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FBI, DOJ To Defy Trump Order; Redactions Planned As Top ‘Deep State’ Dems Demand Insubordination

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 09/19/2018

Despite President Trump’s Monday order for the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials related to the Russia investigation, “without redaction,” the agencies involved are planning to do so anyway, according to Bloomberg, citing three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter. –Bloomberg

Trump ordered the DOJ to release the text messages of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

Also ordered released are specific pages from the FBI’s FISA surveillance warrant application on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, as well as interviews with Ohr.

The DOJ and the FBI are expected to submit proposed redactions to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence – which will prepare a package for Trump to sign off on.

“When the president issues such an order, it triggers a declassification review process that is conducted by various agencies within the intelligence community, in conjunction with the White House counsel, to seek to ensure the safety of America’s national security interests,” a Justice Department spokesman said in a statement. “The department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the president’s order.”

The agencies are likely to cite national security concerns over revealing classified “sources and methods” pertaining to the Russia investigation – which will put them in direct conflict with Trump’s order. Trump, as president, has the power to override the agencies and declassify material on his own.

Trump’s order to release the documents comes after months of requests from GOP lawmakers, while the DOJ has repeatedly denied their requests for more transparency.

The FBI’s spy…

According to Bloomberg, the DOJ is interpreting Trump’s request to include information about the use of confidential informant (spy) Stephan Halper during the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation. After taking in over $400,000 from the Obama Pentagon under the auspices of a research contract, Halper befriended and spied on members of the Trump campaign, including aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Showdown?

Top Congressional Democrats Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Adam Schiff and Mark Warner penned a joint letter to ODNI Director Dan Coates, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray demanding that the agencies defy President Trump.

In the letter, the lawmakers “express profound alarm” at the decision to “intervene in an ongoing law enforcement investigation that may implicate the President himself or those around him.”

“Any decision by your offices to share this material with the President or his lawyers will violate longstanding Department of Justice polices, as well as assurances you have provided to us.”

The letter then demands that the agencies brief the Gang of Eight before releasing the materials “to anyone at the White House.”

In short, prepare for fireworks

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/388985966/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-2N4JgANZHX1A9u2s8hFJ

September 19, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 3 Comments

Serial numbers of missile that downed MH17 show it was produced in 1986, owned by Ukraine – Russia

RT | September 17, 2018

The serial numbers found on debris of the Buk missile which downed Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine show it was produced in 1986, the Russian military said. The projectile was owned by Ukraine, they added.

There are two serial numbers found on fragments of the missile, which shot down the passenger airliner in June 2014 according to an international team of investigators led by the Netherlands. The numbers were marked on the engine and the nozzle of the missile.

The Russian military on Monday said they had traced them to a missile which had the producer serial number 8868720.

Speaking to journalists, Gen. Nikolay Parshin showed a document trail of the Buk missile. According to the documents, some of which have been declassified for the presentation, it was produced at a military plant in Dolgoprudny in the Moscow region in 1986.

The missile was shipped from the plant on December 29, 1986 and delivered to military unit 20152 located in what is now Ukraine. It is now called 223rd anti-aircraft defense regiment of the Ukrainian armed forces, the report said. The unit took part in Kiev’s crackdown on rebels in eastern Ukraine in June 2014, the general said.

The evidence disproves the accusations by Ukraine and some other parties, which claim that a missile fired by a launcher, secretly delivered from Russia, was responsible for the downing of MH17, the Ministry of Defense report said. All the materials have been sent to the Dutch investigators, the Russian military added.

The Russian military also challenges video footage used by the UK-based group Bellingcat, which calls itself a citizen journalism organization, to back its allegations about the delivery of the Buk launcher from Russia. The Defense Ministry showed a video clip with some of the footage, highlighting inconsistencies, which it said proved that the footage had been manipulated to place images of the launcher into background which were not in the original.

The Bellingcat investigation was featured in the latest update by Dutch prosecutors involved in the MH17 investigation, prompting them to directly accuse Russia of providing the launcher and the missile. The Russian military said it decided after this to study the purported trail of photo and video evidence showing the path of the launcher in detail. The Russian video showed an example of how an Abrams tank can be shown to be carried by a trailer in the streets of Ukraine in the same way.

The third part of the presentation was what the Russian officials called a record of intercepted communications of Ukrainian officials discussing, in 2016, the risk of flying through restricted airspace over Ukraine. Among a barrage of complaints one phrase says unless the restrictions are respected “we’ll f***ing f**k up another Malaysian Boeing”.

The Russian military say the complaints came from Col. Ruslan Grinchak, who serves in a brigade responsible for radar control in Ukrainian airspace. His unit tracked the MH17 flight in 2014, so he may have information which is not publicly available about the disaster, and his outburst may have been factual rather than hyperbolic, they suggested.

Gen. Igor Konashenkov, who hosted the briefing, said that Ukraine failed to provide radar data from its stations to the Dutch investigators. He also suggested that archive documents from the Ukrainian unit, which received the Buk missile back in 1986, would be of use to the probe, unless Kiev claims that they are no longer available. He stressed rules are in place which mean that such documents should still be stored in Ukraine.

The Russian military said they had no evidence to disprove a scenario, involving the Ukrainian rebels capturing the missile from the Ukrainian army, but pointed out that Ukrainian officials publicly denied anything like this had ever happened.

Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, falling in the rebel-held part of the country. The crash claimed the lives of 283 passengers and 15 crew members, most of them Dutch nationals. Russia was blamed by Western media in the first days after the tragedy, even before any evidence had been collected on the ground.

The Joint Investigation Team, which is lead by the Netherlands, includes Ukraine, but not Russia. Moscow believes that the investigation is biased, failing to obtain all necessary evidence from Ukraine and relying on questionable sources while ignoring evidence provided by Russia, which doesn’t fit the theory favored by Kiev. For instance, Moscow said a theory was never tested that the airliner could have been downed by a fighter jet spotted by Russian radar stations near flight MH17. The theory was later proven false by the discovery of debris from the Buk rocket.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Anarchist group attacks Iranian Embassy in Greece

Press TV – September 17, 2018

Members of an anarchist group in Greece have reportedly attacked the Iranian Embassy building in the capital Athens with bottles of paint.

