Archive for August 11, 2019

Iran: ‘Deal of the century’ a crime against humanity 

August 11, 2019

Source: Iran: ‘Deal of the century’ a crime against humanity – www.israelhayom.com

In message to pilgrims performing annual hajj in Saudi Arabia, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls on Muslims to take an “active part in defeating this deceit by the enemy.”

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday condemned a US blueprint to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and called on hajj pilgrims to oppose it, Iranian state media reported.

“The trick called the ‘deal of the century’, which is being pushed by an oppressive America and its traitorous companions, is a crime against humanity, and not just the Palestinian people,” state television quoted Khamenei as saying in a message to Muslim pilgrims performing the annual hajj in Saudi Arabia.

“We call upon everyone to take an active part in defeating this deceit by the enemy,” Khamenei said in a message read at a rally held by Iranian pilgrims, state television reported.

Saudi officials have asked Muslims to focus on rituals of worship and warned against politicizing the rite amid regional wars and heightened tension between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite Muslim Iran.

The White House has yet to unveil US President Donald Trump’s full Middle East peace plan that aims to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and is led by Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Kushner has so far presented a $50-billion economic revival plan for the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon that is dependent on Israel and the Palestinians reaching a political settlement to their decades-old conflict.

The Palestinian leadership has broken off diplomatic ties with the White House, accusing Trump’s administration of bias toward Israel.

Washington has not said when it will present the full peace plan.

 

Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defense system 

August 11, 2019

Source: Iran unveils ‘improved’ radar air defense system – www.israelhayom.com

“This system has high capabilities and can detect all types of cruise and ballistic missiles and drones,” commander of the regular army’s air defense forces, says.

Iran unveiled on Saturday what authorities said was a locally upgraded radar system with a range of 250 miles that could help defend against cruise and ballistic missiles and drones.

The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Iran and the United States. Iran shot down a US military surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf with a surface-to-air missile in June. Tehran says the drone was over its territorial waters, but Washington says it was in international airspace.

State television showed the Falaq, a mobile radar and a vehicle housing a control room, which it said was an improved version of the Gamma, a system that military experts said was of Russian origin.

Western military analysts say Iran often exaggerates its weapons capabilities, though concerns about its long-range ballistic missile program contributed to Washington last year exiting the pact that Iran sealed with world powers in 2015 to rein in its nuclear ambitions in exchange for an easing of economic sanctions.

“This system has high capabilities and can detect all types of cruise and ballistic missiles and drones,” Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard, commander of the regular army’s air defense forces, was quoted as saying by the Iranian news agency Mehr.

Sabahifard said the Falaq was a locally overhauled version of a system which had been out of operation for a long time, Mehr reported. He did not give the system’s country of origin.

The Falaq is a phased-array radar system which can be incorporated into Iran’s larger integrated air defense, which includes an S-300 surface-to-air missile system that Russia delivered in 2016, state-run Press TV said.

“The Falaq system was developed in order to counter sanctions restricting access to spare parts of a previously foreign-developed system,” Press TV said on its website.

 

Pompeo slams Iran leader’s ‘sick’ threat against Israel ahead of Tisha B’Av

August 11, 2019

Source: Pompeo slams Iran leader’s ‘sick’ threat against Israel ahead of Tisha B’Av | The Times of Israel

US secretary of state hits back at Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his ‘faux concern’ for Palestinians, says America has given far more aid

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press event at the State Department on August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press event at the State Department on August 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images/AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday slammed Iran’s “faux concern” for the Palestinians after its supreme leader called on Muslims to oppose the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan, accusing him of threatening violence against Israel before the fast day of Tisha B’Av.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called the US plan a “a crime against human society,” and urged “active participation” in efforts to block the still-unreleased proposal. In a letter marking the Islamic hajj pilgrimage, Khamenei said the plan was a “ruse” that’s “doomed to failure.”

Khamenei, who has regularly called for Israel’s destruction, said the Palestinians had “not given in to defeat” and “stand tall on the battlefield.” “The ultimate result requires all Muslims’ assistance,” he said.

Pompeo hit back on Sunday, accusing Khamenei and the Iranian government of destabilizing the region by backing terrorist groups with millions of dollars “to kill more Jews.”

“Khamenei’s faux concern for the Palestinian people runs so deep that under his reign of terror he provided less than $20,000 in aid since 2008, while sending millions to Hamas & other terrorists,” Pompeo tweeted. “In contrast, US provided $6.3 billion in support to Palestinians since 1994.”

“It’s sick that on the eve of Tisha B’Av — a solemn day for the Jewish people — Khamenei calls for violence against the Jewish state,” he said.

Tisha B’Av, which began Saturday evening, marks the destruction of the two Jewish temples and other disasters in Jewish history.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks in a meeting with a group of clerics, in Tehran, Iran, July 16, 2019. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Pompeo defended the administration’s peace plan, which thus far centers on a $50 billion Palestinian investment and infrastructure proposal, but avoids core political issues that are key to resolving the dispute.

“Khamenei doesn’t see ‘progress’ as prosperity for the Palestinian people, but Palestinian terrorists switching from rocks to rockets to kill more Jews,” he said.

The US has so far kept the political elements of its plan under wraps, while the economic aspects of it were presented in June by US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner at an American-led conference in Bahrain. The economic aspect of the plan would see a $50 billion investment package for the Palestinians and the wider region.

Jared Kushner (R) joins US President Donald Trump as he holds a press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House on October 1, 2018. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via JTA)

The Palestinians skipped the Bahrain conference and have rejected the peace plan outright, pressing on with their boycott of the administration since Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and cut Palestinian aid.

Palestinians say the plan is an attempt to bribe the Palestinian people without addressing their demands for independence.

This year’s hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia comes amid heightened tensions in the nearby Persian Gulf between the US and Iran.