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Report: US warns Saudis to back away from Iranian ally Syria

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Report: US warns Saudis to back away from Iranian ally Syria

The Daily Caller

By: Reza Kahlili

November 24, 2013

U.S. Secretary of the State John Kerry has warned Saudi Arabia to back off interfering in the Syrian civil war, according to Fars News Agency, the Islamic Republic media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards.

Kerry had been in Riyadh recently to calm Saudi fears of an upcoming agreement with Iran that would leave the Islamic Republic’s nuclear infrastructure largely intact. The Sunni kingdom is one of the main sponsors of the rebels trying to take down Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime, while Shiite Iran is Assad’s staunchest ally. Saudi Arabia and Iran are battling each other for leadership of the region.

The Fars report comes in the wake of what is being called a historic agreement with Iran that leaves much of its nuclear program untouched and allows it to continue enrichment to the 5 percent level. Israel and Saudi Arabia oppose any Iranian nuclear capability.

Fars, quoting the Lebanese Al-Manar news channel, reported that Kerry had pressured the Saudi kingdom to curtail the espionage activities of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency.

The report indicated that the Obama administration is so serious about this issue that the CIA has halted its collaboration with the Saudi Intelligence Agency.

“The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is angry at the positions adopted by Prince Bandar on the Syrian case since it thinks that he manages the case through collaboration and collusion with the neoconservative groups in Washington that seek to spoil Obama’s policies on Syria, Iran and even Russia,” al-Manar stated.

Fars asserted that an informed source told the news agency that Prince Bandar has spent tens of millions of dollars in Washington to try to convince American politicians to support an attack on Syria. The source said that Bandar’s failure to affect the events in Syria have caused differences within the ruling family, with many members writing a letter to King Abdullah protesting the lack of progress in toppling the Assad regime.

As reported in the Daily Caller in August of 2012, Iran at one point was preparing for a direct attack on Saudi Arabia, should Syria’s Assad be in danger of falling to rebel forces. Iran also blames the Saudis for unrest in two of its provinces.

“Dozens of Iranian ballistic missiles have been preprogrammed to hit Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia,” a source said then. “Qatar will also be hit at the same time as it is directly involved with the events in Syria.”

Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in a proxy war from Yemen to Bahrain, Iraq and Syria where the ruling Shiite clerics in Iran have tried to undermine the Saudi influence in the region and vice versa.

Iran has accused the Saudis of arming the rebels to destabilize Assad’s regime while the Saudis blame the Shiite regime for trying to destabilize the Sunni monarch in Bahrain by sabotage and incitement to uprising among the majority Shiites.

Iranian leaders have on several occasions called for the removal of the Saudi monarch.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and author of the award-winning book “A Time to Betray” (Simon & Schuster, 2010). He serves on the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and the advisory board of the Foundation for Democracy in Iran (FDI).

Iran wins more time and money for its nuclear ambitions

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The Western powers once again play the fool

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

Illustration by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times

The Washington Times

By: Reza Kahlili

November 27, 2013

For more than a decade, Iran has successfully bought time from its nuclear detractors by negotiating in bad faith as it worked feverishly to develop nuclear weapons.

It now has bought six more months.

As I have reported many times, the regime’s strategists have always believed that the more their nuclear program is expanded, the less likely the West could demand its total dismantling and that the military option by the Obama administration is a bluff. The worst the West could do was to impose sanctions, they felt. They also believed that at one point the West would come to accept Iran’s nuclear program at some level and reverse sanctions.

The regime’s strategists have been proven correct.

An interim deal reached Sunday in Geneva between the Islamic Republic and the 5+1 world powers in reality accepted the Iranian nuclear program, allowing the continuation of enrichment with over 10,000 centrifuges despite six U.N. Security Council resolutions for Iran to suspend all uranium enrichment. The Geneva agreement calls on Iran to only curtail parts of its nuclear program in return for the easing of some sanctions.

Those sanctions — from the United Nations, the United States and the European Union — had all but brought the mullah-dominated nation to its economic knees. Inflation is rampant, unemployment skyrocketing and civil unrest boiling below the surface.

And now, for six months, pressure will be escaping from that financial disaster, giving the regime more time to become a nuclear-armed power. On Monday, Iran announced that as part of the deal, the United States has unfrozen $8 billion of its assets.

