Iran Revolutionary Guards Find New Route to Arm Yemen Rebels

Member of a special force loyal to Houthi rebels holds RPG launcher / REUTERS

 

LONDON (Reuters) — Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards have started using a new route across the Gulf to funnel covert arms shipments to their Houthi allies in Yemen’s civil war, sources familiar with the matter have told Reuters.

In March, regional and Western sources told Reuters that Iran was shipping weapons and military advisers to the Houthis either directly to Yemen or via Somalia. This route however risked contact with international naval vessels on patrol in the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

For the last six months the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) has begun using waters further up the Gulf between Kuwait and Iran as it looks for new ways to beat an embargo on arms shipments to fellow Shi’ites in the Houthi movement, Western and Iranian sources say. Continue reading

U.S. Legitimizes Iranian Presence And Activity In Iraq

https://i1.wp.com/www.memri.org/image/28851.jpg

Armed Iranian and Iraqi soldiers in Iraq (Facebook.com/Iran.Military, June 27, 2016)

 

In June 28, 2016 remarks at the Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was asked whether Iran’s influence in Iraq was “more helpful or more harmful.” He replied: “Look, we have challenges with Iran as everybody knows, and we’re working on those challenges. But I can tell you that Iran in Iraq has been, in certain ways, helpful, and they clearly are focused on ISIL-Daesh, and so we have a common interest, actually.”[1]

This statement grants U.S. legitimacy to Iran’s military presence and activity on Iraqi soil, based on the claim that Iran and the U.S. have shared interests in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) and that “Iran is a helpful” element. Additionally, Kerry claims that Iran’s focus in Iraq is the war against ISIS. Continue reading

The Perils of Not Listening to Iran

  • The Iranian firing of a missile within 1500 yards of U.S. aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman in December, and the kidnapping and photographing of a U.S. Navy ship and crew (the photographs were a violation of the Geneva Convention) were test cases. Other than an apparent temper tantrum by Secretary Kerry, there was no American response. Oh, actually, there was. Mr. Kerry absolved his friend Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of responsibility.
  • The Iranians were confident that the Americans could be counted on not to collapse the whole discussion over violations along the edges. Their model was American behavior in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” The Palestinians violate agreements and understandings with impunity because they know the Administration is more firmly wedded to the process than the specific issues on the table.

Supporters of President Obama’s Iran deal (JCPOA) are starting to worry — but that is because they believed him when his lips moved. They heard “snapback sanctions” and pretended those were an actual “thing.” They are not, and never were. They heard Treasury Secretary Jack Lew say the U.S. would never allow Iran access to dollar trading because of the corruption of the Iranian banking system and Iranian support for terrorism — and they wanted to believe him. And sanctions? The administration said that sanctions related to non-nuclear Iranian behavior — support for terrorism, ballistic missile development, and more — would be retained.

Continue reading

America: AWOL in the Middle East

Is the Middle East still strategically indispensable to the world in general and to the security interests of the United States in particular? Americans no longer think so. They have grown weary of the region after controversial and often inconsequential wars in Afghanistan (2001-2015), Iraq (1990-1991; 2003-2011), Libya (2011), and now again in Iraq against ISIS—and this is to say nothing of the “peace process” that has encouraged much Palestinian violence. Americans in surveys express a general uneasiness with the region. Most do not favor the proposed Iran non-proliferation deal; most do not support the Palestinians over the Israelis; and most do not favor America’s high profile in the Middle East. They oppose both military intervention in and foreign aid to almost all the countries of the region. At the same time, they have grown tired of Muslim jihadists and their barbaric violence.

Continue reading

Iran Speeding to Nuclear Weapons Breakout

 

Recently, foreign ministers from the European Union (EU) have been holding meetings with representatives of the Arab and Muslim world, including Turkey and Qatar, with the intention of forming a “joint task force to fight Islamist terrorism.”

In some Islamic thinking, such nonsense, because of its certain lack of ever seeing the light, is merely a prologue to the ultimate war between Gog and Magog (“yagug wamagu”), and heralds the End of Days.

