Jun 14 08:42

Ex-Mossad chief signals Israel culpability for Iran attacks

The outgoing head of Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, the Mossad, has signalled the country’s clear responsibility for a series of attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear programme in an interview that appeared to have as much to do with Israel’s febrile politics as with Iran.

In a public intervention that appeared timed to help Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, before a Knesset vote on Sunday that could end his 12 consecutive years in office, the agency’s former head Yossi Cohen revealed details of operations long attributed to Israel.

Those included the assassination of the top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and an explosion at an underground centrifuge hall in Natanz.

The interview also appeared to deliver a warning to other scientists in Iran’s nuclear programme they too could become targets for assassination even as diplomats in Vienna try to negotiate terms to salvage its atomic accord with world powers.

Jun 11 08:54

Russia ‘to supply Iran with advanced satellite’ that could track Israeli bases

Russia is due to supply Iran with an advanced satellite system that will enable the Islamic Republic to track potential military targets in the Middle East, according to the Washington Post.

The US newspaper on Thursday cited current and former US and Middle Eastern officials briefed on the plan, which would involve the delivery of Russian-made Kanopus-V satellite to Tehran.

The system would be equipped with a camera that would “greatly enhance Iran’s spying capabilities”, the paper said.

Jun 11 08:45

Iran Issues Video Showing Missile-Laden Warships Steaming Across Atlantic For 1st Time

US officials this week have been calling on Iran to immediately halt and turn around two of its warships believed bound for Venezuela. A trade and defense relationship between Tehran and Caracas has grown especially under the prior Trump administration sanctions on both countries. This has in the past year included Iranian fuel tankers engaged in sanctions-busting by delivering badly needed gasoline to Venezuela (Venezuela has abundant crude but derelict refineries for meeting domestic fuel needs).

Two Iranian warships, the Sahand and Makran recently rounded the tip of Africa for the first time, which is considered the farthest west that Iranian warships have ever gone. For the past week the US Navy is said to be tracking their movements, but on Thursday Iranian state media released footage of the ships as they traverse the Atlantic Ocean, in a direct "message" to Washington that they remain undeterred.

Jun 11 03:27

The Iran Nuclear Deal Won't Happen Any Time Soon

Authored by Cyril Widdershoven via,

Global oil markets have been on edge recently due to the continuing JCPOA discussions and the possibility of the U.S. rejoining the deal. While there have been no real breakthroughs in the discussions so far, the possibility of Iranian oil exports coming back online is adding downward pressure to oil prices. Despite this added pressure, international oil benchmark Brent is still firmly above $70, and oil price optimism is only increasing. This optimism is due to the growing global demand for oil and petroleum products and is also driven by warnings from U.S. diplomats that Iranian sanctions are far from over. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated to the press that “even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions will remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump Administration”.

Jun 10 07:35

FLASHBACK - Exclusive: CIA Files Prove America Helped Saddam as He Gassed Iran

The U.S. government may be considering military action in response to chemical strikes near Damascus. But a generation ago, America’s military and intelligence communities knew about and did nothing to stop a series of nerve gas attacks far more devastating than anything Syria has seen, Foreign Policy has learned.

In 1988, during the waning days of Iraq’s war with Iran, the United States learned through satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.

Jun 10 07:34

FLASHBACK - Iran Claims U.S. is Supporting ISIS and That It Has Evidence to Prove It

Ahigh-ranking Iranian military official claims that the U.S. directly backs the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and says he has evidence to back his allegations.

Major General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran's armed forces, announced Sunday that the nation was in possession of proof that the U.S., which leads an international coalition against ISIS, actually backs the ultraconservative Sunni Muslim group, but did not provide any specifics. Iran, which is also deeply involved in the fight against ISIS, suffered its first major attack by the group Wednesday, when militants conducted two deadly gun and bomb assaults in Tehran, prompting pledges of a thorough investigation and a harsh response by Iranian authorities. The massacre also prompted heated statements from both Washington and Tehran, which accused the other of supporting terrorism in the region.

Jun 09 10:32


On June 6th and 7th, two separate fires took place in the Islamic republic, with one happening near Tehran and the second in the central Kerman province.

The first fire took place in the city of Zarand in Kerman, at a steel factory.

The accident reportedly occurred due to the spillage of molten material.

In spite of ample evidence in videos and eyewitness reports to the contrary, authorities said that there had been no explosion.

According to local sources the explosion was so strong that people in villages and surrounding regions of Zarand were jolted.

There is also some speculation that it was somehow expected with personnel being evacuated hours earlier.

Less than a day later, a massive fire broke out at the Behnoush soft drink factory which is located to the west of Tehran.

The fire had started in an open-air storage area where flammable materials were stored.

No casualties were reported as a result of the fire.

Jun 09 10:08

Blinken claims Iran’s nuclear bomb ‘breakout time’ may soon be a ‘matter of weeks’, with talks held hostage to US sanctions

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said talks to revive the Iran nuclear deal are stalling, claiming Tehran may soon cut its “breakout time” for a bomb to mere weeks as the country insists US sanctions are impeding an agreement.

Speaking to lawmakers during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Monday, Blinken said that despite ongoing discussions in Vienna to return to the nuclear deal, it is still unknown whether the two sides will be able to reach an agreement, adding that Tehran’s nuclear program continues to trudge ahead in the meantime.

“It remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance. We’re still testing that proposition,” Blinken told Rep. Ted Deutch, a Florida Democrat.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iran has been weeks away from a nuclear bomb ... for the last thirty years!

Jun 09 10:06

‘Unacceptable’: Iran slams suspension of UN voting rights

Iran on Thursday slammed the United Nations’ decision to suspend its voting rights at the General Assembly for failing to pay its dues as “fundamentally flawed, entirely unacceptable and completely unjustified”.

Tehran argues that the $16.2m it owes to the UN is the result of Washington’s crippling sanctions, imposed after former US President Donald Trump in 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Jun 09 08:43

Blinken Says ‘Hundreds’ of Sanctions Will Remain on Iran Despite Talks

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said even if the US rejoins the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, “hundreds” of sanctions would still remain on Iran, including Trump-era measures.

“I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration,” Blinken told a Senate hearing.

Blinken’s remarks are just his latest bad faith comment about the indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing since April. Because the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions, the talks are being dragged out.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That kills any possibility of a deal!

Jun 09 08:39

Flaws in US Iran Policy

U.S. Iran policy is marred by many flaws, and some of the worst are threat inflation, imperial arrogance, and hypocrisy. Alarmist media reporting routinely overstates the threat that Iran poses to the US and the world, and hawkish politicians and pundits are only too eager to use this alarmism to agitate for more aggressive policies and to scuttle ongoing diplomacy. Even when Iran behaves like a normal state and abides by international law, their actions are spun as being somehow menacing and challenging to the United States. At the same time, the US tramples on the rules of the system that it claims to uphold so that it can pursue its economic war against Iran. The economic war itself is an illegitimate policy of collective punishment that the US has been waging for the last three years in a vain bid to compel deeper concessions from their government, and after almost half a year Biden has done nothing to change that policy.

Jun 09 06:25

Targeting Iran, strengthening NATO: U.S., British, Israeli, Italian F-35s in unprecedented air combat exercise

The twelve-day Falcon Strike 21 aerial war games commenced in earnest today out of the Amendola Air Base in Italy. The exercise is led by the Italian Air Force and is described by U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa as designed for the integration of 4th and 5th generation fighter capabilities; all four participating countries – Britain, Israeli, Italy and the U.S. – have provided variants of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet for the drills.

Israel has deployed six F-35I Adir fighter jets in what the Israeli Air Force says is “part of its [the Adir F-35I Division’s] first-ever overseas deployment.”

The participants have supplied the following combat aircraft:

U.S. – Air Force F-35A Lightning IIs, Marine Corps F-35B Lightning IIs and F-16C Fighting Falcons
Britain – Royal Air Force F-35B Lightning IIs
Israel: Air Force F-35I Adirs and Gulfstream G550 specialized surveillance aircraft

Jun 08 10:20

Blinken Not Sure if Iran Deal Is ‘Actually Going to Happen’

As indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the JCPOA are being dragged out, Washington continues to blame Tehran for the lack of progress despite President Biden’s refusal to lift all Trump-era sanctions.

Speaking to the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “unclear” if Iran was willing to revive the JCPOA. “We’ve been engaged in indirect conversations, as you know, for the last couple of months, and it remains unclear whether Iran is willing and prepared to do what it needs to do to come back into compliance,” he said.

Blinken’s comments rely on the false narrative that Tehran is violating the JCPOA. The reality is, the US is the party that violated the deal in 2018 by imposing sanctions on Iran. Technically, Iran and the other JCPOA signatories — Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany — are still parties to the deal, while the US is not.

Jun 08 09:28

Iran denounces U.S. tracking of its ships that may be headed to Venezuela

Iran on Tuesday rejected as interference a reported U.S. monitoring of Iranian navy vessels that may be headed to Venezuela, saying Tehran would not be breaching international law even if it sent arms to its Latin American ally.

Western media including CNN and Politico have said that the United States has been monitoring two Iranian warships that may be headed to Venezuela, possibly with a cargo of arms.

Last year, Tehran began sending tankers carrying gasoline to Venezuela to help ease an acute fuel shortage there. Both Iran and Venezuela face U.S. sanctions. read more

"Iran reserves the right to enjoy normal trade ties in the framework of international law and regulations, and considers any interference and monitoring of these relations as illegal and insulting, and strongly condemns it," government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a weekly news conference.

Jun 08 07:34

Washington’s Hypocritical Iran Obsession

Since Joe Biden took office as president in January, there has been considerable speculation about the prospects for successful U.S. negotiations with Iran to revive the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) regarding Tehran’s nuclear program. President Donald Trump effectively torpedoed that agreement when he rescinded Washington’s adherence to its provisions in 2018. The chances of resuscitating the JCPOA remain uncertain, even as tensions between the United States and Iran on the nuclear issue continue to simmer.

However, ongoing suspicions about nuclear matters is not the only manifestation of ill-will between Washington and Tehran. Two other recent developments are notable, and the Biden administration’s stance on both of them highlights the chronic blind spots and hypocrisy that have plagued US policy toward Iran for the past four decades.

Jun 08 05:55

Exclusive: Press TV study of polls reveals patterns of voter inclination, estimated turnout

A study by Press TV of the most prominent polls after Iran’s first presidential debate has revealed approximate but credible patterns of voter support for each of the seven candidates as well as the estimated turnout in the upcoming election.

Press TV learned in the course of the study of the polls — including more significantly by polling stations with more credible past records — that voter turnout increased after the first presidential debate to 47.1% — marking an increase of 2.5 percentage points, and that the figure will continue to incline upwards as Election Day draws closer.

Also, according to Press TV’s findings, presidential candidate and current Judiciary chief Ebrahim Raeisi enjoys the highest support — 55.6% — among voters. Mohsen Rezaei ranks at a distant second with 5.5%.

The two Reformist candidates in the election, Nasser Hemmati and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh, enjoy 2.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

Jun 07 12:37

Fire & Explosion Hit Iran Steel Factory In Third Major Incident In 5 Days

A large fire broke out Saturday night at a steel factory in the southeast city of Zarand in Iran. It's the latest in a mysterious string of blasts and 'accidental' blazes at sensitive sites to beset the Islamic Republic, raising questions of possible Israel sabotage akin to what happened a year ago in the summer of 2020.

"The governor of Zarand told the Iranian Fars News Agency that no injuries were caused in the incident and that the incident was under control," The Jerusalem Post reports. "The incident was reportedly caused by the sudden overflow of molten material in the blast furnace, with the governor stressing that no explosion occurred." But some early videos show otherwise.

Jun 07 02:34

US Troops In Iraq Targeted By Increasingly Sophisticated Combat Drones

The thousands of US troops still in Iraq are increasingly monitoring the threat from the skies, as a series of combat drones from an unknown source have reportedly targeted American bases over the past few months, according to a Friday report in The New York Times. The report blames "Iran-backed militia" for deployments of sophisticated small drones, citing the usual anonymous sources.

The following day on Saturday, a new attack on Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq was reported: "The air defense system at Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq, where American forces are stationed, shot down two drones that attempted to attack the base on Saturday night, according to the Iraqi Security Media Cell."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, one can hear the war drums getting beaten with ever greater fierocity by Team Biden and Israel, particuarly in light of Netanyahu's impending (potential) fall from grace in the next couple of days.

Geopolitically, Netanyahu is a wounded animal; wounded animals are always at their most dangerous.

However, I would like to politely point out that a US war against Iran would most probably translate as a war against both Russia and China right now; is US leadership so thooroughly idiotic, as to believe that such a war could actually be won, given that we don't have the troop strength; weaponry; money; or manufacturing to make that happen?!?

Jun 06 07:21

Video: Massive Explosion Reportedly Hits Iranian Steel Factory in Zarand

Earlier in May, a chemical factory located in the Iranian city of Shahin Shahr saw an explosion, with at least 9 people reportedly sustaining injures.

A huge explosion rocked a steel factory in the city of Zarand, located in the Iranian province of Kerman, according to multiple reports and several videos shared online.

The footage allegedly filmed on scene shows reams of sparks emerging from the factory building as it is engulfed in a massive fire.

The cause of the incident has not been specified. No official statement was released in regard to the reported explosion.

Jun 04 06:05

Iran to lose voting rights at UN General Assembly over $16m in unpaid dues

Iran will lose its voting rights at the United Nations General Assembly after falling into arrears and failing to pay its dues, the international body has said.

In a letter sent to General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Iran had missed several payments and needed to pay $16,251,298 to restore its voting rights.

According to the letter, the Central African Republic was also in arrears and would need to pay $29,395 to get its voting rights back.

Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, reacted angrily to the announcement on Thursday and blamed Tehran's inability to pay on "unlawful unilateral sanctions" imposed on the Islamic Republic by the United States.

Jun 02 11:05

Netanyahu says he's prepared for 'friction' with US over Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he is willing to deal with tension with the U.S. over his endeavors to shut down Iran's nuclear program.

"If we have to choose - I hope it doesn't happen - between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat, eliminating the existential threat" wins, Netanyahu said at a ceremony for the new chief of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency, David Barnea, The Associated Press reports.

The remarks from Netanyahu come as his own political future is in question, with opposition parties announcing this week that they had secured enough votes to form a new government and end his 12 years in office.

They also come weeks after deadly clashes between the Israeli military and the Palestinian group Hamas, which is backed by Iran.

Jun 02 10:52

Massive Blaze Engulfs Tehran Refinery Just Hours After Sinking Of Iranian Warship

A major oil refinery in Tehran is now engulfed in a huge blaze just hours after on Wednesday morning the Islamic Republic's largest warship caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman under mysterious circumstances.

Iranian state Tasnim news in a breaking report has identified it as the Shahid Tondguyan oil refinery, considered among the country's largest.

Jun 02 07:34

Netanyahu: Israel will thwart Iran's nuclear program even at expense of US ties

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would be willing to risk ties with the US in order to thwart Iran's nuclear programme.

Netanyahu also called for the continuation of covert operations against Iran, adding: "I have said these things to my friend of 40 years, [US President] Joe Biden, and I told him, 'With or without an agreement, we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.'"

In an interview during a ceremony held by the new Mossad chief, David Barnea, Netanyahu pointed out that a nuclear Iran would be the greatest threat to Israel's existence.

"If we have to choose, I hope it doesn't happen, between friction with our great friend the United States and eliminating the existential threat — eliminating the existential threat" wins, Netanyahu said.

Jun 02 07:32

Israel’s New Mossad Chief Threatens More Assassinations and Attacks Inside Iran

On Tuesday, the new head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency suggested more Israeli covert attacks and assassinations inside Iran should be expected even as the US and other world powers are negotiating a revival of the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“The Iranian program will continue feeling Mossad’s might. We are well acquainted with the nuclear program and its various components, we know personally the factors that operate in it and also the forces that drive them,” David Barnea said at his swearing-in ceremony, as quoted by Israel’s Ynet.

Barnea said the JCPOA negotiations show that Israel might have to act alone against Iran. “The agreement with world powers that is taking shape only reinforces the sense of isolation in which we find ourselves on this issue,” he said. “I say it clearly — no, we do not intend to act according to the majority opinion since this majority will not bear the consequences for the erroneous assessment of this threat.”

Jun 02 05:09

Netanyahu Vows ‘Not to Allow a Nuclear Iran,’ Even at Cost of Israel’s ‘Friction With US'

US President Joe Biden has promised to return to the Iran Nuclear Deal but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists there “must be no return to the previous nuclear agreement.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he believes there's no bigger threat to the country than “the existential threat posed by Iran's attempts to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” reports Haaretz.

“Whether it is threatening us directly with extermination as a small and concentrated state with atomic weapons, or threatening us with tens of thousands of missiles backed with the threat of nuclear deterrence, it is a threat that threatens the continuation of the Zionist enterprise, and we must fight against this threat to no end,” Netanyahu said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Netanyahu needs a scary enemy and Iran will do just fine!

