The AP Interview: UN nuke chief says view of Iran blurred
The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog has warned that the restrictions faced by his inspectors in Iran threaten to give the world only a “very blurred image” of Tehran’s program as it enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.
Satellite images, expert suggest Iranian space launch coming
Iran appears to be preparing for a space launch as negotiations continue in Vienna over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers, according to an expert and satellite images. The likely blast off at Iran's Imam Khomeini Spaceport comes as Iranian state media has offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches in the works for the Islamic Republic's civilian space program, which has been beset by a series of failed launches. Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard runs its own parallel program that successfully put a satellite into orbit last year. Conducting a launch amid the Vienna talks fits the hard-line posture struck by Tehran's negotiators, who already described six previous rounds of diplomacy as a “draft,” exasperating Western nations.news.yahoo.com
UN nuclear watchdog: Iran producing more uranium metal
Iran Nuclear FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2015, file photo released by the Iranian President's Office, President Hassan Rouhani visits the Bushehr nuclear power plant just outside of Bushehr, Iran. The UN's nuclear watchdog said, Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, Iran continues to produce more uranium metal, which can be used in the production of a nuclear bomb, in a move that further complicates the possibility of reviving a landmark 2015 deal with world powers on its nuclear program. Grossi had previously reported in February that his inspectors had confirmed that a small amount of uranium metal, 3.6 grams, had been produced at Iran’s Isfahan plant. The production of uranium metal is prohibited by the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, which promises Iran economic incentives in exchange for limits on its nuclear program, and is meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb. Iran insists it is not interested in developing a bomb, and that the uranium metal is for its civilian nuclear program.wftv.com
UN nuclear watchdog: Iran producing more uranium metal
The UN's nuclear watchdog says Iran continues to produce uranium metal, which can be used in the production of a nuclear bomb, in a move that further complicates the possibility of reviving a landmark 2015 deal with world powers on Iran's nuclear program.
Outgoing Iran president says government not always truthful
“What we told people was not contrary to reality, but we did not tell part of the truth to people,” Rouhani said at his last Cabinet meeting as president. He pointed to the country's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. However, that deal now sits in tatters after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord in May 2018. Rouhani blamed many of Iran's current problems on Trump's decision, which saw the value of the Islamic Republic's rial currency crash. The president said that while Iran had plans to upgrade its armed forces after the expiration of a U.N. arms embargo in October 2020, it couldn't due to its financial woes.wftv.com
Outgoing Iran president says government not always truthful
Iran's outgoing president on Sunday acknowledged his nation at times “did not tell part of the truth” to its people during his eight-year tenure, as he prepares to leave office with his signature nuclear deal with world powers in tatters and tensions high with the West. President Hassan Rouhani's comments, aired on state television, come as officials in his government have appeared rudderless in recent months amid a series of crises ranging from the coronavirus pandemic to parching droughts fueling public protests. After appearing just days earlier to be lectured by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei about their failures in the nuclear negotiations, Rouhani's remarks appeared aimed at acknowledging the problems his government faced in its waning hours.news.yahoo.com
Germany signals growing impatience with Iran on nuclear deal
Iran Nuclear In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei checks the time in farewell meeting with outgoing President Hassan Rouhani's administration in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Iran’s supreme leader called on Wednesday the U.S. “stubborn” installed nuclear talks in Vienna for discussing Tehran’s missiles and regional influence. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP) (Uncredited)BERLIN — (AP) — Germany's foreign minister is signaling growing impatience with Iran, saying that a revival of the country's frayed nuclear accord with world powers won't be possible “forever," a German magazine reported Friday. President Donald Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018, but successor Joe Biden has said the U.S. wants to return. The accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.wftv.com
Iran's supreme leader criticizes US as nuclear talks stalled
TEHRAN, Iran — (AP) — Iran's supreme leader on Wednesday called the U.S. “stubborn” in stalled nuclear talks in Vienna for discussing Tehran’s missiles and regional influence. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks come as his hard-line protege, President-elect Ebrahim Raisi, is posed to be sworn in next week as the head of the country’s civilian government and as talks on reviving the deal remain stalled in Vienna. This experience is a distrust of the West,” Khamenei said in remarks broadcast by state television. “In this government, it was shown up that trust in the West does not work.”He added: “Westerners do not help us, they hit wherever they can." This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.wftv.com
