Iran manufactured the ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital and remnants of it bore "Iranian markings," the top U.S. Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday, backing the kingdom's earlier allegations.
The top Iranian nuclear official has warned that Washington wants to “annihilate” the nuclear deal and blame Iran for it, the Iranian media reported...The Iranian nuclear negotiator reiterated that the country can resume 20 percent nuclear enrichment at Fordow facility within days.
Iran is establishing a permanent military base inside Syria, a Western intelligence source has told the BBC.
UANI IN THE NEWS
In October, President Trump chose not to recertify the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, giving Congress 60 days to decide on the future of the agreement. As Congress weighs action and the administration consults with our European partners, policymakers must consider Iran’s history of holding Americans and dual-nationals hostage, including those held captive today. On the 38th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, it’s the least we can do.
On October 1 of this year, Army Specialist Alexander Missildine was killed by a highly lethal roadside bomb known as an explosively formed penetrator (EFP) in the Ninawa Province of Iraq. EFPs are the signature weapon of two Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-led militias in Iraq and the reappearance of this weapon after six years demonstrates that the Islamic Republic of Iran continues its campaign to kill American service members.
When Saad Hariri resigned his post as prime minister of Lebanon last week, the move surprised even his closest associates. The normally soft-spoken premier lashed out at Iran and Hezbollah, accusing them of plotting his assassination, and vowing that the region’s reawakened Arabs would “cut off” Tehran’s arms. The unusual resignation came amid internal upheavals within Saudi Arabia and escalating Saudi-Iranian tensions over Lebanon and Yemen, fueling speculation that all were somehow related. Below is context on what happened and analysis for what comes next for the key players in the dispute after a transformational week in Lebanon.
IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
Whether through arrogance or ignorance, the Obama administration falsely assessed the ability of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) to curtail Iran’s illicit nuclear activities. Even from day one, the deal they presented fell far short of the red lines to which President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry swore they would uphold. Far from creating the most robust inspections and monitoring regime, Obama and Kerry watered down on precedent to create a far weaker standard for all future non-proliferation deals, notwithstanding the politicized and corrupt analysis from groups such as the Arms Control Association.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano met Thursday in New York with United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley for a second time on Iran's nuclear program with the Trump administration's next move on Iran at stake.
Senior officials from the European Union and Iran spoke up on Friday in defense of the agreement limiting Tehran’s nuclear program, as the pact comes under heavy pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump.
The US should destroy virtually all of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps infrastructure as well as Iran’s nuclear facilities to reduce its terrorist and nuclear threats, former CIA director James Woolsey told The Jerusalem Post in an interview. “
TERRORISM AND EXTREMISM
While considering the manner in which Saad Hariri had to resign as Lebanon’s prime minister, it has to be realized that Hezbollah controls around 25 percent of that country’s territory and that its militia has grown more powerful than the Lebanese army. The level of interference by both Hezbollah and Syria in Lebanese politics at the behest of the Iranian regime, particularly Hezbollah’s proven record of assassinating those speaking out against it or its Syrian and Iranian patrons, must have been a major cause behind Saad Hariri’s decision to leave the country before announcing his resignation.
Hezbollah’s leader said on Friday that Saudi Arabia had declared war on Lebanon and his Iran-backed group, accusing Riyadh of detaining Saad al-Hariri and forcing him to resign as Lebanon’s prime minister to destabilize the country.
With U.S. President Donald Trump tightly aligned with Saudi Arabia against Iran, France is positioning itself as a broker between the Sunni and Shi‘ite Muslim rivals, but neutrality may leave it with little leverage.
French President Emmanuel Macron is blaming Iran for a ballistic missile launch by Yemeni rebels targeting Riyadh last weekend, and said it illustrates the need for negotiations with Tehran over its missile development.
The Arab League will hold an extraordinary meeting next Sunday at the request of Saudi Arabia to discuss “violations” committed by Iran in the region, according to a memorandum.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the formation of a series of republics in the Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. Since these states' independence, Iran, which regards the Caucasus as a strategic region, has sought friendly relations with them... In the case of Azerbaijan, bilateral relations have been maintained despite political tensions primarily revolving around Baku’s ties with Israel. In recent years, however, Tehran and Baku have begun to develop more extensive relations than those between Iran and the two other Caucasus nations.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Friday that Lebanon is at risk of becoming a new focus of violence as tensions rise between Saudi Arabia and Iran. “The United States cautions against any party, within or outside Lebanon, using Lebanon as a venue for proxy conflicts or in any manner contributing to instability in that country,” Tillerson said in a Friday statement.
Tensions are escalating between two of the biggest powers in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudi Arabia ordered all citizens to leave Lebanon after the country's prime minister mysteriously announced he's stepping down. He made the announcement while in Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is currently on the front lines of a regional conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States has been assured that Prime Minister Saad Hariri is not being held against his will.
GULF STATES, YEMEN, AND IRAN
More than two years into a war that has already left 10,000 dead, regional power Saudi Arabia is struggling to pull together an effective local military force to defeat the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement that has seized large parts of Yemen.
The foreign minister of Saudi Arabia has refused to quell rumors that his country is working with Israel to tackle the Iranian-backed group Hezbollah. Abel Al-Jubeir said Thursday that Hezbollah, a political and militant Shia-Islamist group, has hijacked the system in Lebanon and is spreading a malign influence throughout the Middle East.
Earlier this week, buried in all of the other news that’s a constant feature of the modern world, there was an unusual pronouncement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Gulf-affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan said Monday that the Lebanese government would be “dealt with as a government declaring war” on his country — raising the specter of a new armed conflict in the already tense region.
Iran has denied allegations it was behind a militant attack on a pipeline outside Bahrain’s capital.
IRANIAN DOMESTIC POLITICS
Footage has emerged of women standing up to police and strangers in Iran after defying laws by walking the streets without hijabs. Women filmed themselves without veils to capture some of the abuse they face for failing to adhere to Iran's strict religious rules. At one point a female campaigner shouts 'spit out your insults' after being told to cover her head while a second film shows a man threatening to slap a young woman for breaking the law.