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‘Sanctions guru’ involved in creating Russiagate saga to return as CIA’s deputy director under Biden

David Cohen in 2014. ©REUTERS / Kevin Lamarque
RT | January 15, 2021

Joe Biden’s transition team has picked David Cohen, the former deputy director of the CIA, to reprise his role and help smooth things out for his future boss, career diplomat and intelligence outsider William Burns.

Cohen was considered a frontrunner to become CIA director himself, but Biden chose Burns instead. Cohen’s return to the office he held between 2015 and 2017 was announced on Friday, and since his candidacy does not require a Senate confirmation, he will be able to start on inauguration day.

As deputy for then-CIA Director John Brennan, Cohen was involved in creating the infamous US intelligence assessment of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. The document was widely touted as a consensus opinion of 17 agencies, but later turned out to be a product of officials from only three of them – the CIA, FBI, and NSA – “hand-picked” for the task by then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (technically, his office is an agency of its own and could be counted as the fourth one vouching for the document).

The assessment, which was released in the final days of the Obama administration, claimed that Russia ran a sophisticated interference and influence campaign to help Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. It primed the US public for the sequel theory that accused the Trump campaign of “colluding” with the Kremlin, setting the tone for the entire presidency of the Republican winner. Russia denied any involvement in the election and said it was used as a scapegoat in US partisan fights.

In 2017, Cohen famously rebuked then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo, when he claimed the US intelligence community believed the outcome of the election was not affected by the purported Russian campaign. In fact, the scope of the report was not wide enough to make such an assessment.

Interestingly, after going private, Cohen worked at WilmerHale, a law firm that also employs Robert Mueller, the former FBI director and special counsel who investigated the Russiagate allegations and found no evidence of collusion. He also spent time as a national security contributor at NBC News, rubbing shoulders then with his ex-boss, Brennan.

Cohen is said to be respected and loved in the intelligence community. Brennan called him “a great listener” and “an ardent supporter and defender of the agency.”

Before becoming the second most senior official in the CIA, Cohen worked in the US Treasury, specializing in tracing financial streams and enforcing US economic sanctions, which won him the nickname “sanctions guru.” Early in his government career under George W. Bush, he was credited for his contribution to writing the section of the Patriot Act that deals with money laundering and financing of terrorism.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Deception | , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Israel deployed an intelligence deception to justify killing scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh

By Gareth Porter · The GrayZone · December 2, 2020

Israel’s Mossad has spent years on a propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the world Iran possessed a nuclear weapons program – and legitimizing its assassinations of Iranian academics.

The Israeli assassination of Iranian defense official Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is being treated as a triumph of Israeli intelligence, with ubiquitous references in the New York Times and other major media outlets to the killing of “Iran’s top nuclear scientist”. In fact, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency eliminated Fakhrizadeh, a defense official, despite the knowledge that its public depiction of him as the key architect of an Iranian nuclear weapons program was a deception.

For years, US media outlets have portrayed Fakhrizadeh as Iran’s equivalent to J. Robert Oppenheimer, marketing him to the public as the mastermind behind an Iranian version of the Manhattan Project. This image was developed primarily through a carefully constructed Israeli disinformation operation based on documents that displayed signs of fabrication.

Birth of a Mossad propaganda operation

The origin of the Mossad propaganda operation on Fakhrizadeh lies in the early 1990’s, when the US and Israel first developed suspicions of Iranian ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon. U.S., British, German and Israeli intelligence analysts had intercepted telexes from Sharif University about various “dual use” technologies — those that could be exploited in a nuclear program but also be applied for non-nuclear use.

Many of the telexes contained the number of an organization called Physics Research Center that operated under the watch of Iran’s Defense Ministry. The CIA and its allied intelligence agencies interpreted those intercepts as evidence that the Iranian military was running its own nuclear program, and thus that Iran was covertly seeking a nuclear weapons capability.

During the first term of the George W. Bush administration, the notorious militarist and Likud ally John Bolton took charge of Iran policy, prompting the CIA to issue an estimate concluding for the first time that Iran had initiated a nuclear weapons program. Israel’s Mossad apparently saw Washington’s new posture as a green light to set into motion a black propaganda campaign to dramatize and personalize the secret Iranian nuclear weapons program that was presumed to exist.

