Tagged: Iran

Former IDF iIntelligence chief: Shootdown of Iranian drone could be prelude to Israel-Shia war

(THE TOWER) — The interception of an Iranian drone that targeted Israel suggests that the chances for a war between Israel and Iran-led forces, the first Israel-Shia war, have increased, General (ret.) Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israel’s military intelligence told a conference call on Saturday.

The call was hosted by The Israel Project, which publishes The Tower.

Original footage showing #Iranian UAV infiltrating and then shot down over Israel, and #IDF strike on Iranian command vehicle in #Syria pic.twitter.com/Sz6poAOdjc

— Jonathan Conricus (@LTCJonathan) February 10, 2018

Following the interception of the drone, The New York Times reported, Israeli jets attacked what was identified as the command and control center in Syria. One the way back from the mission, an F-16, which had come under Syrian anti-aircraft fire crashed in northern Israel. Two pilots escaped from the plane, though one has been reported to have been severely injured.

Israel reported that it hit eight targets in Syria including three anti-aircraft batteries and four Iranian positions, which were described as “part of Iran’s military entrenchment in Syria.”

For a long time Iran and the Quds Force have been operating, with the backing of Syrian forces and the approval of the Syrian regime, from the Syrian T-4 Airbase near Tadmor. pic.twitter.com/U9H33vDF4O

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018

“There is a determination by Iran to build a military force in Syria and Lebanon, and there is determination by Israel not to let it happen. And the two vectors are colliding,” Yadlin said, explaining the escalation.

This is the Iranian UAV that infiltrated Israeli territory early this morning pic.twitter.com/R1cfL4v5dF

— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) February 10, 2018

Despite expressing concerns that the conflict could escalate, Yadlin expressed that he believed that it was in Russia’s interests to push back against Iran to defuse the situation, saying “Conflict in the north between Israel, Iran and Hezbollah is not in their interests.”

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Sweden welcomes jihadis, but wants to deport Christian refugee, who received death threats, to Iran

(VOICE OF EUROPE) — Aideen Strandsson, a Christian woman from Iran, is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was denied by authorities.

The woman converted from Islam to Christianity, after having a dream about Jesus and has already received threats from Muslims because of her conversion.

Aideen came to Sweden in 2014 and received a public baptism. When she pleaded that she could face the death penalty in Iran as an apostate, she got told by Swedish officials that “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, it’s your problem”.

CBN reports that experts say, Aideen as a Christian, faces certain rape and possible death by the radical Islamic regime, if she is deported back to Iran. This is a clear breach of the Geneva convention on human rights, that says “refugees should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom”.

Aideen was recently offered a job at the technology giant Ericsson as a technology developer, but wasn’t allowed to take it because she is in Sweden “illegally” according to the Swedish government. Aideen did appeal for a temporary work permit, but it was denied and she has therefore no way of supporting herself.

Meanwhile in Sweden, returning jihadis who have fought for ISIS in Syria, are receiving tax-payer funded driving lessons, free housing and even debt cancellation.

The Swedish government is also giving special status and protected identities to returning jihadi’s to keep locals from finding out who they are and also help them to get new jobs. This is normally only done under very special circumstances in Sweden to people facing serious threats.

Swedish minister for culture and democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, has said that returning ISIS fighters should be integrated into society. It appears that Sweden is deporting Christian refugees fleeing persecution in Muslim countries, but returning terrorists are given everything needed to integrate into Swedish society.

After the case with Aideen was made public by CBN, the case has taken a new turn with Hungary offering her asylum in the country. Hungary has refused much Muslim migration into the country.

“We protect Hungary from the invasion of migrants, but we help genuine refugees, those whose lives are in danger because of their religion, nationality or political opinions” says Vice Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, on the Hungarian government’s website.

Zsolt Semjén points out that they differentiate what they call economic migrants and genuine refugees. He also says that Christian people can easily be integrated in European countries in contrast to Muslims which he says don’t want to integrate. He adds that it is Hungary’s moral and constitutional duty to help Christian migrants seeking a safe haven.

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Iranian protestors being tortured, killed and detained in prison

(AMERICAN MILITARY NEWS) — By Melissa Leon

Government protests in Iran might have calmed, but the two-week movement continues to draw international attention, as new reports reveal that protestors are being tortured and possibly even killed while in custody. And, many of those Iranians in custody are being held without charges against them.

One Iranian spoke to Fox News from outside Evin Prison in northern Tehran and said that people in custody are being tortured – “maybe tortured to death.” The Iranian is a 31-year-old activist and business owner whom Fox said declined to give his last name out of fear.

Amir told Fox that one of his friends was arrested “by plainclothes police at the beginning of the protests in Tehran. […] Then he was beaten badly. He said 400 to 500 people were forced into a room that should only hold 120 persons. They suffered all the torture – sleep deprivation, lack of food, all the things.”

Fox reported that Amir said conditions inside the prison are “beyond abhorrent,” and that prison officials are attempted to force detainees to film videos insisting they’re being treated well, known as “stage managing.”

“People are very concerned about the health of the arrested people. Mothers are there and they don’t know anything about their child’s situation, or even if they are alive,” another protestor told Fox.

Protests began late last year, on Dec. 28, in Iran’s second largest city and one of Iran’s holiest places, Mashhad, due to the country’s high inflation, economic policies and economic inequality, and unemployment. The protests have spread to more cities and the message has turned more toward regime change.

The White House Press Secretary released a statement on Wednesday calling for the immediate release of all protestors, following reports of torture and death.

The White House said:

The Trump Administration is deeply concerned by reports that the Iranian regime has imprisoned thousands of ‎Iranian citizens in the past week for engaging in peaceful protests. Further reports that the regime has tortured or killed some of these demonstrators while in detention are even more disturbing. We will not remain silent as the Iranian dictatorship represses the basic rights of its citizens and will hold Iran’s leaders accountable for any violations. The protesters in Iran are expressing legitimate grievances, including demanding an end to their government’s oppression, corruption, and waste of national resources on military adventurism. Iran’s regime claims to support democracy, but when its own people express their aspirations for better lives and an end to injustice, it once again shows its true brutal nature. ‎The United States calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners in Iran, including the victims of the most recent crackdown.

These are the biggest waves of protests since the nationwide protests in 2009 that the world watched through Twitter.

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3 dead as Iranian protests spread, calling for end to Islamic regime

(JERUSALEM POST) — By Michael Wilner

Three demonstrators were shot dead by the Revolutionary Guard Corps as protests spread across Iran for a third night on Saturday, intensifying their calls for an end to the government’s costly expansionist projects across the Middle East, the corruption within its ranks and the Islamic Republic itself.

The demonstrations marked the nation’s first wave of serious public unrest since a violent crackdown by regime forces quelled dissent in 2009.

Marches that began as annual state-sponsored events for the airing of public discontent took on a different tone as protesters in more than 1,200 cities and towns called for the removal of the nation’s supreme leader, whose position of absolute power in Iran has determined the country’s fate since Islamists took control of its government in 1979.
The three protesters were reportedly shot dead as posters of the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, were torn and pilloried.

Supporters of the Islamic government characterized the protests as small, scattered and largely focused on high unemployment and a scourge of corruption that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is fighting himself.

Critics of the regime say protesters from 2009’s Green Revolution are returning to the streets with unfinished business – a reckoning for a theocratic dictatorship unable to deliver for its people.

While the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on Saturday night regarding the protests in Iran, Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said they were no surprise.

“Iran is wasting billions of dollars funding Hezbollah, Hamas, the Assad regime and terrorism throughout the world, rather than investing in the Iranian people,” Erdan posted on his Twitter account. “It’s no wonder that many Iranians are bravely standing up and speaking out against the Iranian leadership,” he said.

The Trump administration warned Tehran not to arrest or attack peaceful protesters, as video emerged of the demonstrations featuring violence from Iran’s Basij militia and a heavy presence of armed forces.

The State Department said the Islamic Republic had robbed its people of its historic wealth, and US President Donald Trump tweeted that “The world is watching!”

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‘Time for REVOLUTION’ Iran regime is ‘doomed’ as riots erupt after warning from Trump

(DAILY STAR) — By Henry Holloway

Tear gas, water cannons and riot cops armed with clubs have been deployed today to streets of the Iranian capital as thousands of protests took to the streets.

Protests over unemployment and food prices quickly spiraled into widespread calls for the collapse of the ruling Islamic regime.

Videos and pictures erupted on social media from the tightly controlled state showing protests and violence amid chants of “death to the dictator”.

And now the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) has outright called for revolution while speaking to Daily Star Online.

Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the group, told this website: “Their regime has no future, it is doomed to failure, and it is time for the international community to recognize the Iranian people’s resistance to overthrow that regime.”

US President Donald Trump has also waded into the protests, warning Iran “the world is watching”.

Mr Gobadi said: “People have been on the streets in large numbers across Iran for three days despite huge risks and the regime’s total mobilization of its suppressive forces

“This clearly indicates the pervasive sentiment of the Iranians. In a nutshell, the Iranian people have shown their desire for regime change.”

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Iran protests continue for a third day despite warnings

(BBC) — Anti-government protests have continued in Iran for a third day, with reports of demonstrations in many cities despite warnings from authorities.

At Tehran University, protesters called for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down and there were clashes with police.

Demonstrators ignored the interior minister’s warning that citizens should avoid “illegal gatherings”.

Meanwhile, thousands of pro-government demonstrators turned out for rallies.

These official rallies were organized in advance of the anti-government protests, to mark the eighth anniversary of the suppression of major street protests in 2009.

The current protests began in the north-east on Thursday over living standards and by Friday had spread to several major cities.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli urged people not to take part “as they will create problems for themselves and other citizens”, but videos posted online suggest that protests were held on Saturday in at least nine cities across the country.

The Iranian authorities are blaming anti-revolutionaries and agents of foreign powers for the outbreak of protests. The communications minister has also urged Telegram, a popular mobile messaging app in Iran, to stop “promoting violence”.

In the US, the Trump administration warned Iran overnight that the world was watching its response. Iran’s foreign ministry called the comments “opportunistic and deceitful”.

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Khamenei, Iran-backed militia leader threaten U.S. over recognition of Jerusalem

(THE TOWER) — Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei expressed his anger over the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, threatening that Palestine will be “freed” and claiming that America was starting a “war in the region to protect the security of the Zionist regime.”

The Jerusalem Post reported on Wednesday that Khamenei had dismissed President Donald Trump’s decision as a sign of desperation. “That they claim they want to announce Quds as the capital of occupied Palestine is because of their incompetence and failure,” Khamenei said, using the Arabic name for Jerusalem. He added: “On the issue of Palestine (US) hands are tied and they cannot advance their goals.”

Iran has long supported a number of Palestinian terrorist groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in their fight against Israel.

Meanwhile, the leader of an one of the Iran-backed Shiite militias operating in Iraq, which make up the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) threatened to attack United States forces in the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Agence France-Presse reported on Thursday.

“The decision by Trump on Al-Quds (Jerusalem) makes it legitimate to strike the American forces in Iraq,” Akram al-Kaabi, leader of the Al-Nojaba militia, said.

Al-Nojaba was formed in 2013 by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). It answers to Iran’s IRGC-Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani and is part of the PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi, as the militias are known in Arabic.

In addition to fighting against ISIS in Iraq, Al-Nojaba has fought in Syria to support regime President Bashar al-Assad and helped Iran extend it influence across the region.

The U.S. is estimated to have between 5,000 and 9,000 troops currently serving in Iraq.

Last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that he sent a letter to Soleimani warning him and his proxies not to target American troops.

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Saudi crown prince: Iran’s ayatollah the ‘new Hitler of the Middle East’

by Ben Kew

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the “new Hitler of the Middle East” to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman in an interview published Thursday.

“[Iran’s] supreme leader is the new Hitler of the Middle East,” the prince, commonly referred to by his initials MBS, said in the lengthy interview. “We learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East.”

Iran has a long history of sponsoring or promoting terrorism across the Middle East, dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

MBS’s comments come amid escalating tensions between the two countries after Saudi Arabia says its forces intercepted a missile fired from Yemen targeting one of its major airports, which authorities have described as a “blatant act of military aggression” by Iran, acting through its Yemeni proxies.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the “adventurist” crown prince by accusing him of “immature, inconsiderate, and baseless remarks and behavior,” multiple agencies reported.

“No one in the world and in the international arena gives credit to him because of his immature and weak-minded behavior and remarks,” Qasemi said. “I strongly advise him to think and ponder upon the fate of the famous dictators of the region in the past few years now that he is thinking of considering their policies and behavior as a role model.”

During the interview, the Prince also outlined his country’s latest anti-corruption purge, in which around 200 elites –including princes, ministers, and business tycoons—were arrested or fired in recent weeks.

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IDF spokesman: Iran exporting “toxic” ideologies around Middle East to achieve dominance

(THE TOWER) — In the latest episode of ‘Tipping Point’, The Israel Project’s weekly podcast, Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus, the new head of the international media branch at the IDF spokesperson’s unit, discussed the fragile situation on the Syrian border, the prospects of war with Hezbollah, and the significance of the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

Addressing the situation in the region, Conricus warned that Iran is striving for hegemony and is on the verge of establishing a direct land corridor from Tehran through Baghdad to the Mediterranean, which would drastically change the security situation in the region.

“The aggressive export that Iran is doing of their specific brand of violent extremism and terrorism to many countries – to Lebanon through Hezbollah, to Syria through various proxies, to Yemen and other regions – it’s a pattern of exporting very toxic and dangerous ideologies around the Middle East, trying to achieve some kind of dominance,” he explained.

Conricus pointed out that Iranian and Israeli interests in Syria couldn’t be further apart, with one party trying to stabilize the situation and saving lives, and the other thriving on chaos and destruction. “It’s interesting to see the contrast of what Iran is doing in Syria and of what Israel is doing on the Golan Heights,” he said, adding “What the IDF is involved in is ‘Operation Good Neighbor’, providing humanitarian aid for more than a year and a half now. More than 3,000 Syrians have been given medical attention, sometimes even life-saving procedures by either Israeli military doctors or in hospitals.”

Moving on, Conricus addressed the prospect of a third Lebanon War. “Hezbollah is in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701; they are stockpiling weapons in southern Lebanon,” he stated. Conricus continued, “They have their missiles and rockets, approximately 120,000 of those, within the civilian population in Lebanon and aiming their rockets at Israeli civilians, intentionally doing so in order to extort pressure on the Israeli leadership.”

The IDF spokesperson further accused the terrorist organization of war crimes. “In southern Lebanon, they have dug underneath houses, schools, hospitals, mosques, and U.N facilities, using them for military purposes, which is a violation of the law of armed conflict.”

Conricus said the IDF was ready to respond to all eventualities. “We are prepared for different scenarios,” he stressed. “There would be a very heavy price for any act of aggression, whether against the IDF, or, for sure, against civilians, and I think Hezbollah knows this. And I also think Hezbollah is aware of the price they would pay, if they were forced by their Iranian masters to attack Israel.”

But Conricus also acknowledged that Hezbollah is now a more formidable enemy. “For sure Hezbollah has evolved,” he admitted. “What we see today is that Hezbollah is accountable in Lebanon. They bear responsibility vis-à-vis the Lebanese population. They are part of government, they wield significant political power, they have the strongest military force inside Lebanon.” He added, “The bottom line is that Hezbollah has developed. They have become not only a terrorist organization, but an organization that is also political and that has civilian responsibilities.”

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Kissinger warns: ‘Iranian radical empire’ could emerge in a post-ISIS Middle East

(ALGEMEINER) — The downfall of ISIS could be a boon for Iran, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger cautioned in an article published by CapX this week.

“Across large areas of Iraq and Syria, an ideologically radical religious army, Isis, has declared itself a relentless foe of modern civilization, seeking violently to replace the international system’s multiplicity of states with a single Islamic empire governed by Sharia law,” the 94-year-old Kissinger wrote. “In these circumstances, the traditional adage that the enemy of your enemy can be regarded as your friend no longer applies. In the contemporary Middle East, the enemy of your enemy may also be your enemy. The Middle East affects the world by the volatility of its ideologies as much as by its specific actions.”

“The outside world’s war with Isis can serve as an illustration,” he continued. “Most non-Isis powers — including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states — agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran? The answer is elusive because Russia and the Nato countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire.”

Last November, as reported by The Algemeiner, Kissinger said the biggest challenge facing the Middle East was the “potential domination of the region by an Iran that is both imperial and jihadist.”

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