The spineless attacks on the Kurds by Iran on the border between Iran and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region continuous. The headline in the Iranian propaganda outlet Tasnim on the 14 Nov 22 by the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Ground Force Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour stated that the IRGC will hit more terrorist targets in the KRG. He also stated those targets that had been attacked since 28 Sep 22 would be attacked again. He claimed that the new strikes were a result of continuous warnings to the Baghdad government about the “need to expel and disarm the separatist group in northern Iraq.” Another case of bullying, attempting to oppress and intimidate and continue to be a tyrant to a neighbouring country knowing how difficult it is for not just the Kurds but the Iraqi government to respond to the largest military force its neighbour Iran has. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said, "The Islamic Republic does not expect to be threatened from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in view of the two countries' excellent relations." “The central government (in Iraq) is responsible to (stamp out) these (terrorist) measures." The point regarding “excellent relations” raise’s an eyebrow, odd comments when you read the Iranian version of ‘excellent’ relations and compare it with the Iraqi statement on the attacks. Iraqi News stated from the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs that “This unilateral and hostile approach will not help in finding solutions leading to stability. Our stances previously indicated the danger of such a blatant aggression on Iraq’s sovereignty and the safety of its citizens. This attack reflects the continuous threat that will cause confusion and increase tension in the region,” the statement explained. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take high-level diplomatic measures in this regard and will do what it takes to preserve Iraq’s sovereignty in a manner that enhances the safety of its people,” the statement added. Yet again the mighty military force of the Islamic Republic of Iran takes on people who cannot fight back. Their attacks with rockets, missiles and drones are what would be called unheroic by others, but to the Iranian military their forces are heroic. What for? For victimising those who are reportedly responsible for the current demonstrations in Iran. If you take a pinch of salt and remove one grain from that pinch you will have ‘an’ (singular) element of truth when the Iranian propaganda machine reports anything. The murder of Mahsa Amini by the morality police and the protests that have been on-going since the 16 Sep 22 are the only element of truth. That is the one grain. Amini was a Kurd. For all their military might and boasting to the innocent people of Iran their attacks on the Kurds are pusillanimous.
On the 18 Nov 22 Iraqi News reported that a liquid gas explosion had occurred in the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah killing, at the time of reporting, five people and injuring fifteen others. A spokesperson on the 19 Nov 22 for the Foreign Ministry of Iran expressed sympathy with Iraq over the explosion of a heating gas tank in the northern city of Sulaymaniyah that has killed at least “15 people” (one grain). On the one hand the Islamic State of Iran bombs, launches drones and missiles at innocent Kurds in the north of Iran on the Iraqi border, bragging about it; accuses the Kurds of inciting a revolution after Iranian morality police murder a Kurd for not wearing a headscarf correctly. Then an accident occurs killing several Kurdish people and the Iranians offers its condolences to the Kurds! A very good case of the Islamic Republic of Iran practising belittling hypocrisy.
Then on the 19 Nov 22 a warning was delivered to Iraqi and Kurdish officials in Baghdad by Iran’s Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani, who arrived in the capital on an unannounced two-day visit. Ghaani threatened Iraq with a ground military operation in the country’s north if the Iraqi army does not fortify the countries’ shared border against Kurdish opposition groups. A carrot and stick. Either you stop the Kurds from inciting demonstrations in Iran or we will invade. How nice of the Iranian Quds force commander to fly into a neighbouring country unannounced and issue a threat. Rock and a hard place for the Iraqi’s.
The House that Ayatollah Khomeini Lived in
On the 18 Oct 22 the Arab News reported that “Protestors burn down old home of Iran’s regime founder Ayatollah Khomeini.” Ayatollah Khomeini whose ideology continues to guide the Islamic Republic of Iran’s revolutionary ideals has been seen on social media outlets ablaze from an arson attack. The BBC verified the assault on the Ayatollah’s home which had been turned into museum commemorating his life a central point for the revolution. Regional authorities had denied there had been a violent incident saying, "the doors of the house of the late founder of the great revolution are open to the public." Other social outlets posted on-line showed people cheering as the fire broke out. The house, which belonged to Imam Khomeini (1902-1989), is a simple two-story structure (see opening picture). The late founder of the Islamic Revolution lived in the house from 1951 to 1964. The house was registered as a National Heritage Site in 1997. The Works of the Sources of Emulation Museum opened in the house in 2013.
Iran and the Threat to Europe
Iran’s “weapons proliferation” is a threat to Europe, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen warned on the 18 Nov 22. Is Europe now seeing that the Iranian threat is not just against those residing in the Middle East and the United States but that it now involves a threat on a much wider scale? The Europeans have dithered for a long time over the years because matters occurring in Iran and particularly elsewhere have not really been seen as a large threat to Europe. However, with the Iranian supplying drones to the Russians the European Union must now see that the threat from Iran poses a greater danger especially ‘if’ the conflict in the Ukraine should possibly expand. In Aug 20 When the United States lobbied for an indefinite extension on the 13-year-old Iranian arms embargo against the Islamic Republic of Iran which was due to expire in Oct 20, Russia and China were against the extension with Germany, France and the United Kingdom abstaining. The U.S.-sponsored resolution only received two ‘yes’s’ and required nine to carry the vote. The then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said, "The Security Council's failure to act decisively in defence of international peace and security is inexcusable." Iran made it clear that they had defeated the United States, but it would not go on a spending spree. In the Tehran Times on the 19 Oct 20 Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said, “that Iran will sell more weapons than it will purchase following the expiration of a UN arm embargo on Tehran that expired on the 18 Oct.” On the 23 Oct 20 according to Press TV,Government Spokesman Ali Rabi'ei said, the country that buys Iran’s weapons must pursue an ethical and responsible approach, refrain from warmongering, and want the weapons only for defence. “Iran will make the decision [to sell its weapons] in full compliance with international rules and framework,” he added. Iran says to sell weapons only for ‘defensive purposes.’ The selling of drones and missiles to Russia in an illegal war obviously defines Iran’s definition of “defensive purposes” which beggars the question when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program being for “peaceful purposes.”
Proof of Iranian involvement in Yemen
On the 15 Nov 22 the United States Coast Guard ship USCGC John Scheuerman and guided-missile destroyer USS The Sullivans stopped and searched a Dhow along a route in the Gulf of Oman. The vessel was found to be carrying bags of ammonium perchlorate hidden inside of what initially appeared to be a shipment of 100 tons of urea. Urea, a fertilizer, also can be used to manufacture explosives. The shipment was revealed to have originated in Iran and was being moved to Yemen. This is the first find of illegal activity since the ceasefire between the Houthi’s and the Yemen government came to an end by the Houthi’s. The Iranian-backed Houthi’s clarified this in a statement on the 1 Oct 22 when they said the ceasefire in Yemen is at “a dead end.” The U.S. Navy said the amount of ammonium perchlorate discovered could fuel more than a dozen medium-range ballistic missiles, the same weapons Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have used to target both forces allied to the country’s internationally recognized government and the Arab Coalition that supports them. At the disclosure of the find, Houthis could not be immediately reached for comment. Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, on the 18 Nov 22 in the Islamic Republic of Iran Tasnimne News outlet they said, “The Iranian UN mission vehemently rejected the US Navy’s claims that Iran was trying to smuggle 70 tons of a missile fuel component hidden among bags of fertilizer aboard a ship bound for Yemen.” They later also stated, the diplomatic mission further said that “Iran is doing its utmost to restore the truce agreement and facilitate dialogue among Yemeni groups as soon as possible in order to establish peace and stability in Yemen,” Press TV reported.” The Iranians had not, nor have not, contributed to the failed ceasefire. More hypocrisy.
On the 16 Nov 22 the head of the British intelligence agency said that they had thwarted at least ten occasions of Iranian plots to kill or kidnap people residing in the UK. Ken McCallum, Director General of the Security Service known as MI5 said, “At its sharpest this includes ambitions to kidnap or even kill British or UK-based individuals perceived as enemies of the regime,” He added, “We have seen at least 10 such potential threats since January alone.” Iranian officials were not immediately available for comment. Iran is well known for its attempts to silence others who stand up against the regime particularly in Europe and the United States. On the 19 Nov 22 Canada Eric Balsam, spokesman for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service “CSIS is actively investigating several threats to life emanating from the Islamic Republic of Iran based on credible intelligence.” No other details were given. British police have now deployed armed policemen around the offices of the Persian-language TV channel Iran International in response to the threats made against two of their journalists. The media channel has accused the Islamic State of Iran of “State-Sponsored Intimidation” a first for this new category and one that holds true.
Iran and Israel Maritime War to Continue?
On the 16 Nov 22 Israeli-controlled Eastern Pacific Shipping reported a drone strike against a tanker off of the coast of Oman. The vessel was attacked by a drone bearing extreme similarities to an Iranian Shahed-136 drone, the type that has been supplied to Russia for use in the Ukraine by Iran. Eastern Pacific Shipping, which manages the vessel, said it was investigating the incident involving the Pacific Zircon tanker approximately 150 miles off Oman and accountability of the crew had been done with no injuries or loss of life. The drone had struck the hull causing minor damage and no oil spill. The United States said they were confident that Iran was responsible for the attack. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. “Upon review of the available information, we are confident that Iran likely conducted this attack using a UAV, a lethal capability it is increasingly employing directly and via its proxies throughout the Middle East and proliferating to Russia for use in Ukraine.” All the Tasnimne News agency reported was “under the condition of anonymity, a West Asian defence official told The Associated Press that a drone carrying a bomb had attacked the oil ship Tuesday night off the coast of Oman.” The news outlet also said, “the attack has not yet been attributed to anyone.” On the 30 Jul 21 a Briton and a Romanian were killed after a ‘one way’ drone strike hit a petroleum products tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime off of Oman’s coast. This was the last time that a merchant ship was attacked. It may be possible that we are about to see a resurgence of maritime attacks as Iran continues to suffer demonstrations in the country. By attacking maritime shipping Iran could be attempting to put pressure on nations to stop the press and media coverage of Iran’s internal problems. The last attack was after President Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement which saw incidents of this nature rise. Iran was in the frame for the last attack.
Reports indicate that the current demonstrations and protests are causing the regime of the Islamic Republic big problems as they fail to contain them. Although on two different days and the issuing of two different statements a week apart from prominent officials claiming that the protesters days would be their last, nothing happened. The rallies continued despite the regimes attempt to intimidate those taking part. Reports of police stations being targeted along with statues; Mosques, clergy establishments and the dwellings of prominent people have continued unabated. Threats and intimidation are failing, the world’s press and media are on the hunt and the regime is having problems. State television Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei warned that Iran’s enemies my try to mobilise workers after failing to topple the regime. This may indicate that those who have complained about the lack of wages in the past are now filling the ranks of the protesters and that there have been several strikes where shop have closed, and people have not turned up for work. Protests spread into the vital energy sector last month but demonstrations by workers, which have partly addressed demands linked to pay and working conditions, have been limited. He may have had a premonition of an occurrence forty plus years ago when, “In 1979, a combination of mass protests and strikes by oil workers and bazaar merchants helped to sweep the clergy to power in Iran’s Islamic revolution.” Déjà vu?