Iran

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his country will not succumb to economic pressure by the Trump administration.

"We are resisting an unprovoked aggression by the United States," Zarif told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview in New York City on Sunday. "I can assure you that the United States will not be able to bring us to our knees through pressure."

A British oil tanker detained by Iran will soon be released, according to an Iranian maritime official.

The tanker, the Stena Impero, was seized along with its crew by Iran's Revolutionary Guards in the Strait of Hormuz on July 19 for alleged marine violations.

Saudi Arabia's military displayed pieces of missiles and drones Wednesday, saying the wreckage is proof that the recent attack that crippled Saudi oil production was "unquestionably" sponsored by Iran.

At a news conference in Riyadh, the capital, a Saudi military spokesman, Col. Turki al-Malki, said Saturday's strike came from the north — not from Yemen, where Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the attack. Both Iran and Iraq are to the north of Saudi Arabia.

Iran almost certainly had some role in a major attack on an oil production facility in Saudi Arabia, according to independent analysts reviewing the available evidence.

The question is how big.

The attack came on Sept. 14. Multiple drones or missiles struck Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq facility, causing massive damage and crippling the nation's oil production. The production of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day had to be suspended, according to the company.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Iran says it is not behind Saturday's attacks on oil plants in Saudi Arabia, denying accusations from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Tehran was responsible for "an unprecedented attack on the world's energy supply."

Javad Zarif, Iran's foreign minister, said in a tweet on Sunday that Pompeo was turning from "max pressure" to "max deceit."

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Where does U.S. foreign policy move now that John Bolton is out? President Trump fired his national security adviser, and his disagreements with Bolton suggest how much that job matters.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Is Iran anywhere near collapse?

Amir Mohebbian doesn't think so. The conservative Iranian political thinker and news editor said so in Tehran, even though U.S. economic sanctions have blocked most of the oil exports on which Iran relies. "The situation in the economy is not good," he said, "but not so bad that [it will] kill us."

A day after what looked like a possible diplomatic breakthrough with the U.S., Iranian President Hassan Rouhani backed off the idea of direct talks with President Trump, saying Washington must first lift sanctions against Tehran.

At the conclusion of the Group of Seven summit in France on Monday, Trump had said that the leaders could meet "if the circumstance were correct or right." Rouhani initially seemed warm to such a meeting, remarking, "I would not miss it."

In the latest indication that it may be readying an attempt to launch another space rocket, Iran has given its launch pad a fresh coat of paint.

A satellite image taken by the commercial company Planet shows the pad painted a bright blue. The image, taken August 24, was shared with NPR. Until this month, the launch pad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center had been sporting a burn scar from a previous failed launch attempt. It had also been covered in debris from a possible flash flood at the site this past spring.

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

Gibraltar has released an Iranian oil tanker that was detained last month by Britain, despite a last-minute request by the U.S. to take possession of the vessel.

Grace 1 was raided on July 4 in the waters off the coast of Gibraltar, a British territory, by Britain's Royal Marines. The tanker was impounded on suspicion of transporting oil to Syria — a breach of European Union sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime. It was said to be carrying 2.1 million barrels of crude oil.

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