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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:46 am on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Regime’s Cyber Threat Will Only Get Worse 

    cyber-warfare-iran-hacks-united-states

    NCRI Staff

    The cyber threat from the Iranian Regime will only continue to grow and get more advanced, according to a leading political scientist.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh, an expert on Iran, wrote a piece for Arab News in which he explained how the cyber operations were not conducted by individuals but were a “key element” of the Regime’s foreign policy, national security and long-term strategic agenda.

    This has been denied by the Regime but Rafizadeh cited Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s speech to students at universities funded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

    Khamenei was quoted in state-run media outlets as saying: “You are the cyberwar agents and such a war requires Amman-like insight and Malik Ashtar-like resistance. Get yourself ready for such war wholeheartedly.”

    The IRGC exploited tech-savvy Iranian youth by investing in their education and then recruiting them for malign and hostile operations targeting nations like the US, Saudi Arabia, Britain and Israel.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh  wrote: “The Iranian regime has been relentless in finding various methods to subvert these nations through attacks on governmental institutions, the private sector and underlying infrastructures.”

    Here are just some of the Regime’s recent attacks:

    • Destructive cyberattacks against Saudi Arabia by Iranian hacking group Cadelle and Chafer

    • Malicious Iranian software “Shamoon” attacks 15 Saudi governmental and non-governmental networks

    • Iranian Regime launches cyber attack against Saudi oil producer Aramco, disabling 30,000 of its computers (roughly 75%) which took several months and a large amount of money to fix

    • Attacks on US and South Korean aviation and energy companies by an Iranian hacking group

    • Attacks on the email accounts of dozens of British MPs, including Prime Minister Theresa May.

    The Regime cyber attacks do not just target foreign governments- as many government-instructed hackers from around the world do- they target all enemies of the Regime, like human rights activists and media companies.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “The Iranian regime has also ratcheted up cyberspying efforts against Iranians living abroad, particularly those who are influential in informing foreign policy and criticizing the regime.”

    Why is Iran investing in hacking?

    Simply, it fits in with the Regime’s offensive line: attacking others while minimising retaliation.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “Before the age of the internet, Tehran relied heavily on proxies, mercenaries and militias. Using indirect methods gives the ruling mullahs an advantage, and lowers the risk and cost. It helps the Iranian leaders dodge responsibility and accountability and provides them with the powerful tool of deniability on the international stage. Iran has never been held accountable when its puppets were caught attacking another nation, smuggling weapons, or violating international laws.”

    This lack of accountability also helps Iran to avoid a potential war with the superpowers, which their military could not handle.

    Dr. Majid Rafizadeh wrote: “It is worth noting that many of Iran’s cyber attacks are aimed at the petrochemical industry, military and intelligence sectors in order to gain leverage, particularly over Saudi Arabia and the US. In addition, since the regime cannot obtain advanced weapons from the US, cyber spying helps the regime gain access to the technical data required to advance its military aviation capabilities.

    The hackers normally steal data and then introduce malware to the system to delete all the data afterwards.”

    With these benefits, the Iranian Regime is unlikely to stop its’ cyber warfare anytime soon, which will pose a serious threat to enemies of the Regime.

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  • Masoud Dalvand 5:56 pm on December 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Video: Following the Developing Iranian Cyber threat 

    Iranian Regime Cyber Threat

    Iran has conducted several highly damaging cyberattacks and become a major threat that will only get worse

    By Dorothy Denning
    Sintientific American, December 12, 2017 – Iran is one of the leading cyberspace adversaries of the United States. It emerged as a cyberthreat a few years later than Russia and China and has so far demonstrated less skill. Nevertheless, it has conducted several highly damaging cyberattacks and become a major threat that will only get worse.

    Like Russia  and China,  the history of Iran’s cyberspace operations begins with its hackers. But unlike these other countries, Iran openly encourages its hackers to launch cyberattacks against its enemies. The government not only recruits hackers into its cyberforces but supports their independent operations.

    PUTTING IRANIAN HACKERS ON THE MAP

    It was clear by the mid-2000s that Iran would become a source of cyberattacks: Its hackers had started taking over websites worldwide and posting their own messages on them, a practice called “defacing.” Often it was just for fun, but some hackers wanted to stand up for their country and Muslims. One prominent group, Iran Hackers Sabotage, launched in 2004 “with the aim of showing the world that Iranian hackers have something to say in the worldwide security.”

    The group’s website announced that it provided vulnerability testing and secure hosting services, but it was also known for web defacements. In 2005, the group replaced the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo home page with one defending Muslims and condemning terrorists. Another of its defacements proclaimed “Atomic energy is our right.” By early 2008, the Zone-H defacement archive listed 3,763 web defacements for the group. The group has since disbanded.

    Another prominent group, Ashiyane Digital Security Team, ran a website that offered free hacking tools and tutorials. The site claimed to have 11,503 members in May 2006. Like Iran Hackers Sabotage, Ashiyane provided security services while using its members’ knowledge and skills to deface websites. Their defacements frequently included a map of Iran with a reminder that “The correct name is Persian Gulf” for what some Arab states have called the “Arabian Gulf.”

