'35 Vital US Posts Are Within Reach of Iran', Iranian Commander

The Trump-ordered murder of Iranian General Soleimani increased the risk of military conflicts in the Strait of Hormuz, the Oman Sea, and the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander Gholamali Abuhamzeh Friday warned that his country will punish the United States anywhere within the reach of the Islamic Republic in retaliation for the murder of General Qassem Soleimani.

RELATED: US Deploys 3,000 Troops to the Middle East as War Concern Grows

Abuhamzeh, who stressed that Tehran has identified vital U.S. goals in the Middle East for a long time, mentioned a series of possible targets for reprisals including the Gulf waterway through which a significant proportion of shipborne oil is exported to global markets.

"About 35 U.S. targets in the region are within our reach and Tel Aviv, which is the heart and life of the United States, is also within reach," he said.

"The Strait of Hormuz is a vital point for the West. A large number of U.S. destroyers and warships crosses the Strait of Hormuz, the Oman Sea, and the Persian Gulf."

@medeabenjamin

The Pentagon says it killed Soleimani to protect Americans. WTF??? Americans, particularly US soldiers in the Middle East, are now sitting ducks. Look at all the US military bases around Iran!!!

General Soleimani was attacked and assassinated on January 2 when vehicles carrying him and other Kataib Hezbollah militia high-ranking officers ​​​were leaving Baghdad airport. The attack was ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani promised that his country and other nations in the region "will avenge the martyrdom of Soleimani."

Supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei​​​​​​​ also affirmed that the criminals who killed the Iranian general await hard revenge.

After announcing three days of national mourning for the death of Soleimani, Khamenei appointed Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani as the new commander of the Quds Force.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif described the U.S. attack as an "act of international terrorism," warning that such an "extremely dangerous" action will have its consequences for the U.S.​

 

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Iranian Leader vows harsh revenge following assassination of General Soleimani

Tehran, January 3 (RHC)-- The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says those who assassinated IRGC Quds Force Commander Major General Qassem Soleimani must await a harsh revenge.

In a statement on Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei said the “cruelest people on earth” assassinated the “honorable” commander who “courageously fought for years against the evils and bandits of the world.”

His demise will not stop his mission, but the criminals who have the blood of General Soleimani and other martyrs of the Thursday night attack on their hands must await a harsh revenge, the Leader added.

“Martyr Soleimani is an international figure of the Resistance, and all the devotees of Resistance are now his avengers,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.  "All the friends and foes must know that the path of Jihad of the Resistance will continue with double motivation, and a definite victory awaits those who fight in this auspicious path."

“The demise of our selfless and dear general is bitter, but the continued fight and achievement of the final victory will make life bitterer for the murderers and criminals,” he added.

In his statement, the Leader also offered condolences to the Iranian nation and General Soleimani’s family, and declared three days of national mourning.

Edited by Ed Newman
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US Presence In Gulf "Only Led To Disasters": Iran Foreign Minister

Tehran, Iran: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that military presence of the United States in the Gulf caused "disasters" and helped foment extremism.

"Some global actors look at disparities and unending rivalries in the region as an opportunity that provide a fertile ground to expand their military presence and to sell more weapons," Zarif made the remarks in Doha, the Xinhua news agency reported.

However, the presence of foreign forces in the region has failed to foster security and "only led to disasters," said Zarif.

In the meantime, Washington's policy of selling more arms to the Gulf countries has led to an arm race in the region, he noted.

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Iran’s Multi-Front War against America and Its Allies

Two days before Thanksgiving, as President Donald Trump was preparing his surprise visit to U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif phoned Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Ziyad al-Nakhalah and met with a delegation from the Taliban. The object of both discussions was to pressure U.S. and its allies: Zarif told the Taliban representatives that Iran wants a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and offered al-Nakhalah Iran’s full support for PIJ’s “valiant resistance” against Israel.

Iran’s decisions to push the Palestinians to fight Israel and to encourage the Taliban are part of a regional policy that seeks to evict the U.S. from the Middle East and stir up trouble for Washington worldwide. This is Tehran’s answer to the “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions that the Trump administration has mounted since pulling the U.S. out of President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Iran fought its multi-front war against the U.S. in multiple ways. In the Persian Gulf, it twice struck at foreign oil tankers over the summer, shot down a high-tech U.S. drone in late June, and launched drone and cruise-missile attacks on key Saudi oil facilities in September. It is also seeking to use its terrorist proxies in the Gaza Strip to provoke Israel into a wider regional war. In the fall of 2018, Israel accused Iran of ordering PIJ to attack from Gaza. The Palestinian terrorist group has thousands of missiles and fighters in Gaza, but is smaller than Hamas. Its leadership lives abroad and keeps in close contact with Iran, which supports it even though it’s made up of Palestinian Sunni Muslims. (In general, Iran tends to work with Shiite groups such as Hezbollah.) Israel was concerned throughout the summer of 2019 that PIJ might be trying to push it into a war in Gaza to distract it from Iran’s efforts to gain a permanent foothold in Syria and supply Hezbollah with precision-guided rockets. In response, Israel struck a PIJ commander on November 12, prompting the group to fire over 400 missiles over the Gaza border.

Evidence for how important the Palestinian group is to Iran comes from two phone calls that Zarif made after the November 12 battles. Iran’s Mehr News reported that Zarif congratulated al-Nakhalah on November 17. Then Zarif called again on November 25. Iran’s message was clear: Keep the pressure on Israel.

At the same time, Iran was also looking 1,900 miles away from the Gaza Strip, to Afghanistan. In the 1990s, Iran and the Taliban were on opposite sides of the war in Afghanistan, to the point where Iran almost invaded the country in 1998. Once the U.S. invaded to dislodge al-Qaeda after 9/11, Iran began to reconsider its antipathy toward the Taliban. The Islamic Republic now hopes to push the U.S. out of Afghanistan by whatever means are necessary and fill the resulting power vacuum. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused Tehran of being behind a May suicide bombing in Kabul. Peace talks with the Taliban and the U.S. broke down in September, and Trump’s Thanksgiving visit notwithstanding, Iran believes the U.S. is leaving Kabul and hopes to hasten the process.

Israel Prepares For War With Iranian Proxies

As Iran works with PIJ and the Taliban, it also seeks to pressure the U.S. in the Gulf, in Iraq, in Syria, and in Lebanon. In Iraq, it hopes its allies in parliament and among various Shiite militias will force the U.S. to withdraw; militia mortar and rocket attacks have hit U.S. bases in the country every month since May. In Syria, Iran-backed militias allied with Bashar al-Assad’s regime are facing U.S. forces across the Euphrates, and would like to grab the oil facilities that the U.S. is currently protecting. In Lebanon, Iran’s proxy Hezbollah wants control over the choice of the country’s next prime minister.

The Iranian regime is facing maximum pressure from the U.S. and suddenly finds itself squeezed at home, too, forced to brutally crack down on massive recent protests against a large gas-price hike. Its response has been to challenge the U.S. and American allies across thousands of miles of terrain from Kabul to Gaza. While it is cornered, it should not be underestimated.

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Cuban team leaves Iran as Greco-Roman World Cup cancelation looms

The 2019 Greco-Roman World Cup was slated to be held on Tehran on Nov. 28-29 but the United World Wrestling announced last Monday that the event has been ‘postponed’ until further notice. The body described security concerns in Iran as the main reason behind this decision.

Meanwhile, the Cuban team had already entered Tehran on Monday and was scheduled to hold a joint camp with the Iranian team before participating in the World Cup. However, a few days after the announcement of UWW’s decision, Iranian teams coach Mohammad Bana shut down the training and sent players back to their homes.

The Iranian wrestling federation said that it has offered evidence of Iran’s safety to UWW, expressing hope that the event would be held in coming days. However, UWW didn’t issue any statement to clarify the situation and only removed the event from its calendar on its website to raise speculations of a total cancellation.

The federation hosted the Cuban team during the past week, even organizing some tours in Tehran for the team to get Cubans acquainted with some tourist sites and the Iranian culture.

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Iran, Cuba to expand scientific, tech cooperation

During his meeting with Cuba’s Ambassador to Tehran, Gholami emphasized the need for closer cooperation in exchange of professors, students, and researchers between the two countries, saying that this kind of partnerships can be beneficial to both parties.

Learning Persian and Spanish languages is a good opportunity for both countries to exchange university students, he added.

The Science and Technology Parks are also among the other areas of cooperation between Iran and Cuba, he noted.

He also expressed hope that Iran and Cuba will expand their cooperation in all fields with the support of the Cuban Ambassador.

Alexis Bandrich Vega, for his part, invited Gholami to visit Cuba to hold talks with the Cuban Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment.

Emphasizing four issues concerning scientific and technological cooperation between Iran and Cuba, he said that learning the Persian language is among the priorities of the Cuban Embassy to develop relations between the two countries.

A course on religious and Islamic education has resumed at the University of Havana, he added, saying that it is hoped that Iran would help the university in developing this course in the field of professor exchange and the necessary information and research.

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Iranian foreign minister says path to rule of law begins as Syria constitutional committee meets

Iran's foreign minister has hailed the first meeting of Syria's constitutional committee in Geneva, describing it as the beginning of a "path to the rule of law" in the Arab country following over eight years of war.

Upon his return to Tehran, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted: "Returned from Geneva where I met with Russian & Turkish FMs, & UN's Geir O. Pedersen, on eve of inauguration of Syria Constitutional Committee." 

Referring to the multilateral talks with his Russian and Turkish counterparts and the UN envoy for Syria in Geneva, he said: "After years of devastating war, path to rule of law begins— thanks to Astana process. Difficult road ahead, but no other alternative."

His comments came a few hours after the opposing sides joined the UN's Pedersen for face to face talks in an attempt to resolve the ongoing crisis in the war-torn Arab country.  The UN-backed peace talks on Syria are now underway in Geneva, as the representatives from the Syrian government and Western-backed opposition came together for the first time.

A total of 150 delegates representing the government, opposition and civil society on Wednesday met at a constitutional committee meeting held inside the Council Chamber of the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland.

The members of the constitutional committee, which took almost two years of consultations to be formed, are tasked with reforming the Arab country's constitution before it is put to the vote of the Syrian people.

The UN hopes this will be a chance to begin formulating tangible agreements between the rival side, but Russia and Iran have warned this is just the beginning of a long and difficult process.

In a joint communiqué released at the end of a separate meeting with Pedersen on Tuesday, Iran, Russia and Turkey stressed that Syria’s long-awaited constitutional committee must work independently and far from any foreign interference in order to draw maximum support from all walks of the Syrian nation.

Addressing the Wednesday meeting with Syrian groups, Pedersen acknowledged the enormously difficult task ahead. "I know it is not easy for all of you to be here together in this room."

"But the fact you are here, face to face, is a powerful sign of hope for all Syrians, everywhere," he added.  The UN envoy said reforming the country's constitution is the first step toward the beginning of a political process that will lead to UN-supervised elections under UN Resolution 2254.

However, he said, the process will have to be Syrian-led and Syrian-owned. "Do not expect me or my team to tell you what to write in your constitution. The future constitution belongs to Syrians, to the Syrian people and them alone."

Edited by Ed Newman
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Rouhani Hails Cuban Nation’s Resistance Against US, Global Arrogance

“Iranian people considers Cuban nation a combatant and resistant nation, as it were not for your resistance, the US exerted dominance not only on Cuba but also Latin America,” President Rouhani said during the meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan, on the sidelines of the 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit on Friday.

He reiterated that Iran and Cuba are paying for their resistance and insistence on independence against the US excessive demands, and said, “They will leave behind the calamities and arrogant powers have no option but to surrender to the Iranian and Cuban nations.”

President Rouhani pointed to Iran-Cuba relations, and said, “Iran and Cuba have always had warm and friendly relations and their stances on regional and global policies were close to each other.”

Cuban president, for his part, said that Havana has always favored warm and cordial relations with Iran.

He also hailed Rouhani's speech during the 18th NAM Summit as extremely firm and straightforward, and said, “Today you (President Rouhani) explained the US excessive policies well”.

Cuba has always condemned the US antagonistic policies against Iran, Diaz-Canel said, adding that the US exit from the JCPOA is denounced by Cuba.

Describing Iran-Cuba ties as historic and strong, he said that the two countries' economic and trade exchanges should increase in all fields.

The 18th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the NAM with the participation of the heads of 60 countries, including President Rouhani, kicked off in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday.

The NAM is a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.

President Rouhani arrived in Baku on Thursday to attend the 18th NAM Summit, President Rouhani was invited to the NAM summit meeting by Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

At the NAM Baku Summit, the Republic of Azerbaijan will take over the chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement for the next 3 years.

  • Published in Cuba
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