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In-depth Reports

BY: DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW Mnuchin was responding to a query by House Ways and Means Committee member Peter Roskam during a hearing on 24 May, which was centred on US president Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposals. Roskam is a vehement opponent of the agreement to supply Iran Air with commercial aircraft, and introduced a bill at the beginning of the year aimed at requiring the president to report on any illicit use of commercial aircraft for military activities.

Joyce Karam 

WASHINGTON: As Yemen’s war enters its third year, a two-day workshop addressing the military, political and humanitarian challenges of the conflict warned of Houthi ties to Iran and their impact on legitimate institutions in Yemen.Saudi and Yemeni diplomats both echoed the urgency for a political solution, and invited the Houthis to the table as a political party and not an armed militia.The conference in Washington, organized by the Gulf Research Center, featured Saudi and Yemeni officials, as well as US defense experts and former US ambassadors to Sanaa.

A UK Conservative MP has been granted a £338,000 ($436,391) pay-out after winning a libel case against Iranian state television channel Press TV in a British court.

In July 2015 Press TV published an article on its English-language website implying that Nadhim Zahawi, who is of Kurdish background and was born in Iraq, had facilitated the trade of oil between Islamic State group militants and the state of Israel.

Zahawi was a leading member of the UK's foreign affairs select committee and has previously criticised Iran's role in the Middle East region.

By Jon Rogers

IRAN has said it will not seek anyone’s “permission” to build up its missile capabilities in a defiant message to US President Donald Trump as global tensions over a possible war continue to rise.President Hassan Rouhani said during an event showcasing military hardware broadcast on state-run television:"The strengthening of the capability of the Iranian armed forces… is only for defending the country and we will ask no one's permission to build up the armed forces, and to build missiles and aircraft."

 by Joel Gehrke

President Trump should cancel airplane sales to Iranian airlines that facilitate terrorism, a pair of Republican lawmakers urged Monday.

 "Iran's commercial airlines have American blood on their hands," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., wrote in a letter to Trump.

 A government decision to block the aircraft sales would provoke an uproar at home and abroad. It would cost Boeing, which has inked a pair of deals to sell 110 to Iran-based airlines, about $20 billion.

It could deter American and European businesses from investing in Iran, which the regime's leaders have argued amounts to violation of the nuclear agreement that former President Barack Obama's team negotiated.

New York Times - March 31, 2017 - LONDON — In recent weeks, Total, the French energy giant, has been sending small amounts of euros from banks in Europe to Tehran.

It was the corporate equivalent of setting up a direct deposit. Total wanted to test the banking system and learn how difficult it was to make day-to-day transactions in Iran.

As it considers investing in Iran, the company is moving cautiously. It has assigned a full-time compliance officer to the country to ensure it doesn’t run afoul of any rules:

By INU Staff

Since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iran has been holding presidential elections every four years. Western media often portray elections in Iran as a struggle between political parties as is the norm in their own countries.

However, there are key differences between elections in Iran and western democracies. A deeper look at the process and dynamics involved in selecting the country's president suggest why there's a strong belief any form of elections in Iran are a sham and the power to rule the country lies elsewhere.

By Heshmat Alavi

While an agreement allowing Iranian pilgrims to join this year’s hajj is good news, this is no leap forward to future success for the regime in Tehran. Quite obvious is the fact that this regime is facing a new balance of power in the Middle East and across the globe as the Trump administration has begun overhauling his predecessor’s disastrous Iran appeasement policy that allowed Tehran ignite the entire region in flames.

Turning point

The visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US and meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House has been described as a turning point in Saudi-US relations.

By Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad
Cipher Brief - 19th March 2017 - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. In its eagerness to secure the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, the Obama Administration turned a blind eye to IRGC involvement in the Syrian civil war, and as the Trump Administration now ponders its options, the IRGC is looking to turn its investment in Syria into profits.

By Heshmat Alavi

Iran made a lot of noise recently in announcing a new main battle tank built inside the country. Named Karrar, the tank is more a replica of an old Russian design and even more previous Western tank characteristics incorporated into various parts of nothing but a fancy-styled vessel most probably mocking something from a recent movie.

Despite all the brouhaha, Karrar is actually far behind anything considered modern and regardless of Tehran’s claims, entering production lines remains farfetched. Experts are even accusing Iran of using this entire scenario as a hoax aimed at gaining Russia’s consent into a tank purchase deal at a lower price.