Eye on Iran: Iran Unveils New Homemade Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles

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TOP STORIES

Iran Unveils New Homemade Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missiles | Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia / UAE)

Iran has unveiled a series of new homemade nuclear-capable ballistic missiles during military parades held this week.

Son Urges Iran to Free Jailed Iranian-American As Health Deteriorates | Reuters

The son of an 81-year-old Iranian-American jailed in Iran urged the authorities on Monday to allow his father to serve his sentence at home after he was admitted to hospital for a second time in a week.

Mattis: Israel Has An Absolute Right to Defend Themselves | Jerusalem Post

United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis staunchly supported Israel's right to defend itself amid the country's rising tensions with Syria, saying on Monday Israel "has an absolute right to defend themselves."

UANI IN THE NEWS

Ex-Senator to i24NEWS: Iran Incursion on Israel 'Inevitable' Given US Failures | i24 News

Former US Senator Joe Lieberman expressed support for airstrikes conducted by Israel against Iranian targets deep within Syrian territory on Saturday, and said that the preceding incursion by an Iranian drone into Israeli airspace was “inevitable” given Washington’s past inaction on Syria which allowed Iran's entrenchment there.

After the Weekend's Iran-Israel Attacks, a Burden on Trump to Confront Russia and Engage Europe | UANI Advisory Board Member Dennis Ross for the New York Daily News

Policy makers don’t often get crystallizing moments that tell them action is required to avert bigger dangers. But Iran’s attempted attack and Israel’s response is such a moment and the administration would be wise to mobilize a wide diplomatic response before the next shoe falls.

NUCLEAR & BALLISTIC-MISSILE PROGRAMS

IRGC Rules out Missile Talks with US and EU | Ahmad Majidyar for the Middle East Institute

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said today that Iran is the most powerful country in the Middle East and will defy international pressure on defense capabilities, particularly its missile program.

Iran Military Official: West Used Lizards For Nuclear Spying | Agence France-Presse

The former chief-of-staff of Iran's armed forces said Tuesday that Western spies had used lizards which could "attract atomic waves" to spy on the country's nuclear programme.

ISRAEL–IRAN–SYRIA CLASH

UK Worried by Iran Role in Israel-Syria Border Confrontation: Johnson | Reuters

British foreign minister Boris Johnson said London was concerned at Iran’s role in a confrontation at Israel’s border with Syria.

EU Urges Restraint in Latest Syria Escalation | Reuters

The European Union’s executive on Monday said the warring Syrian parties and their regional allies should show restraint to avoid a further spiral of violence in the region.

Israel and Iran Are on the Brink of War | Stephen Blank for the Hill

Iran’s determination to destroy Israel has never slacked since the current regime came to power in 1979 and Tehran’s objectives in Syria continue to confirm this strand of its policy… Elsewhere, meanwhile, it continues its campaign to destabilize the entire Middle East and especially Sunni regimes that have historically been pro-American. For its part, Israel has made clear that it will not permit Iranian military bases in southern Syria near its borders and will retaliate against any effort to establish bases or this direct link to Hezbollah there. These contending interests and recent actions duly set the stage for possible direct warfare between Israel and Iran while the civil war in Syria, if anything, continues to defy military let alone political resolution.

IRAN PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS

Swedish Resident Facing Death in Iran Details How He Was Forced to Make False Statements | Center for Human Rights in Iran

The wife of a Swedish resident imprisoned in Tehran has revealed the way her husband, Ahmadreza Djalali, was coerced into making potentially incriminating statements before he was sentenced to death for allegedly engaging in espionage.

Leading Lawyers Take Iran to Task | Baha’i World News Service

In an open letter released yesterday, 25 prominent intellectuals and experts in human rights law called on Mohammad Javad Larijani, Head of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran, to acknowledge the long-standing state-sponsored persecution of Baha’is in Iran in light of newly-released and abundant evidence.

An Iranian Photographer’s Unflinching Look at His Country’s Revolution | New York Times

Kaveh Kazemi's images of the Iranian revolution and its aftermath reveal the country's transition from a different era, and a contrast with its social upheaval today.

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS

Pushing Back on Iran, Part 1: The Why | Kenneth Pollack for American Enterprise Institute

Over the past several years, and especially since the signing of the nuclear deal in 2015, I have become increasingly convinced of the need for the United States to adopt a more confrontational policy toward Iran… So over the course of the next six days, I am going to contribute a series of essays that flesh out the idea of pushing back on Iran.  Today, I am going to start by explaining why I think such a strategy is necessary.

