British tanker has been seized by Iran
Update: A British tanker, as well as a Liberian tanker have been seized.
A British tanker has been seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the Strait of Hormuz, the organization says.
The attacks on Saudi oil facilities in September cannot so far be confirmed to have originated from Iran, according to a UN report.
The Saudi Kingdom believes Iran was the nation behind drone and cruise missile attacks which earlier sent a portion of the global oil supply temporarily offline, but a leaked UN report says investigators cannot find enough proof of origin.
“At this time, [the UN] is unable to independently corroborate that the cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles used in these attacks are of Iranian origin,” Secretary General António Guterres wrote in the report, seen by Reuters and AFP news agencies.
The Houthi movement currently fighting against the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has taken responsibility for the attacks, while Iran has denied involvement.
Currently, some believe the Houthis could not execute such a large-scale attack without outside help, but others have argued the opposite pointing to the relatively low cost of drone strikes, with most costing no more than $15,000 per hit, according to an expert speaking to the New York Times.
While drone strikes are relatively cheap, the report interestingly did find that the Houthis “have not shown to be in possession, nor been assessed to be in possession” of the drones used in the attacks.
This key caveat could leave open the possibility of outside help or involvement.
A gasoline price hike aimed at reducing Iran’s massive oil subsidies in the face of continuing U.S. sanctions, and increased costs through aggressive regional involvement in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, appear to have pushed a large portion of the nation’s population to publically speak out against the Islamic Republic.
Since Nov. 15 demonstrations against the subsidy cut turned violent, seeing gas stations, alongside 100 banks have been burned to the ground, while the regime itself decided to cut the nation’s internet and open fire on protestors with live ammunition.
According to Amnesty International, more than 143 people have been killed by the regime so far in response to the protests.
“The rising death toll is an alarming indication of just how ruthless the treatment of unarmed protesters has been by the Iranian authorities and reveals their appalling assault on human life,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty’s research and advocacy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Iran has stated the number is far lower at roughly 12, while the exiled and controversial opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has according to The Telegraph, claimed that the number is far higher, as the regime is actively stealing bodies from morgues in an effort to keep the final body count reduced.
While protests and the bloody crackdown in response from the regime are by no means new, this case stands to be quite different than previous protests for its sheer scale and the willingness from protestors to call out the regime including the Ayelottalh himself.
The anti-government messaging it appears has frightened members of the regime’s inner circle, such as the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard alongside many others who are now arguing that foreign powers initiated the protest, rather than the countries history of abusing their own people alongside economic mismanagement due to corruption.
A British daycare has faced criticism after it introduced a vegan-only menu for the enrolled children, according to the Daily Mail.
The daycare, named Jigsaw Day Nurseries, is intending to create an entirely plant-based diet by January of next year. The daycare in question has over 250 children, and they will be serving children who are aged between 0 and 4.
As soon as the daycare introduced these changes, parents began to complain, saying that the daycare introduced these changes without consulting them first.
There was also a significant amount of online criticism, with some respondents suggesting that the daycare is imposing a lifestyle change on other people’s children.
The owner of the daycare has rejected the parent’s claims, telling the Daily Mail that she feels “passionately” about the “sustainable path” she has chosen.
“Our sole focus has been on making a significant and impactful change for the good of our children’s environmental futures whilst ring-fencing this with robust nutritional planning which meets all the recommended early years guidelines.”
A couple weeks ago marked the 100th birthday of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (known colloquially as simply “the Shah”). Love him or hate him, he truly was a good friend to Israel during his tenure.
From ancient history, there had been a Jewish presence in Iran, and an acknowledgement for the Jewish people’s indigenity to the land of Israel.
This can be seen in the Book of Esther, where a Jewish woman by the name of Esther ascends to being Persia’s queen and was able to foil a plan that would have killed all the Jews in Persia.
Cyrus the Great later recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and allowed all Jews of Persia to return to their indigenous land and build what later became the Second Temple in the holy city of Jerusalem.
The relationship similar to what Persia (Iran) had under Queen Esther and Cyrus the Great was reestablished under the Shah, in his support for Israel.
The Shah ensured that his country would be only the second Muslim country to recognize Israel as a state.
His friendship with Israel resulted in the creation of trade bureaus in both nations. The bureaus even acted as embassies.
He did not take offence to the criticism and backlash by other countries in the Middle East for his support for Israel.
Project Flower, a collaborative mission by Iran and Israel was another positive operation that the Shah worked on with Israel to produce a nuclear-style missile. The mission illustrated the common goals and values of both states striving for military cooperation.
Before the 1979 Revolution, Iran was seen by Israel as one of its closest allies in the region. Religion did not matter, it was simply a partnership of allies in a continually conflicted region.
Working together eventually with Egypt brought more peace than ever into the ever-continual hostile Middle East climate.
It should be known that the offspring of the Shah, particularly his son, and heir apparent if the monarchy returns to Iran, supports Israel and told Ynet News that “in a future Iran, Israel will once again be an ally.”
The Shah’s administration even mourned the loss of Yoni Netanyahu. The admiration of Mr. Netanyahu went so far with the letter calling him a martyr.
Followers and loyalists of the Shah around the world have continued support for Israel, Zionism, and its existence as a Jewish state.
Jewish people have noticed this friendship, and have established meaningful relationships with anti-Iranian regime organizations around the world.
Had the Shah lived to old age, it would be likely that Iran and Israel would continue to be strong Middle East allies and would truly show as an example to the world of the partnership of allies who may be of different faiths but believe in commons goals and values.
The tangible relations between Iran under the Shah and Israel may be minor, but it is the everlasting impact and remember of what the Shah did for Israel during his tenure that will stick with Israel and the Jewish community.
Western-style values in Iran may be gone, as is its support for Israel, however, the world will always remember the contributions the Shah brought for peace in the region.
On the 100th birthday of the Shah, the world needs to celebrate his contributions to Israel and the everlasting legacy he leaves of hope, shared values, human rights and peace.