WAR Main Persian Gulf Trouble thread

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
Israel Radar@IsraelRadar_com
#Israeli intel helps foil attack on US power plants: Army's elite 8200 Unit detected & relayed early warning of planned cyberattack on American energy targets, senior officer reveals (via @MakorRishon)
7:38 AM · Jun 29, 2022·Twitter Web App

This is huge. Is there any follow up news on this?

What energy targets? who was planning it? When? Did they stop it?

I'm surprised this isn't front page news... pretty ominous warning right here...

HD
 

jward

passin' thru
idf-tank-north.jpg
IDF tank in Golan (Archive: IDF/CC)
Israel is set to intensify its military strikes in Syria in 2022, but this time defense officials see a high risk of Iranian retaliation. While Tehran and Jerusalem face off on several fronts, the Syrian arena could be the most explosive and tense in the coming year.
Iran maintains about 20,000 loyal militia forces and multiple assets in Syria despite ongoing Israeli strikes, Yediot Aharonot daily reports.

The Iranians concentrate their activity in the Damascus suburbs, where they set up an array of arms depots and other military sites. The IDF regularly bombs the area and still has many targets on its list, the report says.
In parallel, Israel is engaged in a secret campaign against Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies in the Golan, journalist Alex Fishman revealed in the article. IDF forces carried out numerous operations in recent years, including precise missile strikes and covert ground ops in the Syria border zone, he wrote.
The army is set to intensify the assaults in 2022, while also hitting more Syrian targets that benefit Iran, Fishman said.

Will Iran strike back?
Notably, Syria could be the most convenient battlefront for Israeli and Iranian military planners.
The IDF continues to prepare for a broad assault on Tehran’s nuclear program but needs more time to build an effective attack plan. The army is also engaged in serious preparations for a war in Lebanon, but Israel and Hezbollah likely prefer to avoid a large conflict for now.
However, in the Syrian theater both sides may feel that they can dial up their military actions without triggering an all-out war.

However, Israel expects the Iran axis to respond to ongoing IDF strikes, possibly soon. The Iranians are very close to reaching the point where they decide to retaliate, defense officials told Israel Hayom daily.
Recent attacks on the strategic Latakia port are pushing Tehran closer to the edge, the report said.
Share this post
 

jward

passin' thru
Home

Intelligence






terrorist-gun-1024x630.jpg
High risk on Israel’s borders (Archive: Pixabay)
Israel will likely face border attacks in the coming months as new prime minister Yair Lapid takes over, intelligence officers warn. Enemy forces on multiple fronts will aim to strike as Israel deals with political instability, senior intel sources told Walla News.

Israel’s rivals believe that Lapid’s transition government wants to avoid a direct conflict or even a limited battle before the 1 November election, the high-ranking officers said. They estimated that this may prompt Iran or regional terror groups to take military action they avoided so far.
However, attacks on Israel could carry a heavy price tag, as the IDF prepares aggressive retaliation plans for different scenarios. The army will hit back forcefully to discourage assaults on Israel during this sensitive period, a defense source told Walla.

Notably, the 2006 Lebanon war erupted after Hezbollah provoked a new and inexperienced Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert. The Iran axis and Gaza terror groups may be tempted to similarly challenge new PM Lapid, who lacks significant defense experience.

But unlike Olmert, who came into office with rookie defense minister Amir Peretz by his side, Lapid will be working with ex-army chief Benny Gantz. Moreover, the incoming PM will likely respond harshly to any provocation to prove that he is not soft on security and score political points ahead of the election.
Lapid is taking over as tensions with Hezbollah on the Lebanon border are growing. The IDF is currently bolstering defenses to thwart a potential attack on a new gas rig located near Lebanese waters off the Haifa shore.
 

jward

passin' thru
Tehran Submits Application To Join Moscow And Beijing In BRICS Group Of Emerging Countries


6-7 minutes


The government of Iran has formally applied to become a member of BRICS, an international group of emerging economies. Goldman Sachs analyst Jim O’Neill coined the acronym in 2001, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.

“BRICS countries have played a vital role in practicing true multilateralism and promoting unity and strength among developing countries,” a statement from the Iranian Embassy wrote. “Iran stands ready to offer all its resources and advantages, including energy reserves, human resources and scientific achievements, to help the BRICS countries achieve their goals.”

In a separate announcement, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Argentina had followed suit, also sending an application to join the group of nations.

While attending a forum at last week’s BRICS summit, both Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez expressed their desire and readiness to become full members of the organization.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the leaders’ summit of Caspian Sea littoral states in Ashgabat. pic.twitter.com/1xtEg24jrU

— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) June 29, 2022

In response to the two new applications, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said in a press conference that the fate of BRICS and the world’s emerging economies had been intertwined since its inception. China, which holds this year’s BRICS chairmanship, has advocated for expanding the group’s membership. Chinese analysts have stated that the application of the two countries is an instance of “true multilateralism” and not “ideological confrontations” that emphasize the “true” solidarity of nations and not division.

Secretary-General of the World Financial Forum and Director of the Center for BRICS and Global Governance Feng Xingke said that aside from Iran and Argentina, more and more countries are showing interest in joining BRICS. According to him, this showcases the group’s appeal to emerging economies looking for an avenue for development.

Given the BRICS group of nations is not a treaty, the five founding members must discuss matters regarding the application of new members. Whether application of the countries will first enter observer status or undergo other protocols to ascend membership will depend on the decision of the five, Feng explained.

As it stands, the countries within BRICS represent around 40% of the global population, accounting for 25% of the worldwide economy, 18% of the world’s trade, and 50% of the entire planet’s economic growth.

Despite not being open to new members in recent years, the group has offered an efficient and widely successful BRICS Plus mechanism that allows members and non-members to communicate in addressing global development challenges.

“While the White House was thinking about what else to turn off in the world, ban or spoil, Argentina and Iran applied to join the BRICS,” Zakharova wrote on the messaging platform Telegram, commenting on the applications of Iran and Argentina to BRICS.
BRICS and a New Power Triangle
Most defense commentators and analysts see Iran as an integral player in the Russia-China grouping against the United States and the West. The US departure from the Iran Nuclear Deal, also referred to officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has undoubtedly deteriorated Washington’s relationship with Tehran while pushing the latter closer to Beijing and Moscow.

In 2021, during the tenure of Former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran and China inked a 25-year deal known as the “strategic accord,” which intends to bolster the two countries’ economic, defense, and security relations.
The Iranian Boogeyman
Read Next: The Iranian Boogeyman


Rouhani’s successor, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, has also expressed his willingness to deepen ties with China. Notably, China has been purchasing oil from Iran at a discounted rate, a direct defiance of sanctions imposed on the country over the past three years.

On March 22, Russia's FM Sergey Lavrov met with the Moscow-accredited ambassadors from the #BRICS nations.

The participants discussed:

✅ strengthening strategic #partnership
✅ promoting the five-way #dialogue

In detail https://t.co/DkmD5ISoMZ pic.twitter.com/7kzOMvMNbt

— BRICSRussia2020 (@BRICSRussia2020) March 23, 2022

Similarly, Iran and Russia are expected to sign an identical agreement of strategic accord. During a diplomatic visit to Russia in January 2022, Raisi presented a draft of a 20-year cooperation agreement between Tehran and Moscow.

Tehran intends to strengthen economic and trade relations with Moscow, which already had a record high of $3.5 billion in bilateral trade last year. It also eyes further economic cooperation under the Eurasia Economic Union, an economic integration union led by the Russian Federation.

Aside from economic gains, China and Russia ‌benefit from having a partner in the Middle East that will resist and potentially undermine the US influence. Authorities and the media in Iran already claim that a new “power triangle” has been formed to stand up against the West.

“In the new world order, a triangle consisting of three powers – Iran, Russia, and China – has formed in Asia. This new arrangement heralds the end of the inequitable hegemony of the United States and the West,” spokesman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Iranian parliament, Mahmoud Abbaszadeh-Meshkini, said.
 

jward

passin' thru
IRGC official behind Iranian air defense deployment in Syria revealed
The report comes shortly after an alleged Israeli airstrike reportedly hit Iranian air-defense systems in Syria.
By TZVI JOFFRE
Published: JULY 4, 2022 18:15
Email Twitter Facebook fb-messenger
 Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei, deputy coordinator of the IRGC's Aerospace Force (photo credit: ISNA)

Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei, deputy coordinator of the IRGC's Aerospace Force
(photo credit: ISNA)



Brig.-Gen. Fereydoun Mohammadi Saghaei has been identified as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) official in charge of deploying advanced Iranian air-defense systems in Syria and Lebanon, according to an independent Israeli intelligence analyst Ronen Solomon, who runs the Intelli Times blog.








Saghaei serves as the deputy coordinator of the IRGC's Aerospace Force. His identification as the IRGC official in charge of deploying Iran air defenses in Syria was first hinted at in a report by al-Arabiya on Friday, although Solomon clarified that the name they reported at the time (Faird Muhammad Thaqa'i) was slightly incorrect.

Solomon says he was able to confirm the report and the correct name of the IRGC official with Western intelligence sources.

According to the al-Arabiya report from Friday, Saghaei had visited Damascus several times in the past in order to promote efforts to bring Iranian air defenses to the country. Western intelligence sources told al-Arabiya that Israel is aware of the project and is determined to prevent the formation of an Iranian air defense network in Syria.

 IRGC air-defense system (credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)
zoom-image-icon.svg
IRGC air-defense system (credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY)
In an interview in 2020, Saghaei stated during an air-defense drill that the IRGC's Aerospace Force has a "series of surprising capabilities to deal with the enemy," adding that "the enemies will see our surprising power when they need it."

Recent alleged Israeli airstrike targeted Iranian air-defense systems
Arabic-language media reported over the weekend that an alleged Israeli airstrike targeting sites south of Tartus on Saturday morning was aimed at hitting Iranian air-defense systems that had been deployed in the area, just a day after the al-Arabiya report was published. The area hit is located just north of the border between Lebanon and Syria.


Syrian state media reported that the airstrike only hit poultry farms in the area, injuring two civilians.

In March, The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran had used advanced air-defense batteries it had deployed in Syria against Israeli planes conducting airstrikes in the country. The systems were deployed to Syria last year.

In 2020, Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub and Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Bagheri signed a military cooperation agreement, including a commitment by Iran to strengthen Syrian air defense systems.



 

jward

passin' thru
US envoy says Iran has enough enriched uranium to develop nuclear bomb
Robert Malley says nuclear deal 'will be something of the past' if not revived soon
Robert Malley called the last round of talks with Iran in Doha a 'wasted occasion'. AFP

Robert Malley called the last round of talks with Iran in Doha a 'wasted occasion'. AFP


Joyce Karam
Washington
Jul 05, 2022


Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Robert Malley, the US special envoy for Iran, said on Tuesday that Tehran has enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.
“It would take them a matter of weeks” to build a bomb, he said, but added that “this would be something that [the US government] would know, we would see, and to which we would react quite forcefully, as you could imagine.”
Speaking to National Public Radio (NPR), he confirmed his belief that Iran has enough material to develop a nuclear weapon, while lamenting the failure of the last round of talks with Iran in Doha, calling it a “wasted occasion”.
Read More
US Iran envoy says nuclear negotiations are more likely to fail than succeed
The European negotiators, he explained, invited both the US and Iran to Qatar “in the hope that the Iranians would show something, some willingness to get to yes, but they seem, at this point, not capable of providing an answer”.
He argued, however, that there is still time to resolve the issue if Tehran were to make a decision.

“Whether [the Iranians] are interested [in a deal] or not, they’re going to have to decide sooner or later because at some point, the deal will be a thing of the past … There still is time to resolve this.”
He assessed that Iran has yet to make a decision over whether to return to the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abandoned in 2018.


A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows workers on a construction site in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant during an official ceremony to kick-start works for a second reactor at the facility. - Bushehr is Iran's only nuclear power station and is currently running on imported fuel from Russia that is closely monitored by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)





A picture taken on November 10, 2019, shows workers on a construction site in Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant during an official ceremony to kick-start works for a second reactor at the facility. - Bushehr is Iran's only nuclear power station and is currently running on imported fuel from Russia that is closely monitored by the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

Russian contractors work at the Bushehr nuclear reactor site in 2007. The plant opened four years later. Bloomberg
Mr Malley also said Iran is much closer to “having enough fissile material for a bomb”.

“To our knowledge, they have not resumed their weaponisation programme, which is what they would need to develop [a bomb].”

He reiterated the alarm the US and its partners feel over the progress Iran has made in uranium enrichment.


“Getting back to the deal is in our non-proliferation interest. We think it's their interest because they'd get sanctions lifted. But of course, that's an assessment that they don't have to make,” Mr Malley said.

President Joe Biden's administration has engaged in eight rounds of indirect talks with Iran in Vienna to resurrect that deal, formally known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is designed to cap Tehran’s nuclear activities and prevent it from developing a nuclear weapon.

Updated: July 05, 2022, 10:24 AM
 

jward

passin' thru
EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3

1h

It's the symbology of this that is huge for sure. Right in Americas backyard.
Iran, Russia, China To Run War Drills in Latin America

Iran, Russia, China To Run War Drills in Latin America
Adam Kredo • July 5, 2022 4:55 am


Iran, Russia, and China are gearing up to run a series of major war drills in Latin America in a show of force meant to signal how these militaries can reach the United States.
Venezuela, under the leadership of anti-U.S. socialist president Nicolás Maduro, is scheduled to host the war games in mid-August, according to a report by the Center for a Secure Free Society, a think tank that tracks malign regimes. Along with 10 other nations, Russia, China, and Iran will move their militaries into the Western Hemisphere for war drills that will "preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean."
The war games, known as the Sniper Frontier competition, show that these malign regime from across the globe are uniting and "getting ready to make a loud statement that the region is ready to embrace the multipolar force," according to the think-tank report, which focuses on Latin America's embrace of authoritarian regimes. A key portion of Russia's "military is prepping to bring, for the first time, some of these military games to the Western Hemisphere"—even as Moscow is bogged down with war in Ukraine.

The war drills are one of the starkest signs to date that Latin America's coalition of anti-U.S. regimes is working to boost relations with Russia, China, and Iran. Maduro recently wrapped up a diplomatic tour of the Middle East in which he inked a 20-year strategic deal with Iran that laid the groundwork for an Iranian oil tanker to dock in Venezuela and offload Tehran's illicit crude. "The strategic deal between Iran and Venezuela is meant to mirror similar strategic agreements that the Islamic Republic signed with China and Russia in recent years," according to the think-tank report. Latin American regimes also are inking military pacts with Russia.

"Russia and its allies Iran and China are about to make a major show of force with the army games competition in August in Venezuela. But it's important to understand that this force is molded by cyber-enabled, digital disinformation that is at the heart of how this kind of joint military exercise is used to legitimize authoritarian states and delegitimize democracies in the Western Hemisphere," Joseph Humire, a national security analyst and executive director of the think tank, told the Washington Free Beacon. "By normalizing military movements of U.S. adversaries in the Caribbean, we run the risk of weakening the moral legitimacy of democracies in Latin America."
There are also signs that Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), the country's paramilitary fighting force, is boosting its presence in Latin America.
In early June, a Venezuela cargo plane flying in the region "was discovered to have members of the Qods Force, the elite unit of Iran's revolutionary guards, on board," according to the think-tank report. "Gholamreza Ghasemi, a known weapons trafficker for the IRGC and manager of Qeshm Fars Air, was piloting the Boeing 747-300M that returned to Buenos Aires along with 4 other Iranian nationals and 14 Venezuelans."

After the plane was grounded, "documents, personnel effects, and electronics were seized by Argentine authorities who discovered images of tanks, missiles, and other pro-IRGC paraphernalia on one of the mobile devices," hinting at a larger Iranian-backed plot unfolding in the region.
Ghasemi reportedly made at least 13 trips from Iran to Venezuela in the past year and a half, raising red flags with the FBI and the Israeli government.
As Iran and Venezuela increase their military and economic ties, Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega—an ally of Venezuela's Maduro—renewed a military pact with Russia "authorizing Russian troops, planes, and ships to patrol the Central American country's borders and conduct joint military training exercises," according to the report. The military agreement was signed amid Russia's war with Ukraine, indicating that a presence in Latin America remains a priority for Moscow even as it faces pressure on its own borders.
Russia has been waging covert espionage operations in Latin America. An accused Russian GRU military intelligence agent was recently caught trying to obtain an internship at the International Criminal Court. The spy "had been cultivating his cover as a Brazilian national for years and may not have been working alone," according to the think-tank report.
China also has been active in the region, though these efforts have received little media attention.

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi last month inked several economic deals in Latin America, making calls to Uruguay, Nicaragua, and Ecuador. China's Belt and Road Initiative, a program to increase the Chinese Communist Party's global footprint, has made its way into Argentina, where it is working to build infrastructure projects.
"As Russia attempts to delegitimize the international financial system," the think tank noted, "China has signed an agreement with a Switzerland-based bank to establish a reserve of yuan currency together with Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Chile to counter the U.S. dollar."


Published under: China, Iran, Latin America, Russia, Venezuela

Iran, Russia, China to Run War Drills in Latin America
 

jward

passin' thru
Israel says Iran military build up in Red Sea is threat to stability
July 5, 202211:10 AM CDTLast Updated 2 hours ago

2-3 minutes


Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020. REUTERS/Corinna Kern//File Photo

JERUSALEM, July 5 (Reuters) - Israel's defence minister said on Tuesday that Iran has been entrenching itself militarily in the Red Sea, calling it a threat to regional stability and trade.
"Today, we can confirm that Iran is methodically basing itself in the Red Sea, with warships patrolling the southern region," Defence Minister Benny Gantz said at an event in Athens.
"In the last months, we have identified the most significant Iranian military presence in the area, in the past decade," he said. Gantz's office said he presented satellite images of four Iranian warships patrolling the Red Sea.

Iran has been building up its naval presence in the Red Sea over more than a decade in a move which it says is needed to protect Iranian oil tankers against the threat of piracy.
Israel and a number of Arab countries share concerns about Iran's influence in the region as well as Tehran's nuclear programme. Iran says its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Ahead of a visit to the Middle East by U.S. President Joe Biden next week, Gantz has called for stronger security ties with Gulf Arab states that drew closer to Israel under a 2020 U.S.-sponsored diplomatic drive.
On Saturday, Iran-backed Hezbollah, an armed group in Lebanon, sent three drones towards an Israeli offshore gas rig that were intercepted by Israel's military.
 

jward

passin' thru
SURELY this concludes any last glimmer o' possibility of the Jcpoa??

Replying to
@EndGameWW3
State TV: Iran's Revolutionary Guards detain several foreigners, including the deputy head of the British mission in Tehran, over allegations of espionage.

WTF...

UK deputy ambassador arrested by IRGC on espionage charges
View: https://twitter.com/EndGameWW3/status/1544750062659682305?s=20&t=oqT30BDbWCgCZw1efKaSOQ


UK denies Iranian reports that British diplomat arrested by Tehran for spying UK denies Iran reports of senior UK diplomat, others arrested by Tehran for spying via @timesofisrael
View: https://twitter.com/EndGameWW3/status/1544790504696696833?s=20&t=oqT30BDbWCgCZw1efKaSOQ
 

jward

passin' thru
Navy destroyer helps UK ship seize Iranian missiles at sea
Alison Bath and J.P. Lawrence

5-6 minutes


The destroyer USS Gridley transits the Gulf of Oman during a search and rescue drill, April 15, 2022. In February, Gridley assisted the British navy's HMS Montrose in the seizure of smuggled Iranian missiles thought to be headed to Yemen.

The destroyer USS Gridley transits the Gulf of Oman during a search and rescue drill, April 15, 2022. In February, Gridley assisted the British navy's HMS Montrose in the seizure of smuggled Iranian missiles thought to be headed to Yemen. (Colby A. Mothershead/U.S. Navy)

NAPLES, Italy — A U.S. Navy destroyer helped in the seizure of smuggled Iranian surface-to-air missiles and other advanced weapon components potentially intended for Houthi rebels in Yemen, British officials announced Thursday.

An MH-60 Seahawk helicopter from USS Gridley provided overwatch on Feb. 25 as the British navy frigate Montrose intercepted a speedboat operated by smugglers in international waters south of Iran, the British Defense Ministry and U.S. 5th Fleet said in separate statements.

A similar incident in the same region on Jan. 28 also resulted in the confiscation of advanced weaponry.

The U.K. did not reveal the seizures until more than four months afterward because of their sensitivity, a defense ministry spokesman said Thursday, adding that it “took some time for the facts to become clear.”

Concerns about Iran's missiles and aerial drones led to a secret meeting of U.S., Israeli and Arab military officials about possible air defense coordination, The Wall Street Journal reported in June.

Middle Eastern countries are worried about Iran's ability to launch attacks from afar, said Tom Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"The capacity and the capability of Iranian missiles and drones is very robust," Karako said Wednesday.

British marines who boarded the vessels during routine security operations discovered dozens of packages later determined to be engine components for the Iranian 351 land attack cruise missile and an unspecified number of Iranian 358 surface-to-air missiles, officials said.

Iranian missiles and other weapons seized by the British navy ship HMS Montrose in February 2022. The U.K. announced the seizure July 7, citing a need to clarify several facts and inspect the weapons through United Nations channels before making it public.

Iranian missiles and other weapons seized by the British navy ship HMS Montrose in February 2022. The U.K. announced the seizure July 7, citing a need to clarify several facts and inspect the weapons through United Nations channels before making it public. (U.K. Defense Ministry)

The transported items violate a 2015 U.N. Security Council resolution that, among other actions, imposed an arms embargo in Yemen, according to the British Defense Ministry.

On June 24, U.N. experts inspected the seized weapons and received a technical briefing from British intelligence analysts.

The key factor in the delay in announcing the seizures hinged on that briefing, the U.K. Defense Ministry spokesman told Stars and Stripes.

A British navy spokesman added that independent verification of the seized weapons by panels of experts was vital to ensure accuracy before an announcement could be made.

Iran has been accused of providing weapons, training and financial support to the Houthis, a Shiite rebel movement that has been fighting Yemen’s Sunni-majority government for decades.

In 2014, Houthis seized control of Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern countries launched a counteroperation in 2015.

A cease-fire agreement reached in April that was set to expire in June was extended until August, the U.N. announced June 2.

In 2016, a failed missile attack against the destroyer USS Mason was launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, Reuters reported at the time.

In March, the Houthi movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, including the port city of Jeddah, according to a March 26 statement from the European Union condemning the attacks.

U.S. and British naval forces regularly collaborate on interdictions of weapons and other illicit cargo used to support terrorism, said Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. 5th Fleet.

In 2021, the U.S. Navy seized nearly 9,000 illicit weapons in the busy shipping lanes of the Middle East, the service said.

Last week, the Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet announced it was offering rewards of up to $100,000 for tips leading to the seizure of weapons, drugs and other smuggled goods in the region.
 

Heliobas Disciple

TB Fanatic
(fair use applies)

Opinion
Joe Biden: Why I’m going to Saudi Arabia
By Joe Biden
July 9, 2022 at 6:35 p.m. EDT

Next week, I’ll travel to the Middle East to start a new and more promising chapter of America’s engagement there. This trip comes at a vital time for the region, and it will advance important American interests.

A more secure and integrated Middle East benefits Americans in many ways. Its waterways are essential to global trade and the supply chains we rely on. Its energy resources are vital for mitigating the impact on global supplies of Russia’s war in Ukraine. And a region that’s coming together through diplomacy and cooperation — rather than coming apart through conflict — is less likely to give rise to violent extremism that threatens our homeland or new wars that could place new burdens on U.S. military forces and their families.

Avoiding that scenario is of paramount importance to me. I’ll pursue diplomacy intensely — including through face-to-face meetings — to achieve our goals.

The Middle East I’ll be visiting is more stable and secure than the one my administration inherited 18 months ago.

One month before my inauguration, our embassy in Baghdad faced the largest rocket attack in a decade. Attacks against our troops and diplomats had increased fourfold over the preceding year. My predecessor repeatedly ordered B-52 bombers to fly from the United States to the region and back again to deter these attacks. But it didn’t work, and the attacks continued.

The war in Yemen was escalating, creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, with no political process in sight to end the fighting.

After my predecessor reneged on a nuclear deal that was working, Iran had passed a law mandating the rapid acceleration of its nuclear program. Then, when the last administration sought to condemn Iran for this action in the U.N. Security Council, the United States found itself isolated and alone.

In my first weeks as president, our intelligence and military experts warned that the region was dangerously pressurized. It needed urgent and intensive diplomacy. To restore deterrence, I ordered airstrikes in response to the attacks against our troops and began serious diplomatic outreach to bring about a more stable region.

In Iraq, we ended the U.S. combat mission and transitioned our military presence to focus on training Iraqis, while sustaining the global coalition against the Islamic State we forged when I was vice president, now dedicated to preventing ISIS from resurging. We’ve also responded to threats against Americans. The frequency of Iranian-sponsored attacks compared with two years ago has dropped precipitously. And this past February, in Syria, we took out ISIS leader Haji Abdullah, demonstrating America’s capability to eliminate terrorist threats no matter where they try to hide.

In Yemen, I named an envoy and engaged with leaders across the region, including with the king of Saudi Arabia, to lay the foundation for a truce. After a year of our persistent diplomacy, that truce is now in place, and lifesaving humanitarian assistance is reaching cities and towns that had been under siege. As a result, the past few months in Yemen have been the most peaceful in seven years.
Advertisement

With respect to Iran, we reunited with allies and partners in Europe and around the world to reverse our isolation; now it is Iran that is isolated until it returns to the nuclear deal my predecessor abandoned with no plan for what might replace it. Last month, more than 30 countries joined us to condemn Iran’s lack of cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past nuclear activities. My administration will continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Iran is ready to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, as I remain prepared to do.

In Israel, we helped end a war in Gaza — which could easily have lasted months — in just 11 days. We’ve worked with Israel, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan to maintain the peace without permitting terrorists to rearm. We also rebuilt U.S. ties with the Palestinians. Working with Congress, my administration restored approximately $500 million in support for Palestinians, while also passing the largest support package for Israel — over $4 billion — in history. And this week, an Israeli prime minister spoke with the president of the Palestinian Authority for the first time in five years.

In Saudi Arabia, we reversed the blank-check policy we inherited. I released the intelligence community’s report on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, issued new sanctions, including on the Saudi Arabia’s Rapid Intervention Force involved in his killing, and issued 76 visa bans under a new rule barring entry into the United States for anyone found to be involved in harassing dissidents abroad. My administration has made clear that the United States will not tolerate extraterritorial threats and harassment against dissidents and activists by any government. We also advocated for American citizens who had been wrongfully detained in Saudi Arabia long before I took office. They have since been released, and I will continue to push for restrictions on their travel to be lifted.

From the start, my aim was to reorient — but not rupture — relations with a country that’s been a strategic partner for 80 years. Today, Saudi Arabia has helped to restore unity among the six countries of Gulf Cooperation Council, has fully supported the truce in Yemen and is now working with my experts to help stabilize oil markets with other OPEC producers.

I know that there are many who disagree with my decision to travel to Saudi Arabia. My views on human rights are clear and long-standing, and fundamental freedoms are always on the agenda when I travel abroad, as they will be during this trip, just as they will be in Israel and the West Bank.

As president, it is my job to keep our country strong and secure. We have to counter Russia’s aggression, put ourselves in the best possible position to outcompete China, and work for greater stability in a consequential region of the world. To do these things, we have to engage directly with countries that can impact those outcomes. Saudi Arabia is one of them, and when I meet with Saudi leaders on Friday, my aim will be to strengthen a strategic partnership going forward that’s based on mutual interests and responsibilities, while also holding true to fundamental American values.
Advertisement

On Friday, I will also be the first president to fly from Israel to Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. That travel will also be a small symbol of the budding relations and steps toward normalization between Israel and the Arab world, which my administration is working to deepen and expand. In Jiddah, leaders from across the region will gather, pointing to the possibility of a more stable and integrated Middle East, with the United States playing a vital leadership role.

Of course, the region remains full of challenges: Iran’s nuclear program and support for proxy groups, the Syrian civil war, food security crises exacerbated by Russia’s war against Ukraine, terrorist groups still operating in a number of countries, political gridlock in Iraq, Libya and Lebanon, and human rights standards that remain behind much of the world. We must address all these issues. When I meet with leaders from across the region, I will make clear how important it is to make progress in these areas.

Still, compared to 18 months ago, the region is less pressurized and more integrated. Former rivals have reestablished relations. Joint infrastructure projects are forging new partnerships. Iraq, which had long been a source of proxy conflicts and regional rivalries, now serves as a platform for diplomacy, including between Saudi Arabia and Iran. My friend King Abdullah of Jordan recently referred to the “new vibe” in the region, with countries asking, “How can we connect with each other and work with each other.”

These are promising trends, which the United States can strengthen in a way no other country can. My travel next week will serve that purpose.

Throughout my journey, I’ll have in mind the millions of Americans who served in the region, including my son Beau, and the 7,054 who died in conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001.

Next week, I will be the first president to visit the Middle East since 9/11 without U.S. troops engaged in a combat mission there. It’s my aim to keep it that way.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Jul 9, 2022, 12:06 PM

Iran, Russia discuss removing dollar from transactions

"Fortunately, good understandings were reached with Russia in various banking, financial and economic fields, which will be implemented in the near future," Salehabadi said, referring to his recent meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Novak in Moscow on Friday.

Referring to the agreement reached between Iran and Russia to use national currencies in economic exchanges between the two countries, Salehabadi added, "The issue of using national currencies was one of the important axes of consultation with high-ranking Russian economic officials, and soon we will see the implementation of the agreements reached."

Saying that Iran is using domestic delivery systems instead of Swift, Salehabadi noted that since Russia also has its domestic delivery systems, there can be a good basis for banking cooperation between the two countries.

Stating that the creation of financial platforms is one of the most important axes of economic development, the Iranian official added that his trip has created very good grounds for the relations between the businessmen of the two countries, and from now on, business activities will be carried out on new platforms and with greater ease.

Referring to the political will of the presidents of Iran and Russia to develop and deepen the cooperation between the two countries, Salehabadi said, "Fortunately, there is a lot of interest in developing relations on both sides."

"There are very good capacities to increase the volume of economic exchanges and everything is ready for the rapid growth of relations between the two countries," he added.
 

jward

passin' thru
jpost.com
‘This is Biden’s last chance to stop Iran from getting the bomb’
By LAHAV HARKOV​

US President Joe Biden should use his visit to the region this week to ensure that Iran knows there is a credible US military threat if it continues advancing its nuclear program, Likud MK Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday.
Steinitz, who as strategic affairs and intelligence minister coordinated Israel’s talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members: China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, plus Germany) as they engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran in 2013-2015, expressed concerns that Tehran advanced its nuclear program significantly farther than ever before in the past year because it no longer felt threatened by the US, and that Washington-backed air defense coordination between Israel and Gulf States is no replacement.

“The whole visit is only worthwhile if it gets one result: A US military threat to Iran,” Steinitz said. “That is what we have been missing in the past year, which allowed Iran, for the first time, to race to the bomb.”
Steinitz expressed concern about Biden’s opinion article in Saturday’s Washington Post, in which the president wrote: “My administration will continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Iran is ready to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, as I remain prepared to do.” It mentions “diplomatic and economic pressure,” but not a military one, he pointed out.
Before Iran entered negotiations with world powers in 2013, it enriched uranium to 20% purity; while the agreement was in place in 2015-2018, it did not pass the 3.5% enrichment limit stipulated by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
MEMBERS OF the JCPOA Joint Commission convene in Vienna last month. (credit: EU Delegation in Vienna/European External Action Service/Reuters)

After the US under former president Donald Trump left the deal, in 2018, Tehran violated the JCPOA, returning to 20% enrichment. Last year, it announced that it would enrich uranium to 60%, thought to be the closest any state without nuclear weapons has gotten to a bomb, which requires enrichment to 90% purity.
Iran has also increased the number of advanced centrifuges in use and, last month, disabled International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring cameras at nuclear sites.
“You need the US military threat in order to keep the Iranians at bay”
Yuval Steinitz
“The only new factor here is that for the first time in the last two and a half decades, they believe that the US military threat doesn’t exist anymore,” Steinitz argued, saying that the credibility of such a threat is an even more important factor than whether or not there is a nuclear agreement. “You need the US military threat in order to keep the Iranians at bay.”
Iran could get a nuclear bomb in as little as six months, he said, warning that “this is the last call for President Biden.”
The American-backed Middle East Air Defense alliance discussions involving Israel and Gulf States will be meaningless if Iran is allowed to get a nuclear weapon, Steinitz said.
“All the talk of bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia closer and that maybe our planes will be able to fly over their airspace on the way to India – that’s all very nice, but if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will overshadow all the steps of bringing countries closer together. This is the only real game in town now,” he stated.

What happens if Iran goes nuclear?
“If Iran gets the bomb, many will break up the alliance and align themselves with Iran,” he predicted. “Israel will be under an existential threat… Iran already has missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads to Europe… If Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the vicinity will follow immediately, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. It will be the end of the nonproliferation regime.”

The former strategic affairs and intelligence minister clarified that he is not questioning whether Biden supports Israel and its right to defend itself. He recounted meeting the president in the Senate in the early aughts, when he was Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense chairman and the now-president was chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Biden greeting Steinitz by saying: “First thing I want to tell you is that I define myself as a devoted Zionist.”
He also said that this is not a partisan argument that only Republicans can keep Iran from getting the bomb. Steinitz argued that during the tenure of former US President Barack Obama – a democrat – Iran felt deterred enough to not pass 20% enrichment, pointing to American aircraft carriers in the Gulf and the surge in Afghanistan as possible reasons for that.
Even if Iran returns to the JCPOA, the US has to have a “big enough stick” for the Islamic Republic to comply with it, Steinitz said. “That was true under [former presidents] Bush, Obama and Trump, and it is true and crucial now.”
“This is the responsibility of the US and Biden,” Steinitz said. “Iran is on the 40th kilometer of the marathon; there are only 2 kilometers left. The only way to stop them now is to revive the Obama-Biden-era credible military threat.”

Steinitz announced last week that after 23 years in the Knesset, he would not be running in the election in November.
In addition to strategic affairs minister and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense chairman, Steinitz has been Israel’s finance minister – instituting the two-year budget and bringing Israel into the OECD – and energy minister, formulating the framework for gas exploration, taxation and exportation of natural gas in Israel’s economic waters.
Steinitz has a PhD in philosophy, and was a professor at the University of Haifa before entering politics; once a Peace Now activist, he became disillusioned by the terrorism that followed the Oslo Accords and joined the Likud.
 

jward

passin' thru
Samuel Ramani
@SamRamani2

46m

Replying to
@SamRamani2
This builds on The Guardian's reporting in April that weapons supplies from Iran and Iran-aligned proxy militias in Iraq were ending up in Russia's hands to support the Ukraine war. Iranian military training of Russians would add a key new dimension to their security partnership.
1657577550231.png



Replying to
@SamRamani2
I think that comes under the heading “No shit Sherlock”
Jason Brodsky
@JasonMBrodsky

1h

#BREAKING:
@JakeSullivan46
announces today that the U.S. has intelligence that #Iran is preparing to provide #Russia with UAVs for use in #Ukraine and to train Moscow on how to use them.
 

jward

passin' thru
Israel Radar
@IsraelRadar_com



America & Israel vs. Iran: President Biden to sign joint declaration with PM Lapid committing US to preventing Iran from ever getting nuclear weapons; document titled Jerusalem Declaration will cement US-Israel strategic partnership (@N12News)

Update: Wall Street Journal: Israeli official: Tel Aviv is looking to integrate its air defenses with its new allies.
 
Last edited:

jward

passin' thru
Exclusive: U.S. government warns that Iran may try to kill American officials as revenge for killing top general
Jana Winter

7-8 minutes


The U.S. government believes that Iran may try to assassinate current or former senior American officials to avenge the death more than two years ago of its top military and intelligence commander, according to an intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.
In January 2020, the Trump administration conducted a drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani while he was on a trip to Iraq. Since then, the regime in Tehran has threatened revenge against those it deems responsible and has made a series of threats and started legal proceedings against U.S. officials.
As President Biden begins his trip to the Middle East, the U.S. government believes the threat of an attack is still high.
President Biden, in sunglasses, descends red-carpeted stairs, with the presidential seal visible on the plane.


President Biden descends from Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on Wednesday. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

“The Iranian regime is waging a multipronged campaign — including threats of lethal action, international legal maneuvering, and the issuance of Iranian arrest warrants and sanctions — against select US officials to avenge the death of IRGC-QF Commander Soleimani in January 2020, raising the threat at home and abroad for those Iran views as responsible for the killing,” the report states.
IRGC-QF stands for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, which is part of Iran's military.
The National Counterterrorism Center, which produced the June intelligence report, declined to comment. The U.S. Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Since January 2021, Tehran has publicly expressed a willingness to conduct lethal operations inside the United States and has consistently identified former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie as among its priority targets for retribution,” the report says. “Iran would probably view the killing or prosecution of a US official it considers equivalent in rank and stature to Soleimani or responsible for his death as successful retaliatory actions.”
Qassem Soleimani, in uniform, beard and mustache, surrounded by other military officials.


Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani at a meeting with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran in 2016. (Pool/Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News, and Pompeo did not respond to text messages and emails seeking comment. McKenzie also did not respond to messages sent through a university he is affiliated with.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is contemplating reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal established under President Barack Obama, which Trump dismantled.
The intelligence report, which is marked “Not for Public Release” and “For Official Use Only,” is dated June 16, 2022, two days after the White House officially announced Biden’s trip to the Middle East.
Biden landed in Israel Wednesday for the first part of the trip, after which he is expected to fly to Saudi Arabia.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie in full military regalia at the microphone.


Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee in September 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters)

On Monday, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, announced Iranian plans to provide missiles and training to Russia in support of its war against Ukraine. Biden’s trip to the Middle East is the first of his presidency, and he is expected to try to rally support against Iran, and to try to calm tensions in the region.
The intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News appears to be part of the Biden administration’s broader efforts to call attention to the threat posed by the Iranian regime and to garner support from policymakers across the aisle and others.
A National Security Council spokesperson declined to comment on the document itself, but said in a statement to Yahoo News that the U.S. “will protect and defend its citizens,” including “those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.”
The NSC also said that a “mutual return” to full implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, remains “in America’s national interest. It is the best available option to restrict Iran’s nuclear program and provide a platform to address Iran’s destabilizing conduct.”
Michael Pompeo at a podium, with a sign in the background reading: Welcome to CPAC 2022.


Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., in February. (Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The June intelligence bulletin was widely circulated inside the government and to law enforcement nationwide. It is based on an analysis of statements and other actions taken by the Iranian regime, and describes foiled plots to assassinate government officials and legal maneuvers and threats against specific U.S. officials.
The intelligence community and federal law enforcement agencies have been concerned about retaliatory attacks from Iran in response to the death of Soleimani, and such concerns date back even before then.
Yahoo News previously reported that concerns about retaliatory attacks after Soleimani's death against officials involved in the strike against him prompted Congress to appropriate $15 million for security for departing Secretary of State Pompeo and others.
“Soleimani was the chief architect of Iran’s regional policy, and more importantly, the personal connective tissue between terrorists abroad and Tehran,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an expert on Iran and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump bellowing at a podium, with an excited crowd behind him waving placards reading: Save America.


Former President Donald Trump at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“The U.S. blow against a figure like Soleimani remains an unhealed wound for the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism, with Tehran looking to wash blood away with blood. The fact that some U.S. officials need round-the-clock security due to the Islamic Republic's threats and operations should be a wake-up call to those who only see Tehran as a potential proliferation problem or a distant threat in the Middle East,” he told Yahoo News.
If the Biden administration thought Iran's desire for revenge would abate over time, it has not, according to the intelligence report. This raises questions about how Biden plans to negotiate with a regime trying to kill U.S. government officials.
“It is baffling how the administration is trying to negotiate a deal with a government that has a river of terror threats against current and former U.S. officials,” Taleblu said.
In its statement, the NSC said the Biden administration and U.S. allies are “preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to full implementation of the [Iran nuclear deal]. The President will do what is in the best interests of U.S. national security.”
The intelligence bulletin is titled: Iran Pursuing Multipronged Retaliation Campaign against Select US Officials, with a timeline from 2020 to 2022 listing related events..


An intelligence report, dated June 16, 2022, that was obtained by Yahoo News.

 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Israel Radar
@IsraelRadar_com



America & Israel vs. Iran: President Biden to sign joint declaration with PM Lapid committing US to preventing Iran from ever getting nuclear weapons; document titled Jerusalem Declaration will cement US-Israel strategic partnership (@N12News)

Update: Wall Street Journal: Israeli official: Tel Aviv is looking to integrate its air defenses with its new allies.

Too little too late....
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Exclusive: U.S. government warns that Iran may try to kill American officials as revenge for killing top general
Jana Winter

7-8 minutes


The U.S. government believes that Iran may try to assassinate current or former senior American officials to avenge the death more than two years ago of its top military and intelligence commander, according to an intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.
In January 2020, the Trump administration conducted a drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani while he was on a trip to Iraq. Since then, the regime in Tehran has threatened revenge against those it deems responsible and has made a series of threats and started legal proceedings against U.S. officials.
As President Biden begins his trip to the Middle East, the U.S. government believes the threat of an attack is still high.
President Biden, in sunglasses, descends red-carpeted stairs, with the presidential seal visible on the plane.


President Biden descends from Air Force One at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on Wednesday. (Reuters/Ammar Awad)

“The Iranian regime is waging a multipronged campaign — including threats of lethal action, international legal maneuvering, and the issuance of Iranian arrest warrants and sanctions — against select US officials to avenge the death of IRGC-QF Commander Soleimani in January 2020, raising the threat at home and abroad for those Iran views as responsible for the killing,” the report states.
IRGC-QF stands for Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force, which is part of Iran's military.
The National Counterterrorism Center, which produced the June intelligence report, declined to comment. The U.S. Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Since January 2021, Tehran has publicly expressed a willingness to conduct lethal operations inside the United States and has consistently identified former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie as among its priority targets for retribution,” the report says. “Iran would probably view the killing or prosecution of a US official it considers equivalent in rank and stature to Soleimani or responsible for his death as successful retaliatory actions.”
Qassem Soleimani, in uniform, beard and mustache, surrounded by other military officials.


Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani at a meeting with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Tehran in 2016. (Pool/Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News, and Pompeo did not respond to text messages and emails seeking comment. McKenzie also did not respond to messages sent through a university he is affiliated with.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is contemplating reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal established under President Barack Obama, which Trump dismantled.
The intelligence report, which is marked “Not for Public Release” and “For Official Use Only,” is dated June 16, 2022, two days after the White House officially announced Biden’s trip to the Middle East.
Biden landed in Israel Wednesday for the first part of the trip, after which he is expected to fly to Saudi Arabia.
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie in full military regalia at the microphone.


Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee in September 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via Reuters)

On Monday, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, announced Iranian plans to provide missiles and training to Russia in support of its war against Ukraine. Biden’s trip to the Middle East is the first of his presidency, and he is expected to try to rally support against Iran, and to try to calm tensions in the region.
The intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News appears to be part of the Biden administration’s broader efforts to call attention to the threat posed by the Iranian regime and to garner support from policymakers across the aisle and others.
A National Security Council spokesperson declined to comment on the document itself, but said in a statement to Yahoo News that the U.S. “will protect and defend its citizens,” including “those serving the United States now and those who formerly served.”
The NSC also said that a “mutual return” to full implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, remains “in America’s national interest. It is the best available option to restrict Iran’s nuclear program and provide a platform to address Iran’s destabilizing conduct.”
Michael Pompeo at a podium, with a sign in the background reading: Welcome to CPAC 2022.


Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., in February. (Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The June intelligence bulletin was widely circulated inside the government and to law enforcement nationwide. It is based on an analysis of statements and other actions taken by the Iranian regime, and describes foiled plots to assassinate government officials and legal maneuvers and threats against specific U.S. officials.
The intelligence community and federal law enforcement agencies have been concerned about retaliatory attacks from Iran in response to the death of Soleimani, and such concerns date back even before then.
Yahoo News previously reported that concerns about retaliatory attacks after Soleimani's death against officials involved in the strike against him prompted Congress to appropriate $15 million for security for departing Secretary of State Pompeo and others.
“Soleimani was the chief architect of Iran’s regional policy, and more importantly, the personal connective tissue between terrorists abroad and Tehran,” said Behnam Ben Taleblu, an expert on Iran and a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump bellowing at a podium, with an excited crowd behind him waving placards reading: Save America.


Former President Donald Trump at a rally in Anchorage, Alaska, on July 9. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

“The U.S. blow against a figure like Soleimani remains an unhealed wound for the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism, with Tehran looking to wash blood away with blood. The fact that some U.S. officials need round-the-clock security due to the Islamic Republic's threats and operations should be a wake-up call to those who only see Tehran as a potential proliferation problem or a distant threat in the Middle East,” he told Yahoo News.
If the Biden administration thought Iran's desire for revenge would abate over time, it has not, according to the intelligence report. This raises questions about how Biden plans to negotiate with a regime trying to kill U.S. government officials.
“It is baffling how the administration is trying to negotiate a deal with a government that has a river of terror threats against current and former U.S. officials,” Taleblu said.
In its statement, the NSC said the Biden administration and U.S. allies are “preparing equally for scenarios with and without a mutual return to full implementation of the [Iran nuclear deal]. The President will do what is in the best interests of U.S. national security.”
The intelligence bulletin is titled: Iran Pursuing Multipronged Retaliation Campaign against Select US Officials, with a timeline from 2020 to 2022 listing related events..


An intelligence report, dated June 16, 2022, that was obtained by Yahoo News.


November Sierra....Casus Belli anyone?...
 

jward

passin' thru
Iran International English
@IranIntl_En

2m

Spokesman for Iran’s Armed Forces says Biden’s promise to use force against Iran as the last resort is part of the US’ psychological war, delusions, and Biden’s sleepiness. “They’ll pay the price for (their promise to) use force against Iran,” Sherkarchi said.
 

jward

passin' thru
Khamenei adviser says Iran ‘capable of building nuclear bomb’
Reuters​

3-4 minutes​

Iran is technically capable of making a nuclear bomb but has not decided whether to build one, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Qatar’s al Jazeera TV on Sunday.
Kamal Kharrazi spoke a day after U.S. President Joe Biden ended his four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, vowing to stop Iran from “acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Kharrazi’s comments were a rare suggestion that Iran might have an interest in nuclear weapons, which it has long denied seeking.

“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium ... Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kharrazi said.
Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, far above a cap of 3.67% under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for a nuclear bomb.
In 2018, former U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In reaction to Washington’s withdrawal and its reimposition of harsh sanctions, Tehran started violating the pact’s nuclear restrictions.

Last year, Iran’s intelligence minister said Western pressure could push Tehran to seek nuclear weapons, the development of which Khamenei banned in a fatwa, or religious decree, in the early 2000s.
Iran says it is refining uranium only for civilian energy uses, and has said its breaches of the international deal are reversible if the United States lifts sanctions and rejoins the agreement.
The broad outline of a revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Biden’s administration in Vienna.

But talks then broke down over obstacles including Tehran’s demand that Washington should give guarantees that no U.S. president will abandon the deal, the same way Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty.
“The United States has not provided guarantees on preserving the nuclear deal and this ruins the possibility of any agreement,” Kharrazi said.
Israel, which Iran does not recognise, has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Kharrazi said Iran would never negotiate its balistic missile programme and regional policy, as demanded by the West and its allies in the Middle East.
“Any targeting of our security from neighbouring countries will be met with direct response to these countries and Israel.”
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.
 

jward

passin' thru
Iran Ignores Joe Biden Mid East Visit: Boasts of ‘Nuclear Bomb’ Capability
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
Simon Kent17 Jul 202218


2:29


A senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei boasted Sunday the Islamic republic is now capable of building a nuclear bomb, waiting until U.S. President Joe Biden was in the air and flying home from his Middle East visit to make the declaration of advanced capability.

“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60 percent and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium … Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kamal Kharrazi told Al Jazeera’s Arabic service in a direct diplomatic snub to Biden.
Iran has long denied seeking nuclear weapons, saying it is refining uranium only for civilian energy uses, and has said its breaches of the international deal are reversible if the United States lifts sanctions and rejoins the agreement, Reuters reports.
Indirect talks between Iran and Biden’s administration, which aim to bring both Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the nuclear pact, have gone nowhere since March.
Kharrazi said Tehran would never negotiate over its missile programme and regional policy, as demanded by the West and its allies in the Middle East.
Biden has spent the past four days touring the Middle East in an effort at re-igniting his previous spluttering attempts at global diplomacy, with visits to Israel and eastern Jerusalem as well as Saudi Arabia.


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Saturday cast doubt on Biden’s promise to boost oil production and bring down prices, saying his country had almost reached its capacity and could increase production only nominally to 13 million barrels per day, as Breitbart News reported.
The Saudi-owned Al Arabiya news network, citing an unnamed Saudi source, reported that Prince Mohammed responded to Biden’s mention of Khashoggi by saying that attempts to impose a set of values can backfire.
He also said the U.S. had committed mistakes at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where detainees were tortured, and pressed Biden on the killing of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a recent Israeli raid on the West Bank city of Jenin.
Overall Biden had little to show for his trip aside from picture opportunities and meetings.
 
Last edited:

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Those over achieving idiots waiting on their jin to come out of the well in Tehran may have just over played their trash talk.
 
Last edited:

somewherepress

Veteran Member
Khamenei adviser says Iran ‘capable of building nuclear bomb’
Reuters


3-4 minutes


Iran is technically capable of making a nuclear bomb but has not decided whether to build one, a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Qatar’s al Jazeera TV on Sunday.
Kamal Kharrazi spoke a day after U.S. President Joe Biden ended his four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, vowing to stop Iran from “acquiring a nuclear weapon.”
Kharrazi’s comments were a rare suggestion that Iran might have an interest in nuclear weapons, which it has long denied seeking.

“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium ... Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kharrazi said.
Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, far above a cap of 3.67% under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for a nuclear bomb.
In 2018, former U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In reaction to Washington’s withdrawal and its reimposition of harsh sanctions, Tehran started violating the pact’s nuclear restrictions.

Last year, Iran’s intelligence minister said Western pressure could push Tehran to seek nuclear weapons, the development of which Khamenei banned in a fatwa, or religious decree, in the early 2000s.
Iran says it is refining uranium only for civilian energy uses, and has said its breaches of the international deal are reversible if the United States lifts sanctions and rejoins the agreement.
The broad outline of a revived deal was essentially agreed in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and Biden’s administration in Vienna.

But talks then broke down over obstacles including Tehran’s demand that Washington should give guarantees that no U.S. president will abandon the deal, the same way Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally-binding treaty.
“The United States has not provided guarantees on preserving the nuclear deal and this ruins the possibility of any agreement,” Kharrazi said.
Israel, which Iran does not recognise, has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Kharrazi said Iran would never negotiate its balistic missile programme and regional policy, as demanded by the West and its allies in the Middle East.
“Any targeting of our security from neighbouring countries will be met with direct response to these countries and Israel.”
Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.
So, the obvious question is: what will Israel do in response to this proclamation? Nothing? Glass Parking lots in Iran? Something in between? Guess we'll find out in the not too distant future....
 

jward

passin' thru
The Jerusalem Post - Israel News NY Conference Israel News Health & Wellness WORLD NEWS Middle East Business & Innovation ARCHAEOLOGY Opinion

Login
more.svg


Jerusalem Post
arrow-areucle.svg
Israel News
IDF Chief Kohavi warns Israel might be required to act against Iran
Comments come after a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran is technically capable of making a nuclear bomb.

