The Week in Review: September.20th – September.27th

Senior U.S. officials said they had evidence that Iran was behind the attack on an important oil facility in Saudi Arabia. Britain, France and Germany backed the U.S. in blaming Iran for the blasts that temporarily took out the oil plant, which produces 5% of the world’s daily oil output, sending oil prices soaring. The evidence has not yet been made public but has been handed over to U.S. government officials to review. 

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani set out his plans for security in the Middle East at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. However, Rouhani ruled out talks with the U.S. on the nuclear deal while sanctions remained in place and said that any extended deal would have to include the U.S. paying Iran more money. French President Emmanuel Macron said U.S. President Donald Trump and Rouhani knew what conditions were needed to start negotiations, and that it was now down to the two men to bring about a meeting. 

Meanwhile, Trump banned senior Iranian officials and their immediate family members from entering America. The Proclamation gives Trump and other designated officials discretion over who might be defined as a senior official within the Iranian government. Trump also slapped new sanctions on Chinese entities accused of transferring oil to Iran. 

Britain and the US reached out to the Iranian government at the UNGA in a bid to secure the release of British and American prisoners. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in April in New York that he had the authority to conduct talks to discuss prisoner exchanges with the United States.

British tanker Stena Impero left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday after being given legal clearance to leave. Iranian officials said the vessel had been undergoing proceedings this week to leave Bandar Abbas port. Iranian authorities seized Stena Impero in July for alleged marine violations, two weeks after Britain detained an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar.
  • Five prominent Iranian women’s rights activists will be honored at a ceremony in London. Shirin Ebadi, Mahnaz Afkhami, Shadi Sadr, Pooneh Ghoddoosi, and Leila Alikarami will all be celebrated for their outstanding achievements in the field of human rights.
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  • A number of financial projects in Syria backed by Iranian companies were confirmed at a meeting of the Iran-Syria Joint Economic Committee, held at the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA).
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  • Iran’s Meteorological Department and Drought Management Center said that 85 percent of the country’s population struggled with water shortage and drought.
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  • Widespread corruption is being cited as the root cause for the contamination of Iran’s wheat flour.
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