8 Febr. 2017 – According to the Kurdistan Human Rights Network, six Kurdish civilians were sentenced to death by the Iranian regime due to their membership in a Kurdish party. The Iranian regime accused the Kurdish civilians of being Peshmerga members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDP-I). Yet, according to Human Rights Watch, these individuals have no affiliation with any armed groups. The citizens are: Rassoul Azizi, Mohamad Zaher Faramarz, Yaghoub Baakram and two brothers, Jalal and Kamal Masrouri. They were arrested on June, 19 2016.
MESOP NEWS “LAVROV’S WHITE WASHING” : Russia Pushes Back US Over “Tehran Is Number 1 Terrorist” Claim
February 07 – 2017 – Russia has pushed back declarations by the Trump Administration that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov countered on Monday that Tehran must be part of the anti-terrorist effort, linking to this to Iran’s political and military intervention — alongside Moscow — in support of Syria’s Assad regime: Iran has never been seen having any ties with Daesh [the Islamic State] or [the Syrian jihadist] al-Nusra Front, or any other structure affiliated with these terrorist organizations and included in the relevant UN Security Council list.
by Scott Lucas – 6 Febr 2017 – eaworldview – With another round of political talks approaching over Syria’s six-year crisis, Iran and Russia proclaimed a unified line on Sunday. The two countries, who are the essential backers of the Assad regime, put out the message in a meeting between Russian special envoy Alexander Lavrentiev and Iran’s Secretary of the National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani.
5 Febr 2017 – by Scott Lucas – Iran and Russia are holding more talks about Syria on Sunday. – Russia’s special envoy Alexander Lavrentiev will confer with senior Iranian officials, including the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani.
Iranian State media put out the line that Lavrentiev “will discuss ways to hold more negotiations on the promotion of political and security initiatives after the recent Syrian peace talks in the Kazakh capital of Astana”.
MESOP NEWS MEMRI BACKGROUNDER : According To Iranian Officials, Obama Administration Gave Unwritten Consent In The Nuclear Talks And In The JCPOA Negotiations For Iran To Develop Ballistic Missiles With A Range Of Only 2,000 km – That Is, Capable Of Striking Israel But Not Europe
MEMRI DISPATCH – February 2, 2017 – no. 1298
According To Iranian Officials, Obama Administration Gave Unwritten Consent In The Nuclear Talks And In The JCPOA Negotiations For Iran To Develop Ballistic Missiles With A Range Of Only 2,000 km – That Is, Capable Of Striking Israel But Not Europe
By: A. Savyon and Yigal Carmon and U. Kafash*Introduction – On January 30, 2017, U.S. sources announced that Iran had conducted a failed test of a new ballistic missile, the Khorramshahr. According to reports, the missile exploded after a 965-km flight. Both Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif (on January 31) and Defense Minister Dehghan (on February 1) stressed that Iran “asks permission from no one in the matter of its defense program.”
-By Paul Bucala
Iran is transforming its military to be able to conduct quasi-conventional warfare hundreds of miles from its borders. This capability, which very few states in the world have, will fundamentally alter the strategic calculus and balance of power within the Middle East. It is not a transitory phenomenon. Iranian military leaders have rotated troops from across the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, Artesh, and Basij into Syria in order to expose a significant portion of its force to this kind of operation and warfare. Iran intends to continue along the path of developing a conventional force-projection capability.
Iranian military planners deployed thousands of soldiers from across its military branches over a 15-month operation to set conditions for the envelopment and eventual recapture of Aleppo City by pro-Assad forces in December 2016. They reoriented forces that had traditionally focused on defensive operations into an expeditionary force capable of conducting sustained operations abroad for the first time since the end of the Iran-Iraq War.
These developments signal a larger strategic shift on the part of Iran’s military leadership toward a more aggressive posture in the region. Iran is finding that asymmetric capabilities designed to deter the U.S. or Israel are insufficient to conduct the more conventional military operations required in Syria and elsewhere. The Iranian military is overcoming significant institutional obstacles to meet these new requirements.
The campaign for Aleppo reflects Iran’s success in applying this new approach to waging war. Iranian ground troops boosted the capabilities of Iranian-backed proxies and enabled pro-regime forces to seize and hold key terrain from opposition forces. Iranian forces successfully generated campaign plans, fought alongside local and foreign partners, took heavy casualties, and returned to the front in a sustained rotational pattern. The Iranian military also exposed its next generation of leaders to the fight, positioning them to continue evolving Iranian military doctrine and institutions along this path.
Iran’s continued evolution of its hybrid model of warfare in Syria will strengthen its capacity to project power in the Middle East. The procedures and tactics that Iranian forces have developed in Syria will facilitate Tehran’s efforts to deploy forces alongside similar proxy forces in other theaters, such as Iraq or Lebanon. Allowing Iran to consolidate its influence in Syria enables Tehran to expand and improve the capabilities of its proxies and direct them against U.S. interests and allies if it chooses.
The scope of Iranian combat operations in Syria guarantees that Iran will remain a dominant player on the ground, regardless of any shifts in Russia’s official position on Iranian involvement. Russia has outsourced the ground campaign to Iran and would not be willing to commit the many thousands of Russian troops required to replace Iranian troops or Iranian-backed proxies in the conflict. Most importantly, it signals that Iran’s leaders have decided for the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic to focus on developing a conventional force projection capability that can seriously challenge the armed forces of its neighbors. The balance of power in the region may be forever altered by that decision.
This report was produced with the Institute for the Study of War. The insights are part of a an intensive multi-month exercise to frame, design, and evaluate potential courses of action that the United States could pursue to defeat the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) and al Qaeda in Syria. Related reports in the series are available here.
Trump administration says it’s putting Iran ‘on notice’ following missile test – White House: ‘We are officially putting Iran on notice’
During the White House daily briefing on Feb. 1, President Trump’s national security advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn spoke about Iran’s ballistic missile test. (Reuters) – By Karen DeYoung February 1 at 8:10 PM
The Trump administration said Wednesday that it would hold Iran “accountable” for its recent ballistic-missile launch, threatening an unspecified response to what it called a violation of U.N. restrictions. In a brief statement read during the regular White House press briefing, Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, said the administration was “officially putting Iran on notice” for the test launch and for what he called Iran’s threatening and destabilizing actions in support of Houthi rebels seeking to overthrow a U.S.-backed government in Yemen.
!KNOW BETTER WITH MESOP NEWS!” – Iran Positions for Reset in Iraq after Recapture of Mosul / By Emily Anagnostos (INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF WAR)
17 Jan 2017 – The recapture of Mosul can reset the balance of power between Iran and the U.S. in Iraq and in the region. Iran has tolerated U.S. presence in Iraq because the U.S. provided sufficient airpower and training to combat ISIS. It has also backed Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi because his premiership was a condition of U.S. support and because PM Abadi is too weak to resist Iranian control. Pro-Iranian groups in Iraq will likely consider the recapture of Mosul as the end of major anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and continued U.S. presence unnecessary and unwelcomed. Recent U.S. statements suggest that the U.S. may increase, not decrease, its involvement in Iraq after Mosul, which is likely accelerating Iran’s efforts to expel the U.S. from the region. Iran has started to consolidate its proxies in Iraq, including a reconciliation between Sadrist Trend leader Muqtada al-Sadr and senior pro-Iranian officials, in order to both increase pressure on PM Abadi against further Western support and establish Iraq as a base from which it can project regional influence. Iran’s support for PM Abadi’s premiership could also waver, especially if a more pro-Iranian candidate emerges.
27 Jan 2017 – MESOP – British, French, and U.S. warships led by the UK’s Royal Navy will participate in “war games” (Middle East Eye), which will include a simulated confrontation with Iranian forces, in the Gulf beginning next week.
Ali Vaez argues that renegotiating the Iran nuclear agreement rather than repudiating it is a better deal for Trump in Foreign Affairs.
More via: www.mesop.de
January 22 – 2017 – By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – After a political victory against both the US and its ally Russia, Iran is pressing its central role in discussions over Syria’s crisis.Led by Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Jaberi Ansari, an Iranian delegation arrived in Kazazhstan’s capital Astana on Saturday, and prepared for Monday’s discussions with meetings with Russian and Turkish counterparts.