Amid nuclear negotiations, Russian President Vladimir Putin has lifted a self-imposed ban Monday on the delivery to Iran of an air-defense missile system capable of shooting down U.S. and Israeli jets, increasing the possibility the Jewish state will launch a military strike against Tehran’s nuclear program, according to a defense expert.
After Russia signed an $800 million contract with Iran in 2007, delivery of the S-300 system was halted when Moscow decided to impose a ban in response to strong opposition to the deal from Israel and the George W. Bush administration.
But delivery of the S-300 air-defense system as the U.S. and its P5+1 coalition partners negotiate to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons is a “potential game-changer,” according to Clare Lopez, vice president at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, possibly prompting Israel to take military action before the system becomes operational.
“I don’t know what the Israeli calculations are about how far along the Iranian program is to making a bomb,” Lopez said. “But the window is closing on the time when an Israeli military strike would be feasible, and the installation of this system will close that window further. It’s possible the Israelis might see this as a step that would limit their options once installed.”
“Instead of demanding that Iran desist from the terrorist activity that it is carrying out in the Middle East and throughout the world, it is being allowed to arm itself with advanced weapons that will only increase its aggression,” Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Jerusalem Post on Monday.
Steinitz, according to the Times of Israel, said Russia’s move is “a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the welfare of the Iranian people.”
“The United States and the IAEA are tying ourselves in knots negotiating over the information Iran has made public about its nuclear program, but that’s not where the real program even is,” Lopez stressed. “We are allowing ourselves to be sidetracked in negotiations with Iran talking about sites that were revealed 13 years ago, when the real weapons program remains hidden away deep underground or in the mountains of Iran.”
The founding states of the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) have approved the applications of Brazil, Georgia, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands as founding members, the Chinese Finance Ministry announced Saturday.
"With the consent of the existing founding members, the Netherlands, Brazil, Finland, Georgia and Denmark officially became founding countries of the AIIB on April 12," the ministry said in a statement on its website, adding that the total number of founders has now reached 46.
Experts consider AIIB a potential competitor to such global financial institutions as the US-led IMF and World Bank.
In October 2014, 21 countries signed the agreement on establishing the AIIB, which is intended to finance infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific Region. The bank plans to rapidly increase its initial subscribed capital of $50 billion to $100 billion.
A National Guard drill based around dealing with civil unrest after a dirty bomb attack in California featured role players acting as angry Americans yelling ‘right-wing’ rhetoric.
The exercise, which Infowars reporters were barred from attending, took place in Richmond this past weekend and involved more than 200 soldiers, airmen, local law enforcement and firefighting personnel.
Footage captured by a local shows Guard troops pushing irate citizens away with batons before one of the protest group states, “I’m a sovereign citizen, I refuse to recognize you guys, I refuse to recognize you.”
“Why in the course of a drill for a dirty bomb, would an actor claim to be a sovereign citizen?” asks Keith Johnson, who filmed the footage. “The San Francisco Bay Area is not known for it’s sovereign citizen militia population and hearing this shouted during a mock terrorist scenario was disturbing. Anybody familiar with Richmond will tell you it is not a rural ‘militia’ environment. Located in the East Bay Area near Oakland, it is a community with reduced circumstances. No one there is going to be proclaiming to be a sovereign citizen.”
Johnson goes on to express his concern that young National Guard troops are being conditioned to accept a ‘Kent State’ mentality where their role will be to police unruly mobs of liberty activists.
Back in February, the Department of Homeland Security circulated an intelligence assessment which focused on the threat posed by right-wing sovereign citizens and other domestic extremists. CNN subsequently reported that federal and local law enforcement groups view sovereign citizens as a bigger threat than ISIS or any Islamic terror group.
Sovereign citizens are habitually lumped in with law-abiding conservatives and libertarians whenever the federal government publishes reports on the subject of domestic extremism.
As we have exhaustively documented, the federal government has consistently downplayed the threat of Islamic terror in favor of pushing hysteria about right-wing extremism.
The FBI’s most recent national terror threat assessment list completely omits Islamic terrorists, instead focusing on sovereign citizens and the militia movement.
A 2012 University of Maryland study funded to the tune of $12 million dollars by the DHS characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists while glossing over the threat posed by Islamic extremism.
Fears that the National Guard and military are preparing for civil unrest in America have heightened in recent weeks following the announcement that a “realistic” military training exercise called Jade Helm will take place in nine U.S. states this summer. The drill revolves around troops operating “undetected” amongst local populations.
As we reported last month, footage shot during a similar drill in Fort Lauderdale showed military and law enforcement practicing the internment of citizens during martial-law style training.
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