Iran allegedly hired Canadians to conduct assassinations on U.S. soil, according to indictment

“Two Canadians planned to conduct assassinations in the U.S. on behalf of Iran’s intelligence services, according to allegations in a newly unsealed indictment.

The suspects are accused of plotting to shoot a man and woman living in Maryland, one of them a defector from Iran.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-allegedly-hired-canadians-to-conduct-assassinations-on-us-soil-according-to-indictment-192921168.html

Iran has enough uranium to make 12 nuclear bombs in five months, warns former UN weapons inspector

“Iranian scientists can produce enough weapons-grade uranium to make 12 nuclear bombs within five months, it has been claimed.
The revelation follows the disclosure by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) that the Iranian regime has increased the production rate of highly enriched uranium up to 60 per cent purity.

Modern nuclear weapons require uranium to be enriched up to 90 per cent but inspectors within the IAEA believed this could be achieved by Iran very quickly.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-enough-uranium-12-nuclear-195015629.html

US warned Iran that ISIS-K was preparing attack ahead of deadly Kerman blasts, a US official says

“The U.S. government privately warned Iran that the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan was preparing to carry out a terrorist attack before bombings in Kerman earlier this month that killed 95 people, a U.S. official said Thursday.
The official, who was not authorized to comment and insisted on anonymity to discuss the intelligence, said the U.S. was following its longstanding policy of a “duty to warn” other governments against potential lethal threats.

The official did not detail how the U.S., which does not have diplomatic relations with Iran, conveyed the warning about its intelligence on ISIS-Khorasan, known as ISIS-K, but noted that government officials “provide these warnings in part because we do not want to see innocent lives lost in terror attacks.”

Iranian state media did not acknowledge the U.S. giving Tehran the information, and Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the Jan. 3 attack on Kerman, about 820 kilometers (510 miles) southeast of Iran’s capital, Tehran. The dual suicide bombing killed at least 95 people and wounded dozens of others attending a commemoration for the late Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the leader of the Revolutionary Guard’s expeditionary Quds Force, who had been killed in a 2020 U.S. drone strike in Baghdad.

In the time since, Iran has been trying to blame the U.S. and Israel for the attack amid Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It has launched missile attacks on Iraq and Syria. It then launched strikes on nuclear-armed Pakistan, which responded with its own strikes on Iran, further raising tensions in a region inflamed by the Israel-Hamas war.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-warned-iran-isis-k-163615266.html

The Killing of 3 American Troops Was an Avoidable Tragedy

“U.S. Special Forces had first set up shop in al-Tanf during the war against the Islamic State. Their plan was to support the Revolutionary Commando Army, a friendly Syrian rebel group. That project failed embarrassingly. The Revolutionary Commando Army suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Islamic State in 2016, and one of its leaders ran off with American-made guns after he was accused of drug trafficking in 2020. Kurdish-led forces elsewhere in Syria became a much more reliable partner for the U.S. military.
Meanwhile, Russia—which is allied with the Iranian and Syrian governments—agreed to enforce a 55 kilometer “deconfliction zone” around al-Tanf. The zone also included Rukban, an unofficial refugee camp built by Syrians fleeing government persecution. (The Syrian government reportedly tortured two former Rukban residents to death in October 2022.) No country wanted to take responsibility for the camp, and it took almost a decade for the U.S. military to begin providing food aid to Rukban.

Washington, however, had a different purpose for al-Tanf in mind: countering Iran and its allies. The base’s location near the Iraqi-Syrian border made it valuable real estate, especially for anyone intent on breaking up the “land bridge” between Iranian allies. It also allowed the U.S. military and Israeli intelligence to listen in on Iranian communications, according to Al-Monitor, a Washington-based magazine focused on the Middle East. So the Americans stayed.

“Control of [al-Tanf] neutralized a key border crossing point on the road between Baghdad and Damascus, which forced Iran and others to cross from Iraq into Syria at a more distant border crossing to the north,” former Trump administration official John Bolton declared in his 2020 memoir, The Room Where It Happened. “Besides, why give away territory for nothing?”

More provocatively, Israeli forces began using al-Tanf’s airspace to bomb Iranian and pro-Iranian forces in Syria. (Since American aircraft often fly the same route, Syrian “air defenses can’t tell the difference until it’s too late,” a U.S. official told Al-Monitor.) The Israeli air campaign, known as “the war between the wars,” was designed to prevent Iran from moving weapons into the region in anticipation of a future war. Israel dropped more than 2,000 bombs on Syria in 2018, through “near-daily” air raids, with the direct involvement of U.S. leaders.

“The Israeli strike plans were submitted through the U.S. military chain and reviewed at CENTCOM [U.S. Central Command], usually days in advance of the strike; the strike plans outlined the purpose of the mission, the number of warplanes that would carry out the attack, and when it would occur,” wrote Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Gordon in his 2022 book, Degrade and Destroy: The Inside Story of the War Against the Islamic State. “They also spelled out the routes the Israeli planes would take and the coordinates of the target that would be struck. CENTCOM would examine the request, which would also be shared with the U.S. defense secretary, who would have the final say.”

It seemed like a win-win arrangement. Israel had a safe route for its bombing runs, and the United States could weaken a foreign rival without getting directly involved. But there was a problem: Iran was not stupid, and it could see that the American troops were facilitating the raids on its own troops. In retaliation for a series of Israeli attacks in October 2021, the Iranian military bombed al-Tanf the following month. No Americans were harmed at the time, but it was an ominous sign of the dangers involved.”

“Other officials and experts continued to worry that al-Tanf could become a liability. Former U.S. Air Force colonel Daniel L. Magruder Jr. called al-Tanf “strategic baggage” in an article published by the Brookings Institute a few weeks after Biden was elected. He recommended withdrawing U.S. forces in exchange for a deal to allow the refugee safe passage. The colonel warned that Russia and Iran had “acted provocatively” against al-Tanf in the past. “Would the U.S. be able to control escalation if an American were killed?” he wondered.

Three years later, Magruder’s question is sadly relevant. It remains to be seen how Biden will react to the killing of the three American troops, and whether that reaction deters further violence or escalates the situation even more. But Washington can’t say it wasn’t warned.”

https://reason.com/2024/01/29/the-killing-of-3-american-troops-was-an-avoidable-tragedy/

The US Coast Guard seized a big cache of weapons bound for Houthi rebels, including ballistic missile components and explosives

“Over 200 packages of illegal weapons and military components bound for Yemen have been seized by the US Coast Guard, the US Central Command said in a statement on Thursday.
The shipment was seized from a vessel in the Arabian Sea on January 28, per the statement. The US Central Command said the weapons had originated in Iran and were en-route to be delivered to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

A vast assortment of weapons were found on the vessel, ranging from medium-range ballistic missile components, explosives, and anti-tank guided missile launcher assemblies.

“This is yet another example of Iran’s malign activity in the region, ” Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, CENTCOM commander, said in the statement.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-coast-guard-seized-big-042318794.html

Iran goes public with stark warning over suspected spy ship as U.S. refuses to rule out more strikes

Iran goes public with stark warning over suspected spy ship as U.S. refuses to rule out more strikes

https://www.yahoo.com/news/iran-goes-public-stark-warning-130042353.html

The US must strike Iran, and take out its terrorist commanders

“After more than 170 attempts since October, the proxies of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) have succeeded in killing three US soldiers and injuring 25 in on the Jordan-Syria border. The US must respond now, and it must hold the IRGC directly accountable. Washington should conduct targeted strikes against senior IRGC commanders – a course of action that would send a clear message to the regime in Iran and make it think twice about escalating further.
For decades, the mainstream view among so-called policy “experts” in the Washington and Westminster bubble has been that targeted strikes against the IRGC increases the chance of all-out war with Tehran. This popular narrative that such action will lead to “World War 3” has shaped the Biden administration’s reluctance to respond to Tehran’s consistent acts of aggression since October 7, including sponsored attacks on US forces. But is the fear of what the IRGC would do in such a scenario worse than the reality? Past experiences seem to suggest so.

Since at least 2008 different US and Israeli administrations have conducted high value targeted strikes against the IRGC and its key proxies. The list of those struck reads like a terrorist all-star roster: Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah’s terror chief, killed in 2008; Hassan Shateri, the Quds Force general suspected of being behind Hezbollah’s underground missile infrastructure, killed in 2013; Qasem Soleimani, the second-most powerful man in Iran, killed in 2020; Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the IRGC’s nuclear weapons scientist, killed in the same year; and, more recently, Sadegh Omidzadeh, head of the Quds Force intelligence unit in Syria, killed last week.

In each case, Khamenei’s regime has vowed “harsh revenge”; in practice, each strike has degraded his regime’s ability to inflict violence on America and its allies. Perhaps the best example was the regime’s so-called “Operation Martyr Soleimani”. After the assassination of the IRGC commander – itself a response to a string of Iranian backed attacks on Western interests – Tehran launched a series of ballistic missiles at al-Asad Airbase and Erbil International Airport in Iraq. But as it pulled the trigger, it simultaneously announced that it had given advance warning to the Iraqi government, which in turn had passed this warning to American forces.

This is how Tehran responded to the killing of its most senior and valuable commander. Not the outbreak of World War 3, but a carefully choreographed display. And it was no exception to the general rule: whenever America and its allies have conducted high value targeted strikes against the Iranian regime, they have deterred further action rather than encouraged it.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-must-strike-iran-terrorist-142731799.html