This story has significant ramifications for the coming battles which we will see take place in the Middle East:
Hezbollah is in possession of long-range missiles capable of carrying a chemical warhead, a Lebanese parliamentarian said according to a report Sunday.
Khaled Zaher, from the anti-Hezbollah al-Mustaqbal party, told the Saudi al-Watan newspaper that Syrian President Bashar Assad had transferred significant amounts of weaponry to Hezbollah, including the missiles. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps supervised the transfer of the weapons and helped build and design the launching pads in Lebanon, he said.
Zaher alleged that the missiles were deployed in bases in northern Lebanon — near the border with Syria — and in the central Lebanon city of Baalbek, some of them underground. He interpreted recent statements by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, who said “Israel will face what it hasn’t faced in the past,” as an assertion that the missiles can reach Tel Aviv.
Last week, a defected Syrian general told CNN’s Christiane Amanpourthat Assad had been sending his chemical weapons to Hezbollah and Iraq in order to avoid giving them up for destruction as he agreed to do according to the terms of a Russian-brokered agreement.
In a video clip now gaining fresh attention as the international community seeks to assess his credibility, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani bragged on Iranian state television just four months ago that he and the regime utterly flouted a 2003 agreement with the IAEA in which it promised to suspend all uranium enrichment and certain other nuclear activities.
Rouhani, who was being interviewed by Iran’s state IRIB TV (Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting) on May 27, less than three weeks before he won the June 14 presidential elections, was provoked by the interviewer’s assertion that, as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator in 2003-5, “everything was suspended” on the nuclear program under his watch
Smiling but evidently highly irritated by the suggestion, Rouhani called it “a lie” that only “the illiterate” would believe, and said that “whoever is talking to you in your earpiece” was feeding false information. He proceeded to detail how Iran, in fact, had flagrantly breached the October 2003 “Tehran Declaration,” which he said “
In his speech to the UN General Assembly last week, and in a succession of other statements and inteviews, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has alleged that Rouhani, in his current outreach to the West, is misleading it by professing a willingness to negotiate over the nuclear program. Netanyahu warned the international community not to be “fooled” by Rouhani as it enters new diplomatic negotiations set to start next week.
As Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator between 2003 and 2005, Netanyahu said at the UN, Rouhani “masterminded the strategy which enabled Iran to advance its nuclear weapons program behind a smokescreen of diplomatic engagement and very soothing rhetoric.”
Netanyahu then quoted from Rouhani’s 2011 book, in which he wrote, “‘While we were talking to the Europeans in Tehran, we were installing equipment in Isfahan.’ Now, for those of you who don’t know,” Netanyahu explained, “the Isfahan facility is an indispensable part of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. That’s where uranium ore called yellowcake is converted into an enrichable form. Rouhani boasted, and I quote, ‘By creating a calm environment — a calm environment — we were able to complete the work in Isfahan.’ He fooled the world once. Now he thinks he can fool it again.”
CNN’s positive spin on Iran is collectively staggering. Did the Iranian regime secure such favorable coverage with payments? Or was CNN just so inept and/or biased that it inadvertently promoted the Iranian regime at every opportunity? Consider each program.
“Our security assistance for Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, is being delayed,” Kerry said. “The new fiscal year started this last week, but because of the shutdown, some entities don’t have the funding that they need, including supporting the peacekeeping mission in the Sinai, at a time of growing unrest in a critical area.”
Kerry also said that the Treasury Department’s ability to monitor sanctions on Iran was hampered by the furloughs and lack of funding wrought by the shutdown, noting that a recent diplomatic push with Tehran was contingent on tough sanctions remaining in place.