Posted tagged ‘Tehran’

Secretary of State John Kerry Urges Europeans to Do Business with Iran

May 12, 2016

Secretary of State John Kerry Urges Europeans to Do Business with Iran

by John Hayward

11 May 2016

Source: Secretary of State John Kerry Urges Europeans to Do Business with Iran – Breitbart

Critics have accused the Obama administration of effectively acting as Iran’s law firm during the nuclear negotiations, but now Secretary of State John Kerry seems determined to volunteer as Iran’s marketing director.

As part of what the Wall Street Journal describes as “the Obama Administration’s moves recently to help integrate Iran into the global economic system after decades of punitive sanctions,” Kerry urged European businesses not to use the remaining U.S. sanctions on Iran as an excuse to avoid doing business with Tehran.

According to the Journal, Kerry told reporters, who were traveling with him to London for an anticorruption summit, that the United States “sometimes gets used as an excuse in this process” by business executives, who claim the American government would disapprove of Iranian deals.

“If they don’t see a good business deal, they shouldn’t say, ‘Oh, we can’t do it because of the United States.’ That’s just not fair. That’s not accurate,” said Kerry.

“Iran has a right to the benefits of the agreement they signed up to and if people, by confusion or misinterpretation or in some cases disinformation, are being misled, it’s appropriate for us to try to clarify that,” he added.

Kerry stressed that European institutions are “are absolutely free to open accounts for Iran, trade and exchange money, facilitate a legitimate business agreement, bankroll it, lend money — all those things are absolutely open,” aside from a few specific individuals and firms that remain under U.S. sanctions.

“Some specific Iranian entities, including companies associated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, are still off-limits under sanctions punishing Iran for other behavior,” notes the Associated Press. “And the U.S. maintains a prohibition on Iran accessing the American financial system or directly conducting transactions in U.S. dollars, fueling confusion and practical impediments given that international transactions routinely cross through the U.S. banking system.”

The Secretary of State evidently did not explain why European businessmen would be looking for phony excuses to avoid profitable business deals with the regime in Tehran.

The situation is more complicated than Kerry makes it out to be, according to the Associated Press, which reports that foreign investors are worried about Iran’s “antiquated financial system that fails to meet modern international standards,” its ongoing support for terrorism, its dismal human-rights history, and the fact that the Obama administration has been reluctant to provide written clarification of which business transactions are allowed.

The WSJ suggests two reasons for Kerry’s enthusiasm as an investment counselor for the Iranian theocracy: the Iranians have been loudly complaining that the Obama administration isn’t holding up its end of the nuclear deal, and the outcome of the U.S. presidential election could put the future of the deal in doubt.

At a minimum, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton claims she would add more sanctions if Iran comes too close to developing nuclear weapons, while presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has said he wants to re-negotiate the deal.

Khamenei: Israel won’t survive next 25 years

September 9, 2015

Khamenei: Israel won’t survive next 25 years Taking to Twitter, Iranian leader says Zionists won’t find serenity until destruction, calls US ‘Great Satan’ and rejects any talks with Washington beyond nuke deal By Times of Israel staff September 9, 2015, 12:20 pm

Source: Khamenei: Israel won’t survive next 25 years | The Times of Israel

In this picture released by official website of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, he is seen speaking in a meeting with members of Iran's Experts Assembly in Tehran, Iran. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In this picture released by official website of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s office on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, he is seen speaking in a meeting with members of Iran’s Experts Assembly in Tehran, Iran. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Israel will not survive the next 25 years, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday, making a series of threatening remarks published online.

In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account, Khamenei addresses Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and adds that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.

The quote comes against a backdrop of a photograph showing the Iranian leader walking on an Israeli flag painted on a sidewalk.

“After negotiations, in Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for next 25 years; I’d say: Firstly, you will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists,” the quote from Iran’s top leader reads in broken English.

The quote was apparently taken from a speech given earlier in the day.

The remarks came as US lawmakers began to debate supporting a recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers. Critics of the deal have pointed to fiery anti-US and anti-Zionist rhetoric as proof that the regime should not be trusted.

The White House and other deal boosters argue that the pact, meant to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, is based on verification, not trust.

Khamenei’s statements also reaffirmed his view that the US is a “Great Satan” and that there would be no detente with Washington beyond the nuclear talks.

