US-Iran tensions heat up as both manoeuvre military forces around Gulf

Iran raises maritime readiness levels as US moves its regional forces in lead-up to anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination

Iran judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi speaks on Friday at Tehran University commemoration of first anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s assassination (AFP)By MEE staffPublished date: 1 January 2021 19:44 UTC | 

Tensions between the US and Iran have escalated in recent days, with both countries manoeuvring military forces and warning the other against any sort of attack. 

With just weeks left of Donald Trump’s presidency, the first anniversary of the US assassination of Iran’s top general has ramped up the rhetoric coming out of both Tehran and Washington. Iran accuses Trump of plotting ‘pretext for war’ with B-52 deployment

Iran raised the readiness levels of its maritime forces on Friday.

Quds Force Commander: All of The World’s Free People to Avenge Trump Assassination of Soleimani, Al-Muhandis

Whether its move in the Gulf is offensive or defensive remains unclear given recent US actions, but Iran’s Quds force commander Esmail Qaani warned Washington on Friday that retribution for the 3 January assassination of Qassem Soleimani may come from inside the US.

“By committing this crime, you created a job for all freedom-seeking people across the globe. Be sure that it is possible that some people will be found inside your home to respond to your crime,” General Qaani said during a commemoration ceremony at the University of Tehran, as quoted by the Tehran Times.

At the same event, Iran’s judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi also sent a warning to the US, saying during a speech that Soleimani’s killers will “not be safe on Earth” and that not even Trump would be “immune from justice”. 

US prepares its forces 

The US has been making strategic military moves as well, aimed at warding off any potential retaliatory strikes against its assets in the region in the run-up to the Soleimani anniversary.

From fortifying forces around its embassy in neighbouring Baghdad to flying long-range show-of-force warplane missions near Iranian waters, the US has stressed its manoeuvres are defensive in nature. 

“We do not seek conflict, but no one should underestimate our ability to defend our forces or to act decisively in response to any attack,” General Frank McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, said in a statement following the US’s Wednesday air mission. ‘A clear deterrent’: US flies two B-52 bombers near Iranian waters

Two B-52 bombers carried out a non-stop 30-hour flight from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota to the Gulf and back. 

Earlier this week, the Pentagon said it had intelligence indicating possible Iranian plans to target US assets, but Iran denied the claims, accusing the US of banging war drums as a means to antagonise Iran into taking action. 

Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Thursday that Washington had wasted billions of dollars on the air mission, and reiterated that while Tehran was not seeking conflict, it would defend itself.

“Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region,” Zarif tweeted.

“Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests.”

Zarif also celebrated Trump’s election loss in a New Years Eve message, saying: “As we end a year of anguish, let us hope for new beginnings in the coming year, ending the insane era of contempt for law and multilateralism—a four-year one that caused so much bloodshed, terror & cruelty.”

Later Thursday, Major General Hossein Dehghan, military adviser to Iran’s supreme leader, addressed a tweet directly to Trump, warning him “not to turn the New Year into a mourning for Americans”.

A rift in the Pentagon?

One senior defence official who is directly involved in the intelligence discussions told CNN that there is “not a single piece of corroborating intel” suggesting an attack by Iran may be imminent.US sends dozens of armoured vehicles to Iraq ahead of Soleimani death anniversary

Critics of Trump have accused his administration of looking for a reason to begin military confrontations with Iran in the final weeks of his presidency as a way to sabotage President-elect Joe Biden’s plans to re-enter a nuclear deal with Iran. 

Biden is set to take over the White House on 20 January and has made clear his intentions to re-negotiate a deal with Tehran, ending four years of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign against the republic. 

Meanwhile, in Iraq, supporters of the Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary group held a demonstration in Baghdad’s western Shoala neighbourhood on Friday to commemorate the assassination of Soleimani as well as the killing of Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis who was targeted in the same strike last year.

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The Iranian-Turkish Scandal Over Azerbaijan Is Just A Gigantic Misunderstanding

12 DECEMBER 2020

By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

The Iranian-Turkish Scandal Over Azerbaijan Is Just A Gigantic Misunderstanding

President Erdogan’s recitation of a 19th-century Azeri nationalist poem during his attendance at Baku’s Victory Parade as his Azerbaijani counterpart’s guest of honor last week provoked harsh criticism from Iranian officials who regarded it as implying territorial claims on their country’s three northwestern provinces that form part of the historic Azerbaijan region (which also naturally includes the Republic of Azerbaijan), though the entire scandal is just a gigantic misunderstanding since it’s doubtful that the Turkish leader meant to convey any such intentions and simply wasn’t aware at the time of how negatively those words would be interpreted by the Iranian government.

The Aras River Poem

The Iranian-Turkish Strategic Partnership was rocked by a sudden scandal after Tehran strongly protested President Erdogan’s recitation of a 19th-century national Azeri nationalist poem during his attendance at Baku’s Victory Day parade as his Azerbaijani counterpart’s guest of honor last week. The controversial words that the Turkish leader uttered are as follows: “They separated the Aras River and filled it with rocks and rods. I will not be separated from you. They have separated us forcibly.” This poem has previously been used by some to imply territorial claims on Iran’s three northwestern provinces that form part of the historic Azerbaijan region, which was separated by the Aras River from what is nowadays the Republic of Azerbaijan (which forms the other half of that transnational region) as a result of Russian imperial conquests at the time.

Diplomatic Disagreements

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif swiftly responded on Twitter by writing that “Pres. Erdogan was not informed that what he ill-recited in Baku refers to the forcible separation of areas north of Aras from Iranian motherland. Didn’t he realize that he was undermining the sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan? NO ONE can talk about OUR beloved Azerbaijan.” The Turkish Ambassador to Iran was then summoned to that country’s Foreign Ministry over President Erdogan’s comments, after which the Iranian Ambassador to Turkey was symmetrically summoned to that country’s Foreign Ministry to deny the allegations made against their leader and complain about Tehran tweeting about this misunderstanding instead of utilizing diplomatic channels to resolve it. The resultant scandal has predictably emboldened opponents of their strategic partnership to become more vocal.

The Iranian-Turkish Strategic Partnership

Objectively speaking, however, the entire issue seems to be a gigantic misunderstanding. It’s extremely unlikely that President Erdogan was aware of the negative historical connotation associated with that nationalist Azeri poem, exactly as Foreign Minister Zarif suggested, but at the same time, Tehran felt obligated to publicly oppose anything that can even remotely be misportrayed by those will ill intent as encouraging Azeri separatism in northwestern Iran. Iran and Turkey are closer nowadays than at any time in recent memory as a result of their geostrategic convergence on several issues of common interest across the so-called “Greater Middle East” such as Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, and even Libya. It’s therefore unthinkable that President Erdogan would knowingly jeopardize this historic moment just to earn more applause during a parade in Baku.

Azerbaijan’s Regional Integration Proposal

It can’t be known for sure, but President Erdogan might have had his Azerbaijani counterpart’s visionary proposal for a regional integration platform in mind — which he likely would have been briefed about before his trip — when he made the decision to recite that poem during the parade. President Aliyev told reporters after his talks with President Erdogan shortly before the parade started that a new multilateral platform should be created in the region for all the relevant countries to join. The day after, President Erdogan told a Turkish TV channel that “Mr. Putin has a positive view on this idea”, which the Turkish leader also said could include Armenia, Georgia, and Iran as well. If this ambitious platform is successfully created, then the Aras River — among other borders — would naturally transform from a regional barrier into a bridge for regional integration.

Iranian Interests

There’s a pretty good chance that most — if not all — of the relevant countries will decide to join, with the only possible uncertainties between Armenia and Georgia, the first of which might still be sour about its nearly three-decade-long occupation force finally being kicked out of Nagorno-Karabakh while the latter might refuse to join any platform alongside Russia due to their dispute over the status of Abkahzia and South Ossetia (which Tbilisi claims as its own while Moscow recognizes both of them as independent). In any case, Iran has everything to gain by strengthening multilateral strategic relations with Azerbaijan, Russia, and Turkey, especially those with a security dimension such as thwarting any separatist plots of ultra-nationalist radicals in its northwestern provinces who might be influenced by hostile third parties like the US and “Israel”.

President Erdogan’s Optimistic Mindset

Having established the background context of President Erdogan’s controversial remarks, it therefore can’t be discounted that was simply assuming the future successful implementation of the regional integration proposal that President Aliyev had just publicly unveiled immediately prior to the military parade at which his guest of honor was invited to speak. In the Turkish leader’s mind, the nationalist aspirations embodied by that poem could finally be fulfilled through peaceful means as a result of creating a transnational community of peace and prosperity through closer regional integration between Azerbaijan and Iran alongside the other members such as Turkey, Russia, and possibly even Armenia and Georgia that could also join this initiative. Had he known how negatively Iran would have reacted to his words, however, then he might not have said them in hindsight.

Clarifying The Turkish Leader’s Comments

All that President Erdogan seemingly intended to convey was that the era of regional divisions has ended as a new era of regional integration emerges in its wake following Azerbaijan’s glorious military victory over Armenia. He certainly didn’t mean to imply that the Azerbaijan would set its sights on the historic Iranian region of the same name next, but just that the Aras River which has separated the transnational Azeri people for over one and a half centuries might soon transform from a regional barrier to a gateway for regional integration in the event that President Aliyev’s visionary proposal is successful. Having presumably been briefed about it ahead of time, he probably thought that his recitation of that nationalist Azeri poem would speak to the heartfelt aspirations of this divided people without realizing how negatively the Iranian state would react to it.

Hindsight Is 20/20

It’s for this reason that observers can remain optimistic about the prospects of the Iranian-Turkish Strategic Partnership and the larger regional integration goals that their leaders share since both governments will probably realize just how gigantic of a misunderstanding this entire scandal really is after finally speaking to one another about it behind closed doors. President Erdogan likely only had positive intentions in mind, yet Tehran wanted to make sure that no one with ill intent exploited his words, hence its very harsh public reaction to them. In hindsight, perhaps President Erdogan shouldn’t have recited that nationalist poem, the same as Foreign Minister Zarif should have resorted to traditional diplomatic channels to resolve the misunderstanding instead of going public with it, yet neither state representative meant any harm by what they did.