    Ashiyane defaced 500 websites in 2009 during the Israeli incursion into Gaza and 1,000 sites in the U.S., U.K. and France in 2010 for supporting what the group said were anti-Iranian terrorist groups. By May 2011, Zone-H had recorded 23,532 defacements by the group. Its leader, Behrouz Kamalian, said his group cooperated with the Iranian military, but operated independently and spontaneously.

    A third group, the Iranian Cyber Army, launched a few years later. It has been implicated in several website attacks,  including one against Twitter in 2009 that proclaimed support for Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Other attack targets were the Voice of America in 2011  after the U.S. supported Iran’s Green movement, and regime opposition websites in 2013 just before the presidential election.

    Seven Iranian hackers conducted a coordinated cyber attack on dozens of U.S. banks, causing millions of dollars in lost business, and tried to shut down a New York dam

    Seven Iranian hackers conducted a coordinated cyber attack on dozens of U.S. banks, causing millions of dollars in lost business, and tried to shut down a New York dam

    IRAN’S CYBER MILITARY

    The Iranian Cyber Army is said by some cybersecurity researchers  to operate on behalf of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,  a branch of the country’s military. The Revolutionary Guards runs a cyber warfare program that in 2008 was estimated to employ about 2,400 professionals. In addition, it connects with independent hacker groups such as Ashiyane and the ICA.

    The Revolutionary Guards also command Iran’s voluntary paramilitary militia, known as the Basij Resistance Force. In 2010, the Basij established the Basij Cyber Council, but it focuses more on media and influence operations  than on cyberattacks.

    The Bowman Avenue Dam is seen in Rye Brook, N.Y. on March 24, 2016.

    The Bowman Avenue Dam is seen in Rye Brook, N.Y. on March 24, 2016.

    TURNING TO SABOTAGE

    By 2012, Iranian cyberattacks had gone beyond simple web defacements and hijacks to ones that destroyed data and shut down access to critical websites. The attackers conceal their government connections by hiding behind monikers that resemble those used by independent hacktivists  fightingfor justice and human rights.

    One such group called itself the Cutting Sword of Justice. In 2012, it launched cyberattacks against the Saudi Aramco oil company, claiming to protest Saudi oppression and corruption financed by oil. The attacks used “wiper” code that overwrote data on hard drives and spread through the company’s network via a virus dubbed Shamoon. More than 30,000 computers  were rendered inoperable at Saudi Aramco and Qatar’s RasGas, which was also targeted. U.S. intelligence officials blamed Iran  for the attacks.

    Cyber Threat from Iran

    Cyber Threat from Iran

    Iran has deployed wiper malware in other acts of sabotage, most notably the 2014 attack against the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.  The attack was thought to be a response to remarks made by Sheldon Adelson, the company’s largest shareholder. Adelson suggested setting off a bomb in an Iranian desert to persuade the country to abandon nuclear weapons. And in 2016, the Shamoon malware resurfaced,  wiping data from thousands of computers in Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation agency and other organizations.

    Iranian hackers operating on behalf of the government have also conducted massive distributed denial-of-service attacks,https://theconversation.com/attackers-can-make-it-impossible-to-dial-911-67980 which flood sites with so much traffic that they become inaccessible. From 2012 to 2013, a group calling itself the Cyber Fighters of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam launched  a series of relentless distributed denial-of-service attacks against major U.S. banks. The attackers claimed the banks were “properties of American-Zionist Capitalists.”

    In 2016 the U.S. indicted seven Iranian hackers in absentia for working on behalf of the Revolutionary Guards to conduct those bank attacks, which were said to have caused tens of millions of dollars in losses. The motivation may have been retaliation for economic sanctions that had been imposed on Iran or the Stuxnet   on Iran’s centrifuges.

    Cyber warfare

    Cyber warfare is fast becoming popular with smaller nations that cannot match the weaponry and force of larger powers. By attacking military and civilian systems, smaller nations have the potential to bring world powers to their knees. The 2010 Stuxnet malicious computer worm that targeted Iran’s nuclear program was the opening salvo and the proverbial tip of iceberg in cyber warfare

    One of the seven indictments was of a man who allegedly obtained access to the computer control system for the Bowman Avenue Dam in New York state. The access would have allowed the intruder to “operate and manipulate” one of the dam’s gates had it not been offline for maintenance.

    Iran also engages in cyberespionage. One group, which cybersecurity research firm FireEye named Advanced Persistent Threat 33,  has invaded computers around the world, with targets in the petrochemical, defense and aviation industries. The group uses code linked to Iran’s wiper malware, possibly in preparation for more destructive attacks. Another group, called Advanced Persistent Threat 34, has been active since at least 2014, targeting companies in the financial, energy, telecom and chemical industries.

    FOREIGN ASSISTANCE

    Iran may be beefing up its cyberwarfare capabilities with the help of foreigners.

    According to former Congressman Peter Hoekstra, who chaired the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Iran’s rapid emergence as a major cyberthreat likely stems from its close ties to Russia.  Matthew McInnis, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, believes Iran turned to Russia to level the cyberwarfare battlefield with the U.S.  and the West.

