Goto

Collaborating Authors

Middle East Government


Saudia Arabia is planning a 100-mile line of car-free smart communities

Engadget

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is promising to build a network of smart cities that won't have any cars or roads. It's called The Line, due to its arrangement of "hyper-connected future communities," and will form part of NEOM, a $500 billion project announced in October 2017. According to the prince, the development will offer "ultra-high-speed transit," autonomous vehicles and an urban layout that ensures basic facilities, such as schools and medical clinics, are never more than a five-minute walk away. "It is expected no journey will be longer than 20 minutes," the project's organizers claimed in a press release today. One million people are supposed to live inside The Line.


Iran general warns US that it's ready to respond to military pressure

FOX News

The president says he will hold Iran responsible if any Americans are killed as the USS Georgia passes through the Strait of Hormuz; Lucas Tomlinson reports. TEHRAN, Iran – The top commander of Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said Friday that his country was fully prepared to respond to any U.S. military pressure as tensions between Tehran and Washington remain high in the waning days of President Donald Trump's administration. Gen. Hossein Salami spoke at a ceremony at Tehran University commemorating the upcoming one-year anniversary of the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani, who headed the expeditionary Quds force, on Jan. 3, 2020. At the time, Iran retaliated by launching a ballistic missile strike on a military base in Iraq that caused brain concussion injuries to about 100 U.S. troops. Washington and Tehran came dangerously close to war as the crisis escalated.


Pentagon Sends More B-52s to Middle East to Deter Iranian Attacks on U.S. Troops

NYT > Middle East

Two American B-52 bombers flew another show-of-force mission in the Persian Gulf on Wednesday, a week after President Trump warned Iran that he would hold it accountable "if one American is killed" in rocket attacks in Iraq that the administration and military officials blamed on Tehran. The warplanes' 36-hour round-trip mission from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota was the third time in six weeks that Air Force bombers had conducted long-range flights about 60 miles off the Iranian coast, moves that military officials said were intended to deter Iran from attacking American troops in the region. The United States periodically conducts such quick demonstration missions to the Middle East and Asia to showcase American air power to allies and adversaries. But tensions have been rising in advance of the Jan. 3 anniversary of the American drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran's elite Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, and the Iraqi leader of an Iranian-backed militia -- deaths that Iranian leaders repeatedly insist they have not yet avenged.


Iran leader says Biden's arrival doesn't guarantee better relations with US

FOX News

Iran's supreme leader and the country's president both warned America on Wednesday that the departure of President Donald Trump does not immediately mean better relations between the two nations. The remarks come as Iran approaches the first anniversary of the U.S. drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, an attack that nearly plunged Washington and Tehran into an open war after months of tensions. In recent weeks, a scientist who founded Iran's military nuclear program two decades ago was gunned down in an attack in a rural area outside of Tehran that The Associated Press accessed for the first time Wednesday. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke in Tehran at the Imam Khomeini Hosseinieh, or congregation hall, where he attended a meeting with Soleimani's family and top military leaders. They all sat some 16 feet away from the 81-year-old Khamenei, who wore a face mask due to the coronavirus pandemic still raging in Iran.


Gun that killed Iran's nuke scientist used 'artificial intelligence,' IRGC says

#artificialintelligence

A satellite-controlled machine gun with "artificial intelligence" was used in last week's assassination of a top nuclear scientist in Iran, the deputy commander of the country's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps told local media Sunday. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, long regarded by Israel and the US as the head of Iran's rogue nuclear weapons program, was driving on a highway outside Iran's capital Tehran with a security detail of 11 Guards on November 27, when the machine gun "zoomed in" on his face and fired 13 rounds, said Rear-admiral Ali Fadavi. The machine gun was mounted on a Nissan pickup and "focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh's face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25 centimeters (10 inches) away, was not shot," the Mehr news agency quoted IRGC chief Fadavi as saying. Get The Times of Israel's Daily Edition by email and never miss our top stories Free Sign Up It was being "controlled online" via a satellite and used an "advanced camera and artificial intelligence" to make the target, he added. Fadavi said that Fakhrizadeh's head of security took four bullets "as he threw himself" on the scientist, and that there were "no terrorists at the scene."


