Authorities Expecting The Sixth Seal? (Revelation 6:12)

New York Times


JULY 17, 2014

Here is another reason to buy a mega-million-dollar apartment in a Manhattan high-rise: Earthquake forecast maps for New York City that a federal agency issued on Thursday indicate “a slightly lower hazard for tall buildings than previously thought.”

The agency, the United States Geodetic Survey, tempered its latest quake prediction with a big caveat.

Federal seismologists based their projections of a lower hazard for tall buildings — “but still a hazard nonetheless,” they cautioned — on a lower likelihood of slow shaking from an earthquake occurring near the city, the type of shaking that typically causes more damage to taller structures.

“The tall buildings in Manhattan are not where you should be focusing,” said John Armbruster, a seismologist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. “They resonate with long period waves. They are designed and engineered to ride out an earthquake. Where you should really be worried in New York City is the common brownstone and apartment building and buildings that are poorly maintained.”

Mr. Armbruster was not involved in the federal forecast, but was an author of an earlier study that suggested that “a pattern of subtle but active faults makes the risk of earthquakes to the New York City area substantially greater than formerly believed.”

He noted that barely a day goes by without a New York City building’s being declared unsafe, without an earthquake. “If you had 30, 40, 50 at one time, responders would be overloaded,” he said.

The city does have an earthquake building code that went into effect in 1996, and that applies primarily to new construction.

A well-maintained building would probably survive a magnitude 5 earthquake fairly well, he said. The last magnitude 5 earthquake in the city struck in 1884. Another is not necessarily inevitable; faults are more random and move more slowly than they do in, say, California. But he said the latest federal estimate was probably raised because of the magnitude of the Virginia quake.

Mr. Armbruster said the Geodetic Survey forecast would not affect his daily lifestyle. “I live in a wood-frame building with a brick chimney and I’m not alarmed sitting up at night worried about it,” he said. “But society’s leaders need to take some responsibility.”

Paying the Price as the Merchant of Merchants

Fire and smoke billow from the Norwegian owned Front Altair tanker said to have been attacked in the waters of the Gulf of Oman.

Iran’s uranium enrichment has US weighing sanctions ‘snapback’


By DAVID WAINER AND DANIEL FLATLEY | Bloomberg News | Published: July 13, 2019

WASHINGTON (Tribune News Service) — Iran’s decision to ramp up uranium enrichment is prompting debate over whether the U.S. should – or even can – invoke a threat that negotiators built into the 2015 nuclear agreement but hoped would never be used: a “snapback” of international sanctions.

Although President Donald Trump withdrew from the accord last year, the administration is being pressured by some American hard-liners to invoke a mechanism that ultimately would trigger a return to United Nations Security Council sanctions beyond those the U.S. is already imposing unilaterally.

Such a move, if successful, would shred what’s left of European-led efforts to keep the multinational accord alive, and analysts and diplomats say it would be galling coming from the nation that was first to quit the deal.

“Do I think there’s an argument to be made for snapping back? Sure,” said Richard Nephew, who was the lead sanctions expert for the Obama administration team that negotiated the 2015 accord. “Do I think the rest of the council agrees? No. It’s not clear people would stay in their chairs during discussions if we invoked this.”

Nephew, now a senior research scholar at Columbia University, said the snapback was designed to give the U.S. unilateral privileges to restore sanctions through the Security Council. At the time, the provision was a major part of Secretary of State John Kerry’s pitch for Congress to acquiesce to the deal. It’s also something that an “America First” president like Trump would like.

Under the snapback clause, any of the signatories to the Iran accord can cite Iran for violating the accord in a complaint to a dispute resolution committee. The matter eventually could be brought before the Security Council, which could vote on a resolution to keep the previous sanctions from going back into force. But the U.S. could get its way by exercising its veto on the council.

It’s no easy fix: The process could take two months or longer. And in today’s circumstances, other participants in the deal would be likely to argue that the U.S. is no longer allowed to invoke the mechanism.

