News Briefs

June 6, 2023
Iran unveiled a new ballistic missile, called "Fattah," which the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) characterized as a hypersonic missile. The missile's separating warhead has a solid fueled motor and can conduct terminal maneuvers. The missile can reportedly reach speeds of Mach 13 and has a maximum range of 1,400 km.
-- Tasnim News Agency
May 31, 2023
In a confidential report, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it had closed two safeguards-related inquiries with Iran. One was related to inspectors' discovery of uranium particles enriched to 83.7% purity at Iran's Fordow enrichment site earlier in the year. The IAEA said Iran's explanation that the particles were a byproduct of fluctuations in the enrichment process was "not inconsistent" with data reviewed by the Agency. The other inquiry was related to traces of man-made uranium found at Marivan, a site linked to Iran's early-2000s secret military nuclear program. The IAEA said Iran's claim that the uranium traces were left by instruments used at a mine operated in the area by a foreign entity in the 1960s and 70s was "possible." The Agency also reported that it had re-installed enrichment monitoring devices at Fordow and Natanz and had installed cameras at a centrifuge workshop in Isfahan.
-- Associated Press
May 25, 2023
Iran unveiled the fourth generation of its Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile, dubbed Kheibar. The liquid-fueled missile has a re-entry vehicle capable of making mid-course maneuvers and can deliver a 1,500 kilogram warhead to a range of 2,000 kilometers.
May 17, 2023
The Russian state-owned bank VTB opened a representative office in Iran. The Iranian government is also planning to allow consumers to use Russia's Mir card payment system within Iran. Russian state-owned Promsvyazbank is already present in Iran. Sberbank, another large Russian financial institution, discussed strengthening its ties with Iran but has not yet entered the Iranian market.
-- Reuters
May 15, 2023
Russia has received more than 400 unmanned aerial vehicles from Iran since August 2022 and is seeking more advanced versions, according to U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. In return, Iran is seeking helicopters, radars, and combat trainer aircraft. According to Kirby, the United States has not seen evidence of Iranian ballistic missile transfers to Russia.
-- Wall Street Journal
May 11, 2023
U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said that Iran is still supplying arms and drugs to Yemen despite a March agreement restoring diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The conflict in Yemen is widely seen as a proxy fight between the two regional rivals.
-- Reuters
May 2, 2023
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) prevented the illegal export of two aircraft engines to Iran. According to the SBU, the scheme was organized by two owners of a Dnipro-based company specializing in cargo transportation to countries in the Middle East and Africa. The conspirators allegedly planned to falsely declare the engines as gas pipeline components in their export paperwork. According to the SBU, the engines had been stolen during the liquidation of a Ukrainian state-owned enterprise and the intended Iranian customers planned to use them in an Antonov An-74 military transport aircraft.
-- Interfax-Ukraine
April 28, 2023
The U.S. Department of Justice seized the Suez Rajan, an oil tanker loaded with Iranian crude and destined for China, under a court order. The Suez Rajan is owned by Fleetscape, an affiliate of the U.S.-based firm Oaktree Capital. Oaktree Capital denied that it or Fleetscape had an ownership interest in the vessel's cargo. Days later, Iran detained the Advantage Sweet, an oil tanker bound for the United States, in the Gulf of Oman.
-- Financial Times
April 24, 2023
Over the past six months, Russian ships have transported more than 300,000 artillery shells and a million rounds of ammunition from Iran to Russia through the Caspian Sea. According to officials in the Middle East, the most recent such shipment included 1,000 containers with 2,000 artillery shells on board the Rasul Gamzatov, a Russian cargo ship owned by the shipping company MG-FLOT, formerly known as TransMorFlot LLC. Publicly available shipping data showed that the vessel transited from Bandar Amirabad, Iran, to Astrakhan, Russia, between March 8 and March 14, and then made another trip in late March.
-- Wall Street Journal
April 18, 2023
Two companies, Taiwan-based DES International Co. Ltd. and Brunei-based Soltech Industry Co. Ltd., pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions and export control laws. The companies have directors and employees in common and worked together to procure U.S.-origin goods, including a power amplifier and cybersecurity software, on behalf of an Iranian research center. Both were sentenced to pay a fine of $83,769 and to serve a five-year term of corporate probation.
-- Department of Justice