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Showing posts with label Iran’s enemies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran’s enemies. Show all posts

Moscow expresses concerns about escalation in Middle East after Iran attack

Moscow expresses concerns about escalation in Middle East after Iran attack

Qatar expresses deep concern, urges de-escalation



Russia has expressed grave concerned as escalations continue to rise in the middle east as Iran directly attack Israel in retaliation to it's consulate attack in Damascus, Syria by Israel.


Moscow, according to a post on Telegram by Russian news agency TASS said: “We are deeply concerned about another dangerous escalation in the Middle East and call on the parties to exercise restraint,” 


Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, “We expect that the problems in the Middle East will be solved by countries through political and diplomatic means."


In a related development, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued a statement expressing the Gulf state’s “deep concern” about the regional developments and called on all parties to halt escalation, promote calm and exercise maximum restraint.


"We urged the international community to take immediate action to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation in the region"


Qatar expresses deep concern, urges de-escalation



Russia has expressed grave concerned as escalations continue to rise in the middle east as Iran directly attack Israel in retaliation to it's consulate attack in Damascus, Syria by Israel.


Moscow, according to a post on Telegram by Russian news agency TASS said: “We are deeply concerned about another dangerous escalation in the Middle East and call on the parties to exercise restraint,” 


Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, “We expect that the problems in the Middle East will be solved by countries through political and diplomatic means."


In a related development, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also issued a statement expressing the Gulf state’s “deep concern” about the regional developments and called on all parties to halt escalation, promote calm and exercise maximum restraint.


"We urged the international community to take immediate action to defuse tension and de-escalate the situation in the region"


Iran — Israeli War: Russian supersonic missile boat enters Mediterranean

Iran — Israeli War: Russian supersonic missile boat enters Mediterranean


As escalations continue to rise in the middle east amidst retaliatory attack against Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Russian navy frigate equipped with Kinzhal supersonic missiles has entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal as part of a planned naval exercise, Russia’s defence ministry says.


The Russian ship, Marshal Shaposhnikov, will continue performing the tasks assigned to its expedition plan, it said in a statement. It provided no details.


Earlier last week, authorities in Moscow had called for all countries in the Middle East to show restraint and prevent the region slipping into complete chaos after tensions were raised by Israel’s deadly air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.


“Right now it is very important for everyone to maintain restraint in order not to lead to a complete destabilisation of the situation in the region, which does not exactly shine with stability and predictability,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.


As escalations continue to rise in the middle east amidst retaliatory attack against Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Russian navy frigate equipped with Kinzhal supersonic missiles has entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal as part of a planned naval exercise, Russia’s defence ministry says.


The Russian ship, Marshal Shaposhnikov, will continue performing the tasks assigned to its expedition plan, it said in a statement. It provided no details.


Earlier last week, authorities in Moscow had called for all countries in the Middle East to show restraint and prevent the region slipping into complete chaos after tensions were raised by Israel’s deadly air strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1.


“Right now it is very important for everyone to maintain restraint in order not to lead to a complete destabilisation of the situation in the region, which does not exactly shine with stability and predictability,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

President Biden tells Israeli PM Netanyahu US won’t support counterattack against Iran: Report

President Biden tells Israeli PM Netanyahu US won’t support counterattack against Iran: Report


The US president told the Israeli prime minister during a call yesterday that the US will not support any Israeli counterattack against Iran, Axios has cited a senior White House official as saying.


Joe Biden also told Benjamin Netanyahu the joint defensive actions by Israel, the US and other countries in the region led to the repelling of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official.


“You got a win. Take the win,” the US president told Netanyahu, according to the official.


The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the US would not take in any offensive operations against Iran and would not support such operations, the Israeli prime minister said he understood.

During a telephone conversation, the  two leaders spent 25 minutes on the phone, with the US president saying the US will continue to support Israel in its defence but reportedly also that it will not participate in any offensive actions against Iran.

There are also reports that Israel has been offering assurances to the US that any next steps it takes will be done in consultation, giving warning to the US prior to any military action being taken. We’re seeing leaders in Washington now looking forward to what this next step by Israel might be.


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the US does not seek further conflict with Iran. Those words were echoed by Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state. But he added the US is willing to defend Israel and its own personnel in the region.


Source: Aljazeera news 

The US president told the Israeli prime minister during a call yesterday that the US will not support any Israeli counterattack against Iran, Axios has cited a senior White House official as saying.


Joe Biden also told Benjamin Netanyahu the joint defensive actions by Israel, the US and other countries in the region led to the repelling of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official.


“You got a win. Take the win,” the US president told Netanyahu, according to the official.


The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the US would not take in any offensive operations against Iran and would not support such operations, the Israeli prime minister said he understood.

During a telephone conversation, the  two leaders spent 25 minutes on the phone, with the US president saying the US will continue to support Israel in its defence but reportedly also that it will not participate in any offensive actions against Iran.

There are also reports that Israel has been offering assurances to the US that any next steps it takes will be done in consultation, giving warning to the US prior to any military action being taken. We’re seeing leaders in Washington now looking forward to what this next step by Israel might be.


Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the US does not seek further conflict with Iran. Those words were echoed by Antony Blinken, the US secretary of state. But he added the US is willing to defend Israel and its own personnel in the region.


Source: Aljazeera news 

Islamic Republic of Iran says it warned US its bases will be targeted if it backed an Israeli response

Islamic Republic of Iran says it warned US its bases will be targeted if it backed an Israeli response


The Islamic Republic of  Iran has warned US its bases will be targeted if it backed an Israeli response against Tehran.


According to Mohammad Bagheri who is the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, an Israeli response to the Iranian military operation would be “much bigger”, Tasnim reports.


The Iranian news agency quoted him as saying that the reason for last night’s attack was that Israel had crossed Iran’s red lines.


Bagheri added that Iran has conveyed a message to the US through the Swiss embassy that if it participated “in further aggressive Zionist moves through its bases or military assets across the region, and this is proven to us, its bases and assets and personnel in the region will have no security”.


He added: “We will see it as aggressor as well and react accordingly.”


The Islamic Republic of  Iran has warned US its bases will be targeted if it backed an Israeli response against Tehran.


According to Mohammad Bagheri who is the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, an Israeli response to the Iranian military operation would be “much bigger”, Tasnim reports.


The Iranian news agency quoted him as saying that the reason for last night’s attack was that Israel had crossed Iran’s red lines.


Bagheri added that Iran has conveyed a message to the US through the Swiss embassy that if it participated “in further aggressive Zionist moves through its bases or military assets across the region, and this is proven to us, its bases and assets and personnel in the region will have no security”.


He added: “We will see it as aggressor as well and react accordingly.”

EU Commission chief condems Iran, calls for restraint

EU Commission chief condems Iran, calls for restraint


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has condemned Iran’s attack on Israel and called on all sides to avoid further escalation.


“I strongly condemn Iran’s blatant and unjustifiable attack on Israel. And I call on Iran and its proxies to immediately cease these

attacks,” von der Leyen wrote on X, calling “all actors” to restore stability in the region.


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has condemned Iran’s attack on Israel and called on all sides to avoid further escalation.


“I strongly condemn Iran’s blatant and unjustifiable attack on Israel. And I call on Iran and its proxies to immediately cease these

attacks,” von der Leyen wrote on X, calling “all actors” to restore stability in the region.

Iran—Israel War: Attack and counter-attack – what comes next?

Iran—Israel War: Attack and counter-attack – what comes next?

Israeli Forces continue Gaza Strike despite Iran's Attack



There is a danger of miscalculation that makes this a very dangerous moment. The April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Iran says that was an attack on its soil. It quotes the Vienna Convention from 1961 that says you shouldn’t attack any diplomatic premises, embassies or consulates.


The Israelis says that was a legitimate target. They point to the people they killed, which were top Iranian military officials, including two generals out of the seven fatalities.


It took Iran 13 days before it responded. Iran says that’s totally legitimate under the UN Charter. Article 51 of the UN Charter says nothing should impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member state of the United Nations.


So we’ve had one complete cycle of this. We’ve had an attack and we’ve had a counter attack. I think the danger now is if it goes beyond this cycle, if Israel responds again.


By:  


Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor



Israel continue it's attacks on Gaza



The Iranian attack on Israel has not deterred Israeli Forces from continuous pounding the Gaza Strip in the past few hours.

According to report, in an overnight strike, a number of residential buildings were destroyed in the Nuseirat refugee camp where there were casualties who were transported to the al-Awda and al-Aqsa Hospital for medical treatment.

Here in Rafah, we have been hearing the constant buzzing of Israeli surveillance drones since the early hours as they gather intelligence for potential targets. Confrontation and fighting are still raging in the northern part of Gaza.

According to eyewitnesses on the ground in the north of Nuseirat refugee camp, Israeli drones have been opening fire against people. They also said Israel is demolishing houses and destroying agricultural land which could be a sign, according to experts, that Israel is expanding the corridor that it has recently established splitting the north and the south of the Strip.


Israeli Forces continue Gaza Strike despite Iran's Attack



There is a danger of miscalculation that makes this a very dangerous moment. The April 1 attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Iran says that was an attack on its soil. It quotes the Vienna Convention from 1961 that says you shouldn’t attack any diplomatic premises, embassies or consulates.


The Israelis says that was a legitimate target. They point to the people they killed, which were top Iranian military officials, including two generals out of the seven fatalities.


It took Iran 13 days before it responded. Iran says that’s totally legitimate under the UN Charter. Article 51 of the UN Charter says nothing should impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member state of the United Nations.


So we’ve had one complete cycle of this. We’ve had an attack and we’ve had a counter attack. I think the danger now is if it goes beyond this cycle, if Israel responds again.


By:  


Al Jazeera's diplomatic editor



Israel continue it's attacks on Gaza



The Iranian attack on Israel has not deterred Israeli Forces from continuous pounding the Gaza Strip in the past few hours.

According to report, in an overnight strike, a number of residential buildings were destroyed in the Nuseirat refugee camp where there were casualties who were transported to the al-Awda and al-Aqsa Hospital for medical treatment.