Some 10 members of the anarchist group Rouvikonas riding motorbikes hurled the bottles at the outer walls of the Iranian Embassy at 6 a.m. local time (0300 GMT) on Monday, the Greek Reporter online news portal said.

They fled afterwards.

The Greek Reporter said no arrests had been made. And it was not clear if the Iranian ambassador and other diplomatic personnel had already arrived at the perimeters for the daily work.

Iranian officials are also yet to confirm the attack.

The group has on several occasions attacked official and government buildings in Greece with paint, including the building of the Greek Foreign Ministry in July.

On Friday, the Iranian Embassy in France was attacked by supporters of a terrorist group calling itself the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, which is based in northern Iraq.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had earlier, on September 9, fired missiles at the terrorist group’s headquarters in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.

The IRGC said the missile strikes were in response to recent terrorist activities along the Iranian border with Iraq and came after terrorist ringleaders ignored serious warnings by officials from the Iraqi Kurdistan region about the Islamic Republic’s determination to dismantle their bases and the need to end their activities against Iran.

Following the violation of the Iranian diplomatic perimeters in Paris, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that French police’s response to the incident had been slow and that Iran was studying the matter.

Rouvikonas, the anarchist group involved in the Monday raid against the Iranian Embassy in Athens, also said later in a post on Facebook that the attack had been in response to “Iran’s brutal repression of the Kurds,” according to the Greek Reporter.

September 17, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 3 Comments

Despite US Opposition, Joint Liaison Office Opens On Shared Korean Border

By Tyler Durden – Zero Hedge – 09/15/2018

On Friday an unprecedented development occurred that could put the Korean peninsula on a permanent trajectory of stability should talks between the North and South continue their positive direction, and which signals an intensification of diplomacy between the two.

South Korea has opened a new liaison office in the North Korean city of Gaeseong (or alternately Kaesong), which is to allow for 24-hour communication between the two sides for first time since war. The office is located inside an industrial park and Gaeseong is just inside the North’s side of the border.

It’s being described as allowing “around-the-clock” communication between rival officials on either side the military demarcation line, and could avoid the potential for future misunderstandings or provocations, and further comes amidst a parallel diplomatic push by the United States and its allies for complete North Korean denuclearization.

When the proposal was being finalized this summer, however, the US was opposed to the plan, with the State Department last month saying progress between the two Koreas must occur “in lockstep” with talks on the north’s denuclearization.

According to Bloomberg:

The Aug. 20 announcement of the office’s establishment had raised concerns in the U.S. about whether it would violate sanctions meant to penalize Pyongyang over its nuclear arsenal. But on Thursday, the United Nations Command said it had approved South Korean vehicles and personnel to cross the border into North Korea and begin constructing a communications center at the Gaeseong complex.

Meanwhile the United Nations welcomed the development, with UNC commander Vincent Brooks saying in a statement that communication between two sides is “a way to prevent incidents or crises.”

About 50 South Korean officials crossed into the North to attend the opening ceremony, where South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told ceremony attendees, “A new chapter in history is starting here today,” and added, “It is a symbol of peace made jointly by South and North Korea.”

The two sides agreed to open the office during the prior historic April summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the two again set to meet in Pyongyang next week. And meanwhile the White House is reportedly working toward plans for another meeting between President Trump and the North Korean leader.

But even though outlets like the New York Times reported the joint liaison’s office as a positive step in relations, much of the reporting this week has failed to recall that Washington firmly opposed it.

September 15, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

State Department Slams Announcement of Donbass Elections Slated for November 11

Sputnik – 13.09.2018

WASHINGTON – The United States is condemning the elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) scheduled for November 11, US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said Wednesday.

“The United States condemns the announcement of a plan to conduct ‘elections’ in the so-called ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.’ Given the continued control of these territories by the Russian Federation, genuine elections are inconceivable, and grossly contravene Russia’s commitments under the Minsk agreements. By engineering phony procedures, Russia is once more demonstrating its disregard for international norms and is undermining efforts to achieve peace in eastern Ukraine. The so-called ‘people’s republics’ that Russia created have no place within the Ukrainian constitutional order,” Nauert said.

She pointed out that the United States remained fully committed to diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the conflict in eastern Ukraine. “US support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains unwavering,” Nauert added.

The conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass started in 2014, when Ukrainian authorities launched a military operation against the DPR and LPR that refused to recognize the new government in Kiev, which came to power after what they considered to be a coup. In February 2015, the warring parties signed the Minsk peace accords to end the fighting in the region, but the situation remained tense, with both parties accusing each other of ceasefire violations.

Last week, the DPR Operational Command’s deputy chief Eduard Basurin called on Kiev to to give up attempts to exacerbate the conflict. According to the official, the Ukrainian forces have deployed about 100 pieces of heavy weaponry near Kiev-controlled Novosilka settlement in Donbas, including 18 units of Grad and 12 units of Uragan multiple rocket launcher systems.

The DPR comand has said that Ukraine had already deployed over 12,000 troops to launch an offensive against the DPR forces in the direction of the city of Mariupol following the assassination of the republic’s leader, Alexander Zakharchenko. According to the command, the offensive is scheduled for September 14.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said that the Western countries were responsible for the 2014 overthrown of then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which triggered the military conflict in the country.

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

UK claims men in RT interview were GRU intelligence agents despite their denial

RT | September 13, 2018

The UK Foreign Office doubled down on their claim that Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are officers in Russian military intelligence, after the pair professed their innocence during an interview with RT.

The pair had said they had been wrongly accused by the UK of attempted murder of ex-Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, and his daughter Yulia, in Salisbury in March, stating they were in the city for tourism.

Following the interview’s broadcast, UK government spokesperson told RT: “The Police and Crown Prosecution Service have identified these men as the prime suspects in relation to the attack in Salisbury.

“The Government is clear these men are officers of the Russian military intelligence service – the GRU – who used a devastatingly toxic, illegal chemical weapon on the streets of our country.

