Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

Monday, May 06, 2024

Side Effects of Iran's Retaliatory Strike on Israel: Iraqi Kurdistan now wants security talks in Iran after years of tensions

    Monday, May 06, 2024   No comments

It may escape many, but the connection between Iran’s strike on Israel in retaliation for the latter’s attack on its diplomatic building in Syria is forcing many of Iran’s neighbors to pay attention to Iran

First, there were the media reports that revealed that UAE asked the US not to use any of its assets in the country to attack Iran or its assets in the region. US government moved military equipment to Qatar, which will be under renewed pressure also to make similar demand given its proximity to Iran. UAE demand from US make it a neutral party in any military confrontation in the region which would devastate its economic standing and the infrastructure it has built for decades. Simply put: UAE, and Dubai in particular, have built too many glass buildings for it to through stones at its neighbors or to allow others to throw stones from inside UAE.

Now, comes Iraqi Kurdistan: for years, they benefited from the shield provided to them by the US military and ignored Iran’s requests to reign in armed factions operating from its territories. Iran has struck Kurdish regions in the past; but now that Iran struck US bases in Iraq four years ago and Israel targets weeks ago, Kurdish leaders are reaching out to Iranian leaders to seek security arrangements.

The President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), Nechirvan Barzani, visited Tehran on 6 May for security talks with Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. 

During the meeting, Raisi stressed the necessity of disarming groups hostile to the Islamic Revolution and not having them present on Iraqi territory.

Raisi stated, “We expect the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government [KRG] to categorically prevent any exploitation of the region’s soil against Iran by the Israeli enemy and anti-revolutionary elements.”

The relationship between Tehran and Erbil has been strained by Kurdish militant groups that use the KRG as a base to attack Iran, and Iranian claims that Israel’s intelligence service, the Mossad, maintains covert bases in the Kurdish region.

Iran has struck Kurdish militant training camps and Mossad headquarters, including in Erbil, with missiles in the past year.


The Iranian president explained that “Iran has no objection to expanding cooperation with the Iraqi Kurdistan region on security grounds,” adding, “We consider the long border between the two sides to be a valuable opportunity to improve the level of relations, but security is the basis for any cooperation or development in relations.”

Barzani expressed his commitment to the entire security agreement between Iran and Iraq.

He stated that “respect for our relations with Iran and its support for us in difficult times is a red line that we will not cross.”

Dilshad Shahab, the spokesperson for the Kurdistan Region presidency, said that President Barzani wants to reaffirm to Erbil’s allies that the IKR will never become a source of threat to the interests of its neighbors, especially Iran.

“It is no secret that there has been a kind of coldness in these [Erbil–Tehran] relations in recent times; we want to be assured that the common interests of both sides outweigh the obstacles that may arise,” Shahab told Rudaw’s Sangar Abdulrahman.

During his visit to Tehran, Barzani met with a number of Iranian officials, led by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei.

Saturday, May 04, 2024

The foreign ministers of Iran and Egypt discuss developments in the region and efforts to stop the genocide in the Gaza Strip

    Saturday, May 04, 2024   No comments

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian affirmed their countries' complete rejection of the Israeli occupation's ground military operations in Rafah.

During their meeting in Gambia, on the sidelines of the Islamic Summit Conference, the two sides discussed the latest developments in the region, especially the situation in Palestine and the Gaza Strip, and the current efforts to stop the crimes of the occupying entity against the Palestinian people, in addition to discussing the latest developments in their efforts to improve bilateral relations.

 In this context, Amir Abdullahian thanked Egypt for its efforts to stop the genocide in the Gaza Strip, reiterated his country’s readiness to send humanitarian aid, and called on Cairo to facilitate matters in this area.

 The Iranian minister also appreciated Egypt's condemnation of the Israeli aggression against the Iranian consulate in Syria. The exchange of delegations between religious institutions in Iran and Egypt was considered beneficial for bilateral relations, based on the agreement of the presidents of the two countries.

 In turn, Shoukry hoped that the ongoing political efforts within the framework of the negotiations would lead to stopping the war and realizing the rights of the Palestinian people, reiterating his condemnation of Israel’s targeting of the Iranian consulate in Syria.

 Shoukry also welcomed the implementation of an agreement between the presidents of Iran and Egypt to exchange delegations between religious institutions, stressing Al-Azhar’s determination to engage in dialogue between sects and strengthen popular and tourism relations.

 He pointed out that his country "attaches great importance to dialogue and continuing contacts with Iran, considering the two countries are great civilizations."

 In conclusion, the two ministers expressed their hope that holding the Islamic Cooperation Summit in Gambia will strengthen the solidarity and unity of the Islamic world in supporting the Palestinian people and resolving the region’s issues and problems.

The meeting was conformed by Egyptian Foriegn Ministry spokesperson who released a statement saying,

Sameh Shoukry meets with his Iranian counterpart, Amir Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the activities of the 15th session of the Islamic Summit Conference...The two sides touched upon the most important topics on the summit’s agenda, most notably the ongoing war in Gaza and ways to end the war and alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people.


Monday, April 22, 2024

Media Review: “Anxiety and painful waiting.” What did the White House witness while anticipating the Iranian response?

    Monday, April 22, 2024   No comments

The Wall Street Journal wrote, in a lengthy report, about what the White House witnessed in the United States on the night of the Iranian response to the Israeli attack on Iranian diplomatic mission in Syria, covering what preceded that night and what followed.

Under the title “Inside the White House’s frantic scramble to avoid a comprehensive war in the Middle East,” the newspaper confirmed that what it described as the “painful wait” during the Iranian response was one of the tense moments, in a crisis that lasted 19 days, experienced by the US President, Joe Biden, and his security team. The nationalist.

Biden and his administration officials found themselves “uninformed or unsure of what both Iran and Israel are planning at critical times,” during that waiting period, according to the newspaper.

The matter began with an aggression launched by the occupation against the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, without consulting the United States, and ended with an American-European alliance, with Arab participation, that mobilized to confront the Iranian response, and American calls to “Israel” to avoid launching another attack.

The Wall Street Journal returned in its report to April 1, the day the crisis erupted due to Israel’s targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, and its assassination of the commander of the Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

The newspaper indicated that an Israeli official alerted his American counterpart that the strike was underway, only a few minutes before the raid, while officials in Washington said that the warnings did not include any information about the targeted party, or the site that was struck.

Following the aggression on Damascus, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, the Israeli “defense attaché” in the White House, the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, and other senior White House officials held a video meeting with Israeli officials, according to what was reported. The newspaper.

Shortly after learning of the strike on the consulate, the White House also learned of another Israeli attack that targeted a relief team affiliated with the “Global Central Kitchen.”

Following this, and specifically on the 4th of this month, Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “in a tense phone call,” that “international support for Israel is declining,” after the relief team was targeted, according to officials.

Biden told Netanyahu that “Israel needs to allow more humanitarian aid to enter and reduce losses among Palestinian civilians,” adding that his country “will judge Israel based on its actions,” according to what the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

But, at the same time, he assured the Israeli Prime Minister that Washington supports Tel Aviv against Tehran. In this context, Biden ordered the US Department of Defense to “intensify its efforts to protect Israel,” and the US Army activated top-secret plans to assist it in crises.

On the 10th of next month, while Biden was hosting the Japanese Prime Minister at the White House, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin pulled him aside in order to obtain a permit allowing the redirection of the destroyer USS Carney, which was heading at the time towards its main port. In Florida.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the USS Carney joined another American destroyer, the USS Arleigh Burke, in the eastern Mediterranean, near Israel, so that there was sufficient capacity to track missiles coming to the region and shoot them down. , using SM-3 interceptor missiles, which had not been used before to shoot down a ballistic missile in combat.

The USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier, located in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, was also moved near Israel in a way that would be able to launch combat aircraft.

In addition, a team of American military personnel secretly went to Tel Aviv, with the aim of working in the missile defense operations center, with their Israeli counterparts, according to what the newspaper reported.

With the expectation that Iran would use drones, a large force of F-15E fighter aircraft arrived in the region, where other F-16 aircraft stationed in the region also participated. In addition, plans have been made for Saudi and Jordanian aircraft, as reported by the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Biden's senior aides made phone calls, imploring other governments to ask Iran not to respond. CIA Director William Burns also asked his counterparts in European intelligence services, the capitals of the Middle East and Turkey to urge Iran to refrain from responding, according to the newspaper.

On the 11th of this month, the Supreme Commander of the US Central Command, Michael Corella, arrived in Israel. While Kurella wanted to remain in Israel during the Iranian response, the Defense Minister ordered him to leave, “for fear that Washington would appear complicit in any Israeli attack.”

Instead of participating from within the occupied territories, Kurella continued to participate in the deliberations from Jordan, according to what was reported by the Wall Street Journal.

By the time Biden arrived in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on the evening of April 12 for the weekend, the Iranian response was coming into focus, and “Biden suddenly returned to Washington, D.C., that evening,” according to the newspaper.


Anticipation prevailed among Biden and his national security team on the 13th of this month, as anxiety increased among observers in the White House Situations Room, coinciding with the appearance of 30 Iranian ballistic missiles heading towards “Israel”, then 60 missiles, then more than 100 missiles.

Iranian cruise missiles and a squadron of drones were also in the air, and their arrival at their targets was timed to coincide with the arrival of the ballistic missiles.

As the Iranian response began, on the night of Saturday and Sunday, American officials in the Situation Room and the Pentagon tracked the three waves of weapons that left Iranian airspace, crossed Iraq and Jordan, and headed towards “Israel.”

According to what the Wall Street Journal quoted officials in the US administration, the scale of the response was a shock to them, despite the advance warning they received, as a senior official expressed his belief that the level of response was “higher than expected.”


In the face of this massive barrage of Iranian missiles and drones, Biden and his aides feared that the reinforced defenses that they, along with the Israelis, had spent more than a week preparing would be overwhelmed, according to what the Wall Street Journal confirmed.

Later, American officials said that the scale of the Iranian response, which represented Tehran’s most direct attack on “Israel” ever, “matches the worst scenarios of American spy agencies,” according to the newspaper.

Following the Iranian response, the White House “is seeking to restrain its ally,” according to what the Wall Street Journal indicated.

In this context, the newspaper indicated that Biden and Netanyahu had an extensive phone call, in which Biden advised the Israeli Prime Minister, who was with the “war government,” to “think about his next step carefully, and win” (referring to American attempts to mitigate the impact of The Iranian response to “Israel” and preventing the latter from launching an attack that would expand the war).

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Media Matters: Clash of views about Gaza, Palestine, human rights abuses, and Iranian retaliation on attack on its diplomatic mission in Syria

    Sunday, April 21, 2024   No comments

One of the most representative clashes between two worldviews: Iranian worldview versus Western worldview as represented in Piers Morgan's interview, debate with Iranian Professor Seyed Mohammad Marandi.


Morgan repeating the fabricated story of 40 babies beheaded by Hamas, to justify to mass killings in Gaza, and Mirandi referencing the investigative journalists and NGO reports that challenged the narrative of beheadings, and finding that Israeli forces have committed sexual violence and torture against Palestinians, turned Morgan flustered and rude. 

The interview is available on a number of Internet sites, and embedded from a couple of sites below.

  

Qatar's threat to abandon mediation between Hamas and Israel opens the door for an increased role for Iran and Turkey

    Sunday, April 21, 2024   No comments

With Qatar announcing its intention to re-evaluate the mediation role it plays between Hamas and Israel and the US pressure on Qatar to force it to coerce Hamas to accept the deal of face terrorism charges for its fund transferred to Hamas, other states opened their door to Hamas political leaders.

After Iran's official reception of Palestinian leaders, now Turkish leaders formally welcomed the head of Hamas in Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's reception of the head of the political bureau of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Ismail Haniyeh, on Saturday sparked the anger of Israeli politicians and newspapers.

 It also signals an end or a diminished roles for Qatar and Egypt in any future negotiations to not only end the war, but also to arrange for post war Gaza and Palestine. It also reveals new realignments and emerging future coalitions in the new Middle East, after Jordan participated in the first direct military confrontation between Iran and Israel--as noted by some observers.

Andreas Craig, an expert on Middle East affairs at King's College in London, pointed out that Doha played a "decisive role" in concluding the truce last November, and it is "dissatisfied that everyone, especially Israel, does not acknowledge this."

However, in his opinion, it is unlikely that it will “withdraw from mediation efforts” after it “took control of the relationship” with Hamas, and he said that Qatar is “indispensable” in mediation efforts.

Qatar has become the main communication channel with Hamas, which has maintained its political office in Doha since 2012.

On the other hand, Dorsey believes that “if Qatar withdraws from the talks, it will be subject to more pressure to expel Hamas from its lands.”

The expert wondered if the political office moved to Iran: “To whom will the Americans and Israelis turn to reach Hamas?”

Unlike Jordan, which admitted to shooting down Iran's missile heading to targets in Israel, Turkey, despite it being a member of NATO, came strong in refuting any insinuation that it participated in the interception of the missiles. 

The Anti-Disinformation Center of the Turkish Presidency’s Communications Department said in a statement on Saturday evening that the allegations in this regard “do not reflect reality.”

The statement pointed out that the allegations related to the radar base in Koracik, which were circulated following Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with the head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, on Saturday, had previously been denied by the Anti-Disinformation Center.

The statement stressed that “the allegations are baseless, and were deliberately put forward for circulation again.”

“Information taken from the radar system in Koracek is only shared with Allies within the framework of NATO procedures,” the statement read.

He stressed that “it is not possible to share this information with countries that are not NATO allies, such as Israel.”

He added: “Turkey has always stood by the just cause of our Palestinian brothers and will continue to do so in all circumstances,” and stressed the need not to pay attention to “misinformation campaigns.”


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Pakistan: Iran has the right to respond to the targeting of its consulate in Damascus

    Wednesday, April 17, 2024   No comments

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif stressed - today, Tuesday - that Iran has the right to respond to the Israeli raid that targeted the consular section of the Tehran embassy in Damascus, commenting on the Iranian attack that targeted Israel last Saturday in response to the bombing of its consulate.

Asif warned that the growing tension in the region may affect other countries, including Pakistan, and believed that the furnace of war may spread to countries that support Israel, in his speech to Pakistan's Geo News TV.

He stressed that his country does not want tensions to escalate in the region, but stressed that the genocide committed by Israel against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip must stop.

On the other hand, the minister stressed that his country is in a position that allows it to complete the natural gas pipeline project with Iran, and that it is determined to do so.

He stated that Pakistan is extending the part of the pipeline extending from the Jaffdar region to the Iranian border on its territory.

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is scheduled to visit Pakistan on April 22, according to Pakistani media.

The first flow of Iranian gas to Pakistan was expected to begin in January 2015 after the two countries agreed on this, but no progress was made on the pipeline due to international sanctions against Iran and opposition from the United States.


Monday, April 15, 2024

Israeli media: Israeli politicians should thank Jordan; Jordan summons Iran's ambassador to protest

    Monday, April 15, 2024   No comments

Some Israeli media outlets want Jordan to be thanked for standing with Israel during Iran's retaliatory strike for the attack on its diplomatic facilities in Syria. These recent developments are forcing many regional and global actors to make tough decisions and the effects of those decisions may not be felt or known immediately, testifying to the power of these events as transformative ones. 

"While Netanyahu shows nothing but ingratitude towards Biden, the Iranian attack produced the most significant show of support in the history of Israeli-U.S. relations. It also proves the importance of a regional alliance of moderates, including the Palestinians." said the daily Haaretz.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Iranian ambassador in Amman and asked his country to stop “questioning” Jordan’s positions on the Palestinian issue after the Kingdom announced the interception of “flying objects” during the Iranian attack on Israel.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said, “Today (Sunday) the ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador and sent him a clear message that these insults to Jordan must stop, and this questioning of Jordan’s positions must stop.”

He added, "Unfortunately, there were offensive statements (against Jordan) by the Iranian media, including the Iranian official news agency."

Al-Safadi explained that "Iran's problem is with Israel and not with Jordan, and neither Iran nor anyone else can outbid what Jordan is doing, what it offers, and what it has provided historically for Palestine."

He stressed that "if this danger was coming from Israel, Jordan would take the same action it did, and this is a position we confirm clearly and frankly, and we will not allow anyone to endanger the security of Jordan and the Jordanians."

Jordan confirmed on Sunday that it had intercepted "flying objects" that violated its airspace on Saturday night, coinciding with the missile and drone attack launched by Iran on Israel.

Video clips showed the interception of objects in the Kingdom's airspace during the night, at a time when the remains of at least one missile fell in the Marj Al-Hamam area in the Jordanian capital. Users of social media platforms in the Kingdom also shared video clips showing the wreckage of another missile in the Al-Hasa area in the Tafila Governorate in the south of the Kingdom.

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday night, in the first attack launched by Iran directly from its territory on Israel, and not through groups loyal to it. It came in response to a missile attack that targeted the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus at the beginning of this April.

Related, French President Emmanuel Macron revealed on Monday that his country used its base in Jordan to intercept Iranian air targets during the attack on Israel, at the request of the Jordanian authorities.

The French President said, in a television interview, that his country's forces stationed in Jordan intercepted Iranian drones and missiles that were heading to Israeli sites, explaining that the French planes were launched from a French base that has been on Jordanian territory for years.

Yesterday, Sunday, the Jordanian government announced that it was “dealing with some flying objects” that entered the country’s airspace, in reference to the drones and missiles that Iran launched against “Israel.”

Israeli media described the Jordanian move as “historic cooperation,” adding that “for the first time, military cooperation between the two parties is taking place publicly.”

Iranian official: Jordan opening its airspace to Israel against Iran is a strategic mistake

Mehr News Agency quoted the Deputy Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Shura Council, Shahriar Heydari, as saying, “The Jordanian government’s opening of its country’s airspace to the Zionists to confront Iranian attacks is a strategic mistake.”


Haidari added, "At least Jordan could have remained silent or even supported Iran's legitimate defense against the Zionist entity."

These statements come after the Jordanian Foreign Ministry announced - last Sunday - that it had summoned the Iranian ambassador to Amman, and asked his country to stop “questioning” Jordan’s positions on the Palestinian issue after the Kingdom announced the interception of “flying objects” during the Iranian attack on Israel.

Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said at the time, “Unfortunately, there were offensive statements (against Jordan) by the Iranian media, including the Iranian official news agency.”

He added, "Iran's problem is with Israel, not with Jordan. Neither Iran nor anyone else can outbid what Jordan is doing, what it is offering, and what it has provided historically for Palestine."

He stressed that "if this danger was coming from Israel, Jordan would take the same action it did, and this is a position we confirm clearly and frankly, and we will not allow anyone to endanger the security of Jordan and the Jordanians."

 The decision by the rulers of Jordan to be involved in this conflict may further increase division among Jordanians, many of whom either sympathize with Palestinians or are Palestinians themselves, as the kingdom is home to one of the largest displaced Palestinian communities in the world.


Media review: Is Iran's first retaliatory attack on Israel really a failure?

    Monday, April 15, 2024   No comments

The French newspaper "Le Figaro" argues that the effectiveness of the "Dahiya Doctrine" had already ended, after the Iranian attack, which targeted "Israel."


The “Dahiya Doctrine” is an Israeli military strategy adopted by the occupation in all its wars, since 2006, and takes its name from the systematic destruction of the southern suburb of Beirut during the July 2006 aggression. It includes the use of firepower disproportionate to the source of the threat, and leveling the entire infrastructure to the ground. With the aim of making the popular incubator pay the price for the choices of the resistance leadership, and turning it against them.

The newspaper saw that “the image of the state, which cannot be touched, and which commands respect because it intimidates others,” in turn, after the attack on “Israel,” was hanging by a thread.

The French newspaper said, "After Hamas's direct attack on Israel, on October 7, and for the second time in less than one year, more of Israel's enemies are crossing the difficult borders, ignoring the potential consequences, and this time it is Iran's turn."

The newspaper noted that “Tel Aviv woke up groggy on Sunday morning,” and that millions of Israelis spent a sleepless night, due to the impact of Iranian weapons explosions.

"Le Figaro" confirmed that the Israelis are not naive, and that their confidence in their government was basically limited, and that for them the matter is more important than launching 200 missiles from Iranian territory towards "Israel."

The newspaper pointed out that "Israel" and the Americans must quickly return to the land, instead of continuing to blindly believe in their invincible ability, noting that "Western branches in the Middle East are in danger."

"Le Figaro" confirmed that "Israel's security" has never been threatened to this extent since "its establishment in 1948, and its strong support from the United States."

In a comment carrying a sarcastic tone against the head of the occupation government, Benjamin Netanyahu, the newspaper saw that he believed that he would emerge as the “new Goliath” that the entire region fears after October 7, despite the hostility of the world, including the White House itself, But he is now "the person who was in power when Iran fearlessly struck Israel for the first time."


The newspaper reminded that, regardless of even its nuclear program, Iran is the first military power in the Gulf, and its army is one of the strongest armies in the region, in terms of human resources and weapons, with 350,000 soldiers and 350,000 reserve soldiers.

She saw that while Iran has traditionally been criticized for the weakness of its army, the slap directed at “Israel” has completely reshuffled the cards, stressing that this is an absolute success for Tehran, and it is right to consider it as such, and that Tel Aviv is afraid and that there is a reason for that.

The newspaper stressed that Iran clearly demonstrated its ability, by making this attack a large-scale test of the worst that could happen, stressing that “the unpleasant truth is clear: since the beginning of the rumors about its possible intervention, Iran has not shown any weakness, but on the contrary, "She showed incredible strength."

The newspaper said that the Iranian attack represented a tremendous strategic success in all respects, and that “Israel” is no longer the only one that is deeply afraid of Iran, but there are Western and Arab capitals that completely understood the message.

The newspaper confirmed that the world with Biden is worse than before, and that his weakness has led to the liberation of the regimes most hostile to his global hegemony, adding that it is not certain that the return of Donald Trump now will change anything.

The newspaper concluded by saying: “In less than five years, Russia, China, and now Iran have proven that the West is on the brink of abyss every day, starting with Israel. We need to think about the matter and sound the alarm.”

...


In a related context, the British newspaper “Financial Times” saw that the fear in Washington is that “Israel” will continue to act according to its own perception of the threat, and launch a major attack on Iran, believing that the United States will eventually join the war, and perhaps defeat Iran on its behalf. .

The newspaper stressed that any such calculation would be fraught with risks for “Israel,” as waging a broader war with Iran could drag the United States into the battle, but this test of the United States’ commitment to “Israel” may quickly bring that commitment to the breaking point. .

The newspaper pointed out that, in light of the tense discussions in Washington regarding what this “strict” commitment entails, there is another question that is often unstated, which is: “Is Israel still a strategic asset to the United States, or has it become a strategic burden on it?” ".

The newspaper confirmed that after Washington’s support for “Israel” in Gaza caused damage to the image of the United States in many parts of the world, and the complexity it led to in its efforts to mobilize support against Russia and China, the greatest concern today is that Israeli actions will drag Washington into the ground. To another war in the Middle East.

The newspaper stated that Biden is also paying a domestic political price, as he loses support among young voters, noting that this is not a trivial consideration, especially if it is interrupted with the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is close to Donald Trump, so that these matters together increase the White House’s reservations towards the government. Israeli.

The newspaper warned that while Iran is being portrayed in Washington as one of four members of the “axis of adversaries,” which also includes Russia, China, and North Korea, for Iran to have the upper hand over “Israel” will mean that this axis will gain more strength and confidence.

The newspaper concluded with certainty that if there is no “game theory” expert in the White House who can balance all these competing data, the United States will need luck, as well as judgment, to reach the other side of this crisis without getting involved in another war.


Saturday, April 13, 2024

Iran retaliates: Israel's miscalculation allowed Iran to sideline US and attack Israel at the same time

    Saturday, April 13, 2024   No comments

It may take time before the world learns that Biden's angry 30-minute call with Israel's pm, Netanyahu, two weeks ago, was not really triggered by Israel armed forces killing aid workers, for Israel had already killed more than 250 aids workers in Gaza before this event, but it was about the attack on the Iranian diplomatic facility in Syria. The next few days and months will reveal how costly Israel’s miscalculation was and that would explain Biden's anger.

Biden's anger was not motivated by his respect for Iran's or Syria's sovereignty, of course. It is motivated by the fact that no other State, ever, had deliberately attacked diplomatic facilities even when two states were at war. This global consensus is enshrined in several treaties and protocols. So, for the State of Israel to be the first to attack a diplomatic facility, violating two sovereignties in one strike, other states were put in a very difficult position, and that opened a window for Iran to re-assert its sovereignty and claim self-defense, the same international principle that has been used by Israel to destroy Gaza and kill more than 41,000 of its people after Hamas launched its own attack on October 7, 2023.

So, on Saturday evening, Iran launched its expected attack on Israel, in response to the bombing of its consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in early April, by launching dozens of drones and missiles into Israel.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that the army and air force are prepared for the expected Iranian threats, he said.

He added that the army will try to prevent the Iranian drones from reaching Israel, and will deal with them as soon as they arrive, "but we warn that the defense will not be 100%."

ABC quoted a senior American official as saying that he believes Iran will launch between 400 and 500 drones and missiles at Israel.

CNN also reported that an Israeli military official reported that he expected Iran to launch additional waves of drones over time.

This American news network also said that President Joe Biden has now met with his national security team in the White House Situations Room.

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel will protect itself from any threat, and that it will do so calmly and with determination, he said.

Netanyahu added, "Israel is strong, its army is strong, its people are strong, and whoever harms us, we harm him," stressing that "Israel is prepared for any direct targeting from Iran."

He continued by saying, "Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, whether in defense or attack."

  

Monday, April 08, 2024

Was Biden angry with Netanyahu for attacking Iran’s diplomatic building, a treaty violation, or for killing aid workers, a war crime, or both?

    Monday, April 08, 2024   No comments

With news reports about US administration reaching out to Iran with an offer to stop its promise of retaliatory strikes against Israel for the latter's attack on Iran's diplomatic facility in Syria, and with Iran's foreign minister making an unscheduled trip to Oman yesterday, it appears that Biden used the killing of aid workers to mask his anger with Israel crossing a red line and carrying out what is essentially a direct attack on Iran.

There is no doubt that Iran can retaliate directly against Israel. It did so against the US when Trump assassinated Soleimani in January 2020. An Iranian retaliatory attack against Israel could set new course for the entire region, however. 

If Iran attacks Israel directly, the right-wing government in Israel will be forced to retaliate or it will collapse. If it were to retaliate to the retaliation, the armed confrontation enters a new phase, similar to the active front with Hezbollah. That will be catastrophic for Israel for many reasons.

Israel cannot invade Iran and if the US does not get involved directly, all Israel can do is to trade rockets and bombs from distance. That formular favors Iran for many reasons, too.  

First, Iran is a much larger country, and its weapons systems are dispersed all over the country. It will not be possible for Israel to take out all weapons systems. If that was possible, US could have done that in Yemen where a much smaller and less prepared group, the Houthis, have overcome a military Western coalition that has been bombing them for months.

Second, Iran has a formidable array of weapons, rockets and drones, that can be launched for months or even years. In addition to these long-distance weapons, Iran can rely on its allies in Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq to provide support.

Iran will respond given that the highest authority in the country already stated that Iran will receive “a slap”. The question is whether US diplomacy will manage to limit Iran’s response to limits of Israel’s attack. That is, an attack on Israeli diplomatic missions and perhaps an attack on military installations in occupied territories to end the cycle. Iran has the option to attack Israel directly because it considers its diplomatic facilities sovereign territories of Iran. However, attacking Israel diplomatic facilities places Iran outside International norms, too, which it has been using to get the world community to condemn it. 

All these factors give credence to the reporting about the US offer to Iran, possibly through Oman. Because all these indicator show that Israel committed a grave mistake when it attacked a diplomatic facility. It may not just US acting to prevent the widening of a conflict, it is likely that Israel wants to limit the damage too. 

The following media reports provide more contect to what might be behind the scene negotiations.

Iranian diplomatic sources say the US is trying to convince Iran not to retaliate against Israel for its bombing of the Iranian embassy in Syria earlier this month, Al-Jarida newspaper reported on 8 April.

The Israeli strike targeted a building attached to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. It led to the killing of the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, his deputy, and five other IRGC officers.

A source in the Iranian foreign ministry told Al-Jarida that Washington offered Tehran direct negotiations with Tel Aviv to de-escalate the conflict.  

According to the source, Washington will guarantee to persuade Tel Aviv to stop its military operations in Syria and Lebanon on the condition that Iran commit not to retaliate against Israel for the Damascus attack.

At the same time, a diplomatic source in Beirut told Al-Jarida that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected an American proposal to pledge to stop attacks in Syria.

The source added that Iranian leader Ali Khamenei is reviewing the US offer but is not expected to accept it if it does not include guarantees for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza and to stop all Israeli and US attacks on Iranian targets or those belonging to Iran's allies in the Axis of Resistance.

The source revealed that the Iranians had also previously received a verbal Israeli proposal via a Gulf state. In the proposal, Tel Aviv claimed it was ready to stop operations against Iranian targets in Syria and Lebanon in exchange for Tehran abandoning retaliation for the killing of Zahedi, whose killing was considered the most significant blow to Iran since the assassination of Qassem Soleimani.

According to the source, the Iranian Foreign Ministry responded to the Israeli message by saying that the proposal must also include a ceasefire in Gaza.

However, some IRGC leaders were unhappy with the foreign ministry's response, viewing the Israeli proposal as a trap. The IRGC leaders argued that any negotiations with Israel must take place only after Iran has retaliated.

The source stated that IRGC commanders believe that Israel's targeting of the Iranian consulate is an opportunity that should not be missed to strike a strong blow at Israel, especially since the consular building in Damascus is considered sovereign Iranian territory and was targeted in a clear violation of international law.

The source said that the IRGC leadership believes Washington will not enter a war with Iran even if it retaliates against Israel. They also consider that an adequately harsh strike against Israel will compel it to accept a ceasefire in Gaza and abandon any plans to invade Lebanon or escalate its bombing in Syria.

Western government continue to lose credibility

Despite the fact that the attack on Iran’s diplomatic mission in Syria violated global treaties including the Vienna Conventions regulating diplomatic and consular relations and the immunities of diplomats and headquarters (1961, 1963, 1969) and the Rome Statute, US government and its Western allies did not explicitly condemn the attack. Instead, they called on Iran to exert “self-restraint.” 

On Thursday, the German Foreign Ministry called, through a statement, on all parties in the Middle East to calm down, exercise restraint, and act responsibly, following a call by Minister Annalena Baerbock who discussed the matter with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

On Thursday, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron warned of “expanding conflicts”. During a phone call with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry that was reported by local media outlets, including the private “Tasnim” agency.

According to the agency, the Iranian Foreign Ministry quoted Cameron as saying that he asked Iran to exercise restraint, and said that “lack of restraint on the part of the parties could lead to further expansion of conflicts in the region.”

Regional powers on the other hand voiced condemnation, directly accusing Israel of violating international norms.

Turkey denounced, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the bombing and considered it a violation of international law, warning that the attack may lead to an exacerbation of the conflict in the region.

Saudi Arabia also condemned the targeting in a Foreign Ministry statement, expressing its “categorical rejection of targeting diplomatic facilities for any justification, and under any pretext.”

In a brief Foreign Ministry statement, the UAE condemned “the targeting of the Iranian diplomatic mission in the Syrian capital, Damascus,” without any additional comment.

Qatar also condemned, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack, and considered it “a blatant violation of international agreements and conventions,” stressing “its complete rejection of targeting diplomatic and consular missions and the necessity of providing protection for their employees in accordance with the rules of international law.”

Egypt said, in a statement to the Foreign Ministry, “We categorically reject the attack on diplomatic facilities under any justification, and we stand in solidarity with Syria in respecting its sovereignty and the integrity of its lands and people.”

Kuwait also considered, in a Foreign Ministry statement, the attack a “flagrant assault,” renewing its call on “the international community and the Security Council to assume its responsibilities towards taking the necessary measures and exerting the necessary efforts to preserve the safety and stability of the countries of the region and reduce tension and escalation.”

In a statement condemning the attack, the Omani Foreign Ministry stressed “the need to stop the escalation in the region and reject aggression and other actions that threaten security and stability,” expressing condolences to the families of the victims and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

Iraq also confirmed in a Foreign Ministry statement that the attack “represents a clear and flagrant violation of international law and Syrian sovereignty,” warning that “the expansion of the cycle of violence in the region will lead to more chaos and instability.”

China and Russia, on the other hand, took advantage of Western reluctance to denounce the flouting of international law


Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that his country strongly condemns the Israeli attack and stresses that the security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated. He stressed in a press conference in Beijing that “China opposes any actions that lead to escalation of tensions in the Middle East region.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday strongly condemned the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus earlier in the day, denouncing the action as "unacceptable."
"We consider any attacks on diplomatic and consular facilities, the inviolability of which is guaranteed by the relevant Vienna Conventions, to be categorically unacceptable," the ministry said in a statement.
Noting that the attack was carried out in a densely populated metropolitan area with a high risk of mass civilian casualties, the ministry said such "aggressive" actions by Israel are "absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped."

 


Sunday, March 31, 2024

Has US threat to force Qatar to expel Hamas out of Doha collapsed the Ceasefire negotiations?

    Sunday, March 31, 2024   No comments

Although the US has warned the leaders of Qatar as early as October that they will need to reconsider the presence of the leaders of Hamas in Doha, the US wanted to use their presence there to strike deals that it wanted. However, with the negotiations for a ceasefire going nowhere, the US administrations wanted to leverage Qatar hosting of Hamas leaders to force them to accept a proposal the Biden administration formulated. 

CNN reported recently that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken “delivered a stern message to Qatar earlier this month: Tell Hamas that they must deliver on a hostage and ceasefire deal that would halt the war in Gaza or risk getting kicked out of the Qatari capital of Doha.” That threat appears to have failed to achieve its goal and worse, it may have backfired.

First, Hamas leaders are now saying that there is no negotiation because their last counteroffer was not responded to by Israel in a way that will allow them to go on negotiating. Hamas and other Palestinian factions insist that there will be a deal only when a permanent ceasefire is approved and guaranteed by the mediators, when aid is delivered to all the people in Gaza, and when Israel forces leave Gaza, when people who lost their homes are sheltered. 

Second, Hamas and other Palestinian resistance leaders took the threat of being kicked out of Doha, the same way they way forced out Turkey, and offered a demonstration of what will happen if they are forced out of Doha: they will settle in Iran. Iran seems to be willing to not only host Hamas leaders, but to host them in a formal manner—something no other host nation has done for Hamas since their days in Syria pre-2012.

Just after the conclusion of the Persian new year celebrations, leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad were received by the highest officials of the Iranian government, including a couple meetings with the supreme leader. The message is clear: you can kick us out of Qatar and when you do, we will find home in a country that recognizes us as official representatives of the Palestinian peoples. That means, if Israel or the US wants to negotiate with Hamas, they will have to find someone else other than Qatar or Egypt to mediate. China and Russia willingness to receive Hamas leaders as official representatives of the Palestinian people make Iran's move less problematic.

Based on events on the ground, Hamas leaders having to leave another country to find refuge in Iran will only make Arab countries, like Qatar and Jordan look week. The daily denotations that are growing by the day in Jordan are a good indication of this trend.


Pro-Palestinian protesters in Jordan, March 30, 2024.


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Biden extends the state of emergency against Iran

    Thursday, March 14, 2024   No comments

US President Joe Biden ordered the extension of the “national emergency” related to Iran for another year, stressing the maintenance of comprehensive sanctions against Tehran to respond to the threat it poses to American national security.

Biden sent a message to Congress regarding the continuation of the law signed by the administration of former President Bill Clinton on March 15, 1995.

He said in his letter that “the actions and policies of the Iranian government continue to pose an unusual and exceptional threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

Biden stressed that “it is necessary to continue the (national emergency) declared in Executive Order No. (12957) with respect to Iran and to maintain comprehensive sanctions against Iran to respond to this threat.”

The “national emergency” was first declared by former President Bill Clinton in an executive order on March 15, 1995, based on “the extraordinary threats created by the actions and policies of the Iranian government against the national interests and U.S. foreign policy; Including missile development, support for terrorist groups, malign activities by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, regional destabilization, and possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Iran Summons Russian Envoy Over Statement on Disputed Gulf Islands

    Sunday, December 24, 2023   No comments

Those familair with Iranian culture would say that Iran's leaders do not do "ta`aruf" when it comes to their sovereignty. That is, “no kidding allowed” on the matter. In a move similar to its reaction to China putting its name on an Arab-Chinese joint statement when the Chinese president visit the Gulf region, Iran foreign ministry summoned the Russian diplomat to protest a similar event that took place in Morocco earlier this month. 

Iran has summoned the Russian chargé d'affaires to Tehran in protest at a recent statement issued by Russia and several Arab countries on Iran’s three Persian Gulf islands of Abu Musa, the Greater Tunb, and the Lesser Tunb.

The Russian diplomat was summoned by the assistant to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's director general for the Persian Gulf affairs on Saturday.

The development came after the final statement of the 6th Arab-Russian Cooperation Forum, which was held in Morocco on December 20, reiterated the United Arab Emirates' baseless claims about the three Iranian islands.


Iran has summoned Russia's envoy to protest a recent statement by Moscow and Arab countries calling for talks over three islands controlled by Tehran but claimed by the United Arab Emirates.


The summoning of Moscow's charge d'affaires came days after Iran's key ally Russia signed a joint declaration with Arab countries which "supported peaceful solutions and initiatives" to resolve the dispute over the islands.

Iran's foreign ministry said on Saturday it summoned Moscow's charge d'affaires in Tehran, in the absence of its ambassador, to submit a "note of protest" on the contents of the joint statement.


"The Islamic Republic of Iran considers any claim from any side in this regard as rejected and unacceptable," Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement.


Iran's top diplomat Hossein Amir-Abdollahian also called the islands "an integral part of Iran's territorial integrity" in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Friday.


"Tehran will not compromise with any side on the issue of respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty," he added.


Iran in July summoned the Russian ambassador to protest a similar joint statement signed by Moscow and Arab countries on the islands.


Located in the Gulf, the three strategic islands of Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa are located near the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of world oil output passes.

  

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Media Review; ToI: Iranian Leader does not believe in throwing the Jews into the sea and a general referendum must be held in Palestine

    Wednesday, November 29, 2023   No comments

An Israeli media outlet, The Times of Israel, reported today that Iran's leader wants a referendum, not in throwing the Jews into the sea."

In a video released on his official website, Iranian Leader Ali Khamenei stated that “a general referendum must be held in Palestine, and Iran does not believe in the slogan of throwing the Jews into the sea.”

Iranian Leader, Ali Khamenei, said that the crimes of the Zionist entity in Gaza exposed the West and tarnished the reputation of Western culture and civilization.

Khamenei received a large gathering of mobilizers today, Wednesday, in Tehran. He said during the meeting that the Al-Aqsa Flood operation led to changing the American policy agenda in the region, and God willing, if it continues, it will erase the agenda.

He added: The Al-Aqsa flood was a historical event that was carried out against the Zionist entity, but in reality it is considered “de-Americanization.”

Khamenei said that the brutal crimes committed by the Zionist entity against the people of Gaza exposed the entity, America, European countries, and Western civilization and culture.

He added that the culture and civilization of the West is the same civilization that when five thousand children are martyred by a phosphorus bomb, the regime of a Western country says that Israel is defending itself. Is this self defense? This is Western culture; In this case, it exposed Western culture and tarnished its reputation.

He added that the tragedies of Gaza are the summary of the crimes of the Zionist entity in Palestine for 75 years.

He asked: Where did they build the Zionist settlements? They destroyed Palestinian homes and farms, built Zionist settlements in their place, and killed any woman or child who stood against settlement. They have been doing this for 75 years.

Khamenei stressed that the flood of Al-Aqsa cannot be extinguished, and this situation will not continue under divine power.

He referred to the policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards the Palestinian issue and said: Some people in the world talk about the Islamic Republic’s views on the region and falsely say that Iran believes that the Jews and Zionists should be thrown into the sea. Some Arabs used to say that the Jews should be thrown into the sea, but we never said this. We do not throw anyone into the sea.

We say that the opinion is the opinion of the Palestinian people and the government that is formed by the votes of the Palestinian people will make its decisions regarding those who are there; This government could say that everyone who came from other countries can stay in Palestine.

Khamenei added: Some of the African countries that I visited during my presidency struggled and won. The indigenous people were able to defeat the British, but they allowed the British to remain based on their interests.

The guide explained that the Palestinians could do the same thing. They may allow some to remain on their land, and they may tell others that they must leave. The Palestinians are the decision-makers, and we do not comment on this.







Friday, October 06, 2023

Media reports: Ukraine's allies proposed striking “Iranian drone production factories in Iran, Syria and Russia”

    Friday, October 06, 2023   No comments

Days after the British newspaper published in a report, details obtained from a secret document submitted by Ukraine to its Western allies in the Group of Seven, which included a proposal to target "Iranian drone production factories in Iran, Syria and Russia", a drone attack hit Syria killed more than 80 people and injured hundreds more.

The British newspaper "The Guardian" revealed a secret document that indicated that Ukraine's Western allies had proposed launching missile strikes on drone production factories in Iran, Syria, and Russia.

In the context of a newspaper report on “European components in Iranian drones,” The Guardian revealed a 47-page document that the Ukrainian government submitted to the G7 governments last August.

As part of the discussion to take measures against Iranian drones, the newspaper revealed, citing the document, that among the proposals presented by Ukraine’s Western allies “launch missile strikes on the production factories of these drones in Iran and Syria, as well as on a potential production site located on the territory of the Russian Federation.” ".

The newspaper indicated in its report that such a measure “is likely to be refrained from by Western powers,” quoting from the document that “the Ukrainian Defense Forces can implement what was mentioned above, if the partners provide the necessary means of destruction.”

According to the secret document that Kiev sent to its Western allies, it called for “the use of long-range missiles to attack production sites in Iran, Syria, and Russia.”

It is noteworthy that, in mid-February, “The Guardian” had quoted American officials as saying that Iran had become a “global superpower in the field of drones.”


Analysts at the US Intelligence Agency also said that Iran “has emerged as a global leader in producing effective drones at an affordable price.”


Dozens dead in a drone attack on a military college in Homs

The Syrian Minister of Health, Hassan Al-Ghobash, announced Thursday that the initial toll was not final, amounting to 80 martyrs, including 6 women and 6 children, and about 240 injuries as a result of the terrorist attack on the Military College in Homs.

On Friday morning, Syrian official media counted the deaths of 89 people and the wounding of 277 others.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-government organization, reported on Friday that the death toll had risen to 123, including 54 civilians, including 39 children and a woman related to officers. It was also estimated that 150 others were injured.

After the incident, the Syrian Foreign Ministry announced its condemnation of the "heinous crime" committed by "terrorist organizations." It stressed that it expresses the perpetrators’ persistence in their “brutal terrorist approach,” due to which the Syrian people have suffered over the past years.


It added, in her statement, that this attack “will not deter” Syria from moving forward in its effort to “eradicate the scourge of terrorism and its sponsors.”


The Syrian government declared three days of official mourning for the souls of the martyrs of the terrorist attack.


Media reports: the technology used in the attack originated in France; and Syria's army responds


The Syrian army launched artillery and missile bombardment, mainly targeting the headquarters of the Turkestan Party and the Migrant Brigade, in Jericho, Jisr al-Shughur, Idlib, Binnish, and Sarmin, in response to the terrorist attack that targeted the Military College in Homs.


According to media reports, the Turkestan Party and the Muhajireen Brigade "are the two factions that possess drone technology."


The information also indicated that parts of advanced drones “were transferred to the two factions three months ago, and France was the one that provided them with this technology.”


According to media sources, the information confirmed that a drone had been launched from areas under the control of the Turkestan Party, prior to targeting the Military College in Homs.

Early Warning

It hsould be noted that on October 4, Deputy Head of the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria, Admiral Vadim Collet, reported that “terrorist groups are preparing to launch attacks on military sites belonging to both Moscow and Damascus.”

According to Collet, these groups are active in the provinces of Idlib, Aleppo, and Latakia.

Collet explained that the data the center received from Syrian intelligence agencies showed that the groups “Turkistan Islamic Party” and “Ansar al-Tawhid” were preparing to carry out “attacks on Russian and Syrian military bases using locally made drones.”

The two groups will use "long-range multiple missile launch systems," according to Collett.

The Deputy Head of the Russian Reconciliation Center added that the leadership of the Russian group and the Syrian Armed Forces "will take the necessary proactive measures in order to prevent armed provocations by terrorists."

The center's announcement comes after statements made by the head of Russian Foreign Intelligence, Sergei Naryshkin, to the effect that the United States of America is "preparing to assist militants to carry out terrorist attacks in Syria."

According to Naryshkin, these attacks affect "crowded public places and Syrian government institutions."





Over time, the conenctions among many of the otherwise seemingly isolated armed conflicts or coups, in Ukraine, Yemen, Sudan, Syria, Niger, Mali, and other places,  become more evident.

For instance, it has been reported that Ukrainian special forces have been conducting operations outside Ukraine, including in Africa.

Since the start of the armed conflict in that country, Ukraine used drones very well, first to stop Russian troops advances toward Kyiv, using Turkish made drone, and there after using drone for attacks beyond the frontline, including attacks on Moscow. Ukrainian drone in Sudan last month reveals that Ukraine is now operating beyond its borders.



  

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