Missile-Launching Amphibious Craft Set for Unveiling
Iran plans to unveil an amphibious aircraft equipped with missile-launcher in the near future, Iranian defense minister said on Saturday.
Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that Iran has made good achievements in defense fields which will be made public soon, Fars News Agency reported.
Noting that the new amphibious aircraft is to be unveiled by the Defense Ministry, Vahidi said, “The craft is a vessel with offensive and missile-launching capabilities.”
Elsewhere, Vahidi said Iran started using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on its naval missions, adding that expansion of sea-based drones is ‘on the defense ministry’s agenda’.
The minister further said that the Iranian navy is already carrying UAVs on its vessels.
Last month, Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that Iran has equipped its Navy with different types of drones, adding that the Navy will use the drones for different missions.
“Today, different types of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for reconnaissance, offensive and defensive missions are available for the Army’s Navy,” Sayyari said on February 23.
“These drones with various ranges have been put into operation in the Navy.”
He added that the Navy drones are exclusively used for naval missions, and added, “We will use our drones wherever needed.”
US Sanctions Harm Regional Economy
A recent report by an international think tank warned that the US-engineered sanctions against Iran would in the long run adversely affect economic stability in the entire Middle East.
According to a report titled ‘Spider Web: The Making and Unmaking of Iran Sanctions’ issued by the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) on February 25, the US-led sanctions have become as intricate as a ‘spider web’ and therefore difficult to untangle, Press TV reported on Saturday.
The report added that black market and smuggling networks have become an integral part of the region due to the impacts of the sanctions.
The ICG report further indicated that the West’s claims that the sanctions have been targeted at the Iranian government have proven to be false as the Iranian nation has been on the receiving end of the embargos.
“The more comprehensive the sanctions, the likelier they will harm average citizens,” the report said.
The United States, Israel and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Based on the false allegation, Washington and the European Union have imposed several rounds of illegal unilateral sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Iran rejects the allegation and argues that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it is entitled to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
FM Confident of Resolution To N-Issue
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi expressed confidence that the issues relating to Iran’s nuclear energy program will be ironed out.
In a Friday interview, Salehi pointed to Iran’s comprehensive negotiations with the P5+1 (permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), saying, “The two sides feel that the grounds have been prepared to take a path out of the issue.”
“Definitely, Iran’s dossier will not be similar to the cases of North Korea or Libya and now I reiterate that the issue will be resolved, because we are confident about what we are doing and the peaceful [nature] of our nuclear activities; therefore, there have been no reservations in the positions and statements of our officials over these years,” Salehi stated, ISNA reported.
Iran and the P5+1 held their latest round of talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on February 26 and 27.
Both sides agreed to convene in Almaty again on April 5-6 for the next round of negotiations after holding expert-level talks in the Turkish city of Istanbul on March 17-18.
The United States, the Israeli regime and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran categorically rejects the unfounded allegation.
Tehran says as a committed signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities, but has never found any evidence that its nuclear energy program has been diverted toward military objectives.
Iran Sanctions, West’s Gordian Knot
By Rodney Shakespeare
When I read that yet another so-called Non-Governmental Organization is claiming to be ‘independent’, I reached for my dictionary. ‘Independent’, says the dictionary, means ‘free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; not governed by a foreign power; self-governing’--which is certainly not true of the International Crisis Group.
The Group is a big NGO with one hundred and fifty four staff worldwide. It says it is ‘independent’ but then goes on to publish sixty ambiguous, misleading and deceitful pages of a report about sanctions on Iran (Spider Web: The Making and Unmaking of Iran Sanctions) saying that the situation is very complicated and nigh impossible to unravel.
Now you would think that sixty densely written pages are of sufficient length to at least get in some reference to the two things which matter:
- Is Iran making an atomic bomb?
- Why is nobody discussing Israel’s three hundred or more atomic weapons including hydrogen bombs?
But, concerned with cunning ways of indicating that Iran is making a bomb even though admitting it has a lawful right to have a civilian nuclear energy program, the Group ignores these things.
Thus it has not heard that all sixteen American intelligence agencies say that Iran is not making an atomic bomb. (Is it possible for any sane country to have sixteen intelligence agencies? Probably not, but sixteen is still sixteen however you look at it.)
Nor has the Group heard that the International Atomic Energy Agency (which, far from being independent, is riddled with spies) is the body which actually inspects Iran and it, too, says that Iran is not making an atomic bomb. But right the way through the report the Group’s basic assumption is that it is a good thing to try to control Iran (which is acting completely within the law and the Non-Proliferation Treaty) and a bad thing to ever mention Israel which has certainly not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is as dangerous an attack dog as ever existed. Thus the report does not deal with the subject of Israel having hundreds of atomic weapons including hydrogen bombs (plus the nasty fact that the ballistic atomic missiles on Israeli Dolphin submarines are targeted on European capitals and even major cities in the USA--one wonders when American citizens are going to realize that Israel does not have American interests at heart…).
Moreover, the report conveniently forgets that in May 2010, USA President Obama demanded, in writing, that Iran agree to send its uranium out of the country to be enriched to 20 percent and then sent back into Iran. Whereon Iran, supported by Brazil and Turkey, acceded to the demand only to find that the USA immediately rejected its own demand! That happened, of course, because the real purpose of the pressure and sanctions on Iran is to try to destroy a country which has the guts to say that it opposes the never-ending expansion of Zionist Israel.
All the time the report is only concerned with what might or might not succeed in changing Iran’s behavior. It never considers if, in the first place, the West’s behavior is wrong. For example, failing to acknowledge that the West’s intervention in Iran in 1953 was to overthrow democracy, the report is only concerned with the effectiveness of British sanctions at the time rather than the fact that the intervention contradicted everything that the West is supposed to stand for.
So the conclusion has to be that if the sanctions were effective, the report would be enthusiastically endorsing them. Yet, in a cack-handed sort of way, the report does acknowledge that sanctions are not having the effect that the West wants them to have.
But the report seems constitutionally unable to say that the sensible thing would be to recognize the legality of Iran’s position, remove all sanctions and then behave like grown-ups are supposed to behave. It’s as if there is a glimmer of light somewhere at the back of the Crisis Group’s mind but its prevailing Zionism prevents the glimmer from steadying and developing into a beam of strong recognition.
However, the report also recognizes that the sanctions on Iran are creating big economic distortions throughout the Middle East. Moreover, they are an underlying part of the profound political forces which are destabilizing the West’s autocratic friends e.g. in Saudi Arabia. In short, by putting sanctions on Iran the West is now shooting itself in the foot.
So we may yet see a report in future which says that the West’s sanctions will never achieve their intended effect. Indeed, rather than crushing Iran, the sanctions are accentuating the drift of economic power away from the West as Iran is forced into more and more regional groupings and arrangements all of which have the effect of weakening western economic and political power and undermining the position of its vicious, totalitarian Middle East allies.
Indeed instead of some future report being entitled ‘A Spider’s Web’, allegedly difficult to untangle, it could be entitled ‘Cutting the Gordian Knot’ in which one blow (the lifting of all sanctions) solves a complicated problem all at once.
Source: Press TV
Germany Selling Arms To Ease Woes
A lawmaker said Germany’s arms sales to Arab littoral states of the Persian Gulf are aimed at easing the European country’s financial woes.
“Europe is suffering from a financial crisis, and Germany appears to have felt the pinch,” Member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Qassem Souri said on Friday, Press TV reported.
He noted that Germany has therefore lost much of its prestige as one of Europe’s financial powerhouses.
Souri added that European countries along with the United States need to create conditions conducive for arms sales in order to rescue themselves from the current financial crisis.
The legislator stated that only those countries would be willing to buy such munitions that can do nothing but to extract and sell crude oil.
Anti-Iran Remarks Censured
Souri also censured the latest anti-Iran remarks by Germany’s Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, noting that the West is misguiding Arab countries of the Middle East by portraying Iran as a threat.
The lawmaker criticized the regional Arab rulers for gross negligence and lack of understanding of regional and international developments, stressing that the Arab monarchs cannot realize the difference between threats from Israeli nuclear warheads and Iran which is trying hard to establish peace and stability in the Middle East.
The MP further highlighted that anti-Iran threats will fail, and that reactionary Arab states continuously change and modernize their armaments in the face of such imaginary threats.
Souri concluded that western countries, including Germany, France and the US, introduce Iran as a threat in order to prepare the ground for the sale of their weapons to Arab states, and use their petrodollars to reinvigorate their bankrupt economies.
According to a report published by the Munich-based Suddeutsche Zeitung on February 22, Germany’s weapons exports to the Arab states in the Persian Gulf reached 1.42 billion euros ($1.88 billion) in 2012.
The report added that Saudi Arabia was the biggest buyer among the Persian Gulf states including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
The figures indicate that Germany’s arms exports to the Persian Gulf littoral states have increased more than nine times.
Embassy Objects to Turkey’s BTV
Iranian Embassy in Ankara protested the broadcast of a program by Turkey’s BTV channel that contains material about the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic.
In a protest letter sent to the BTV manager on Friday, the Iranian Embassy objected to Guncel program’s s unfortunate choice of incorrect remarks about Iranian officials and the internal affairs of the country, IRNA reported.
Bringing up ‘baseless and false’ issues about developments in Iran is merely aimed at distorting the public opinion of the Turkish people about the Iranian nation, the letter added.
Iranian people have proved loyalty to the Islamic Revolution by turning up in high number in demonstrations to mark the victory of the revolution in the past years, the Iranian Embassy stated, apparently referring to the content of the BTV program.
The letter also expressed hope that BTV would work to portray realities and strengthen the friendship between the Turkish people and the Iranian nation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force is overhauling various types of aircraft, including the strategic MiG-29 and F-4 jet fighters, Mohsen Darrebaghi, a senior air force commander, said.