News Briefs

September 26, 2017
International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano has requested clarification about how to verify Section T of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which bans "activities which could contribute to the development of a nuclear explosive device." Russia believes the IAEA does not have the authority to verify this part of the agreement. Amano expressed hope that the Joint Commission would discuss the issue in order to clarify the specific technology referred to in Section T and the IAEA's related inspection mandate. 
-- Reuters
September 25, 2017
Iran displayed its Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile at a military parade in Tehran on September 22 and claimed that the missile was successfully tested the same day. However, video footage of the test that aired on Iranian state media was from a January launch that appears to have failed. Iran claims the Khorramshahr is capable of carrying multiple warheads and has a range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles). U.S. officials believe the range is double what Iran claims. The missile is based on North Korea's BM-25 Musudan missile. 
-- Fox News
September 18, 2017
Three Iranian nationals were charged in Cleveland federal court with conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and smuggling.  They allegedly sold millions of dollars of U.S. industrial goods to Iran, via companies in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.  The indictment, which was filed in June and unsealed last week, names as defendants Mohammad Shaneivar, Arezoo Hashemnejad Alalmdari, and Parisa Mohamadi, as well as the Canadian company IC Link Industries.  Mohamadi, also known as Parisa Javidi, is a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen who owns a company based in the United Arab Emirates.  She was arrested last week in the United States and has pled not guilty to the charges.  Shaneivar and Alalmdari reside in Canada.  IC Link is operated by Shaneivar and has an affiliate in Tehran.  According to the indictment, Shaneivar accepted orders from Alalmdari and others on behalf of customers in Iran, including Kala Naft, the National Iranian Oil Company's procurement arm.
September 18, 2017
The Czech Parliament rejected a proposal to allow Czech companies to sell equipment to Iran for use at its Bushehr nuclear power plant for the first time since 2000. The rejection came in reaction to a Czech firm's plans to supply ventilation equipment to Bushehr.
-- Radio Farda
September 14, 2017
The U.S. State Department approved waivers of some sanctions on Iran as part of the 2015 nuclear accord in order to "maintain flexibility" in its Iran policy. The most recent sanctions waivers were issued as the U.S Treasury Department sanctioned 11 individuals and entities supporting Iran's ballistic missile program, Quds Force, or Iranian cyber attacks. 
-- Reuters
September 14, 2017
On July 17, 2017, Portuguese citizen Joao Pereira da Fonseca pled guilty to conspiring to unlawfully export U.S.-origin goods and technology to Iran and to defraud the United States. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, after which he will face deportation proceedings. Between October 2014 and April 2016, Fonseca, a mechanical engineer, used a Portuguese company as a front company to purchase technology with commercial and military applications from two U.S. companies on behalf of an Iranian client. One U.S. company manufactures machinery for the production of optical lenses; the other produces machines that test inertial guidance system components. Fonseca misled the U.S. companies as to the end-user and ultimate destination of the technology, which the companies believed to be Fonseca’s employer in Portugal. Fonseca traveled to the United States twice between 2015 and 2016 for training on how to install and maintain the technology. He was detained when leaving the United States in April 2016 and has been in U.S custody since then. None of the technology was exported to Iran.
-- United States Department of Justice
September 7, 2017
U.S. prosecutors have brought charges against Zafer Caglayan, Turkey's former economy minister, and Suleyman Aslan, the former General Manager of Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank, for "conspiring to use the U.S. financial system to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of transactions" on behalf of the Iranian government and other Iranian entities.  Two others were charged alongside Caglayan and Aslan.  The four individuals also are accused of laundering funds, lying to U.S. officials about the transactions, and defrauding financial institutions.  The charges stem from a sanctions evasion case against Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian gold trader who was arrested in the United States last year.
-- Reuters
September 3, 2017
Commander of Iran's Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, claimed that the country has successfully built and tested its Bavar-373 air defense system, which will be deployed by March 2018 alongside the Russian S-300 system.  Esmaili also announced the manufacture of an over-the-horizon radar with a range of 3,000 km. 
-- PressTV
September 2, 2017
A Minnesota electronics company, identified as Digi-Key in unsealed court filings, was deceived into exporting dual-use electronics components to Iran by Green Wave Telecommunications, a company based in Malaysia. Digi-Key believed that it was sending the components to Green Wave for end-use in Kuala Lumpur, but the items were instead forwarded to Tehran-based Fanavari Moj Khavar. The indictment charged Alireza Jalali, Green Wave's former head of purchasing, and Negar Ghodskani, who worked for both Green Wave and Fanavari, with conspiracy to defraud the United States, smuggling, making false statements, and money laundering. Ghodskani allegedly manipulated her email signature when communicating with U.S. companies to give the appearance that she was working out of Malaysia, while Jalali is accused of repackaging components and misrepresenting transactions with Fanavari in order to conceal the shipment of American goods. Jalali, the only defendant in custody, is currently awaiting trial in the United States.
-- Star Tribune
August 31, 2017
The International Atomic Energy Agency published its quarterly report on Thursday verifying that Iran is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and has kept its uranium stockpile and enrichment capacity below set thresholds. Iran's stockpile of 3.7 percent low-enriched uranium stood at 88.4 kilograms as of August 21, 2017, below the 300 kilogram limit set by the agreement, while its number of operating centrifuges was below the 5,060 limit set by the accord. 
-- Bloomberg