U.S. Treasury Advisory on Iran’s Illicit Financial Activities

October 12, 2018

On October 11, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Treasury issued a detailed advisory on Iran’s attempts to exploit the U.S. financial system. It was intended to help financial institutions to detect illicit transactions tied to the Islamic Republic and avoid exposure to U.S. sanctions. When President Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, he indicated that U.S. sanctions were to be reimposed in two rounds, one on August 7 and one on November 5. The upcoming round of sanctions will target Iran’s oil exports, the most important part of the economy.

Khamenei: Iran’s Economy Will “Defeat” U.S. Sanctions

October 9, 2018

On October 4, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei asserted that Iran’s economy is strong enough to “defeat” U.S. sanctions. He delivered a defiant address to a stadium filled with thousands of members of the Basij paramilitary. Khamenei criticized President Donald Trump for “wishful thinking” about the frailty of the Islamic Republic. Khamenei acknowledged that having an oil-dependent economy was a shortcoming, but he claimed that Iran's enemies were using the media to present a distorted picture of the situation in Iran.

New U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy on Iran

October 5, 2018

On October 4, President Donald Trump vowed to “roll back Iran’s global terrorist network” in his announcement of a new counterterrorism strategy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also cited Iran as a key threat. “Terrorist groups and networks such as al-Qa`ida, ISIS, and Iranian-supported terrorists continue to target us, our allies, and partners. We must combat these threats through a comprehensive and coordinated approach,” he said. Iran was the only country that Trump and Pompeo mentioned by name in their statements on the new strategy. 

Attack on Iranian Opposition Group Rally Thwarted

October 3, 2018

Belgian security authorities thwarted a bombing attack targeting an Iranian opposition group’s rally just outside of Paris on June 30. Some 25,000 attended the “Free Iran 2018-The Alternative” event in Vellepinte. High profile speakers included former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani, a former mayor of New York City who is currently President Donald Trump’s attorney.