Archive | Iran

Iran’s Intel Minister Nominee Says Dozens of Terrorist Plots Foiled in 4 Years

NOVANEWS

A general view of northern Tehran taken from Tabi'at (Nature) bridge on Modares highway. (File)

© AFP 2017/ BEHROUZ MEHRI

Over past four years, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry has arrested over 120 terrorist cells that were plotting attacks in Iran, former Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alawi said Wednesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the IRNA news agency, Alawi was addressing the parliament, which is supposed to vote whether he would retake the position in the next cabinet.

Alawi told the lawmakers that the ministry forces also managed to seize almost 6,600 pounds of explosives, as well as 1,000 weapons, bombs and suicide vests.

“During the past four years at the Intelligence Ministry, we took measures to maintain the independence of the ministry, avoided dependence on [political] parties, and did expert work, [as] some of our main strategies,” Alawi said, as quoted by the Tasnim news agency.

He also noted that the Iranian intelligence services had been closely cooperating with security forces.

On Tuesday, the Iranian parliament started sessions to vote on reelected Irainian President Hassan Rouhani’s nominees for the positions in cabinet. If one of the candidates fails to win a vote a confidence in the parliament, the president will have up to three months to offer a replacement.Iran was recently hit by a major terrorist attack. On June 7, a twin terrorist attack in the Iranian capital of Tehran left at least 70 people dead and more than 40 injured. A group of four people in women’s clothing opened fire in the Iranian Parliament building, which was followed by a deadly explosion. Another attack involved an explosion near the Imam Khomeini shrine.

Related:

Iran: “State Sponsor of Terror” or Major Victim?
Tehran Terror Attacks: Iran Suffers ‘Unmistakably Symbolic’ Assault on Nation
Trump on Iran Attack: States That Sponsor Terrorism Risk Falling Victim to It

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Iran Slams US Report on Country’s Religious Freedom for Biased Coverage

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A picture taken on January 18, 2016 shows vehicles driving on a street in front of the Azadi Tower in the capital Tehran

© AFP 2017/ ATTA KENARE

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi stated that US report on religious freedom portrayed a distorted and politicized image of religious freedom conditions in the country.

MOSCOW(Sputnik) — Tehran criticized the US report on religious freedom for “unfounded and biased” coverage of the situation in the country, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the US Department of State issued an International Religious Freedom Report for 2016. Comprising an overview of the situation with violations on religious grounds, the document alleged that Iranian authorities harassed and arrested representatives of religious minorities, such as Bahais, Christians, Sunni Muslims and others, adding that over 300 members of such groups remain imprisoned for their religious activities or beliefs.

“This report has once again portrayed a distorted and politicized image of religious freedom conditions in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Qassemi said in a statement, published on the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s website.

Qassemi stressed the necessity of avoiding politicizing the issue of religion and religious diversity, otherwise it could lead to the escalation of inter-religious crises.

“In order to settle religious differences and getting them [religions] closer to each other, one should strongly avoid politicizing the issue… The US administration seems to have forgotten about this important goal and is only trying to take political advantage of the existing religious diversity in some countries in the world,” the statement read.

The 2015 report claimed that non-Muslims and non-Shia faced societal discrimination with at least 250 members of minority religious groups remained imprisoned.

Related:

Russian FM Calls New US Sanctions Against Iran ‘Illegitimate in Principle’
Tehran Slams US Claim on ‘Dangerous’ Flying Maneuvers by Iranian Drone in Gulf
Iran Allocates $520Mln for Missile Program in Response to US Sanctions – Reports
Russia Regrets US Questioning Agreements on Iran Nuclear Deal – Foreign Minister

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Ceasefire, Humanitarian Aid Basis for Cooperation With Saudis

NOVANEWS

People inspect a house destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

© AP Photo/ Hani Mohammed

Ceasefire, humanitarian aid and constructive dialogue with regard to the conflict in Yemen could be the basis for collaboration between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Zarif reiterated that Iran is prepared to engage with all partners in the region to mitigate military conflicts in Yemen and Syria.

“Ceasefire, humanitarian assistance, intra-Yemeni dialogue — this can be the basis for cooperative assistance between Saudi Arabia and Iran,” Zarif stated on Monday evening.

At the same time, the presence of foreign forces in the region are “inherently destabilizing,” Zarif said, adding that efforts at stabilization should originate from within the neighboring countries.Foreign affairs analyst and political commentator Dan Lazare told Sputnik on Tuesday that the recent liberation of the city of Mosul would not lead to rapid peace and stability in the region, but would open the way to a potentially very serious clash between Syria and Iran against the Saudis and their allies instead.

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New Iran sanctions simply don’t add up

NOVANEWS
By M.K. Bhadrakumar 

The new legislation by the venerable lawmakers in the United States, imposing sanctions against Iran (along with Russia and North Korea), has an air of inevitability. But what is inevitable doesn’t always have to be logical.

The base line is how effective these sanctions are going to be. Iran is not new to US sanctions and its economy does not depend on trade or investment from the US. In sum, the US lawmakers are hoping to impose the sanctions via the international community.

But the main difference this time as compared to previous US sanctions is that the POTUS happens to be Donald Trump and the international community regards him with profound scepticism bordering on bewilderment. The world opinion is unlikely to rally behind Trump in an enterprise to punish Iran – or on any issue.

There is a big contradiction in the Trump administration’s approach to Iran because it is legislating sanctions while also certifying that Iran’s compliance with the 15 July 2015 nuclear deal [JCPOA] is satisfactory. And for the world community, JCPOA is a vital platform in international security and is the top priority.

Trump doesn’t have the ghost of a chance to get the UN Security Council to sanctify new sanctions against Iran (on whatever pretext). And in the absence of UN mandate, this becomes an issue of his “America First” foreign policy.

Things will be different if Iran retaliates against these sanctions by exiting the JCPOA, pleading that Washington is backing out from the deal. But Tehran is instead playing an astute game. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif said yesterday that Iran will not give a “gift” to Trump.

Zarif signalled that: a) Iran can live with Trump’s sanctions; b) Iran stands to gain more by complying with the JCPOA and earn international goodwill (especially among the world powers); and, c) Iran is utterly free anyway to pursue its missile program (which is indigenous and does not depend on Western technology).

What matters to Iran is that its successful (re)integration with the international community does not suffer any setback. So long as Iran can sell its oil and gas in the world market and so long as there is no sanctions regime with a cutting edge such as the one Barack Obama brilliantly succeeded in imposing (by getting even China and Russia on board), Iran can advance its development agenda.

In fact, Russia’s Gazprom just signed an agreement with Iran’s Oil Industries’ Engineering and Construction to develop Azar and Changuleh oil fields, Iran’s most recent discoveries located in the western province of Lorestan, which are believed to hold an in-place reserve of about 3.5 billion barrels of oil. (Azar is a joint field Iran shares with Iraq.)

Clearly, in the developing global scenario with the US-Russia relations nose diving – and no improvement possible in a foreseeable future – Russian military technology reaches Iran more freely than ever before. Iran’s strategic defiance of the US matters to the Russian strategy.

Equally, China views Iran as the regional hub in its Belt and Road Initiative. Only last week, China agreed to provide $1.5 billion as funding for the upgrade of the Tehran-Meshaad trunk railway line which connects Central Asia.

Suffice to say, if Iran can sell oil in the world market to generate income and with full-throttle cooperation with Russian and Chinese (and even some EU countries), Tehran will be doing reasonably well against Trump’s best-laid plans to “isolate” it.

The EU is giving an unmistakeable signal to Trump through the announcement on Saturday in Brussels that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini will be travelling to Tehran on August 5 to attend the inaugural ceremony of President Hassan Rouhani in her capacity as the head of the Iran-5+1 Joint Commission monitoring the JCPOA. (In addition to Mogherini, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has also announced his intention to participate in the event.

However, this is not to say that Trump will back off from his enterprise to punish Iran and bring about a ‘regime change’. Knowing Trump, he might well be planning to score a hat-trick by dumping the JCPOA sometime around September when the next certification on Iran’s compliance is due – thereby completing a trifecta of withdrawals from international agreements that he inherited from Obama (the other two being Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris accord on climate change.)

How does it all add up? By withdrawing from JCPOA, Trump will the isolating the US in international opinion. The political optic will be simply “disastrous” – to borrow Trump’s favourite idiom. The US will be the outlier.

