News Briefs

April 23, 2024
Yun Jong Ho, North Korea's minister for international trade, led a delegation to Iran, according to North Korean state media. Yun also visited Moscow earlier in April and has previously worked on North Korea's ties with Syria.
-- Reuters
April 19, 2024
Israel reportedly launched a strike in Iran targeting an air base near Isfahan. The attack was an apparent retaliation for Iran’s earlier drone and missile attack on Israel. Iranian officials said that the explosions heard near Isfahan were the result of air defenses shooting down three drones. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported no damage to any of Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel also reportedly struck radar installations in Syria on the same day.
-- Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
April 15, 2024
Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation for Israel’s strike on an Iranian embassy building in Syria. The United States and Israel shot down nearly all of the munitions, using fighter jets, Navy warships, Patriot batteries, and the Arrow 3 system to destroy them as they crossed through Iraqi and Jordanian airspace. Iran primarily fired Shahed-136 drones, Paveh cruise missiles, and Emad and Kheibar Shekan ballistic missiles.
-- New York Times
April 15, 2024
Iran's Revolutionary Guard seized a Portuguese-flagged container ship, the MSC Aries, for allegedly violating maritime laws and not answering calls by Iranian authorities in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran's foreign ministry also released a statement emphasizing the vessel’s link to Israel. MSC, which operates the Aries, leases the vessel from Gortal Shipping, an affiliate of Zodiac Maritime.
-- Reuters
March 26, 2024
The United States sanctioned six entities, one individual, and two tankers for facilitating shipments and financial transactions for the IRGC Quds Force, the Houthis, and Hizballah. Sanctioned entities included Liberia-based Hassaleh International Company, which owns Panama-flagged DAWN II (IMO 9185530), India-based KNH Shipping Private Limited, also known as KNH Global Private Limited, and the Panama-flagged ABYSS (IMO 9157765), owned by Vietnam-based Quoc Viet Marine Transport JSC and operated by India-based Melody Shipmanagement Pvt Ltd. These entities worked with the network of Houthi financier Sa’id al-Jamal to ship Iranian commodities to China and obscure their activities with forged documents and ship brokering services.
-- U.S. Department of the Treasury
March 20, 2024
The United States sanctioned three networks based in Germany, Iran, Turkey, and Oman for procuring carbon fiber, epoxy resins, and other goods for Iran’s ballistic missile, nuclear, and defense programs. One such network was run by Maziar Karimi, who used the Germany-based Mazixon GmbH and Co KG, Oman-based Mazaya Alardh Aldhabia LLC (MAA), and Turkey-based Tit Uluslararasi Nakliyat Deri Tekstil Gida Sanayi Ve Ticaret Limited Sirketi to procure goods for Iran’s ballistic missile program. The United States also sanctioned Rostam Shahmari Ghojeh Biklo, Pishro Mobtaker Peyvand (PMP), and Mitra Inanlu for procuring materials for Iran’s nuclear program, including Kalaye Electric Company (KEC) and Iran Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA).
-- U.S. Department of the Treasury
March 17, 2024
Niger ended its counterterrorism alliance with the United States after U.S. officials expressed concerns that Niger was in secret talks to provide Iran with access to its uranium reserves. Niger and Iran reportedly signed a preliminary agreement, but the deal was not finalized as of February 2024. U.S. officials also raised concerns about the arrival of Russian military equipment and trainers to Niger. The country's ruling junta denied the allegations.
-- Wall Street Journal
March 6, 2024
Houthi rebels in Yemen fired an anti-ship ballistic missile that struck the True Confidence merchant vessel as it was transiting the Red Sea. The attack killed three crew members, injured four others, and caused significant damage to the ship, forcing the crew to abandon it. Several days earlier, a cargo ship named Rubymar sank after being struck by Houthi missiles in February. A Houthi spokesman said the group's attacks would not stop until Israel ends its operation against Hamas in Gaza.
-- Al Jazeera
March 3, 2024
According to a senior Sudanese intelligence official, Iran has supplied explosive drones to the Sudanese military and sought to acquire a permanent naval base on Sudan’s Red Sea coast in exchange for a helicopter-carrying warship. Iran reportedly intended to station warships at the base and to use it for intelligence collection, including monitoring maritime traffic to and from the Suez Canal and Israel. Sudan declined the proposal.
-- Wall Street Journal
February 29, 2024
Russia launched an Iranian remote sensing satellite into orbit from the Vostochny Cosmodrome using a Soyuz rocket. The satellite, named Pars-1, weighed about 134 kilograms, was equipped with three cameras, and was traveling in a sun-synchronous orbit to survey Iran's topography, according to Iranian state media.
-- Reuters