A Sad Misunderstanding

It’s all simply a sad misunderstanding where one well-intended action unwittingly led to another. After President Erdogan recited the nationalist Azeri poem, the Iranian government felt compelled to publicly respond in order to make its displeasure known and preemptively thwart any potentially forthcoming Balkanization attempts by hostile third parties such as the US and “Israel”. It’s regrettable how everything turned out considering the original intent since this scandal has overshadowed President Aliyev’s visionary regional integration proposal. Moreover, the opponents of the Iranian-Turkish Strategic Partnership in both countries and abroad have become more vocal over the past few days, which could set into motion a self-sustaining cycle of distrust among their friendly people if such views aren’t moderated as soon as possible.

Concluding Thoughts

Looking forward, it’s predicted that this scandal will soon pass and that the Iranian-Turkish Strategic Partnership will emerge even stronger as a result, especially if both countries join Azerbaijan’s proposed regional integration platform alongside Russia and perhaps even Armenia and Georgia as well in the best-case scenario. As it stands, all sides should accept that this scandal is just a gigantic misunderstanding and realize in hindsight what they should have done better. Under no circumstances must they submit to the sudden pressure upon them to weaken their newfound strategic partnership since that would only ultimately end up playing into their geopolitical enemies’ hands. The larger region needs closer integration at this historic moment, not a return to the era of distrust and Balkanization plots, which both leaderships seem to understand very well.

Prominent Iranian physicist assassinated near Tehran

Friday, 27 November 2020 2:08 PM  [ Last Update: Friday, 27 November 2020 9:10 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)
A file photo of martyred Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

Prominent Iranian physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has been assassinated in a terrorist attack near the capital Tehran.

The Fars news agency reported that he had been targeted on Friday in a multi-pronged attack involving at least one explosion and small fire by a number of assailants in Absard city of Damavand County, Tehran Province.

The attack targeted the vehicle carrying Fakhrizadeh — who headed the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), the agency said.

The Defense Ministry’s media office said Fakhrizadeh “was severely wounded in the course of clashes between his security team and terrorists, and was transferred to hospital,” where he succumbed to his injuries.

Fars said 3-4 people were killed in the shooting, all of whom were said to be terrorists.

Photos and footage shared online of the attack showed bullet holes on the windshield of Fakhrizadeh’s car and a pool of blood on the road.

The photo shows a car that was targeted in a deadly shooting attack by terrorists in Absard city, near the Iranian capital of Tehran, November 27, 2020. (By Fars news agency)

‘Serious indications of Israeli role’

In a statement, Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif roundly condemned the terror attack, saying there were “serious indications” of the Israeli regime’s role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, a professor of physics at Imam Hussein University of Tehran.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today. This cowardice—with serious indications of Israeli role—shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators,” he said in a tweet.

The top Iranian diplomat called on the international community, especially the European Union, to “end their shameful double standards & condemn this act of state terror.”

‘Harsh revenge awaits criminals’

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri blamed the “savage” attack on “terrorists tied to global arrogance and the evil Zionist regime.”

The assassination, he said, did deal a blow to Iran’s defense industry, but the enemies should know that “the path opened by the likes of Martyr Fakhrizadeh will never end.”

The photo shows the site of a terror attack, which targeted an Iranian scientist, in Absard city, north of the Iranian capital, Tehran, November 27, 2020. (By Fars news agency)

Baqeri said “harsh revenge” awaits the terror groups as well as all those who had a hand in the terror attack.

The commander assured the Iranian nation that the perpetrators of the terror attack will be pursued and brought to justice.

In a similar message, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Major General Hossein Salami vowed a “harsh revenge and punishment” for those behind the act of terror.

The assassination of the Iranian scientist “was planned and run by the fake, terrorist and infanticide Zionist regime,” the chief IRGC commander added.

Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi also said in a statement that an operation had been launched to identify the terrorist elements complicit in the “brutal crime,” pledging that the Islamic Republic will avenge the martyr’s blood.

In turn, Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan, military advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, also reacted to Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom in a tweet, vowing a crushing response to the perpetrator.

“We will come down hard on those who killed Martry Mohsen Fakhrizadeh like thunder and make them regret their deed,” he said.

“In the final days of their allied gambler’s political life, the Zionists are after intensifying pressure on Iran in order to trigger an all-out war,” said Dehqan in a reference to outgoing US President Donald Trump’s final days in office.

Fakhrizadeh’s name was mentioned multiple times in a presentation in 2018 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear program.

Netanyahu described the scientist as the director of Iran’s nuclear program and threatened, “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands by a screen with a purported image of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a news conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

The Tel Aviv regime has made several attempts over the past years to throw a wrench in Tehran’s peaceful nuclear work.

The regime has been behind the assassination of several Iranian nuclear scientists. It has also conduced cyberattacks on Iranian nuclear sites.

‘The crime won’t block Iran path to scientific progress’

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi said the “big crime” was carried out by “traitorous elements linked to foreigners and international Zionism with the sinister goal of hindering the country’s scientific progress.”

Raeisi further praised the scientist’s role in speeding up Iran’s advancements in various scientific fields, including the nuclear industry, saying Fakhrizadeh’s martyrdom will not block the country’s path forward.

He called on the country’s security and intelligence institutions in addition to relevant judicial bodies to do their utmost to arrest and serve justice to the criminals and mercenaries involved in the crime as soon as possible.


Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

www.presstv.ir

www.presstv.co.uk

www.presstv.tv

العقوبات الأميركيّة المتوحّشة

المصدر

على أبواب الانتخابات الرئاسية الأميركية تطبّق إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب حزمة عقوبات على المصارف الإيرانية بالجملة لمنع التعامل معها من كل مصارف العالم، ما يعني وفقاً لوصف وزير الخارجية الإيرانية محمد جواد ظريف إغلاق المنفذ الذي يعرف الأميركيون أنه لا يستخدم إلا لعمليات شراء الغذاء والدواء.

إذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون أن قراراتهم التصعيديّة لن تصيب ما يعتبرونه مصدر انزعاجهم من السياسات الإيرانيّة النوويّة والعسكريّة والإقليميّة، وإذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون أن إجراءاتهم لن تغير في الموقف السياسي لإيران بل ستزيدها تشدداً، وإذا كان الأميركيون يعلمون وفقاً لتجاربهم أن تدفيع الشعب الإيراني عبر صحته وغذائه ثمن قراراتهم لن يؤدي لفك هذا الشعب عن قيادته ودفعه إلى الشوارع، فلماذا يقدمون عليها خلافاً لادعائهم بالفصل والتمييز بين مشاكلهم مع القيادة الإيرانية وادعائهم الحرص على الشعب الإيراني؟

لا جواب سياسي عقلاني يفسر الخطوات الأميركية، والتفسير الوحيد هو أن حياة الشعوب لم تعُد تملك أي حصانة في الألاعيب السياسية الصغيرة فرئيس ضعيف انتخابياً يتوهم أن إظهار صورة الرئيس القوي بالبطش بحياة ملايين البشر قد يحسّن ظروف فوزه لن يتورّع عن أي خطوات متوحشة من أجل كتابة تغريدة تقول إنه رئيس قوي سواء عبر مثل هذه العقوبات أو خوض حرب مدمّرة لا تردعه عنها القيم بل الخشية من التداعيات.

الحال في سورية لا تختلف مع العقوبات الأميركية، حيث يعاني السوريون في سعر عملتهم الوطنية وفي موارد حياتهم، وخصوصاً الصحيّة بسبب العقوبات وتعيش سورية بسببها أزمات محروقات مستدامة تعبيرات مختلفة عن حال التوحّش التي أدخلتها الإدارات الأميركية إلى السياسة الدولية.

إقفال المصارف في مناطق حزب الله والثغرة اللبنانية السوداء…!

 السيد سامي خضرا

يتفنَّن الأميركيون دوماً في التآمر وأذيَّة الشعوب مُرفقين ذلك بكثيرٍ من العنجهية والغرور.

وهذا واضحٌ من خلال سلوك مسؤوليهم ودبلوماسيّيهم الرسميين.

وتُعاني الكثير من الشعوب من الاعتداءات الأميركية العسكرية والأمنية والاقتصادية وغيرها.

ونحن في لبنان كنا نتعرّض دوماً لمثل هذه الاعتداءات المُستمرة على مستوياتٍ مُختلفة، لكنها ازدادت في السنة الأخيرة لتصبح أكثر صلافةً ووقاحةً، خاصةً أنها تجري بتواطؤ داخلي صريح من زعماء وموظفين وجهات كانوا في كلّ تاريخهم وديعةً أميركيةً تُستعمل عند الحاجة!

فالذي يُعانيه اللبنانيون في الأشهر الأخيرة ما هو إلا نتيجة القرارات المؤامرات التي يُنفِّذها الفريق الأميركي الذي يتسلّم الملف اللبناني والذي كان من جملة جرائمه المخالِفة لكلّ القوانين أن هدَّدُوا وفرضوا على المصارف اللبنانية اتباع خطوات معينة وإلا سوف يتعرّضون لعقوبات!

وأقدموا على نماذج لذلك!

وما يؤسَفُ له أنّ المصارف في لبنان ليست بحاجة لتهديد فهي مُنصاعةٌ متواطئةٌ أصلاً.

بل إنّ الكثير من أصحاب ومؤثِّري وأصحاب القرارات في المصارف هم فضلاً عن مصالحهم الأميركية يسيرون مع سياستها بالتلميح ودون حاجة إلى التصريح.

ولعلّ أهمّ اعتداء حصل هذا العام هو مُصادرة كلّ أموال اللبنانيين قاطبة هكذا بطريقةٍ مافيَوِيَّة نظنّ أن لا مثيل لها في العالم أو هي نادرة، وبالرغم من ذلك لم يتحرك أحدٌ تحركاً جدياً للمطالبة بحقوق اللبنانيين!

