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Geopolitics

What A Nuclear Deal Could Mean For Iran's Broken Economy

Ordinary Iranians are hoping for a speck of economic relief and nothing more, if Tehran can sign a nuclear deal with world powers that could alleviate longstanding sanctions.

-Analysis-

As the fate of talks on Iran's nuclear activities remains uncertain, millions of Iranians are hoping, cautiously, that a deal with the West could help alleviate a range of socio-economic problems. Some economic agents hope a deal to renew the 2015 nuclear pact will boost business, travel and spending. Others insist a no-deal is still better than prolonged uncertainty. The question remains, even with a deal that will soften the sanctions on Iran, can Iranians expect even a measure of prosperity in an economy that is restricted, dysfunctional and beset with opaque procedures and massive cronyism?

For over 20 years, the Iranian regime's cat-and-mouse game with the world over its disconcerting nuclear program, suspected money-laundering and support for regional militias and hitmen, have earned it a range of sanctions on Iran's economy and financial system. The regime has furthermore refused to sign the FATF or international pact to block terrorist and criminal finances.

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Tehran's Power Delusions May Be The Biggest Obstacle To A Nuclear Deal

Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have laid out tough conditions for a nuclear deal. They apparently live in a parallel world, oblivious to the reality of Iran's weakness after years of international economic isolation.

Editorial-

LONDON — The foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, observed in a television interview in October 2021 that negotiating wasn't simply "sipping coffee" with the other side, apparently taking a jab at the last set of regime diplomats negotiating over Iran's nuclear dossier in Vienna. He also told the United States it should unblock U.S. $10 billion in frozen Iranian assets to show its goodwill in currently stalled talks to revive the 2015 nuclear pact with world powers.

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Ukraine Mall Terror, 46 Migrants Dead In Texas Truck, Sardinia Beaches

👋 你好*

Welcome to Tuesday, where at least 16 die as Russia strikes a shopping mall in central Ukraine, 46 people are found dead inside a truck in Texas and Bangkok airport authorities make a surprising discovery in two women’s luggage. From India, Banjot Kaur writes in news site The Wire about the dangers of yoga malpractice — and the need for nationwide regulation.

[*Nĭ hăo - Mandarin]

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Russia’s Deescalation Pledge Raises Int’l Eyebrows

👋 Dydh da!*

Welcome to Wednesday, where Western leaders share their skepticism after Moscow promises to scale back its offensive in Ukraine, Israel is rocked by a third terror attack in eight days, and Pluto may host ice volcanoes (and a hidden ocean). Meanwhile, Persian-language media Kayhan-London looks at Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards and the role they may play in helping revive the country’s nuclear deal.

[*Cornish, UK]

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Geopolitics

Will Iran's Revolutionary Guards Make A "Sacrifice" To Help Seal Nuclear Deal?

A dispute between Iran's foreign minister and a leading regime hardliner over whether to insist on removing the paramilitary from the "terrorist" list indicates divisions in the Islamic Republic over what kind of nuclear deal it wants with the West.

-Analysis-

It has been a sticking point in the negotiations to revive the 2015 pact regulating Iran's nuclear program: Tehran had insisted that the Revolutionary Guards, the elite military unit founded by Ayatollah Khomeini, be taken off the list of global terrorist groups. Western negotiators were told the condition was a "red line" if any deal was to be reached.

But recently, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian suggested the regime may not insist on the West removing the Guards from the sanctioned list, with the powerful military wing's willingness to make a "sacrifice" for the state's interests and "selflessly" aid talks to revive the pact and help end crippling sanctions on Iran.

Over the years, the Revolutionary Guards, formed soon after the 1979 revolution, have become a mix of domestic power brokers, politicized army, regional intervention force and big-business holding.

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eyes on the U.S.
Ahmad Ra'fat

Biden And Iran: The If, When And How Of Reopening Nuclear Talks

Iran's clerical regime is boosting its military and nuclear activities, perhaps in a bid to bolster its position ahead of possible talks to revive the 2015 nuclear pact.

-Analysis-

LONDON — Donald Trump is just hours away from ending his term in the White House, and once the Democrat Joseph Biden is sworn in as president — tomorrow, Jan. 20 — his team is expected to begin working almost immediately. That's assuming the Senate approves Biden's choice of secretaries, which seems likely as Democrats have a majority now in both houses of Congress.

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eyes on the U.S.
Gil Yaron

American Sanctions Are Back On Iran — Will It Work?

-OpEd-

BERLIN — Thousands of students marched through Tehran last weekend, and state television broadcast the protest march live. The crowd burned U.S. flags and pictures of President Donald Trump in front of the building of the former U.S. embassy. And, yes, they chanted: "Death to America."

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Sources
Clemens Wergin

Iran Nuclear Row: Should Europe Just Stay The Course?

Israel's offensive against the Iran nuclear deal could be an opportunity for European leaders to improve it.

-Analysis-

WASHINGTON — After the revelations made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about Iran's nuclear program, Europeans are on the defensive. The material seized by the Israelis shows that Tehran has lied massively about its nuclear bomb program. And the very existence of the archive stolen from Iran also proves that Tehran still sees itself as a nuclear power in the waiting, that it retains its know-how and an open path to the bomb.

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Sources
Renaud Girard

Syria, How Did It Come To This?

-Analysis-

PARIS — The Syrian population continues to endure various armed conflicts. Despite all the attention this war gets from international, political and humanitarian organizations, it is now more than seven years since it began — and Syria is suffering from three open wounds.

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blog

Italy's Renzi, First Western Leader In Post-Sanctions Iran

TEHRAN — Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's diplomatic visit to Tehran this week, the first by a Western leader since the Iranian nuclear deal, is seen back in Italy mostly as a smart business trip.

The focus of the two-day trip, which concludes Wednesday, has been in opening up trade between the two countries, after the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran after it had agreed last year to roll back its nuclear activities as part of a deal reached with the U.S., China, Russia, the UK, France and Germany.

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blog

Iran: Warnings Of U.S. "Cultural Assault" (KFC On The Menu)

Look no further than fried chicken for signs that American influence is returning to Iran in the wake of the deal to end sanctions in exchange for limits on the Iranian nuclear program.

That was the message from influential Republican Guards General Mohammad Hossein Sepehr, who cited the opening of a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tehran amongst his warnings that "America wants to infiltrate our society, culture, clothes, food, conduct, distractions and the way we pray."

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Geopolitics
Christophe Ayad

"Things Have Changed" — Rouhani Interview After Landmark European Trip

Following the first trip to Italy and France in 16 years by an Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani talks about terrorism, trade, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

PARIS — Iran President Hassan Rouhani has just concluded a momentous trip to Italy, the Vatican and France, the first such visits by an Iranian leader in a generation, and the first since the accord between Tehran and the West to end sanctions in exchange for limits to Iran's nuclear program. Following meetings with Pope Francis, as well as Italian and French government leaders, Rouhani granted an exclusive interview with Le Monde, France 24 satellite television network and France Culture radio station. Here are key excerpts:

LE MONDE: Is Iran no longer a pariah on the international stage?

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