Iran

In a previous post one Iranian politician was quoted as predicting that Zarif's resignation would not be accepted. It appears that this was correct. Iran's president rejects resignation of his foreign minister | CBC News
Iran's president rejected the resignation of his foreign minister on Wednesday, throwing his full support behind the diplomat who negotiated the country's nuclear deal with world powers as both men face growing pressure from hard-liners as the accord unravels under American pressure.

(...) "Since I consider you in the front line of resistance against broad pressures by the U.S., I consider acceptance of your resignation against the expedience of the country and I do not agree with it," Rouhani reportedly told Zarif.
He was later shown visiting the president of Armenia, indicating that he is back to work.
The 59-year-old diplomat later was shown on state television at an event with visiting Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, signalling his return to work.
His resignation threat was believed to have been sparked by attempts by hard liners in Iran who want to get rid of him so they can roll back the nuclear deal and resume building a nuclear arsenal. Zarif is closely associated with the agreement with Western countries to limit nuclear activities in return for a removal of trade sanctions. US attempts to undermine the deal have undermined moderate factions in Iran and strengthened the position of hard liners.
 
One of Iran’s primary tools of coercion and force projection is its missile arsenal. The British ambassador to the UN Karen Pierce had said the Iranian missile tests in December 2018 were inconsistent with UN Resolution 2231, and had gone “way beyond legitimate defensive needs”. Resolution 2231 contains the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) which requires Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology” until 2024 at the earliest.
Iran admits 'significant' medium-range ballistic missile test

The recent Dynamic Force Employment THAAD exercise to Israel has been:
1) An opportunity for the US to evaluate the process of packaging the system, shuttling it there, unloading, setting up, and linking with the IDF integrated air defence network. This in line with the U.S. military’s latest Missile Defence Review released Jan 2019 that highlights cooperation with regional allies like Israel.
US Deploys THAAD Missile Defense System to Israel

…and

2) May well be a rather pointed message to Iran that appropriate responses have been made.
 
Satellite images show that Saudi Arabia are about a year from completing their own first nuclear reactor. www.cbc.ca/news/technology/saudi-nuclear-reactor-1.5084140?cmp=rss
Saudi Arabia is about a year away from completing the building of its first nuclear reactor, according to Google satellite images identified by a nuclear expert who said Thursday the construction so far appears to be very small in size and intended for research and training purposes.
This is a small reactor, typically called a "research reactor", rather than a power reactor.
The type of reactor being built now, according to the satellite images Kelley identified, is used by technicians for learning and training purposes.
The reactor is being built by Argentina.
He said the Saudi reactor is being built by the Argentinian government-owned company INVAP.
Before nuclear fuel is provided though, Saudi Arabia are supposed to set up inspections by the IAEA.
However, once nuclear fuel is brought into the country to operate this small reactor, inspections by the IAEA would be required, Kelley said.

... Before Argentina brings nuclear fuel to Saudi Arabia for the reactor, the IAEA agreement in place that exempts Saudi Arabia from inspections would need to be rescinded, Kelley said.
Last week the US approved applications from seven US companies to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration last week said it approved seven applications for U.S. companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia stated last year that they do not rule out developing nuclear weapons. Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, then Saudi Arabia would also do so as soon as possible
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has also not ruled out developing a nuclear weapon. He told CBS last year, "Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible."
So it appears that the stakes are being raised in the nuclear weapons game in the Persian Gulf.
 
U.S. to designate elite Iranian force as terrorist organization - Reuters
US likely to designate the IRGC a terrorist organisation. If it goes ahead, it’ll be before the anniversary of the US pulling out of the JCPOA:
The decision, which critics warn could open U.S. military and intelligence officials to similar actions by unfriendly governments abroad, is expected to be announced by the U.S. State Department, perhaps as early as Monday, the officials said. It has been rumored for years.

