Week of June 1 - 8
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.
Iran: Not everyone will take orders from Washington
The US Secretary of State says "every country" will have to help squeeze Iran financially. Ambassador Baeidinejad says Pompeo is wrong to think that countries will "take the orders from Washington." (CNN)
Experts From Iran Nuclear Deal Countries Meet In Tehran
Experts from the countries still in the Iran nuclear deal were holding a scheduled meeting in Tehran Thursday, with the accord hanging in the balance after the United States withdrew.
The closed-door encounter involving representatives from Iran, Britain, China France, Germany and Russia as well as the European Union had long been on the cards, but comes as tensions rise after Tehran announced a plan to boost uranium enrichment capacity. (Radio Farda)
With Iran Deal Teetering, Europe Seeks Exemption From U.S. Sanctions
The European Union asked for exemptions from expected U.S. sanctions on Iran and the bloc’s lending arm balked at supporting Iranian projects, signs of the mounting difficulties in meeting a political pledge to stick with the landmark nuclear deal after President Donald Trump quit the accord.
The troubles emerged as a senior Iranian envoy demanded results from EU negotiations “very soon” and said a failure to provide economic guarantees would result in the resumption of Tehran’s nuclear activities. That threat quickly drew warnings from the U.S. (Bloomberg)
Trump requested Saudi oil support before Iran nuclear decision
A day before U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, one of his senior officials phoned Saudi Arabia to ask the world’s largest oil exporter to help keep prices stable if the decision disrupted supply.
Riyadh, Tehran’s arch rival, has long been a close Washington ally, but direct pressure on a member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) over oil policies is rare. Washington last pressed Saudi Arabia to increase output in 2012. (Reuters)
Iran to inform IAEA of start of process to boost uranium enrichment capacity: ISNA
Iran will inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog in Vienna on Tuesday over its start of a process to increase the country’s uranium enrichment capacity, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi told ISNA news agency.
“In a letter that will be handed over to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ... Iran will announce that the process of increasing the capacity to produce ... UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) ... will start on Tuesday,” Kamalvandi said. (Reuters)
GOP: Obama admin tried to let Iran bypass sanctions
Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) spoke to CNN's Brianna Keilar about the report he is unveiling that found the Obama administration worked to allow Iran to exchange billions to bypass sanctions, but was stopped by the banks. (CNN)
American companies are paying the price for Trump's Iran policy
Major American businesses are preparing a retreat from Iran before President Trump's crushing sanctions take effect.
Trump's decision last month to exit the Iran nuclear deal -- and re-impose tough penalties on the nation's oil industry -- means US companies will draw the ire of Washington if they don't wind down their operations there.
The Obama administration's historic nuclear agreement with Iran in 2016 paved the way for General Electric (GE), Honeywell, Dover (DOV) and other companies to sell tens of millions of dollars' worth of equipment to Iran's aging energy industry. Under the terms of that deal, US companies were granted licenses to do business with Iran through foreign subsidiaries. (CNN)
As Taboos Break Down, Iranians Party On
To get to the Emarat wedding hall, you have to drive outside Tehran and into the countryside, down a series of rural roads until you reach an entrance marked only by a number. There, a security guard checks your name off a list and directs you to a parking lot screened from the road that seems to have enough space for hundreds of cars.
Leaving the car, you walk through a series of arched walkways, covered in vines, leading to a lush garden that ends at a large wooden door. It is the entrance, at last, to the main hall that, on this day, is crowded with tables decorated with flowers and basking in the light of dozens of chandeliers. (New York Times)
How Sanctions Feed Authoritarianism
By: Peter Beinart
The United States has a long history of intervening overseas to solve one problem and inadvertently creating others. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration armed rebels fighting Afghanistan’s Soviet-backed government only to find that some of them later targeted the United States. During that same decade, America armed the government of El Salvador in a gruesome civil war against leftist rebels that spawned the migration that produced the now notorious gang, MS-13.
It’s worth remembering these precedents as the Trump administration prepares to reimpose sanctions on Iran as part of its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal. American politicians and pundits have spent the last month debating whether those sanctions will make Iran more or less likely to build nuclear weapons. What they’re largely overlooking is what impact years of additional sanctions will have on the country Iran becomes. (The Atlantic)