“We have repeatedly asked Russia to account for what happened in Salisbury in March. Today – just as we have seen throughout – they have responded with obfuscation and lies.”

Speaking to reporters, Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesperson labelled the interview “an insult to the public’s intelligence” and “deeply offensive.”

The Foreign Office’s claim was backed up by John Glen MP, the lawmaker whose constituency includes Salisbury.

Despite the UK’s claims, many questions remain over the pair’s guilt.

Analysts told RT that the men either wanted to be noticed on purpose or were just two ridiculously clumsy “agents,” as the surveillance cameras captured a large proportion of their movements around Salisbury.

Speaking to RT, Charles Shoebridge, a former British military officer, stressed that it’s very strange for well-trained Russian intelligence specialists to leave such a “reckless and clear trail of evidence” that would lead the investigation directly to Russia.

Annie Machon, a former MI5 intelligence officer, said she doubts Moscow’s alleged motive, noting that pieces of evidence presented to the public will never be “tried forensically in court,” adding that there are some “big holes” in the chain of evidence.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies the two men are military intelligence officers in the GRU, insisting they are civilians and there is nothing criminal about them.

Following the British allegations, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated: “Neither Russia’s top leadership nor those with lower ranks, and [Russian] officials, have had anything to do with the events in Salisbury.”

Read the FULL TRANSCRIPT of RT editor-in-chief’s exclusive interview with Skripal case suspects Petrov & Boshirov:

MARGARITA SIMONYAN: You called my cell phone, saying that you were Ruslan Boshirov and Aleksandr Petrov. You’re Aleksandr Petrov, and you’re Ruslan Boshirov. You look like the people from the pictures and videos from the UK. So who are you in reality?

ALEXANDER PETROV: We are the people you saw.

RUSLAN BOSHIROV: I’m Ruslan Boshirov.

PETROV: And I’m Alexander Petrov.

SIMONYAN: These are your real names?

BOSHIROV: Yes, they are our real names.

SIMONYAN: But even now, frankly, you look very tense.

PETROV: What would you look like if you were in our shoes?

BOSHIROV: When your whole life is turned upside down all of a sudden, overnight, and torn down.

SIMONYAN: The guys we all saw in those videos from London and Salisbury, wearing those jackets and trainers, it’s you?

PETROV: Yes, it’s us.

SIMONYAN: What were you doing there?

PETROV: Our friends have been suggesting for quite a long time that we visit this wonderful city.

SIMONYAN: Salisbury? A wonderful city?

PETROV:  Yes.

SIMONYAN: What makes it so wonderful?

BOSHIROV:  It’s a tourist city. They have a famous cathedral there, Salisbury Cathedral. It’s famous throughout Europe and, in fact, throughout the world, I think. It’s famous for its 123-meter spire. It’s famous for its clock. It’s one of the oldest working clocks in the world.

SIMONYAN: So, you travelled to Salisbury to see the clock?

PETROV: No, initially we planned to go to London and have some fun there. This time, it wasn’t a business trip. Our plan was to spend some time in London and then to visit Salisbury. Of course, we wanted to do it all in one day. But when we got there, our plane couldn’t land on its first approach. That’s because of all the havoc they had with transport in the UK on March 2 and 3. There was heavy snowfall, nearly all the cities were paralyzed. We were unable to go anywhere.

BOSHIROV: It was in all the news. Railroads didn’t work on March 2 and 3. Motorways were closed. Police cars and ambulances blocked off highways. There was no traffic at all – no trains, nothing. Why is it that nobody talks about any of this?

SIMONYAN: Can you give a time line? Minute-by-minute, or at least hour-by-hour, or as much as you can remember. You arrived in the UK – like you said, to have some fun and to see the cathedral, to see some clock in Salisbury. Can you tell us what you did in the UK? You spent two days there, right?

PETROV: Actually, three.

SIMONYAN: OK, three. What did you do for those three days?

PETROV: We arrived on March 2. We went to the train station to check the schedule, to see where we could go.

BOSHIROV: The initial plan was to go there for a day. Just take a look and return the same day.

PETROV: To Salisbury, that is. One day in Salisbury is enough. There’s not much you can do there.

BOSHIROV: It’s a regular city. A regular tourist city.

SIMONYAN: OK, I get that. That was your plan. But what did you actually do? You arrived. There was heavy snowfall. No trains, nothing. So, what did you do?

PETROV: No, we arrived in Salisbury on March 3. We wanted to walk around the city but since the whole city was covered with snow, we spent only 30 minutes there. We were all wet.

BOSHIROV: There are no pictures. The media, television – nobody talks about the fact that the transport system was paralyzed that day. It was impossible to get anywhere because of the snow. We were drenched up to our knees.

SIMONYAN: All right. You went for a walk for 30 minutes, you got wet. What next?

PETROV: We travelled there to see Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But it didn’t work out because of the slush. The whole city was covered with slush. We got wet, so we went back to the train station and took the first train to go back. We spent about 40 minutes in a coffee shop at the train station.

BOSHIROV: Drinking coffee. A hot drink because we were drenched.

PETROV: Maybe a little over an hour. That’s because of large intervals between trains. I think this was because of the snowfall. We went back to London and continued with our journey.

BOSHIROV: We walked around London…

SIMONYAN: So, you only spent an hour in Salisbury?

PETROV: On March 3? Yes. That’s because it was impossible to get anywhere.

SIMONYAN: What about the next day?

PETROV: On March 4, we went back there, because the snow melted in London, it was warm.

BOSHIROV: It was sunny.

PETROV: And we thought – we really wanted to see Old Sarum and the cathedral. So we decided to give it another try on March 4.

SIMONYAN: Another try to do what?

PETROV: To go sightseeing.

BOSHIROV: To see this famous cathedral. To visit Old Sarum.

SIMONYAN: So, did you see it?

BOSHIROV: Yes, we did.

PETROV: On March 4, we did. But again, by lunchtime, there was heavy sleet.

BOSHIROV: For some reason, nobody talks about this.