CONGRESS & IRAN

Top Democrat’s Return Sows Uncertainty for Iran Deal | Foreign Policy

A change in leadership among Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee could alter the politics of the Iran nuclear deal in U.S. Congress, and possibly play to the advantage of the White House and its Republican allies. Barely noticed amid a brief government shutdown and budget deal over the past week, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) quietly took back his spot as the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, nearly three years after being forced out while battling corruption charges.

Keith Ellison Attended Private Dinner with Iran’s President and Louis Farrakhan | Forward

The deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, was among three Democratic congressmen who attended a private dinner in 2013 with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader who has long been accused of anti-Semitism and whom Ellison had previously denounced, was also in attendance.

OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS

Iran Takes Closer Look At Russian Passenger Jet As Airbus and Boeing Deals Face Ongoing Delays | Forbes

A Russian-built Sukhoi Superjet 100 landed at Tehran's Mehrabad International airport on Feb. 12 with a team of engineers on board, as part of a renewed attempt by the company to find customers in Iran for its passenger jet. It could prove to be a fruitful venture for the firm, given the difficulty Iranian airlines have had in securing new aircraft from Western manufacturers over the past two years.

HEZBOLLAH & LEBANON

Pro-Hizbullah Lebanese Website: Hizbullah Has 70,000 Iranian Missiles Across Syria Ready To Launch Into Israel; In A Year It Will Have 500,000 | TheMiddle East Media Research Institute

A February 9, 2018 article on the pro-Hizbullah Lebanese website Dahiya claims that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad recently rejected an Israeli demand, relayed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to remove some 70,000 Iranian long-range missiles that Hizbullah has deployed throughout Syria and are aimed at Israel. The article claimed further that Syria and Hizbullah will wage a "joint missile campaign" against Israel, and that Iranian experts are ready to launch missiles at Israel from every part of Lebanon and Syria. According to the article, Assad has instructed his army to help Hizbullah construct and camouflage missile silos across the country; moreover, intense activity is underway to bring more Iranian missiles to Syria via Iraq, so that within a year Hizbullah will have 500,000 missiles in Syria, in addition to the ones it has already deployed in Lebanon.

OTHER TERRORISM & EXTREMISM

Iran Embraces Polish Far Right Advocate of Widely-Condemned ‘Holocaust Law’ | Algemeiner

Polish far right leader Robert Winnicki paid homage at the Iranian Embassy in Warsaw on Friday, attending ceremonies marking the 39th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution – a sign that the regime in Tehran, which actively promotes Holocaust denial, spots a potential propaganda opportunity from the diplomatic row between Poland, Israel and the US triggered by widely-censured legislation that makes any discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi genocide of the Jews a criminal offense.

Islamic State Making Inroads into Iran | Ahmad Majidyar for the Middle East Institute

Some Iranian citizens who had joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Afghanistan have tried to enter Iran to conduct terrorist attacks, revealed Mohsen Rezaei, the secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council and former chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Iran's Rouhani to Visit India This Week | Agence France-Presse

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani will visit India this week for three days, local media reported on Monday (Feb 12). Rouhani is due to leave for India on Thursday to discuss "the latest regional and global developments", the semi-official ISNA news agency said. He was invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, ISNA said.

SYRIA & IRAN

Russia, Turkey and Iran Discuss Meeting on Syria in Kazakhstan - TASS | Reuters

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Monday that Russia, Turkey and Iran had discussed a possible meeting of their foreign ministers on Syria, which could be held in Kazakhstan’s Astana in March, the TASS news agency reported.

IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS

Defying Pressure, Khatam al-Anbia Chief Defends IRGC’s Economic Role | Ahmad Majidyar for the Middle East Institute

The commander of Khatam al-Anbia Construction Headquarters, a conglomerate of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), has dismissed latest criticism of the organization’s increasing role in the Iranian economy.

Iranian Women Steadfast in Campaign to Attend Soccer Matches | Zahra Alipour for Al-Monitor

I was in the Italian city of Milan on April 15, 2015, when I decided to attend the local soccer match at San Siro Stadium… Since emigrating from Iran in 2012, I had often dreamed of the day. In fact, I had been dreaming of the day since I was 10 years old.

Iranian Graffitists Feel Walled in | Al-Monitor

“You are no artist if you are drawing on a wall with spray paint. You are either a vandal or a political activist scribbling a slogan,” Iranian graffiti artist "Mad" said of the longstanding public’s opinion on street art. The first generation of Iranian underground graffiti artists started painting on Iran’s walls around the beginning of the 21st century, and the new generation of Iranian artists continue to transform the walls of Iran’s cities — from Tehran to Tabriz, from Mashhad to Shiraz.