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Iran Geopolitical Watch – from October 29 to November 4, 2022

Iran / Pakistan / Afghanistan geopolitical watch team : Daniel Marco, Jérémie Patot.

 

10/31/2022-A ship carrying 11 million liters of fuel is seized by the Iranian Navy in the Persian Gulf. -Daniel Marco-

On October 31, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy arrested the crew of a foreign-registered ship that it said was smuggling 11 million liters of gasoline into the Persian Gulf, IRNA reported.

Tasnim News Agency notes that after weeks of technological and intelligence activities, according to the head of the Judicial Authority, Mojtaba Ghahremani, IRGC marine troops managed to capture the foreign vessel, in the southern Iranian province of Hormozgan. According to Al Jazeera, Mojtaba Ghahremani added that the captain and crew of the foreign oil tanker are being held in prison and the seized cargo is valued at 2.2 trillion rials (6.6 million US dollars). In addition, he said the tanker’s fuel delivery vessels would be prosecuted. “All vessels that delivered fuel to the offending tanker will also be prosecuted,” the judicial official said

Xinhuanet recalls that in recent times, Iran has declared numerous operations to combat fuel smuggling in the Persian Gulf, which is home to much of the world’s oil production and shipping. According to Al Arabiya, the country has one of the cheapest gasoline prices in the world, which can make smuggling to other countries a thriving business. In September, Iran said it had seized a second foreign ship in the same region carrying 757,000 litres of illegal oil.

 

11/01/2022 – Russia agrees to sign a free trade agreement between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union -Jérémie Patot-

On November 1, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said: “Russia and Iran have reached an agreement to sign a free trade area agreement with the Eurasian Union in the near future“, reports Iranian news agency Tasnim News.

For several weeks, Moscow and Tehran have been in negotiations for the creation of a free zone and for Iran’s accession to the Eurasian Union, which is a free trade zone agreement between Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Belarus and Russia. This rapprochement between Iran and Russia provides for increased trade and economic cooperation in the energy, industrial, monetary, banking and logistics sectors, according to Tasnim News. This should materialize in the development of railways, new pipeline projects, according to The Iran Project, and also a bilateral financial system with a common payment and liquidity transfer system which would be an alternative to the SWIFT system and would use the US Dollar as currency, writes AzerNews.

Remember that both are subject to sanctions systems that ostracize them from international trade and the SWIFT financial system and that in recent weeks a rapprochement between Tehran and Moscow, in particular the affair of the Iranian drones “Shahed-136 and Shahed- 131” in Ukraine. Mehr News Agency adds that during the press conference, Alexander Novak expressed his wish that the trade between Iran and Russia continues to increase to reach 4 billion US dollars, he recalled that in the last 8 months ago had a trade increase of 36.4% already reaching 3.3 billion US dollars.

 

11/02/2022 – Iranian delegation to meet with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. -Daniel Marco-

On November 2, at a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian announced that an Iranian delegation would travel to Vienna in the coming days to try to resolve differences with the UN nuclear watchdog, IRNA reported

“We will send an Iranian delegation to Vienna in the next few days to start talks with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and we hope to resolve the remaining issues on the basis of what we have agreed in the past few days,” the Iranian diplomatic chief informed. Hossein Amir Abdollahian said the talks are aimed at “resolving the unresolved issues” between the parties, in accordance with the agreements reached during the recent visit to Vienna of the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Mohammad Eslami, Anadolu Agency reported.

Eslami and IAEA Director Rafael Grossi reached an agreement and, according to the senior Iranian diplomat, the agency should be able to move beyond this stage of technical cooperation. The Iranian foreign minister further said he would contact Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, to explore the possibilities of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers, Mehr News Agency added.

Barron’s recalls that one of the main reasons the IAEA board of governors passed a resolution criticising Iran in June was the UN watchdog’s pressure on Iran to provide information about the presence of nuclear material at three unannounced sites. In addition to this, Iran has repeatedly stated that it wants the IAEA to stop examining these three sites, a position that the nuclear watchdog considers unreliable.

 

10/04/2022 – An assassination attempt on former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. -Jeremie Patot-

During a political rally in Wazirabad (east of the country), on Thursday November 3, former Prime Minister Imaran Khan was injured in the leg after being shot by an automatic weapon; killing one person and injuring 10 others according to The Guardian. The next day the ex-Prime Minister accuses his successor of plotting to kill him, reports FranceInfo.

The attack heightened tensions in Pakistan, as Imaran Khan was campaigning to demand a snap election after his April ousting. And since Friday violent clashes between supporters of the former prime minister and law enforcement have erupted across the country, informs The Guardian.

The government of the current prime minister, Sharif, has indicated that the elections will take place according to the timetable, in 2023, and that there will be no snap elections. Khan accused the Pakistani military and the United States of ousting him in April, which both deny, according to the BBC.

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