×
↓ Freedom Centers

Tag Archives: Iran


Iran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in Syria

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran and Russia are moving closer together in their military alliance, working to boost ties and coordination in Syria and elsewhere in the region following the U.S. decision to launch a military strike in Syria, according to regional reports and experts.

Iran’s defense minister is slated to visit Moscow at the end of the month to discuss increased military ties, a move that is meant to deter U.S. action in the region and show a sign of increased force, according to regional experts who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Tehran-Moscow axis has been growing since the landmark Iran nuclear deal, with Russia making good on a series of weapons deliveries, including the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system. The two countries have been signing an additional number of military deals in recent months and that cooperation is likely to increase in light of the Trump administration’s decision to launch strikes against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is being backed by both Russia and Iran. Continue reading


Trump Admin: Iran in Breach of Nuke Deal

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

In a vast departure from the Obama White House, the Trump administration went on record Wednesday to accuse Iran of being in violation of the landmark nuclear agreement as a result of its recent test of ballistic missile technology, according to a senior White House official, who said that Iran has officially been put “on notice.”

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, accused Iran of breaching international accords governing the nuclear agreement. He lashed out at the Islamic Republic for threatening American military assets in the Persian Gulf region.

Flynn’s remarks represent a break with the previous administration, which worked to hide Iranian transgressions and declined to publicly state that Iran’s behavior violated the nuclear deal. Continue reading


Sanctioned Iranian Airlines Ferrying Illicit Weapons to Tehran

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Two airlines sanctioned by the United States for enabling Iran’s global terrorist operations appear to have played a central role in moving illicit missile components from Ukraine to the Islamic Republic, according to information obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Ukrainian authorities confirmed this week they had seized a shipment of missile system components bound for Iran, which could put the Islamic Republic in violation of international bans prescribed under the nuclear agreement.

Video of the seizure show Ukrainian authorities uncovering 17 boxes of missile parts bound for Iran and meant to be used in its Fagot anti-tank guided missile system.

Sources familiar with the incident told the Free Beacon that the airlines involved in this illicit activity have long been sanctioned by the United States for providing support to Iran’s global terror network. Continue reading


Congress Passes New Iran Sanctions, Ignoring Obama Admin Threats

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress unanimously voted on Thursday to level new sanctions on Iran, sending a clear message that lawmakers stand opposed to the Obama administration’s continued concessions to Tehran in the final months before it leaves office, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Obama administration, including Secretary of State John Kerry, made a final push in recent weeks to convince lawmakers to abandon the new sanctions, but lawmakers remained firm on Thursday, voting 99-0 to approve the new sanctions. Even Democrats who have supported the White House’s diplomacy voted in favor of the sanctions.

Senior Iranian officials have been adamant that new sanctions would violate last summer’s nuclear agreement and have threatened multiple times in recent months to walk away from the deal if the United States does not meet all of its demands under the deal. Continue reading


Iran Using Commercial Planes to Smuggle Weapons to Terrorists

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

The Obama administration has given clearance to Western airline manufacturers to sell planes to Iran at the same time the Islamic Republic is using commercial airliners to smuggle weapons and other illicit arms to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, according to new intelligence and congressional communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The disclosure of this new intelligence, which shows that Iran has been using its commercial airline company to smuggle advanced weaponry to Hezbollah and terrorists operating in Syria, has placed renewed focus on a congressional inquiry that has been stymied by Obama administration officials since early October.

Senators, led by Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.), have been pushing Obama administration officials to explain why they are helping airline manufacturers Boeing and AirBus sell planes to Iran, despite clear evidence that Tehran is using its commercial airline as cover for its continued terrorist operations across the region. Continue reading


House Lawmakers to Nix Obama Admin-Backed Sale of U.S. Planes to Iran

Iran angling to rebuild war fleet with American planes

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Lawmakers in the House are expected to overwhelmingly pass new legislation on Wednesday that would prohibit the Obama administration from facilitating the sale of U.S. aircraft to Iran, according to senior congressional sources who told the Washington Free Beacon that Iran is likely to use American-made planes to rebuild its aging air force.

The legislation is viewed as an early test for the incoming Trump administration, which has broadly opposed last year’s comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran and intimated that it would be more confrontational with the Islamic Republic.

Senior congressional sources told the Free Beacon that House leaders scheduled the vote on this bill immediately following the election to signal that lawmakers are frustrated with the Obama administration’s ongoing diplomacy with Tehran. Continue reading


Congress Moves to Block Obama Admin’s ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress is set to consider new legislation that would block the Obama administration from awarding Iran billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in what many describe as a ransom payment, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) will introduce on Tuesday new legislation that would prohibit the Obama administration from moving forward with all payments to Iran, according to the bill, which would also force Iran to return billions of dollars in U.S. funds that have already been delivered to Tehran by the White House.

