Thursday, January 04, 2018


JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

Trump threatens to cut off US aid to Palestinians over Jerusalem dispute-President says he'd planned for Israel 'to pay' diplomatic price for his recognition of capital, but with PA 'no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make future payments?'-By TOI staff and Agencies-JAN 3,18

Acknowledging his push to broker peace in the Middle East has stalled, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, asking why Washington should make “any of these massive future payments” when the Palestinians were “no longer willing to talk peace.”In a tweet, the president dismissed Palestinian fury over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying he had planned for Israel “to pay” in future negotiations for his declaration. But Palestinian intransigence was now preventing any progress on peace talks, he said-Washington was paying the Palestinian Authority hundreds of millions of dollars a year “for nothing,” he wrote, complaining that the US received “no appreciation or respect” in return.“They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel,” he said. “We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more.”“But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace,” he went on, “why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?”It's not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018-…peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018-The United States currently gives the PA over $300 million in annual aid.President Trump has, in the past, voiced support in principle for legislation that would substantially cut US aid to the PA if it continues its practice of paying the families of terrorists who kill Israelis. The White House has not yet taken a firm position on that bill — called the Taylor Force Act — and said it would monitor the legislation as it works its way through Congress.Earlier on Tuesday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley threatened to cut off funding to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA, if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley told reporters. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”The US was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians.Tuesday’s tweets marked a tacit admission by Trump that his decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has thrown a wrench into his administration’s plans to restart the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, which he had dubbed “the ultimate deal.”Trump tasked son-in-law Jared Kushner to restart the effort, and brought his former attorney, Jason Greenblatt, into the White House to lead the negotiations. Trump’s Mideast peace team had held meetings with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders for nearly a year ahead of an expected peace proposal.Following Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, PA President Mahmoud Abbas said the US relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He has also refused to meet with American officials regarding the peace process, including Greenblatt.On Sunday, the PA said it was recalling its envoy to the United States for consultations, in protest of US actions. It later said the ambassador would return.Trump has said his decision merely recognized the reality that Jerusalem already serves as Israel’s capital and wasn’t meant to prejudge the final borders of the city.When Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, he insisted that the move would improve, not hurt, prospects for clinching a peace deal.In the days after the decision, Trump administration officials said the strategy was based on the notion that Israel had lost faith in the US as a committed partner during the Obama administration. With trust in Washington restored, Netanyahu’s government would be more inclined going forward to make tough concessions that would ultimately be needed for a peace deal, the US officials argued at the time, and Israeli officials quietly indicated that they could potentially do so.No one spelled out, however, what the Palestinians would receive in return.US officials have been insisting that they remain intent on seeking a peace treaty. When Greenblatt came to the region two weeks ago, even though he was shunned by Ramallah, the administration insisted the peace effort remained a priority.“As we have said since the Jerusalem announcement, we anticipated reactions like the ones going on in the region but are going to remain hard at work on our peace plan,” a senior administration official told The Times of Israel at the time. “The president remains as committed to peace as ever,” the official added.Alexander Fulbright contributed to this report.

US warns it won’t fund UN refugee agency if Palestinians reject talks-American envoy Haley says Washington won't continue to be UNRWA's largest donor if Abbas refuses to come to negotiating table-By Alexander Fulbright-TOI-3 January 2018

