IRGC commander threatens to target everyone responsible for Qassem Soleimani’s assassination

By News Desk -2020-09-19

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:00 P.M.) – The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard said in a statement this week, “the U.S. president believed we will assassinate his ambassador in South Africa in exchange for assassinating Qassem Soleimani, but we tell him that we will target everyone who had a role in the assassination.”

Major General Hossein Salami, Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, pointed out that his country “monitors the interests of enemies everywhere and they will be a target of our strength if necessary.”

He continued, “I tell Trump that our revenge on Qassem Soleimani is inevitable and realistic. We will avenge Qassem Soleimani with manhood, honor and justice, and this is a serious message.”

The commander of the Revolutionary Guard indicated that his forces pursued the enemy to the Mediterranean and will continue to pursue it everywhere, pointing out that Trump is threatening Iran with an attack a thousand times more powerful, while he was unable to respond to the bombing of the Ain al-Assad base (with Iranian missiles) in Iraq.

He said, “We have equipped hundreds of missiles to destroy everything America possesses in the region if it responded to the bombing of Ain al-Assad, but it did not respond.”

Salami added that the United States is living in political isolation and has failed to extend the arms embargo on Iran.

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هل يفعلها ترامب قبل 3 تشرين الثاني؟

د. عصام نعمان

تباهى دونالد ترامب في مؤتمرٍ صحافي بأنّ لدى الولايات المتحدة «أسلحة رائعة لا يعرف بها أحد (…) أسلحتنا النووية الآن في أفضل حالاتها. لدينا بعض الأنظمة المذهلة».

سبق للرئيس الأميركي أن كشف للصحافي المعروف بوب وودورد، مؤلف كتاب «غضب» الصادر مؤخراً، عن معلومات دفاعية بالغة السرية في واحدة من 17 مقابلة مسجلة أجراها معه. وودورد أوضح أنه تأكّد بشكل منفصل من مصادر لم يسمّها انّ الولايات المتحدة لديها سلاح سري جديد، لكنه لم يذكر ما إذا كان نووياً ام لا.

تصريحات ترامب أثارت جدلاً واسعاً في أوساط المحللين العسكريين في أنحاء العالم حول ما إذا كان السلاح السري الجديد نووياً، لكن خبراء أسلحة أميركيين يقولون إنهم غير متأكدين ما إذا كان الأمر الذي تحدث عنه ترامب صحيحاً أم أنه كان مجرد محاولة جوفاء للتباهي، وهو أمر معروف عن الرئيس الأميركي.

أياً ما كانت حقيقة «هذا السلاح السري الرائع» فإنّ سؤالاً ملحاحاً يجري تداوله في الأوساط السياسية الأميركية، خصوصاً لدى مسؤولي الحزب الديمقراطي الذي ينافس ترامب على الرئاسة بمرشحه جو بايدن. السؤال هو: هل يُقدِم ترامب على استعمال هذا السلاح ضد إيران قبل يوم الاقتراع في 3 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر المقبل؟

ثمة سببان للتخوّف من أن يفعلها ترامب:

الاول، استماتته للفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية وتصميمه على البقاء في البيت الأبيض مهما كان الثمن لدرجة أنه شدّد على أنصاره بضرورة التصويت له شخصياً وعدم اللجوء إلى التصويت بالبريد. لماذا؟ لأنه يعتقد بأنّ نتيجة فرز الأصوات الشخصية ستكون لصالحه ما يشجعه على اللجوء – كما يخشى معارضوه الديمقراطيون – الى إعلان فوزه مستبقاً إعلان نتيجة فرز الأصوات البريدية (التي يظنّ هو وغيره كثيرون أنها ستكون لصالح منافسه بايدن) مدّعياً أنها مزوّرة! هذا الاحتمال وارد جداً لدرجة انّ بعضاً من مسؤولي الحزب الديمقراطي تساءلوا عمّا يجب فعله لإخراجه من البيت الأبيض فيما دعا بعضهم الآخر الى تكليف الجيش مهمة إخراجه!

الثاني، لأنّ ترامب طراز من الرجال لا يتورّع عن اللجوء الى القتل للتخلّص من أعدائه ومنافسيه. ليس أدلّ على ذلك من «تعهّده» في الذكرى التاسعة عشرة لهجمات 11 سبتمبر/ أيلول 2001 « باستهداف كلّ من يهدّد حياة الأميركيين مثل قاسم سليماني «قائد «فيلق القدس» في الحرس الثوري الإيراني الذي اغتيل بغارة أميركية قرب مطار بغداد مطلع هذا العام.

اذا كان احتمال استعمال «السلاح السري الرائع» وارداً لدى ترامب، فهل انّ الهدف سيكون إيران؟ وإذا ما جرى استهداف إيران فعلاً، فهل من شأن ذلك توفير رافعة قوية لترامب في جولة الإنتخابات الرئاسية المقبلة؟

لعلّ أمرين أساسيين يجعلان هذا الاحتمال مستبعداً. ذلك انّ كبار مسؤولي «البنتاغون» (وزارة الدفاع) يعرفون بالتأكيد انّ إيران لن تكون لقمة سائغة، خصوصاً بعد التقدّم الهائل الذي أحرزته على الصعيدين العسكري والتكنولوجي في السنوات الخمس الأخيرة. كما يعرف هؤلاء المسؤولون ايضاً انّ للولايات المتحدة عدّة قواعد عسكرية في منطقة غرب آسيا والخليج، وبعضها قريب جداً من إيران، ما يجعلها رهينة لها ويمكّنها من ضربها والقضاء على آلاف الجنود الأميركيين. ذلك كله يجعل خيار ضرب إيران مكلفاً وغير مجزٍ.

ثم انه من المشكوك به جداً ان يتقبّل الرأي العام الأميركي فعلة ترامب الهوجاء هذه المتناقضة مع ما يحرص شاغل البيت الأبيض على الإيحاء به من انه لم يقع على أيّ جدوى من الحروب التي شنّتها الولايات المتحدة في المنطقة وتكلّفت عليها تريليونات الدولارات، وانه لهذا السبب يقوم بخفض عديد الجيش الأميركي في أفغانستان والعراق وسورية وغيرها من دول المنطقة.

هذان السببان وغيرهما قد لا يحولان دون أن يركب ترامب رأسه ويفعل فعلته. الأمر نفسه ينطبق على بنيامين نتنياهو المتخوّف، هو الآخر، من ان يفقد منصبه وسلطته تحت وطأة التظاهرات اليومية التي تحاصر منزله في القدس المحتلة وتتمدّد إلى مدن أخرى، كما بنتيجة محاكمته المنتظرة بتهم الفساد والرشوة والتزوير. لذا قد يرى هذا الرجل المذعور مصلحة له في تحريض ترامب على توجيه ضربة عسكرية خاطفة ومدمّرة لإيران يكون من شأنها – في ظنّه ــ تحصين منصبه في وجه المتظاهرين وأمام القضاة في محاكمته المنتظرة.

نتنياهو سيلتقي ترامب بعد يومين ليحتفلا سويةً مع ملك البحرين بتوقيع اتفاق لتطبيع العلاقات بين الكيانين. هل تراه ينجح رجل «إسرائيل» المذعور في إقناع رئيس أميركا الموتور بارتكاب الفعلة النكراء؟

نائب ووزير سابق

U.S. exploited 9/11 attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan: Iraqi expert

By Saeed Kh. Mavedat

September 10, 2020 – 17:54

TEHRAN – The U.S. plans to invade Iraq and Afghanistan gained stream immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks on civilian and military targets in the United States. An Iraqi expert tells the Tehran Times that the Americans “exploited” the attacks to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

The attacks, carried out by al-Qaeda, killed almost 3,000 American and foreign citizens and sent shock waves across the world. In the wake of the attacks, the U.S. administration sought to pave the way for a military response to al-Qaeda and those allegedly supporting it.

Addressing the American people on the same day at 9 pm, then-President George W. Bush said, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Only a week after the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed a special law allowing President Bush to punish the people who had aided or abetted the 9/11 attackers. The law, which was passed on September 18, 2001, stipulates “that  the  President  is  authorized  to  use  all necessary  and  appropriate  force  against  those  nations,  organizations,  or  persons  he  determines  planned,  authorized,  committed, or  aided  the  terrorist  attacks  that  occurred  on  September  11,  2001, or  harbored  such  organizations  or  persons,  in  order  to  prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”

A few weeks later, the U.S. led a coalition to overthrow the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, and two years later, the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretext of countering terrorism.

Nearly two decades after the 9 /11 attacks, the U.S. is still bogged down in “endless wars” in the region, which yielded no results in terms of combating terrorism, according to Reza Alghurabi, an Iraqi expert who closely monitors the situation in Iraq and Iran.

In order to assess one of the U.S. post-9/11 wars in the region, the Tehran Times interviewed Alghurabi. He weighed in on the situation in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of the country. He also touched on the U.S.-Iran relations in Iraq since 2003.
The following is the full text of the interview:

Q: In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the issue of “counterterrorism” became prominent in U.S. foreign policy and eventually, it became one of the reasons for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do you think the United States really wanted to fight terrorism in Iraq? And if so, how successful was it? How do you assess the U.S. presence in Iraq in terms of the fight against terrorism since 2003?

A: In addition to leading to the emergence of the U.S. counterterrorism agenda and the introduction of new concepts in the field of terrorism and international law, the 9/11 attacks led to one of the largest U.S. military campaigns and military interventions in recent decades in the ever sensitive region of West Asia.
Regardless of any assessment of the truth of 9/11, Washington’s subsequent exploitation of it shows that the Americans behaved in a completely political and abusive manner that led to the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.

It was clear at the time that the terrorists were mostly Saudi nationals, and that if the United States was to be honest in its counterterrorism plan, it would have had to deal with the source of religious extremism in the region, which is the Saudi regime and some other countries whose religious muftis kept playing role in the death of thousands of people and the spread of extremism and violence by issuing hundreds of fatwas [religious decrees] and sending financial aid through charities after the occupation of Iraq.

Despite spending billions of dollars on the counterterrorism project since 2001, Washington has failed to fight terrorism, and the growing spread of extremism, violence, and terrorism in recent years in areas where the Americans themselves have been present was not only a sign of Washington’s failure to fight terrorism, but it also raised serious doubts about its direct role in the spread of terrorism and violence.

Iraq is clearly still grappling with terrorism 17 years after [the American occupation], and from 2003 to 2011, when U.S. troops were officially present in Iraq, violence was widespread in the country and the United States failed to contain it.

Q: How many human rights violations did the United States commit in the years following the occupation of Iraq? In terms of human rights violations, can Abu Ghraib prison be compared to Guantanamo?

A: While the U.S. was present in Iraq as an occupying force, numerous reports were published by Western and American think tanks on individual and organized ill-treatment of prisoners. Some of the initial information was released by U.S. troops themselves. Various forms of torture of prisoners, such as waterboarding in the United States itself, sparked controversy in the U.S. Congress.

U.S. human rights abuses were not limited to detainees. There were also numerous reports of civilians being harassed during house searches or checkpoints and street raids by soldiers and mercenaries of private security companies such as Blackwater. In this respect, there was no difference between Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Perhaps Abu Ghraib can be considered a worse case than Guantanamo because in this prison even young Iraqi girls were sexually tortured by the American military.

Q: How do you assess Iran-U.S. relations in Iraq after 2003? It is said that Iran had reached understandings with the United States during the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, but why did the United States turn these understandings into hostility and include Iran in the “axis of evil”?

A: Iran-U.S. relations have always been tense for the last four decades. After 9/11, the Americans took a more hostile stance against the Iranians. The use of the term “axis of evil” in reference to Iran by George W. Bush in 2002 indicated the adoption of an escalatory strategy against Iran. With the occupation of Iraq by the U.S., this country became the scene of confrontation between Tehran and Washington. Iran was concerned and dissatisfied with the full U.S. military presence in Iraq and the repeated threats by White House officials about the need for regime change in Iran. The Americans in Iraq were also reluctant to vacate the battlefield for Tehran. Therefore, Iraq has since become the scene of confrontation between the two axes.

The U.S. is a longtime enemy of Iran and the prospect of its troops being deployed along Iran’s borders as well as [U.S.] provocative actions were a source of potential and tense hostility that threatened any possible understanding.

RELATED NEWS

US to ‘stop at nothing’ to extend arms embargo against Iran

By News Desk -2020-08-15

Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council rejected a resolution aimed at extending the arms embargo against Iran, ahead of its expiration in October.

The Trump administration will be following up on its promise to “stop at nothing” to extend an arms embargo on Iran, said the US ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, said after UN Security Council voted not to adopt a resolution that aimed at prolonging the blockade.

“Under Resolution 2231, the United States has every right to initiate snapback of provisions of previous Security Council resolutions,” Craft said in a statement on Friday. “In the coming days, the United States will follow through on that promise to stop at nothing to extend the arms embargo.

Resolution 2231, addressed by Craft, endorsed the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear deal, from which the Trump administration unilaterally withdrew in May 2018.

The decision not to extend the arms embargo on Iran was announced earlier in the day, drawing a denouncement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who asserted that the UNSC “failed to uphold its fundamental mission set” by rejecting the resolution.

“It [UNSC] rejected a reasonable resolution to extend the 13-year old arms embargo on Iran and paved the way for the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to buy and sell conventional weapons without specific UN restrictions in place for the first time in over a decade,” Pompeo said on Friday.

Following US intentions to do everything possible to prevent Tehran from buying and selling weapons on the international market, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, said that the return of any UN Security Council sanctions on Iran would be met severely, and insisted that the US will be fully responsible.

“As we have already stated, imposition of any sanctions or restrictions on Iran by the Security Council will be met severely by Iran and our options are not limited. And the United States and any entity which may assist it or acquiesce in its illegal behavior, will bear the full responsibility,” Ravanchi said on Friday.

Iran has faced a US-led arms embargo for 13 years. The embargo is set to expire in October, under the terms of the JCPOA, which would have seen Tehran scale back its nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. The deal was signed in 2015 between Iran, the United States, China, France, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Union.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA. Beginning in 2019, Tehran began to step away from its commitments under the deal, reiterating that its nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.

Source: Sputnik

إيران تستعدّ لعمل كبير

ناصر قنديل

منذ عشرة أيام وعملية التفجير التي أصابت جزءاً من المنشأة النووية الإيرانية في نطنز، محور اهتمام ومتابعة في الأوساط الدبلوماسية والأمنية والإعلامية. فقد جاء التفجير في مناخ تصعيدي تشهده المنطقة مع منظومة العقوبات الأميركية المتشددة على قوى وحكومات محور المقاومة وشعوبها، ومحاولة الضغط لإيصال القيادة الإيرانية لقبول التفاوض على شروط جديدة لملفها النووي من جهة، ولدورها الإقليمي من جهة أخرى، مع رفع شعار العودة إلى ما قبل العام 2011 في سورية من قبل المبعوث الأميركي الخاص جيمس جيفري في شرحه لأهداف قانون قيصر للعقوبات على سورية، عارضاً التسليم بنصر الرئيس السوري وجيشه مقابل خروج أميركا وإيران بالتوازي من سورية.

خرج الصحافي ايدي كوهين المعروف بعلاقته بمكتب رئيس الحكومة في كيان الاحتلال بنامين نتنياهو بتغريدة يقول فيها إن مصادر استخبارية غربية قالت إن طائرات حربية لجيش الاحتلال تولّت قصف منشأة نطنز، ثم نشرت صحيفة نيويورك تايمز تقريراً نسبت المعلومات الواردة فيه لمصادر موثوقة، لتقول إن جهاز استخبارات في الكيان يقف وراء القنبلة التي تسببت بتفجير في منشأة نطنز، ثم خرج وزير الحرب والخارجية السابق في الكيان أفيغدور ليبرمان ليتحدث عن اتهام لنتنياهو بالوقوف وراء التسريبات للتباهي، معرضاً أمن الكيان للخطر.

تلا ذلك بأيام ظهور رئيس أركان القوات المسلحة الإيرانية الجنرال محمد باقري في دمشق موقعاً اتفاقيات تعاون عسكري أهمها ما يتصل بالدفاعات الجويّة السوريّة، وما قالت تعليقات صحف الكيان، إنها نقلة نوعية لوضع حد للغارات التي تشنها طائرات جيش الاحتلال داخل سورية وهي تستهدف بصورة خاصة مواقع إيرانية، ما يعني استعداداً لمرحلة أكثر تصعيداً في المواجهة، من جهة، ورداً شديد اللهجة على قانون قيصر، وتبشيراً استباقياً برفع الحظر عن بيع وشراء السلاح المفروض على إيران والذي ينتهي مفعوله خلال شهور مقبلة.

أول أمس، وقع حريق كبير انتهى بتدمير البارجة الأميركية يو اس اس ريتشارد، في مرفأ سان دييغو العسكري، وسرت تكهنات باختراق سيبراني تسبب بالتلاعب بمنظومات حرارية في البارجة أدى لنشوب الحريق وتعطيل أنظمة التبريد، واتجهت الكثير من أصابع الاتهام نحو إيران، خصوصاً مع حرب سيبرانية تشهدها مواقع داخل الكيان تؤدي لتعطيل منصات مطارات ووزارات وهيئات حكومية، تظهر حجم الحضور الإيراني في هذا النوع من الحروب، في ظل الربط بينها وبين حال التصعيد الشامل الذي تشهده المنطقة.

أمس، تحدّث الناطق بلسان الخارجية الإيرانية وقال «إنه في حال ثبت ضلوع كيان أو دولة في الحادث، فإن ردّ إيران سيكون حاسماً وهاماً وستثبت أن «زمن اضرب واهرب قد ولّى». ونفى المتحدث أن يكون لإيران علاقة بحادث البارجة الأميركية في سان دييغو، واعدا بإعلان قريب لمجلس الأمن القومي الإيراني لنتائج التحقيقات التي يجريها في حادث نطنز.

الترقب سيد الموقف خلال الأيام القليلة المقبلة، وحبس الأنفاس سيستمرّ حتى تعلن إيران نتائج التحقيقات، والاتصالات على أعلى المستويات لاستكشاف اتجاه هذه النتائج وما إذا كانت ثمة احتمالات بتوجيه إتهام مباشر لكيان الاحتلال، وماهية الدور المقرر، والعيون شاخصة نحو مفاعل ديمونا كهدف محتمل، إذا سارت الأمور بهذا الاتجاه، وهو ما يعني نذر حرب كبرى تخيّم على المنطقة، والوسطاء التقليديّون بين إيران والغرب يقولون إن أشدّ المراحل خطورة تمر على المنطقة، وإن العروض لتفادي التصعيد الإيراني المرتقب إذا صحّت التوقعات، قيد التداول، وإن أشياء كثيرة من طروحات كانت على الطاولة قد تغيّرت.

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US Attempts to Seize Four Iranian Tankers Headed to Venezuela

Source

US Attempts to Seize Four Iranian Tankers Headed to Venezuela

By Staff, Agencies

US federal prosecutors are seeking to seize four tankers sailing towards Venezuela with gasoline supplied by Iran.

It is the latest attempt to disrupt ever-closer trade ties between the two heavily-sanctioned anti-US allies.

The Trump administration has been stepping up pressure on ship owners to abide by sanctions against US adversaries like Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, Al-Jazeera reported.

In May, Maduro celebrated the arrival of five Iranian tankers delivering much-needed fuel supplies to alleviate shortages that have led to days-long gas lines even in the capital, Caracas, which is normally spared such hardships.

The flotilla’s arrival angered the Trump administration, which struck back by sanctioning the five Iranian captains of the vessels.

The four tankers named in the complaint filed on Wednesday – the Bella, Bering, Pandi and Luna – are currently transporting 1.1 million barrels of gasoline to Venezuela, the report added.

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The US “Soft War” on Iran and Its Allies Turns Against Washington

By Elijah J. Magnier

Source

The US administration under Barack Obama drafted “Caesar’s Law” in 2016 to subdue Syria but kept it in the drawer. President Donald Trump and his administration dusted it off and are now implementing “Caesar’s Law”. In fact, Trump’s policy is manna to Iran: the US administration is playing straight into the hands of Tehran. Iran is reaping huge benefits, including more robust allies and resistant strongholds as a result of the US’s flawed Middle Eastern policies. Motivated by the threat of the implementation of “Caesar’ Law”, Iran has prepared a series of steps to sell its oil and finance its allies, bypassing depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Iranian companies found in Syria a paradise for strategic investment and offered the needed alternative to a Syrian economy crippled by sanctions and nine years of war. Iran considers Syria a fertile ground to expand its commerce and business like never before. It has also found a way to support the Syrian currency and to avoid digging into its reserves of foreign currencies, skirting US sanctions in both Syria and Iran, while aiding the rest of its allies.

Iran supplied Syria with precision missiles and other anti-air missiles notwithstanding the hundreds of Israeli air attacks which managed to destroy large quantities of these Iranian advanced missiles but without removing the threat to Israel.

Moreover, following the announcement of the implementation of “Caesar’s Law”, Iran sent a large business delegation to Syria to schedule the supply of first necessities and goods in a time of sanctions. Iran has great expertise in this business and, after living for 40 years under sanctions, is in an excellent position to advise President Assad.

Russia also announced – via its vice Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov – that his country rejects the illegal sanctions on Syria, and that Russia will provide President Assad with whatever his country needs.

Idem in Syria: Iran proved its capability to break the fuel siege on Syria by sending several oil tankers to its ally in the Levant. Iran is ready to be paid in Syrian Lira rather than US currency for its oil. By doing this, Iran can pay its tens of thousands of allied persons spread across Syria with local currency, marginalising the US dollar.

The US and Israel, who worked throughout the years of war in Syria to remove Iran, were in fact the impetus for Iran’s presence (and that of Russia) in the Levant in the first place. The US is now imposing “Caesar’s Law”, which will help Iran cement its presence in the Levant and Mesopotamia. It is planning to build a railway between Tehran and Damascus (and possibly Beirut): this axis will be able to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and tons of merchandise. The only way for the US to reduce the collateral damage is to finally accept that all of its “maximum pressure” and harshest sanctions on Iran and its allies have little chance of working. In the meantime, it is Iran that is moving ahead with a robust ring of allies, and the US and Israel which are left with Middle Eastern allies who are both inefficient and insignificant.

THE US “SOFT WAR” ON IRAN AND ITS ALLIES TURNS AGAINST WASHINGTON

Source

Posted on  by Elijah J Magnier

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The US administration under Barack Obama drafted “Caesar’s Law” in 2016 to subdue Syria but kept it in the drawer. President Donald Trump and his administration dusted it off and are now implementing “Caesar’s Law”. In fact, Trump’s policy is manna to Iran: the US administration is playing straight into the hands of Tehran. Iran is reaping huge benefits, including more robust allies and resistant strongholds as a result of the US’s flawed Middle Eastern policies. Motivated by the threat of the implementation of “Caesar’ Law”, Iran has prepared a series of steps to sell its oil and finance its allies, bypassing depletion of its foreign currency reserves.

Iranian companies found in Syria a paradise for strategic investment and offered the needed alternative to a Syrian economy crippled by sanctions and nine years of war. Iran considers Syria a fertile ground to expand its commerce and business like never before. It has also found a way to support the Syrian currency and to avoid digging into its reserves of foreign currencies, skirting US sanctions in both Syria and Iran, while aiding the rest of its allies.

Iran supplied Syria with precision missiles and other anti-air missiles notwithstanding the hundreds of Israeli air attacks which managed to destroy large quantities of these Iranian advanced missiles but without removing the threat to Israel.

Moreover, following the announcement of the implementation of “Caesar’s Law”, Iran sent a large business delegation to Syria to schedule the supply of first necessities and goods in a time of sanctions. Iran has great expertise in this business and, after living for 40 years under sanctions, is in an excellent position to advise President Assad.

Russia also announced – via its vice Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov – that his country rejects the illegal sanctions on Syria, and that Russia will provide President Assad with whatever his country needs.

Idem in Syria: Iran proved its capability to break the fuel siege on Syria by sending several oil tankers to its ally in the Levant. Iran is ready to be paid in Syrian Lira rather than US currency for its oil. By doing this, Iran can pay its tens of thousands of allied persons spread across Syria with local currency, marginalising the US dollar.

In Iraq,

The US and Israel, who worked throughout the years of war in Syria to remove Iran, were in fact the impetus for Iran’s presence (and that of Russia) in the Levant in the first place. The US is now imposing “Caesar’s Law”, which will help Iran cement its presence in the Levant and Mesopotamia. It is planning to build a railway between Tehran and Damascus (and possibly Beirut): this axis will be able to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil and tons of merchandise. The only way for the US to reduce the collateral damage is to finally accept that all of its “maximum pressure” and harshest sanctions on Iran and its allies have little chance of working. In the meantime, it is Iran that is moving ahead with a robust ring of allies, and the US and Israel which are left with Middle Eastern allies who are both inefficient and insignificant.

To my readers: I can no longer provide open access to my articles. When you subscribe, you are supporting the investigative journalism necessary for a robust understanding of what is happening in the Middle East. Thanks to those who can contribute.

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and C.G.B.

Copyright © https://ejmagnier.com   2020 

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Why Did Russia Refuse Venezuela’s Request but Iran Accepted It?

By Elijah J. Magnier

Source

Tareck El Aissami Iran 257be

Iranian tankers were 2200 km from the US coast when the Iranian-flagged “Fortune”, followed by “Forest”, entered Venezuelan waters, challenging the US embargo and the US’s threats. The Islamic Republic was broadcasting loud and clear a strong message.

The first message was dispatched to the US administration after Gulf and Arab Leaders conveyed a direct message to the Iranian leaders: “Washington is determined to stop the Iranian tankers sailing to Venezuela”. Iran responded to all messages received that “its five tankers will sail to Venezuela and if any of these tankers is intercepted, Iran will respond in the Straits of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman or anywhere else it sees fit.”

“These five tankers – the Clavel, Fortune, Petunia, Forest and Faxul- are only the beginning of the supply to Venezuela. Iran has the right to send any of its tankers anywhere in the world and any US interception will be considered an act of piracy and will trigger a direct response,” said an Iranian decision-maker who revealed the Iranian response to the US administration via message-carriers.

“Iran had decided to avoid the horn of Africa because the plan was for the first tanker to reach the Venezuelan waters on the first day of Eid el-Fitr. The aim was to share an important day of the Islamic Republic’s defiance to the US in its backyard and to break the sanctions imposed on one of Iran’s main allies. It is a message for the “Axis of the Resistance” that Iran will not abandon its friends and allies anywhere in the world whatever the challenges. It is directly confronting the US by imposing a new rule of engagement”, said the source.

Iran shut its ears to all threatening messages from the US menace and instructed its five tankers to go not round the horn of Africa but through the Gulf of Aden via Bab al-Mandab strait, the Suez Canal and Gibraltar into the Atlantic Ocean- where the US has a strong presence and influence. This shortens the distance and it tested the intentions of the American Navy. Simultaneously, Iran informed its allies of its readiness to confront the US if ever an escalation should loom on the horizon so that these allies within the “Axis of the Resistance” are ready for a wider confrontation if needed.

The first Iranian tanker, “Fortune”, reached the Caribbean Sea on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, on Sunday 24th of May, with US Navy ships in the vicinity. The tankers are carrying over 10 million barrels of oil but also Alkylate and spare parts to start repairing any of the eight “out of order” refineries, to enable oil-rich Venezuela to be self-sufficient in the future. The US sanctions on Venezuela had paralyzed Venezuelan refineries and caused gasoline shortages, with the aim of overthrowing the legitimately elected President, Nicolas Maduro.

Iran is challenging the US administration and considers it a victory that its first tanker went through without being intercepted. Tehran considers this challenge to US authority much more significant than the downing of the US’s most sophisticated drone or the bombing of the US’s largest military base in Ayn al-Assad, Iraq.

“Our allies used to wonder why Iran was not confronting the US dominance face-to-face. In fact, we were preparing for this day, and what helps us the most is the US sanctions that force this country to be autonomous on many levels. Today, Iran and its allies are all equipped with strong ideology and motivation to face down US hegemony, with sufficiently advanced military and financial support to stand up to the US and its allies, both in the Middle East and outside the Middle East. Since World War II the US has not faced a challenge to its hegemony similar to the one Iran is representing, particularly when the main enemy, the US, believes that 40 years of sanctions and maximum pressure have crippled Iran’s capabilities. Imam Khamenei informed all our allies that the military and financial support to all of them will increase and will meet all their needs in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The Axis of the Resistance is now ready and united as one front”, said the source.

Venezuela had asked President Vladimir Putin for help. Russia said clearly it was not willing to send ships close to the US coast because that might support President Trump by triggering a false threat which could lead to unifying the national feeling behind him. This is why Putin had to refuse Venezuela’s request. Iran came forward at the first demand and was grateful for the opportunity to challenge the US and to pay back the support Venezuela offered in the year 2008 when Iran was in need and under heavy US sanctions that forbid technology transfer to build or repair its own refineries. Since then, Iran has built 11 refineries (and 3 more in Pars, Anahita and Bahman Geno which are still under construction) and is considered the third most important country in the world to have developed Gas to Liquid technology (GTL).

Since the US assassinated Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad’s airport, Iran has imposed new rules of engagement on the US. Its message consists in the inevitability of a response against its enemies if they hit Iran, and the threat that no attack will go unanswered. It seems Iran is no longer ready to turn the other cheek and has decided to take special measures to respond to any attack against its troops or interests, including in Syria (more details will be provided in another article). Also, Iran and its allies have raised the level of readiness to maximum in case the US administration decides to attack any aspect of Iran’s interests, particularly the flotilla heading to Venezuela.

Iran is not facing the US directly, and is not asking its allies to do the job on its behalf. The “Persian rug weaver” waited through 40 years of sanctions for this day, until its capability and preparations were completed. This means that now Iran will be tougher and harder, and that is manifest in the election of the new parliament and the new government. President Trump has abused and exhausted all the avenues used by President Hassan Rouhani. Therefore, any new negotiation between Iran and the US will be very difficult: there is a total lack of trust in any document signed by the US.

Whether a Republican or a Democrat reaches the White House at the end of 2020, they will be waiting by the phone for many long years if they imagine that Iran will take the initiative and call the US for a meeting. It will now be up to the US to prove to Iran that it is worth holding any negotiations at all.

Iran has planted robust roots in Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It is now spreading towards Venezuela and will support President Maduro, a strategic rather than ideological ally, to stand against US hegemony and sanctions. More tankers are expected to follow in the very near future. Iran is eager to confront President Trump and tempt him into a confrontation only months before the elections. The Coronavirus mismanagement, the US’s rebuttal of its deals with Russia, Trump’s aggressive position towards China and the World Health Organisation, and his rejection of the Iranian nuclear deal (JCPOA): all these are striking possibilities for a challenge to his re-election. This is why Iran is preparing more surprises for Trump- to show that his Middle Eastern policy is jeopardizing the safety and security of the US and its allies both in Europe and the Middle East, and indeed global world security.

US’ Decline Speeding Up – Iran’s Shamkhani

US’ Decline Speeding Up – Iran’s Shamkhani

By Staff, Agencies

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council [SNSC] Rear Admiral Ali Shamkhani in a message referred to US President Donald Trump team’s empty boasting and said that the decline of the US has been speeding up.

“Empty boasting of #Trump’s team amid the decline of the US has accelerated,” Shamkhani wrote on his Twitter account on Saturday.

“Successive failures in front of the axis of resistance and international conflicts; abroad economic crisis, catastrophic health system, restriction of media, deep social & security crisis; at home are undeniable,” he added.

Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message said lawless bullying threatens international peace and security.

Breaking: Angry Venezuela ambassador slams US Iran threat

Trump veto’s Iran War Powers resolution, bill was passed after Soleimani’s assassination

By News Desk -2020-05-07

BEIRUT, LEBANON (12:20 P.M.) – U.S. President Donald Trump has vetoed the Iran War Powers resolution, putting an end to a bill that would have limited his ability to wage war against the Islamic Republic.

The resolution was previously passed in January after Trump ordered the assassination of Quds Force commander Major General Qassem Soleiamni.

In March, federal lawmakers passed a resolution amending the War Powers Act of 1973 by requiring the president to obtain Congressional approval before ordering military actions against other states.

“Congress should not have passed this resolution,” the White House said in a Wednesday press release announcing the veto decision.

“This was a very insulting resolution, introduced by Democrats as part of a strategy to win an election on November 3 by dividing the Republican Party,” the statement reads. “The few Republicans who voted for it played right into their hands.”

Trump further argued the resolution was “based on misunderstandings of facts and law,” adding that his January 3 order to assassinate Iranian Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani with a drone strike outside Baghdad Airport “was fully authorized by law, including by the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 and Article II of the Constitution.”

The 2002 AUMF gave then-President George W. Bush the congressional authority to order the invasion of Iraq in order to depose Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

“Finally, S.J. Res. 68 would have greatly harmed the President’s ability to protect the United States, its allies, and its partners,” the statement continues. “The resolution implies that the President’s constitutional authority to use military force is limited to defense of the United States and its forces against imminent attack. That is incorrect. We live in a hostile world of evolving threats, and the Constitution recognizes that the President must be able to anticipate our adversaries’ next moves and take swift and decisive action in response. That’s what I did!”

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إيران بلغت مستوى جديداً من القوة.. والحرس الثوريّ يكشف عن مخطط أميركيّ لقصف منزل خامنئيّ

المصدر

قال قائد القوة الجو فضائية في حرس الثورة الإيراني، العميد أمير علي حاجي زادة، إن «الغربيين، ولا سيما الأميركيين منهم، غاضبون من نجاح عملية إطلاق قمر نور إلى الفضاء».

وأضاف حاجي زاده أن الغرب أدرك أن «إيران بلغت مستوى جديداً من القوة. ومن الطبيعي أن يتسبب ذلك في إزعاجهم، ولا سيما أن أجهزتهم الاستخبارية لم تكن على علم بالأمر، كما أنه جاء في ظل انشغالهم بأزمة كورونا».

وأكد زادة أن «جميع مراحل صناعة القمر وإطلاقه تمت من دون علم أجهزة المخابرات الغربية. ولهذا فوجئت».

وأضاف خلال لقاء تلفزيوني: «لا يمكن للولايات المتحدة الأميركية ارتكاب أي حماقة ضد إيران… ما يصرّح به المسؤولون فيها للاستهلاك الداخلي لا أكثر».

وأكد أن بلاده «ستعزز قدراتها الدفاعية والعسكرية والفضائية لضمان أمن إيران القومي».

من جهته، أكد المتحدث باسم مجلس صيانة الدستور في إيران، عباس علي كدخدائي، أن «قرار 2231 لمجلس الأمن الدولي لا يمنع إطلاق الصواريخ من جانب إيران بالمطلق»، معتبراً أن «المنع يشمل الصواريخ المصممة لحمل رؤوس نووية».

وكان أمين المجلس الأعلى للأمن القومي الإيراني علي شمخاني قال: «لا يمكن للعقوبات أو التهديدات أو الإغراءات السياسية أن تبطئ حركة إيران نحو تحقيق مصالحها الوطنية ونيل حقوقها الشرعية».

وأعلنت وكالة «إيسنا» الإيرانية في 22 نيسان الحالي عن إطلاق قوات حرس الثورة الإيرانية قمر «نور – 1» الاصطناعي للأغراض العسكرية.

الوكالة أكّدت نجاح حرس الثورة في وضع القمر الاصطناعي في مدار الأرض على بعد 425 كيلومتراً، لافتةً إلى أن ذلك يُعدّ إنجازاً كبيراً وتحولاً جديداً في المجال الفضائيّ لإيران.

من جهة أخرى، قال قائد القوة الجوية للحرس الثوري الإيراني، أمس، إن «الولايات المتحدة كانت تريد استهداف وقصف مقر المرشد الأعلى للبلاد علي خامنئي، عقب اغتيال الجنرال قاسم سليماني».

وقال القائد بالحرس الثوري، إن «أحد تلك المواقع الثقافية والمهمة، هي أنهم أرادوا قصف المقر الرسمي والمكتب ومكان العمل الرئيسي للمرشد الأعلى للثورة الإيرانية بالعاصمة طهران، لكنهم رأوا أن قاعدة عين الأسد أصيبت بصواريخ، وصباح اليوم نفسه تمّ بث برنامج لقاء خامنئي من مكتبه مع حشد من الإيرانيين».

وأضاف زاده أن «أميركا أرادت إيصال رسالة باغتيال سليماني، وهي أننا ضربنا رمز المقاومة، حتى نجعل الخوف والرعب في قلوب قادة المقاومة».

وتابع: «كان لديهم (الأميركان) تأكيد خاطئ بأن إيران لن ترد على اغتيال قاسم سليماني، عندما رأوا أن الناس كانوا يرددون شعار الانتقام، قالوا إن إيران إذا اتخذت إجراء، فسوف نقصف 52 موقعاً ونقطة في إيران».

واشار العميد حاجي زادة إلى انه حينما استهدفنا قاعدة عين الأسد تصوّرنا بانهم سيردون ولهذا الغرض فقد خططنا لاستهداف 400 نقطة تابعة للأميركيين في حال حصول ذلك.

WHAT WAR BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND IRAN COULD LOOK LIKE

South Front

The US-Iranian standoff in the Persian Gulf has once again entered an acute phase. On April 22, US President Donald Trump announced that he had ordered the US Navy to “shoot down and destroy” Iranian gunboats that follow or harass US ships. In response, Commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Major General Hossein Salami declared on April 23 that Iran will provide a swift, “decisive” and “effective” response to US forces if they threaten Iranian “vessels or warships”.

One of the reasons behind the escalation is the consistent and strengthening anti-Iranian rhetoric of the White House as a part of Trump’s presidential campaign. Another driving force of the US actions is likely the sharpening global economic crisis and the turmoil on the energy market that has led to the dramatic collapse of oil prices. Indeed, a new conflict in the Persian Gulf could theoretically return the oil prices to $50-60 per barrel.

In the current situation, Iran is not interested in an escalation of the conflict with the United States. The escalation could, however, be instigated by the US military:

  • A warship or a group of warships could enter Iranian territorial waters;
  • A US military aircraft could violate Iranian airspace;
  • US forces could block for Iran the civilian maritime traffic through the Strait of Hormuz, or detain an Iranian oil tanker;
  • Warships of the US Navy could imitate an attack on an Iranian submarine;

Iranian forces would have to respond to such a provocation. Thus, a military confrontation could start. After initiating a localized military incident, the White House would accuse Iran of aggressive actions against US forces and the US navy could carry out a demonstrative missile strike on a target or several targets inside Iran. Such an attack would prompt an Iranian response that would involve both its regular and irregular warfare capabilities.

The IRGC Navy doctrine reflects irregular warfare principles that include the use of surprise, deception, speed, flexibility and adaptability, decentralization and highly mobile and maneuverable units,  all of which are used at sea. These include hit-and-run style surprise attacks or the amassing of large numbers of means and measures to overwhelm the enemies’ defenses. In this scenario the employed naval forces might be described as a mosquito-like swarm of small boats using their size and maneuverability to track and hunt down enemy warships.

The IRGCN’s mosquito-fleet concept enables rapid formation of tactical groups of small crafts to carry out a surprise strike at any given time from different directions in a particular area of the offshore zone. Such groups can deploy in attack formation immediately prior to reaching the area of the attack.

Crafts from the formation reach their assault line position either independently or in small groups. This is the way the Iranian Navy would employ the swarm concept. It is important to note the high motivation and ideological training of the mariners involved, who well understand the high level of threat to them personally in the event of the employment of this tactical scheme. IRGCN personnel are motivated and ready to accomplish any feat to defend their homeland. This factor (the high motivation of the personnel) makes a mosquito-fleet armed with missile, torpedo and anti-air weapons especially dangerous to naval forces of the US.

Th aircraft carriers and large warships of the US naval group would become the main priority target of the Iranian response. In the event that the Iranian attack succeeds, the US would have to carry out a massive strike on Iranian infrastructure objects or political and military command centers. Teheran would have either to accept their defeat in this limited confrontation or to respond with another attack on US forces in the region.

Current US military doctrine dictates the prior employment of mobile interoperable forces, unmanned and robotized systems, as well as massive strikes with high precision weapons in conjunction with the maximum usage of electronic warfare and information warfare. If the confrontation develops further the US would be forced to conduct a limited landing operation on key parts of the Iranian coast. The success of such a limited operation under the likely condition of a strong Iranian military response is improbable. Furthermore, the move would be hampered by the weak psychological condition of US service members caused by current developments inside the US.

The US military would have to either retreat or venture on to a large-scale military operation in the Persian Gulf region. If the number of forces involved does not allow Washington to deliver a devastating blow to Iran within 1-2 weeks, China or Russia could intervene in some form likely turning the military standoff into a frozen conflict.

It is likely that despite all difficulties, the US would be able to create an occupation zone inside Iran, likely in the coastal area near the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian oil trade would be fully blocked and the US shale industry would be rescued. At the same time, Washington would have to deal with a permanent insurgency in the occupied area.

Another possible scenario is the defeat of the United States in this limited conflict because of significant losses in warships, aviation and service members of the involved interoperable forces. In this case, US influence in the region would be drastically undermined and the White House would start drawing up plans of revenge.

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New Satellite Greatly Boosting IRGC’s Intelligence Power – Chief Commander

New Satellite Greatly Boosting IRGC’s Intelligence Power – Chief Commander

By Staff, Agencies

Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps Major General Hossein Salami said a multipurpose satellite that was launched into orbit on Wednesday is a great jump forward for the IRGC’s intelligence capabilities.

In comments after the launch of Iran’s first-ever military satellite “Noor1” into an earth orbit, Major General Salami said the successful launch of the multipurpose satellite would elevate the country’s defense power.

It is necessary for a powerful defense force like the IRGC to acquire space technologies, the general noted, saying strong armies in the contemporary era would lack a comprehensive defense plan without reaching the space.

“The acquisition of this raising technology that sends us to space and enhances the domain of our capabilities is a strategic achievement,” he stressed.

Salami further noted that the IRGC has made a great stride in promoting the scope of strategic intelligence capabilities.

“Today, we can observe the world from the space, which means the expansion of the strategic data of the IRGC’s mighty defense power.”

Salami underscored that the homegrown multipurpose satellite is generating “strategic added value” for Iran both in the information technology sphere and in information warfare.

The IRGC successfully put Noor1 [light] into orbit on Wednesday morning. The homegrown satellite was launched with a three-stage satellite carrier, dubbed Qassed [messenger], from a launch pad in Dasht-e Kavir, a large desert in central Iran.

The satellite has been placed into an orbit 425 kilometers above the Earth.

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كواليس وأسرار إطلاق القمر الصناعيّ العسكريّ الإيرانيّ

باريس – نضال حمادة

في عملية استعراض مفاجئة وسريعة لقدراتها التقنية والعلمية نجحت إيران بإطلاق القمر الصناعي المخصّص للأعمال التجسّسية «نور» الى الفضاء، وتمكّنت من وضعه في المدار حول الأرض بصورة مفاجئة، ودون أن تتمكن وحدة المراقبة الفضائية الأميركية والأقمار الصناعية الأميركية والأوروبية من رصد عمليات التحضير لإطلاق القمر الصناعي، كما لم تتمكن المنظومة التجسّسية الأميركية من الاطلاع على تحركات إيران بهذا الصدد، وتفاجأت وحدة المراقبة الفضائية الأميركية بدخول قمر صناعي للأغراض التجسسّية المجال الفضائي للأرض وأنّ مصدر إطلاق هذا القمر إيران، وفور انتشار خبر إطلاق إيران لصاروخ باليستي يحمل قمراً صناعياً بدأت وسائل الإعلام الأميركية والإسرائيلية الحديث عن فشل وضع القمر الصناعي في مداره حول الأرض، قبل أن تعلن شركات المراقبة الخاصة أنها التقطت إشارات هذا القمر على الترددات المحددة له.

ومن ثم حسمت وحدة المراقبة الفضائية الأميركية الجدل وأعلنت نجاح ايران بإطلاق قمرها التجسّسي الصناعي الأول ووضعه في مداره حول الأرض، وأكدت أنه وفقاً للمسار الذي وضع فيه القمر وطريقة دورانه المنحنية بين قطبي الأرض فهو قمر صناعي للأغراض التجسسية.

في المعلومات التي حصلت عليها جريدة البناء فقد تمّت عملية وضع القمر الصناعي نور على الصاروخ الذي حمله الى الفضاء بشكل سري وسريع وبمدة لم تتجاوز الساعتين، بحيث لم تتمكن أجهزة الرصد الدولية والشركات الخاصة التي تمسح الفضاء الأرضي على مدار الساعة من معرفة شيء عن عملية الإطلاق إلا بعدما أصبح القمر الصناعي التجسسي الإيراني «نور» في مداره حول الأرض. وفي المعلومات أن عملية إطلاق الصاروخ الذي حمل القمر الصناعي نور لم تتمّ من ايّ من مراكز إطلاق الصواريخ الإيرانية المعروفة بل تمت عملية الإطلاق من على متن منصة متحركة وتمت عملية حشو الصاروخ بالشحنة الدافعة قبل ساعتين من عملية الإطلاق التي تكللت بالنجاح. وأعلنت مراصد فضائية خاصة ومواقع للرصد الفضائي أنها رصدت القمر الصناعي الإيراني نور واحد وهو يحلق فوق إيران وفوق الولايات المتحدة وفوق دول أخرى منها باكستان، كما اعلنت أنها التقطت اشارات القمر الصناعي الإيراني فوق بحر العرب وفوق المحيط الهندي، كما أفادت المعلومات أن أولى إشارات القمر الإيراني تم التقاطها حوالي الساعة 15 بالتوقيت الدولي أي بعد 11 ساعة من عملية الإطلاق. وهذا ما يجعل عملية التتبع والرصد الأميركي متأخرة وعليها أن تبدأ من نقطة الصفر. وهذا بحد ذاته عمل مهني قام به علماء الفضاء الإيرانيّون..

US Navy Has Authorities to Translate Trump’s Warning to Iran Into Lethal Action – Pentagon

Two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels, some of several to maneuver in what the U.S. Navy says are unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range is seen next to the guided-missile destroyer USS Paul Hamilton in the Gulf April 15, 2020
Ayatollah Khamenei praises IRGC’s performance

Sputnik

22.04.2020

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US Navy commanders have all the necessary authorities to translate President Donald Trump’s warning to Iran into lethal action, Defense Department officials said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

“Every capability that we deploy, every ship that deploys in harm’s way has an inherent right to self-defence. What that means is if we see a hostile act, a hostile intent, we have the right to respond up to including lethal force,” Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Hyten told reporters. “But nobody should doubt that the commanders have the authority right now to respond to any hostile act or hostile intent.”

Hyten praised Trump’s message to Iran, saying, “That’s perfect. We know how to translate that into the rules of engagement.”

However, Hyten refused to elaborate on the rules of engagement and said they mean that a commander cannot let an enemy vessel “get in a position where it can threaten your ship.”

Deputy Defence Secretary David Norquist agreed that Trump issued an important warning to Iran.

“What he was emphasizing is that all of our ships retain the right of self-defence,” Norquist said.

The apparent warning comes one week after Iranian fast boats harassed US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf.

Earlier in the day, Trump said via Twitter that he has directed the US Navy to attack and destroy any Iranian gunboats that approach and intimidate US warships at sea.

100 days later: Who won the war?

Source

April 12, 2020 – 8:50

The assassination of General Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, which was carried out 100 days ago in a terrorist attack in Baghdad’s international airport, may be considered the biggest miscalculation and security mistake by the United States ever. 

However, the assassination was said to be a unilateral and personal decision by Trump and some other officials in the White House and the Pentagon, which revealed Trump and his inner circle’s misunderstanding of the regional events. 

Trump made the decision to achieve his desired results. In a rush caused by confusion, the U.S president sought results that he had imagined could be achieved by the assassination of Gen. Soleimani. 

One of the important driving factors in Trump’s decision-making process and his insane political approach was to achieve his electoral interests. It was assumed that the assassination could affect the 2020 election in his favor. Also, by martyring Gen. Soleimani the White House had the illusion that it can bring the political situation in Iraq under its control, an issue which was defined by Trump’s domestic goals.   

Of course, the pressure applied by the Zionist regime and its interests played an important role in U.S. decisions. Tel Aviv, meanwhile, was under domestic pressure and failing to form a cabinet. It also was being threatened by the Lebanese Hezbollah and resistance groups in Palestine.  

It was believed that the main reason for failures of the U.S. and Israel in the region was Iran, particularly the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force whose commander enjoyed a charismatic personality. 

Numerous political and field achievements and the success of the axis of resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, as well as the repeated failures of Saudi Arabia, as an Israeli-American stooge, are the main reasons that led Trump to make such a decision. 

Trump was trying to change the situation in Iran, which had been put under maximum political and economic pressure, in U.S. favor by assassinating commander Soleimani.  Buy looking at the events that followed the assassination and the regional developments, one can see Trump’s miscalculations and wrong decision. 

The assassination of the Quds Force commander was opposed by many Americans. The opposition emerged even at the political level and worldwide, as many believed Gen. Soleimani was an important figure in the fight against terrorism and ISIS. They viewed his assassination in contrast to the U.S. anti-terrorism claims. 

According to polls, Trump’s popularity and a chance of winning the next election have even declined, a matter that he did not expect. Many Americans are well aware that Trump is, in fact, a tool for implementing the “madman theory”. He has the mission to use American citizens as a means to meet the goal of 3 percent of the American Jewish community, which is political and economic exploitation. 

Trump may never have predicted that large crowds in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the countries classified as members of the axis of resistance would attend the funeral processions for commander Soleimani. The funeral, which was attended by millions of people, was actually an anti-U.S. referendum that showed how popular the discourse of the resistance movement is. In fact, the Americans realized that “Martyr Soleimani” is more alive and more dangerous for the enemy than “Qassem Soleimani”. 

Evaluations showed that most of those who paid homage to Qassem Soleimani before his martyrdom and looked at him as a hero and legendary commander in the fight against terrorism, now consider him not as a person but a school. 

But another issue that the Americans sought to achieve by assassination was to reduce the sphere of the influence of the Iranian Islamic resistance movement in Palestine and Iraq. The Americans assumed by conducting the terrorist attack, they would be able to reduce Iran’s influence in the region and have more chance to carry out their plans in Iraq. Therefore, a little while after the assassination, reducing the Iranian influence in the region becomes a hot button subject for Western media outlets. 

This was another huge miscalculation by the Americans. They did not know that in addition to his commanding and charismatic personality, what made Haj Qassem Soleimani a great figure, was his quest for a discourse that is being led by Ayatollah Khamenei. It is a discourse that contains theory and worldview of martyrdom. 
Although the martyrdom of Commander Soleimani was a great blow to Iran and the axis of resistance, it did not mean that Iran would remain inactive from now on.  Tehran immediately appointed Gen. Esmail Qaani as commander of the IRGC Quds Force. The U.S. has been worried about the new commander since the outset of his appointment and even spoke of his assassination. 

Of course, after a short period of time, the axis of resistance made more achievements, especially in Syria. All these factors show that today all the countries member to the axis of resistance are more determined to achieve their goals with respect to martyr Soleimani, who has now become a school.

US Taking Iranian Scientists Hostage: Zarif

Source

March 28, 2020

ZARRIF

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called on Washington to release innocent Iranian scientists jailed in horrific US facilities amid the pandemic of the new coronavirus.
“US has taken several Iranian scientists hostage—without charge or on spurious sanctions charges—& not releasing them; even when its OWN courts reject the absurd charges,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

Amid the pandemic, the US administration has even refused medical furlough for innocent Iranians jailed in horrific facilities, he added, Press TV reported.

He also attached to his tweet an image of an interview published by the British daily Guardian quoting an Iranian scientist detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as saying that the ICE’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak may kill him along with many other inmates.

The daily Guardian published an interview with Iranian materials science and engineering professor Sirous Asghari on Friday detailing the “inhumane” jail conditions at his ICE facility.

Asghari, which is being detained indefinitely by ICE despite being exonerated in a US sanctions trial last November, said that little is being done to protect inmates from the outbreak in his “filthy and overcrowded” detention center.

The United States has a long history of harassing Iranian and Iranian-Americans in the US, many of whom have been academics charged with violating US sanctions against Iran.

US President Donald Trump reinstated Washington’s sanctions on Iran in May 2018 after he unilaterally left the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed between Iran and major world powers.

The sanctions also target much-need humanitarian aid from reaching the country despite an International Court of Justice ruling banning aid-related sanctions in 2018.

The Iranian foreign minister on Wednesday blasted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for keeping up a “third-rate propaganda” barrage against Tehran even at a time when the world is busy fighting a deadly coronavirus pandemic.

“Even a pandemic won’t stop @SecPompeo from spouting 3rd-rate propaganda,” Zarif tweeted after the top US diplomat claimed that the government of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani was “mishandling” the outbreak of the highly-contagious virus called COVID-19.

Source: Mehr News Agency

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هل يرتكب ترامب حماقة شنّ غارات على إيران بعد أن قهره القائد “كوفيد التاسع عشر”…!؟

محمد صادق الحسيني

حملة صحافية أميركية معادية لإيران على قاعدة اختفاء شخص أميركي منذ سنوات…!

هل ستكون هذه القضية الشمّاعة التي ينوي ترامب ورهطه استخدامها ضدّ إيران لشنّ هجمات ضدّها؟ يتساءل مراقبون ومطلعون على خفايا الحرب السرية الأميركية ضدّ إيران، والذين يذهب بعضهم الى الاعتقاد بأنّ المناورات الأخيرة الأميركية الإماراتية والشائعات حول احتمال قيام واشنطن بتوجيه ضربات أميركية انتقامية ضدّ مراكز استراتيجية معينة في إيران تترافق مع تدبير انقلاب ضدّ العملية السياسية العراقية برمّتها قد تكونان في السياق نفسه!

الأمر يصعب تصديقه من حيث موازين القوى التي لا تسمح لترامب المنكسر المهزوم ذلك، لكن الطبيعة العدوانية والمقامرة للنظام الأميركي لا سيما في عهد ترامب قد تجعل ذلك احتمالاً وارداً!

فما هي طبيعة هذه الحملة اليكم التفاصيل:

1

ـ عندما تقوم مجلة “ذي ناشيونال انتِرِست” (The National Interest) الأميركيّة بنشر مقال مطوّل ومفصّل جداً، يوم 26/3/2020 بقلم الكاتب الأميركي ماتيو بيتي (Mathew Petti)، حول عميل سابق متقاعد لـ “أف بي أي” (FBI) الأميركي، اختفى بتاريخ 9/3/2007 أثناء وجوده في جزيرة كيش الإيرانية، فلا بدّ أن تكون هناك دوافع جدية لهذا الاهتمام المتجدّد بهذا الشخص، الذي يدعى روبرت ليفينسون (Robert Levinson).

2

ـ وعندما يصرّح وزير الخارجية الاميركي، مايك بومبيو، بتاريخ 10/3/2020، تعليقاً على الدعوات، التي تكرّرت من جانب جهات دولية، لرفع الحصار عن إيران، لمساعدتها او تمكينها من مواجهة وباء كورونا، بالقول: إنّ على كلّ دولة تريد تقديم مساعدة إنسانية لإيران أن تطالب النظام بالمعاملة بالمثل، ايّ تقديم لفتات إنسانية مقابلة كالإفراج عن العديد من المواطنين الأميركيين المحتجزين هناك دون وجه حق.

3

ـ انضمام مستشار الأمن القومي للرئيس الأميركي، روبيرت أوبراين (Robert O’Brien) للجوقة، التي تعزف على وتر المفقود ليفينسون، يوم 26/3/2020 وإدلائه بتصريح يقول فيه إنّ ليفينسون ربما يكون قد مات منذ زمن بعيد، لهو مؤشر إضافي على أنّ هذا الاهتمام المفاجئ بموضوع هذا العميل السري، له أسباب تتخطى المجال الإنساني المحصّن بشكل كبير.

4

ـ أما ما يعزز هذا الافتراض، بأنّ البيت الأبيض ووزارة الخارجية الأميركية يستخدمان هذه الورقة لشنّ حملة منسّقة ضدّ إيران، بهدف التمهيد لاتخاذ إجراءات معينة ضدّها، غير العقوبات الاقتصادية، نقول إنّ ما يعزز هذا الافتراض هو اهتمام الرئيس الأميركي شخصياً بهذا الموضوع، وتأييده تصريحات أوبراين، حول احتمال وفاة هذا العميل الأميركي المفقود، وذلك في تغريدة لترامب نشرت مساء الأربعاء 25/3/2020. وكذلك اهتمام بومبيو شخصياً بالموضوع وتصريحه المُشار إليه أعلاه بهذا الشأن. وهو ما يعطي الأمر دفعاً كبيراً ويعمل على تحويله الى قضية دولية، خاصة إذا ما أضاف المرء الى ذلك طرح الولايات المتحدة ادّعاء احتجاز إيران لخمسة مواطنين أميركيين (أربعة منهم من أصل إيراني) وربط ضرورة إطلاق سراحهم بانتشار كورونا في إيران.

5

ـ كما يجب التذكير بعودة مسؤول في الخارجية الأميركية، قبل أيّام، للادّعاء بأنّ إيران كانت قد وعدت الولايات المتحدة بالتعاون معها، للكشف عن مصير روبرت ليفينسون في وقت سابق، الأمر الذي نفاه الناطق السابق باسم الخارجية الإيرانية، بهرام قاسمي، بتاريخ 10/3/2018، وهو ما يدلّ على انّ الإدارة الأميركية تتحرّك بناءً على مخطط لاستثمار هذا الموضوع، ضدّ إيران، في أمر أكبر بكثير من القضايا الإنسانية او حتى الدعاية الإعلامية المضادة لإيران.

6

ـ وهنا لا بدّ من التأكيد على أنّ الإدارة الأميركية لا تملك أيّ معلومات دقيقة، حول مصير هذا الشخص، وذلك لأنها (الإدارة) قد أبلغت صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز”، بتاريخ 25/3/2020، انّ استنتاجاتها تشير الى أنّ ليفينسون قد توفي قبل بعض الوقت (دون تحديد تاريخ معيّن). ايّ انّ الإدارة قد خلقت قضية، من خلال استنتاجاتها، المستندة الى طيف من المعلومات، بما في ذلك معلومات إيرانية تمّ اعتراضها من قبل وسائل الاعتراض (التجسّس) الأميركية.

بينما تؤكد وكالة “أسوشيتدبرس” الأميركية، حسب ما نقلته عنها مجلة “ذي انتريست” الأميركية، يوم الخميس 26/3/2020، بأنّ مصدر المعلومات، حول وفاة هذا الشخص، هو وزارة الخارجية الإيرانية…! الإدارة الأميركية تتقن الكذب، لكن على المعنيين الإيرانيين إجراء تحقيق جدي لديهم للتأكد من وجود عميل آخر يكون هو مَن سرّب من داخل إيران للإدارة الأميركية خبر وفاة ليفينسون بغضّ النظر عن صحة المعلومات من عدمها.

7

ـ وفِي كلّ الأحوال فإنّ صحيفة “نيويورك تايمز” ووكالة أنباء “أسوشيتدبرس” تؤكدان أن الإدارة الأميركية قد أبلغت، قبل أسابيع، عائلة ليفينسون بوفاته في السجون الإيرانية. في الوقت الذي يؤكد فيه الناطق أو ناطق باسم الخارجية الأميركية، مورغانتو أورتاغوس (Morgan Ortagus)، تعليقاً على إعطاء الحكومة الأميركية إجازة من السجن، من ضمن 70 ألف سجين إيراني، لضابط سابق في سلاح البحرية الأميركية، يدعى ميخائيل وايت (Michael White)، قال اورتاغوس، بتاريخ 19/3/2020، انّ الولايات المتحدة تدعو إيران للإفراج الفوري عن جميع المواطنين الأميركيين المحتجزين في إيران وتدعوها أيضاً للوفاء بوعدها في التعاون، مع واشنطن، للكشف عن مصير ليفينسون.

لكن يبقى السؤال:

8

ـ من هو روبرت ليفينسون؟

إنه ضابط سابق /متقاعد/ في مكتب التحقيقات الفدرالي الأميركي (FBI)، تمّ تجنيده من قبل مجموعة من المحللين، في وكالة الاستخبارات المركزية الأميركية، وفي كسر لقوانين هذه الوكالة، التي تمنع ذلك، حسب ما أوردته وكالة “أسوشيتدبرس” الأميركية، (تمنع قيام المحللين بتجنيد أشخاص من خارج الوكالة وتكليفهم بمهمات تجسّس)، وتمّ تكليفه بالسفر الى جزيرة كيش وجمع معلومات حول إيران لصالح الولايات المتحدة.

وعندما اختفى من الجزيرة بتاريخ 9/3/2007 رفضت وكالة المخابرات المركزية التطرق الى اختفائه وافتراض علاقة لها بالموضوع ولمدة أشهر عديدة. لكن الأمور تغيّرت عندما اكتشف الكونغرس الأميركي هذا الموضوع، حيث انفجرت إحدى أكبر فضائح المخابرات المركزية الأميركية، وذلك لأنّ الوكالة قد طردت ثلاثة محللين وعاقبت سبعة آخرين بعقوبات إدارية. كما دفعت لعائلة ليفينسون مبلغ مليونين ونصف مليون دولار مقابل ان لا تقوم العائلة بمقاضاة “سي أي آي”.

علماً انّ الرواية الرسمية الأميركية حول كلّ هذه القضية بقيت ثابتة ولم تتغيّر، رغم معرفة البيت الأبيض والخارجية الأميركية ومكتب التحقيقات الفيدرالي (FBI)، بعلاقات ليفينسون مع “سي أي آي”. تلك الرواية التي تقول إنّ هذا الشخص هو مواطن عادي سافر في رحلة عمل الى جزيرة كيش الإيرانية واختفى هناك!

إصرار ترامب على العودة الطبيعية للعمل الحكومي والمجتمعي في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية والسيطرة على وباء كورونا في أواسط نيسان/ أبريل كحدّ أقصى دفع بأصحاب الخيال الى الاعتقاد بانّ ترامب يحضر لضربات متتالية لإيران في الأسبوع الأول من نيسان/ أبريل، وذلك على غرار ضربة الـ “تي فور” في سورية، ليخرج من بعدها بطلاً قومياً بعد فشله في الحرب على كورونا او ما بات يسمّى بـ “القائد كوفيد التاسع عشر”…!

ولكن اذا ما فعلها ترامب فعلاً فيكون قد ارتكب غلطة العمر..

لأنّ من يبدأ الضربة الأولى في مثل موازين القوى الراهنة قد تكون هي ضربته الأخيرة والتي تخرجه من المسرح السياسي الى الأبد!

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله.

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