The Week in Review: November.8th – November.15th

The EU’s relationship with Iran hit another roadblock this week as Iranian officials confirmed they had stepped up their development of Uranium at Iran’s Fordow plant. Germany, Britain and France had previously made repeated calls to Iran to come back to the nuclear deal negotiating table. But exasperated by Iran’s actions and a lack of dialog, Germany’s Foreign Minister then called on Europe to consider imposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Meanwhile in Washington, a fresh round of sanctions was announced, this time on companies and individuals believed to be sending U.S. items to Iran without the proper authorization. The U.S. Commerce Department imposed the sanctions on Wednesday, which bar targeted entities from buying U.S. parts from companies without getting government approval beforehand.

Pollution continued to plague Iran’s capital Tehran after heavy smog covered the city, forcing schools in the area to close. An estimate offered by the Environment and Sustainable Development at Municipality of Tehran suggests that pollution costs Iran up to $2.6 billion per year. The majority of the pollution is believed to be caused by cars.

And security researchers have uncovered previously unseen working methods used by Iran’s state-sponsored hackers. A report published by cyber-security company Trend Micro, said that the hackers built their own VPN networks to try to bypass detection, although the customized networks had inadvertently made the hackers easier to track. APT33, which is considered to be Iran’s most sophisticated hacking group, was the unit responsible for destroying over 35, 000 workstations at Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil plant in 2012.

  • Businessmen inside Iran say that the government has missed significant opportunities to trade with its neighbor, Iraq.
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  • The governor of Al Hadidah in Yemen, says Iran-backed Houthis are using the port city as a hub for terrorist activity.
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  • Iranian authorities released a man who converted to Christianity, after serving a five-year prison term. Ebrahim Firouzi was accused of “acting against national security.”
    → Link to source.
  • Iran’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance revoked a publication permit for Turkish-British Booker Prize nominee.
     Link to source.