IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

IRAN

Dec 03 11:52

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FIGHTS IRAN IN MIDDLE EAST AS QODS FORCE EXPANDS IN U.S. BACKYARD

The United States and Israel are preparing for even more military action against Iran following the assassination of prominent nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in the countryside of Tehran last week.

The Israeli Defense Forces and the United States have already stepped up coordination mechanisms to react to what Israeli media likes to call ‘non-motivated aggression’ by Iran. The accepted measures reportedly include procedures for joint detection of missile or rocket fire at Israeli or American targets. Israeli sources claim that Iran will respond to the attack, which took place near Tehran, most likely in some asymmetrical way, by the end of December.

Dec 03 08:17

How Israel Deployed an Intelligence Deception to Justify Killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

The Israeli assassination of Iranian defense official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is being treated as a triumph of Israeli intelligence, with ubiquitous references in the New York Times and other major media outlets to the killing of “Iran’s top nuclear scientist”. In fact, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency eliminated Fakhrizadeh, a defense official, despite the fact that its public depiction of him as the key architect of an Iranian nuclear weapons program was a deception.

For years, US media outlets have portrayed Fakhrizadeh as Iran’s equivalent to J. Robert Oppenheimer, marketing him to the public as the mastermind behind an Iranian version of the Manhattan Project. This image was developed primarily through a carefully constructed Israeli disinformation operation based on documents that displayed signs of fabrication.

Dec 03 08:15

How US media manipulates Iran’s nuclear program into a sinister myth

Experts, media elites, and other Iran observers lit into New York Times national security reporter David Sanger this week for his sloppy — and perhaps “Judith Miller-level bad” — reporting on Iran’s nuclear program following the assassination of one of the country’s top nuclear scientists last week.

The offense in question involved the opening line of Sanger’s “News Analysis” which asserted that the scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, had “led Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon for the past two decades.”

Of course, as has been repeatedly documented by the U.S. intelligence community and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran ended its military nuclear program sometime in 2003, and has not been ongoing over the past two decades, a point that journalist and former NBC News anchor Ann Curry made to Sanger on Twitter.

Dec 03 08:14

Israel Tries To Kill The Nuclear Deal

Last Friday Iran’s leading nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in a coordinated terrorist attack outside of Tehran. The Iranian government has publicly blamed Israel for the attack, and according to early reports Israeli involvement has been confirmed by U.S. and other intelligence officials. Israel sponsored a number of similar assassinations of lower-profile scientists in the early 2010s, and their government is a loud opponent of U.S. reentry into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The purpose of murdering Fakhrizadeh seems to have been to trigger a conflict that would kill the JCPOA, but the murderers also reminded us why it is so important that their efforts fail.

Dec 03 08:13

Biden Says He Will Return to Iran Nuclear Deal

Despite the tensions between the US and Iran and last week’s assassination of an Iranian scientist, Joe Biden said he plans to return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Biden made the comments in an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that was published on Wednesday. Friedman asked Biden if he stood by the views of an op-ed he penned in September, where the former vice president said he would work with Iran to return to the JCPOA. “It’s going to be hard, but yeah,” Biden answered.

The former vice president said he favors an immediate return to the JCPOA and then a follow-on deal that addresses Iran’s ballistic missiles program. Biden hopes the second deal could involve Saudi Arabia and the UAE. He said, “the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region” is to deal “with the nuclear program.”

Dec 03 08:04

A Killing in Iran: Who Gains from Yet Another Assassination?

It is not often that one can agree with the pronouncements made by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, but his tweeted comment on the killing of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suggesting that the incident “…was a criminal act & highly reckless. It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict. Iranian leaders would be wise to wait for the return of responsible American leadership on the global stage & to resist the urge to respond against perceived culprits” was both restrained and reasonable. Or it was at least so until sentence two, which was clearly intended to attack Donald Trump and praise the incoming Joe Biden administration, which Brennan just might be seeking to join.

Dec 03 06:45

Iran To Boot Nuclear Inspectors Unless Access To Banking & Oil Markets Restored 

Critics of Trump and Pompeo's maximum pressure campaign against Iran have argued that the sanctions strangulation and 'dirty tricks' actions which put the Islamic Republic on the extreme defensive and thus a militarized posture will only push it to pursue a nuclear bomb at all costs.

After all the mullahs see what happened to Libya and Iraq, and especially since the last January assassination of IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani (and now the killing of its top nuclear scientist last Friday) consider that Iran is at war on multiple fronts against its enemies. As yet more proof, Iran is ready to take the most dramatic step yet pulling further away from prior designated restrictions on its nuclear energy development program:

A bill requiring Iran’s government to suspend nuclear inspections unless sanctions are lifted, and ignore other restraints on its nuclear program agreed with major powers, was passed by the hardline-led parliament on Tuesday.

Dec 02 08:52

Iran Suspects Exiled Cult Was Involved In Assassination Of Top Scientist

Iran continues to release details surrounding the killing of its top scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. On Monday, a senior Iranian official said a controversial group of Iranian exiles based in Albania could have been involved in the assassination.

"We have some clues but surely the 'Monafeghin' group was involved and the criminal element behind it is the Zionist regime and Mossad," Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, told state TV.

The "Monafeghin" refers to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, a coalition led by the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, or MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq). The MEK is a controversial group widely considered to be a cult, and up until 2012, was designated as a terrorist group by the US government.

Dec 02 08:09

Iran reminds IAEA of its ‘immediate, primary responsibility’ over Fakhrizadeh killing

Iran’s envoy to Vienna-based international organizations has rapped the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for keeping silent over the recent assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Kazem Gharibabadi told reporters on Monday that the IAEA is expected to clearly declare its stance regarding the recent act of terrorism and strongly condemn it.

“The IAEA has an immediate and primary responsibility toward the member state (Iran) that has accepted the highest level of the Agency’s inspections, has the most transparent nuclear program as it implements various commitments, but its scientists are exposed to assassination threats or are targeted by terrorists, and its nuclear facilities are exposed to aggression or are targeted with sabotage,” Gharibabadi said.

Dec 02 08:06

Past and present: Israel’s targeting of Iran nuclear aspirations

The assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh sent shock waves across the Middle East.

Tehran accuses Israel of being responsible for the brazen attack and has pledged retaliation. While proof for the accusation does not exist, Fakhrizadeh’s death fits a pattern previously linked to Israel – a long list of moves against officials in Iran and its nuclear programme, which Israel continues to consider perilous to its existence.

Dec 02 07:32

Israel Is (Again) Pushing For War On Iran

There is a campaign to push U.S. president Donald Trump into attacking Iran before he leaves his office. It is likely that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahoo, with the help of Secretary of State Mike Pompous, is the brain behind it.

The campaign started on November 16 with a New York Times piece which claimed that Trump had asked for options to bomb Iran:

President Trump asked senior advisers in an Oval Office meeting on Thursday whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred a day after international inspectors reported a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material, four current and former U.S. officials said on Monday.

Dec 02 07:05

Report: Trump Gives Hawks Free Rein to Hammer Iran

According to a report from The Daily Beast, President Trump has given his most hawkish advisors free rein to squeeze Iran as much as possible in the final weeks of his administration. The story cites multiple anonymous US officials who say Trump’s only condition was that his aides do not risk starting “World War III.”

The report reads: “Trump has given some of his most hawkish administration officials, particularly his top diplomat, Mike Pompeo, carte blanche to squeeze and punish the Islamic Republic as aggressively as they wish in the coming weeks.”

Dec 01 08:00

Reports: Airstrike Killed Iranian Commander Near Iraq-Syria Border

Iraqi sources told several Arab media outlets on Monday that an airstrike near the Iraq-Syria border killed a commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The strike reportedly occurred either late Saturday or early Sunday, and some accounts say it was a drone strike.

Some of the sources identified the slain military leader as Muslim Shahdan, a senior IRGC commander. Other reports say the IRGC commander could not be identified, but all accounts say three other people were killed in the same event. The commander was reportedly struck in a vehicle that was entering Syria from Iraq.

Iran has yet to confirm or deny the report, but if it is true, the IRGC commander’s killing comes just days after prominent Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed inside Iran and would ratchet up tensions in the region even more. All indications point to Israel being responsible for Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Dec 01 07:58

EXCLUSIVE: Iran tells MBZ it will hit UAE in response to a US attack

Tehran “directly” contacted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed last weekend, threatening the United Arab Emirates in the event of any US attack on Iran, a top-level UAE source told Middle East Eye.

The Iranians are on high alert following the assassination on Friday of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear programme, east of Tehran.

Though Fakhrizadeh’s killing has been claimed off the record by Israeli intelligence sources to the New York Times, Iran has feared attacks by the United States too, believing outgoing president Donald Trump could lash out before his term ends on 20 January.

Dec 01 07:57

Has Bibi Boxed Biden in on Iran?

If Israel, as is universally believed and has not been denied, was behind the assassination of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist, questions arise:

Why would the Israelis kill him? And why would they do it now?

The scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, it is conceded, was a leader in Iran’s nuclear bomb program, but that program was disbanded in 2003.

Under George W. Bush, in 2007, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies declared with "high confidence" that Iran no longer had a bomb program.

Four years later, the same intel agencies affirmed that finding.

Since 2015, Iran’s nuclear facilities, under the Iran nuclear deal, have been subject to U.N. surveillance and inspections. And Iran has neither produced plutonium nor enriched uranium to the 90% level needed for a bomb.

Israel claims Iran never stopped working on a bomb, but US Intel agencies and UN nuclear inspectors have agreed that the military nuclear program that Fakhrizadeh oversaw was ended in 2003.

Dec 01 07:52

The Assassination of Iranian Nuclear Scientist. Setting the Stage for War?

“If confirmed, the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is yet another reckless step that appears intended to poison the well for negotiations under a Biden administration and set the stage for war. Coming shortly after the assassination of Qassem Soleimani earlier this year, the killing of a scientist who formerly directed Iran’s shelved military nuclear program risks war between Iran, the U.S. and Israel.

Dec 01 06:47

‘No way around it,’ Iranians to retaliate scientist assassination: Retired US Navy Adm.

A retired US Navy SEAL and special operations commander has suggested that Iran’s retaliation over the assassination of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is certain, asserting that there is not “any way around it.”

"Iran, you know, either suspects or knows that Israel was responsible for this attack," Navy Adm. William McRaven told ABC on Monday.

He further suggested that Iran’s revenge will have serious repercussions for the US and its allies.

Nov 30 12:33

IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM GAINS STEAM FOLLOWING ASSASSINATION OF “NUCLEAR SOLEIMANI” NEAR TEHRAN

US President Donald Trump is apparently set to slam the door and go to great lengths to show love to his friends in Tel Aviv before withdrawing from the White House.

Nov 30 11:49

Five Scientists in 10 Years: Iran’s Nuclear Physicists Are Top Targets for Assassins

To be a nuclear scientist in Iran is to be in danger. During the past decade, up to this week, at least four had been killed in vehicle bombings and shootouts, and several others have been targeted but survived.

On Friday, the alleged architect of Iran’s military nuclear programme joined the ranks of the slain. Armed assassins gunned down Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in his car in an ambush in Absard city, outside the capital Tehran.

Fakhrizadeh, an officer in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has been known as one of Iran’s most celebrated physicists because of his work on the country’s nuclear programme, Project 111.

When his colleague, Majid Shahriari, was assassinated in 2010, the UN described Fakhrizadeh as a leader in Tehran’s effort to acquire a nuclear warhead.

Nov 30 07:11

Killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist: Reported versions change from 12-person commando squad to REMOTE-CONTROLLED machine gun

Iran's top scientist was assassinated with a remote-controlled machine gun from 150 meters away, semi-official news agency Fars said, contradicting previous detailed reports of a 12-person commando team doing the killing.

Citing “new details” obtained by its journalists from unidentified sources, Fars said on Sunday that the lead security vehicle in scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's three-vehicle convoy of bulletproof cars left its escort position to prepare the arrival location in Absard, east of Tehran.

Nov 30 07:06

Israel’s gift to Joe Biden, 52 days before he even takes office: War with Iran

The assassination of Tehran’s top nuclear scientist is a ploy by Israel to compel the likely US president-elect to reject diplomacy and choose military action to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambition. Which option will he choose?

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the shadowy father of Iran’s nuclear program; his existence, let alone his work, was barely acknowledged by Iran. A brigadier general with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Command, Fakhrizadeh was involved in the academic aspects of Iranian national security, eventually heading up the Physics Research Center, where he masterminded the design and material acquisition in support of Iran’s uranium enrichment effort.

Nov 30 07:05

‘Criminal act’: Ex-CIA chief urges Iran to wait on ‘return of responsible US leaders’ before reacting to nuclear scientist killing

Former CIA Director John Brennan has commented on the killing of a top Iranian nuclear scientist by urging Tehran to wait for “return of responsible American leadership” before taking retaliation against suspected perpetrators.

Amid speculation about the involvement of both Israel and the US in the alleged assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Brennan dubbed the death “a criminal act [and] highly reckless.”

“It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict,” he said of the Friday attack, which reportedly included unknown assailants attacking Fakhrizadeh and his security forces.

Nov 30 07:05

‘Important to preserve scope for talks with Iran’: Germany warns against escalation after killing of top Iranian scientist

Berlin has urged “all parties” to avoid escalating tensions following the assassination of a senior Iranian scientist in what Tehran suspects to be an Israeli operation. Iran’s leader has pledged to go after those responsible.

“A few weeks before the new US administration takes office, it is important to preserve the scope for talks with Iran so that the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme can be resolved through negotiations,” a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry told Reuters in an email.

We therefore urge all parties to refrain from any steps that could lead to a further escalation of the situation.

Nov 30 07:04

'Fakhrizadeh assassination another desperate attempt to disrupt Iran's development'

Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi says there are “serious indications of Israeli responsibility” in the assassination of Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday evening, Iran’s ambassador to the world body said that the Islamic Republic reserves the right to defend itself.

“The cowardly assassination of Martyr Fakhrizadeh -- with serious indications of Israeli responsibility in it – is another desperate attempt to wreak havoc on our region as well as to disrupt Iran’s scientific and technological development,” Takht-Ravanchi said in the letter.

Nov 30 07:04

Severe revenge for scientist’s assassination put on Iran’s agenda: IRGC chief

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has warned that “a severe revenge and punishment” has been put on Iran’s agenda in response to the assassination of a high-profile nuclear scientist with the Defense Ministry.

Major General Hossein Salami made the remarks in a message released on Friday after the targeted killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, head of the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (known by its acronym as SPND), in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

Salami hailed Fakhrizadeh as a leading scientist in the country’s strategic industries and a prominent professor at Imam Hussein University of Tehran, and strongly condemned his assassination in a “terrorist crime designed and directed by the fake, terrorist and infanticide Zionist regime.”

Nov 29 10:29

Assassination of Iranian Scientist brings US-Israel Closer to War with Iran

By Brian Berletic

Reports on the death of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh signals another dangerous turn in Washington’s systematic attempts to undermine and overthrow the current government of Iran...

The New York Times assumes that Biden genuinely wanted to return to the 2015 nuclear agreement – officially known as the The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and insists that it is up to Iran whether or not that possibility still remains...

It's worth returning to the 2009 document "Which Path to Persia?" to see how this is unfolding...

Nov 29 08:23

Iran's Lawmakers Pass Bill to Boost Nuclear Activity in Wake of Top Scientist's Murder, Reports Say

The Iranian parliament has passed a bill, dubbed "The strategic measure for the removal of sanctions," aimed at revitalizing the country's nuclear activities in the wake of the assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Tasnim news agency reported on Sunday.

The scientist, who also was the head of the Iranian Defence Ministry's innovation center, died as a result of a gunmen attack on Friday in the town of Absard in the Tehran region.

According to the Iranian news agency, the lawmakers assigned a double-urgency status to a bill and ratified it in a 232-14 vote at a session on Sunday.

The bill envisages increasing the uranium enrichment level to 20 percent or more — such uranium is considered a weapon-grade one. At the moment, Iran is enriching uranium at more than 4 percent, while the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) capped the level at 3.67 percent purity.

Nov 29 08:21

Iranians Burn Israeli, US Flags, Chant 'War with America' in Wake of Nuclear Scientist's Killing

A wave of outrage and condemnation has swept Iran and the Middle East in the wake of the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an Iranian nuclear physicist and the head of the Iranian Defence Ministry's innovation centre; he was gunned down in his vehicle in the town of Absard in the Tehran region.

Students identified as members of the Basij, the paramilitary unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, burned Israeli and American flags in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday in protest over the assassination of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, reported AFP.

?The students also burned photos of US President Donald Trump and the projected president-elect, Democrat Joe Biden.

Nov 29 08:03

Syria condemns ‘Zionist terrorist attack on science’ as Israel says it has ‘no clue’ who was behind Iranian scientist’s murder

Syria has condemned the assassination of top Iranian nuclear physicist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, calling it a chilling “terrorist attack on science”, as Israel denies involvement.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Faysal Mikdad denounced what he called a “cowardly act” in a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif. Offering his nation's condolences to Iran over the incident, Mikdad said that the murder was an attack against scientists and researchers the world over.

While Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was a senior Iranian nuclear physicist with alleged close connections to the defense industry, the Syrian minister praised his efforts in “advancing science and knowledge.” Earlier, Iran’s UN envoy said in a letter to the UN Secretary General that the scientist had played an “outstanding role in the development of the first indigenous Covid-19 test kit” in Iran.

Nov 29 07:42

Iran’s revenge for slain nuclear scientist could include missiles on Eilat

Analysis: Although the regime in Tehran is enraged by the brazen killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, it will most likely not react in a way that would destroy ties with the Biden administration before they even began, opting instead for more 'creative' alternatives

Nov 29 07:41

Iran newspaper: Strike Haifa if Israel killed scientist

According the hardline Kayhan newspaper an attack on Israel's northern city must be greater than Iran’s ballistic missile strike against American troops in Iraq following the killing of Soleimani by the U.S. in January

Nov 28 10:29

Trump Might Leave Scorched Earth on His Way Out. Netanyahu Is Happy to Lend Him a Lighter

The president's frantic tweets after the news broke of top Iranian nuclear scientist's assassination make it clear his administration gave its blessing to the Tehran attack attributed to Israel. Could this be Trump's final frenzy?

Nov 28 10:07

Israel Assassinates Iranian Nuclear Scientist Near Tehran

Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in a Mossad hit on Friday while driving down the street in his own country in a suburb near their capital of Tehran.

[...] Trump retweeted Israeli journalist Yossi Melman saying Mossad wanted him dead and "his death is a major psychological and professional blow for Iran."

Nov 28 08:37

‘Criminal act’: Ex-CIA chief urges Iran to wait on ‘return of responsible US leaders’ before reacting to nuclear scientist killing

Former CIA Director John Brennan has commented on the killing of a top Iranian nuclear scientist by urging Tehran to wait for “return of responsible American leadership” before taking retaliation against suspected perpetrators.

Amid speculation about the involvement of both Israel and the US in the alleged assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Brennan dubbed the death “a criminal act [and] highly reckless.”

“It risks lethal retaliation & a new round of regional conflict,” he said of the Friday attack, which reportedly included unknown assailants attacking Fakhrizadeh and his security forces.

Nov 28 08:35

Intelligence officials: Israel behind elimination of Iranian scientist

Three intelligence officials told The New York Times on Friday that Israel was behind the attack in which senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was eliminated.

It is unclear how much the United States may have known about the operation in advance, according to The New York Times, and the White House declined to comment.

Fakhrizadeh has been considered the driving force behind Iran’s nuclear weapons program for two decades, and continued to work after the main part of the effort was quietly disbanded in the early 2000s.

Earlier on Friday, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said there were “serious indications” that Israel was involved in the elimination of a top nuclear scientist and called on the international community to condemn the elimination.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” tweeted Zarif.

Nov 28 08:22

Iran Blames Israel, US For Assassination Of Top Nuclear Scientist

Update 2: Iran accused Israel and the U.S. of organizing the assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists on Friday and vowed revenge, sharply escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the head of research and innovation at Iran’s Ministry of Defense, and was also viewed internationall as the head of Iran's nuclear weapons program. He was killed close to the Damavand campus of Islamic Azad University, about 60 kilometers east of central Tehran, Iran's Tasnim news reported.

"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet. Iran’s army also accused the U.S. of bearing responsibility. Curiously, Trump retweeted a New York Times report on Fakhrizadeh’s killing without commenting.

Nov 28 08:19

Killing of Top Iranian Scientist Raises Risk of Regional War

The killing of a top Iranian scientist on Friday could risk a major war in the region, with all signs pointing to Israel being responsible. The assassination came after a report said President Trump reviewed options to strike an Iranian nuclear site at an Oval Office meeting earlier this month.

Although officials left the meeting assuming a military strike was off the table, other options were left open. Three intelligence officials told The New York Times that Israel was responsible for killing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. If Israel carried out the assassination, it raises questions about how much the US knew about the operation.

The Times story on Fakhrizadeh’s killing reads: “It was unclear how much the United States may have known about the operation in advance, but the two nations are the closest of allies and have long shared intelligence regarding Iran.”

Nov 28 08:01

Five scientists in 10 years: Iran's nuclear physicists are top targets for assassins

To be a nuclear scientist in Iran is to be in danger. During the past decade, at least four had been killed in vehicle bombings and shootouts, and several others were targeted but survived.

On Friday, the alleged architect of Iran’s military nuclear programme joined their ranks. Armed assassins gunned down Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in his car in an ambush in Absard city, outside the capital Tehran.

Fakhrizadeh, an officer in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), has been known as one of Iran's most celebrated physicists because of his work on the country's nuclear programme, Project 111.

Nov 28 07:56

Anti-Iran Saber Rattling

For over 40 years, the US never attacked Iranian territory — other than by covert operations.

Tehran’s legitimate nuclear energy program has no military component — confirmed time and again by the IAEA and US intelligence community assessments.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh earlier said the following:

According to US National Intelligence Estimates on Iran’s nuclear program, “there is no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any effort to build the bomb,” adding:

“Despite years of covert operations inside Iran, extensive satellite imagery, and the recruitment of many Iranian intelligence assets, the United States and its allies, including Israel, have been unable to find irrefutable evidence of an ongoing hidden nuclear-weapons program in Iran…”

It’s because none exists, not now or earlier.

Iran’s nuclear program is the world’s most heavily monitored by IAEA inspectors.

Nov 28 07:47

Israeli Embassies Reportedly 'On High Alert' as Iran's Ayatollah Vows Revenge for Scientist's Murder

On Friday, top-ranking Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in the town of Absard near Tehran. Iran condemned Fakhrizadeh's assassination as an act of terrorism, which Foreign Minister Zarif blamed on Israel.

Israeli embassies around the world have increased their level of alert, Israel's N12 News reported. According to the media outlet, Jewish communities throughout the world were also advised to stay vigilant.

The report comes as Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei strongly condemned the killing of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, calling for the perpetrators of the crime to be punished.

In a tweet, Khamenei added that the scientific work Fakhrizadeh was involved in will continue to be pursued.

Nov 28 07:46

Unrelated to Scientist's Murder? US Reportedly Sends Warships to Persian Gulf As 'Message to Iran'

The United States is moving its USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and other warships into the Persian Gulf to support the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, CNN reported on Saturday, adding that the decision was made before the assassination of Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

The broadcaster is citing an unnamed US defence official, who confirmed that the move was decided before the report about the killing of Fakhrizadeh but would still serve as a message to Tehran.

The Iranian Defense Ministry said on Friday that the head of its research and innovation centre, Fakhrizadeh, had been killed. Earlier on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Israel of being behind the killing of the nuclear physicist, while Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi has warned the US and Israel against "adventuristic" steps.

Nov 28 07:45

Nimitz carrier group returns to Persian Gulf after drills, in ‘pre-planned’ move not related to Iranian scientist murder – report

A US aircraft carrier and other warships are headed to the Persian Gulf to bolster troop withdrawals in the region, a defense source told CNN, insisting the deployment is unrelated to the recent murder of a top Iranian scientist.

The Nimitz carrier strike group – led by the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and backed by several guided-missile destroyers – will soon resume operations in the Persian Gulf region, CNN’s Barbara Starr reported on Friday, citing an anonymous Pentagon official.

The ships will provide “combat support and air cover as US troops withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan” by mid-January under orders from President Donald Trump, moving a sizable arsenal into the region just months before he is set to leave office.

Nov 28 07:44

Iran warns US & Israel against any ‘adventurism’ during Trump’s ‘final’ days in office after murder of scientist — letter to UN

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations has called on Washington and Tel Aviv to avoid “adventuristic measures” after the assassination of a top Iranian scientist, while also alleging “serious indications” of Israeli involvement.

The Islamic Republic's UN envoy Majid Takht Ravanchi penned a harshly worded letter to the international body on Friday, blasting the “terrorist assassination” of leading nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by unknown assailants earlier on Friday morning, while also warning that Tehran would retaliate to any brash moves taken by Israel or the US.

Nov 27 13:48

Iran Blames Israel, US For Assassination Of Top Nuclear Scientist

Iran accused Israel and the U.S. of organizing the assassination of one of its top nuclear scientists on Friday and vowed revenge, sharply escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf in the final weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was the head of research and innovation at Iran’s Ministry of Defense, and was also viewed internationall as the head of Iran's nuclear weapons program. He was killed close to the Damavand campus of Islamic Azad University, about 60 kilometers east of central Tehran, Iran's Tasnim news reported.

"Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a tweet. Iran’s army also accused the U.S. of bearing responsibility. Curiously, Trump retweeted a New York Times report on Fakhrizadeh’s killing without commenting.

Nov 27 12:05

Iran Accuses Israel Of Seeking To Provoke "Full-Blown War" With Brazen Assassination

Since news broke hours ago of the assassination of Iran's top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, on the streets in a city just east of Tehran, Iranian leaders have blamed an Israeli assassination plot.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said there were "Serious indications of Israeli role" in killing of Fakhrizadeh, who subsequently died of his wounds in a hospital. What Iran has dubbed a terrorist attack reportedly involved a hail of machine gun fire and a suicide bomber explosion.

And a top military adviser to Iran's supreme leader and former IRGC general issued a similar allegation on Twitter. Hossein Dehghan wrote:

"In the last days of their gambling ally’s political life, the Zionists seek to intensify and increase pressure on Iran to wage a full-blown war," Dehghan wrote, appearing to refer to U.S. President Donald Trump. "We will descend like lightning on the killers of this oppressed martyr and we will make them regret their actions!"

Nov 27 09:19

Head Of Iran's Nuclear Weapons Project Assassinated

Amid speculation that Israel is on war footing over a possible strike in Iran in the coming weeks, moments ago Iranian state media reported that the country's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Damavand, east of Tehran. He was reportedly accompanied by his bodyguard when they were attacked by a “suicide” attacker at the entrance of Absard town.

According to Iran Front Page News, Fakhrizadeh was killed by shooting, but before the shootout, his car has been stopped with an explosion at Mostafa Khomeini Blvd. Several others are also reportedly killed in the incident, but haven’t been identified yet.

Nov 26 02:18

Video: Iran swaps Israel’s spy for three nationals jailed abroad

"...Kylie Moore-Gilbert was freed from Tehran’s Evin prison on Wednesday morning after serving about two years of her 10-year jail term.

She was swapped for an Iranian businessman and two other nationals incarcerated abroad on delusional accusations, Iranian news agencies reported.

The three Iranians were detained for attempting to circumvent illegal sanctions against the Islamic Republic, the reports said.

Footage from the prisoner swap was aired on Iran’s state television on Wednesday.

IRNA news agency reported that Moore-Gilbert had passed a two-year special training course for her spying mission.

During the course, she became fluent in Persian and was prepared to perform espionage activities inside Iran..."

Nov 25 12:13

Israeli Military Prepares For Possible Trump Preemptive Attack On Iran: Axios

With just weeks to go to President-Elect Joe Biden's being inaugurated on January 20, Axios reports that Israel is preparing for the possibility that Trump will launch a preemptive attack on Iran.

Axios' Barak Ravid reports from Tel Aviv that "The Israel Defense Forces have in recent weeks been instructed to prepare for the possibility that the U.S. will conduct a military strike against Iran before President Trump leaves office, senior Israeli officials tell me."

While not citing specific intelligence, Ravid says Israeli military and intelligence leaders are anticipating "a very sensitive period" just ahead of the inauguration and Trump's exiting the White House.

Nov 25 07:22

“Coup 1953” Documentary Opens Up Wounds Over Britain’s Criminal Role in Iran’s History

“Angry TV film-makers stop release of lauded Iranian documentary,” ran the headline of a recent Guardian news story. What documentary exactly is this? We learn: “Coup 53, which charts MI6’s role in the shah’s restoration, has been blocked by makers of a 1985 show, who say it sullies their names.”

The makers of that show, the British TV series End of Empire, deny that the UK government put any pressure on them to remove an interview with an MI6 officer from their series (they say it was an off the record interview). For this reason they are preventing the release of a film that documents Britain’s treachery back in the 1950s, when a vicious act of state-sponsored terrorism was perpetrated against an entire nation.

Nov 25 06:20

Saudi Arabia Receives Dangerous Gifts From Houthi-Iranian Alliance

The Yemeni Houthis have fired their new cruise missile, the Quds-2, at a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in the kingdom’s city of Jeddah, the group’s media news wing announced early on November 23. A spokesperson for the Armed Forces of the Houthi-led government, Yahya Sarea, said foreign companies and residents in Saudi Arabia should stay away from the military and oil infrastructure of Saudi Arabia as “operations will continue”. He emphasized that the missile precisely hit its target causing notable damage.

Nov 25 06:08

With clock ticking, many fear a Trump military move against Iran

Tensions and anticipation are building up as the transfer of power starts in Washington with the incoming administration expected to reverse US President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign against Iran and return to the nuclear deal.

Last week, Trump - according to the New York Times - asked to assess military options for a possible strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Tehran has warned of a "crushing response" if it is attacked.

On Tuesday, Middle East Eye correspondent Suadad al-Salhy reported that Iranian officials, worried that Trump may "drag the region into an open war before leaving", have instructed their Iraqi allies to halt attacks on US troops and interests.

Nov 25 06:06

Pompeo’s Trip to Israel: That Says It All

In the most telling formulation of the of the Middle East peace deals uttered by an American spokesman since they were signed, Pompeo made it clear that the deals were really about two things: aggressively confronting Iran and setting the precedent that deals could be made in the middle east without considering the Palestinians while cementing the occupation.

Nov 24 12:42

In  threat to Iran, US sends heavy bombers to Middle East via Israel

The United States this week rapidly deployed several heavy bombers to the Middle East this week in an apparent threat to Iran, amid swirling speculation that US President Donald Trump plans to take military action against Tehran before President-elect Joe Biden enters office.

US Central Command said the planes were sent into the region “to deter aggression and reassure US partners and allies.”

In a highly irregular move, the B-52H Stratofortress planes were seen flying toward Israeli airspace on Saturday en route to the base where they will be stationed, likely in Qatar. The aircraft were spotted on civilian tracking software approaching Israel before they apparently turned off their transponders, rendering them invisible on those applications.

It was the third time in the past year and a half that B-52 bombers, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons and other powerful munitions, have been deployed to the region in

Nov 22 11:46

In Apparent Message to Biden, Netanyahu Warns World Powers Against Reentering 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that world powers must not reenter the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, in a message seemingly directed towards U.S. President-elect Joe Biden.

Speaking at the annual commemoration ceremony for Israel's first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, Netanyahu said, "we must uphold an uncompromised policy to guarantee that Iran doesn't develop nuclear weapons.

"Thanks to our firm stance to prevent the nuclearization of Iran and our objection to the nuclear accord, many Arab countries have fundamentally changed their approach towards Israel," Netanyahu added.

Nov 22 11:44

Iran vows to crush any Israeli attempt to hit its "advisory" role in Syria

Foreign Minister denies Islamic Republic have military forces in Syria and says it has sent commandos to the country as military advisers for as long as they are needed; denies Iranian deaths in latest Israeli strike on Damascus

Nov 22 11:11

Iran Vows Crushing Blow to Israel

Nov 22 08:25

Message to Iran: B-52 bombers deployed to Middle East

The U.S. military deployed B-52 bombers to the Middle East Saturday, just days after the Trump administration announced a partial withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

U.S. Central Command said the U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews conducted the mission on "short notice" to "deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies."

“The ability to quickly move forces into, out of and around the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative is key to deterring potential aggression," said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force commander.

"These missions help bomber aircrews gain familiarity with the region’s airspace and command, and control functions and allow them to integrate with the theater’s U.S. and partner air assets, increasing the combined force’s overall readiness.”

Nov 20 11:06

President Trump Sets Tripwire For Attack on Iran

A report from The New York Times that said President Trump considered attacking an Iranian nuclear facility raised fears of a possible US strike on Iran before January 20th. An official familiar with the meeting told The Washington Post that while a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear program was off the table, President Trump is ready to respond to attacks in the region that can be tied to Iran.

According to the official, Trump emphasized that any killing of an American that can be “tied back to instructions from Iran” will spark an immediate US response. The official said the president was “very forceful” and that if Iranians kill Americans, the US response will be swift and painful.

Nov 20 11:06

Pompeo Brags About Destroying Iran’s Economy as US Slaps on New Sanctions

The US slapped new sanctions on Iran on Wednesday, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement defending the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign where he boasted about the damage it has done to Iran’s economy.

“The Maximum Pressure campaign against the Iranian regime continues to be extraordinarily effective,” Pompeo said. “Today, Iran’s economy faces a currency crisis, mounting public debt, and rising inflation. Prior to the Maximum Pressure campaign, Iran was exporting nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil per day. Now it struggles to export even a quarter of that volume.”

Pompeo warned against lifting the sanctions, a clear message to the incoming Biden administration. The diplomat closed his statement promising additional sanctions. “Throughout the coming weeks and months, we will impose new sanctions on Iran,” he said.

Nov 20 08:34

Escalation: Iran Is Going Out Of Their Way To Get Trump To Order A Bombing Raid On Them

Tehran is fueling the high-tech IR-2m machines at Natanz, in violation of an international agreement to only use first-generation IR-1 machines.

Trump had an Oval Office conference last week where he was 'talked out of' launching strikes on Iran after a former UN report revealed a massive rise in nuclear stockpiles in breach of the Obama-era pact which Trump abandoned in 2018.

Nov 20 07:05

Israel may launch preemptive strike on Iran Post-Trump: Former US National Security Advisor

Ahead of the election, the Biden campaign hinted at the need to “renegotiate” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran nuclear deal, an idea which Tehran rejected out of hand. Israel lobbied Washington intensely to pull out of the JCPOA, and has threatened military action against Tehran if the latter were to obtain nuclear weapons.

Israel may launch preemptive military strikes against Iran after President Donald Trump is out of office, former Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has indicated.

“Israel follows the Begin Doctrine, which means that they will not accept a hostile state having the most destructive weapons on Earth,” McMaster said, speaking to Fox News.

Nov 20 07:05

Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to go to war with Iran

European intelligence officials are alarmed about the possibility of military action towards Iran in the waning days of the Trump administration.? Concern that Trump — who has pushed for maximum pressure on Iran — or a combination of Israel or Saudi Arabia creating a military confrontation in the waning days of the administration has been a concern for over a week, according to three European intelligence officials who spoke with Insider.

The news that last week the president requested a list of military options from his military and diplomatic advisors has sent these concerns into overdrive.?

Nov 19 12:37

ISRAELI WINGS OVER SYRIA. TRUMP’S FAREWELL STRIKE ON IRAN

The Israeli Air Force is once again bombing targets in Syria amid growing turbulence in the Greater Middle East.

Early on November 18, the Israeli Air Force conducted a series of strikes on targets in Syria. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that the strikes hit “warehouses, command posts and military complexes, and batteries of surface-to-air missiles” belonging to the Syrian Army and the Iranian Quds Force. In total, the strikes reportedly hit 8 targets including the following:

an alleged Iranian military complex near Damascus International Airport;

some mysterious secret military barracks which act as a housing complex for senior Iranian officials as well as visiting delegations;

a command post for Division 7 of the Syrian Army which allegedly cooperates with the Quds Force;

surface-to-air missile launchers which had fired in the direction of the Israeli jets during the strikes.

Nov 16 10:33

IRGC fires artillery on terrorist positions across Iran’s northwest border

Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has launched an artillery attack on positions held by terrorist groups across the country’s northwestern border.

In a statement released on Saturday, the Hamzeh Seyed al-Shohada Base said the IRGC’s ground forces had targeted the positions of counter-revolutionary outfits and inflicted heavy damage and casualties on them.

“As it has repeatedly been declared, maintaining national security, peace and comfort of the Iranian nation, especially the people living in border provinces, is the red line of the country’s Armed Forces, especially the IRGC’s ground forces,” the statement read, warning that terrorists will be punished for their shameful and criminal acts.

On Friday, three Iranian border guards were killed and two others wounded in clashes with armed counter-revolutionary elements in the Targavar district of West Azarbaijan Province.

Nov 14 06:57

Coronavirus: Selfless Iranian Teacher Dies While Teaching on Hospital Bed

"...Maryam Arbabi, one of the committed teachers of Garmeh city in Iran’s North Khorasan province, who was teaching on the hospital bed, passed away after days of fighting the coronavirus.

Working for 22 years, Arbabi was a primary school teacher in Garmeh, who despite her illness and hospitalization in the intensive care unit and acute respiratory condition, did not stop teaching the students even in the last moments of her life..."

Nov 12 06:04

Iran's Mega South Pars Gas Field Nears Completion

The net present value of Iran’s supergiant South Pars natural gas field has jumped from an estimated US$116 billion at this point last year to US$135 billion now, a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry exclusively told OilPrice.com last week. The key reason behind this valuation boost is that progress across all areas of the development, including the controversial Phase 11, has picked up pace on the back of an increase in the involvement of various Chinese companies who operate under the U.S.’s sanctions radar through individual contact-only projects, not as official field developers. Given this, it is now expected by Iran’s Petroleum Ministry that the entire South Pars project will be producing at or near fully Phase 1 capacity well in advance of the March 2022 official completion date.

Nov 11 06:24

Trump Admin Plans to Pile On More Iran Sanctions Every Week Until Biden’s Inauguration

According to a report from Axios, the Trump administration is coordinating with Israel and several Gulf states to slap sanctions on Iran every week until Joe Biden is inaugurated as president on January 20th.

The report was published on Sunday and cites Israeli sources who said the Trump administration plans to make it as difficult as possible for Biden to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. “The goal is to slap as many sanctions as possible on Iran until January 20th,” one source said.

The sanctions will be imposed on Iran for its ballistic missiles program, the Islamic Republic’s support for groups in other countries in the Middle East, and alleged human rights violations.

Nov 07 12:50

Cuba, Iran FMs discuss boosting bilateral coop. in all fields

"...Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who has arrived in Havana on Friday in order to hold talks with Cuban officials, met with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed and emphasized the development of bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, and international fields..."

Nov 06 10:34

Israeli Official Warns of War With Iran if Biden Returns to Nuclear Deal

An Israeli official said that if Joe Biden wins the US presidential election and returns to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it could lead to a war between Iran and Israel.

Israel’s Settlement Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, a member of the right-wing Likud party, made the comments on Wednesday night. “Biden has said openly for a long time that he will go back to the nuclear agreement,” he said. “I see that as something that will lead to a confrontation between Israel and Iran.”

Biden has said that he would work with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal if he is elected president. “If Biden stays with that policy, there will, in the end, be a violent confrontation between Israel and Iran,” Hanegbi.

Hanegbi told Israeli media that he and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw the 2015 nuclear deal as “mistaken – and that’s an understatement.”

Nov 04 12:04

US Cyber Command, NSA Undertook Ops Against Iran Prior to US Election - Report

The head of US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM) and the National Security Agency (NSA) told reporters Tuesday the US had carried out cyber ops against Iran to ensure it did not interfere with the US elections.

US Army Gen. Paul Nakasone, who heads both CYBERCOM and the NSA, told reporters Tuesday he was “very confident in actions” taken against Iran “over the past several weeks and the past several months to make sure that they’re not going to interfere in our elections,” the Washington Post reported.

However, the cyber chief gave no specific information about the operations.

Nakasone said that while they were watching for interference in the US election, “I just don’t see the levels that we had seen” in 2018. During that election, too, the wild claims about planned interference by Russia failed to materialize, leaving the media strangely silent during the November day of decision.

Nov 04 07:06

Iran Mocks Washington "Pirates Of The Caribbean" For Selling Seized Fuel For $40 Million

Not for the first time Iran has slammed the United States as "the pirates of the Caribbean" after the Department of Justice announcement late last week boasting that 1.1 million barrels in petroleum recently seized from four Iranian tankers bound for Venezuela were sold for $40 million.

The DOJ had alleged that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) operatives were behind the clandestine shipments of fuel and weapons meant to circumvent sanctions. "We estimate that in excess of $40 million will be recouped by the United States related to the sale of petroleum from those four vessels," acting US attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin the told reporters last week.

In response Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh tweeted: "The Pirates of the Caribbean openly boasting about their booty..." And he added: "No one civilized brags [about] stealing."

Nov 03 07:34

No Letup in US War on Iran by Other Means Ahead

On all things Iran under both right wings of the US war party, transforming the country into a subservient vassal state is a high priority.

Regardless of whether Republicans or Dems control the White House and/or Congress, things won’t change ahead.

That’s been firm policy in Washington since Iranians ended a generation of US-installed fascist tyranny in 1979.

Since that time, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been target No. One in the oil-rich Middle East for regime change by Washington’s ruling class.

Bipartisan US policy aims to regain control over the country’s vast hydrocarbon resources — along with wanting Israel’s main regional rival neutralized.

Nov 03 07:14

New US Sanctions are Choking Iran’s Insulin Supplies

When the Trump administration announced it was sanctioning 18 Iranian banks in October, essentially blacklisting Iran’s entire financial sector, US officials insisted there would be exemptions for humanitarian goods. But Iranians are already feeling the squeeze the sanctions have put on the country’s medical supplies.

Iranian doctors and patients spoke with Middle East Eye about the impact the new US sanctions are having on Iran’s insulin supply, something already restricted by earlier US sanctions.

“It has been a year since insulin pens have disappeared from all pharmacies,” Niloofar Zolfaghari, a journalist whose father is in desperate need of insulin, told Middle East Eye. “But in the past few weeks, things have worsened as we can’t even find anything in the black market to buy.”

Oct 29 06:54

Satellite Images Show Iran Rebuilding Natanz Nuclear Centrifuge Site After Sabotage 

Iran has launched a major construction project at its controversial Natanz nuclear facility according to satellite imagery featured Wednesday in the Associated Press. Allegedly an underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant is being reconstituted after it was previously destroyed by fire.

A mystery blast and fire on July 2nd had disabled operations at the facility, which later in the summer Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization declared was an act of sabotage and not due to an accident. It's widely believed that Israeli intelligence was behind the sabotage to disable advanced centrifuge operations there.

Oct 27 06:36

Covert strikes against Iran recount Israeli campaign against Iraq

The country had become an existential threat. It was ruled by a megalomaniac who wanted Israel eliminated. And now he wanted a nuclear bomb.

The leader claimed his nuclear program was purely a civilian program, but Israel knew that was not true. So, it set the program back. Israel undertook covert assassinations of nuclear scientists. And, when that did not work, it blew up a nuclear facility.

But the country wasn’t Iran. This was Iraq under Saddam Hussein who came to power in 1979 and ruled for 24 years. To challenge the nuclear program, Israel used assassinations, sabotage and targeted strikes in Iraq, a signature that is today found in Iran.

Oct 27 06:17

US Imposes Fresh Sanctions on Iran Ahead of Election

With an eye toward potentially limiting Joe Biden’s room to move if he wins the election, the Trump Administration has imposed a new series of sanctions against Iran, targeting the nation’s oil industry, already heavily sanctioned, with counter-terrorism limits.

Built around labeling the Quds Force as terrorists, the US is linking several other parts of Iran’s economy, from the petroleum ministry to the National Iranian Tanker Company, to be terrorists by the same token.

Beyond generally targeting Iran, the US measures are built around keeping Iran, which the US broadly forbids to sell oil and gas, from selling oil and gas to Syria and Venezuela. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says this should “serve as a warning.”

Oct 27 06:10

Ashkenazi tells Russian FM Iranian entrenchment in Syria must be prevented

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi met his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, for the first time on Monday, thanking him for working with the Jewish state “on preventing an Iranian entrenchment in Syria.”

Meeting during a diplomatic visit to the Greek capital of Athens, Ashkenazi updated Lavrov on developments on the normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan, as well as the issue of Iran and its proxy terror groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Oct 26 15:13

Trump threatens to destroy any Iranian missiles shipped to Venezuela after President Maduro announced plan to buy more weapons after UN arms embargo expired

The United States has threatened to destroy any long-range missiles sent to Venezuela from Iran, after a UN embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons expired last week.

The warning comes a few days after Venezuela President Nicholas Maduro announced the creation of a Scientific and Technological Military Council that will seek the independence of the country in terms of its weapons system with the help of 'sister' nations, among which he mentioned China, Russia, Iran and Cuba.

There's no confirmation that a shipment is imminent however a US official said the countries are likely to do arms deals.

Oct 26 05:51

Iran troops deployed on border near Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Sunday they have deployed troops along the border with Azerbaijan and Armenia, following stray fire from the fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Units of (the Guards) ground forces have been dispatched to and stationed in the region," their commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

Their mission was "to protect national interests and maintain peace and security".

Oct 25 11:09

Abraham Accord: Experts Warn Trump Peace Deal a Precursor to War with Iran 10/06/20

"Experts warn that the Accord is motivated by a desire to secure a united front against Iran for a potential future war — a conflict that would likely make Iraq and Afghanistan look mild by comparison."

Oct 24 07:38

Iran Armed Forces warn Armenia, Azerbaijan of tough response if border security red lines violated

Iran has warned the warring sides in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict about a tough response if its border security is jeopardized.

“While strengthening defensive [measures] in Iran’s border lines, the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic announce that security in the border areas and of the Iranian people are their red line,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi, the spokesman of the Armed Forces, said on Friday.

Iran’s Armed Forces, he added, remind the two conflicting countries to be watchful of the mischief exercised by foreigners and peacefully settle issues through dialog.

The Iranian official cautioned the adversaries against endangering Iran’s territorial boundaries and the security of its citizens.

Oct 24 07:07

Trump’s quiet war against civilians in Iran continues amid the pandemic

With people in Iran already suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and crippling U.S. sanctions, the Trump administration earlier this month unveiled yet another set of sanctions that could restrict Iranians’ access to food and medicine even further.

This move has gone largely unnoticed in the United States, with the first presidential debate passing without mention of Trump’s disastrous “maximum pressure” policy on Iran. But for Iranians, it is impossible to ignore.

Oct 23 07:02

Iran To Import North Korean Missiles In 25-Year Military Deal With China

Following the end on the 18th of October of the 13-year United Nations’ embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons, the roll-out of the military component of the 25-year deal between China and Iran will begin in November, as exclusively revealed by Oil Price.com.

Oct 23 06:40

Trump Regime Exerts Maximum Pressure on Iran: A Crime Against Humanity

On Sunday, the UN arms embargo on Iran its ruling authorities voluntarily accepted ended.

Iran is now once again free to buy and sell conventional arms — what many other countries do unrestrained.

Key to understand is that the Islamic Republic wants weapons for defense, not offense.

Its ruling authorities are at war with no one. They threaten no one.

They prioritize world peace, stability, and cooperative relations with other countries.

Their agenda is polar opposite how the US, NATO, and Israel operate — belligerents threatening everyone everywhere.

Oct 23 06:10

Iran sentences 5 Bahai women to overall 5 years of prison

Five Bahai women in Mashhad, northeastern Iran, were sentenced to a total of five years of prison by the Revolutionary Court.

On October 19 the 3rd Branch of the Mashhad Revolutionary Court sentenced Nika Pakzadan, Faraneh Daneshgari, Sanaz Eshaghi, Nekisa Hajipour, and Naghmeh Zabihian to one year of prison each for “spreading propaganda against the state by being Bahai”.

Oct 22 06:02

US Rejects Russia’s Gulf Security Proposal at UN, Blames Iran

At the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for a collective security effort in the Persian Gulf to prevent a full-scale war from breaking out in the region. According to AP News, the proposal got strong support from all Security Council members except the US, who unsurprisingly blamed the region’s instability on Iran.

Washington brought the region to the brink of a major war in January when the US killed Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. Lavrov mentioned the assassination and said the worst-case scenario was avoided, but “the situation remains fragile and could become dangerous and unpredictable again.”

Oct 22 05:31

US officials link Iran to emails meant to intimidate voters

U.S. officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.

The officials did not lay out specific evidence for how they came to pinpoint Iran, but the activities attributed to Tehran would mark a significant escalation for a country some cybersecurity experts regard as a second-rate player in online espionage. The announcement was made at a hastily called news conference 13 days before the election.

Oct 21 07:49

WITH AN EYE ON NEARBY IRAN, ISRAELI WEAPONS FUEL THE VIOLENCE IN AZERBAIJAN

The latest iteration of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which has already claimed the lives of dozens of people, had been largely forgotten by the world before hostilities reignited in September. Only the collapse of the Soviet Union was able to bring about the end of the last war between these entrenched enemies in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, almost a quarter of a century later, the still contested region claimed under international law by Azerbaijan and de facto controlled by its ethnic Armenian majority has fallen under a new spell of violence thanks in large part to external actors vying for a larger war with another neighboring country: Iran.

Three weeks ago, a dispute over a piece of territory in the Caucasus Mountains erupted into a hot war between the two former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, sending civilians in Nagorno-Karabakh to seek cover in their basements from the aerial drone strikes raining death and destruction from above.

Oct 20 07:11

Iran will give 'direct, clear' response to any Israeli threat in Persian Gulf: Defense minister

Iran’s defense minister says the Islamic Republic will give a "clear and direct" response to any possible Israeli threat against its interests in the Persian Gulf.

In an interview with Aljazeera network, published on Monday, Brigadier General Amir Hatami reflected on a recent measure by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to fully normalize relations with Israel through deals mediated by the administration of US President Donald Trump, noting that such a measure will pose a direct threat to security of the entire Persian Gulf region.

He added, “Any threat posed by the Zionist regime in the Persian Gulf [against Iran’s interests] will be faced with a direct and clear response.”

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed the controversial normalization agreements with Israel at the White House on September 15, amid outrage across Palestine and the Muslim world at the Arab regimes’ betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

Oct 20 07:06

Iran To Import North Korean missiles In 25-Year Military Deal With China

Following the end on the 18th of October of the 13-year United Nations’ embargo on Iran buying or selling weapons, the roll-out of the military component of the 25-year deal between China and Iran will begin in November, as exclusively revealed by Oil Price.com.

Oct 20 06:09

Escobar: There Won't Be An Iranian 'October Surprise'

No Washington-designed “maximum pressure” has been able to derail a crucial milestone this Sunday: the end of the UN arms embargo on Iran, in accordance with UN Security Council 2231, which has endorsed the 2015 JCPOA deal.

The JCPOA – or Iran nuclear deal – was unilaterally ditched by the Trump administration. But that, notoriously, did not prevent it from engaging in a massive campaign since April to convince the proverbial “allies” to extend the arms embargo and simultaneously trigger a snapback mechanism, thus re-imposing all UN sanctions on Tehran.

Foad Izadi, professor of International Studies at Tehran University, summed it all up:

“The US wanted to overthrow the government in Iran but failed obviously, they wanted to get more concessions out of Iran, but they have not been successful and they actually lost concessions. So the policy of maximum pressure campaign has failed.”

Oct 19 07:41

The Ridiculous Distortions of the Iran Obsession

Mike Pompeo gave an interview with Newsmax TV this week, and during that interview he made one of the most ridiculous statements he has uttered during his short, embarrassing tenure as Secretary of State:

The most important thing that President Trump did was recognize that the nuclear deal was dumb, that it was bad for America, that it presented real risk. And so he ripped America out of that back in May of 2018. Since then, we have taken a fundamentally different approach to stability in the Middle East. We recognize the Islamic Republic of Iran as the greatest threat to that peace – the greatest threat, frankly, to Americans all across this great country [bold mine-DL]. And so we have put enormous costs on the regime itself.

Pompeo knows as well as anyone that Iran poses no real threat to Americans in the U.S., so it is risible and dishonest for him to assert that Iran is somehow the “greatest threat” to Americans here.

Oct 19 06:51

Russia weighs military cooperation with Iran after arms embargo expiration: Foreign Ministry

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says Moscow will consider military technical cooperation with Iran in line with mutual interests after the expiration of a United Nations arms embargo on Tehran.

“We are convinced that all possibilities stemming from the expiration of the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that are linked with military technical cooperation with Iran will be duly taken into account and used on the basis of mutual benefit and in the interests of the peoples of our two states,” Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

She was referring to the resolution that endorsed a multilateral 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers, including Russia.

All the parties to the talks about Iran’s nuclear program were aware from the very beginning that there is no link between restrictions on weapons supplies to Tehran and the settlement of issues pertaining to its nuclear program, added Zakharova.

Oct 19 06:24

'Made In Iran' Movement Bolsters "Resistance Economy" To Beat Trump Sanctions

For the few international travelers which have walked the streets of either Tehran or Damascus at any point in recent history, it comes as a bit of a shock and pleasant surprise to see so few Western brands, companies and chains on the streets in all cities.

Even Egypt has multiple McDonald's and Burger King restaurants, but after years of sanctions and international isolation, in Iran and Syria the streets are lined only with locally-owned stores, restaurants, and clothing brands. To a large degree, these wartime and sanctions adaptable economies have allowed these countries to stay afloat even as the West essentially wages economic warfare, but just barely.

Oct 19 06:23

As UN Arms Embargo Expires, Iran Celebrates "Clear Reality" Of US Defeat

Today the United Nations weapons embargo on Iran expires which has been in effect for 13 years but was negotiated to end on Oct.18 as a key stipulation of the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA) brokered under Obama. The Trump administration has tried to fight the expiration of the embargo tooth and nail while claiming authority to enact snap back sanctions.

Iranian officials on Sunday hailed it as a "clear reality" of the defeat of the US on this front, with the ambassador to to the UK quoted in state-run IRNA saying, "Today the international community once again expressed support for multilateralism and openly opposed to the U.S. attempt to prevent the implementation of one of the significant achievements of international diplomacy."

He underscored that "The US has been defeated in its diplomacy and this is a clear reality."

Oct 19 06:12

As Iran Arms Embargo Expires, Pompeo Threatens Anyone Who Sells to Iran

After months of US opposition, the Iran arms embargo at the UN has expired, and despite the US opposition, UN officials are uniform in agreement that it actually has expired. Don’t tell that to the Trump Administration though, as they insist it’s still in place.

Reflecting US promises to enforce the non-existent embargo themselves, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to impose US sanctions on any nations that sell arms to Iran, or offer them training or services.

That’s been the US position since they failed to extend the embargo, but it’s not clear it will actually do anything, as the nations most likely to provide Iran with arms and services, Russia and China, will almost certainly ignore US threats the same way they do on everything else Iran-related.

Oct 19 06:09

Gantz: Israel will do whatever it takes to stop Iran rearming as UN embargo ends

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday vowed to take “whatever measures necessary” to prevent Iran from purchasing weapons after a United Nations arms embargo against the country ended despite an American effort to extend it.

Earlier on Sunday, the Iranian foreign ministry announced that it considered the ban on weapons sales to be fully over.

Oct 18 21:14

Defense Minister says Iran will sell weapons to countries despised by US

"...Iran’s defense minister says the country is going to support the countries that seek to defend their existence now that the UN Security Council’s restrictions on Tehran’s arms trade are lifted.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran will sell arms to the countries despised by the Americans if they ask for it..."

Oct 18 06:45

Iran Threatens Response To Errant Missiles On Its Territory From Nagorno-Karabkh Conflict

Iran has warned both Azerbaijan and Armenia over multiple instances of errant missiles landing within Iranian territory amid fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region. Both countries share a border with Iran's northern provinces, and in some cases fighting has been so close to Iran's border than Iranian citizens are close enough to watch the battle unfold before their eyes.

On Thursday Iran's state media reported a major incident wherein at least 10 missiles landed to two Iranian villages of Khudaferin district. Iran's IRNA said one missile struck a house, injuring a civilian. Iran's foreign ministry promptly warned both sides of the war that harm to its citizens is a "red line" for which the Islamic Republic would respond.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA