Iran

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Iran Nuclear Program

Iran is a major player, supporting the government of Syria, and offering support to the government of Iraq in its struggle against ISIS.

It has a nuclear program which proved to be highly controversial and was a subject of P5+1 negotiations; Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was an outcome.

05.09.14 IAEA report highlights
  • The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency at that time, indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.
  • 20% U-235 (447.8 kg of such nuclear material), all of which has been further processed through downblending or conversion into uranium oxide. 7765 kg remain in the form of UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235.
  • IAEA and Iran held discussions on the practical measures relating to the initiation of high explosives and to neutron transport calculations.
  • IAEA and Iran held discussions on the need or application for the development of Exploding Bridge Wire detonators.
  • (J.)Iran is not implementing its Additional Protocol. The Agency will not be in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran unless and until Iran provides the necessary cooperation with the Agency, including by implementing its Additional Protocol
  • (L. ,p. 14) "While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities... the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities".
--Resup (talk) 05:45, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

22 September, 2014 english.alarabiya.net U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday raised the threat of Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria directly with his Iranian counterpart in high-level talks in New York, a U.S. official said, according to Agence France Presse.

Kerry, PBS interview, as reported by TASS, 01 November, 2014 Iran participation in fighting ISIS cannot affect negotiations on Iran nuclear program


IAEA. OCT. 31, 2014, NY Times The director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, said commitments Iran had made to provide more information on what he called “possible military dimensions” had not been carried out. He said that while he had received assurances from Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, that he was “willing to clarify the ambiguity” in documents and computer records that appear to show work on a variety of technologies that can be used to detonate a weapon, the cooperation had not been forthcoming.


'Endgame'. www.usnews.com Initial position was opposing any enrichment inside Iran; an option to export nuclear energy fuel from Russia a solution. Currently, discussion seems to be about number of centrifuges and 'closing a path to weapon' (how exactly do you 'close a path'? - asked Mowgli. It's a jungle out there, is it not?) --Resup (talk) 05:44, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Despite Nuclear Talks, U.S. Seen As 'Great Satan' In Iran. Nov. 05, 2014 RFERL: The United States remains "the Great Satan" despite nuclear negotiations between Iran and Washington, Iranian hard-liners conveyed in a November 4 message marking the 35th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in the Islamic republic. The statement was issued by anti-U.S. demonstrators who gathered outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran -- dubbed the "Nest of Spies" -- and called for resistance against the United States, which they decried as an oppressor. Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament should also be vigilant regarding any potential nuclear agreement, according to the statement:

04.11.14 Tashin news agency google translated: "3. The participants in this grand gathering of Ashoura, password and authority of the state and the nation against the hegemonic system and follow the school of Ashura, Yazid times the strength and resistance to oppressive America and the powers, while supporting the government and the oppressor and the know arrogant diplomacy in the nuclear negotiations with P5 + 1 and emphasize compliance framework drawn up by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran zealous for the inalienable right people, meticulous removal of unilateral sanctions against Iran and take care cruel and respected representatives of Parliament Houshmandi The definitive agreements and their potential to seriously consider the demands of the real sponsors of terrorism, violence and extremism and false claims law of nations, will not let the greed Khlly on the road to discrimination and, and the inalienable rights of obstructing nation forward"."Thirteenth of November 1393 Solar Hjry- Coinciding with the tenth of Moharram 1436 AH Fourth of November 2014 Mena Lo Alzlh - Death to America Death to Israel Death to Britain"

21.7.15 U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Saturday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very troubling".

Shahram Amiri

  • Iranian nuclear scientist Shahram Amiri executed for treason, BBC, 7 Aug., 2016
  • CIA suspects Iranian nuclear defector who returned to Tehran was a double agent, Telegraph, 17 July 2010
his role as one of the sources for the now heavily disputed 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that downplayed Iran's suspected nuclear weapons operations has raised further doubts. The US intelligence community has been working on a new NIE that will give a much more alarming assessment of the Islamic republication's atomic bomb ambitions.
  • U.S. Says Scientist Aided C.I.A. While Still in Iran, NY Times, 15 July 2010.
While still in Iran, he was also one of the sources for a much-disputed National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s suspected weapons program, published in 2007, the officials said. For several years, Mr. Amiri provided what one official described as “significant, original” information about secret aspects of his country’s nuclear program, according to the Americans...It is unclear how Mr. Amiri’s information fed into the 2007 intelligence estimate. That document contended that Iran halted its design work on a nuclear weapon in 2003.

Nuclear Talks

24.11.14 is talks deadline. Iran nuclear talks: Diplomats ponder extending deadline--Resup (talk) 22:30, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

28.3.15 A framework agreement is discussed. It is believed by some observers that some sort of a deal before the self-imposed March 31 deadline is close. Progress on some of the issues; but not all issues indicated.

Iranian defector: “The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal ” (Amir Hossein Motaghi). --Resup (talk) 00:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

30.3.15 Lavrov leaves Iran talks; Kerry is determined to cave (what?)

Lavrov returns, says 'Good chance' of deal , --and an earlier episode with Lavrov (30.3.15) --Resup (talk) 12:50, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

How France Became an Iran Hawk --Resup (talk) 05:51, 31 March 2015 (UTC)

1.4 A pause in the negotiations taken by Iran - TASS quoting European diplomatic sources.--Resup (talk) 15:43, 1 April 2015 (UTC)

2.4 Framework agreement details published --Resup (talk) 19:24, 2 April 2015 (UTC)

"Iran Accuses U.S. of Lying About New Nuke Agreement", freebeacon.com, 2.4.15
"The solutions are good for all, as they stand. There is no need to spin using "fact sheets" so early on". Javad Zarif, 2.4.15
--Resup (talk) 04:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Sanctions to be terminated,.... enrichment will go on... -Presstv-Iran, 4.4.15
Iran’s Persian statement on ‘deal’ contradicts Obama’s claims-NYPost, 4.4.15
--Resup (talk) 00:10, 5 April 2015 (UTC)

4.7.15 Ministers to reconvene in Vienna, amid reports that one of the sticking points, on sanctions lifting (reimposing in case of non-compliance) mechanism was agreed by technical experts --Resup (talk) 16:28, 4 July 2015 (UTC)

14.7 Iran nuclear deal reached -jpost, Sources: Iran and the 6 reached nuclear accord-TASS (Russian) Iran nuclear agreement 'reached' - diplomats in Vienna -BBC

  • Iran will reduce its current stockpile of low-enriched uranium, which can be processed into bomb-grade fuel, by 98 percent to 300 kilograms (about 660 pounds) for 15 years.
  • Iran will reduce by two-thirds, to 5,060, the number of centrifuges operating to enrich uranium at its primary processing center in Natanz. Remaining centrifuges get moved to a continuously monitored storage site. Taken together, the limits on fuel and centrifuges would extend, to one year, the amount of time necessary for Iran to produce enough weapons-grade material for a single bomb if it should abandon the accord.
  • International sanctions against Iran will be lifted, allowing it to start selling oil again on international markets and using the global financial system for trade.
  • An international arms embargo on Iran would be eased gradually, with the pace determined in part by whether the International Atomic Energy Agency judges the Iranian nuclear program to be entirely peaceful.
  • Should Iran be judged by an international panel not to be living up to the accord, the sanctions could “snap back” under an unusual mechanism. The panel would consist of the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia and Iran itself, with a majority vote of the eight members sufficient to restore the sanctions.
  • New restrictions prevent Iran, for a set period of time, from experimenting with designing warheads and conducting experiments on “multipoint detonations” and other nuclear weapons-related triggers and technologies (source: NY Times)

"Iran threatened to pull out of nuclear talks if U.S. started hitting Assad forces in Syria", Andrea Mitchell, 22 Aug 2016.