    Iran may also be looking to Mexico for cyber warfare support. According to a documentary aired on the Univision television network in 2011, a former Iranian ambassador to Mexico accepted a plan from undercover Mexican students to launch crippling cyber attacks against the U.S. The targets included the White House, the CIA, the FBI and nuclear installations. The documentary also shows Venezuelan and Cuban officials in Mexico expressing interest in the plot

    video: Documentales Univision: ‘La Amenaza Irani’ a Documentary on the Emerging Iranian Threat

    STRENGTHENING ITS CYBERWARFARE PROGRAM

    Iran may view cyber warfare as a means of overcoming its military disadvantage compared to the U.S. To that end, it will likely continue to improve its cyber capabilities.

    Containing Iran’s cyber warfare program would likely be even more challenging than containing its nuclear program.  Computer code is easy to conceal, copy and distribute, making it extremely difficult to enforce controls placed on cyberweapons. That leaves cybersecurity and cyber deterrence  asAmerica’s best options for defending against the Iranian cyber threat.

    Dorothy Denning
    Dorothy Denning
    Dorothy Denning is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School
    .

    Source: Video: Following the Developing Iranian Cyberthreat

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:04 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    After Fighting Common Enemy ISIS, How Will Rising Tensions Between U.S. and Iran Affect Iraq? 

    1

    How U.S. and Iran found a common enemy in ISIS

    After fighting ISIS, how will rising tensions between U.S. and Iran affect Iraq?
    Video – For watching the video click on the below link:

    https://player.pbs.org/viralplayer/3007409295/

    TRANSCRIPT :

    Judy Woodruff: Now the final installment in our series Iran Rising in Iraq that examines Tehran’s influence there, and what it means for U.S. policy in the region. Washington is worried about that sway and presence in Iraq, and is taking measures to counter it, raising U.S.-Iran tensions. But, tonight, we look at an extraordinary moment when the U.S. and Iran made common cause to fight a common enemy, and why many say that is unlikely to happen again. In partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, here again is special correspondent Reza Sayah.

    Reza Sayah: October 2016, a coalition of military forces in Iraq launched an offensive to take back the city of Mosul from ISIS. And fighting on the same side were the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iraqi Army General Ghais Al-Hamdawi says it was a superbly coordinated mission.

    Maj. Gen. Ghais Al-hamdawi (through Interpreter): It was the perfect example of bravery and cooperation among everybody, the PMF, tanks, army, air force, the American Air Force, special ops, and even citizens took part. This battle should be a lesson for all the armies in the world.

    Reza Sayah: The mission was called We Are Coming. Among the forces helping the Iraqi army, 500 American troops on the ground and U.S. fighter jets providing air support, and 16,000 fighters from the Popular Mobilization Forces, PMF for short, a volunteer Iraqi militia largely armed and funded by Iran and advised by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. For the next several months, the Iranian-backed militia helped overpower ISIS on the ground in towns and villages surrounding Mosul. Once ISIS was encircled and trapped, in came Iraqi forces, backed by U.S. artillery units and airpower, to finish the extremist group.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: What unites both Iran and the United States is their goal to end ISIS, which we, as Iraqis, obviously appreciated.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Mazin Al-Eshaiker says Washington and Tehran never publicly acknowledged the strategy and never made direct contact to discuss it.

    Mazin Al-eshaiker: I’m talking the U.S. and Iranian didn’t sit face to face, but the Iraqis sat face to face with the Iranians, and, in the same token, sat face to face with the Americans to come up with a joint plan for both sides.

    Reza Sayah: The plan worked. In July, ISIS was defeated in its last major stronghold, thanks in part to a rare occasion where the United States and Iran tacitly cooperated to beat a common enemy. But Iraqi officials say, don’t expect U.S.-Iran cooperation again in Iraq any time soon.

    Mazin Al-eshaikerWe are free to dream what we want, but it will not happen.

    Reza Sayah: Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. policy with Iran was cautious engagement on some issues. With the election of President Donald Trump, the policy immediately changed to confrontation, escalating the nearly four-decade-long cold war between the countries. In October, President Donald Trump repeated accusations that Iran sponsors terrorism in the region, and slapped sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

    President Donald Trump: The Iranian dictatorship’s aggression continues to this day. The regime remains the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

    Reza Sayah: Mr. Trump also refused to certify that Iran was complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, even though the remaining world powers and U.N. inspectors said Iran was complying. Ten days later, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Riyadh to boost Iraq’s ties with Iran’s main regional rival in the region, Saudi Arabia. Tillerson also suggested the PMF was an Iranian fighting force and called for the militia to disband, a demand the Iraqi government rejected, insisting PMF fighters were Iraqi nationals.

    Rex Tillerson: Certainly, Iranian militias that are in Iraq, now that the fight against Da’esh and ISIS is coming to a close, those militias need to go home.

    Reza Sayah: And, last week, CIA Director Mike Pompeo revealed that he had sent a letter to Qasem Soleimani, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, warning Iran over its behavior in Iraq.

    Mike Pompeo: He refused to open the letter. It didn’t break my heart, to be honest with you. What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control. And we wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.

