Iran Continues Collision Course
IRANIAN ARMED FORCES SPOKESMAN SAYS AMERICA ‘NO. 1 ENEMY,’ ISRAEL ‘MUST BE ELIMINATED’: Iranian Armed Forces Spokesman Brigadier-General Abolfazl Shekarchi affirmed the United States is the Iranian republic’s top enemy while describing his country’s commitment to eliminate the Jewish state.
In his remarks, which were made during an interview that aired on Iranian TV last Wednesday, September 8, the senior spokesman referred to Israel as “the dog guarding America,” while deeming the United States “the number one enemy of the Iranian people.” Claiming that Israel “doesn’t have the capability” to attack Iran, Shekarchi warned that if the Jewish state “perpetrates any strategic mistake, it will be slapped in the face, and it will not be able to recover.” “Our strategy towards the Zionist entity never changes: the removal of the Zionist entity,” he said. “Israel must be eliminated.” “We have not fallen back, nor will we fall back, a single step from this strategy,” he said, “the strategy of the resistance front is the annihilation of the Zionist entity.” Earlier this year, Shekarchi warned the “slightest mistake” on Israel’s part would compel his country to “level Tel Aviv and Haifa.” Last year, Shekarchi warned the U.S. to consider the consequences of any naval challenge to the Islamic republic, saying, “The Americans must have seen that if they take the smallest act of aggression against the Islamic Republic’s territorial waters or the interests of our people, they would receive a slap harder than before.” Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism worldwide, claims its nuclear program is for energy purposes but world leaders, including the six nations that joined the 2015 deal to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity, say enriching uranium may lead to Iran’s ability to quickly create a nuclear weapon. The Obama-led nuclear deal, from which President Donald Trump withdrew in 2018, delineates an enrichment limit of 3.67 percent. Iran has been accused of violating the agreement, with Tehran having since produced 10 kilograms of uranium enriched to nearly 60 percent, according to a report published on Monday by the Institute for Science and International Security, a US-based think tank. The report concluded that Iran is on track to obtaining enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb within one month. (Breitbart/ VFI News)
ONE MONTH UNTIL IRAN HAS ENOUGH FUEL FOR A NUCLEAR WEAPON: Iran has come within one month of having enough material to fuel a nuclear weapon, according to recent data published earlier in September by the United Nations’ atomic inspection group, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The IAEA warned that Iran’s enrichment of nuclear fuel to near weapons-grade levels has given the country the capability to produce enough fuel to power a single nuclear warhead within one month at the earliest, The New York Times reported Monday. But the inspection group noted manufacturing an actual nuclear warhead would take much longer. A report published Monday by the Institute for Science and International Security, which further studied the IAEA’s findings, similarly concluded that Iran can produce enough fuel for a single weapon in “as short as one month.” Iran can also produce enough fuel for a second weapon in less than three months, and a third weapon in less than five months, the researchers found. Iran has not been this close to producing a nuclear weapon since before the nuclear deal introduced in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. The country has been expanding its nuclear operations over the past three years. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in 2018 and reimposed sanctions. Iran’s former top nuclear official, Ali Akbar Salehi, announced in January that Iran will resume uranium enrichment at the Fordo underground nuclear facility. Iran’s government also said it planned to enrich uranium at levels of 20% or higher, far greater than the 3.67% cap imposed under the 2015 nuclear deal. A negotiator for Iran’s government later announced in April that the country will begin enriching uranium to 60%, its highest level ever. Although 60% is still short of weapons-grade level, the ramping up of enrichment has brought Iran much closer to producing a nuclear weapon. Asked about Iran during a trip to Germany, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Friday that the Islamic Republic’s progress had been so quick that restoring the Obama-era deal could soon be unfeasible. “I’m not going to put a date on it,” he told reporters, according to The New York Times. “But we are getting closer to the point at which a strict return to compliance … does not reproduce the benefits that agreement achieved.” (Daily Caller/ VFI News)
IRANIAN DRONE BASE IS USED TO TRAIN TERROR GROUPS: Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday, September 12, revealed the location of an Iranian airbase that he said is being used to train Tehran’s regional proxies to operate advanced drones.
“Iran has created ‘proxy terrorism,’ under which it formed organized terror armies that help it achieve its economic, diplomatic and military goals,” Gantz said. “One of the significant tools that Iran has developed to assist its proxies is an array of unmanned aerial vehicles that can travel thousands of kilometers, and thousands of them are spread throughout Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. “Iran is trying to transfer knowhow to the Gaza Strip that will allow Hamas and the Islamic Jihad to produce UAVs,” he added, speaking at a counterterrorism conference at the newly renamed Reichman University — formerly the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. Such Iranian made drones have been used by Tehran directly and by its proxies in the region extensively in recent years, most recently in an attack on US troops in Iraq’s Erbil airport on Saturday night, September 11. Last month, Gantz told foreign diplomats that Iran launched so-called kamikaze drones at the Israeli-owned Mercer Street cargo ship in July, killing two crewmembers. The Iran-backed Houthi militia has also used drones extensively in attacks on neighboring Saudi Arabia. According to Gantz, the UAV base is located north of the city of Isfahan in central Iran and serves as “a linchpin of the Iranian effort to export aerial terror to the region.” (TOI / VFI News)
ISRAEL RISES TO 4TH IN WORLD FOR DIGITAL QUALITY OF LIFE: Israel has significantly improved its internet quality but remains iffy on infrastructure, according to the annual Digital Quality of Life Index 2021, which ranked 110 countries worldwide on digital wellbeing based on factors such as internet affordability and quality, infrastructure, and digital government services.
The survey, compiled by the virtual private network provider Surfshark, was released last week with Israel ranking fourth overall, up four spots from the 2020 index, which examined 85 countries. Israel’s 2021 rating surpassed that of the US, which ranked 5th, Switzerland, 8th, and the UK, 10th. Denmark took the top spot in the index, followed by South Korea and Finland. The bottom five countries were Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala, and Angola. The annual survey, now in its third year, evaluates countries based on a set of five “pillars” — internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government — and 14 indicators such as internet speed, GDP per capita, mobile internet price and broadband internet price. The study is based on open-source information provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources. According to the 2021 survey, Israel dropped down from the top spot for internet affordability (mobile and broadband) last year to second place overall, but did rank first for broadband internet affordability. The index looked at the number of hours people had to work per month to afford the cheapest broadband internet package for this pillar. In Israel, it was only 19 minutes, four minutes less than 2020, whereas globally, the figure stood at around six hours of work. (TOI/VFI News)
BAHRAIN JEWS WORSHIP IN PUBLIC FOR FIRST TIME IN DECADES: For the first time in decades, Ebrahim Nonoo is leading prayer services in Manama’s renovated synagogue, bringing Jewish traditions into plain view after decades of worship in private.
Bahrain’s tiny Jewish community, about 50 people, have practiced their faith behind closed doors since 1947, when the Gulf country’s only synagogue was destroyed in disturbances at the start of the Arab-Israeli conflict. But when Bahrain normalized ties with Israel one year ago as part of US-brokered agreements with Arab countries known as the Abraham Accords, it “opened everything” up, Nonoo said. “We can develop Jewish life in Bahrain because we have a fully functioning synagogue,” Nonoo said. On September 15, 2020, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates broke with accepted Arab policy that there should be no ties with Israel until it makes peace with the Palestinians, and Sudan and Morocco followed suit. The move was condemned as a “betrayal” by Palestinian critics, but it was a boon for Bahrain’s Jews. Last month, they held their first Shabbat services at the synagogue in 74 years, accompanied by expatriate Jews and diplomats. (TOI/ VFI News)
IRANIAN GUARDS SEXUALLY ASSAULTED FEMALE IAEA INSPECTORS: Iranian security guards made female International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors remove clothing and then inappropriately touched them at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, according to The Wall Street Journal.
At least four separate incidents of harassment were reported since early June, one diplomat told The Wall Street Journal, while another diplomat said that there had been five to seven. The most recent incident was reported in the past few weeks. A paper circulated by the US among IAEA members ahead of a board meeting of the agency’s member states this week demanded an end to the conduct.”Harassment of IAEA inspectors is absolutely unacceptable, and we strongly urge you to make clear in your national statement at the Board meeting that such conduct is deplorable and must end immediately, and that the Board should take appropriate action if further incidents are reported,” read the paper, according to the report. The UN nuclear watchdog on Tuesday described as “unacceptable” incidents in Iran involving its inspectors, in which diplomats say security staff subjected female inspectors to inappropriate searches that the United States is calling harassment. (JPost/VFI News)
NEW DISCOVERY BY TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY COULD GENERATE NOVEL APPROACHES TO CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY: Eosinophils are a type of white blood cells and part of the immune system that, when functioning normally, help fight disease and infection. However, having too many activated eosinophils may contribute to disease pathology and the self-perpetuating cycle of inflammation and damage across a range of debilitating diseases.
Made in the bone marrow, they flow through the bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria and other foreign invaders that threaten your health. When your body is in distress and a particular area is under attack, white blood cells rush in to help destroy the harmful substance and prevent illness. However, researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have discovered a role for eosinophils that was not known. The destructive properties of proteins in these cells in the blood can be used to kill cancer cells. They can destroy the cancer cells directly, as well as recruit the immune system’s cancer-fighting T-cells. The new study found that eosinophils help fight the battle against cancer metastases in the lungs. The researchers believe that their findings can contribute to the development of innovative approaches to cancer immunotherapy treatments, based upon the collaboration between T-cells and eosinophils. The study was led by Prof. Ariel Munitz and doctoral student Sharon Grisaru of the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine. The paper was published under the title “Metastasis-entrained eosinophils enhance lymphocyte-mediated anti-tumor immunity” in Cancer Research, a prestigious journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. The researchers explained the white blood cells in the immune system produce powerful destructive proteins that were originally intended for fighting parasites. However, in the modern Western world, where high levels of hygiene have significantly reduced the menace of parasites, eosinophils often have a negative impact on humans, inducing medical problems like allergies and asthma. The researchers first examined human cancer tissues – biopsies from lung metastases taken from breast cancer patients. They found that the eosinophils reach the lungs and penetrate the cancer tissues, where they often release the destructive proteins that they carry. (I365 / VFI News)
ISRAELI APP TRACKS WILDFIRES IN REAL TIME: An Israel-made system now provides information about wildfires around the world, tracking their spread to help ensure people’s health and safety.
BreezoMeter, a Haifa-based company that provides data about air quality and pollen counts to consumers in more than 100 countries, said Tuesday, September 14, that its fire tracking solution is now available for free on its air-quality map on its website. The feature should be available on its free app, available in the Apple App Store and Google Play, in the coming months. A more sophisticated version of the data is available to businesses, governmental authorities and first responders via API, so they can integrate micro-local visualizations into command and control systems for full emergency use. “It is very hard to predict how wildfires will spread,” explained Dr. Yvonne Boose, BreezoMeter’s atmospheric science specialist. “You need to take wind, weather and other factors into account. Our solution integrates data from a number of inputs, including very high-resolution satellite images, to provide the most accurate information possible. There are some other products on the market for tracking fires, but none are available free for the public like ours.” The size and frequency of wildfires in Israel are increasing, as climate change causes hotter summers. Last month, wildfires burned some 4,940 acres of land west of Jerusalem in one of the worst blazes in the country’s history. BreezoMeter came into the wildfire tracking business by way of its focus on improving air quality. The company launched in 2014 to provide high-quality street-level data about air quality accurate up to five meters from a user’s location. (JPost / VFI News)
The suggestions, opinions and scripture references made by VFI writers and editors are based on the best information received.
Blessings from Jerusalem,
Barry Segal with the Editorial Staff