Iranian General: We'll Bolster Our Military until It Overthrows Israel (Fars-Iran)
The top commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards in Tehran
province, Brig.-Gen. Mohsen Kazzemeini, said Wednesday that "they (the
U.S. and the Zionists) should know that the Islamic Revolution will
continue enhancing its preparedness until it overthrows Israel and
"And we will continue defending not just our own country, but also
all the oppressed people of the world, especially those countries that
are standing on the forefront of confrontation with the Zionists."
Iran Defense Minister: We Will Not to Allow IAEA to Inspect Every Site (Fars-Iran)
Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Hossein Dehqan warned on
Wednesday that Tehran would not allow the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) to visit every site and facility that it wishes.
He reiterated that the time had come for the Americans to realize
that they were not the world's superpower and no one recognizes them as
such any longer.
Israel Preparing to Combat Terror Against Gas Drilling Rigs (Times of Israel)
Israeli commandos recently simulated the recapture of an offshore gas rig taken over by terrorists.
The naval commandos had to retake the rig from the gunmen without
using firearms, out of concern that gunfire could set the gas alight and
cause the rig to explode.
Israel is also working to modify the Barak 8 missile defense system
to become "a naval Iron Dome," referring to Israel's land-based missile
defense system that proved effective in intercepting rockets fired
See also Israel Navy Drills Responses to Seaborne Terrorists - Yoav Zitun (Ynet News)
The Israeli Navy on Wednesday revealed a series of exercises aimed at improving reactions to possible threats.
One scenario involved seaborne terrorists making an incursion on
Israel's coast, as Hamas frogmen did during last summer's Gaza war.
France Drops Investigation into Arafat's Death (Reuters)
French investigating magistrates have decided to drop an inquiry
into the 2004 death in France of former Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat, whose widow alleged he was poisoned, the prosecutor's office
said on Wednesday.
The French concluded he did not die of poisoning.
Report: Hizbullah Official's Son Arrested for Selling Arms to ISIS (NOW-Lebanon)
Syrian security forces have arrested the son of a high-ranking
Hizbullah military official on charges of buying weapons from Syrian
army soldiers and selling them to ISIS members in Qalamoun, the Lebanese
news site Janoubia reported.
Israel 6th in Healthy Life Expectancy - Itay Gal (Ynet News)
A new study published in the medical journal Lancet puts Israel sixth in the rankings for healthy life expectancy among 188 countries.
"Healthy life expectancy" takes into account not just mortality rates, but also years of life without terminal disease.
See also Healthy Life Expectancy for 188 Countries (Lancet-UK)
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- Kerry: "U.S. Will Oppose Iran's Destabilizing Policies with Every National Security Tool Available"
Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday:
"Iran's support for terrorist groups and its contributions to sectarian
violence...reflect the perceptions of its leaders about Iran's long-term
national interests and there are no grounds for expecting those
calculations to change in the near future....The United States will
oppose Iran's destabilizing policies with every national security tool
"In part because of the challenge posed by Iran, we have engaged in an
unprecedented level of military, intelligence, and security cooperation
with our friend and ally Israel. We are determined to help our ally
address new and complex security threats and to ensure its qualitative
military edge. We work with Israel every day to enforce sanctions and
prevent terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hizbullah from
obtaining the financing and the weapons that they seek - whether from
Iran or from any other source."
"I understand personally there is no way to overstate the concern in
Israel about Iran and about the potential consequences that this
agreement...might have on Israel's security. The fragility of Israel's
position has been brought home to me on every one of the many trips I
have made to that country....I understand the conviction that Israel,
even more than any other country, simply cannot afford a mistake in
defending its security. And while I respectfully disagree with Prime
Minister Netanyahu about the benefits of the Iran agreement, I do not
question for an instant the basis of his concern or that of any
Israeli." (U.S. State Department)
- Political Skirmishing to Continue after Iran Deal Vote - Walter Pincus
Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) have a pending
bill to authorize a 10-year extension of the Iran Sanctions Act, which
expires next year. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob
Corker (R-Tenn.) said last month that the sanctions extension would be
brought up and passed after the debate on the nuclear pact. Iranian
officials have said that extending the authorization for sanctions could
be considered a violation of the agreement.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) has threatened to withhold the U.S.
contribution for fiscal 2016 to the International Atomic Energy Agency
(IAEA) if Congress does not get to see the side agreement between Iran
and the IAEA on examining Tehran's past nuclear activities.
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu to Continue to Speak Out Against Iran Deal - Herb Keinon
Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to speak out strongly against the
Iran nuclear deal, government sources said, even though President
Obama on Wednesday secured the votes needed to sustain a presidential
veto of a Congressional resolution against the deal. An Israeli
official said the accord "remains a dangerous deal, and it remains
important to continue to point that out....Iranian leaders openly say
they will continue their terrorism and aggression, and they will now -
with the sanctions relief - have enhanced resources to do so, because
the deal will give them billions of dollars....This issue will continue
to engage us all."
"The American people get it....They understand the dangers to
They understand the dangers to the United States. That's why a clear
majority believe the deal should be rejected, which is also reflected in
Congress, where a clear majority seems prepared to reject the
deal....The stronger the opposition in Congress to the deal, the
stronger the message to Iran and to America's allies in the region, and
the greater the likelihood that the message will be reflected in U.S.
policy moving forward." (Jerusalem Post)
- Gunfire from Gaza Narrowly Misses Israeli Kids
Bullets fired from a Hamas training camp in Gaza hit an Israeli home
in Kibbutz Netiv Ha'asara on Wednesday. One bullet shattered the
window of a home and hit a television while two children, aged 6 and 9,
were watching it.
(Times of Israel)
- Israeli Rescue Forces Attacked after Saving Palestinians from Burning Building
Israeli rescue forces were pelted with stones after helping to
trapped on the roof of a five-story burning building in the Isawiya
neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday, police reported. In a
joint operation of the Israel Police, Border Police and Fire Service,
the Palestinians were evacuated without injury. The Israeli forces
were then attacked as they were leaving the neighborhood. (Jerusalem Post)
- Here's How America Can Really Make the Iran Deal Better - Robert Einhorn
The way to get a better Iran deal is to strengthen the existing deal by
supplementing it with U.S. policies designed to promote strict
compliance, counter Tehran's destabilizing regional activities, and
prevent a nuclear-armed Iran over the long term.
First, the administration should actively build international support
for rigorous enforcement of compliance, working with key partners to
establish contingency plans for the coordinated re-imposition of
sanctions in the event of Iranian violations, including appropriate
responses to both small and major infractions.
The U.S. should make detection of Iranian weaponization activities a
top U.S. intelligence priority. It should also press potential supplier
governments to comply with renewed Security Council prohibitions on
transferring major conventional weapons and ballistic missile technology
to Iran, step up efforts to interdict illicit shipments to and from
Iran, and strengthen the conventional military and missile defense
capabilities of Israel and Gulf Arab partners.
To deter Iran from deciding to build nuclear arms once restrictions
on its nuclear capabilities expire after 15 years, U.S. presidents, with
the formal endorsement of Congress, should publicly commit the U.S. to
preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to using any means
necessary, including military force, to enforce that commitment.
Finally, the U.S. and its regional partners should mobilize their
collective economic resources and military capabilities - which are far
greater than Iran's - in a coordinated strategy to thwart any Iranian
efforts to destabilize and dominate the region. The writer is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former member of the U.S.-Iran negotiating team.
- Israel's Policy Dilemmas on Syria - Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
The southern part of the Syrian Golan Heights harbors various radical
groups. Israel cannot count any of them among its fans. But these groups
are united by their desire to bring the Assad era to its end, and until
this objective is achieved, they are unlikely to train their sights
on Israel. Meanwhile, the central and northern parts of the Syrian Golan
Heights harbor groups that support Assad. These groups have direct ties
to Iran through its regional proxy, Hizbullah, and they are funded and
armed by Tehran.
Israel has no interest in making life easier for Hizbullah, Assad
and their allies, even if the alternative is a potential threat by
Islamic State. On the other hand, Israel stands to gain nothing by
accelerating the regime's demise, or by aiding radical Sunni groups to
Israel must prevent Iran or Syria from providing Hizbullah with
game-changing weapons or systems that could undermine Israel's strategic
advantage in a future conflict. This should be done by mounting a
surgical strike against any such delivery, regardless of how deep behind
enemy lines it may take place, or how it may affect the interests of
those supporting the regime, be they Syrian, Iranian, or Russian. The
writer served as National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, head
of the National Security Council, and head of the research division of
Iran Is Already Gloating - Amir Abbas Fakhravar and G. William Heiser (Real Clear World)
- The website of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)
accidentally published the minutes of an off-the-record briefing with
Iranian deputy nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi on Aug. 5, before it
was removed hours later.
- Araghchi quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei
Rybakov, who headed the Russian negotiating team. Reportedly, Rybakov
said: "I was telling my associates last night that these Iranians are
truly geniuses. They came to get a green light for their enrichment
program from the Security Council in exchange for what? In exchange for
their sanctions to be lifted. Not only do they not give anything in
exchange, but they receive something in exchange for what they receive!
Their sanctions will be lifted and their enrichment will continue."
- Regarding daily inspections of Iranian facilities, Araghchi
said: "Even before the Geneva agreement, the inspectors were in our
sites four to five times a week. Therefore, we have no problems with
inspections. Now in Natanz, they can not only stay there for 24 hours,
but they may even sleep there if they so wish. In Natanz, there is
nothing to be found so we have no problems with that."
- Araghchi explains how Iran could handle the 24-day process
triggered if the IAEA suspects activities in non-nuclear facilities:
"The IAEA has to present us with evidence as to why it thinks there have
been illegal activities occurring....In cases where their evidence is
not entirely unfounded, we can even use substitute methods; for example,
we will say we cannot allow you into the main facility but we can allow
you access to the area behind it. The other method is for us to
videotape it ourselves and present it to them."
- The Iranian side made clear that it would not stop arming
Hizbullah, and the president knew that he could not defend the deal
before U.S. allies and the Congress without arms and missile sanctions.
The solution: Kerry proposed relaxing these sanctions and putting them
in the UN resolution.
As Araghchi explained: "At the end they themselves came and said that we
will separate the [nuclear] agreement from the [UN] resolution. We will
include the arms and missiles sanctions in the resolution so that
breaking it would not be considered as breaking the agreement."
Washington and Tehran have acknowledged that the JCPOA is not a legally
binding international agreement. It is not a treaty. It is not even an
executive agreement; it has no signatories. It is nothing more than a
set of voluntary understandings. No American president has ever entered
into such a long-term arms control agreement on his own authority.
Amir Abbas Fakhravar, an Iranian dissident, is an adjunct
professor at Texas State University. G. William Heiser is a former
Reagan administration official who served as Arms Control Director on
the National Security Council staff.