Iran Photoshops an Israeli passport to prove Mossad spy

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 From Emanuele Ottolenghi at Commentary:

Last week, Iranian blogger Potkin Azarmehr questioned the authenticity of reports that Iran had executed Majid Jamali Fashi, the 24-year-old Iranian accused of carrying out the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Massoud-Ali Mohammadi.
This morning, Potkin circulated a snapshot of an Israeli passport, showcased on Iranian TV, which authorities claim is evidence that Fashi was an Israeli agent.

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Harry’s Place notices:

The passport Iranian television is claiming belonged to the alleged “Israeli spy” (see Gene’s story below) is a crude forgery copied directly from a facsimile of an Israeli passport on Wikipedia. Such was the ineptitude that the word “forgery” is in fact too generous – they made no effort to even change the details. The only difference is the new photo inexpertly pasted over the original (without even paying attention to the stamps). Details blacked out in the Wikipedia image are simply erased while visible details are left exactly as is.

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Syrian Kurds Play the Russia Card in Pursuit of Autonomy

Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 10 Issue: 10

By: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

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(Source: Kurdistan National AssemblySyria)

The ongoing political and security crisis in Syria has provided unexpected opportunities for Syria’s Kurdish community to initiate diplomatic discussions with Russia, China and Iran in its pursuit of regional autonomy, a near impossibility under the Assad regime before the outbreak of political violence as part of last year’s “Arab Spring.”

The Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan (PKK – Kurdistan Workers Party) and its Syrian affiliate, the Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (PYD – Democratic Union Party), Russia, Iran and China are opposed to  outside intervention by the Western states or Turkey and prefer to find alternatives This has resulted in the reshaping of relations in the region.

In the past, Russia has utilized the PKK as a lever against Turkey to deter possible Turkish support for Chechen insurgents. [1] After 2008, Russia emerged as Turkey’s largest trading partner and relations improved, but now Turkey and Russia have differences over Syria. [2] For Russia, Syria is a long-term ally in the Middle-East and the naval supply station in the Syrian port of Tartus is of strategic value (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, April 19). This has caused friction in Russia’s relations with Turkey, which has abandoned its ties to Syria and now supports the removal of the Assad-government while opposing any role for the PKK and the PYD in a post-Assad Syria.

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Iran Daily Brief April 16, 2012 – Full Report

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International Affairs

Deputy FM: Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Musa is an internal affair – Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, described Ahmadinejad’s official trip to the island of Abu Musa as “an internal affair, done as part of his schedule of provincial tours.” The comments came after the UAE recalled its ambassador to Tehran in protest to Ahmadinejad’s trip. The Emirati Foreign Minister criticized the visit as a “violation of UAE sovereignty over its territories.” Amir-Abdollahian stressed that the Persian Gulf islands of the Greater Tunb, the Lesser Tunb and Abu Musa have historically, and will eternally belong to Iran…

(Source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235935.html)

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Iranian Deputy Chief-of-Staff: “Imperialism failed in its war against Syria” Deputy Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces and Defense Diplomacy, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri, emphasized that imperialism had failed in its battle against Syria. He stated:

They are attempting to compensate for their failure through diplomatic efforts, sending envoys and engaging in consultation. No hope should be pinned on these diplomatic talks. The solution in Syria will only be meaningful when it comes from within the country itself. Others have no right to intervene in the affairs of this country that is at the forefront of the resistance. Anyone who is involved in any way in the outbreak of hostilities in Syria will be punished. The people in the region will not forget this interference. If Syria’s enemies had the ability to continue the military action, they would not, even for a moment, stop the pressure being applied to the resistance front. The enemy knows that it is within the target of the resistance.

(Source: http://www.mehrnews.ir/NewsPrint.aspx?NewsID=1574807)

Supreme Leader’s representative to the IRGC: Syria is paying the price for its resolute stance against Israel – In an interview with the Mehr News Agency, Hojatoleslam Ali Saeedi discussed a plot by corrupt Arab leaders and Western nations to provoke riots in Syria. He said that:

Unfortunately, one of imperialism’s constant aims has been to lead and create streams and movements in other countries, with the goal of placing their mercenaries in positions of power. Corrupt Middle Eastern nations could never oppose Israel however for the last sixty years Syria has faced the Zionist regime, and is thus at the forefront of the resistance. In light of the Islamic awakenings in the region, the reinforcement of the resistance front, and Iran’s increased ability to maneuver in the Middle East, the West devised a new scheme to restrain the Islamic awakening in the region. In this anti-Syrian plot, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are serving as emissaries of the US. The Middle Eastern situation is not moving in a direction serving the interests of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and several other nations, and the legitimacy of these regimes has lapsed. The Syrian nation is faithful to the resistance (against Israel and the US), and possesses a good understanding of the circumstances. Additionally, on several occasions, the majority of the Syrian people have expressed support for their President. Thus, I believe that the moral support provided to Iran support, coupled with the steadfast positions of both Russia and China, will contribute to the failure of the American, Qatari and Saudi plot.

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XIANG HUA MEN Freed By Iranian Naval Commandos

Piracy REPORT:UPDATE

High Profile Pirate Leader Garaad Captured In The Operation

04/06/2012

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Marine Traffic

XIANG HUA MEN, Panamana-Flagged Cargo Vessel Hijacked on April 06, 2012

Just hours after Panama-flagged cargo ship XIANG HUA MEN was hijacked by pirates 14 nautical miles off the Iranian coast, Iranian commandos stormed the vessel, rescuing the 28 Chinese crewmembers and capturing the nine pirates on board.

Two Iranian naval vessels approached the ship, following which the pirates threw their weapons overboard. Xinhua news agency reported that the Chinese embassy in Iran had requested that Iran intervene militarily to free the vessel.

“The Chinese embassy… immediately established contact with relevant Iranian authorities demanding (that) Iran adopt all necessary measures to fully rescue the ship and crew,” Xinhua reported.

Somalia Report can confirm that Garaad, a well-known pirate based out of Puntland was one of the nine pirates arrested. Somalia Report spoke with Garaad’s cousin this morning, who stated that Garaad was one of the nine pirates arrested. Garaad was responsible for the Blida hijack, which was subsequently released for $3.5 million. His gang has come under pressure from Puntland security forces recently: in February, a number of his colleagues were arrested, and the authorities burned two of their speedboats.

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Israel to scale down intelligence in Iran – officials

Published: 02 April, 2012, 12:29

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AFP Photo / Abbas Momani

Israeli intelligence are scaling down their covert operations in Iran and spy recruitment, Israeli security officials say. This would also imply a cutback in alleged high-profile missions such as assassinations and detonations at missile bases.

­ Senior security officials told TIME magazine that the move was met with “increased dissatisfaction” by Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency. One security official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was afraid that the operations would get exposed by Iran. The official notes that this fear is primarily driven by Mossad’s failure to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal back in 1997, when Netanyahu served his first term as Prime Minister.

“Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] is traumatized from the Mashaal incident,” the official said. “He is afraid of another failure, that something will blow up in his face.”

Western intelligence officials told TIME that Iran had uncovered one cell trained and equipped by Mossad. They also said that the televised confession of Majid Jamali Fashid, who admitted to being an Israeli spy behind the plot to assassinate nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohmmadi, was genuine.

If similar revelations emerge now, they could undermine the international effort to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program via sanctions and diplomacy. Iran could effectively blame Israel for an aggressive spy campaign. This could also have ramifications for Israel’s relations with the United States, which has lately been opposed to a preliminary Israeli strike against Iran.

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Hamas Leaders Say No Attacks On Israel During War With Iran

A flag, with the Shahadah, frequently used by ...

Image via Wikipedia

U.K. media is reporting that Hamas leaders have denied that the organization will attack Israel in the course of any war with Iran. According to a BBC report:

Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, say they will not help Iran militarily in any conflict between Israel and the Islamic Republic.  There is speculation in Israel that if it attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities, it could face rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Both are long-time allies of Iran.  But Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior leader of Hamas in Gaza, denied the group would get involved and told the BBC: “We are not part of any political axis.”  ”If Israel attacks us we will respond. If they don’t, we will not get involved in any other regional conflict,” he added.  Mr Zahhar questioned Hamas’s ability to offer support from the Palestinian territory to the south of Israel, even if it wanted to.  ”Don’t exaggerate our power. We are still suffering from the occupation, the siege and two wars in recent years,” he said.  Israel tightened its blockade of Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the territory from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement.  Ideological differences Another senior Hamas official in Gaza, who did not want to be named, also insisted that Hamas would stay out of any conflict between Israel and Iran.

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Iran News Round Up March 1, 2012

A selection of the latest news stories and editorials published in Iranian news outlets, compiled by Ali Alfoneh, Ahmad Majidyar and Michael Rubin.  To receive this daily newsletter, please subscribe online.

(E) = Article in English

Politics

  • Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei‘s speech on Tuesday. Video:
  • Abd al-Hossein Rouh-al-Amini, Development and Justice party general secretary whose son was killed in police custody in the aftermath of the 2009 presidential election: “Ahmadinejad was not without guilt in the post election events.”
  • Mashreq runs a backgrounder on parliamentary elections in Iran since 1980.
  • Shafaf News runs a chronological backgrounder on the formation of the United Principled Alliance.
  • News stories about the Islamic Resistance Front:
    • Ayatollah Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah Yazdi addresses members of the Revolutionary Guards:
      • “We were under circumstances in which the elected president in reality acted against Islam, the Imam [Khomeini] and the interests of the state. He was even guilty in shedding the blood of hundreds of innocent martyrs… Despite the president being elected by the people, [the voters] did not know him and were deceived by his appearances… One can’t say there was electoral fraud and that he came to power by fraud. There was no fraud. However, there was lack of knowledge. After that some events took place and we understood that we were mistaken [in our support to Ahmadinejad].”
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Mojtaba Mesbah Yazdi officially begins his political career by speaking at the last Islamic Resistance Front seminar prior to the parliamentary election. Mojtaba said: “Opposing the Resistance Front is opposition to original Islam.”
    • Hojjat al-Eslam Morteza Agha-Tehrani calls the existence of the Islamic Resistance Front “a divine act of benevolence.”

Diplomacy

  • Jomhouri-ye Eslami editorializes:
    • “The al-Khalifa must have realized that with the present conditions Bahrain’s crisis will not end. The crisis will only end when the popular will is realized. The majority of the Bahraini people do not consider the present regime a legal regime, demand its resignation and want free elections. Foreign governments, too, contribute to the crisis in Bahrain and prevent the victory of the people. In the Bahrain issue as well it is the Saud clan which plays a major role in debilitating the popular struggle of the Bahrainis. The Saud clan fears that establishment of a popular regime in Bahrain in which the majority of the people are Shi’a would create problems to the Saudi society and the regime in Riyadh. They fear that the revolution would spread to Saudi Arabia. Under any circumstances, such attempts can’t prevent the victory of the popular revolution in Bahrain in the long run and with the present trend the autocratic regime of Bahrain too will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

Military and Security