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


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

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.

Babylon the Great Unprepared for a Nuclear Attack

U.S. military warns electromagnetic pulse weapons in Iran, Russia and North Korea could melt down nuclear power plants, shut down the electricity grid for 18 months and WIPE OUT millions of Americans

By Reporter

13:37 01 Dec 2018, updated 13:41 01 Dec 2018

An Air Force report reveals the U.S. is utterly unprepared for an electromagnetic pulse weapon attack 

• Iran, North Korea, Russia, and U.S. all have developed EMP weapons that fire invisible microwaves and electromagnetic pulses that shut down electricity

The report warns that an attack could shut down the electricity grid for 18 months, would melt down nuclear plants, and displace 4.1million people

• It would also kill 90 per cent of the East Coast within a year

• No electricity would affect transportation, food distribution, and healthcare  

The military is warning the U.S. government to prepare for a potential electromagnetic pulse weapon attack, as countries like North Korea, Russia and Iran develop the special arms.

The shocking report, published by the Air Force’s Air University, reveals that the U.S. is dismally unprepared for such an attack that could wipe out all electricity, kill 90 percent of the East Coast, and lead to utter chaos.

And it could take 18 months to restore the electricity grid and social order.

‘Based on the totality of available data an electromagnetic spectrum attack may be a threat to the United States, Democracy and world order,’ the 2018 report says.

An Air Force report reveals the U.S. is utterly unprepared for an electromagnetic pulse weapon attack that could be launched by Russia, Iran or North Korea. The U.S. has also been developing t heir own EMP weapons such as Boeing’s Champ, or Counter-electronics High-powered microwave Advanced Missile Project, which is under construction (above)

The shocking 2018 report (above) reveals how unprepared the U.S. is for a potential attack that could kill off 90 per cent of the East Coast, displace 4.1million people, and it could take 18 months to restore the electricity grid and social order 

EMP weapons use light, lasers, invisible microwaves and electromagnetic energy to cut off electricity. Natural sources of EMS appear in solar storms or artificially in hardware like radar or nuclear weapons.

North Korea, Russia, Iran as well as the U.S. have been developing such weapons. But, the report warns, the U.S. needs to start preparing against an attack.

Iran Tests Another Nuclear Missile (Daniel 8:4)

1.6702509.2113514807Iran tests medium-range ballistic missile, Pompeo says

By Sophie Tatum, Barbara Starr and Mike Conte, CNN
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused Iran of violating a United Nations resolution over the country’s recent medium-range ballistic missile test.The missile, according to a statement from Pompeo, has the capability of carrying multiple warheads and “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, including launches using such ballistic missile technology …'” Pompeo said in the statement.

The UN body adopted the resolution, which endorsed the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, in 2015.

The Iran nuclear deal, although highly controversial, was considered one of the Obama administration’s major legacies. The agreement has the backing of most major US allies, apart from Israel, though many in Israel’s defense establishment supported it.

President Donald Trump, who had been highly critical of the agreement, announced in May that the United States would be pulling out of the deal.

Last month, the United States reinstated all the previous penalties that had been lifted as part of the agreement.

US Strategic Command tracked the Iranian missile test using a satellite network that traces ballistic missile launches, a senior administration official told CNN.

“As we have been warning for some time, Iran’s missile testing and missile proliferation is growing,” Pompeo said in the statement. “We are accumulating risk of escalation in the region if we fail to restore deterrence. We condemn these activities, and call upon Iran to cease immediately all activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis echoed Pompeo’s statement.

Mattis said “the threat from Iran is multifaceted,” adding that “right now the strategic level of threat from Iran is less worldwide than Korea’s, but it is certainly significant regionally and it could grow beyond that if it’s not dealt with.”

In Anticipation of the Iran Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

50EA5E8A-7062-466C-AF13-9A37D1F844D1_w1023_r1_sIf the nuclear deal collapses, Iran will restart uranium enrichment

A top official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation says Tehran has no reason to stick to the deal if it continues to suffer on the economic front.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the top official of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation, has issued a stern warning to the European Union that if the landmark nuclear deal was allowed to fail, Tehran will resume its uranium enrichment program.

The 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, brokered by the former US president Barack Obama, has created a mechanism called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to limit Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange for easing economic sanctions against Tehran.

“Iran could resume enriching uranium to 20 percent purity – seen as well above the level suitable for fueling civilian power plants – if it fails to see the economic benefit of the 2015 deal that curbed its nuclear program,” said Salehi, ahead of his meeting with Federica Mogherini, the EU’s top diplomat, in Brussels.

We will do it very easily, but we don’t want to do that now. The capacity is there,” Salehi said.

Under the deal, Tehran suspended its uranium enrichment program.

In addition to the US, the co-signatories of the JCPOA were the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany – the permanent members of the UN – as well as the EU.

With the Trump administration backtracking on the deal and reimposing the old sanctions over Tehran, political tensions over the terms of the agreement have further escalated in Iran. “If there is nothing to reap, then what is the purpose of us staying in because voices in Iran are day by day becoming more against the deal,” Salehi said.

Iranian lawmakers burn two pieces of paper representing the US flag and the nuclear deal at the parliament in Tehran on May 9, 2018. (AP)

Even before the deal, there have been serious disagreements over its terms within the Iranian political establishment. The hardliners weren’t happy with several constituents of the nuclear deal.

Many in the country’s security apparatus including influential Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) raised concerns over the agreement, calling it an unnecessary appeasement of Iran’s archenemies, primarily the US.

By withdrawing from the deal, the Trump administration aimed to deepen divisions inside Iran, encouraging a regime change, but apparently the reverse course gains momentum in Tehran. Many experts think that the US withdrawal has brought differing voices together in Iran, empowering the deal’s opponents.

“Those pro-JCPOA [Iranians] and anti-JCPOA [Iranians] are united in Iran to defend our national interest and national security,” observed Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran’s former top diplomat to the International Atomic Energy Agency, which was instrumental in mediating talks between Iran and the US and other countries.

“Trump’s withdrawal has vindicated the hardliners who were skeptical of the value of engaging the United States and has discredited the moderates who advocated it,” said Ali Vaez, the director of Iran Project at International Crisis Group.

The new Iranian sentiment can also culminate in Tehran’s withdrawal from the deal. There will be “unpredictable” consequences “for everybody, even for ourselves, for the international community, for the region,” said Salehi.

“Only God knows what is going to happen.”

Iran Prepares for World War

Khamenei calls on army to increase its capability

Iran should increase its military capability and readiness to ward off enemies, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.

His comments came in a meeting with Iranian navy commanders, Reuters reported, citing Khamenei’s official website.

“Increase your capability and readiness as much as you can so Iran’s enemies will not even dare threaten these great people,” Khamenei said, though he also stressed, “The Islamic Republic does not intend to start war with anyone.”

The Supreme Leader has upped his rhetoric in recent days. On Sunday, Khamenei took to Twitter where he belittled Israel and asserted that it “is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago.”

On Monday, he took to Twitter again to blast both Israel and the US.

Today, to hell with the US and Zionist regime for threatening the Iranian nation. Their threats and atrocities have so far failed and will continue to fail; the sanctions will also be defeated by the grace of resistance,” he wrote.

While his comments on Wednesday’s do not mention a specific “enemy”, Reuters noted that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have increased in recent months as both countries compete for power and influence across the region.

The two countries support opposite sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom’s neighbors.

Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.

Last Friday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards detained a Saudi Arabian fishing boat and arrested its crew.