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US Secretary of State: America ‘with Israel in Fight’ against Iran

April 29, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu & US Secy. of State Pompeo Photo courtesy of: Haim Zach / Israeli GPO

Newly-appointed United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Israel as part of his first international trip in that role, and Iran was top of mind. The US remains “deeply concerned about Iran’s dangerous escalation of threats to Israel and the region, and Iran’s ambition to dominate the Middle East remains,” Pompeo told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. The comments, released by his office, made it clear whose side America is on.

“Strong cooperation with close allies like you is critical to our efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing and malign activity throughout the Middle East and indeed throughout the world,” said the top US diplomat. “…The United States is with Israel in this fight and we strongly support Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself.”

Pompeo—discussing the Iranian threats as an American deadline for fixing or nixing the Iran nuclear deal is next month—called the nuclear accord “very flawed. “ He said that US President Donald has “directed the administration to try and fix it, and if we can’t fix it, he’s going to withdraw from the deal. It’s pretty straightforward.” … Continue Reading

Iran Warns of Rapid Nuclear Enrichment, ‘Trouble’ If US Nixes Nuclear Deal

April 22, 2018 Iran Nuclear Program, News

Could Trump fix the Iran nuclear deal? Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers intended to increase the time it would take Iran to develop nuclear weapons if they ever chose to “break out” and move full speed towards nukes. There are many steps in that process, but a key step is developing the nuclear fuel for the bomb. And getting their nuclear fuel creation back to where they were before the nuclear deal would only take Iran four days.

That’s the threat from the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, who warned on Saturday they could rapidly restore their nuclear fuel enrichment back to their previously known top level of research-grade at 20 percent—weapons-grade is 90 percent—if the global powers dropped the nuclear deal. And that’s not all Iran could do.

Salehi, whose comments were published by the Fars News Agency, further said without providing details that Iran has other means to respond to the United States if they were to back out of the deal as President Donald Trump has threatened. Salehi said Iran is “prepared to move like an army” and hinted that American allies—perhaps including Israel—could also be targeted by Iran. “We hope that the other side makes a wise decision and avoids moves that would trouble them and others as well,” Salehi said. … Continue Reading

Israel Celebrating 70th Birthday, Admired Around the World

April 18, 2018 News

PM Netanyahu has much to celebrate as Israel turns 70. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

The State of Israel kicked off their Independence Day marking 70 years as a modern nation on Wednesday night, and the country’s place in the world is only getting better according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “As I travel around the world meeting other leaders, I am struck by their appreciation and admiration for Israel. They seek Israel’s technology. They seek Israel’s ingenuity. They seek Israel’s genius,” said Netanyahu on Wednesday in comments released by his office marking the anniversary. “…Here’s the best part. We’re just getting started.”

Netanyahu later expressed his thanks to Israel’s “many friends around the world,” and one of the nation’s closest friends was quick to celebrate the Jewish state for turning 70-years-old.

United States President Donald Trump, tweeting Netanyahu around the start of the birthday in Israel, said, “Best wishes to Prime Minister @Netanyahu and all of the people of Israel on the 70th Anniversary of your Great Independence. We have no better friends anywhere. Looking forward to moving our Embassy to Jerusalem next month!” … Continue Reading

Israel ‘Fully Supports’ US-led Strike on Syrian Chemical Weapons Facilities; Iranian UAV Was ‘Tasked to Attack Israel’

April 15, 2018 News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up piece of Iranian UAV. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of Amos Ben Gershom GPO

The United States, France and the United Kingdom launched a joint strike on what the US defense establishment described as the “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons program” Saturday morning local time, and on Sunday Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated that his nation “fully supports” the decision to respond to chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime. Netanyahu, in comments released by his office, said he spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday night and “told her that the important international message of the attack is zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons.”

As Syria’s neighboring country to the south, Israel has a significant stake in what happens in Syria. This is especially true given that the Assad regime and its allies Iran and Hezbollah are archenemies of Israel and the military threat was on full display when an Iranian drone invaded Israel with malicious intent in February. To that end, Netanyahu’s focus in discussing with the UK leader the response to Syrian chemical weapons attacks wasn’t limited just to the Syrian regime—or just to this one type of weapon of mass destruction. … Continue Reading

Russia Leader Warns Netanyahu after Alleged Strike; Israelis Confirm Syria Used Chemical Weapons

April 11, 2018 News

Russia isn’t happy with Israel’s bombing of Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of the office of the President of Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin effectively warned Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu not to attack Syria again on Wednesday, just days after Israel reportedly bombed an airbase in Syria. The airstrike—which Iran’s Fars News Agency claimed killed multiple Iranian military advisers—followed reports of chemical weapons being used by the Syrian regime against its own people. On Tuesday, Russia—a key Syrian ally and militarily backing the regime in that country’s civil war—vetoed a United Nations resolution to investigate the incident.

Putin found time the next day to speak with Israel’s Prime Minister. A brief but unusually detailed press release posted to the Russian Presidency’s website claimed that Israel struck the Syrian airbase, while saying the leaders discussed Syria. The press summary said Putin, in speaking with Netanyahu, “emphasized the importance of respecting Syria’s sovereignty and called for refraining from any steps that could further destabilize the situation in the country and threaten its security.”

Netanyahu’s office released an even briefer statement on the call, saying that Netanyahu “reiterated that Israel will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria.” … Continue Reading

Israel Reportedly Flew over Iran Nuclear Sites; IRGC Again Calls Jewish State ‘Cancer’

April 1, 2018 News

Israeli jets reportedly flew over Iran. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Israeli stealth fighter jets reportedly flew over Iran in the last month, including locations thought to be part of Iran’s nuclear program, avoiding detection by Russian radar in Syria in their path from the Jewish State to the Islamic Republic. The Jerusalem Post last week cited the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida as the source of the claims, which also alleged that the Israeli F-35 jets can fly to and from Iran twice without refueling—addressing a critical component to any potential Israeli missions in Iranian airspace.

However, a source in the Russian Ministry of Defense refuted the report that the Israeli jets could have evaded Russian air defense systems. In comments to the Russian news outlet Sputnik and published in the outlet’s English website, the defense source called that idea “total stupidity.”

If the Israeli flyover claims are true, they would come just months ahead of a deadline imposed by the United States on the Europeans to upgrade the Iranian nuclear deal or the Americans will pull out of the accord. If the US were to exit the deal and reinstate sanctions on Iran, the Iranians may choose to cancel the deal as well and push forward on their nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, Iran is already back to its old rhetoric of predicting the destruction of Israel. … Continue Reading

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