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UK Media Report on ‘Iranian Secret Cyber Files’ Casts More Doubt Than Confidence

By Daria Bedenko – Sputnik – 27.07.2021

The authenticity of the alleged “Iranian secret cyber files” cited by Sky News, on how cyber attacks could be used against civilian infrastructure objects, is debatable, experts said, shortly after the UK media outlet published so-called ‘classified documents’ said to have been acquired from Iranian intelligence.

According to the Monday Sky News report, Iran has been conducting “secret research” into how cyber attacks could affect cargo ships and petrol stations, along with other civilian infrastructure entities. The outlet, citing an unnamed source, attributes the alleged intelligence to the Islamic republic’s clandestine Intelligence Team 13 – a cell described as “a sub-group within the IRGC Shahid Kaveh unit”, which is reportedly under an individual named Hamid Reza Lashgarian.

The anonymous source who shared the documents with the outlet said he was “very confident” in their authenticity.

Dr. Seyed Mohammad Marandi, a professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran, does not, however, appear to share that confidence, saying that the publication of the so-called classified documents could be “an attempt to ratchet up tensions, especially since they gave it to Sky News.”

Marandi noted that the documents do not appear to have a “date or file number”, and neither there is an IRGC logo on the cover page, saying that it makes the report look “inauthentic”.

Dr. Rasool Nafisi, an Iranian analyst and professor at Strayer University in the US state of Virginia, agreed with the suggestion, underlining a “lack of professional format” in the document.

“The document is not dated, not stamped with security device, it is not typed on especially made papers with transparent emblem. The content is also debatable. It seems more like a dry run for a likely scenario of action. It is not surprising at all if The Islamic Republic of Iran tries to investigate possible cyber interventions, replicating what others have been doing to it for over a decade”, Nafisi pointed out.

The so-called classified documents appeared in the UK media ahead of the possible resumption of the Vienna negotiations for the restoration of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iranian nuclear deal. The talks that initially started in April were postponed and could resume after the inauguration of the new Iranian president, Ebrahim Raisi, set to take place on 5 August. The UK is among the sides involved in the negotiations.

Not everyone is happy about the plausible revival of the nuclear deal with Iran, however. Israel continues to be a vocal opponent of the restoration of the JCPOA, claiming that the accord would pave the way for Iran to create a nuclear weapon – something that the Islamic republic has consistently denied, insisting that its nuclear program remains exclusively peaceful.

When asked about reasons to attempt to dismantle relations between the UK and Iran by the publication of the unverified documents, Marandi suggested that it could be connected with activities of the “pro-Israeli lobby”.

“The Pro-Israeli lobby is working hard to push the two sides towards confrontation. It makes sense for some entity connected to them to be involved in the manufacturing of such a document”, he said, noting that “that’s a possibility” that the intention of the “leak” is to disrupt plans to resume the JCPOA negotiations.

What’s in the ‘Iranian Secret Cyber Files’?

The documents cited by Sky News make five reports, each of them said to be marked as “very confidential”.

Most of the reports are also said to feature a quote that “appears to be” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, reading: “The Islamic Republic of Iran must become among the world’s most powerful in the area of cyber.”

The first report, named “Ballast Water”, allegedly has six pages dedicated to the research of the complex systems on large cargo ships that remotely control infrastructure including filtration and ballast water. Sky News estimated that the document contains open-source research, rather than “privileged information”.

The report adds that “any kind of disruptive influence can cause disorder within these systems and can cause significant and irreparable damage to the vessel.”

Another report, also six pages long, is said to address “a system called an automatic tank gauge that tracked the flow of fuel at a petrol station.” Particularly, the research name-checked fuelling equipment produced by a US firm, Franklin Fueling Systems.

The report allegedly ponders the possible impact of “problems” with the systems, including cutting off the fuel supply, changing its temperature and even mulling the effects of an explosion.

“[An] explosion of these fueling pumps is possible if these systems are hacked and controlled remotely”, the report allegedly said.

Services providing maritime communications are addressed in what was said to be a 14-page report which studies two types of satellite communications used at sea – Sealink CIR and Seagull 5000i, noting that the latter is offered by such companies as Wideye in Singapore and Thuraya in the United Arab Emirates.

While the majority of the report is said to “repeat facts” from open sources about the two systems, there was also a chart in the end, Sky News said, showing the results of something commonly known as “Google dork” – conducting internet searches with certain key phrases enclosed in quotation marks that improve the accuracy of a search.

According to the screenshots from the report, the findings referred to devices from the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

Sky News described two other reports, the only ones marked with dates, that are claimed to be dedicated to building management systems and electrical equipment.

The first, allegedly compiled on 19 November 2020, had nine pages about “computer-based systems that control lighting, ventilation, heating, security alarms and other functions in a smart building”. Among other things, it listed companies that provided such services, including US firms KMC Controls and Honeywell, along with the French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric and the German company Siemens.