Between 2003 and 2004, Mossad produced a large cache of alleged Iranian documents depicting efforts to mate a nuclear weapon with Iran’s Shahab-3 missile and a bench system to convert uranium.

The Mossad files contained multiple tell-tale signs of forgery. For example, the reentry vehicle depicted in the drawings had already been abandoned by 2002 – before these drawings were supposedly created, according to the documents themselves – in favor of a design that looked entirely different and which was first shown in an August 2004 test. So whoever was responsible for the drawings was clearly unaware of the single most important Defense Ministry decision affecting the future of Iran’s missile deterrent.

The CIA never revealed who spirited the documents out of Iran or how. However, former senior German Foreign Office official Karsten Voigt explained to this reporter in 2013 that the German intelligence agency, the BND, had been furnished with the collection by an occasional source whom the intel chiefs considered less than credible.

And who was this source? According to Voigt, he belonged to the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK), the exile Iranian cult which had fought for Saddam’s Iraqi forces against Iran during the eight-year war and by the early 1990s was passing information and propaganda that Mossad did not want to have attributed to itself.

Painting Fakrhizadeh as nuclear mastermind

Those Mossad documents identified Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as the manager of a supposedly top-secret Iranian project called the “AMAD Plan.” In reality, Fakhrizadeh was an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officer and official in the Ministry of Defense Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL), who also taught Physics at Imam Hussein University in Tehran.

To implicate him as a nuclear project mastermind, the collection of Mossad documents featured a directive supposedly signed by Fakhrizadeh. But since no one outside Iran had ever seen the previously obscure official’s signature, and given the lack of effort to show any official government markings on the documents, there was little to prevent Mossad from forging it.

In their 2012 history of Israel’s intelligence service, “Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service”, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nisham Mishal pointed to Mossad as the culprit behind the appearance of the supposed Iranian nuclear documents. The writers recounted how Mossad gathered the personal information on Fakhrizadeh that was later released to the public through the MEK, including his passport number and his home telephone number.

“This abundance of detail and means of transmission,” Bar-Zohar and Mishal wrote, “leads one to believe that… ‘a certain secret service’ ever suspected by the West of pursuing its own agenda, painstakingly collected these facts and figures about the Iranian scientist and passed them on to the Iranian resistance [MEK].”

The documents also fingered Fakhrizadeh as the former head of the Physics Research Centre, thus deceptively linking him to the procurement efforts for “dual use” nuclear items in 1990-91 that were well known to CIA and other intelligence agencies. That accusation was reflected in the 2006 United Nations Security Council Resolution 1747 listing Iranian officials responsible for nuclear and missile proliferation in Iran. In the UN resolution, Fakhrizadeh was identified as a “[s]enior MODAFL scientist and former head of the Physics Research Centre (PHRC).”

But the Israeli identification of Fakhrizadeh as the head of the PHRC was proven to be a lie. Iran turned over extensive documentation to the IAEA in late 2004 or early 2005 on the PHRC and the procurement telexes, and the documents — which the IAEA did not challenge — showing that a professor at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran named Sayyed Abbas Shahmoradi-Zavari had headed the PHRC from its inception in 1989 until it closed in 1998.

Further, the documents provided to the IAEA revealed that the dual-use technology that Shahmoradi-Zavari helped the university procure through his PHRC connections was actually intended for the university faculty’s own teaching and research. In at least one case, the IAEA personnel found one “dual-use” item had been procured by the university.

These facts should have put an end to the Mossad-created myth of Fakrizadeh as the head of a vast underground nuclear weapons program. But the IAEA never revealed Shamoradi-Zavari’s name, and therefore avoided having to acknowledge that the documents the agency had embraced as genuine had misled the world about Fakhrizadeh.

It was not until 2012 that David Albright, the director of Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, acknowledged that Shahmoradi-Zavari — not Fakhrizadeh — had been the head of the Physics Research Center – although he avoided admitting that the IAEA had relied on documents that turned out be false.

Revving up the propaganda 

The Mossad got busy again after the CIA’s November 2007 assessment that Iran had ceased work on nuclear weapons. Determined to neutralize the political impact of that finding, the Israelis apparently began work on a new batch of Iranian top secret documents. This time, however, the Israelis provided the documents directly to the IAEA in late 2009, as then-IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei revealed in his memoirs.