The Pentagon declined comment and referred queries to the State Department. The State Department and White House also declined to comment.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
Iran are saying that they are partially withdrawing from the nuclear deal, and will withdraw more unless the other partners agree to do something to stop the US from undermining it.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/iran-nuclear-deal-us-1.5127341?cmp=rss
Iran said Wednesday it was scaling back curbs to its nuclear program under a 2015 deal with world powers, and threatened to do more — including enriching uranium to a higher level — if countries did not shield it from U.S. sanctions.
President Rouhani said that Iran would stop selling off their stockpile of enriched uranium and heavy water, and that within 60 days they would re-start enrichment of uranium if no solution had been found to US efforts to prevent trade with Iran.
A year after the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal with Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would halt a program to sell excess enriched uranium and heavy water to other countries, an arrangement used under the nuclear deal to keep its own stockpiles below permitted caps.

Rouhani threatened that in 60 days, Iran would resume enrichment of uranium beyond the low level permitted under the deal unless the five other powers signed up to it find a way to protect Iran's oil and banking industries from U.S. sanctions.
President Rouhani said that these actions were in line with the JCPOA (the name of the deal), as the reduction of enriched uranium and heavy water stockpiles was contingent upon the removal of sanctions.
"If the five countries came to the negotiating table and we reached an agreement, and if they could protect our interests in the oil and banking sectors, we will go back to Square 1," Rouhani said.

"The Iranian people and the world should know that today is not the end of the JCPOA," he said, using the acronym for the nuclear deal. "These are actions in line with the JCPOA."
The 2015 deal was signed between Iran, the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Up until now, according to UN inspectors Iran has kept their side of the deal even though the US withdrew from the agreement.
Since U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the accord, the U.S. has restored crippling economic sanctions on Iran even as Tehran continued to abide by the accord, according to United Nations inspectors.
The French defence minister has reacted saying she wants to keep the deal alive.
France's defence minister said she wanted to keep the nuclear deal alive and warned Iran it could face more sanctions if it did not honour its part of the deal.

"Today nothing would be worse than Iran, itself, leaving this agreement," Florence Parly told BFM TV.
The Iranian foreign minister was talking to the Russian foreign minister (Russia is one of the signatories of the deal) that Iran will reduce some voluntary commitments. It should be pointed out that what was said by the Iranian foreign minister to the Russians may not be the same as what the Iranian president announced.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Russian counterpart on Wednesday that Tehran's decision to reduce some voluntary commitments within its nuclear deal with world powers was legal, the RIA news agency reported.

Zarif, in Moscow for talks, told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Iran's actions did not violate the original terms of the nuclear agreement and Tehran now had 60 days to take the necessary diplomatic steps.
The Russians have said that what we are now seeing are the consequences of poorly thought out decisions in Washington. I suspect that a number of their counterparts in other capitals of Europe would agree.
"President [Vladimir Putin] has repeatedly spoken of the consequences of unthought-out steps regarding Iran, and by that I mean the decision taken by Washington [to quit the deal]. Now we are seeing those consequences are starting to happen," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
 
It has been observed that Iran regularly declares it’s intentions to destroy the US close the Hormuz and vaporise Israel without much reaction.

What is interesting is the sudden concrete action taking place by US forces in direct regard to Iran, without any extraordinary threats having been made.

What does seem likely that recent secret movements of Iranian missiles and or other clandestine operations by Iran have been detected, and it is being put on notice that retaliation can and will be immediately forthcoming.
Iran moving ballistic missiles by boat, US officials say - CNNPolitics

The US carries a big stick and has demonstrated numerous times that it is willing and able to use it.
 
It has been observed that Iran regularly declares it’s intentions to destroy the US close the Hormuz and vaporise Israel without much reaction.

What is interesting is the sudden concrete action taking place by US forces in direct regard to Iran, without any extraordinary threats having been made.

What does seem likely that recent secret movements of Iranian missiles and or other clandestine operations by Iran have been detected, and it is being put on notice that retaliation can and will be immediately forthcoming.
Iran moving ballistic missiles by boat, US officials say - CNNPolitics

The US carries a big stick and has demonstrated numerous times that it is willing and able to use it.
Might be time for round two of Praying Mantis. The Iranians have forgotten just how much they will get.
 
It's not certain that this is the right thread for the following story, as there is so far no evidence to show a connection to Iran. However, certain countries are saying this is.
www.cbc.ca/news/world/saudi-arabia-says-2-oil-tankers-damaged-by-sabotage-attacks-1.5133387
UAE says four ships subjected to 'sabotage' off east coast
Two Saudi oil tankers among 'sabotaged' ships off UAE coast
Long story short, four near the UEA port of Fujairah, about 140 km south of the Straits of Hormuz on the Arabian Sea, have reported some form of damage. The only details we have are the owners of the MT Andreas Victory are reporting that their ship was "struck by an unknown object."
Thome Ship Management said its MT Andrea Victory was "struck by an unknown object." Footage seen by Reuters showed a hole in the hull at the waterline with the metal torn open inwards.


