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Iranian Leader Threatens Israel Amidst Confrontation with US

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6 Jan 2020
Iranian Leader Threatens Israel Amidst Confrontation with US
Mohsen Rezaei, a former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps who currently serves as Expediency Council Secretary thundered on Sunday that the Islamic Republic will “wipe out Israel” if the US responds to threatened Iranian actions to retaliate for last Friday’s assassination of former IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani. Also on Sunday, senior officials of the clerical regime which rules Iran announced further withdrawals from the JCPOA nuclear deal and a large crowd attended Suleimani’s funeral in Teheran, where his daughters and various officials made threats against the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain and a longish list of their other opponents.

US President Donald Trump has threatened to strike dozens of Iranian targets, including cultural sites, with massive conventional military power if Iran carries out any of its threatened terrorist attacks. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on several US news shows throughout the day on Sunday to clarify these remarks, saying on one that the consequences of Iranian actions “will be borne by Iran and its leadership itself. Those are important things the Iranian leadership needs to put in its calculus as it makes its next decision."

Meanwhile, experts and pundits weighed in over the weekend, with heavyweight former CIA director and US Central Command leader General David Petraeus telling influential news magazine Foreign Policy that “It is impossible to overstate the importance of this particular action. It is more significant than the killing of Osama bin Laden or even the death of [ISIS leader Abu Bakr] al-Baghdadi.” He further praised the assassination as a “very significant effort to reestablish deterrence,” against Iranian aggression.

However, Iraq’s parliament passed a non-binding resolution on Sunday requesting that foreign military forces leave the country, while large demonstrations were held in Iraqi cities including speeches demanding that both the US and Iran withdraw their forces and stop fighting a proxy war against each other on Iraqi soil. However, Sunni and Kurdish factions boycotted the parliamentary session in which the resolution was passed and leaders of those factions expressed fears of a return to civil war if the US-led coalition troops left while Iranian forces would be sure to stay under any circumstances.
 
Here is a video of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu responding to news of the strike



Hezbollah Leader Predicts Dire Consequences for US
Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, leader of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite terror militia Hezbollah, issued a fiery statement Sunday warning that US soldiers stationed in the Middle East would be slaughtered by Iran following what he characterized as the foolish and criminal “murder” by US forces of IRGC-Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani last Friday. Adding that Soleimani was “the glue that held the Resistance Axis together,” Nasrallah said that “our confrontation has already begun, from the night of the assassination.” However, he added that while US military personnel were fair targets, US civilians in the Middle East were not.

BDS Movement Suffers More Setbacks
The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered more defeats in recent days as Aliyah and Integration Minister Yariv Levin presented statistics to the Cabinet on Sunday including an estimate that 4.5 million tourists had visited the country in 2019, a new record. "We have received more than NIS 22 billion from tourism, and created more than 13,000 new jobs, resulting in a total of more than 150,000 jobs created due to the influx of tourists," he said. "I think the [tourism] industry is catching on as a central element of the Israeli economy." In another hopeful sign for the economy, 1 January saw a recently signed free trade agreement between Israel and Panama come into force.

Jerusalem Zoo Sends Supplies to Assist Australian Wildlife
Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo sent a donation of veterinary medical supplies to Australia over the weekend to assist efforts to rescue animals injured and displaced by the massive wildfires there. Press reports indicate catastrophically large numbers of animals have died as a result of the fires while large swaths of natural habitats for many species have been destroyed.

Floods Kill 4 in Israel Over Weekend
A strong winter storm hit many areas of Israel over the weekend bringing floods that resulted in the deaths of four people and widespread property damage. Also resulting from the storm was a dense covering of snow on Mount Hermon, leading to the ski resorts opening for visitors on Monday.
 
Today's video shows a recap of recent developments between Israel and the Arab World

 

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