International

Saudi Arabia, US, Raise Military Alert Levels over Fears of Iranian Attack

…Iran’s currency hits new low against the dollar amid unrest

Tue, November 1, 2022 at 6:26 PM

– yahoo.com

Saudi Arabia has shared intelligence with the United States that Iran is planning launch a series of attacks in the region in an effort to distract from domestic protests.

It’s unclear what form the attacks will take but the Iranians are expected toSaudi Arabia, U.S., Raise Military Alert Levels over Fears of Iranian Attack, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We are concerned about the threat picture, and we remain in constant contact through military and intelligence channels with the Saudis,” a National Security Council spokesperson said. “We will not hesitate to act in the defense of our interests and partners in the region.”

The news sent oil futures toward daily highs Tuesday as Iran desperately seeks to divert attention during a precarious period of lingering social unrest.

Iran has been besieged by social unrest for nearly two months now.  Violent protests have wracked the country since the death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian custody back in mid-September.

Amini was arrested by Iran’s morality police for allegedly wearing a headdress improperly and eventually died, according to the Iranian police, due to a heart attack. However, eyewitnesses maintain that they saw several officers brutally assault Amini in the police van after her detention.

Nationwide protests spread in the wake of Amini’s death to as many as 80 Iranian cities as outrage over the mismanagement of the country and economic hardship came to a head. According to some estimates, anywhere from several hundred to upwards of 3,000 Iranian citizens have been killed by security forces in the ensuing unrest.

Thousands have also been arrested in the demonstrations that transformed from initially demanding an expansion of women’s rights into outright calls for dismantling the Islamic Republic and dethroning the ayatollah.

Iran has already begun scaling up its offensive actions in northern Iraq, with dozens of drone and ballistic missile strikes coming since late September.

Several neighboring countries have joined the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in escalating their military alert levels in response to the heightened threat.

…Iran’s currency hits new low against the dollar amid unrest

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, Iranians protests the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police last month, in Tehran, Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Middle East Images, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Tue, November 1, 2022 at 1:19 PM

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran’s currency dropped to its lowest value against the dollar on Tuesday, after weeks of nationwide unrest roiling the country. A stalemate in negotiations to revive Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers has also weighed heavily on the rial.

Traders in Tehran exchanged the rial at 338,000 to the dollar, up from 332,200 on Monday. Iran’s currency was trading at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of the 2015 nuclear accord that lifted international sanctions in exchange for tight curbs on Tehran’s nuclear program.

The rial’s new low comes amid protests first sparked by the Sept. 16 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s morality police. She was detained for allegedly violating the Islamic Republic’s strict dress code for women.

The demonstrations have swept the country, morphing into one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s ruling clerics since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Security forces have sought to quash dissent, killing at least 270 people and arresting some 14,000, according to rights groups.

Protesters have targeted Iran’s state-mandated headscarf, or hijab, for women. But the sickly state of Iran’s economy is also a main force driving Iranians into the streets. Soaring prices, high unemployment and corruption have fueled the unrest.

The Iran nuclear deal has been teetering toward collapse since talks stalled months ago. After protests erupted, the United States and European Union imposed additional sanctions on Iran for its brutal treatment of demonstrators and its decision to send hundreds of drones to Russia for use in its war in Ukraine.

The White House has faced growing pressure to scuttle the deal altogether. The U.S. special envoy to Iran, Robert Malley, said on Monday that the administration “makes no apology” for its refusal to declare the deal dead.

Iran’s economy has deteriorated significantly since former President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal in 2018 and restored suffocating sanctions on Iran’s crucial oil and banking sectors.

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