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yavar

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Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei Appoints Major General Salami as New IRGC Chief

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei appointed General Hossein Salami, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), as the new commander of the military elite force, promoting him to the rank of major general.
Leader Appoints General Salami as New IRGC Chief - Defense news - Tasnim News Agency

 

WebMaster

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Iran Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei Appoints Major General Salami as New IRGC Chief

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei appointed General Hossein Salami, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), as the new commander of the military elite force, promoting him to the rank of major general.
Leader Appoints General Salami as New IRGC Chief - Defense news - Tasnim News Agency

How is the average Iranian think of the IRGC now after the US classified it a terrorist organization?
 

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APRIL 22, 2019
White House moves to cut off Iranian oil exports
By Clyde Hughes


An Iranian man pumps gasoline into his car at a station in Tehran, Iran. File Photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI | License Photo


April 22 (UPI) -- The White House said Monday existing sanctions won't allow other nations to buy oil from Iran, in an effort to kill a critically important revenue stream for Tehran -- a move that could remove one million barrels of oil from the market, each day.

The U.S. administration last fall granted 180-day waivers to some countries -- including Greece, Italy and Taiwan -- allowing them to buy Iranian oil under sanctions as long as they took steps to stop. Monday, the White House said the waivers would not be extended.

"This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the White House said. "The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world's great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang criticized the move Monday and said China's imports from Iran have been conducted legally.

"China has always opposed the U.S. imposition of so-called 'unilateral sanctions' and 'long-arm jurisdiction,'" Geng said. He said its oil imports were "reasonable and legitimate, which thus deserves respect."

The U.S. decision is part of the administration's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran. The decision follows another move against Tehran last week in which the United States designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, which came with economic sanctions.

The Trump administration has taken a tough stance against Iran, due to what it says have been destabilizing and terror-sponsoring moves by Tehran. President Donald Trump last year moved to withdraw the United States from the 2015 nuclear deal that traded lifting sanctions for promises by Tehran not to develop nuclear weapons.

RELATED Iran names U.S. Central Com

White House moves to cut off Iranian oil exports
 

kovichni

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How is the average Iranian think of the IRGC now after the US classified it a terrorist organization?
they probably think that if centcom, the EXACT same people responsible for the war crimes, injustice and genocide against innocent civilians in the middle east, call someone else a ''terrorist'', that that someone must be doing something right !
 

WebMaster

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they probably think that if centcom, the EXACT same people responsible for the war crimes, injustice and genocide against innocent civilians in the middle east, call someone else a ''terrorist'', that that someone must be doing something right !
The issue is that the US has its own weight so its actually matters what the US says. No body is going to point a finger at the US at the same time they will take whatever the US says seriously. Classifying the IRGC a terror entity is a big thing and there is no track back here. Countries around the world will be careful not to deal with IRGC otherwise they will have to face consequences. IRGC supporters inside or outside Iran will be chased. That is the big difference.

I will have to delete the graphic images you posted as that is against the forum rules. I have seen them before and I am sure everybody else have.
 

Eagle1

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The issue is that the US has its own weight so its actually matters what the US says. No body is going to point a finger at the US at the same time they will take whatever the US says seriously. Classifying the IRGC a terror entity is a big thing and there is no track back here. Countries around the world will be careful not to deal with IRGC otherwise they will have to face consequences. IRGC supporters inside or outside Iran will be chased. That is the big difference.

I will have to delete the graphic images you posted as that is against the forum rules. I have seen them before and I am sure everybody else have.
The Iranians would have us believe that no one takes the US seriously, yet their very own IRGC Generals are defecting en-mass. In the last few days, at least 4 IRGC Generals have defected to the west.

This is one such incident:
 

WebMaster

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The Iranians would have us believe that no one takes the US seriously, yet their very own IRGC Generals are defecting en-mass. In the last few days, at least 4 IRGC Generals have defected to the west.

This is one such incident:
I have heard one IRGC general fled Iran couple days ago and currently hiding in a foreign embassy somewhere waiting to be transported out of the region.
 

Eagle1

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I have heard one IRGC general fled Iran couple days ago and currently hiding in a foreign embassy somewhere waiting to be transported out of the region.
I can personally confirm 4
 

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IMF: Iran Inflation Could Reach 40 Percent Amid Sanctions
April 29, 2019

Iran's economy is expected to shrink by six percent this year and inflation could reach 40 percent, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts, as the country copes with the impact of tighter U.S. sanctions.

Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran's oil exports in November following the U.S. withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear accord.

On April 21, the White House said it had decided not to renew exemptions from U.S. sanctions to buyers of Iranian oil in an effort to cut Iran's vital oil exports to zero.

Jihad Azour, IMF Middle East and Central Asia director, said on April 29 that the projection preceded the latest elimination of waivers -- meaning the situation could get even worse.

"Clearly the re-imposition of sanctions and the removal of the waivers will have additional negative impact on the Iranian economy both in terms of growth and in terms of inflation, where inflation could reach 40 percent or even more this year," Azour said.

Azour was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that sanctions have already pushed inflation in Iran to around 50 percent.

Earlier this month, a U.S. official said that U.S. sanctions have denied Tehran more than $10 billion in oil revenue.

IMF: Iran Inflation Could Reach 40 Percent Amid Sanctions
 

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Iranian expert: four major factors can help Iran export oil
May 1, 2019



There are four major factors which will make the US sanctions imposed on Iranian oil products more difficult to execute than the sanctions imposed on crude oil, Iranian oil industry expert Hossein Asadi told Mehr News Agency, Trend reports.

According to Asadi, these are the diversity of oil markets, small volumes of cargo, low likelihood of the cargoes being tracked, and a variety of customers. These factors can help make Iran’s exports of oil products much easier than its exports of crude oil.

The main problem with the crude oil export lies in the cargo volumes, as Iran can export up to 2 million barrels a day, the expert comments. “The large volumes of oil shipments allow the US to find and track them thus blocking Iran’s ways of transporting crude oil,” he noted.

The expert said that there are a total of 42 refineries around the world located in India, China, South Korea and other countries that accept Iranian crude oil for processing. The main bulk of the oil produced by Iran is exported from a specific location, namely the Kharg Island located in the Persian Gulf, and the only party putting oil up for sale at the global market is the International Affairs Office of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC).

“The fact that there is only one party putting oil up for sale, only one specific geographical location where the oil is sold, and – more importantly – that the number of customers is known makes it much easier to enforce the sanctions on the sale of Iranian oil. The US keeps a close watch on the oil refineries and imposes sanctions on them when they purchase Iranian crude oil,” he continued.

However, it is possible to increase the number of customers by developing the oil refining industry and processing crude oil into various chemicals including fuel, oils, bitumen and polymers, says the expert. In his words, by processing crude oil and converting it into diverse oil products, Iran can export them to various destinations in small volumes.

The expert went on to say that, provided that the oil industry develops, oil products could be exported by local companies and the export of oil products would no longer be the monopoly of NIOC. As a result, imposing sanctions on the companies will become more difficult.

“At present, Iranian crude oil is transported to specific destinations in large tankers. Therefore, it is not so difficult to track them via GPS and satellite technology,” he said. “It may be possible to arrange the transportation of oil products via heavy duty trucks and pipelines, and then to export them in various small vessels.” This, he believes, can make it harder for the US to track Iran’s oil exports.

“The East Asian countries purchasing Iranian crude oil include India, China and South Korea. The rest are located in Southern Europe and Africa, geographically far from Iran,” he said. In the meantime, by processing crude oil into various oil products, it can become easier to arrange the export to neighboring and closely located countries.

The US imposed sanctions on Iran in November 2018. The US exempted eight countries from oil sanctions imposed on Iran for six months. These countries continue to buy oil from Iran. The US announced that it will not extend the exemption period, which ends May 2, 2019.

 

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China, Turkey, India Silent on Buying Iran’s Oil as US Ban Begins
May 03, 2019
Iran’s biggest likely remaining oil customers, China, Turkey and India, were silent about purchases of Iranian crude Thursday as a total U.S. ban on such trade took effect, leaving their next moves a mystery.

The Trump administration was equally silent about what action it might take if any of the three countries continues to purchase Iranian oil after Thursday, with no statements on the subject issued during the day by the departments of State or Treasury.

A six-month grace period granted by the United States for China, Turkey, India and five other governments to reduce their Iranian oil imports to zero expired Wednesday. In an April 22 statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said no nation would receive any further exemptions or waivers from U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran’s oil industry last November. The sanctions are part of a U.S. bid to pressure Iran into negotiating a new deal to end its alleged nuclear weapons program and other malign behaviors.

Iran has said its nuclear program is peaceful and it intends to keep exporting oil, its main revenue source, in defiance of the U.S. sanctions.

Washington has been encouraging Iran’s oil customers to switch to other major oil producers such as Gulf Arab nations that have pledged to keep energy markets appropriately supplied. Pompeo also has said the United States will enforce its unilateral ban on Iran’s oil trade and warned that paying Iran for its crude entails “risks” that will “not … be worth the benefits,” a reference to the possibility of purchasers facing U.S. secondary sanctions.

Turkey

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said diversifying Ankara’s oil sources in a short time “does not seem possible.”

Cavusoglu said Turkish refineries that have been processing Iranian crude are capable of handling oil from Iraq but not from many other nations, whom he did not name. He said Turkey would need to upgrade the technology of its refineries in order to import oil from those other countries, requiring the refineries to be shut down for a period of time.

“This would have a cost. However you look at it, the unilateral decision made by the U.S. is adversely affecting everyone,” Cavusoglu said. “The U.S. should review its decisions.”

The top Turkish diplomat did not say whether Ankara will buy Iranian oil in future.

But Turkey has been significantly reducing its reliance on Iranian imports since the start of the U.S. sanctions waiver. Data from Turkey’s Energy Market Regulatory Authority show the country imported an average of 209,000 tons of Iranian crude per month from November through February, the first four months of the waiver period. It had been importing an average of 701,000 tons per month in the prior 10 months, accounting for around one-fifth of its total oil imports for the period.

China

China, Iran’s biggest oil customer, made no comment on Thursday’s expiry of the six-month U.S. waiver for buying Iranian crude. But its initial response to the U.S. decision not to extend the waiver was similar to that of Turkey. In an April 24 news briefing, Chinese Foreign Minister spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing also opposes the unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdictions” of the United States. He also urged Washington not to undermine what he called Beijing’s lawful and legitimate “cooperation” with Iran.

India

India also did not comment Thursday. In an April 23 tweet, Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said New Delhi has a plan to maintain an “adequate” supply of crude to Indian refineries, adding: “There will be additional supplies from other major oil-producing countries.”


Govt has put in place a robust plan for adequate supply of crude oil to Indian refineries.There will be additional supplies from other major oil producing countries;Indian refineries are fully prepared to meet the national demand for petrol,diesel & other Petroleum products
— Chowkidar Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) April 23, 2019
Pradhan did not name those countries or say whether the additional supplies would completely replace crude from Iran, which had been India’s third biggest supplier a year ago.

Indian media have said Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj appealed to Pompeo in an April 27 phone call for New Delhi to have more time to import Iranian oil without being hit by U.S. secondary sanctions. Swaraj was quoted as calling for flexibility in the U.S. position because India is in the midst of a general election and wants the next government to make decisions about whom to buy oil from.

China and India had been reducing their dependence on Iranian oil before the end of the U.S. waiver period. An April 30 report by Reuters showed both nations significantly cut their Iranian crude imports in the January to March quarter compared to the same period a year before, with China making a 28% reduction and India a 40% reduction in imported barrels per day.

What will the three do?

Frank Verrastro, a Washington-based energy analyst at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, told VOA Persian he expects further reductions in China’s purchases of Iranian oil.

“They have been increasing purchases of similar-quality Saudi oil as well as looking at alternative supplies from the U.S., other Mideast nations and Russia,” Verrastro said in a Tuesday email.

But Verrastro said Beijing also may try to keep importing some Iranian crude in ways that bypass the U.S. financial system and sanctions regime. He said China could barter with Iran, enable Iran to repay loans with oil, or make non-U.S. dollar purchases of Iranian crude.

Indian strategic affairs analyst Manoj Joshi of New Delhi’s Observer Research Foundation told VOA the U.S. ban on Iranian oil exports presents India not just with an economic challenge but also a foreign policy one.

“It puts us in a very awkward spot,” Joshi said in a Thursday interview, noting the move will hurt India’s ties with Iran. “The U.S. may be our partner, but we cannot have a congruence of interests in everything. When there are no options, what do you do?”