بل من الإهانة أنّ المسؤولين الأميركيين يُهدّدون ويطرحون خططهم علناً دون استحياء… ولا من مُعلِّق ولا من مُجيب!

وبالأمس تقدّم عددٌ من المسؤولين الأميركيين باقتراح إقفال المصارف في المناطق التي ينشط فيها حزب الله أو له فيها قوة ونفوذ!

هكذا بكلّ وقاحة وبإجراء لم يُعهَد في كلّ أنحاء العالم يريد هؤلاء مع عملائهم داخل لبنان أن يقوموا بخطوةٍ لمُحاصرة جماهير وأنصار مجتمع المقاومة!

وليس مُستغرَباً أن تكون هذه الخطوة من جملة التصرف الأرعن للإدارة الأميركية وأن ينعكس عليها سلباً وليس بالضرورة أن يكون إيجابياً أو لصالحها أو أن يخدم مُخطَّطاتها العدوانية.

فكيف يمكن تحديد فروع المصارف تَبَعاً للمناطق؟

وكيف يمكن تمييز هذا الحيّ عن هذا أو هذه المنطقة عن هذه أو هذا الشارع عن الشارع الآخر؟

وكيف يمكن تحديد المناطق صاحبة النفوذ إنْ كان فيها خليطٌ من الناس؟

ومن يَمنع صاحب المُعاملة أن ينتقل من منطقة إلى أخرى أو من حيّ إلى آخر لإنجاز معاملته؟

إلى العديد من التساؤلات التي نعتقد أنها سوف تزيد من الإرباك والتخبُّط لكلّ الفرَقاء والمواطنين اللبنانيين ومن جملتهم الشخصيات والجهات وأصحاب المصارف الذين أثبتوا طوال هذه الأزمة أنهم ليسوا بمستوى المسؤولية حتى لا نقول أكثر وهم يستحقون ذلك الأكثر…

بل هم فعلاً وحقيقةً يُخربون بيوتهم بأيديهم من شدة غبائهم وانقيادهم!

نحن اليوم وبانتظار هذا القرار وغيره وحتى نكون صادقين وواقعيين لن ننتظر موقفاً إيجابياً لا من الحكومة اللبنانية ولا من الاتحاد الأوروبي ولا من جهة نافذة أخرى، وسوف نعتبر أنّ هذه الإجراءات المُتخمة بالأذيَّة ليست هي التجربة الأولى في حياة الشعوب الصامدة والمكافحة والمناضلة في وجه الاستعمار بما فيهم الأميركي.

ولا زلنا نعيش تجارب الصمود والقوّة ومهما كانت قاسية مع فنزويلا وكوبا وكوريا والهند وإيران وإنْ بِنسب مختلفة… فالحياة سوف تستمرّ.

لعلنا نحن في لبنان نختلف عن التجارب أعلاه بالتالي: في الدول صاحبة تجارب الصمود والقوة هناك سلطة مسؤولة تُخطط وتُنَفذ وتَصمد وتُواجه وتدعم وتضخّ المعنويات…

لكننا نحن في لبنان للأسف متروكون لِقَدَرِنا وتطوُّر الأحداث حتى يُحدِث الله أمراً كان مفعولاً.

فنقطة ضعفنا في لبنان هي:

عدم وجود مخطط حكومي للمواجهة والصمود والتوجيه والدعم بل هناك جهاتٌ وإعلامٌ لا ينام حتى ينتظر المايسترو الأميركي ليَتْلو على إيقاعاته أوجاع مواطنيه ويَتلذَّذ عليه سادياً!

‘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 slams West’s hypocrisy on freedom of expression

September 9, 2020 – 18:52

TEHRAN – In an indirect reference to the republication of cartoons insulting the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH) by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday slammed “institutionalized hypocrisy” under the pretext of the freedom of expression.

“Freedom of Expression?
Or
Institutionalized Hypocrisy? 
Instigate violence and hatred against 1.8 Billion Muslims by stereotypical defamation and desecration of their Holy Book and Prophet,” Zarif tweeted on Wednesday.

However, in an indirect reference to the Holocaust which is not tolerated to be questioned in the West, Zarif said, “Touch party line about events in recent history—repugnant as they are. Enough already.”

Mojtaba Zonnour, the chairman of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, who met with French Ambassador to Tehran Philippe Thiebaud on Wednesday, slammed Charlie Hebdo’s republication of cartoons insulting Prophet Muhammad (S).

“This action, under the pretext of the freedom of expression, has hurt the Muslims’ feelings,” Zonnour told the French diplomat.

The senior MP predicted that the action will add to complications in the region.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also condemned the magazine’s move, saying the move once again exposed the enmity of the political, cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam.

“The unforgivable sin of a French magazine in insulting the Holy Prophet (PBUH) once against exposed the enmity and the vile spite of the political and cultural centers of the Western world toward Islam and the Muslim community,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a message on Tuesday.

He said freedom of expression is misused by some French politicians to not condemn such great crime. This is “completely wrong and demagogic,” the Leader noted.

The deep anti-Islamic policies of the Zionists and arrogant governments are the cause of such hostile moves, said Ayatollah Khamenei.

“This move at this time could also be a measure to distract the nations and governments of West Asia from the sinister plots of the United States and the Zionist regime for the region.”

“Muslim nations, especially West Asian nations, should maintain vigilance regarding the issues of this sensitive region and never forget the hostility of Western politicians and rulers towards Islam and Muslims,” the Leader concluded.
 
In a reckless and provocative move, on September 2 Charlie Hebdo republished the same cartoons about Prophet Muhammad (S) that prompted a deadly attack on the magazine in 2015.

The cartoons were republished so as to mark the start of the terrorism trial of people accused as accomplices in the attack. The magazine posted the cartoons online on September 1 and they appeared in print the next day.

13 men and a woman accused of providing the attackers with weapons and logistics went on trial on charges of terrorism.

Twelve people, including some of France’s most famous cartoonists, were killed on January 7, 2015, when two French-born brothers of Algerian descent, Said and Cherif Kouachi, went on a gun rampage at Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris.

The brothers identified themselves as belonging to the terrorist group al-Qaeda and cited “avenging the prophet” as their reason for the attack. The attack touched off a wave of killings claimed by Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group across Europe.

On January 9, 2015, Said and Cherif’s friend, Amedy Coulibaly, took hostages and killed four people at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers, who were in contact during the attack, were killed in standoffs with the police.

10 months later, in November 2015, a group of Daesh gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people and injured more than 400 at multiple sites across Paris, which became the deadliest of the attacks.

Throughout the world, many Muslims see the publication of the cartoons as a renewed provocation by Charlie Hebdo, which has a history of publishing material considered racist and anti-Muslim.

Tehran on September 3 strongly condemned the French magazine, saying any insult against the prophet of Islam and other divine prophets is not acceptable at all.

“The French magazine’s offensive move, which has been repeated on the pretext of freedom of speech, has hurt the feelings of the world’s monotheists, is a provocative move and an insult to the Islamic values and beliefs of over one billion Muslims in the world,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement.

NA/PA
 

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Iran-Russia-China alliance transforming global balance of power: Naqqash

Via The Saker

September 04, 2020

Iran-Russia-China alliance transforming global balance of power: Naqqash

By Middle East Observer

During a television political talk show, senior Lebanese political analyst Anees Naqqash commented on the significance of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s visit to Russia on the 21st of July, 2020, to reportedly discuss the extension of a decades-long strategic agreement between Tehran and Moscow by a further 20 years.

Zarif’s visit occurred around about the same time that reports emerged regarding the imminent signing of a 25-year comprehensive strategic partnership between Iran and China.

Naqqash discussed both agreements, and said they and similar treaties involving additional states indicate the emergence of a global alliance led by Iran, Russia and China that will challenge American hegemony and in fact transform the global balance of power.

Source: Al Mayadeen News

(Important Note: Please help us keep producing independent translations for you by contributing as little as $1/month here: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver?fan_landing=true)

Transcript:

Host:

After the war of rumours – so to speak – that targeted the relationship between Moscow and Damascus, and how this relates to Tehran, this visit (Zarif’s visit to Russia) was highly important. In a letter to Putin, Zarif (Iran’s foreign minister) said: “we held detailed discussions with Lavrov (Russia’s foreign minister) regarding bilateral cooperation and regional and international coordination, and extending the cooperation agreement between Moscow and Tehran’. (Zarif was referring to) the agreement that was signed (between Moscow and Tehran) in the 1990s. At the time, there was a shift in the world order. Today, it seems like we are witnessing a similar scene as the global influence of the United States is no longer the same. What conclusions can we draw from this situation?

Naqqash:

Anees Naqqash: Israeli Hands behind STL Indictment Clear- Al Manar TV  Website Archive

You have mentioned the rumours. A while ago,  media campaigns were launched against us over two issues: (1) the Iranian presence in Syria, and (2) Russian-Syrian relations. However, the latest events and facts have come to refute all these rumours, that is, the recent Iranian-Syrian agreement, the recent positions defended by Russia and confirmed by Syria, and the Iranian-Russian meeting today. It has been proven that, contrary to the rumours, relations between these countries are becoming stronger. Today he (Zarif) confirms that this is his most important visit (to Russia). Why is this his most important visit? Not only because of the subjects that were discussed during the meeting, but because of the solid foundation that this meeting is built on.

That is to say: we (Iran and Russia) are allies. We trust each other. We know our capabilities and our interests. First, we are in total agreement that the United States should be deterred for its lack of respect for international law. It must obey international law. It must respect the sovereignty of states. It should no longer compromise the security of states and try to divide them, nor overthrow regimes. The agreement between Russia and Iran is strong and can clearly be seen by (their cooperation) in Syria.

Second, they – Iran, Russia, China and other countries – are all being subjected to (US) economic sanctions; and these sanctions are escalating. It has become clear, as the Chinese foreign minister has said more than once, that “the United States seems to have lost its mind.” This is the reality we have to face. Our opponent has lost its bearings and its mind. So what can we do to maintain international security, protect our interests and defend regional systems? We ought to build a regional and international alliance that would form the club that Mr. Zarif talked about. This political club will guarantee not only strategic agreements between these countries, but also form joint cultural and economic action through which US sanctions will collapse.

This club will lay a solid foundation for something more important, something we have talked about on this episode of your show, i.e. “what will happen to the US”. When there is a certain balance of power in the world, and the internal security and future of a great power such as the United States is at risk, the world must be prepared. It must create alternative systems to protect its people during this great collapse. Otherwise, if we do not prepare ourselves for this collapse – there will be (terrible) surprises (in the future). We may be very happy that the US has been torn apart and is being ravished by a civil war, or that it lost its power in (our) region; but what about international security? Therefore, this club will have a fundamental role in shaping the future of the world and creating (a new) international balance.

Host:

This is important. I wish to ask (the other guest, Russian political analyst) Matuzov about it, about the attributes these countries should have to form an effective club that would stand against the US. However, the time chosen to sign the agreement is also important, especially after the war of rumours. This agreement reinforced the foundations of the (old) strategic cooperation between Russia and Iran. 20 years (the duration of the new agreement) is not a short period of time…

Naqqash:

This coincides with the Chinese-Iranian agreement as well. These two agreements complement each other: a major 25-year agreement (with China) and a 20-year agreement (with Russia). The United States was hoping to extend the arms embargo against Iran, in two or three months. However, this agreement came to cut  (this embargo) short and say “It’s already done. We renewed the agreement and we will continue with it.”

——-

Host:

These three countries have attributes that fit together like a puzzle to form a club that would be at the forefront of the (global) confrontation (with the US). They possess (certain) attributes. They have a common threat – i.e. the United States of America. However, we are talking about a strategic club, front or alliance, not a tactical alliance (usually shorter-term). Right?

Naqqash:

One hundred percent. This alliance is much more than a strategic issue. Let me give you (more) information about what is going on between China and Iran. It is true that the agreement has not yet been concluded and has not reached the Iranian Parliament. However, the plans and information regarding most of the projects that were being negotiated are available today. Some Chinese companies are now moving to Iran to prepare for these constructions (projects). Once the signature is done, the construction will begin.

As for (the agreement) between Russia and Iran, trains are traveling via the (Iranian) Chabahar Port route to the Russian border. They are connected to the Russian railway systems and they even reach Afghanistan.

On a railroad from Russia to Iran - The Hindu BusinessLine

This is a major shift in geopolitics, transportation, etc. Agreements regarding the Iranian nuclear reactors are also very important – if they are concluded.

The paradigm shift will be after November when the embargo on the sale and purchase of weapons from Iran ends. Iran will be able to export the weapons it manufactures, and to buy anything from Russia and China, which would come as a severe blow to the US. This is what Israel and other countries fear. They fear the increase of Iran’s military capability that was demonstrated when it shot down the (US advanced spy) plane and struck the (American) Ain Al-Assad Base (in Iraq).

However, there will be coordination (once the agreements are concluded). There are agreements surrounding security cooperation between these countries. Therefore, we are heading towards a global alliance that will use a payment system other than SWIFT; that will replace the dollar currency (with another currency in transactions and trade); and even change the overall strategic military balance of the world.

Host:

Judging by the current regional scene, what do you mean when you talk about the overall military balance? Some of the countries that we are discussing in relation to forming a (global) front are now taking part in hotly contested files. Please explain further…

Naqqash:

The battle in Syria is fierce. Today, Russia and Iran are fighting side-by-side against terrorism in Syria. When we say against “terrorism”, we mean against the project conceived by the Gulf and the West. This terrorism did not come out of the blue. It is a plot by the West and the Gulf. Hence, foiling this plot is thwarting a major conspiracy that did not only target Syria. President Putin said in more than four speeches at international conferences: ‘We went to Syria to defeat terrorism, because if terrorism prevailed in Syria, it would have reached our country’. (Putin) was taking a pre-emptive measure to safeguard Russia’s national security.

4,000 Uyghurs came with their women and children to fight in Syria. They came all the way from China. What are they doing in Syria? The defeat (of Uyghurs) in Syria is also to prevent the scourge of terrorism in China. They, Russia and China, realized that this battle is integral to ensure their national security. These are not theoretical battles. Bullets are being fired and battles are raging. China has not yet participated in armed engagement, but its role in the economic field may be equally important, as it complements and protects military victories.

UN Security Council Rejects US Resolution to Extend Iran Arms Embargo

August 15, 2020

Source

The United Nations Security Council

The United Nations Security Council has rejected a US resolution to extend an arms embargo on Iran that is due to expire in October, as Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a summit of world leaders to avoid “confrontation” over an American threat to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

“The Security Council’s failure to act decisively in defense of international peace and security is inexcusable,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday before the Security Council announced the results of the vote.

The United States has become isolated over Iran at the Security Council following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the multilateral Iran nuclear deal 2018.

Iran has said that the US resolution will fail to gain the required support at the Security Council, pointing out that Washington has no legal right to invoke a snapback mechanism to reinstate sanctions against Tehran under the 2015 nuclear deal that the US unilaterally left in May 2018.

“Legally speaking, the United States is no position to use the snapback [mechanism]. The three European allies of the United States also explicitly stated at a previous meeting of the UN Security Council that the United States could not use this mechanism,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters on the sidelines of a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York called on the Security Council to withstand the “illegal” and “ill-intentioned” move by the United States to extend the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic.

The US has stepped up attempts aimed at extending the UN arms ban on Iran that is set to expire as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which has been endorsed by Security Council Resolution 2231.

Despite the changes in the US resolution, Security Council members were expected to reject the effort, which sought to extend the arms embargo on Iran indefinitely.

Diplomats feared that the resolution would threaten the Iran nuclear agreement.

Washington failed to receive nine votes in favor of the measure, removing the need for Russia and China to wield their vetoes which they had indicated they were prepared to do.

Russia and China are two of the Security Council’s five permanent members, who have veto rights, and among the remaining parties to the JCPOA.

The resolution needed support from nine of 15 votes to pass. Eleven members abstained, including France, Germany and Britain, while the US and the Dominican Republic were the only “yes” votes.

The Trump administration has repeatedly threatened to trigger the so-called snapback provisions of the 2015 nuclear deal if it cannot secure an arms embargo extension.

Since leaving the JCPOA, the US has been resorting to its maximum pressure campaign against Iran by reinstating its sanctions and persuading others to follow its suit.

Russian President Putin on Friday proposed a video summit with the United States and the remaining parties to the nuclear agreement – Britain, France, China, Germany and Iran – to avoid further “confrontation and escalation” at the United Nations between Washington and Tehran.

“The issue is urgent,” Putin said, adding that the alternative was “only further escalation of tensions, increasing risk of conflict – such a scenario must be avoided.”

Source: Agencies

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To Understand Iran’s 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and Oil

To Understand Iran's 150-Year Fight, Follow the Trail of Blood and ...

Cynthia Chung May 23, 2020

This past Sunday, April 17th, a dispute between Iran and the U.S. occurred over the U.S.’ decision to increase its military presence in Caribbean and Eastern Pacific waters, with the purported reason being a counter-narcotics campaign.

Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres this past Sunday, that the real purpose for this move by the U.S. is to “intervene and create disruption in the transfer of Iran’s fuel to Venezuela.” In the same letter, Zarif expressed concern over “the United States’ intention to consider dangerous, unlawful and provocative measures against Iranian oil tankers engaged in perfectly lawful international commerce with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.”

The Iranian deployment consists of five tankers carrying around $45.5million of gasoline and related products, as part of a wider deal between Iran and Venezuela. The U.S. has imposed sanctions on both nations’ oil exports.

For the first time since 1962, Iran has requested IMF assistance due to severe shortages created by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Iran requesting an emergency loan of $5 billion. However, the request is currently being blocked by the U.S., which accounts for slightly more than 16.5% of IMF’s voting shares and has an effective veto over decisions.

Iran is presently experiencing a critical shortage of medicines and equipment amid the pandemic, and yet is prohibited from purchasing medicines and supplies because of the banking sanctions.

It is clear that these manoeuvres against Iran are not on behalf of anyone’s “security” but rather an attempt to force Iran to finally bend the knee and be reduced to a state of complete dependence.

Iran has fought a long fight to claim its independence from western powers.

However, what if I were to tell you that once there was a time when Iran and the U.S. had good relations and that the U.S. was in fact the leading promoter and supporter of Iran’s sovereignty?

Almost out of a Shakespearean play of tragedy and betrayal, the relationship was jeopardised by a third player. As identified by John Perkins, in his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, the first ever U.S. coup against a foreign country was the overthrow of Iran’s nationalist Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953. However, what is often left out…is that it was a British authored and designed operation.

In order for us to understand how and why the U.S. was dragged into such an affair, our story starts 150 years ago…

Dieu et mon droit

It all started in 1872, with Nasir al-Din Shah having granted to the British Baron Julius de Reuter, rights to Iran’s entire economic estate. Reuter not only controlled Iran’s industry, farming, and rail transportation, but also held the right to issue currency and to set up a national bank, called the Imperial Bank of Persia, which was under direct British control.

In 1901, Muzzaffar al-Din Shah negotiated what became known as the D’Arcy Contract, granting William Knox D’Arcy, a millionaire London socialite, the special and exclusive privilege to basically own and manage the natural gas and petroleum of Iran for a term of 60 years.

In May 26th 1908 D’Arcy struck pay-dirt in Iran, discovering a huge oil field in Masjed-Soleiman. Britain immediately set up APOC in 1908, purchasing the rights to the black gold from D’Arcy. Six years later, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill gave the order to purchase 51% of APOC, effectively nationalizing the company. This was to ensure the free flow of oil to the British navy. It was the first company to extract petroleum from Iran.

Iran received only 16% of the royalties on the oil.

