08202014Wed

AFP: New York state's banking regulator hit Standard Chartered Bank with a $300 million fine and restrictions on its dollar-clearing business Tuesday for not detecting possible money laundering. The new punishment came two years after the bank paid US regulators $667 million to settle charges it violated US sanctions by handling thousands of money transactions involving Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Sudan.

Newsmax: Russia and Iran appear to be working together to get around Washington's stricter sanctions by joining forces in an oil deal that doesn't appear to make much financial sense. Earlier this month, Russian Energy Minister and his counterpart in Tehran signed a five-year memorandum of understanding in Moscow, which includes helping Iran ship crude oil even into the oil-saturated Russian market, reports Reuters.

Bloomberg: Iran plans to finish developing its giant South Pars gas field within three years, regardless of the sanctions on its economy, and is rescheduling a campaign to woo U.S. and European oil companies with investor contracts. Iran, holder of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, expects to expand production at the Persian Gulf deposit that it shares with Qatar.

Bloomberg: Chennai Petroleum Corp. (MRL), a unit of India’s largest refiner, plans to resume crude imports from Iran after a two-year gap as insurers return to the market. “This year, we plan to restart Iran oil purchases,” Managing Director S. Venkataramana said in a phone interview. “We are already talking to the re-insurers for this, and we are getting positive responses so far.”

Wall Street Journal: Iran is once again the country posing the largest money-laundering risk, taking the spot back from Afghanistan in the latest edition of the Basel AML Index. The 2014 edition of the index, published by the Basel Institute on Governance, covers more than 160 countries, and said it is the only country-level rating of money laundering and terrorist financing risk by a nonprofit. 

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Act of Cowardice

Iran's ruling tyrants have executed yet another political prisoner in flagrant violation of international law.  READ MORE

The rush to Tehran amidst rise in executions

World leaders should halt these visits and link any deal with Iran to its human rights record.  READ MORE

Arming a dictator

What if President Obama ordered the sale of arms to Syrian dictator to massacre his opponents? READ MORE

Slaughter intensifies under Rouhani

231 executions have occurred since the presidential election in June which brought to power Hassan Rouhani. READ MORE

Silence is not the answer

Iran: Bloody crackdown targeting dissidents aims at terrorizing the people into submission. READ MORE

Iran’s Murder Machine

The wheels of Iran's Murder Machine turn in tandem with its nuclear machine. READ MORE

What now?

The West must drop the dangerous pretence that talking to a regime not interested in listening constitutes the winning strategy. READ MORE

A facelift

This cosmetic facelift should not dupe the West into thinking that there are fresh prospects for a nuclear deal. READ MORE

An Act of Cowardice

The terrorist attack against Iranian exiles at Camp Liberty, Iraq, is another sign of Iranian regime's weakness. READ MORE

Much atalk about nothing

In Istanbul they merely agreed to talk about talking later in May in Baghdad, of all places. READ MORE

An unholy alliance

The brutal state-imposed bloodbath in Syria deserves uncompromising reproach. READ MORE

Iran cries for freedom

The clerical regime in Iran has predictably unleashed another wave of terror against the citizenry since the outburst of the latest string of mass protests beginning on 14 February. READ MORE

A new Iran policy

The latest round of nuclear talks had an all-too-familiar result: more time for Tehran and less time for the international community to prevent a nuclear-armed theocracy. READ MORE

Murder overlooked

What would the rest of us do if a mad gunman was in our midst, systematically murdering our fellow human beings in front of our eyes? The responsible amongst us would not look the other way, because that would serve as a source of encouragement for the murderers to carry on with their heinous acts unchecked. READ MORE

Standing up to Iran's executioners

The Iranian regime's malicious noose has yet again taken an innocent life. Political prisoner Ali Saremi, 63, was hanged in Tehran's infamous Evin prison after a lifetime of peacefully espousing human rights and democracy. READ MORE