The documents supposedly revealed Iranian defense ministry activities related to nuclear weapons after the cessation of such work that the CIA. One of those documents, leaked to the London Times in December 2009, purported to be a 2007 letter from Fakhrizadeh as the chairman of an organization presiding over nuclear weapons work. But as ElBaradei recalled, the IAEA’s technical experts “raised numerous questions about the documents’ authenticity…”

Even the CIA and some European intelligence analysts were skeptical about the authenticity of the Fakhrizadeh document. Although it had been circulating among the intelligence agencies for months, even the normally unquestioning New York Times reported that the CIA had not authenticated it. Former CIA counterterrorism official Philip Giraldi, who had maintained contacts with active agency personnel, told this reporter CIA analysts regarded the document as a forgery.

A pattern of assassinations justified by disinformation

The killing of Fakhrizadeh was not the first time Mossad bumped off an Iranian it had baselessly accused of playing a leading role in a weapons program. In July 2011, someone working for Mossad — apparently an MEK member — gunned down a 35-year old engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad and wounded his wife in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

The young man was targeted on the basis of nothing more than the research he had conducted on high-voltage switches and his publication of a scholarly paper about his scholarship. The abstract of the professional paper Rezaienejad had published made it clear that his work involved what is called “explosive pulsed power” involved in high-power lasers, high-power microwave sources and other commercial applications.

A few days after the assassination of Rezaienejad, however, an official of an unnamed “member state” provided Associated Press reporter George Jahn the abstract of Rezaienejad’s paper, successfully persuading Jahn that it “appeared to back” the claim that he had been “working on a key component in setting off the explosives needed to trigger a nuclear warhead.”

Then, in September 2011, the Israelis provided Jahn with an “intelligence summary” advancing the ludicrous claim that Rezaeinejad was not an electrical engineering specialist at all, but rather a “physicist” who had worked for the Ministry of Defense on various aspects of nuclear weapons.

The deployment of absurd assertions backed by paper-thin evidence to justify the cold-blooded murder of a young electrical engineer with no record of nuclear weapons involvement illuminated a Mossad modus operandi that has reappeared in the case of Fakhrizadeh: Israeli intelligence simply gins up a narrative centered around fictional ties to a nonexistent nuclear weapons program. It then watches as the Western press uncritically disseminates the propaganda to the public, establishing the political space for cold-blooded assassinations in broad daylight.

Gareth Porter is an independent investigative journalist who has covered national security policy since 2005 and was the recipient of Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in 2012. His most recent book is The CIA Insider’s Guide to the Iran Crisis co-authored with John Kiriakou, just published in February.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

AngloZionists are trying to provoke a war with Iran

The Saker | November 27, 2020

There is really nothing particularly complicated about what just happened: the AngloZionists have murdered a top Iranian scientist in the hope that this murder will trigger a war. The Iranians have promised a retaliation, but have not taken any action, at least so far.

Since there are those who will inevitably conclude that “Iran cannot do anything“, or “Iran is afraid” or even “Iran should strike Israel“, all I want to do today is to mention a few basic things about deterrence and retaliation. Let’s begin by the former: deterrence.

Deterrence: there are two fundamental ways to deter an enemy: denial and punishment. The first case in infinitely more desirable than the second one. Why? Denial simply means that you can counter-act your enemy’s attack plans by preventing your enemy from achieving success. This is what an air defense system does: it destroys the incoming missile before it reaches the target.

In our case, an effective denial strategy would have been executed by effectively protecting Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and his family from any attacks. It is clear that the Iranians miserably failed at this task. Frankly, I have to say that I find no possible excuse for this: everybody knew for years that Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was on the Israeli hit list thus the Iranian authorities had years to prepare to fully defend him. In truth, that is not as hard as it seems. Yet, all they apparently did, was to provide him with two body guards and what looks to me like a non-armored car. It is also obvious that the attackers knew exactly where his car would drive by and when. Again, this is simply inexcusable. If the Iranian counter-terrorist and counter-intelligence services are so sloppy, then that means that there are many more key Iranian officials which could be killed next. Bottom line: the Iranians have proven that they are not capable of denial.

Hopefully, they have now learned their lesson and that more competent and determined specialists will now be in charge of protecting key Iranian figures.

Even worse is the very strong possibility that some Iranian officials might have been recruited by the AngloZionsts to assist in the execution of the assassination plan. Never say never, but I strongly believe that such assassinations are not possible without local accomplices. Again, this is a question which Iranian security services will have to not only answer, but answer for!

