Former U.S. ambassador says Iranian resistance group is ‘well organized’ and competent-
“For over 40 years, Iranian people and the civilized world have in one way or another struggled with destructive policies and actions of the clerical regime in Tehran. Also for 40 years, the Iranian regime had driven a skewed narrative on this important topic – adversely affecting the lives of the Iranian people and to some extent, international policymaking. A video miniseries – developed and produced by The Hill dissects and explain the relevant developments. We invite you to review the fifth segment of this video series. “
US moves to strengthen forces in Middle East to counter Iran
The Associated Press, May 24, 2019
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will send hundreds of additional troops and a dozen fighter jets to the Middle East in the coming weeks to counter what the Pentagon said is an escalating campaign by Iran to plan attacks against the U.S. and its interests in the region. And for the first time, Pentagon officials on Friday publicly blamed Iran and its proxies for recent tanker bombings near United Arab Emirates and a rocket attack in Iraq.
President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the 1,500 troops would have a “mostly protective” role as part of a build-up that began this month in response to what the U.S said was a threat from Iran.
The announcement caps three weeks of elevated tensions with Iran, as the administration hurled accusations of an imminent attack and abruptly deployed Navy warships to the region. The moves alarmed members of Congress, who demanded proof and details, amid fears the U.S. was lurching toward open conflict with Iran.
Adding to the uncertainty, Trump alternated between tough talk toward Iran and a more conciliatory message, insisting he is open to negotiations with the Islamic Republic.
Tensions Grow Between Russia, Iran in Syria
VOA, May 27, 2019
Russian military police last week reportedly carried out a raid against Iranian-backed militiamen stationed at Syria’s Aleppo international airport, local media reported.
In the aftermath, several Iranian militia leaders were arrested in what was seen as the latest episode of tensions between Iranian and Russian forces in Syria.Since the beginning of Syria’s civil war in 2011, Russia and Iran have built a strong military presence in the country in support of forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Iran has since deployed thousands of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and allied Shiite militias to Syria, while Russia officially entered the Syrian conflict in September 2015 to help Assad’s regime. But as the war is waning, with Syrian regime forces reclaiming most of the territory once controlled by rebel forces, Russia and Iran seem to be vying for influence in the war-torn country.
Iran protests & more
Iran Regime Closes Assyrian Presbyterian Church in Tabriz
NCRI, May 27, 2019
The Assyrian Christian community in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz has been left it a state of shock, after the Presbyterian church was forcibly closed earlier this month.
The Iranian regime’s intelligence agents stormed the 100-year-old church, which is a National Heritage site, on May 9, changed all the locks, tore down the cross from the church tower, and ordered the church warden to leave, the Assyrian International News Agency reported.
They made it clear that the Assyrian people are no longer allowed to hold any worship service there, the May 23 report said.
A source said church members had been fearful since just a few days after Christmas, when pastors from other churches were prevented from visiting the Tabriz church for a joint worship service with other Assyrian and Armenian Christians.
Then on May 9 “a large number” of agents from the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and EIKO, an organization under the direct control of the regime’s Supreme Leader, “entered our church compound and changed all the locks on the doors, removed the cross from the church’s high tower, installed some monitoring instruments and started to threaten and force our custodian to leave his place inside the compound immediately.”
Iranian violence, threats don’t deter EU’s appeasers
By Struan Stevenson, UPI , May 22, 2019
May 22 (UPI) — As America relentlessly turns the screw on Iran, the theocratic dictatorship continues to lash out in predictable ways.
It has mobilized its Ministry of Intelligence & Security agents to track down and eliminate opponents of the regime. Posing as diplomats, these Iranian spies and assassins have launched a series of attacks across Europe and North America. In late June last year, German police arrested Assadollah Assadi, a diplomat from the Iranian Embassy in Vienna. Three would-be Iranian bombers told the police that Assadi had given them the bomb and instructed them to detonate it at a major Iranian opposition of the political coalition NCRI rally near Paris, attended by over 100,000 anti-regime Iranians and by prominent politicians like Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich and Bill Richardson. Assadi and the three bombers were charged with acts of terrorism and are in prison awaiting trial.
Subsequently, similar action was taken against Iranian terrorist plots in the United States, Denmark, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and several other European nations, who are now imposing their own sanctions on the Iranian regime and blacklisting some of its agents.
Iran: Police Stormed YOGA Class and Arrested 30 Men and Women for Their Outfits
Iran Focus, May 26, 2019
London, 26 May – A group of 30 men and women were arrested for taking part in a private yoga class in city of Gorgan, north of Iran.
The city’s police force said men and women were wearing inappropriate clothes!
Mixed sports are illegal in Iran while yoga is allowed so long as classes are single-sex and the teacher is licensed.
Iranian police have arrested 30 people for taking part in a private yoga class in the city of Gorgan, in the north of the country, according to an official news agency.
The group of men and women were stopped for wearing inappropriate clothes, the Young Journalists Club said.
A member of Golestan Province’s Crime Prevention Unit was reported as saying that the yoga teacher was among the arrested, and had been referred to the regional prosecutor.
It is claimed the man teaching the class had advertised it on social media and that he did not have a license to teach.
Justice department official Massoud Soleimani told Arab News they were arrested for wearing ‘inappropriate outfits’ and had ‘behaved inappropriately’.
He also revealed that the residence where the arrests took place has been monitored for some time beforehand.
Countering Iran’s Global Terrorism
Written by: OIAC
Remarks By: Nathan A. Sales
Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counter terrorism
November 13, 2018
Thanks for that warm introduction and for hosting me here. It’s a real pleasure to participate in the Washington Institute’s Counter terrorism Lecture Series. A number of my predecessors from the CT Bureau have had the privilege of speaking at this lectern, and I’m honored to be here to keep the streak alive.
Today, I’m going to highlight the United States’ concerns about ongoing terrorism by the Iranian regime and its proxies around the world. Then I’ll tell you what the Trump Administration is doing to counter this global and growing threat. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Period. It has held that dubious distinction for many years now and shows no sign of relinquishing the title.
To the contrary, the regime in Tehran continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars every year to terrorists across the world. It does this, despite ongoing economic turmoil that’s impoverishing many of its people. The beneficiaries of this misbegotten largesse range from Hizballah in Lebanon, to Hamas in Gaza, to violent rejectionist groups in the West Bank, to the Houthis in Yemen, to hostile militias in Iraq and Syria.
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