News Briefs

May 12, 2022
Iraq will pay Iran $1.6 billion by June 1 to resolve outstanding debts and secure its supply of Iranian gas for the summer. While the United States sanctions Iran's energy exports, it has granted Iraq a waiver. Iraq must use a complex payments system to comply with the waiver. Delays in that payment system caused Iraq to accrue debt beginning in 2020. Acting Iraqi electricity minister Abdul Karim stated that Iraq will likely rely on Iranian gas for five to ten more years.
-- Agence France-Presse
May 12, 2022
Satellite imagery and GPS data have confirmed that the Maximo Gorki, Venezuela's only supertanker, conducted a ship-to-ship transfer with a National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) tanker in March. The Iranian vessel transferred two million barrels of condensate to the Venezuelan vessel off the coast of the Maldives. The Maximo Gorki offloaded the Iranian condensate in Venezuela last week.
-- Reuters
May 11, 2022
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired artillery into the Sidekan area of Iraq, 60 miles northeast of Erbil. Iranian state media stated that the artillery strikes were aimed at terrorist bases. Another Iranian news outlet reported that the IRGC had targeted Iranian Kurdish militant groups in the area on previous occasions.
-- Reuters
May 11, 2022
The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence stated that it had arrested two European Union citizens, allegedly for organizing riots during their visit to Iran. The announcement occurred during EU diplomat Enrique Mora's official visit to Tehran for nuclear-related talks. Iranian authorities also said they plan to execute an E.U. citizen, Swedish researcher Ahmadreza Djalali, who was detained in Iran in 2016. The Iranian announcement of Djalali's impending execution preceded the expected sentencing in Sweden of an Iranian national being prosecuted for his involvment in mass executions in the 1980s.
-- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
May 11, 2022
The Noor-2, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) reconnaissance satellite, captured images of the U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain as part of the first set of photographs it transmitted back to Iran. The satellite launched in March and can reportedly capture high-resolution color images.
-- Fox News
May 10, 2022
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi told EU lawmakers that Iran has not been forthcoming about the presence of nuclear material at three undeclared sites. Iran and the IAEA agreed to work to resolve outstanding questions about the sites in March, and Tehran had agreed to provide answers to the Agency before the IAEA Board of Governors meeting in June. Grossi said that the situation "does not look very good" and that finalizing a nuclear deal would be difficult without satisfactory information about the sites from Iran.
-- Reuters
May 5, 2022
On May 4th, the U.S. Senate passed a nonbinding motion stating that any new nuclear deal should restrict Iran's support for terrorism and retain a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The "motion to instruct" was related to a larger bill on China, but passed independently with 66 votes.
-- Politico
April 28, 2022
Iran has set up a new centrifuge component manufacturing plant in an underground part of its Natanz nuclear facility, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The plant's equipment was previously located at a site in Karaj that suffered an alleged sabotage attack last year; it is now present in the Natanz site's Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP). The FEP had previously only been used for uranium enrichment.
-- Reuters
April 27, 2022
Iran and China pledged closer cooperation during a ministerial visit in Tehran on April 27, according to Iranian state media. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi told the Chinese Minister of Defense, Wei Fenghe, that cooperation would make it possible to confront "unilateralism." Wei said his visit was intended to improve "strategic defense cooperation" between China and Iran.
-- Associated Press
April 26, 2022
An Iraqi parliament fact-finding committee found no evidence of espionage activities at a residential compound struck by missiles last month in Iraqi Kurdistan. Iran had claimed responsibility for the strike and said the compound was a base for Israeli intelligence. The committee also said that the compound's owner, oil company CEO Baz Karim Barzinji, has the right to seek legal recourse from the Iranian government.
-- Rudaw