Turkey is likely to wait and see what Iran’s bigger customers China and India do before deciding whether to keep importing Iranian oil, according to Hakki Uygur, acting director of Ankara’s Center of Iranian Studies. In a Wednesday interview with VOA Turkish, he said that if China and India maintain their recent levels of imports, Turkey may do the same.

“But if the U.S. sanctions are enforced strictly, Iraq would be one of our most important secondary sources of oil,” Uygur said.

 

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Secretary Pompeo Tightens Nuclear Restrictions on Iran

Press Statement
Morgan Ortagus
Department Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 03, 2019


The Trump administration continues to hold the Iranian regime accountable for activities that threaten the region’s stability and harm the Iranian people. This includes denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon. As part of the administration’s unprecedented maximum pressure campaign to address the full range of Iran’s destructive activities, Secretary Pompeo has today tightened restrictions on the regime’s nuclear program.

Starting May 4, assistance to expand Iran’s Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant beyond the existing reactor unit could be sanctionable. In addition, activities to transfer enriched uranium out of Iran in exchange for natural uranium could be sanctionable. Iran must stop all proliferation-sensitive activities, including uranium enrichment, and we will not accept actions that support the continuation of such enrichment. We will also no longer permit the storage for Iran of heavy water it has produced in excess of current limits; any such heavy water must no longer be available to Iran in any fashion.

Additionally, Secretary Pompeo today took steps to permit the continuation of projects that help restrict Iran’s ability to reconstitute its past nuclear weapons program. Our policy preserves oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduces proliferation risks, constrains Iran’s ability to shorten its “breakout time” to a nuclear weapon, and prevents the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes. We reserve the right to revoke or modify our policy covering these nonproliferation activities at any time if Iran violates its nuclear obligations or commitments or we conclude that such projects no longer provide value in constraining Iranian nuclear activities. Secretary Pompeo continues to believe that Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity.
Additionally, he reiterates his call that Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing.

Today’s action follows earlier steps to rein in Iran’s nuclear program. In November 2018, the United States re-imposed sanctions on nuclear cooperation with Iran, including by re-designating Atomic Energy Organization of Iran entities, and by placing new limits on foreign assistance that could expand Iran’s nuclear program. In March 2019, the United States designated an additional 31 Iranian individuals and entities linked to Iran’s WMD proliferation-sensitive activities. These included scientists who worked on Iran’s former nuclear weapons program and who remain employed by Iran on potentially sensitive dual-use technologies and under the leadership of the former head of that nuclear weapons program.

The United States will continue to impose maximum pressure on the Iranian regime, and remains committed to denying Iran any pathway to a nuclear weapon.

 

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U.S. to Extend Key Waivers Linked to Iran's Nuclear Program
By Nick Wadhams
May 04, 2019

  • Trump administration cutting waiver period to 90 days from 180
  • Decision will likely give some relief to European allies
The Trump administration will renew several key waivers that allow Iran to keep operating a limited civilian nuclear program, a move that heads off a clash with European allies and Tehran over the fate of a 2015 deal that Trump abandoned last year.

The U.S. is extending five waivers the administration had previously granted allowing nations that remain in the deal to engage in nonproliferation activities and nuclear research at three sites -- Fordow, Bushehr and Arak -- without facing sanctions, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ford said Friday. Instead of granting the waivers for 180 days, the administration will shorten their term to 90 days.

Two other waivers, allowing Iran to ship surplus heavy water to Oman and to ship out any enriched uranium that exceeds a 300 kilogram limit in exchange for natural, or “yellowcake” uranium, will be revoked. The second of those revocations may be especially important because it would mean Iran will have a much harder time disposing of any uranium it enriches -- thus forcing it to choose between violating its nuclear obligations or stopping all enrichment, as the U.S. wants.

“We are tightening restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program as part of our pressure campaign,” Brian Hook, the State Department’s special representative for Iran, said in an interview. “Iran cannot have any path to a nuclear weapon.”

The Friday decision likely will be welcomed by European allies including France, Germany and the U.K., which had lobbied the White House to keep the waivers first allowed under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the 2015 accord that President Donald Trump withdrew from a year ago.
They and other proponents had argued that the exemptions were instrumental in reducing the risk of nuclear proliferation from Iran and gave the International Atomic Energy Agency daily access to the sites.

