Iran Most Dangerous Country In The Middle East Says IDF Chief of Staff; Iranian Rabbi Says There Is A Difference Between Judaism and Zionism; Blast Near Tehran Was Gas Storage Tank, Says Iran Defense Ministry; Iran Builds Fake Carrier; New Quds Force Leader May Have Had Narrow Escape; Iran To Execute Man Accused of Passing CIA, Mossad Intelligence

It is the opinion of Aviv Kohavi, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff, that Iran is now the most dangerous country in the Middle East. He bases his opinion not just on Iran’s nuclear program, but on its conventional weapons and support for terrorism in the region. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…Meanwhile, the chief rabbi of Iran’s Jewish community, Yehuda Garami, says that there is no connection between Judaism and Zionism. “People tend to get confused, but there is a big difference between Zionism and Judaism. Judaism is a religion that is 3,300 years old, while Zionism is a national and political movement that is just 100 years old. As a country, the State of Israel has nothing to do with religion in general and Judaism in particular,” he told the Al-Monitor, a Washington-based media site. According to Garami, the conflict between Iran and Israel is not a religious conflict. “The Israeli government doesn’t care about Judaism at all. Everything that they supposedly give to the Orthodox is because of some political deal or other, and not because of their religious approach,” he said. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

A massive blast in the Parchin region near Tehran was an industrial gas tank, says Iran’s defense ministry. The blast occurred at about midnight and several social media users posted video after the blast. Reported by The Guardian. Read more…Satellite images, however, show the blast occurred at a suspected Iranian missile site in the mountainous region. Analysts believe the area hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Esmail Ghaani, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps elite Quds Force, reportedly paid a visit to Abu Kamal, a Syrian town on the border of Iraq. Ghaani took over as leader of the hardline Quds Force following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani. Ghaani reportedly described ISIS fighters as agents of Israel and the United States, a common accusation by Iran. Reported by Reuters. Read more… Sometime afterwards, Israeli warplanes are believed to have conducted an airstrike against nearby Iranian-backed forces in Syria. Six people were reported killed, four of them Syrian nationals. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more… A second raid killed another nine in the Al-Siyal desert. Reported by The Times of Israel. Read more…

Iran has also announced that it will execute a man accused of passing the United States key details of Qassem Soleimani’s movements prior to the U.S. drone strike that killed the Iranian general earlier this year. Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesperson for Iran’s judiciary, said Mahmoud Mousavi-Majd, an Iranian citizen, was a spy for the CIA and Mossad who “gave the whereabouts of martyr Soleimani to our enemies.” Reported by Fox News. Read more…

Iran also appears to have gone into the fake aircraft carrier business. The Islamic republic has built a mock-up off its southern coast that resembles a U.S. Navy Nimitz-class carrier. Iran built a similar mock-up in 2015 and then practiced swarming the fake carrier with speedboats firing machine guns and rockets. Iran later sunk the mock-up with surface-to-sea missiles. The current mockup appears to be about 650 feet long and 160 feet wide. Reported by Fox News. Read more…