Here in Rafah, we have been hearing the constant buzzing of Israeli surveillance drones since the early hours as they gather intelligence for potential targets. Confrontation and fighting are still raging in the northern part of Gaza.

According to eyewitnesses on the ground in the north of Nuseirat refugee camp, Israeli drones have been opening fire against people. They also said Israel is demolishing houses and destroying agricultural land which could be a sign, according to experts, that Israel is expanding the corridor that it has recently established splitting the north and the south of the Strip.


United States warns Israel its attacks on Iran nuclear program are counterproductive — NYT

United States warns Israel its attacks on Iran nuclear program are counterproductive — NYT


It is no long a new apotheosis that threatening Iran by America and allies, economy sanctions or "economy Terrorism" as Tehran called it has always been counterproductive and by continuing doing so America is only putting all it's Allies in the region at risk, although Washington has repeatedly claims all options are on the table.

In contrast, the he officials of the United States have warned Israel that its attacks against the Iranian nuclear program are counterproductive and have enabled Tehran to rebuild an even more efficient enrichment system, according to the New York Times report Sunday.

NYT, citing officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussion between Washington and Jerusalem, as the Biden Administration continues to try and bring Iran back into the nuclear deal, the report said that Israeli officials have dismissed the warnings, saying they have “no intention of letting up.”

While in the last 20 months there have been four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel, along with the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, the report said Washington officials have cautioned their Israeli counterparts that while such efforts may be “tactically satisfying,” they are “ultimately counterproductive.” And that Iran has managed to resume enrichment within months, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium far faster.

However, the officials said Israel appeared unmoved by the arguments, and this was one of the many areas on which the US and Israel disagree regarding efforts to thwart Tehran’s drive to build nuclear weapons.

Further complicating matters was the fact that Iran has apparently managed to improve its defenses, particularly in the cyber field, the report said. As a consequence, cyber attacks like the Stuxnet attack that crippled centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site for more than a year, an attack widely reported to be a joint US-Israeli effort, have become “much harder now to pull off.”

The major concern now was how close Iran has come to being able to build a nuclear weapon since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.

This week, with Iran set for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Iran’s stockpile, as of November 6, was many times in excess of the limit laid down in the agreement with world powers, said the IAEA report. Such highly enriched uranium can be easily refined to make atomic weapons, which is why world powers have sought to contain Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Vienna-based agency told members that it is still not able to verify Iran’s exact stockpile of enriched uranium due to the limitations Tehran imposed on UN inspectors earlier this year.

The IAEA has been unable to access surveillance footage of Iranian nuclear sites or of online enrichment monitors and electronic seals since February. The agency’s chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, told The Associated Press this month that the situation was like “flying in a heavily clouded sky.”

Sunday’s NYT report said that since abandoning the agreement, Iran had managed to reduce its breakout time to a bomb from about a year to just a few weeks.

“Before Mr. Trump decided to scrap the deal, Iran had adhered to the limits of the 2015 agreement — which by most estimates kept it about a year from ‘breakout,’ the point where it has enough material for a bomb. While estimates vary, that buffer is now down to somewhere between three weeks and a few months, which would change the geopolitical calculation throughout the Middle East,” the report said.

US officials have publicly warned that Iran’s violations are making it increasingly unlikely that there can be a return to the 2015 deal as it was.


The US envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned Friday that Tehran was approaching the point of no return for reviving a nuclear deal after it boosted its stocks of enriched uranium before the talks resume this month.

“The time will come if Iran continues at this pace with the advancements they’ve made, [it] will make it impossible even if we were going to go back to the JCPOA to recapture the benefits,” Malley told the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Iran’s advances are spreading alarm across the region… that’s what’s making the clock tick faster and making all of us say that the time is short for a return to the JCPOA,” Malley said.

And I want to be clear, because there’s no ambiguity about what they seem to be doing now, which is to drag their feet on the nuclear talks and accelerate the progress in their nuclear program,” he added.

The US envoy said he was not encouraged by the statements from the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which earlier on Friday accused Washington of conducting a “propaganda campaign” against the country.

With the possibility of a return to the 2015 deal fading, the US was examining the possibility of hammering out an interim deal with Iran, the New York Times report said, confirming a separate report last week. “Inside the White House, there has been a scramble in recent days to explore whether some kind of interim deal might be possible to freeze Iran’s production of more enriched uranium and its conversion of that fuel to metallic form — a necessary step in fabricating a warhead,” the Times said. “In return, the United States might ease a limited number of sanctions. That would not solve the problem. But it might buy time for negotiations, while holding off Israeli threats to bomb Iranian facilities.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the prospect of an interim agreement with Iran, to allow more time for nuclear negotiations, in talks with his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, the Axios news site reported last week.

A pair of American sources said Sullivan and Hulata were just “brainstorming,” and that the proposal was suggested by an unspecified European ally of the US.

The US sources said the proposal was for Iran to suspend a disallowed nuclear activity such as enriching uranium to 60 percent, in exchange for the US and allied countries releasing some frozen Iranian money, or issuing sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods.

An unnamed Israeli official cited in the Axios report said Hulata told Sullivan he was against the idea and Israel’s concern was that any interim agreement could become permanent, allowing Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and supply of uranium it has built up.

While Israel has been more direct, staying her readiness to attack Iran’s nuclear program and allocating billions of dollars to IDF to prepare and train for a potential strike, the United States has been trying to reassure its allies in recent days that if diplomacy fails, other options are available.

“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Manama event, which was put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure,” he said.

However, Iran has proven on several occasions that they are not soft power. In retaliation for the assasination of general suleimani Tehran fired precision missiles from their territories and they successfully destroyed American military base in northern Iraq. On another occasion the Houthi forces in Yemen flew barrages of Armed drones into Aramco oil field in Saudi Arabia crippling oil production, Iran was behind the attack.

Any aggressive act against Iran will yeild response from Tehran no matter how and irrespective of who is the aggressor and may not halt the Persia nuclear programs for the time being.


Currently, Iran is not known to  possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has been signatory to treaties repudiating the possession of WMDs including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 


Iran has first-hand knowledge of WMD effects as over 100,000 Iranian troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s Iran–Iraq War.


It is no long a new apotheosis that threatening Iran by America and allies, economy sanctions or "economy Terrorism" as Tehran called it has always been counterproductive and by continuing doing so America is only putting all it's Allies in the region at risk, although Washington has repeatedly claims all options are on the table.

In contrast, the he officials of the United States have warned Israel that its attacks against the Iranian nuclear program are counterproductive and have enabled Tehran to rebuild an even more efficient enrichment system, according to the New York Times report Sunday.

NYT, citing officials familiar with the behind-the-scenes discussion between Washington and Jerusalem, as the Biden Administration continues to try and bring Iran back into the nuclear deal, the report said that Israeli officials have dismissed the warnings, saying they have “no intention of letting up.”

While in the last 20 months there have been four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel, along with the killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist, the report said Washington officials have cautioned their Israeli counterparts that while such efforts may be “tactically satisfying,” they are “ultimately counterproductive.” And that Iran has managed to resume enrichment within months, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium far faster.

However, the officials said Israel appeared unmoved by the arguments, and this was one of the many areas on which the US and Israel disagree regarding efforts to thwart Tehran’s drive to build nuclear weapons.

Further complicating matters was the fact that Iran has apparently managed to improve its defenses, particularly in the cyber field, the report said. As a consequence, cyber attacks like the Stuxnet attack that crippled centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site for more than a year, an attack widely reported to be a joint US-Israeli effort, have become “much harder now to pull off.”

The major concern now was how close Iran has come to being able to build a nuclear weapon since then-US president Donald Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018.

This week, with Iran set for talks with world powers in Vienna on November 29, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had again increased its stockpile of highly enriched uranium.

Iran’s stockpile, as of November 6, was many times in excess of the limit laid down in the agreement with world powers, said the IAEA report. Such highly enriched uranium can be easily refined to make atomic weapons, which is why world powers have sought to contain Tehran’s nuclear program.

The Vienna-based agency told members that it is still not able to verify Iran’s exact stockpile of enriched uranium due to the limitations Tehran imposed on UN inspectors earlier this year.

The IAEA has been unable to access surveillance footage of Iranian nuclear sites or of online enrichment monitors and electronic seals since February. The agency’s chief, Rafael Mariano Grossi, told The Associated Press this month that the situation was like “flying in a heavily clouded sky.”

Sunday’s NYT report said that since abandoning the agreement, Iran had managed to reduce its breakout time to a bomb from about a year to just a few weeks.

“Before Mr. Trump decided to scrap the deal, Iran had adhered to the limits of the 2015 agreement — which by most estimates kept it about a year from ‘breakout,’ the point where it has enough material for a bomb. While estimates vary, that buffer is now down to somewhere between three weeks and a few months, which would change the geopolitical calculation throughout the Middle East,” the report said.

US officials have publicly warned that Iran’s violations are making it increasingly unlikely that there can be a return to the 2015 deal as it was.


The US envoy for Iran Robert Malley warned Friday that Tehran was approaching the point of no return for reviving a nuclear deal after it boosted its stocks of enriched uranium before the talks resume this month.

“The time will come if Iran continues at this pace with the advancements they’ve made, [it] will make it impossible even if we were going to go back to the JCPOA to recapture the benefits,” Malley told the Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain, referring to the deal by its official name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

“Iran’s advances are spreading alarm across the region… that’s what’s making the clock tick faster and making all of us say that the time is short for a return to the JCPOA,” Malley said.

And I want to be clear, because there’s no ambiguity about what they seem to be doing now, which is to drag their feet on the nuclear talks and accelerate the progress in their nuclear program,” he added.

The US envoy said he was not encouraged by the statements from the new Iranian government of President Ebrahim Raisi, which earlier on Friday accused Washington of conducting a “propaganda campaign” against the country.

With the possibility of a return to the 2015 deal fading, the US was examining the possibility of hammering out an interim deal with Iran, the New York Times report said, confirming a separate report last week. “Inside the White House, there has been a scramble in recent days to explore whether some kind of interim deal might be possible to freeze Iran’s production of more enriched uranium and its conversion of that fuel to metallic form — a necessary step in fabricating a warhead,” the Times said. “In return, the United States might ease a limited number of sanctions. That would not solve the problem. But it might buy time for negotiations, while holding off Israeli threats to bomb Iranian facilities.”

US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the prospect of an interim agreement with Iran, to allow more time for nuclear negotiations, in talks with his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, the Axios news site reported last week.

A pair of American sources said Sullivan and Hulata were just “brainstorming,” and that the proposal was suggested by an unspecified European ally of the US.

The US sources said the proposal was for Iran to suspend a disallowed nuclear activity such as enriching uranium to 60 percent, in exchange for the US and allied countries releasing some frozen Iranian money, or issuing sanctions waivers on humanitarian goods.

An unnamed Israeli official cited in the Axios report said Hulata told Sullivan he was against the idea and Israel’s concern was that any interim agreement could become permanent, allowing Iran to maintain its nuclear infrastructure and supply of uranium it has built up.

While Israel has been more direct, staying her readiness to attack Iran’s nuclear program and allocating billions of dollars to IDF to prepare and train for a potential strike, the United States has been trying to reassure its allies in recent days that if diplomacy fails, other options are available.

“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at the Manama event, which was put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure,” he said.

However, Iran has proven on several occasions that they are not soft power. In retaliation for the assasination of general suleimani Tehran fired precision missiles from their territories and they successfully destroyed American military base in northern Iraq. On another occasion the Houthi forces in Yemen flew barrages of Armed drones into Aramco oil field in Saudi Arabia crippling oil production, Iran was behind the attack.

Any aggressive act against Iran will yeild response from Tehran no matter how and irrespective of who is the aggressor and may not halt the Persia nuclear programs for the time being.


Currently, Iran is not known to  possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has been signatory to treaties repudiating the possession of WMDs including the Biological Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 


Iran has first-hand knowledge of WMD effects as over 100,000 Iranian troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s Iran–Iraq War.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply

Iranian Foreign Ministry Says US, E3, PGCC statement worthless to reply


The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has said the US, the E3 and the PGCC statement is worthless and deserves no reply.

According to the report by IRNA,  Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying a recent anti-Iran statement by the United States, the E3 - Britain, France and Germany - as well as the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council is not worth answering.

Khatibzadeh, while addressing reporters said such a meeting and statement is a fake and illegitimate showoff that does not deserve any reaction.


According to him, the US administration who violated UN Resolution 2231 and withdrew the 2015 Iran nuclear deal is responsible for the current situation in respect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)

 "The United States is the only country in the world that has a dark history of using nuclear weapons and it is also the one that intervenes in other countries internal affairs and now the US is trying to create a crisis and propagate against Iran." He said


While referring to certain Arab states in the region, he noted that these countries, which are responsible for the invasion of Yemen, are not in a position to put forward baseless accusations against other nations in order to get rid of the responsibility of their crimes.

Robert Malley, the US Special Representative for Iran, and representatives of three European powers, as well as envoys from PGCC states, met in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The participants issued a statement, attempted to reiterate their unfounded charges on Iran's regional influence, and continued their Iranophobic policy.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Khatibzadeh pointed to comments made by his French counterpart Anne-Claire Legendre, warning that political officials' taking stances with the purpose of affecting the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will definitely tarnish the reputation of the international body and question the legitimacy of the agency's moves.


France has called on the IAEA Board of Governors to convey "a strong message" to the Islamic Republic in their next session on November 24.


The Iranian spokesman further condemned the US's new sanctions on six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity, underlining that such a failed policy to put more pressure on Iran shows the Americans' dismay.

The United States Department of the Treasury announced on Thursday that it has put names of six Iranian individuals and one Iranian entity into the sanction list, claiming that they have tried to affect the 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

On Saturday, American  Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin vowed to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast.

This is a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s atomic deal with world powers. His comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Authorities in Tehran has long maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. 

Did Tehran Care? US defense chief vows to counter Iran in visit to Bahrain

Did Tehran Care? US defense chief vows to counter Iran in visit to Bahrain

UAE — America’s top defense official vowed Saturday to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast, a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s tattered atomic deal with world powers.



Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


His remarks also come after Gulf sheikhdoms saw the U.S.’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, raising concerns about America’s commitment to the region as defense officials say they want to pivot forces to counter perceived challenges from China and Russia.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.


Since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, a series of escalating incidents have struck the wider Mideast. That includes drone and mine attacks targeting vessels at sea, as well as assaults blamed on Iran and its proxies in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early 2020, which saw Iran target American troops in Iraq with ballistic missiles.


Under Biden, U.S. military officials are looking at a wider reshuffling of forces from the Mideast to other areas, though it still maintains a large presence at bases across the region. Austin hinted at that in his remarks, saying: “Our potential punch includes what our friends can contribute and what we have prepositioned and what we can rapidly flow in.”


“Our friends and foes both know that the United States can deploy overwhelming force at the time and place of our choosing,” Austin said.


Austin’s comments also touched on the ongoing war in Yemen, for which the Biden administration halted its offensive support shortly after he came into office.


Saudi Arabia has led a military campaign since 2015 against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The Houthis have launched drone and ballistic missile attacks on the kingdom to retaliate for a punishing aerial bombing campaign that also has killed civilians.


But while the kingdom constantly refers to every drone and missile fired by the Houthis as successfully intercepted by its defenses, Austin put the rate instead at “nearly 90%.” The U.S. also withdrew its THAAD air defenses and Patriot missile batteries from Prince Sultan Air Base several months ago.


“We’ll work with them until it’s 100%,” he said.


The Manama Dialogue takes place each year in Bahrain, a small island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Bahrain also has engaged in a yearslong campaign crushing dissent. Activists wrote to Austin before his trip, urging him to raise the detention of prisoners on the island and Bahrain’s involvement in the Yemen war.


Did Tehran cares anymore about US threats and economic sanctions again?


Source: Yahoo

UAE — America’s top defense official vowed Saturday to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and to counter its “dangerous use” of suicide drones in the wider Mideast, a pledge coming as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s tattered atomic deal with world powers.



Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comments in Bahrain at the annual Manama Dialogue appeared aimed at reassuring America’s Arab allies in the Gulf as the Biden administration tries to revive the nuclear deal, which limited Iran’s enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.


His remarks also come after Gulf sheikhdoms saw the U.S.’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, raising concerns about America’s commitment to the region as defense officials say they want to pivot forces to counter perceived challenges from China and Russia.


“The United States remains committed to preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon. And we remain committed to a diplomatic outcome of the nuclear issue,” Austin told attendees at an event put on by the International Institute for Strategic Studies. “But if Iran isn’t willing to engage seriously, then we will look at all of the options necessary to keep the United States secure.”


Iran long has maintained its nuclear program is peaceful, though U.S. intelligence agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran had an organized weapons program until 2003. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.


Since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, a series of escalating incidents have struck the wider Mideast. That includes drone and mine attacks targeting vessels at sea, as well as assaults blamed on Iran and its proxies in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad in early 2020, which saw Iran target American troops in Iraq with ballistic missiles.


Under Biden, U.S. military officials are looking at a wider reshuffling of forces from the Mideast to other areas, though it still maintains a large presence at bases across the region. Austin hinted at that in his remarks, saying: “Our potential punch includes what our friends can contribute and what we have prepositioned and what we can rapidly flow in.”


“Our friends and foes both know that the United States can deploy overwhelming force at the time and place of our choosing,” Austin said.


Austin’s comments also touched on the ongoing war in Yemen, for which the Biden administration halted its offensive support shortly after he came into office.


Saudi Arabia has led a military campaign since 2015 against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who hold Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The Houthis have launched drone and ballistic missile attacks on the kingdom to retaliate for a punishing aerial bombing campaign that also has killed civilians.


But while the kingdom constantly refers to every drone and missile fired by the Houthis as successfully intercepted by its defenses, Austin put the rate instead at “nearly 90%.” The U.S. also withdrew its THAAD air defenses and Patriot missile batteries from Prince Sultan Air Base several months ago.


“We’ll work with them until it’s 100%,” he said.


The Manama Dialogue takes place each year in Bahrain, a small island kingdom off the coast of Saudi Arabia that’s home to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet. Bahrain also has engaged in a yearslong campaign crushing dissent. Activists wrote to Austin before his trip, urging him to raise the detention of prisoners on the island and Bahrain’s involvement in the Yemen war.


Did Tehran cares anymore about US threats and economic sanctions again?


Source: Yahoo

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran

Incase talks fail, More sanctions are coming against Tehran as Israel, US hold secret meeting over ‘Plan B’ on Iran


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”


Tel Aviv and Washington have been secretly meeting over a possible imposition of additional sanctions against Tehran.


According to the report by Axios, Israel and the U.S. have held secret discussions in the past week over a “Plan B” in case talks with Iran over its nuclear program fail.


The report indicated that one of these meetings was held between U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart, Eyal Hulata, via a secure video conference callwhere  the Israeli side noted the importance of developing a “Plan B” regarding the Iranian threat as diplomatic talks with Tehran have reached a stalemate and the regime’s nuclear program only seems to be accelerating.


According to an Israeli official cited by Axois, the U.S. said it was also concerned about Iran and would impose additional sanctions on Tehran if the talks do not resume soon.


 

The U.S. “remains engaged in ongoing consultations with the Israeli government on a range of issues related to the challenge posed by Iran,” a White House spokesperson told Axios.


On Tuesday, Iran signaled that negotiations would resume in the upcoming weeks but did not specify an actual date, Iranian news agency IRNA reported.


Negotiations held in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear agreement were cut short following the election of Ebrahim Raisi as president in mid-June and have not resumed since.


Months later, Western powers have expressed concern that the time for negotiations is running out, as Iran’s nuclear program is expanding beyond the limits set by the original deal.


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warned on Thursday that the West was losing its patience. “The clock is ticking. We’re not going to wait two or three months for the Iranian delegation to come back to the table in Vienna,” he said, according to France24.