Iran bypasses Hormuz Strait to export crude oil
Iran Thursday began exporting crude oil for the first time in the Gulf of Oman, bypassing the strategic Strait of Hormuz. During a ceremony marking the inauguration of the project, President Hassan Rouhani called the plan “strategic.” Washington placed sanctions on Tehran after former U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.news.yahoo.com
Iran's president warns weapons-grade enrichment possible
Iran Nuclear In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. The Iran's outgoing president on Wednesday warned his country could enrich uranium at weapons-grade levels of 90% if it chose, though it still wanted to save its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP) (Uncredited)TEHRAN, Iran — (AP) — Iran's outgoing president on Wednesday warned his country could enrich uranium at weapons-grade levels of 90% if it chose, though it still wanted to save its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. It now enriches a small amount of uranium up to 60%, a short step from weapons-grade levels. Rouhani also complained that hard-liners outside of his relatively moderate government blocked its efforts to reach a deal in Vienna.wftv.com
Iran's president warns weapons-grade enrichment possible
Iran's outgoing president on Wednesday warned his country could enrich uranium at weapons-grade levels of 90% if it chose, though it still wanted to save its tattered nuclear deal with world powers. President Hassan Rouhani's comments, carried by the state-run IRNA news agency, came as he also criticized Iran's wider theocracy for not allowing his government to reach a deal soon to restore the 2015 atomic accord.news.yahoo.com
Major blackouts in Iran prompt rare apology from president
Iran’s outgoing president offered a rare apology Tuesday for the country’s most severe summer power outages in recent memory, as blackouts cripple businesses and darken homes for hours a day. In a government meeting broadcast live on state TV, President Hassan Rouhani acknowledged that chronic power outages over the past week have caused Iranians “plenty of pain” and expressed contrition in an unusually personal speech. In recent days, the regular blackouts have spread chaos and confusion on the streets of the capital, Tehran, and other cities, knocking out traffic lights, shutting factories, disrupting telecommunications and affecting metro systems.news.yahoo.com
Iran president warns of possible new wave of COVID cases
President Rouhani said Saturday that Iran may face another wave of coronavirus infections, as health officials warned of the spread of the more infectious delta variant of the virus. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP) (Uncredited)TEHRAN, Iran — (AP) — President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday that Iran may face another wave of coronavirus infections, as health officials warned of the spread of the more infectious delta variant of the virus. Iran remains among the countries hardest hit by the virus in the world and the worst hit in the Middle East. In April, Iran experienced its fourth wave of the disease, with officials reporting the highest new coronavirus case numbers — more than 25,000 a day. Under COVAX rules, Iran could order enough doses to vaccinate half of its 80 million plus people.wftv.com
Iran president warns of possible new wave of COVID cases
President Hassan Rouhani said Saturday that Iran may face another wave of coronavirus infections, as health officials warned of the spread of the more infectious delta variant of the virus. Rouhani, speaking at a national coronavirus task force meeting, urged people to postpone their summer travels and gatherings to prevent the “spread of the virus, particularly its Indian variant.” Iran has reported cases of the delta variant in a number of cities and towns.news.yahoo.com
Iran Elects Hardline Cleric Linked to Mass Killings as President
Atta Kenare/AFP via GettyAn ultraconservative cleric linked to the mass execution of political prisoners has been elected Iran’s new president. Ebrahim Raisi, the country’s judiciary chief who has been rumored to be a potential successor to the Ayatollah, emerged victorious in a controversial election in which critics say moderate candidates were purged. Turnout was low—48 percent, according to election officials—as many voters saw the election of a hardliner as a foregone conclusion. Raisi, whonews.yahoo.com
Apathy greets Iran presidential vote dominated by hard-liner
Iran Elections Voters cast their ballots for the presidential elections at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 18, 2021. As night fell, turnout appeared far lower than in Iran’s last presidential election in 2017. Former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, also blocked from running, said on social media he'd boycott the vote. Voter apathy also has been fed by the devastated state of the economy and subdued campaigning amid months of surging coronavirus cases. There are more than 59 million eligible voters in Iran, a nation of over 80 million people.wftv.com
In Iran's subdued election, many voters appear to stay home
Iran Elections A voter casts her ballot for the presidential election at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, June 18, 2021. Amid rising anger and apathy over a presidential vote tipped in favor of Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-line judiciary chief cultivated by Iran's supreme leader, the election atmosphere was distinctly subdued. “Anyone who wins the election after some time says he cannot solve problem of the economy because of intervention by influential people. Of two dozen voters interviewed at various stations, more than half said they'd voted for Raisi. Signs of anxiety over turnout began to emerge at the highest levels of Iran's leadership days before polls opened.wftv.com
Iran votes in presidential poll tipped in hard-liner's favor
Iran Elections A supporter of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi holds a sign during a rally in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The presumed front-runner has become Ebrahim Raisi, the country's hard-line judiciary chief who is closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) (Ebrahim Noroozi)DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — (AP) — Iran began voting Friday in a presidential election tipped in the favor of a hard-line protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fueling public apathy and sparking calls for a boycott in the Islamic Republic. Fears about a low turnout have some warning Iran may be turning away from being an Islamic Republic — a government with elected civilian leadership overseen by a supreme leader from its Shiite clergy — to a country more tightly governed by its supreme leader. As supreme leader, Khamenei has final say on all matters of state and oversees its defense and atomic program.wftv.com
‘I am not going to vote’: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to abstain from most restricted election in Iran’s history
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will not vote in Friday’s presidential election in Iran and warned that the outcome would produce a government without a popular mandate, in another blow to the credibility of the most restricted poll in the Islamic Republic's history. Mr Ahmadinejad, who was president of Iran from 2005 to 2013, said he would exercise his "personal right" to abstain after what he described as the disenfranchisement of voters. “I am not going to vote. And the main reason is that I am witnessinnews.yahoo.com
EXPLAINER: Iran vote to determine next president, direction
Iran Elections Supporters of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi hold signs during a rally in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. The presumed front-runner has become Ebrahim Raisi, the country's hard-line judiciary chief who is closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, the winning candidate will be under Iran's supreme leader, who has final say on all matters of state. An 88-member elected clerical panel called the Assembly of Experts appoints the supreme leader and can remove one as well, though that’s never happened. Iran's current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is 82 — leading some analysts to suggest this might be the last election he oversees.wftv.com
Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance as Islamic Republic votes
However, U.S. intelligence agencies and International Atomic Energy Agency say Iran pursued an organized nuclear weapons program up until 2003. It also put a hard cap on Iran's uranium stockpile to just 300 kilograms (661 pounds). Before the deal, Iran had been enriching up to 20% and had a stockpile of some 10,000 kilograms (22,046 pounds). If Iran's nuclear program remains unchecked, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned it could shrink Tehran's “breakout” time down to “a matter of weeks.” That has worried nonproliferation experts. He's already said he wants to return Iran to the nuclear deal to take advantage of its economic benefits.wftv.com
Iran election race narrows but fears persist of low turnout
Iran Elections Supporters of the presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi, currently judiciary chief, hold his posters during a campaign rally in town of Eslamshahr southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Sunday, June 6, 2021. Iran will hold presidential elections on June 18 with 7 candidates approved by the Guardian Council. The state-linked Iranian Student Polling Agency most recently projected a 42% turnout from the country’s 59 million eligible voters, which would be a historic low. Soon after, Saeed Jalili, the top nuclear negotiator for former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the height of Western concerns over Tehran’s nuclear program, followed suit. “The economic development of Iran is not possible without strong diplomatic engagement abroad," Hemmati tweeted, explaining his choice of Zarif.wftv.com
Iran field narrows as candidates quit on campaign's last day
Mohsen Mehralizadeh, the only reformist candidate in the vote, as well as hard-line contender Alireza Zakani withdrew from the race, state media reported, leaving just five candidates in the field. Such dropouts are common in Iranian presidential elections in order to boost the chances of similar candidates. Zakani, a 55-year-old hard-line lawmaker twice rejected from running for president, also ended his campaign, throwing his support behind Raisi. “The economic development of Iran is not possible without strong diplomatic engagement abroad," Hemmati wrote on Twitter to explain his choice of Zarif. Although a range of prominent reformists and key Rouhani allies registered to run for president, Iran's clerical vetting body allowed just several low-profile candidates, mostly hard-liners, to run against Raisi.wftv.com
