The Antichrist Opposes His Rivals

Al Monitor
NAJAF, Iraq — Amid the reform protests taking place in Baghdad, political differences between Shiite clerics interested in Iraqi affairs have been widening in the two cities of Qom and Najaf.
While controversial cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist movement, continues to support the demonstrations that significantly sparked these Shiite differences, Shiite clerics based in Qom have issued fatwas condemning the protests and saying that they would lead to a devastating mess. The most recent demonstration took place Feb. 17 in Baghdad and in other Shiite provinces in southern Iraq. On Feb. 11, five protesters were killed and 320 were injured in Baghdad. Other Shiite clerics close to the Iranian regime also issued fatwas against the protests in Iraq, such as Kazem al-Haeri and Sheikh Mahdi Asefi.
Kamal Al-Haidari, a high-ranking cleric close to the Iranian regime, said during his religious lectures Feb. 16, “My religious and political position is that institutional reform cannot take place through begging in the streets,” and that “reform should only be brought about through constitutional and legal institutions.”
Meanwhile, the Sadrists sharply responded to his statements by accusing him of unfairness, lack of impartiality and unawareness of Iraqi affairs. Saleh Mohammed al-Iraqi, a close associate of the Sadrist movement leader and an occasional spokesman of his, launched a scathing attack on Haidari, describing him as unauthorized and lacking expertise and fairness in opinion regarding the protests and the calls for reform.
“If you are to give your opinion about a certain topic, you should be fair, and you should be following the related developments. You cannot live in Qom and interfere in the affairs of Najaf,” Iraqi said.
This is a clear indication that the escalating dispute between Sadr and Haidari falls within the context of the different views of Qom and Najaf. The dispute is originally over the relationship between the religion and the state, and it started when some Shiite authorities in Qom led the Iranian Revolution against the Shah and got deeply involved in the details of the country’s political affairs at a time when Najaf kept a clear distance from politics and the government altogether — even after it was offered a chance to rule after 2003.
This led to a fierce debate between the Najaf and Qom schools. While the former represents the traditional vision of the Shiite opposition to the participation of the clergy in power, the latter represents the pro-velayat-e faqih (doctrine that hands supreme power to a religious figure) modern vision. While the controversy gradually started to evolve with the degeneration of the unstable political situation in Iraq, it is now expanding to include detailed political topics related to the political affairs of Iraq.
Haidari enjoys the full support of the Iranian regime. The official Iranian Al-Kawthar TV, an Arabic-language channel, offered him a show that has been on for more than a decade. The show aims to criticize the ideological positions and the related political affairs opposing the official Iranian stance, and it had provided Haidari with fame and influence among the Shiite Arabs, especially in Iraq.
A source close to Haidari said on condition of anonymity that Haidari has also received financial support directly from the office of the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on a monthly basis. In addition, the Iranian regime has provided Haidari with special security protection from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, while many other senior clerics in Qom were not treated with such privilege.
Consequently, Haidari allowed himself to claim the Shiite authority for his own and proclaim himself as “the religious authority, Sayyid Kamal al-Haidari,” as well as expand his circle of influence among Iraqis. Today, he gives weekly intensive lectures about Shiite theology, jurisprudence and mysticism, in addition to conveying his own political views.
Meanwhile, he has been trying to gain popularity within Najaf’s hawza since 2003, but he has been failing due to the opposition expressed by the traditional school there.
Haidari is known for not only opposing, but even attacking Najaf’s traditional school and its main pillars, such as Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei and Ali al-Sistani. The dispute between them was originally due to Haidari’s affiliation with the Iranian velayat-e faqih, clearly opposed by Najaf, and he is now one of the prime candidates for the Iranian regime’s endeavor in Najaf after the 86-year-old Sistani, the current authority there.
Meanwhile, instability prevails within the Sadrist movement over becoming associated with either Najaf or Qom. The Sadrist movement is believed to be the product of the fundamentalist Shiite vision that opposes Najaf’s traditional school. As a result, Sadr’s father, Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr, was involved in a bitter and long struggle with Sistani and other religious authorities in Najaf, which is why Sadr kept Sistani at a distance after the death of his father in 1999. He then became associated with Haeri in Qom, who provided him with a religious cover to form the Mahdi Army in resistance to the US forces.
However, political difference soon drove a wedge between Sadr and Haeri, who abided by the official Iran position to the word, while Sadr wanted to maintain a sense of independence in his positions.
This prompted Sadr to turn to Haidari in August 2013, when Sheikh Mahmoud al-Jayashi, the director of Sadr’s office, was able to arrange a meeting between the two because he was also one of Haidari’s most prominent disciples.
After the meeting was held, Sadr’s office stated, that both sides “discussed the region’s affairs in general and Iraq’s issues in particular,” noting that “the two agreed to coordinate future positions.”
Regardless, the current political disputes between the two are pushing Sadr to reconsider his positions so he does not lose popularity after losing his religious cover.
In a nutshell, all these developments are signs of broad political and religious disagreements that would take over Iraqi society after the death of Sistani, the strongest and most important sponsor of the political process in Iraq after 2003.

Iran Is Nuclear Ready (Ezekiel 17)

By REUTERS
Thu, 02 Feb 2017, 02:02 AM
BERLIN – Iran tested a cruise missile called Sumar“ that is capable of carrying nuclear weapons in addition to test-firing a medium-range ballistic missile on Sunday, German newspaper Die Welt reported Thursday, citing unspecified intelligence sources.
No comment was immediately available from Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency or from Iranian authorities.
The newspaper said the Sumar cruise missile was built in Iran and traveled around 600 km in its first known successful test. The missile is believed to be capable of carrying nuclear weapons and may have a range of 2,000 to 3,000 km, the paper said, citing intelligence sources.
Cruise missiles are harder to counter than ballistic missiles since they fly at lower altitudes and can evade enemy radar, confounding missile defense missiles and hitting targets deep inside an opponent’s territory.
But the biggest advantage from Iran’s point of view, a security expert told Die Welt, was that cruise missiles are not mentioned in any United Nations resolutions that ban work on ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
News of Iran’s reported cruise missile test came hours after the White House put Iran „on notice“ for its ballistic missile test and signaled that it could impose new sanctions, taking an aggressive posture toward Tehran that could raise tensions in the region.
Iran confirmed on Wednesday that it had test-fired a new ballistic missile, but said the test did not breach the Islamic Republic’s nuclear agreement with world powers or a UN Security Council resolution endorsing the pact.
International sanctions on Tehran were lifted in January last year under a nuclear deal brokered in 2015 by Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States.
Under the nuclear deal Iran agreed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of most sanctions. According to a 2015 UN resolution endorsing the deal, Iran is still called upon to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

Enabling The Iranian Horn

Netanyahu, Julie Bishop, speak about Iran nuclear deal
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his five-day trip to Australia was „wonderful“ and that he felt Australia and Israel shared „the same path“ more or less.
It was the first time a sitting Israeli Prime Minister visited Australia.
„This has been a wonderful visit here. Your people are amazing,“ Netanyahu told Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop before holding bilateral talks behind closed doors.
„I’d stay longer if I could.“
„I know they were both very much looking forward to your visit,“ Bishop said.Bishop visited Israel in September 2016.
During Netanyahu’s visit, Australia and Israel agreed to upgrade security, intelligence, economic, cyber and technology relations.

Iran’s Nuclear Collusion With Korea

By Tony Duheaume Friday, 24 February 2017
But as well as the detonation of a nuke, it also became apparent that a missile launched by North Korea toward Japan on 14 February, 2017, had a solid fuel engine, which in turn, made it fully road mobile, and much quicker to prepare for launch. The missile was also launched from a tractor-erector-launcher unit, which means it could be transported along roads or across rough terrain, and with it being driven to an undisclosed site, it would make it much harder for an enemy to detect.
At the same time, Kim Jung-Un also announced that by the end of 2017, his military will have tested a cruise missile that can reach the United States, and thus, with Iran’s program picking up momentum at the same pace as North Korea’s, it almost seems as though the two countries are in collusion with each other.
Considering the two nation’s statements came so close together, with both accelerating military programs which can cause mass devastation, it leaves a lot of speculation as to whether this is simply coincidental, or it had been planned well in advance. With so much talk about Iran having secret nukes in North Korea, the proof has always been there as far as the two countries past cooperation is concerned over each of their nuclear programs, and experience has shown; what North Korea has today, Iran has tomorrow, or visa versa.
Back to the 80s
North Korea has assisted the Iranian regime militarily since its early days in power. In 1981, when the Iranian’s opened a terrorist training camp at Manzarieh in northern Tehran, among the earliest trainers to arrive on site was a group of North Korean military personnel, and it was thanks to the brain washing techniques taught by these specialist trainers, Iran has been able to transform gullible recruits at its camps into lethal human bombs, and it went on to develop suicide terrorism into the lethal form of unconventional warfare we see today.
During the Iran/Iraq war, a conflict, which lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, Iran had taken a severe beating from the bombardment of Iraqi missiles raining down on its cities, and with the country being the subject of severe sanctions, arms were almost impossible to procure, and so its main missile supplier had been North Korea.
As hostilities intensified, in a war that eventually saw a body count of one million, North Korea found it impossible to keep pace with the supply of missiles needed by Iran for the battlefront. It was at this point, the Iranian regime came to realise its weaknesses in the air war, and was determined to build up its own missile capability, which would eventually lead to the regime achieving self-reliance through an indigenous production line.
It was in 1985, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who at the time head of Iran’s Parliament, signed an agreement to launch a cooperative missile and nuclear development program with North Korea, agreeing to fund the production of North Korea’s 300-kilometre-range Scud-B missiles, and also give financial support for its research and development program pursuing missile and nuclear technology, as well as the sharing of test data and weapons designs, which has continued throughout the decades.
During the 1990s, Iran and North Korea came together in the development of Iran’s Shahab medium range missile, which was almost identical to the North Korean Nodong, and had many of its components imported from North Korea. As the years went on, the two countries were said to have collaborated on many other missile systems, and together had produced Iran’s Shahab-3 and Shahab-4, and the longer Shahab-5 and Shahab-6.
Technology transfer
Then as far as the transfer of technology is concerned, the North Korean Hwasong-10, also known by the names BM-25 and Musudan, a mobile intermediate-range missile that was first on display during a military parade on October 2010, was seen to feature a triconic cone that was almost identical to that of Iran’s indigenously produced Ghadar-1.
But one thing that is really perturbing is how the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and the North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un, share the same intense hatred of the USA. On top of this, they have pursued an illicit nuclear program for decades, through which they have often shared technology to help each other out, with the endgame of producing nuclear weapons, as well as missiles capable of carrying them, and they now seem to be intent on developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to reach the shores of the United States.
Over the years, with the two countries having worked together in all fields of missile and nuclear technology, some reports suggest that in 2006, an Iranian team was present when North Korea successfully tested a bomb at a secret underground location, and that a group of Iranian scientists were invited to study the results of the blast, which could be useful preparation for Tehran’s possible testing of its own device at some point in the future.
With the aid of North Korea, Iran has acquired the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East, which makes the prospect of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon even scarier, and with the two countries having shared so much technology in the fields of both nuclear weapons and missile development, it makes it all the more conceivable that North Korea could well be testing a bomb for Iran.
But to add to the fear, with the North Koreans having already tested five devices, the first in October 2006, which had produced a one kiloton explosion, the second in May 2009 which produced a four kiloton blast, the third in February 2013 which produced a yield of four kilotons, and a fourth device on 6 January 2016, which North Korea announced to be its first successful testing of a hydrogen bomb, although the weapon was not large enough to be a thermonuclear device, it could well have involved some nuclear fusion, but whichever the case, it had been enough to alarm the international community.
Then on September 9, 2016, North Korea announced its fifth detonation, it had an estimated yield of 10-kilotons, which it was claimed to be that of a nuclear warhead, and could be mounted on a ballistic missile.
The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, had the yield of 15-kilitons, which meant that the North Koreans are fast on a path to meet this, and with its latest missile test on 12 Feb, 2017, having reached an altitude of 550 km (340 miles), and Kim Jung Un boasting that his military would have an ICBM by the end of 2017, and his further claim of being able to miniaturise a nuclear device, it has most definitely left Donald Trump with his first major headache as President of the United States.
Fissile material
It has been estimated that North Korea already has enough stocks of fissile material to construct at least twenty bombs, added to the fact that its boffins have the capacity to produce enough reserves of fissile material to produce in the region of six or seven WMDs a year, plus the fact that that the two regimes have been known to eagerly share each others technology, should either Kim Jung Un or his close trading partner Ali Khamenei end up being confronted by the U.S., they could in theory soon have an ICBM fitted with a nuclear device be ready to launch against it.
The Iran deal was no deterrent in stopping Iran from pursuing the test-firing of nuclear-capable missiles, as despite the regime denying its pursuit of nuclear weapons; it is still intent on developing missiles capable of carrying them.
Although the present missiles being tested are only presently able to strike short range, medium range, and intermediate-range targets, their long-term goal is to produce one with an intercontinental reach, which is close to fruition, and the Iran Deal has already given the regime billions of dollars to pursue this, as well as subsidise its impoverished partner to pursue its own nuclear agenda.

Russia Upgrades Its Nuclear Power

February 26, 2017
The Barguzin “railroad combat complex,” or BZhRK, will be armed with six RS-24 Yars ICBMs, a fifty-five-ton missile that reportedly carries up to ten nuclear warheads, and is already deployed in fixed silos and mobile truck-mounted launchers. There will be five railroad missile regiments, each consisting of one train and six ballistic missiles. Operational deployment is slated for 2020.
Barguzin is not a new concept. It is actually a revival of train-launched ICBMs, fielded by the Soviet Union beginning in the 1960s. The twelve trains, equipped with three RT-23 Scalpel missiles each, were phased out by 2005.
“As it was impossible to precisely determine the place where they could fire a nuclear missile, they were dubbed as ‘death’ or ‘phantom’ trains,” reported Sputnik News.
The new trains will carry six missiles instead of three. A Russian defense industry official told Sputnik News in 2015 that the missile trains “will not need any specific big cars. They will completely coincide with the existing parameters of railcars and will therefore be completely hidden from a foe’s reconnaissance and surveillance. Moreover, the system will enable launches virtually everywhere on the railway bed in contrast with the previous system that required special launch conditions.”
A 2016 Russian media article, translated by the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office, stated that Barguzin “will restore the ground triad of the RSVN [Strategic Missile Troops] of the Soviet era, augmenting the silo-based and mobile ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile systems that are in the inventory.”
Russia’s move has caught the eye of China, which itself tested a rail-mounted ICBM in 2015. A Chinese media article suggests the missile train is “a countermove in response to America’s global missile defense system and C-PGS (prompt global strike) program” of hypersonic missiles.
Are we entering a new strategic arms race? Building mobile ICBMs suggests that Russian leaders feel less than secure with their current nuclear portfolio versus the Americans. The irony, of course, is that America is developing a new ICBM because it doesn’t feel its nuclear deterrent is secure against the Russians.
The United States itself once toyed with train-based ICBMs. In the 1980s, the Reagan administration approved a plan to base MX (Peacekeeper) missiles on railroad cars that, upon command, would disperse throughout the continental U.S. rail network. The program was later terminated.
Train-based ICBMs do offer some advantages over missiles in fixed silos, namely that the enemy can never be sure where they are—or, more accurately, where all of them are at any given moment. But as a 2014 RAND study pointed out, rail and truck launchers have their drawbacks. Maintaining a missile on a train is more difficult than in a silo, while rail lines and roads can be blocked by snow, which tends to restrict railroad ICBMs to warmer climates. In addition, because there are only a limited number of rail lines and highways in an area (think Siberia), enemy surveillance can focus on a few areas. And, once located, mobile missiles are more vulnerable than ICBMs in hardened silos.
Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.
Image: Topol-M in Russian service. Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons/Vitaly V. Kuzmin

History Warns New York Is The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

History says New York is earthquake prone

New York Earthquake 1884 New York Earthquake 1884Friday, 18 March 2011 – 9:23pm IST | Place: NEW YORK | Agency: ANI

If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 
If the past is any indication, New York can be hit by an earthquake, claims John Armbruster, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
According to the New York Daily News, Lynn Skyes, lead author of a recent study by seismologists at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory adds that a magnitude-6 quake hits the area about every 670 years, and magnitude-7 every 3,400 years.
A 5.2-magnitude quake shook New York City in 1737 and another of the same severity hit in 1884.
Tremors were felt from Maine to Virginia.
„The problem here comes from many subtle faults,“ explained Skyes after the study was published.
He adds: „We now see there is earthquake activity on them. Each one is small, but when you add them up, they are probably more dangerous than we thought.“
Armbruster says a 5.0-magnitude earthquake today likely would result in casualties and hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
„I would expect some people to be killed,“ he notes.

Iran Horn Continues Its Threats (Daniel 8)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 26
By Khalid Kazimov – Trend:
The head of public relations office at the IRGC, Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif, has said that the general staff of the armed forces of the country has also approved all missile tests carried out by the IRGC, ISNA news agency reported.
Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif further asserted that the missile tests and the country’s nuclear deal with the world powers known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are two different issues, adding that such missile tests have a deterrent effect.
The officials from Iran and the US have recently exchanged sharp criticism over several reports on the Islamic Republic’s recent missile tests.

Saudi Arabia Joins The Ten Horns (Daniel 7)

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP
TEL AVIV – An Arab version of NATO must be formed to confront Iran and its alliance with Iraq and Syria, a leading Saudi journalist wrote on Tuesday.
Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, whose past roles include editor-in-chief of London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat and general manager of Al Arabiya News Channel, wrote articles in both those publications this week calling for the Arab world, and in particular Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan, to “establish a joint military power to confront Iran’s expansion.”
Al-Rashed further criticized the claim that President Donald Trump’s declarations against the Iran agreement strengthen the radicals there, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported, citing the articles in their original Arabic. Al-Rashed argued that Iran’s belligerence since the nuclear deal was signed, not least its current funding of four wars, proves that former President Barack Obama’s relaxed policy only encouraged Tehran to escalate its aggression.
The ayatollahs and radicals in Iran, Al-Rashed asserted, have been in control of the country since the Islamic Revolution, and its more moderate politicians are puppets used to coax the West into leniency.
President Hassan Rouhani and his FM Zarif both represented the moderates and they succeeded [in] winning over the administration of former president Barack Obama. They also managed to convince the administration that lifting sanctions and encouraging Iran’s openness were in the interest of moderate figures, the region and the whole world.
Once again, evidence suggested this assumption was wrong. [The] Iranian leadership became more aggressive than ever and for the first time since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the regime dared to expand its military activity outside its borders. It is currently participating in and funding four wars outside of Iran. All of this was possible due to the nuclear deal that paved the way for better relations, trade and activity and kept silent over Iran’s threats to the region.
Al-Rashed added that “Things will keep on getting worse unless a strict international position against Iran’s adventures is taken and unless Iran is forced to end the chaos it is funding in the region and the world.”
The nature of the regime in Tehran is religious with a revolutionary ideology. It has a political agenda that has not changed much since it attacked the American embassy in Tehran and held diplomats hostage [in 1979],” Al-Rashed wrote.
“The only change that happened is that its financial and military situations improved a lot thanks to the nuclear deal it signed with the West,” he concluded.
In the second article published in Al-Arabiya, Al-Rashed noted that Iran exploited the region’s political vacuum formed in the years since the Iraq war. He also reiterated the Islamic Republic’s exploitation of the Obama administration’s policies, not least of all its nuclear agreement, to expand its hegemony in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
Al-Rashed advised, “Military cooperation, under any umbrella, is a good idea and a necessary step, especially if expanded beyond [military cooperation]. Establishing an alliance to confront Iran is an essential balance to respond to its military alliance that includes Iraq and Syria.”
Iran also cooperates with Russia and the latter has a military base in Iran. The Russians strongly participate in the war in Syria alongside this Iranian alliance. Tehran has strengthened its alliance by bringing armed militias from Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries into Syria and they are fighting there under its banner. Iranian forces, in the guise of “experts,” are fighting in Iraq and to some extent manage the conflict there. Therefore, establishing an Arab NATO … remains a natural reaction to Iran’s “Warsaw Pact.”

1884 A Forewarning Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The Coney Island earthquake of 1884

Seismograph of New York Earthquake 1884
Seismograph of New York Earthquake 1884
January 20, 2010
New York City isn’t immune to earthquakes; a couple of small tremors measuring about 2.5 on the Richter scale even struck back in 2001 and 2002.
The quake was subsequently thought to have been centered off Far Rockaway or Coney Island.
Translation: We’re about 30 years overdue. Lucky for us the city adopted earthquake-resistant building codes in 1995.

Antichrist Influences the Iraq Elections

By Rudaw 16 hours ago
Baghdad demonstrators demand dissolution of polling body as general elections near
Iraqi protesters in Baghdad’s Freedom Square calling on the parliament to dissolve the IHEC which they have accused of corruption and partnership. Rudaw photo
Rudaw reporter in Baghdad Bahman Hassan said many of the angry protesters also demanded the dissolution of all three branches of government, the Presidency, the Parliament and the Cabinet, before the elections to preserve what they call “the transparency of polls.”
“They demanded the creation of a “national rescue government” and a completely new electoral commission whose members should be independent and non-partisan and also demanded the amendment of the election law,” Hassan said.
The IHEC which is seen as an independent polling body, has members that are affiliated with nearly all political parties across the Iraqi spectrum, including several Kurdish members. Sadr has in the past cast doubt on the independence of the commission and stated that “no election are free and fair under the current IHEC.”
Angry rioters in Baghdad warned they would storm the office of the IHEC if the commission was not reshuffled, a threat that prompted the government to tighten the security around the IHEC complex in the Iraqi capital last week.
The United Nations has shown solid support for the IHEC in the past and reiterated its position last week after protesters marched towards the commission office.
“The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq, Ján Kubiš, held a meeting with the IHEC and voiced the UN’s continuous support for its employees, as well as to the council of commissioners,” said an official statement from the UN issued on February 14.
– See more at: http://www.rudaw.net/mobile/english/middleeast/iraq/25022017#sthash.EmN1ZJqJ.dpuf