  • When the president announced his plans to attack (Syria) and then pull back, it was exactly the period in time where American negotiators were meeting with Iranian negotiators secretly in Oman to get the nuclear agreement- Jay Solomon’s reporting in his new book, 'The Iran Wars'. see also: Who canceled the order

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

White House presentation Congress to Start Review of Iran Nuclear Deal

Full text of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Washington Post, July 2015

WSJ-opinion, 14 July, 2015 "President Obama was right on Tuesday to hail his nuclear agreement with Iran as historic, though not because of his claim that it will “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” The agreement all but guarantees that Tehran will eventually become a nuclear power, while limiting the ability of a future President to prevent it. We say this after reading the 159-page text, complete with five annexes..." --Resup (talk) 22:06, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

23.7 Details on side agreements requested by Congress. According to the lawmakers, one agreement covers inspection of the Parchin military complex, and the other concerns potential military aspects of Iran's nuclear program. On the former, they said, Iran would be able to strike a separate arrangement with the IAEA concerning inspections at Parchin.

Senate Hearing on Iran Nuclear Deal

Snap-back

'Under the UNSCR, if a JCPOA participant state believes that Iran has not performed its commitments, it can bring the issue before the Security Council and require Iran to resolve the matter. If the alleging state declares itself unsatisfied with the Iranian response, the Security Council will then vote on a draft resolution — ostensibly governed by typical Security Council voting procedures — to continue the termination/suspension of U.N. sanctions. If a country vetoes that resolution, as might happen if the alleging state happened to be a veto-player like the United States, the U.N. sanctions will be reinstated. This means that the United States by itself, even without IAEA concurrence, can trigger the reestablishment of the legal basis for sanctions on Iran if it believes Iran has cheated on the agreement. But snapping back sanctions like this would come at a great cost: Iran has declared that doing so absolves it of all its obligations in the agreement, and the UNSCR does not rebut Iran’s understanding. So the sanctions mechanism does have some snap to it, though one with a potent poison pill. What this means is that if the next president happens to be someone who has pledged during the campaign to abrogate this agreement on day one, the UNSCR provides a clear pathway for doing so: 1) Allege in the United Nations Security Council that Iran is cheating, thus setting in motion a re-imposition of sanctions; 2) declare the United States is unsatisfied with Iran’s response; 3) veto the automatic UNSCR proposing that sanctions continue to be terminated/suspended; 4) after the 30-day period, watch the legal basis for sanctions get re-instated as all previous UNSCRs that were terminated are re-applied; 5) watch Iran leave the deal; at which point 6) the deal is dead. [...]

In other words, what this means is that the Iran deal does provide a mechanism for re-establishing the legal basis for international sanctions, even over and against the objections of other veto-players in the United Nations — but only the legal basis and only at great cost. In practice, what this means is that there will likely be a very high hurdle for determining that Iran is not complying with its obligations, a hurdle that will approximate the hurdle of creating a new coalition to impose sanctions. What looks snappy on paper may well be anything but in practice'. [1]

Special Congress Approval mechanism

The Constitution provides that the president "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur" (Article II, section 2). [2] In the case of JCPOA, special arrangements were made to avoid this and now 2/3 are required to overcome the veto. [3]

Side Deal with IAEA

Reza Najafi: "... provisions of a deal to which the IAEA and a second country are parties are confidential and should not be divulged to any third country, and as Mr. Kerry discussed it in the Congress, even the US government had not been informed about the deal between IAEA and Iran" [4]

Past/Possible Military Dimensions (PMD)