The second appears to be the longest of all five, consisting of 22 pages exploring electrical equipment made by the German company WAGO, and reportedly compiled on 19 April 2020.

This piece of purported research explored vulnerabilities in PLCs – “programmable logic controller” – with the findings saying, however, that it would not be possible to use them.

“Continuing the investigation, in order to use these processes, we noticed the vulnerabilities within these systems are irreparable, if there is an attack, damage will not easy to fix,” the report said. “Therefore, compared to other PLC brands, this brand is impenetrable once connected online. When online, the infrastructure and intelligence on engineering cannot be reached and cannot be lost.”

Although neither the Sky News ‘source’ nor British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace could confirm the authenticity of the “classified documents”, the latter nevertheless declared that they could pose “a threat to our way of life”, since they allegedly demonstrate that Western countries currently vulnerable to cyber attacks could see much worse than simple ransomware and DDoS exploits.

“They [Iran] are among the most advanced cyber actors,” claimed General Sir Patrick Sanders, the top military officer overseeing the UK cyber operations,” adding, “We take their capabilities seriously. We don’t overstate it”.

Tehran has not yet officially commented on the allegations made by Sky News.

Iranian trace?

This is not for the first time that Iran, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in particular, have been accused by a Western country of being involved in hacking activities.

Earlier in July, Facebook alleged that “Iranian hackers” presenting themselves as “recruiters, employees of defense contractors and young, attractive women” on the social media platform had tried to hack into the PCs of US military personnel.

Another set of accusations came from the FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) in October 2020, when the two entities accused Iran of obtaining “voter registration data in at least one state”, referring to the 2020 US presidential election.

The unsubstantiated claims by the two US agencies followed accusations by Microsoft that “Iranian hackers” targeted candidates in the 2020 US presidential elections – claims that were denied by Iran, which asserted that “unlike the US, Iran does not interfere in other country’s elections”.

While being constantly accused of conducting hacking operations, Iran is known to be a frequent target of hacker attacks. The latest came in early July and was conducted against the nation’s rail service, leading to a brief shutdown of the website for the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.

July 27, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

US Used Military Bases in Afghanistan to Keep Watch on Entire Region, Russian Diplomat Says

Sputnik – 22.07.2021

MOSCOW – Russia’s special presidential envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said on Thursday that nearly half of the US military bases in Afghanistan were used to keep strategic tabs on the wider region.

“Of the 19 [US bases] that we know of, somewhat about seven or eight had nothing to do with Afghanistan and had nothing to do with the situation there”, Kabulov told the Echo of Moscow radio station.

The diplomat emphasised that the American contingents were conveniently placed in Afghanistan to be closer to the Middle East, Russia, Central Asia and China.

“[The US military] kept an eye on the Pakistani and Indian nuclear arsenal”, Kabulov added.

The United States and NATO began pulling their ground forces out of Afghanistan on 1 May. The withdrawal resulted in a flare-up of tensions between the government forces and the Taliban. The radical movement stepped up the territorial advances and is believed to have captured large rural areas in the country’s north.

July 22, 2021 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 7 Comments

Washington is Progressively Losing the “Match” it is Playing with Tehran

By Valery Kulikov – New Eastern Outlook – 06.07.2021

For decades now, under Israeli pressure Washington has been trying to play a “power game” with Tehran to bleed it dry, and prevent it from gaining the upper hand in its regional competition with Tel Aviv. Moreover, in this patently self-defeating confrontation, the United States is facing a mounting number of political defeats every day, and a loss of prestige before the world community.

Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani announced a successful victory in the “economic battle” at the end of the last US presidential elections in December, stressing that the Trump administration, which had previously confidently talked about the collapse of the Iranian economy, was leaving the corridors of power with nothing. He stated that there were many difficulties during the “war between economies”, but that the Iranian nation had successfully overcome them and won, and that the failure of the United States in the “economic war” was one of the reasons why Donald Trump lost the elections.

Iran has already proven to the world that it is a self-sufficient country. The uranium enrichment level of 63% recently announced by Tehran, despite numerous acts of sabotage on the part of Tel Aviv and Washington, has clearly thrown both Israel and the United States off balance, since this means that the country now has a virtually complete nuclear cycle. And since it is extremely difficult to stop Iran from going down this path solely through sanctions and provocations on the part of its intelligence services, Washington was forced to realize that it was necessary to negotiate a return to the nuclear agreement with Tehran.

The United States is experiencing nothing but defeats in its confrontation with Iran in the Middle East. The US “game” in Yemen, where Washington’s regional ally, Saudi Arabia, could not endure the onslaught of the Tehran-backed Houthis, is ending in an unvarnished loss. The US is failing in Jordan as well. Not to mention Syria, where the United States, with active support from the West and a number of Arab states, was never able to achieve dominance and resolve the situation in its favor because Iran and Russia started to coordinate their actions in this country.

