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Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel in ‘Less Than Eight Minutes’

A top Iranian commander has claimed that the Islamic Republic had the ability to destroy Israel “in less than eight minutes,” according to comments offered on the same day that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared that Iran would continue to build its ballistic missile arsenal in defiance of U.S. demands.

“If the Supreme Leader’s orders [are] to be executed, with the abilities and the equipment at our disposal, we will raze the Zionist regime in less than eight minutes,” Ahmad Karimpour, a senior adviser to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp’s al-Quds Force, was quoted as stating, according to regional reports.

The threat comes as Khamenei declared in a speech Monday that U.S. “cries” over Iran’s ballistic missile program will not alter the regime’s behavior.

“They [the U.S.] have engaged in a lot of hue and cry over Iran’s missile capabilities, but they should know that this ballyhoo does not have any influence and they cannot do a damn thing,” Khamenei was quoted as saying during a speech Monday in Tehran, according to Iran’s state-controlled media.

“Jihad still exists,” Khamenei added “Great Jihad means not abiding by the enemy whom we are fighting; not abiding by enemy in economy, politics, culture and art is the great Jihad.” (Read more from “Iran Threatens to Destroy Israel in ‘Less Than Eight Minutes'” HERE)

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Iran Is Demanding Reparations From US for 63 Years of ‘Spiritual and Material Damage’

Iran is demanding the U.S. pay for 63 years of “spiritual and material damage.” The Iranian parliament cited examples of U.S. “hostile action” towards Tehran such as alleged U.S. support for a 1953 military coup in Iran.

This claim is delusional. Iran is one of the leading state sponsors of terrorism and has a long history of inciting violence in the Middle East.

For instance, it’s known that in 2004 Iran flooded Iraq with improvised explosive devices, which took the lives of 500 soldiers and Marines.

Jim Phillips, The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs, notes that:

This [move] is part of the current regime’s efforts to blame all of Iran’s problems on the U.S., which they denounce as the “Great Satan.”

The U.S. has always been a convenient scapegoat for Iranian leadership.

Phillips also notes that:

Iran has long been in denial about the fact that the 1953 coup was carried out by Iranians. Although the CIA helped them get organized to overthrow Mossadegh, the coup plotters were motivated by their own deep opposition to Mossadegh’s disastrous leadership.

Blaming the U.S. is a strategic win-win for Iran.

Iran’s vice president for parliamentary affairs said Iranian courts have ruled the United States owes $50 billion for hostile actions. Obviously, this isn’t really about “spiritual damage” inflicted on Iran.

Iran’s claim is in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month demanding Iran hand over nearly $2 billion in frozen assets to the survivors and relatives of those killed in attacks that Iran organized, including the 1983 bombing of a U.S. marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241.

Shortly after the court ruling, Iranian President Rouhani said Tehran was preparing international legal action to recover the nearly $2 billion in frozen assets.

“We will not allow the United States to swallow this money so easily” he told a crowd of thousands.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Iran knows it’s in the power seat in the relationship with the Obama administration. This is because the White House is desperate to claim the Iranian nuclear deal as a positive legacy.

It seems President Obama is willing to go so far as to blur truth in order to accomplish a legacy item—just ask Ben Rhodes.

In the end Iran’s actions are purely a retaliatory move designed to flex its muscles, provoke the U.S., and test its limits. What’s most troubling is that the Obama administration will likely look the other way and allow continued Iranian aggression. (For more from the author of “Iran Is Demanding Reparations From US for 63 Years of ‘Spiritual and Material Damage'” please click HERE)

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Classified Details of Iran’s Treatment of U.S. Sailors Will Shock Nation

The classified details behind Iran’s treatment of several U.S. sailors who were captured by the Islamic Republic during a tense standoff earlier this year are likely to shock the nation, according to one member of the House Armed Services Committee, who disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that these details are currently being withheld by the Obama administration.

Rep. Randy Forbes (R., Va.) told the Free Beacon in an interview that the Obama administration is still keeping details of the maritime incident under wraps. It could be a year or longer before the American public receives a full accounting of the incident, in which several U.S. sailors were abducted at gunpoint by the Iranian military.

“I’ve had a full classified briefing” from military officials, Forbes told the Free Beacon. “It could be as long as a year before we actually get that released.”

Details of the abduction are likely to start an uproar in the nation and call into question the Obama administration’s handling of the incident, which many experts say violated international and maritime law.

“I think that when the details actually come out, most Americans are going to be kind of taken aback by the entire incident, both how Iran handled it and how we handled it,” Forbes disclosed. “I think that’s going to be huge cause for concern for most Americans. That’s why I’ve encouraged members of Congress to get that briefing so they do know exactly what did take place.” (Read more from “Classified Details of Iran’s Treatment of U.S. Sailors Will Shock Nation” HERE)

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Iran: U.S. Encouraging Islamic Republic to Keep Illicit Missile Tests Secret

A senior Iranian military commander claimed that U.S. officials are quietly encouraging the Islamic Republic to keep its illicit ballistic missile tests a secret so as not to raise concerns in the region, according to Persian language comments.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Aerospace and Missile Force, said in recent remarks that the Obama administration does not want Iran to publicize its ongoing missile tests, which have raised questions about the Islamic Republic’s commitment to last summer’s comprehensive nuclear agreement.