The US on Tuesday threatened it would cut aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency if Ramallah refused to come to the negotiating table for relaunched peace talks.Following US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He has also refused to meet with American officials regarding the peace process, including US envoy Jason Greenblatt.Speaking with reporters Tuesday at UN headquarters, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed the US remains committed to reaching a peace deal, and indicated it would cut off aid if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.Responding to a reporter’s question on whether the US will continue to provide funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to millions of Palestinian refugees, in light of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution last month condemning the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Haley said Trump was prepared to cut aid to UNRWA if the Palestinians refuse to return to peace talks.“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”“The Palestinians now have to show their will — they want to come to the table. As of now they are not coming to the table but they ask for aid. We’re not giving the aid,” added Haley. “We’re going to make sure they come to the table and we want to move forward with the peace process.”The US was the biggest donor to UNRWA in 2016, giving $368,429,712. It is also the largest overall supplier of financial support for the Palestinians.In her remarks, Haley also defended her veto last month of a Security Council resolution condemning Trump’s declaration, in which he also vowed to move the American embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.“I stood proudly even if I was the only hand in the Security Council to fight for the will of the people of the United States,” she said. “They wanted to see the embassy moved to Jerusalem and we followed through with that.”The US was the only country in the 14 member body to vote against the measure, and exercised its veto. In the General Assembly, it passed by 128 votes to 9.US officials have been insisting that they remain intent on seeking a peace treaty. When Greenblatt came to the region two weeks ago, even though he was shunned by Ramallah, the administration insisted the peace effort remained a priority.“As we have said since the Jerusalem announcement, we anticipated reactions like the ones going on in the region but are going to remain hard at work on our peace plan,” a senior administration official told The Times of Israel at the time. “The president remains as committed to peace as ever,” the official added.

Goodbye Egypt, hello Kuwait: UN Security Council gets six new members-Among countries to join body are Equatorial Guinea and Poland, both of which abstained on a General Assembly vote condemning US Jerusalem recognition-By AFP and TOI staff-3 January 2018

Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru, Poland and the Netherlands formally joined the ranks of the non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday “to make a difference,” the body’s president said.“Peace and security are difficult to achieve,” Kazakh envoy Kairat Umarov, who took the rotating presidency in January, told council members at a special ceremony. “You are going to have a real chance to make a difference.”Last month, Equatorial Guinea and Poland were among the countries that didn’t vote in favor a General Assembly resolution condemning US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Ivory Coast, Kuwait, Peru and the Netherlands also voted for the measure, which was backed by 128 states.One after the other on Tuesday, ambassadors representing the council’s six new member countries — five men and a woman, Polish envoy Joanna Wronecka — placed their flag among those of the body’s nine other members.The UN Security Council has 15 members, including five with permanent seats who have the power to veto resolutions — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.Three women and 12 men are among the 15 ambassadors who will soon be seated at the U-shaped table in the center of the Security Council’s chamber.In addition to Wronecka and US envoy Nikki Haley, Karen Pierce will take her seat later this month as Britain’s new ambassador.The six countries who left the UN Security Council on December 31 are Egypt, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Ukraine and Uruguay.All six voted for an Egyptian-backed resolution last month condemning the US recognition, which was vetoed by the US.Unlike in the General Assembly, Security Council resolutions are binding.

Egypt’s grand mufti says bitcoin ‘forbidden’ by Islam-Comparing it to gambling, Shawki Allam issues fatwa banning the cryptocurrency, which he says causes 'financial ruin for individuals'-By TOI staff-3 January 2018

Egypt’s top Muslim cleric on Monday called for a ban on bitcoin, saying the digital currency is “forbidden” by Islam.Comparing the digital currency to gambling, which is banned in Islam, Shawki Allam issued a fatwa banning bitcoin “due to its direct responsibility in financial ruin for individuals,” according to Egypt’s Al-Ahram daily.Speculators and investors have flocked to the digital currency in recent months as its price has skyrocketed.Bitcoin’s value rose 25-fold over 2017 to a record high above $19,500 on December 18 before tumbling to just above $12,000 less than a week later.It was sitting at $13,345 in Asia on Tuesday.Noting that the cryptocurrency is unregulated, Allam said the “currency’s risk as well as its high profit potential undermines Egypt’s ability to maintain and stabilize its own currency.”He also said the digital currency could have a “negative effect on its dealers’ legal safety, possibly due to failure to publicly disclose such operations.” He said this could lead to an “ease in money laundering and contrabands trade.”Allam also said a cryptocurrency like bitcoin “impinges on the state’s authority in preserving currency exchange, as well as its necessary supervising measures on domestic and foreign financial activities.”While bitcoin is legal in Egypt, the country’s Financial Regulatory Authority said last month that that cajoling people to use the currency is a “form of deception that falls under legal liability,” according to Al-Ahram.AFP contributed to this report.

India shoots down $500m missile deal with Israel ahead of Netanyahu visit-Delhi also announces purchase of 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems for $70 million-By Judah Ari Gross-TOI-3 January 2018

A $500 million anti-tank missiles deal between India and Israel’s Rafael weapons manufacturer has been officially canceled, ahead of an official visit to New Delhi by by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. At the same time, Delhi said it would buy over 100 surface-to-air missiles.On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems confirmed an Israel Radio report that the company had received official notice from the Indian government that the deal for Spike missiles was nixed last week.“Rafael was disappointed to receive the decision,” the company said in a statement.“It should be stressed that the cancellation was done before the contract was signed, and despite the fact that the company fulfilled all its requirements,” Rafael said.In November, Indian media reported that the cancellation of the deal for Spike missiles was forthcoming.At the time, David Keynan, vice chairman of the Federation of Indo-Israeli Chambers of Commerce, warned that it could have negative repercussions not only on defense contracts between the two countries, but throughout the market.“It is a very noteworthy deal. It will have an impact not only on defense trade, but on all trade,” Keynan said at the time, speaking over the phone from Bangalore, India.The initial deal for the Spike anti-tank guided missile was signed in 2014. While the final agreement had yet to be approved by both parties, Rafael had started preparations for delivering the missile, opening a production facility in India in August with its local partner, the Indian industrial giant Kalyani Group.The factory will not be sold or abandoned, but will be used by company for other projects in India.Hours before the cancelation was confirmed, the Indian Defense Ministry said Tuesday it would buy 131 Barak surface-to-air missiles from Rafael for $70 million.The Barak missiles are to be used for India’s first aircraft carrier, which is under construction.Netanyahu will lead a business delegation to India on a five-day trip starting January 14. Israel has become a major defense supplier to India, selling an average of $1 billion of military equipment each year.“[Rafael] will still take part in the delegation led by the prime minister,” the company said Tuesday.Last April, the two countries signed a military deal worth nearly $2 billion which includes the supply over several years of medium-range surface-to-air missiles, launchers and communications technology.It was unclear whether the deal announced Tuesday was part of that.According to the Indian Express news outlet, the decision to cancel the Spike deal was made this week in order to protect Delhi’s own Defense Research and Development Organization, which is working on creating its own anti-tank guided missile.Indian military sources told the website that DRDO had already produced a few varieties of anti-tank guided missiles and was “confident” that it could produce one on par with the Israeli Spike.The Indian military, which currently uses an inferior anti-tank missile that does not work well at night, reportedly expressed concerns that the decision to scrap the Spike deal would negatively affect its preparedness, and that there was “operational urgency” for the Israeli missile.India, which has longstanding territorial disputes with neighbors China and Pakistan, has signed several big-ticket defense deals since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014.It has been moving away from relying on traditional ally Russia for military hardware, though it said Tuesday it had approved the purchase of 240 bombs from Russia’s JSC Rosonboron Exports for $188 million.In recent years, India has deepened its ties to Israel, diplomatically and militarily.Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Israel this summer, in the first official visit of an Indian premier in Israel.In November, the Indian Air Force and special forces also took part in the Israeli Blue Flag air exercise, in what was seen as a sign of strengthening ties between New Delhi and Jerusalem. In June, a month before Modi’s visit, India helped sponsor the renowned Israeli Defense Expo in Tel Aviv.And in May, three Indian Navy ships docked in Haifa for an official visit, marking 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two counties.AFP contributed to this report.

Among Netanyahu’s reasons for backing Iran protests: aligning with Trump-PM overrules some of his own security advisers, believing demonstrators need to know the Mideast's only democracy supports their struggle, source says-By Raphael Ahren-TOI-3 January 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overruled some of his most senior security advisers in expressing support on Monday for Iranian protesters, The Times of Israel has learned.Netanyahu broke his five-day silence on the wave of anti-government demonstrations both because he wanted to support the Iranian public in its struggle and because he felt it was important he remain fully aligned with the US administration, a well-placed source said.In his first public comment on the matter after Iranians started taking to the streets Thursday in angry protest of the regime, Netanyahu passionately backed the protesters’ “noble quest for freedom.”Before the video was published, the prime minister and his staff held an in-depth discussion on how Israel should best react to the unrest, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.Dismissing concerns by some of his security advisers, who argued that official Israeli support could harm the protesters’ cause, Netanyahu ultimately decided to speak out, according to the source.“I heard today Iran’s President [Hassan] Rouhani’s claim that Israel is behind the protests in Iran. It’s not only false. It’s laughable,” he said in the clip, issued in the evening on his social media accounts and distributed to journalists on several channels.One of the three main reasons for Netanyahu’s decision was his conviction that Rouhani’s accusation should not go undisputed, the source said. Israeli silence could have been interpreted as a tacit acknowledgement of involvement.Furthermore, the prime minister felt that the Iranian people needed to know that the Middle East’s only democracy supports their struggle against the oppressive regime, according to the source.“The Iranian people are smart,” Netanyahu said in the video. “They are sophisticated. They are proud. Today they risk everything for freedom.”Perhaps most importantly, the prime minister felt it was important for Jerusalem to remain in lockstep with Washington on crucial regional issues. In light of upcoming discussions over the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the future of the Iran nuclear deal and the Syrian civil war, Netanyahu has been seeking to align himself with the administration of Donald Trump on these matters, the source said.In sharp contrast to the Obama administration, which hesitated to back Iranian protesters during a previous round of unrest that began in 2009, the current White House has taken a clear anti-regime stance.“The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted. TIME FOR CHANGE!”It was the last of a series of statements made by US officials in support of the protests.In contrast, Netanyahu in his video Monday criticized “many European governments” for remaining silent “as heroic young Iranians are beaten in the streets.”“That’s just not right. And I, for one, will not stay silent,” he said.Some Israeli analysts, however, took issue with the prime minister’s decision to back the Iranian protesters, arguing that the last thing they need right now is the official support of Israel’s leader.“Let’s be clear: Netanyahu’s analysis might be spot on, but this kind of PR gesture is self-serving and doesn’t help the cause of those protesting in Iran,” tweeted Gabriel Mitchell, the US representative of Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies.Earlier on Monday, leading Israeli politicians, including Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid, had declined to comment on the current unrest in Iran, arguing that the Iranian people are best served if Jerusalem remains quiet.“I don’t see advantages in Netanyahu’s reaction. I don’t understand why he did it,” said Yoel Guzansky, a senior researcher at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, where he focuses on Iran and the Arab Gulf states.“I do see disadvantages,” he added. “Why connect Israel with that? The Iranian regime already says, ‘Look, it’s the Israelis who are behind this wave of of protests.’ Why would we give them more ammunition?”A more democratic Iran is in Israel’s interest, Guzansky went on, and Jerusalem should look for quite ways to encourage change in this country. “But official Israel should be quiet.”    Why would you do that? It’s stupid-Guzansky, who used to hold the Iran portfolio at Israel’s National Security Council — a body operating within the Prime Minister’s Office — said that in his current role he closely monitors the Saudi reaction to the unrest in Iran.“It’s silence; not a word; nothing,” he said. “And why would they say anything? It would immediately put the spotlight on them. Why would you do that? It’s stupid.”Netanyahu’s statement was counterproductive, agreed Meir Javedanfar, an Iran native who teaches about his home country at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and the Meir Ezri Center for Persian Gulf studies.“It’s best if Israeli politicians, especially the prime minister, and especially Netanyahu, don’t comment on these issues — because he’s not a very popular figure, even among the Iranian opposition,” Javedanfar said. “In general, if foreign statesmen show support for the people of Iran, the regime may use it to say that the people [calling for change] represent that particular foreign government, be it Israel, the US or England.”Rather, foreign governments should focus on condemning the regime’s abuse of human rights, including considering imposing new sanctions, said Javedanfar, who left Iran in 1987, eight years after the Islamic Revolution. “But to say that they support one group or another in Iran is something the regime can use to its advantage.”On the other hand, Ze’ev Maghen, who chairs the Department of Middle East Studies at Bar-Ilan University, said that Netanyahu had acted in Israel’s strategic interest to bolster the current protests, arguing that Iranian leaders will blame Israel and the West either way.“They accuse the Israelis and the American and the British of being behind this regardless of what the Israelis and the American and the British say or don’t say. They always do it,” he said.Netanyahu thus did the right thing for Israel and for Iran, as the public’s unhappiness with the regime “is some kind of a trend in the direction that might lower the hostility and the tension between Iran and Israel,” Maghen said.All analysts interviewed for this article agreed that Netanyahu’s full-mouthed support for the protesters did not occur in a vacuum, but rather was inspired by Trump’s position on the matter.“Under Obama, Iran had managed to get the support of America and China and Russia, all at the same time,” Maghen said. “Now that there is that change, Netanyahu and Trump are lining up together against Iran and the ayatollahs.”The current demonstrations in Iran are fundamentally different from those of the so-called Green Movement in 2009-10, which were the result of alleged irregularities during presidential elections, Maghen said.“In 2009, the most you heard was ‘Death to the dictator,’ but these were still statements against a particular person. Now we hear for the first time in these demonstrations slogans that seek to undermine the very basis of the Islamic Republic.” Today, protesters “across a wide swath of cities in Iran” are calling for a return to an Iran before the Islamic Revolution, he added.“Netanyahu is picking up on this as well, and saying to himself: There might be a chance here, not to get a reformist candidate in — like Rouhani, who is kind of semi-reformist — but to actually cultivate regime change, which has been the goal of the Americans and the Israelis all along.”

Trump to N. Korea: My nuclear button is ‘much bigger’ than Kim’s-In response to threats of war by Kim Jong-Un, president insists his nuclear capabilities are 'much more powerful'-By AFP and TOI staff-JAN 3,18

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned Kim Jong-Un that he possessed a nuclear button that is “much bigger & more powerful” than that of the North Korean leader.He tweeted: “North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.’ Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018-Trump’s message came after Kim used his annual New Year address to warn he has a “nuclear button” on his table, but sweetened his remarks by expressing an interest in dialogue and taking part in the Pyeongchang Games next month.South Korea responded positively Tuesday, proposing high-level talks with Pyongyang on January 9.But US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed the proposed dialogue between the Koreas as a “band-aid,” warning that Washington would never accept a nuclear-armed Pyongyang.Kim said in his address that North Korea would mass-produce nuclear warheads and missiles, suggesting he would continue to accelerate a rogue weapons program that has stoked international tensions.He reiterated his claims that North Korea had achieved its goal of becoming a nuclear state but insisted its expansion of the weapons program was a defensive measure.Pyongyang dramatically ramped up its efforts to become a nuclear power in 2017, despite a raft of international sanctions and increasingly bellicose rhetoric from the United States.Kim said the North “can cope with any kind of nuclear threats from the US and has a strong nuclear deterrence that is able to prevent the US from playing with fire,” Kim said Monday.“The nuclear button is always on my table. The US must realize this is not blackmail but reality,” he said during the speech. “The entire area of the US mainland is within our nuclear strike range. … The United States can never start a war against me and our country.”Pyongyang sees American military activities in the region — such as the joint drills it holds with the South — as a precursor to invasion.It has rattled the international community by testing increasingly longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) throughout 2017.But any military intervention by the US could escalate rapidly into a catastrophic conflict that would threaten the lives of millions.Mike Mullen, a former chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, said this week that the US is now closer than it has ever been to a nuclear war with North Korea.“I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point,” he said.

Trump steps up rhetorical support for Iran protesters-The US leader throw his weight behind demonstrators, ignoring warnings that his intervention could backfire-By Agencies-TOI-JAN 3,18

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump sought to ramp up pressure on Iran’s “brutal and corrupt” regime amid a sixth day of anti-government protests Tuesday, ignoring warnings that his intervention could backfire.Trump demanded a snap UN Security Council meeting to debate unrest that has killed 21 people — mostly protesters — and fired off ever-harsher condemnations of the Islamic republic’s rulers.“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime,” Trump tweeted, setting the tone for a fresh rhetorical blitz on America’s old enemy in Tehran.His top diplomat at the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki Haley, used her public platform to recite protesters’ slogans and declared that “the people of Iran are crying out for freedom.”The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their “pockets.” The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights.The U.S. is watching!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 2, 2018-From the White House podium, Sarah Sanders also took aim at the regime, accusing it of spending Iran’s “wealth on spreading militancy and terror abroad, rather than ensuring prosperity at home.”“Prices for everyday staples and fuel are rising, while the Revolutionary Guard spend the nation’s wealth on foreign militant groups and enrich themselves in the process.”Residents of Tehran react to days of unrest in Iran that have seen 21 killed and hundreds arrested in the biggest test for the Islamic regime in years— AFP news agency (@AFP) January 2, 2018-Trump — flanked in the White House by a coterie of former generals who spent a career fighting Iranian proxies from Beirut to Baghdad — has taken a hard line against Iran since coming to office.He has abandoned Obama-era diplomatic overtures and embraced allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia who are keen to confront Iran’s growing regional power.Much of Trump’s response has focused on playing up perceived errors by the Obama administration, not least a deal that gave Iran sanctions relief in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.#IranProtests: Hundreds of #Iran demonstrators gather in #Hamedan on Tuesday night and shout slogans: ‘#Khamenei is a murderer, his regime illegitimate’.Read more:— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) January 2, 2018-“All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The US is watching!” Trump tweeted.Trump — who built his broader political fortunes around opposing the previous president — has left the fate of that deal with Congress while he continues to oppose it.Obama’s muted support for 2009 protests in Iran has also appeared to play a role in the Trump administration’s’ more vocal response.He has taken to Twitter multiple times since the protests erupted last week.On Monday, he said it was “time for change” in Iran and that the country’s people were “hungry” for freedom.In response to Trump’s latest Twitter attack, Iranian officials have said online accounts in the United States, Britain and Saudi Arabia are fomenting protests, which Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed on the country’s “enemies.”The White House dismissed suggestions that Trump’s interventions could fuel allegations of foreign hands at work.“I think even Hillary Clinton outlined this when she said that the Obama administration was too restrained of the 2009 protests and said that won’t happen again,” said Sanders.“President Trump is not going to sit by silently like President Obama did. And he certainly supports the Iranian people and wants to make that clear.”Beyond rhetoric, though, it wasn’t clear what the Trump administration could do substantively to empower the protesters, who are railing against corruption, mismanagement and economic woes including higher food prices. His support also sets up a potential test of his presidential leadership if the protests — already deadly — grow more violent.At least 21 people have died and hundreds have been arrested over six days of demonstrations, the largest in Iran since the “Green Movement” that erupted in 2009 following a disputed presidential election. The new outbreak started in Mashhad, Iran’s second-largest city, and has expanded to many others.Iranian authorities have sought to suppress the protests in part by shutting down key social media sites protesters use to communicate, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the messaging app Telegram. On Tuesday, Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein urged Iran’s government to unblock the sites.“They are legitimate avenues for communication,” Goldstein said. He said the US has an “obligation not to stand by.”Iranians seeking to evade the blocks can use virtual private networks, Goldstein said. Known as VPNs, the services create encrypted data “tunnels” between computers and can be used to access overseas websites blocked by the local government.The primary US goal is to ensure enough global attention to deter Iranian authorities from violently cracking down on protesters with impunity, said a senior State Department official involved in Iran policy. The official wasn’t authorized to comment by name and demanded anonymity.For Trump, the protests have served as an unexpected but welcome opportunity to rally the world against Iran, and US officials said the administration was actively encouraging other countries to back the protests. Early US attempts to get European allies to coordinate their messaging with the US ran into obstacles, but several countries including France and Italy have joined in expressing concerns.In the US, Trump’s full-throated support for the protesters has renewed the debate about how best to encourage change in Iran, whose government Trump deems a top national security threat.Under President Barack Obama, the US took a more cautious approach during the last major wave of anti-government protests. It was concerned about enabling Iranian authorities to exploit longstanding suspicions of the US, dating back to American and British support for a 1953 coup toppling Iran’s elected prime minister.Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security adviser, said “too much ownership” of the protests by Trump would likely be counterproductive.“I can’t imagine that the people marching in the streets of Iran are looking to Donald Trump for inspiration or support,” Rhodes said. “I just don’t think it helps things for the White House to make this into a US-versus-the-Iranian-government circumstance.”But former Sen. Joe Lieberman, a staunch Iran critic, said it’s a given Tehran will portray dissent as externally provoked.“That’s a very weak excuse for American inaction and inconsistency with our own interests and values. I’m glad President Trump is not following that advice,” Lieberman said in an interview.It wasn’t immediately clear what effect Trump’s support was having on the protests, although Iran’s state TV reported his tweets and some Iranians shared them online.Trump’s insistence in an October speech on using the term “Arabian Gulf” in place of the Persian Gulf also riled the Iranian public. There also was criticism of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for saying America was working with people in Iran for a “peaceful transition of that government.”

France calls for Iranian restraint as top diplomat cancels trip-In call with Rouhani, Macron notes high number of demonstrators killed-By Agencies-TOI-3 January 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday decided in a call with his Iranian counterpart to postpone the Tehran visit of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to a later date, the Elysee said.Macron expressed his concern over unrest in Iran during a telephone conversation with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and called for “restraint and appeasement,” his office said.Macron brought up “the number of victims from the demonstrations,” and the two leaders also decided to delay Le Drian’s trip — scheduled for Friday — to a later date, the Elysee said.Twenty-one people have died in the Iranian protests.During the call, Rouhani demanded Macron take action against a “terrorist” Iranian opposition group he accused of fomenting recent protests.“We criticize the fact that a terrorist group has a base in France and acts against the Iranian people… and we await action from the French government against this terrorist group,” Rouhani told Macron, according to a report on Iranian state television.He was referring to an exiled Iranian opposition group based in Paris and called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq.Iranian authorities accuse the group, which the regime describes as “hypocrites,” of fueling the unrest rocking the Islamic republic and of links with regional Sunni rival Saudi Arabia.General Rassul Sanairad, a political deputy to the head of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, said Tuesday the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq had been instructed by the Saudi rulers and some European states to “create insecurity” in Iran, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.Earlier on Tuesday, France expressed concern over the “number of victims and arrests” in the protests roiling Iran. The Foreign Ministry said “the right to protest freely is a fundamental right.”It also said human rights will be a top priority in France’s discussions with Iranian authorities in the coming weeks.

US envoy calls for emergency UN session on Iran protests-Nikki Haley says claim by supreme leader that 'enemies' fomenting unrest is 'complete nonsense'-By AFP-TOI-3 January 2018

UNITED NATIONS — The US Ambassador to the United Nations called on the international community to speak out on the unfolding protests in Iran, saying the US would seek emergency UN talks on the situation.“The people of Iran are crying out for freedom,” Nikki Haley said at a news conference. “All freedom-loving people must stand with their cause.”She said the United States would be seeking emergency sessions of the UN Security Council and the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Commission in the coming days.Haley rejected as “complete nonsense” charges by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the five-day-old protests were being fomented by the country’s “enemies.”“The freedoms that are enshrined in the United Nations charter are under attack in Iran. Dozens have already been killed. Hundreds have been arrested,” she said.“If the Iranian dictatorship’s history is any guide, we can expect more outrageous abuses in the days to come,” she said.Tehran said 21 people had died in clashes across the country as thousands of people took to the streets. Police have arrested hundreds of demonstrators.Khamenei had blamed the country’s “enemies” earlier Tuesday for almost six days of deadly unrest that have shaken the conservative country.“The enemies have united and are using all their means, money, weapons, policies and security services to create problems for the Islamic regime,” Khamenei said.A fifth night of unrest Monday to Tuesday saw six protesters killed during an attack on a police station in Qahderijan in the central province of Isfahan, state TV said, bringing the death toll to 21.