IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

IRAN

May 10 07:47

Two Longtime Enemy Mideast Countries Have Entered Unlikely Peace Talks

Two longtime bitter enemies who have for much of the past couple decades battled for influence in the Middle East while clashing through proxies have entered unlikely secret talks. On Friday a Saudi foreign ministry official confirmed previously widespread rumors of the past weeks that the kingdom is in communications with Iran in order to reduce regional tensions. Earlier reports suggested the talks secretly took place in Baghdad.

"We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions," Saudi ministry Ambassador Rayed Krimly told Reuters. He said that Riyadh needs to see "verifiable deeds" before evaluating the talks, with Bloomberg noting that Iraqi officials are mediating, with a focus on de-escalating the situation in Yemen - where Riyadh and Tehran are supporting rival sides of the civil war.

May 10 06:50

Report: Israel shared Soleimani’s phone numbers with US hours before his slaying

Israel shared with the United States three cellphone numbers of Iranian al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in the hours before he was killed last January in a US drone strike in Baghdad, according to Yahoo News.

The Saturday report, citing US military and intelligence officials, said Israel provided information to the US military as the hit operation was already underway, with American forces keeping an eye on Soleimani from the ground and skies and liaisons from US Joint Special Operations Command in Tel Aviv working with the Israelis on tracing the Iranian commander’s phones.

During the six hours before the attack Soleimani changed his cellphone three times, officials told Yahoo.

May 08 06:29

‘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 07 06:31

Russian Submarines Armed with Cruise Missiles PROTECTS Iranian Ships.

May 07 06:28

Israel Attacks Syria for Second Straight Night

Israel went nearly two weeks between attacking Syria, and is now hitting for a second night in a row, with an attack helicopter raid into the Syrian Golan Heights. As with Wednesday night, Israel refused to comment on the attacks.

This makes it tough to determine what happened, as Israeli media tends to exaggerate and Syrian state media tends to downplay what happened. Officially, there are no confirmed casualties of the Thursday attack, and only one civilian killed Wednesday.

The attacks were on opposite sides of the country, with Wednesday’s hit near Latakia in the northwest, and Thursday’s in Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In neither case was it clear what was being attacked, though Wednesday’s missiles hit a plastic factory.

May 07 06:19

US Accuses Iran of Making ‘Unrealistic Demands’ for Sanctions Relief

Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal are dragging out due to the fact that the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions. On Thursday, a State Department official blamed the lack of progress on the Iranian side and said Tehran was making “unrealistic demands” for sanctions relief.

The unnamed official told reporters that a deal could be reached quickly if Iran has the political will. “If Iran makes the political decision that it genuinely wants to return to the JCPOA as the JCPOA was negotiated, then it could be done relatively quickly and implementation could be relatively swift,” the official said.

Iran has been very clear that if the US lifts sanctions imposed since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Tehran would quickly return to the nuclear limits set by the agreement. But President Biden refuses to do so, complicating the negotiations

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Unrealistic demands", MY ASTROLABE!!

More and more, all of this appears to be a huge "rope-a-dope" scheme, to make Iran look bad and wrong, so that when the US gets "suckered" into a war with Iran, courtesy of Israel, of course,that some Americans will believe that such an action is "justified."

In my world; war of any kind signals that there has been a catastrophic failure of imagination.

And, there is the following to consider:

The question the US government should be asking is, if it is ready to confront BOTH China and Iran, should things go "south" concerning the resumption of JCPOA?!? That is one heck of an important question right now!!!

May 07 05:47

Saudi Arabia-Iran rapprochement: What is driving push for diplomacy?

We know we are a main target for the Iranian regime... We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia. We will work so that the battle is at theirs in Iran."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2017

"Iran is a neighbouring country. We want good and special relations with Iran. We don't want Iran's situation to be difficult. On the contrary, we want Iran to be prosperous."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2021

Even by the standards of the ever-shifting geopolitics of the Middle East, bin Salman's turn from talks of war to wanting neighbourly relations with Iran is a sharp one.

May 07 05:45

FM Zarif says Palestine yardstick for justice, Iran proudly stands with Palestinians

The Iranian foreign minister describes Palestine as a yardstick for justice, reiterating Iran's unwavering support for Palestinian people who "resist the brutality of an apartheid regime" in the Israeli occupied territories.

“Palestine is a yardstick for justice,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet on Thursday, adding, “#QudsDay is yearly reminder of moral imperative of global solidarity for Palestine.”

Zarif also pointed out that a referendum in Palestine is the only democratic solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian issue.

May 07 03:53

NATO's Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey's Military Aggression In Iraq, Syria, Yemen, & Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran

Authored by Rick Rozoff via Anti-Bellum,

The past week has witnessed reports of increased Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria as well as its intruding itself deeper into the war in Yemen. In all three cases Ankara has pitted itself against forces that are or can be seen to be pro-Iranian: Shiite parties in northern Iraq, the government of Syria and the Houthi-led government in Yemen.

Direct tensions between Turkey and Iran have been increasing since last year over the above three nations as well as the Turkish-directed attack on Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan (Turkey and Azerbaijan identify themselves as “one nation, two states’) and its aftermath.

May 06 10:21

US Establishment Recycling “WMD” Iraq War Propaganda For Iran

By Robert Inlakesh

As the United States seems to be nearing re-entry into the Iran Nuclear Deal, the corporate media are whipping out every piece of war propaganda in order to drive a wedge between the Biden Administration and the Iranian government.

This Monday, in a piece so outrageous that it verges on the comical, Fox News published a piece which directly claim’s Iran has been seeking technology to develop “Weapons of Mass Destruction” as of last year.

The article, written by Benjamin Weinthal, using widely over-inflating reports which carry no evidence to back them up, added the finishing touch to the current mainstream media vernacular about Iran, bringing us from 2021 back to 2003...

May 06 06:17

The Leaked Zarif Tape: What Western Media Heard and What He Actually Said

In the Anglo-American sphere, regime change evangelists, mainstream news, native informant media in Persian, and radlib analysts found their characteristic convergence: they distorted through an imperialist discourse redolent with confirmation bias what they had heard (or, in some cases, misheard). Two narratives emerged. The first advanced the tired trope of oriental despotism. Emerging out of colonial and liberal discourses and carrying into the present day, this trope imagines a dichotomous world between Western political agency and freedom on the one hand and an oriental or Muslim tyrant on the other, who rules through total control of his bureaucratics and subjects. The second narrative centered not so much on Russia’s despotism (although both the Soviet Union and Russia have received their fair share of such representations), but on the post-2016 obsession of the Democratic Party with Russia as the spoiler of “our democracy” — subject to a slight twist in this case, as the U.S.

May 06 05:26

Belgian court has no jurisdiction over Iran diplomat: Embassy

Iran’s Embassy in Brussels discredits the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a Belgian court that has sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) anti-Iran terrorist cult.

The embassy released the statement on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s position concerning the February 4 sentence against Assadollah Assadi, the third counsellor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna.

In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier.

Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.

May 06 05:25

A first blow to Israel can also be the last: IRGC commander

The senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the recent string of monumental security disasters right inside the occupied territories shows the Israeli regime’s sheer vulnerability.

“Israel’s security bubble has burst,” Major General Hossein Salami told a televised interview on Wednesday night.

He said the image that the regime had portrayed of itself through psychological operation has been destroyed, adding, “Today, you can see the [real] face of the Zionist regime in its actual proportions.”

‘Israel’s security, political, social disintegration’

The commander cited the back-to-back security incidents that the regime has been suffering over the past one to two months as cases in point that reflect its utter susceptibility.

The maritime incidents that have involved Israeli vessels, Salami said, showed how its trade, 90 percent of which goes through international waters, “can easily suffer serious obstruction.”

May 06 05:25

In landmark ruling, Iran’s Constitutional Council allows top military commanders to run for president

Under a set of new, specifically-defined qualifications, top military commanders in Iran are now allowed to run for president, and a long-running public debate about whether or not men of the military should be able to contest presidential elections has been effectively settled.

Iran’s Constitutional Council, which interprets the Constitution and vets candidates’ qualifications based on those interpretations for general elections, announced on Wednesday that earlier, broadly-worded criteria had now been clarified in specific detail.

One criterion says “ministers, provincial governors, mayors of cities with a population of above two million, [and] top commanders of the Armed Forces with the status of major general and higher” can now register for candidacy.

Formerly, the Council had to interpret a rather broadly-worded Constitutional article on the qualifications of president on a case-by-case basis for each nominee.

May 05 07:20

Rouhani censures Israel as enemy of Palestine, entire region

As supporters of the Palestinian cause prepare to mark the International Quds Day worldwide, Iran’s president has denounced Israel as the enemy of Palestinians and other nations in the region, but said the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestine will not last forever.

“The Zionists are the enemies of the region, of security, of Palestinian people and of their neighbors, and they are the executioners and tyrants of [contemporary] history, who have displaced millions of people from their homes,” President Hassan Rouhani said at a weekly cabinet session on Wednesday.

Referring to International Quds Day, which falls on May 7 this year, Rouhani said the occasion would be a “mourning day for the Zionists” this year.

He said Quds Day, which was named by the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini to champion the Palestinian cause, is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran and a legacy of the late Imam.

May 05 06:40

JCPOA Nuclear Talks: An Exercise in Futility?

Reported JCPOA nuclear talks progress in Vienna — between Iran, E3 countries, Russia and China — is more illusion than reality.

According to an unnamed European source over the weekend:

“We have yet to come to an understanding on the most critical points.”

“Success is by no means guaranteed, but not impossible.”

On Friday, Biden regime national security advisor Jake Sullivan said talks are in “an unclear place” — implying uncertainty about whether an agreement can be reached.

May 05 05:20

Iran London Embassy siege still shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions after 41 years

Tomorrow marks the 41st anniversary of the culmination of the siege at the Iranian Embassy in London, an event with multiple hidden dimensions, and one which the UK is deeply reluctant to illuminate.

While the six-day siege - April 30 to May 05 1980 - was a tragedy for Iran – as demonstrated by the cold blooded killing of two embassy workers – by contrast the incident proved to be a bonanza for the UK’s Special Air Service (SAS), which subsequently cashed in on the incident by exporting its services and expertise to special forces around the world.

The terrorist takeover of the Iranian embassy, its bloody conclusion and aftermath continues to cast a shadow on increasingly fraught Anglo-Iranian relations.

May 05 05:06

Continued US refusal to terminate Iran sanctions will definitely bring talks to halt: Source tells Press TV

An informed source tells Press TV that the United States’ continued refusal to terminate all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran will definitely bring the Vienna negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal to a halt.

Speaking to Press TV on the condition of anonymity, the source said Iran is still emphasizing the full implementation of the deal’s Article 29 and the termination of all the sanctions related to the nuclear deal and those re-imposed or relabeled during the term of ex-US President Donald Trump.

“America’s insistence on not terminating these sanctions will lead to a definitive halt in the negotiations” under way in Vienna, Austria, on revitalizing the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the source said.

May 05 05:05

‘My job is to uphold the four walls around the country:’ Soleimani said rejecting call to run for president

An Iranian lawmaker says Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani brushed aside his offer for the legendary commander to take part in the upcoming 2021 presidential election just months before his assassination by the United States by stressing that he had a responsibility to protect the country militarily.

Speaking to Tasnim on Monday, Lawmaker Mohammad-Mahdi Zahedi said General Soleimani never eyed the country’s top political offices, despite the fact that he enjoyed enormous popularity among Iranians.

The lawmaker said that around two months prior to General Soleimani’s assassination in January 2020, “I told him ‘Let us start working now for your candidacy in the [Persian calendar year] 1400 (2021); and enter the field as the candidate of the revolutionary current and run for president.”

May 04 07:13

Israel’s ‘shadow war’ and plans to scupper Iran’s nuclear deal

US President Joe Biden is pushing to reinstate Iran’s nuclear deal and weeks of talks in Austria appear to be bearing fruit.

Israel, however, continues to see its security jeopardised by a potentially nuclear Iran and is trying to thwart negotiations any way possible.

May 04 06:40

US Officials in Middle East to Tamp Down Concern Over Iran Deal

With the Biden administration engaged in talks that could revive the Iran nuclear deal, US allies in the Middle East that are against the agreement are concerned. Besides Israel, Arab allies like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also opposed to a revival of the JCPOA.

To tamp down these concerns the Biden administration has dispatched officials to the region. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who is seen as a key Biden ally, spoke with reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday. He said he was there to alleviate the UAE’s “understandable and legitimate concerns” and create a “broader engagement” with Gulf countries. Coons said the US was in “close consultations” with the UAE on the Iran talks that are ongoing in Vienna.

Several senior Biden administration officials are touring the region this week, including Brett McGurk, who heads Middle East policy on the National Security Council. McGurk and his delegation are expected to visit Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Amman, and Cairo.

May 04 05:26

Hawks okay with Israeli attacks on Iran leading to all-out war

A former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israeli actions against Iran may lead to a war that endangers civilian life, but supported that strategy over the Biden administration’s current diplomacy with Iran.

Speaking at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, retired major general Yaakov Amidror found a receptive audience of American hawks who believed the Biden administration needed to be saved from its own policy choices.

Amidror, who served as Israel’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2013 and is now a distinguished fellow at JINSA, spoke about the Israeli-Iranian “shadow war,” which has involved alleged Israeli sabotage attacks on Iran.

“At the end, we might face Iranians who decide to retaliate,” he said. “Might it lead to a war? I think that the decision makers understand that the answer might be yes.”

May 04 05:25

Iran ‘Almost Certainly’ Interfering in Scottish Politics to Boost Separatism, Harm UK

The Islamic Republic of Iran is “almost certainly” interfering in Scottish politics in order to boost separatism and harm the British Union, according to a new report.

The Henry Jackson Society alleges that the Islamist regime in Tehran wishes to lend aid to the left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) in the upcoming elections for the Scottish Parliament — roughly equivalent to a state legislature in the United States — in order to “attack the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom” and undermine what it sees as a geopolitical rival.

“Iran has shown itself to be a country which engages in Russian-style disinformation campaigns, repeatedly establishing fake websites and internet accounts in an effort to disrupt the political systems of liberal democracies,” The Times quotes the report as saying.

“Judged within this context, Iran is almost certainly looking to disrupt our current elections, most likely those under way for the Scottish [Parliament],” it added.

May 04 04:52

Iran a key topic as US envoy Blinken meets UK counterpart in first trip abroad

Iran is expected to be a key topic in talks Monday between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his host in London, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The two envoys donned face masks and fist-bumped before heading into the talks, a day ahead of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations’ first face-to-face discussions in two years, involving foreign and development ministers. The UK holds this year’s G-7 presidency.

Blinken’s visit to London, his first since being appointed by US President Joe Biden, comes amid mounting speculation of a prisoner exchange deal with Iran. Prisoner exchanges are not uncommon and were a feature of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and the world’s leading powers. Biden has indicated that he is looking to restart nuclear talks with Tehran after his predecessor, Donald Trump, pulled the US out of the agreement.

May 03 07:30

Israel and Iran Tensions Spiraling into a Direct Confrontation

Against the background of a possible return of the United States to a “nuclear deal” with Iran, Tel Aviv has recently demonstrably intensified the actions of its intelligence services to undermine Tehran’s nuclear program and damage not only this industry, but the Islamic Republic as a whole. And at the same time, Israeli officials make no secret of their displeasure with US President Biden’s desire to revive the nuclear agreement that his predecessor abandoned in 2018. On April 11, Benjamin Netanyahu said that the fight against Iran and its “satellites” as well as against Iran’s arms buildup is the “enormous task” of the Jewish state.

Considering Iran its main adversary, Israel has previously sabotaged Tehran’s nuclear facilities and developments in a variety of methods, from cyber attacks to direct assassinations, including eliminating a number of Iranian nuclear scientists and ambushing a key developer of its nuclear program last November.

May 03 07:13

Top Senate Dem quietly inserts Iran poison pill into China bill

It seems like a basic transparency measure. But some Senate Democrats worry that an amendment quietly added to a China-related bill could be a stealth poison pill for diplomacy with Iran.

