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Unusual Iranian Military Activity Detected in Lebanon: Israeli Intelligence

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.

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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.
Iran Military Flag, wikimedia commons

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.

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.
Iran Military Activity in Lebanon, VOA

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.

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 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)

 

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New Guinness World Record: Lebanon Now With Highest National Flags Raised in A City

"Today they were capable of raising thousands of Lebanese flags to enter the Guinness book. This is a national initiative which reflects Beirut's role and which implicates no flag other than the Lebanese will be raised in Beirut"

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After raising the flag that broke the world record, MP Tabsh congratulated the Beirut Alive Association for this remarkable individual and national initiative by excellence, adorning Beirut with thousands of Lebanese flags and entering the Book of Guinness. Pixabay

Lebanon’s capital Beirut has set a new Guinness World Record for the number of national flags raised in a city for 24 hours.

The Beirut Alive Association in the national capital on Sunday raised a total of 26,852 Lebanese flags breaking New York’s Waterloo record of 25,599 flags, Xinhua reported.

“I came here to adjudicate the record title for the most national flags displayed in one city in 24 hours. I am here to make sure that all guidelines of Guinness World Record have been achieved and and we have a new record title here which is the 26,852 flags achieved by Beirut Alive Association,” Guinness World Records’ Arbitrator Ahmed Jabr told Xinhua.

Lebanon
The Beirut Alive Association in the national capital on Sunday raised a total of 26,852 Lebanese flags breaking New York’s Waterloo record of 25,599 flags, Xinhua reported. Pixabay

The event was organised under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, represented by MP Rola Tabsh, at the Nejmeh Square in downtown Beirut, in the presence of Economic and Social Council Member Mohammed Al-Jouzou and independent witnesses from “Al-Ittihad Law firms” and various prominent figures.

flag
I am here to make sure that all guidelines of Guinness World Record have been achieved and and we have a new record title here which is the 26,852 flags achieved by Beirut Alive Association,” Guinness World Records’ Arbitrator Ahmed Jabr told Xinhua. Pixabay

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After raising the flag that broke the world record, MP Tabsh congratulated the Beirut Alive Association for this remarkable individual and national initiative by excellence, adorning Beirut with thousands of Lebanese flags and entering the Book of Guinness.

“Today they were capable of raising thousands of Lebanese flags to enter the Guinness book. This is a national initiative which reflects Beirut’s role and which implicates no flag other than the Lebanese will be raised in Beirut,” Tabsh said. (IANS)