Iran Defies Babylon the Great

Iran confirms missile test in defiance of U.S.

A senior Iranian military commander has confirmed that Tehran recently carried out a ballistic missile test, to the anger of the United States, the Fars news agency said on Tuesday.

The Revolutionary Guards official’s comment came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s assertion earlier this month that Iran had test-fired a missile capable of carrying multiple warheads and reaching the Middle East and Europe.

“We will continue our missile tests and this recent action was an important test,” Guards aerospace division head Amirali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

“The reaction of the Americans shows that this test was very important for them and that’s why they were shouting,” he added, without specifying what type of missile had been tested.

The U.N. Security Council met last week to discuss the test, which the United States, Britain and France said flouted U.N. restrictions on Tehran’s military program.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

Iran has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly the missile program run by the Guards. It says the program is purely defensive and denies missiles are capable of being tipped with nuclear warheads.

Hajizadeh said Iran holds up to 50 missile tests a year.

“The issue of missiles has never been subject to negotiations and nothing has been approved or ratified about its prohibition for the Islamic Republic of Iran in (U.N.) resolution 2231,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday, according to the Tasnim news agency.

“Our defense doctrine is basically founded upon deterrence.”

Under U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which enshrined the nuclear deal in 2015, Iran is “called upon” to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.

Some states argue the language does not make it obligatory.

Last month, Hajizadeh said U.S. bases in Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, and U.S. aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.

The head of the Guards, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, said on Tuesday the United States was becoming weaker.

“American power is declining,” Jafari said, according to Fars. “The enemies don’t dare bring up the issue of overthrowing the Islamic Republic and they will take this wish to the grave.”

In October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at Islamic State militants in Syria after the Islamist group said it was responsible for an attack at a military parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them Guards members.

Babylon the Great Asks for Iran to Stop Ballistic Missiles

FILE PHOTO: People walk near an Iranian-made missile during a ceremony marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, in Tehran Feb

U.S. wants U.N. to ban nuclear ballistic missile work by Iran

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 1:12 p.m. CST

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States will push the U.N. Security Council to toughen its stance to prevent Iran from working on ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons and carrying out test launches, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Pompeo also told the Security Council an arms embargo on Iran should not be lifted in 2020 and called on the council to establish “inspection and interdiction measures, in ports and on the high seas, to thwart Iran’s continuing efforts to circumvent arms restrictions.”

“Iran is harboring al Qaeda, supporting Taliban militants in Afghanistan, arming terrorists in Lebanon, facilitating illicit trade in Somali charcoal benefiting al-Shabaab, and training and equipping Shia militias in Iraq,” Pompeo said during the meeting on the implementation of U.N. sanctions on Iran.

Russia and China – which are council veto powers along with the United States, France and Britain – are unlikely to support the measures proposed by Pompeo. In February Russia vetoed an attempt by the West to have the Security Council call out Tehran in a resolution on Yemen.

Without naming countries, Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused some council members of using Wednesday’s meeting “to discuss the so-called regional behavior of Iran, which they depict as though it were the only source of all the woes in the Middle East.”

“What they do not voice is any kind of a substantive proposal on this topic and sometimes we’re left with the impression that the only goal is to further escalate anti-Iran hysteria and to demonize Iran,” Nebenzia told the council.

A 2015 U.N. resolution “called upon” Iran to refrain for up to eight years from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons. Some states argue that the language does not make it obligatory.

The United States wants the council to toughen that measure, Pompeo said, to reflect language in a 2010 resolution that left no room for interpretation by banning Iran from “activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using ballistic missile technology.”

“This Security Council has a responsibility to protect citizens of the Middle East, Americans traveling through the Middle East, Europeans who are now at risk from Iranian missiles,” Pompeo told reporters after the meeting.

The United States, Britain and France have accused Tehran of flouting the current U.N. restrictions on Tehran’s missile program by carrying out ballistic missile launches. Iran says the missiles are not designed to carry nuclear weapons.

Tehran’s Deputy U.N. Ambassador Eshagh al-Habib accused Washington of an “addiction to sanctions and warmongering,” saying Iran was in compliance with its commitments under a 2015 international nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May.

“What we heard today was another series of lies, fabrications, disinformation and deceptive statements by the U.S. It is not unprecedented,” al-Habib told the council.

Most U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran were lifted in January 2016 when the U.N. nuclear watchdog confirmed that Tehran fulfilled commitments under the nuclear deal with Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States. But Iran is still subject to a U.N. arms embargo and other restrictions.

The U.N. sanctions and restrictions on Iran are contained in the 2015 resolution, which also enshrines the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. European powers have been scrambling to salvage the deal.

(Additional reporting by Lesley Wroughton in Washington; editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Frances Kerry and Jonathan Oatis)

Why Iran WILL Go Nuclear (Daniel 8:4)

Why Iran May Go Nuclear

Abhishek Chapanerkar12.10.18

World News /10 Dec 2018

The Iranian nuclear saga and its repercussions are once again taking center stage. Is there anything left that President Trump might do to the Iranian people after his complete withdrawal from the Iran deal, renewed sanctions, and hawkish foreign policy towards Iran?

Of course, it goes without saying that if the financial gains that were promised to Iran in the aftermath of the nuclear deal are no longer there why would Iran wait to see any tangible results to come to its doorstep?

Rather, it is obvious Iran may go nuclear. At least the logic says so.

The U.S. and Iranian nuclear cooperation during the Shah’s reign didn’t materialize as the advent of 1979’s Islamic Revolution was rapidly approaching. However, historical archives show that the Shah clearly envisioned a nuclear Iran, as did his successors although the initial pace was slow.

Now, as there is no U.S. involvement to preserve the Iran deal, why would Iran have to abide by the terms? American absence imperils the regime which only a nuclear Iran can possibly change. Iran’s nuclear quest is more urgent than it was earlier.

Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Iran’s nuclear aspirations for its energy security are more viable unlike other non-NPT members such as Israel, Pakistan and North Korea whose nuclear arsenals were developed for military use against adversaries in the region.

It was clear from the beginning that no nuclear deal would totally satisfy any parties involved in the deal. For President Obama achieving a comprehensive accord became impossible given the exigencies of the international episodes. During his tenure, Israel and Saudi Arabia were already wary of his foreign policy; the threat of the Islamic State was already on the rise, and the Israel-Palestine crisis had escalated. Nevertheless, the Obama administration saved the expedient deal in the hope that his diplomatic overtures would lead to re-engagement with Iran.

As the deal was never comprehensive, it was predictable that one of the members would withdraw from the deal. If it was not President Trump, Tehran itself could have walked out of the agreement.

Prolonged regional conflicts and debilitating effects of the past and ongoing chaos in the region have already cost Iran. Whether it was Iraq’s invasion or the post-September 11th events, during the rise of the Islamic State Iran was also vulnerable to terrorism.

As a consequence, no matter what the White House hawks argue against, Iran has an increasing role in the region, that should be quelled by an offensive military. No nation would like to see its national security compromised.

Iran’s isolation in the region will continue if a pragmatic nuclear option is not explored.

First, for both conservatives and reformists forming an anti-U.S. nexus with Russia and China is next to impossible. The pressure of economic sanctions that the Rouhani government is hoping to release with the help of France-Britain-Germany is likely to result in unfruitful outcomes. Although nothing has changed so far in regards to Moscow’s and Beijing’s opportunistic foreign policy in the region, economic relations with Iran remain important.

Second, compared to the Israeli national security goals, Iranian needs relate to its economy and security rather than its existence. In other words, Iran’s confrontation with Israel is military in nature. By keeping an ambiguous nuclear strategy, Israel still gained intangible benefits out of its nuclear deterrence although it has no strategic-depth to strike nuclear warheads on its immediate neighbors. By contrast, Tehran’s tumultuous relationship with Riyadh is both ideological and is motivated by gaining regional hegemony in the region.

Third, at the expense of America’s purchase of oil in return for money and weapons, Saudi Arabia poses a direct threat to Iran’s national security. Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s (MbS) heinous act in the Khashoggi murder case is an open secret demonstrating tacit support under the guise of American leadership. His recent inauguration of a nuclear research reactor and rhetorical remarks on the Iranian nuclear threat should be taken seriously.

From the Iranian perspective, therefore, a nuclear Saudi Arabia is of much more concern than Israel.

Finally, since the exposure of Tehran’s clandestine atomic pursuit in 2002, Israel-Sunni-Arab states have formed a superior alliance forming an anti-Iran nexus against the nuclear program. For regional stability, a nuclear Iran means a counter to Saudi arrogance. Also, Saudi Arabia’s malignant role in Yemen and Syria, its ideology and alignment with Israel are clearly indicative of the fact that to install an everlasting peace in the region is not unfeasible.

Even a weak comprehensive deal couldn’t guarantee any reconciliation among Iran and the Sunni-Arab States.

So, Tehran has now learned that Iran’s nuclear restraint means strengthening America’s stranglehold in the region. Strong nuclear deterrence alone would resolve its isolation on the international stage. As a consequence, Iran’s nuclear program will now have a clear military dimension. Uranium enrichment is one way for Iran to attain latent nuclear capability and could lead to their developing nuclear weapons in the near future.

As a result, the U.S. will watch the rise of nuclear Iran.

Preparing for World War 3 with Iran

Iran EXPOSED: ‘Uninspected’ secret nuclear sites REVEALED, sparking World War 3 fears

Iran is harbouring secret nuclear weapons sites, it has been claimed (Image: GETTY)

IRAN is harbouring secret “uninspected” military sites, “vital to the nuclear weapons programme”, which have gone unchecked by international governments, an Iranian dissident group has claimed in explosive documents seen by Express.co.uk.

By SAM STEVENSON

PUBLISHED: 01:11, Wed, Dec 5, 2018

UPDATED: 05:11, Wed, Dec 5, 2018

Hossein Abedini of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has spoken to Express.co.uk about his group’s findings. The revelations are contained within a paper entitled, ‘Iran’s Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites Vital to the Nuclear Weapons Program’. The Iranian regime has been working at five sites to enrich uranium with the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon, the Iranian Resistance document claims.

According to the NCRI paper: “Because of Tehran’s aspirations for a nuclear weapon, the bulk of the regime’s programme has been of a covert military nature.

“As a result, formulating an arms control agreement to prohibit the regime’s access to nuclear arms, as per Iran’s Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) obligations, has proven a major challenge to the international community.”

The document asserts there are five known locations at which Hassan Rouhani’s callous regime has been enriching uranium.

These sites include Natanz, Arak, Lashkar-Abad, exposed by the resistance group in 2003, Shian-Lavisan, also exposed in 2003 by the NCRI, and Fordow.

But the dissident group now claims to have new evidence of four more sites which, “with a high degree of certainty, have been involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons project”.

They are Pazhouheshkadeh (located at the Parchin military complex, south-east Tehran), Nouri Industrial site (located at Khojir military complex, south-east Tehran), Hafte Tir site (on a military base of the same name) and Sanjarian site (close to the Parchin military complex).

More recently, the NCRI has released details of a further two sites in a paper entitled ‘Iran’s Ballistic Build Up’.

They are Mojdeh site and the Nour building.

Hossein Abedini, a member of the Iranian Resistance who was himself the victim of a failed assassination attempt in Turkey, explained the significance of his group’s discoveries.

He said: “We have exposed the clandestine nuclear sites of the Iranian regime.

“In 2002 we revealed the enrichment of uranium to a recognised degree as well as the heavy water reactor where they were trying to produce plutonium as the main core of a nuclear device.”

Following the initial revelations exposed by the NCRI, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent its inspectors to visit the sites.

Mr Abedini said: “They were very much astonished to see how advanced and sophisticated the nuclear technology of the Iranian regime was.”

He added: “It was only after we revealed these sites the world realised Iran had secret nuclear activity going on.

“We knew it was very, very dangerous thing – the regime only needed a nuclear device for its own survival.

“It was after that another 100 revelations were made by the NCRI.”

The IAEA did not respond to a request for comment on the NCRI’s findings.

A long-range Shahab-3 missile is fired in desert terrain at an unspecified location in Iran (Image: GETTY)

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – or so-called Iran Nuclear deal – was intended to curb Iran’s nuclear weapons programme and thwart its ability to create a nuclear bomb.

The accord was struck between Iran and global superpowers, China, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States (who later withdrew under President Trump).

Of the deal, Mr Abedini said: “It gave a lot of unnecessary concessions to the regime, which was in a very weak position.

“It was time to get rid of all its nuclear activities but unfortunately they gave a lot of concessions which did not work and made the regime more brazen.”

America Prepares for War Against Iran

US sends aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf amid rising tensions with Iran

A small boat passes in front of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, seen anchored of the coast of Faliro, near Athens, on March 29, 2012. (Photo: AP)

WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – A US aircraft carrier strike group, led by the USS John C. Stennis, is scheduled to arrive in the waters of the Persian Gulf by the end of the week, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The aircraft carrier had been exercising in the Philippine Sea, off the coast of China. When it arrives off the Iranian coast, that will end an eight month period in which no US carrier group has been stationed in the area.

That is the longest period in 20 years—since the Clinton administration bombed Iraq for blocking UN weapons inspections—in which the US has had no such force in the area.

The Pentagon has sought to reorient US military assets toward Russia and China and away from the Middle East, but the “emphasis at times has appeared out of step with the White House which repeatedly has called Iran a top national security threat,” the Journal noted.

The movement of the carrier group comes amid rising tensions with Iran. Last month, the US imposed tough new sanctions on Tehran’s energy, financial, and shipping sectors, and Tehran, for its part, has warned of retaliatory action.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatened to halt all oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.

The US “should know that we are selling our oil and will continue to sell it,” Rouhani asserted, but if the US “wishes to halt Iran’s oil export, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf.”

“The great Iranian nation has not bowed and will not bow to the United States,” he affirmed.

Later the same day, Brian Hook, US Special Representative for Iran, responded, to Rouhani’s threat, telling journalists, “The strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.” (Hook earlier criticized Tehran for transferring missiles to militias in Iraq.)

On Saturday, shortly before heading to a NATO meeting in Brussels, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement denouncing a recent Iranian missile test.

Tehran “has just test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile,” capable of carrying multiple warheads, Pompeo stated. “The missile has a range that allows it to strike parts of Europe and anywhere in the Middle East.”

“This test violates UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that bans Iran from undertaking ‘any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons,’” he continued.

Speaking on Wednesday in Brussels, Pompeo added, “Tehran holds multiple American hostages” and has “lied to the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors about its nuclear program.”

He also noted that Iranian banks had been recently disconnected from the payment network known as SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications), which handles most international money transfers.

Meanwhile, the competition for influence in Iraq between Washington and Tehran continues. On Thursday, Iraqi media published photos of Qasim Soleimani, head of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, meeting with a Sunni religious leader in Baghdad. Iraqi activists provided the pictures and said they were taken on Tuesday.

Eight cabinet-level positions remain unfilled in Iraq’s new government, including the Ministers of Interior and Defense. Parliament failed on Tuesday to approve Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s candidates, as the session degenerated into shouting and even fistfights.

A major source of dispute is the pro-Iranian orientation of the nominee for Interior Minister, and the unwillingness of some parties to accept him, including Sairoon, the largest electoral bloc, led by the Iraqi cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr.

Editing by Nadia Riva

Trump Cannot Stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons

Would not allow Iran obtain nuclear weapons: Trump

• US-IRAN

By Lalit K Jha

Washington, Dec 7 United States President Donald Trump has vowed not to allow Iran acquire nuclear weapons.

“We cannot let the world’s leading sponsor of terror, a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel all the time with annihilation and constantly screams out death to Israel, to possess the deadliest weapon on earth. We will not allow that to happen,” the US President told a select Jewish audience Thursday at the White House reception for Hanukkah.

His administration has imposed some of the toughest sanctions on Iran, which among other things ask countries like India and China to cut off import of oil from Iran. Both the countries have significantly reduced their oil intake since then.

Trump told the Jewish community that the US now has “left the horrible Iran nuclear” deal.

“It was a horrible, horrible deal. Should have never been made and imposed the toughest-ever sanction. We sanctioned Iran like I guess few have ever been sanctioned before. We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb,” he said.

A year ago, he said, the United States recognised the true capital of Israel.

Commemorating the miracle of Hanukkah, Trump said throughout history, Jewish people have suffered unthinkable repression and terrible violence.

“Yet in the face of this hardship, the Jewish people have endured, overcome and thrived like few that I can tell you. Thrived,” he said.

“Five weeks ago, our nation mourned a horrific tragedy. Jewish-Americans were brutally killed in a sinister anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and we went to see what had happened and to meet some of the people and they were incredible people,” Trump said.

“The way they stood up so bravely, so proudly was just something very incredible to see, and the rabbi was just a great person. In the aftermath of that wicked assault, we reaffirmed our solemn duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs,” the president said amid an applause.

“We must stamp out this vile hatred from the world,” Trump said as he invited eight survivors of the Nazi Holocaust: Sara Censor, Bertha Einhorn, David Einhorn, Ethel Flam, Gita Landau, Dolly Rabinowitz, Ruth Salamon and Zahava Ungar. Trump told the survivors that they inspired the world with their courage.

Trump applauded Jewish people for building Israel into a “mighty and majestic nation”. He also pledged his administration’s support to Israel.

During his speech, the audience started chanting “four more years!” Someone in the crowd noted that once the math is completed from this date, it would be “six more years”. Trump expressed his agreement with the 2 + 4 equation. “I’ve actually never heard ‘four more years,'” he said.

“That’s an interesting one. … We’ll go for six, and then we’ll all be in very good shape.” The president claimed he was told that renovating what now is the US embassy in Jerusalem could cost as little as USD 200,000, which he said was “too cheap”. So he told his officials to do it for USD 400,000, Trump added. LKJ IJT

Iran About to Shut Down the Oil (Revelation 6)


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday repeated his threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for nearly a third of all oil traded by sea, if the U.S. shuts off Iran’s oil exports.

State TV quoted Rouhani as saying that “if someday, the United States decides to block Iran’s oil (exports), no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf.”

The strait at the mouth of the Persian Gulf is crucial to global energy supplies.

Rouhani also pledged that the United States would not be able to prevent Iran from exporting its crude.

Rouhani has made similar threats in the months since President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear deal and began restoring sanctions. Trump has vowed to eventually cut off all Iranian oil exports, but the administration has given waivers to several countries.

The tough talk from Rouhani, a relative moderate, has meanwhile been warmly received by his domestic hard-line rivals.

Brian Hook, the U.S. representative for Iran policy, dismissed Rouhani’s threat, noting that Iran does not control the Strait of Hormuz.

The strait is an international waterway. The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in international waterways.”

Later on Tuesday, Rouhani said he had rejected multiple U.S. requests for direct negotiations.

“In the past year, the current U.S. administration sent eight direct messages to negotiate,” he was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim new agency. “I refused.”

He said he had also rejected an American request for indirect negotiations mediated by three European countries, without providing further details.

Trump has said he is willing to meet with Iran’s leaders. But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all major policy decisions, has said Iran is forbidden from negotiating with the U.S.

Khamenei had cautiously approved the months of direct negotiations that led to the 2015 nuclear accord, in which Iran curbed its uranium enrichment in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

But he has said that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement, despite Iran’s continued compliance, proves the U.S. cannot be trusted.

Iran: Save the Oil and the Wine (Revelation 6:3)

“America should know… it is not capable of preventing the export of Iran’s oil,” Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan province.

“If it ever tries to do so… no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” he added.

since the 1980s, Iran has said repeatedly it would blockade the Gulf in response to international pressure but has never carried out the threat.

Washington has reimposed sanctions, including an oil embargo, since withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May.

It has vowed to reduce Iran’s oil sales to zero, but has granted temporary waivers to eight countries.

Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the US “should not play with the lion’s tail.”

The president downplayed the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country’s problems.

“No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us. People should stop saying such things in the papers,” he told the crowd.

The latest inflation report from Iran’s central bank says food prices rose 56 percent year-on-year in October.

Rouhani acknowledged there were “some problems”, but said these would be addressed in the new budget plan to be presented on December 16.

He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential goods and increase public sector wages and pensions by 20 percent.

Iran’s Continued Meddling in Iraq (Daniel 8:3)


Iraq is finally on its way to getting a new government more than half a year after elections were held. Those elections resulted in a political earthquake when Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s list the Sairoon bloc beat its opponents.

At the beginning of October Adel Abdul Mahdi, a 76-year-old economist and veteran Shiite politician, who lived in exile in France for an extended period, was appointed prime minister by the newly elected President Barham Saleh who is a Kurd.

Mahdi had been a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, an exiled opposition party and militia that was formed by Iran in Tehran in 1982 and consisted of Iraqi exiles. He is, however, not considered an Islamist.

In 2005, Mahdi became vice-president of Iraq, a position he held until 2011 when he resigned after surviving an assassination attempt in 2007.

His appointment was the result of a compromise between 6 Shiite factions, some backed by Iran, who after his appointment jockeyed for control of key ministries such as the Defense Ministry and the Interior Ministry, while Mahdi wanted a cabinet of technocrats.

The pro-Iranian factions in Iraq wanted to appoi andrewtheprophet.com

nt Falih al-Fayadh, who headed the Iranian- controlled Hash al-Shaabi umbrella organization of Shiite militias, as Interior Minister. This was unacceptable to al-Sadr who decided not to take the position of President or Prime Minister after the elections.

“I will not accept a minister of defense or interior who is affiliated [with a political party],” Sadr said in a statement on his Twitter account, last Tuesday.

Al-Sadr is reportedly using his political power to stop Iran from meddling in the forming of the new government and is now reportedly facing death threats from the Iranians.

Misal Alusi, the leader of Iraq’s Umma Party, last week said al-Sadr could be assassinated by Iran or Qatar over his opposition to the nomination of a pro-Iranian politician to the post of Interior Minister and Defense Minister.

Iran is currently using “teams of hit squads” in Iraq to eliminate critics who are against the country’s meddling in the process to form a new Iraqi government, according to British security officials.

The hit squads have already assassinated a number of Iraqi opponents and were deployed on orders of Qassem Soleimani, the shrewd commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Soleimani has been labeled a ‘living martyr’ by his admirers in both Iraq and Iran and also interfered in the process that led to the forming of the new Iraqi government.

Iran is intensifying its campaign of intimidation against the Iraqi government by using assassination squads to silence critics of Tehran, a senior British security official told The Daily Telegraph” according to the London-based Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

“This is a blatant attempt to thwart efforts by the new Iraqi government to end Iran’s meddling in Iraq,” the unnamed British official added before revealing that Soleimani’s Quds Force continues to smuggle weapons to Hashd al-Shaabi militias such as Kataib Hezbollah.

Brian Hook, The American Special Representative for Iran, addressed the Iranian belligerent activities in Iraq during a briefing to foreign reporters in Washington last week.

Hook emphasized it was necessary to halt Iranian expansion in Iraq and said there were “credible reports” indicating “Iran is transferring ballistic missiles to Shia militia groups in Iraq.”

These militias (Hashd al-Shaabi) are in control of large areas in northern Iraq, including parts of Iraqi Kurdistan and Mount Sinjar from where Saddam Hussein launched Scud missiles at Israel during the First Gulf War.

Experts fear the Iranian proxies in Iraq might do the same in a future conflict.

“The control of such strategic territory increases the lethality and range” of any missiles that might be fired from that area,” Paul Davis, a former Pentagon analyst and now a Senior Fellow at Soran University said during an interview with Kurdistan 24.

Liberal Iraqi lawmakers have urged the US government and American envoys in the region to stand up against Soleimani, but Douglas Silliman, the US ambassador in Baghdad instead pressured the new Iraqi government to take decisive measures against the Shiite militias.

Chances that this will indeed happen are very slim.

President Saleh said during the Mediterranean Dialogues Conference in Rome on November 22 that Iraq is “adamant to protect its independence and sovereignty,” but also heaped praise on Hashd al-Shaabi which fought as an integral force of the Iraqi army against Islamic State.

The Iraqi President seemed to be aware of the daunting task of getting rid of the “old order” in Iraq which has seen wars for almost 40 years now and asked for international help to stabilize and improve the overall situation in the country, which is suffering from a myriad of problems.

The Iranians and their Iraqi proxies, however, have no intention of changing the “old order” in Iraq and want the US army out of the country.

Ali Aboud, a Kataib Hezbollah leader, said last week that the Shiite militias will not “allow even one US soldier on Iraqi territories and holy sites,” while he claimed that the Americans were working to resurrect Islamic State in Iraq.

Iran is also planning to use Iraqi soil to connect Tehran with Damascus via a new railway that opponents say will entrench Iranian influence in both Iraq and Syria, allowing the Islamic Republic to realize the logistics infrastructure needed for a prolonged presence in both countries.

The new Iraqi government is very careful not to criticize Iran for its meddling in Iraqi affairs and last week backtracked on its earlier decision to abide by the new US sanction-regime against the Islamic Republic and established a free trade zone along the 1400 kilometer long border with Iran.

In Rome, President Saleh said for Iraq to stabilize it needs a “regional order that can embrace and nurtures its stability” and emphasized that good relations with Iran are “very important.”

It was a new indication that the United States is losing the battle over Iraq with Iran.

Trump Will Use Iranian Missile Tests to Break Iran Deal

Pompeo says Iran missile tests violate nuclear agreement, Iran says it will continue

Iran will continue missile tests to build up its defence and deterrence capabilities, a top military spokesman was quoted as saying on Sunday, following a U.S. allegation that Tehran had carried out a new missile test.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday condemned what he described as Iran’s testing of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads as a violation of the international agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program.

“Missile tests … are carried out for defence and the country’s deterrence, and we will continue this,” General Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior spokesman for Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Tasnim news agency. He did not confirm or deny that Iran had carried out a new test.