Washington indicated on Thursday that it was prepared to be patient, while considering other contingency plans in case Tehran does not cooperate, Reuters reported.


“We’re still interested. We still want to come back to the table,” a senior U.S. State Department official was cited by Reuters as saying. “The window of opportunity is open. It won’t be open forever if Iran takes a different course,” he added.


“The ‘Plan B’ that we’re concerned about is the one that Iran may be contemplating, where they want to continue to build their nuclear program and not be seriously engaged in talks to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.”

Tehran Ballistic Missiles: Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi would not meet with President Joe Biden nor negotiate, sanctions must be lifted unconditionally

Tehran Ballistic Missiles: Iran’s president-elect Ebrahim Raisi would not meet with President Joe Biden nor negotiate, sanctions must be lifted unconditionally

By Associated Press



Iran’s president-elect said Monday he would not meet with President Joe Biden nor negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional terror proxies, sticking to a hard-line position following his landslide victory in last week’s election.




Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi also described himself as a “defender of human rights” when asked about his involvement in the 1988 mass execution of some 5,000 people. It marked the first time he’s been put on the spot on live television over that dark moment in Iranian history at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.


“The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran,” Raisi said at the news conference.


Raisi sat in front of a sea of microphones, most from Iran and countries home to militias supported by Tehran. He looked nervous at the beginning of his comments but slowly became more at ease over the hourlong news conference.


Asked about Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional terror proxies, Raisi described the issues as “non-negotiable.”


Iran also relies on militias like Yemen’s Houthis, Gaza’s Hamas, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, deemed terror groups by a number of entities throughout the world, to fight proxy wars against enemies like Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively.


On a possible meeting with Biden, Raisi simply answered: “No.” His competitor in the election, Abdolnasser Hemmati, had suggested during campaigning that he’d be potentially willing to meet Biden.


The White House did not immediately respond to Raisi’s statements Monday. Raisi will become the first serving Iranian president sanctioned by the U.S. government even before entering office, in part over his time as the head of Iran’s internationally criticized judiciary — one of the world’s top executioners.


The so-called victory of Raisi, a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, came amid the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. Millions of Iranians stayed home in defiance of a vote they saw as tipped in Raisi’s favor.


Of those who did vote, 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections and suggesting some wanted none of the four candidates. In official results, Raisi won 17.9 million votes overall, nearly 62% of the total 28.9 million cast.


Observers have called the Iranian elections a sham.

Raisi’s victory puts hard-liners firmly in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue to try to save a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program, at a time when Tehran is enriching uranium at 60%, its highest levels ever, though still short of weapons-grade levels. Representatives of the world powers party to the deal returned to their capitals for consultations following the latest round of negotiations on Sunday.


Top diplomats from nations involved in the talks said that further progress had been made Sunday between Iran and global powers to try to restore a 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was abandoned by the Trump administration. They said it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.


Raisi’s election victory has raised concerns that it could complicate a possible return to the nuclear agreement. In his remarks Monday, Raisi called sanctions relief as “central to our foreign policy” and exhorted the U.S. to “return and implement your commitments” in the deal.


On Saudi Arabia, which has recently started secret talks with Iran in Baghdad to reduce tensions with Iran, Raisi said that Iran would have “no problem” with a possible reopening of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the “restoration of relations faces no barrier.” The embassy was closed in 2016 when relations deteriorated.


Raisi struck a defiant tone, however, when asked about the 1988 executions, which saw sham retrials of political prisoners, militants and others that would become known as “death commissions.”

After Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini accepted a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, heavily armed by Saddam Hussein, stormed across the Iranian border in a surprise attack. Iran ultimately blunted their assault.


The trials began around that time, with defendants asked to identify themselves. Those who responded “mujahedeen” were sent to their deaths, while others were questioned about their willingness to “clear minefields for the army of the Islamic Republic,” according to a 1990 Amnesty International report.

International rights groups estimate that as many as 5,000 people were executed. Raisi served on the commissions.

“I am proud of being a defender of human rights and of people’s security and comfort as a prosecutor wherever I was,” he said. “All actions I carried out during my office were always in the direction of defending human rights,” he added. “Today in the presidential post, I feel obliged to defend human rights.”

AP
By Associated Press



Iran’s president-elect said Monday he would not meet with President Joe Biden nor negotiate over Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional terror proxies, sticking to a hard-line position following his landslide victory in last week’s election.




Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi also described himself as a “defender of human rights” when asked about his involvement in the 1988 mass execution of some 5,000 people. It marked the first time he’s been put on the spot on live television over that dark moment in Iranian history at the end of the Iran-Iraq war.


“The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran,” Raisi said at the news conference.


Raisi sat in front of a sea of microphones, most from Iran and countries home to militias supported by Tehran. He looked nervous at the beginning of his comments but slowly became more at ease over the hourlong news conference.


Asked about Iran’s ballistic missile program and its support of regional terror proxies, Raisi described the issues as “non-negotiable.”


Iran also relies on militias like Yemen’s Houthis, Gaza’s Hamas, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, deemed terror groups by a number of entities throughout the world, to fight proxy wars against enemies like Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively.


On a possible meeting with Biden, Raisi simply answered: “No.” His competitor in the election, Abdolnasser Hemmati, had suggested during campaigning that he’d be potentially willing to meet Biden.


The White House did not immediately respond to Raisi’s statements Monday. Raisi will become the first serving Iranian president sanctioned by the U.S. government even before entering office, in part over his time as the head of Iran’s internationally criticized judiciary — one of the world’s top executioners.


The so-called victory of Raisi, a protégé of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, came amid the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. Millions of Iranians stayed home in defiance of a vote they saw as tipped in Raisi’s favor.


Of those who did vote, 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections and suggesting some wanted none of the four candidates. In official results, Raisi won 17.9 million votes overall, nearly 62% of the total 28.9 million cast.


Observers have called the Iranian elections a sham.

Raisi’s victory puts hard-liners firmly in control across the government as negotiations in Vienna continue to try to save a tattered deal meant to limit Iran’s nuclear program, at a time when Tehran is enriching uranium at 60%, its highest levels ever, though still short of weapons-grade levels. Representatives of the world powers party to the deal returned to their capitals for consultations following the latest round of negotiations on Sunday.


Top diplomats from nations involved in the talks said that further progress had been made Sunday between Iran and global powers to try to restore a 2015 agreement to contain Iranian nuclear development that was abandoned by the Trump administration. They said it was now up to the governments involved in the negotiations to make political decisions.


Raisi’s election victory has raised concerns that it could complicate a possible return to the nuclear agreement. In his remarks Monday, Raisi called sanctions relief as “central to our foreign policy” and exhorted the U.S. to “return and implement your commitments” in the deal.


On Saudi Arabia, which has recently started secret talks with Iran in Baghdad to reduce tensions with Iran, Raisi said that Iran would have “no problem” with a possible reopening of the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and the “restoration of relations faces no barrier.” The embassy was closed in 2016 when relations deteriorated.


Raisi struck a defiant tone, however, when asked about the 1988 executions, which saw sham retrials of political prisoners, militants and others that would become known as “death commissions.”

After Iran’s then-Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini accepted a U.N.-brokered cease-fire, members of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, heavily armed by Saddam Hussein, stormed across the Iranian border in a surprise attack. Iran ultimately blunted their assault.


The trials began around that time, with defendants asked to identify themselves. Those who responded “mujahedeen” were sent to their deaths, while others were questioned about their willingness to “clear minefields for the army of the Islamic Republic,” according to a 1990 Amnesty International report.

International rights groups estimate that as many as 5,000 people were executed. Raisi served on the commissions.

“I am proud of being a defender of human rights and of people’s security and comfort as a prosecutor wherever I was,” he said. “All actions I carried out during my office were always in the direction of defending human rights,” he added. “Today in the presidential post, I feel obliged to defend human rights.”

AP

How Iran’s largest navy ship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

How Iran’s largest navy ship catches fire, sinks in Gulf of Oman

By Associated Press


The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semi-official news agencies reported.

The Fars and Tasnim news agencies said efforts failed to save the support warship Kharg, named after the island that serves as the main oil terminal for Iran.

The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to contain it, Fars said. The vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz — the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Photos circulated on Iranian social media of sailors wearing life jackets evacuating the vessel as a fire burned behind them. State TV and semiofficial news agencies referred to the Kharg as a “training ship.” Fars published video of thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.

a “training ship.” Fars published video of thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.

 
Satellite photos from Planet Labs Inc. analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Kharg off to the west of Jask on Tuesday. Satellites from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that track fires from space detected a blaze at the site of the Jask that started just before the time of the fire reported by Fars.

The Kharg serves as one of a few vessels in the Iranian navy capable of providing replenishment at sea for its other ships. It also can lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters. The warship, built in Britain and launched in 1977, entered the Iranian navy in 1984 after lengthy negotiations that followed Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s navy typically handles patrols in the Gulf of Oman and the wider seas, while the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard operates in the shallower waters of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. In recent months, however, the navy launched a slightly larger commercial tanker called the Makran it converted into serving a similar function as the Kharg.

Iranian officials offered no cause for the fire aboard the Kharg. However, it comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy later accused Iran of targeting the ships with limpet mines, timed explosives typically attached by divers to a vessel’s hull.

Iran denied targeting the vessels, though U.S. Navy footage showed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing one unexploded limpet mine from a vessel. The incidents came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The sinking of the Kharg marks the latest naval disaster for Iran. In 2020 during an Iranian military training exercise, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel near the port of Jask, killing19 sailors and wounding 15. Also in 2018, an Iranian navy destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.
By Associated Press


The largest warship in the Iranian navy caught fire and later sank Wednesday in the Gulf of Oman under unclear circumstances, semi-official news agencies reported.

The Fars and Tasnim news agencies said efforts failed to save the support warship Kharg, named after the island that serves as the main oil terminal for Iran.

The blaze began around 2:25 a.m. and firefighters tried to contain it, Fars said. The vessel sank near the Iranian port of Jask, some 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) southeast of Tehran on the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz — the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.

Photos circulated on Iranian social media of sailors wearing life jackets evacuating the vessel as a fire burned behind them. State TV and semiofficial news agencies referred to the Kharg as a “training ship.” Fars published video of thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.

a “training ship.” Fars published video of thick, black smoke rising from the ship early Wednesday morning.

 
Satellite photos from Planet Labs Inc. analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Kharg off to the west of Jask on Tuesday. Satellites from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that track fires from space detected a blaze at the site of the Jask that started just before the time of the fire reported by Fars.

The Kharg serves as one of a few vessels in the Iranian navy capable of providing replenishment at sea for its other ships. It also can lift heavy cargo and serve as a launch point for helicopters. The warship, built in Britain and launched in 1977, entered the Iranian navy in 1984 after lengthy negotiations that followed Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iran’s navy typically handles patrols in the Gulf of Oman and the wider seas, while the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard operates in the shallower waters of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. In recent months, however, the navy launched a slightly larger commercial tanker called the Makran it converted into serving a similar function as the Kharg.

Iranian officials offered no cause for the fire aboard the Kharg. However, it comes after a series of mysterious explosions that began in 2019 targeting ships in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. Navy later accused Iran of targeting the ships with limpet mines, timed explosives typically attached by divers to a vessel’s hull.

Iran denied targeting the vessels, though U.S. Navy footage showed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing one unexploded limpet mine from a vessel. The incidents came amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran after then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

The sinking of the Kharg marks the latest naval disaster for Iran. In 2020 during an Iranian military training exercise, a missile mistakenly struck a naval vessel near the port of Jask, killing19 sailors and wounding 15. Also in 2018, an Iranian navy destroyer sank in the Caspian Sea.

Nuclear deal talks restart: Iran says it could enrich uranium to 90% purity if it wanted to, but is ‘not seeking weapon’ - Rouhani

Nuclear deal talks restart: Iran says it could enrich uranium to 90% purity if it wanted to, but is ‘not seeking weapon’ - Rouhani


(RT) The enrichment of weapons-grade uranium is within Iran's reach, but it chose to stick to a lower purity level because it does not want to make a bomb, President Hassan Rouhani has said as talks to revive the nuclear deal continue.


This week, Iran announced it would start enriching uranium to 60% purity after reporting an alleged Israeli sabotage attack at its Natanz nuclear facility, a move it said was intended to undermine indirect Iranian-US negotiations for a return to the 2015 agreement.

Speaking on Thursday, Rouhani dismissed US and European concerns about Iran moving toward weapons-grade uranium.

He also said Tehran would resume commitments under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), once Western signatories uphold their side of the bargain.

“We could have done 60% [enrichment] before. Today we can do 90% enrichment if we want to, but we are not seeking a nuclear bomb,” he said during the inauguration of petrochemical projects.

Whenever you return to the JCPOA commitments, we will return to our obligations immediately and our enrichment will not be above 3.67% as allowed by the JCPOA,” he added, according to the Mehr news agency.

France, Britain and Germany have expressed “concern” at Iran's plans to achieve 60% enrichment and to install 1,000 additional nuclear centrifuges at Natanz.

The ‘E3’ trio signed the JCPOA in 2015, along with Russia, China, Iran, the EU and the US, before President Donald Trump announced America's unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018.

The deal's other signatories are mediating indirect talks for the agreement's revival between Iran and the US in Vienna, with discussions resuming on Thursday.

The parties have agreed to try and compile a list of US sanctions that could be lifted alongside nuclear commitments Iran could return to, according to Reuters. Washington has previously demanded Iran uphold its commitments under the nuclear deal before providing sanctions relief.

Under the JCPOA, Iran is not permitted to enrich uranium to a higher purity than 3.67%, while there are also limits on the centrifuges it can use and the amount of uranium it can stockpile.

The country began breaching its JCPOA commitments after Trump announced the US' withdrawal from the deal and imposed a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Tehran.


Source

(RT) The enrichment of weapons-grade uranium is within Iran's reach, but it chose to stick to a lower purity level because it does not want to make a bomb, President Hassan Rouhani has said as talks to revive the nuclear deal continue.


This week, Iran announced it would start enriching uranium to 60% purity after reporting an alleged Israeli sabotage attack at its Natanz nuclear facility, a move it said was intended to undermine indirect Iranian-US negotiations for a return to the 2015 agreement.

Speaking on Thursday, Rouhani dismissed US and European concerns about Iran moving toward weapons-grade uranium.

He also said Tehran would resume commitments under the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), once Western signatories uphold their side of the bargain.

“We could have done 60% [enrichment] before. Today we can do 90% enrichment if we want to, but we are not seeking a nuclear bomb,” he said during the inauguration of petrochemical projects.

Whenever you return to the JCPOA commitments, we will return to our obligations immediately and our enrichment will not be above 3.67% as allowed by the JCPOA,” he added, according to the Mehr news agency.

France, Britain and Germany have expressed “concern” at Iran's plans to achieve 60% enrichment and to install 1,000 additional nuclear centrifuges at Natanz.

The ‘E3’ trio signed the JCPOA in 2015, along with Russia, China, Iran, the EU and the US, before President Donald Trump announced America's unilateral withdrawal from the deal in 2018.

The deal's other signatories are mediating indirect talks for the agreement's revival between Iran and the US in Vienna, with discussions resuming on Thursday.

The parties have agreed to try and compile a list of US sanctions that could be lifted alongside nuclear commitments Iran could return to, according to Reuters. Washington has previously demanded Iran uphold its commitments under the nuclear deal before providing sanctions relief.

Under the JCPOA, Iran is not permitted to enrich uranium to a higher purity than 3.67%, while there are also limits on the centrifuges it can use and the amount of uranium it can stockpile.

The country began breaching its JCPOA commitments after Trump announced the US' withdrawal from the deal and imposed a “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against Tehran.


Source

NUCLEAR DEAL: US, Iran hold 1st indirect talks in Vienna

NUCLEAR DEAL: US, Iran hold 1st indirect talks in Vienna


The United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran are holding indirect talks on Tuesday in what could be the first step toward reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that constrains Tehran's nuclear facilities in exchange for sanctions relief, ABC news reported.


According to the report, the indirect meetings which was hosted by the European Union will work toward two separate agreements -- on how the U.S. and Iran can both return to compliance with the deal's terms.


It should be recalled that the former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in 2018, re-imposing strict U.S. sanctions on Iran's economy and government which was termed Economic Terrorism against the Islamic Republic.


Tehran in response began violating the restrictions on its nuclear program by enriching more uranium at higher levels, and with more advanced centrifuges which Iranian authorities claimed us reversible.


But especially amid fierce pressure in Washington and from regional allies like Israel, a renewed nuclear deal would still leave a long road ahead for the Biden administration, which seeks to "lengthen and strengthen" the original agreement, including by addressing Iran's support for proxy forces across the region and its ballistic missile program.


"We don't underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. These are early days. We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday -- before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward."


U.S. special envoy for Iran Rob Malley will lead the delegation, which will meet with European, Chinese and Russian counterparts. Iran's delegation will have its own separate meetings with those teams, which together constitute the remaining members of the agreement.


While there is no face-to-face meeting planned with Iran, the U.S. still "remains open" to one, according to Price. The U.S. first offered to meet the Iranians in February, but weeks of outreach through European allies have been rejected by the Iranian government.


While both sides have downplayed Tuesday's meetings, it could mark the beginning of a quick return to the deal, which saw Iran agree to international inspections of and certain time-limited restrictions on its nuclear program. In exchange, sanctions were lifted by the United Nations, the U.S., and the other world powers who signed on -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China.


But especially amid fierce pressure in Washington and from regional allies like Israel, a renewed nuclear deal would still leave a long road ahead for the Biden administration, which seeks to "lengthen and strengthen" the original agreement, including by addressing Iran's support for proxy forces across the region and its ballistic missile program.


"We don't underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. These are early days. We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday -- before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward."


U.S. special envoy for Iran Rob Malley will lead the delegation, which will meet with European, Chinese and Russian counterparts. Iran's delegation will have its own separate meetings with those teams, which together constitute the remaining members of the agreement.


While there is no face-to-face meeting planned with Iran, the U.S. still "remains open" to one, according to Price. The U.S. first offered to meet the Iranians in February, but weeks of outreach through European allies have been rejected by the Iranian government.


Just last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a face-to-face meeting was "unnecessary." Iran has called for the U.S. to move first in returning to the deal since Trump was the first to violate it, even refusing to meet the Americans until the U.S. government begins lifting sanctions -- while Biden has vowed to keep sanctions in place until Iran returns to compliance.


"What is promising about the Vienna talks is there seems to be an understanding now by both the Biden administration and the Iranians that neither side is going to go first. It may seem like semantics, and maybe it is. But I think what we have is at least the germ of a process whereby both sides can say we're moving simultaneously, both sides can save a little face and put together a roadmap going forward," said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.


The talks begin Tuesday in Vienna, the capital of Austria, where much of the diplomacy around the original deal unfolded. While they're slated for one day, it could extend on, especially if the separate "working groups" make progress and bring in technical experts to finalize details on Iranian and U.S. compliance.


That alone will be no easy task. There are critical questions remaining, including how quickly Iran can dismantle the advanced centrifuges now spinning, how it will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, and what to do about its gains in research and development as it violated its terms of the deal.


On the U.S. side, there are questions around which sanctions the Biden administration will lift, after the Trump administration targeted hundreds of Iranian businesses, officials, economic sectors, and state-owned firms and agencies.


Iran has called for all Trump-era sanctions to be removed, saying they violated the deal. But the State Department indicated Monday that it will only lift those related to Iran's nuclear program.


"We certainly will not entertain unilateral gestures or concessions to get Iran -- to induce Iran to a better place," Price said during the department's daily press briefing. "We'll continue to be guided by what the original JCPOA called for, which is nuclear sanctions."


But Press TV, an Iranian state media outlet, reported that Malley and the U.S. delegation will "leave Vienna empty-handed if the Tuesday meeting would result in anything other than the removal of all U.S. sanctions," citing an "an informed source close to the Iranian negotiating team."



