Category Archives: Iran

State Department Response to Netanyahu UN Warning: ‘US Won’t Be Fooled By Iran’s Charm Offensive’

bibi diagramA spokesperson for the State Department offered a reassurance on Tuesday that the United States will not be fooled by what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu derided as Iran’s “manipulative charm offensive” regarding the Islamic regime’s intentions toward the West.

“I can assure anyone that an agreement reached would not be based on a charm offensive or how that impacts us, but on the facts and the details,” Jen Psaki decisively stated at a news conference. “And we’re not going to agree to a comprehensive agreement that doesn’t meet our standards and meet our threshold.”

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Iran’s Rouhani: Hamas and Hezbollah Are Not Terrorist Groups

Rouhan iranIranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed Friday with a straight face Friday that Hamas and Hezbollah are not terrorist groups but legitimate elected regimes.

During an hour-long press conference at the One U.N. New York hotel on Friday, Rouhani deniably argued that Iran was not not aiding terrorist groups, despite the fact that both Hamas and Hezbollah, who are aided by Tehran, are listed as terrorist groups by the US and the EU. Read more »

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Experts: Iran Facing Major Political Crisis as Khamenei’s Health Deteriorates

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

Iran appears to be on the verge of having to go through a major political crisis as members of the regime position themselves for power, given the almost certain imminent termination of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s 25-year reign as absolute head of the pivotal Middle East country.

Khamenei, who ascended to power as Iran’s second supreme leader in 1989, was hospitalized last week to undergo prostate surgery. Read more »

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Iran’s Top Prosecutor Gives Gov’t 30 Days To Block Whatsapp, Social Apps

WhatsAppGholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei, Iran’s top prosecutor and first deputy of the judiciary, wrote an open letter to Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi on Sept. 20 giving him a one-month deadline to shut down WhatsApp, Viber and Tango.

“In the last few weeks, criminal content was published and crimes were committed against Islamic modesty and morals and widespread offensive content was published against the founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini,” Mohseni-Ejei wrote, according to a translation by Al-Monitor.

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Netanyahu Warns Against Easing Sanctions On Iran

Gathering Of World Leaders At U.N. General Assembly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the West against easing sanctions on Iran to win its support in the fight against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Netanyahu said “respected commentators in the West” were counseling a softer approach on Iran to enlist Tehran in an alliance against Islamic State militants.

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US Secretary of State Kerry Meets Iran’s Zarif

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emerged from talks Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, saying Washington was intent on advancing negotiations focused on reducing Iran’s atomic activities in exchange for an end to nuclear-related sanctions.

The talks have been stalled for months over Iran’s opposition to sharply reducing the size and output of centrifuges that can enrich uranium both to levels needed for reactor fuel or the core of nuclear warheads. Iran says its enrichment program is only for peaceful purposes, but Washington fears it could be used to make a bomb. Iran says any deal must put an end to the sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Read more »

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Two Iranians Arrested In Kenya With Forged Israeli Passports

Photo by Haim Taragan

Photo by Haim Taragan

(AP). A Kenyan official says two Iranians carrying forged Israeli passports have been arrested in Nairobi.

The man and woman were taken into custody Friday as they were about to board a flight out of the country, a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak with the press.

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US: Israel Will Make Own Judgment on Iran Nuke Talks

bibi bombIsrael will make its own judgment about the outcome of talks between Iran and world powers regarding its nuclear program, a senior United States official said on Thursday, expressing cautious optimism following two days of bilateral talks with Tehran.

According to the official, US officials traveled to New York feeling “not optimistic” over the potential for progress with Iran, adding that now it is “clear that everyone has come here to go to work.” He said further that President Obama is committed to a nuclear accord that ensures Israel’s security, acknowledging the Israeli government’s criticism of the progress at this point.

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Ambassador Dermer: ISIS Threat Is An Opportunity For Israel On Iran, Peace Process

ron dermerIsrael’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer said Wednesday evening that the insurgence of ISIS in the Middle East gives Israel an opportunity to engage with the moderate Arab world and could help garner support among the International community to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons in a more serious manner than in the past.

In a speech to a bipartisan group of guests at a Rosh Hashanah reception at the Ambassador’s DC residence, Dermer remarked that because of the savagery of ISIS, “there is a growing understanding today of the threats posed by militant Islam.” Read more »

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Kerry Refuses To Deny Outreach To Iran Over ISIS

Kerry SpeechUS Secretary of State John Kerry refused to be drawn into a “back and forth” with Iran on Monday following Tehran’s Supreme leader boasting he had rebuffed a US request to coordinate in fight against ISIS.

Speaking to reporters at the US ambassador’s residence in Paris after an international conference on Iraq attended by 26 countries, Kerry said,  “I’m not going to get into a back and forth (with Iran). I don’t want to do that. I don’t think that is constructive, frankly.” Read more »

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Iran: UN Should Condemn Israel For ‘Aggression’ With Drone Launch

Iran has urged the United Nations atomic agency to condemn an “act of aggression” by Israel for allegedly sending out a drone last month to conduct a spying mission on a site that is situated at the center of the Islamic regime’s decade-old nuclear standoff with the West.

The Iranian move takes place just ahead of a meeting next week of the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, at which Tehran will likely be hit with criticism from Israel and the West for failing to address IAEA concerns about its suspected research into atomic bomb production. 
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Syria, Iran Slam US Strategy In Fighting ISIS

Obama ISIS speech(AP). Syrian and Iranian officials criticized the Obama administration on Thursday for excluding them from an international coalition coming together in the battle against the Islamic State group while a state-run Syrian daily warned that unauthorized U.S. airstrikes on Syrian territory may trigger the “first sparks of fire” in the region.

Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group, meanwhile, welcomed President Barack Obama’s authorization of U.S. airstrikes targeting — for the first time — the extremists inside Syria, saying it stands “ready and willing” to partner with the international community to defeat the militants.
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US Reassures Israel Through Opposition Leader: ‘We’ll Act Against Iran’s Nuclear Program As Well’

herzogSenior White House officials informed Israeli Opposition Chairman Isaac Herzog on Tuesday that “there will be no compromise on the Iranian nuclear matter.” Herzog responded by telling White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken that he appreciated “the American position, which understands that one threat does not cancel out the other.”

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Iran’s Supreme Leader: ‘Our New World Order Will Replace US Leadership’

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei IranIran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that the “new world order is emerging” and that “Iran will have a strong role in creating” it, according to a Farsi language transcript of his comments last week to the country’s Assembly of Experts.

Iran will lead this “new world order” that will supplant American influence as capitalism and Western influence collapses, the Iranian leader maintained.

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Kissinger: Iran Is A Bigger Threat Than ISIS

Henry KissingerFormer U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger called Iran a much “bigger problem” than the Islamic State group, known as ISIS, since a confrontation with Iran is less manageable.

In an interview on Saturday with National Public Radio (NPR), Kissinger said that “ISIS is a group of adventurers with a very aggressive ideology. But they have to conquer more and more territory before they can become a strategic, permanent reality.” Read more »

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US Commercial Plane Lands In Iran Amid Mix-Up

(AP). U.S. officials say a commercial aircraft chartered by the U.S.-led military in Afghanistan was re-routed to Iran, apparently because of a mix-up over its flight plan.

The plane was flying from Bagram airfield north of Kabul to Dubai on Friday. The normal flight path goes through Iranian airspace. Read more »

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Intelligence Minister Steinitz: ‘Iran Closer Than Ever To Nuclear Capability’

shteinitzIntelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who is in charge of the strategic dialogue between Israel and the US with regards to the Iranian issue on behalf of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Wednesday that Iran is in a position to reach nuclear capabilities if they are not stopped.

”We are summarizing today 11 years of negotiations between Iran and world powers. And as of today, I am sorry to say that Iran is closer than ever to achieving nuclear capabilities,” Shteinitz said. Read more »

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Iran Threatens to Take Israel to International Courts Over Alleged Drone Invasion

Iran droneIran claimed on Sunday that it downed an Israeli drone that was approaching an Iranian Nuclear site in Natanz, and now it’s threatening to sue Israel in international legal courts.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham condemned Israel for sending a spy drone, on Monday. “This hostile action is a violation of Iranˈs territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Afkham said. Read more »

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Fars News Head: US Serious Threat to Russia & Iran

In a meeting that was held with the Russian ambassador to Iran and a delegation of Russian journalists, the director of Fars News Agency, Seyed Nezamoldin Mousavi, declared that the United States is a serious threat to both Russia and Iran. He also stressed the need to foster media cooperation between the two countries to serve as a counterbalance to Western influence.

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UN Rights Chief Wakes Up To Decry Crimes Against Humanity in Iraq

Photo/AP

Photo/AP

(AP). U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Islamic State fighters reportedly killed up to 670 prisoners in Mosul and committed other horrific abuses in Iraq that amount to crimes against humanity.

The U.N.’s top human rights official says the grave human rights violations carried out by the Islamic State group and other fighters allied with it include ruthlessly carrying out widespread ethnic and religious purges in areas under its control in an aggressive push to gain a firm grip on the northern and eastern provinces. Read more »

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Iran TV Shows Off Allegedly Downed Israeli Drone

20140825-072602.jpg(AP). Iran’s state TV on Monday broadcast footage purported to show an Israeli drone the country’s Revolutionary Guard claimed to have shot down over the weekend near an Iranian nuclear site.

The brief video, aired on the Arabic-language Al-Alam TV, shows what the channel says are parts of the drone, scattered in an unidentified desert area.

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Iran Claims It Downed Israeli Spy Drone Over Nuclear Site In Natanz

Natanz_nuclear(AP). Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards is saying its forces have shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site.

The Guards issued a statement on its website saying its forces fired a missile at the drone as it neared its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, more than 300 kilometers (185 miles) south of the capital, Tehran. Read more »

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Rouhani: Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons But Will Not Ignore Threats

(AP). Iran unveiled a new generation of short-range marine missiles and aerial drones on Sunday, as President Hassan Rouhani said its military doctrine was based on deterring and countering threats from unnamed foreign powers.

The official IRNA news agency said the Ghadir missile, with a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles), is designed to destroy marine targets. It did not give a range for the Nasr-e Basir cruise missile, but said it could “operate in silence,” without elaborating.

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UN Agency: Iran Abiding With Terms of Nuke Deal

(AP) - The U.N. nuclear agency says that Iran is keeping commitments it agreed to with six world powers in a pact that temporarily caps its nuclear activities and eliminates material that could be most easily used to make nuclear weapons.

The finding is contained in a restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report released Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press. Read more »

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Rouhani: Iran To Continue Aid To Hamas, Palestinians

rouhaniIran’s President Hassan Rouhani renewed Tehran’s support for Iraqis, Palestinians and Syrians, strongly criticizing Israel for the Gaza operation, FARS News agency reports.

“Today the people of Iraq, Palestine, Syria and many other Muslim nations are waiting help from the Iranians and we should aid our brothers,” Rouhani told a crowd in the Northwestern city of Ardebil on Wednesday.

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