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Weekly Contemporary Developments


1 - 29 February, 2020

  • Iran slams new US sanctions on AEOI chief
    Tehran criticized Washington’s new sanctions on Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) chief Ali Akbar Salehi, saying they will not impede the country’s peaceful nuclear activities.Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said,“Sanctioning this prominent scientific and political figure, which has been made only out of desperation, will have no effect on the development of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program”. He also added“This is not the first time that he has been placed on the list of illegal and unilateral sanctions, just as it is not the first time that our nuclear scientists have been the target of the animosity of the US and the Zionist regime” (IRAN DAILY, 1st February, 2020).
  • U.S. maximum pressure has become ‘ineffective’: Hatami
    During a speech at a school in Chabahar, Defense Minister Amir Hatami said the Iranian people will never give in to excessive demands by the arrogant powers. He said that; the United States’ “maximum pressure” against Iran has become “ineffective”, calling it a “failed policy”.He added that Iran will pass this difficult time and solve problems with help of people (Tehran Times, 2nd February, 2020).
  • Iran says to advance nuclear program with more determination
    The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) has said Iran will advance its nuclear program with more determination, describing as “worthless” and “ineffective” the recent U.S. sanctions on AEOI (Tehran Times, 3rd February, 2020).
  • Iran experiencing economic growth despite US sanctions: Speaker
    Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said that domestic companies are experiencing economic growth in various fields despite US sanctions and Iranians will overcome US sanctions and cruelty, will be united and focus on domestic resources, he added: “Decreasing unemployment and increasing economic growth requires investment opportunities, but the pressure exerted by US sanctions has lowered the speed of [foreign] investments in the country.” according to IRNA.(IRAN DAILY, 5th February, 2020).
  • China to continue buying oil from Iran: Envoy
    Chinese Ambassador to Iran Chang Hua reiterated his country’s support for Iran against US sanctions and said the East Asian nation is the only country that buys oil from Iran. The cooperation between Iran and China is under pressure from a third country and this is tantamount to interference, which is illegal under international law, Chang said at a press conference in Tehran, reported Tasnim News Agency (IRAN DAILY, 6th February, 2020).
  • Iran can disable U.S. RQ-4 drone from remote distance: commander
    The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced in an interview with the national TV that his country enjoys the technology to turn the U.S. modern large-size U.S. RQ-4 drone inefficient even while the aircraft is flying thousands of kilometres away from Iran's borders (Tehran Times, 8th February, 2020).
  • Iran, Pakistan highlight border security cooperation
    Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Iran’s ambassador to Islamabad, and Pakistan Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza highlighted the importance of close security cooperation in border areas. Hosseini praised Pakistan’s determination to fence border areas.The two sides also called for military cooperation, according to IRNA (Tehran Times, 8th February, 2020).
  • Pakistani PM treasures ties with Iran: ambassador
    Rahim Hayat Qureshi, Pakistan’s new ambassador to Tehran, has said that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has stressed the importance of fraternal ties with Iran. He tweeted “Pre-departure call on PM @ImranKhanPTI. He stressed the importance of brotherly and fraternal ties with Iran which are rooted in history, culture and society. As Ambassador to Iran it would be my earnest desire to take our bilateral ties to greater heights” (Tehran Times, 10th February, 2020).
  • Pakistan, Iran sign accord on electronic data exchange
    Tax authorities of Pakistan and Iran agreed to develop a mechanism for electronic exchange of bilateral trade data in a bid to curb misreporting and explore optimal economic potential. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) of Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on electronic exchange of data with Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA), reported (IRAN DAILY, 12th February, 2020).
  • Iran will never decides under pressure: Salehi
    The head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO), Ali Akbar Salehi, said that; his country believes in logic and negotiations but will never make any decision under pressure. (Tehran Times, 13th February, 2020).
  • ‘Brian Hook met with MKO rep. before, after Gen. Soleimani assassination’
    Brian Hook, the United States’ point man on Iran, met with a representative of the anti-Iran Mujahidin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) group both before and after Washington’s assassination of senior Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, a report says by (Press TV). (Tehran Times, 13th February, 2020).
  • Senior Iraqi Sunni leader appreciates Iran for anti-terrorism assistance (Tehran Times, 13th February, 2020).
    Iran able to produce strategic defense weapons: defense minister Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami announced that; Iran is capable of producing strategic defense arms. He added "Today Iran enjoys such a high-level of deterrence power that it is capable of producing strategic defense weapons based on domestic knowledge and capacities” (Tehran Times, 13th February, 2020).
