Iranian resistance warns Iran’s primary goal is to build a nuclear weapon

Short Url
Updated 08 May 2022

Iranian resistance warns Iran’s primary goal is to build a nuclear weapon

Iranian resistance warns Iran’s primary goal is to build a nuclear weapon
  • Gobadi said the resistance to Iran’s brutality continues to grow, not only outside of Iran under the leadership of the NCRI but also inside

CHICAGO: Iran is close to building a nuclear weapon and is using negotiations with the West to give them more time to achieve that goal, according to Shahin Gobadi, the spokesperson for the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

A thermal nuclear scientist who first joined the resistance while a college student at UCLA 40 years ago, Gobadi, 60, said the NCRI, which is based in Paris, works with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The PMOI/MEK operates inside Iran taking great risks to expose Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Gobadi said.

Without the PMOI/MEK resistance, Gobadi said, the world would never have known the true depth of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and how far it had advanced towards building a nuclear weapon.

 

“The Iranian resistance, mainly the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, have been the key factor, the key player that has brought the issue of the Iranian nuclear program to the international attention,” Gobadi said.

“If it were not for the Iranian resistance activities through the more than 120 press conferences and revelations regarding the secret Iranian nuclear sites, projects, facilities, the world would have been totally caught off guard regarding the mullahs’ secret drive to acquire nuclear weapons and by now the world would have been faced with a predicament of the worst regime being equipped with the worst weapon. Actually, this has been a part of our struggle of the past three decades through our vast human network inside regime, the vast network of the Mojahedin, the MEK, inside Iran taking huge risks to expose the various aspects of the mullahs’ drive to acquire nuclear weapons.”

During an interview on “The Ray Hanania Show” broadcast on Wednesday May 4, 2022, Gobadi said the resistance to Iran’s brutality continues to grow, not only outside of Iran under the leadership of the NCRI but also inside with everyday citizens protesting and engaging in significant disruptions.

“The protests and disruptions,” Gobadi said, “have been on the rise particularly during the past four years. Since January 2018 there have been eight nationwide uprisings in Iran against the regime. And in some of them like in November 2019, it caught on so quickly throughout the country, it spread to some 200 cities with people chanting ‘Down with Khamenei the Supreme Leader and down with the whole regime’.”

The mullahs, he said, responded by massacring more than 1,500 civilian protesters.

“But even that has not stopped people from coming to the streets. Or in 2021, in 21 nationwide protests and strikes teachers, who constitute more than 1 million people, have come to the streets. And also, after that, there has been a remarkable surge in the activities of the resistance which is affiliated to the Mojahedin, the MEK and their activities have been on a constant rise,” Gobadi said.

Gobadi said that everyday Iranian people “are standing up” and fueling “the continued rise of the resistance,” which makes the mullahs much “more vulnerable and much more worried” about their future.

 

“Since 1981 some 120,000 political activists, over 100,000 from the main resistance movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, the principal resistance organization, have been executed by the theocracy simply for standing firm for secular government and gender equality,” Gobadi said.

“And that includes tens of thousands of women, which is an amazing aspect of our resistance in Iran. Hundreds of thousands of others have been imprisoned and severely tortured.”

Gobadi cited many incidents of resistance inside Iran. In January, the resistance disrupted 25 of the Iran regime’s television radio channels broadcasting chants of “Death to Khamenei and “Hail to Rajavi” — who is the leader of the resistance. The same month, they set fire to statues of Qassem Soleimani in several provinces.

On April 25, more than 100 computer servers of Iran’s Ministry of Agriculture were disrupted. In the past few weeks, resistance units have repeatedly broadcast anti-regime slogans in busy locations, in large cities and in shopping malls.

Gobadi said the Iranian mullahs have not only been brutal in their response against their own people, 70 to 80 percent of whom live below the poverty line but, just as importantly, the regime is “the primary source” of international terrorism.

He called it “foolhardy” to believe a brutal regime like Iran would abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions, even if the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is approved and the US removes the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list. Iran sees the negotiations as “appeasement,” he said, rather than preventing them from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

 

“An agreement that does not close the regime’s path to a nuclear drive is not going to stop the drive. If the West holds firm, the regime has no choice but to concede to the West. Unfortunately, that was not the desire at the time, particularly of the Obama administration,” Gobadi said.