In January 2020, the Iraqi parliament adopted a resolution that called for the withdrawal of foreign military forces and, above all else, US forces from the republic’s territory, and on April 7 this year Baghdad announced that it would form a technical committee to define the terms and conditions governing the withdrawal of international forces. And for this reason the almost $10 billion that was previously spent on building and fitting out the three military bases in this country that Washington had hoped to use to forever rule not only the Persian Gulf, but also the entire Middle East, can be added to the list of genuine losses for the US.

Among the 1.5 billion Muslims of the world, there are about 130 million Shiites. Most of them inhabit Iran (more than 75 million), Iraq (more than 20 million), and Azerbaijan (about 10 million), where Shiites dominate both numerically, culturally, and politically. There are sizeable Shiite minorities in a number of Arab countries, such as Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. Shiites inhabit the central, mountainous area of Afghanistan (the Hazaras and others number about 4 million) and some parts of Pakistan. There are Shiite communities in India, even though there are many more Sunnis there. In the southern part of India, so-called “black Shiites” live among the Hinduists.

In recent decades in different countries (Iraq, Bahrain, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, etc.) Shiites have become more actively involved in the struggle for power, as well as in internal conflicts, turning to Tehran in particular for help. The Shiites, perceiving Iran as their own kind of Mecca, are monitoring the confrontation between Washington, Tel Aviv, and Tehran very closely, with each Iranian victory replenishing the ranks of US opponents and, accordingly, strengthening the position of those in the camp that supports Iran. The Shiite community of Muslim peoples is not a union of nations (ethnicities), but a spiritual and political community formed from confessional Shiite groups within the Islamic world. And it is emerging as an increasingly significant factor in cultural and political life.

In the recent confrontation between the United States, Israel, and Iran, the sides involved regularly put out feelers to see how “tough” their opponents are, actively using the capabilities possessed by their intelligence services. Moreover, these services have been used most vigorously in recent years by Tel Aviv to set up multiple covert operations, up to and including economic sabotage and physically killing prominent Iranian figures. The result of this is that the world has witnessed a number of major operations, specifically including inciting separatist sentiments in Iran – both in provinces where Kurds live packed tightly together and in Sistan and Balochistan Province. Fearing the emergence of nuclear weapons in Iran, which, according to Tel Aviv, could pose an objective threat to the very existence of the Jewish state, Israeli operations in this area have long become a kind of fixation. After the Stuxnet computer virus caused more than one thousand centrifuges to malfunction at Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2010, cyber warfare between Iran and Israel has become increasingly earnest. “High-profile” special operations against Iranian nuclear scientists were thrown into this mix back in 2007, then followed a series of murders committed against Iranian physicists in 2010 and 2012. On November 27, 2020, a leading Iranian nuclear physicist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed in a Tehran suburb.

In January 2020, Israeli and US intelligence agencies assassinated General Qasem Soleimani, nicknamed “The Shadow” because he directed all covert operations outside the country, and since he was in charge of the Quds Force, the most secretive elite unit in the Iranian army.

Tehran was forced to accept the rules of the game imposed on it by the United States and Israel, through whose efforts terrorism, and the assassination of political and important public figures, are increasingly becoming the norm. During the night of January 8, 2020, Iran launched a missile attack on the American base Ayn al Asad in western Iraq, sending a warning that this was just a strong “slap in the face” of the United States for shedding the blood of Qasem Soleimani, Iranian national hero and the commander of IRGC Quds Force – and that the real vendetta lies in store.

On December 3, Fahmi Hinawi, one of the heads of the Mossad who was involved in killing Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was killed in his car near Tel Aviv. The scenario for his assassination followed the same pattern that the Israelis had used: Hinawi’s car had stopped at a red traffic light and was then riddled with bullets from automatic weapons.

In late January, a “strange” plane crash in Afghanistan killed a high-ranking American CIA officer, Michael D’Andrea, who was in charge of operations in the Middle East and was involved in setting up the assassination of the Qasem Soleimani, head of the IRGC Quds special forces.

And on June 26 at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, US Air Force officer and Red Horse Squadron commander James Willis was found dead. The Air Force Times reported that the death of the 55-year-old US Air Force lieutenant colonel was not related to any hostilities. Previously, Iranian intelligence services had affirmed that Willis was involved in murdering the IRGC Quds special forces commander Qasem Soleimani on the night of January 3.

July 9, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

It’s Time to Say ‘No’ to US Blockade on Lebanon

By Marwa Haidar | Al-Manar | July 8, 2021

US officials have repeatedly made it clear that it will prevent Lebanon from receiving crude oil from Iran, tightening the noose on the Middle Eastern country which has been facing the harshest economic crisis in decades.

A year ago, in July 2020, former US Secretary of State Mile Pompeo said taking oil from Iran would be “unacceptable.”

“It would be sanctioned product for sure, and we’ll do everything we can to make sure that Iran cannot continue to sell crude oil anywhere, including to Hezbollah in the region…,” the ex-diplomat said in remarks on July 8, 2020.