Jun 01 07:12

US Sells Off 2 Million Barrels of Stolen Iranian Oil

The US sold about 2 million barrels of stolen Iranian crude oil it acquired by seizing a tanker off the coast of the UAE in February, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

The Iranian oil came from the MT Achilleas, a tanker the US seized near the UAE port city of Fujairah. The US justified stealing the oil and seizing the tanker under the guise of sanctions enforcement. According to AP, US court documents allege that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) tried to sell the oil to China.

The Trump administration designated the IRGC as a terrorist organization, giving the US government the ability to seize IRGC assets. The US forced the Achilleas to sail to Houston, Texas. The US government then sold the 2 million barrels of oil for about $110 million.

Jun 01 06:47

Iran Warns Against "Miscalculations" As US Military Monitors Pair Of Venezuela-Bound Warships

In a seeming repeat of the Trump admin attempt to impose a full naval blockade on Venezuela to prevent fuel and oil imports and exports, especially involving Iranian tankers, the US military is said to be actively monitoring two Iranian naval vessels which are believed headed toward Venezuela.

Washington has reportedly warned the Maduro government against receiving the warships, which likely have elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force members aboard. The two "rogue states" (as the US sees them) have become increasingly close especially under the prior four Trump years as they cooperated in circumventing US sanctions, and have grown militarily more cooperative.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that Team Biden, is not planning something unalterably idiotic here; the problem, is that just because something is the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid thing a US administration could possibly do, is utterly no guarantee that it won't do it.

May 31 13:35

Rare Iranian Oil Cargo Reaches U.S. Shores

The first Iranian oil shipment in years reached the U.S. shores in March, Reuters has reported, citing data from the Energy Information Administration.

The data showed that more than 1 million barrels of Iranian crude reached the United States two months ago, which, Reuters notes, took place a month after United States authorities seized a tanker carrying Iranian crude.

The agency also notes in its report that the previous time the EIA reported Iranian crude in the country’s import mix was last October, again after the U.S. seized an Iranian oil cargo.

The shipment that the U.S. detained earlier this year was carried by a Liberian-flagged tanker and was believed to be some 2 million barrels. The grounds for the detainment, as laid out in a forfeiture complaint at a U.S. District Court, were that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has created a scheme to covertly ship Iranian oil to a customer outside Iran.

May 31 06:04

Exiting Mossad boss urges expansion of activity against Iran

The outgoing head of the Mossad spy agency has called for Israel to ratchet up actions against Iran to teach it a lesson and deter the Islamic Republic.

Yossi Cohen’s comments at a ceremony in central Israel on Sunday came after a period in which Iran’s nuclear program has been rocked by a series of mysterious setbacks, some of which are suspected to be attacks directed or carried out by Israel.

“Activity against the Iranian regime must be stepped up so that it understands that crossing the lines will cost it immense damage,” Cohen said at a ceremony at Bar-Ilan university, where he was given an honorary doctorate.

“To succeed we need leadership and courage, willingness to act. Today’s security operation is no less important than tomorrow’s war,” he said, describing security as “the foundation that enables us to live a meaningful life.”

May 30 06:19

Iran's Top Military Commander to Assad: Iran Ready to Boost Syria's Defense Capabilities

Tehran earlier congratulated Assad on his victory in the second presidential election since the devastating civil war broke out in Syria in the wake of Arab Spring uprisings. Damascus has succeeded in regaining control over most of the country's territory, but militants still remain in the north of the Arab Republic.

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri has pledged Tehran's readiness to help Syria boost its defense power, provide assistance in the process of reconstruction and tackle other issues resulting from the fight against terrorists, Tasnim News reported.

In a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad on Saturday, Baqeri congratulated him on the recent victory in the presidential election. Assad earlier thanked the Syrian people for re-electing him, while also stressing that the next day would be the start of a new era of building Syria the way it should be.

May 29 06:24

US Imported Oil Twice From Iran in Last Two Quarters Despite Sanctions, EIA Data Shows

The United States imported crude oil and petroleum products from Iran twice between the last two quarters despite Washington's sanctions against Tehran, Energy Information Administration (EIA) data revealed on Friday.

The estimated import of 36,000 barrels per day in October 2020 and 33,000 barrels daily in March this year appear to be the first such purchases made by the United States from Iran since 1993 at least, the EIA data showed.

The EIA did not explain how the Iranian imports showed up on its log, despite current US sanctions prohibiting any country from importing Iranian oil.
The United States has a long history of sanctions against Iran, dating back to 1984, when it prohibited weapon sales and all US assistance to Iran.

May 28 05:38

Foreign Ministry spokesman: US, UK spin Vienna talks on JCPOA to appease Israeli regime

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says Washington and London spin the goals of the ongoing Vienna talks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in order to appease the Israeli regime, which is the sworn enemy of the agreement.

“To appease the sworn enemy of JCPOA, UK/US FMs spin goals of #ViennaTalks. Disappointing!” Khatibzadeh wrote in a tweet on Thursday, referring to the nuclear deal by its official acronym.

The Joint Comprehensive Action (JCPOA) was signed in July 2015 between Iran and six world powers, including the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China. It was abandoned in May 2018 by the former administration in the US, in a move strongly supported by the Tel Aviv regime.

The Vienna talks, which began in early April, are aimed at bringing the US back into the deal, under a new administration that has promised to rejoin the deal and repeal Washington’s hostile “maximum pressure” policy against Tehran.

May 27 07:09

IAEA Chief Warns Iran Has Already Reached Nuclear Weapons Capable Enrichment

Amid the fifth and what's expected to be the final round of Iran nuclear talks in Vienna, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has voiced that time is running out on reaching an agreement given the Islamic Republic has already reached bomb-building capability in terms of enriched uranium purity levels.

IAEA chief Rafael Grossi told Financial Times that Iran has reached uranium purity levels that "only countries making bombs are reaching" after routinely ramping up enrichment since Trump pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA back in May 2018.

May 27 05:45

Iran presidential election 2021: Candidates announced, cleared to start campaigning

Iran’s Interior Ministry has released a final list of the candidates found qualified by the Constitutional Council to run for president in the June 18 election, officially clearing them to start campaigning.

The much-awaited list, which was released on Tuesday, includes Saeed Jalili, Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, Mohsen Rezaei, Alireza Zakani, Seyyed Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh-Hashemi, Albdolnasser Hemmati, and Mohsen Mehr-Alizadeh.

Raeisi has been the chief of Iran’s Judiciary since 2019. He is mainly associated with the Principlist camp, but he said he would be contesting the June 18 vote “independently.”

Rezaei, a Principlist, currently serves as the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council.

Mehr-Alizadeh, a Reformist politician, formerly served as vice president and head of the National Sports Organization of Iran under ex-President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami.

May 27 05:44

Resistance envoys to Tehran attend ceremony to commemorate IRGC commander

Representatives of different resistance groups have attended a ceremony in the Iranian capital to commemorate late Deputy Commander of Iran’s Quds Force Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi. They also hailed the Quds force for its fight against terrorism and its support for Palestinians.

Iran’s stance on Palestine has always been clear and the Islamic Republic has always supported the Palestinian nation in defending their rights.

Tehran believes that resistance and fighting the Zionist regime is the only way for Palestinians to gain their rights.

In a ceremony in Tehran to commemorate late Deputy Commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force Brigadier General Seyyed Mohammad Hejazi it was stressed that all Muslims must support the Palestinian nation in defending their rights.

The Syrian ambassador to Iran also appreciated the efforts and activities of Quds Force commanders including General Soleimani and Hejazi.

May 26 07:55

Netanyahu blasts Iran deal in front of Biden's secretary of state

Many analysts have pointed to President Biden's effort to reenter the Iran nuclear deal as one of a number of policy moves that precipitated the 11 days of attacks on Israeli civilians by Hamas with rockets financed by Tehran.

If there was any doubt that Israel opposes the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with the Islamic regime, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put it to rest Tuesday in the presence of Biden's secretary of state.

May 26 07:24

On Eve of Blinken Visit, Netanyahu Hints Israel May Take ‘Independent’ Action Against Iran

Ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s maiden visit to Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday hinted Israel could take military action against Iran’s nuclear sites without U.S. approval.

Addressing top brass from the Mossad at a ceremony welcoming the new chief of the spy agency, David Barnea, Netanyahu said: “The first task of each one of you is to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons,”

May 26 07:16

US ‘consulting’ Israel about Iran nuclear deal

The US has been seeking the advice of the Israeli regime — the sole nuclear arms possessor in the Middle East — about whether it should return to a historic nuclear deal with Iran and others.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made the remark during a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday.

The United States is “consulting closely with Israel as we did today on the ongoing negotiations in Vienna around a potential return to the Iran nuclear agreement,” Blinken said, according to Reuters.

Washington left the accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in 2015 amid strong instigation on the part of Tel Aviv and some regional states.

May 26 06:49

Alongside Blinken, Netanyahu Says US Should Not Return to Iran Deal

During a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the US shouldn’t return to the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.

“I can tell you that I hope that the United States will not go back to the old JCPOA because we believe that that deal paves the way for Iran to have an arsenal of nuclear weapons with international legitimacy,” Netanyahu said in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Israeli officials claim the JCPOA is a path to a nuclear-armed Iran because it has an expiration date. But after the JCPOA, the Iranians would still be bound by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Israel refuses to sign due to its secret nuclear weapons program.

May 24 07:19

Study Finds 4.5% Of All Bitcoin Mining Is In Sanctions-Hit Iran

A prominent crypto analytics firm has issued a new report suggesting the Islamic Republic was able to successfully weather the Trump-era sanctions storm of the past few years by generating up to a billion dollars a year through mining cryptocurrencies.

Blockchain analytics firm Elliptic concluded that a whopping 4.5% of all global bitcoin mining takes place in Iran alone. The Iranian government itself has acknowledged these attempts to beat the near total economic embargo on the country, which has been in effect and progressively ramped up since Trump pulled out of the Obama-era JCPOA nuclear deal in May 2018.

May 24 06:50

Iran Denies IAEA Access to Images as Inspection Agreement Expires

Fears about a 3-month deal for access between the IAEA and Iran were realized over the weekend, when starting Saturday Iran has refused to give inspectors access to surveillance photos from the nuclear sites.

Iran is allowed to do this, because the images were part of the Additional Protocol, which Iran had voluntarily complied with before. Iran’s parliament wanted them to stop a lot of the extra compliance, and Iran worked out a 3-month pact with the IAEA on the matter.

The problem was that was 3 months ago, and expired Friday, despite talks aiming to extend them. The IAEA confirms that it has tamper-proof seals on everything, but didn’t immediately comment on the images.

May 24 06:50

US Winks, Israel Bites? Shifting Middle East Alliances. The War on Iran is “On Hold”?

In 2003, the war on Iran project was already Déjà Vu. It had been on the drawing board of the Pentagon since the mid-nineties.

Since the launching of the Theater Iran Near Term (TIRANNT) war games scenario in May 2003 (leaked classified document), an escalation scenario involving military action directed against Iran and Syria had been envisaged, of which Syria was the first stage in 2011.

The initial invasion of Iraq under “Operation Iraqi Freedom” was launched on March 20, 2003, April 9 marks the Fall of Baghdad; officially the invasion was completed on May 1st, 2003.

In May 2003, immediately following the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the TIRANNT (Theater Iran Near Term) war games scenario were carried out as revealed by William Arkin, a former US intelligence analyst:

May 24 06:32

As Rapprochement Between Saudi Arabia and Iran Continues, Will a Deal Happen?

The two countries still have many disagreements when it comes to regional issues like Syria and Yemen, and a Saudi political analyst says his country would need firm guarantees before it proceeds with further talks with the Islamic Republic.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Wednesday his country was ready for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, one of its main regional rivals.

Speaking in Damascus after his meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the top diplomat also said that he hoped the recent round of talks, hosted by Iraq, would lead to greater stability in the region.

May 24 03:54

Blinken: No Sign Iran Will Accept Demands for Sanction Relief

Secretary of State Tony Blinken downplayed the chances of nuclear progress with Iran on Sunday, saying the US has seen no sign Iran will comply with the assorted US demands related to sanctions relief.

To be clear, Iran was complying with the terms of the nuclear deal for years, and has said they will do so again if the US meets its sanctions relief obligations. The US has made no effort to do this, and is demanding Iran go first in meeting all US requirements before any of Iran’s needs are discussed.

All of this gives the impression that this is a deal the US doesn’t really intend to make, and is being orchestrated such that they can try to sell the non-deal as purely Iran’s fault.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What Israel wants, from US foreign policy, Israel gets; please don't forget that, if we start seeing mushroom clouds over Tehran in the not too distant future.

Apparently, no one in the current US or Israeli administration is at all, even noddingly familiar, with Sun Tzu's "Art of War"; should such a US/Israeli war hit Iran, these Iranians will be fighting for the existence of their homeland.

May 24 03:07

Iran Blocks Inspectors From Accessing Nuclear Site Images As Vienna Deal Looms

It appears that Iran may be applying some last-minute leverage just ahead of the final round of nuclear talks in Vienna, and at a moment it's being widely reported that the main parties, including the US, are on the cusp of agreeing on a deal as final documents are being drafted. Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf on Sunday announced that IAEA inspectors will no longer have access to surveillance images of the country's nuclear sites.

"From May 22 and with the end of the three-month agreement, the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement," Qalibaf said as announced in state television.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big question now is, what is Israel prepared to do to prevent the from the renewal of the P5+1 agreement?!?

Unfortunately, the short answer is, anything they think they can get away with, including remote bombing of Iran's nuclear sites.

May 21 05:57

Iran’s Rouhani Says US Has Agreed to Lift Major Sanctions

On Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US agreed to lift most major sanctions on Iran during the latest round of nuclear talks in Vienna. He said only “minor issues” need to be worked out in the fifth round of negotiations which will begin next week.

“The talks in Vienna are about minor issues. They have accepted to lift sanctions on Iran’s oil and shipping sectors as well as sanctions on the central bank and others,” Rouhani said during a televised cabinet meeting.

Rouhani’s comments offered the most optimistic assessment of the Vienna talks to come out of Iran. But also on Thursday, an unnamed Iranian official told Iran’s PressTV that the US has not agreed to lift all major sanctions but instead said it would temporarily suspend them. “Washington intends to temporarily suspend some of the sanctions over a long period of time and in various steps,” the official said.

May 20 10:38

Israel shot down armed Iranian drone near border with Jordan - Netanyahu

The drone Israel shot down near the border with Jordan on Tuesday was Iranian, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

“While we were engaged in these hostilities a few days ago, Iran sent an armed drone from Iraq or from Syria,” Netanyahu told German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who was in Jerusalem. “Iranian forces launched an armed drone, which our forces intercepted on the border between Israel and Jordan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Desperate move by Netanyahu to derail the Iran deal.

May 20 09:42

Top EU Negotiator "Quite Sure" Iran Nuclear Deal Will Be Reached Next Week

At the end of the latest round of talks (the fourth) in Vienna on Wednesday a top European Union envoy has said that the reviving of the Iran nuclear deal is now "shaping up". Enrique Mora, the EU's top negotiator for the Vienna nuclear talks, says he's "quite sure" a deal will be reached at a moment the text is being drafted, and as talks adjourn for a week.

Documents outlining both Iran's compliance and the United States' return to the JCPOA nuclear deal are now said to be "mostly drafted" - according to Iranian statements, with the exception of "complicated differences". A "final round" of talks are now set for next week, with the Iranian side hoping for a deal to be reached prior to the Iranian presidential election in June, after which Hassan Rouhani will step down due to term limits.

May 20 04:56

Will Biden Stay in Bibi’s Pocket?

How about now? Will he see President Biden as a wimp, with Biden’s mealy-mouthed comment to Netanyahu earlier today that Biden "expects to see a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire" in Gaza.

If past is precedent, Netanyahu’s likely response will be a half-polite, "Joe, please take that and shove it … and oh, by the way, I meant to thank you for your proposed sale of $735 million-worth of smart bombs a couple of weeks ago. It came at just the right time for me."

Here’s Why

Netanyahu thought the camera/sound was off 20 years ago, when he spoke with unspeakable candor to a small private group, explaining, "America is a thing that can be easily moved … moved in the right direction. They [Americans] will not bother us."

Translation (based on the subtitles) follows, with Netanyahu in bold.

"The Arabs now are preparing a campaign [war] of terror, and they think that this will break us.

"The main thing is, first and foremost, to hit them hard.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Netanyahu is playing Biden for a complete fool; any attack against Iran (and I am sure that the IDF and MOSSAD have several competing scenarios for making this happen,) will potentially lead to a broader regional war, which could well translate into a world war right now.

