News Briefs

September 1, 2012
Iran and North Korea announced the signing of a scientific and technological cooperation agreement in Tehran. Iranian state-owned television reported that the deal would establish joint scientific and technological laboratories, provide for the exchange of scientists, and enable the transfer of technology.
-- Associated Press via the Washington Post
August 30, 2012
The International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) quarterly report on Iran stated that Iran had doubled the number of centrifuges used for uranium enrichment at its underground nuclear facility at Fordow.  The report also noted that recent "extensive activities" at its Parchin complex, including the demolition of buildings and moving of soil, would significantly impact an IAEA investigation of the site if Iran eventually grants it access.
-- Reuters
August 21, 2012
Tanzania and Tuvalu announced that they would deregister Iranian oil tankers owned by the National Iran Tanker Company (NITC) that had been using flags of convenience from the two countries in an effort to evade sanctions.
-- Financial Times
August 21, 2012
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unveiled six defense-related projects. The projects included the fourth-generation Fateh-110 missile, the Bonian-4 marine engine, the Armita space test laboratory, the Aras tactical vehicle, the Vafa mortar-launcher, and the Shahed navigation system.
-- Fars News Agency
August 15, 2012
Four men were arrested in Germany for allegedly breaking the country's arms embargo against Iran and for export violations. One of the men is a German citizen and three have dual German-Iranian citizenship. The suspects are accused of using front companies in Turkey and Azerbaijan to supply Iran with special valves to be used in heavy water reactors. Prosecutors say that the suspects knew the end-use of the valves. The suspects have been identified as Rudolf M, Kianzad Ka, Gholamali Ka, and Hamid Kh. A fifth suspect has not been named. The arrests were made following searches of homes and businesses in Hamburg, Oldenburg, and Weimar.
-- BBC News
August 13, 2012
President Obama signed into law a new sanctions bill targeting Iran for its failure to halt its nuclear program. The new legislation, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012 (H.R. 1905), strengthens existing penalties, targets American companies with foreign subsidiaries that violate U.S. sanctions, and prohibits the support of Iran's oil, insurance, shipping, and financial sectors.
-- Wall Street Journal
August 7, 2012
New York's Department of Financial Services accused Standard Chartered PLC of violating federal money laundering laws by conducting $250 billion worth of business transactions with Iranian banks, including the Central Bank of Iran, Bank Saderat, and Bank Melli.
-- Bloomberg
August 4, 2012
Iran successfully test-fired a fourth generation Fateh-110 missile with a range of over 300 km, according to Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi. The missile was test fired by the Ministry's Aerospace Industries Organization, according to Vahidi. The Fateh-110 is a short-range, solid-propellant ballistic missile.
-- Fars News Agency
July 31, 2012
President Obama signed a new executive order that targets the Iranian energy sector by making sanctionable any sale or purchase of Iranian oil. The sanctions also targeted two financial institutions, China's Bank of Kunlun and Iraq's Elaf Islamic Bank, which the U.S. government said have helped Iran evade earlier sanctions.
-- BBC News
July 23, 2012
The U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a report detailing compliance failures by HSBC that included $19.4 billion in undisclosed transactions involving Iran. The report claimed that the London-based bank concealed transactions with Iran that violated U.S. sanctions, conducted business with terrorists, and permitted money laundering by drug cartels.
-- Bloomberg News