Home » Posts tagged 'tehran'

Tag Archives: tehran

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

Expect Up To 40% Of Tehran’s Population To Be Infected In 2 Weeks: Iranian Health Official

Expect Up To 40% Of Tehran’s Population To Be Infected In 2 Weeks: Iranian Health Official

With the daily soaring infection rate and death toll inside Iran officially at 124 deaths amid 4747 confirmed cases as of early Friday — though true numbers are believed much higher — all eyes are on the largely unprepared country given it’s the biggest outbreak epicenter outside the virus’ origin country of China.

Health officials worry that Iran could be a sign of things to come in the much of the rest of the world — a deeply alarming prospect given a member of Iran’s National Committee for Influenza and specialist in infectious diseases, Dr. Masoud Mardani, has just issued a stark warning for the capital city of Tehran, brimming with about 9 million people and over 12 million in the greater metropolitan area. 

Dr. Mardai said he expects 30 to 40 percent of Tehran’s population to be infected with coronavirus within the next two weeks.

He was quoted in state media as saying:

“Coronavirus is rapidly spreading … we estimate that 30 to 40 percent of Tehran’s population will be infected by the end of this (Persian) month.”

The current Persian month is the last month of the Persian calendar and ends on March 20, Al Arabiya English notes

According to a summary of his statements given to an Iranian newspaper, he said further

an infected person could transmit the virus to four people at the same time. Therefore it is expected that 30-40 per cent of Tehran’s population will be infected with the virus by March.

He pointed out that many Iranians visit health centers and hospitals when they have regular flu, believing it is a coronavirus.

Dr. Mardai is urging people who think they’re sick to stay home instead of potentially infecting overcrowding medical clinics and hospitals.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No Survivors After Ukraine-Bound 737 Crashes Two Minutes Into Flight From Tehran

No Survivors After Ukraine-Bound 737 Crashes Two Minutes Into Flight From Tehran

Update: There were no survivors in the Ukraine International 737-800 which crashed shortly after takeoff from Iran, according to the head of the Iranian Red Crescent’s Relief and Rescue Organization in an appearance on state television. The New York Timesmeanwhile, reports that the plane was carrying “at least 170 people,” while Bloomberg puts the number between 167 and 180. The cause of the crash has thus far been reported as a ‘technical problem.’

A Boeing 737-800 of the Ukraine International airline in Duesseldorf, Germany, in September.Credit…Ina Fassbender/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Four helicopters and 22 ambulances were sent to the crash site, according to Bloomberg.


Updated photos of air crash flight #PS752 @isna_farsi

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Again Blocks Internet & Mobile Service Ahead Of Protesters’ Funerals

Iran Again Blocks Internet & Mobile Service Ahead Of Protesters’ Funerals 

Fearing the potential for renewed protests and violent clashes with police, Iran has again blocked internet and mobile access to broad section of the country on Wednesday.  

This as several funerals will be held over the coming days for protesters killed last month amid a severe government crackdown, which also witness an unprecedented nationwide internet blockage which lasted for a week or more in some provinces. 

Citing Iranian state media, Bloomberg reports, “The mourning services are scheduled to begin on Thursday. The independent Shargh newspaper said five unidentified provinces will be subject to the blackout, while ILNA said internet users in those areas will have access to a limited number of state-approved Iran websites and applications.”

Protesters last month torched gas stations and banks, angry at a sudden massive gas price hike, which turned anti-government, via The Guardian. 

Government authorities are reportedly acting in response to relatives of some among the killed who have posted to social media calling for renewed protests to be held on Thursday in conjunction with ceremonies commemorating the victims (various estimates put those killed from the November protests ranging from 200 to over 300, with the US State Dept. claiming multiple times that number).

The US as well as various human rights organizations have accused Tehran authorities of quelling protests — initially sparked by a huge gas price hike when subsidies were slashed — with live ammunition and other brutal tactics. 

Thus it appears the government is making a move to prevent large-scale protests before they gain momentum. State-run ILNA said of the mobile and internet blockage: “According to this source, it is possible that more provinces will be affected by the shutdown of mobile international connectivity,” after it appeared to spread on Wednesday.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

UAE To Host European-Led Naval Mission To Secure Gulf Waters

UAE To Host European-Led Naval Mission To Secure Gulf Waters

France announced Sunday that a proposed European-led mission to patrol the Persian Gulf will be based out of a recently established French naval base in Abu Dhabi, and that the naval patrol will soon go “operational” amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Paris has spearheaded efforts to get the European maritime security mission off the ground, in competition with US efforts at establishing an American-led mission, which Iran and some European allies fear could lead to war, given Iranian leaders have condemned any US efforts to “police” the vital Strait of Hormuz

“This morning we formalized that the command post will be based on Emirati territory,” Defence Minister Florence Parly told reporters in the UAE capital.

