US-Iran tensions June 2020
Updated: Jul 19
Our daily updates on US-Iran tensions. For the previous installment see this link.
US-led Coalition meeting. "U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo looks forward to co-hosting, with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, a virtual meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS on June 4 to review next steps in the campaign to achieve a lasting defeat of ISIS. The D-ISIS Coalition remains critically important to our efforts and united in its determination to see this enemy destroyed."
IRGC's Ghaani reportedly went to Iraq.
Iran and US appear to trade prisoners
Nujaba's Al-Kaabi swears allegience to Iran, again.
Hadi al-Amiri resigns as rumors persist PMF may push out Fayyadh.
Elijah Magnier: "A likely front is the Levant, where preparations are being made to confront Israel and end its continued violations of Syria’s sovereignty and bombardment of hundreds of targets in Syria throughout the years of the war. This particular issue may bring the Middle East into an all-out war; one mistake could turn fatal and drag the region into an all-out clash in which Syria will not be alone...Iran has decided – according to private sources – to evacuate the sites of the gatherings of its advisers, not for withdrawal or for redeployment but to find bases within the Syrian Army barracks. Hezbollah has taken over the vacated Iranian buildings."
Hadi al-Ameri, the President of the Fateh Alliance and Badr Organization has resigned from the Iraqi Parliament.
"Unidentified drones" bombed a military base used by pro-Iran militias in eastern Syria killing 12 people, SOHR reported on Sunday. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Meizileh base, used as the headquarters of Iranian militias in the region was the target of eight drone strikes just before midnight. Israel accused of airstrikes.
Lebanese army worried over tensions.
Syrian currency collapses. "A back of bread, eight loafs, in Idlib is now 800 SP. Most shops all over Syria closed today, they can't afford to sell anything."
Iran discusses history of its drone program.
50 Coalition vehicles head to eastern Syria, SANA says.
Iraq-US strategic dialogue could being soon.
Iraqi armed forces say they don't need US to fight terror- Tasnim.
Kataib Hezbollah comments on US dialogue.
Al-Nujaba in Iraq says it sent balloon images to Gaza.
Rocket fired in Baghdad near airport
Iran says death sentence for spy who led US to Soleimani.
Iran challenges protests in Lebanon as "sedition"
Iran slams US pressure on Baghdad.
Rouhani says US put a knee on Iran's throat, referencing US protests
Iran highlights US-Iraq strategic dialogue.
Iran works with Russia and China against sanctions.
Iran built a fake US carrier to train with.
Rocket lands in Green Zone.
US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue. Previous Coalition meeting was on June 4.
US CENTCOM General McKenzie readout of discussion with MEI. "From where I sit today, the greatest threat to stability and security in the region is Iran – their funding of terrorism and terrorist organizations; their propping up the murderous Assad regime; providing advanced weapons to the Houthis in Yemen; their direct attacks on international oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, refineries in Saudi Arabia and U.S. troops in Iraq. Iran actively stokes instability and is intent on degrading security all over the region, ultimately for their own hegemonic purposes...Right now, we're in a period of what I would call contested deterrence with Iran. And that really obtained from the January exchange where we struck Qasim Soleimani and they attacked our forces at Irbil and also at al-Assad Air Base. Proceeding from that I think the Iranians have had to recalculate because they did not believe that we would actually take that action...I think of it in what I would call state-on-state deterrence, where attacks clearly, directly attributable to Iran are not being generated. As you know, and as you noted, in 2019, we saw state-on-state attacks generated from Iran against Saudi Arabia..."
US promises to withdraw more troops from Iraq on day one of their "Strategic Dialogue" talks. Some have already gone, but it looks like some will stay for a while. "The ISIS comeback is meanwhile getting serious." - Liz Sly.
Cruise missiles used in several attacks on oil facilities and an international airport in Saudi Arabia last year were of “Iranian origin,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council in a report seen by Reuters on Thursday...Guterres also said several items in U.S. seizures of weapons and related materiel in November 2019 and February 2020 were “of Iranian origin.”
US will "kneel" before Iran
Iran rejects report by UN that it was responsible for attack on Saudi Arabia.
Iran works to try to control its Iraqi militias - AP
Badr accuses US of abusing its role in Iraq.
Tasnim recalls Sistani's Fatwa, accuses US and "Zionists" of supporting ISIS.
Iraqi PM advisor says strategic dialogue "those who believed strategic dialogue with US was to discuss US presence were mistaken. Many things discussed, such as logistics, training & arming. US continues to reduce numbers. US forces here at request of Iraq & per agreement." PMU denounces US as occupier on anniversary of Sistani Fatwa.
Yemen Houthis claim US, Zionists collaborate with Gulf.
Zarif flies to Ankara as Lavrov cancels meeting.
Turkey carries out operation "claw" attacking Yazidi areas in Sinjar and Makhmour camp.
Ankara and Tehran very close after Zarif meetings.
Nasrallah threatens to "kill" those who try to starve Lebanon.
Zarif was in Russia.
Russia FM says Russia, Turkey, Iran to talk about Syria.
Caesar Act comes into force, hits 29 Assad regime members.
Iran shows off June 2017 rocket attacks on ISIS with new video of Zolfaghar and Qaim missiles (قیام و ذوالفقار).
Brian Hook speaks at Council on Foreign Relations about Iran sanctions, Iraq, Yemen and Hezbollah. "Iran provides Hezbollah with 70 percent of its operating budget. And Hezbollah has had a very constrained—sort of less permissive environment I think than it is accustomed to...You have some of Iran’s Shia proxies in Syria say to the press that Iran doesn’t have the money that it used to and the golden days are over. You also have in Iraq the sort of favorability of numbers, you might say, for the Iranian regime in Iraq has plummeted."
Trump admin fires heads of VOA claiming pro-Iran bias.
Earlier today the #Iranian Army tested a new generation of anti-ship missile which hit targets at 280km distance.
New Hezbollah video threatens Israel with precision missiles.
Iran’s Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi says the country will soon manufacture supersonic missiles equipped with a jet engine variant.
A Year After US MQ-4C Triton Drone Downed: Iran's ‘Mythical Missile’ 3rd of Khordad Displayed to Public
Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf, speaker of the parliament, slams any idea of negotiations with US- ISNA
FarsNews says Trump mentioned Iran deal at Tulsa rally.
Iran slams EU for not enabling end of arms embargo after Zarif went to Turkey and Russia.
Shaban: IRGC enters the field of long-range air defense / Successful test of the 3rd of Khordad system at sea: In a detailed interview with Fars News Agency, the commander of the IRGC's air defense explained the various aspects of the downing of the US drone.
Israel haYom reveals Quds Force role in Syria.
Rocket attack in Iraq close to midnight, " rocket landed in #Baghdad International Airport without significant damage. Interestingly a few hours before this attack, #Iraqi Security Forces found two setup 107mm rockets on launchers in the Jihad Neighbourhood in South West Baghdad aiming at the airport...But the fired rocket's launcher was found near the village of Dahna, north of Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad. Were the attackers trying to deceive the security forces by putting those launchers in Jihad neighbourhood, knowing that ISF has intensified its searches?"
SANA: Air defenses active in Jableh region.
Attack reported near Deir Ezzor and air defenses active near Suwayda. Air strike reportedly carried out by "Israeli jets", Al-Arabiya says. More details. Areas include radar ddish hill in Suwayda (تل الصحن بريف السويداء) and a town near Deir Ezzor called by this name (كباجب). Jason Brodsky noted that it "comes after drone strikes killed 12 #Iran-backed Afghan & Iraqi fighters days ago in Deir Ezzor."
Pompeo warns about Iran buying new aircraft from China, Russia; Iran says it built three new fighters at home.
Details on alleged Israeli airstrikes on June 23.
Massive explosion in Parchin near Tehran.
On June 26, a fire at theShiraz power station caused extensive damage due to "cyberattack"
Houthis warn of more attacks.
Qais Khazali discusses origins of PMU, mentions state weakness.
Khaled al-Ubaidi appointed as head of national security and Qasim al-Araji as advisor
US ambassador Lebanon banned from speaking to media by Lebanese court
Clashes reported in Daraa (درعا).
Can Israel's campaign between the wars be replicated.
Saudi patrol fires warning shots at Iranian boats.
New rocket for PMU.
Qais Khazali tells Kadhimi that he was chosen to head transitional govt to hold early elections and deal with economic and health crisis, warns him not intervene in other matters, for example when "resistance" factions target US forces.
Bombing or airstrike on Albukamal area hours after reports of Ghaani visit.
Second strike reported near Albukamal and ten killed.
Israeli planes over Saida, Lebanon.
Kataib Hezbollah members released in Iraq; trample posts of Prime Minister, burn Israeli flags.
Brian Hook in Jerusalem meets Netanyahu, says Israel and US see eye-to-eye on Iran threat.
Explosion at medical center in Iran.
China opposes US sanctions on Iran.
Rouhani slams US administration.
Iran brags about Palestinian missile launch.
Iran media says US military "expelled" from Syrian village.
Iran to host Turkey-Russia talks.
Hadi al-Ameri, the head of the Fatah (Conquest) Alliance in Iraq's parliament, made the remarks on Tuesday and said time has come to bring stability to Iraq and that the goal will not be achieved with the presence of US troops in the country.
Bahrain welcomes report that Iran involved in attack on Saudi Arabia.
Mysterious incident at Natanz facility.
Hamas: Khaled Meshaal threatens Israel over annexation; Qalibaf speaks to Haniyeh.
Maliki praises PMU.
Increasing crackdown in Daraa on "reconciled" rebels.
is a China-Iran agreement in the cards?
Russia-Iran-Turkey joint statement on Syria. "mphasizing their strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the goals and principles of the UN Charter, stating that these principles should be respected by all and no action, regardless of its perpetrators, should be taken." Condemned separatism, autonomy and "stolen" oil revenues of northeast Syria.
Iran has supported Taliban alongside Russia, US sources allege.
Four more tankers on way to Venezuela.
Zergan Gas Power Plan explosion
Rocket attack Baghdad as US allegedly sets up C-RAM defenses.
Al-Fatah slams US for using missile defense system, claiming it is a violation of diplomatic custom.
Iran triggers dispute mechanism for Iran deal.
Husham al-Hashimi murdered.
Iran in difficult spot if it admits explosion at Natanz was not accidental.
Iran seeking 25-year agreement with China.
Zarif slammed as liar in parliament, also says he coordinated with Soleimani. UN seems to indicate killing of Soleimani was against international law.
NYT: “A Middle Eastern intelligence official...said #Israel was responsible for the attack on the #Natanz nuclear complex on Thursday, using a powerful bomb. A member of the IRGC who was briefed on the matter also said an explosive was used.
Washington Post: “A Middle Eastern security official said in an interview that the damage [to Natanz] was caused by a ‘huge explosive device’ planted by Israeli operatives to ‘send a signal’ to Tehran.”
Nasrallah calls to oppose Israel annexation, slams US. "I say to the Americans, your current policy won't weaken Hezbollah, it will strengthen it. It will weaken U.S. allies, and will strengthen ties between Hezbollah and its base."
Reports of explosion at Karaj (کرج) near Tehran
Gas tank explosion in northern Tehran.
Supply convoy for uS base allegedly attacked in Iraq. "Gunmen targeted 3 trucks carrying logistical equipment for the #US/#Coalition troops on the road between the cities of Samawah and Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad #Iraq” local media report." Video and details. Is Kish island being given by Iran to China? That is a rumor but see elements of the deal.
The security official for Kataib Hezbollah, Iraq, says that "the resistance must continue, through popular, political, security and media pressure, with full military readiness." Abu Ali Al-Askari: Americans only understand the language of force and the will to break it.
Houthi missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabia, Houthis hint at new missile to be unveiled.
Iran's Ghaani says "difficult days await US and Zionist regime," responding to fire on US warship.
Missile launched by Houthis at Saudi Arabia.
CENTCOM warns Hezbollah not to attack Israel.
For JCPOA anniversary Zarif slams US.
Gulf Sky tanker that was at center of US legal dispute and IRGC shows up in Iran after being off coast of UAE for 6 months.
Ships on fire at port of Bushehr. One of many numerous "mysterious" fires in Iran.
Lawk Ghafuri: The assassination of Husham al-Hashimi has created more fear within #Iraq’s elite and outspoken alike, as Iraqi anti-militia activists and journalists are receiving threatening messages and fear being next on the list.
UK leaving Camp Taji.
Coalition confirm that yesterday a logistics convoy belonging to the #US army and managed by Iraqi contractors was attacked in #Mukeshefah near Tikrit #Iraq. “The attack caused minor damage. A tire destroyed. The convoy moved on.” Officials say (Newly emerged Ashab Al-Kahf militia group had claimed responsibility for the attack saying that they have turned the convoy to “ashes” )
PM Kadhimi formerly appoints Falih Fayyadh as Chairman of PMF (Hashd) Council.
U.S. has “several” intelligence indications #Iran has put portions of its air defense system on "high alert" in recent days. Comes after mysterious explosions & tweet from MP Ardeshir Motahari that a foreign adversary attacked IRI using drones.
Tensions grow between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Iran offers to mediate, meanwhile US must balance sympathy with France in Libya and demands from Turkey to do more against Russia. Libyan tribes in Egypt meet Sisi.
Iran-China discussions going forward.
Iran condemns Saudi "crimes" in Yemen.
Claims Russia sent S-300 to Libya
Zarif's visit to Iraq part of strategic work.
After pressure from around the world, and Trump Farsi tweet, Iran reviews death sentences for three people.
Zarif meets Fatah head Hadi al-Amiri in Baghdad. "This should be seen as IR‘s attempt to reaffirm support for its allied groups & factions within the Iraqi state."