Killing Fakhrizadeh

Featured image I’ve been following the stories on the assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, but they are confusing and conflicting. On November 27, for example, the New York Post reported that Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in “an ambush.” The story added that Fakhrizadeh was “seriously wounded” during a battle between the gunmen and his bodyguards before being rushed to a nearby hospital. On November 29 the Post reported that the »

Can Trump trust Biden enough to keep him fully briefed?

Featured image There are reports that President Trump wanted to launch a strike on Iran’s main nuclear facility last week. According to these reports, Trump’s advisers talked him out it. I don’t know whether these reports are true, but let’s say they are. And let’s suppose, hypothetically, that Trump had decided to go through with the attack. Finally, let’s say, again hypothetically, that Trump or his team had briefed Biden about the »

Waiting for John Kerry or someone like him

Featured image Democrats concede nothing to President Trump and his reversal of Obama foreign policy in critical matters involving Russia, China, and Iran. They seek a return, for example, to the putative alliance of the United States with the enemies of the United States in the Iranian mullahcracy. Obama Secretary of State John Kerry helped deliver the disgraceful nuclear “agreement” that resulted in our funding the Iranian regime and placing it on »

What happened in Beirut?

Featured image The best analysis I have found so far on the August 4 explosions in the port of Beirut is set forth in David Wurmser’s August 7 column “Lebanon: What happened?” Also useful is this backgrounder disseminated by the Shurat HaDin/Israel Law Center. I thought readers might find it of interest. With Shurat HaDin’s kind permission, I am posting it below: As the Lebanese people struggle to recover from the catastrophic »

Are our enemies rooting for Trump or Biden?

Featured image American intelligence officials “assess” that China and Iran hope that Joe Biden defeats President Trump, but that Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden. These assessments have generated lots of buzz. Democrats have been unhappy that Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, wasn’t more alarmist about alleged Russian plans. Now they are unhappy that he has thrown China and Iran into the mix. I assess that »

The explosions rocking Iran

Featured image In the podcast below the Tikvah Fund’s Jonathan Silver interviews former IDF military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin on the explosions rocking Iran. At the least, Yadlin offers informed speculation on what is happening. I get the impression, however, that Yadlin knows a little bit more than he lets on. At one point, for example, he responds to Silver that he’d prefer not to address operational issues. Tikvah introduces the podcast »

Will Iran retaliate for attacks on its nuclear facilities?

Featured image We’ve written about the explosions and fires at various facilities associated with Iran’s nuclear program, though perhaps we haven’t given them as much attention as they deserve. The attacks are believed to be the work of Israel. At a minimum, Israel is thought to be behind the most significant explosion — a July 2 attack on the Natanz centrifuge facility. This attack may have set back Iran’s breakout time for »

Something happening in Iran

Featured image Reuters notes in its report from Dubai last night regarding an explosion in western Tehran today: “There have been several explosions around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June.” Jerusalem Post intelligence correspondent Yonah Jeremy Bob has filed the intensely interesting column “How have Iran’s intelligence forces broken down in face of explosions?” Subhead: “What the world is witnessing right now is someone hitting Iranian nuclear and conventional »

Robert Levinson, RIP

Featured image Robert Levinson was a former FBI agent who became a private contractor and traveled to Iran in 2007 on behalf of a client, but also with a secret, unauthorized charge from the CIA. He was captured or arrested by Iranian authorities who briefly announced that they had him in captivity, but then deleted that claim and denied any knowledge of his whereabouts. He was last known to be alive in »

The coronavirus in Iran

Featured image A week and a half ago, I wrote about how the Wuhan coronavirus had spread in a big way to Iran and had infected some prominent members of the regime. Since, then, as one would expect, things have gotten worse. The official count is 92 deaths and 3,000 known infections. However, few put any faith in these numbers. According to the Washington Post: [D]ata obtained from a group of hospitals »

Coronavirus takes out aide to Iran’s “supreme leader”

Featured image An adviser to Iran’s ruler Ayatollah Khamenei has died of coronavirus, according to Iranian state media. The deceased is Mohammad Mirmohammadi, age 71. He was a member of the Expediency Discernment Council (quite a name if the translation is accurate), which advises the Ayatollah and settles disputes with parliament. Other high-ranking Iranians reportedly have contracted the disease. They include vice president Masoumeh Ebtekar, better known as Sister Mary, the spokeswoman »

Coronavirus hits Iran, mullahs put it to use

Featured image The coronavirus has spread to Iran. The Iranian health ministry says that at least eight people have died in that country. Along with Italy, Iran appears to be the non-East Asian country most severely hit by the virus so far. How did the coronvirus reach Iran? In the usual way, it seems — via a merchant who regularly shuttled between Iran and China. The merchant lives in Qom, the city »

Report: Soleimani’s assassination leaves Revolutionary Guard reeling

Featured image Democrats seem nearly unanimous in their outrage over the assassination of the leading Iranian terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. Some Republicans have also expressed opposition to President Trump’s decision to take Soleimani out. I thought it was a great move. I’m delighted that Soleimani has joined Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the ranks of those wondering where the heck those virgins are. However, I questioned whether »

Was Soleimani contemplating a coup in Iran?

Featured image The late Qasem Soleimani was not just Iran’s leading military figure. He was also a central player in Iranian politics. Indeed, there were persistent rumors that he might stage a military coup. Such a coup, rumor had it, would have been designed to save the hard line Iranian regime, which has increasingly been under fire for rampant corruption and incompetence. The idea would have been to bring down the civilian »

Did Iran intend to kill Americans when it attacked U.S. bases?

Featured image In the immediate aftermath of Iran’s missile attacks on U.S. bases — in response to the killing of Gen. Soleimani — there was speculation that Iran, feeling compelled to do something but not wanting to risk an attack by the U.S., had conducted the attack in a way designed not to kill or injure any Americans. U.S. officials expressed this view. They noted that, in fact, no Americans were killed »

“A little bit of money” revisited

Featured image The Democrats can’t wait to realign American policy on Iran consistent with the inclinations of the mullahcracy. It is a bloody disgrace. Lee Smith performs a great service reminding us of the essential elements of Obama’s policy in the Tablet column “Obama passed the buck.” I had forgotten some of the details. I strongly recommend Lee’s refresher course. The cash and other financial resources made available to Iran in part »

Iran’s State News Anchor Resigns

Featured image More fallout from Iran’s shooting down of the Ukrainian airliner: a news anchor on Iran’s state television has resigned, apologizing to the people of Iran for “lying to you on TV for 13 years.” Iran State TV's anchor resigns saying, "It was very hard for me to believe the killing of my countrymen. I apologize for lying to you on TV for 13 years."#IranProtests2020 — Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January »