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Iran Says It Has Seized Foreign Oil Tanker in Gulf

July 18, 2019

by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

JULY 18, 2019 6:52 AM

A tugboat moves cargo toward the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Musandam province, Oman, July 20, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Hamad I Mohammed / File.

Iran said on Thursday it had seized a foreign tanker smuggling fuel in the Gulf, and the US military commander in the region said the United States would work “aggressively” to ensure free passage of vessels through the vital waterway.

The United States blames Iran for a series of attacks on shipping in the world’s most important oil artery since mid-May, accusations Tehran rejects but which have raised fears the long-time foes could stumble into war.

It was unclear if the impounded ship was the same vessel Iran towed to safety on Sunday after sending a distress signal. Iranian state television had earlier said it was the same ship but the Revolutionary Guards statement did not confirm that.

The Guards said impounded the ship was smuggling one million liters of fuel in the area of Larak Island in the Gulf and had 12 foreign crew.

Although Iran has yet to name the vessel, shipping industry sources said they believe it to be the MT Riah. Refinitiv data showed that the last signal received from the vessel was on Sunday when it was in the Strait of Hormuz off the Iranian island of Qeshm, heading toward Oman from Larak Island.

The tanker’s registered manager is Prime Tankers in the UAE. That company told Reuters it had sold the tanker to another UAE-based company, Mouj al-Bahar.

An employee at Mouj al-Bahar said that the firm did not own it but had been managing the vessel up to two months ago, and that it was now under the management of a company called KRB Petrochem. Reuters could not reach KRB Petrochem for comment.

Shipping lanes

The Revolutionary Guards said in Thursday’s statement they had seized no other ship in the Gulf, as Western countries expressed concerns over alleged Iranian actions in the region.

Since mid-May, attacks on tankers near the Strait of Hormuz have unsettled crucial shipping lanes that link Middle Eastern oil producers to markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond.

Iran denies involvement but has threatened to respond robustly to US sanctions that have followed President Donald Trump’s abandonment of a 2015 treaty in which Iran agreed to restrict nuclear work in return for the lifting of sanctions.

The Islamic Republic says it will continue to reduce compliance with the accord until it is allowed to resume normal oil sales, and has demanded European parties to the nuclear deal rein in the United States.

Washington, however, says it wants to increase pressure on Iran to renegotiate the accord, discuss its missile program and modify its behavior in the Gulf, where the United States is allied to several Arab states opposed to Iran.

US Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said the United States was talking to several countries about ensuring freedom of navigation in the Gulf. He was speaking in Riyadh at a news conference with General Prince Fahd bin Turki, commander of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen.

The United States has beefed up its military presence and is asking allies to help protect the strategic waters off Iran and Yemen. The US Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, says Gulf Arab states have stepped up patrols.

Britain meanwhile urged Iran to ease tensions in the Gulf on Thursday and said it was seeking information about the latest incident.

“But it is vital that we send a very clear message to Iran that we want them to step back from this situation, that we want them to de-escalate, but we have always and we will continue to protect shipping and the free flow of goods in that area,” Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt told a defense conference.

Iran accused Britain of piracy earlier this month after British Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar on suspicion it was shipping oil to Iran‘s ally Syria in breach of EU sanctions on that country.

UK MP: QUITE OPENLY, WE ARE FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF THE STATE OF ISRAEl

July 16, 2019

“The Palestinians from Israel are “untermensch” or treated as second class citizens,” Gerry Downing said.

BY ZACHARY KEYSER  JULY 16, 2019 12:50 

IDF reservists attend an event in British Parliament held by Israeli organization, “My Truth”. (photo credit: INBAL GILMOUR)

https://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/UK-MP-Quite-openly-we-are-for-the-destruction-of-the-State-of-Israel-595822

British socialist and activist Gerry Downing, who belongs to the Socialist Fight Organization, appeared on an episode of Kalima Horra, a show broadcasted on the pro-Hezbollah Maydeen TV program, hosted by former British Member of Parliament George Galloway explaining that his organization supports the destruction of the State of Israel, according to a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report.