    Reza Sayah: Senior Iranian officials have hit back in the war of words. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called U.S. policy in the Middle East dangerous. In a live televised address, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani accused Western countries, including the United States, of having fed and armed ISIS. And in a speech to university students last month, Iran’s supreme leader called the U.S. Iran’s number one enemy.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (through Interpreter): My dear children, don’t forget that in this very important path where you’re following your goals, your number one enemy is America.

    Seyed Hosseini: America has to learn a lesson.

    Reza Sayah: Iran-based pro-Iranian political analyst Seyed Hosseini says better relations between Washington and Tehran is good for Iraq. But that won’t happen, he says, unless the U.S. changes what Hosseini calls a hostile policy against Iran.

    Seyed Hosseini: Until they don’t correct themselves and their policies in the region, I don’t think there will be a great hope for that. America, for them to be present in the region, they need Iranian help. They must just come to terms and accept the presence of a powerful Iran.

    Reza Sayah: Many Iraqis doubt Tehran and Washington will change their policies. Ali Elami has owned this Baghdad supermarket for five decades. This is where Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein used to stop by for late-night shawarmas, he says. So, Saddam Hussein had shawarma at your place? Elami says the U.S. and Iran are both here for their own interests, not to help Iraq.

    Ali Elami (through Interpreter): The location of Iraq is very strategic. There’s oil, rivers. When Americans came and kicked out Saddam, they didn’t do it for our interests. They did it for oil and money. Iran has expanded here not for our sake. They did it for their own benefit.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: We pay a price as a people in Iraq.

    Reza Sayah: Iraqi politician Muthana Amin Nader is happy to see is defeated in Iraq. But what he fears now is a dangerous proxy war between Iran and the U.S.

    Muthanna Amin Nader: Conflict between Iran and America makes our people as victim. We give a very, very expensive price. It’s time to say enough for bleeding in Iraq and destroying Iraq. They should support us, but also keep away from us.

    Reza Sayah: With so much at stake here for the U.S. and Iran, keeping away from Iraq seems unlikely. How the two adversaries manage that high-stakes competition while they’re here may go a long way in shaping the future of Iraq. For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Reza Sayah in Baghdad.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:54 pm on December 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Threat to U.S.: Leave Syria or Else!: Video 

    Revolutionary Guard

    IRGC

    TruNews, December 11, 2017 – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps commander, Brig. Gen. Qassem Soleimani sent a letter, via Russia, demanding every last U.S. soldier leave Syria or else “the doors of hell will open up.”

    According to the Kuwaiti Al Rai Media news website (translated from Arabic), Soleimani told a Russian officer who delivered the message to the U.S.:

    ‘My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS (the Islamic State group) will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it … You shall face soldiers and forces you have not experienced before in Syria and you will leave the country sooner or later.’

    Soleimani reportedly told the Russian middle-man that U.S. forces in Syria will be “considered as forces of occupation” if they stay, according to the Al Rai report. It concludes that the situation could quickly devolved into a mirror of events in Lebanon in 1983, when hundreds of American Marines were killed in the Islamist bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:42 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Iranian People,   

    Iran’s Earthquake Victims Suffer As Government Spends Billions On Terrorism — Iran Commentary 

    By Heshmat Alavi

    They say a news event has a three-day lifespan. The regime in Tehran is counting on such a theory to have the international community move on after the recent earthquake that shook western Iran. Each passing day further reveals the scope of this vast catastrophe.

    “More than 1,000 people have lost their lives,” Iranian MP Ahmad Safari said to the official ILNA news agency 72 hours after the quake. “I went to a village where they said they pulled 20 corpses from under the rubble. They were not even counted in the death toll. 70 people died just in one alley of the town of Sarpol-e Zahab. Another 250 were killed in the Mehr housing complex.”

    Experts advised the government of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (2005-13) to build 25,000 homes under the Mehr blueprint. Ahmadinejad, however, ordered the construction of 1.5 million such units, raising questions of possible negligence in construction and lack of proper supervision.

    “Just as opposed to the practices of the clerical regime, now is the time to show solidarity. Assisting and saving the victims of the earthquake is a sacred national duty,” she said.

    The incoming statistics of this recent quake are devastating.

    “There are still people stranded in villages where 90 percent of the homes are left destroyed. No official has visited these areas. The locals, along with their children, are forced to sleep the nights in their farm fields without any shelter,” a reported wired by the semi-official ISNA news agency reads.

    Instead of focusing measures to rush aid for the victims, Iran’s regime imposed martial law in Sarpol-e Zahab, the epicenter of the earthquake.

    960x0 (2)

    A picture taken on November 15, 2017 shows an Iranian woman gesturing next to the rubble of her home in Kouik village near to Sarpol-e Zahab, two days after a 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck Iran’s western Kermanshah province near the border with Iraq, leaving hundreds killed and thousands homeless. Iranian authorities scramble to help tens of thousands of people left homeless by a major quake on the border with Iraq that killed more than 400 people as anger mounts among residents at what they see as a slow response. / ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images

    Was such a catastrophe preventable? Is Iran the only country prone to earthquakes?

    Japan has a history of earthquakes and thanks to technological advances we no longer witness skyrocketing number of casualties and damages.

    Australia also experienced a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday that resulted in tsunami warnings. No casualties or major damages were reported.

