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)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


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)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

7811068144_dd61720aec_b (1)

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)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

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)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Washington Made It Easy for Iran to Fire Its Ballistic Missiles

D5LAUNCHIranian officials spent the frantic final weeks before last year’s nuclear agreement pushing Washington to eliminate a long-standing U.N. prohibition on its ballistic missile program. They didn’t get the ban scrapped, but they did get it softened.

Now, eight months later, a recent series of Iranian missile tests has many in Washington angrily calling for new sanctions on Tehran. But Obama administration officials shouldn’t be surprised by Iran’s decision to test its standing on the international stage to fire the missiles: To the contrary, the nuclear deal may have made the missile launches inevitable.

Before the July 2015 nuclear pact, Iran was expressly prohibited by U.N. resolutions from launching ballistic missiles capable of developing nuclear weapons. U.N. Security Council resolution 1929 states that the 15-nation body “decides that Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” In U.N. legal parlance, invoking the word “decides” places an unambiguous legal obligation on all states to comply.

But in exchange for Iran’s signature on the landmark nuclear accord, the United States granted Tehran greater wiggle room to advance its ballistic missile program. Last July’s U.N. Security Council resolution 2231 — which endorsed the nuclear pact — replaced the prohibition with more permissive language: “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” (Read more from “Washington Made It Easy for Iran to Fire Its Ballistic Missiles” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

Missiles From Iran-Allied Territory Intercepted on Way to US

This is an interesting, but still very much developing story.

Serbia’s authorities are investigating reports that a cargo package bound for the U.S. containing two missiles with explosive warheads was found on a passenger flight from Lebanon to Serbia.

N1 television said the package with two guided armor-piercing missiles was discovered Saturday by a sniffer dog after an Air Serbia flight from Beirut landed at Belgrade airport.

Serbian media say documents listed the final destination for the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles as Portland, Oregon.

The Lebanon origin is what makes this story somewhat different because the country is currently dominated by Iran and its Shiite terrorist allies. So if this was a terrorist plot, which we don’t know that it was, it appears likelier to have originated from Iran than from ISIS. Portland however was the site of a more conventional Sunni Islamic terror plot. But Shiites also have a presence there.

Another twist was the recently “misplaced” Hellfire that ended up in Cuba.

But where would Iran have gotten hellfire missiles? Like most of the US equipment in the hands of Shiite terrorists, Iraq. The US has sold plenty of hellfires to Iraq. And Iraq’s government and military these days is controlled by Iran’s Shiite puppets. (For more from the author of “Missiles From Iran-Allied Territory Intercepted on Way to US” please click HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

House Churches Multiplying Inside Iran Despite Persecution

Christianity is spreading swiftly inside Iran despite a government crackdown against house churches.

Some Christians argue the actions of the Islamic Republic’s have actually created an opposite effect.

A London-based organization that trains Iranian Christians reports hundreds of thousands of new Christians–former Muslims–are worshipping secretly in a rapidly accelerating house church movement inside the Islamic Republic.

According to The Christian Post, a source affiliated with the Pars Theological Centre said the rapid church growth will eventually change Iranian society.

“This is not a political movement at all, but it will have political implications because it is touching the core foundations of society. This is battling prostitution and drug addiction. If you want to live in a country that doesn’t fund terrorists, you have to develop the values of the grassroots,” the source said. (Read more from “House Churches Multiplying Inside Iran Despite Persecution” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.

hqdefault (43)

Ahead of Election, Iran’s Leader Warns of Western ‘Plot’

By Samia Nakhoul. Iran’s top leader warned voters on Wednesday the West was plotting to influence elections pitting centrists close to President Hassan Rouhani against conservative hardliners in a contest that could shape the Islamic Republic for years to come.

In remarks reflecting an abiding mistrust of Rouhani’s rapprochement with the West, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he was confident Iranians would vote in favor of keeping Iran’s anti-Western stance on Friday in the first elections since last year’s nuclear accord with world powers.

Rouhani’s allies, who hope the deal will hasten Iran’s opening up to the world after years of sanctions, have come under increasing pressure in the election campaign from hardliners who accuse them of links to Western powers including the United States and Britain.

Those accusations seek to tap into Iranians’ wariness of Western motives and memories of a 1953 coup against nationalist prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh that was orchestrated by the United States and Britain and strengthened the Shah’s rule. (Read more from “Ahead of Election, Iran’s Leader Warns of Western ‘Plot'” HERE)


Iran Arrests Elderly Father of Jailed U.S. Citizen

By Yeganeh Torbati. Iranian authorities this week arrested the elderly father of an American jailed in Iran since October, the man’s family said on Wednesday.

Siamak Namazi, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was detained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in October while in Iran visiting family. Officials have yet to announce charges against him.

Baquer Namazi, Siamak’s father, was arrested late on Monday in Tehran, his wife Effie Namazi said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The 80-year-old Namazi, also a dual Iranian-American citizen, was taken to Evin Prison, where his son is also being held, she said.

Asked at a Senate hearing about the elder Namazi’s arrest, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said: “I am very familiar with this and I am engaged on it specifically, but I am not permitted due to privacy reasons to go into details here.” (Read more from ” Iran Arrests Elderly Father of Jailed U.S. Citizen” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Iran Publishes Pictures of Captured U.S. Sailors Crying

Iran has released new photographs in which at least one of the recently captured U.S. sailors is crying, according to a series of the pictures posted on social media.

The pictures, as well as an accompanying video, were released by Iranian state-controlled news outlets and disseminated on Twitter by Iranian reporters early Wednesday.

The new photographs come on the heels of another set of pictures that showed Iranian military forces detaining the U.S. sailors at gun point and forcing them to place their hands upon their heads while kneeling on a ship.

(Read more from “Iran Publishes Pictures of Captured U.S. Sailors Crying” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.


Iranian-Backed Militia Seen With US Tank in Iraq [+video]

Kata’ib Sayyid al Shuhada (KSS), an Iranian-backed Shia militia which operates in both Syria and Iraq, has been spotted using a US-made M1 Abrams tank in a recently released video. The video, which is a montage of different militias within the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU’s), a Shia-led collection of militias in Iraq, has been shared on several PMU social media outlets.

Around the 16 second mark of the video, a KSS flag can clearly be seen atop an Abrams. It is unclear exactly where the militia is located during this clip, but it is likely within Iraq’s central Salahadin province, where KSS has done a considerable amount of fighting against the Islamic State. It is also unclear when the footage was taken, however, the footage is likely recent since the montage was released two days ago. It is also likely the tank is from the Iraqi Army, as the militias operate with and alongside the Iraqi security forces.

KSS is not the first Shiite militia to publicize its use of an M1 Abrams. The Hezbollah Brigades, a US-designated foreign terrorist organization, showed an Abrams flying the Hezbollah Brigades flag earlier last year. Additionally, the group has also published two videos from Iraq’s Anbar province in which several US-made vehicles are used by its forces. [See LWJ report, Video shows Hezbollah Brigades convoy transporting American M1 tank, and Threat Matrix report, Hezbollah Brigades flaunts US equipment in Anbar operation.] (Read more from “Iranian-Backed Militia Seen With US Tank in Iraq” HERE)

Follow Joe Miller on Twitter HERE and Facebook HERE.