The Week in Review: Feb.15th-Feb.22nd


By Natasha Phillips 


FEB. 22 – The Iranian government has not ruled out a confrontation with Israel, Iran‘s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said Wednesday. The comment comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to urge war with Iran in a video message during a security conference in Warsaw last week. Zarif also gave a speech in Munich at the world’s foremost security conference on Sunday in which he told attendees that the U.S. was actively trying to isolate Iran. Zarif’s speech was shared around the world. 

Iran’s beleaguered economy suffered another blow this week as Jalal Mahmoudzadeh, the Deputy Head of Majles Agricultural Commission confirmed that 17,000 tons of meat had been confiscated and held by Customs for 4 years, and is now rotting.

  • Reports have emerged which identify Iran as the actor behind an escalating number of cyber attacks on key Western infrastructures. Experts suggest that the rise in attacks is a punitive measure sanctioned by the Iranian government over Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal. Meanwhile the IRGC’s most prominent hacking forum, according to Recorded Future, has been shut down with no indication as to what motivated the closure. Research exposing the tactics and techniques of Iran’s state-supported hackers has also been published. 
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  • Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the overseas arm of Iran‘s Revolutionary Guards threatened Saudi Arabia with revenge on Thursday after 27 IRGC members were killed in an attack in southeastern Iran last week. Soleimani told the semi-official news agency Tasnim that Saudi Arabia was “building its regional influence with money only. This is a false influence and failure…We will take revenge for our martyrs…(and) it might be anywhere around the world.” The Sunni Muslim militant group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which demands greater rights and better living conditions for ethnic minority Baluchis in Iran, claimed responsibility for the attack near the border with Pakistan. 
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  • Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force strongly denied the claim that the U.S. had been sabotaging Iran’s missile program, calling the suggestion a lie this week. Hajizadeh said that the IRGC had been infiltrating the U.S.military by monitoring American planes used for espionage flying over Syria and Iraq. Commenting on the Warsaw summit, Hajizadeh also said that Iran’s opponents had changed their strategy towards Iran and were no longer looking to overthrow the Islamic Republic but to form coalitions against the Republic instead. 
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  • Kayhan Life attended the Warsaw summit last week. Delegates included U.S. Secretary Mike Pompeo, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the former Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. Brian Hook, director of planning and senior policy advisor to Secretary Pompeo, and President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended the summit. Two separate Rallies outside the venue were held by royalists, and The People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MKO). 
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