Trump’s biggest challenge is that while the US’ allies support strict and verifiable implementation of the JCOPA by Iran, they disapprove of Trump’s game plan to create a pretext to collapse or renegotiate the deal. Even for proposing a renegotiation of the JCPOA, Washington needs five of the eight members of the Joint Commission (comprising US, UK, France, Britain, Germany, EU, Russia and China) to back the proposal.

Finally, as the Bible says, “Behold, a little cloud, like a man’s hand is rising” on the horizon – pressure is building over the release of Americans under detention in Iran. Some Iranian news reports recently mentioned the names of several Iranian citizens in jail in the US for sanctions violations.

Tehran could be signalling interest in a quiet conversation over a potential political prisoner exchange similar to what Obama administration once negotiated. Which, of course, requires the Trump administration to engage directly with the government of Iran.

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Modi revisits Iran ties

NOVANEWS
By M K Bhadrakumar 

The decision by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to depute the minister of transport Nitin Gadkari to represent India at the inaugural ceremony of Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani on his second term is a most appropriate, timely and thoughtful decision. ‘Appropriate’ – because it is a signal that India attaches high importance to relations with Iran. Gadkari is a senior figure in the cabinet – all but prime ministerial material, one might say. ‘Thoughtful’ – because of two reasons. One, Gadkari is also the government’s point person with regard to the strategic Indian project to develop a transit route to Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran’s Chabahar Port.

Two, it is an assertive statement that India’s cooperation with Iran will not be buffeted by ‘Trumpspeak’. This is timely because the Iran-US engagement has run into difficulties and US officials have spoken of a preposterous ‘regime change’ agenda vis-à-vis Iran. A confrontation seems improbable but a showdown cannot be ruled out, either. If there is a confrontation / showdown, Modi government will come under pressure not only from the US but also from Israel, and India will be in the unhappy position of having to stand up and be counted. Strategic ambivalence, which comes easy to the Indian DNA, may no longer be an option. The previous UPA government of course simply opted to pull down the shutter and fall in line with the US diktat. It will be interesting to see how much spunk the present nationalist government would show to resist pressure on its regional policies, if push comes to shove.

However, India is in good company if it views Iran as a major partner. The presence of the European Union Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherni at Rouhani’s inaugural underscored that EU does not go along with the US’ sanctions bill against Iran. So, indeed, the presence of Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, a close aide confidante of President Vladimir Putin, signals that Moscow has a big agenda to expand and deepen the cooperation with Iran. The Chinese President Xi Jinping deputed He Lifeng, head of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, to represent China. Of course, He is the principal driver of the Belt and Road Initiative in the Chinese government.

Indeed, if the inaugural ceremony was a litmus test of Iran’s integration with the international community, the result is positive and impressive. Nineteen presidents, vice-presidents and prime ministers as well as 18 heads of parliaments attended the ceremony. It is virtually impossible for the Trump administration to ‘isolate’ Iran over its missile development programme or its regional policies. By the way, the participants at the ceremony in Tehran included a high-powered delegation from Hamas and a cabinet minister from Qatar.

Gadkari has promised that the Chabahar transit route will be operational by next year. The country must hold the government to its word. There shouldn’t be any slip-ups. This can be the first significant footfall in an Indian variant of ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. More importantly, perhaps, India must now resuscitate the plans of investments in the Chabahar region for industrial collaboration. The enthusiasm with which we spoke about it two years ago has petered out. Again, a major push is needed to realise the much-talked about North-South Corridor via Iran.

In political terms, a visit by Rouhani to India is overdue. The visit will give an overall verve to the relationship and add momentum to the bilateral cooperation. The Farzad-B gas field project has proved elusive. The revised $11 billion investment offer by ONGC Videsh is pending for a decision in Tehran. The Iranian side has driven a hard bargain, which is understandable since oil is a major source of income for its economy. But then, Tehran must also realize that Farzad-B will be a ‘game-changer’ for the entire relationship with India. Perhaps, this is the single biggest investment offer India has ever made to a foreign country. The business spin-off in the downstream, if the Farzad-B project takes off, will be massive.