Nuclear scientist killed in Iran by machine gun with 'artificial intelligence'

#artificialintelligence

A satellite-controlled machine gun equipped with "artificial intelligence" was used to assassinate Iran's chief nuclear scientist, according to officials in the country. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who founded Iran's nuclear program in the 2000s, had a security detail of 11 guards while traveling with his wife on Nov. 27 in a car on a highway outside Tehran when an automatic machine gun outfitted with AI and an advanced camera zoomed in on his face and fired 13 times, an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps deputy commander told local media Sunday. "The machine gun was equipped with artificial intelligence to target martyr Fakhrizadeh," Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi said Sunday, according to the Mehr news agency. "The gun was focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh, and his wife was not shot, despite being a few centimeters away." The head of Fakhrizadeh's security detail, meanwhile, was shot four times when he threw himself on the scientist, Fadavi said, adding that no attackers were at the scene.


Top Nuclear Scientist killed by Satellite-controlled Machine Gun With 'Artificial Intelligence': Iran

#artificialintelligence

New Delhi: Iran on Sunday said that a satellite-controlled machine gun with "artificial intelligence" was used to kill its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh near the capital Tehran on November 27. The scientist was driving on a highway with a security detail of 11 Guards, when the machine gun "zoomed in" on his face and fired 13 rounds. Addressing a commemoration ceremony on Sunday for the scientist, Iran's deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Ali Fadavi told local media that the machine gun was mounted on a Nissan pickup and "focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh's face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25 centimetres (10 inches) away, was not shot." He added, "It was being controlled online via a satellite and used an advanced camera and artificial intelligence to make the target. Fadavi also said that Fakhrizadeh's head of security took four bullets "as he threw himself" on the scientist and that there were "no terrorists at the scene".


Killer Robot? Assassination of Iranian Scientist Feeds Conflicting Accounts

NYT > Middle East

Humiliated by the killing of a top nuclear scientist, Iranian officials sought this week to rewrite the attack as an episode of science fiction: Israel had executed him entirely by remote control, spraying bullets from an automated machine gun propped up in a parked Nissan without a single assassin on the scene. Even hard-liners mocked the new spin. "Why don't you just say Tesla built the Nissan? It drove by itself, parked by itself, fired the shots and blew up by itself?" one hard-line social media account said. "Are you, like us, doubting this narrative?" Since the killing of the scientist on Friday, contradictory reports in the official news media about the escape or even existence of a hit team -- along with assertions of prior warnings from the Interior Ministry about the attack -- revealed tensions between competing Iranian intelligence agencies as each sought to dodge blame for an egregious security lapse.


Iran's supreme leader vows revenge over slain scientist

Boston Herald

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's supreme leader on Saturday demanded the "definitive punishment" of those behind the killing of a scientist who led Tehran's disbanded military nuclear program, as the Islamic Republic blamed Israel for a slaying that has raised fears of reignited tensions across the Middle East. After years of being in the shadows, the image of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh suddenly was to be seen everywhere in Iranian media, as his widow spoke on state television and officials publicly demanded revenge on Israel for the scientist's slaying. Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian scientists a decade ago amid earlier tensions over Tehran's nuclear program, has yet to comment on Fakhrizadeh's killing Friday. However, the attack bore the hallmarks of a carefully planned, military-style ambush, the likes of which Israel has been accused of conducting before. The attack has renewed fears of Iran striking back against the U.S., Israel's closest ally in the region, as it did earlier this year when a U.S. drone strike killed a top Iranian general.


Iran scientist linked to military nuclear program killed

Boston Herald

An Iranian scientist named by the West as the leader of the Islamic Republic's disbanded military nuclear program was killed Friday in an ambush on the outskirts of Tehran, authorities said. Iran's foreign minister alleged the killing of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh bore "serious indications" of an Israeli role, but did not elaborate. Israel, long suspected of killing several Iranian nuclear scientists a decade ago, declined to immediately comment. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once told the public to "remember that name" when talking about Fakhrizadeh. The killing risks further raising tensions across the Mideast, nearly a year after Iran and the U.S. stood on the brink of war when an American drone strike killed a top Iranian general in Baghdad.