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Iran is “closer than ever” to the bomb, and completing it would be “easier than putting in a contact lens,” a senior Iranian official was quoted saying on Thursday.

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The claim by Hassan Karimpour, an adviser to Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, was reported Thursday in Iranian media, and quoted on the BBC’s Persian language website and Israel’sHebrew-language Channel 2 TV.

Finishing a nuclear bomb would be “easy to do, as soon as the spiritual ban on nuclear weapons were lifted,” Channel 2 quoted Karimpour as saying.

The Iranian regime has repeatedly vowed that it is not seeking a nuclear weapon, and spiritual leader Ali Khamenei has issued fatwas forbidding nuclear weapons.

According to Fars news, Karimpour also said Iran has 14 missile depots, buried between 30 and 500 meters underground, equipped with automatic launchers, and that any country that dared to attack Iran would be riddled with large numbers of missiles fired from these depots.


A worker rides a bicycle in front of the reactor building of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, just outside the southern city of Bushehr, Iran, on October 26, 2010. (AP/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour, File)

Israel and others in the West believe Iran has been pursuing a rogue nuclear weapons program, however, and the US-led P5+1 world powers signed a deal with Iran in July intended to curb the program, in exchange for sanctions relief. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the deal as a “historic mistake” that would pave Iran’s path to the bomb, and challenged US President Barack Obama’s handling of the issue in a speech to Congress in March.


In this Feb. 2007 file photo, an Iranian technician walks through the Uranium Conversion Facility just outside the city of Isfahan, south of the capital Tehran, Iran. (photo credit: AP/Vahid Salemi)

A former Iranian president reportedly admitted last month that the country’s nuclear program was started with the intent of building a nuclear weapon. The reportedcomments by Hashemi Rafsanjani to the state-run IRNA news agency marked the first time a top Iranian official — current or former — had said the country sought a nuclear weapon.


Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, Yukiya Amano speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, May 12, 2015. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Earlier on Thursday, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said he could not guarantee that everything Iran is doing is peaceful, even as Tehran takes steps to reduce its nuclear activities under the July deal. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano spoke Thursday to the IAEA’s 35-nation board.

Amano said he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and thus cannot conclude that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Israel will not survive the next 25 years, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Wednesday, making a series of threatening remarks published online.

In a quote posted to Twitter by Khamenei’s official account, Khamenei addresses Israel, saying, “You will not see next 25 years,” and adds that the Jewish state will be hounded until it is destroyed.

The quote comes against a backdrop of a photograph apparently showing the Iranian leader walking on an Israeli flag painted on a sidewalk.

“After negotiations, in Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for next 25 years; I’d say: Firstly, you will not see next 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists,” the quote from Iran’s top leader reads in broken English.

The quote was apparently taken from a speech given earlier in the day.

The remarks came as US lawmakers began to debate supporting a recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and six world powers. Critics of the deal have pointed to fiery anti-US and anti-Zionist rhetoric as proof that the regime should not be trusted.

The White House and other deal boosters argue that the pact, meant to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, is based on verification, not trust.

Khamenei’s statements also reaffirmed his view that the US is a “Great Satan” and that there would be no detente with Washington beyond the nuclear talks.

“We approved talks with the United States about [the] nuclear issue specifically. We have not allowed talks with the US in other fields and we [do] not negotiate with them,” Khamenei said in statements published on his website.

Khamenei is quoted as saying any other talks would be “a tool for penetration and imposing their demands.”

On Twitter, Khamenei said talks with the US were a “means of infiltration and imposition of their wills.”

Quoting the founder of the Islamic Republic and his predecessor as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Khamenei tweeted: “@IRKhomeini stated “US is the Great Satan,” some insist on depicting this Great Satan as an angel.”

The Twitter handle @IRKhomeini is an Iranian government account dedicated to Khomeini’s statements.

Some have pointed to the nuclear deal as an opening for Iran to repair long-frayed ties with the West.

Several senior European officials have traveled to Iran since the nuclear deal was reached to boost economic and diplomatic ties, including Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who on Monday became the first European leader to visit Tehran in over a decade.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signaled that Iran is ready to hold talks with world powers on ways to resolve Syria’s civil war — provided such negotiations could secure peace and democracy in the conflict-torn country, he said.

Iran, together with Russia, backs the embattled regime of Bashar Assad, who is opposed by much of the West.


AP contributed to this report. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday reiterated its support for Hamas and other anti-Israel terrorist groups and said that aiding those who “stand against the Zionist regime is a principle of Iran’s policy.”

The Islamic Republic’s renewed backing of Hamas comes amid reports that relations between the two have been strained in recent months. However, Iran denies that this is the case and made clear this week that it will continue to back terrorist entities that seek Israel’s destruction.

“Iran’s support for all resistance groups continues similar to the past,” said Marzieh Afkham, a spokeswoman for Iran’s foreign ministry, to reporters in Tehran when asked whether the country’s position on Hamas had shifted.

Afkham went on to stress that “supporting members of the resistance front and those who stand against the Zionist regime is a principle of Iran’s policy,” according to Iran’s state-controlled Fars News Agency.

These terrorist groups, with Iran’s support, will “stand on the frontline of war against the Zionist regime [and] would maintain their unity and integrity.”

Iran’s renewed interest in and public support for Hamas is a sign that the Islamic Republic has no intention of moderating its extremist views in light of the recently secured nuclear deal, which officials in the Obama administration claimed would bring Iran into the global community of nations.

“To sell the deal, supporters of the JCPOA distort the facts about the Iranian  regime’s intention and plan to annihilate Israel,” said Saeed Ghasseminejad, an Iran expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “All factions of the Islamic regime in Iran firmly believe that Israel must be destroyed, they just have different opinions about the best way to reach this goal.”

Senior Iranian officials have claimed in recent weeks that Iran will expand its global terrorism agenda as a result of the deal.

Iran will “continue providing weapons to support the Middle Eastern countries fighting terrorism,” Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, was recently quoted as saying by Iran’s state-controlled press.

Following the nuclear deal, Iran will “preserve its defensive capabilities and send weapons to its regional allies,” according to Zarif.

Meanwhile, members of Hamas have praised Iran in recent comments and thanked the Islamic Republic for its support.

Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, praised Iran for enabling his group’s war against Israel.

“Iran’s various supports for Palestine have been precious, abundant and greatly influenced the Palestinian resistance,” Marzouk is reported to have said earlier this year.

More than 70 members of the Iranian parliament recently petitioned President Hassan Rouhani to increase “Iranian support for the regional resistance front after the nuclear agreement,” according to the report.

These Iranian lawmakers “called on the president to use the ministries of defense and foreign affairs to send aid to the Palestinians in accordance with instructions from the Supreme Leader to arm the Palestinians in the West Bank.”

Another top Iranian national security official, Javad Karimi Qoddousi, demanded this month that “all the senior Iranian officials … support aid for the Palestinian people and the resistance front so that the nuclear agreement [is not] exploited to strengthen Israel’s security.”

Copyright © 2012 Washington Free Beacon. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

By Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 6/30/2015, 12:35 PM

Israel deported Tunisian ex-president Moncef Marzouki and European parliament member Ana Miranda on Tuesday after they took part in the anti-Israel flotilla destined for Gaza.

"The (former) president of Tunisia and the Spanish lawmaker flew this morning. There are another 14 who have begun the expulsion process," a spokeswoman for Israel's immigration authority told AFP.

Israel had on Monday commandeered the Swedish-flagged Marianne of Gothenburg, part of the so-called Freedom Flotilla III, and accompanied it to the port of Ashdod.

Sixteen foreign nationals were on board along with two Israelis, MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List) and a television reporter. The two Israelis have been released, though Ghattas could face a parliamentary hearing on whether he should face sanctions.

The so-called “Freedom Flotilla 3”, which set sail from Crete on Friday, has been backed by the European Campaign to Break the Siege on Gaza. Members of the European Parliament, journalists, athletes, artists, as well as radical leftist Israelis will be on board.

The flotilla was the latest in a series of attempts by activists to break the naval blockade on Gaza, imposed by Israel after Hamas violently took control of Gaza from rival Fatah in 2006.

The most famous of the flotillas was the 2010 one involving the Turkish Mavi Marmara, which claimed to be providing "humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza."

The ship repeatedly defied orders to turn around and dock at the Ashdod port and ignored repeated warnings to change course, forcing IDF troops to board the vessel - only to be attacked by Islamist extremists on board wielding knives and metal bars. The wounded soldiers had no choice but to open fire, resulting in the deaths of ten of Islamists on board.

After an investigation, Israeli authorities discovered the vessel to be carrying no humanitarian aid - in fact, no aid supplies at all - indicating how the true goal of the provocative move was to open Gaza to free naval access, which it has consistently used to smuggle in weapons to be targeted against Israel.