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Issue 1165 - 13 March 2023

Iran announces huge lithium discovery

Subscriber

Iranian officials have announced a large lithium discovery in Hamedan province, south-west of Tehran. Iran is planning to seek international expertise to develop the reserves and to tap private sector investment, but the search for overseas partners will be complicated by US sanctions on the mining sector.

Iran
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Iran has unveiled a new cruise missile, named the Paveh, which, with a claimed range of 1,650km, could easily reach Israel.

Iran
Subscriber

The late Shah’s son Reza Pahlavi believes opposition groups can unite to remove the Iranian ruling system in a constitutional coup, while the Mojahedin-e-Khalq remains committed to armed revolution. But, along with the reformists tolerated by the regime, none of these actors seem to have great traction on Iran’s streets, where Ayatollah Ali Khameini has most to fear from the combination of younger protestors and workers.

Iran
Free

The overwhelming might of Iran’s internal security apparatus has ruthlessly suppressed the demonstrations which broke out in September 2022, following the death in custody of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini. The regime has dug in at home and abroad to protect the system of clerical rule, with hardliners as dominant as ever. But the protests have continued despite this onslaught and the regime’s critics have found new ways to express their discontent, from widespread strikes (including in the Tehran bazaar, a bastion of the 1979 revolution), to cyberattacks on state banks and other institutions.

Iran
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Boats based on the UK’s Bladerunner design are now operational, and can fire two active radar 90km range Nasir CM-90 anti-ship missiles developed by Iran from the Chinese C-704.

Iran
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US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that the United States agreed with the United Nations consensus view that Al-Qaeda veteran Saif Al-Adel was now de facto head of the jihadist group and that he was based in Iran.

Iran
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Convincing forensic evidence of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) aerospace activity has emerged from the hard drive of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) seized at sea last year in a British naval anti-smuggling operation. Analysis of the quadcopter drone, seized in early 2022 from smuggler boats heading for Yemen, found details of pre-shipment test flights conducted at the IRGC Aerospace Force’s test facility, which is believed to be located at Chitgar in north-western Tehran.

Iran
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Islamic Republic of Iran Armed Forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri has been seen inspecting a new tactical airbase named Oghrab-44 (Eagle-44), as he used an official video to introduce Iranians to the facility, located in mountainous terrain in the south. Bagheri said similar facilities were being built in other mountainous areas.

Iran
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The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (Nedsa) has been converting another container ship to naval use. The 36,000t Shahid Bagheri has been pictured getting a flight deck similar to the Shahid Mahdavi, which was seen anchored off Bandar Abbas in mid-February.

Iran
Issue 1163 - 10 February 2023

Oman hosts Iran-Ukraine drone talks

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At least two rounds of talks have been held between Iranian and Ukrainian officials in Oman, to discuss Tehran’s supply of armed drones to Russian forces fighting in Ukraine, according to GSN sources.

Iran | Oman
Issue 1163 - 10 February 2023

Gulf aid for Syria and Turkey

Free

Gulf countries have despatched search and rescue teams, medical equipment, temporary housing and other relief supplies to Turkey and Syria in the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit in the early hours of 6 February. Qatar and the UAE were among the first to respond; flights left from Kuwait the following day. Aid has also been forthcoming from Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Iran | Kuwait | Saudi Arabia | United Arab Emirates (UAE) | Qatar
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Azerbaijan has closed its embassy in Tehran and evacuated staff and their families, following a gun attack on the diplomatic mission late January in which one security guard  was killed and two others wounded. Azerbaijan complained local security personnel had done nothing to defend the embassy.

Iran
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French naval forces seized more than 3,000 assault rifles, 578,000 rounds of ammunition and 23 advanced anti-tank guided missiles in the Gulf of Oman mid-January. The action was announced by US Central Command in February, which said it happened “along routes historically used to traffic weapons unlawfully from Iran to Yemen”.

Iran
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An attack by suspected Israeli drones appeared to cause relatively minor damage to a military base in the central city of Isfahan late January. Iranian officials described the facility as a workshop, but did not give further details of its function.

Iran
Subscriber

Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian undertook a tour of friendly Latin American countries in early February, but stopped off in Mauritania on the way.

Iran