WAR Main Persian Gulf Trouble thread

jward

passin' thru
Mo' Boom-Booms

Explosion rocks oil refinery in Iran’s Abadan: Report​


Al Arabiya English

2 minutes



An explosion rocked a key oil refinery in Iran’s southwestern city of Abadan overnight, state media said Friday, reporting no casualties.
The explosion was caused by the “bursting of one of the furnaces of the sulphur production unit of Abadan refinery,” state news agency IRNA said.
The blast “did not cause any casualties,” it added, noting that production at the refinery was continuing as usual.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
The news agency described the plant as “the oldest refinery complex and one of the biggest in Iran,” adding that it “supplies 25 percent of the country’s fuel needs.”
Industrial accidents are common in Iran, with a series of similar incidents occurring last year, including a large fire at an oil refinery in southern Tehran.
Some in the Islamic Republic blame the incidents on Israel, while others consider US sanctions - which almost completely isolate Iran from the rest of the world, complicating the maintenance of industrial facilities - as a more likely cause.
A cyberattack last October halted all fuel distribution stations nationwide, prompting sharp responses from Iranian officials, who accused the United States and Israel of being behind the attack.
The city of Abadan in Khuzestan province was also the site of one the deadliest disasters in the country in years.
A 10-story building that was under construction in the city collapsed on May 23, leading to the deaths of 43 people and sparking a series of demonstrations across the country accusing the authorities of corruption and incompetence.
 

jward

passin' thru






Iran International English
@IranIntl_En
8m

An Iranian naval flotilla foiled a pirate attack on an Iranian merchant vessel in the Red Sea, the navy said, adding that the invading boat with 12 armed people on board “left the area” after the escort flotilla, “headed by the Jamaran destroyer… opened fire” at the vessel.
 

jward

passin' thru

Iran seizes 2 U.S. sea drones in second incident this week​


By Courtney Kube

3-4 minutes



An Iranian warship seized and temporarily held two U.S. Navy sea drones in the Red Sea, according to an American military official, the second time this week an Iranian vessel has intercepted a U.S. water-based drone.
At about 2 p.m. Thursday local time, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy (IRIN) warship in the Red Sea, far from Iranian territorial waters, picked two U.S. Saildrones out of the water. The United States says the incident occurred in international waters.
Iranian state television showed what it said was a U.S. surveillance vessel that had been abandoned in the Red Sea and picked up by an Iranian ship. The U.S. says the Iranians seized two U.S. Saildrones and then released them the next day.via IRIB News
The U.S. official said that after the Iranians loaded the drones onto their ship, the U.S. responded by sending two destroyers that were already in the area to the scene. The U.S. used bridge-to-bridge communication and the Iranians responded, eventually agreeing to release the drones. They released the drones at 8 a.m. Friday, according to U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
In a statement confirming the details of the incident, the Navy said, "The vessels posed no risk to naval traffic and had been operating in the general vicinity of the Southern Red Sea for more than 200 consecutive days without incident." In addition to sending the two destroyers to the scene, the Navy also dispatched an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter.

According to Iranian state television, the IRIN said that while “establishing the security and safety of shipping in the Red Sea and combating piracy and maritime terrorism, the Jamaran destroyer encountered several small data collection vessels that were abandoned on the international shipping route and took action in order to prevent the occurrence of an accident.”
Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Monday night, a ship from Iran’s other Navy, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN), tried and failed to capture a Saildrone in the Persian Gulf, according to the Navy.
At about 11 p.m. local time, the Shahid Baziar grabbed and towed the unmanned sea vessel in an area patrolled by the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.
A screenshot from a video shows support ship Shahid Baziar, left, from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy, towing a Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel in international waters of the Arabian Gulf on Aug. 30. U.S. Navy file
The USS Thunderbolt patrol ship saw the Shahid Baziar towing the drone, identified itself as a U.S. ship and demanded the drone’s release at least five times, a U.S. defense official said.
The Iranians did not respond, and the Thunderbolt then sent a rigid hull inflatable boat to cut the tow line. The Fifth Fleet also launched a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from Bahrain.
After about four hours, the Iranian ship cut the tow line and let the U.S. drone go.
Iranian state television said that the IRGC Navy accused the U.S. of “fabricating a Hollywood-style story” about Tuesday's incident.
Courtney Kube is a correspondent covering national security and the military for the NBC News Investigative Unit.
Dan De Luce contributed.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB

The Biden Administration's Nuclear Deal Is the Biggest Gift to the World's 'Top State Sponsor of Terrorism'​

by Majid Rafizadeh
Gatestone Institute.org
September 3, 2022 at 5:00 am

  • The main beneficiaries of the increased revenues will most likely be the office of Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and more importantly the IRGC's elite branch the Quds Force, which carries out extraterritorial operations to advance the revolutionary principles of the Islamic Republic abroad.
  • A considerable part of the economy and Iran's financial systems are owned and controlled by the IRGC and the Office of the Supreme Leader.... This economic haven means that state and non-state actors, such as the Houthis, Hezbollah, the Shiite militias in Iraq and Bashar Assad's Syria, will be the next major beneficiaries of Biden's sanctions relief and new nuclear deal.
  • The Biden administration will more likely contribute to more tensions between Iran and other countries in the region, and lead to further regional insecurity, destabilization, humanitarian tragedies, and most likely a major war.
  • Biden's new nuclear deal is the biggest gift that one could give to the world's "top state sponsor of terrorism": unlimited nuclear weapons, no inspections past present or future, the missiles to deliver them, enriched uranium to be held by Russia and returned to Iran or wherever they both decide, "$100 billion per year to spread terror around the globe" -- in short, assured expansion of the "Revolution" not only throughout the Middle East but further, straight into America's soft underbelly, Venezuela.
2247.jpg
The main beneficiaries of increased revenues from a renewed nuclear deal will most likely be the office of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and more importantly the IRGC's elite branch the Quds Force, which carries out extraterritorial operations to advance the revolutionary principles of the Islamic Republic abroad. Pictured: IRGC members on parade, marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, on September 22, 2018, in Tehran. (Photo by Stringer/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration's new nuclear deal with the ruling clerics will lift economic sanctions against the Iranian regime the moment the deal enters into effect.

At that moment, the Iranian regime will receive approximately $90 billion. The Biden administration will also instantly be lifting sanctions on the Iranian regime's energy sector, which will also significantly boost the regime's oil and gas revenues.


The ruling mullahs will be able to ramp up their oil exports to pre-sanctions levels, roughly quadrupling their oil sales, thereby bringing billions of dollars in additional revenues to the theocratic establishment. For example, after the implementation the 2015 nuclear agreement (known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA) under the Obama administration, crippling sanctions were lifted and Iran rejoined the global financial system. Iran's oil and gas industries had a fresh start, the regime increased its oil exports from 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to approximately 4 million bpd.

