News Briefs

December 16, 2011
Russia's customs agency seized 18 pieces of radioactive metal at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport from the luggage of an Iranian passenger bound for Tehran. The pieces of metal, packed in steel pencil cases, contained large quantities of a radioactive isotope of Sodium-22. Although its intended use was unknown, experts noted that the material, while unsuitable for use in a nuclear weapon or dirty bomb, could be used as a calibration source for radiation instrumentation.
-- Associated Press
December 13, 2011
At least seven people were killed in an explosion at the Ghadir steel mill in Yazd, possibly including North Korean nuclear arms experts. The facility was inaugurated about six months ago by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
-- Haaretz
December 8, 2011
Turkey has intercepted materials destined for Iran that could have been used in Iran’s nuclear program, according to Turkey's ambassador to the United States. Turkey has not specified the materials seized, their country of origin, or when the event occurred.
-- Christian Science Monitor
December 7, 2011
Iranian officials claimed that a stealth drone operated by the C.I.A. crashed inside Iranian territory, nearly 140 miles from the Afghan border. The RQ-170 Sentinel drone was reportedly part of a U.S. effort to collect intelligence on Iran's suspected nuclear sites. U.S. officials have only confirmed that a reconnaissance drone was lost while on a mission in western Afghanistan.
-- New York Times
December 1, 2011
The European Union imposed sanctions on 180 new Iranian entities, including members of the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, businesses associated with the Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line, and entities directly involved in Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions bar these entities from doing businesses with the European Union.
-- Washington Post
November 29, 2011
A group of demonstrators led by the Basij volunteer militia stormed the British Embassy and an Embassy residential compound in Tehran and pillaged both sites. Iranian security forces failed to intervene immediately.
-- Washington Post
November 28, 2011
Three Ghadir submarines have entered Iran's naval fleet. According to Iran, the vessel is able to launch torpedoes and performs well in shallow waters. Iran's fleet already has 11 Ghadir submarines in service.
-- Press TV
November 21, 2011
The United States, Britain, and Canada announced coordinated sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and commercial banks, aimed at shutting off Iran's access to foreign banks and credit. The United States designated Iran's entire banking sector as a "primary money laundering concern." The United States also imposed sanctions on companies supporting Iran's nuclear activities as well as on Iran's petrochemical and oil sectors.
-- New York Times
November 20, 2011
U.S. officials are investigating whether chemical weapon-capable artillery shells found in Libya were provided by Iran. The shells, which Libya filled with mustard gas, were found at two different sites in central Libya. Iran has denied supplying the shells to Libya.
-- Washington Post
November 18, 2011
Switzerland sanctioned 116 Iranian entities (five individuals and 111 organizations) in response to mounting concern over Iran's nuclear program. The sanctions take effect immediately.
-- Reuters