Re: Iran News and Discussions
Posted: 12 Jan 2018 01:39
proShah= Reza Shah the son of the earlier Shah. IOW restoring imperial Iran.
Consortium of Indian Defence Websites
Dubai. 13th of January. INTERFAX - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unit prevented terrorists from attempting to import explosives from Pakistan to destabilize the situation in the country, the report said on the website of the IRGC on Saturday.
"The terrorist group tried to import a batch of explosive devices into Iran in an attempt to carry out sabotage activities, create a dangerous situation and stir up riots inside the country," the report said.
A batch of explosives, suicide belts and equipment intercepted at the border were liquidated in Seravan in the southeast of Iran near the border with Pakistan, the report said.
Cosmo_R wrote:"The Israeli military said an Iranian drone it shot down over the weekend was based on an American stealth drone that was intercepted by Iran six years ago.
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/middleea ... index.html
Interesting how they've maintained F4s and F-14s in spite of sanctions. They also seem to have become adept at making assault rifles.
Maybe we should tie with them
Tell us about your meetings in Delhi, both bilateral and trilateral with Japan.
The momentum to this relationship is anchored by the two policies that govern our approach to the region: the U.S. South Asia policy and the Indo-Pacific policy. In the South Asia policy, the U.S. is working very aggressively to stabilise the situation and work towards a peaceful resolution that involves unprecedented engagement with Pakistan, and one in which India is playing an essential role as a net provider of assistance which is very different from a few years ago. On the Indo-Pacific side, that’s where the ambitions of the relationship lie. Our shared security interests are to see that the region doesn’t fall prey to some of the predatory practices being seen in the South China Sea, and how to offer alternatives.
On Afghanistan… the fact that this region has no regional trade is noteworthy and until we resolve that core conflict and open up the east and west, the potential for South Asia is not going to be achieved. We are deeply appreciative of the Indian efforts to use Chabahar to provide alternatives to Afghanistan to open up a channel to Central Asia. And we need to be creative in the absence of peace to ensure that Afghanistan can stabilise and grow.
Are you saying that the Chabahar route, with the port owned by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRGC-owned Khatam Al-Anbia) meets with the U.S.’s approval?
The standard set for Chabahar is that the deals should not benefit IRGC members, that’s for sanctions not to be imposed, and for business deals to go through. The legislation originally passed (JCPOA) has a specific carve-out for Chabahar and that’s an acknowledgment of the necessary role of giving land-locked Afghanistan access and alternatives as it seeks to build its economy. We have seen with the shipments of wheat that India has really helped to open up trade with Afghanistan including air corridors. Its been striking that Afghanistan-Pakistan trade has declined 50% in the last year. India has provided options, and Afghanistan now needs the support of India and Central Asia.
You were in Pakistan last week for several days. Are there any indications yet that Pakistan is taking action on terror?
As General (Joseph) Votel has testified, we see initial constructive steps and we want to build on that. Our conversation with Pakistan is about the unique influence it has and the unique levers it has in helping to shape Taliban expectations and to convince the Taliban to walk through what we all recognise is an open door. Those conversations are ongoing. We are not walking away from Pakistan, but we do not believe that yet we have seen the kind of sustainable and irreversible steps that are required to really change the situation on the ground.
Yet here in New Delhi, it looks as if since that tweet from President Trump on New Years day, India’s hopes from the U.S.’s new policy have not been realised. Terrorists targeting India like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar still roam openly, issue statements, with no specific action taken against them except what is mandated by the U.N. Do you still think there is reason to hope that will change?
I was heartened by the press comments by General Bajwa where he said things like the ‘state must have the monopoly on violence’, and there is ‘no role for non-state actors’, and that ‘Pakistan cant be a normal states if there are extremist groups’. Those are extremely positive statements and now I think the challenge is to see them implemented. We are certainly in a very good faith conversation with Pakistan. We want the policy to succeed and for Pakistan to be both law enforced and economically secure country. We understand Pakistan is also a victim of terror and more than 400 civilians were killed by the TTP or other groups like AQ and ISIS operating in Pakistan. I always say that terrorists who attack Pakistan are also enemies of the United States. We have an agenda, we believe we have shared interests and Pakistan has a stake in a stable Afghanistan. So how do we make that calculus work?