Rubio’s bill—a version of which is also being introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.)—would mandate that Iran pay American victims of terrorism some $53 billion in reparations for past attacks planned and coordinated by the Islamic Republic. Continue reading


Why ‘Cash for Prisoners’ May End Up Being Least of U.S. Concerns Over Payment to Iran

By Aaron David Miller • Wall Street Journal

It’s not clear how much worse things will get for the Obama administration over its $400 million payment to Iran in January, but the cash-for-prisoners scandal may end up being the least of U.S. concerns in all this.

I write that knowing that Congress plans to hold hearings in September. I also know that so close to Election Day, this issue is likely to remain a highly politicized he-said/she-said among Republicans eager to take aim, an administration on the defensive, and a Democratic nominee in an increasingly difficult position because of the optics: a choreographed and sequenced transaction in which cash was delivered after U.S. prisoners were released, regardless of whether you consider it ransom.

Here’s the larger and more potentially damaging perception beyond the general embarrassment: In the Middle East, strength and negotiating acumen are prized; they demonstrate power and credibility. Continue reading


Two Hundred Yards Is Too Close

by Jed Babbin • The American Spectator

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps boats harassed U.S. Navy ships and boats again last week in what has become a commonplace in the Persian Gulf. All of these incidents have happened in international waters. The Iranians claim much of those waters as their own.

In January, the Iranians fired missiles within about fifteen hundred yards of the nuclear carrier USS Harry S. Truman. In that same month, the crews of two U.S. Navy patrol boats were captured and detained by the Iranians, the U.S. crews having failed to fire a shot in their own defense. They were released after the Iranians had made propaganda videos shaming our sailors.

In the latter incident, the commander of the surrendered boats later said he surrendered because he didn’t want to endanger Obama’s efforts to lock in his nuclear weapons deal with Iran. Continue reading


Lie of the Decade

by Jed Babbin • The American Spectator

We have become wearily accustomed to the constant flow of lies in the presidential campaign. Some are important but most are not. They have become a tiresome reminder of why so many people have decided to ignore the whole mess.

Lies in a political campaign should matter but those lies that are the basis for national security decisions — lies that are a matter of policy — can create existential dangers. The lies that President Obama has been peddling surrounding his deal with Iran on nuclear weapons are just such a case.

The website PolitiFact has gotten into the habit of naming the Lie of the Year. In 2012, when it gave the shameful title to Obama’s statement on Obamacare that “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” the label was almost enough to rouse the Republican Party to action. Continue reading


Iran conducts 4th missile test since signing nuke deal

Two days before the anniversary of the nuclear agreement between Iran and world powers, the Islamic Republic attempted to launch a new type of ballistic missile using North Korean technology, multiple intelligence officials tell Fox News.

By Lucas TomlinsonFoxNews.com

The test, in violation of a UN resolution, failed shortly after liftoff when the missile exploded, sources said. The effort occurred on the evening of July 11-12 near the Iranian city of Saman, an hour west of Isfahan, where Iran has conducted similar ballistic missile tests in the past.

It would be at least the fourth time Iran has launched or attempted to launch a ballistic missile since the nuclear accord was signed on July 14, 2015.

Iran is barred from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years under UN Resolution 2231, which went effect July 20, 2015, days after the nuclear accord was signed.

Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests.

Iran claims its ballistic missile tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

The most recent test was the first time Iran attempted to launch a version of the North Korean BM-25 Musudan ballistic missile, which has a maximum range of nearly 2,500 miles, putting U.S. forces in the Middle East and Israel within reach.

The extent of North Korea’s involvement in the failed launch is not immediately clear, apart from North Korea sharing their technology, according to officials.

North Korea has had its own difficulties launching the Musudan missile of late.

Since April, North Korea has failed five consecutive times in launching one. But late last month, North Korea succeeded in putting into space a Musudan, which later splashed down 250 miles from North Korea into the Sea of Japan.

The U.S. military recently announced, over Chinese objections, that it would deploy an advanced anti-ballistic missile system known as THAAD into South Korea as a result of the gains in North Korean missile technology.

There was no immediate reaction from U.S. Central Command when asked for comment about the failed Iranian missile launch.

In an interview with Fox News in Baghdad Thursday, the head of Central Command, responsible for military operations in the Middle East, said Iran continues to cause trouble in the region.

“Iran’s behavior hasn’t significantly changed as a result of the nuclear agreement,” said Gen. Joseph Votel. “They continue to pursue malign activities, and they continue to foment instability in areas where we need stability so I remain concerned about that continued behavior.”

Reuters reported last week that a confidential report by UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Iran’s ballistic missile program “not consistent with the constructive spirit” of the nuclear deal, but left it up to the UN Security Council to decide if Iran is in violation of UN resolution 2231. Russia and China are permanent members of the five-nation UN Security Council, and both have expressed reservations in the past about punishing Iran about its missile tests.

The Security Council is due to discuss the UN chief’s report on July 18.

Russia shipped components of an advanced third-generation air defense system to Iran earlier this year, drawing outrage from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. While the State Department is “opposed” to the deal, it does not violate either the nuclear agreement nor UN resolution 2231, according to a spokesperson.

In March, Iran sparked international condemnation when it test-fired two ballistic missiles, one emblazoned with the phrase “Israel must be wiped out” in Hebrew.

Iran conducted separate ballistic missile tests in October and November.

In March, appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Votel was asked about Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities. He testified that Iran “may in fact be more aggressive in the days since the [nuclear] agreement.”

Votel told lawmakers the United States should continue to “expose” Iran for the role they play in the region, including its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, responsible for dropping barrel bombs on his own people, according to Votel.

He told Fox News aboard USS New Orleans, a 684-foot warship loaded with 650 Marines transiting the Strait of Hormuz this week that Iran should be “held accountable” for capturing 10 US Navy sailors in January at gunpoint and holding them for a day.

An Iranian missile boat and four other armed small boats shadowed New Orleans just miles from Iranian shores as she made her way though the strait, coming within 500 yards of the U.S. Navy warship. Such action by Iran has become routine, according to Navy officials.

Since December, Iran has shipped out its low-enriched uranium, disabled its heavy water reactor in Arak, and sold more than $8 million worth of heavy water to the U.S. government in compliance with the nuclear deal.

In January, the UN’s nuclear watchdog declared that Iran had met its provisions in the nuclear deal, which ended many Western economic sanctions unlocking billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

In recent days, Iranian officials have voiced plans to conduct more tests.

“Iran will strongly continue its missile program based on its own defense and national security calculations,” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said on the ministry’s website.


Iran ‘Blackmailing’ U.S. for Greater Nuke Concessions

Experts: Obama admin going above and beyond nuke deal to aid Iran

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Obama Iran Nuke Deal, nuclearThe Obama administration is taking steps to aid and please Iran far beyond U.S. commitments under last summer’s nuclear accord, according to experts, who warned Tuesday during testimony on Capitol Hill that the White House is becoming “dangerously close to becoming Iran’s trade promotion and business development authority.”

The Obama administration’s efforts to boost Iran’s economy and resurrect its financial sector are not required under the comprehensive nuclear agreement, yet the White House is undertaking this role to soothe relations with the Islamic Republic, nuclear experts told the Senate Banking Committee.

Iran continues to threaten to walk away from the nuclear deal unless the U.S. administration agrees to further concessions beyond the deal, sparking accusations that Iran is effectively “blackmailing” the White House, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading


Congress Seeks Fight Over Obama Effort to Give Iran Access to US Markets

Lawmakers say Obama admin may violate U.S. law for Iran

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

The Capitol in Washington is illuminated during a thunderstorm with the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building reflected / AP

Leading foreign policy voices in Congress say they are preparing to fight against an Obama administration effort to provide Iran unprecedented access to U.S. financial resources as part of an expanded package meant to address new demands from the Islamic Republic’s for greater economic concessions, according to several conversations between the Washington Free Beacon and top lawmakers.

The Obama administration is currently exploring new options to grant Iran more sanctions relief than promised under the comprehensive nuclear agreement reached last year, just days after Iran’s Supreme Leader gave a speech accusing the United States of interfering with Iranian banking.

Top foreign policy voices in Congress told the Free Beacon in recent days that they are exploring a range of responses if the Obama administration goes through with reported plans to grant Iran further concessions beyond the purview of the nuclear deal, which dismantled key nuclear-related U.S. sanctions against Iran. At least part of this action could violate current U.S. laws, they said. Continue reading


Iran Breaks With Arab States, Continues Backing Hezbollah

Iran blames Jews for forcing Arab states to designate Hezbollah as terrorist group

by Adam Kredo      •     Washington Free Beacon

Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend a memorial / AP

Iranian leaders publicly broke ranks this week with major Arab Gulf nations in a series of statements criticizing these regional powers for formally designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, a regional governing coalition comprised of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, and Bahrain, announced last week that it is formally designating the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah a terrorist organization.

The GCC joins the United States, Israel, Canada, and a host of other nations in labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization. These nations, including Saudi Arabia, have already taken steps to blacklist organizations and individuals associated with Hezbollah. Continue reading


White House Reverses Position on Iran Nuke Program

Obama administration repeats concern that Iran already violating nuke deal

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

President Hassan Rouhani speaks as he is accompanied by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi at the Bushehr nuclear power plant / AP

The Obama administration shifted its stance on Iran’s contested nuclear program Wednesday, writing in a letter to the United Nations that it is concerned the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization is not fully reporting on potential Iranian violations of the nuclear deal.

The administration also renewed concerns about Iran having violated its international commitments by stockpiling too much nuclear-related material. The renewed concerns come after Iran repeatedly test fired ballistic missiles in violation of current U.N. resolutions.

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, said earlier this week that the agency is prohibited by the nuclear agreement from publicly reporting on potential violations by Iran. Continue reading


WP2FB Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com