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Jun 25 04:12

Raisi’s Landslide Victory Could be Turning Point for Islamic Republic

The landslide election of Ebrahim Raisi as 8th president of Iran could be a turning point for the Islamic Republic. The landslide victory for the ultra-conservative former chief justice and protege of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could lead to an overhaul of the framework put in place when the two-tier regime was established in 1979. This structure imposed powerful clerical institutions on elected presidents and parliaments.

The clerical institutions dominat3ed by the valayet-e-faqih, the “guardianship of the Islamic jurist”, i.e., the supreme leader, includes the 12-main appointed Guardian Council which vets all candidates for office, and the 88-member elected Assembly of experts which chooses the supreme leader. Vetted candidates of the latter body are popularly elected for eight-year terms.

Jun 24 08:21

Iran Says US Websites Seizure Could Disrupt Nuclear Talks

Tehran has warned that the latest move by the US Department of Justine to seize over 30 websites run by Iranian state-linked media, including most notably PressTV's English-language website, could be detrimental to the Biden White House's desire to negotiate a restored nuclear deal in Vienna.

Starting Tuesday websites across the Middle East began showing messages where their homepages once were of "This website has been seized" for violating laws related to sanctions on US foreign enemies (as they were hosted on US-owned domains). This included Iranian, Palestinian, Yemeni, Iraqi news channels - with 33 websites being deemed controlled or at least closely associated with the Islamic Republic.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Presstv.ir is still online.

Jun 24 08:09

‘They Want Help’: Saudi Arabia Afraid of Iran, Houthis if US Pulls Troops Out, US General Claims

When the Houthis claimed responsibility for suicide drone attacks on two Saudi Aramco oil facilities in September 2019 that paralyzed the country’s economy for several days, the US quickly rushed to blame Iran, while they have also accused Tehran of exacerbating the war in Yemen by supporting the Houthis’ fight against Riyadh.

The head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) told reporters on Sunday that Riyadh is still asking for US military assistance in deterring Iran. Washington backed out of supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen earlier this year, but the Biden administration has committed to providing for Saudi Arabia's defense, including increasing the efficiency of its air defenses in shooting down Houthi missiles.

Jun 24 08:04

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Reveals Why Iran Doesn’t Need Nukes, Says World Should Know Truth About 9/11

The veteran politician, who served as Iran's president between 2005 and 2013, and as Tehran mayor and Ardabil province governor before that, attempted to take part in both the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections, but was barred from doing so by Iran’s powerful Guardian Council.

The world needs to know the truth about the 9/11 terror attacks, and Iran doesn’t need to pursue nuclear weapons because they cannot protect even superpowers from collapse, former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.

“Deciphering the events of 11 September, 2001 will be the key to an understanding of all political events and processes in the sphere of global security over the past 70 years, and this will pave the way for us all to a better world,” Ahmadinejad said, speaking to Russian media in a broad ranging interview published on Thursday.

Jun 24 07:25

Advanced stealth drone downed by domestic missile defense system

In June 2019 Iran shot down an intruding RQ-4a Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft with surface to air missiles over the coastal province of Hormozgan. The high tech spy drone belonged to the United States with a price tag of over $120 million.

The Americans claimed that the drone was flying in international airspace when hit, however, Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, dismissed the claim and, later in the day, announced that Iran had located parts of the drone in Iranian territorial waters.

Jun 24 06:09

The US Could Be Using Iran’s Election to Sabotage Nuclear Deal

Biden administration officials are downplaying the idea that Iran’s presidential election will impact negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. But the election of Ebrahim Raisi, a judge under US sanctions who is close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, might give President Biden the excuse to blame the failure to salvage the JCPOA on Tehran.

While he’s viewed as a hardliner, Raisi has endorsed the negotiations with the US and favors a revival of the JCPOA if the US lifts sanctions. The issue is, the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions. The current government of Hassan Rouhani is negotiating what sanctions the US is willing to lift. Limited sanctions relief might not be acceptable to Raisi since Washington violated the deal in the first place.

Jun 23 10:37

US: Election of Raisi unlikely to change dynamics of nukes talks

Iran’s supreme leader determines Tehran’s policy on important issues, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Monday, signaling that the election to the presidency of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi won’t change the dynamics of the talks on the nuclear issues between Iran and the world powers in Vienna.

“Iran will have, we expect, the same supreme leader in August as it will have today, as it had before the elections, [and] as it had in 2015 when the JCPOA [Iranian nuclear deal] was consummated for the first time,” Price said.

Jun 23 10:37

Netanyahu: Lapid agreeing with US puts Israel in danger from Iran

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's critics charged Monday that he misled the public when he accused Israel's new government of surrendering to American demands to not surprise the Biden administration on steps Israel takes to prevent the nuclearization of Iran.

Speaking at a meeting of the Likud faction at the Knesset, Netanyahu said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid agreed to the request from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken when they spoke on Thursday night. He said both US President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had issued the same request to him when he was in office, and he rejected it.

Jun 23 10:36

Israeli Military Chief Warns US Against Reviving Iran Deal

Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Avi Kohavi met with top US military officials in Washington on Sunday and Monday to express Israel’s opposition to the Biden administration reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

The IDF released a statement on what Kohavi conveyed to the US. “The chief of staff presented the failures of the current nuclear deal, which allow Iran to make significant advances in the coming years in the quantity and quality of centrifuges and in the amount and quality of enriched uranium, and he stressed the lack of oversight in the area of developing a nuclear weapon,” the statement said.

Kohavi and other Israeli have been warning the US against rejoining the JCPOA since President Biden came into office in January. The warnings have come along with veiled threats. Some Israeli officials have outright said Israel would attack Iran if the deal is revived, and Israel’s new Mossad chief recently threatened more covert attacks.

Jun 23 10:01

Iran's New President Rules Out Ever Meeting With Biden, Calls Ballistic Missiles "Nonnegotiable"

In his first press conference since his landslide victory in Friday's national election, Iran's president-elect Ebrahim Raisi on Monday said he's not willing to meet with President Biden at any point nor is he willing to negotiate on the Islamic Republic's ballistic missile program.

But crucially he did endorse ongoing efforts in Vienna for a restored JCPOA nuclear deal, stressing that Washington must immediately ease and drop sanctions in fulfillment of its own original obligations under the deal. "The U.S. is obliged to lift all oppressive sanctions against Iran," he stressed.

Raisi gave a quick and simple "No" when asked about a potential future meeting with Biden in connection to nuclear deal negotiations. The Associated Press described that "He frowned and stared ahead, without elaborating. His moderate competitor in the election, Abdolnasser Hemmati, had suggested during campaigning that he might be willing to meet Biden."

Jun 23 09:59

A Sovereign Iran Will Move Closer to Russia-China

In his first press conference as President-Elect with 62% of the votes, Ebrahim Raesi, facing a forest of microphones, came out swinging and leaving nothing to the imagination.

On the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, the dossier that completely obsesses the West, Raeisi was clear:

the US must immediately return to the JCPOA that Washington unilaterally violated, and lift all sanctions.

The JCPOA negotiations in Vienna will proceed, but they do not condition anything in terms of Iran’s future.

The Iranian ballistic missile program is absolutely non-negotiable in the framework of the JCPOA, and will not be curbed.

Asked by a Russian journalist whether he would meet President Biden if a deal was struck in Vienna and all sanctions lifted – a major “if” – Raeisi’s answer was a straight “No”.

Jun 23 07:55

‘Sabotage attempt’ foiled at Iranian nuclear agency building – media

There was a failed attempt to sabotage one of the buildings owned by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Iranian media reported on Wednesday, offering few details.

The sabotage operation “was neutralized this morning before it caused damage,” a report by the news agency of Iran’s state broadcaster, IRIB, said. Nobody was hurt, the agency said without offering further details on the reported incident.

The story was also reported by the English-language Iranian news channel Press TV, which credited the prevention to security measures taken since the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last year. The story was first broken by the Twitter account of PTV news, based on information from “security sources.”

Jun 23 07:35

FLASHBACK - Inside the 37-Year Standoff Over Iran’s Frozen U.S. Dollars

When the shah of Iran fell in 1979, the U.S. froze at least $400 million of Iranian money sitting in a Pentagon trust fund. The Islamic Republic of Iran never stopped trying to get it back.

