Yemen's Houthi Rebels Claim 2 Attacks In Gulf Of Aden As Iran Official Renews Nuclear Bomb Threats


Yemen's Houthi Rebels Claim 2 Attacks In Gulf Of Aden As Iran Official Renews Nuclear Bomb Threats | Associated Press 

Yemen's Houthi rebels on Thursday claimed responsibility for two missile attacks in the Gulf of Aden on two Panama-flagged container ships that caused no damage. Meanwhile, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader again threatened that Tehran could build a nuclear weapon if it chose to pursue atomic armaments. The comments by Yemeni military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree and former Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi come as the allies of Hamas continue to pressure Israel over its continuing war on the militant group in the Gaza Strip. The Houthis insist their assaults on shipping through the crucial waterway leading to the Suez Canal and onward to the Mediterranean Sea will continue as long as the war goes on. Meanwhile, Iran already has launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel amid the war, bringing a yearslong shadow conflict between the two nations out into the light.  

Iran To Change Nuclear Doctrine If Existence Threatened, Adviser To Supreme Leader Says | Reuters 

Iran will change its nuclear doctrine if Israel threatens its existence, an adviser to Iran's supreme leader said, the latest comment by an Iranian official that raises questions about what Tehran says is its peaceful nuclear program. Tehran has always said it had no plans to obtain nuclear weapons. Western governments suspect that it wants nuclear technology to build a bomb; its nuclear program has been at the centre of a long-running dispute that has led to sanctions. In April, in the middle of a tense standoff with Israel, which is widely believed to have nuclear weapons, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander also said Israeli threats could prompt Iran to change its nuclear doctrine. "We have no decision to build a nuclear bomb but should Iran's existence be threatened, there will be no choice but to change our military doctrine," Kamal Kharrazi, an adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was reported as saying by Iran's Student News Network on Thursday.  

How Princeton Got Burned By Its Outreach To Iran | Semafor 

As US-Iran relations thawed during the Obama administration, Princeton University saw an opportunity to make the school a central player in bridging the decades-long divide between the two antagonists. It established an Iran center, welcomed a senior Iranian diplomat to its ivy-coated halls, and pursued a student exchange program with Iran. But within a dozen years, two of Princeton’s graduate students had been detained or kidnapped by Tehran and its military proxies. And a Republican-led Congress is now formally probing the school’s ties to Iranian regime officials. Princeton’s experience is a cautionary tale of how American institutions can be ensnared in the internal politics of Tehran and Washington and become pawns in those battles, even as they see themselves as working towards noble goals. After Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, Princeton is also another Ivy League school that is seeking to balance academic freedom with scholarship and speech that some US lawmakers and educators believe are hostile to American interests.  


Israel Faces A Second-Front In Lebanon | UANI Senior Advisor Dror Doron For RealClearWorld 

Israel is on the brink of having to fight Iranian-backed terrorists on a second front, in Lebanon. In the last six months, more than 100,000 civilians on both sides of the border have been displaced from their homes by Hezbollah terror attacks and Israeli retaliation operations. The border is a powder keg thanks to years of gross negligence by the international community in allowing Hezbollah to ignore its demand to disarm in southern Lebanon. With diplomacy failing to produce results, President Biden is the only leader able to stop the march toward the guns of August, and he must act now.  

IRGC Uses Swedish-Iranian University Ties For Military Gains, NGO Warns | Iran International 

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards are exploiting partnerships between Swedish and Iranian universities to acquire research and technology for their military programs, according to a new investigation by a US-based NGO. Unbeknownst to Swedish authorities, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) says the IRGC has full access “to all collaborative work product between Iranian universities and their international academic partners”. The partnerships in question involve at least eight Swedish universities – among them prestigious institutions like Lund University and Uppsala University. "It is a significant national security issue, and Swedish universities should immediately sever any partnerships with Iranian universities given the risks of such collaboration, which may appear benign on the surface but which can be misused by the IRGC and security institutions in the Islamic Republic," UANI Policy Director Jason Brodsky told Iran International English. In a letter alerting the Swedish government, UANI CEO Mark Wallace warned the country’s Education Minister that “any collaboration with an Iranian university will support the IRGC and other armed regime elements to further the Islamic Republic’s military program and the IRGC’s nefarious hard and soft power capabilities.”  


International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi Says It's Lost "A Lot Of Visibility On Very Strategic Activities," With Regards To Iran's Nuclear Program | CNN 

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi says it's lost "a lot of visibility on very strategic activities," with regards to Iran's nuclear program. 


Insurance Firms Deny Chevron's $57 Million Claim For Iran Oil Seizure | Reuters 

Three insurance companies have rejected Chevron's (CVX.N), opens new tab claim over the seizure last year of an oil cargo by Iran, according to a complaint filed on Tuesday in a U.S. court in California. The Chevron-chartered tanker Advantage Sweet was boarded by Iranian military, opens new tab in the Gulf of Oman in April 2023 and its crude oil cargo confiscated and later transferred to an Iranian vessel. Zurich American Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Great American Insurance asked a U.S. District Court in San Francisco to uphold their rejection of Chevron's $57 million claim that includes interest on the loss. The oil seizure was not covered under either Chevron's marine cargo or war risks policies, the trio said in their complaint. 

Chevron did not immediately reply to a request for comment. "The seizure of the crude oil and its later expropriation by Iran do not constitute 'warlike operations,'" the companies said of their denial of war risks coverage. 

Iran Not To Import Any Wheat Until March 2025, Agriculture Ministry Official Says – ISNA | Jerusalem Post 

Iran will not import any wheat until March 2025 as it will rely on domestic production, a deputy at the Agriculture Ministry said on Thursday according to the Iranian Student News Agency. 


Two More Green Candidates Found Defending Iran’s Attack On Israel | The Telegraph 

Green Party council candidates defended Iran’s mass drone and missile attack on Israel, The Telegraph can reveal as questions are raised over the party’s vetting process. Concerns were first raised when Mothin Ali was filmed shouting “Allahu Akbar” after being elected to Leeds city council on Friday, after campaigning on a pro-Palestine ticket. Mr Ali also said on the day of the Oct 7 terror attacks that Palestinians had the right to “fight back”. Now, The Telegraph has uncovered evidence that a further two Green candidates who ran in last week’s local elections defended Iran’s attack on Israel. On April 13, Iran launched a barrage of more than 300 missiles, rockets and drones on Israel. British and US forces intercepted more than 100 of the drones, with Rishi Sunak condemning the attack as “reckless”. There were no fatalities. At the time Kamran Shah, the unsuccessful Green candidate for Rossendale borough council’s Haslingden ward, in Lancashire, hailed the aerial assault as a “lion’s roar” as he shared video footage of rocket launches on Facebook. “The moment Iran rained fire upon Israel 1st Yemen and now the lion Iran roar’s [sic] and the sleeping Muslim world will see,” he wrote, adding: “Iran has a right to protect itself.”  

Canada Must Brand IRGC As Terror Group, Dissidents Urge | Iran International 

Canada’s government must designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group after a unanimous vote by MPs, Iranian dissidents have urged. On Wednesday, the House of Commons adopted an unopposed motion branding the IRGC as a terrorist organization and expelling approximately 700 Iranian agents operating in Canada. The vote was in response to a report prepared by a House committee and did not constitute a binding obligation on the government. Canada-based Iranian dissident Hamed Esmaeilion wrote on X on Wednesday: “The time has come for the Canadian government to finally put this motion to action and call the IRGC what it deserves to be called." Esmaeilion is a member of the Association of Families of Flight PS752 Victims. The group supports relatives of the 176 passengers who were killed when the Kyiv-bound flight was brought down by two IRGC air-defense missiles on January 8, 2020, as it took off from Tehran's Imam Khomeini International Airport. Among those who died were 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents. Another prominent opposition activist, Masih Alinejad, asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which side of history he would choose in a tweet on X, "The people or the terrorists?  


Kerry Slams ‘Chaos Agent’ Trump On Anniversary Of Iran Deal Withdrawal | The Hill 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday ripped former President Trump over his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal six years ago, saying the move made Americans “less safe.” “When Donald Trump refused the appeals of our closest allies and pulled the United States out of the JCPOA, it created a more dangerous region, empowered Iran, and isolated the United States instead of isolating Tehran,” Kerry said in a statement obtained exclusively by The Hill, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. “Even Republicans who opposed the original agreement had appealed to the Trump White House to remain in the agreement to maintain leverage over Iran, but instead Trump chose chaos,” Kerry added. “It made the world more dangerous and Americans less safe.” Kerry, who oversaw the completion of the Iran agreement in 2015 while serving as secretary of State, argued in Wednesday’s statement that the deal was working and that Trump’s decision to withdraw caused Iran to become more aggressive.  


Iran Has Launched A New Crackdown On Women Defying Its Strict Dress Code | NBC News 

Iran has launched a major new crackdown on women defying the country’s strict dress code, deploying large numbers of police to enforce laws requiring women to wear headscarves in public, according to human rights advocates. The campaign began last month just as military tensions spiked between Iran and Israel. Condemning the effort as a “war on women,” Amnesty International said in a statement this week that “security forces across the country have intensified their violent enforcement of compulsory veiling.” Dubbed the “Noor” (Light) campaign, Iranian officials say the operation is aimed at enforcing the country’s mandatory hijab law, which requires women to cover their heads and the shape of their bodies. The operation marks the most serious effort yet by the regime to try to reassert the government’s authority after women-led protests in 2022 and 2023 challenged the mandatory hijab law.  

Iran Sentences Renowned Filmmaker To Flogging, Prison Sentence | Radio Free Europe 

Iran’s judiciary has sentenced filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof to flogging and eight years in prison. His lawyer, Babak Paknia, said in a social media post on May 8 that his client will only be required to serve five years in prison but was also fined and had his property confiscated. He was convicted of "collusion against national security," Paknia said. Western rights advocates and film-industry groups have condemned Iran’s actions against Rasoulof and demanded his release. Rasoulof's film titled The Seed Of The Sacred Fig is scheduled to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival this month. Rasoulof won the Berlin Film Festival’s top prize in 2020 for his film There Is No Evil, which tells four stories loosely connected to the themes of the death penalty in Iran and personal freedoms under oppression. 

US Politicians Slam Death Sentence For Iranian Rapper | Iran International 

Politicians in the United States have slammed the death sentence of Toomaj Salehi, an Iranian singer known for his dissenting views amid the ongoing uprising against the government. Adam Schiff, California Rep., took to X on Wednesday to condemn the Revolutionary Court's decision, which he described as an unjust sentence for merely "calling for accountability for the Iranian regime through music." Schiff praised Salehi's “courage and steadfast vision of human rights in Iran,” calling him an inspiration. Similarly, Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett expressed his dismay on Tuesday, spotlighting the need to focus on “atrocities being committed by the Iranian regime and stand with Iranians who seek a brighter future where freedom, human rights, and the rule of law are respected.” Amir Raeisian, one of the lawyers defending Salehi, revealed on April 24 that despite being eligible for an amnesty, Salehi was sentenced to death for charges made in 2022. 

Khamenei's Hijab Enforcement Continues In Street War On Women | Iran International 

A video showing agents of Iran's hijab patrol forcibly arresting a young woman for failing to comply with the mandatory hijab has surfaced showing her being forcibly thrown into a van as brutal crackdowns continue. According to the person who recorded the video, the hijab patrol has adopted a new strategy where an officer films the reactions of those detained to use as evidence of their behavior in legal proceedings. The incident has sparked outrage on social media with some users criticizing bystanders for merely recording the event rather than intervening to help the young woman. One user expressed frustration, saying, "These savages live among us; identifying them is the easiest thing, throwing paint at them or scaring them... Why don't you fight instead of crying, screaming, and being scared? Are we to become more miserable than this? Poorer than this?" The crackdown is part of what the Iranian regime describes as a "national and public demand." Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has launched a street war to intensify the enforcement of hijab laws under a new initiative named the Noor plan.


How An Iranian-Linked Influence Campaign Pivoted After Oct. 7 Attack On Israel | Cyberscoop 

In recent days, a purportedly pro-Israeli Telegram channel called “Tears of War” has posted dozens of messages. Interspersed with heartfelt posts pushing for the return of hostages taken as part of the Oct. 7 Hamas assault, a narrative thread is quite clear: The Israeli government is to blame for the ongoing suffering of hostages’ family members, and decisions made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in particular, have sabotaged any chance at a ceasefire. The narrative builds on broader news Monday that Hamas had agreed to an Egyptian and Qatari proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release, even as the Israeli government said the deal did not go far enough and pressed ahead with a controversial military assault in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Tears of War is most likely an Iranian-linked persona, exposed months ago by researchers and the Israeli government as a tool used to inflame tensions within Israel. But this week’s messages, relentlessly hammering the narrative, represent part of the third stage of what Recorded Future’s Insikt Group said Wednesday is a yearslong Iranian-aligned influence operation it tracks as Emerald Divide.  

Iran Seeks To Preserve Regional Status Quo Despite Israel's Assault On Rafah | The National 

Iran-backed militant groups across the Middle East have said that an Israeli invasion of Gaza's Rafah would escalate regional tensions. But Tehran is keen for the conflict in Gaza not to spill over into the wider region, despite an Israeli assault that began earlier this week, sources close to Tehran’s so-called "regional axis” told The National on Wednesday. Last month, Iran and Israel directly attacked each other's territory for the first time in their prolonged conflict, with Israel's last strike hitting Isfahan three weeks ago. Since then, tensions have somewhat subsided. Despite the latest developments, Tehran's position so far remains committed to the path that has been in place for seven months, which is the tactic of pressure and flexibility,” one of the sources said. Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Wednesday said there was an agreement to focus on reaching a ceasefire in Gaza.  


US Lawmakers Worry IRGC Accessed Classified Documents Through Malley | Iran International 

Former US Iran envoy Robert Malley lost his security clearance, two influential congressmen have suggested, because he had transferred classified documents to his personal email and cell phone, and the documents were then stolen by a hostile cyber actor. It’s not clear who the “cyber actor” was, but US lawmakers have expressed concern about the possibility that it could have been related to Iran’s intelligence or Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Malley was placed on leave and had his security clearance suspended in April 2023. Iran International was first to report the incident in June of that year, but then the State Department blocked all attempts to find more information about Malley’s case. “We remain deeply frustrated by the Department's lack of responsiveness to our requests for information needed to conduct appropriate oversight,” wrote top Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations and the House Foreign Affairs committees. “Due to the Department's evasiveness and lack of transparency, we have worked to glean information from other sources. This is in effect the first time in more than a year that a semi-official story has transpired on Malley’s sudden and complete disappearance from public life. Even then, the letter sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken by Senator James Risch (R-ID) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) raises many more questions than it answers.  


US, Coalition Forces Intercept Houthi Drones Over Gulf Of Aden | Iran International 

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) reported that on Monday Iranian-backed Houthi forces launched three uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Yemen over the Gulf of Aden. According to CENTCOM, a coalition ship intercepted one of the drones, US forces took down another, and the third crashed into the Gulf. There were no injuries or damages reported. “Later, at approximately 5:02 a.m. (Sanaa time) on May 7, Iran-backed Houthi terrorists launched an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) over the Gulf of Aden. There were no injuries or damages reported by US, coalition, or merchant vessels,” added CENTCOM. Yemen's Houthi attacks in the Red Sea area, which they claim are in support of the Palestinians in Gaza, have disrupted international shipping routes. The Red Sea blockade has led companies to opt for lengthier and costlier routes around southern Africa. The assaults started in mid-November following a call by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei for Muslims to blockade Israel to force it into a ceasefire amid the Gaza war.  


In Iran, Iraqi Kurdistan President Barzani Welcomed By Khamenei, IRGC | Al-Monitor 

The president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, pledged to boost relations with Iran during a visit to Tehran this week where he was received by top Iranian officials including the country's supreme leader Ali Khamenei. Barzani arrived in Tehran on Sunday. On Monday, he met Khamenei to discuss bilateral relations and unspecified regional issues. Barzani “underscored the Kurdistan Region’s aspiration to strengthen relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran across various sectors,” according to a readout from the Kurdistan Region Presidency. The same day, Barzani met Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Interior Minister Rebar Ahmed Khalid participated in the meeting as well, along with other Kurdistan Region officials. Barzani and Raisi discussed strengthening relations between Iran and the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, including trade and economic relations, and the importance of "good neighborliness,” per the Kurdistan Region Presidency. Raisi told Barzani that the KRG should work to prevent Israel from attacking Iran from within the Kurdistan Region, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency.