Iran-U.S. Relations

Regional News • World
United States announce that they are willing to have direct talks with Tehran about nuclear agreement
United States announce that they are willing to have direct talks with Tehran about nuclear agreement
Credit: / Frédéric Paulussen

The new US administration of President Joe Biden has declared itself ready for talks with Tehran in the dispute over the Iranian nuclear agreement. At the same time, the US, along with Germany, Britain and France, addressed clear words to Tehran after Thursday's consultations, warning against restricting International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to Iranian nuclear facilities. The Trump administration had imposed drastic sanctions on Tehran after it pulled out of the deal, contributing to the worst economic crisis in recent Iranian history.

Regional News • Middle East
Iran renews Interpol request to arrest Donald Trump, 47 other U.S. officials
U.S. President Donald J. Trump
U.S. President Donald J. Trump Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili announced during a press conference on Tuesday that Iran has requested the international police organisation to arrest Trump and 47 other American officials identified as playing a role in the assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani last year.

Soleimani, Iran's top general who led the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was assassinated on January 3, 2020, in a US drone strike in Baghdad ordered by Trump. In a ceremony in Tehran to mark Soleimani's assassination anniversary, judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi said Trump was a main target of prosecution and should not be immune because of his political status.

Regional News • Middle East
Iran told IAEA it is enriching uranium with 20% purity

On January 1, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said the Iranian government had told the watchdog it planned to resume enrichment up to 20% at Fordo site, buried inside a mountain. The announcement would put Tehran's program a technical step away from weapons-grade levels.

The Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabeie said, "A few minutes ago, the process of producing 20% enriched uranium has started in Fordo enrichment complex."

Regional News • Middle East
U.S. unilaterally declares U.N. sanctions on Iran are back in force
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Credit: Bundesministerium für europäische und internationale Angelegenheiten (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The United States unilaterally proclaimed on Saturday that United Nations sanctions against Iran are back in force. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said "Today, the United States welcomes the return of virtually all previously terminated UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran."

Pompeo also stated "If UN member states fail to fulfill their obligations to implement these sanctions, the United States is prepared to use our domestic authorities to impose consequences for those failures and ensure that Iran does not reap the benefits of UN-prohibited activity."

In a joint letter to the U.N. Security Council, France, Germany, and United Kingdom said "Any decision or action taken with a view to re-installing [the sanctions] would be incapable of legal effect."

And the Russian foreign ministry stated "The illegitimate initiatives and actions of the United States by definition cannot have international legal consequences for other countries."

Regional News • Middle East
US report: Iran has most likely put parts of air defense system on "high alert"

After experiencing several explosions at key military and nuclear facilities in Iran the country allegedly put parts of its air defense system on "high alert". According to CNN, the Unites States has "several" intelligence indications from satellites, planes and ships that routinely operate in international airspace and waters.

Following current assessments, the alert status in Iran is not part of a current training exercise but a fear of an unknown threat as the reasons for the recent explosions are still unknown.

Regional News • Middle East
Iran issued arrest warrant for Donald Trump "on charges of murder and terrorist action"
Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qasem Soleimani in 2019
Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qasem Soleimani in 2019 Credit: / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Iran has issued an arrest warrant for Donald Trump and more than 30 other unnamed individuals for their alleged involvement in the killing of General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020. The warrants have been issued on the charges of murder and terrorist action, and Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr has asked Interpol to put out a "red notice", the highest-level notice by Interpol, for Trump and the others involved.

A red notice allows local authorities to arrests suspects on behalf of the country that made the request. Interpol's involvement is unlikely as the notice forbids "from undertaking any intervention or activities of a political" nature.

Huawei's executive Meng Wanzhou loses fight against extradition to the US

British Columbia's Supreme Court in Vancouver allowed the process for extraditing Meng Wanzhou to the US to continue. The US wants Meng, Huawei's CFO, to stand trial on charges linked to the alleged violation of US sanctions against Iran.

Although Canada and the US have an extradition treaty, Canadian laws only allow extradition if the charges against the person in question would also qualify as a crime on Canadian soil.

Following the ruling, a Chinese embassy spokesperson in Canada told CBC News: "The purpose of the United States is to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies, and Canada has been acting in the process as an accomplice of the United States. The whole case is entirely a grave political incident."