Iran

Updated at 8:09 p.m. ET

The U.S. has seized Iranian petroleum bound for Venezuela aboard four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, enforcing a forfeiture order aimed at both Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Caracas government, the Justice Department announced Friday.

Roughly 1.116 million barrels of fuel was confiscated from the foreign-flagged vessels M/T Bella, M/T Bering, M/T Pandi and M/T Luna, a Justice Department statement said, adding that the seizure took place "with the assistance of foreign partners."

Human error, a misaligned missile guidance system and a decision to fire without authorization contributed to Iran's downing of a civilian passenger plane in January, according to a new report from Iran's Civil Aviation Organization.

The U.S. killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in January "was unlawful and arbitrary under international law," a U.N. human rights investigator says, calling the drone strike in Baghdad a violation of Iraq's sovereignty.

The investigator also says the U.S. has not produced any proof to back its claim that the attack was justified by the need to stop an imminent attack.

Until his release in December, American student Xiyue Wang spent more than three years behind bars in Iran — not because Iranian authorities hoped to glean any information from him, he says, but because they believed he would be useful in their negotiations with the U.S.

Wang, a U.S. citizen and graduate student at Princeton University, was released in a prisoner exchange between the two countries.

President Trump on Wednesday vetoed a resolution that would have suppressed his ability to unilaterally take military action against Iran, calling the bipartisan bill an "insulting" attack on his presidential powers.

"This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party. The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands," the president said in a statement.

The bad coronavirus news continues for Iran, but officials are hoping a modest downturn in the growth of new cases will become a trend.

Iranian state television reported Thursday that 1,030 new cases had been confirmed and 90 people had died since Wednesday. That brought the total number of fatalities in Iran to 5,481, continuing Iran's status as the Middle Eastern country hardest hit by the virus. But the new daily case numbers are lower than previous days, raising hopes that Iran may be turning the corner in its fight against the virus.

President Trump says the U.S. Navy should fire on Iranian boats if they continue to harass U.S. warships in the Gulf, a move that raises the prospect of open hostilities between the two rivals.

The president's Wednesday morning tweet came shortly after Iran announced it had successfully launched a military satellite into orbit for the first time.

With the U.S. and Iran both battling to control a coronavirus outbreak at home, the ongoing friction between the two countries had receded from the headlines.

Nearly a dozen small craft operated by the naval wing of Iran's Revolutionary Guard carried out harassing maneuvers dangerously close to U.S. warships conducting exercises in the Persian Gulf, Navy officials said Wednesday.

Omid Shokoohi has lost count of the number of days he’s been at home.

“At first, the government said, ‘Stay home for two weeks',” he said. “Then, another two weeks. And another. It never ends.”

Shokoohi lives in Tehran, Iran’s capital. Before the pandemic, he worked as a tour guide and made a decent living — enough, he said, to allow him to set aside some savings. Now, his life has been turned upside down. His business is dead, and he’s lost all his clients.

Last month, Habibi released Anywhere But Here, the band's first full-length album since its self-titled debut in 2014. Just like that first record and the EPs and singles over the past six years, the new album is full of Habibi's signature mix of psychedelic rock and Iranian music.

Pages