Reformist drops out of Iran election on last day of campaign
Iran Elections In this picture made available by Young Journalists Club, YJC, presidential candidate for June 18, elections Mohsen Mehralizadeh speaks in the final debate of the candidates, at a state-run TV studio in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 12, 2021. Such dropouts are common in Iranian presidential elections in order to boost the chances of similar candidates. He came in last place in Iran’s 2005 election, but found himself barred from running in 2015. Polling and analysts indicate Hemmati lags behind the country’s hard-line judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, the campaign's front-runner long cultivated by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Other hard-line candidates may drop out Wednesday to lend their support to Raisi.wftv.com
Iran presidential candidate urges better ties with West
A prominent contender in Iran’s presidential election appealed Tuesday for better economic and political relations with the West, his most extensive attempt yet to attract reformist voters just days ahead of the poll. Former Iranian Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati, among the seven candidates allowed on the ballot for Friday’s vote, has no official ties to any political faction but is positioning himself as the likely candidate for moderate and reform-minded voters. “Why should there be a barrier for peaceful co-existence?” asked Hemmati, while emphasizing that an "improvement in global and regional peace” hinged on American good will and "trust-building" with the Islamic Republic.news.yahoo.com
Voices of Iranians ahead of the presidential election
Iranians this week are preparing to vote in — or perhaps to boycott — a presidential election that many fear will only underscore their powerlessness to shape the country's fate. Hopefuls are running to replace the term-limited President Hassan Rouhani, whose promises of a bright economic future withered as Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers collapsed. The backlash of disappointment in Rouhani’s relatively moderate administration has given hard-liners an edge this time, analysts say, even as the U.S. and Iran now negotiate a return to the landmark accord.news.yahoo.com
Iran judiciary chief stages 1st campaign rally despite virus
Iran's leading presidential candidate staged a mass rally in the country's southeast that drew thousands of supporters, sparking controversy Thursday as the first such gathering amid the raging coronavirus pandemic that has largely halted traditional election campaigning. Ebrahim Raisi, Iran's hard-line judiciary chief, toured the oil-rich southwestern Khuzestan province and addressed some 5,000 supporters at a sprawling football stadium in the city of Ahvaz late on Wednesday.news.yahoo.com
Iran candidate says he’s willing to potentially meet Biden
A prominent Iranian presidential candidate said Wednesday he'd be willing to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden if he wins his country's election next week, though “America needs to send better and stronger signals” to the Islamic Republic. Speaking to The Associated Press, former Iranian Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati stressed that an American return to Iran's tattered nuclear deal was key to any possible relationship amid the wider tensions in the Mideast. "I think we haven't seen anything serious from Mr. Biden's side yet," Hemmati said.news.yahoo.com
Iran debate puts problems on one man: the outgoing president
Iran's seven presidential candidates on Tuesday put all the problems of the Islamic Republic squarely on the shoulders of the one man who wasn't there to defend himself: Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. After a raucous first debate, the aspirants in the three-hour televised debate focused their attention on Rouhani and mocked his administration's “hope” campaign that surrounded its now-tattered 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. “They have mobilized sun and moon and the heavens to make some particular individual become president," said Mohsen Mehralizadeh, the sole reformist approved for the election, referring to Raisi.news.yahoo.com
Iran's president appeals to top leader to add candidates
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday he wrote the country’s supreme leader to protest a decision by an election watchdog to reject high-profile nominees for the June 18 presidential election. Rouhani in a weekly Cabinet meeting said he wished Iran's Guardian Council would give more would-be candidates the opportunity to run. The council on Tuesday barred former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a conservative who allied with Rouhani in recent years, from running.news.yahoo.com
Iran state TV: 7 approved for June 18 presidential election