And what are we to achieve in the next six months in return? The radical leaders ruling Iran have been quite clear that enrichment will never stop.

President Reagan famously used the Russian proverb “Trust but verify” in dealing with the Soviet Union in the 1980s. It worked. But that phrase was only partly invoked in Sunday’s agreement.

Yes, inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency may now oversee nuclear enrichment activity at Fordow and Natanz. But the agreement does not include inspection of other suspected sites, including a secret site only 15 miles from Fordow, where, according to sources, Iran’s most sophisticated lab is developing nuclear weapons and endeavoring to marry them up to delivery systems. Right next door to that secret lab is a vast area housing ballistic missile silos.

Yes, Iran has agreed to halt work on its plutonium plant at Arak, at which a second path to nuclear arms could be opened, but the agreement does not permit inspection. Trust us, Tehran told the 5+1. Trust has to be earned, not granted on demand.

Yes, IAEA monitors will have free access to important nuclear sites but not to the Parchin military site, where the regime conducted illicit nuclear experiments. It has been trying to cover up evidence of those banned nuclear tests so the world will not have proof of its deceit.

Iran says it wants to develop nuclear energy as a source of national pride. No nation would accept those crushing sanctions for pride. More deceit.

Iran says it wants to have nuclear energy for self-sufficiency. It already has enough oil for domestic consumption in addition to foreign exports. And it could have all the nuclear energy it needs for much less cost from foreign sources. More deceit.

No, what Iran really wants is to become a nuclear-armed power so it has the means to bring about the destruction of Israel and dominate the region. Israel and Western-allied Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia have formed an unlikely alliance in opposing Sunday’s agreement, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “historic mistake.”

Indeed, it most certainly is. Iran is playing the same game that helped North Korea acquire nuclear weapons.

The Islamic Republic has negotiated over its illicit nuclear program with the U.S. and the world powers for over a decade, during which time it has successfully increased the number of centrifuges enriching uranium from 150 to over 19,000 today. It now has over 10 tons of low-enriched uranium — sufficient for several bombs — and has over a thousand ballistic missiles and, in collaboration with North Korea, is working on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

So the deal is struck — at least for six months — and the world powers won’t go back on it, a deal that leaves Iran’s nuclear infrastructure largely in place. But the mullahs will put that extra time to use as it continues on its path to becoming a nuclear power. Once it achieves that rank, it believes, the West must accept it as a fait accompli.

But Congress must also use the next six months to work on even harsher sanctions, ready to slap on the regime once it is clear that the clerics have played us for fools again. And then those sanctions must be kept in place until “Trust but verify” is replaced with “Dismantle and destroy.”

Or until the freedom-loving people of Iran have had enough of their dictators and rid the land of their scourge.

***

Also read:

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Iran wins more time and money for its nuclear ambitions
By: Reza Kahlili / November 27, 2013

The Daily Caller
Iran president: We won, enrichment will never stop
By: Reza Kahlili / November 27,2013

The Daily Caller
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claims victory for nuclear program: US, Iran secret deal revealed over a year ago
By: Reza Kahlili / November 24,2013

The Daily Caller
Report: US warns Saudis to back away from Iranian ally Syria
By: Reza Kahlili / November 24,2013

The Daily Caller
Iranian leader: Nuclear negotiations merely a maneuver to reach Islamic goal
By: Reza Kahlili / November 20,2013

WND
AMERICA THREATENED WITH ‘HEAVIEST DAMAGE IN HISTORY’
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Foxnews
No Deal On Nuke Talks, Iran General Declares U.S. And Israel Will Be Attacked
November 10, 2013

The Clarion Project
Iranian General Lashes Out Against America, Warns of Attack
November 10, 2013

The Daily Caller
Iran general: No doubt Israel and America will be attacked
By: Reza Kahlili / November 09,2013

The Daily Caller
Iran demands Western acceptance of its nuclear program, removal of banking and oil sanctions
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The Daily Caller
Iran demands right to expand nuclear program
By: Reza Kahlili / November 06,2013

Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney

The Secret Nature of the Iranian Nuclear Program

With Peter Hoekstra, Reza Khalili, Gordon Chang, Roger Noriega

November 25, 2013

Listen Here

Lisa Benson Radio Show

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Lisa Benson Radio Show - 960 AM Salem

With Reza Kahlili, Clare Lopez and Sarah Stern in a detailed discussion regarding the agreement by 5+1 with Iran over its illicit nuclear program.

November 24, 2013

Listen Here

‘Geneva talks a facade, US-Iran worked secretly on deal for past year’

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Iran's nuclear head Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC BY-Parmida76, Flickr)

Iran’s nuclear head Ali Akbar Salehi (photo credit: CC BY-Parmida76, Flickr)

White House denies report Obama team has been negotiating terms with Tehran, didn’t fully coordinate with Israel

The Times of Israel

BY STUART WINER November 17, 2013, 10:38 pm Updated: November 18, 2013, 2:07 am

The Geneva negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and Iran are a mere “facade,” because the terms of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program have been negotiated in talks between a top adviser to President Barack Obama and a leading Iranian nuclear official that have continued in secret for more than a year, Israeli television reported Sunday.

Despite ostensible full coordination between the US and Israel over strategies for thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons drive, the administration did not keep Israel fully informed on those talks, Channel 10 news reported, but Jerusalem nonetheless has a pretty clear picture of what has been going on in the secret channel.

White House spokesman Bernadette Meehan was quoted by Haaretz as saying that the report was “absolutely, 100 percent false.”

The report, which relied on unnamed senior Israeli officials, said the US team to the secret talks was led by Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. Her primary interlocutor, the report said, was the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi. The talks have been taking place in various Gulf states.

In the course of the talks, the report said, the Americans offered the Iranians a series of “confidence-building measures,” which underlined American readiness to conclude a deal and undercut sanctions pressure.

It was the deal discussed in these secret talks, the report said, that the Americans then brought to Geneva earlier this month, where it was largely adopted by the P5+1 nations — the US, Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany.

France has indicated that it raised objections to the proposed terms, while US Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal was so “tough” that the Iranians had to return to Tehran to take a decision on whether to sign it. The Geneva talks are set to resume on Wednesday.

According to Channel 10, the secret channel marginalized Kerry, and was overseen by the president. The idea had been for Kerry merely to fly to Geneva, as he did last Friday, to sign a deal in which he had been a bit player. In the event, factors such as the French stance, and Israel’s very public objections, derailed this plan, and the talks broke up last Saturday without an agreement.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly fumed at the terms that were offered to Iran at Geneva, including an easing of non-core sanctions under an arrangements whereby Iran would still be permitted to enrich uranium to 3.5%. Netanyahu wants all sanctions retained, and all enrichment to be frozen, as a first step toward the dismantling of Iran’s entire “military nuclear” program.

Nevertheless, the expectation in Jerusalem is that a deal is on the way in the near future. Kerry, with whom Netanyahu has been engaged in a public sniping match in recent days, is due back in Israel at the end of this week, after the Geneva talks resume.

Sunday’s Channel 10 report was not the first to assert a secret US-Iran channel involving Obama aide Jarrett. In November of 2012, the daily Yedioth Ahronoth said Jarrett — a Chicago lawyer born in Shiraz, Iran, to American parents, and good friend of Obama’s — was “a key figure in secret contacts the White House is conducting with the Iranian regime.”

That report said “Jarrett served as the personal and direct emissary of the president to secret meetings with the Iranians, which are understood to have taken place in one of the Gulf principalities.”

————————————————

Also read:

WND
IT’S OFFICIAL! IRAN FULFILLS OBAMA SURPRISE
By: Reza Kahlili / November 03, 2012

The Washington Times
KAHLILI: Obama’s re-election deal with Iran
By: Reza Kahlili / October 30, 2012

WND
SECRET U.S., IRANIAN MEETINGS TO CONTINUE
By: Reza Kahlili / October 28, 2012

WND
CLANDESTINE OBAMA-IRAN MEETINGS STIR DENIAL
By: Reza Kahlili / October 24, 2012

WND
IRAN SECRET-DEAL REPORT UPSETS AYATOLLAH, OBAMA
By: Reza Kahlili / October 23, 2012

WND
OBAMA CUTS DEAL WITH IRAN OVER NUKES
By: Reza Kahlili / October 19, 2012

WND
OCTOBER SURPRISE? OBAMA SECRET IRAN DEAL CUT
By: Reza Kahlili / October 04, 2012

The Daily Caller
Obama, Iran in secret nuclear deal
By: Reza Kahlili / February 27, 2012

 

Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Secure Freedom Radio with Frank Gaffney

Obama’s Foreign Policy and American Alliances

With Rep. Mike Turner, Reza Kahlili, Caroline Glick, KT McFarland

November 04, 2013

Listen Here

American flags burned as 10,000 Iranians protest on US Embassy siege anniversary

Monday, November 4th, 2013

NBC

By Ali Arouzi and Alexander Smith, NBC News

TEHRAN — At least 10,000 Iranians protested outside the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran Monday, burning American flags and effigies of Barack Obama on the anniversary of the 1979 seizure of the building.

