All in News

French Envoy in Iran Talks as Trump Threatens to Up Sanctions

◢ A diplomatic adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron held talks in Tehran Wednesday aimed at saving the 2015 nuclear deal and easing tensions between Iran and the United States. Emmanuel Bonne met Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, and was set to meet with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later on Wednesday.

Macron’s Top Diplomatic Adviser Looks to Save Iran Nuclear Deal

◢ French President Emmanuel Macron’s top diplomatic adviser heads to Iran on Tuesday, seeking to persuade the Islamic Republic to reverse breaches that have raised pressure on European nations struggling to save the landmark 2015 nuclear deal from collapse. Emmanuel Bonne will meet with Iranian leaders, including a representative of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Iran Passes Uranium Enrichment Cap Set by Endangered Deal

◢ Iran on Monday breached a uranium enrichment cap set by a troubled 2015 nuclear deal and warned Europe against taking retaliatory measures. The move came more than a year after Washington pulled out of the landmark accord between world powers and Tehran, which says it has lost patience with perceived inaction by the remaining European partners.

BP Oil Tanker Shelters in Persian Gulf on Fear of Iran Retaliation

◢ An oil tanker run by BP Plc is being kept inside the Persian Gulf in fear it could be seized by Iran in a tit-for-tat response to the arrest by Gibraltar last week of a vessel hauling the Islamic Republic’s crude. The British Heritage, able to haul about 1 million barrels of crude, was sailing toward Iraq’s Basrah oil terminal in the south of country when it made an abrupt u-turn on July 6.

Iran Accuses US of Using Oil Sanctions to Gain Market Clout

◢ Iran's oil minister has accused the United States of using sanctions to "shock" the global oil supply and gain market clout for its booming shale oil production. "I think one of the reasons for sanctions against Iran and Venezuela is opening up the market for American oil sales," Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said in an interview with state TV.

Iran Set to Exceed Nuclear Deal Uranium Enrichment Cap

◢ Iran said Sunday it was set to breach the uranium enrichment cap set by an endangered nuclear deal within hours as it seeks to press signatories into keeping their side of the bargain. The move—involving purifying beyond the 3.67 percent allowed by the 2015 agreement—comes despite opposition from the European Union and the United States, which has quit the deal.

IAEA to Hold Special Meeting on Iran on 10 July

◢ The UN's nuclear watchdog said Friday it will hold a special meeting on Iran's nuclear program next week, days after Tehran breached one of the limits set in a 2015 deal with world powers. The meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)'s board of governors would be held "on 10 July at 14:30," an IAEA spokesman said.

Iran to Exceed Uranium Enrichment Maximum Despite Calls for Rethink

◢ President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will exceed on Sunday the uranium enrichment limit it agreed in a 2015 deal with major powers. "On July 7, our enrichment level will no longer be 3.67 percent. We will put aside this commitment. We will increase (the enrichment level) beyond 3.67 percent to as much as we want, as much as is necessary, as much as we need," Rouhani said.

Iraq Sets Up 'Loophole' in US Sanctions to Buy Iranian Power

◢ Iraq is establishing a financial "loophole" to continue buying vital gas and electricity from Iran despite US sanctions, AFP has learned, mirroring a European mechanism that came into effect Friday. The "special purpose vehicle" (SPV) would allow Iraq to pay for imported Iranian energy in Iraqi dinars, which Iran could use to exclusively buy humanitarian goods, three senior Iraqi officials said.

Iran Traders Ride Bull Market Despite US Sanctions

◢ Iran's stock market is thriving, despite US sanctions which have battered its economy and an uncertain future as geopolitical tensions soar in the Gulf. Tehran Stock Exchange was buzzing Monday after the latest spike in a 12-month bull market, mostly caused by the crash of Iran's currency, the rial.

Iran Breaches Limit on Enriched Uranium Under Nuclear Accord

◢ Iran said it had exceeded the cap on its stockpile of enriched uranium set under the 2015 nuclear deal, risking a confrontation with European nations which had urged it to stick to the accord. “As I was informed, Iran has crossed the 300-kilogram cap according to plans,” the Iranian Students’ News Agency cited Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying.

Iran Says European Plan to Bypass US Sanctions Falls Short

◢ The mechanism set up by European powers to help Iran skirt US sanctions will be of limited use but it has highlighted a welcome distance between Washington and its allies, Tehran's top diplomat said Monday. Britain, France and Germany launched the special payment system in late January after US President Donald Trump abruptly quit the nuclear deal last year and reimposed sweeping sanctions on Iran.

Iran Announces Visa Waiver for Chinese Tourists

◢ Iran will no longer require Chinese visitors to obtain visas, state media reported Sunday, as the sanctions-hit country attempts to boost tourism in the face of an economic crisis. "The cabinet has agreed to waive visa requirements for Chinese nationals entering the Islamic Republic of Iran," state news agency IRNA said.

Iran's OPEC Veteran Weathers Storms From Trump to Saudi Arabia

◢ Iran’s oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, is under almost constant pressure from hardliners and right-wing lawmakers who’ve repeatedly tried to have him impeached and removed from office. But his record at OPEC and efforts to rehabilitate Iran’s energy sector mean he’s developed a reputation among the wider public for being an efficient and dedicated technocrat.

Iran 'Never Seeks War' with US, says Rouhani

◢ Iran "never seeks war" with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said as he sought to rein in soaring tensions Wednesday between the two countries. "Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US," the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Iran to Abandon More Nuclear Deal Commitments on July 7

◢ Iran will "resolutely" abandon more commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers on July 7, Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday quoting a "note" from a top security official. Tehran had announced on May 8 that it was suspending two of its 2015 pledges and gave Europe, China and Russia a two-month ultimatum to help Iran circumvent US sanctions and sell its oil or it would abandon two more commitments.

Iran Says US Blocking Diplomacy With New Sanctions

◢ Iran said Tuesday new US sanctions against its leaders marked the end of diplomacy with Washington, after President Donald Trump threatened the country with "obliteration.” Trump imposed new sanctions Monday against Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs, further raising the stakes in an escalating regional standoff.