Archive for November 11, 2018

Israel and Hizballah trade threats over Iran-supplied precision-guidance missiles 

November 11, 2018

Source: Israel and Hizballah trade threats over Iran-supplied precision-guidance missiles – DEBKAfile

Israel has sent a final warning to the Lebanese government that it will destroy Hizballah’s new factories  for upgrading its missiles unless they were shut down, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.

Iran recently supplied Hizballah with precision-guidance munitions. Their components would enable Hizbollah missiles to strike within a 10-meter radius of the intended target, thereby upgrading its missiles to high-precision weapons and ramping up the threat to Israel. They they are being put together in  small workshops, very much like those in which Hamas and Islamic Jihad manufacture their missiles in the Gaza Strip. These workshops are scattered widely across Lebanon. which makes them harder to target by air or by missile.

European sources report that this warning was not Israel’s first. Lebanon was cautioned more than once through the US and France. However, Israel’s final warning was relayed to Beirut on Monday, Nov. 11, by Aurelien Lechevallier, adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, who visited Israel on the same day as President Donald Trump’s special adviser for Syria, James Jeffrey. The French official left for Beirut that day with the following message: Shut the new plants down or else face a military attack. On arrival, Lechevallier handed it to Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil, who passed it on to President Michel Aoun.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, Israel received its answer: Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah said in a speech: “The path of the [Hizballah’s] Resistance is decisive, strong and triumphant, achieving historic victories. We are not afraid of any sanctions and we will continue to hold on to our weapons and missiles.”

 

Hezbollah won’t give up its rockets, Nasrallah declares 

November 11, 2018

Source: Hezbollah won’t give up its rockets, Nasrallah declares – Israel Hayom

 

Iran army official: Any war Zionists start will lead to them being erased 

November 11, 2018

Source: Iran army official: Any war Zionists start will lead to them being erased – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami also claimed that Iran was improving its ballistic missiles.

BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN
 NOVEMBER 10, 2018 20:02
Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, speaks during Tehran's Friday prayers Jul

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran slammed Israel and warned that the Islamic Republic has bases from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean.

In comments made public over the weekend, Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami told a forum at the University of Damghan in Semnan province in northern Iran that his forces have bases throughout the Middle East and that Iran was confronting “the Zionists” and Americans in the region.

Speaking at the National Forum for honoring “mujahideen,” which included “jihadist figures from Bahrain and Yemen,” according to Iran’s Al-Alam News Network, the IRGC commander claimed that Iran had emerged victorious from recent conflicts in the Middle East.

“The Zionists know that today any war they start will lead to their being erased. We have bases of the Islamic Revolution from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea,” he said. Hezbollah has become a “nightmare” to Israel, according to Salami. He also pointed to the war in Yemen and said Iran’s Houthi allies in Yemen “will never die.”

Salami also claimed that Iran was improving its ballistic missiles, noting that “our missile capabilities have grown today in all dimensions as we need high accuracy.” He also said Iran would confront the US economically and defeat the US sanctions that were reimposed on November 5. As evidence for Iran’s ability to get around the sanctions he noted that the US had given eight countries exemptions, allowing them to trade with Iran. This was a victory for Tehran.

“The IRGC is very strong and popular today. It has been formed in Syria alongside the official army, which is not fighting the remnants of the United States,” he said according to a Fars News report. Salami also hinted that in Iraq those who oppose the US presence, including many Iranian-backed allies among Shi’ite militias that are affiliated with the government, could “abide the enemy,” indicating they would wait out the American presence until the US leaves.
The speech charts a course for Iran’s role in the region. It not only shows that Tehran is seeking to construct a corridor of power stretching from Tehran to the Mediterranean via Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, but that it also sees the Red Sea as part of its plan.

Over the last two years as the Syrian civil war continued and the war on ISIS led to Iran gaining increasing influence in Iraq and Syria, experts warned about Iran’s “road to the sea.”
This is one of the first speeches in which the IRGC has acknowledged that it has constructed a map of influence and bases across the region, and that those bases are directed at the US and Israel. Combining these details with his detailing of the increasing precision of Tehran’s missile programs, illustrates that Iran is no longer concerned about boasting about the power it wields.

In September and October, Iran launched ballistic missiles at Kurdish opposition groups in Iraq and at ISIS in Syria, showcasing its abilities. In Yemen it continues to improve the missiles of the Houthi rebels that they have been fired at Saudi Arabia.

 

Hezbollah leader: We will respond to any attack on Lebanon

November 11, 2018

Source: Hezbollah leader: We will respond to any attack on Lebanon – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

“I salute the families of the martyrs,” Nasrallah said. “Thanks to martyrs’ sacrifices, the resistance has achieved all its victories

BY YASSER OKBI/MAARIV
 NOVEMBER 10, 2018 17:16
Iran-Hezbollah terror

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah condemned normalization with Israel in a televised address Saturday, The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication Maariv reported.

The condemnation comes after Mohammad al-Emadi, chairman of the Qatari Committee for the Reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, visited Gaza, transferring $15 million to the Palestinian coastal enclave in coordination with Israel.

“I salute the families of the martyrs,” Nasrallah said. “Thanks to martyrs’ sacrifices, the resistance has achieved all its victories. The blood of our martyrs has protected our land and Hezbollah’s rocket power.”

“The source of our strength are our missiles because the Lebanese army is not allowed to acquire advanced missiles,” Nasrallah said.

“Netanyahu believes that the key [to the conflict] is power and not the occupation,” he continued. “His problem, though, is that we have the power. We will respond to any Israeli strike on Lebanon and will not accept any aggression by the enemy against our land.”

“We condemn any form of normalization with the Zionist entity,” Nasrallah said. “I say to the Palestinian people, do not lose hope over the Arab states’ normalization with Israel; what before went on behind the scenes now is taking place publicly. The current normalization has put an end to Arab hypocrisy, and removed the mask from the swindlers and hypocrites.

“Those who march and fall in Gaza’s Marches of Return give us hope because they resist the pressures exerted on them,” he added. “If the Syrian people and the government had not resisted the pressure, we would see Netanyahu in Damascus.”

Nasrallah also attacked the international community in the aftermath of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “While they complain about the murder, they ignore the crimes Saudi Arabia is committing in Yemen.”

 

Rouhani says new U.S. sanctions have no effect on Iran economy 

November 11, 2018

Source: Rouhani says new U.S. sanctions have no effect on Iran economy – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

“The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us,” Rouhani said.

BY REUTERS
 NOVEMBER 10, 2018 11:29
Rouhani says new U.S. sanctions have no effect on Iran economy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that US sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran’s economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier.

“The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing new to use against us,” Rouhani said in remarks carried live on state television.

The United States announced a new raft of sanctions on Iran on Monday and threatened further action to pressure its old adversary, steps the Islamic Republic condemned as “economic war” and vowed to defy.

The move is part of a wider effort by US President Donald Trump to curb Tehran’s missile and nuclear programs and diminish the Islamic Republic’s influence in the Middle East.

In a statement, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said:

“Treasury’s imposition of unprecedented financial pressure on Iran should make clear to the Iranian regime that they will face mounting financial isolation and economic stagnation until they fundamentally change their destabilizing behavior.”

The sanctions cover 50 Iranian banks and subsidiaries, more than 200 persons and vessels in its shipping sector, and targets Tehran’s national airline, Iran Air, and more than 65 of its aircraft, the statement said.