Pompeo’s remarks were in response to Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah who said at time that the Lebanese Resistance group was in discussion with the government about Iran supplying refined oil products to Lebanon in exchange for Lebanese pounds to ease pressure on the plummeting currency.

This year, and amid the increasingly severe fuel shortages that brought long queues at service stations in recent months, Sayyed Nasrallah renewed the Iranian offer to sell Lebanon oil in exchange for Lebanon pound.

Responding to Sayyed Nasrallah, US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea said that importing fuel oil from Iran “is not a practical solution.”

“What Iran is looking for is a sort of dependent state that it can use to carry out its agenda. There are much better solutions than turning to Iran,” the US envoy said in remarks earlier last month.

Nearly a month after renewing the Iranian offer, it seems that no Lebanese official “has the courage” to press for importing fuel supplies from the Islamic Republic, with many parties and figures fearing Washington’s sanctions.

In his latest speech last week, Sayyed Nasrallah Lashed out at the US over tightening the blockade on Lebanon by preventing Lebanon from approving deals with any Eastern country, including China and Iran.

His eminence said that the US ambassador “sheds crocodile tears and deceives the Lebanese by providing some masks,” stressing that Washington has been the main supporter of the corrupts and money embezzlers in Lebanon.

Turning to Lebanese statesmen, Sayyed Nasrallah made it clear: that they have to make some sacrifices for their country and override the fear of the US sanctions.

The Hezbollah S.G. said that saving the country from the socioeconomic crisis deserves courageous decisions by several Lebanese figures and parties, hinting out that now it’s time to say ‘no’ to Washington.

July 8, 2021 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , | 6 Comments

Iran: Israel legally, politically responsible for fate of diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon

Press TV – July 4, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Ministry says Israel and its supporters are politically and legally responsible for the fate of four Iranian diplomats kidnapped in Lebanon in 1982.

“Since the Zionist regime occupied Lebanon in 1982, it bears political and legal responsibility for the abduction of [Iranian] diplomats and the Zionist regime and its terrorism-sponsoring supporters are liable for this measure. Unfortunately, the Zionist regime has not been accountable in this case, and this is why the process of revealing facts and various aspects of this incident has been so slow,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, which marked the 39th anniversary of the abduction of the four diplomats.

On July 4, 1982, the year Israel invaded Lebanon, Ahmad Motevasselian, Seyyed Mohsen Mousavi, Taqi Rastegar Moqaddam and Kazem Akhavan were kidnapped by a group of gunmen backed by Israel at an inspection post in northern Lebanon.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced that there is evidence to prove that the [kidnapped] diplomats were handed over to Israeli forces after the abduction and were subsequently transferred to the Zionist regime’s prisons,” the statement read.

Iran, it added, has gone to great lengths since the abduction, given the humanitarian, legal and political dimensions of the criminal incident, and has put on its agenda the pursuit of the issue through regional and international avenues.

The ministry once again called on the United Nations secretary general as well as international and human rights organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), to pay more serious attention to the abduction of its diplomats by Israel.

In a letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres in July 2020, Iran’s Ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Tehran believes the diplomats were handed over to Israeli forces immediately after the abduction in a region controlled by Israel at the time.

“Evidence shows they have been held in Israeli prisons, and are still alive,” the Iranian envoy said.

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Iran Unjustifiably Blamed for Another False Flag Attack?

By Stephen Lendman | July 4, 2021

Unlike repeated US-dominated NATO and Israeli rule of law breaches, Iran fully complies with its international obligations.

Yet time and again it’s falsely accused of things it had nothing to do with, including attacks on Israeli vessels — despite no evidence of its involvement.

In stark contrast, international outlaw Israel attacked Iranian cargo ships numerous times.

In March, the WSJ reported that Israel targeted at least 12 Iranian cargo ships in international waters.

It cyber-attacked its nuclear facilities, accountability for its criminal actions never forthcoming.

On July 3, Lebanese al-Mayadeen television reported the following:

Citing unnamed “reliable sources,” its report said “a fire erupted in an Israeli cargo ship in the northern Indian Ocean,” adding:

“(T)he…merchant ship was hit by an unknown weapon.”

It “was anchored in the port of Jeddah before moving towards the Emirati coast.”

“(N)o one has claimed responsibility for this targeting so far.”

“(T)he incident c(ame) a day after news of an Israeli drone attack west of Tehran.”

On June 23, Iranian media reported a drone attack on a city of Karaj building.

Since its 1979 liberating revolution from US/UK-installed fascist tyranny, US, Western and Israeli regimes have waged forever war on Iran by other means — wanting its government toppled, the nation weakened, partitioned and transformed into a pro-Western vassal state.

Was Saturday’s incident involving a formerly Israeli-owned vessel staged by the Bennett regime as part of its aim to kill the JCPOA nuclear deal — by once again falsely blaming Iran for what no evidence points to its involvement?

Was the incident a joint US/Israeli false flag to blame Iran like many times before unjustifiably?

Israeli political and military dark forces have been pressuring their Biden regime counterparts not to rejoin the landmark agreement as affirmed by Security Council Res. 2231, making it binding international law.

Ideally, they want the deal killed altogether. At minimum, they want it revised to include unacceptable provisions no responsible government would accept.

Saturday’s incident targeted the Liberian-flagged CSAV Tyndall cargo ship.

Haaretz said the vessel was “previously under Israeli ownership,” the attack “causing only mild damage and no casualties.”

Like time and again unjustifiably, Bennett regime officials blamed Iran for what happened, despite no evidence suggesting it.

No Israeli nationals were on board.

Formally owned by London-based Zodiac Maritime Ltd, a company source said the vessel was sold several months earlier.

No one claimed responsibility for the incident. The Jerusalem Post reported the following:

“On Friday, IDF chief of staff Gen. Aviv Kohavi hinted at an Israeli covert operation against Iran at the graduation of the IDF officers course at the Bahad 1 base,” quoting him, saying:

“Anyone who tries to harm the state of Israel (sic) knows that any offensive enemy activity (sic), near or far, will be answered with a significant, overt or covert response.”

The hostile-to-Iran NYT implied its responsibility for the Saturday incident.

Citing no evidence because there is none, it dubiously suggested what happened was “latest tit-for-tat (sic) in a shadowy regional conflict between Israel and Iran,” adding:

The vessel “was believed to have come under assault by an Iranian drone or naval commandos (sic),” citing an unnamed Israeli source with no credibility.

The Times falsely accused Iran of earlier attacks on Israeli-owned ships despite no evidence suggesting it.

On June 1, US intelligence dubiously warned of a possible Iranian attack.

Was it issued ahead of a planned US and/or Israeli false flag on Saturday to once again blame Iran for what it had nothing to do with?

Contact Stephen Lendman at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, False Flag Terrorism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | 2 Comments

Envoy Rejects US Accusations against Iran as Baseless

Al-Manar | July 3, 2021

A top Iranian diplomat penned a letter to the UNSC, strongly rejecting allegations of the United States against Tehran over a recent attack near the Iraq-Syria border.

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi wrote a letter to the president of the UN Security Council, to react to anti-Iranian accusations of Washington.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has repeatedly announced that it has not had any direct or indirect role in attacks against US facilities or personnel in Iraq, reads the letter. Therefore, the letter continues, any attempt to attribute such allegations to Iran, either explicitly or implicitly, is false and baseless and lacks the most basic credible information. Tehran strongly rejects such claims and considers them legally invalid, added the envoy.

Iran vehemently rejects the arbitrary interpretation of the US of Article 51 of the UN Charter to justify its illegal June 27 attack on Syria and Iraq, said the envoy, adding that Tehran strongly condemns the aggression as violation of sovereignty of the two countries.

The US argument that such attacks were carried out to “deter” the Islamic Republic of Iran and so-called “Iranian-backed militias” from further attacks on US personnel or facilities in Iraq has no real or legal basis as it is based solely on an arbitrary interpretation of Article 51 of the UN Charter, added the diplomat.

Recent US attempts to accuse others to cover up its irresponsible and destabilizing activities and adventurous military actions in the region are doomed to failure, noted Takht-Ravanchi.

Earlier, the US representative to the UN had sent a letter to the UNSC, making accusations against Iran and claiming that the decision for attack was taken after it was proved that non-military measures were not enough.

July 4, 2021 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , | 2 Comments

Iran marks 33rd anniversary of US downing of passenger jet in Persian Gulf

Press TV – July 3, 2021

Iran has commemorated the 33rd anniversary of the downing of its passenger aircraft by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser over the Persian Gulf, which killed 290 people.

During a memorial ceremony on Saturday, officials from Iran’s southern Hormozgan province and the families of the tragedy’s victims, who were aboard a vessel, tossed flowers into the waters near the Strait of Hormuz and Hengam Island.

Chanting slogans such as “Down with the US” and “Down with Israel,” the participants condemned the inhumane US war crime.

In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani denounced the cowardly US targeting of the passenger plane as “a great, horrible and unacceptable crime.”

“In the incident, 290 people on board the plane were martyred. Unfortunately, the US administration has not formally apologized for the crime and failed to take any significant measure in this regard. It has instead commended the cruiser’s commander,” he said Saturday.

“We hope that the US government will recognize that a great crime was committed in the Persian Gulf in 1988. All the freedom-seekers of the world always urge the US to take necessary measures to apologize and compensate and explain to the people why it has acclaimed the murderer and the criminal responsible for this great crime.”

On July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes fired missiles at an Iran Air Airbus A300B2 which was flying over the Hormuz Strait from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crew members.

