Iran’s Sabre Rattlings and False Accusations of Americans for Future Leverage

Iran’s leader visits Venezuela amid tensions

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez defended his close ally Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday and warned of “U.S. warmongering threats” amid tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a death sentence against an American man convicted of working for the CIA.

The two leaders met in Caracas on the first leg of a four-nation tour that will also take Ahmadinejad to Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.

“We are very worried,” Chavez said of the pressures being put on Iran by the United States and its allies, which he accused of being a threat to peace.

Adding to the tensions, Iranian state radio reported on Monday that a court in Iran has convicted dual U.S.-Iranian citizen Amir Mirzaei Hekmati of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death.

Free Amir

Official Statement:Jan. 9, 20128:30am EST

Amir Hekmati’s parents respond to Iranian press statement about death penalty for their son:

My husband Ali and I are shocked and terrified by the news that our son, Amir, has been sentenced to death.

We believe that this verdict is the result of a process that was neither transparent nor fair.

The Iranian authorities are denying that Amir is a United States citizen, despite the fact he was born in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Amir did not engage in any acts of spying, or “fighting against God,” as the convicting Judge has claimed in his sentence. Amir is not a criminal. His very life is being exploited for political gain.

A grave error has been committed, and we have authorized our legal representatives to make direct contact with the Iranian authorities to find a solution to this misunderstanding.

We pray that Iran will show compassion and not murder our son, Amir, a natural born American citizen, who was visiting Iran and his relatives for the first time.

Behnaz Hekmati (Amir’s mother)

U.S. condemns reported Iran death sentence for former U.S. Marine

Hekmati, 28, a former U.S. Marine Arabic language translator in Iraq, was born in Flagstaff, Arizona of Iranian descent and raised in Michigan. His family in Michigan, former colleagues and American officials say Hekmati never served in the CIA and was in Iran to visit his grandmother…

“Like many other detainees in Iran, Amir Hekmati did not receive a fair  trial and we question the timing and political circumstances of this  decision,” said Ann Harrison, Amnesty International’s interim director  for the Middle East and North Africa. “We know from past experience that  the Iranian authorities sometimes rush forward with executions of  political prisoners — including dual nationals — at politically  sensitive times and we fear that this execution could happen within days  or weeks.”

Amid tensions, U.S. Navy rescues Iranians from Somali pirates

Just days after Iranian and American military officials traded warnings over a U.S. Navy vessel’s departure from the Persian Gulf, the United States Navy has rescued 13 Iranian fishermen and their fishing dhow from Somali pirates in the north Arabian sea, the Pentagon said Friday. And in a side irony that punctuates the rare instance of Iranian-American co-operation, the rescue operation was carried out by a ship belonging to the very U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group that Iranian army officials had earlier boasted of evicting from Gulf waters.

(click on headlines for source to news stories)




39 responses

  1. Thousands of US troops deploying to Israel

    Without much media attention, thousands of American troops are being deployed to Israel, and Iranian officials believe that this is the latest and most blatant warning that the US will soon be attacking Tehran.

    Tensions between nations have been high in recent months and have only worsened in the weeks since early December when Iran hijacked and recovered an American drone aircraft. Many have speculated that a back-and-forth between the two countries will soon escalate Iran and the US into an all-out war, and that event might occur sooner than thought.


    1. Since the US surveillance mission over Iran that left overseas intelligence with a captured American drone aircraft, tensions have only escalated between the two nations. After Iran threatened to close down the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial path for the nation’s oil trade, the US dispatched 15,000 marines into the area.


    1. Be sure to read the comments-they are some good uns!


  2. Why New Sanctions Raise Danger of Iran’s Building Nuclear Weapons

    “But the responsible thing to do right now,” he continued, “is to keep putting diplomatic and economic pressure on them to force them to do the right thing. And to make sure that they do not make the decision to proceed with the development of a nuclear weapon.”


    1. “My sources inside the country say the circle of regime insiders around Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei truly believes an attack is inevitable, perhaps even before the U.S. presidential election,” says Century Foundation analyst Genevieve Abdo. “Therefore, to save face at home and in the region, Iran’s saber-rattling has reached a fever pitch.”


  3. Iran Sentences U.S. Citizen to Death for Espionage

    The regime does have a certain knack for taking hostages, and Iran is looking for all the leverage it can get against sanctions.

    It is noteworthy that they have prosecuted him according to Qur’an 5:33: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.”


    1. NEW YORK — Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, the American sentenced to death by the Iranian government, is linked to a small New York company specializing in video games that recreate real-life conflicts in the Middle East and beyond


  4. Blast kills Iran nuclear expert amid ‘covert war’

    The attack — which instantly killed the scientist and fatally wounded his driver on Wednesday — was at least the fourth targeted hit against a member of Iran’s nuclear brain trust in two years. Tehran quickly blamed Israeli-linked agents backed by the U.S. and Britain.


    1. The U.S. and its allies are pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a key element of the nuclear program that the West suspects is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Uranium enriched to low levels can be used as nuclear fuel, but at higher levels it can be used as material for a nuclear warhead.

      Iran denies it is trying to make nuclear weapons, saying its program is for peaceful purposes only and is geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients.


  5. US Navy Shows Up Iran in Strait

    One of the most striking images to come across the news wires so far in this young year was the photo of an Iranian fisherman embracing his heroes, crew members from the American guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd who ended their hellish ordeal at the hands of Somali pirates. I wonder if that fisherman understands the irony of the American military releasing Iranian hostages.


  6. U.S. Warns Iran Not to Block Shipping

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Tensions rising by the day, the Obama administration said Friday it is warning Iran through public and private channels against any action that threatens the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. The Navy revealed that two U.S. ships in and near the Gulf were harassed by Iranian speedboats last week.


  7. Iran sends rare letter to U.S. over killed scientist

    The spokesman for Iran’s Joint Armed Forces Staff, Massoud Jazayeri, said: “Our enemies, especially America , Britain and the Zionist regime (Israel), have to be held responsible for their actions.”


  8. What would it mean if Iran blocked the Strait of Hormuz?

    We all were so impressed by the statements of State Department and Pentagon officials who seemed for a time to have forgotten about the Iranian threat but were now apparently waking up to what might happen if Iran blocks the Strait and finds a loophole in U.S. and E.U. sanctions.


  9. Iran warns of consequences if Arabs back oil sanctions

    (Reuters) – Iran warned Gulf Arab neighbors on Sunday they would suffer consequences if they raised oil output to replace Iranian crude facing an international ban.

    In signs of Tehran’s deepening isolation over its refusal to halt nuclear activity that could yield atomic bombs, China’s premier was in Saudi Arabia probing for greater access to its huge oil and gas reserves and Britain voiced confidence a once hesitant European Union would soon ban oil imports from Iran.


    1. Iran’s navy commander Habibollah Sayyari said Tehran could exert control over the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, whose warships patrol the region, says it will not tolerate any attempt to disrupt shipping through the strait.

      Military experts say Iran could not challenge the huge U.S.-led fleet that guards the strait for long, but its threats raise the risk of miscalculation that could flare into a clash.


  10. US Nervous, Sends Army General to Calm Down Israel

    The Obama administration is sending the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey to Israel this Thursday to try to change what it sees as Israel’s increasing readiness to attack Iran.


  11. Strong Signs That Iran is Giving Syria Weapons

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A recent visit by the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force to Damascus is the strongest sign yet that Iran is supplying weapons to aid Bashar Assad’s crackdown on the Syrian people, a senior Obama administration official said Tuesday.


  12. The Powerful Delusion

    It’s no secret that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is preoccupied with the coming of a Shiite Islamic messiah figure, al Mahdi. This continues to generate concern that a nuclear-armed Iran would create the kind of global chaos he believes will be necessary to set the stage for the Mahdi’s return. Recent events seem to confirm this. For example, after years of promising that their nuclear ambitions are purely peaceful, Iran just announced their intention to test a 1 kiloton nuclear warhead this year. Iran’s Supreme Leader is thought to favor announcing Iran’s nuclear capability as an accomplished fact as soon as possible.

    Iran has also made repeated threats to close the Straights of Hormuz, blocking over 35% of the world’s ship borne oil supply, and they’ve warned the US not to send it’s recently departed aircraft carrier back into the Persian Gulf. The US has responded by reversing the carrier’s departure course and ordering two additional carriers into the vicinity, one of which entered the Persian Gulf this week. In addition to the thousands of troops the US recently stationed in Israel and Jordan in case of trouble in Syria, 15,000 more have now been stationed in Kuwait in case of trouble in Iran. It’s widely assumed that some kind of military showdown between the US and Iran is imminent.


    1. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a religious zealot of the first magnitude. By his statements, it’s clear that he believes his Mahdi is coming soon, and that he has been chosen to have his country ready to receive him. An old Islamic saying goes, “When the students are ready, the teacher will come.” And he himself has declared, “We don’t shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world.” A man with that kind of zeal, given the kind of power he has, will not hesitate to plunge the world into chaos to hasten the day of his lord.


  13. Shhhh….

    Iran Seeks Strategic Accomodations with Washington

    In other words, the United States acknowledges it sent a letter to Iranian leadership through multiple diplomatic channels but denies that the U.S. president himself appealed for direct talks. It is reasonable to believe Obama would refrain from such an appeal: U.S.-Iranian back-channel negotiations have a poor track record, such negotiations do not usually begin at the presidential level, and a direct appeal for talks would invite criticism from his domestic political opponents in the middle of the presidential campaign season.


  14. EU readies ban on Iran oil imports, central bank sanctions

    “We want them to think ‘This is really getting very, very serious now’,” said one European diplomat.


  15. U.S. aircraft carrier enters Gulf without incident

    The carrier USS Abraham Lincoln completed a “regular and routine” passage through the strait, a critical gateway for the region’s oil exports, “as previously scheduled and without incident,” said Lieutenant Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet.


  16. India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil. Oil and gold markets stunned

    The vast sums involved in these transactions are expected, furthermore, to boost the price of gold and depress the value of the dollar on world markets…

    India thus joins China in opting out of the US-led European sanctions against Iran’s international oil and financial business. Turkey announced publicly last week that it would not adhere to any sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program unless they were imposed by the United Nations Security Council.


  17. Iran to continue nuke program despite new sanctions

    The toothless response from the West has not deterred the mullahs. So what now? The Europeans want to negotiate. They will do anything to avoid the war the Iranians are itching to provoke. And certainly another Wilsonian adventure would be as misguided and foredoomed as the last two. Still, something must be done. Iranian nuclear scientists should be careful getting into their cars. But not all that careful. “Iran to continue nuke program despite new sanctions,” from, January 23:


  18. Iran preparing now for Armageddon

    Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has held several secret meetings with his economic and military advisers in recent days to prepare for the possibility of war with the United States.


  19. Iran is a real threat, but Obama is siding with the Muslims against our only real ally, Israel… so people should be far more worried about Obama than Ahmadinejad.

    Proof? Obama has supported, applauded and encouraged the radical Islamofascist takeover of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt – maybe even Jordan

    The only minority Obama cares nothing for…. the military

    Hattip: Bob Mack


  20. West making case to Israel: Don’t attack Iran

    The official said the U.S. is making its case publicly and privately but that the ultimate decision will be Israel’s.


  21. <a href=' rattles sabers: ’11,000 missiles ready to launch’ at Israel, US targets

    The Iranian newspaper Kayhan reported Thursday that in the first minutes of any American conflict with Iran, “Israel and all U.S. interests around the world will be targeted.”


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