Imam Khamenei’s Advisor: US Attack on Iran Could Trigger ‘Full-Fledged’ Regional War

Imam Khamenei’s Advisor: US Attack on Iran Could Trigger ‘Full-Fledged’ Regional War

By Staff, Agencies

A military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei warns that an act of military aggression by the US against Iran that could lead to an even limited conflict is likely to set off a full-scale war that would afflict other parts of the region too.

The remarks were made by Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, defense minister during Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s previous tenure and former commander of the Air Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC]. He made the comments to the Associated Press on Wednesday that the news agency published a day later.

“A limited, tactical conflict can turn into a full-fledged war,” Dehqan said.

He, however, not only clearly distanced Iran from any intention to trigger such a conflict, but also cautioned strongly about such confrontation’s repercussions for the region and, by extension, the world.

“We don’t welcome a crisis. We don’t welcome war. We are not after starting a war,” he said.

“Definitely, the United States, the region, and the world cannot stand such a comprehensive crisis,” the military expert noted.

He, accordingly, warned against any American military escalation in President Donald Trump’s final weeks in office.

Dehqan, meanwhile, addressed the likelihood of fresh negotiations with the US and the quality that such talks could partake of.

He reminded that the US’ atrocities under Trump had made it extremely difficult for Iran to accept its return to the negotiation table. Among the rest, he referred to the US’ assassination of Iran’s senior anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani on Trump’s direct order near Baghdad airport in January.

He called the IRGC’s retaliatory missile strikes against US bases in Iraq that came almost immediately after the assassination a mere “initial slap,” and asserted that the Islamic Republic continued to seek the expulsion of all American forces from the region as revenge for the barbaric assassination.

“We do not seek a situation in which [the other party] buys time to weaken our nation,” he also said – apparently signaling that Tehran would not tolerate any American trickery in the event of any fresh talks – and said, “We are not after negotiations for the sake of negotiations either.”

Further, the advisor reiterated the country’s principled stance that its missile power is non-negotiable due to its forming part of Iran’s “deterrent” might.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not negotiate its defensive power … with anybody under any circumstances,” Dehqan said. “Missiles are a symbol of the massive potential that is possessed by our experts, young people, and industrial centers.”

The official also warned about the “Israeli” entity’s regional expansionist ambitions that saw the regime normalizing its relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan earlier in the year. Dehqan warned that the ambitious march was a “strategic mistake” that could put Tel Aviv in a parlous state.

“It is opening an extensive front,” he said. “Just imagine every ‘Israeli’ in any military base can be a target for groups who are opposed to ‘Israel’”.

Separately, the official said the United Nations nuclear agency could keep monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities as long as no inspector is a “spy.” He was seemingly referring to a case of apparent attempted sabotage last year that came amid the US and the “Israeli” entity’s escalated attempts at demonizing Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Last November, Iran revealed that a detector for explosive nitrates had gone off at the country’s Natanz uranium enrichment plant when an inspector with the watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, attempted to enter the facility on October 28.

Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to the agency, noted back then that the woman “sneaked out” to the bathroom while officials looked for a female employee to search her.

After her return, he added, the alarms did not go off again, but authorities found contamination in the bathroom and later on her empty handbag during a house search.

IRGC RELEASES ALLEGED PHOTO OF AZERBAIJANI PRESIDENT IN SNIPER’S SIGHTS, IRAN SAYS PRESENCE OF MILITANTS IN KARABAKH UNACCEPTABLE

South Front

IRGC Releases Alleged Photo of Azerbaijani President In Sniper's Sights, Iran Says Presence Of Militants In Karabakh Unacceptable

In a reminder that Iran opposes any further Azerbaijani ambitions in Nagorno-Karabakh and beyond, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) released an interesting photograph.

It shows Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in the sights of an Iranian sniper, while he was visiting the Khodaafarin bridge at the Karabakh-Iran border.

Earlier, on November 16th, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that no changes have occurred in Iran’s northwestern borderlines.

This happened in reference to the peace deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia after several weeks of conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region near the Iranian borders.

Stating that no change has occurred at the borderlines, he stressed that Iran will never accept anything other than what has been announced by the two sides.

Khatibzadeh added that the corridor that has become controversial these days is simply a transit route, the case of which is closely monitored by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

He further said that Iran welcomes any peaceful settlement of the case as it did over the past three decades.

He reiterated that no change has occurred at the Iranian borders and will never occur in the future.

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry knowledge, the Syrian militants must have already left the region, the spokesman said that a peaceful settlement of the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia will benefit the entire region.

The spokesman, however, said Iran will not tolerate presence of any foreign elements in the region.

About killing of Iranian border guards in northwest of the country, Khatibzadeh said Iran’s response to such measures is strong.

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says there is no place for Syrian militants close to Iran’s northern borders.

“There is no place for Wahhabi and Takfiri terrorists among people of Azerbaijan who are known for their love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s progeny, and track records of such groups are very bleak,” Ali Akbar Velayati said in an address to a webinar held to discuss Ayatollah Khamenei’s views on the Karabakh region. “The people of Azerbaijan are capable of liberating their land and the presence of Wahhabi terrorists in north of Iran’s borders [with Azerbaijan] will be fruitless.”

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US Sanctions: Shooting Blanks Against the Resiliency of Targeted Nations

By Stephen Lendman

Global Research, October 27, 2020

As explained many times before, Security Council members alone may legally impose sanctions on nations, entities and individuals.

When used by countries against others, they breach the UN Charter, how the US, NATO and Israel operate time and again.

The Charter’s Article II mandates all member states to “settle…disputes” according to the rule of law.

US/Western sanctions are weapons of war by other means — used to pressure, bully and terrorize targeted nations into submission.

Though widely used, most often they fail to achieve intended objectives.

US sanctions war and other hostile actions against Cuba for 60 years, Iran for 40 years, Venezuela for 20 years, and against countless other nations largely shot blanks.

Most often, they’re counterproductive.

Hardships imposed on people in targeted nations fuel anti-US sentiment — blaming Washington, not their governments, for what they endure.

Under international law, nations are prohibited from intervening in the internal affairs of others.

Military action against an adversary is only legal in self-defense if attacked — never preemptively for any reasons.

Hardcore US bipartisan policy targets all independent nations unwilling to subordinate their sovereign rights to its interests.

That’s what US hostility toward China, Russia, Iran, and other targeted countries is all about.

Since WW II, no nations threatened the US militarily or politically.

Like all other empires in world history now gone, a similar fate awaits the US — because of its counterproductive geopolitical policies, over time making more enemies than allies, weakening, not strengthening, the state.

Last week in response to US sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the following:

“(T)his unfriendly and destructive policy of constant introduction of various restrictions in relation to us, our economic operators, our economy, unfortunately, this has already become an integral part of unfair competition, undisguised hostile takeover competition on the part of Washington.”

Last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed the US, saying:

“We condemn (US) calls for forging a certain coalition against the pipeline, wherein German and other companies have already made multi-billion dollar investments.”

In response to EU sanctions on Russia over the Navalny novichok poisoning hoax, its Foreign Ministry demanded to know “who is behind the anti-Russian provocation,” adding:

“In response, we get aggressive rhetoric and outright manipulation of the facts” — by the EU in cahoots with the US.

Sergey Lavrov slammed Berlin for being in breach of its international obligations for failing to provide Moscow with information it claims to have about the Navalny incident — because none exists.

In mid-October, protesters outside the US embassy in London accused Washington of attempting to “strangle” Cuba’s economy by a virtual blockade on the island state.

The so-called Rock Around The Blockade solidarity campaign called for breaking the illegal action, chanting “Cuba si! Yankee no! Abajo el bloqueo/Down with the blockade!”

Despite annual UN General Assembly measures against US blockade of the island state, it’s been in place for decades without success because of Cuban resiliency.

Trump regime Office of Foreign Assets Control threatened to sue “anyone who trades with Cuba” or has property in the country.

Despite decades of US war on Cuba by other means, aiming to regain imperial control over the island state, policies of Republicans and Dems consistently failed.

US war on China by sanctions and other means widens the breach between both countries.US Sanctions: Weapons of War by Other Means on Targeted Nations

On October 21 in a Foreign Affairs article titled “How China Threatens American Democracy” (sic), Trump regime national security advisor Robert  O’Brien invented nonexistent threats.

Instead of fostering productive bilateral relations with all nations, policies of both right wings of the US one-party state go the other way against nations Washington doesn’t control — how the scourge of imperialism operates.

China fosters cooperative relations with other nations, threatening none — polar opposite longstanding US policy, seeking dominance over planet earth, its resources and populations.

Undeclared US initiated Cold War against China, Russia, and other targeted nations threatens to turn hot by accident or design — especially in East Asia, the Middle East, and near Russia’s borders.

On Sunday, O’Brien expressed frustration, saying:

“One of the problems that we have faced with both Iran and Russia is that we now have so many sanctions against these countries that we have very little (opportunity) to do anything about it,” adding:

“But we are looking at all possible deterrent measures that we can apply to these countries, as well as others…”

Last Thursday, the US Treasury Department announced new sanctions on Iran’s IRGC, its Quds Force, and Bayan Rasaneh Gostar Institute “for having directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit in foreign interference” in US November 3 elections.

Fact: Throughout US history, no evidence showed that any foreign nations ever interfered in its electoral process — a US specialty against scores of nations throughout the post-WW II period.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the hostile action, saying:

Its government “strong(ly) reject(s) baseless and false claims” by the US, adding:

“(I)t makes no difference for Iran who wins the US election.”

On core domestic and foreign policy issues, both right wings of the US one-party state operate largely the same way.

Rare exceptions prove the rule.

On Monday, Pompeo announced more illegal sanctions on Iran — part of longstanding US war on the country by other means.

Tehran’s “Ministry of Petroleum and Minister of Petroleum, the National Iranian Oil Company, the National Iranian Tanker Company, and 21 other individuals, entities, and vessels” were targeted for unjustifiable reasons.

Iran, its ruling authorities, and entities foster cooperative relations with other countries — hostile actions toward none, except in self-defense if attacked, the legal right of all nations.

US imperial policy targets all countries, entities and individuals not subservient to its rage to rule the world unchallenged.

US maximum pressure on Iran and other nations is all about wanting them transformed into vassal states.

Separately on Monday, convicted felon/US envoy for regime change in Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams said the following:

“The transfer of long-range missiles from Iran to Venezuela is not acceptable to the United States and will not be tolerated or permitted,” adding:

“We will make every effort to stop shipments of long-range missiles, and if somehow they get to Venezuela they will be eliminated there.”

Was the above threat a possible US declaration of hot war on Venezuela, on Iran as well?

Last week, Pompeo announced new US sanctions on “the State Research Center of the Russian Federation FGUP Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (TsNIIKhM).”

He falsely claimed the research institute conducts “malware attacks (that threaten) cybersecurity and critical infrastructure (sic).”

No evidence was cited because none exists, including alleged Russian malware against “a petrochemical plant in the Middle East,” along with “scann(ing) and prob(ing) US facilities.”

Pompeo falsely accused Russia of “engag(ing) in dangerous and malicious activities that threaten the security of the United States and our allies (sic).”

The above is what the US and its imperial partners do time and again — falsely blaming others for their own high crimes.

The Trump regime also imposed unlawful sanctions on Iran for supplying Venezuela with gasoline — the legal right of both nations to conduct bilateral trade relations.

Last month, former Trump regime acting DNI Richard Grenell met secretly with Venezuelan Vice President for Communications Jorge Rodriguez in Mexico, according to Bloomberg News.

It was a futile attempt to get President Maduro to step down ahead of US November 3 elections, Trump seeking a foreign policy success to tout that failed.

US war on Venezuela by other means, notably by Trump, imposed great hardships on its people alone — failing to achieve regime change.

US-designated puppet-in-waiting Guaido’s involvement in the scheme made him widely despised by the vast majority of Venezuelans.

Separately, Russia’s US embassy responded to unacceptable tightening of visas for its journalists by the Trump regime, creating “artificial barriers (that impede) their normal work,” adding:

“In particular, the limitation of the period of stay for foreign media employees to 240 days (with the possibility of extension up to 480 days) will not allow them to consistently cover local events.”

Journalists “will have to leave the United States for a considerable time to obtain a new visa.”

This new policy flies in the face of what “freedom of speech and equal access to information” is supposed to be all about.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed US accusations of alleged Moscow cybersecurity threats, calling them “unfounded,” adding:

“(T)his time (the US outdid itself) in anti-Russia rhetoric with extremely harsh statements occasionally bordering on bizarre rudeness.”

“Such an approach will not benefit the State Department and is indicative of the fact that they treat the culture and norms of state-to-state communication with disdain.”

Businessman Trump sought improved relations with Russia — the aim thwarted by surrounding himself with Russophobic hardliners.

The same holds for US hostility toward China, Iran, and other countries on its target list for regime change.

*

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Featured image is from podur.orgThe original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2020

American Militarism Marches On: No Discussion or Media Coverage of Washington’s War Against the World

Philip Giraldi October 22, 2020

Nearly everyone has heard the comment attributed for former Clinton consigliere Rahm Emanuel that one should never let a good crisis go to waste. The implication of the comment is that if there is a major crisis going on the cover it provides permits one to do all sorts of things under the radar that would otherwise be unacceptable. That aphorism is particularly true in the current context as there are multiple crises taking place simultaneously, all of which are being exploited to various degrees by interested parties.

One of the more interesting stories carefully hidden by the smoke being generate by civil unrest, plague and personal scandals is the continued march of American militarism. The story is particularly compelling as neither main party candidate is bothering to talk about it and there is no discussion of foreign policy even planned for the final presidential debate. Last week eccentric multi billionaire Elon Musk announced that he and the Pentagon are developing a new 7,500 m.p.h. missile capable of delivering 80 tons of military cargo nearly anywhere in the world in under an hour. It would undoubtedly be a major advanced capability catering to those military planners who envision continued U.S. intervention worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Meanwhile, agreement on a new START treaty that would limit the proliferation of some hypersonic weapon systems is stalled because the White House wants to include China in any deal. Beijing is not interested, particularly as Donald Trump is also claiming that Beijing will pay for the multi-trillion dollar stimulus packages that the United States will ultimately require to combat the coronavirus “… because this was not caused by our workers and our people, this was caused by China and China will pay us back in one form or another. We’re gonna take it from China. I tell you now, it’s coming out of China. They’re the ones that caused this problem.”

Indeed, China and Russia continue to be the boogeymen trotted out regularly to scare Americans. Last week Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s State Department issued a statement warning that “some foreign governments, such as those of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, seek to exert influence over U.S. foreign policy through lobbyists, external experts, and think tanks.” Why the statement was issued at this time, so close to elections is unclear, though it is possibly an attempt to line up possible scapegoats if the electoral process does not produce results acceptable to whomever loses. In fact, Russia and China hardly find a place on the list of those who fund lobbyists and think tanks.

Also of interest is another story about how Washington has chosen to interact with the world, one involving both enemy du jour Iran and Venezuela. Readers will undoubtedly recall how the United States seized in international waters four Greek owned but Liberian flagged tankers loaded with gasoline that were bound for Venezuela. The tankers were transporting more than a million gallons of fuel to economic basket case Venezuela, a country which is in its sad condition due to sanctions and other “maximum pressure” imposed by Washington, which has also sanctioned Venezuela’s own oil industry. The fuel was seized based on unilaterally imposed U.S. sanctions on Iranian sale or export of its own petroleum products, a move intended to strangle the Iranian economy and bring about an uprising of the Iranian people. As the sanctions imposed by Washington are not supported by the United Nations or by any other legal authority, the seizure is little more than exercise of a bit of force majeure that used to be called piracy.

Even though foreign and national security policy has not really been discussed in either the Biden or Trump campaign, there is general agreement in both parties that Venezuela is a rogue regime that must be replaced while Iran is an actual, tangible threat due to its alleged misbehavior in the Middle East. It has been dubbed by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the “number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Saner voices have observed that neither Venezuela nor Iran threaten the United States in any way and that the U.S. and Israel continue to kill many more civilians than Iran ever has, but they have been drowned out by the media talking heads who constantly spout the established narrative.

Well, the alleged Iranian fuel has arrived in New Jersey and a legal battle for custody of it has begun.  The fuel had been removed from the Greek tankers and transferred to other tankers for removal to the United States but the complication is that the Trump administration must now prove its case for forfeiture before the oil can be sold. The U.S. justification for seizing the cargoes is the claim that the fuel was an asset of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the Treasury, Justice and State Departments have conveniently designated a foreign terrorist organization. But that contention is disputed by the cargoes’ owners, who claim to have nothing to do with the IRGC. They include other energy exporters and shippers in the Middle East, namely Mobin International Limited, Oman Fuel Trading Ltd and Sohar Fuel Trading LLC FZ. They have filed a motion for dismissal and are seeking return of the fuel plus additional compensation for the losses they have suffered. One has to hope they win as it is the United States that is in the wrong in this case.

The entire saga of the tankers and the fuel is symptomatic of the undeclared economic warfare that the United States now prefers to use when dealing with adversaries. And there is considerable evidence to suggest that Washington is trying to goad Iran into responding with force, providing the U.S. government with a plausible rationale for responding in kind. President Trump has directly threatened Iran in an October 9th public statement in which he promised the Iranians that “If you fuck around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are gonna do things to you that have never been done before.”

So, Washington’s aggression directed against much of the world continues with a national election less than two weeks away but no one is talking about it. That would seem odd in and of itself, but the sad part is that it is deliberate collusion on the part of government and media to make sure the voting public remains unaware the extent to which the United States has in reality become a pariah, a full-time bully in its foreign relations.

‘Coward, Savage’ US Assassinated ISIL’s No.1 Enemy: Zarif

September 28, 2020

zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iranian were not brought to their knees in spite of tough economic pressures exerted by the United States against the country.

Speaking on Monday in a ceremony of honoring martyrs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the eight years of Sacred Defense, Zarif addressed US authorities and added, “You (US) are criminals against humanity and today, you are claiming the human rights? You are coward and savage but could not bring Iranians to their knees.”

While respecting and honoring the families of martyrs of the Foreign Ministry and commemorating the name and memory of all martyrs of the Islamic Revolution, Sacred Defense and nuclear scientists as well as martyrs of defenders of holy shrines especially former IRGC Quds Force Commander Lt. Gen. Suleimani and his comrades who were assassinated by the US terrorist forces in Iraq, he reiterated, “In spite of tough and cruel US sanctions imposed against the country, Iranians were not brought to their knees in the current economic war.”

The minister said that Washington assassinated ISIL terrorists’ number 1 enemy.

Addressing the families of martyrs, Zarif said, “Today, in this critical regional and international situation and in spite of irregularities, martyrs with their sacrifice bestowed dignity and grandeur to the Islamic Iran and did not allow others to insult noble people of the country during these years.”

He pointed out that martyrs brought dignity and pride for Iran and were it not for their braveries and courage, the country would have given in the battlefield during the eight years of the Sacred Defense.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif pointed to the eight years of Sacred Defense and said, “During Iran-Iraq war, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was heavily supported by other countries both financially and militarily and today, these countries are claimant of human rights which is ridiculous.”

SourceIranian Agencies

Iran seeks complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq to avenge Qassem Soleimani

By News Desk -2020-09-28

TEHRAN, IRAN – SEPTEMBER 18 : Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:45 A.M.) – The Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, Ali Shamkhani, said on Sunday, that the minimum penalty for those behind the assassination of the late Quds Force commander, Major General Qassem Soleimani, is the complete withdrawal of the U.S. forces from the region, especially Iraq.

During his meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, he called on the Iraqi government to follow up on the assassinations of Major General Qassem Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis.

Shamkhani continued, “The Zionist project is currently underway to normalize relations with some countries in the region under pressure from America, which aims only to fully dominate the region.”

He pointed out that “this operation, which is a major betrayal and a flagrant violation of the rights of the Palestinian people, will lead to escalation of instability and stir up differences among the countries of the region, as it will expose the existence of bargaining countries to serious dangers.”

It should be noted that Soleimani and Muhandis were both assassination on the night of January 3rd, 2020, near the Baghdad International Airport.

Following the assassination, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) of Iran fired several missiles towards the U.S. troops in Iraq, as they targeted two installations that housed the American forces.

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It’s better for U.S. forces to come to Persian Gulf to be within our reach: IRGC deputy chief

Source

September 23, 2020 – 19:54

TEHRAN – While the U.S. describes the deployment of its aircraft career to the Persian Gulf region as a show of force aimed at deterring Iran, a senior Iranian military official has welcomed the deployment of American troops to the region, saying they will be within Iran’s reach.

“It is better for them to come to the Persian Gulf because they will be within our reach,” Ali Fadavi, the deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), told the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network aired on Wednesday.

In a provocative move, the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Nimitz has entered the Persian Gulf for the first time in ten months on September 18, only one day before the U.S. announced the return of all UN sanctions on Iran. The U.S. navy said in a statement on the same day that the aircraft carrier’s transit through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf was “scheduled,” a clear attempt to dispel speculation over the timing of the deployment of USS Nimitz to the Persian Gulf, which came against a backdrop of heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington. However, the U.S. move was widely seen as a show of force to Iran.

“If the Americans commit new folly, they will be faced with unimaginable force.”The IRGC has flown home-made surveillance drones over the aircraft carrier and publish images of it. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier’s deck.

In a clear warning to the U.S., Fadavi said, “If the Americans commit new folly, they will be faced with unimaginable force.”

Iran also flexed its military muscles only a week before the U.S. aircraft carrier entered the Persian Gulf. On September 11, the Iranian Army began three-day military exercises in the Sea of Oman and parts of the Indian Ocean. The exercises, codenamed “Zolfaqar-99”, took place in areas spanning 2 million square kilometers. During the exercises, Iran’s armed forces unveiled and tested their state-of-the-art weapons, including a number of cruise missiles and combat drones.

Analysts believe that the Zolfaqar-99 exercises were meant to send a clear message to the U.S. that Iran is fully prepared to thwart any U.S. military action.

The IRGC has flown home-made surveillance drones over the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier and publish images of it. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier’s deck.“Iran conducted the Zolfaqar-99 exercises to show that it is able to defend itself in the face of any U.S, military action,” Seyed Jalal Sadatian, Iran’s former ambassador to the UK, told the Tehran Times.

Sadatian previously told the Tehran Times that Trump was likely to wage limited war with Iran to boost his reelection chances. According to the former ambassador, U.S. allies in the region cannot confront Iran alone and that the U.S. had no other options than strengthening their bases in the region to besiege Iran in a way that it would not be able to respond to any aggression.

“But they will fail because Iran has a strategic depth in the region and the U.S. can’t undermine this strategic depth. So if they attack Iran, they will be bogged down in the region. Any attack against Iran could pave the way for the U.S. to be mired in the region,” the former ambassador warned.

The U.S. threatened to attack Iran after an American publication accused Iran of weighing a plot to assassinate U.S. ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks in retaliation for the assassination of the IRGC’s Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani in early January. Iran strongly denied the accusation. 

After leaving the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, the U.S. sought to build a maritime coalition against Iran in the Persian Gulf. But its efforts in this regard failed to yield concrete results.

Fadavi said the Americans will never be able to create coalitions against Iran in the region. 
“They have not and will not succeed in forming any new coalition against the Islamic Revolution,” the top general said, adding, “The U.S. efforts to create coalitions against the Islamic Revolution are old.”

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Imam Khamenei: Sacred Defense Established Security in Iran, Enemies Will Pay Dearly If They Invade Country

Imam Khamenei: Sacred Defense Established Security in Iran, Enemies Will Pay Dearly If They Invade Country

By Staff, Agencies

Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei says Iran’s decisively victorious defense against foreign-backed forces of Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein proved that invading the country is a “very costly” undertaking.

“When a nation shows that it has the diligence and power to defend itself and delivers a crushing response to invaders, invaders would then think twice before perpetrating any incursion against this country and its people, and realize that such an act of aggression would be very costly for them,” the Leader said on Monday.

Imam Khamenei made the remarks via video-link during an even held in the capital Tehran to honor one million veterans of the country’s 1980-88 war against Saddam’s invading forces.

Successful engagement in the war, therefore, awarded the country its current level of security, the Leader noted, enumerating the rewards of the Sacred Defense.

The name signifies Iran’s eight-year-long struggle under the leadership of the late founder of the country’s Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini against the Iraqi aggressor.

The Leader said the defensive struggle also equipped the Iranian people with a sense of self-belief in its ability to fend for itself and put it on a course of technological and scientific development because it had to wade into many new areas to be able to buttress its defensive activities.

The war taught us that “some things that appear to be impossible, are actually possible,” Imam Khamenei stated.

While specifying the actual goal of the warmongers as being destruction of the country’s Islamic Revolution and its Islamic establishment, the Leader noted that Saddam and his Ba’ath party were just being used as “tools by powers, such as the United States, that had suffered serious blows from Iran’s Revolution.”

Others, like the Soviet Union, the Western military alliance of NATO, as well as some other Western and even European countries also contributed to the war because they were “concerned” about the emergence of a new phenomenon in the region that had been founded upon religion, Imam Khamenei said.

Documents that surfaced afterwards showed the US had entered some agreements with Saddam before the war, the Leader remarked, adding that during the war too, Washington would generously provide the former Iraqi dictator with intelligence and arms support.

Imam Khamenei reminded how weapon-laden vessels would dock at regional ports to shore up the invading forces against Iran on a daily basis during the wartime.

Imam Khomeini, however, identified the main forces lying behind the war well, and aptly advised that the Iranian nation to join the Armed Forces in fighting the invaders, the Leader said.

Imam Khomeini’s addresses at the time were marked by “truthfulness, innocence, acuity, and decisiveness,” while his leadership style featured appropriate discernment of the requirements of the battle’s different stages as well as proper moralizing of the Iranian servicemen, Imam Khamenei recalled.

His leadership of the country during the war was also “very prudent,” Imam Khamenei said, noting how his innovative wartime strategies would help the Armed Forces outflank the enemy at various stages.

In the meantime, Imam Khomeini brought about a “massive popular mobilization” during the war, helping recruit all the potentials that were being offered by the full spectrum of the country’s population into the battle, the Leader remembered.

This helped many potentials that lay latent in many people at the time to come to the fore, leading to emergence of many exceptional military, intelligence, and other leaders among the people, Imam  Khamenei said, citing the example of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, former commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps [IRGC], and many others.

The Leader said despite some attempts at casting doubt over Iran’s victory in the war, it should be known that the country’s triumph is “as bright as the sun” as neither did it lose a handspan of its soil, nor did its leadership take a single step back.

This is while the former monarchical regime’s reign was marked by regular unauthorized intervention of foreigners, including during the World Wars, Imam Khamenei noted.

The Leader said Sacred Defense constitutes part of the country’s national identity because it amounted to supreme manifestation of popular involvement.

The warfare, on the other hand, also betrayed the true and made-up face of the Western world to the Iranian people because it saw the entire Western front pool their forces to deny Iran everything and fortify its enemies to the limit, Imam Khamenei said.

The Leader recalled how the Western countries would outfit the aggressors with chemical weapons, thus going back on all of their pro-human rights claims

Imam Khamenei finally called for the promotion and preservation of the memory of the heroic struggle, especially through creation of rich textual materials that could yield many other instances of content, such as plays and motion pictures.

Prior to the Leader’s remarks, Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri briefed the participants on the country’s ongoing and pending plans to honor the memory of the war.

He unveiled a stamp printed out to honor the war’s 40th anniversary, and announced that the country would be inaugurating as many as eight Sacred Defense museums over the upcoming days.

“We are determined not to allow the distortion of the history of the Sacred Defense that is an invaluable resource for the next generation of the country’s independence, esteem, and pride,” the military chief said.

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

By News Desk -2020-09-19

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related News

Iran unveils new ‘Martyr Qassem Soleimani’ ballistic missile: video

By News Desk -2020-08-20

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) fired a missile from a launch site in the southern part of the Islamic Republic.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:45 P.M.) – On Thursday, the Iranian media published pictures of the stages of manufacturing, testing and launching the “Martyr Hajj Qassem” ballistic missile, which has a range of 1,400 km.

The Iranian Fars agency said, “The missile was unveiled this morning under the patronage of President Hassan Rouhani, referring to the video and pictures related to this missile.

Earlier today, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami announced that it had reached the manufacture of a naval cruise missile with a range of 1,000 km in the name of “Martyr Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandis” and a ballistic missile with a range of 1,400 km in the name of “Martyr Hajj Qassem Soleimani”.

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during the Iranian Ministry of Defense’s unveiling of the domestically produced 700 turbofan engine, called on the neighboring countries “to be confident that Iran will not use its military power against it.”

He said that “Iran’s strategy of deterrence is defensive, and it does not follow the strategy of attacking any country,” noting that the “Iranian production, investigation and efforts in the defense field are part of the defensive deterrent strategy, and we do not have an offensive strategy,” the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported on Thursday.

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IRGC Deputy Cmdr.: No US Official Valuable Enough to Be Soleimani’s Direct Ransom for Revenge

IRGC Deputy Cmdr.: No US Official Valuable Enough to Be Soleimani’s Direct Ransom for Revenge

By Staff, Agencies

Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Deputy Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani said that no US official is valuable enough to be targeted as a direct ransom for the assassination of the martyred IRGC Quds Force Commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.

“Given the intrinsic value of Hajj Qassem, it would be impossible to find anyone who is equally valuable [among the US military officials]; he is of so much value to the Resistance [front] that we cannot find anyone similar to retaliate,” General Javani said.

To take harsh revenge for the assassination of General Soleimani, the US should be expelled from region, he added, saying, “Therefore, we should focus on the result.”

General Javani also noted the immediate aftermaths of the assassination of General Soleimani, and said after the terror attack, accelerated collapse of the Zionist regime came under discussion and the Palestinian resistance groups have shown more determination to defeat Israel and the Iraqi parliament approved a bill to expel the US forces.

Last week, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami underlined again that Iran will certainly retaliate the US assassination of martyred Commander of General Soleimani.

“Certainly, we will take revenge for his blood,” General Salami said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran.

“We will continue the holy path that he paved, to the end without any stop, which is God willing, freedom of the holy Quds, the death of enemies of Islam and expelling them from Muslim territories,” he added.

Lieutenant General Soleimani was assassinated in a US drone strike on Baghdad International Airport in Iraq on January 3.

The airstrike also martyred Deputy Commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces [PMU] Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. The two were martyred in an American airstrike that targeted their vehicle on the road to the airport.

Five Iranian and five Iraqi military men were martyred by the missiles fired by the US drone at Baghdad International Airport.

Meantime, Iran announced in late June that it had issued arrest warrants for 36 officials of the US and other countries who have been involved in the assassination of the martyred General Soleimani.

“36 individuals who have been involved or ordered the assassination of Hajj Qassem, including the political and military officials of the US and other governments, have been identified and arrest warrants have been issued for them by the judiciary officials and red alerts have also been issued for them via the Interpol,” Prosecutor-General of Tehran Ali Alqasi Mehr said.

He said that the prosecuted individuals are accused of murder and terrorist action, adding that US President Donald Trump stands at the top of the list and will be prosecuted as soon as he stands down presidency after his term ends.

US Forces Ordered to Stay in Bunkers During IRGC Drills – Reports

US Forces Ordered to Stay in Bunkers During IRGC Drills - Reports

By Staff, Agencies

US military forces deployed to the Gulf kingdoms were reportedly ordered to stay in bunkers as Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] fired ballistic missiles during normal military drills off the strategic Hormuz Strait.

Citing her “sources” and those of the CNN, a reporter for the BBC wrote in a post on her official page on Tuesday that US troops based in the United Arab Emirates [UAE], Kuwait and Qatar had been briefly put on “high alert” due to “concerns” over Iran’s missile activities.

Other sources identified the facilities as al-Dhafra base in the UAE and al-Udeid air base in Qatar, saying the American troops deployed there had been asked to stay in bunkers.

US forces in Qatar and the UAE “went on high alert early Tuesday and were asked to stay in bunkers, due to intelligence indicators showing an Iranian ballistic missile had been fired and possibly headed their way, US officials tell CNN,” a Twitter user said, indicating that the US forces had misread the trajectory of Iranian missiles.

