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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Islamic Republic of Iran’

Mastermind of 1994 Buenos Aires Bombing Rafsanjani Dies of Heart Attack

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Chairman of the Expediency Council Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died on Sunday, IRNA reported Sunday. He was hospitalized due to heart attack in a state-run hospital in the Iranian capital earlier in the day.

Rafsanjani was sought by the Argentinian government for ordering the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires. This was based on the allegation that senior Iranian officials planned the attack in an August 1993 meeting, which included Ayatollah Khamanei, the Supreme Leader, Mohammad Hejazi, Khamanei’s intelligence and security advisor, Rafsanjani, then Iran’s president, Ali Fallahian, then intelligence minister, and Ali Akbar Velayati, then foreign minister.

In 1997, during the Mykonos trial in Germany, it was declared that Rafsanjani, then president of Iran, together with Ayatollah Khamenei, Velayati and Fallahian, directed the assassination of Iran’s opposition activists in Europe.

Rafsanjani served in different posts since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He was described as a pragmatic conservative, and “veteran kingmaker.” He supported a free market domestically, favoring privatization of state-owned industries, and a moderate stance internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States and the West.

JNi.Media

Report: President Trump to Expose ‘Indefensible’ Iran Deal Documents

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Future senior Trump administration officials are discussing which unseen documents about the 2015 Iran nuclear deal they will make public after the inauguration, The Daily Beast reported Monday. The report cites chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker, possibly President Trump’s pick for secretary of state, who said, “My guess is that they will be very forthcoming. […] They’ll be more than desirous in ensuring that’s the case.”

The report also cites Congressman Peter Roskam (R-Il), who said, “The American people know the Iran deal is bad. I can tell you it’s even worse than most people think. The Obama Administration has long known its position is indefensible, so they’ve chosen to hide unclassified documents from the public.”

In March 2015, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark) sent a letter, signed by 46 out of 53 Republicans in the Senate then, to Iran’s leaders, stating that any deal between Obama and the Iranian leadership would amount to only an “executive agreement” that could be undone by Congress or a future president. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” Cotton warned.

In November 2016, Cotton told Bloomberg, “In January, a President Trump and a Republican Congress will begin a new policy of resolve toward Iran’s ayatollahs.” Of course, by now the US has eliminated the sanctions against Iran, paid the Islamic Republic in cash to settle claims regarding an arms sale to the Shah, and unfroze billions in Iranian bank holdings. As Bloomberg put it, “at this point, a clear statement from the US that it was abandoning the nuclear agreement would only affect Iran’s obligations, such as international monitoring of its nuclear program and temporary limits on its centrifuge production and stockpile of nuclear fuel.”

In July 2016 the Obama Administration, following a law mandating a congressional review of the nuclear deal, used a clever trick in order to conceal unclassified documents by submitting them together with a single classified item – making the publicizing of any of this information illegal. Republican staffers are itching to make these unclassified documents public as soon as there’s a new sheriff in town.

According to The Daily Beast, one such document, “Elements of Iran’s R&D Plan,” is based on the “safeguards confidential plan [between] Iran and the IAEA,” describing how Iran’s research and development on its nuclear program, including on its centrifuges, could progress over time, despite the deal.

According to multiple US media reports, the documents the Trump team are weighing for publication come in three groups. The first group includes 17 unclassified annexes, appendices, and related agreements handed to Congress in July 2015 under the the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, a.k.a. Corker-Cardin. These feature letters from Kerry assuring US business institutionsthey could trade and deal with Iran, which may indicate the deal was never sustainable but for those US urgings; and information regarding the precise restrictions on Iran’s centrifuge development, which Iran has reportedly violated several times.

The second group includes documents describing the transfer of $1.7 billion cash to Iran, the release of 21 Iranian operatives, the Iranians’ leveraging of American hostages, and the lifting of international sanctions stemming from Iran’s ballistic missile development, which were described in August by the Wall Street Journal. The State Department denied much of the above, warning that revealing the identity of banks involved in the cash transfer would hinder future deals.

The third group are documents from the Joint Commission overseeing the implementation of the deal, which secretly permit Iran to violate its terms. The very existence of these exemptions proves the deal – from its inception – depended on the US turning a blind eye on its violations.

David Israel

USMC General (ret.) James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Reported to Be Next Secy of Defense

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

U.S. President-elect Donald J. Trump has retired chosen Marine General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, 66, to become the country’s next Secretary of Defense, The Hill reports.

Although the official announcement is expected next week, a source in the Trump Transition Team was quoted with the news by CNN on Thursday.

Trump Transition Team Communications Director Jason Miller said in a tweet, however, that no decision has yet been made.

Mattis is known as a popular general among the rank-and-file, someone who “tells it like it is,” and who is “no apologist” to anyone, for anything.