Shortly before the Strategic Competition Act was set to be marked up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairman Bob Menendez (D–N.J.) and ranking member Jim Risch (R–Idaho) inserted an amendment that vastly expands the reporting requirements for international agreements.

The amendment requires the State Department to provide detailed reports to Congress within five days after it “approves the negotiation or conclusion” of an international agreement or “non-binding instrument” with “an important effect on the foreign policy of the United States.”

May 03 06:34

NATO’s Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey’s Military Aggression in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran

The past week has witnessed reports of increased Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria as well as its intruding itself deeper into the war in Yemen. In all three cases Ankara has pitted itself against forces that are or can be seen to be pro-Iranian: Shiite parties in northern Iraq, the government of Syria and the Houthi-led government in Yemen.

Direct tensions between Turkey and Iran have been increasing since last year over the above three nations as well as the Turkish-directed attack on Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan (Turkey and Azerbaijan identify themselves as “one nation, two states’) and its aftermath.

May 03 06:12

Iran Remains 'Primary State Challenger' to Washington's Interests in Mideast, US Intel Report Claims

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been simmering since America's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

An annual US intelligence report has described the Islamic Republic as a country that continues to challenge America's interests in the Middle East, according to the London-headquartered television channel Iran International.

The document titled the "United States Worldwide Threat Assessment" was released to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and included contributions from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

May 03 05:51

Biden Tells Mossad US Not Close to Iran Deal

While Israel’s delegation came to the US having been warned by the Biden Administration that it won’t allow Israel to dictate the Iran nuclear talks, President Biden certainly seems to be continuing to give the Israelis the impression that this is their prerogative.

Israeli officials say Biden told the director of Mossad that the US has a “long way to go” before any deals with Iran on the nuclear process can be reached. Israel was openly opposed to the 2015 nuclear deal, and is opposed to the US returning to it.

Perhaps more concerning, Biden “assured” the director that the US will continue to seek Israeli input on the Iran process in the future. This seems to support the Israeli delegation’s impression that they can direct the US on what to dog.

Apr 30 09:26

Iran bans 15 people from traveling over Zarif leak, official resigns

Iran imposed travel bans on 15 people for alleged involvement in a leaked audio recording in which the foreign minister complains about the influence of the Revolutionary Guards on Iranian diplomacy, a semi-official news agency said on Thursday.

In the leaked interview, aired by the London-based Iran International Persian-language satellite news channel late on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had "zero" influence over Iran’s foreign policy.

Apr 30 09:26

UN envoy says U.S., Iran may reach new nuclear deal within weeks

Israel's Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Ambassador to the United States Gilad Erdan said on Thursday he estimated that the ongoing negotiations between the U.S. and Iran to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement will lead to both parties striking a new deal within weeks.

"I say it with grief, the Americans presented before us the difficulties in the negotiations with Iran, but still, the estimates in Israel are that the sides will reach an understanding in the coming weeks," Erdan said in an interview with the Ynet studio. "There may be some disagreements on how many sanctions [the U.S.] will remove and how [Iran] will return to abide by the agreement, but the Iranians have recognized that there is an overall desire to return to the old nuclear deal signed at the time of [former U.S. President Barack] Obama. We believe that returning to this bad agreement is a mistake, even a significant one."

Apr 30 08:49

Zarif-Gate Leak Causes Shake-Up In Iran's Presidential Office As FM Expresses 'Regret'

This week's 'Zarif-Gate' audio leak has caused a shake-up in Iran's presidential office, reportedly leading to the resignation Hessameddin Ashena, head of the Strategic Studies Center (a think tank closely associated with the Iranian presidency), as he was present during the interview with Zarif. The top Iranian diplomat had essentially said it was the military leadership that sets policy.

"Hesamodin Ashena of the Center for Strategic Studies resigned over 'the theft' of the three-hour tape of Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif being interviewed at the CSS," AFP reports Thursday. "Ashena, who held the post of Iranian deputy intelligence minister in the 2000s, has headed the center since 2013 and also serves as adviser to President Hassan Rouhani."

Apr 30 08:12

Iran’s Zarif calls for end of Yemen siege in meeting with chief  Ansarullah negotiator 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has expressed regret over the conditions facing Yemen as a result of the six-year war imposed on the country, calling for an end to the Saudi-led military aggression and the lifting of the siege on the impoverished nation.

Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with Chief negotiator for Yemen's popular Ansarullah movement Mohammed Abdul-Salam in the Omani capital of Muscat on Wednesday.

He reaffirmed Iran’s support for a political solution as the only way out of the ongoing conflict in Yemen, a ceasefire and intra-Yemeni talks.

During the meeting, Abdul Salam also praised Iran’s support for the Yemeni people and briefed Zarif on the latest developments in the country.

Apr 30 07:58

Iran And Saudi Arabia Are Finally Talking

Washington’s fixation on Israel has undermined U.S. policy in the Middle East and helped make Americans global targets of terrorism. Perhaps even worse has been Washington’s devotion to Saudi Arabia, essentially turning American troops into royal bodyguards and treating Iran as an enemy. Taking sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle, a miniature cold war that sometimes runs hot, has needlessly entangled the U.S. in multiple violent conflicts.

However, recent discussions between Iranian and Saudi delegations at the encouragement of Iraq have generated hope for change. Although the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denied that any talks had occurred, Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, suggested otherwise while refusing to comment directly.

Apr 30 07:52

Zarif Had No Knowledge of Israeli Strikes Until Kerry Told Him, Translation Reveals

Leaked audiotape of Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif indicates he had no knowledge of covert Israeli military strikes before former secretary of state John Kerry provided him with the information, new details that contradict the State Department's recent defense of Kerry.

These details are likely to further fuel calls from leading Republicans for Kerry's firing or resignation. The New York Times reported that Zarif said on the tape that Kerry told him Israel launched 200 airstrikes against Iranian interests in Syria. The Times did not provide further details on that issue. But an independent translation of the audiotape commissioned by the Washington Free Beacon shows that Zarif went on to clarify that he had no prior knowledge of these Israeli strikes before Kerry told him.

"Kerry told me that Israel had launched 200 airstrikes against you [Iran]," said Zarif. "You didn't know?" asked his interviewer. "No, no," he replied.

Apr 30 06:41

Israel’s Intelligence Minister Warns Iran That IDF Warplanes ‘Can Reach Everywhere in Middle East’

Earlier, current and former US officials told a major news agency that Washington was considering a ‘near wholesale rollback’ of sanctions against Tehran to end the months-long standoff about which side makes the first move to restore the functioning of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen has called the JCPOA a “bad deal” and warned that Israel is willing to take military action to stop Tehran in its alleged quest to obtain a nuclear weapon.

“A bad deal will send the region spiraling into war,” Cohen said, speaking to Reuters on Thursday. “Anyone seeking short-term benefits should be mindful of the longer-term.”

“Israel will not allow Iran to attain nuclear arms. Iran has no immunity anywhere. Our planes can reach everywhere in the Middle East – and certainly Iran,” he added.

Apr 30 06:38

Informed sources to Press TV: US must remove all sanctions denying Iran’s JCPOA benefits

Two informed Iranian sources tell Press TV that the United States must first remove all sanctions that do not allow Iran to benefit from the nuclear deal it signed with world powers in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), before the Islamic Republic accepts results of the ongoing talks in Vienna.

The sources told Press TV on Thursday that the Islamic Republic’s authorities would accept the outcomes of the ongoing Vienna talks on the revival of the JCPOA only when all sanctions unilaterally imposed on the country by the US are removed and Iran verifies the removal of sanctions.

According to Press TV, at the present time, the main hurdles that prevent Iran from taking full advantage of the JCPOA are executive orders 12959, 13599, 13876, and 13949 signed by the US president.

Apr 30 05:54

Blinken, US Security Aides Meet With Israel Spy Chief to Discuss Iran - Reports

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and several senior Biden administration national security aides in the Biden administration met with Israel’s intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, the Associated Press reported.

When asked about the meeting with Israel's spy chief, a US State Department spokesperson told Sputnik the department did not have a comment on the story.

