Congress Sends New Sanctions Bill to President
A day after President Obama increased sanctions on Iran via executive order, Congress is sending a new sanctions bill to the President’s desk, which attempts to bankrupt Iran and cause hyperinflation by preventing Iran from repatriating any revenue from its energy. NIAC criticized the sanctions, saying “The bill imposes collective punishment on the Iranian people by seeking to destroy the Iranian economy (The Hill 8/1; NIAC 8/1).
UN Secretary General Calls on MEK to Leave Camp Ashraf
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (MEK) to follow orders and leave their paramilitary base in Iraq, Camp Ashraf. The group has stopped adhering to the agreement it signed to abandon its base, despite the State Department saying its decision on whether to keep the group on its terrorist list would be based in part on its cooperation (Washington Post 8/1).
Amnesty International Report Voices Concern for Iranian Women
Amnesty International has released a report detailing its concern for human rights abuses against Iranian women in Iran. The report criticizes the lack of equal legal rights for women in the country, the mandatory hijab, gender segregation in places of higher education, and early marriage (Amnesty International 8/2).
Iranian Tanker Company Asserts Independence
Under sanctions pressure, the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) released a statement asserting its independence as a private Iranian company owned primarily by Iranian pension funds. “Accordingly its beneficiaries are over 5 million retired people,” NITC said. “There is no single budget allocated to NITC by the government and it is not a property of the government of Iran” (Reuters 8/2).
India To Resume Shipments of Iranian Oil
India, the third-biggest buyer of Iranian oil, will offer state-backed insurance to tankers, helping the nation’s biggest sea carrier to resume cargoes from the Persian Gulf nation hit by international trade sanctions (Bloomberg 8/2).
Iranian Carmakers Demand Increase in Prices Due to “Liquidity Problems”
Iranian carmakers are seeking to increase the prices of locally-produced automobiles, citing increases in production prices caused by and “liquidity problems” and problems with parts suppliers. The report comes after Peugeot’s exist from the Iranian market, where Peugeot 405 and 206 models are popular (Bloomberg 8/2).
Sanctions Affecting Iranian Private Sector
The Wall Street Journal details the extensive effect sanctions are having on Iran’s private sector as sanctions affect daily commerce far beyond Iran’s nuclear program (Wall Street Journal 8/2).
Notable Insight: “Reading between lines of Ashton’s Iran statement”
Laura Rozen analyzes the readout from the diplomatic call between EU and Iranian negotiators:
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European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told her Iranian counterpart Thursday that Iran needs to agree soon on a plan to stop its 20% enrichment, or there wasn’t much prospect of the current diplomatic track continuing as such indefinitely. That, anyway, seemed to be the message between the lines of a stark four-line statement she made after a phone call Thursday with Dr. Saeed Jalili, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. … The United States, meantime, is unlikely to agree to another P5+1 political directors meeting with Iran, unless there’s serious hope for progress, sources told Al-Monitor.