Archive for June 5, 2019

Off Topic:  Trump reads prayer from FDR on D-Day anniversary

June 5, 2019

Amen… -JW

 

 

Iran: Israel fabricating evidence against us in the UN

June 5, 2019

Source: Iran: Israel fabricating evidence against us in the UN – www.israelhayom.com

( Pure as the driven snow… – JW )

“Israel is conveying false and fake information to the Security Council … in order to negatively influence the council’s reporting mechanism,” Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador alleges. “The Iranian house of lies will crumble sooner or later,” says Israel’s U.N. ambassador. Khamenei: Iran will continue resisting the U.S.

In a diplomatic flare-up between Israel and Iran at the United Nations this week, Iran’s deputy U.N. ambassador, Eshagh Al Habib, on Monday sent a letter of complaint to the Security Council claiming that Israel was presenting it with fabricated evidence about the Islamic republic’s ballistic missile program.

“Israel is conveying false and fake information to the Security Council… in order to negatively influence the council’s reporting mechanism,” Habib wrote. He added that by doing so, Israel was “disrespecting the U.N. and making a mockery of the Security Council’s work.”

Video: Reuters

Habib alleged that 18 letters sent by Israel to the Security Council since July 2015 – which detailed Iranian violations pertaining to its nuclear and ballistic missile programs – contained distorted information.

“The Israeli regime is methodically disseminating falsehoods against the Islamic republic as part of its efforts to play the victim and whitewash the crimes … it is perpetrating against the Palestinians and others in the region,” Habib claimed. The Iranian diplomat also accused Israel of “committing crimes against humanity and war crimes while violating Security Council resolutions and international law.”

Israel’s diplomatic mission to the U.N. rejected the Iranian accusations outright.

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon speaks to the General Assembly before a vote | Photo: Don EMMERT / AFP

“Tehran is sweating under the pressure – and justifiably so,” said Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. “We will continue to find what they [the Iranians] try to hide and to expose the lies they spread. Thanks to Israel’s actions, Iran’s deceptions are being shown to the international community” and pressure around the regime in Teheran is intensifying.

“The Iranian house of lies will crumble sooner or later,” Danon said.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, said Tuesday that Iran will continue resisting U.S. economic and political pressure, and vowed that Tehran would not be “deceived” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile program.

Khamenei addressed thousands of people on the 30th anniversary of the death of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, in Khomeini’s mausoleum in the capital Tehran.

Without referring to the U.S. by name, Khamenei said “standing and resisting the enemy’s excessive demands and bullying is the only way to stop him.”

Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared recently over America’s deployment of an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf over threats from Tehran.

Last year, the U.S. withdrew from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s oil sector.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the U.S. is willing to talk with Iran “with no preconditions.” Iran says the U.S. must return to the deal first.

Khamenei, who has the final say on all state matters, said the U.S. is treating Iran with hostility because “they want us to be losers and put our hands up as a sign of surrender, and because we don’t do that, they threaten us.”

Khamenei added: “Resistance has a cost, but the cost of surrendering to the enemy is higher.”

Khamenei urged Iranian officials not to pay attention to offers for negotiations made by the U.S.

“Wherever Americans have set foot, a war broke out, a fratricide began, sedition was instigated, or and exploitation or colonialism began there,” he said.

The ayatollah added that Iran is under pressure to negotiate over its missile program because it has been developed to the point where it is a deterrent.

In his speech, Khamenei also criticized Iran’s regional rival, Saudi Arabia, for taking a stance against Iran in accordance with the U.S. position.

Saudi Arabia recently held a series of summits with Muslim countries and accused Iran of threatening regional stability and security. Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf said Muslim nations must confront recent attacks blamed on Iran with “all means of force and firmness.”

Iran rejected the accusation.

 

Off Topic:  Trump Salutes Air Force Academy Grad Who Overcame Stage 3 Cancer

June 5, 2019

Please watch this video till the end… – JW

 

 

Trump says ‘always a chance’ of war with Iran, but insists he doesn’t want it 

June 5, 2019

Source: Trump says ‘always a chance’ of war with Iran, but insists he doesn’t want it | The Times of Israel

In British television interview, US president says Tehran ‘was extremely hostile when I first came into office,’ and ‘probably maybe’ remains a ‘terrorist nation’ now

US President Donald Trump in an interview broadcast June 5, 2019, with Britain's ITV channel. (ITV screen capture)

US President Donald Trump in an interview broadcast June 5, 2019, with Britain’s ITV channel. (ITV screen capture)

US President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Wednesday that while he did not want war with Iran, there was “always a chance” it would happen.