Britain continued to pursue total control of Iran, not through colonial occupation, but rather through economic “agreements”. In the midst of carving up the empire’s new “jewels” of the Middle East from the Sykes-Picot fraud on the Arabian people and the illegal British occupation of Palestine, the notorious Anglo-Persian Agreement of Aug 19, 1919 was also signed, with London effectively turning Iran into a de facto protectorate run by British “advisors”. Britain had succeeded in becoming the masters of Iran’s natural resources through this agreement.

Iran received almost nothing in return, not even oil from APOC for domestic consumption, but rather had to import it from the Soviet Union!

On Nov 28th 1932 Reza Shah announced that he would be cancelling the British concession to APOC. The British Navy was heavily dependent on cheap Iranian oil and thus Britain refused to acquiesce. A compromise was reached in 1933 through bilateral negotiations and the British managed to extend their concession up until 1993! Iran had succeeded in getting the British to pay a higher price but it still did not control its own oil.

The American Relationship

Despite claiming a neutral stance for Iran during WWII, word had gotten out that Reza Shah was apparently sympathetic to the cause of Hitler. The argument was thus used that a pro-German Iran could become a launching pad for an attack against the Soviet Union, justifying British and Soviet entry into the country on Aug 25th 1941 for what would be a several years’ occupation. On Sept 16th Reza was forced by the British to abdicate and go into exile transferring power to his 22 year old son, Mohammad Reza Shah.

Mohammad Reza Shah was not happy with the joint occupation and sought an American military presence as a mediator to British and Soviet interests. The Shah sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Aug 25th 1941 asking him to:

“be good enough to interest yourself in this incident…I beg Your Excellency to take efficacious and urgent humanitarian steps to put an end to these acts of aggression.”

In response to this plea, Roosevelt sent Gen. Patrick Hurley as his special representative to Iran to help prepare what was to become the Iran Declaration, finally adopted at the Tehran Conference where Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill would agree to guarantee the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of Iran.

The Iran Declaration was used to finally end the foreign occupation of Iran after WWII, despite some resistance, and would play a crucial role in Iran’s future fight for sovereignty. The Iran Declaration thus proved itself to be more than just words, and this would certainly never have happened if not for FDR.

As part of Hurley’s report to FDR, he wrote some biting words on the present system of British imperialism, “The imperialism of Germany, Japan, Italy, France… will, we hope, end or be radically revised by this war [WWII]. British imperialism seems to have acquired a new life. . . What appears to be a new life… is the result of the infusion, into its emaciated form, of the blood of productivity and liberty from a free nation [Iran] through Lend-Lease.”

Roosevelt sent a copy of the Hurley report to Churchill with his thoughts on the matter: “The enclosed memorandum was sent to me… I rather like his general approach to the care and education of what used to be called ‘backward countries’…the point of all this is that I do not want the United States to acquire a ‘zone of influence,’ or any other nation for that matter [in Iran].”

Churchill was less than enthusiastic on the Hurley-FDR vision. He was particularly irked by Hurley’s notion that British imperialism were in conflict with democracy.

FDR died only a few months later, and with his interment, Hurley’s plans for American support for a sovereign and democratic Iran as a model for the rest of the Middle East were relegated to the dust bins of time and forgotten by much of the world.

Following WWII, nationalistic sentiments were on the rise including in the Middle East, the most notable being Iran. However, following the death of FDR the British were free to disingenuously respond to Iran’s request for better economic conditions by offering what was called the “Supplemental Agreement”, in May 1949. This entailed a better payment in royalties but still denied Iran any oversight over accounts or any other form of control over Iranian oil.

Enter Mosaddegh

In the late 1940s, a new political force emerged in Iran called the National Front led by Mohammad Mosaddegh. Their campaign was centered on the demand to nationalize the AIOC and the people of Iran were in accord, electing Mosaddegh into the Majlis (parliament) in 1949.

Mosaddegh lost no time, and quickly became the head of the Majlis Oil Committee which was tasked to study the British “Supplemental Agreement”. When it came time to put it to a vote on Nov 25th 1950, the committee delivered a resounding “no” to the British proposition.

Less than four months later, the Majlis voted on March 15th 1951 for nationalization of the AIOC, and it was renamed as the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). Less than two months later, Mosaddegh became Prime Minister of Iran on April 28th 1951.

The British were left empty handed.

Twice the British tried to argue their case before the international community, once in May 1951 at The Hague and again in October at the UN Security Council. Both attempts were to lose to Mosaddegh’s defense. Mosaddegh had earned a Ph.D. in law from the Neuchatel Law School in Switzerland in 1914.

This was anything but a formal victory. It was to set a precedent in the international community that a country’s right to national sovereignty would be favored over Britain’s imperial “claims”, which were exposed during these two very public trials as amounting to nothing more than the threats and bribes of pirates.

At the UN Security Council, Mosaddegh responded to Britain’s imperial ambitions over Iran with these eloquent words:

“My countrymen lack the bare necessities of existence…Our greatest natural asset is oil. This should be the source of work and food for the population of Iran. Its exploitation should properly be our national industry, and the revenue from it should go to improve our conditions of life. As now organized, however, the petroleum industry has contributed practically nothing to the well-being of the people or to the technical progress or industrial development of my country…if we are to tolerate a situation in which the Iranian plays the part of a mere manual worker in the oil fields…and if foreign exploiters continue to appropriate practically all of the income, then our people will remain forever in a state of poverty and misery. These are the reasons that have prompted the Iranian parliament… to vote unanimously in favor of nationalizing the oil industry.”

A British coup

The British were fuming over Mosaddegh’s high profile humiliation of the British Empire’s claim to Iran’s oil. Mosaddegh would have to be deposed, however, this could not look like a British retaliation.

During Averell Harrimann’s visit to Tehran in July 1951, in an attempt to salvage the broken British-Iranian relationship, Mosaddegh is reported to have said,

“You do not know how crafty they are. You do not know how evil they are. You do not know how they sully everything they touch.”

As coup rumours circulated and reports were rife of British contact being sought with Iranian military officers, Mosaddegh severed diplomatic relations with the UK on Oct 16th 1952. The British were further humiliated and had to leave the country taking their agents with them.

It was at this point that Churchill “invited” his lap dog, de facto president Truman, to participate in his vision for regime change in Iran. In November 1952, NSC 136 and 136/I were written into record, Truman had agreed to promote direct intervention in Iran through covert operations and even military force. A detailed plan was approved on Jan 8th 1953 which was 12 days before Eisenhower was inaugurated.

The management of this covert operation was under the treasonous Dulles brothers, who would use the very same technique when JFK first entered office in setting him up with the Bay of Pigs fiasco, however, JFK managed to publicly expose Allan Dulles in this scheme and fired him. Dulles had been the Director of the CIA for 8 years up until that point, and was Deputy Director of the CIA for two years prior. Refer to my paper on this for further details.

A preliminary meeting in Washington saw representatives of the Near East and Africa Division (NEA) with British Intelligence. The key personalities were Christopher Montague Woodhouse who had been station chief for British Intelligence in Tehran and on the American side Kermit Roosevelt (son of Teddy Roosevelt) acting as NEA Division Chief. It was the British who would propose a joint political action to remove Prime Minister Mosaddegh according to CIA documents, which were in part leaked by the New York Times on April 16th 2000. The final plan was codenamed TPAJAX.

Appendix B, aka “London Draft of the TPAJAX Operational Plan” was black propaganda aimed at hammering out these themes 1) Mosaddegh favors the Tudeh Party and the USSR 2) Mosaddegh is an enemy of Islam since he associates with Tudeh.

The aim of such tactics was to drive a wedge between Mosaddegh and his National Front on the one side and his clerical allies, especially Kashani on the other. Demonstrations against Mosaddegh in the streets were to provide the pretext for bought MPs to hold a vote against him, if he refused to step down the plan was to have Fazlollah Zahedi, leader of the opposition, to arrest him. Zahedi, as laid out in Appendix B was selected by the British to replace Mosaddegh as Prime Minister after the coup.

Chief of Staff Gen. Taghi Riahi found out about the coup plans and alerted Mosaddegh in time. When the chief of the Imperial Guards, Col. Nasiri went to Mosaddegh’s house the evening before the planned coup day (Aug 16th) to arrest him, Nasiri himself was taken as prisoner by the pro- Mosaddegh military. Zahedi managed to flee.

The coup attempt had failed and the word spread fast, crowds flooded the streets supporting Mosaddegh and denouncing the Shah. The Shah left the country quickly.

The CIA informed of the fiasco alerted Kermit Roosevelt that he should leave Iran immediately. But Kermit believed the coup could still work and would make a second attempt three days later. British Intelligence and CIA orchestrated demonstrations set to the streets on Aug 19th. The royal decrees signed by the Shah for the deposal of Mosaddegh to be replaced by Zahedi were made public in the press that very day with the radio news announcing: that Zahedi was Prime Minister, that Mosaddegh had been ousted and that the Shah would return soon.

Military units were dispatched to Mosaddegh’s home. As his house was being destroyed by gunfire and tanks, Mosaddegh managed to escape. It is said he later turned himself in to the authorities.

After a ten-week period in a military prison, Mosaddegh was tried on charges of treason, because he had allegedly mobilized for a rebellion and had contradicted the Shah. In fact, the accused treason was a nationalistic response to a foreign led coup.

Mosaddegh was promptly found guilty and sentenced to death, later lessened to three years in prison, followed by house arrest.

Mosaddegh’s response to the kangaroo court proceedings was,

“My only crime is that I nationalized the oil industry and removed from this land the network of colonialism and the political and economic influence of the greatest empire [the British Empire] on Earth.”

Members of his government were also arrested, as were the leading military who remained loyal to him. Six hundred of the 6, 000 of these men were executed.

Even after Mosaddegh had passed away, on March 5th, 1967, his enemies were fearful of his influence. Mosaddegh had requested that upon his death, he be buried in the public graveyard beside the victims of the political violence that occurred on the 21st July 1952 from British-backed Ahmad Qavam who ordered soldiers to shoot at Mosaddegh nationalists during a demonstration, resulting in a blood bath. Not wanting his grave to become the site of political manifestations, a public funeral for Mosaddegh was denied and his body was quietly buried underneath the floorboards of a room in his house.

