Iran was spooked by US stealth fighter reports when it shot down airliner says Lavrov

bne IntelliNews January 17, 2020

Russian foreign minister says at least six American F-35 aircraft flying in Iranian border area at time Tehran was expecting response to missile strikes on Iraq bases.

Iran warns Europe over succumbing to “high school bully” Trump

bne IntelliNews January 17, 2020

German defence minister acknowledges US threatened it would impose 25% car tariff if EU’s big three did not formally accuse Tehran of breaching nuclear deal. But Europeans claim they were going to do so anyway.

Iran pours scorn on “strange offer” of “Trump deal” to replace nuclear deal

bne IntelliNews January 16, 2020

Islamic Republic’s president also warns European troops in Middle East “could be in danger”. Meanwhile, IIF says in face of US sanctions Iranian foreign reserves have taken $40bn hit.

Iran’s judiciary calls for expulsion of UK ambassador as nuclear deal frictions deteriorate

bne IntelliNews January 15, 2020

Diplomat was arrested after attending vigil for victims of downed aircraft. Iranian officials seen as angered by PM Boris Johnson’s call for a “Trump deal” to replace accord.

TEHRAN BLOG: Now is no time to appease Trump

bne IntelliNews January 14, 2020

As the US tramples on international law and lapdog UK’s PM says nuclear deal can be replaced with something from “the great dealmaker”, respecters of democracy everywhere should side with the lesser of two evils: Iran.

Iran’s admission it shot down airliner with missile sparks anti-regime street unrest

bne IntelliNews January 12, 2020

Pro-regime protesters, meanwhile, set alight union jack after UK ambassador detained after leaving vigil for victims at which chanting started.

Sanctions-hammered Iran saw GDP shrink 8.7% in 2019 and can’t expect growth in 2020 says World Bank

bne IntelliNews January 10, 2020

Just six months ago forecast was for contraction of only 4.5% in face of US “economic war”.

Iran’s started “big operations” in Middle East says general flaunting ‘Resistance Axis’ flags

bne IntelliNews January 9, 2020

Adds that Iranians were prepared to fire even thousands of missiles if US had militarily responded to Iraq airbase strikes. Up to 500 Americans could have died in ‘first phase’ he claims.

US, Canada ‘confident Iran downed Ukraine flight PS752 with missile’

bne IntelliNews January 9, 2020

Iranian civil aviation chief insists: “Scientifically, it is impossible that a missile hit the Ukrainian plane, and such rumours are illogical.”

Assassination of Soleimani: What if Iran’s real plan of revenge is to turf Trump out of office?

Will Conroy in Prague January 8, 2020

As rockets exploded near the US embassy in Baghdad late on January 8, observers were asking if Tehran’s casualty-free attacks on Iraq bases were just a pre-cursor to the long game.

Iran’s refusal to hand over black boxes incites suspicions over fate of Ukraine flight PS752

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

Aircraft crashed hours after Iranian missile attack on Iraq airbases began. Ukrainian president cautions against "speculation or unchecked theories" but little has yet been ruled out.

Analysis: Theory Iran’s strikes on US Iraq bases were ‘for show’ firming up

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

Tehran informed Iraqi PM of attack while it was imminent or in progress. Troops got out of harm’s way. True revenge for Soleimani death might take form of “deniable attacks” say analysts.

Ukrainian commercial flight crashes after takeoff in Iran killing all on board

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

A Ukrainian commercial airliner carrying at least 170 passengers crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport in the early hours of January 8 killing everyone on board.

Reports indicate Iran’s ‘Soleimani retaliation’ strikes on US bases in Iraq are conservative

bne IntelliNews January 8, 2020

“All is well!” tweets Trump, adding: “Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good!” Iranian foreign minister says “We do not seek escalation or war”.

COMMENT: Will the US launch large scale war against Iran following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani

Fuad Shahbazov Independent Analyst in Baku January 7, 2020

The Caucasus states are now looking on nervously after the assassination of iconic Iranian general and Commander-in-Chief of the elite Quds Forces Qassem Soleimani as a regional war would be devastating

Israel, Nato offer Trump only lukewarm support over slaying of Iran’s Soleimani

bne IntelliNews January 6, 2020

US president left casting around for strong backing from allies. Iranian commander, meanwhile, says only appropriate response to killing would be “complete destruction of America in the region”.

Caucasus braces for conflict in neighbouring Iran

Joshua Kucera for Eurasianet January 6, 2020

Armenia and Azerbaijan have taken relatively pro-Tehran lines in the new crisis, while Georgia is sticking close by Washington.

Soleimani assassination: Iraqi parliament votes to expel US troops and Iran ends nuclear deal commitments

bne IntelliNews January 5, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of mourners take to streets in Iranian cities. Chants of “Iran’s wearing black, revenge, revenge”. Suggestions Tehran may seek a strategic vengeance in putting an end to US presence in region.

Bone-chilling threat to US issued by successor to assassinated Iranian general

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2020

“We tell everyone, be patient and see the dead bodies of Americans all over the Middle East,” says Esmail Ghaani. Donald Trump claims he “does not seek war”.

US killing of Iran’s top general risks all-out Middle East war

bne IntelliNews January 3, 2020

Tehran vows vengeance after Trump-authorised drone assassination of commander often seen as second most powerful figure in Islamic Republic.