US wants Argentina to seize Venezuelan plane over ‘sanctions’


3 Aug 2022

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen English 

Argentinian Judge Federico Vilena has ordered that only 12 of the 19 seized Venezuelan plane crew members can leave the country while the other seven have been ordered to remain there.

An Emtrasur Cargo Boeing 747

Washington asked Argentina, on Tuesday, to seize a Venezuelan cargo plane that has been parked since June on its soil and is linked to the US sanctions against Iran. The plane had 19 crew members at a Buenos Aires airport since it arrived on June 8 carrying a shipment of auto parts.

The Boeing 747 was sold to Emtrasur, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan company Conviasa, by an Iranian company, Mahan Air, in October 2021. The two countries have signed a 20-year cooperation plan as a way to overcome the sanctions imposed against them by the US.

Both the previous Iranian owner of the Boeing 747 as well as the Venezuelan owner of the plane have been sanctioned by the US for different reasons. The US Department of Justice used this pretext to justify its request from Argentina to confiscate the plane.

According to AFP, Argentinian Judge Federico Vilena has ordered that only 12 of the 19 crew members plane crew can leave, but seven others, including four Iranian and three Venezuelan citizens, were ordered to stay. One of the Iranians that are ordered to remain in Buenas Aires is Gholam-Reza Qasemi, which the US alleges is an ex-IRGC member. 

“As alleged in the seizure warrant, in or around October 2021, Mahan Air violated the Temporary Denial Order and US export control laws when it transferred custody and control of the Boeing aircraft to EMTRASUR without US Government authorization,” the Justice Department claimed in a statement.

Furthermore, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said in a statement “The Department of Justice will not tolerate transactions that violate our sanctions and export laws.” 

The last time another country acted on US orders to seize Iranian cargo was when Greece seized an oil tanker sailing under an Iranian flag on May 26, even though Iran is not under EU sanctions.

The crew was kept on board and Iranian diplomats were prevented from visiting the ship until Iran’s ambassador to Athens was allowed to check on the crew. This was only after Iran retaliated against the theft of its cargo, by the seizure of two Greek tankers in the Gulf.

Read more: President Maduro: A new world has been born

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Hezbollah: Forty Dimensions of Uniqueness In Local & Regional Contexts [1/3]

August 26, 2022

By Housam Matar | Al-Akhbar Newspaper

Translated by Al-Ahed News
 
Hezbollah holds a special place among national liberation movements, especially on a regional level. Its success is manifested through its outstanding military efficiency in confronting “Israel” to liberate territory and deter aggression. This success is also evident in the group’s soft and hard regional influences, and in its ability to politically adapt within the Lebanese system.

 
The triumphs and accomplishments have their own reasons and circumstances. These are both subjective and objective, to which the party adds metaphysical and spiritual factors (divine guidance) that are linked to its religious identity.
 
When talking about the success of this model throughout its history one must acknowledge the fact that it is not free of problems, weaknesses, and failures, and this is the case for every political actor from the greatest empires to the smallest political groups.
 
Hezbollah is a small organization fighting “Israel”, which is a regional entity and project with unlimited international support. Therefore, it needed material and financial assets, cadres, an incubating environment, a logistical structure, a dynamic and charismatic leadership, and a strategic geopolitical depth (national and supranational). How did Hezbollah achieve this?
 
The dimensions of this success and its historical circumstances are intertwined, but it is necessary to sort and disassemble them to get a clearer picture.
 
Also, focusing on the elements of success and uniqueness does not translate into ignoring the obstacles, challenges, and changes. Shedding light on these elements contributes to enhancing our understanding of their importance and their role in the party’s march, in a way that encourages interaction with them in terms of reform, correction, and care. Hence, their inclusion is not the result of complacency or vanity.
 
1- The founding generation gains experience: The first generation of Hezbollah gained experience and expertise within Lebanese and Palestinian political and military movements, during difficult times of civil war and confronting the “Israeli” enemy.
 
They experienced challenges, problems, and failures that reinforced their desire and need for changes and acquiring the necessary resources, skills, and networks of influential interpersonal relationships.
 
A number of cadres belonging to the first generation had plenty of experience in large parties such as the Amal movement, local Islamic movements, mosque groups, and a few of them were part of non-Islamic resistance forces (Fatah movement).
 
This generation experienced communist and nationalist ideas, argued with them, responded to them, and often competed with them.
 
This generation suffered the disappointments of the defeat of the Nasserist project, the kidnapping of Imam Musa al-Sadr, the assassination of Sayyed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Iraq, the repeated “Israeli” aggressive operations, and the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organization from Jordan and then Lebanon.
 
All of these prompted the founders to try and think in a different way. For example, from a military point of view, their collective experience contributed to the planning and implementation of the most dangerous military and security operations during the 1980s, which established a solid foundation for the party’s saga.
 
2- Taking inspiration from the Islamic Revolution and integrating with it.
 
The victory of the revolution in Iran transformed the broader Islamic world. For the Shiites this was a historic opportunity to break out of the state of oppression.
 
The Lebanese Shiites were the first to network with the victorious revolution, especially since some of the cadres had built strong personal relations with Iranian cadres opposed to the Shah’s regime and provided them with assistance in Beirut, in addition to religious relations with Iranian figures due to contacts through the Hawzas in Najaf and Qom.
 
Thus, the benefits of the Islamic revolution reached Lebanon quickly. The most prominent of these was the arrival of the training groups sent by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps by order of Imam Khomeini to the Bekaa Valley through Syria following the “Israeli” invasion in 1982.
 
To carry on and grow, this resistance required organizational frameworks that gradually took shape until the structure of Hezbollah emerged.
 
The existence of this regional support for the resistance is indispensable in light of the imbalance of power. The Iranian regional political support and Iranian material resources (arms, training, and money) enabled Hezbollah throughout the decades to focus on the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy without needing to be constantly preoccupied with securing support or searching for compromises with regional powers in pursuit of protection.
 
The religious/ideological link between the party and the Wali al-Faqih [guardian Islamic jurist] organized the party’s relationship with Iran and facilitated an understanding between them. It allowed the latter to look at the party from several perspectives, namely the Islamic revolution, which is hostile to the American system of hegemony in the Islamic field (specifically the resistance in Lebanon and Palestine) and Iranian national security as well as preserving Shiism.
 
3- Solidifying the historical resistance framework of the Lebanese Shiites
 
Hezbollah engraved and reproduced the history of the Lebanese Shiites from the angle of their role in resisting the Ottomans, the French, and the Zionists.
 
Imam Khomeini’s fatwa for the delegation of the nine (they formed the nucleus of establishing Hezbollah) on the duty to resist the “Israeli” occupation with the available capabilities, no matter how modest, played a pivotal role in activating the resistance project as a religious duty first and foremost.
 
Thus, Hezbollah became a natural extension, compliment, and boost to the experiences of the Shiite revolutionaries at the beginning of the twentieth century and the positions of their great scholars such as Sayyed Abdul Hussein Sharaf al-Din and Imam Musa al-Sadr. All these are figures deeply enshrined in the conscience of the Shiite community, especially Imam al-Sadr (the founder of the Lebanese resistance regiments “Amal”) due to the temporal rapprochement between its experience and the birth of Hezbollah.
 
Therefore, loyalty to the resistance project is no longer loyalty to the party, but to the sect’s heroic role in defending the natural unity of Syria and in the face of the “Israeli” occupation since the beginning of its aggression against occupied Palestine.
 
4- Spreading power and confidence within an oppressed sect
 
The historical grievances and the structural marginalization of the Lebanese Shiites, especially after the defeat of their revolution in 1920 (and they had been defeated before that in the second half of the 18th century in Mount Lebanon), contributed to their thirst for changing their reality and the presence of a high revolutionary readiness that was being nourished by the restoration of the revolutionary practices of the Imams of Prophet Muhammad’s household (PBUH).
 
Hezbollah presented the resistance project under the title of confronting occupation and hegemony to which the sectarian system is affiliated. This would free the society from marginalization and oppression – the world in the party’s ideology is divided between the oppressed and the arrogant.
 
What helps the party perpetuate this narrative is its already strong presence among ordinary people born after the mid-1940s.
 
Hezbollah recalls this marginalization, which the society is actually experiencing firsthand – once directly as Shiites and once as part of the center’s marginalization of the parties in the north, the Bekaa, and the south. These areas are inhabited by an Islamic majority, and this made it easier for the party to communicate with various national groups under the rubric of confronting deprivation and marginalization.
 
Accordingly, Hezbollah’s success with resistance had multiple dimensions, serving as a remedy for dissipated pride dating back nearly two hundred years.
 
5- Filling the void in the shadow of a failed state
 
The civil war and the resulting settlement, which the party was not a part of, led to the emergence of a weak state incapable of carrying out many of its sovereign duties.
 
This allowed the party to carry the responsibility of the resistance and conduct social work for relief and development.
 
This state was not, in several stages, in agreement with the resistance project. It was even hostile towards it at times, including the era of Amin Gemayel and later Fouad Siniora’s destitute government.
 
However, it [Siniora’s government] was too weak to confront the resistance even with the help of external supporters.
 
This chronic state deficit that resulted in a lack of sovereignty reinforced the popular legitimacy of the resistance and forced the party to assume responsibilities that were not at the heart of its project, especially with the deterioration of the economic situation in the past two years.
 
6-  Benefiting from the advantages of Lebanese Shiism, which tested nationalist, leftist, patriotic, and Islamic currents and produced a large number of intellectual and scholarly figures (Sheikh Muhammad Jawad Mughniyeh, Sayyed Mohsen al-Amin, Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, and Sheikh Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din, etc.).
 
It was historically characterized by a moderate tendency resulting from the peculiarities of the highly diverse and complex Lebanese reality, and later due to the many waves of migration towards Africa and the West.
 
In recent decades, the Shiite community has also witnessed the phenomenon of displacement to urban centers (Beirut, the southern Matn coast, and Tyre) and integration into the contracting and trade sectors, which had repercussions on their social class and political awareness.
 
Hezbollah had to work and grow within this type of complex Shiism, and therefore, its relationship with the general Shiite environment is based on a mixture of loyalty to it and negotiation at the same time.
 
This requires the party to be distinguished by social flexibility and targeted communication for each circle of its incubating environments, each of which has its own cultural, class, and regional characteristics for the Shiites themselves.
 
The party gradually attracted elements and cadres from these circles, which was reflected in an internal organizational vitality capable of understanding the complexities of the Shiite scene, dealing with it, and understanding its various internal sensitivities.
 
7-   Maneuvering within the complexities of the Lebanese system resulting from deep-rooted sectarianism, its exposure to external interference, and its highly centralized financial-business economic model, required Hezbollah to maintain a safe distance. The movement positioned itself on the system’s external edge and approached it only to the extent that was needed to protect the resistance from local players with foreign ties to the United States and its allies.
 
Therefore, this complexity imposed on Hezbollah to weave broad horizontal relations in the general political sphere (it had to develop its political thought and initiatives to build a network of cross-sectarian national alliances) and restricted vertical relations within the political system.
 
However, the deterioration of the political system and its poles, leading to the danger of the state’s disintegration, put the party in a historical dilemma; it must work through the system itself to ward off the danger of the state’s collapse (a concern that has grown in the party’s awareness after the devastation that befell Syria and Iraq and the accompanying disintegration of state structures) with apprehension that engaging in regime change or reform would lead to an externally backed civil war.
 
From the beginning, Hezbollah, in particular, had to be aware of the external interference in Lebanon, its channels, borders, and goals, as they represented an imminent threat to it.
 
Just like that, the party’s local political choices could have reinforced tension or appeasement with local and international forces.
 
It was not possible for the party to estimate the direction of the policies of foreign powers (such as America, Saudi Arabia, and France) in internal affairs and how to deal with them regardless of the international and regional situations.
 
Therefore, the party has developed complex decision-making mechanisms from its developing experience in Lebanese politics, which are mechanisms that it can employ in other areas related to the resistance and its regional role.
 
8- The rapid positioning within the Lebanese political arena of conflict is crowded with competitors. Hezbollah came into existence amid a heavy presence of political forces, armed and unarmed, most of which have external relations. It had to expand its influence within all this fierce competition.

In its infancy, the party underwent several field tests and intense political competition with major Lebanese forces rooted locally and forces with a regional reach.
 
Then the party became vulnerable to severe political attacks from the anti-resistance forces, especially after 2004. The burden of this competition increased after Hezbollah confronted the leadership of a national alliance with the so-called March 8 forces and the Free Patriotic Movement.
 
Hezbollah’s opponents receive extensive external support and are distinguished by their presence in various cultural, media, and political spheres in the form of parties, elites, platforms, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations, which are entities closely integrated with regional and international financial and political networks hostile to the resistance.
 
Some of these adversaries play security roles that double their threat. This reality produces constant pressures on the party, forcing it to dedicate part of its resources and capabilities to the local political sphere. It also makes it accumulate skills, frameworks, and criteria for managing political competition in a way that guarantees it the local and national stability necessary to avoid open internal conflicts that distract it from its main mission.
 
