Thousands of people responded to a call by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to protest on Friday against the presence of the United States troops on Iraqi soil. A spokesperson read al-Sadr’s statement during the demonstration, in which he called for the cancellation of all security agreements between Iraq and the United States.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that his country will withdraw from the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) if the Europeans present its violations of the Iran Nuclear Deal to the UN Security Council. “If the Europeans continue their improper behavior or send Iran’s file to the Security Council, we will withdraw from the NPT,” he said.
Discussions will begin next week in the Knesset on whether to grant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immunity from prosecution. Netanyahu has been indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust, which he feels are not severe to interfere with his ability to be Prime Minister. Blue and White, his opponents in the next elections, have pushed for hearings on immunity to be held before the elections in March.
Iran confirmed on Tuesday that it fired two missiles on January 8 at Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, a catastrophic error that caused the deaths of the 176 people that were on board. As per the contents of a preliminary report by the Civil Aviation Organisation of Iran (CAOI) released today, investigators who had access to military information “found that two Tor-M1 missiles were fired from the north at the plane.”
The main Iranian football clubs decided not to participate in the AFC Champions League for 2020, in response to an alleged ban on home matches in the country. The move is ostensibly related to the security atmosphere, and comes following the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner by missiles from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps that killed 176 people near the capital, Tehran, local media reported on Saturday.
Progressive liberal influences are affecting Orthodox Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Jews throughout the world. In the news is an article regarding the Catholic church Pope Benedict warns against relaxing priestly- celibacy rules. Pope Benedict resigned from his position and Pope Francis is his successor. Many people guess the reason for his resignation which was very unusual for a Pope to resign. He may have seen that in the future there would be pressure on the Catholic Church to institute reforms and he was not willing to make these changes. One of the changes is being talked about by Pope Francis regarding priestly celibacy rules under the pressures of his opponents that have pressured the church on the issue of immunity of Priests to sexual abuse accusations. Pope Francis has opened the Catholic Church to gays, and has endorsed interfaith dialogue.
Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne promised that Iran would be “pressured” to respond to the “exact cause” of the downing of the Ukrainian aircraft. “The world is waiting for the answer and will not calm down until the right answer is received,” he said in London today. Foreign ministers of five countries whose citizens were killed by two Iranian Revolutionary Guards missiles fired on Ukrainian planes met on Tuesday to pressure Tehran into conducting “full and transparent” investigations into the tragedy.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday night that he was open to negotiating a new nuclear deal with Iran, but the first step depends on the Iranian regime. His only conditions, as he made clear, are “no nuclear weapons and don’t kill protesters.” Trump tweeted, “National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran ‘choked off,’ will force them to negotiate. Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and ‘don’t kill your protesters.”
2020 started with mass casualties of innocent lives. Iran shot down a Boeing airplane operated by Ukrainian airlines, resulting in the loss of human lives. The attack happened after the US successfully executed (via drone strike) Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in Iraq. It is plausible to believe Iran was trying to murder the Iranian-Canadians on the plane, considering them traitors for leaving the regime.
Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff admitted on Saturday that, by “human error,” a missile launched by its army shot down the Ukrainian Airlines Boeing 737 plane with 176 people aboard. In a statement, the Iranian government said the aircraft was wrongly identified as a “hostile aircraft,” and hit it at the time the enemy threat was “at the highest level.” Tehran has apologized for the incident.
Canada and UK claim to have intelligence the Boeing downing that was operated by Ukrainian airlines was done by Iran. Recent reports state that there were over 60 Canadians out of 138 people on board en route to Canada. Many innocent lives were senselessly lost in this tragedy. Canada is a home to over 210,000 Iranian Canadians. There are no direct flights to Iran from Canada. That is one of the reasons many fly to Kyiv and transfer there to reach Canada.