قدرات إيران الدفاعيّة تجاوزت مستوى التهديدات

ظريف يؤكد استعداد بلاده لتطوير العلاقات مع السعوديّة والإمارات

أكد وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف، استعداد بلاده إلى «تطوير العلاقات مع السعودية والإمارات على قاعدة الاحترام المتبادل».

ورأى ظريف أن «السعودية تريد الاعتماد على قوى أجنبية عدة بدلاً من الاعتماد على جار واحد سيبقى دائماً هنا»، مشيراً إلى أن إيران «دائماً على استعداد لإجراء محادثات بناءة مع السعودية ولا توجد لديها أي مشكلة».

ظريف قال إنه «تمّ التوصل إلى اتفاقات جيدة جداً بين إيران والعراق خلال زيارة رئيس الوزراء العراقي إلى طهران».

ووصف ظريف خلال مؤتمر صحافي مع نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف، في موسكو أول أمس الثلاثاء، العلاقات الإيرانية مع روسيا بـ»الاستراتيجية»، منوهاً إلى أن «الحوار المستمر مع الدول الصديقة في الوضع الراهن أمر ضروري».

وعقب مغادرة موسكو، كتب وزير الخارجية الإيراني تغريدة، قال فيها إنه «سلم رسالة مهمة إلى الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين واتفق مع وزير الخارجية الروسي أيضاً على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على اتفاق التعاون طويل الأمد مع روسيا».

وأضاف ظريف «لدينا وجهات نظر واحدة بشأن الاتفاق النووي وضرورة الالتزام بالقانون الدولي. واتفقنا على وضع اللمسات الأخيرة على اتفاق التعاون الشامل الاستراتيجي طويل الأمد».

​كما، أجرى وزير الخارجية الإيراني محمد جواد ظريف، أول أمس محادثات مع نظيره الروسي سيرغي لافروف حول الاتفاق النووي والمستجدات الإقليمية والدولية وذلك بعد تقديم رسالة من الرئيس حسن روحاني إلى الرئيس فلاديمير بوتين.

على صعيد آخر، قال القائد العام للجيش الإيراني، اللواء سيد عبد الرحيم موسوي: «إننا تمكنا من تطوير قدراتنا الدفاعية في مجال تعبئة القوى البشرية وتطوير الأجهزة المتقدمة، بما يتناسب ومستوى التهديدات، بل اجتيازه».

ونقلت وكالة «إرنا»، مساء أمس، عن موسوي أن «قوة الدفاع الجوي الإيرانية تضطلع بمهام رئيسية، لكونها تقف في الخط الأمامي لساحات الدفاع عن البلاد»، مشيراً إلى أن «قدرات إيران الدفاعية تخطت مستوى التهديدات في شتى المجالات التعبوية، وامتلاك الأجهزة والمعدات العسكرية الحديثة».

وأفادت الوكالة بأن «تصريحات موسوي جاءت خلال الزيارة التفقدية التي قام بها اليوم، مرافقاً بقائد قوة الدفاع الجوي في الجيش الإيراني، العميد صباحي فرد، للأقسام المختلفة بوحدة الرد السريع التابعة لهذه القوة المسلحة في طهران».

وبدوره، قدم العميد صباحي فرد، قائد قوة الدفاع الجوي للجيش الإيراني، تقريراً حول الإجراءات المتخذة من أجل الارتقاء بالمستويين، الدفاعي والقتالي، وإعادة تأهيل الأجهزة والمعدات لدى هذه القوة.

Tehran, Baghdad Will Sue US for Assassinating General Soleimani, Hajj Abu Mahdi

Tehran, Baghdad Will Sue US for Assassinating General Soleimani, Hajj Abu Mahdi

By Staff, Agencies

Iraq announced that Baghdad and Tehran will jointly sue the US for assassinating top Iranian commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units, Hajj Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis.

In a statement on Monday, Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council said the country regards the US assassination of General Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on its soil as a criminal act.

The Council said it has coordinated its legal procedure with the Iranian Judiciary and the two countries will file a joint lawsuit against the US.

“The investigation into the airport incident began from the first moment and the Iraqi judiciary dealt with that incident as a criminal act that took place on Iraqi land where some of the victims are Iraqis,” the council said in a statement.

The investigation took place according to the Iraqi Code of Criminal Procedure starting with inspecting the scene and meeting with some of the plaintiffs, including the legal representative of the Iranian embassy, the statement added.

“The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Secretariat of the Council of Ministers had been informed of other details regarding the accident, and that the investigation procedures since the time of the accident continue in accordance with the Iraqi law,” the statement added.

The Iraqi Judiciary’s statement comes a day after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif met with Iraqi officials, including the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, in Baghdad.

The statement was also released ahead of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s Tuesday trip to Tehran, where he is to hold high-level talks with Iranian officials.

A US drone attack, commanded by US President Donald Trump, killed General Soleimani and al-Muhandis near Baghdad International Airport on January 3, prompting international condemnations.

Zarif visits Baghdad, says plans to discuss Gen. Soleimani assassination with Iraqi officials

Source

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who arrived in Baghdad on Sunday morning told reporters at Baghdad’s airport that he plans to discuss the issue of the assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani with Iraqi officials.

General Soleimani, who was internationally known for his legendary commandership in the fight against Daesh – also called ISIS or ISIL -, was assassinated in a terrorist attack by the United States near Baghdad’s international airport on January 3. The terrorist attack was conducted upon direct order by Donald Trump.
He was assassinated along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF). 
Upon his arrival in Baghdad, Zarif visited the site of the terrorist attack to commemorate the memory of the two commanders.

PA/PA

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واشنطن تخسر الجولة الحاسمة حول الاتفاق النوويّ

ناصر قنديل

خلال لقاء جمعني خلال زيارتي لطهران، بوزير الخارجية الإيرانية الدكتور محمد جواد ظريف في مطلع شهر شباط الماضي، وفي لحظة تأزم حول الملف النووي، والتهديدات الأوروبية بنقل الأمر إلى مجلس الأمن الدولي، وفقاً لبنود الاتفاق بمنح الأطراف الموقعة على الاتفاق هذا الحق إذا وقعت مخالفات متمادية في تطبيقه من جانب أحد الموقعين. وكان مفوّض السياسة الخارجية الجديد الأوروبية جوزيب بوريل يغادر طهران بعد جولة محادثات، قال ظريف، إيران لن تخرج من الاتفاق مهما كانت الضغوط والاستفزازات، فسوف نجد ردوداً من ضمن الاتفاق لأن أحد أكبر المكاسب القانونية والسياسية لإيران من الاتفاق يستحق في شهر تشرين الأول، وهو رفع الحظر عن استيراد وتصدير السلاح منها وإليها، وهو أمر تلقائيّ وفقاً لنصوص الاتفاق ولا يحتاج إلى قرار من مجلس الأمن الدولي الذي صادق على الاتفاق، بل إن تجديد الحظر هو الذي يحتاج إلى قرار، تثق إيران ويعلم الأميركيون والأوروبيون أنه مستحيل في ظل فيتو روسي صيني، بالتمسك بمندرجات الاتفاق كنموذج لحل الخلافات الدولية بالطرق الدبلوماسية، وهو ما يعرفه الأوروبيون، ويعترفون به، لكنهم يجسّون نبض إيران، ويبحثون عن مخارج لا تضعهم في مواجهة مع أميركا من دون التفريط بالاتفاق النووي كمدخل لفرص اقتصادية واعدة، ولاستقرار سياسي وأمني موعود، ولذلك يسعى الأميركيون عبر الاستفزازات لإيصالنا إلى لحظة ضيق نخرج فيها من الاتفاق فنخسر هذا المكسب الكبير، لكننا لن نفعل مهما قلنا في سياق التصعيد إن خيار الخروج من الاتفاق وارد، والكلام يومها لم يكن للنشر طبعاً، لكنه اليوم بات من المفيد وضعه في التداول، فكل شيء قد بلغ النهايات.

بالأمس كان الموعد في مناقشات مجلس الأمن الدولي حول الطلب الأميركي بتجديد حظر السلاح على إيران، وكانت المواقف واضحة بتحميل واشنطن مسؤولية زعزعة مسار تطبيق الاتفاق عبر الانسحاب الأحادي. ولم يكن الأمر محصوراً بما قاله مندوبا روسيا والصين، بل أظهرت مواقف غالبية الأعضاء تقديراً للالتزام الإيراني بالاتفاق وموجباته، رغم الانسحاب الأميركي وتشديد العقوبات على إيران، وبدت المواقف الأوروبية الرافضة لتجديد الحظر بصفته إعلان سقوط للاتفاق، أقرب لموقف كل من روسيا والصين ولو بلهجة أخرى. والحصيلة خسارة أميركية مدوّية، وانتصار دبلوماسي نوعي لصالح إيران، التي سيكون بمستطاعها عقد صفقات شراء وبيع الأسلحة من دون تعقيدات قانونية أممية، والكلام الأميركي كان واضحاً لجهة وجود تفاهمات إيرانية مع كل من روسيا والصين على صفقات سلاح كبيرة، في ظل امتلاك إيران لبرامج تطوير صاروخي يحظى بدعم دبلوماسي صيني وروسي، وسيحظى وفق الاتهامات الأميركية بالمزيد من الدعم التقني واللوجستي بعد رفع حظر السلاح، وتحوّل الحركة الأميركية إلى طلقة طائشة في الهواء، رغم الحشد الإعلامي الذي قامت به حكومات الخليج وحكومة كيان الاحتلال لصالح تظهير خطورة رفع الحظر عن إيران.

