IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


IRAN

Jan 25 12:33

TV anchor says US jailed her to send a message

An Iranian television anchorwoman believes the US government jailed her as a witness in order to send a message.

Marzieh Hashemi told The Associated Press on Thursday she suspects she was jailed because of her work as a journalist and her beliefs.

She said she sees her detention as the U.S. government telling her to "watch your step" but won't be intimidated.

Hashemi was released Wednesday after being detained for 10 days as a material witness in an ongoing grand jury investigation.

Jan 25 12:33

Iran firms defy sanctions by signing $1 billion in oil deals

Iranian companies have signed $1 billion in contracts for enhanced recovery at nine aging oilfields of the country which is now left to its own devices in the face of the most restrictive US sanctions ever.

Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh oversaw the signing between two subsidiaries of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) and seven domestic contractors to raise recovery at the fields by 90,000 barrels a day, media reports said Wednesday.

The fields – seven located in Khuzestan province and two in Bushehr and Fars provinces – are all onshore. They are among 33 oilfields selected for revival by Iranian companies at a total cost of $6 billion over three years after which they will add 300,000 barrels a day to Iran’s production capacity.

Jan 25 12:29

Iran backs Venezuela’s President Maduro and rejects US interference

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that the Islamic Republic backs Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro after the United States announced its support for Juan Guaido, the leader of the country’s opposition-held National Assembly, as the country’s interim president.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran,” explained Bahram Qasimi to local media, “supports the government and people of Venezuela against any sort of foreign intervention and any illegitimate and illegal action such as attempts to foster a coup d’etat.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on Maduro to hand over to Guaido, who is also supported by the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Paraguay. Maduro has the backing of Russia, Iran, Turkey, Uruguay, Cuba, Syria and Palestine.

Jan 24 11:45

MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS LITERALLY MAKING PEOPLE SICK

I do not for one second doubt that Americans are feeling more stressed and suffering more health-degrading symptoms as a result than they were prior to Trump’s election. But Pacific Standard and its “growing body of research” ignore the most obvious and significant culprit behind this phenomenon which is tearing people’s health to shreds: the mass media which has been deliberately fanning the flames of Trump panic.

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia’s natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is infinitely more grating, from where I sit, is not the "Trump Panic Syndrome", but the "Trump Reality Syndrome", which includes things he had promised on the campaign trail which he has not done... and things President Trump has done, in these first two years of his Presidency.

1. The massive disparity between the monied and the desperate keeps growing exponentially. There are little victories, of smaller companies moving back to the US (probably with some rich state/town perks and benefits for having done so.) But the consistent off-shoring, out-sourcing of American jobs continues apace. There is an epidemic of homelessness in this country which is unprecedented.

Remember the stunning scenario which inspired Victor Hugo to create his "Les Miserables"?!? In 1845, on the streets of Paris, he observed the same incident that triggers the novel's action. On a sunny but cold day, he saw an impoverished man being arrested for stealing a loaf of bread. As the man stood on the street, an ornate carriage pulled up beside him. Inside there was a dazzlingly beautiful woman dressed in velvet, playing with a child hidden under ribbons, embroidery and furs. The impoverished man stared at the woman in the carriage, but she was totally unaware of him. Hugo wrote that he saw this man as, "The spectre of misery, the ghostly forewarning in full light of day, in the sunshine, of the revolution still plunged in the shadows of darkness, but emerging from them. The moment he became aware of her existence, while she remained unaware of his, a catastrophe was inevitable."

Folks, we're there, right now; history may not necessarily repeat, but occasionally it rhymes. And let me say, for the record; as a Christian pacifist activist, I abhor violence,and would never advocate its use.

And those great pronouncements about the employment in this country, are running so low; this is a marvelous subterfuge, and a neat "hat trick", courtesy of the Department of Labor Statistics.

You see, people who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, are deliberately purged from the figures as not interested in working, almost as though they had never existed at all.

If the US unemployment rate included everyone who says they want a job, it would be nearly double

2. President Trump withdrew the US from the P5+1 deal, even though the IAEA continues to state that the Iranians are currently keeping their end of the deal. I cannot begin to articulate just how completely insane, and counter productive this was. There are many things about which I rightly criticized the Obama Administration, but this was not of them. And the consequences?!?

Remember: demonization, plus Sanctions, create the American Preludes to War.

We are on the doorstep of such a war against Iran, because Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu, keeps advocating it, calling Iran "the existential enemy" of Israel. We are plunged into our "2 minutes of hate against Iran", ad nauseum, by the corporate presstitutes. So, let's see, what could possibly go wrong here?!?

Emboldened by one of his BFFs in the Middle East, President Trump, Israel has been making bombing runs into Syria to destroy alleged Iranian placements of personnel, and equipment in that country. Netanyahu: we will not stop fighting Iran as long as I lead Needless to say, Iran is not amused with these actions, and Russia, who has been assisting the Syrian government in getting rid of US backed, equipped, and funded jihadis in Syria, has told Israel in no uncertain terms, to back off. As of yesterday, Russia blasted Netanyahu with the following demand: Israel's airstrikes against Syria must stop. We also see the following headline: World War III: Iran, Syria, Russia and Israel

I do hope our President understands the following: Tel Aviv thoroughly expects the costs of such a war to be borne in American blood and money; not Israeli. Should such a war begin, expect Russia (and perhaps China) to come into the fray on Iran's side.

3. And speaking of war, let's remember the Saudi war against Yemen, where the American government and military are complicit in Saudi war crimes. Why Are U.S. Bombs Killing Civilians in Yemen?

The reason is simple: The Saudis love to buy American bombs to continue to create a genocide in Yemen.Saudi Arabia is the top buyer of US weapons" President Trump has, by default, and his sign-off on all these deals, has given him yet another title: The American Merchant of Death in Chief.

Please think about that for a minute. Did you ever think, when you were a kid, about how you would feel, understanding you would be a citizen of a US government which would be complicit in war crimes?!?

3. The illegal immigration solutions President Trump promised the American people, have gone down in flames.

4. Us sanctions around the globe in places like Russia, China, and Venezuela, are pushing other countries further away from the US, both in relationships, and finding creative ways to ditch the dollar, and come to other understandings about how finance can be conducted.

5. I notice the corporate presstitutes are continually spewing out their vile codswallop against countries which have done nothing to the US, to further the governments'agendas which, at this time, seem to be all-out war-centric. The two countries which come to mind, are Iran, and Russia.

The US government accuses Russia of having "annexed Crimea", which never, in reality, did happen; After the 2014 Putsch in Ukraine, Crimea did two things; in a fair and peaceful referendum, the Crimean government asked the people of Crimea, if they wanted to stay in Ukraine, or petition the Russian Federation for membership. The Crimean people voted overwhelmingly to petition the Russian Federation for a membership, and the Russian Federation accepted this. And please remember: in an interview with CNN, President Obama confessed to have brokered a deal for "regime change" in Ukraine. In a CNN interview, President Obama Confesses that the US brokered a deal for" Regime change" in Ukraine, January, 2015

6. The US has left a ton of military footprints around the world. the list is breathlessly long, and may contain country names you haven't thought about since High School Geography, or may have been recently created

These are the true issues of "The Trump Reality Syndrome".

Please understand that I am just as angry about these issues as many of you are, but realize that I need to channel my anger into logic, research, and coming up with alternate ways in which this country could get what it wants, geopolitically, without resorting to war.

Because right now, war - and the monied who become enriched through war and military conflicts around the world - are winning, and I am singularly depressed about this.

Jan 24 10:24

US Releases American Journalist After 10 Days Detention Without Charges

Ten days ago, US citizen Marzieh Hashemi was arrested at the St. Louis Lambert Airport, and transferred into FBI custody. On Wednesday, she was finally released, having never been charged with a crime.

Hashemi is a journalist and an anchor for Iran’s PressTV, and her arrest was the subject of mounting international scrutiny, though the US government had refused virtually all comment. Officially she was kept in prison as a “material witness.”

Hashemi and her family issued a statement following her release, saying she retains “serious grievances” about her treatment in the US prison system, during which her hijab was forcibly removed, and she was denied food in keeping with her religious requirements. She has promised to continue protests to prevent the US from imprisoning people without charges like this ever again.

Jan 24 10:19

Iran, Turkey, Russia warn US against meddling in domestic affairs of Venezuela

Iran, Turkey and Russia throw their weight behind the Venezuelan government against a bizarre move by the US-backed opposition leader to proclaim himself “president,” warning Washington against interfering in domestic affairs of the South American state.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic “backs Venezuela’s nation and legitimate government in the face of any foreign meddling in the country’s domestic affairs or any illegitimate and illegal measure such as attempts for a coup or moves against the people.”

“We hope that any disagreement and political problem in Venezuela will be resolved by the country’s own people and government as soon as possible via legal and peaceful solutions,” he added.

Jan 23 14:07

Syria Ceasefire On Brink Of Collapse As Russia Blames Turkey For Terrorist Growth

The collapse of the prior 'deescalation' agreement comes at a time when the White House has vowed to stick to the planned US pullout, however, this could be yet a another major development to complicate or delay any possible withdrawal timeline. FT described current Turkish-Russian talks in Moscow as follows:

Russia has accused Turkey of failing to live up to a promise to clear Syria’s Idlib of extremist militant groups and admitted that a landmark ceasefire agreement made last September had failed. Ahead of crunch talks between the leaders of the two countries in Moscow on Wednesday, Russia’s foreign ministry said the Islamist extremist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) had “full control” of Syria’s last remaining major opposition stronghold. The damning assessment came four months after Moscow agreed to postpone a planned military assault on the city in exchange for a promise from Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to clear it of militants.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The people of Syria have suffered extensively, during this Western-lead funding, and training, and arming their their adversaries.

They want their country - and their cities - back.

Jan 23 11:10

It’s time to join together to protect essential rights

The federal government has forcibly seized, shackled, and kept imprisoned an American citizen who has not even been charged with a crime. They have incarcerated the 59-year-old grandmother for over a week and say they will continue to do so for an unquantified period of time into the future.

For several days the government refused to admit it had taken the woman from the St. Louis airport as she was on her way to visit a sick brother.

For 48 hours, authorities refused to allow her to contact her family, and refused to tell anyone, including mainstream news media like the Associated Press, CNN, and Fox News where they were holding her.

Finally, a judge, who perhaps remembered what the United States Constitution requires, partially unsealed the court records, and the government’s official rationale became public: she had been forcibly taken away, shackled, and imprisoned because she was, they said, a “witness.” To a still-unspecified crime.

Jan 23 10:44

Is Bolton at the Steering Wheel, Headed Straight for Iran?

“Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday night tweet.

Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton.

Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the Green Zone in Baghdad, which exploded harmlessly in a vacant lot, Bolton called a series of emergency meetings and directed the Pentagon to prepare a menu of targets, inside Iran, for U.S. air and missile strikes in retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one U.S. official as saying Bolton’s behavior “rattled people. … People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

Bolton’s former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was “an act of war” to which the U.S. must respond decisively.

Jan 23 10:28

Israel must stop 'spontaneous' Syria strikes: Russia

Russia has urged Israel to stop its "spontaneous" airstrikes on Syria, days after the Israeli military carried out fresh strikes against targets near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

Israel has repeatedly attacked Syrian government positions under the pretext that its attacking Iranian military advisers, who are in the country on a request from President Bashar al-Assad to assist the Syrian Army in their fight against foreign-backed terrorists.

"The practice of spontaneous strikes on the territory of a sovereign state, in this case Syria, must end," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Wednesday, according to Russia's TASS state news agency.

Zakharova (pictured below) said such moves by Tel Aviv only fueled tensions in the region and harmed the long-term interests of all regional players, including Israel itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Zakharova can repeat that request ad infinitum, but it not going to make any change in Netanyahu's behaviour, and it appears that anything President Trump says, regarding creating a wider war in the region, is going in one ear, and out the other. Hubristic, imperious leaders cannot learn from their mistakes, so keep on making them ... until they are stopped.

History will not judge Netanyahu kindly, for all the foul-ups, bleeps, and blunders he has created for the Israeli people, and the future may not be kind in its recollection of him, or his tenure as Prime Minister.

Jan 23 09:38

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel

TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel
TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3 fears were sparked this week after Israel hit the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there. In response, Iran issued a chilling message to arch-enemy Israel – warning it is “impatient” and ready to confront and destroy the nation in a statement issued just hours after Israel launched the air raids in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such a war would be horrific and costly for all concerned; I hope that the leaders of all these countries can find a way for it not to happen; unfortunately, too many of the actors in this environment have much to gain; the weapons manufacturers will profit; possibly the US will go back to the draft; and martial law will most probably be imposed here in the US.

I frequently talk about the possibility of a Department of Peace, tasked with achieving those geopolitical goals the US government wants to achieve, but without firing a single shot; unfortunately, however, I have seen this coming conflagration for far too long, to believe that the US government is going to give up on the complete occupation of Iran; Syria; Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan; or Yemen.

Jan 23 09:08

Damascus Threatens to Respond to Israeli Attack With Strike on Tel Aviv Airport

Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that it was time that the United Nations Security Council took action to stop constant Israeli attacks on Syrian territory, adding that Damascus might exercise its right to self-defence and respond to the Israeli attack on Damascus Airport with a symmetric strike on Tel Aviv Airport.

"Isn't it is the right time for this council to take the necessary measures to stop the repeated Israeli aggression against the territories of my country or should we attract the attention of the war makers in this council be exercising our legitimate right for self-defence and respond to the Israeli aggression against the Damascus International Airport by launching an aggression against Tel Aviv Airport?" Jaafari said speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is all for show; Jaafari knows that the UN is impotent against Israel; one world leader, however, who is capable of bloodying Israel's nose militarily, is President Putin of Russia.

There have been reports of conversations between Putin and Netanyahu; I have to wonder how true they are, because it doesn't look as though Putin has been able to neutralize Netanyahu's behaviour.

Time will sort that mystery, however.

Jan 23 08:24

Switzerland & Iran developing payment channel to bypass US sanctions

A special financial mechanism aimed at maintaining trade ties between Switzerland and Iran is ready for implementation, according to Sharif Nezam-Mafi, the head of the countries’ joint chamber of commerce.

Jan 23 01:52

ISRAEL DESTROYED EIGHT SYRIAN MILITARY TARGETS, KILLED AT LEAST 11 TROOPS

Despite claiming that their Sunday night airstrikes against Syria were exclusively targeting Iran’s Quds Force, Israeli airstrikes against Syria appear to have almost exclusively hit Syrian military targets, particularly the nation’s air defenses around Damascus airport.

Israeli strikes destroyed eight Syrian air defense batteries, and killed at least 11 troops in the strikes. The batteries were mostly aging Soviet designs, the sort Syria has traditionally favored for targeting incoming Israeli missiles.

The Syrian systems had some success, too, with Russia reporting that the Syrians had successfully intercepted more than 30 Israeli missiles during the attack. Conspicuously absent from the engagement, however, were the Russian S-300 systems recently provided to Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am holding my breath, waiting to see how Russia's President Putin, ultimate responds to this.

Jan 22 11:37

Let the Holy Meme War Begin! IDF Mocks Iran on Twitter

The sarcastic tweet continues the Israeli rhetoric towards Iran, which was recently reiterated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who claimed that Israel had targeted Iranian forces in Syria in its recent airstrikes. Tehran has repeatedly denied Tel Aviv's accusations, stating that it has only sent military advisers to the Arab Republic.

The official Twitter account of the Israel Defence Forces has posted a mocking picture featuring a map of the Middle East with an arrow drawn pointing at Syria and captioned "where Iran is" and several arrows pointing to Iran on the map with the caption "where Iran belongs" in an apparent reference to Israeli claims that Tehran has sent units from its Quds Force to the Arab Republic.

Jan 22 11:26

Iran is ready to take risks in its struggle with Israel

In response to Israel’s attack Sunday on Iranian targets in the Damascus region, the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard fired a medium-range surface-to-surface missile at the Hermon Mountain vicinity. Apparently, the attack had been planned for a long time and approved by the Iranian regime in Tehran. The missile was intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system.

Jan 22 11:08

CBI Governor: Japan Restarts Oil Imports from Iran

Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Abdolnasser Hemmati announced on Monday that Japan has resumed supply of crude from Iran.
"Japan started operations to import oil from Iran today after China, South Korea, India and Turkey," Hemmati wrote on his Instagram page on Monday.

He added that the revenues collected from the new oil deals along with tens of billions of dollars seen as active CBI resources in foreign banks are a strong and safe backup for Iran's economy and will be used for the country's trade.

After suspending all shipments of Iranian crude to Japanese refineries ahead of the November 5 launch of US sanctions against Tehran, Japanese refiners resumed Iranian oil imports.

Japan is one of Iran’s largest oil importers, but it is also the United States’ staunchest ally in Asia—and the combination of the two has not worked to Tokyo’s advantage.

Jan 22 11:07

Report: China Seeking $3bln Oil Deal with Iran Despite US Sanctions

China's state-run energy giant Sinopec offered a three-billion-dollar deal to further develop an Iranian oilfield the two countries are already working on, media reports said.

The offer made by the China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) is part of an existing contract to operate the Yadavaran oilfield in Southwest Iran on the Iraqi border, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Jan 22 09:49

VIDEO - World War 3 Alert! Iranian Forces Fire Missile To Israel, IDF Responds With Waves Of Guided Missiles

Israel and Iran are edging dangerously close to a state of all-out war.

