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Apr 07 06:43

US, Iran say in Vienna they are ready to restore nuclear deal — Russian diplomat

Both the United States and Iran say they are ready to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in full and they have no "open confrontation" between themselves, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said on Tuesday.

"The task is quite clear - to restore the deal in full. Both the Americans and the Iranians say they are ready. Naturally, the Iranians are very critical about the United States but there is no open confrontation, at least because they don’t speak with each other," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

He noted that the United States and Iran maintain no direct contacts and communicate via mediators. "The European Union representative will play a key role of a go-between in contacts between the Iranians and the Americans, but Russia may also get involved, like any other participant in the deal," he explained.

Apr 07 06:41

NYT: Israel Struck Iranian Vessel Saviz in Red Sea, Notified US

Earlier on Tuesday, reports emerged saying that an Iranian cargo vessel, the Saviz, had been attacked in the Red Sea by a missile or a mine. There has been no official confirmation from Tehran on the reported attack.

Israel notified the United States that its forces had attacked an Iranian vessel, the Saviz, in the Red Sea, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed American official.

According to the anonymous official, the Israelis had called the attack "a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels". The official also noted that the Saviz had been damaged below the water line.
He went on to say that it was possible that the attack had been delayed so that an American aircraft carrier in the area, the Dwight D. Eisenhower, could distance itself from the Saviz. At the moment when the Saviz was hit, the official noted, the Eisenhower was "about 200 miles away".

Apr 06 11:25

Top negotiator to Press TV: US must lift Iran sanctions all at once, in one step

Top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi tells Press TV that the United States must lift its anti-Iran sanctions altogether and in one step if it truly seeks to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, which it abandoned around three years ago.

Araqchi, who serves as deputy foreign minister for political affairs, was interviewed by Press TV outside the venue of a session of the Joint Commission to the Iran deal — officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — in Vienna, Austria.

He reaffirmed that the gathering did not feature any American representatives, and that it just involved Iran’s discussions with the remaining JCPOA participants or the P4+1 — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

The remaining signatories “would then later talk with Americans. And that’s their business. We’re not engaged in that business. We only negotiate with the P4+1.”

Apr 05 07:18

Iran Calls for Immediate, Full Sanctions Relief

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying they will maintain their enhanced enrichment level until they get full and immediate sanctions relief as required under the P5+1 nuclear deal.

Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that proposals for a “step-by-step” process had been suggested, and would see Iran reversing its nuclear process, for only a small step of US engagement in the process. He said Iran considers this unacceptable.

With indirect talks coming up, France is urging Iran to avoid any further escalation as both sides try to work out the disagreements and get the process back into good standing, with everyone getting what they believe they’re entitled to under the nuclear deal.

Apr 05 05:52

Iran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team

The Biden administration is moving forward on steps to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, with officials set to participate in high level discussions with signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna next week.

The U.S. and Iran are not expected to meet face to face, although administration officials have said they remain open to direct talks.

The Vienna meeting marks the most forward movement for the Biden team, which will engage with European, Russian and Chinese counterparts over what steps the U.S. can take to achieve a “mutual return” for both America and Iran.

Apr 01 12:36

Don’t let facts get in the way of your pursuit for regime change

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz is best known for his leadership in promoting “economic warfare” against Iran as a means to foment regime change in Tehran or outright war with the Islamic Republic.

Part of that campaign requires spreading a lot of mis- or disinformation, and Dubowitz himself has been a fervent participant in those efforts.

Over the weekend, Dubowitz tweeted a passage from a Wall Street Journal article that noted an IMF report that “predicts Iran’s economy will return to 3.2% growth in 2021, following a 5% contraction in 2020, on the back of expanded oil sales and a stronger domestic industry.” Dubowitz blamed President Biden’s failure to maintain his predecessor’s “maximum pressure” campaign for the IMF’s alarming forecast.

“The Biden [administration] is already giving major concessions,” he tweeted. “That’s why this is occurring.”

Mar 31 10:56

Joe Biden Is Killing the Iran Nuclear Deal

Joe Biden harshly criticized Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal during the presidential campaign. But two months into his administration, Biden has done absolutely nothing to revive the landmark deal — and his inaction might have already killed it.

Mar 31 07:09

Netanyahu's Iran Obsession: Real Fear or Political Tool?

Over the years, Iran has given Israel plenty of reasons to worry. Officials in Tel Aviv have accused Tehran of working on developing weapons of mass destruction and of supporting terrorist entities. Yet despite calls to annihilate the Jewish state, an Israeli expert says the Islamic Republic does not pose an existential threat to his country.

Iran is not on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mind at the moment because he's preoccupied with a political stalemate and efforts to form a coalition to remain in power.

Mar 31 06:52

Rouhani: US can lift Iran sanctions in one hour if there is will

President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed as “lies” the US’s claims that it needs a few months to lift the anti-Iran sanctions and return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal since those things can happen through “a single decree and in one hour.”

“The Americans lie when they say a return to their commitments and the lifting of the sanctions will take 2 to 3 months... It can be done with one decree and in one hour. All it needs is the will to do so, and if there is a serious resolve, the US can return to all its obligations in a single day, and we can also return to all our commitments,” he told a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

“Mere slogans and interviews will not work,” said Rouhani. “The Americans must act and do everything in their power” to facilitate the revival of the nuclear deal they abandoned in 2018 in defiance of international law.

Mar 31 06:51

Iran-China deal will force West to rethink foreign policy: Expert

The historic partnership agreement signed between Iran and China will force the West to revisit its foreign policy that has persistently relied on intervention and exploitation, a commentator says.

“I think cooperation between Global South countries like China and Iran will force the political elite in the Western capitals to sit back and re-evaluate their policy,” Carl Zha, investigator and content producer on the political, cultural, and historical issues that center around China, told Press TV on Tuesday.

The Global South is a rough term coined to refer to, what some call, “developing countries” as opposed to certain Western and Western-allied states.

He said the West’s trademark foreign policy towards the supposed Global South nations has for long consisted taking interventionist approaches towards them so it can comfortably extract their resources.

Mar 31 06:42

Iran Rejects Ending 20% Enrichment for Some Sanctions Relief

A report from Politico on Monday said the Biden administration was ready to offer a proposal to Iran that would give some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran halting some activity of its civilian nuclear program, such as stopping enriching uranium at 20 percent.

An unnamed Iranian official responded to the report and told Iran’s Press TV on Tuesday that Tehran would only halt 20 percent enrichment if the US lifts all sanctions that have been reimposed since 2018. “Twenty percent uranium enrichment is in line with Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA and will be stopped only if the US lifts all the sanctions,” the official said.

Mar 31 05:48

Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India 'North-South Trade Corridor' As "Alternative" & Challenge To Suez Canal

Coming after a 'successful' weekend in which sanctions-beleaguered Iran hailed its signing a major 25-year infrastructure and investment agreement with China, Iran's ambassador to Russia is also touting that a new north-south trade corridor across the region could become a prime 'alternative' to the strategic Suez Canal waterway that's been featured in global headlines due to the 'Ever Given' stuck tanker disaster that just played out.

Called the "International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)" — a two decades in the making ambitious project — the new trade corridor, currently partially in operation, is 7,200km long, linking up Russia, Iran, and India and ultimately accelerating trade with Europe as well.

Mar 31 05:00

Russian, German, French leaders discuss Iran nuclear deal

The leaders of Russia, France and Germany, which are signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, have exchanged views on the multilateral accord amid a standoff between Iran and the United States over the implementation of the agreement.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), among other issues.

The Kremlin said the trio spoke in favor of “preserving and implementing” the JCPOA and “further coordinating steps in this direction.”

Separately, the Elysee Palace said in a statement that three leaders had agreed to take measures on the nuclear pact and coordinate their efforts to return Iran to full compliance with its international obligations as soon as possible.

Mar 31 04:57

Iran-China: the 21st Century Silk Road Connection

Capping an extraordinary two weeks that turned 21st century geopolitics upside down, Iran and China finally signed their 25-year strategic deal this past Saturday in Tehran.

The timing could not have been more spectacular, following what we examined in three previous columns: the virtual Quad and the 2+2 US-China summit in Alaska; the Lavrov-Wang Yi strategic partnership meeting in Guilin; and the NATO summit of Foreign Ministers in Brussels – key steps unveiling the birth of a new paradigm in international relations.

The officially named Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was first announced over five years ago, when President Xi Jinping visited Tehran. The result of plenty of closed-door discussions since 2016, Tehran now describes the agreement as “a complete roadmap with strategic political and economic clauses covering trade, economic and transportation cooperation.”

Mar 30 05:42

Report: US Preparing to Offer New Proposal to Iran

According to a report from Politico, the Biden administration is preparing to offer a new proposal to Iran on a way to possibly revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Citing people “familiar with the matter,” the report said the proposal could be put forward as early as this week. One source said the proposal asks Iran to halt some nuclear activity, such as new advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium at 20 percent, in exchange for some relief from US sanctions, although details are still being worked out.

It’s not clear from the report how much sanctions relief the US would offer. Iran is under an enormous amount of US sanctions. Some are devastating to the country’s economy, and others are more symbolic. So the Biden administration has a lot of options of sanctions it could lift that would not really give Tehran any relief.

Mar 30 04:43

Former Chief of IDF Intelligence Alarmed by Inclusion of Intel Sharing in Iran-China Pact

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif characterised the 25-year Iran-China Strategic Partnership Agreement signed on Saturday as a “historic” pact which provides a “strategic roadmap” for relations between the two nations. Publicised details about the agreement have been limited, leading to concerned speculation in Washington and elsewhere.

Israel has reason to be concerned with the strategic cooperation agreement signed by Iran and China, particularly its section about military cooperation, Israeli Air Force general (ret.) and former Israel Defence Forces Military Intelligence Directorate chief Amos Yadlin has said.

“One of the most worrying clauses in the agreement between Iran and China is intelligence sharing,” Yadlin, who now heads the Tel-Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies think tank, told Ynet News on Monday.

Mar 30 04:32

China’s new partnership with Iran is not a full alliance, but enough to undermine US sanctions & rock global status quo

China and Iran have signed a strategic partnership agreement. For sanctions-wracked Tehran, it’s an economic lifeline. For Beijing, it’s the start of a tricky Middle East balancing act.

In the midst of a spat of tensions between China and the West, Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spent the weekend in Iran, another country that has borne the brunt of confrontation with the United States over the past few years. Sweeping the Middle East on his diplomatic tour, in Tehran Wang signed the long-awaited ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreement, hashed out last year, that will span 25 years and encompass Iran’s energy, infrastructure and technology sectors – valued up to an estimated $400 billion. It comes as geopolitical differences peak between Washington, Beijing and its allies.

Mar 30 04:28

Iran to stop 20% enrichment only if US bans lifted: Source tells Press TV

A senior Iranian official has told Press TV that Tehran will not stop 20-percent uranium enrichment before the US sanctions are lifted.

"20-percent uranium enrichment is in line with Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA and will be stopped only if the US lifts all the sanctions," the official said on Monday evening.

The Iranian official said the country will not stop any of its current nuclear activities before the removal of all sanctions.

"The Biden administration is losing time, and if it fails to lift the sanctions soon, Iran will take the next steps, which will be further reduction of its JCPOA commitments," the official added.

The Iranian official made the remarks in reaction to a report by Politico which claimed the US is to end the deadlock over the 2015 nuclear deal with a new proposal.

Mar 30 04:25

Landmark Iran-China deal boosts anti-US stance, regional security: Analyst

An American political analyst says the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by Iran and China reinforces both countries' stance against the United States’ economic blackmail and shores up security in the region.

During a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi put their signatures on the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to strengthen the traditional friendship between the two states.

The deal, which was five years in the making, includes Chinese investments in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors in return for steady supplies of Iranian oil.

Mar 29 10:03

Israel: 'We can destroy Iran's nuclear programme'

A senior Israeli military official has declared on Friday that his country has the ability to "completely destroy Iran's nuclear programme."

Tal Kalman, head of the Strategic Division and the Third-Circle Directorate of the Israeli army, told Israel Today that 2020 was a "good" year concerning war against Iran.

Kalman added: "I do not want to call it a year of transformation, but it is a year of great change. It started with the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and continued with a series of events that I cannot comment on most of the time, which made the balance positive, and very positive."

He explained that Tel Aviv deals with Iran through four axes, the first of which is the extremist regime, adding: "As long as it controls Iran, Israel faces a very big challenge."

Mar 28 00:38

Iran & China Sign Massive 25-Year Deal: $400BN Chinese Infrastructure Investment For Oil

Increasingly it appears that so-called "rogue states" and those under Washington's wrath and sanctions are coming together to combat US dominance across the globe. It was a process already set in motion after years of aggressive US attempts to enforce a ban on Iranian and Venezuelan oil, as a prime example.

For starters, China and Russia have been major players in helping to circumvent US attempts to blockade Venezuelan and Iranian crude. Saturday's major China-Iran news to some degree formalizes this, as Reuters reports, "China and Iran, both subject to US sanctions, signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on Saturday to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So ... if the US attacks Iran now, they are intruding into China's interests!

Mar 27 07:30

Facebook bans Press TV page AGAIN as Iranian outlet decries move as ‘censorship’ & ‘attack on free speech’

Iranian media outlet Press TV has condemned Facebook for “censorship” after its main page was banned on the site yet again, with the platform citing violations of its “community standards” and stating the move can’t be undone.

“Without any prior warning, Facebook informed Press TV on Friday that its account had been shut down for what it claimed to be the Iranian news channel’s failure to ‘follow our Community Standards,’” the outlet reported, calling the ban “yet another attack by the US-based social media giant on Iranian media outlets.”

‘We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed,’ said Facebook in a note, without specifying the so-called violations of its rules.

Mar 27 06:54

Will Israel Use ‘Bunker-Buster’ Bombs Against Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Israel is extremely worried that Iran would develop a nuclear bomb that would target the state of Israel, murdering the Israeli and the Palestinian populations since areas surrounding one of the holiest sites to Islam located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa Mosque that will also be contaminated with nuclear fallout, but Israel insists that Iran is building a nuclear weapon to destroy the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

Mar 27 06:46

Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

If Iran’s alleged plan to launch a suicide boat attack on Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., sounds nuts, that’s because it is.

The National Security Agency intercepted communications from members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps discussing “USS Cole-style attacks” against the Army installation in January, Associated Press Reporter James LaPorta first revealed.

The Iranian plan also reportedly involved targeting Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin, who lived on Fort McNair, according to the AP, which cited two unnamed senior intelligence officials.

In part due to these threats, the Army wants to push boat traffic further away from Fort McNair, according to the Associated Press. Army spokeswoman Col. Cathy Wilkinson declined to discuss the reported threat for this story.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on security for senior officials,” Wilkinson said.

Mar 25 05:29

Iran Warns IAEA Chief’s Comments Damage Credibility of Process

While Iran and the IAEA seemed to be on good terms in recent months, a split is starting to emerge from weekend comments by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who is seeking “very technical discussions” on undeclared Iranian uranium, and sites that are not listed in the official documentation.