"The two-hour meeting was the second this week in Washington involving senior officials from the two countries and underscored Israel’s unease with ongoing indirect nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States in Vienna and Iran more broadly, the officials said. Although other issues were discussed, Israel used Thursday’s meeting to ‘express strong concerns’ about Iran," the report said on Thursday.

Apr 29 12:30

Israel has no choice but to act on its own to stop Iran.

Apr 29 08:27

Frustrated Israelis Says Russian Navy Protecting Iranian Tankers to Syria

Amid confused reports of a drone attack on an Iranian ship in the Mediterranean on its way to Syria, Iran appears to have moved its weapons shipments to Syria and Lebanon from the land — where Israel has regularly tracked and destroyed them — to ships that may be receiving protection from Russian vessels in the Mediterranean.

At the same time, defense sources here say Israel has intensified its aerial attacks on targets in Syria once the weapons are delivered by sea. The last such attack was on April 22.

Israeli defense sources here say the Iranian ships sail from the Red Sea, transit the Suez Canal and arrive in the Mediterranean. The defense sources say the ships documents claim they carry only oil, but there are indications that “oil is not the only cargo.” [Israel would of course say that.]

Israel finds itself in a situation where little can be done to stop this new route from Iran to Syria.

Apr 29 06:51

Iran’s Rouhani claims Israel ‘directed’ US killing of top general Soleimani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed Wednesday that Israel “directed” the assassination of former top general Qassem Soleimani, who was killed last year in a US airstrike after arriving in Baghdad.

“The martyrdom of General Soleimani was directed by the Zionists, even though Trump was the commander and killer,” Rouhani said, without providing any evidence for the claim.

Iran’s president also called former US president Donald Trump “a mercenary of the Zionist regime” and said “all his actions were provoked by the Zionists.”

Apr 29 06:01

Vienna Shadow Play Hangs Over Iran Nuke Deal

Few people, apart from specialists, may have heard of the JCPOA Joint Commission. That’s the group in charge of a Sisyphean task: the attempt to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal through a series of negotiations in Vienna.

The Iranian negotiating team was back in Vienna yesterday, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi. Shadowplay starts with the fact the Iranians negotiate with the other members of the P+1 – Russia, China, France, UK and Germany – but not directly with the US.

That’s quite something: after all, it was the Trump administration that blew up the JCPOA. There is an American delegation in Vienna, but they only talk with the Europeans.

Shadowplay goes turbo when every Viennese coffee table knows about Tehran’s red lines: either it’s back to the original JCPOA as it was agreed in Vienna in 2015 and then ratified by the UN Security Council, or nothing.

Apr 28 13:16

U.S. and Israel Team Up To Battle Iran's Drone Dynasty

Apr 28 12:12

Iran Says It 'Cut Off U.S. Hand' in Persian Gulf As New Navy Encounter Emerges

After the U.S. Navy released footage of yet another recent encounter with Iranian naval forces, the speaker of Iran's parliament said that his country had successfully blocked the U.S. from accessing the waters near the country's Persian Gulf coast.

Addressing the state of the Persian Gulf during a virtual conference Wednesday, Islamic Assembly Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf railed against the presence of foreign forces, which, he said, "led by the United States, has eroded economic opportunities in the region and beyond."

He accused these forces, which include a U.S.-established 34-nation International Maritime Security Construct patrolling Persian Gulf waters, of pursuing ulterior motives not conducive to maintaining security and stability in one of the world's most critical maritime traffic passageways.

He warned that Tehran has taken proactive measures to guard its maritime backyard.

Apr 28 10:21

Could Iran Shoot Down a U.S. F-22, F-35 or Stealth B-2 Bomber?

Doubts continue about the F-35 stealth fighter jet program. The questions go to more than the usual array of new system challenges of maintenance, sustainment, cost growth and program delays. In those areas the F-35 jet is no different from virtually every other defense procurement project, most far less complex than the F-35 fighter. The private sector has similar challenges, as seen by the travails of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft. The heart of the worries goes to the role of manned aviation in this age of breathtaking technical change.

For quite some time now it has been obvious that we collect far more data than we can analyze in any relevant decision-making time. This challenge becomes more daunting as new systems are brought online. Military and naval commanders, indeed anybody occupying a supervisory position, can suffer paralysis by analysis. The other danger is acting based on what we want to hear, our “gut.” We knew this back in 1995 when the F-35 fighter program began.

Apr 28 07:28

US Navy fired warning shots at Iranian vessels Monday evening

Three Iranian ships harassed U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels on Monday in the Persian Gulf, drawing so close at one point the Americans fired warning shots, the Navy revealed Tuesday.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) boats crossed the two U.S. ships at "an unnecessarily close range" in the second such interaction between the U.S. and Iran in the region this month. The Navy earlier on Tuesday revealed a similar incident that took place on April 2.

In the April 26 incident, three IRGCN fast inshore attack craft "failed to exercise due regard for the safety of other vessels as required under international law as they came into close proximity to U.S. naval vessels in international waters of the north Arabian Gulf," the U.S. 5th Fleet said in a statement.

The Iranian armed speed boats rapidly approached U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranof, coming within 68 yards of both U.S. ships.

Apr 28 06:38

U.S. Navy fires warning shots on three Iranian fast boats that got too close

The U.S. Navy fired warning shots on three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) patrol boats in the north Persian Gulf Tuesday, after verbal warnings by U.S. forces were first ignored.

Fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) were used to approach the USS Firebolt and U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranoff, at what Naval officials called "an unnecessarily close range with unknown intent."

After warnings by the U.S. vessels through radio and loud-hailer devices went ignored by the Iranian patrol boats, the USS Firebolt warning shots – prompting the vessels to retreat.

Apr 27 11:51

Republicans Pressure John Kerry To Resign After NYT Leaked Iran Audio – What We Know So Far

John Kerry, the special envoy for climate change under President Biden, is facing multiple calls to resign following reports alleging that he provided intelligence to Iran’s foreign minister.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed, in a leaked recording obtained by the New York Times, that Kerry informed him about over 200 covert Israeli attacks on Iranian interests in Syria.

“Former Secretary of State John Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times, to his astonishment, Mr. Zarif said,” according to the Times.

The Democrat, who has a seat on the National Security Council, vehemently denied the allegations and called the story “unequivocally false.”

“This never happened,” he tweeted, “either when I was Secretary of State or since.”

Apr 27 07:45

Iran Foreign Minister claims John Kerry told him about Israeli attacks in Syria

Apr 27 07:40

Israel's national security adviser to meet US counterpart amid 'campaign' against Iran nuclear deal: report

Israel’s national security adviser will travel to Washington for a meeting with his US counterpart amid a push by Tel Aviv to pressure Washington not to return to the Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, Israel Hayom reported on Monday.

The meeting between Israel's Meir Ben-Shabbat and America's Jake Sullivan will take place at the Israeli Embassy and will last "a few hours", according to the news website. The report said the meeting appears to be aimed at sharing "physical information" that cannot be relayed online.

Ben Shabbat's trip will reportedly be separate to the one to be undertaken by the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who will convene with CIA chief William Burns and other senior officials in the US intelligence community.

Apr 27 07:08

Iran-Israel Tensions: The Threat of Nuclear Disaster Looms Large

Israel had a near-miss of potentially catastrophic proportions on Thursday. As it has done hundreds of times in the past decade, the Israeli air force attacked Iranian bases inside Syria. In response, Syrian forces fired anti-aircraft missiles of a rather primitive Soviet model, one of which overflew its target and landed some 30 kilometres from Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor. Israel said recently that it was bolstering its defences around Dimona for just such an eventuality.

Although an Iranian general taunted Israel, implying that Iran had some responsibility for the attack, that doesn’t appear to be the case. But the missile landing inside Israel does show that if Iran wanted to attack Dimona, it has the capacity. And despite Israel’s best efforts, an Iranian missile could hit its target.

Apr 27 06:29

Pictured: Moment Iranian warship aggressively cuts across the bows of U.S. Navy ships in international waters of the Persian Gulf as tensions grow

An Iranian warship repeatedly crossed the bows of U.S. military vessels in international waters in an 'unsafe and unprofessional interaction,' the U.S. Navy said on Tuesday.

The tense encounter in the Persian Gulf on April 2 was the first such incident in about a year amid wider turmoil in the region over Tehran's tattered nuclear deal.

Images released by the Navy showed a ship commanded by Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard cut in front of the USCGC Monomoy, causing the Coast Guard vessel to come to an abrupt stop with its engine smoking on April 2.

Apr 27 06:19

White House Refuses Comment on Tapes Exposing John Kerry Leaks to Iran About Israel

The White House refused to comment on a report exposing Climate Czar John Kerry leaking information about Israel military operations to Iran.

“We’re not going to comment on leaked tapes,” Psaki replied shortly, when asked about the report.

The New York Times reported details of a leaked recording of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who told him that Kerry informed him that Israel had attacked Iranian interests in Syria at least 200 times.

Psaki spoke about the leaked tapes at the White House press briefing but refused to comment.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh criticized the leaked recording as “a crime” and said the views expressed by Zarif were his “personal opinions.”

Kerry currently serves as Biden’s “climate envoy” at the State Department, a position created for the former Secretary of State, who served under former President Barack Obama.

Apr 27 05:57

Report: Israel’s Netanyahu and Gantz Tried to Order Military Operation Without Cabinet Approval

According to a report from Israeli TV, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz tried to order a military operation without consulting Israel’s security cabinet.

Under Israeli law, Netanyahu and Gantz can order military operations but must gain the approval of the security cabinet if the mission could spark a war. The report from Israel’s Kan public broadcaster said Netanyahu sought to bypass the cabinet but ultimately decided to consult with some ministers due to the complexity of the mission, and the operation was approved and carried out.

The report offered no details of what the military operation consisted of and only said it was approved to “send a message to the other side.” In recent weeks, Israel has bombed Syria and Gaza and has carried covert attacks against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility and Iranian ships in the region.

Apr 27 05:53

Israel's national security adviser to meet US counterpart amid 'campaign' against Iran nuclear deal: report

Israel’s national security adviser will travel to Washington for a meeting with his US counterpart amid a push by Tel Aviv to pressure Washington not to return to the Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal, Israel Hayom reported on Monday.

The meeting between Israel's Meir Ben-Shabbat and America's Jake Sullivan will take place at the Israeli Embassy and will last "a few hours", according to the news website. The report said the meeting appears to be aimed at sharing "physical information" that cannot be relayed online.

Ben Shabbat's trip will reportedly be separate to the one to be undertaken by the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who will convene with CIA chief William Burns and other senior officials in the US intelligence community.

Apr 27 05:53

Is Israel Sabotaging Itself?

Israel keeps attacking and sabotaging Iran; Iran keeps showing restraint. Israel is running out of patience to stop the JCPOA, the Iran nuclear deal; Iran keeps showing patience.

In the summer of 2020, Israel sabotaged Iran’s Natanz civilian nuclear enrichment facility. They have bombed Iran’s allies in Lebanon, and they have bombed their allies in Syria. Earlier, at the beginning of 2020, Israel and the U.S. assassinated General Qassem Suleimani, Iran’s top military official. Later, at the end of 2020, General Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of Iran’s civilian nuclear program, was assassinated.

Each time Israel provoked, Iran showed patience and restraint. “The Iranian nation is smarter than falling into the trap," President Hassan Rouhani calmy stated. "They are thinking to create chaos."

Apr 27 05:30

Iran again unveils masses of small kamikaze drones

It appears that it’s not a regular week in Iran unless the country is showing off more drones and warning about how it can strike at Israel or everywhere else in the Middle East. People are taking notice as well because US Central Command head Kenneth McKenzie has warned that US air superiority has suffered due to Iran’s drone threat.

The latest is a ceremony where Iran showed off a series of small drones, some of which look like the usual Iranian kamikaze drones, often modelled after their Ababil series. This type of drone, as well as the Qasef, have been exported to Yemen. Tehran said this week that “the Iranian Army Ground Force has unveiled seven domestically-developed high-tech military achievements, including air defense systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and electronic warfare devices.”

Apr 26 07:13

Three Killed in Attack on Iranian Tanker Off Syria’s Coast

On Saturday, an Iranian fuel tanker was attacked off the coast of Syria, the first such attack in years. Three Iranians, including two crew members, were reported slain.

Details are still emerging, but suspicion immediately shot to Israel, who attacks Iranian targets in and around Syria all the time. A previous report had suggested that the Israelis had targeted a few vessels carrying Iranian fuel in the past.

This fuel tanker was close to port, and it is believed to have been attacked by a drone or a missile fired from Lebanese airspace. This again points to an Israeli attack, as Israel tends to use Lebanese airspace with impunity.

Before the war, Syria was self-sufficient on oil and fuel, but production and transport has struggled, and now they are heavily reliant on imports to run the economy. With the US trying to keep Syria from buying anything, and trying to keep Iran from selling anything, it’s only natural this would be a key trading partner for them.

Apr 25 03:58

AS AMERICA FOCUSES ON INTERNAL STRIFE, A WAR BETWEEN ISRAEL AND IRAN COULD LITERALLY START AT ANY MOMENT

You won’t hear the corporate media say very much about the “shadow war” that Israel and Iran are currently engaged in, because the corporate media is absolutely obsessed with covering the internal strife that is tearing the U.S. apart right now. But if they were doing their jobs correctly, corporate media outlets would be focusing on the Middle East, because the conflict between Israel and Iran could literally spark a major global war at any moment.

As Israeli military aircraft pounded Iranian-backed forces in southern Syria on Thursday morning, there were reports coming in from central Israel of massive explosions that were so large they “shook the houses”…

Alarms sounded in Abu Qrenat near Dimona in southern Israel early Thursday morning, the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit reported.

Residents from across the country, including central Israel and Jerusalem, reported hearing “loud explosions” that “shook the houses.”

Apr 24 07:29

IDF chief to make first US visit next week to discuss Iran, Hezbollah

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi will travel to the United States on Sunday to discuss the threat of Iran’s nuclear program and its entrenchment throughout the region, the military said Friday.

Kohavi’s trip — his first since entering his position — comes amid considerable tensions between the United States and Israel over the Iran nuclear issue. US President Joe Biden’s administration intends to return to the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, a move that Israeli officials, including Kohavi, staunchly and publicly oppose.

Shortly after Biden’s inauguration in January, Kohavi made waves with a particularly blunt, overt speech arguing against the US rejoining the deal, saying it was a “bad thing.”

Apr 23 07:43

Iran has taken air superiority from U.S., says CENTCOM

The Marine Corps general in charge of the U.S. CENTCOM made the acknowledgment in a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

McKenzie said that Iran is extensively using small and medium-sized drones for surveillance and attack.

He added, “What we have found is that, particularly against Iran, they do not like their activities to be exposed.”

On June 20, 2019, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down a United States RQ-4A Global Hawk BAMS-D surveillance drone with a surface-to-air missile over the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. has been flying surveillance drones in the West Asia region for many years to spy on Iran.

Apr 22 15:05

As America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any MomentAs America Focuses On Internal Strife, A War Between Israel And Iran Could Literally Start At Any Moment

I don’t know why the warmongers in the Biden administration have decided that it is a good idea to provoke Russia and China simultaneously.  They are not intimidated by us, and they are not going to back down as a result of our threats. -- Foreign policy takes a great deal of finesse, but unfortunately the guy in the White House is a hothead in an advanced state of cognitive decline, and he is surrounded by an all-star team of warmongers.

Apr 22 09:49

Israeli Sabotage of the Nuclear Deal Fails Again

The Israeli government’s latest attempt to sabotage negotiations over the nuclear deal with Iran has failed. Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility suffered a significant attack on April 11 that caused a blackout and destroyed or damaged hundreds of centrifuges. The Israeli government carried out the attack in the hopes of derailing the talks in Vienna that had started only the week before, but the attack has backfired on them. In response to the Israeli attack, the Iranian government announced that it would be increasing its enrichment of uranium to 60% purity, but the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also said that negotiations with the U.S. and the other parties to the nuclear deal would continue. Oddly enough, the Israeli attack may have provided Iran with extra leverage in the negotiations, and it has further discredited the Netanyahu government’s objections to a successful nonproliferation agreement.

