U.S. Navy locked in combat with shadowy, Iran-backed rebel group based in Yemen

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Important Takeaways:

  • The U.S.-led campaign against the Houthi rebels, overshadowed by the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, has turned into the most intense running sea battle the Navy has faced since World War II
  • The combat pits the Navy’s mission to keep international waterways open against a group whose former arsenal of assault rifles and pickup trucks has grown into a seemingly inexhaustible supply of drones, missiles and other weaponry.
  • Near-daily attacks by the Houthis since November have seen more than 50 vessels clearly targeted
  • The Houthis say the attacks are aimed at stopping the war in Gaza and supporting the Palestinians, though it comes as they try to strengthen their position in Yemen.
  • All signs suggest the warfare will intensify — putting U.S. sailors, their allies and commercial vessels at more risk.
  • The U.S. has been indirectly trying to lower tensions with Iran, particularly after Tehran launched a massive drone-and-missile attack on Israel and now enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels.

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Iran’s Enriched Uranium stockpile larger than previously thought; IAEA is complaining that they’re not being allowed to see everything

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Important Takeaways:

  • IAEA: Iran’s Enriched Uranium Stockpile Is 30x Bigger than Obama Nuclear Deal Allows
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a confidential report on Monday that discovered that Iran’s stockpile of highly enriched uranium reached 30 times the limit Tehran accepted in former President Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal.
  • The IAEA document, which has not been released to the public but was reviewed by Associated Press (AP) reporters, said Iran now has 6,201 kilograms of enriched uranium in its inventory — a dramatic increase of 675.8 pounds from the last IAEA report in February.
  • The IAEA report also complained that Iran is still interfering with its operations by preventing its most experienced inspectors from monitoring nuclear facilities.
  • “The present state is completely unsatisfactory for me. We are almost at an impasse and this needs to be changed,” Grossi said upon returning to Vienna from Tehran.
  • Grossi said in January that Iran now has enough enriched uranium to build “several nuclear weapons.” By this, he meant Iran had stockpiled enough near-weapons-grade material — enriched far beyond any rational civilian need — to refine the uranium a bit further and create simple atomic weapons.
  • Grossi and other IAEA officials have taken Iran’s swelling uranium stockpile as a reason for caution, clearly nervous that pushing the Iranians too hard might make them cooperate even less. Iran’s involvement in the Gaza war and its growing relationship with Russia have also been cited as reasons for treading carefully.

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Iran’s military says President’s helicopter caught fire soon after crash; no sign of attack

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Important Takeaways:

  • The helicopter carrying Iran’s late President Ebrahim Raisi caught fire soon after it crashed into a mountain and there was no sign it was attacked, state media reported, citing the military’s crash investigators.
  • The first statement on the crash did not lay blame but said more details would come after further investigation.
  • The crash Sunday killed Raisi, the country’s foreign minister and six other people.
  • The general staff’s statement said the communications between the control tower and the crew of the helicopter before the crash contained nothing suspicious.

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EPA issues alert warning water utilities to ‘bolster cybersecurity’

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Important Takeaways:

  • Cyberattacks on U.S. Water Facilities Are Increasing. Why?
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a critical enforcement alert on Monday, warning water utilities nationwide to bolster cybersecurity measures immediately due to an increase in the frequency and severity of cyberattacks. According to the EPA, 70 percent of inspected water utilities violated standards designed to prevent security breaches, highlighting the urgent need for improved defenses. The alert comes as smaller communities become prime targets for attacks by groups linked to hostile actors in Russia, Iran, and China.
  • In recent assessments, federal officials found water systems failing to implement basic security protocols, such as changing default passwords and revoking access from former employees. With many utilities relying heavily on computer software for operations, the EPA emphasized the importance of safeguarding both information technology and process controls to ensure uninterrupted water supply and safety.
  • “In many cases, systems are not doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is to have completed a risk assessment of their vulnerabilities that includes cybersecurity and to make sure that plan is available and informing the way they do business,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe. She added: “China, Russia, and Iran are actively seeking the capability to disable U.S. critical infrastructure, including water and wastewater systems.”
  • Recent incidents include the Iranian-affiliated Cyber Av3ngers hacking a small Pennsylvania town’s water utility and a Russian-linked group targeting Texas utilities. In the past, most cyber attacks on utilities have been spearheaded by private actors looking to ransom back access to the owners in the hopes of receiving a cash payment. However, hostile state-aligned actors have also stepped up attacks in recent years. U.S. officials have acknowledged that ‘Volt Typhoon,’ a Chinese-affiliated cyber group, has carried out multiple attacks on U.S. infrastructure.

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New report of American adversaries such as Iran funding US Universities

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Important Takeaways:

  • Iran’s New Proxy: American Universities
  • “We are watching the demonstrations, and we like what we see, but it should not end with this…. These protestors are our people and will support Iran in an Iran-U.S. confrontation; Iran can repeat in the U.S. what it did in Lebanon but on a grander scale because the ‘Hizbullah -style’ groups in the U.S. are ‘much larger’ than in Lebanon…. America is the Great Satan and our enemy, but we have hope in these areas.” — Foad Izadi, Teheran University, who studied at University of Houston and Louisiana State University, Ofogh TV (Iran), April 26, 2024.
  • [Hezbollah’s Deputy Secretary-General Sheikh Naim] Qassem – who appeared almost taken aback at the eagerness of students on US campuses to join Hamas in its call for the genocide of Jews – was hopeful about the ability of America’s students to help Hezbollah destroy Israel by turning the U.S. against its ally.
  • “We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the [Alavi] foundation,” Adam Kaufmann, investigations chief at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, November 22, 2009.
  • The Alavi Foundation, according to its website, has indeed funded many of the universities where protests were taking place. The universities include those of the Ivy league, such as Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Rutgers, as well as UCLA and many others.
  • In 2016, Harvard employed Ali Akbar Alikhani – who had warned about “the Jewish threat” — from Tehran University’s Faculty of World Studies, which is reportedly closely tied to the Iranian ruling regime, as a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern studies….
  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, the founder of the American Iranian Council (AIC), has admitted that the lobbying organization was created by the Islamic Republic of Iran to work for its interests in the US. Amirahmadi has had and continues to enjoy a successful academic career at Rutgers University….
  • Some faculty members at Rutgers recently called for the genocide of Jews.
  • In addition, at least five US universities — Virginia Tech University, the University of Washington, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Clarkson University, and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette — have allegedly been cooperating with Iranian entities that are sanctioned by the US and the European Union, including the Iranian Aerospace Research Institute, Iran University of Science and Technology, and the Sharif University of Technology.
  • Iran can only be rejoicing at the moral and educational collapse they have helped create on American university campuses, which are grooming America’s future teachers, judges and political leaders. Now, however, these campuses appear to be incubating America’s future terrorists and creating a national security threat.

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Iranian lawmaker says Tehran has nuclear weapons but has not declared it

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Important Takeaways:

  • Biden faces criticism for failing to impose pressure campaign on Iran as it races toward nuclear weapon
  • After the head of the United Nation’s atomic watchdog agency warned that Iran has enough uranium to produce “several” nuclear bombs, a firebrand Iranian lawmaker declared on Friday that the Islamic Republic of Iran possesses atomic weapons.
  • “In my opinion, we have achieved nuclear weapons, but we do not announce it. It means our policy is to possess nuclear bombs, but our declared policy is currently within the framework of the JCPOA,” Ahmad Bakhshayesh Ardestani told the Iran-based outlet Rouydad 24 on Friday, according to an article published by the independent news organization Iran International in London.
  • The JCPOA provides massive economic sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for assurances it will not, within a limited time period, build a nuclear weapon.
  • Ardestani, who was re-elected to Iran’s quasi-parliament in March, added, “The reason is that when countries want to confront others, their capabilities must be compatible, and Iran’s compatibility with America and Israel means that Iran must have nuclear weapons”
  • The Iranian parliament member noted, “In a climate where Russia has attacked Ukraine and Israel has attacked Gaza, and Iran is a staunch supporter of the Resistance Front, it is natural for the containment system to require that Iran possess nuclear bombs. However, whether Iran declares it is another matter.” Fox News Digital sent press queries to Iran’s Foreign Ministry in Tehran and its U.N. mission in New York.
  • Just two days before Ardestani’s announcement, the president of the Iranian Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharrazi, told Al-Jazeera Network Qatar, “I announced two years ago, in an interview with Al-Jazeera TV, that Iran had the absorptive capacity and the capability to produce a nuclear bomb. Iran still has that capability, but we have not made the decision to produce a nuclear bomb

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Protesters demand schools divest from Israel but OpentheBooks.com shows big money going to Ivy League Universities from “State of Palestine” entities

Harvard-College-Protestors

Important Takeaways:

  • Ivy League schools took millions in gifts from ‘State of Palestine’ entities
  • Harvard University and Brown University collected more than $2 million combined from Palestinian entities in recent years, according to a new report released Wednesday that questioned what the universities had to do in exchange for the cash.
  • com, a spending watchdog, said Harvard collected $1,575,000 in funds from the “state of Palestine.” Brown received $643,000.
  • And Indiana University of Pennsylvania, northeast of Pittsburgh, received $7.3 million from entities labeled, the “State of Palestine” and “Palestinian Territory Occupied.”
  • “American universities taking six-figure foreign funding from an area of the world dominated by terrorists raises all kinds of questions,” Adam Andrzejewski, founder of OpenTheBooks, said.
  • The report comes as college campuses are wracked with conflict over Israel’s war with Hamas. Anti-Israeli students accuse the Jewish democracy of a “genocide” in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli troops are trying to root out the Hamas organization that launched the murderous terror attack on Israel in October.
  • Protesters have dug in on demands that schools divest from Israel to express their sentiments about the ongoing war.
  • OpenTheBooks said the Palestinian money may be “radicalizing American students.”
  • OpenTheBooks counters that there is no such entity as “Palestine.”
  • “Neither the U.S. State Department nor the United Nations recognize Palestine as a country. The ‘State of Palestine’ is a political fiction that provides cover for numerous terror organizations funded by Iran and others,” Mr. Andrzejewski wrote.

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Truth behind a Palestinian State

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Important Takeaways:

  • A Palestinian State Will Lead To More Massacres, Final Nail in Coffin Torpedoing Biden Legacy
  • If the Saudis were really interested in normalizing their relations with Israel, they could have done so long ago. Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is delaying the move, in part, reportedly, out of fear of facing a backlash from his own people. He may, however, also have serious reservations that he would prefer not to talk about in public.
  • Like most Arabs, the Saudis could not care less about a Palestinian state and might secretly prefer not to have one at all. They are no doubt aware that the Palestinians themselves are the biggest obstacle to the establishment of a state of their own. During the past eight decades, they have acted as a serial wrecking ball to every peaceful place they set foot.
  • The last thing most Arab states want is a Hamas-controlled Palestinian state. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain justifiably regard Hamas and other Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to their national security, most likely the main reason they all have refused to take in Gazan refugees.
  • Blinken’s claim that a Palestinian state would “isolate” Iran and its proxies is pure nonsense. The opposite is the case. Iran, its proxies and Qatar would doubtless be extremely happy if the Biden administration would allow them to establish a terrorist state on Israel’s doorstep. This state would be used by Iran and its terrorists as a launching pad for more October 7-style massacres of Israelis to further their goal of destroying first Israel, then the Arab states.
  • It is Israel — not Iran — that will find itself “isolated” and surrounded by Iran-backed Islamist terrorist groups…
  • A Middle East that includes a Palestinian state controlled by Iran and Islamist terrorists will be a less secure region, especially after Iran acquires nuclear weapons.
  • Biden, by reconfirming that terrorism “works,” would embolden all the other terrorists. Just keep on terrorizing everyone, and, when your demands are met, keep on increasing and hardening them.
  • More significantly, by appeasing Iran, Qatar and potential voters in Michigan by creating a Palestinian state, the Biden administration will in fact be inviting Iran to initiate still more attacks – not only on Israel but also on US forces in the Middle East…. If Iran finally coerces the US to withdraw from the region as it is reportedly thinking of doing, the regime will finally be able to take over its neighbors’ oil fields and holy sites without worrying about the US interfering.
  • Meanwhile, as the Biden administration, busy trying to win re-election in November, seems to have no idea how to end all the conflicts it ignited, directly or indirectly, in Gaza, Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. The US has been backing both sides of all of them. Iran, presumably taking advantage of these distractions, and perhaps as a consolation prize for losing so much of Hamas -– has been moving to take over Sudan. It is a country rich in oil, gold, rare earth minerals and terrorism — and felicitously positioned to help Iran launch unlimited combat drones – the planet’s new “cheap, instant air force” — at both Israel and US forces, and enable Iran to use Sudan’s port on the Red Sea to continue obstructing maritime traffic.
  • After all, if terrorism “works,” why stop?

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Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militia offering education to US students staging anti-Israeli protests

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Important Takeaways:

  • “We are serious about welcoming students that have been suspended from U.S. universities for supporting Palestinians,” an official at Sanaa University, which is run by the Houthis, told Reuters. “We are fighting this battle with Palestine in every way we can.”
  • Sanaa University had issued a statement applauding the “humanitarian” position of the students in the United States and said they could continue their studies in Yemen.
  • The U.S. and Britain returned the Houthi militia to a list of terrorist groups this year as their attacks on vessels in and around the Red Sea hurt global economies.

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Congress approved $60.8bn for Ukraine; Medvedev wishes for the US “the inglorious collapse of the vile evil empire of the 21st Century”

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Important Takeaways:

  • After half a year of delays and debates, the US Congress has approved a $60.8bn military aid package for Ukraine, lifting the spirits of Kyiv’s forces this week as special operations destroyed Russian air defenses, a long-range bomber, a unique ship, and oil refineries.
  • “It’s a dangerous time. Three of our primary adversaries, Russia and Iran and China are working together … their advance threatens the free world and it demands American leadership,” said US House Speaker Mike Johnson
  • US Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Senator Mark Warner told CBS News that the missiles would be on their way to Ukraine “by the end of the week”
  • Russian reactions ranged from the cynical to the vitriolic: “I can’t help but wish the USA with all sincerity to dive into a new civil war themselves as quickly as possible,” Medvedev wrote. “Which, I hope, will be very different from the war between North and South in the 19th century and will be waged using aircraft, tanks, artillery, MLRS, all types of missiles and other weapons. And which will finally lead to the inglorious collapse of the vile evil empire of the 21st century – the United States of America.”

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