To get around a dispute over whether the U.S. has standing to initiate the snapback mechanism, American officials are leaning on France and the U.K. to consider exercising it. The Europeans are signaling they’re not at that point yet, but they are using the American threats to put pressure on Iran to restrain itself, according to Western diplomats at the U.N.

A senior European diplomat whose country still supports the accord said any decision to implement the snapback wouldn’t be automatic but predicted that support for it will grow unless Iran’s government changes its behavior.

A trio of hard-line U.S. senators says the White House doesn’t need to wait for the Europeans to start the process.

“Your administration has refrained from invoking the snapback mechanism in United Nations Security Council resolution (U.N.SCR) 2231, which if invoked would restore international restrictions against Iranian uranium enrichment, plutonium-related heavy water work, and ballistic missile development,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton said in a letter to Trump.

The U.N. resolution defines “the United States as a participant for the purpose of invoking the mechanism,” they said. “We urge you to do so.”

Even without the snapback provision, the U.S. has instituted punishing sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports and its broader economy. European nations have been trying to salvage the deal by offering barter provisions that would sidestep the U.S. banking system – with little success so far – even as they warn Iran against continuing to violate the deal’s limits on uranium enrichment.

In a briefing last month, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the U.N., told reporters that his country wants to remain in the accord but that Europe needs to deliver stronger economic incentives, and quickly.

Against that backdrop, tensions between the U.S. and Iran have surged. The Trump administration has blamed Iran in recent weeks for sabotaging oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz and for downing an American drone over international waters. Tehran denies it was behind the tanker attacks and says the drone was shot down over its territory.

A meeting in Vienna on Wednesday foreshadowed just how explosive any efforts for a snapback would be. The U.S. sought a special meeting of nuclear inspectors to increase pressure against Iran. Instead, the Americans drew pushback from Russia, China and Europe, all of whom blame the Trump administration for the crisis.

France, Germany and the U.K. issued a joint statement on the eve of the meeting saying that while they were concerned by Iran’s violations, it’s the job of the remaining participants in the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, to address disputes.

“The EU deeply regrets the U.S. withdrawal and calls on all countries to refrain from taking any actions that impede the implementation of the JCPOA commitments,” it said.

Trump, who has a long history of pushing allies and adversaries toward the edge of conflict, will have to decide if it’s time to test the snapback provision.

“It is certainly a topic of significant ongoing conversation within the administration,” Cruz of Texas said in an interview. “We should invoke those sanctions.”


Wainer reported from New York, Flatley from Washington. Jonathan Tirone, Patrick Donahue and Nick Wadhams contributed to this report.

(c)2019 Bloomberg News
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The Saudi Nuclear Horn Will Follow (Daniel 7)

Iran’s nuclear program seems to be accelerating. Will Saudi Arabia take a similar path? – The Washington Post

Monkey Cage

In a multipolar world, curbing nuclear transfers becomes more difficult.

The Iranian flag waves outside the U.N. building that hosts the International Atomic Energy Agency office in Vienna on Wednesday. (Ronald Zak/AP)

July 12, 2019 at 7:45 AM EDT

Iran announced this week that it has surpassed the uranium-enrichment level allowed under the 2015 nuclear deal. This was Tehran’s response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the deal and subsequent reimposition of harsh sanctions.

While most observers focus on the spiral of U.S. pressure and Iranian defiance, the situation has broader implications for nuclear programs elsewhere — specifically, whether Saudi Arabia could follow in Iran’s footsteps. Riyadh has vowed to match Iran’s nuclear capabilities, including the ability to enrich uranium and acquire nuclear weapons if Tehran gets the bomb. My research, recently published in International Security, explains how Riyadh’s ability to play nuclear suppliers off against one another can increase its chances of securing nuclear technology.

U.S. sanctions against Iran just got tougher. What happens now?

Why is Saudi Arabia eyeing this capability?

Saudi Arabia considers Iran a mortal foe. The suspicion that Iran is building a bomb exacerbates the Saudis’ sense of threat. Tehran’s most recent moves will likely heighten that fear — and push Riyadh to accelerate the development of its nuclear program. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman warned, “Without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

For now, Saudi Arabia is focused on becoming what scholars call a nuclear “hedger” — a country without a dedicated nuclear weapons program that can weaponize relatively quickly, thanks to an advanced enrichment and reprocessing (ENR) capability. Iran has already achieved this status.

Hedging stems from the fact that the military and civilian uses of the atom are not completely separable. ENR facilities can fuel nuclear reactors and/or they can produce fissile material for a bomb. Hedging also allows countries to avoid the costs of a nuclear program, including international sanctions, as Iran knows only too well.

Won’t the great powers step in?

Wouldn’t the United States and other countries interested in stopping proliferation block Riyadh’s access to sensitive nuclear transfers, such as enrichment technology? It’s possible Saudi Arabia will be unable to acquire or develop the wherewithal for a nuclear weapon. But the nuclear market is changing in ways that facilitate proliferation.

There’s been a shift from a unipolar world, with the United States as the dominant power, to a world of several great powers, or multipolarity. Since 1975, the key instrument for curbing nuclear transfers has been the supplier cartel — the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), created by the United States in cooperation with the Soviets. The NSG forced suppliers to act in unison and incorporate the same guidelines into their individual nuclear export policies, restricting the sale of ENR and thus stemming proliferation.

Here’s the catch: The NSG’s ability to regulate supplier behavior depends on how many great powers are in the system and whether they agree to work together to limit proliferation. The emerging multipolar world and the growing rivalry among the United States, Russia and China is likely to weaken the NSG’s effectiveness. This could crack open the door to renewed supplier competition and broader access to sensitive nuclear technologies. And this lets countries interested in acquiring nuclear transfers, such as Saudi Arabia, pit suppliers against each other and secure better products, lower prices and more advantageous terms of use.

The Trump administration wants to sell nuclear technology to the Saudis — without a nuclear agreement. That’s alarming.

As Matthew Fuhrmann explained here in the Monkey Cage, there remains debate over whether peaceful nuclear technology transfers lead to proliferation — but the risk of proliferation is high in the Saudi case.

Saudi Arabia has set its nuclear procurement train in motion

After failing to secure nuclear technology in the 1970s, Riyadh turned to the global market with renewed vigor in the mid-2000s — in both cases presumably because of a perceived Iranian nuclear threat. Recent efforts to exploit supplier competition seem to have paid off: In 2015, Saudi Arabia acquired a research reactor from Argentina, a steppingstone toward achieving the full nuclear fuel cycle capability.

Saudi authorities have also expressed an interest in nuclear power reactors and an enrichment plant. Reactors alone are not enough to build a nuclear weapon, but can provide cover for a nuclear weapons program or for hedging: Countries can claim they need ENR technology to fuel their research or power reactors, but instead use it to produce fissile material for a bomb.

Moving forward, Saudi Arabia can play several suppliers against one another to secure nuclear transfers. Countries such as France and South Korea have expressed an interest in selling nuclear technology to Riyadh for almost a decade. And Saudi Arabia has excellent relations with Pakistan, whose nuclear weapons program Riyadh allegedly helped finance in the 1970s. Fearing that other suppliers will get Saudi Arabia’s nuclear contracts, the United States, Russia and China have also begun courting Riyadh.

President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran deal. Here’s what you need to know.

There are few good options for dealing with Saudi Arabia’s nuclear procurement plans

Some analysts argue that the United States should transfer nuclear technology to the Saudis on the condition they adopt the “gold standard,” which would require the Saudi regime to forfeit its right to enrich or reprocess. The problem here is that other countries could make more lenient counteroffers.

Recognizing this issue, others propose that Washington should supply Saudi Arabia nuclear technology without the “gold standard” constraints, thus keeping a foot in the door and hopefully becoming well-positioned to limit Riyadh’s nuclear pursuits. But even this approach may prove too restricting for the Saudis. If Saudi Arabia concludes that the United States is encroaching on its nuclear ambitions, it can turn to other suppliers for more advantageous terms.

The Trump administration has embraced a more permissive nuclear transfers policy toward Saudi Arabia than the “no gold standard” approach — and has signaled its willingness to approve such transfers without congressional approval. As Fuhrmann explained, such an approach is particularly dangerous for containing the bomb.

The problem for those hoping to stop the further spread of nuclear weapons is that it’s hard to get the great powers to cooperate. Instead, the United States, Russia and China are developing their own unilateral policies on Saudi Arabia. With the 2015 nuclear deal unraveling and Iran accelerating its enrichment efforts, the future does not bode well for stopping Riyadh from going down the same path as Tehran.

Eliza Gheorghe is a visiting fellow at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) at the University of Hamburg and assistant professor of international relations at Bilkent University. You can follow her at @gheorghe_eliza.

India’s Nuclear Threat to Pakistan

India’s Hypersonic Missiles Are a Major Threat to Pakistan

“Sources said that while the missile on which the platform was mounted successfully took off from the range, the test could not be completed to demonstrate the vehicle at hypersonic speed as the Agni 1 did not reach the desired altitude for the test. Scientists are looking at the technical reasons behind this and are studying all available data.”

India’s test of a hypersonic missile signifies more than the advance of Indian weapons technology.

It also is one step closer to triggering a nuclear war with Pakistan.

Ironically, the first launch of the Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle, or HSTDV, was a failure. The HSTDV, which is shaped almost like a sailing ship, is supposed to be a testbed for developing future hypersonic weapons such as cruise missiles. It is launched atop an Agni 1, an Indian ballistic missile.

(This first appeared in June 2019.)

“The vehicle was test launched using the Agni 1 missile platform that was to take it up to a predetermined altitude where scramjet technology—the ability to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 6 while using atmospheric oxygen as oxidizer—had to be validated with separation of the platform and a short flight at high altitude,” according to India’s Economic Times.

“Sources said that while the missile on which the platform was mounted successfully took off from the range, the test could not be completed to demonstrate the vehicle at hypersonic speed as the Agni 1 did not reach the desired altitude for the test. Scientists are looking at the technical reasons behind this and are studying all available data.”

While that doesn’t necessarily mean the HSTDV has a problem, it’s not good news for India’s strategic nuclear deterrent. “The Agni 1 is a nuclear-capable missile that is in service with the strategic forces and has been successfully tested several times in the past,” noted the Economic Times. “Its failure to reach the desired altitude is a reason for concern and is being studied.”

Yet unproven or not, the existence of an Indian hypersonic project is an ominous step for India’s cold war with its neighbor Pakistan. Hypersonic missiles—defined as rockets with a velocity of at least Mach 5, though Russia and America are developing Mach 20 weapons—are dangerous because of their speed. Though the weapons have yet to be tested in combat, the U.S. military is concerned that Russian and Chinese hypersonic weapons may travel so fast that they can’t be intercepted. At the tactical level, this means that aircraft carriers and air bases could be destroyed by a salvo of missiles.

But on the strategic level, hypersonic weapons are truly frightening. A hypersonic missile can deliver a nuclear warhead more quickly than a ballistic missile. Or, a hypersonic missile armed with a conventional warhead might be able to destroy an opponent’s nuclear missiles in a first strike, but without the attacker having to resort to nuclear weapons.

Whether or not such a strike would be successful, or whether anyone would be confident enough to risk a nuclear exchange by using hypersonics, isn’t the point. Unlike the United States versus Russia and China, whose homelands are separated by thousands of miles of ocean, the distance between New Delhi and Islamabad is just over 400 miles. A Mach 5 or 10 weapon missile launched from India or Pakistan could hit its target in minutes (Russia’s Avangard hypersonic glider reportedly has a speed of Mach 20, with the United States working on a weapon equally as fast).

Knowing that India has hypersonic weapons could make Pakistan feel trapped in a “use them or lose them” mindset regarding its nuclear weapons.

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: Wikimedia

Why Iran is Nuking Up (Daniel 8:4)

What’s the Half-Life of Iran’s Nuclear Provocation?

Against the wishes of Europe, Israel and the United States, Iran’s leaders have decided to resume their nuclear weapons program.

What’s the Big Rush?

For some reason, the Iranians are in a great big hurry to develop nuclear weapons—or start a war with the United States and/or Israel. Or perhaps both in one sequence or another.

But why?

Protect yourself against fake news. Get real news directly to your phone. Download The Epoch Times app here.

Yes, the sanctions are hurting Iran economically, but the Iranian economy has been underwater for decades. Besides, even with the Trump administration backing out of the Iranian nuclear deal signed under Barack Obama and applying new trade sanctions against Iran, the Europeans have been going around the sanctions to trade with the Iranians. Their view is that by helping Iran economically, it would lose interest in enriching uranium.

However, with the Iranians resuming their enrichment efforts, the Europeans are forced with a stark choice: trade with Iran or trade with the United States. That choice is clear. European companies are fleeing Iran, adding to the endemic economic misery of its people.

What, precisely, does the Iranian leadership hope to achieve with this move?

In Dictatorships, Power Trumps Economics

It’s certainly against Iran’s economic interests to violate the uranium enrichment threshold of the agreement, but so what? Power trumps economics. National financial benefits are of secondary importance to dictatorships. Dictatorships exist to benefit the dictators and their cohorts, not the people beneath their boot heels.

This simple maxim has been proven time and time again the past century, from the Soviet Union to Cuba, from Communist China to North Korea and various other tin pot dictatorships around the world. And yet, the West, especially the left, continues to think that money can divorce dictators from their nature and dissuade them from aggression. But in fact, it does just opposite. Barack Obama’s illegal transfer of hundreds of millions in pallets of bribe money to the Iranians to accept the 2015 agreement proved that point once again.

Did the Iranians use the money for economic development? Of course not. It was used to fund more terrorism and proxy wars Israel in Syria and Gaza and against Saudi Arabia via Yemen.

Who Is Iran Afraid Of?

What’s the rationale for Iran to resume its provocative nuclear weapons program? Do they fear being attacked by the United States? Probably not. Even at the height of the U.S. military presence in neighboring Iraq, no U.S. invasion of Iran occurred. In fact, the U.S. removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq eliminated Iran’s biggest regional threat.

Are they afraid of an unprovoked ground assault by Israel? Not likely. Israel doesn’t have that capacity and geography also points against such a scenario. What’s more, Israel simply has no desire to go to war with Iran or anybody else. Their history of working with Islamic states such as Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia among others, demonstrates this.

What about Saudi Arabia?

Iran is backing the Yemeni Houthi war against United States and Israel-ally Saudi Arabia. Does Iran expect the Saudis to retaliate by striking Iran? Again, not likely. Sunni Saudi Arabia fears Iran and its radical Shiite brand of Islam. The last thing they want to do is enrage Shiite passions in the region.

Oppressors Fear the Oppressed

No, the greatest fear of the Iranian leadership is their fellow Iranians. As is usually the case, it’s the young, rebellious generation posing the greatest threat to authority. It’s no different in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The people are fed up with living in the 7th century.

What’s more, the threat against the Islamic-fascist regime is not only real, it encompasses workers, women, and people from all parts of Iranian society. In 2018, Iran was rocked by a major nationwide uprising against the ruling class. Social tensions remain high in light of the police brutality against women who refuse to wear the veil. And the movement against the regime is growing.

The Dictators’ Guide to Economic Ruin

Again, as is typical amongst dictators of every stripe, the Iranian leadership knows that it can’t deliver bread or jobs to the country. Especially under heavy economic sanctions preventing Iranian oil from being sold on the open market. Iran’s economy production is cratering and inflation runs at around 40 percent.

Nor, with the exception of its nuclear sector, can it boast of Iranian industry outperforming others, of for that matter, performing at all. Dictatorship can only survive on corruption, which means stealing the wealth from productive sectors to pay for support. Unfortunately, it eventually tends to bankrupt formerly healthy enterprises.

Furthermore, America is now the top oil producer in the world keeping oil prices low. This poses a long-term threat against the Iranian economy. And as Israeli oil production ramps up, global supplies will rise, further suppressing prices.

What’s an Islamic dictatorship to do?

War on the Horizon?

What’s left to placate the angry masses and remain in power? Why, a war, of course. A war against “the two greatest enemies” of Iran: The United States and Israel.

This looks to be their plan. Iranian state media has produced videos simulating an attack on Israel with matching rhetoric from Iranian military leaders. It’s a war they’ve been talking about for 40 years.

How to start it? Attack an oil tanker or two. If that doesn’t rile The Great Satan, shoot down a drone.

If that fails, resume enriching uranium in order to become a nuclear-armed power. An “Iranium Revolution” would most certainly do the trick and bring about a pre-emptive strike against Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has stated publicly that Israel will not allow Iran to develop or have nuclear weapons. President Trump has said the same.

The question is, if Iran continues down its current path, how big of a war will it invite upon itself? Who else will come to the party? Taking out Iran’s underground nuclear projects will take more than a few bombings. It will require a significant commitment of military assets, even ground troops, to do so.

Will this happen? It’s looking more likely today than it did yesterday. But we’re not there yet.

Is there a silver lining? Yes, the Iranian people prevent an unnecessary war by removing the bad actors in their own country.

James Gorrie is a writer based in Texas. He is the author of “The China Crisis.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

40 Palestinians Wounded Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

40 Palestinians wounded in clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza

Palestinian medics and protesters carry a wounded man during clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, east of southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, July 12, 2019. At least 40 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)

GAZA, July 12 (Xinhua) — At least 40 Palestinians were injured, including 22 with live ammunition, on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said.

Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, told Xinhua that at least 40 Palestinian demonstrators were injured, including 22 shot by Israeli soldiers’ gunfire, one of whom was a child that was seriously injured in the abdomen.

The clashes broke out when hundreds of Gaza demonstrators joined the weekly protests and rallies, better known as the Great March of Return, in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel.

Earlier on Friday, the Highest Commission of the Marches called on the Gaza Strip populations to join the 66th week of marches which started in March last year to reject all the plans that aim at liquidating the Palestinian cause.

The March of Return calls on Israel to end a tight blockade that had been imposed on the Gaza Strip since Hamas movement violently seized control of the coastal enclave in 2007.

Meanwhile, a senior Egyptian security intelligence delegation arrived in the Gaza Strip earlier on Friday from the West Bank to hold talks with Hamas leaders on empowering a calm understanding that had been reached between Hamas and Israel and was brokered by Egypt.

It is the first visit of the delegation in two months.

Palestinian sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that the Egyptian security delegation came to defuse tension between Israel and Hamas after a Hamas militant was killed in northern Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Palestinians run to take cover from tear gas canisters fired by Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, July 12, 2019. At least 40 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, July 12, 2019. At least 40 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Str/Xinhua)

Palestinian protesters carry a wounded man during clashes with Israeli troops on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, July 12, 2019. At least 40 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Str/Xinhua)

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli troops during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border, east of Gaza City, July 12, 2019. At least 40 Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in eastern Gaza Strip, close to the border with Israel, medics said. (Str/Xinhua)

Military Threats against Iran NEVER Work

Military Threats against Iran Don’t Work: Ex-IRGC Commander

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) highlighted Iran’s major advances in the defense sector and said military threats against the country are not effective anymore.

Tasnim News Agency

“The fruit of the power we have today thanks to the blood of martyrs and the people’s efforts has led us to have a good indigenous development in the field of security and defense,” Major General Jafari, who is also the head of Hazrat Baqiatollah al-Azam Cultural and Social Headquarters, said in a speech on Saturday.

He further referred to a recent move by the IRGC forces to shoot down an advanced US spy drone and said the move as well as the high-precision missiles that Iran has show the grandeur of the country’s military achievements.

The enemy is witnessing the Islamic Republic’s grandeur and keeps silent so that it will not lose the game, the commander added.

In the fifth decade after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the nature of anti-Iran threats has changed, he said, adding that security and military threats do not work any longer because the enemy knows that making a mistake will end in disgrace. 

The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.

The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.

Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”

“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.

However, on June 24 Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).