News Briefs

July 10, 2012
Two Iranian nationals, Ahmad Abolfathi Mohammad and Sayed Mansour Mousavi, have been arrested and charged with preparing to attack Western targets in Kenya. The two men had shipped more than 100 kg of the explosive RDX into Kenya, some of which has not been recovered. Kenyan security and police officials believe the Iranians are members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force.
-- Associated Press via Washington Post
July 4, 2012
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps completed a three-day missile drill in Semnan province. During the drill, called “The Great Prophet 7,” the Shahab 1, Shahab 2, Shahab 3, Khalij Fars (Persian Gulf), Tondar (Lightning), Fateh (Victor), Zelzal (Quake), and Qiam (Uprising) were fired. IRGC fighter jets and drones participated in the drill as well.
-- Press TV
July 1, 2012
On July 1, an E.U. embargo on Iranian oil took effect, halting the vast majority of oil imports into Europe and preventing European insurance of Iranian oil shipments anywhere in the world. On the first day of oil trading under the new embargo, the International Energy Agency estimates that one million barrels of Iranian crude oil could leave the market.
-- Wall Street Journal
June 28, 2012
A new U.S. law took effect which aims to reduce Iran's ability to export oil by barring banks in countries that are importing a significant amount of Iranian oil from the U.S. financial system. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton granted last minute sanctions waivers to China and Singapore for their reductions in Iranian crude oil purchases. Previously, 18 countries had been granted such exemptions.
-- New York Times
June 19, 2012
Two days of talks in Moscow between the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States) and Iran ended without a breakthrough. Iran provided a detailed response to P5+1 proposals presented at previous talks, but remained adamant that its right to enrich uranium be recognized. The P5+1 insist that Iran abide by U.N. Security Council resolutions and suspend all uranium enrichment. Technical experts from both sides will meet next month to determine if another high level meeting is worthwhile.
-- New York Times
June 12, 2012
Rear Admiral Abbas Zamini, Lieutenant Commander for Technical Affairs of Iran's Navy, announced that Iran is in "the initial phases of manufacturing atomic submarines." Admiral Zamini said that using nuclear power to fuel submarines is one of the civilian applications of this technology.
-- Fars News Agency
May 30, 2012
Computer systems in Iran and elsewhere have been infected with a sophisticated piece of Malware of unknown origin, dubbed Flame or Flamer. The malware appears to have been operating since 2007 and was first detected in last April on computers belonging to the Iranian Oil Ministry and the Iranian National Oil Co. Flame can monitor keystrokes, record audio and screen shots, capture mobile data, steal passwords, intercept network traffic, and communicate wirelessly via a Bluetooth signal. Flame is 20 megabytes in size with 20 different plug-ins that can be swapped in and out for different functionality. According to the anti-virus firm that discovered the maleware (Kaspersky Lab), Flame is 20 times more complex than Stuxnet.
-- Wired via
May 24, 2012
Talks in Baghdad between the P5+1 countries (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States) and Iran ended without a breakthrough, though all parties agreed to meet again in Moscow on June 18th. E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said that the two sides found "some common ground," but that "significant differences remain." P5+1 proposals focused on winning a suspension of enrichment to 20 percent and the export of Iran's current stock of this material, in exchange for spare parts for Iran's civilian aircraft and nuclear safety assistance. Iranian officials called for sanctions easing and a recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium.
-- New York Times
April 15, 2012
Iran and the members of the P5+1 (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States) met in Turkey to discuss Iran's nuclear program, the first such meeting in some 15 months. The meeting was intended to test Iran's willingness to negotiate; no concrete proposals were discussed. The two sides agreed to meet for additional talks in Baghdad on May 23.
-- New York Times
April 15, 2012
A dozen Iranian officials reportedly attended North Korea’s Unha-3 rocket launch. According to an anonymous source, the Iranians were members of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group (SHIG). Government officials from South Korea neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.
-- Yonhap News