Tehran unsuccessfully sought the money from Jimmy Carter in return for 52 American diplomats held hostage for 444 days. It asked the Reagan administration for the same money during dealings that led to the Iran-Contra scandal. The issue came up yet again during negotiations with George H.W. Bush’s White House.

No administration agreed to surrender all the money, until Jan. 17, shortly after four American citizens were released from Iranian jails in a prisoner exchange. That is when an Iranian government Boeing 737 lifted off from Geneva’s Cointrin airport carrying $400 million—stacks of Swiss francs delivered on wooden pallets earlier that day by the U.S. government.

Jun 23 05:31

US Reportedly Monitoring Iranian Warships Suggested as Destined for Venezuela in ‘Provocative Move’

Iran and Venezuela, two nations that have been shackled by Washington’s sanctions, have sought to deepen their decades-long relationship, with Iran’s shipments of gasoline to the struggling South American nation hailed by President Nicolás Maduro last year as an example of “the brotherhood of free peoples”.

US national security officials are reportedly closely monitoring the movements of two Iranian naval vessels which are believed to be heading for Venezuela, according to Politico.

A frigate and a former oil tanker, the Makran, converted to a floating forward staging base and commissioned this year, have been heading south along the east coast of Africa, the outlet cites sources as saying.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

US warships prowl the oceans of the world and nobody notices, yet Iran sends a few warships into the Atlantic and it's a big stink?

Jun 23 05:14

Iran foils ‘act of sabotage’ against atomic organization building

Iran has thwarted an act of sabotage targeting one of the buildings belonging to its Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI).

The hostile attempt occurred early Wednesday, but did not result in any casualties or damage owing to tight security precautions adopted following similar acts of sabotage against Iranian nuclear sites and the assassination of prominent scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last year.

Investigations are ongoing to identify the perpetrators and determine the facts surrounding the incident.

Such attempts to disrupt Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities have failed thanks to the vigilance of Iran’s security and defense organizations.

Back in April, Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit by an act of sabotage, which Iran called “nuclear terrorism” and a “war crime.” The attack, blamed on Israel, targeted the electricity distribution network of the enrichment facility and caused a blackout.

Jun 22 16:15

PRESSTV.IR IS STILL ONLINE!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At least, for the moment!

Jun 22 14:30

AG Merrick Garland Declares War On The Open Internet: Seizes Domains Of Press TV And MidEast News Sites

Biden-appointed Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday seized the domains of Iranian state media outlet Press TV as well as a bunch of other media outlets from throughout the Middle East.

The mass seizure of Middle East news websites comes just weeks after Israel decidedly lost the propaganda war in their latest bombing campaign in Gaza.

Jun 21 11:09

Emergency Shutdown Reported at Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

The only nuclear power plant in Iran was temporarily shut down for technical reasons on Saturday. It is expected to resume full operation in a few days.

Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant has been temporarily shut down in order to undergo a "technical overhaul", Iranian state TV said on Sunday.

The emergency shutdown began on Saturday and is expected to last for "three to four days", according to Gholamali Rakhshanimehr, an official from the state electric energy company.

The shutdown could result in power outages, the official warned, but did not provide any more details.

According to reports by Press TV, the plant was shut down three days ago, which led to a 1,000 MW power shortage.

This is the first time the plant is reported to have undergone an emergency shutdown.

Jun 21 11:04

President-elect: US must return to nuclear deal with Iran, fulfill its commitments under accord

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raeisi says the United States must return to full compliance with the 2015 landmark nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and fulfill its commitments as per the accord.

Raeisi made the remarks during his first press briefing attended by representatives of domestic and foreign media outlets on Monday, following his election as Iran’s next president.

Asked what message he had for the United States and Europe, Iran’s president-elect said, “I emphatically urge the United States to return to the JCPOA and comply with its commitment. The Iranian people expect you to abide by your obligations.”

“European countries and the United States must look and see what they have done to the JCPOA. The United States violated the JCPOA while European countries [who were parties to the JCPOA] failed to comply with their obligations,” Raeisi said.

Jun 21 07:18

US said to boost military cooperation with Israel, Mideast allies to hinder Iran

As it continues indirect talks with Iran on rejoining the 2015 nuclear accord, the United States has reportedly increased military coordination with Israel and with a number of moderate Middle Eastern countries in an effort to counter the threat posed to the region by the Islamic Republic.

Over the past two months, the US military’s Central Command (CENTCOM) has increased the pace of coordination and the number of high-level meetings with Israel, Egypt, Jordan, several Gulf states, Cyprus and Greece, Israeli news site Walla reported Sunday.

The report comes as IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi heads to the US with a senior delegation of top Israeli military officers to meet with American officials in Washington and discuss Iran’s nuclear program and its expansionist efforts in the region.

Jun 21 06:49

Raisi: Tehran Unwilling to Conduct Nuclear Deal Talks If They Do Not Serve Iran's Interests

Chief Justice of Iran Ebrahim Raisi won presidential race over the weekend and will replace current President Hassan Rouhani in August of this year. His election has sparked concerns about Tehran's readiness to engage in diplomacy due to Raisi being an anti-West hardliner.

Newly elected president of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, has stated during his first press conference that under his government Tehran will continue to engage in talks regarding the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal), but added that the country's diplomacy will not be limited to them.

"Our foreign policy will not be limited to the nuclear deal. We will have interaction with the world. We will not tie the Iranian people's interests to the nuclear deal", Raisi said.

Jun 20 06:30

Ebrahim Raisi's Victory Gives Israel 'No Choice' But to Attack Iran's Nuclear Programme, Report Says

On Saturday, Iran's Interior Ministry declared Ebrahim Raisi the winner of the nation's presidential elections. The top judge, who is known for his ultraconservative views, received almost 62 percent of the vote amid the country's lowest voter turnout (48.8 percent).

Israeli officials have warned that Ebrahim Raisi's victory in the Iranian presidential elections gives them "no choice" but to attack Iran's nuclear programme, Israel's Channel 12 has reported, citing a senior government source. "[The attack] will require budgets and the reallocation of resources", the source told the TV channel, adding that Israeli security officials believe Raisi will adopt hardline views on foreign and nuclear policy pushed by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Jun 17 15:05

Iranian ships once believed to be headed toward Venezuela change course, U.S. officials say

The Iranian navy ships believed to be originally headed toward Venezuela changed course early this week and are now steaming north up the west coast of Africa, U.S. officials said.

The ships, which U.S. officials believe may have been preparing to conduct an arms transfer, have appeared to change course several times during their journey from Iran — and could do so again. But after the course change early this week, they are likely now headed either into the Mediterranean — potentially planning to sail off of Syria — or north toward Russia, according to a defense official briefed on the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive subject.

Jun 17 05:57

IAEA Chief Says Nuclear Deal Will Have To Wait For New Iranian President

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said any agreement reached on a restored nuclear deal in Vienna will have to wait until after this weekend's Iranian presidential election.

A national vote will take place on Friday, June 8, and it's expected that the hardline candidate and current head of the judiciary Ebrahim Raisi will succeed Hassan Rouhani as president. Rouhani's term ends on August 3rd. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said in a Wednesday interview with an Italian daily paper that "Everyone knows that, at this point, it will be necessary to wait for the new Iranian government."

Jun 16 07:44

Netanyahu uses last speech as prime minister to attack Biden on Iran

Hours before a vote to oust him, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Biden of endangering Israel's security by taking a soft line on Iran, and claimed his successor, Naftali Bennett, would be too weak to stand up to Washington.

Why it matters: Netanyahu waged a desperate but unsuccessful campaign to stop a "change coalition" from joining together to replace him after an inconclusive election in March. Facing an imminent demotion to opposition leader, he foreshadowed a willingness to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship to put his rival under pressure.

Jun 15 09:16

Nikki Haley Says Reviving JCPOA is 'Death Wish' for Israel, Slams Biden's 'Disgusting' Effort

Vienna has been hosting talks over the lifting of sanctions and the return of Tehran and Washington to the JCPOA, or Iran Nuclear Deal. After assuming office in January, US President Joe Biden had signalled that a revival of the nuclear containment agreement with the Islamic Republic was possible after Donald Trump ditched the deal in 2018.

