Information operations · Information Warfare · Iran

Iran Escalation (33)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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VP Pence reminds Iran of realities they continue to ignore. Tehran now dangling enrichment to 20% to aggravate the Europeans. Insults aimed at the US continue. Threats against the UK continue. Media campaign to support Tehran continues in the US.

The dynamic of unilateral escalation by Tehran continues.

Pence at CUFI Summit: ‘Iran Should Not Confuse American Restraint With a Lack of American Resolve’ | Jewish & Israel News

A slew of top US and Israeli officials addressed the Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington, DC, on Monday. Speaking to a crowd of thousands at the annual gathering, Vice President Mike Pence hailed the US-Israel relationship, saying that the alliance between the two countries had “never been stronger” than during the past two and a half years. Pence vowed that his boss, President Donald Trump, would “never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel.” On Iran, Pence said the Tehran regime “should not confuse American restraint with a lack of American resolve.” “We hope for the best, but the United States of America and our military are prepared to protect our interests and protect our personnel and our citizens in the region,” Pence declared. “We will continue to oppose Iran’s malign influence. We will continue to bring pressure on their economy. And under President Donald Trump, America will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.”

Pence vows to ‘oppose Iran’s malign influence’ as nuclear watchdog confirms breach – Iran –

Revolutionary Guard chief says world knows Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon ■Netanyahu joins Pence in blasting 2015 deal at Christians United for Israel conference

Pence: U.S. ready to protect its interests as Iran makes nuclear threats – Reuters

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday that the United States is prepared to protect U.S. personnel and citizens in the Middle East as tensions build with Iran over its nuclear program.

Pence Says US Will Continue to Pressure Iran as Nuclear Deal Unravels |

The United States will not waver from its course of maximum pressure against Iran, Vice President Mike Pence said Monday.

Top US Officials Warn Iran Not To Test US Patience on Uranium Enrichment – YouTube

VOA News Published on Jul 9, 2019 Top U.S. officials say Iran should not test America’s patience, as the Islamic Republic creates nuclear material in quantities and purity above limits set in the 2015 international nuclear deal. The reaction came as the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors verified that Iran breached the limit set in the nuclear deal aimed at restraining Tehran’s nuclear weapons development. VOA’s Diplomatic Correspondent Cindy Saine reports from Washington.

News Wrap: Iran exceeds allowed levels of uranium enrichment – YouTube

PBS NewsHour Published on Jul 8, 2019 In our news wrap Monday, Iran announced it has begun enriching uranium to levels higher than is allowed under the 2015 nuclear accord. The new level is still far below weapons-grade, but a foreign ministry spokesman threatened that it could continue to rise. Also, Attorney General William Barr says he believes there is a legal “pathway” to including a citizenship question on the 2020 census.

Iran nuke breach is Europe’s test, Netanyahu tells Haaretz – Iran –

European leaders must keep their promise, Israel’s prime minister says following news that Tehran is now enriching uranium to 4.5% – a major violation of the 2015 deal

Iran has gone beyond nuclear deal’s uranium enrichment limit: IAEA – Reuters

Iran has enriched uranium beyond a 3.67% purity limit set by its deal with major powers, the U.N. nuclear watchdog policing the deal said on Monday, confirming a move previously announced by Tehran.

Iran’s Zarif says there won’t be a better nuclear deal than 2015 accord

World powers will not be able to negotiate a better deal with Iran than the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday. Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next

Zarif: ‘There is a way out’ of Iran-U.S. dispute ‘but not with B-Team in charge’ – Tehran Times

TEHRAN – In a post on his Twitter page late on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said “there is a way out” for the nuclear dispute between Iran and the United States by it is not possible with the “B-Team in charge”.

Iran Threatens Big Step Toward Weapons-Grade Uranium |

Iran threatened on Monday to restart deactivated centrifuges and ramp up its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent purity as its next potential big moves away from a 2015 nuclear agreement that Washington abandoned last year. The threats, made by the spokesman for Tehran’s nuclear agency, would go far beyond the small steps Iran has taken in the past week to nudge its stocks of fissile material just beyond limits in the nuclear pact. That could raise serious questions about whether the agreement, intended to block Iran from making a nuclear weapon, is still viable. The two threats would reverse major achievements of the agreement, although Iran omitted important details about how far it might go to returning to the status quo before the pact, when Western experts believed it could build a bomb within months.

