Iran ready to give U.S. ‘slap in the face’: commander

Head of Iran’s Revolutionary guards ground forces Mohammad Pakpour (C) attends a funeral ceremony in Tehran October 20, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl

 

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Jan. 29 that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

“The enemy should not be mistaken in its assessments, and it will receive a strong slap in the face if it does make such a mistake,” said General Mohammad Pakpour, head of the Guards’ ground forces, quoted by the Guards’ website Sepahnews. Continue reading

Planes, tanks, ships: Russian military gets massive upgrade

FILE – In this Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016 file photo, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shougu speaks during a meeting with senior military officials in Moscow, Russia. Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017, that the sweeping military modernization program will continue at a high pace this year. Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. (Balashova Olga/Defence Ministry Pool Photo via AP, file)

 

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military received a sweeping array of new weapons last year, including 41 intercontinental ballistic missiles, and the wide-ranging military modernization will continue this year, the defense minister said Wednesday.

Minister Sergei Shoigu told lawmakers the air force will receive 170 new aircraft, the army will receive 905 tanks and other armored vehicles while the navy will receive 17 new ships this year.

Amid tensions with the West, the Kremlin has continued to spend big on new weapons despite Russia’s economic downturn. Continue reading

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Israel Is a ‘Cancerous Tumor,’ ‘Fake Nation’

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / AP

 

Iran’s supreme leader on Tuesday delivered some of his harshest remarks to date against Israel, describing the Jewish state as a “fake nation” in a “dirty chapter” of history.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a pro-Palestinian gathering in Tehran that Israel is a “cancerous tumor” that requires a step by step” treatment, according to the Associated Press.

The creation of Israel is “one of the dirty chapters of history that will be closed, with the grace of God,” Khamenei said, arguing that the Jewish state was formed by bringing Jews from around the world to the Middle East to settle Palestinian land–a process that he described as replacing the region’s “true entity.” Continue reading

US Fifth Fleet chief: A remote-control boat attacked a Saudi frigate on Jan. 30

The boat that attacked a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea on Jan. 30 was not manned by Yemeni Houthi suicides; it was an unmanned, remote-controlled craft filled with explosives, Vice Adm. Kevin Donegan, head of the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, said Monday. Continue reading

Iran Announces 2 Billion Barrel Shale Oil Find

 

The western province of Lorestan will be getting new attention from the Iranian oil ministry following the discovery of major shale oil reserves in the region, according to new reports emerging from the area.

The resources, found in the Ghali Koh field, totaled two billion barrels, Bahman Soleimani, the National Iranian Oil Company’s Soleimani said on Monday, citing a recent study. “The oil is light,” he described.

Other research on the area’s shale gas reserves will be completed by October 2017, the official added. Continue reading

Russia Gains Upper Hand In Asian Oil War

The Saudi-led OPEC cuts may have supported oil prices and reduced market volatility, but they have also opened the door wide to rival crude grades flowing into the most prized market for the Middle Eastern producers: Asia.

Reduced supplies by OPEC resulted in higher prices for Middle Eastern crude benchmark Dubai and a narrower Brent/Dubai spread, which made the shipment of Brent-price-linked crude grades to Asia profitable. Continue reading

Iran’s Next President Will Be a Hard-liner

 

How elections and escalating tensions with Donald Trump will make it difficult for Hassan Rouhani to win a second term

Under United States President Barack Obama, Iran benefited enormously by pretending to be moderate. It was the “moderate” nature of Iran’s current president, Hassan Rouhani, that Mr. Obama said provided pretext for the nuclear deal that he implemented with Iran on Jan. 16, 2016. That deal ended powerful economic sanctions and gave Iran billions of dollars in cash.

However, that moderate pretense may not be Iran’s most expedient policy anymore, now that America has a new president. What worked for President Obama is unlikely to work for President Trump. Going up against Mr. Trump will probably force Iran to drop its cloak of modesty and become more overtly confrontational. Continue reading

Nuclear Submarines and Hypersonic Missiles: China Is Making Game-Changing Weapons Advances

Caption: Chinese navy formation during military drills in the South China Sea on January 2, 2017. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The United States military could be in “serious trouble” in a face-off against Chinese forces in the South China Sea, according to analyses published this week. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is making massive gains in its development of two key areas of advanced weaponry: Nuclear submarines and hypersonic missiles.

Alongside these advances, the PLA is demonstrating ever more willingness and resolve to use its military might. Analysts believe these factors could eventually tip the scales of a regional conflict in Beijing’s favor. Continue reading

DEBKA Exclusive: Iranians, Palestinians meet secretly in Brussels

DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report explusively on Wednesday that Iran and the Palestinian Authority held secret talks in the Belgian capital. The Iranian delegation was made up entirely of officials representing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the sources said. Continue reading

Saudi deports 40,000 Pakistani workers over terror fears

Pakistani laborers gather outside the overseas employment consultant office in Rawalpindi to apply for jobs with a construction company in Saudi Arabia. /AFP/Getty Images

 

Saudi Arabia over the past four months has deported some 40,000 Pakistani workers, many of whom were said to be linked to Islamic State (ISIS) and other terror groups. Continue reading

Exclusive: Leader of CalExit Movement Called into Question for Ties to Russia

 

Russia sends spy ship near US coast, deploys banned missiles at home, officials say

A Russian spy ship was spotted patrolling off the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday morning, the first such instance during the Trump administration — and the same day it was learned the Kremlin had secretly deployed controversial cruise missiles inside Russia, U.S. officials told Fox News.

The Russian spy ship was in international waters, 70 miles off the coast of Delaware and heading north at 10 knots, according to one official. The U.S. territory line is 12 nautical miles.

It was not immediately clear where the Russian spy ship is headed. Continue reading

Chinese weapons reaching ‘near-parity’ with West: study

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined (AFP Photo/GREG BAKER)

 

China is beginning to export its own weapon designs, including armed drones, worldwide and is reaching “near-parity” with the West in terms of military technology, according to a report on Tuesday.

The International Institute for Strategic Studies said that China’s official defence budget of $145 billion (137 billion euros) last year was 1.8 times higher than those of South Korea and Japan combined. Continue reading

Trump To Unveil “Passive-Aggressive” Currency War With China

Call it passive-aggressive currency war.

While one of Trump’s most sincere desires, both during his campaign, and ideologically from his life prior to politics, has been to publicly declare China a currency manipulator – something he promised he would do on day one of his administration – and crack down on the “undervalued” Yuan (even though over the past 18 months, China has been scrambling to prevent further devaluation of the Yuan in light of over $1 trillion in capital outflows in recent years), lately Trump appears to have gotten second thoughts, and after backing off on his intent to negotiate the “One China” policy, now Trump is looking for a way out of engaging China directly in currency war. Continue reading

Russia, Iran Supporting Taliban to ‘Undermine’ U.S. Mission in Afghanistan

Gen. John Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan / AP

 

Moscow working to ‘publicly legitimize’ Taliban

The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday that Russia and Iran are supporting the Taliban in part to undermine the U.S. and NATO mission to attain peace and stability in the nation.

Army Gen. John Nicholson told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Iran is providing the Taliban in western Afghanistan with military and logistical support. Continue reading