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

IRAN

Apr 13 05:58

Natanz explosion destroyed facility 50 meters underground

The alleged Israeli attack on Iran's Natanz nuclear facility destroyed an electrical substation located 40 to 50 meters underground, Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, former head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, told Iranian media on Monday.

Davani added that the substation was built underground in order to protect it from air and missile strikes, and that the attack was carried out either via cyber, sabotaged equipment or sabotage committed by agents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Can you imagine the fear?

Maybe you don't have to. Maybe you are old enough to remember Three Mile Island, or Chernobyl. Maybe you're one of the people living where the radiation meters are already singing their songs of death.

If you aren't, you soon will be.

Can you feel the horror? There is an invisible killer dancing in the air. Maybe hiding in that rain drop. You cannot know for sure.

That metallic taste in your mouth; is it being that scared? Or is it something ... worse?

You cannot know for sure.

You wish you could stop breathing, but of course you can't. And with each breath comes an unspoken question? Is this the breath I inhale my own end? Is there an irrevocable link between this breath and my final breath to come? Is this the breath that transforms my future from an old age filled with family and friends, to loneliness, lingering pain, and a horrible death?

You cannot know for sure. There is an invisible killer dancing in the air.

Or maybe it was on that stamp you licked, or in the wine you drank, or the cookie you ate.

Maybe you showered with the killer, slept with the killer, shared your clothes with the killer.

You cannot know for sure.

Now imagine living with that fear, day after day after day; fear for yourself, fear for the lives and health of your loved ones. Imagine the long sleepless nights wondering if the next day will invite the killer into your home; if the rain will wash the killer onto the food you will eat.

Imagine.

Then imagine a monster so evil they would inflict that endless fear onto innocent and unoffending people.

Then stop imagining, because it really happened, but once but twice.

What happened by accident at Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima was done intentionally by Israel to the people of Iraq, when Iraq bombed the nuclear power plant at Osirik, in the erroneous assumption that Iraq was building nuclear weapons. Then Israel did it again in Syria. Thankfully, there were no nuclear weapons at the Iraq or Syrian targets, or the people of Iraq and Syria would have suffered what those people living downwind from Three Mile Island, Chernobyl. and Fukushima all suffered.

But no doubt, those innocent and unoffending Iraqi and Syrian people knew the fear of wondering whether the silent killer was there in their homes moment to moment, just as you are wondering whether the silent killer is in your home this very moment, even as you read these words.

And now Israel is doing the same to the people of Iran!

Apr 13 05:51

In meeting with US, Israel slams Iran as ‘fanatical regime’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called Iranian authorities a “fanatical regime” at a joint news conference with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Jerusalem.

The US official’s arrival in Israel coincided with a sabotage attack on Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear facility that damaged its centrifuges, an assault that could imperil continuing talks over rejoining the 2015 Iran nuclear accord. Returning Iran to the deal has been a top priority of the administration of US President Joe Biden.

Apr 13 05:42

‘Mossad behind cyber-attack’ on Natanz facility that Iran called ‘nuclear terrorism,’ Israeli media claim

Israeli intelligence was responsible for the incident on Sunday at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant, which saw a blackout at an electricity distribution network, Israeli media outlets are claiming, citing unnamed “Western sources.”

Calling it an “attack” and an example of “nuclear terrorism,” Iranian officials said the incident had not caused any damage, but reports in the Israeli media that followed disputed that.

Citing anonymous sources, various outlets, including the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post, claimed the facility sustained “severe” and “extensive” damage as a result of a “cyber-attack.”

Apr 13 00:37

US, Israel to Hold Strategic Iran Talks

According to a report from Axios, on Tuesday, US and Israeli officials will convene the second meeting of a strategic group to coordinate on Iran. The talks are headed by each country’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan for the US side, and Meir Ben Shabbat for the Israelis.

The first meeting of the strategic group took place in early March. The second comes as the US and Iran are engaged in indirect talks to revive the nuclear deal, something Israel is strongly opposed to and is taking covert action to sabotage the effort.

An attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility over the weekend was attributed to Israel’s Mossad spy agency by Israeli media, and Iran blamed the Israelis on Monday. Last week, an Iranian ship was targeted with an explosive in the Red Sea.

Apr 13 00:36

Iran Blames Israel for Natanz Attack

Iran on Monday blamed Israel for an attack on the Islamic Republic’s Natanz nuclear facility that reportedly caused power outages and damaged centrifuges. While Israeli officials have not officially claimed responsibility for the incident, multiple Israeli media outlets cited unnamed officials who attributed the attack to the Jewish State.

The Natanz attack comes as the US and Iran are engaged in indirect talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, something Israel is strongly opposed to. When blaming Israel for the incident, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said it would not affect the negotiations.

“The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions,” Zarif said on Monday. “We will not fall into their trap … We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks.”

Apr 13 00:36

Israel will continue to 'defend itself' against Iran's aggression, Netanyahu says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that Iran had not given up efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and Israel would continue to "defend itself" against Tehran's aggression.

"In the Middle East, there is no threat more dangerous, serious and pressing than that posed by the fanatical regime in Iran," Netanyahu said, hours after the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for an attack on one of its nuclear facilities.

"Israel will continue to defend itself against Iran's aggression and terrorism."

Iran denies pursuing nuclear weapons and says it only wants to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Apr 12 06:54

Israel appears to confirm it carried out cyberattack on Iran nuclear facility

Israel appeared to confirm claims that it was behind a cyber-attack on Iran’s main nuclear facility on Sunday, which Tehran’s nuclear energy chief described as an act of terrorism that warranted a response against its perpetrators.

The apparent attack took place hours after officials at the Natanz reactor restarted spinning advanced centrifuges that could speed up the production of enriched uranium, in what had been billed as a pivotal moment in the country’s nuclear programme.

As Iranian authorities scrambled to deal with a large-scale blackout at Natanz, which the country’s Atomic Energy Agency acknowledged had damaged the electricity grid at the site, the Israeli defence chief, Aviv Kochavi, said the country’s “operations in the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemy”.

Apr 12 06:50

New fire BREAKS OUT in Iranian nuclear facility

Apr 12 06:16

Iran’s Foreign Ministry blames Israel for Natanz incident, calls it trap to derail sanctions talks in Vienna

Iranian diplomats accused Israel of an “act against humanity” targeting the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, saying it was meant to derail talks on the lifting of sanctions.

The underground Iranian nuclear facility experienced a power outage on Sunday. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called the suspected Israeli sabotage “an act against humanity,” because the damage done to the plant could have caused a disaster.

“There was no contamination or injuries but it could cause a disaster. It could be considered as an act against humanity,” Saeed Khatibzadeh told a news conference on Monday.

Apr 12 05:47

Pre-emptive Nuclear War: The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran

The text below is Chapter III of Michel Chossudovsky’s book entitled: The Globalization of War. America’s Long War against Humanity, Global Research Publishers, Montreal, 2015. To order the book directly from Global Research click here

This chapter provides a historical perspective of US war plans directed against Iran, including the use of a preemptive nuclear attack, using low yield, “more usable” tactical nuclear weapons.

This analysis is of particular relevance to the Biden administration’s ongoing threats to attack Iran.

***

Apr 12 05:13

Iran Blames Israel for Assault on Nuclear Site, Vows Revenge

Iran blamed Israel for an attack on the power network at its largest uranium enrichment plant, raising geopolitical tensions around Iran’s nuclear program as diplomats try to revive the international deal that contained it.

“Various sources have confirmed Israel was behind the attack” at the Natanz facility in central Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a press conference on Monday, without giving further details. IR-1 centrifuges were damaged but it is too soon to assess how badly, he said.

The assault, which cut off power to the site, didn’t disrupt enrichment operations and the plant is still running on emergency electricity backup, state-run IRIB news cited Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the country’s atomic energy agency, as saying. The main power supply will be restored in the coming days, he said.

Apr 11 09:07

Iran Confirms Its Covert Mothership In The Red Sea Was Attacked

The Iranian government has confirmed that the M/V Saviz was the victim of an attack in the Red Sea yesterday. The ship is widely believed to be a mothership that the country's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps uses to assist Houthi rebels in Yemen and otherwise conduct discreet activities in the region, particularly around the strategic Bab Al Mandeb Strait.