Following the attack, the plane disintegrated and crashed into the Persian Gulf waters, killing all 290 on board, among them 66 children.

US officials claimed that the USS Vincennes had mistaken Iran Air Flight 655 for a warplane. This is while the warship was equipped with highly sophisticated radar systems and electronic battle gear at the time of the attack.

In 1990, the captain of the cruiser, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by then US president George Bush for his “outstanding service” during operations in the Persian Gulf.

July 3, 2021 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , | 4 Comments

Iran’s Ahmadinejad Reveals Why Iran Doesn’t Need Nukes, Says World Should Know Truth About 9/11

By Ilya Tsukanov – Sputnik – 24.06.2021

The veteran politician, who served as Iran’s president between 2005 and 2013, and as Tehran mayor and Ardabil province governor before that, attempted to take part in both the 2017 and 2021 presidential elections, but was barred from doing so by Iran’s powerful Guardian Council.

The world needs to know the truth about the 9/11 terror attacks, and Iran doesn’t need to pursue nuclear weapons because they cannot protect even superpowers from collapse, former President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.

“Deciphering the events of 11 September, 2001 will be the key to an understanding of all political events and processes in the sphere of global security over the past 70 years, and this will pave the way for us all to a better world,” Ahmadinejad said, speaking to Russian media in a broad ranging interview published on Thursday.

“When the terrorist attack took place, I announced to the United Nations the need to create a consolidated investigative group to establish all the circumstances of the incident and to find the culprit, and said that the Americans themselves were investigating this incident, holding court themselves, deciding everything themselves and fighting wars in other countries on this basis, not allowing anyone to comment on what is happening,” the former president recalled.

“I remember at this time the United States was very angry with me. But all I said was that there was a need for an international investigation, so that the whole world could know who carried out these attacks, and what connections [the attackers] could have to US intelligence and the American security apparatus to be able to break through all defensive barriers and destroy two towers in the very heart of the American nation,” Ahmadinejad added.

According to the politician, the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, mounted in the aftermath of 9/11, were an attempt to change the situation in the world and the Middle East in Washington’s favour, and to hide “deep economic and social problems” plaguing the United States. Time has shown that neither war was a success, Ahmadinejad said, with both wars continuing to claim lives and forcing people to flee as their countries, while the states’ infrastructure collapses and their future remains uncertain.

No Need for Nukes

Commenting on Iran’s commitment not to pursue nuclear weapons, and recent attempts by the Biden administration to return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement, Ahmadinejad said the Democratic president has failed to make any substantive changes to his predecessor’s policies, but that this was because US foreign policy is not controlled by presidents – who are only a small part of the decision-making process.

As for nuclear weapons, Ahmadinejad suggested that “today, nuclear weapons have no practical application, so all the costs of their creation are superfluous. I in principle consider the production and accumulation of weapons an inhuman act and am categorically opposed to it. If world powers reject hegemony and are not looking for disagreements and wars, why start an arms race? Why should the wealth of nations be spent on the production of weapons intended only for murder and not for prosperity?”

“In my first meeting with Mr. Putin at the UN in 2005, I asked him if nuclear weapons could have prevented the collapse of the Soviet Union. These weapons were highly developed, yes, but they did not stop the collapse of the USSR. Because weapons, in principle cannot improve human relations. Today, the capitalist world order led by America is in decline. Can American atomic bombs stop the collapse of US global hegemony? I don’t think there is a single wise person in the world who would say yes,” the Iranian politician added.

World Needs Fundamental Changes

Ahmadinejad expressed certainty that the current world order is unsustainable and is in need of “fundamental changes.”

“Over the past 100 years, it has spawned hundreds of wars, assassinations, arms races, broad class divisions, poverty and social constraints for nations. I believe that we must all join hands and build a new world – a world in which all people will be free and respected –and where justice is central. And I believe that the noble people of Russia can play a very important role in this process,” he stressed.

Candidacy Rejected

Ahmadinejad was barred from running in Iran’s presidential elections twice in a row, first in 2017 and then in the June 2021 vote, which was handily won by Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi, a conservative with close ties to the clergy and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Ahmadinejad did not contest the decision to bar him, made by the Guardian Council – Iran’s powerful constitutional watchdog of six high-ranking Shiite clerics appointed by Khamenei and six lawyers chosen by parliament from nominations by the judiciary.

In the West, Ahmadinejad is best remembered for his war of words with the Bush administration over the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as his 2006 statement that Israel [sic] (the “Zionist regime” ) must “vanish from the page of history,” often misquoted as “wiped off the map,” which sparked outrage in Tel Aviv and conservatives in Washington. Also in 2006, CNN famously misquoted his statement that Iran has a “right to nuclear energy” as Iran’s “right to nuclear weapons,” with that scandal prompting Iran to boot the US cable news network’s journalists out of the country.

In 2007, Ahmadinejad stirred up anger among liberals during a trip to New York when he told students at Columbia University that gays and lesbians “don’t exist” in Iran.

Since completing his term as president in 2013, Ahmadinejad has occasionally popped up in the news cycle, especially while quoting the lyrics of well-known American rap artists, who he apparently vibes to, to make a political point. Last year, the politician’s use of the late Tupac Shakur’s “Pull the trigger kill a N**** he’s a hero” to refer to the death of Minnesota black man George Floyd got him in trouble online.

In his home country, Ahmadinejad is better known for his ascetic lifestyle, populist economic policies, campaigns against corruption, and programmes to improve Iran’s self-sufficiency in a range of areas, including defence. During his time in office, he advocated for a compromise between Western-style capitalism and socialism. Under him, Tehran was also able to form a strategic alliance with Venezuela – with that partnership remaining strong to this day.

June 24, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Economics, False Flag Terrorism, Militarism | , , , , , | 1 Comment

The only Turkish boots on the ground in Palestine are on Israeli soldiers’ feet

By Omar Ahmed | MEMO | June 14, 2021

When last month’s ceasefire was agreed between Israel and Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, thanked Iran for its support. “The Islamic Republic of Iran did not hold back with money, weapons, and technical support,” he said. Haniyeh also thanked Qatar for its pledge to rebuild Gaza after the latest devastating military offensive by Israel, which lasted eleven days and nights last month.

Similar sentiments were conveyed by the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar. “All our thanks go to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its consistent support over the years to Hamas and other resistance factions,” he explained. He also briefly recognised support from Qatar, Turkey, and Kuwait.

Apart from Sinwar’s passing reference to Turkey, expressions of gratitude to Ankara were noticeable by their absence. This was despite the frequent pro-Palestinian rhetoric and denunciations of Israel by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The last time that Haniyeh thanked Turkey publically was back in 2016 over its aid efforts in Gaza.

It was clear that, after the latest onslaught on the Palestinian people, the resistance chose to recognise Iran’s help where it matters most, in the field with the armed resistance and, to a lesser extent, Qatar’s assistance for the reconstruction of Gaza.

Why has Turkey been left out, despite being a friend of Palestine? It could be something to do with the uncomfortable truth that despite Ankara’s stance towards Palestinian national liberation, it maintains important diplomatic and trade ties with Israel. The Palestinian factions know this very well. National liberation, as I have written before, will ultimately rest on a military solution, which is why Iranian support has been singularly recognised by the factions.

The status quo of the secular Turkish republic is one that is supportive of Israel. It was the first Muslim-majority country to recognise the statehood of Israel a year after its creation in occupied Palestine in 1948. The rise of Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) over the past two decades has, admittedly, coincided with diplomatic tensions between Ankara and Tel Aviv, especially after the Gaza flotilla attack in 2010.

While political ties have unquestionably deteriorated over the years and reached a new low with Israel’s desecration of Al-Aqsa Mosque last month, business ties haven’t. According to the Turkey-based, pro-Kurdish news agency Mezopotamya Ajansi, “When the AK Party came to power, the trade volume between Israel and Turkey was 1.4 billion dollars, today it is 6.5 billion dollars.”

The report cites data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) and says that Israel was ranked as the third-highest importer of Turkish goods last year, for a total value of $4.7 billion.

Political ties between the two countries are served by their respective embassies, which remain open. Turkey appointed a new ambassador to Israel after the downgrade in ties and withdrawal of its envoy in 2018 in protest of the deadly attacks on Gaza that year. At the end of last year, Erdogan said that Turkey would like better relations with Israel but claimed that Palestine is the “red line”. The latest and ongoing aggression, however, suggests that this is not the case.

An interesting development last month, though, was the Turkish proposal to establish an international force to protect Palestinians from future Israeli attacks. This was followed by the signing of a security agreement between Turkey and the Palestinian Authority earlier this month, modelled on a similar pact made with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA). Some have questioned what support Turkey can offer the Palestinian people beyond charitable donations, and to what extent such a hypothetical international force could really protect them. Hence, it remains to be seen if and how this security agreement will be implemented.

What is clear, is that Turkey won’t risk political, military, and economic consequences in any moves that directly affect the security of Israel. Iran knows only too well that its flagrant support of non-state actors opposed to Israeli and Western interests comes at a hefty price in terms of sanctions and attempts to isolate it. Faced with its own economic problems, Turkey will be reluctant to go down such a lonely route, even if both regional powers are arguably supporting Palestine out of ulterior motives.

In any case, the trade will continue as usual, and the only Turkish boots on the ground in occupied Palestine will be worn by Israeli soldiers. As media outlets in Turkey have reported in the past, Turkish-made military boots have been supplied to the Israeli army: “YDS is a leading supplier of boots, assault vests, and bags to armies across the world. Israeli soldiers are among those who use Yakupoğlu garments.” Tension between Israel and Turkey, said one CEO, does not affect business.

The next Palestinian uprising will inevitably involve more support from Iran, and only Arab states and non-state groups aligned with Tehran are vehemently opposed to the occupation state. Reinforcing this, Haniyeh is reportedly planning visits to both Iran and Lebanon, which will include meetings with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in Tehran and Hezbollah’s Secretary-General, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. He is expected to travel after his meetings in Cairo over stalled prisoner exchange negotiations with Israel, owing to the latter’s political uncertainty. With a new Israeli government now in place, though, that may change.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘This madness mustn’t be tolerated,’ Tehran says after ex-Mossad chief implies Israel had role in blast & assassination in Iran

RT | June 12, 2021

The Iranian mission to the UN has accused Israel of ‘lawlessness,’ after the newly retired head of Mossad implied that his agency had been behind an explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility and the killing of a key scientist.

The comments made by Yossi Cohen in his bombshell TV interview midweek reflected a long-running pattern of “criminal” sabotage by Israel against Tehran, Shahrokh Nazemi, a spokesman for Iran’s mission to the UN, told the AP news agency on Saturday.

“This lawlessness has reached a point when the former official of this regime is shamelessly and blatantly threatening our nuclear scientists with death,” Nazemi said, insisting that “this madness must not be tolerated.”

During his interview, Cohen, who was the director of Mossad from 2016 until last week, stated: “We say very clearly [to Iran]: we won’t let you get nuclear weapons. What don’t you understand?”

The former spymaster suggested Mossad played a role in the blast at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility last July and the assassination of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in November.

Cohen stopped short of directly confessing to both incidents, but bragged that the facility didn’t “look like it used to” after the explosion crippled its centrifuges. He also confirmed that Fakhrizadeh had been a target for intelligence-gathering by Mossad “for many years” because Israel was “most troubled” by his work.

Tehran had blamed Israel for those incidents as well as another explosion at Natanz this April.

Nazemi insisted the Jewish state had actually been making attempts to sabotage the Iranian nuclear program for more than a decade – since a 2010 cyberattack that destroyed centrifuges to enrich uranium at the same site.

June 12, 2021 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , | 3 Comments

Zarif defends Iran’s voting rights as Guterres set to get reelected as UN chief

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
Press TV – June 9, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres earlier this month, criticizing the United Nations’ decision to deprive Iran of its voting rights.

As the UN Security Council backed Guterres for a second term on Tuesday, it is worthwhile to read highlights of Zarif’s letter to the UN chief, in which the Iranian foreign minister slammed the UN decision as “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified.”

“Iran’s inability to fulfill its financial obligation toward the United Nations is directly caused by ‘unlawful unilateral sanctions’ imposed by the United States to punish those who comply with a Security Council resolution,” Zarif wrote.

He was making a reference to the sanctions that the US slapped on Iran after former president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and violated UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that endorsed the historic pact.

The sanctions have blocked Iran’s access to global financial systems, and its money in foreign banks, including in South Korean, Japanese and Iraqi banks.

Zarif said the world is well aware that the people of Iran have been under unprecedented economic warfare and terrorism since the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, also called the JCPOA, in material breach of preemptory norms of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and Resolution 2231.

“It is astonishingly absurd that Iranian people, who have been forcibly blocked from transferring their own money and resources to buy food and medicine – let alone pay UN contributions arrears – by a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council, are now being punished for not being allowed to pay budget arrears by the secretariat of the same organization, which has unjustifiably chosen for the past 3 years to remain indifferent in the face of attempted mass starvation – a crime against humanity – by the United States,” he noted.

The letter came after the UN said it had suspended the voting rights of Iran and four other countries over dues under Article 19 of the UN Charter, which states that any member owing the previous two years of assessments may not vote in the General Assembly.

However, Zarif pointed out that the UN Charter gives the General Assembly the authority to decide “that the failure to pay is due to conditions beyond the control of the member,” and in that case a country can continue to vote.

“By what definition are Iran’s arrears not ‘due to conditions beyond control’?” the chief Iranian diplomat asked.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is fully committed to fulfilling its financial obligations to the United Nations and will continue to make every effort to settle the arrears in the payment of its financial contribution to the UN and other international organizations as soon as the underlying imposed conditions, i.e. the US unlawful unilateral coercive measures, is removed,” Zarif added.

The UN decision came while Iran and the other parties to the JCPOA are engaged in multilateral talks to bring the US back into compliance with the deal and remove the anti-Iran sanctions in exchange for the reversal of Iran’s nuclear activities that go beyond the JCPOA limits.

The talks, which began in early April, have not led to a tangible outcome yet.

Zarif said on Monday that it remains unclear whether US President Joe Biden and State Secretary Antony Blinken are ready to bury the failed “maximum pressure” policy of Trump and his State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

“Iran is in compliance with the #JCPOA. Just read paragraph 36,” Zarif wrote in a tweet. “Time to change course.”

June 9, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , | 2 Comments