Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Iran. Show all posts

May 11, 2020

Iranian Missile Hits Their Own Naval Vessel Killing At Least 1 to 40 Sailors

Iran's Jamaran frigate (Wikimedia commons)
Iran's Jamaran frigate (Wikimedia commons)
Reports are one-forty sailors killed. Yu can see the fire still burning on portside and deck of the ship

DUBAI (Reuters)

An Iranian missile struck a support ship in a friendly-fire incident, killing at least one Iranian sailor and wounding several others during a naval exercise in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian media reported on Monday.

The Gulf of Oman is a particularly sensitive waterway as it connects to the Strait of Hormuz - through which about a fifth of the world’s oil passes.

During the exercise, the Konarak support ship had remained “too close” after releasing a target, and was hit by a missile launched from another Iranian vessel, state broadcaster IRIB said.

“Iran’s Moudge-class frigate Jamaran accidentally hit the Konarak ship with a missile during the exercise, in which at least one person was killed and 16 people were wounded,” Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

Iran’s armed forces regularly hold exercises in the region.

“The incident took place in the perimeter of Iran’s southern Jask port on the Gulf of Oman during Iranian Navy drills on Sunday,” state TV said, quoting the Iranian navy.

The Konarak support ship is a domestically made missile-launching warship commissioned in 2018, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

“The circumstances of the incident are currently undergoing technical examinations,” Iran’s Students News Agency ISNA said.

The incident took place at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and the United States. 

Tensions between arch foes have spiked since 2018, when the United States withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between major powers and Iran, and Washington re-imposed sanctions on Tehran, crippling its economy.

Animosity between the two sides deepened in early January when a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani. Iran retaliated on Jan. 9 by firing missiles at bases in Iraq where U.S. troops were stationed.

February 13, 2020

Trump Asks For Help with Iran From Allies He knocks and Gets~A Loud Silence~


By David Gilbert/Vise

President Donald Trump has spent the last three years alienating allies in Europe and undermining the decades-old relationship with NATO. Now he needs their help.
Trump on Wednesday appealed to the leaders of Germany, France, and the U.K. to help resolve the crisis in Iran by abandoning the nuclear deal and join his campaign of “maximum pressure.”
While NATO has pledged to do more, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have ignored Trump's demands, while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson chose to phone Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday morning, reaffirming the U.K.’s support for the Iran nuclear deal. None of this should shock anyone given how the relationship between Washington and its allies across the Atlantic has deteriorated during Trump’s presidency. Iran has been central to this breakdown since Trump unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in May 2018 over the objections of France, Germany, and the U.K. 
But as Trump threatens even more sanctions and Iran says it's abandoning all restrictions on uranium enrichment, Europe is caught in the middle.
“If the Europeans walk out, they will commit the same mistake Trump did, which is to lose the ability to go forward with snap-back sanctions and at the same time give the Iranians the license to completely shred any of the restrictions that they have on the nuclear program,” Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, a Washington-based think tank, told VICE News. 
But Europe’s reticence to kowtow to Trump’s desires is nothing new.
In August of last year when Trump and the U.S. went looking for support from Europe for a plan to bolster security in the Persian Gulf by providing patrols to ships passing through the Strait of Hormuz, the requests were met with silence and, in Berlin, with a blunt “no.”
Trump also didn’t bother to warn the Europeans about the deadly drone strike last week that could have sparked an all-out war.
 “There is deep frustration on all sides,” Sanam Vakil, an Iran expert at London-based think tank Chatham House, told VICE News. “Case in point is that Trump didn’t confer or even alert Europe about the killing of [top Iranian General Qassem] Soleimani.”
On Wednesday, as Trump was making his demands in a televised address, Boris Johnson was speaking in the House of Commons reiterating his commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
“It is our view that the JCPOA remains the best way of preventing nuclear proliferation in Iran, the best way of encouraging the Iranians not to develop a nuclear weapon,” Johnson told Parliament.
“We think that after this crisis has abated, which of course we sincerely hope it will, that way forward will remain,” Johnson added. “It is a shell that has currently been voided, but it remains a shell into which we can put substance again.”
Even an in-person appeal by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo didn’t work. 
In a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, Pompeo failed to convince Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, with the U.K. lawmaker once again reiterating the U.K.’s commitment to the JCPOAin a BBC interview. 
The offices of Macron, Merkel, and Johnson did not respond when VICE News asked whether they would meet Trump’s demand to withdraw from the nuclear pact. However, the trio made their desire to see the 2015 pact endure in a statement published earlier this week, calling on Tehran to “withdraw all measures that are not in line with the nuclear agreement.”
That statement was published in response to Iran’s announcement that it was removing all limits on uranium enrichment after the U.S. assassination of Soleimani, one of Iran's most powerful leaders.
However, Iran left the door open for a possible return to the nuclear deal if crippling economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. were lifted.
But rather than offering an olive branch on Wednesday, Trump doubled down, saying his administration would impose fresh “powerful sanctions” on Iran — without giving any specifics on what that might look like.
Under the terms of the JCPOA, all signatories are required to ensure that trading relationships with Iran remain normal as long as Iran abides by the terms of the nuclear deal. 
Since the U.S. withdrawal, Iran has broken the terms of the pact on several occasions, but European countries have also failed to live up to their end of the bargain, preferring instead to implement Trump’s sanctions over fears of losing access to the U.S. market.
European countries are therefore doing a balancing act: trying to keep Tehran within the JCPOA while trying not to anger Trump and losing access to the lucrative U.S. market. 
Trump may be hoping that the desire to maintain trading relations with the U.S. will be enough to make Europe act even if doesn't want to.
“With the JCPOA being in shambles, Trump is calculating that Europe will eventually be forced to trigger the dispute resolution mechanism — a process that even if dragged out will result in the return of snapback sanctions and the further isolation of Iran,” Vakil said.

