IRAN | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

IRAN

Jul 31 08:22

Germany Blames Iran for Stalling Nuclear Deal Talks

Western powers continue to blame Iran for stalled negotiations to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. In comments reported by Germany’s Der Spiegel on Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Iran was “delaying” the JCPOA talks that have been held in Vienna.

“I am seeing with growing unease that Iran is delaying the resumption of the Vienna nuclear talks on the one hand, and on the other hand it is simultaneously moving further and further away from core elements of the agreement,” Maas said.

After the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Iran gave other signatories one year to offset US sanctions before gradually increasing the activity of its civilian nuclear program. Over the past year, Tehran has taken steps to increase enrichment in response to Israeli covert attacks inside Iran, which are tacitly endorsed by the US since Washington never condemns them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iran isn't stalling. They just want the US to stick to the sanctions relief from the JCPOA, but the US won't budge.

Jul 29 08:47

Blinken says nuclear deal negotiations with Iran ‘cannot go on indefinitely’ as indirect talks drag

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that nuclear deal negotiations “cannot go on indefinitely”, but says the White House is still willing to engage in diplomacy with Tehran over the issue.

During a news conference in Kuwait on Thursday, Blinken expressed dissatisfaction at the lack of resolution over negotiations on Iran’s nuclear deal. The secretary of state upheld that “the ball remains in Iran’s court”.

“We’re committed to diplomacy, but this process cannot go on indefinitely... we look to see what Iran is ready to do or not ready to do and remain fully prepared to return to Vienna to continue negotiations”, Blinken asserted.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who makes the final call on Tehran’s affairs, asserted that the Islamic republic will not accept Washington’s “stubborn” demands and refuted the inclusion of any other issues to the deal.

Jul 29 05:35

US Warns Iran’s Incoming Government There Won’t Be a Better Nuclear Deal

Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are on pause until Ebrahim Raisi replaces Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in August. Axios reported Wednesday that US officials are warning the incoming government that it won’t get a better deal than what has already been negotiated.

It’s not clear what exactly the US and Iran have negotiated. Rouhani has said an agreement was reached for the US to lift most major sanctions, but other elements of the Iranian government denied that any sort of agreement was made. On Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the US “stubborn” in its demands of Iran and said Washington would not provide guarantees on sanctions relief or that it wouldn’t withdraw from the deal again.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US didn't keep the last deal!

Jul 28 05:29

France Lashes Out At Iran - "Risks Jeopardizing" Stalled Nuclear Talks

Despite recently being seen as among the most supportive JCPOA signatories who want to see a completed nuclear deal, France is now accusing Iran of needlessly dragging out indirect negotiations with the US in Vienna. The talks have remained stalled ahead of the seventh round of talks, which the Iranian side said would resume after Iran's president-elect Ibrahim Raisi takes office on August 3rd.

France's foreign ministry laid blame for the long stall at Tehran's feet, however, saying "If it continues on this path, not only will it continue to delay when an agreement to lift sanctions can be reached, but it risks jeopardizing the very possibility of concluding the Vienna talks and restoring the JCPOA."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The impasse is not Iran's fault! Iran wants the Unites States to remove the sanctions the US already agreed to in the original JCPOA and the US is refusing!

Jul 27 11:24

How to undermine a diplomatic triumph: Biden and the Iran nuclear deal

Lawrence Davidson highlights the US Biden administration's misinformation that seeks to blame Iran for the failure to reinstate the nuclear deal, a failure he attributes to "American ideologues tied hand and foot" to the Israel lobby.>>

Jul 27 10:19

‘Mossad cell’ arrested over plans to provoke violence during ongoing protests in Iran, Tehran claims

Members of an armed cell who allegedly worked with Israel’s Mossad spy agency and planned to provoke violence during protests in Iran have been detained, Tehran’s Intelligence Ministry has told local media.

The group, which allegedly had access to a heavy shipment of weapons and ammunition, was recently apprehended after entering Iran through its western border, an official from the ministry told the Fars news agency.

The official didn’t elaborate on the size of the unit or the nationality of those arrested, but they insisted that the suspects were acting in cooperation with Mossad, the Israeli spy agency.

The weapons seized from the alleged agents included pistols, grenades, rifles, shotguns, and ammo. The arms were being brought into Iran to be used during “urban riots and assassinations,” according to the ministry official.