The four ships involved are two Saudi tankers, a UAE fuel barge, and a smaller Norwegian tanker.
The U.A.E. identified the Saudi tankers as the Amjad, a very large crude carrier (VLCC), and a crude tanker called Al Marzoqah, both owned by Saudi shipping firm Bahri. The other two vessels were U.A.E.-flagged fuel bunker barge A. Michel and Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT Andrea Victory.
An unnamed US official is reportedly claiming that the Iranians or someone connected with the Iranians somehow used explosives to damage the ships. It is not clear why this explanation differs from that given by the Norwegians.
A U.S. official says an American military team's initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies used explosives to blow large holes in four ships anchored off the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates.
The city government of Fujairah had earlier denied that any explosions had taken place.
Fujairah denies port explosion
Dubai - The media office of the Government of Fujairah issued a statement on Sunday that denies reports of explosions in the emirate's port.

The statement has denied media reports of strong explosions that struck Fujairah port on Sunday morning, confirming that the port is operating as usual.

The statement also called on media to not be misled by rumors and to investigate accuracy of reports from official sources.
 
It all seems vaguely familiar to the pre 2003 invasion of Iraq, stories put out by the US Administration without any evidence, warnings given out, Carrier force deployed to the Gulf, US Troops put on standby, Israel backing up the US. All part of the US/Israels plan for the Middle East. OK for Israel and now Saudi Arabia to have nukes but not OK for anyone else, Iran was complying with the nuclear accord - it wasn't Iran that pulled out of it either.

The question will be if it does kick off will Britain or any other European country receive an official request to join a US Coalition or will the US just go it alone?
 
It all seems vaguely familiar to the pre 2003 invasion of Iraq, stories put out by the US Administration without any evidence, warnings given out, Carrier force deployed to the Gulf, US Troops put on standby, Israel backing up the US. All part of the US/Israels plan for the Middle East. OK for Israel and now Saudi Arabia to have nukes but not OK for anyone else, Iran was complying with the nuclear accord - it wasn't Iran that pulled out of it either.

The question will be if it does kick off will Britain or any other European country receive an official request to join a US Coalition or will the US just go it alone?
I suspect they will be on their own in this one. And politically for the region,Israel will have to stay hands off. Overtly at least. But one does get the feeling Iran is about to get a slap.
 
One does get the feeling Iran is about to get a slap.
It seems to be heading that way and once again the politicians that cause the problem will sit and watch while Armed Forces and Civilians pay the price.
 

Sana

Swinger
It all seems vaguely familiar to the pre 2003 invasion of Iraq, stories put out by the US Administration without any evidence, warnings given out, Carrier force deployed to the Gulf, US Troops put on standby, Israel backing up the US. All part of the US/Israels plan for the Middle East. OK for Israel and now Saudi Arabia to have nukes but not OK for anyone else, Iran was complying with the nuclear accord - it wasn't Iran that pulled out of it either.

The question will be if it does kick off will Britain or any other European country receive an official request to join a US Coalition or will the US just go it alone?
Looks like they will be on their own.
 
During a visit to Japan the Iranian foreign minister called US sanctions "unacceptable", but did not appear ready at this time to pull out of the nuclear deal and said that Iran was exercising "maximum restraints".
www.cbc.ca/news/world/iran-claims-right-to-respond-us-sanctions-1.5138192?cmp=rss
Iran's foreign minister said Thursday that sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are "unacceptable," but his country is committed to an international nuclear deal that has steadily unravelled amid rising tensions. (...)

"We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for. We have exercised maximum restraints," he said. In other comments carried on the semi-official Mehr news agency, Zarif was quoted as saying "a multilateral deal cannot be treated unilaterally."
 
Having been very publicly put on notice by the US, Iran now seems uncharacteristically quiet.

Perhaps the package of “whoopass” deposited on the front doorstep might have done a little attitude adjustment.

It is of course language they understand.
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