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A prominent Iranian-Israeli journalist says Israeli intelligence sources have reported unusual activities by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps forces in Lebanon.
Speaking to VOA Persian’s special program about President Donald Trump’s decision on the Iran nuclear deal, Menashe Amir said his intelligence sources detected the IRGC activities in Lebanon on Tuesday. Amir, who is based near Jerusalem, said the nature of those activities was not specified but he believed they could involve IRGC forces bringing Iranian missiles closer to Israel’s borders in preparation for an attack.
In the past few days, Israeli officials increasingly have warned of a potential Iranian strike in retaliation for recent Israeli military action in Syria aimed at curbing Iranian efforts to establish military bases there.
Amir said Israeli media were reporting increased activity by Israeli military aircraft in northern Israel on Tuesday. He said Israel may take military action against Iranian missile sites in the region to preempt any Iranian strikes. Iran has vowed to avenge recent attacks on its forces and their allies in Syria, without detailing the timing or nature of its response. Israel has acknowledged intervening militarily in the years-long Syrian civil war, but rarely has claimed credit for specific attacks.
Iran has long supported and supplied Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group, which has an influential role in the Lebanese government and whose forces rival those of the Lebanese military. But the extent of Iran’s deployment of its own IRGC forces in Lebanon is not clear. STRATFOR, a U.S. publisher of intelligence analysis, reported in 2010 that there were about 4,000 IRGC troops in Lebanon at the time, deployed among five different bases. Amir said Iran and Hezbollah also have used Lebanese territory to train militiamen from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The revelation of unusual Iranian military activity in Lebanon coincided with Trump’s announcement of his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement on Tuesday. Under the deal, his predecessor Barack Obama and leaders of five other world powers suspended sanctions against Tehran in return for Iran accepting restrictions on its nuclear program to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.
In another interview on the VOA Persian special program, Paris-based Iranian opposition figure Reza Pirzadeh called the U.S. withdrawal a “big defeat” for Iran’s ruling Islamist clerics.
“Our job is not to let the Islamic Republic’s defeat turn into a defeat for the Iranian people, but rather into an opportunity for them to realize the freedom they deserve and save all of us from the evil of the regime,” he said.
Pirzadeh is a member of the Iran National Council for Free Elections, a dissident group founded by U.S.-based Iranian crown prince Reza Pahlavi.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a televised statement following Trump’s announcement, said Iran will consult with European powers, Russia and China in the next few weeks to determine if it is in Iranian interests to remain in the 2015 nuclear deal. He also vowed that the U.S. will not succeed in hurting the Iranian economy by re-imposing nuclear-related sanctions.
But the U.S. pullout from the deal has put European powers in a tough spot in their economic ties with Iran, according to prominent Iranian journalist Alireza Nourizadeh.
Speaking to the VOA Persian show from London, Nourizadeh highlighted the case of Austria’s seventh-biggest bank Oberbank, which had signed a deal with Iranian officials last September to finance Austrian projects in Iran.
Austrian media reported in late March and early April that Oberbank put the deal on hold ahead of a possible decision by Trump to quit the nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions. The deal would have made Oberbank one of the first European banks to do business with Iran since the 2015 deal took effect.
Leaders of the three EU signatories to the deal, Britain, France and Germany, promised to keep abiding by the Iran nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal.
In separate remarks on the VOA Persian program from Los Angeles, senior advisor to the Iranian American Jewish Federation Sam Kermanian said the European powers and the previous Obama administration had expected that the deal would dissuade Iran from pursuing regional domination.
“They hoped Iran would use the deal’s economic benefits to help the Iranian people and save them from pressure and misery. Unfortunately, this did not happen,” Kermanian said. (VOA)
When it comes to our day-to-day life, there are several things which help us enhance our day with every step. One such thing is music. It enhances, motivates and boosts certain aspects of our personality in ways that may not come into notice. There have been several researches on how music affects human brain. Studies show it helps us in recovery and healing, and also, encouraging us to be better if exposed to the right kind and fit.
From kids to elderly, music as a commodity, can be consumed by all. It is the universal language that is spoken by each and every being, from animals to humans to plants, each respond to it in their own ways. Suffice to say, we are united by music and the effect it has over us. Plants, for example, grow better when exposed to good music. Many songs are being composed specifically to enhance and boost their growth. Same is the case for humans. For humans, the right kind of music can boost good health, physically as well as mentally. You might have noticed how in gyms, upbeat music is played. That is to channel energy into everyone present. It adds to the workout. Several researches around the world have shown better physical output when exposed to appropriate music. Fast paced songs with upbeat nature channeled speed and the slower ones slowed downs the listeners, without them noticing. The sub-conscious effects of music are continuously being studied.
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Our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to.Unsplash
Listening to upbeat or happy music also reduces stress and pressure from our minds. Many people become relaxed while listening to calming music. This is why calming sounds are used during a yoga session. Classical music seems to have the same calming and soothing effect. Furthermore, classical music has much more advantages over metal or techno music, it has proven to enhance learning and improve sleep in its listeners. A study was conducted in which participants were divided in groups where one group was exposed to classical music, another to metal and last one was supervised without any music. The group exposed to classical music showed healthier sleeping pattern than the rest.
Also Read: Undiscovered Music Trends For Indian Music
Several brands and outlets encash on different characteristics of music. Calm and soothing music is used in spas to help customer relax. It is a known fact that our heart starts beating according to the music we are listening to. So, music with faster beats will have our heart beating faster and the slow one will have calmer effect. This is why slow music channels calm. And the same fact has led to faster and upbeat music being played in food outlets. A study conducted in a farm, where people were invited to have food, where one half was exposed to slower music and for other fast-paced music was played. Not only did the group exposed to fast-music ate faster but also ate more than the group who ate in slower one. Next time you are in a food outlet or a restaurant observe the kind of music they are playing and the eating pattern.
Music can even be a facilitator of communication. We can sometimes convey our thoughts through the medium of a song. Sometimes someone’s words justify our inner feelings better than us. Or sometimes a song brings back certain memory or a place, and takes us to that certain moment. To say music is a time-machine would not be wrong. It is a dynamic blessing that can be used throughout our lives.
Key Words: Music, Calm, Soothing, Effects of Music
As more and more people are acknowledging the importance of their mental well-being, the wave of awareness the acknowledgment has brought is unprecedented. It may not have paved a clear path towards complete healing but it certainly has shown the way. The awareness is the key to heal. Healing begins only after the problem is identified. Similar to physical illness, the identification of the problem area is the first step. Even in case of a minor wound, when we go to the hospital the nurse first locates the wound. They, then, ask how we got hurt and identify the nature of the wound. Only then, they clean, put ointment and wrap it up if it needs wrapping and protection from air and dust. Sometimes, that protection is not needed. The wound heals out in the open. Same goes when it comes to healing of a mental trauma or illness. Sometimes, we confine in professionals or our loved ones, in order to let it out and process it openly. Sometimes, the trauma reduces with time. In any way, being aware and vigilant is the way to go.
Being knowledgeable about life in general, opens many channels for you. Being knowledgeable about yourself, opens gates inside you that lead to spiritual and general awareness about the concept of self. And the inner awareness is not necessarily internal, it can be seen from the outside as well. When we have positive energy from within it radiates physically as well. Have you encountered someone who’s spiritually awakened and aware? Do they stand out in the crowd? There are prominent examples of people who have made their mark in history, there is Swami Vivekanada, his awakening has revolutionised generations, one live example we can witness is The Dalai Lama.
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Healing is part of the spiritual journey.Unsplash
Also Read: Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health
Awareness is the first step towards the staircase of spirituality. Healing is part of that journey. In our world, we go by our lives without paying much attention to causes of our actions. Every little thing we do, we do it for a reason. We might be suffering without being aware of it. There might be certain actions which are screaming those are trauma-response and not really us. But we go by our days, without paying heed to the fact that it really is the small actions that carry weightage in our lives. When we become attentive and thoughtful with what we do, we introspect, and then act. Thoughtless actions do not bear much fruit anyway. Thoughtfulness not only benefits us personally, but makes world a better place to live in. It really is the need of the hour to introspect every little doing and if it does not fit with the idea of self, then, it is time to find the root cause of what has us where we are.
Being self-aware is crucial as a human quality as well. When we face our problems, we gain experience, that experience leads us to understand and empathise with others’ sufferings too. It is a wholesome development.
Key Words: Self-awareness, Spirituality, Thoughtfulness, Mental Health
Honestly, who hasn’t watched one of the epic series of HBO– Game of Thrones?
There’s no question that when the first episode of Game of Thrones was released on April 11, 2011, the youth population of the world became exuberant. The main reasons behind this reaction was, first, the theme of the show, and second, the hidden lessons which it put forward.
Some of the valuable lessons which the Game of Thrones taught us are:
1. The pack always survives. This aptly meant that whether your pack consists of your family or your friends, you are the strongest when you are surrounded by a support system. This is what Ned Stark taught his children, to be together when “the winter comes”.
2. Never forget who you truly are. One of the most important lessons was given by Tyrion Lannister. He taught us that we should never forget who we really are. This means that we must not forget our bad habits and where we lack. So, once we know who we are, no one could ever use our lagging points against us.
3. Reading is necessary. Tyrion Lannister said, “A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone.” There is absolutely no denying that reading is not a habit now-a-days, but a necessity. If you want to be sharp and smart, then you must devote sometime to books, for they would teach you a lot!
4. Always pay your debts. Well, one of the most philosophical and learned houses if Game of Thrones is House Lannister. And so, one of the sayings of their house is, “A Lannister always pays his debts.” From here we get another life lesson that we must always pay off what we owe from people.
5. Always believe, “You know nothing.” Ygritte said this to Jon Snow in a teasing manner. But, this is actually for all those who believe that they know each and everything. Well, never believe that you know everything. Always learn from new experiences and never hesitate to take advice from others.
So, these were five most significant lessons which the series Game of Thrones offered us. In reality, we all are aware of these lessons, but we never really work upon them. But now, let’s try to understand each lesson and become the heir someday!
Keywords: Entertainment, Game of Thrones, HBO, Series, Youth, Lessons.