“We are for a single state, quite openly, we are for the destruction of the State of Israel,” Downing said in the interview.Downing believes that the State of Israel is unreformable, mainly considering the latest law passed by the Israeli Knesset, the Nation State-Law which we alleges describes Israel as a “State for Jews only.”

“The Palestinians from Israel are “untermensch” or treated as second class citizens,” Downing said.

Downing believes that the actions being carried out by the Israeli government categorize as a racist and genocidal endeavor that can not be reformed no matter the circumstances presented in the years to come.

“There is something like sixty laws that discriminate against [Palestinians], including a law that forbids them to marry the wrong kind of people. In the apartheid regime in Africa, it was called miscegenation, you can’t marry the wrong person or that’s against the law.

“A single state of Palestine from the river to the sea with equal rights for all ethnic minorities. I think that’s the only way to go,” Downing concluded.

Oh, well !

July 13, 2019

Deadly Islamic Attack on Popular Hotel in Somalia, Americans Among the Dead, 26 People Slaughtered, 56 Hurt, Ilhan Omar SILENT

Deadly Islamic Attack on Popular Hotel in Somalia, Americans Among the Dead, 26 People Slaughtered, 56 Hurt, Ilhan Omar SILENT

Jihad terrorists allowed to work at airports in UK

Jihad terrorists allowed to work at airports in UK

Dutch Jewish leader assaulted, stabbed and tortured in his home

Dutch Jewish leader assaulted, stabbed and tortured in his home

Secret Iranian Nuclear Weapons Facility Still Up and Running

July 13, 2019

Report: ‘Everything required to enrich uranium to weapons grade could be quickly reconstituted’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani / Getty Images

Full report :

http://isis-online.org/isis-reports/detail/conversion-of-fordow-another-unfulfilled-hope-of-the-iran-nuclear-deal

Adam Kredo – JULY 11, 2019 4:45 PM

https://freebeacon.com/national-security/secret-iranian-nuclear-weapons-facility-still-up-and-running/

Iran never ended critical nuclear weapons work at a controversial underground military bunker that remains operational to this day and able to “enrich uranium to weapons grade” levels. That is according to a new watchdog report that has reignited calls for the Trump administration to close loopholes that have permitted the Islamic Republic to continue its most contested nuclear research.

The new report, issued by the Institute for Science and International Security, confirms suspicions long held by the international community that Iran never dismantled its Fordow research site, as it was required to do under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. The findings have further fueled concerns about Iran’s march towards nuclear weapons, particularly in light of the country’s recent threats to enrich uranium, the key component in a bomb, to levels approaching 20 percent purity.

The latest evidence of Iran’s continued weapons research has reignited a battle between congressional Iran hawks and the Trump administration, which continues to provide Tehran with a series of sanctions waivers permitting it to continue work at Fordow. Hardliners in Congress have called for an immediate end to these waivers in light of Iran’s efforts to blow past restrictions on the amount of highly enriched uranium it stockpiles inside the country.

“The Fordow uranium enrichment facility has never been repurposed, as promised in the JCPOA,” the acronym used to refer to the nuclear deal, according to the latest watchdog report. “Everything required to enrich uranium to weapons grade could be quickly reconstituted in the underground portion of the facility.”

“Fordow is potentially part of Iran’s current threats to progressively go to higher enrichment levels and increase its stocks of enriched uranium, and if conducted there, Fordow’s underground tunnel complex is fortified to withstand aerial bombardment,” the report states. “Fordow now includes semi-indigenous nuclear equipment production and potentially illicit procurement at the newly expanded support area, the former which was not likely intended by the JCPOA, and the latter which is prohibited.”

Secret documents seized from Iran by Israel corroborate evidence that Tehran sought, from at least 2002, to produce weapon-grade uranium to create one to two nuclear weapons per year.

“There is no doubt it could be reconstituted to fulfill that purpose,” the report concluded.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said the latest report on Iran’s work at Fordow should compel the Trump administration to stop issuing waivers, which have permitted continued nuclear work at the site.

