Breaking News -- Middle East
|Iranian Military Official: We Have 100,000 Missiles in Lebanon
Ready to Hit Israel
According to Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the IRGC, “the opportunity to destroy Israel is now better than ever.”
(J Post) – President Hassan Rouhani said the last year’s nuclear deal “was the cheapest way to achieve Iran’s goals and interests.”
Speaking in Tehran on Saturday at an iftar meal breaking the Ramadan fast, Rouhani said the pre-Iran nuclear-deal era is past and Iran now needs to take advantage of the new atmosphere to pursue its “national interests more than before,” Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
The country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday called for student associations to establish a “unified anti-US and anti-Zionist front” among the Muslim world’s students, Tasnim News Agency reported.
“By using advanced means of communication and in cyberspace, general campaigns can be formed by Muslim students based on the opposition to the policies of the US and the Zionist regime of Israel so that when needed, millions of young Muslim students create a big movement in the Islamic world,” he said.
Khamenei also warned against plots by enemies seeking to sabotage the country.
Separately, on Saturday, Fars News Agency reported a senior official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards as having said Israel’s Iran Dome anti-rocket system has vulnerabilities that were revealed in recent wars.
On a similar note, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards, Brig.-Gen.
Hossein Salami, said on Friday “more than 100,000 missiles are ready to fly from Lebanon,” according to Tasnim.
“Today, the grounds for the annihilation and collapse of the Zionist regime are [present] more than ever,” he declared, saying there are “tens of thousands of destructive long-range missiles” from Islamic territories aiming at all of “occupied” Israel.
“If the Zionists make a wrong move, all the occupied territories will come under attack from dedicated fighters and, God willing, the territories will be liberated,” Salami warned.
On Friday, Rouhani accused Western powers of trying to exploit differences between the world’s Sunni and Shi’ite Muslims to divert attention from the Israel-Palestinian conflict, state television reported.
“We stand with the dispossessed Palestinian nation,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Iran's Khamenei threatens to 'set fire' to nuclear deal if West violates
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened on Tuesday to "set fire" to the nuclear deal sealed with world powers if U.S. presidential candidates reneged on the agreement.
Presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump said last August it would be hard to "rip up" the deal, but if elected president he would "police that contract so tough they don't have a chance".
Iran can expect a shift in relations with the United States to a more aggressive posture under a Republic president, a reversal of the warming trend nurtured by Democratic President Barack Obama.
"The Islamic Republic won't be the first to violate the nuclear deal. Staying faithful to a promise is a Koranic order," Khamenei said, according to state media. "But if the threat from the American presidential candidates to tear up the deal becomes operational then the Islamic Republic will set fire to the deal."
He did not identify any candidate and said he did not see a difference between Democrats and Republicans in the comments that state media said he made in a meeting with senior officials including President Hassan Rouhani, who championed the agreement.
Hillary Clinton, who Obama has endorsed to succeed him in the Nov. 8 election, said in March in a speech to a pro-Israel lobby group in Washington that Iran still posed a threat to Israel and needed to be closely watched.
She was secretary of state under Obama during his first term.
The United States and Europe lifted sanctions on Tehran in January under the deal that curbed Iran's nuclear program. However, some restrictions remain, including on financial transactions, slowing Iranian hopes to reintegrate with world markets.
Khamenei noted that sanctions had not been completely lifted, issues with Iranian banks had not been resolved and that Iranian money that was being kept in other countries had not been returned.
"The nuclear deal has holes which, if they were closed, would reduce or cancel its disadvantages," he said.
He added: "Some think that we can get along with the Americans and solve our problems. This is an incorrect idea and a delusion."
The Supreme Leader also told the officials, who had gathered for a meeting to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan, that the issue of insurance for oil tankers had not been resolved.
Khamenei said Iran had met its obligations by halting the enrichment of uranium at 20 percent and shutting down nuclear facilities in Fordow and Arak.
Earlier, Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, urged the United States to do more to encourage banks to do business with Iran.
(Reporting by Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Alison Williams)
'Great Satan' USA & 'evil' Britain not to be trusted - Iran's leader
Iran’s supreme leader says Iranians should not trust the US and other “small and big enemies” of the country during commemorations of his predecessor, who led the country through the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“We have many small and big enemies, but foremost among them are America and this very evil Britain,” Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said in a televised speech dedicated to the 27th anniversary of the death of Rouhollah Khomeini, who was the first person to hold the highest office in post-revolutionary Iran.
The driving force behind the 1979 revolution was public outrage with Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who had strong support from the US and the UK while using secret police and martial law to subjugate his people. Under his reign a CIA coup overthrew Iran’s elected government in 1953 for nationalizing UK-owned oil companies.
According to Khamenei, "America has continued its enmity towards Iran since the revolution.”
“It is a huge mistake to trust evil Britain and the Great Satan,” he added, referring to the US by a nickname often used by Iranian officials in anti-American speeches.
“Any individual or current which is working for Islam, if they trust America, they will be slapped in the face,” he said.
The Iranian leader said Iran would not cooperate with the US in regional affairs, because “their aims in the region are 180 degrees opposed to Iran's."
Iran and the US have a common enemy in the region, the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). The US is leading an international coalition, which uses airstrikes and commando raids in an effort to eradicate IS powerbase in Iraq and Syria. Tehran provides commanders for militias fighting against IS in Iraq and Syria and is a major ally of the Syrian government. The US on the other hand said it wants the Syrian government ousted and had been supporting armed groups in Syria, which Washington deems moderate.
A period of eased tension between the US and Iran followed the signing last year of a nuclear deal, under which Iran scaled down its nuclear program in exchange for lifting of economic sanctions and technical expertise from foreign nuclear powers.
Khamenei, who voiced skepticism over the deal, despite not interfering with its negotiation, has since repeatedly accused the US of not holding its end of the bargain.
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