    Preventing quake damage is nothing out of the ordinary or impossible. A truly popular government allocating the necessary manpower, means and budget can do the job. Here is exactly where the problem lies in Iran.

    On August 13th members of the Iran’s parliament unanimously adopted a 16-article bill providing around $600 million to further develop Iran’s ballistic missile program and additionally fund the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), especially the extraterritorial unit known as the Quds Force.

    Iran’s five military entities enjoy a budget of $13.5 billion for the current Persian calendar year (March 2017 to March 2018), of which $7.4 billion belongs to the IRGC. This is a 24 percent increase from the last calendar year.

    960x0 (1)

    The new Iranian long range missile Khoramshahr (front) is displayed during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of its devastating 1980-1988 war with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, on September 22,2017 in Tehran. Rouhani vowed that Iran would boost its ballistic missile capabilities despite criticism from the United States and also France. / STR/AFP/Getty Images

    It is worth noting that the Iranian regime has a nearly $7 billion budget deficit, equaling to nearly half of its military budget.

    Proper now would be to evaluate the money sent by the Iranian regime to Lebanon. There is actually no figure of Tehran’s financial support for the Lebanese Hezbollah.

    While recent reports have placed this value at over $800 million, back in 2011 Al Arabiya Farsi shed further light in this regard.

    “Hezbollah used to receive $350 million each year from Iran. In addition to Hezbollah’s own activities, this budget was used to provide for members’ salaries, the families of killed Hezbollah members, various projects in southern Lebanon and Beqaa, and bribing Lebanese political figures to back Hezbollah.”

    One such $400 million construction project in Lebanon, including parkswas paid for completely by Iran. All the while millions in Iran remain under poor living conditions.

    “As long as there is money in Iran, we will have money,” said Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, making it crystal clear how the terrorist-designated group’s entire budget is bankrolled by Tehran.

    Parallel to Lebanon, Iran is known for its belligerence in SyriaIraqYemen and beyond.

    Deprived of this budget, 40 percent of the Iranian people are living in complete poverty. 13 million homeless in city outskirt slums. 14 million literally cannot pay for their daily meals.

    State-affiliated websites in Iran report nearly 20,000 homes were completely destroyed in the recent quake. Whereas in Japan, simple homes made with a budget of $10,000 each, have proven to be earthquake-resistant.

    If we take into consideration just the abovementioned $600 million, Iran’s government could have provided 60,000 such homes for victims of the past three major quakes across the country.

    This includes 20,000 in Kermanshah province, the site of the recent quake designated as the most powerful in 2017 so far; another 20,000 for the victims of the 2012 East Azerbaijan quake in northeast Iran; and 20,000 more for the victims of the 2003 Bam quake that left tens of thousands of innocent people killed.

    This is all aside from sitting on an ocean of 125 billion barrels of oil, 227 trillion cubic meters of gas and a daily revenue of $200 million from exporting oil.

    The point is the solutions are out there. Iran, however, is ruled by a regime that could care less about its populace. For those sitting in Tehran, this is a recipe for disaster.

    Mohammad Biranvand, another member of Iran’s parliament said, “Do you know that the people now trust athletes and celebrities more than they trust government institutions? All this indicates that the earthquake of distrust will be far more destructive than the recent earthquake.”

    via Iran’s Earthquake Victims Suffer As Government Spends Billions On Terrorism — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:35 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran worryingly recruits teenage children in its wars 

    children in war

    It has been reported that children as young as fifteen are being recruited by the Iranian regime to participate in armed conflicts. This is a blatant disregard of international law and the UN Security Council has reminded Iran that the UN Charter on children’s rights is applicable.
    The International Criminal Court sees the recruitment of anyone under eighteen years old for any activities related to armed combat as a war crime.
    It is scandalous that this is happening with such frequency in Iran, yet it is facing no obstacles.
    Children have not developed fully enough to participate in war and these children being recruited by the Iranian regime are at extreme risk for major physical and psychological consequences. It takes an extreme toll on the child, the family and society as a whole.
    International laws are in place to protect children, but they can only be protected if they are enforced. It is major negligence that the international laws are failing to protect these minors.
    Many of the children being recruited in Iran are from refugee families. They are sent to conflict zones, in particular Syria, where they will fight alongside Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s forces and allies.
    The shocking reason behind such a high number of child recruits is that the Syrian and Iranian regimes are trying to lower the number of reported government casualties and deaths to minimize the loss of morale within the troops. The lives of the children are not valued and the Iranian regime treats them as expendable.
    The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is instrumental in recruiting minors. The IRGC plays a big role in many of the regime’s crimes and this is just another reason backing the drive by some to take international action to curb its influence.
    In order to be able to get so many recruits, the authorities promise them legal residency status in Iran. They also promise financial benefits and prey on the people that are living in extreme poverty in certain parts of society in the country.
    Human Rights Watch has spoken about this alarming practice and its Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson, called on Iran to immediately put an end to it. She also called on Iranian authorities to ensure that any refugee children that have been sent away to fight are withdrawn immediately. She said that it is Iran’s responsibility to protect children, not to prey on the vulnerable ones.
    It is imperative that those responsible are held to account for their crimes. The Iranian authorities have been boasting on television about how they are proud to send child recruits to Syria. Reports are conflicting with some saying that there are children as young as 14 being recruited, but in one television interview a young boy claiming to be only 13 spoke about his experience.
    Whatever the age, it is very clear that the situation is a war crime and that the young children should be experiencing life at school, not a war abroad.