There are reports that Israel carried out the attack and that it is the latest incident in an escalating series of tit-for-tat clandestine operations by the two countries that have primarily targeted each others' commercial ships. The attack also came on the same day that the United States and Iran held their first indirect negotiations over the future a controversial multi-national deal regarding Tehran's nuclear programs.

Apr 10 07:45

Iran Finally Releases Seized S.Korean Tanker As Vienna Talks Start On "Positive Note"

Iran has finally released a South Korean-flagged tanker that the IRGC had siezed back in January, which developed into a diplomatic standoff over billions of dollars in frozen Iranian funds held in South Korean banks due to US-led sanctions.

While some of the crew of the Hankuk Chemihad had been allowed to leave in February, a dozen along with the captain stayed on in order to conduct maintenance with the hope of eventually being able to sail it home. On Friday South Korea's foreign ministry issued a statement confirming the ship's detention had been lifted and that it "departed safely today".

The month before the Hankuk Chemihad was seized in the Strait of Hormuz with the official charge being that it had "violated rules of pollution", Tehran had mounted protest with Seoul for freezing close to $10 billion in Iranian assets (according to foreign ministry figures), though the governor of the Central Bank of Iran had estimated it at $7BN.

Apr 10 07:35

CrossTalk on JCPOA: Saving the Iran deal

Talks are underway in Vienna to save the JCPOA – the agreement the Trump administration unilaterally walked away from. Making the deal whole again is relatively easy for Iran. But that can’t be said for the US. Does the Biden administration have the political will to say ‘yes’ to Tehran?

CrossTalking with Mohammad Marandi, Geoffrey Aronson, and Tariq Rauf.

Apr 10 07:35

Republicans are ramping up opposition to Iran deal. Does it matter?

US Republicans are ramping up opposition against the Iran nuclear deal in a sign of growing partisan division over Washington's approach to Tehran.

As indirect talks between signatories to the nuclear pact began in Vienna this week, several leading Republicans have issued statements denouncing President Joe Biden's push to revive the agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Republican president Donald Trump had nixed the deal in 2018.

"The United States must not relinquish its leverage over the Iranian regime just to return to the JCPOA, a severely flawed agreement that undermines our national security interests due to its arbitrary sunsets and limited scope," four leading Republicans on powerful Senate committees wrote to Biden on Tuesday.

Apr 10 05:23

Iran: Amnesty must report hardships of Iranians under US sanctions

Iran’s mission to the European Union has called on Amnesty International to compile a report about the harmful impact of illegal American sanctions on the livelihoods of Iranians, especially at a time when the country is grappling with a deadly coronavirus outbreak.

In a chain of tweets on Friday, Iran’s Embassy in Belgium ­— which hosts the EU’s headquarters — drew attention to the difficulties that over 80 million Iranians have been facing under America’s unilateral sanctions, saying those problems have been compounded by the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Along with one of the tweets, the diplomatic mission posted a recent Amnesty report on “deliberately divisive and destructive policies that have perpetuated inequality, discrimination and oppression and paved the way for the devastation wrought by COVID-19.”

Apr 10 05:21

Outcome of Vienna talks on anti-Iran sanctions: 'Almost nothing'

Talks between Tehran and the other signatories to the 2015 nuclear agreement in Vienna have yielded no results so far, with Iran’s top negotiator saying there was no agreement yet on how sanctions will be removed or the verification of their removal.

On Friday, envoys from Iran and the P4+1 group of countries — Britain, France, Russia, and China plus Germany — wrapped up four days of talks in the Austrian capital aimed at removing sanctions on Tehran and discussing other issues.

The fate of the multilateral deal has remained uncertain since May 2018, when former US president Donald Trump pulled his country out of the accord and re-imposed the anti-Iran sanctions that had been lifted under the UN-endorsed document. Trump’s administration then launched a campaign of “maximum pressure,” under which it placed other sets of sanctions under many headings on Iran.

Apr 10 05:15

China and Russia Optimistic over Iran Talks as Biden Envoy Sulks on Sidelines

The governments of China and Russia, which appear to be taking the lead in talks between Iran and the remaining partners in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, expressed optimism after talks concluded on Friday for the week that progress had occurred.

The conversations over the agreement formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) began this week in Vienna, Austria. Representatives from China, Russia, and Iran — as well as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany — met to discuss, they claimed, a way to repair what remains of the agreement after years of violations by Tehran and President Donald Trump withdrawing the United States from it in 2018. Notably absent from the invitation list was the United States, which had no formal representation in this week’s talks.

Apr 09 06:22

Iranian military vows response to attack on ship in Red Sea

Iran will “definitely” respond to a recent attack on an Iranian ship in the Red Sea, a spokesman for the Islamic Republic’s military said Thursday.

Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi told Russian news agency Sputnik that Iran was investigating Tuesday’s attack on the Saviz and would not retaliate until the competition of the probe.

“If we uncover the source of the attack on the ship, we will definitely respond, we will never be silent,” he said.

Apr 09 05:28

Iran And Israel In The World's Most Dangerous Game Of 'Battleship'

Israeli and Iranian ships in the Red Sea have been subject to regular attacks in recent weeks and months. Tel Aviv and Tehran blame each other but with little evidence to support either side’s claims.

On April 6th, an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) cargo ship was struck in an unknown manner, in the area between the coasts of Yemen and Eritrea. Some sources claimed that it had been struck below the waterline, meaning that it had been hit by a magnetic mine.

Others, however, claimed that it was subject to rocket fire. Either way, there was official confirmation that an IRGC ship by the name of Saviz had sustained damage.

Earlier, on March 25th, an Israeli-owned cargo ship – the “LORI” was struck by a missile as it was sailing from Tanzania to India. This was immediately blamed on Iran. No significant damage nor casualties were reported.

Apr 09 05:20

Iran To "Without A Doubt" Respond Against US & Israel For Red Sea Mine Attack 

Iran said on Thursday that it will "without a doubt" respond to the widely reported attack on an Iranian military vessel in the Red Sea that occurred Tuesday. A spy vessel later identified as the Saviz was damaged in the incident, with the The New York Times alleging that Israel was behind a naval mine attack.

Anonymous US officials had told Reuters the US did not conduct the attack; however, in Thursday's statement a top Iranian general indicated that Tehran believes both Israel and the United States were behind the Red Sea mine attack. This after Israel appears to have owned up to it according to a US official's statement to the Times.

"We will respond without any doubt to the attack on our ship Saviz in the Red Sea once we identify those involved," Iran's military spokesman Brig. Gen. Abolfazl Shekarchi said to Sputnik Arabic.

Apr 08 06:21

Netanyahu: 'Best Friends' Should Know Israel Will Not Be Obligated by Iranian Nuclear Deal

The possibility of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) being revived is inching closer as talks between the parties to the pact are under way in Vienna. Israel has been opposed to the deal from the outset, seeking another format to more widely restrict Iran's nuclear programme and military power.

Israel will not be bound by a possible revival of the Iran nuclear agreement, because the country should be able to defend itself against a potential aggressor, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday in a speech at an official Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony.

"A deal with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not obligate us", he claimed, commenting the ongoing talks in Vienna between the joint JCPOA commission and Iranian representatives.
According to Netanyahu, the nuclear agreement in its original form "is worthless".

Apr 08 05:59

Netanyahu Warns Israel Will "Act" Against Iran If Biden Restores Nuclear Deal

While talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, kicked off in Vienna, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu railed against the agreement and said Israel must "act" against Tehran.

"The danger that Iran will return — and this time with an international imprimatur — to a path that will allow it to develop a nuclear arsenal is on our doorstep on this very day," Netanyahu said at a meeting of his Likud party in the Knesset on Tuesday.

Like most Israeli officials, Netanyahu claims the JCPOA is somehow a path to a nuclear-armed Iran even though the agreement puts strict limits on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. And after the JCPOA expires, Iran would still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel refuses to sign since it has a secret nuclear weapons program.