Trump spoke to the ITV television network during a state visit to Britain.

Iran, he said, “is a place that was extremely hostile when I first came into office.”

He added: “They were a terrorist nation, number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today.”

Asked if he believed military action would be needed against Tehran, he said, “There’s always a chance. Do I want to? No, I’d rather not. But there’s always a chance.”

President Hassan Rouhani (left) at a meeting of the Iranian cabinet, May 29, 2019. (Iran President official website)

He said he “would much rather talk” with Iran, and replied “yeah, of course,” when asked if he’d be did not rule out a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Trump’s comments come after weeks of increasingly belligerent rhetoric and actions between the two countries.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran soared recently over America’s deployment last month of an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf amid reports of intelligence information that said Iran planned attacks against US forces in the region.

Last year, the US withdrew from a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Iran targeting the country’s oil sector.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US is willing to talk with Iran “with no preconditions.” Iran says the US must return to the deal first.

The flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea, on May 19, 2019. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Garrett LaBarge/US Navy via AP)

On Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said the country would continue resisting US economic and political pressure.

Khamenei addressed thousands of people on the 30th anniversary of the death of Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic, in Khomeini’s mausoleum in the capital Tehran.

Without referring to the US by name, Khamenei said “standing and resisting the enemy’s excessive demands and bullying is the only way to stop him.”

Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said the US is treating Iran with hostility because “they want us to be losers and put our hands up as a sign of surrender, and because we don’t do that, they threaten us.”

In this picture released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a ceremony marking the 30th death anniversary of the late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, at his mausoleum just outside Tehran, Iran, June 4, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Khamenei added: “Resistance has a cost, but the cost of surrendering to the enemy is higher.”

The Ayatollah urged Iranian officials not to pay attention to offers for negotiations made by the US.

“Wherever Americans have set foot, a war broke out, a fratricide began, a sedition was instigated, or an exploitation or colonialism began there,” he said.

The supreme leader added that Iran is under pressure to negotiate over its missile program because it has been developed to the point where it is a deterrent.

AP contributed to this report.

 

Israeli intel firm: Alleged IDF strike on Syrian base targeted Iranian drones

June 5, 2019

Source: Israeli intel firm: Alleged IDF strike on Syrian base targeted Iranian drones | The Times of Israel

Satellite image analysis company ImageSat says attack attributed to Israel seems to have been pinpoint airstrike, targeting a small number of recently arrived components from Iran

Satellite photos released by ImageSat International shows the aftermath of an airstrike attributed to Israel that targeted the Syrian T-4 air base near Palmyra on June 2, 2019. (ImageSat International)

Satellite photos released by ImageSat International shows the aftermath of an airstrike attributed to Israel that targeted the Syrian T-4 air base near Palmyra on June 2, 2019. (ImageSat International)

An Israeli satellite imagery analysis firm on Tuesday determined that the target of an airstrike on a Syrian air base earlier this week, which was attributed to Israel, appeared to be an Iranian drone facility.

According to the company, ImageSat International, the attack late Sunday night appeared to be a pinpoint strike, targeting “one element or just a few elements” connected to Tehran’s unmanned aerial vehicle program in Syria, indicating that the components were of “particular importance.”

This assessment was based on satellite images of the targeted facility, the T-4 air base near Palmyra, from Tuesday. Comparing these photographs to ones from May 22, the private intelligence firm determined that the strike hit a small crop of buildings on the base.

The firm said that a number of cargo planes had recently landed at the base from Iran prior to the strike, indicating that they had delivered the equipment that was targeted.

“According to our assessment, it is reasonable that [the target] was a component [or components] connected to [Iran’s] UAV program,” ImageSat said in a statement.

Explosions on the T-4 base in northern Syria reportedly caused by an Israeli airstrike on June 2, 2019 (Screencapture/Twitter)

Syrian state media said that Israel was behind the attack late Sunday night on the T-4 air base, which the Israel Defense Forces has bombed in the past and which Jerusalem has long claimed to be a facility used by Iran and its proxies.

