Iran Digest Week of October 12th - 19th

Iran Digest

Week of October 12th - October 19th

AIC’s Iran digest project covers the latest developments and news stories published in Iranian and international media outlets. This weekly digest is compiled by Research Fellow Shiva Darian and Communications Associate Shahab Moghadam. Please note that the news and views expressed in the articles below do not necessarily reflect those of AIC.

US-Iran Relations

Latest U.S. sanctions show disregard for human rights of all Iranians: foreign minister


The United States’ latest economic sanctions against Iran display a disregard for the human rights of all Iranians, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned two Iranian banks and a handful of companies it says are linked to Iran’s Basij militia.

“Latest US sanctions violate 2 ICJ orders: to not impede humanitarian trade & to not aggravate the dispute. Utter disregard for rule of law & human rights of an entire people. US outlaw regime’s hostility toward Iranians heightened by addiction to sanctions,” Zarif said in a Twitter post. (Reuters)

US must withdraw from Syria, stop supporting terrorism: Iran’s deputy UN envoy

Iran's deputy ambassador to the UN says the United States should stop supporting terrorism in Syria and end its illegal military presence there as regional efforts are underway to find a political solution to over seven years of militancy gripping the Arab country.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Es’haq Al-e Habib said Washington must end its occupation of

Iran's deputy ambassador to the UN says the United States should stop supporting terrorism in Syria and end its illegal military presence there as regional efforts are underway to find a political solution to over seven years of militancy gripping the Arab country.

Addressing the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Es’haq Al-e Habib said Washington must end its occupation of Syrian territory – where it has thousands of boots on the ground -- and its support for terrorist groups.

The Iranian official also denounced the destructive role that Washington’s close ally Saudi Arabia is playing in the Middle region, including its support for Takfiri terror groups in Syria. (PressTV)

Rouhani Says 'Spiteful' U.S. Government Seeks Iran Regime Change


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Trump administration is “spiteful” toward the Islamic Republic of Iran with the intention of bringing in a regime change.

Rouhani said the U.S. is pushing for new leadership in Iran using “psychological and economic warfare,” according to a report in the state-run Iranian Students’ News Agency. 

“In the past 40 years, there hasn’t been a more spiteful team confronting Iran, Iranians and the Islamic Republic regime than the current one in the U.S.,” Rouhani said on Sunday. “There has been animosity but it would be one person and others would be moderate, but now the worst have gathered in the White House.” (Bloomberg)

Tech execs want Senator Graham to apologize over Iranian remark


Senator Lindsey Graham's comments about Iranian lineage did not go over well with a group of powerful tech execs.

On Tuesday, Graham joked during an interview on "Fox & Friends" that it would be "terrible" if a DNA test revealed that he has Iranian heritage. His comment came in response to Senator Elizabeth Warren's decision to take a DNA test to prove her Native American ancestry claims.
When asked for further comment, a spokesman for Graham referred CNN Business to his follow-up Fox News segment. (CNN)


Iran, Turkey cloud outlook for seed maker Vilmorin


U.S. sanctions against Iran and a slide in Turkey’s currency are contributing to an uncertain short-term outlook for seed maker Vilmorin as it seeks to recover from a disappointing past year, the French company said.

Vilmorin, one of the world’s largest suppliers of seeds for grain and vegetable crops, saw its shares tumble as much as 13.5 percent in Paris on Thursday after reporting weaker-than-expected profits for its financial year to June 30.

A slide in emerging market currencies was among factors that weighed on its 2017/18 results and Chief Executive Daniel Jacquemond said continuing geopolitical and economic turbulence was making Vilmorin cautious about growth in the year ahead. (Reuters)

With few buyers, Iranian oil armada heads to China ahead of U.S. sanctions


An unprecedented volume of Iranian crude oil is set to arrive at China’s northeast Dalian port this month and in early November before U.S. sanctions on Iran take effect, according to an Iranian shipping source and data on Refinitiv Eikon.

A source from the National Iranian Tanker Company said the company is shipping more than 20 million barrels of oil to Dalian.

“As our leaders have said it will be impossible to stop Iran from selling its oil. We have various ways of selling our oil and when the tankers reach Dalian, we will decide whether to sell it to other buyers or to China,” the source said, without elaborating further. (Reuters)

Women of Iran

Iran allows women into soccer match for the first time in decades


In 2006, Iran's president tried to restore one small piece of the civil liberties the Islamic Republic had repressed since its 1979 revolution.

Then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rescinded the decades-old ban on female spectators at men's soccer matches. Iran's religious leaders had argued that allowing women to see men play sports violated Muslim laws promoting piety. Ahmadinejad disagreed.

"The best stands should be allocated to women and families in the stadiums in which national and important matches are being held," he said on state television. "The presence of women and families in public places promotes chastity." (Chicago Tribune)

Regional Politics

France says planned EU mechanism to enable Iran trade may have wider use


France's foreign ministry said on Thursday a so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) that the European Union is considering creating to enable trade with Iran could be used more broadly to help the bloc avoid the extraterritorial reach of U.S. law.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in September that the new mechanism would be in place by November as it seeks to keep trade flowing even though new U.S. sanctions on Tehran will take effect from Nov. 4.

The idea is to circumvent the sanctions under which Washington can cut off from the U.S. financial system any bank that facilitates an oil transaction with Iran. (Channel NewsAsia)

Twitter's 'Russia-Iran' troll tweet trove made public

64cf787e-89d0-43f1-9c5f-968bcd4349c2 (1).jpg

More than 10 million tweets posted by suspected state-backed Russian and Iranian "troll farms" have been shared online by Twitter.

It has published more than 360GB of material to aid studies into how its platform has been used to try to influence the public.

The messages were posted from 2013 to 2018 and include references to the US presidential election and the UK's EU referendum. (BBC News)


Top Iran expert says Tehran may seek to wait out Trump administration


By: Olivia Gazis
Even as debilitating U.S. sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry remain slated to snap back in November, Tehran may seek to maintain a status-quo arrangement with the West until the fate of the Trump presidency becomes clearer, according to top Iran expert Karim Sadjadpour.

"It seems that the Iranian strategy is essentially to wait out the Trump administration," Sadjadpour, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said. "To wait what happens with the midterm elections, wait until 2020, to see if President Trump is reelected." (CBS News)