9-   Intellectual rivalry in a complex and open public sphere resulting from the richness of the Lebanese political and intellectual life, contrary to what is the case in most Arab countries.
 
The party had to present its Islamic thesis in a highly competitive intellectual market where leftist, liberal, and nationalist currents have deep roots and prominent thinkers in the region.
 
This is what the party quickly realized in its infancy and prompted it to self-review the Islamic state and the Islamic revolution.

The party is constantly confronting political and cultural arguments that are highly critical of its political and cultural project (apart from a fierce information war) that prompted a number of its elites and institutions to engage in this “market” and root the party’s proposals on issues such as Wilayat al-Faqih, the homeland, the Lebanese system, multiple identities, the legitimacy of the resistance weapon, American hegemony, and social justice.
 
As a result, despite the party’s intense preoccupation with the issue of resistance and its requirements from the tactical cultural discourse, it finds itself obliged to engage in many discussions and develop its intellectual, research, and scientific institutions and cadres – a challenge still facing the party.
 
10- The ability to transform geography into its environment.
 
The geographical contact of the Shiite communities in Lebanon with occupied Palestine in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa made this environment targeted by “Israeli” aggression and under constant and imminent threat.
 
Thus, the party gained enormous influence and wide embrace within these communities through the success of its experiment in resistance, liberation, and deterrence.
 
This contact and the success of the party produced what is called the incubating environment, which is the most important element in the success of the resistance’s experiences.
 
The party has succeeded in completely assimilating into this environment, including its fighters, cadres, leadership, voters, and supporters.
 
This contact gave rise to a historical Shiite awareness of the Palestinian issue resulting from the historical personal and commercial ties between the Shiite and Palestinian communities and then Shiite engagement with Palestinian organizations and the residents of Palestinian camps after the 1948 Nakba.
 
On the other hand, this contact with “Israeli” aggression had a significant impact on Shiite urbanization and migration, as the occupied areas witnessed extensive Shiite migration to Africa and North America, and internally to coastal cities, specifically Tyre and Beirut.
 
This migration was a decisive element in the social and political rise of the Shiites, as well as giving Hezbollah popular incubators in vital areas and providing it with necessary human and material resources.
 
11- The participatory nature of the relationship with Iran:
 
The two sides dealt from the beginning on the basis that Iran’s role is to support the party’s decisions that it takes in accordance with the data of the Lebanese reality, especially since the Iranian state was preoccupied with major internal and external challenges.
 
Therefore, the Wali al-Faqih used to grant legitimacy to the act, provided that the party takes the necessary decisions. Later, Hezbollah was able, due to its successes and the role of its Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to become a partner in the Iranian regional decision-making process, especially in the files related to the resistance project.
 
This partnership is reinforced by the influence of the Revolutionary Guards within the Iranian national security establishment, and the broad respect for the party’s experience among the Iranian people is a lever for this partnership.
The Iranians were keen from the beginning to play the role of an assistant to Hezbollah, which is why the decision was to send trainers instead of fighters to Lebanon after the “Israeli” invasion.
 
This independence is reinforced by the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih itself, which recognizes local and national specificities.
 
With the Wali al-Faqih having the authority to command in all administrative affairs, but according to wisdom, justice, and the ability to understand interests and conditions of time, which are among the obligatory attributes of the Wali al-Faqih, he realizes that every local and national society has deep peculiarities that its people tell about.
 
Therefore, the Wali often leaves the party to determine the interests after he adjusts their terms.
 
This partnership had a direct reflection on Hezbollah’s regional influence, as the Iranians realize that the party’s Arab identity, along with what it has accumulated in the Arab conscience, makes it, among other arenas and files, a major player in managing the resistance project.
 
12- Mastering the administration in connection with the experience of Iranian institutionalization.
 
Hezbollah has benefited from its deep ties with Iranian institutions, whether the Revolutionary Guards, the civil services, or even the hawza in Qom, to draw inspiration from the experience of building institutions and organizing administration, which is one of the historical characteristics of the Iranian experience.
 
A number of the institutions of the Islamic Revolution either initially opened branches in Lebanon and then were run by the party, or transferred their experience to the party, which copied it with a local flavor and peculiarities.
 
Iranian experts in management and human resources have transferred knowledge, skills, and administrative systems to party cadres that worked to build and develop active and efficient civil institutions in the fields of education, development, party organization, health, services, and local administration.
 
The party’s institutions usually benefit from Arab and Lebanese experts and academics from outside its environment to gain access to qualitative experiences and new knowledge.
 
The above-mentioned party institutions in the capital and the outskirts attracted thousands of young men and women graduates of universities who chose these majors or who were encouraged by the party to study in them to benefit from modern sciences in management and human resources.
 
This institutional momentum contributes to the efficiency of the party’s activities and its ability to meet its needs, to preserve and transfer experience, to development, to attract energies, and to adapt to transformations, especially since the “Israeli” enemy has repeatedly targeted these institutions.
 
13- Building strategic interests with Syria after years of mutual anxiety.
 
The relationship between the party and Syria was characterized by mistrust and suspicion at the beginning, with several field frictions between the two parties taking place, which reinforced the mutual distrust.
 
Damascus aspired to gain the regulating position of the Lebanese reality with international and regional recognition and to employ this in Syria’s internal stability, regional influence, and balance with the “Israeli” enemy.
 
Some Syrian government officials were apprehensive that the party’s agenda, identity, and relationship with Iran could disrupt their Lebanese project.
 
But with the war on Iraq, after Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the failure of the Arab-“Israeli” settlement project, the end of the Iraqi-Iranian war, and Hezbollah’s steadfastness in the face of the “Israeli” enemy in the 1993 aggression, a new path was launched, the beginning of which was to prevent President Hafez al-Assad, at the initiative of the then commander of the Lebanese army, Emile Lahoud, using the army to clash with the resistance in 1993.
 
Since then, it can be said that a door for direct communication opened on the issue of resistance between the party and President al-Assad, regardless of the complexities of the so-called Syrian-Lebanese security system.
 
This relationship was strengthened during the “Israeli” aggression in 1996 when Syria played a key role in the birth of the April Understanding.
 
The relations between the two parties were strengthened after the American invasion of Iraq and Resolution 1559, as Syria realized its need for the party and its necessity regionally and in Lebanon.
 
Syria also became a vital strategic depth for the party with the expansion of the confrontation arena after 2011, which was proven by the party’s entry into the war in Syria in 2013.
 
The party succeeded in understanding Syria’s concerns in Lebanon and kept pace with its vital interests by not clashing with the post-Taif regime and revealed to it its weight in the conflict with the “Israeli” enemy. The strategic partnership that developed over time between Syria and Iran helped in this.
 
14- The awakening of the marginalized Arab Shiites.
 
With its rise, the party became the center of the Shiites’ eyes, hearts, and minds in the Arab world. They have experienced decades of exclusion and abuse, similar to the Zaydis in Yemen.

Thus, they found in the successes of the Shiite Hezbollah a possible entry point for Islamic and national recognition. This oppression of the Arab Shiites served as an amplifier for Hezbollah’s achievements and a motivator for being identified with it and drawing inspiration from it.
 
Thus, Hezbollah’s regional influence is primarily a product of its soft power, a power characterized by long-term results and acceptable costs. It is a fully legitimate influence.
 
The party supports the choice of these Shiites in peaceful struggle, encourages climates of dialogue with their partners and the governments of their countries, emphasizes Islamic unity, respects their national privacy, helps them in the media to raise their voice to demand rights, and urges them to political, media, and popular participation in support of the resistance project within the region.
 
15- Healing the Arab psychological defeat through victory over the “Israeli” enemy and support for the rising resistance project in Palestine.
 
A large part of Arab societies took pride in Hezbollah’s resistance, interacting with it and getting closer to it, as they found it a response to decades of disappointment and defeats.
 
Hezbollah has been keen to highlight its Arab identity in its political, cultural, and media discourse and in its artistic products (anasheed) and has strengthened its institutions concerned with communicating and engaging in dialogue with Arab elites, parties, and groups.
 
This Arab fascination with the party’s experience in fighting the “Israeli” enemy and in its leadership constituted a provocative factor for the Arab official regimes that emerged from the conflict with the enemy, as the party’s successes practically undermined the discourses of complacency and the legitimacy of its advocates.
 
This explains the insistence of a number of regional regimes on creating sectarian tensions that have had negative repercussions on the party’s relationship with part of its Arab incubators.
 
But the decline of the sectarian wave as the party continues to lead Arab resistance efforts against the “Israeli” entity can create conciliatory atmospheres with Arab incubators on the basis of understanding and dialogue, organizing differences, and neutralizing them from the resistance project.
 
16- Inspiration, representation, and transfer of experience
 
Hezbollah has limited material, human, and financial resources. Therefore, its building of partnerships and alliances at the regional level within the resistance project had to be based on its most prominent assets, namely its ability to inspire and transfer its experience and lessons learned to its peers within movements and forces that practice the act of resistance.
 
What made this possible was that the party’s victories revived the spirit of resistance in the Arab and Islamic spheres (for example, the comparison between Sayyed Nasrallah and President Abdel Nasser abounded) and thus stimulated the desire of many groups and elites to understand and benefit from the party’s experience.

The most prominent results of this appeared in occupied Palestine, especially in the second intifada.
 
Therefore, Hezbollah was interested in transferring its experience in resistance, administration, media, and organization to a large network of Arab and Islamic non-governmental political actors involved, militarily or politically, in confronting the American hegemony system.
 
The transfer of experience naturally includes the transfer of values, ideas, patterns of behavior and practical culture, as well as establishing networks of links and relations with the cadres of these movements and parties.
 
Thus, over time, additional groups joined the equations of force and deterrence for the resistance project. The Zionists started talking about multiple circles of the resistance axis that extend to Iraq and Yemen.

Rockets Strike US Base in Eastern Syria Second Time in 24 Hours

US military personnel were injured during the attack on bases; three during the first incident, one in the second

August 25 2022

ByNews Desk- 

A military facility housing US forces in Syria’s eastern province of Deir Ezzor came under attack on 25 August, mere hours after rockets struck US bases in the same area, injuring three US service members.

According to Syria’s state-run new agency SANA, one US military personnel was injured during the second attack. In response, a US aircraft circled over the area and targeted a Syrian base with projectiles.

Earlier today, The Washington Post cited a US military source claiming that the aircraft “targeted infrastructure used by groups with ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).”

Tehran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani dismissed all claims that Iran was involved in either of the 25 August attacks.

A day prior, three rockets struck a US base near the Conoco gas field in Syria’s northeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.

The rocket landed inside the base, injuring at least three US soldiers and causing material damage. In retaliation, US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced the destruction of three vehicles and equipment used to launch some of the rockets.”

Indeed, minutes after that missile attack on US troops, local Syrian sources confirmed combat chopper activity in the area’s airspace.

Russia media outlet Sputnik said ambulances quickly arrived at the explosion site to transport the casualties and wounded, amid a large deployment of US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militants in the area.

Conoco is the largest gas field in Syria, producing nearly 10 million cubic meters of natural gas per day. Earlier this month, the Syrian oil ministry revealed that US troops plunder 80 percent of the country’s daily oil output.

At dawn on 23 August, the US military announced it carried out raids on facilities used by groups allegedly affiliated with the IRGC.

The US maintains approximately 900 troops in Syria, primarily split between the Al-Tanf base and the country’s eastern oil fields.

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US launches air raids on ‘IRGC-linked’ areas in east Syria

August 24, 2022 

The US occupation forces in Syria announce that they carried out precision airstrikes on facilities linked to the IRGC in Deir Ezzor, Syria.

Boys look out the window of a building damaged by an Israeli occupation air strike near Damascus airport, in Damascus, Syria, November 20, 2019 (Reuters)

The US occupation forces in Syria said early Wednesday they carried out airstrikes in eastern Syria on areas used by groups linked to the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC).

The strikes “took proportionate, deliberate action intended to limit the risk of escalation and minimize the risk of casualties,” the US military’s Central Command said.

CENTCOM did not identify the targets nor offer any figures killed in the strikes that the military said came at the orders of US President Joe Biden.

“Today’s strikes were necessary to protect and defend US personnel,” CENTCOM spokesperson Colonel Joe Buccino claimed in a statement.

Buccino underlined that the offensive was in response to an attack that took place on August 15, which was allegedly launched by “Iran-backed groups” in Syria against a US occupation forces post in Al-Tanf region. CENTCOM claimed that the attack did not result in any casualties or damages.

“These precision strikes are intended to defend and protect US forces from attacks like the ones on August 15 against US personnel by Iran-backed groups,” the statement read.

“The US strikes targeted infrastructure facilities used by groups affiliated with Iran’s [IRGC],” it added.

Iranian media announced Tuesday the martyrdom of IRGC officer Abolfazl Alijani during an advisory mission in Syria. 

According to Iranian media, martyr Alijani, a graduate of the Imam Hussain Military College of the IRGC, is one of the combat engineering cadres of the ‘Amir Al-Mu’minin’ college for Military Sciences of the Revolution Guards Ground Force.

