News Briefs

June 3, 2013
President Obama signed an executive order approving greater sanctions on Iran's currency, the rial, and, for the first time, its automotive industry. 
-- The Hill
May 3, 2013
A Pentagon report stated that North Korea continues to supply arms to Myanmar, Iran, and Syria, effectively bypassing U.N. and U.S. sanctions. North Korea employed a worldwide network to facilitate arms transfers that involved ballistic missiles and missile technology.  According to the report, North Korea was able to avoid sanctions by falsifying end-user certificates, mislabeling crates, using front companies and intermediaries, and using air cargo for deliveries of high value exports.
-- Yonhap News
May 2, 2013
According to a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report, Iran is expanding its security agreements with countries in Latin America and Africa and its use of surrogates, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi Shia groups, and the Taliban.  The report says that "with sufficient foreign assistance" Iran could flight test an intercontinental ballistic missile by 2015 but concludes that Iran's military doctrine is "defensive."  The report also reiterates a 2007 U.S. intelligence community finding that Iran is developing the "technological capabilities" to build nuclear weapons, but has not made a decision to build such weapons.
-- Washington Free Beacon
April 29, 2013
Four men were charged in Hamburg, Germany for exporting dual-use equipment to Iran.  From 2010 to 2011, the four men, referred to in court documents only as Kianzad Ka., Gholamali Ka., Hamid Kh., and Rudolf M., shipped German and Indian-origin valves that can be used in heavy water reactors to Iran, via several Asian countries.  According to the charges, some of the valves were manufactured by a company in the German state of Thuringia owned by Rudolf M.
-- Agence France-Presse
April 11, 2013
The U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted Iranian businessman Babak Zanjani, Malaysia's First Islamic Bank, and a network of companies for money laundering and attempting to evade international sanctions on Iran's oil industry. Zanjani is based in the United Arab Emirates and is chairman of the Sorinet Group. The Treasury Department said Zanjani, his companies, and First Islamic Bank moved billions of dollars on behalf of the Iranian government, including the National Iranian Oil Company and an engineering unit of the Revolutionary Guards. Also blacklisted was Swiss-based Nafitran Intertrade Company, which the Treasury Department said was owned or controlled by the National Iranian Oil Company.
-- Reuters
April 9, 2013
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the annual National Day of Nuclear Technology by inaugurating three new nuclear projects in Yazd Province. Ahmadinejad presided over the launch of a uranium mine in Saghand, a yellow cake manufacturing factory in Ardakan (the Shahid Reza'inezhad Complex), and an accelerator project in Taft.
-- Islamic Republic of Iran News Network Television
April 6, 2013
An April round of negotiations in Almaty, Kazakhstan, over Iran's nuclear program ended in failure. "It became clear that our positions remain far apart," said chief negotiator Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. In the meetings, the P5+1 negotiating partners sought reductions of Iran's stock of 20 percent enriched uranium and suspension of some enrichment activities. No new talks were scheduled.
-- Reuters
April 2, 2013
The Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, expressed concern that Iran may be continuing to secretly work on a nuclear weapon. According to Amano, "we do not know for sure, but we have information indicating that Iran was engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices in the past and now."
-- Associated Press
March 14, 2013
The Iranian Army test-fired the Naze'at-10 and the Fajr-5 during military exercises.  The Fajr-5 is an artillery rocket with a range of 75 km.  The Naze'at-10 is a medium range ballistic missile.
-- Fars News Agency
March 14, 2013
The United States blacklisted a Greek businessman, Dimitri Cambis, and fourteen of his companies, charging that they conspired with Iran to evade oil sanctions by acquiring petroleum tankers on Iran's behalf. Participants in the scheme included the National Iranian Oil Company and the National Iranian Tanker Company, both of which already have been sanctioned by the United States.
-- New York Times