Iran is Prepared to Strike Israel

Khamenei: Iran has presence near Israel’s borders, talks with US can only ‘harm’

In statement ahead of US-led Mideast conference in Warsaw, supreme leader says any negotiations with Washington would be an ‘unforgivable mistake’

By Agencies and TOI staff

13 Feb 2019, 6:40 pm

Iran’s supreme leader said Wednesday the Islamic Republic has a presence near Israel’s borders and is supporting militant groups throughout the region, adding that any negotiations with the US will “bring nothing but material and spiritual harm,” in remarks ahead of an American-led meeting on the Middle East in Warsaw.

The comments from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were part of a seven-page statement read word for word on Iranian state television and heavily promoted in the run-up to its release. They also come two days after Iran marked the 40th anniversary of its 1979 Islamic Revolution amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

“Today the challenges concern Iran’s strong presence near the borders of the Zionist regime, putting an end to the United States’ unlawful infiltration in Western Asia, the Islamic Republic’s support for the Palestinian people’s resistance at the heart of the occupied territories as well as defending the high-flying flag of Hezbollah and the resistance throughout this region,” Khamenei said.

The US said it was confronting Iran’s influence in the Middle East and that it was currently concentrating on “preventing the transference of sophisticated Iranian weapons to resistance forces,” a reference to Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah and other terrorist groups.

Hezbollah supporters watch a video screening of a speech by the group’s head, Hassan Nasrallah, to mark the 11th anniversary of the end of the 2006 war with Israel, in the village of Khiam in southern Lebanon, August 13, 2017. (AFP/Mahmoud Zayyat)

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Syria to thwart attempts to smuggle weapons to the Hezbollah terror group and keep Iranian-backed forces from entrenching themselves near the border.

“About the United States, the resolution of any issues is not imaginable and negotiations with it will bring nothing but material and spiritual harm,” Khamenei added.

The supreme leader went on to describe any negotiations as an “unforgivable mistake.” He also said any talks would be akin to “going on your knees before the enemy and kissing the claws of the wolf.”

In 2015 Khamenei approved talks between Iran and the United States that resulted in the nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers. The deal saw Iran limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

However, that deal came under the administration of former US president Barack Obama. His successor Donald Trump last year quit the agreement, saying it provided Iran with relief without any substantial gains.

Since then, the United Nations says Iran has kept up its side of the bargain, though officials in Tehran have increasingly threatened to resume higher enrichment.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, during a cabinet meeting Wednesday, echoed Khamenei’s remarks, saying: “If the Iranian nation surrenders to the United States, it should surrender until the end.”

He said “Iran is about negotiation, but we are not ready to accept imposition, bullying, pressure and the trampling of our national rights.”

Amid the new tensions, Iran’s already-weakened economy has been further challenged. There have been sporadic protests in the country as well, incidents applauded by Trump amid Washington’s maximalist approach to Tehran.

However, some have suggested Iranian leaders meet with Trump in a summit, much like North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Amir Mousavi, a former Iranian diplomat, has claimed that Trump sent a message to Rouhani last week requesting direct talks. Mousavi, speaking with Lebanese television station al-Mayadeen, said Trump is ready to visit Tehran and had sent several messages through intermediaries in Oman.

There has been no acknowledgment of such a request from Washington.

Iranian pro-government supporters burn the Israeli and US flags during a rally in Mashhad in support of the regime after authorities declared the end of the recent protests, on January 4, 2018. (AFP Photo/Tasnim News/Nima Najafzadeh)

The Warsaw summit, which started Wednesday, was initially pegged as focusing entirely on Iran. However, the US subsequently made it about the broader Middle East, to boost participation.

Before departing for Poland on Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters that the focus of the conference will be Iran, an issue he said “unites Israel, the United States, many countries in the world.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif predicted the Warsaw summit would not be productive for the US. “I believe it’s dead on arrival or dead before arrival,” he said.

