Brief on Iran (BOI – 348)

by OIAC

iran nuclear programIran calls on UN watchdog to avoid publicizing ‘unnecessary’ nuclear program information
The Hill, January 17, 2021

Iran called on the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog to avoid publicizing “unnecessary” nuclear program information on Sunday after the agency’s report last week said the country was taking steps to produce uranium metal.

Iranian state TV reported the message to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), citing a statement from Iran’s nuclear department that said publishing that information could lead to misunderstandings.

“It is expected the international atomic energy agency avoid providing unnecessary details and prevent paving ground for misunderstanding” in the international community, the statement said, according to The Associated Press.
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diplomacy with tehranIran jails U.S. businessman, possibly jeopardizing Biden’s plans for diplomacy with Tehran
The imprisonment of a fourth American could derail a bid by the Biden administration to revive a nuclear agreement with Iran.
NBC News, January 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — Only weeks after the U.S. election and three days after an Iranian nuclear scientist was assassinated, Iranian authorities convicted a U.S. businessman on spying charges, a family friend said.

The case threatens to complicate plans by the next administration to pursue diplomacy with Iran, as President-elect Joe Biden has said he would be open to easing sanctions on Tehran if the regime returned to compliance with a 2015 nuclear agreement.

The man, Emad Shargi, 56, who is Iranian American, was summoned to a Tehran court Nov. 30 and told that he had been convicted of espionage without a trial and sentenced to 10 years, a family friend said.
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Iranian Guard drones in drill mirror those in Saudi attacks
AP, January 15, 2021

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard conducted a drill Friday that saw “suicide drones” crash into targets and explode, triangle-shaped aircraft that strongly resembled those used in a 2019 attack in Saudi Arabia that temporarily cut the kingdom’s oil production by half.

Iran has long denied launching the attack on the sites of Abqaiq and Khurais while Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels initially claimed the assault.

However, the United States, Saudi Arabia and U.N. experts believe the drones were Iranian, likely launched amid an escalating series of incidents stemming from President Donald Trump’s unilateral withdrew from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
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Iran Protests & more

ukrain plane victims‘Frozen in time’: A year after Iran downed Ukrainian plane, victims’ families still hunt for justice
The Washington Post, January 17, 2021

KYIV, Ukraine — In the year since their loved ones died in the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 in Iran, they’ve learned the nuances of aviation law. They’ve scanned Iranian news sites daily for any clues on why the passenger plane was shot down just minutes after takeoff from Tehran.
They’ve consoled each other. They also shared their anger.
“It’s like we’re frozen in time. We’re stuck,” said Navaz Ebrahim, whose newlywed sister and brother-in-law were among the 176 killed Jan. 8, 2020, when missiles struck the plane bound for Kyiv.
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iranian dissidentsFamily of Iranian Dissident Jailed Since 2001 Appeals for Help to Secure Parole
VOA, January 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – The family of a jailed Iranian dissident who is marking 20 years in Iran’s prison system without a single day of leave is appealing for international help in securing his parole from a life sentence for supporting an exiled opposition group.

Saeed Masouri, who is in his mid-50s, has been imprisoned in Iran since Jan. 8, 2001, for being a supporter of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, also known as the MEK. The group is led by France-based activist Maryam Rajavi and advocates the overthrow of Iran’s ruling Islamist clerics.
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OIAC Webinar Series, Part 2 – Analysis by OIAC’s Young Professionals and Students, December 15, 2020

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