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Iran has reacted with irritation to statements issued by China, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Co-operation Council states during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Riyadh for a series of meetings in early December.

Iran | Saudi Arabia
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The Majlis-e Shura-ye Eslami (parliament) approved the appointment of roads and urban development minister Mehrdad Bazrpash in a vote on 7 December. He was approved by 187 votes in favour to 64 against, with seven abstentions and five spoiled votes. Bazrpash had previously been senior president of the Supreme Audit Court. 

Iran
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The White House briefed journalists in early December that Moscow may be preparing to supply fifth generation Sukhoi Su-35 fighter aircraft to Iran in 2023, in exchange for deliveries of Shahed-136 drones. Iranian pilots are apparently already in Russia training to fly the aircraft.

Iran
Issue 1159 - 02 December 2022

Iraq’s Sudani tries to navigate Iran ties

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Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Sudani has had a busy diplomatic schedule since taking office on 27 October, with trips to Jordan on 21 November for talks with King Abdullah II, followed by a visit to Kuwait on 23 November to meet his counterpart Sheikh Ahmed Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah and Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. There has been speculation he may soon travel to Saudi Arabia too.

Iran | Iraq
Free

The United Kingdom has said it estimates the number of Iranian-supplied Shahed-136 drones used by Russia in its war in Ukraine to be "in the low hundreds".

Iran
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Iran held a series of talks with its Gulf Co-operation Council neighbours in the second half of November, amid despondency about the prospects for reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal . The enhanced diplomacy could be a sign Tehran is seeking to firm up bilateral ties in the absence of any wider agreement.

Iran
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GSN Risk Grade – D↓5 Iran has said it will not cooperate with a fact-finding mission set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council into protests that have spread across the country since mid-September, following the death in custody of 22-year-old Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.

Iran
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Iran appears to have resumed its campaign of striking tankers in the Gulf of Oman, after the Bahrain-based US Naval Forces Central Command (Navcent) reported that the Pacific Zircon oil products tanker had been struck by an Iranian-made explosive drone off Fujairah, en route to Argentina.

Iran | Oman
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The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Ground Force revived its drone, artillery and missile attacks on the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) on 14 November, around five weeks after a previous wave of attacks had ended. IRGC officials said they were targeting the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan (Komalah), which they view as terrorist organisations.

Iran | Iraq
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Iran has announced a series of advances for its home-grown missile arsenal, as western powers raise concern Tehran may be willing to provide missiles for Russia to use in the Ukraine war.

Iran
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After Iranian drones were reported to have attacked apartment buildings and other civilian targets in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Tehran and Moscow denied the Islamic Republic had supplied any such equipment. However, there is clear evidence that points in the other direction.

Iran
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Russia has appointed a new ambassador to Iran, replacing Levan Dzhagaryan who has repeatedly attracted controversy in recent years, in a move which could help to smooth bilateral relations at a critical juncture given Moscow’s demand for Iranian drones in Ukraine.

Iran
Issue 1157 - 03 November 2022

Iran's Soleimani gone but not forgotten

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That the legendary late head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp’s Quds Force, Qassim Soleimani, has not been forgotten following his January 2020 assassination by the United States was underlined by a 2 November tweet on Iranian Rahbar (Supreme Leader) Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Twitter account.

Iran
Free

Protestors have refused to stand down in the face of sometimes overwhelming state force in the seven weeks since Mahsa Amini died in custody. The movement’s support base has spread across the country and into parts of society not usually associated with political demonstrations, putting Ayatollah Ali Khamenei under unprecedented pressure. His regime is not yet facing the end, but the challenge to the clerical/military leadership will not fade easily or quickly.

Iran
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Iran has voiced concerns that recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which flared up again in September, will impact its direct trucking routes through Armenia via the Lachin corridor to Georgia and Russia. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said: "The Islamic Republic will not tolerate policies or plans that lead to the closing of the Iran-Armenia border."

Iran