Iran

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 https://t.co/XnTv72KDkZ — Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January »

Venezuela Mourns Soleimani

Featured image For many years, people have commented on the seemingly-incongruous alliance between radical Muslims and Communists. In fact, however, there is no mystery: both are hostile to the values of advanced Western civilization and yearn for tyrannies that are not, in practice, particularly different from one another. Thus, while millions of Iranians are celebrating the demise of terrorist leader Qasem Soleimani, we shouldn’t be surprised that Venezuela’s Maduro regime is officially »

Brian Mast speaks

Featured image Rep. Brian Mast is a double amputee courtesy of the munitions disseminated by Qassem Soleimani in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Rep. Mast himself sustained his injuries in Afghanistan. Beyond the 600-plus Americans whose deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq by such munitions can be attributed to Soleimani are the many more who have been grievously wounded and disfigured. Rep. Mast is representative of them in his person and spoke up on »

President Trump Tweets Support For Iranians

Featured image Iran has been roiled by protests and demonstrations following its government’s admission that its troops shot down a Ukrainian airliner. A few hours ago, President Trump produced two tweets in Farsi, supporting the Iranian people. (Parenthetically, I assume that Trump doesn’t know Farsi, so that apparently answers the question whether anyone besides the president gets involved in his tweets.) Here they are, with English translations: به مردم شجاع و رنج »

House passes meaningless, unwise resolution on use of force against Iran

Featured image Yesterday, the House passed a resolution designed to prevent President Trump from taking additional military action against Iran without specific congressional authorization. The resolution calls on the president “to terminate the use of United States Armed Forces to engage in hostilities in or against Iran” unless Congress declares war or enacts “specific statutory authorization” for the use of armed forces. Three Republicans and an independent voted for the resolution. Eight »

Buts of the Democratic Party

Featured image Leading Democrats speak in unison over President Trump’s decision to order the termination of Iranian terrorist mastermind Qassem Soleimani after he reported for work in Baghdad last week (Washington Free Beacon supercuts video below). TDS runs deep, but (to borrow the Dems’ preferred locution on this issue) they seem to object in principle. They seem to believe what they are saying. God help us when they return to power with »

Iran shot down that Ukrainian plane, probably by mistake

Featured image As Scott discusses below, U.S. officials say they have “high confidence” that an Iranian antiaircraft missile brought down that Ukrainian passenger jet near Tehran. So reports the Washington Post. The missile strike killed all 176 people aboard the plane. None was an American. More than 60 were Canadians. 82 were Iranians. The U.S. believes that the aircraft was hit by a SA-15 surface-to-air missile, a Russian-made system. This occurred about »

About that Ukrainian 737

Featured image Taking into account the Iranian regime’s obvious lying about the cause of the downing of the Ukrainian jetliner leaving Tehran this past Tuesday combined with the regime’s subsequent refusal to turn over the aircraft’s black boxes, and a reasonable person — say, the American Spectator’s Scott McKay — would infer that the regime shot it down one way or another. Now comes word that “U.S. officials said Thursday it was »

Trump pins some blame on Obama for missile attack. Should he have?

Featured image During his address to the nation this morning about the situation with Iran, President Trump said the ballistic missiles that targeted two U.S. air bases in Iraq were paid for using “funds made available by the last administration.” This assertion enraged Democrats and their media allies such as the Washington Post. Is their outrage justified? I see two issues here. The first is whether President Trump should be calling out »