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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

Saudi Arabia Cuts Ties with Iran, Gives 48 Hours for Iranian Diplomats to Leave Kingdom

Monday, January 4th, 2016

The two mighty Middle Eastern Muslim powers are now officially and publicly at each other’s throats, and their minor minions are lining up alongside the major powers, as the sunni Muslim Kingdom of Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran on Sunday, Jan. 3.

The final straw, at least for the Saudis, was the storming of the KSA’s Embassy in Tehran and its Consulate in Mashhad by Iranian protesters on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Those protests, in turn, were at least ostensibly motivated by the execution of a popular Shiite Muslim Cleric, Nimr al-Nimr, by Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

The cleric had led protests against unequal treatment of Shias in an eastern part of the KSA, where the majority of Saudi Shiites are concentrated.

The Kingdom recalled its diplomats on Sunday, all of whom arrived in Dubai later that day, according to the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir. The Saudi Foreign Minister gave Iranian diplomats 48 hours to leave Saudi Arabia.

Protesters began rioting outside the Saudi Embassy on Saturday, then hurled Molotov cocktails, and eventually stormed the building, smashing furniture and setting fires. The protesters burned pictures of the Saudi king. A slightly less violent riot broke out the following day at the Saudi Consulate in Mashhad, in the Khorasan province of Iran.

The governments of both countries verbally attacked the other for supporting terrorism and being oppressive regimes. Each government has executed hundreds of prisoners over the past several years.

The Egyptian, Jordanian and Kuwaiti governments condemned the breaches of the Saudi diplomatic compounds, and the United Arab Emirates summoned the Iranian Ambassador to protest Iran’s “interference in Saudi internal matters,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

And Iranian supporters such as Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, criticized Saudi Arabia for executing Nimr, which he said “shows the real oppressive, terrorist and criminal face of the Saudi regime.”

Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, described Nimr’s execution as an “unjust aggression,” and the former prime minister of Iraq Nuri al-Maliki, said that Nimr’s will be the downfall of the Gulf kingdom’s government.

Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei called Nimr a “martyr” who acted peacefully.

The United Nation’s top human rights official, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, also criticized Saudi Arabia for the 47 executions which took place on Saturday, including Nimr’s.

There have been more than 750 executions in Iran since the so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani became president in 2013.

Nimr had been sentenced to death by a Saudi court in October of last year. He was arrested in 2012 for his role in anti-government protests, including at the start of the Arab Spring protests. His trial began in the spring of 2014.

In response to the executions in Saudi Arabia and the storming of the Saudi Embassy in Iran, the U.S. called for restraint.

The State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. government “reaffirm our calls on the Government of Saudi Arabia to respect and protect human rights, and to ensure fair and transparent judicial proceedings in all cases.” He expressed concern that the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric would “exacerbate sectarian tensions” at a time when they “urgently need to be reduced.”

The statement ended with a predictable exhortation to all “leaders throughout the region to redouble efforts aimed at de-escalating regional tensions.” No doubt that will do the trick.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Thousands of Trucks Enter Gaza Weekly From Israel – No Excuse for Turkish Freeze

Monday, December 28th, 2015

The Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories reported last week 3,750 trucks with 127,623 tons of goods entered Gaza through Israel via the Kerem Shalom crossing.

“There were 35 crossings of ambulances between Gaza and Israel last week,” according to a tweet by the COGAT.

Last Thursday alone, 24,629 tons of goods in 744 trucks were delivered to Gaza through Israel via the overland crossings. In addition, 2.2 million liters of fuel were delivered as well.

Delivery statistics at Kerem Shalom Crossing Dec. 20-24 2015

Delivery statistics at Kerem Shalom Crossing Dec. 20-24 2015

Can Turkey Justify Its Continued Diplomatic Freeze?

Turkey has used the so-called Israeli “blockade” of Gaza as its excuse for refusing to normalize its diplomatic ties with Israel. But the truth is, the crossings between Israel and Gaza are open every day and for a long time now, active commerce has been taking place.

What is not being allowed to enter the region are materials that can be used to manufacture weapons with which to attack the Jewish State – and which have been used for that purpose in the past.

In this regard Turkey is no different in its own methods of self-defense and controlling terror within its borders. In fact the Ankara government is more aggressive: Turkey has no problem attacking PKK terrorists when it perceives a threat.

For Ankara to suggest it has a right to dictate a domestic security policy to another sovereign nation is pretentious, if not outright chutzpah.

Since Israel has already opened the crossings on a daily basis – which by the way, even Egypt does not do with the lone Rafah crossing on its border – Turkey has no reason to complain. But Israel does: Hamas still operates its terrorist organization freely and maintains an active international office within Turkey’s borders, despite a request from Israel to close its doors.

Perhaps Turkey is simply searching for excuses not to formally renew its ties with the Jewish State? There would certainly be many reasons it might be reluctant to do so, beginning and ending with its oily handshake in Tehran. At least the Arab nations in the region are far more honest in their anti-Semitism…

Hana Levi Julian

IAEA Chief Warns No Guarantee All of Iran’s Nuclear Material is for Peaceful Activities

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The head of the United Nations agency monitoring the Islam Republic’s compliance with the deal signed with world powers in July warned in prepared remarks on Thursday that he cannot guarantee that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the November meeting of the agency’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna in his introductory statement that he was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” (Italics are Amano’s)

“The Agency has continued its monitoring and verification activities in relation to the Joint Plan of Action,” he continued.

“October 18th was Adoption Day for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was agreed between Iran and six countries and the EU in July this year. On the same day, Iran informed the Agency that, effective on Implementation Day, it will provisionally apply its Additional Protocol and fully implement the modified Code 3.1.

“The Agency is conducting preparatory activities related to the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including verification and monitoring of the steps Iran has begun taking towards the implementation of those commitments.

“The activities set out in the Road-map between Iran and the Agency for the period to October 15th were completed on schedule. A wrap-up technical meeting took place between Iran and the Agency on November 24th.

“Next week, I expect to provide my final assessment on all past and present outstanding issues, as set out in my report of November 2011, for action by the Board.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and the other five world powers involved in negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal from the outset that the terms being considered — and which were eventually agreed upon — left inspectors no way to assure Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

The deal was allegedly intended to prevent Iran from completing its race to achieve an atomic weapon of mass destruction, and from gifting or selling the technology or the weaponry itself to other enemy entities, such as radical Islamist terrorist organizations like Hamas, whose charter includes a declared intent to annihilate the State of Israel.

In other ways, however, it was more likely intended to get ‘business as usual’ back on track with the Islamic Republic, which has since seen European nations politely rushing to invite Tehran to gradually renew economic and diplomatic ties.

Hana Levi Julian

With US Tacit Approval, Iran Tests Ballistic Missile to Reach Tel Aviv

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) On Sunday, Iran tested a new precision-guided ballistic missile, named Emad, its first precision-guided weapon that can strike at Tel Aviv, Iranian state news outlets reported. Iran’s missile program has been the largest in the region, but it lacked the accuracy and range required to pose a real threat to the Jewish State. Now, it appears the Islamic Republic has overcome that hurdle. State television proudly displayed a reportedly successful launch of the new missile, followed by a press conference with Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan, who announced: “The Emad missile is able to strike targets with a high level of precision and completely destroy them … This greatly increases Iran’s strategic deterrence capability.”

The test constitutes a clear violation of UN Security Council resolution 2231, which states that “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,” said ban holding for the next eight years. But despite Washington’s protests, an administration official was quick to assure CNN that the test does not violate the nuclear agreement reached in July between Iran and the 5+1 world powers, because that accord has nothing to say about ballistic missiles, focusing instead only on restricting Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.

The White House, the EU, and the Iranians insist that the nuclear deal does not include language banning Iran from building ballistic missiles capable of carrying the nuclear devices Iran is not allowed to produce over the coming decade, even if the same Western signatories say so in their capacity as permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The Tower pointed out that the Iranians use opposite theories, depending on their needs, regarding the connection between their missile and nuclear programs. Theory 1 says the two programs are separate, the UN ban and the nuclear deal have nothing to do with each other. As was evident this past weekend, this permits Tehran to boast of its newly realized threat against the Jewish State without fear of US retribution. Theory 2 says the two programs are linked, and by approving one, the US and its Western allies have, in effect, approved the other. On occasion, Iran takes both positions concurrently, suggesting the UN missile ban and the nuclear deal are linked, but only as far as Western obligations go, not Iranian commitments.

Minister Dehghan told Iranian press on Sunday: “To follow our defense programs, we don’t ask permission from anyone.” And it appears that this sentiment, despite all the official Western rebuke, is receiving nods of approval from Washington and the EU.

JNi.Media

Russia Takes over Syrian Civil War, Hits Rebels with Missiles

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

Moscow is becoming the de facto capital of Syria, if not Iran.

Russian cruise missiles bombarded positions of rebels fighting the Assad regime, which is totally dependent on Russia and is virtually owned by it.

Iran also might find itself under the thumb of Russia. USA Today reported Thursday that Tehran pressed President Vladimir Putin to become directly involved in the Syrian civil war, which has left the country disintegrated.

Basher al-Assad has held on to power only through the generous supply of weapons from Russia. Now he has the Russian Air Force pummeling rebel positions.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the Tehran-backed Hezbollah terrorist army has been fighting alongside Assad’s soldiers but have suffered a huge number of casualties.

The Associated Press reported that the commander of Iran’s special elite forces travelled to Russia in August to convince Putin to join the fray, and the counties now operate an intelligence center in Baghdad.

Russia is the only major power that has had the guts to move into Syria. President Barack Obama backed off his threat earlier this year to intervene after there was proof that Assad was using chemical weapons.

Russia intervened and worked out a sleight-of-hand act by which Assad handed over his chemical and biological stockpile to international inspectors. The Obama administration easily swallowed the tale that Assad handed over all of the weapons, many of which were in Syria courtesy of none other than Russia.

