The U.S. is absolutely on the road to war with Iran


Is the U.S. on the road to war with Iran?
Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Is the U.S. on the road to war with Iran?
There are two kinds of people: those with, and without, grace. President Trump can decide on which side he falls, although Mrs. Abe the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife has clearly made up her mind. Anyone who can read a whole speech in English knows enough to say, ‘Excuse me, I do not speak English well’. So, to not respond at all to the U.S. president sitting beside her, who turns to converse, conveys a distinct meaning.
There was a time when countries prided themselves on their civility and their citizenry for their courtesy. Now the byword is the put down; rudeness, crudeness and vulgarity rule the day — not to forget the jingoism, demagoguery and xenophobia that can win elections. If such was the state of a democracy, its founders, were they alive, would weep.
In the past week, U.S. presidential ire has been directed at Iran. Shortly after the administration’s annual declaration to Congress certifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, it slapped additional economic sanctions the following Tuesday (July 18). Three days later, Trump added threats of ‘new and serious consequences’ unless detained U.S. citizens are returned. Robert Levinson, a former law enforcement officer disappeared ten years ago in Iran. In addition, Xiyue Wang, a Chinese-born U.S. citizen, as well as a father and son Iranian-Americans, Baquer and Siamak Namazi — the elder a former provincial governor in Iran — have been sentenced to 10 years jail for spying. For perspective, it is worth noting that 5 million tourists visit Iran annually contributing $2 billion in revenue, and the country is trying to expand its tourism industry.
The nuclear agreement itself is difficult for the U.S. to abrogate unilaterally as it involves the five permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Yet Trump appears to have swallowed the Netanyahu line on the deal. Add that to Trump’s new found chumminess with the Saudis and their deep Wahhabi antagonism towards Shia Iran and we could be on the edge of another cataclysm in the Middle East, this time enveloping the whole region.
If we recall the history of the deal, the Obama regime first had to give up their zero-enrichment requirement before the Iranians would even agree to talk. They got low enrichment.
While sanctions had hurt Iran, it refused to buckle under the pressure; in fact it added centrifuges and speeded up enrichment. Had the Obama administration continued on this course, they would have had a nuclear Iran or war.
There are those in Washington who still believe sanctions and pressure would bring Iran to its knees. They have forgotten the Iranian response to Iraq and the Iran-Iraq war when Iran stood up to a better-armed Iraq despite enormous casualties.
If Trump keeps up the pressure imposing further sanctions, how soon before the extremists in Iran secure an upper hand and the deal falls apart? Could an unwinnable war (Iraq and Afghanistan are living examples) and/or a nuclear Iran be the consequence?
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King’s College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for Antiwar.com, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.

