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

The Rotten Heart of the United States Navy

Caption: Donald Trump speaks aboard the World War II Battleship USS Iowa. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

 

The United States Navy is the most dominant military force in world history. Its firepower compared to rival fleets makes it unchallengeable. However, that power is eroding.

In response, President Donald Trump has vowed to implement the biggest shipbuilding strategy since Ronald Reagan. The president cited that the U.S. Navy is its smallest since World War I and needs rapid expansion to avoid collapse. With China, Russia and Iran challenging U.S. naval hegemony, it seems like an appropriate response. Indeed, the U.S. Navy has been losing its edge technologically and numerically since the end of the Cold War. However, that is not the most dangerous threat it faces.

The U.S. Navy has a crisis in character. If not solved, it will completely neutralize one of the greatest forces for good in the world. Continue reading

U.S. Says It Won’t ‘Take’ Iraq’s Oil As Russia Expands Influence

Oil Engineer

 

Less than a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis contradicted Trump’s oft-repeated maxim that we should have taken Iraq’s oil, Russia has moved to expand its footprint in the region with a new oil deal in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Russian state-owned Rosneft PJSC has announced that not only will it purchase Kurdish crude until 2019, but it is also studying exploration and production opportunities there. The deal was announced at the same time that Russia moved to expand its footprint in Libya in a second deal designed to gain more control in the Middle East. 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

The Vatican’s Relations with Islam

Pope Francis washes and kisses the feet of a group of refugees in Rome, in March 2016. (Image source: CatholicTV Network video screenshot)

 

  • “They are driving us out of the Middle East,” declared Pope Francis on returning from Turkey.
  • “[I]t would be beautiful if all Islamic leaders, whether they are political, religious or academic leaders, would speak out clearly and condemn this because this would help the majority of Muslim people.” — Pope Francis, counseling Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  • While this welcoming stance is in keeping with the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic faith, the Pope as the “Good Shepherd” has an obligation to protect his flock from the militants among the refugees.
  • Within the Catholic Church, there also exists a sub-dominant counter-melody that warns about Islamic hostility to the values of Judeo-Christian civilization.
  • Cardinal Sarah targets what he refers to as “Islam’s pseudo-family values which legitimize polygamy, female subservience, sexual slavery, and child marriage.”
  • At some point, the Catholic Church might raise the issue of persecution of Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries at international fora such as the United Nations. The Church also could publicly ask Muslims of good will to express their solidarity with the persecuted and request international organizations to intervene to protect Christians.
  • Given the centuries of hostility between Christendom and dar-al-Islam (the World of Islam), the Vatican’s caution may be understandable, but is ill-advised and no longer tenable.

Perhaps, in the light of the harm dhimmitude can do to both civic life and faith, the Catholic Church might re-assess its stance toward Islam from one of friendly engagement to cautionary disengagement. As radical jihadists continue to martyr Christians throughout the world, such a re-evaluation of Islam by the Vatican seems appropriate. Continue reading

U.S. Pilots Confirm: Obama Admin Blocks 75 Percent of Islamic State Strikes

What we’ve known all along from previous posts…

ISIS was hit in token strikes.

ISIS could’ve been wiped out years ago.

…is now confirmed via military pilots.

 

‘We can’t get clearance even when we have a clear target in front of us’

U.S. military pilots who have returned from the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq are confirming that they were blocked from dropping 75 percent of their ordnance on terror targets because they could not get clearance to launch a strike, according to a leading member of Congress.

Strikes against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) targets are often blocked due to an Obama administration policy to prevent civilian deaths and collateral damage, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. 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

Opening Salvos of Coup Against Trump

All three of these former U.S. Presidents and military veterans saw the danger and warned America. We must wake up, revisit our nation’s history and win our republic back.

 

U.S. Intelligence Services continue to undermine the democratically elected president they are pledged to serve.

Rogue elements of the U.S. intelligence services are waging a clandestine war against the very president they are pledged to serve, in a blatant effort to refute the will of the American people and continue the disastrous policies of the Obama administration. This organized act of treason is abhorrent and should both frighten and enrage the American people. We are witnessing an out of control group of unknown conspirators, utilizing the vast resources of the nation’s intelligence apparatus, much of it incompatible with the proper functioning of a free society, to undermine and overthrow the highest members of the executive branch. 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

Former Obama Officials, Loyalists Waged Secret Campaign to Oust Flynn

Michael Flynn / AP

Sources: Former Obama officials, loyalists planted series of stories to discredit Flynn, bolster Iran deal

The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media. Continue reading