UK Sends Most Powerful Vessel To Gulf
The UK is sending its most powerful naval vessel to the Gulf to counter any potential Iranian attempt to close the Strait of Hormuz, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday. The ship, a Type 45 destroyer named HMS Daring, will depart from Portsmouth on Wednesday and is set to arrive in the Gulf by the end of January. It is capable of shooting down "any missile in Iran's armory," according to the Telegraph.
The report came just two days after Defense Secretary Philip Hammond declared that his country would take military action against Iran if it carries out its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz. While on a visit in Washington DC. Hammond warned that any attempt by Iran to close the Strait would be "illegal and unsuccessful", adding that the Royal Navy would participate in efforts to ensure the free flow of traffic in the waterway.
The British daily cited UK Naval commanders who said that the ship's deployment will send a significant message to the Iranians because of its firepower and "world-beating" technology.
Report: Britain Dispatches Advanced Warship To Persian Gulf
Iran To Hold Another Naval Drill Near Hormuz Next Month
Iran plans to hold another extensive naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz in February, Iran's defense minister said on Friday, just days after a 10-day drill ended amid a spat with the U.S. over the crucial waterway.
The United States has dismissed a warning by Iran not to return a US aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier USS John C Stennis left the Gulf on December 27 and a Pentagon spokesman said it would return.
Speaking to the Fars news agency on Thursday, Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi referred to the recently culminated drill, saying that "the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps plans to conduct its greatest naval war games in the same region in the near future."
According to a report by Iran's state television Press TV, the drill, the seventh in a series of drills dubbed the "Great Prophet," will take place in February.
The report of another Iranian exercise near the sensitive waterway came after the Israel Defense Forces said it would soon hold a major missile defense exercise with U.S. -forces.
Report: Two Russian Warships To Visit Syria
Two Russian warships are expected to arrive in Syria on Saturday, the state-run Itar-Tass news agency reported, a visit that will likely be seen as a show of force and a display of support for President Bashar Assad's government.
The official said the vessels, part of a group of Russian ships currently in the Mediterranean, were expected to spend several days at the Tartus facility, one of the Russian navy's few outposts abroad.
Russia has maintained support for the increasingly isolated Assad during a nearly 10-month-old uprising against his rule. The United Nations estimates the government crackdown has killed more than 5,000 people.
Amid global pressure on Assad, analysts say Russia's stance is rooted in resentment over Libya, reluctance to lose one of its few footholds in the Middle East and a desire to project a firm image in relations with the West in an election season.
Ahmadinejad: Israel's Attempts to "Judaize" Jerusalem Will Bring About Its End
Israeli attempts to "Judaize" Jerusalem will bring about its end, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday, saying Israel's occupation of Palestinian land was the most important topic in the world.
Speaking to a delegation to the Turkish-Palestinian Parliamentary Friendship Group, Ahmadinejad was quoted by Iranian state television that the "Zionists, who have no faith in religion or even God, now claim piety and intend to take away the Islamic identity of the Holy Quds."
"This ridiculous move is in fact the continuation of the colonialist polices of oppressors, which will not save the Zionist regime, but also take the regime closer to the endpoint of its existence,” the Iranian president added.
Earlier Tuesday, American officials rejected an Iranian demand that its naval vessels leave the Gulf, indicating that the threat itself was an indication that economic sanctions on Iran were beginning to take a toll on the Islamic Republic.
Also referring to Iranian threats on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. saw "these threats from Tehran as just increasing evidence that the international pressure is beginning to bite."
"They are feeling increasingly isolated and they are trying to divert the attention of their own public from the difficulties inside Iran, including the economic difficulties as a result of sanctions," Nuland told a news briefing.
In addition to the stories above, Caroline Glick's latest commentary is highly germane:
The Land-For-Peace Hoax
The rise of the forces of jihadist Islam in Egypt places the US and other Western powers in an uncomfortable position. The US is the guarantor of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. That treaty is based on the proposition of land for peace. Israel gave Egypt the Sinai in 1982 and in exchange it received a peace treaty with Egypt. Now that the Islamists are poised to take power, the treaty is effectively null and void.
The question naturally arises: Will the US act in accordance with its role as guarantor of the peace and demand that the new Egyptian government give Sinai back to Israel?
Of course, we know the answer to that question after considering it for around 0.005 seconds.
Because if the Obama administration or whatever administration is in power when Egypt abrogates the treaty does not issue such a demand, and stand behind it, and if the EU does not support the demand, the entire concept of land-for-peace will be exposed as a hoax.
As if we didn't already know this.
Indeed the land-for-peace formula will be exposed as a twofold fiction. First, it is based on the false proposition that the peace process is a two-way street. Israel gives land, the Arabs give peace. But the inevitable death of the Egyptian-Israeli peace accord under an Egyptian jihadist regime makes clear that the land-for-peace formula is a one-way street.
Israeli land giveaways are permanent. Arab commitments to peace can be revoked at any time.
Then there are the supposedly iron-clad US and European security guarantees that accompany signed treaties. All the American and European promises to Israel - that they will stand by the Jewish state when it takes risks for peace - will be exposed as worthless lies.
As we are already seeing today, no one will stand up for Israel's rights. No one will insist that the Egyptians honor their bargain.
As it has become more apparent that the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist parties will hold an absolute majority in Egypt's democratically elected parliament, Western governments and media outlets have insistently argued that these anti-Western, and anti-Jewish, movements have become moderate and pragmatic.
Leading the charge to make the case has been the Obama administration. Its senior officials have eagerly embraced the Muslim Brotherhood.
Also worth noting:
Despite the fact that Israel is wholly absent from Gaza, and indeed is being attacked from Gaza, no one has called for the Palestinians to give the territory back to Israel. The UN doesn't even recognize that Israel left.
Last September, the UN published yet another report labeling Israel as the occupier of Gaza. And in accordance with this fiction, the UN - along with the EU and the US - continues to hold Israel responsible for Gaza's welfare.
Ironically, Hamas itself denies that Gaza is under Israeli occupation. In an interview with the Ma'an news agency on Tuesday, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar openly admitted that Gaza is not under occupation. Speaking of Fatah's plan to launch massive demonstrations against Israel, Zahar said, "Against whom could we demonstrate in the Gaza Strip? When Gaza was occupied, that model was applicable."
And lastly, the paragraphs below are worth bolding and never forgetting:
Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and Fatah can all freely tell the truth about Israel and their commitment to its destruction without fear of any repercussions. They know that the Western powers will not listen to them. They know that they will never have to pay a price for their actions. Indeed, they know they will be rewarded for them.
Since the inauguration of the land-for-peace process between Israel and the PLO 19 years ago, the Palestinians have repeatedly demonstrated their bad faith. Israeli land giveaways have consistently been met with increased Palestinian terrorism. Since 1996, US- and European- trained Palestinian security forces have repeatedly used their guns to kill Israelis.
The US and Europe have continued to train and arm them despite their bad faith. Despite their continued commitment to Israel's destruction and involvement in terrorism, the US and the EU have continued to demand that Israel fork over more territory. At no point have either the US or the EU seriously considered ending their support for the Palestinians or the demonstrably fictitious land-for-peace formula.
The time has come for Israel to admit the truth. Land-for-peace is a confidence game and we are the mark.