Deir Ezzor is a highly important region for the US occupation forces, as it lies on the borders with Iraq and contains vast oil fields. 

The Syrian Oil Ministry revealed earlier this month that the US occupation forces loot the majority of Syria’s oil, knowing that the daily production of the eastern oil fields is 80.3 thousand barrels.

It is noteworthy that Syrian state media has accused over and over again the US and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) armed groups of occupying areas in the vicinity of oil-rich fields, smuggling resources to Iraq, and then siphoning them out.

The United States has been for years supporting SDF militias against Damascus, and the US-backed forces are currently occupying parts of the provinces of Al-Haskah, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa, where the largest Syrian oil and gas fields are located.

The actions carried out by the United States constitute state piracy with the aim of plundering Syria’s oil resources and depriving the Syrians of their own resources amid a harsh economic situation caused largely by the occupiers, the Americans themselves.

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Iran FM Terms Revenge for Gen. Soleimani as ’Absolute Responsibility’

Jully 23, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said revenge for the assassination of Iran’s celebrated anti-terror commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani is among the “absolute responsibilities” of the foreign ministry and other concerned organizations.

Amir Abdollahian made the remarks in an interview broadcast on state television Thursday evening while elaborating on the Sayyed Ebrahim Raesi-led administration’s foreign policy.

“The issue of General Soleimani will never be forgotten. The issue is so deep that even [Russian President Vladimir] Putin pointed to the important position and role of General Soleimani during his meetings with the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Iranian president,” the top diplomat said.

The foreign ministry, Amir Abdollahian noted, has beefed up a committee that follows up on international issues, adding that the judiciary branch is also seriously pursuing the case.

“We consider avenging the blood of Martyr Soleimani in legal, international, and political arenas and deem following up on the issue in all its aspects as our absolute responsibility,” he asserted.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], and his Iraqi trenchmate Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], were martyred along with their companions in a US drone strike on January 3, 2020.

The strike near the Baghdad International Airport was authorized by then-President Donald Trump.

The two noted anti-terror commanders were tremendously respected and admired across the region for their instrumental role in fighting and decimating the Daesh [Arabic for ‘ISIS/ISIL’] Takfiri terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.

In other remarks during the interview, Iran’s foreign minister said Saudi Arabia has shown readiness to advance the ongoing talks from security to the political sphere, after progress in the previous five rounds hosted by the Iraqi government.

He said the two sides have reached some agreements, including on re-opening embassies in their respective countries.

“Last week we received a message from Iraqi foreign minister [Fuad Hussein] saying that the Saudi side is ready to move the phase of talks from a security one to a political and public one,” said the minister.

“We also expressed our readiness to continue talks at the political level so that it leads to the return of Iran-Saudi Arabia ties to the normal level.”

Riyadh decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran back in January 2016 after its embassy in Tehran was stormed by protestors who were enraged by the Saudi execution of prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.

There was no change in Riyadh’s confrontational policy towards Tehran until 2021 when it signaled an inclination to mend fractured ties with the Islamic Republic.

Iran Demands ‘Strong’ Economic Guarantees in JCPOA Revival Talks – FM

July 15, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian said it is a “necessity” for Iran to gain economic benefits from the 2015 agreement and thus wants “strong” guarantees in talks on a potential revival of the deal, which the US abandoned unilaterally three years after its conclusion.

“We seek strong economic guarantees. If a Western company signs a contract with its Iranian counterpart, it must rest assured that its project will be implemented and it will receive compensation in case new sanctions are imposed,” Amir Abdollahian, who is on a visit to Rome, said in a Wednesday interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

The top Iranian diplomat added that the issue of guarantees is one of the biggest obstacles in the talks aimed at restoring the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

Elsewhere in his remarks, Amir Abdollahian was asked about reports on Washington’s refusal to remove the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] from its blacklist.

He said during last month’s indirect talks between Iran and the US — mediated by the European Union — in the Qatari capital of Doha, Tehran proposed putting off the issues related to Washington’s so-called list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations [FTOs].

“But we must be certain that the Iranian companies enjoy the economic benefits and their own share of the agreement. Making economic benefits in the JCPOA is a necessity. We do not ask for anything that goes beyond the nuclear agreement,” Amir Abdollahian said.

He also noted that Tehran and Washington are in contact through the EU on possible ways to remove anti-Iran sanctions, saying both sides should have flexibility and initiatives.

Iran and the US concluded two days of indirect talks, mediated by the European Union, in the Qatari capital of Doha, late last month in an attempt to break the stalemate in reviving the JCPOA.

At the end of the talks, Iran and the EU said they would keep in touch “about the continuation of the route and the next stage of the talks.”

The talks in Doha followed seven rounds of negotiations in the Austrian capital of Vienna between Iran and the five remaining parties to the JCPOA since April last year.

They were put on hold as Washington insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs through measures such as removing the IRG from its foreign terrorist organization list.

Iran maintains that the IRG’s designation in 2019 was part of former President Donald Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and, therefore, it has to be reversed unconditionally.

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Israel Murders Iranians While Biden Kills the Iran Deal

June 23, 2022

By Connor Freeman | The Libertarian Institute |

In a clear message to Tehran, an American B-52 flew over the Persian Gulf as soon as Joe Biden entered the White House. Biden promised to return the U.S. to the Iran nuclear deal. But indirect talks to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which began last April, have stalled for three months without a resolution in sight. Counting on the reliable support of Biden and bipartisan Iran hawks in Congress, the nuclear-armed Israeli apartheid regime intends to kill the deal entirely.

Tehran, a decades-long signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, is neither seeking nor has ever sought nuclear weapons. But the Islamic Republic, once Tel Aviv’s “best friend,” serves as Israel’s favorite boogeyman, superficially justifying billions of dollars in American military aid each year. The JCPOA threatens the racket.

Formally known for years as “Israel’s man in Washington,” President Biden is essentially pursuing ultra-Zionist Donald Trump’s foreign policy regarding Iran and supporting, tacitly or otherwise, Tel Aviv’s relentless attacks against Iran and its allies. Biden is continuously imposing yet more sanctions, increasing the “Maximum Pressure” on the economically crippled Iranian people.

The rial has hit all-time lows. With a population of 82 million, almost half of all Iranians live below the poverty line, and inflation is somewhere between 40-50%.

America’s self-styled sanctions artists delight in seeing the results of their economic war on Iran: excess deathssevere medical shortagesprohibitively high prices for staple goodsplummeting incomesand social unrest over food costs.

This year, Tel Aviv has been bombing Syria, Tehran’s ally, at the usual weekly rate. A recent strike, coming from the illegally occupied Golan Heights, attacked Damascus International Airport. The airstrike targeted the facility’s only working runway Israel had not yet destroyed, rendering the airport temporarily inoperable.

Shortly afterwards, The Wall Street Journal put out a story confirming that Tel Aviv coordinates with the Pentagon on many of its strikes in Syria.

The Israelis just wrapped up month-long war drills, the largest held in decades, aimed squarely at Tehran. Exercises over the Mediterranean Sea, with over 100 aircraft and navy submarines, spanned 10,000 kilometers and were designed to simulate repeated airstrikes on Iran and their civilian nuclear facilities.

Early reports were that the U.S. Air Force would participate, providing refueling planes, but this reportedly did not come to pass. Although General Michael Kurilla, the new head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), observed some of these Chariots of Fire exercises.

On May 22, 2022, the Israelis carried out a high profile assassination of a senior colonel in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei. Shortly afterwards, citing an unnamed intelligence official, The New York Times reported Tel Aviv had informed Washington that it was responsible. Israel’s attacks seem to be primarily focused on the Iranians’ drone program, namely killing people who work on drone technology and attacking related sites.

As Dave DeCamp, Antiwar.com news editor, reported,

Israel was immediately suspected of the assassination since it has a history of carrying out targeted killings and other attacks inside Iran. Israel rarely officially acknowledges such operations, and it’s typical that its responsibility is revealed by leaks to the media, often by Israeli officials.

Israeli officials claimed to the Times that Khodaei was in charge of a secret covert IRGC group known as Unit 840, which Iran denies exists. The Israelis claim Khodaei was involved in plots to kill and kidnap Israeli civilians and officials around the world, but there’s no evidence Tehran was planning to target Israelis abroad.

Two people affiliated with the IRGC told the Times that Khodaei was a logistics officer who played a key role in transporting drone and missile technology to Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon and advised militias in Syria. Iran has said Khodaei was involved in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Israel is suspected to have subsequently poisoned and murdered two Iranian scientists including Ayoub Entezari, an aerospace engineer, who reportedly worked on missile and drone projects, and Kamran Aghamolaei, a geologist.

Last month, a few dozen miles south of Tehran, quadcopter suicide drones attacked the Parchin military complex. The drones hit a building being used for drone development and killed a young engineer. In February, Israel used six quadcopter drones in a strike targeting another Iranian drone facility in Kermanshah which did significant damage. In Tabriz, there were reports of another Israeli attack on a drone factory, as many as three people may have been killed. This month, two additional IRGC members also working in the aerospace industry died during mysterious accidents in Iran. Both deaths were declared “martyrdoms.”

In the midst of these soaring tensions, Robert Malley, Biden’s Iran envoy, is telling Congress “all options are on the table.”

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to pass a non-binding resolution which insists they would never support a restoration of the JCPOA if the IRGC were removed from the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) blacklist. The FTO designation is ostensibly one of the final sticking points preventing the deal’s straightforward revival. Congress has been sending messages, loud and clear, to Tehran and Biden that the deal has virtually no support.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is peddling baseless stories about Tehran attempting to assassinate his predecessor Mike Pompeo. Pompeo enthusiastically supported Trump’s Maximum Pressure campaign as well as the drone strike murder of top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, leader of the IRGC Quds Force. Though these claims of Pompeo’s life being endangered remain unproven, U.S. taxpayers pay millions per month for a security detail to put his and Blinken’s mind at ease.

Much like Tel Aviv’s unproven accusations that the IRGC is out to kidnap and murder Israelis, especially in Istanbul for some reason, this obviously plays well with the overall anti-JCPOA campaign.

The IRGC is the only state military organization on the terrorism blacklist. Considering the myriad preexisting sanctions on the unit, it is a superfluous insult. In 2019, Trump implemented this policy at the behest of Israeli-partisan hawks like Mark Dubowitz at the Foundation For Defense of Democracies, a notoriously anti-Iran think tank. This is one of the largest bricks in the so called “sanctions wall” precluding any of Trump’s successors from ever returning to the deal for fear of the built-in political toxicity. It is enough to keep Biden and the cowardly Democrats from backing what is ultimately Barack Obama’s deal in favor of a neoconservative-style Iran policy.

As May began, Israel started making these claims about a global Iranian plot to kill Israelis. At that time, the JCPOA negotiations were seemingly stalled irrevocably because of the IRGC-FTO issue. But then the Vienna talks’ broker, European Union nuclear negotiator Enrique Mora, traveled to Tehran. He took meetings with Iran’s lead negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani as a last ditch effort to break the deadlock. Mora was sent by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. As a result of the American led sanctions blitz on Russia, Europeans are in desperate need of another crude supplier as Borrell has noted. The same week, the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, also made a trip to Tehran and pushed for progress during meetings with President Ebrahim Raisi as well as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. On May 13th, Borrell announced Mora’s mission went “better than expected,” Vienna talks had been unblocked, and a final deal was within reach.

Days later, coinciding with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s visit to Washington, and his meetings with National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin, Khodaei was murdered in the drive-by shooting. Israel’s assassination campaign had commenced.

Two days after the Khodaei killing, Politico reported that the final decision to keep the IRGC on the FTO list was made. On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett thanked Biden for the “principled decision and for being a true friend of the State of Israel.”

Following Trump, Biden’s administration is also continuing to seize tankers, stealing Iranian oil and pirating it for profit. Ironically, after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, there was some talk from Biden officials about making a deal with the Islamic Republic to put Iran’s abundant oil back on the market to reduce global energy prices. But this was apparently never taken seriously.

Biden instead prefers to kowtow to the genocidal Saudi regime which along with Abu Dhabi and Washington have starved to death and bombed over 400,000 Yemenis, including more than 263,000 children.

Those deaths mean little to the Abraham Accords caucus. This bipartisan coalition in Congress is working to ensure Washington arms these tyrants further while the Pentagon assists them in joining forces, as well as integrating missile defenses with Tel Aviv eyeing Tehran. As Biden heads to the Middle East, there is even talk of the U.S. offering security guarantees to the United Arab Emirates.

For almost a year, the Israelis have been pushing an anti-Iran, NATO-style, U.S. led alliance in the Middle East. In recent weeks, Gantz has openly promoted this strategy which Bennett is said to have suggested to Biden during a White House meeting last year.

As Iran is encircled militarily and strangled economically, the American Empire is refusing to allow them any breathing room. Each day the U.S. forgoes lifting sanctions and restoring the deal the likelihood of a hot war increases.

Given the size of Iran, its population, its geostrategic location, substantial ballistic missile deterrent, its Axis of Resistance partners, and the wide variety of U.S. military targets in the region, a war with Tehran would likely dwarf the catastrophic damage, scope, and deaths of America’s other Middle East wars.

If the JCPOA fails, the hawks armed to the teeth surrounding Iran may try to goad Tehran into leaving the NPT. Whether this happens ultimately or not, Israel may use the coming breakdown in diplomacy to justify instigating its long desired war. Rightfully, the Iranians will see such an Israeli attack as an American declaration of war.

This week, Tehran has formally dropped their demand for removing the IRGC from the FTO list. Washington has not yet responded. Contrary to the corporate press narrative, the ball is now firmly in Washington’s court.

Iran called Biden’s bluff. It is imperative that the American people now assert our support for terminating the unjustified and brutal Maximum Pressure campaign as well as denounce Israel’s murderous aggressions.

The Iranian people deserve to live and trade in peace.

‘Israeli’ Regime in Political Collapse: IRG Chief

 June 22, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG] Major General Hossein Salami highlighted the downfall of the enemies of Iran, stressing that the Zionist regime is on the verge of political collapse.

Speaking at a cultural conference in Iran’s western city of Shahr-e-Kord on Tuesday, Major General Salami said the enemies of the country are on the decline.

He noted that a review of the news on the political community of the Zionist regime indicates that the ‘Israeli’ entity is experiencing political dissolution.

Major General Salami also pointed to the calamities the Americans are grappling with, saying the US is looking for a graceful escape and cannot remain in the Islamic territories.

“The enemies have become depressed and withered, lack the power to pursue their objectives, are desperately looking for a way to withdraw, and suffer injuries from widespread defeats,” the general stated.

He also highlighted Iran’s growing capabilities, adding that “We will be among the world powers in the near future.”

His comments came after the Zionist regime’s governing coalition announced that it will dissolve parliament, known as the ‘Knesset,’ next week, which means that the government will disband.

The ‘Israeli’ occupation government has been fragile since it first took office over a year ago.

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IAEA claims Iran is preparing to increase uranium enrichment

The only activity Iran has confirmed is the ‘passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines’

June 21, 2022

A uranium enrichment centrifuge cascade. (Photo credit: US Department of Energy/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

ByNews Desk

According to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report obtained by Reuters, the Islamic Republic of Iran is allegedly preparing to increase nuclear enrichment with advanced centrifuges at the Fordow underground nuclear facility.

The Reuters report, released on 20 June, cites IAEA allegations that Iran is getting ready to use advanced IR-6 centrifuges at the Fordow facility. The report states such centrifuges allow operators to easily switch between enrichment levels.

This is one of many gradual steps Iran has stated it will carry out in retaliation for Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) under then president Donald Trump, as well as the subsequent US sanctions placed on Iran regularly since then.

The IAEA alleges that Iran is “ready to feed uranium hexafluoride (UF6) gas, the material centrifuges enrich, into the second of two cascades, or clusters, of IR-6 centrifuges installed at Fordow,” according to the report.

The only activity that Iran has directly confirmed, according to the report, is “passivation of the cascade, a process that precedes enrichment and also involves feeding UF6 into the machines.”

Iran has not confirmed as to what purity the cascade will enrich to. In the past, Iran had informed the IAEA that IR-6 cascades can enrich either 5 percent or 20 percent purity.

The Fordow nuclear facility was targeted for a sabotage attack on 15 March, but the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) thwarted the plot, which they claim was orchestrated by Israeli spies.

On 17 June, Iran informed the IAEA that it is moving some of the nuclear activities from the facility in Karaj to the facility in Natanz, despite not having an obligation to disclose this information.

The Karaj facility was subject to a sabotage attack in June 2021, which damaged several cameras. Iranian authorities asserted that Israel was behind the attack on the site infrastructure.

On 9 June, Iranian media reported on the expansion of the production and installation of advanced IR-6 centrifuge networks in the underground Natanz nuclear facility.

The decision to expand came one day after the IAEA Board of Governors passed an “anti-Iran” resolution introduced by the US, UK, France, and Germany.

The head of the AEOI, Mohammad Eslami, said on 9 June that the IAEA has been hijacked and is being exploited by Israel.

The anti-Iran resolution was adopted just days after IAEA chief Rafael Grossi traveled to Israel to meet with outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Israel has a semi-secret arsenal of several hundred atomic weapons. Its nuclear program – which includes both commercial and military applications – is not subject to inspections nor scrutiny by the IAEA.

In response to the US-backed IAEA resolution, on 8 June, Iran shut down several IAEA-owned CCTV cameras that surveil the activities of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The Iranian foreign ministry stated that their response was “decisive and appropriate.”

The Islamic Republic has previously presented evidence that the IAEA sends in spies and saboteurs under the guise of nuclear inspectors, who allegedly pass sensitive information on to Iran’s adversaries.

Skepticism towards the neutrality of IAEA also increased after the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Forty Years of Brilliance أربعونَ عامًا من التألُّق

June 21, 2022

Hezbollah flag

Hezbollah was established in Lebanon 1982 when the Islamic forces gathered and formed a committee of nine clerics and commanders. The committee set fighting the Israeli enemy and liberate the occupied territories as a central goal.

Upon the Israeli invasion in 1982, IRGC officers started training Hezbollah military units in the Syrian city of Al-Zabadani. Hezbollah engaged in secret operations against the Israeli occupation forces till November 11, 1982, when the martyr Ahmad Kassir carried out his martyrdom attack on the Zionist military command in Tyre.

The Israeli enemy later realized the importance of the role played by the Resistance clerics, assassinating Sheikh Ragheb Harb on February 16, 1984. However, the continuous resistance operation led to the Israeli withdrawal from several cities and towns in southern Lebanon, except an area of around 1100 square kilometers.

On the first anniversary of Sheikh Harb’s martyrdom, Hezbollah announced its political document and began appearing via the media outlets and documenting its military operations via the available means.

In 1990, the civil war, which witnessed unfortunate incidents of brethren fights, ended and let Hezbollah concentrate its operations against the Israeli enemy.

In 1992, Hezbollah decided to participate in the parliamentary elections, winning a number of parliamentary seats in. However, the Party did not take a share in the governments before the Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon in 2005 when Hezbollah found it was necessary to maintain the political stability in the country by attending the ministerial council sessions.

In 1993 and 1996, Hezbollah managed to confront two Israeli wars on Lebanon, imposing its formula on the enemy. The Israelis realized that the Resistance military capabilities can never be undermined. April Agreement concluded in 1996 secured the Resistance rights to defend Lebanon and face the Israeli aggression on Lebanon.

In 2006, Hezbollah carried out a military operation on Lebanon’s border, capturing two Zionist soldiers. The Israeli enemy used the attack as a pretext to launch a plotted war on Lebanon. The steadfastness of the Resistance, Army and people defeated the Zionist aggression and maintained the balance of deterrence formula.

This formula has been protecting Lebanon from the Zionist aggression for 16 years. However, the local anti-Resistance propaganda remained underestimating the achievements of Hezbollah that oppositely bridged gaps in the relations among the Lebanese parties and signed an Understanding with the Free Patriotic Movement in 2006.

The terrorist war on Syria pushed Hezbollah to dispatch military units to fight the militant groups in Syria and in the border towns between Lebanon and Syria. Therefore, Hezbollah contributed effectively to the defeat of ISIL scheme in the region.

Hezbollah military units also supported the Lebanese army to overcome ISIL terrorists in Bekaa barrens on the borders with Syria in 2017. Later on, the United States started blockading Lebanon financially, pushing its banking sector to collapse. USA also utilized the 2019 protests in Lebanon to create a chaotic situation that targets the public institutions and instigates the Lebanese people against the Resistance.

In addition to professional performance of Hezbollah representatives in the state institutions, the Party benefited from its huge capabilities to serve the Lebanese people financially and socially in the various towns and cities.

Hezbollah journey, which is full of victories against the Israeli enemy and the United States, will witness more and more victories in Lebanon, Palestine and the whole region.

This is a translated and edited version of the article written by Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem.

Source: Al-Manar English Website

أربعونَ عامًا من التألُّق

الشيخ نعيم قاسم

تأسَّس حزب الله عام 1982 بعد أن تداعت القوى والشخصيات الإسلامية والعلمائية العاملة على الساحة إلى تشكيل لجنة مؤلفة من تسعة أفراد سُمِّيت “اللجنة التُساعية”، وهي مؤلفة من: ثلاثة عن التجمع العلمائي في البقاع، وثلاثة عن اللجان الإسلامية، وثلاثة عن حركة أمل الإسلامية. حمل التسعة وثيقة واحدة تم الاتفاق عليها بين الجهات المتمثلة فيها، تُبيِّن رؤيتهم الإسلامية، والتزامهم بخط ولاية الفقيه بقيادة الإمام الخميني(قده)، وإيمانهم بالعمل الجهادي المقاوم لمواجهة “إسرائيل” وتحرير الأرض، واستعدادهم لتشكيل إطار موحَّد بديلًا عن كلِّ الأطر التي أنجزت وثيقة التسعة.

* بداية تشكيل حزب الله

تشكَّل حزب الله بمباركة الإمام الخميني(قده)، في سنة الاجتياح الإسرائيلي للبنان عام 1982، حيث واجهت مجموعات تؤمن بهذا الخط “إسرائيل” على مشارف خلدة ثم في محيط مدينة بيروت مع حركة أمل وقوى فلسطينية ولبنانية. بدأت التدريبات العسكرية المنظمة للمنتسبين إلى خط حزب الله في الزبداني في سوريا من خلال حرس الثورة الإسلامية الإيرانية، وأصبح للحزب الناشئ قيادة هي الشورى، وتأسست مجموعات المقاومة التي كانت تعمل سرًّا حيث يتواجد الاحتلال الإسرائيلي، من دون أنْ تُدركَ “إسرائيل” من هم الذين يقاتلونها، إلى أنْ كانت عملية الشهيد أحمد قصير، وهي العملية الاستشهادية الأولى ضد “إسرائيل” في مدينة صور الساحلية المحتلة ضد مقر الحاكم العسكري الإسرائيلي في 11/11/1982، والتي نتج عنها تدمير المقر، وقتل وفقدان 150 من الجيش الإسرائيلي وعملائه. لم يعلن الحزب عن اسم الشهيد لوجود عائلته في بلدة دير قانون النهر الجنوبية التي كانت تحت الاحتلال إلّا بعد الانسحاب الإسرائيلي سنة 1985، وذلك في بلدته دير قانون النهر، في احتفال حاشد في آخر شهر نيسان، كما عرضت تصويراً بالفيديو لتفاصيل العملية.
بدأ الحزب يعلن عن عملياته ضد “إسرائيل” بعد فترة من الزمن باسم المقاومة الإسلامية، وبدأت “إسرائيل” تتلمَّس مواجهةً لها من قوىً جديدة، وأنَّ إخراجَ الفلسطينيين المقاومين من لبنان إلى تونس لم يحقق هدفهم في إنهاء المقاومة في لبنان ضد “إسرائيل”.

عملت “إسرائيل” على رصد مكامن الخطر الجديد عليها، فوجدت أنَّ العلماء لهم دور كبير في التعبئة والجهاد، فاغتالت الشيخ راغب حرب(قده) في 16 شباط 1984، ثم اغتالت السيد عبد اللطيف الأمين(قده) في 15/11/1984. ولكن مع العمليات المتواصلة للمقاومة لم تستطع الاستقرار في المساحة الواسعة التي احتلتها وبقيت فيها في الجنوب، فاضطرت للانسحاب من مناطق صيدا وصور والنبطية وقرى من البقاع الغربي وغيرها مبقية على الشريط المحتل في الجنوب والبقاع الغربي والذي بلغت مساحته حوالى 1100 كلم2 أي ما يعادل 55 % من مساحة الجنوب اللبناني، و11 % من مساحة لبنان البالغة 10452 كلم2.

وقد قال عضو الكنيست الإسرائيلي مردخاي بار: “الجرأة البالغة لعمليات حرب العصابات الشيعية في جنوب لبنان، بل والمدى الذي لا يستهان به من النجاحات خلال الشهور الأخيرة، أثارت في أوساط الرأي العام الشعبي (الإسرائيلي)، المقارنة التي تطرح نفسها بين الإرهاب الشيعي والإرهاب الفلسطيني، وهناك من يعتقد أن تزايد النشاط المعادي في أوساط السكان الفلسطينيين في المناطق (المحتلة) خلال الشهور الأخيرة، نابع هو الآخر من وحي النجاحات الشيعية في الشمال”.

