Friday, September 22, 2017

Kim Jong-un Calls Trump ‘Mentally-Deranged’; Warns U.S. Will ‘Pay Dearly’

North Korea’s foreign minister warned Friday the regime could test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific, after Kim Jong-un threatened to carry out the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history” in response to President Trump’s speech at the U.N. this week. Read

Ex-Dem Senator: On Iran, Change From Previous Administration Is ‘Night to Day’

Former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman told a “Free Iran” rally in New York this week that while he doesn’t always see eye to eye with President Trump, “when it comes to Iran, the change from the last administration to this one is a change from night to day, from darkness to sunlight, from illusion to reality and realism.” Read

Ambassador Haley: ‘No, I Do Not’ Want to Be Secretary of State

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Thursday she does not want to be secretary of state, slapping down swirling rumors she is maneuvering to replace Rex Tillerson as the nation’s top diplomat. Read

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Rouhani Hits Back at Trump: ‘Ignorant, Absurd and Hateful Rhetoric’

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani on Wednesday hit back at President Trump’s strong criticism of Iran’s policies and conduct, using the same term – “rogue” – to describe the U.S. administration as Trump had used a day earlier when referring to the regime in Tehran. Read

Pence to UN: ‘The Truth Is, The Human Rights Council Doesn’t Deserve Its Name’

A day after the Trump administration co-hosted a meeting to discuss ways of keeping rights abusers off the U.N.’s top human rights body, Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday underlined its scathing assessment of the Human Rights Council, saying that it “doesn’t deserve its name.” Read

In Message Directed at Iran, Argentina Demands Justice for Perpetrators of Deadly 1990s Bombings

Hours after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani told the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday his country was “on the frontlines of fighting terror,” Argentina’s vice president reminded the world that her country still has a 23-year-old score to settle with Tehran – over the deadliest terror attack in its history. Read

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Netanyahu Responds to UN ‘Absurdities’ on Israel: ‘It’s Called the Bible. I Highly Recommend It’

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday attacked “absurdities” in U.N. agencies’ treatment of Israel, invoking tennis legend John McEnroe, the Bible – and penguins – in a speech that was in turn deadly serious about Iran, upbeat about Israeli diplomatic breakthroughs, and thankful to the Trump administration for its outspoken support. Read

Iran, Venezuela Fire Back After Trump’s Strong Criticism at UN

President Trump’s debut U.N. General Assembly speech Tuesday drew strong reactions from two of the three regimes he criticized most sharply, although the response from Kim Jong-un – whom Trump derisively labeled “rocket man” and said he was on a “suicide mission” – is yet to be seen. Read

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rouhani: Iran Will React ‘Swiftly’ to US Withdrawal From Nuclear Deal

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, on U.S. soil, on Monday repeated an earlier warning that Iran’s nuclear program could return within a short time to the condition it was in before the nuclear deal was implemented, should President Trump withdraw from the agreement. Read

Sen. Gardner: 21 Countries Should Close Embassies in North Korea, Expel It From U.N.

A Republican senator is calling on 21 countries that have embassies in North Korea to shutter their missions, cut diplomatic and economic relations, and support calls to have the Kim Jong-un regime expelled from the United Nations. Read

Monday, September 18, 2017

Putin Staying Away From Trump’s UN Reform Summit

On the day President Trump hosts a high-level summit in New York City on reforming the United Nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin will be more than 4,000 miles away, having chosen to spend Monday observing Russia-Belarus wargames south of St. Petersburg. Read

Kurdish Independence Vote to Go Ahead, Despite Opposition From US, Iran

Kurdish leaders are going ahead with a controversial independence referendum despite strong opposition from the Trump administration and the regime in Iran – albeit for different reasons. Read

Friday, September 15, 2017

Trump Says, ‘You’ll See’ What He Plans to Do About Iran Nuke Deal

President Trump on Thursday reissued waivers of certain sanctions on Iran, but hinted that certification of the regime meeting its nuclear deal commitments – due in one month’s time – is far from assured, and said the agreement “should have never, ever been made.” Read

