Iran tests upgraded version of short-range missile, says can hit sea targets
Israel’s envoy to U.S. jumps the gun, blames Iran for Sinai attack
Olympics wrestling: Reihanpour Soryan claims Iran’s first ever gold
Iran rial sinks 5 pct vs dollar as devaluation expected
Israel hardens missile shield
‘Bootleg chicken’ sold for record prices in Iran
Iran warns against foreign intervention in Syria
Syria rebels threaten to execute Iranian captives
Iran Denies Iranians Seized in Syria Include Military Members
Iran plans to host meeting on Syria
Iran airs “confessions” in killings of nuclear scientists
Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Attend Mecca Summit Next Week, Office Says
Obama associate got $100,000 fee from affiliate of firm doing business with Iran
India HPCL begins rupee payment for Iran oil
Notable Opinion: Five Myths about the U.S.-Iran Conflict
AP: Iran tests upgraded version of short-range missile, says can hit sea targets
Iran claimed Saturday it has successfully test-fired an upgraded version of a short-range ballistic missile with improved accuracy, increasing the Islamic Republic’s capability to strike both land and naval targets. Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said the solid-fueled Fateh-110 has a range of 300 kilometers (185 miles). He claimed the weapon could strike with pin-point precision, making it the most accurate weapon of its kind in Iran’s arsenal.
Haaretz: Israel’s envoy to U.S. jumps the gun, blames Iran for Sinai attack
Only hours after the attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing, before the fog of war had time to dissipate, the ambassador [Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the US] announced on his Twitter account that Iran was behind the assault. It is unclear what prompted Oren to release these statements, as it is clear he was in no possession of evidence linking Iran to the attack. Just how unfounded these allegations are was further underscored by a briefing given Monday morning by Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. In the briefing, Barak said the insurgents were operatives in an organization affiliated with Al-Qaida, “apparently some kind of global jihad, with unclear connections.”
BBC: Olympics wrestling: Reihanpour Soryan claims Iran’s first ever gold
Iran claimed their first ever Greco-Roman wrestling gold as Hamid Mohammad Soryan Reihanpour overcame Rovshan Bayramov from Azerbaijan at 55kg.
Reuters: Iran rial sinks 5 pct vs dlr as devaluation expected
Iran’s rial sank about 5 percent in trading against the U.S. dollar on Monday after the central bank said it would change the currency’s official exchange rate, prompting fears of another devaluation as the economy suffers from international sanctions. The rial was trading in the free market at around 21,510 per dollar, according to Persian-language currency tracking website Mazanex, down from about 20,440 on Sunday.
Reuters: Eye on Iran and Syria, Israel hardens missile shield
Israel is upgrading its Arrow II ballistic missile shield in a U.S.-backed “race” against Iran, Syria and other regional enemies, a senior Israeli defense official said on Sunday. The new “Block 4” generation of guided interceptor rockets, radars and technologies for synchronizing Arrow with U.S. systems was being installed in deployed Israeli batteries, a process that would take several weeks, the official said.
The Telegraph: ‘Bootleg chicken’ sold for record prices in Iran
In the latest twist to what has become known as the “chicken crisis”, Iranian police say have discovered 60,000kg (60 tonnes) of live and slaughtered poultry hidden in various locations throughout the country over a 15-day period. The discovery comes amid a bitter political furore over the soaring cost of chicken, which has risen more than threefold to up to 80,000 rial (£4.20) per kilogram in the past year. A chorus of public complaint over what is a staple part of the Iranian diet has even prompted the intervention of Iran’s police chief and senior clerics as the government has scrambled to make chicken available at affordable prices.
Reuters: Iran warns against foreign intervention in Syria
Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused the United States and regional countries he did not name of providing military support to rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran. “The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful (Israelis) with it,” Larijani said on Sunday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
AP: Syria rebels threaten to execute Iranian captives
Syrian rebels said three Iranian captives were killed on Monday during an air attack in Damascus province by government forces, and threatened to kill their remaining captives unless the army stopped its attack. “They were killed when the aircraft attacked, one of the houses they were in collapsed over their heads,” the group’s spokesman, Moutassam al-Ahmad, told Reuters. “We will kill the rest if the army does not stop its assault. They have one hour.”
Bloomberg: Iran Denies Iranians Seized in Syria Include Military Members
Iran “firmly” rejects claims that a group of people abducted by Syrian rebels near Damascus include members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iranian deputy foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said.
Reuters: Iran plans to host meeting on Syria
Iran, a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, plans to host a meeting of regional and other countries this week on ways to resolve the country’s conflict, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday. However, only countries with a “realistic” stance on the conflict will be invited to the meeting on Thursday, IRNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian as saying. The report did not say which countries would be involved but without Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of whom back the opposition to Assad, it is unlikely to have a significant result.
Reuters: Iran airs “confessions” in killings of nuclear scientists
Iranian state television aired what it described as confessions of individuals accused of assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists, saying they worked as Israeli agents to sabotage the country’s nuclear programme. Five Iranian scientists and academics have been killed or attacked since 2010 in incidents believed to have targeted Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, which the West says is aimed at producing a bomb.
Bloomberg: Iran’s Ahmadinejad to Attend Mecca Summit Next Week, Office Says
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will take part in an Islamic solidarity summit in Mecca next week following an invitation from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported, citing the president’s office. Ahmadinejad will be present in the “emergency summit” on Aug. 14-15 that’s aimed at reviewing developments in Arab countries, Mohammad-Reza Forghani, director for international affairs at Ahmadinejad’s office said, according to IRNA.
Washington Post: Obama associate got $100,000 fee from affiliate of firm doing business with Iran
David Plouffe, a senior White House adviser who was President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, accepted a $100,000 speaking fee in 2010 from an affiliate of a company doing business with Iran’s government. A subsidiary of MTN Group, a South Africa-based telecommunications company, paid Plouffe for two speeches he made in Nigeria in December 2010, about a month before he joined the White House staff.
Reuters: India HPCL begins rupee payment for Iran oil
State-run Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) has made its first payment for Iranian oil in rupees to partially settle its bill for a cargo imported in May, company officials said on Friday, a move that will help New Delhi fix its trade imbalance with Tehran.
Notable Opinion: Five Myths about the U.S.-Iran Conflict– The National Interest
Reza Marashi and Reza Sanati discuss the myths surrounding the current US-Iranian standoff:
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U.S. and Iranian strategies are stuck in the status quo, but the world around them is changing. From Egypt to Pakistan, longtime U.S. allies surrounding Iran are increasingly at odds with Washington, each for its own reasons. Most notably, some Israeli leaders are threatening a military conflict with Iran, a mess that the United States might have to clean up.
For Tehran, sanctions are too severe to circumvent by the old means. The U.S.-led assault on Iran’s banking infrastructure, shipping lines and oil exports has forced the Islamic Republic to create new methods of trade. And the Arab Spring is challenging U.S. and Iranian influence in the Middle East. Neither country really wants a collision—war would be disastrous for both—but that is where the status quo appears to be headed.