03212019Thu

Weapons Seized by U.S. Navy, inspected by UN Experts to Determine Iran Involvement

Iran Focus

London, 28 Oct - More than 2,500 AK-47 rifles and other guns that were seized by the crew of a U.S. destroyer off the coast of Yemen are being examined by UN inspectors to determine whether the weapons originated in Iran or Somalia.

The UN inspectors were invited on board by US authorities on October 25th. They are there to determine whether or not the weapons provide proof that Iran is smuggling arms to allied Shi'ite Houthi rebels, which Iran denies. But the United Nations has repeatedly charged Iran with illegally smuggling weapons to the Houthis, in violation of UN resolutions.

US sanctions on Iran-backed Hezbollah come into force

Iran Focus

London, 26 Oct - Donald Trump promised that all US sanctions against Iran will be in place on November 5, as he signed a bill that would impose strict sanctions on Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah.

Trump said: " On November 5th, all US sanctions against Iran lifted by the nuclear deal will be back in full force, every sanction that we had on their originally, which would have if they would have just left it a little bit longer, would have been so much easier than what we've been through over the last number of years."

US and Gulf states sanction Iranians for Taliban support

Iran Focus

London, 24 Oct - The US and six Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, have increased pressure on Afghanistan's Taliban insurgency on Tuesday by designating eight people, including two Iranians linked to Tehran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds force, for support of the Taliban. The US-Arab coalition has imposed sanctions against the terrorist supporters.

The Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC) – a joint US-Gulf initiative to contain and counteract Iran’s support of terrorists in the Middle East and beyond – said that this highlighted Iran’s “regionally destabilizing behaviour” and justified the “U.S. maximum pressure campaign against Iran”. The TFTC was created in 2017 after Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia.

IRGC and Quds Commanders

Iran Focus

London, 25 Oct - On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced that it and Bahrain had added Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, as a whole, and three senior officers of its Quds Force to its terror watch lists.

The Saudi state news agency SPA reported that Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and operative Hamed Abdollahi and Abdul Reza Shahlai were specifically named on the Saudi Arabian list of people and organizations suspected of involvement in terrorism, citing a statement from the state’s security agency.

The IRGC and three men listed have provided financial or material support to Iranian terrorist activities, according to Saudi Arabia.

An al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, al-Shabaab

Iran Focus

London, 22 Oct - An al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, al-Shabaab, has been dealing in illegal charcoal shipments, and according to a report cited by Agence France-Presse and Reuters on October 12th, has been assisted in this endeavor by Iran.

Somali charcoal imports were banned by the UN in 2012. Despite UN sanctions, Somalia produced around 3.6 million bags of charcoal for export last year, generating about $7.5 million for the terrorist organization. United Nations Security Council Monitors said that Iran “has been a weak link in implementation” of the UN’s charcoal ban.

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