Archive for March 9, 2018

Armed Men Raid Iranian Embassy in London

March 9, 2018

Fars News Agency Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:17

Source Link: Armed Men Raid Iranian Embassy in London

{The plot thickens. – LS}

TEHRAN (FNA)- Several Britain-based Shiite extremists affiliated to Sadeq Shirazi sect attacked the Iranian embassy premises in London minutes ago, while menacing the staffers with cold weapons.

Early reports said the raiders are four men who have opened their way into the embassy premises, while threatening people on the scene with machetes and baseball bats. The London Police have reportedly deployed around the embassy but took no action in the first couple of hours after the attack.

The slogans chanted by the raiders indicate that they are members of Sadeq Shirazi Shiite extremist sect, supported by London.

Iran’s Ambassador to Britain Hamid Baeedinejad confirmed the reports on the embassy attack minutes ago.

“A few followers of Shirazi have attacked the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Embassy in London and broke the flag mast,” the ambassador tweeted minutes ago, and added that the raiders are “chanting slogans against Iranian officials”.

He further confirmed that the raiders were carrying “sticks and machetes”, and said Police are deployed on the scene.

The Shirazi sect that has been labeled as “British Shiism” by the Iranian Supreme Leader operates mainly from London. The sect also runs a satellite network called ‘Fadak’ from London and promotes Shiite extremism against Sunni Islam. The sect is also known to be the religious opposition of the Islamic Republic.

Meantime, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi told FNA that “we are investigating into the case and will keep in contact with the Iranian embassy in London and the British embassy in Tehran”.

“The British government is duty-bound to seriously and decisively fulfill its responsibility to protect the Islamic Republic of Iran’s diplomats and diplomatic centers and immediately arrest and prosecute those who have trespassed the diplomatic sanctuary,” the spokesman reiterated.

U.S. Will Pay $5 Million for Information on Taliban Suicide Bombing Trainer

March 9, 2018

OAN Newsroom UPDATED 9:20 AM PT — Fri. March 9, 2018 One America News Network

Source Link: U.S. Will Pay $5 Million for Information on Taliban Suicide Bombing Trainer

{Wanted: Dead or Alive. Well, just info on his location for now. – LS}

The United States places a bounty of $5 million for information regarding a top Taliban chief.

The bounty placed on Thursday is meant to aid in finding Mullah Fazlullah, who is the leader of the Pakistani arm of the Taliban.

Fazlullah is known for training suicide bombers, and was the target of a U.S. drone strike that killed over 20 militants on Wednesday. However, the operation failed to kill him.

Fazlullah and his Taliban militants are part of ongoing frustration from the U.S. and Kabul toward Pakistan’s efforts to combat insurgents.

The U.S. has been critical of Pakistan’s security efforts.

This comes while a Pakistani delegation meets with officials in Washington to increase cooperation.

Abbas: Peace with Israel is ‘treason’

March 9, 2018

March 8, 2018

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (Onur Coban/Pool Photo via AP)

Why would the Palestinian leader make genuine peace with the Jews when the PA’s aspirations remain what they have always been, namely, the destruction of the Jewish state?

By: Daniel Krygier

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly told the Fatah Revolutionary Council in Ramallah recently that he does not intend to end his life as a “traitor” by signing any agreement with the Jewish state that does not live up to Palestinian aspirations and demands. This was clearly a reference to the Trump administration’s peace plan, which is expected to be unveiled in the near future.

Briefly, Abbas’s statement illustrates why the Arab-Israeli conflict is perhaps the world’s most intractable conflict. In theory, it is easy to solve, but in reality virtually impossible under current circumstances. The reason is quite simple: Arab leaders like Mahmoud Abbas have incited their populations for decades against the very existence of Israel within any borders. Why would the Palestinian leader make genuine peace with the Jews when the PLO’s aspirations remain what they have always been, namely, the destruction of the Jewish state?

Many liberals in Israel and abroad have for years dismissed the PA’s hateful propaganda against Jews and Israel as “meaningless statements for internal consumption.” Self-appointed liberals also believe that, magically, peace can be achieved by Israeli concessions alone. This self-delusion is rooted in desperation and the refusal to recognize the vast cultural and mental gulf separating the Middle East from Western democracies. Abbas is at the same time instigator as well as a hostage of a culture of hatred against the Jewish state that does not leave any room for compromise.

The difference between Abbas and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, is more in style than in content. Abbas has carefully cultivated an image of “moderation” in the international arena by claiming that he seeks the establishment of an Arab state along the 1967 ceasefire lines, with “East Jerusalem” as its capital. However, Abbas has himself admitted that he rejected the peace offer from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. This offer from 2008 gave Abbas everything the Palestinians say they want – in English: a state next to Israel with a capital in “East Jerusalem.” The problem is that nothing short of Israel’s destruction will satisfy Abbas’ despotic regime in Ramallah.

In 1979, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to sign a peace agreement with Israel. Nearly 40 years later, the peace remains cold, and hatred against Israel and Jews is endemic in Egyptian society. From the point of view of the “Arab Street,” Sadat was a “traitor” for signing a peace deal with the Jews. The price for treason in the Arab world is usually death, and Sadat paid with his life for the Camp David peace agreement with the Jewish state.

Abbas is in no hurry to end his luxurious and internationally funded lifestyle for a signed paper with the Jews that would endanger his own life. As long as it is considered “treason” in Ramallah, Gaza and elsewhere to make peace with the Jewish state, the Arab-Israeli conflict will continue, and Israeli concessions will only make it worse.


Trump-Kim summit plan draws positive reactions from key players

March 9, 2018


By Matt Richardson, Brooke Singman | Fox News March 9, 2018

Source Link: Trump-Kim summit plan draws positive reactions from key players

{You have to ask yourself, what would the impact be on Iran in the event the Norks denuclearize? Personally, I believe it would pull the rug out from under them, especially when you consider the Norks took on the role of research and development years ago.

Something else to consider is this…Somehow, this seems to connect with Xi’s lifetime appointment as President. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Remember when Obama said to the Ruskies that I’ll have more flexibility after the elections? Well. Xi will no longer be subjected to those pesky ‘elections’. Just a thought, nothing more, nothing less. – LS}

The decision to meet with Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks was one that President Donald Trump made “himself,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday, attributing the move to a “dramatic” change in posture by the North Korean leader.

“President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right,” Tillserson said during a visit to the African nation of Djibouti. “And I think in the president’s judgment that time has arrived now.”

According to Tillerson, the U.S. has seen a shift in Kim from “not just willingness but really his desire for talks.”

Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018

The news that Trump had accepted the North Korean leader’s invitation to meet was greeted positively Friday by officials in China, Russia and South Korea — three major players in efforts to resolve the ongoing dispute between the U.S. and North Korea over the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear ambitions.

China’s foreign ministry said it hopes all parties to the dispute will “show their political courage” in restarting negotiations, and pledges its support in working toward that goal.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was quoted by Russian state news agency Tass on Friday saying — during a visit to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa — that Russia considers the move by Trump and Kim to be “a step in the right direction.”

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said, during a visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, that her government was consulting with the U.S. on the planned summit — and hopes that if it does take place, “it’s a meaningful meeting with good outcome.”

News of the planned meeting between Trump and Kim, which the White House confirmed Thursday night, was a dramatic development after months of saber-rattling between the two world leaders.

Kim extended the invitation and the president agreed that the two would meet by May, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong announced at the White House.

“Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,” Trump tweeted. “Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”

Trump, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined.” But, Sanders added, “in the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”

Earlier Thursday, Chung announced that Trump would meet with Kim to “continue the goal of denuclearization.”

Kim “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Chung said. “President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”

Kim, according to Chung, understands that joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. would continue. The North Korean leader, according to recent talks with Chung, also claimed to be “commited to denuclearization.”

“He (Kim) pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear missile tests,” Chung said, adding that Trump’s “leadership” and “maximum pressure” brought us “to this juncture.”

Chung said that “along with President Trump,” he is “optimistic of continuing a diplomatic process.” But he added that “the pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.”

News of the willingness of Kim to meet with Trump follows recent high-profile talks between North Korea and South Korea.

Earlier Thursday, Trump announced that South Korea would be making a “major statement” about North Korea. Chung met at the White House earlier in the day with U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

Chung and other South Korean officials briefed the White House Thursday on a potential diplomatic opening with North Korea after a year of escalating tensions. Chung told reporters Tuesday that he had received a message from North Korea intended for the United States, but did not disclose what it was.

Trump and Kim have had a contentious relationship during the last year as both men dramatically increased the rhetoric against the other amid the backdrop of increased nuclear and missile testing by the North Korean regime.

In August Trump warned Kim that, if pressed, the U.S. would unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” At the time, the president argued that Kim had “been very threatening beyond a normal state,” adding that the regime “best not make any more threats to the United States.”

However, threats and counter-threats continued into 2018.

“The U.S. should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table,” Kim said during a Jan. 1 speech, according to a translation. “The entire area of the U.S. mainland is within our nuclear strike range,” he continued, adding that “the United States can never start a war against me and our country.”

The next day Trump hit back against Kim by claiming that the U.S. nuclear arsenal was more powerful. “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'” Trump tweeted. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

The last round of significant talks involving the U.S. and North Korea concluded in 2009. The so-called six-party talks, which involved the U.S., North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Russia and China, ended when North Korea walked out.

Analysis: The coming war

March 9, 2018

There is a feeling of calm before the storm here in Israel.

Flag of Iran iStock

Yochanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle East correspondent for Western in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion. He writes a twice weekly analysis of current issues for Arutz Sheva

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has changed his time schedule for the destruction of Israel and at the beginning of March promised a Sunni Syrian religious scholar he would lead prayers in Jerusalem fairly soon.

His words are not merely rhetoric since the Iranians are making rapid progress in preparations for a concerted effort to destroy the Jewish state via its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and the territories controlled by the PA and Hamas.

During a meeting with Muhammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyid, the Syrian Minister of religious affairs and Syrian religious scholars, Khamenei promised al-Sayyid he would see the day that he would be able “to lead prayers in al-Quds” (Jerusalem).

“I hope that you and we will see the day when you are conducting public prayers in Quds, God willing. We believe that that day will come. It is possible that this humble person and people like us will not be living on that day, but it will come eventually and it will not come late,” according to Khamenei

Severeal years ago, the Iranian dictator said Israel would be erased from the face of earth within 25 years.

During the meeting with the Syrian scholars Khamenei elevated the status of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad whom he praised for being “a great example of resistance and a fighting image.”

Calling al-Assad an “example” for the resistance movement – the loose coalition of terrorist movements and rogue regimes fighting Israel- is another indication Iran and its allies in Syria are shifting their focus toward Israel now that the Russian-supported Iranian axis is on the verge of victory in the seven-year-old Syrian war.

The pro-Assad coalition of Shiite militias who make up the bulk of the Syrian army today is currently eliminating the last hubs of Islamist rebels in eastern Ghouta near Damascus and in the northern province Idlib in Syria.

At the same time Iran is continuing to build the military infrastructure which will be needed in the coming confrontation with the IDF.

A recent New York Times report indicated the Islamic Republic is building missile facilities and military bases in Syria while bringing its proxies closer to the Israeli border.

In addition, Fox News reported last week Iran is building big missile silos on a military base near Damascus.

Fox News obtained images of the base from ImageSat International which showed the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had built two hangars for missiles which can hit Israel anywhere.

A similar base was destroyed by Israel during the first direct confrontation between the IAF and the IRGC on February 10, 2018.

This week Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, said Iran has tripled its missile production despite international efforts to curb the program.

Hajizadeh scoffed at Israel and other Western powers such as France for their “hypocrisy” in trying to stop further expansion of the Iranian missile program.

France is leading the effort to reduce the threat from Iranian missiles, however, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian failed to book progress while visiting Iran at the beginning of this week.

Another indication both Israel and Iran are preparing for war is detectable in Lebanon.

Last week, Joseph Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), told reporters the Lebanese army is ready for a new conflict with Israel if the IDF encroaches further on the border of Lebanon.

Aoun’s threat was related to mounting tensions between Lebanon and Israel over additional security measures the IDF is currently undertaking near the Lebanese border and a dispute over a gas field which straddles the maritime border between the two countries.

There’s more.

A former Syrian general who headed the chemical weapons program of Assad’s army this week disclosed Iran and Syria have supplied chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

Suhair al-Saqit told the Hebreeuw paper Maariv the chemical warheads in Hezbollah’s possession are produced in Syria.

He also said Assad had transferred a large part of his chemical weapons stockpile to Hezbollah ahead of international inspections which took place after Assad gassed thousands of Syrian civilians during the first period of the Syrian civil war.

Fox News furthermore, reported a new UN investigation revealed North Korea has delivered new chemical weapons to Syria and that satellite images showed North Korean engineers are working on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham who visited Israel last week said he had become increasingly worried about the Iranian threat to Israel after he visited the borders between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

“It’s far worse than I thought it would be,” Graham said before reporting he had seen Hezbollah and Syrian army flags very close to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.

“Southern Lebanon is a nightmare, it makes Gaza looking stable” Graham said before adding “Israel is in a no-win situation.”

He was referring to the approx. 130,000 missiles pointing at Israel from Lebanon.

Graham could have added that the Lebanese army has been turned into an ally of Hezbollah with U.S. support as columnist Caroline Glick reported this week.

Glick also wrote the presence of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon has been rendered useless against Hezbollah’s growing threat against Israel because the LAF is blocking UNIFIL from carrying out its mandate as a peace keeping force.

Israel on the other hand, is increasingly carrying out reconnaissance missions in Lebanon.

The Lebanese army almost daily reports violations of Lebanese airspace by IAF warplanes and drones while the Israeli navy briefly entered Lebanese territorial waters this week.

“There is a feeling of calm before the storm here in Israel,” blogger Vic Rosenthal wrote this week adding that the “coming war” will probably be the “toughest in Israel’s history.”

Iran and its proxies are expected to lob more than 1,000 missiles a day at Israel from at least three fronts in this ‘coming war’ as many observers, politicians and IDF officers in Israel call it.

These three fronts are Lebanon, Gaza and Syria and it is expected Israel’s various anti-missile shields will be unable to cope with this amount of missiles.

This is why some observers now think the time has come to take preemptive action against the Iranian threat on the lines of what happened in 1967 at the outset of the Six-Day-War when the IAF destroyed almost all Egyptian and Syrian warplanes before the war actually began.

“Israel is exceptionally vulnerable to attack by precision weapons, as on the one hand it is an advanced Western country dependent on sophisticated technologies, and on the other it is small, with very concentrated infrastructures and very little redundancy,” two IAF veterans wrote in a study last year.

They could have added that the bulk of Israel’s population is living in areas in the center of country and the Iranians have already warned they would flatten Tel Aviv and its suburbs in the Gush Dan area.

All the above are the reasons Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu spoke in apocalyptic terms regarding the increasing Iranian threat to Israel when he held a speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in the U.S.

“We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran,” Netanyahu vowed.