بعد تشرين الأول إيران ستمضي سريعاً في تنمية مقدراتها العسكرية، وستصبح أشد منعة، وأكثر قدرة على توجيه التهديدات، وستفرض حضوراً عسكرياً كقوة أولى في المنطقة، لا يمكن تحدّيها، وما هي إلا شهور قليلة وتمضي، فكيف ستتصرّف إدارة الرئيس دونالد ترامب مع دروس هذه الجولة، في ظل انسداد الخيارات العسكرية، وانعدام فرص تحقيق أي تراجع لإيران وقوى المقاومة مهما بلغ الحصار وتمادت سياسات التجويع عبر تشديد العقوبات، وفي ظل تراجع فرص الرئيس دونالد ترامب في الفوز بولاية رئاسية ثانية بعد تقدّم منافسه جو بايدن عليه بـ 14% من أصوات الناخبين وفقاً لاستطلاعات الرأي؟

المنطقة وفي قلبها لبنان على موعد مع الكثير من المفاجآت، خلال المئة يوم المقبلة، وكل حدث قابل للتحوّل إلى باب للتصعيد أو إلى باب للتفاوض، وإمكانيات الانزلاق للمواجهة شديدة السيولة بلا ضوابط، وإمكانيات فتح الأبواب لتفاهمات قائمة، وصمود محور المقاومة وقواه ومجتمعات الدول التي يتحرّك على ساحاتها ستزداد مؤشراته في الاقتصاد كما استعداداته في الميدان، رغم الضجيج والتهويل والحديث عن الانهيار، وربما يحمل شهر أيلول الإشارات الأهم في الدلالة على وجهة الأحداث في اللعب على حافة الهاوية.

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Iran to Enhance Economic Cooperation with Syria amid Looming US Sanctions – Zarif

Iran to Enhance Economic Cooperation with Syria amid Looming US Sanctions - Zarif

By Staff, Sputnik

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that Tehran would work to strengthen economic cooperation with Syria amid looming sanctions under the US Caesar Act.

“We have strong economic relationships with Syria, and as for the latter, [it has] a credit line in Iran. We and our friends will work to develop the economic situation in Syria and enhance economic cooperation between Iran and Syria”, Zarif told Sputnik when asked about the Caesar Act.

Zarif also expressed Iran’s concern over US attempts to increase pressure on Syria, accusing Washington of doing everything to destabilize the region.

The statement was made ahead of the Iranian Foreign Minister’s talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov scheduled for later today in Moscow.

The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, signed into law by US President Donald Trump in December 2019, is due to come into effect on Wednesday. The document stipulates sanctioning almost all Syrian economic and trade activities, as well as government officials.

Zarif’s statement came after Trump in early May announced that he is renewing US sanctions against Syria due to the ongoing conflict in the Middle Eastern country.

“I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect the national emergency declared with respect to this threat and to maintain in force the sanctions to address this national emergency”, Trump said in a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Relatively, Damascus sees the US presence on Syrian soil as a violation of national sovereignty and an attempt to seize the country’s natural resources.

Syria and Iran Suspicious of Turkish Commitment to Moscow Understandings

April 22, 2020 Arabi Souri

President Bashar Assad Receives Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Damascus
President Bashar Assad Receives Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Damascus

President Bashar Al Assad received in Damascus the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Javad Zarif, that would be a normal and regular bilateral friendly meeting, but at a time of a global lock-down especially on air flights due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic preventive measures, there must be something of top urgency.

Visiting minister Zarif met with his Syrian counterpart Minister Walid Muallem at the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs first then they both moved to the Syrian Presidency where President Assad received Minister Zarif. Minister Zarif has an important message to deliver in person to President Assad from the Iranian leadership, and this message cannot be conveyed by a video or phone conference.

Following this meeting in Damascus, the Kremlin stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with the Turkish Erdogan by a phone call the recent developments in Syria, preparations for the coming virtual summit, and added that the ‘Presidents renewed their confirmation of the unconditional compliance with the principles of Syrian sovereignty.’

At least, that’s what most political and military observers and analysts are arriving at. The real Axis of Evil led by the USA and its NATO and regional cronies have not stopped their daily war crimes business even during the times when their own countries are ‘allegedly’ facing the pandemic, Saudis continue to bomb Yemen although they claimed they are abiding by a truce due to the pandemic, Israel bombing everywhere even though they failed to establish a government despite three consecutive ‘elections’ and the increasing number of deaths attributed to coronavirus there, Trump forces continue shipping more illegals, weapons, gears, and trying to expand their presence northeast of Syria, and also in the southeast of the country, and the worse of them all the Turkish madman Erdogan continue following his destructive ultra evil dream of dominance on whatever extra inch and whoever extra servant he can get his filthy hands over.

Russian President Putin threw yet one more rope to rescue the Turkish pariah Erdogan early last month March when he accepted to receive him in Moscow and Erdogan, the hypocrite double-faced anti-Islamic Muslim Brotherhood he is, pretended to accept terms to solve the issues with his terrorists presence in the Syrian northwestern province Idlib, something if the Russians believed he would they would erase all the image the world painted about their intelligence and principled foreign policy.

Lebanese Al Mayadeen news channel has a couple of reports in line of the above-mentioned addressing these latest developments, the full transcript of the English translation of the video reports below:

Full transcript of the English translation of the above reports:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that Turkey’s actions on the ground expose the truth of its intentions by not adhering to the agreements concluded, whether in Astana or Sochi. During his meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, the political parties discussed, including the Constitutional Committee, the Astana process, and developments in the Syrian north.

As for Zarif, he condemned the current Western attempts to reinvest the issue of chemical weapons in Syria, describing this behavior as shameful.

Zarif’s talks in Damascus come a year after his last visit in the midst of the global air embargo, and he asks many questions and explanations regarding the timing of the visit.

There were no statements by Minister Zarif in the corridors of the Syrian Foreign Ministry after his meeting with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallem in front of the cameras that had waited for an hour. It seems Zarif considered sufficient the Iranian Foreign Ministry statement issued before his arrival to discuss bilateral relations, regional and political developments in the anti-terrorism file.

The Syrian Presidency statement, on its part, condemned the political investment exercised by Washington in facing the Corona epidemic and stressed that the meeting dealt with developments in the political track, the Astana process and the developments in Idlib.

However, the implementation of the Moscow protocol is stalled a month after it started without running a single patrol until the moment or removing the militants six kilometers on both sides of the Aleppo-Latakia road, or removing the militants six kilometers on both sides of the Aleppo-Latakia road, it seems that it warranted an Iranian-Syrian consultations to discuss the situation in the province. Iranian positions indicated that the Moscow agreement, in which the Russians rushed the cease-fire in light of the clear field victory for the Syrian army and allies and the approach to wresting control of international roads and reaching the Turkish borders, remains a question in Tehran and Damascus about the extent of the commitment of Ankara, which Damascus still sees as an occupier that is strengthening its occupation by building military bases under the pretext of observation points, as it pledged, and not to be just a new maneuver by the armed groups to mobilize themselves for a new confrontation that does not seem far from now.

Zarif in Damascus is in a declared and speedy visit despite the air embargo measures in all countries of the world. This means that the visit is inseparable in the context of the Syrian-Iranian mistrust about the situation in Idlib, and that there is no compromise on the role of the allies and no sharing of any political or field solution without them.

The above was by Dima Nassif, for Al-Mayadeen from Damascus.

In parallel, the top aide to the Iranian foreign minister for special political affairs, Ali Asghar Haji, said that a meeting would be held via the Internet this week between the foreign ministers of the countries guaranteeing the Astana Accord to discuss the ‘Syrian file.’

Haji confirmed in a statement to Sputnik that he had taken into consideration the holding of an online meeting due to the spread of Coronavirus and the result of important and rapid events in the Syrian file.

Zarif’s visit in the time of Coronavirus indicates the preparation of a new leap in the time of the upcoming Sochi understandings, but the green light for the expected Tehran summit may indicate that Turkey is taking seriously the evacuation of international highways from terrorist groups.

An Insight by Al Mayadeen’s Qasim Izz al-Din:

Minister Zarif indicated that Iran is not abandoning the axis of the resistance after the assassination of General Soleimani, which may suggest affirming the support of the Syrian army in Idlib and the political support for Syria in rapprochement with Turkey at the request of Ankara.

The Tehran postponed summit previously overthrown by Turkey by counting on Western countries that supported what it called the right of Turkey in Idlib, so Ankara invited it to a summit that did not know success in Istanbul. But the Syrian army’s insistence on opening international roads and liberating Saraqib upset the equations, and pushed Erdogan to pledge again at the recent Moscow summit to separate terrorist groups from ‘moderate Turkish factions’.

Syria’s willingness to restore international roads with Russian-Iranian support has narrowed the margin of Turkish maneuvering on betting on time in the hope of avoiding the collision with Jabhat al-Nusra, but what can be postponed for a month cannot be postponed forever.

Between the options of implementing the Sochi and Moscow understandings or opening the roads by force, Turkey appears to have no choice but to dissolve the al-Nusra Front or integrate it into the Spring Shield groups away from international roads or engage them with groups against dissidents such as the Hurras Uddin.

The agreement on the upcoming Tehran summit indicates Turkey’s progress in implementing the Moscow understandings, as well as a new leap in the Tehran summit towards a political solution and reconstruction in Syria.

In the event of Ankara’s delay, the Syrian army will complete the path by restoring roads and lands.

End of the English transcript of the report’s translation.

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US Taking Iranian Scientists Hostage: Zarif

Source

March 28, 2020

ZARRIF

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Mehr News Agency

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Resistance, Referendum Only Viable Solution to Palestine Issue: Iran’s FM Zarif

February 18, 2020

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the only viable solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict lies in taking the path of resistance and a popular vote, rather than the US-devised Middle East proposal that seeks to bolster Israeli hold on occupied land at the expense of Palestinian rights.

Zarif made the remarks in an interview with khamenei.ir, the official website of Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, published on Monday.

He stressed that the Palestine dispute cannot be resolved through a scheme that seeks to violate the Palestinian rights and expand unlawful settlements on occupied territory.

