Iran and World Powers on Renewed Diplomacy

Iran has made maximalist demands ahead of nuclear talks with the world’s six major powers scheduled for November 29. Iran expects the United States to “recognize its fault in ditching” the 2015 deal, lift all U.S. sanctions imposed after the withdrawal in one go, and guarantee that no other U.S. administration will renege on the agreement, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on November 8.

Some of the information in this article was originally published on November 22, 2021.

Iran Tests Drones and Missiles During War Game

Iran tested a wide variety of weapons, including cruise missiles, torpedoes and suicide drones, during an annual war game between November 7 and 9. The Zolfaghar-1400 exercise, named for Imam Ali’s sword, was held around four key waterways – the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean – an area totaling more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers).

Profiles: Pro-Iran Militias in Iraq

Since 2003, Iranian influence has deepened in Iraq through a wide array of Shiite militias. Several militia leaders and politicians spent years in exile in Tehran during Saddam Hussein’s reign in the 1980s and 1990s. One of Iraq’s most powerful armed groups, the Badr Organization, was formed in 1982 by Iraqi exiles to fight Hussein with the support of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

U.S. Sanctions IRGC Drone Program

On October 29, the United States sanctioned four men and two companies for supporting Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) programs run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its external operations arms, the Qods Force. “Iran’s proliferation of UAVs across the region threatens international peace and stability. Iran and its proxy militants have used UAVs to attack U.S. forces, our partners, and international shipping,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said. “Treasury will continue to hold Iran accountable for its irresponsible and violent acts.”

Iran Hosts Regional Meeting on Afghanistan

On October 27, Iran hosted a regional conference to develop a “road map” for improving the security and economic situation in Afghanistan, with which it shares a 572-mile border. “If no solution is found as soon as possible to control and manage the economic crisis in Afghanistan, the crisis will certainly move beyond the borders of Afghanistan and affect its neighbors and the world,” Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber warned.