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March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

Ayatollah Khamenei Sends Secret ‘Love Letter’ to Obama

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Iranian  Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has sent a “secret letter” in response to President Barack Obama’s letter on its nuclear program and suggested Iran can be an American ally n the war against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Obama sent Khamenei a letter last October concerning languishing negotiations to restrict and inspect Iran’s nuclear development, which it insists is for peaceful purposes and which virtually everyone else except Russia, Syria and China admit is to obtain a nuclear warhead and aim it at Israel.

The American-led war on the ISIS has given Khamenei an opportunity to reply to the letter with an overture to help Washington defeat the terrorist army that controls large parts of Syria and Iraq and is recruiting eager jihadists throughout the world.

Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but non-committal, The Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a diplomat.

Judging from Khamenei’s comments, he is not about to cave in to Western demands but is using as bait Iran’s fear of the ISIS. He knows, better than most Western leaders, that if the ISIS takes control of Iraq and Syria, Jordan is next in line, followed by other Middle East countries, including Iran.

Israel also would like to see the ISIS disappear, but Khamenei hasn’t sent any love letters to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, probably because the Prime Minister has not courted him.

Netanyahu Warns US, World Powers Israel Will Block Iran Nuclear Threat

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had some grim words of warning Sunday in his statement at the start of the weekly cabinet session.

Netanyahu noted that major world powers and Iran are “galloping towards an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons” and will endanger the security of the State of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif held private talks over the weekend, Netanyahu said, after which they announced they intend to complete a framework agreement by the end of March.

Israel’s response, he said, will be to stop what he called a “bad and dangerous agreement.”

The prime minister underscored that Israel will “do everything and will take any action to foil this agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the State of Israel and its security.”

It is precisely for this reason the Democratic party and U.S. President Barack Obama have worked to derail the prime minister’s scheduled address to a joint session of the Congress set for March 3. The speech falls at the end of the same week Netanyahu is slated to appear at the annual AIPAC (American Israeli Political Action Committee) conference in Washington DC, and just two weeks prior to Israel’s national elections on March 17.

The deadline for talks between world powers and Tehran over a rollback on Iran’s nuclear technology activities is March 31. The Obama administration is deeply committed to seeing some signed agreement emerge from those talks, apparently regardless of its cost to the Jewish State.

Iran has repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the world map. Any agreement that allows Iran to continue to enrich uranium – thereby enabling it to achieve an atomic weapon – presents an existential risk to Israel.

News for Israel: Boeing Sells Data, Drawings to Iran

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

For the first time since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Boeing Aerospace and Defense has made a sale to Iran.

The Chicago-based firm announced sales of some $120,000 to Iran that included aircraft manuals, drawings, navigation charts and data.

The items were sold to Iran Air, allegedly to “help improve the safety of Iran’s civil aviation industry,” according to Reuters.

The fact that any American aerospace and defense firm is being allowed to do business with Iran signals a sea change in the United States attitude that does not bode well for the Middle East.

According to the report, both Boeing and General Electric were given permission in April of this year by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to export parts for commercial aircraft to Iran, under a temporary sanctions relief deal.

Boeing did not indicate whether it had sold parts prior to the current sale, nor whether it planned to sell parts in the future, and declined further comment, the news agency said.

The firm made a net profit of approximately $12,000 in the third quarter on the sale to Iran. Boeing’s total sales for the quarter were reported at $23.7 billion.

Prior U.S. administrations worked tirelessly to persuade the international community to impose heavy sanctions on Iran to force Tehran to curtail its nuclear development activities.

There have been updated, repeated reports from Israeli intelligence warning that Iran is rapidly approaching the nuclear threshold, where a small step will take Tehran into the world of weapons of mass destruction. Alongside those warnings, the Iranian regime itself has stated firmly that it has no intention of slowing down – let alone stopping – its nuclear development program.

And in past years Iranian leaders have made it equally clear they have placed Israel squarely in the cross-hairs for future annihilation.