PETROV: So we left early.

SIMONYAN: Is it beautiful?

BOSHIROV: The cathedral is very beautiful. There are lots of tourists, lots of Russian tourists, lots of Russian-speaking tourists.

PETROV: By the way, they should have a lot of pictures from the cathedral.

SIMONYAN: Your pictures, you mean?

PETROV: They should show them.

SIMONYAN: I assume you took some pictures while at the cathedral?

PETROV: Of course.

BOSHIROV: Sure, we did. We went to a park, we had some coffee. We went to a coffee shop. We walked around, enjoying those beautiful English Gothic buildings.

PETROV: For some reason, they don’t show this. They only show how we went to the train station.

SIMONYAN: If you give us your pictures, we can show them. So, while you were in Salisbury, did you go anywhere near the Skripals home?

PETROV: Maybe. We don’t know.

BOSHIROV: What about you? Do you know where their house is?

SIMONYAN: I don’t. Do you?

BOSHIROV: We don’t either.

PETROV: I wish somebody told us where it was.

BOSHIROV: Maybe we passed it, or maybe we didn’t. I’d never heard about them before this nightmare started. I’d never heard this name before. I didn’t know anything about them.

SIMONYAN: When you arrived in the UK, when you were in London or in Salisbury, throughout your whole trip, did you have any Novichok or some other poisonous agent or dangerous substance with you?

BOSHIROV: No.

PETROV: It’s absurd.

SIMONYAN: Did you have that bottle of Nina Ricci perfume which the UK presents as evidence of your alleged crime?

BOSHIROV: Don’t you think that it’s kind of stupid for two straight men to be carrying perfume for ladies? When you go through customs, they check all your belongings. So, if we had anything suspicious, they would definitely have questions. Why would a man have women’s perfume in his bag?

PETROV: Even an ordinary person would have questions. Why would a man need perfume for women?

SIMONYAN: How would it be possible for someone to find any perfume bottle on you?

BOSHIROV: I mean, when you go through customs…

SIMONYAN: Long story short, did you have that Nina Ricci bottle or not?

BOSHIROV: No.

PETROV: No, of course not.

SIMONYAN: Speaking of you being straight men, all the footage features you two together. You spent time together, you stayed together, you went for a walk together. What do you have in common that you spend so much time together?

BOSHIROV: You know, let’s not breach anyone’s privacy. We came to you for protection, but this is turning into some kind of an interrogation. You are going too far. We came to you for protection. You’re not interrogating us.

SIMONYAN: We are journalists, we don’t protect. We aren’t lawyers. In fact, this was my next question. Why did you decide to go to the media? Your photos were published some time ago together with your names, but you kept silent. But then today you called me, because you want to speak to the media. What’s changed?

BOSHIROV: To ask for protection.

PETROV: You say we kept silent. After, our lives turned into a nightmare, we didn’t know what to do, where to go. The police?  The Investigative Committee? The UK embassy?

BOSHIROV: Or the FSB. We don’t know.

SIMONYAN: Why would you go to the UK embassy?

PETROV: We really didn’t know what to do. Where to go? Hello?

BOSHIROV: You know, when your life is turned upside down, you don’t really understand what to do and where to go. And many say, why don’t they go to the UK embassy and explain everything?

SIMONYAN: And you know what they are saying about you, right?

PETROV: Of course we do.

BOSHIROV: Yes, of course. We can’t go out on the street because we are scared. We’re afraid.

SIMONYAN: What are you afraid of?

BOSHIROV: We fear for our lives. And for the lives of our families and friends.

SIMONYAN: So, you fear that the UK secret service will kill you or what?

BOSHIROV: We just don’t know.

PETROV: Simply read what even the Russian media is writing. They are offering a reward.

SIMONYAN: What do you mean? There’s a bounty on your head?

BOSHIROV: Dmitry Gudkov, if I am not mistaken, promised a trip to the UK for anybody who brings us to him. Do you think that’s okay? And you think we can feel just fine, walking around smiling, talking to people? Any sensible person would be afraid.

SIMONYAN: Why did you call me of all people? Why did you contact RT?

BOSHIROV: We were reading the news today, your Telegram channel.

SIMONYAN: Now I know people read it. 

PETROV: You said it yourself. I don’t know whether I can mention this on air.

SIMONYAN: Just say it. If it’s something we can’t say, we’ll take it out.

PETROV: “Let’s go bastards,” you wrote.

SIMONYAN: Oh, that. I wrote, “Go to the back of the line, you bastards,” [meaning other media]. [This is a quote from Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel Heart of a Dog.]

BOSHIROV: Yes. So, after we saw that, we decided to call you.

SIMONYAN: Vladimir Putin appealed to you today, saying that they have identified you and that you should contact the media. If it hadn’t been for Putin, would you have contacted us? 

PETROV: Margarita, you know, probably we would’ve recorded a video and put it on the Web.

SIMONYAN: You would’ve recorded a video and posted it?

PETROV: We don’t have any experience with the media. It would’ve been easier for us to lay it all out online.

BOSHIROV: To ask for protection, for help.

PETROV: Today, we haven’t watched it live, but I heard it on the radio and suggested that we do it.

BOSHIROV: Yes, it gave us an impulse.

PETROV: And so we called you.

SIMONYAN: Do you work for the GRU?

PETROV: And you, do you?

SIMONYAN: Me? No, I don’t, and you?

PETROV: I don’t.

BOSHIROV: Me neither.

SIMONYAN: Well, no one accuses me of working for the GRU, right? It’s different with you two.

BOSHIROV: And these are your colleagues who accuse us.

SIMONYAN: By my colleagues, you mean journalists, right? You are being accused by British law enforcement. They say you work for the GRU.

PETROV: This is the worst.

SIMONYAN: What do you do then? You’re two adults, you must be working somewhere. 

PETROV: We are businessmen. We have a medium-sized business.

SIMONYAN: What does that mean?

PETROV: If we tell you about our business…

BOSHIROV: …This will affect the people we work with. We don’t want this to happen.

SIMONYAN: Tell us at least something. Do you want people to believe you or not? For many months, they’ve been trying to make people believe in the opposite of what you say. Some believe you, some don’t. If you say you don’t work for the GRU but you refuse to talk about your business, I have questions, and our audience will have questions too…if you are not GRU, not spies, never poisoned anyone, and you went there simply as tourists. So, what is it you do?

PETROV: Very briefly, we work in the fitness industry. Supplements for athletes, vitamins, minerals, proteins, gainers, and others. If we give you any further details, this may affect our partners and people we know.

SIMONYAN: You are sweating, let me turn on the AC.

BOSHIROV: Yes, thanks.

PETROV: It’s hot.

SIMONYAN: So, you are in the fitness industry. So, do you consult with people in Europe who want to build muscle?

PETROV: Yes.

SIMONYAN: So, what you do in Europe is advise those who want to get bigger biceps or what?

PETROV: Why in Europe?

SIMONYAN: Well, this is going to be my next question, but first I would like you to answer this one.

PETROV: I advise them here [not in Europe].

SIMONYAN: Here?

PETROV: Right. Actually, advice on how to build up your biceps is not as trendy now – body shaping is… so-called “drying out”  (dehydration),  living healthy and eating proper.

BOSHIROV: Eating properly, healthy lifestyle…

SIMONYAN: So, you help your clients to achieve a beautiful body or work in fitness clubs… You are a coach then.

PETROV: Pretty much yes.

BOSHIROV: We wouldn’t like to go public on this or provide further details about our work and all that. I just don’t want this story to affect our clients, people we work with. I don’t wish to elaborate.

SIMONYAN: Okay. The British say that you have made a lot – if not dozens – of visits to Europe in the last couple of years, Switzerland being named as your primary destination. What business could you have there as fitness coaches and physical trainers?

BOSHIROV: The British say all kinds of things…

SIMONYAN: So you didn’t go to Europe?

BOSHIROV: The hotel room that they show and say we stayed in has a bed for one person only. Meanwhile, right next to it there are double and triple rooms. And it is perfectly normal for tourists to stay together in a double room. It saves money and it’s practical. It’s more fun that way and it’s also easier. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this.

SIMONYAN: There is no need to make any excuses here. Frankly, the world couldn’t care less about that. So, have you been to Europe in the last couple of years?

BOSHIROV: Sure.

PETROV: Yes. Mostly on business trips.

SIMONYAN: Which took you mostly to Switzerland?

PETROV: Yes, and once again…

SIMONYAN: So it’s true?

PETROV: No, not mostly to Switzerland…

BOSHIROV: They exaggerate this… the number…

PETROV: If memory serves me well, we had just a couple of trips to Switzerland. We spent some time during the New Year holidays there.

SIMONYAN: But what were you doing there? What does it have to do with your business? I know you don’t want to expose your clients, but what does your business have to do with Switzerland?

PETROV: Our trips are not always business-related. We went to Switzerland on holiday. We did have some business trips there as well, but I can’t really remember when it was…

BOSHIROV: It’s perfectly normal to go to Geneva. It’s the shortest route to Montblanc. You can go to France – it’s just a few kilometres away. It’s convenient.

SIMONYAN: So what was it: a business trip or a holiday trip?

PETROV: We had both kinds of trips, business mostly.

SIMONYAN: And what does your business have to do with Europe?

PETROV: It’s about healthy food, products and vitamins that they sell in Europe.

SIMONYAN: So, you purchase food there and then bring it here?

PETROV: It’s not about buying it and bringing it over here in bags. We study the market for new products, including biologically active food supplements, amino acids, vitamins and microelements. Then we come back and decide what we need the most and try to figure out how these new products can be shipped over here. This is an area of our work.

SIMONYAN: I’ve got some screenshots in this little file here. Is this you?

BOSHIROV AND PETROV: Yes. Right.

SIMONYAN: Do you recognize your clothes?

BOSHIROV AND PETROV: Yes.

SIMONYAN: And now you’re wearing different clothes, right?

PETROV: Yes, but…

BOSHIROV: … we left it…

PETROV: … in the wardrobe…

BOSHIROV: … that’s right, I have that jacket in my wardrobe…

PETROV: Those shoes were bought in England, the jacket…

BOSHIROV: … well-advertized New Balance sneakers. We still wear all that.

SIMONYAN: And you’ve got it all here, in Russia?

PETROV: Here you’re wearing the shoes you bought in Oxford Street, if my memory serves me right . . .

BOSHIROV: Yeah, I did, and it was on the third, by the way . . .

PETROV: Because when we got wet on the third . . .

BOSHIROV: We got wet on the third . . .

PETROV: We got back to London and did bit of shopping . . .

BOSHIROV: Yeah, we got new shoes. I went and bought new shoes and the next day I was wearing a different pair.

SIMONYAN: And you’ve got all those clothes in Russia now?

BOSHIROV: Yes.

PETROV: Of course.

BOSHIROV: Sure, we can show them to you.

SIMONYAN: You haven’t got any of those clothes just now, by any chance, have you?

BOSHIROV: I have – I’ve got the jacket. I’ve got it here.

PETROV: That one?

BOSHIROV: Yeah. I’ve got it here.

PETROV: I’ve got them all in the wardrobe back at my place.

SIMONYAN: Right. Here’s the photo that’s got the whole world puzzled. Gatwick. You’re going through the gate at the same time, even at the same second. How do you explain that?

BOSHIROV: I think it’s for them to explain.

PETROV: How can we explain it?

BOSHIROV: We always go through the gate together. Through the same gate, with the same customs officer. One after another. We walked through that corridor together. We’re always together. As to how it happened—us walking there at the same second and then separately —I think it’s a question that should be put to them.

PETROV: Yeah, on the point of us always going through it together—my English is a bit better, so if any problem crops up, I’m there to help Ruslan out.

SIMONYAN: So you went through together? You didn’t take different corridors?

PETROV: No, we never go through separately.

BOSHIROV: No, never.

SIMONYAN: So what about these photos then? You say it never happened? Or were they doctored?

BOSHIROV: Well, I don’t really know . . .