January 8, 2020

Trump Will Target Cultural Sites Which is Illegal But Did That Stop Him Before?

Image result for iranian cultural sites
 Iran which was Persia{The Nasir al Molk Mosque or Pink Mosque in Shiraz, Iran. Photo: cescassawin/Getty Images}

Iran's cultural heritage is suddenly a topic of urgent global interest after President Trump threatened to strike such sites if the country retaliates for the United States' killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.
In a series of tweets Saturday evening, Trump wrote that "if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets," the U.S. has targeted 52 Iranian sites — "some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD." 
Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, tweeted that targeting Iranian cultural sites would be a war crime. On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper indicated that U.S. forces wouldn't carry out Trump's threat, saying, "We will follow the laws of armed conflict."
On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had appeared to walk back Trump's statements on ABC's This Week. "We'll behave lawfully. We'll behave inside the system. We always have, and we always will," he said on Sunday morning.
Nonetheless, Trump doubled down on his threat. "They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people," he told reporters on Sunday evening. "And we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn't work that way."
The targeting of cultural properties by the U.S. is indeed not allowed. The U.S. is a signatory to the 1954 Hague Convention, which requires "refraining from any act of hostility" directed against cultural property. 
The convention covers "movable or immovable property of great importance to the cultural heritage of every people, such as monuments of architecture, art or history, whether religious or secular; archaeological sites; groups of buildings which, as a whole, are of historical or artistic interest; works of art; manuscripts, books and other objects of artistic, historical or archaeological interest; as well as scientific collections and important collections of books or archives or of reproductions of the property defined above," as well as buildings and centers whose main purpose is to house such items. 
It also bars using a cultural site "for purposes which are likely to expose it to destruction or damage in the event of armed conflict." That means signatory nations can't use such sites to house soldiers or weapons with the goal of shielding them from attack.
The convention permits immunity in "exceptional cases of unavoidable military necessity."
U.S. military policy agrees. The Department of Defense's Law of War manual mentions cultural property 625 times, repeatedly citing the Hague Convention. It also addresses the subject of military necessity: "Acts of hostility may be directed against cultural property, its immediate surroundings, or appliances in use for its protection when military necessity imperatively requires such acts."
Accordingly, the U.S. military educates its soldiers about their responsibilities not to target or destroy cultural property, and to help in its preservation, says Nancy Wilkie, president of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield. The organization is dedicated to the prevention of destruction and theft of cultural heritage.
The Pentagon has even distributed playing cards with photos of cultural sites in Afghanistan and elsewhere to remind troops to safeguard heritage sites and artifacts.
"Cultural sites and cultural objects that can provide sort of a baseline for recovering from strife, whether it's a civil war or war against an external agent," says Wilkie, an archaeologist and the former president of the Archaeological Institute of America. "And so one way to demoralize the population is to destroy its cultural heritage."
As World War II was underway in 1943, then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower issued an order to his commanders demanding the protection of historical monuments: The Hague Convention was developed after the war brought the destruction of important cultural sites such as the monastery at Monte Cassino, founded in 529 and bombed by the Allies in 1944.
The Department of Defense's Law of War manual quotes from Eisenhower's order and repeats some of its language in its current policy.  
To aid the U.S. military in its obligations not to destroy important cultural heritage sites, the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield has previously provided "no-strike lists" of such sites in countries including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.
The organization has not been able to compile such a list for Iran because it has been difficult for scholars to work there. "Iran is huge," Wilkie says, estimating that such a list would include 5,000 to 10,000 sites.
UNESCO has 22 cultural sites in Iran on its World Heritage list, from the ancient ruins of Persepolis to the historic bazaar complex in Tabriz.
Wilkie hopes that the U.S. military will stand by its policy to protect cultural sites, despite Trump's threats. Such places are important to local people as sites of honor or worship, she says, while others have worldwide significance.
"Culture is what we have," she says. "It reminds us of our past, and it unites us in our desire to preserve our sensibilities and sensitivities to cultural differences, and yet — to the fact that we're all human and we all share human values."
NPR's Jackie Northam contributed to this story.

November 21, 2019

Bullets and More in Iran Protests Because of Increase of Petro.

Protesters in demonstrations in Ariashahr, Tehran on November 15, 2019. Photo by GTVM92, own work CC BY-SA 4.0

Protests have erupted across oil-rich Iran since the government announced, at midnight on November 15, a sharp increase in petrol prices. The announcement came as the country finds itself in a dire economic situation due to crippling US sanctions, corruption and the mismanagement of financial institutions. The government said the price increase is aimed at raising revenue to fund cash handouts for Iran's poorest citizens.
The state has reacted to the protests with brutal and deadly force, and by shutting down the internet, but has so far failed to curb them.  Slogans have tended to be more political than economic, with protesters chanting against Islamic Republic leaders, foreign policy and in some cases expressing support of the Pahlavi dynasty.
Amnesty International has condemned the state crackdown.

We're horrified at reports that dozens of protesters have been killed in , hundreds injured & over 1000 arrested since Friday. We're alarmed that authorities have shut down the internet to create an information blackout of their brutal crackdown. We're investigating.

1,901 people are talking about this
Iran’s government has begun rushing out promised direct payments to millions of Iranians, a sign that the regime is alarmed at the scale of protests, during which protesters have torched banks, religious schools, military bases, and government offices.

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