“And look what happened. The mullahs took billions of dollars and it all ended up in the coffers of the regime’s leaders, Khamenei in particular, or the IRGC’s top brass, or has helped to prop up the regime’s surrogates and terrorist groups in the region to increase the regime’s capability of missile program ... and, the regime never, never, never gave up its nuclear weapons program.”

“Well, by far, they are the most active state sponsor of terrorism for years and years. Their tentacles have reached as far away as Europe, the US and even Latin America. Needless to say Europe, the Middle East. It’s very shocking.”

On the restoration of the JCPOA, Gobadi said, “We think such an agreement in and of itself is no guarantee that the regime does not get nuclear weapons.”

The Ray Hanania Radio Show is broadcast on the US Arab Radio Network and sponsored by Arab News live every Wednesday at 5 PM EST in Detroit on WNZK AM 690, in Washington D.C. on WDMV AM 700. It is rebroadcast on Thursdays at 12 noon in Chicago on WNWI AM 1080.

Listen to the Ray Hanania podcast here.


Greece says blocks hundreds of migrants from crossing Aegean

Greece says blocks hundreds of migrants from crossing Aegean
Updated 54 min 19 sec ago

Greece says blocks hundreds of migrants from crossing Aegean

Greece says blocks hundreds of migrants from crossing Aegean
  • Over 3,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece this year, including over 1,100 last month
  • Greece regularly blames Turkey for not taking sufficient action to curb people smugglers

ATHENS: Greece said on Monday it had prevented around 600 migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea into its territorial waters from neighboring Turkey, in the largest attempted entry this year.
A spokesman for the Greek coast guard said five sail boats and four dinghies had set off from the Turkish coast early in the morning.
“Greek patrol vessels were able to quickly locate the vessels and inform the Turkish coast guard,” the spokesman told AFP.
A coast guard statement said its boats had used “visual and sound signals” to keep the asylum seekers out of Greek territorial waters.
All the vessels either headed back or were intercepted by the Turkish coast guard, he added.
“All the incidents occurred inside Turkish territorial waters” near the Greek islands of Chios and Samos, he said.
A migration ministry source said migration flows to the Greek islands in the first four months of 2022 were nearly 30 percent higher than in the same period last year.
Over 3,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Greece so far this year, including over 1,100 last month, according to data from the migration ministry.
There is also heightened migrant activity on Greece’s land border with Turkey because the water levels is low on the River Evros that divides the two countries, a border official said on Monday.
According to the latest ministry statistics, from April, there are more than 2,300 asylum seekers in camps on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Samos, Chios, Kos and Leros, all near Turkey.
New camps funded by the European Union were recently completed in Samos, Leros and Kos. Others on Lesbos and Chios are to follow.
Greece regularly blames Turkey for not taking sufficient action to curb people smugglers who send out migrants in unsafe boats and dinghies from its shores, in breach of a 2016 accord with the EU.
Greece is a member of the 27-nation bloc but Turkey is not.
Greece’s tough border controls have been dogged by accusations from rights groups that the Greek coast guard has been engaging in illegally forcing migrants to return to Turkey.
Athens has always denied that its security forces engage in illegal pushbacks.
In March, Greece’s national transparency authority said a four-month investigation found no evidence of such practices.
EU border agency Frontex has also repeatedly been accused by rights groups of illegally returning migrants across EU borders.
Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri resigned last month amid an investigation by the European anti-fraud office OLAF, reportedly into alleged mismanagement.


Long fuel queues persist in Sri Lanka despite scramble to deliver supplies

Long fuel queues persist in Sri Lanka despite scramble to deliver supplies
Updated 23 May 2022

Long fuel queues persist in Sri Lanka despite scramble to deliver supplies

Long fuel queues persist in Sri Lanka despite scramble to deliver supplies
  • Another 40,000 metric tons of petrol supplied by India reached Sri Lanka on Monday
  • New Delhi delivered 40,000 tons of diesel to its southern neighbor two days earlier

COLOMBO: Long queues snaked around gas stations in Sri Lanka’s commercial capital and its outskirts on Monday even though the island nation’s government was scrambling to deliver fuel supplies and douse any unrest as it battles a devastating economic crisis.
Kanchana Wijesekera, Sri Lanka’s minister for power and energy, said supplies of 95-octane gasoline, mostly used in cars, had been received and were being distributed across the country of 22 million people that has been struggling with fuel shortages for months.
“With the 2 cargo vessels unloaded, petrol stocks will be available for the next 6 weeks comfortably,” Wijesekera said in a tweet.
Another 40,000 metric tons of petrol supplied by India had also reached Sri Lanka on Monday, the Indian High Commission (Embassy) said, two days after New Delhi delivered 40,000 tons of diesel to its southern neighbor.
Sri Lanka is in the throes of its worst economic crisis since independence, as a dire shortage of foreign exchange has stalled imports and left the country short of fuel, medicines and hit by rolling power cuts.
The financial trouble has come from the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic battering the tourism-reliant economy, rising oil prices and populist tax cuts by the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brother, Mahinda, who resigned as prime minister this month.
M. Sudeera, an auto-rickshaw driver, was waiting in a two-kilometer (1.5-mile) -long queue at Kumbuke, on the outskirts of Colombo, to fill his vehicle, a popular form of public transport in the city and its suburbs.
“Last time, I spent two days in line for 3,000 rupees ($8.46) worth of fuel. With that I did a few hires but it’s barely enough to cover costs,” Sudeera said, standing beside parallel queues of auto-rickshaws, cars and motorcycles.
“Usually we run during the day and spent the night in line for fuel,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Veteran politician Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took over as prime minister earlier this month, has warned of hardship worsening over the coming months, including food shortages.
Protests against the government’s handling of the crisis have continued for weeks, and erupted into violence earlier this month in which nine people were killed and over 300 injured. But the protests have been peaceful since then, although anger against the government is high.
Inflation in the island nation rose to 33.8 percent in April, compared to 21.5 percent in March, according to government data released on Monday.
Wickremesinghe’s cabinet was expanded on Monday, with eight new ministers sworn in for portfolios including agriculture, fisheries, industries, transport and highways, water supply and irrigation.


Russian soldier sentenced to life at Kyiv war crimes trial

Russian soldier sentenced to life at Kyiv war crimes trial
Updated 23 May 2022

Russian soldier sentenced to life at Kyiv war crimes trial

Russian soldier sentenced to life at Kyiv war crimes trial
  • Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin pleads guilty, testifies that he shot the man after being ordered to do so

KYIV: A Ukrainian court sentenced a 21-year-old Russian soldier to life in prison on Monday for killing a Ukrainian civilian, in the first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion.
Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin was accused of shooting a Ukrainian civilian in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the early days of the war.
He pleaded guilty and testified that he shot the man after being ordered to do so. He told the court that an officer insisted that the Ukrainian man, who was speaking on his cellphone, could pinpoint their location to the Ukrainian forces.
During the trial, Shishimarin asked the widow of the victim to forgive him.
Shishimarin’s defense attorney Victor Ovsyanikov argued that his client, a member of a Russian tank unit who was eventually captured, had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they first invaded Ukraine.


Davos elite told ‘no need for further meetings’ if brute force prevails

Davos elite told ‘no need for further meetings’ if brute force prevails
Updated 31 min 14 sec ago

Davos elite told ‘no need for further meetings’ if brute force prevails

Davos elite told ‘no need for further meetings’ if brute force prevails
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says world is at a turning point

LONDON: In a powerful speech during the opening session of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the lesson to be learned from the Russian invasion of Ukraine is that the global community must act preventively, rather than reactively, if it is to deter future acts of international aggression.

Speaking via video link from Kyiv almost three months after the Russian invasion began, Zelensky said that the world was at a turning point, “a moment when it is decided whether brute force will rule the world.”

If brute force were to prevail, he said, there would be “no need for further meetings in Davos,” because “brute force is not interested in our thoughts. Brute force seeks nothing but the subjugation of those it seeks to subdue.

“It does not discuss, but kills at once, and Russia is doing that in Ukraine, even as we speak.”

Moscow says its “special military operation” in Ukraine, launched on Feb. 24, is aimed at protecting Russia’s security and that of Russian-speaking people in the eastern Donbas region.

In Monday’s speech, bookended by standing ovations from Davos summit participants, Zelensky said that Russia had become “a state of war criminals,” whose acts, if allowed to go unpunished by the international community, were in danger of inspiring other potential aggressor states in future.

He spoke movingly of the chaos and destruction suffered by Ukraine: “Instead of successful, peaceful cities, there are only black ruins. Instead of normal trade, a sea full of mines and blocked ports. Instead of tourism, closed skies and thousands of Russian bombs and cruise missiles.”

This, he warned, “is what the world would look like if this turning moment does not have a proper response from humanity.”