Nikki Haley has warned against salvaging the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal, saying it's ultimately a “death wish” for Israel and the world at large, reported The Jerusalem Post.

The former US Ambassador to the UN toured southern Israel on Sunday and Monday, meeting with the country’s top officials including Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose twelve-year consecutive tenure has come to an end.

Netanyahu was ousted after opposition leaders Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett managed to put together a new coalition government on 13 June.

Jun 15 09:15

Iran says it has produced 6.5kg of 60% pure uranium as nuclear deal revival talks with US enter final stretch

Iran has produced 6.5kg of uranium at 60% purity, the government has announced, as indirect talks with the US to revive the 2015 nuclear deal continue into what negotiators have said may be the final week.

The move means Iran is still some way off reaching the 90% purity level for uranium that is needed to make nuclear weapons – a goal the US and other Western nations fear Tehran is pursuing, but which it denies.

On Tuesday, Iranian media quoted government spokesman Ali Rabiei as confirming the development, while adding that Iran has also produced 108kg of uranium enriched to 20% purity.

This means Iran has reached the 20% level more quickly than is required under a law passed in December in response to US sanctions. The legislation also blocked UN inspectors from Iranian nuclear sites.

Jun 15 05:55

Iran: Deal Reached With US on Lifting Sanctions

Just days before the Iranian presidential election, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement reporting that a broad deal was reached with the US over sanctions relief in the industrial sector and energy.

The Ministry spokesman says only minute technical issues remain, and that there is nothing impossible for negotiators trying to work out the deal before the Friday election. The US has yet to confirm this deal being made, but it seems that things are being worked out quickly.

The current talks in Vienna are in their sixth round, and there has been hope recently that a deal could be in the offing, even as there was concern that the election is going to greatly complicate problems going forward.

Iran’s President Rouhani is a very pro-diplomacy reformist, and his second term in office comes to an end after this election. Expectations are that his replacement will be more conservative and less apt to trust a diplomatic process with the US.

Jun 14 08:44

GOP senators push for Hill veto power over a future U.S.-Iran deal

A group of Republican senators introduced a bill on Friday that would require President Joe Biden to secure congressional approval for any new diplomatic agreement with Iran to curtail its nuclear program.

The bill, led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), would give the Senate veto power over any attempt by the Biden administration to reenter the 2015 U.S.-Iran nuclear deal — which was effectively dissolved when former President Donald Trump withdrew from the pact in 2018 — by deeming it a treaty, which mandates approval from the upper chamber.

Jun 14 08:43

No, European intel has not concluded Iran is seeking to build nukes

Iran hawks are pulling out all the stops in their campaign to prevent Iran and the United States from returning to full compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord.

The latest effort comes in the form of an opinion piece published last week in Politico Europe by Foundation for Defense of Democracies fellows Benjamin Weinthal and Alireza Nader, purporting to show that Iran is currently seeking to develop nuclear weapons, and therefore, they claim, American diplomats should “take a timeout” from the JCPOA negotiations.

Weinthal — whose portfolio includes harassing people on Twitter — and Nader cite “European intelligence findings about the Islamic Republic’s illicit atomic weapons activities” which “make it clear that Tehran sought technology in 2020 for constructing nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.”

Jun 14 08:42

Ex-Mossad chief signals Israel culpability for Iran attacks

The outgoing head of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, has signalled the country’s clear responsibility for a series of attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear programme in an interview that appeared to have as much to do with Israel’s febrile politics as with Iran.

In a public intervention that appeared timed to help Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, before a Knesset vote on Sunday that could end his 12 consecutive years in office, the agency’s former head Yossi Cohen revealed details of operations long attributed to Israel.

Those included the assassination of the top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and an explosion at an underground centrifuge hall in Natanz.

The interview also appeared to deliver a warning to other scientists in Iran’s nuclear programme they too could become targets for assassination even as diplomats in Vienna try to negotiate terms to salvage its atomic accord with world powers.

Jun 11 08:54

Russia ‘to supply Iran with advanced satellite’ that could track Israeli bases

Russia is due to supply Iran with an advanced satellite system that will enable the Islamic Republic to track potential military targets in the Middle East, according to the Washington Post.

The US newspaper on Thursday cited current and former US and Middle Eastern officials briefed on the plan, which would involve the delivery of Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite to Tehran.

The system would be equipped with a camera that would “greatly enhance Iran’s spying capabilities”, the paper said.

Jun 11 08:45

Iran Issues Video Showing Missile-Laden Warships Steaming Across Atlantic For 1st Time

US officials this week have been calling on Iran to immediately halt and turn around two of its warships believed bound for Venezuela. A trade and defense relationship between Tehran and Caracas has grown especially under the prior Trump administration sanctions on both countries. This has in the past year included Iranian fuel tankers engaged in sanctions-busting by delivering badly needed gasoline to Venezuela (Venezuela has abundant crude but derelict refineries for meeting domestic fuel needs).

Two Iranian warships, the Sahand and Makran recently rounded the tip of Africa for the first time, which is considered the farthest west that Iranian warships have ever gone. For the past week the US Navy is said to be tracking their movements, but on Thursday Iranian state media released footage of the ships as they traverse the Atlantic Ocean, in a direct "message" to Washington that they remain undeterred.

Jun 11 03:27

The Iran Nuclear Deal Won't Happen Any Time Soon

Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,

Global oil markets have been on edge recently due to the continuing JCPOA discussions and the possibility of the U.S. rejoining the deal. While there have been no real breakthroughs in the discussions so far, the possibility of Iranian oil exports coming back online is adding downward pressure to oil prices. Despite this added pressure, international oil benchmark Brent is still firmly above $70, and oil price optimism is only increasing. This optimism is due to the growing global demand for oil and petroleum products and is also driven by warnings from U.S. diplomats that Iranian sanctions are far from over. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated to the press that “even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions will remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration”.

Jun 10 07:35

FLASHBACK - Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

Jun 10 07:34

FLASHBACK - Iran Claims U.S. is Supporting ISIS and That It Has Evidence to Prove It

Ahigh-ranking Iranian military official claims that the U.S. directly backs the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and says he has evidence to back his allegations.

Major General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, announced Sunday that the nation was in possession of proof that the U.S., which leads an international coalition against ISIS, actually backs the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim group, but did not provide any specifics. Iran, which is also deeply involved in the fight against ISIS, suffered its first major attack by the group Wednesday, when militants conducted two deadly gun and bomb assaults in Tehran, prompting pledges of a thorough investigation and a harsh response by Iranian authorities. The massacre also prompted heated statements from both Washington and Tehran, which accused the other of supporting terrorism in the region.

Jun 09 10:32

BLAZES IN IRAN AS HOPES FOR NUCLEAR DEAL RESCUE FLICKER

On June 6th and 7th, two separate fires took place in the Islamic republic, with one happening near Tehran and the second in the central Kerman province.

The first fire took place in the city of Zarand in Kerman, at a steel factory.

The accident reportedly occurred due to the spillage of molten material.

In spite of ample evidence in videos and eyewitness reports to the contrary, authorities said that there had been no explosion.

According to local sources the explosion was so strong that people in villages and surrounding regions of Zarand were jolted.

There is also some speculation that it was somehow expected with personnel being evacuated hours earlier.

Less than a day later, a massive fire broke out at the Behnoush soft drink factory which is located to the west of Tehran.

The fire had started in an open-air storage area where flammable materials were stored.

No casualties were reported as a result of the fire.

Jun 09 10:08

Blinken claims Iran’s nuclear bomb ‘breakout time’ may soon be a ‘matter of weeks’, with talks held hostage to US sanctions

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal are stalling, claiming Tehran may soon cut its “breakout time” for a bomb to mere weeks as the country insists US sanctions are impeding an agreement.

Speaking to lawmakers during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Monday, Blinken said that despite ongoing discussions in Vienna to return to the nuclear deal, it is still unknown whether the two sides will be able to reach an agreement, adding that Tehran’s nuclear program continues to trudge ahead in the meantime.

“It remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance. We’re still testing that proposition,” Blinken told Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iran has been weeks away from a nuclear bomb ... for the last thirty years!