Oil and gas revenues, as is no secret, are crucial for the ruling mullahs: Iran reportedly has the second-largest natural gas reserves and the fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves after Saudi Arabia, Canada and Venezuela. The sale of oil accounts for nearly 60% of the regime's total revenues and more than 80% of its export revenues. Several Iranian leaders have spoken about the country's major dependence on oil exports. Former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, for instance, acknowledged in 2019 that "Although we have some other incomes, the only revenue that can keep the country going is the oil money."

The Biden administration's removal of sanctions will, in addition, help the ruling mullahs increase their revenues by attracting foreign investments in their energy sector and other industries. After the 2015 nuclear agreement under the Obama administration, for example, Tehran succeeded in signing major agreements with some of the world's largest aviation, oil and gas corporations. The energy producer Total signed an agreement with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) "for the development of phase 11 of South Pars, the world's largest gasfield". Another agreement was sealed with Royal Dutch Shell, which signed a provisional agreement with NIOC "to further explore areas of potential cooperation". The Iranian regime also signed a deal with Boeing -- the first business deal Tehran concluded with an American aviation corporation since the 1970s. Iran also began negotiating to purchase planes from the European company Airbus.

Not only will the Biden administration help the Islamist mullahs to become vastly wealthier, but it will also help the Iranian regime to gain global legitimacy as it rejoins the international financial system. The main beneficiaries of the increased revenues will most likely be the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and more importantly the IRGC's elite branch the Quds Force, which carries out extraterritorial operations to advance the revolutionary principles of the Islamic Republic abroad.

A considerable part of the economy and Iran's financial systems are owned and controlled by the IRGC and the Office of the Supreme Leader. The IRGC alone controls between a third and half of Iran's gross domestic product. The IRGC owns several major economic powerhouses and religious endowments, such as Astan Quds Razavi in the northeastern city of Mashhad.

This economic haven means that state and non-state actors, such as the Yemeni Houthis, Lebanese Hezbollah, the Shiite militias in Iraq and Bashar Assad's Syria, will be the next major beneficiaries of Biden's sanctions relief and new nuclear deal.

The Biden administration's nuclear deal will also help the IRGC and Quds Force to more powerfully interfere in other countries, support terror and militia groups that target Americans and their allies, and attempt to kill Americans on US soil. The Biden administration will more likely contribute to increasing tensions between Iran and other countries in the region, and lead to further regional insecurity, destabilization, humanitarian tragedies, and most likely a major war.
Biden's new nuclear deal is the biggest gift that one could give to the world's "top state sponsor of terrorism": unlimited nuclear weapons, no inspections past present or future, the missiles to deliver them, enriched uranium to be held by Russia and returned to Iran or wherever they both decide, "$100 billion per year to spread terror around the globe" -- in short, assured expansion of the "Revolution" not only throughout the Middle East but further, straight into America's soft underbelly, Venezuela.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu
  • Follow Majid Rafizadeh on Twitter

 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm.....I think "conventional" should have been in the article title as well.....

Posted for fair use.....

Israel Has No Realistic Military Option on Iran​

Unlike the Iraqi and Syrian reactors, Iran’s nuclear program is dispersed among many facilities, some well underground. Lacking bunker busters, Israel's government should not mislead the public
Yossi Melman
Sep 1, 2022

Almost 35 years ago, toward the end of its war with Iraq, Iran decided to relaunch the nuclear program it initiated in the ‘60s under the shah with assistance, according to foreign reports, from Israel. The program had been frozen in 1980, not long after the Islamic Revolution, when the Iraqi army invaded Iran, then led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.


The decision to return to the nuclear track, and also develop ballistic missiles, was the most important lesson Iran learned from its traumatic war with its neighbor. During that conflict, Saddam Hussein’s army used chemical weapons without any response from the West.



Moreover, the United States under Ronald Reagan provided Iraq with intelligence and tens of billions of dollars in credits and loans. In response, Tehran sought to acquire chemical weapons as well, helped among others by Israeli businessman Nahum Manbar, who because of his actions received a hefty prison sentence.


Open gallery view

Iran revived its nuclear program as an insurance policy to secure the survival of the ayatollahs’ regime and to deter the West and Israel from conspiring for regime change. Israeli defense and intelligence officials realized this only a few years later in the early '90s.

Since then, Israeli governments have come and gone, as have army chiefs and Mossad directors, but the clichés and mantras never change. Like a religious ritual or prayer, these leaders murmur: “We will keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons” and “All options are on the table” – including the military one, of course.


For three decades now, our political and military leaders have tricked the public into thinking that Israel actually has a military option against Iran’s nuclear project. The truth is, if such an option ever existed, it was when the program was at its inception. Back in 2008, a member of the security cabinet who dealt with the issue told me that Israel missed its chance to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities when they were still in their infancy and George W. Bush was in the White House.



If so, why is the “military option” cliché still heard night and day, especially now when a revival of the Iranian nuclear deal with six major powers is once again on the table? It’s mainly for domestic consumption, but it also stems from public figures’ tendency to credit themselves with capabilities they don’t really have.

That is, they’re making statements that have no basis in reality, and like the tail that wags the dog, this attests mainly to Israelis’ provincialism and lack of humility. As if Jerusalem thinks it knows what's in America’s best interests.



Take former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Mossad chief from 2016 to 2021, Yossi Cohen. They credit themselves with influencing Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal in 2018 and impose sanctions on Iran. Actually, the U.S. president, who promised to withdraw from the deal during his election campaign, did so for his own reasons.



Another example is Shimrit Meir, the diplomatic affairs adviser to the previous prime minister, Naftali Bennett. She tried to take credit for Washington’s delay in returning to the nuclear deal, claiming she persuaded Joe Biden not to rejoin. A few foolish Israeli journalists even repeated her claim. But there’s one minor problem – the leaders who delayed the decision to return to the deal were in Tehran, not Washington.



Above all, Israel’s operations against Iran’s nuclear program are designed to delay the project. They’ve certainly played a key role in the fact that even today Iran hasn’t yet become a nuclear threshold state, though it’s very close. Still, former Mossad chiefs Meir Dagan and Tamir Pardo knew that no matter how successful they were, their operations wouldn’t prevent Tehran from making a nuclear bomb if it was determined to do so.

A conclusion like in 1981


Since 2009, the Mossad, according to foreign sources, has carried out dozens of sabotage operations against nuclear facilities and assassinated at least 10 nuclear scientists. Most of the sites have returned to operation and the scientists' successors have been no less talented.



Even the 2020 assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, didn’t delay the project. In early August, the website Iran International published a report claiming that Saeed Borji, a protégé of Fakhrizadeh, is running Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear detonators. London-based Iran International is considered a site the Mossad uses to leak information when it doesn’t want to leave fingerprints.

There’s no doubt that Mossad chief David Barnea, Israeli army chief Aviv Kochavi and new air force commander Tomer Bar will continue with covert actions against Iran, but sooner or later they’ll come to the conclusion reached in 1980 by Nahum Admoni, then the deputy Mossad chief in charge of preventing Saddam Hussein from obtaining nuclear weapons.


Admoni told his prime minister, Menachem Begin, that covert actions had been exhausted. Only a military option could prevent Iraq from obtaining a nuclear weapon. The rest is history – history that took place on June 7, 1981, after the Israel Air Force bombed the Iraqi reactor on Begin's order. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a similar decision 26 years later when he realized that it was impossible to thwart Syria’s nuclear program with ground-based covert operations. Once again the air force accomplished the mission and bombed the reactor.

But despite the strikes on the Syrian and Iraqi facilities, Israel doesn’t have a realistic option to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. Iran has learned the lessons of Syria and Iraq and spread its nuclear assets across the massive country. Iran has dozens of sites for processing the nuclear chain: mining uranium, processing and converting to gas, enriching and storing. Some of these facilities are buried deep underground (the uranium enrichment facilities of Natanz and Fordo).


Near the town of Arak, the Iranians have a heavy water reactor (construction was frozen under the 2015 nuclear deal) that will be able to produce plutonium – another channel for extracting fissile material. Iran also has laboratories and plants where thousands of engineers, scientists and technicians are at work.


More than one fell swoop


With refueling, the air force can reach almost any point in Iran. According to foreign reports, Israeli F-35s have done this. According to foreign reports, Israel also operates drones over Iran and has hit a huge Iranian storage facility, destroying 120 drones, while one of its drones hit the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, the reports say. A few years ago, Iran claimed that it brought down an Israeli drone launched from Azerbaijan, an Israeli strategic ally that borders Iran.


But Israel doesn’t have bunker busters – massive bombs dropped from huge American bombers. Israel requested such weapons from the Obama administration but was turned down.


Moreover, since the Iranian nuclear program is spread out geographically, Israel needs outstanding intelligence; this goes for both large and known sites and small concealed workshops and laboratories. Iran can easily hide a laboratory where weaponization takes place. Does Israel know where all these facilities are?


Another difficulty is that any Israeli operation over Iran wouldn't come in one fell swoop but in several waves. And let’s assume an Israeli attack were only partially successful. What price would be exacted by Iran or its proxies in the region? How many Israeli planes would be shot down? How many Israeli pilots would be killed or captured? How many Israelis would be killed when thousands of missiles would be launched in response by Iran and Hezbollah?


Open gallery view

As things stand now (and there hasn't been much change for many years) the United States is the only country with a military option against Iran. But the Americans, after their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, eschewed that route during the Trump presidency and under Biden, too.


The United States is tired of wars, especially in the Middle East, and prefers to return to the nuclear deal. Washington prefers diplomacy to any adventurous military move. Israel’s military and political leaders should therefore avoid blabbing empty promises and arrogant statements.


Israel should operate quietly, continue to make it hard for the Iranians to make progress, and maintain a dialogue with the Americans behind closed doors. There appears to be no realistic alternative but the deal that's in the works, Even if it's not ideal, it should be as beneficial as possible for Israel. A return to the deal will prevent Iran from building a bomb for at least three years – and that's the best of a bad lot.


And on the margins, there's an issue that for some reason Israel doesn't seem to want to discuss: Does Iran really want to build a nuclear bomb? Even if we don't believe that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, issued a fatwa against weapons of mass destruction, how can we explain that 35 years after it launched its efforts, Iran still doesn’t have a bomb and hasn’t even passed the nuclear threshold?


History teaches that every country that wanted to develop, assemble and store nuclear bombs did so within five to seven years. India, Pakistan, North Korea and South Africa (which eventually dismantled its weapons) all did this. According to foreign reports, so did Israel.
 

jward

passin' thru

September 6, 2022 | Flash Brief​


A New Iran Deal Would Empower Hamas​



Latest Developments​

Iran would receive approximately $275 billion in sanctions relief during the first year of a new nuclear deal and more than $1 trillion by 2030, according to an FDD analysis. If past is prologue, a significant portion of these funds would likely flow to Iranian-supported terror organizations in the region, including Hamas. In the year after the implementation of the original 2015 nuclear accord, Tehran’s military budget increased by 90 percent, enabling the regime to shower Iran-aligned terror organizations, including Hamas, with additional resources.

Expert Analysis​

“Hamas has demonstrated the ability to obtain and produce high-quality weapons such as drones and long-range rockets that can target all of Israel. A new Iran deal will provide additional funds to the group, giving it the ability to advance its weapons program and finance further terror activity in the West Bank.” – Joe Truzman, Research Analyst, FDD’s Long War Journal

Iran Provides Hamas With Weapons and Know-How to Strike Israel​

Hamas — a U.S.-designated Foreign Terror Organization — has ruled Gaza since it seized control in a violent coup in 2007. Hamas is financially supported by Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah and was estimated in 2021 to have an army of 30,000. Hamas produces arms locally, leveraging Iranian technology and logistical support. What Hamas does not produce it smuggles into the Mediterranean enclave from tunnels under its border with Egypt. “Iran provided us with rockets,” Gaza-based Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar boasted in 2019, shortly after the group fired a barrage at a city in southern Israel. “Had it not been for Iran, the resistance in Palestine would not have possessed its current capabilities.”

Hamas’ Arsenal​

In May 2021, Hamas initiated a war against the Jewish state, indiscriminately firing more than 4,000 rockets, including newly developed long-range projectiles, at Israeli population centers. These rockets constitute a key part of Hamas’ robust military arsenal.

Artillery​

Hamas possesses a large arsenal of munitions, including short-range Qassam rockets, which have a range of 10 km, as well as medium- to long-range rockets, with ranges between 85 and 250 km. Most of the rockets are locally produced in the Gaza Strip using Iranian know-how and technical support, although Iran has also transferred arms directly to Hamas using smuggling routes through Sudan. Like Hezbollah, Hamas is also making efforts to smuggle precision-guided munitions into the Gaza Strip.

Tunnels​

Hamas maintains military tunnels to facilitate cross-border incursions into Israel, rocket-launching, defense, communication, logistics, and secure movement. Hamas tasks a specially trained group of militants known as the Nukhbah unit with offensive missions, including kidnapping operations, such as the capturing of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Hamas also uses commercial tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border to move in-demand commodities ranging from cigarettes to livestock.

Naval and Anti-Ship Capabilities​

In 2021, Hamas boasted a force of 400 naval commandos trained to conduct raids from the sea, armed with advanced diving capabilities and jet skis for raiding or swarming surface attacks. The Israeli military stated during the 2021 Gaza war that it destroyed an unmanned underwater drone attempting to target Israeli naval assets.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles​

During the 2021 Gaza war, Hamas’ advances in the field of drone technology became evident when it unveiled a locally made Shahab suicide unmanned aerial vehicle. Hamas also boasts other drones, such as the Iranian-made Ababil. In recent months, Hamas published further evidence of its extensive drone program in a memorial video of one of its engineers who was killed during the May 2021 Gaza conflict.

Related FDD Analysis​


FDD | A New Iran Deal Would Empower Hamas
 

jward

passin' thru
Ali Hashem علي هاشم
@alihashem_tv
6h

Given the latest developments regarding the Iran talks, my understanding is that all efforts by mediators are to avoid a collapse.
A senior E3 official source responded to my question on whether a deal could happen after mid-terms, saying “because of the last Iranian response, there can be no return to the JCPOA before the mid-terms, but there will be no JCPOA to return to after the mid-terms.”
He added “Iran will lose both the return to the deal and probably the possibility of a cooperative approach in the IAEA Board of Governors”

EU’s
@JosepBorrellF
said earlier that efforts to strike a new agreement on Iran’s nuclear program are “in danger” after the US and Iranian positions diverged in recent days.
View: https://twitter.com/alihashem_tv/status/1567268066064535557?s=20&t=uv4d3CW7hnFh81uXlSpQQA
 

jward

passin' thru

Nuclear deal with Iran off the table for time being, US has indicated to Israel​


By Shalom Yerushalmi​



A new nuclear deal between Iran and world powers is off the table and will not be signed in the foreseeable future, The Times of Israel’s Hebrew sister site Zman Yisrael has learned. This is the message that was conveyed to Prime Minister Yair Lapid in his recent conversations with US President Joe Biden and other administration officials.
This emerging outcome of the nuclear negotiations, which would have major international implications, is likely to be touted by Lapid in the coming election campaign, particularly against opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly attacked the premier on the issue.

The potential new nuclear deal was at the center of Israel’s diplomatic and security consultations over the past year, with a concerned Jerusalem tracking the negotiations between Iran and representatives of the world powers in Vienna, as well as the exchange of draft agreements between the sides in recent weeks.

As Lapid became convinced in recent days that a deal was becoming increasingly unlikely, he reprioritized national security challenges to focus on escalating violence in the West Bank, the fight against terrorism and the urgent need to strengthen the Palestinian Authority as it increasingly loses clout.
The nuclear agreement that was being negotiated since Biden entered the White House in January 2021 focused on removing sanctions on Iran in exchange for limiting Tehran’s ability to reach the capability to build a nuclear weapon.


The Americans said that under the framework of the new nuclear deal, Iran would not be able to enrich uranium above 3.67 percent and could not reach a level at which it would be possible to produce a nuclear weapon. This limitation on Iran’s nuclear program would continue until 2031 under the proposed deal.

A technician works at the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, Iran, 255 miles (410 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, February 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, file)

According to American comments given to Walla news reporter Barak Ravid two weeks ago, Iran would need to give up all uranium enriched to 20% and 60% in its possession as part of the agreement. Hundreds of kilograms of enriched uranium would need to be removed from Iran or diluted. The centrifuges to enrich uranium would be removed and stored on Iranian soil at a warehouse under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The Americans also said Iran would not be able to carry out any plutonium processing, which can be used for weapons purposes, and would redesign the plutonium reactor at Arak so it cannot produce material for a nuclear bomb.

Additionally, the Americans pledged that if a deal were signed, the International Atomic Energy Agency would be able to renew its strict monitoring of nuclear facilities in Iran, after it was significantly curtailed by the Iranians.
The IAEA monitoring is one of the major points of division that Israel has become involved in. The Iranians refused to let the IAEA continue its activities and the Americans insisted after Israeli pressure. Now a deal appears to be off the agenda.
The potential Iran deal has caused intense concern in Israel. Former prime minister Naftali Bennett appealed to the US administration last month to refrain from an accord. “I call on President Biden & the US administration to refrain, even now at this last minute, from signing the agreement with Iran,” Bennett tweeted on August 23.
“This agreement will send approximately a quarter of a trillion dollars to the Iranian terror administration’s pocket and to its regional proxies, and will enable Iran to develop, install and operate centrifuges, with almost no restrictions, in a mere two years,” he added.
“Throughout the past year, even when it was very close, we successfully convinced our White House counterparts not to give in to Iranian demands. I hope this will remain the case.”

The emerging deal with Iran led to serious friction and arguments between Israel and the United States, and significant internal tensions in Jerusalem.
Two weeks ago, Mossad chief David Barnea briefed defense reporters and warned of the dangers of a restored nuclear deal. According to a report in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Barnea warned during a meeting with the prime minister that the deal would allow Iran to obtain significant capabilities.
According to Barnea, hundreds of billions of dollars would flow to Iran after the removal of sanctions. The money would serve to strengthen terror groups that encircle Israel, including Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Furthermore, he said the Iranians would accelerate their vision of a “Shia crescent” running from their border with Iraq to the Mediterranean, strengthening the Houthis in Yemen and pro-Iranian militias in the region. Barnea added that a deal would be a “strategic disaster” and declared it does not oblige Israel.

The Mossad head, who is currently in the United States for talks on the Iranian issue, was later reprimanded by Lapid for his direct criticism of the Americans.
Netanyahu, who dealt with Iran extensively during his years as prime minister, has maintained that the emerging deal was worse than the original signed in 2015 under then-US president Barack Obama.
A week and a half ago, Netanyahu invited himself for a security briefing with Lapid on the Iranian issue, as is his right by law as opposition leader. After the meeting, Netanyahu claimed Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz had fallen asleep at the wheel and that they were responsible for the “Iranian nuclear failure.” Netanyahu demanded that officials meet with members of Congress, influential officials and senior media figures in the US in an effort to thwart the deal.
On Monday, a senior government official said that “Netanyahu taught us exactly what not to do. In 2015, he went to Congress, spoke with senior government officials and the media, and we got the nuclear deal shoved in our faces.”
This time, the official said, “We worked quietly. We put in tremendous efforts and reached the opposite result.”
In a little over two weeks, Lapid will fly to participate in the UN General Assembly in New York. It is not yet clear whether he will meet with Biden while there. Biden is expected to be in New York on September 18-20; Lapid and his entourage will land there on the morning of September 20.

Lapid is due to speak at the General Assembly on Thursday, September 22, and Iran is expected to be at the center of his comments. Immediately after the speech, Lapid will quickly fly back to Israel to take part in his son Yoav’s wedding on Friday afternoon.