Jan 22 09:08

Iran not invited, Russia snubs intl conference on Middle East – Warsaw

Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz says that Iran has not been invited to an international conference on the Middle East in Warsaw next month. Czaputowicz said in remarks published on Monday that Iran’s presence would have hampered talks because the language that Tehran uses is “hard to accept.” Iran has protested over the February 13-14 conference, calling it a hostile move. Poland and the US are co-hosting the event, which has also been met with a lukewarm reaction from the European Union, whose foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will not be attending. Czaputowicz also said Russia has advised that it will not participate either, AP reports.

Jan 22 08:21

INTELLIGENCE MINISTER: ISRAEL IS IN OPEN CONFRONTATION WITH IRAN IN SYRIA

Israeli policy for attacking targets in Syria has changed and is intensifying, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said Monday morning in an interview with Army Radio.

In response to a missile launch by Iranian forces from Syria into Israeli territory which intended to hit the northern Golan Heights, IDF fighter planes attacked Syrian military targets and Syrian air defense batteries overnight on Sunday and early Monday morning.

Jan 22 08:19

INSS: Israel could face three-front war in 2019

Institute for National Security Studies says the volatile situation along the northern border as well as in the Gaza Strip could lead Israel to war against Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinians at the same time.

Jan 22 08:08

Why are so many Iranian minors seeking asylum in Europe?

The reports on the dramatic rise in the number of Iranians seeking asylum in Europe, especially unaccompanied children, are profoundly unsettling.

Prominent human rights lawyer Shadi Sadr recently drew attention to this phenomenon through a Twitter thread in which she highlighted the rise in the number of Iranian asylum seekers between 2013 and 2018.

"Interestingly, last year," she tweeted, "the number of unaccompanied Iranian children seeking asylum was higher than the number of unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Syria - three countries that are involved in armed conflict."

Jan 22 01:58

Israel admits to hitting Iranian military sites in Syria

The Israeli military announced its jets struck Iranian targets in Syria, leading Tehran officials saying the want to 'eliminate' Israel.

Israeli jets struck a series of Iranian military targets in Syria early on Monday, the military said, leading Iranian officials announce they want to "eliminate it (Israel) from the Earth".

The Israeli military said the targets included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site, and a military training camp.

The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel on Sunday that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights, following an Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There are a number of very dramatic ways in which the Israeli/Western-backed media are playing this.

WW3: Iran is prepared to eliminate Israel from the Earth

Syria has written a letter of complaint to the UN as Israel Strikes alleged "terrorists"( read: Iranian military)

World War3: Iran vs/ Israel in Syrian bombing raids

This article goes on to state: "Speaking today, the head of Iran's air force said on Monday the country was impatient to fight Israel and destroy it, a state-linked news website said. Brigadier General Aziz Nasirzadeh was quoted as saying by the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television: ”The young people in the air force are fully ready and impatient to confront the Zionist regime and eliminate it from the Earth."

But if the Iranian military and civilian leadership are going to aggressively strike Israel, why would they tip their hand, by making such a public threat?!?

The short answer is, they wouldn't, particularly if they have already complained to the UN to get the Israeli bombings to stop, which they have done.

You have to remember that Israel's Netanyahu is in a very difficult spot right now. It appears, and has been leaked on a couple of Israeli blogs, that the Attorney General of Israel is preparing to indict him on a corruption charge, and that will happen in, most probably, just a couple of weeks. So now he is like a geopolitically wounded animal right now; All wounded animals, particularly politicians, are very dangerous.

My guess, at this point in time, that the Israeli military have been tasked to make it look as though an Iranian military unit did horrific damage to a large American base in Syria; he has got to do this both before the indictment, and way before the election in April.

Whether he will have the courtesy to alert President Trump or not to such an action, I am not sure; my gut is telling me that he will only let him know who actually "did the deed" far after getting the US to declare war against Iran, and we are off and running.

We've only got a little time left before that indictment pops, so looking at how far we are toward the end of the month, if he wants this to happen, it has to happen very quickly; there are only 9 more days left in January.

And the big question then becomes, what is Russia willing - and capable -of doing to prevent this madness before it starts in earnest?!?

I do consider Lavrov and Putin to be "the adults in the room" on the issue of Syria, and hopefully they will have enough "pull" with Netanyahu to prevent this from happening.

Unfortunately for them, Netanyahu's manic, hubristic, clinging to power, by any means necessary, even starting a war, just might look to him to be the right thing to do right now.

Jan 21 13:31

'Iran allows no coalition against its interests'

(*"Iran, stiving for this level of high vigilance is something they can thank The U.S. for .
Don't mention it !"
whitehorse souce )

Jan 21 12:17

Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in Syria

The Israeli military said its jets struck Iranian military targets in Syria early Monday, an announcement that marked a rare departure from Israel's yearslong policy of ambiguity regarding activities in neighboring Syria.

The military said the targets included munition storage facilities, an intelligence site and a military training camp.

The strikes were in response to a surface-to-surface rocket that Iranian forces fired toward Israel on Sunday that was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system over a ski resort in the Golan Heights. That launch followed a rare Israeli daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.

Jan 21 12:15

Israel Announces Sustained Strikes On Damascus; Syria Fires Back In Major Escalation

It's the first time that Israel has ever announced strikes against Iran inside Syria and in real time. Moments after a massive wave of rockets were fired on Damascus, activating Syrian anti-air defenses Sunday night, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) announced: "We have started striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory. We warn the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli forces or territory."

This is unprecedented given that in every other among the dozens of prior recent Israeli attacks on Syria, the IDF has never acknowledged responsibility so quickly and certainly not while they are ongoing, usually declining to confirm or deny after the event.

Jan 21 12:04

Distinguished Iranian/American Journalist Marzieh Hashemi arrested by FBI

Distinguished Press TV journalist/anchor’s unlawful arrest, detention and mistreatment by the FBI, on the pretext of being a material witness regarding a case her family knows nothing about, gave the US another international black eye.

What happened captured world headlines, hopefully enough to help hasten Marzieh’s release. Press TV, the Tehran Times, and other Iranian media continue giving the case extensive coverage.

International print and electronic media have had feature stories on what happened – including RT, Sputnik News, the NYT, Washington Post, AP News, Reuters, CBS, NBC, and ABC News, CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera, the BBC, London Guardian, Haaretz, and numerous other outlets.

They’ve elevated Marzieh’s status as a distinguished international journalist to an even higher level than before what happened – by highlighting her unacceptable arrest, detention, and mistreatment uncharged.

Jan 21 09:52

Press groups concerned about US jailing of Iranian news anchor; court appearances shrouded in mystery

Committee to Protect Journalists and PEN call for Justice Department to state why it has jailed US citizen Marzieh Hashemi, a prominent journalist with Iran’s Press TV. FBI & Justice Dept refuse to comment… possible court appearances not listed in dockets…

Jan 21 09:52

Rolling Coverage: Press TV’s detained anchor has appeared in court twice for testimonyUnlisted

Jan 21 09:21

Silence of the Lambs: The Case of Marzieh Hashemi

In the wake of the outcry after the abduction and murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi – in a foreign country and under the directive of a rogue Crown Prince – one would think the threshold to condemn the detention of an American journalist in the United States without charge or trial would be quite low. Unfortunately, it has proven to be nearly insurmountable.

It has now been one week since Marzieh Hashemi, a US citizen and anchorwoman of Iran’s English-language news station, PressTV, has been held under these circumstances shortly after her arrival to St. Louis Lambert International Airport Jan. 12 to work on a documentary on the Black Lives Matter movement. Hashemi is purportedly an alleged material witness in an as-yet unspecified investigation. She was reportedly forced to remove her headscarf and offered pork to eat, both against the tenets of her religion, before being transferred to Washington, D.C. to an unknown location.

Jan 19 10:01

Press TV’s Hashemi unlikely to be released immediately: Son

A court in the United States has confirmed the arrest of US-born Iranian Press TV news presenter Marzieh Hashemi as a material witness in an unspecified investigation.

Ms. Hashemi, 59, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on unspecified charges upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.

At the request of the US Justice Department, Judge Beryl Alaine Howell, the chief district judge for the District of Columbia, issued a federal court order, approving the partial unsealing of the Press TV journalist’s case, Reuters reported.

According to the document, since her arrest, the journalist has appeared twice before a US district judge in Washington and has been appointed a lawyer.

Jan 19 10:00

US seeks to pressure Iran through Press TV anchor’s arrest: Analyst

The United States is seeking to put pressure on Iran through the arrest and imprisonment of Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, says an academic.

“I think they have motives, obviously we can only kind of guess at those, but clearly what is certainly happening is that this is an escalation, an escalation of harassment, an escalation in terms of trying to put pressure on Iran through Ms. Hashemi, through her treatment. They have purposely chosen this situation and escalated it so that it becomes the issue that it has become,” Kenneth Fero, lecturer at Coventry University, told Press TV in an interview on Friday.

