Leader: ‘Iran has no other option but to retaliate’
Top Iranian leaders have instructed the country’s atomic energy organization to prepare for the reopening of multiple nuclear sites that had been shuttered as part of last summer’s nuclear agreement.
Ali Larijani, the leader of Iran’s parliament, requested this week that the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization prepare a plan to reopen nuclear enrichment facilitates that had been shutdown as part of the effort to limit Tehran’s research into nuclear weapons technology, according to comments carried in Iran’s state-controlled media. Continue reading
In two speeches in as many weeks – one on March 30, 2016 marking a Shi’ite religious holiday and the other on March 20, marking Norooz, the Persian New Year – Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei focused on attacking his main political rivals – Iranian President Hassan Rohani, and Expediency Council chairman Hashemi Rafsanjani, the leaders of the Iranian pragmatic camp.
Khamenei’s Holiday Address, March 30
In his March 30 address, Khamenei called his old foe Rafsanjani “a traitor” for his March 24 tweet stating that “the world of tomorrow is a world of talks, and not of missiles.” Khamenei said that Iran cannot give up its missile capabilities, and termed this call to do so a plot by the Western enemy, headed by the U.S., which seeks to destroy Iran’s Islamic regime. Khamenei’s statements were along the same lines as his criticism of Rafsanjani prior to the February 26, 2016 Majlis and Assembly of Experts elections, i.e. that Rafsanjani was trying to sell the U.S. to Iran. Continue reading
In an October 30, 2015 interview with the Tasnim news agency, which is affiliated with the IRGC, Hossein Sheikholislam, an advisor to Iranian Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani, who is close to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Tehran would continue defending the Assad regime. He stressed that Iran is coming to the Vienna talks about Syria as the “victorious” party, and that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will conduct himself in a manner “befitting the blood [shed by] the Iranian martyrs in Syria.” Sheikholislam added that Iran is not negotiating with the U.S. on Syria (in line with Khamenei’s orders), and that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, which are the defeated parties, are not qualified to participate in negotiations about Syria’s future because they are the chief supporters of the terrorism there. Continue reading
In short, what Iran is seemingly looking to do is be able to up the production capability to where it can build nuclear weapons within two weeks. A two week time period would be too short of a period of time for most nations to react, especially as nations today are forming ‘coalitions’ in order to mitigate political backlash. Throw in the usual stalling/delay tactics as well as Russia and China blocking all efforts in the UN, combined with a United States that is slowly bringing resources to the Asian “pivot” and we might have a perfect recipe for disaster. Once again, Israel will find itself mostly alone with its back against the wall and left no choice but to strike preemptively or in reaction to an attack — neither make a difference now.
Iran’s utilization of advanced IR-2m centrifuges for enriching uranium, in violation of the interim Geneva accord, was presented by the US and the five powers Wednesday, Jan. 8, as the main difficulty in its implementation. This claim allowed the follow-up meeting to take place in Geneva on Thursday, Jan. 9.DEBKAfile’s Iranian and intelligence sources report that this was a lame excuse to account for the real situation, which is that Iran has not even started implementing any part of the Geneva accord it signed last November 24. The follow-up talks this week are not expected to break out of this impasse, any more than the first round did on Dec. 19-20.
This is because the obstacles are far from technical; they arise from Iranian domestic politics. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has fenced in President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif with hard-line objectors to the tactics employed till now by the Iranian team, led by Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi. In future, negotiators will be required to refer all the conclusions reached with the powers to the policy-making levels in Tehran for approval and abide by their guidelines. Continue reading