The Week in Review: August.30th – September.6th

U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated the possibility of talks with the Iranian government this week. The gesture was met with disapproval by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who wanted to see extended pressure on the Iranian government ahead of any talks with the Islamic Republic.

Fresh from a round of sanctions imposed last week on individuals suspected of assisting Iran with the production of weapons of mass destruction, Washington imposed another set of sanctions on Iran’s space agencies. The Trump Administration also blacklisted several firms, ships and individuals suspected of having links with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

As European signatories to the nuclear deal continued to look for ways to keep the agreement afloat, the U.S. confirmed that it would not provide any sanctions waivers to accommodate a proposal to extend a $15 billion credit line to Iran. Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, told reporters that more sanctions on Iran would be coming. 

Meanwhile, a French diplomatic source said that Instex, the trade mechanism designed to allow the exchange of food and humanitarian aid in Iran with international states, won’t go ahead unless the Iranian government fulfills its obligations in implementing international standards against money-laundering and terrorism financing. 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani ruled out talks with the U.S. The Iranian government has repeatedly said that it won’t come to the negotiating table unless sanctions are lifted and the nuclear deal is salvaged. 

  • Iranian authorities said that a new electronic voting system had been successfully tried in Tehran ahead of parliamentary polls, but analysts are concerned that the system could be vulnerable to fraud.
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  • Mossad and the CIA asked the Dutch intelligence agency (AIVD) to recruit the Iranian engineer who planted the Stuxnet virus into uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran, according to reports this week.
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  • A handwritten letter by the Shah, found in a rare copy of the Quran was discovered in an illegal antique shop.The letter is being examined by experts at the Cultural Heritage, Handcraft and Tourism Organization of Iran.
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  • Iranian oil tanker Adrian Darya 1 switched off its transponder as it appeared to be headed towards Syria. The Iranian government said that the oil inside the tanker had been bought and the destination of the ship was at the buyer’s discretion.
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