Posted For Fair Use
 

jward

passin' thru
Hmm.
Albania-Iran.. not on my bingo card


Amichai Stein
@AmichaiStein1
1m

#BREAKING: Albania cuts ties with Iran following a heavy cyberattack on the digital infrastructure of the Government in July: "All the diplomatic, technical and administrative, and security staff need to leave within 24 hours the territory of the Republic of Albania"
 

jward

passin' thru

Iran’s Guards Commander says any country involved in Israel’s aggression will 'pay its price' - Tasnim​

Reuters


DUBAI, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned on Wednesday any country involved in any Israeli aggression against Islamic Republic will “pay its price”, Iranian Tasnim news agency reported, amid an impasse between Tehran and Washington to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.
“The Zionist regime (Israel) is considered a major threat to Iran’s security… all governments that cooperate with this regime's aggression against Iran’s security will pay its price,” Tasnim quoted senior commander Gholamali Rashid as saying.

Israel, which sees Iran’s nuclear program as a threat to its existence, has warned of military action against the country’s nuclear sites if the diplomacy fails to curb Tehran’s nuclear work. Iran has repeatedly said it will give a crushing response to any aggression.

 

jward

passin' thru
Please take this off my bingo card. . .






EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3


Oh shit... The White House: The decision is up to NATO to use Article 5 in response to the Iranian cyber attacks against Albania.


3:25 PM · Sep 7, 2022·Twitter Web App



Hmm.
Albania-Iran.. not on my bingo card



Amichai Stein
@AmichaiStein1
1m

#BREAKING: Albania cuts ties with Iran following a heavy cyberattack on the digital infrastructure of the Government in July: "All the diplomatic, technical and administrative, and security staff need to leave within 24 hours the territory of the Republic of Albania"
 
Please take this off my bingo card. . .

EndGameWW3
@EndGameWW3


Oh shit... The White House: The decision is up to NATO to use Article 5 in response to the Iranian cyber attacks against Albania.


3:25 PM · Sep 7, 2022·Twitter Web App
NATO cannot get past political blocking by the U.S. Congress, if they try to "commit" the U.S. Military directly, in any confrontation - the American people will need to be brought on board if ANY U.S. citizen's blood is to be spilled - difficult sell, at this point, and both NATO and the U.S. Congress are aware of this significant impediment towards expanding any war strategies/efforts requiring direct involvement of the U.S. military.


intothegoodnight
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
For images please see article source....HC

Posted for fair use.....

Iran looks to Russia for Su-35 fighter jet deal​

Procurement would modernize Iran’s aging air force and guard against Israeli incursions that threaten to strike its nuclear facilities
By GABRIEL HONRADA
SEPTEMBER 7, 2022

Iran has confirmed plans to purchase Su-35 fighter jets from Russia to modernize its aging air force. The planned procurement would mark one of isolated Tehran’s most significant defense purchases since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Iranian Air Force Commander Brigadier General Hamid Vahedi announced that purchasing Su-35 fighters is on the agenda of the air force, though the final decision rests with the army and Army General Staff Headquarters, Tehran Times reported this week.

Iran has announced a 64 new aircraft requirement, of which 24 were supposed to come from Egypt but remain undelivered due to US pressure, according to Iran International.


The planned Su-35 purchase comes soon after Iran supplied combat drones to Russia to replace combat losses and fill in gaps in Moscow’s drone capabilities that have been exposed in Ukraine war.

Asia Times has reported that although Russia has multiple drone projects, its immature drone industry, limited availability of advanced technologies and lack of high-end operational models compared to low-end ones have hampered its progress.

The potential sale may be an act of reciprocity and could deepen the strategic partnership between the two sides, both of which face Western sanctions and growing international isolation.

According to United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), Russia’s state-owned aerospace consortium, the Su-35 is a thoroughly-modernized variant of the Su-27 air superiority fighter. It classifies the Su-35 as a 4++ generation fighter that combines 5th generation technologies on a 4th generation airframe.

UAC notes that the Su-35 is an air superiority fighter designed for beyond-visual-range (BVR) and within-visual-range (WVR) air combat. It also has long-range air-to-surface strike capability against ground and naval targets.


UAC also mentions that the Su-35 has the qualities of a modern fighter, combining super-maneuverability, improved active and passive sensors, high supersonic speed, long range, a wide range of armaments, current electronic warfare capabilities, reduced radar signature and increased survivability.

If Iran’s purchase goes through, which is still in question, the Su-35s may prove to be the most crucial modernization in decades for its aging air force, which now relies on pre-1979 Western combat aircraft and older Chinese and Russian models. Iran’s indigenous aerospace program, meanwhile, has met with mixed results.

Its most capable fighter is the F-14 Tomcat, which it first acquired in 1976 to intercept Soviet MiG-25R Foxbat reconnaissance flights over Iran. The F-14’s superior flight characteristics, powerful AWG-9 radar and AIM-54 Phoenix BVR missiles gave it much longer engagement ranges and better maneuverability than the F-15 Eagle at the time, notes former Iranian Air Force pilots cited by the Aviation Geek Club.

Iran acquired 79 F-14s before the 1979 Iranian Revolution and the aircraft proved their worth during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Although the Iran-Iraq War and sanctions have taken a toll on Iran’s F-14 fleet, defense analyst David Axe notes in The National Interest that Iran’s 40 or so surviving F-14 Tomcats are still among the best combat aircraft in the Middle East.

He also notes that in the absence of US spare parts, maintenance and technical assistance, Iran has nonetheless upgraded its F-14 fleet with new radars, radios and navigation systems while adding compatibility to Russian-made R73 BVR missiles, US-made Hawk surface-to-air missiles and, through reverse-engineering, America’s AIM-54 Phoenix radar-guided, long-range air-to-air missile as the Fakour 90.


But despite these upgrades, Iran’s combat aircraft are old, with some airframes more than 40-years-old. Paul Iddon notes in Forbes that these airframes’ age is a primary cause of accidents in the Iranian Air Force.

He also notes that the last time Iran acquired modern combat aircraft was in the 1990s when it received MiG-29A Fulcrum fighters from Russia. Before that, Iran acquired Chinese F-7s during the Iran-Iraq War and copies of the Soviet MiG-21. During the 1991 Gulf War, Iran confiscated Iraq’s MiG-29s and French-made Mirage F1s when their pilots sought asylum to avoid capture or being killed by coalition forces.

However, Axe notes Iranian pilots are reportedly dissatisfied with Chinese combat aircraft, noting that back in 1997 and 1998 Iran evaluated China’s F-8 fighter and rejected it. He said that even without spares and maintenance, the F-14s were still superior to the newer Chinese-made F-8s, with Iddon noting Iran’s similar sentiments against Iran’s MiG-29As after testing them against its F-14s.


To be sure, China’s aerospace industry has improved considerably since then, potentially surpassing Russia in some areas. Asia Times has cited a Chinese defense insider who said that long range is the only advantage the Su-35 has over contemporary Chinese fighters such as the J-16 and J-10, with the Su-35’s radar, navigation system and all other electronic components comparatively inferior.

Defense analyst Peter Suciu notes in 1945 that Russia has lost two Su-35 squadrons since it invaded Ukraine in February, raising hard new questions about the type’s combat capabilities.


He also mentions that the Su-35 has encountered reliability problems in Chinese and Russian services, which can potentially carry over to Iran should it acquire the aircraft. Moreover, sanctions on Russia have hobbled its defense industry, potentially affecting its ability to deliver Su-35s to Iran.

While Iran may prefer to acquire newer Chinese fighters such as the J-16 and J-10, China may be reluctant to sell its combat aircraft to Iran given the possible geostrategic implications of such an arms sale to its Arab partners in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, notes defense analyst Abdullah Al Junaid as cited in Eurasian Times.

Over the years, Iran has tried to produce its own fighter jets, though with mixed results. In 1997, Iran unveiled its domestic Azarakhsh fighter, which defense website Global Security notes was made by cobbling together parts from Iran’s US-made F-5 light fighters, Iranian reverse-engineered parts and Russian avionics.

In 2007, Iran followed up this design by unveiling the Saeqeh, an upgraded twin-tailed variant of the Azarakhsh. Military Watch notes that while the Saeqeh is inferior to the F-14 and other heavier fighters, its F-5 base design’s simplicity allows Iranian engineers to reverse-engineer the type, effectively indigenizing the F-5 jet.

However, the design limitations of the F-5’s airframe mean that its Iranian derivatives will likely be the low-end component of a high-low fighter force mix, with heavier fighters such as the F-14, J-16, J-10 or Su-35 being the high-end component.

Iran’s efforts to acquire the Su-35 may be driven ultimately by the pressing need to counter Israeli air incursions into its airspace, which can threaten to strike its nuclear facilities. Axe notes that Iran still entrusts the defense of its nuclear sites to its aging F-14 fighters, which are outclassed by increasingly advanced US drones monitoring Iran’s nuclear program.

Besides US drones snooping on its nuclear sites, Iran has Israeli air incursions to worry about attacking its nuclear site. This month, the Times of Israel reported that Israeli F-35 fighters had penetrated Iranian airspace multiple times from June to July, evading Russian and Iranian air defenses.

The source also noted that drones and aerial refueling tankers have participated in the drills, with the US and Israel carrying out covert exercises in the Red Sea simulating air and sea strikes against Iran.

Su-35s thus may be Iran’s best bet to modernize and improve its air force, despite the performance issues, technical problems and other challenges facing Russia’s defense industry.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

ISIS Stages a Comeback in Iraq​

The fate of Kurdistan is entwined with the fate of beleaguered Ukraine.​


By Bernard-Henri Lévy
Sept. 8, 2022 6:28 pm ET

Will the Iraqi Kurds be a collateral victim of the war in Ukraine? In and around Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Islamic State is back. It’s raising its head in Sulaymaniyah. It’s retaking its positions in the caves and tunnels of the Qaraqosh mountains. Along the old Sector 6 front, around Gwer, on a daily basis, ISIS tests the capacity of Gen. Sirwan Barzani, a leader of the Peshmerga, the regional military force.

The Kurds’ European and American partners don’t seem to appreciate the danger. They appear to regard ISIS as a tumor that has been excised, when it is more like mercury—a poisonous liquid that vaporizes and rests in suspension, waiting for its adversaries to lower their guard so it can condense anew. That is what is unfolding in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Iran is at the helm, calling up its dormant agents in the area, galvanizing the Shiite militias of the Popular Mobilization Forces, sometimes supported by proper units of the Revolutionary Guards. It is firing missiles into areas reachable from the Plain of Nineveh. On several occasions this year rockets have fallen on the outskirts of Erbil and its airport.

Since the first Gulf War and the beginning of the end of Saddam Hussein, Iraqi Kurdistan has existed under international law as the semiautonomous Kurdistan Regional Government. But under pressure from Tehran, Iraq has been maneuvering for months and even years to weaken, humiliate and ultimately strangle it. It hasn’t received its share of the federal budget since 2014. The stipends of the 30,000 Peshmerga fighters haven’t been paid, while Iraq regularly pays the salaries, pensions and weapons of the Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces. Baghdad has prevented the exploitation and export of the Kurds’ petroleum reserves based on a flawed and cynical reading of the Iraqi Constitution.

Without the vigilance of a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers—including Sens. Jim Risch (R., Idaho) and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) and Reps. Michael McCaul (R., Texas), Michael Waltz (R., Fla.), Dina Titus (D., Nev.) and Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.)—the Kurds would long ago have been sent back to their mountain redoubts.

Western leaders may believe that in the global war declared against them by a bloc of new imperialist authoritarian powers including Russia, China, Iran and Turkey, they can operate on only one front at a time. In this case Erbil may have to steel itself for a repeat of last year’s overnight withdrawal from Kabul.

But we ought to understand that Kurdish oil and gas are a serious alternative to Russian supplies—that Kurdistan is now, as it was when it served as our rampart against ISIS, a shield against Vladimir Putin’s energy blackmail and the ensuing chaos. America needs a bipartisan foreign policy committed to defending the West’s interests and values in both Ukraine and Kurdistan, as Thomas S. Kaplan and I, co-founders of the nonprofit Justice for Kurds, argued in these pages in May. The U.S. and its European allies should recall the wisdom of Cicero and see “the whole world as if it were a single city.”

Mr. Lévy is author, most recently, of “The Will to See: Dispatches from a World of Misery and Hope.” This article was translated from French by Steven B. Kennedy.

Appeared in the September 9, 2022, print edition as 'ISIS Stages a Comeback in Iraq'.


Conversation 26 Comments​

 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm....

Posted for fair use.....

Drugs, militias form explosive mix on Iraq-Iran border​

Officers and judges who dare to go up against those controlling the drug trade along Iraq’s southeastern border with Iran continue to be targeted as attempts are made to crack down on corruption.

Shelly Kittleson
@shellykittleson
September 8, 2022

BAGHDAD — An anti-narcotics Interior Ministry general was assassinated Sept. 5 in Iraq’s drug-plagued southeastern region of Maysan on the same day as the announcement of the arrest of the region’s National Security Department director for corruption.

Both mark only the latest of a long string of incidents hinting at growing lawlessness along the country’s border with Iran.

The National Security officer killed — Brig. Gen. Qassim Daoud Salman — was shot dead along with his driver outside a restaurant near the border. His attackers fled.

The director who was arrested for corruption had accepted a bribe of several thousand dollars from an informant working with the Integrity Commission. A video of his arrest was widely circulated on social media, seemingly to shore up confidence in the country’s security forces amid widespread tension and eroded faith in their ability to counter mafias and militias.

It was not immediately clear whether there was a link between the arrest and the killing. Sources close to security forces had not responded to a request for further information by the time of publication.

Last year, the directorate tasked with drug control in Maysan province had urged that more detention facilities be built as soon as possible due to a sharp rise in the number of drug-related arrests and the inability to house all those arrested, as Al-Monitor reported at that time.