The Arab-Muslim world engages in perpetual internal strife. Iran, for instance, with its proxies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen, has surrounded all the oil fields in the region, and is currently busy encircling Jordan, Israel and the Palestinians. Iran not only reaches now from Afghanistan to the Mediterranean, but Iranian Shi’ites have been spreading out through Africa and South America. Another sign of the End of Days is the United States’ collaboration with Iran against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. It means the world will eventually pay for America’s looking the other way while the Iranians are building nuclear bombs in their cellars. Continue reading

Rise of the New Persian Empire

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani waves to the crowd during a rally in Tehran’s Azadi Square to mark the 36th anniversary of the Islamic revolution on February 11.(BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

How Iran is taking control of the Middle East

Under the magnanimous rule of Cyrus the Great, the Persian Empire extended from the foothills of the Himalayas to the banks of the Nile River. It was a vast conglomeration of peoples, creeds, religions and languages tied together in large part by the governing policies of King Cyrus. Cyrus believed that the empire would remain stable if its subjects were allowed to keep their own customs while still paying homage to Persia.

Today, Iran—the progeny of that dynasty—is once more vying to carve out an empire. But this kingdom is being forged and expanded in ways that bear little similarity to ancient Persia. The rising empire relies on fear, extortion, intimidation and bloodshed—conversion by the sword. The advancement of its banner across the Middle East threatens the permanency of those nations that lie in the warpath, and also threatens to plunge the international community into deeper conflict.

Continue reading

King Abdullah’s Death Fulfills ‘End-Time Prophecies,’ Say Shiites

See also: Is Iran Setting Itself Up for an Attack? (The Trumpet)

 

Some Shiite Muslims have long believed, based on Islamic prophecies, that Abdullah’s death would set off a chain of events that would destabilize Saudi Arabia and culminate in the rise of Imam Mahdi—the messianic figure of Islamic eschatology.

Though Mahdi is not explicitly mentioned in the Koran, references to him appear in the hadith, a collection of reported teachings by the Prophet Mohammed, assembled after his death.

The most populous group of Shiites—the Twelvers—say the Mahdi is the last of 12 divine imams that are heirs to an Islamic nation. Mahdi is said to have been born in the mid-9th century, but to have then disappeared from humanity. Doctrine says Mahdi will reappear in “the end times.” Continue reading

The New Map of the Middle East

 

The map you see above, and also embedded below, was the main illustration for the piece, which appeared in the January/February 2008 issue. I introduced the conceit of the story this way:

As America approaches the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, the list of the war’s unintended consequences is without end (as opposed to the list of intended consequences, which is, so far, vanishingly brief). The list includes, notably, the likelihood that the Kurds will achieve their independence and that Iraq will go the way of Gaul and be divided into three parts—but it also includes much more than that. Across the Middle East, and into south-central Asia, the intrinsically artificial qualities of several states have been brought into focus by the omnivorous American response to the attacks of 9/11; it is not just Iraq and Afghanistan that appear to be incoherent amalgamations of disparate tribes and territories. The precariousness of such states as Lebanon and Pakistan, of course, predates the invasion of Iraq. But the wars against al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and especially Saddam Hussein have made the durability of the modern Middle East state system an open question in ways that it wasn’t a mere seven years ago. Continue reading

Iran: Armageddon at hand, prepare for war

Islamic messiah Mahdi expected to return with Jesus, kill infidels

Iran is again asserting that Armageddon is at hand and that the Islamic regime’s followers, indeed all of Islam, must prepare for a monumental change in the world.

Officials of the Islamic regime last month held their annual conference on the Mahdism Doctrine to prepare for the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam, Mahdi. Continue reading

Why Iraq Is On the Precipice of Civil War

These days, no one in Iraq is safe.

Last Wednesday, a bridal party was the target. On Thursday, separate attacks brought destruction upon civilians and police officers alike.

According to the UN, in May Iraq suffered its highest rate of violent deaths in five years.