“As for Palestine, instead of giving in to the humiliation and the increasing and infinite pressures exerted by the US and the Zionist regime, there are two solutions that should be pursued simultaneously, not separately from one another. One is resistance and another is democracy and popular vote. If they put these two solutions in practice, the question of Palestine will be resolved,” he said.

Last year, the Islamic Republic submitted to the United Nations its proposal for the holding of a referendum on the issue of Palestine issue, as put forth by Ayatollah Khamenei, he noted.

“The solution for the issue of Palestine turns around the two pivots of democracy and resistance. The purpose of resistance is clear and the Palestinians are in fact resisting, but today all Palestinians should express their unanimous opposition to the “deal of the century.” The unity inside Palestine on the basis of resistance can help foil Zionist policies,” he said.

Zarif highlighted the role of democracy as another game changer in the issue of Palestine, saying the proponents of a fake democracy who consider the Zionist regime to be “the only democracy in the region” need to be prepared to embrace true democracy.

“What does true democracy mean? It means that all those who live in Palestine, who are the real owners of Palestine, but who have been displaced around the world should be able to determine and make decisions for their own future,” he pointed out.

US President Donald Trump released his self-proclaimed “deal of the century” during an event at the White House alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on January 28.

The so-called ‘Vision for Peace’ bars Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland, regards Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley.

Elsewhere in his comments, Zarif described the US initiative as the continuation of Washington’s interventionist policies regarding the question of occupied Palestine.

“One of the mistakes made in the past 30 years was that they [some Palestinian organizations] thought they would be able to revive the rights of the Palestinians through cooperating with the occupiers,” he said, adding that all Palestinian parties have realized the fallacy of this notion.

“We have always stressed that it is the Palestinians who have the right to choose and the Islamic Republic will accept whichever path the people of Palestine opt for. In other words, we accept that the Palestinians should make the final decision and their final decision should be respected by everyone.”

The top Iranian diplomat further emphasized that even the former Pahlavi regime had proposed a democratic solution for the Palestine issue and rejected the 1947 UN Palestine Partition Plan.

He also complained about the “passivity and degradation” of the Arabs in the face of the Americans and the Zionists.

In recent years, the Arab world has not only adopted “a passive outlook” towards Tel Aviv and Washington, but also allied with the pair against Palestine, Zarif said, noting that such an approach has led the Americans to the conclusion that they can unveil their plan for the Middle East.

Zarif pointed out that the Arab world has stooped to such a level of disgrace that the Americans think they can portray such a despicable plan as a means of upholding the rights of Palestinian people, whereas “on the basis of what Trump and [his son-in-law and adviser Jared] Kushner think and say, they are not at all concerned about anyone’s rights and they view this plan as a [real estate] project.”

“The Arab world is still insisting to purchase security from the US and the Zionist regime… instead of relying on themselves, their people and their Muslim neighbors. As for the Americans, they obviously welcome it due to the fact that they sell weapons to Saudi Arabia worth 67 billion dollars, and at the same time they purchase the dignity of Saudi Arabia.”

Zarif exclaimed that the Arab leaders do not even dare voice their opposition or adopt a position in support of Palestine, and they even go as far as thanking Trump for his skewed proposal.

The Palestinians need to realize that they cannot achieve their goal by giving in to US interventionism, he pointed out.

Source

Zarif to Al-Ahed: Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination to Boost the Resistance’s Determination

By Mokhtar Haddad

Tehran – The Islamic Republic of Iran celebrates this year the 41st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. It has been more than four decades of resistance against the global arrogance. The sons of the blessed Islamic Revolution have foiled the US and Zionist schemes against peoples in the region, with Lieutenant General Martyr Qassem Soliemani being the most prominent symbol of this confrontation.

Zarif to Al-Ahed: Martyr Soleimani’s Assassination to Boost the Resistance’s Determination
Al-Ahed News Correspondent in Tehran Mokhtar Haddad while interviewing Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif – Sunday, February 9, 2020

Marking the occasion, which falls this year on the fortieth day on the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his comrades, al-Ahed News website conducted an exclusive interview with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif who elaborated on the latest developments in the region.

In a question regarding the so-called ‘Deal of the Century’, whose architects are US President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who insisted on announcing their plot, and specifically related to the Arab and Islamic official and popular reactions to announcing it, Zarif said he believes one dimension of what happened is related to both American and ‘Israeli’ elections.

“Both ‘Israeli’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump are in dire need of an electoral victory to remain in their posts,” Zarif said, adding that “perhaps each of them needs the victory of one another.”

Zarif went on to explain that “Trump needs Netanyahu to win in the elections, and the latter needs Trump to remain in power. This is why it was a good opportunity for them to support one another to fulfill their personal ambitions on the one hand and preserve their supporters at home on the other hand, in addition to supporting their allied.”

This is only one reason behind announcing the ‘Deal of the Century’ at this specific time, Zarif stressed.

The top Iranian diplomat, meanwhile, noted that the weak reaction of some Arab leaders reveal that the Americans have been lately aware that those Arab leaders, who set their destiny at the hands of the US and the Zionist entity, won’t dare and could never show any serious reaction had this very ridiculous agreement been announced.

“It is not only unrealistic, but also totally unrelated to politics,” Zarif told al-Ahed, adding that “Those leaders have neglected a legal and political project about the rights of an entire nation by announcing this plot, which is in fact a mere business trade that emphasizes the occupation’s ownership.”

This, Zarif went on to say, indicates that some Arab head of states have dangerous calculations regarding their ties with the US and the Zionist entity, which must be mended.

According to the Iranian foreign minister, the Arab world’s reaction was very clear. It was full of range and anger towards the US’ announcement of this plot. On the other hand, Zarif explained, this reaction revealed public frustration from some Arab head of states who accepted the ‘deal’ and agreed that the US be a mediator in the Palestinian cause.

One of the biggest mistakes committed by the Arab World since 1990 and since accepting the Oslo and Madrid agreements, is agreeing that the US be a mediator, Zarif said.

“The US has been aligned to a certain party on the Palestinian issue and has never been a mediator in solving this cause.”

Zarif told al-Ahed that the Palestinians today have reached a fact that the US is not a mediator in the Palestinian cause and is clearly aligned with certain party; it is indeed aligned with it vey extremely.

In response to al-Ahed’s question whether the Islamic Republic has been weakened by the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani, in which it has lost one of its cards of power, which made pressurizing it and negotiating with it easier than before, Zarif said martyr Soleimani has represented Iran’s stance in the entire region.

He explained that assassinating Hajj Qassem Soleimani in this coward manner by the Americans is a big loss to the entire region and all those calling for peace in the world. However, Zarif stressed, after the martyrdom, we’ve witnessed what is going on in the region, namely in Iraq, Iran and some other countries.

“All eyes now are on the US destructive policy in the region,” Zarif stated, noting that “this must be used in strengthening the axis of resistance as per the Leader of the Revolution has said.

His Eminence Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei stressed that this martyrdom will boost the determination of the Palestinians and the axis of resistance against the hostile and dangerous steps taken by the US in the region.

This also indicated the extent of the people’s valuation of those who sacrifice their souls for their sake.

Relatively, Zarif commented on the role of martyr Soleimani and his comrades on the track of the axis of resistance, stressing that they have always been inspirers.

“Their martyrdom has made clear that the path of altruism and martyrdom is the right path to confront the hegemony of the global arrogance.”

Zarif concluded his interview with al-Ahed News as saying that the martyrdom of Hajj Qassem Soleimani and his comrades was fruitful and that their blood is still alive. He also stressed that those who committed the crime of assassinating them will definitely be confined to the ash heap of history, which was clear in Trump’s misfire and tearing up the ‘Deal of the Century’ script by speakers of Islamic countries.

To read the Arabic version, click here

Zarif Calls Islamic Jihad Chief, Stresses Iran’s Unwavering Stance on Palestine

February 5, 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamamd Javad Zarif told Ziad Nakhale, Secretary General of Islamic Jihad Palestinian resistance movement that the Islamic Republic is sticking to its stance to support the Palestinian people against the Zionist entity.

In a phone call with Nakhale on Wednesday Zarif said that the US’ so-called “Deal of the Century” poses real threat to the Palestinian cause and the rights of Palestinian people.

Zarif stressed Iran’s unwavering stance to support Palestinian people in order to regain all their rights, Palestine Today reported.

The top Iranian diplomat, meanwhile, urged Palestinian unity in a bid to “foil the ‘Deal of the Century’ that targets Palestine, Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian people’s historic rights.”

On his part, Nakhale thanked Zarif for the Iranian support, offering congratulations over the 41th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution victory.

“The Islamic Jihad will exert efforts in order to unite the position of the Palestinian factions towards the ‘Deal of the Century’,” Nakhale was quoted as saying by Palestine Today.

Source: Palestine Today

Iranian FM, Palestinian President Reiterate Stance on ‘Deal of Century’

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas voiced strong opposition to the so-called “deal of the century”, a US-initiated plan for Palestine.

  • February, 05, 2020 – 09:56

In a telephone conversation with Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, Zarif reiterated the Islamic Republic’s opposition to the plan, stressing that Iran will keep supporting the Palestinian nation’s rights and formation of a sovereign Palestinian government with East al-Quds as its capital.

The top Iranian diplomat also hailed Abbas’ efforts to create national unity in Palestine, reaffirming that Tehran will continue to support the process of reconciliation among Palestinians.

For his part, the Palestinian president briefed Zarif on the stances adopted by Palestinian groups against the American plot and on the political movements to counter the plan proposed by US President Donald Trump.

Highlighting the efforts to ensure national unity in Palestine, Abbas said he will dispatch a delegation to Gaza to contribute to unity between Palestinian groups.

Last week, Trump unveiled his long-delayed Middle East plan, a proposal Palestinian leaders called a “conspiracy” that “will not pass”.

Following Trump’s announcement, Abbas said “a thousand no’s to the plan.

The American plan has sparked widespread international condemnation.

The deal of century ploy, fronted by Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, had already been rejected by the Palestinians, who say the White House’s policies have been blatantly biased in favor of Israel.

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