Archive for December 8, 2019

Nikki Haley For President 2024 ! 

December 8, 2019

 

Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and Ambassador to the UN in a December 16, 2020 interview on the “Glenn Beck Podcast.”

Even if you dislike Glenn Beck, just LISTEN to Nikki Haley…

 

 

Iran says new budget, Russia loan will ‘stop US, Israel’ from weakening Tehran

December 8, 2019

Source: Iran says new budget, Russia loan will ‘stop US, Israel’ from weakening Tehran | The Times of Israel

Rouhani tells parliament the ‘resistance budget’ will beat American embargoes; says $5 billion loan from Moscow being finalized

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech to present the budget for the financial year starting late March 2020 to the parliament in Tehran on December 8, 2019. (STR/AFP)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani delivers a speech to present the budget for the financial year starting late March 2020 to the parliament in Tehran on December 8, 2019. (STR/AFP)

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s president said on Sunday his country will depend less on oil revenue next year, in a new state “budget of resistance” that is designed to resist crippling US trade embargoes.

Iran is in the grips of an economic crisis. In May 2018, the US began re-imposing sanctions that block Iran from selling its crude oil abroad, following US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers over its continued development of ballistic missile programs and support for terror groups in the region. That accord had given Iran sanctions relief in return for limits on its nuclear program.

“Next year, similar to the current year, our budget is a budget of resistance and perseverance against sanctions. This budget sends a message to the world that despite sanctions we will manage the country, especially in terms of oil,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the opening session of Parliament.

The budget will counter “maximum pressure and sanctions” by the US, he said.

Rouhani added that the Iranian government will also benefit from a $5 billion loan from Russia that’s being finalized.

Shops that were destroyed during demonstrations against petrol price hikes, are pictured on November 20, 2019 in Shahriar, west of Tehran. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

He said the US and Israel will remain “without hope” despite their goal of weakening Iran through sanctions.

The next Iranian fiscal year begins March 20, with the advent of the Persian New Year. The budget is set to be about $40 billion, some 20% higher than in 2019. The increase comes as the country is suffering from a 40% inflation rate.

Rouhani also announced in the speech a 15% increase for public sector wages as a stopgap to offset the effects of inflation.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast that Iran’s economy will contract by 9.5% this year.

Iran’s economic woes led to fuel price hikes in mid-November that helped trigger nationwide protests last month. Iranian security forces violently suppressed the protests, killing over 200 people, according to Amnesty International.

 

Katz says military strike to stop Iran remains ‘an option’

December 8, 2019

Source: Katz says military strike to stop Iran remains ‘an option’ | The Times of Israel

In Italy, foreign minister laments lack of European support for sanctions on Tehran, says Israel won’t talk with Syria’s Assad while he hosts Iranian forces

Foreign Minister Israel Katz at a Likud election campaign stop in Jerusalem, September 16, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel is prepared to attack Iran militarily if sanctions don’t force it to curtail its nuclear program and attacks on Israel, Foreign Minister Israel Katz told an Italian daily over the weekend.

Asked by the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera on Friday if a military strike on Iran were a possibility, Katz affirmed “it’s an option. We will not allow Iran to produce or obtain nuclear weapons. If the only option left to us is the military option, we’ll act militarily.”

Katz also said Iran was known to be planning new attacks against Gulf states, similar to its September strike against Saudi oil facilities.

“The actions against Saudi Arabia and the oil tankers make us understand that Iran still feels strong. Our intelligence information tells us that it intends to hit the Gulf countries again. The threat of sanctions is not enough. The only deterrent is a military threat directed against the regime,” Katz said.

Katz was in Rome over the weekend to attend the annual MED forum, a strategy conference for Mediterranean countries hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Institute for International Political Studies (ISPI) think tank.

He lamented that European powers eager to preserve the 2015 nuclear deal risked undermining American and international sanctions that were succeeding in reining in the regime.

ישראל כ”ץ Israel Katz

@Israel_katz

View image on Twitter

He told the paper that Israel believed “that US pressure and sanctions are effective. We expect Iran’s attempts to procure nuclear weapons and support terrorist groups to decline, but this will be easier if there is support from European countries. As long as the Iranians delude themselves that they have the support of Europe, it will be more difficult for them to bend.”

Asked by the paper about Israeli cooperation with Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia, he said he could not go into detail but affirmed that there was cooperation, and that “we have common interests” and “find ourselves working together.”

The cooperation “allows us to identify and foil any threats we are aware of. But Iran’s threat is not only against Saudi Arabia or Israel, we are talking about long-range missiles with nuclear potential. It is not for nothing that Germany, France and Great Britain turned to the UN the other day saying that Iran had contravened the agreements. There is beginning to be a broad front against the Iranian threat.”

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami (2nd-R) walks past a Khordad-3 air defense system during a visit to see an exhibition at the Islamic Revolution and Holy Defense museum in the capital Tehran on September 21, 2019. (Atta Kenare/AFP)

Besides his meeting with soccer star Christiano Ronaldo, Katz also met with Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio during the visit, who called for dialogue with the Assad regime in Damascus.

Katz rejected the idea, telling Corriere Della Sera that “dialogue with Bashar Assad cannot be resumed as long as Syria allows Iran to use its territory against Israel and moderate Arab states.”

The meeting with his Italian counterpart dealt with “the common fight against anti-Semitism, the promotion of bilateral trade, and expressed the desire that Italy join the regional initiative to connect the Gulf countries to Haifa and the Mediterranean ports through a railway network.”

The idea is a longtime pet project of Katz, who served for over a decade as minister of transportation.

In this September 20, 2019, file photo, taken during a trip organized by the Saudi information ministry, workers fix the damage in Aramco’s oil separator at a processing facility after the September 14 attack blamed on Iran in Abqaiq near Dammam in the Kingdom’s Eastern Province. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Such a rail connection “frees us from the need to go through two easily [sealed] straits, Bab El-Mandeb and Hormuz, and saves us 6,500 kilometers by sea.”

On September 14, a cruise missile and drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities knocked out half the kingdom’s oil production. Although Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Saudi Arabia have blamed Iran of being behind the attack.

Iran regularly threatens Israel, viewing the country as a powerful enemy allied with the United States and Sunni countries in the region against Tehran and its nuclear ambitions.

Iranian forces and Iran-backed militias, as well as fighters of Iranian proxy Hezbollah, have been fighting alongside forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad in that country’s civil war since 2011.

 

Several said killed in airstrikes on Iranian-controlled weapons depots in Syria 

December 8, 2019

Source: Several said killed in airstrikes on Iranian-controlled weapons depots in Syria | The Times of Israel

Syrian opposition media outlet says unidentified aircraft targeted three munitions storehouses near Iraqi border

Illustrative. An explosion reportedly caused by an Israeli strike is seen at the Mazzeh military base near Damascus, Syria, on September 2, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Illustrative. An explosion reportedly caused by an Israeli strike is seen at the Mazzeh military base near Damascus, Syria, on September 2, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

Unidentified aircraft bombed three Iranian-controlled weapons depots on Saturday night, killing several members of Tehran-supported militias, Syrian media reported.

Some news outlets in the country said that four fighters were killed in the strike, while others said five. The Syrian government did not immediately release an official tally.

According to the Syrian Step News agency, the airstrikes occurred around 10 p.m. on Saturday, targeting three munitions storehouses in the Boulkamal region of Syria, near the Iraqi border, an area that has reportedly been hit by many Israeli raids in the past year.

The outlet cited “well-placed sources” as saying that the four people killed were guards at the storehouses who were members of militias backed by Iran.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said that at least five militiamen were killed in the strike.

There were no immediate reports of who was responsible for the strikes, though defense analysts indicated that Israel was the likely actor.

The Israeli military as a rule does not comment on specific airstrikes in Syria, save for those that are in retaliation for attacks on Israel.

New Defense Minister Naftali Bennett (R) meets with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi on November 13, 2019. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

On Sunday, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel was taking action to force Iran’s military presence out of Syria.

“We are telling the Iranians: Syria will become your Vietnam,” he said, referring to the disastrous American war.

“If you don’t leave, you will become entrenched and you will bleed because we will work without hesitation to remove aggressive forces from Syria,” Bennett said.

The Saturday night strikes came days after reports of a similar raid in the same region.

Last Wednesday, unidentified aircraft bombed other Iranian-controlled weapons storehouses in Boulkamal, causing a massive explosion, according to Step News.

