Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Eye on Iran: Hong Kong to Cut Iranian Ships from Register: Letter

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"Hong Kong will stop allowing 19 ships linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) from operating under its flag, a government letter showed, in the latest blow to Tehran's sanctions-hit global trade. A letter from the Hong Kong government's marine department (HKMD) dated November 9 and seen by Reuters showed the authority had given notice to the owners of the 19 ships... Hong Kong had been urged by U.S. pressure group United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) to end the flagging of 19 dry bulk ships, which the group said were owned, managed or operated by IRISL and its front companies. 'As it is of paramount importance to HKMD in safeguarding the quality of Hong Kong ships, HKMD has therefore taken action already in notifying the owners of these 19 ships for the closure of the registration in Hong Kong within 90 days beginning from the date of the notice being served,' S.F. Wong, Hong Kong Shipping Register's general manager, said in the letter... A targeted campaign by UANI, which includes former U.S. ambassadors on its board and is funded by private donations, has already led to the exit of a number of foreign companies from Iran. 'We applaud and thank Hong Kong for its responsible decision. No country should be flagging Iranian vessels, given the risks and the stakes involved,' UANI said." http://t.uani.com/Rz1M6E

WSJ: "The U.S. Treasury Department's point man for sanctions and terrorist financing said Monday that the Obama Administration has no plans to weaken economic sanctions against Iran until it addresses U.S. concerns about its nuclear program. David Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said the sanctions, along with 'the Iranian government's own gross mismanagement of its economy,' were having a major impact, and warned the pressure would continue. 'While we believe that there remains time and space for a diplomatic solution if Iran's leadership takes the strategic decision to make meaningful concessions, you can be sure that we have no intention of relenting on the pressure track so long as Iran refuses to address in a meaningful and productive way the very serious concerns with its nuclear program,' Cohen said." http://t.uani.com/W0POY3

Reuters: "Iranian oil output rose in October after seven months of decline due to Western sanctions and its exports rebounded strongly as China and South Korea bought more oil, the West' energy watchdog said on Tuesday...The IEA also added that a new round of sanctions against Iran was likely to further cripple its finances although not necessarily further reduce its oil deliveries to markets. 'With the bulk of Iranian crude now heading to Asia, however, the main impact of the new EU measures will likely be on the country's financial sector,' the IEA said.... The IEA said Iranian oil output rose by around 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 2.7 million bpd in October. Iranian exports jumped to 1.3 million bpd from 1.0 million seen in the two previous months... The jump in imports could have brought Iran an additional $900 million last month, according to Reuters calculations based on the price for its oil of $100 a barrel. The IEA also cited estimates as showing Iranian crude oil held in floating storage nearly halved to 13 million barrels at the end of October from as high as 25-30 million in April as its state tanker company is increasingly using its own fleet to deliver crude to buyers unable to obtain shipping insurance." http://t.uani.com/Um2geF
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Nuclear Program   

AFP: "President Barack Obama's national security advisor met Monday with his Israeli counterpart at the White House for talks on the conflict in Syria and Iran's nuclear program, officials said. The meeting was the first high-level dialogue between US and Israeli officials at the White House since Obama was re-elected on November 6, and at a time when tensions between Israel and both Syria and the Gaza Strip are rising. 'National Security Advisor Tom Donilon hosted a delegation of senior Israeli officials on November 12 for consultations on Iran, Syria, and a range of other regional security issues,' Donilon's spokesman Tommy Vietor said. The Israeli delegation was led by Yaakov Amidror, the head of Israel's National Security Council. The meetings 'were the latest in a series of regular, high-level consultations between the United States and Israel, consistent with our strong bilateral partnership, and part of our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security,' Vietor said in a statement." http://t.uani.com/RzZHr9

Reuters: "Iran unveiled new missile and artillery systems on Tuesday, Iranian media reported, on the second day of large-scale military exercises which officials said were aimed at sending a warning to those threatening the Islamic Republic. Played out against a backdrop of high tension between Iran and the West over Tehran's nuclear programme, the 'Velayat 4' manoeuvres across a vast swathe of the eastern half of the country have focused on air defences." http://t.uani.com/Um2sus


"An Iranian lawmaker says the country's parliament has postponed the implementation of a second round of subsidy cuts until 2013 over fears of stoking already rampant inflation. The head of the parliamentary budgetary and planning committee Gholam Reza Mesbahi Moghaddam told the semiofficial Mehr news agency the second phase of the three-part plan would likely cause a 15-percent jump in the inflation rate, which is officially running at almost 25 percent. Iran began cutting subsidies on energy and food in 2010. The second phase, which targeted gasoline subsidies, was to take effect in March 2012. Parliament's decision Tuesday officially pushed back the second round of cuts to March 2013." http://t.uani.com/TzQPSu

Human Rights

NYT: "An influential Iranian lawmaker said Monday that a blogger who died last week while in captivity had not been tortured during interrogations. 'According to a preliminary report, no traces of beating were seen on his body,' the lawmaker, Alaeddin Borujerdi, told the semiofficial Islamic Students News Agency. However, Mr. Borujerdi, who heads the National Security and Foreign Policy Committees in Parliament, called for further investigation into the case, a rare instance in which Iran's Parliament and judiciary followed up a human rights complaint that was first raised internationally. Iran's judiciary also confirmed the death of the blogger, Sattar Beheshti, 35, acknowledging that five bruises were found on his body, but said the cause of death was still being investigated. He was held in the Kahrizak police prison south of Tehran, where three people died during the antigovernment protests in 2009." http://t.uani.com/ZBzbB6

Radio Farda: "Jailed Iranian human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh has been allowed to see her children in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for the first time in weeks. Sotoudeh's husband, Reza Khandan, wrote on the Facebook social-media site that Sotoudeh was given permission to see her 5-year-old son, Nima, and 12-year-old daughter, Mehraveh, for several minutes on November 12. Mehraveh reportedly said that her mother was continuing her hunger strike. Sotoudeh stopped eating on October 31 after prison authorities banned her relatives from visiting her. Last month, Sotoudeh was awarded the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought for 2012." http://t.uani.com/QawohL

Regional Meddling

Reuters: "Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of straying onto its territory near oil and gas fields in the Gulf and warned it was looking at how to respond, the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations said. In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Saudi authorities said Iranian helicopters flew several times over a gas field at Hasba, Abdullah al-Mualimi was quoted as saying in the daily newspaper Okaz on Monday. The letter also said two Iranian navy boats intercepted a vessel belonging to state-owned oil giant Saudi Aramco. 'I have submitted to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon a letter that details Iran's breaches of the official conventions and treaties between it and Saudi Arabia,' Okaz quoted Mualimi as saying." http://t.uani.com/SY6fkx

Bloomberg: "Iran's alleged meddling in the regional internal affairs is a concern to the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, Secretary-General Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani told reporters in Dubai today. 'That's always an issue that's always considered and discussed,' Al Zayani said. 'You know because that interference continues and it's of concern to all. We don't interfere in any others' internal affairs and we don't expect others to' interfere in ours.  Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have accused Iran of fomenting protests by Shiites in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's eastern province." http://t.uani.com/QDPQ6G

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email Press@UnitedAgainstNuclearIran.com

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

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