PETROV: It’d be a good thing if we could actually remember it . . .

BOSHIROV: . . . how they do these things over there. When you arrive at an airport, or leave one, when you go somewhere or other, you never think about the cameras . . . There’s nothing interesting about them. How they film, or what, or where—I’m not interested in any of that and so I never took any notice. Given that it was them who published these photos with this time on them and all, I think the best thing to do would be to ask them.

SIMONYAN: What are your thoughts on this whole Skripal case? Who poisoned him? You ever thought about it at all?

PETROV: Well, it’s hard to say . . . As to whether we’re thinking about it . . .

SIMONYAN: I mean before you saw your photos on TV.

PETROV: We’re living it. I’ll say one thing, though . . .

BOSHIROV: I think for the time being I’ll . . .

PETROV: If they ever find the ones who did it, it’d be nice if they at least apologized to us.

SIMONYAN: Who? The poisoners?

PETROV: Even considering the fact. . .

BOSHIROV: No, the British.

PETROV: Even considering the fact that all this time we—— how long have they been going on about it all now? Five days, a week? I’ve lost count of time. I mean, I’m really . . .

BOSHIROV: You have no idea what it’s done to our lives . . .

PETROV: Can’t even go and fill up your car in peace . . .

BOSHIROV: What it’s done to your lives . . .

SIMONYAN: People recognize you that often?

PETROV: Well, we think they do. How else can we feel when they keep showing our photos on TV?

BOSHIROV: Every day. Full-screen. Our two photos.

PETROV: It’s scary . . .

BOSHIROV: You turn on the radio and it goes ‘Boshirov, Petrov’. You turn on the TV–same thing. What would your life be like under these circumstances? I’m frightened, I’m scared . . . I don’t know what to expect tomorrow. That’s why we’ve come to you.

PETROV: I try not to watch any news now. He still does though, and I just ask him sometimes, ‘Well, anything new?’ and I expect to hear ‘no, it’s all the same’ but he goes, ‘Yeah, plenty’ –  they keep making it worse and worse. How much longer can it go on?

SIMONYAN: What are you going to do now?

PETROV: No idea. We simply want to be left in peace.

SIMONYAN: Aren’t you now on a travel blacklist? I mean, if you leave Russia you will most likely get arrested.

PETROV: Well, we hope that the situation can be resolved.

BOSHIROV: Yes, we want it to be resolved, for the British side to apologize for all this mess, for the real culprits in the Skripal case to be found, and for our lives to change for the better.

PETROV: The whole situation is some kind of extraordinary coincidence – that’s all. What are we guilty of?

BOSHIROV: We simply would like to be left in peace right now, at least for a little while. We want everybody to calm down.

PETROV: At least our media, your colleagues.

SIMONYAN: ‘Our’ meaning Russian?

BOSHIROV: We want to live peacefully for a while.

PETROV: We kind of realize what will happen after this interview.

BOSHIROV: Well, I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

PETROV: In any case, we will have to…

SIMONYAN: You’ll become talk show stars!

PETROV: That’s not what we want. One just wants to hide and sit it all out.

BOSHIROV: So that they get off our backs.

PETROV: We certainly don’t want publicity of that sort.

BOSHIROV: We simply wish to be left alone.

PETROV: We’re sick and tired of all this.

BOSHIROV: Exhausted.

PETROV: If it is possible, please, everybody leave us alone. That’s all. You’re our way  of getting this word out to everybody, including your fellow journalists. Even if somebody recognizes our faces (since we can’t simply stay at home, we have to go out in public), dear friends, please, don’t grab your phones… I don’t know what to say… We simply want some peace. I understand that we won’t return to normal life as soon as we would like to…

BOSHIROV: But we at least don’t want to be pestered right now.

SIMONYAN: Thank you. Thank you for coming here, to RT.

BOSHIROV: Thank you for hearing us out.

PETROV: Thank you very much.

September 13, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | | 1 Comment

‘US incites Kurds to break promise, assault Iranian soil’

Press TV – September 11, 2018

Iran’s top military commander says the United States has been provoking terrorists based in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region over the past year to launch assaults on Iranian soil despite an earlier promise not to do so.

Speaking on Tuesday, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri referred to a missile strike by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRCG) at a gathering of terrorists in Kurdistan, saying the Iranian nation reserves the right to defend itself.

Over two decades ago, officials from Iraqi Kurdistan and the outlawed Kurdistan Democratic Party had “made a written commitment not to conduct operations in Iran, but they have been breaking that promise over the past year due to US provocations,” he said.

“This was not acceptable to us and thus we repeatedly cautioned them,” he added.

The IRGC issued a statement confirming that it had fired seven short-range surface-to-surface missiles at a gathering of terrorist commanders in Kurdistan on Saturday, dealing a heavy blow to them.

The terrorists, the statement read, had been seeking to create insecurity and carry out acts of sabotage in the Iranian provinces of West Azarbaijan, Kordestan and Kermanshah.

The Iranian general said that the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) should not allow the establishment of such anti-Iran bases and rather extradite the remnants of “criminal” elements to Iran or deport them.

If insecurity persists, Baqeri warned, more counter-measures would be taken against terrorist commanders in self defense.

Iranian forces reached all their goals in the missile attack, he said. “It is not coincidental that the missiles hit the meeting, and we hope that we will not need to repeat this.”

‘No appeasement policy’

Separately on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that Iran will not follow a policy of appeasement when it comes to its security issues and the violation of its sovereignty by terrorist elements.

The missile strike has not been and will not be “Iran’s optimal choice. But terrorist activities – especially those that resulted in the martyrdom of Iranian border guards and soldiers – left the Iranian armed forces with no choice but to take a retaliatory and deterrent measure based on the credible information it had received.”

He also expressed hope that the joint border with Iraq would be among the most secure and stable frontiers in the region.

September 11, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

Bolton wants to sanction ICC judges who probe US war crimes

Press TV – September 10, 2018

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton wants to sanction International Criminal Court (ICC) judges who probe alleged war crimes committed by Americans in Afghanistan, according to reports.

