News Briefs

November 17, 2017
Saudi Arabian defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen on November 4. It was identified by rebels as the Burkan-2H. This missile (and another launched from Yemen in July 2017) has a range of 900 km and was made in Iran, according to Saudi Arabia. Photographs of one of the recovered missiles shows the same markings as those seen on Iran's Qiam missile, according to a report by the Saudi-led coalition. Separately, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed that the missile intercepted on November 4 had a guidance system and aluminum originating in Iran. 
-- Jane's Defence Weekly
November 7, 2017
International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano said that the Agency has “had access to all the locations that we needed to visit,” and that while inspectors may visit military sites the value of such access is "overly exaggerated."  Amano also said "greater clarity relating to Section T" of the nuclear agreement would be "very helpful," for instance if Iran provided a baseline declaration related to technology used to develop a nuclear explosive device.
-- Financial Times
October 26, 2017
Dutch intelligence services have indicated that technology from the Netherlands may have been used to develop weapons of mass destruction in Iran, Pakistan, or Syria. The head of Dutch military intelligence, Onno Eichelsheim, said that the Netherlands was “almost a supermarket for countries wanting to develop these types of weapons.” Eichelsheim cautioned small businesses to be vigilant when selling items to third-countries.
-- AFP
October 10, 2017
A report by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) alleges that Iran’s nuclear weapons program remains active. The report claims that the country’s civilian nuclear program is providing cover for military aspects of the program. The NCRI identifies four military sites involved in nuclear weapon work, including: Pazhouheshkadeh, located at the Parchin military complex; the Nouri Industrial site, located at the Khojir military complex and run by the Hemmat Industries Group; the Hafte Tir site near Isfahan, which is run by IRGC Brigadier General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi and has been used to produce centrifuge components; and the Sanjarian site east of Tehran. The NCRI claims several of these sites have tunnels and silos that would allow for nuclear work to be transferred. The report asserts that North Korea cooperated with Iran in building the tunnels at the Nouri site, as well as in designing warheads. The report is entitled "Iran’s Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites."
-- Fox News
October 9, 2017
Indian resident Narender Sharma and his company Hydel Engineering Products agreed on August 31, 2017 to pay the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) $100,000 to settle a charge of shipping a U.S.-origin waterway barrier debris system to Iran in 2011. The system is designated as EAR99 and its export to Iran would have required an authorization from the Treasury Department. Sharma and Hydel arranged for the system to be sent to Iran via the United Arab Emirates. The system was destined for Mahab Ghodss, an Iranian government entity added to Treasury’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list in August 2010. The conspiracy also involved an Ohio-based firm, Worthington Products, Inc., and its president, Paul Meeks, who agreed to pay BIS $250,000 in June 2016 to settle a related charge. Meeks/Worthington could not sell directly to Iran and used Hydel/Sharma to do so. The shipment was detained by Customs and Border Protection before it could be exported from the United States.
-- Export Practitioner
October 9, 2017
According to a German intelligence report from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Iran made "32 procurement attempts [...] that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs" in 2016. Iran is accused in the report of using front companies in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China to facilitate procurement and circumvent international restrictions. An intelligence report from the German state of Hessen said that Iran used "guest academics" and "research exchanges" to support its weapon programs. A third intelligence report, from the German state of Saxony-Anhalt said Iran works "unabated" on its missile program. German diplomats said that they have "no indication of Iran violating its JCPOA commitments" and that Iran's missile program is "outside the scope of the JCPOA and needs to be dealt with separately."
-- Fox News
October 9, 2017
On September 7, 2017, Erdal Kuyumcu was sentenced to 57 months in prison for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA). Kuyumcu illegally exported 1,000 pounds of cobalt-nickel metallic power to Iran through an intermediary in Turkey in 2013 without the licenses required by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). A sentencing memo by the U.S. Department of Justice said there was "strong circumstantial evidence" that the powder, which has military, missile, and nuclear applications, ultimately reached an entity designated by OFAC for its connection to Iran’s nuclear program. Kuyumcu is a Turkish-born naturalized U.S. citizen and the CEO of Global Metallurgy.
-- Export Practitioner
October 9, 2017
A federal indictment unsealed on September 6, 2017 charges Canadian firm IC Link Industries LTD and three individuals with unlawfully exporting industrial goods to Iran without the licenses required by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). The three individuals charged are dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Parisa Mohamadi, who operated Intelligence Solutions FZCO, an import/export firm registered in the United Arab Emirates; Mohammad Khazrai Shaneivar, a dual Canadian-Iranian citizen who operated IC Link; and Arezoo Hashemnejad Alamdari, an Iranian citizen and IC Link employee residing in both Iran and Canada. Mohamadi is in U.S. custody; Shaneivar and Alamdari are at large. The indictment alleges that Shaneivar and IC Link received orders for U.S.-origin goods from Alamdari and IC Link’s Iranian affiliate on behalf of Iranian customers and used Mohamadi and Intelligent Solutions to ship the goods from the United States to Iran. The orders were primarily for goods used in the energy sector.
-- Export Practitioner
October 2, 2017
Slovenia’s state prosecutor is investigating claims that state-owned Nova Ljubljanska Banka (NLB) laundered nearly €1 billion from Iran between 2008 and 2010, in violation of a money-laundering and terrorist financing rules. The allegations center around Iraj Farrokhzadeh, a dual Iranian-British citizen, who opened accounts at NLB in December 2008 for the company Farrokh Ltd. Farrokhzadeh then used the accounts to move money for Iran’s Export Development Bank (EDBI), which was blacklisted by the European Union for facilitating payments to front companies run by Iran’s defense ministry and for helping U.N.-designated entities evade sanctions. Farrokhzadeh transferred his operations from NLB to Russian banks in December 2010. 
-- Euractiv
September 26, 2017
International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano has requested clarification about how to verify Section T of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which bans "activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device." Russia believes the IAEA does not have the authority to verify this part of the agreement. Amano expressed hope that the Joint Commission would discuss the issue in order to clarify the specific technology referred to in Section T and the IAEA's related inspection mandate. 
-- Reuters