The reported high-alert notice came as the IRGC started the final phase of large-scale aerial and naval drills, codenamed Payambar-e Azam [The Great Prophet] 14, involving the elite force’s Aerospace Division and Navy.

The maneuvers were held in the general area of the Hormozgan Province, west of the strategic Hormuz Strait, and the Gulf.

The drills featured missiles, vessels, drones, and radars, and are designed to practice both offensive and defensive missions.

Tuesday saw the Corps stage strikes against the life-size replica of a Nimitz-class US aircraft carrier, which the American navy usually sails into the Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz.

The high-alert notice came a week after Leader of the Islamic Revolution His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei said Iran would definitely deliver a “counterblow” to the United States over the assassination of top anti-terror commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in January.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Imam Khamenei said while receiving visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran last week.

General Soleimani, former commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3 upon an order by US President Donald Trump.

US bases in Middle East were on high alert over Iranian missile fire: report

By News Desk -2020-07-29

The first batch of Rafale fighter jets are set to arrive in India’s Ambala Air Base on Wednesday afternoon after covering the 7,000 kilometers from France. The jets were stationed overnight at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. The same air base houses US and French troops and aircraft.

An alert was sounded at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Tuesday after intelligence indicators hinted at an incoming “Iranian missile possibly headed that way”. The Rafale fighter jets bound for India were also at the UAE base as part of an overnight stay.

Barbara Starr from American news channel CNN reported that there was intel on Iranian missiles, but US officials confirmed that no missile struck the facility. Three Iranian missiles reportedly splashed down in the waters near the base as part of Iran’s current military exercises. More

Watch: Iranian ballistic missiles fired from underground sites

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) fired ballistic missiles from underground platforms during the second day of the massive ‘Great Prophet-14’ military drills in the southwestern part of the country on Wednesday.

The successful firing of ballistic missiles fully hidden in camouflage deep under the ground is an important achievement that could pose serious challenges to enemy intelligence agencies, the Fars News Agency reported.

In the final stage of the IRGC’s drills, which took place in the waters of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the IRGC Aerospace Force’s drones attacked a mock enemy aircraft carrier and targeted its command tower and bridge.

Also, the IRGC’s Sukhoi-22 fighters bombed and destroyed pre-determined targets in Faror Islands with winged bombs.

The IRGC Aerospace and Naval Forces’ joint exercises played an important part of the drills and demonstrated surprising tactics, including the establishment of joint command systems, joint control, combined tactics and combat methods.

Iranian forces conduct naval operation against mock US aircraft carrier: video

Successful missile combat operations were carried out by firing two surface-to-surface Hurmoz and Fateh missiles, and a ballistic missile at specific targets, as well as launching precision-striking air defense missiles.

Also, Shahed 181, Mohajer and Bavar drones successfully attacked and destroyed hypothetical enemy targets and positions at this stage of the drills.

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Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches

Hajj Qassem Soleimani Repeatedly Risked His Life to Protect Sayyed Nasrallah; Precision Missiles Some of His Touches

By Staff, Agencies

This is the first time that the July 2006 war is being commemorated in the absence of the martyred commander who knew its every detail and lived through its perils. He was there alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh and Sayyed as well as the leaders overseeing the course of the war. But today, the commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, is strongly present in spirit.

Member of Hezbollah Central Council His Eminence Sheikh Nabil Qaouk recalls the role Hajj Qassem played during the war. In an exclusive with Al-Ahed News, he makes some interesting revelations.

“The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani,” he said.

According to Sheikh Qaouk, “Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.”

Sheikh Qaouk also touched upon the spiritual relationship between the Secretary General of Hezbollah and the commander of the Quds Force.

“Hajj Qassem Soleimani was concerned with preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.”

While talking about Commander Soleimani and the Divine Victory in July 2006, the capabilities of the resistance automatically come to mind.

“Today [the resistance is] at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, and its surprises,” Sheikh Qaouk warned.

He promises that “there are surprises that will take place on the battlefield that are not included in the enemy’s calculations, and, God willing, the greatest victory will be ours.”

“The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it.” This is according to the resistance, and the most important lessons revolved around the realization that “[we needed] to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.”

“We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.”

On the anniversary of the 2006 war, Sheikh Qaouk congratulated the wounded, whose scars bear witness to their heroism and the barbarism of the enemy. He congratulated the resistance fighters, who are the Men of God who continue to protect this nation – away from the limelight – and pose as the homeland’s dignity and pride. He also commended our loyal and faithful people – the most honorable and purest people on their steadfastness and their glorious victory. Moreover, he asked God to have mercy on the souls of the martyrs, who achieved this great victory.

Below is the full text of the interview:

* For the first time, you mark the anniversary of the July 2006 aggression in the absence of Hajj Qassem Soleimani. What do you remember about his role alongside Hajj Imad Mughniyeh in that war? Did you meet him during the 33 days of war?

The name of Hajj Qassem is resounding. It exudes dignity and pride. The name has an impact on friend and foe. To the enemy, his name is frightening – a nightmare for which every account is calculated. To the friend, it is a symbol of confrontation, will, challenge, and resistance.

When Hajj Qassem is mentioned, victories throughout the region and the world are remembered. I recall beautiful memories, most of which were on the battlefields, in confrontations, and on the front lines.

In fact, Hajj Qassem’s personality is ever-present in us because it is a unique model that possessed all the characteristics of a distinguished Islamic leader.

Hajj Qassem is party to all major accomplishments. He strengthened and developed the capabilities of the resistance. He led it to victories that changed the face of the region.

The precision missiles that established new equations in the conflict with the enemy, exposed the entity’s depth for the first time since 1948, and encircled this usurper entity is a strategic achievement recorded by Hajj Qassem Soleimani.

* When martyr Soleimani’s name is mentioned, what is the first thing that you remember?

As a reminder, Hajj Qassem refused to leave Lebanon during the July 2006 aggression, despite the brothers’ insistence that he leave for his own safety.

Hajj Qassem Soleimani insisted on staying in the heart of the battle, along with Hajj Imad Mughniyeh, Sayyed, and the rest of the brothers. He was one of the leaders on the battlefield. Hajj Qassem Soleimani put his life on the line. He was ready to be martyred at any moment. He employed the entirety of his jihadist experience in the service of the resistance, and he harnessed all his capabilities to defend Lebanon and defeat the enemy.

He was a partner in the 2006 victory, just as he was a partner in the 2000 victory. One of his main concerns during the aggression was preserving the safety of the Secretary General, His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and for that he faced death several times.

* 14 years after the July 2006 aggression, the resistance misses senior leaders such as Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, and Sayyed Zulfiqar. Did this loss cause a decline in the military capabilities that might be reflected in the readiness of the resistance in any future war?

The martyrdom of senior leaders along this jihadist path has always strengthened the resistance’s momentum, made it tougher, strengthened its resolve, and sharpened its will.

In the beginning, many leaders were martyred, including the sheikh of the martyrs, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, and the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Sayyed Abbas Al-Musawi and others. But the resistance march was not broken or weakened. It did not lose. Rather it grew and expanded. It deepened and became a choice and took root in the people’s consciousness, awareness, and conscience.

Today, years after the martyrdom of Hajj Radwan and Sayyed Zulfikar, we ask: Was the resistance in 2008 stronger, greater, and more capable or is it so today after their martyrdom? It is evident that today it is stronger, more powerful, and more capable!

What can we conclude from that? We conclude that the march, which is linked to God, is capable, with divine intervention, of overcoming all the difficulties and all its wounds. And with the martyrdom of its leaders, it does not retreat, but rather progresses and becomes more capable than before.

The same thing is true of the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem. We are not worried about the path of Hajj Qassem despite his absence because the source is present. The authentic Mohammedan Islam that made Hajj Qassem, Hajj Imad, Sayyed Zulfiqar, and their brothers is capable of making many Qassem Soleimanis, Imad Mughniyahs, and Mustafa Badreddines.

On this basis, the martyrdom of the leaders did not constitute any regression in terms of the capabilities, readiness, and spirit of the resistance. That spirit, which the enemy admitted that it had defeated in July, is still present and is today more driven.