But you’re basing all this on General Bajwa’s statement… this year marks 10 years since the Mumbai attacks, and there have been ten years of such statements. So what gives you hope that this time is any different from the past?
I think the South Asia strategy and the stance of the U.S. administration gives me hope. This is a strategy that has been implemented with greater force. It notes that this is a different world, and it is no longer acceptable or understandable to rely on proxy forces. And we are prepared, as we demonstrated with the suspension of assistance, to act on our concern when we don’t see sufficient action taken. The Trump administration has gone into territory not been entered before by the U.S. and that sends a very powerful message. We have a leadership role to play to close the chapter on proxy forces in South Asia. There is an urgency to this because of ISIS. We see ISIS in Afghanistan consists largely of Afghans and Pakistanis who have switched over from other terrorist organisations, but imagine if an insurgency became a nihillistic campaign that recognised no borders. We can’t afford the conflict and the ideological stew there to metastasise.
Yet eight months into the U.S. South Asia strategy, four months after CSF and FMF funding cuts, FATF action, IMF squeeze, the designation of Hafiz Saeed’s party MML as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation, there’s seems no impact on Pakistan actions. What are the markers that Pakistan should take, for the U.S., and possibly India to acknowledge they have taken some action?
We fully share your concern over Hafiz Saeed. He is a terrorist, with money on his head, he should be in prison, not on the streets, and we have concerns about his ability to operate freely..... [pause] This is a process, and while I know that’s not a satisfactory answer for a country that has suffered significant acts of terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
The U.S. has suffered as well, Americans died in the Mumbai attacks….
Absolutely…but this is a process. And it is a serious process, and even our Indian friends recognise the seriousness of purpose of the United States in adopting and implementing its strategy. So I would say, bear with us, this isn’t the end of our diplomatic game. We are continuously engaging in Pakistan because we do see the need for change.
Is there a timeline? Or a point at which the U.S.’s patience runs out?
We are evaluating as we go, in consultations with our allies and friends. But this is a process.
What are the markers of what you would like to see Pakistan do in the next few months?
I think Pakistan knows what it can do to change the calculus and to disrupt and make it harder for Taliban or family members [other groups] to take advantage of Pakistan’s territory. That isn’t a mystery. There will soon be a new civilian leadership in Pakistan, and we will see how the new government will take steps to demonstrate to the international community that Pakistan is serious about curbing terror financing and money laundering.
Again, there we have seen some positive steps: whether it is on the (LeT-owned) charities, whether it is the executive order designating U.N. terrorists under the Anti-terrorism Act, this is what we are going to be looking for. I believe that the international consensus was that the greylist was necessary as these were not irreversible actions, but I have to say, in my consultations in Islamabad, including among the business community, there is a lot of support for moving forward on terror. This is in Pakistan’s interest, as a big country that needs foreign investment, the way to attract it is to have a stellar reputation and stellar record. So many people I met welcomed the double-edged sword of FATF.
