Iran / by Lewis McKinnon

Iranian hardliner Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati was elected head of the Assembly of Experts on Tuesday, 24 May. Jannati’s election signaled that hardliners are still in control of the assembly. Iran threatened to stop sending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj if Saudi Arabia refused to solve visa and travel issues. Iran has since boycotted the Hajj pilgrimage. The Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy declared that Iran would drown United States (US) warships if they pose a threat to national security and that the state’s enemies are not aware of the country’s full military capabilities. Iran is reportedly working with the Taliban to institute a buffer zone along the Iran-Afghanistan boarder to keep out the Islamic State (IS). Military official Brigadier General Ali Abdollah stated that Iran tested a missile with a range of 2000 kilometres at the end of April. It was later denied that the missile had such a large range. The US placed sanctions on Tehran in response. Iran stated that foreign messaging apps have one year to move data they hold about Iranian users onto servers inside the country. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that Iran needs to fix its banking system if it wants to attract foreign investments. Conversion into the euro of foreign currencies in Iran is now possible. Iran, India, and Afghanistan signed an agreement to revitalise the Port of Chabahar in Iran. Iran is not backing down on oil despite pressures from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to restrict output. It has no plans to freeze output and is currently working to increase output to pre-sanction levels.