“They have opened a new theater really and they are having their players running around and controlling everything. Later on today if it does goes to court we’ll be able to know whether she is being held as a material witness or whether she is actually going to be charged with anything,” he added.

Jan 19 09:19

Will nothing sate John Bolton’s lust for war?

Will the Trump administration embrace the Bolton doctrine? John Bolton, whom Donald Trump appointed in April to replace the stolid H.R. McMaster, has been trying to tailor administration foreign policy to match his hawkish views. Among his initiatives, the Wall Street Journal reported, is to make a move to do what he has long wanted done, which is to wage war against the mullahs in Tehran. The result is a schism in the administration.

Jan 19 09:11

American Anchor for Iran’s PressTV Still Jailed Without Charge

It took a solid week after her detention in St. Louis, but Marzieh Hashemi, an anchor for Iran’s PressTV and an American citizen, has finally gotten into a courtroom, and learned that she is neither being accused of any crimes nor is she facing any charges. That said, they’re not expecting to let her go any time soon.

Hashemi is being held as a witness for a grand jury. Federal law technically allows such detention if a judge is convinced the person might not testify willingly, though legal experts have noted this is a tactic that has faced little legal challenge in the past, and might not stand up to a serious case. Hashemi does not finally have an attorney.

The law that allows for these detentions is meant to be very limited in use, and very temporary, with the detainee supposed to be released immediately after they are deposed. It is unclear, however, when they actually intend to depose Ms. Hashemi, and the early impression is that the detention may take some time.

Jan 19 08:46

EU countries could snub US-Poland summit over Iran concerns

European Union countries could snub an international conference on the Middle East scheduled to take place in Poland next month over concerns it is part of a US drive to ramp up pressure on Iran.

EU diplomats raised questions about the real agenda of the February 13-14 conference on Friday, saying it was organised at very short notice and noting that Iran did not appear to be invited.

An EU official said the bloc's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, had other commitments and would not attend.

Jan 18 11:21

FBI REFUSES TO DISCUSS DETENTION OF AMERICAN IRANIAN TV ANCHOR MARZIEH HASHEMI

The U.S. Justice Department and FBI continue to refuse to comment on the jailing of Marzieh Hashemi, a documentarian and news anchor on Iran’s English language station, Press TV.

The 59-year-old Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin in New Orleans, is an American citizen. She was in the U.S. filming a documentary on Black Lives Matter and visiting family when the FBI suddenly arrested her.

Hashemi is being held in Washington DC’s Correctional Treatment Facility. According to a Department of Corrections worker, she is in court now, but phone calls to DC district courts failed to find her.

Hashemi was held 48 hours before being allowed to contact her family. She has complained of ill-treatment. Authorities forcibly removed her headscarf and took her away in handcuffs.

Her son says he was told that she is being held as a “material witness.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder to what end the FBI is holding this woman, and what kind of "confession" she is supposed to give, to enable Americans to do their "2 minutes of hate" appropriately, against her adopted country.

And she is allegedly a "material witness"; to WHAT, please, that she has been treated with all the execrable brutality the American Police State can offer?!?

This reeks of set up.

Jan 17 13:58

Iran vows to will keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats

Iran will keep military forces in Syria, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, defying Israeli threats that they might be targeted if they do not leave the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israeli forces would continue to attack Iranians in Syria and warned them “to get out of there fast, because we will continue with our resolute policy”.

Rebuffing the threats, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Revolutionary Guards top commander, was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will keep all its military and revolutionary advisers and its weapons in Syria.”

Jan 17 11:46

CASE STUDY: REUTERS AND US MEDIA URGE OFFENSIVE AGAINST IRAN

A 2013 news investigation of Iranian corruption by Reuters news service has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018.

It has also been cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 speech. Given the article’s ongoing influence, this article will scrutinize flaws in the reporting techniques and raise reasonable questions about several of its findings. The article will also mention, a piece of important historical context, that was long assumed, but made official in 2013 – the same year the story was published – when the US government released classified documents about its involvement in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah. The purpose of this article is not to stain the reputation of an entire news agency – but to simply lay out an alternative context for interpreting a single, influential story.

Jan 17 04:57

Iran Ready to Sign "Zero Tariffs" Deal with Iraq

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the country's willingness to ink a deal with Iraq to drop customs tariffs between the two countries.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to zero tariff rates between the two countries," Zarif said, addressing an economic forum in Iraq's Southern city of Karbala on Wednesday.

He added that despite the US sanctions, Iran is exporting $2bln worth of gas and electricity to Iraq annually, stressing that the two countries' cooperation in the energy sector can grow if Tehran and Baghdad decide not to allow Washington to impose restrictions and limitations on their trade.

Zarif said 80 Iranian technical and engineering companies are active in Iraq with contracts worth 8bln, and stated, "The Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys very high capacities to reconstruct the post-ISIL Iraq."

>>>

Jan 16 12:46

Pentagon Officials Fear Bolton’s Actions Could Provoke War With Iran

Having spent decades advocating a US attack on Iran, John Bolton’s position as National Security Adviser is allowing him to push the idea hard with President Trump. For those less enamored of that war, including Pentagon leadership, there is mounting concern that Bolton might provoke such a war.

So when Bolton came to the Pentagon asking them for military options for attacking Iran, nominally in retaliation for a Shi’ite Iraqi militia firing mortar shells in Baghdad, they were reticent.

The options they delivered were reportedly very limited. They involved little more than a show of force with limited airstrikes against some random Iranian military site. This was far short of what Bolton wanted, but former Defense Secretary James Mattis argued that even this was a bad idea, and no attack has happened yet.

Jan 16 11:39

Iran, India Ditch Dollar In Oil Trading To Counter 'Bullying' US Sanctions

In an effort to circumvent US-imposed sanctions, India and Iran have reportedly ditched the US dollar and are trading oil in rupees. The reason becomes clear after considering the dynamics at play in the region.

In mid-February last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited India, and the two countries signed nine agreements signalling a strengthening of ties. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to celebrate the growing relationship, stating that it was “a matter of great pleasure” for India that an Iranian president came to India “after a gap of 10 years.”

Fast-forward a few months later, and then-UN ambassador Nikki Haley was bluntly telling India that they should rethink their relationship with Tehran.

Jan 16 11:34

BEX ALERT - Iran's Missiles Used in Satellite Launches Threaten Europe, Middle East - Pompeo

Earlier in January, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that if Tehran went ahead with plans to carry out space launches in the coming months, Iran would face more economic and diplomatic pressure.

Iran's failed attempt to launch a satellite into orbit with a three stage rocket demonstrates the Islamic Republic’s intent to develop missiles able to reach as far as Europe, Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Tuesday.

Jan 16 11:26

Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi jailed in US on unspecified charges

Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network, has been detained and imprisoned in the United States for unspecified reasons.

American-born Hashemi, most famous for anchoring news programs and presenting shows for Press TV, was detained upon arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday, her family and friends said.

Press TV has learned that she was transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC. The US officials have so far refused to provide any reasons for her apprehension either to her or her family.

The Associated Press (AP) said a call to the FBI rang unanswered early on Wednesday morning. The bureau did not immediately respond to a written request for comment, it added.

Jan 16 10:59

Is Bolton Steering Trump into War with Iran?

“Stop the ENDLESS WARS!” implored President Donald Trump in a Sunday night tweet.

Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton.

Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the Green Zone in Baghdad, which exploded harmlessly in a vacant lot, Bolton called a series of emergency meetings and directed the Pentagon to prepare a menu of targets, inside Iran, for U.S. air and missile strikes in retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one U.S. official as saying Bolton’s behavior “rattled people. … People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”
Bolton’s former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was “an act of war” to which the U.S. must respond decisively.

Jan 16 10:18

Iranian PressTV journalist held by FBI, denied halal food, hijab removed against her will – network

A PressTV journalist has been mysteriously detained for over 48 hours by the FBI after she was apprehended at St. Louis Lambert International Airport while traveling to visit family, the network has learned.

The state-run, English-language Iranian network says its journalist and anchor Marzieh Hashemi was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Missouri and sent to Washington DC, where she is currently being held in an FBI detention facility. No charges have been filed against her, and no reason was given for her detention, according to a network spokesman who spoke to RT.

Jan 16 10:08

Bolton’s Radical Reshaping Plan for Mideast Included “Mind Boggling” Strikes on Iran, Syria, and Iraq

In 2017, less than a year before he became national security advisor, John Bolton promised a gathering of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MEK) that:

The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran. … The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself. … And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here's your rifle...

Jan 16 10:07

Israel inflating Iran’s presence in Syria to cover its own failures, Tehran says

Israel has falsely inflated Iran’s presence in Syria to cover for its own failures in the region, a spokesman for the Iranian foreign ministry said on Monday.

Spokesman Bahram Qasemi said Iran did not have any military bases or military presence in Syria, and was only in the country “at the request of the Syrian government for advisory mission and fighting the terrorists,” according to a report by Iran’s official news agency, IRNA.

