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IRAN

Oct 23 05:53

Israel, Iran holding separate large scale aerial drills

As tensions continue to rise between Iran and Israel, both countries are holding large-scale aerial exercises.

Israel and seven nations – Germany, Italy, Britain, France, India, Greece and the US – are participating in Blue Flag 2021, the largest and most advanced aerial exercise ever held in the Jewish state.

This year’s drills will focus on the integration of fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft, including the F-35 Adir in complex operational scenarios, the Israeli military said.

Oct 22 07:24

Revealed: Biden rejected way forward in Iran deal talks

Iran’s delay in rejoining talks in Vienna to revive the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement has fueled speculation that the new Ebrahim Raisi government has lost interest in the accord. Its deepened mistrust, optimism about its China option, and confidence that it can weather American sanctions have shaped this conclusion, leaving Washington with no choice but to publicly threaten its own shift to more coercion under an undefined Plan B, the narrative goes.

But new information obtained by Responsible Statecraft reveals that that impasse is not because of an Iranian sense of immunity to pressure, but largely because President Joe Biden refused to commit to keeping sanctions lifted on Iran for the rest of his term, even if Iran rejoins and complies with the nuclear deal.

Oct 22 06:45

Israel Resumes Practicing Attacks on Iran

The Israeli Air Force has resumed, after a two-year pause, what is being described as “intense” drills to practice attacking Iran’s nuclear sites, a move that likely would start a major war.

This comes just days after a report that the Israeli government approved a $1.5 billion budget increase for the military explicitly to pay for preparations to attack Iran.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz defended the spending, saying it is necessary to prepare for the planned attack on Iran. This is expected to include acquiring new planes to participate in the attack.

Underpinning Israel’s on-again, off-again planning to attack are decades of efforts to get the United States to attack Iran instead. Usually Israel’s scaling up its own unilateral options is theater to try to pressure the US.

Oct 21 05:52

UN Experts Say US Sanctions on Iran are Causing Medical Shortages

A group of UN experts warned on Tuesday that US sanctions on Iran are causing medical shortages in the country.

US sanctions technically have exemptions for medical supplies and other humanitarian goods. But many companies and banks stop doing business altogether with countries targeted by the US over fears of sanctions.

“Many banks and businesses, including pharmaceutical and medical companies around the world, over-comply with sanctions out of fear of potential penalties,” the UN experts said.

One example the experts cited was the fact that patients suffering from a rare skin disease, known as epidermolysis bullosa (EB), have been unable to access a type of bandage that can prevent life-threatening infections.

“This is only one of many examples sadly illustrating the plight of thousands of people, including children, caused by over-compliance with sanctions by third parties out of fear of being sanctioned in turn,” the experts said.

Oct 20 10:30

Iran, Venezuela To Sign 20-Year Economic Cooperation Deal While Facing US Sanctions

Iran and Venezuela have announced a plan to sign a 20-year economic cooperation deal as the two countries continue to strengthen their trade relationship in the face of US pressure.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia met with his Iranian officials in Tehran on Monday. After meeting with Plasencia, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the deal will be signed when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visits Tehran in the "next few months."

The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the two diplomats "decided to hold a joint economic commission of the two countries in the near future and to compile and finalize a comprehensive plan for the 20-year economic cooperation between the two countries."

Oct 20 09:05

'The grim reaper for the enemy': CIA's 'legendary' Iran chief forced to retire

The CIA’s Iran chief, described by his colleagues as “legendary,” is being forced to retire as the center he oversees is folded back into the agency’s larger Middle East division, according to former CIA officials.

The official, Mike D’Andrea — nicknamed the “Dark Lord” or “Prince of Darkness” and known by the undercover name "Roger"— had been granted waivers that allowed him to continue working at the CIA past the mandatory retirement age, according to former agency officials. But the agency declined his most recent retirement exception, according to these officials. D’Andrea’s retirement was first reported by the New York Times.

“They decided not to extend him again,” said a former senior CIA official. “It was basically, ‘Look, you’re not going to go any higher, we need new thinking, we need new people,’ and so they eased him out. He didn’t volunteer.”

Oct 20 09:00

Report: Israel Approves $1.5 Billion Budget for Potential Attack on Iran

According to a report from Israel’s Channel 12, the Israeli government approved a $1.5 billion budget to prepare for a potential attack on Iran.

The extra funds would be used to purchase additional aircraft, surveillance drones, and the munitions needed to strike Iran’s underground nuclear facilities. The report said about $620 million would come from the 2022 military budget, and the rest of the funds would come from this year’s budget.

For years, Israel has been seeking bunker-busting bombs that could penetrate Iran’s underground facilities. If they did acquire the munitions, Israel would also need bombers capable of carrying them, something it currently doesn’t have. The US tested a new 5,000-pound bunker buster earlier this month, which Israeli media interpreted as a possible message to Iran.

Oct 20 06:14

Top Trump Security Adviser Contradicts ‘Imminent Attack’ Claim Behind Soleimani Assassination

In a new book about his time in the Trump administration, a retired US Army general who served as a senior adviser to the White House contradicts the justification given by Donald Trump for the January 2020 killing of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, which was that he was allegedly planning an “imminent attack” against US troops and embassies.

A new book that hit shelves today by Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg reveals that the Trump administration planned the killing of Soleimani as part of a “disproportional” response to attacks on US troops in Iraq by Shiite militias. Kellogg was then-Vice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser, and also served as executive secretary and chief of staff for the US National Security Council under Trump.

Oct 19 07:35

Note to Blinken: Israel’s ‘military option’ shouldn’t be on our table

As indirect talks to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) remain in limbo, the U.S. and Israeli governments continue suggesting that “other options,” including military action, are available and will be considered if the talks should fail.

The latest example of this came during a press conference between Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this week along with their counterpart from the United Arab Emirates. Commenting on Iran’s nuclear program, Lapid said that “Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment, in any way,” and he stated, “We know there are moments when nations must use force to protect the world from evil.” For his part, Blinken said that “time is running short” to restore the nuclear deal, and he affirmed that “Israel has the right to defend itself and we strongly support that proposition.”

Oct 18 06:41

Israel Demanding Answers After Biden Quietly Removed Sanctions On Iranian Missile Companies

Pro-Israeli lobbying and advocacy groups are seeking answers from the Biden administration over why it removed two Iranian firms believed linked to Iran's ballistic missile program from the US sanctions blacklist earlier this month.

The US Treasury Department had quietly and without explanation dropped sanctions on Mammut Industrial Group, and its subsidiary Mammut Diesel Company. Both had been targeted by the prior Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign.

In September 2020 under the guidance of the Trump White House, the US Treasury had identified the Iranian companies as "key producers and suppliers of military-grade, dual-use goods for Iran’s missile programs," and further described as "Iran’s primary developer of liquid propelled missiles."

These and other companies have hired law firms in the US to fight to be removed from the blacklist, with the two in question being successful in this case.

Oct 17 07:37

Are Saudi Arabia and Iran on the road to reconciliation?

Saudi Arabia and Iran reportedly are on the path to reconciliation after years of tense relations.

Iraq has been hosting a series of meetings between officials on both sides aimed at easing tensions after a five-year rift, and expectations are high that a public announcement of a normalization agreement could come soon.

A fourth round of negotiations between the two Middle East arch-rivals took place in late September.

Professor Mohammad Marandi, head of the American Studies Department at Tehran University, told The Media Line that he doesn’t believe that Iran sees Saudi Arabia as a rival, but rather as part of the western bloc.

Oct 15 09:48

With Nod to Military Action Against Iran, US Gives In to Israeli Pressure

Secretary of State Tony Blinken said all options are on the table against Iran, giving a clear nod to threats to attack militarily. This is exactly the sort of threat Israel has wanted, and Israeli officials are congratulating one another in getting that out of the US.

“All options” was a catch-all term for the US in threatening anyone, but Israeli officials felt the US wasn’t saying it nearly enough against Iran, presenting this as a split between Israel and the Democrats, a rift they now see as healing.

Israeli officials saw limited threats against Iran as a sign that the US realistically hadn’t kept some options on the table. It isn’t clear that the US is any closer to attacking Iran now, however.

The US is resisting key aspects of a deal, and warning time is running out for Iran. This, and the threats to attack, are part of the bargaining effort, not serious signs an attack is imminent.

Oct 15 06:01

Tehran Warns Israel Against ‘Military Adventure’ Amid Boasting IDF Can Strike Nuclear Facilities

After increasing talk by Israel about its willingness to strike Iran by itself as a last resort to halt the country’s nuclear program, Tehran has sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) warning Israel against a “military adventure” against the Islamic Republic.

Delivered on Thursday and printed in Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, the letter comes as Iran makes preparations to return to Vienna for negotiations on reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) next week.

“We warn the Zionist regime against any miscalculation or military adventure targeting Iran and its nuclear program,” wrote Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, referring to Israel.

Oct 15 05:45

Biden’s Iran Special Envoy Warns: ‘Prepare’ for Unconstrained Nuclear Iran

As Iran deal negotiations continue to stall, the Biden administration is preparing for a world where the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program has no constraints, according to U.S. special envoy for Iran Robert Malley.

In a virtual discussion Wednesday concerning the future of U.S. relations with Iran hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Malley attacked the previous administration, casting blame on President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and claiming that “we didn’t need to be here.”

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Oct 14 07:22

US Steps Up Rhetoric Against Iran, Weighing ‘All Options’ If Talks Fail

US officials stepped up their rhetoric against Iran Wednesday, warning that Washington will have to consider other “options” if attempts to revive the nuclear deal fail.

At a joint press conference with his Israeli and UAE counterparts in Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned “time is running out” for Iran to return to talks. “we are prepared to turn to other options if Iran doesn’t change course, and these consultations with our allies and partners are a part of that,” Blinken said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid made it clear that Blinken’s “other options” are a threat. “I would like to start by repeating what the Secretary of State just said. Yes, other options are going to be on the table if diplomacy fails. And by saying other options, I think everybody understands here, in Israel, in the Emirates, and in Tehran what is it that we mean,” he said.

Oct 14 06:45

Israel claims ‘right’ to strike Iran ‘at any moment’ to prevent it from obtaining nukes, FM Lapid says after meeting with Blinken

Israel reserves the right to attack Iran at any time of its choosing, under the pretext of stopping it from acquiring a nuclear weapon, Tel Aviv’s FM Yair Lapid said after meeting with his American and Emirati counterparts.

Addressing reporters after a sit-down with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed in Washington on Wednesday, Lapid insisted that Tehran must not be allowed to obtain the bomb, saying the issue was at the “center” of his visit. Though Iran has long maintained it has no interest in developing nukes, Lapid vowed that Israel would stop its supposed “race to the bomb” by any means necessary.

“Israel reserves the right to act at any given moment and in any way. That is not only our right, it is also our responsibility,” he said. “Iran has publicly stated it wants to wipe us out. We have no intention of letting this happen.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oct 13 08:21

Former Mossad Chief Stuns Audience By Admitting Iran "Not Even Close" To Getting Nuclear Bomb

Apparently even within the Israeli national security state, there's a deep divide over the question, despite hawks sounding the alarm for decades that Iran is ever "on the brink" of obtaining a nuke. Or also, it could be that internally Israeli intelligence knows the Iranians are not actually close, while the politicians publicly take a very different position for propaganda purposes, and to keep up the international pressure on Tehran.

The influential former Mossad director Yossi Cohen suggested this precisely in Tuesday comments that raised eyebrows. The Israeli intelligence veteran commander said in reality that Iran is "not even close" to getting a nuclear weapon - though he chalked this up largely to Israeli's sabotage and espionage efforts targeting the Iranians.

Oct 13 08:08

Israel’s Bennet Warns There are Non-Peaceful Ways to Deal With Iran

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet continued his threats against Iran and warned there are non-peaceful ways to deal with Tehran’s civilian nuclear program.

Bennett accused Iran of not living up to its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). But Iran has only stopped voluntarily complying with the Additional Protocol, an aspect of the Iran nuclear deal that allows the IAEA to conduct snap inspections. Because the US withdrew from the JCPOA, Iran is no longer bound to follow this measure.

“Iran is blatantly violating the IAEA commitments,” Bennet said at the Jerusalem Post Conference in downtown Jerusalem, according to The Times of Israel. “We’re not going to wait. I expect the global powers to hold them accountable … That would be the peaceful route. There are other routes.”

Oct 13 08:08

Israel’s FM Claims Iran Is ‘Becoming a Nuclear Threshold State’

In Washington on Tuesday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid claimed in a meeting with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that Iran is “becoming a nuclear threshold state.”

A nuclear threshold state typically means a country has the capability to quickly build nuclear weapons but has not yet done so. Lapid’s comments are just another false claim by Israel that Iran is racing towards a nuclear bomb.

Israel points to the fact that Iran is enriching some uranium at 60 percent as evidence of Tehran’s desire for nuclear weapons. But 60 percent is still well below the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade, and this step was taken in response to an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility back in April.

The alarmist wording from Lapid comes as Israel is trying to convince the US not to return to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. Lapid’s office said the Israeli foreign minister raised with Sullivan “the need for an alternative plan” to the JCPOA.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Same thing Israel has been saying for 30 years now!

Oct 08 07:41

Iran Closes Its Airspace to Azerbaijani Military, Warns Russia to be Wary of Geopolitical Changes in Caucasus

Iran has closed its airspace to Azerbaijan’s air force, which supplies military equipment to the Nakhijevan Autonomous Republic, Haqqin.az reported Tuesday, October 5. According to Azeri media publications, the country’s defense department has already been notified of the change.

“Baku regarded this decision as another betrayal against Azerbaijan, which is instigated by the Armenian government,” the Defense Ministry reportedly said. [sic]

From Press TV: Iran concerned by Israel presence in Caucasus, will not accept any geopolitical change in region: FM

Iran wants Russia to be wary of “potential changes in region’s borders”

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian wants Russia’s “to be sensitive about any potential changes in borders across the region.”

Oct 06 09:00

IDF Chief Says Israel Will Continue to Attack Iran

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said Tuesday that Israel will continue to launch attacks “destroy” Iran’s capabilities, including its civilian nuclear program.

“Operations to destroy Iranian capabilities will continue, in any arena and at any time, and the operational plans against Iran’s nuclear program will continue to be developed and improved,” Kohavi said.

While the IDF has not launched an overt attack inside Iran, the Israelis frequently carry out covert attacks against the Iranian nuclear program. Most recently, Iran has accused Israel of attacking an Iranian nuclear warehouse with a drone in June. The attack damaged equipment belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency, and Iran is calling on the nuclear watchdog to condemn the incident.

Over the past few months, Kohavi has repeatedly said the IDF is “accelerating” plans to attack Iran’s nuclear program, signaling that Israel is planning a more overt operation inside the country.

Oct 06 08:59

US Tells Israel It Will ‘Turn to Other Options’ If Diplomacy With Iran Fails

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hosted his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata in Washington on Tuesday to discuss Iran. In the meeting, Sullivan conveyed to Hulata that the US is prepared to “turn to other options” if diplomacy with Iran fails.

“Mr. Sullivan explained that this administration believes diplomacy is the?best path to achieve that goal, while also noting that the President has made clear that if diplomacy fails, the United States is prepared to turn to other options,” NSC spokesperson Emily Horne said in a readout of the meeting.

President Biden first said the US would “turn to other options” with Iran alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett when the two leaders met in August. Iran took Biden’s comments as a threat, and for good reason. The Israelis are pushing the Biden administration to abandon its stated plans to revive the nuclear deal and take a more hawkish approach towards Iran.

Oct 06 06:41

Rising tensions between Azerbaijan and Iran spark fears of a conflict that would be an Israeli-US proxy war against Tehran

Tensions are running high as Iran holds war games along its northern border, warning it won’t tolerate its neighbour providing a safe haven for the “anti-security activities of the fake Zionist regime.”
Iranian war games held along its northern border with Azerbaijan, leading to Baku threatening military deployment in retaliation, has sparked fear of war between the two countries.

But any such war would not end up being won by Tehran or Baku, but rather the United States and Israel, who would likely seize such an opportunity to fuel a Syria-style proxy war against the Islamic Republic.

Oct 04 10:08

Iran Deploys Tanks, Armor, Artillery to Azerbaijan Border; Turkey Deploys its army in Azerbaijan

Iran is massing troops, artillery and armor along its northwestern border with Azerbaijan; and now Turkey is sending troops into Azerbaijan to confront Iran if a war breaks out.

A major fight is brewing between Iran and Azerbaijan/Turkey over trade routes being blocked. The scalable Google map below shows the region:

Azerbaijan imposed a $300 Truck Toll upon only Iranian trucks, to travel 40 miles (or so) along an Interstate Highway that passes through Azerbaijan, to places in Armenia. That road was previously Armenia until Azerbaijan invaded last year and took a considerable portion of land, including the road. The yellow-highlighted segment of road on the map below is the issue:

Oct 04 07:15

IRAN SAYS "WAR WITH ISRAEL HAS ALREADY BEGUN" AMID FRESH COVERT ATTACKS

Amid a recent spate of covert espionage attacks on Iranian infrastructure - some publicly known and more that are possibly unknown - Iran's foreign ministry has declared that "war with Israel has already begun".

A foreign ministry spokesmen told the major Israeli national Hebrew-language daily newspaper Maariv that "Israel has carried out attacks that were intended to destroy our nuclear program for peaceful purposes." Saeed Khatibzadeh declared "the war with Israel has already begun" - in an ominous message intended as a warning to the Israeli public and leadership.

The spokesman added that Israel "has murdered nuclear scientists and harmed the Iranian people. Iran is blamed for terrorism, but there is no good or bad terrorist. The entire crisis in the region is the fault of Israel."

Oct 04 07:12

Iran FM: US Needs to Unfreeze $10 Billion for Negotiations

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian is calling on the US to unfreeze some $10 billion in Iranian assets as a sign of good faith, conditioning Iran’s return to nuclear negotiations on this .

Amirabdollahian said this was an opportunity to say just once that the US “considered the interests of the Iranian nation.” There has been no response from the State Department.

The odds don’t look great, however. The Biden Administration has been criticizing Iran’s new government since the election, and given the appearance of being tepid on renewing the talks in the first place.

That, and the long-standing US desire to brag about just how many Iranian assets they’ve frozen, makes a goodwill gesture extremely unlikely. If anything, it will be one more thing for the US to condemn them over, and another excuse when the talks don’t materialize.

Oct 04 06:46

Saudi Confirms First Round of Talks With New Iranian Government

Saudi Arabia confirmed on Sunday it had held its first round of direct talks with Iran's new government last month, part of a process begun earlier this year to reduce tension between the Gulf's rival Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim powers.

The longtime foes who severed ties in 2016 began talks in April, at a time when Washington and Tehran were discussing reviving a nuclear pact that Riyadh and its allies had opposed.

Three rounds of Saudi-Iranian talks were held in Iraq in the months before Iran's new hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, took office in August.

Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said the latest round had taken place on Sept. 21. He did not give the location of the meeting. The date coincides with a speech by Raisi at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Oct 03 07:32

Satellite Images Show Damage at Tehran ‘Missile’ Site

Israeli satellite images are emerging on the site in Tehran which earlier this week was reported to have had an explosion. Iran reported it was Research and Self-Sufficiency site operated by the Revolutionary Guard Corps. Two were reported killed in the blast.

What happened isn’t clear, though as usual it was seen as possibly another Israeli sabotage attack. On top of that, media reports are spinning the site as being a possible “missile factory.”

This accusation is based on the Treasury Department saying in 2017 that the research and self-sufficency organization was researching missiles. It isn’t clear how big this organization is, or how many sites they have. Iran was keen to become less reliant on military imports.

Oct 01 13:53

Iran kicks off war games amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan and alleged ‘Zionist presence’

The Iranian military has started large-scale drills in the northwestern part of the country, involving drones, armored units and helicopters amid rising tensions with Azerbaijan.
On Friday morning, Iran’s Army Ground Forces kicked off the ‘Fatehan (Conquerors) of Kheibar’ military exercise. Brigadier General Kiomars Heidari told Iranian news agencies that the exercises were planned in order to test weapons, military equipment and assess combat readiness.

The brigadier added that the drills would improve the combat readiness of armed forces stationed in the region and suggested that they had been scheduled. Armored units, artillery and drones from the Army Ground Forces divisions were supported by helicopters from the Army Air Force.

Sharing photos of the exercises online, journalist Heshmat Alavi said the drills were some of the largest ever held by Tehran, noting growing tensions with neighboring Azerbaijan.

Sep 30 06:22

Israeli PM’s speech to UN leaves out ‘Palestinians’ and blames destruction of Gaza on Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett gave a speech to the U.N. General Assembly Monday in which he said that Israel has a diverse democracy “in the toughest neighborhood on earth,” and Iran is trying to destroy Israel through its “terror” proxies.

Bennett never mentioned Palestine or Palestinians (as major media have reported). No, Israel’s refusal to grant rights to Palestinians, and Palestinians’ refusal to accept that discrimination, is a minor issue that Israel wants the world to forget about in the era of Israeli deals with Arab states. Bennett also brushed the Palestinian issue aside when he met with Joe Biden in August.

No one thinks about the conflict in Israel, Bennett said.

Sep 28 11:37

With militarised media as a weapon of mass deception, what is the plan?

Fernando Guevara argues that mainstream media, the police and other "civilian institutions", have become militarised. "Even on the internet, algorithms are re-set to catch what suits Zionists/Israel, while a lot of what sheds light on their terror is simply removed/de-platformed.">>

Sep 28 10:41

At UN, Israel’s Bennett Hints at Military Action Against Iran

Addressing the UN General Assembly for the first time Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett hinted at possible military action against Iran, accusing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program of crossing “all red lines.”

“Iran’s nuclear program has hit a watershed moment. And so has our tolerance,” Bennett said. “Words do not stop centrifuges from spinning.”

Bennett cited Iran’s recent move to enrich some uranium at 60 percent as one of the “red lines.” But 60 percent is still below the 90 percent needed for weapons-grade uranium, and Tehran only increased enrichment to such levels in response to an Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.

The latest Israeli attack on Natanz took place in April. It was a clear effort to sabotage the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal, which started around the same time.

Sep 28 10:38

Iran, Saudi sides continue tension-easing talks in Baghdad

Representatives from Iran and Saudi Arabia have held a new round of talks in Baghdad, two Iraqi officials said Monday, in the first such meeting between the regional foes since a new president was sworn in in Tehran.

The meeting held last week discussed “pending issues between the two countries according to a previously agreed on roadmap, including diplomatic representation between the two countries,” according to one Iraqi official.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements, said the meeting was not on a ministerial level, but described the talks as positive.

Iraq has recently played the role of mediator between the two regional foes whose rivalry has often played out to deadly consequences in Iraq and elsewhere in the region.

Sep 28 05:21

Iran's Nuclear Program Has Crossed 'All Red Lines': Israel PM

Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday Iran had breached all the "red lines" aimed at curbing its nuclear weapons program, but that Israel "will not allow" Tehran to get the bomb.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Bennett claimed the Islamic republic had in recent years taken "a major leap forward" in its nuclear production capacity and ability to enrich weapons-grade uranium.

"Iran's nuclear weapon program is at a critical point, all red lines have been crossed," said Bennett, who took office in June.

"There are those in the world who seem to see Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons as an inevitable reality, as a done deal, or they have just become tired of hearing about it," the 49-year-old premier told the world body.

"Israel doesn't have that privilege. We cannot tire. We will not tire. Israel will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"We'll get the Americans to invade Iran!"

Sep 27 06:58

Fire At IRGC Research Facility In Tehran Injures 3 Revolutionary Guardsmen

A mysterious blaze broke out at one of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) research centers in the capital of Tehran on Sunday evening (local time), multiple international reports have said.

Three IRGC members have been wounded in the fire, the cause of which is as yet unknown. Details as to its extend are also unknown - only that it was soon reported contained at that the injured were transported to a nearby hospital.

Iran state TV quoted a statement from IRGC officials as confirming, "On Sunday evening a fire broke out in one of the IRGC … research centers in the west of Tehran. Three people were injured and the fire has been contained."

The facility is located in western Tehran, and given the high security nature of IRGC locations, it's unlikely that many details will be divulged. This naturally tends to lead to immediate speculation by observers about the possibility of an Israeli sabotage operation.

Sep 27 06:33

Exclusive-Under U.S. Sanctions, Iran and Venezuela Strike Oil Export Deal - Sources

Venezuela has agreed to a key contract to swap its heavy oil for Iranian condensate that it can use to improve the quality of its tar-like crude, with the first cargoes due this week, five people close to the deal said.

As the South American country seeks to boost its flagging oil exports in the face of U.S. sanctions, according to the sources, the deal between state-run firms Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) deepens the cooperation between two of Washington's foes.

One of the people said the swap agreement is planned to last for six months in its first phase, but could be extended. Reuters could not immediately determine other details of the mwpact.

The oil ministries of Venezuela and Iran, and state-run PDVSA and NIOC did not reply to requests for comment.

Sep 24 03:32

Assassinating General of Peace most obvious example of US terrorism: Iran FM

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)’s president, Iran’s foreign minister says US perpetration of terrorism is epitomized by the assassination of Iran’s senior anti-terror commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“The assassination of Martyr General Soleimani, the great General of Peace, by the United States on the Iraqi soil, was one of the most obvious instances of terrorism,” Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said during a face-to-face meeting with Abdulla Shahid on Thursday in New York. Amir-Abdollahian has travelled to the city to attend the UN General Assembly’s 76th Session.

An international legal committee has been formed inside the Islamic Republic to pursue the atrocity, with the aim of consigning those who perpetrated and ordered it to justice, he added.

The United Nations, however, definitely played an important role in this regard too, Amir-Abdollahian underscored.

Sep 23 07:22

Eurasia Takes Shape: How the SCO Just Flipped the World Order

The two defining moments of the historic 20th anniversary Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Dushanbe, Tajikistan had to come from the keynote speeches of – who else – the leaders of the Russia-China strategic partnership.

Xi Jinping: “Today we will launch procedures to admit Iran as a full member of the SCO.”

Vladimir Putin: “I would like to highlight the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed today between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission. It is clearly designed to further Russia’s idea of establishing a Greater Eurasia Partnership covering the SCO, the EAEU (Eurasian Economic Union), ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI).”

In short, over the weekend, Iran was enshrined in its rightful, prime Eurasian role, and all Eurasian integration paths converged toward a new global geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm, with a sonic boom bound to echo for the rest of the century.

Sep 23 06:44

‘NYT’ glorifies an Israeli war crime, with reporting by AIPAC’s friend Bergman

Here we go again. The New York Times just ran a long, gee-whiz article about an Israeli war crime — the murder of an Iranian scientist inside Iran last year– penned by its Israeli security expert, Ronen Bergman. “The Scientist and the A.I.-Assisted Remote-Control Killing Machine“, by Ronen Bergman and Farnaz Fassihi is filled with awe-inspiring details of the methods Israel employed to kill Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top Iranian nuclear scientist, at the wheel of his car outside Tehran last November 27.

The killing was of course an act of war, and one aimed at destroying the Iran deal for good in the last weeks of the Trump administration. The European Union condemned the killing at the time: “This is a criminal act and runs counter to the principle of respect for human rights the EU stands for.”

Sep 22 06:38

US ‘hegemony’ has ‘failed miserably’ and sanctions amount to ‘crime against humanity,’ Iran’s president says in fiery UN address

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi condemned US “hegemony” in the Middle East, saying efforts to dominate the region had been a disastrous failure, and blasting its “criminal” sanctions on medical supplies during a speech to the UN.

In a pre-recorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, Raisi outlined major grievances with Washington while laying out a vision for his own country’s foreign policy, arguing that the world had rejected the US’ failed “hegemonic system.” To underscore the point, he cited two major events this year that he said symbolized that failure.

“This year, two scenes made history: One was on January 6, when the US Congress was attacked by the people, and two, when the people of Afghanistan were dropped from US planes,” Raisi said, referring to Afghans who fell to their deaths after desperately clinging onto the side of a departing US military plane during a hasty pull-out operation last month.

Sep 22 05:08

Azerbaijani, Turkish and Pakistani war games appear to prompt Iran to move infantry to border

Iran appears to have moved infantry divisions and rocket artillery to its northwestern border with Azerbaijan amid indignation in Tehran at military exercises performed by the self-styled “Three Brothers”—Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan—and attempts by Baku to hinder Iranian trade flows that are important to the ethnic Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

One representative of Iran’s supreme leader warned Azerbaijan to not “play with the lion’s tail”.

Sep 21 07:19

Iran Becomes Full Member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Geopolitical and Economic Implications

On 17 September 2021 Iran has become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). It is an extraordinary achievement and new beginning for US and western sanction-badgered Iran. Transcript of Press TV interview with Peter Koenig.

PressTV: Iran is finally a member of the SCO. It is said that this solidifies a block to stand up to the West and US hegemony: will it be able to do that, and is the era of unilateralism over?

Peter Koenig: First, my deepest and heartfelt congratulations for this extraordinary event – Iran the latest member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO. Bravo!

Yes, this will definitely open new doors, prosperous doors with new relations in the East. SCO with the current membership covers close to 50% of the world population and accounts for about one third of the world’s GDP.

Sep 21 06:59

Israel's economy not ready to deal with Iran cyberattacks

Commenting on Russian-Iranian cooperation on cybersecurity, founder and CEO of Israeli cyber consultation firm Konfidas Digital Ltd, Ram Levi, said Israel's economy is not ready for Iranian cyberattacks, Rai Al-Youm reported yesterday.

The UAE-based online newspaper reported Levi telling the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth that the Russian-Iranian deal would largely reinforce Iran's protection from cyberattacks, as well as Iran's ability to carry out cyberattacks.

According to Levi, the deal would give Iran abilities it did not have before. "What is worrying for us is that Russia and Iran will at a certain point have intelligence cooperation and how to carry out attacks. This will strengthen Iran."

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What goes around comes around.

Sep 21 06:15

Iranian Commander Says US’ ‘Humiliating Escape’ From Afghanistan Lesson for Dependent Allies

Afghanistan’s Western-backed government crumbled just four months after President Joe Biden announced that American forces would be withdrawing from the country following nearly 20 years of war, and less than two weeks after the Taliban* began a series of lightning offensives to take the country’s cities.

All nations that are dependent on the United States must learn the appropriate lessons from America’s “humiliating” experience in Afghanistan, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri has said.

Sep 20 07:27

Report: Iranian Nuclear Scientist Slain with Remote-control Robot Gun

Iran’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated by Israel’s national intelligence agency using a high-tech remote-controlled machine gun, according to a report published Saturday in the New York Times.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot on Nov. 27, 2020, while driving his Nissan Teana between a vacation home on the Caspian Sea and a country house and the town of Absard, where he planned to spend the weekend with his wife, according to the report.

Iranian agents working for Israel had parked a blue Nissan Zamyad pickup truck on the side of the road with a 7.62-mm sniper machine gun hidden among decoy construction materials.

An assassin with the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, fired the gun at Fakhrizadeh. The assassin was more than 1,000 miles away using an advanced robot to operate the weapon that was smuggled into the country in small pieces.

Sep 20 07:02

Why did Raeisi pick Amir-Abdollahian as new Iran FM?

A review of the competence and plans of the proposed ministers of Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi began on Saturday, August 21, 2021 in the Iranian Parliament (Islamic Consultative Assembly).

Given Iran’s current situation in the regional and international arena, undoubtedly one of the most important government positions is the post of The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which many experts and foreign countries are also looking forward to appointing its minister.

The world, especially Western countries, is waiting for the specific policy of the Raisi government to be unveiled in light of the cessation of nuclear negotiations in Vienna and the necessity of determining the JCPOA assignment.

Sep 20 07:00

Iran to develop military cooperation with SCO states members

Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Bagheri made the comments on Sunday, two days after the SCO formally accepted Iran as the new member of the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance during its Friday summit in Dushane, Tajikistan.

General Bagheri described Iran's membership in the Shanghai organization as a great and extremely important development.

He said "the SCO includes most of Asia and comprises more than 40 percent of the world's population and wealth," adding that "the pact also includes major industrial and military powers, with members of the organization committed to each other."

The Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces further also said, "Iran's permanent membership in the agreement, which was achieved despite the opposition of the United States and Europe, is a happy and great development and certainly has a positive effect on repelling threats against the Iranian nation."

Sep 16 06:35

Gantz Says Israel Could Accept a US Return to Iran Nuclear Deal

In an interview with Foreign Policy, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel could accept a revival of a US-negotiated Iran nuclear deal if there are backup plans that involve more sanctions and possible military actions.

“The current US approach of putting the Iran nuclear program back in a box, I’d accept that,” Gantz said when asked about the Biden administration’s Iran strategy. The comment signals a possible shift in Israel’s stance on the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, although Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has repeatedly said he is opposed to a revival of the agreement.

Gantz said Israel wants to see a “viable US-led plan B” that includes more economic pressure if the talks fail, although Iran is already under an enormous amount of US sanctions. “Israel has no ability to lead a real plan B, we can’t put together an international economic sanctions regime. This has to be led by the US,” he said.

Sep 15 06:35

‘NY Times’ fearmongers about the Iran nuclear deal, while ignoring Israel’s efforts to sabotage it

One U.S. publication just covered the stalled negotiations over the Iran nuclear deal fairly and honestly. Another ran a distorted, alarmist report that could have been written by Israel’s Hasbara Central propaganda department. The valuable report was in Responsible Statecraft, a new outlet that is gaining respect and influence but is still small. The biased article is on page 7 of today’s New York Times.

Let’s start with the Times. The fearmongering is right in the headline: “Iran Nears an Atomic Milestone.” The first sentence says, “Iran has come within roughly a month of having enough material to fuel a single nuclear weapon. . .” Paragraph after paragraph sound the alarm: “Iran has not been this close to a weapon capability since before President Obama agreed to the 2015 nuclear accord.” David E. Sanger and William J. Broad do perfunctorily note that “Iran continues to insist that it has no desire for a nuclear arsenal,” but then they go straight back to the warnings.

Sep 15 05:46

Iran Replaces Veteran Nuclear Negotiator With "Hardliner" As Vienna Talks Still In Doubt

A week after Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned the US is "getting closer" to giving up completely on the Iran nuclear deal after Vienna talks have been on hold since June 20, Iran on Tuesday replaced its longtime veteran negotiator with a senior diplomat who's widely being described as a "hardliner".

The recently installed administration of Ebrahim Raisi has named Ali Bagheri Kani to replace Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. Araghchi had spearhead the original negotiations on the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and has been at the forefront of Iranian efforts in Vienna.

However, Ali Bagheri Kani - who happens to also be a relative of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei - had been part of Iran's nuclear negotiating team under former President Ahmadinejad from 2007 to 2013. It was during that time that efforts to achieve mutual understanding over Iran's nuclear program with the West failed and sanctions were imposed.

Sep 15 04:57

Report Falsely Claims Iran Could Have Enough Uranium for a Nuke in a Month

A new report from the Institute for Science and International Security is following up gloomy predictions of Iranian nuclear arms by saying, worst case, Iran would have enough weapons-grade uranium in a month.

Even conceding this as a “worst case” scenario, the report claims don’t appear to hold water, and seem in great measure to be an extension of a recent IAEA report, which was itself extremely misleading about Iran’s stockpile of 60% enriched uranium.

Iran has no weapons-grade uranium, and has never attempted to make it. The report bases the idea on Iran converting every single gram of uranium in their existing stockpile to weapons-grade. There is a big jump from having uranium enriched to 2-3 percent and weapons grade, which is above 90%.

The IAEA’s report on the 60% uranium seems a part of that, though, as they claimed the stockpiled “quadrupled” since May, which sounds bad until one realizes that Iran literally just started the process in late May.

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Sep 14 07:09

Door Is Closing on an Iran Nuclear Deal

Critics of the foreign and national security policies of the Joe Biden regime were quick to note that the American soldiers being pulled out of Afghanistan were no doubt a resource that will be committed to a new adventure somewhere else. There was considerable speculation that the new model army, fully vaccinated, glorious in all its gender and racial diversity and purged of extremists in the ranks, might be destined to put down potentially rebellious supremacists in unenlightened parts of the United States. But even given an increasingly totalitarian White House, that civil war type option must have seemed a bridge too far for an administration plagued by plummeting approval ratings, so the old hands in Washington apparently turned to what has always been a winner: pick a suitable foreign enemy and stick it to him.

Sep 14 06:52

Iran to Resume Nuclear Talks in ‘Near Future’

The Raisi government in Iran intends to resume nuclear talks with the international community soon, while warning that any US attempts to condemn them publicly could derail that.

That warning is not out of nowhere, as the US has been talking up condemning Iran at the next International Atomic Energy Agency meeting with a special resolution. That might ultimately not happen, with Iran and the IAEA making deals on the IAEA having access to equipment for maintenance.

The plan is for the IAEA staff to come to Iran this weekend to swap out some memory cards and reset equipment. The State Department says if that goes well, the US will probably drop the condemnation move.

Western diplomats said the talks could resume later this month, and the State Department suggested the IAEA visit would be a good chance to engage on the matter.

Sep 14 06:13

US Think Tank Claims Iran Could Have Enough Weapons-grade Uranium for Nuke in a Month

US and Israeli officials have spent much of the past decade claiming that Iran is on the brink of achieving nuclear weapons capability, alleging that the Islamic Republic may be just “months” or “weeks” away from building a nuke. Tehran denies having any intention to obtain nuclear arms, or weapons of mass destruction of any kind.

Iran will have enough highly enriched uranium to build a nuclear weapon in just a month’s time, claims a new report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a Washington-based think tank focusing on nuclear nonproliferation.

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Sep 13 12:47

Israel Claims Iran ‘Exporting Aerial Terrorism’ by Training Militias to Use Advanced Drones

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States have repeatedly accused Iran of supplying militias, some of them allied with regional governments, with unmanned aerial vehicles used to attack oil refineries, military facilities, and other targets. Tehran has for the most part denied these allegations.

Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz has accused Tehran of training militias from across the Middle East in the use of advanced drones directly at a military base situated in central Iran.

In a presentation at Reichman University in the town of Herzilya outside Tel Aviv on Sunday, Gantz claimed that “terrorists from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are receiving training on how to operate Iran-made drones in the Kashan Base north of Isfahan,” and alleged that “Kashan is leading Iran’s export of aerial terrorism in the region.”

Sep 13 08:27

US in State of 'Strategic Bewilderment' Over Iran's Atlantic Naval Deployment, Army Chief Says

A pair of Iranian Navy warships recently completed a 45,000 km trip which took them across three oceans and past 55 countries. The journey sparked fears in the US that the ships may have been delivering arms Venezuela, and even led to discussions in US media about whether there was anything Washington could do to legally stop them.

Iranian Army commander Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi has praised the country’s naval forces over the recent completion of the 75th Flotilla’s trans-continental journey, saying the trip had put Iran’s American adversary into a state of “strategic bewilderment”.

“This strategic deployment has caused strategic bewilderment and confusion among the navy of global arrogance led by the American terrorists,” Mousavi said, speaking at an address Sunday dedicated to the flotilla’s safe return to its home port.

Sep 13 06:14

Biden Removes US Missiles from Saudi Arabia, In an Obama-Like Move to Appease Iran

The wheels of insanity in the OBiden Administration are about to fall off again. Rather than solidifying President Trump’s policy of peace in the Middle East, OBiden’s actions are likely to blow the entire region up into another OBiden mess.

President Trump went to the Middle East and visited world religious leaders on his first overseas visit in an effort to bring peace to the Middle East. President Trump inherited ISIS terrorizing the Middle East as well as Iran and both these terrorist entities were backed by the OBiden gang.

Sep 10 06:52

Iran's Nuclear Weapons Weeks Away?

Since the Biden administration assumed office, the nuclear talks with Iran have gone nowhere. Six rounds of negotiations have been concluded with no results. In contrast, two other issues have gone too far: the Biden administration's appeasement policies towards the Iranian regime, and the advancement of the mullahs' nuclear program.

When the Biden administration took office, it announced that it would curb Iran's nuclear program by returning to the 2015 nuclear deal -- known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which by the way Iran never signed -- and by subsequently lifting sanctions against the Iranian government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sep 10 06:36

Israeli FM Says Israel Will Act Against Iran if the World Doesn’t

Yair Lapid said if Iran acquires nuclear weapons it will start an arms race, ignoring the fact that Israel has nuclear weapons

by Dave DeCamp Posted onSeptember 9, 2021CategoriesNewsTagsIran, Israel
Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday said Israel “reserves the right” to act against Iran to stop it from obtaining nuclear weapons if the rest of the world doesn’t take action.

“The world needs to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, no matter the price. If the world doesn’t do it, Israel reserves the right to act,” Lapid said in Moscow while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Sep 09 06:06

Blinken Says US Getting 'Closer' To Giving Up On Iran Nuclear Deal

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned Iran that Washington is getting 'closer' to giving up on hopes of returning to the restoration of the JCPOA nuclear deal.

This after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued two confidential reports Tuesday which charged Iranian officials with blocking access to sites, all the while allegedly expanding its nuclear activity. The IAEA said its inspection efforts are being "seriously undermined".

Investors Have Given Up on a V-Shaped Recovery, BNY's Young Cautions
The Vienna talks have been on hold since June 20th, after they had been temporarily suspended reportedly by the Iranian side pending the entry into office of the newly elected president, Ebrahim Raisi.

Sep 08 07:27

Israel’s Nukes

The big focus was obviously Iran. Everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons and regularly threatens its neighbors with violence but Iran enriching a small amount of uranium is akin to genocide or something. The Biden administration is trying to reboot the Iran Deal and Israel is openly trying to tank this prospect. Bennett obviously didn’t get the answers he wanted on that front but Biden did not rule potentially attacking the country or strengthening sanctions even more. “We’re putting diplomacy first and see where that takes us. But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options,” said the president.

Sep 08 07:09

Israeli Military ‘Greatly Accelerating’ Plans to Attack Iran

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said in an interview published Monday that plans to attack Iran have been “greatly accelerated.”

The IDF chief told Israel’s Walla News that “a significant chunk of the boost to the defense budget, as was recently agreed, was intended for this purpose. It’s a very complicated job, with much more intelligence, much more operational capabilities, much more armaments. We’re working on all these things.”

Kohavi framed Israel’s attacks throughout the region as action against Iran. He said the IDF’s current objective is “minimizing Iranian presence in the Middle East, with an emphasis on Syria.” Israel is constantly bombing Syria. These airstrikes are rarely acknowledged by Israeli officials, but when they are, the Israelis claim they are attacking Iranian forces. But the bombings mainly target Syrian troops and members of Iraq’s Shia militias.

Sep 08 07:08

IAEA Falsely Claims Iran’s Tiny Stockpile of 60% Uranium Growing Rapidly

The IAEA is continuing to offer misleading reports on Iran’s nuclear program, giving false impressions of rapid growth of the uranium stockpiles built around counting the rate of growth of trivially small segments.

Tuesday’s report both centers on Iran’s 60% enriched uranium stockpile, a stockpile which didn’t even exist at the start of the year but has “quadrupled” since May. The report also complains about the struggles since the expiry of a monitoring agreement with Iran.

In context, Iran had only just started enriching to 60% in May, and Iranian state media self-reported a stockpile of 6.5 kg of it in mid-June. That’s not a lot by any objective measure. Even then, the IAEA estimated the stockpile today at only 10 kg. Claiming it quadrupled is based on going back to the very start of the process to try to make it sound like rapid growth when it is plainly not.

Sep 03 06:41

Report: U.S.-Funded Afghan Military Equipment Spotted in Iran

U.S. government-funded military equipment given to the Afghan Army during America’s two-decade occupation of Afghanistan has allegedly been spotted in Iran in recent days according to unverified social media photos, Al Arabiya reported Thursday.

“Several US military armored vehicles, which allegedly belonged to the Afghan army before the Taliban took over control of the country, were spotted in Iran on Wednesday, images shared on social media showed,” the Saudi news site wrote on September 2.

“Some of the images shared on Twitter showed trucks belonging to the Iranian army transporting US Humvees, allegedly taken from Afghanistan, on a highway connecting the central city of Semnan to the city of Garmsar, southeast of the capital Tehran,” Al Arabiya added.

Afghanistan’s former defense minister, Bismillah Mohammadi, shared some of the images via his personal Twitter account on September 1. He did not offer any clarity regarding the source of the images:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A pretext to start bombing Iran?

Sep 02 06:21

Iran Unveils New Components of Air Defence Systems Capable of Detecting Stealth Aircraft

The Islamic Republic moved toward self-sustainability in terms of defence equipment and weapons after it was banned globally from buying armaments from other countries. The country's defence industry has made several leaps since then, including in air defences, which shot down an intruding US RQ-4A drone in 2019.

Iran has announced the induction of six new domestic military projects into its armed forces. Yet, the country has only unveiled two of them to the public – a new radar and a command centre for Iranian-made air defence systems. Tehran expects these latest additions to increase the country's ability to defend its territory from attacks by stealth and low-altitude flying attack aircraft.

Iran Air Defence General Alireza Sabahi Fard praised the new pieces of equipment, developed and produced in Iran, for strengthening the country's defensive capabilities

Sep 01 11:55

Iran Unveils New Components of Air Defence Systems Capable of Detecting Stealth Aircraft

The Islamic Republic moved toward self-sustainability in terms of defence equipment and weapons after it was banned globally from buying armaments from other countries. The country's defence industry has made several leaps since then, including in air defences, which shot down an intruding US RQ-4A drone in 2019.

Iran has announced the induction of six new domestic military projects into its armed forces. Yet, the country has only unveiled two of them to the public – a new radar and a command centre for Iranian-made air defence systems. Tehran expects these latest additions to increase the country's ability to defend its territory from attacks by stealth and low-altitude flying attack aircraft.

Iran Air Defence General Alireza Sabahi Fard praised the new pieces of equipment, developed and produced in Iran, for strengthening the country's defensive capabilities

Sep 01 07:13

Always Another War

Afghanistan is not exactly history quite yet as there still will be a lot final adjustments on the ground as well as the usual Vietnam-syndrome war of words that inevitably follows on yet another American-engineered foreign catastrophe. But the recriminations will go nowhere as there is certainly enough mud to stick on both major political parties that make Washington their home, and neither wants to be embarrassed to such an extent that anyone will actually demand change.

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Sep 01 06:15

Iran and Saudi Arabia Plan to Resume Talks

Iran said it plans to resume talks with Saudi Arabia in Iraq once the new Iranian government is formed. Starting in April, the regional rivals have held negotiations in Baghdad that have been on hold as Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi is creating his government.

“We have had three rounds of negotiations with the Saudi side, and the fourth round is to be held after the formation of a new Iranian government,” said Iraj Masjedi, Iran’s ambassador in Iraq.

Since 2016, Iran and Saudi Arabia have had no formal diplomatic relations. US intervention in the region has played a role in fueling the rivalry between the two Middle Eastern countries and has disrupted previous indirect talks.

When Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed by a US drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020, he was scheduled to meet with Iraq’s former prime minister, who was facilitating indirect talks between Tehran and Riyadh.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This could be a major problem for the US Government if the talks succeed.

Sep 01 06:09

Iranian fuel shipments to Lebanon pose new challenge for Biden, experts say

Hezbollah's decision to arrange multiple deliveries of Iranian fuel to Lebanon poses a series of challenges for the US as it prepares to craft a response to the country's crippling energy crisis, experts have said.

In a speech on Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah blamed the US for Lebanon's economic woes and said Caesar sanctions imposed by Washington on Syria had harmed Lebanon.

"Go ahead and give Lebanon an exemption for Iranian gasoline and diesel… go ahead and give Lebanon an exemption from Caesar," Nasrallah said, addressing the US in his speech.

Sep 01 06:05

Russia to Hold Naval Drills With Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan

Russia's defence ministry said on Tuesday it would hold naval drills in the Caspian Sea with small missile and artillery ships from Iran, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan in early September.

Sep 01 06:03

Always Another War: America and Israel Together Against Iran

Afghanistan is not exactly history quite yet as there still will be a lot final adjustments on the ground as well as the usual Vietnam-syndrome war of words that inevitably follows on yet another American-engineered foreign catastrophe. But the recriminations will go nowhere as there is certainly enough mud to stick on both major political parties that make Washington their home, and neither wants to be embarrassed to such an extent that anyone will actually demand change.

Sep 01 06:00

Exodus: Biblical scene as thousands flee Taliban-held Afghanistan walking miles through the desert across the Pakistani border and into Iran

Remarkable footage shows the truly epic scale of the exodus of Afghans fleeing their country to head west.

The almost-biblical scenes of the mass migration across the desert where the borders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran all meet shows an endless river of people flowing between the mountains.

And for British politicians concerned about an influx of migrants to Europe, these images will confirm their worst fears.

Aug 31 10:37

Israeli Media: Bennett Suggested NATO-Style Alliance Against Iran

Israeli media reported Sunday that during Friday’s meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Biden, Bennett proposed the idea of creating a NATO-style military alliance against Iran.

A reporter with Israel’s public broadcaster Kan said Bennett’s idea would form a military alliance between Israel, Jordan, and the Gulf states to “confront” Iran. The idea would include “the installation of radars and warning devices, to counter any air threat from Iran.”

A major aspect of the Abraham Accords negotiated by the Trump administration that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries, including the UAE and Bahrain, was to isolate Iran in the region. Ahead of his meeting with Biden, Bennett told The New York Times that he would propose a new Iran strategy that includes Israel strengthening ties with Arab countries that oppose Tehran.

Aug 31 05:37

US Foreign Policy = War

US President Joe Biden this weekend warned Iran that “other options” will be used if the failed nuclear deal is not restored through diplomacy.

In American official parlance, “other options” is a polite way of threatening to use military force.

The threat is all the more sinister given that Biden uttered the words while sitting beside Israeli premier Naftali Bennett in the White House. Israel has repeatedly vowed to launch military strikes on Iran even if the United States signs up again to a nuclear accord with Tehran.

That’s the nuclear treaty signed in 2015 by the US, Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia along with Iran. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) imposed restrictions on Iran’s nuclear industry preventing weaponization. In return, harsh international economic sanctions would supposedly be lifted off Iran.

Aug 31 05:28

Gantz: US, Israel Working on ‘Plan B’ if Iran Nuclear Talks Fail

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said the US and Israel are working to develop a “Plan B” for if the indirect negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal fail.

According to The Times of Israel, Gantz warned if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it would trigger an “international arms race,” a comment that ignores the fact that Israel already has a nuclear arsenal and is the only nuclear-armed country in the Middle East.

“The United States and Israel share intelligence information, and the cooperation with the United States in this field is only getting stronger. We are working with them in order to establish a Plan B and to demonstrate that if there is no deal, other activities will begin, as President Biden said,” Gantz said.

Aug 30 09:55

Iran’s New FM Warns Soleimani’s Assassins Must Pay After Trump Brags About ‘Taking Out’ IRGC Leader

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike alongside Iraqi anti-Daesh (ISIS)* militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad on 3 January 2020. The assassination prompted Iran to launch ballistic missiles at US bases in Iraq, and brought Tehran and Washington to the brink of war.

The United States government cannot remain unpunished for Qasem Soleimani’s murder, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Iran’s newly appointed foreign minister, has announced.

“One of our main priorities at the foreign ministry is to pursue serious legal and international action against the great heroes of the fight against terrorism,” the top diplomat said, referring to Soleimani and al-Muhandis, while speaking at a memorial at the Baghdad airport where the commanders were killed. Tasnim quoted Amir-Abdollahian’s remarks.

Aug 30 09:54

Iran’s Leader Blasts Biden as ‘Predatory Wolf’ No Different Than Trump Amid Stalled Nuclear Talks

On the campaign trail in 2020 and in his first months in office, Joe Biden promised to return the US to the 2018 Iran nuclear deal and slash sanctions against Tehran in exchange for a commitment by Iran to reduce its uranium stockpiling and enrichment activities. The two sides have held indirect talks on the issue, but these stalled in late June.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has slammed President Biden over his administration’s intransigence on negotiations relating to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) Iran nuclear deal, accusing the current White House of being “no different” from the Trump administration, under which Iran-US relations collapsed to a historic post-1979 low.

Aug 30 05:56

Iran Says Biden Illegally Threatened Tehran During Bennett Meeting

On Saturday, an Iranian official said President Biden illegally threatened Iran during his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that took place in Washington on Friday.

Alongside Bennett, Biden told reporters that if “diplomacy fails” with Iran, the US was ready to “turn to other options.”

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, denounced Biden’s choice of words on Twitter. “The emphasis on using ‘other options’ against [Iran] amounts to threatening another country illegally and establishes Iran’s right to reciprocate … against ‘available options,'” Shamkhani wrote.

Iran’s fears of being attacked by Israel or the US are not unfounded. Israel frequently attacks Iran covertly, and these missions are tacitly endorsed by Washington since the US never condemns them. Ahead of his meeting with Biden, Bennett told The New York Times that Israel will continue clandestine attacks against Iran.

Aug 27 07:53

Israel accelerates preparedness for military strike on Iran

The Israeli military was accelerating plans for a possible strike on Iran, IDF Chief of staff Aviv Kochavi said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

“The progress in the Iranian nuclear program has led the IDF to speed up its operational plans, and the defense budget that was recently approved is meant to address this,” Kohavi said, speaking to military correspondents ahead of the Jewish New Year.

Aug 27 06:18

Iranian press review: Tokyo expected to mediate between Tehran and Washington

The latest visit to Tehran by Japan's foreign minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, has triggered speculation about Tokyo's potential future role as a mediator between Tehran and Washington for a return to the nuclear deal.

In his visit on 22 August, Motegi held meetings with Iran's outgoing foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani, and President Ebrahim Raisi.

Aug 27 06:07

Israel Gave U.S. Two-hour Notice on Iran Attack. CIA 'Demanded Answers'

Israel gave the United States less than two hours’ warning of its plans to attack Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in April, reflecting then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s policy of keeping the Biden administration in the dark over Israeli actions in Iran, The New York Times reported Thursday citing American and Israeli sources.

Netanyahu reportedly adopted the policy because he distrusted the new administration of President Joe Biden, which had chosen to reverse Donald Trump’s policy and begin talks with Tehran about America’s reentering the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.

Aug 27 06:07

Biden’s Iran Envoy Says US Willing to Compromise in Nuclear Deal Talks

Robert Malley, President Biden’s special envoy for Iran, said Wednesday that the US is prepared to compromise on “difficult issues” related to the nuclear deal if Tehran was willing to do the same, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

The indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA have been on hold since Ebrahim Raisi was elected as Iran’s president. Malley said he hopes the new government comes to the negotiating table “with a realistic approach.”

Raisi is viewed as a hardliner, but he has endorsed a JCPOA revival if the US is willing to return to its commitments. The Biden administration’s refused to lift all Trump-era sanctions on Iran, forcing Tehran to make a significant concession by entering negotiations.

Aug 26 07:25

IDF Says It’s Accelerating Plans to Strike Iran as Bennett Visits Washington

The Israeli military said Wednesday that it is developing more plans to strike Iran as Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is visiting Washington.

Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi told reporters that the Israeli military is speeding up its “operational plans” against Iran. He said that Israel’s recently approved military budget had funds for the IDF to expand its capabilities against Iran.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz issued a similar threat on Wednesday. “The State of Israel has the means to act and will not hesitate to do so. I do not rule out the possibility that Israel will have to take action in the future in order to prevent a nuclear Iran,” Gantz said.

Aug 25 10:36

Expectations at rock bottom as Bennett heads to Washington

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s prime minister, is due in Washington this week for his first tete-a-tete with Joe Biden, the US president.

Iran, by all accounts, tops the agenda. The Palestinians come second.

The visit marks the culmination of a flurry – or perhaps more accurately, a gentle breeze – of activity that has seen America’s top three diplomats on Palestine meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders over the past several weeks.

Last week’s visit of William Burns, the head of the CIA, was the culmination of a series that also saw special envoy Hady Amr and Secretary of State Antony Blinken push for a return to some normalcy after the clownish turbulence of the Trump years and the boorish bravado of Benjamin Netanyahu.

Aug 25 07:43

Israel’s Bennett Says He Will Continue Covert Attacks Against Iran

A few days ahead of his meeting with President Biden, Israel’s new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke with The New York Times and said he will continue covert attacks against Iran and will oppose any US efforts to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Israel has a long history of taking covert action against Iran, but Israeli leaders usually aren’t so candid about it. The Times report said that Bennett plans to present Biden with a new “strategic vision” for Iran that includes more “clandestine attacks” on Iran, including what Bennett referred to as “the gray-area stuff.”

One of Israel’s recent attacks on Iran targeted the Natanz nuclear facility in April. It coincided with the start of indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA and was a clear effort by the Israelis to sabotage the talks.

Aug 24 07:11

Israel’s Bennett to Present Biden With Plan to Confront Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is headed to Washington this week for his first visit to the US since coming into office in June. He is set to meet with President Biden on Thursday, and Iran is expected to be the focus of the meeting.

An Israeli diplomatic source told The Times of Israel that Bennett will present a new strategy to Biden on “confronting” Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activity that does not involve a revival of the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA have been on hold since June 20th. Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi has signaled that he’s ready to continue talks, but at this point, it’s not clear when they will resume.

Aug 24 06:34

As Pentagon's Afghan Debacle Unfolds, Russia Announces Joint War Drills With China & Iran In Gulf

At a moment much of the world sees the US in 'retreat' from central Asia amid the ongoing Afghan evacuation debacle, it increasingly looks like Russia and China are stepping in as the next great power influencers in the region. The timing of a Russian announcement detailing upcoming joint military exercises appears geared toward sending just such a message.

"Russia, Iran and China will hold joint maritime exercises in the Persian Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022, Russia's ambassador to Tehran said, the RIA news agency reported on Monday," according to Reuters.

It's been no secret that the Russian and Chinese militaries have grown closer over the past years, but rarer still are major drills involving the superpowers plus Iran, and centered in the Persian Gulf - site of recent soaring tensions which lately included Iranian commandos briefly seizing a foreign tanker, as well as the drone attack of the Israeli-managed 'Mercer Street' tanker off the coast of Oman on July 30.

Aug 24 06:06

Iran, Russia and China to hold joint drills in Gulf in late 2021, early 2022

Iran, Russia and China will hold joint maritime exercises in the Gulf around late 2021 or early 2022, Levan Jagaryan, Russia's ambassador to Tehran, said on Monday.

The RIA news agency reported on Monday that the Marine Security Belt drills - also known as CHIRU - are intended to be an annual event. The drills were first held in 2019 and again in February 2021.

The drills, involving naval vessels from Iran, Russia, China and other nations, will be focused on shipping security and combating piracy, Jagaryan said.

“Along with Russia and India, China, Iran, Syria and Venezuela will take part in the drills. There are plans to hold a contest between the dive teams of these countries’ armed forces. Representatives of the Russian Navy command will arrive at the opening and closing ceremonies of this contest," he told another Russian state-owned news agency, Sputnik.

Aug 24 05:32

Ukrainian plane sent to evacuate citizens from Afghanistan following Taliban offensive HIJACKED in Kabul, deputy minister claims

A Ukrainian plane that was supposed to evacuate the country's citizens from Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of Kabul was hijacked by unknown assailants and, instead, took a different load of passengers to Iran.

The incident, which happened last week, was revealed by Ukraine's Deputy Foreign Minister Yevgeny Yenin, speaking to the Western-funded Hromadske TV on Monday.

"Our plane was hijacked," Yenin explained. "Last Tuesday, we actually had our plane stolen – it flew to Iran with an unknown group of passengers on board, instead of taking Ukrainians out."

Aug 21 05:37

Israeli press review: Qatar 'misled the US' in Taliban negotiations

With the total collapse of the Afghan government, Nahum Barnea, a political analyst at right-wing Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, predicts that the Taliban takeover will only "strengthen Israel's standing in the White House”.

"Israel is the only country between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf that America can rely on," he writes.

"Israel will not betray and will not collapse, and the Biden administration is now dealing with scepticism with old allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. It has criticisms towards Israel as well, but it has no partner in the region which is as strong and loyal as Israel.”

Aug 21 05:36

Afghanistan: How Iran and its allies are relying on Soleimani's deals with the Taliban

The response to the Taliban takeover was swift. Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitaries early this week issued threatening statements, hinting they are prepared at any moment to travel to Afghanistan and protect Shia Afghans from the militant group.

Then, a couple of days later, they began to retract, and the temperature dialled down considerably.

Iraqi commanders, politicians and clerics told Middle East Eye that Iran gave its allied paramilitaries and political factions strict instructions: they are to have no role whatsoever in Afghanistan and must not interfere in any way under any pretext.

Aug 19 13:34

Hezbollah Leader Warns US & Israel Not To Interfere With Iranian Fuel Tanker Bound For Lebanon

On Thursday Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, for the first time gave specifics in terms of a timetable for the Iranian fuel shipment to crisis-hit Lebanon, saying a tanker is now set to sail to Lebanon "within hours".

The Hezbollah leader also indicated more shipments from Iran will follow, while warning the United States and Israel against interfering.

Aug 19 11:22

Israel to leverage Afghanistan exit to get US to ‘flex muscle’ against Iran

“It’s possible to leverage events there in our favor [following the US departure from Afghanistan],” a former senior Israeli intelligence source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “I think that the shock experienced by Biden and his people, the harsh public reaction in the US and in the international media could have the opposite effect now, similar to a pendulum effect. The humiliating surrender to the Taliban could actually lead Biden to toughen up and decide to flex US muscle toward Iran, given the threat it poses to world peace and not just to the lives of local citizens.”

Aug 19 05:26

Anxious Times in Iran and Russia Over What the Taliban Does Next

After the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan – as part of the peace deal between the United States and the Taliban – Afghan provinces fell one by one into the hands of the group’s fighters, with the Taliban seizing the capital city, Kabul, this weekend.

Afghanistan now finds itself in a situation similar to the latter stages of the 20th century when, following the withdrawal of Soviet troops in 1989, and the civil war that followed, the Taliban conquered Kabul in 1996. After founding the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Taliban ruled the country until the US invasion of 2001.

Of the regional powers, it is Russia and Iran who seem the most anxious about the ongoing situation in Afghanistan. As a precautionary measure, Tehran and Moscow initiated diplomatic contact with the Taliban a few months ago, in an attempt to get it to halt its military campaign against government forces and not drag the country into a civil war.

Aug 19 05:05

Biden and Israel's Bennett to meet at White House next week to discuss Iran

US President Joe Biden will host Israel's Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the White House next week, with the stalled Iran nuclear talks being a main topic of discussion.

"The President and Prime Minister Bennett will discuss critical issues related to regional and global security, including Iran," the White House said in a statement.

Bennett said at a news conference on Wednesday that the meeting "will focus on Iran", but the White House also promoted "an opportunity for the two leaders to discuss efforts to advance peace, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians".

Aug 18 07:14

US Demands Iran Stop Nuclear ‘Escalations’

The US has continued its trend of responding to IAEA reports on Iran’s civilian nuclear program with opposition, and a strongly exaggerated narrative. Tuesday’s statement demands Iran halt its “nuclear escalations” related to the conversion of uranium tetrafluoride to uranium metal.

Iran has been very forthcoming with details to the IAEA on what they’re doing and why, converting some of their stockpile of enriched uranium tetrafluoride into uranium metal. The conversion was successful, as the IAEA confirmed yesterday, and Iran’s next goal was to form the metal into fuel plates for the Tehran Research Reactor (TRR), their sole source of nuclear medicine isotopes.

Aug 18 06:24

Afghanistan tragedy should end calls for ‘regime change’ in Iran

As the tragedy in Afghanistan continues, there is at least one positive consequence. The warmongers in Israel and their allies in the neoconservative Washington, D.C. war party will find it even harder to convince the American public to support an invasion and “regime change” in Iran.

The idea was already absurd and dangerous. But now the Afghanistan debacle should bury it permanently. Despite 20 years and $1 trillion in military and other aid, the U.S. supported-government collapsed within weeks.

Iran’s population is 83 million, more than twice Afghanistan’s 38 million. It is economically advanced, with a large, educated, technically skilled middle class. What’s more, as John Ghazvinian’s magisterial new history of U.S.-Iran relations points out,

Aug 18 05:30

Iran: President Raisi says US 'defeat' in Afghanistan a chance for lasting peace

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday described the capture of Kabul in Afghanistan by the Taliban as a "defeat" for the United States and an opportunity for "lasting peace”.

The statement is the first public comment by the newly elected Raisi on the Taliban's seizure of power in Afghanistan on Sunday, after a 10-day offensive against the US-backed government of Ashraf Ghani.

The ultraconservative president said the developments should pave the way for a durable peace in the neighbouring country.

Aug 17 07:15

Iran Will Begin Transporting Fuel To Lebanon: Hezbollah Leader

On Sunday, the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, discussed a number of topics in a televised interview, including the latest explosion in Akkar and the fuel crisis. Commenting on the explosion in Akkar, Nasrallah said that "what happened in Akkar imposes itself on all of us," describing it as "sad news for everyone who heard it in Lebanon or abroad."

The Hezbollah leader sent his condolences to the people of Akkar, stating that "the lesson must be taken from what happened to prevent its recurrence in other places," stressing that "the incident must constitute a decisive factor for those concerned in order to form a government."

Aug 16 06:30

Is Washington sabotaging the JCPOA talks?

Negotiations in Vienna to salvage the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) have been in limbo while the transition to Ebrahim Raisi’s government takes place, and there are several troubling signs that the effort to bring the U.S. back into the agreement may not succeed.

Raisi’s government is more hard-line and inflexible than its predecessor, and the reported choice of Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to serve as foreign minister confirms that Iran will be even less inclined to compromise than before. U.S. officials emphasize that time is running out to conclude the negotiations, and last month Secretary Blinken warned that “this process cannot go on indefinitely.” To make matters worse, the Biden administration may think that it can still extract major concessions that Iran has never been willing to grant in the past.

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