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Is Iran testing Trump with little attacks

Is Iran testing Trump with little attacks

The sound of an explosion echoed through the Green Zone on Sunday night around 9:00 p.m., a reminder that this most secure part of the Iraqi capital is not, in fact, all that safe. The projectile appears to have been aimed at the United States embassy and, after the blast, embassy sirens went off, accompanied by repeated warnings blaring on loudspeakers instructing everyone to take immediate cover.

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Iran to sell oil for a 30% premium

Iran to sell oil for a 30% premium

Given the U.S.’s deployment earlier this month of an aircraft carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf and comments that it may send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East to deal with any untoward action by Iran, Tehran has been busy trying to build safety buffers through its allies. Simon Watkins writes in Oil Price that having put in place a strategy to try to exploit existing divisions between the U.S. and Europe, Iran has now reached an agreement with the Federal Government of Iraq in Baghdad to expand co-operation between the two countries in the economically vital oil sector, including, critically, the sale of Iranian oil under the guise of Iraqi oil. This trick was first used when the last full-scale international sanctions were ramped up in 2012 but the scope of the new deal far outstrips that arrangement. On the face of it, the most obvious signal of this is the plan announced by National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) director, Ramin Gholampour Dezfouli, last week for the state oil giant to open a representative office in Baghdad. The official line from Iraq’s Oil Ministry is that: “The role of [the representative] office will be limited to technical and engineering services, such as establishing pipelines and engineering equipment, which Iraq favours given their very low prices...It will not involve oil trade.” Oil Ministry spokesman, Hamza Jawahiri, however, did say that the office would also allow for joint organisational work to be done on the 12 fields that Iran shares with Iraq – some of the world’s largest oil reservoirs – and that this type of co-operation is not strictly prohibited under the sanctions that the U.S. re-imposed on Iran late last year.

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The Looming War And Tehran’s Ostrich Politics

The Looming War And Tehran’s Ostrich Politics

Last week, tensions between Iran and the United States reached even more alarming levels. First, Iran’s  Supreme Leader admonished Iranians that since the enemy—read America—is in war mode, Iran, too, should prepare for war (Arayesh Jangi Begirad). Then there was the news of the U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln going to the Middle East, ostensibly because of threats posed by Iran. According to some reports, this move was triggered by intelligence that Iran was moving missiles to the Persian Gulf.

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