Jul 27 04:49

UK Media Report on 'Iranian Secret Cyber Files' Casts More Doubt Than Confidence, Experts Say

On Monday, Sky News published a story suggesting that Iran has been conducting clandestine research on the possible impact of cyber attacks on civilian infrastructure, including petrol stations, cargo ships and programmable logic controllers, citing what the media outlet claimed were "classified" documents compiled by Iranian intelligence.

The authenticity of the alleged "Iranian secret cyber files" cited by Sky News, on how cyber attacks could be used against civilian infrastructure objects, is debatable, experts said, shortly after the UK media outlet published so-called 'classified documents' said to have been acquired from Iranian intelligence.

Jul 26 10:15

Iranian Warship That Petrified US and UK on High Seas Spotted at Russian Naval Parade – Video

US and UK media spent months fretting about the cargo and possible destination of a two-ship Iranian warship flotilla that deployed in the Atlantic Ocean this spring. Earlier this month, the commander of Iran’s Navy boasted that America had been “terrified” by Iran’s newfound ability to project power.

Iran’s Sahand destroyer has taken part in a grand naval parade in St. Petersburg, Russia on Sunday.

The Moudge-class destroyer joined over 50 other vessels in the parade, dedicated to the 325th Anniversary of the Russian Navy, with India and Pakistan also sending warships to Russia for the occasion.

Jul 26 10:06

Don't Touch: American Media Explains Why US Can't Act Against Iranian Warships in Atlantic

The Iranian military earlier confirmed that two of the country's warships entered the Atlantic Ocean. Tehran neither elaborated on their mission nor commented on media reports suggesting that the vessels are carrying arms for Venezuela.

Despite there being sanctions to prohibit arms trade with Venezuela, the US lacks the legal right to "touch" or act in any other way against two Iranian warships reportedly bound for Caracas, the American journal Foreign Policy has stated in an analysis piece. The FP stressed that, under the existing international laws (recognised by the US), Washington lacks legal options to do anything about the Iranian vessels, which, according to a Politico report, might be carrying weapons to Venezuela.

Jul 26 06:27

'Unusual Warning': Israel Reportedly Tells US That Iran Is One Step Away From Obtaining Nukes

Israel has long been sounding the alarm about Iran allegedly working to develop nuclear weapons. However, the Jewish State itself is widely believed to have obtained weapons of mass destruction a long time ago, with reports saying it could have at least 90 warheads at its disposal.

Israeli officials have told the United States that Iran is allegedly on the threshold of acquiring nuclear weapons, Israeli media reported Sunday.

According to The Times of Israel, which cited a Sunday report by Kan News, the country's foreign minister Yair Lapid, defense minister Benny Gantz and other senior officials issued an "unusual warning" to Washington: "This 'limbo' cannot be a time when Iran is quickly advancing toward becoming a nuclear threshold state," a senior diplomat told the Israeli news channel, reportedly referring to the ongoing Vienna talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel has been claiming that Iran is "weeks" away from a nuclear bomb ... for the last thirty years!

Jul 26 05:50

Once again, the ‘NYTimes’ covers up Israel’s efforts to instigate the U.S. into conflict with Iran

Journalists are supposed to have subjects in their reports. You aren’t supposed to write, “It was said.” Instead: tell us who said it.

New York Times senior reporter David Sanger forgot that principle last week in his biased and inadequate account of the Biden administration’s Iran policy. Sanger suggests that Biden wants a broader “comprehensive” nuclear agreement, (although the Times article is vague about whether the U.S. wants to replace the 2015 deal or follow it with an additional pact).

Here’s how Sanger’s report failed Journalism 101:

“It is increasingly clear that any comprehensive agreement . . . must also cover a broad range of new weaponry that Iran’s forces were only tinkering with six years ago.”

And: “There is a growing recognition that [an updated agreement] will have to include many of those [new] weapons.”

Jul 25 06:06

Iran Opens Export Terminal To Bypass World's Biggest Oil Chokepoint

ran says it has opened its first oil export terminal in the Gulf of Oman to allow Tehran to avoid using the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping route that has long been a focus of regional tensions.

"Today, the first shipment of 100 tons of oil is loaded outside the Strait of Hormuz," President Hassan Rohani said in a televised speech on July 22, calling it an "important step for Iran" that will "secure the continuation of our oil exports."

The new terminal, located near the port city of Jask, will allow tankers headed into the Arabian Sea and beyond to avoid the Strait of Hormuz at the head of the Persian Gulf, through which one-fifth of world oil output passes.

