• 2020-08-07

    China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin in the UN Security Council said Beijing is diametrically opposed to Washington’s illegal bid to prevent removal of an anti-Iran arms embargo that is slated to expire in October.

  • 2020-08-03

    During its annual “Great Prophet” military exercises in late July, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps struck dummy targets, including a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier, as it did in 2015, and a U.S. missile defense system. But the IRGC also launched two hitherto unidentified ballistic missiles from underground positions in the Iranian desert. Who was the intended audience of the IRGC’s spectacle? In the wake of numerous unconventional attacks, widely attributed to the United States and/or Israel, against Iran’s nuclear and missile programs, the United States and the Iranian public (the latter in desperate need of a morale boost) appear to be the target audiences.

  • 2020-08-01

    Iranian security forces have managed to arrest the head of the terrorist group, Jamshid Sharmahd, who directed "armed operations and acts of sabotage" in Iran from the US, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. […] The ministry said it has dealt a heavy blow to the Tondar group that planned and carried out a deadly terrorist attack on Seyyed al-Shohada mosque in the southern city of Shiraz, Fars Province, in 2008, which killed 14 people and wounded 215 others. It noted that the terrorist group had also planned to carry out other large-scale operations, like blowing up several places, including Sivand Dam in Shiraz, Mausoleum of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini in southern Tehran, and Tehran International Book Fair, which were all foiled. 

  • 2020-07-27

    An Iranian human rights NGO has for the first time released the names of 1,503 martyrs killed by the anti-Iran Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group in western parts of the country some 32 years ago. […] These terrorists carried out several military incursions from Iraq against Iranian territory. The operations included three rather massive military attacks named Aftab (in Fakkeh region in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan on March 28, 1988), Chelcheragh (in Mehran region in western Ilam Province on June 18, 1988) and Forough Javidan (targeting the western city of Kermanshah on July 25, 1988). The recent list released concludes the people who were martyred by the MKO in these three military operations and other sporadic offensives in 1988 along the western borders of the country.

  • 2020-07-27

    The point is, Tehran views Iraq through the prism of its own national security. Tehran had the means to block Kadhimi’s appointment on the floor of the parliament but it chose not to. For, Kadhimi kept lines of communication open to Tehran too, and Iran drew appropriate conclusions from the American experience in Iraq that creating a puppet in Baghdad is an exercise in futility and can only be counterproductive.  Tehran preferred to cast its net wide in the Iraqi society and create organic relationships — not only among the Shia majority but also among Sunnis and Kurds — which explain the spread of its influence, ensuring that no security threats emanate from Iraqi soil as in the Saddam era. Second, make no mistake, Iraq all along served as a buffer for Iran — a turf where the Americans would get a better understanding of Tehran’s motivations and potentials to be a factor of regional stability. Third, Tehran sees interesting potentials in Kadhimi being a ‘balancer’ in Iran-Saudi relations. 

  • 2020-07-27

    The recent remarks of Gha’ani, who is Soleimani’s successor, indirectly warns the U.S. of increased costs to America if it continues its current policy. However, Netanyahu and his allies in Washington have likely pinned their hopes on Iran providing a casus belli for further escalation. Any violent reaction from Iran could be seized upon to shift global opinion and engulf the U.S. in a conflict that a Biden administration could not easily undo. President Trump remains committed to escalating against Iran even as the U.S. battles a worsening pandemic, an economic depression, and internal discord not seen in decades. In May, Trump even vetoed legislation that would prevent military actions against Iran without Congressional authorization. As Trump’s prospects for re-election fade, a dangerous stage has been set for conflict in the months ahead.

  • 2020-07-26

    A passenger who was onboard the Iranian Mahan Air flight that encountered a US fighter jet over Syria last week had to undergo surgery for a spinal fracture after the plane landed in Beirut. Lebanon’s Health Minister Hamad Hassan visited the hospital where the passengers were treated and called the incident “criminal intimidation” by the US. A total of four passengers were admitted to the hospital in Lebanon after the incident. So far, three have been treated and have flown back to Iran. Lebanese media said the remaining passenger “suffers from a fracture of his spine and strokes as a result of a blow to the head.”

  • 2020-07-23

    There was a dangerous incident on Thursday over Syria involving two U.S. jets and an Iranian passenger plane bound for Beirut: An Iranian passenger plane en route from Iran to Beirut swerved and dropped abruptly to avoid two fighter jets, injuring several passengers before landing in Beirut, Iranian and Lebanese television stations reported on Thursday evening. […] Centcom confirmed that U.S. jets were involved, and claimed that they were conducting a routine patrol in connection with the al-Tanf base in southeastern Syria. This latest incident is another reminder that the U.S. military presence in Syria is unauthorized and illegal. U.S. jets have no business operating in Syrian airspace, and U.S. troops have no business being on Syrian territory. The jets were operating illegally to safeguard an illegal base, and in the process they nearly caused a terrible accident. U.S. jets shouldn’t be interfering with civilian flights over Syria. They shouldn’t be there at all. Just imagine how the U.S. would respond if the positions were reversed and a U.S. passenger plane were harassed in a similar fashion by fighters from a hostile government in another country’s airspace. This incident is bound to increase tensions between Iran and the U.S., which were already quite high following the acts of war that been carried out inside Iran in recent weeks. 

  • 2020-07-23

    Beginning in June 2020, Iran experienced a notable string of explosions, fires and industrial accidents. The damaged sites included Iran’s nuclear facility in Natanz, a missile plant in Khojir, the power grid in Shiraz and a chemical plant in Mahshahr. The most destructive incident was an explosion at the main uranium enrichment site in Natanz, which set back Iran’s nuclear program by months. On June 26, a similar incident ripped through Iran’s largest missile production plant near Tehran. Residents living in the capital city saw a bright orange glow lighting up the skyline.

  • 2020-07-23

    United Against Nuclear Iran is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing Iran from fulfilling its nuclear weapons ambitions. It began more than a decade ago toward the end of the George W. Bush administration and is among the few groups today that has continued through both Obama and Trump administrations, having retained its bipartisanship and managed to offer steady and serious assessment. Alas, recent decisions by various UANI board members in their personal capacities threaten to undermine UANI’s reputation, if not reverse the good work that UANI has done. At issue is the Mujahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group that emerged as an outgrowth from the merging of Islamist and Marxist intellectual strains in the decade prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. […] Last week, the group held its annual summit. While virtual, it continued to bring together foreign officials, most of who, while serving in government, knew better. Mujahedin-e Khalq press highlighted comments by former senator and current UANI co-chairman Joe Lieberman. Other UANI board members who frequently appear at Mujahedin-e Khalq rallies include former national security adviser John Bolton, former Bush-era counterterrorism official Francis Townsend, and Clinton-era U.N. Ambassador Bill Richardson. Last September, UANI founder and co-chairman Mark Wallace also appeared with the Mujahedin-e Khalq.