Iran in April 2023
4 April 2023
- Iran-Saudi Arabia Joint Chamber of Commerce to Be Launched Soon (Tasnim Agency). A member of the Presiding Board of the Iran Chamber of Commerce said on Monday that an Iran-Saudi Arabia Joint Chamber of Commerce will be set up in the very near future to strengthen mutual ties in trade and economic fields. Keyvan Kashefi made the remarks on Monday at the 82nd Meeting of the Council of Dialogue between the Public and Private Sectors held in Kermanshah province, terming the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia as the most important political and economic event in the country in recent weeks.
- Iran-Qatar Bilateral Trade to Reach $3 Billion by 2025: TPOI (Tasnim Agency). It is estimated that the volume of trade exchange between Iran and Qatar, including imports, exports, joint investment, transit, re-export, and joint production, will hit $3 billion by 2025.
- Riyadh Seeks to Open Its Embassy in Tehran on Eid al-Fitr (Al Khaleej Online). An Iranian newspaper said on Monday that Saudi Arabia is working to reopen its embassy in Iran within less than a month, with the escalation of rapprochement between the two countries following the agreement to restore relations.
5 April 2023
- Iranian Hunger Striker Again Urges UK PM To Proscribe IRGC (Iran International). The Telegraph reported in February that “Joe Biden’s diplomats are pressing the UK Government not to formally declare Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group, despite the Home Office backing the move”…It added that the US is saying Britain should keep doors open in case of a need to be an interlocutor. Vahid Beheshti, an Iranian activist, has not eaten in 41 days and lost over 13 kg, or about 17% of his body mass. In the past few days, a group of other Iranians joined him and set up tents beside him.
- After 8 Years, Iran Sends Its Ambassador to the UAE (Al Maydeen). On Tuesday, the Mehr news agency reported, quoting informed sources, that the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will appoint Reza Amiri as its new ambassador to the UAE after the position was vacant for eight years.
- Wary of US: EU in a Quandary Over China Ties (Kayhan). A flurry of European leaders has descended on Beijing in a push to get a dialogue going, with essential visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen scheduled this week.
6 April 2023
- Iran Probing Reports of Foiled Drone Attack on Military Facility (Anadolu Agency). Iran is probing reports about an overnight attack on a defense facility in the central city of Isfahan that was reportedly thwarted. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a weekly cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi said he could not confirm the attack and that it needed further investigation…Earlier on Wednesday, the semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported that micro aerial vehicles (MAVs) tried to approach a defense complex in Isfahan but were shot down by the air defense system.
12 April 2023
- For the First Time, Russia Begins Fuel Export to Iran by Rail (Tasnim News). Russia shipped more than 30,000 tons of gasoline and diesel to the Islamic Republic of Iran in February and March, two sources familiar with the export data told Reuters. Russian oil companies intend to forward gasoline and diesel to Iran by rail because export through sea has faced high transportation costs.
April 13, 2023
- India’s Imports of Iranian Goods Almost Doubled in First Two Months of 2023 (Tasnim News). According to the figures covered in a Wednesday report by the Islamic Republic News Agency, India imported $134 million worth of Iranian goods and commodities in January-February, showing an increase of 91% compared with the same period in 2022.
- Iran Continues Using Syria’s Earthquake To Ramp Up Military Capabilities (Iran International). The supplies being smuggled alongside relief goods have, according to intelligence, included advanced communications equipment and radar batteries, and spare parts required for a planned upgrade of Syria’s Iran-provided air defense system in its civil war.
14 April 2023
- Islamic Republic Set to Hold State-Sponsored Anti-Israel Day (Iran International). Iranian state media is sounding the rallying cry for participation in the annual pro-Palestine event, held on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on April 14 this year. The general public usually shuns such state-sponsored events, and the regime ends up transporting paramilitary Basij forces and its supporters from small towns to provincial capitals to form demonstrations with large crowds for the façade of mass support.
- Iran, Russia, China, and Pakistan Reiterate Respect for Afghanistan’s Independence and Territorial Integrity (Tasnim News). The foreign ministers of Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan released a joint statement after a Thursday meeting in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand within the framework of a ministerial conference of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries. The ministers paid attention to the efforts of the interim [Taliban] government of Afghanistan to deal with ISIS-Khorasan.
- Iran, Russia, and China FMs Meet, See Opportunity in Post-US Afghanistan (Al-Monitor). The main participants in the Samarkand summit – China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran – have been jostling in a covert rivalry for influence in the new Afghanistan, including leverage in the geopolitical calculations in Kabul.
- Iran’s Resolve to Boost Ties with Japan (Tasnim News). Iranian Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian, in a phone conversation with his Japanese counterpart Hayashi Yoshimasa on Wednesday, expressed Tehran’s commitment to further deepening ties with Tokyo…According to a statement issued by Iran’s foreign ministry, the Japanese foreign minister, for his part, said friendly relations between Tehran and Tokyo were of high importance. The two top diplomats also discussed ongoing efforts to revive the nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). In addition, Japan’s FM said he is pleased with the “positive trend” of cooperation between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), referring to recent meetings between the IAEA officials and Iranian authorities to streamline cooperation.
18 April 2023
- Iran’s Exiled Prince Meets Netanyahu Amid Tensions With Tehran (Iran International). Pahlavi attended a ceremony held at the National Holocaust Memorial and Museum, Yad Vashem, as part of the Holocaust Remembrance Day…This is the first time a prominent Iranian political figure has visited Israel publicly. Before departing for Israel on Sunday, Prince Pahlavi tweeted that he wanted “to deliver a message of friendship from the Iranian people…and pay respects to the victims of the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah.”
- Iran Sentences 10 Low-Ranking Personnel Over Downing Of Ukrainian Airliner (Iran International). The judiciary’s Mizan Online website reported Sunday that a commander was sentenced to 10 years, while nine others were sentenced to between one and three years. However, the names of none of the senior military and government officials could be seen in the list. At the same time, victims’ families demanded to know which senior officers issued the order to fire at the plane.
- US Not A Superpower Anymore: Iranian Spokesman (Tasnim News). The Iranian administration will not tie the economy and people’s livelihood to the fate of the JCPOA. However, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani said it remains committed to the negotiating table, stressing that Iran has excellent capacities for promoting foreign relations in various fields.
- Raisi Should Resign If He Cares About Iran – Lawmaker (Iran International). Mostafa Reza Hosseini Ghotbabadi said: “Unfortunately, there is no will on the part of Raisi’s government to curb inflation, and basically, they are not able to handle the situation.” On Monday, he added: “Secondly, the head of government and his first deputy does not have the necessary expertise to make the right decisions regarding inflation and economic issues.” Inflation is currently running at about 50%, with disastrous economic effects and leaving families struggling to survive.
19 April 2023
- Khamenei Says People Are Incapable of Deciding On Key Issues (Iran International). During a meeting with a cherrypicked number of students on Tuesday, Khamenei said, “Is it possible to hold a referendum on various issues in the country? Where in the world do they do this? Do all the people who have to participate in the referendum have the ability to analyze that issue?” he said.
- G7 Urges Iran to Stop Nuclear Escalation and Arms For Russia (Iran International). G7 foreign ministers meeting in Japan reiterated Tuesday that Iran “must never develop nuclear weapons” and urged Tehran in a communique to cease nuclear escalation. “We call on Iran to fulfill its legal obligations and political commitments regarding nuclear non-proliferation without further delay,” G7’s final communique said.
20 April 2023
- Iran Has Not Left Nuclear Talks: President (Tasnim News). Referring to the conspiracy of the enemy to disappoint the people and the support of some internal elements, president Raisi considered giving hope as one of the joint duties of the government and seminaries and said, “The government considers itself obliged to create hope in the hearts of the people by providing the best and most effective work, and at the same time expects seminaries to deal with the enemy’s instillation of hope in the field of jihad of enlightenment.”
- Tehran Responds to G7 Statement: Condemns and Dismisses Unfounded Accusations (Al Mayadeen). The Iranian Foreign Ministry emphasized that “Tehran is committed to maintaining its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency under the framework of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.” Furthermore, the Ministry called on Western countries to “employ diplomacy to resolve the crisis in Ukraine,” asserting that “Iran has not supplied weapons to any side in the conflict.”
21 April 2023
- Iranian Regime: Israel Sowing Mischief on Iran’s Northern Borders (Tasnim News). In Baku, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who has taken extraordinary measures to give Israel a foothold in the backyard of Iran. His recent decision to open an embassy in Israel and appoint an ambassador to Tel Aviv raised tensions with Iran, which sees Israel-Azerbaijan relations as driven by mutual mischief toward Iran. After Azerbaijan, Cohen flew to Ashgabat on Wednesday night to open Israel’s “closest” embassy to Iran.
- Every Country Iran Touches Becomes A Failed State, Says Israel’s Ex-PM (Iran International). Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett compared Iran to a failed state which has infected every country it touches in the region with its dysfunction. Bennett was speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran International’s Arash Alaei in Washington DC, just hours after the ex-PM had met officials from the Biden administration and been reassured that the US would not tolerate a nuclear Iran.
- Iranian Navy Claims to Warn Away US Submarine in Hormuz Strait (Tasnim News). On Thursday, Rear Admiral Shahram Irani said that the homegrown Iranian submarine has identified and warned away the USS Florida nuclear-powered submarine in the Strait of Hormuz. The commander said the American submarine had submerged and was silently approaching the Strait of Hormuz. Still, the Iranian Navy’s Fateh submarine detected it and maneuvered to force the US watercraft to surface and cruise the strait above the sea.
- US Navy Denies Iran’s Claim on Harassing Submarine in Gulf Waters (Al-Monitor). The US Navy denied on Thursday Iran’s claim that it forced a US cruise-missile submarine to surface in the Strait of Hormuz after Washington had deployed the vessel to the region in a show of force towards Tehran earlier this month. The US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, flatly denied the interaction occurred…“Iran’s claim is absolutely false. A US submarine has NOT transited the Strait of Hormuz recently. The claim represents more Iranian disinformation that destabilizes the region,” the command said on Twitter
24 April 2023
- Anti-Israel Rhetoric Intensifies In Iran As Some See Shadow Of War (Iran International). Politicians close to the core of the Iranian regime have increased their anti-Israel rhetoric as Tehran boasts of destabilizing its arch-enemy by proxy attacks. At the same time, Israeli officials are visibly angry at what they insist is Iranian orchestrated multi-front attacks from Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria.
- Iran Raps Provocative U.S. Comments on Tehran’s Military Activities (Tasnim News). In a statement on Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson lashed out at US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for his comments about Washington’s plans to disrupt Iran’s military activities and impose new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
25 April 2023
- UK Slaps Sanctions on IRGC Commanders Over Human Rights Violations (Iran International). Announcing the sanctions on Monday in coordination with the United States and the European Union, the British government said those sanctioned included four regional commanders of the Revolutionary Guards. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said, “The Iranian regime is responsible for the brutal repression of the Iranian people and for exporting bloodshed worldwide. That’s why we have more than 300 sanctions on Iran, including on the IRGC in its entirety.”
- Armenia Hosts First Trilateral Meeting with Iranian and Indian Officials (Tehran Times). The April 20 meeting involved various deputies and assistants in the foreign ministries of the three countries. It focused primarily on “economic issues and regional communication channels,” according to a readout by the Armenian foreign ministry. “The sides agreed to continue consultations in a trilateral format.”
- Iran’s Exports To China, India, and Turkiye Drop Significantly (Iran International). Turkey’s Official Statistics Center has reported that the country’s imports from Iran have fallen to $450 million, a 22% drop. The numbers announced by the Indian Ministry of Commerce also show a 6% drop in imports from the Islamic Republic, hitting less than $162 million. Official Chinese customs data also shows that imports from Iran were $2.9 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a decline of more than 41% compared to the first quarter of 2022.
26 April 2023
- UN Official Promises to Assist in Easing Iran Sanctions (Tehran Times). Martin Griffiths, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that the UN relief bodies seek frequent assistance from important member states to offer an exemption through the Security Council and humanitarian operations…He highlighted that the UN bodies are committed to ensuring that sanctions do not prevent people who need humanitarian aid from accessing that kind of assistance.
- Iranian Hackers Gained Access To Election Results Website In 2020: US Military (Iran International). The revelation was made by Major General William Hartman, head of US Cyber Command’s Cyber National Mission Force, who spoke for the first time of the incident, one of the multiple attacks from foreign hackers during the presidential elections…The Major General explained, however, that the Iranian group, known as Pioneer Kitten, was removed from the network before any damage was done to affect voting.
- Iran Shipped Ammunition Through the Caspian Sea to Russia (Jerusalem Post). Iran shipped over 300,000 artillery shells and a million rounds of ammunition to Russia across the Caspian Sea in the past six months…Iran has used chiefly cargo flights to ship weapons to Russia, which are nearly impossible for Western countries to stop, and blocking the shipment of weapons in the Caspian Sea would require the agreement of former Soviet republics in the area.
- Tehran, Riyadh Officially Begin Boosting Trade Relations: Industry Minister (Tasnim News). With the start of trade activities between Iran and Saudi Arabia, officials at Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade have initiated exporting products to Saudi Arabia, the Iranian industry minister said.
27 April 2023
- Khamenei’s Trusted Cleric Gunned Down in Northern Iran (Iran International). A former Khamenei aid associated with the mass executions of the 1980s has been assassinated in the northern city of Babolsar. Ayatollah Abbas-Ali Soleimani, the former representative of the Supreme Leader in Sistan and Baluchistan province and Kashan, was gunned down in Mazandaran province, according to the Hozeh website on Wednesday.
- Iranian Diplomat to Be Released in Prisoner Swap with Belgium (Tasnim News). In February 2021, a Belgian court sentenced Iranian diplomat Assadollah Assadi to 20 years in prison for allegedly planning an attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MEK)… However, in line with the new deal, Iranians convicted in Belgium would be allowed to serve their sentences at home and vice versa.
- Iran Upholds Dual National’s Death Sentence (Iran International). Iran’s judiciary has approved the death sentence of Iranian-German prisoner Jamshid Sharmahd for alleged involvement in terrorism… Sharmahd, who also holds US residency, has been held in solitary confinement and was denied an independent attorney and fair legal procedures.
- Indian General Says Delhi Upbeat Over Military Co-op with Iran (Tasnim News). Lieutenant General Dinesh Singh Rana, the Director General of India’s Defense Intelligence, said that in addition to professional training military courses, several Iranian naval delegations had visited various Indian naval training establishments in the past, and the defense engagement between the two countries has grown.
- Strikes in Iran Gaining Momentum with Over 80 Industrial Institutions On Strike (Iran International). Strikes by Iranian energy, petrochemicals, and steel workers are gaining momentum as new firms have joined the nationwide industrial action. According to the Council for Organizing Oil Contract-Workers’ Protests, workers in more than 80 companies have joined industrial action, protesting poor working conditions, low wages, and rising living costs.