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THE EARLY PHOENIX May 12, 2023

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May 12, 2023

IRAN

  1. US Seizes $80M Worth Of Heroin Departing From Iran (Iran International). US Central Command said on Thursday that USCGC Glen Harris was operating in support of the Combined Task Force when a team discovered 1,964 kilograms of heroin on a vessel transiting international waters after departing Chabahar, Iran…So far this year, the Navy’s Combined Task Force 150 has seized illegal narcotics worth $200 million.
  2. Iran’s Non-Oil Trade with BRICS Countries Surpasses $38 Billion (Kayhan). Drawing from the Iranian Customs Authority data, China stands as Iran’s leading trading partner. Trade between the two countries reached $30.32 billion, indicating a 37% growth. India comes in second, with a trade exchange of $4.99 billion. Russia follows with a trade exchange of $2.32 billion.
  3. Syria’s Debts to Iran Surpass $50 Billion, Including $11 Billion in Oil; Iran Expresses Concern Over Collection Ability (Iran International). A collective of hackers, operating under the name ‘Revolution until the overthrow of the regime,’ recently released a series of documents reportedly obtained through infiltrating the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs systems… These documents suggest that the significant pact signed between Iran and Syria in 2018 ‘has not and will not be ratified by the parliaments of either nation.’ The reason attributed to this lack of approval is Syria’s reluctance to jeopardize its access to free oil. At the same time, the National Security Council is hesitant to forward the agreement for legislative review due to several confidential clauses contained within it.
  4. Iran Urges the Muslim World to Stand with Palestinian People against Israeli Aggression (Tasnim News). In multiple posts on his Twitter account on Thursday, Spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Kanaani reacted to the Israeli regime forces’ renewed air raids on the besieged territory of Gaza, saying that the Israeli forces targeted around 200 locations in the Gaza Strip over two days.

“The main targets were residential areas, resulting in over 25 martyrs and dozens of casualties, particularly among children and women,” he wrote.

  1. Riyadh’s New Envoy to Tehran Named, Iran FM Says (Tasnim News). Under the agreement signed on March 10, both countries agreed to appoint new ambassadors and reopen their embassies within two months. “My colleagues have been working for weeks to prepare the embassy and consulate for reopening,” said Amirabdollahian.

ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

  1. Egypt Intensifies Ceasefire Efforts, Sending Envoys to Israel (Jerusalem Post). Israel will only agree to an unconditional ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, diplomatic sources said, as an Egyptian delegation headed to Israel to continue to push for an end to Operation Shield and Arrow, a senior diplomatic source said.
  2. Security Official: Iran Attempting to Block Gaza Ceasefire (Ynet News). Seeing its investment of tens of millions of dollars in the PIJ go to waste, Tehran demands the fight continue, as is briefing the local press that any agreement would be a collaboration with Israel. In addition, officials in Israel say Iran is attempting to disrupt any ceasefire agreement by putting pressure on the terror group’s leadership currently in Lebanon.
  3. Deputy Commander of Islamic Jihad Rocket Force Killed in IDF, Shin Bet Op (i24). Ahmad Abu Daqa was the deputy commander of the Islamic Jihad’s rocket force and “took a significant part in commanding and carrying out the rocket barrages towards Israel” over the past day. 
  4. Over 800 Rockets Were Fired into Israel in 36 Hours (Jerusalem Post). Police confirmed one death in Rehovot after rocket fire.  According to IDF commander, Israel’s air defense is “ready for anything,” according to IDF commander.

SYRIA

  1.  Iran Announces Its Readiness to Develop Defense Industries in The Syrian Army(Syria TV). Iran announced that it is ready to harness its energies to develop the infrastructure for defense industries in the areas controlled by the Syrian regime, stressing the need to raise and expand relations between Tehran and the regime.
  2.  UN Launches $2M Project to Revitalize Syria’s Food Industry (Alwatan). The Minister of Industry, Abdelkader Joukhadar, and the representative of UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), Emmanuel Calenzi, signed a memorandum of understanding on launching a pioneering project to revitalize the agro-food industry in Syria, with support and funding from the friendly Russian Federation, yesterday, at the Dama Rose Hotel in Damascus.
  3.  Germany Hosts a Meeting to Discuss The Humanitarian Situation in Syria (Enab Baladi). The European Union announced that it is organizing, in agreement with the German Foreign Ministry, a meeting for senior officials to assess the humanitarian situation in Syria, which will bring together humanitarian donors, non-governmental organizations, United Nations agencies, and the “Red Cross” and “Red Crescent” organizations.
  4.  Revealing a Video of The 2013 Baniyas Massacre, Shocking scenes (Zaman Alwasl).The Syrian newspaper, Zaman al-Wasl, has acquired a new video documenting a horrific massacre, reportedly committed by Assad’s forces and his paramilitary associates in the “Ras al-Naba” district of Baniyas city in 2013. The harrowing footage depicts numerous victims, including children, women, and young men, who appear to have been brutally murdered by Assad’s forces and paramilitary groups following severe and deliberate torture.

GULF REGION

  1.  Saudi Arabia Thwarts Smuggling Operation of Over 800,000 Opium and Captagon Tablets (Al Khaleej Online). The Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has intercepted significant smuggling of opium tablets clandestinely stashed within a consignment of children’s toys entering the country via King Khalid International Airport. In a separate operation, the authority successfully intercepted 461,164 Captagon tablets hidden in a shipment of automobile spare parts crossing the Haditha border checkpoint with Jordan.
  2.  Iran’s Minister of Economy Visits Saudi Arabia for First Time in 8 Years (The New Arab). Iranian Minister of Economy Ehsan Khandouzi said that trade between Iran and Saudi Arabia had been “zero” for years but that Iran had exported $15 million worth of goods to Saudi Arabia in the past year without importing anything from it. He explained that work was underway to establish a joint chamber of commerce between the two countries and that the Iranian Trade Development Organization was finalizing a roadmap for trade between Iran and Saudi Arabia.
  3.  Bahrain to Suspend Changes to Curriculum Linked to Israel, Normalization (Al Arabiya). The announcement, reportedly in line with King Hamad al-Khalifa’s “commitment to protecting the Islamic religion,” came on Tuesday after some critics voiced issues with the inclusion of Israel and change to the maps of the contested Israeli-Palestinian territories.

SUDAN 

  1.  “An Agreement to End the Crisis at Any Moment.” Cautious Optimism in Sudan (Alarabiya) The spokesman for the political process, Khaled Omar Youssef, confirmed that the Jeddah talks are close to reaching an agreement. While the negotiations continue between the delegations of the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces in Jeddah, with Saudi and American mediation, to stop the fighting that broke out in Sudan between the two military forces since mid-April, it appears that there is cautious optimism. It is looming on the horizon, despite the violent clashes in the capital, Khartoum, during the past hours.
  2.  UN Human Rights Body Turns Attention to Sudan’s Conflict as Warring Generals Fight for Control (English Ahram). The Human Rights Council, comprised of 47 U.N. member states, is set to vote on a resolution to scrutinize current human rights violations in Sudan further.

TURKIYE

  1.  The First Shot Was Carried Out with GÖZDE Ammunition (Yenisafak). The first firing tests of GÖZDE ammunition, delivered within the scope of the “Modern Ammunition Supply Project” signed with the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), were carried out from the F-16 and AKINCI SİHA platforms, and the target was hit with high precision.
  2.  The Trade Volume between Türkiye and The UAE Will Double The 25 Billion Dollar Target (Star). Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) Turkiye-United Arab Emirates (UAE) Business Council Chairman Tevfik Öz stated that thanks to the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (KEOA), which entered into force between the two countries, the trade volume, which was approximately 10 billion dollars by the end of 2022, will reach 25 billion dollars in 5 years. He said they were waiting for it to arrive.
  3.  Turkiye Elections: Presidential Candidate Ince Withdraws from The Race (Al-Monitor). Ince said that he was withdrawing for his country’s sake but stopped short of endorsing any candidate. “Let there be no excuses. Otherwise, when they lose the election, they will blame us on the morning of the election; they have no excuse,” he said, in an apparent jab at the main opposition party. “I’m doing this for my country.”

IRAQ

  1.  Iraqi Kurds keep a Nervous eye on Turkish Elections (Iraqi News) Erbil. As Turkiye’s presidential vote nears, Iraqi Kurds are closely watching the tightest electoral battle yet for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which could have significant security and economic implications for their region.
  2.  Iran’s Oil Minister Visits Baghdad (Iraqi News), The oil ministries of Iraq and Iran signed a memorandum of agreement under Al-Sudani’s sponsorship. The Oil Ministers of Iraq and Iran both signed it…The memo outlined generic features of collaboration to invest in the shared oil reserves on the borders of the two nations and cooperation in the extraction, processing, and technology exchanges of associated gas and crude oil.

YEMEN

  1.  Houthi President Al-Mashat blessed the Palestinian Resistance (Althawrah) His Excellency Field Marshal Mahdi Al-Mashat, Chairman of the Supreme Political Council, blessed all Palestinian resistance factions for their legitimate response to the brutal crime committed by the usurping Zionist enemy against field leaders in the Palestinian resistance and by bombing residential neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip.

EGYPT

  1.  Egypt has No Plans to retake the GERD Issue to UN Security Council at this Stage: FM Shoukry (English Ahram) Shoukry said that Egypt had no plans to go to the UNSC at this stage as Ethiopia gears up for the fourth filling of the dam despite objections from both Cairo and Khartoum. He added that the Egyptians must have confidence in their leadership and institutions to deal with the matter and take all the necessary actions to protect the Egyptian citizen and Egypt’s water security.

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