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America extends the exemption period for Iraq from sanctions on Iran

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2019/02/10 13:12
  • Number of readings 88
  • Section: Arab and World
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Iranian ambassador in Moscow: Tehran The European financial mechanism is a first step

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iran is considering the financial mechanism to boost trade between Iran and Europe as a first step because it expects more from Europe than it has done so far, Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mahdhi Senai said Sunday (February 10th, 2019).

Sinay said that this mechanism is a serious step because the EU can make the decision independently and in the interest of dialogue and negotiation.

The defense doctrine of Iran is defensive, adding that there are no international restrictions on the production and testing of missiles, and no such issue has been raised in the nuclear agreement, which does not prevent Iran from moving in this direction.

"We see this in Russia's position as well. Russian officials have repeatedly stated that Iranian missile activities do not violate any international agreement.

On US interventions in other countries, Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanai said that US interventions in other countries' affairs have only resulted in instability, for example Syria, Iraq and Libya.

Sanayi pointed out that the American interventions that were limited to the Middle East have now spread to Venezuela, where America has imposed measures against the legitimate government to weaken them and to recognize another person as president of the public. He hoped that the scenario in the Middle East would not be repeated in Venezuela one more time.

Follow the obelisk-agencies

http://almasalah.com/ar/news/163506/السفیر-الإیرانی-فی-موسكو-طهران-تعتبر-الآلیة-المالیة-الأوروبية-خطوة-أولى

 
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The World Bank Working for a World Free of Poverty
 
 
  1.  
  2. Iran
 
 

There is currently no Country Assistance Strategy for Iran. The World Bank has not approved any new lending to Iran since 2005. The Bank is fully compliant with international sanctions on Iran.

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Rohani: Ready to negotiate with America .. Khamenei: useless

Rohani: Ready to negotiate with America .. Khamenei: useless
 



 Twilight News    
 52 minutes ago

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani announced on Wednesday his government's readiness to negotiate with the United States but would not give in to pressure.

"If they want to talk to us about a specific subject, in respect of the sanctity of the country, international law and regulations, we are always ready for dialogue, logic and better debate, but we reject pressures and dictates and undermine our national rights," Rouhani said.

"If our people surrender to America from the first step, it has to surrender to the end and hand over its strength and identity, so we must stand firm," Rowhani said at his cabinet meeting today.

"If someone wants to talk to us about an issue, we will talk to him if I respect the law and sovereignty of the Iranian people, but we will not accept pressure, force and violation of our rights."

Khamenei has another opinion
While he disagreed with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who saw that there is no point in negotiating with America.

He said on Wednesday in a statement on his official website, that no problem with the United States is solvable, and that negotiations with it "a loss."

"With regard to America, there is no problem that can be solved, and negotiations with it are only economic and spiritual loss," Khamenei wrote.

The Iranian people now see a number of European governments as unreliable governments, he said.

The remarks coincide with the Warsaw conference, which informed circles say will discuss the mobilization of an international coalition against Iran.

Iran has also been under US pressure and sanctions since May when US President Donald Trump announced his withdrawal from the nuclear deal, leading to a worsening economy and popular protests over the past year.

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Last week....

 
 
Iranian lawmakers greet President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R)  in the capital Tehran on February 4, 2019
 
Iranian lawmakers greet President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R) in the capital Tehran on February 4, 2019. (AFP Photo/ATTA KENARE)
More

Tehran (AFP) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country would be ready to establish "friendly relations" with the United States if it apologised for past wrongs.

"Our slogan is friendly relations with the whole world," he said.

That would even include "America, if it repents... and apologises for its previous interferences in Iran, and is prepared to accept the greatness and dignity of the nation of Iran and the great Islamic Revolution," he said.

"We are still ready to accept America's... repentance despite the fact that for years it has done injustice to us," he told foreign diplomats in Tehran during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

During the hostage crisis at Washington's US embassy in 1979, Iranian students had famously demanded that the US should repent in return for the release of diplomats.

The following year, the two countries cut diplomatic ties, and they have remained estranged ever since.

In a message marking Persian New Year in March 2009, then-US president Barack Obama reached out to the Islamic Republic, declaring: "we know that you are a great civilisation, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world."

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded the next day, saying "change and our attitude will change".

In June the same year, Obama became the first serving American president to recognise that the US played a role in the 1953 coup that toppled Iran's elected government -- but he stopped short of apologising.

He also insisted that Iran had wronged the US, including over the hostage crisis.

The Obama administration was one of six world powers that signed a 2015 deal with Iran, easing sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear programme.

But the detente was scuppered by Obama's successor Donald Trump, who in May last year unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear accord and re-imposed sanctions.

Rouhani last week accused the US of being an "oath-breaker", and his hardline opponents have repeatedly hammered the 2015 deal.

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Khamenei says ‘Death to America’ chants ‘mean death to Trump,’ not US people

Iran’s supreme leader: As long as America continues its wickedness, the Iranian nation will not abandon its call to kill ‘American rulers’

By TOI STAFF and AGENCIES8 February 2019, 1:11 pm  12
  •  
  •  
Iranian protesters burn an American flag during an annual anti-American rally in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.  (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Iranian protesters burn an American flag during an annual anti-American rally in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Iran’s supreme leader on Friday defended the “Death to America” chants which are standard at anti-US rallies in the country, saying that the slogan is directed at US President Donald Trump and America’s leaders, and not its people.

“‘Death to America’ means death to Trump, [National Security Adviser] John Bolton, and [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo. It means death to American rulers,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, according to his official website.

