Tag Archives: Defense

Iran’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated | Instant News


WASHINGTON – A prominent Iranian nuclear scientist has been killed near Tehran, the Iranian government confirmed on Friday and accused Israel of being behind the killings without providing evidence so far.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, nicknamed “the father of Iranian bombs”, died of his wounds after gunmen opened fire on his car, according to Iranian media reports that have not been independently confirmed by NBC News.

State media shared photos of a black Nissan sedan with multiple bullet holes in the windshield and blood on the road beside the car door. No group immediately claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack.

A scene shows the scene of the attack that killed top Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, outside Tehran, Iran, November 27, 2020.

WANA via Reuters

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif condemned the killing on Twitter and accused “serious indication” of Israeli involvement.

Iran’s top military commander, Abdolrahim Mousavi, said the Islamic Republic had the right to take revenge, blaming the US and Israel for the scientist’s killing.

Fakhrizadeh’s death comes days before the 10th anniversary of the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Majid Shahriari. which Iran also blames on Israel.

The Israeli Embassy in Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The Pentagon, State Department and National Security Council declined to comment. However, President Donald Trump retweeted news articles and comments about Fakhrizadeh’s death.

Little is known about Fakhrizadeh, a Revolutionary Guard officer, who has long been seen as Iran’s top nuclear scientist overseeing the regime’s secret weapons program.

In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of continuing to develop nuclear weapons and said Fakhrizadeh was working inside the Iranian Ministry of Defense on “special projects.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu points to a screen with an image of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a press conference at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 30, 2018.

Amir Cohen | Reuters

“Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh,” said Netanyahu at the time.

Fakhrizadeh’s death is expected to escalate tensions between Iran and the United States, which have escalated under the Trump administration following Washington’s exit from the US. important Iran nuclear agreement.

Standoff with Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses a ceremony in Tehran, Iran on January 10, 2019.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or the JCPOA deal, brokered by the Obama administration, lifted sanctions against Iran which has crippled its economy and cut its oil exports by about half. In exchange for sanctions relief, Iran accepts limits on its nuclear program until it expires in 2025.

In 2018, the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the JCPOA. Trump called it “the worst deal ever.”

The president has previously said he wants to reach a broader agreement with Iran that places tighter limits on its nuclear and ballistic missile work and suppresses the regime’s role in regional proxy warfare. Tehran refuses to negotiate while US sanctions remain in place.

Following Washington’s exit from the nuclear deal, other pact signatories ⁠— France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China – are trying to defend the deal.

In October, the United States unilaterally reimposed United Nations sanctions on Tehran through a snapback process, which other members of the UN Security Council previously said Washington did not have the authority to do because of withdrawing from the nuclear deal in 2018.

Relations between the US and Iran have deteriorated even more during the summer of 2019 following a series of attacks in the Persian Gulf.

In June, US officials said an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down an American military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz. Iran says the plane is over its territory.

The attacks came a week after the US blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf region and after four tankers were attacked in May.

The US in June imposed new sanctions on Iranian military leaders it blamed for shooting down the drone. The measures also aim to block financial resources for Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Tensions spiked again in September last year when the US blamed Iran for attacks in Saudi Arabia on the world’s largest crude oil refinery and oil fields.

The attack forced the kingdom to cut its production operations in half and sparked the biggest jump in crude prices in decades and renewed fears of a new war in the Middle East. Iran has insisted it was not behind the attack.

Earlier this year, the US carried out an air strike that killed Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander.

Iranian mourners gather during the final stages of the funeral procession of top general Qasem Soleimani, in his hometown of Kerman on January 7, 2020.

Atta Kenare | AFP | Getty Images

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Australia to lay off at least 10 soldiers for killings in Afghanistan: ABC | Instant News


FILE PHOTO: Members of the Australian special forces training during the Australian International Airshow in Melbourne 2 March 2011. REUTERS / Mick Tsikas / Files

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia has issued a halt notice to at least 10 special forces troops following the release of a report that found credible evidence of extrajudicial killings in Afghanistan, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said on Thursday.

An independent report published last week in erased form said there was evidence that 39 Afghan prisoners and unarmed civilians were killed by 19 Australian soldiers.

None of the 19 soldiers were identified in the report, which was written by a state judge appointed by the inspector general of defense. 19 soldiers and former soldiers have been referred for possible prosecution.

Amid the immediate repercussions, the ABC said 10 soldiers had been formally informed they would be dismissed.

The broadcaster did not identify any of the 10 people but said they were all witnesses or accessories and were therefore not among 19 referred for possible criminal charges.

The Defense Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The ABC said the 10 soldiers would have at least 14 days to respond to the cessation notice. It did not say if any of them had legal representation.

Australia’s most senior military official apologized to Afghanistan last week following the release of the report.

Australia is sending troops to join US-led forces trying to defeat a Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan in the years after the Islamist group was forced from power in 2001.

Reporting by Colin Packham; Edited by Robert Birsel

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Detroit Fashion Designer Ken Walker Branches into Mental Health Advocacy – CW50 Detroit | Instant News


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Germany hopes for a common transatlantic approach in Iran under Biden – the diplomat | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany sees an opportunity to return to a shared transatlantic approach in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program after a new US administration under President-elect Joe Biden took office, a German official said on Monday.

In May 2018, US President Donald Trump quit a deal with Tehran that sought to limit Iran’s nuclear program to prevent it from developing atomic weapons in exchange for easing economic sanctions.

While the United States is restoring sanctions and announcing a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, other signatories – Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China – are backing the agreement with Tehran.

“With the US administration taking office next year, we will have the opportunity to return to using the JCPOA (nuclear deal with Iran) for what it was intended – to limit Iran’s nuclear program,” said a German diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Seeing how Iran is increasingly violating its nuclear obligations, this is urgently needed,” he added after a meeting of German, French and British foreign ministers in Berlin to discuss Iran.

The diplomat said the three European countries, known as E3, were preparing for an intensive period of diplomacy, knowing they would face tough negotiations.

A spokesman for the foreign office in Paris said after the meeting France remained determined to ensure Iran could never acquire nuclear weapons and would continue efforts to defend the nuclear deal which played a vital role in this.

Biden, who will take office on January 20, has said he will rejoin the agreement if Iran first continues strict adherence and will work with allies “to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pressing back on Iran’s other destabilizing activities”.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold in Berlin and John Irish in Paris; Edited by Michael Nienaber, Giles Elgood and Grant McCool

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Germany says Turkey is halting inspections of ships running arms into Libya | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – Turkey is preventing German troops belonging to an EU military mission from conducting a full search of a Turkish cargo ship that they suspect is carrying weapons to Libya, the two countries confirmed on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: German naval personnel standing in front of the Hamburg Frigate, anchored at Port Rashid, in Dubai 26 May 2013. REUTERS / Ahmed Jadallah / File Photo

Soldiers from the Hamburg frigate boarded the Turkish freighter, Rosaline A, overnight, but had to leave checks and withdraw after Turkey protested against the EU mission, the German defense ministry said.

The frigate operates in the Mediterranean as part of the EU’s Irini mission, which aims to stop weapons reaching warring factions in Libya.

“When the soldiers left the ship they did not find anything suspicious,” said a spokesman for the German defense ministry.

A Turkish security source said Rosalina-A was carrying various materials such as food and paint, and the search team had violated international law by not waiting for Turkish permission.

It said the soldiers found nothing despite spending the entire night opening containers on the ship.

“After a search that lasted until the early hours of the morning, the soldiers understood that there was nothing on board except humanitarian aid, food such as biscuits and paint, and left the ship,” said a source.

Confirming a report in the news magazine Der Spiegel, a German spokesman said Hamburg had intercepted Rosaline A about 200 km (125 miles) north of the Libyan city of Benghazi on Sunday evening.

He said Hamburg had followed standard procedure of waiting four hours for approval from the flag state, and then stepped up. Later, when the objections arrived, they withdrew.

“All procedures were followed properly,” said a spokesman for the German foreign ministry.

The 16,000-ton container ship left the Turkish port of Gemlik near Bursa last week, and was last seen from Athens, heading southwest towards Libya, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold, Thomas Escritt, Jonathan Spicer and Orhan Coskun; Edited by Kevin Liffey

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