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April 29, 2016 / 21 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Rouhani Wins Tehran in Iran’s Election for Assembly of Experts

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his allies won 15 of the 16 seats for Tehran in the Assembly of Experts, the state news agency IRNA reported Monday.

The 16th seat went to Ahmad Jannati, a known hardliner.

The Assembly of Experts is the 88-member clerical body tasked with choosing Iran’s next Supreme Leader – the country’s most powerful position.

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: Iran, ISIS Likely to Unite for WWIII

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Israeli military analysts are now beginning to prepare top officials, who are in turn beginning to prepare the nation, for what eventually may become the start of World War III.

Most analysts still believe the Syrian crisis is a sectarian conflict between the Sunni, Shi’a and Alawite Muslims. But that time is long gone.

A cataclysmic clash of civilizations is taking place in Syria, one that a number of nations have patiently awaited for decades.

Turkey, so deeply invested in the glorious history of its Ottoman Empire period, would find great satisfaction in stretching its influence with a modern-day “Turkish Islamic Union” that might embrace like-minded nations in the region and perhaps also beyond.

Da’esh, as it is known in the Middle East and which in English calls itself the “Islamic State” (known by others as ISIS or ISIL) is rapidly stretching its influence to build a worldwide Sunni caliphate. It began as a splinter group from the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, and then morphed into the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (hence “ISIS”) — but at last count had successfully recruited more than 41 other regional Muslim terrorist organizations to its cause from around the world on nearly every continent.

And then there is the Islamic Republic of Iran, a Shi’ite Muslim nation, which is extending its tentacles as rapidly throughout the world as Da’esh, but far more insidiously and certainly more dangerously. If in this world one might define any nation today as Amalek, that ice-cold, black-hearted evil that first picks off the weakest of the Jewish nation, it is Iran, which has quietly extended its influence and control farther and more deeply than any other enemy Israel has ever had. Wealthy, patient, smiling and calculating, Iran acquires new allies each year, even among those Israel once counted as friends. Meanwhile, Iranian officials never forget to keep the home fires burning, to stir the pot and keep it simmering, and always to nurture the various conflicts at home in the Middle East.

This past week, Iran announced the money it donates to families of Arab “martyrs” who murder Israelis will be paid via its own special charity organization, and not through the Palestinian Authority government.

But Tehran has yet to reveal the details of exactly how it intends to pay.

Instead, a high-ranked government official simply made an announcement this weekend saying Iran did not trust the Ramallah government, driving a deeper wedge already dividing the PA’s ruling Fatah faction from Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization — Iran’s proxy group.

Hamas has been planting sleeper cells and budding regional headquarters, however, throughout the PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and it is clear the group’s next goal is an attempt to wrest control of those two regions from the PA, thus completing Iran’s takeover of the PLO — the PA’s umbrella organization and liaison to the United Nations.

Money is always helpful in such an enterprise, and Iran has recently enjoyed a massive infusion of cash that came courtesy of the United States and five other world powers after sanctions were lifted last month as part of last July’s nuclear deal.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fath’ali announced last Wednesday that Iran would pay Arab families for each “martyr” who died attacking Israelis in Jerusalem and each Arab family whose home was demolished by Israel after one of its occupants murdered Israelis in a terror attack.

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani last week underlined Tehran’s continued strong support for the wave of terror against Israel.

“The Islamic Republic supports the Palestinian Intifada and all Palestinian groups in their fight against the Zionist regime. We should turn this into the main issue in the Muslim world,” Larijani said in a meeting with a number of “resistance” groups in Tehran, FARS reported Sunday (Feb 28).

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: Israel Cautiously Welcomes Ceasefire in Syria

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cautiously welcomed on Sunday, February 28 the ceasefire that began in Syria on Saturday, February 27 between the Syrian government and a number of rebel groups.

“We welcome the efforts to achieve a stable ceasefire in Syria that is long-term and substantive,” Netanyahu said after the weekly cabinet meeting. “First and foremost, from a human vantage point, anything to stop the horrific killing there is important.”

Netanyahu, however, expressed the need to be prepared for any aggression against Israel from Iran.

“At the same time, it is important to be clear that any settlement in Syria must include an end to Iranian aggression against Israel from Syrian territory,” stressed Netanyahu.

Through Syria, Iran has supplied weaponry and support to Hezbollah, a Lebanese terrorist organization that has captured Israeli soldiers in the past and launched rocket attacks on Israeli territory. In that light, any Iranian transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah poses a national security threat to Israel. Israel also has concerns that Hezbollah is building up a base of operations in Syria.

“We will not agree to the supply of advanced weapons to Hezbollah from Syria and Lebanon,” added Netanyahu. “We will not tolerate the creation of a second terrorist front in the Golan.”

Israel’s absolute rejection of an additional terror front in Syria or Lebanon has been demonstrated by the number of alleged recent Israeli strikes on weapons transfers to Hezbollah, according to foreign reports.

“These have been the red lines and will continue to be the red lines of the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

PA PO’d: No Flow on Iranian Dough

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Palestinian Authority officials are livid over an announcement by Iran that money promised to the families of “martyrs” will not flow through the Ramallah government coffers.

It seems Iran doesn’t trust the PA government’s sticky fingers – and perhaps Tehran also wants to stir the pot between Fatah and its proxy, Hamas a bit also. Hamas as a group is more Islamist and radical in its observance than the PA government’s ruling Fatah faction; moreover, Hamas is nearly entirely under Iran’s control whereas Fatah has many backers.

The International Affairs Adviser to the Iranian Parliament Speaker and Shura Council, Hossein Sheikh al-Islam, said Saturday that Tehran will not send the financial aid to the families who have lost their members in attacks on Israelis via the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA) government.

“Tehran will not send its aid package to the families of those killed … through the PA as it cannot be trusted,” Sheikh al-Islam told al-Resalah news website on Sunday, the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency reported.

Noting that Iran will dispatch its aid through a special channel, he added, “The financial aid package will be sent at the earliest; Iran doesn’t spare any efforts to support the resistance.”

Nabil Abu Rudeinah, spokesperson for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), called the Iranian move a “flagrant intrusion into internal Palestinian and Arab affairs.”

Rudeinah said “It would have been better if Iran would send its funds to the Palestinian institution responsible for Palestine’s heroes and their families, rather than resorting to crooked ways and illegal means,” according to the PA’s official WAFA news agency.

He added that al-Islam’s remarks are “unacceptable, not just [as] an overriding of the Palestinian legitimacy but a violation of all laws,” the Xinhua news agency reported.

Al-Islam’s interview with Alresalah was not spontaneous by any means: the online news site has a close link with the Hamas terror organization which controls Gaza. Hamas has become an Iranian proxy since seizing the region from the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammed Fath’ali announced last Wednesday that Iran would pay Arab families $7,000 for each “martyr” who died attacking Israelis in Jerusalem. In addition, Iran promised to pay $30,000 to each Arab family whose home was demolished by Israel after one of its occupants murdered Israelis in a terror attack.

Although the funds are expected to be channeled through an Iranian charity it is not yet clear which one, nor how the money is to be distributed.

Hana Levi Julian

Ya’alon: Iranian Appetite to Arm Terrorists Will Grow

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a blunt warning Tuesday about the budding axis of evil in the region being formed by Iran, and its continuing active support for terror activity.

Speaking to reporters during a working visit to Cyprus on Wednesday, Ya’alon pointed out that Tehran has not stopped arming the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group. He also noted that Hezbollah has tried to set up terror cells in Cyprus this past year as well – attempts that were foiled by Cypriot security forces.

“The State of Israel views Cyprus as a true friend. Relations between the defense establishments, militaries, and intelligence communities go back years, are deep, and important,” Ya’alon said.

Ya’alon signed a Status of Force agreement on Wednesday together with his Cypriot counterpart. The document strengthens cooperation between the militaries of the two nations.

The Israeli defense minister told reporters that “true friends” are becoming more important as the region becomes more unstable. In fact, Ya’alon said the region may be on the verge of launching World War III.

“Syria has turned into a playground in which powers play, as do terror organizations and the states that activate them. The situation is chaotic, not only in Syria but in other states in the Middle East, and it influences not only the area, but the whole of Europe…

“We are in the midst of a war between cultures. In a certain sense, this is a third world war, [albeit] in a different manner from what we have known,” he added. Any state prepared to help Israel in stabilizing the situation will find “a partner in us, including states we have no relations with,” Ya’alon said.

Iran is a main force driving this impending cyclone, he added.

“The Iranian regime, through the proxies it trains, funds, and arms, is trying to undermine stability in the Middle East and beyond.

“It attempts to spread the revolution, and stops at nothing, including ambitions to build a dangerous axis, which starts in Tehran, moves through Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut, Sana’a, and other regional states,” Ya’alon said.

“Thus, the Iranian appetite to arm terror organizations that obey them, including Hamas and Hezbollah, will grow. The Iranians are trying to arm Hezbollah all of the time, including attempts that have occurred recently,” he said.

“The Western world must act with determination against the threat, since this common threat, whose values and ways are the opposite of ours, strives to disrupt our lives and create a reality we must not agree to.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iran Promises to Pay Arab Families for Terror Attacks in Israel

Thursday, February 25th, 2016

Israel knows what Iran is doing with its newfound billions from the lifted sanctions after last July’s nuclear deal with U.S.-led world powers.

Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Fathali announced at a Beirut news conference Wednesday that Tehran will pay $7,000 “to every family of a martyr of the intifada in Jerusalem,” Reuters reported.

In addition, Iran will also offer “$30,000 to every family whose home the Occupation (Israel) has demolished for the participation of one of its sons” in the wave of terror, he said.

Unsurprised, Israel’s Foreign Ministry responded in a statement saying the move “demonstrates Iran’s role in encouraging terror. Following the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to be a major player in international terror,” the statement said.

Earlier in the week, IDF and Border Guard Police forces demolished the homes of two terrorists – both from the Hebron area – who between them murdered and wounded 13 Jews and an Arab.

In the past five months, Arab terrorists from the Palestinian Authority have targeted Israelis in 188 stabbings, 75 shootings and 39 vehicular ramming attacks.

The attackers succeeded in murdering 32 people and wounding 357 others, not all of them Jews. Some were Arabs, caught in the crossfire, some were mistaken for being Jews.

Hana Levi Julian

Kerry on Syria: May Be Too Late to Keep Whole, May Get Much Uglier

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday the world community may not be able to save Syria – what once was Syria, anyway – if the current fighting continues much longer.

Speaking at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the State Department’s annual budget request, Kerry had a grim outlook for the future of Syria.

“It may be too late to keep it as a whole Syria if we wait much longer,” the Secretary said, according to Reuters.

Even if the regime’s Russian-backed forces re-take the northern city of Aleppo – the largest commercial hub in the country – Kerry said it is hard to hold territory in Syria at this point.

For starters, the Secretary told the committee that he cannot guarantee that Russia will stick to the new cease-fire signed this week between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and moderate opposition forces. Moscow and Washington also signed on to that truce, which excluded the Da’esh (ISIS), Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist groups.

The U.S. military is already looking ahead to a “Plan B,” he said, and will continue to support rebel efforts to overthrow Assad if Russia abandons its obligations under the truce.

“This can get a lot uglier,” Kerry warned. “Even if Russia took Aleppo… holding territory has always been difficult,” he said, according to Foreign Policy magazine. “Russia has to be sitting there evaluating that.”

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) asked Kerry what would happen if in fact “this cease-fire doesn’t hold? I don’t think Russia believes that anything is going to happen.”

Kerry ducked the question, replying instead, “I’m not going to say this process is sure to work because I don’t know. But I know that it’s the best way to end the war, and it’s the only alternative available to us if indeed we’re going to have a political settlement.”

The Arab world, on the other hand, may not be as willing to wait around and see.

Gulf nation governments and that of Saudi Arabia have already warned their citizens to leave Lebanon if they haven’t already. As early as last week, rumors were flying that Turkey and Saudi Arabia were preparing their troops for a ground invasion of Syria to deal with the Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist threat on their own.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-on-syria-may-be-too-late-to-keep-whole-may-get-much-uglier/2016/02/24/

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