The development of the Chabahar port, however, needs to be viewed as Iran’s call for “engagement”. The participation of Pakistan’s Minister of Shipping at the inauguration ceremony made it clear that for Iran Chabahar means business. Post-sanctions, the development of the Chabahar port reflects Iranian quest for multilateralism, and China by default is an important player in the Iranian scheme of things. Given the overt hostility of the Trump administration towards Iran, it is imperative for Tehran to maintain cordial relationship with a rising power like China.As of August, 2017 crude and condensate export from Iran to China was approximately 733,000 bpd (barrels per day); a rise of 11% compared to previous year. Besides, China’s iron-ore buyers see in Iran an alternative to Australia and Brazil. Over the years, China has emerged as Iran's leading trade partner.Chinese investments in Iran are part and parcel of its ambitious $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Apart from their economic rationale, these investments are also a means to generate political confidence/acceptability for a China-centric world order. Iran perceives the BRI as a project that would make it an indispensable transit hub for countries like China, India and Russia and an effective antidote to the U.S. sanctions. Iran’s premium geographical location (as a bridge between Persian Gulf and Central Asia) along with a relatively stable political architecture makes it a central player for China’s BRI. This will give China de-facto control over two of the three major routes to world markets. It is imperative to compliment geopolitical premises with robust commercial exchanges. In collaboration with countries like Japan, India should offer favourable terms of trade in the region vis-à-vis China. To consolidate its strategic depth in the region, India should focus on initiatives like frequent joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf. Iran, on the other hand, would do well by maintaining a fine balance between the elephant and the dragon. Experiences of countries like Sri Lanka should encourage prudent thinking on the part of Iranian policy-makers.New Delhi will have to adopt a nuanced approach towards Chinese investment in Iran, especially now that Tehran’s reliance upon Beijing is only likely to grow after Mr. Trump’s exit from the nuclear pact. Some form of Chinese participation in the Chabahar project would be helpful for the future of the project, especially if the terms and conditions are clearly specified. India and China are exploring joint economic projects in Afghanistan; they can surely also extend this engagement to the Chabahar.
hanumadu wrote:How come Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet? It has a large, intelligent population and has been a middle income country for many years now.
Prem wrote:http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/between-the-elephant-and-the-dragon/article23828772.eceThe development of the Chabahar port, however, needs to be viewed as Iran’s call for “engagement”. The participation of Pakistan’s Minister of Shipping at the inauguration ceremony made it clear that for Iran Chabahar means business. Post-sanctions, the development of the Chabahar port reflects Iranian quest for multilateralism, and China by default is an important player in the Iranian scheme of things. Given the overt hostility of the Trump administration towards Iran, it is imperative for Tehran to maintain cordial relationship with a rising power like China.As of August, 2017 crude and condensate export from Iran to China was approximately 733,000 bpd (barrels per day); a rise of 11% compared to previous year. Besides, China’s iron-ore buyers see in Iran an alternative to Australia and Brazil. Over the years, China has emerged as Iran's leading trade partner.Chinese investments in Iran are part and parcel of its ambitious $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Apart from their economic rationale, these investments are also a means to generate political confidence/acceptability for a China-centric world order. Iran perceives the BRI as a project that would make it an indispensable transit hub for countries like China, India and Russia and an effective antidote to the U.S. sanctions. Iran’s premium geographical location (as a bridge between Persian Gulf and Central Asia) along with a relatively stable political architecture makes it a central player for China’s BRI. This will give China de-facto control over two of the three major routes to world markets. It is imperative to compliment geopolitical premises with robust commercial exchanges. In collaboration with countries like Japan, India should offer favourable terms of trade in the region vis-à-vis China. To consolidate its strategic depth in the region, India should focus on initiatives like frequent joint naval exercises in the Persian Gulf. Iran, on the other hand, would do well by maintaining a fine balance between the elephant and the dragon. Experiences of countries like Sri Lanka should encourage prudent thinking on the part of Iranian policy-makers.New Delhi will have to adopt a nuanced approach towards Chinese investment in Iran, especially now that Tehran’s reliance upon Beijing is only likely to grow after Mr. Trump’s exit from the nuclear pact. Some form of Chinese participation in the Chabahar project would be helpful for the future of the project, especially if the terms and conditions are clearly specified. India and China are exploring joint economic projects in Afghanistan; they can surely also extend this engagement to the Chabahar.
The Israeli military said it had struck dozens of Iran-linked military targets in Syria on Thursday in response to rocket fire, marking a significant escalation in regional hostilities a little more than a day after the U.S. withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.
Israel said the attacks followed a volley of rockets directed at Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, which caused no casualties.
Jets headed for Syria screamed over northern Israel for more than four hours, and about 70 previously identified targets were hit, according to the Israeli military.
“This was by far the largest strike we have done, but it was focused on Iranian sites,” said Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman. Syrian anti-aircraft batteries were also targeted after they fired on Israeli planes, he added.
rsingh wrote:We used to buy oil from Eyran during last sanctions and we can do now. it is even better. after the lifting of sanctions Eyran had changed tone. We have to follow our own policy and negotiate hard with Eyran.Why are we wetting dhoti for such arrogant country? If Israel, US and Russia has agreed for a regime change in Eyran, that is completely different matter. Even then we have traded with them when nobody was talking to them.
Israel has no real desire for armed conflict with Iran, but Trump might stumble into war against Tehran
Analysis: If Donald Trump does lead US to attack Iran directly, it will be due to a misunderstanding of the real options available
Israel has no real desire to go to war against Iran, but Trump might lead the US into battle
Wenger: Premier League will lose out to European super league ‘soon’
Israel has launched its biggest attack ever on Iranian forces in Syria. This is a serious development, but reports of the entire Middle East being on the verge of all out war fail to fully appreciate the motives and intentions of the various players.
Looked at from the Israeli point of view, it is an excellent moment to act against Iran in Syria because it is unlikely that the Iranians will respond in a serious way.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Iran nuclear deal, the Iranians want to show the rest of the world, and particularly the Europeans, that they are the reliable and pacific upholders of the 2015 treaty.
This phase may not last long and does not mean that the Iranians have any faith in the EU states keeping the accord alive. But they do want to ensure that the EU and others will only grudgingly cooperate with the reimposition of draconian sanctions by the US.
The Iranian economy will still be very badly hit because international banks and companies will be frightened of being punished by the US Treasury, but Iran will not be as isolated politically and economically as it was before 2015.
The Israelis do not want a wider war with Iran. The Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman said that: "I hope we finished this chapter and everyone got the message," adding that Israel does not intend the situation to escalate.
Israel attack Iran targets in Syria: overnight airstrike in pictures
Significantly, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was heading home from Moscow where he had been seeing President Vladimir Putin as the Israeli air force was making the strikes of which the Russians were previously informed by Israel.
Mr Netanyahu evidently wanted to reassure Mr Putin that Israel is acting against Iran and is not trying to make a late-in-the-day attempt to change the outcome of the Syrian civil war, which is so far ending with a victory for Russia’s ally President Bashar al-Assad.
The Iranians show no sign of expecting a war with the US or Israel, at least in the near future, whatever the belligerent rhetoric coming out of Washington, Tel Aviv and Tehran.
Israel has accused Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of firing 20 rockets at Israeli military positions in the Golan Heights late on Wednesday night, but, even if this is confirmed, it would amount to a very tame retaliation by Iran for earlier Israeli airstrikes.
Iran’s enemies are not seeking military confrontation, said the deputy head of the IRGC, Brigadier Hossein Salami, on Thursday.
Europe must resist the US to salvage the Iran nuclear deal
“They want to pressure our country by economic isolation,” he said, adding that the Europeans were powerless to salvage the deal under which Iran had curtailed its nuclear programme in return for a reduction in sanctions.
The bellicose threats against Iran coming from Israel and Saudi Arabia may be leading to a misunderstanding. Leaders in both countries may be eager for the US to have a military confrontation with Iran, but they would prefer to cheer on Mr Trump from the sidelines rather than become involved in a war themselves.
Israel has grim experience in the past of becoming engaged in an unwinnable war in Lebanon between 1982 and 2000 and, since 2015, Saudi Arabia has been suffering a similar failure in Yemen.
An American military attack on Iran might, indeed, happen, though not immediately and, if it does occur, it may well be because of a US misunderstanding of the real options available to it.
The one most agreeable to the White House would be regime change in Tehran: the association of leading figures in the administration like the national security adviser, John Bolton, with exiled Iranian opposition groups like the Mojahedin-e-Khalq may have be encouraging delusions about the likelihood of this happening.
The Iraqi opposition in 2003 successfully encouraged similar fantasies in Washington and London about the political state of Iraq prior to the US-led invasion.
Trump may similarly be deluded about the chances of sanctions driving Iran to a new nuclear deal which would in effect be terms of surrender dictated by the US.
No doubt the revived sanctions will be devastating for the Iranian economy, but Iran has survived a more onerous economic siege in the past while, this time round, ordinary Iranians will be more likely to blame the intransigence of the US rather than that of their own leaders.
The only alternative left for Mr Trump would be military action, particularly if Iran goes back to enriching uranium as it is likely to do, given that the US has sunk the deal restraining it from doing so.
Israel might take part in such a war, but it is scarcely in its interests to do so. Air strikes against specific Iranian nuclear facilities are one thing, but these might happen on the first day of a very long conflict that would be mostly fought out on the ground.
Iran has an advantage here because it is already on the winning side in the wars in Syria and Iraq.
In Lebanon, Israeli, US and Saudi Arabia have a good example of the morass they would be getting into because they failed, despite determined efforts over 36 years, to change the balance of power there against Iran and its ally, Hezbollah.
There is likely to be further well-hidden reason why leaders in Israel and Saudi Arabia may hesitate a little at becoming involved in an escalating confrontation with Iran that could lead to war.
They are delighted that they have an administration in Washington that is singing their tune. Their most propagandist claims are being echoed by the president.
But it should also occur to them that Mr Trump, though for the moment entirely in their corner, is mercurial, unpredictable and even mentally unstable.
He gyrates between isolationism and military intervention. He might easily provoke a crisis with Iran from which the US suddenly detaches itself – something like this happened to the Syrian Kurds earlier in the year – or he could one day stumble, along with his allies in Tel Aviv and Riyadh, into a war with Iran through sheer ignorance and miscalculation.
May 11, 2018, 9:02 AM
France: Europe isn't U.S. "vassal," should trade with Iran
PARIS -- France's finance minister says European countries should push back harder against the Trump administration over the Iran nuclear deal and not act as "vassals" to the U.S. But German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran accord isn't a reason to dump decades of trans-Atlantic ties altogether.
The back and forth Friday came as thousands of Iranians took to the streets in cities across the country to protest President Trump's decision.
European governments are scrambling for ways to save billions of dollars in trade that could collapse because of Mr. Trump's decision this week to re-impose sanctions. He argued that the 2015 nuclear deal, which allowed for the lifting of sanctions, wasn't tough enough on Iran.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Europe-1 radio that Europe should not accept that the U.S. is the "world's economic policeman."
"Do we want to be vassals who obey decisions taken by the United States while clinging to the hem of their trousers?" Le Maire asked. "Or do we want to say we have our economic interests, we consider we will continue to do trade with Iran?"
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, meanwhile, condemned the U.S. move to re-impose sanctions on foreign companies trading with Iran as unacceptable. In a newspaper interview Le Drain said Europeans would "do everything to protect the interests of their companies" and planned to lead "tight negotiations" with Washington.
Merkel took a more measured tone.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... -sanctions
US faces European backlash against Iran sanctions
Senior politicians says Europe will consider countermeasures to keep trading with Iran
Europe is prepared to introduce measures to nullify the effect of Donald Trump imposing sanctions on any non-US firm that continues to do business with Iran, the French government has said. The warning from the French finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, suggests Trump’s proposals to corral Europe into joining US foreign policy on Iran may lead to a severe backlash by EU firms and politicians, especially advocates of a stronger independent European foreign policy. “We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our European economic sovereignty,” Le Maire said, adding that Europe could use the same instruments as the US to defend its interests. Speaking on Europe 1 he added: “Do we want to be a vassal that obeys and jumps to attention?” When Trump announced he was pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal he said the US was also reimposing sanctions, including on any entity that continued to trade with Iran, in effect threatening billions of euros of European business.
The US Treasury has said it is giving companies three to six months to wind down their contracts, including purchases of Iranian oil.
On Friday Le Maire put forward three main proposals starting with an EU-wide blocking statute similar to an EU regulation passed in 1996 designed to nullify any US sanctions imposed on EU firms. The statute permitted European companies to ignore the US sanctions and said that any decisions by foreign courts based on the such sanctions would not be upheld in Europe. The US backed down before any sanctions were implemented.
“We want to reinforce this regulation and incorporate the recent decisions taken by the United States,” Le Maire said. He added: “The second avenue is looking at Europe’s financial independence – what can we do to give Europe more financial tools allowing it to be independent from the United States?” One proposal is to set up a purely European finance house to oversee euro-denominated transactions with Iran.
He also proposed a European agency capable of following the activities of foreign companies. Le Maire said he would meet with German and British finance ministers at the end of the month to discuss these proposals. Le Maire disclosed that he had already called the US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, urging him to allow exemptions for French companies or a delay in implementing the sanctions, while admitting he had “few illusions” about the likely response.
RoyG wrote:Last month Iran made it clear that it wants to diversify out of dollar into euro. This is after they took over Iraq and stabilized regime in Syria. Pipelines going to Europe will yield handsome returns to Iran. However, if they are allowed to do this nothing stops the rest of the GCC countries from diversifying out of dollar either. It's no coincidence that the US is targeting them now. The Russians are trying to protect them militarily and want the Europeans to help them out economically. Anything to get the US to roll back its presence in the Middle East and put pressure on it economically.
hanumadu wrote:How come Iran does not have nuclear weapons yet? It has a large, intelligent population and has been a middle income country for many years now.
NEW DELHI: India will keep trading with Iran and Venezuela despite the threat of fallout from US sanctions against the two countries, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said Monday.
Swaraj, asked at a news conference whether US action against Iran and Venezuela would damage India, said the country would not make foreign policy “under pressure.”
US President Donald Trump this month withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and ordered the reimposition of sanctions suspended under the 2015 accord.
Washington has also tightened sanctions against Venezuela over the controversial re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.
Both countries are key oil suppliers to India and the United States has warned that foreign companies which deal with Iran could themselves be punished.
But Swaraj said New Delhi did not believe in “reactionary” policies and would not be dictated to by other countries.
“We don’t make our foreign policy under pressure from other countries,” she told a news conference.
“We believe in UN sanctions but not in country-specific sanctions.”
Swaraj’s comments came just before a meeting with her Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in New Delhi.
Bilateral trade between India and Iran amounted to $12.9 billion in 2016-17. India imported $10.5 billion worth of goods, mainly crude oil, and exported commodities worth $2.4 billion.
India has other interests in Iran, in particular a commitment to build the port of Chabahar on the Gulf of Oman.
The port is being touted as a way for India to establish trade routes that bypass rival Pakistan.
Media reports have speculated India could revive a rupee-rial payment arrangement with Iran to shield exporters from the heat of US sanctions.
Swaraj also said India would continue trading with Venezuela, but there was no plan to use its local cryptocurrency in oil trade.
External Affairs Minister’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister
May 28, 2018
External Affairs Minister met the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Mr. Javad Zarif today. They, inter alia, discussed bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The two sides positively assessed the implementation of decisions taken during the visit of President Rouhani to India. These included bilateral cooperation in the areas of connectivity, energy, trade and promotion of people to people contacts.
FM Zarif briefed about the discussions that Iran has undertaken with parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action following the US decision to withdraw from the Agreement. EAM conveyed that all parties to the Agreement should engage constructively for peaceful resolution of the issues that have arisen with respect to the Agreement.
The other members of the delegation accompanying FM Zarif had separate meetings with their counterparts earlier in the day where they discussed measures for practical cooperation between the two sides.
May 28, 2018
India’s foolhardy decision to cut Iranian oil imports under U.S. pressure at a time when the U.S. government has imposed higher tariff on many Indian products shows how the power dynamics work. However, the mood is Iran remains upbeat. Iranians are not panicking just because India has backstabbed them. The country has seen the worst and bounced back stronger every time.