News Digest: Week of April 15

April 15

International: The White House denied reports that Iran had warned the United States about its April 13-14 attack on Israel. "Iran never gave us a message giving us the time or the targets," said John Kirby of the National Security Council. "This whole narrative out there that Iran passed us a message about what they were going to do is ridiculous."

Domestic: Iran’s customs administration seized a shipment of Israeli-made potassium nitrate fertilizer at the Bazargan border crossing with Turkey. The fertilizer was bound for Uzbekistan. Iran had tightened restrictions on imports and transit of Israeli goods in response to the war in Gaza. 


April 16

Nuclear: Iran temporarily closed its nuclear facilities over “security considerations” following its missile and drone attack on Israel on April 13-14, according to the U.N. nuclear watchdog chief, Rafael Grossi. The facilities reopened on April 15, but Grossi decided not to let the inspectors return until April 16. Grossi called for “extreme restraint” amid escalating tensions between Israel and Iran.

Domestic: Iranian police seized over three metric tons (6,600 pounds) of narcotics, including one ton of methamphetamine, in Tehran. In the Iranian year that ended in March 2024, narcotics seizures had surged 20 percent since the previous year, according to Tehran province’s police commander Second Brigadier General Abbas Ali Amohhamdian.

International: Several Iran-related bills, including the MAHSA Act, SHIP Act, and END IT Act, passed the committee stage of the U.S. Senate. The bills – if passed by the full Senate and signed into law – would tighten sanctions on Iran’s leaders, sanction ships, ports, and refineries that carry or process Iranian oil, and make it harder for the White House to issue sanction waivers for Iran.

International: Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad al Sudani denied that missiles or drones were launched from Iraq at Israel on April 13-14 during Iran’s unprecedented attack. "Certainly, our position is clear; we do not allow any non-governmental body to use Iraq to bring it back into the battle. We have been taking the legal procedures to keep Iraq safe and to distance Iraq away from the conflict arena," he told CNN.


April 17

Domestic: President Ebrahim Raisi lauded Iran’s armed forces for the April 13-14 attack on Israel. He stressed that Tehran showed restraint. “If this operation was supposed to be comprehensive and extensive, then the supporters of the Zionist regime would have seen that there would be nothing left of the Zionist regime,” he warned in a speech marking Islamic Republic Army Day.