Israel, and subsequently the US, have long accused Iran of having secret sites, but so far have not come up with solid evidence any of this has happened, and have mostly sent the IAEA to repeatedly search through an old carpet factory, finding what appeared to be trivial amounts of unprocessed uranium, hardly definitive of anything.

Iran has given IAEA access to these accused sites a few times, but has expressed annoyance that they keep wanting to go through them over and over, and never find anything. So long as the allegations continue that there were secret sites, the IAEA seems to be treating the fact that they can’t find anything as proof Iran needs to be more forthcoming with info.

Mar 24 12:50

Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

If Iran’s alleged plan to launch a suicide boat attack on Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., sounds nuts, that’s because it is.

The National Security Agency intercepted communications from members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps discussing “USS Cole-style attacks” against the Army installation in January, Associated Press Reporter James LaPorta first revealed.

The Iranian plan also reportedly involved targeting Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin, who lived on Fort McNair, according to the AP, which cited two unnamed senior intelligence officials.

In part due to these threats, the Army wants to push boat traffic further away from Fort McNair, according to the Associated Press. Army spokeswoman Col. Cathy Wilkinson declined to discuss the reported threat for this story.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on security for senior officials,” Wilkinson said.

Mar 24 04:41

Iran: We will Attack On US Soil, Biden: So Where Do I Sign The Nuclear Deal?

Iran reportedly threatened to attack Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., as well as the Army’s vice chief of staff, according to a report from The Associated Press published on Sunday.

Citing two unidentified senior U.S. intelligence officials, the AP reports that communications intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) indicated that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) discussed carrying out a “USS Cole-style attacks” on Fort McNair in January, referencing the 2000 suicide attack against the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer in Yemen's Aden harbor that left 17 sailors dead.

Mar 23 05:53

Much More Than 12: Israel Attacked Dozens of Tankers, Iran Lost Billions

The report in the Wall Street Journal a week ago apparently uncovered only the tip of the iceberg of the economic warfare that Israel has been waging against Iran for the past two and a half years. According to the Journal, Israel has systematically scuttled maritime oil smuggling from Iran to Syria by striking at least 12 ships. That effort, according to American sources, is intended to disrupt the use of the funds paid for the oil smuggled to Hezbollah in order to purchase combat materiel.

The Journal noted that it also drew on additional sources, including intelligence sources in the Middle East. The first leak may have come from the Biden administration, aimed at neutralizing background noise which the Americans think might soon hamper the renewal of negotiations with Iran about the United States’ return to the nuclear agreement.

Mar 23 05:34

If Israel accuses Iran of doing something, Israel is likely already doing it

Israel has accused Iran of doing many nefarious things. But the historical record shows that whatever Israel accuses Iran of, it is likely that Israel is already doing it.

For example, Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of destabilizing the region by malignantly spreading across the region and forming alliances and exercising influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

But Israel is spreading across the region by forming alliances and exercising influence across the region. With varying degrees of formality and publicity, Israel has expanded its network and formed alliances with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. And this Israeli spread has been destabilizing both in terms of increasing weapons in the region and legitimizing and solidifying occupations.

Mar 22 07:21

Iranian FM Zarif Blasts EU for Asking Tehran to ‘Act Responsibly’ While Ignoring 'Israel’s Nukes'

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Tehran to “act responsibly” and “stop exacerbating the thorny nuclear situation with multiple violations” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Iran says it will return to its obligations under the JCPOA as soon as the United States lifts its illegal sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to blast the European signatories to the JCPOA (collectively known as the E3) over their public concern about Iran’s nuclear activities while ignoring Israel’s suspected nuclear arsenal.

“To appease a terrorist regime with illicit nukes, E3 urge Iran ‘to act responsibly’. Reality check: The JCPOA is alive SOLELY because of Iran’s responsible conduct,” Zarif wrote.

Mar 22 07:19

US warns China it will enforce sanctions on Iranian oil shipments: Report

The US has told China it will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil sales, as shipments from Tehran to Beijing surge.

A senior Biden administration official told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Iranian oil exports to China had been increasing "for some time now".

"We've told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions," the senior administration official told the newspaper. "There will be no tacit green light."

Still, the official noted that such sanctions could be waived during anticipated talks between the two countries over reviving the Iranian nuclear accord.

Mar 21 08:46

US Iran Envoy Says Trump’s Maximum Pressure Campaign Was a ‘Failure’

In an interview with BBC Persian on Wednesday, President Biden’s Iran envoy said the Trump administration’s Iran policy, known as the maximum pressure campaign, was a “failure.”

“The maximum pressure campaign has failed. It was a predicted failure. It hasn’t made life any better for the Iranian people … It hasn’t brought us any closer to this ‘better deal’ that President Trump spoke about,” said Robert Malley. “Maximum pressure should be a thing of the past.”

While Malley denounced Trump’s policies, the crippling economic sanctions left by the Trump administration are still in place. Malley even recognized that economic sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranians.

Mar 20 12:26

Iran, Russia and Turkey signal growing alliance

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was all smiles during a trip to Turkey on Friday. He said it was productive as he stood alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. He said it was a “wonderful” trip where he spoke with his “brother Cavusoglu.” The trip signals the growing alliance that Turkey and Iran have in the region.

Zarif said “as before, constructive engagement on bilateral and regional issues. Ultimate aim: Apply Iran and Turkey's experience of 400 years of peace to our region. Together, anything is possible.”

Mar 20 06:51

Iran Prepares for Initial Testing of Arak Nuclear Reactor

Iran has informed the IAEA that they intend to conduct initial testing at the Arak heavy water reactor soon, with a focus on fluid and support systems. They did not set a specific day, but said it would be somewhat after Iranian new years, which is Sunday.

Iran designed Arak to replace the Tehran Research Reactor as a source of medical isotopes. The Iran nuclear deal saw Iran scrap that reactor in favor of an alternative design, and after substantial delay it seems ready for testing.

The testing could begin in days, and the expectation is that Iran could have the site fully active and operational later this year. This would finally resolve a long-standing concern about the age of Iran’s research reactor.

Mar 19 08:08

US warns China it will enforce sanctions on Iranian oil shipments: Report

The US has told China it will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil sales, as shipments from Tehran to Beijing surge.

A senior Biden administration official told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Iranian oil exports to China had been increasing "for some time now".

"We've told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions," the senior administration official told the newspaper. "There will be no tacit green light."

Still, the official noted that such sanctions could be waived during anticipated talks between the two countries over reviving the Iranian nuclear accord.

Mar 19 06:45

Afghanistan: How Long Must This Go On?

The United States military and mercenary forces need to leave Afghanistan now.
Note: Does anyone remember why we are there in the first place!
The Cactus Moon is crying!

Mar 17 07:08

Iran’s Defense Minister Says Country Must Prepare for Nuclear and Chemical Attacks

On Tuesday, Iran’s defense minister said the country must be prepared to face nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks.

“We should be prepared to defend our nation against all threats and whatever the enemy may one day use as an offensive tool, including chemical, nuclear and biological weapons,” said Gen. Amir Hatami, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Hatami made his comments on the 33rd anniversary of a chemical weapons attack by Saddam Hussein on Iraqi Kurds in Halabja, Iraq. During the Iran-Iraq war that raged from 1980 to 1988, Hussein frequently used chemical weapons against Iran, sometimes with US support.

Mar 16 07:55

Iran’s supposed threat to the U.S. is a scam

Some day historians will scratch their heads over the fact that for the better part of 20 years U.S. presidents were engaged as a leading foreign policy question in how to restrain Iran, a small country half the world away that has not attacked the U.S., that does not have nuclear weapons, that is the seat of ancient civilization, and whose contribution to regional instability doesn’t look any worse than Israel’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

It is hard to see any American interest at all in Iran, and yet four presidents have now expended an immense amount of political capital on the country.

Mar 16 07:30

Menendez is defying Biden over Iran because he owes his political life to Israel lobby and Saban

Last week it came out that New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was working to “sabotage” Joe Biden’s effort to return to the Iran deal even if he “risks setting the US on a course toward war with Iran.” And meantime, 70 Democrats in the House have signed a letter telling Biden that he shouldn’t reenter the Iran deal that the leading Israel lobby group “AIPAC was behind,” per J Street.

“Biden may already be taking a somewhat harder line on Iran in fear of Menendez’s wrath, Politico reported earlier this month.”

In that Politico article, two top Biden aides, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, gave over-the-top praise of Menendez as a “sounding board” and “principled” guide, respectively.

Mar 16 07:29

Does the ‘NY Times’ prohibit its reporters from making the connection between U.S. hostility to Iran and Israel?

It’s become monotonous. The New York Times runs a report on U.S.-Iran relations, including the sparring over the nuclear deal — and the paper leaves out the Israel angle entirely. The latest example the other day was headlined: “Impasse Over Iran Nuclear Talks Sets Off International Scramble to Save Accord.”

The article, in addition to the U.S. and Iran, mentioned Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union — but no Israel.

The reporter, Lara Jakes, is a veteran correspondent, with many years of experience, including in the Mideast. She didn’t just parachute into the story from covering town board meetings in Westchester County.

The Times’s editors are legendarily powerful, which raises the suspicion that 1) they either cut any reference to Israel, or 2) Jakes knew better than to include one.

Mar 16 07:27

Iran’s supposed threat to the U.S. is a scam Israel and its lobby promote to change the subject from Palestine

Some day historians will scratch their heads over the fact that for the better part of 20 years U.S. presidents were engaged as a leading foreign policy question in how to restrain Iran, a small country half the world away that has not attacked the U.S., that does not have nuclear weapons, that is the seat of ancient civilization, and whose contribution to regional instability doesn’t look any worse than Israel’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

It is hard to see any American interest at all in Iran, and yet four presidents have now expended an immense amount of political capital on the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 16 06:50

Biden Can Trigger A Regional War By Reviving The Nuclear Deal

The Biden administration, deep down, unfortunately seems to wish to forge ahead with its agenda to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which, incidentally, Iran never signed -- and subsequently to lift sanctions against Tehran.

Mar 16 06:22

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Inaugurates New Underground Ballistic 'Missile City'

At a moment the question of the Biden administration's reentry into the 2015 nuclear deal remains in doubt - despite the admin seeking to assure that "indirect diplomacy" is taking place through the Europeans - tensions are soaring in the region and the prospect of a major regional war between Israel, Iran and Syria is now greater than ever.

For starters, it appears Israel and Iran are engaged in a shadow war to sabotage each other's tankers in places like the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman. Signaling continued military preparations in this tit-for-tat saga which has witnessed what was for years a proxy battle fast becoming a more 'direct' confrontation, on Monday Iran's IRGC Navy unveiled a new underground missile base, video footage of which was featured in state media.

Mar 16 06:16

Israel behind mysterious attacks on Iranian oil tankers, report claims

THE ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SERVICES are behind a series of mysterious attacks that have damaged Iranian oil tankers in the past 24 months, according to a new report that cites sources in the international shipping industry. The report, which appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal, cites a number of “shipping professionals” and “regional officials”, but does not name them.

The paper claims that the Israeli government decided to target the Iranian oil tankers after it concluded that Tehran uses the proceeds from oil sales to fund groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Most of the damaged ships were attempting to deliver oil to Syria in violation of a host of international sanctions against Iran, which are led by the United States. Washington appears to be quietly supporting the Israeli attacks on Iranian ships, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mar 15 07:44

Pompeo: Biden To Erode U.S. National Security With Iran Deal

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Biden’s push to rejoin the failed deal with Iran would undermine U.S. national security.

“If this administration unwinds that and goes back to the deal that we had with Iran when President Obama was in office, America will be less secure. Israel will be less secure. The Middle East will be less secure,” Pompeo stated. “The entire region will be less stable.”

In Sunday’s interview, Pompeo said Iran’s ayatollah regime does not understand diplomacy and agreements and only understands strength. He added Biden’s attempts to negotiate with Iran will result in America being taken advantage of, yet again.

Mar 13 07:16

Iran, China propose plan to form coalition against sanctions

China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and others are seeking support for a coalition to defend the United Nations Charter by pushing back against the use or threat of force and unilateral sanctions, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The move by 16 countries and the Palestinians to create such a group comes as U.S. President Joe Biden’s new administration boosts its multilateral engagement and with allies, reversing former President Donald Trump’s favored unilateral approach as he focused on an “America First” policy.

Biden has also pledged to take on China at the United Nations, where Beijing has been pushing for greater global influence in a challenge to traditional U.S. leadership.

A concept note for the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations,” seen by Reuters, states that multilateralism “is currently under an unprecedented attack, which, in turn, threatens global peace and security.”

Mar 12 07:38

US Intelligence Reveals Israel Has Bombed "Dozens" Of Iranian Oil Tankers

All signs are currently pointing to serious escalation in the Middle East between Israel, Iran, and involving the United States - particularly after Israel's recent claim of an Iranian sponsored attack on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman two weeks ago.

Signaling the likelihood that another red hot 'tanker war' is set for regional waters within the upcoming months, a new bombshell report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reveals Israeli intelligence has been waging its own tanker sabotage campaign against the Iranians over the past two years, in order to thwart what Tel Aviv believes are illegal oil shipments that result in funds for terror groups.

"Israel has targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East, US and regional officials say, in a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran," the WSJ writes.

Mar 12 06:41

Israel Has Been Attacking Iranian Ships Carrying Oil to Syria With Divers and Mines

Israel has ta rgeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East, U.S. and regional officials say, in a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran.

Since late 2019, Israel has used weaponry including water mines to strike Iranian vessels or those carrying Iranian cargo as they navigate toward Syria in the Red Sea and in other areas of the region. Iran has continued its oil trade with Syria, shipping millions of barrels and contravening U.S. sanctions against Iran and international sanctions against Syria.

Some of the naval attacks also have targeted Iranian efforts to move other cargo including weaponry through the region, according to U.S. officials.

The attacks on the tankers carrying Iranian oil haven’t been previously disclosed. Iranian officials have reported some of the attacks earlier and have said they suspect Israeli involvement.

Mar 11 09:07

The Power to Make War

Congress needs to prohibit absolutely the unauthorized presidential expenditure of money and deployment of armed personnel on any nondefensive violent actions. I say “personnel” rather than “military” because modern presidents have often used the CIA to fight wars and argued that because those wars did not involve the military, no congressional approval or notification was needed. -- Congress should criminalize such presidential violence and the expenditures of resources to support it, as it is a crime to kill without lawful authority. And Congress should call nondefensive killings — by the government or anyone — by their legal name: Murder.

Mar 10 08:05

US extends national emergency on Iran

In a letter to the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives Friday, President Joe Biden extended the United States’ national emergency with respect to Iran which began in 1995 for one more year.

Biden warned that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran — including its proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and campaign of regional aggression, its support for terrorist groups, and the malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates — continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

Mar 10 07:18

Israel updates plan for military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in an interview with Fox News that his country is updating plans for military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.

The defense minister has stated that Israel has drawn up plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran shows signs of nuclear escalation.

Benny Gantz told Fox News that Israel is still working on its plans, but “we have them in our hands of course”.

He showed a map of Lebanon that he said includes ground forces, missiles and launching sites set up by Iranian proxy forces along the border.

“This is a target map. Each one of them has been checked legally, operationally, intelligence-wise and we are ready to fight,” Gantz said.

Mar 10 07:17

Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, in sadistic sanctions manual

The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its deputy Iran envoy. As the former principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy for Barack Obama’s State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry, and driving up unemployment rates.

Nephew has described the destruction of Iran’s economy as “a tremendous success,” and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country’s capital despite mounting US sanctions.

Nephew’s appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.

Mar 08 08:03

Video reveals Israel’s lies about Iran’s involvement in ship incident in Sea of Oman

A new video released by Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen news network has belied recent Israeli allegations that Iran was behind an explosion that damaged an Israeli ship in the Sea of Oman last week, showing that there has been actually no attack on the ship from the outside.

Al-Mayadeen reported that Iranian drones recorded the footage, which shows the ship that was allegedly attacked on February 26 in the Sea of Oman, was not actually targeted from the outside.

The footage shows that the holes created in the sides of the Israeli ship “were not created by an external attack, but some individuals inside the ship created the holes in order to indicate that the ship was attacked,” the news network reported.

Mar 08 07:56

Gantz says Israel has list of Iran-backed targets ready to strike

Israel’s defence minister has said that his country has drawn up plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran shows signs of nuclear escalation.

Benny Gantz told Fox News that Israel is still working on its plans, but “we have them in our hands of course”.

Mar 08 07:43

No negotiation will take place between Iran, US before all sanctions removed: Source tells Press TV

There will be no negotiations between Iran and the United States on any matter before Washington removes all illegal sanctions it has unilaterally imposed on Tehran, an informed security source tells Press TV.

The security source, which talked to Press TV on condition of anonymity on Sunday, noted that the Western countries’ interpretation of recent remarks by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about a new plan for negotiations with the United States are erroneous and no such plan exists.

“The idea of a step-by-step plan for starting talks between Iran and the United States has been rejected at the highest levels of the Islamic Republic and there will be no contact between Iran and the US before sanctions are removed,” the security official added.

Mar 04 06:49

Israel accuses Iran of ‘environmental terrorism’ over oil spill off its coast, warns culprits ‘must pay price’

The Israeli government has said Iran is behind a recent oil spill off Israel’s coast which caused huge ecological damage and has been described as one of the worst such pollution incidents in Israel’s history.

Israel's Environment Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said on Wednesday that Israeli officials had identified a Libyan-owned oil tanker, called Emerald and allegedly carrying pirated cargo, which had sailed from Iran out of the Persian Gulf and up the Suez Canal last month.

Speaking at a news briefing, the minister said that the Panama-flagged vessel had turned off its radios for nearly 24 hours and had polluted the sea between February 1 and 2.

“Iran is [conducting] terrorism by damaging the environment, and [when] Iran is damaging the environment it isn't just hurting the state of Israel,” she said.

Mar 02 10:18

Iran condemns U.S. strikes in Syria, denies attacks in Iraq

Iran on Saturday condemned U.S. air strikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria, and denied responsibility for rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq that prompted Friday’s strikes.

Washington said its strikes on positions of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group along the Iraq border were in response to the rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq.

Western officials and some Iraqi officials have blamed those attacks on Iran-backed groups.

However, Tehran has denied any involvement.

Mar 02 10:17

Illegal US bases train terrorists in Syria: Iran Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has condemned recent attacks on areas east of Syria by US troops, saying the illegal bases run by American forces in the country are used to train terrorists for later use against the government in Damascus.

“Illegal American bases on the Syrian soil are training terrorists and using them as a means [against the Damascus government],” Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday.

Recent military activities under the new US administration blatantly violate Syria’s territorial integrity and international law, which would intensify clashes and fuel instability in the region, the Iranian official said.

“These attacks, which were in the continuation of the Zionist regime’s constant acts of aggression against the Syrian territory, have been carried out after American forces illegally entered Syria over the past few years and occupied parts of its soil and plundered its natural resources, including oil, which is an absolute right of the Syrian people.”

Feb 28 09:12

Iran to delete IAEA cameras’ data if US sanctions not lifted: Salehi

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says recordings from monitoring equipment that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) installed at the country’s nuclear sites will be deleted if the United States does not lift its unilateral sanctions within the next three months.

Ali-Akbar Salehi said, “Now, the IAEA does not have the right to access surveillance cameras for up to 3 months, and if the sanctions are not lifted, the information recorded by the cameras will be deleted and cameras will be uninstalled. The agency issues a report every three months, so we gave it a chance.”

Salehi made the remarks on Friday, four days after Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Treaty, which stipulates enhanced international access to nuclear sites and snap inspections by the IAEA.

Feb 28 08:44

Biden Bombs Syria: A New World Record?

Biden coming out of the gate with bombs blazing should be of little surprise to those who have watched his early foreign policy appointments. For example, he tapped noted neocon and aggressive interventionist Dana Stroul to head his Middle East Desk at the Pentagon and no doubt this airstrike at least indirectly reflects her influence and that of many others like her who have taken up positions in the Biden Administration.

Feb 28 07:21

Israel Says Iran Behind Blast On Israeli-Owned Ship In 'Initial Assessment'

Israel is blaming Iran for the Thursday incident in the Gulf of Oman wherein a cargo vessel owned by an Israeli businessman was hit by a 'mystery' explosion, forcing it to divert to the nearest port after sustaining severe damage.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has announced as part of an "initial assessment" that Tel Aviv believes Iran was behind a bomb attack on the car-carrier vessel, identified as the Helios Ray. Suspicion of Iran's involvement has been rampant in Israeli media since the blast. However, there's yet to be definitive proof or evidence that either a state actor or terrorist elements were involved, much less any specific details released to the public.

"Iran is looking to hit Israeli infrastructure and Israeli citizens. The location of the ship in relative close proximity to Iran raises the notion, the assessment, that it is the Iranians," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This reeks of a false-flag attack. Nobody on the ship was injured and the ship itself did not sink.

Feb 26 07:28

Republicans introduce bill opposing lifting Iran sanctions

Republican Senator Tom Cotton and more than 40 other lawmakers have introduced bicameral legislation that opposes the lifting of sanctions on Iran, highlighting partisan disapproval of President Joe Biden's calls to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The resolution, which was led by Cotton in the Senate and Congressman Mike Gallagher in the House, "rejects and opposes the reapplication of sanctions relief, including the use of waivers, de-listing individuals or entities".

It also opposes reversing the finding that Iran is a jurisdiction of "primary money laundering" and reversing a ban that keeps Iran from accessing the US financial system.

Feb 25 19:12

Biden Regime Launches Air Strike in Syria - Moves to Stay in Iraq 'Forever'

The Biden regime has only been in power for one month and they're already bombing Syria.

Feb 25 13:49

Netanyahu: Israel will prevent a nuclear Iran whether or not a deal is in place

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday vowed Israel would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, regardless of whether a multilateral accord is in place to prevent Tehran from doing so.

The comments came hours after Iranian state TV reported that the Islamic Republic has officially begun restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

“On the eve of the Purim holiday, I say to those who seek to harm us — Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian tyrant tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then – you too will fail,” Netanyahu said at a memorial ceremony in the northern town of Tel Hai, referencing the Purim story.

Feb 25 07:53

Iran: Israel’s expansion of Dimona nuclear site threatens global security

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the UN office in Geneva has raised the alarm at the Israeli regime’s quiet expansion of its highly-secretive Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert, renewing the call for the “irreversible destruction” of nuclear weapons by the possessors of such internationally-banned arms.

Addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Wednesday Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said that Israel’s reported attempts to expand facilities that the regime uses to build nuclear bombs are a big threat to regional and international peace and security.

He was reacting to newly-released satellite images, which have revealed that the Israeli regime — the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East — is conducting “significant” constructive activities at the Dimona nuclear facility.

Feb 23 08:34

Ayatollah Khamenei Says Iran Might Pull Trigger On 60% Uranium Enrichment

With all eyes on the big question of whether Iran and the United States will actually sit down at the same table in EU-sponsored talks to restore the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal (JCPOA), Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has just upped the ante with statements that surely also raised the alarm in Tel Aviv.

Khamenei declared on Monday that Tehran might continue enriching uranium up to 60% - which would blow far past the current 20% and put the country on the cusp of being able to produce a nuclear weapon. He further vowed the Islamic Republic will "never" yield to US pressure over what Iran has long claimed is actually a peaceful nuclear energy program.

Feb 23 08:03

Blinken: US Wants to ‘Strengthen’ Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the US will work to “lengthen and strengthen” the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and reiterated the Biden administration’s stance on the agreement.

“President Biden has said: if Iran comes back into strict compliance with the JCPOA, the United States is prepared to do the same,” Blinken said in a pre-recorded speech for a UN-sponsored disarmament conference in Geneva.

“We will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the JCPOA and address other areas of concern, including Iran’s destabilizing regional behavior and ballistic missile development and proliferation,” he said.

While the Biden administration has said it is willing to talk with Iran about the deal, Blinken and other officials continue to make additional demands. But Iranian officials have been clear that before the US lifts sanctions to comply with the JCPOA, Iran has no interest in a stricter agreement.

Feb 23 07:52

Obama Officials Reportedly Negotiated With Iran During Trump Term to Spoil Latter's Diplomacy

The administration of former US President Donald Trump depicted a hard-line approach toward Iran, elevating tensions with the Islamic republic to unprecedented levels. In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), quickly introducing a severe sanction regime on Iran’s banking and oil sales.

Former Obama officials held face-to-face meetings with the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the middle of worsening US-Iranian relations under the Trump administration to “undermine” the latter's team, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed former senior US official.

According to the newspaper, the alternative diplomatic channel also served to lay the foundation for a future US administration that made clear its intention to rehabilitate relations with Iran and revive the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That's a violation of the Logan Act!

Feb 22 11:22

Neo-Ottoman Turkey signals sweeping regional ambitions

James Dorsey analyses the significance of a recent broadcast by a Turkish TV station with close ties to President Erdogan depicting Turkey's sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe, through Libya, the Gulf and the Levant, and to the Caucasus and Central Asia.>>

Feb 21 07:43

Press TV interviews Zarif: Talks will begin once US, JCPOA signatories return to compliance

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has told Press TV in an exclusive interview that the Islamic Republic will be open to negotiations on reviving the historic 2015 nuclear accord once all signatories begin fulfilling their obligations.

The senior diplomat made the remarks to Press TV’s Marzieh Hashemi on Sunday.

He also said US President Joe Biden has spurned predecessor Donald Trump’s Iran policy in words, but has so far pursued the same course of action in practice.

"Nothing has changed. Biden claims that Trump's policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure... But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy," he said.

Feb 21 07:31

Arguing in favor of Iran deal, 2 ex-officers refuse to fall in behind Netanyahu

They are both politicians, both ex-army officials with deep security credentials who have served on the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and both are on the front line of opposition to the Iran nuclear deal resistance spearheaded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a political climate in which nearly the entire mainstream has fallen in line behind Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear issue, Meretz MK Yair Golan and likely future Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev stand out as those likely to lead the charge in challenging the prime minister’s tactics.

Six years ago, as the Barack Obama administration was at the height of talks with Iran to put together the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, barely any of Israel’s senior government or political figures dared to question Netanyahu’s strident opposition to the agreement.

Feb 21 07:29

US seeks ‘fallback’ Saudi bases in case of Iranian escalation

US Army Central Command chief says military looking to operate from other bases during ‘a period of heightened risk’; no plan to shut down existing ones

The US military is looking for fallback bases in Saudi Arabia to prevent its troops deployed there from becoming obvious targets in the event of tensions with Iran, a senior US military official said Thursday.

“We are not looking for new bases. I want to be clear on that,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Army Central Command (CENTCOM), during a tour of the Middle East.

“What we would like to do, without shutting down these [current] bases …. is to have the ability to go to other bases to operate in a period of heightened risk,” he explained.

Feb 19 11:42

Biden is excellent news for Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia: Oil prices soar as US stops own production

The Biden presidency is already turning into very good news for Iran, Russia, Norway and Saudi Arabia, as oil prices soar and create massive wealth for these nations.

Biden’s choice to end shale, review oil permits, halting the Keystone XL Oil Pipeline and thereby end US oil independence, is a dream come true to many. Russia and Saudi must be overjoyed.

The order to stop new oil and natural gas leases on public lands, reviewing existing permits, aims at strengthening Green energy, writes historian and author, Hanne Nabintu Herland. Link to WND article here.

Which is great! We all wish there was more green sustainable energy in the world. The problem is, we are not there yet. The question then becomes: Who will profit from the upcoming energy shortage?

Feb 19 07:39

In Major Nuke Deal Breakthrough, Biden Tells Iran 'We're Ready For EU-Sponsored Talks'

A first potential major breakthrough which so far has proved elusive after Biden has stalled on prior promises to 'immediately' restore US participation in the Iran nuclear deal, the United States appears to have just changed its tune. An admin official has said 'maximum pressure' could come to an end if Iran agrees to engage through a broader EU-hosted meeting base in the P5+1 framework.

"The United States would be ready to hold talks with Iran if the European Union extended an invitation, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday, sketching out a possible diplomatic path to restore the 2015 Iran nuclear deal," Reuters reports late in the day Thursday.

Further the official said the administration's "goal is to get both sides back into compliance with the nuclear deal" and has extended the invitation to Iran: "Let's talk about how to get there."

Feb 17 07:50

Iranian firms scoop up billions of euros of deals at petrochemical expo

Knowledge-based Iranian companies have clinched deals worth billions of euros at the second specialized forum on supporting domestic production in petrochemical industries.

More than 40,000 billion rials (800 million euros) of contracts and memorandums were signed with domestic manufacturers to localize production of spare parts, fixed and rotating equipment, chemicals and catalysts, a Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (PGPIC) director said Tuesday.

Last year, Iranian firms had landed some 5,000 billion rials (100 million euros) worth of deals at the first version of the forum held on Kish Island. Less than a year since the signing, over half of the agreements have been implemented, PGPIC director of production control Mohammad Reza Soleimanzadeh said.

At the second three-day forum which opened Monday, more than 70 contracts were expected to be signed with Iranian manufacturers and knowledge-based companies, he said.

Feb 17 06:53

Report: Iranians Say Joe Biden Has Not Kept Promise to Bring Muslims into United States

Iranians in the United States say they were hoping the election of Joe Biden as president would mean that their loved ones would be allowed to come into the country after the reversal of former President Donald’s Trump’s policy to restrict travel from countries with links to terrorism.

Iran is considered by the U.S. federal government as a state sponsor of terrorism, but Biden is framing his decision as stopping a xenophobic policy targeting Muslims.

Taxpayer-funded National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Iranian Americans who are disappointed by Biden’s failure to keep his campaign promise:

One impact of the Trump travel ban was to divide families. Eli, a 34-year-old Iranian with a green card, lives in Los Angeles. Like all the Iranians interviewed for this story, she asked that her family name not be used for fear of retaliation if she returns to Iran. Eli says of all the issues she faced moving to the U.S., the travel ban was the worst.

Feb 16 09:36

Is Biden Committing Diplomatic Suicide Over the Iran Nuclear Agreement?

As Congress still struggles to pass a COVID relief bill, the rest of the world is nervously reserving judgment on America’s new president and his foreign policy, after successive U.S. administrations have delivered unexpected and damaging shocks to the world and the international system.

Cautious international optimism toward Biden is very much based on his commitment to Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement, the JCPOA or nuclear agreement with Iran. Biden and the Democrats excoriated Trump for withdrawing from it and promised to promptly rejoin the deal if elected. But Biden now appears to be hedging his position in a way that risks turning what should be an easy win for the new administration into an avoidable and tragic diplomatic failure.

Feb 16 06:37

Israel will face ‘toughest response’ if it crosses red lines in Syria: Iranian diplomat

Iran’s presence in Syria is upon an official request from Damascus, says a senior advisor to the Iranian foreign minister, warning that Israel will face the ‘toughest response’ if it crosses red lines in the Arab country.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Russia's Sputnik news agency on Sunday, Ali Asghar Khaji said the Iranian forces’ “presence in Syria is aimed at combating Daesh and other terrorist groups, but if Israel wants to cross the 'red lines', it will face the toughest response, which will make it regret its actions."

The Iranian official reiterated that the Islamic Republic's military presence in Syria is upon a request from the Damascus government, adding that Tehran has not received any message demanding it to leave the Arab country.

Feb 16 06:37

Iran to stop giving IAEA broader, voluntary access

Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency it plans to stop taking voluntary measures that give the Agency broader access under the so-called Additional Protocol.

Iran has been implementing the Additional Protocol voluntarily as part of its commitments under the nuclear deal with world powers, known as the JCPOA.

Kazem Gharibabadi said as of February 23rd, cooperation between Iran and the IAEA would be based solely on the country’s Safeguards Agreement with the Agency. If US sanctions are effectively lifted, he added, Iran would resume implementation of all voluntary measures.

The decision is in line with a law approved by the Iranian parliament almost two months ago, obliging the government to reduce IAEA access and step up nuclear enrichment if US sanctions are not lifted, specifically those imposed against Iranian oil exports and the country’s banking channels.

Feb 15 09:42

Fire 'catastrophe' destroys hundreds of fuel tankers on Afghanistan-Iran border

Hundreds of oil and gas tankers have been destroyed by fire in a "catastrophe" at Afghanistan's biggest trade crossing with Iran, causing millions of dollars of losses, officials said Sunday.

The huge blaze, which broke out Saturday afternoon at Islam Qala port 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the western city of Herat, has been contained and an investigation launched into its cause.

"We were told that 100 or 200 tankers have been destroyed, but this number could be higher," Jailani Farhad, spokesman for the governor of Herat province, said after visiting the scene.

Younus Qazi Zada, the head of the Herat Chamber of Commerce, said 500 tankers had been engulfed by flames.

Feb 15 09:26

Iran renews pledge against nukes after controversy

Iran reiterated Monday that its opposition to nuclear weapons was official policy as laid down by its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in the wake of controversial remarks by a minister.

"Iran's position remains unchanged. Iran's nuclear activities have always been peaceful and will remain peaceful," foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference.

"The supreme leader's fatwa banning weapons of mass destruction and nuclear weapons is still valid," he added, referring to Khamenei's religious edict.

The renewed pledge came a week after Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said it would not be Tehran's fault if the country was ever "pushed" towards developing a nuclear bomb.

"Our nuclear industry is a peaceful industry. The supreme leader explicitly stated (that) in his fatwa," Alavi said in a state television interview broadcast on February 8.

Feb 15 08:59

Israel will ‘regret’ its actions if it crosses ‘red lines’ in Syria, senior Iranian official warns

Continued Israeli “aggression” in Syria will be met with the “toughest” response, a senior Iranian diplomat told Sputnik news agency. Damascus had earlier accused the Israel Defense Forces of conducting airstrikes on Syrian soil.

Ali Asghar Khaji, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s senior aide for special political affairs, blasted Israel for its “aggressive and hostile” policies in Syria, in an interview published by Sputnik on Sunday.

“While the Syrian government is fighting terrorists, Israel supports them,” he said.

Our presence in Syria is aimed at combating ISIS [Islamic State] and other terrorist groups, but if Israel wants to cross the ‘red lines,’ it will face the toughest response, which will make them regret their actions.

Feb 15 08:19

Iran threatens to further reduce nuclear commitments if the US doesn’t return to 2015 deal

Iran’s government has threatened to reduce its 2015 nuclear deal commitments further if the US doesn’t rejoin the agreement under the previous terms, removing sanctions placed on the country during Trump’s presidency.

Speaking to the media, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh stated that the country will proceed with planned changes on February 21 to the inspection powers the UN watchdog received under the nuclear deal.

However, Khatibzadeh was quick to state that “it does not mean ending all inspections by the UN nuclear watchdog.” The Iranian Foreign Ministry simply sees the move as a further reduction in its obligations to reflect the refusal of the other countries to respect the agreement made in 2015.

On February 21, the law will change to deny the UN nuclear watchdog the previously sweeping powers it has had to inspect sites at will, reducing their abilities to only visit locations that the Iranian government has declared as nuclear sites.

Feb 15 07:38

Regime changers love to think Iran is always on the ‘brink of collapse’

February 11 marks the 42nd anniversary of the Iranian revolution of 1979, which ousted a despotic monarch and ushered in what many Iranians hoped would be the independence and freedom they had fought to attain for so long. These hopes were not fulfilled, however, and under the Islamic Republic, Iranians have had to continue their fight for freedom.

Their efforts have at times been undermined by outside pressure, driven by the false narrative propagated by opponents of diplomacy in the United States that the Islamic Republic is on the brink of collapse.

Feb 14 08:13

Israel Will Face 'Toughest Response' If It Crosses 'Red Lines' in Syria, Iran Warns

Over the past few years, Israel has reportedly carried out a number of airstrikes on Syria, which Tel Aviv says are aimed at countering the alleged Iranian military presence in the Arab republic. Damascus condemns such attacks as violations of Syria's national sovereignty.

Ali Asghar Khaji, a senior aide to the Iranian Foreign Ministry, has warned Israel against crossing "red lines" in Syria, in an apparent reference to the Jewish state's alleged ongoing air raids on Syrian soil.

The diplomat described "the nature of the Zionist entity" as "aggressive and hostile towards the region, the Palestinians, and neighboring countries".

"While the Syrian government is fighting terrorists, Israel supports them. Our presence in Syria is aimed at combating ISIS [Daesh*] and other terrorist groups, but if Israel wants to cross the 'red lines', it will face the toughest response, which will make them regret their actions", Khaji argued.

Feb 13 07:55

Iran Claims America Is Rebuilding the Islamic State

Iranian Chief Justice Ebrahim Raeisi on Wednesday accused the U.S. government of helping the Islamic State recover its strength in Syria and spread its operatives into countries such as Iran that oppose U.S. hegemony.

According to Raeisi, only Iran and the Shiite-dominated government of Iraq truly stand against ISIS.

“The U.S. claimed that it seeks to fight Daesh [ISIS] and formed a coalition for this, but we have witnessed the strengthening of Daesh in terms of weapons, logistics, intelligence, and other aspects,” Raeisi said during a meeting with Iraqi President Barhan Salih in Baghdad.

“While Iraq, Syria, Iran and regional countries are working together to eliminate the remnants of Daesh, the Americans do nothing but relocate the Daesh terrorists in the region,” the head of the Iranian judiciary claimed.

Feb 13 07:33

Blast Hits Iranian-Afghanistan Border as Dozens of Gas Tanker Trucks Reportedly Catch Fire

No casualties have been reported as yet, but the fire caused significant financial damage, according to authorities.

A gas tanker truck has exploded on the Iranian-Afghanistan border at a customs post in Herat Province, Reuters reported citing a local official.

Tolo News earlier cited witnesses as saying that a massive fire erupted at the customs post which affected dozens of trucks.

Social media users have since shared videos allegedly depicting the conflagration.

Feb 13 07:13

Report: PM to tap national security adviser to lead nuclear deal talks with US

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to appoint National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat to lead talks with Washington regarding the Iranian nuclear deal, according to a report Friday by Walla news.

Senior officials told Walla’s Barak Ravid that Ben-Shabbat will be appointed to conduct discussions with world powers and other regional partners on the future of the moribund accord.

The report said Ben-Shabbat spoke Thursday with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan, the National Security Advisor to US President Joe Biden, and discussed Iran, among other subjects.

Feb 13 06:49

Is America on a Collision Course with China over Iran?

The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran in January 2016 laid the foundations for a future partnership agreement. He stated that he sought to open a “new chapter” in China’s relations with Iran. The Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “The Islamic Republic will never forget China’s cooperation during the sanctions era.”

In July 2020, ‘New York Times’ reported it had acquired an 18-page document titled, ‘Iran-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’, which concluded a long-term trade and military negotiations between China and Iran – and would see China invest $400 billion over the next 25 years in Iran.

Feb 11 11:17

IRANIAN ROCKETS BECOME EVEN MORE POWERFUL AS ISRAEL LACKS OPTIONS TO CONTAIN TEHRAN INFLUENCE

Despite Israel’s best efforts, Iran’s influence and presence in the Middle East, and in Syria specifically is spreading.

One could blame that on the Biden administration’s halt in the “maximum pressure” campaign, but that influence was increasing even when Donald Trump sat in the White House.

Currently, Iran is furthering its interests and there is little to truly deter it.

On February 1st, Iran carried out its first successful missile launch since Joe Biden became president.

The missile is the Zuljanah, Iran’s newest domestic built satellite-carrying rocket. It is hailed as Tehran’s “most powerful rocket engine” and it can either carry a 220-kilogram satellite, or up to 10 smaller ones.

The Trump Administration, and also Israel have repeatedly accused Iran of using such tests as a way to develop capability for ballistic missiles with a nuclear warhead.

Feb 11 07:57

Israel killed Iran's top nuclear scientist with remote-control machine gun that was smuggled into the country in small parts, report claims

Israeli secret agents spent months smuggling a high-tech machine gun into Iran in tiny pieces to kill the regime’s top nuclear scientist, it was revealed last night.

The remote-controlled weapon fired 13 high-accuracy rounds into Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, 62, known as the ‘father’ of Iran’s illegal atomic programme, as he was driven from the capital Tehran to his country residence last year.

The gun was so accurate that the scientist’s wife, who was sitting just inches from him, emerged entirely unscathed from the attack.

Feb 11 06:52

Iran’s Zarif: Window Is Closing for Biden to Revive JCPOA

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif released a video statement in English on Wednesday where he appealed to the Biden administration to lift sanctions on Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Zarif warned President Biden that the “current window” to revive the JCPOA is closing. “Soon, my government will be compelled to take further remedial action in response to the American and European dismal failure to live up to their commitments under the nuclear deal,” he said.

Zarif was referring to a law passed by Iran’s parliament that set February 21st as a deadline for Iran to slightly restrict IAEA inspections of its nuclear program if sanctions are not eased. “It can be averted, only if the United States decides to learn from Trump’s ‘maximum failure.'”

Feb 09 12:02

TRUMP’S MAXIMUM PRESSURE CAMPAIGN LIVES ON UNDER BIDEN’S COMMAND

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps received 340 new speedboats during a ceremony at the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

The delivered speedboats are co-produced by the IRGC Navy and the Defense Ministry and are capable of carrying various types of missiles to attack enemy targets. The delivery took place alongside the celebration of the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. These boats are to be actively used in the Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman, and the Caspian Sea.

The IRGC Navy is focused on smaller vessels, aimed at swarming a potential adversary. The newly-delivered speedboats were described as agile, maneuverable and equipped with radar-evading stealth technology.

Feb 09 08:20

Russia, Iran & China To Hold Joint Naval Drills As CENTCOM Chief Blasts Iran As "Driver Of Instability"

On Monday Russia announced plans to hold joint naval drills with Iran and China in the Indian Ocean, according to Reuters, which cites comments made by Moscow's ambassador to Tehran. Russian Ambassador Levan Dzhagaryan said, "The next multilateral naval exercises will take place in the northern part of the Indian Ocean in mid-February 2021."

It comes just after the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier was ordered out of its Mideast region of responsibility at the start of this month. The Nimitz is headed home to its base in Washington state, after Trump kept it in the Indian Ocean and gulf region on standby amid ratcheting tensions with Iran. Biden then ordered it home within his first couple weeks in office.

Feb 09 08:11

Iran calls on UN to condemn 'Israel threats', warns of retaliation

Iran has called on the United Nations to intervene in what it said was an increase in hostilities by Israel.

In a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iran's ambassador to UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Israel had increased "provocative and warmongering rhetoric" against Iran and it was actively planning operations against the Islamic republic.

The letter alleged that Iran's nuclear programme has prompted Israeli general Aviv Kochavi in January to "prepare a number of operational plans, in addition to those already in place".

Takht-Ravanchi said this constituted a threat and urged a "proportionate response by the global community" as it violated article two of the UN charter, which states that members must refrain from "threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state".

Feb 09 07:56

Iran warns its ‘peaceful’ nuclear program could change if it’s ‘backed into a corner’

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi said the country’s nuclear program is peaceful, and it will be the fault of others if it is pushed towards the path of creating nuclear weapons.

“The leadership [of Iran] has explicitly stated that the production of nuclear weapons is against Sharia law, and the Islamic Republic forbids it, but if a cat gets backed [into a] corner, it may act as it wouldn’t have acted while free,” Alavi said, as cited by Iranian media.

If they push Iran in this direction, it won’t be the fault of Iran, but the fault of those who have pushed Iran.

Feb 09 07:38

BIDEN’S IRAN POLICY IS JUST TRUMP’S IRAN POLICY WITH A RAINBOW FLAG EMOJI

In a new interview with CBS Evening News, President Biden confirmed that his administration will not be lifting sanctions imposed upon Iran in order to bring Tehran to the negotiating table for the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

“Will the U.S. lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table?” Biden was asked by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.

“No,” the president replied.

“They have to stop enriching uranium first,” asked O’Donnell.

Biden nodded in response.

Feb 08 14:09

Iran will kill and destroy ISIS terrorist group 100%

Feb 08 08:23

"The Post-U.S. Era Has Started": Iran's Ayatollah Blasts Biden For Refusing To Lift Sanctions

Despite Joe Biden's prior promises on the campaign trail to immediately restore US participation in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) brokered under Obama, it's now looking to be effectively in tatters merely less than a month into his administration.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a 'final ultimatum' on Sunday, demanding the US remove all sanctions that were enacted by Trump prior to the Islamic Republic returning to compliance.

"Iran has fulfilled all its obligations under the deal, not the United States and the three European countries," Khamenei said, according as cited in Reuters. "If they want Iran to return to its commitments, the United States must in practice... lift all sanctions."

Feb 08 07:46

DEFENSIVE MOVES OR PREPARATION FOR WAR WITH IRAN?

The US has decided to deploy the Israeli Iron Dome Missile Interceptor Systems, purchased in 2019, in Eastern European countries and also in the Gulf countries where the US Central Command (CENTCOM) operates and has established operational military bases. This step coincides with the US decision that Israeljoin CENTCOM (with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrein, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Pakistan and more) following the normalisation of trade and diplomatic relations between several Arab and Islamic countries and Tel Aviv.

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