Iran (July 19, 2020)

Iran (July 19, 2020)



A pragmatic partnership: Why China and Iran try to collaborate

By Ellie Geranmayeh

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR)

July 17, 2020

„Iran’s rumoured talks with China on a partnership agreement could have significant economic benefits and provide it with valuable geopolitical bargaining chips. […]“

„[…] Both Iran and China stand to gain from a formal and long-term framework that organises their bilateral relations. While an overarching agreement will almost certainly make their partnership stronger, it is highly unlikely to develop into a full strategic alliance. Clearly, such a move would face strong resistance from within Iran. China – which has yet to substantively comment on the deal – will also need to carefully balance deepened relations with Iran against the concerns of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – which have in recent years become important economic partners in the Middle East. And it is unclear how far China’s commercial and banking sectors will be willing to engage with Iran under the threat of US sanctions. Moreover, the extent to which Beijing and Tehran develop this partnership will be tied to the fate of their respective relations with Washington.“


China & Iran growing Partnership, Is India losing out here?

By Rudroneel Ghosh

Belt & Road News

July 18, 2020

China & Iran growing Partnership, Is India losing out here?

„India seems to be headed for some rough terrain in its relationship with Iran with a leaked draft of the ‘Comprehensive Plan for Cooperation between Iran and China’ highlighting a deep strategic partnership in the works between Tehran and Beijing. […]“


To understand the China-Iran deal, forget the hype and look at the context

By Jacopo Scita

July, 2020

To understand the China-Iran deal, forget the hype and look at the context

„The news of a 25-year comprehensive cooperation agreement secretly signed between the Iranian government and China has been the hot topic of the last few weeks, generating a considerable amount of speculation, exaggeration, and politically biased interpretation. In reality, the accord does not seem to have the potential to revolutionize the path of China-Iran relations, which has been quite consistent since 1979. Much of the hype brewed around the agreement has been pushed by political figures and organizations that have agendas to promote. The former President Ahmadinejad, rallying his base in the Gilan province, pointed to the supposed secrecy of the accord, predicting its rejection by the Iranian nation. From his exile in Washington, Reza Pahlavi denounced the “shameful, 25-year treaty with China that plunders our natural resources and places foreign soldiers on our soil.” The son of Shah mentioned the “stationing” of Chinese troops in Iran as part of the agreement, implicitly quoting a Petroleum Economist’s piece published in September 2019, which I spent some time to debunk. Interestingly, the same author penned another piece published by OilPrice on July 6, 2020, quoting the same enormous figures presented last year and highlighting a “new military element with enormous global security implications” added to the 25-year agreement. […]“


China’s Persian Gulf strategy: Keep Tehran and Riyadh content

By Julia Gurol and Jacopo Scita

January 24, 2020

China’s Persian Gulf strategy: Keep Tehran and Riyadh content

„[…] In general, China-Gulf relations are evolving within a context that is characterized by global and regional geopolitical power transitions. For a long time, political-security arrangements in the Persian Gulf region had been based on a “balance of power” among countries such as Iran and the United States.  Moreover, there have been major changes in international energy markets and a deteriorating security situation in the region that has once more become subject to geopolitical tensions. In order to understand the rationale and implications of China’s stance towards the Persian Gulf countries as well as the scope and degree of the Gulf monarchies’ reaction to China’s deepening ties with Iran, it is necessary to dive into each of these dimensions. […]“


Defying U.S., China and Iran Near Trade and Military Partnership

The investment and security pact would vastly extend China’s influence in the Middle East, throwing Iran an economic lifeline and creating new flash points with the United States.

By Farnaz Fassihi and Steven Lee Myers

Published July 11, 2020

Updated July 16, 2020

„[…] The partnership, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement obtained by The New York Times, would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. The document also describes deepening military cooperation, potentially giving China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the United States for decades. It calls for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing — all to fight “the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes.” […]“


Trump Authorized CIA To Wage Cyberwar On Iran And Others

By Moon of Alabama

July 15, 2020

„[…] There is a rather intense CIA program being run against Iran. Trump has not only appointed the aggressive Michael D’Andrea, the ‚Prince of Darkness‘, to head the CIA’s Iran Mission Center but he gave the CIA wide ranging new powers to run cyber attacks against the country […]“


Explosion at Natanz: Why sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program could backfire

By Mahsa Rouhi

Bulletin of the Atmoic Scientists

July 15, 2020

Explosion at Natanz: Why sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program could backfire

„[…] Sabotage attacks can at best delay—but not halt—Iran’s nuclear program. Worse, they could tip the political balance in favor of going for broke. The US intelligence community judges that whether or not Iran acquires a nuclear weapon is a matter of political will. If anything, it would seem Iran’s will is growing. Natanz is a declared site that is subject to frequent IAEA inspections. The destruction of the advanced centrifuge assembly workshop may tarnish Iran’s trust for inspections and push it to harden its sensitive sites or advance its nuclear program covertly. Acts of sabotage jeopardize transparency—and the prospect of keeping the nuclear deal alive and improving upon it in any future nuclear agreement. Seeking short-term tactical gains that undermine trust and hinder the long-term strategic goal of containing Iran’s nuclear program is dangerous and shortsighted.  Diplomacy is the best sustainable and effective means of reaching a solution.“


Saving the Iran Nuclear Deal

By Josep Borrell

July 14, 2020

„[…] I firmly believe that the JCPOA has become a key component of the global non-proliferation architecture, which is why I continue to call for all parties to remain committed to its full implementation. Iran, for its part, must return to full compliance with its nuclear obligations; but it also needs to be able to reap the economic benefits envisioned in the agreement. Having already established measures to protect our companies against extraterritorial US sanctions, we in Europe can do more to satisfy Iranian expectations for legitimate trade. […]“


Escalation of Low-Intensity Conflict With Iran Raises Stakes for Gulf States

Some Gulf states may take satisfaction in Iran’s setbacks, but they are vulnerable to potential retaliation.

By Hussein Ibish

The Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (AGSIW)

July 17, 2020

Escalation of Low-Intensity Conflict With Iran Raises Stakes for Gulf States

„A series of explosions, fires, and other calamities at military, commercial, and, arguably, dual-use facilities throughout Iran in recent weeks have left little doubt that outside forces are engaged in a sustained and coordinated series of low-intensity attacks designed to weaken, and possibly provoke, Iran. The most likely culprits are Israel and the United States, and many analysts have speculated about a possible coordinated initiative against Iran, although that has not been confirmed. While Gulf Arab countries may find a degree of satisfaction at an adversary’s setbacks, this reaction must be combined with anxiety about the real potential they could get caught in the crossfire should Iran feel the need to retaliate. […]“


Burning Ships in Iran Add to String of Dozens of Explosions and Fires

Iranian officials say that some of the explosions at factories and military facilities, and some forest fires, may have been sabotage but blamed weather and accidents for the others.

By Farnaz Fassihi

July 15, 2020

„A large fire broke out at a shipyard in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr on Wednesday, burning seven ships and sending plumes of black smoke billowing above the city skyline, according to videos and Iranian media reports. The fire followed dozens of recent fires and explosions across Iran’s forests, factories and military and nuclear facilities in the past three months that have rattled ordinary Iranians. Iranian officials have said that some of the episodes may have been acts of sabotage but blamed weather, accidents and equipment malfunctions for the others. […]“


Has Israel been sabotaging Iran? Here’s what we know.

Four reasons Israel might be waging its shadow war more overtly — which could backfire.

By Dalia Dassa Kaye

July 15, 2020

„Over the last few weeks, Iran has been hit by a series of unusual explosions at such sensitive facilities as its nuclear enrichment complex, factories and gas pipelines. Many analysts and diplomats suspect sabotage by Israel, the United States or some other outside force. While reliable information from within Iran is difficult to come by, and conflicting accounts are emerging, at least two of the incidents occurred at sites linked to Iran’s missile and nuclear programs. The New York Times quoted a “Middle Eastern intelligence official” claiming that Israel planted a bomb at the Natanz nuclear facility in the building where Iran had resumed work on advanced centrifuges. The Times of Israel reported that the “official” may be Mossad head Yossi Cohen. […]“


Iranian Space Capabilities and Support to Military Operations

Operational Environment & Threat Analysis, Red Diamond

Volume 11, Issue 1

July 2020

„This issue of Red Diamond features a variety of articles focused on Iran. While our readers typically expect a tactical-level focus from our articles, this issue expands that context to a more strategic level as a result of real-time events at the time of production, and the expertise of our featured guest authors. Understanding why Iran behaves the way it does will facilitate faithful emulation of Iranian analogs in training scenario development and execution. […]“


In Rare Surge of Online Unity, Iranians Call for Halt to Executions

Actors, scholars, star athletes and millions of others called for three young protesters’ lives to be spared. “I’m next, you’re next, we’re next,” one meme read.

By Farnaz Fassihi

July 15, 2020

„Iranians from all walks of life — teachers, doctors, designers, cooks, actors, directors, artists, homemakers, bloggers — have taken to social media with a message for the government: Stop the executions. The online campaign, which took place on Tuesday and which analysts said was remarkable for its scope and the breadth of its support, was in response to the judiciary’s announcement earlier in the day that it had upheld the death sentences of three young men who joined antigovernment protests in November. […]“


Open Letter to the Negotiators for Albania’s Accession to the EU

By Anne Khodabandeh

July 17, 2020

Open Letter to the Negotiators for Albania’s Accession to the EU

„[…] The recent arrest of 5 senior officials of Albania’s Regional Border and Migration Directorate on charges of people smuggling and illegal assistance to cross the borders, after an investigation into illegal trafficking and abuse of migrant documentation, illustrates the depth of Albania’s problems. Coordination with the CIA in these arrests by Director General of the State Police, Ardi Veliu also reminds us that one of Albania’s difficulties has been to emerge in any meaningful way from under the control of the US as a NATO state. These arrests have inadvertently exposed another significant, but easily ignored aspect to US influence – the presence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult), an Iranian terrorist group which operates as a mind control cult. The MEK in Albania is protected by the Trump administration and claims CIA links. Albania’s government has allowed the MEK unprecedented freedom; freedom that former benefactor Saddam Hussein never granted. Indeed, the tolerance of and collusion with the MEK’s maverick, often criminal behaviour acts like a litmus test for how corrupt various Albanian institutions are. […]“


Iran steel production grew in June despite global slump

By Press TV

July 18, 2020

„[…] A report by the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) published on Saturday showed that total steel output in the country had surged in the three-month period ending June 20 to top 7.135 million metric tons. The surge came despite the 8.7 percent fall reported in the global production of the metal at the end of May which had come mainly as a result of spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. […]“


Iran Sends Ukrainian Jetliner’s Black Box to Paris

By IFP Editorial Staff

July 18, 2020

„An Iranian deputy foreign minister says the flight recorder of a Ukrainian passenger plane shot down by mistake near Tehran in January has been taken to France for analysis. Speaking to Etemad daily on Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Mohsen Baharvand said the black box of the Ukrainian airplane was taken to Paris on Friday by the officials from Iran Civil Aviation Organization and an Iranian judge. […]“



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