News Briefs

November 28, 2013
The European Union's highest court struck down sanctions against the Iranian energy company Fulmen Group and its chairman, Fereydoun Mahmoudian, ruling that there was no evidence to prove the firm's involvement in nuclear proliferation. However, the court did uphold restrictions on the state-controlled Kala Naft oil equipment company as part of the E.U.'s sanctions against the Iranian energy sector.
-- The Wall Street Journal
November 24, 2013
In an interim deal reached with the P5+1, Iran agrees to suspend uranium enrichment above 5 percent and to limit other parts of its nuclear program, in exchange for temporary relief from some economic sanctions. The agreement is designed as the first step toward a comprehensive accord to be completed in six months.  It bars Iran from installing or operating new centrifuges and requires Iran to convert its current stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium. Tehran will also refrain from installing major components at the Arak heavy water reactor and will allow international inspectors to conduct daily monitoring at nuclear facilities. In exchange, Iran will be given access to up to $7 billion in frozen assets and receive relief from certain trade sanctions, which will be reinstated if Iran breaches the deal's terms.
-- Washington Post
November 18, 2013
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an exiled Iranian opposition group, claims that Iran is completing several secret nuclear sites as part of a parallel, undeclared nuclear program. According to the NCRI, one of these sites is a 600-meter tunnel complex built under a mountain within the Haft-e Tir military facility near the town of Mobarekeh.  Work on the complex, which is reportedly managed by the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, began in 2005 and was recently concluded.
-- Reuters
November 16, 2013
A Hamburg court sentenced a German businessman and three German-Iranians for smuggling nuclear-related items to Iran.  In 2010 and 2011, the four men allegedly procured and shipped parts for Iran's heavy water reactor in Arak, claiming that the goods were destined for Turkey and Azerbaijan.  U.S. intelligence services informed German authorities in 2009 about the planned illegal shipments, but the German Federal Office for Export Control still approved the exports.   Ninety-two valves were sent to Iran by a German businessman identified as Rudolf M. via Iranian middleman Hossein Tanideh, who is currently in jail in Turkey.  Rudolf M. was assisted by three men identified as Gholamali K., Kianzad K., and Hamid K.
-- The Times of Israel
November 14, 2013
The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran's stockpile of 20 percent enriched uranium slightly increased to 196 kilograms and that Iran has installed four additional first-generation IR-1 centrifuges at its Natanz plant since August.  The IAEA also reports Iran has not installed any additional advanced centrifuges and that no major components have been added to the heavy water reactor at Arak, which is currently under construction.
-- Reuters
November 14, 2013
Iran is highly unlikely to be able to deploy an operational intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) within the next decade, according to a report by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). To build an ICBM, Iran could first develop an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) based on its Sejjil-2, a two-stage, solid-fuel system, or on a liquid-fuel system.  According to IISS, Iran is unlikely to produce an operational IRBM within the next five years.  Iran instead could proceed directly to ICBM production, which could be completed by 2019 at the earliest, according to IISS, but would involve significant technical risk.
-- United Press International
November 11, 2013
Iran displayed a new medium-range surface-to-air  missile (SAM), the Sayyad-2, that will soon enter production. According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, the Sayyad-2 uses the airframe of the American RIM-66 (SM-1) naval SAM and is fired from a truck-mounted launcher. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan described the missile as a high-altitude, medium-range SAM that is designed to work with the Talash interception system.
-- Jane's Defense Weekly
November 11, 2013
Iran has agreed to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency "managed access" within the next three months to the Gchine uranium mine and to a heavy water production plant that will supply the Arak reactor. Iran will also provide information on its plans to build additional nuclear facilities. The accord does not involve inspections of the Parchin military facility, where the IAEA suspects Iran may have previously conducted nuclear weaponization research.
-- Washington Post
November 9, 2013
Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 ended in Geneva without a deal.  The parties failed to reach agreement on an initial proposal that would have required Iran to freeze its nuclear program for six months in exchange for some sanctions relief.  There was some disagreement within the P5+1, with France objecting to a deal that would allow construction on a heavy water reactor to continue and that would put an insufficient cap on Iran's continued uranium enrichment.  However, all sides agreed that significant progress had been made in narrowing differences.  The parties will meet again in ten days at the level of political director.
-- New York Times
October 25, 2013
U.S. authorities indicted Reza Olangian of Los Gatos, California on charges of attempting to acquire and transfer surface-to-air missiles to Iran, including to Iran's Ministry of Defense. According to the criminal complaint, Olangian was negotiating a deal in 2012 for a missile system with a confidential source for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, who was posing as a Russian arms broker. Olangian, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was arrested in Tallinn, Estonia in October 2012 and extradited to the United States last March. He is being held in Manhattan pending a November 13 hearing.
-- Associated Press