This is a country standing on the edge of an existential precipice. Continue reading

Former Hizbullah Leader Subhi Al-Tufayli: Iran Forces Hizbullah to Participate in the Syrian War

Subhi Al-Tufayli: I know for a fact that the vast majority within Hizbullah strongly oppose [joining] the Syrian war. However, a resolute decision to participate [in the war] has been imposed upon them.

Interviewer: By Iran?

Subhi Al-Tufayli: Yes.

Interviewer: Even Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah opposes this?

Subhi Al-Tufayli: I don’t want to name names, but I’m talking about the situation at hand. Everyone realizes how dangerous this is. First, of all, this is internal strife among Muslims, which will be devastating to all. This is the beginning of things to come. I say to the Shiites, to Hizbullah, and to the non-Shiites as well: We are heading towards a horrific war, which will destroy everything. The fatalities will be numbered by the millions. Continue reading

Iran official: ‘Big war’ means Mahdi’s coming

Military leader ties ‘last messiah’ to regime’s preparations for conflict

For the first time, Iran’s highest-ranking military official has tied the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah to the regime being prepared to go to a war based on ideology.

With having the treasure of the Holy Defense, Valayat (Guardianship of the Jurist) and martyrs, we are ready for a big war,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to Mashregh news, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards.

 “Of course this confrontation has always continued; however, since we are in the era of The Coming, this war will be a significant war.

Shi’ites believe that at the end of time great wars will take place, and Imam Mahdi, the Shi’ites’ 12th imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

Vahidi became the Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer after the 1979 Islamic revolution and later was promoted to chief commander of the Quds Forces. He is on the Interpol most-wanted list for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Speaking at a mosque in remembrance of the martyrs who died in service to Iran, Vahidi stated that, “The Islamic republic is going to create a new environment on the world stage, and without a doubt victory awaits those who continue the path of martyrs. … we can defeat the enemy at its home and our nation is ready for jihad. Martyrdom has taught us to avoid wrong paths and return to the right path. Martyrdom is the right path, it’s the path to God.

…Meanwhile, a Revolutionary Guards report quoting the head of the Guards’ public relations, Ramezan Sharif, revealed that Iran has military assets in several countries.

…In a report Thursday in the Washington Times, Kevin L. Perkins, deputy director of the FBI, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency considered Iran’s assets a “serious threat.”

“Quds Forces, Hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capability and the willingness to extend beyond that (Middle East) region of the world and likely here into the homeland itself,” he testified.

Full article: Iran official: ‘Big war’ means Mahdi’s coming (WND)

Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes?

These links [1, 2] discuss the probability that Saudi Arabia may soon be taking delivery of Pakistani nuclear warheads to put in the Saudi military inventory, making Saudi Arabia an instant nuclear power. I have addressed this possibility in previous posts, but it looks like this may become a reality very soon. Obviously, Saudi Arabia wants the ability to become a nuclear power immediately if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Since Saudi Arabia reportedly financed much of the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, the Saudis likely have a right to obtain a certain number of the Pakistani warheads for themselves when the situation warrants.

There are those who doubt that this arrangement exists, but the reported fact that “at least two giant Saudi transport planes…are parked permanently at Kamra [Pakistan’s nuclear air base]” gives strong credibility to the report that the Saudis are ready to receive an unknown number of Pakistani nuclear weapons at a moment’s notice if Iran’s nuclear program indicates it has reached the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Why else would Saudi transport planes be parked regularly at Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-equipped airbase? At the very least, the Saudis want to have as many nukes as Iran. It is also not impossible that Saudi Arabia so fears a nuclear-armed Iran that it would take delivery of the Pakistani nukes to perform a pre-emptive strike on the Iranian bomb facilities. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca of Medina and sees itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic peoples. Iran is the leader of the Shiite Islamic people.

This report indicates that it is not only the Israelis and Americans that might be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia has no intention of ever being dominated by the Shiite Persians. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both Sunni Islamic nations.

Finally, remember the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has historically been a truism in Mideast politics. Iran is the growing enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian nuclear program is pushing the Israelis and Saudis together as friends of necessity in this matter…whether they expected this to happen or not.

Full article: Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes? (Steven Mcollins)