“We approved talks with the United States about [the] nuclear issue specifically. We have not allowed talks with the US in other fields and we [do] not negotiate with them,” Khamenei said in statements published on his website.

Khamenei is quoted as saying any other talks would be “a tool for penetration and imposing their demands.”

On Twitter, Khamenei said talks with the US were a “means of infiltration and imposition of their wills.”

Quoting the founder of the Islamic Republic and his predecessor as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei tweeted: “@IRKhomeini stated “US is the Great Satan,” some insist on depicting this Great Satan as an angel.”

The Twitter handle @IRKhomeini is an Iranian government account dedicated to Khomeini’s statements.

Some have pointed to the nuclear deal as an opening for Iran to repair long-frayed ties with the West.

Several senior European officials have traveled to Iran since the nuclear deal was reached to boost economic and diplomatic ties, including Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who on Monday became the first European leader to visit Tehran in over a decade.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signaled that Iran is ready to hold talks with world powers on ways to resolve Syria’s civil war — provided such negotiations could secure peace and democracy in the conflict-torn country, he said.

Iran, together with Russia, backs the embattled regime of Bashar Assad, who is opposed by much of the West.

John Kerry is blowing the Iran nuke deal

July 29, 2015

John Kerry is blowing the Iran nuke deal, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, July 29, 2015

john_kerry_senator_from_ma-2

Kerry doesn’t care about Iran’s nukes or its breakout times and he resents having to memorize this stuff. What excites him is giving the finger to America and meeting up with enemies of this country. It’s how he began his career and it’s how he’s ending it now.

********************

Want to buy a used nuclear Armageddon from Hanoi John?

It’s hard to imagine a worse salesman for the Iran deal than John Kerry. Kerry couldn’t sell himself to Americans as a presidential candidate. Now he has to sell a nuclear Armageddon to Americans.

National security was Kerry’s undoing during his presidential campaign. He had shot American soldiers in the back during Vietnam to build a base for his own political future. He had eagerly pandered to Marxist-Leninist terrorists who massacred native peoples and burned their churches. He had been for the Iraq War before he was against it and for Assad’s Syrian dictatorship before he was against it.

Now Kerry is supposed to sell the most controversial and explosive national security issue since the Cold War to a skeptical nation. And he’s doing just about as well as you would expect.

John Kerry’s tour of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations came with all the nervous tics, the stumbling statements and erratic claims that everyone has come to expect from the only man who could have possibly made Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State tenure look good.

Asked whether he really believed that Iran, which is sitting on a mountain of oil and gas, just wants a peaceful nuclear program “to generate electricity”, Kerry admitted that it already has a military program.

Then he insisted that we had to go through with the deal anyway so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of the ayatollah.

“I mean, do you think the ayatollah is going to come back to the table if Congress refuses this and negotiate again?… I mean, please. I would be embarrassed to try to go out—I mean, what am I going to say to people after this as secretary of State?,” Kerry whined.

The Secretary of State for the greatest nation in the world had been reduced to complaining that he would be too embarrassed to renegotiate the deal. Congress had to play it cool and stop embarrassing him in front of his cool new ayatollah friends.

Kerry couldn’t offer a direct answer to the question because he had already argued that Iran “believed deeply that they had a right to… have a peaceful nuclear program; because they resented the fact the United States had supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq”. Iran did restart its nuclear program during the war with Iraq, and, like most nuclear programs during wartime, it was as peaceful as a bomb.

“O Allah, for your satisfaction, we sacrificed the offspring of Islam and the revolution,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote after the Iran-Iraq War. The letter quoted the need for “atomic weapons” and evicting America from the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader had told top officials that Khomeini had reactivated Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that it would prepare “for the emergence of Imam Mehdi.”

Imam Mehdi was never going to be impressed with a slightly lower electric bill.

Kerry had contradicted himself in a single response, admitting that the nuclear program had reemerged during the Iran-Iraq War while claiming that it was peaceful.

But Kerry’s real focus was always on empathizing with the enemy.

“I know, the degree to which Iran felt isolated by that and the sort of impact of the choices that were made during that period of time. So we’re trying to make up for that now. We’re where we are. We’re not blaming anybody,” he offered in his new role as the Ayatollah’s infidel therapist.

He insisted that 24 days was plenty of time just to get access to an Iranian rogue nuclear site while admitting that, “The breakout time goes down to always somewhere in the vicinity of a month or two.” And he suggested that Iran would become peaceful because he had “friends” who had been to Tehran and told him it was “teeming with young people who all have smartphones.”

And Kerry just wanted to go to Tehran and hang out with all the teeming cool young people and their smartphones.

The need for approval from enemies of the United States was quintessential Kerry. Utterly unwilling to acknowledge that there was a different worldview on the other side of the table, he namedropped his opposite number as “Foreign Minister Zarif, who lived here in New York” as if a man who lived in the city couldn’t possibly be a fanatical enemy of the United States.

That would have come as a surprise to Mahmud Abouhalima or Leon Trotsky.

But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

Challenged on welcoming back a terrorist state to the international arena, Kerry claimed that he had told the Iranians that their chants of “Death to America” were not helpful. Asked about other states getting nuclear weapons to compete with Iran, Kerry quipped that, “You can’t just go out and buy a nuclear weapon. You don’t ship them FedEx, you know.”

If Kerry had been paying attention in the Senate, he would have known that the Khan nuclear network which shipped kits of nuclear equipment and bomb plans, had been caught by Bush shipping crates to Libya. It wasn’t FedEx, but it was close. Bush had managed to achieve a complete shutdown of Libya’s nuclear program, while Kerry had legalized the other beneficiary of the Khan network in Iran.

This would have been a month’s worth of gaffes for any other politician, but for John Kerry, it was just one question and answer session gone wrong.

Kerry had already told PBS that Iran isn’t “allowed” to transfer any of the $140 billion in sanctions relief to terrorists because of a UN resolution, before admitting that Iran would probably do it anyway. Then he had backpedaled by claiming that money wouldn’t make much of an impact on terrorism anyway.

When asked about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s threats to America and announcement that he would continue funding terrorists, Kerry spluttered that he doesn’t “know how to interpret it at this point in time”.

“Death to America” can be surprisingly nuanced when analyzed by a master of nuance like John Kerry.

Kerry had managed to torpedo a plan for air strikes on Syria through his own inept statements. Now he’s sabotaging another administration policy goal.

The more Kerry talks, the more he comes off as a car salesman pushing the latest gently used nuclear Armageddon. He stumbles unconvincingly from one rationalization to another, revealing more about his insecurities than his policies.

Every Kerry argument is a thread and it doesn’t take much tugging on it for the whole dirty garment to come apart in a snarl of rationalizations and half-truths. Like a bad liar, he instinctively contradicts himself. And like a worse liar, he follows it up with false choices and false accusations.

His every argument comes down to some version of “Well what’s your alternative” or “If we walk away now, we lose all credibility”. It’s the argument you expect to hear from a man who has sent his fortune off to a Nigerian prince, not the Secretary of State of the United States.

The conclusion to every Kerry argument is the desperate pessimism of, “We have no other choice.” While Iran’s leadership gleefully celebrates, Kerry tells us that there are no other options. The more he talks, the more he convinces everyone who listens that the United States lost.

Underneath it all is a persistent whine. It’s the tone of an overgrown teenager who just wants to hang out with all the cool Marxist-Leninist rebels, Islamic terrorists and Viet Cong bosses. Somewhere in his mind, Kerry is still a petulant teenager resentful that he has to justify his fun times with Zarif, who used to live in New York and probably knows lots of teenagers with smartphones, by testifying to Congress.

Kerry doesn’t care about Iran’s nukes or its breakout times and he resents having to memorize this stuff. What excites him is giving the finger to America and meeting up with enemies of this country. It’s how he began his career and it’s how he’s ending it now. The more questions he has to answer, the more flustered he becomes because we’re the mean parents embarrassing him in front of the cool ayatollah.

‘Side deals’ cast shadow over Congress Iran review

July 23, 2015

Side deals’ cast shadow over Congress Iran review

Lawmakers complain about secret agreements between Tehran and UN watchdog over Parchin military site and nuclear program’s ‘military dimensions’

By Rebecca Shimoni Stoil July 23, 2015, 6:20 am

via ‘Side deals’ cast shadow over Congress Iran review | The Times of Israel.