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency will release a report on the “past military dimensions” of Iran’s nuclear program prior to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said
Before Congress can render judgment on the nuclear deal with Iran, it must fully understand how the agreement will address Iran’s previous efforts to develop nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) calls these activities the possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program, and they include everything from covert tests of nuclear detonators to designing warheads. However, although Iran has agreed to a Roadmap to address the IAEA’s concerns, the document does not explicitly condition sanctions relief on the resolution of PMD, effectively giving Tehran little incentive to fulfill its obligations.
  • "Did Iran just renege on Obama’s nuclear deal?" Washington Times, 10.11.2015.
    Last week Iran began shutting down inactive centrifuges at the Natanz and Fordow nuclear plants after multiple hardline parliament members complained to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the process was moving too fast. “The (dismantling) process stopped with a warning,” Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the National Security Council, was quoted as saying by the ISNA student news agency, reported Reuters. The conservative parliamentarians complained the act of shutting down the centrifuges did not comply with the wishes of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei has said that the Iran nuclear ‘deal’ should only be allowed to move forward after the issue of Iran’s nuclear Past Military Dimensions (PMD) had been settled.

UNSC 2131

UNSC Resolution 2231 (2015)

Sanctions lifted

  • Iran nuclear sanctions were lifted-BBC, Jan.16, 2016
Iran's Oil Will Just Make Life Worse for Gulf Rivals, Bloomberg, Jan.17, 2016.
  • "Iran remains on a short leash", Russian Federal News Agency-Mikhail Afanasiev, Jan. 17, 2016. (Sanctions were lifted automatically after conditions were met. May snap back...)

Reports

  • USA-Iran-EU meeting is planned in Geneva on Iran nuclear program. Kerry may take part. -TASS, Jan. 15, 2016

Side deals?

There have been ongoing discussion of those ever since, and the issue appears controversial (it is not clear to me if (and where) the 'side deals' were all published. This is a rough draft, following those (unverified) claims heard today on a radio talk show, with attempted (but unfinished) googling verification:

  • (a) Iran can delay inspection by 30 days (googling gives 24 to 30, basis unclear, some references to JCPOA and 'side deals'
  • (b) and actually, it can refuse inspections altogether (there seems to be a long prescribed dance for a luminary visit to Parchin, but military sites are off/unclear
  • (c) 'there is a side deal' or 'a protocol' requiring signatories to defend Iran against 'third party' (= Israel), according to a radio talking mouth. Exact document and phrasing, unclear.
  • (d) Chain of custody? While googling, a ruckus on whether Iran is given to self-inspect itself, or, in a different presentation (+different political camp), with enough videoing and other gadgeting, sufficient chain of custody can be maintained.
    • The story, written by the Associated Press, cited a draft version of a secret side agreement that’s a part of the larger Iranian nuclear deal, saying the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had ceded the investigation of Iran’s Parchin military facility to the Islamic republic.
    The separate arrangements under the roadmap agreed between the IAEA and Iran in July are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public—the same obligation I have for hundreds of such arrangements made with other IAEA Member States,” Amano said in a statement. “However, I can state that the arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our safeguards standards in any way.” (Newsweek, 20 August 2015)
    • Rauf, former Head of Verification and Security Policy Coordination at the IAEA it would be unusual but by no means technically compromising to have Iranian technicians collect swipe samples at sites and locations at Parchin in the physical presence and direct line of sight of IAEA inspectors, including filming, and using swipe kits and collection bags provided by the IAEA.” “mainly to guard against the risk of inadvertent contamination from nuclear material traces on the protective clothing of the inspectors”. Labs use “very sophisticated analyses nuclear material using electron microscopes and mass spectrometers can be detected at the atomic level.(armscontrol.org/blog).


  • (e) Other: duration (10 years?); missile program (details?), ...,? ,...
Hoping to update, as time permits. --Resup (talk) 02:36, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Ballistic Missiles

Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, until the date eight years after the JCPOA Adoption Day or until the date on which the IAEA submits a report confirming the Broader Conclusion, whichever is earlier
  • "IRGC Commander: Iran's New Long-Range Ballistic Missile (Emad) Alters Balance", Fars News, 10.11.2015.
  • "Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif underscored that Tehran has not violated the UN Security Council resolution 2231 by testing missiles, reiterating that Tehran would never accept to let the nuclear agreement leave an impact on its defensive measures"Fars News, 17.10.2015

Iran unveiled a new underground missile depot with state television showing Emad precision-guided missiles in store which the United States says can take a nuclear warhead and violate a 2010 U.N. Security Council resolution News Yahoo, Jan 5, 2016.

  • Iran test-fired ballistic missiles. Iran claims that they can develop missiles as they are 'not designed to be used with nuclear warhead' (which is a silly excuse, redesign for a different warhead is not going to be a big hurdle).
  • 'Iran launches a satellite' -youtube/Al-Masdar News, July 27, 2017
    The rocket, named Safir-2 or 'Phoenix' in Persian, can reportedly carry a 250-kilogram satellite.
    The United States is slapping Iran with new ballistic missiles sanctions in response to its launch of a satellite-carrying rocket into space a day earlier. The sanctions target six Iranian subsidiaries of the Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group. The Treasury Department says that group is "central" to Iran's ballistic missiles program, July 28, 2017

USA-Iran

22.5.2015 A bill allowing Congress to review any agreement reached with Iran is signed

Iran provided small number of troops in support of Iraq (apparently at Beiji refinery compound) -unofficial report.

Updated Nov. 6, 2014 7:22 p.m. WSJ: Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran’s Khamenei About Fighting Islamic State Presidential Correspondence With Ayatollah Stresses Shared U.S.-Iranian Interests in Combating Insurgents, Urges Progress on Nuclear Talks.

Nov 06 2014 US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: "It is outrageous that, while the cries of moderate Syrian forces for greater U.S. assistance fall on deaf ears in the White House, President Obama is apparently urging Ayatollah Khamenei to join the fight against ISIS." "The Administration needs to understand that this Iranian regime cares more about trying to weaken America and push us out of the Middle East than cooperating with us. ... The consequences of this ill-conceived bargain would destroy the Syrians' last best chance to live in freedom from the brutal Assad regime." --Resup (talk) 17:09, 7 November 2014 (UTC)


Nov 06 2014 US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham: "It is outrageous that, while the cries of moderate Syrian forces for greater U.S. assistance fall on deaf ears in the White House, President Obama is apparently urging Ayatollah Khamenei to join the fight against ISIS." "The Administration needs to understand that this Iranian regime cares more about trying to weaken America and push us out of the Middle East than cooperating with us. ... The consequences of this ill-conceived bargain would destroy the Syrians' last best chance to live in freedom from the brutal Assad regime." --Resup (talk) 17:09, 7 November 2014 (UTC)

WSJ on US defense secretary visit to Israel: In his only public remarks after the meeting, Mr. Carter sought to play down the tensions. “We don’t agree on everything,” he said at an air base in Jordan later on Tuesday. “The prime minister made it quite clear that he disagreed with us with respect to the nuclear deal in Iran. But friends can disagree.”

19.8.15 It is said that Iran will 'self-inspect' Parchin site, under a secret side agreement with IAEA. [5]

10.9.15 Democratic filibuster prevented Senate vote on resolution disapproving Iran deal. Chances of such vote, if it happens, to survive presidential veto are low as enough Democrats support it. With this, the fight turns to whether and how sanctions may be lifted.

US Navy released a video which depicted the Iranian army missile firing in the vicinity of the US aircraft carrier "Harry Truman" and a merchant ship. US command claims that the missiles were fired during the exercise of Iranian forces in the Strait of Hormuz on December 26, 2015. The short video shows how 5 gunboats, membership of which is almost impossible to establish, launch missiles toward them from passing in front of a large ship, probably an oil tanker. The US Navy specified that the footage was filmed by an American anti-submarine helicopters SH-60 Seahawk, taking off from an aircraft carrier, "Harry Truman." Rusvesna , Jan. 9, 2016.

Iran detains 10 US sailors after ships stopped in the Gulf, BBC,12.1.2016
"We lost contact with two small US naval craft en route from Kuwait to Bahrain," the official said. He said that the Iranians informed the US that the sailors were safe and "will promptly be allowed to continue their journey". The incident happened near Farsi Island after one of the ships encountered mechanical problems. After the incident, US Secretary of State John Kerry immediately called Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to begin negotiations. An unnamed official told the Associated Press that Mr Kerry "personally engaged with Zarif on this issue to try to get to this outcome". It is not clear when the sailors will be released.
CNN version
Fars, google translated
Servicemen were released by Iran -TASS
Rusvesna publishes photos(Iranian, that is...) --Resup (talk) 18:16, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Iran's 'pile of cash video, shown in Iran on Feb 15, 2016 .

Iran cash payment: Did Tehran film transfer? BBC, Aug 5, 2016

Aug. 23, 2016. U.S. Navy video of the guided-missile destroyer USS Nitze being harassed by four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy patrol boats.

Sept. 8, 2016. Questions asked on Iran receiving frozen funds of up to 33.6 billion USD -freebeacon.com, and Mark Dubowitz congessional testimony.

Oct. 12-13, 2017. An announcement expected, with some details released by WH press service TASS, Guardian.

Russia-Iran

Caspian-5 group meets, all oil and gas producers, and including Russia and Iran Caspian Sea Summit Kicks Off In Russia --Resup (talk) 13:16, 29 September 2014 (UTC)--Resup (talk) 13:16, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

Iran has showed off parts of its new Russian-made S-300 air defense system during its Army Day celebrations (BBC).
  • Russian air defense S300/ Antey 2500 deliveries to Iran: Rossiiskaia Gazeta publications series. Ban was lifted but time to deliver has not yet come -that seems to be the state of affairs. It is unclear when such time may come or what agreements are in effect. --Resup (talk) 10:06, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Russia signed S-300 contract with Iran in Dubai -report--Resup (talk) 13:10, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Iranian media say that the S-300 contract is now in the fulfillment stage and may be completed by the end of the year (march in Iran).
Coincides with Putin visit to Iran and talks with the supreme leader of Iran Ali Khamenei -TASS. (Trade and Syria discussed in particular).
Russia has decided to freeze its shipment of S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Saturday.
The paper quotes a highly reliable source as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to suspend delivery of the advanced aerial defense system because Iran failed to lived up to its promise not deliver advanced weaponry to the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The source, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Kuwaiti paper that Putin based his decision on information he received from Israel, proving that the Iranians had transferred the advanced Russian-made SA-22 surface-to-air missile system to Hezbollah more than once.
--Resup (talk) 20:23, 07 March 2016 (UTC)
On February 17, TASS reported that Russian MOD did not confirm delivery of S 300 to Iran, as 'Iran did not pay the amount required by the contract' (exact relation with above is unclear, but is mentioned in Russian reports)

Reports, with photo and video evidence, including Fars news, suggest that Russia made first deliveries of S-300 air defense system, presumably in addition to Chinese 'reversed engineered' versions already there. This is, in my view at least, a serious error by Russia, either acting irresponsibly (or, perhaps, wrongly assuming that Iran is their better ally than Turkey), and by the US, not caring much about this and doing nothing for this not happening. Result will almost surely further arms race, with a serious potential of becoming nuclear arms race.  :--Resup (talk) 10:14, 17 April 2016 (UTC)

Iran: S-300 air defense missile Systems been transported in Gilan Province اس۳۰۰ در در گیلان Published on Apr 10, 2016. S-300 air defense missile Systems been transported in Gilan

Another video with S-300 missiles themselves (or Chinese equivalent?). Also photos, and more videos on defence-blog (English) and Cassad update.

8 Apr. 2016 Russia & Iran negotiate canal from Caspian Sea to Persian Gulf (as well as railroad version), RT.

20 Apr., 2016 Iran minister: Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway to be built by late 2016, trend.az, map, project opening report/photos.

8 Aug. 2016. Trilateral meeting, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, organised by Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliev. Public statements made at the meeting were about developing economic cooperation and trade, Caspian sea projects, North-South transportation corridor, and opposing common terrorist threats. Aliev spent some time on Nagornyi Karabakh issue. Statements made at Putin-Rukhani meeting are translated to English here.

For comparison with current Western stance, UK goverment guidelines on status of sanctions
The Russian president said that Russia was ready to discuss pipeline infrastructure use with Iran and Azerbaijan in the Caspian Sea, Sputnik

11 Aug. 2016. Russian, Iranian, Azeri Leaders Discussed North-South Transport Project in Baku Sputnik (mostly by railroad)

13 Aug. 2017. Neue Schmuggelroute zwischen Russland und dem Iran - Welt

Teile für schwere, offensive Waffensysteme werden aus dem Iran via Syrien offenbar zur Wartung nach Russland gebracht.

Saudi Arabia-Iran

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr

Protests at Saudi Arabia Embassy in Tehran, Jan.3, 2016

Saudi police arrest prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric (Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr), Reuters, Jul 8, 2012

TASS on Shi'ite cleric execution
Abas Aslani, Fars, Source told us that at the time of storming Saudi embassy in Tehran, none of embassy staff were in the building & all are now safe.
A critical comment on that by Konstantin Kosachev , chairman of the Foreign Relations committee, Russian Federation Council. He talks mostly on double standard, failure to criticize just Saudis, and preparing to blame Iran and Syria in case of disturbances, FB and Rusvesna, Jan 3, 2016.

Jan.2, 2016. Various commentators fear there may be disturbances following recent developments. Saudis are reported to move many armored vehicles with the goal to prevent possible disturbances. In Iran, police restored order near the Embassy. --Resup (talk) 02:27, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Saudi Arabia broke diplomatic relations with Iran. BBC, Jan 3, 2016

Saudi Embassy personnel has left Iran, Rusvesna, NPR, Reuters.

Disturbances reported in the town of Al Qatif, where the Sheik was arrested. Some light armored vehicles on fire on the video . Rusvesna, report and videos.

Bahrain and Sudan have both severed relations with Iran, and the UAE has downgraded its diplomatic team, BBC , Jan 4, 2016

Russia calls to resolve differences at the negotiations table- TASS. (Well, Russian stance is clear, whether it is possible in the near to mid term future remains to be seen).

Hezbollah

Syria

Hezbollah in Syria numbers and capability estimate: Washington Post, July 23, 2016.

Hezbollah is now a regional military power, a cross border strike force, with thousands of soldiers hardened by four years of fighting on Syrian battlefields on behalf of President Bashar al Assad. There are 7,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria, Israeli commanders say. Hezbollah troops have been schooled by Iranian commanders, funded by Tehran and have learned to use, in combat, some of the most sophisticated armaments available, such as fourth generation Kornet guided antitank missiles. They pilot unmanned aircraft and fight alongside artillery and tanks. They have taken rebel held villages with Russian air support. More than 1,000 Hezbollah fighters have died, the Israelis say; they do not describe Hezbollah as “demoralized” but “tested.”

Involvement in Syria

Orient Net - El Confidencial, Oct 2, 2016

Also in Russian: Cassad, Oct. 5, 2016

References

  1. 'Do the Iran Deal’s ‘Snapback’ Sanctions Have Teeth?' July By Peter D. Feaver, Eric Lorber 21, 2015 foreignpolicy.com
  2. Treaties, senate.gov
  3. Public Law 114-17 'Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015', May 22, 2015 congress.gov
  4. Reza Najafi:'Amano ‘ineligible’ to inform Congress of roadmap', 1 Aug. 2015, MEHR News (Iran).
  5. 'Iran’s Secret Self-Inspections', WSJ, 19.8.15