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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Iran’s Holocaust Denial Film Strikes Deep Chord

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Iran’s Supreme Leader is once again working hard to incite the haters of the world against global Jewry.

On the day the United Nations marked for commemoration of the world’s worst genocide, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei uploaded a three-minute, English-subtitled video denying the Holocaust to his website called “Are the Dark Ages Over?”

The film features audio of a March 2014 speech during which Khamenei claimed that “No one is European countries dares to speak about the Holocaust, while it is not clear whether the core of this matter is reality or not.

“Even if it is reality, it is not clear how it happened.”  Images of infamous British Holocaust denier David Irving and others are featured in the film.

In June, Iran has announced a contest for satirical cartoons relating to the Holocaust as part of the Teheran International Cartoon Biennial. The winner is to be awarded a prize of $50,000 – a sum four times that of the previous year.

Last year, Iran announced a similar Holocaust denial cartoon exhibit just days before the Al Qaeda/Da’esh terrorist attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satire magazine in Paris.

Israeli officials and Knesset members expressed their disappointment with France and Italy for inviting and hosting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani – of all people – to visit on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

“We all learned yesterday that the president of Iran, who we thought was a cruel and insensitive man who holds Holocaust denial exhibits, is actually such a sensitive person that the statues in Rome were covered in his honor, so as not to offend him,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein noted with sarcasm from the podium.

U.S. President Barack Obama was also blunt about the rising anti-Semitism around the world Wednesday in his speech at the Israel Embassy in Washington DC.

Obama declared that it would be necessary for American to take the lead in fighting the phenomenon. “We must confront the reality that around the world, anti-Semitism is on the rise,” Obama said. “We cannot deny it… I’ve made sure that the United States is leading the global fight against anti-Semitism,” he said.

Ira Forman, the US State Department’s special envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism, told JNS.org, “We’re really concerned this contest is used as a platform for Holocaust denial…and antisemitic speech,” Forman told JNS.org.

Yet in Europe, where Rouhani is being welcomed with open arms, at least some government leaders are still awake enough to warn others about what is coming.

Speaking in Brussels Wednesday, European Parliament President Martin Schulz told Jewish and European leaders, “It pains me that in today’s Europe Jews again fear for their lives; that they ask themselves ‘will I be safe going to a synagogue, or a Jewish job? Will my children be safe in a Jewish school… some consider leaving Europe for good because they no longer feel safe.”

It is the responsibility of Europe’s leaders to fight the “demons of anti-Semitism… intolerance” he said. “Some deny the Holocaust ever happened, they try to convince us that the pain and loss inflicted on innocent victims are illusions, are lies. What makes me angry every day is that these people are sitting in the parliament here. The Holocaust deniers are electted to the European parliament.”

At the start of January, following reports of the latest cartoon contest in Iranian media, Israel’s envoy to UNESCO, Carmel Shama-HaCohen wrote to Irina Bokova, director-general of the UN agency, to bring the issue to her attention. “It is time for UNESCO to demand accountability from the Iranian regime with regard to its malicious rhetoric, Holocaust denial and global negative activity.”

5-Member Hezbollah Terror Cell Nabbed in Israel

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

Cleared for release: In a joint operation, IDF, ISA and Israel Police arrested a terror cell funded and guided by Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

The five-member cell was based in the Tulkarem area and was plotting a shooting attack.

The leader of the cell, a Hezbollah operative, was recruited online by Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah terror chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.

According to a statement released by the IDF, the cell received instructions and guidance from an additional Hezbollah operative named “Fadi.”

It was “Fadi” who directed other operatives regarding the execution of terror attacks using explosives, training suicide bombers, gathering information on security forces and purchasing weapons.

The Hezbollah terrorist organization has for many years been generously funded, equipped and trained by its patron, Iran and continues to function as its proxy in the region.

Mahmoud Za’alul, 33, was recruited by the younger Nasrallah via the Internet, according to the Shin Bet, and reported to “Fadi,” who told him to open an email account. It was after he did so that Za’alul was given instructions on how to recruit other cell members and conduct reconnaissance in order to carry out terror attacks.

Hezbollah paid $5,000 to the cell via foreign currency transfers, according to the report.

Muhammad Massawareh, 20, and Ahmed Abu al-Az, 20, two of the five suspects who were arrested, were both from Tulkarem. They purchased weapons from Za’alul, intending to attack Israeli security forces, but were arrested before they could carry out the attack.

Also arrested were Muhammad Za’alul, 20, and Rabah Labdi, 29, both from Zita. Labdi is a convict who was incarcerated in Israeli prison from 2002 to 2007, and 2008 to 2011.

“The Hezbollah organization is trying to latch on to the recent wave of terror flooding Israel and is working vigorously to fan the flames,” said the Shin Bet, “Contributing to the growing incitement by exploiting the Palestinian population and tempting young people to carry out terror attacks under its instruction, for payment.

“The organization is using remote enlistment and handling of terror cells over the Internet with the goal of perpetrating terrorist acts from afar, without leaving a signature,” the Shin Bet warned.

All five of the suspects were indicted in a Samaria military court.

They were charged with membership in an illegal organization, contact with the enemy, channeling enemy funds into the region, intent and involvement in manslaughter, arms dealing, intent to shoot people, and interfering with legal proceedings.

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “We Will Not Allow Iran To Have Nuclear Weapons”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated on Saturday that Iran has made all the necessary steps to fully implement the international nuclear agreement with the P5 +1 countries, both the US and EU removed previously imposed sanctions on Iran.

During a meeting with his cabinet earlier this morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel would still continue to closely monitor Iran’s activities.

“Pursuant to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel will continue to monitor all international violations by Iran including the nuclear deal, the agreement on ballistic missiles and terrorism,” said Israel’s Prime Minister.

“Israel’s policy was and continues to remain exactly as it was, not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” added Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister also spoke of the need for the international community to reenact sanctions against Iran in light of any action by Iran that violates the international agreement on its nuclear enrichment program.

“The international community must impose severe, hard sanctions for each violation,” stressed Israel’s Prime Minister. “If it had not been for our efforts to move ahead with the sanctions and to stop Iran’s nuclear program, then Iran would have already had nuclear weapons.”

A “snapback” provision in the Iran nuclear agreement allows for the P5+1 countries to automatically re-impose sanctions on Iran in response to any Iranian violation of the nuclear agreement. However, critics doubt the usefulness of such a provision, arguing that the “snapback” process is both convoluted and vague.

Netanyahu also addressed terror threats emanating from Iran’s continued aggression in the region.

“What is clear is that Iran will now have more means to turn to its terrorist activity and aggression in the region and the world, and Israel is prepared to handle any threat,” Netanyahu stated.

American Jew Bob Levinson Sacrificed, 5 Other Americans Freed From Iran

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Where is Robert Levinson?

Five U.S. families celebrated the reported release of their loved ones from Iran as “implementation day” got underway on Sunday.

Sanctions were rolled back as the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed Iran had complied with the terms of the nuclear pact it made with world leaders. Interpol deleted 11 Iranians from its “wanted” list.

But one American Jewish family in Coral Springs, Florida was crushed.

“We are happy for the other families,” said the family of Robert Levinson in a statement on Facebook. “But once again, Bob Levinson has been left behind. We are devastated.”

Seven Iranian prisoners were traded in exchange for the five Americans who were freed on Sunday, including Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian and a Christian pastor.

But Iranian government officials who originally discussed his release with American negotiators now deny knowing the 67-year-old Levinson’s whereabouts.

In March 2007, Bob Levinson disappeared off Kish Island in Iran. An American Jew in his sixties with diabetes at the time, his family and friends were deeply concerned about his fate.

The U.S. government said at the time the retired FBI agent had been working as a private investigator, and the family confirmed the tale.

But according to a report by the U.S. television network ABC News, Levinson was actually working at the time for the CIA. The family held their peace about the operation for a long time – until they realized that their silence and loyalty was not being reciprocated at the top echelon with equal efforts to free Levinson.

Family attorney David McGee expressed the family’s disillusionment with the government, and his own feeling that the CIA and FBI had betrayed Levinson. “Rather than acknowledge what they had done and try to save Bob’s life, they denied him,” McGee told ABC News.

A U.S. official told a news briefing, “Iran has also committed to continue cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Robert Levinson.”

But for Iranian officials to act as if they don’t know the whereabouts of an American citizen who has been in the country for more than eight years is beyond disingenuous: it’s ridiculous. U.S. officials supporting the behavior insult the intelligence of anyone to whom they repeat such nonsense.

FBI Agents Association President Renaldo Tariche stated that Levinson’s former colleagues have not forgotten him. “Bob, married for 38 years with seven children, has missed more than nine years of accomplishments and milestones in the lives of his children,” he said in a statement. “Each day brings renewed heartache to his family and friends.

“We celebrate today’s release of Americans but the world should not forget Levinson’s continued unjustified imprisonment and continue to work for his release.”

There is a fear among some U.S. officials and analysts that Levinson was left out of the prisoner release because he may not be alive.

Iranian claims of not knowing where he is ring hollow to anyone familiar with Iranian intelligence operations.

The question remains whether he was captured by Iranians, Iranian proxies, or others the Iranians simply refuse to discuss. The other question is whether American authorities have been informed of those details and choose not to disclose that information – and if so, why?

Iran Humiliates US on Ballistic Missile Sanctions

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

(JNi.media) If you thought America suffered its biggest humiliation when US Navy soldiers were forced on their hands and knees for the benefit of the cameras before being granted their freedom — after having committed the international crime of a navigational error — think again. According to a Reuters exclusive, the day before the Obama administration was about to impose new sanctions on Iran in late December, for violating the UN prohibition on developing long range ballistic missiles, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told Secretary of State John Kerry if the sanctions are declared, the four prisoner deal that was going to be the cherry on top of the Iran nuke deal sundae would be pulled. And Kerry acquiesced.

There were several long distance conference calls between Kerry, some top aides, and President Barack Obama—who was vacationing in Hawaii—and they all decided it was better to blink on the sanctions and not risk the chance to free the four dual-nationality Americans in Iranian captivity.

And so the Obama administration “delayed” a package of limited sanctions penalizing Iran for test-firing ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Israel and Europe.

Unlike the US, which has kept quiet on the capitulation to Iran’s long range missile ambitions, the Iranians have been bragging about it. Ever the victim in its own narrative, Iran made its threats public vociferously, merging the two separate sets of sanctions, one imposed on its nuclear program, the other a UN Security Council resolution against its ballistic missiles program. Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani, chief of the Iranian Judiciary, declared last week: “For them to say, ‘we have lifted sanctions as regards enrichment, but we can adopt new sanctions for missile activities and the human rights issue’ is not sensible or acceptable. With such an approach, they would take the Islamic Republic of Iran to the point of a revision on the JCPOA issue.”

A US official on Saturday insisted there was no connection between the nuclear deal and the release of the four Americans. But, as Reuters reports, Kerry’s decision not to call Iran’s bluff in December shows how months of clandestine negotiations to free the Americans were completely intertwined with the implementation of the nuclear deal.

You can get over a nasty bit of Iranian choreography forcing helpless US Navy men on their knees. But having given up the sanctions weapon on Iranian illegal ballistic missile development goes a long way to curtail US options in the region. Even without a fully developed nuclear weapon, Iran today may be capable of sending conventional warheads to Tel Aviv and a good part of Europe. When would the Administration start imposing sanctions—when there are forests of those missiles at the ready, targeting the Jewish State?

Iran Releases Jason Rezaian +4 in Prisoner Exchange with Major Concessions

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmat and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, four dual US-Iranian citizens were released from an Iranian jail on Saturday by Iran in an apparent prisoner exchange with the United States.

Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015.

The four were transported to Switzerland, and will then continue on to to a US base in Germany.

A fifth American citizen, Matthew Trevithick, was released in a separate deal.

Former FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson was not released.

In exchange, the US will offer clemency to 7 Iranian prisoners, 6 of them who hold dual US-Iranian citizenship: Nader Modanlou, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afqahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Sabounchi.

The Obama administration also delayed a  series of sanctions that were supposed to be imposed on Iran, after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would derail the prisoner exchange, according to an Haaretz report.

FARS reports that part of the deal includes US dropping its charges against 14 Iranians for trying to transfer arms to Iran:  Saeed Jamili, Jalal Salami, Matin Sadeqi, Alireza Moazzemi Goudarzi, Mohammad Abbas Mohammadi, Kourosh Taherkhani, Sajjad Farhadi, Seyed Ahmad Abtahi, Gholamreza Mahmoudi, Hamid Arabnejad, Ali Moattar, Mohammad Ali She’rbaf, Amin Ravan and Behrouz Dolatzadeh.

Dropping the charges, will apparently allow them to travel freely outside of Iran without fear of arrest via Interpol or setting off warning flags, according to a Politico report.

FARS originally also reported that the US will also demand Interpol end its investigations of Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Jewish Center in Argentina, but that has subsequently been removed from their website.

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson, still missing in Iran

 

Related story: As Its $100 Billion Are Released Iran Buying 114 Airbus Planes

 

As Its $100 Billion Are Released Iran Buying 114 Airbus Planes

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

According to the Tasnim news agency, Iran is in contract talks to purchase 114 civil aircraft from European manufacturer Airbus, which has plants in France, Germany, Spain, China and the UK. The announcement was made by Iran’s transportation minister Abbas Akhoondi on Saturday, ahead of the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

“We have taken the first step in agreeing with Airbus to buy 114 planes,” Akhoondi said.

Airbus told Reuters it was not yet involved in contractual talks with Iran, and was waiting until the official lifting of the sanctions later on Saturday. “Although Iran clearly has a need for new aircraft, we must conform strictly to the law and, until all measures concerning the embargo are lifted, no commercial discussions can take place,” an Airbus spokesman said.

Eager to close the sanctions lifting deal, Iran on Saturday released Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and three other dual-nationality prisoners. The announcement was made as the International Atomic Energy Agency certified on Saturday that Iran has fulfilled its commitments to limit its development of a nuclear weapon in exchange for getting back $100 billion in frozen assets.

American pastor Saeed Abedini is among the freed prisoners, along with Marine Amir Hekmati, In exchange, the US released seven Iranians from American prisons.

Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and officials from the five other world leaders in Vienna.

At some point on Saturday night, as soon as the sanctions are lifted, folks will be uncorking champagne bottles in Toulouse, France, where the Airbus offices are located. At $65 million a pop, the Airbus A320 is the most expensive aircraft in its category. That’s $7,410,000,000 for 114 of them — so you’ll understand why they’re waiting for those assets to be unfrozen before they sign.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/as-its-100-billion-are-released-iran-buying-114-airbus-planes/2016/01/16/

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