JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister says Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in the region due to the lack of response to its recent actions. Speaking at a military ceremony Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Iran and its proxies are “relentlessly arming themselves.” “Iran’s threshold of daring in the region is rising and it grows even more in the absence of a response,” he said. Netanyahu did not elaborate, but the comments come after a U.S. pullback of forces from Syria and a lack of response to an alleged Iranian attack on Saudi oil facilities. In June, President Donald Trump called off a planned attack on Iran in response to the downing of an American drone. Netanyahu said Israel “will not hesitate to strike harshly at anyone who tries to attack us.” … [Read more...] about Netanyahu says lack of response encourages Iran aggression
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has underscored that Tehran is not interested in an escalation of a conflict with the UK over a bilateral tanker seizure row. “It is very important for [British prime ministerial hopeful] Boris Johnson as he enters 10 Downing Street to understand that Iran does not seek confrontation, that Iran wants normal relations based on mutual respect”, Zarif told journalists in Nicaragua’s capital Managua. He made the statement when asked about whether he had a message to Johnson who is tipped to replace Theresa May as the UK’s new Prime Minister. Referring to the UK Royal Marines’ seizure of the Iranian tanker Grace 1 in the Strait of Gibraltar earlier this month, Zarif reiterated that it was “piracy” and “a violation of international law”. © AFP 2019 / JORGE GUERRERO A picture shows supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on July 6, 2019 He blamed the US for orchestrating the … [Read more...] about Iran Issues Message to Boris Johnson on Seizure of UK Tanker, Blames US for Orchestrating Incident
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in which he said that the US will "crush" Iran by the means of economic sanctions and military pressure. The Trump administration's new policy on Iran comes just weeks after the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal. Pompeo said that the US is now intent on restraining Iran's influence in the Middle East and ensuring that Tehran is never able to develop nuclear weapons. But many political analysts and pundits in Washington say the new policy amounts to one of regime change. Some Arab countries will likely welcome this new tougher US policy. Saudi Arabia, Iran's arch-rival in the region, has openly called the Iranian regime a member of the "axis of evil" in the past. Saudi Arabia, along with Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which may also back Washington's policy to isolate Iran. Earlier this month, GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani said … [Read more...] about Could America’s hardline policies towards Iran be a dilemma for Arab countries?
UPDATED | The CIA has teamed up with Israel and Saudi Arabia to spark the protests that have rocked Iran over the past week, Iran's prosecutor general said Thursday. Speaking to the state-run news agency IRNA news, Iranian prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri alleged that a CIA agent is organizing the protests with support from Israel and financing from Saudi Arabia. Montazeri also said the CIA was getting assistance from groups of exiled Iranians, and that the U.S. intelligence agency planned to transform the protests into an armed insurrection in time for the February anniversary of Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to the Associated Press. Related: Are Women Leading Iran's Protests, Or Is the Western Media Obsessed With Feminism? The CIA declined to comment. Iran watchers, however, say the comments from Montazeri are another attempt to discredit the protests, which began in late December in response to Iran's fragile economic situation and a spike in the price of eggs. … [Read more...] about CIA Started Iran Street Protests With Help From Israel and Saudi Arabia, Prosecutor Claims
Iran's deputy foreign minister has warned that the country might withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal if it does not bring about the desired economic benefits, according to Reuters. International sanctions on Iran were lifted in exchange for restrictions to the country's nuclear program in 2015. Iranians hoped the removal of injunctions would allow the country's crippled economy to grow with the help of foreign investment. However, large international banks have been hesitant to engage with Iran, still fearing the U.S. sanctions that remain on the country. Speaking in London, Abbas Araghchi argued that U.S. President Donald Trump's repeated criticisms of the deal were causing an unstable environment for foreign investors. Araghchi also said that such comments represent a violation of the terms agreed in 2015. "If the same policy of confusion and uncertainties about the [deal] continue, if companies and banks are not working with Iran, we cannot remain in a deal that has no benefit for … [Read more...] about Iran Might Ditch Nuclear Deal Before Trump If It Fails to Pay Off