Report: Kerry Told Iran He Wishes ‘U.S. Had a Leader like Iran’s Supreme Leader’

Comment made during nuke talks, according to senior Iranian official

Secretary of State John Kerry told his Iranian counterpart that he wished the United States had a leader more like Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, according to comments made by a senior Iranian cleric and repeated in the country’s state-run media.

Ayatollah Alam al-Hoda claimed during Friday prayer services in Iran that in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program, Kerry told the country’s foreign minister that he “wished the U.S. had a leader like Iran’s supreme leader,” according to a Persian-language report on the remarks published by the Asriran news site. Continue reading

Iranian President: Diplomacy With U.S. is an Active ‘Jihad’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described his country’s diplomacy with the United States as an active “jihad” that is just as significant to Tehran’s advancement as the slew of new weapons and missiles showcased by the Islamic Republic’s military.

Rouhani praised the country’s military leaders for standing “against the enemy on the battlefield” and said as president, he would carry out this “jihad” on the diplomatic front. Continue reading

Obama administration approved green cards for Iran MPs

The barbarians are not at the gate. The barbarians are in the within the gates and the red carpet has been rolled out for them.

 

NICOSIA — The administration of President Barack Obama has quietly approved permanent residence status to Iranian officials and parliamentarians.

Iranian parliamentarians have reported that scores of senior Teheran regime representatives were issued documents that allowed them to live and work in the United States. They said some of the Iranians also acquired U.S. citizenship.

The letter by the parliamentarians, most linked to opponents of President Hassan Rowhani, did not identify the Iranians provided citizenship or so-called Green Cards, Middle East Newsline reported. But the Iranian media said the letter referred to Rowhani’s chief of staff, Mohammed Nahavandian, educated in the United States and said to have obtained a Green Card in 1993. Continue reading

Iran: We did not agree to dismantle anything

Iran’s foreign minister accused the US of mischaracterizing the terms of an interim nuclear deal that went into effect on Monday.

We did not agree to dismantle anything,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN in an interview on Wednesday, charging that the Obama administration had created a false impression in the language it used to describe the six-month agreement. Continue reading

Putin to visit Tehran. King of Morocco invites Iran to “Jerusalem Committee” – with Kerry’s approval

Tehran’s offensive for establishing itself as the leading Middle East power bar none is in full flight. On his arrival in Moscow Thursday, Jan. 17, Foreign Minister Javad Zerif handed Vladimir Putin an invitation to visit Tehran from President Hassan Rouhani. The Russian president replied: “I hope to visit you in Tehran very soon.” Iran also sent out invitations to Gulf rulers to tour its nuclear reactor at Bushehr,  combined with a round table discussion on regional nuclear cooperation.

This visit would be tantamount to the Arab oil emirs’ recognition of the legitimacy of Iran’s nuclear program. It is likely to come off because the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman are already in favor of rapprochement with Tehran. Continue reading

US and EU in desperate bid to save sinking nuclear accord with Iran

The European Union and Iran announced Wednesday that the talks on the technical aspects of the interim nuclear accord with the six powers – broken off in Vienna Friday Dec. 13 – would be resumed in Geneva Thursday, Dec. 19. This is a desperate attempt to enliven the dying momentum of nuclear diplomacy. Two days were assigned to this meeting, which debkafile reports it is being convened to camouflage three untoward developments:

1. Iran has repudiated the Geneva nuclear deal and now maintains that it was never a real accord. The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afgham put it this way: “There is no treaty and no pact, only a statement of intent.” Continue reading

No US, EU objections to Iran holding nuclear-capable missiles able to reach Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey

After a lecture captioned “Islamic Revolution against Global Arrogance,” which he delivered at the Imam Sadegh University in Tehran Wednesday, Dec. 11, a student asked the Revolutionary Guards commander whether any of the Western powers in Geneva had asked for Iran’s missiles to be reduced.

“We will never do this,” he replied.

Asked by another student to clarify his statement that Iranian missiles can reach Israel, Jafari replied: “We are still increasing the range of our missiles, but currently the Supreme Leader has commanded that we limit the range of our missiles to 2,000 km.” Continue reading

Iran pushes for Saudi isolation in the Gulf amid military buildup in Hormuz

Two landmark events in the Persian Gulf this week attested to Tehran’s confidence that it has escaped the threat of a military clash with the US and Israel over its nuclear program – certainly in the Persian Gulf. By the same token, Iran is no longer threatening to block the Straits of Hormuz to Gulf oil exports in reprisal for this attack.

One of those events, as noted by debkafile’s military and Gulf sources, is the rapid détente between Tehran and the United Arab Emirates. Tuesday, Dec. 10, unnamed Gulf officials announced that Iran and the UAE were close to an agreement for the return to the Emirates of three Iranian-occupied islands in the Arabian Gulf.

The other event was the conspicuous absence of Oman’s Sultan Qaboos from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit taking place in Kuwait this week. Continue reading

Four new Iranian conditions block nuclear accord in Geneva. Lavrov intercedes with Rouhani, attacks Israel

The US and Russian presidents after bringing all their weight to bear on Tehran have failed to gain an inch toward a possible deal at the resumed nuclear talks in Geneva Wednesday Nov. 20, after being blocked by hardliners at the Iranian end. Tuesday, Kayhan, the mouthpiece of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, ran an article telling Foreign Minister Javad Zarif he should not go to Geneva at all.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources reveal the red lines with which the Iranian delegation to the talks has been armed for accepting an interim deal with the six powers on their nuclear program: Continue reading

Iranian leaders urgently mull some nuclear flexibility. Rouhani tells Khamenei: The cupboard is bare!

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif asked Sunday, Nov. 10 for an urgent meeting with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the day after France aborted a nuclear accord at the Geneva conference with the six powers, debkafile’s exclusive sources report.

Before flying out of Geneva, Zarif called the president and warned him that unless Iran displayed a measure of flexibility, the negotiations with the powers would remain stalled – and badly-needed relief from sanctions stay out of reach – even at the reconvened conference on Nov. 20. Continue reading

Geneva fallout: Iran becomes a nuclear power, followed by Saudis. Israel loses trust in Obama

Israel’s most painful lesson from the two-day Geneva conference on Iran’s nuclear program is that the man who guaranteed to defend Israel’s security, President Barack Obama, is now marching hand in hand with Tehran towards a nuclear-armed Iran.

President Obama broke the news to NBC Thursday night: “There is a possibility of a phased agreement, the first part of which would stop Iran from further expanding its nuclear program. We are offering modest relief from the sanctions, but keeping the core sanctions in place, so that if it turned out during the course of the six months when we’re trying to resolve some bigger issues that they’re backing out of the deal or… not giving us assurances that they’re not developing a nuclear weapon, we can crank that dial back up,” the US president said. Continue reading