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US Navy says it fired warning shots at Iranian vessels in Gulf

 

The United States Navy has said it fired warning shots at vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the Gulf, accusing the IRGC vessels of coming close to US ships in international waters.

 

In a statement on Tuesday, the US Fifth Fleet said three IRGC vessels came close to a US Navy patrol ship and a US Coast Guard patrol boat on Monday evening.

 

“The U.S. crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close range maneuvers,” the statement reads.

 

“The crew of [US navy patrol ship] Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the U.S. vessels.”

 

It is the second encounter between US and Iranian naval forces in Gulf waters this month, after about a year without any such incidents.

 

Earlier this week, the US Navy released footage dated April 2 showing a ship commanded by the IRGC cut in front of the USCGC Monomoy, causing the US Coast Guard vessel to come to an abrupt stop with its engine smoking.

 

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Iran's Largest Navy Ship Sinks In The Gulf Of Oman After Catching Fire

 

Iran's largest navy vessel caught fire in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and sank, according to the Tasnim News Agency.

 

A fire broke out on the IS Kharg while the ship was near Iran's port of Jask, southeast of Tehran, according to the Iranian navy. All crew members were able to flee the burning ship and were transferred to safety on the coast. The Kharg — sometimes spelled "Khark" — was one of navy's few ships capable of replenishing other ships at sea.

 

Military and civilian responders tried for 20 hours to extinguish the fire that gradually spread throughout the vessel, reported the Tasnim News Agency. Photos and videos shared online show the entire ship out at sea engulfed in thick, black smoke.

 

 

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Hard-line judiciary head wins Iran presidency as turnout low

 

Iran’s hard-line judiciary chief won a landslide victory Saturday in the country’s presidential election, a vote that both propelled the supreme leader’s protege into Tehran’s highest civilian position and saw the lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history.

 

The election of Ebrahim Raisi, already sanctioned by the U.S. in part over his involvement in the mass execution of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, became more of a coronation after his strongest competition found themselves disqualified from running.

 

That sparked calls for a boycott and many apparently did stay home — out of over 59 million eligible voters, only 28.9 million voted. Of those voting, some 3.7 million people either accidentally or intentionally voided their ballots, far beyond the amount seen in previous elections and suggesting some wanted none of the four candidates.

 

Iranian state television immediately blamed challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and U.S. sanctions for the low participation. But the low turnout and voided ballots suggested a wider unhappiness with the tightly controlled election, as activists criticized Raisi’s ascension.

 

“That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran,” Amnesty International’s Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said.

 

In official results, Raisi won 17.9 million votes overall, nearly 62% of the total 28.9 million cast.

 

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Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant has emergency shutdown - state TV

 

Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant underwent an emergency shutdown, Iranian media reported on Sunday.


The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization reported that a technical defect in the power plant led to the plant being temporarily shut down and disconnected from the national electricity grid, according to the Iranian Fars News Agency. The AEO stated that the plant would be reconnected to the electricity grid in the next few days.

 

The deputy coordinator of the Iran Power Transmission, Generation and Distribution Company (TAVANIR) told Fars that the plant was temporarily closed for "technical repairs," which would continue for about three to four days.


Last month, a massive fire broke out near the Islamic Republic's only functioning nuclear power plant in Bushehr. Last July, the city of Bushehr saw another large fire break out at the Delvar Shipyard.


In addition to the fires plaguing the plant, Iran said in March that Bushehr could stop operating this year altogether as the country struggles to keep the unit running due to financial troubles caused by American sanctions, the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported.


The incident comes as Iran and world powers continued negotiations on renewing the Iran nuclear deal on Sunday for the first time since Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline judge under US sanctions for human rights abuses, was elected as Iran's next president.

 

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DOD linguist sentenced for transmitting classified docs to Hezbollah

 

A former contract linguist stationed in Iraq with the Department of Defense (DOD) was sentenced Wednesday for knowingly transmitting classified information to a Lebanese national with ties to a designated terrorist organization.

 

Mariam Taha Thompson, 62, held a top-secret government security clearance prior to her February 2020 arrest and admitted to passing information she believed would be provided to Hezbollah – a terrorist organization backed by Iran.

 

Thompson will serve 23 years in prison.

 

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India, Iran express concern at deteriorating security in Afghanistan

 

India and Iran have expressed concern about the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and called for strengthening intra-Afghan dialogue to find a comprehensive political solution against the backdrop of the drawdown of US and international forces.

 

The situation in Afghanistan figured in external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s meeting with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in Tehran on Wednesday. Jaishankar also met president-elect Ayatollah Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi when he made a transit halt in the Iranian capital while travelling to Russia.

 

Jaishankar’s stopover in Tehran coincided with a meeting in Tehran between an Afghan government delegation and Taliban representatives that was arranged by the Iranian government. This was the first formal contact between the two sides since talks in Qatar stalled several months ago.

 

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday the Indian and Iranian sides exchanged views on regional and global issues during Jaishankar’s technical halt in Tehran. “They also discussed the evolving situation in Afghanistan and expressed concerns over the deteriorating security there,” he said.

 

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Iranian Agents Are Facing Charges For Their Role In A Plot To Kidnap A U.S. Journalist

 

Federal prosecutors in New York charged five foreign agents backed by the Iranian government for their roles in a stranger-than-fiction plot to kidnap a U.S. citizen and journalist critical of the nation's regime.

 

The 43-page indictment unsealed Tuesday details the plan by an Iranian intelligence official and his three assets to track a Brooklyn-based journalist with the goal of bringing her back to Iran. The court records also include information on a fifth person, a woman based in the U.S. who prosecutors say helped fund the operation.

 

The indictment in Manhattan federal court doesn't name the intended victim, who is described as a journalist and human rights advocate. However, The New York Times reports that the journalist and author Masih Alinejad confirmed in an interview that she was the intended target. Alinejad lives in Brooklyn and has family still in Iran.

 

Alinejad, who is a U.S. citizen, is a longtime critic of the Iranian government. She was a journalist in her native Iran for several years until she fled the country in 2009 following presidential elections and a government crackdown.

 

She has continued to work as a journalist with her Voice of America Persian show in the U.S. Alinejad also organizes "White Wednesday" and "My Stealthy Freedom" campaigns where women film themselves without head coverings, or hijabs, in public in Iran — in a challenge to the nation's government.

 

Alinejad shared on Twitter that she was grateful to the FBI "for foiling the Islamic Republic of Iran's Intelligence Ministry's plot to kidnap me. This plot was orchestrated under [Hassan] Rouhani" — Iran's president.

 

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Am I the only one who finds it ironic to read Iran is now concerned about security situation in Afganistan? How long ago was it that Iran tried to sew chaos anywhere the U.S. was? I dont think it was just Iraq. They seemed to want to be a regional powerhouse. 

 

"Congrats, Just warning, the position isn't all it's cracked up to be."

- former powerhouses in the region (U.S. and U.S.S.R)

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Iran has been fighting the Taliban much longer than the US. The Northern Alliance we used to fight the Afghan war was originally financed by Iran; while even after we knew they subjugating women, blowing up Buddhist statues, and carrying out mass executions, the US continued giving tens of millions of dollars to the Taliban just months before 9/11.

Remember, the Taliban are Sunni salafis who view Shiism as heretical.

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On 4/27/2021 at 10:10 AM, Larry said:

Am I the only one having trouble wrapping the head around "US Coast Guard" and "Persian Gulf"?  

No you're not. In fact it's the reason 20 years ago I decided against a career in the coast guard because they were being shipped off to the Persian Gulf post 9-11.

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On 7/14/2021 at 6:51 PM, Riggo-toni said:

US continued giving tens of millions of dollars to the Taliban just months before 9/11

Yeah we basically made bin Ladin who he was because he was fighting the alliance of Shia and Russia. 
 

and then 9/11 happened 

 

but we still have strong alliances with the Sunni. We’ve basically backed a Sunni ethnic cleansing of Yemen for a decade *after* 9-11 with weapons, money, and intelligence… 

 

tangled mess we’ve found ourselves in with regards to the Middle East. 

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Gantz: Iran is two months away from nuclear bomb

 

Tehran is two months away from nuclear weapons capacity, warned Defense Minister Benny Gantz as he called for the international community to create a new prevention plan that did not involve reviving the 2015 Iran deal.


“Iran is only two months away from acquiring the materials necessary for a nuclear weapon,” Gantz told a gathering of 60 ambassadors in Tel Aviv.


He spoke just one day before Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is scheduled to present such an alternative plan to US President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday.


Biden has been in favor of reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action designed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which the US exited in 2018.


Indirect talks brokered by the European Union have faltered and have allowed for Tehran to ramp up its uranium enrichment needed to produce nuclear weapons.


“We do not know if the Iranian regime will be willing to sign an agreement and come back to the negotiation table – and the international community must build a viable ‘Plan B’ in order to stop Iran in its tracks toward a nuclear weapon,” Gantz said.

 

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Iran official acknowledges videos of Evin prison abuse real

 

The head of Iran’s prison system acknowledged Tuesday that videos purportedly obtained by a self-described hacker group that show abuses at the Islamic Republic’s notorious Evin prison are real, saying he took responsibility for the “unacceptable behaviors.”

 

The comment by Mohammad Mehdi Hajmohammadi came the day after The Associated Press published parts of the videos and a report about the abuse at the facility in northern Tehran, long known for holding political prisoners and those with ties to the West whom Iran uses as bargaining chips in international negotiations.

 

Writing on Twitter, Hajmohammadi vowed to “avoid the repeat of such bitter incidents as well as confront the perpetrators.”

 

“My apologies to the Almighty God, the dear Supreme Leader, our great nation and the noble prison officers whose efforts will not be ignored because of the wrongdoings” of others, he wrote.

 

State television in Iran also reported Hajmohammadi’s remarks. An arm of state TV later said the country’s judiciary chief ordered an investigation into the abuse as well.

 

Hajmohammadi, however, offered no plan on how to address the abuses at Evin. Since its construction in 1971 under Iran’s shah, the prison has seen a series of abuses that continued into the Islamic Republic.

 

After Iran cracked down on protesters following the disputed 2009 re-election of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, many of the arrested protesters ended up in Evin. Lawmakers later pushed for reforms at Evin, following reports of abuses at the prison — which led to the installation of the closed-circuit cameras.

 

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