The United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran are holding indirect talks on Tuesday in what could be the first step toward reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that constrains Tehran's nuclear facilities in exchange for sanctions relief, ABC news reported.


According to the report, the indirect meetings which was hosted by the European Union will work toward two separate agreements -- on how the U.S. and Iran can both return to compliance with the deal's terms.


It should be recalled that the former U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord in 2018, re-imposing strict U.S. sanctions on Iran's economy and government which was termed Economic Terrorism against the Islamic Republic.


Tehran in response began violating the restrictions on its nuclear program by enriching more uranium at higher levels, and with more advanced centrifuges which Iranian authorities claimed us reversible.


But especially amid fierce pressure in Washington and from regional allies like Israel, a renewed nuclear deal would still leave a long road ahead for the Biden administration, which seeks to "lengthen and strengthen" the original agreement, including by addressing Iran's support for proxy forces across the region and its ballistic missile program.


"We don't underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. These are early days. We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday -- before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward."


U.S. special envoy for Iran Rob Malley will lead the delegation, which will meet with European, Chinese and Russian counterparts. Iran's delegation will have its own separate meetings with those teams, which together constitute the remaining members of the agreement.


While there is no face-to-face meeting planned with Iran, the U.S. still "remains open" to one, according to Price. The U.S. first offered to meet the Iranians in February, but weeks of outreach through European allies have been rejected by the Iranian government.


While both sides have downplayed Tuesday's meetings, it could mark the beginning of a quick return to the deal, which saw Iran agree to international inspections of and certain time-limited restrictions on its nuclear program. In exchange, sanctions were lifted by the United Nations, the U.S., and the other world powers who signed on -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China.


But especially amid fierce pressure in Washington and from regional allies like Israel, a renewed nuclear deal would still leave a long road ahead for the Biden administration, which seeks to "lengthen and strengthen" the original agreement, including by addressing Iran's support for proxy forces across the region and its ballistic missile program.


"We don't underestimate the scale of the challenges ahead. These are early days. We don't anticipate an early or immediate breakthrough," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Monday -- before calling the indirect talks a "healthy step forward."


U.S. special envoy for Iran Rob Malley will lead the delegation, which will meet with European, Chinese and Russian counterparts. Iran's delegation will have its own separate meetings with those teams, which together constitute the remaining members of the agreement.


While there is no face-to-face meeting planned with Iran, the U.S. still "remains open" to one, according to Price. The U.S. first offered to meet the Iranians in February, but weeks of outreach through European allies have been rejected by the Iranian government.


Just last week, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted a face-to-face meeting was "unnecessary." Iran has called for the U.S. to move first in returning to the deal since Trump was the first to violate it, even refusing to meet the Americans until the U.S. government begins lifting sanctions -- while Biden has vowed to keep sanctions in place until Iran returns to compliance.


"What is promising about the Vienna talks is there seems to be an understanding now by both the Biden administration and the Iranians that neither side is going to go first. It may seem like semantics, and maybe it is. But I think what we have is at least the germ of a process whereby both sides can say we're moving simultaneously, both sides can save a little face and put together a roadmap going forward," said Suzanne DiMaggio, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Washington-based think tank.


The talks begin Tuesday in Vienna, the capital of Austria, where much of the diplomacy around the original deal unfolded. While they're slated for one day, it could extend on, especially if the separate "working groups" make progress and bring in technical experts to finalize details on Iranian and U.S. compliance.


That alone will be no easy task. There are critical questions remaining, including how quickly Iran can dismantle the advanced centrifuges now spinning, how it will reduce its stockpile of enriched uranium, and what to do about its gains in research and development as it violated its terms of the deal.


On the U.S. side, there are questions around which sanctions the Biden administration will lift, after the Trump administration targeted hundreds of Iranian businesses, officials, economic sectors, and state-owned firms and agencies.


Iran has called for all Trump-era sanctions to be removed, saying they violated the deal. But the State Department indicated Monday that it will only lift those related to Iran's nuclear program.


"We certainly will not entertain unilateral gestures or concessions to get Iran -- to induce Iran to a better place," Price said during the department's daily press briefing. "We'll continue to be guided by what the original JCPOA called for, which is nuclear sanctions."


But Press TV, an Iranian state media outlet, reported that Malley and the U.S. delegation will "leave Vienna empty-handed if the Tuesday meeting would result in anything other than the removal of all U.S. sanctions," citing an "an informed source close to the Iranian negotiating team."


Iran Fingered Again: Israeli-Owned Cargo Ship hit by missiles in the Arabian Sea

Iran Fingered Again: Israeli-Owned Cargo Ship hit by missiles in the Arabian Sea


On Thursday, an Isreali owned cargo ship was damaged by a missile in the Arabian Sea.

The attack was suspected to have been carried out and or sponsored by Iran, an Israeli security official said.


According to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity as reported by reuters, said the ship was on its way from Tanzania to India and was able to continue its voyage after the attack.

While the official did not provide further details, an Israel's Ynet news website said the ship sailing under a Liberian flag did not sustain serious damage.

Also Channel 12 news reported the ship is owned by XT Management, based in the port city of Haifa. Reuters said it could not reach officials at the company for comment.

Tel Aviv officials had no official comment yet as the Thursday incident comes about a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman.

The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between the night of Feb 25 and morning of Feb. 26 by a blast above the water line that a U.S official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.

Iran denied involvement at the time. “We strongly reject this accusation,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.



On Thursday, an Isreali owned cargo ship was damaged by a missile in the Arabian Sea.

The attack was suspected to have been carried out and or sponsored by Iran, an Israeli security official said.


According to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity as reported by reuters, said the ship was on its way from Tanzania to India and was able to continue its voyage after the attack.

While the official did not provide further details, an Israel's Ynet news website said the ship sailing under a Liberian flag did not sustain serious damage.

Also Channel 12 news reported the ship is owned by XT Management, based in the port city of Haifa. Reuters said it could not reach officials at the company for comment.

Tel Aviv officials had no official comment yet as the Thursday incident comes about a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman.

The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between the night of Feb 25 and morning of Feb. 26 by a blast above the water line that a U.S official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.

Iran denied involvement at the time. “We strongly reject this accusation,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.


#Mideast: United States Warns China Against Buying Iranian Crude Oil

#Mideast: United States Warns China Against Buying Iranian Crude Oil


The United States of America has again warned China that it will not turn a blind eye to rising Iranian oil exports to Chinese ports, the Financial Times reported

The report, citing a senior Biden administration official says Washington has not missed the substantial increase in Iranian crude shipments to China. 

U.S reminded Beijing that there are still sanctions in place against the Islamic republic of Iran. “We’ve told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions,” the unnamed official told the FT. “There will be no tacit green light.”

Yet the Trump-era sanctions may be waived if Iran and the U.S. make it to the negotiation table. “Ultimately, our goal is not to enforce the sanctions; it is to get to the point where we lift sanctions and Iran reverses its nuclear steps,” the official told the FT.

The Asia leader and the second largest economy has been ramping up shipments of crude from Iran  from an average of 306,000 bpd last year. 

This month, China has been taking in some 856,000 bpd of Iranian crude—a 129-percent rise over February. The China’s interest in Iranian oil has been based on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The initiative expects trade between the two countries to reach $600 billion over the next decade

In addition, China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) attempts to strengthen regional political, economic, and strategic ties, with a focus on the energy industry. But Iranian oil is also attractive for a very simple reason: Iran is selling it at a deep discount because of the sanctions. 

According to oilprice.com The low price makes Iranian crude attractive for other Asian buyers too, such as India, which has been on the hunt for alternatives to Middle Eastern OPEC oil because of its high price.

As regarding the President Donald Trump Era sanctions that are still in effective which Iran tagged economic terrorism against the Islamic Republic, Tehran has insisted that the Wasington first lift sanctions before negotiations on the nuclear deal start while the U.S. wants negotiations first, sanction-lifting later.


Economic Terrorism, Genocidal Taunts Won't 'End Iran' - FM Zarif Reply Trump

The United States of America has again warned China that it will not turn a blind eye to rising Iranian oil exports to Chinese ports, the Financial Times reported

The report, citing a senior Biden administration official says Washington has not missed the substantial increase in Iranian crude shipments to China. 

U.S reminded Beijing that there are still sanctions in place against the Islamic republic of Iran. “We’ve told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions,” the unnamed official told the FT. “There will be no tacit green light.”

Yet the Trump-era sanctions may be waived if Iran and the U.S. make it to the negotiation table. “Ultimately, our goal is not to enforce the sanctions; it is to get to the point where we lift sanctions and Iran reverses its nuclear steps,” the official told the FT.

The Asia leader and the second largest economy has been ramping up shipments of crude from Iran  from an average of 306,000 bpd last year. 

This month, China has been taking in some 856,000 bpd of Iranian crude—a 129-percent rise over February. The China’s interest in Iranian oil has been based on a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. The initiative expects trade between the two countries to reach $600 billion over the next decade

In addition, China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) attempts to strengthen regional political, economic, and strategic ties, with a focus on the energy industry. But Iranian oil is also attractive for a very simple reason: Iran is selling it at a deep discount because of the sanctions. 

According to oilprice.com The low price makes Iranian crude attractive for other Asian buyers too, such as India, which has been on the hunt for alternatives to Middle Eastern OPEC oil because of its high price.

As regarding the President Donald Trump Era sanctions that are still in effective which Iran tagged economic terrorism against the Islamic Republic, Tehran has insisted that the Wasington first lift sanctions before negotiations on the nuclear deal start while the U.S. wants negotiations first, sanction-lifting later.


Economic Terrorism, Genocidal Taunts Won't 'End Iran' - FM Zarif Reply Trump

COVID-19: Iran starts trial of new homegrown vaccine as campaign lags

COVID-19: Iran starts trial of new homegrown vaccine as campaign lags


(AP) The Iran's campaign to inoculate its population against the coronavirus and promote itself as an emerging vaccine manufacturer inched on as health authorities announced Tuesday that the country's third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials.


