Netanyahu warns of ‘crushing blow’ if Iran attacks Iraq
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday cautioned arch-enemy Iran that his nation would inflict a”crushing blow” on Tehran if it is attacked following the US killing a top Iranian general.
Netanyahu’s announcement came as Iran launched over a dozen ballistic missiles targeting at least two bases in Iraq where the US military and coalition forces’ are stationed, in revenge for the killing of the commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards, General Qasem Soleimani, in a US drone attack on Friday, which was ordered by President Donald Trump.
“We’re standing steadfast against those who attempt to kill us. We’re standing with force and with determination.
Describing the assassinated Iranian commander, Soleimani, as”terrorist in chief”, the Israeli Prime Minister congratulated US President Donald Trump for eliminating him by “acting quickly, boldly and resolutely”.
“Qassem Soleimani was responsible for the death of countless innocent people. He destabilised nations. For decades, he sowed distress and fear and anguish. And he was planning much worse,” Netanyahu said.
“President Trump should be congratulated for acting swiftly, boldly and resolutely against this terrorist-in-chief, who had been the architect and driver of Iran’s campaign of carnage and terror throughout the Middle East and throughout the world,” he added.
‘It’s essential to mention that Israel stands entirely beside the US,” Netanyahu said, adding,”America has no better friend than Israel, and Israel has no better friend than America’.
Iranian military officials have threatened to attack Israel as well as turning Israeli towns”to dust” in the wake of the US military operation where Soleimani was murdered.
Kuwait denies US troop pullout, says news agency hacked
The state-run Kuwait News Agency tweeted that the Kuwaiti Defence Minister was advised by the commander of US forces in the emirate of their intention to withdraw from the Arifjan foundation within three days.
The news, published in both Arabic and English, has been deleted within minutes. KUNA also said it had been hacked and said that the report wasn’t published on its general wire.
The United States said on Friday it was deploying up to 3,500 more troops to the Middle East with reprisals expected after an American drone killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
The Kuwait incident comes after a US letter apparently signalling a pullout of forces from Iraq caused alarm, prior to the White House and the Pentagon said there were no such plans and that the letter was merely a draft.
Kuwait’s Arifjan Base, which lies 70 kilometres south of the capital and closes to the boundary with Saudi Arabia, is the main US base in Kuwait.
The pact was originally signed following the first Gulf War in 1991 after a US-led global force expelled Iraqi troops from Kuwait ending seven weeks of occupation.
Iran’s retaliation is much more conventional than Anticipated
Following a U.S. drone attack murdered Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last week, America braced itself for the unexpected: The Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory warning that Iran may launch cyberattacks against critical infrastructure. New York’s governor deployed the National Guard into New York City’s major airports.
These precautions are clear and wise. But Iran’s missile attacks on foundations hosting U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday indicates that the regime’s retaliation may be more conventional than anticipated.
Now the Iranian regime is signaling a new approach.
That said, there is good reason to doubt that Iran’s response will be limited for this assault. Iran has fought its wars through proxies since the 1990s. This was the legacy of Soleimani.
Some analysts admit that Iran’s military has the capability to do a great deal of damage, especially to U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But it ‘isn’t going to have the ability to out-escalate america,’ says Alireza Nader, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Khamenei knows this, he says, and he may be attempting to convey strength at a moment when the regime was weakened.
Another possibility is that the U.S. drone strike demolished the strategy of plausible deniability that Iran has relied on for so long. It’s not just that Iran’s generals could no longer rely on being spared the fate of the terrorists that they cultivated and sponsored. The attack signaled a new U.S. strategy that imposes grave costs for Iran’s wider proxy war.
The regime will almost certainly still depend on its terrorist proxies. However, Iran’s missile strike proves that it is prepared to engage in direct military attacks to take revenge for Soleimani. The world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism will also rely on conventional warfare.
Carlos Ghosn goes on the offensive in appearance since escape
BEIRUT, NEW YORK: Carlos Ghosn went on the attack against Japan’s criminal justice system less than two weeks after becoming the world’s most famous fugitive with a daring escape to Lebanon.
“I was brutally taken from my world as I knew it,” the former head of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA said in Beirut on Wednesday, addressing a press conference for the first time since his arrest for financial crimes over a year ago.
Ghosn’s flight from Japan, an escape worthy of a Hollywood spy thriller, marked the latest twist in a saga that started with his stunning arrest at Tokyo’s Haneda airport in November of 2018. Now free to speak his mind, the 65-year-old is seeking to overthrow his heritage, blighted by allegations of understating his income and raiding funds for personal gain.
He’s also under investigation in France.
“I felt I had been a hostage of a nation which I had served for 17 years,” Ghosn said, in a psychological reaction toward his remedy in Japan after helping rescue Nissan from near-collapse two years ago.
After more than a year in the criminal justice system of Japan, for example months locked in a cell, Ghosn has scores to settle. Proclaiming his innocence, he accused Japanese prosecutors, government officials and Nissan executives of conspiring to topple him to prevent a further integration of the carmaker.
Ghosn named Nissan Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, Hitoshi Kawaguchi, and Masakazu Toyoda one of those. The successor-turned-accuser of Ghosn, saikawa lost his own job less than a year after over his own overcompensation scandal.
Ghosn was facing trials that could have landed him in prison for more than a decade when, a week, he bolted to Lebanon in a private jet from Osaka’s Kansai International Airport to escape what he described as a”rigged Japanese justice system.” The Mediterranean nation does not have an extradition agreement with Japan.
Now that he has slipped from Japan’s grasp, Ghosn is taking his case to the court of public opinion — an arena where he gained a wealth of experience during two decades as one of the world’s most prominent and media-savvy business leaders.
“I am here to expose a system of justice that violates the simplest principles of humanity,” Ghosn said at the press conference. “These allegations are untrue and I should never have been detained.”
He laid the blame on the prosecutors, but also on government officials, Nissan and its law firm not only for his treatment. Because they leaked false information Ghosn said he had been presumed guilty without the ability.
“My unimaginable ordeal over the last 14 months was the result of an orchestrated campaign spearheaded by a small number of unscrupulous, vindictive people at Nissan and at the Latham & Watkins law firm, with the support of the Tokyo prosecutor’s office,” Ghosn said.
His arrest cast an unflattering light on Japan’s legal system, where prosecutors can grill suspects without their lawyers present and enjoy an almost 100% conviction rate. Under the conditions of the bond of Ghosn, the court had restricted contact with his family, including his wife Carole, with.
“This is exactly how it works,” Ghosn said, calling the move part of Japan’s intimidation tactics.
Nissan also went on the offensive Tuesday, saying its internal investigation in the lead-up into Ghosn’s arrest found”incontrovertible evidence of various acts of misconduct” by the former executive. Nissan vowed to take”appropriate legal action” against him for any injury caused to the company.
The carmaker has already spent more than $200 million on lawyers, researchers, and digital forensics in its investigation of Ghosn and former executive Greg Kelly, individuals with knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified as the information is not public. Kelly, who remains in Japan, has denied wrongdoing.
Ghosn helped Nissan back from the verge following its rescue. It made him a hero in Japan for a time, finish with a manga, or comic show, celebrating his exploits that were corporate. As the alliance between Renault and Nissan prospered – bringing in Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in 2016 – Ghosn became the indispensable man at the center of the partnership.
Yet his compensation resulted in persistent criticism in Japan and France, and resentment grew at Nissan within the lopsided shareholder structure that left Renault with 43 percent of the Japanese carmaker, while Nissan owns only 15% of Renault. Given its bigger size and superior earnings performance in the past few years, Nissan has sought more influence in the alliance, including a reduction in the stake of Renault.
Boeing crash probe protocol hampered by Iran-US stir
There are clear international rules governing investigations into air crashes, but in the event of Wednesday’s Ukrainian passenger jet crisis in Iran they are likely to fall prey to heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.
The Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed less than three minutes after taking off from the airport of Tehran, killing 176 Iranians and Canadians.
Tehran has already indicated it wouldn’t hand over to Americans the recovered flight recorders, the so-called black boxes, for investigation.
The rules on probes into air crashes are put down in the 1944 Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation, and the responsibility for those investigations is delegated to the countries where they occur.
This puts Iran in charge of the investigation, but the nation that manufactured the aircraft and the country of the airline which operated the plane are also to have representatives involved in the probe.
In theory this means that the US National Transportation Safety Board, which is the body charged with investigating air accidents, would be called Boeing is based in america, and would probably rely on specialists from the manufacturer.
“That could be a little complicated,” said Jean-Paul Troadec, former head of France’s BEA airline safety agency.
The crash came on the same day that US-Iranian tensions rose to new heights as Iran fired a volley of missiles at Iraqi bases housing US and other foreign troops, the Islamic republic’s first act in its promised revenge for the US killing of a leading Iranian general.
Boeing said it was in contact with Ukraine International Airlines and that it was”prepared to assist in any way needed”.
However, the head of Iran Civil Aviation Organisation head, Ali Abedzadeh, said while the Ukrainians were free to take part in the probe into the crash,”we won’t give the black boxes to the manufacturer (Boeing) and the Americans,” according to the Mehr news agency.
Reading information from the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder is not in itself difficult, according to Troadec.
“The problem is when the recorders are in very bad condition, then you need labs which have the experience and equipment” in recovering data, he explained.
Besides the NTSB, Troadec stated the BAE and its counterparts in Britain and Germany have the know-how to deal with data recovery in such conditions, and the Russians. The BEA said it has yet to receive any request for assistance from the Ukrainian government.
The Chicago Convention allows a country. Dutch police carried out the investigations into the 2014 crash of a Malaysia Airlines that crashed in Ukraine as it returned home from Amsterdam, killing 298 people including 193 Dutch nationals.