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October 20, 2016 / 18 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Iran Claims Hezbollah – Not Iranian Troops – Preparing for Large-Scale Operation on Golan Heights

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

On August 20, JewishPress.com first reported on Iranian military reinforcements entering Quneitra on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Syrian sources said the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were replacing Syrian regime troops. The Iranians were being positioned there to allegedly attack the Syrian city of Daraa, near Jordan’s border.

At the same time, there was concern that the Iranian troops, once in place, would first attack Syrian rebel forces on the Golan Heights – and that Daraa was just an excuse to position them there to attack the rebels, and more significantly, to embed Iranian troops alongside the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.

There are estimates that as many as 60,000 Iranian troops are fighting in Syria.

On Monday, the official Iranian Islamic regime news outlet, FARS, claimed that the troops being stationed in Quneitra are Hezbollah and Syrian regime troops.

The report says, “Hezbollah has deployed a large number of its forces at Quneitra passage which has connected the Syrian territories to the occupied Golan.”

Both Syrian and Iranian news sources agree that forces supporting Assad are massing near Israel’s border on the Golan Heights in order to attack the Syria rebels positioned on the Golan Heights, but they apparently disagree on the identity of which of those allies of Assad it actually is.

In the past, Hezbollah operatives trying to set up terror networks on the Golan Heights have been attacked and killed, presumably by Israel.

It’s unknown which report is more accurate as to the makeup of the forces in Quneitra, are they Hezbollah terrorists or Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards – or perhaps both?

Israel has previously stated that Iranian troops along its borders is a red line that it won’t accept.

Jewish Press News Briefs

UK, Iran Exchange Ambassadors After 5-Year Hiatus

Monday, September 5th, 2016

The United Kingdom has exchanged ambassadors with Iran for the first time in five years.

The last British ambassador fled Tehran in 2011 when a mob stormed the British embassy in the Iranian capital and tore it apart.

The ISNA Iranian state news agency announced the appointment of Hamid Baeidinejad, 53, as the new Iranian envoy to London.

At the same time, the British charges d’affairs in the Iranian capital, Nicholas Hopton, was promoted to the post of UK Ambassador to Tehran.

Britain was one of the first nations to send diplomats to Iran after the July 2015 signing of the nuclear deal with Iran by six world powers in Vienna.

Hana Levi Julian

Peres Interrupts Busy Schedule to Receive Pace Maker

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Former president Shimon Peres is expected to undergo surgery to implant a pace maker Monday. Peres, 93, who suffered a mild heart attack three months ago, which was followed with catheterization, will undergo the procedure at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, with partial anesthesia.

Peres continued his full schedule prior to Monday’s procedure and over the weekend participated in an economic conference on Lake Como, Italy, where he shared a panel with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal and Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General of the UN. They discussed for two and a half days global risks and their impact on business, as well as the future of the Euro. Prince Al-Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family, talked about political risks in the Arab region.

A few years ago, Prince Al Faisal told the Daily Mail that Saudi Arabia may have to arm itself with nuclear weapons to counter threats from Iran and Israel. In 1956, Shimon Peres, in his role as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, was responsible for acquiring a French nuclear reactor that launched Israel’s atomic program.

Small world.

Incidentally, last January, when the former president was rushed to Sheba Medical Center after complaining of chest pains, he had to cancel one of the items on his busy schedule: a visit to the Soreq Nuclear Research Center.


IDF Retaliates for Syrian Mortar Attack on Israel

Monday, September 5th, 2016

IDF military forces opened fire at Syrian artillery launchers on Sunday in retaliation for a mortar attack on northern Israel earlier in the day.

The forces targeted the Syrian unit a few hours after northern Israel was shelled earlier in the day.

The central Golan Heights was struck by Syrian mortar fire near al-Furan, although it was not clear who was shelling the area.

No one was physically hurt and no property damage was reported in the attack, which a military source said was likely caused by spillover from the raging civil war.

Nevertheless, Israel holds the Syrian government responsible for all actions that take place within its borders, the IDF said in a statement.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Obama Granted Iran Nuclear Program Secret Exemptions

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, and his co-author, senior policy analyst Andrea Stricker, issued a report on Thursday saying the US and other world powers have secretly allowed Iran to exceed the nuclear deal’s limits on stockpiles of enriched uranium and other dangerous materials. Albright cited key secret exemptions which were made in secret meetings of the Joint Commission that was composed of Iran, the US, the UK, France, China, Russia, and the European Union.

Albright is a physicist who took part in UN weapons inspections in Iraq, and has been a self-appointed watchdog over the Iran nuclear deal. He has repeatedly raised doubts that the deal is being implemented honestly.

Albright’s report claims Iran would not have been able to meet its compliance requirements by January 16, 2016—the deal’s Implementation Day: “The exemptions and in one case, a loophole, involved the low enriched uranium (LEU) cap of 300 kilograms, some of the near 20 percent LEU, the heavy water cap, and the number of large hot cells allowed to remain in Iran,” the report reveals, citing a senior knowledgeable official who stated that “if the Joint Commission had not acted to create these exemptions, some of Iran’s nuclear facilities would not have been in compliance with the JCPOA by Implementation Day.”

The report also suggests “the Joint Commission allowed Iran to store large amounts of heavy water in Oman that remained under Iran’s control, effectively allowing Iran to exceed its cap of 130 tons of heavy water as it continues to produce heavy water at its Arak facility.”

“Any rationale for keeping these exemptions secret appears unjustified,” the report said, noting that “these decisions, which are written down, amount to additional secret or confidential documents linked to the JCPOA.” The report also claims that “the Joint Commission’s secretive decision-making process risks advantaging Iran by allowing it to try to systematically weaken the JCPOA. It appears to be succeeding in several key areas.”

“Given the technical complexity and public importance of the various JCPOA exemptions and loopholes, the administration’s policy to maintain secrecy interferes in the process of establishing adequate Congressional and public oversight of the JCPOA,” the report said, stressing that “this is particularly true concerning potentially agreement-weakening decisions by the Joint Commission. As a matter of policy, the United States should agree to any exemptions or loopholes in the JCPOA only if the decisions are simultaneously made public.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that “the Joint Commission has not and will not loosen any of the commitments and has not provided any exceptions that would allow Iran to retain or process material In excess of its (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) limits that it could use in a breakout scenario,” adding his assurance that “there’s been no cutting of slack.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest expressed the administration’s “significant objections” to the Albright report, assuring reporters that “Iran is in compliance with the agreement. That’s not my opinion. That’s not rhetoric. That is not a conjecture. That is a fact that is verified by independent international experts who, because of the agreement, now have the kind of access that is required to verify it.”

The Trump campaigned quickly took advantage of the report, with a statement by retired Army General Michael Flynn, a top Trump adviser, who said, “The deeply flawed nuclear deal Hillary Clinton secretly spearheaded with Iran looks worse and worse by the day. It’s now clear President Obama gave away the store to secure a weak agreement that is full of loopholes.”

Matt Brooks, Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition released a statement saying,
“This latest report further confirms that the Obama Administration has consistently misled the American people on the Iran nuclear deal. First we learned about a secret side deal that allows Iran to upgrade its centrifuges, then it was the secret $400 million ransom payment, and now these secret exemptions that allow Iran to evade restrictions on their nuclear capabilities. Simply put, President Obama and his fellow Democrats have never been straightforward with the American people about Iran. It’s clear this is a dangerous and reckless deal with the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and no one who is serious about our national security could support it.”


Defeat For Terror Victims, Windfall For Iran

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

American victims of Iranian terror were handed a $400 million loss with the payment of that sum to the Iranian government earlier this year. Whether it was a ransom payment for the release of hostages or, as defined by the White House, the payment of Iranian claims against the United States that was used as leverage for the hostages release, the fact of the matter is that the Obama administration has turned its back on American victims of Iranian terrorism.

My daughter Alisa, a 20-years old Brandeis University student studying in Israel, was murdered in 1995 by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a client of the Islamic Republic of Iran that was caught red-handed funding PIJ murders. Using the provisions of a 1996 federal law, our family pursued the Iranian government for its role in the attack, and in 1998 was awarded approximately $250 million in damages.

The small feeling of victory that led me to believe we would hold Iran financially accountable was soon dashed to bits by the Clinton administration as it fought to prevent us from collecting money from the Iranians. Every time we attempted to seize an Iranian-controlled asset in this country, we were confronted by a phalanx of lawyers from the departments of Justice, State and Treasury.

Despite our courtroom losses, a number of victims’ families banded together to press the fight in the Congress and in the press. As a result we were able to convince the Clinton administration that something had to be done and President Clinton selected Jacob Lew, then director of the Office of Management and Budget, to act as a sort of mediator in the discussions between the families and the government.

Lew’s efforts were rewarded with an agreement that would allow terror victims to receive payment on a portion of their damage claims. Not wanting to take taxpayer money, I insisted that the money come from designated Iranian assets, the main one being the $400 million of Iranian money in the Foreign Military Sales Program account. Lew assured me the money would have to come through the Treasury but there was that account to reimburse the government for any payments.

With the families in agreement as to the nature of the payments and their source, President Clinton signed Public Law 106-386 on October 28, 2000. Payments were made to my family and others, and the issue of the Iranian money faded into the background until earlier this year when it was revealed that $400 million was paid to Iran. The same amount as in the FMSP account.

At this point I should be beyond being shocked at the treatment of American terror victims by our government, but I am not – as the source of money that was to be used to reimburse American taxpayers for the money I received was used for other purposes.

Notwithstanding the grandiose verbiage used by the White House and the State and Treasury departments to describe the payment and the reasons behind it, I can only view it as a sellout of American victims of Iranian terror and of the American taxpayer.

I have publicly stated that, despite what happened to Alisa, I was never opposed to the restoration of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. However, that restoration had a price – Iran had to account for its role in the murders of Alisa and so many others. Indeed, the statute that gave us our payments provides just for that.

No doubt, the White House and other government spokesmen will come up with more platitudes as to just what the statute means. To my mind, they can say what they want; the bottom line is that terror victims have seen their claims pushed aside by a government desperate to bring Iran to the negotiating table. Unfortunately, it’s more of a poker table, and the Iranians hold the cards.

Stephen M. Flatow

Iran ‘Not Worried’ About Falling Oil Prices

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Iranian Economy Minister Ali Tayebnia says his country has been the “least to suffer” from a recent fall in oil prices, and as a result, Tehran’s economy has been the least damaged by the decline.

“Based on newly released statistics of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Iran was the least to suffer from the fall in oil prices, and that means that Iran has lowered its vulnerability of overseas shocks in the economic domain,” Tayebnia said, according to the Iranian Oil Ministry’s SHANA news website.

The report by the IMF quoted by the Iranian finance minister said Iran had been able to “retool its economy under sanctions pressure to that inflation declined from 45 percent in 2013, to around 8 percent this year,” according to the UPI website.

Tayebnia estimated that Iran’s inflation is now hovering at around two percent, with the Central Bank of Iran estimating a growth rate in the GDP of around five percent through early 2017.

Iran is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC.) Total production for Tehran in July was at its highest level since 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-not-worried-about-falling-oil-prices/2016/08/29/

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