Jan 16 04:35

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh

Syrians, Iraqis defeated Daesh, not Americans: Iran’s Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the victory over the Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria was the result of endeavors by the two nations themselves and that the United States played no role in defeating the outfit.

Foreign Minister Zarif made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with Iranian and Iraqi businesspeople as well as local officials in the Iraqi city of Karbala.

Zarif pointed to the fact that America has not succeed in combating terrorism in other parts of the world and said success in Iraq and Syria came about because the people of the two countries stood up, fought, and sacrificed lives. “That is why this victory has nothing to do with America...">>>

Jan 16 04:17

US arrests journalist working for Iran's state Press TV

Iranian broadcaster says Marzieh Hashemi was arrested after landing at St Louis international airport

An American journalist working for Iran's English-language Press TV has been arrested by US authorities on unspecified charges, the state-run broadcaster said on Wednesday.

Marzieh Hashemi, 59, was arrested upon arrival at St Louis Lambert International Airport on Sunday and transferred by the FBI to a detention facility in Washington, DC, Press TV said.

"Her relatives were unable to contact her, and she was allowed to contact her daughter only two days after her arrest," the Iranian broadcaster reported.
***
Hashemi's reported arrest comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.

During his recent trip through the Middle East, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US is "redoubling" its efforts to put pressure on Iran, accusing it of destabilising the region.

Pompeo vowed to "expel every last Iranian boot" from Syria>>>

(*RELATED: from PRESS TV !

(*FARSNEWS UPDATE: FBI Jails, Tortures Muslim News Anchor wow! they added torture to the story !!!)

Jan 15 13:39

Buchanan: Is Bolton Steering Trump Into War With Iran?

Well, if he is serious, Trump had best keep an eye on his national security adviser, for a U.S. war on Iran would be a dream come true for John Bolton.

Last September, when Shiite militants launched three mortar shells into the Green Zone in Baghdad, which exploded harmlessly in a vacant lot, Bolton called a series of emergency meetings and directed the Pentagon to prepare a menu of targets, inside Iran, for U.S. air and missile strikes in retaliation.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one U.S. official as saying Bolton’s behavior “rattled people. … People were shocked. It was mind-boggling how cavalier they were about hitting Iran.”

Bolton’s former deputy, Mira Ricardel, reportedly told a gathering the shelling into the Green Zone was “an act of war” to which the U.S. must respond decisively.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, a word, please: getting the US into a war in Iran to please your good buddies Netanyahu and Adelson, may be great from a an Israeli perspective, but lousy for We the People.

You should know, if your advisors are not telling you this, but at this point with the American Military, they don't have the money, the troop strength, the manufacturing, or the weaponry to insure a positive outcome to a war against Iran, and if Russia comes in, on Iran's side, the American military be pitted against some very formidable, capable weapons.

The Iranians have proven good faith in abiding by the P5+1 agreement, even though the US has withdrawn from it. No less an august body than the IAEA keeps assuring us that they are in compliance.

And Mr.President, a final reality you need to think about, that is becoming more and more apparent to your base; Israel should not be getting any of the financial and military aid the US gives it, because such transfers are illegal, according to the Symington and Glenn amendments.

Iran, on the other hand, did become a signatory to the NNPT; and we are punishing Iran for something it really hasn't done, and lauding and Funding Israel for breaking American law?!?

What's wrong with this picture??? Damn near everything, Mr. President!!!!

Jan 14 12:45

Bolton Had Pentagon Draw Up "Far-Reaching Military Options To Strike Iran"

The Wall Street Journal published an Iran bombshell Sunday morning, confirming the White House had the Pentagon prepare "military options" to strike the country last year. The sudden request, seen as an unprecedented Iraq-style "shock and awe" attack on Iran, caught the Pentagon off guard, to the point that "State Dept. and Pentagon officials were rattled by the request" which officials further told the WSJ was "mind-boggling" and "cavalier" in terms of how brazen it was.

Jan 14 12:38

Benjamin Netanyahu confirms Israel has carried out air strikes on an Iranian target in Syria

Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed today that Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria on Friday, in a rare public confirmation of such attacks.

The Israeli PM said the country successfully blew up an Iranian weapons storage facility at Syria's biggest airport.

'Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses containing Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport,' Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting today.

Jan 14 09:48

Israel determined to take further action against Iran in Syria - Israeli PM

Israel is prepared to take further action against Iranian targets in Syria to prevent Iran’s gaining a military stronghold in that country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

"Just in the last 36 hours the air force attacked Iranian warehouses with Iranian weapons at the international airport in Damascus. The accumulation of recent attacks proves that we are determined more than ever to take action against Iran in Syria, just as we promised," he said as quoted by his office.

"Overnight, the air force also attacked on the southern front against Hamas targets in Gaza and this morning we announced the exposure of an additional tunnel, a main tunnel, perhaps the most important, that crossed the border into our territory. We are thus approaching the completion of the goal we set at the outset of Operation Northern Shield - the eradication of Hezbollah's tunnels weapon," he said.

Jan 14 08:59

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JAN. 14, 2019: NETANYAHU CLAIMS “DEPOTS FULL OF IRANIAN WEAPONS” DESTROYED IN SYRIA

Early on January 12, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out an airstrike on Syria. According to reports, Israeli warplanes, coming from the direction of Galilee, fired several missiles at a depot in the Damascus International Airport. The Syrian Air Defense Forces reportedly intercepted at least 8 of them.

Following the airstrike, Israeli warplanes were seen flying at high speed and low altitude over the southern Lebanese city of Tyre.

On January 13, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the IAF had targeted several “Iranian depots full of Iranian weapons in the Damascus International Airport”.

This incident was the second Israeli attack on Syria within a few weeks. On December 25, Israeli warplanes targeted several military positions around the Syrian capital. While Israeli sources claimed that the positions were being used by Iranian forces only, the airstrikes injured several Syrian service members.

Jan 14 08:56

White House Asked Pentagon to Provide Military Option to Attack Iran

In early September, during major protests in Iraq’s Shi’ite southeast, a group fired three mortar shells into the Green Zone of Baghdad. The shells landed in an empty lot, doing no damage and causing no casualties. Months later, it appears to be a much bigger story.

That’s because the Wall Street Journal is reporting that in the immediate aftermath, John Bolton and his National Security Council were encouraging a “forceful” US response. In the course of this, Bolton’s team asked the Pentagon to provide President Trump with “military options” to attack Iran.

It appears not to have taken long to go from Shi’ite protests and pinning the mortar fire on a Shi’ite militia, one that is officially part of the Iraqi government, to calls to attack Iran. That’s because US officials, particularly hawks, accuse Shi’ite militias anywhere in the world of being Iranian as a matter of course. In this case, it could’ve easily escalated into a US military attack on Iran.

Jan 13 12:53

Kabul won’t let US use American bases against Iran: Diplomat

Afghanistan will not allow the United States to use its bases in the country to conduct any act of aggression against Iran, says a top Afghan diplomat.

“Relations with neighbors are of special significance to the Afghan government in Kabul. Therefore, we will never allow the US to use its military bases against our neighbors such as Iran and Pakistan,” said Abdul Rahim Sayed Jan, Afghan ambassador to Turkey.

“The presence of US bases in Afghanistan has always been a source of concern for our neighbors, although, in line with the Afghan government’s agreement with the US, Washington can never use these bases against our neighbors,” added the envoy in his address to a conference on Afghanistan in Turkish capital Ankara, Turkish daily Yeni Akit reported on Saturday.

Jan 13 12:52

Do not invite the US to the Persian Gulf: Iran to 'regional enemies'

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says despite its mainly peaceful defense doctrine, the Islamic Republic maintains powerful and categorical military presence in the region, warning certain regional countries against inviting the US to the Persian Gulf to hatch plots against Iran.

Jan 13 12:49

Official: Iran Receiving Revenues of Gas Exports to Iraq in Euro

"The revenues of these (gas) exports are based on euro as stated in the contract (with Iraq)," Montazer Torbati said on Saturday.

He added that the Central Banks of Iran and Iraq have made the decision about the currency to be used for gas exports after the US sanctions against Iran.

Iran is currently exporting 36.24 million cubic meters of gas on a daily basis, which marks a 45% rise in comparison with the figures of the last calendar year (March 21, 2017- March 20, 2018).

Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization announced in a report earlier this month that the country had increased its daily export of gas from 25 million cubic meters to 36.24 million cubic meters in the current Iranian year (started on March 21, 2018).

Jan 13 12:48

S. Korea to Resume Oil Imports from Iran Soon

The announcement came by Kim Jun, chief executive officer and president of South Korea's SK Innovation, owner of South Korea's biggest oil refiner SK energy.

Kim said that his country will restart importing Iran's crude in late January or early February.

In November, South Korea won a six-month waiver from sanctions, imposed by the United States, allowing to purchase a limited amount of Iranian oil.

"As South Korea received a waiver and has been in talks with Iran about the first import volume, it seems (Iran oil) could be brought in late in January or early February at the earliest,” Kim told said on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

South Korean and Japanese buyers were expected to restart Iranian oil imports early this year, industry sources said in November. South Korea can buy up to 200,000 barrels per day of Iran's oil, mostly condensate, an ultra-light form of crude oil under the waiver, the sources said.

Jan 13 07:11

Iran Receiving Revenues of Gas Exports to Iraq in Euro

CEO of the Iranian Gas Engineering and Development Company (IGEDC) Hassan Montazer Torbati announced that the country is due to collect payment for its gas supplies to Iraq in euro.

"The revenues of these (gas) exports are based on euro as stated in the contract (with Iraq)," Montazer Torbati said on Saturday.

He added that the Central Banks of Iran and Iraq have made the decision about the currency to be used for gas exports after the US sanctions against Iran.

Iran is currently exporting 36.24 million cubic meters of gas on a daily basis, which marks a 45% rise in comparison with the figures of the last calendar year (March 21, 2017- March 20, 2018).

Iran’s Plan and Budget Organization announced in a report earlier this month that the country had increased its daily export of gas from 25 million cubic meters to 36.24 million cubic meters in the current Iranian year>>>

Jan 12 11:53

Tehran, Baghdad discuss expansion of ties in defiance of US' pressures

Top officials from Iran and Iraq held talks on Thursday on ways to boost cooperation between the two neighboring countries, just one day after a surprise visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the Arab country, which was supposed to convince Baghdad to restrict its ties with Tehran.

Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh on Thursday met with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, whose office said he "confirmed the deep relations between the two countries, the two neighboring peoples and the importance of strengthening them in areas that serve the interests of the two peoples, foremost of which is cooperation in the fields of oil and gas."

The Iraqi premier's office also said the Iranian oil minister "expressed his country's pride in the level of relations with Iraq and the aspiration to develop them, and hoped to achieve more cooperation and to meet the needs of Iraq's gas."

Jan 12 10:40

Pakistani Commander Praises Iranian Navy for Establishing Security in Indian Ocean

Commander of Pakistan’s Peace and Friendship Fleet Admiral Mohammad Salem underlined the Iranian Naval forces' key role in the establishment of peace and security in the Indian Ocean.

Jan 12 10:39

DM: Iran Not to Leave Syria Alone until Final Victory

"The Syrian nation has fended off a major threat posed to the nation and the region by fighting against terrorism and we will accompany Syria until final victory as we have been standing beside the Syrian nation so far," General Hatami said in a meeting with Syrian Deputy Defense Minister Major General Mahmoud al-Shawa in Tehran on Monday.

He also underscored Tehran's preparedness to participate in reconstruction efforts in Syria.

General al-Shahwa, for his part, said that the Syrian government, nation and Armed Forces believe that their victories against the terrorists are indebted to Iran's supports.

Iran has played a military advisory role in Syria but has always denied deployment of forces in the country and other regional states.

Jan 10 12:33

US faces unprecedented defeat in Iran sanctions campaign: Ayatollah Khamenei

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has warned the United States of an “unprecedented defeat” in its campaign of sanctions and pressure against the Iranian nation.

Addressing a group of people from the holy city of Qom on Wednesday, the Leader said the Americans speak gleefully of “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran, “but the Iranian nation will, God willing, make them suffer an unprecedented defeat in history.”

“The nation and authorities should attentively work to turn the American sanctions into an unprecedented defeat for the Great Satan (the US), as was done during the era of Sacred Defense (the eight-year Iraq-imposed war),” said the Leader.

Jan 10 11:46

U.S. AND CHINA TUSSLE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA, CHINA ORDERS MILITARY "TO BE READY" TEST MOAB, RUSSIA AND IRAN PLAN DRILLS IN ATLANTIC

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters.

Last week, China’s President Xi Jinping Friday ordered the Chinese armed forces People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to enhance their combat readiness to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests after the U.S. had issued a travel warning to China stating Americans were at risk to arbitrary and indefinite detention.

Jan 10 10:14

Pompeo: US Troops to Withdraw From Syria, Continue Anti-Daesh Fight

On 19 December, US President Donald Trump announced victory over Daesh in Syria, adding that the fight against the terrorist group was the only reason the United States remained in Syria.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented at a joint press conference in Cairo on the US troops withdrawal from Syria and Washington's plans in the Middle East.

America is a "force of good" in the Middle East, Pompeo said. He also claimed that "when America retreats, chaos follows."

"For those who fret about the use of American power, remember: America has always been a liberating force, not an occupying power, in the Middle East. We've never dreamed of domination. Can you say the same of the Iranian regime?" the US secretary of state said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am amazed Pompeo didn't spontaneously combust on that last one!

Jan 10 09:35

Israeli Ex-minister, Once Jailed for Smuggling Ecstasy, Gets 11 Years in Prison for Spying for Iran

Gonen Segev, who was caught trying to smuggle ecstasy into Israel in 2004, found guilty of aggravated espionage. Shin Bet: He gave Iran state information from his stint in cabinet

Jan 09 13:15

U.S. And China Tussle In South China Sea, China Orders Military “To Be Ready” Test MOAB, Russia and Iran Plan Drills In Atlantic

By Aaron Kesel

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters...

Jan 09 12:41

In shift, EU sanctions Iran over planned Europe attacks

The European Union on Tuesday froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other attacks in Europe.

Jan 09 11:57

Iran turns to traditional partners as EU tarries on bypassing US sanctions

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is working with its traditional partners such as China, Russia and India to circumvent the US sanctions.

Zarif told reporters in New Delhi Tuesday that the European Union is moving more slowly than expected to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we will not wait for them [to act]," said Zarif who arrived in the Indian capital late Monday for a three-day visit.

"We are working with our traditional partners like India, China and Russia so that we continue to serve the interests of our people," he added.

Jan 09 11:56

US pure obsession with Iran like attitude of failing psychotic stalkers: FM Zarif

The top Iranian diplomat took to his official Twitter account on Tuesday to react to recent remarks made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton against the Islamic Republic.

"While ordinarily it might be flattering, @SecPompeo’s and @AmbJohnBolton’s pure obsession with Iran is more and more like the behavior of persistently failing psychotic stalkers," Zarif said.

Jan 09 11:47

Family says US Navy veteran has been held for months in Iranian prison

The family of a U.S. Navy veteran says that he has been held for months in an Iranian prison after authorities in the country seized him in July, The New York Times reported on Monday.

Michael White's mother told the Times that State Department officials told her several week ago that her son is being detained in a prison in Iran.

“All I know is that he is alive and they were putting in a request for a consular visit by the Swiss,” Joanne White told the newspaper.

Joanne White said her son had visited Iran "five or six times" to see his Iranian girlfriend. He was set to return from Iran in July but never boarded his flight, prompting his mother to file a missing persons report.

Jan 09 11:28

India Begins Paying For Iranian Oil In Rupees

Three months ago, in Mid-October, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary at India’s finance ministry, said that India still hasn’t worked out yet a payment system for continued purchases of crude oil from Iran, just before receiving a waiver to continue importing oil from Iran in its capacity as Iran's second largest oil client after China.

Jan 09 09:40

EU approves sanctions on Iran’s intelligence service

Denmark announced on Tuesday that the European Union has agreed to impose sanctions on Iran’s intelligence service over plans to assassinate opponents of the Islamic Republic across the European Union.

“The EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian intelligence service for its assassination plots on European soil,” wrote Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen on Twitter. “Strong signal from the EU that we will not accept such behaviour in Europe.”

Jan 07 11:43

Iraq Rejects Iran Sanctions and US Troop Presence

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed Ali al-Hakim laid out the latest step on the path to independence for Baghdad from the US concerning sanctions on Iran by Washington. Although Iraq currently has a 90-day waiver to trade with Iran issued on December 20th, Hakim let reporters know Iraq would be pursuing their own policy on Iran should the waiver not be renewed.

Hakim explained to reporters that

“These sanctions, the siege, or what is called the embargo,” imposed by the US is “unilateral, not international,” and Iraq is “not obliged [to follow] them.”

This is a big step for Baghdad to take in the face of pressure from Washington for Iraq to become “energy independent” with the help of US corporations exploiting their oil and gas resources. Instead, as explained by Hakim, Iraq would rather choose their own options for energy, even if that includes continuing the annual $12 billion in trade between Iraq and Iran flowing over US objections.

Jan 07 10:42

Bolton: U.S. ‘Very Supportive’ of Israeli Strikes Against Iranian Targets in Syria

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, said Sunday that the U.S. military withdrawal from northeastern Syria is conditioned on defeating the remnants of the Islamic State group, and on Turkey assuring the safety of Kurdish fighters allied with the United States.

Bolton, who traveled to Israel to reassure the U.S. ally of the Trump-ordered withdrawal, said there is no timetable for the pullout of American forces in northeastern Syria, but insisted it’s not an unlimited commitment.

“There are objectives that we want to accomplish that condition the withdrawal,” Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem. “The timetable flows from the policy decisions that we need to implement.”

Jan 07 09:43

Iran Bracing For Economic Contraction As Oil Exports Crumble

Iran’s Parliament Research Center is predicting negative growth for Iran in the current fiscal year that ends March 20 due to its falling exports, Radio Farda reported on Friday.

The economic contraction could be as significant as 5.5 percent negative growth, the Research Center figures, with the best-case scenario ending with a 2.6 percent negative growth.

The rosier scenario of the two assumes that Iran will see a 800,000 barrel per day loss in Iran’s crude oil exports. The bleaker view assumes Iran’s oil exports will dip by 1.6 million barrels per day.

Beyond March 2019, when this fiscal year ends, the research center is predicting a 4.5 to 5.5 percent contraction.

Iran’s oil exports have decreased despite Iran’s insistence that the U.S. sanctions levied against Iran in November would have no effect on its oil exports.

Jan 07 08:08

Iran Rejects Trump’s Claims That Tehran Sought Talks With the US as ‘False Dreams’


Iran Rejects Trump’s Claims That Tehran Sought Talks With the US as ‘False Dreams’
Iran has categorically dismissed Trump’s new claims that Tehran is after talks with Washington, saying the US president is only giving voice to his “false and unattainable dreams.”

>>>

Jan 06 14:45

It Begins: Russia, China, and India Are Now All Dumping the US Dollar

(RT) — The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

Jan 06 10:04

Pompeo Launches Middle East Tour to Galvanize Region Against Iran

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is set to depart on a tour of the Middle East next week in a bid to galvanize regional leaders to confront Iran and remind allies that the United States is not disappearing from region amid the Trump administration's decision to pull American troops out of Syria and possibly Afghanistan, according to senior State Department officials.

Pompeo will depart next week on his way to meet with government leaders in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait.

The goal of the trip is to show regional allies that the "United States is not leaving the Middle East," according to senior State Department officials who previewed the secretary's itinerary on Friday.

Jan 05 10:49

Iran to Send Warships to the Atlantic, Closer to U.S. Waters

The Iranian navy will send warships to deploy in the Atlantic from March, a top commander said on Friday, as the Islamic Republic seeks to increase the operating range of its naval forces to the backyard of the United States, its arch foe.

Iran sees the presence of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Gulf as a security concern and its navy has sought to counter that by showing the flag near American waters.

A flotilla will leave for the Atlantic early in the Iranian new year, starting from March, Iran’s naval deputy commander said.

Jan 05 08:48

Netanyahu tells Putin: Israel will continue fight against Iran in Syria

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Israel will continue working against “Iranian military repositioning in Syria”.

Netanyahu’s comments were made in a phone call between the two leaders, Anadolu Agency reported, with Netanyahu’s office also sending a written statement about the issue to its Russian counterpart.

The statement – a copy of which reached Anadolu – said that both leaders discussed the latest developments in Syria, while “Netanyahu agreed with [Putin] to continue cooperation between the armies of the two countries [in Syria]”.

“Israel insists on continuing its efforts aimed at undermining the Iranian military’s repositioning in Syria,” Netanyahu said, according to the statement.

Jan 04 14:04

Israel acts at 'military level' amid US sanctions on Iran: Netanyahu

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he had “insisted” that the US reimpose sanctions on Iran, adding Tel Aviv complements economic pressures with its own actions "at the military level.”

US President Donald Trump “is acting against Iran at the economic level and we here in Israel are acting against Iran at the military level,” Netanyahu said in an address to Israeli military cadets on Thursday.

By military actions, Netanyahu apparently meant airstrikes against what Israel calls Iranian positions in Syria. Damascus says the attacks are part of Israel's efforts to prop up terrorists in the face of army advances.

Last week, an Israeli intelligence website refuted Tel Aviv's claims that a recent aerial raid in Syria had targeted Iranian military advisers and Hezbollah fighters, saying the attack actually hit Syrian army positions.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And here is the one thing which could make this really sticky; it's Russia, Russia's military position in Syria, and Putin's relationship with Syria's al Assad.

One must wonder; what happens when and Israeli and Russian fighter jets start attacking each other?!? Because should this happen, it would involve the US's presence in behalf of Israel, undoubtedly.

I hope that Russia's President Putin and Israel's Prime Minister, Netanyahu, have been having some conversations about preventing such a situation, which could evolve into a world war.

Jan 04 13:54

Trump ignoring Tel Aviv’s demands about Syria: Israeli report

US President Donald Trump’s recent statements about Syria have alarmed Israeli officials and intelligence services, according to an Israeli report.

"It’s unfortunate that he isn’t paying attention to the evidence provided by the intelligence services," said an unnamed senior Israeli official speaking to the Israeli Ynet news website on Thursday.

"We are in a state of shock. Trump simply doesn’t understand the extent of the Iranian military's presence in the region."

The statement was made in response to Trump’s earlier remarks, which some Israeli media outlets described as an American “policy change” on Syria.

“Iran is pulling people out of Syria, but they can frankly do whatever they want there,” said Trump

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I posit a very different thought here.

Netanyahu is in the political fight of his life, and still unsure if Israel's AG will indict him for corruption.

Netanyahu has dissolved Israel's Parliament, and called for an election to be held on 9 April.

So what I think has happened, is that Israel has given President Trump his "marching orders", which is why the slowdown of the withdrawal of American troops will happen in 90 days, which conveniently dovetails into the time between the moment the Knesset was dismissed, and elections were called on April 9th.

What President Trump has done, has been to give Netanyahu 90 days in which he can do what he wants militarily, in Gaza; Syria; Iran; or Lebanon, so as to look "uber-butch" to the voters come April 9th.

Let's just say that we may well be on the cutting edge of a March/April "Israeli surprise". But if any of these actions come off badly, Netanyahu may well have sealed his fate at the ballot box.

Jan 04 12:47

Pompeo Warns Iran Against Launching Rockets Into Space

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement preemptively warning Iran against following through on a plan to launch rockets into space, saying that they are required to cease all nuclear-related activities and that the US will not allow them to put international security at risk.

Pompeo further accused Iran of being in defiant of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 related to missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, saying that Iran must not launch any rockets into space as a result.

Iranian officials dismissed these allegations, saying that no UN resolution prohibits them from sending vehicles into space. This is not the first time this has been a subject of dispute between the US and Iran on the UNSC 2231.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Secretary of State Pompeo, your amazing ability to lie to get what you want, is well documented.
Pompeo lied to Congress about Yemen to protect arms sales

You accusations against Iran in this area have no merits and are very fact-free. You are making up the argument that if Iran shoots any more rockets into space, the Iranian government should be defined as a "regional aggressor", and that should be the justification for an American strike against it.

And to add insult to injury, the IAEA, at its last round of inspections, declared that Iran was following the letter of the law, and does not possess any nuclear weapons.

And here is what they said in October of 2018:

Benjamin Netanyahu, please go away

The article goes on to state:

The IAEA seems to have had enough of Netanyahu’s mumbo jumbo. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano responded to Netanyahu by saying that the IAEA's work "must always be impartial, factual, and professional.”

Without a single evidence, the mad man from Tel Aviv proceeded to say:

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues. Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles.”[3]

Right now, Netanyahu is in one of the roughest patches in his political career, as it is still uncertain as to whether Israel's Attorney General will indict him for corruption.

He has just dissolved his Parliament, and he is desperate for a distraction, which I believe, President Trump just gave him, in announcing the the Syrian withdrawal process to end in April.

April happens to be the month when snap elections are to be held in Israel; so in essence, President Trump has given him time to do something "amazingly evil" between now and April, perhaps against Iran; perhaps against Lebanon; perhaps against Syria, because he wants to look "butch" to his electorate.

There is no accident here in the timing; we may well be looking for a "March/April "Surprise", generated by Israel, and supported by the US government, again, to keep Netanyahu in office.
in the Middle East

Jan 04 12:11

TRUMP WALKS BACK SYRIA PULLOUT AS NOOSE TIGHTENS - GOLD GOATS 'N GUNS

If anyone still thinks that Donald Trump has some master plan to kill off his Deep State adversaries they should check themselves into therapy. I know withdrawal is hard, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to curing it.

He doesn’t have a plan. He may fight them but it won’t be with any kind of master plan to trap them in some beautiful bit of political judo.

Frankly, Vladimir Putin he is not.

No, Trump is winging things at this point. While he still has the office he’s trying to do some of the things he promised. Doing that may keep him in power for a few more months.

But with his walking back the timetable for pulling troops out of Syria after a visit from Lindsay Graham (R-MIC/AIPAC) should tell you all you need to know about Trump’s willingness to stand up to the pressure he’s under.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel and his AIPAC sponsors have spoken; they want to make a complete desolation of the Middle East; want to see the war in Syria expand, as well as a war against Iran, to be led by the Americans, (only at the costs of American blood and American money, of course,) which the Russians and Iranians will probably join, on the Syrian side.

I am sickened by this about-face on President Trump's part, but we had to see the handwriting on the wall years ago, in terms of what Israel was up to, and how they think they can maneuver the American president in any direction they feel is beneficial for Israel.

What President Trump needs to realize, is that what may be beneficial to Israel, may not be at all good for We the People, you know, the folks who hired him, thinking that he was at least going to keep his promises.

Unfortunately, as time has unfolded, we have seen him flip-flop on so many issues, that we are getting "intellectual whiplash" at the rapidity of these policy changes.

And with the continued clamoring by the Warmongers for more and more US-sponsored military engagements around the world, I would not bet against the possible return to the draft in this country, perhaps as early this year.

Jan 04 08:49

FM Zarif: US in no position to lecture Iran on UNSC Res. 2231

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed a new US claim that Iran's launch of space rockets and missiles breaches a Security Council resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal, saying Washington has already violated that UN document and thus cannot comment on it.

Zarif was responding to remarks on Thursday by his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo on Iran's planned launch of three Space Launch Vehicles (SLV).

Pompeo said the SLVs incorporate technology that is "virtually identical" to that used in intercontinental ballistic missiles, claiming that such rocket launches would violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Jan 04 08:27

Iran Submits First Budget Since US Sanctions Restored

Iran’s president submitted next year’s budget to parliament on Tuesday, the first since the United States restored sanctions that had been lifted under the nuclear deal.

The $47.5 billion budget is less than half the size of last year’s, mainly due to the severe depreciation of the local currency following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The Iranian rial has fallen from around 42,000 to the dollar a year ago to around 100,000 today.

The government plans to fund 35 percent of the budget with oil revenues, projecting exports of up to 1.5 million barrels a day at a maximum of $54 a barrel.

Jan 04 08:21

Do not invite the US to the Persian Gulf: Iran to 'regional enemies'

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri says despite its mainly peaceful defense doctrine, the Islamic Republic maintains powerful and categorical military presence in the region, warning certain regional countries against inviting the US to the Persian Gulf to hatch plots against Iran.

Jan 04 06:32

Wait..What Did He Say?

Israel is a little shocked at how indifferent President Trump seemed to be about Iran’s presence in Syria.

US President Donald Trump said that in regard to Iran’s role in Syria “they can do whatever they want there, frankly.” The president added that the situation in Iran has changed in recent months as a result of the renewed US sanctions.

During a meeting of his Cabinet, Trump explained that the Ayatollah regime is withdrawing its forces from Syria and Yemen. There are weekly protests and their situation is very bad. He added that he may sit down to negotiate with the Iranians; but he felt that they are not willing to sit with him at the moment.

>>>

Jan 03 09:20

Iran 'Can Do What They Want' in Syria, Trump Says

Speaking on the war-torn country in wake of his momentous decision to pull out American troops, Trump sidelines question on move's timing, says it will 'happen over a period of time'

Jan 02 11:27

Ken O Keefe Great speech in Iran

Jan 02 10:28

Netanyahu Reaches Out To Wahhabis, Says Israel Is Ally To Those Against Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Arab countries see Israel as an “indispensable ally” to fight Iran and the jihadist group Daesh [ISIS].

This assessment, he told Brazil’s Globo TV during a visit to Rio de Janeiro, caused “a revolution in relations with the Arab world.”

The comments came as Israel intensified airstrikes on Iranian positions in neighboring Syria, and how Israel digested an abrupt decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from Syria.

Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons to destroy the Zionist entity.

Jan 02 09:17

'Unacceptable Threat': Pompeo Discusses Iran With Netanyahu - State Dept

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo on Tuesday discussed Iran’s "regional aggression" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US State Department said in a statement.

“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in Brasilia, Brazil. They discussed the unacceptable threat that regional aggression and provocation by Iran and its agents poses to Israeli and regional security. The Secretary reiterated the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security and unconditional right to self-defense,” the statement read.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No mention of Israel's and the US' "regional aggression", of course.

Jan 01 11:40

Powerful U.S. forces work against pullout of troops from Syria

President Donald Trump’s announcement on Dec. 20 that his administration would quickly pull some 2,000 troops from Syria and 7,000 of the 14,000 in Afghanistan seemed to have caught many high-ranking U.S. as well and U.S. allies around the globe off guard.

It is unclear, however, to what extent the pullout will be able to be implemented. Trump is under a lot of pressure from even his supporters to back off or slow down the plan.

This often happens throughout history, when the core beliefs of a country promulgated by elites are challenged — and in the case of the U.S., it is both Republican and Democratic elites. The dismay at the retirement of Secretary of Defense James Mattis indicates the many battles ahead for a rebalancing of U.S. foreign policy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The writer of this op-ed misses one very critical fact; the "winner" from this draw-down of US forces in Syria, is Israel's Benyamin Netanyahu, now fighting for his political life because he is on the keening edge of potentially being indicted for corruption by Israel's Attorney General.

Netanyahu has recently dissolved the Knesset, and set the date of 9 April for the next round of elections.

As now both Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, he can now wreak whatever havoc he wants in Syria (or Lebanon, or Iran), for these next 4 months until the election, with US collusion and cooperation from the commanders and their troops still on the ground.

And I would like to politely mention to the writer of this op-ed, that there will be utterly zero "rebalancing' of US Foreign Policy, particularly in the Middle East, as long as Trump is outsourcing his Middle East Policy to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

There are moments where there are goals to be achieved with which we should be aligned with Israel; but a regional war against Syria, Iran, and Lebanon, (with Russia most likely to take the side of these countries)at the enormous costs, which Tel Aviv fully expects to be expended in American blood, and American money?!?

So President Trump, I feel the need to strongly caution you, that the use of US troops, fighting and dying for what can only be characterized as a wretchedly apartheid, rogue theocracy with nuclear weapons, is not the highest and best use of US troops right now.

And at its point in its history, the US military doesn't have the weaponry; the troop strength; the money, or the manufacturing to insure a victory in this kind of war.

you are welcome, President Trump

Jan 01 11:10

IDF intel chief: Iran could use Iraq as springboard for attacks on Israel

Israel’s Military Intelligence chief warned Monday that Tehran’s increasing presence in Iraq means the country could be used as a base from which Iran could launch attacks on Israel.

“Iraq is under growing influence of the [Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’] Quds Force and Iran,” Maj. Gen. Tamir Hyman told a conference in Tel Aviv.

Jan 01 11:06

Trump Slows Syria Pullout: Military Given Four Months to Withdraw

Reports that President Trump is slowing America’s withdrawal from Syria were confirmed today in a series of Tweets, during which Trump confirmed that the US was “slowly sending our troops back home.”

Though there was never an official timetable for the withdrawal, early reports suggested that the 2,000 US troops believed to be in Syria could be out within 30 days. Now, President Trump is said to be giving the Pentagon four entire months.

In the meantime, the troops are going to be engaged in continued combat with ISIS, and US airstrikes will also continue. President Trump made reference to “ISIS remnants” in his comments.

This presence of remnants has been fueling a lot of the calls among hawkish politicians to just stay in Syria forever, on the grounds that if even a few remain, they’ll quickly regrow into a large organization. Several groups are expected to continue fighting ISIS after the US leaves.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks as though Turkey's impending invasion of Syria is on hold, pending the US drawdown.

But let's look at the real reason for the timing here, shall we?!? It appears that President Trump, unfortunately, as usual, has been given his "marching orders" from Tel Aviv.

Please remember: Israel's Netanyahu, is reeling on the ropes for the fight of his political life, if Israel's attorney general indicts him for corruption, (for which, BTW, Israel's AG is getting threatened, and his father's tomb was recently desecrated Israel's Attorney General had Father's tomb desecrated)

The Israeli Knesset has been dissolved, and elections are scheduled for 9 April of this year. And at the moment, until those elections take place, Netanyahu has also taken the job of minister of defence, as in November of last year. Israeli Prime Minister takes over Defense Ministry

Trump's " new and improved, Israel-compliant" pullout schedule in Syria actually gives Netanyahu, who now is both Prime Minister, and Defense Minister, a clear shot of creating major mayhem against Syria, Gaza, and Iran, coordinated with the White House, and US Pentagon, with utterly no oversight from Israel's Parliament, because it is now dissolved.

Were I an Israeli citizen right now, looking at this scenario, even appreciating what military weaponry and might are possessed by Israel's IDF, you would have to color me very nervous indeed.

Animals are at their most vicious when cornered, and wounded; so it is also for politically wounded heads of state.

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