Bolton on Monday will declare the ICC in The Hague “illegitimate” in an attempt to pressure the court which is planning to investigate the alleged US war crimes, according to a draft of his speech obtained by Reuters.

“The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court,” Bolton will say.

Bolton will threaten to punish ICC judges if they proceed with the proposal, the news agency said.

“We will not cooperate with the ICC,” he will say. “We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

The chief prosecutor of the ICC has called for a formal investigation into war crimes in Afghanistan following the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

“Following a meticulous preliminary examination of the situation, I have come to the conclusion that all legal criteria required to commence an investigation have been met”, said Fatou Bensouda in a statement last year.

“There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed,” Bensouda added.

She said US forces and CIA agents might have committed war crimes by torturing detainees in Afghanistan under a system of approved torture techniques, which included simulated drowning.

Human Rights Watch has welcomed the possibility of holding perpetrators to account for what it called horrendous human rights abuses against Afghans.

The United States — under Republican George W. Bush’s presidency — and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban regime from power, but after more than one and a half decades, the foreign troops are still deployed to the country.

After becoming president in January 2009, President Barack Obama, a Democrat, vowed to end the Afghan war — one of the longest conflicts in US history – but he failed to keep his promise.

Trump, who has spoken against the Afghan war, has dubbed the 2001 invasion and following occupation of Afghanistan as “Obama’s war.”

But Trump has also announced to deploy thousands of more troops to the war-torn country. Trump has said that his views have changed since entering the White House and that he would continue the military intervention “as long as we see determination and progress” in Afghanistan.

September 10, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 2 Comments

“US Threatened to Burn Basra If Abadi Wasn’t Given Another Term”

Al-Manar – September 9, 2018

Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Force who defeated ISIL Takfiri forces said on Saturday it had evidence showing US diplomatic missions in the Arab country have instigated the recent violence in the southern oil-rich city of Basra.

Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of the volunteer force, which is also known as Hashd Shaabi, held Washington responsible for the Basra unrest, saying it was actually meant to sow discord among different Iraqi political parties and movements.

“We have complete information and documents that show the US embassy and consulate in the country caused the Basra unrest,” al-Muhandis said.

He also vowed to respond to the Basra incidents and stressed that the Iraqis would never engage in another civil war.

Basra has been rocked by deadly protests since Tuesday. The protests took an ugly turn on Friday when a group of masked assailants raided government buildings and offices of political parties and set them ablaze. The Iranian consulate was among the premises gutted in the rampage.

At least 15 protesters have died in clashes with security forces since the beginning of the month, health officials have said.

Al-Muhandis revealed that the US “threatened with burning Basra” if incumbent PM Haider Abadi was not given another term.

Ties between the Hashd and Abadi are tense, al-Muhandis explained, complaining that Abadi has failed to allocate salaries for Hashd fighters.

“Abadi didn’t keep most of his promises to Hashd al-Shaabi,” tweeted al-Muhandis, but stressed that the situation will not devolve into a “Shiite-Shiite war.”

September 9, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Saudi-backed delegates leave Yemen peace talks

Press TV – September 8, 2018

A delegation from Yemen’s former government has left UN-brokered talks in Geneva after representatives of the Houthi movement were prevented by Saudi Arabia from attending the negotiations.

“The government delegation is leaving today,” said an official from the Saudi-backed team on Saturday, referring to the former Yemeni administration. “There are no expectations the Houthis are coming,” he added.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told a news conference that the Houthis were “keen” to get to Geneva.

“They would have liked to get here. We didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” he said.

Ansarullah accused the Saudis of planning to strand the delegation in Djibouti, where their plane was to make a stop en route to Geneva.

The Saudis were “still refusing to give permission to an Omani plane” to land at the Yemeni capital Sana’a and take the delegation to Geneva, the movement said.

It posted a statement , saying the Houthis needed to “ensure the safety of the delegation” and require a guarantee that they would be allowed to return “smoothly” to Sana’a airport.

Yemenis took to the streets in Sana’a on Friday, blaming the United States, Britain, and Saudi Arabia for preventing the Houthis from joining the peace talks.

“The decision not to send an Omani plane (for the Houthi delegation) was made by the US and it is an American conspiracy with the help of Saudi Arabia,” senior Houthi official Abdulrahman al-Motawakel said.

“The US meant to delay the delegation from leaving, and the UN is helpless, and cannot do anything about it,” he added.

Loay al-Shamy, a senior Information Ministry official in Sana’a, said, “Regarding the peace talks, the delegation was formed and their names were announced and were ready to go but the UN, under pressure from the United States and Britain could not fulfill what was agreed on.”

The agreement was “to provide an Omani plane for the delegation that will participate in Geneva and offer the assurances required for the return of the delegation,” he said.

“We saw during the last talks that the delegation was stuck abroad and the UN could not bring them back home,” he added.

The two sides held their last UN-sponsored negotiations in Kuwait in 2016 in a bid to hammer out a “power-sharing” deal but they fell apart after the Saudi-backed side left the venue.

Yemen has been in turmoil since 2015 when former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi stepped down and then fled to Riyadh.

Hadi then asked Saudi Arabia to launch a military campaign against Yemen, leading to a crisis which has continued to this day.

Thousands have been killed in the Saudi-led invasion which has also pushed Yemen to the edge of famine.

A cholera outbreak, resulting from the devastation of Yemen’s health infrastructure, has also claimed more than 2,000 lives.

September 8, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

North Korea Could Formally End War With South Without US Troop Pull Out – Report

Sputnik – 06.09.2018

A South Korean delegation returning from Pyongyang brought important news from the socialist country: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to sign an end-of-war declaration without the withdrawal of US troops from the South. Meanwhile, the North is preparing to celebrate its 70th birthday amid speculation about how militant the fete will be.

A special envoy delegation sent by South Korean President Moon Jae In visited the North Korean capital of Pyongyang Wednesday, delivering a personal letter from Moon to Kim. A Thursday statement in the Workers Party of Korea’s newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, described the photoshoot, dinner and discussions as taking place “in a compatriotic and warm atmosphere.”

The Rodong Sinmun article says Kim was “pleased over the fact that technical contacts in various fields were made between the north and the south, the reunions of separated families and relatives were realized and north-south military talks and the work of setting up a joint liaison office progressed well after the historic Panmunjom meeting,” and that “we should value all these successes which the north and the south made hand in hand and keep advancing without deviation the north-south ties that have definitely entered the new orbit of peace, the orbit of reconciliation and cooperation.”

According to the statement, the two Korean delegations mostly discussed the agenda and schedule of the upcoming inter-Korean summit, to take place in Pyongyang September 18 to 20, and Kim said, “The north and the south should further their efforts to realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” Those efforts have seemingly stalled in recent weeks as the US cancelled it most recent planned visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the US equivalent of a foreign minister, claiming not to have seen sufficient progress by North Korea toward denuclearization.

More details about the meeting came to light once the delegation returned to South Korea, when members of the envoy delivered further messages from Kim.

Chung Eui-yong, Moon’s national security adviser, told reporters Thursday that Kim said he would be willing to sign the end-of-war declaration that Seoul and Pyongyang have been pursuing since the spring without concomitantly demanding the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea or an end to the alliance between the US and South Korea.

While a lasting peace treaty to the 1950 to 1953 war would require much more extensive negotiations between the four powers involved — North Korea, China, South Korea and the US — a statement declaring the end of the war, issued by the two Koreas, would be an important step toward realizing that goal, which Moon and Kim have indicated to be their primary concern ever since their first meeting at the truce city of Panmunjom in April.

Rodong Sinmun articulated the belief Thursday that “[t]he US should no longer stick to a position of attaining denuclearization before signing a peace treaty.”

“Chairman Kim Jong Un has made it clear several times that he is firmly committed to denuclearization and expressed frustration over skepticism in the international community over his commitment,” Chung said. “He said he has pre-emptively taken steps necessary for denuclearization and wants to see these goodwill measures being met with goodwill measures.”

Chung also told reporters that “Chairman Kim stressed that he has never spoken negatively about President Trump to his staff or anyone,” a statement that won praise from US President Donald Trump in a tweet Thursday.

​In turn, the US State Department announced Thursday that Stephen Biegun, the US’ new special envoy to North Korea, who was supposed to go on Pompeo’s cancelled visit, would be touring South Korea, China and Japan next week.

“The special representative will meet with his counterparts and continue diplomatic efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea as agreed to by Chairman Kim in Singapore,” it said, without further elaborating in Biegun’s itinerary, the South China Morning Post reported Thursday.

The South Korean diplomat further affirmed the two Korean governments’ commitment to opening a liaison office in the North Korean industrial city of Kaesong before the inter-Korean summit. Another goal of the Panmunjom summit, the South Korean Ministry of Unification announced last month the approval of $3.1 million in funding to set up the inter-Korean joint liaison office, to come from the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund, NK News reported at the time.

“We will operate the liaison office with the aim that it can contribute to round-the-clock dialogue and cooperation and the stable management of the situation of inter-Korean relations,” the unification ministry said in the statement.

“The Ministry of Unification will strive to contribute to the development of the South-North relations by implementing the Panmunjom Declaration sector-by-sector without setbacks.”

Meanwhile, North Korea is preparing to celebrate its 70th anniversary on Sunday, and there’s no shortage of speculation and anticipation about how the festivities will play out.

Satellite photos on the website 38 North show that North Korean troops have been practicing for weeks at a mockup of Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, named after the founder of the country (and Kim Jong Un’s grandfather), a revolutionary communist leader who led the Korean insurgency against Japanese colonial rule during World War II. His Workers Party of Korea declared the foundation of the people’s democratic republic on September 9, 1948, and the country has made a habit of celebrating its birthday with an extravagant parade, the centerpiece of which is typically their latest military weaponry.

However, observers wonder if this year’s event won’t be different, to reflect the change in tone by Kim in recent months. The last major military parade, in February, showcased North Korea’s Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles, the very weapons at the center of the denuclearization push on the peninsula, which North Korea says are necessary to guarantee its security and independence amid the presence of US troops in the South and the lack of a permanent peace treaty.

In a major contrast to past parades, dozens of international media organizations have been granted visas to attend this year’s events, Defense News noted Thursday.

It’s known that the parade, which always features mass performances by the people of the city, will include a torch parade as well as the revival of the country’s iconic mass games after a six-year hiatus. The celebrations also feature civilian contingents celebrating achievements in agriculture, industry, science and art, and may feature these more prominently than in the past, given Kim’s newly declared focus on building these parts of North Korean society.

September 6, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | | Leave a comment

Iran’s Long-Range Missile Defense System to Be Operational Soon: Commander

Al-Manar | August 31, 2018

The commander of the Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base (the central headquarters of Iran’s Air Defense) said a domestically made long-range missile system will come into service by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2019).

“(Iran’s) air defense industry is completely self-sufficient today,” Brigadier General Alireza Sabahi Fard said in a speech, addressing a congregation of worshipers in Tehran on Friday.

“We have reached the stage of designing and producing indigenized air defense systems, (passing through) the stage of reverse engineering and manufacturing components,” he added.

“Today, our country has achieved self-sufficiency in producing short, medium and long-range ground-to-air missiles,” the commander said.

He further said that the Iranian people will hear good news that a long-range missile system will be coming into service later this year.

Iranian military experts and technicians have in recent years made great headway in manufacturing a broad range of indigenous equipment, making the armed forces self-sufficient in the arms sphere.

Iranian officials have repeatedly underscored that the country will not hesitate to strengthen its military capabilities, including its missile power, which are entirely meant for defense, and that Iran’s defense capabilities will never be subject to negotiations.

Back in February, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei called for efforts to maintain and boost Iran’s defense capabilities, hitting back at the enemies for disputing the country’s missile program.

“Without a moment of hesitation, the country must move to acquire whatever is necessary for defense, even if the whole world is opposed to it,” Ayatollah Khamenei said on February 18.

August 31, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | | 2 Comments