Tag Archives: Soleimani

Iran’s Zarif on his first visit to Iraq after Soleimani’s death

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Ties between the neighbours have been turbulent since the US assassinated the Iranian commander in Iraqi in January.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is visiting Iraq, for the first time since the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani in January.

Zarif and his Iraqi counterpart Fuad Hussein stressed the necessity for a stable Iraq for the “good of the region” as the two top diplomats discussed their ties and regional developments in Baghdad on Sunday.

Zarif is also expected to meet Iraq’s president, the speaker of parliament and the prime minister during the visit as regional security, bilateral relations and business investments feature on the agenda.

Zarif’s visit to Iraq comes amid tensions between the United States and Iran, which escalated following Soleimani’s killing in an air attack in the Iraqi capital.

In a joint news conference with Hussein, Zarif said a “stable and powerful” Iraq was in the interest of both the countries.

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“That is why we look forward to continued constructive bilateral negotiations. The stability, security and peace in Iraq is the stability of the entire region,” he said.

“Again, we reiterate that we are keen on maintaining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq.”

The two foreign ministers met in the Iraqi foreign ministry in Baghdad [Khalid al-Mousily/Reuters]

Fuad Hussein said his country looked forward to continuing its “balanced relations” with all the countries in the region.

“[The relations are] based on first our national interest, then on mutual interest with our neighbours without any interfering in our domestic affairs.”

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Zarif visits Soleimani memorial
During his visit, Zarif visited a memorial to Soleimani at the site where he and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), were killed near Baghdad’s international airport.

Tehran had retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq.

While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain al-Assad killed no US soldiers, dozens were reported to have suffered brain trauma.

Zarif said the assassination of Soleimani was “a criminal act”.

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“It is a loss to our country and to the entire region, and it undermines the international efforts for combating ISIL (ISIL) and terrorism in the region,” he said.

This was Zarif’s first visit to Iraq since the killing of Soleimani and formation of the new Iraqi government.

Reporting from Baghdad, Noble Reporters Media said the recent months have been turbulent for relations between Iran and Iraq.

“New Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has been stressing the importance of Iraq’s sovereignty,” she said.

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“He also recently moved against armed groups present in Iraq, such as Hezbollah, which is considered close to Iran,” she said, referring to the Lebanese Shia group backed by Tehran.

“This visit is aimed at recalibrating mutual relations and making sure Iran’s security, economic and political interests are represented in Iraq.”

Zarif’s visit comes a day before al-Kadhimi travels to Saudi Arabia and Iran next week in apparent attempt to balance his country’s ties with regional rivals in his first foreign trip as Iraq’s prime minister.


#Newsworthy…

UN react to Iran top general’s murder – blame US

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The US drone strike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was “unlawful”, the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report released Tuesday.

Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded it was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the UN charter.

The US had provided no evidence that an imminent attack against US interest was being planned, she wrote.

The independent rights expert does not speak for the United Nations but reports her findings to it.

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Her report on targeted killings through armed drones — around half of which deals with the Soleimani case — is to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Thursday.

The United States withdrew from the council in 2018.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 26, 2019 United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnes Callamard delivers a report during the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. – The US drone strike that killed Iran’s top general Qasem Soleimani was “unlawful”, the United Nations expert on extrajudicial killings concluded in a report released on July 7, 2020, concluding it was an “arbitrary killing” that violated the UN charter. (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP)

US President Donald Trump ordered the killing of Soleimani in a January 3 drone strike near Baghdad international airport.

Soleimani, a national hero at home, was “the world’s top terrorist” and “should have been terminated long ago”, Trump said at the time.

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Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis was also killed in the drone strike.

“In light of the evidence that the US has provided to date, the targeting of General Soleimani, and the deaths of those accompanying him, constitute an arbitrary killing for which, under IHRL (international human rights law), the US is responsible,” Callamard said in her report.

‘No evidence’ imminent attack planned
She said the strike violated the UN Charter, with “insufficient evidence provided of an ongoing or imminent attack,” she wrote.

“No evidence has been provided that General Soleimani specifically was planning an imminent attack against US interests, particularly in Iraq, for which immediate action was necessary and would have been justified,” Callamard said.

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“No evidence has been provided that a drone strike in a third country was necessary or that the harm caused to that country was proportionate to the harm allegedly averted.

“Soleimani was in charge of Iran’s military strategy, and actions, in Syria and Iraq. But absent an actual imminent threat to life, the course of action taken by the US was unlawful.”

The killing of Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, provoked massive outpourings of grief in Iran.

Tehran retaliated by firing a volley of ballistic missiles at US troops stationed in Iraq. While the attack on the western Iraqi base of Ain Al-Asad killed no US soldiers, dozens suffered brain trauma.

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Callamard’s report addresses targeted killings through armed drones, in light of the proliferation in drone use and their expanding capability over the last five years.

It makes recommendations designed to regulate their use and enhance accountability.

Callamard said that while incidents like the killing of Soleimani and the September 2019 hit on Saudi Arabia’s oil processing facilities generated strong political reactions, “the vast majority of targeted killings by drones are subjected to little public scrutiny”.

Drone technologies and drone attacks were generating fundamental challenges to international legal standards, she added.


#Newsworthy…

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(When you think it’s over) – U.S launches air raids in Iraq.

…after deadly rocket attack.


The United States has launched a series of air raids in Iraq against several locations of an Iran-backed militia that it blamed for an earlier rocket attack that killed and wounded US and British troops.

Among the facilities attacked late on Thursday was an airport under construction in the holy city of Karbala, an Iraqi airport official confirmed.


Iraq’s military said in a statement that the US air raids hit four locations in the country.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the US conducted “defensive precision strikes” against Kataib Hezbollah facilities across Iraq.


“These weapons-storage facilities include facilities that housed weapons used to target US and coalition troops,” it said.

Separately, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the air raids as a “proportionate” response to the rocket attack south of the capital, Baghdad that killed two US troops and a British soldier.


“UK forces are in Iraq with coalition partners to help the country counter terrorist activity and anyone seeking to harm them can expect a strong response,” Raab said in a statement.

NobleReporters, heard that aside from Kataib Hezbollah, other militia groups under the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) were also hit south of Iraq’s capital as well as in Babylon and Karbala.


So far, there have been injuries reported following the attacks, but no confirmation on fatalities, she said.

A US official told The Associated Press news agency news agency that the raids were a joint operation with the British. The officials spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.


Earlier on Thursday, US President Donald Trump gave the Pentagon the authority to respond after a rocket barrage killed two US troops and a British soldier, again raising tensions with Iran after the two countries came to the brink of war earlier this year.

Washington had blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a strike in December that killed a US contractor, leading to a cycle of tit-for-tat confrontations that culminated in the January 3 US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and a retaliatory Iranian missile attack that left more than 100 US troops with brain injuries.


In the latest rocket attack, responsibility for which has not been claimed, some 14 US-led coalition personnel were also wounded, including US , British, Polish and others. Private industry contractors were among the wounded.

Following the retaliatory attack, Iran warned Trump against taking “dangerous actions”.


“Instead of dangerous actions and baseless accusations, Mr Trump should reconsider the presence and behaviour of his troops in the area,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.

N.Rs learnt it remains to be seen how the militia groups will respond to the retaliatory strikes, but added that the latest attacks are likely to once again ignite calls in Iraq for the expulsion of US troops.

She noted that the Popular Mobilisation Forces commanders have already come out to condemn the latest raids “as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Kataib Hezbollah was one of the Iraqi militia groups that helped defeat the ISIL (ISIS) group.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Iraqi Shia Cleric, al-Sadr stage million-man march


Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has asked Iraqis stage a “million-man march” against the continued US military presence in the country, days after the parliament voted to expel the American troops following an assassination operation by Washington on Iraqi soil.

The march was needed “to condemn the American presence and its violations”, Sadr, who leads the largest parliamentary bloc, Sairoon, said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“The skies, land, and sovereignty of Iraq are being violated every day by occupying forces,” he added.


The cleric, however, cautioned that such a show of popular disapproval should be a “peaceful, unified demonstration”, without giving any location or date for the rally, Fars News agency reported.

Sadr in a meeting with leaders of the country’s popular forces on Monday conferred on ways to end the US occupation of Iraq.


On January 5, the parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution calling for the expulsion of all US-led forces, days after the US assassinated Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force Commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), or Hashad al-Shabi, five Iranian, and five Iraqi soldiers near the Baghdad airport.

Sadr condemned parliament’s resolution as a “weak response”, stating that the move fell short of an appropriate reaction to recent developments in Iraq and calling on armed groups in Iraq to unite.


Following the parliamentary vote, the office of Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi asked Washington to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad to initiate preparations for the withdrawal of 5200 American troops.

In response, President Donald Trump threatened to sanction Iraq “like they’ve never seen before ever” if Baghdad were to expel US troops.

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr


Also on Tuesday, the Iraqi military announced that Katyusha rockets have hit an airbase North of the capital Baghdad, which houses the US-led coalition forces. The statement from Iraq’s military added that Camp Taji had been targeted by Katyusha rockets but reported that there were no casualties, with no group claiming responsibility for the attack.

On Sunday, four people were wounded after eight Katyusha rockets were fired at Balad airbase, which houses US personnel about 80 kilometers North of Baghdad.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Iran dismiss Trump’s new deal


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a proposal for a new “Trump deal” aimed at resolving a nuclear row.

Rouhani said the new dealt was a “strange” offer and he criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for always breaking promises.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has praised Trump as a great dealmaker, called on Tuesday for the president to replace Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers with his new pact to ensure Tehran does not get an atomic weapon.


Trump said he agreed with Johnson that a “Trump deal” should replace the Iran nuclear deal. In a televised speech, Rouhani told Washington to return to the nuclear pact, which Washington abandoned in 2018.

However, President Rouhani of Iran replied “This Mr. Prime Minister in London, I don’t know how he thinks. He says let’s put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action, If you take the wrong step, it will be to your detriment. Pick the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani


Rouhani said Iran could reverse steps that exceeded restrictions in the agreement as soon as sanctions are lifted.

“What we have done is reversible. Whatever we do on the nuclear issue is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency(IAEA),” said Rouhani.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Soleimani, son of a bitch! – Trump said


U.S. President Donald Trump has called Qassem Soleimani a “son of a bitch” in his latest round of fierce criticism of the Iranian general he had assassinated earlier this month.

Trump told a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday that there were many “young men and women walking around without arms and without legs” because of Soleimani.

“Great percentages of people don’t have legs right now and arms because of this son of a bitch,” Trump said, adding that “he should have been killed 20 years ago.”


Trump was this week forced to defend the targeted killing of Soleimani after critics questioned the “imminent” nature of the threat the president said justified the move.

Washington credits the general with orchestrating the killing of hundreds of U.S. soldiers in Iraq.


Trump’s administration has also been criticised over conflicting statements on the rationale behind the killing. Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday said he never saw evidence that Iran was planning an attack on four U.S. embassies, as Trump had claimed two days earlier.

Republicans have used the strike on Soleimani to defend Trump as taking action against enemies while Democrats try to remove him from office as impeachment proceedings move forward.

Qassem Soleimani (lt.)


Iran retaliated against the Soleimani attack by firing ballistic missiles at two Iraqi bases housing U.S. forces.

No one was harmed in the strikes and Trump has since ordered additional sanctions on Iran, instead of striking back, in what has been taken as a de-escalation of tensions.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Trump warns against students massacre


US President Donald Trump warn Iranian leaders against attempting the massacre of protesting students or shutting down the internet.

He said the United States was monitoring Iranian demonstrations closely after protests broke out on the heels of Tehran admission it shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane, in error.


Iran said it unintentionally downed a Ukrainian jetliner outside Tehran, killing all 176 people aboard, in an abrupt about-turn after initially denying Western claims it was struck by a missile. The firing came shortly after Iran launched missiles at bases in Iraq housing American forces.

President Hassan Rouhani said a military probe into the tragedy had found “missiles fired due to human error” brought down the Boeing 737, calling it an “unforgivable mistake.”

Iranian students demonstrate in in front of Amir Kabir University in Tehran on January 11

At a student protest to pay tribute to the crash victims on Saturday, Iranian authorities briefly detained Britain’s ambassador, in what the British government called a violation of international law. He was later released.


Trump told Iranians — in tweets in both English and Farsi — that he stands by them and is monitoring the demonstrations.

“To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you,” he tweeted.


“There can not be another massacre of peaceful protesters, nor an internet shutdown. The world is watching,” he added, apparently referring to an Iranian crackdown on street protests that broke out in November.

“We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage,” he said.

US President Donald Trump


The new demonstrations follow an Iranian crackdown on street protests that broke out in November. Amnesty International has said it left more than 300 people dead.

Internet access was reportedly cut off in multiple Iranian provinces ahead of memorials planned a month after the protests.


#Newsworthy…

Military action against U.S over for now – Iran


Takht-Ravanchi, Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations, told CNN Friday that military action against the United States is “over for the time being.”

In his appearance on the cable news network, Takht-Ravanchi addressed President Donald Trump’s claims in a Wednesday speech that Iran was standing down, after Tuesday’s attacks against Iraqi military bases that housed American troops. “With the action that we took the other day, we concluded that phase of our military action against the U.S. forces,” the ambassador said.

Later in the interview, Takht-Ravanchi stated that while Iran was done with military action for the time being, Iran would respond if the U.S. attacked again. “When they started something like this and Iran responded proportionately, that phase was over. So, if the U.S. is going to start again, definitely we’ll have to respond,” he said.

The ambassador also said that Iran’s actions were a direct response to the U.S. airstrike that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.


“We didn’t start this episode,” he said. “It was started by assassinating a top general of the Iranian armed forces in the territory of Iraq. This is against international law; this is against the Iraqi sovereignty.”

In response to Vice President Mike Pence’s claims that Iranian forces weren’t “shooting to miss” and “intended to kill Americans” in the attack, Takht-Ravanchi said that the Iranian government was “not looking after killing Americans within this operation,” and intended to attack where Soleimani was killed.


“We chose the place where the attack against Soleimani was initiated,” Takht-Ravanchi said. “We do not consider a high number of casualties as an instrumental element in our calculations.

The ambassador also said that the attack intended to show the capabilities of the Iranian armed forces.


Takht-Ravanchi also said the Iranian government is not responsible for telling Iraqi militias not to attack U.S. forces. “It is not our job to say that this gentleman or that gentleman should do this or should not do this,” he said. “We are responsible for whatever action we take.”

The Permanent Mission of Iran did not immediately respond to Newsweek‘s request for comment.

On Thursday, Congress approved a War Powers Resolution that requires Trump to seek congressional approval before attacking Iran again.

Before the vote, Trump tweeted his disapproval of the resolution. “Hope that all House Republicans will vote against Crazy Nancy Pelosi’s War Powers Resolution,” he wrote.


#Newsworthy…

America called the threats from Iran “Right to self-defense” – Raab


UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said he recognises the threat Iran poses in the Middle East and the US’s “right to self-defence”, after talks with his counterpart in Washington.

His meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes less than a day after Iran fired missiles at air bases housing US troops in Iraq.

Mr Raab also reiterated his support for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis.


“We want to see the tensions deescalated,” he said.

The already tense relationship between the US and Iran has deteriorated significantly in recent days, after a US drone strike killed one of Iran’s top military commanders, General Qasem Soleimani.


Mr Raab welcomed US President Donald Trump’s call for a diplomatic resolution following Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes.

“Of course it also needs the government in Iran to be willing and committed to that outcome as well,” he added.


The US government said Gen Soleimani had been plotting “imminent attacks”, however Mr Raab refused to say whether he had seen any intelligence on this.

Mr Raab reiterated Britain’s commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on restricting Iran’s nuclear programme,


The foreign secretary said the UK government was “looking very hard at what should happen next” after Iran declared earlier this week that it would abandon all limits on its enrichment of uranium.

“We are absolutely committed, as our American and European partners are, to avoiding Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon,” he said.


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Media captionDominic Raab: UK is “absolutely committed” to stopping Iran get nuclear weapons
Iran’s announcement marked further fracturing of the 2015 nuclear deal, in which the country agreed to limit sensitive nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.


What is the Iran nuclear deal?
Analysis: Is the Iran nuclear deal dead and buried?
The US withdrew from the deal in 2018, but the other parties – the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia – said they were still dedicated to it.

Mr Raab said while the UK has been committed to the deal, “we’ve reached a point where non-compliance has been so acute in the most recent steps taken by Iran.”

Asked whether there was still a chance that the deal could survive if Iran started to uphold its commitments, he said: “There is an opportunity to build on this deal.

“But ultimately the objective is the most important thing which is to avoid the risk of Iran seeking – let alone acquiring – a nuclear weapon.”


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Hours after missiles attack, 2 rocket crashed in U.S embassy in iraq


Two rockets crashed late Wednesday into the Iraqi capital’s Green Zone, the high-security enclave where foreign embassies including the US mission are based, security sources said.

The attack came nearly 24 hours after Tehran launched ballistic missiles at Iraqi bases housing American and other coalition forces in retaliation for the US killing top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani. N.Rs shook


Just before midnight, reporters in Baghdad heard two loud blasts followed by the wailing security sirens of the Green Zone.

The strikes were in retaliation for a US drone strike that killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis last week.


Muhandis had been the deputy head of the Hashed al-Shaabi, a web of armed groups incorporated into the Iraqi state but which also have close ties to Tehran.

The United States had accused Hashed groups of being behind a string of rocket attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad and bases hosting American troops across the country.


On Wednesday, the Hashed’s hardline factions vowed they, too, would take revenge for the US raid.

Paramilitary chief Qais al-Khazali — blacklisted as a “terrorist” by the US — said Iraq’s response to the US “will be no less than the size of the Iranian response.”

Harakat al-Nujaba, a hardline Hashed faction, vowed to avenge Muhandis.

“To American soldiers: Do not close your eyes. Revenge for the martyr Muhandis is coming at the hands of Iraqis — until the last soldier among you leaves,” it said.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs IRAN: We don’t want war – Iraqi said to U.S


Iran foreign minister has insisted they do not want a war despite firing more than a dozen ballistic missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing American troops in a revenge attack for the U.S. drone strike that killed their top Iranian general.

Foreign minister Javad Zarif defended the missile strikes saying Iran took ‘proportionate measures’ and was only acting in ‘self-defense’ when they struck back at the U.S.

Zarif, however, warned that Iran did not ‘seek escalation or war’ but vowed to continue defending themselves if the U.S. chooses to retaliate.

The firing of the missiles late Tuesday was a major escalation between Iran and the U.S. and raised immediate fears that the two longtime enemies were inching closer to war.

But the response from Iran’s foreign minister is one of a few indicators that there might not be further retaliation on either side – at least in the short term.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Lindsey Graham warns Iraqi

…gives details on Trump’s next step


Senate Judiciary leader and one of Trump’s closest allies, Lindsey Graham has given Donald Trump the go ahead to retaliate for Iran bombings on two US airbases Tuesday night.

Senate Judiciary leader Lindsey Graham warns Iran & gives details on Trump

Iran fired 15 ballistic missiles that targeted two Iraqi airbases housing U.S. and coalition forces, a major act of retaliation by the rogue regime after the death of Quds Force Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.


South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said on Tuesday night that the missile strikes were an ‘act of war’ and said Trump had all the power he needed to act.

‘This is an act of war by any reasonable definition,’ Graham told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday norning.


‘The President has all the authority he needs under Article II to respond.’

Senate Judiciary leader Lindsey Graham warns Iran & gives details on Trump


“Let me say tonight if you are watching television in Iran,” Graham said on “Hannity.” ” I just got off the phone with the president. Your fate is in your own hands in terms of the regime’s economic viability.”

This was an act of war,” Graham continued. “By any reasonable definition. The missiles were launched from Iran. The president has all the authority he needs under Article II to respond. It was an act of war by the regime that for the last 40 years has been a cancer in the Mideast. When they say they want to destroy Israel, they are not kidding,” he continued.


“The president has to do a couple things tonight,” Graham said. “What can I do to restore deterrence to make sure this doesn’t happen again? He doesn’t want regime change. He wants the behavior of the regime to change in three areas: Their ballistic missile program needs to change, they need to stop being the largest state sponsor of terrorism, and we need a nuclear deal that does not ensure them a pathway to a bomb like Obama.”

We are dealing with religious Nazis. They have been disrupting the Mideast for 40 years…,” he said. “Here’s what the president, I think understands about the Iranians. They are never going to change until you make them change. For the last 40 years, they have been wreaking havoc on the world and we’ve got a new sheriff in town.”


“I want to … thank those that are serving in uniform in the Mideast. You are the virtual wall between us and radical Islam,” Graham said.

“We can build a wall along our southern border to protect us there, but you can’t build a wall between us and radical Islam. You need some of our people working with others to keep these bastards at bay.”

(Left) Lindsey Graham & Donald Trump (Right)


” I have complete confidence in President Trump and his team to protect your family members and to protect our nation,” he added.

“This is the first president in the last 40 years who really understands the Iranians.”


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Missiles hit U.S base in Iraq


Iran has shot a number of missiles into the United States military base in Iraq.

At least Iran fired 12 missiles into the base as revenge for America’s killing of a top Iranian general.


The Pentagon said it was still “working on initial battle damage assessments” after “Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against US military and coalition forces in Iraq”.

“It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil,” the Pentagon said.


There were no immediate reports on casualties but the Pentagon said it had been ready, after days of steadily mounting tension and exchanges of threats of war.

“These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region,” a spokesman said.


Iranian state television reported an attack on one base housing US personnel, saying it was in response to Friday’s killing in a US drone strike of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, one of the most important figures in the country’s government.

Also killed was a top Iraqi commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who was with Soleimani just outside Baghdad international airport when the US drone struck.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced that the Ain al-Assad base was hit with dozens of missiles, warning that a US counter-attack would be met with an even “more crushing response.”

In Washington, US President, Donald Trump, was “monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team,” according to the White House.


#Newsworthy…

Iran says they will defends their country after threatening two US base with missiles


Iran on Tuesday January 7, fired a barrage of missiles on two US bases in Iraq following the country’s threats to revenge the US killing of Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Forces.

Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif has since called the missle attacks ‘self-defense,’ adding that they do ‘not seek escalation or war’ but would defend themselves against any aggression.


#Newsworthy..

UK warns citizens in Nigeria to return home after shi’ites protest soleimani’s death


The United Kingdom has issued a warning to its citizens in Nigeria to be more security conscious and vigilant due to the tension between the United States and Iran following the killing of Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani.

Some Muslim groups in Nigeria took to the streets to protest Qasem Soleimani’s death. During their protest, they had a banner with the words, “Death to America. Death to Israel.” They also burnt a US flag during the protest which held in Abuja.

UK, in its latest travel advice via the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued on Tuesday, December 7, urged its citizens in Nigeria to avoid large gatherings and also to stay clear of unsafe areas.

United Kingdom issues security alert to citizens in Nigeria after some Muslim groups took to the streets to protest the killing of Qasem Soleimani

The statement reads: “The British High Commission is not aware of specific threats against British nationals but you should continue to avoid large crowds and public demonstrations as they can turn violent unexpectedly and at short notice.

“If you become aware of any nearby unrest or disturbances, you should leave the area immediately.”


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: Khamenei says there will be no proxy attacks

…instruct military to retaliate on U.S


Following outrage in Iran over the US killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, and his subsequent three day state funeral which ends Tuesday, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a direct retaliation against the United States rather than relying on proxy attacks.

Khamenei, the Commander in chief of Iran’s Armed Forces, who was also a close friend of the killed Soleimani, swore to revenge the killing of Soleimani using the Iranian military, a startling departure for the Iranian leadership which had almost always cloaked its attacks behind the actions of proxies it had cultivated around the region since 1979.


Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after shedding tears at Soleimani’s coffin, made a rare appearance at a meeting of the government’s National Security Council and said their revenge must be a ‘direct and proportional attack on American interests’, openly carried out by Iranian forces themselves.

On Tuesday, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council said the country had lined up 13 ‘revenge scenarios’ in retaliation for Soleimani’s death.

”The Americans should know that until now 13 revenge scenarios have been discussed in the council and even if there is consensus on the weakest scenario, carrying it out can be a historic nightmare for the Americans,” Ali Shamkhani said.

Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in Iraq in a U.S. drone strike on Friday was the leader of the Quds Forces of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: 30 and more killed at Soleimani’s burial


More than 30 people have been killed in a stampede as Iranians flocked to the burial of a top commander killed in a US drone strike, Iranian media report.

The deaths led to the postponement of Qasem Soleimani’s internment. A new time will be announced later, officials say.

Soleimani is being laid to rest in his hometown of Kerman, with millions already estimated to have packed the streets for funeral processions.


His killing has raised fears of a conflict between the US and Iran.

Soleimani was widely considered the second most powerful man in Iran behind Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The US saw him as a terrorist and a threat to American troops.


US President Donald Trump adopted a tough stance against Iran after his election, and Tehran responded with their own campaign. Tensions were raised further last month after the US attacked an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq it blamed for attacks on US forces.

It is unclear what caused the stampede in Kerman, south-eastern Iran, but vast numbers of people were in the streets ahead of Soleimani’s burial, first set for Tuesday morning.


The exact death toll is unconfirmed – one emergency official put it at 32 while another said it was 40. Nearly 200 people are also said to have been injured.

Top Iranian officials have renewed their threats of revenge.


“The martyr Qassem Soleimani is more powerful… now that he is dead,” the Revolutionary Guards’ top general, Major General Hossein Salami, told crowds in Kerman.

The Guards were set up to defend Iran’s Islamic system and are a major political and military force.


Mourners chanted “death to America” and “death to Trump”, reporters there said.

At one stage the theme music to the 1970 US film Love Story was played, something BBC Monitoring says maybe more for its sentimentality rather than the film being widely known in Iran.

On Monday, Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers at Soleimani’s funeral in Tehran, at one point weeping over his coffin.

Unconfirmed estimates from Iranian state television put the number who took to the streets of Iran’s capital alone as “millions”. The crowds were large enough to be seen in satellite images.


#Newsworthy…

U.S vs Iran: U.S forces, Terrorists – Iraqi passed bill over soleimani’s death


Iran’s parliament passed a bill on Tuesday designating all US forces “terrorists” over the killing of a top Iranian military commander in a US strike last week.

Qasem Soleimani, the popular head of the Revolutionary Guards’ foreign operations arm, was killed in a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on Friday, ratcheting up tensions between the arch-foes.


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U.S vs Iran: NSCIA warns Muslim youths over protesting the death of Soleimani


The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has warned Muslim youths across the country against protesting over the death of top Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump.

In a statement released by Ibrahim Aselemi the council’s Head of Media of the council on Monday January 6, Muslim youths were told not to allow their emotions overshadow their good judgement as the issue between US and Iran can be resolved through dialogue.


The statement read in parts;

“The attention of NSCIA has been drawn to a planned peaceful protest by some Muslim youths in the country to vent their anger over the killing of Iranian top military commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Iraq.

“Although protests are an integral part of civil democracy all over the world, NSCIA believes that the timing is wrong.”

This is coming after some members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites, took to the streets of Abuja on Monday to protest against the killing of General Qasem Soleimani.


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U.S vs Iran: Foreign Minister Javad Zarif taunt Donald Trump after thousands gathered at Soleimani’s burial


Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has taken to Twitter to taunt US President Donald Trump after hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran on Monday to mourn the death of General Qassem Soleimani killed by a US drone strike ordered by Trump.

According to Zarif, who helped negotiate the Iran Nuclear deal with the Obama Administration, the crowd size was symbolic and was just the first sign that US military presence in the Middle East will soon be a thing of the past.

He urged Trump to distance himself from his advisers who seek confrontation with Iran: “Do you still want to listen to the clowns advising you on our region? And do you still imagine you can break the will of this great nation?”

The huge crowd size for the slain Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani will be the first time Iran has honored a single man with a multi-city ceremony.


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Mourners full Iran as they return soleimani’s corpse


A tide of mourners wept and beat their chests in the Iranian city of Ahvaz Sunday, paying homage to top general Qasem Soleimani, after he was killed in a US strike in Baghdad.

“Death to America,” they chanted at a mass gathering in the southwestern city, where Soleimani’s remains arrived from Iraq before dawn, according to semi-official news agency ISNA.


Packing the streets as Shiite chants resonated in the air, mourners held up portraits of Soleimani, seen as a hero of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war and for spearheading Iran’s Middle East operations as commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.

Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike Friday near Baghdad international airport, shocking the Islamic republic. He was 62.


The airstrike was ordered by President Donald Trump, who said the Iranian general had been planning an “imminent” attack on US diplomats and the roughly 5,200 American troops deployed in Baghdad.

Soleimani’s assassination ratcheted up tensions between the arch-enemies and sparked fears of a new war in the Middle East.


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei swiftly vowed “severe revenge” and declared three days of mourning.

But Trump warned Saturday that America was targeting 52 sites in Iran and would hit them “very fast and very hard” if the Islamic republic attacks American personnel or assets.


In a sabre-rattling tweet, Trump said: “If they attack again, which I would strongly advise them not to do, we will hit them harder than they have ever been hit before!”

Trump said the choice of 52 targets represented the number of Americans held hostage at the US embassy in Tehran for more than a year starting in late 1979.


US-Iran tensions escalated last year when Trump unilaterally withdrew from a landmark accord that gave Tehran relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

‘Glorious Crowd’
On Sunday, thousands of mourners dressed in black were seen gathered in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz in a live broadcast on state television.


The channel showed crowds gathered in Mollavi Square with flags in green, white and red — depicting the blood of “martyrs”.

Aerial footage showed a tide of mourners crammed into the square and the surrounding streets of downtown Ahvaz, a city of 1.3 million people.


“A glorious crowd is at the ceremony,” said state television.

“The presence of children, teenagers, relatives, veterans, families of martyrs of (the Iran-Iraq war) and defenders of Haram (those martyred in Syria) is a glimpse of the glory of this ceremony,” it added.


In Tehran, members of parliament chanted “Death to America” for a few minutes during a regular session, ISNA reported.

“Trump, this is the voice of the Iranian nation, listen,” speaker Ali Larijani was quoted as saying.


Soleimani’s remains and those of five other Iranians — all Guards members — killed in the US drone strike had arrived at Ahvaz airport before dawn, ISNA said.

With them were the remains of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary umbrella group, who was also killed in the US strike.


They are expected to be flown to Tehran for more tributes on Sunday evening.

On Monday, Khamenei is expected to pray over Soleimani’s remains at Tehran University before a procession to Azadi Square.


His remains are then due to be taken to the holy city of Qom for a ceremony at Masumeh shrine, ahead of a funeral in his hometown Kerman on Tuesday.

Cyber Attack
In neighbouring Iraq, pro-Iran factions ramped up pressure on US installations with missiles and warnings to Iraqi troops — part of an outburst of fury over the killing of Soleimani.


In the first hints of a possible retaliatory response, two mortar rounds struck an area near the US embassy in Baghdad on Saturday. N.Rs culled

Almost simultaneously, two rockets slammed into the Al-Balad airbase where American troops are deployed, security sources said.


The Iraqi military confirmed the missile attacks in Baghdad and on Al-Balad and said there were no casualties. The US military also said no coalition troops were hurt.

There was no claim of responsibility by a specific group.


In another possible act of retaliation, hackers claiming to be from Iran breached the website of a little-known US government agency and threatened more cyber attacks.

The website of the Federal Depository Library Program was replaced with a page titled “Iranian Hackers!” that displayed images of Khamenei and the Iranian flag.

“Martyrdom was (Soleimani’s)… reward for years of implacable efforts,” read a graphic depicting Trump being punched by a first emanating from Iran as missiles fly by.

“This is only (a) small part of Iran’s cyber ability !” another caption on the page read in white text on a black background.


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U.S vs Iran: Americans will blame themselves for killing Soleimani – Rouhani


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has promised members of the dead commander’s family that Americans will “feel the impact” of their “criminal act… for years ahead”.

A huge crowd in Iraq’s capital Baghdad has followed the coffin of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike on Thursday.

Soleimani was the architect of Iran’s Middle East operations and the country has vowed to take “severe revenge”.


The funeral procession in Iraq marked the beginning of days of mourning for Soleimani.

His body is to be returned to Iran for a funeral and burial in his home town.


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (2nd left) offers his condolences to family members of killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in the capital Tehran

The crowds in Baghdad were also there to mourn the death of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi who commanded the Iranian-backed Kataib Hezbollah group and effectively led the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) – an umbrella of militias in Iraq dominated by groups aligned with Iran.


Mourners gathered in Baghdad from the early hours, waving Iraqi and militia flags and chanting “death to America”.

The funeral began at the city’s Al Muthana Airport, then moved to the gate of the heavily fortified Green Zone, where the US embassy is located.


As the procession snaked through the streets, some mourners carried portraits of Soleimani while others held portraits of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Later, the procession left for the Shia Muslim holy cities of Karbala and Najaf.

Reports say the bodies of Soleimani and four other Iranians killed in the airstrike will be flown on Saturday evening to Iran, which has declared three days of mourning for the assassinated general. His funeral in Iran is to be held on Tuesday.

Some Iraqis, conversely, celebrated in Baghdad’s streets at the news of Soleimani’s death. He was accused of orchestrating violent crackdowns on peaceful pro-democracy protests there in recent months.


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Stand Accord – France asks Iran after Soleimani’s death


France urged Tehran Saturday to stick with a landmark nuclear accord at risk of falling apart, the day after Washington killed a top Iranian commander in Baghdad.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said he had discussed the issue with his Chinese and German colleagues, hoping to avoid escalation of an already intense stand-off between Iran and the United States.


“France fully shares with Germany the central objective of de-escalation and preservation of the Vienna (nuclear) accord,” Le Drian said in a statement.

With China, “we in particular noted our agreement… to urge Iran to avoid any new violation of the Vienna accord,” he added.


The 2015 agreement negotiated between Iran and the UN Security Council permanent members — Britain, France, China, Russia and the United States — plus Germany offered Tehran relief from stinging sanctions in return for curbs to prevent it acquiring nuclear weapons.

US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal last year and reimposed even more sanctions on Iran, which in turn has progressively dropped key commitments in the accord, including limits on uranium stock and enrichment levels.

Tehran recently announced that it would take a further step away from the accord in early January and this was widely expected to be announced on Monday.

The European Union, which helped broker the 2015 deal, has been trying to keep the accord alive despite the US withdrawal, but analysts say that now looks increasingly unlikely after the US killed Major General Qasem Soleimani, a key Iranian figure.


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