News Briefs

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
April 25, 2022
Iranian state media reported that hackers attempted to target more than 100 public sector organizations on April 24. Though the hackers were not identified, the Iranian report claimed that they used IP addresses in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and United States.
-- Associated Press
April 24, 2022
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) naval vessels seized a ship smuggling fuel in the Persian Gulf, the third reported seizure in April. The IRGC Navy said that the ship carried over 50,000 gallons of fuel. Eight foreign crew members were reportedly detained, but their nationalities were not identified. The IRGC's previous seizures occurred on April 9th and April 15th.
-- Agence France-Presse/Voice of America
April 18, 2022
Iran publicly revealed the Kaman-22 UAV at a military parade on April 18. The drone, which resembles the American Predator MQ-1 and Reaper MQ-9 UAVs, can reportedly be fitted for surveillance or combat. Its claimed operational range is 3,000 km.
-- The Jerusalem Post
April 14, 2022
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) installed monitoring equipment at Iran's new underground centrifuge component manufacturing plant in Natanz. It also unsealed equipment at the plant. Iranian officials said that production would begin immediately but did not reveal the exact location of the new operation within the large Natanz facility. They also reaffirmed that Iran will withhold the monitoring equipment's data until a deal over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is reached.
-- Associated Press
April 13, 2022
The Combined Maritime Forces command, a 34-country coalition led by the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, will launch a task force focused on protecting commercial routes in the Red Sea. Two to eight ships at a time will patrol for coal, arms, and narcotics smuggling, as well as human trafficking. The Iran-backed Houthis have attacked vessels and conducted smuggling operations in the Red Sea for years.
-- Associated Press
April 11, 2022
Iraqi militias are working with Iran to send weapons to Russia for use against Ukraine, according to unnamed militia and regional intelligence sources. Hashd al-Shaabi, one of the most influential Iran-backed militias, reportedly transported rocket-propelled grenades, antitank guided missiles, and multiple-launch rocket systems to the Iranian border in late March. The Iranian military then sent the shipment across Iran and via the Caspian Sea to the Russian port of Astrakhan. According to sources involved in the transportation scheme, Iran has also returned an S-300 air defense system to Russia and donated an Iranian-made Bavar-373 air defense system.
-- The Guardian