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Friday’s Iran Mini Report – May 10, 2019

Friday's Iran Mini Report - May 10, 2019

•US Threatens ‘Swift And Decisive’ Response To Any Iran Attack

AFPS: secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday threatened a “swift and decisive” US response to any attack by Iran, in the latest of a series of escalating statements and actions. “The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response,” Pompeo said in a statement. “Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve,” he said.

• Joseph Lieberman, Mark Wallace: Trump Should Toughen Sanctions On Iran

Sen. Joe Lieberman & Mark Wallace for Fox News: As the leaders of an organization called United Against Nuclear Iran, we are grateful for the bold change in America’s policy toward Iran that the Trump administration has implemented. By withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal – last year, designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a Foreign Terrorist Organization this year, and steadily increasing U.S. sanctions to weaken Iran’s ability to perpetuate terror, Washington is leading with clarity and resolve.
• EU Fights Uphill Battle To Save Iran Deal
The Wall Street Journal: European governments rejected Iran’s 60-day ultimatum to help it circumvent U.S. sanctions, saying Thursday they viewed Tehran’s threat to abandon some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal with great concern. The ultimatum leaves Europe with few options to save the accord, given that its months long efforts to ease U.S. sanctions on Iran have largely come to nothing.

• Tensions Continue To Rise Between US And Iran
Sinclair Broadcast Group: When asked in January if there has to be a regime change in Tehran, Pompeo replied, “Nope. What there needs to be is behavior that is like a normal country. These are real threats and what we’re demanding from the Islamic Republic of Iran is very simple: don’t build nuclear weapons, don’t continue your nuclear programs, cease the terror campaign, stop assassination efforts, behave like a normal country.” “Ultimately this is just to send a message that we won’t tolerate these attacks and I think that it’ll end up deterring any such actions,” said Jordan Steckler, a research analyst for the group, United Against Nuclear Iran.
• Rising Tensions With Iran

ABC 7: Jordan Steckler is a research analyst for the group, United Against Nuclear Iran. “There’s been some new intel that Iran had greenlit some of its proxies to possibly begin targeting American military assets and personnel overseas.”
• Iranian Crude Shipments Slump As U.S. Oil Sanctions Bite Deeper
Bloomberg: Iran’s oil shipments tumbled this month after the U.S. ended sanctions waivers that allowed eight governments to buy from the Persian Gulf country. So far, not a single ship has been seen leaving Iran’s oil terminals for foreign ports in tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. China, India, South Korea and Japan were among those allowed to buy about 1 million barrels a day of Iranian crude and condensate, a light form of oil extracted from gas fields, until May 2.
• Ambassador To Germany Threatens Companies With U.S. Ban Over Iran
The Hill: U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell warned companies that they could be blocked from the U.S. market if they do business with Iran. “You can do as much business as you want in Iran, but we have a say with regards to your visa,” Grenell, who has a history of exasperating his Berlin hosts, told Bild newspaper in an interview. “Because if you do something, we’re not going to agree to let you enter our country.”

• Sinopec, CNPC Skip Iran Oil Purchases For May To Avoid U.S. Sanctions
Reuters: China Petrochemical Corp (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, are skipping Iranian oil purchases for loading in May after Washington ended sanction waivers to turn up pressure on Tehran, three people with knowledge of the matter said. The United States has not renewed any exemptions from sanctions on Iran, taking a tougher line than expected on the expiry of the waivers.

• Iran Appears To Be Restarting Oil Shipments To Syria As Trump Turns Up Pressure
CNBC: Tanker-tracking firms believe Iran is once again shipping crude oil to Syria, resuming the illicit trade as tensions with Washington rise and the Islamic Republic faces increasing international isolation. An Iranian delivery of approximately one million barrels of crude was made into the Syrian port of Baniyas during the first week of May, according to TankerTrackers.com and ClipperData, two groups that follows oil vessels.

• US B-52 Bombers Land In Qatar Over Unspecified Iran Threat
Associated Press B-52 bombers ordered by the White House to deploy to the Persian Gulf to counter unspecified threats from Iran have arrived at a major American air base in Qatar, the U.S. Air Force acknowledged Friday. Images released by the U.S. Air Force’s Central Command Show B-52H Stratofortress bombers arriving at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar on Thursday night. Others landed at an undisclosed location Wednesday in “southwest Asia,” the Air Force said.