Iran Focus

London, 21 Sep - On September 19th, British-Iranian dual nationals were advised against all but essential travel to Iran. Britain has warned them that it has only limited powers to support them if they are detained in the country.

A foreign office spokeswoman said, “The Foreign Secretary (Jeremy Hunt) has taken the decision to advise against all but essential travel by UK-Iranian dual nationals to Iran.” Her email statement continued, “British citizens who also hold Iranian nationality face risks if they travel to Iran, as we have seen all too sadly in a number of cases. The Iranian government does not recognize dual nationality, so if a dual national is detained our ability to provide support is extremely limited.”

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Iran Focus

London, 20 Sep - The people of Golpayegan in the Isfahan Province of Iran have been dealing with major problems in terms of agriculture. Their land that used to have wonderful natural springs is now useless. Agricultural activity has all but stopped because the land is barren and is incapable of producing what it once used to.

This is all because of the Ghaed Bassir Petrochemical Plant. The plant produces Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and Styrene Acrylonitrile Copolymer (SAN) resins according to the petrochemical owning company.

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Iran Focus

London, 4 Sep - Because it fears an attack by the United States, Iran has reasons to want a stealth fighter, but its dream is nowhere near to becoming a reality.

Israel and the United States have some of the most capable air arms on the planet. Iran is also competing for regional dominance with multiple Arab states who are equipped with fourth and 4.5-generation F-15, F-16, Typhoon and Rafale jet fighters. But, although Iran’s once state-of-the-art U.S.-built F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat fighters have been kept in operational condition for decades, this falls far short of developing a working stealth fighter.

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Iran Focus

London, 19 Sep - Back in May, when Donald Trump formally announced that he would be pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal, there was a great deal of concern that this would either dramatically increase oil prices and damage the American economy or fail to stop international companies from trading with Iran and allow Iran to restart its nuclear weapons programme without oversight. As of yet, neither has happened.

Instead, Iran’s crude exports are plummeting nearly two months before the sanctions go into effect, as global oil companies – even those based in countries still committed to the deal – are cutting their ties to the country. Despite this, oil prices in the US have not risen as dramatically as was feared, essentially remaining stagnant, largely thanks to the increase in oil production by the US and other oil-producing countries.

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Iran Focus

London, 30 August - The Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister criticised Iran and insisted that the rogue state deserves more economic sanctions on Wednesday, following the mullah’s announcement of plans to close a key shipping channel in the Persian Gulf.

After a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Adel al-Jubeir lashed out against Iran, called the country’s nuclear programme "weak", and advocated for more US sanctions targeting Iran.

Jubeir said: "Regarding the Iranian nuclear programme and the historic deal around the programme, we have said from the very beginning that the programme is weak and does not envision active measures that would prevent Iran from continuing its nuclear programme as soon as possible."

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Iran Focus

London, 18 Sep - When U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be exiting the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and other world powers, he also declared that sanctions would be re-imposed.

The announcement created shockwaves and there were immediate ramifications on the Iranian economy. Since the announcement was made, Iran’s oil exports have dropped by nearly a third.

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Iran Focus

London, 29 August - Iran has filed a suit against the US before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague to stop US sanctions from coming into place, but the US views the suit as “meritless” and will fight against it.

Iran’s claim is based on the 1955 “Treaty of Amity” between the US and Iran, which is a strange treaty to bring up as it has already been before the ICJ several times.

In 2003, when the US and Iran were attacking each other’s oil platforms and shipping industry, the ICJ ruled that the treaty was in force, despite being signed by previous governments, but that the US and Iranian claims based on that treaty were not valid. While during the 1979-80 hostage crisis, the ICJ found in the US’s favour and ordered the return of the American hostages, but ignored the ruling.

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Iran Focus

London, 12 Sep - Iran may be turning towards China for support as US sanctions put pressure on the Gulf nation, because Chinese businesses are eager to build relationships with Iran, as Western businesses leave, and China is one of the biggest importers of Iranian oil, something that will come under U.S. sanctions in November.

A. Tabatabai, an associate political scientist. who recently co-authored a book exploring Iran's ties with China and Russia, said: “[Iran] has had to rely on China to offset the Western-induced isolation, predominantly championed by the United States. I think that what we're going to see is the return of a quasi-monopoly of key sectors of the Iranian economy by the Chinese."

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Iran Focus

London, 28 August - After being alerted by the vigilant researchers at the cybersecurity firm FireEye, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have deleted hundreds of accounts.

The FireEye team followed what looked to the untrained eye like unrelated threads for the last few month. They examined the phone numbers used by these accounts to sign up for Twitter, the emails they used to register domains, and the changes to their account names over time. The Iranian operation began to unravel.

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Iran Focus

London, 12 Sep - Earlier this year, the head of Iran’s Petroleum Engineering and Development Company spoke about the country’s plans to relocate the nation’s main oil export tunnel from Kharg Island in the Persian Gulf to Bandar-e-Jask in the Oman Sea. He said that the Bandar-e-Jask port will be ready during the course of 2021 and that it would have the capacity to hold around 30 million barrels of crude oil. The CEO of the company also said that it would be able to export one million barrels per day (bpd) from there.

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Iran Focus

London, 28 August - Pro-Iranian governments and Hezbollah media outlets are gloating over the news that Donald Trump’s days in office may soon be ending, which reflects entirely how much of a threat he posed to their continued existence and how his policy on Iran constantly thwarted the mullahs.