“Today’s report once again demonstrates that the catastrophic Obama Iran nuclear deal created enormous danger for Americans and our allies,” Cruz said in a statement. “Fordow is a military bunker the Ayatollahs dug out of the side of a mountain so they could build nuclear bombs.”

“Under the nuclear deal, it was supposed to be converted but it never was. Instead, Iran used the time and the billions they received from the deal to expand the facility, possibly in violation of restrictions in the deal itself,” Cruz said. “The Trump administration should immediately cancel the civil-nuclear waivers it has been issuing, which allow Iran to continue building up Fordow and other nuclear sites.”

A State Department spokesperson told the Washington Free Beacon the administration will not stand by as Iran marches closer to the nuclear redline.

“The Iranian regime uses its nuclear program to extort the international community and threaten regional security,” the official said, speaking only on background. “Nuclear brinksmanship will not strengthen Iran’s position, but instead lead to further isolation and pressure.”

U.S. officials do not recognize Iran’s right to enrich uranium “at any level,” the official said, hinting at possible revocation of the sanctions waivers that have allowed work to continue at Fordow.

“The world’s top sponsor of terrorism can never be allowed to enrich uranium at any level,” the official said. “We will continue to impose maximum pressure on the regime until it abandons its destabilizing behavior, including proliferation-sensitive work.”

“Iran should realize that negotiating leverage will no longer be measured in kilograms of uranium or dollars per barrel, but rather in its willingness to end its destabilizing activities, including by abandoning a path to nuclear weapons,” the official said.

One veteran Republican congressional official who works on Iran issues told the Free Beacon that GOP hawks on Capitol Hill are starting to openly question the Trump administration’s commitment to upholding tough sanctions on Tehran.

“This is becoming clownish. The President already said that new sanctions are coming. Every day there’s a new story about how Iran is violating the deal,” the source said, speaking only on background. “People up here are starting to ask who inside the administration is holding up the response.”

Meanwhile, international nuclear inspectors on Thursday confirmed that Iran has been illicitly housing radioactive materials. This is the same facility that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed last year as a key source for Iran’s nuclear buildup.

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran have escalated since the downing of an American drone, Iranian leaders have vowed to continue openly breaching nuclear enrichment restrictions.

“Enhancing nuclear enrichment levels to 20 percent could well be the next move by Iran in case Europe failed to provide Tehran with the promised merits under the nuclear deal,” a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmedto the country’s state-controlled media.

“The level of Iran’s [uranium] enrichment has exceeded 3.67 percent and at present the purity level of the produced materials is nearly 4.5 percent,” the official was quoted as saying.

Iran is pressuring European nations to create backdoor financial vehicles meant to skirt the toughest U.S. sanctions, a demand U.S. officials have described as nuclear extortion.

UPDATE 5:40 P.M.: This has been updated with comment from a State Department spokesman received after publication.

Elizabeth Warren: I Will End Israeli ‘Occupation’

July 10, 2019

JOEL B. POLLAK9 Jul 2019

https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/07/09/elizabeth-warren-i-will-end-israeli-occupation/

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told anti-Israel activists on Monday that she would end Israel’s “occupation.”

Warren, who is rapidly moving up through the ranks of Democratic Party presidential contenders, has taken increasingly anti-Israel stances in the past several years.

She boycotted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress in 2015, and accused Netanyahu of corruption and “embracing right-wing extremism” earlier this year.

An activist from the radical left-wing group IfNotNow named Becca Lubow approached Warren in New Hampshire on Monday after a town hall and asked Warren if she would commit to pushing “the Israeli government to end Occupation.”

Warren answered, “Yes. Yes. So I’m there.”

BREAKING: Our members in New Hampshire just asked @ewarren if she would commit to pressuring the Israel to stop their 52 year military Occupation over the Palestinian people.

She said YES.10.1K6:57 PM – Jul 8, 20192,916 people are talking about thisTwitter Ads info and privacy

In a statement, IfNotNow described, and applauded, what it described as Warren’s increasingly “progressive” stance on Israel:

IfNotNow@IfNotNowOrg · Jul 8, 2019Replying to @IfNotNowOrg @ewarren

Thank you @ewarren for your commitment to work to end the daily nightmare Palestinians face living under Occupation. Our community needs a leader who refuses to uphold the current status quo and will work to end the Occupation. We look forward to seeing your next detailed plan.

