavamin Bank, Hekmat Iranian Bank, Mehr Eqtesad and the Kowsar financial credit institution, the Central Bank of Iran said in a report on its website Saturday.

Iran President Rejects FM Zarif's Resignation

◢ Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif's resignation on Wednesday, the government's official website said. "I believe your resignation is against the country's interests and do not approve it," Rouhani wrote in a letter to Zarif, the website said.