Details about its production, however, remained slim.


Although Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people, concerns over its lagging pace of vaccinations have animated Iran's drive to develop locally produced vaccines as wealthier nations snap up the lion’s share of vaccine doses worldwide.


Iranian scientists, like elsewhere in the world, are rushing to condense the typically yearslong process to develop vaccines into a few months — a task that has acquired urgency as the country struggles to stem the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East and its economy reels from harsh American sanctions.

But details are scant about the Islamic Republic's vaccine production efforts. Two other Iranian vaccines are also in the phase of clinical trials, with the most advanced, called Barekat, tested on 300 people so far.


The government said 20,000 volunteers in the capital of Tehran and other cities will soon receive Iran's new vaccine, called Fakhra, which an official described to state-run media as being “100% safe,” without providing any evidence or data to support the claim. Earlier this week, the government launched a vaccine production factory it claims can make 3 million doses a day.


The vaccine introduced Tuesday on state TV was created by an affiliate of Iran's Defense Ministry, known as the Research and Innovation Organization.


Like with the Barekat vaccine still in the initial phase of clinical trials, the company used inactivated coronaviruses from 35,000 samples to make the new vaccine, a traditional technology based on cultivating batches of the virus and then killing it. By comparison, Western drug manufacturers are taking a newer gene-based approach to target the spikes on the outer structure of the coronavirus, a method that had never been approved for widespread use before.


Iran's fragmented approach to domestic vaccine production, with entities ranging from state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerates to the Defense Ministry working separately on at least six different vaccines, reflect the country's wider factional rivalries and competing power structures.


At a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian state TV broadcast footage of just a single volunteer receiving the Fakhra vaccine, named after chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a November attack that Iran blamed on Israel.



While Fakhrizadeh was known to lead the country's disbanded nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, Iran has eulogized him as a leader of country's domestic coronavirus vaccine development drive. Fakhrizadeh's son was the first to receive the jab of the new vaccine.


The coronavirus has infected more than 1.7 million people in Iran and killed 61,427, according to health ministry figures released Tuesday — the highest death toll in the Middle East.


Iran formally launched its limited vaccination campaign last month, doling out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to health workers and those with chronic health conditions. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iran from importing American and British vaccines, a reflection of its deep-rooted mistrust of the West.


Nonetheless, Iran later said it would receive 4.2 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca through the global COVAX initiative, which was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to vaccines.


The Health Ministry has vowed to vaccinate all adults in the country by late September, although how the government will reach that ambitious goal remains uncertain. Iran says it expects to import doses for over 16 million people from COVAX.


The government has alleged that tough American sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 undermine efforts to purchase foreign-made vaccines and roll out mass inoculation campaigns like those making headway in the U.S. and Europe. Although international banks and financial institutions often hesitate in dealing with Iranian transactions for fear of being fined or locked out of the American market , U.S. sanctions do have specific carve-outs for medicine and humanitarian aid to Iran.


———


Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report


(AP) The Iran's campaign to inoculate its population against the coronavirus and promote itself as an emerging vaccine manufacturer inched on as health authorities announced Tuesday that the country's third homegrown vaccine has reached the phase of clinical trials.


Details about its production, however, remained slim.


Although Iran, with a population of more than 80 million, has so far imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people, concerns over its lagging pace of vaccinations have animated Iran's drive to develop locally produced vaccines as wealthier nations snap up the lion’s share of vaccine doses worldwide.


Iranian scientists, like elsewhere in the world, are rushing to condense the typically yearslong process to develop vaccines into a few months — a task that has acquired urgency as the country struggles to stem the worst virus outbreak in the Middle East and its economy reels from harsh American sanctions.

But details are scant about the Islamic Republic's vaccine production efforts. Two other Iranian vaccines are also in the phase of clinical trials, with the most advanced, called Barekat, tested on 300 people so far.


The government said 20,000 volunteers in the capital of Tehran and other cities will soon receive Iran's new vaccine, called Fakhra, which an official described to state-run media as being “100% safe,” without providing any evidence or data to support the claim. Earlier this week, the government launched a vaccine production factory it claims can make 3 million doses a day.


The vaccine introduced Tuesday on state TV was created by an affiliate of Iran's Defense Ministry, known as the Research and Innovation Organization.


Like with the Barekat vaccine still in the initial phase of clinical trials, the company used inactivated coronaviruses from 35,000 samples to make the new vaccine, a traditional technology based on cultivating batches of the virus and then killing it. By comparison, Western drug manufacturers are taking a newer gene-based approach to target the spikes on the outer structure of the coronavirus, a method that had never been approved for widespread use before.


Iran's fragmented approach to domestic vaccine production, with entities ranging from state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerates to the Defense Ministry working separately on at least six different vaccines, reflect the country's wider factional rivalries and competing power structures.


At a ceremony attended by high-ranking officials in Tehran on Tuesday, Iranian state TV broadcast footage of just a single volunteer receiving the Fakhra vaccine, named after chief Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in a November attack that Iran blamed on Israel.



While Fakhrizadeh was known to lead the country's disbanded nuclear weapons program in the early 2000s, Iran has eulogized him as a leader of country's domestic coronavirus vaccine development drive. Fakhrizadeh's son was the first to receive the jab of the new vaccine.


The coronavirus has infected more than 1.7 million people in Iran and killed 61,427, according to health ministry figures released Tuesday — the highest death toll in the Middle East.


Iran formally launched its limited vaccination campaign last month, doling out Russia's Sputnik V vaccine to health workers and those with chronic health conditions. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has banned Iran from importing American and British vaccines, a reflection of its deep-rooted mistrust of the West.


Nonetheless, Iran later said it would receive 4.2 million doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca through the global COVAX initiative, which was created to ensure that low- and middle-income countries have fair access to vaccines.


The Health Ministry has vowed to vaccinate all adults in the country by late September, although how the government will reach that ambitious goal remains uncertain. Iran says it expects to import doses for over 16 million people from COVAX.


The government has alleged that tough American sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump in 2018 undermine efforts to purchase foreign-made vaccines and roll out mass inoculation campaigns like those making headway in the U.S. and Europe. Although international banks and financial institutions often hesitate in dealing with Iranian transactions for fear of being fined or locked out of the American market , U.S. sanctions do have specific carve-outs for medicine and humanitarian aid to Iran.


———


Associated Press writers Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran, and Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report

Iran's IRGC Navy reveals new ‘missile city’ with advanced capabilities

Iran's IRGC Navy reveals new ‘missile city’ with advanced capabilities


The Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday released images and film footage of what it said was a new Revolutionary Guards base armed with cruise and ballistic missiles and "electronic warfare" equipment.

Watch: IRGC Navy has unveiled a new "missile city". Location undisclosed.

According to a report by state TV which described the base as a "missile city" and showed rows of what looked like missiles in a depot with cement walls. It did not give any details on its location. Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards' naval unit, told state TV the base had equipment to detect enemy signals.

According to the report, the base's "electronic warfare equipment" included radar, monitoring, simulation and disruption systems. "The new systems and equipment make IRGC Navy capable of launching precision missiles from underground, launching naval mines with different ranges, firing at 360-degree[s], confronting electronic warfare, and increasing the range and destruction power in operations," reported Mehr, a semi-official Iranian news agency.


What we see today is a small section of the great and expansive missile capability of Revolutionary Guards' naval forces," Guards Commander Major General Hossein Salami said in the broadcast. According to Mehrs, Salami also "noted that four decades of enemies’ unity against the Islamic Republic has only resulted in their defeat and disappointment," and referred specifically to the "imposition of sanctions and waging [of] an economic war."

Iran, which routinely boasts of technological advances in its armed forces, has one of the biggest missile programs in the Middle East.

Last July, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Navy chief said that Tehran has built underground "missile cities" along the Gulf coastline, warning of a "nightmare for Iran's enemies."

Iran has established underground onshore and offshore missile cities all along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman that would be a nightmare for Iran's enemies," Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri told the Sobh-e Sadeq weekly.

In late June, there was an explosion from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites. American and Israeli officials have denied sabotage of the missile site.

In 2019, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said that Iran has the largest underground facility program in the Middle East.

According to an assessment by the agency that year, "Iran's size and sophistication of its missile force continues to grow despite decades of counterproliferation efforts aimed at curbing its advancement Iran considers missiles to be a strategic necessity due to the limitations of its air force."

The study also explained that since Iran considers missiles to be a strategic necessity due to the limitations of its air force. "Therefore, lacking a modern air force necessitated Tehran to embrace ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region – particularly the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – from attacking Iran," the report said.


Source


The Islamic Republic of Iran on Monday released images and film footage of what it said was a new Revolutionary Guards base armed with cruise and ballistic missiles and "electronic warfare" equipment.

Watch: IRGC Navy has unveiled a new "missile city". Location undisclosed.

According to a report by state TV which described the base as a "missile city" and showed rows of what looked like missiles in a depot with cement walls. It did not give any details on its location. Alireza Tangsiri, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards' naval unit, told state TV the base had equipment to detect enemy signals.

According to the report, the base's "electronic warfare equipment" included radar, monitoring, simulation and disruption systems. "The new systems and equipment make IRGC Navy capable of launching precision missiles from underground, launching naval mines with different ranges, firing at 360-degree[s], confronting electronic warfare, and increasing the range and destruction power in operations," reported Mehr, a semi-official Iranian news agency.


What we see today is a small section of the great and expansive missile capability of Revolutionary Guards' naval forces," Guards Commander Major General Hossein Salami said in the broadcast. According to Mehrs, Salami also "noted that four decades of enemies’ unity against the Islamic Republic has only resulted in their defeat and disappointment," and referred specifically to the "imposition of sanctions and waging [of] an economic war."

Iran, which routinely boasts of technological advances in its armed forces, has one of the biggest missile programs in the Middle East.

Last July, Iran's Revolutionary Guards Navy chief said that Tehran has built underground "missile cities" along the Gulf coastline, warning of a "nightmare for Iran's enemies."

Iran has established underground onshore and offshore missile cities all along the coasts of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman that would be a nightmare for Iran's enemies," Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri told the Sobh-e Sadeq weekly.