Iraq has been disappointed with the American-led strike force’s inability to pulverize the Islamic State (ISIS), and Russia has used ISIS as the perfect excuse to move into Syria, set up an air force base and stake its presence as the power broker in the region.

Whether or not President Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry really believed Putin’s promise that Russian forces are in Syria only in order to wage war on ISIS, their illusion that their words speaker louder than action has left them too paralyzed to do anything about it. It was clear from day one that Moscow’s real objective is to save Assad.

Four Russian warships launched 26 missiles against rebel forces as wells ISIS on Wednesday in addition to aerial attacks that have allowed Assad’s foot soldiers to try to take over more territory.

NATO Secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia’s military actions are “troubling escalation” and added:

My concern is that the Russians are not mainly targeting ISIS but they are targeting other opposition groups and they are supporting the (Assad) regime.

It’s a bit late for his concern.

Syrian rebels are firing anti-tank missiles at Assad’s soldiers who have Russian aerial support.

Syrian activist Raed Fares was quoted by AP as saying:

Russia is targeting civilians and the Free Syrian Army brigades that are supported by America. They are not targeting the Islamic State as they claimed. Russia is here to keep Assad in power, so they will strike what Assad strikes.

The rebels, and even ISIS, don’t have much of a chance against the superior Russian firepower.

Regardless of its ulterior motives, Russia is the only country in the world that has taken the initiative to directly confront ISIS.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter thinks that Russia is on the wrong track, despite the failure of 7,000 strikes by the U.S.-led force to seriously damage ISIS.

He said in Rome:

We believe Russia has the wrong strategy. They continue to hit targets that are not ISIL. This is a fundamental mistake.

If he is wrong and Russia succeeds, it will decide the future of Syria, if not Iran.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Iranian President Says Nuclear Deal a ‘Non-Committal Agreement’

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Iran has given U.S. Congressmen the perfect reason to oppose the nuclear deal by saying that the Iranian parliament should not make it a legal obligation for the Islamic Republic.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a news conference Saturday that the deal is only a political understanding, and he urged parliament not to vote on it so that it does not become a legal obligation.

Iran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported Saturday:

President Hassan Rouhani underlined that Joint Comprehensive of Action (JCPOA) does not need the Majlis (Iranian parliament) approval for its implementation.

‘Under the Iranian Constitution, a treaty has to be submitted for approval or disapproval to the Parliament if it has been signed by the president or a representative of his,’ President Rouhani said, addressing a press conference in Tehran on Saturday.

‘That is not the case about the Iran-Group 5+1 nuclear agreement or the JCPOA,’ the Iranian president added.

Rouhani emphasized that parliamentary approval of the JCPOA would mean that he has to sign it, “an extra legal commitment that the administration has already avoided,” according to IRNA.

The Associated Press added that Rouhani said:

Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?

President Barack Obama needs only four more Democratic senators to back the bill in order to prevent a veto-proof majority if Congress rejects the agreement.

If the agreement is approved, the United States will be obligated to honor it unless it can catch Iran cheating, a process that could involved months or even a year.

On the other side of the ocean, Rouhani has made it clear that the deal has no legal standing in Iran.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Abbas Insists He Will Visit His ‘Sister’ Iran

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Mahmoud Abbas has an insatiable appetite.

The Palestinian Authority chairman insisted this week that he will visit Iran, which he referred to as a “sister and neighbor state” in comments made to Polish journalists

He declared his intentions the same day of his reported resignation from the PLO Executive Committee, an announcement that has been denounced as false and reiterated as true a dozen times.

Iran has not been particularly in love with Abbas because he removed, at least for English media, the adjective “armed” from noun “resistance,” the Arab code word for terror.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he was president of Iran in 2012, invited Abbas to visit but was rejected.

Since then, a lot has happened. Iran and Hamas have had an off-an-on relationship reflecting Middle East instability, particularly in Syria where Iranian Revolutionary Guards are trying to keep Basher al-Assad’s regime from falling.

Abbas, a modern Jules Verne who has circled the world several times since taking over the Palestinian Authority after Yasser Arafat’s death, has built up universal diplomatic for the Arab dream of annihilating Israel, if not by force then by simply shrinking its borders and setting off the demographic weapon called “refugees” to finish off of what would be left of the country.

Now that Iran is holding on to its uranium cake and eating it at the same time, Abbas sees political opportunity. Bringing in Iran under his international umbrella would go down well with the folks in Ramallah while showing up Hamas.

Whether or not the Iranian regime really will welcome him is a question.

Abbas sent envoys to Tehran two weeks ago to discuss “the Palestinian situation” with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency:

Our relationship with Iran is an urgent necessity concerning international and regional developments.

The “developments” are nothing more and nothing less than the deal with Iran, which virtually every world leader with the exception of President Barack Obama acknowledges, implicitly or tacitly, as an exponential increase in Iran’s prestige and influence.

Abbas is not likely to get much out of any revival of relations with the paranoid Iranian regime except for more headlines, but that is the oxygen that has kept him alive politically.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/abbas-insists-he-will-visit-his-sister-iran/2015/08/24/

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