Israel has seen its heaviest rainfall over the last two weeks since 1969. Fierce storms and heavy rain pounded central and northern Israel, causing massive flooding in cities, and rivers causing major damage to homes, vehicles, and infrastructure. The northern city of Nahariya suffered besieged by floods suffered the most damage from the abnormal inclement weather.
US President Donald Trump plans to attend the World Economic Forum in Switzerland later in January. Last year, the President didn’t attend the meeting because of the record-long federal government shutdown. The annual World Economic Forum Summit, held in the popular ski resort of Davos, attracts high-profile businessmen and politicians, as well as academics and other community leaders.
The world is waiting to see what type of retaliation will be made by Iran for the assassination of Solimeini their general chief of staff. Iran shot eighteen missiles at US headquarters in Iraq. Democracy is at war with theocracy in the Middle East. In democracy freedom is of first importance in life. In theocracy the law, the Koran, The Torah is most important. Progressive Jewish Spirituality and Baha”i faith teach that freedom and the law are of equal importance but just like God is unknown his law is an unknown law. Koran and Torah are two attempts both claim to be the Law of God but they are in truth the Law of the Israel nation or the Law of the Islamic nation. The prophets like Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jerimiah taught the truth that there is a third law whose specifics are unknown which is the Law of God. Teach this in a theocracy and you will be put to death immediately.
The US Constitution gives Congress the power to “coin money and regulate the value thereof.” Currently, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces paper money in two locations: Washington D.C. and Fort Worth, Texas. The money printed by the US government facilities are the only ones that are legit paper currency. According to the Federal Reserve, up to 80% of US paper currency ends up outside of the US, equivalent to 2.5 trillion US dollars.
The US and Iran are embroiled in a recent escalated conflict, ever since the death of Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani. He was killed in a drone strike at the Baghdad Airport. Iran retaliated by striking US bases in Iraq. There is talk in the Russian media of Russia supplying C-400 weapon systems to Iraq. The information came from a member of the Russian Ministry of Defense. The S-400 Triumf, previously known as the S-300PMU-3, is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed in the 1990s by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau as an upgrade of the S-300 family. It has been in service with the Russian Armed Forces since 2007.
A plane flying from Tehran, the capital of Iran, to Kyiv, Ukraine, crashed at dawn Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, the local Iranian press reported. The aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Imam Khomeini International Airport. The model is a Boeing 737-800 of the company Ukraine International Airlines, and had 167 passengers and nine crew members on board.
More than 50 people were killed and 212 were injured in a stampede today, during during the funeral procession of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Kerman. The semi-official ISNA, citing Kerman relief chief Mohammad Sabéri, said of the 212 people injured in the stampede, “a small number” is in “serious condition.” Abbas Amian, chief of the forensic institute, said the 50 victims were asphyxiated, as reported by the Iranian media.
The recent assassination of Qassem Suleimani, a top commander of the Iran Quds Force, sent shockwaves across the world and ratcheted up war rhetoric between the United States and the Iranian administration. President Donald Trump ordered a drone strike that led to his death. His convoy was attacked while leaving the Baghdad International Airport.
The Iraqi parliament has voted to pass a resolution calling for foreign troops to withdraw from Iraq, including US and German troops. U.S. President Donald Trump also threatened the Iraqi government with sanctions for the first time. The resolution was passed by lawmakers, asking the government to terminate the agreement reached with Washington in 2014. The agreement allowed the United States to deploy 5,200 soldiers in Iraq.
Iran announced, through its national television station Sunday, that it would no longer comply with any restrictions under the 2015 Nuclear Agreement (JCPOA). Although Tehran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations’ nuclear oversight agency, the (IAEA), it will no longer fully comply with the restrictions of the nuclear agreement, with the intervention of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
US President Donald Trump threatened Iraq with drastic sanctions on Sunday if the country dares to kick out US troops out of the country in a hostile manner. The Iraqi Parliament has called on the government to send the US-led coalition out of Iraq after Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani was killed Friday in a US drone attack in Iraq’s capital, Baghdad, by the US. But should Iraq fail to meet the US conditions for a possible retreat, the country will suffer sanctions “like never before,” Trump said.
The Iraqi parliament approved a resolution Sunday calling on the government to end the presence of foreign troops in the country following the attack by the United States that killed Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad airport, the capital of Iraq. “The government commits to revoke its request for assistance from the international coalition fighting Islamic State due to the end of military operations in Iraq and the achievement of victory,” the resolution read in part.
The United States has selected 52 Iranian targets to be attacked if Iran dares launch an attack on any American or U.S. possessions, President Trump posted in a number of tweets. “We have … targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” and “if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets… Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,” Trump tweeted.
Following the assassination of Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, stationed near Iraq’s international airport, Israel is on top security alert. Members of Hezbollah, in Lebanon, have given the America and Israel a warning of a response to this attack on American locations in the Middle East, and even on Tel Aviv.
Many countries have issued statements urging calm and restraint among all parties, since the U.S. launched a rocket attack on Baghdad International Airport early Friday, killing Qasem Soleimani. The Iranian general was the commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. At least eight other people have died in this and other subsequent American airstrikes.
Iran’s Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani has been killed in a drone strike at the Baghdad Airport. The strike was carried out by the US and was ordered by President Donald Trump. Soleimani was a powerful Iranian General and a veteran of the Syrian War. Soleimani led the work of Iranian military advisers in Iraq, and also led the Quds organization, which is responsible for military and intelligence and sabotage activities outside of Iran itself. The force reports directly to the supreme leader of The Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei.
Iran has vowed that it would carry out a “severe retaliation,” after a US airstrike in Baghdad on Friday killed Qasem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force and architect of the growing military influence in the Middle East. Soleimani was a general considered to be Iran’s second most powerful figure, after only the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In a statement, he said revenge awaits the “criminals” who killed Soleimani.
A US air raid on a Baghdad airport in Iraq late on Thursday killed Qasem Soleimani, a general of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iraqi state television reported. The bombing also killed Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, one of the leaders of the pro-Iranian Iraqi militia. Soleimani headed the Quds Force, one of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite arms, and was one of the most powerful military persons in the country.
Hundreds of protesters attacked the US embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday to protest US bombings that left dozens of Shi’ite militia fighters dead on Sunday. Iraqi supporters of pro-Iranian factions stormed the embassy compound, damaging the embassy’s outer wall and shouting “death to America.” Pictures posted on social networks show protesters climbing the heavily protected walls of the building, holding Shiite militia flags.
There has been a tug of war for geopolitical influence and attempts to disrupt the already established balance throughout 2019. We also saw the formation of interesting and very invasive social media polices around the globe. Hence, there were ramifications and changes to the social media landscape:
- France implementing new measures to track and monitor the social media of its citizens.
- Russia is working to complete their digital iron curtain.
- China implementing draconian verification process impacting social credit and privacy.
- UK to ruthlessly start collecting DNA.
- We’ve also seen the rise of deep fake technology that could have a great impact on the US 2020 Presidential elections as well as on the global scale.
Let’s look at the world’s main players and regions:
The death toll from the Iranian protests is as high as 304, says a report released Monday by Amnesty International, which accused security forces of “massacring” unarmed protesters. The videos obtained by the human rights organization show the country’s security forces personnel firing on unarmed protesters “who posed no risk,” according to the group’s report calling on the Iranian government to act to stop the “cruel crackdown.”
Nations have borders, which are protected by their military. Immigration is limited. According to International law, no one is forced to live in a nation against their will. The borders are open to leave and return, but not to foreigners to come in. The right to leave a state is not only to citizens but also to foreigners according to international law.
On Sunday, Israel was reported to have attacked a location on the border of Syria and Iraq, which is being used by Iran for storage and transportation of missiles to Syria and Lebanon. Five men belonging to pro-Iranian militias were killed in the attack. This attack was in the same location in which 23 Iranian Revolutionary Guards were killed last month in another attack, when Israel claimed to have destroyed multiple targets belonging to Iran’s Quds Force. Iran retaliated by shooting several missiles at the Golan and Northern Galilee, which were downed by the Iron Dome.
Some 4,000 people attended the Diplomat Beach Resort Ballroom on Saturday night at a function of the Israeli American Council. President Trump was invited as the keynote guest speaker at the function. Also at the event was Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino giant who introduced President Trump. Adelson is one of the largest donors to the IAC and a supporter of President Trump financially and emotionally.
Newly elected Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett believes an aggressive offense strategy needs to be executed on Iranian targets, as well as additional attacks on Syria. Bennett is an Israeli politician who led the Jewish Home party between 2012 and 2018 and currently serves as an MK for New Right. Bennett publicly shared his doctrine proposal on November 29 in the Israeli media. The doctrine received an immediate reaction from Russia.
Irаn is disputing thе death tоll frоm рrоtеѕtѕ thаt fоllоwеd fuеl prices іn mіd-Dесеmbеr after Amnеѕtу Intеrnаtіоnаl revealed the deaths оf mоrе than 160 рrоtеѕtеrѕ. Prоtеѕtѕ brоkе оut асrоѕѕ Iran on Nоvеmbеr 15, after аuthоrіtіеѕ ѕuddеnlу rаіѕеd thе price оf gasoline bу uр tо 200 percent. Offісіаlѕ іn Irаn did nоt аnnоunсе the dеаth toll оf thе protests, which ѕаw hіghwауѕ closed, bаnkѕ and police stations ѕеt on fire and ѕhорѕ looted.
Iran’s Mіnіѕtrу оf the Interior сlаіmеd that hundreds оf bаnkѕ аnd government buіldіngѕ were burned іn rесеnt рrоtеѕtѕ іn the соuntrу. Amnеѕtу Intеrnаtіоnаl hаѕ аlrеаdу confirmed аt least 143 deaths in thе worst demonstrations in thе соuntrу ѕіnсе 2009. Intеrіоr Minister Abdоlrеzа Rаhmаnі Fazli said thаt 731 banks and 140 gоvеrnmеnt оffісеѕ wеrе ѕеt оn fіrе durіng thе unrest іn Irаn.
The Iranian diaspora continued to support popular protests against the regime’s economic policies after trірlіng thе рrісе оf gаѕоlіnе оnе wееk ago. In a rероrt оn Sundау, the Pеrѕіаn-lаnguаgе Radio Farda rероrtеd ѕеvеrаl vіgіlѕ оf ѕоlіdаrіtу wіth Iranian рrоtеѕtеrѕ іn Stockholm and Gothenburg, in Swеdеn, and Prаguе іn the Czесh Rерublіс.
US Vice President Mіkе Pеnсе ѕаіd оn Thurѕdау that thе Unіtеd Stаtеѕ іѕ backing protests іn Irаn, which have gone on fоr nеаrlу a week against rіѕіng fuеl рrісеѕ in thе соuntrу. In a twееt, Pеnсе criticized thе Irаnіаn authorities’ uѕе оf rерrеѕѕіоn роlісу against peaceful protesters whо саmе оut tо dеmаnd bеttеr lіvіng conditions.
Hоuthіѕ іn Yеmеn hаvе rеlеаѕеd Sоuth Kоrеаn аnd Sаudі vеѕѕеlѕ ѕеіzеd оvеr thе wееkеnd, the South Korean government ѕаіd Wеdnеѕdау іn a ѕtаtеmеnt. Thе Yemeni Hоuthіѕ hаd соnfіrmеd оn Tuеѕdау thе dеtеntіоn оf a Sаudі tugboat аnd ѕhір аnd a Sоuth Korean drіllіng rіg nоrth оf thе сіtу оf Hоdеіdаh, оn thе Rеd Sеа coast, ѕіnсе Sundау. “The three ships were released after the necessary legal measures,” the Houthi military source said.
President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday thаt thе government won victory оvеr unrest, accusing foreign parties оf іgnіtіng it. Despite the poor economic and political conditions that stifled the Iranian people, and led them to go out in mass protests, Rouhani still refuses to recognize the right of his people to demonstrate.
On Tuesday morning, before dawn, four missiles were fired from Syria at Israel. Communities in the Golan Heights and Upper Galilee heard sirens. The Iron Dome defense system intercepted these rockets. This was the first confrontation between Israel and the Iran-backed military in Syria in several months. Israel has bombed Iranian military bases in Syria and Iraq, but Iran did not retaliate until this confrontation.
Popular рrоtеѕtѕ renewed in several Iranian сіtіеѕ— mоѕt nоtаblу the саріtаl Tehran, Mashhad, and Shiraz— against the tripling of gаѕоlіnе prices. Uѕеrѕ оn social nеtwоrkіng sites in Iran circulated mаnу рісturеѕ and vіdеоѕ that show thоuѕаndѕ оf Irаnіаnѕ taking to thе ѕtrееtѕ to dеmоnѕtrаtе against thе dесіѕіоn. Elsewhere, hundreds of cars were seen lined in front of petrol stations.
Ali Khamenei ѕаіd Friday that “thе disappearance оf Iѕrаеl” mеаnt thе destruction оf the Stаtе of Israel, nоt the аnnіhіlаtіоn оf the Jеwѕ. Khаmеnеі аddrеѕѕеd a “Pаlеѕtіnіаn саѕе” іn a ѕреесh, ѕауіng thе Iѕlаmіс Republic’s роѕіtіоn wаѕ “dеfіnіtіvе.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan аrrіvеd оn Tuеѕdау fоr a two-day оffісіаl vіѕіt at the invitation of his US соuntеrраrt, Dоnаld Trumр. He received a lаrgе numbеr оf Turkіѕh citizens durіng his arrival at thе Willard Hоtеl іn Washington, DC. Erdogan and hіѕ wіfе, Amіnа Erdogan, grееtеd Turkish сіtіzеnѕ іn Wаѕhіngtоn bеfоrе аrrіvіng аt thе hоtеl. Turkіѕh сіtіzеnѕ waved bаnnеrѕ in Englіѕh that called for аn еnd tо the tеrrоrіѕt оrgаnіzаtіоn, PKK / BDD, аnd wаvеd Turkіѕh flags.
Late Monday night Israel targeted and killed two Jihad commanders in Syria and in Gaza. In Damascus, Syrian media reported two killed in the attack including Islamic Jihad Akram Ajuri’s son in a home located near the Lebanese embassy in Mezzah, a Western District of the Syrian capital. Jihad Syria blamed the attack on the Zionist criminal enemy.
In rеѕроnѕе tо a ѕtаtеmеnt bу thе Eurореаn Unіоn, urging Iran to stick to their commitments under the Iran Nuclear Deal, Iran’s Foreign Minister ассuѕеd France, Britain, and Germany оf fаіlіng tо соmрlу wіth their оblіgаtіоnѕ. Mоhаmmаd Jаvаd Zаrіf ассuѕеd them оf “kіllіng tіmе,” аnd оf fаіlіng tо meet thеіr оblіgаtіоnѕ undеr thе ѕо-саllеd nuсlеаr dеаl.
An Iѕlаmіс Jіhаd mіlіtаnt and a Palestinian wоmаn wеrе killed Tuеѕdау іn an Iѕrаеlі аіrѕtrіkе іn thе Gаzа Strip, a mіlіtаrу official said. Thе Mіnіѕtrу оf Health іn Gаzа аnnоunсеd in a ѕtаtеmеnt thаt two people wеrе kіllеd, оnе оf thеm a wоmаn, аnd two оthеrѕ were wounded in different strikes еаѕt оf thе сіtу.