Iran has warned of a strong response if Donald Trump goes ahead with plans to use the twilight of his presidency to mount a strike on Iran or its allies in the region. It was reported that Trump last week looked at options for striking Iran’s main nuclear site, but was dissuaded from taking action after his advisers warned it might lead to a larger conflict in the Middle East.
Iran now has more than 12 times the amount of enriched uranium permitted under a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, a global watchdog says. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium had reached 2,442.9kg (5,385.6lb) this month. Iran insists its nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. The IAEA also said Iran’s explanation for the presence of nuclear material at an undeclared site was “not credible”.
The United States has imposed a new round of sanctions targeting Iran’s financial industry as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on Tehran. The new measures announced Thursday afternoon by the Department of Treasury targeted 18 major Iranian banks, not previously subject to U.S. restrictions. The actions were largely taken under the sweeping authorities of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched missiles Tuesday targeting a mock aircraft carrier in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a drill that included such a barrage of fire the U.S. military temporarily put two regional bases in the Mideast on alert amid tensions between the two countries. The drill — and the American response to it — underlined the lingering threat of military conflict between Iran and the U.S.
A British-Australian academic serving a 10-year-prison sentence in Iran for espionage has been moved to a remote desert prison, notorious for violence and reportedly stricken with coronavirus. Cambridge-educated Kylie Moore-Gilbert, a Middle East scholar, had been held in Tehran’s Evin Prison for nearly two years, before her sudden move three days ago to Qarchak women’s prison, south-east of Tehran.
Iran has moved a mock US-style aircraft carrier to the strategic Strait of Hormuz during heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, satellite photographs show. The replica, which was photographed on Sunday, resembles the Nimitz-class carriers that the US navy routinely sails into the Persian Gulf from the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the waterway, through which 20% of the world’s oil passes.
The US attack that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani violated international law, a UN expert says. Soleimani died along with nine other people in a drone strike near Baghdad airport in Iraq in January. A report by the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, says the US had not provided sufficient evidence of an imminent threat to life to justify the attack.
A fire that broke out on Thursday at a key Iranian nuclear facility has caused “significant damage”, a spokesman for Iran’s nuclear energy body has said. He said the cause of the blaze at the Natanz enrichment site had been determined, but gave no details. Other fires and explosions have also occurred in the past week in Iran.
Iran has put out an arrest warrant and requested a red notice be published by Interpol for President Donald Trump following the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January, the Iranian state news agency FARS reported Monday. A red notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender or similar legal action.
An Iranian who spied for U.S. and Israeli intelligence on slain Revolutionary Guards commander Qassem Soleimani has been sentenced to death, Iran said on Tuesday, adding the case was not linked to Soleimani’s killing earlier this year. On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone strike in Iraq killed Soleimani, leader of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force. Washington blamed Soleimani for masterminding attacks by Iran-aligned militias on U.S. forces in the region.