Putin Tours Middle East for Clout and Crude

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Saudi Arabia Monday to meet with Saudi leaders.  Putin also held talks with King Salman, as well as with Saudi Arabia over Iran and Syria. The leaders’ talks focused on the issue of oil production and the price of the product in world markets. Political analysts believe that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey’s progress in Syria, are among the issues to be discussed at the summit of the leaders of the two countries.

Khamenei Meets With Khan in Tehran, Presents Plan to End Yemen War

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, who traveled to Tehran to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, met with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday. The Supreme Leader praised the Pakistani government’s concern for peace and security, saying, “the Islamic Republic of Iran has for a long time presented a four-point plan to end the war in Yemen.” He added, “the end of this war in the proper way can have positive effects on the region.”

Iranian Tanker “Attacked,” Oil Prices Soar

An Iranian tanker was hit on Friday in the Red Sea by two blasts, both of them, according to Iranian state media, caused by missiles. The incident took place off the coast of Saudi Arabia and soon raised fears of escalating tension between the two countries in the unstable region. The missile attack could not yet be independently confirmed, but the location of the Red Sea would be unusual— most hostilities involving Iran occur in the Persian Gulf.

Iran Opposes Possible Turkish Attack on Northeast Syria

Iran has stated that it opposes any possible military operations in Syria, and that the US decision to withdraw its troops from the north should be made sooner. The Foreign Ministry of Iran issued a statement on Tuesday referring to the possibility of Turkish troops entering Syrian territory. Such a move would not only address Turkey’s security concerns but also cause damage, they said. Iran has called US military presence in Syria “illegitimate,” and has insisted that the US decision to withdraw its troops “should have happened much sooner.”

Revealed! Secret Mission of Israeli Espionage to Steal Iranian Nuclear Files

President Trump has not renegotiated a deal with Iran after withdrawing the United States from an Obama era nuclear pact. The two countries are at loggerheads following Trump’s exit from the international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for lifting sanctions on the Islamic regime, though Trump has held open the door for future talks. Trump is quoted as saying “If we could work out something that’s meaningful, not a waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet.”

Zarif: Relations with Neighbors Top Priority— Silent on Saudi Arabia

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has described relations with neighbors, and facilitating economic affairs, as Iran’s “top foreign policy priority.” Mr. Zarif made these remarks while answering questions from members in the Iranian Parliament. He cited his trip to Pakistan to congratulate Imran Khan after he became Prime Minister, saying he was the first foreign minister to do so.

IAEA Reports Improved Cooperation in Iran

According to the IAEA chief, Iran has responded to some criticism of its “secret cache” of nuclear energy. The agency does not consider the description of the Iranian authorities insufficient but has declared it a step in the right direction. On Friday, news agencies quoted IAEA chief Cornel Feruta saying that the Islamic Republic is cooperating to clarify whether it has reported all its nuclear activities to the IAEA.

“Intrusive and Unacceptable”— Iran Rejects France’s Call for Release of Dual National

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry has described his French counterpart’s remarks regarding the situation of Fariba Adelkhah, a jailed dual national, “intrusive and unacceptable.” At the same time, the French foreign minister expressed concern that Iran’s decision to continue reducing its binding commitments was stressful.

Arab Assassination of Revolutionary Guard Commander Qasem Soleimani Foiled

On Tuesday during an annual leadership meeting by the head of the IRGC Intelligence Organization Hossein Taub Soleimani revealed in a rare interview that an assassination attempt had been made on his life. The identities of the suspects has still not been revealed. The assassination was planned for several years.  Through the assassination it was hoped that it would spark an internal Iranian power struggle and trigger a religious war within Iran.  The suspects who are Iranian were sent abroad and trained to make the attack.

Foiled! Iran Arrests Three in “Assassination Plot” on Quds Leader

The head of the Iranian Intelligence Service says an “Israel-Arab” plan to assassinate Qasem Soleimani has been foiled. Hussein Taeb said members of the team that were supposed to carry out the assassination were identified and arrested. Taeb has announced the failure of a plan to assassinate Soleimani, which he said had been “planned for several years” by the “Arab-Hebrew security services.”

MBS Denies Ordering Khashoggi Murder in Turkey

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.

MBS Warns of Possible War with Iran, Disruption to Global Economy

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has said that if other countries of the world do not come together to deal with the threat of Iran, then it will affect the supply of crude oil in the world market and the prices of oil could rise unexpectedly. In an interview with the American TV program, 60 Minutes, he said that if the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia increases, it will affect the global economy.

Yemen’s Houthis Claim to Capture Thousands of Saudi Troops in Raid

Houthi militants claim to have captured many militants during a massive attack on the southern border of Saudi Arabia. So far, no independent sources have confirmed the news, and Saudi Arabia has been silent. Yemeni Houthis say they conducted the largest military operation against the Saudi-led coalition forces during the three days ending on Saturday, and have “liberated” hundreds of square kilometers of areas under their control.

Stena Impero Leaves Iran After Two Months Detention

The British ship Stena Impero, captured by Iran in the waters of the Strait of Hormuz, at the gates of the Persian Gulf, has left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas to international waters, according to the maritime authorities on Friday. The Organization of Ports and Navigation of Hormozgan province, whose capital is Bandar Abas, announced that the ship left the port at 09:00 local time. The commander and crew of Stena Impero gave their formal and written commitment that they have no claims, despite the fact that the ship was seized. The judicial case against the ship remains, “open” in Iranian courts.

UN General Assembly: Macron Plays Matchmaker, Trump Offers to Mediate

French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to arrange a meeting between the US and Iranian leaders continued in New York on Tuesday. Hassan Rouhani described Mr. Macron’s efforts to lift US sanctions against Iran as a success, but Donald Trump said in a speech at the UN General Assembly that sanctions would not be lifted as long as Iran’s threatening behavior continues. Mr. Macron first met with Mr. Rouhani on Monday night. He said on Tuesday evening that Mr. Rouhani was accompanying British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to meet with the British Prime Minister.

“We’ll Be Talking About Iran,” Trump Says of UNGA Speech

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, US President Donald Trump is expected to explain his policy towards Iran. At the same time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has praised Western powers’ statements on the Saudi oil facility attack and has demanded Iran’s international condemnation. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has rejected talks with the United States.

Rouhani Signals Readiness to Meet Trump, Conditionally

US President Donald Trump has reiterated his desire to resolve the conflict with Iran peacefully. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani is also said to have offered a new proposal to resolve the dispute through a meeting at the UN General Assembly. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has added to his diplomatic efforts to settle the dispute with the United States peacefully. News Agencies on Monday announced a meeting between Zarif and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Saudi Arabia and Iran Exchange Threats After Oil Attacks

Saudi authorities said they were ready to take any necessary measures in response to an attack on its oil facilities. Riyadh continues to insist that Iran is responsible for last week’s attacks. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had reviewed the preliminary results of the investigation after the attack on oil facilities, in which it claims Iranian-made weapons were used in the attack.

United Nations Welcomes Houthis’ Ceasefire Proposal in Yemen

Yemeni Houthis have offered to halt all attacks against Saudi Arabia if Saudi Arabia stops its attacks and the coalition it leads. The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen welcomed the proposal, and described it as a first step towards ending the six-year war in Yemen. “This proposal could send a powerful message of the will to end the war,” Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said on Saturday.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Chief Warns Against Potential Attack

The Commander in Chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, warned against attacking his country, saying that any such attack would result in the destruction of the invader. The statement of Gen. Salami comes after Washington’s announcement to send troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, following the attack on Saudi oil installations last week. Tehran denied the allegations of involvement in the attack.

Pentagon Presents Trump with Military Options Against Iran

On Friday, US Department of Defense officials planned to present military options against Iran at a meeting with President Donald Trump. Last Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities were attacked and severely damaged in two locations north of the country. The attack cut half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and had an immediate impact on world oil prices. Although the Yemeni Houthi group claimed responsibility for the attacks, and said they carried out the simultaneous flight of ten UAVs, Saudi and US officials said the attack was carried out by Iran.

Iranian Foreign Minister: Attack Would Mean “All-Out War”

Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said today that it would be “all-out war” if Saudi Arabia or the United States dared to carry out a military attack on Iran. The already frosty relationship between the US and Iran has escalated in recent days, following attacks on two Saudi oil plants that Washington and Riyadh have attributed to Tehran. However, Tehran has maintained its innocence in as far as the attack is concerned, and it denies any involvement in any way whatsoever.

Iranian Foreign Minister Warns of “All-Out War” if Attacked

The Iranian Foreign Minister has wrarned that any attack on his country would be considered “all-out war,” after the US Secretary of State supported Saudi Arabia’s defense after the attack on Saudi oil facilities. Javad Zarif has said this after his US counterpart, Mike Pompeo, said that the attack on Saudi oil facilities was an act of war, that Iran’s actions were unbearable, and that the United States was following the recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s crude oil facilities.

Is Yemen Turning into Saudi Arabia’s Vietnam?

The Saudi monarchy experienced attacks against their oil production facilities in the last week. Tensions in the Middle East escalated following the drone attacks on the two largest oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The global economic impact will be felt, since Saudi Arabia lost more than half of their crude output via the attacks. The nation is the number one oil producer in the world, holds 5% of the global oil supply, and cut output by 5.7 million barrels per day. last year, Aramco’s net income was $111.1 billion.

Aramco Steps Up Efforts to Maintain Oil Exports

Saturday’s attack on Saudi oil facilities has disrupted Saudi refinery production. Aramco is trying to make orders for its oil deliveries. Saudi Arabia is said to have been forced to buy low-sulfur diesel. The extent of the damage to the Saudi oil facilities is still unclear. Some experts believe it could take several months to rebuild and repair the damage caused by the attack on the refinery. The question in the global energy markets is currently about Saudi Arabia’s ability to carry out oil orders and refinery products.

Khamenei Rules Out Negotiations With Washington Without Nuclear Deal

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says that if the US goes back to the nuclear deal, it can negotiate with Iran like other parties. Otherwise, he said, “Iranian officials, at any level, will never talk to American officials. This is part of their policy to put pressure on Iran.” Khamenei added, “their policy of maximum pressure will fail.”

Ankara Summit Ends With No Solution to Idlib

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted his Russian and Iranian counterparts in Ankara on Monday. They came together for the fifth time since 2017 to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis. As the last major area under Syrian control, Idlib is under the spotlight. All three countries emphasized the need to find a political solution to the Syrian crisis and maintain its territorial integrity. The Ankara summit ended, but to no avail.

Trump Tweets U.S. “Locked and Loaded” After Saudi Attacks

Though President Trump did not openly state whom he believes is the perpetrator of the heinous attack on the Saudi Arabia oil plants, his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, has since Saturday asserted that the attack was carried out from Iran, and not Yemen, as the world was initially made to believe. Trump tweeted Sunday he was “locked and loaded depending on verification.”

Rouhani: Negotiating with US “Meaningless” Unless Sanctions Lifted

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a telephone call with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, said that talks with the United States would be “meaningless,” unless sanctions are lifted. Rouhani also said that “if agreements with Europe are finalized, we’re ready to return to JCPOA commitments, and a meeting between Iran and the 5+1 is only possible when sanctions are lifted.”

FIFA Sends Delegation to Iran After Female Fan’s Death

FIFA announced on Wednesday that it would “soon” send a delegation to Iran to investigate the issue of women’s entry into football stadiums. The FIFA decision came shortly after a female football fan in Iran died after self-immolation. Sahar Khodayari, who was prosecuted for attempting to enter the stadium, committed suicide. The woman on social media became known as the “blue girl” on social media.

Iranian Ambassador: We Will Not Negotiate With US Despite Bolton’s Ouster

Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, has said that Iran will not negotiate with the United States, despite John Bolton’s ouster. The day before, US President Donald Trump announced that he had fired Bolton as US National Security Adviser. Mr. Bolton is a hard-line figure and a strong supporter of the MEK in the White House.