    The Vahed Markazi Khabar state-run Television (Central News Unit TV) has released a video showing a 13-year-old Iranian soldier in a gathering of the so-called Defenders of the Shrine. The Shrine Defenders is the name Iran has given to its troop in the Syrian civil war. In this video, the 13-year-old child introduces himself as being from the province of Mazandaran. Another Iranian soldier calls him the youngest Iranian soldier in Syria. The 13-year-old says that he came to Syria under the influence of Ghassem Soleimani, the commander of the Iran Quds Force, and that he’s aware of the dangers of being killed. This video has been recorded in Abu Kamal.

    Transcript of video:
    • Hello, introduce yourself.
    I am Ali … (inaudible).
    • Where are you from?
    Me? Mazandaran.
    • How old are you?
    13
    • He’s 13 years old. So where are we now?
    Syria
    • This area?
    Kamal
    • Mashallah, the youngest Defender of the Shrine who came from Islamic Iran. And this is now the last moments for the terrorists in the Abu Kamal region. The city is completely clear and our friends have gathered here. Well, it was very strange to us, the 13-year-olds, the martyrs of the understanding are still here. So why are you here?
    Because I said to Hajj Qasim … (inaudible)
    • Well, let us know since this is a danger zone, there was the probability of you dying. Did you think of that?
    Yes.
    • You weren’t worried?
    No, martyrdom is an honor and a desire.
    • Mashallah, Mashallah. Now that the terrorists have run away and the city is free, how do you feel? What do you have to say to the terrorists and the Americans?
    I am very happy. I say to the Americans that Islam is victorious forever.
    • Islam is victorious forever! Now is there anything you want to say to your compatriots my dear brother?
    Support the Shrine Defenders.
    • What do you want to say to the martyrs of the Shrine?
    Well done to those who have given their lives for the Shrine.
    • Mashallah, Mashallah, to those who have given their lives to defend the Ahl al Beit… They were people martyred from your trenches. Do you remember any of them?
    Martyr Samadi and martyr Nazari
    • Martyr Samadi and martyr Nazari! Like our great brother, we have also lost the likes of Abbas, Qasem, Ali Asghar, and Ali Akbar to defend the people of Allah. Thousands of martyrs so that our national security would not be undermined and now it is the last days of the terrorists and we are in debt to the blood of the martyrs and the Shrine Defenders. In the hope that we come out victorious.
    Salute Zeinab.

    Source: Iran worryingly recruits teenage children in its wars

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:58 am on November 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran ‘proud’ to send its children to fight in Syria! 

    13 year old Iranian child soldier in Syria. A report by Iran state TV broadcast today November 25 about an Iranian 13 year old child soldier sent by Revolutionary Guards to fight on the front lines in Syria.

    Iran ‘proud’ to send its children to fight in Syria. An Iranian television channel on Saturday broadcast a video in which a 13-year-old child soldier speaks about being sent to Syria to fight. In the video, a reporter asks the young soldier his age to which the boy replies “13,” while another gunman next to the child says that he is “the youngest child fighter.” “This child must be in school now and play and not on the war fronts, where adults get killed,” said one Iranian activist. A report by Human Rights Watch called for an investigation into the recruitment of children into Syria by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, calling on the international community and the United Nations to open an investigation into the issue and to add Iran to the annual list of perpetrators of child abuse.

     

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:35 am on November 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    “U.S. Policy on Iran: What Next After IRGC Terror Designation?” 

    US Policy on Iran 11/21/2017

    Sen. Joe Lieberman and Gen Chuck Wald at “US Policy On Iran: What Next After IRGC Terror Designation?”, moderated by Prof. Sasch Sheeahn from UB.
    Click on the follow link for watching all conference:

    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yoKMMlqLAlKQ?t=24s

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:02 pm on November 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Iran: Where the regime opposes women’s rights 

    Women pray for Iranian soldiers killed during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war at the Imamzadeh Saleh shrine in Tehran on August 2, 2017. (Reuters)

    Every year, the day November 25 comes as a grim reminder that we have a long way to go for achieving gender parity. There are still many countries in the world where women cannot fully exercise the right to shape their own destiny. Violence against women is another detestable vestige of the mostly patriarchal societies inherited by our generation.

    It may seem that we have come a long way since the Dark Ages, but there are still some countries in the world that have made little progress in according equal rights to women and men. There is even a country where misogyny is the order of the day and where women have no legal rights.

    It may come as a shock to many, but Iran continues to run in this way. The Iranian regime may keep up pretences in public on issues related to women’s rights, but in practice women remain second class citizens in that country.

    Subhuman treatment of women

    It is not difficult to prove that Iranian theocrats are opposed to the idea of gender equality. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei has been quoted as saying: “Gender equality is ‘Zionist plot’ aimed at corrupting the role of women in society.” In Iran’s version of religious law, women are considered property.

    Their inheritance is half of what men receive and women are not allowed to leave the country without their husband’s consent. They are also forced to observe a very strict dress code. There are several security measures in place in Iran to impose these laws. The most repressive one is the infamous ‘morality police’ that roams around cities arresting young women for not observing the dress code.

    There are gruesome videos on YouTube and other social media showing how women are treated in Iran for what they wear. In a recent incident, a 14-year-old girl was beaten and detained for wearing ripped jeans in Iran (one of many such cases of police brutality against women). After her arrest by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Coups (IRGC) unit, she said: “I still carry the bruises sustained from their beatings on my face … my ribs still hurt.”

    ANALYSIS: Iranian regime and its appalling violation of children’s rights

    Women in Iran are also banned from entering sports stadiums. In a recently reported case by Human Rights Watch (HRW), a woman named Mina tried to get under the radar of security forces to watch a volleyball match in 2016. Despite her attempt to watch the match from the roof top of a café near a volleyball stadium, she and a few other women were caught by IRGC and were evicted from their vantage point.

    Irrespective of their position in society, women in Iran have no right to travel without the consent of their husband or father. Hassan Rouhani and his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had once made bogus promises of giving women more rights in order to garner their votes. In May this year, Rouhani had spread the word that he might appoint a women minster in his cabinet. But soon after his sham election he did not include any woman in his cabinet.

    Women in Iran are legally required to wear a hijab in public and this law is strictly enforced by morality police. (Photo courtesy: Iran Human Rights)

    Iranian women defy repression

    However, Iranian women seize every opportunity to show their resistance against their ill-treatment by the regime. After Khamenei’s ridiculous fatwa banning women from riding a bike in public last year, women in Iran came out in droves riding their bikes in defiance. According to the state-run media, Khamenei issued a decree on 10 September 2016 wherein he said: “Riding a bicycle often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and as contravenes women’s chastity so it must be abandoned”.

    Since the first day of the installation of the regime, Iranian women have resisted their attempts at oppression. Back in the day, Iran like other countries of the Middle East could hardly imagine any role for women other than staying at home and taking care of children.

    One woman took the lead in this struggle for freedom which was no longer about just freeing Iranian women but the entire Iranian society, which was taken hostage by the regime. Maryam Rajavi, president of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), an educated woman has done the impossible and instilled thousands of Iranian men and women with the idea that all citizens in the country can struggle for a common cause: Freedom.

    ALSO READ: Iran Guards ‘recruiting Afghan children as young as 14’ to fight in Syria

    She has proven through her leadership role that the same deprived and underprivileged woman is no different than her male counterpart in struggling for a free and democratic society. She has built a blueprint for building a better Iran with her 10-point plan, wherein women are deemed fully equal to men in all spheres of social activity.

    There would be no limits for women in this new Iran. Filling the highest political positions will no longer be just a dream for women. The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) — the biggest Iranian opposition group and a member of the NCRI — has followed her teachings for years and is now led by her.

    Violence against women in Iran is institutionalized simply because half of the society is treated as crippled and in need of guidance from men; be it the male head of the family or males in the state itself. Thus, the status of women will never change in Iran as long as the present regime is in power.

    ______________________
    Reza Shafiee (@shafiee_shafiee) is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    Source: Iran: Where the regime opposes women’s rights

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:25 pm on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Arab Community, , , , ,   

    Welcoming Positions of Arab Community Against Clerical Regime and Calling for Effective and Feasible Action 

    Iranian Resistance welcomes the decisions adopted by the extraordinary summit of the foreign ministers of Arab States, such as condemnation of the mullahs’ regime for “its continued involvement in Arab affairs which feeds sectarian and religious strife” and “support for terrorism and terrorist groups in Arab States with advanced weapons and ballistic missiles,” and the referral to the United Nations Security Council for “violations of Resolution No. 2231 on the development of the ballistic missile program” and “violations of the Resolution (2216)” with regard to Yemen….and considers it as a necessary step to confront the policy of exporting fundamentalism and terrorism of the mullahs regime ruling Iran that must be completed with a series of practical measures.

    The clerical regime is in extreme need of export of terrorism, war and extremism for its survival. Since three decades ago, the Iranian Resistance has emphasized the need to confront this regime as the greatest enemy of peace and tranquility in the region and the world. Failure to pay attention to this threat and negotiation and appeasement has allowed the regime to expand the unprecedented wave of terrorism and war and massacres to regional countries from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine to Yemen, Bahrain and Afghanistan, and even beyond the region.

    Some of the necessary measures to complete the positions of Arab foreign ministers, as well as the decisions of the Riyadh Conference (April 2017) and the Islamic Cooperation Organization Summit in Istanbul (April 2016) are as follows:

    1. The expulsion of the mullahs regime from the Islamic Cooperation Conference and all regional institutions and organs, and awarding Iran’s seats to the National Council of Resistance of Iran as the only democratic alternative to the religious and terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran;

    2. Complete termination of economic and diplomatic relations of Arab and Islamic countries with the Iranian regime;

    3. Adoption of necessary regional and international measures to expel the Revolutionary Guards and its mercenary militias from the countries of the region, in particular, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and to prevent the Iranian regime and its militias from sending troops and weapons to the above countries in pursuance of Security Council Resolutions 2216 and 2231;

    4. Providing comprehensive political, financial, military and weapons support to the Syrian democratic opposition, and banning any Iranian regime’s interference in the negotiations on Syrian crisis;

    5. Putting the IRGC in the terrorist lists, and complete prohibiting of dealings with its affiliated companies;

    6. Condemning the mullahs regime’s crimes against the Iranian people, in particular the execution of 120,000 political prisoners, including the massacre of 30,000 prisoners in 1988, and supporting the people’s will to overthrow this anti-human regime;

    Terrorism and extremism in its present form has emerged in this region since the reign of mullahs, and these destructive and deadly policies will end only with the overthrow of this regime. This is a matter within reach because of the hatred and disgust of the whole people against this regime and the presence of a national opposition and a powerful and organized alternative.

    National Council of Resistance of Iran – Foreign Affairs Committee
    November 20, 2017

     
    • bluemoone 11:33 pm on November 20, 2017 Permalink

      That’s a well-thoughtout plan but I do have a few questions regarding some of the points. At the top of the list is the part about the terror list. It’s a bold move, but I fear that the people might get caught in that net. You’ve seen the clumsy, bigoted way that our government tried to ban certain countries under that guise. I can understand having sanctions on the government but it would be good to not have the people suffer more than they already have in doing so. I don’t know if there is a way to accomplish that. The other was the abandonment of diplomacy. I think that still may play a part is giving support to the resistance. What about the UN bringing charges against the regime? Can that be done? Also, does the Arab states you mention include Saudi Arabia? I only ask because they have gotten ill-concieved assistance from the US and does appear to be in favor of terroristic actions, as does the US. The US interference in the government of other countries has never worked out favorably for its people largely due to our government’s motivations of greed and not the bettering of humanity. I don’t want our government to make things worse than they already have and that is very likely. I would like to ask any country considering such bold moves to be strategic in their actions and make it a priority that whatever they do, that they design their actions to support the people of Iran and minimize or eliminate the blowback on them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • eliza rudolf 6:01 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink

      Great 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 10:36 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink

      Thanks Eliza.

      Like

    • Masoud Dalvand 11:06 am on November 22, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you for the comments you have written to me. While agreeing with the concerns you raised, I must first recall a historical record of these actions. It is more than 38 that the United States, in spite of some apparent and small measures, has essentially prevented the fall of the regime’s dictatorship from ruling Iran overwhelmingly by its appeasement policy. Do you know that the United States, with its foolish attack on Iraq, has been giving it in a golden tray to the Iranian clerics and Quds terrorists? In contrast, more than 15 years , the legitimate and fair resistance of the Iranian people was placed on terrorist lists. Of course, the politics of the countries of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries have also been affected by this policy by the United States and Europe, with the dictatorship of this regime. Therefore, as a result of this policy, the appeasement of the United States and Europe and the Arab countries, the party that has benefited most, is only the criminals and terrorists ruling Iran. The party that has seen the most damage is only Iranian people and their free and legitimate resistance. If the Arab countries are awake today, it is because of the fears that they have created in their hearts as a result of the advance of the Iranian regime and the terrorist forces. Iraq and many parts of Syria and Yemen are in control of Quds terrorist forces and their mercenaries. They want to occupy Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is under the control of the terrorist group Hezbollah, the mercenary of Iran. They want to occupy Saudi Arabia. Lebanon is under the control of the terrorist group Hezbollah, the mercenary of Iran. Well, you see that the Arab community and the US government have not yet done anything against this regime. Their threat is not at all a war with this regime. If the United States and Europe and Arab countries listened to the Iranian resistance 30 years ago, they would not have supported the regime. Now, absolutely, the Iranian resistance is not calling for sanctions that harm the Iranian people. Iran’s economy and oil are under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). They use oil money to build a ballistic missile and a nuclear program to threaten the world, such as North Korea. They also export their fundamentalist religious ideology and terrorism to scare of the region countries and U.S. and EU , and the United States. It must cut off the vital arteries of the terrorists and criminals ruling Iran. I do not think these countries are so serious and determined. The only way to uprising the Iranian people and overthrow this regime is through the Iranian resistance and the establishment of freedom, human rights and sustainable democracy in Iran.
      Hope I could explain and answer to questions, thanks again dear Danelle. Good luck.

      Like

    • bluemoone 2:00 am on November 23, 2017 Permalink

      No, what you’ve said supports my concerns even more. I agree that all countries, especially the US, needs to stop supporting criminals and needs to help, not hurt the Iranian people as well as the people of other countries that they have wronged; Honduras, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, India. I’m sure there’s more. It will only come to be if we get the criminals out of our government. That’s something that the American people have been waking up to, that nothing will change for the better until they are gone. I’m in full support of our government providing whatever assistance and backing the Iranian people need, as long as they are actually helping. They have had a long history of only helping themselves but part of that is our fault too for not doing more to stop them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 7:52 am on November 23, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you Danielle for your opinions, you have a high level human feelings and this is what I impressed by you always. Thanks again. Good luck.

      Like

    • bluemoone 8:20 am on November 23, 2017 Permalink

      Thank you Masoud. You are equally impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

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