* المرحلة الثانية

أعلن حزب الله عن حضوره العلني والسياسي في الذكرى السنوية الأولى لاستشهاد الشيخ راغب حرب في 16 شباط 1985 من خلال وثيقة تُبيِّن رؤيته الفكرية والجهادية والسياسية اطلق عليها اسم “الرسالة المفتوحة”، ومعها بدأ العمل السياسي المعلن والظهور الإعلامي المواكب لعمل المقاومة الإسلامية. كانت المرحلة الأولى سريَّة منذ التأسيس إلى إعلان “الرسالة المفتوحة”، وهي ضرورية للتأسيس وتنظيم بُنية الحزب ومقاومته، خاصة أنَّ المقاومة السريَّة في الجنوب ضرورة كي يبقى الإسرائيلي محتارًا وجاهلًا بمعرفة من يُقاتله، ولمزيد من حماية الأهل في المنطقة المحتلَّة، كما أنَّ اكتمال البناء الداخلي ضروري قبل البدأ بالعمل السياسي المعلن والظهور الإعلامي.

امتدت المرحلة الثانية من إعلان “الرسالة المفتوحة” إلى زمن حل مشكلة الحرب اللبنانية التي استمرت خمسة عشر عامًا وذلك في العام 1990، حيث تصاعدت قدرة المقاومة ضد “إسرائيل”. ولكنَّ حزب الله واجه مشكلة داخلية مع حركة أمل أدَّت إلى اقتتال الإخوة لمدة سنة ونصف، انتهت بحمد الله تعالى بالاتفاق في 9/11/1990، وهو الذي أطلق مرحلة جديدة من التعاون تُوِّجتْ بتحالفٍ فعَّال على الساحة اللبنانية، أصبح مضرب مَثَل في عمق التَّحالف والتَّعاون، وكانت له الآثار المهمة في حماية مشروع المقاومة، والتماسك الداخلي، وما زال مستمرًا صلبًا بحمد الله تعالى.

* المرحلة الثالثة

بدأت مع تَشكُّل المؤسسات الدستورية في لبنان وخاصة انتخاب المجلس النيابي عام 1992، حيث شارك فيه الحزب ترشيحًا لأول مرة، وحصل على كتلة مؤلَّفة من اثني عشر نائبًا. لم تتعارض مشاركة الحزب في المجلس النيابي مع استمرار المقاومة وتصعيد عملياتها وزيادة فعاليتها، خلافًا لما اعتقده بعض السياسيين من إمكانية التخلي التدريجي عن المقاومة لمصلحة العمل السياسي والمواقع في تركيبة النظام، وفاتهم أنَّ مشروع الحزب المقاوم هو الأساس، وأنَّ العمل السياسي يتكامل معه لتلبية حاجات الناس وتمثيلهم، ولحماية المقاومة ومشروعها من هذا الموقع.

كانت “إسرائيل” قلقة من آثار المقاومة في تقييد حركة الجيش الإسرائيلي وعملائه، وتخشى منها على مخططاتها، فاغتالت الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد عباس الموسوي(قده) في الذكرى السنوية لاستشهاد الشيخ راغب حرب(قده) عام 1992، على طريق بلدة “تفاحتا” وهو في طريق العودة من الاحتفال بالذكرى في جبشيت، واستشهد معه زوجته أم ياسر وطفله حسين، ظنًّا من “إسرائيل” أنَّها تُضعِفُ قدرة المقاومة باغتيال رأس الهرم، ولكن – والحمد لله تعالى – أثمرت شهادته انتخابَ خليفة له هو سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله(حفظه المولى)، الذي نقل الحزب إلى مرحلة جديدة متقدِّمة ومتطوِّرة، تتابعت فيها الانتصارات، وتراكمت فيها الإمكانات، وأصبح للحزب مكانته محليًّا وإقليميًّا ودوليًّا بما فاق تصور العدو الإسرائيلي وكثيرٍ من المحللين. لقد نَمَتْ قدرةُ حزب الله بشهدائه وعطاءاتهم وجرحاه وأسراه ومجاهديه وعوائلهم، فالشَّهادة حياة، “وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ أَمْوَاتاً بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ”، ولكنَّ أعداءنا جاهلون.

شنَّت “إسرائيل” عدوانًا على لبنان في 25 تموز 1993 استمر لسبعة أيام، وكما قال شيمون بيريز: “إنَّ للهجمات هدفين: الذين يهاجموننا مباشرة وخصوصاً حزب الله، ولفتُ انتباه سكان لبنان والحكومات المعنية إلى ضرورة ممارسة الضغوط لوقف نشاط حزب الله”، فاكتشف أنَّ المقاومة متقدمة في قدراتها وصمودها وثباتها، ما اضطرَّ العدو إلى “وقف العدوان الإسرائيلي في مقابل وقف إطلاق صواريخ الكاتيوشا، في الساعة السادسة من مساء السبت 31/7/1993، وهكذا ولد “تفاهم تموز” كتعبير عن هذا الاتفاق الشفهي الذي تم عبر الوسطاء، من دون وجود أي صيغة خطية له”.

اعتبرت “إسرائيل” أنها استعدت بما فيه الكفاية، وحصلت على دعم دولي مهم عندما التأمتْ قمة شرم الشيخ في مصر في 13 آذار 1996 دعمًا لـ”إسرائيل”، وحضرها إلى جانب أمريكا أغلب دول العالم والدول العربية، فشنت حربها على لبنان في 11 نيسان 1996 بحجة الرَّد على صواريخ حزب الله ضد المستعمرات الإسرائيلية، وفوجئت مرةً جديدة بتطور قدرات المقاومة الإسلامية وتكبيد العدو الإسرائيلي خسائر لا يتحمَّلها في نقاط ضعفه، ما اضطر العدو بعد ستة عشر يومًا أن يعقد اتفاقًا خطيًّا هذه المرة، هو “اتفاق نيسان”، الذي وقعه لبنان الرسمي مع سوريا وفرنسا وأمريكا ومن جهة أخرى “إسرائيل”، وهو “يعطي مشروعية للمقاومة بإقرار العدو من خلال حق الدفاع عن النفس، والحديث عن تحييد المدنيين، وهو منسجم مع تفاهم تموز بالتأكيد على عدم قصف إسرائيل للمدنيين والمنشآت المدنية في لبنان مقابل عدم إطلاق حزب الله لصواريخ الكاتيوشا واستهداف المدنيين في المستعمرات الشمالية”، على أن يكون الرَّد على “إسرائيل” من خارج الأماكن السكنية، وهو ما ينسجم مع أداء وتوجهات المقاومة، لكنَّه مخرجٌ لإيقاف عدوان إسرائيل على لبنان.

تكثَّفت عمليات المقاومة، التي استهدفت مواقع عملاء “إسرائيل” على امتداد الشريط الحدودي المحتل، فأدركت “إسرائيل” أنَّ استمرارها في احتلال لبنان من دون جدوى، وأنَّ خسائرها المباشرة من جنودها وضباطها تتصاعد يومًا بعد يوم، فحاولت أنْ تُمهِّد الطريق للانسحاب من لبنان باتفاق معه أو مع سوريا، لكنَّها لم تحصل على شيء، فاضطرت للانسحاب ذليلة من دون قيد أو شرط في 25 أيار 2000، مبقيةً على احتلالها لمزارع شبعا وتلال كفرشوبا.

ظنَّت “إسرائيل” بأنَّ انسحابها سيؤدي إلى حالةٍ داخلية في لبنان تضغط لإيقاف عمل المقاومة بمؤازرة الضغط الدولي، لكنَّ المقاومة استمرت وكثَّفت تدريباتها وإمكاناتها وزادت عديد مجاهديها وطوَّرت كفاءاتهم، واستحضرت المزيد من الأسلحة النوعية، فكان مرورُ الزمن عاملًا في زيادة القدرة المقاومة كمًّا ونوعًا، استعدادًا لأيّ مواجهة متوقعة من هذا العدو، فهو لن يسكت على خروجه ذليلًا، وهو يريد لبنان ضعيفًا بلا مقاومة، ليتسنى له أن يعتدي متى شاء، ويفرض شروطه بالتهديد العسكري والحرب على لبنان متى شاء. لكنَّ حزب الله كان مدركًا لهذه الأخطار، لذا استمر في إعداد القوة والعدة ليوم العدوان القادم.

ردع “إسرائيل”

أسَرَ حزب الله جنديين إسرائيليين في 12 تموز 2006 على الحدود اللبنانية الفلسطينية للاستفادة منهما في الإفراج عن الأسرى المعتقلين في السجون الإسرائيلية، فاستغلَّت أمريكا الفرصة، وألزمت “إسرائيل” بشن عدوان على لبنان بحجة استعادة الأسيرين، ولكنَّ الهدف هو “سحق حزب الله” وإنهاءُ وجوده. وكما تبيَّن لاحقًا، فإنَّ عملية العدوان كان مخططًا لها أن تكون بعد حوالى شهرين، ولكن الأسر أتاح المبرِّر، فكان عدوان تموز الذي استمر ثلاثة وثلاثين يومًا.

أربعونَ عامًا من التألُّق

فاجأ حزب الله العدو الإسرائيلي بالمفاجأت العسكرية في البر (صواريخ كورنيت) والبحر (ضرب ساعر)، وبالإمكانات النَّوعية والكثيرة التي وفَّرها قائد محور المقاومة الشهيد قاسم سليماني(قده) مع حضوره المباشر في غرفة عمليات المقاومة أثناء العدوان. كما فاجأ حزب الله العدو بالتَّخطيط الدَّقيق، والانتشار الواسع في بقع المعارك العسكرية مع تجهيزها بشكل مستقل لتكون وحدات قتالية مستقلة في المواجهة، ومترابطة مع المركز والوحدات الأخرى في مواجهة العدوان الشامل، وهذا من إبداعات وخطط القائد الملهم والاستثنائي الشهيد عماد مغنية(قده) الذي أعلنه سماحة الأمين العام السيد حسن نصر الله قائدًا للانتصارين في 2000 و2006. ولا زالت أصداءُ كلمات وخطب سماحة السيد حسن نصر الله(حفظه المولى) تصدحُ أثناء الحرب في الأرجاء، موضِّحًا للحقائق، شارحًا لمسار المعركة، مُبشرًا بالنَّصر، وكاشفًا لنقاط ضعف إسرائيل، ومعبئًا لجمهور المقاومة ومحبيها، ومثبتًا له على الموقف المؤيد والداعم بكل أشكال الدعم للمواجهة مع “إسرائيل”، والتي انتهت بهزيمةٍ مدويَّة لـ”إسرائيل”، ونصرٍ عظيم للمقاومة، وذلك بإعلان توقف الأعمال العدائيَّة بإعلان قرار مجلس الأمن رقم 1701.

منذ عدوان 2006 حتى اليوم 2022، و”إسرائيل” مردوعةٌ عن العدوان ضد لبنان، بسبب جهوزية حزب الله الحاضرة دائمًا لأيّ مواجهة ولو وصلت إلى مستوى الحرب، ذلك أنَّ الحزب يراكم قوته وقدرته وعديده وإمكاناته ليبقى حاضرًا للمقاومة والدفاع في مواجهة أصعب الظروف. لولا استمرار مقاومة حزب الله وجهوزيته لاعتدت إسرائيل على لبنان لابتزازه سياسيًّا، وتحقيق مكتسبات له ميدانيًّا، واستدرجت عروضًا سياسية داخلية تخدم الصهاينة. إنَّ دور حزب الله الدفاعي هو الذي حمى لبنان خلال هذه الفترة، وهو الذي مكَّن أن لا يكون معبرًا للمشاريع السياسية الإسرائيلية، في إطار التكامل بين دعائم ثلاثي الجيش والشعب والمقاومة.

* المشاركة في الدولة

منذ 1992 بدأ نشاط حزب الله النيابي، واستطاع أن يكون مؤثرًا في القوانين وخدمة المناطق التي يمثلها، وعمل بنشاط تشريعي كبير، لكن لم يشارك في أي حكومة إلى عام 2005، ذلك أنَّ المشاركة في الحكومة في تلك المرحلة لم تكن تُشكِّل أيّ إضافة أو تأثير أو خدمة بنظر الحزب، فالقرار السياسي كان بيد سوريا وهي داعمة لحقِّ المقاومة، وهو ما كان مطلوبًا وكافيًا آنذاك. أمَّا بعد شهادة الرئيس رفيق الحريري وخروج السوريين من لبنان، فقد أصبح للحكومة موقع التأثير في القرار السياسي فضلًا عن خدمة النَّاس ورعاية شؤونهم، فإذا كان الحزب جزءًا من صناعة القرار يمكن أن يضمن صوابيته، ويطمئن إلى عدم استهدافه، كما يساعد على خدمة الناس في الوزارات المختلفة. ظهرت أهمية المشاركة في الحكومة من خلال نقاش البيان الوزاري الذي كانت تنعقد له جلسات كثيرة أغلبها حول بند حق المقاومة ضد “إسرائيل”، وهو البند الذي يشكِّلُ غطاءً مساعدًا لدور المقاومة في حماية لبنان، وهذا الأمر مخالفٌ لما تريده “إسرائيل” وأمريكا والمؤيدون لمشروعهما داخليًّا وخارجيًّا.

لم تتوقَّف الحملة على المقاومة وسلاحها، بحجة حصرية السلاح بيد الجيش اللبناني، وكان رد حزب الله بأنَّه عاملٌ مساعد في حماية لبنان وليس بديلًا عن الجيش، الذي لا تسمح إمكاناته بمواجهة “إسرائيل”، ولا تقبل الدول الكبرى بتسليحه بما يساعده على صدِّ العدوان الإسرائيلي أو مواجهته.

في هذه المرحلة تنامت قدرة حزب الله وشعبيته، وكان حضوره السياسي والإعلامي مؤثرًا، ومع كل التآمر الأمريكي – الإسرائيلي على لبنان ومقاومته، صمدَ وجمهوره وحلفاؤه أمام التحديات. وتميَّز عام 2006 في بدايته بعقد تفاهم بين حزب الله وبين قوة سياسيَّة وشعبية مؤثرة في الساحة المسيحية خاصة وهي التيار الوطني الحر الذي كان يرأسه العماد ميشال عون.

* استمرار التحديات

أحد أهداف الحرب على سوريا عام 2011 هو قطع التواصل مع محور المقاومة، بين إيران وبين حزب الله والفلسطينيين، والتي فشلت بصمود القيادة والشعب السوري، وبدعم من إيران وحزب الله ومعها التضحيات الكثيرة، فبدل أن تسقط سوريا لمصلحة المشروع المعادي للمقاومة خلال أشهر كما كانوا يخططون، انتصرت سوريا على التكفيريين (داعش، والنصرة، والقاعدة…)، وحرَّرت الجزء الأكبر من أراضيها، وأسقطت دولة التكفير التي ترعاها أمريكا والغرب وبعض دول الخليج وعلى رأسها السعودية.

استطاع الجيش اللبناني بمساندة حزب الله تحقيق الانتصار الثاني بهزيمة التكفيريين في لبنان عام 2017، وتعطَّل مشروع إمارتهم التكفيرية التي أرادوها انطلاقًا من بلدة عرسال وجوارها في البقاع.
أذهلت إنجازات حزب الله المستكبر الأمريكي وأدواته، فلم تُفلح الحروب العسكرية ضدَّه، أكانت من “إسرائيل”، أم من أذنابها وأدواتها التكفيرية، ولم تنجح محاولات التحريض داخل لبنان من جرِّ الجيش إلى اقتتال داخلي، ولا في توريط حزب الله بفتن طائفية ومذهبيَّة، فخرج حزب الله أقوى بانتصاراته المتتالية في مواجهة التحديات العسكرية.

بدأت أمريكا بنهج جديد وهو العقوبات والحصار على حزب الله ولبنان، ماليًّا بالضغط على النظام المصرفي والضغط على سعر صرف الليرة اللبنانية، واقتصاديًّا بالتَّحكم بمسار ما يستورده من الخارج والدول المسموح الاستيراد منها، والمنع من الاتفاق مع شركات من البلدان الشرقية كروسيا والصين وإيران… لتستثمر في قطاعات أساسية كالكهرباء والماء وغيرهما، وسياسيَّا من خلال رفض عودة النازحين السوريين إلى بلدهم، وقد ناهز عددهم المليون ونصف المليون نازح، بإغرائهم بالمساعدات، وتخويفهم من العودة إلى سوريا، والضغط على الدولة اللبنانية لتسهِّل لهم الأعمال في المهن المختلفة وتوفر لهم البنية التحتيَّة اللازمة للتواجد في لبنان، مع ما لهذا الوجود من أعباء اقتصادية واجتماعيَّة وأمنيَّة، فالنازحون يمثلون أكثر من ربع المقيمين على الأراضي اللبنانيَّة.

استغلَّ الأمريكي انتفاضة 17 تشرين الأول 2019، التي انطلقت بعفويَّة من ألم الناس بسبب التدهور الاقتصادي والاجتماعي الذي بدأ يلوح في الأفق، ولرفض المعالجات التي تعتمد الضرائب وتؤثر سلبًا في حياة الفئات الفقيرة في المجتمع، فعملت سفارة أمريكا من خلال بعض جماعات وشخصيَّات المجتمع المدني الذين تمولهم، بالتحريض على إثارة الفوضى، وتحريك الفتن المذهبيَّة، والاعتداء على الممتلكات العامة والخاصة، وقطع الطرقات الرئيسيَّة، وتعطيل المؤسسات الدستوريَّة وخاصة المجلس النيابي، والاشتباك مع القوى الأمنية لاستثمار الدم في تسريع نتائج التحرك لإسقاط مؤسسات رئاسة الجمهورية والحكومة والمجلس النيابي… وعملوا على استفزاز حزب الله وحلفائه والبيئة المؤيِّدة لهم لجرِّهم إلى المواجهة الفتنويَّة، لكن حكمة وصبر الحزب وحكمة قيادته وتفاعل جمهوره مع قراراته، وتعاون حلفائه، أدَّى إلى تعطيل هذا المخطط الأمريكي – الإسرائيلي الخطير، لكنَّه أوقع البلد في أسوأ أزمة اقتصادية – اجتماعيَّة منذ الاستقلال.

لا تقتصر أسباب الأزمة الاجتماعية الاقتصادية على إرهاب ومؤامرة أمريكا على لبنان، بل تشمل الفساد المستشري في الدولة على كل المستويات، وطبيعة النظام الطائفي الذي يحمي المرتكبين، وعدم المحاسبة بوجود قضاء غير فعَّال ومتأثر بنسبة ما بالفساد، والاقتصاد الريعي الذي حوَّل لبنان إلى بلد استهلاكي يضر بالإنتاج الزراعي والصناعي والمحلي أي بموارد تقوية الاقتصاد…
وضعَ التدهور الاقتصادي والاجتماعي اللبنانيين في المأزق، وسار التدهور في العملة الوطنية وفي كلِّ شيء إلى الأسوأ، ومع ذلك لم تتمكن أمريكا من إضعاف حزب الله في هذه الأزمة على الرغم من كلِّ التصويب عليه.

* أربعون عامًا من الجهاد

أربعون عامًا مرت على انطلاقة حزب الله، الذي بدأ بإمكانات محدودة، ولكن من فكرٍ إسلامي ملتزم أصيل، رسَمَ عناوين العمل الثقافي والجهادي والسياسي والاجتماعي، وأثبت أنَّه ميزان الطريق المستقيم نحو الوطنية والمقاومة والوحدة وخدمة الناس.

أربعون عامًا من الجهاد، واجه فيها حزب الله “إسرائيل”، التي أربكت المنطقة، واحتلت فلسطين واحتلت أجزاء من لبنان وسوريا والأردن ومصر، وكانت تعتبر جيشها القوَّة التي لا تُقهر، فهزمها حزب الله هزائم نكراء في حروبها الثلاثة على لبنان وآخرها عدوان تموز 2006، وأثبتَ أنَّ إرادة الشعوب لتحرير الأرض والإنسان أقوى من جحافل الجيوش والظلم العالمي والإقليمي.

أربعون عامًا من العمل في خدمة الناس، من خلال دور الحزب في الدولة، فعمل نوابه بالمساهمة في تقديم بعض اقتراحات القوانين، ودراسة ما يُعرض على المجلس، بالاستفادة من الخبرات والاختصاصيين، لتحقيق العدالة وإنصاف المناطق اللبنانيَّة بتوازن. وكان النواب بين النَّاس ومعهم في قضاياهم ومعالجة مطالبهم مع أجهزة الدولة. كما كان أداء وزراء حزب الله مميَّزًا على الصعيد الوطني، وتركوا بصمتهم واضحة في الوزارات التي أداروها، فضلًا عن مساهماتهم الفعَّالة في جلسات مجلس الوزراء ومناقشة وتصويب البنود المطروحة على جداول أعماله.

أربعون عامًا من العمل في خدمة الناس، وما قدَّمه حزب الله من خلال بنيته التنظيمية في مناطقه، وعبر مؤسساته المختلفة، من أنواع الخدمات والمساعدات الاجتماعية والتموينيَّة والصحيَّة والماليَّة والتربويَّة… في إطار من التكافل والتضامن والتعاون باحترام وأُخوَّة. وقد عبَّر الناس عن ثقتهم بالحزب وتماسكهم حوله ووفائهم له، وهم الذين تماسكوا حوله في كل المراحل، وفي مواجهة كل الأزمات، ورفدوه بالطاقات الشابة، وصمدوا في مواجهة التحديات.

أربعون عامًا واجه فيها حزب الله كل أنواع التحديات الداخلية والخارجية، القريبة والبعيدة، وواجه هجمة دولية منظمة ترعاها أمريكا لتجريده من قوته ولإسقاطه والتضييق عليه، فاستطاع حزب الله أن يتخطى هذه الصعوبات، ويخرج من كلِّ تحدٍ بنصرٍ وتوفيقٍ وعزةٍ ومنعةٍ أقوى وأكبر وأهم مما كان عليه.

أربعون عامًا أصبح فيها الحزب خيارًا ودعامة من دعامات حاضر ومستقبل لبنان، وأصبح ملهمًا بمقاومته لشعوب المنطقة وكلِّ الأحرار الذين يتوقون إلى التحرير والاستقلال من التبعية.

أربعون عامًا نجح فيها حزب الله بأن يبني تحالفات مع قوى وأحزاب وفعاليات ومذاهب وطوائف من مشارب ثقافية وفكرية مختلفة، على جامع المقاومة والوحدة الوطنية والاستقلال ونصرة الحق.

أربعون عامًا تعاون فيها حزب الله مع قوى التحرير في المنطقة، وعلى رأسها الشعب الفلسطيني ومقاومته، فقدم التضحيات ونقَلَ الخبرة، وساعد في الإمكانات بما جعله رمزًا للتعاون مع أصحاب الحق من دون انتظار الدول، ومن دون ابتغاء البدَل أو الثمن.

أربعون عامًا من العلاقة بين حزب الله وبين الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية وقائدها الإمام الخميني(قده) ومع الإمام الخامنئي(دام ظله)، بمعونة حرس الثورة الإسلامية في إيران وتدريبه ودعمه وخبرته، ونُصرة شعب إيران العزيز للمقاومة في فلسطين ولبنان، وبدعمٍ وعطاءات ومساعدات قدمتها إيران مالًا وتسليحًا وتموينًا ونفطًا ودواء… وفي كل المجالات، على قاعدة دعم المقاومة وتحرير الأرض وبوصلة فلسطين، من دون أن تطلب شيئًا لها، في أشرف وأعز وأنبل وأرقى علاقة، وفي نموذجٍ لم يشهده العالم في الماضي والحاضر بأن تعملَ حركةٌ جهاديةٌ بقناعاتها ولمصلحة بلدها ومنطقتها من دون أوامر أو إملاءات أو استثمارات، ومن دون مساومة مع القوى الكبرى عليها.
حيَّا الله الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية وقيادتها وحرسها وشعبها على هذا النموذج الراقي من الأخوَّة ونصرة الحق ودعم المظلومين والمستضعفين.

أربعون عامًا في مسيرة تصاعدية، وانتصارات عظيمة، وتحولات مفصلية في المنطقة، وكسرٍ للمشروع الأمريكي – الإسرائيلي، واستنهاضٍ لشعوب المنطقة، وإحياء لقضية فلسطين والقدس، وارتقاء بها إلى الصف الأول كبوصلة على طريق التحرير والاستقلال. قال تعالى: “الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَهَاجَرُوا وَجَاهَدُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنْفُسِهِمْ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً عِنْدَ اللهِ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ”.

أربعون عامًا ثبَّتت وجود وحضور وقوة حزب الله فكرًا وجهادًا وسياسة، وإلى المزيد من النصر والتوفيق بإذن الله تعالى.

نائب الأمين العام لحزب الله سماحة الشيخ نعيم قاسم

المصدر: العهد

انتخابات الكيان المبكّرة وعلم الاحتمالات

June 20, 2022

ناصر قنديل

في ظاهر الأمور جاء قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان بحل الكنيست والذهاب إلى انتخابات مبكرة يرجّح أن تجري في شهر تشرين الأول المقبل، تعبيراً عن تطوّرات المشهد السياسي الداخلي في الكيان، مع وجود حكومة تمزقها تناقضات مركبة بين مكوّناتها الآتية من أصناف اليمين واليسار، والتي تشكلت بأغلبية هزيلة، بعدما دنا موعد انتقال الرئاسة بين شركائها من ضفة اليمين الى ضفة يسار الوسط، من نفتالي بينيت إلى يائير لبيد، وفي ظل هشاشة الدعم النيابي الذي تلقاه بعدما بدأت الأغلبية بالتداعي، ووجود التحدي الدائم الذي يلوح به الخصم القوي بنيامين نتنياهو والذي يعرض على التصويت يوم غد الأربعاء لإجراء انتخابات مبكرة ويمكن لن يحصد أغلبية الكنيست، إذا صحت التقديرات بانتقال أكثر من نائب من ضفة الائتلاف الى ضفة نتنياهو، لكن هل هذا يكفي لتفسير قرار بحجم إدخال الكيان في حالة فراغ على مستوى القرار السياسي الأول في لحظات تبدو شديدة الدقة في تاريخه، حيث المواجهة مع قطاع غزة في تنامٍ، والمشهد في الضفة الغربية يتصاعد، والتوتر جمر تحت الرماد مع لبنان في ظل أزمة النفط والغاز وترسيم الحدود والبدء باستثمار حقل بحر عكا، بعد اتفاق أوروبي إسرائيلي على صفقة دسمة، بينما التحدي بين الكيان وإيران في ذروته، وكلها تحديات دفعت بالأحزاب للتفكير بحكومة وحدة وطنية في ظروف مشابهة؟

يمنح تزامن قرار الائتلاف الحاكم في الكيان مع التحضيرات الجارية لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن الى المنطقة، بعداً خاصاً، حيث كشفت التقارير الصحافية الأميركية والإسرائيلية عن ضغوط أميركية على الائتلاف الحاكم والمعارضة معاً لاستبعاد اندلاع أزمة حكومية، والذهاب لحل الكنيست، بهدف تمرير زيارة بايدن بعد أقل من شهر، بوجود حكومة كاملة المواصفات في الكيان، يمكن أن تتم الزيارة بوجودها وتكون ذات جدوى، خصوصاً أن ما كشف عن مضمون الزيارة يقول إن التعاون الخليجي الإسرائيلي في بناء شبكات موحّدة للرادارات تحت قيادة أميركية، يشكل أحد أهداف الزيارة، بينما رفعت بعض الصحف الإسرائيلية سقوف توقعاتها للقول إن زيارة بايدن تهدف للحصول على موافقة سعودية على التطبيع مع «إسرائيل» كثمن للاعتراف الأميركي بشرعية تولي ولي العهد السعودي للعرش في بلاده، ويجري الترويج لزيارة الرئيس الأميركي بصفتها تعبيراً عن انسداد الخيار التفاوضي بين واشنطن وطهران، وترجيح كلفة خيار المواجهة بينهما.

ثمة مؤشرات معاكسة يأخذها بعض المحللين ضمن دائرة الاحتمالات والفرضيّات، فالكلام الأميركي عن قرب امتلاك إيران لما يكفي لامتلاك قنبلة نووية وإرفاقه بالإعلان عن الاستعداد للعودة الى الاتفاق النووي، رغم إلقاء اللوم على إيران لتعثر التفاوض، بقي غير مفهوم الوظيفة في ظل التصعيد الأميركي بوجه إيران، وساء بحجز ناقلة النفط في اليونان وطائرة الركاب في الأرجنتين، أو التصعيد في مجلس حكام الوكالة الدولية للطاقة الذرية، ومثله الجواب الإيراني بتأكيد الجهوزية للعودة الى الاتفاق، وإلقاء اللوم على واشنطن في التعثر، في مناخ عالي السقف في الحديث عن الجهوزية لمواجهة أية اعتداءات إسرائيلية، واللغة القاسية في الرد على الوكالة الدولية، ما فتح الباب للحديث عن فرضية تقول بأن واشنطن وطهران تتجهان للتوقيع على الاتفاق. وهذا معنى تصريحات المستشار الإعلامي للوفد الإيراني في فيينا عن عدم وجود بند رفع العقوبات عن الحرس الثوري في الطلبات الإيرانية التفاوضية من جهة، وعدم استعداد إيران لتقديم أي تعهد بعدم ملاحقة المسؤولين الأميركيين عن اغتيال القائد قاسم سليماني، ووفقاً لهذه الفرضية فإن زيارة بايدن تهدف لتقديم ضمانات لـ«إسرائيل» بأنها لن تكون وحدها في حال تعرّضها للاستهداف من إيران، وأن واشنطن ستكون مسؤولة عن منظومة رادارات وتعمل في الخليج وترتبط بشبكة الباتريوت من القبة الحديدية التي تقودها واشنطن أصلاً داخل الكيان، وان الرئيس الأميركي بعد إنهاء هذه المهمة سيعتبر أنه بات طليق اليدين في العودة للتفاوض وصولاً لتوقيع الاتفاق مع إيران.

إذا صحت هذه الفرضية تكون الإطاحة الذاتية بالحكومة الائتلافية في الكيان، استباقاً وقائياً من مثل هذا الخيار، واعتماد الفراغ الحكومي في الكيان لتحقيق الفراغ التفاوضيّ بين واشنطن وطهران.

US navy claims warships in Strait of Hormuz ‘harassed’ by IRGC speedboats

Over the past year, the IRGC has stepped up efforts to stop the theft of Iranian oil in the high seas, including attempts by the US navy

June 21 2022

(Photo credit: Reuters)

ByNews Desk

A US navy official has claimed that three speedboats belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had a near-miss encounter on 20 June with two US warships in the Persian Gulf.

The IRGC vessels allegedly came within 45 meters of the two US warships at “dangerously high speed.”

“[The Iranian Navy] did not meet the international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” said the spokesman for US Central Command (CENTCOM), Colonel Joseph Buccino.

Buccino added that the USS Sirocco, a Cyclone-class patrol ship, and the USNS Choctaw County, a fast transport vessel, were in “routine transit” through international waters in the Persian Gulf.

According to an unnamed US official, the IRGC vessels diverted course only after the Sirocco issued an audible warning signal and fired a flare.

Iranian officials have not yet responded to the US allegations.

“CENTCOM forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere in the area of responsibility international law allows while promoting regional stability,” Buccino went on to add.

The alleged confrontation comes at a time when tensions are rising between Iran and the west over Washington’s refusal to provide guarantees to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Over the past year, the IRGC navy has led efforts to stop the smuggling of Iranian oil by foreign actors, including the US.

Last month, Washington illegally seized a shipment of Iranian oil in Greek waters, before a court in Athens ruled against what Tehran described as “maritime piracy.”

Last year, the IRGC released footage of a daring operation to stop the US navy from stealing oil from an Iranian tanker in the Sea of Oman.

The operation was launched after US forces tried to redirect the tanker to an unspecified location in order to steal the cargo. However, the IRGC navy took control of the tanker by boarding it with helicopters, and were able to direct it toward Iranian territorial waters.

In response, the US sent out helicopters and warships hoping to redirect the ship, even blocking its path, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Mossad Assassination Unit Commander Likely Killed in Erbil Attack

June 9 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Some English and Arab news sources reported that the commander of the ‘Israeli’ Mossad assassination unit was killed in a drone attack on several vehicles on a highway in Erbil, in northern Iraq on Wednesday night.

Local media said that in last night drone attack three vehicles were targeted and hit on a highway in Erbil, the Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Hours after the attack was targeted, some English and Arab sources reported that a Mossad team were in the vehicles and were the main target of the drone operation.

According to the IntelSky Twitter account, which specializes in analyzing international risks, global flight tracking and crisis news said that a senior Mossad officer was killed in the attack.

According to IntelSky, Ilak Ron [Asa Flots], the commander of the Mossad Assassination Unit was assassinated in the Kamikaze drone attack.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the drone strike, and the ‘Israeli’ officials also have not commented on the matter yet.

US troops and bases in Iraq have frequently come under rocket and drone strikes.

Anti-US sentiments have significantly increased in Iraq since the assassination of Iran’s top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, and his associates in a US drone strike in Baghdad in early 2020.

General Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard [IRG], and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of PMU, were martyred along with their associates in a US drone strike that was authorized by then-US president Donald Trump near the Baghdad International Airport on January 3, 2020.

Two days after the dastardly assassination, Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill that required the government to end the presence of all US-led foreign military forces in the Arab country.

Less than a week after the assassination, the IRG launched a volley of ballistic missiles at the Ain al-Assad airbase in western Iraq, in a military operation code-named Operation Martyr Soleimani.

Iran, which vowed ‘hard revenge’ over the killing of its celebrated commander, said the missile strike was only a “first slap” and that would not rest until the US military abandons the region in disgrace.

The US-led coalition has ended its combat mission in Iran, but thousands of soldiers remain in the country in a so-called advisory and training role.

In mid-March, the IRG launched ballistic missiles towards an area in Erbil, which housed secret bases of the Zionist regime’s Mossad spy agency. Reports, quoting Kurdistan region’s intelligence sources, said as many as 12 ballistic missiles were used in the attack.

Also in May, the IRG targeted and destroyed positions of terrorist groups operating near Erbil.

Related Articles/Posts

Has “Israel” Crossed A Red Line With Iran?

 June 2, 2022

Source: Al Mayadeen English

Robert Inlakesh 

What Iran’s retaliation in March showed was that the Islamic Republic is willing to turn up the heat on “Israel” when the time is right to do so.

Has “Israel” Crossed A Red Line With Iran?

The Zionist regimes’ provocations against Iran have been constant for years, but has its latest actions crossed a red line for which “Tel Aviv” may pay dearly?

It is no secret that “Israel” played a large role in the propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic of Iran, which provided the excuse for the US government to violate the Obama-era Nuclear Deal, paving the way for a sanctions war on Tehran. Israeli allegations of a coming Iranian Nuclear Weapon can be traced back to October 1992, when former Israeli President Shimon Peres claimed that Tehran would have the bomb by 1999. Therefore, such claims are rarely taken seriously by any reputable international organization.

The latest attempt to scaremonger, over an alleged Iranian pursuit of nukes, by “Israel”, came this Tuesday from Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett claimed, in a similar style to former Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu, through preschooler geared presentations, that “Israel” had obtained secret files which prove Iran’s lies about its nuclear weapons program. Evidently, there is no evidence that such a nuclear weapons program exists, let alone that “Israel’s” newly released documents prove that Tehran tricked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Whilst this type of propaganda from “Tel Aviv” is certainly a nuisance to Iran, it does not exactly warrant any sort of crushing response, but when it is combined with the Zionist regime’s recent actions, it may be doing the opposite of helping the Zionist cause. 

It is well known now that an Israeli role has been alleged in the assassination of Quds Force General, Qassem Soleimani, back in January of 2020. Then, on November 27, 2020, agents, said to have been working on behalf of the Israeli Mossad, assassinated Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Iranian soil. There was also the attack on the Natanz nuclear facility in 2021, which Iranian officials blamed on “Israel”. These are but a few of the most recent provocations by “Israel” against Iran.

The latest assassination carried out by Israeli Mossad took place in Tehran, claiming the life of Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a member of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC). The following day, “Israel’s” minister of war, Benny Gantz applauded a recent US government position to not budge on the issue of taking the IRGC off of Washington’s designated “terrorist organizations” list. It has become clear that not only will “Israel” carry out such assassinations, but it insists on attempting to rub such actions in the faces of the Iranians. 

If anything can be learned from Tehran’s newly set rules of engagement, it is that engagement in a tit-for-tat battle with “Israel” is no problem at all for the IRGC. Following the killing of 2 Iranian nationals in an Israeli airstrike, in the vicinity of Syria’s capital city, Damascus, Iran announced it would take revenge. On March 13, Iran’s IRGC launched around a dozen ballistic missiles into Erbil, Iraq, targeting Israeli Mossad bases. According to reports, three Mossad agents were killed and 7 were wounded.

What Iran’s retaliation in March showed was that the Islamic Republic is willing to turn up the heat on “Israel” when the time is right to do so. Despite clear indications that Tehran will respond to the latest assassination of its IRGC member, “Tel Aviv” can’t seem to help itself when it comes to rubbing salt into the wound. This has been done through its anti-Iranian rhetoric, and also by provoking the Palestinian Resistance and all the regional forces, by crossing all red lines in occupied Al-Quds, desecrating the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last Sunday during the Israeli settlers’ “Flag march”.

If the Zionist regime was a boxer, it would be running around taunting its opponent blindfolded, with its chin out, confident that it won’t get hit. It’s easy to see how, with a little patience, the resistance forces in the region will dish out a serious blow. “Israel” has been repeatedly warned to not cross certain red lines and continually crosses those red lines, dancing on the graves of those it kills when it gets there.

It is just a matter of time before Iran takes its revenge, along with the other resistance forces in the region, and the immature settler leaders will surely pay dearly for their words and deeds.

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

Envoy: IAEA Report Fails to Reflect Iran’s Vast COOP with UN Nuke Agency

May 31, 2022

By Staff, Agencies

Iran’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations says a latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] on the country’s stockpile of enriched uranium is one-sided and fails to reflect Iran’s extensive cooperation with the UN nuclear watchdog.

Mohammad Reza Ghaebi made the comment on Monday after the IAEA claimed that it estimated Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium had grown to more than 18 times the limit laid down in the 2015 deal between Tehran and world powers.

The limit in the 2015 Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA], was set at 300 kg [660 pounds] of a specific compound, the equivalent of 202.8 kg of uranium.

The report by Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the UN nuclear agency, also claimed that Iran was continuing its enrichment of uranium to levels higher than the 3.67 percent limit in the landmark accord.

“The IAEA Director-General’s report does not reflect Iran’s extensive cooperation with the IAEA,” Ghaebi said. “The report concludes exactly what the Director-General presented to the European Parliament before the third round of technical talks, even before the end of the steps set out in the joint statement.”

Iran’s permanent representative to the Vienna-based International Organizations said the report, by putting aside the detailed, reasoned and technical arguments put forward by the Iranian side and unfairly calling them invalid, continues to rely on the agency’s predetermined assumptions and presents its one-sided conclusion accordingly.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers this approach unconstructive and destructive to the close relations and ongoing cooperation between Iran and the IAEA,” Ghaebi noted. “And believes that the IAEA should realize the ruinous consequences of publishing such one-sided reports, which could provide the necessary excuse for opponents of Iran-IAEA relations as well as the sworn critics of the revival of the JCPOA.”

In a separate report also issued on Monday, the IAEA claimed it still had questions which were “not clarified” regarding previous undeclared nuclear material at three Iranian sites.

The report said Iran has offered the explanation of an “act of sabotage by a third party to contaminate” the sites, but added no proof had been provided to corroborate this.

Pointing to the IAEA’s second report, Ghaebi said the entire peaceful nuclear activities of the Islamic Republic have been carried out within the framework of the Non-Proliferation Treaty [NPT], and in accordance with the legal compensatory measures in the law adopted by the Iranian Parliament following the suspension of Iran’s nuclear obligations due to non-fulfillment of obligations by other parties.

“Therefore, the Agency will not gain access to the memory information of its deployed cameras and other information in this regard until an agreement is reached for the revival of the JCPOA,” Ghaebi underlined.

The senior diplomat said the Islamic Republic has repeatedly warned the IAEA’s officials of the need to refrain from disclosing detailed information on the country’s nuclear activities based on the importance of the principle of confidentiality with regard to the IAEA regulations, but the issue has not received serious attention from the Agency.

The Monday reports come as talks in the Austrian capital of Vienna to revive the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers remain deadlocked after stalling in March.

Russia’s lead negotiator to the Vienna talks Mikhail Ulyanov reacted to the leakage of the UN agency’s reports to the mass media, and said the move would lead to a lot of speculations before and during the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors next week.

“As always, the IAEA Director General’s reports on Iran were immediately leaked to mass media today. We can expect a lot of speculations in the days to come and heated debates in the IAEA Board of Governors next week,” Ulyanov wrote in a tweet.

Several rounds of negotiations between Iran and the P4+1 group of countries – Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia – have been held in the Austrian capital since April 2021 to bring Washington back into the deal. The talks, however, exclude American diplomats due to their country’s withdrawal.

Talks have been on hold since March as the US insists on its refusal to undo its past wrongs, including removing Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards [IRG] from its foreign terrorist organization list.

Iran maintains that IRG’s designation in 2019 was part of former president Donald Trump administration’s so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran, and therefore, it has to be reversed unconditionally.

The Joe Biden administration disagrees, even though it has admitted on countless occasions that Trump’s maximum pressure policy has been a disastrous failure. It has retained the IRG’s designation and the economic sanctions as leverage in the talks.

BREAKING: Iran seizes two Greek-flagged oil tankers in the Persian Gulf

 May 27 2022

The US navy says they are ‘looking into the incident,’ which came in retaliation for the theft of an Iranian oil cargo by Greece and the US

ByNews Desk

Naval forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seized two ships sailing under the Greek flag in the Persian Gulf on 27 May, in retaliation of the coordinated theft of its oil by Greece and the US.

Local sources have confirmed the ships’ names are the Delta Poseidon and Prudent Warrior, with just the former being operated by a Greek crew. They were seized near the Iranian ports of Bandar Lengeh and Asalouyeh.

The Prudent Warrior vessel loaded its cargo at Basrah, Iraq, and was on its way to the US. The Delta Poseidon also loaded its cargo at the same port, however its destination remains unknown.

According to AP, the US navy’s 5th Fleet said it was “looking into” the seizures, which came on the heels of Tehran threatening to take “punitive action” against Athens.

Earlier in the day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Swiss chargé d’affaires in order to lodge a complaint over Washington’s illegal seizure of its oil, which was confiscated from a Russian-operated Iranian tanker impounded by Greece the day before.

“The Swiss chargé d’affaires was summoned to convey Iran’s concern and strong protest over the continued violation of international laws and maritime conventions concerning free navigation and trade by the US administration,” Director-General of the Foreign Ministry’s department for US Affairs said in a statement.

Switzerland’s envoy is the official representative of the US in Tehran.

The Foreign Ministry also called for the immediate release of the tanker and the confiscated oil, as the Swiss chargé d’affaires assured officials that Iran’s message has been conveyed to US officials.

On 25 May, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek embassy chargé d’affaires in Tehran, explicitly condemning the seizure of the tanker and laying the responsibility on the Greek government, who it accused, alongside the US, of engaging in “maritime piracy.”

Iran’s Ports and Maritime Authority said that the vessel had to stop in Greek waters due to bad weather conditions and technical problems. However, the ship did not receive assistance and was instead seized by the Greek government.

A day later, the US seized the tanker’s oil cargo, and is reportedly shipping it to a US port aboard another vessel.

The illegitimate seizure was confirmed by a separate western source familiar with the matter, who added “that the cargo was transferred onto the Liberia-flagged tanker Ice Energy, which is operated by Greek shipping company Dynacom.”

Iran openly condemned the Greek decision, referring to it as an “unacceptable” surrender to US pressure.

This is not the first time the US illegally seizes Iranian oil in international waters. In August of 2020, the US seized four Iranian tankers headed for Venezuela in the Straits of Hormuz. According to reports, the Iranian oil was then sold for over $40 million.

The oil seizure comes as the sanctions-removal talks in Vienna have been stalled due to Washington’s unwillingness to meet Tehran’s conditions, such as the removal of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) off the terrorist list.

“Now, we have reached a point [during the negotiations in Vienna] that if the American side makes a realistic decision, an agreement would be within reach… Zionists tell many lies about Iran’s nuclear issue, but Americans exactly know what they must do if they want to return to the JCPOA,” Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said while speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos on 26 May.

‘Israel’ Claims Responsibility for Assassination of IRG Officer – NYT

 May 26, 202

By Staff, Agencies

The Tel Aviv regime informed Washington that it was responsible for assassinating an Islamic Revolutionary Guard [IRG] Quds Force officer in Tehran on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

In a briefing with American officials, the ‘Israeli’ occupation entity confirmed reports that Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, who was shot dead in a vehicle, was deputy commander of the Quds Force’s Unit 840.

As per NYT, ‘Israeli’ officials claimed the officer was head of Unit 840’s Middle East operations, as well as in nations bordering Iran.

Assassins on a motorcycle shot and killed Khodaei in front of his home on Mojahedin Eslam Street in the capital city of Tehran, according to Iranian reports.

The IRG called the assassination a “criminal terrorist act of the counter-revolution and elements related to global arrogance,” a term often used to refer to the US and ‘Israel.’

Zionist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed on Wednesday reports that US President Joe Biden has informed him he will definitively not remove the IRG from the US’ list of foreign terrorist organizations [FTOs].

Biden reportedly told Bennett of his decision during a phone conversation between the two in April.

According to the report, Biden decided to pull the plug on the idea to remove the IRG’s Quds Force from the US’ terrorist blacklist after it was clear it would not be enough to force Iran to compromise in talks to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA].

The Zionist military establishment was surprised by the leak. ‘Israel’ and the US have a close intelligence relationship; something like this should never have been publicized, ‘Israeli’ media noted.

As per the report, Zionist officials are awaiting an explanation from their American counterparts, as the leak caught the occupation entity by surprise and was expected to have come from a source in the US.

Security officials in the occupied territories reportedly fear the leak might lead to a more “substantial” targeting of ‘Israelis’ abroad as revenge for the killing.

Iranians Hold Funeral for IRGC Member Assassinated in Tehran

May 24, 2022

Large crowds attend the funeral of the martyr Colonel Sayyad Khodaye in Tehran

A funeral procession has been held in Tehran to pay tribute to the member of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) assassinated in a terrorist attack in the Iranian capital.

The attack on Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, which claimed his life, happened in Tehran at around 4 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) on Sunday when two motorcyclists shot him five times while he was in his car, and fled the scene.

In a statement, the IRGC said the assassination was carried out by “counterrevolutionary elements” adding that necessary measures have been taken to identify and arrest the assailant or assailants.

On Tuesday, crowd of people along with state and military officials took part in the procession.

A farewell ceremony was also held on Monday evening in the capital, with Iran’s first vice president, Mohammad Mokhber, in attendance.

Earlier Monday, President Ebrahim Raisi said “the global arrogance” is behind the terrorist act, vowing “definite revenge” for the blood of the martyr.

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), Major General Hossein Salami also warned that Iran will take a “harsh” revenge on those who assassinated the colonel.

Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, said the assassination will not go unanswered.

On Monday, the Islamic Jihad movement in the besieged Gaza Strip said the assassination of Col. Khodaei is reminiscent of what happened to Palestinian resistance leader Fathi Shaqaqi, who was fatally shot six times on October 26, 1995 in front of the Diplomat Hotel in Malta’s northeastern coastal town of Sliema by a hit team composed of two agents working for the Israeli Mossad spy agency.

The statement sad terrorist attacks against the Muslim Ummah prove the criminal nature of the Tel Aviv regime and its allies as the sworn and worst enemies of Muslims.

Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, condemned in a post on his Twitter handle the assassination of Col. Khodaei, saying the Islamic Republic will use all its international capacities to bring the assassins to justice.

Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)

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Iraqi resistance group warns of attacks against US, Israeli targets in Kurdistan region

Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba says Kurdish leaders have turned Iraqi Kurdistan into a ‘legitimate target’ for hosting of US and Israeli occupying forces

May 17 2022

Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) are seen in Zumar, Nineveh province, Iraq October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Ari Jalal – RC1E698CF530

ByNews Desk

Iraqi resistance group Harakat Hezbollah Nujaba (HHN) has threatened to target Israeli and US positions in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region (IKR).

In a statement published by the Sabereen News media outlet, the leader of the group, Akram al-Kaabi, said: “By hosting the US military bases and the positions of the Mossad, leaders of the Iraqi Kurdistan region have not only compromised the security of the northern Iraqi people but have also turned the area, infested with spies and occupying forces, into a legitimate target for Iraqi resistance groups.”

The statement was accompanied by a caricature showing the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), Masoud Barzani, with two crows marked as Israel and the US sitting on his head, while he invites other evil crows to his sphere of influence.

It also depicted the commander of the Nujaba resistance movement ordering his forces to smash the nests of crows perched atop Barzani’s head.

The HHN, also known as the 12th Brigade, is a Shia resistance group affiliated with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), also known as Hashd al-Shaabi.

Last December, Iraqi lawmaker Ali al-Fatlawi said resistance groups could legitimately force US-occupation troops to withdraw from the country.

He added that the withdrawal of foreign occupation troops from Iraq was “non-negotiable,” as in early 2020 parliament passed a resolution calling for the full withdrawal of the occupying forces in the wake of the US assassination of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and PMU deputy leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes.

In March of this year, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched a precision missile strike against a Mossad base in the city of Erbil.

Speaking exclusively to The Cradle, a senior Iranian security source revealed that three Mossad agents were killed during the strike.

In another exclusive, the official spokesman of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party’s Erbil office, Azad Jolla, confirmed that the Israeli spy agency Mossad has long been active in the capital of the IKR.

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Several US military convoys come under attack in Iraq

May 15 2022

Iraqi resistance groups have stepped up strikes against US military convoys in recent months

ByNews Desk

US soldiers speak to families in rural Anbar, western Iraq. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Susannah George, File)

US military convoys have come under attack by unknown militant groups in several Iraqi cities, according to a 15 May report by Mehr News Agency.

Citing local sources, the report states that three US military logistics convoys came under attack in the Iraqi cities of Al Diwaniyah and Samawah.

There have been no reports about the details of the damages, casualties, nor of any groups claiming responsibility for the attacks.

Another attack on a US military convoy, also in Al Diwaniyah, was reported by Sabereen News on 11 May.

Attacks on US forces in Iraq have seen an uptick in recent months after Baghdad’s failure to implement a law passed by parliament to expel foreign occupation forces from the country.

The vote came in the days following the assassination of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Commander Qassem Soleimani and Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) deputy-chief Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in 2020.

Roadside bombs have also recently targeted US forces in Dhi Qar and Anbar.

Iraqi resistance groups have pledged to only lay down their arms after the full withdrawal of US forces in Iraq.

Recently, US troops stationed at Harir Air Base in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) opened fire on a number of houses and one car in Erbil’s Basrma district on 9 May.

The Governor of Basrma, Jangawar Azhgayi, told Rudaw that US troops were conducting drills when the accident happened. He also confirmed that no casualties were reported.

A video released by Telegram news channel Sabereen News on 28 April allegedly showed the transfer of ISIS fighters by two US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters inside Iraq.

Over the years, US occupation forces in Iraq and Syria have faced several accusations of collaborating with the Takfiri armed group, despite claims to the contrary.

In August 2017, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported seeing US choppers transporting ISIS fighters in and out of the city of Deir Ezzor multiple times.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that a new airdrop was carried out in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor, by the forces of the International Coalition … reliable sources confirmed to the [SOHR] that the International Coalition transported members of the ‘Islamic State’ organization.”

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