News Digest: Week of May 17

May 17

Diplomacy: The top Iranian lawmaker on Parliament's national security committee called on both Armenia and Azerbaijan to deescalate tensions over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. “The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran is very clear, unequivocal, and decisive," MP Mojtaba Zolnouri said. "We do not accept any change in the borders of the region."

Oil: Iran's national oil company signed a $1.78 billion contract with Petropas, a local contractor, to develop an offshore gas field. The deal was signed after talks with Indian companies collapsed due to U.S. sanctions on Iran, Reuters reported

Military: The defense ministry agreed to equip Iran's conventional army with 1,000 drones, Tasnim News Agency reported


May 18

Diplomacy: Iranian and Russian diplomats held talks in Moscow to discuss the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Mehr News Agency reported

Oil: Iranian oil exports dipped in May due to lower demand from Chinese refiners, Reuters reported


May 19

Oil: Refiners in India and Europe have begun discussions with Iran on resuming purchases from the state-backed oil company or committed to buying Iranian oil if U.S. sanctions are lifted, Reuters reported



May 20

Legal: A Canadian judge in Ontario ruled that the shootdown of Ukrainian International Airlines Flight PS752 by Iranian air defense was "intentional" and that Iran was financially liable for damages. On January 8, 2020, the Revolutionary Guards shot down the passenger jet with two surface-to-air missiles and killed all 178 passengers, including 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents. Iran rejected the ruling, saying that Canada had "no jurisdiction" and that the ruling was "not based on eyewitness evidence." 

Some of the information in this article was originally published on May 19, 2021.