The resistance today is at the peak of its strength, ability, and readiness, and the enemy can never underestimate or ignore the resistance’s strength, ability, and surprises.”

*During the aggression, you were in the south. What do you remember most about that war?

There is no doubt that wars burry themselves deep in the human conscience. There are two images that remain deep inside everyone who witnessed the war. The first is the image of blood spilled unjustly and the massacres. No one can forget the blood of his family and people. The image of the destruction the enemy caused is unforgettable, even if – thank God – our homes are better than they were.

The other is the image of the amazing resilience of our people. The victory trumpeted by dignity. It is the first victory of the nation in a direct confrontation with the enemy. The July victory officially documented to history and to the whole world that “Israel” was defeated, and that it was weaker than a spider’s web.

What does it mean when the resistance that has limited capabilities triumphs in the face of a global war waged by the fiercest usurping country in the region?

What does it mean when the enemy’s army that defeated the Arab armies within days was crushed near Aita al-Sha`b and Maroun al-Ras? What does it mean when it couldn’t reach Bint Jbeil, which is hundreds of meters away from its entity?

It is the historic divine victory that we should be proud of forever, and we thank God Almighty day and night for the great victory.

* After the July 2006 aggression, the Islamic resistance faced more than one internal and external challenge. It fought battles and lost martyrs on more than one front. How did the resistance benefit from these experiences to raise the level of its readiness? What do you promise the enemy in any future war?

Certainly, the experiences, capabilities, and techniques of the resistance after its defensive battles against the takfiri terrorists, whether in Lebanon or Syria, cannot be compared to what it had before these confrontations.

We must not forget that the capabilities and methods of the terrorists are a summary of the capabilities, ideas, and methods of major international intelligence services that were harnessed in these confrontations to support the terrorists.

In its battles, the resistance reaped the outcome of all these capabilities, methods, and experiences, and this in itself is a tremendous achievement. Therefore, we constantly hear and sense the “Israeli” concern about the tremendous quality and quantity of achievements gained by the resistance in those confrontations.

It is possible today to confirm with full confidence that all this is strongly present in the readiness of the resistance. The resistance employs all these experiences to amplify its high degree of readiness, which is the largest and only obstacle to the enemy and its ambitions. And because the enemies of Lebanon and the resistance cannot overcome the resistance and its equation, they have resorted today to other methods of confrontation. Hence, the economic aggression. As the truthful promise was achieved by the military resistance, the truthful promise will also be achieved by the economic resistance.

* How will the next war look like? Will it be between Lebanon and the Zionist entity, or do you see it as greater?

It is true that brutality and aggression are the enemy’s inherent features since its inception, but we cannot approach reality on the basis of this trait alone. Therefore, we do not see that an “Israeli” war on Lebanon is an absolutely imperative issue.

The period after 2006 is not the same as the period before it!

14 years ago, the resistance achieved victories, and its capabilities accumulated in full view of the enemy, but it could not do anything.

The cost of the aggression that prevented the enemy from waging a war during the past stage is higher and more severe today. If the enemy before was unable to bear the costs of the war, today it is even more incapable of doing so.

Talk by the enemy’s leaders about waging a war in recent years is an attempt to restore cohesion, to reestablish some of the prestige they lost, and to dispel the inability that is eating them. The enemy knows best that any mistake it makes will be a great and destructive sin. The calculations of any confrontation – if it happens – will be unusual and unpredictable, not at the level of its image, its geography, nor at the level of the elements of this confrontation.

Today, the “Israeli” enemy trembles from the equation of the destructive missiles that will fall on the entire usurper entity. It also trembles from the Galilee equation – an equation it has never witnessed since its inception. This is in addition to the great surprises that will trample the enemy and its position.

The strategy of the resistance has proven to be a powerful dam against the enemy’s ambitions and goals, and it is the strong shield that protects and maintains its existence.

* What about the divine intervention in July 2006?

The divine intervention was present in every detail of the July war as well as previous operations – from Operation Truthful Promise to the first moments of the aggression until the moment of victory.

There was divine kindness and intervention in the timing of the aggression. The enemy was forced to launch its aggression at the wrong time in which it did not complete its preparations, while the resistance was on high alert. Thus, the enemy lost the most important element of the war, the element of surprise.

The missile hit the Sa’ar ship at sea when the enemy turned off its radar and its protective equipment. Who told the captain to turn off the devices at that moment?

The enemy’s helicopter crashed in Yater at the time when the enemy was preparing to expand and change the pattern of the aggression. That crash caused frustration.

The Katyusha rockets rained down on paratroopers who were gathered at the

Kfar Giladi colony, killing and wounding dozens of officers and Zionist soldiers.

The feeling of tranquility among the resistance fighters along the front lines was divine. God Almighty planted love for the resistance and its secretary general in the hearts of the people in the most difficult, darkest, and bloodiest days.

The loyal people who sacrificed everything remained steadfast. They saw their life’s work burned and destroyed. However, the only word you hear from them is loyalty. This steadfastness and loyalty were divine intervention and kindness.

The entire course of the war was a intervention to the extent that even Shimon Peres had to declare that “God was with Hezbollah during the war.”

* What are the conclusions of the July 2006 war?

The main lessons of this war lie in the demise of the era of “Israeli” triumphs. The July victory is still continuing, and the enemy is still writhing at defeat.

During the war, we realized that we needed to be strong in a world ravaged by wolves and ruled by monsters.

We realized that we should not abandon our weapons and surrendering them is a betrayal of the homeland and the nation, and that we must protect these weapons with our bare hands. We realized that permanent readiness to confront the enemy must be achieved.

The essence of this war is that the enemy used everything and exhausted everything until it was threatened with a resounding fall. Meanwhile, the resistance proved that it is able to change the path of the region and turn dreams into reality by relying on God.

Iran’s top security official: Harsher revenge awaits perpetrators of Gen. Soleimani’s assassination

Source

Wednesday, 22 July 2020 4:29 PM 

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Members of the Iraqi honor guard walk past a huge portrait of Iran’s late top general Qassem Soleimani (L) and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad airport last month, during a memorial service held in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone on February 11, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Iran’s top security official says harsher revenge awaits the perpetrators of the attack that killed senior Iranian anti-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and his companions.

In a post on his Twitter page on Wednesday, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said that US President Donald Trump had admitted that the American, upon his direct order, committed the crime of assassinating General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), andAbu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) counter-terrorism force, who were two prominent figures of the anti-terrorism campaign.  

“The two Iranian and Iraqi nations are avengers of blood of these martyrsand will not rest until they punish the perpetrators,” read part of the tweet.

“Harsher revenge is one the way,” it concluded.

The two commanders and a number of their companions were assassinated in a US airstrike near Baghdad airport on January 3, as General Soleimani was on an official visit to the Iraqi capital.

Both commanders were extremely popular because of the key role they played in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh terrorist group in the region, particularly in Iraq and Syria.UN experts calls US drone attack on Gen. Soleimani ‘unlawful’ killingA senior UN human rights investigator says the United States’ assassination of top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad was an “unlawful” killing in violation of the international law.

In retaliation for the attack, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles a US base in Iraq on January 8. According to the US Defense Department, more than 100 American forces suffered “traumatic brain injuries” during the counterstrike. The IRGC, however, says Washington uses the term to mask the number of the Americans, who perished during the retaliation.

Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday Iran will never forget Washington’s assassination of General Soleimani and will definitely deliver a “counterblow” to the United States.Leader: Iran to deal US ‘counterblow’ for Gen. Soleimani’s assassinationLeader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei meets with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will never forget this issue and will definitely deal the counterblow to the Americans,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in Tehran.

“They killed your guest at your own home and unequivocally admitted the atrocity. This is no small matter,” Ayatollah Khamenei told the Iraqi premier.

A UN special rapporteur sayshas condemned the US assassination and said Washington has put the world at unprecedented peril with its murder of Iran’s top anti-terror commander.UN expert raps US for arbitrary drone attack that killed Gen. SoleimaniA UN special rapporteur slams the US for refusing to take responsibility for the assassination of General Soleimani in violation of international law.

Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, has also warned that it is high time the international community broke its silence on Washington’s drone-powered unlawful killings.