Annual demonstrations take place at the site, marking the date on which activists stormed the embassy 34 years ago and took 52 staff hostage for 444 days — an act that severed diplomatic ties with the U.S. for more than three decades.

But this year’s demonstration was larger than usual, fueled by anger among Iranians at President Hassan Rouhani’s recent moves to reopen dialogue with the West.

The crowd comprised mainly students and old revolutionaries from 1979, with equal numbers of men and women. It was at least ten times bigger than in previous years.

The air was thick with smoke as countless U.S. and Israeli flags went up in flames, accompanied by chants of “death to America” and the waving of anti-U.S. banners.

Reporters were issued with press credentials marked with the phrase “down with U.S.A.”

Several protesters told NBC News they were taking part because they did not trust the U.S. and did not want Iran to do a deal with its arch-enemy.

The sentiment follows Rouhani presenting a far more moderate approach to international relations than his predecessor, the hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rouhani broke the 34-year diplomatic silence between Iran and the U.S. with a 15-minute telephone call to Obama after the U.N. general assembly in September. It followed an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Ann Curry in which Rouhani said: “We are not seeking … and looking for war with any nations. We are seeking peace and stability among all the nations in the region.”

The Iranian president also wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in which he declared an end to “the age of blood feuds,” adding: “World leaders are expected to lead in turning threats into opportunities.”

This approach has been applauded by many Iranians, but Monday’s protests were not the first occasion Rouhani has been criticized for his perceived warming to the country Iran used to call “the Great Satan.”

On his return from the U.N. General Assembly in New York, Rouhani was met with a large crowd of supporters in Tehran. Others, however, booed him and pelted his car with eggs, tomatoes and shoes.

On Sunday, Iran’s most powerful public figure, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a speech backing the country’s nuclear negotiators. This was an apparent warning to hardliners not to accuse Rouhani of compromising with its old enemy, Reuters reported.

“No one should consider our negotiators as compromisers,” Khamenei said, according to the news agency. “They have a difficult mission and no one must weaken an official who is busy with work.”

On Saturday, an editorial by conservative newspaper Kayhan warned against trusting the U.S. in current nuclear negotiations, Reuters said. The editorial said there were signs that “the Americans are aiming to trick the Islamic Republic” in the next round of talks this week.

Reuters contributed to this report. Alexander Smith reported from London.

Early results show majority supports changing U.S. relations

Friday, October 18th, 2013

RadioZamaneh

Fri, 10/18/2013

Nameh News has published the preliminary results of the Iranian government’s public referendum about changing Iranian-U.S. relations.

Nameh News says its reports of the preliminary results show that the majority of the people are in support of a change in relations with the United States.

“The preliminary results of the census show that 80 to 90 percent of the people support a change in the relations between the two countries while 10 to 20 percent oppose it,” the report indicates.

Nameh News goes on to add, however, that a majority of those in the 10 to 20 percent category do support the elimination of the “Death to America!” slogan from Friday Mass prayers.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani faced some criticism for his attempt at improving relations with the U.S. A number of hardliners and conservative groups attacked his decision to talk directly on the telephone with the U.S. president.

Rohani responded by calling for a referendum to see what portion of the public supports the administration’s diplomatic efforts.

Kerry in Afghanistan for urgent security talks

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The U.S. wants a deal by the end of the month, with any remaining troops able to conduct counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. (File photo: AFP)

Friday, 11 October 2013

Al Arabiya

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Afghanistan for urgent talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, reported Associated Press on Friday.

The completion of a security deal to allow American troops to remain in Afghanistan after the end of the NATO-led military mission next year will be the main topic of discussion.

The original deadline for the deal was the end of October.

Kerry’s unannounced visit to Kabul comes as talks on the Bilateral Security Agreement have foundered over certain important issues.

These issues include the problem of Afghan sovereignty despite a year of negotiations.

The U.S. wants a deal by the end of the month, with any remaining troops able to conduct counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations.

However, the discussions have stalled over Karzai’s demand for American guarantees against future foreign intervention, a veiled reference to neighboring Pakistan.

The rebuilding of war-torn Afghanistan began in 2002, following the U.S.-led invasion one year earlier.

(With AFP)

Report: Obama confronted Erdoğan over support for radicals in Syria

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

TodaysZaman

OCT 10, 2013

US President Barack Obama reportedly confronted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a “difficult meeting” in May about what Washington saw as indiscriminate support for fighters seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a sign of disagreement between the two NATO allies over how to respond to the crisis in Syria.

Erdoğan met with Obama during a visit to Washington in May, and the two had talks focusing primarily on Syria. The two leaders projected a united front after the talks despite disagreement over how much the US should intervene to end the Syrian crisis. Turkey has pressed the US for a more aggressive stance to bring down the Assad regime while the Obama administration, partly out of concern over radical Islamist groups within the opposition, has refrained from military action or more active support for the opposition.

Behind closed doors, Obama complained about Turkish dealings with the Syrian opposition, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. According to the report, Obama delivered “what US officials describe as an unusually blunt message: The US believed Turkey was letting arms and fighters flow into Syria indiscriminately and sometimes to the wrong rebels, including anti-Western jihadists.”

At the White House meeting, the Turkish side pushed back at the suggestion that they were aiding radicals and sought to enlist the US to aggressively arm the opposition, the report said, citing US officials briefed on the discussions.

Turkey and the US have both said Assad must go, but they differ significantly in their approach to the threat stemming from radical groups fighting against the regime, including those affiliated with al-Qaeda. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ankara believes the threat posed by such groups could be dealt with later. A US decision in December to designate one of al-Qaeda-linked groups, the al-Nusra Front, as a terrorist group was “in part to send a message to Ankara about the need to more tightly control the arms flow.”

The report said the Turkish government has recalibrated its stance in recent months, reducing its efforts to arm anti-Assad groups as groups linked with al-Qaeda expanded their influence in northern towns near the border with Turkey. But this was out of concern over possible threats from radical groups to Turkey’s security, not because of US complaints, it added.

The report said Turkey’s Syria policy that put Ankara at odds with the US was carried out by Hakan Fidan, the head of the Turkish Intelligence Organization (MİT), calling him “a driving force behind [Turkey's] efforts to supply the rebels and topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Fidan directed a secret effort to bolster opposition groups’ capabilities by allowing arms, including those coming from Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, money and logistical support to funnel into northern Syria, where radical groups are active.

The decision to provide aid to Syrian rebels through MİT was made in early 2012 and it ensured “Erdoğan’s office had control over the effort and that it would be relatively invisible,” the report said.

“Syrian opposition leaders, American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats who worked with Mr. Fidan say the MİT acted like a ‘traffic cop’ that arranged weapons drops and let convoys through checkpoints along Turkey’s 565-mile border with Syria,” the report said. It also cited some moderate Syrian opposition leaders saying that the arms shipment bypassed them and went directly to groups linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Highlighting the US-Turkish mistrust, the report also said the CIA “spies on Turkey and the MİT runs an aggressive counterintelligence campaign against the CIA.”

Fidan has also caused US and Israeli unease because he passed “several pieces of intelligence to Iran, including classified US assessments about the Iranian government” when Turkey was enjoying close ties with Iran three years ago.

U.S. will announce military aid to Egypt in ‘coming days’

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Egypt has received billions in aid from the U.S. since the 1979 Camp David peace deal with Israel. (File photo: Reuters)

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Al Arabiya

The United States will announce the future of assistance to Egypt after making appropriate diplomatic and congressional notifications, the White House said on Wednesday.

The White House earlier  denied reports reports that the military aid to Egypt would be cut.

“The reports that we are halting all military assistance to Egypt are false,” National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

“We will announce the future of our assistance relationship with Egypt in the coming days, but as the president made clear at UNGA (the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York), that assistance relationship will continue,” Hayden added.

The reports came after U.S. officials said on Wednesday that the United States is leaning towards the suspension of much of its military aid to Egypt due to the current crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammad Mursi, AFP reported.

Following Mursi’s ouster by the military in July, the Pentagon cancelled a planned exercise with Egypt and postponed the delivery of four F-16 fighters.

The officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said the decision would halt the delivery of major weapons, including Apache helicopters, F-16 fighter jets and M1A1 Abrams tanks,  according to AFP.

But the officials said the American aid focused on counter-terrorism efforts which include operations in the Sinai desert near Israel’s border would likely continue.

The United States has provided billions in aid to Cairo since the 1979 Camp David peace deal that ensures peace between Egypt and Israel. The aid was also aimed for priority access to the Suez Canal and anti-terrorism cooperation.

The United States has deposited $584 million in remaining military aid funds for the fiscal year 2013 in a federal reserve account pending the outcome of the policy review, according to State Department officials.

(With Reuters and AFP)

Iran to Mark ‘Death to America’ Day

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

Despite President Obama’s outreach to the new president of Iran, Islamic radicals walked over a U.S. flag and spat on Obama’s image on their way to Friday prayers last week.

Mashregh, the media outlet of the Revolutionary Guards, published a photo of the image of Obama alongside the U.S. flag laid on the ground and radicals walking over them. The picture shows one individual spitting on Obama’s image.

In an effort to emphasize the Islamic Republic’s view of the United States as the “Great Satan,” mass rallies will be held across Iran to shout “Death to America” and assail worldwide Zionism on the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy takeover of Nov.. 4, 1979, Brig. Gen. Seyyed Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of the Joint Armed Forces Headquarters, announced on Saturday.

“The crimes of leaders of America and international Zionism in their confrontation with the Iranian nation will never be erased from the public’s memory,” he said.

Jazayeri stated that ever since the Islamic Revolution, America has engaged in aggressive policies of blocking Iran’s wealth, helping Iraq in its war with Iran in the 1980s and espionage. Referring to the embassy takeover, he said, “If the American spies in Tehran under the cover of diplomats who were hatching plots were not arrested, today we would have witnessed 10 times more damage to our country and the surrounding countries.”

While the efforts of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was lauded by regime leadership and Guards commanders, his telephone call with Obama drew criticism.

The supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to the call, stated that some aspects of Rouhani’s efforts in New York were “not proper” and said the Islamic regime has no trust in America. The chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards in an earlier statement criticized Rouhani for taking the call and said he should not have spoken to the U.S. president.

Rouhani in interviews after returning home had stated that the White House had requested the call five times and he decided to take it while en route to the airport.

At the Friday prayers, Mohammad Hossein Safar Harandi, a member of the Expediency Discernment Council of the regime, said the new approach by Rouhani is a tactical approach and referred to the Sureh Al-Fath in the Quran: “God in the Sureh Al-Fath points to a condition which is similar to the current condition … a situation where the hand of the infidels and nonbelievers is restrained from the believers.”

Harandi said that Allah for the “final victory” sees engaging the U.S. as necessary.

According to a Guard member who recently defected to Turkey, Iran’s economy is teetering on the brink and that soon the government will not be able to even pay its employees. He said the regime fears a massive uprising not only by most Iranians who resent the regime and its ideology but also from the poor, which would then assure the downfall of the regime. Thus this new approach by regime leaders to engage the U.S. in seeking sanctions relief without giving up their nuclear program.

The same tactic was used by the regime in 2003. A recently revealed video of Rouhani before the Iranian June presidential elections shows Rouhani boasting about deceiving the West and advancing Iran’s nuclear program during his tenure as the head of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear negotiating team in order to jumpstart the program while promising cooperation.

Referring to the image of radicals walking over the U.S. flag, one prominent Iranian pro-democracy advocate, Shabnam Assadolahi, sent a tweet to Obama: “A must-see photo: @BarackObama are you still open to dialogue and communication with this dangerous regime?”

Despite several United Nations resolutions and sanctions by the U.N., United States and European Union demanding a halt to Iran’s illicit nuclear program, the Islamic regime has significantly expanded the program and currently has over 18,000 centrifuges, with enough enriched uranium for more than six nuclear bombs. At the same time it is set to complete its heavy-water plant, which would give the regime a second path to nuclear weapons by acquiring weapons-grade plutonium.

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