Official: Iran May Opt for 20% Enrichment in Next Step – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran has a range of options for taking as the third step in a phased reduction of commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) said, adding that they include enrichment of uranium to a 20 percent purity level.

Iran: Enriching uranium to 20 pct an option in next steps to reduce commitments – Al Arabiya English

Enriching uranium to 20 percent is an option for Iranrsquo;s third step in reducing its commitments to nuclear deal, an Iranian nuclear agency

‘The world knows we’re not pursuing a nuclear weapon’ – Israel National News

Head of Iranian Revolutionary Guards claims Iran isn’t pursuing a nuclear weapon because possessing such weapons is against Islam.

Iran Breaches Key Uranium Enrichment Limit in Nuclear Deal | Time

Iran on Monday began enriching uranium to 4.5%, just breaking the limit set by its nuclear deal with world powers

Iran’s uranium enrichment degree reaches 4.5 percent – Tehran Times

TEHRAN – On Monday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told ISNA that Iran’s degree of uranium enrichment has reached 4.5 percent which he said is enough to power nuclear plants.

Iran will have the world’s respect, and prevail – Tehran Times

NORTH CAROLINA – An outsider with just some knowledge about Iran can be easily whipsawed by the horrible dilemma the U.S. has dumped on the country over the past 14 months. Yes, Iran must do all it can to defend itself, if it is attacked military, and meanwhile must do all it can to circumvent, with assistance, the draconian U.S. economic sanctions.

Iran enriches uranium past cap and warns only 60 days to save deal

Iran warned on Monday that the last chance for saving the nuclear deal will pass after a 60-day deadline, as the country announced it had increased its uranium enrichment to beyond the cap. Tehran has passed the 3.67 per cent uranium enrichment level set by its landmark 2015 nuclear accord and may enrich

Iran Threatens to Extend Nuclear Breaches – WSJ

Iran warned it will take further steps to breach the 2015 nuclear accord in early September if it doesn’t receive long-sought relief from U.S. economic sanctions, as it began enriching uranium above limits set out in the deal.

EU calls on Iran to reverse uranium enrichment and uphold nuclear deal – Reuters

The European Union on Tuesday urged Iran to reverse its scaled up uranium enrichment that breaches a nuclear arms control deal it agreed in 2015.

The Latest: French president sends adviser to Iran for talks

French President Emmanuel Macron is sending his chief diplomatic adviser to Iran following its decision enrich uranium beyond the threshold of the 2015 nuclear accord. The Elysee Palace said Monday that Emmanuel Bonne was returning on Tuesday to Tehran. Europe is under pressure to try to salvage the

Iran’s Military Vows Retaliation for U.K. Seizing Oil Tanker – Bloomberg

Iran’s military vowed to retaliate against the seizure by British Royal Marines of an oil tanker loaded with the Islamic Republic’s crude off the coast of Gibraltar last week.

Britain’s seizure of Iranian oil tanker won’t go ‘unanswered,’ officer says | Fox News

A top Iranian military official on Tuesday said that Britain’s seizure of an Iranian oil tanker last week “based on fabricated excuses” will not be “unanswered,” reports said.

BP oil tanker sheltering in Gulf amid fears it could be seized by Iran | World | The Times

A British oil tanker is sheltering off the coast of Saudi Arabia rather than loading oil or trying to leave the Gulf after Iran threatened to retaliate when one of its vessels was detained in Gibraltar. British Heritage, a tanker owned by BP Shipping and registered in the Isle of Man, was due to p

BP oil tanker sheltering in Gulf over fear of Iran attack | News | Al Jazeera

After Grace 1 was boarded by Marines, the British Heritage is waiting off the Saudi coast, wary of Iranian reprisal.

Georgiy Kuhaleyshvili | Gibraltar incident: Iran breaks up relationship with EU

July 5, Mohsen Rezaee, Major-General of Islamic Revolution Guard Corps unit and secretary of Iran’s political expediency Council, demanded that the British authorities release the seized Iranian oil tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar. Rezaee warned that if the demand is not fulfilled in the near future, Iran should seize some British tanker. Iranian Grace 1 ship went under the flag of Panama, it had 300,000 tons of oil on board. The tanker was on the route alternative to the Suez Canal, and circled the African continent to enter the Mediterranean through Gibraltar. July 4, a British warship detained a tanker in the strait, and 30 Marines landed on board. An alleged Iranian ship was detained at the request of the authorities of Gibraltar (overseas territory of the United Kingdom). It could carry oil for the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in violation of EU sanctions. European anti-Syrian sanctions have been in effect since 2011 and provide for an oil embargo, a ban on investment and the freezing of the assets of the central bank of Syria in the EU. 72 legal entities and 270 individuals have been subjected to the sanctions. The British Foreign Office said they were not going to discuss the Iranian side’s comments on the incident. This local incident could lead to the deterioration of Iran’s relations with the European Union, which would entail negative consequences for the Islamic Republic in the context of its confrontation with the United States.

Iranians despair over nuclear deal confrontation – Reuters

Iran’s decision to further challenge the United States by boosting its uranium enrichment beyond limits in its 2015 nuclear deal has deepened fears among Iranians that their country will remain in crisis mode over the long term.

‘A form of extortion’: Iran to charge foreign ships a toll to cross Strait of Hormuz

Iran is planning to charge foreign ships a toll in exchange for “protection” across the Strait of Hormuz, a key trade route and a flashpoint in the escalating dispute between the United States and the Islamic Republic.

‘‘Psychological War’’ With Iran Fails To Move Oil Markets |

Oil markets reacted calmly at the start of the week as the cycle of escalation between the U.S. and Iran continues to escalate

Ukrainian traveler detained in Iran on suspicion of spying – news portal

Ukrainian traveler detained in Iran on suspicion of spying. Kharkiv resident Artem Surin was detained in Ardakan. Political – news portal. Latest from Ukraine and the world today

Iran and Europe – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

Tehran’s main goal is to garner support from European countries in providing cover from US sanctions, which have been re-imposed since the US left the deal in May 2018.

Can Europe save the Iran nuclear deal? | Iran | Al Jazeera

Iran says it has exceeded its uranium enrichment cap, but Europeans say Tehran should stick to the 2015 deal.

Iran has already proven the nuclear agreement’s uselessness

Here’s a question: If the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement is so good at stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, how on Earth has Iran been able to move past the deal toward nukes so easily and quickly?

Israel, Saudi Arabia, US will continue exerting pressure on Iran, Russian expert says – World – TASS

Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program exacerbated after Washington unilaterally withdrew from the deal on May 8, 2018 and slapped US economic sanctions on Iran’s oil exports

Fred Kaplan | Iran Is Right

Thanks to Trump’s violation of the nuclear deal, the U.S. is no longer in a position to criticize the mullahs’ nuclear program. ……. Finally, however one views Iran’s recent steps, they do not put the Islamic Republic much closer to building an atom bomb. The JCPOA restricted Iran’s uranium-enrichment to a level of 3.67 percent purity. “Weapons-grade” uranium is defined as an enrichment level of 90 percent purity—though once a lab hits 20 percent, the remaining enrichment can take place fairly quickly. It will take the Iranians a long time even to hit 20 percent. It will also take them a long time to amass and stockpile enough nuclear fuel to make a bomb since, under the JCPOA, it exported 98 percent of its low-enriched uranium to Russia, dismantled two-thirds of its centrifuges, and poured cement over the core of its plutonium reactor at Arak. In other words, there is time to draw Iran back into compliance with the deal—but the United States has to get back into compliance, too. The problem is that both countries are playing a dangerous game. Trump may have believed that his “maximum pressure” campaign would compel Iran to negotiate a “better” deal. It has, instead, stiffened the resolve of Iran’s hard-liners. (Trump’s original set of advisers told him that there was no plausible better deal. His current advisers, notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, say otherwise, mainly because they don’t want a deal at all; they want regime change in Tehran.) Meanwhile, the Iranians seem to think that breaching the limits will compel the Europeans to cut a separate deal and break away from Washington. They might not realize the extent to which European commercial and financial enterprises are tied to the dollar. The nuclear strategist Herman Kahn once likened a certain sort of crisis to a game of highway chicken, in which one driver visibly throws his steering wheel out the window, forcing the other, more responsible driver to veer off the road. But what if both drivers are too stubborn to cede the game? Or what if they don’t see the steering wheel flying out the window, or understand its implications? Or what if one driver or the other is egged on by shotgun-passengers who think they’d survive the crash? A scenario of this sort is unfolding before our eyes. Someone has to step in and stop the drivers, or block the road.

Iran breaches a nuclear limit — while Trump flails – The Washington Post

The president should turn away from the hawks and look for a way to deescalate.

Chris Stirewalt says Trump in a tough spot as both parties spurn potential conflict with Iran | Fox News

President Trump has a tough road ahead of him when it comes to keeping Iran in check, according to Chris Stirewalt.