Apr 22 07:21

IRGC drones capture strikingly precise footage of US aircraft carrier

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has released strikingly precise and close footage of an American aircraft carrier captured by the elite force’s drones during an overflight of the vessel in the Persian Gulf.

The Corps released the footage on Wednesday as means of vividly portraying its state-of-the-art advancements in the field of drone technology.

The video recorded by an apparently four-strong drone squadron, provides real-time and remarkably close details of every warplane as well as other military aircraft and equipment deployed on the carrier.

The drones also captured what appears to be a support vessel sailing alongside the main vessel.

The IRGC footage shows UAVs of various makes, including the ones used for recording the video of the carrier, either taking off or roaring by across the sky.

The second part of the footage is entitled to precision attacks by the Corps’ kamikaze drones as they are hitting various targets, including a tank.

Apr 22 05:42

Ex-MI6 agent: How the Iran-China deal changes everything

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke. He discusses the alleged Israeli Mossad attack on the Natanz nuclear facility, the division among Israel’s politicians about whether to continue pursuing Netanyahu’s maximum containment policy, the landmark strategic deal signed between Iran and China and how it changes the game in the Middle East, the war in Syria and how the UK, US and other Western allies are preventing reconstruction efforts, Western support for Islamists in Syria and much more!

Apr 22 05:34

Iran, Pakistan open third border crossing in ‘historic achievement’

Iran and Pakistan have opened their third official border crossing with the aim of facilitating business and trade exchanges and creating new job opportunities for their border residents.

Pakistani Minister for Defense Production Zobaida Jalal and Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami traveled from their capitals to the border to open the Pishin-Mand crossing on Wednesday.

This is the second border crossing being opened between Iran and Pakistan since they threw open the Rimdan-Gabd gateway in December.

The new opening comes as Pakistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi is visiting Tehran.

Apr 21 07:50

US Issues Rare Warning To Israel: Attacks On Iran Interfering With Vienna Talks

print-icon
US Issues Rare Warning To Israel
MONDAY, APR 19, 2021 - 06:10 PM
The US has issued a rare warning to its closest Mideast ally Israel over its escalating actions against Iran amid ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna.

Israeli media reports that the Biden administration in backchannel communications has voiced "displeasure" not only with recent covert attacks - particularly the April 11 incident at the Natanz nuclear site - but its willingness to 'leak' its culpability to the public. According to Israel's YNet News:

Washington has informed Jerusalem of its displeasure over recent attacks against Iranian targets attributed to Israel, as well as what it called "boasting" by Israel regarding these incidents, sources said.

Immediately after the Natanz blackout incident, which is believed to have destroyed crucial Iranian centrifuges, setting back operations there by months, the Biden administration sought to distance itself from the sabotage.

Apr 21 05:05

America's domestic political turmoil is making world unstable & fueling conflicts with its main adversaries – Iran, China & Russia

America's internal political battles have smothered consensus and led to Washington being asleep at the wheel in foreign affairs for many years now. The lack of US strategic clarity only fuels uncertainty and instability globally.

The Afghanistan Papers, published by the Washington Post in 2019, revealed that the US has for many years been aware that it cannot win the war in Afghanistan, yet it has been reluctant to accept defeat and withdraw.

US policy has been defined in indecisiveness, as neither victory or defeat has been an option. The continued waste of money and blood has merely resulted in a corrupt government in Kabul dependent on the influx of US funding, a hardened and militarized opposition, and neighbouring states frustrated with the unpredictability of the enduring US presence.

A similar lack of strategic direction is also setting the US on the path to a possible war with its three major adversaries in Eurasia – Iran, China and Russia.

Apr 21 04:43

Iran’s Rouhani Says 60% to 70% of Issues Resolved in Vienna Talks

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani spoke positively of the indirect talks with the US that have been ongoing in Vienna aimed at reviving the JCPOA and said a deal could be reached in “little time.”

“The negotiations have achieved 60 to 70 percent progress,” Rouhani said on Tuesday. “If the Americans act honestly, we will reach a conclusion in little time.”

Diplomats representing Iran and the remaining participants of the JCPOA — China, Russia, the UK, France, and Germany — met in Vienna on Tuesday. The officials discussed the progress of two working groups that were established to figure out the steps needed to be taken by the US and Iran to revive the deal.

The EU said a third working group had been established to determine the sequence of the steps that need to be taken. The diplomats are expected to return home and convene again in Vienna next week for more talks.

Apr 21 04:38

Report: Israel Backing Down on Some Iran Nuclear Deal Demands

According to a report from Israeli TV, Israeli officials have accepted that there will be no significant changes to the Iran nuclear deal, so they are narrowing their demands of Washington.

The report said Israel is now pushing for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to have more powers in Iran. Israel’s Mossad chief Yossi Cohan, National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, and Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi are expected to travel to Washington next week to lobby US officials to seek stricter IAEA inspections.

Iran has been clear that they are not willing to negotiate any stricter agreements before the US lifts sanctions and returns to the JCPOA. And considering the deal already makes Iran subject to the most stringent nuclear inspections in the world, there are not many concessions Tehran could make when it comes to the IAEA’s power in the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel was never a part of the original JCPOA, so why are they in a position to make demands at all?

Apr 21 04:31

Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Doesn’t Get Them Close to Making a Bomb

With Israel looking to sabotage Iran left and right, and the Iranian parliament looking to make tangible changes to the nuclear program in retaliation, Iranian officials struggle to make sure that they comply enough to keep parliament happy, while avoiding anything that’s going to hinder future peace talks.

Iran has long emphasized that everything they’ve done in this regard is reversible. Still, moves like enrichment of uranium to 60% are new milestones for Iran, and sound scary because they’re bigger numbers.

As far as a threat toward weaponization, not so much. It’s not at all clear what Iran would do with 60% enriched uranium, beyond likely dilute it back down to 20% or less. It’s still well short of the 90% needed for weapons-grade uranium, and with Iran continuing to be very transparent about what they’re doing, it’s just a proof of concept.

Apr 21 04:30

Israeli Sabotage of the Nuclear Deal Fails Again

The Israeli government’s latest attempt to sabotage negotiations over the nuclear deal with Iran has failed. Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility suffered a significant attack on April 11 that caused a blackout and destroyed or damaged hundreds of centrifuges. The Israeli government carried out the attack in the hopes of derailing the talks in Vienna that had started only the week before, but the attack has backfired on them. In response to the Israeli attack, the Iranian government announced that it would be increasing its enrichment of uranium to 60% purity, but the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also said that negotiations with the U.S. and the other parties to the nuclear deal would continue. Oddly enough, the Israeli attack may have provided Iran with extra leverage in the negotiations, and it has further discredited the Netanyahu government’s objections to a successful nonproliferation agreement.

Apr 19 06:56

Iran’s top rights official slams US police brutality, justice system

The secretary of the Iranian Judiciary’s High Council for Human Rights has denounced police brutality in the US, primarily targeting African Americans, asking whether justice has been served with regard to any of the high-profile killings.

“The US police didn’t kill American citizens in just 18 days of 2020,” Ali Baqeri-Kani wrote in a tweet on Monday. “George Floyd was only one of 1127 victims of police brutality.”

“How many murderers of these victims have been tried and convicted in a fair court?” he asked rhetorically.

Baqeri-Kani said it is no surprise that even the court of trial for the murderer of George Floyd could not prevent the murder of Daunte Wright and others.

The tweet came more than a week after Wright, a 20-year-old father of one, was shot and killed by a single bullet fired by a white police officer in the city suburb of Brooklyn Center.

Apr 19 06:47

Iran said to ask Interpol to arrest Natanz ‘sabotage’ suspect

Iran has asked Interpol to help arrest a suspect in an attack on its Natanz nuclear facility which it blames on Israel, a local newspaper reported Sunday.

National television published a photo and identified the man as 43-year-old Reza Karimi, saying the intelligence ministry established his role in last week’s “sabotage” at Natanz.

The broadcaster said the suspect had “fled the country before the incident” and that “legal procedures to arrest and return him to the country are currently underway.”

