Pentagon: Iranian Military Capability “Designed to Slow Invasion”
A Pentagon assessment of Iran’s military capabilities delivered to Congress states “Iran’s military doctrine remains designed to slow an invasion; target its adversaries’ economic, political, and military interests; and force a diplomatic solution to hostilities while avoiding any concessions that challenge its core interests,” (FAS 7/11).
Tehran Warns Against Reports on Effects of Sanctions
Tehran has warned the media against publishing reports regarding the impact of Western sanctions on the regime. The Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Mohammad Hosseini said, “Our country is not in a position to allow the media to publish (any) news or analysis which is not compatible with the regime’s and national interests,” (AFP 7/11).
Supreme Leader Says West “Vaccinated” Iran Against Sanctions
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has said, “[Westerners] don’t understand that throughout the last 30 years they themselves vaccinated the Iranian nation against sanctions,” adding, “The Iranian nation in the past three decades stood against all the conspiracies and sanctions and made progress and now we are 100 percent stronger than 30 years ago,” (Bloomberg 7/11).
Iraq Overtakes Iran as World’s Second Largest Oil Producer
For the first time since 1988, Iraq’s crude production last month has overtaken Iran’s output. Iraq pumped 2.984 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, whereas Iran produced 2.963 million bpd ahead of the implementation of EU sanctions starting July 1, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) (Bloomberg 7/11). Iran’s production is at its lowest level since 1990 (WSJ 7/11).
Iranian Foreign Minister Says Iran Unlikely to Close Strait
After the EU began enforcing a ban on the purchase of Iranian oil, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that Iran would close the Strait of Hormuz to oil if its own exports are halted, adding “but I don’t think such a time will ever come,” (AP 7/10).
Annan’s Plan for Resolving Syrian Crisis Stirs International Tension
U.N. peace envoy Kofi Annan insisted on Tuesday on the inclusion of Iran in efforts to resolve the crisis in Syrian, saying, “Iran has a role to play. And my presence here explains that I believe in that.” Annan’s comments came after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran (Reuters 7/10).
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters, “I don’t think anybody with a straight face could argue that Iran has had a positive impact on developments in Syria,” (The Hill 7/10). Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin threw his support behind Annan, saying, “China believes that the appropriate resolution of the Syria issue cannot be separated from the countries in the region, especially the support and participation of those countries that are influential on relevant sides in Syria,” (Reuters 7/11).
Iran Condemns Suppression of Shiite Demonstrators in Saudi Arabia
Iranian sources report Iran’s Foreign Minister Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran was “concerned by violent actions carried out by the Saudi forces against religious figures and people,” and called on Saudi Arabia respond to “the legitimate demands of the public and refrain from using violence against people,” (Bloomberg 7/11).
Japanese Insurers Increase Coverage for Iranian Oil Carriers
Japanese insurers are expanding their maritime coverage, increasing their cargo and hull coverage to $491 million, to allow more domestic tankers to transport Iranian crude in August, after having halted shipments from Iran this month. The insurance increase will allow two supertankers instead of one to transport Iranian oil through the Middle East at one time, boosting Japan’s shipping capacity from Tehran to more than 200,000 barrels per day (Reuters 7/11).
Romney to Lay Out Middle East Policy Immediately After Israel Fundraiser
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will host a $60,000 per plate fundraising event in Jerusalem on July 29. Romney will “lay out his Middle East policy” in Jerusalem immediately after the fundraiser (Jerusalem Post 7/11).
Iranian Committee Delays Subsidy Cuts on Inflation Concerns
Iranian news source, Shargh, reports the Iranian parliament’s economic committee has decided to postpone further cuts to energy and food subsidies until next March based on concerns for increases in food prices and high inflation (Bloomberg 7/11).
Notable Opinion: “Sanctions on Iran punish its people, not its leaders”
Saeed Kamali Dehghan humanizes the impact of sanctions on average Iranians:
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The people of Iran should not be held to account for wrongdoing by their regime – and yet, that is what is happening as western countries impose ever-tighter sanctions.
Sanctions are pushing ordinary Iranians to the edge of poverty, destroying the quality of their lives, isolating them from the outside world and most importantly, blocking their path to democracy.
As a result of sanctions, Iranians are now cut off from the world. Universities can barely hold international conferences, students have to forget about exchange programmes, academics face ridiculous difficulties for simple tasks such as subscribing to international journals or submitting research papers to them.