May 20 03:09

Time To End the Silence on Israel’s Nuclear Weapons

On April 28, Israel’s intelligence minister, Eli Cohen, repeated the Israeli threat that should the U.S. re-enter the JCPOA and remove the sanctions on Iran, Israel would hit Iran’s nuclear plants with long range missiles. This threat too was met with silent acquiescence on the part of the US and its Western allies, the same kind of silence that has met Israel’s continued acts of ethnic cleansing, apartheid, house demolitions, settlement building, administrative detention of children, Gaza blockade, use of phosphorous bombs, flooding and contamination of agricultural land, raiding Al-Aqsa Mosque in the holy month of Ramadan, torching trees and agricultural crops and bombarding residential apartment blocks in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know what the odds are that bookies are placing on this possibility, but I would strongly suggest that Israel is preparing a war against Iran, to attempt to prevent it from offering military help to the Palestinians, in very short order; I think this is a matter of when,not if.

May 18 06:18

US helping Israel kill more children with more precision: Zarif

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif issues a strong-worded tweet, reflecting on the US’s approving sales of hundreds of millions in surgical armaments to the Israeli regime right in the middle of Tel Aviv’s slaughtering Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip.

“As US-made munitions rain down on innocent Palestinians, US gives another $735M in ‘precision’ missiles to Israel to kill more children with more precision,” Zarif tweeted on Tuesday.

May 17 07:55

Condemning Israel’s savagery, Leader’s aide says Iran will continue to support Palestine

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says all Muslims across the world are duty-bound to support the Palestinian people in the face of the Israeli regime’s barbaric attacks, reiterating the Islamic Republic’s support for Palestine.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has fulfilled its duties in the past and will continue this path to give its all-out support [to Palestine] under the leadership of [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei],” Ali Akbar Velayati said in a phone call with Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, on Sunday.

Velayati, who is also secretary general of the World Assembly of Islamic Awakening, condemned the Israeli regime’s brutal attacks on the Palestinian people, saying that the divine promise on the liberation of all Palestinian occupied lands and Jerusalem al-Quds will finally come true.

Israel has been relentlessly bombarding the besieged Gaza Strip for the past seven days.

May 17 07:53

Israel committing gravest intl. crimes amid UNSC’s deadly silence: Iran envoy

Iran’s permanent representative to the United Nations says the Israeli regime is busy committing the full range of gravest international crimes amid United States-enabled silence on the part of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Majid Takht Ravanchi made the remarks on Sunday, speaking at an emergency UNSC meeting held to address the heart-wrenching bloodletting and destruction that has been brought about across the Palestinian territories as a result of the regime’s brutality.

Tel Aviv, he said, was simultaneously engaged in genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression against the Palestinians owing to the Security Council’s mum on the savagery.

The envoy said the Council’s inaction had increasingly emboldened the regime in the atrocities.

‘Systematic US support’

Takht Ravanchi cited the US’s patronage for the brutal regime as a key factor behind its sustained avoidance of accountability for the atrocities on the international arena.

May 15 05:57

Iran secures court order to protect Luxembourg funds against US attempt

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has managed to win a court order in Luxembourg to prevent the transfer of nearly $1.7 billion worth of assets from the European country to the United States.

The CBI said in a Thursday statement that the court order had reiterated that Clearstream, a securities depository based in Luxembourg, would face heavy fines if it unilaterally hands over Iranian funds that it has in its possession to the United States.

The statement said the ruling had come in response to a request by the CBI and the Iranian Presidency’s legal affairs unit to prevent any potential transfer of the funds following a recent legislation in the US which allows American courts to have Iranian assets confiscated anywhere in the world without observing the national laws of the countries where they are being held.

May 15 05:36

Hamas Fires Iranian-Made Cruise Missiles for First Time, Five Israelis Killed

This places the latest escalation in violence in an entirely different context. No longer are we “merely” talking about Israel incitement against Israeli Palestinians over restrictions on access to their holy site, Haram al Sharif. Instead, Hamas has taken up the cause, broadening the conflict, possibly at the behest of Iran. The latter has many scores to settle with the Israelis: this includes key Israeli communication intercepts which permitted the US to locate and murder Qassem Soleimani; and even the assassination of the founder of the Iranian nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

Iran has been itching for a fight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Or, is it possible that members of Mossad, posing as Hamas, are using Israeli reverse-engineered missiles which look, and behave indentically to their Iranian counterparts, to be able to make the claim that they were Iranian, giving Israel the "alleged justification" for opening a war on a second front?

Is it Iran who really wants a war with Israel?!? Israeli government officials have been screaming forever, that the current form of the Iranian government needs to be taken out, and that Iran is an "existential threat" to Israel.

This article came out last Thursday; one wonders if internal/external Israeli poling have given Netanyahu's government the "traction", both domestically and internationally, it feels it needs to open a second front on this war agaisnt Gaza, this time against Iran.

May 14 11:15

Iran threatens: Shockingly equation to be made if Israelis don't stop attacks

May 14 07:17

Iran military chief: Balance of power shifted away from ‘infanticidal Zionists’ toward Palestinians

Iran’s top military commander says as a result of the anti-Israel resistance’s rising strength, the balance of power in the region has changed in favor of Palestinians in their confrontation with the Zionist regime.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri made the remarks in a Thursday message in which he strongly condemned the latest criminal acts of the Zionist regime against Palestinian people across the occupied territories.

Stressing the need for the establishment of a strategic and powerful coalition to resolve the issue of Palestine, Baqeri said, “The savage crimes committed these days by the brutal and infanticidal Zionist regime in the occupied territories and the Holy [Jerusalem] al-Quds, and killing of a large number of fasting, oppressed, innocent and resistant people of Palestine, have greatly saddened the entire world, especially the Islamic Ummah.”

May 14 06:44

Rockets Fired At Israel From South Lebanon As Fears Grow Hezbollah To Enter Conflict

A big lingering unknown is whether Israel's powerful archenemy Hezbollah will open up a northern front to bog down Israel's military as it continues striking Gaza, and as preparations are underway for a potential Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) ground invasion into the Hamas-controlled strip.

Late Thursday at least three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon toward Israel, which the IDF military spokesman confirmed...

Given the rockets fired into northern Israel, the immediate question remains whether Hezbollah was responsible, and if the Shia paramilitary organization supported closely by Iran will initiate its own aggression. This would constitute a monumental escalation for Israel, assuring major regional war.

So far international reports are saying it's "unclear" who was responsible for the attack from Lebanon.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Or... could it have been Israeli military elements in Lebanon, attempting a "false flag" in order to justify an invasion of Lebanon?!?

If this is happening, expect it to get far worse, to justify the invasion; Israel desperately wants the Litani river, and will do nearly anything to be able to access that water....

May 14 05:26

Ahmadinejad Is Back: Iranian Firebrand Announces Bid For Presidency 

At a moment that Iranian domestic politics are on a knife's edge of tension, particularly following the recent hardliner vs. 'moderate' row in the wake of the 'Zarif Gate' audio leak scandal wherein the foreign minister blasted the military establishment for often sabotaging diplomacy, the Islamic Republic's former firebrand president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is vying again for leadership of the country.

On Wednesday he formally submitted and announced his name as a candidate in the upcoming June 18 presidential elections. His Islamic conservative and 'hardline' reputation could have drastic impact on the continuing nuclear negotiations with the West should he be elected.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Pols in Israel must be rejoicing big-time, because his potential election in the 2021 election would make it far easier to proclaim it "impossible" to deal with the country, and to justify a war against it.

May 13 05:59

Persia Accuses Uncle Sam of “False Narratives” After Coast Guard Goes Shooting in the Persian Gulf

On Tuesday, the IRGC Navy called Pentagon press secretary John Kirby’s statement about the incident on Monday “false,” blaming the United States’ “illegitimate presence” in the Gulf for the tensions, according to IRGC-run Sepah News.

The statement accused the US Navy of making “false narratives” and “unprofessional behavior” in the strait.

A US Coast Guard cutter fired some 30 warning shots to ward off two IRGC fast-attack boats that came too close to the US formation in international waters, the Fifth Fleet said yesterday.

Thirteen IRGC fast-attack boats rapidly approached the formation of seven US Navy and Coast Guard ships before two of the boats broke away to approach the USCGS Maui and USS Squall, who were escorting the guided-missile submarine USS Georgia through the Strait of Hormuz.

The run-in was the third of its kind in recent weeks after nearly four years of relative calm between the US Navy and IRGC vessels in the Gulf.

May 13 05:49

Iran’s IRGC vows ‘more powerful’ support for Palestine

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) vehemently condemns the Israeli regime’s hugely deadly atrocities of the recent weeks across the Palestinian territories, pledging to stand “more powerfully” in support of the Palestinian nation.