Babylon vs Babylon the Great


Iran versus the United States – Raddington Report
BY MAJID RAFIZADEH
It’s war by any other means. The Iranian regime is heightening its efforts to damage US national interests and scuttle Washington’s foreign policy objectives by ramping up its interventions in the Middle East.
The regime’s concerted efforts are being directed by its Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, his Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its many tentacles. Among the actors in this play are the Navy, the Aerospace Force, ground forces, the Ministry of Intelligence, and the elite Qods force, which is led by General Qassem Soleimani and operates outside Iran’s borders to export the regime’s revolutionary ideals
Lately, Iran’s state-owned media outlets, long since the mouthpieces of Khamenei and the IRGC, have been extensively covering the increasing capabilities, power, and influence of Iran’s armed forces in the region. Iran’s leaders enjoy boasting about the leverage that the regime revels in defying the US in various fields.
The regime is accomplishing these objectives by steadfastly extending the core pillar of its foreign policy. In practice, this means the regime is working hard to widen its connections to militia and terrorist groups through different means, including political and military interventions in countries throughout the Middle East, including as Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon — not countries known for their stability at present.
Over in Iraq, Iranian leaders are delegating a more expansive role to the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a network of Tehran-backed Shi’ite paramilitary groups, which are estimated to have roughly more than 60,000 fighters. With Tehran’s bank balances back in the black thanks to the nuclear agreement, the IRGC provides vital military, financial and advisory assistance to the PMF. The IRGC and Iran’s news outlets do not hide the presence of Iran’s ground forces in Iraq. The IRGC appointed one of its generals, Iraj Masjedi, to be the new ambassador to Iraq.
During the latest visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to Tehran, Khamenei emphasized the expanding role of PMF and how the presence of Shi’ite paramilitary groups on the ground are becoming political realities in Baghdad. One approach is linked to intensifying interference in the upcoming Iraqi elections. Iran’s sophisticated interventions has prompted the Iraqi Vice President Ayad Allawi to point out that “Iran has been interfering even in the decision [making process] of the Iraqi people…We don’t want an election based on sectarianism, we want an inclusive political process … we [hoped] that the Iraqis would choose themselves without any involvement by any foreign power.”
Khamenei warned Haider al-Abadi not to interfere with Iranian foreign policy goals. He made it clear that the objective of expanding the role of Iraqi militia groups is to spread anti-American sentiments and disrupt US regional objectives, telling the Iraqi leader that “We should remain vigilant of the Americans and not trust them.”
In Syria, IRGC has launched ballistic missiles, kicking off fresh phase of military interventions — this is Iran’s first deployment of such weaponry abroad in nearly three decades. It speaks to a transformation in how Iran’s armed forces will escalate its engagement in the region. But it also highlights the fact that Iran is buttressing Assad’s military. The IRGC generals made it evident that the attacks were “a message” and a “warning” not only to ISIS but also to the US and its regional allies.
For Iran, this is just the beginning. As former IRGC Guard chief Gen. Mohsen Rezai warned, darkly, “The bigger slap is yet to come.”
Iran has been busy in Yemen, as well. The Iranian regime is not only stepping up its support for the Tehran-backed Houthis, but is also deploying other proxies, including Hezbollah, in the war-torn state, in an attempt to further damage the country’s infrastructure and spoil US initiatives in Yemen. Although Iranian leaders deny playing any role in Yemen, the IRGC forces and its proxies are present in Yemen fighting alongside Houthi forces. Iran’s rising shipments of arms to Yemen, however, is impossible to deny. Several countries including the US have intercepted Iran’s attempt to deliver weapons to the Houthis. Most recently, the Saudi navy captured three members of the IRGC from a boat approaching Saudi Arabia’s offshore Marjan oilfield. The Saudi information ministry stated: “This was one of three vessels which were intercepted by Saudi forces. It was captured with the three men on board, the other two escaped.”
Hezbollah currently enjoys a presence in “every third or fourth house” in southern Lebanon, according to the IDF Chief of Staff, a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 — and Iran does not show any signs of wishing to give up on their Lebanese proxy. Hezbollah affects Lebanon decision-making to serve Khamenei’s interest, not that of the Lebanese people. The growing financial and military assistance has also made Hezbollah “more militarily powerful than most North Atlantic Treaty Organization members” according to a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.
Iran’s support for terrorist groups across the spectrum, which are sworn to disrupt US foreign policy and damage Washington’s interests, is a core pillar of Tehran’s foreign policy. The 2016 statement by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper remains very much accurate: “Iran — the foremost state sponsor of terrorism — continues to exert its influence in regional crises in the Middle East through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Qods Force (IRGC-QF), its terrorist partner Lebanese Hezbollah, and proxy groups.”
There exists a rare opportunity that the US should seize. After eight years of Obama’s administration trying to appease the Iranian regime and after eight years of neglecting the security concerns of other regional governments, the Gulf states and other regional powers long to counter Iran’s support for terrorist groups, increasing use of brute force and regional military adventurism. The Trump administration can capitalize on regional powers’ political and military weight in holding back Iran. Isolating and sanctioning Tehran via establishing a powerful and united front is critical at this moment.
The Iranian regime is rapidly using its militia and terrorist groups to shape political realities across the Middle East. It is penetrating the political, military and security infrastructures of several Middle Eastern nations. The aim is to advance the regime’s Islamist revolutionary ideals, hegemonic ambitions, and to damage US national interests. A swift and proportionate response to the Iranian regime, which is an integration of political pressure and military force, ought to be a top priority.

Iran Prepared To Annihilate Israel


Iranians Have 100,000 Missiles In Lebanon Ready To Hit Israel

Toni LivakBy Toni Livak
Posted: 07/4/2016 2:00 AM EDT 

Based on Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the IRGC, “the chance to destroy Israel is now higher than ever.”

Talking in Tehran on Saturday at an iftar meal breaking the Ramadan fast, Rouhani mentioned the pre-Iran nuclear-deal period is past and Iran now must benefit from the brand new environment to pursue its “nationwide pursuits more than before,” Iran’s Islamic Republic Information Company reported.

The nation’s supreme chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for student associations to determine a “unified anti-US and anti-Zionist entrance” among the many Muslim world’s college students, Tasnim Information Company reported.

“By utilizing superior technique of communication and in our on-line world, basic campaigns might be fashioned by Muslim college students primarily based on the opposition to the insurance policies of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel so that when needed, thousands and thousands of younger Muslim college students create a giant movement within the Islamic world,” he mentioned.
Khamenei additionally warned against plots by enemies seeking to sabotage the nation.
Individually, on Saturday, Fars Information Company reported a senior official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards as having mentioned Israel’s Iran Dome anti-rocket system has vulnerabilities that had been revealed in current wars.

The Iranian vs American Horn (Daniel)

  • “The Persian Gulf is the Iranian nation’s home and the Persian Gulf and a large section of the Sea of Oman belong to this powerful nation. Therefore, we should be present in the region, hold war games and display our power.” – Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei
  • In addition, Khamenei is sending a message to the Iranian people that the current process of implementing the nuclear agreement, lifting sanctions, and partial economic liberalization does not mean that Iran is going to liberalize its politics and allow freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and more political participation.
Some politicians and policy analysts argue that Iran’s sanctions relief and the continuing implementation of its nuclear program would push Iran towards moderation in dealing with the United States and Israel, as well as scaling down Iran’s expansionist and hegemonic ambitions. The realities on the ground suggest otherwise.

As Tehran’s revenues are rising, anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, are escalating.

The Iranian regime continues to view the U.S. and Israel as their top geopolitical, strategic and ideological enemies. According to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, on May 1, Khamenei welcomed the Secretary General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, and his accompanying delegation in Tehran:

“Ayatollah Khamenei reaffirmed that with this perspective in regional issues, Iran sees the United States as the main enemy with the Zionist regime standing behind it. He pointed to extensive, unprecedented sanctions of the U.S. and its followers against the Islamic establishment in recent years and dubbed the objective of them as discouraging Iran from continuing its path; ‘but they failed to achieve their goals and will fail in future as well.’ “

Khamenei is sending a strong signal to Washington that Iran’s reintegration in the global financial system does not mean that the Iranian regime will change its hostility towards the U.S. and Israel.
In addition, Khamenei is sending a message to the Iranian people that the current process of implementing the nuclear agreement, lifting sanctions, and partial economic liberalization does not mean that Iran is going to liberalize its politics and allow freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and more political participation.

Khamenei is also making it clear that Iran is not going to fundamentally change its foreign policy objectives in the region.

Regarding Iran’s role in the Gulf, Iran’s Supreme Leader pointed out on May 2 that

The Persian Gulf is the Iranian nation’s home and the Persian Gulf and a large section of the Sea of Oman belong to this powerful nation. Therefore, we should be present in the region, hold war games and display our power.”

When it comes to Syria, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has become more emboldened and empowered in supporting the Syrian regime financially, militarily, and in intelligence and advisory capacities. Even during the current peace talks, Iran is ramping up its presence in Syria to increase Bashar Assad’s leverage in the negotiations.

In Iraq, Iran’s sectarian agenda and support for Shiite militias continues to cause political instability. This week, hundreds of followers of the Iraqi Shia leader, Muqtada al-Sadr, stormed into the Iraqi parliament building, demanding its speaker halt the session. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi warned that these protests could lead to the Iraqi state’s failure. After the protests, al-Sadr — who spent several years studying in Qom (Iran’s center of Islamic studies) — travelled to Iran.

Currently, some of the powerful Iraqi Shiite militias with which Iran has close connections, and in which it is investing its resources, are: Sadr’s Promised Day Brigade, the successor to the Mahdi Army; the Badr Organization, Asa’ib Ahl al Haqq (League of the Righteous) and Kata’ib Hezbollah (Battalions of Hezbollah).

In Yemen and Bahrain, Iran’s support for the Houthi rebels and Shiite groups continues to fuel the sectarian conflicts there.

Khamenei has also unleashed a series of anti-U.S. and anti-Israel tweets, including:

“Lebanon’s Hezbollah is strong enough not to be hurt by some pressures; today, no doubt Zionist regime is scared of Hezbollah more than past.” (1 May 2016)

“Shia-Sunni clash is colonialist, US plot. Top issue is to realize 2 sides of the extensive war & one’s stance to avoid being against Islam.” (1 May 2016)

Iran’s foreign policy is anchored in three areas: ideological principles (anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism), national interests (mainly economic gains), and nationalism.

Although Khamenei needed to emphasize Iran’s national and economic interests, there is no evidence that he is giving up on the revolutionary ideological norms. Khamenei is relying on the so-called moderates — President Hassan Rouhani and his U.S.-educated foreign minister, Javad Zarif — to continue the process of implementing the nuclear deal in order to benefit Iran economically and ensure the regime’s hold on power.

Nevertheless, at the end of day, the key decision makers in Iran’s political establishments are Khamenei and the senior cadre of the IRGC, who prioritize Iran’s ideological and revolutionary principles. It is from them that Khamenei draws his legitimacy.

As long as the Supreme Leader is alive, one should not expect that Iran’s reintegration into the global economy to move the country to the moderate end of the spectrum, or that its anti-American, anti-Semitic sentiments and fundamentals of Tehran’s foreign policies will change.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an Iranian-American political scientist and Harvard University scholar, is president of the International American Council.

Iran and the Shia Sickle (Daniel 8)


Khamenei vows full support for Hezbollah

By ARIEL BEN SOLOMON
Wed, 20 Apr 2016, 05:33 PM

Rouhani warns world powers against lagging in implementing nuclear deal.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reiterated the Shi’ite country’s full support for its ally Hezbollah, as the Lebanese organization came under harsh attack by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states for its involvement in Syria’s civil war.

“Hezbollah and its faithful youth are shining like the sun and are a source of honor for the Muslim world,” he told members of the Iranian Students’ Islamic Association in Tehran on Wednesday, Fars News Agency reported.

Khamenei’s comments came after Riyadh and its allies harshly criticized Iran and Hezbollah for their interference in the internal affairs of states in the region in the final statement at the 13th summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation last week.

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have cracked down on Hezbollah, and have deported residents suspected of supporting the group.

Iran’s supreme leader also said that Iranian youth are being targeted in a “soft war” of the “imperialist front” led by the US and “Zionist regime” which includes the political, economic, and cultural fields, Iran’s Mehr News Agency reported.

“A reason why they would confront us in our attempt to achieve peaceful nuclear technology is this feature of the imperialist front; should Iran concede some ground, they will advance any further deny us further progress in biotechnology, nanotechnology and other strategic technologies,” he added.
President Hassan Rouhani warned world powers that Tehran would seriously respond if they lag in implementing the nuclear deal.

“We should monitor and verify the other side’s performance,” Rouhani at a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, according to Mehr. “If we see any lagging and shortages from the other side, we should certainly show serious reaction,” he added.

Antichrist Quest To Control Iraq

Shia leaders in two countries struggle for control over Iraqi state

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When Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, failed again this week to replace his corrupt cabinet with a new breed of reformists, the impact reverberated far beyond Baghdad.

A hundred miles south, in Najaf, ayatollah Ali Sistani seethed with anger. The 86-year-old cleric, the most revered figure among Iraq’s majority Shia sect, has staked his name on Abadi establishing some form of control over the country’s political class and the powerful presence of its neighbour Iran.

Across the border, in the Iranian shrine city of Qom, the failure was also noted, though not with the same concern. For more than 13 years, Iran has been an essential stakeholder in Baghdad. But in the past three years in particular, it has had more role shaping political outcomes than many of Iraq’s most influential players.

After Abadi’s second capitulation in a fortnight, senior officials close to Sistani say he is fast losing hope that the leader he helped appoint in late 2014 can deliver reforms he believes are essential to the survival of the state of Iraq. Worse still, perhaps nobody else can either.

In the decade-plus since the ruthless order of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship was overthrown, Iraq is being torn apart by a convergence of crises that many observers say make it all but ungovernable.

Rampant corruption by a political class, appointed on sectarian lines, has seen the country plundered of enormous wealth that record pumping of oil can’t come close to making up for – especially with oil prices 70% lower than the heady highs of three years ago.

Add to that a withering war with Islamic State, which has shredded Iraq’s military, sacked some of its cities, imperilled its borders and exposed the fragility of post-Saddam authority, and there seems little hope that Iraq can secure a sovereign footing.

This concern is central to Sistani’s angst. Najaf has long been his power base, and a centre of gravity for Shia Iraqi nationalists, whom Sistani overwhelmingly leads. Qom, meanwhile, especially since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, has become a symbol of Iran’s theological and political projection.

Since 2003, the two centres of Shia learning have been rival power bases, but never more so than now. Sistani, apolitical throughout his life, now finds himself pitched against Iran’s Shia leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a tussle to define Iraq’s national character.

“This is something that has underpinned every administration over the last decade or so, but it has become more acute, more pointed since 2010,” said Ali Khedery, a former adviser to US ambassadors to Iraq and military chiefs.

“Sistani is now very aware that the extent of Iranian influence has reached new levels. This is about power and influence. This is about taking control of what remains of the state.”

As Abadi has struggled to impose his will, the leader he replaced in late 2014, Nouri al-Maliki, has been steadily reaccumulating power. The Shia militias, who have been organised under the banner of the Popular Mobilisation Front (PMF), report to him, and he is especially close to Iran

“He has been set up by Iran like a scarecrow for Abadi,” the former vice-president Iyad Allawi told the Guardian earlier this year. “There is not much that he can do about him.”

The PMF continues to play a dominant role in many of the clashes against Isis across much of Iraq, often having primacy over the Iraqi army. Nearly all of the PMF’s factions are led by men who are proxies of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Moqtada al-Sadr, the leader of one of Iraq’s most dominant Shia factions, is a prominent exception. A cleric who was instrumental in the 2005-08 sectarian war and anti-US insurgency, Sadr has been the most forthright voice in the country to call for political reforms.

A picture of Moqtada al-Sadr is held up at a protest against corruption in Sadr City, Baghdad.
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A picture of Moqtada al-Sadr is held up at a protest against corruption in Sadr City, Baghdad. Photograph: Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

Abadi’s latest attempt to appoint a cabinet of technocrats, supposedly at arm’s length from the sectarian quota system that has led to ministries being used as personal fiefdoms, and wealth being hoovered up by a rigid patronage system, came after Sadr set up a protest camp inside Baghdad’s green zone.

Abadi, meanwhile, who Sistani had believed could somehow turn it all around, seems less likely than ever to deliver. Iraq’s political class remains vested in a sectarian system that has enriched it, and Abadi has next to no room to manoeuvre.

“What that means for Sistani is that his command of the street, which has remained unquestioned throughout all this, could be tested for the first time,” said one senior Iraqi official who refused to be named.

“He gave the fatwa to raise the militias in June 2014 and in doing so, he gave Iran cover. He now knows what that meant. It was an invitation for them to take over in many ways. If Abadi stays, it is bad for Sistani and for Iraq, but if he goes, it could be much worse.”

Questionable Motives Of The Antichrist In Lebanon

PSP chief questions Iraq’s Sadr visit to Beirut

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Sadr later took up the demand for a technocratic government, organizing a two-week sit-in, putting Abadi under pressure to act, but also supporting the course of action he wanted to take.

Sadr relented after Abadi presented his first list of nominees at the end of March, but has yet to react to the most recent developments in efforts to replace the cabinet.

The Antichrist and the Shia Horn (Daniel 8)


Prominent Iraqi Shia cleric visits Hezbollah

Thursday, 14 April 2016 14:26

Prominent Iraqi Shia Cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr arrived in Lebanon on Tuesday evening to visit Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Arabi21 reported yesterday. Al-Mayadeen TV channel reported sources saying that Al-Sadr left Iraq and arrived in Lebanon in a sudden visit.

Iraqi websites said that Al-Sadr arrived in the Lebanese capital Beirut as part of an official visit.
Al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement, ended his party’s protest around the Green Zone in Baghdad on 31 March after parliament agreed to vote for a new government.

Speaking to his supporters, Al-Sadr said: “Every thief and corrupt person will be sent to court.”

The Iranian Sickle Tries To Decapitate Saudi Arabia (Dan 8:3)

IRAN: Khamenei’s secret plans to occupy Sanaa and takeover Yemen

Sunday, 03 May 2015 22:41

NCRI – According to reports that have recently reached the Iranian Resistance, last June, Khamenei ordered the terrorist Qods Force (QF) to speed up the plan for occupation of Sanaa and to control Yemen by the Houthis. This measure followed the escalation of crisis in Iraq and the occupation of large swathes of that country by ISIS and the establishment of an international coalition in this respect. Khamenei had stated that since U.S. is preoccupied with ISIS and Iraq, as well as the nuclear talks, it is prone to overlook the Iranian regime’s intervention in Yemen, the reports said. He stressed that this opportunity may be used by the regime to spread its influence to Yemen and thus overshadow the problems it faces in Iraq.

1. On July 12, 2014, speaking to a group of QF commanders, IRGC Brigadier General Esmail Qa’ani, deputy QF commander, announced a new phase of operations by Ansarullah in Yemen. With this operation, we will place Saudi Arabia in a vulnerable position, he elaborated. These statements that were posted in a classified IRGC bulletin followed a series of military preparations and training of the Houthis in Iran, Yemen and Lebanon.

2. As Ansarullah entered Sanaa, regime’s foreign ministry’s assistant for Arabia and Africa Hossein Abdollahian noted in his remarks to a group of foreign ministry officials: “Soon, we are going to witness victories in Yemen and with the least expenditure, the Islamic republic will reap great achievements in Yemen. The future Yemen will enjoy Iran’s all out support.”

3. Based on sources inside the regime, the National Council of Resistance (NCR) issued a statement on October 12, 2014 disclosing: “Khamenei has emphasized that ‘the Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen axis’ is crucial ‘for the Islamic Republic of Iran and there should be no retreat in this regard’… It is through this ring that ‘we can surround the rest of the Arab countries, especially Saudi Arabia and Jordan,’ and put pressure on countries such as Egypt.”

4. On October 19, 2014, Khamenei’s foreign affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati, in his meeting with a group of Houthis in Tehran titled “Yemeni scholars and cultural figures”, noted: “In Yemen, Ansarullah should play the very role that Hezbollah is playing in Lebanon.”

5. In January 2015, following the occupation of the presidential palace in Sanaa, a delegation composed of Houthi leaders visited Tehran and met with the Office of Khamenei and the QF, as well as other organs.

6. Concurrent with these meetings, QF wrote in a classified briefing: “The unified and powerful organization of Ansarullah is Iran’s work. They were in Iran for years. For 15 years, Iran has constantly worked with the Ansarullah movement. They have reached this state through our constant support, training and sustenance and intelligence. Moreover, the QF has supported them through Hezbollah and other Arab groups. Ansarullah is completely under Iran’s command.”

7. Following the initiation of operation “Decisive Storm”, a classified QF document stipulated that it is two years now that the IRGC has transferred all sorts of weaponry to the Houthis in Yemen, including a large number of surface-to-surface and surface-to-sea missiles, and thus they have no problem of shortage of missiles and weaponry (this document is in the possession of the Iranian Resistance).

8. Up until the Arab coalition, injured Houthis were regularly transferred to Iran. Including on March 23, the QF airlifted 52 injured members of Ansarullah to IRGC Baqiyatollah Hospital in Tehran. IRGC General Qa’ani personally paid a visit to them at the hospital.

9. Mahan airliner (affiliated with the IRGC) that was forced to turn back from Sanaa on April 29 was carrying to Yemen a number of Ansarullah commanders who had been in Tehran and Lebanon. This same airliner was to transfer a number of Houthis to Tehran under the pretext that they are wounded. For the purpose, a section of Baqiyatollah Hospital had been cleared of other patients.

10. For many years, Yemen’s file was being followed by the QF, but since last year, Khamenei is directly following this file through the QF. The QF employs other governmental organs for this purpose as well. Houthi representatives in Tehran have regular meetings at Khamenei’s Office and Shabankari is responsible for the Houthis affairs in this office.

11. Since the beginning of operation Decisive Storm, regime’s leaders are constantly meeting at the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) to follow this issue. Saeid Iravani, the political and international assistant of SNSC secretariat, is responsible for coordinating Yemen’s affairs.

12. In this time span, IRGC Major General Qasem Soleimani, QF brutal commander, is following up the war in Yemen from Tehran as QF’s main mission. IRGC Brigadier General Amirian, a Soleimani deputy responsible for the Arabian Peninsula in the QF, is regime’s direct commander in the war in Yemen. He holds the daily staff meetings on this war in Tehran.

13. The QF has also set up a headquarters in Lebanon to intervene in the war in Yemen with cooperation from the Hezbollah. An IRGC classified report reads: “Hassan Nasrallah is wholly behind the war in Yemen and a large section of the work is followed through in Lebanon. He meets with the Houthi commanders and officials in Lebanon… Hassan Nasrallah works with Houthis under Qasem Soleimani’s supervision. They have their headquarters in southern Beirut and QF commanders follow on Yemen through Lebanon.”

14. Once operation “Decisive Storm” began and the routes of sending assistance to Houthis were closed, Tehran continued assisting the Houthis in the following three aspects:

– The presence of some QF commanders on the ground who practically do the planning and direct the Houthis;

– Establishment of essential communication systems so that the Houthis and the IRGC elements in Yemen could be in direct contact with the QF in Tehran to receive guidance;

– Dispatch of further forces and commanders from the Lebanese Hezbollah to help the Ansarullah. Since entry of IRGC elements to Yemen is proving more difficult, regime is dispatching Hezbollah commanders to Yemen through various routes. Some are pulled out of the front in Iraq and transferred to Yemen.

15. Some factions within the regime, especially at the foreign ministry, consider the “Decisive Storm” as a heavy and strategic blow to the regime. A classified report emphasis on several points:

– We just went too far in Yemen. Taking over Sanaa was a good move, but advancing towards Aden was a mistake. When foreign minister of Jordan brought a message of peace from Saudis to Iran and urged Iran not to interfere in Yemen, the QF miscalculated and planned Yemen’s occupation, much like Syria and Iraq.

– This is a strategic defeat in the region… similar to the case in Tikrit, Iraq where forces aligned with Iran were pushed back and U.S. threatened that it would not carry out airstrikes unless the militias are pulled back.

– IRGC cannot takeover all of Yemen with the Houthis. Had the Houthis remained in Sanaa, Saudis wanted to negotiate and we were in a better position. The move to takeover Yemen was a mistake and premature and it led to this confrontation with Iran unprecedented in the past few decades.

– Iran should have played the same way as it did with the Hezbollah in Lebanon. It should have let Mansour Hadi keep Aden. After the end of talks and overture in nuclear discussions, Iran could have gradually advanced in the region… Regrettably, IRGC brothers lack a logical and strategic viewpoint.

– IRGC commanders were surprised as they little expected this situation [the Decisive Storm]…

– Posting of reports and pictures of Haj Qassem [Soleimani] on the internet was a trap for the IRGC and got the region mobilized against Iran; weakening the forces loyal to Iran. Right now, Iran’s years of investment in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq has been hurt.

16. Reciprocally, a classified QF report says: “There is no plan for Houthis to retreat. They are to advance. They have good resources of weaponry and missiles and can withstand. They have 180,000 mobilized forces ready to fight. They have 20,000 strong suicidal elements. Thus the Houthis are the winners and Saudi Arabia will be the loser of this play. Most significant is that after 33 years a revolution similar to the Islamic Republic revolution with the leadership of the supreme leader is taking shape in Yemen.”

17. In the current circumstances and at a time when the Houthis are ruling in Sanaa, regime’s policy at the political scene is to stress on a swift ceasefire in order to have the upper hand in the negotiations. According to classified QF reports, “this situation is unsupportable for the Saudis and the more the situation in Yemen deteriorates, it will be to the detriment of Saudis and the coalition forces will step aside; Saudis cannot have hegemony. Therefore, Ansarullah should be patient”.
Another QF report states: “If a car explodes in the capital of one of the countries in the coalition, that country shall drop out of the coalition.” Some sources state that these reports are to boost the moral and give hope to regime’s forces.

18. In a fake muscle-flexing on April 17, Deputy IRGC Commander Salami noted: “Ansarullah can attack the Saudi navy and confront a Saudi ground assault… Ansarullah have missile and armored capabilities and they have artillery. They almost have a powerful army in the region… If Saudi attacks continue, they [Houthis] would certainly respond by attacking Saudi ground forces and enter the Saudi territory. Surely, the Ansarullah will not be hands tied in face of Saudi attacks.”
By stressing on the above points, as well as many other facts and details, the Security and Anti-terrorism Commission of the National Council of Resistance of Iran emphasizes on the fact that as long as this antihuman regime is ruling Iran, it shall not abandon export of terrorism and fundamentalism and warmongering in countries in the region. Therefore, the sole solution to attain peace and tranquility in the region is to evict the Iranian regime and the forces affiliated with it from the region, especially from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen and ultimately to topple this regime in Iran.

Security and Anti-terrorism Committee of National Council of Resistance of Iran
May 2, 2015

This Probably Won’t Help The Iran Deal (Dan 8)

 US Navy to accompany US-flagged ships in Persian Gulf after Iran seizes vessel

Published April 30, 2015
FoxNews.com

U.S. Navy ships will begin to accompany U.S. flagged commercial ships as they travel the Strait of Hormuz, a defense official confirmed to Fox News, on the heels of Iran seizing a cargo ship.

The Obama administration is closely monitoring Iran’s takeover of the ship, as it involved a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel. The Marshall Islands and the U.S. have a longstanding security agreement, and officials said Thursday the two nations are in contact.

But, in a clear response to that incident, a defense official said the U.S. Navy will now accompany all U.S.-flagged ships going through the area. The move is the latest development in a high-stakes chess match in the region, with the Iran nuclear talks continuing to play out in the background.

The Navy makes a distinction between accompanying ships and escorting them. Officials told the AP the Navy won’t technically escort these ships but will let them know in advance that they will monitor the situation as they transit the narrow Strait from the Persian Gulf toward the Arabian Sea.

The Navy already has dispatched a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Farragut, to the region. Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said Wednesday the destroyer is “keeping an eye on things,” and in close enough proximity to the seized ship that they “will be able to respond if a response is required.”

When pressed on what kind of incident aboard the ship would elicit a U.S. Navy response, he was vague, saying: “These [U.S. military] assets give commanders options.” He said he didn’t know “what the possibilities are,” and the U.S. government is “in discussions with the Marshall Islands on the way ahead.”

Earlier this week Iranian naval vessels reportedly fired warning shots near the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship and detained it and its crew. Iranian officials say the Maersk shipping line owes it money.

Maersk Line, the Danish shipper that chartered the cargo vessel, acknowledged in a written statement that the reason for stopping the ship could be related to a 2005 cargo case.

Maersk Line spokesman Michael Storgaard said the company learned Thursday that an Iranian appeals court had ruled Maersk must pay $3.6 million for a 10-container cargo delivered a decade ago on behalf of an Iranian company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. However, the cargo never was collected, according to Storgaard, adding it eventually was disposed of by local authorities.

“As we do not have the details of the ruling, we are not able to comment hereon, nor at this point speculate on our options,” Maersk Line said of the latest ruling.

“Our paramount concern remains the safety of the crew and the safe release of the vessel. We will continue to do everything we can to resolve this matter with the relevant Iranian authorities.”

Storgaard told The Associated Press that the ship and crew aren’t theirs. MV Maersk Tigris, operated by Rickmers Ship Management in Singapore, was boarded on Tuesday.

Cors Radings, a spokesman for Rickmers, told Fox News that as of Thursday, there has been no change in the status of the ship and her crew, and that the company has not spoken with the crew in the past 24 hours.

The Marshall Islands — officially known as the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and a former U.S. trust — enjoy “associate state” status with the United States, meaning the U.S. agrees to defend the islands, and provide economic subsidies and access to federally funded social services. The U.S. initially gained military control of the Marshall Islands from Japan in 1944.

According to the State Department, “The security compact between the United States and the Republic of the Marshall Islands gives the U.S. authority and responsibility for security and defense matters that relate to the Marshall Islands, including matters related to vessels flying the Marshallese flag.”

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.