"We cannot go back to the dangerous nuclear plan, because a nuclear Iran is an existential threat and a very big threat to the security of the whole world," Netanyahu said.

Apr 08 05:49

Netanyahu: Iran Deal Threatens Israel ‘With Annihilation’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped up his rhetoric against the Iran nuclear deal after talks to revive the agreement were held in Vienna on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Netanyahu said the JCPOA would not “obligate” Israel, claiming the deal threatens the Jewish State with “annihilation.”

“The nuclear deal with Iran is once again on the table. Such deals with extreme regimes are worthless,” Netanyahu said at a speech during Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony. “A deal with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not obligate us.”

Netanyahu made a veiled threat about taking action against Iran, as he did on Tuesday when the Vienna talks kicked off. “I say to our closest friends too: ‘A deal with Iran that threatens us with annihilation will not obligate us.’ Only one thing will obligate us: to prevent those who wish to destroy us from carrying out their plans,” he said.

Apr 08 05:40

State Dept says US prepared to lift Iran sanctions, but warns of ‘long road ahead’ amid indirect talks to revive nuclear pact

The US State Department has signaled willingness to drop sanctions on Iran that conflict with the 2015 nuclear pact, but suggested Tehran would still have to make concessions of its own – a notion that Iran previously rejected.
“We are prepared to take the steps necessary to return to compliance with the JCPOA, including by lifting sanctions that are inconsistent with the JCPOA,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Wednesday, referring to the nuclear deal by its formal title, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Price added that he was not in a position to provide “chapter and verse” on what sanctions Washington will consider ending, nor any timeframe for when that might happen, saying “That is precisely why we have agreed to engage in diplomacy to this effect.”

Apr 08 05:15

Mossad chief to travel to US for lobbying against Iran: Israeli TV

The head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency is reportedly expected to travel to Washington in the next few days to lobby against Iran as the occupying regime remains wary of renewed efforts aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major world powers.

Israel’s Channel 13 TV reported on Wednesday that Yossi Cohen will visit Washington for meetings with senior White House and US intelligence officials.

It will be the first high-level visit by an Israeli official since US President Joe Biden took office in January.

Israel is trying to arrange a meeting between Cohen and Biden, the report said, adding that the Mossad chief will present alleged evidence against Iran’s nuclear program in a bid to prevent the US from reentering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which former president Donald Trump abandoned in May 2018.

Apr 07 07:33

US and Iran hail 'constructive' indirect nuclear talks in Vienna

US and Iranian officials said initial indirect talks in Vienna on Tuesday aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal were "constructive", with negotiations set to continue this week as US President Joe Biden looks for ways to revive the agreement.

"We do see this as a constructive and certainly welcome step," US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters in Washington.

"It is a potentially useful step as we seek to determine what it is that the Iranians are prepared to do to return to compliance with the stringent limitations under the 2015 deal and, as a result, what we might need to do to return to compliance ourselves," he added.

Tired of ads? Want to support our progressive journalism? Click to learn more.
European allies of the United States, along with Russia and China, met in Vienna with representatives of Iran in the most forceful bid yet to revive the Iran nuclear deal after former president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in May 2018.

Apr 07 07:23

US Sec. of Defense to visit Israel amid Israel, Iran maritime tensions

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will be the Biden administration's first top cabinet member to visit Israel. He is expected to arrive next week, Walla reported on Tuesday night.

Austin will arrive in Israel amid an increase in maritime incidents between Israel and Iran.

Apr 07 06:43

US, Iran say in Vienna they are ready to restore nuclear deal — Russian diplomat

Both the United States and Iran say they are ready to restore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in full and they have no "open confrontation" between themselves, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Vienna-based international organizations Mikhail Ulyanov said on Tuesday.

"The task is quite clear - to restore the deal in full. Both the Americans and the Iranians say they are ready. Naturally, the Iranians are very critical about the United States but there is no open confrontation, at least because they don’t speak with each other," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel.

He noted that the United States and Iran maintain no direct contacts and communicate via mediators. "The European Union representative will play a key role of a go-between in contacts between the Iranians and the Americans, but Russia may also get involved, like any other participant in the deal," he explained.

Apr 07 06:41

NYT: Israel Struck Iranian Vessel Saviz in Red Sea, Notified US

Earlier on Tuesday, reports emerged saying that an Iranian cargo vessel, the Saviz, had been attacked in the Red Sea by a missile or a mine. There has been no official confirmation from Tehran on the reported attack.

Israel notified the United States that its forces had attacked an Iranian vessel, the Saviz, in the Red Sea, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed American official.

According to the anonymous official, the Israelis had called the attack "a retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels". The official also noted that the Saviz had been damaged below the water line.
He went on to say that it was possible that the attack had been delayed so that an American aircraft carrier in the area, the Dwight D. Eisenhower, could distance itself from the Saviz. At the moment when the Saviz was hit, the official noted, the Eisenhower was "about 200 miles away".

Apr 06 11:25

Top negotiator to Press TV: US must lift Iran sanctions all at once, in one step

Top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi tells Press TV that the United States must lift its anti-Iran sanctions altogether and in one step if it truly seeks to rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, which it abandoned around three years ago.

Araqchi, who serves as deputy foreign minister for political affairs, was interviewed by Press TV outside the venue of a session of the Joint Commission to the Iran deal — officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — in Vienna, Austria.

He reaffirmed that the gathering did not feature any American representatives, and that it just involved Iran’s discussions with the remaining JCPOA participants or the P4+1 — Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany.

The remaining signatories “would then later talk with Americans. And that’s their business. We’re not engaged in that business. We only negotiate with the P4+1.”

Apr 05 07:18

Iran Calls for Immediate, Full Sanctions Relief

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement saying they will maintain their enhanced enrichment level until they get full and immediate sanctions relief as required under the P5+1 nuclear deal.

Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said that proposals for a “step-by-step” process had been suggested, and would see Iran reversing its nuclear process, for only a small step of US engagement in the process. He said Iran considers this unacceptable.

With indirect talks coming up, France is urging Iran to avoid any further escalation as both sides try to work out the disagreements and get the process back into good standing, with everyone getting what they believe they’re entitled to under the nuclear deal.

Apr 05 05:52

Iran talks set up delicate dance for Biden team

The Biden administration is moving forward on steps to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, with officials set to participate in high level discussions with signatories to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in Vienna next week.

The U.S. and Iran are not expected to meet face to face, although administration officials have said they remain open to direct talks.

The Vienna meeting marks the most forward movement for the Biden team, which will engage with European, Russian and Chinese counterparts over what steps the U.S. can take to achieve a “mutual return” for both America and Iran.

Apr 01 12:36

Don’t let facts get in the way of your pursuit for regime change

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies CEO Mark Dubowitz is best known for his leadership in promoting “economic warfare” against Iran as a means to foment regime change in Tehran or outright war with the Islamic Republic.

Part of that campaign requires spreading a lot of mis- or disinformation, and Dubowitz himself has been a fervent participant in those efforts.

Over the weekend, Dubowitz tweeted a passage from a Wall Street Journal article that noted an IMF report that “predicts Iran’s economy will return to 3.2% growth in 2021, following a 5% contraction in 2020, on the back of expanded oil sales and a stronger domestic industry.” Dubowitz blamed President Biden’s failure to maintain his predecessor’s “maximum pressure” campaign for the IMF’s alarming forecast.

“The Biden [administration] is already giving major concessions,” he tweeted. “That’s why this is occurring.”

Mar 31 10:56

Joe Biden Is Killing the Iran Nuclear Deal

Joe Biden harshly criticized Donald Trump for pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal during the presidential campaign. But two months into his administration, Biden has done absolutely nothing to revive the landmark deal — and his inaction might have already killed it.

Mar 31 07:09

Netanyahu's Iran Obsession: Real Fear or Political Tool?

Over the years, Iran has given Israel plenty of reasons to worry. Officials in Tel Aviv have accused Tehran of working on developing weapons of mass destruction and of supporting terrorist entities. Yet despite calls to annihilate the Jewish state, an Israeli expert says the Islamic Republic does not pose an existential threat to his country.

Iran is not on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mind at the moment because he's preoccupied with a political stalemate and efforts to form a coalition to remain in power.

Mar 31 06:52

Rouhani: US can lift Iran sanctions in one hour if there is will

President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed as “lies” the US’s claims that it needs a few months to lift the anti-Iran sanctions and return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal since those things can happen through “a single decree and in one hour.”

“The Americans lie when they say a return to their commitments and the lifting of the sanctions will take 2 to 3 months... It can be done with one decree and in one hour. All it needs is the will to do so, and if there is a serious resolve, the US can return to all its obligations in a single day, and we can also return to all our commitments,” he told a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.

“Mere slogans and interviews will not work,” said Rouhani. “The Americans must act and do everything in their power” to facilitate the revival of the nuclear deal they abandoned in 2018 in defiance of international law.

Mar 31 06:51

Iran-China deal will force West to rethink foreign policy: Expert

The historic partnership agreement signed between Iran and China will force the West to revisit its foreign policy that has persistently relied on intervention and exploitation, a commentator says.

“I think cooperation between Global South countries like China and Iran will force the political elite in the Western capitals to sit back and re-evaluate their policy,” Carl Zha, investigator and content producer on the political, cultural, and historical issues that center around China, told Press TV on Tuesday.

The Global South is a rough term coined to refer to, what some call, “developing countries” as opposed to certain Western and Western-allied states.

He said the West’s trademark foreign policy towards the supposed Global South nations has for long consisted taking interventionist approaches towards them so it can comfortably extract their resources.

Mar 31 06:42

Iran Rejects Ending 20% Enrichment for Some Sanctions Relief

A report from Politico on Monday said the Biden administration was ready to offer a proposal to Iran that would give some sanctions relief in exchange for Tehran halting some activity of its civilian nuclear program, such as stopping enriching uranium at 20 percent.

An unnamed Iranian official responded to the report and told Iran’s Press TV on Tuesday that Tehran would only halt 20 percent enrichment if the US lifts all sanctions that have been reimposed since 2018. “Twenty percent uranium enrichment is in line with Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA and will be stopped only if the US lifts all the sanctions,” the official said.

Mar 31 05:48

Iran Touts Russia-Iran-India 'North-South Trade Corridor' As "Alternative" & Challenge To Suez Canal

Coming after a 'successful' weekend in which sanctions-beleaguered Iran hailed its signing a major 25-year infrastructure and investment agreement with China, Iran's ambassador to Russia is also touting that a new north-south trade corridor across the region could become a prime 'alternative' to the strategic Suez Canal waterway that's been featured in global headlines due to the 'Ever Given' stuck tanker disaster that just played out.

Called the "International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)" — a two decades in the making ambitious project — the new trade corridor, currently partially in operation, is 7,200km long, linking up Russia, Iran, and India and ultimately accelerating trade with Europe as well.

Mar 31 05:00

Russian, German, French leaders discuss Iran nuclear deal

The leaders of Russia, France and Germany, which are signatories to the 2015 nuclear deal, have exchanged views on the multilateral accord amid a standoff between Iran and the United States over the implementation of the agreement.

During a conference call on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), among other issues.

The Kremlin said the trio spoke in favor of “preserving and implementing” the JCPOA and “further coordinating steps in this direction.”

Separately, the Elysee Palace said in a statement that three leaders had agreed to take measures on the nuclear pact and coordinate their efforts to return Iran to full compliance with its international obligations as soon as possible.

Mar 31 04:57

Iran-China: the 21st Century Silk Road Connection

Capping an extraordinary two weeks that turned 21st century geopolitics upside down, Iran and China finally signed their 25-year strategic deal this past Saturday in Tehran.

The timing could not have been more spectacular, following what we examined in three previous columns: the virtual Quad and the 2+2 US-China summit in Alaska; the Lavrov-Wang Yi strategic partnership meeting in Guilin; and the NATO summit of Foreign Ministers in Brussels – key steps unveiling the birth of a new paradigm in international relations.

The officially named Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership was first announced over five years ago, when President Xi Jinping visited Tehran. The result of plenty of closed-door discussions since 2016, Tehran now describes the agreement as “a complete roadmap with strategic political and economic clauses covering trade, economic and transportation cooperation.”

Mar 30 05:42

Report: US Preparing to Offer New Proposal to Iran

According to a report from Politico, the Biden administration is preparing to offer a new proposal to Iran on a way to possibly revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Citing people “familiar with the matter,” the report said the proposal could be put forward as early as this week. One source said the proposal asks Iran to halt some nuclear activity, such as new advanced centrifuges and the enrichment of uranium at 20 percent, in exchange for some relief from US sanctions, although details are still being worked out.

It’s not clear from the report how much sanctions relief the US would offer. Iran is under an enormous amount of US sanctions. Some are devastating to the country’s economy, and others are more symbolic. So the Biden administration has a lot of options of sanctions it could lift that would not really give Tehran any relief.

Mar 30 04:43

Former Chief of IDF Intelligence Alarmed by Inclusion of Intel Sharing in Iran-China Pact

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif characterised the 25-year Iran-China Strategic Partnership Agreement signed on Saturday as a “historic” pact which provides a “strategic roadmap” for relations between the two nations. Publicised details about the agreement have been limited, leading to concerned speculation in Washington and elsewhere.

Israel has reason to be concerned with the strategic cooperation agreement signed by Iran and China, particularly its section about military cooperation, Israeli Air Force general (ret.) and former Israel Defence Forces Military Intelligence Directorate chief Amos Yadlin has said.

“One of the most worrying clauses in the agreement between Iran and China is intelligence sharing,” Yadlin, who now heads the Tel-Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies think tank, told Ynet News on Monday.

Mar 30 04:32

China’s new partnership with Iran is not a full alliance, but enough to undermine US sanctions & rock global status quo

China and Iran have signed a strategic partnership agreement. For sanctions-wracked Tehran, it’s an economic lifeline. For Beijing, it’s the start of a tricky Middle East balancing act.

In the midst of a spat of tensions between China and the West, Beijing’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi spent the weekend in Iran, another country that has borne the brunt of confrontation with the United States over the past few years. Sweeping the Middle East on his diplomatic tour, in Tehran Wang signed the long-awaited ‘Comprehensive Strategic Partnership’ agreement, hashed out last year, that will span 25 years and encompass Iran’s energy, infrastructure and technology sectors – valued up to an estimated $400 billion. It comes as geopolitical differences peak between Washington, Beijing and its allies.

Mar 30 04:28

Iran to stop 20% enrichment only if US bans lifted: Source tells Press TV

A senior Iranian official has told Press TV that Tehran will not stop 20-percent uranium enrichment before the US sanctions are lifted.

"20-percent uranium enrichment is in line with Paragraph 36 of the JCPOA and will be stopped only if the US lifts all the sanctions," the official said on Monday evening.

The Iranian official said the country will not stop any of its current nuclear activities before the removal of all sanctions.

"The Biden administration is losing time, and if it fails to lift the sanctions soon, Iran will take the next steps, which will be further reduction of its JCPOA commitments," the official added.

The Iranian official made the remarks in reaction to a report by Politico which claimed the US is to end the deadlock over the 2015 nuclear deal with a new proposal.

Mar 30 04:25

Landmark Iran-China deal boosts anti-US stance, regional security: Analyst

An American political analyst says the 25-year cooperation agreement signed by Iran and China reinforces both countries' stance against the United States’ economic blackmail and shores up security in the region.

During a ceremony in Tehran on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi put their signatures on the Sino-Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership to strengthen the traditional friendship between the two states.

The deal, which was five years in the making, includes Chinese investments in Iran’s energy and infrastructure sectors in return for steady supplies of Iranian oil.

Mar 29 10:03

Israel: 'We can destroy Iran's nuclear programme'

A senior Israeli military official has declared on Friday that his country has the ability to "completely destroy Iran's nuclear programme."

Tal Kalman, head of the Strategic Division and the Third-Circle Directorate of the Israeli army, told Israel Today that 2020 was a "good" year concerning war against Iran.

Kalman added: "I do not want to call it a year of transformation, but it is a year of great change. It started with the assassination of Qasem Soleimani and continued with a series of events that I cannot comment on most of the time, which made the balance positive, and very positive."

He explained that Tel Aviv deals with Iran through four axes, the first of which is the extremist regime, adding: "As long as it controls Iran, Israel faces a very big challenge."

Mar 28 00:38

Iran & China Sign Massive 25-Year Deal: $400BN Chinese Infrastructure Investment For Oil

Increasingly it appears that so-called "rogue states" and those under Washington's wrath and sanctions are coming together to combat US dominance across the globe. It was a process already set in motion after years of aggressive US attempts to enforce a ban on Iranian and Venezuelan oil, as a prime example.

For starters, China and Russia have been major players in helping to circumvent US attempts to blockade Venezuelan and Iranian crude. Saturday's major China-Iran news to some degree formalizes this, as Reuters reports, "China and Iran, both subject to US sanctions, signed a 25-year cooperation agreement on Saturday to strengthen their long-standing economic and political alliance."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So ... if the US attacks Iran now, they are intruding into China's interests!

Mar 27 07:30

Facebook bans Press TV page AGAIN as Iranian outlet decries move as ‘censorship’ & ‘attack on free speech’

Iranian media outlet Press TV has condemned Facebook for “censorship” after its main page was banned on the site yet again, with the platform citing violations of its “community standards” and stating the move can’t be undone.

“Without any prior warning, Facebook informed Press TV on Friday that its account had been shut down for what it claimed to be the Iranian news channel’s failure to ‘follow our Community Standards,’” the outlet reported, calling the ban “yet another attack by the US-based social media giant on Iranian media outlets.”

‘We have already reviewed this decision and it can’t be reversed,’ said Facebook in a note, without specifying the so-called violations of its rules.

Mar 27 06:54

Will Israel Use ‘Bunker-Buster’ Bombs Against Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Israel is extremely worried that Iran would develop a nuclear bomb that would target the state of Israel, murdering the Israeli and the Palestinian populations since areas surrounding one of the holiest sites to Islam located in the Old City of Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa Mosque that will also be contaminated with nuclear fallout, but Israel insists that Iran is building a nuclear weapon to destroy the self-proclaimed Jewish state.

Mar 27 06:46

Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

If Iran’s alleged plan to launch a suicide boat attack on Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., sounds nuts, that’s because it is.

The National Security Agency intercepted communications from members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps discussing “USS Cole-style attacks” against the Army installation in January, Associated Press Reporter James LaPorta first revealed.

The Iranian plan also reportedly involved targeting Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin, who lived on Fort McNair, according to the AP, which cited two unnamed senior intelligence officials.

In part due to these threats, the Army wants to push boat traffic further away from Fort McNair, according to the Associated Press. Army spokeswoman Col. Cathy Wilkinson declined to discuss the reported threat for this story.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on security for senior officials,” Wilkinson said.

Mar 25 05:29

Iran Warns IAEA Chief’s Comments Damage Credibility of Process

While Iran and the IAEA seemed to be on good terms in recent months, a split is starting to emerge from weekend comments by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi, who is seeking “very technical discussions” on undeclared Iranian uranium, and sites that are not listed in the official documentation.

Israel, and subsequently the US, have long accused Iran of having secret sites, but so far have not come up with solid evidence any of this has happened, and have mostly sent the IAEA to repeatedly search through an old carpet factory, finding what appeared to be trivial amounts of unprocessed uranium, hardly definitive of anything.

Iran has given IAEA access to these accused sites a few times, but has expressed annoyance that they keep wanting to go through them over and over, and never find anything. So long as the allegations continue that there were secret sites, the IAEA seems to be treating the fact that they can’t find anything as proof Iran needs to be more forthcoming with info.

Mar 24 12:50

Iran’s alleged suicide boat plot against Washington DC is far-fetched as hell

If Iran’s alleged plan to launch a suicide boat attack on Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., sounds nuts, that’s because it is.

The National Security Agency intercepted communications from members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps discussing “USS Cole-style attacks” against the Army installation in January, Associated Press Reporter James LaPorta first revealed.

The Iranian plan also reportedly involved targeting Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph M. Martin, who lived on Fort McNair, according to the AP, which cited two unnamed senior intelligence officials.

In part due to these threats, the Army wants to push boat traffic further away from Fort McNair, according to the Associated Press. Army spokeswoman Col. Cathy Wilkinson declined to discuss the reported threat for this story.

“As a matter of policy, we do not comment on security for senior officials,” Wilkinson said.

Mar 24 04:41

Iran: We will Attack On US Soil, Biden: So Where Do I Sign The Nuclear Deal?

Iran reportedly threatened to attack Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., as well as the Army’s vice chief of staff, according to a report from The Associated Press published on Sunday.

Citing two unidentified senior U.S. intelligence officials, the AP reports that communications intercepted by the National Security Agency (NSA) indicated that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) discussed carrying out a “USS Cole-style attacks” on Fort McNair in January, referencing the 2000 suicide attack against the U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer in Yemen's Aden harbor that left 17 sailors dead.

Mar 23 05:53

Much More Than 12: Israel Attacked Dozens of Tankers, Iran Lost Billions

The report in the Wall Street Journal a week ago apparently uncovered only the tip of the iceberg of the economic warfare that Israel has been waging against Iran for the past two and a half years. According to the Journal, Israel has systematically scuttled maritime oil smuggling from Iran to Syria by striking at least 12 ships. That effort, according to American sources, is intended to disrupt the use of the funds paid for the oil smuggled to Hezbollah in order to purchase combat materiel.

The Journal noted that it also drew on additional sources, including intelligence sources in the Middle East. The first leak may have come from the Biden administration, aimed at neutralizing background noise which the Americans think might soon hamper the renewal of negotiations with Iran about the United States’ return to the nuclear agreement.

Mar 23 05:34

If Israel accuses Iran of doing something, Israel is likely already doing it

Israel has accused Iran of doing many nefarious things. But the historical record shows that whatever Israel accuses Iran of, it is likely that Israel is already doing it.

For example, Israel has repeatedly accused Iran of destabilizing the region by malignantly spreading across the region and forming alliances and exercising influence in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

But Israel is spreading across the region by forming alliances and exercising influence across the region. With varying degrees of formality and publicity, Israel has expanded its network and formed alliances with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco. And this Israeli spread has been destabilizing both in terms of increasing weapons in the region and legitimizing and solidifying occupations.

Mar 22 07:21

Iranian FM Zarif Blasts EU for Asking Tehran to ‘Act Responsibly’ While Ignoring 'Israel’s Nukes'

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron asked Tehran to “act responsibly” and “stop exacerbating the thorny nuclear situation with multiple violations” of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal. Iran says it will return to its obligations under the JCPOA as soon as the United States lifts its illegal sanctions.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to blast the European signatories to the JCPOA (collectively known as the E3) over their public concern about Iran’s nuclear activities while ignoring Israel’s suspected nuclear arsenal.

“To appease a terrorist regime with illicit nukes, E3 urge Iran ‘to act responsibly’. Reality check: The JCPOA is alive SOLELY because of Iran’s responsible conduct,” Zarif wrote.

Mar 22 07:19

US warns China it will enforce sanctions on Iranian oil shipments: Report

The US has told China it will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil sales, as shipments from Tehran to Beijing surge.

A senior Biden administration official told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Iranian oil exports to China had been increasing "for some time now".

"We've told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions," the senior administration official told the newspaper. "There will be no tacit green light."

Still, the official noted that such sanctions could be waived during anticipated talks between the two countries over reviving the Iranian nuclear accord.

Mar 21 08:46

US Iran Envoy Says Trump’s Maximum Pressure Campaign Was a ‘Failure’

In an interview with BBC Persian on Wednesday, President Biden’s Iran envoy said the Trump administration’s Iran policy, known as the maximum pressure campaign, was a “failure.”

“The maximum pressure campaign has failed. It was a predicted failure. It hasn’t made life any better for the Iranian people … It hasn’t brought us any closer to this ‘better deal’ that President Trump spoke about,” said Robert Malley. “Maximum pressure should be a thing of the past.”

While Malley denounced Trump’s policies, the crippling economic sanctions left by the Trump administration are still in place. Malley even recognized that economic sanctions are hurting ordinary Iranians.

Mar 20 12:26

Iran, Russia and Turkey signal growing alliance

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was all smiles during a trip to Turkey on Friday. He said it was productive as he stood alongside his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. He said it was a “wonderful” trip where he spoke with his “brother Cavusoglu.” The trip signals the growing alliance that Turkey and Iran have in the region.

Zarif said “as before, constructive engagement on bilateral and regional issues. Ultimate aim: Apply Iran and Turkey's experience of 400 years of peace to our region. Together, anything is possible.”

Mar 20 06:51

Iran Prepares for Initial Testing of Arak Nuclear Reactor

Iran has informed the IAEA that they intend to conduct initial testing at the Arak heavy water reactor soon, with a focus on fluid and support systems. They did not set a specific day, but said it would be somewhat after Iranian new years, which is Sunday.

Iran designed Arak to replace the Tehran Research Reactor as a source of medical isotopes. The Iran nuclear deal saw Iran scrap that reactor in favor of an alternative design, and after substantial delay it seems ready for testing.

The testing could begin in days, and the expectation is that Iran could have the site fully active and operational later this year. This would finally resolve a long-standing concern about the age of Iran’s research reactor.

Mar 19 08:08

US warns China it will enforce sanctions on Iranian oil shipments: Report

The US has told China it will enforce Trump-era sanctions against Iranian oil sales, as shipments from Tehran to Beijing surge.

A senior Biden administration official told the Financial Times on Tuesday that Iranian oil exports to China had been increasing "for some time now".

"We've told the Chinese that we will continue to enforce our sanctions," the senior administration official told the newspaper. "There will be no tacit green light."

Still, the official noted that such sanctions could be waived during anticipated talks between the two countries over reviving the Iranian nuclear accord.

Mar 19 06:45

Afghanistan: How Long Must This Go On?

The United States military and mercenary forces need to leave Afghanistan now.
Note: Does anyone remember why we are there in the first place!
The Cactus Moon is crying!

Mar 17 07:08

Iran’s Defense Minister Says Country Must Prepare for Nuclear and Chemical Attacks

On Tuesday, Iran’s defense minister said the country must be prepared to face nuclear, chemical, and biological attacks.

“We should be prepared to defend our nation against all threats and whatever the enemy may one day use as an offensive tool, including chemical, nuclear and biological weapons,” said Gen. Amir Hatami, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.

Hatami made his comments on the 33rd anniversary of a chemical weapons attack by Saddam Hussein on Iraqi Kurds in Halabja, Iraq. During the Iran-Iraq war that raged from 1980 to 1988, Hussein frequently used chemical weapons against Iran, sometimes with US support.

Mar 16 07:55

Iran’s supposed threat to the U.S. is a scam

Some day historians will scratch their heads over the fact that for the better part of 20 years U.S. presidents were engaged as a leading foreign policy question in how to restrain Iran, a small country half the world away that has not attacked the U.S., that does not have nuclear weapons, that is the seat of ancient civilization, and whose contribution to regional instability doesn’t look any worse than Israel’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

It is hard to see any American interest at all in Iran, and yet four presidents have now expended an immense amount of political capital on the country.

Mar 16 07:30

Menendez is defying Biden over Iran because he owes his political life to Israel lobby and Saban

Last week it came out that New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was working to “sabotage” Joe Biden’s effort to return to the Iran deal even if he “risks setting the US on a course toward war with Iran.” And meantime, 70 Democrats in the House have signed a letter telling Biden that he shouldn’t reenter the Iran deal that the leading Israel lobby group “AIPAC was behind,” per J Street.

“Biden may already be taking a somewhat harder line on Iran in fear of Menendez’s wrath, Politico reported earlier this month.”

In that Politico article, two top Biden aides, national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, gave over-the-top praise of Menendez as a “sounding board” and “principled” guide, respectively.

Mar 16 07:29

Does the ‘NY Times’ prohibit its reporters from making the connection between U.S. hostility to Iran and Israel?

It’s become monotonous. The New York Times runs a report on U.S.-Iran relations, including the sparring over the nuclear deal — and the paper leaves out the Israel angle entirely. The latest example the other day was headlined: “Impasse Over Iran Nuclear Talks Sets Off International Scramble to Save Accord.”

The article, in addition to the U.S. and Iran, mentioned Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the European Union — but no Israel.

The reporter, Lara Jakes, is a veteran correspondent, with many years of experience, including in the Mideast. She didn’t just parachute into the story from covering town board meetings in Westchester County.

The Times’s editors are legendarily powerful, which raises the suspicion that 1) they either cut any reference to Israel, or 2) Jakes knew better than to include one.

Mar 16 07:27

Iran’s supposed threat to the U.S. is a scam Israel and its lobby promote to change the subject from Palestine

Some day historians will scratch their heads over the fact that for the better part of 20 years U.S. presidents were engaged as a leading foreign policy question in how to restrain Iran, a small country half the world away that has not attacked the U.S., that does not have nuclear weapons, that is the seat of ancient civilization, and whose contribution to regional instability doesn’t look any worse than Israel’s or Saudi Arabia’s.

It is hard to see any American interest at all in Iran, and yet four presidents have now expended an immense amount of political capital on the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 16 06:50

Biden Can Trigger A Regional War By Reviving The Nuclear Deal

The Biden administration, deep down, unfortunately seems to wish to forge ahead with its agenda to revive the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) -- also known as the Iran nuclear deal, which, incidentally, Iran never signed -- and subsequently to lift sanctions against Tehran.

Mar 16 06:22

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Inaugurates New Underground Ballistic 'Missile City'

At a moment the question of the Biden administration's reentry into the 2015 nuclear deal remains in doubt - despite the admin seeking to assure that "indirect diplomacy" is taking place through the Europeans - tensions are soaring in the region and the prospect of a major regional war between Israel, Iran and Syria is now greater than ever.

For starters, it appears Israel and Iran are engaged in a shadow war to sabotage each other's tankers in places like the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman. Signaling continued military preparations in this tit-for-tat saga which has witnessed what was for years a proxy battle fast becoming a more 'direct' confrontation, on Monday Iran's IRGC Navy unveiled a new underground missile base, video footage of which was featured in state media.

Mar 16 06:16

Israel behind mysterious attacks on Iranian oil tankers, report claims

THE ISRAELI INTELLIGENCE SERVICES are behind a series of mysterious attacks that have damaged Iranian oil tankers in the past 24 months, according to a new report that cites sources in the international shipping industry. The report, which appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal, cites a number of “shipping professionals” and “regional officials”, but does not name them.

The paper claims that the Israeli government decided to target the Iranian oil tankers after it concluded that Tehran uses the proceeds from oil sales to fund groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Most of the damaged ships were attempting to deliver oil to Syria in violation of a host of international sanctions against Iran, which are led by the United States. Washington appears to be quietly supporting the Israeli attacks on Iranian ships, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Mar 15 07:44

Pompeo: Biden To Erode U.S. National Security With Iran Deal

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Biden’s push to rejoin the failed deal with Iran would undermine U.S. national security.

“If this administration unwinds that and goes back to the deal that we had with Iran when President Obama was in office, America will be less secure. Israel will be less secure. The Middle East will be less secure,” Pompeo stated. “The entire region will be less stable.”

In Sunday’s interview, Pompeo said Iran’s ayatollah regime does not understand diplomacy and agreements and only understands strength. He added Biden’s attempts to negotiate with Iran will result in America being taken advantage of, yet again.

Mar 13 07:16

Iran, China propose plan to form coalition against sanctions

China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and others are seeking support for a coalition to defend the United Nations Charter by pushing back against the use or threat of force and unilateral sanctions, according to a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday.

The move by 16 countries and the Palestinians to create such a group comes as U.S. President Joe Biden’s new administration boosts its multilateral engagement and with allies, reversing former President Donald Trump’s favored unilateral approach as he focused on an “America First” policy.

Biden has also pledged to take on China at the United Nations, where Beijing has been pushing for greater global influence in a challenge to traditional U.S. leadership.

A concept note for the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations,” seen by Reuters, states that multilateralism “is currently under an unprecedented attack, which, in turn, threatens global peace and security.”

Mar 12 07:38

US Intelligence Reveals Israel Has Bombed "Dozens" Of Iranian Oil Tankers

All signs are currently pointing to serious escalation in the Middle East between Israel, Iran, and involving the United States - particularly after Israel's recent claim of an Iranian sponsored attack on an Israeli-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Oman two weeks ago.

Signaling the likelihood that another red hot 'tanker war' is set for regional waters within the upcoming months, a new bombshell report in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reveals Israeli intelligence has been waging its own tanker sabotage campaign against the Iranians over the past two years, in order to thwart what Tel Aviv believes are illegal oil shipments that result in funds for terror groups.

"Israel has targeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East, US and regional officials say, in a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran," the WSJ writes.

Mar 12 06:41

Israel Has Been Attacking Iranian Ships Carrying Oil to Syria With Divers and Mines

Israel has ta rgeted at least a dozen vessels bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil out of concern that petroleum profits are funding extremism in the Middle East, U.S. and regional officials say, in a new front in the conflict between Israel and Iran.

Since late 2019, Israel has used weaponry including water mines to strike Iranian vessels or those carrying Iranian cargo as they navigate toward Syria in the Red Sea and in other areas of the region. Iran has continued its oil trade with Syria, shipping millions of barrels and contravening U.S. sanctions against Iran and international sanctions against Syria.

Some of the naval attacks also have targeted Iranian efforts to move other cargo including weaponry through the region, according to U.S. officials.

The attacks on the tankers carrying Iranian oil haven’t been previously disclosed. Iranian officials have reported some of the attacks earlier and have said they suspect Israeli involvement.

Mar 11 09:07

The Power to Make War

Congress needs to prohibit absolutely the unauthorized presidential expenditure of money and deployment of armed personnel on any nondefensive violent actions. I say “personnel” rather than “military” because modern presidents have often used the CIA to fight wars and argued that because those wars did not involve the military, no congressional approval or notification was needed. -- Congress should criminalize such presidential violence and the expenditures of resources to support it, as it is a crime to kill without lawful authority. And Congress should call nondefensive killings — by the government or anyone — by their legal name: Murder.

Mar 10 08:05

US extends national emergency on Iran

In a letter to the leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives Friday, President Joe Biden extended the United States’ national emergency with respect to Iran which began in 1995 for one more year.

Biden warned that the actions and policies of the Government of Iran — including its proliferation and development of missiles and other asymmetric and conventional weapons capabilities, its network and campaign of regional aggression, its support for terrorist groups, and the malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates — continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.

Mar 10 07:18

Israel updates plan for military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites

Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in an interview with Fox News that his country is updating plans for military strikes on Iran’s nuclear sites.

The defense minister has stated that Israel has drawn up plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran shows signs of nuclear escalation.

Benny Gantz told Fox News that Israel is still working on its plans, but “we have them in our hands of course”.

He showed a map of Lebanon that he said includes ground forces, missiles and launching sites set up by Iranian proxy forces along the border.

“This is a target map. Each one of them has been checked legally, operationally, intelligence-wise and we are ready to fight,” Gantz said.

Mar 10 07:17

Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, in sadistic sanctions manual

The Joseph Biden administration has named Richard Nephew as its deputy Iran envoy. As the former principal deputy coordinator of sanctions policy for Barack Obama’s State Department, Nephew took personal credit for depriving Iranians of food, sabotaging their automobile industry, and driving up unemployment rates.

Nephew has described the destruction of Iran’s economy as “a tremendous success,” and lamented during a visit to Russia that food was still plentiful in the country’s capital despite mounting US sanctions.

Nephew’s appointment to a senior diplomatic post suggests that rather than immediately returning to the JCPOA nuclear deal, the Biden administration will finesse sanctions illegally imposed by Trump to pressure Iran into an onerous, reworked agreement that Tehran is unlikely to join.

Mar 08 08:03

Video reveals Israel’s lies about Iran’s involvement in ship incident in Sea of Oman

A new video released by Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen news network has belied recent Israeli allegations that Iran was behind an explosion that damaged an Israeli ship in the Sea of Oman last week, showing that there has been actually no attack on the ship from the outside.

Al-Mayadeen reported that Iranian drones recorded the footage, which shows the ship that was allegedly attacked on February 26 in the Sea of Oman, was not actually targeted from the outside.

The footage shows that the holes created in the sides of the Israeli ship “were not created by an external attack, but some individuals inside the ship created the holes in order to indicate that the ship was attacked,” the news network reported.

Mar 08 07:56

Gantz says Israel has list of Iran-backed targets ready to strike

Israel’s defence minister has said that his country has drawn up plans to strike Iranian targets if Tehran shows signs of nuclear escalation.

Benny Gantz told Fox News that Israel is still working on its plans, but “we have them in our hands of course”.

Mar 08 07:43

No negotiation will take place between Iran, US before all sanctions removed: Source tells Press TV

There will be no negotiations between Iran and the United States on any matter before Washington removes all illegal sanctions it has unilaterally imposed on Tehran, an informed security source tells Press TV.

The security source, which talked to Press TV on condition of anonymity on Sunday, noted that the Western countries’ interpretation of recent remarks by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif about a new plan for negotiations with the United States are erroneous and no such plan exists.

“The idea of a step-by-step plan for starting talks between Iran and the United States has been rejected at the highest levels of the Islamic Republic and there will be no contact between Iran and the US before sanctions are removed,” the security official added.

Mar 04 06:49

Israel accuses Iran of ‘environmental terrorism’ over oil spill off its coast, warns culprits ‘must pay price’

The Israeli government has said Iran is behind a recent oil spill off Israel’s coast which caused huge ecological damage and has been described as one of the worst such pollution incidents in Israel’s history.

Israel's Environment Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said on Wednesday that Israeli officials had identified a Libyan-owned oil tanker, called Emerald and allegedly carrying pirated cargo, which had sailed from Iran out of the Persian Gulf and up the Suez Canal last month.

Speaking at a news briefing, the minister said that the Panama-flagged vessel had turned off its radios for nearly 24 hours and had polluted the sea between February 1 and 2.

“Iran is [conducting] terrorism by damaging the environment, and [when] Iran is damaging the environment it isn't just hurting the state of Israel,” she said.

Mar 02 10:18

Iran condemns U.S. strikes in Syria, denies attacks in Iraq

Iran on Saturday condemned U.S. air strikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria, and denied responsibility for rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq that prompted Friday’s strikes.

Washington said its strikes on positions of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary group along the Iraq border were in response to the rocket attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq.

Western officials and some Iraqi officials have blamed those attacks on Iran-backed groups.

However, Tehran has denied any involvement.

Mar 02 10:17

Illegal US bases train terrorists in Syria: Iran Foreign Ministry

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has condemned recent attacks on areas east of Syria by US troops, saying the illegal bases run by American forces in the country are used to train terrorists for later use against the government in Damascus.

“Illegal American bases on the Syrian soil are training terrorists and using them as a means [against the Damascus government],” Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Sunday.

Recent military activities under the new US administration blatantly violate Syria’s territorial integrity and international law, which would intensify clashes and fuel instability in the region, the Iranian official said.

“These attacks, which were in the continuation of the Zionist regime’s constant acts of aggression against the Syrian territory, have been carried out after American forces illegally entered Syria over the past few years and occupied parts of its soil and plundered its natural resources, including oil, which is an absolute right of the Syrian people.”

Feb 28 09:12

Iran to delete IAEA cameras’ data if US sanctions not lifted: Salehi

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) says recordings from monitoring equipment that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) installed at the country’s nuclear sites will be deleted if the United States does not lift its unilateral sanctions within the next three months.

Ali-Akbar Salehi said, “Now, the IAEA does not have the right to access surveillance cameras for up to 3 months, and if the sanctions are not lifted, the information recorded by the cameras will be deleted and cameras will be uninstalled. The agency issues a report every three months, so we gave it a chance.”

Salehi made the remarks on Friday, four days after Iran stopped the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Safeguards Treaty, which stipulates enhanced international access to nuclear sites and snap inspections by the IAEA.

Feb 28 08:44

Biden Bombs Syria: A New World Record?

Biden coming out of the gate with bombs blazing should be of little surprise to those who have watched his early foreign policy appointments. For example, he tapped noted neocon and aggressive interventionist Dana Stroul to head his Middle East Desk at the Pentagon and no doubt this airstrike at least indirectly reflects her influence and that of many others like her who have taken up positions in the Biden Administration.

Feb 28 07:21

Israel Says Iran Behind Blast On Israeli-Owned Ship In 'Initial Assessment'

Israel is blaming Iran for the Thursday incident in the Gulf of Oman wherein a cargo vessel owned by an Israeli businessman was hit by a 'mystery' explosion, forcing it to divert to the nearest port after sustaining severe damage.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has announced as part of an "initial assessment" that Tel Aviv believes Iran was behind a bomb attack on the car-carrier vessel, identified as the Helios Ray. Suspicion of Iran's involvement has been rampant in Israeli media since the blast. However, there's yet to be definitive proof or evidence that either a state actor or terrorist elements were involved, much less any specific details released to the public.

"Iran is looking to hit Israeli infrastructure and Israeli citizens. The location of the ship in relative close proximity to Iran raises the notion, the assessment, that it is the Iranians," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This reeks of a false-flag attack. Nobody on the ship was injured and the ship itself did not sink.

Feb 26 07:28

Republicans introduce bill opposing lifting Iran sanctions

Republican Senator Tom Cotton and more than 40 other lawmakers have introduced bicameral legislation that opposes the lifting of sanctions on Iran, highlighting partisan disapproval of President Joe Biden's calls to return to the 2015 nuclear deal.

The resolution, which was led by Cotton in the Senate and Congressman Mike Gallagher in the House, "rejects and opposes the reapplication of sanctions relief, including the use of waivers, de-listing individuals or entities".

It also opposes reversing the finding that Iran is a jurisdiction of "primary money laundering" and reversing a ban that keeps Iran from accessing the US financial system.

Feb 25 19:12

Biden Regime Launches Air Strike in Syria - Moves to Stay in Iraq 'Forever'

The Biden regime has only been in power for one month and they're already bombing Syria.

Feb 25 13:49

Netanyahu: Israel will prevent a nuclear Iran whether or not a deal is in place

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday vowed Israel would prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, regardless of whether a multilateral accord is in place to prevent Tehran from doing so.

The comments came hours after Iranian state TV reported that the Islamic Republic has officially begun restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities.

“On the eve of the Purim holiday, I say to those who seek to harm us — Iran and its proxies in the Middle East: 2,500 years ago, another Persian tyrant tried to destroy the Jewish people and just as he failed then – you too will fail,” Netanyahu said at a memorial ceremony in the northern town of Tel Hai, referencing the Purim story.

Feb 25 07:53

Iran: Israel’s expansion of Dimona nuclear site threatens global security

Iran’s permanent ambassador to the UN office in Geneva has raised the alarm at the Israeli regime’s quiet expansion of its highly-secretive Dimona nuclear facility in the Negev Desert, renewing the call for the “irreversible destruction” of nuclear weapons by the possessors of such internationally-banned arms.

Addressing the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in Geneva on Wednesday Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh said that Israel’s reported attempts to expand facilities that the regime uses to build nuclear bombs are a big threat to regional and international peace and security.

He was reacting to newly-released satellite images, which have revealed that the Israeli regime — the sole possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East — is conducting “significant” constructive activities at the Dimona nuclear facility.

Feb 23 08:34

Ayatollah Khamenei Says Iran Might Pull Trigger On 60% Uranium Enrichment

With all eyes on the big question of whether Iran and the United States will actually sit down at the same table in EU-sponsored talks to restore the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal (JCPOA), Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has just upped the ante with statements that surely also raised the alarm in Tel Aviv.

Khamenei declared on Monday that Tehran might continue enriching uranium up to 60% - which would blow far past the current 20% and put the country on the cusp of being able to produce a nuclear weapon. He further vowed the Islamic Republic will "never" yield to US pressure over what Iran has long claimed is actually a peaceful nuclear energy program.

Feb 23 08:03

Blinken: US Wants to ‘Strengthen’ Iran Nuclear Deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that the US will work to “lengthen and strengthen” the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, and reiterated the Biden administration’s stance on the agreement.

“President Biden has said: if Iran comes back into strict compliance with the JCPOA, the United States is prepared to do the same,” Blinken said in a pre-recorded speech for a UN-sponsored disarmament conference in Geneva.

“We will also seek to lengthen and strengthen the JCPOA and address other areas of concern, including Iran’s destabilizing regional behavior and ballistic missile development and proliferation,” he said.

While the Biden administration has said it is willing to talk with Iran about the deal, Blinken and other officials continue to make additional demands. But Iranian officials have been clear that before the US lifts sanctions to comply with the JCPOA, Iran has no interest in a stricter agreement.

Feb 23 07:52

Obama Officials Reportedly Negotiated With Iran During Trump Term to Spoil Latter's Diplomacy

The administration of former US President Donald Trump depicted a hard-line approach toward Iran, elevating tensions with the Islamic republic to unprecedented levels. In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), quickly introducing a severe sanction regime on Iran’s banking and oil sales.

Former Obama officials held face-to-face meetings with the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in the middle of worsening US-Iranian relations under the Trump administration to “undermine” the latter's team, The Washington Post reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed former senior US official.

According to the newspaper, the alternative diplomatic channel also served to lay the foundation for a future US administration that made clear its intention to rehabilitate relations with Iran and revive the JCPOA nuclear agreement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That's a violation of the Logan Act!

Feb 22 11:22

Neo-Ottoman Turkey signals sweeping regional ambitions

James Dorsey analyses the significance of a recent broadcast by a Turkish TV station with close ties to President Erdogan depicting Turkey's sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe, through Libya, the Gulf and the Levant, and to the Caucasus and Central Asia.>>

Feb 21 07:43

Press TV interviews Zarif: Talks will begin once US, JCPOA signatories return to compliance

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has told Press TV in an exclusive interview that the Islamic Republic will be open to negotiations on reviving the historic 2015 nuclear accord once all signatories begin fulfilling their obligations.

The senior diplomat made the remarks to Press TV’s Marzieh Hashemi on Sunday.

He also said US President Joe Biden has spurned predecessor Donald Trump’s Iran policy in words, but has so far pursued the same course of action in practice.

"Nothing has changed. Biden claims that Trump's policy of maximum pressure was maximum failure... But for all practical purposes, they are pursuing the same policy," he said.

Feb 21 07:31

Arguing in favor of Iran deal, 2 ex-officers refuse to fall in behind Netanyahu

They are both politicians, both ex-army officials with deep security credentials who have served on the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and both are on the front line of opposition to the Iran nuclear deal resistance spearheaded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a political climate in which nearly the entire mainstream has fallen in line behind Netanyahu on the Iran nuclear issue, Meretz MK Yair Golan and likely future Labor MK Omer Bar-Lev stand out as those likely to lead the charge in challenging the prime minister’s tactics.

Six years ago, as the Barack Obama administration was at the height of talks with Iran to put together the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, barely any of Israel’s senior government or political figures dared to question Netanyahu’s strident opposition to the agreement.

Feb 21 07:29

US seeks ‘fallback’ Saudi bases in case of Iranian escalation

US Army Central Command chief says military looking to operate from other bases during ‘a period of heightened risk’; no plan to shut down existing ones

The US military is looking for fallback bases in Saudi Arabia to prevent its troops deployed there from becoming obvious targets in the event of tensions with Iran, a senior US military official said Thursday.

“We are not looking for new bases. I want to be clear on that,” said General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Army Central Command (CENTCOM), during a tour of the Middle East.

“What we would like to do, without shutting down these [current] bases …. is to have the ability to go to other bases to operate in a period of heightened risk,” he explained.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA