Iran’s New Indigenous Air Defence System

While Western governments and NATO continue to congratulate themselves on the Iranian nuclear deal, in Tehran it is business as usual as the regime continues to plan for war.

In August 2016, on Iran’s National Defense Industry Day, the mullahs unveiled a sophisticated, domestically-built air-defence system — a surface-to-air long range missile system called the Bavar-373 [“Belief”]. Iran’s system was commissioned in 2010, when UN sanctions suspended a deal for Iran to purchase additional S-300 air defence systems from Russia.

As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani bragged with complete accuracy, “The Islamic Republic is one of the eight countries in the world who have mastered the technology to build these engines.” Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan claimed that Iran would begin mass production by the end of 2016. As the Bavar-373 is made entirely from domestic components, it can be manufactured and deployed even in the face of future sanctions.

Source: for MORE

Middle East Experts: Trump’s Promise to Israel That Iran Won’t be Allowed to Get ‘Nuclear Weapons Capability’ Could Indicate Shift in US Policy

The Trump administration’s promise to Israel this week that Iran will not be allowed to get “nuclear weapons capability” could indicate a US policy shift vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic, two Middle East experts assessed on Thursday.

A day earlier, a White House-published joint readout of the meeting between US President Donald Trump and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The two leaders agreed that the Iran nuclear deal is a terrible deal for the United States, Israel, and the world. The president assured the prime minister that Iran must not, and will not, obtain nuclear weapons capability.”

In a Thursday conference call for reporters organized by The Israel Project, David Makovsky — director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy think tank’s Project on the Middle East Peace Process — said the language of the statement “might be signaling something.”

‘Punch a Zionist’ Tweet by McGill Student Rep Mobilizes Concerned Jewish Students Worldwide

The encouragement on social media by a McGill University student body representative to “punch a Zionist” was the “tipping point” that…

“Is he [Trump] saying that the United States will not allow Iran to get highly-enriched uranium, that’s weapons-grade uranium?” Makovsky stated. “It would be interesting to ask either at the White House or the Pentagon about the meaning of the phrase that they use because every word here is pregnant with meaning and the past administration did not want to use that word ‘capability.’ They said, you know, ‘they will not get a nuclear bomb, period.’”

Source: for MORE

Iran Threatens Trump Ahead of Inauguration: If He Nixes Nuclear Deal, We’ll Surprise Him the Same Way He Likes to Surprise Others

Iran will retaliate if newly inaugurated US President Donald Trump nixes the July 2015 nuclear agreement, the Islamic Republic’s top diplomat said this week, according to the semi-official state news agency Mehr.

“We will surprise him the same way he likes to surprise the others,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying during a visit to Myanmar.

“It is up to the US to decide to behave in front of the international community,” Zarif stated. “It seems the others are worried about Trump’s in-campaigning remarks, especially about the issue of Palestine and some other issues, but we are not at all worried, and we wait to see.”

World Leaders React to Trump Inauguration; Russia Aims to Fix Relations That ‘Fell Apart’

Russia says relations with the United States “completely fell apart” during President Obama’s second term — but Moscow is confident…

Referring to the nuclear deal agreed to a year and a half ago by Iran and six world powers, including the US, Zarif said, “Whatever Trump does, does not concern us at all, as we have our own options. However, it is an international agreement which demands the full commitment of the whole world.”

Source: for MORE

Iran to Trump: Death to America Will Live On

Ideologically speaking, Iran’s hardliners, primarily Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and senior officials of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who enjoy the final say in Iran’s domestic and foreign policies, have made it clear that Iran will not change the core pillars of its religious and revolutionary establishment: Anti-Americanism and hatred towards the “Great Satan” and the “Little Satan”, Israel.

Supporters of Ayatollah Khamenei and the IRGC enthusiastically shouted “Death to America” in response to a recent speech that Khamenei gave, applauding the 1979 hostage-taking and takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran.

Iran’s major state newspapers carried anti-American headlines this week, quoting the Supreme Leader. In his latest public speech to thousands of people, which was televised via Iran’s state TV, Khamenei made it clear that Trump’s presidency will cause “no difference” to Iran-US relationships. Khamenei pointed out that, “We have no judgment on this election because America is the same America”. In his speech, Khamenei attacked President-elect Donald Trump and the American people. The Ayatollah called the US election “a spectacle for exposing their

Other hardliners echoed the same message that there would be no change in Iran’s revolutionary principles and ideals against the US and its allies. The deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Hossein Salami, told Iran’s Fars news agency: “When the Republicans were in power, they threatened us and showed their hostility… and when the Democrats were in power, the policies of the United States were the same.”

Khamenei also remarked that the US will remain the evil, or the “Great Satan,” saying:

“In the past 37 years, neither of the two parties who were in charge did us any good and their evil has always been directed toward us….We neither mourn nor celebrate, because it makes no difference to us… We have no concerns. Thank God, we are prepared to confront any possible incident.”

MORE…

Rafsanjani and Reform in Iran

Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran from 1989 to 1997, is dead, and the New York Times is inconsolable. Rafsanjani, you see, was a “reformer,” a “protector,” according to the Times, “of what was left of Iran’s marginalized reformist movement and others with more moderate views than the conservative hard-line clerics who hold sway in Iran’s security forces and judiciary.” As always, reality and what the New York Times reports couldn’t be farther apart.

Rafsanjani, said the Times, “supported Hassan Rouhani, the current president, who is now suddenly bereft of a powerful and influential background figure with Islamic revolutionary credentials that could not be questioned.” Without a trace of self-awareness, the Times’ longtime Tehran correspondent, Thomas Erdbrink, added in the very next sentence that “Mr. Rafsanjani” was also “a longtime comrade of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, although the two had their disagreements.”

Erdbrink didn’t explain how Rafsanjani could be simultaneously a “reformer” who supported Rouhani and a “longtime comrade” of the “hardliner” Khamenei, and with good reason: the whole idea of a “reformist movement” within the Iranian regime is a fiction, as Obama adviser Ben Rhodes revealed, to the administration’s embarrassment, in the Times in May 2016. That was when the Times published an effusive profile of Rhodes, in which Times reporter David Samuels revealed that “the way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented—that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country—was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal.”

The chief false and misleading aspect of Obama’s presentation of the deal to the American public was his claim that he was dealing with moderate elements of Iran’s Islamic regime—that, according to Samuels, was a “narrative that Rhodes shaped.” Rhodes propagated the falsehood that Rouhani was a “moderate” who was struggling against “hard-liners” within the regime. Samuels describes this as “actively misleading,” as is Erdbrink’s claim on Rafsanjani’s death that he was the chief supporter of this non-existent “reformist movement,” of which Rouhani was supposedly a part.

Source: for MORE

Nuclear Watchdog Group: Approval of Russian Shipment of Natural Uranium to Iran is ‘Reckless Unilateral Concession’ by Outgoing Obama Administration

The news that the US and five other world powers have approved a Russian shipment of 116 metric tons of natural uranium to Iran is “only likely to spark a greater backlash” by the new Congress and President-elect Donald Trump against the July 2015 nuclear agreement, a top official with an anti-deal advocacy group told The Algemeiner on Monday.

“No part of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] obligates the P5+1 to gift the Iranian regime tons of natural uranium, which can be further enriched to build bombs,” United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) Executive Director Matan Shamir said. “This is one more reckless unilateral concession that the Obama administration should forgo, particularly amid reports that Iran has been close to exhausting its domestic deposits.”

According to The Associated Press, the shipment is meant to “compensate” Iran for 44 metric tons of heavy water it has exported to Russia since the implementation of the nuclear deal began.

Police Investigate Bomb Threats Prompting Evacuation of Jewish Community Centers in Five US States

Authorities are investigating bomb threats called in to Jewish community centers in at least five states, including New Jersey, on…

David Albright, head of the Washington, DC-based Institute for Science and International Security think tank, was quoted by AP as saying the material could be used to make 10 simple nuclear bombs — “depending on the efficiency of the enrichment process and the design of the nuclear weapon.”

The fate of the nuclear deal after Trump takes office on Jan. 20 remains unclear.

Source: for MORE

Iran, Hamas and the Dance of Death

The Iranians and Hamas are exploiting the final days of the Obama Administration to restore their relations and pave the way for Tehran to step up its meddling in the internal affairs of the Palestinians in particular and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in general.

Emboldened by the nuclear deal framework with the world powers, Iran has already taken the liberty of interfering in the internal affairs of other Arabs, particularly the Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Yemenites and some Gulf countries.

It now appears that the Obama Administration’s failed policies in the Middle East have increased the Iranians’ appetite, such that they are convinced that they can expand their influence to the Palestinians as well.

Thanks to the civil war in Syria, relations between Hamas and Iran have been strained over the past few years. Hamas’s refusal to support the regime of Bashar Assad — Iran’s chief ally in the region — has led the Iranians to suspend financial and military aid to the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip. However, recent signs indicate that Iran and Hamas are en route to a kind of Danse Macabre — a move that will undoubtedly allow Tehran to become a major player in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Source: for MORE