News Briefs

March 15, 2017
Construction and installation work on a second reactor at Bushehr have begun. Russia's Rosatom subsidiary AtomStroyExport (ASE), the general contractor for the Bushehr project, and Iran's Nuclear Power Production and Development Company (NPPD) signed a contract in November 2014 to build two VVER-1000 reactors with Generation III technology. Rosatom reactor design subsidiary Atomproek is also involved in this project, known as "Bushehr II." The first reactor is expected to be completed in 2024. 
-- World Nuclear News
March 13, 2017
In an article in al-Jarida daily, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander claims that Iran has established numerous arms factories in Lebanon. These factories reportedly produce various types of missiles, armed drones, and fast armored boats. Control over the factories, which are allegedly in fortified underground locations, was transferred to Hezbollah three months ago. 
-- National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 7, 2017
China-based Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation (ZTE) and a subsidiary, ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications, agreed to pay a combined civil and criminal penalty of $1.19 billion for illegal shipments to Iran and North Korea.  A five-year investigation led by the U.S. Commerce Department found that ZTE conspired to ship equipment with U.S. components to Iran, in violation of a U.S. embargo.  ZTE shipped millions of dollars worth of these items from 2010 to 2016, even after becoming aware that investigations into the transactions were underway.  The company was also involved in 283 shipments of telecommunications equipment to North Korea.  The conspiracy involved an elaborate scheme by ZTE executives to evade export controls and deceive investigators, including by establishing and using "detached" or shell companies to mask involvement in transactions involving Iran.  ZTE officials also expunged the word "Iran" from internal documents and emails and used code words to hide involvement with other embargoed countries. The settlement includes a $661 million payment to Commerce, with $300 million suspended during a seven-year probationary period, and a $100 million payment to the U.S. Treasury Department.  The U.S. District Court for Northern Texas may also impose a penalty of $430.5 million in combined criminal fines and forfeitures. 
-- U.S. Department of Commerce Press Release
March 4, 2017
During a military drill dubbed Damavan, Iran's Air Defense conducted a successful test of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. Iran purchased the system from Russia and took delivery of the missiles in July 2016. The contract was specifically for the S-300-PMU2 model. 
-- Tasnim News
February 27, 2017
Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan announced that a new marine cruise missile, the Nasir, was tested successfully during the Iranian Navy's annual naval drill. The Dehlaviyeh, an guided anti-ship missile, was also tested successfully. 
-- Tehran Times
February 24, 2017
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports that as of February 18, 2017, Iran's stock of low-enriched uranium (LEU) is 101.7 kg, after 99.9 kg of LEU stuck in pipes and other equipment at a plant in Isfahan are deemed unrecoverable.  According to the IAEA report, Iran's stock of heavy water is within the 130-tonne limit set by the nuclear deal at 124.2 tonnes, after 11 tonnes were shipped to Oman. 
-- Reuters
February 21, 2017
The U.S. Department of Justice is reviving an investigation of Clearstream Banking SA, a Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Deutsche Boerse AG, and its alleged financial ties to Bank Markazi, Iran's central bank. The investigation is also examining whether Deutsche Boerse AG made false statements to the U.S. government regarding Clearstream's continued involvement with Iran. 
-- Bloomberg
February 8, 2017
Iran launched a short-range Mersad surface-to-air-missile that flew 35 miles, according to a U.S. official.  This test took place at the Semnan launch center, from where a ballistic missile test occurred last month and from where earlier this month Iran had apparently prepared to launch a satellite using its Safir rocket.
-- Fox News
February 4, 2017
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force conducted military drills dubbed Defenders of the Velayat Skies in Northern Iran. The following missile systems were used in the drill: the Khordad-III, which has a range of 75 kilometers and is capable of engaging multiple targets; the Tabas, which is also capable of striking multiple targets and has a range of 60 kilometers; and the Sayyad-II, which has a range of 75 kilometers and can counter electronic warfare. Radar systems with tracking ranges between 150 and 1,100 kilometers were also tested during the drill, including the Qadir, Matla al-Fajr, and Kavosh systems.  
-- Fars News Agency
February 3, 2017
The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on multiple entities in response to Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism, and destabilizing activities in the region. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified three ballistic-missile procurement networks: one operating between Iran and China run by Abdollah Asgharazadeh; a Gulf-based network run by Kambiz Rostamian; and an Iran-based network centered around Mabrooka Trading that sought carbon fiber and laboratory equipment for Navid Composite, a subsidiary of U.N.-sanctioned Sanam Industrial Group. OFAC also designated an IRGC support network in Lebanon that is working with Hizbollah.  
-- U.S. Department of the Treasury Press Release