Australia imposes sanctions on Iranian oil
Following yesterday’s announcement of EU imposed sanctions, Australian Foreign Secretary Kevin Rudd stated that Australia would also stop importing Iranian oil.  Rudd acknowledged Australia’s imports of Iranian oil are already “negligible.”   (CNN 01/24)
Fitch: EU oil sanctions likely to increase prices
Fitch ratings evaluates that it is very likely that the EU oil embargo on Iran will increase oil prices, though it states markets may have already priced in much of the increase. Fitch notes that it is “difficult to predict at this stage” what effect U.S. extraterritorial sanctions will have, adding “the global oil market would have less flexibility in the event of large unexpected supply interruptions elsewhere, potentially sending oil prices much higher than current levels” if the sanctions are aggressively enforced. (Fitch Ratings 01/24)

Netanyahu argues Israel must not rely on others
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argued that Iran poses a grave threat to Israel and, citing the Holocaust, stated that “that ultimately when there is threat to our existence, we must not leave our fate in the hands of others.” (Reuters 01/24)
UK increases naval presence in Persian Gulf
According to Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, the U.K. is considering sending additional naval resources to the Persian Gulf amidst rising tensions.  In a show of strength, the British Navy sent a frigate as part of an international flotilla traveling through the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday.    (BBC 01/24)
India may pay in gold for Iranian oil
India has decided to pay for Iran’s oil in gold, allowing it to sidestep Western sanctions and continue trade, according to an unconfirmed report on DEBKAfile and reprinted in Iran’s Press TV.   The report notes China may follow suit. (RT 01/24)
Iranians in Dubai concerned about sanctions
Iranians living in nearby Dubai are increasingly worried about the effects of the U.S. and EU financial sanctions.  About a third of Dubai’s population originates from Iran and many still maintain ties to their country of origin.  Financial sanctions have made it more difficult for Iranians in Dubai who wish to conduct business, mainly shipping, with Iran.  (BBC 01/23)
Iranians protest against satellite jamming
Iranians assembled to protest against the Iranian government’s use of censorship and satellite jamming at the World Radio Communication Conference in Geneva.  They called upon the conference’s organizer, the International Telecommunication Union, a UN agency, to take decisive steps to pressure the Iranian government into removing censorship.  (ICHRI 01/23)
Human Rights
Mohammad Soleimani, a well known literary translator, has been detained in Iran for reasons currently unknown.  According to his family, security guards accompanied him to his home following his court appearance, and searched the house, seizing documents and electronic devices before disappearing with him. (CNN 01/23)  
The former Chancellor of Tehran University, Dr. Mohammad Maleki, has been sent to Evin Prison.   He had previously been arrested several times, and was sentenced most recently to one year in prison for insulting Ayatollah Khamenei, although he was later acquitted.  (EA Worldview 01/24)
In addition, Yaser Yousefzadeh, a supporter of opposition figure Mir Hossein Mousavi, was arrested at his residence in northern Iran.  (EA Worldview 01/24)
Notable Opinion:
In an op-ed for The Atlantic, author and journalist Robert Wright argues the Republican candidates policies on Iran are likely to lead to war:

The position of the three people who might be the Republican presidential nominee can be summarized as follows: (1) If Iran doesn’t meet our demands we must bomb it! (2) We must make demands that are essentially impossible for Iran to meet! The rest, as they say, may be history.

To read the full piece click here.
Additional Notable News:
Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd, a major Indian oil refinery, states it may reduce its purchases of Iranian oil due to increased payment problems caused by extensive economic sanctions imposed upon Iran.
Peter Jenkins, Britain’s permanent representative to the IAEA from 2001–06, argues that the international community should seek an inspections based solution to the conflict with Iran.
Ali Akbar Javanfekr, a controversial media aide to President Ahmadinejad, accused Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff of causing relations to deteriorate between the two countries.

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