North Korea’s Longest Missile Flight Ever Shows Guam Is in Range

The ballistic missile fired over Japan on Friday traveled further than any previously launched by the North Korean regime – about 2,300 miles (3,700 kilometers) – before splashing down in the northern Pacific. Read

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Democrats to Trump: Time Running Out to Consult Congress on FY2018 Refugee Admissions

Two senior Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter reminding the Trump administration Wednesday that it is obliged to consult with Congress on its planned refugee admission numbers for the coming fiscal year – and has less than three weeks to do so. Read

Iran Calls Buenos Aires Bombing Allegations a ‘Zionist Plot’

Iran’s foreign ministry on Wednesday dismissed as “phony” and a “Zionist conspiracy” allegations by Israel and Argentina that the regime was responsible for two deadly bombings in Buenos Aires in the 1990s. Read

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Egypt and Peru Heed U.S. Calls to Isolate North Korea

Egypt says it has severed all military ties with North Korea, the latest international response to the regime’s nuclear test and missile launches. Read

Iran to IAEA: No, You May Not Visit Our Military Sites

Iran on Tuesday rejected the notion that the U.N. nuclear watchdog has the right to request access to its military sites, calling into question again the Obama administration’s contention that it had negotiated with Tehran the “most robust and intrusive” regime of inspections ever. Read

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Israel’s Outreach to Africa Faces Setback as First-Ever Summit Postponed

Israel’s drive to build international partnerships in the face of isolation and boycott campaigns has suffered a setback, with the abrupt postponement of an unprecedented summit with African governments next month. Read

Russia Hints That Its Diplomatic Spat With U.S. May Worsen

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov alluded Monday to a further reduction in the number of U.S. diplomatic staff on Russian territory, signaling that the tit-for-tat spat with the United States is far from over. Read

New North Korea Sanctions ‘Strongest Measures Ever’ – But Watered Down to Placate China, Russia

The U.N. Security Council on Monday unanimously adopted its second sanctions resolution against North Korea in five weeks, but Russian and Chinese objections diluted a measure which the Trump administration had wanted to include a total oil embargo. Read

Monday, September 11, 2017

Ahead of UN Sanctions Vote, N. Korea Says US Risks ‘Greatest Pain and Suffering’ Ever

Ahead of a possible showdown in the U.N. Security Council over a U.S.-led bid to enact the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea, Kim Jong-un’s regime warned Monday that the U.S. would pay “due price.” Read

16 Years After 9/11, Doctor Who Helped Find Bin Laden Remains in Pakistan Prison

As the United States marks the 16th anniversary of al-Qaeda’s devastating attack, the Pakistani doctor who helped in the effort to track down Osama bin Laden six years ago remains imprisoned, despite efforts by U.S. lawmakers to condition U.S. aid on his freedom. Read

Friday, September 08, 2017

Assad Complains to UN After Reported Israeli Airstrike Targeting Chemical Weapons Facility

The Assad regime on Thursday complained to the United Nations after an Israeli airstrike reportedly targeted a facility linked to its chemical weapons program. Read

Putin: Tillerson Has ‘Fallen in With Bad Company’ Since Russia Gave Him Friendship Medal

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s jibe that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had “fallen in with bad company” since the then-ExxonMobil CEO received a top Russian award four years ago elicited a wry response Thursday from State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. Read

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Reports: Israel Bombs Assad Regime Chemical Weapons Facility

Ten years to the day after Israeli warplanes bombed a nuclear reactor in the desert of eastern Syria, the Jewish state on Wednesday night reportedly targeted another Syrian site, this time a facility in Hama province believed to be linked to the Assad regime’s chemical and biological weapons programs. Read

UN Inquiry Charges That Assad Regime, Not Rebels, Gassed Civilians Last April

For the first time, a United Nations report has assigned blame for a deadly chemical weapons attack in Syria’s Idlib province last April, pointing a finger at the Assad regime and discounting Syrian and Russian claims that the attack was fabricated or the work of anti-Assad rebels. Read

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Maduro Cancels Plan to Address UN Human Rights Council; Activists Want Venezuela Expelled

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has canceled plans to address the Human Rights Council in Geneva next week, but campaigners are pushing ahead with a drive to have his country suspended from the U.N.’s most prominent human rights body. Read

Ambassador Nikki Haley: Trump ‘Has Grounds’ to Find Iran Noncompliant on Nuclear Deal

If President Trump decides next month not to certify Iran’s compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, “he has grounds to stand on,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Tuesday. Read

Monthly Refugee Admissions Lowest in 15 Years; Percentage of Muslims Declining

Nine hundred and thirteen refugees were admitted to the United States during August, the first time the monthly intake has dropped below one thousand in 15 years, and the smallest number of monthly admissions since October 2002. Read

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

U.S. Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley Says Kim Jong-un is ‘Begging for War’

Kim Jong-un is “begging for war,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the U.N. Security Council on Monday, urging it to adopt the “strongest possible” measures against North Korea, because “only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this problem through diplomacy.” Read

Obama’s UN Engagement Brought Modest Returns, Voting Patterns Show

Despite eight years of enthusiastic engagement with the United Nations, the last year of the Obama administration saw Washington’s positions supported less than 55 percent of the time by other member-states, according to a congressionally-mandated State Department report. Read

Monday, September 04, 2017

Mattis After Nuclear Test: ‘We’re Not Looking to the Total Annihilation of a Country … We Have Many Options to Do So’

Any threat posed by North Korea to the United States or its allies will be met with a “massive military response,” Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Sunday after a national security briefing on Pyongyang’s sixth – and evidently most powerful yet – nuclear test. Read

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kim Jong-un Crosses Another Line, Firing a Missile Over Japan for the Third Time in 2 Decades

The North Korean regime ratcheted up tensions with the U.S. and its neighbors with Tuesday’s firing of a ballistic missile that flew over Japan – just the third time in nearly two decades that Pyongyang has taken such a provocative step and a first for Kim Jong-un. Read

Iran President's 2nd Term Begins With Abuses, Hunger Strike by Political Prisoners

Concerns are deepening for the well-being of more than 20 Iranian political prisoners on hunger strike, who reportedly are being denied medical care by authorities who triggered their protest in the first place by forcibly transferring them to accommodation where conditions are described as “unbearable.” Read

Monday, August 28, 2017

Bodies of All Ten Missing US Sailors Recovered After Destroyer-Tanker Collision

The bodies of all ten U.S. sailors missing since their destroyer was damaged in a collision with a merchant ship east of Singapore on August 21 have been recovered by U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers, the Seventh Fleet announced Sunday. Read

Iran Slaps Down Haley: No One Sees Military Sites Without Ayatollah’s Permission

Two years after the Obama administration contended that the nuclear deal it reached with Iran had opened the door to international inspection of military sites, a senior military adviser to supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared Sunday that it does not. Read

Friday, August 25, 2017

State Dep’t Says UN's Anti-Israel ‘Settlement’ Blacklist Does Not Facilitate Peace

The Trump administration considers a U.N. blacklist of private companies doing business in territories disputed between Israel and the Palestinians “counterproductive” and unhelpful in advancing peace efforts between the two, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. Read

State Dep't Expresses 'Grave Concern' About Reported North Korea-Syria Weapons Trade

Allegations of illicit weapons collaboration between North Korea and the Assad regime, if true, “would be a very grave, grave concern” to the United States, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. Read

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Trump Administration Again Declines to Endorse ‘Two-State’ Solution

Seven months into the Trump administration, Palestinian leaders say they still don’t know what President Trump’s position is on their conflict with Israel, frustrated that he refuses to commit publicly to the so-called “two-state solution” as the key to resolving it. Read

UN Experts ‘Disturbed’ by U.S. ‘Failure’ to Reject and Condemn Racist Demonstrations

A United Nations committee has taken aim at the United States and, indirectly, at President Trump, issuing an “early warning” notice deploring the recent violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va. and expressing concern about what it called “the failure at the highest political level of the United States of America to unequivocally reject and condemn the racist violent events and demonstrations.” Read

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mattis on Civilian Casualties in Raqqa: ‘We’re Not The Perfect Guys…But We Are The Good Guys’

Asked about an increase in civilian casualties resulting from U.S. airstrikes around the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Tuesday no military in world history has been more careful that the U.S.-led coalition in limiting civilian casualties, but it is fighting an enemy that hides behind innocent people including women and children. Read

Mattis on Afghanistan Troop Deployment: ‘There Is a Number That I’m Authorized To Go Up To’

Defense Secretary James Mattis indicated Tuesday that President Trump has authorized a ceiling for the anticipated increase in the number of troops deployed in Afghanistan, but he said he would await a plan from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before determining “how many more we need to send in.” Read

Tillerson Sees ‘Some Level of Restraint’ From N. Korea, As Its Military Threatens ‘Ruthless’ Retaliation

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday North Korea has “demonstrated some level of restraint” of late by not carrying out any further missile launches or other “provocative acts.” He told reporters at the State Department he hoped this was an indication that North Koreans were “ready to restrain their level of tensions.” Read

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

After Trump’s Speech, Mattis Hints at Increased Troop Numbers For Afghanistan

Although President Trump in his Monday night speech did not say directly that the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan will grow, Defense Secretary James Mattis came close to doing so, saying some allies have “also” pledged to send more troops. Read

Taliban Warns Trump That Afghanistan Will Become ‘Graveyard’

The Taliban early Tuesday decried President Trump’s decision not to withdraw U.S. troops, and warned that the country would become a “graveyard for the American empire.” Read

Trump to Pakistan: ‘No Partnership Can Survive a Country’s Harboring of Militants and Terrorists Who Target US’

President Trump put Pakistan on notice Monday, accusing America’s often most troubling ally of giving “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror “ and warning that it was time for it “to demonstrate its commitment to to civilization, order and peace.” Read

Monday, August 21, 2017

U.S.-Iran War of Words Escalates Over Missiles, Nuclear Deal

Ahead of an Iran-focused visit to Vienna by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, the regime’s new defense minister on Sunday pushed back against U.S. criticism of its ballistic missile program, declaring that it would continue undeterred by outside pressure. Read

Syria’s Assad Declares the West’s ‘Project’ to Topple Him Has Failed

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared Sunday that Western-instigated attempts to topple him have been foiled, and he painted the conflict in Syria as part of a broader campaign by the West to punish countries – including Syria, Iran and North Korea – that refuse to bow to its “hegemony.” Read

Friday, August 18, 2017

Mattis, Tillerson Reaffirm That Military Option Underlies Diplomatic Efforts on North Korea

Military action against North Korea remains an option should Pyongyang “initiate hostilities,” Defense Secretary James Mattis reiterated on Thursday, when asked about White House chief strategist Steve Bannon’s quoted view that “there’s no military solution” to the standoff with Kim Jong-un. Read

Pence Says US and Allies Will ‘Drive Evil of Radical Islamic Terror From Face of the Earth’

The United States and its allies will work together to “drive the evil of radical Islamic terror from the face of the Earth,” Vice-President Mike Pence pledged Thursday, responding to an ISIS-claimed terror attack in Barcelona. Read

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Russia Accuses Obama of ‘Hypocrisy’ For Quoting Mandela on Race – But Ignoring Mandela's Support for Gaddafi

President Obama’s Twitter response to the weekend violence in Charlottesville has become the most “liked” tweet in history – it passed the four million mark early Thursday – but Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman implied Wednesday that the former president invokes Nelson Mandela only when convenient. Read

Russian Gov’t Slams US for ‘Supplying Chemical Agents to Terrorists and Using Photos of Killed Children'

Russia and Syria's Assad regime have long accused blamed rebel groups for chemical weapons attacks. On Wednesday they seized on the reported discovery of riot-control gas to claim that the West was providing “internationally-banned poisonous materials” to militants. Read

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Israel, Jordan Concerned About Iran-Backed Shi’ite Militias Moving Into Vacuum Left by ISIS

The governments of Israel and Jordan have – separately – both voiced concern about the growing influence of Iran on their doorsteps, at a time when security experts warn that the defeat of ISIS could usher a dangerous new regional threat as Iran and its allies move into the vacuum left by the retreating Sunni terrorists. Read

Taliban to Trump: ‘American Youth Are Not Born to Be Killed in Deserts and Mountains of Afghanistan’

The State Department on Tuesday declined to comment on a call by the Taliban for President Trump to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan, but stressed that it was the militant group that was responsible for the country’s troubles, including a recently-recorded increase in attacks on civilians. Read

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Guam’s Homeland Security Adviser: 0.000001% Chance of Missile ‘Getting Through’ Defenses

Reassuring the people of Guam that there has been no change in threat level, the territory’s homeland security adviser said Monday the chances of a North Korean missile hitting the island were minuscule. Read

Mattis Warns Any Firing at U.S. Could 'Escalate Into War Very Quickly'

Defense Secretary James Mattis cautioned North Korea Monday that any missile attack on American soil could lead to war. Read

Monday, August 14, 2017

McMaster: Susan Rice ‘Not Right’ About Tolerating Kim’s Nuclear Weapons

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster on Sunday pushed back against a suggestion by his predecessor that the United States could “tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” challenging the notion that Cold War-style deterrence could work with a regime like the one in Pyongyang. Read

Iranian Lawmakers Pass Retaliatory Sanctions Against ‘Terrorist’ U.S., Boost Spending on Missiles

Iranian lawmakers on Sunday overwhelmingly backed legislation aimed at countering “hegemonic, terrorist and divisive” U.S. policies in the region, incorporating a raft of sanctions and increased spending for the regime’s ballistic missile program and the terror-sponsoring Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Qods Force. Read

Friday, August 11, 2017

Gov. of US Territory Near Guam: ‘I Place My Full Faith and Trust in Our President’

The governor of the U.S. commonwealth of Pacific islands neighboring Guam has voiced his full support for President Trump and his handling of the standoff with North Korea. Read

Trump Warns Kim Jong-un: ‘Things Will Happen to Them Like They Never Thought Possible’

President Trump on Thursday reiterated his warning to the Kim Jong-un regime not to attack the U.S. or its territories or allies, saying the North Koreans “better get their act together, or they’re going to be in trouble like few nations ever have been in trouble in this world.” Read

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Flashback: Powell Said NK Began Cheating on Clinton-Era Nuclear Deal ‘Before The Ink Was Dry’

Amid the latest surge in tensions on the Korean peninsula, some critics are blaming President George W. Bush for the threat posed by Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons – despite assertions that the regime was cheating on its nuclear freeze commitments well before the end of the Clinton administration. Read

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

North Korea Threatens to Target ‘Areas Around Guam’ With Ballistic Missiles – ‘To Neutralize It’

North Korea on Tuesday threatened to target “areas around Guam” with ballistic missiles, in response to the deployment of Guam-based supersonic U.S. Air Force bombers for combined exercises with South Korean warplanes. Read

North Korea Strengthening Ties With Iran: ‘Tehran and Pyongyang Have a Common Enemy’

North Korea’s provocative actions and belligerent rhetoric directed at the United States come at a time when the Stalinist regime is strengthening ties with another government hostile towards the U.S., building on decades of missile and nuclear program collaboration. Read