A French Rafale-M lands on board the USS George H. W. Bush, via French Navy.

“We hope … to contribute to a navigation that is as safe as possible in a zone which we know is disputed and where there has already been a certain number of serious incidents,” she explained of the French-led mission.

The maritime patrol is expected to start early next year and will involve some ten European and non-European nations.

Parly further condemned the latest Iranian announcements confirming that it is blowing past uranium enrichment limits previously agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal.

The maritime initiative since being first proposed in July has received broad support in Europe, including the UK, following the summer-long ‘tanker wars’ which had resulted in the months-long capture of a British-flagged vessel, later released.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Deploys 2 Warships To Escort Commercial Vessels As Zarif Flies To Beijing After G-7

Iran Deploys 2 Warships To Escort Commercial Vessels As Zarif Flies To Beijing After G-7

The threshold to an armed conflict around the Persian Gulf just got even smaller.

On Monday, Iran said it had deployed two warships – a destroyer and a helicopter carrier – to protect the country’s commercial vessels around the Gulf of Aden, located between the Arabian Peninsula and Africa, and Persian Gulf region amid a growing US-driven military build-up in the volatile region, which recently culminated with several tanker seizures on both sides, the navy times reports.

Iran’s brand new destroyer Sahand and the supply ship/replenishment carrier Kharg whiuch has a helicopter pad and services as lositics support,  were deployed to the Gulf of Aden and Sea of Oman and tasked with escorting ships in international waters.

The “Sahand” commissioned in December 2018, is Iran’s most advanced home-made warship. It has a stealth hull and can travel a further than the previous class destroyers without refueling. It is equipped with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles as well as anti-aircraft batteries and radar and radar evading capabilities.

Iranian naval forces attend a Dec. 1 inauguration ceremony for the destroyer Sahand, in Bandar Abbas, Iran

Tehran’s decision to escort its cargo vessels comes at a time of escalating tensions in the Gulf, with US and UK warships operating in and around the Persian Gulf under the “defensive” premise that Iran is the aggressor behind June’s attacks on two tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. Accusing Tehran of ‘sponsoring terrorism’ and running a secret nuclear program, Washington has beefed up its military in the region with more troops and hardware, including an aircraft carrier and bombers.

In early July, the Iranian tanker Adrian Darya, previously known as Grace 1, was seized off the coast of Gibraltar for allegedly carrying oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US and Iran Stuck on Negotiation Ground Zero

US and Iran Stuck on Negotiation Ground Zero

Donald Trump says he’s ‘okay either way’, whether there’s war with Iran and Tehran seems to be okay  with that too, warns Pepe Escobar.

All bets are off in the geopolitical insanity stakes when we have the President of the United States (POTUS) glibly announcing he could launch a nuclear first strike to end the war in Afghanistan and wipe it “off the face of the earth” in one week. But he’d rather not, so he doesn’t have to kill 10 million people. 

Apart from the fact that not even a nuclear strike would subdue the legendary fighting spirit of Afghan Pashtuns, the same warped logic – ordering a nuclear first strike as one orders a cheeseburger – could apply to Iran instead of Afghanistan. 

Trump once again flip-flopped by declaring that the prospect of a potential war in the Persian Gulf “could go either way, and I’m OK either way it goes,” much to the delight of Beltway-related psychopaths who peddle the notion that Iran is begging to be bombed

No wonder the whole Global South – not to mention the Russia-China strategic partnership – simply cannot trust anything coming from Trump’s mouth or tweets, a non-stop firefight deployed as intimidation tactics. 

At least Trump’s impotence facing such a determined adversary as Iran is now clear: “It’s getting harder for me to want to make a deal with Iran.” What remains are empty clichés, such as Iran “behaving very badly” and “the number one state of terror in the world” – the marching order mantra emanating from Tel Aviv. 