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Iran, Iraq, Russia hold meeting in Moscow

NOVANEWS
IRNA 

Deputy Foreign Ministers of Russia, Iran and Iraq held meeting here on Wednesday to consider situation in the Middle East, crises in Iraq and Syria and trilateral coordination.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Hossein Jaberi Ansari and Nazar Khairallah kicked off the meeting in the venue of Foreign Ministry Protocol Hall in the presence of their accompanying delegation as well as Iran’s Ambassador to Moscow Mehdi Sanayee.

The latest developments in the region, especially coordination to reduce tensions and crises in the region with the aim to increase stability and peace were topics of agenda.

Before holding the joint meeting, Bogdanov met separately with Jaberi Ansari and Nazar Khairallah and discussed different issues with them.

Bogdanov and Jaberi Ansari in their 4-hours meeting discussed a collection of issues concerning West Asia and North Africa, situations in Syria, Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, crisis in relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia and other international and regional issues.

Intra-Syrian talks in Astana and Geneva, Syrian humanitarian needs and the issue of rebuilding Syria were among issues discussed in the meeting.

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Trump, ‘Israel’ and the Pursuit of War on Iran: Trump Hopes that Iran Will Violate Nuclear Deal

NOVANEWS

The Trump administration is relentless in its push for war against Iran. The New York Times reported that Trump has ordered his national security aides to find a way to accuse the Iranian government of violating its nuclear agreement they signed in 2015 with what is known as the P5+1 under the Obama Administration. The New York Times report by David E. Sanger titled ‘Trump Seeks Way to Declare Iran in Violation of Nuclear Deal’ said that President Trump “has instructed them to find a rationale for declaring that the country is violating the terms of the accord.” 

Although last month, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley (who is a war hawk) testified before the U.S. House of Representatives committee on Iran’s nuclear and said that “In reference to the JCPOA, we’re not seeing any sort of violations of that” although she did mention that “They’re going to continue their nuclear capabilities and we just gave them a lot of money to do it with” following Trump’s view that the Iran’s nuclear deal was bad to begin with.

According to The New York Times report

“U.S. officials have already told allies they should be prepared to join in reopening negotiations with Iran or expect that the United States may abandon the agreement, as it did the Paris climate accord.”

One important aspect of the Nuclear Deal is that it can be abandoned because it was not necessarily a treaty since Obama did not have full support of the Senate that was dominated by the Republicans who most are anti-Iran and in the pockets of the Israeli lobby. According to Sanger:

Mr. Trump has enormous latitude to abandon the accord. It was never a treaty because President Barack Obama knew that opposition to the agreement in the Republican-dominated Senate was so great that he could never get the two-thirds majority needed for ratification. Instead, he made an executive agreement, one that his successor could eliminate by merely disregarding the accord’s requirement to waive sanctions against Iran.

The Trump Administration has notified international inspectors in Vienna that “the possibility of demanding access to military sites in Iran where there is reasonable suspicion of nuclear research or development” the report continued “If the Iranians balk, as seems likely, their refusal could enable Washington to declare Tehran in violation of the 2-year-old deal.” What would that mean? For starters, the U.S. would impose harsh sanctions against Iran which would see retaliatory actions by the Iranians including the complete elimination of the U.S. dollar in its oil trades.

Trump is so eager to accuse Iran of violating the nuclear deal that he even hesitated to certify that Iran complied with the nuclear agreement.

“Trump initially balked at certifying, for a second time since he took office, that Iran is in compliance with the agreement. He later reluctantly approved the certification” according to the report.

Parties who signed on to the nuclear agreement which includes Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia do not share Trump’s view. Trump told The Wall Street Journal that “We’re doing very detailed studies” and according to Trump “I think they’ll be noncompliant.” Trump surely hopes that Iran would be non-compliant.

It seems that the Trump administration is looking for any excuse to go to war with Iran even though Russia and China will back Iran if the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia were foolish enough to launch an attack on the Islamic Republic. Does the Trump Administration realize that Iran is not Iraq? The U.S. is setting itself up for another humiliating defeat, perhaps worse than Vietnam. Iran has a capable military plus a population (whether they are for or against the Iranian government) that would join the fight to defend their homeland. Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon and Syria would also prepare for war against Israel and the U.S. Besides a devastating military confrontation, Washington’s war with Iran would have enormous repercussions for the U.S. economy including the fact that Iran, Russia and possibly China would most likely dump the U.S. dollar in retaliation.

Trump wants to destabilize and eventually destroy Iran so that Israel can dominate the Middle East, something that the Israeli’s would appreciate. If you follow the money, the U.S. and Israel have a mutual interest in the Middle East and that is to control its vast natural resources and its Arab population.

A war against Iran seems inevitable, however, it is important to note that Iran has a strong military (stronger than even North Korea) that can defend itself and with Russia and China on its side, the U.S. would be in a lose-lose situation. However, one important fact to consider is that the U.S. usually goes to war against weaker nations like Panama or Grenada and even Iraq who was already weakened by a decade of sanctions under then U.S. president Bill Clinton which paved the way for George W. Bush’s invasion in 2003.

Iran is not the only nation targeted for war, North Korea is also on the list as Nikki Haley said in a recent statement

“The time for talk is over. The danger the North Korean regime poses to international peace is now clear to all.”

The Trump administration is edging towards war in two continents which would cost trillions of dollars which the U.S. economy can not afford.

A war with Iran seems inevitable. North Korea and even Venezuela are also on Washington’s list for a future military conflict or regime change. One thing is certain, Trump will enter a new war in the foreseeable future following his predecessors long legacy of war, death and destruction.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, Iran0 Comments

Embraer still waiting US approval for Iran plane sales

NOVANEWS

Image result for Embraer LOGO

Brazil’s regional jet maker Embraer says it is still waiting for an approval by the US Treasury Department for sales of aircraft to Iran.

The company was quoted by the media as saying that it remained “active and optimistic” with regards to its plans to sell planes to the Islamic Republic.

It added that providing the required funds for the planned sales to Iran was not so much the issue as gaining licenses from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury, the Aviation Week news website reported.

Iran in February 2016 confirmed that it had ordered 50 planes from Brazil’s Embraer, the world’s third biggest commercial aircraft manufacturer.

The confirmation was made by Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, the country’s government spokesman who emphasized that the deal with Embraer will be a hire purchase contract.

Reports later said the Brazilian company was considering a plan to sell its E-195 jets to Iran through a deal which would be worth above $1 billion.

The company requires an OFAC license for the sale to Iran of sensitive jet engine technology in its planes.

Sales of Embraer planes to Iran featured in trade talks between the Islamic Republic and Brazil during a visit to Tehran by Trade Minister Armando Monteiro.

Two major Iranian carriers – ATA and Kish Air – have already announced plans to purchase planes from the Brazilian company.

Apart from selling planes, Minister Monteiro also discussed potential sales of taxis, buses and trucks with Iranian officials during his visit to Tehran, the media reported.

Posted in USA, Brazil, Iran0 Comments

3 countries subject to US sanctions offer 3 defiant responses

NOVANEWS
American sanctions are a symptom of geo-political bullying. Sanctions are a bellicose act that ought to be banned by the international community, even though they are less effective today than they have ever been in the recent past.

The new sanctions bill which will soon appear on Donald Trump’s desk targets three countries: Russia, Iran and North Korea.

Each country has responded in three different yet equally defiant ways.

1. Russia 

The sanctions against Russia have been the most widely discussed for three reasons.

a. Donald Trump continues to be accused (without evidence) of having ties with Russia and furthermore it is accused that Russia hacked the DNC’s computers (also with no evidence) during the 2016 US election.

b. Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to improve relations with Russia.

c. The sanctions which may soon hit Russia are deeply unpopular among America’s EU allies.

Russia first responded by cutting off access to warehouses in Russia used by the US Embassy in Moscow. Russia further made arrangements to limit America’s diplomatic personnel in Russia from 1,100 to 455. 

This is a response that is if anything slightly less than proportional to Barack Obama’s seizure of entire diplomatic compounds in the US which are legally on Russian soil as defined by the Vienna Convention.

Russia’s current response is a sign of supreme anger at the fact that the US has failed to restore Russian property in the US back to the Russian Embassy combined with an immediate response to the sanctions which will likely come into effect in short order.

This might only be the beginning of things as Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov warned of further retaliatory measures which would “bring the US to its senses”.

2. North Korea 

Reports have surfaced that North Korea responded to the future sanctions in typical North Korean fashion, by firing a still unidentified missile into the Sea of Japan.

The US has stated it believes the projectile to be a ballistic missile, while South Korea stated that the projectile landed off the east coast of the DPRK (North Korea).

Japanese media however assert that it landed in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

North Korea often responds to both military and economic threats in just this fashion. It is a clear statement from Pyongyang that sanctions and threats from the US will not deter its missile programme.

Russia later confirmed that the projectile was an intermediate range ballistic missile.

3. Iran

Iran has conducted a successful Simorgh rocket launch which has put an Iranian satellite into space.

The US responded with additional sanctions on Iran, over and above the ones which recently passed congress.

According to a statement form the US Treasury Department,

“The US government will continue to aggressively counter Iran’s ballistic missile-related activity, whether it be a provocative space launch, its development of threatening ballistic missile systems, or likely support to Yemeni Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia such as occurred this past weekend”.

View image on Twitter

In this respect, it seems dubious at best to link a peaceful space-launch with weaponised rockets. Furthermore, the weapons which Yemeni Houtis use are generally rudimentary and tend to have very little impact on the conflict in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is expensively armed by the US yet its generally under-trained military still have not been able to beat the modestly armed Houtis.

CONCLUSION: 

Sanctions are a weapon of mass destruction and the US uses them with impunity. Sanctions have virtually never resulted in a government changing course, not that it is the job of the US to change other sovereign states’ form of governance in the first place. Sanctions have however lead to starvation, deprivation, death and illness in many of the places where they have been implemented including in Iraq in the 1990s and Syria over the last several years of US proxy conflict.

It is high time for the UN to condemn and ban the use of sanctions in any context under the same guise that chemical weapons have been banned. Sanctions are a barbaric tool which inflicts suffering on civilians throughout the globe. Such atrocities cannot ever be justified.

That being said, the US has found the sanctions are if anything less effective now than at any previous time. The multi-polar world is a world in which the countries that the US once understood to be economically dependant on the west are now fully capable of either running a successful internal economy and/or trading and conducting commerce with nations that are not in the US financial or political sphere of influence.

Rather than empty words of condemnation, Russia, North Korea and Iran have acted defiantly, showing the United States in their own unique ways, that Washington is not the epicentre of the world.

While Russia, North Korea and Iran are correctly insulted by these measures, they have already made provisions to conduct economic relations outside of the framework of unilateral US sanctions.

What’s more is that those opposed to sanctions go beyond America’s alleged foes like North Korea and Iran as well as the other two world super-powers Russia and China. America’s traditional EU allies are equally enraged by the actions of the US Congress.

If Donald Trump signs the legislation, the United States will have turned much of the world fully against its sanctions programme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called America’s latest sanctions an act of “arrogance”. In this respect, Putin speaks not only for Russia but the majority of the planet, America’s friends, rivals and proverbial foes alike.

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US Navy fires warning shots at Iranian ships in Persian Gulf

NOVANEWS
America seems intent on needlessly provoking Iran.

Tensions between Iran and the United States continue to boil over after the US levelled further sanctions on Iran after the Islamic Republic successfully launched a satellite into space.

Today’s confrontation in the Persian Gulf wherein a United States Nimitz class aircraft carrier and an accompanying ship  fired warning shots at small Iranian patrol boats, is the second such incident in less than a week.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued the following statement about the matter,

“With only a few days since a provocative move in the northern end of the Persian Gulf in which the US Navy ships fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel, the American warships have once again taken the same action in the middle of the Persian Gulf.

At 4:00 PM Friday, July 28, US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier accompanied by its warship, while under surveillance by IRGC missile boats, began flying a helicopter over the ‘Resalat’ gas-oil field and approaching IRGC vessels”.

The statement continued,

“The US warships in a provocative and unprofessional move began firing warning shots at the Iranian vessels, to which the IRGC Navy’s ships paid no attention and continued with their mission”.

America’s presence in the Persian Gulf has come under increased scrutiny, especially since Qatar, a traditional US ally seems to want to develop peaceful economic relations with Iran.

Previously, Iran has stated that if the US passes more sanctions on Tehran, something which has now occurred, Iran will request America move its bases inside Iraq further from the Iranian border.

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