If the Iranians are not capable of denial, then this means that their only option  to deter such attacks is punishment.

Can the Iranian punish the US and/or Israel?

Yes, of course they can, but only at the risk of doing exactly that which the AngloZionists want to achieve: give the Empire a pretext for war or, at the very least, a non-symbolic strike on key Iranian facilities (and, possibly, officials).

The key factor to consider here is that the aggregate power of Iran is still much weaker than the aggregate power of the AngloZionist Empire. Like it or not, but this is a fact.  Even Russia and China are globally weaker than the Empire, so they all share the same problem: how to deter a stronger party?

In fact, there are options other than immediately responding to the attack.

One option is what the CIA calls “plausible deniability” (the Russian equivalent would be “make sure your ears don’t stick out“): you make sure that there is no way to prove that you took any action. That can be done by using proxys and/or by covert operations.

[Sidebar: I read that the Iranians killed two of the attackers and captured one alive; if that is true, then I bet you that these terrorists were neither US nor Israels but locals, meaning terrorists hired either in Iran or elsewhere in the Middle-East. This is how the CIA always operates, just remember how the CIA engaged in a campaign of car bombing in Lebanon in which local CIA assets were used to plant the bombs. In a typical CIA fashion, these attacks resulted in 83 dead and hundreds of wounded, but missed the intended target: Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah].

Another option is what could be called “retaliation by a thousand cuts” – this is what the Iranians are doing to the USA in Iraq: pro-Iranian forces regularly attack US forces and positions, but always below the threshold at which the USA has to take major, public action. This approach can be summed up like so: “surely you will not start a full scale war just over a relatively minor incident?“  Keep the “incidents” “minor” enough and your enemy will be frustrated and unable to articulate an adequate response, especially over time.

Let’s discuss time now. It is said that “revenge is a dish best served cold.“ This is true! When the AngloZionists execute a high-risk covert operation they will typically try to get their forces in a higher state of readiness in case of a overt retaliatory strike. But here is the problem: no force or facility can remain at maximum readiness forever. It is too expensive, too complicated, too disruptive of normal operations and, finally, some form or other of boredom sets in. Even better, the primitive attacker will sooner or later conclude that “we dodged that bullet” or “they did not dare attack us“, breathe a sigh of relief and resume normal activities.

Next, comes place/location: if you are the weaker party but you do want to retaliate, not only are you much better off doing that after enough time passes for your adversary to let down his guard, you also can chose to retaliate very far away from where you yourself were attacked. In our case, that means that since the AngloZionists did commit their terrorist act in plain view of the world, you need not to the same thing.  Hit them somewhere as far away from their own national territory as possible. The good news is that the AngloZionist Empire has a planet-wide footprint. And, even better, the Empire is really already dead and unable to keep a high state of readiness worldwide. Simply put, there are *a lot* of very easy targets out there, it is quite easy to pick one.

Keep in mind that you do not have to retaliate in kind. If they murder one of your scientists this does not at all mean that you have to murder one of theirs: there are many venues open for retaliation which do not at all require killing anybody: you can retaliate economically, politically and you can also chose to retaliate against any US/Israeli colony out there (of which there are still plenty). How?

For example, the Iranians could retaliate against any so-called US or Israeli “ally” in the Middle-East and even elsewhere. Remember, the huge footprint of the Empire makes it indefensible and the current political chaos in the USA might be exactly what some of these so-called “allies” need to try to slip from under the US/Israeli control.

In truth, Iran has options galore!

Yes, Iran will probably not execute and immediate and public action of retaliation similar to what happened following the murder of General Soleimani. Why? Because they don’t have to! The main point of the Iranian counter-strike was to show the world, and especially the US decision-makers, that the US posture in the Middle-East makes it extremely vulnerable to Iranian missile strikes. They don’t need to do this again.  In fact, if the logic or the Iranian counter-strike was to show that there would be hell to pay for the US and Israel in case of full scale attack, it would be completely illogical and counter-productive to now do exactly that which could trigger such an attack.

I think that we can be absolutely sure that Iran will retaliate for the murders of Soleimani and Fakhrizadeh, but my guess is that this retaliation will be “served cold” and, probably, in an asymmetrical manner. This has nothing to do with any Iranian “fears” or “weaknesses” and everything to do with the fact that Iranians are superb strategists.

PS: those interested in Iranian covert operations could look into PanAm 103 and how the Iranians used Iraqi exiles to deflect the planned AngloZionist attack on Iran to their mortal enemy next door: Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I just don’t have the material time to write about these now, but follow the leads and you can find out for yourself what actually happened.

November 28, 2020 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

United Nations Confirms Nuclear Cooperation With Iran

teleSUR – November 24, 2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) published on Friday its new quarterly report in which it highlighted the goodwill of the Islamic Republic of Iran in allowing the international inspectors access to one of the Iranian strategic sites, which, according to the Agency, is one of the facilities where “suspicious” activities are allegedly taking place. The 40-page report ratifies Iran’s verification of the Non-Proliferation Treaty’s safeguards to prevent the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

In its dossier, the IAEA points out that Iranian heavy water reserves have been reduced to 130 tons, thus placing it within the framework of the Comprehensive Joint Action Plan (CJAP or JCPOA), the official name of the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and the 5+1 Group, composed at that time by the U.S., the UK, France, Russia, and China, plus Germany.

According to the Iranian press, despite this confirmation, IAEA director Rafael Grossi, under pressure from the West, called last week for greater transparency in the Iranian peaceful nuclear program.

However, this Saturday, after learning the contents of the report, Mikhail Ulyanov, permanent representative of Russia to the international organizations based in Vienna, Austria, in a message published on his Twitter account, has stressed that this document disrupts all efforts of those who sought to undermine the issues related to Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA.

“The data in the report published by the IAEA indicates that Iran has begun to allow access to the sites indicated by the Agency. Those who wanted to create a crisis on this issue should be very disappointed,” wrote the senior Russian diplomat. After stressing that the spirit of cooperation between the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) and the IAEA prevailed, Ulyanov said that this understanding clarifies that Iran remains faithful to its nuclear commitments, unlike the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, despite multiple reports from the IAEA that Tehran was meeting all the commitments it accepted at the IACP, used the pretext that Tehran was not doing so to abandon the agreement May 2018 and re-impose a series of illegal sanctions on Tehran.

The new IAEA report comes after the Trump government added two major diplomatic defeats in recent weeks. First, its plan to extend the arms embargo against Iran and then its attempt to restore the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) international sanctions against Tehran, eliminated under the nuclear agreement, failed.

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Khamenei: Sanctions crime of US, European partners against Iran

Press TV | November 24, 2020

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has described the illegal sanctions the United States has imposed on Iran with the support of its European partners as a “bitter reality” and a “crime” against the nation.

Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks on Tuesday during a meeting of the Supreme Council for Economic Coordination among the three branches of the Iranian government.

The Leader said the Iranian nation has been subjected to such a crime for many years, but that the sanctions have been stepped up over the past three years under the current US administration.

Ayatollah Khamenei said there are two ways to end the restrictions, either by “neutralizing the sanctions and overcoming them” or having “the bans removed.”

“Of course, we tried the path of [having] the sanctions lifted once and negotiated for several years [to that effect], but it produced no results,” he added.

Referring to the other solution, the Leader said, “This path may have difficulties at the beginning, but there will be a positive outcome.”

Ayatollah Khamenei said, “We have a lot of potential and capabilities to render the sanctions ineffective, provided that we muster the will, strive and meet the challenges outright.”

“If we manage to overcome the sanctions through [our own] efforts and initiatives while holding firm against the problems, the other side will gradually lift the bans since it will see their ineffectiveness,” the Leader added.

The Leader further urged Iranians not to rely on aid from abroad to resolve domestic problems.

“The situation of the United States is far from clear and the Europeans are constantly adopting positions against Iran,” the Leader said. “They tell us not to interfere in the region, whereas it is them who are interfering the most wrongly in the affairs of the region, with Britain and France possessing destructive nuclear missiles and Germany being on the same path. Then they tell us not to have missiles.”

November 24, 2020 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

New IAEA Report Proof of Iran’s Continued Cooperation: Envoy

Al-Manar | November 12, 2020

Iran says the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report proves the country’s continued cooperation with the UN’s nuclear watchdog and the suspension of commitments under a 2015 deal.

Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations, told reporters on Wednesday that the new report shows the IAEA’s continued verification of the country’s nuclear program.