Even the – illegal – all-out economic war and total blockade against Tehran seems not to be enough. Trump has announced extra sanctions on China because Beijing is “accepting crude oil” from Iran. Chinese companies will simply ignore them. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Washington’s wager concerning Iran

Washington’s wager concerning Iran

Even more than Syria, Iran is now at the heart of the confrontation between East and West. The astounded public is witnessing Washington’s daily about-turns in what seems – mistakenly – to be an escalation towards war between the two countries. But this is not what it is about. Fortunately, the two Great Powers have demonstrated for the last 75 years that they are reasonable, and have always managed to stand down before they arrive at the point of mutual destruction.

JPEG - 30.4 kb

Tension is apparently rising between Washington and Teheran. As usual, President Trump is blowing hot and cold. Thus, on 21 June, he went as far as ordering the bombing of Iran, then changed his mind a few minutes before attacking his targets. And yet this behaviour, which has often allowed Donald Trump to win successes in the West, does not carry much weight with the Persian psychology [1]. But is he trying to impress Iran ?

The attitude of the North Americans must be understood from the point of view not only of their Middle Eastern policy, but also their global policy [2]. More than a conflict with Iran, it’s the balance of power between East and West that is at stake.

 Since the Second World War, the central preoccupation of the United States has been their rivalry with the USSR, then Russia. Since the first Geneva Conference (June 2012), on the margins of the Syrian conflict, Moscow has proposed to be the guarantor of regional peace alongside and in equality with Washington. This recalibration of international relations was imagined under the auspices of the ex-Secretary General of UNO, Kofi Annan.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Accelerating Imperial Decline

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Accelerating Imperial Decline

Washington’s foreign policy towards Iran is driven by desperation rather than a reasoned understanding of a world in historically significant flux. That can lead only to a continuing succession of failures.

The kinetic events of the past week in Washington, Tehran, and the Persian Gulf were nothing if not revealing. President Donald Trump proved the keeper of the peace, warmongers all around him, when he aborted an airborne attack on Iran Thursday evening. The Iranians continue to act with admirable restraint in the face of incessant provocations.

More such provocations are sure to come. Trump announced over the weekend that he will impose yet another layer of “major new sanctions” against Iran on Monday. After a minor cyber-attack against an Iranian intelligence agency last week, the Pentagon has developed a list of Iranian entities it is considering for a more extensive cyber-war campaign.

Trump: New sanctions and more provocations to come.  (The White House/Shealah Craighead)

But there are more fundamental truths to derive from the swift escalation of Washington’s hostilities toward Tehran. They come to four. Taken together, they offer a snapshot of an imperial power in accelerating decline.

Paralyzed Elites

First, Trump’s determination to avoid pointless new wars of adventure has divided Washington to an extent that is unprecedented at least as far back as the Vietnam debacle. In addition to hawkish factions within the administration and the national security apparatus, an apparent majority on Capitol Hill — liberals as well as Republicans — favors war as the principal instrument of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure”

Iran goes for “maximum counter-pressure” 

Sooner or later the US “maximum pressure” on Iran would inevitably be met by “maximum counter-pressure”. Sparks are ominously bound to fly.

For the past few days, intelligence circles across Eurasia had been prodding Tehran to consider a quite straightforward scenario. There would be no need to shut down the Strait of Hormuz if Quds Force commander, General Qasem Soleimani, the ultimate Pentagon bête noire, explained in detail, on global media, that Washington simply does not have the military capacity to keep the Strait open.

As I previously reported, shutting down the Strait of Hormuz

would destroy the American economy by detonating the $1.2 quadrillion derivatives market; and that would collapse the world banking system, crushing the world’s $80 trillion GDP and causing an unprecedented depression.

Soleimani should also state bluntly that Iran may in fact shut down the Strait of Hormuz if the nation is prevented from exporting essential two million barrels of oil a day, mostly to Asia. Exports, which before illegal US sanctions and de facto blockade would normally reach 2.5 million barrels a day, now may be down to only 400,000.

Soleimani’s intervention would align with consistent signs already coming from the IRGC. The Persian Gulf is being described as an imminent “shooting gallery.” Brigadier General Hossein Salami stressed that Iran’s ballistic missiles are capable of hitting “carriers in the sea” with pinpoint precision. The whole northern border of the Persian Gulf, on Iranian territory, is lined up with anti-ship missiles – as I confirmed with IRGC-related sources.

We’ll let you know when it’s closed

Then, it happened.

Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, went straight to the point; “If the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Messaged Iran With Last Second Opening For Talks Just Before Calling Off Strikes: Report

Trump Messaged Iran With Last Second Opening For Talks Just Before Calling Off Strikes: Report

More dramatic details have trickled out this morning surrounding last night’s US military strike operations on Iran, which were reportedly called off at the last moment by President Trump even as American ships and missile batteries were in position, even including planes in the air ready for an assault.

According to a new Reuters report, Iranian officials say they had received a message from the White House notifying that a major attack was on Iran was imminent but that President Trump “was against war and wanted talks on a range of issues”.

The New York Times and WSJ reported of the called off attack, citing a handful of senior officials, that the president was prepared to attack a number of Iranian targets, including radar and missile batteries. However, he eventually gave the word to stand down, with the NYT reporting that Trump chose to pull US military forces back.

Oil Extends Surge After Drone Strike Fuels U.S.-Iran Tensions

Reuters says the message was delivered via Oman mediators overnight and it was revealed quickly after Trump had called of the strikes. “In his message, Trump said he was against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues,”one of the unnamed Iranian officials told Reuters.

“He gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader (Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei to decide about this issue,” the source said.

And Reuters cites a second Iranian official, who said: “We made it clear that the leader is against any talks, but the message will be conveyed to him to make a decision.” The official added, “However, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Says Tanker Attack Has “Iran Written All Over It” As Tehran Slams US “False Flag”

Trump Says Tanker Attack Has “Iran Written All Over It” As Tehran Slams US “False Flag”

Iran has slammed what it’s mission to the United Nations said are “unfounded and reckless” claims put forth yesterday by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing Iran of conducting the “blatant” attack on two international oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday. Meanwhile President Trump on Friday morning told Fox & Friends that the tanker attacks had “Iran written all over it” and dismissed Iran as “a nation of terror.”

Notably, Iranian officials have accused the US or one of its allies of conducing a false flag operation as part of the “disinformation campaign” to continue its “maximum pressure” which aims at bringing Tehran into the cross hairs of a US-led war.

“The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots and false flag operations in the region,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said.

Issued late Thursday, the statement said further: “Warning, once again, about all of the US coercion, intimidation and malign behavior, Iran expresses concern over suspicious incidents for the oil tankers that occurred today.”

“The US economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as the massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security,” the statement continued.

Iran’s foreign minister also later described the US accusations as “sabotage diplomacy” following his previous comments posted to Twitter saying “Suspicious doesn’t begin to describe what likely transpired” — especially given Iran’s president and the Ayatollah were hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe to mediate nuclear deal matters and sanctions relief at the very moment the attack took place

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudis Claim Iran Ordered Aramco Pipeline Drone Attack

Saudis Claim Iran Ordered Aramco Pipeline Drone Attack

Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed Iran for ordering an attack early this week on two Aramco pipeline booster stations, a strike that was intended as part of a broader sabotage campaign to disrupt world oil supplies, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih. 

The drone attacks came one day after a string of attacks on two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, and caused the temporary closure of a vital east-west pipeline traversing the kingdom, since reopened. Image source: Reuters

Prince Khalid Bin Salman, the vice minister for defense and brother of the crown prince MbS, described Yemen’s Houthis – which were believed to have launched the drone attack – of being used as an “Iranian” tool advancing Tehran’s aggression and hegemony in the region. 

In a tweet, he said the Houthi militias “are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region, and not to protect the people of Yemen as the Houthis falsely claim”.

Embedded video

#BREAKING Saudi Arabia confirmed that militants, probably Iranian backed Houthi militants, sent booby-trapped drones targeting #Aramco‘s two oil pumping stations in Dawadmi and Afif provinces in #Riyadh, amid the tension between #US and Iran

Since 2015 Saudi coalition jets have been waging a brutal bombing campaign over Yemen to roll back the country’s Shia Houthi rebels, the latter which have occasionally launched missile and drone attacks against sensitive sites in the kingdom, at times even reaching Riyadh’s international airport with ballistic missiles. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards

Iran Squeezed Between Imperial Psychos and European Cowards

Berlin, Paris and London assumed Tehran could not afford to leave the JCPOA even if it was not receiving any of the promised economic rewards.  Now the EU3 are facing the hour of truth, writes Pepe Escobar.

The Trump administration unilaterally cheated on the 2015 multinational, UN-endorsed JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal. It has imposed an illegal, worldwide financial and energy blockade on all forms of trade with Iran — from oil and gas to exports of iron, steel, aluminum and copper. For all practical purposes, and in any geopolitical scenario, this is a declaration of war. 

Successive U.S. governments have ripped international law to shreds; ditching the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is only the latest instance. It doesn’t matter that Tehran has fulfilled all its commitments to the deal — according to UN inspectors. Once the leadership in Tehran concluded that the U.S. sanctions tsunami is fiercer than ever, it decided to begin partially withdrawing from the deal. 

President Hassan Rouhani was adamant: Iran has not left the JCPOA — yet. Tehran’s measures are legal under the framework of articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA — and European officials were informed in advance. But it’s clear the EU3 (Germany, France, Britain), who have always insisted on their vocal support for the JCPOA, must work seriously to alleviate the U.S.-provoked economic disaster to Iran if Tehran has any incentive to continue to abide by the agreement. 

Protests in front of former U.S. embassy in Tehran after U.S. decision to withdraw from JCPOA, May 8, 2018. (Hossein Mersadi via Wikimedia Commons)

Russia and China — the pillars of Eurasia integration, to which Iran adheres — support Tehran’s position. This was discussed extensively in Moscow by Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Javad Zarif, perhaps the world’s top two foreign ministers. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Retaliates To US Provocations: Threatens To Accelerate Uranium Enrichment

Iran Retaliates To US Provocations: Threatens To Accelerate Uranium Enrichment

Iran celebrated the one-year anniversary of President Trump officially withdrawing the US from the JCPOA – or the Iran deal, as it’s better known – by suspending its commitments under the 2015 treaty, an unprecedented escalation from Tehran that will almost certainly alienate the other signatories, who had pledged to do everything in their power to keep the deal intact.

Iran

with an American aircraft carrier idling in the Mediterranean and a team of B-52 bombers on standby, Iran goaded the US to strike by announcing that it would start retaining its enriched uranium and heavy water stocks instead of selling them abroad. President Hasan Rouhani also threatened to start increasing production of enriched uranium within 60 days unless the other treaty partners meet commitments related to oil purchases and other financial arrangements, something that will be almost impossible to do now that the US has ended export waivers on Iranian oil.

Iran informed France, Germany, Russia, China and the UK, the remaining parties to the treaty, of its decision early Wednesday. Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted that Iran was within its rights to suspend the deal now that the US had reimposed all economic sanctions, and added that it was now up to Iran’s European partners to act.

On May 8 2018, US withdrew from #JCPOA, violated #UNSCR 2231 & pressured others—incl #E3—to do the same
After a year of patience, Iran stops measures that US has made impossible to continue
Our action is within the terms of JCPOA.
EU/E3+2 has a narrowing window to reverse this.

While China and Russia blamed Washington for Iran’s decision, France’s Defense Minister said France would likely have little choice but to join the US in reimposing sanctions on Iran.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Iran Revolutionary Guard Commander Warns US Carrier: Stay Away From Our Speed Boats

Iran Revolutionary Guard Commander Warns US Carrier: Stay Away From Our Speed Boats

It begins: unprecedented tit-for-tat formal “terror” designations exchanged between Washington and Tehran on Monday could soon enter a hot war on the ground. A mere hours after President Trump formally designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization on Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry responded in kind by immediately putting forward a bill placing the US Central Command (CENTCOM) on a list of organizations designated as terrorists, akin to ISIS. 

This means each side has given its armed forces authorization to target the other as part of “war on terror” operations. And already on Tuesday an IRGC commander has put the US Navy in the Persian Gulf on notice, warning it not to come anywhere near Revolutionary Guards speed boats. Specifically, according to Iran’s ISNA news agency, Tehran has warned that America’s aircraft carrier currently deployed to the gulf, the USS John C. Stennis, should not come anywhere near IRGC boatsIRGC speed boats, via Tasnim News

According to Reuters, citing Iranian state media: 

An Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander warned the U.S. Navy to keep its warships at a distance from Revolutionary Guards speed boats in Gulf waters, a day after the United States designated the Guards as a terrorist organisation.

“Mr Trump, tell your warships not to pass near the Revolutionary Guards boats,” ISNA news agency reported a tweet from Mohsen Rezaei as saying. 

Over the past years there’s been a number of intercept incidents in the Persian Gulf carried out by each side — none of them escalating to the point of serious exchange of fire. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase