Brief on Iran (BOI – 346)


US-iran policy

embassy in baghdad

Rocket Attack on U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Largest in a Decade, General Says
The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 23, 2020

WASHINGTON—The barrage of rockets launched at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Sunday was the largest attack on the capital’s Green Zone since 2010, numbering 21 missiles, the top U.S. military commander for the Middle East said.

Iraq’s president has denounced the rocket firings as a “terrorist act” and said that the targeting of diplomatic missions had tarnished the nation’s reputation.
An after-action review by the U.S. Central Command, however, indicated the attack was much larger than the eight rockets than the Iraqis initially reported.

The rocket attack appears to have been countered by the American C-RAM radar-guided defensive systems that the U.S. has deployed to protect the embassy, American officials say, and other rockets missed their mark.
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iran flagUS and Iran ratchet up military activity as concerns increase ahead of Soleimani killing anniversary
CNN, January 1, 2021

Washington (CNN)The US and Iran charged each other with ratcheting up tensions in the Persian Gulf as concerns about potential conflict build days before Iran marks one year since the US assassinated its most powerful military figure and less than three weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office.

Iran appealed to the UN Security Council on Thursday to stop the US from conducting what it called heightened “military adventurism” in the Gulf and the Oman Sea, including dispatching nuclear-capable bombers to the region, declaring that it did not want conflict but would defend itself if necessary.
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vote usIran behind pro-Trump ‘hit list’ of U.S. election officials, FBI says
The attribution is the second time in two months that federal officials have said Iran imitated threats of right-wing violence to stoke fear around the election.

NBC News, December. 23, 2020

Iran created an online “hit list” of U.S. government officials who helped conduct and certify the 2020 U.S. presidential election, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Titled “Enemies of the people,” the list was framed as a call to arms for supporters of President Donald Trump to take revenge on more than a dozen federal and state officials, as well as employees of the voting equipment manufacturer Dominion Voting Systems.
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foreign commonwealthJoint ministerial statement on the JCPoA: 21 December 2020
GOV.UK, Dec. 21, 2020

Joint statement from ministers representing the governments of China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK, Iran and also the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy:

A Ministerial Meeting of the E3/EU+2 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the participants of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), was held virtually on 21 December 2020. The meeting was chaired by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell.
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iran delaying covid vaccineProminent activist accuses Iran of delaying COVID-19 vaccine purchase
Arab News, Dec. 27, 2020

DUBAI: Iranian activist Maryam Rajavi said the regime has been delaying the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccine, describing it a “criminal policy” against its citizens.

Rajavi, who leads the opposition group People’s Mujahedin of Iran, said President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei have been “evading buying the vaccine, promising to produce their own domestic vaccine.”
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Iran Protests & more

FILES-US-IRAN-DIPLOMACY-NUCLEAR-FORDOWIran Tells IAEA It Plans to Enrich Uranium Up to 20% at Fordow Site
VOA Jan. 1, 2021

VIENNA – Iran has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog it plans to enrich uranium to 20% purity, a level it achieved before its 2015 accord, at its Fordow site buried inside a mountain, the agency said Friday.

The move is the latest of several recent announcements by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency that it plans to further breach the deal, which it started violating in 2019 in retaliation for Washington’s withdrawal from the agreement and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
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silent executionsIran: Seven Silent Executions at the End of 2020
Iran Focus, Jan 2, 2021

In the final days of 2020, Iranian authorities silently executed at least seven prisoners at Mashhad’s Vakil-Abad Prison, in northeastern Iran, and Ahvaz’s Sepidar Prison, in the southwest of the country.

Human rights groups acknowledged that the government simultaneously implemented death penalties for four prisoners in Sepidar Prison on Thursday, December 24. One of the executed prisoners was identified as Jafar Zabi. However, there is no information about the three others.
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