In a Wednesday statement, the elite force considered “providing assistance to the Islamic resistance and Palestine’s Intifada (Uprising)” to be its “historical and undeniable mission.”

Provision of such support, it added, was also part of the legacy of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, who was martyred in a United States drone strike against Baghdad last year.

May 13 05:44

‘Israel is not a country, but a terrorist camp,’ Iran’s leader Khamenei says

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has blasted Israel as nothing more than a “terrorist camp” and urged the Palestinians to unite their efforts in fighting Tel Aviv.

Israel has “turned occupied Palestine into a base for terrorism,” Khamenei tweeted.

“Israel isn’t a county; it’s a #TerroristCamp against Palestinians & other Muslim nations,” he wrote, adding that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to fight against it.

May 13 05:43

Zarif in Syria to discuss bilateral, regional issues, including Palestine

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is leading a delegation on a visit to Syria to discuss bilateral and regional issues as well as the latest developments in the Israeli-occupied territories and the Tel Aviv regime’s recent aggression against the sanctities of Muslims.

Speaking to reporters following his Wednesday morning arrival in Damascus, Zarif pointed to the “escalation of criminal actions by the Zionist regime since the International Quds Day” on Friday and “the rare incidents taking place in the al-Aqsa Mosque and occupied territories and the bombing of Gaza.”

He said he planned to discuss the current situation in the occupied Palestine with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad and “other Syrian and Palestinian friends.”

May 13 01:55

In Pictures: Global protests in solidarity with Palestinians

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Israel's difficulty right now, is that it is singularly incapable of controlling the narrative, because of the presence of cell cameras, the net, and tweets to document what is happening.

My deep concern right now, is that Israel will pull a "false flag", to be blamed on Iran, and off we go.... to a new world war.

May 12 07:05

Iran Rejects Pentagon Claim of ‘Harassment’ in Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) rejected claims from the Pentagon that Iranian boats “harassed” US warships in the Strait of Hormuz, an incident that led to a US Coast Guard Cutter firing 30 warning shots.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby claimed on Monday that the Iranian vessels had been acting “very aggressively.” But the IRGC said its patrol vessels encountered the US warships during “routine daily missions in the territorial waters.” The Coast Guard Cutter was accompanied by six US Navy ships, including a guided-missile submarine.

“It would be better for the Americans to avoid unprofessional behavior and not to endanger the security of the Persian Gulf by obeying the rules and regulations of the sea,” the IRGC said.

May 12 07:04

Why Are U.S. Navy Warships And Coast Guard Boats Anywhere Near Iran?

Three small Iranian warships came uncomfortably close to a U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship and a U.S. Coast Guard patrol boat in the Persian Gulf last week, the Navy reported. The Iranian vessels “failed to exercise due regard for the safety of other vessels,” said the Navy statement, “as required under international law … in international waters.”

This is the second such encounter between American and Iranian forces recently. It also comes shortly after leaked audio heard Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif complaining that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which operated the harassing Iranian crafts, has forced him to “sacrific[e] diplomacy for the battlefield.”

The question that context should raise in Washington is this: Why risk these close calls at all?

May 12 06:22

Zarif turns down Reformist appeals to run for president, potentially reshaping 2021 race

Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has announced he will not be running for president in the June 18 election, officially turning down a major appeal by the Reformist camp and potentially reshaping the race.

In a rather cryptic Instagram post on Wednesday, Zarif officially announced what he had already implied by resisting weeks of Reformist lobbying and refusing to announce a presidential bid.

While the Iranian foreign minister had denied having presidential aspirations in the past, he had refused to emphatically and publicly rule out a run in recent weeks and as the election drew nearer.

In announcing his decision, Zarif said he had reached the conviction that his candidacy would not have been in the best interest of the country.

May 11 07:35

Iran Publicly Accuses US Government of Orchestrating Bombing That Targeted and Killed Scores of Afghan Children

85 people were killed and 147 injured — mostly children — in a ruthless bombing of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school in Kabul. The school formally educates girls.

The attackers were targeting the Hazara population, which is part of Afghanistan’s Shia Muslim minority. The latest bloodshed threatens to plunge Afghanistan into a sectarian conflict as the Biden administration begins withdrawing troops from the region.

No group has officially taken responsibility for this slaughter. The Afghan government has publicly accused the Taliban, but they have formally denied involvement. Some Arab media outlets are reporting a rumor that it was ISIS, but the group has not confirmed culpability.

May 11 05:20

US excessive demands, refusal to remove Iran bans complicating Vienna talks: Press TV

The excessive demands put forward by the United States and its refusal to remove hundreds of anti-Iran sanctions related to the 2015 nuclear deal have been behind the complications hindering the talks underway in Vienna, Austria, on a potential revival of the accord.

Press TV has obtained information that the United States is complicating the Vienna talks by insisting on keeping in place 500 anti-Iran sanctions included in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington’s insistence on keeping these 500 persons and organizations under sanctions will prevent Iran from benefiting from the economic privileges offered under the JCPOA. It will also get in the way of Iran normalizing its trade relations with the rest of the world in contravention of Article 29 of the deal, according to the information.

May 10 23:25

12+ Iranian Gunboats Swarm 6 U.S. Warships, Dozens Of Warning Shots Fired

Iranian military gunboats with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated terrorist organization, swarmed several U.S. warships on Monday that were escorting a U.S. submarine.

“Over a dozen Iranian gunboats harass formation of six U.S. warships including guided-missile submarine Georgia,” Fox News Pentagon correspondent Lucas Tomlinson said. “U.S. Coast Guard cutter fired warning shots in response in Strait of Hormuz.”

The 13 Iranian military vessels reportedly came within 150 yards of U.S. Forces, which fired 30 warning shots at the Iranian vessels. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby called the incident “significant” since previous incidents had involved fewer vessels.

May 10 07:47

Two Longtime Enemy Mideast Countries Have Entered Unlikely Peace Talks

Two longtime bitter enemies who have for much of the past couple decades battled for influence in the Middle East while clashing through proxies have entered unlikely secret talks. On Friday a Saudi foreign ministry official confirmed previously widespread rumors of the past weeks that the kingdom is in communications with Iran in order to reduce regional tensions. Earlier reports suggested the talks secretly took place in Baghdad.

"We hope they prove successful, but it is too early, and premature, to reach any definitive conclusions," Saudi ministry Ambassador Rayed Krimly told Reuters. He said that Riyadh needs to see "verifiable deeds" before evaluating the talks, with Bloomberg noting that Iraqi officials are mediating, with a focus on de-escalating the situation in Yemen - where Riyadh and Tehran are supporting rival sides of the civil war.

May 10 06:50

Report: Israel shared Soleimani’s phone numbers with US hours before his slaying

Israel shared with the United States three cellphone numbers of Iranian al-Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani in the hours before he was killed last January in a US drone strike in Baghdad, according to Yahoo News.

The Saturday report, citing US military and intelligence officials, said Israel provided information to the US military as the hit operation was already underway, with American forces keeping an eye on Soleimani from the ground and skies and liaisons from US Joint Special Operations Command in Tel Aviv working with the Israelis on tracing the Iranian commander’s phones.

During the six hours before the attack Soleimani changed his cellphone three times, officials told Yahoo.

May 08 06:29

‘Israel is not a country, but a terrorist camp,’ Iran’s leader Khamenei says

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has blasted Israel as nothing more than a “terrorist camp” and urged the Palestinians to unite their efforts in fighting Tel Aviv.

Israel has “turned occupied Palestine into a base for terrorism,” Khamenei tweeted.

“Israel isn’t a county; it’s a #TerroristCamp against Palestinians & other Muslim nations,” he wrote, adding that it was “everyone’s responsibility” to fight against it.

May 07 06:31

Russian Submarines Armed with Cruise Missiles PROTECTS Iranian Ships.

May 07 06:28

Israel Attacks Syria for Second Straight Night

Israel went nearly two weeks between attacking Syria, and is now hitting for a second night in a row, with an attack helicopter raid into the Syrian Golan Heights. As with Wednesday night, Israel refused to comment on the attacks.

This makes it tough to determine what happened, as Israeli media tends to exaggerate and Syrian state media tends to downplay what happened. Officially, there are no confirmed casualties of the Thursday attack, and only one civilian killed Wednesday.

The attacks were on opposite sides of the country, with Wednesday’s hit near Latakia in the northwest, and Thursday’s in Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In neither case was it clear what was being attacked, though Wednesday’s missiles hit a plastic factory.

May 07 06:19

US Accuses Iran of Making ‘Unrealistic Demands’ for Sanctions Relief

Indirect negotiations between the US and Iran that have been ongoing in Vienna to revive the nuclear deal are dragging out due to the fact that the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions. On Thursday, a State Department official blamed the lack of progress on the Iranian side and said Tehran was making “unrealistic demands” for sanctions relief.

The unnamed official told reporters that a deal could be reached quickly if Iran has the political will. “If Iran makes the political decision that it genuinely wants to return to the JCPOA as the JCPOA was negotiated, then it could be done relatively quickly and implementation could be relatively swift,” the official said.

Iran has been very clear that if the US lifts sanctions imposed since the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018, Tehran would quickly return to the nuclear limits set by the agreement. But President Biden refuses to do so, complicating the negotiations

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Unrealistic demands", MY ASTROLABE!!

More and more, all of this appears to be a huge "rope-a-dope" scheme, to make Iran look bad and wrong, so that when the US gets "suckered" into a war with Iran, courtesy of Israel, of course,that some Americans will believe that such an action is "justified."

In my world; war of any kind signals that there has been a catastrophic failure of imagination.

And, there is the following to consider:

The question the US government should be asking is, if it is ready to confront BOTH China and Iran, should things go "south" concerning the resumption of JCPOA?!? That is one heck of an important question right now!!!

May 07 05:47

Saudi Arabia-Iran rapprochement: What is driving push for diplomacy?

We know we are a main target for the Iranian regime... We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia. We will work so that the battle is at theirs in Iran."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2017

"Iran is a neighbouring country. We want good and special relations with Iran. We don't want Iran's situation to be difficult. On the contrary, we want Iran to be prosperous."

- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 2021

Even by the standards of the ever-shifting geopolitics of the Middle East, bin Salman's turn from talks of war to wanting neighbourly relations with Iran is a sharp one.

May 07 05:45

FM Zarif says Palestine yardstick for justice, Iran proudly stands with Palestinians

The Iranian foreign minister describes Palestine as a yardstick for justice, reiterating Iran's unwavering support for Palestinian people who "resist the brutality of an apartheid regime" in the Israeli occupied territories.

“Palestine is a yardstick for justice,” Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote in a tweet on Thursday, adding, “#QudsDay is yearly reminder of moral imperative of global solidarity for Palestine.”

Zarif also pointed out that a referendum in Palestine is the only democratic solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian issue.

May 07 03:53

NATO's Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey's Military Aggression In Iraq, Syria, Yemen, & Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran

Authored by Rick Rozoff via Anti-Bellum,

The past week has witnessed reports of increased Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria as well as its intruding itself deeper into the war in Yemen. In all three cases Ankara has pitted itself against forces that are or can be seen to be pro-Iranian: Shiite parties in northern Iraq, the government of Syria and the Houthi-led government in Yemen.

Direct tensions between Turkey and Iran have been increasing since last year over the above three nations as well as the Turkish-directed attack on Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan (Turkey and Azerbaijan identify themselves as “one nation, two states’) and its aftermath.

May 06 10:21

US Establishment Recycling “WMD” Iraq War Propaganda For Iran

By Robert Inlakesh

As the United States seems to be nearing re-entry into the Iran Nuclear Deal, the corporate media are whipping out every piece of war propaganda in order to drive a wedge between the Biden Administration and the Iranian government.

This Monday, in a piece so outrageous that it verges on the comical, Fox News published a piece which directly claim’s Iran has been seeking technology to develop “Weapons of Mass Destruction” as of last year.

The article, written by Benjamin Weinthal, using widely over-inflating reports which carry no evidence to back them up, added the finishing touch to the current mainstream media vernacular about Iran, bringing us from 2021 back to 2003...

May 06 06:17

The Leaked Zarif Tape: What Western Media Heard and What He Actually Said

In the Anglo-American sphere, regime change evangelists, mainstream news, native informant media in Persian, and radlib analysts found their characteristic convergence: they distorted through an imperialist discourse redolent with confirmation bias what they had heard (or, in some cases, misheard). Two narratives emerged. The first advanced the tired trope of oriental despotism. Emerging out of colonial and liberal discourses and carrying into the present day, this trope imagines a dichotomous world between Western political agency and freedom on the one hand and an oriental or Muslim tyrant on the other, who rules through total control of his bureaucratics and subjects. The second narrative centered not so much on Russia’s despotism (although both the Soviet Union and Russia have received their fair share of such representations), but on the post-2016 obsession of the Democratic Party with Russia as the spoiler of “our democracy” — subject to a slight twist in this case, as the U.S.

May 06 05:26

Belgian court has no jurisdiction over Iran diplomat: Embassy

Iran’s Embassy in Brussels discredits the self-proclaimed jurisdiction of a Belgian court that has sentenced an Iranian diplomat to 20 years in prison after accusing him of plotting an alleged attack against the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MKO) anti-Iran terrorist cult.

The embassy released the statement on Wednesday, reiterating the country’s position concerning the February 4 sentence against Assadollah Assadi, the third counsellor at Iran's Embassy in Vienna.

In June 2018, Belgian authorities said that the Belgian police had intercepted a car carrying homemade explosives and a detonation device, claiming that Assadi had handed the materials to two people in Belgium earlier.

Assadi, himself, was apprehended in Germany the next day and told he could not apply his diplomatic immunity.

May 06 05:25

A first blow to Israel can also be the last: IRGC commander

The senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says the recent string of monumental security disasters right inside the occupied territories shows the Israeli regime’s sheer vulnerability.

“Israel’s security bubble has burst,” Major General Hossein Salami told a televised interview on Wednesday night.

He said the image that the regime had portrayed of itself through psychological operation has been destroyed, adding, “Today, you can see the [real] face of the Zionist regime in its actual proportions.”

‘Israel’s security, political, social disintegration’

The commander cited the back-to-back security incidents that the regime has been suffering over the past one to two months as cases in point that reflect its utter susceptibility.

The maritime incidents that have involved Israeli vessels, Salami said, showed how its trade, 90 percent of which goes through international waters, “can easily suffer serious obstruction.”

May 06 05:25

In landmark ruling, Iran’s Constitutional Council allows top military commanders to run for president

Under a set of new, specifically-defined qualifications, top military commanders in Iran are now allowed to run for president, and a long-running public debate about whether or not men of the military should be able to contest presidential elections has been effectively settled.

Iran’s Constitutional Council, which interprets the Constitution and vets candidates’ qualifications based on those interpretations for general elections, announced on Wednesday that earlier, broadly-worded criteria had now been clarified in specific detail.

One criterion says “ministers, provincial governors, mayors of cities with a population of above two million, [and] top commanders of the Armed Forces with the status of major general and higher” can now register for candidacy.

Formerly, the Council had to interpret a rather broadly-worded Constitutional article on the qualifications of president on a case-by-case basis for each nominee.

May 05 07:20

Rouhani censures Israel as enemy of Palestine, entire region

As supporters of the Palestinian cause prepare to mark the International Quds Day worldwide, Iran’s president has denounced Israel as the enemy of Palestinians and other nations in the region, but said the Zionist regime’s occupation of Palestine will not last forever.

“The Zionists are the enemies of the region, of security, of Palestinian people and of their neighbors, and they are the executioners and tyrants of [contemporary] history, who have displaced millions of people from their homes,” President Hassan Rouhani said at a weekly cabinet session on Wednesday.

Referring to International Quds Day, which falls on May 7 this year, Rouhani said the occasion would be a “mourning day for the Zionists” this year.

He said Quds Day, which was named by the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini to champion the Palestinian cause, is a source of pride for the Islamic Republic of Iran and a legacy of the late Imam.

May 05 06:40

JCPOA Nuclear Talks: An Exercise in Futility?

Reported JCPOA nuclear talks progress in Vienna — between Iran, E3 countries, Russia and China — is more illusion than reality.

According to an unnamed European source over the weekend:

“We have yet to come to an understanding on the most critical points.”

“Success is by no means guaranteed, but not impossible.”

On Friday, Biden regime national security advisor Jake Sullivan said talks are in “an unclear place” — implying uncertainty about whether an agreement can be reached.

May 05 05:20

Iran London Embassy siege still shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions after 41 years

Tomorrow marks the 41st anniversary of the culmination of the siege at the Iranian Embassy in London, an event with multiple hidden dimensions, and one which the UK is deeply reluctant to illuminate.

While the six-day siege - April 30 to May 05 1980 - was a tragedy for Iran – as demonstrated by the cold blooded killing of two embassy workers – by contrast the incident proved to be a bonanza for the UK’s Special Air Service (SAS), which subsequently cashed in on the incident by exporting its services and expertise to special forces around the world.

The terrorist takeover of the Iranian embassy, its bloody conclusion and aftermath continues to cast a shadow on increasingly fraught Anglo-Iranian relations.

May 05 05:06

Continued US refusal to terminate Iran sanctions will definitely bring talks to halt: Source tells Press TV

An informed source tells Press TV that the United States’ continued refusal to terminate all the sanctions it has imposed on Iran will definitely bring the Vienna negotiations on the revival of the 2015 nuclear deal to a halt.

Speaking to Press TV on the condition of anonymity, the source said Iran is still emphasizing the full implementation of the deal’s Article 29 and the termination of all the sanctions related to the nuclear deal and those re-imposed or relabeled during the term of ex-US President Donald Trump.

“America’s insistence on not terminating these sanctions will lead to a definitive halt in the negotiations” under way in Vienna, Austria, on revitalizing the nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the source said.

May 05 05:05

‘My job is to uphold the four walls around the country:’ Soleimani said rejecting call to run for president

An Iranian lawmaker says Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani brushed aside his offer for the legendary commander to take part in the upcoming 2021 presidential election just months before his assassination by the United States by stressing that he had a responsibility to protect the country militarily.

Speaking to Tasnim on Monday, Lawmaker Mohammad-Mahdi Zahedi said General Soleimani never eyed the country’s top political offices, despite the fact that he enjoyed enormous popularity among Iranians.

The lawmaker said that around two months prior to General Soleimani’s assassination in January 2020, “I told him ‘Let us start working now for your candidacy in the [Persian calendar year] 1400 (2021); and enter the field as the candidate of the revolutionary current and run for president.”

May 04 07:13

Israel’s ‘shadow war’ and plans to scupper Iran’s nuclear deal

US President Joe Biden is pushing to reinstate Iran’s nuclear deal and weeks of talks in Austria appear to be bearing fruit.

Israel, however, continues to see its security jeopardised by a potentially nuclear Iran and is trying to thwart negotiations any way possible.

May 04 06:40

US Officials in Middle East to Tamp Down Concern Over Iran Deal

With the Biden administration engaged in talks that could revive the Iran nuclear deal, US allies in the Middle East that are against the agreement are concerned. Besides Israel, Arab allies like the UAE and Saudi Arabia are also opposed to a revival of the JCPOA.

To tamp down these concerns the Biden administration has dispatched officials to the region. Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who is seen as a key Biden ally, spoke with reporters in Abu Dhabi on Monday. He said he was there to alleviate the UAE’s “understandable and legitimate concerns” and create a “broader engagement” with Gulf countries. Coons said the US was in “close consultations” with the UAE on the Iran talks that are ongoing in Vienna.

Several senior Biden administration officials are touring the region this week, including Brett McGurk, who heads Middle East policy on the National Security Council. McGurk and his delegation are expected to visit Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Amman, and Cairo.

May 04 05:26

Hawks okay with Israeli attacks on Iran leading to all-out war

A former advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Israeli actions against Iran may lead to a war that endangers civilian life, but supported that strategy over the Biden administration’s current diplomacy with Iran.

Speaking at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, retired major general Yaakov Amidror found a receptive audience of American hawks who believed the Biden administration needed to be saved from its own policy choices.

Amidror, who served as Israel’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2013 and is now a distinguished fellow at JINSA, spoke about the Israeli-Iranian “shadow war,” which has involved alleged Israeli sabotage attacks on Iran.

“At the end, we might face Iranians who decide to retaliate,” he said. “Might it lead to a war? I think that the decision makers understand that the answer might be yes.”

May 04 05:25

Iran ‘Almost Certainly’ Interfering in Scottish Politics to Boost Separatism, Harm UK

The Islamic Republic of Iran is “almost certainly” interfering in Scottish politics in order to boost separatism and harm the British Union, according to a new report.

The Henry Jackson Society alleges that the Islamist regime in Tehran wishes to lend aid to the left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP) in the upcoming elections for the Scottish Parliament — roughly equivalent to a state legislature in the United States — in order to “attack the constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom” and undermine what it sees as a geopolitical rival.

“Iran has shown itself to be a country which engages in Russian-style disinformation campaigns, repeatedly establishing fake websites and internet accounts in an effort to disrupt the political systems of liberal democracies,” The Times quotes the report as saying.

“Judged within this context, Iran is almost certainly looking to disrupt our current elections, most likely those under way for the Scottish [Parliament],” it added.

May 04 04:52

Iran a key topic as US envoy Blinken meets UK counterpart in first trip abroad

Iran is expected to be a key topic in talks Monday between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his host in London, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

The two envoys donned face masks and fist-bumped before heading into the talks, a day ahead of the Group of Seven leading industrial nations’ first face-to-face discussions in two years, involving foreign and development ministers. The UK holds this year’s G-7 presidency.

Blinken’s visit to London, his first since being appointed by US President Joe Biden, comes amid mounting speculation of a prisoner exchange deal with Iran. Prisoner exchanges are not uncommon and were a feature of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and the world’s leading powers. Biden has indicated that he is looking to restart nuclear talks with Tehran after his predecessor, Donald Trump, pulled the US out of the agreement.

May 03 07:30

Israel and Iran Tensions Spiraling into a Direct Confrontation

Against the background of a possible return of the United States to a “nuclear deal” with Iran, Tel Aviv has recently demonstrably intensified the actions of its intelligence services to undermine Tehran’s nuclear program and damage not only this industry, but the Islamic Republic as a whole. And at the same time, Israeli officials make no secret of their displeasure with US President Biden’s desire to revive the nuclear agreement that his predecessor abandoned in 2018. On April 11, Benjamin Netanyahu said that the fight against Iran and its “satellites” as well as against Iran’s arms buildup is the “enormous task” of the Jewish state.

Considering Iran its main adversary, Israel has previously sabotaged Tehran’s nuclear facilities and developments in a variety of methods, from cyber attacks to direct assassinations, including eliminating a number of Iranian nuclear scientists and ambushing a key developer of its nuclear program last November.

May 03 07:13

Top Senate Dem quietly inserts Iran poison pill into China bill

It seems like a basic transparency measure. But some Senate Democrats worry that an amendment quietly added to a China-related bill could be a stealth poison pill for diplomacy with Iran.

Shortly before the Strategic Competition Act was set to be marked up by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chairman Bob Menendez (D–N.J.) and ranking member Jim Risch (R–Idaho) inserted an amendment that vastly expands the reporting requirements for international agreements.

The amendment requires the State Department to provide detailed reports to Congress within five days after it “approves the negotiation or conclusion” of an international agreement or “non-binding instrument” with “an important effect on the foreign policy of the United States.”

May 03 06:34

NATO’s Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey’s Military Aggression in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran

The past week has witnessed reports of increased Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria as well as its intruding itself deeper into the war in Yemen. In all three cases Ankara has pitted itself against forces that are or can be seen to be pro-Iranian: Shiite parties in northern Iraq, the government of Syria and the Houthi-led government in Yemen.

Direct tensions between Turkey and Iran have been increasing since last year over the above three nations as well as the Turkish-directed attack on Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan (Turkey and Azerbaijan identify themselves as “one nation, two states’) and its aftermath.

May 03 06:12

Iran Remains 'Primary State Challenger' to Washington's Interests in Mideast, US Intel Report Claims

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been simmering since America's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

An annual US intelligence report has described the Islamic Republic as a country that continues to challenge America's interests in the Middle East, according to the London-headquartered television channel Iran International.

The document titled the "United States Worldwide Threat Assessment" was released to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and included contributions from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

May 03 05:51

Biden Tells Mossad US Not Close to Iran Deal

While Israel’s delegation came to the US having been warned by the Biden Administration that it won’t allow Israel to dictate the Iran nuclear talks, President Biden certainly seems to be continuing to give the Israelis the impression that this is their prerogative.

Israeli officials say Biden told the director of Mossad that the US has a “long way to go” before any deals with Iran on the nuclear process can be reached. Israel was openly opposed to the 2015 nuclear deal, and is opposed to the US returning to it.

Perhaps more concerning, Biden “assured” the director that the US will continue to seek Israeli input on the Iran process in the future. This seems to support the Israeli delegation’s impression that they can direct the US on what to dog.

Apr 30 09:26

Iran bans 15 people from traveling over Zarif leak, official resigns

Iran imposed travel bans on 15 people for alleged involvement in a leaked audio recording in which the foreign minister complains about the influence of the Revolutionary Guards on Iranian diplomacy, a semi-official news agency said on Thursday.

In the leaked interview, aired by the London-based Iran International Persian-language satellite news channel late on Sunday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he had "zero" influence over Iran’s foreign policy.