  • Iran, Iraq pursuing General Soleimani assassination: Judiciary
    An official in charge of international law department at Judiciary announced that; Tehran and Baghdad are jointly pursuing the dossier of the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. in Baghdad on January 3 (Tehran Times, 15th February, 2020).
  • Parliamentary campaigns officially start in Iran
    Election campaigns for 290 seats in the parliament officially started in Iran from Thursday morning, Feb. 13. The elections will be held on Feb. 21. The candidates have eight days to campaign. 24 hours before the elections, campaigns must be stopped (Tehran Times, 15th February, 2020).
  • Europe’s dependence on U.S. impedes efforts to preserve nuclear deal: expert
    Nozar Shafiei, an expert on international affairs, has said that Europe’s dependence on the United States impedes efforts to support and preserve the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the JCPOA.“Europe’s structural dependence on the United States in various areas, especially in spheres of security and economy, impedes efforts of Borrell [EU foreign policy chief JosepBorrell] in supporting and preserving the JCPOA,” he told ISNA in an interview (Tehran Times, 15th February, 2020).
  • President’s ex-legal adviser: Iran must take Gen. Soleimani assassination to int’l court, UNSC (IRAN DAILY, 15th February, 2020).
  • Iran candidates kick off campaigns for parliamentary elections
    Thousands of Iranian candidates approved to run in parliamentary elections kicked off their campaigns ahead of the February 21 elections. A total of 7,148 candidates are running for the Parliament. There are 290 seats in the Parliament up for grabs. (IRAN DAILY, 15th February, 2020).
  • Zarif: Saudi Arabia does not seek tension de-escalation
    Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that countries such as Saudi Arabia do not seek de-escalation of tensions in the region. “If there is a will for reducing tensions there are many ways, but I believe that countries such as Saudi Arabia do not seek de-escalation of tensions,” Zarif told the Munich Security Conference. “Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seek tension in our region,” he added. However, Zarif said Iran is ready negotiations. (Tehran Times, 16th February, 2020)
  • Zarif raps Trump’s misguided policy toward Iran
    Foreign Minister Mohammad JavadZarif told NBC News Iran will reverse nuclear steps if Europe gives economic relief. He added; America’s “cowardly” assassination last month of Iran’s Lt. Gen. QassemSoleimani pushed Washington and Tehran “very close to war” (IRAN DAILY, 16th February, 2020).
  • Rouhani: U.S. maximum pressure has failed
    President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that the United Stats’ maximum pressure against Iran has failed and sanctions will be ineffective.“20 months have passed since the United States’ sanctions and maximum pressure. Our situation has become better in the past 6 months and the maximum pressure has failed,” he told a press conference (Tehran Times, 17th February, 2020).
  • UN praises Iran, Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees in past 40 years
    United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres praised Iran and Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees during the past four decades. The UN chief was Addressing an international conference marking four decades of hosting Afghan refugees by Pakistan, said; Iran and Pakistan are the two countries that are hosting the most number of Afghan refugees in the world, IRNA reported (IRAN DAILY, 18thFebruary , 2020).
  • US assassination of Soleimani breached international norms: UN Rapporteur
    Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, made the remarks in a briefing in Geneva, saying, “The targeted killing of Lieutenant General Soleimani has breached many international norms that are at the heart of the UN system and the heart of UN Charter” (IRAN DAILY, 20thFebruary, 2020).
  • Iran, Netherlands call for dialogue over nuclear standoff
    In a meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani said all should try to keep the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers in place, adding that Iran has not shut the door for dialogue with the European Union. Rouhani said the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal in 2018 “was to the detriment of the region, the world, and the Americans themselves” (IRAN DAILY, 23rd February, 2020).
  • Senators’ bill calls on US to return to Iran nuclear deal
    A group of senators led by Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Duckworth (D,IL), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have introduced a bill, S.3314, the Iran Diplomacy Act, which calls upon the US to return to its commitments under the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (IRAN DAILY, 23rd February, 2020).
  • Iran does not deserve to be blacklisted by FATF: Rouhani
    President Hassan Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting,“The great Iranian people and the Islamic Republic of Iran did not and do not deserve to be placed on an international body’s countermeasures list while it [the country] is forerunner in fighting terrorism and money laundering” (Tehran Times, 25thFebruary, 2020).
  • Iran sustains military spending in face of U.S. ‘maximum pressure’: general
    Former Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan has rejected claims by the Trump administration that Tehran had cut its defense budget due to the United States’ “maximum pressure” policy against Iran. Iran has sustained its military spending in the face of debilitating U.S. sanctions, Dehqan said in an interview with the Financial Times (Tehran Times, 25thFebruary, 2020).