News Briefs

March 23, 2023
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testified in a Senate committee hearing that U.S. sanctions have not forced Iran to change its policies in ways that the United States would like. Still, she said, the United States was looking at ways to strengthen its sanctions.
-- Reuters
March 16, 2023
Iran agreed to stop illicit weapons shipments to the Houthis as part of its agreement to re-establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, according to U.S. and Saudi officials. The Iranian delegation to the United Nations declined to comment on the report.
-- Wall Street Journal
March 14, 2023
Russia has captured NATO-provided weapons on the battlefield in Ukraine and sent them to Iran on multiple occasions in the last year, according to four unnamed sources. The weapons have included Stinger man-portable air defense systems and Javelin anti-tank missiles. Experts believe Iran will dismantle, analyze, and attempt produce local copies of the weapons.
-- CNN
March 10, 2023
Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to reestablish diplomatic relations in a breakthrough mediated by China. In a joint statement, the two sides agreed to reopen their embassies and exchange ambassadors within two months.
-- Associated Press
March 9, 2023
A U.S. grand jury indicted Iranian national Mehdi Khoshghadam, accusing him of unlawfully exporting electrical cables and connectors from the United States to Iran through Hong Kong between 2016 and 2018. According to the indictment, Khoshghadam, who is also known as “David Lei” and “Pouyan,” is the managing director of Pardazan Systems Namad Arman (PASNA), an Iranian importer of electronics and other goods. Khoshghadam and a China-based co-conspirator allegedly used fake aliases, falsified records, and multiple front companies in China, Malaysia, and Singapore, including one called Merlin International Trading Company, to order the goods.
-- Department of Justice
March 5, 2023
Following a trip to Tehran, Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that Iranian officials had pledged new cooperation in the agency's longstanding investigation into uranium particles found at undeclared sites in Iran. According to Grossi, Iran promised to give the IAEA access to information, locations, and people relevant to the investigation. Grossi also said that Iran agreed to allow the reinstallation of Agency cameras and other monitoring equipment that had been removed from declared sites in June 2022. However, a spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization later said that there had been no agreement regarding the cameras or access to individuals relevant to the IAEA investigation into undeclared sites.
-- Reuters
March 2, 2023
On February 23, the British Royal Navy seized Kornet anti-tank guided missiles, jet vanes for medium-range ballistic missiles, and impact sensor covers for a ballistic missile's re-entry vehicle from a small boat traveling between Iran and Yemen. The U.S. Navy supported the operation.
-- Associated Press
February 24, 2023
The commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Aerospace Force, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, announced that Iran had deployed a new land-attack cruise missile, called Paveh, with a range of 1,650 kilometers. The television broadcast included launch footage of the missile.
-- Reuters
February 24, 2023
U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Iran shipped artillery and tank rounds to Russia in November 2022. In return, according to Kirby, Russia has been offering defense cooperation on missiles, electronics, and air defense. The United States believes Iran is seeking to purchase billions of dollars worth of fighter jets, attack helicopters, radars, and combat trainer aircraft.
-- Politico
February 19, 2023
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors detected uranium particles enriched to 84% fissile purity in Iran in recent weeks, according to three senior diplomats. Iran does not however appear to be accumulating uranium stocks at that level, according to the diplomats. A spokesman for Iran’s atomic energy agency did not deny the report, but he suggested that more highly enriched particles could be a byproduct of enrichment to lower levels.
-- Wall Street Journal