So what conclusions should Israel’s government draw from Boeing’s latest announcement?

U.S.: ‘T-Minus 2 Months to Nuclear Iran’

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The United States has belatedly awakened to the fact that Tehran is ignoring its policies and moving ahead with nuclear development – as Israel predicted more than a decade ago.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday it would take Iran just two months to produce enough fissile material to produce a nuclear weapon of mass destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the same statement – in fact he warned it would take less time, unless actions were taken to slow or stop the process – in speeches to the United Nations in 2012 and in 2013.

Over the years, the Iranian nuclear program was hit with numerous mysterious problems that slowed down the process, including destructive viruses, assassinated nuclear physicists, and broken components, all of which were generally blamed on Israel.

Netanyahu’s predecessors in office have also warned the international community that Iran has been marching ahead with its nuclear development program. That has continued apace regardless of United Nations sanctions, diplomatic efforts, negotiations and any other attempts to slow down its drive to create nuclear weaponry.

This time as world powers gathered in Vienna to talk about working on a new agreement to slow down Iranian activity on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions, Kerry was warning American lawmakers that time is up.

The best the world can hope for is to get the Iranians to increase the “breakout” window from two months to half a year, maybe a year.

“I think it’s public knowledge today that we’re operating with a time period for a so-called breakout of about two months. Six months to 12 months is… I’m not saying that’s what we’d settle for, but even that is significantly more [time],” he said, according to Reuters.

Still, Kerry claimed Iran only has enough so far for “just one bomb’s worth, conceivably, of material, but without any necessary capacity to put it in anything, to deliver it, to have any mechanism to do so.”

However, a recent shipment of sophisticated missiles and a missile launcher sent by Iran to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Syria proves that may not be the case. The missiles were of a new, advanced design built with a warhead capable of carrying a much heavier payload – possibly one that could carry nuclear material.

The trucks that were carrying the missiles and the launcher to a Hezbollah base were destroyed in an air strike that left four Hezbollah terrorists.

Iran: Neither Lunatic State Nor Rational Actor, But Rational Aggressor

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

The United States now estimates it will take one year for Iran to get nuclear weapons; Israel says some months.

Is Iran a Lunatic State or a Rational Actor? It is neither; it is a Rational Aggressor.

“One of the great unresolved questions of Barack Obama’s presidency,” says Time Magazine, “is whether he can peacefully resolve  America’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear weapons’  program.

Ridiculously wrong.
 
One of the great unresolved questions of Barack Obama’s presidency is whether he can successfully resolve America’s conflict with Iran over its nuclear weapons’ program.

Time continues that the Obama-Rouhani handshake “would  be the most important…handshake since the historic grip between Rabin and Arafat….””

Also wrong. Remember that while it has still not been admitted by the United States, that event 20! years later was a failure costly in lives. Israel must satisfy seemingly monthly American demands by releasing terrorists who murdered Israelis.

The handshakes of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain with Hitler (the Munich agreement) and of the Nazi foreign minister and Stalin (the Nazi-Soviet pact) were also a historic grip, at the time peaceful but not ultimately successful.

Time continues, “It would only be a symbolic act, to be sure. But when it comes to international diplomacy, symbolism can go a long way.”

But it is not a mere symbolic act but the start of a foolish deal that Iran will break.

So is Iran a lunatic state or a rational actor? A hell of a lot more rational than U.S. foreign policy is today, as apparently has been the Muslim Brotherhood’s policy and trickery. After all, the UN just elected Iran as Rapporteur for the General Assembly’s main committee on Disarmament & International Security without Tehran having to do anything.  And Obama will blame Congress for diplomatic failure if it increases sanctions. In fact diplomats doubt Iran will actually do anything anyway.

That’s not moderate but radical in a smart way.

More politely, Iran is a rational actor in terms of its own objectives. The issue is to understand what Iran wants. Policy is always best served by truth, and the truth is best told whether or not people like it. Iran is an aggressive, rational actor.

Remember: The problem is not that Iran is eager to use nuclear weapons but that the Obama Administration is not going to apply containment properly and credibly.  And that encourages Iran’s non-nuclear aggression and terrorism.
 
The hysteria over Iran, however, had also better get under control, even as the real, very threatening situation should be understood. Armchair theorists from far away may want to provoke a U.S.-Iran war. This is a bad idea.

The fact is that the history of the Iranian Islamic regime does not show suicidal recklessness. A key reason for this is that the leaders of Iran know they can be reckless without risking suicide. In other words, Iran did face threats from the West commensurate with what Tehran was doing. Therefore, the risks it took were not suicidal. If apparently suicidal rhetoric does not produce suicide but serves a very specific purpose, that rhetoric is not in fact suicidal.

What, then, did Iran want?

Its basic goal was to be as powerful a regional hegemon as possible–including control over Syria and Lebanon. It would like to take leadership of all Muslims in the area. Today, however, it is clear that the Sunni Arabs reject Tehran’s leadership and will fight against it.

In other words, the ultimate extent of Iran’s zone of influence could only include part of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, southwest Afghanistan, Bahrain, and the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. That is the maximum, and Iran is far from achieving that goal. And it will probably never achieve it.

Iran’s influence is limited by the location of Shia Muslims. Not all Shia Muslims favor Iran, and pretty much all Sunni Muslims oppose it. Therefore, whatever the outcome is in Syria–in other words if the regime wins–Iran will at most keep its current levels of influence. But if the regime wins, the Sunnis will hate Iran even more and will fight against it harder.

So Iran still wants to get the most power without fearing reprisal.

Nuclear weapons are a defensive shield to carry out conventional aggression.

As I’ve insisted for many years, it is increasingly clear that Iran will get nuclear weapons. We should start discussions in that framework. The recent brilliant decision of the Iranian elite–who is not only more ruthless but strategically smarter than Western leadership–to pick a national security insider, who is at best a slightly moderate extremist, as president guarantees it.

The question is only: when will Iran get nuclear weapons? The evidence seems to show that this is several years away. (It would be interesting if that development was too late to affect Syria’s civil war, and such will probably happen.)

Why will Iran certainly get nukes?

First, the West isn’t going to take strong enough action to stop it because the alternatives are deemed–perhaps accurately so–too risky. No surgical Israeli strike is going to stop it, and Obama will never support such a strike. Of course, there is a great deal of indifference about the potential victims and lots of greed about the money to be made from Iran. The sanctions may seem tough, but there are more holes than cheese.

After Ahmadinejad, though, there is perhaps a better money-making climate. His successor will further soothe Western willingness to battle on this nuclear issue.

And of course they just don’t care that much about potential genocide in Israel.

Second, with international support at a low point, the logistical difficulties, and a U.S. president who is incredibly reluctant, Israel is not going to attack Iran to stop it from getting nuclear weapons. What Israel should and will do is to make clear it will attack Iran if there is any reason to believe that Tehran might launch nuclear weapons. It will build up a multilayer defensive and offensive system.

This is not mere passive containment but would mean assured massive retaliation.

Note that there is more than one potential victim of Iran’s nuclear weapons. People, including the Israelis, talk a lot about Israel. Yet the Sunni Arab states are increasingly involved in shooting situations with Iranian proxies. Unlike Israel, they won’t do anything and perhaps can’t, except to beg the United States to take strong action. But the U.S. won’t do so.

And of course everyone can just hope everything will turn out all right.

A rare piece of good news, however, is that before the “Arab Spring,” it was conceivable that Iran might become leader or hegemon of the Arabic-speaking world. Israel-bashing was an important tool to do so. Now the Sunni Muslims have their own successful–even U.S.-backed!–Muslim Brotherhood movement. They not only don’t need Iran any more, they fight against Tehran.

Pushed on the defensive with more limited prospects–and knowing the Israel card won’t work–Tehran has lots less incentive to stake its survival on that issue. The nuclear weapons arsenal isn’t intended for a big bang to get revenge on Israel, it’s intended to keep the current regime in power against a growing number of enemies.

Put bluntly, Iran won’t waste its nuclear weapons on Israel or, as they might put it in Tehran, to give Israel an “excuse” to attack Iran. No pile of quotes from Iranian leaders to the contrary changes anything.
The key factor is not an appeal to the “international community” to protect Israel. Israel’s power rests precisely in old-fashioned credibility and deterrence:

Only Israel can credibly destroy the Islamic regime.  And the Islamic regime in Iran knows that. 
 
Israel was so important in Iranian verbal declarations precisely because Israel could at one time be turned into a card that strengthened Iran’s appeal with the Arabs and the Sunni. Iran certainly had very few other cards. But the Sunni and Arabs don’t care about this, given the big change of the last two years. The Israel card–as shown by the Syrian regime’s failure with it–is worthless.

Note that while Iran has been the leading sponsor of international terrorism and poured invective out against Israel, Iran did not notably take any material action against Israel beyond terror attacks and its sponsorship of Hizballah, Hamas, and Syria–which were its allies at the time. Compared to Arab efforts in the second half of the twentieth century, this was not very much.

In other words, against Israel, the Tehran regime talked a big game but did relatively little.

On other issues, too, Iran did not act like a country bent on suicide. Against its Arab enemies, it did not take considerable risks. Iran could wage a proxy war against America in Iraq, because the United States didn’t do very much about it.

All of the above in no way discounts an Iranian threat. Yes, of course, Iran sponsored terrorism and sought to gain influence and to spread revolution. Yet it did not attack a single country in open terms of warfare. Remember, Iran was invaded by Iraq. And when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini himself was persuaded that the United States was entering the war against him, he quickly ended it, though he said that doing so was like eating snakes and scorpions; but that was necessary to preserve the regime.

Iran is the kind of aggressor who was once described by Winston Churchill as a thief who went down the street rattling doors to find one that was open.

Second, Iran sought to defend itself by threatening antagonists with total destruction and by obtaining the ultimate deterrence, nuclear weapons. This does not mean one should sympathize with Tehran since, after all, it sought nuclear weapons to ensure its defense while it continued aggressive policies.

Iran can also complain about American encirclement. Of course, if it did not follow the policies that were being practiced, there wouldn’t be a U.S. motive for any such efforts. The point, however, is that the claim that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons so it could destroy itself by attacking Israel is just not demonstrated.

Thus, Iran is not a demonic, crazed, kamikaze country. It is simply a typical aggressor who wants to have insurance against having to pay the price of such continued activity. North Korea and Pakistan sought nuclear weapons for the same reason, and it is working for them.

Let’s approach the issue in another way. Suppose Iran helped the Syrian regime win the civil war. Would the danger to Israel be increased? No, certainly it would not be from a nuclear standpoint. Assad would reestablish control over a wrecked and tottering country where the damage would take years to rebuild. But the problem is that Iran will be more secure in defending itself which means it will be more aggressive, but now with nuclear weapons.

The use of nuclear weapons loses whatever the possession of nuclear weapons gains.

Iran would be relieved at the Syrian regime’s survival but would not be better able to carry on a (nuclear) war against Israel. The Sunnis would be prepared to cooperate with the United States against Iran and even, covertly, with Israel up to a point. Indeed, the ability of Sunni Islamists to attack Israel would be reduced because of their obsession with the principal danger.

Again, I don’t want Assad to win in Syria. I believe that Iran is a threat. I think Iran will succeed in getting nuclear weapons. I don’t think the Tehran regime consists of lunatics who cannot wait to immolate themselves in a fiery funeral pyre. They want to stay in power for a long time. Israel has an alternative of preemption if necessary. But the United States will never help stop Iran’s getting of nukes.

