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A senior Iranian security official has threatened to resume bombing of targets in northern Iraq if Baghdad fails to meet a 19 September deadline to halt cross-border attacks by exiled Iranian Kurdish opposition groups.

Iran | Iraq
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Some $6bn of Iranian funds that have been frozen in South Korea are expected to be sent to Qatari banks in the coming days, prompting the release of five US citizens held in Iran and the same number of Iranians in American prisons.

Iran | Qatar
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China's first consul general in Bandar Abbas, Xu Wei, has taken up his post following the opening of the Iranian port city outpost in December. It is China's first diplomatic presence outside Tehran.  The consulate will cover provinces across southern Iran. 

Iran
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US special envoy for Iran Robert Malley was suspended earlier this year due to concerns about his personal conduct, handling of classified information and use of information technology, according to a leaked letter. 

Iran
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European officials acknowledged that Swedish national Johan Floderus had been held in detention in Iran for more than 500 days. Floderus is a Swedish national but had been working as a programme officer for the EU delegation to Afghanistan, based in Brussels.

Iran
Issue 1176 - 12 September 2023

Iran / Saudi Arabia: Envoys take up posts

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Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Iran Abdullah Bin Saud Al-Anzi arrived in Tehran on 5 September to assume his official duties. On the same day, his Iranian counterpart Alireza Enayati arrived in Riyadh to start his work there.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
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The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (Iriaf) has reportedly received two Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced training jets. As yet, however, there is no sign of a promised delivery of Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets making their way to Iran.

Iran
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It is not yet the dawn of a new world order, but the formal invitation for Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to join the Brics group is a further sign of China’s growing influence and of wider shifting global alignments. A turbocharged Brics could boost the trend towards 'dedollarising' international trade, as Gulf states and other 'middle powers' seek to find a balance between the world's established and emerging powers. 

Iran | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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Arguably the biggest impact of an expanded Brics membership could be its potential boost to the trend towards the 'dedollarisation' of international trade. 

Iran | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE)
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It is almost a year since 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was arrested in Tehran for failing to adhere to Iran's strict dress code for women. She died in police custody on 16 September, prompting nationwide outrage which soon morphed into the "Women, Life, Freedom" protest movement. The Iranian government has been nervously preparing for the anniversary of Amini's death, by targeting protestors and their supporters.

Iran
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To the chagrin of GCC leaders and some others, the UK continues to resist pressure to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist organisation, even as it unveils plans for more far-reaching sanctions on Iran.

Iran
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While the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) suffers from its Turkish pipeline closure, the federal Government of Iraq (GoI) is also in an uncomfortable situation when it comes to energy trade – despite the good news that TotalEnergies and its partner QatarEnergy have finalised their headline $27bn deal to develop a roster of major hydrocarbons and renewables projects.

Iran | Iraq
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The United States has stepped up its military presence in the region, with additional aircraft, naval vessels and personnel being deployed to the Gulf. This has led analysts to suggest that Washington was preparing to deal with a wider range of threats, perhaps in anticipation of a formal collapse in negotiations with Iran to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

Iran | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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A mooted deal for Iran to acquire Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets from Russia appears to have been suspended, as defence minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani told local media the transaction was not moving ahead. 

Iran
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There has been widespread anger in the Gulf and the wider region after copies of the Koran were publicly burned in Sweden and Denmark. Scandinavian authorities have so far said they cannot prevent such episodes as they would be counter to freedom of speech (although they could constitute a hate crime).

Iran | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Iraq | Qatar