 

2004 satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran. (AP/DigitalGlobe-Institute for Science and International Security)

2004 satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran. (AP/DigitalGlobe-Institute for Science and International Security)

WASHINGTON — As top administration officials prepared for what will be their first day of unclassified testimony in Congress Thursday in support of the Iran nuclear deal, a very public row erupted Wednesday over whether the administration could — and would — disclose what some lawmakers called the “secret side deals” of the agreement.

Even as the White House deployed Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Capitol Hill for a series of classified briefings Wednesday meant to shore up support for the Iran deal in a dubious legislature, lawmakers demanded more details on agreements reached between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran with the consent of the P5+1 group of world powers. Those agreements were not previously revealed to Congress as part of the 60-day review process required under law.

One day after Senator Tom Cotton and Representative Mike Pompeo said that an IAEA official in Vienna had told them about the agreements with Iran, administration officials denied these constituted “secret side agreements” that were kept out of the nuclear agreement presented to Congress for review.

“There’s no side deals, there’s no secret deals, between Iran and the IAEA, that the P5+1 has not been briefed on in detail. These kinds of technical arrangements with the IAEA are a matter of standard practice, that they’re not released publicly or to other states, but our experts are familiar and comfortable with the contents, which we would be happy to discuss with Congress in a classified setting,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said during his daily press briefing.

Tom Cotton (Courtesy United States Congress)

Tom Cotton (Courtesy United States Congress)

 

Kirby explained that the so-called “side deals” involved “issues between Iran and the IAEA,” referring to them as “technical agreements” and emphasizing that such agreements “are never shared outside the state in question in the IAEA.” At the same time, the US had been briefed on the agreements and administration officials were willing to discuss them with lawmakers.

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice during an interview with Charlie Rose on the Public Broadcasting Service, February 24, 2015. (screen capture/YouTube/Charlie Rose)

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice during an interview with Charlie Rose on the Public Broadcasting Service, February 24, 2015. (screen capture/YouTube/Charlie Rose)

 

National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday confirmed the existence of the side agreements, telling reporters that they dealt with Iran’s documentation of previous military dimensions of its nuclear program, a key aspect of intelligence about the program that enabled a better assessment of its scope and purpose.

Although Rice claimed that the arrangements between the IAEA and Iran were “no secret,” the firestorm began when Cotton and Pompeo, following a meeting in Vienna Friday with representatives of the IAEA, said officials from the watchdog group had told them the agreements would remain secret.

“The agency conveyed to the lawmakers that two side deals made between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the IAEA as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will remain secret and will not be shared with other nations, with Congress, or with the public,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), left, shakes hands with ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) during a committee markup meeting on the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran on April 14, 2015. (JTA/Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), left, shakes hands with ranking member Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) during a committee markup meeting on the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran on April 14, 2015. (JTA/Win McNamee/Getty Images)

 

One of the agreements covers inspection of the Parchin military complex, a site that the IAEA suspects was being used for experiments related to weaponization of Iran’s nuclear technology. The second details how the IAEA and Iran will resolve outstanding issues in determining the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, Cotton and Pompeo said.

Although Rice and Kirby claimed that US negotiators were familiar with the contents of the IAEA-Iran agreements, Cotton and Pompeo said that they were told that the agreements would not be released even to the P5+1 member states who negotiated the broader deal.

Under the terms of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act passed earlier this year, the administration is required to provide Congress with all documents related to the agreement, including “annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.”

On Wednesday, the author of the law, Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, teamed up with Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat, to write their second letter to the administration in as many weeks expressing concern over whether it had adhered to the law’s requirements.

This time, the bipartisan duo reportedly requested that Kerry provide them any available documents related to the IAEA-Iran agreements.

Cardin is one of many Democratic senators who have yet to say whether they will support or oppose the deal with Iran when it comes to key Senate and House votes on deal-killing legislation that will likely be placed before Congress within the allotted 60 days. The administration needs to win over at least 34 senators or 146 House members to ensure President Barack Obama’s veto of any such legislation cannot be overturned.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, an announced supporter of the deal, has expressed optimism that the White House can prevail, and Senator Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, declared his support for the agreement this week.

AP contributed to this report.

US: System reached to let UN inspect Iran military sites

June 29, 2015

US: System reached to let UN inspect Iran military sites

Senior official admits arrangement doesn’t include all facilities, says it wouldn’t be ‘appropriate’ to demand that of Tehran

By AFP and Times of Israel staff June 29, 2015, 7:54 pm

via US: System reached to let UN inspect Iran military sites | The Times of Israel.

Negotiators from five world powers and Iran meet for high-level nuclear talks in Vienna Austria, on June 27, 2015. (US State Department)

Negotiators from six world powers and Iran meet for high-level nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, on June 27, 2015. (US State Department)

 

An agreement has been reached in talks between Iran and major powers towards a nuclear deal that will give the UN atomic watchdog access to all suspect sites, a senior US official said Monday.

“The entry point isn’t that we must be able to get into every military site — because the United States of America wouldn’t allow anybody to get into every military site — so that’s not appropriate,” the official said.

“But if, in the context of agreement… the IAEA believes it needs access, and has a reason for that, access then we have a process [whereby] that access is given,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“We have worked out a process that we believe will ensure that the IAEA has the access it needs.”

If the system is agreed to by Iran, it could mark a potential breakthrough in months of negotiations with the Islamic Republic, which has refused to give the International Atomic Energy Agency access to sensitive sites.

“There are conventional purposes, and there are secrets that any country has that they are not willing to share,” the official added.

The access to military sites has been one of the key sticking points in negotiations, with Western powers urging Tehran to open facilities to international inspectors, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei — who has the last word on the nuclear negotiations — adamantly refusing.

The anonymous US official stated that Washington had long insisted that if the IAEA felt it needed access to a site that was suspect, “then they should be able to get it.

“If that happens to be a military site, then that should be available,” the representative went on, adding that the IAEA had an “institutional responsibility” to explore what the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program may have been.

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned earlier on Monday — as he awaited the return of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif from consultations in Tehran — that it was too soon to tell if a nuclear deal with Iran is possible.

“We’re just working and it’s too early to make any judgments,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna following a weekend of intense talks with counterparts from five other major powers and Iran.

In a possible sign, meanwhile, of progress, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that he would arrive on Tuesday, coinciding with the expected return of his Iranian counterpart.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, speaking in New York, said he would be back in Vienna this week. It was unclear when his British, German or Chinese counterparts might follow suit.

Over the weekend, officials from both sides made clear that their Tuesday deadline to nail down a deal was highly unlikely to be met, although they said they would only extend it by several days.

Zarif flew back to Tehran on Sunday night, as did many of the other ministers.

EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini spoke for many late Sunday when she insisted there would be no formal months-long extension, saying that “postponement is not an option.”

In April, Iran and the P5+1 group — the United States, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany — agreed on the main outlines of a deal that they hope will end a 13-year standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Under the framework, Iran will dramatically scale down its atomic activities in order to make any drive to make a weapon — an ambition it denies having — all but impossible.

This includes slashing the number of centrifuges enriching uranium, which can be used for nuclear fuel but also in a bomb; reducing its uranium stockpile; and altering the Arak reactor.

In return, the powers have said they will progressively ease sanctions that have suffocated Iran’s economy, but while retaining the option to reimpose them if Iran violates the agreement.

Unconfirmed: Huge explosion kills hundreds in central Tehran

May 24, 2015

Unconfirmed: Huge explosion kills hundreds in central Tehran, DEBKAfile, May 24, 2015

(Update: DEBKAfile has deleted the post, which it had acknowledged had not been confirmed, suggesting that nothing of interest happened.– DM)

According to first unconfirmed reports, central Tehran was hit Sunday night with massive blasts leaving many hundreds of people dead. Witnesses report heavy Revolutionary Guards and Basij forces speeding to the area. Thee are also reports of explosions in the southern Iranian town of Isfahan – also unconfirmed.

Iran, Saudi Arabia in tense buildup opposite Yemen’s Gulf of Aden shore: US air tankers refueling Saudi jets

April 10, 2015

Iran, Saudi Arabia in tense buildup opposite Yemen’s Gulf of Aden shore: US air tankers refueling Saudi jets

DEBKA file Exclusive Report April 10, 2015, 8:30 AM (IDT)

via Iran, Saudi Arabia in tense buildup opposite Yemen’s Gulf of Aden shore: US air tankers refueling Saudi jets.

 

Saudi-Iranian saber-rattling over Yemen has reached a dangerous peak, Thursday, April 9, the Saudi army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, warned: “Iranian ships have the right to be present in international waters, but won’t be allowed to enter Yemeni territorial waters.”

This was Riyadh’s rapid-fire riposte for the Iranian decision to deploy its navy’s 34th Flotilla, consisting of the Alborz destroyer and the Bushehr helicopter carrier warship, in the Gulf of Aden opposite the Yemeni coast.

The Saudi general noted that Iran had not evacuated any of its citizens from Yemen because, he said, “they are all involved in training and arming the Houthis.”
Soon after launching their air offensive in late March against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Saleh, the Saudis took control of the country’s airspace to prevent the landing of airlifted Iranian supplies for the Houthis. Russian flights were also barred later from landing in the embattled country.
Gen. Al-Assiri then issued Saudi Arabia’s bluntest threat yet: “Those Iranians planning to remain in the country would face the same fate as the Houthis and their supporters,” he said.

Clearly, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards personnel were being trapped in a Saudi vice: Unable to leave Yemen, on the one hand, they were threatened with death if caught, on the other.
Tehran decided to send its most effective naval force to the Gulf of Aden when it realized that Riyadh would not heed its warnings to back off Yemen. Its presence substantiated the threat of direct Iranian intervention in the Yemeni conflict should harm come to the elite IRGC force aiding the rebels.
The Bushehr helicopter carrier made its maiden voyage to Port Sudan at the end of 2012. Shortly after that, on Dec. 8 of that year, debkafile first revealed is features:

The new 13,000-ton vessel carries 12 Iranian strike helicopters, a crew of 200 and has a range of 8,000 nautical miles that reaches the US coast. There are five landing spots on its decks and four parking spots, as well as SM-1 and SAM anti-air missiles and 40-mm Fath-40 AAA anti-air cannon. Tehran invested $800 million in its first helicopter carrier.

If Tehran is not scared off by the Saudi threat and does order the Bushehr to sail into Yemeni territorial waters, its guns and missiles would be in range there to strike targets in neighboring Saudi Arabia to the north. Tehran could justify this attack by Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi having been granted asylum in the oil kingdom.

However, the Saudi Air Force would also be on hand close by over Yemen to retaliate by bombing the Iranian Bushehr and other warships to chase them away from the Yemeni coast, if not to sink them.

Our sources predict that this naval-air collision would likely be limited in extent. After peaking to a dangerous crisis, the clash would most probably be contained before it escalated into a full-blown war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Obama administration’s backing for the Saudi Arabian intervention in support of the internationally recognized Yemen president Hadi was intended to keep Iran in check.

On Tuesday, April 7, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Riyadh and stated: “Saudi Arabia is sending a strong message to the Houthis and their allies that they cannot overrun Yemen by force.  As part of that effort, we have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation center.”
He was sending a clear message to Tehran backed up by solid US assistance

1.  Tehran was being warned not to make the mistake of assuming that its understandings with Washington over Iran’s regional promotion included license for aggression against Saudi Arabia.
2.  Tehran was notified that the Saudi operational chiefs would henceforth receive ongoing intelligence gathered by a US military satellite over the region through their joint coordination center in Riyadh. This intelligence would also cover the movements of Iranian warships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

3. Further details of vital US aid came through Thursday, April 9, from Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. He announced that the US Air Force had begun an aerial refueling mission for “the Saudi Arabian-led mission engaged in air strikes on Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen.” In its first task Wednesday, a US KC-135 Stratotanker refueled a Saudi Air Force F-15 Eagle and a UAE F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Warren said that the US Central Command aimed to fly one tanker mission a day in support of the Saudi-led alliance, but it would not enter Yemeni airspace to perform it.
Nonetheless, a potential sea-cum-air clash of arms between Saudi Arabia and Iran off the shores of Yemen cannot be ruled out, especially after Riyadh ratcheted up the tension Friday with a ban imposed on Iranian flights carrying pilgrims to Mecca.
It would not be the first firefight to be triggered by the Yemeni conflict. Earlier this week, Egyptian and Iranian warships exchanged fire in the tussle for control over the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait. The episode ended with the Iranian ships being ordered directed from Tehran to break off contact and distance themselves from the Egyptian craft. The Iranian Navy commander Rear Adm. Habibollah Sayyari later denied reports appearing in the Gulf media that Egyptian warships had forced Iranian naval vessels to retreat and quit the Gulf of Aden.
The incendiary tension around the Gulf of Aden and rising fear of a Saudi-Iranian military engagement has raised enough alarm for the US, French and British fleets with a naval presence in the Gulf to go on a state of preparedness.

Iranian Nuclear Negotiators Attend Anti-Semitic, Anti-American Conference

October 3, 2014

Iranian Nuclear Negotiators Attend Anti-Semitic, Anti-American Conference

State Department has no idea conference is even taking place

APBY: Adam Kredo Follow @Kredo0October 3, 2014 11:35 am

via Iranian Nuclear Negotiators Attend Anti-Semitic, Anti-American Conference | Washington Free Beacon.

 


Hassan Rouhani / AP
At least two former Iranian nuclear negotiators joined with Holocaust deniers, 9/11 truthers, and anti-Semites from across the globe this week in Tehran for Iran’s second annual New Horizons conference, an anti-American hate fest that U.S. lawmakers say highlights the country’s dangerous duplicity.

Among those in attendance at the conference—which the U.S. State Department admitted it was not even aware of—were notorious Holocaust deniers, American anti-Israel activists, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s closest adviser.

They were joined by two of Iran’s former nuclear negotiators, Saeed Jalili and Ali Asghar Soltanieh, both of whom were once responsible for inking a deal with the West over Tehran’s contested nuclear program.

The presence Jalili and Soltanieh triggered concern on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers warned that this is another sign that Tehran cannot be trusted to deal honestly in ongoing nuclear talks, which have been extended through November.

As the Obama administration continues to provide billions of dollars in sanctions relief to Tehran in a bid to foster a final nuclear deal, some in Congress say that the White House is letting itself be fooled into backing a bad deal with Iran.

“The so-called ‘New Horizon’ conference in Tehran proves why the current Iranian regime under President Hassan Rouhani is, at its core, no less extremist and dangerous than the regime under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) said in a statement.

“The conference’s participants promoted anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, and Holocaust denial, and were even greeted on day one by high-ranking Iranian cleric Mohsen Ghomi, a close adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who falsely alleged that ‘American officials are puppets of the Zionist lobby,’” Kirk said.

“It’s critical that U.S. administration officials, who are desperately offering ever more dangerous nuclear concessions to get Iran to accept a watered-down nuclear deal, open their eyes to the true nature of the current Iranian regime,” he said.

Perhaps more concerning, the U.S. State Department told reporters on Thursday that they did not know the conference was taking place, despite multiple reports in U.S. and foreign newspapers.

“Have you seen this conference that the Iranians are putting on right now which is all about how Israel and the CIA conspired to—for 9/11 and all this,” a reporter asked State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki at Thursday’s daily briefing.

“I have not seen reports of this conference. Where is the conference?” Psaki asked the reporter.

Asked if she had any concerns about the conference’s explicit anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, Pskaki responded: “We will look into that.”

“It’s alarming that the State Department’s spokesperson had no idea that this hate-filled festival in Tehran was even going on,” one former Republican House staffer said.  “It’s even more appalling that the administration has done little, if anything, to condemn either the Iranian government or American citizens who traveled to the capital city of the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism to compare notes with the world’s worst Holocaust deniers, 9/11-conspiracy theorists, and anti-Semites.”

The conference included multiple sessions about the “myth” of the Holocaust, as well as one discussion of how American and the West cannot be trusted in nuclear talks.

Other topics included: “9/11 and the Holocaust as pro-Zionist ‘Public Myths’,” “Mossad’s Role in the 9/11 Coup d’Etat,” “9/11 Truth Movement Strategies and the Zionism Issue,” and “9/11 Truth Movement Strategies and the Zionism Issue,” according to information provided by Kirk’s office about the confab.

Those who attended the event traveled from several Western countries, including America, a fact that raises concerns about how these citizens were permitted to travel to and from the unfriendly country.

Among those American who attended the Tehran hate fest were anti-Israel Codepink activist Medea Benjamin and conspiracy theorist blogger Garth Porter.

Others in attendance included former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) members, 9/11 truthers Wayne Madsen and Kevin Barrett, anti-Semitic French entertainer Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, and a slew of other Holocaust deniers from multiple countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a press conference with President Obama at the White House earlier this week, warned the president against giving into Iran’s demands.

“Iran seeks a deal that would lift the tough sanctions that you’ve worked so hard to put in place, and leave it as a threshold nuclear power,” Netanyahu said. “I fervently hope that under your leadership that would not happen.”