MESOPOTAMIA NEWS NOTICE ! : Iran threatens to retaliate against Greece if US uses military bases to launch attack
|January 17, 2020 by Joseph Fitsanakis INTEL ORG.
Iran has issued a warning against Greece, saying that it will retaliate if the United States attacks the Islamic Republic using its military bases on Greek soil. It is the first time that Iran has threatened to launch attacks against a member of the European Union in connection with the recent rise in tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Iranian officials issued the warning against Greece in response to comments made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his recent visit to the White House, which coincided with the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by the US. Speaking about Soleimani’s killing, Mitsotakis said that “we [Greeks] are allies with the US, so we stand by our allies through difficult times”. And he continued: “I understand this particular decision was taken by taking into consideration what is the US national interest, and we stand by that decision”.
Iran’s response to the Greek prime minister’s comments came in a letter that was sent by the Iranian embassy in Athens to one of Greece’s leading broadsheets, Kathimerini. The letter pointed out that Greece and Iran enjoyed “friendly, traditional and historical relations”. Given “the absence of any differences or tension between [the two countries] in recent centuries”, said the letter, “we believe that [Mr. Mitsotakis’] statement cannot be the official position of the Greek government”. It went on to warn that “The Islamic Republic of Iran has made it very clear that in the event of a US-led war against the country, the concession of [military] bases by any country to the American invader will be considered a hostile act and Iran reserves the right to respond in a clear and decisive manner”.
Last weekend, Greece’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Nikos Dendias, revealed that the Iranian government had delivered a statement to his office, protesting Mitsotakis’ comments. But he added that he had not had a chance to read it. He also said that his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had asked to speak with him about Greece’s stance in the US-Iran dispute.
► Author: Joseph Fitsanakis
The Lebanese Militant Group Could Star in Iran’s Response to the Soleimani Strike
By Brian Katz January 14, 2020 FOREIGN AFFAIRS
“What is just retribution?” So asked Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in a speech on January 5, two days after the United States killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a drone strike in Baghdad. With no American official “on par with Soleimani or Muhandis,” in Nasrallah’s estimation, the answer was to retaliate against “the American military presence in our region.” American civilians shouldn’t be harmed, he said, but “the U.S. bases, the U.S. warships, every American soldier and officer” in the Middle East would all be fair game.
Hezbollah is unlikely to pick a fight with the United States by itself. The group has its own tensions with Israel to worry about, and huge domestic protests jeopardize its political grip on Lebanon. It also suffered heavy losses in Syria, where it fought hand-in-glove with Iran to prop up President Bashar al-Assad. But not wanting a war isn’t the same as being unwilling to fight one. Hezbollah has been preparing for this day for decades, building up military, terrorist, and cyber capabilities in Lebanon, the Middle East, and around the world in order to strike back at the United States and anyone else who might join a war against Iran and its allies. Now, because of its ideological commitment to and military interdependence with Iran, the group may have no choice but to enter a conflict with the United States.
Last week’s Iranian missile attack on two Iraqi bases that host U.S. forces was Tehran’s initial, symbolic, and overt response to Soleimani’s death. The full response will unfold in the coming months and years—and will likely feature Hezbollah in a starring role. Playing to its strengths and avoiding a direct conventional confrontation with the United States, the Quds Force and its Hezbollah partner may attempt to orchestrate a regional campaign of asymmetric attacks across the Middle East and possibly outside of it.
Report – Obama Granted Amnesty to Soleimani in Iran Deal – By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz January 12, 2020 , 11:45 am
A report in July 2015 in the British news service The Telegraph revealed that on page 86 of the annex of the newly agreed upon Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, was an interesting clause granting amnesty to Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed last week in a drone strike. The Telegraph’s Defence Editor, Con Coughlin, was astounded at the revelation, describing Soelimani (spelled Gasem Soleymani in the JCPOA) as “one of the world’s leading terrorist masterminds.”
“For a decade a more he has been the driving force behind an array of Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups, from Hizbollah to Hamas, which have orchestrated a reign of terror throughout the Middle East,” Coughlin wrote. “Thanks to Mr. Obama’s scandalous capitulation to Tehran, Mr. Suleimani has overnight gone from being one of the world’s most wanted terrorists to the White House’s newest best friend.”
By: Alberto M. Fernandez**Alberto M. Fernandez is a retired U.S. Ambassador and President of Middle East Broadcast Networks (MBN). January 15, 2020 MEMRI Daily Brief No. 206
“Iraqi Christian” Militia Leader at PMU Assault on U.S. Embassy, BaghdadThe late IRGC Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani has had quite the media afterlife. After his killing, Swedish public television described him as “a top diplomat” and a “super-celebrity.” While some American media outlets referred to him as “flamboyant,” or a “warrior-philosopher” and gushed at his massive funeral, Middle Easterners outside the orbit of Iran tended to have much more caustic views of the man.
Many fine pieces have already been written about this person and about U.S. policy and Iranian aspirations in the region. But more interesting to me are two assertions made in various eulogies about Soleimani in various Western publications, about the fight against ISIS and about the treatment of Christians. These are assertions which reveal a fundamental misunderstanding, not just about how Iran works, but how all regimes in the Middle East work.
By Prof. Hillel Frisch – January 15, 2020 – ISRAEL – BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,407, January 15, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Iran is now assessing whether it should retaliate further against the US for the targeting of Qassem Soleimani, and if so, how. Its relationships with Russia and Turkey might look warm, but they are troubled. Neither is likely to leap to Tehran’s side in its clash with the US. Israel should exploit Iran’s fissures with Russia and Turkey to its advantage.
The era of superpower confrontation hardly elicits nostalgia. The Cold War did, however, possess one redeeming quality: clarity. It was relatively easy to identify friends and form alliances to cement those relationships. This was clearly the case in the Middle East: Syria, Iraq, Nasser’s Egypt, and Algeria were clearly on the Soviet side; Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Morocco were on the Western side.
In today’s Middle East, that clarity has given way to murk.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS INVESTIGATION : Congress Seeks Investigation Into Pro-Iran Lobby Group Tied to Tehran Regime
NIAC long accused of serving as Iran’s U.S. lobbying arm – Adam Kredo – January 14, 2020 2:10 PM THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON
Congressional leaders have petitioned the Trump administration to investigate a pro-Iran lobbying organization that has long faced accusations of acting as the Islamic Republic’s unregistered mouthpiece in America, according to official communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
A group of senators has requested that the Trump administration investigate the National Iranian American Council, or NIAC. The council, a pro-Tehran advocacy group with deep ties to the Iranian regime, played a key role in the Obama administration’s pro-Iran “echo chamber,” which misled Congress and the American people about the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : WHILE THE BRUSSELS EU IS SITTUNG & TALKING – Ex-Shin Bet official: Iran may use Chinese cyber tech to attack Israel, US
By YONAH JEREMY BOB JANUARY 14, 2020 20:25 – JERUSALEM POST
Following the killing of Iran IRGC Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, Iran may use advanced Chinese cyber tools against Israel or the US, a former top Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) official warned The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.The official, Dr. Harel Menashri was a founder of the Shin Bet’s cyber department and is currently the Head of Cyber at the Holon Institute of Technology.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : WHILE THE EUROPEANS ARE TALKING – Iran could have a nuclear bomb in two years – Intelligence assessment
ANNA AHRONHEIM JANUARY 14, 2020 20:23 JERUSALEM POST
At the same time, Israel has a window of opportunity to increase its operations against Iranian entrenchment in the Middle East due to the assassination of Qasem Soleimani.
If Iran continues its nuclear program at the rate it is now, it is estimated that Tehran will be capable of producing enough fissile material to make a nuclear bomb by this spring and a missile capable of carrying a nuclear bomb within the next two years.Over the past year, Iran has gradually lifted all limits on its production of enriched uranium, which can be used to make reactor fuel but also nuclear weapons.
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS : Iranian Video Shows Assassination Of Trump, Pompeo, Netanyahu In The White House In Revenge For The Killing Of Soleimani
The Iranian Fars News Agency aired a short video on January 10, 2020, titled “Severe Revenge,” dramatizing an Iranian assassination of U.S. President Donald Trump. In the video, Iranian officials are seen planning their revenge for the killing of Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani. They study a board with a diagram of possible targets, U.S. President Trump is at the head and Israeli PM Netanyahu, Secretary of State Pompeo, Saudi Crown Prince Bin Salman, and Masoud Rajavi, former leader of Mujahedeen-e-Khalq are at the bottom. The Iranian officials say they are “going for the big fish,” and one of them says: “We should target their head.” In the video, the U.S. Capitol Building is blown up and then the Iranian forces storm the White House, shooting anyone in their sight. President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and PM Netanyahu, among others, lie dead on the White House floor. The voice of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is heard in the background, saying: “Severe revenge awaits the criminals whose dirty hands are soiled with his blood.”
On Walkie-Talkie: “We have a report about a terror attack. Hajj Qassem’s vehicle was hit.”
TV Report: “Following the martyrdom of Islam’s venerable general, Hajj Qassem Soleimani, and the martyrs who accompanied him, and first and foremost, Islam’s great mujahid, Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis, the Leader of the Revolution referred in a statement to the continuation of the path…”
Iranian Officials: “Now that they have taken up arms, we will also be here until the end… What is our main target now?… We are going for the big fish. A fish rots from the head down. We should target their head… If we want to hit them, tonight is the time… I think we should think about it a bit more… C’mon, if you don’t want to hit them, don’t play with us. I swear by Abu Fadhl [Al-Abbas] that I’m sick and tired of all this talking… Sadegh, what do you say? Trust me… Let’s do it. Yes, let’s do it… Okay. Masoud, what about you?… Let’s hit them… Take note, we will not be using walkie-talkies. I know that this will make coordination more difficult. Our cue will be the firing of an RPG. Are we clear?… Yes… Well done. Let’s go… Go in, Hamed. Go in… Go, go, go, go, go, go!”
The dome of the Capitol explodes, the men fire at the White House and storm it, and men, including U.S. President Donald Trump, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lie dead on the floor.
Voice of Donald Trump: “Executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani.”
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “Severe revenge awaits the criminals whose impure hands are soiled with his blood…”
By Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld January 14, 2020 BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,404, January 14, 2020 – ISRAEL
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many in the West have expressed great dismay at the killing of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani. Such responses to the removal of perhaps the world’s leading terrorist seem to suggest that the democratic West has descended into decadence. If that is the case, it is worth examining the extent to which the liberal-left dominance of much of Western public discourse is undermining the stability of democracy itself.
Major unforeseen political events tend to lead to an avalanche of questions. This is certainly true in the case of the targeted killing by the US of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, which occurred on January 3. How will the Iranians react? Was the elimination of Soleimani an impulsive move by President Trump or was it part of a detailed strategy to rein in Iran? Will it lead to a major war? What will Soleimani’s death mean for the Middle East?
But the responses to Soleimani’s death also prompt questions.