One waiver that was extended applies to the facility in Bushehr, on the Persian Gulf, where Russia provides enriched uranium to power the reactor and removes spent fuel rods. Revoking that would have allowed Iran to say it deserved the right to enrich uranium. The move would have also made it impossible for China to work with Iran to redesign its reactor at Arak.

“Our leadership is not comfortable with any mechanism that allows uranium enrichment,” Ford said. “We don’t want to give Iran a supposed excuse to continue to enrich.”

The State Department said Friday’s move maintains oversight of Iran’s nuclear program and “constrains Iran’s ability to shorten its ‘breakout time’ to a nuclear weapon,” according to department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is still insisting that Iran meet 12 demands the U.S. has laid out, including that it stop enriching uranium and end what the U.S. calls its “malign activity” in the Middle East.

The decision follows a fierce internal debate that’s now become familiar with the Trump administration, between Pompeo’s staff and National Security Adviser John Bolton’s team. Administration hawks, along with hardline allies on Capitol Hill, had argued that nearly all the waivers should be revoked.

Critics of the waivers had found little wrong with the Bushehr one but were particularly angry with the one covering Fordow. They point to information that came out after Israel exposed Iran’s nuclear archive last year. That data showed Iran had built Fordow, near the holy city of Qom, solely to make weapons-grade uranium.


Arms control proponents skeptical of the administration’s hard-line approach had argued that revoking the waivers would have been more significant than the administration’s earlier moves to cut off Iranian oil revenue or designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist group.

That’s because the nuclear waivers are at the very heart of the Iran nuclear deal, and denying them would make it all but impossible for Iran to keep abiding by its terms. It also would have raised the possibility of sanctions against Russia, China and the U.K., which all play roles in Iran’s limited nuclear program.

“Revoking these waivers, you’re basically almost preventing the other JCPOA parties from providing the peaceful nuclear technical assistance that is the basis of Iran’s nuclear commitments,” said Kenneth Katzman, an Iran expert at the Congressional Research Service.

Bolton had been joined by hawkish Republican senators including Ted Cruz of Texas and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who had argued that Iran wants the reactors going so it can keep its nuclear-weapons program on ice and not abandon it completely.

On Thursday, Cruz successfully delayed a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jeffrey Eberhardt, the nominee to be Trump’s special representative for nonproliferation, as part of a broader bid to press the administration to revoke the waivers.

(Updates with State Department statement in 9th paragraph.)

 

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Iran Says It Will Continue To Enrich Uranium Despite U.S. Pressure
May 04, 2019 14:30 GMT
By RFE/RL

Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani (file photo)

Iranian Parliament speaker Ali Larijani (file photo)

Parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani says Iran will continue to enrich uranium in accordance with its nuclear accord with several world powers regardless of moves by the United States to put a stop to it.

"Under the [nuclear accord] Iran can produce heavy water and this is not in violation of the agreement. Therefore, we will carry on with enrichment activity," the semiofficial news agency ISNA quoted Larijani as saying on May 4.

The United States under President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure on the Iranian government as it seeks to end what it calls Tehran's "malign" activities in the region.

On May 3, the Trump administration slapped new restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activities as it looks to force Tehran to stop producing low-enriched uranium and expanding its only nuclear power plant, intensifying a campaign aimed at halting Tehran's ballistic missile program and curbing its regional power.

Iran has kept its nuclear program within the main limits imposed by the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the U.S. pullout from the agreement a year ago.

In pulling out of the JCPOA, Trump said the terms were not tough enough to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and he accused Tehran of violating the "spirit" of the accord by financing Islamic militants in the region.

Iran denies it supports insurgent activity and has said its nuclear program is strictly for civilian energy purposes.

Despite increasing pressure on Iran, the United States on May 3 extended five sanction waivers that will allow Russian, China, and European countries to continue to work with Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

At the same time, the State Department said it was ending two waivers related to Iranian exports of enriched uranium in what it called "the toughest sanctions ever on the Iranian regime." All of the waivers were due to expire on May 4.

The 45- to 90-day extensions were shorter than the 180 days granted previously but can be renewed.

 

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US have invaded Iraq on suspicions of building centrifuges, here obviously they are bluffing.
 

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