 

“As long as America continues its wickedness, the Iranian nation will not abandon ‘Death to America’,” Khamenei said at an event to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Khamenei was referring to Trump’s State of the Union address this week in which the American president, among other things, said: “We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America.”

00AP_18277405854865-supreme-leader-e1547
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at a gathering of the Basij, an all-volunteer force under the Revolutionary Guard, in Tehran, October 4, 2018. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

In his State of the Union address, Trump contextualized his Iran policy by castigating the regime for its anti-Semitism.

Iran, he said, “chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people. We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism or those who spread its venomous creed.”

The need to take a strong stance against Tehran, the president implied, was evident in the attack at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, in which 11 were killed — believed to be deadliest act of anti-Semitic violence in American history.

AP_19037112305586-e1549425296226-400x250
US President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, February 5, 2019 at the Capitol in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence, left, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi look on. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

Iran pushed back Wednesday with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeting that “Iranians — including our Jewish compatriots — are commemorating 40 yrs of progress despite US pressure, just as @realDonaldTrump again makes accusations against us.”

Last year, the president withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal and renewed sanctions on the Islamic Republic, actions that he said in his speech were intended to “ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons.”

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WHAT!!!! Repent this  :P

6 minutes ago, yota691 said:

Last week....

 
 
Iranian lawmakers greet President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R)  in the capital Tehran on February 4, 2019
 
Iranian lawmakers greet President Hassan Rouhani (2nd-R) in the capital Tehran on February 4, 2019. (AFP Photo/ATTA KENARE)
More

Tehran (AFP) - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday his country would be ready to establish "friendly relations" with the United States if it apologised for past wrongs.

"Our slogan is friendly relations with the whole world," he said.

That would even include "America, if it repents... and apologises for its previous interferences in Iran, and is prepared to accept the greatness and dignity of the nation of Iran and the great Islamic Revolution," he said.

"We are still ready to accept America's... repentance despite the fact that for years it has done injustice to us," he told foreign diplomats in Tehran during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Islamic Revolution.

During the hostage crisis at Washington's US embassy in 1979, Iranian students had famously demanded that the US should repent in return for the release of diplomats.

The following year, the two countries cut diplomatic ties, and they have remained estranged ever since.

In a message marking Persian New Year in March 2009, then-US president Barack Obama reached out to the Islamic Republic, declaring: "we know that you are a great civilisation, and your accomplishments have earned the respect of the United States and the world."

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded the next day, saying "change and our attitude will change".

In June the same year, Obama became the first serving American president to recognise that the US played a role in the 1953 coup that toppled Iran's elected government -- but he stopped short of apologising.

He also insisted that Iran had wronged the US, including over the hostage crisis.

The Obama administration was one of six world powers that signed a 2015 deal with Iran, easing sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear programme.

But the detente was scuppered by Obama's successor Donald Trump, who in May last year unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear accord and re-imposed sanctions.

Rouhani last week accused the US of being an "oath-breaker", and his hardline opponents have repeatedly hammered the 2015 deal.

 

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Zarif proposes conducting trade exchange between Iran and Lebanon in the national currency

12/02/2019 04:05 PM | Number of readings:

Zarif proposes conducting trade exchange between Iran and Lebanon in the national currency

 

Zarif proposes conducting trade exchange between Iran and Lebanon in the national currency
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has proposed trade with Lebanon in the national currency, the Lebanese daily Al Akhbar reported. Zarif said during his visit to Beirut: "It is possible to deal with Lebanon by the same mechanism as with European countries and Turkey. Zarif reiterated Tehran's willingness to help and cooperate through "a mechanism that does not constitute any embarrassment to the Lebanese state." The visit brought the Lebanese government to face a new challenge: the ability of political forces to make independent decisions in the interest of the Lebanese economy, And the threat.

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13-02-2019 07:07 PM
image.php?token=d2821608a8d00a61029684df9f0bb947&size=
 


 

 

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - 
US authorities accused Iran of spying for a former US Air Force officer and imposed new sanctions on a number of people and entities it said were linked to the Revolutionary Guards. 
The US Department of Justice accuses former police officer Monica Wet of leaking information that would cause 'serious damage' to US national security. She explained that Witt was providing Iran with information about US intelligence agents. 
According to information released by the US authorities on Wednesday, Monica Wet has left the air force since 2008 and fled to Iran in 2013.
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14-02-2019 09:29 AM

image.php?token=4b57bb9d17934bbea93e102c9dfd9d9b&size=

 


 

 

Baghdad

The Saudi ambassador in Washington, Khalid bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, that the Iranian regime is the first threat to the security of the region, pointing out that the speech of the Iranian regime sectarian 'revealed himself' and no longer illusions fool anyone .

"The mullahs seized power in Iran 40 years ago, during which the Iranian people witnessed a decline in the standard of living and a complete cessation of economic and human development. This system continues to squander the money of its people in supporting terrorism," the Saudi ambassador to Washington said in twittering on his Twitter account. Extremism and sectarianism and instability in the region '.

"The friendly Iranian people deserve a leadership to take care of instead of wasting their wealth and money to tamper with abroad and spread sectarian strife and terrorism in the region. The Iranian regime is still living the illusion of trying to rip the Arabs, which is not going to happen, and their sectarian discourse revealed itself and after 40 years, the illusions of this regime no longer fool anyone . '

Prince Khalid bin Salman said that the Iranian regime is still adhering to its expansionist dreams. He said: "In the speech of the 40th anniversary of their revolution, the head of the regime exposed their expansionist intentions by claiming that Arab lands in the Arabian Gulf are part of them and called them southern Iran. , And honorable deeds in Yemen and the Alliance, informed of the speeches of the illusion '.

The Saudi ambassador, stressing the falsity of the speech of the Iranian regime and its investment to impose their dominance 'alleged' to the Arabs: 'Does the Iranian regime accept that the guardian of the Islamic jurisprudent Arab and obeyed by the Iranians? Or is their speech merely an attempt to impose their supposed hegemony on the Arabs? The proud Arab peoples have not and will not accept the failed attempts of this regime to implant them, whether in Yemen or any other Arab country .

Prince Khalid bin Salman compared the Saudi and Iranian economies, pointing out that the Kingdom's GDP was double that of Iran after being equal in 1979. He said: 'The Kingdom's leadership has long been aimed at human development and the pursuit of improving the standard of living of citizens. The per capita income in the Kingdom since 1979 has been tenfold, while in Iran it has fallen by more than half. The kingdom's gross domestic product is double that of Iran after being equal in 1979 .

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Newsweek: Will Iran become a Trump Iraq?
 

Newsweek: Will Iran become a Trump Iraq?
 




 Twilight News    
 2 hours ago

The Newsweek magazine published a report by its national security correspondent Jeff Stein, saying Trump was furious when he found his security officials undermining one of his favorite campaigns against Iran. Trump and two senior security officials claimed for two years that Iran was seeking On nuclear weapons, and therefore a deadly threat to its neighbors and the West. 
The report adds that its national intelligence director, Dan Coates, confirmed that Iran was implementing its agreement with the United States and five other European countries literally, while CIA director Gina Haspel said Iran might decide to return to its nuclear program if sanctions were not lifted.
Steen said Trump chirped on Twitter on January 30, saying Cotes and Hubble were "wrong" and said "intelligence might have to go back to school." In addition, he said in comments with CBS, The New York Times, "that Iran is" the number one terrorist country in the world, "and claimed that Iran stands behind every problem inherited in the Middle East, and described intelligence officials as" very passive, and very naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. " 
"I can tell you stories about things we were going to do with them a week ago," he told The New York Times.
According to the report, for many long-memory observers, Trump's comments are a return to a pivotal moment 17 years ago, when another Republican president, George W. Bush, classified Iraq as part of an "axis of evil" about to build a weapon that would end With a nuclear cloud over America. In the following year, Bush sent 200,000 troops to look for Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, which they discovered were non-existent, and the subsequent disastrous occupation of Iraq. The Middle East still suffers from its consequences.
The writer points out that experts in the Middle East believe that Trump is directing America to another regional disaster, this time with Iran, and a former CIA operations officer to distort Trump's facts about Iran by lying to successive presidents to justify the war in Vietnam, "Iran will not attack us tomorrow, it will not kill us tomorrow, and it is not willing to confront directly with America, despite the inflammatory words," the former Newsweek official said on condition of anonymity. 
"The more we pushed, the more we resisted, and the more we paid and publicly sinned, the more they could blame us for all their problems. There is a kind of unholy alliance" between Trump and the hawks of Tehran, the magazine quoted former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia Chas Freeman as saying. He and many experts are that Trump's mistakes and Iran's exaggerated reactions could lead to war no one wants.

The report points out that Trump's statements embarrassed some former senior national security officials, and some said they were skeptical of Trump's hints that dramatic acts had been studied, but some observers closely told Newsweek that the outline of Trump's policy had been clear since he was handed over The presidency, when it withdrew from the nuclear agreement, seems to want to open a new door in the 40-year-old war of threats, backed by hawks, especially pro-Israel. 
Stein shows that Trump's weapons include imposing sanctions, supporting the Iranian opposition in exile, giving the green light to Israel to strike Iranian targets in Syria, and the rest of his hostile campaign includes a shadow war against Iran and covert actions involving manipulation through social media, as Moscow did against America during elections 2016.
The magazine reports that these acts were supported by three of Tramp's favorite advisers: Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and his brother-in-law Jared Kouchner, pointing out that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, both close to Kouchner, Pressure on a more aggressive US policy towards Tehran, including direct military attacks on its nuclear, military and intelligence facilities. 
The report indicates that Trump puzzled allies when he announced in early February that US forces will remain in Iraq to monitor Iran, the Iraqi president quickly asked his allies not to burden Iraq on their issues, and asked America to Iraq not to buy energy from Iran, further deterioration of the relationship With Baghdad.
"The United States has no idea what it wants," says Ali Al Foonah, Iran analyst at the Gulf Arab Institute in Washington. A way for Iran to read what Washington wants with the mixed messages sent by the whole Trump administration. " 
The magazine says that Iran aroused concern and concern when the Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile and led an Islamic popular revolution in 1979. The overthrow of the Shah was a reversal of a CIA coup a quarter of a century ago against leftist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh for oil interests American relations worsened when the students occupied the US Embassy, took more than 50 Americans hostage and held them for 444 days, and Iran has been classified as a rogue state since then.

According to the report, President Reagan classified the regime as a "state sponsor of terrorism" and supported the 1981 Iraqi invasion of Iran in a decade-long war that destroyed the country. Iran supported the Lebanese Shiite resistance to the 1982 Israeli invasion, God, who carried out terrorist operations against American targets, and then invaded America in 2003, which led to the receipt of agents of Iran's rule in Baghdad.

According to Stein, in 2011, when Assad faced a popular revolution, Iran and Hezbollah provided the necessary support for his survival. Rowhani reviewed Iran's military power on February 11 and in a speech marking the 40th anniversary of the revolution. "We did not ask permission, We will not ask permission from anyone to improve our defense power. "

The magazine claims that Trump has vowed to contain Iran, which is seen as a threat to regional and global security rather than the threat of state regulation, back to 1978, but Iran also seems to be "trying to turn the clock back to those bad days of the 1980s and early 1990s" An execution to liquidate opposition figures, according to Al-Founa in the Long War magazine, a website run by the Defense for Democracies in support of Israel.

Iran's long hand The writer says that Iran's intelligence did not put time in the eighties of the last century in the liquidation of its enemies at home and abroad, and one of its foreign operations assassination of an opposition leader in Washington, pointing out that Tehran continued to pursue its enemies abroad in those early years, and killed leaders in exile, Which was planning to overthrow the regime. After years of calm, the Ministry of Intelligence appears to have stepped up its attacks abroad. In 2015 and in 2017 it was suspected of being behind the killing of opponents in the Netherlands.

The magazine notes that these attempts increased last year after intelligence agencies across Europe discovered assassination plans against anti-regime groups, especially the PMOI, especially in 2017, after Bolton and Radolf Golani embraced the movement.

The report states that according to the European authorities, there was a plan to plant a strong bomb among the audience at the conference, and arrested the German authorities Asadullah Asadi, a diplomat in Vienna, said he tried to deliver 500 grams of highly explosive material for two Belgian born in Iran, Three Iranian-born people were arrested in France, and Iran's spokesman at the United Nations denied the government was behind the operation, saying the PMOI was behind it to accuse Iran.

Stein notes that Iran also arrived in America. In August, the US judiciary charged two California men, one with permanent residency and the other with dual citizenship, trying to infiltrate the PMOI and spy on their activities in New York and Washington.

The magazine quotes the FBI as saying that the two men also monitored Jewish targets, including Rohr Chabad House, a Jewish student center at the University of Chicago, that supports Israel's extremist government, realizing that Iran's main enemy remains the PMOI. Some experts say Iran created Sleeping cells in America, Europe and the Gulf are attacking such targets if the war is caught.

According to the report, America canceled in 2011 a plan to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir at the famous Milan cafe, frequented by American and foreign officials, as well as political pressure and journalists, by a large explosion, and some are puzzled to have such a scheme at a time when negotiations The nuclear agreement at its height, but the Iranian Revolutionary Guard was interested in disrupting those negotiations.

According to the annual report on global threats from the National Intelligence Bureau, the Iranians said that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, six years ago, had hacked large amounts of academic information Intellectual property of 144 American universities and 176 universities in 21 other countries, in what it called the largest government sponsored pirate operation in the courts.

The magazine claims that the US judiciary has charged two Iranian people for software attacks on computer systems in Atlanta, New York and New Jersey and 200 other targets, including hospitals and clinics, noting that Iran denies responsibility for these and current attacks, which may be in retaliation for the attack of the US virus Staxnet Israel, which was exposed to computers that run the centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site in 2009.

one by one

The report shows that Iran is using the argument: You are the initiator, asserting that the CIA tried from the first day of infiltration and destabilization of the regime from the first days of the revolution, during the hostage crisis between 1979 and 1980, Tony Mendez of the CIA infiltrated into Iran and rescued six US diplomats In a process that was narrated in Argo.

He notes that by 1989, "the US intelligence service was almost completely revealed in Iran and has been disrupted," according to a novel by Mahan Abidin of consulting firm Daesart. Between 2009 and 2013, dozens of sources were fed CIA and executions in Iran and China; because of the security fallout from the agency to contact its customers, according to "Yahoo News."

According to the magazine, the Merlin Process was formed during the Clinton administration, where a part of a manipulated nuclear weapon was designed to block Iran's nuclear program, but the result appeared to be counterproductive and helped Iran speed up nuclear development. The CIA and the Bush administration, in 2006, to the former New York Times correspondent James Reesen.

"There is no end in the foreseeable future. The Trump administration has issued more voices calling for war than ever, increasing the pressure on Iran, under the pretext of deploying missiles and the Quds Force in Syria, and its secret support for the Houthis in Syria. Yemen, and ballistic missile tests. "

The report quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying that Bolton had asked the Pentagon to draw up a list of options to attack Iran on January 13. A former administration official told the newspaper that this worried people, and on the same day, Axis News reported that Trump "Repeatedly asked the national security team has plans to hit the fast Iranian boats in the Gulf" in 2017, but the Foreign Relations Foundation denounced that request, "but perhaps the leaks were deliberate to intimidate Iran."

Norman Roll, who worked for 34 years at the CIA and worked in the Special Operations and Policies Division for Iran from 2008 until his retirement in 2017, says Trump should keep pressure on Iran, adding that the West's response was lukewarm, The sanctions on Iran are good, and he praised Germany's decision to prevent Iran's Mahan from landing at its airports because of its suspected use of terrorist activities, noting that America and the West should go further. "Although military action must be the last option, , But Iran must understand that its actions have repercussions. "

"There does not seem to be a military strike coming, unless Trump wants another difference with NATO. At a time when the Allies are alarmed by Iranian plots, they are trying hard to keep the nuclear agreement without America, The establishment of an independent payment system to avoid US sanctions, the continuation of trade with Iran, and in the face of Trump's threats, the future remains ambiguous. "

Foreign Secretary Mike Pompeo toured the Middle East for support to expel the "last Iranian soldier" from Syria, and was behind a conference in Poland recently, "to make sure that Iran has no destabilizing influence," the report said.

The magazine says that the administration is not only a war of words, it has spy facilities in Kurdistan and manages its customers in Iran from Kurdistan and Turkey, according to sources told "Newsweek," and veteran observers see that US agents played a role in the failure of two launches of two Iranian industrial satellites earlier this year.

Freeman, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security under Clinton, also said that US officials had sworn to sabotage the North Korean missile program and were doing the same with Iran. He also doubted that America was using Iranian groups in exile To carry out operations in Iran, as did America in the first years of the Chinese and Cuban revolution without success.

Newsweek concludes her report by referring to Freeman's saying that such operations are stupid, and that the CIA is not enthusiastic about such operations.

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Report: Washington has moved a secret project to undermine Iran's ballistic missile program

IRAN.jpg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The administration of President Donald Trump has accelerated a clandestine program to undermine Iran's ballistic missile program as part of an expanded campaign to weaken and isolate the Tehran regime, according to former and current government officials, The New York Times reported.

 

"It is impossible to measure the success of the secret program, which has not been officially announced, but refers to two failed Iranian launches in less than a month," the paper said.

"The launch failures prompted it to look for more than six current and former government officials who have worked on the US program over the past 10 years."

"They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the program publicly."

 

The program was created under President George W. Bush and aims to mix parts and poor materials into the supply chains of Iran's space program, the New York Times reported.

 

The secret US program remained active until early in the administration of former President Barack Obama, but was eased by 2017, when current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assumed the post of director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and was then given new sources.

 

 

"UN sanctions imposed on Iran have facilitated the task of the program because it forced Tehran to adopt black markets and submerged mediators in order to meet its needs," the paper said.

 

The newspaper added that the CIA "found relatively easy to penetrate the supply networks to Iran," according to former US officials.

 

"The rate of Iran's failure to fire rockets has reached 67 percent in the past 11 years, an astonishingly large number if compared to a normal 5 percent worldwide for similar operations," the paper said.

Iran announced on January 15 that it had failed to deliver a satellite to its orbit around the Earth, while a second failed attempt on the fifth of this month was not announced.

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Iran on January 3 of launching satellites into space, noting that the same technology could be used to carry intercontinental ballistic missiles. [1]

 

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Thanks Buti & Yota for all of the articles this morning...looks like the other DV-ers are still asleep...maybe sleeping off the celebrating due to Adam's wonderful posts this week! LOL

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Nothing like giving a blow by blow heads up regarding the clandestine 

operation.  As Aunt Pearl would say Bless their hearts. In some cases pea pick'in hearts :lol:

Thanks Butifldrm and have a good night DV with happy dreams!!!! :D

 

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Rohani: We want to establish close relations with the Gulf states

Rohani: We want to establish close relations with the Gulf states

Written by: mohanadat:February 17, 2019In: 

Light News / Arab and international , 
said Iranian President Hassan Rowhani on Sunday that Tehran wants to establish close relations with all the countries of the Middle East , including the Gulf.

This came during a speech by Rohani in the south of the country, explaining that his country is ready to work with the countries of the region to maintain security in the Middle East.

He added: "Our enemies .. America and Israel are seeking to sow discord among the Iranians, and will not be subject to those pressures."

Rohani said the US approach to Iran was destined to fail, adding from the southern city of Bandar Knaoua.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia support warring parties in Syria and Yemen, while Saudi Arabia has welcomed the withdrawal of US President Donald Trump from the nuclear deal with Iran and the re-imposition of sanctions on Tehran.

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Zarif: European trade mechanism to deal with Iran is not doing well

01:50 - 17/02/2019

 
image
 
 

Follow - up - the balance of News 
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the European mechanism for trade with Iran does not meet the purpose and that Germany, France and Britain to make a greater effort to show their commitment to the nuclear deal signed with Iran in 2015 
and added Zarif before the Munich Security Conference "should be Europe is ready to take risks if it wants to swim against the tide of unilateral American dangerous. "

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640x640-10.jpg Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a Reuters archive
 

Khamenei Warns Iranian Government: Do Not Be Fooled By Europeans

Reuters 2 hours ago


TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday warned his government against deceiving European countries signatories to the nuclear deal, which is threatening to collapse after the United States withdraws from it.

"The US hostility toward Iran is clear," state television quoted Khamenei as saying. The heart of our enemies is profiting from the hostility of the Islamic Republic ... Our officials should not fall into the deception of the Europeans ... do not be fooled by the Europeans. "

European allies opposed the withdrawal of Trump from the agreement.

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IRAN SAYS GREATER RISK OF WAR WITH ISRAEL, LAUNCHES NEW CRUISE MISSILE SUB

 

 

"The risk is great and the risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to severe violations of international law," he said, pointing the finger at Israel and the United States.

 

BY TOVAH LAZAROFF

 

 FEBRUARY 17, 2019 12:08

 

FullscreenIran's Zarif says risk of war with Israel is great, February 17, 2019 (Reuters)Israeli and US actions have increased the risk of a regional war involving Iran, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Germany on Sunday, as his country inaugurated a new domestically-built submarine armed with cruise missiles.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani presided over the launch, which was broadcast live on state television, in the port city of Bandar Abbas, the capital of Iran’s southern Hormozgan province.The Fateh “Conqueror” submarine weighs 600 tons, Iranian television said, adding that it “enjoys state-of-the-art weaponry, including torpedoes, naval mines and cruise missiles that could be launched from a submerged position.”

The launch comes at a time of increased rhetoric between Iran and its two foes, Israel and the United States. It also follows the US-led Warsaw summit, in which representatives of 60 nations gathered to talk about regional issues, including ways to combat Iranian aggression.

“Certainly some people are looking for war,” Zarif told the Munich Security Conference, clarifying that he was referring to Israel, specifically its aerial activities in Syria against Iranian military targets. Such activity, he said, is a violation of international law.

“We are in Syria on the invitation of the Syrian government for the sole purpose of fighting terrorism: no other reason for our being there,” Zarif said. He delivered a speech to the conference and responded in a question-and-answer session.

“Violating Lebanon’s airspace and shooting into Syria is a violation of international law,” Zarif said. “So let us wake up. The risk is great, but the risk will be even greater if you continue to turn a blind eye to sever violations of international law... Israeli behavior is putting international law on the shelf; US behavior is putting international law on the shelf,” he said.

Zarif took issue with Israeli and US charges that Iran was a threat to Middle East stability.

“Is it Iran that threatens the annihilation of others? Or is it [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, the wolf-crier in chief, who openly threatened my country with obliteration, while standing next to his nuclear weapons package?” Zarif asked.

But the bulk of the foreign minister’s speech was an attack against the United States, which he said has a “maligned obsession” with destroying the Iranian regime. He took pains to describe his country as a force of stabilization in the Middle East, particularly in the fight against ISIS and to portray the US as a foreign, destabilizing agent.


Pence also stated that: “The Islamic Republic of Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran has supported terrorist proxies and militias, Hezbollah and Hamas; exported missiles; fueled conflicts in Syria and Yemen; plotted terrorist attacks on European soil; and openly advocated the destruction of the State of Israel.”

“Antisemitism is not just wrong; it’s evil,” Pence added.

Zarif on Sunday shot back that Pence’s allegation of antisemitism was “ridiculous” and “very dangerous.”

“More and more nations [are] explicit about the fact that the US is the single biggest source of destabilization in our neighborhood,” Zarif said. He took issue in particular with the US decision to abrogate the 2015 deal between Iran and the six world powers, including China, France, Germany, Russia, the UK and the US.

Zarif urged Europe to remain fast to the deal, noting that it “needs to be willing to get wet if it wants to swim against the dangers of US unilateralism.”

The US last May reimposed sanctions on Tehran, holding that the Iran 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 developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international pressure and embargoes that have barred it from importing many weapons. Last year, Iran’s navy launched a domestically-built destroyer, which state media said has radar-evading stealth properties.

Iran says it has missiles with a range of up to 2,000 km. (1,250 miles), which puts Israel and US military bases in the region within reach.

 


The European signatories of Iran’s nuclear deal, despite remaining committed to the pact, have stepped up criticism of Iran’s ballistic missiles program.

https://www.jpost.com/Breaking-News/Irans-foreign-minister-says-risk-of-war-with-Israel-is-great-580911

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Chancellor Merkel Defends The Iran Nuclear Deal | TIME

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Published on Feb 18, 2019
 
 
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel robustly defended European nations’ decision to stand by the Iran nuclear deal in a spirited backing Saturday of her multilateral approach to global affairs, but U.S. Vice President Mike Pence promptly accused Europe of once again undermining the United States.
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Iran pressures Europe to stand up to Washington and save the nuclear deal

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Subscribe to France 24 now: http://f24.my/youtubeEN FRANCE 24 live news stream: all the latest news 24/7 http://f24.my/YTliveEN Europeans need to do more save the Iran nuclear deal after the unilateral withdrawal of the US, Iran's foreign minister said Sunday, slamming Washington as the "biggest source of destabilization" in the Middle East.
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Iran shows off new Fateh submarine capable of firing cruise missiles

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The new vessel, named Fateh - Farsi for 'Conqueror' - was launched by President Hassan Rouhani in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas. The 600-tonne submarine is capable of operating at depths of up to 600 feet for up to 35 days. It is equipped with cruise missiles, torpedoes and naval mines.
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Tuesday 19 February
 
 
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- US President Donald Trump is not in favor of war with Iran and US forces will not use Iraqi airspace or territory to attack anywhere or any country, the US embassy in Baghdad said Tuesday. 

"President Trump's statements earlier said he did not want US troops to fight in wars that we needed," US embassy charge d'affaires Joy Hood said in an interview with a number of media outlets, including Sumerian News. "Trump does not want war with Iran at all. "

 
 


"President Trump has said this several times in advance," he said. "We use diplomatic means, such as economic sanctions." 

"US forces will not use Iraqi airspace or territory to attack anywhere or any country," he said, adding that "President Trump is not proposing any changes or amendments to the strategic agreement between Iraq and America."

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Iran’s Oil Exports Higher Than Expected In January, February

 

 - Feb 19, 2019, 2:30 PM CST Iran tanker company

Iranian crude oil exports in January were higher than expected, while February shipments so far have been holding steady or even higher compared to last month, as several of Iran’s customers are using up their U.S. sanction waivers to continue importing Iranian oil, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing industry sources and shipping data.

According to tanker-tracking data from Refinitiv Eikon and a source at a company tracking Iranian oil flows, Iran’s exports in February have averaged 1.25 million bpd so far, while the January exports were between 1.1 million bpd and 1.3 million bpd, higher than the previously expected below 1-million-bpd level, which was seen in December.

While tracking Iran’s oil exports has become an increasingly difficult task after the U.S. sanctions returned in early November, some of the key Iranian oil customers that received U.S. waivers resumed buying Iran’s oil in 2019 or increased imports to their respective ceiling allowed under the waivers, after an initial ‘wait-and-see mode’ for November and December purchases amid uncertainties who is getting waivers.

 

Iran’s key Asian customers—Japan, South Korea, India, and China—are all buying Iranian crude once again, but at much lower rates than they did before November when U.S. sanctions kicked in, S&P Global Platts estimates showed at the end of January.

According to the S&P Global Platts calculations, the rate at which India, Japan, and South Korea are importing Iranian crude at the moment, is at least half lower than the rate from before the sanctions went into effect.

Related: The Biggest Problem Behind The U.S. Shale Boom

India and China are Iran’s largest crude oil buyers, accounting for 80 percent of the country’s oil exports to Asia, which, in total, constituted half of Iran’s overall oil exports. Now, as the sanction waiver window narrows, S&P Global Platts analysts expect Iran’s oil exports to fall to 1.2 million bpd over the first four months of 2019, and further slump to 860,000 bpd in the fourth quarter of the year. This compares with an average 2.7 million bpd in the first few months of 2018, before President Trump pulled the United States out of the so-called Iran nuclear deal last May.

As the ‘waivers window’ will be shrinking ahead of the end of the 180-day waiver period in early May, buyers could be rushing to buy what they can before April in order to be able to complete transactions before May in case waivers are not extended, according to analysts.

The U.S. has signaled that Iranian customers shouldn’t rely on waivers extensions, but the Trump Administration has not yet officially said if it would stop granting waivers. Some observers say that the decision would depend on the price of oil at the time the U.S. needs to decide about exemptions, because, despite the pledge for ‘zero’ Iranian exports, the Administration will not be willing to drive up oil prices too high.

 

https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Irans-Oil-Exports-Higher-Than-Expected-In-January-February.html

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Some in Europe see INSTEX as challenging US dominance of world financial systems built up through dollar-clearing and SWIFT financial messaging since the September 2001 terror attacks on the United States.
Sunday 17/02/2019
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INSTEX, the European mechanism to facilitate trade with Iran in the face of tightening US sanctions, has drawn a lukewarm reaction in Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani, Foreign Secretary Mohammad Javad Zarif and leading conservative parliamentarian Alaaeddin Boroujerdi all described INSTEX — Instrument in support of Trade Exchanges — as an overdue “first step.”

Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, principlist deputy from Mashhad and Kalat, slammed INSTEX as a “disgrace.” He said it undermined Iran’s independence and violated the 2015 nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), under which Iran was to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.

In general, the Iranian media expressed scepticism that INSTEX would help Iran maintain oil exports. The vital foreign-exchange earner is well down from 2.6 million barrels per day since the United States imposed sanctions after leaving JCPOA last May. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh recently said the only European country buying Iranian oil was Turkey, although Greece and Italy as well as Ankara have been given waivers from Washington’s oil sanctions.

INSTEX is designed to isolate trade with Iran from threatened US penalties against anyone buying Iranian oil or dealing with Iranian entities, including the Central Bank of Iran. Essentially, it would match anyone buying from Iran with anyone selling to Iran, with the buyer paying INSTEX, which would pay the seller. The Europeans said the mechanism would start with medicine and food.

“INSTEX has potential because it favours smaller firms in both EU and Iran,” said Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, an economics professor at Virginia Tech and visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “Iran’s smaller firms have a harder time getting around sanctions and are treated worse in markets with less competition, like Russia and China.

“Large firms like [energy major] Total will not use INSTEX because they would lose business in the US. Links to the EU help Iran have a more diversified trade and foreign policy.”

Sir Richard Dalton, UK ambassador to Iran from 2002-06, said INSTEX’s effects should not be exaggerated. “It will not lift the growth rate [in Iran], improve oil sales short term, reduce inflation or unemployment,” he said. “It will therefore not address the structural problems plaguing Iran under US maximum pressure. It will not, on its own, restore hope to Iranians in general nor give Rohani’s government much to go on in their struggles with hardliners over the future of the JCPOA.”

Dalton identified immediate challenges in Iran establishing an institution to liaise with INSTEX and in establishing confidence among European exporters that they can safely deposit in their banks “inflows to their accounts that are not ‘Iranian funds’ but are due to them because of transactions with Iran.”

Nonetheless, Dalton said INSTEX was “really welcome and a stout effort” by Europe. He expressed optimism it would yield fruit: “If these problems are surmounted, and I expect them to be, INSTEX should — I’ll guess by June — start easing the supply of drugs and medical devices to Iran. Later, perhaps by 2020, INSTEX may assist the supply of key industrial goods and the sale of some Iranian oil.”

Michael Tockuss of the Iran-Germany Chamber of Commerce told the German business magazine WirtschaftsWoche that 5,000-7,000 small and medium-sized German companies want to continue trade with Iran. He suggested the only firms at risk of US sanctions were those “that have American employees or shareholders or have used American money in their company or their activities, such as hedge funds.”

While Europe shares US and Gulf misgivings over Iran’s missile programme and its regional alliances, Europe’s strategy is not just to keep Tehran within the JCPOA but to draw it further into multilateral institutions and the global economy. The EU statement on INSTEX referred explicitly to Iran joining the Financial Action Task Force, the intergovernmental financial transparency body, a move under consideration in Tehran.

Some in Europe see INSTEX as challenging US dominance of world financial systems built up through dollar-clearing and SWIFT financial messaging since the September 2001 terror attacks on the United States. Hence, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called setting up INSTEX “a political act.”

How far might this go?

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang welcomed the European Union’s “determination to uphold multilateralism” and said he looked forward to INSTEX being “open to third parties.”

“Potentially INSTEX is a watershed in seeking to establish that European businesses should trade where EU law permits and should not be held hostage to the dollar and US extra-territorial sanctions,” said Dalton.

“Will other countries link some of their trade to the INSTEX procedures? A stone has been thrown into the pond, and no-one can be clear how far the ripples will go or when.”

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Written ByGareth Smyth

Gareth Smyth has covered Middle Eastern affairs for 20 years and was chief correspondent for The Financial Times in Iran.

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Industry estimates suggest that Iran’s crude exports have tumbled to 1 million-1.3 million bpd from pre-sanctions’ levels of 2.6 million-2.7 million bpd.
Sunday 17/02/2019
Troubled  waters.  An Iranian military  speedboat patrols the waters as a  tanker prepares to dock at the oil facility in the Khark Island, Iran.   (AFP)
Troubled waters. An Iranian military speedboat patrols the waters as a tanker prepares to dock at the oil facility in the Khark Island, Iran. (AFP)

WASHINGTON -The Trump administration may be talking tough about reducing Iranian crude exports to “zero” through its imposed sanctions on Tehran but oil prices are expected to heavily influence what Washington does when waivers granted to eight countries for importing Iranian crude expire in May.

Given US President Donald Trump’s conviction that high oil prices are a political detriment domestically, his administration could maintain some — if not a majority — of the eight significant reduction exceptions (SREs) for another six months beginning in May.

Brian Hook, the Trump administration’s special representative for Iran, has been adamant that Washington is not planning to extend the SREs. During an interview with Japanese public broadcaster NHK on February 6, Hook stated: “We are not looking to grant any future waivers or exceptions to our sanctions regime, whether its oil or anything else.”

Hook expressed the same sentiment at an energy forum January 12 in Abu Dhabi, though he intimated that the state of the oil markets would factor into Washington’s decision-making.

He noted that renewed sanctions were meant to maximise economic pressure on Tehran to force it into negotiations on a new nuclear deal. “On the energy side, we have been very successful and there are going to be much deeper reductions of Iranian imports… Our goal is to get to zero as fast as possible,” Hook said.

The Trump administration evaluated market conditions in granting the 180-day waivers when sanctions were imposed November 5. “So we had very carefully calibrated the balancing of our national security goals and our economic interests,” Hook said. “The president was very clear that he did not want to cause a spike in oil, and so we granted eight oil exceptions — significant reduction exceptions.”

When asked whether the United States would extend the SREs, Hook responded: “All I can say is that we believe that… when we have a better-supplied oil market, then that puts us in a much better climate to accelerate the path to zero.”

The Trump administration allocated SREs to China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Turkey, Italy and Greece, conditional on “promising to reduce their dependence on Iranian crude.” Iran’s top crude buyer, China, for example, was expected to halve its normal purchases of Iranian oil to about 360,000 barrels per day (bpd), while second largest buyer India was similarly pressed to reduce its Iranian imports to around 300,000 bpd from typical volumes of 450,000-550,000 bpd.

Industry estimates suggest that Iran’s crude exports have tumbled to 1 million-1.3 million bpd from pre-sanctions’ levels of 2.6 million-2.7 million bpd.

The introduction of the SREs has not been without hiccups for Tehran. China and India were uninterrupted in receiving Iranian oil in November, while Turkey resumed Iranian oil imports in December. However, South Korea only began accepting Iranian condensate in late January, after halting imports from Tehran in September. After tackling tanker insurance and banking issues, Japanese firms also resumed buying Iranian crude in late January.

Taiwan, an occasional purchaser of Iranian oil, has declined to use its SRE. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh blasted the two remaining countries that were issued waivers but stopped doing oil business with Tehran. Zanganeh said on February 4 that “Greece and Italy have been granted exemptions by America but they don’t buy Iranian oil and they don’t answer our questions.”

The decision to grant SREs in November caught oil markets off guard. Saudi Arabia and others had boosted their oil exports while US production was reaching record highs to make up for an anticipated drop in Iranian crude deliveries. Oil prices, however, crashed and Saudi Arabia led an OPEC campaign with independent producer allies to reduce output to drive up prices.

Originally on board with Trump’s goal of keeping a lid on oil prices before the sanctions were re-introduced, Riyadh decided that its own budget needs should take priority over the American leader’s desire to placate his political base.

Riyadh is eyeing oil prices as high as $80-$85 a barrel to fund its spending plans. With international crude prices averaging $50-$60 a barrel amid soft global demand and high US oil production, Saudi Arabia is taking additional corrective action, announcing it would reduce its oil output by another 500,000 bpd in March.

Many factors can alter oil markets in the next several months as the Trump administration considers a second round of waiver extensions. Italy, Greece and Taiwan have taken themselves out of the equation. Therefore, Washington may decide to roll over the SREs for the remaining five countries with demands of steeper import cuts to November as a guarantee that oil prices won’t overheat.

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Written ByJareer Elass

Jareer Elass is a Washington-based energy analyst, with 25 years of industry experience and a particular focus on the Arabian Gulf producers and OPEC.

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