In February 2018, the IDF bombed the T-4 air base after it said an Iranian soldier piloted an armed drone from there into Israeli airspace before it was shot down by an IDF helicopter.

The Israeli military refused to comment on Sunday’s strike. Israel generally acknowledges conducting operations in Syria, but refuses to take responsibility for particular attacks, with the exception of retaliatory strikes in response to attacks from Syria, as occurred on Saturday night.

Syrian military officials told the state media outlet SANA that the attack on the T-4 air base targeted and destroyed a weapons storage facility and several other buildings at the base.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported five people were killed, including one Syrian soldier. It said the attack also destroyed a rocket warehouse.

The attack came a day after the IDF carried out airstrikes on several military targets in Syria in the predawn hours of Sunday morning, reportedly killing 10 in response to two rockets that were fired from the country at the Golan Heights the night before.

Eva J. Koulouriotis – إيفا كولوريوتي@evacool_

Source: The military aircraft contains Iranian Shahab 1, Fajr 5 and Fatih 110 Iranian missile depots, as well as a number of military aircrafts and anti-air types Pantsir, SA 2 and S-125.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Eva J. Koulouriotis – إيفا كولوريوتي@evacool_


Video documenting the targeting of the military airport by Israeli warplanes. pic.twitter.com/PqPvfxpJFN

Embedded video
Israeli defense officials have previously claimed the base is being used by Iranian forces as part of the Islamic republic’s efforts to entrench militarily in Syria, something Israel has vowed to prevent.

An IDF airstrike hits Syrian military targets, June 1, 2019. (Israel Defense Forces)

Beginning at 4:10 a.m. Sunday, IDF helicopters and planes attacked several targets connected to the Syrian army, including two artillery batteries, several observation and intelligence outposts, and an SA-2 type air defense unit, the army said in its statement.

Syrian media reported that Israel also struck several targets connected to Iran and its proxy militias in Syria, in the area of al-Kiswah, south of Damascus.

The strikes reportedly targeted weapons caches and a military training facility. Seven “foreign fighters” were among the 10 killed by the strikes, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor group.

The Israeli army refrained from specifying who it believes fired the two rockets at the Golan Heights — one of which landed inside Israeli territory, the other in Syria — but said it “sees the Syrian regime as responsible for all attacks against Israel from Syrian territory.”

Illustrative: A photo released by Iranian media reportedly shows the T-4 air base in central Syria after a missile barrage attributed to Israel on April 9, 2018. (Iranian media)

Saturday night’s rockets appeared to be a relatively long-range variety, reportedly fired from the Damascus area, some 35 kilometers (22 miles) away, similar to an attack earlier this year aimed at Mount Hermon.

Speaking Sunday evening, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran that Israel’s airstrikes on Syria earlier in the day showed that, when assaulted, the Jewish state hits back hard.

Speaking at a ceremony for Jerusalem Day, when Israel marks the unification of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War, Netanyahu said that in the decades since that conflict many moderate Arab states have “sobered up” regarding their attitudes toward Israel, which they now see as an ally against Iran.

“While we do not make light of Iran’s threats, neither are we deterred by them because anyone who tries to hurt us will be hurt far worse,” Netanyahu said at the ceremony at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem, the location of a key battle during the war. “We have proven this many times in the history of our state. We proved it just last night.”

 

Intel chief: Iran acting out in response to ‘unprecedented’ economic sanctions

June 5, 2019

Source: Intel chief: Iran acting out in response to ‘unprecedented’ economic sanctions | The Times of Israel

Tamir Hayman says Islamic Jihad more likely to start a war in Gaza than Hamas, boasts that Israel knows more than Nasrallah about Hezbollah’s missile program

Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman, head of IDF Military Intelligence, speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv on June 5, 2019. (Yissachar Ruas)

Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman, head of IDF Military Intelligence, speaks at a conference in Tel Aviv on June 5, 2019. (Yissachar Ruas)

The head of Military Intelligence on Wednesday said the heavy economic sanctions on Iran and their devastating financial ramifications were the driving forces behind attacks linked to the Islamic Republic on petroleum facilities last month and recent threats by Tehran to step up nuclear enrichment.

“Iran is under growing pressure that is forcing it to take actions connected to oil and to its nuclear project — though for now there are no changes to its policies,” Maj Gen. Tamir Hayman said, speaking at the Intelligence Legacy Center conference in Tel Aviv as part of the Israel Defense Expo.

On May 15, Iran announced it was stepping up its uranium enrichment program in response to the United States’ decision the year before to drop out of the 2015 nuclear deal and impose heavy economic sanctions on Iran and the countries and groups that do business with it. Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog said Iran was staying within the limitations set by the 2015 nuclear accord, though its stockpiles of low-enriched uranium and heavy water were growing.

“The unprecedented sanctions on Iran has led to a severe recession, which is being felt in all directions, and has led Iran to take actions against the global oil trade,” he said.

Damage to the Norwegian-flagged oil tanker MT Andrea Victory off the coast of Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, May 13, 2019. (UAE National Media Council via AP)

Last month, four United Arab Emirate oil tankers were damaged in the Gulf of Oman. The United States and Israel said Iran was behind the sabotage, which Tehran denied.

Days later, Houthis in Yemen — a militia that receives significant funding and assistance from Iran — carried out a number of drone strikes on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

In his wide-ranging speech, the Military Intelligence chief also addressed the prospect of war in the Gaza Strip, saying it was not likely as the Hamas terror group, which rules the enclave, is not interested in a large-scale conflict. However, Hayman warned that the second-largest group in the Strip, the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has far fewer responsibilities toward Gaza residents and thus has less to lose in a war, making it a far likelier instigator of violence.

“Hamas is quite deterred from war and is deeply interested in staying the course of a ceasefire in which they expect to receive certain concessions — and therefore they really don’t want a war,” he said.

Smoke billows from a targeted neighbourhood in Gaza City during an Israeli airstrike on the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave on May 5, 2019. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP)

“The Islamic Jihad has a high potential of volatility. This group does not have the duties of a sovereign and so there is a potential for it to initiate [war],” Hayman said.

Turning his attention to the north, the IDF general said Lebanon-based terror group Hezbollah’s program to turn its massive arsenal of some 100,000 “dumb” rockets into precision-guided missiles has largely stalled due to American pressure on the government of Lebanon — despite recent claims to the contrary by Hezbollah  Hassan Nasrallah.

Supporters of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group listen to a speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah via a video link in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, March 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

In an uncharacteristic boast by a head of Military Intelligence, Hayman said, “We don’t need Nasrallah to tell us the status of this project. We know it better than he does, and everything that he revealed was already known. To the best of our understanding, their capabilities, their missiles, are still not precise.”

Precision-guided munitions represent a far greater threat to Israel than “dumb” rockets, which follow a fixed trajectory and are highly inaccurate.

On Friday night, Nasrallah said in a speech to his supporters that his group possesses precision-guided missiles, but denied it produces them.

“So far in Lebanon there are no factories for precision missiles,” he said.

He threatened for the first time, however, that Hezbollah could consider setting up such factories.

A senior US diplomat presented photographs and maps of sites used by Hezbollah to store precision missiles to a number of Lebanese government officials recently, according to a report Sunday.

A satellite image released by the Israel Defense Forces showing three sites near Beirut’s international airport that the army says are being used by Hezbollah to convert regular missiles into precision-guided munitions, on September 27, 2018. (Israel Defense Forces)

The London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, owned by a Saudi prince, said that David Satterfield, US acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, told the Beirut officials that the US government could neither overlook the findings nor hold Israel back from acting to deal with them, and that it was up to the Lebanese government to resolve the situation.

In April, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly conveyed to Lebanon a message from Israel warning Beirut of action by Iran and Hezbollah to covertly construct a new missile production facility in the country.

Pompeo visited Beirut after Israel, using the trip to highlight his concerns about Hezbollah, which is targeted by US sanctions as a terror group, but holds three cabinet posts in Lebanon.

In a September 2018 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed a map pinpointing the location of the Hezbollah missile sites near Beirut’s airport, and accused the terror group of “deliberately using the innocent people of Beirut as human shields.”

Netanyahu later said that Hezbollah closed the facilities he had revealed to the United Nations.