Trump is going through a significant political crisis, but he has not yet been impeached or otherwise forced out of office. Therefore, any errant speculation by the media of a country or by officials themselves will not help these countries if Trump remains in power until the end of his first term.

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Iran Focus

London, 12 Sep - The United States has issued a new safety warning to airlines about operating in Iranian airspace, citing concerns over military activity following the interception of an unnamed US passenger aircraft by Iranian fighter jets in December 2017.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued its updated guidance to US airlines on Sunday, as the previous year’s advisory expired, and warned about the need for airlines to use caution when travelling in Iranian airspace. They also said that the conflict in Syria could put commercial flights to, from, and through Iran's airspace in danger of military action.

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Iran Focus

London, 27 August - Anyone using social media to incite people to “insult sanctities” or “damage public property” will be punished, warned Iranian Police Commander Hossein Ashtari when he spoke at a ceremony in Yazdel, in Isfahan Province. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Brigadier General said, “People behind social media call-ups should leave the illusion aside that people will follow them.”

“anyone who insults Islamic sanctities or any of the Great Prophets or [12] Shi’ite imams or the Holy Fatima shall be executed if the insult is considered saab ul-nabi (insulting Prophet Muhammad); otherwise, they shall be sentenced to one to five years’ imprisonment,” stipulates Article 513 of Iran’s Islamic Penal Code. Iran’s security and intelligence forces have always aggressively confronted what they call “insulting sanctities” and “blasphemy” in speeches, essays, books, and media.

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Iran Focus

London, 11 Sep - Late last week, market participants said that with US sanctions on Iranian crude going into effect shortly, loadings from Iran are still ongoing, and some shipping companies view it as an opportunity to get hefty premiums.

A chartering executive in Houston said, "Iranian crude loadings for export will continue even after the US sanctions are fully implemented. It will not stop completely. Somehow companies will manage to [ship out].” He added that new companies with no connection to the US banking, insurance, or currency systems might be created to continue Iran-related businesses without contravening US laws.

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Iran Focus

London, 27 August - Tech giant Google announced on Thursday that it had uncovered a "state-sponsored phishing attack" connected to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), which is the first time that the company found a direct link between the state-run media outlet and misinformation attacks from Iran.

A blog post from Google stated that a number of YouTube channels, blogs and Google+ accounts linked to the IRIB that had disguised their relationship whilst sharing English-language political content in the US had been “identified and terminated”.

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Iran Focus

London, 10 Sep - The Iran nuclear deal’s implementation in 2015 lifted many international sanctions on the country. Iranian airlines were happy for the opportunity to renew their fleets. Orders were placed for tens of billions of dollars’ worth of new aircraft.

Contracts were signed with Boeing, Airbus, and ATR. Only a few of the 300 planes that were ordered were delivered, however, when US President Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions. New deliveries dwindled, as did the ability to buy spare parts. As new U.S. sanctions go into effect, Iran’s airlines are forced to patch up their aging planes instead of using newer models.

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Iran Focus

London, 24 August - On Tuesday, at a ceremony in Tehran to mark Defense Industry Day, the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) displayed what it claimed was its first domestically-designed and manufactured fighter jet.

While the unveiling garnered local media attention, observers have pointed out that the twin-seater Kowsar bears a striking resemblance to the F-5 designed by Northrop in the 1950s, which was used by US forces in the 1960s.

The event was attended by President Hassan Rouhani, defense minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami, and several other officials. Rouhani was photographed in the cockpit of the aircraft at the launch.

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Iran Focus

London, 4 Sep - America's allies in Europe are plotting ways to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran as they work to keep the nuclear deal alive without the United States.

With a second round of U.S. sanctions set to take effect in November, European officials are working at cross-purposes with Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign as they try to preserve as much business as possible with Iran. The goal is to persuade Iran's leaders to stay in the deal for a few more years — perhaps long enough for Trump to be replaced and for a new U.S. president to rejoin the deal.

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By Pooya Stone

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter announced on Tuesday that they had removed hundreds of fake accounts used in a covert Iranian influence campaign.

The Iranian propaganda campaign pushed posts that criticised Donald Trump and Israel, while promoting the Iran nuclear deal, according to an investigation by cyber security firm FireEye, who discovered the malign operation.

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#Iran - April 10 - Bojnurd, North Khorasan Province, Northeast

April 10 - Shadegan, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

#IranFloods- Kut Abdullah, Ahvaz, Khuzestan Province, SW #Iran

Seems to be Lorestan Province, western #Iran Horrifying footage of a road literally collapsing

#IranFloods-April 4, Poledokhtar,Lorestan province W #Iran

Iran: Ahvaz Steel Workers on Strike for 5th Day

Iran Sugarcane Workers Protest Unpaid Wages on 10th Day of Strike

Iran. November, 2018. Eleventh Day of Truckers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran. July 24, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran. November, 2018. Protest Gathering of Ahvaz Alloyed Steel National Group Workers

Yasuj, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Torbat-E Jam, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Yazd, Iran. July 23, 2018. New Round of Truck Drivers’ Nationwide Strike

Iran, Tehran – Anti-Regime Chants in Protest, June 25

Iran, Tehran – Major Protest With Chants of ‘We Will Fight, We Will Die, but We’ll Take Back Iran’