Jun 09 10:06

‘Unacceptable’: Iran slams suspension of UN voting rights

Iran on Thursday slammed the United Nations’ decision to suspend its voting rights at the General Assembly for failing to pay its dues as “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified”.

Tehran argues that the $16.2m it owes to the UN is the result of Washington’s crippling sanctions, imposed after former US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Jun 09 08:43

Blinken Says ‘Hundreds’ of Sanctions Will Remain on Iran Despite Talks

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said even if the US rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, “hundreds” of sanctions would still remain on Iran, including Trump-era measures.

“I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration,” Blinken told a Senate hearing.

Blinken’s remarks are just his latest bad faith comment about the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing since April. Because the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, the talks are being dragged out.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That kills any possibility of a deal!

Jun 09 08:39

Flaws in US Iran Policy

U.S. Iran policy is marred by many flaws, and some of the worst are threat inflation, imperial arrogance, and hypocrisy. Alarmist media reporting routinely overstates the threat that Iran poses to the US and the world, and hawkish politicians and pundits are only too eager to use this alarmism to agitate for more aggressive policies and to scuttle ongoing diplomacy. Even when Iran behaves like a normal state and abides by international law, their actions are spun as being somehow menacing and challenging to the United States. At the same time, the US tramples on the rules of the system that it claims to uphold so that it can pursue its economic war against Iran. The economic war itself is an illegitimate policy of collective punishment that the US has been waging for the last three years in a vain bid to compel deeper concessions from their government, and after almost half a year Biden has done nothing to change that policy.

Jun 09 06:25

Targeting Iran, strengthening NATO: U.S., British, Israeli, Italian F-35s in unprecedented air combat exercise

The twelve-day Falcon Strike 21 aerial war games commenced in earnest today out of the Amendola Air Base in Italy. The exercise is led by the Italian Air Force and is described by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa as designed for the integration of 4th and 5th generation fighter capabilities; all four participating countries – Britain, Israeli, Italy and the U.S. – have provided variants of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet for the drills.

Israel has deployed six F-35I Adir fighter jets in what the Israeli Air Force says is “part of its [the Adir F-35I Division’s] first-ever overseas deployment.”

The participants have supplied the following combat aircraft:

U.S. – Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs, Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs and F-16C Fighting Falcons
Britain – Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning IIs
Israel: Air Force F-35I Adirs and Gulfstream G550 specialized surveillance aircraft

Jun 08 10:20

Blinken Not Sure if Iran Deal Is ‘Actually Going to Happen’

As indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA are being dragged out, Washington continues to blame Tehran for the lack of progress despite President Biden’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “unclear” if Iran was willing to revive the JCPOA. “We’ve been engaged in indirect conversations, as you know, for the last couple of months, and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance,” he said.

Blinken’s comments rely on the false narrative that Tehran is violating the JCPOA. The reality is, the US is the party that violated the deal in 2018 by imposing sanctions on Iran. Technically, Iran and the other JCPOA signatories — Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany — are still parties to the deal, while the US is not.

Jun 08 09:28

Iran denounces U.S. tracking of its ships that may be headed to Venezuela

Iran on Tuesday rejected as interference a reported U.S. monitoring of Iranian navy vessels that may be headed to Venezuela, saying Tehran would not be breaching international law even if it sent arms to its Latin American ally.

Western media including CNN and Politico have said that the United States has been monitoring two Iranian warships that may be headed to Venezuela, possibly with a cargo of arms.

Last year, Tehran began sending tankers carrying gasoline to Venezuela to help ease an acute fuel shortage there. Both Iran and Venezuela face U.S. sanctions. read more

"Iran reserves the right to enjoy normal trade ties in the framework of international law and regulations, and considers any interference and monitoring of these relations as illegal and insulting, and strongly condemns it," government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a weekly news conference.

Jun 08 07:34

Washington’s Hypocritical Iran Obsession

Since Joe Biden took office as president in January, there has been considerable speculation about the prospects for successful U.S. negotiations with Iran to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Tehran’s nuclear program. President Donald Trump effectively torpedoed that agreement when he rescinded Washington’s adherence to its provisions in 2018. The chances of resuscitating the JCPOA remain uncertain, even as tensions between the United States and Iran on the nuclear issue continue to simmer.

However, ongoing suspicions about nuclear matters is not the only manifestation of ill-will between Washington and Tehran. Two other recent developments are notable, and the Biden administration’s stance on both of them highlights the chronic blind spots and hypocrisy that have plagued US policy toward Iran for the past four decades.

Jun 08 05:55

Exclusive: Press TV study of polls reveals patterns of voter inclination, estimated turnout

A study by Press TV of the most prominent polls after Iran’s first presidential debate has revealed approximate but credible patterns of voter support for each of the seven candidates as well as the estimated turnout in the upcoming election.

Press TV learned in the course of the study of the polls — including more significantly by polling stations with more credible past records — that voter turnout increased after the first presidential debate to 47.1% — marking an increase of 2.5 percentage points, and that the figure will continue to incline upwards as Election Day draws closer.

Also, according to Press TV’s findings, presidential candidate and current Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeisi enjoys the highest support — 55.6% — among voters. Mohsen Rezaei ranks at a distant second with 5.5%.

The two Reformist candidates in the election, Nasser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, enjoy 2.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

Jun 07 12:37

Fire & Explosion Hit Iran Steel Factory In Third Major Incident In 5 Days

A large fire broke out Saturday night at a steel factory in the southeast city of Zarand in Iran. It's the latest in a mysterious string of blasts and 'accidental' blazes at sensitive sites to beset the Islamic Republic, raising questions of possible Israel sabotage akin to what happened a year ago in the summer of 2020.

"The governor of Zarand told the Iranian Fars News Agency that no injuries were caused in the incident and that the incident was under control," The Jerusalem Post reports. "The incident was reportedly caused by the sudden overflow of molten material in the blast furnace, with the governor stressing that no explosion occurred." But some early videos show otherwise.

Jun 07 02:34

US Troops In Iraq Targeted By Increasingly Sophisticated Combat Drones

The thousands of US troops still in Iraq are increasingly monitoring the threat from the skies, as a series of combat drones from an unknown source have reportedly targeted American bases over the past few months, according to a Friday report in The New York Times. The report blames "Iran-backed militia" for deployments of sophisticated small drones, citing the usual anonymous sources.

The following day on Saturday, a new attack on Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq was reported: "The air defense system at Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, where American forces are stationed, shot down two drones that attempted to attack the base on Saturday night, according to the Iraqi Security Media Cell."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, one can hear the war drums getting beaten with ever greater fierocity by Team Biden and Israel, particuarly in light of Netanyahu's impending (potential) fall from grace in the next couple of days.

Geopolitically, Netanyahu is a wounded animal; wounded animals are always at their most dangerous.

However, I would like to politely point out that a US war against Iran would most probably translate as a war against both Russia and China right now; is US leadership so thooroughly idiotic, as to believe that such a war could actually be won, given that we don't have the troop strength; weaponry; money; or manufacturing to make that happen?!?

Jun 06 07:21

Video: Massive Explosion Reportedly Hits Iranian Steel Factory in Zarand

Earlier in May, a chemical factory located in the Iranian city of Shahin Shahr saw an explosion, with at least 9 people reportedly sustaining injures.

A huge explosion rocked a steel factory in the city of Zarand, located in the Iranian province of Kerman, according to multiple reports and several videos shared online.

The footage allegedly filmed on scene shows reams of sparks emerging from the factory building as it is engulfed in a massive fire.

The cause of the incident has not been specified. No official statement was released in regard to the reported explosion.

Jun 04 06:05

Iran to lose voting rights at UN General Assembly over $16m in unpaid dues

Iran will lose its voting rights at the United Nations General Assembly after falling into arrears and failing to pay its dues, the international body has said.

In a letter sent to General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Iran had missed several payments and needed to pay $16,251,298 to restore its voting rights.

According to the letter, the Central African Republic was also in arrears and would need to pay $29,395 to get its voting rights back.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, reacted angrily to the announcement on Thursday and blamed Tehran's inability to pay on "unlawful unilateral sanctions" imposed on the Islamic Republic by the United States.

Jun 02 11:05

Netanyahu says he's prepared for 'friction' with US over Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he is willing to deal with tension with the U.S. over his endeavors to shut down Iran's nuclear program.

"If we have to choose - I hope it doesn't happen - between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat, eliminating the existential threat" wins, Netanyahu said at a ceremony for the new chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, David Barnea, The Associated Press reports.

The remarks from Netanyahu come as his own political future is in question, with opposition parties announcing this week that they had secured enough votes to form a new government and end his 12 years in office.

They also come weeks after deadly clashes between the Israeli military and the Palestinian group Hamas, which is backed by Iran.

Jun 02 10:52

Massive Blaze Engulfs Tehran Refinery Just Hours After Sinking Of Iranian Warship

A major oil refinery in Tehran is now engulfed in a huge blaze just hours after on Wednesday morning the Islamic Republic's largest warship caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman under mysterious circumstances.

Iranian state Tasnim news in a breaking report has identified it as the Shahid Tondguyan oil refinery, considered among the country's largest.

Jun 02 07:34

Netanyahu: Israel will thwart Iran's nuclear program even at expense of US ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would be willing to risk ties with the US in order to thwart Iran's nuclear programme.

Netanyahu also called for the continuation of covert operations against Iran, adding: "I have said these things to my friend of 40 years, [US President] Joe Biden, and I told him, 'With or without an agreement, we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.'"

In an interview during a ceremony held by the new Mossad chief, David Barnea, Netanyahu pointed out that a nuclear Iran would be the greatest threat to Israel's existence.

"If we have to choose, I hope it doesn't happen, between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat — eliminating the existential threat" wins, Netanyahu said.

Jun 02 07:32

Israel’s New Mossad Chief Threatens More Assassinations and Attacks Inside Iran

On Tuesday, the new head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency suggested more Israeli covert attacks and assassinations inside Iran should be expected even as the US and other world powers are negotiating a revival of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“The Iranian program will continue feeling Mossad’s might. We are well acquainted with the nuclear program and its various components, we know personally the factors that operate in it and also the forces that drive them,” David Barnea said at his swearing-in ceremony, as quoted by Israel’s Ynet.

Barnea said the JCPOA negotiations show that Israel might have to act alone against Iran. “The agreement with world powers that is taking shape only reinforces the sense of isolation in which we find ourselves on this issue,” he said. “I say it clearly — no, we do not intend to act according to the majority opinion since this majority will not bear the consequences for the erroneous assessment of this threat.”

Jun 02 05:09

Netanyahu Vows ‘Not to Allow a Nuclear Iran,’ Even at Cost of Israel’s ‘Friction With US'

US President Joe Biden has promised to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists there “must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he believes there's no bigger threat to the country than “the existential threat posed by Iran's attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” reports Haaretz.

“Whether it is threatening us directly with extermination as a small and concentrated state with atomic weapons, or threatening us with tens of thousands of missiles backed with the threat of nuclear deterrence, it is a threat that threatens the continuation of the Zionist enterprise, and we must fight against this threat to no end,” Netanyahu said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Netanyahu needs a scary enemy and Iran will do just fine!

Jun 01 07:12

US Sells Off 2 Million Barrels of Stolen Iranian Oil

The US sold about 2 million barrels of stolen Iranian crude oil it acquired by seizing a tanker off the coast of the UAE in February, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

The Iranian oil came from the MT Achilleas, a tanker the US seized near the UAE port city of Fujairah. The US justified stealing the oil and seizing the tanker under the guise of sanctions enforcement. According to AP, US court documents allege that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) tried to sell the oil to China.

The Trump administration designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization, giving the US government the ability to seize IRGC assets. The US forced the Achilleas to sail to Houston, Texas. The US government then sold the 2 million barrels of oil for about $110 million.

Jun 01 06:47

Iran Warns Against "Miscalculations" As US Military Monitors Pair Of Venezuela-Bound Warships

In a seeming repeat of the Trump admin attempt to impose a full naval blockade on Venezuela to prevent fuel and oil imports and exports, especially involving Iranian tankers, the US military is said to be actively monitoring two Iranian naval vessels which are believed headed toward Venezuela.

Washington has reportedly warned the Maduro government against receiving the warships, which likely have elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force members aboard. The two "rogue states" (as the US sees them) have become increasingly close especially under the prior four Trump years as they cooperated in circumventing US sanctions, and have grown militarily more cooperative.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that Team Biden, is not planning something unalterably idiotic here; the problem, is that just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing a US administration could possibly do, is utterly no guarantee that it won't do it.

May 31 13:35

Rare Iranian Oil Cargo Reaches U.S. Shores

The first Iranian oil shipment in years reached the U.S. shores in March, Reuters has reported, citing data from the Energy Information Administration.

The data showed that more than 1 million barrels of Iranian crude reached the United States two months ago, which, Reuters notes, took place a month after United States authorities seized a tanker carrying Iranian crude.

The agency also notes in its report that the previous time the EIA reported Iranian crude in the country’s import mix was last October, again after the U.S. seized an Iranian oil cargo.

The shipment that the U.S. detained earlier this year was carried by a Liberian-flagged tanker and was believed to be some 2 million barrels. The grounds for the detainment, as laid out in a forfeiture complaint at a U.S. District Court, were that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has created a scheme to covertly ship Iranian oil to a customer outside Iran.

May 31 06:04

Exiting Mossad boss urges expansion of activity against Iran

The outgoing head of the Mossad spy agency has called for Israel to ratchet up actions against Iran to teach it a lesson and deter the Islamic Republic.

Yossi Cohen’s comments at a ceremony in central Israel on Sunday came after a period in which Iran’s nuclear program has been rocked by a series of mysterious setbacks, some of which are suspected to be attacks directed or carried out by Israel.

“Activity against the Iranian regime must be stepped up so that it understands that crossing the lines will cost it immense damage,” Cohen said at a ceremony at Bar-Ilan university, where he was given an honorary doctorate.

“To succeed we need leadership and courage, willingness to act. Today’s security operation is no less important than tomorrow’s war,” he said, describing security as “the foundation that enables us to live a meaningful life.”

May 30 06:19

Iran's Top Military Commander to Assad: Iran Ready to Boost Syria's Defense Capabilities

Tehran earlier congratulated Assad on his victory in the second presidential election since the devastating civil war broke out in Syria in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings. Damascus has succeeded in regaining control over most of the country's territory, but militants still remain in the north of the Arab Republic.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri has pledged Tehran's readiness to help Syria boost its defense power, provide assistance in the process of reconstruction and tackle other issues resulting from the fight against terrorists, Tasnim News reported.

In a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday, Baqeri congratulated him on the recent victory in the presidential election. Assad earlier thanked the Syrian people for re-electing him, while also stressing that the next day would be the start of a new era of building Syria the way it should be.

May 29 06:24

US Imported Oil Twice From Iran in Last Two Quarters Despite Sanctions, EIA Data Shows

The United States imported crude oil and petroleum products from Iran twice between the last two quarters despite Washington's sanctions against Tehran, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data revealed on Friday.

The estimated import of 36,000 barrels per day in October 2020 and 33,000 barrels daily in March this year appear to be the first such purchases made by the United States from Iran since 1993 at least, the EIA data showed.

The EIA did not explain how the Iranian imports showed up on its log, despite current US sanctions prohibiting any country from importing Iranian oil.
The United States has a long history of sanctions against Iran, dating back to 1984, when it prohibited weapon sales and all US assistance to Iran.

May 28 05:38

Foreign Ministry spokesman: US, UK spin Vienna talks on JCPOA to appease Israeli regime

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says Washington and London spin the goals of the ongoing Vienna talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in order to appease the Israeli regime, which is the sworn enemy of the agreement.

“To appease the sworn enemy of JCPOA, UK/US FMs spin goals of #ViennaTalks. Disappointing!” Khatibzadeh wrote in a tweet on Thursday, referring to the nuclear deal by its official acronym.

The Joint Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. It was abandoned in May 2018 by the former administration in the US, in a move strongly supported by the Tel Aviv regime.

The Vienna talks, which began in early April, are aimed at bringing the US back into the deal, under a new administration that has promised to rejoin the deal and repeal Washington’s hostile “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran.

May 27 07:09

IAEA Chief Warns Iran Has Already Reached Nuclear Weapons Capable Enrichment

Amid the fifth and what's expected to be the final round of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voiced that time is running out on reaching an agreement given the Islamic Republic has already reached bomb-building capability in terms of enriched uranium purity levels.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told Financial Times that Iran has reached uranium purity levels that "only countries making bombs are reaching" after routinely ramping up enrichment since Trump pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA back in May 2018.

May 27 05:45

Iran presidential election 2021: Candidates announced, cleared to start campaigning

Iran’s Interior Ministry has released a final list of the candidates found qualified by the Constitutional Council to run for president in the June 18 election, officially clearing them to start campaigning.

The much-awaited list, which was released on Tuesday, includes Saeed Jalili, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, Mohsen Rezaei, Alireza Zakani, Seyyed Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, Albdolnasser Hemmati, and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

Raeisi has been the chief of Iran’s Judiciary since 2019. He is mainly associated with the Principlist camp, but he said he would be contesting the June 18 vote “independently.”

Rezaei, a Principlist, currently serves as the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council.

Mehr-Alizadeh, a Reformist politician, formerly served as vice president and head of the National Sports Organization of Iran under ex-President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami.

May 27 05:44

Resistance envoys to Tehran attend ceremony to commemorate IRGC commander

Representatives of different resistance groups have attended a ceremony in the Iranian capital to commemorate late Deputy Commander of Iran’s Quds Force Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi. They also hailed the Quds force for its fight against terrorism and its support for Palestinians.

Iran’s stance on Palestine has always been clear and the Islamic Republic has always supported the Palestinian nation in defending their rights.

Tehran believes that resistance and fighting the Zionist regime is the only way for Palestinians to gain their rights.

In a ceremony in Tehran to commemorate late Deputy Commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi it was stressed that all Muslims must support the Palestinian nation in defending their rights.

The Syrian ambassador to Iran also appreciated the efforts and activities of Quds Force commanders including General Soleimani and Hejazi.

May 26 07:55

Netanyahu blasts Iran deal in front of Biden's secretary of state

Many analysts have pointed to President Biden's effort to reenter the Iran nuclear deal as one of a number of policy moves that precipitated the 11 days of attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas with rockets financed by Tehran.

If there was any doubt that Israel opposes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the Islamic regime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it to rest Tuesday in the presence of Biden's secretary of state.

May 26 07:24

On Eve of Blinken Visit, Netanyahu Hints Israel May Take ‘Independent’ Action Against Iran

Ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s maiden visit to Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hinted Israel could take military action against Iran’s nuclear sites without U.S. approval.

Addressing top brass from the Mossad at a ceremony welcoming the new chief of the spy agency, David Barnea, Netanyahu said: “The first task of each one of you is to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons,”

May 26 07:16

US ‘consulting’ Israel about Iran nuclear deal

The US has been seeking the advice of the Israeli regime — the sole nuclear arms possessor in the Middle East — about whether it should return to a historic nuclear deal with Iran and others.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the remark during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday.

The United States is “consulting closely with Israel as we did today on the ongoing negotiations in Vienna around a potential return to the Iran nuclear agreement,” Blinken said, according to Reuters.

Washington left the accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2015 amid strong instigation on the part of Tel Aviv and some regional states.

May 26 06:49

Alongside Blinken, Netanyahu Says US Should Not Return to Iran Deal

During a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the US shouldn’t return to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“I can tell you that I hope that the United States will not go back to the old JCPOA because we believe that that deal paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Israeli officials claim the JCPOA is a path to a nuclear-armed Iran because it has an expiration date. But after the JCPOA, the Iranians would still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel refuses to sign due to its secret nuclear weapons program.

May 24 07:19

Study Finds 4.5% Of All Bitcoin Mining Is In Sanctions-Hit Iran

A prominent crypto analytics firm has issued a new report suggesting the Islamic Republic was able to successfully weather the Trump-era sanctions storm of the past few years by generating up to a billion dollars a year through mining cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic concluded that a whopping 4.5% of all global bitcoin mining takes place in Iran alone. The Iranian government itself has acknowledged these attempts to beat the near total economic embargo on the country, which has been in effect and progressively ramped up since Trump pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA nuclear deal in May 2018.

May 24 06:50

Iran Denies IAEA Access to Images as Inspection Agreement Expires

Fears about a 3-month deal for access between the IAEA and Iran were realized over the weekend, when starting Saturday Iran has refused to give inspectors access to surveillance photos from the nuclear sites.

Iran is allowed to do this, because the images were part of the Additional Protocol, which Iran had voluntarily complied with before. Iran’s parliament wanted them to stop a lot of the extra compliance, and Iran worked out a 3-month pact with the IAEA on the matter.

The problem was that was 3 months ago, and expired Friday, despite talks aiming to extend them. The IAEA confirms that it has tamper-proof seals on everything, but didn’t immediately comment on the images.

May 24 06:50

US Winks, Israel Bites? Shifting Middle East Alliances. The War on Iran is “On Hold”?

In 2003, the war on Iran project was already Déjà Vu. It had been on the drawing board of the Pentagon since the mid-nineties.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war games scenario in May 2003 (leaked classified document), an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria had been envisaged, of which Syria was the first stage in 2011.

The initial invasion of Iraq under “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was launched on March 20, 2003, April 9 marks the Fall of Baghdad; officially the invasion was completed on May 1st, 2003.

In May 2003, immediately following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the TIRANNT (Theater Iran Near Term) war games scenario were carried out as revealed by William Arkin, a former US intelligence analyst:

May 24 06:32

As Rapprochement Between Saudi Arabia and Iran Continues, Will a Deal Happen?

The two countries still have many disagreements when it comes to regional issues like Syria and Yemen, and a Saudi political analyst says his country would need firm guarantees before it proceeds with further talks with the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday his country was ready for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, one of its main regional rivals.

Speaking in Damascus after his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the top diplomat also said that he hoped the recent round of talks, hosted by Iraq, would lead to greater stability in the region.

May 24 03:54

Blinken: No Sign Iran Will Accept Demands for Sanction Relief

Secretary of State Tony Blinken downplayed the chances of nuclear progress with Iran on Sunday, saying the US has seen no sign Iran will comply with the assorted US demands related to sanctions relief.

To be clear, Iran was complying with the terms of the nuclear deal for years, and has said they will do so again if the US meets its sanctions relief obligations. The US has made no effort to do this, and is demanding Iran go first in meeting all US requirements before any of Iran’s needs are discussed.

All of this gives the impression that this is a deal the US doesn’t really intend to make, and is being orchestrated such that they can try to sell the non-deal as purely Iran’s fault.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Israel wants, from US foreign policy, Israel gets; please don't forget that, if we start seeing mushroom clouds over Tehran in the not too distant future.

Apparently, no one in the current US or Israeli administration is at all, even noddingly familiar, with Sun Tzu's "Art of War"; should such a US/Israeli war hit Iran, these Iranians will be fighting for the existence of their homeland.

May 24 03:07

Iran Blocks Inspectors From Accessing Nuclear Site Images As Vienna Deal Looms

It appears that Iran may be applying some last-minute leverage just ahead of the final round of nuclear talks in Vienna, and at a moment it's being widely reported that the main parties, including the US, are on the cusp of agreeing on a deal as final documents are being drafted. Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf on Sunday announced that IAEA inspectors will no longer have access to surveillance images of the country's nuclear sites.

"From May 22 and with the end of the three-month agreement, the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement," Qalibaf said as announced in state television.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big question now is, what is Israel prepared to do to prevent the from the renewal of the P5+1 agreement?!?

Unfortunately, the short answer is, anything they think they can get away with, including remote bombing of Iran's nuclear sites.

May 21 05:57

Iran’s Rouhani Says US Has Agreed to Lift Major Sanctions

On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US agreed to lift most major sanctions on Iran during the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna. He said only “minor issues” need to be worked out in the fifth round of negotiations which will begin next week.

“The talks in Vienna are about minor issues. They have accepted to lift sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as sanctions on the central bank and others,” Rouhani said during a televised cabinet meeting.

Rouhani’s comments offered the most optimistic assessment of the Vienna talks to come out of Iran. But also on Thursday, an unnamed Iranian official told Iran’s PressTV that the US has not agreed to lift all major sanctions but instead said it would temporarily suspend them. “Washington intends to temporarily suspend some of the sanctions over a long period of time and in various steps,” the official said.

May 20 10:38

Israel shot down armed Iranian drone near border with Jordan - Netanyahu

The drone Israel shot down near the border with Jordan on Tuesday was Iranian, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

“While we were engaged in these hostilities a few days ago, Iran sent an armed drone from Iraq or from Syria,” Netanyahu told German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who was in Jerusalem. “Iranian forces launched an armed drone, which our forces intercepted on the border between Israel and Jordan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Desperate move by Netanyahu to derail the Iran deal.

May 20 09:42

Top EU Negotiator "Quite Sure" Iran Nuclear Deal Will Be Reached Next Week

At the end of the latest round of talks (the fourth) in Vienna on Wednesday a top European Union envoy has said that the reviving of the Iran nuclear deal is now "shaping up". Enrique Mora, the EU's top negotiator for the Vienna nuclear talks, says he's "quite sure" a deal will be reached at a moment the text is being drafted, and as talks adjourn for a week.

Documents outlining both Iran's compliance and the United States' return to the JCPOA nuclear deal are now said to be "mostly drafted" - according to Iranian statements, with the exception of "complicated differences". A "final round" of talks are now set for next week, with the Iranian side hoping for a deal to be reached prior to the Iranian presidential election in June, after which Hassan Rouhani will step down due to term limits.

May 20 04:56

Will Biden Stay in Bibi’s Pocket?

How about now? Will he see President Biden as a wimp, with Biden’s mealy-mouthed comment to Netanyahu earlier today that Biden "expects to see a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire" in Gaza.

If past is precedent, Netanyahu’s likely response will be a half-polite, "Joe, please take that and shove it … and oh, by the way, I meant to thank you for your proposed sale of $735 million-worth of smart bombs a couple of weeks ago. It came at just the right time for me."

Here’s Why

Netanyahu thought the camera/sound was off 20 years ago, when he spoke with unspeakable candor to a small private group, explaining, "America is a thing that can be easily moved … moved in the right direction. They [Americans] will not bother us."

Translation (based on the subtitles) follows, with Netanyahu in bold.

"The Arabs now are preparing a campaign [war] of terror, and they think that this will break us.

"The main thing is, first and foremost, to hit them hard.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Netanyahu is playing Biden for a complete fool; any attack against Iran (and I am sure that the IDF and MOSSAD have several competing scenarios for making this happen,) will potentially lead to a broader regional war, which could well translate into a world war right now.

May 20 03:09

Time To End the Silence on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

On April 28, Israel’s intelligence minister, Eli Cohen, repeated the Israeli threat that should the U.S. re-enter the JCPOA and remove the sanctions on Iran, Israel would hit Iran’s nuclear plants with long range missiles. This threat too was met with silent acquiescence on the part of the US and its Western allies, the same kind of silence that has met Israel’s continued acts of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, house demolitions, settlement building, administrative detention of children, Gaza blockade, use of phosphorous bombs, flooding and contamination of agricultural land, raiding Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan, torching trees and agricultural crops and bombarding residential apartment blocks in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know what the odds are that bookies are placing on this possibility, but I would strongly suggest that Israel is preparing a war against Iran, to attempt to prevent it from offering military help to the Palestinians, in very short order; I think this is a matter of when,not if.

May 18 06:18

US helping Israel kill more children with more precision: Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issues a strong-worded tweet, reflecting on the US’s approving sales of hundreds of millions in surgical armaments to the Israeli regime right in the middle of Tel Aviv’s slaughtering Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip.

“As US-made munitions rain down on innocent Palestinians, US gives another $735M in ‘precision’ missiles to Israel to kill more children with more precision,” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

May 17 07:55

Condemning Israel’s savagery, Leader’s aide says Iran will continue to support Palestine

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says all Muslims across the world are duty-bound to support the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli regime’s barbaric attacks, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s support for Palestine.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has fulfilled its duties in the past and will continue this path to give its all-out support [to Palestine] under the leadership of [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei],” Ali Akbar Velayati said in a phone call with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, on Sunday.

Velayati, who is also secretary general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, condemned the Israeli regime’s brutal attacks on the Palestinian people, saying that the divine promise on the liberation of all Palestinian occupied lands and Jerusalem al-Quds will finally come true.

Israel has been relentlessly bombarding the besieged Gaza Strip for the past seven days.

May 17 07:53

Israel committing gravest intl. crimes amid UNSC’s deadly silence: Iran envoy

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations says the Israeli regime is busy committing the full range of gravest international crimes amid United States-enabled silence on the part of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks on Sunday, speaking at an emergency UNSC meeting held to address the heart-wrenching bloodletting and destruction that has been brought about across the Palestinian territories as a result of the regime’s brutality.

Tel Aviv, he said, was simultaneously engaged in genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression against the Palestinians owing to the Security Council’s mum on the savagery.

The envoy said the Council’s inaction had increasingly emboldened the regime in the atrocities.

‘Systematic US support’

Takht Ravanchi cited the US’s patronage for the brutal regime as a key factor behind its sustained avoidance of accountability for the atrocities on the international arena.

May 15 05:57

Iran secures court order to protect Luxembourg funds against US attempt

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has managed to win a court order in Luxembourg to prevent the transfer of nearly $1.7 billion worth of assets from the European country to the United States.

The CBI said in a Thursday statement that the court order had reiterated that Clearstream, a securities depository based in Luxembourg, would face heavy fines if it unilaterally hands over Iranian funds that it has in its possession to the United States.

The statement said the ruling had come in response to a request by the CBI and the Iranian Presidency’s legal affairs unit to prevent any potential transfer of the funds following a recent legislation in the US which allows American courts to have Iranian assets confiscated anywhere in the world without observing the national laws of the countries where they are being held.

May 15 05:36

Hamas Fires Iranian-Made Cruise Missiles for First Time, Five Israelis Killed

This places the latest escalation in violence in an entirely different context. No longer are we “merely” talking about Israel incitement against Israeli Palestinians over restrictions on access to their holy site, Haram al Sharif. Instead, Hamas has taken up the cause, broadening the conflict, possibly at the behest of Iran. The latter has many scores to settle with the Israelis: this includes key Israeli communication intercepts which permitted the US to locate and murder Qassem Soleimani; and even the assassination of the founder of the Iranian nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Iran has been itching for a fight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Or, is it possible that members of Mossad, posing as Hamas, are using Israeli reverse-engineered missiles which look, and behave indentically to their Iranian counterparts, to be able to make the claim that they were Iranian, giving Israel the "alleged justification" for opening a war on a second front?

Is it Iran who really wants a war with Israel?!? Israeli government officials have been screaming forever, that the current form of the Iranian government needs to be taken out, and that Iran is an "existential threat" to Israel.

This article came out last Thursday; one wonders if internal/external Israeli poling have given Netanyahu's government the "traction", both domestically and internationally, it feels it needs to open a second front on this war agaisnt Gaza, this time against Iran.

May 14 11:15

Iran threatens: Shockingly equation to be made if Israelis don't stop attacks

May 14 07:17

Iran military chief: Balance of power shifted away from ‘infanticidal Zionists’ toward Palestinians

Iran’s top military commander says as a result of the anti-Israel resistance’s rising strength, the balance of power in the region has changed in favor of Palestinians in their confrontation with the Zionist regime.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks in a Thursday message in which he strongly condemned the latest criminal acts of the Zionist regime against Palestinian people across the occupied territories.

Stressing the need for the establishment of a strategic and powerful coalition to resolve the issue of Palestine, Baqeri said, “The savage crimes committed these days by the brutal and infanticidal Zionist regime in the occupied territories and the Holy [Jerusalem] al-Quds, and killing of a large number of fasting, oppressed, innocent and resistant people of Palestine, have greatly saddened the entire world, especially the Islamic Ummah.”

May 14 06:44

Rockets Fired At Israel From South Lebanon As Fears Grow Hezbollah To Enter Conflict

A big lingering unknown is whether Israel's powerful archenemy Hezbollah will open up a northern front to bog down Israel's military as it continues striking Gaza, and as preparations are underway for a potential Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ground invasion into the Hamas-controlled strip.

Late Thursday at least three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward Israel, which the IDF military spokesman confirmed...

Given the rockets fired into northern Israel, the immediate question remains whether Hezbollah was responsible, and if the Shia paramilitary organization supported closely by Iran will initiate its own aggression. This would constitute a monumental escalation for Israel, assuring major regional war.

So far international reports are saying it's "unclear" who was responsible for the attack from Lebanon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Or... could it have been Israeli military elements in Lebanon, attempting a "false flag" in order to justify an invasion of Lebanon?!?

If this is happening, expect it to get far worse, to justify the invasion; Israel desperately wants the Litani river, and will do nearly anything to be able to access that water....

May 14 05:26

Ahmadinejad Is Back: Iranian Firebrand Announces Bid For Presidency 

At a moment that Iranian domestic politics are on a knife's edge of tension, particularly following the recent hardliner vs. 'moderate' row in the wake of the 'Zarif Gate' audio leak scandal wherein the foreign minister blasted the military establishment for often sabotaging diplomacy, the Islamic Republic's former firebrand president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is vying again for leadership of the country.

On Wednesday he formally submitted and announced his name as a candidate in the upcoming June 18 presidential elections. His Islamic conservative and 'hardline' reputation could have drastic impact on the continuing nuclear negotiations with the West should he be elected.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pols in Israel must be rejoicing big-time, because his potential election in the 2021 election would make it far easier to proclaim it "impossible" to deal with the country, and to justify a war against it.

May 13 05:59

Persia Accuses Uncle Sam of “False Narratives” After Coast Guard Goes Shooting in the Persian Gulf

On Tuesday, the IRGC Navy called Pentagon press secretary John Kirby’s statement about the incident on Monday “false,” blaming the United States’ “illegitimate presence” in the Gulf for the tensions, according to IRGC-run Sepah News.

The statement accused the US Navy of making “false narratives” and “unprofessional behavior” in the strait.

A US Coast Guard cutter fired some 30 warning shots to ward off two IRGC fast-attack boats that came too close to the US formation in international waters, the Fifth Fleet said yesterday.

Thirteen IRGC fast-attack boats rapidly approached the formation of seven US Navy and Coast Guard ships before two of the boats broke away to approach the USCGS Maui and USS Squall, who were escorting the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia through the Strait of Hormuz.

The run-in was the third of its kind in recent weeks after nearly four years of relative calm between the US Navy and IRGC vessels in the Gulf.

May 13 05:49

Iran’s IRGC vows ‘more powerful’ support for Palestine

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) vehemently condemns the Israeli regime’s hugely deadly atrocities of the recent weeks across the Palestinian territories, pledging to stand “more powerfully” in support of the Palestinian nation.

In a Wednesday statement, the elite force considered “providing assistance to the Islamic resistance and Palestine’s Intifada (Uprising)” to be its “historical and undeniable mission.”

Provision of such support, it added, was also part of the legacy of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, who was martyred in a United States drone strike against Baghdad last year.

May 13 05:44

‘Israel is not a country, but a terrorist camp,’ Iran’s leader Khamenei says

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has blasted Israel as nothing more than a “terrorist camp” and urged the Palestinians to unite their efforts in fighting Tel Aviv.

Israel has “turned occupied Palestine into a base for terrorism,” Khamenei tweeted.

“Israel isn’t a county; it’s a #TerroristCamp against Palestinians & other Muslim nations,” he wrote, adding that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to fight against it.

May 13 05:43

Zarif in Syria to discuss bilateral, regional issues, including Palestine

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is leading a delegation on a visit to Syria to discuss bilateral and regional issues as well as the latest developments in the Israeli-occupied territories and the Tel Aviv regime’s recent aggression against the sanctities of Muslims.

Speaking to reporters following his Wednesday morning arrival in Damascus, Zarif pointed to the “escalation of criminal actions by the Zionist regime since the International Quds Day” on Friday and “the rare incidents taking place in the al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied territories and the bombing of Gaza.”

He said he planned to discuss the current situation in the occupied Palestine with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad and “other Syrian and Palestinian friends.”

May 13 01:55

In Pictures: Global protests in solidarity with Palestinians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel's difficulty right now, is that it is singularly incapable of controlling the narrative, because of the presence of cell cameras, the net, and tweets to document what is happening.

My deep concern right now, is that Israel will pull a "false flag", to be blamed on Iran, and off we go.... to a new world war.

May 12 07:05

Iran Rejects Pentagon Claim of ‘Harassment’ in Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) rejected claims from the Pentagon that Iranian boats “harassed” US warships in the Strait of Hormuz, an incident that led to a US Coast Guard Cutter firing 30 warning shots.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby claimed on Monday that the Iranian vessels had been acting “very aggressively.” But the IRGC said its patrol vessels encountered the US warships during “routine daily missions in the territorial waters.” The Coast Guard Cutter was accompanied by six US Navy ships, including a guided-missile submarine.

“It would be better for the Americans to avoid unprofessional behavior and not to endanger the security of the Persian Gulf by obeying the rules and regulations of the sea,” the IRGC said.

May 12 07:04

Why Are U.S. Navy Warships And Coast Guard Boats Anywhere Near Iran?

Three small Iranian warships came uncomfortably close to a U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship and a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat in the Persian Gulf last week, the Navy reported. The Iranian vessels “failed to exercise due regard for the safety of other vessels,” said the Navy statement, “as required under international law … in international waters.”

This is the second such encounter between American and Iranian forces recently. It also comes shortly after leaked audio heard Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complaining that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which operated the harassing Iranian crafts, has forced him to “sacrific[e] diplomacy for the battlefield.”

The question that context should raise in Washington is this: Why risk these close calls at all?

May 12 06:22

Zarif turns down Reformist appeals to run for president, potentially reshaping 2021 race

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has announced he will not be running for president in the June 18 election, officially turning down a major appeal by the Reformist camp and potentially reshaping the race.

In a rather cryptic Instagram post on Wednesday, Zarif officially announced what he had already implied by resisting weeks of Reformist lobbying and refusing to announce a presidential bid.

While the Iranian foreign minister had denied having presidential aspirations in the past, he had refused to emphatically and publicly rule out a run in recent weeks and as the election drew nearer.

In announcing his decision, Zarif said he had reached the conviction that his candidacy would not have been in the best interest of the country.

May 11 07:35

Iran Publicly Accuses US Government of Orchestrating Bombing That Targeted and Killed Scores of Afghan Children

85 people were killed and 147 injured — mostly children — in a ruthless bombing of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school in Kabul. The school formally educates girls.

The attackers were targeting the Hazara population, which is part of Afghanistan’s Shia Muslim minority. The latest bloodshed threatens to plunge Afghanistan into a sectarian conflict as the Biden administration begins withdrawing troops from the region.

No group has officially taken responsibility for this slaughter. The Afghan government has publicly accused the Taliban, but they have formally denied involvement. Some Arab media outlets are reporting a rumor that it was ISIS, but the group has not confirmed culpability.

May 11 05:20

US excessive demands, refusal to remove Iran bans complicating Vienna talks: Press TV

The excessive demands put forward by the United States and its refusal to remove hundreds of anti-Iran sanctions related to the 2015 nuclear deal have been behind the complications hindering the talks underway in Vienna, Austria, on a potential revival of the accord.

Press TV has obtained information that the United States is complicating the Vienna talks by insisting on keeping in place 500 anti-Iran sanctions included in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington’s insistence on keeping these 500 persons and organizations under sanctions will prevent Iran from benefiting from the economic privileges offered under the JCPOA. It will also get in the way of Iran normalizing its trade relations with the rest of the world in contravention of Article 29 of the deal, according to the information.

May 10 23:25

12+ Iranian Gunboats Swarm 6 U.S. Warships, Dozens Of Warning Shots Fired

Iranian military gunboats with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated terrorist organization, swarmed several U.S. warships on Monday that were escorting a U.S. submarine.

“Over a dozen Iranian gunboats harass formation of six U.S. warships including guided-missile submarine Georgia,” Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson said. “U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots in response in Strait of Hormuz.”

The 13 Iranian military vessels reportedly came within 150 yards of U.S. Forces, which fired 30 warning shots at the Iranian vessels. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby called the incident “significant” since previous incidents had involved fewer vessels.

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