Ukraine, he said, was grateful for the support that had been offered by so many of the world’s countries, and the “hundreds of millions of citizens in democratic countries who are putting pressure on governments and companies to make sure they limit or restrain their relations with the aggressor state of Russia.”

But, he said, “we need to change the approach, not to respond but to act preventively … Russia started its war against Ukraine back in 2014. We are grateful for this support. But if it had happened immediately — that unity, that pressure on governments and companies — would Russia have started this full-scale war, have brought all this upon Ukraine and upon the world? I’m sure that the answer is no.”

He added that the Russian war on Ukraine showed that “support to a country under attack is more valuable the sooner it is provided. Weapons, funding, political support and sanctions against Russia — if we would have received 100 percent of our needs at once, back in February, the result would have been tens of thousands of lives saved.”

On May 17, Ukraine’s lead negotiator, Mykhaylo Podolyak, said that talks with Russia were on hold. Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, has accused Ukrainian authorities of not wanting to continue talks to end hostilities.

Russian news agencies say the last meeting happened on April 22.

On Monday, Zelensky renewed his call for sanctions of Russia to be stepped up to “maximum, so that Russia and every other potential aggressor who wants to wage a brutal war against its neighbor will clearly know the immediate consequences for their actions.”

There should “be a Russian oil embargo, all the Russian banks should be blocked, no exceptions, there should be an abandonment of the Russian IT sector, there shouldn’t be any trade with Russia,” he told the WEF event.

“This should be a precedent for sanctions pressure that will work convincingly in the decades to come.”

In a direct appeal to the many international business leaders present at Davos, he added: “It necessary for the complete withdrawal of all businesses from the Russian market so that your brands are not associated with war crimes. This matters … when global markets are becoming destabilized.”

Every company that left the Russian market, he said, could “continue operating in Ukraine and have access not only to our market of 40 million consumers, but also to the common market of Europe.

“Our representatives here in Davos can inform all of you on the details of the prospects that Ukraine opens for your businesses.”

Zelensky made clear that, even as the war continues, his government is focusing on the future and the rebuilding of Ukraine, and he invited the high-powered delegates in Davos “to take part in this rebuilding.”

He said: “The amount of work is enormous. We have more than half a trillion dollars in losses, tens of thousands of facilities were destroyed. We need to rebuild entire cities and industries.”

To achieve this, he said, Ukraine was offering “a special historically significant model of rebuilding, in which partner countries, partner cities or partner companies will have the opportunity to take patronage over a particular region, a city, or community or even an industry.”

Countries including the UK and Denmark, as well as the EU, “have already chosen a specific area for patronage and rebuilding,” and he urged other states to follow suit. If they did, “the post-war rebuilding of Ukraine — the largest project of its kind in Europe since the end of the Second World War — could be fast, could be efficient, and of high quality.”

Ukraine has established a fund called United 24, designed to collect donations for defense and demining, medical aid and rebuilding, “and we call upon everyone to join this platform,” Zelensky said.

“For each and every donor we will have a specific proposal of how to help and where to allocate funds.”

But Ukraine would not be the sole beneficiary of United 24, he added.

“Under this brand, we propose to establish a global structure that can, within 24 hours, provide sufficient support to any country that has suffered or faced a military attack, a natural disaster or a pandemic.

“We offer a new forum for security guarantees, based on what we have faced. There must be something that sets a precedent for timely assistance to everyone who needs it, to save lives, social stability, all the necessary elements for a normal economy — something like a 911 service to guarantee security on a global scale.”


Security guard killed in Qatar Embassy attack in Paris

Security guard killed in Qatar Embassy attack in Paris
Updated 23 May 2022

Security guard killed in Qatar Embassy attack in Paris

Security guard killed in Qatar Embassy attack in Paris
  • The Paris prosecutor’s office said it had opened a criminal investigation for manslaughter

PARIS: A person has been killed at the Qatar Embassy in Paris and one person has been arrested as part of the investigation, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday, confirming earlier media reports.
A source close to the investigation said the person killed in the early hours of Monday was a security guard and that the death did not appear to have been a terrorism act.
“I can confirm that an investigation was opened today on the count of murder,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that it was not clear yet if a weapon had been used.
“The circumstances of the death of the guard are yet to be determined precisely.”
Newspaper Le Parisien said earlier on Monday that one person had been killed within the embassy, citing police sources.