Baghdad will follow the Antichrist’s lead concerning US troops

Baghdad will follow parliament’s lead concerning US troops: Iraqi PM

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Iraqi government will have no choice but to “obey” legislation from the parliament, but can still have its opinion concerning the US presence in Iraq, announced Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

Within the framework of US-Iraqi-coalition cooperation Abdul-Mahdi explained during his press conference on Tuesday that he sees no mission besides training Iraqi forces and assisting in the ISIS fight.

He added that his meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday with US acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was “good and fruitful.” 

They will “respect” and “obey” whatever decision the Iraqi parliament makes about the US troop presence. 

However, he insisted that the government can still have an opinion on the matter.

“Thus, what is being said in the press shouldn’t be taken as the final truth,” Abdul-Mahdi added.

US President Donald Trump has floated the idea of using bases in Iraq to watch Iran. Iraqi politicians quickly called the move unconstitutional and repeated that they do not want the country to be used as a battlefield between the United States or regional Arab countries and Iran. 

The PM’s remarks come at a potentially pivotal moment. Shiite parties allied with Iran insist that they will introduce legislation to the parliament when its recess ends to force US troops out of the country.

The majority of Shiite parties, including Muqtada al-Sadr’s Sayirun Alliance and Hadi al-Amiri’s Iran-linked Fatih have all rejected a US presence — many even before previous PM Haider al-Abadi declared the defeat of ISIS in December 2017.

The Sunnis and Kurds, however, have been more silent, but they generally agree that the US presence is needed in order to prevent pre-2014 conditions from returning and to continue efforts to train and professionalize Iraqi security apparatus. For Sunnis and Kurds, it is also a counterbalance to Shiite and Iranian hegemony in Iraq.

Abdul-Mahdi added they are “following” the battles against ISIS across Syria. And Iraq has set up “proactive” plans to protect its borders from any possible ISIS movements.

“The other side, the Syrian Democratic Forces, have large a number of Iraqi Daesh members. We will have repatriation actions for them,” the PM added, referring to ISIS suspects in SDF custody.

ISIS fighters remain in a 2 square-kilometer pocket in the border town of Baghouz, Syria. According to SDF’s spokesperson Mustafa Bali, the most “experienced” ISIS foreign fighters are there.

Logistical preparations are underway for the families of Iraqi members of ISIS to be relocated, Abdul-Mahdi added.

“Thus, we are getting prepared for everything. There are good military and security preparations,” added the PM.

Relations between the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) are “good,” according to Abdul-Mahdi. Reports of the Peshmerga returning to Kirkuk and other areas are “clamor with no basis,” he said.

“Things remain as they are. Actually, we have even bolstered the economic conditions in Kirkuk. We are closing any gaps that terror could exploit,” the premier added.

Last week there were sub-committees formed between the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and KRG Ministry of Peshmerga for cooperation, joint patrols, joint administration, and joint operation rooms in the disputed territories that could see the return of Peshmerga forces.

As for the oil export agreement with KRG, he added that there is an agreed upon “mechanism” and he reiterated KRG has to handover 250,000 bpd to SOMO.

Iraqi water improves in quantity and quality

“We pay great attention to water pollution,” said the Iraqi PM.  Five million cubic-meters of waste water runs into the Tigris.

He further added that the waste water has settled at the bottom of Diyala’s river. Because of recent flash flooding, the water has made its way into the desalination plants.

“The desalination plants became unhealthy. We had to stop distributing this water,” added the PM, saying they have resorted to water wells.

Still, he called the rain this year a “blessing” saying the water reserves of Iraq are being replenished and filled with this amount of rain water.

He also struck an optimistic view of agricultural yields. Baghdad expects them to increase this year due to a strong rainy season.

“In addition, the abundance of rain helped in elevating the quality of water,” claimed the PM, citing weekly water reports.

He also added that they estimate there are “5 billion cubic-meters” of water from the accumulated snow that will eventually melt. Thus Iraq might receive up to 30 billion cubic meters of water in total.

Iraq’s water problems sent thousands of Iraqis in Basra to hospitals last summer. It led to widespread protests which dashed the hopes of the former Iraqi PM’s reelection.

Turkey’s mega dam projects, and droughts, have all negatively impacted Iraq’s water reserves and the decreased water levels in the Euphrates and Tigris have damaged Iraqi agriculture. 

China Ready for Nuclear War (Daniel 7:7)

Tensions are building between the US and China in the disputed South China Sea (Image: GETTY)

Nuclear competition between the US and China has been building for years as Beijing takes steps towards the development of nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, Washington is attempting to limit China’s military build-up in the South China Sea. The contested strategic strait in the Pacific Ocean is claimed by China and neighbouring Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

A successful test of China’s new submarine-launched ballistic missile, the JL-3, is cause for concern in Washington, The South China Morning Post reports.

The test has sent a message to the world China is ploughing on with a new class of strategic submarines, SSBNs, which could be equipped with nuclear-armed JL-3s.

Hong Kong-based military expert Song Zhongping said: “China needs to strengthen and improve its at-sea nuclear deterrent capability by increasing both the quality and quantity of its SSBNs and attack subs because the US is making every effort to restrain Chinese strategic subs from sailing further.”

He said the US’s moves “are aimed at undermining Beijing’s second-strike capability”, adding Beijing’s decision to develop more nuclear subs “was also pushed by the massive replacement of old generation submarine-launched ballistic missiles”.

South China Sea

Chinese aircraft carrier fleet operates during a training at South China Sea (Image: GETTY)

Donald Trump

Donald Trump on a visit to China in 2017 (Image: GETTY)

 

According to Zhao Tong, a fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Programme, based at the Carnegie–Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy, the US and its allies are stepping up their anti-submarine warfare in the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Zhao said in a report the US stepping up its nuclear ambitions was contributing to mistrust between the two superpowers and raising the possibility Beijing may re-think its “no first use” nuclear weapons policy, which has been in place since the first Chinese nuclear test in 1964.

In a separate report, the Washington-based US-China Economic and Security Review Commission said Beijing was looking at expanding its nuclear delivery systems, setting off debate in China over whether its nuclear arms should be used only as a deterrent and not as a “first strike”.

The threat of escalating tensions between China and the US comes after the Trump administration withdrew from a historic nuclear weapons accord struck between the US and Russia.

 

South China Sea: China are ‘bullying’ US allies claims Jack Keane

In October when he announced plans to withdraw from the decades-old deal, Trump said his decision had been influenced by a need to respond to China’s nuclear build up.

Meanwhile Bryan Clark of the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has argued China already has the ability to control the South China Sea.

He said: “China has the ability to control the South China Sea because it has established escalation dominance in that area.

“China now has the world’s largest navy, which has more than 300 ships.

“If you want to be able to conduct sea control in a region, having a big navy is a valuable part of that.

“China is able to focus the attention of that navy on near seas to an extent that its competitors like the US cannot.”

Bolton Pulls a Cheney on Iran


“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. Daniel 12:1 (The Israel Bible™)

Trump’s National Security Adviser, John Bolton John Bolton speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in 2014. (Shutterstock)

In the wake of reaffirmation of Tehran’s readiness to attack Israel and America by top-ranking Iranian officials, U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton told Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who celebrated 40 years since the Islamic revolution in Iran, that “I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy.”

“This week, Iran marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, and what a 40 years it’s been. Tyrannizing its own people and terrorizing the world. Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons, to intimidate peaceful people all around the globe and ballistic missiles to use as delivery systems,” Bolton said in a video uploaded by the White House.

He accused the ayatollahs of funding terror across the Middle East and causing massive suffering inside their own country, which features record high unemployment rates and a low-valued currency.

“So, Ayatollah Khamenei, for all your boasts, for all your threats to the life of the American president, you are responsible for terrorizing your own people and terrorizing the world as a whole. I don’t think you’ll have many more anniversaries to enjoy,” Bolton said.

Last week, Khamenei explained that the “Death to America” slogan is directed at U.S. President Donald Trump and Bolton, and will stand “as long as America continues its wickedness.”

Bolton’s remarks came the same day as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Iran that “if this regime makes the terrible mistake and tries to destroy Tel Aviv or Haifa, it won’t be successful, and it will be the last anniversary of their revolution they will ever celebrate.”

Netanyahu’s video response came following a threat by deputy head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps political bureau, Yadollah Javani, that “the United States does not have the courage to shoot a single bullet at us despite all its defensive and military assets. But if they attack us, we will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”

The Ramapo: The Sixth Seal Fault Line (Revelation 6:12)

The Ramapo fault and other New York City area faults 

 Map depicting the extent of the Ramapo Fault System in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania

The Ramapo Fault, which marks the western boundary of the Newark rift basin, has been argued to be a major seismically active feature of this region, but it is difficult to discern the extent to which the Ramapo fault (or any other specific mapped fault in the area) might be any more of a source of future earthquakes than any other parts of the region. The Ramapo Fault zone spans more than 185 miles (300 kilometers) in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. It is a system of faults between the northern Appalachian Mountains and Piedmont areas to the east. This fault is perhaps the best known fault zone in the Mid-Atlantic region, and some small earthquakes have been known to occur in its vicinity. Recently, public knowledge about the fault has increased – especially after the 1970s, when the fault’s proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York was noticed.

There is insufficient evidence to unequivocally demonstrate any strong correlation of earthquakes in the New York City area with specific faults or other geologic structures in this region. The damaging earthquake affecting New York City in 1884 was probably not associated with the Ramapo fault because the strongest shaking from that earthquake occurred on Long Island (quite far from the trace of the Ramapo fault). The relationship between faults and earthquakes in the New York City area is currently understood to be more complex than any simple association of a specific earthquake with a specific mapped fault.

A 2008 study argued that a magnitude 6 or 7 earthquake might originate from the Ramapo fault zone, which would almost definitely spawn hundreds or even thousands of fatalities and billions of dollars in damage.Studying around 400 earthquakes over the past 300 years, the study also argued that there was an additional fault zone extending from the Ramapo Fault zone into southwestern Connecticut. As can be seen in the above figure of seismicity, earthquakes are scattered throughout this region, with no particular concentration of activity along the Ramapo fault, or along the hypothesized fault zone extending into southwestern Connecticut.

Just off the northern terminus of the Ramapo fault is the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, built between 1956 and 1960 by Consolidated Edison Company. The plant began operating in 1963, and it has been the subject of a controversy over concerns that an earthquake from the Ramapo fault will affect the power plant. Whether or not the Ramapo fault actually does pose a threat to this nuclear power plant remains an open question.

Israeli military report predicts clashes outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

FILE- Palestinian protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli soldiers during a protest at the entrance of Erez border crossing between Gaza and Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018. AP Photo/Felipe Dana
Israel is facing possible military escalations against Palestinian factions in both Gaza and the West Bank in 2019, an assessment by the Military Intelligence Directorate revealed on Wednesday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ worsening health as well as the release of the United States peace plan could cause chaos in the West Bank, according to the assessment.

The 83-year-old leader’s hospitalization in 2018 led to widespread speculation over his condition, particularly with no successor publicly in line for the Palestinian presidency.

The US peace plan, which is expected to be revealed later this year, has already been dismissed by Abbas, who said Washington “is no longer qualified to act as the sole mediator due to its bias toward Israel and its decisions against international law on Jerusalem, refugees and others.”

The Israeli military intelligence also warned that Hamas may attempt to drag Israel into a limited operation in the Gaza Strip to gain further economic benefits. After months of fighting last year, Israel and Hamas agreed on a ceasefire which included financial support for Gaza by Qatar.

Islamic Jihad’s operations in Gaza may also pose a threat to Israel in the near future, the assessment found, since it’s not under direct control of Hamas, but rather serves its own interests.

AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra Masked Palestinian Hamas gunmen take part in the funeral of Hamas militant, Jan. 23, 2019  AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra