Obama Gets A Valentine’s Card From Khamenei (Ezekiel 17)

Report: Iranian leader Khamenei sent Obama a secret letter
Khamenei_bg_956288651
Citing an Iranian diplomat, The Wall Street Journal reports that the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

By Sandra Maler Feb. 14, 2015 | 2:41 AM | 5

REUTERS – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

Obama’s letter suggested the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal was secured, the paper said, quoting the diplomat.

Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but noncommittal, it quoted the diplomat as saying.

Both the White House and the Iranian mission at the United Nations declined to comment on the report.

Khamenei said this week he could accept a compromise in the nuclear talks and gave his strongest defense yet of Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s decision to negotiate with the West, a policy opposed by powerful hardliners at home.

The nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are aimed at clinching an accord that would ease Western concerns that Tehran could pursue a covert nuclear weapons program, in return for the lifting of sanctions that have ravaged the Iranian economy.

Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for an accord, and Western officials have said they aim to agree on the substance of such a deal by March.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due to address the U.S. Congress on Iran on March 3 – to the annoyance of the Obama administration – has vowed “to foil this bad and dangerous agreement.”

Antichrist Issues Warning To ISIS (Rev 13:16)

Muqtada al-Sadr Issues Warning to Iraq’s ISIS Militants

The Antichrist Moqtada al-Sadr

The Antichrist Moqtada al-Sadr

BY CASSANDRA VINOGRAD

Iraq’s firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr vowed his supporters will “shake the ground” in the fight against Sunni militants wreaking havoc across his country.

Sadr’s warning was the latest sign that the poster boy for violent uprising against the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is back and reclaiming his place in the spotlight following a retreat from the public eye.

“We will shake the ground under the feet of ignorance and extremism,” he said in a televised speech Wednesday from the Shiite holy city of Najaf, according to the AFP news agency.

AFP reported that Sadr also said he only backed “providing international support from non-occupying states for the army of Iraq” – an apparent dig at the U.S.

President Barack Obama has offered up to 300 advisers to Iraq, about 130 of whom have now been deployed.

The Pentagon said that an initial group sent to establish an operations center included intelligence analysts, logistics experts and special operations forces. Another 50 military personnel working in the region are expected to arrive within the next few days, while U.S. military personnel are also flying regular manned and unmanned reconnaissance flights.

Sadr’s speech comes after he issued a call for Shiite fighters to form brigades to fend off attacks from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham on holy sites.

The cleric has a knack for repositioning himself, over the years repeatedly stepping away from day-to-day politics only to re-emerge when the time is ripe to reclaim the mantle of Shiite defender.
His supporters turned out in massive shows of force earlier this month, armed to the teeth with missiles and heavy weapons, to march through Iraqi cities in the name of “Peace Brigades.”

To many, the “Peace Brigades” constitute a rebranding of Sadr’s feared Mahdi Army, which was blamed for the mass killings of Sunni civilians in sectarian violence in Iraq that peaked in 2006 and 2007.

Sadr formed the Mahdi Army in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. The Shiite militia gained broader notoriety when it waged fierce battles in Najaf against U.S. forces a year later, and the Pentagon later said it had “replaced al Qaeda in Iraq as the most dangerous accelerant of potentially self-sustaining sectarian violence.”

When Sadr ordered his fighters to lay down their weapons in 2007, the move was accompanied by questions over whether he sought to wait out U.S. forces or to make a political play.

While Sadr helped usher Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to power in 2006 and ultimately again in 2010, he since has become one of the premier’s most vocal critics, describing him as a dictator.

In February, Sadr said he was withdrawing from all politics and unaffiliated with any faction – a move met by speculation that he was repositioning himself or reinventing his feared brigade.

Those guesses appeared to play out when Sadr issued his call for supporters to take up arms.

The deployment of Sadr’s battled-hardened supporters would underscore Maliki’s slipping grip on security and leadership: the Mahdi Army has more experience in street-to-street fighting and counterinsurgency.

But doing so would amplify deep-seated fears of a return to the brink of full-scale civil war and a repeat of the atrocities carried out by Sadr’s fighters in 2006 and 2007.

Obama Gets A Valentine’s Card From Khamenei (Ezekiel 17)

Report: Iranian leader Khamenei sent Obama a secret letter
Khamenei_bg_956288651
Citing an Iranian diplomat, The Wall Street Journal reports that the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

By Sandra Maler Feb. 14, 2015 | 2:41 AM | 5

REUTERS – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has responded to overtures from U.S. President Barack Obama amid nuclear talks by sending him a secret letter, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing an Iranian diplomat, the paper said the Iranian cleric had written to Obama in recent weeks in response to a presidential letter sent in October.

Obama’s letter suggested the possibility of U.S.-Iranian cooperation in fighting Islamic State if a nuclear deal was secured, the paper said, quoting the diplomat.

Khamenei’s letter was “respectful” but noncommittal, it quoted the diplomat as saying.

Both the White House and the Iranian mission at the United Nations declined to comment on the report.

Khamenei said this week he could accept a compromise in the nuclear talks and gave his strongest defense yet of Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s decision to negotiate with the West, a policy opposed by powerful hardliners at home.

The nuclear talks with the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany are aimed at clinching an accord that would ease Western concerns that Tehran could pursue a covert nuclear weapons program, in return for the lifting of sanctions that have ravaged the Iranian economy.

Negotiators have set a June 30 final deadline for an accord, and Western officials have said they aim to agree on the substance of such a deal by March.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is due to address the U.S. Congress on Iran on March 3 – to the annoyance of the Obama administration – has vowed “to foil this bad and dangerous agreement.”

Pakistan Horn About To Isolate From West (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan will not accept India as UNSC permanent member: Nawaz
pakistan horn
SATURDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2015 – 10:48

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed these reservations while speaking with US President Barack Obama on the phone, the PM House said in a statement.

The prime minister said India cannot become a UNSC permanent member due to its non-compliance of all the resolutions passed by UN regarding Kashmir, added the spokesman.

The US president called Nawaz in the evening where both the leaders discussed issues of mutual interest and those related to regional stability and peace for over half-an-hour, said the statement.

The spokesman said the prime minister made it clear upon the US president that permanent slot for India at the UNSC will not be tolerated at any cost as India has not fulfilled any resolution passed by UN aimed at assuring the right of self-determination for the people of Kashmir.

During his visit to India last month, Obama had lent his support to India’s bid for UN Security Council’s membership which was seen in Pakistan as contempt of democracy and human rights.

“India is by no means eligible to become a permanent member of UN,” the prime minister was quoted as saying. Nawaz also conveyed Pakistan’s desire to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

Meanwhile, Obama informed Nawaz about his recent trip to India and also congratulated the prime minister on the success of Operation Zarb-i-Azb.

Barack Obama visited India on January 25 and became the first US president to make two official visits to India during his tenure.

During the trip Indian Premier Narendra Modi and Obama announced they had reached an agreement to provide civilian nuclear technology to India that was signed in 2008 but had been held up by US concerns over liability in the event of a nuclear accident.

During his visit to India, Obama also became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display in a sign of the nations’ growing closeness. (Dawn News)

The Russian Horn Prepares For The Bowls Of Wrath (Daniel 7:7)

Russia’s Nuclear Forces Begin Their Largest Drill Ever

Russian Nuclear Drill

Russian Nuclear Drill



Zachary Keck
February 12, 2015

Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces are conducting their largest drills ever, according a state-run media outlets.

On Tuesday, Col. Igor Yegorov, a spokesman for the Strategic Missile Forces, told Interfax-AVN that the unit began the largest drill in its history on Thursday. According to Yegorov, over 30 missile regiments and both road-mobile and silo-based missile systems are expected to participate in the massive drills.

The exercise it taking place across a vast sway of territory, covering an incredible twelve different regions in the country, from Tver region in western Russia to the Irkutsk region in the east. According to Google Maps, that’s a distance of about 3,998 km (2,484 miles).

Yegorov said the drills will test the Strategic Missile Forces’ preparedness for a wide variety of potential scenarios.

“Strategic missile units are practicing a broad range of missions, including red alert, maneuvering in actual combat and deterrence of sabotage units and precision-guidance attacks of a simulated enemy,” Interfax quoted Yegorov as saying.

The spokesman for the unit went on to explain that the first day of the drill was devoted largely to defending deployed road-mobile missiles from sophisticated enemy sabotage attacks. “According to the drill scenario, sabotage groups of the simulated enemy laid mines on combat patrolling routes [of missile units] and applied poisonous chemicals to the area adjacent to their field positions,” Yegorov said, Interfax reported.

The drill’s focus on protecting deployed road-mobile missile units is indicative of Russia’s desire to better operationalize its strategic forces to execute its nuclear doctrine. Although the Soviet Union maintained a no-first use military doctrine, the erosion of Russia’s conventional military power following the Cold War has forced Moscow to increase its reliance on its nuclear weapons to defend itself. As such, Russia abandoned its no-first use pledge in 1993 and, following NATO’s interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s, issued a new National Security Concept in late 1999 (officially adopted in 2000).

This document lowered the threshold for when Moscow would consider using nuclear weapons to include “preventing aggression on any scale… against Russia and its allies.” In this sense, Russia’s nuclear doctrine is similar to the one the U.S. quietly used throughout most of the Cold War to “offset” the Soviet Union’s numerically superior conventional forces in Europe.

Despite its greater reliance on these weapons, for many years Russia’s nuclear capabilities continued to atrophy, even as arms control agreements with the United States greatly reduced the size of Moscow’s strategic arsenal. In fact, by the middle of the 2000s some U.S. security analysts argued America had achieved nuclear primacy.

Since securing his third term as president in 2012, however, Vladimir Putin has sought to reverse this trend by modernizing Russia’s nuclear forces. Indeed, shortly before the 2012 presidential elections in Russia, Putin pledged, “We should not tempt anyone by allowing ourselves to be weak. We will, under no circumstances, surrender our strategic deterrent capability. Indeed, we will strengthen it.” Similarly, just last December Russia’s Chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, said that the country’s nuclear modernization will be the Defense Ministry’s top priority in 2015.

True to their word, Russia has undertaken an ambitious effort to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad by 2021.It has also announced plans to add an additional 8,500 troops to the Strategic Missile Forces by 2020.

As part of this larger effort, Russia has been conducting increasingly frequent and more sophisticated snap nuclear exercises like the one that is currently taking place.

Zachary Keck is managing editor of the National Interest. You can find him on Twitter: @ZacharyKeck.