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Iranian official discusses Qassem Soleimani’s last hours

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-14

TEHRAN, IRAN – SEPTEMBER 18 : Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani attends Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s (not seen) meeting with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Tehran, Iran on September 18, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Press Office of Iranian Supreme Leader/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

BEIRUT, LEBANON (2:45 P.M.) – The Secretary of the Expediency Council for Diagnosing the System of Interest in Iran, Mohsen Rezai, said on Monday that the ‘method’ of the late leader of the Quds Force, Major General, Qassem Soleimani, “can help in establishing a new world order.”

In his speech at the second step of the revolution, Rezai considered, “The approach of the martyr Soleimani is a creator of man, a practitioner of jihad, and seeks to work with divine responsibility and the production of thought and strategy,” according to the official Fars News Agency.

He stressed the need for the “guardian’s rule in determining responsibility and how to work with it to be at the forefront of things,” adding that “we must know what our responsibility is when ISIS takes the residents of a village as hostages and places the knife on the necks of innocent people.”

The Secretary of the Expediency Council stated the necessity of “enjoying the collective mind in the path of fulfilling responsibility”, saying: “We have been searching for long hours to reach the collective mind regarding Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and all wars. In fact, the martyr Qassem Soleimani was working until the last hours of his life according to the collective mind to know the duty and how to do it better. ”

Rezai added that “today a person needs a new system and that the approach of the Imam, the leader of the revolution, and the martyr Soleimani bear good teachings to build this system,” saying: “The method of the martyr Soleimani can help to establish a new world order because it is a symbol of thought and good word.”

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If Soleimani Assassination Happened To the West, It Would Declare War – UN Official

By Staff, Agencies

If Soleimani Assassination Happened To the West, It Would Declare War - UN Official

The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, who has raised a firestorm by condemning the assassination of Iranian Lt. General Qassem Soleimani, has once again denounced the United States’ sheer disregard for international law.

“It is just violation of every single principle not only governing international law, but governing international relations,” Callamard told Beirut-based al-Mayadeen TV network in remarks aired on Sunday.

General Soleimani, the former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force, was assassinated in a US airstrike at Baghdad airport on January 3, along with Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units [PMU], and their companions.

Both commanders were extremely popular for their key role in eliminating the US-sponsored Daesh [the Arabic acronym for terrorist ‘ISIS/ISIL’ group in the region], particularly in Iraq and Syria.

On Thursday, Callamard provided the UN Human Rights Council with a report on the atrocity, which underlined the “unlawful” nature of the operation because the US had failed to provide evidence of an ongoing or imminent attack against its interests to justify the strike.

In her interview, Callamard repeated that the US has “failed to demonstrate how the strike could match and meet the requirement under the definition ‘self-defense.’”

“I should add that what they have done is part of an evolution that has been worrying me and many others for a number of years now,” she added.

The UN official explained how the US has falsely tried to rationalize such acts of aggression.

In response to the assassination, the IRGC fired volleys of ballistic missiles at a US air base in Iraq on January 8. Iran has also issued an arrest warrant and asked Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump, who ordered the assassination, and several other US military and political leaders behind the strike.

Had an official “from a so-called ‘democratic’ Western country” been targeted in such a manner, that country would have considered the attack “as an act of aggression and as declaration of war,” Callamard emphasized.

She reminded how the aftermath of the strike featured a flurry of diplomatic efforts at avoiding the exacerbation of the already dire situation brought about by the assassination, “because everyone understood that we were on the brink of something extremely serious”.

The UN rapporteur finally issued a warning to the US and other countries, urging them not to repeat such acts of aggression.

“I’m hoping that the international community and the United States will understand that we avoided the abyss after that strike,” she said. “Let’s make that the one and only moment, where such a step would have been taken.”

Callamard’s stance has enraged the United States, with State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus calling her report “tendentious and tedious.”

Ortagus on Wednesday accused her of “a special kind of intellectual dishonesty” for condemning the United States, claiming that Washington’s assassination of Gen. Soleimani was an act of “self-defense”.

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Washington feared an Iranian attack in the US after Soleimani’s assassination: magazine

Source

By News Desk -2020-07-10

In its report, the publication noted that Iranian-backed forces have not killed anyone on American soil since 1980, to the point that U.S. officials have come to believe that the Iranian leadership will not give orders to attack any American territory, unless it faces an existential threat.

The leaked report on the Joint Intelligence Center in California revealed that “many of the security and intelligence officials in Washington considered Soleimani’s assassination on January 2 to cross the red lines of Iran and a kind of existential threat to its influence in the Middle East and the world in general.

The report stated: “Historically, Tehran and its allies have carried out their reprisals against American interests mostly located outside American territory, but the specific operation that targeted the assassination of Soleimani and the position of the target person in the pyramid of power in Iran, prompted these American officials to warn that Tehran might resort to this.”

“We do not know of any specific and credible threat to the homeland by Hezbollah or parties linked to Iran, but Hezbollah or Iran could conduct operations in the United States against targets similar to those attacked in other places in the west. ”

The Ministry of Homeland Security issued another leaflet warning of Iranian-backed terrorism in response to the assassination of Soleimani, but this bulletin ended in March and was not updated.

Iran’s first response to the Soleimani assassination was carried out against the U.S. forces in Iraq on the evening of January 8th by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Though Iran has warned that their retaliation for the assassination of Soleimani has not ended, it appears, as of now, that they are concentrated on expelling the U.S. forces from Iraq and Syria.

’Powerful Bomb’ Planted by ‘Israel’ behind Natanz Station Explosion – Report

Source

’Powerful Bomb’ Planted by ‘Israel’ behind Natanz Station Explosion - Report

By Staff, Agencies

‘Israel’ is responsible for the explosion that took place at Iran’s Natanz nuclear site on July 2nd, by means of a “powerful bomb”, The New York Times [NYT] reported, citing an unnamed source described as a Middle East intelligence official.

According to the NYT source, the incident is not connected with other explosions that took place in Iran earlier, in particular a blast near Tehran’s Parchin military complex, which some reports have suggested is a missile production facility.

Relatively, former US national security adviser John Bolton questioned whether the recent explosions could have been connected and represented “a precursor of a larger attack”.

The NYT also cited a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC], who confirmed the explosive at the Natanz site, adding that investigators “have considered the possibility” that “a cruise missile or a drone” was used to attack Natanz, but saw a bomb scenario as more likely.

“The episode will probably accelerate plans to move more of Iran’s most sensitive facilities underground”, the IRGC member reportedly said.

The damage caused by the incident was described by Spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, as “significant”, noting that it could slow the development of cutting-edge uranium enriching centrifuges.

The cause of the incident has not yet been officially confirmed, but some reports suggest that Iran’s Supreme National Security Council [SNSC] has determined the reason behind the episode, and the facts will be announced “at a proper time”.

Iran also announced plans to replace the damaged Natanz site with a larger building with more advanced equipment.

Responding to unconfirmed media reports that suggest Tel Aviv’s involvement, Zionist war minister Benny Gantz stated that “not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us”, however he repeated that “nuclear Iran is a threat to the world and the region”.

Iran has consistently stated that it does not aim to develop a nuclear weapon, outlining that the goals of the country’s nuclear program are exclusively peaceful.

Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Assassinating Martyr Soleimani

Source

Iran Issues Arrest Warrant for Trump Over Assassinating Martyr Soleimani

By Staff, Agencies

Iran issued an arrest warrant and asked the Interpol for help in detaining US President Donald Trump and dozens of others involved in carrying out the drone strike that assassinated the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps [IRGC] Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani while on an official visit to the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad.

Tehran prosecutor Ali Alqasimehr said on Monday that Trump, along with more than 30 others Iran accuses of involvement in the January 3 attack that killed General Soleimani, face “murder and terrorism charges”, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Alqasimehr did not identify anyone else sought other than Trump, but stressed Iran would continue to pursue his prosecution even after his presidency ends.

The Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Alqasimehr was also quoted as saying that Iran had requested a “red notice” be put out for Trump and the others, the highest-level notice issued by Interpol, requesting that seeks the location and arrest of the individual named.

Under a red notice, local authorities make the arrests on behalf of the country that requested it. The notices cannot force countries to arrest or extradite suspects, but can put government leaders on the spot and limit suspects’ travel.

After receiving a request, Interpol meets by committee and discusses whether or not to share the information with its member states. Interpol has no requirement for making any of the notices public, though some do get published on its website.

It is unlikely the Interpol would grant Iran’s request as its guideline for notices forbids it from “undertaking any intervention or activities of a political” nature.

The US killed General Soleimani along with the Iraqi paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi second-in-command Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and their companions in the January attack near Baghdad International Airport.

Trump confessed at the time of crime that the airstrike was carried out upon his direct order.

Why Iran won’t be broken

June 26, 2020

Why Iran won’t be broken

Submitted by Pepe Escobar – source Asia Times

So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”?

These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts.

As Marandi explains, “Iran after the revolution was all about social justice. It set up a very elaborate health care network, similar to Cuba’s, but with more funding. A large hospital network. When the coronavirus hit, the US was even preventing Iran to get test kits. Yet the system – not the private sector – managed. There was no full shutdown. Everything was under control. The numbers – even contested by the West – they do hold. Iran is now producing everything it needs, tests, face masks. None of the hospitals are full.”

Expanding Marandi’s observations, Tehran-based journalist Alireza Hashemi notes, “Iran’s wide primary healthcare system, comprising public clinics, health houses and health centers is available in thousands of cities and villages”, and that enabled the government to “easily offer basic services”.

As Hashemi details, “the Health Ministry established a Covid-19 call center and also distributed protective equipment supplied by relief providers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the armed forces to help – with the government deploying 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to disinfect streets and public places, distribute sanitizers and masks and conduct tests.”

It was the Iranian military that established production lines for producing face masks and other equipment. According to Hashemi, “some NGOs partnered with Tehran’s chamber of commerce to create a campaign called Nafas (“breath”) to supply medical goods and provide clinical services. Iran’s Farabourse, an over-the-counter stock market in Tehran, established a crowd funding campaign to purchase medical devices and products to help health workers. Hundreds of volunteer groups – called “jihadi” – started producing personal protective equipment that had been in short supply in seminaries, mosques and hussainiyas and even natural fruit juices for health workers.”

This sense of social solidarity is extremely powerful in Shi’ite culture. Hashemi notes that “the government loosened health-related restrictions over a month ago and we have been experiencing a small slice of normality in recent weeks.” Yet the fight is not over. As in the West, there are fears of a covid-19 second wave.

Marandi stresses the economy, predictably, was hurt: “But because of the sanctions, most of the hurt had already happened. The economy is now running without oil revenue. In Tehran, you don’t even notice it. It’s nothing compared to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey or the UAE. Workers from Pakistan and India are leaving the Persian Gulf in droves. Dubai is dead. So, in comparison, Iran did better in dealing with the virus. Moreover, harvests last year and this year have been positive. We are more self-reliant.”

Hashemi adds a very important factor: “The Covid-19 crisis was so massive that people themselves have pitched in with effort, revealing new levels of solidarity. Individuals, civil society groups and others have set up a range of initiatives seeking to help the government and health workers on the front line of countering the pandemic.”

What a relentless Western disinformation campaign always ignores is how Iran after the revolution is used to extremely critical situations, starting with the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Marandi and Hashemi are adamant: for older Iranians, the current economic crisis pales in comparison with what they had to put up with throughout the 1980s.

Made in Iran soars

Marandi’s analysis ties up the economic data. In early June, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht – responsible for planning Iran’s state budgets – told the Majlis (Parliament) that the new normal was “to sideline oil in the economy and run the country’s programs without oil.”

Nobakht stuck to the numbers. Iran had earned just $8.9 billion from the sale of oil and related products in 2019-20, down from a peak of $119 billion less than a decade ago.

The whole Iranian economy is in transition. What’s particularly interesting is the boom in manufacturing – with companies focusing way beyond Iran’s large domestic market towards exports. They are turning the massive devaluation of the rial to their advantage.

In 2019-20, Iran’s non-oil exports reached $41.3 billion. That exceeded oil exports for the first time in Iran’s post-revolutionary history. And roughly half of these non-oil exports were manufactured goods. Team Trump’s “maximum pressure” via sanctions may have led to total non-oil exports going down – but only by 7%. The total remains near historic highs.

According to Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data published by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, private sector manufacturers were seriously back in business already in the first month following the relaxation of the partial lockdown.

The fact is Iranian consumer goods and industrial products – everything from cookies to stainless steel – are exported by small and medium enterprises to the wider Middle East and also to Central Asia, China and Russia. The myth of Iranian “isolation” is, well, a myth.

Some new manufacturing clusters bode well for the future. Take titanium – essential for myriad applications in military, aerospace, marine industries and industrial processes. The Qara-Aghaj  mine in Urmia, the provincial capital of West Azarbaijan, which is part of Iran’s mineral belt, including the country’s largest gold reserves, has tremendous potential.

Iran features in the Top 15 of mineral-rich countries. In January, after getting the technology for deep-level mining, Tehran launched a pilot project for extraction of rare earth minerals.

Still, Washington pressure remains as relentless as the Terminator.

In January, the White House issued yet another executive order targeting the “construction, mining, manufacturing, or textiles sectors of the Iranian economy.” So Team Trump is targeting exactly the booming private sector – which means, in practice, countless Iranian blue-collar workers and their families. This has nothing to do with forcing the Rouhani administration to say, “I can’t breathe”.

The Venezuelan front

Apart from a few scuffles between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Health Ministry about China’s response to Covid-19, the Iran-China “comprehensive strategic partnership” (CSP) remains on track.

The next big test is actually in September. That’s when Team Trump wants to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Add to it the threat to trigger the snapback mechanism inbuilt in UNSC resolution 2231 – if other Security Council members refuse to support Washington and let the embargo expire for good in October.

China’s mission at the UN has stressed the obvious. The Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA. Then it reimposed unilateral sanctions. Thus it has no right to extend the arms embargo or go for the snapback mechanism against Iran.

China, Russia and Iran are the three key nodes of Eurasia integration. Politically and diplomatically, their key decisions tend to be taken in concert. So it’s no wonder that was reiterated last week in Moscow at the meeting of Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Javad Zarif – who get along famously.

Lavrov said, “We will be doing everything so that no one can destroy these agreements. Washington has no right to punish Iran.”

Zarif for his part described the whole juncture as “very dangerous”.

Additional conversations with Iranian analysts reveal how they interpret the regional geopolitical chessboard, calibrating the importance of the axis of resistance (Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah) in comparison with two other fronts: the US and its “stooges” (the House of Saud, UAE, Egypt), the master – Israel – and also Turkey and Qatar, which, like Iran, but unlike the “stooges”, favor political Islam (but of the Sunni variety, that is, the Moslem Brotherhood).

One of these analysts, pen name Blake Archer Williams, significantly remarks, “the main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran. If Trump does not have a Reagan moment and does not prevail on Iran, and the US is in any event driven out of the Middle East by the continuing process of Iran’s weapons parity and its ability to project power in its own pond, then all of the oil of the Middle East, from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, to Iraq, of course, and not least to the oilfields in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region (where all the oil is and is 100% Shi’ite), will come under the umbrella of the axis of resistance.”

Still, Russia-China continue to back Iran on all fronts, for instance rebuking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for giving in to US “bullying” – as the IAEA’s board last week passed a resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany criticizing Iran for the first time since 2012.

Another key foreign policy front is Venezuela. Tehran’s soft power, in quite a spectacular manner keenly observed all across the Global South, de facto ridiculed Washington’s sanctions/blockade in its own Monroe Doctrine “backyard”, when five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline successfully crossed the Atlantic and were received by a Venezuelan military escort of jets, helicopters, and naval patrols.

That was in fact a test run. The Oil Ministry in Tehran is already planning a round two of deliveries to Caracas, sending two or three cargos full of gasoline a month. That will also help Iran to offload its huge domestically produced fuel.

The historic initial shipment was characterized by both sides as part of a scientific and industrial cooperation, side by side with a “solidarity action”.

And then, this past week, I finally confirmed it. The order came directly from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In his own words: “The blockade must be broken”. The rest is – Global South – history in the making.

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