“At this time, the Americans are telling [us]: ‘Don’t talk about missile affairs, and if you conduct a test or maneuver, don’t mention it,’” Hajizadeh was quoted as saying during a recent Persian-language speech that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute.

“If we agree to this, they will advance another step, and say: ‘Don’t conduct [a missile test] at this time, and also don’t do it in the Persian Gulf region.’ After that, they will tell us: ‘Why do you need your missiles to have a range of 2,000 km [anyway?]?’ Hajizadeh reportedly said . . .

“After that, they will tell [us]: ‘Next, we will check whether your missiles can really carry nuclear weapons. Bring us the details [of the missiles].’ After that, they will say: ‘We need to set up cameras.’ And, finally, they will say: ‘Either saw [the missiles up into pieces] or, like [Libyan dictator Mu’ammar] Gadhafi, load them onto a ship and hand [them] over to us.’” he said. (Read more from “Iran: U.S. Encouraging Islamic Republic to Keep Illicit Missile Tests Secret” HERE)

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FORMER OBAMA DEFENSE SEC: Yeah, Obama Was Never Serious About Stopping Iran From Getting Nukes

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta would “probably not” believe that President Barack Obama was serious about his promise to take action to stop Iran from building a nuclear bomb if Panetta could make his assessments over again, he conceded in a New York Times Magazine article published on Thursday.

Panetta, who was the director of the CIA from 2009-2011 and then served as defense secretary until 2013, told reporter David Samuels that one of his most important jobs in the Pentagon was preventing Israel from launching a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak wanted to know if the president was serious about his commitment to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

“They were both interested in the answer to the question, ‘Is the president serious?’” Panetta recalls. “And you know my view, talking with the president, was: If brought to the point where we had evidence that they’re developing an atomic weapon, I think the president is serious that he is not going to allow that to happen.”

Panetta stops.

“But would you make that same assessment now?” I ask him.

“Would I make that same assessment now?” he asks. “Probably not.”

Panetta explained that defense and foreign policy veterans like him and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be asked for policy opinions, only for White House staffers such as Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications and the subject of Samuels’ piece, to narrow them down to “to where they thought the president wanted to be.”

They’d say, ‘Well, this is where we want you to come out.’ And I’d say ‘[expletive], that’s not the way it works. We’ll present a plan, and then the president can make a decision.’ I mean, Jesus Christ, it is the president of the United States, you’re making some big decisions here, he ought to be entitled to hear all of those viewpoints and not to be driven down a certain path.”

Rhodes disputed this, saying that the president rejected policy options that he didn’t like was because he didn’t agree with the traditional foreign policy establishment, of which Panetta was a part. But Rhodes did not dispute the process that Panetta described.

Panetta also said that in his capacity as CIA director, he never assessed that there was a meaningful difference between Iranian moderates and hardliners. “There was not much question that the Quds Force and the supreme leader ran that country with a strong arm, and there was not much question that this kind of opposing view could somehow gain any traction,” he said.

Rhodes, the White House’s chief foreign policy communications manager, promoted the narrative that the election of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani presented an opportunity to engage with moderates to limit Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program. But he admitted to Samuels that “we are not betting” that Rouhani or foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are actually moderates.

Wendy Sherman, who served at the administration’s lead negotiator with Iran, made a similar statement earlier this year in a speech at Duke University, admitting that “there are hardliners in Iran, and then there are hard-hardliners. Rouhani is not a moderate, he is a hardliner.” (For more from the author of “FORMER OBAMA DEFENSE SEC: Yeah, Obama Was Never Serious About Stopping Iran From Getting Nukes” please click HERE)

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Iran Threatens to Sink US Warships

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) threatened to “drown” any US warships approaching Iran, a top general said Tuesday, according to state-controlled media.

“We have informed Americans that their presence in the Persian Gulf is an absolute evil,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi stated to state media. “Americans are aware that Iran would destroy their warships if they take a wrong measure in the region.”

He further threatened that the US would “lose control of everything” by drawing others into Middle-East affairs.

“There has never been normal conditions in the Persian Gulf and Americans can feel the presence of IRGC navy forces at any spot,” he added. “Iran’s great power has forced US to consider creation of deterrent capabilities” . . .

The threats surface just days after top White House adviser Ben Rhodes revealed the US deliberately misled the American public about the 2015 Iran deal. (Read more from “Iran Threatens to Sink US Warships” HERE)

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Major Iranian Missile Test to Coincide With U.S. Presidential Inauguration

hqdefaultIran is preparing to conduct a major ballistic missile test in February 2017, following the inauguration of the next U.S. president into the Oval Office, according to a timetable issued by the Islamic Republic.

Iran is continuing work on advanced ballistic missile technology and has been engaged in various tests to perfect this work.

Iran conducted a test launch earlier this month of its Simorgh space vehicle, which has emerged as a key piece of the Islamic Republic’s goal to perfect intercontinental ballistic missiles that would be capable of striking the United States with a nuclear warhead.

The most critical test of this system will take place in February 2017, when Iran is scheduled to perform a “full launch” of the system, according to research performed by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The test is being viewed by experts as just the latest in a string of provocative military moves by Iran aimed at testing the United States’ resolve and commitment to international provisions barring these types of missile tests. (Read more from “Major Iranian Missile Test to Coincide With U.S. Presidential Inauguration” HERE)

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Iran Spurns Kerry Bid for ‘New Arrangement’ on Missile Tests

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Sunday rebuffed US Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposal Thursday to negotiate a “new arrangement” for Tehran’s ballistic missile program.

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tehran with Estonia’s foreign minister, Zarif said that Iran’s missile and defense programs are nonnegotiable, echoing similar statements by other Iranian officials over the weekend.

Washington has denounced Iran’s ballistic missiles program, including a March 9 test of two ballistic missiles, as a violation of a United Nations ban. Iran maintains they not covered by the UN ban, which is linked to last year’s landmark nuclear agreement.

Kerry said the US and its partners were telling Iran that they were “prepared to work on a new arrangement to find a peaceful solution,” but that Iran first had to “make it clear to everybody that they are prepared to cease these kinds of activities that raise questions about credibility and questions about intentions.”

Zarif retorted Sunday saying Kerry’s comments were “baseless.” He said that if the US were serious about the issue, it should stop selling weapons “which are used for killing innocent Yemenis or used by the Zionist regime against civilians,” the Iranian Students’ News Agency reported. (Read more from “Iran Spurns Kerry Bid for ‘New Arrangement’ on Missile Tests” HERE)

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Congress Investigating Obama Administration for ‘Intentional Deception’

US lawmakers are questioning the Obama administration’s commitments to Congress over the Iran nuclear deal and its numerous guarantees that the Islamic Republic would not be granted extra concessions for signing it, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Over the course of the last year, administration officials confirmed in Congressional testimony that the Iranian regime would not gain access to the US financial system and missile technology under the terms of the nuclear agreement. In one such instance, Acting Under Secretary of the Treasury Adam Szubin assured lawmakers in September that Iran would not be given the opportunity “to execute a dollarized transaction where a split second’s worth of business is done in a New York clearing bank.”

In March, however, the Associated Press reported that the Obama administration was contemplating “easing financial restrictions that prohibit US dollars from being used in transactions with Iran,” which is currently outlawed. This change in policy would result in a significant boost to Iran’s hard-hit economy.

US lawmakers on both sides of the aisle expressed their outrage over the president’s alleged policy backtrack, the report said, adding that Obama “promised to maintain a strict ban on dollars along with other non-nuclear penalties on Iran.” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) wrote in a letter to the president that allowing Iran access to the dollar “is clearly not required” by the terms set forth in the nuclear agreement. In a statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WA) called the reports “deeply concerning,” and said, “The president should abandon this idea.”

In a second policy shift, Reuters reported, Washington has ceased referring to Iran’s ballistic-missile launches as a “violation” of UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which codifies the nuclear deal. In March, Iran test-fired a missile capable of carrying a nuclear payload, the report said, and US, British, French and German officials called this “inconsistent with” and “in defiance” of the resolution. (Read more from “Congress Investigating Obama Administration for ‘Intentional Deception'” HERE)

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Obama Admin Engaged in Secret Talks to Pay Iran Nearly $2 Billion

The Obama administration has spent three years engaged in secret talks with Iran that resulted in the payment of nearly $2 billion in taxpayer funds to the Islamic Republic, with more payouts likely to come in the future, according to a recent letter issued by the State Department and obtained exclusively by the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration’s disclosure came in response to an inquiry launched in January by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), who was seeking further information about the Obama administration’s payment of $1.7 billion in taxpayer funds to Iran, which many viewed as a “ransom payment” for Iran’s release that month of several U.S. hostages.

The administration’s official response to Pompeo was sent earlier this week, just days after a Free Beacon report detailing a months-long State Department effort to stall the lawmaker’s inquiry.

“We apologize for the delay in responding,” Julia Frifield, an assistant secretary for legislative affairs, states in the letter’s opening.

Obama administration officials first began talks to settle a number of outstanding legal claims leveled against the United States by Iran in 2014. The administration predicts that more taxpayer-funded payments are likely to be granted to the Islamic Republic in the future, according to the letter. (Read more from “Obama Admin Engaged in Secret Talks to Pay Iran Nearly $2 Billion” HERE)

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