By ANNA AHRONHEIM, REUTERS
Published: JULY 17, 2022 21:40
Email Twitter Facebook fb-messenger

IDF Chief of Staff (Lt.-Gen.) Aviv Kohavi with US CENTCOM general Erik Kurilla.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)


In a clear warning to Iran, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi said that the military is preparing for the possibility that it would have to act against Iran's nuclear program.

"Preparing the home front for war is a task that must be accelerated in the coming years, especially in light of the possibility that we will be required to act against the nuclear threat," he said Sunday evening during the change of command of the Homefront Command.

"The IDF continues to prepare vigorously for an attack on Iran and must prepare for any development and any scenario. Preparing a military option against the Iranian nuclear program is a moral obligation and a national security order."

According to Kohavi, the plans for military action against the program "are at the center of preparations in the IDF and include a variety of operational plans, the allocation of many resources, the acquisition of appropriate weapons, intelligence and training."
"The IDF continues to prepare vigorously for an attack on Iran and must prepare for any development and any scenario. Preparing a military option against the Iranian nuclear program is a moral obligation and a national security order."
Aviv Kohavi

His comments come after a senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV that the Islamic Republic is technically capable of making a nuclear bomb but has not decided whether to build one.

zoom-image-icon.svg
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi attends a ceremony of the Aharai! Youth Program, at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem on June 17, 2022 (credit: FLASH90)
Kamal Kharrazi spoke a day after US President Joe Biden ended his four-day trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia, vowing to stop Iran from “acquiring a nuclear weapon.”

Kharrazi’s comments were a rare suggestion that Iran might have an interest in nuclear weapons, which it has long denied seeking.
“In a few days we were able to enrich uranium up to 60% and we can easily produce 90% enriched uranium.... Iran has the technical means to produce a nuclear bomb but there has been no decision by Iran to build one,” Kharrazi said.

Iran is already enriching to up to 60%, far above a cap of 3.67% under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Uranium enriched to 90% is suitable for a nuclear bomb.

Background
In 2018, former US President Donald Trump ditched the nuclear pact, under which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment work, a potential pathway to nuclear weapons, in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.
In reaction to Washington’s withdrawal and its reimposition of harsh sanctions, Tehran started violating the pact’s nuclear restrictions.

Last year, Iran’s intelligence minister said Western pressure could push Tehran to seek nuclear weapons, the development of which Khamenei banned in a fatwa, or religious decree, in the early 2000s.
Iran says it is refining uranium only for civilian energy uses and has said its breaches of the international deal are reversible if the United States lifts sanctions and rejoins the agreement.

The broad outline of a revived deal was essentially agreed to in March after 11 months of indirect talks between Tehran and the Biden administration in Vienna.

Talks then broke down over obstacles including Tehran’s demand that Washington should give guarantees that no US president will abandon the deal, the way Trump did.
Biden cannot promise this because the nuclear deal is a non-binding political understanding, not a legally binding treaty.

“The United States has not provided guarantees on preserving the nuclear deal and this ruins the possibility of any agreement,” Kharrazi said.

Israel, which Iran does not recognize, has threatened to attack Iranian nuclear sites if diplomacy fails to contain Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
Kohavi has made it clear that he views the JCPOA as dangerous, saying publicly that he has directed the IDF to prepare fresh operational plans to strike Iran in order to stop its nuclear program if necessary.

Kharrazi said Iran would never negotiate its ballistic missile program and regional policy, as demanded by the West and its allies in the Middle East.

“Any targeting of our security from neighboring countries will be met with a direct response to these countries and Israel.”

 
Last edited:

jward

passin' thru

Samuel Ramani
@SamRamani2



Iran is serving as a meeting place for Russia and Turkey to discuss Syria Turkey is preparing for a potential military campaign in northern Syria, Russia is trying to restraint Turkey's advance and Iran is positioning itself as a de-escalation force
 

jward

passin' thru
U.S. Warns Iran: Cooperating With Russia in Ukraine Is ‘a Really, Really Bad Idea’


Wednesday, July 20, 2022, in Washington.(Alex Brandon/AP)
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday warned Iran against supporting Russia with its invasion of Ukraine a day after the intractable U.S. adversaries publicly expressed a desire for new forms of cooperation, including potential weapons exchanges.

“We would advise Iran not to do that,” Austin told reporters Wednesday afternoon shortly after convening a virtual meeting of the Western countries supporting Ukraine with weapons shipments and other forms of aid. “We think it’s a really, really bad idea.”
Austin did not offer any further details on what the U.S. is prepared to do to deter Iran from cooperating with Russia. When pressed later, Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who spoke alongside the secretary, declined to offer any specifics, dismissing the question as a policy issue.

But the new partnership comes at a particularly fraught time for President Joe Biden as his administration struggles to pressure Iran to rejoin the 2015 agreement governing its nuclear program – with no significant signs of success so far.
And Russian President Vladimir Putin, visibly emboldened despite intense Western pressure since ordering the invasion, completed a trip to Tehran this week to meet with his counterpart as well as the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Though ostensibly about each country’s involvement in the ongoing wars in Syria, the leaders appeared to discuss new forms of military cooperation, including potential weapons sales as Russia enters the sixth month of its war.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Monday that the U.S. believes Iran was prepared to deliver as many as 100 drones to Russia to gain new advantages against some of Ukraine’s sophisticated Western-supplied weapons. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said after Putin completed his trip that the U.S. had no indication the two countries had agreed on a sale.
Russia’s ambassador to Iran unsubtly stated Wednesday morning that Iran and his country “have no problems, no restriction regarding military-technical cooperation.”

“There are no restrictions there,” Ambassador Levan Jagaryan told a local news channel.
And Putin, who cloistered himself in Moscow for the first few months of the Russian invasion, now appears much more willing to travel internationally to shore up support from his allies and partners despite intense Western sanctions and travel restrictions on Russia’s top officials. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Wednesday morning that Putin is planning “several more visits” to foreign countries this fall.
Russia has new need for weapons. Its forces, which greatly outnumber Ukraine’s, are proving vulnerable to the advanced weapons that the forces loyal to Kyiv have been able to field – particularly as the conflict settles into a protracted artillery battle along a steady contact line rather than the chaotic repositioning on both sides that defined the first few months of hostilities. Russia has suffered from intense shortages in personnel amid high levels of battlefield casualties and has increasingly turned to criminals, children and old men to reinforce its flagging units. It has also engaged in what Western countries consider war crimes in an apparent attempt to inflict fear in its adversaries.
Ukraine has had particular success with the Western-supplied HIMARS advanced satellite-guided rocket launchers that have been able to target rear artillery systems that Russia previously considered safe from attack.

Austin announced Wednesday the U.S. would provide four more HIMARS systems, bringing the pledged number up to 16 as American troops continue to train their Ukrainian counterparts on how to use them.
Though a significant addition to the battlefield, it falls far short of the demand Ukrainian officials say they need. Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov told the Atlantic Council on Tuesday that Ukraine needs no fewer than 50 HIMARS to effectively deter Russia along a contact line that he says is as long as the distance from Barcelona, Spain, to Warsaw, Poland. Ukraine would need 100 of the systems if it were to go on the offensive against Russia, the minister added.
Analysts have faulted the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine as too slow and too small, with too much of what several describe as a “father knows best” approach to determining what Ukraine’s post-Soviet military needs.
Austin fended off these accusations on Wednesday.

“We think what they have and what they’re working with is really giving them a lot of capability,” Austin said. Additional weapons shipments “will be based on how they’re prosecuting this fight and what their needs are.”
 
Top