Apr 19 06:28

Iran Nuclear Talks Continue Amid Reports of Progress

Multiple nations came out of last week’s Iran nuclear talks in Vienna with talk that progress is being made, and signs that the process will continue in fairly short order. Everyone seems to have some level of positivity about the process.

And while there are those who note that the sides remain far apart on certain issues, Iranian officials say that a “new understanding” is starting to take shape. Exactly what form it will take is uncertain.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed confidence in the negotiators, but said that the offers so far weren’t worth addressing. Working groups are to meet throughout the weekend and into next week.

EU officials say that the process is to move deeper into “more detailed” plans, with the basic framework already seemingly agreed upon by most. The framework seems simple, sanctions relief and Iran returning to the terms of JCPOA.

Apr 19 06:25

Iran says Quds Force deputy chief dead of a heart attack

The deputy commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has died of a heart attack, Iranian reports said on Sunday.

Brig. Gen. Muhammad Hussein-Zada Hejazi, 65, worked directly under Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani until the latter was killed in a US drone strike last year. Hejazi was named by Israel in 2019 as the official responsible for an Iranian project to manufacture precision-guided missiles for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah.

The Quds Force is an elite and influential group that oversees foreign operations, and Hejazi helped lead its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

Apr 19 06:21

Tehran names Natanz 'saboteur': State identifies Iranian-born prime suspect who fled country 'hours before' cyber strike at nuclear facility - as tensions heat up between Iran and Israel

Iran has named a suspect in the attack on its Natanz nuclear facility that damaged centrifuges there, saying he had fled the country 'hours before' the sabotage happened.

While the extent of the damage from the April 11 sabotage remains unclear, it comes as Iran tries to negotiate with world powers over allowing the U.S. to re-enter its tattered nuclear deal and lift the economic sanctions it faces.

Already, Iran has begun enriching uranium up to 60% purity in response - three times higher than ever before, though in small quantities.

Apr 19 05:38

US Warns Israeli Attacks Interfering With Iran Nuclear Deal

The Biden Administration has sent a message to Israel voicing its displeasure over the recent sabotage attack on Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site, as well as Israeli “boasting” over their being behind the attack.

The current round of Vienna talks opened concurrently with the Israeli sabotage, and the US says they are worried that Israel will derail these talks with its activities. The US seems interested in distancing itself from the incident.

It seems fair to accuse Israel of trying to sabotage the process, as they’ve been publicly unhappy about the nuclear deal from day one, and the Israeli cabinet is openly worried that the US will make a new deal with Iran.

This split between US and Israeli policies is not new. Israel has had problems with Presidents Obama and Biden in trying to handle Iran in ways other than military hostility and constant threats, and the US wants to be allowed to approach diplomatic ideas unfettered.

Apr 19 05:32

Deputy Chief of Iran's Quds Force Hejazi Dies of Heart Attack Aged 65

Hejazi served as deputy commander of the elite wing of the IRGC under Esmail Ghaani, the successor of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US targeted attack at the International Airport in Baghdad. Hejazi is said to have had significant experience in Lebanon.

The deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Mohammad Hussein-Zada Hejazi, died of a heart attack on Sunday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced in a statement.

65-year-old Hejazi, who served at the rank of Brigadier General, was a direct subordinate of Iran's General Qasem Soleimani until the latter's death early last year in a US drone attack. He was appointed the Quds Force Deputy Commander in late January following Soleimani's death by the country's supreme leader, Ali Khamenei.

Apr 18 08:20

US pressuring Israel to stop commenting on Iran - report

The Biden administration has turned to Israel several times in the past few days, asking that it stops commenting on Iran, N12 reported Friday evening.
According to the report, the Biden administration feels "uneasy" regarding the recent Israeli operation in Natanz, referring to recent Israeli chatter regarding the attack as "dangerous" and "embarrassing."

Apr 18 07:37

RUSSIAN NAVY TO GUARD IRANIAN OIL SUPPLIES TO SYRIA UNDER STRATEGIC AGREEMENT – REPORT

Russia, Iran and Syria have established a joint operation room that would work to guarantee the security and stability of oil and wheat supplies to Syrian ports through the Mediterranean Sea, Sputnik reported on April 17.

According to the agency, a series of intensive meetings between Russian, Iranian and Syrian officials was held recently with the aim of breaking the siege imposed by the US and European Union on Syria.

“The room’s work is to provide multi-sided coordination to secure the arrival of oil supplies, in the first place, to Syrian ports,” Sputnik quoted sources familiar with the matter as saying.

Syria has been facing an unprecedented economic crisis as a result the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU. The country’s natural resources in the northeastern region are also under control of US proxies. Furthermore, ships heading to Syrian ports face sanctions as well as the threat of direct attacks on some occasions.

Apr 17 07:11

The Israeli Attack on Iran May Sabotage the US Goal of a New Nuclear Deal

On April 11, the Natanz uranium enrichment site was attacked. An explosion destroyed the internal power system for thousands of underground centrifuges, which form the main Iranian nuclear enrichment program. Israeli media attributed the attack to Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, which is capable of cyber-sabotage.

The blast had created a crater so large that Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, had injured his head, back, leg and arm after falling into it.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said the attack “could have led to a catastrophe that is a crime against humanity.” Tehran called the incident a terrorist attack.

The Biden administration is worried the Israeli act of sabotage may escalate tensions in the region and could be responsible for sabotaging the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna between the US and Iran.

Apr 17 07:06

Natanz Attack Caused Tactical Damage, Didn't Change Tehran's Strategic Calculus, Iranian Journo Says

Although sabotage attacks targeting Iranian scientists and nuclear sites definitely inflicted some damage, they haven't changed the bigger strategic picture, says Iranian journalist and security analyst Mahan Abedin, adding that the Islamic Republic will continue to enrich uranium until the US sanctions are verifiably lifted.

On 11 April, a blast supposedly damaged thousands of IR-1 uranium enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site. While it was initially believed that the site was subjected to a cyber-attack, it was later reported that the act of sabotage was performed with the use of explosives. The incident was described as "nuclear terrorism" by Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), who stressed that Tehran reserves the right to retaliate.

Apr 17 06:04

Iran Begins 60% Uranium Enrichment in Response to Natanz Sabotage

Iran said on Friday that it has begun enriching some uranium at 60 percent, a step the Islamic Republic took in response to an apparent Israeli attack on its Natanz nuclear facility.

“Sixty-percent enrichment is currently underway at the Shahid Ahmadi Roshan nuclear facility” at Natanz, said Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

The move is the latest step Iran has taken to increase the activity of its civilian nuclear program that was caused by a covert Israeli attack. Iran’s parliament passed a bill that required 20 percent enrichment after the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was killed in November 2020.

While the increased enrichment is a response to the attack, it also has a civilian purpose. Earlier this week, Salehi explained that uranium enriched at 60 percent could be used to produce radiopharmaceuticals.

Apr 17 05:59

Israel says it will 'definitely' stop Iran from getting bomb

Israel’s foreign minister said Friday that his country was determined to stop Iran from building a nuclear weapon, after Tehran promised to step up its uranium enrichment process.

“We will do whatever it takes to prevent the extremists (in Iran) from succeeding, and definitely will prevent this regime from having a nuclear weapon,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told reporters on a visit to Cyprus.

Iranian officials say the country will begin enriching uranium up to 60% purity following an attack on its nuclear facility at Natanz, in central Iran, on Sunday, that it blamed on Israel.

Apr 17 05:19

US warns Israel to stop ‘dangerous, detrimental’ chatter on Natanz attack — TV

Washington has conveyed to Israel in no uncertain terms that the “chatter” about its alleged involvement in the blast at the Natanz nuclear facility early this week must stop, warning that it is dangerous and detrimental as well as embarrassing to the Biden administration as it attempts to negotiate a return to the nuclear deal with Tehran, Channel 12 news reported Friday.

The unsourced report said the message was conveyed to Jerusalem through several channels in recent days.

The network further cited unnamed Israeli security officials expressing concern at the uncharacteristic degree to which Israel has allowed itself to be tied to the attack on the nuclear site. The officials questioned whether the increased bluster was an attempt to affect nuclear negotiations in Vienna, or perhaps an effort by the prime minister to use Iran for internal political gain.

Apr 15 07:45

The Hawks Who Want War With Iran Are Working Overtime

Just as talks between the United States and Iran were taking place last week in Vienna, a cyberattack was carried out on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Reports are that the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, was behind the attack that blacked out the facility just one day after Tehran launched new advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges, and as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was in Israel speaking about the United States’ “enduring and ironclad” commitment to the Jewish state.

Apr 15 07:44

Israel adopts 'controlled escalation' policy for Iran

What started out in total silence, deep under the radar or the sea, is fast becoming a violent, dangerous clash attracting wide media coverage. Israel and Iran are lifting the veil over their military conflict and no one seems overly troubled. On the contrary. A day after an April 6 Red Sea attack attributed to Israel’s naval commando on the Iranian military vessel the MV Saviz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made this amazing declaration at a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day: “To our good friends as well, I say, 'The deal with Iran that poses and threatens our destruction will not obligate us.'” History, Netanyahu added, has taught Israel that such agreements are worthless. “There is only one thing that we will be committed to: deterring all those who wish to annihilate us from achieving their goal," he warned.

Apr 15 07:43

China hesitant over J-10C barter deal with cash-strapped Iran: experts

Beijing is reluctant to let Iran have its J-10C lightweight fighter jet in a barter trade for oil or natural gas, according to military analysts.

Reports of Tehran’s interest in the jet have been circulating on Chinese social media platforms for months, with the expiry in October last year of the UN’s 13-year arms embargo which prohibited Iran from buying foreign weapons like tanks and fighter jets.

Apr 15 04:26

Blinken Calls Iran’s Increase in Uranium Enrichment ‘Provocative’

Speaking from NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced Iran’s decision to begin enriching some uranium to 60 percent as “provocative.”

“We take very seriously its provocative announcement of an intent to begin enriching uranium at 60 percent,” Blinken said. “I have to tell you the step calls into question Iran’s seriousness with regard to the nuclear talks.”

Missing from Blinken’s comments was any condemnation of what caused Tehran to take this step, which was the apparent Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. The US has tried to distance itself from the incident but has not denounced the attack.

Apr 14 12:53

‘Mossad behind attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility’

The Mossad was reportedly behind the attack at Natanz on Sunday that caused extensive damage to Iran’s main uranium enrichment facility.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the security cabinet’s first meeting in two months to discuss Iran next Sunday amid increased tensions with Tehran.

Apr 14 07:49

Fire spreads to seven ships at Iranian port, state media reports

Apr 14 07:02

Iran’s Zarif blames Israel for Natanz incident, vows revenge

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed revenge against Israel for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear facilities at Natanz but said it will not stop high-level talks to restore the country’s nuclear deal with world powers.

In a private meeting with lawmakers on Monday, Zarif pointed out that top Israeli officials explicitly said they would try to prevent multilateral efforts to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which would lead to lifting United States sanctions on Iran.

Apr 14 06:34

Ellie Cohanim: Israeli Attack on Iranian Nuclear Facility Is Reaction to Biden Iran Policy

Israel’s alleged attack on a nuclear enrichment facility in Iran was likely a reaction to the Biden administration’s policy towards Iran, Ellie Cohanim, former State Department Deputy Special Envoy to Combat Anti-Semitism, said on Tuesday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow, author of Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption.

The Times of Israel reported:

An Iranian official has acknowledged that Sunday’s blast at Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, which has been attributed to Israel, took out the plant’s main electrical power system and its backup.

“From a technical standpoint, the enemy’s plan was rather beautiful,” Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, the head of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee, told Iranian state television on Monday.

Apr 14 06:25

Ex-IDF intel chief questions Netanyahu’s authority to order attacks on Iran

Amos Yadlin, a former IDF chief of Military Intelligence, said on Tuesday following a blast at a key Iranian uranium enrichment site that Israel’s process for approving sensitive security-related operations was not being followed, indicating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was acting without the necessary legal authority.

He further suggested that Netanyahu was dangerously stoking tensions with Iran for domestic political purposes as the prime minister tries to form a coalition following last month’s inconclusive elections.

Yadlin raised the concerns in a scathing attack on policy regarding Iran and its nuclear program in the wake of a Sunday explosion that caused a power outage at the Natanz uranium enrichment site, which Tehran has blamed on Israel. Media reports citing intelligence officials have also attributed to the attack to Israel, which has not officially confirmed any role but has hinted at its involvement.

Apr 14 06:08

“Symbolic Naval War” Is Emerging Between Israel and Iran

In the Middle East, tensions between Israel and Iran are escalating, but at the same time changing their focus. Recently, both countries have faced each other more frequently at sea, carrying out dangerous maneuvers and reporting the occurrence of several attacks against vessels on both sides, with emphasis on the Israeli attacks, which become more powerful day after day. Apparently, what was previously a conflict focused on aerial bombing and intelligence and espionage operations is becoming a naval war, marked by constant displays of force.

Last Tuesday, April 6, an Iranian ship was attacked in the Red Sea with an Israeli mine in an unusual operation, totally atypical by the standards of the Iran-Israel conflict. The ship hit in the operation was called “Saviz”, a commercial civilian vessel that did not pose any danger to maritime security in the region and was not spared from Israeli reprisals, whose levels of aggressiveness rise quickly.

Apr 14 05:54

How a Shadowy, Hawkish New Group Tied to Iranian Monarchists Is Gaining Influence in Congress

A new organization with ties to Iranian monarchists is cultivating relationships with the Republican Party, holding a series of online events with newer GOP House members, strongly advocating against diplomacy with Iran, and pushing for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate so-called “Islamic Republic agents and lobbyists” in the United States.

Iranian Americans for Liberty was established last year alongside two related entities: a political action committee called Iranian Americans for the Constitution, and a super PAC called Iranian Americans for Peace. The group’s public-facing activities –– which include tweets, press releases, and a series of webinars hosted with Republican House candidates and incumbents –– take aim at both the Iranian government and Iranian Americans who favor engaging with the country, while echoing traditional hawkish talking points.

Apr 14 05:35

Iran to Enrich Uranium to 60 Percent in Retaliation for Sabotage

In a move that seems set to greatly complicate ongoing talks over the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Iranian government has announced it will install more new centrifuges, and will begin enriching uranium up to 60%, by far the highest they’ve ever attempted.

This seems destined to provoke a backlash from the West, and allegations that Iran is getting closer to the 90% enrichment level needed for weapons grade. This will be further pushed because Iran has no obvious use for 60% enriched uranium, unlike its 20% enriched, which was used for medical isotopes.

From Iran’s perspective, the move is a response to this week’s sabotage at the enrichment site, which they are blaming on Israel. Iranian officials also warned the US on the latest incident, cautioning that sabotage and sanctions would never stop their legal program.

Apr 14 05:34

US to Israel: ‘Iran Will Never Obtain a Nuclear Weapon’

The US and Israel held the second session of a strategic group to coordinate on Iran on Tuesday. The talks are headed by each country’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan for the US side, and Meir Ben Shabbat for the Israelis.

Details of what was discussed on Tuesday are scant. In a readout of the meeting, the White House said that Sullivan “reaffirmed the Biden-Harris administration’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security and to ensuring that Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon.”

The meeting comes as the US and Iran are engaged in indirect talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which Israel is strongly opposed to. The Israelis are taking covert action to sabotage the diplomacy. An attack over the weekend at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was attributed to Israel by unnamed officials speaking to the media, which is the usual way Israelis take credit for covert action.

Apr 14 05:30

Nuclear facility sabotage could have caused 'human catastrophe', Zarif says

Iran has complained to the United Nations against the suspected Israeli sabotage of a uranium enrichment facility, calling the attack an act of "nuclear terrorism" that could have caused a "human and environmental catastrophe".

In a letter to the UN General Assembly on Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the disruption of power at the Natanz enrichment plant on the weekend - which Iran blames on Israel - risked releasing radioactive material.

The covert attack, he wrote, "constitutes reckless criminal nuclear terrorism".

"Considering the possible indiscriminate human and environmental consequences of this international crime, those who planned, ordered, participated and carried out this cowardly act committed a grave war crime; one that must not go unpunished," the letter said.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA