Belfer Iran Brief—Iranians in Iraq and other news

Belfer Iran BriefAyatollah Khamenei warns against U.S. interference in the Middle East, Iran’s Quds Force steps up operations in Iraq, and more in this week’s edition of the Belfer Iran Brief, covering June 21-27.

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By Andrew Wojtanik

Highlights

  • Russia’s UN envoy indicated that the next round of negotiations in Vienna will last two weeks—July 2-15.

  • Ayatollah Khamenei closed the door on potential U.S.-Iranian cooperation in Iraq: “We don’t support any foreign interference in Iraq and we’re strongly opposed to U.S. interference there.”

  • Iran is reportedly flooding Iraq with military equipment and personnel intended to intercept communications.

Diplomacy and nuclear issue

  • Russia’s UN envoy indicated that the next round of negotiations in Vienna will last two weeks—July 2-15. (Reuters, 6/25)
  • Iran’s atomic energy agency spokesman: Iran “may accept the Additional Protocol.” (AP, 6/23) Note: IAEA Additional Protocol grants the IAEA greater authority to inspect all aspects of a country’s nuclear fuel cycle, including snap inspections.

Sanctions and Iran’s economy

  • Iran’s interior minister claimed that “sanctions have made it difficult for us to import electronic and technical equipment needed for fighting drug trafficking, while we do the fight to help the world.” (ABC News, 6/26)

Iranian domestic politics

  • No significant developments.

US-Iran relations

  • Ayatollah Khamenei closed the door on potential U.S.-Iranian cooperation in Iraq: “We don’t support any foreign interference in Iraq and we’re strongly opposed to U.S. interference there.” (WP, 6/22)
    • “The United States is dissatisfied with the result of elections in Iraq and they want to deprive the Iraqi people of their achievement of a democratic system, which they achieved without U.S. interference.”
    • “The main dispute in Iraq is between those who want Iraq to join the U.S. camp and those who seek an independent Iraq.” (AP, 6/22)

Geopolitics and Iran

  • Iran is reportedly flooding Iraq with military equipment and personnel intended to intercept communications. (NYT, 6/25)
    • Iran has established a command center at Al Rashid airport on the outskirts of Baghdad.
    • Up to 10 military and Revolutionary Guards divisions are amassed on the Iran-Iraq border.
  • Revolutionary Guards chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Jafari: Iran is “an island of stability in an insecure region.” (al-Monitor, 6/23)
  • Iranian national team was eliminated from the World Cup group stage after losses to Argentina and Bosnia-Herzegovina. (ESPN, 6/25)
Iranians protest ISIS
June 24, 2014 - Iranian people take part in a protest against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) at Imam Hossein Square in Tehran, Iran (Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Israel

  • No significant developments.

“Red lines,” “points of no return,” and military strikes

  • No significant developments.

Uncertain or dubious claims

  • No significant claims.

Andrew Wojtanik is a research assistant at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.