According to the report, he said, in addition to heavy water production and storage, Iran has exported more than 2.2 tons of its heavy water and also utilized 1.3 tons in line with its research and development activities.

He said the report states that Iran has continued its uranium enrichment activities in Natanz and Fordow sites, using new machines, and enriching uranium up to 4.5% purity, which is beyond the 3.67% limit set in the nuclear agreement, which is officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In addition, he added, the report mentions Iran’s recent decision to relocate its R&D centrifuges underground in Natanz and states that the country has declared it will consider safeguard requirements.

According to Gharibabadi, “the IAEA report has announced the amount of Iran’s uranium reserves is about 2,442.9 kg as of November 2, which is equal to about 3,600 kg of low-enriched uranium.”

He also pointed to the report’s reference to the results of the IAEA’s inspection of one of the country’s sites in 2018, and said that despite the differences in Iran’s technical views with the IAEA, interactions in that area are still ongoing between the two sides with the aim of resolving the issue.

Separately, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi told a meeting of the UN General Assembly that Tehran believes the IAEA must fulfil its verification duty in a way that it does not overshadow the member states’ inalienable right to reinforce their peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Even the non-proliferation concerns should not limit the member states’ rights, he said, adding that the international community must reject any attempt to restrict peaceful use of nuclear energy.

He said over the past year, 22 percent of all the IAEA’s inspections have been carried out in Iran, and the watchdog’s activities have not stopped in the Islamic Republic even at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

Iran signed the JCPOA with six world states — namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China — in 2015.

However, Washington’s unilateral withdrawal in May 2018 and subsequent re-imposition of sanctions against Tehran left the future of the historic agreement in limbo.

Iran remained fully compliant with the JCPOA for an entire year, waiting for the co-signatories to fulfill their end of the bargain by offsetting the impacts of American bans on the Iranian economy.

But as the European parties failed to do so, the Islamic Republic moved in May 2019 to suspend its JCPOA commitments under Articles 26 and 36 of the deal covering Tehran’s legal rights.

Iran took five steps in scaling back its obligations, among them abandoning operational limitations on its nuclear industry, including with regard to the capacity and level of uranium enrichment.

All those measures were adopted after informing the IAEA beforehand, with the agency’s inspectors present on the ground in Iran.

November 12, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 1 Comment

Bernie’s DSA blacklists Iran media: No change with Biden win?

By Ramin Mazaheri – Press TV – November 1, 2020

PressTV’s motto is to give “voice to the voiceless” and so we have given priority to non-mainstream political groups during our coverage of the US presidential election. We have spoken with socialists, Greens, Libertarians and more, but the Democratic Socialists of America – perhaps best exemplified by failed presidential candidate Bernie Sanders – has openly blacklisted Iranian media.

After repeated requests, the Chicago chapter of DSA wrote to Press TV that, “The officers of our organization have decided that it would not serve our interests to do an interview.”

This caused PressTV management to contact DSA’s headquarters in New York City to confirm if this allegedly-leftist political group was really enforcing a blacklist on the entire media of an internationally-recognized nation. As expected, no response was given, so – crucially – no denial either.

It is a disheartening policy for a group which openly promises that – if elected in greater numbers – their members will push the Democratic Party and thus the entire nation to an unprecedentedly progressive left.

Take, for example, their most prominent member, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She said as recently as September, “I think, overall, we can likely push Vice-President Biden in a more progressive direction across policy issues. I think foreign policy is an enormous area where we can improve; immigration is another one.”

That begs obvious questions: How can DSA officials from the national down to the local level make US foreign policy more progressive if they refuse to talk to foreigners and their representatives? Should DSA members get elected or be appointed to public office, their members are willfully ignorant of foreign viewpoints.

Just as worrying regarding the quality of the public service they will provide, DSA cadres are being trained to use a unilateral approach when dealing with non-Americans. Lastly, how authentic and patriotic is DSA if they are not reflecting the values which the average American seems to champion, such as the freedom of the press?

While Americans are days away from voting in their election, Iran’s next presidential election is in June.

It appears critical for Iranian voters to consider that if DSA – the allegedly-leftist wing of the Democratic Party – refuses to engage in normal cooperation with friendly Iranian media, then what is the likelihood that such people are going to truly push Washington’s Iran policy in a more open and progressive direction?

So even if Democrats win next week, DSA’s blacklist raises the question: How could a Joe Biden presidency drastically alleviate the US-led sanction war on Iran?

The Democratic Socialists of America should immediately reform their wrongly-guided decision to blacklist Iranian media. Refusal to do so would be an extremely belligerent policy which only helps to lay the groundwork for ignorance, murderous sanctions, war and anti-internationalism, and by a group which claims to be “Democratic” and “Socialist.”

November 1, 2020 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 1 Comment

Beijing Calls US Threats to Impose Sanctions Over Arms Supply to Iran Senseless

BEIJING – The US threats to impose sanctions on anyone supplying weapons to Iran are senseless, as such restrictions would be illegitimate, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Monday.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry stated on Sunday, referring to the UN Security Council resolution 2231 (2015), that all restrictions on the transfer of arms to the country were terminated. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded by saying that the US was ready to sanction any individual or entity that supplied conventional arms to Iran.

“The US actions are absolutely senseless. The US has even stated that China is going to supply arms to Iran. Chinese arms export policy has demonstrated our responsibility, while the US peddles arms and ammunition everywhere, uses military trade to serve geopolitical interests, and even openly interferes in the internal affairs of other countries,” Zhao told reporters.

He added that “the US has withdrawn from the Arms Trade Treaty and does not have any right to make irresponsible statements concerning China.”

The Chinese official stressed that the UN Security Council had already lifted the arms embargo from Iran.

On 14 July 2015, Iran, Russia, China, the US, Great Britain, Germany and France signed settlement agreements for the Iranian nuclear program. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action came into force on 18 October 2015, and, according to its provisions, sanctions were imposed on Iran, one of which banned conventional weapon sales to Iran for five years.

The US proposed prolonging the arms sale embargo in the UN Security Council on 14 August 2020, but the proposition was declined. Consequently, Iran is now able to procure any arms without restrictions.

October 19, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Russia weighs military cooperation with Iran after arms embargo expiration: Foreign Ministry

Press TV – October 16, 2020

The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman says Moscow will consider military technical cooperation with Iran in line with mutual interests after the expiration of a United Nations arms embargo on Tehran.

“We are convinced that all possibilities stemming from the expiration of the provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231 that are linked with military technical cooperation with Iran will be duly taken into account and used on the basis of mutual benefit and in the interests of the peoples of our two states,” Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

She was referring to the resolution that endorsed a multilateral 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers, including Russia.

All the parties to the talks about Iran’s nuclear program were aware from the very beginning that there is no link between restrictions on weapons supplies to Tehran and the settlement of issues pertaining to its nuclear program, added Zakharova.

She emphasized that the United Nations Security Council did not impose a weapons embargo on Iran in 2015, but the country “voluntarily undertook a number of restrictions.”

“It was done in the interests of the soonest successful outcome of the talks on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to settle the situation around the Iranian nuclear program,” the Russian diplomat said.

She noted that the term of the corresponding provisions has expired.

Zakharova stressed that Iran was a “reliable partner” for Russia in many areas of cooperation.

On August 14, the UN Security Council almost unanimously refused to support a US-sponsored draft resolution on extending the arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire on October 18 under the JCPOA.

During the 15-member Security Council vote, the US received support only from the Dominican Republic for its anti-Iran resolution, leaving it far short of the minimum nine ‘yes’ votes required for adoption.

The following month, Washington suffered another embarrassing loss as it failed to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the JCPOA aimed at re-imposing all UN sanctions against Iran.

The UN Security Council member states challenged the US’s rationale that it was still a participant state to the nuclear accord, citing its unilateral withdrawal in May 2018.

Speaking during a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the country will be free to trade weapons as of Sunday after the United States failed in its attempts to secure an extension of the embargo.

Moscow had earlier said “new opportunities” will emerge in cooperation with Iran the UN embargo expires, and that any agreements with Tehran will have “nothing to do with the unlawful and illegal actions of the US administration, which is trying to intimidate the entire world.”

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said late last month that Moscow and Tehran roundly reject efforts by the US to permanently extend an arms embargo against the Islamic Republic.

Speaking at a joint press conference that followed a meeting with his visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Moscow, Lavrov added, “We stressed that Moscow and Tehran, like the entire international community, categorically reject US ambitions to impose some kind of indefinite arms embargo.”

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October 16, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | Leave a comment

Iran to use funds in Iraq for basic goods imports: CBI governor

Press TV – October 12, 2020

Iraq has agreed to release Iranian funds blocked in the Arab country because of American sanctions for Iran’s purchase of staples and basic goods, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor Abdolnasser Hemmati said after meetings with senior Iraqi officials in Baghdad on Monday.

Hemmati said in a post on his Instagram page that some “good agreements” had been reached on the issue in a trilateral meeting involving him and his Iraqi counterpart as well as the CEO of Trade Bank of Iraq (TBI) where the Iranian funds are blocked.

Iran has billions of dollars in a TBI account which processes Iraq’s payments for imports of natural gas and electricity from Iran.

However, the funds have been blocked because of US sanctions on Iran which restricts the use of dollar for transactions involving Tehran.

Hemmati said Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi had welcomed the agreement to use the funds to reimburse Iran’s basic goods imports.

“In the meeting with the Iraqi premier … he issued the required orders to the Iraqi central bank and the TBI to speed up the implementation of the agreement,” said Hemmati, adding that Kadhimi had vowed to personally follow up the case on a weekly basis.

Hemmati made a first visit to Baghdad in June to pursue the case of blocked funds in Iraq. The CBI governor had expressed optimistic remarks about the release of funds in Iraq on that occasion but a final decision on the issue has been waiting reportedly because of growing American pressure on Baghdad.

A high-ranking trade and banking delegation accompanied Hemmati in his Monday trip to Iraq. The top banker said the visit would bolster the already growing trade relations between the two countries.

Iraq is only second to China in purchase of goods and services from Iran with recent figures showing Iranian exports to the Arab country reached $565 million in value terms in the Persian calendar month to September 21.

October 12, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 3 Comments

Iran Does Not Care about US Election Result: Spokesman

Al-Manar | October 5, 2020

It does not matter for Iran who will win the upcoming presidential election in the US, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said, noting that there is a clear path for Washington to reverse its hostile policies against Tehran.

“It is not important at all what is said inside the election campaigns in the US. Our criterion is the (UNSC) Resolution (2231) and the JCPOA,” Saeed Khatibzadeh told Tasnim at a press conference on Monday, when asked about the reports that the election campaign of US Democratic candidate Joe Biden has cited a change in the timing of the JCPOA articles after the US’ withdrawal from the deal.

Trump has pulled the US out of the JCPOA and has brazenly displayed his signature on the withdrawal order, the spokesman deplored. “It does not make much difference which party takes the power (in the US). If the US intends to return to the correct path, the road is clear.”

Washington must admit to making a mistake, stop the economic war and terrorism against Iran, return to its JCPOA commitments, and make up for the damages caused by its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranian spokesman added.

In remarks in September, Iran’s permanent representative and ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht-Ravanchi said it does not matter to the Islamic Republic who wins the US presidential election as long as Washington has not shifted its unlawful policy of sanctions.

In July, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said no matter who wins the 2020 presidential election in the US, the next American administration must compensate the Islamic Republic for the losses that its predecessor has inflicted on the Iranian people.

“It is not important for us who will win the upcoming election in the US, but it is important for us to see Washington rectify its approach towards Tehran,” Zarif said.

October 5, 2020 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , | 1 Comment

Russian Envoy Says Moscow Has No Problem Selling Iran S-400

Al-Manar | October 4, 2020

Russia’s ambassador to Iran said Moscow is open to the delivery of S-400 air defense missile system to Tehran.

In an interview with Resalat daily, Levan Jagarian said Russia has no problem in delivering S-400 missile system to Iran.

The envoy emphasized that the US’ threats would “by no means affect” Russia’s arms cooperation with Iran, according to Tasnim news agency.

“As already announced by the Russian deputy foreign minister, Moscow is not afraid of Washington’s threats, honors its commitments, and is prepared to carefully consider Iran’s proposals for arms purchases after October 18,” Jagarian stated.

He was referring to the date when the UN arms embargo on Iran is going to terminate under the 2015 nuclear agreement and the UNSC Resolution 2231.

Earlier in August, the United Nations Security Council rejected a proposal to indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Iran.

The embargo on conventional arms is due to expire on October 18 under the terms of the Iran nuclear deal, signed in July 2015 and officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

October 4, 2020 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment