U.S. Seeks Seize Iran Gasoline Shipment To Venezuela; Pompeo Warns Against Expiration of Iran Arms Embargo; Iran Sentences Journalist To Death; U.S. District Court Orders Iran To Pay Bombing Victims Additional $879 Million; Iran Cites Military Mistakes As Cause of Passenger Jet Shootdown

Early in July the Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained warrants to seize Iranian gasoline on four tankers heading for Venezuela. The DOJ also said that the four tankers, the Bella, Bering, Pandi, and Luna, are assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which the United States has designated a terrorist organization. A criminal complaint filed by the DOJ stated that profits from the sale of the gasoline are intended to support terrorism and a “full range of nefarious activities” including obtaining weapons of mass destruction. The sale of Iranian oil products in international commerce is a violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

A U.N. arms embargo against Iran is set to expire in October. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the U.N. Security Council that allowing that arms embargo to expire would betray the “UN’s mission and its finest ideals.” The embargo expiration date is part of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and the West. Reported by Fox News. Read more… During a news conference the following day Pompeo warned that Iran will become an arms dealer to dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduros. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran has sentenced journalist Ruhollah Zam to death, claiming his posts to his website and the popular social messaging app Telegram spurred protests and demonstrations against the regime. The 2017 protests represented the biggest challenge to the regime since protests in 2009. Zam, based in Paris, entered Iran and was detained by Iranian security forces. Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran finally released its report into the investigation of the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet in January. According to the report, the shoot-down was the result of a misaligned missile battery, miscommunication between troops and their commanders, and a decision to fire without authorization. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

A U.S. District Court has ordered Iran to pay an additional $879.1 million to the victims of a 1996 bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. airmen. The judge ruled again that Iran was responsible for the attack. Iran denies responsibility and refuses to pay. President Trump praised the decision. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…