Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC) plans to hold the Great Prophet 8 military drill in eastern Iran, a senior commander said.
Commander of the IRGC Ground Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour said on Wednesday that the three-day drill would begin on February 23, Press TV reported.
Pakpour added that the maneuver would cover areas in the southeast of Iran including the cities of Kerman, Siriz and Sirjan.
The drill is aimed at testing the latest equipment of the IRGC, maintaining the forces’ preparedness and carrying out asymmetric warfare techniques.
Over the past few years, Iran has held several military drills to enhance the defense capabilities of its armed forces and to test modern military tactics and equipment.
Iran’s Navy launched the six-day naval maneuvers dubbed Velayat 91 on December 28, 2012 to display the country’s capabilities in defending its maritime borders.
Army and the IRGC conducted a joint drill, codenamed Modafe’an-e Aseman-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of the Velayat Skies 4), in November 2012.
The drills covered an area of 950,000 square kilometers in the provinces of Khorasan Razavi, North Khorasan, South Khorasan, Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormuzgan, Kerman and parts of Fars and Yazd provinces.
The IRGC held a three-day missile drill dubbed the Great Prophet 7 in the central Iranian province of Semnan in July 2012.
In January 2012, the IRGC Ground Forces held the Shohaday-e Vahdat (Martyrs of Unity) military drill in the eastern province of Khorasan Razavi.
UN Peacekeeping MissionsShould Bar Military Interventions
A senior Iranian official said the Islamic Republic stresses that UN peacekeeping operations should not be used as an excuse for military interventions in other countries.
Iran’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Gholam-Hossein Dehqani told the UN Peace Building Commission (PBC) on Tuesday that Iran stressed that ‘safeguarding civilians (in a country) should not be an excuse for a military intervention in the country through the United Nations’.
Dehqani also stated that protecting civilians in war-torn or conflict-stricken countries is in the first place the duty of the governments of those countries, IRNA reported.
He added that the UN could ‘bring sustainable peace’ to countries suffering from conflict via its peacekeeping missions.
Dehqani further stated that Iran believed that ‘preemptive diplomacy and preventing conflicts’ should be the top priority of the UN in its peacekeeping missions.
UN peacekeeping missions should be carried out as part of political solutions to crises, the diplomat said.
Dehqani added that the UN and other global and regional institutions should act under the 8th chapter of the UN Charter. The UN should play ‘an impartial and dynamic role’ in its peacekeeping missions, he stated.
Any deviation from peacekeeping principles will undermine the image and position of the UN, Dehqani said.
The PBC, which was established in December 2005 by the UN General Assembly and the Security Council acting concurrently, is an inter-governmental advisory body that helps countries in ‘post-conflict peace building, recovery, reconstruction and development’.
Ecuador Ties at Highest Level
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said diplomatic relations between Iran and Ecuador are at their highest level ever.
In a meeting with the new Ecuadorian ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday, Salehi congratulated the Ecuadorian nation and government on the recent presidential election in the South American country, ISNA reported.
He hoped that ties between Tehran and Quito would expand during President Rafael Correa’s third term in office.
Ecuadorian Ambassador Umberto Vinuesa Rodriguez said that he would do his best to consolidate relations between the two countries and promote cooperation in all areas.
In a letter published on the Iranian president’s official website on Monday, Ahmadinejad congratulated Correa on his reelection, saying it would lead to ‘independence and progress’ in the Latin American country. “I believe that your reelection has once again displayed the hope and the unwavering will of the great nation of Ecuador clearly,” Ahmadinejad stated.
The Iranian president also said Correa’s election victory would lead to the expansion of ties between Latin American countries and other revolutionary countries in the world.
On Sunday, the 49-year-old Ecuadorian president received 56.9 percent of the vote against 23.8 percent for his closest challenger, Guillermo Lasso.
Iran’s Share in Global Energy...
From Page 1
The last round of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 was held in Moscow in June 2012.
Negotiations Could Be Different
A senior Foreign Ministry official also said the upcoming talks between the P5+1 group and the Islamic Republic could be different from previous negotiations if the other side proves its goodwill and sincere intentions.
“We have to wait and see what approach the other side adopts in the upcoming talks,” Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia-Oceania affairs Abbas Araqchi said on Tuesday, IRNA reported.
The United States, Israel, and some of their allies have repeatedly accused Iran of pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. Iran strongly rejects the allegations.
Iran, Egypt Can Resolve Syria Crisis
A top parliamentary official said the Islamic Republic and Egypt can help resolve the crisis in Syria through close cooperation.
Hossein Sheikholeslam, director general for international affairs at Majlis, said that Tehran and Cairo were currently working to find a solution to the turmoil in Syria.
Sheikholeslam added that many countries have come to the conclusion that only a political solution can resolve the crisis and that continuing the war and violence in Syria would be detrimental, Press TV reported on Wednesday.
The official said Tehran welcomed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s plan for Syria since the proposal was against war and in favor of political solution.
Morsi initiated the formation of a contact group on Syria, comprising Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, during a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in August 2012.
“Today, many western countries want to be involved in Syria’s issue. However, Iran, Turkey and Egypt have benevolently taken steps to resolve the problem of this country,” Sheikholeslam added.
On February 7, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad held a meeting with his Egyptian and Turkish counterparts Morsi and Abdullah Gul to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria and the solutions to end the unrest in the Arab country.
During the trilateral meeting in Cairo, which was held on the sidelines of the 12th Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, the trio called for an immediate settlement of the crisis and an end to the bloodshed in Syria.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 and tens of thousands of people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil.
The Syrian government says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.
Destabilization of Iraq
Elsewhere in his remarks, Sheikholeslam condemned the fresh wave of terrorist attacks in Iraq, saying that the string of deadly bombings is aimed at destabilizing the Iraqi government.
Today, Iraq is beset by a belligerent triangle Sheikholeslam said in reference to the killing of nearly 40 people in a series of bomb attacks that struck predominantly Shiite neighborhoods in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
“Democracy in Iraq has caused regional kingdoms to feel threatened and, therefore, by hiring part of the Syrian terrorists and sending them to Iraq, they have been trying to foster turmoil and chaos in this country (Iraq),” the official stated.
He also blamed the violence on colonial powers, which seek to continue military presence in Iraq, and corrupt remnants of the Ba’athist regime of the executed dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Sheikholeslam referred to recent protests in Iraq and differentiated pro-reform demands from protests aimed at toppling the government of democratically-elected Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
“Part of the protests [in Iraq] are subversive in a way and are not legally and morally acceptable, and are void in the eyes of the Iraqi people,” he said.
The official hailed Maliki for his efforts to reconstruct Iraq after it suffered serious damages under the former dictator Saddam Hussein and as a result of the occupation following the US-led invasion in 2003.
Zio-US Pharmaceutical Terrorism on Iran
By Yuram Abdullah Weiler
“The policies Iran is pursuing are unacceptable, and until Iran’s leadership agrees to abandon this dangerous course, we will continue to use tough and innovative means to impose severe economic and financial consequences on Iran’s leadership,” said US Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner.
The United States has declared war on Iran--economic war by means of sanctions which threaten the lives of Iranians who are forced to depend on western-manufactured pharmaceuticals to fight cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The goal of the ever-escalating US sanctions against Iran may very well be armed conflict, with sanctions merely a method, to quote former US secretary of war Henry Stimson, of ‘how we [the US] should maneuver them into the position of firing the first shot’.
Initiated by the Zionist lobby AIPAC in 1995, the US sanctions, which arguably constitute an act of war, fall under the auspices of the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). Sanctions are now managed by David S. Cohen, undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence; Daniel L. Glaser, assistant secretary for terrorist financing; and, Adam J. Szubin, director of the office of foreign-asset control, all bureaucrats with careers spanning the administrations of several US presidents. This troika of tyranny, referred to as ‘America’s sanction cops’, has been working for almost ten years with the US Congress, under constant pressure from the Zionist regime, to design ever tougher sanctions against Iran.
Unfortunately, the sanctions have also succeeded in deterring western pharmaceutical companies from undertaking business transactions for medicines greatly needed in Iran, despite the Washington regime’s official, but not legally binding, verbiage to the contrary.
In reality, the complexity of the US sanction regime and the severity of the penalties have discouraged the profit-hungry US pharmaceutical manufacturers from risking their bottom right corners to do what is morally right. In one instance, a representative from an Iranian pharmaceutical firm flew to Paris with documentation confirming the legality of a business transaction only to be told by the French banker, “Even if you bring a letter from the French president himself saying it is OK to do so, we will not risk this.”
Iran, whose pharmaceutical sector amounts to some $3 billion per year, imports roughly 30 percent of its medication, and is relying increasingly on China and India as US sanctions close the door to business with American and European drug firms, whose exports to Iran fell 30 percent in 2012. In some cases, finding substitute drugs to fight certain diseases, such as hemophilia, cancer or multiple sclerosis, is impossible because heavily guarded patents make them unavailable except from western sources. The net result for patients in Iran is that it may be virtually impossible for them to obtain critical live-saving medications, which means effectively that the US sanctions have pronounced a death sentence upon them.
Manouchehr Esmaili-Liousi, a young 15-year-old boy from the city of Dezful, in the southwestern province of Khuzestan who suffered from hemophilia, was the first victim to die due to a lack of medicine caused by the sadistic US sanctions against Iran.
Condemning the sanctions, Ahmad Ghavidel, the director of Iran’s Hemophilia Society, said that ‘sanctions hitting medicine in Iran are causing a silent death and are a ploy to hurt the health of Iranian people’. Naser Naqdi, the director general of Darou Pakhsh, Iran’s largest pharmaceutical firm, said bluntly, “There are patients for whom a medicine is the difference between life and death. ... If you have cancer and you can’t find your chemotherapy drug, your death will come soon. It’s as simple as that.”
US Representative Brad Sherman (D, Ca) admits that the misery and death inflicted on Iranians by the sanctions is intended. “Critics argued that these measures will hurt the Iranian people,” he said, adding malevolently, “Quite frankly, we need to do just that.”
Cynics arguing in favor of continuing the inhumane sanctions are quick to point to the previously mentioned ‘humanitarian’ loopholes and some even go so far as to blame Iran, the victim, for mismanaging its pharmaceutical supply chains. However, former Woodrow Wilson Scholar, Siamak Namazi, puts the blame where it belongs squarely on the US, explaining, “But, there is no mistaking that the scarcity of medicine and medical equipment in Iran started with the tightening up of sanctions. ... Shortages began when the continuous tightening of sanctions eventually placed overwhelming obstacles in the way of humanitarian trade.”
Let us examine the behavior of the United States under its own definition of international terrorism. According to the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, section 14, found under Title 50 of the United States Code, Chapter 35, Section 1701:
“The term ‘act of international terrorism’ means an act: (A) which is violent or dangerous to human life and that is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any State; and (B) which appears to be intended - (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by assassination or kidnapping.”
Concerning (A) above, certainly, the US sanctions are dangerous to human life and withholding needed medication from a patient would be a violation of the laws if committed within the United States, so (A) applies. As for (B), based on Representative Sherman’s remarks, the sanctions are intended to do harm thereby intimidating the civilian population, so (B) (i) applies.
The legal conclusion appears inescapable. Based upon the above definition taken from its own laws, by imposing its Zionist-devised sanctions against Iran, the United States is committing an act of international pharmaceutical terrorism. But Manoucher’s parents already know this, as do the 8,000 Iranians with similar blood diseases, as well as the millions of Iranians suffering from kidney diseases, cancers, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening diseases.
Source: Press TV
War on Free Media
Eutelsat’s secretary Edoudardo Silverio, in a letter to Nilesat authorities, demanded they stop broadcasting Iranian channels, Press TV reported on Wednesday.