News Briefs

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
February 2, 2017
Iran successfully test-fired a new ballistic missile, according to Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan. According to a U.S. official, the missile exploded after traveling 630 miles (1,013 kilometers). Iran continues to deny that its ballistic missile activity violates U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 by maintaining that these missiles are not "designed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons."  
-- Tasnim News Agency
February 2, 2017
According to German newspaper Die Welt, Iran tested the nuclear-capable Sumar cruise missile. The missile traveled approximately 600 kilometers in its first known successful test and may have a range of up to 3,000 kilometers. Unlike ballistic missiles, cruise missiles are not restricted under current U.N. resolutions. 
-- Reuters
January 28, 2017
Iran has injected uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas into its IR-8 centrifuges, according to a statement by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The AEOI says that the work is part of Iran's uranium enrichment research and development activities and is in line with the country's commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.  In a statement in December 2016, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the IR-8 replaces the first generation IR-1 centrifuge.  
-- Tasnim News Agency
January 16, 2017
Iran has met the deadline for limiting the number centrifuges at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant to just over 1,000 machines, according to a statement by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  Hundreds of centrifuges were transferred to an underground storage facility at Natanz.  Under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran had one year from January 16, 2016 to move the excess centrifuges.
-- Reuters
January 9, 2017
The United States and its partners in the P5+1 group of countries recently approved the transfer from Russia to Iran of 116 metric tons of natural uranium. The transfer, which would be the first since the nuclear agreement came into force, must first be formally approved by the U.N. Security Council. The uranium transfer would serve as compensation for Iran's shipment to Russia of 40 metric tons of heavy water. Iran has not stated how the uranium will be used. 
-- Associated Press
January 9, 2017
Iran's parliament has approved a bill to promote the country's military capability by "developing and increasing the power to produce missiles," including "within short, medium and long ranges," and "developing and strengthening electronic warfare and cyber defense capabilities."  This vote follows another last May to require that five percent of the national budget be used for defense spending. 
-- Tasnim News Agency
December 20, 2016
Iran's atomic energy agency announced that it will export less heavy water annually due to an oversupply in the global market.  An agency spokesman said that some 20 tons of heavy water would be exported per year, far less than the 70 tons Iran has exported since the nuclear agreement took effect in January 2016.  
-- Fox News

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