Jul 25 06:06

Iran ready to export gas to China via IP gas pipeline: Jahangiri

“Gas is the most important energy of the world in the future and Iran possesses the world’s largest gas fields. And we are ready to export gas to China through Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline,” he said in a Monday meeting with the visiting Chinese delegation in Tehran led by Song Tao, head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Jul 23 06:42

"Sabotage, Disrupt, Delay": Mossad Reportedly Planning Expanded Strikes On Iran's Nuclear Facilities

The New York-based Algemeiner newspaper, a Jewish publication focused on American and Israel-related news, has issued a detailed report unveiling Israeli intelligence contingency plans to ramp up sabotage efforts against Iran's nuclear facilities at a moment Vienna negotiations remain stalled into August.

The publication cites Hebrew media sources to say "the IDF and the Mossad have emphasized to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and the government generally that while it is necessary to prepare for the possibility of an Israeli air strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, such an approach would be greatly complicated by a renewed nuclear deal."

Jul 23 05:41

Iran opens oil terminal to bypass strategic Strait of Hormuz

Outgoing President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran opened its first oil terminal in the Gulf of Oman, a move that will allow it to avoid using the Strait of Hormuz shipping route that has been a focus of regional tension for decades.

“This is a strategic move and an important step for Iran. It will secure the continuation of our oil exports,” Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday.

The new terminal is located near Jask port on the Gulf of Oman, just south of the Strait of Hormuz, allowing ships headed into the Arabian Sea and beyond to avoid the narrow route. Iran’s main oil export terminal is located at the port of Kharg inside the Strait of Hormuz, a waterway less than 40 kilometres (25 miles) across at its narrowest point.

“We had a terminal and if there was a problem, our oil exports would be cut off,” Rouhani acknowledged, adding that “today is a great historic day for the Iranian nation”.

Jul 22 09:37

U.S. Weighs New Sanctions on Iran’s Oil Sales to China if Nuclear Talks Fail

The U.S. is considering tighter sanctions on Iranian oil sales to China as a way to encourage Tehran to conclude a nuclear deal and raise the costs of abandoning stalled negotiations.

U.S. negotiators have been working with European and other international partners in Vienna since April to revive the 2015 deal that limits Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for an easing of broad sanctions. As those talks falter, the U.S. is running through options intended to induce Iran to keep negotiating or punish it if it doesn’t, according to U.S. officials and people familiar with the matter.

One plan being drafted would choke off Iran’s swelling crude-oil sales to China, the country’s main client, through fresh sanctions targeting the shipping networks that help export an estimated one million barrels a day and bring critical revenue to Iran, the officials said.

Jul 21 07:42

Spokesman: Iran Security Council Rejects Draft Proposal to Restore Nuclear Deal

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran’s Supreme National Security Council rejected a draft agreement negotiated in Vienna indirectly with the US to restore the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

Rouahni’s spokesman Ali Rabiee said the agreement included the lifting of most major sanctions and a US return to the JCPOA, although his claim was disputed by another Iranian spokesman for the Security Council who said no “agreement” had been made.

Rabiee said the Security Council rejected the draft proposal because it did not comply with a law passed by Iran’s parliament in December 2020 in response to the Israeli assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The law required Iran to increase some uranium enrichment to 20 percent if the US does not lift sanctions on Iran to return to the JCPOA.

Jul 21 06:46

Biden Targets Iran. Cyber, Military and Legal Provocations. Economic Warfare

On June 18, 2021, the Iranian people elected Ebrahim Raeisi as the next president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Raeisi is a conservative jurist who ran for office pledging to fight “poverty, corruption, humiliation and discrimination.” He is viewed in Washington as a tool of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

At a press conference held on Monday, June 21, 2021, Raeisi called for an end to U.S. sanctions that were imposed on Iran by Donald Trump in violation of international law. He also announced that “all parties must return to the nuclear agreement.” However, he noted that Iran would not accept restrictions on its ballistic missile program or support for regional militias. Nor would he meet with President Biden if given the opportunity.

The U.S. response was swift in coming. A disturbing pattern of harassment emerged that included cyber, military and legal provocations perpetrated within the context of economic war being waged against Iran.

Jul 19 06:15

Gen. Milley Told Trump He'd Be 'Held Criminally Negligible' If He Didn't Assassinate Soleimani

President Donald Trump assassinated top Iranian General Qasem Soleimani after reportedly being threatened by General Mark Milley and a group of Israel First GOP Senators who could have had him impeached.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley reportedly pressured Trump to sign off on the assassination by telling him "you will be held criminally negligible for the rest of your life if you don't do this," according to the new book "I Alone Can Fix It" by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.

Jul 17 07:05

Distrust: As Biden Cozies To Iran, Israel Preparing To Go At It Alone

Iran’s burgeoning nuclear weapons threat is spurring Israeli leaders to counter with their own military expansion, as reported by the Jewish state’s top defense official.

“Against the greatest threat, Iran arming itself with a nuclear weapon, we have no choice but to expand our force buildup, to continue to rely on our human capital, and to adapt our capabilities and our plans,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Israeli National Defense College graduates.

President Joe Biden’s administration is attempting to curtail the Iranian nuclear threat through negotiations to rehabilitate the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Those “indirect talks” have stalled following six failed rounds to produce a breakthrough agreement, as regime officials now are in the midst of a transition from outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is being replaced by the hard-line judiciary chief, Ebrahim Raisi, who was declared the winner of the latest presidential elections.

Jul 16 05:33

Report: Israeli Military Wants More Funding for Potential Attacks on Iran

According to a report from Israeli TV, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has requested a major budget increase worth billions of shekels to prepare for potential attacks against Iran.

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan reported on Wednesday that the request was made during preliminary meetings on the budget Israel’s new government under Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to pass in the coming months.

The report said the discussions over the increased IDF budget took place to prepare for the possibility that the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal would fall apart. This infers that Israel is worried the JCPOA won’t be restored, but the Israelis have been doing everything they can to sabotage the talks.

Jul 15 06:22

Biden Iran envoy boasted of depriving civilians of food, driving up Iranian inequality 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.

Jul 14 06:55

China Mega Investment Deal With Iran Blows US Out Of The Picture

China has just announced that it will invest 400 bn dollars in Iran over a period of 25 years in exchange for a great deal on Iran’s oil – in the latest move of absolute defiance against the U.S. and its secondary sanctions. Where’s this all heading?

400 bn dollars is a considerable amount of money to invest in Iran, which, since Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the JCPOA (otherwise called the ‘Iran Deal’) we can certainly say is a poor country. In exchange, China gets rock bottom prices on oil, while both sides enjoy the double-whammy of sending a vociferous message to Washington: your days are up as a super power who can bully countries with sanctions.

Jul 13 13:16

Video: Major Explosion Rattles Tehran, Causes Yet Unknown

Fire and rescue teams rushed to the scene, as eyewitnesses detailed the initial blast sounding "like a building collapsed," according to local media reports.

A massive blast and subsequent fire was reported late Friday in the western district of Tehran, Iran, prompting many residents in the area to seek cover.

Reports have suggested that the explosion erupted inside a residential building near Mellat Park, one of the capital province's largest green spaces. It is believed that the explosion was caused by a malfunction in the building's gas system.
At present, reports indicate that the blast caused no fatalities.

Jul 12 13:02

Pompeo Pushing For An Iranian Revolution

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday forced Iranian rebels to "keep up the fight" against the hardline regime in Tehran -- as a top dissident group assembled in a summit to resume calls for a worldly and democratic Iran.

"We must continue to support the Iranian people as they fight for a freer and more democratic Iran in any way that we can," Pompeo told attendees at the National Council of Resistance of Iran’s (NCRI) "Free Iran World Summit." "There is so much good work that American civil society can do to further this goal. It is work that your organization is actively engaged in – keep up the fight."

Jul 10 12:05

Alleged Cyberattack Creates "Unprecedented Chaos" For Iran's National Rail Network

Iranian state TV on Friday afternoon (local time) reported "unprecedented chaos" at train stations across the country, leading to cancelations, immense delays and confusion impacting hundreds of lines after what's being reported as a potential cyber attack.

Reuters reports as evidence of a hack that a phone number for the Ayatollah's office was posed in place of a national train services hotline: "Train services in Iran were delayed by apparent cyberattacks on Friday, with hackers posting the phone number of the country's supreme leader as the number to call for information, state-affiliated news outlets reported."

Jul 09 08:02

Israel’s New PM to Review Iran Policy Ahead of Biden Meeting

According to a report from Axios, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has ordered a review of Israel’s Iran policy that is to be concluded before his first meeting with President Biden, which is expected to take place later in July.

Like his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett is an Iran hawk and opposes a US return to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. But Israeli sources told Axios that there is a debate within the Israeli government if the current situation is better or worse than if the JCPOA was revived.

“There are several questions in the discussions — is the current treading water better or worse than a US return to the deal, if and how Israel can influence the Biden administration, and what the current situation means for developing an Israeli military option,” an unnamed Israeli official told Axios.

Jul 09 05:44

Israel Wants Biden to Keep Trump’s Iran Sanctions Even if Nuclear Deal Is Revived

According to a report from The Times of Israel, Israeli officials recognize that the Biden administration is intent on returning to the Iran nuclear deal and are now focusing their efforts on pushing President Biden to keep Trump-era Iran sanctions in place.

The strategy doesn’t make much sense considering the US withdrew from the JCPOA by reimposing sanctions on Iran. It’s possible that the Israelis want Iran’s civilian nuclear program to be under the strict limits of the JCPOA while the Islamic Republic is still under crippling sanctions. But Tehran would never agree to reduce its nuclear activity without significant sanctions relief.

So far, despite entering indirect talks with Iran, the Biden administration has refused to lift all Trump era sanctions, so the two sides have been negotiating what measures the US will lift. An unnamed Israeli official who spoke to the Times gave credit to the Biden administration for refusing to lift sanctions up to this point.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iran will not go back to the deal if there is no sanctions relief.

Jul 08 06:18

Once again, the ‘NYTimes’ covers up Israel’s efforts to instigate the U.S. into conflict with Iran

ournalists are supposed to have subjects in their reports. You aren’t supposed to write, “It was said.” Instead: tell us who said it.

New York Times senior reporter David Sanger forgot that principle last week in his biased and inadequate account of the Biden administration’s Iran policy. Sanger suggests that Biden wants a broader “comprehensive” nuclear agreement, (although the Times article is vague about whether the U.S. wants to replace the 2015 deal or follow it with an additional pact).

Here’s how Sanger’s report failed Journalism 101:

“It is increasingly clear that any comprehensive agreement . . . must also cover a broad range of new weaponry that Iran’s forces were only tinkering with six years ago.”

And: “There is a growing recognition that [an updated agreement] will have to include many of those [new] weapons.”

His editors should have asked: Clear to whom? Who recognizes?

Jul 07 10:03

Iran: Major Electricity Blackouts During Hot Summer Lead To Growing Anti-Regime Protests

Widespread power outages in Iran which have continued this week have plunged entire cities into darkness and is fueling growing anti-government protests less than a month before hardline judiciary cleric Ebrahim Raisi enters office as president. Frequent power cuts have also high neighboring Iraq, given it's currently reliant for much of its electrical supply on Iran's infrastructure.

Multiple social media videos have spread across the internet which show Iranians chanting "death to the dictator" and other anti-Ayatollah slogans, though the footage can't be verified.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sabotage?

Jul 05 08:39

Iran Denies Links to Iraqi Militia’s Attack on US

This week, the US informed the UN Security Council of its recent attacks in Iraq and Syria. They once again presented the targeted Iraqi militia as an “Iran-backed” group, and claimed that the US attacks were meant to deter Iran.

Over the weekend, Iran’s UN envoy responded, dismissing the US claims as “factually wrong” and saying at the militia and its attacks had nothing to do with Iran.

This has been a recurring matter for years with the US in the region, as the US consistently attacks Shi’ite groups and attributes them to Iran, whether they have any ties or not.

This more or less amounts to the US reiterating its allegations at the UN after making a public case for its attacks before. Iran’s denial is largely the same as criticism of the US attack at the time, that this is an attack on Iraq, not Iran.

Jul 01 12:17

Bennett says Israel will never hold back against enemies ‘near and far’

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday vowed Israel will never hold itself back from striking its enemies in self-defense if necessary.

“The State of Israel will always defend itself against any external threat and will not hold itself back from ensuring our security,” Bennett said at a ceremony in Jerusalem marking the anniversary of the death of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism.

He added: “We will act firmly, creatively and consistently against threats both near and far.”

Bennett did not refer to any specific threat but his remarks came as the United States holds talks on rejoining the international accord restricting Iran’s nuclear program, a move Israel opposes.

Jul 01 05:43

US must guarantee it will never withdraw from JCPOA again: Iran’s UN envoy

Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations says a guarantee by the United States that it will never unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal again is crucial to a successful conclusion of the ongoing talks in Vienna aimed at reviving the agreement.

Speaking to reporters after a United Nations Security Council meeting on Wednesday, Majid Takht-Ravanchi reiterated that the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was illegal and against international regulations.

“The US left the JCPOA illegally, irrationally and without any reason,” he said.

After leaving the JCPOA in 2018, the US under the then President Donald Trump initiated a “maximum pressure” campaign of tough economic sanctions against Iran, prompting Tehran to take remedial measures by gradually reducing its nuclear commitments.

Jul 01 05:43

America is doing a pretty good job of undermining its own democracy – it doesn’t need any help from the Iranian media

The ethnic and political strife we’ve seen recently in the US is a product of its own making. The Iranians may be clever, but I don’t think outlets such as Press TV can stoke that, so why has Washington seized their websites?

In a blistering effort to support “freedom” in Iran, the US authorities recently seized the web domains of its international media networks Press TV and Al-Alam, along with those of a host of other outlets. Of the 36 seized, 33 were operated by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), allegedly controlled by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ (IRGC) Quds Force, which the US designated as a foreign terrorist organisation in 2019.

Jun 29 10:29

Sources: Saudi Crown Prince Asks Israeli PM to Stand against Iran

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a letter to new Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has felicitated him on winning the election, and called for Tel Aviv’s serious confrontation against Iran, sources said.

Informed sources told the Arabic-language Saudi Wikileaks website that Bin Salman has congratulated Bennett on the new post, stressing Riyadh’s commitment to all previous agreements with Tel Aviv.

In his letter, he has expressed the hope that the new Israeli prime minister and his cabinet would seriously pursue Iran’s case and stand against what he claimed as Iran’s danger in the region, they added.

According to the sources, the letter was written after the US declaration of intention to withdraw its military equipment from West Asian region, including Saudi Arabia.

Jun 29 10:28

Iran slams UN for failing to include Israel, Saudi Arabia in child killers blacklist

Iran has criticized the United Nations for failing to include Israel and Saudi Arabia in its blacklist of parties violating minors’ rights during conflicts, calling on the world body to adopt a non-discriminatory approach in naming and shaming child-killer regimes.

Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht-Ravanchi made the remarks in an address to the Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict on Monday, after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres presented his annual report.

The report covers countries and organizations under the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism, which are listed as grave violators in the report’s annexes.

Recruitment of child soldiers, attacks on schools and hospitals, killing and maiming, sexual assault and abduction of children could trigger inclusion in the annex, which could result in Security Council sanctions.

Jun 29 06:51

Federal Authorities Are Using ‘Disinformation’ as a Pretext To Silence Foreign Policy Dissent

June 22, 2021 should go down as a dark day in the history of the First Amendment. On that date, the U.S. Justice Department seized control of dozens of Iranian websites. According to a Justice Department press release, the federal authorities seized 33 websites operated by the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU), which is "linked" to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In October 2020, the Office of Foreign Assets Control designated IRTVU as a Specially Designated National (SDN). SDNs are prohibited from obtaining services, including website and domain services, in the United States without a license. The Justice Department charged that such entities "disguised as news organizations or media outlets, targeted the United States with disinformation campaigns and malign influence operations."

Jun 29 06:50

Biden Sees Attack on Iraq Militia as ‘Message to Iran’

Reports were that the JCPOA nuclear talks in Vienna were going pretty well, with Iran saying that a deal is possible. The Biden Administration has decided that this is a good time to send an overtly hostile message by attacking Iraqi militias, which they framed as pro-Iranian.

The US sees the attacks as a “clear message” to Iran, and coming just after the Iranian elections, which the US also condemned, this does not seem to be the sort of message that suggests diplomacy is being facilitated.

So far, other than criticizing the attack, Iran isn’t reacting in any specific way to the attack. This may not be a priority for them since the militia’s status as “pro-Iranian” is a lot more definitive in US eyes than it is to anyone else.

Jun 29 05:29

BREAKING NEWS: Joe Biden says Iran will 'never' get a nuclear weapon on his watch – as multiple rockets hit a US base in Syria less than 24 hours after he launched airstrikes against Iranian-backed militia sites

President Joe Biden said Monday Iran would 'never' acquire a nuclear weapon on his watch, following repots that U.S. forces in Syria came under attack a day after the U.S. launched strikes on Iranian proxies.

'What I can say to you Iran will never get a nuclear weapon on my watch as they say,' Biden said in the Oval Office while meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Biden told Rivlin the U.S. commitment to Israel's security was 'ironclad.'

Jun 29 01:16

Biden Regime Bombed Syria And Iraq In 'Self-Defense,' Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby Says

America has the right to "defend" itself by bombing alleged "Iran-backed militias" in Syria and Iraq, so said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Sunday.

Jun 28 07:42

Iran in frontline of fight against trafficking of illicit drugs despite little global support: Austrian mission

Iran’s embassy in Austria has slammed little international support, especially from the Western states, for the country’s fight against illicit drug trafficking, emphasizing that the Islamic Republic stands at the forefront of the costly campaign.

The embassy made the remarks in a tweet on Sunday on the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, or World Drug Day, which is marked on June 26 every year to strengthen action and cooperation in achieving the goal of a world free of drug abuse.

"Iran is at the forefront of the fight against illicit drug trafficking, which mainly enters Europe, while Iran receives little support for this costly fight," the Iranian mission said in its German tweet.

Jun 28 07:15

US shuts down Iranian websites for confronting imperialism & colonialism; Uncle Sam wants you to only watch the news he approves

The US seizure of Iranian-linked websites sends a clear message to the rest of the world – Washington will harass and silence media who dare to challenge the approved narrative.
This week, the United States launched one of the most outrageous attacks on the press and foreign media in recent times.

On June 23, the US government seized the websites of several broadcasters and news outlets, including Iran’s Al Alam, Iraq’s Alforat, and Yemen’s Al Masirah, just to name a few.

Among them was also Iran’s Press TV, a popular English-speaking broadcaster where I myself have hosted a television program titled The Communiqué since late 2020. Anyone attempting to access www.presstv.com is met with a sign that reads “This website has been seized,” bearing the daunting seal of the US Department of Justice and Department of Commerce.

Jun 28 06:02

U.S. Should Pay Iran Reparations

Why would I say such an outrageous, treasonous, delusional, OBVIOUSLY-funded-by-Putin thing? Am I hoping to enrage war-crazed sadists who’ve seen too much television “news”?

Not at all. I want them to still be around when I say that it would actually be preferable for the United States to pay reparations to the entire rest of the earth.

Well, then, why would I say such a thing, and exactly what type of mental disorder would allow me to believe the Iranian government to be saintly perfection?

Jun 28 05:55

Virus Kills 77 In Iran, Infects 23 Members of Parliament

Iran put its armed forces on alert Tuesday to assist health officials in battling the new coronavirus that’s killed at least 77 people, an outbreak that has sickened top officials and pushed even its supreme leader into wearing disposable gloves while trying to reassure the nation.

Even as government officials sit meters (feet) away from each other at meetings now in an effort to stop its spread, the virus is ravaging both its civilian leadership and its Shiite theocracy. A top emergency official and at least 23 members of parliament reportedly contracted the virus and now suffer from the COVID-19 illness it causes. Others have died.

There are now over 2,540 cases of the new virus across the Mideast, with 2,336 in Iran alone. Of those outside Iran in the region, most link back to the Islamic Republic.

Jun 28 05:55

More Members Of Iran's Political Elite Fall Victim To Coronavirus

As more members of Iran's political elite fall victim to the novel Coronavirus that has brought the country to the verge of serious crisis, the contagion appears to be closing in on the household of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Farideddin Haddad Adel, son of an influential politician, whose sister is Khamenei's daughter in law, tweeted Saturday morning February 29 that he has contracted the virus following a visit to Qom. However, he was harshly criticized for adding a laughing emoji to his post.

Many questioned the young Haddad Adel's integrity and accused him of using the situation for political gain. One twitter user reminded him that he contracted the virus while attending to one of his many businesses in Qom. Haddad Adels owns some of the most expensive private schools in Tehran and Qom.

Jun 26 06:14

West Blames Iran for Delaying Nuclear Deal, But Fault Lies With the US

Western powers continue to blame Iran for the slow progress of the negotiations to revive the nuclear deal even though the US withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, and now the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Paris Friday. Both Blinken and his French counterpart warned Iran that time was running out to revive the JCPOA. “There will come a point, yes, where it will be very hard to return back to the standards set by the JCPOA,” Blinken told reporters. “We haven’t reached that point — I can’t put a date on it — but it’s something that we’re conscious of.”

Jun 25 09:35

Iran Flouts US Sanctions Squeeze, Grows Non-Oil Exports Nearly 70 Percent in One Quarter

The United States slapped crushing sanctions on Iran’s energy sector in 2018 after unilaterally pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal, attempting to bring the Islamic Republic’s oil exports down “to zero” and threatening traditional customers of Iranian crude with secondary restrictions.

Iran’s non-oil exports have surged by a whopping 69 percent in the quarter ending 21 June compared to the same period last year, reaching $10.7 billion in total value, fresh statistics by Iran’s customs office cited by Tasnim show.

Customs chief Mehdi Mir Ashrafi reported on the figures on Thursday, stating that the gross weight of cargoes sent from Iran had increased by 38 percent year-on-year.

China was said to have been the top destination for the Iranian non-oil exports, accounting for $3.1 billion, with Iraq coming second –with exports valued at $2.3 billion, and the United Arab Emirates rounding out the top three with $1.3 billion in purchases.

Jun 25 09:21

Iran’s Raeisi: End to Foreign Interference Necessary for Regional Stability, Security

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raeisi said achievement of collective security and stability in the region requires an end to foreign meddling in regional affairs.

Speaking in a telephone conversation with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Thursday night, Raeisi emphasized that collective stability and security can be achieved once foreign interference in regional affairs comes to an end.

He said collective security constitutes a key part of his incoming administration’s regional foreign policy doctrine, which can bring about peace and stability to the regional states and tranquility and prosperity for the nations.

Jun 25 04:12

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

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

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

Jun 24 08:21

Iran Says US Websites Seizure Could Disrupt Nuclear Talks

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Presstv.ir is still online.

Jun 24 08:09

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

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

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

Jun 24 08:04

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

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

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

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

Jun 24 07:25

Advanced stealth drone downed by domestic missile defense system

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

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

Jun 24 06:09

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

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

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

Jun 23 10:37

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

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

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

Jun 23 10:37

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

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

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

Jun 23 10:36

Israeli Military Chief Warns US Against Reviving Iran Deal

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

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

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

Jun 23 10:01

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

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

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

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

Jun 23 09:59

A Sovereign Iran Will Move Closer to Russia-China

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 23 07:55

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

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

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

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

Jun 23 07:35

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

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

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

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

Jun 23 05:31

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jun 23 05:14

Iran foils ‘act of sabotage’ against atomic organization building

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 22 16:15

PRESSTV.IR IS STILL ONLINE!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

At least, for the moment!

Jun 22 14:30

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

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

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

Jun 21 11:09

Emergency Shutdown Reported at Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 21 11:04

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 21 07:18

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

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

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

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

Jun 21 06:49

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

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

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

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

Jun 20 06:30

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

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

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

Jun 17 15:05

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

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

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

Jun 17 05:57

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

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

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

Jun 16 07:44

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

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

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

Jun 15 09:16

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 15 09:15

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 15 05:55

Iran: Deal Reached With US on Lifting Sanctions

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

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

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

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

Jun 14 08:44

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

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

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

Jun 14 08:43

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

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

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

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

Jun 14 08:42

Ex-Mossad chief signals Israel culpability for Iran attacks

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

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

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

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

Jun 11 08:54

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

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

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

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

Jun 11 08:45

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

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

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

Jun 11 03:27

The Iran Nuclear Deal Won't Happen Any Time Soon

Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via OilPrice.com,

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

Jun 10 07:35

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

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

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

Jun 10 07:34

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

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

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

Jun 09 10:32

BLAZES IN IRAN AS HOPES FOR NUCLEAR DEAL RESCUE FLICKER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No casualties were reported as a result of the fire.

Jun 09 10:08

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jun 09 10:06

‘Unacceptable’: Iran slams suspension of UN voting rights

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

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

Jun 09 08:43

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That kills any possibility of a deal!

Jun 09 08:39

Flaws in US Iran Policy

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

Jun 09 06:25

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

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

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

The participants have supplied the following combat aircraft:

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

Jun 08 10:20

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

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

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

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

Jun 08 09:28

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 08 07:34

Washington’s Hypocritical Iran Obsession

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

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

Jun 08 05:55

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 07 12:37

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

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

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

Jun 07 02:34

US Troops In Iraq Targeted By Increasingly Sophisticated Combat Drones

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

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

Jun 06 07:21

Video: Massive Explosion Reportedly Hits Iranian Steel Factory in Zarand

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

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

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

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

Jun 04 06:05

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 02 11:05

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 02 10:52

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

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

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

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