IfNotNow@IfNotNowOrg

Here’s our press release detailing how @be_ccahh got a commitment from @ewarren to pressure Israel to end the Occupation and the significance of @ewarren breaking with the @AIPAC status quo of simply paying lip service to a two state solution.4247:22 PM – Jul 8, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy

View image on Twitter

112 people are talking about this

The word “occupation” was not defined. Some anti-Israel activists consider the very existence of Israel to be an “occupation.”

IfNotNow is a fringe group that began in the midst of Israel’s war against the Palestinian terror group Hamas in 2014 — a war for which Hamas was almost universally blamed, and in which Hamas fired rockets at civilian population centers.

As Breitbart News noted earlier this year (original links):

IfNotNow seeks to disrupt the connections that many American Jewish organizations have with Israel. It blames American Jewish support for Israel for the persistence of the Israeli occupation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), though most Palestinians in that territory live under the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

In addition to staging sit-ins and protests, members of IfNotNow attempt to infiltrate Jewish summer camps and tours of Israel, where they launch demonstrations or expose the mainstream Jewish community to anti-Israel propaganda.

In one episode in 2018, members of IfNotNow were arrested while reciting the Kaddish — the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead — near the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, memorializing Palestinians killed in “protests” at the Gaza border. (The vast majority of Palestinians killed were members of Hamas, and they were trying to infiltrate Israel to carry out attacks, not stage a non-violent protest against Israeli policies.)

Recently, IfNotNow supported Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) after she repeatedly used antisemitic rhetoric.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Photo: file

Vladimir Putin interview on liberalism.

July 8, 2019

vladtepesblog

More than you time worth , a must !
https://d.tube/#!/v/vladtepesblog/QmUufDE15ZUegQ5dqFdr1c2Sqkf9BV6iqSwGAn9wftcSzX

Be patient , the video need a couple of seconds to load , but it is your time worth

Happy 4th of July | Happy Independence Day America .

July 4, 2019

Ayn Rand’s on America:

I can say—not as a patriotic bromide, but with full knowledge of the necessary metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political and esthetic roots—that the United States of America is the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.

Since the golden age of Greece, there has been only one era of reason in twenty-three centuries of Western philosophy. During the final decades of that era, the United States of America was created as an independent nation. This is the key to the country—to its nature, its development, and its uniqueness: the United States is the nation of the Enlightenment.

America’s founding ideal was the principle of individual rights. Nothing more—and nothing less. The rest—everything that America achieved, everything she became, everything “noble and just,” and heroic, and great, and unprecedented in human history—was the logical consequence of fidelity to that one principle. The first consequence was the principle of political freedom, i.e., an individual’s freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by the government. The next was the economic implementation of political freedom: the system of capitalism.

The most profoundly revolutionary achievement of the United States of America was the subordination of society to moral law. The principle of man’s individual rights represented the extension of morality into the social system—as a limitation on the power of the state, as man’s protection against the brute force of the collective, as the subordination of might to right. The United States was the first moral society in history. All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself. The United States regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary co-existence of individuals. All previous systems had held that man’s life belongs to society, that society can dispose of him in any way it pleases, and that any freedom he enjoys is his only by favor, by the permissionof society, which may be revoked at any time. The United States held that man’s life is his by right(which means: by moral principle and by his nature), that a right is the property of an individual, that society as such has no rights, and that the only moral purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights.

It took centuries of intellectual, philosophical development to achieve political freedom. It was a long struggle, stretching from Aristotle to John Locke to the Founding Fathers. The system they established was not based on unlimited majority rule, but on its opposite: on individual rights, which were not to be alienated by majority vote or minority plotting. The individual was not left at the mercy of his neighbors or his leaders: the Constitutional system of checks and balances was scientifically devised to protect him from both. This was the great American achievement—and if concern for the actual welfare of other nations were our present leaders’ motive, this is what we should have been teaching the world.