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May 4, 2016 / 26 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Delegation in Iran to ‘Bolster the Intifada,’ Raise Funds

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization sent a delegation to Iran this weekend to meet with officials on ways to “strengthen the intifada” in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, according to a statement issued by the group.

PIJ secretary-general Ramadan Abdullah told Palestinian Authority media the delegation is slated to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Supreme National Security Council chief Ali Shamkhani over the next several days.

On the agenda were the terror group’s claims that Israel is trying to “Judaize” the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, and the need to keep funding the terror groups in Gaza.

Abdullah lamented “the Arab indifference toward Palestine and its oppressed people” in a statement to the media.

In response, Ali Akbar Velayati, head of the Strategic Research Center of the Iranian Expediency Council, vowed Iran would continue to “support the Palestinian people and continue fighting against terror and the Zionist entity, together with all Muslim states.”

The trip, which appeared to be an appeal for money, comes after a lean year in which Iran bestowed its beneficence instead on a new Shi’ite terror group in Gaza called Al-Sabireen.

More money for Al-Sabireen meant less funding for PIJ and its associate, Hamas, which has instead begun to build a relationship with Sinai Province – the former Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis terror group that abandoned its ties to Al Qaeda and pledged its allegiance to ISIS.

The PIJ delegation met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as other senior Iranian officials.

“In these meetings the parties discussed the current circumstances prevailing in the Islamic nation and especially… ways to bolster the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem opposing the Zionist expansionism,” a delegation spokesperson said.

Hana Levi Julian

Russia Refusing to Deliver S-300 Missiles to Syria, But Iran Gets Hers Ahead of Schedule

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Russia is not going to deliver the S-300 air defense missile systems to Syria, according to Alexander Fomin, head of the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS), who spoke to the press on Tuesday, TASS reported.

“There are no such plans as of today,” Fomin said, in response to a question regarding Russian negotiations with the Assad regime on selling them the missile systems.

Meanwhile, according to Fomin, Russia is already supplying the S-300 missile systems to Iran—ahead of schedule—and is in talks with Tehran on purchases of additional military equipment. “We have contracts with Iran, other contracts are also possible, but the talk is only about the permitted supplies, which are not on the UN’s ban list.”

On April 11, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said in a radio interview with Ekho Moskvy that Russia had started deliver of S-300 systems to Iran, with the deal to be completed by the end of the year. “We are acting in strict compliance with the contract. They pay, we sell. We have already started. It is a supply in full sets,” he said.

Russia and Iran signed a contract in 2007 for the supply of five S-300PMU-1 battalions, but then, in 2010, then-President Dmitry Medvedev banned the supply of the systems to Tehran, following a deal with Israel which compensated Russia by promising not to compete with Russian natural gas in Europe. The Iran contract, worth more than $800 million, was annulled and the paid advance was returned to Iran, which filed a $4 billion lawsuit against Russia at the Geneva Court of Arbitration. That suit has now been cancelled.

The S-300 system was developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles for the Soviet Air Defense Forces. Subsequent variations were developed to intercept ballistic missiles. It is regarded as one of the most potent anti-aircraft missile systems currently in operation. An evolved version of the S-300 system, the S-400, entered limited service in 2004.

In 2014, the Syrian government requested Moscow to supply the S-300 air defense missile systems to the Syrian army in anticipation of “a possible US attack” on Syria.

According to a source in the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida, Russia received intelligence from Israel a year ago that Tehran had violated an agreement with Moscow not to pass on advanced Russian-made weaponry to the terror group Hezbollah, its proxy in Lebanon. President Putin was handed intelligence from Israel showing that Iran had supplied Hezbollah with Russian-made SA-22 surface-to-air missile systems.

According to Al Jarida, Russia confirmed this information with surveillance flights over Lebanon and Syria, using their own anti-missile radars to detect the systems which had been moved to Lebanon.

David Israel

Female Air France Crew Members Can Decline Flights to Tehran

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

Air France has decided to allow its female flight attendants to decline assignments to work the routes to and from Tehran.

The decision follows a brouhaha over a company requirement forcing female workers to comply with the Islamic Shari’a dress code by donning a head scarf, slacks and a loose-fitting jacket prior to disembarking in Tehran.

Union officials and numerous employees fought the mandate sent in an internal memo to staff that said female staff must ‘wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving the plane.’’

Threats of a strike when the Paris-Tehran-Paris route resumes on April 17 were resolved Monday when the airline decided instead to expand an “escape clause” already used in the past for other cases.

“Any woman assigned to the Paris-Tehran flight who for reasons of personal choice would refuse to wear the head scarf upon leaving the plane will be reassigned to another destination, and thus will not be obliged to do this flight,’” human resources official Gilles Gateau told Europe 1 Radio.

The route was suspended in 2008 after the United Nations imposed international sanctions over Iran’s unwillingness to comply with restrictions on its military nuclear ambitions.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Demands World Powers Punish Iran for Ballistic Missile Violations

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry on Saturday night to contact the six major world nations who signed a nuclear deal with Tehran and “demand immediate punitive measures be taken in the wake of Iran’s repeated and gross violations on the missiles issue.

“This is an important step in and of itself, and is also a test of the major powers in enforcing the nuclear agreement,” Netanyahu said.

The statement followed a series of Iranian military weapons tests last week that ended with Tehran crowing that it could now reach Israel with a long-range ballistic missile capable of destroying the Jewish State. The Islamic Republic even inscribed the missiles with a message in Hebrew that read, “Must destroy Israel.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari claimed Thursday (March 10) the missile drills did not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) nuclear agreement between Tehran and the six major world powers.

Speaking to journalists, the spokesperson said the missile exercises also did not go against Resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council.

“Despite some Western allegations, the ballistic missiles fired in the nationwide exercises did not violate the JCPOA or the UN Resolution 2231.

“The short- medium- and long-range ballistic missiles fired during the drills were for deterrence and defense,” he said. “None of them could carry nuclear warheads, which by the way, is not in Iran’s defense doctrine,” he added.

Israeli intelligence experts said, however, the long-range ballistic missiles tested on Wednesday were indeed capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Ansari claimed that Tehran had issued a statement following the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA, which stipulated, “Iran will continue to take the necessary measures to strengthen its defense capabilities in order to protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against any aggression and to counter the menace of terrorism in the region.

“In this context, Iranian military capabilities, including ballistic missiles, are exclusively for legitimate defense. They have not been designed for WMD capability, and are thus outside the purview or authority of the Security Council resolution and its annexes.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began the ballistic missile exercises last Tuesday, March 8. Called ‘Eqtedar-e Velayat‘, the command, tactical and special exercises were intended to test advanced missile defense systems as well as “showcase the deterrence power and the clout of the IRGC forces in defending the country’s territorial integrity against foreign threats,” according to the semi-official FARS news agency.

The drills were held in different geographical locations, using ballistic missiles fired from silos in Central Iran and mountain ranges in the North. The IRGC also fired two Iranian-made “Qadr H” ballistic missiles from the Eastern Alborz Mountains as part of ongoing IRGC drills.

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted by FARS on Wednesday as saying Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles can fly 400 kilometers above the ground to hit targets at 2,000 kilometers “within 12 to 13 minutes.”

Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent an urgent letter to members of the UN Security Council this weekend calling for condemnation of Tehran’s test launch of the ballistic missiles this week.

“Iran continues to disregard its obligations to UN resolutions,” Danon wrote. “This latest provocation makes it clear that the ‘smile campaign’ of the current regime is nothing more than a smokescreen to disguise the real intentions of the ayatollah regime.”

Danon added that the missile tests were “a gross violation” of Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement and which restricts Iran from launching missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Hana Levi Julian

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

Russia: No S-300 Deliveries Until Iran Pays the Bill

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

A Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson has flatly denied reports from Tehran that a delivery of the S-300 anti-missile defense system is due to arrive from Moscow this week.

The spokesperson told the TASS news agency that Iranian claims the first batch would arrive Thursday are “out of the question.” He said on Wednesday, “The beginning of deliveries of the first consignment of Favorit missile systems cannot take place since the Iranian side has not paid the price written in the contract as of Feb. 16.”

Last week, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehgan told international media the first shipment of the S-300 systems would arrive within the next two months.

The S-300 is a long-range surface-to-air missile designed to intercept aircraft and cruise missiles. The most advanced versions of the system can also target ballistic missiles.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hossein Jaberi Ansari claimed earlier in the week that a shipment of the system is already on its way to Tehran.

A Russian presidential aide for military-technical cooperation told TASS in December 2015, “The contract is in action.” But it was the Iranian ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanai, who claimed in November 2015 that Iran was already receiving the first S-300 systems.

These claims and denials have been going back and forth for months, but at the end of the day, Iran has yet to receive the system and it is not at all clear whether Tehran has paid for it.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the S-300 system poses no threat to Israel. He was quoted in an article published in the April 2015 edition of Russia Today as saying the system “will not put at risk the security of any state in the region, including Israel.”

Hana Levi Julian

European Airlines Flying Back to Iran

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

European airlines are flying back to Iran this spring, with British Airlines leading the way — although its corporate office tried very hard to convince media otherwise.

Deputy Aviation and International Affairs Chief of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said Wednesday the UK carrier will resume London-Tehran flights in two months, quoting BA representatives from a visit on Tuesday.

British Airways (BA) CEO Willie Walsh told media two days ago that BA officials were “very interested in flying to Tehran and we are hopeful that it will form part of BA’s network in the very near future. We are actively looking at it as a destination,” he told the International Business Times. Other Heathrow slots are likely to be dropped in order to way for the service, which was stopped in 2012, a spokesperson had said.

“The related memorandum of understanding was signed between the two countries ‘a while ago,’” Mohammad Khoda-Karami told the semi-official IRNA news agency.

He added that Spanish, Japanese and Malaysian (Air Asia) airlines have announced readiness to resume direct flights to Iran on a regular weekly basis.

A separate government official had earlier announced that Iran welcomes aviation cooperation “with all countries, save for the Zionist regime’s El Al airlines.”

The state-owned IRAN daily newspaper reported Thursday that Air France and KLM Airlines of Netherlands are on track to resume flights to Tehran this April. Both airlines had already announced the new route back in December.

“Air France is showing its ambition to develop itself in a country with dynamic growth and for which the European Union is Iran’s fourth economic partner,” the company said in a statement. France has a long history of commercial, political and social links with the Islamic Republic of Iran, dating back to the 1970s, when then-revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei lived near Paris.

“We’re happy to welcome you in our new AIRFRANCE KLM office in central Tehran,” announces a new website displaying a map with an address, phone numbers, hours and an email address – but little else. “We’re swapping our old office space for brand new, bright and spacious facilities to make you, our passengers, most comfortable from the moment you book your flights.”

 

Iran Air has been flying three times a week to London and twice a week each to Amsterdam and Paris.

 

In 2008 European airlines stopped flying to Iran after international and U.S. sanctions were imposed on the country in response to its defiance of United Nations nuclear mandates.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/european-airlines-flying-back-to-iran/2016/01/28/

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