A hashtag briefly trended at that time literally meaning “starve them” — a call to “starve” armed groups and “[political] parties [linked to militias]” operating in Iraq that are involved in the drug trade and that use the proceeds to buy weapons and support, acting as de facto mafia-type organizations.

The day before the high-profile killing and the release of the videotape this week, Iraq announced that about 300 kilograms of narcotics and millions of tablets had been seized in the country in the first eight months of the year.

This amount is, however, much lower than the amount regularly reported seized across the border in Iran, where drug busts are more frequent and consequences of being caught with drugs tend to be harsher.

It is not unusual for a single drug bust to reportedly rake in over 1,000 kilograms of drugs in Iraq’s eastern neighbor, with which Iraq shares a lengthy porous border through which millions of people transit every year for religious ceremonies alone. On the other side, Iran’s border has been a massive influx of Afghans flowing in after the country fell to the Taliban in August 2021.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Iran accounted for over 91% of opium seizures in 2020 and remains one of the major transit countries for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to Europe and other areas.

India also recently seized a larger quantity than that captured by the Iraqi authorities in the first eight months of the year, some 312.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, in a single drug bust against two Afghan nationals in the country. Concerns have risen after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan about a possible rise in the regional drug trade, which will likely affect Iraq as well.

Several Iraqi security officers have told Al-Monitor in recent months that the country is awash in drugs but that little is being done about it — or that can even be done so long as non-state armed groups continue to be allowed to operate relatively unhindered throughout the country.

In one month alone earlier this year, at least 1,300 people were reportedly arrested on suspicion of being involved in the drug trade. However, many Iraqis feel that those controlling the trade — and guns — remain relatively untouched and possibly untouchable.

Earlier this year, Iraq’s Interior Ministry stated that cannabis and methamphetamines smuggled from Iran were among the most widely consumed narcotics in Iraq.

Meanwhile, judges and police are killed for trying to stop the trade, many in the same province as the latest high-profile cases.

Earlier this year, an Iraqi judge specialized in drug cases was shot and killed in Maysan province, while another anti-drug judge had narrowly escaped an attempt on his life a few months prior in the same province.

Meanwhile, though the rash of violence that broke out in late August in the central, most heavily secured area of the Iraqi capital for almost 24 hours was subdued after a powerful cleric called on his followers to desist and leave the Green Zone, the confidence of much of the population has been shaken in the security forces’ ability to protect them from non-state armed groups operating in the country.

A seeming lack of urgency and ability to effect needed change by the political class also seems to be wearing on the country’s morale, while the violent outcome of these latest protests — with militias seemingly empowered and dozens dead — may discourage further demonstrations for the moment.

Hundreds of others were injured, many seriously so, after RPGs, missiles and gunfire resounded throughout a night that rekindled fears and traumas from the past decades.

A number of underreported incidents of the burning of militia and official security headquarters in southern Iraq followed the late August outbreak of violence in the capital.

Retaliatory assassinations and destruction of property have been a hallmark of long-simmering hostility between powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr's supporters and rival Iran-linked Shiite militias, most prominently Asaib Ahl al-Haq.

A source in contact with multiple medical facilities in the key southern port city of Basra told Al-Monitor that an unusually high number of gunshot and other wounds continued to be seen in the days following an official “end” to the violence.

As the violence and tension continue, attempts to curb the drug trade are likely to take a back seat to bringing in a government acquiesced to by the country’s major powerbrokers, if not the population itself.

Concerns at the same time remain that many of those involved in armed power plays and cross-border movement of weapons may meanwhile be further empowered by the lucrative trade in narcotics.

RELATED TOPICS​

Armed Militias and Extremist Groups


Read more: Drugs, militias form explosive mix on Iraq-Iran border


Read more: Drugs, militias form explosive mix on Iraq-Iran border
 

jward

passin' thru

jward

passin' thru
Kareem Rifai
@KareemRifai


⚡️
Unconfirmed rumors that Ayatollah Khamenei is dead (inshallah)
Translate Tweet
Doubtful, as always, but I've been seeing bits and pieces that he's been very sick since the beginning of September so crossing my fingers regardless.
Would like to repeat again before this blows up anymore that, like I said in the original tweet, these are unconfirmed *rumors* (!!!) that are probably not reliable. My personal guess is that he's likely just ill. A similar rumor happened in late 2020. Worth noting that he's 83.

1:53 PM · Sep 10, 2022·Twitter for iPhone
 

jward

passin' thru
Mike
@Doranimated
15m

“Europeans doubt Iran's intentions in nuclear talk,” reports Reuters. But they should have no doubts about Iran's intentions. For 3.5 years, Iran's intentions have been clear, as it carried out ever graver violations of its JCPOA and NPT obligations.
View: https://twitter.com/Doranimated/status/1568916654653857792?s=20&t=1oZAKfabS1PTH58Nn1wY5g




The E3's consistent response to Iranian provocations has been a two part move: 1) to issue a statement, even acknowledging that the violations have no peaceful purpose; 2) and then to do nothing else. The E3 should have snapped back years ago.
They are stuck, however, b/c the most rational Plan B would look like Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” But they devoted so much time and effort into denigrating Trump’s policy, blaming it for all problems w/Iran, that they can’t now embrace it without eating crow.
But they have always sanctified the “return” to JCPOA, elevating it above all else -- at the expense of its own terms and even at the expense of the NPT. The US and the E3 have no Plan B, but better figure one out fast.
 

jward

passin' thru
Kareem Rifai
@KareemRifai


Unconfirmed rumors that Ayatollah Khamenei is dead (inshallah)
Translate Tweet
Doubtful, as always, but I've been seeing bits and pieces that he's been very sick since the beginning of September so crossing my fingers regardless.
Would like to repeat again before this blows up anymore that, like I said in the original tweet, these are unconfirmed *rumors* (!!!) that are probably not reliable. My personal guess is that he's likely just ill. A similar rumor happened in late 2020. Worth noting that he's 83.

1:53 PM · Sep 10, 2022·Twitter for iPhone

Reports of Khamenei’s death greatly exaggerated, Iranian official says​


By TOI staff and AFP

3-4 minutes




Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is alive and well, an official said Monday morning, rejecting rumors that the country’s supreme leader had suffered a sudden deterioration in health, or even died.
“May it blind the enemies’ eyes that with the grace of God and the prayers of devotees, (Khamenei) is in good health and is carrying out his plans following the usual schedule,” Mehdi Fazaeli said on Twitter.
Fazaeli was described by Iranian media as a member of the office for the publication of Khamanei’s works.

State TV also denied reports of a meeting of the Assembly of Experts on Leadership, an 88-strong body of elected clerics responsible for appointing and monitoring the supreme leader.
It said a picture circulating on social media, purportedly of the news channel reporting such a meeting, was fake.


In addition, the Secretariat of the Assembly of Experts issued a statement denying that it had summoned an emergency meeting of its members, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Rumors regarding Kahmenei were triggered after London-based Iranian journalist Momahad Ahwaze tweeted Saturday that there had been a deterioration in the supreme leader’s health and that those close to him were “very afraid.”
Ahwaze added that sources had confirmed that Khamenei’s duties and powers had been transferred to his son Mojtaba Khamenei, who is in charge of various security and intelligence services in the country.

A Friday meeting between Khamenei and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had been canceled, Ahwaze said, and noted that the reason for Khamenei’s sudden failing health was unclear, including whether it was related to his “illness with prostate cancer or another disease.” Ahwaze said that doctors had been summoned to treat him.
The tweets were picked up by some news media, including Newsweek. Then, on social media, some began to speculate that Khamenei had died.

Khamenei’s last public appearance was on November 24, when he met Iran’s top officials, with videos of the meetings aired by state television.
The 81-year-old leader underwent a successful prostate cancer operation in 2014.
There have been previous false claims about Khamenei’s death.
Reports of Khamenei’s death greatly exaggerated, Iranian official says
 

colonel holman

Veteran Member
Mike
@Doranimated
15m

“Europeans doubt Iran's intentions in nuclear talk,” reports Reuters. But they should have no doubts about Iran's intentions. For 3.5 years, Iran's intentions have been clear, as it carried out ever graver violations of its JCPOA and NPT obligations.
View: https://twitter.com/Doranimated/status/1568916654653857792?s=20&t=1oZAKfabS1PTH58Nn1wY5g




The E3's consistent response to Iranian provocations has been a two part move: 1) to issue a statement, even acknowledging that the violations have no peaceful purpose; 2) and then to do nothing else. The E3 should have snapped back years ago.
They are stuck, however, b/c the most rational Plan B would look like Donald Trump’s “maximum pressure” But they devoted so much time and effort into denigrating Trump’s policy, blaming it for all problems w/Iran, that they can’t now embrace it without eating crow.
But they have always sanctified the “return” to JCPOA, elevating it above all else -- at the expense of its own terms and even at the expense of the NPT. The US and the E3 have no Plan B, but better figure one out fast.
EXACTLY. Their downfall was taking the simple obsessed path of reversing anything done by Trump… literally throwing out the baby with the bathwater. So much of their governance has been dreadful failure (likely costing them their grip on power) because of the strategy. They did it to themselves
 

jward

passin' thru
Kareem Rifai
@KareemRifai


Unconfirmed rumors that Ayatollah Khamenei is dead (inshallah)
Translate Tweet
Doubtful, as always, but I've been seeing bits and pieces that he's been very sick since the beginning of September so crossing my fingers regardless.
Would like to repeat again before this blows up anymore that, like I said in the original tweet, these are unconfirmed *rumors* (!!!) that are probably not reliable. My personal guess is that he's likely just ill. A similar rumor happened in late 2020. Worth noting that he's 83.

1:53 PM · Sep 10, 2022·Twitter for iPhone



Israel Radar
@IsraelRadar_com


Iran's supreme leader Khamenei cancelled all public appearances due to illness, is currently under medical observation, @kann_new reports; full details about his health condition unknown at this time.


12:03 PM · Sep 16, 2022·Twitter Web App
 

jward

passin' thru

jward

passin' thru
Jason Brodsky
@JasonMBrodsky


These abuses should be on the agenda of world powers at #UNGA in between chasing after Iranian diplomats about JCPOA: #MahsaAmini, a 22-year-old, who was beaten by #Iran's morality police for not wearing a hijab has died after falling into a coma.
And let's not forget: #Iran's morality police is a part of the LEF, which technically reports to the Interior Ministry, which Raisi nominally oversees. Although IRGC and SLO have real control. Nevertheless, as Raisi will be in New York, he should be held accountable. 2/2
View: https://twitter.com/JasonMBrodsky/status/1570756701527375872?s=20&t=x9hWSi1fYZRplNE_Lnbmuw
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Merde......Well consider her fellow travelers.....

Posted for fair use.....

Give Iran Nukes, Says Quincy Institute’s New Iran Expert​

Roxane Farmanfarmaian claims Tehran would not use a nuclear weapon against Israel

Adam Kredo • September 16, 2022 4:10 pm

Iran should be allowed to build a nuclear weapon, according to the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft's newest hire, Roxane Farmanfarmaian.

Farmanfarmaian, a policy analyst who focuses on Iran, earlier this month became a nonresident fellow at the isolationist think tank bankrolled by billionaires George Soros and Charles Koch. In a 2013 policy debate, Farmanfarmaian argued in favor of Iran building a nuclear bomb, saying the country would never use it to destroy Israel, even though the hardline regime has been threatening to do so for years and sponsors the top jihadist terrorists waging war on the Jewish state.

Farmanfarmaian joins a growing roster of Quincy Institute scholars who have pushed for increased engagement with Iran and promoted anti-Israel conspiracy theories from their perch at the think tank. This includes Trita Parsi, who formerly helmed the National Iranian American Council, a group accused of secretly lobbying on Iran's behalf, and Stephen Walt, a longtime Israel critic who has pushed conspiracy theories about the Jewish state. Like many of her Quincy Institute colleagues, Farmanfarmaian has downplayed the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran and argued that Israel should learn to live with the threat of an Iranian bomb.

"If Iran was to bomb Israel, it would destroy Jerusalem, the third-holiest site in Islam," Farmanfarmaian was quoted as saying during the debate, according to a press report published at the time. "It's inconceivable that Iran would bomb Israel because it would isolate it."

Israeli leaders and a wide array of regional experts disagree with this assertion.

Farmanfarmaian also argued in a 2020 op-ed published in the Nation that then-president Donald Trump's assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani was "a colossal strategic blunder." Like other Quincy scholars and pro-Iran analysts, Farmanfarmaian argued the assassination would spark a global terror spree by Iran, a fear that never came to fruition.

She also described the general, who helmed Iran's regional terror operations, as "charismatic and highly effective."

Soleimani, "largely immune from the ambivalence with which many Iranians view the ruthless Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, operated for the most part outside the country as the respected head of the IRGC's foreign arm, the elite Quds Force," she wrote at the time. "Charismatic and highly effective, he gained admiration even among reformists for expanding Iran's reach across the Shia Crescent, the land bridge connecting Iran to Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon."

Farmanfarmaian went on to claim that the Soleimani assassination genuinely upset ordinary Iranians, even though the general was widely seen as the face of Tehran's massive spending on foreign wars.

"The expressions of grief on the streets of Iran are genuine," she wrote. "His assassination has brought the population closer to the leadership, despite recent protests, in shared outrage not only at Trump's actions but also at the administration's apparent disdain for Iran's sovereign rights and its insulting rhetoric demanding that Iran ‘change its behavior.'"

Published under: Anti-Semitism, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel, Nuclear Iran, Quincy Institute

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