by HAVIV RETTIG GUR
Times of Israel
‘In a show of force, the United States Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution urging an uncompromising US stance against Iranian efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, calling for Washington’s support should Israel strike the program.
“If the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence,” the resolution reads.
It also calls for the US to take “such action as may be necessary” to keep Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapons capability.
While senators are careful in their calls for US military intervention, the resolution, which passed 99-0, is seen as the most direct expression yet heard from Washington reflecting support for a potential Israeli strike.’
by Anne Gearan
The Washington Post
‘Iran has sent soldiers to Syria to fight alongside forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia, a senior State Department official said Tuesday.
An unknown number of Iranians are fighting in Syria, the official said, citing accounts from members of the opposition Free Syrian Army, which is backed by the United States. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview a strategy session that Secretary of State John F. Kerry is to hold Wednesday with key supporters of the Syrian opposition.
Rebel forces have alleged for weeks that Iran is sending trained fighters to Syria, and the Iran-backed Hezbollah has said baldly that it will not let Assad fall.
But with the British, French and American governments considering providing arms to the Syrian opposition on a scale not yet seen in the civil war, the U.S. official’s allegation was a tacit acknowledgment that the two-year-old Syrian conflict has become a regional war and a de facto U.S. proxy fight with Iran.’
‘The war is not about Syria, it’s about Iran. And the intention of the West is to effectively destroy Iran’s only Arab ally. And for the Iranians it’s about keeping their only Arab ally. We know that the Iranian government has given advice, but these are very, very small token forces, compared to the propaganda, which is that thousands and thousands of Iranians are arriving en masse. I did not see any Iranian soldiers on any front line.’
by Jim Lobe
‘While preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon is preferable, the United States could successfully contain a nuclear Iran, according to a new report released here Monday by the Center for a New American Security, an influential think tank close to the administration of President Barack Obama.
The report, “If All Else Fails: The Challenges of Containing a Nuclear-Armed Iran,” outlines a detailed “containment strategy” designed to deter Tehran’s use of a nuclear bomb or its transfer to non-state actors, and persuade other regional states not to develop their own nuclear arms capabilities.
“The United States should do everything in its power to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran, and no option should be left off the table,” said Colin Kahl, the lead author of the 80-page report and the Pentagon’s top Middle East policy official during most of Obama’s first term.
“But we also have to consider the possibility that prevention efforts – including the use of force – could fail,” he added in an email to IPS. “In that case, we’d need a strategy for managing and mitigating the threats a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to vital U.S. interests and allies. That’s what we’re focusing on.”
The administration, according to the report, has so firmly committed itself to a prevention policy – including threatening military action if diplomatic efforts and economic pressure fail – that cannot explicitly endorse a different approach “without damaging the very credibility it needs to effectively address the Iranian nuclear challenge,” according to the report.
At the same time, however, Tehran may be able to achieve “an unstoppable breakout capability” or build a weapon in secret before preventive measures have been exhausted. In addition, a U.S. or Israeli military strike may inflict only minimal damage to Iran’s nuclear program while strengthening hard-liners in the regime who believe a nuclear deterrent is the only way to ensure its survival.’
‘Iranian authorities executed two men on Sunday convicted of working for Israeli and U.S. spy agencies, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.
Mohammad Heidari, accused of passing security-related information and secrets to Israeli Mossad agents in exchange for money, and Kourosh Ahmadi, accused of gathering information for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, were hanged at dawn, it said.’
by Scott Peterson
Christian Science Monitor
‘Saeed Jalili, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator and a presidential candidate, says that offers from six world powers demand far more short-term sacrifices of his government than the Islamic Republic considers reasonable or reciprocal.
The current offer from the so-called P5+1 group (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, and Germany) requires Iran to suspend all 20 percent uranium enrichment, disable an impregnable underground enrichment facility at Fordow, and agree to more intrusive inspections, before modest relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy.
“Their proposals are unbalanced,” Mr. Jalili told The Christian Science Monitor in an Istanbul interview today, a day after his inconclusive meeting with Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief who leads negotiations for the P5+1. “The other party needs to appreciate that they need to table proposals that have the necessary balance,” says Jalili. “If they accept to do so, then we can engage in talks that will hopefully bring about that required balance.”’
by Yeganeh Torbati and Marcus George
‘Former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjanithrew himself into Iran’s election race on Saturday as a flurry ofheavyweight candidates rushed to beat the registration deadline in the most unpredictable contest for decades.
Iranian media reported that Rafsanjani – a relative moderate – had registered for the June 14 presidential election with just minutes to spare. His candidacy radically alters what was previously seen as a contest between rival conservative groups.
The former president could scupper the hopes of ‘Principlists’, loyal to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who are aiming to secure a quick and painless transition and paper over the deep fissures between the opposing camps.
Rafsanjani, 78, who was president from 1989 to 1997, is expected to draw some support from reformists because he backed the opposition movement whose protests were crushed after the last, disputed election in 2009.’
by Jason Ditz
‘Major scientific journal publisher Reed Elsevier and others are vowing to obey the latest US sanctions against Iran in their day-to-day operations, implementing bizarre policies aimed at following the letter of the law. The sanctions ban Americans from having any contact with anything written in whole or part by Iranian government employees.
[...] The fight isn’t a new one. In 2004 the US government tried to ban every American scientist on the planet from having anything to do with any Iranian research, threatening to prosecute individual scientists for “collaboration” with Iran if they did so. The ban was openly repudiated by the American Institute of Physics and other groups, saying it violated freedom of speech, and the scheme was essentially dropped in favor of a toned down version.’
‘Turkey’s prime minister has denounced Israeli airstrikes on Syria, saying the attacks help strengthen Syrian President Bashar Assad’s hand.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday also criticized Iran for “turning a blind eye” to massacres in Syria and accused the international community of ignoring the bloodshed.’
by ALI AKBAR DAREINI and BRIAN MURPHY
‘[...] Leading candidates assert that they will be responsible stewards, unlike the firebrand Ahmadinejad, who cannot run again because he is limited to two terms. One criticized Ahmadinejad for “controversial but useless” statements. Others even say the country should have a less hostile relationship with the United States.
Comments from the presumed front-runners lean toward less bombast and more diplomacy. They are apparently backed by a leadership that wants to rehabilitate Iran’s renegade image and possibly stabilize relations with the West.
The result however may be more a new tone rather than sweeping policy change. Under Iran’s theocratic system, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wields supreme power, making final decisions on nuclear and military questions. However, the president acts as the public face of the country, traveling the world. A new president might embark on an international image makeover and open the door to less antagonistic relations with Iran’s Arab neighbors and the West.
[...] All the main candidates — including a top adviser and a former nuclear negotiator — are closely linked to the ruling clerics, since opposition groups have mostly been crushed. They reflect the mood of Khamenei, himself a former president, who wants nothing more than to end the internal political rifts opened by Ahmadinejad.
On Wednesday, Khamenei told prominent clerics to avoid “divisive” comments during the election. It is the clerics who will select a small group of hopefuls, probably no more than six, for the ballot.’
‘The Pentagon has beefed up its biggest “bunker buster” bomb so it can destroy Iran’s most heavily armed and protected nuclear site, U.S. officials said.
The administration believes the enhanced Massive Ordnance Penetrator, the Pentagon’s largest conventional bomb, will decrease the chances Israel will launch a unilateral bombing campaign against Iran, at least for this year and maybe next year too, the officials told The Wall Street Journal.
This would buy more time for the Obama administration to pursue diplomacy after Iran holds elections in June.
It could also give the West more influence in diplomatic efforts to persuade Iran to rein in its nuclear program.’
by Barak Ravid
‘U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reportedly told his Israeli counterparts that the Obama administration would examine military options against Iran more closely following the Islamic Republic’s upcoming elections, and their possible ramifications on the country’s nuclear program.
According to a report Friday in the Wall Street Journal, Hagel, together with other senior American officials, reached an understanding with Israel during the defense secretary’s recent visit to Israel. Apparently, the two countries would conduct a joint situation assessment following the elections, and that if diplomatic channels are ruled out, efforts will be shifted to a more detailed discussion of military options.
The report also stated that the United States has redesigned its “bunker buster” bomb, that should be able to penetrate the underground nuclear enrichment facilities at Iran’s Fordow plant.’
by Ron Ben-Yishai
[...] The Obama administration stands to gain the most from the deal. The agreement with the UAE, and mainly with the Saudis, which will apparently be signed this week, will provide extensive work for aviation and weapons plants in the US – plants which were supposed to be hit hard by the substantial cuts in the Pentagon’s budget. This was the reason for Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s visit to the region. The arms deal also boosts the self-confidence of Israel and the Arab Gulf states in the face of the Iranian threat.
The US is giving its allies in the Middle East the ability to deal with conventional threats –such as the possibility that extremist Islamic elements in the region will get their hands Syria’s chemical weapons or that Salafist groups in Sinai will seize control of advanced weapons. The aid package will also help Israel react in the event that Hezbollah manages to obtain advanced anti-aircraft batteries it does not have at this point.
In addition, should the US decide to use force against Iran, it will be able to do so with the cooperation of its allies in the region. In other words: The Americans are building a regional coalition which will be able to assist them in case they will have to act in Iran, Syria or other countries.
by Crispian Balmer and Dan Williams
Iran, he said, must not amass enough uranium at 20 percent fissile purity to fuel one bomb if enriched further. To ram the point home, he drew a red line across a cartoon bomb, guaranteeing him front page headlines around the world.
However, a respected Israeli ex-spymaster says Iran has skilfully circumvented the challenge. Other influential voices say the time has passed when Israel can hit out at Iran alone, leaving it dependent on U.S. decision-makers.
“If there was a good window of opportunity to attack, it was six months ago – not necessarily today,” said Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser. Pressure from Washington, he said, had forced Israel to drop its strike plan.
Israel has long insisted on the need for a convincing military threat and setting clear lines beyond which Iran’s nuclear activity should not advance, calling this the only way to persuade Iran that it must bow to international pressure.
Serving officials argue that Netanyahu’s repeated warnings of the menace posed by Iran’s nuclear project have pushed the issue to the top of the global agenda and helped generate some of the toughest economic sanctions ever imposed on a nation.
But some officials have also questioned the wisdom of his red line, arguing that such brinkmanship can generate unwelcome ambiguity – as the United States has discovered with its contested stance on the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
Amos Yadlin, a former military intelligence chief who runs a Tel Aviv think-tank, suggested last week that Israel had also got itself into a tangle, saying Iran had expanded its nuclear capacity beyond the Israeli limit, without triggering alarms.
“Today it can be said that the Iranians have crossed the red line set by Netanyahu at the U.N. assembly,” Yadlin told a conference at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), which he heads.
Canadian Police Wanted To BUST Train Terror Plot “FOR MONTHS” But Held Off At American Request ~ CBC
A senior Iranian cleric says women who wear revealing clothing and behave promiscuously are to blame for earthquakes.
Iran is one of the world’s most earthquake-prone countries, and the cleric’s unusual explanation for why the earth shakes follows a prediction by the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, that a quake is certain to hit Tehran and that many of its 12 million inhabitants should relocate.
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Women in the Islamic Republic are required by law to cover from head to toe, but many, especially the young, ignore some of the more strict codes and wear tight coats and scarves pulled back that show much of the hair. “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?” Sedighi asked during a prayer sermon last week. “There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam’s moral codes.” Seismologists have warned for at least two decades that it is likely the sprawling capital will be struck by a catastrophic quake in the near future. Some experts have even suggested Iran should move its capital to a less seismically active location. Tehran straddles scores of fault lines, including one more than 50 miles long, though it has not suffered a major quake since 1830.
In 2003, a powerful earthquake hit the southern city of Bam, killing 31,000 people – about a quarter of that city’s population – and destroying its ancient mud-built citadel.
by Pepe Escobar
Construction is nearing completion on a natural gas pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan, a project that portends a huge geopolitical shift. As regional powers strengthen ties in this key energy market, they’re looking to China, and away from the West.
Since the early 2000s, analysts and diplomats across Asia have been dreaming of a future Asian Energy Security Grid.
This – among other developments – is what it’s all about, the conclusion of the final stretch of the $7.5 billion, 1,100-mile natural gas Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline, starting from Iran’s giant South Pars field in the Persian Gulf, and expected to be online by the end of 2014.
Nobody lost money betting on Washington’s reaction; IP would put Islamabad in “violation of United Nations sanctions over [Iran’s] nuclear program.” Yet this has nothing to do with the UN, but with US sanctions made up by Congress and the Treasury Department.
Sanctions? What sanctions? Islamabad badly needs energy. China badly needs energy. And India will be extremely tempted to follow, especially when IP reaches Lahore, which is only 100 km from the Indian border. India, by the way, already imports Iranian oil and is not sanctioned for it.
by Jason Ditz
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has arrived in Israel on a high profile visit, and right off the bat insisted that the US and Israel both feel “exactly the same” about Iran’s civilian nuclear program, adding that Israel has a “right” to attack Iran whenever it decides it wants to.
Hagel’s nomination to his position was held up briefly over allegations from opponents that he was insufficiently pro-Israel, and many see this trip as a chance for him to demonstrate a sufficiently obsequious posture to silence those critics.
In an exclusive interview with the BBC, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said only direct military threat can stop Iran’s nuclear programme.
Mr Netanyahu warned that Iran was close to acquiring nuclear weapons and was close to “crossing the red line”.
On peace with the Palestinians, Mr Netanyahu said it was time to sit down and negotiate a lasting solution.
by Jim Lobe
The administration of President Barack Obama should put more emphasis on diplomacy in its quest for a satisfactory resolution of Iran’s nuclear programme, according to a major new report released by The Iran Project.
Endorsed by nearly three dozen former top U.S. diplomatic, military, and intelligence officials, the report calls for Washington to “rebalance” its dual-track policy toward Tehran by strengthening the diplomatic track to take advantage of the pressure it has exerted on Tehran through ever-stricter sanctions and threats of military action.
“Much has been accomplished through pressure, but the results have fallen short of expectations in several ways, and unintended consequences pose risks,” according to the report, the latest in a series by The Iran Project and the first to make specific policy reccomendations designed to both defuse persistent tensions over Tehran’s nuclear programme and lay the groundwork for a broader dialogue between the two countries.
Previous reports have focused instead on the costs and benefits of sanctions and military action against Iran.
The pressure track, the new, 84-page report argues, may have weakened Iran’s economy and slowed the expansion of its nuclear programme, but it has not produced any breakthrough nor markedly reduced Tehran’s regional influence.
Moreover, the pressure track may also have hardened Tehran’s resistance to pressure, contributed to a rise in repression in Iran, and compounded sectarian tensions across the volatile Middle East, according to the report.
It was signed by, among other prominent foreign-policy figures, former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski; the former Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Richard Lugar; and one of the most highly decorated diplomats of his generation, former Amb. Thomas Pickering, a core member of The Iran Project.
On Israel’s 65th Independence Day, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee adopted “Senate Resolution 65,” stipulating that the US will assist Israel diplomatically, economically and militarily if the Jewish state is compelled to take military action against Iran “in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sponsored Tuesday’s resolution, which garnered a bipartisan group of 79 co-sponsors. The resolution also emphasizes that the US must be committed to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sent a very clear and enormously important message of solidarity with Israel against the Iranian nuclear threat—which endangers American, Israeli, and international security,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said in a statement.
“AIPAC urges the full Senate to act expeditiously to adopt the resolution.”
Also on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned in an Independence Day speech that the Iranian nuclear program could lead to “an arms race in the Middle East, and cause nuclear weapons to spread to terror organizations.” Ya’alon said the situation with Iran “could be a nightmare for the Western world.”
Ya’alon also emphasized that Iran continues to enrich uranium, which indicates that Iran’s government “is not impressed” by existing sanctions from the West. “The world must lead the campaign against Iran, but Israel must prepare for the possibility that it will have to defend itself with its own powers,” Ya’alon said.
by YIFA YAAKOV
Times of Israel
The Iranian military has test-fired three new missiles of a previously untested type, the country’s Fars news agency reported Saturday.
“Three types of missiles developed by the army and the defense industries have been successfully test-fired in the Ground Force’s recent war games,” Fars quoted Iranian Army Ground Force Lieutenant Gen. Kioumars Heydari as saying.
by Jason Ditz
The Treasury Department has announced new sanctions against a Malaysian Bank and a handful of other businesses, claiming they are involved in a “far-reaching plot” by the Iranian government to sell oil to other people.
The US has sought to prevent Iran from selling oil, except to a handful of nations hand-picked by the Obama Administration to receive waivers, and has sought to limit Iran’s ability to either get paid for that oil or to spend the money buying other things from other nations.
US efforts to keep Iran entirely off of the international banking market has led Iranian companies to return to a gold-based barter system, and even that has been severely restricted by US threats of further sanctions for anyone caught trading gold for oil.
by Paul Joseph Watson
[...] while bellicose threats are being carelessly traded by both sides and eagerly regurgitated by the mainstream media, the question of how exactly North Korea acquired its nuclear capability in the first place has been completely ignored.
Both the Clinton and Bush administrations played a key role in helping the late Kim Jong-Il develop North Korea’s nuclear prowess from the mid 1990′s onwards.
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld presided over a $200 million dollar contract to deliver equipment and services to build two light water reactor stations in North Korea in January 2000 when he was an executive director of ABB (Asea Brown Boveri). Wolfram Eberhardt, a spokesman for ABB confirmed that Rumsfeld was at nearly all the board meetings during his involvement with the company.
Rumsfeld was merely picking up the baton from the Clinton administration, who in 1994 agreed to replace North Korea’s domestically built nuclear reactors with light water nuclear reactors. Clinton policy wonks claimed that light water reactors couldn’t be used to make bombs. Not so according to Henry Sokolski, head of the Non-proliferation Policy Education Center in Washington, who stated, “LWRs could be used to produce dozens of bombs’ worth of weapons-grade plutonium in both North Korea and Iran. This is true of all LWRs — a depressing fact U.S. policymakers have managed to block out.”
“These reactors are like all reactors, they have the potential to make weapons. So you might end up supplying the worst nuclear violator with the means to acquire the very weapons we’re trying to prevent it acquiring,” said Sokolski.
The U.S. State Department claimed that the light water reactors could not be used to produce bomb grade material and yet in 2002 urged Russia to end its nuclear co-operation with Iran for the reason that it didn’t want Iran armed with weapons of mass destruction. At the time, Russia was building light water reactors in Iran. According to the State Department, light water reactors in Iran can produce nuclear material but somehow the same rule doesn’t apply in North Korea.
In April 2002, the Bush administration announced that it would release $95 million of American taxpayer’s dollars to begin construction of the ‘harmless’ light water reactors in North Korea. Bush argued that arming the megalomaniac dictator Kim Jong-Il with the potential to produce a hundred nukes a year was, “vital to the national security interests of the United States.” Bush released even more money for the same purpose in January 2003.
Bush released the funds despite the startling revelation, reported by South Korean newspapers, that a North Korean missile warhead had been found in Alaska.
Construction of the reactors was eventually suspended, but North Korea had an alternative source through which they could obtain the nuclear secrets vital to building an atom bomb arsenal – CIA asset and international arms smuggler AQ Khan.
In 2004, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb program, admitted sharing nuclear technology via a worldwide smuggling network that included facilities in Malaysia which manufactured key parts for centrifuges.
Khan’s collaborator B.S.A. Tahir ran a front company out of Dubai that shipped centrifuge components to North Korea.
Despite Dutch authorities being deeply suspicious of Khan’s activities as far back as 1975, the CIA prevented the Dutch from arresting him on two separate occasions.
“The man was followed for almost ten years and obviously he was a serious problem. But again I was told that the secret services could handle it more effectively,” former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers said. “The Hague did not have the final say in the matter. Washington did.”
Lubbers stated that Khan was allowed to slip in and out of the Netherlands with the blessing of the CIA, eventually allowing him to become the “primary salesman of an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how,” according to George W. Bush himself, and sell nuclear secrets that allowed North Korea to build nuclear bombs.
“Lubbers suspects that Washington allowed Khan’s activities because Pakistan was a key ally in the fight against the Soviets,” reports CFP.
“At the time, the US government funded and armed mujahideen such as Osama bin Laden. They were trained by Pakistani intelligence to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Anwar Iqbal, Washington correspondent for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, told ISN Security Watch that Lubbers’ assertions may be correct. “This was part of a long-term foolish strategy. The US knew Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons but couldn’t care less because it was not going to be used against them. It was a deterrent against India and possibly the Soviets.”
In September 2005 it emerged that the Amsterdam court which sentenced Khan to four years imprisonment in 1983 had lost the legal files pertaining to the case. The court’s vice-president, Judge Anita Leeser, accused the CIA of stealing the files. “Something is not right, we just don’t lose things like that,” she told Dutch news show NOVA. “I find it bewildering that people lose files with a political goal, especially if it is on request of the CIA. It is unheard of.”
In 2005, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged that Khan had provided centrifuges and their designs to North Korea.
Through their policies in aiding North Korea to build light water reactors, and via the CIA asset AQ Khan who was protected at every step of the way while he helped provide North Korea with the means to build a nuclear arsenal, the U.S. government itself was directly complicit in providing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il and now his successor Kim Jong-un with the nuclear weapons that have now caused an international crisis with the Korean peninsula on the brink of war.
Given the documented history of the United States’ role in arming North Korea with the very weapons the reclusive state is now threatening to use against Americans, the constant drumbeat of fearmongering by the US media about North Korea’s intentions is missing a huge part of the story.
by Elad Benari
Israeli National News
President Shimon Peres said that he believes that U.S. President Barack Obama will attack Iran’s nuclear facilities if diplomatic efforts fail.
“I have no doubt that if diplomatic talks fail with Iran and Tehran doesn’t stop accelerating its nuclear development – U.S. President Barack Obama will conduct a military attack against Iran,” Peres told the Israel Hayomnewspaper this week, in an interview ahead of Israel’s 65th Independence Day next week.
“Preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon isn’t only an Israeli interest, but a global and an American interest. As long as the U.S. is in the lead — why shouldn’t we use its assistance?” Peres said.
“It could be that the Iranians are trying to buy time, but they are also losing. The situation in Iran is greatly deteriorating, the economy is collapsing, and the people understand this very well,” said Peres. The full interview with Peres will be published in Israel Hayom on Monday.
The U.S. is blacklisting an Iranian businessman, a Malaysian bank and a string of companies for allegedly attempting to evade economic sanctions against Iran.
The Treasury Department said Thursday that Babak Morteza Zanjani operated a network of front companies to help Iran access oil revenues in violation of U.S. sanctions. The department said the network moved billions of dollars, including tens of millions to a company controlled by Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard force.
The Malaysia-based First Islamic Investment Bank is also being blacklisted.
The White House, at odds with Iran over its nuclear program, offered on Wednesday to help Tehran grapple with a deadly earthquake in southern Iran.
The powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages, Iranian media reported.
Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement the American people extended condolences to the people of Iran for the devastation that resulted from the quake.
by Ahmed Vahdat
Ali Razeghi, a Tehran scientist has registered “The Aryayek Time Traveling Machine” with the state-run Centre for Strategic Inventions.
The device can predict the future in a print out after taking readings from the touch of a user, he told the Fars state newsagency.
Razaeghi, 27, said the device worked by a set of complex algorithims to “predict five to eight years of the future life of any individual, with 98 percent accuracy”.
As the managing director of Iran’s Centre for Strategic Inventions, Razeghi is a serial inventor with 179 other inventions listed under his own name. “I have been working on this project for the last 10 years,” he said.
“My invention easily fits into the size of a personal computer case and can predict details of the next 5-8 years of the life of its users. It will not take you into the future, it will bring the future to you.”
Razeghi says Iran’s government can predict the possibility of a military confrontation with a foreign country, and forecast the fluctuation in the value of foreign currencies and oil prices by using his new invention.