The outlet reported that the planes fired several missiles at warehouses belonging to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps at the al-Hamdan airport, outside Deir Ezzor. Troops on the ground fired anti-aircraft weapons at the attacking planes, the news site said. There were no reports of casualties in that raid.

Satellite image showing the aftermath of an overnight airstrike on an alleged Iranian military base in Syria’s Boukamal region, near the Iraqi border, on September 9, 2019. (ImageSat International)

The Abulkamal region, near Syria’s border with Iraq, is seen as a crucial region for Iran and its plans to establish a land corridor to the Mediterranean Sea in order to more easily transport materiel and fighters throughout the Middle East.

The reported attack on the IRGC weapons caches came some three weeks after a flareup between Jerusalem and Tehran, during which Iranian troops fired several rockets at northern Israel from Syria and the Israel Defense Forces retaliated with a series of airstrikes on Iranian and Syrian military targets.

According to a Syrian war monitor, at least 23 combatants were killed in those strikes, 16 of them likely Iranians. An Israeli official said the military believed that to be an inflated number, with the actual death toll estimated to be closer to 10.

Israel has repeatedly said that it will not accept Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and that it will retaliate for any attack on the Jewish state from Syria.

Though it does not generally comment on specific attacks, Israel has admitted to carrying out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets over the last several years. Iran has forces based in Syria, Israel’s northern neighbor, and supports Hezbollah and Gaza terrorists.

Times of Israel staff and AFP contributed to this report.

 

US ends non-response for Iranian attacks. Iran deploys Bavar-373 missiles in Syria – DEBKAfile

December 8, 2019

Source: US ends non-response for Iranian attacks. Iran deploys Bavar-373 missiles in Syria – DEBKAfile

This time, US forces pushed back immediately after Iraqi Shiite militias lobbed five rockets into the big Ain Al-Assad airbase in western Iraq. On Tuesday, Dec. 3, American aircraft attacked their base in the Iranian Al Qods Brigades military compound near Abu Kamal on the Syrian-Iraqi border and destroyed their rocket launchers.

By this operation, Washington signaled Tehran that the posture of non-response to Iranian aggression, prevailing up to and including Iran’s cruise missile/drone assault on Saudi oil on Sept. 14, was over. Henceforth, the US would respond with force for every attack by Iranian or pro-Iranian forces on US or allied targets in the Middle East. For the first time, US aircraft conducted a direct strike against one of the Iranian Al Qods military facilities in Syria, that were targeted hitherto solely by the Israeli air force.

This contest has therefore undergone a radical change. From now on, both the US and Israel air forces may respond to Iranian provocations, while Tehran may also start hitting back when its forces are attacked.
Iran has meanwhile boosted its military footprint in Syria. Russian and Syrian sources report that Iran has deployed an advanced Bavar-373 air defense system, at the big Syrian T-4 air base east of Homs. This system has a range of 250km and its radar commands a 350km radius. A new Iranian defense umbrella now covers all eastern Syria, including the border with Iraq, Deir ez-Zour and the al Qods and Iraqi militias based there.

Western military sources define Bavar-373 as a hybrid developed from the technology of the Russian S-300 and S-400 air defense systems. It is capable of detecting and intercepting cruise missiles and advanced stealth planes such as the US F-35 and F-22 which serve the US and Israel air forces.

DEBKAfile’s military sources note that since T-4 is an important base for Russian aircraft and gunships, Tehran would have needed permission from the Russian command in Syria before positioning the Bavar-737 there. No confirmation is available from Moscow on this deployment.

Israeli special forces meanwhile traveled to Cyprus this week for the IDF’s fourth exercise in three years of fighting in rocky, mountainous terrain similar to that in Lebanon and Syria. Soldiers of the elite Egoz, Maglan and Duvdevan units of the IDF’s Commando Brigade took part in the exercise, together with the air force’s transport helicopter squadrons, a squadron of drones, the search-and-rescue 669 Unit, and an air squadron simulating enemy aircraft.

 

President Trump delivers the most pro Israel and pro Jewish speech ever given by a President 

December 8, 2019

Delivered December 7, 2019 at the IAC conference in Florida. With a performance by Shalva of Irving Berlin’ss “God Bless America.”