In late June, there was an explosion from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites. American and Israeli officials have denied sabotage of the missile site.

In 2019, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said that Iran has the largest underground facility program in the Middle East.

According to an assessment by the agency that year, "Iran's size and sophistication of its missile force continues to grow despite decades of counterproliferation efforts aimed at curbing its advancement Iran considers missiles to be a strategic necessity due to the limitations of its air force."

The study also explained that since Iran considers missiles to be a strategic necessity due to the limitations of its air force. "Therefore, lacking a modern air force necessitated Tehran to embrace ballistic missiles as a long-range strike capability to dissuade its adversaries in the region – particularly the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – from attacking Iran," the report said.


Source

Iraqi Presidency refutes plans to normalize relations with Israel

Iraqi Presidency refutes plans to normalize relations with Israel


The Iraqi presidency has denied the Emirati media's claim that Baghdad intends to normalize relations with the Israeli regime.


According to thehe spokesman for the Iraqi President in a statement in response to the news of the Arabic Sky News network (UAE media), said: "The media and social media pages have published fake statements attributed to the president, saying that Iraq is ready to sign a peace agreement with Israel."


"We emphasize that what is being published in these media outlets is completely false and that these allegations are fabricated," the Rudaw channel in the Iraqi Kurdistan region was quoted as saying by the Iraqi official.


Sky News published this claim on its Twitter page on Tuesday evening and deleted it after a while.


Recently, some media outlets affiliated with the regional regimes and the Israeli regime have claimed that after the normalization of relations between the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco with Tel Aviv, it is now Iraq's turn.


It is believed that with the Iran's wider influence in the country, such time for Bagdhad Tell Aviv normalisation of tie is currently not ripe.


The normalization of relations between Israel and Gulf countries has been proposed to include more Middle Eastern and Arab states. 

While the biggest trophy expected by many would be the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but the greatest geopolitical prize would be a diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Iraq.

This Israel's normalisation of relations with the Arab and gulf nations is also believed to be stabbed in the back and detrimental of the Palestinian people who have only been surviving with backing of the Arab league against Israel.


The Iraqi presidency has denied the Emirati media's claim that Baghdad intends to normalize relations with the Israeli regime.


According to thehe spokesman for the Iraqi President in a statement in response to the news of the Arabic Sky News network (UAE media), said: "The media and social media pages have published fake statements attributed to the president, saying that Iraq is ready to sign a peace agreement with Israel."


"We emphasize that what is being published in these media outlets is completely false and that these allegations are fabricated," the Rudaw channel in the Iraqi Kurdistan region was quoted as saying by the Iraqi official.


Sky News published this claim on its Twitter page on Tuesday evening and deleted it after a while.


Recently, some media outlets affiliated with the regional regimes and the Israeli regime have claimed that after the normalization of relations between the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco with Tel Aviv, it is now Iraq's turn.


It is believed that with the Iran's wider influence in the country, such time for Bagdhad Tell Aviv normalisation of tie is currently not ripe.


The normalization of relations between Israel and Gulf countries has been proposed to include more Middle Eastern and Arab states. 

While the biggest trophy expected by many would be the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but the greatest geopolitical prize would be a diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Iraq.

This Israel's normalisation of relations with the Arab and gulf nations is also believed to be stabbed in the back and detrimental of the Palestinian people who have only been surviving with backing of the Arab league against Israel.

Return to US, Iran nuclear deal will happen regardless says Ex-Mossad chief

Return to US, Iran nuclear deal will happen regardless says Ex-Mossad chief

Rouhani-Biden

An Israeli who is a former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said on Wednesday that the US and Iran will likely return to a nuclear deal regardless of the current Israeli government's opposition, Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the report, speaking at a joint Commanders for Israel's Security and Haaretz conference, when asked if there would be a deal, Pardo said, "it is very hard to know for sure. I assume yes and the question is when, and how many variations will it undergo until we get there."


The former Mossad director also said that "I assume Israel will act like it should... [according to] its size... it can get to cooperative levels with" the US, but added that Jerusalem should not play games with the larger powers, given that it "has capabilities, but [they are] the capabilities of a small state – and at the end... it needs to recognize its place."

Without mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name, but clearly referring to him, he warned that if Israeli leaders yell at the world that they will act on their own against everyone, then Israel will not get anywhere in terms of influencing developments.

Regarding Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear program he said, “because everyone understands that blowing up one nuclear site will not end this situation, anyone attempting to handle this along the same lines as the Iraqi nuclear reactor [which Israel attacked in 1981] or the Syrian nuclear reactor [which Israel attacked in 2007] is dreaming and lacks a minimal understanding of the capabilities of who we are confronting, and their ability to deal with a situation like this."

Moreover, Pardo said that after the US-Iraq 2003 war that America heavily leans more toward diplomacy and has a much stronger aversion to using force globally, saying the US “is not structured for using extensive force.”

Again he emphasized the need for Israel to dovetail its public actions with the US, given that Washington provides Israel much of its advanced weaponry.

Former Netanyahu national security council chief Jacob Nagel took issue with Pardo's statements, saying that regarding "returning to the old deal, I am concerned that we are non-stop galloping toward it... this will be a disaster if it happens.

"If I estimate who could thwart this, it would be the Iranians. If I estimate who is pushing to make this happen with all of their energy, it would be some Israelis – not those in official positions – and obviously the new US government," he said.

"If there is a deal, it will be the last" and will lead to great harm, Nagel said.

The former national security council chief also warned that if the US returns to the nuclear deal “there won’t be any motivation for the US” to snap back sanctions if Iran violates the deal.

In addition, he said, “I would rather that if they are going to race to a nuclear weapon, that it be now and not in 6 more years. I would rather that if there is going to be a conflict,” it be sooner, implying there were advantages to confronting Tehran while it is weakened by sanctions and while the world is more concerned with its nuclear violations.

Staking out a middle, more analytical path, former Mossad Iran desk chief Sima Shine said, "I think both sides are interested in getting to an agreement. Since they are interested, it seems they will get there. But there are quite a few obstacles along the road... but in the end, they both want to get a deal."

Shine also confirmed the likelihood of an interim partial deal of "less for less" – partial reduction of US sanctions for partial reduction of Iranian nuclear violations.

But she said that despite any possible interim deal, the end point would be full removal of sanctions for a full return to nuclear limitations. 

However, later Shine and Nagel fought over whether the US could be convinced to accept Israel’s maximal positions on the Islamic Republic or whether that was unrealistic.

Shine said she had heard from US contacts that Washington would not give Iran more than 12-18 months to agree to a longer and stronger improved nuclear deal before snapping back sanctions – which Nagel expressed doubts about. 

Iran has repeatedly said US can not be trusted following the Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of America from the deal.


Rouhani-Biden

An Israeli who is a former Mossad chief Tamir Pardo said on Wednesday that the US and Iran will likely return to a nuclear deal regardless of the current Israeli government's opposition, Jerusalem Post reported.

According to the report, speaking at a joint Commanders for Israel's Security and Haaretz conference, when asked if there would be a deal, Pardo said, "it is very hard to know for sure. I assume yes and the question is when, and how many variations will it undergo until we get there."


The former Mossad director also said that "I assume Israel will act like it should... [according to] its size... it can get to cooperative levels with" the US, but added that Jerusalem should not play games with the larger powers, given that it "has capabilities, but [they are] the capabilities of a small state – and at the end... it needs to recognize its place."

Without mentioning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name, but clearly referring to him, he warned that if Israeli leaders yell at the world that they will act on their own against everyone, then Israel will not get anywhere in terms of influencing developments.

Regarding Israeli threats to attack Iran’s nuclear program he said, “because everyone understands that blowing up one nuclear site will not end this situation, anyone attempting to handle this along the same lines as the Iraqi nuclear reactor [which Israel attacked in 1981] or the Syrian nuclear reactor [which Israel attacked in 2007] is dreaming and lacks a minimal understanding of the capabilities of who we are confronting, and their ability to deal with a situation like this."

Moreover, Pardo said that after the US-Iraq 2003 war that America heavily leans more toward diplomacy and has a much stronger aversion to using force globally, saying the US “is not structured for using extensive force.”

Again he emphasized the need for Israel to dovetail its public actions with the US, given that Washington provides Israel much of its advanced weaponry.

Former Netanyahu national security council chief Jacob Nagel took issue with Pardo's statements, saying that regarding "returning to the old deal, I am concerned that we are non-stop galloping toward it... this will be a disaster if it happens.

"If I estimate who could thwart this, it would be the Iranians. If I estimate who is pushing to make this happen with all of their energy, it would be some Israelis – not those in official positions – and obviously the new US government," he said.

"If there is a deal, it will be the last" and will lead to great harm, Nagel said.

The former national security council chief also warned that if the US returns to the nuclear deal “there won’t be any motivation for the US” to snap back sanctions if Iran violates the deal.

In addition, he said, “I would rather that if they are going to race to a nuclear weapon, that it be now and not in 6 more years. I would rather that if there is going to be a conflict,” it be sooner, implying there were advantages to confronting Tehran while it is weakened by sanctions and while the world is more concerned with its nuclear violations.

Staking out a middle, more analytical path, former Mossad Iran desk chief Sima Shine said, "I think both sides are interested in getting to an agreement. Since they are interested, it seems they will get there. But there are quite a few obstacles along the road... but in the end, they both want to get a deal."

Shine also confirmed the likelihood of an interim partial deal of "less for less" – partial reduction of US sanctions for partial reduction of Iranian nuclear violations.

But she said that despite any possible interim deal, the end point would be full removal of sanctions for a full return to nuclear limitations. 

However, later Shine and Nagel fought over whether the US could be convinced to accept Israel’s maximal positions on the Islamic Republic or whether that was unrealistic.

Shine said she had heard from US contacts that Washington would not give Iran more than 12-18 months to agree to a longer and stronger improved nuclear deal before snapping back sanctions – which Nagel expressed doubts about. 

Iran has repeatedly said US can not be trusted following the Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of America from the deal.


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