This analysis should be conducted in a sober fashion. I believe, indeed I see clearly, that Israeli policymakers understand these issues. We should remember that Iran is not an insane state and that there are threats other than Iran in the Middle East.

The problem is not that Iran is eager to use nuclear weapons but that the Obama Administration is unlikely to apply containment properly and credibly. And then its version of containment might fail.

Rouhani: I Turned Down Five Requests from Obama for Meeting

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s “charm offensive,” by his own admission, stopped short of meeting personally with President Barack Obama.

“Before my trip (to New York), the Americans had sent 5 messages to arrange a meeting between me and Obama, but I turned them down,” he told the government-run Fars News Agency, which can also be read as the Farce News Agency because of its wild propaganda.

“Then they raised a plan for a brief meeting, but I didn’t agree (with it) much; we didn’t disagree with (the idea to have) a meeting, but its grounds weren’t prepared,” he added.

During Rohani’s visit to the United States, the White House fudged on the issue of whether President Obama would meet with Rouhani.

“It’s possible, but it has always been possible,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week. “The extended hand has been there from the moment the president was sworn in.”

Politico reported last week that Iran rejected a  White House suggestion of “an encounter” between the two leaders.

One U.S. official said that a meeting was too complicated for them.”

Rohani also told Fars he is thrilled that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech in the United Nations Tuesday was full of anger towards the new Iranian president.

“That an aggressive regime in the region names Iran with coarse language is the cause of our happiness,” Rouhani told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

“Israel is upset to see that its sword has gone blunt and Iran grows more powerful day by day,” he added.

Farce, or Fars, did not ask Rohani about the mixed reception he received at the airport on his return, when several dozen hard-core  Islamists shouted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” and threw eggs and stones at his motorcade.

They were outnumbered by hundreds of supporters who praised Rohani.

Russia Heats Up Cold War with Sale of Iran S-300 Missiles (Video)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Russian media reported Wednesday that Moscow now is ready to go through a long-promised deal to supply the Iranian regime with advanced S-300 missiles that can shoot down ballistic missiles and commercial airplanes from a distance of up to 120 miles.

It is one of most lethal, if not the most lethal, anti-aircraft system in the world. Iran signed a purchase deal in 2007  for five S-300 missile batteries, but the sale was frozen three years ago when the U.N. Security Council slapped sanctions on Tehran..

Russia got around the embargo in its sale of the S-300 to Syria by claiming the weapons were for defense, and presumably that will be the excuse to sell them to Iran.

Just in case the international sanctions get in the way of the sale, Russia has come up with an alternative that might be just as useful for Iran and which does not fall under the sanctions. It would sell Iran the  Antei-2500, AKA S-300VM, or SA-23 Gladiato, according to the Russian Kommersant Daily.

The Antei-2500 was specifically tailored for the needs of ground forces, which could also be an advantage for Iran, known for its large land force,” the Iranian government-controlled Fars News Agency stated.

Kommersant said Iran has asked it to fulfill its promise to complete the S-300 missile sale, and Russia has thrown in an extra goodie by agreeing to build a second nuclear reactor in Bushehr, just what the United States and Israel don’t need.

The Russian and Chinese appetite for money has driven it to become huge weapons suppliers to Iran and Syria, giving them the lever to counter Western influence. The missile sale to Iran will add approximately $700 million to the Kremlin coffers.

Besides the financial angel, Putin is doing his best to establish Russia as the most powerful influence in the Middle East, at the expense of President Barack Obama. Moscow and Beijing have consistently thrown up barriers to American-led efforts to place sanctions on Iran and Syria.

Iran more than welcomes Moscow in its campaign to rid the world of American influence that goes against fundamentalist Muslim regime policies, such as the deprival of human rights..

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan said earlier this week that Russia should complete the 2005 deal and supply Iran with S-300 missiles and “should believe themselves and don’t follow the US so much,”  Fars reported Wednesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-heats-up-cold-war-with-threat-to-sell-iran-s-300-missiles/2013/09/11/

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