Iran Elections Ebrahim Raisi, head of Iran's judiciary waves to media as he attends at the Interior Ministry to register his candidacy for the June 18 presidential elections at the elections headquarters of the Interior Ministry in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) (Ebrahim Noroozi)TEHRAN, Iran — (AP) — Iranian state television announced Tuesday that only seven candidates have been approved by the country's constitutional watchdog to run for president next month, drastically narrowing the field of hopefuls for who will replace outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. Iran's Interior Ministry, which oversees its police and elections, typically announces the candidates. Iran’s judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line cleric who ran against Rouhani in 2017, is considered among analysts to be the strongest candidate in the upcoming June 18 vote. Many in Iran have grown frustrated with Rouhani, whose signature achievement was the 2015 nuclear deal that's now in tatters after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord.wftv.com
Iran state TV: 7 approved for June 18 presidential election
Iranian state television announced Tuesday that only seven candidates have been approved by the country's constitutional watchdog to run for president next month, drastically narrowing the field of hopefuls for who will replace outgoing President Hassan Rouhani. The report did not name those selected, though rumors have circulated that reformists and moderates vying for the spot may have been barred from running by the Guardian Council. State TV quoted Abbas Ali Kadkhodaei, the spokesman of the Guardian Council, as saying “only seven” had been approved out of some 590 who registered by the panel of clerics and jurists overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.news.yahoo.com
Iran president gives his most upbeat view yet of nuke talks
The comments by President Hassan Rouhani come as Iran prepares for a June 18 election to determine who will replace the relatively moderate cleric. “The talks will continue until successful outcome.”That mirrored comments Wednesday by Enrique Mora, the European Union official who chaired the talks between Russia, China, Germany, France, Britain and Iran. Meanwhile, the International Atomic Energy Agency faces a looming deadline with Iran over its inspections of Tehran's nuclear sites. It reached a temporary deal with Iran in February to ensure inspections continued, though Iran stopped allowing it to access footage recorded on cameras monitoring its nuclear sites. The IAEA said Thursday it “and Iran are currently in consultations regarding the implementation of the existing understanding."wftv.com
Iran's former firebrand president to run again for office
TEHRAN, Iran — (AP) — Iran's former firebrand president will run again for office in upcoming elections in June, raising the possibility of a bolstered hardline leadership at a time of tense negotiations with the West. President Hassan Rouhani can not run again due to term limits, yet with the poll just a month away no immediate favorite has emerged among the many rumored candidates. His time in office now draws to a close with the accord unraveled after the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from it under President Donald Trump in 2018. Ahmadinejad entered office in 2005 and left in 2013, after the election of President Hassan Rouhani, who would go onto to make the nuclear deal with world powers. Yet even out of office, Ahmadinejad sought to reinvigorate his political fortunes in public and on social media.wftv.com
Registration opens for hopefuls in Iran's presidential vote
There also appears to be little interest in the vote by a public crushed by sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic. Whoever wins the June 18 vote will take over from Rouhani, a relative moderate within the Islamic Republic whose two four-year terms began with Iran reaching the nuclear deal. Already, several possible candidates have emerged from Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard, a paramilitary force with vast economic interests that answers only to Khamenei. Iran's 2020 parliamentary vote saw only a 42.5% turnout, the lowest ever since 1979. A return to the nuclear deal remains uncertain.wftv.com
Russia and Iran tried to interfere with 2020 election, U.S. intelligence agencies say
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) greets Iran's President Hassan Rouhani (L) during their meeting at the Grand Kremlin Palace on March 28, 2017 in Moscow, Russia. Russia and Iran both carried out operations to try to interfere in the 2020 presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, according to a U.S. intelligence report released Tuesday. The assessment was released as the Biden administration works to bolster relationships with key U.S. allies in order to mount pressure on Russia and Iran. Those plans were put in action by "a range of Russian government organizations," according to the report. Intelligence experts also found that China, which was previously thought to be expanding its U.S. influence efforts, ultimately did not deploy operations to affect the outcome of the Trump-Biden election.cnbc.com
EXPLAINER: Iran restricts UN atomic agency to pressure West
Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Rafael Mariano Grossi from Argentina, speaks to the media after returning from Iran at the Vienna International Airport, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)DUBAI – Iran will begin restricting the ability of United Nations nuclear inspectors to monitor Tehran's nuclear program. Restricting IAEA inspections, a cornerstone of ensuring Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, provides Iran a way to grab the West's attention. Without success at the negotiating table, Iran could bar IAEA inspectors or withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. ___Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat and Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, and David Rising in Berlin contributed to this report.
UN nuclear chief says Iran to grant 'less access' to program
(AP Photo/Ronald Zak)TEHRAN – Iran will begin to offer United Nations inspectors “less access” to its nuclear program as part of its pressure campaign on the West, though investigators will still be able to monitor Tehran's work, the U.N. atomic watchdog's chief said Sunday. In 2018, then-President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. unilaterally out of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying it needed to be renegotiated. AdGrossi met earlier Sunday with Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran's civilian nuclear program. In November, Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who founded the country's military nuclear program some two decades earlier, was killed in an attack Tehran blames on Israel. “Some of them may have security ramifications for Iran, whose peaceful nuclear sites have been attacked," Zarif said.
Biden repudiates Trump on Iran, ready for talks on nuke deal
Besides signaling Thursday a willingness to talk with Iran, the administration also reversed Trump’s determination that all U.N. sanctions against Iran had been restored. He's expected to address the U.S. stance on the 2015 multilateral Iran nuclear deal, the war in Afghanistan and the economic and national security challenges posed by Russia and China. The U.S. has not participated in a meeting of those participants since Trump withdrew from the deal and began steadily ramping up sanctions on Iran. The Trump administration had imposed the severe restrictions, which essentially confined them to their U.N. mission and the U.N. headquarters building in New York. “It is concerning the Biden Administration is already making concessions in an apparent attempt to re-enter the flawed Iran deal," he said.
US, Europeans urge Iran to keep allowing nuclear inspections
(UNTV via AP)PARIS – Top European and U.S. officials urged Iran on Thursday to allow continued United Nations nuclear inspections and stop nuclear activities that have no credible civilian use. Iran is “playing with fire,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who took part in talks Thursday in Paris with his British and French counterparts. Iran has said it will stop part of International Atomic Energy Agency inspections of its nuclear facilities next week if the West doesn’t implement its own commitments under the 2015 deal. The 2015 accord is aimed at preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The head of the IAEA is scheduled to travel to Iran this weekend to find a solution that allows the agency to continue inspections.
Iran issues rare threat to develop nuclear weapon if "pushed"
Tehran, Iran — Iran's intelligence minister has warned the West that his country could push for a nuclear weapon if crippling international sanctions on Tehran remain in place, state television reported Tuesday. The remarks by Mahmoud Alavi mark a rare occasion that a government official says Iran could reverse the course of its nuclear program, which Tehran has long insisted is for peaceful purposes only. A 1990s fatwa, or religious edict, by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that nuclear weapons are forbidden. Iranian Minister of Intelligence Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi attends a press conference by President Hassan Rouhani (not seen) in Tehran, Iran, February 6, 2018. However, Israel insists Iran still maintains the ambition of developing nuclear weapons, pointing to Tehran's ballistic missile program and research into other technologies.cbsnews.com
Iran may pursue nuclear weapon, intel minister warns West
Iran's supreme leader said the U.S. must lift all sanctions if it wants Iran to return to its commitments to the nuclear deal with Western powers. The remarks by Mahmoud Alavi mark a rare occasion that a government official says Iran could reverse its course on the nuclear program. A 1990s fatwa, or religious edict, by the country's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei states that nuclear weapons are forbidden. AdIsrael has long accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons, and the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers put strict limits on Iranian nuclear activities to prevent it from reaching weapons capabilities. Israel, which has been suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has repeatedly declined to comment on the attack.
Iran hails departure of "tyrant" Trump, says ball "in America's court" in nuclear standoff
Tehran — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday hailed the White House departure of "tyrant" Donald Trump, saying that "the ball is in America's court" to return to a landmark nuclear deal and lift sanctions on Tehran. Mr. Trump was due to leave office later in the day making way for President-elect Joe Biden, whose team has expressed a willingness to return to dialogue with Tehran. He labelled Mr. Trump "someone for whom all of his four years bore no fruit other than injustice and corruption and causing problems for his own people and the world." During his presidency, Mr. Trump led a campaign of "maximum pressure" against Iran, pulling Washington out of a landmark nuclear deal with Tehran in 2018 and reimposing punishing sanctions. The nuclear deal, agreed between major powers and Iran in 2015 when Mr. Biden was vice president under Barack Obama, imposed clear limits on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.cbsnews.com
Iran asks watchdog not to publish 'unnecessary' nuke details
The report quoted a statement from Iran’s nuclear department that asked the International Atomic Energy Agency to avoid publishing details on Iran’s nuclear program that may cause confusion. “Iran has no credible civilian use for uranium metal,” they said in a joint statement. “The production of uranium metal has potentially grave military implications.”On Thursday, the IAEA said Iran had informed it that it had begun installing equipment for the production of uranium metal. Iran reacted to the European statement Sunday saying Iran informed the U.N. nuclear watchdog nearly two decades ago of its plans for the “peaceful and conventional” production of uranium metal. The three European nations alongside the U.S., Russia and China signed the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran that prohibited research and production of uranium metal.
Iran starts 20% uranium enrichment, seizes South Korean ship
In this photo released Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, by Tasnim News Agency, a seized South Korean-flagged tanker is escorted by Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats on the Persian Gulf. Iranian state television acknowledged that Tehran seized the oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif seemed to acknowledge Tehran's interest in leveraging the situation in a tweet about its nuclear enrichment. Meanwhile, Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized the MT Hankuk Chemi, with photos later released showing its vessels alongside the tanker. The South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted an anonymous company official denying the Iranian claim the ship polluted the water.
Column: Biden was left with a mess in Iran. Can he get out of it?
During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to revive President Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with the Tehran regime. Since then, Trump has imposed ever more punishing economic sanctions on Iran, but they haven’t caused Iran to bend to his will. “We’d be giving it away for nothing in return.”But here’s why opponents of lifting nuclear sanctions are wrong. AdvertisementSecond, lifting Trump’s sanctions against Iran’s nuclear activities won’t deprive the United States of all its leverage. Third, an attempt by Biden to keep some nuclear sanctions would likely be a deal-breaker.latimes.com
Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid US tensions
This Dec. 11, 2020, satellite photo by Maxar Technologies shows construction at Iran's Fordo nuclear facility. Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite photos obtained Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, by The Associated Press show. Already, Iran is building at its Natanz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion in July there that Tehran described as a sabotage attack. Under the 2015 nuclear deal, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium at Fordo and instead make it “a nuclear, physics and technology center.”“This location was a major sticking point in negotiations leading to the Iran nuclear deal,” Lewis said. Meanwhile, an Iranian scientist who created its military nuclear program two decades ago recently was killed in a shooting outside of Tehran.
IAEA chief says nuclear security risks increased under Trump, urges Biden to re-engage
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi discussed the risks of both Iran and North Korea's nuclear programs to the world, and said Mr. Trump's unilateral withdrawal from the international nuclear agreement with Tehran had intensified the danger. "From that moment, Iran, as a response to this [U.S. exit], decided to gradually start diminishing its compliance" with the nuclear pact, Grossi said in a wide-ranging interview, urging President-elect Joe Biden to reopen negotiations with Tehran. Read excerpts of the interview below, which have been edited for clarity and to remove redundancy:IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi: Iran is moving on with its nuclear program. So, I would say, on the one hand, of course, there is, there is forward moving in the Iranian nuclear program. But through nuclear technologies — and this is where I want to perhaps take a second of your attention — we are working on preventing more zoonosis [disease spread from animals to humans].cbsnews.com
Iran summons EU envoys for protesting reporter's hanging
IRNA said that an Iranian foreign ministry official summoned the German ambassador because of EU statements on the exiled reporter Ruhollah Zam, 47, who was hanged on Saturday. Zam was being held in jail in Iran after Iranian authorities seized him while he was traveling in neighboring Iraq last year. The German Foreign Ministry on Saturday expressed its shock about the circumstances of Zam’s sentencing and what it described as his “abduction from abroad" and forced return to Iran. “This is a barbarous and unacceptable act,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement, which also condemned the hanging as a “grave blow” to freedom of speech in Iran. The initial spark for the 2017 protests was a sudden jump in food prices.
Iran says US sanctions hinder access to COVID-19 vaccines
TEHRAN – Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that U.S. sanctions are making it difficult for Iran to purchase medicine and health supplies from abroad, including COVID-19 vaccines needed to contain the worst outbreak in the Middle East. “Our people should know that for any action we plan to carry out for importing medicine, vaccines and equipment, we should curse Trump a hundred times," Rouhani was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency. Rouhani said authorities are nevertheless doing what they can to buy vaccines from abroad, hoping to deliver them to high-risk individuals as soon as possible. Last week, Iran said it is working on its own vaccine, with testing on human patients expected to begin next month. It plans to buy 20 million vaccine doses from abroad, for a population of more than 80 million people.
Iran's president opposes bill that would boost enrichment
TEHRAN – Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday expressed his opposition to a bill approved by parliament the previous day to suspend U.N. inspections and boost uranium enrichment, saying it would be “harmful” to diplomatic efforts aimed at restoring the 2015 nuclear deal and easing U.S. sanctions. Under the law, if the president refuses to sign the bill, it will be automatically singed by the parliament speaker to go into effect. Tuesday's approval by lawmakers appeared to be a show of defiance after Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a key figure in Iran's nuclear program, was killed in an attack Iranian officials have blamed on Israel. Iran insists its nuclear program is entirely peaceful. The U.S. imposed crippling sanctions on Iran after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement in 2018.
Iran under intense pressure over how to respond to top scientist’s brazen killing
Now, Iran finds itself the target of another attack, this time the broad-daylight assassination on Friday of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, one of Iran’s top nuclear scientists. The killing, by what many believed was a U.S.-sanctioned Israeli hit team, has ratcheted up the pressure on Iran’s leaders for vengeance again. In its brazenness, the killing echoed other car bombings and motorcycle assassinations targeting Iran’s nuclear scientists. AdvertisementA U.S. return to the nuclear accord — and the sanctions relief it may bring — is a priority for Iran. “If they deny him this win, hard-liners have an easier and clearer path to victory.”The assassination was a humiliation for Iran’s security apparatus.latimes.com
Iran closes businesses, curtails travel amid virus surge
Iran on Saturday shuttered businesses and curtailed travel between its major cities, including the capital of Tehran, as it grapples with the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in the Mideast region. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)TEHRAN – Iran on Saturday shuttered businesses and curtailed travel between its major cities, including the capital of Tehran, as it grapples with the worst outbreak of the coronavirus in the Mideast region. Top Iranian officials initially downplayed the risks posed by the virus outbreak, before recently urging the public to follow measures like wearing masks and avoiding unessential travel. The Iranian Health Ministry said on Saturday that the total number of confirmed cases has risen to above 840,000. The new lockdown measures, which include shuttering most businesses, shops, malls, and restaurants, include Iran's largest cities of Mashhad, Isfahan, and Shiraz.
Iran's allies on high alert in Trump's final weeks in office
On Friday, Nov. 20, two Iraqi officials say Iran has instructed allies in the Middle East to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the U.S. that could give an outgoing Trump Administration cause to launch attacks in his final weeks in office. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)BAGHDAD – Iran has instructed allies across the Middle East to be on high alert and avoid provoking tensions with the U.S. that could give an outgoing Trump administration cause to launch attacks in the U.S. president's final weeks in office, Iraqi officials have said. Iran’s allies have collectively welcomed Trump’s election defeat. However, if there was a U.S. aggression by the Trump administration, Iran's response would “be in line with the type of strike,” one of the Iraqi politicians cited Ghaani as saying. Meanwhile, in Lebanon, the leader of the Iran-backed militant Hezbollah group, Hasan Nasrallah, warned followers and allies to be vigilant during Trump’s remaining weeks in office.
Iran's president calls on Biden to return to nuclear deal
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a meeting in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. On Sunday, Rouhani called on President-elect Joe Biden to "compensate for past mistakes" and return the U.S. to Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)TEHRAN – Iran's president called on President-elect Joe Biden to “compensate for past mistakes” and return the U.S. to Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a state-run news agency reported Sunday. Hassan Rouhani's comments mark the highest-level response from Iran to Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris clinching the Nov. 3 election. In an effort to pressure Europe to find a way around the sanctions, Iran has slowly abandoned the limits of the nuclear deal.