In 2012, Mattis was quoted by Al-Hayat Washington Bureau Chief Joyce Karam as having told Congress that removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from his post would represent the “biggest strategic setback for Iran in 25 years.”

Mattis will need a Congressional waiver of a statute that prevents him from accepting a civilian position, since he retired in 2013, just three years ago. Section 903(a) of the National Defense Authorization act requires a seven-year wait period between active duty and serving as Secretary of Defense — a civilian role — for former service members.

President and CEO Michael Makovsky of the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) wrote that JINSA, “an organization dedicated to a robust U.S. national security posture and a strong U.S.-Israel security relationship,” would not endorse any one candidate for a government position but still felt “compelled to convey that characterizations of one candidate, General James N. Mattis, USMC (ret.), as anti-Israel are ill-founded and unfair.”

Specifically, Makovsky addressed himself to criticism about “extemporaneous remarks General Mattis made at the Aspen Institute in July 2013 on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. They were made shortly following his retirement after a very distinguished four-decade-long career in the U.S. military, with his last position as Commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), where his area of responsibility covered much of the Middle East and Central Asia (excluding Israel), Makovsky wrote.

“We understand and share many of the objections to his remarks, including that he seemed to blame mostly Israel for the impasse, despite the critical challenges it faces in lacking a stable, moderate Palestinian partner that genuinely seeks a durable peace with the Jewish state. Some American Jews and even Israelis make the same mistake. In any case, he has not repeated those remarks,” he noted.

“On the larger U.S. military and strategic issues related to the Middle East, which a Secretary of Defense will have to address early on, General Mattis has notably and indisputably distinguished himself in advocating for a more robust U.S. military posture to counter, contain and deter Iran, even at the peril of his military career, and its importance to American security and the restoration of America’s position in the Middle East – views JINSA has strongly propounded. Along similar lines, he has stressed the need to stand by our longstanding regional friends.

“General Mattis’ outlook on these issues aligns perfectly with Israel’s, which considers an aggressive Iran its greatest strategic threat, and a nuclear Iran to be an existential threat. Israel also seeks a strong U.S. presence in the Middle East.

“General Mattis has noted this alignment of views with Israel, and correctly explained the synchronization of Israeli and Arab outlooks on these subjects. This should be heartening to the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe that a strong State of Israel is necessary for its own sake and important for a strong America.”

Makovsky went on to write, “JINSA’s experiences with General Mattis have been very positive, including many private discussions in the last few years on the Middle East. We recently consulted several notable Israelis and Americans in the civic and military spheres who also have interacted with him and they share our confidence in his support for a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.

“Were General Mattis to become Secretary of Defense, and work more closely with Israel in that position, an opportunity he lacked at CENTCOM, we believe he will become an even closer friend of the State of Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iranian President Mocks US Elections, Favors Own Brand of Democracy

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on Sunday mocked both major party presidential candidates in the US elections, criticizing their behavior during their recent debates. “Did you see the debate and the way of their speaking, accusing and mocking each other?” Rouhani asked an audience in the city of Arak, in a speech that was broadcast on national TV. He added contemptuously, “Do we want such a democracy in our country? Do we want such elections in our country?”

Iran’s own presidential election will take place in May 2017, and Rouhani is likely to run for a second term. Any Iranian citizen born in Iran, who believes in God and Islam, who has always been loyal to the Constitution and is above 21 years of age may register as a presidential candidate. The Election Monitoring Agency (EMA), which is managed by the Guardian Council vets registered candidates and decides who may run (36,000 candidates signed up to run in 2009). No women have ever been approved by the EMA. It is doubtful either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton would have been approved, even if they had agreed to embrace Islam…

The minimum voting age in Iran is 15.

“You see the United States that claims it has had democracy for more than 200 years,” Rouhani said, encouraging his audience to “look at the country, what the situation is where morality has no place.”

Rouhani said that last September, when he attended the UN General Assembly in New York, he was asked which of the candidates he preferred, and answered, “Should I prefer bad to worse or worse to bad?”

Iranian state TV broadcast two complete debates between Trump and Clinton and has been closely following the campaign, using the candidates’ statements as fodder for anti-US observations. They were particularly unhappy with candidate Trump’s declaration in September, after Iranian naval vessels repeatedly shifted close to American warships in a harassing and unsafe manner, that when “they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats, and they make gestures at our people, that they shouldn’t be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water.”

JNi.Media

Ahmadinejad Offers to Fix Bitter Past for Obama for Only $2 billion

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (ruled 2005 to 2013) has written outgoing US President Barack Obama that he still has time to “restore people’s rights” to the tune of $2 billion in frozen Iranian assets, Tasnim reported.

The Ahmadinejad letter was delivered to the White House through the Swiss embassy in Tehran, and posted by the website Dolatebahar.com, which is affiliated with Ahmadinejad.

After the traditional Islamic greeting of “As-salamun alaykum,” Ahmadinejad writes: “You took office as the president of the United States amidst a climax in global frustration… following several decades of hegemonic policies and behavior of consecutive US administrations. … Your campaign slogan was ‘change’ and you claimed to be determined to change those policies as well as behaviors.”

Ahmadinejad then describes the years of “oppression and cruelty by different American governments” against Iran, which merely held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, after taking over the US embassy in Tehran.

Ahmadinejad expresses his disappointment in Obama, who promised to restore ties with Iran, but has not, “and the same hostile policies along with the same trend of enmity were pursued, in alternative ways,” he complains, noting that Iran never received its much deserved “compensation for the past” during Obama’s term in office.

Now, here is what Ahmadinejad believes Obama should do to wipe the slate clean with the suffering Iranian people: last April, the US Supreme Court ruled that Iranian assets worth $2 billion be paid to the American families of victims killed in Iran’s military attacks in Beirut (1983) and Saudi Arabia (1996). But Ahmadinejad insists the ruling had been “based on unfounded claims without presenting any reliable documents, issued a sentence based on which about two billion Dollars of the Iranian nation’s assets would be seized unlawfully.”

“It is the clear expectation of the Iranian nation that the particular case of property seizure . . . be quickly fixed by your excellency and that not only the Iranian nation’s rights be restored and the seized property released and returned, but also the damage caused be fully compensated for,” says Ahmadinejad, concluding, “I passionately advise you not to let the historical defamation and bitter incident be recorded under your name.”

JNi.Media

Iran Negotiating Sale of Heavy Water to Russia, Enriched Uranium May Be Included

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Iran may sell to Russia some 40 ton of heavy water, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said on Tuesday, TASS reported. “We are currently in negotiations with Russia on the sale of 40 tons of heavy water, there are also other buyers ready to purchase it from us,” the minister said.

Araghchi noted that the negotiations are still going on, adding, “I don’t known when [the agreement will be reached], these are commercial negotiations, they continue.”

According to Araghchi, the Iranians have recently sold 32 tons of heavy water to the US. “The deal has been finalized, the money has already been transferred to the accounts of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization,” he said.

In January, Iran removed the core of its Arak heavy water nuclear reactor and filled it with cement as required under a nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers, TASS reported. Like the US, Russia is eager to purchase Iran’s excess heavy water and enriched uranium, Alexei Karpov, the Russian deputy permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ll be ready, as a possible option, to continue such work on enriched uranium in the future, if Iran requests,” he said. “As for heavy water, we are also ready to assist Iran in this issue by buying the needed amount of this material.”

Heavy water is a form of water that contains a larger than normal amount of the hydrogen isotope deuterium, rather than the common hydrogen-1 isotope that makes up most of the hydrogen in normal water. Deuterium oxide is used in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy when the solvent of interest is water and the nuclide of interest is hydrogen.

Iran produced deuterated solvents in early 2011 for the first time at its plant for production of heavy water at Khondab near Arak.

David Israel

Iran Celebrates Anniversary of Nuclear Deal by Firing Ballistic Missile

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

One year almost to the day after the signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, and in blatant violation of UN Resolution 2231, Tehran tried to launch a ballistic missile using North Korean technology, Fox News reported, citing intelligence officials.

The test failed when the missile exploded after liftoff, on July 11 at night, outside Saman, a city west of Isfahan, at a site Iran has used before to conduct ballistic missile tests. This is the latest attempt in the year since the signing of the nuclear deal.

The test rained on President Obama’s parade, who said on Thursday, the actual anniversary of the deal, that “over the last year, the Iran deal has succeeded in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program, avoiding further conflict and making us safer.”

But according to The Hill, the Republicans used the one-year anniversary for several largely symbolic measures to undermine the deal. “We need to look no further than Iran’s dangerous and destabilizing activities to see the disaster that the Iran nuclear agreement has been over the last year,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a statement.

In UN Resolution 2231, Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.”

According to Reuters, a confidential report by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Iran’s ballistic missile program is “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal. The Security Council is due to discuss the Ban Ki-moon report on July 18. Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi announced that “Iran will strongly continue its missile program based on its own defense and national security calculations.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, who meets regularly with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said this week that “Nobody pretends that some of the challenges we have with Iran have somehow been wiped away. There are other real issues, and we will continue and are continuing to focus on those issues.”

Which means the US is content to permit the Iranians to defy the UN and the Western allies in working on long-range missiles, which should be ready to carry nuclear payloads as soon as the temporary limit on Iran’s development of a nuclear device is removed, in 2025. And with its newly thawed billions of dollars, what would stop Iran from buying the device from North Korea, its favorite shopping spot?

In late June, North Korea succeeded in launching its home-grown Musudan intermediate-range ballistic missile, which flew a distance of 250 miles to the Sea of Japan, this after five earlier failures.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-celebrates-anniversary-of-nuclear-deal-by-firing-ballistic-missile/2016/07/16/

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