Death of Saudi King & Coup in Yemen: Signs in Iranian Prophecy

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Foreground: Iranian Revolutionary Guards, banner in background: the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

By Ryan Mauro:

The coup in Yemen by Iranian proxies and the death of Saudi King Abdullah must be seen through the eyes of Iranian regime elements focused on the “end-of-times” prophecies. These huge developments are seen not only as strategic opportunities by the Iranian regime; they are seen as fulfillments of prophecy signaling the imminent appearance of the Mahdi to bring final victory over the enemies of Islam.

THE END-OF-TIMES WORLDVIEW

The Iranian regime’s view of the world is centered around the appearance of the Mahdi, also known as the Hidden 12th Imam in Shia Islam. It also explains its strategy in the context of prophecies surrounding the Mahdi’s arrival on the scene, including issues related to Yemen, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Former President Ahmadinejad famously displayed his belief that the Mahdi’s return is very near to the point that other regime elements derided him and his clique as “deviant” for believing that the Mahdi is directly guiding them.

Ahmadinejad was not doing this for domestic political reasons. If anything, it hurt him politically. He’s continued the rhetoric even after leaving the office. In April, he said the Iranian regime will “provide the setting for the Hidden Imam’s world revolution” and it’s the “prime goal” to facilitate the “beginnings of the emergence of the Hidden Imam.”

Supreme Leader Khamenei’s beliefs are not different. He likewise preaches that the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran is the fulfillment of prophecy to set the stage for the Mahdi to defeat Iran’s enemies.

Like Ahamdinejad, Khamenei believes Iran has a responsibility to consciously fulfill prophecy in order to trigger this event. His representative in the Revolutionary Guards said in June that Iran needs to shape the necessary “regional preparedness” for it to happen.

In July 2010, a senior Iranian cleric said that Khamenei told his inner circle that he had met with the Mahdi, who promised to “reappear” during his lifetime. A sermon by a top cleric in Qom and shown on state television claimed that Khamenei said “May Ali protect you” the second he was born.

The most vivid explanation of the end-of-times prophecy in the Iranian regime’s calculations came in 2011 when a terrifying videowas leaked titled, “The Coming is Upon Us.” It was obtained by Reza Kahlili, a former CIA spy within the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Iranian regime did not contest its authenticity.

The basis of the video was that the Iranian regime is fulfilling specific prophecies to trigger the appearance of the Hidden 12th Imam. Supreme Leader Khamenei, President Ahmadinejad and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah are depicted as the incarnations of figures foretold in prophecy.

Kahlili said the production of the film was overseen by President Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff and it ends with a list of endorsements from clerics. A portion was shown on the regime-controlled media.

The blowback was fierce even from within the regime. A major seminary in Qom even condemned the comparison of Ahmadinejad to the military commander who will lead the final war. Significantly, it did not condemn the comparison of Khamenei to the political leader who will ally with the Mahdi known as “Seyed Khorasani.”

The regime tried to distance itself from the video, but the filmmakers said it was shown to Khamenei and Ahmadinejad for approval. They also pointed out that prominent clerics and Revolutionary Guards commanders call him “Seyed Khorasani” to his face. Khamenei’s representative in the Guards told a state newspaper on April 12, 2011 that ayatollahs agreed that Khamenei is Khorasani.

The Iranian regime’s foreign policy is based on a fusion of these strategic and ideological goals. It rationally pursues these extremist objectives. The mistake that many Western analysts make is conflating the two. The regime appears Soviet-like in its strategic calculations, but they are made for a highly ideological end.

DEATH OF SAUDI KING & COUP IN YEMEN

The full significance of the death of Saudi King Abdullah can only be understood through the Iranian prophetic framework.

Read more at Clarion Project

Are we toast? Saudi king is dead; ISIS expands; we’re abandoning Yemen and Iran has a missile launcher

ImageSat-Internationals-satellite-image-show-missile-release-facility-in-Iran-300x180By Allen West, Jan. 23, 2015:

On Tuesday evening President Obama stated, “the shadow of crisis has passed and the state of the union is strong” — and of course the blind followers cheered.

Obama also hinted that we had “turned the page” on our fight against terrorism. Remember his unilateral declaration at the National War College that the war on terror had ended — and of course he has commanded that combat operations end in two theaters of operation; Iraq and Afghanistan.

But nothing could shine the light on President Obama’s naiveté (or approval?) more than the fact that just 48 hours after he dismissed the “shadow of crisis,” we are evacuating yet another U.S. Embassy — this time in Yemen.

It’s the same Yemen that just last fall, Obama referred to as the model of his success — just like Vice President Joe Biden once chimed that Iraq would be one of Obama’s greatest successes. When Obama said the shadow of crisis has passed, we had three U.S. Naval warships off the coast of Yemen ready to evacuate the embassy.

Also see:

Saudi King Abdullah Dead at 91…

BN-GO662_abdull_M_20150122171919CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 22, 2015:

Saudi state media has reportedly confirmed that the King of Saudi Arabia, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, is dead. Abdullah was long known to be in ill-health. According to reports, Abdullah has been succeeded by Prince Salman, Abdullah’s half-brother, and a son of Saudi founder Ibn Saud. Salman is in his 70s. Salman is a member of the so-called “Sudairi Seven,” after their mother, whose powerful al-Sudairi clan hails from the Nejd region of Saudi Arabia. The faction is considered a powerhouse within internal Saudi palace politics. In recent years reports have noted that Salman suffers from dementia.

King Salman

King Salman

His death comes at a particular bad time for Saudi Arabia, as just today Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have apparently forced the Yemeni president to resign, throwing the country into chaos.  Saudi Arabia has always viewed Yemen as a sort of vulnerable soft underbelly to their own Kingdom, and instability there has been viewed as a threat, which has led to Saudi military interventions in Yemen on multiple occasions, most recently in 2009 against the very same Houthis that now dominate Sana’a.

Of the major threats facing the Kingdom both Iran, and The Islamic State are likely to place particular significance on both of these events and their timing. Yemen plays a role in both Shia Twelver and Sunni Jihadist ideology, and Saud’s death and chaos in Yemen will no doubt be a highly motivating factor for both.

While Salman is clearly not in the best position to exert strong leadership for the House of Saud given his own health issues, he can rely on the internal networks of the Sudairi Seven within the government establishment. Whether that, taken together with the pressure of the external threats will be enough to insure a united Saudi response  remains to be seen.

Also see:

Death of a Prosecutor

B7y4GYhIIAAH2ad.jpg-large-450x300Frontpage, by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Jan. 21, 2015:

Alberto Nisman, the Argentinean prosecutor who indicted top Iranian regime officials for the July 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires, was found dead by gunshot in his apartment on Sunday night, in what initially was called a suicide.

Nisman was scheduled to address members of parliament the next day to reveal new information about alleged efforts by Argentinean President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her foreign minister, Hector Timerman, to cover up the responsibility of the Iranian regime in the AMIA bombing that killed 86 people some twenty-one years ago.

Just days before his murder, Nisman publicly accused the President and her foreign minister of taking “the criminal decision to fabricate Iran’s innocence to save Argentina’s commercial, political and geopolitical interests.”

Police found arrayed on a desk in his apartment documents relating to his allegations, but no suicide note.

Nisman issued his initial 801 page indictment in the AMIA case in on October 25, 2006. He asked Interpol to issue international arrest warrants against eight current and former Iranian government officials, including then president Hashemi-Rafsanjani, his foreign minister, the intelligence minister, and the head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps.

He also accused Lebanese Hezbollah leader Imad Mugniyeh, who worked in tandem with the IRGC, of handling the logistics of the truck bomb plot.

Mugniyeh was assassinated in Damascus in February 2008, apparently by Israeli operatives. Mugniyeh has a long pedigree of killing Americans and killing Jews, which I have written about extensively.

He murdered 241 U.S. Marines in Beirut in 1983, hijacked aircraft, murdered U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and helped recruit the al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Early this past Sunday, Israeli helicopters reportedly attacked a Hezbollah outpost in Syria, killing four Hezbollah operatives – including Mugniyeh’s son and terrorist-operative heir, Jihad.

A senior Iranian official told reporters that Israel would be hit at “the right time and right place” in retaliation for the strike.

That same evening, on the other side of the world, the Argentinean prosecutor instrumental in revealing Mugniyeh, Senior’s involvement in the AMIA bombings, died mysteriously of a gunshot wound to the temple, fired from a .22 revolver he did not own, with no apparent powder burns on his hands.

Coincidence? Perhaps.

When police discovered Nisman’s bloody body behind the locked door of his Buenos Aires apartment, they treated the area as a crime scene, not a suicide, and immediately called in forensics investigators.

This and other indicators led the Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey, a long-time aficionado of Iranian state terrorism, to speculate that Iran might have murdered Nisman to bury the evidence of bigger crimes.

My Iranian sources tell me there is no doubt of Iran’s efforts to coopt Argentinean president Cristina Kirchner, nor any doubt that Nisman’s death was a murder carried out by professionals.

I got involved in the AMIA investigation early on, and corresponded with Nisman’s first boss on the case, Judge Juan Jose Galeano, who eventually traveled to Washington, DC to meet with me. When Nisman ultimately took over the case and issued his indictment against the Iranian regime, he cited my evidence on more than a dozen occasions.

As I reported in 2003, a former Iranian intelligence officer, Abdolghassem Mesbahi, told the court that Iranian officials had paid $10 million into a Banque Degroof Luxembourg bank account in Switzerland that was controlled by then-president Carlos Menem, in exchange for his efforts to impede the AMIA investigation.

Menem’s denials were ultimately put to rest when the Swiss government froze the $10 million in his Banque Degroof accounts. One can only imagine what would have happened to Mrs. Kirschner’s denials had Nisman been able to testify on Monday to the Argentinean parliament.

Nisman has been under pressure from the Argentinean authorities for years. I contacted him again in 2007 to see if he would be willing to testify before the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York about what he had learned of Iran’s overseas terrorist operations, as part of the Iran-9/11 investigation I was involved in.

After several months of back and forth negotiations, he got back to me to say that his superiors had forbidden him from having any contact with the U.S. court, even though we merely wanted him to present the same evidence he had made public in the AMIA indictment.

Nisman had huge amounts of evidence that has not been made public, including transcripts of intercepts between the Iranian cultural attaché and Iranian expat taxi drivers in Buenos Aires who helped transport explosives used in the bombing, and other intercepts detailing the involvement of the Islamic Republic Shipping Lines and their local agents in conveying the explosives to Argentina.

The circumstances of Nisman’s murder – the dubious murder weapon, the door locked from the inside, the apparent absence of a struggle – remind me eerily of the November 2011 murder of Ahmad Rezai, the son of the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Mohsen Rezai.

The younger Rezai was found dead in his room in a residence hotel in Dubai and was immediately declared a suicide by the Dubai police.

Because I had gotten to know him well (so well that he named his first child after my daughter), I flew to Dubai to investigate.

Although Rezai was a U.S. citizen, the U.S. consular authorities had no interest in investigating the case and provided no assistance to me or his U.S. family, who I was representing.

The Dubai authorities stonewalled but I went around them. From the medical examiner, I discovered that the cause of “suicide” – an overdose of anti-psychotic medicine – was not true: the amount found in Ahmad’s blood was normal.

Furthermore, upon interrogating hotel staff, I discovered that a known Russian mafia hitman had checked into a room just down the hall a few hours before Ahmad’s murder and disappeared the next day, even though he had paid a month’s rent in advance.

Needless to say, the Dubai police had never heard of the man, let alone interrogated him.

The morning of Ahmad’s death, an explosion rocked a huge missile facility west of Tehran, killing the father of Iran’s solid-fuel missile programs. I speculatedin these pages that rivals of Ahmad’s father suspected father and son of seeking to reform the regime from within, an effort that is rejected by many Iranian opposition activists who believe that reform is impossible.

On Tuesday, an Iranian website controlled by the IRGC, identified the Foundation that I founded and chair as the regime’s Public Enemy #1.

It’s certainly not the first time the IRGC and their allies among the hardliners have identified me personally and my foundation as “enemies” of their revolution, because we support the right of Iranians to choose their form of government by democratic means.

But the timing of this latest version of the anti-jihadi hit parade seems no accident, coming on the heels of the assassination of Jihad Mugniyeh and the apparent murder of Alberto Nisman.

No one should underestimate the determination of the Iranian regime to use any means at its disposal to achieve its ends. Whether that means dispatching thousands of Revolutionary Guards fighters to Syria to prop up Assad, or murdering Americans in Iraq to hasten our departure, or providing safe haven and logistical assistance to al Qaeda, or funneling arms secretly to ISIS to stoke a fire they can boast to the gullible U.S. officials they are uniquely qualified to put out, the Islamic Republic of Iran is playing for keeps.

They have more case officers working for their intelligence services than we do in the United States, and have developed an entire branch of their military – the Quds Force – to carry out overseas terrorist operations.

They will not hesitate to murder people who get in their way, no matter their nationality or where they might be found.

They are playing hardball, and we are playing tiddlywinks. And yet, successive U.S. administration’s have thrown away advantages won by the blood of patriots – both Iranian and American – for empty promises made by known liars, assassins, and cheats.

When will we ever learn?

Also see:

Yemen in chaos as U.S. warships move into position to evacuate embassy

American Thinker, by Rick Moran, Jan. 21, 2015:

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who overran the capital Saana three months ago, have now taken possession of the presidential residence and hold the enfeebled leader, Abd-Rabbu Mansour, a virtual hostage.

We welcome another Shia state to the Middle East, courtesy of American policy (or, in this case, a lack thereof).

Yemen?  You know, the country harboring al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  If that organization sounds vaguely familiar, could be because they were the terrorists who have claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

And now, with Yemen a failed state in all but name, AQAP will be left relatively alone – with the exception of a U.S. drone strike now and again – to carry out whatever deadly plans they’ve made to attack the west.

The situation is so bad that the U.S. has moved warships closer to Yemen in order to evacuate embassy personnel should the need arise:

So far, there has been no decision to evacuate the embassy. The USS Iwo Jima and the USS Fort McHenry were moved “because they will be in the best position if asked,” by the State Department to evacuate the embassy, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of the planning tells CNN. So far there has been decision to evacuate the embassy, and no request from the State Department for military assistance.

If an evacuation is ordered, the first option would be to have embassy personnel drive to the commercial airport in Sanaa and fly out, the official said. But in the wake of an embassy car being fired Tuesday, the safety of the roads in the capital is now being constantly evaluated, the official said. If embassy workers did drive to the airport it is likely some sort of air cover would be provided, under the current plan.

Other detailed military planning for various options has been finalized, the official said. Those options would be used if a request for military assistance were made.

What do the Houthis want?  The minority tribe wants power – and lots of it:

After clashes at the president’s office and home on Tuesday, the Houthis’ leader threatened in a speech overnight to take further “measures” unless Hadi bows to his demand for constitutional changes that would increase Houthi power.

By early morning on Wednesday, Houthi fighters, accompanied by an armored vehicle, had replaced the guards at the president’s residence. Presidential guard sentry posts were initially empty, however a few guards later appeared and were permitted to take up positions.

“President Hadi is still in his home. There is no problem, he can leave,” Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi politburo, told Reuters.

Yemeni military sources said the Houthis also seized the military aviation college located close to Hadi’s home, and the main missile base in Sanaa, without a fight.

In the south of the country, Hadi’s home region, local officials denounced what they called a coup against him and shut the air and sea ports of the south’s main city, Aden.

Yemen, an impoverished nation of 25 million, has been plagued by Islamist insurgency, separatist conflict, sectarian strife and economic crisis for years. An “Arab Spring” popular uprising in 2011 led to the downfall of long-ruling President Ali Abdullah Saleh, bringing more chaos.

The Houthis, rebels from the north drawn from a large Shi’ite minority that ruled a 1,000-year kingdom in Yemen until 1962, stormed into the capital in September but had mostly held back from directly challenging Hadi until last week, when they detained his chief of staff.

They accuse the president of seeking to bypass a power-sharing deal signed when they seized Sanaa in September, and say they are also working to protect state institutions from corrupt civil servants and officers trying to plunder state property.

The president couldn’t find the time in his State of the Union speech to mention Yemen – or just about any other foreign crisis precipitated by his incompetent leadership.  The liberal Guardian noticed the absence of foreign policy references, too:

Despite punishing US-led economic retaliation that Obama said left Moscow’s economy “in tatters”, Russia remains in Ukraine. Domestic opposition to closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility is growing. Congress is eager to destroy any nuclear deal Obama might reach with Iran, though a deal continues to be elusive, and Obama rejoinders with a vow to veto new sanctions. Just hours before the speech, Houthi rebels in Yemen assaulted the compound of one of Obama’s most critical counter-terrorism clients, Yemen president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, even as Obama has called Yemen a counter-terrorism model to export. Bashar al-Assad remains the dictator of Syria, though confusion reigns over whether his ouster remains US policy, and Obama’s policy of “supporting a moderate opposition” in Syria is barely off the ground. Obama barely referenced al-Qaida, even as his global counter-terrorism strikes persist. Libya, the scene of his claimed 2011 triumph, is a shambles. Notably, his speech did not unveil any new foreign initiatives.

Obama thinks that by ignoring foreign crises, people will forget how badly he’s botched things up.  There’s probably some truth to that; Americans are notoriously insular and care about foreign policy only when we have soldiers in harm’s way.

But we are likely to wake up sometime in the near future and realize that the threat against Americans is at our doorstep, and the president has done precious little to prevent that.

Also see:

Dem Senator: Obama’s Talking Points Come from Iran

 

Frontpage, By Daniel Greenfield On January 21, 2015

Obama accused Senator Robert Menendez of being in the pay of the Jews. Or as he put it, donors.

Senator Robert Menendez, a Cuban-American, whom Obama’s people have already been going after on Iran for a while now, was already none too thrilledabout the Castro deal Obama made, snapped back after the State of the Union.

 At a hearing on Iran this morning, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was unambiguous on where he stands regarding the administration’s Iran policy — despite President Obama’s attempted scolding last week of pro-sanctions Dems.

“The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,” Menendez said.

“And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they are the ones with original sin. An illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of 20 years, they’re unwilling to come clean on,” he continued. “So I don’t know why we feel compelled to make their case, when in fact … they get to cheat in a series of ways and we get to worry about their perceptions.”

Menendez is obviously right, but it’s startling to hear that coming from a Democratic Senator. It also sounds more likely that Obama’s Iran nuclear veto can be beaten.

U.S. to Award Iran $11.9 Billion Through End of Nuke Talks

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 21, 2015:

The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.

Today’s $490 million release, the third such payment of this amount since Dec. 10, was agreed to by the Obama administration under the parameters of another extension in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program that was inked in November.

Iran will receive a total of $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via 10 separate payments by the United States through June 22, when talks with Iran are scheduled to end with a final agreement aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear work, according to a State Department official.

Iran received $4.2 billion in similar payments under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Iran committed to the talks through November, when negotiators parted ways without reaching an agreement.

Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets by the end of June if current releases continue on pace as scheduled.

The release of this money has drawn outrage from some Republican lawmakers who filed legislation last year to prevent the release of cash due to a lack of restrictions on how Iran can spend the money.

These cash payments by the United States have been made with no strings attached, prompting concerns that Iran could use the funds to finance its worldwide terror operations, which include the financial backing of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other rogue entities.

Senators—including Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), and John Cornyn (R., Texas)—sought last year to put a hold on the cash infusions until the White House could certify that Iran was not using the money to support terrorism.

Kirk, who is preparing to offer legislation that would tighten sanctions on Iran, said that the ongoing payments could help Iran fuel its terror empire well into the near future.

“Between November 2014 and July 2015, the interim deal’s direct forms of sanctions relief will allow Iran access to roughly $4.9 billion in frozen money,” Kirk told the Washington Free Beacon “That’s equal to what it’d cost Iran to fund Hezbollah for as much as 50 years.”

The Pentagon estimates Iran has spent $100 to $200 million per year funding Hezbollah.

Entities likely to receive support from Iran include the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the legislation suggests.

When final negotiations between the United States and Iran failed in November, negotiators decided once more to extend the talks through June of this year. The terms of that extension granted Iran the 10 payments of $490 million, a State Department official said.

“With respect to sanctions relief, the United States will enable the repatriation of $4.9 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad during the extension,” the official said.

The first two payments were made in December, followed by Wednesday’s payment.

The next release is scheduled for Feb. 11, with two more scheduled for March. The rest of the frozen cash assets will be given back to Iran on April 15, May 6, May 27, and June 22, respectively.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said the ongoing release of these assets has provided Iran with a critical “financial lifeline.”

“The Obama administration provided Iran with a financial lifeline through both direct sanctions relief and the de-escalation of sanctions pressure that helped the regime stabilize its economy after a severe sanctions-induced economic crisis in 2012 and 2013,” Dubowitz said. “It is not a surprise that this has increased Iranian negotiating leverage and hardened the supreme leader’s nuclear intransigence.”

In addition to decrying the lack of restrictions in place to ensure that Iran does not use the released funds to sponsor terrorism, critics of the sanctions relief protest that Iran is benefitting while the United States receives little in return.

Iran has continued to enrich uranium under the interim deal, adding what one critic, Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) referred to as “about one bomb’s worth” to its reserves.

Iran also has continued to make advances on the plutonium track, which provides it with a second path to a nuclear bomb.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran announced last week that the country has begun constructing two new light water nuclear reactors, a move that the U.S. State Department said is permissible under the terms of the interim agreement.

Also see:

Obama Straight Up Lied about Iran’s Nukes Tonight: Their Progress Hasn’t Been ‘Halted’

3634283604CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Jan. 21, 2015:

By claiming in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that “for the first time in a decade” progress in the Iranian nuclear program has been halted and Iran’s enriched-uranium stockpile has been reduced, President Obama continued an unfortunate pattern of behavior by his administration on this issue: He outright lied.

President Obama’s claims aren’t even close to being true. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has surged since 2009 and has continued to increase since an interim nuclear agreement with Iran was agreed to in November 2013.

The number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium has steadily risen throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency, rising from seven to at least eight over the last year.

The below chart from a recent Center for Security Policy analysis illustrates the increase in Iran’s enriched  uranium stockpile and the number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium since Mr. Obama became president — no sign of the president’s proclaimed decline. (Click here to view the entire analysis.)

pic_corner_012115_iranWhile it is true Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent uranium-235 level as required by the November 2013 interim agreement, and is diluting 20 percent–enriched uranium to reactor-grade, this concession has had a negligible effect in reducing the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.

Most of its enriched uranium stockpile happens to be at the reactor-grade level, and Iran can convert that material into enough weapons-grade fuel for one nuclear bomb in 2.2 to 3.5 months, only about two weeks longer than it would take to do so using 20 percent enriched uranium.

The United States has offered huge, one-sided concessions in its talks with Iran that will allow the country  to continue to enriched uranium, will not force it to give up its enriched-uranium stockpile, and will not require a halt to construction of a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor.

Iran has failed to cooperate with the IAEA during the talks and cheated on the interim agreement by testing advanced centrifuges.

Based on these factors, I could only conclude in a November 21 NRO article that the Obama administration has no interest in an agreement to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and has instead quietly decided to contain an Iranian nuke program.

Congress must ignore the president’s ridiculous claim that new sanctions against Iran would set back progress made in the nuclear talks and alienate our allies. These talks were fatally flawed from the beginning and are certain to produce a weak, short-lived deal that will destabilize the Middle East.

This is why 14 national leaders signed a Center for Security Policy letter to congressional leaders last November calling on Congress to repudiate the nuclear talks and pass new sanctions against Iran until it complies with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Sanctions legislation in the House and Senate is reportedly close to obtaining veto-proof majorities.  Even if President Obama vetoes new sanctions, passing legislation to impose them will send a clear message to Iran and the world that the American people do not support the nuclear talks and that a future U.S. administration is likely to ignore any agreement reached in them and start over.

Uprising in Yemen Fans U.S. Concerns

 

By MARIA ABI-HABIB and HAKIM ALMASMARI

SAN’A, Yemen—A militia group demanding a greater say over Yemen’s new constitution took over the presidential palace here Tuesday, sparking fresh concerns about a country that has become a cornerstone of U.S. counterterrorism strategy.

The offensive in San’a by the Houthis—a group that represents the country’s Zaidi sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam—followed its capture hours earlier of the nearby headquarters of Yemen’s presidential guard. In September, it forced the government to resign after occupying the capital.

The whereabouts of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi were unknown, as was the number of casualties. The U.S. has depended upon Mr. Hadi in its efforts to keep al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, in check. While the Houthis are also battling AQAP, the instability of an increasingly important counterterror ally is stoking U.S. worries.

The Houthis’ takeover of the key government installations comes as a cease fire and talks between the government and the group over a power-sharing deal broke down on Tuesday.

The rebels took dozens of hostages among the country’s U.S.-trained special forces and seized heavy artillery and Russian-made tanks, government officials said.

WO-AV193_YEMENm_16U_20150120112114By Tuesday night, militia leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi addressed the nation in a televised speech, listing four demands that would give the Houthis more of a political voice. He also chided the U.S.-backed national security forces for their inability to counter the al Qaeda forces that are spreading across Yemen, listing as his final demand that the military step up its fight against the AQAP.

In his speech, Mr. Houthi assured the country that a coup wasn’t immediately in the works.

“Our movement is not going to uproot any political powers. We are here to serve the country and not target the Yemeni people,” Mr. Houthi said. “Our escalation will go slow if they start implementing the [unapproved] deal. If not, all options are open.…We move in studied steps. We do not want the country to collapse.”

The U.S. has provided Yemen with nearly $1 billion in economic, military and humanitarian aid since 2011, and the country has played an important role in U.S. counterterror strategy. Dozens of American airstrikes have targeted the leadership and training camps of AQAP since 2009.

Despite some early success by the U.S. campaign, Yemen-based AQAP has remained resilient and even enjoyed a resurgence across Yemen last year. Even though they are fierce enemies of AQAP’s Sunni extremists, the Houthis oppose the U.S. military program.

AQAP claimed responsibility for the attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris this month. It is considered to be the al Qaeda arm that is most capable of launching global attacks, U.S. officials say.

U.S. intelligence and other government officials on Tuesday expressed grave concern about the unfolding situation. The U.S. military is preparing for a possible evacuation of Americans from Yemen if asked by the State Department.

The U.S. has urged calm and criticized the gradual Houthi takeover of the capital. But it has also benefited from the militia’s appetite to battle AQAP. Last fall, the militia uprooted AQAP from its longtime stronghold in the southern city of Rada, in Baydah province.

The Obama administration’s primary policy in Yemen is to stabilize Mr. Hadi’s government. But there is a growing fear in Washington that his government might not be salvageable and that the U.S. could face one of two stark realities: a Houthi government closely aligned with Iran or al Qaeda gaining strength in Yemen.

Read more at WSJ

Iran Promises ‘Crushing Response’ to Israeli Strike

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters shout slogans as they march during Ashoura day in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 / AP

Lebanese Hezbollah supporters shout slogans as they march during Ashoura day in Beirut’s southern suburbs, Lebanon, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 20 2015:

Iran on Monday promised that Hezbollah would deliver “crushing response” to the Israeli attack over the weekend, which killed six Iranian agents, including a top-level commander, and five Hezbollah members.

“The experience of the past shows that the resistance current will give a crushing response to the Zionist regime’s terrorist moves with revolutionary determination and in due time and place,” Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was quoted as saying.

The Israeli strike came just days after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah declared that the terror group was preparing for a war in Israel’s northern Galilee region.

It also occurred just a week after Iranian military leaders announced that they are operating missile sites in Syria, which potentially include a nuclear facility.

Senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders were likely planning a sophisticated invasion of Israel’s northern border in the weeks before they were killed by an Israeli airstrike over the weekend, according to Major General Eyal Ben Reuven, the former deputy head of the Israeli Defense Forces Northern Command.

The accuracy of Israel’s strike and the high-level nature of those Iranian and Hezbollah commanders killed indicates planning for a militant incursion into Israel’s northern region, according to Reuven, who said the airstrike shows a “very high level of intelligence” on Israel’s part.

The high-level nature of the Iranian and Hezbollah operatives targeted by Israel suggests that an attack on Israel was imminent, according to Reuven, who handled top intelligence in the region during his time serving in the IDF.

“If the highest level of Hezbollah commanders were in the Golan Heights and the high level of Iranians, it means that their idea, [what] they’re planning could be a kind of operation, an act against Israel on a high level,” Reuven said during a conference call Monday organized by the Israel Project (TIP). “It’s significant, the high level of this meeting, of this reconnaissance of the Iranians and Hezbollah.”

“It says something about what they plan, what kind of operation they planned,” he added. “If Israel has intelligence that says there is a kind of operation on the way to act against Israel, I think Israel would have a legitimate [reason] to do all we can to prevent it.”

The strike that killed these 11 militants was “very, very professional,” according to Reuven, and would require “very, very high level intelligence” and “very accurate” targeting information.

Iran quickly confirmed that one of its top commanders had been killed in the strike, according to Farsi language reports.

Multiple state-controlled Iranian news agencies confirmed that Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi had been killed by “a military helicopter of the Zionist regime during a visit to the ‘Quneitra’ region of Syria.”

“As a result of this crime, this heroic general along with several members of Hezbollah reached martyrdom,” the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) wrote in a Persian language report independently translated for the Washington Free Beacon by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD).

Allahdadi had been sent to Syria by top Iranian commanders “so that he could combat the Zionist regime in Lebanon and Syria,” according to the Iranian media.

The IRGC official press organ also confirmed the death in a statement published by Iranian news outlets.

“Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi was of the brave, devoted, and wise commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps whose effective contributions during the Holy Defense (the Iran-Iraq War) and after during his Commanding of the Al-Ghadir IRGC unit of Yazd province will always be enduring and inspiring to the generation of today and tomorrow of the Islamic nation,” read the IRGC communiqué also issued in Farsi.

The IRGC claimed that Allahdadi was in Syria to help embattled leader Bashar al-Assad combat “terrorists” there.

Allahdadi also helped in “neutralizing the atrocities and conspiracies [of] this Zionist-terrorist sedition in Syria’s geography,” according to the IRGC.

The IRGC went on to lash out at Israel for “violating the airspace of the country of Syria” and accused the Jewish state of emboldening terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State (IS), which is battling against Assad.

Israel’s actions against Iran and Syria are being “planned” along with “the cooperation [of] the heads of the White House and the occupying regime of Quds [Jerusalem],” the IRGC said in its statement.

Information about the other Iranians killed remains minimal at this point. Conflicting reports have emerged about whether the top militant killed, Abu Ali Tabatabai, was officially working on behalf of Iran or Hezbollah.

Tabatabai had been linked to Iran’s Al Radwan Special Operations Units, which is known to conduct combat operations, according to TIP.

“His presence would have suggested, and probably indicates, operations aimed at overrunning Israeli border towns,” TIP reported in an email to reporters.

The Hezbollah members killed include Mohammed Issa, a senior Hezbollah figure closely tied to Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s leading figure in the Golan Heights area near Israel’s border with Syria.

Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert and researcher for FDD, told the Free Beacon that Iran is expected to boost its presence in Syria and increase its support for Hezbollah.

“Given Iran’s heightened resolve and dedication to keeping Assad in power, we can expect the Islamic Republic to continue, if not deepen its commitment to the Assad regime and Hezbollah by way of such mercenaries,” he said.

Taleblu also noted that Iran continues to blame the rise of IS (also known as ISIL or ISIS) on America and Israel.

“The notion contained in the IRGC’s communiqué in the aftermath of the death of Commander Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, that the Islamic State (or DAESH, in Persian and Arabic) is linked to Israel and the U.S. is a common one promoted by the Islamic Republic’s hardline political elite and regime media,” he explained.

“Beyond narrative, this false linkage underscores an analytical shortcoming, Iran’s military and political class have failed to attribute agency to the Islamic State, be it in Syria or Iraq, and by claiming they are Western agents, misread and misdiagnosed the violent sectarian milieu that was growing in Iraq and Syria before the group’s emergence last summer,” he said.

Senior Qods Force general killed in suspected Israeli airstrike

LWJ, By

A senior general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force was among six Iranians and six Hezbollah operatives who were killed in yesterday’s airstrike in southern Syria that is thought to have been launched by the Israeli military.

Sepah News, the official online news outlet of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), confirmed that Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allah-Dadi was killed in the airstrike in Quneitra, Syria. Both Hezbollah and the IRGC claimed that Israeli attack helicopters carried out the attack.

Hezbollah confirmed on Jan 18. that Jihad Imad Mughniyah, the son of the notorious Hezbollah military and intelligence chief who helped found the group, and five other commanders were killed while conducting a reconnaissance operation in Quneitra. The Iranian media has described Jihad, a rising star in Hezbollah who is said to have commanded the group’s units in the Syrian Golan, as the adopted son of Major General Suleimani, the leader of Qods Force. Jihad’s father, Imad, who was closely tied to Iran, is thought to have been assassinated by Israeli intelligence in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria in 2008.

Also reported killed was Mohammad Issa, who is also known as Abu Issa al Eqlim. He has been identified as a member of Hezbollah’s military intelligence branch.

The combined Hezbollah and Qods Force unit is thought to have been scouting jihadist groups, including the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic Front, two organizations that are known to operate in Quneitra. Iran has supported the Syrian government and Hezbollah against rebel forces since civil war broke out in 2011.

Brigadier General Allah-Dadi is the latest high-ranking Iranian military casualty in the wars in Syria and Iraq. An Islamic State sniper killed Hamid Taqavi, an IRGC brigadier general who was advising Iranian-backed Shiite militias in Samarra, Iraq in late December 2014. In October 2014, General Jabar Drisawi, a general in Iran’s Basij militia, was killed during fighting near Aleppo, Syria. And in February 2013, Hassan Shateri, a top commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps who is also said to have served on Hezbollah’s advisory council, was killed in an ambush while traveling from Damascus to Beirut.

Brigadier General Allah-Dadi may provide clues to Qods Force’s leadership structure

The material released in the Persian and Arabic language material since Allah-Dadi’s death not only provides interesting insight into his career, but also to Qods Force’s recruitment pattern.

According to the IRGC Public Relations Department, Allah-Dadi was a veteran of the Iran- Iraq War, which was fought from 1980 to 1988. He had served as the commander of the Al Ghadir IRGC Ground Forces in Yazd province in eastern Iran. The most detailed biography however, was released by Mashregh News. According to the news agency, Allah-Dadi, a native of Pariz, Sirjan in Kerman province, volunteered for the war effort in 1980 and initially served in the irregular forces of Mostafa Chamran (1932-1981). However, as the IRGC’s 41st Sarallah Division, based in Kerman, was established under the command of Qassem Suleimani, Allah-Dadi joined him and participated in most major operations up to the end of the war with Iraq in 1988.

The ceasefire between Iran and Iraq did not put an end to Allah-Dadi’s military career. For a time, he continued serving under Suleimani in Kerman, but later served for three years as Ramazan Brigade chief of the 27th Mohammad Rasoul-Allah Force based in Tehran. In 2006, he was appointed Al Ghadir Force chief based in Yazd, where he served until June 20, 2011. Systematic references to Allah-Dadi’s work in the local press in Yazd came to an abrupt end after the end of his tenure. This can only be explained by a piece of information released by Mashregh News: “A few years ago, invited by Major General Qassem Suleimani, IRGC QF commander, he joined the Quds Force to fight the Zionist regime in Lebanon and Syria.”

Very little information about Allah-Dadi’s work in Syria has been released to the public. According to the Jan. 19 press release by the IRGC Public Relations Department, Allah-Dadi was deployed to Syria as a military adviser in order to “assist the government and nation of Syria against the takfiri-salafi terrorists [a reference to the Sunni opposition to the Baath regime in Syria].” He was allegedly killed while inspecting Quneitra in Syria, as “a group of fighters of the Islamic Resistance [reference to Lebanese Hezbollah]” were attacked by a “military helicopter of the Zionist regime.” The last recorded instance of Allah-Dadi’s whereabouts before his death appears in a report by journalist Hassan Shemshadi in the Central News Unit. Shemshadi allegedly met the Iranian general at a Shiite shrine in Damascus.

The most important information released about the late Allah-Dadi is the long history of his friendship and service under Suleimani, the current Qods Force commander. A single case does not provide enough material for drawing conclusions concerning Suleimani’s pattern of appointments in his command, but should other former Suleimani associates and friends be identified as current Qods Force officers, that would provide important parts of the puzzle of the unit’s command structure.

Also see:

In Latin America, radical Islamic presence flourishes while key countries downplay the threat

86886005CSP, by Luis Fleischman, January 17, 2015:

As a result of last week’s heinous terrorist attack in France that took the lives of 16 innocent people, President Barack Obama has set in motion plans for a counter-terrorism summit to be held on February 18th in Washington DC.

It is likely that mostly North American and European countries will attend this summit meeting despite the fact that there have been recent terrorist attacks in other parts of the world such as those in Ottawa, Canada and Sidney, Australia and the northern region of Nigeria. In other words, simple logic indicates that these types of attacks could take place anywhere.

Before September 11, 2001 , the deadliest terrorist attacks in the Western Hemisphere took place in Argentina against the Israeli embassy in 1992 and then the Argentinean Jewish community headquarters in 1994.

However, we do not have to go back two decades .to stress the very real presence of terrorism in Latin America.

Most recently the Peruvian authorities foiled a terrorist plot against Jews and Israelis. The attacker was a Lebanese member of Hezbollah’s foreign terror operations branch. He reportedly planned to attack locations popular among Israeli backpackers as well as against the Israeli embassy in Lima and other institutions of the Peruvian Jewish community.

As a result of his arrest by the Peruvian authorities early in November, Brazilian police uncovered documents according to which Lebanese traffickers who are members of Hezbollah have helped the Brazilian gang known as First Capital Command (PCC) obtain weapons. Hezbollah provided the PCC with access to arms smugglers. Most of these Hezbollah operatives were based in the tri-border area (where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina’s borders meet), a place known as being a big center of Hezbollah’s fundraising and other operations.

Of course, the connections between criminal and drug cartels with terrorist groups have been reported for a long time. The problem is not only limited to the fact that terrorist groups and criminal gangs or cartels logistically cooperate to advance their respective goals. The problem is also that criminals and jails are sources of recruitment for future terrorists.

It is enough to look at Amedy Coulibaly, the man suspected of killing a trainee police officer in Southern Paris on January 8th and also the person responsible for the seizing of the kosher supermarket on January 9th. Coulibaly was a petty criminal before he became a monstruous jihadist. He had six previous convictions, one for robbery and one for drugs. While in jail he was mentored by Djamel Beghal, a jihadist imprisoned in 2001 for planning an attack against the U.S. embassy in Paris. It was in jail where he met one of the Kouachi brothers, who were responsible for the attack on the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

Given what we have seen so far of the radicalization of criminals, would it not be plausible for criminal elements from the Brazilian PCC to turn into Jihadists? Should it be ruled out that these Jihadists could attack a magazine such as “Veja” known for its’ anti-terrorist views or even carry out an attack on an American or European embassy or institution in Brazil?

So, what has been the attitude of the Brazilin authorities?

Brazil has denied that there is any terrorist activity in Brazil despite the fact that Hezbollah has major cells operating in the country and even some Al Qaeda operatives. They have been the least cooperative country in tracking activities in the tri-border area.

Brazil has been ruled by the leftist Workers Party since 2003. For them counter-terrorist activities are associated with Brazil’s military dictatorship of the mid 1960’s and 70’sthat carried out a heavy war against local guerillas and other subversive and dissenting activists.. Since that war brought about major human rights violations and loss of lives, Brazil has viewed the war on terror as something negative.

Brazil does not consider Hezbollah, Hamas, or even the familiar Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) as terrorist entities. By the same token, an Al Qaeda suspect was released by a Brazilian judge.

Yet, it is interesting that the government of the Workers Party under Dilma Rousseff considered an ill-conceived anti-terorrism law in the wake of the massive anti-government protests in the summer of 2013.

The debate was highly controversial and for very good reasons. The Brazilian anti-terrorist bill was aimed at controlling unrest, particularly as the World Cup was approaching. The bill was aimed at social control. It had nothing to do with terrorism. Terrorism was used cynically. The bill defined terrorism very vaguely such as “provoking or infusing generalized terror or panic through offense or attempt at offense to life, physical integrity, health or deprivation of liberty of a person”. This general definition could easily criminalize social protests and other acts that are significantly below any act of terrorism.

In Argentina, President Cristina Kirchner and her associates seriously tried to apply anti-terrorist laws against American investment funds known as “vulture funds” for causing debt in Argentina and for applying “financial terror”. In fact, Kirchner absurdly tried to impose the anti-terror law against a company that declared bankruptcy since that decision created “economic chaos”.

Even worse than that, on January 15th, the prosecutor for the terrorist attacks against the Jewish headquarters in Argentina, Alberto Nisman, filed a 300-page complaint accusing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other political figures associated with the government of “covering up” for Iranian operatives allegedly involved in the deadly 1994 attack. According to Nisman, the Kirchner Administration attempted to remove Iran from any incrimination related to the terrorist attack that left 85 people dead and hundreds of Argentinean citizens injured. The idea was to strengthen trade relations with Iran in order to alleviate the energy crisis by exchanging “oil for grains”. However, such trade could not be done without removing the accusations against Iran.

Between Brazil’s cynical approach to terrorism and Argentina’s de-facto alliance with it, the situation in the region is very serious.

As terrorist organizations have a strong presence in countries such as Venezuela, Latin America cannot be excluded from the anti-terrorist summit and cannot be ignored. Venezuela and a number of other countries are selling passports to Iranians as well as other individuals from the Middle East. (http://www.theamericasreport.com/2013/10/15/irans-presence-is-multifaceted-and-reaches-remote-places-in-latin-america/ ).

Furthermore, a few years ago Nisman reported in a 500 page document the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah cells in several countries in South America and that Iran plans to establish intelligence bases in every country in order to carry out, promote, and sponsor terrorists.

Furthermore, if there is a campaign to uproot radical Islam from Europe altogether, it is likely that terrorists will shift their operations to other areas where they won’t be bothered and can still do harm to Western targets. Latin America’s neutrality towards Islamic terrorism makes the region one of the most likely areas of choice for them, particularly when terrorists already have a well rooted presence.

President Obama needs to develop a real global strategy on the war against terrorism. The countries of Latin America should not be neglected. The Latin American regional block bears responsibility to protect every resident and institution that exists within their borders. Their cynical and manipulative attitude towards terrorism needs to be challenged. It is in America’s interest.

Dr. Luis Fleischman is a Senior adviser to the Menges Hemispheric Security Project at the Center for Security Policy in Washington DC. He is also an adjunct professor of Political Science and Sociology at Wilkes Honor College at Florida Atlantic University. He is the author of the upcoming book, “Latin America in the Post-Chavez Era: The Security Threat to the United States.”

Also see:

Cuba, a convenient diversion for Iran

3975771457CSP, by Adm. James “Ace” Lyons (Ret.) Jan. 6, 2015:

President Obama’s decision to normalize relations with the totalitarian Castro regime, with their human rights atrocities directed against their own citizens, has rightly outraged our loyal Cuban-American community. This appeasement, with apologies by Mr. Obama to the godless communist regime during our traditional holiday season, is a betrayal of America’s principles of freedom and democracy. Of course, with his radical background, it apparently was easy for the president to forgo a demand for any of the long-standing concessions that the Castro regime has refused to make to even qualify for normalization of relations.

Some have said Mr. Obama should have learned from America’s dealings with other totalitarian communist regimes that engagement does not translate into freedom and democracy for their citizens. However, that may not have been the objective of this enterprise. The announcement of normalization with Cuba with its media information overload and manipulation of the facts — aided and abetted by the mainstream media — has diverted America’s attention from a host of the administration’s domestic scandals: the Benghazi tragedy, our failed policy on combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and our unwillingness to take effective action to combat Vladimir Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. Most important, it has diverted America’s attention from its most critical Middle East objective of preventing Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability.

What most Americans don’t understand is that Iran became a threshold nuclear state several years ago when it built enough centrifuges and then produced enough reactor-grade uranium to make several nuclear weapons. The 2013 announcement of an interim agreement between Iran and the United States, plus five other world powers (P5 plus 1), is supposed to prevent Iran from becoming a threshold nuclear state. It is a sham. As pointed out by Andrew Bostom in his book “Iran’s Final Solution for Israel,” this Geneva agreement is viewed by Iran, according to Iranian analyst Mohammed Sadeq al-Hosseini, in the same context as the seventh-century Treaty of Hudaybryya. That treaty was an agreement between Muhammad and the pagan Qaraysh tribe of Mecca, but Muhammad broke the treaty as soon as his forces were strong enough to achieve military victory.

Furthermore, when you factor in the principle of “taqiyya” (lying), permitted under Shariah law to achieve one’s ultimate objective, it should be a clear signal to our negotiators where Iran is heading. Nuclear analyst Jonathan Spyer summarized the one-sided outcome of the interim agreement as a diplomatic ‘bonanza” for Iran. He stated that core elements of the Iranian drive to achieve nuclear weapons capability remain entirely intact. This is borne out by Fred Fleitz, of the Center for Security Policy, who points out that there are critical deficiencies in the Geneva P5 plus 1 interim agreement. Obama administration officials have misled the American public to make them believe the negotiations, even with the latest extensions, are achieving our objectives. This is far from reality.

For example, the enrichment centers at Fordo and Natanz will not be closed and will continue to operate. None of the 19,500 centrifuges will be dismantled. Centrifuges capable of uranium enrichment beyond 5 percent were, by compromise, to be “disconnected” (easily reversed). However, this arrangement permits 10,000 centrifuges to continue to enrich to 20 percent purity, approaching weapons grade.

The agreement also does not address the military production center at Parchin, which is Iran’s experimental, high-explosive facility. Tehran has refused repeatedly to permit International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to this key testing site.

Additionally, the heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak is required only to “suspend,” not cease activity. Iran has stated that it intends to continue construction and activity. Finally, the interim agreement does not address Iran’s intercontinental-missile delivery systems.

Based on these facts, Iran is on track to achieve a nuclear weapon capability. President Hassan Rouhani told the Financial Times that dismantling nuclear facilities was a “red line” that Iran would not cross. As the world’s recognized leader in state-sponsored terrorism costing thousands of American lives, a nuclear-capable Iran should be clearly unacceptable. We should never forget Iran’s material and training support to the Sept. 11 hijackers, without which that attack could not have been conducted, nor its takeover of the U.S. Embassy, nor the bombing of U.S. Marine barracks and a host of other “acts of war.” However, every administration, be it Democrat or Republican, when challenged by Iran, has found an excuse not to act.

Over the years, we have had more than sufficient justification to retaliate against Iran. Clearly, to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear capability, its key nuclear infrastructure must be destroyed. With the Obama administration’s appeasement approach to Iran, there is no chance that this administration will conduct a military strike.

Therefore, such a strike that must be conducted is left to our closest Middle East ally, Israel. With Iran’s repeated declarations of intent to eliminate Israel, it is absolutely essential that Israel conduct the attack to ensure its survival. While it will be difficult, Israel has the capability to do serious damage to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and delay its nuclear weapons capability for about two years. Hopefully, by 2017, the United States will have an administration with the political will and common sense to finish the job.

 

Obama’s 2015 gift for Israel and Mid East: Funding for a new Iraqi army – dominated by Iran’s Rev Guards

New Iraqi 52nd Infantry Battalion set up by Iran

New Iraqi 52nd Infantry Battalion set up by Iran

Debkafile, January 1, 2015:

President Barack Obama’s New Year gift to Israel and the Middle East is a multibillion fund for establishing an Iraqi army as a division of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Wednesday, the last day of 2014, two defense ministers, Iran’s Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehqani and Iraq’s Khallid al-Obeidi, signed a pact whereby Iran i.e. the Revolutionary Guards, will “continue to train new Iraqi military units” for replacing the army that crumbled under the onslaught launched by the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant since last June.
“We do not see any other option than cooperation and being on the same side as Iran to uproot the terrorists,” said the Iraqi general.
But he carefully avoided mentioning the 1,850 US soldiers posted to Baghdad, Kurdistan’s Irbil and the Al Asad air base in the western province of Anbar, or the 1,300 addition American combat troops, including paratroops of the elite 82nd Airborne Division’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

The 3,150 US troops currently serving in Iraq are therefore sharing the task of rebuilding Iraqi military units with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards!

Two other key points glossed over by the two defense ministers are revealed here by DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and intelligence sources: The sources of financing and recruits.

On the quiet, President Obama has promised Tehran and Baghdad to put up the funding for the new Iraqi army. It is to come out of the US budgetary allocation for the war on terror – a truly ironic gesture considering the missions of the Revolutionary Guards Corps’s pro-active arm, its Al Qods Brigades, which are primarily to orchestrate external terrorism.

The source of the new manpower was disclosed by Deputy Commander of the IRGC Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami, when he announced this week that Iran was assembling a mighty army from the various Shiite militias fighting in Syria and Iraq. “This force will be larger even than the Lebanese Hizballah,” he boasted.

All those militias are under the direct command of the Guards. Therefore, the Obama administration has committed the United States to forging a strong military bond with Tehran and providing military and financial assistance for the creation of a strong regional Shiite armed force that will elevate Iran to the standing of leading military power in the Middle East.

US-Iranian cooperation in the war on ISIS is already in full swing in Iraq between the US officers and troops posted there and the headquarters of Iranian Al Qods Brigades Commander, Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi provides liaison. So closely are the two forces aligned, that no Iraqi Shiite operation goes forward without first being cleared with the US command.

BBC Asia interviews a Hamas leader on their ties with Iran and ambitions

By Vlad Tepes:

This is a significant interview and while it was supposed to be available in English by request, no request was answered by those who asked. Please download and spread this video by any and all means in case it is removed. It must be seen and understood. While it isn’t a ‘sexy’ video of psychos screaming, it is an extremely powerful person calmly discussing geopolitically significant matters such as nuclear weapons, genocide, strategic alliances and enmity as well as ambitions as well as the implementation of sharia in Gaza. Add to this recent demonstrations of Hamas’ alliance with Turkey and we see what could be a game changer in the region.