22 March 2019


U.S. says Iran missile program detribalizing Middle East

KONFRONTASI-A senior U.S. arms control official said on Tuesday that Iran’s missile program is detribalizing the Middle East and raising the risk of a “regional arms race” through the provision of such weapons to armed groups in Lebanon and Yemen.

U.S. President Donald Trump said when he quit a landmark 2015 deal that lifted international sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear activities that it failed to rein in Iran’s missile program or curb its regional meddling.

MI6 chief makes secret Israel visit to discuss Iran nuclear program: Report

KONFRONTASI-The head of Britain's foreign spy agency MI6 has reportedly made a secret visit to Tel Aviv and exchanged views with Israeli intelligence officials on Iran's nuclear activities.

Israel's Channel 13 news reported on Friday that MI6 chief Alex Younger traveled to Israel on Monday and met with Mossad head Yossi Cohen and other Israeli intelligence chiefs.

Iran arrests militants linked to attack on Revolutionary Guards

KONFRONTASI-Revolutionary Guards have broken up a group of militants in southeast Iran who were linked to a suicide bombing that killed 27 guards near the border with Pakistan last week, the Corps said on Monday.

“Last night, a terrorist cell was identified and destroyed in an operation,” the Corps said in a statement carried by the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

Three militants were arrested and explosive material was seized from houses in the cities of Saravan and Khash, it said.

Iran rejects 'laughable' anti-Semitism allegations by Pence

KONFRONTASI-Iran has rejected accusations of anti-Semitism levelled against the Islamic Republic by US Vice President Mike Pence, saying it respects Judaism but opposes Israel.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi said on Saturday that Iran had a "historic respect" for "divine religions", dismissing claims by Pence that Tehran is in favour of a second Holocaust.

"Iran's historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations," Qasemi said, according to the Iranian foreign ministry's website.

He added that the principle underlying Tehran's foreign policy was "the aggressive and occupying nature of the Zionist regime [Israel] ... which is a killing machine against the Palestinian people".

Iran and Israel have been bitter enemies since the former's 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the Western-allied secular monarch Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and led to the formation of an Islamic Republic headed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a Shia religious leader.

'Just against Zionists'

Qasemi's comments came after Pence alleged earlier on Saturday that Iran "advocates another Holocaust and … seeks the means to achieve it".

"The Ayatollah Khamenei himself has said, 'It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map'," Pence said in a speech at the Munich Security Conference.

The Holocaust saw German forces led by Adolf Hitler and his ruling Nazi Party murder more than six million Jews during World War II, from 1939-1945, with nearly seven out of every 10 Jews in Europe being killed because of their identity.

On Friday, Pence accused Tehran of anti-Semitism akin to the Nazis after visiting the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed Pence's comments as "laughable", the Reuters news agency reported on Saturday.

"Iran has always supported the Jews, we are just against Zionists, the Holocaust was a disaster," Zarif told Germany's Der Spiegel magazine, according to the Reuters report.

Iran's ancient Jewish community has slumped to an estimated 10,000-20,000 from 85,000 at the time of the country's 1979 revolution, but it is believed to be the biggest in the Middle East outside Israel.

Ankara Dukung Teheran Perangi Terorisme

KONFRONTASI-Kedutaan besar Turki di Teheran dalam pesan pada Jumat mengutuk serangan teror mematikan di Zahedan, Provinsi Sistan-Baluchestan, di Iran Tenggara, sehingga menewaskan 27 orang dan melukai sejumlah lagi personel Korps Pengawal Revolusi Islam (IRGC).

Turki telah mendukung pemerintah sahabat dan rakyat Iran dalam melawan terorisme, kata pesan itu, sebagaimana dilaporkan Kantor Berita Iran, IRNA --yang dipantau Antara di Jakarta, Jumat malam.

Suicide bomber kills 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards

KONFRONTASI-A suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday, state media said, in a southeastern region where security forces are facing a rise in attacks by militants from the country’s Sunni Muslim minority.

The Sunni group Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

The heavy losses among Iran’s premier military force prompted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander to issue a warning to the country’s foes.

“Our response in defense of the Islamic Revolution will not be limited to our borders,” Ali Fadavi was quoted as saying by Fars.

“The enemies will receive a very firm response from the Revolutionary Guards like before.” He did not specify which enemies or what actions Tehran would take.

In the past Iran has accused its regional rival, Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia, of supporting Sunni separatist groups who have attacked its security forces. Riyadh has denied the charges.

Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan and have repeatedly called on the neighboring country to crack down on them.

A suicide bomber driving a vehicle laden with explosives attacked a bus transporting members of the Guards, the force said in a statement. Thirteen people were wounded.

A video posted by Fars showed blood and debris at the site of the attack on a road in a volatile area near the Pakistan border where militants and armed drug smugglers operate.

The bus was turned into a twisted pile of metal, a photo published on Fars showed. Reuters could not independently verify the image.

While Sunni militant groups are not regarded as a major threat, the attack dealt a fresh blow to Iran’s security establishment, which has often said it can repel any threat no matter how big, even from the United States and its ally Israel.

Presiden Iran Bertekad Perkuat Militer dan Rudal Balistik

KONFRONTASI- - Presiden Iran, Hassan Rouhani mengatakan, Iran bertekad untuk memperluas kekuatan militer dan program rudal balistiknya. Langkah ini diambil Iran, kendati ada tekanan dari negara-negara rival untuk mengekang kerja defensif Iran.

"Kami tidak perlu meminta dan tidak akan meminta izin untuk mengembangkan berbagai jenis rudal dan akan melanjutkan jalur kami dan kekuatan militer kami," kata Rouhani dalam sebuah pernyataan.

Iran and Israel trade threats of destruction

KONFRONTASI-Israel and Iran traded threats of mutual destruction on Monday as the Islamic Republic celebrated the 40th anniversary of its revolution.

A commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) threatened to destroy the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if the United States attacks Iran, state news agency IRNA reported, provoking a strongly worded response from Israel.

Iran shows military might amid anniversary

KONFRONTASI-Iran is marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Yet, within a year and a half of the revolt, neighbouring Iraq declared war and invaded, backed by Western and Arab allies.

Decades later, Iranians speak of the revolution and the war in the same breath, two major upheavals that transformed the country and remain inextricably linked in the minds of Iranians.

Iran unveils new cruise missile on Islamic Revolution anniversary

KONFRONTASI-Iran announced the "successful test" of a new cruise missile with a range of over 1,350 kilometres during celebrations marking the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, state television reported.

"The test of the Hoveizeh cruise missile was carried out successfully at a range of 1,200km and accurately hit the set target," Defence Minister Amir Hatami was quoted by saying after its launch.