Updates from October, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Masoud Dalvand 8:53 pm on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Trump's new policy on Iran   

    Trump’s new policy: Solidarity with Iran’s people 

    An Iranian woman walks past a mural of the Iranian flag in Tehran on October 14, 2017. (AFP)

    US President Donald Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal on Friday and referred the case to Congress. It remains to be seen what measures await Tehran, especially considering the highly intensive quarrel that brought us where we are today.

    What is certain, however, is that this marks a major US policy shift vis-à-vis Iran, having impact across the flashpoint Middle East.

    Ever since the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower back in the 1950s and since the CIA-backed the 1953 coup d’état against the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, Washington’s policies have either directly or indirectly supported the ruling regimes in Iran and against the Iranian people’s better interests.

    Trump, however, has for the second time in less than a month stated his solidarity with the Iranian people. Iran has violated the very spirit of the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and the entire accord is against US national security interests, according to Trump.

    The Arab world reacted positively, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain promptly supporting the US landmark decision.

    This is in line with April’s Riyadh conference where Trump called on the Islamic world to recognize the threat of Iran’s meddling in their countries and take the necessary action. Considering the importance of the Middle East for Iran, rest assured Tehran is receiving these messages loud and clear.

    President Trump speaks about the Iran nuclear deal on October 13, 2017. (Reuters)

    Opposition voice

    The Iranian opposition, National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), known for its credibility after blowing the whistle on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions back in 2002, also welcomed Trump’s strategic policy shift.

    The new US policy condemning flagrant human rights violations in Iran and “to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities,” and opposing “IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people,” are very necessary, according to NCRI President Maryam Rajavi.

    Trump’s acknowledgment that under Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei the regime “oppresses its people, abuses their rights” and “exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad,” is a recognition of the Iranian regime’s illegitimacy, she added.

    The Trump administration has executed a widespread strategic alteration, ending years of appeasement and rapprochement that provided Tehran with unjustified concessions. This includes the 1997 designation of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) at the Iranian regime’s behest. Following a 15-year legal battle the PMOI successfully obtained a US federal court ruling ordering the Obama administration to end its unjust terrorist designation.

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks about the Iran nuclear deal at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, on September 5, 2017. (Reuters)

    Undiplomatic, to say the least

    Iran’s lobbies and appeasement advocates have gone the limits to restrain the Trump administration from adopting fierce measures against Tehran.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s words depicted the devastating blow felt by the regime in its entirety, resorting to completely unorthodox and undiplomatic remarks for a president.

    “Trump’s speech consisted of nothing but vulgar language, allegations and bogus remarks,” Rouhani saidin an unorthodox reply. “Trump apparently doesn’t know the JCPOA is not a bilateral document to act however he wishes,” he added. “…the IRGC is not just a military unit, but the Guards are in the hearts of [the Iranian] people,” he also said in a speech at a government cabinet meeting, ending any notion of being a so-called “moderate” or “reformist.”

    This is further indication of how Tehran desperately needs the JCPOA to remain intact, and how Trump’s remarks of having the authority to unilaterally exit the deal has placed senior Iranian officials on their tiptoes.

    Trump ordered the Treasury Department to designate and fully sanction Iran’s IRGC in its entirety based on Executive Order 13224. (File photo: AP)

    Technical Input

    Trump ordered the Treasury Department to “fully sanction” the IRGC for its support of terrorism. There can be a debate about the exact meaning of this measure. Does this place the IRGC under sanctions? Is this entity now considered a terrorist organization? What is the meaning of “designating” an entity as a terrorist body?

    In the United States there is a law and an executive order covering terrorism. All organizations designated as terrorist organizations are blacklisted as such based on this law and/or executive order.

    The legislation was adopted by Congress back in 1996, based on which the State Department, in coordination with the Treasury Department, were provided the authority to designate foreign organizations as terrorist entities, also known as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).

    In 2001 following the 9/11 attacks, former US president George Bush issued Executive Order 13224, providing the State and Treasury departments the necessary authority to accelerate the process of designating, sanctioning and restricting such bodies as “foreign terrorist organization” or a “global terrorist.” The authority provided in a presidential executive order is equal to that of a congressional legislature.

    On Friday, Trump ordered the Treasury Department to designate and fully sanction Iran’s IRGC in its entirety based on Executive Order 13224. Generally, these blacklists impose financial restrictions on the designated individuals or entities.

    There are slight differences the two State and Treasury blacklists, as the main aspects are very similar, including confiscating all assets of the designated individual or organization, and placing them under the authority of the US judiciary. The State Department’s FTO list also imposes immigration restrictions.

    A handout picture provided by the office of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani shows him delivering a speech during a conference entitled “Implementation of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) a new chapter in Iran’s economy”, on January 19, 2016, in Tehran. (AFP)

    The path forward

    The “Corker-Cardin” bill overseeing the JCPOA for Washington provides Congress 60 days to decide the next step following Trump’s announcement on Friday, indicating the Iran nuclear deal is against U.S. national security interests. Trump has called on Congress to intensify this legislation to include certain additional restrictions.

    Trump in fact emphasized if existing loopholes in the accord are not resolved, as president he enjoys the authority to single handedly revoke the agreement in its entirety.

    This development goes far beyond designating the IRGC and has a more drastic impact than merely decertifying the JCPOA. The Trump administration has announced a completely new policy.

    White House fact sheet released prior to Trump’s speech specifically explains how a certain US policy pursued for 15 years vis-à-vis Iran and the Middle East was wrong, and how this administration has decided to no longer repeat those mistakes.

    The Iran engagement policy was very effective and acted as a significant pillar in safeguarding and maintaining the Iranian regime in power. That is exactly why from the very day Tehran has sensed a major Washington policy change, all of Iran’s lobbies and advocates are going to the limits to prevent this now realized transition.

    Iran had resorted to a variety of threats, even to take military action against US forces in the region, in the case of the IRGC being designated as a terrorist organization.

    Now that the entire IRGC is designated as a terrorist organization, we are seeing voices against this development, and Iranian lobbyists attempting to downgrade this turn of events, claiming it is merely sanctions and far different from a terrorist designation.

    The truth is that a policy that provided crucial support for Tehran through these years is witnessing major changes. This is rendering enormous concerns in Tehran. What needs comprehending is the scope of Trump’s major policy transition.

    As he emphasized, “In this effort we stand in total solidarity with the Iranian regime’s longest suffering victims: Its own people.”

    Source: ANALYSIS: Certified or decertified, Iran faces tough road ahead

    Advertisements
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:18 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Fox interview with Maryam Rajavi on Trump new Iran policy 

    After President Donald Trump announced his new policy on Iran on 13 October 2017, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi welcomed this position and called for a free Iran. Watch part of the Fox report which contains Mrs. Rajavi’s position.
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:58 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,   

    Maryam Rajavi welcomes the US policy against the clerical regime and its crimes against the Iranian people 

    Maryam Rajavi- Blacklist IRGC2

    Designation of IRGC, the main instrument of suppression, export of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as a terrorist entity is a long overdue, necessary step towards establishment of peace
    It is imperative that the National Council of Resistance of Iran be recognized to rectify the past disastrous policy vis-a-vis the people of Iran and Resistance
    Maryam Rajavi, welcomed the new US policy to “condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights” in Iran and “to deny the Iranian regime and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.”
    She said acknowledgment that under the regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the regime “oppresses its people, abuses their rights” and “exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad,” is a recognition of the illegitimacy of the Iranian regime.
    In his remarks the US President called the Iranian people the “longest suffering victims of the regime,” and added, “The IRGC is the Iranian supreme leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia. It has hijacked large portions of Iran’s economy and seized massive religious endowments to fund war and terror abroad. This includes arming the Syrian dictator, supplying proxies and partners with missiles and weapons to attack civilians in the region.”
    Maryam Rajavi said previous U.S. administrations’ policies of turning a blind eye on flagrant human rights violations in Iran, the regime’s deadly meddling in the region and concessions made to it in the course of the JCPOA have been disastrous, and for which the people of Iran and region have paid heavily. The most destructive part of this policy has been the terrorist designation of the legitimate opposition to the regime, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), for 15 years, at the behest of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
    The NCRI President elect added, a firm policy is long overdue. However, the ultimate solution is the overthrow of the regime and establishment of freedom and democracy in Iran by the Iranian people and Resistance. For years, a policy of appeasement has acted as the main impediment to change in Iran. It is time that the international community recognizes the aspirations of the Iranian people and stands with the people of Iran and their legitimate right for regime change.
    Mrs. Rajavi underscored, it is imperative that the National Council of Resistance of Iran be recognized as the sole democratic alternative to the terrorist, religious dictatorship ruling Iran to rectify the past disastrous policy.
    Maryam Rajavi also welcomed the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 and described it as an inevitable, necessary step for regional and global peace and security. The IRGC is the prime means of suppression, execution, and torture in Iran, spreading terrorism throughout the world, war mongering and massacre in the region, the drive for acquiring nuclear weapons, and the increase in the proliferation of ballistic missiles. If the IRGC had been recognized as a terrorist entity earlier and dealt with accordingly, the current situation in the region in general, and Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Afghanistan in particular, would have been totally different. It is time to immediately place under sanction all the individuals, entities, institutions, and companies affiliated with the IRGC and their trade counterparts.
    The IRGC is loathed by the disenchanted Iranian people, who have shown their opposition to it, including its belligerence in other countries, on numerous occasions by rising up against the regime’s supreme leader and chanting, “forget about Syria, think about us.”
    The IRGC and its affiliates control the major portion of the Iranian economy and directly reap the benefits of Iran’s economic relations. Those funds are used for domestic suppression, export of terrorism and fundamentalism and belligerence in the region and the world.
    Maryam Rajavi added: All the signs, including intensification of the regime’s internal crisis, continuous deterioration of the economic situation and expansion of anti-regime protests throughout the country, indicate that the regime has reached its final phase; its hollow bluster regarding the new U.S. policy reflects its extreme anxiety regarding the end of the appeasement era.
    The new US policy should implement a number of practical steps:
    • The dossier of the Iranian regime’s crimes, particularly the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988, must be referred to the UN Security Council, and the regime’s leaders and perpetrators of these crimes must be brought to justice.
    • The clerical regime, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its mercenary militias must be expelled from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Lebanon; and prevented from shipping arms and dispatching forces to these countries.
    • In view of its support for terrorism and continued human rights abuses, the Iranian regime must be denied access to international banking systems.
    • And, the previous UN Security Council resolutions on the clerical regime’s nuclear weapons projects, ban on nuclear enrichment, as well as free and unconditional inspections of military and non-military centers must be implemented.
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:36 am on October 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Iran’s Nuclear Core: Uninspected Military Sites 

    Uninspected Military Sites-NCRI-US

    Iran’s Nuclear Core details how the nuclear weapons program is at the heart, and not in parallel, to the civil nuclear program of Iran. The program is run by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) since the beginning, and the main nuclear sites and nuclear research facilities have been hidden from the eyes of the United Nations nuclear watchdog.

    The manuscript details the function of the civil program as a support and cover structure for the nuclear weapons program, which has over the years, changed names and modified structure, but was neither ceased, nor had its key experts changed.

    The main entities associated with the construction and development of the facilities and equipment are primarily associated with the IRGC, to maintain top secrecy.

    The nuclear weaponizations sites are primarily located in large military installations, equipped with large and extensive underground tunnels and facilities shielding the sites from inspections, as well as having the ability to quickly move things around if and when needed.

    Universities have provided valuable access to research facilities, cover to hide the real objective of the program, as well as means to obtain dual use technology or attacking experts.

    Some of the top nuclear experts who have played a crucial role to advance the program have senior ranks in the IRGC.

    Since the 1980s until now, the program has been operated under the direct control and supervision of the highest commanders of the IRGC.

    The book includes details of the uninspected sites, satellite imagery of the locations, details of the organization tasked with the weaponization of the nuclear program named, Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known by its Farsi acronym SPND, as well as key experts of the program.

    For buying this book go to the below link:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1944942084/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=ncrius-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1944942084&linkId=fac502484c42650824cea7d26fd4924c

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:46 pm on October 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

    Trump should Formally Recognise the Iranian Resistance 

    peterp1

    By Peter Paton

    images (4)Now is the decisive time for President Trump to formally recognise the Iranian Resistance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran  (NCRI), and officially invite their leader Maryam Rajavi and her delegation to the White House.By lending Legitimacy and Creedence to the Iranian Resistance, Trump will be metaphorically speaking plunging a dagger into the lawless Mullah’s hearts on the International scene.

    The US Administration’s new strategy should be focused on Regime Change in Tehran and Official Recognition of the Iranian Opposition (  ) as symbolic of Regime Change force, and the legitimate voice of the oppressed Persian people.The former US President Barack Hussein Obama abandoned and shunned the Iranian people when they last rose up in rebellion against the criminal Mullahs in 2009, to the eternal shame and dismay of the democratic  world, now is the vital time for President Trump to make official…

    View original post 119 more words

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:46 am on October 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Expell IRGC, , , , , , , , ,   

    Terrorist Training Camps in Iran operated by IRGC 

    Terrorist Training Camp in Iran by IRGC

    The book details how Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps trains foreign fighters in 15 various camps in Iran to export terrorism. The IRGC has created a large directorate within its extraterritorial arm, the Quds Force, in order to expand its training of foreign mercenaries as part of the strategy to step up its meddling abroad in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan and elsewhere. This book explains the kind of training is provided in each camp, who the trainers are, where they are dispatched to, as well as satellite imagery of the locations of these camps all over the country.

    For buying the book go to the below link:

    The Video about :

    Terrorist Training Camps in Iran operated by IRGC

    This short, stunning video shows how Iran has been training foreign terrorists in Iran and dispatching them across the globe; and it is doing it to date. Iran has caused the rise of ISIS, and remains the single most active state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. The Annual report on terrorism by the United States Government has referred to Iran as the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism in 2016. The United States says that Iran also employs foreign nationals. But how does Iran recruit? And how does Iran train its pawns to carry out its operations? Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the IRGC, has its own extraterritorial arm, known as the Quds force, which is involved in military and terrorist interference in several countries in the Middle East and around the globe. The IRGC was established to preserve the regime’s dictatorship, which rests on suppression within Iran; the export of terrorism beyond Iran’s borders; and the Iranian program to manufacture a nuclear bomb. The IRGC actively organizes terrorist networks and conducts terrorist operations throughout the world. Sources of Iran’s opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, have discovered ironclad evidence of at least 15 terrorist training camps spread across the nation, including 8 centered around Tehran Terrorist units of the Quds Force are trained in secret units for dispatch to various countries in the Persian Gulf, Asia, Africa, and even Latin America. Forces initially undergo a body-building boot camp for one week. IRGC mercenaries are then sent to theoretical courses, promoting fundamentalism and terrorism. They are subsequently sent to other training centers for practical training. Of the 15 training camps spread across Iran, certain garrisons specialize in specific terrorist training, including urban warfare, guerilla training, driving courses and various vehicle maneuvering instruction. Trainees also undergo courses in wilderness survival and even in advanced missile training. Through the Quds force, the IRGC looks to take advantage of instability wherever it can. After training recruits in both Islamic fundamentalism and in combat techniques, trainees are sent abroad to meddle in foreign conflicts. In Yemen, Iran continues to back the Houthi rebels, increasing instability in the Arabian Peninsula. In Syria, IRGC mercenaries continue to fight the Free Syrian Army, propping up Assad’s murderous regime; while at the same time, allowing ISIS to fester. And in Iraq, the IRGC plants terrorists and bomb makers within the domestic unrest of the nation, which has led to the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers abroad, as well as tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. IRGC is the main source of sectarian violence in Iraq, which has led to the rise of ISIS. The IRGC even devised a terrorist scheme within U.S. borders, when in 2011, IRGC terrorists plotted to blow up a Washington, DC restaurant. The United States needs to view the IRGC as a terrorist enemy and not an ally under any circumstances. It is time for the U.S. Government to subject, not just the IRGC, but all its affiliate entities in Iran who dominate the economy and the financial market as well as all its proxies in the region to terrorism-related sanctions. The IRGC must be expelled from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon as a first step to securing peace and stability in the region.
    Source: NCRI- US 
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:34 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    Zarif Nobel Peace Prize Nominee for Iran Deal while Export of terror abroad continues. 

    Javad Zarif have been mentioned as one of the main nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize because of his role with Federica Mogherini in the Iran Deal,

    We need to remember that his official title during the Iran Deal and still is the Foreign minister of the so called Islamic Republic of Iran, a regime that proudly considers itself as the first “Islamic State” in the world and Zarif is responsible for its foreign affairs including what Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are doing in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Bahrain, Sudan, Kenya, Argentina and… the list goes on.

    When it comes to the Iranian foreign policy, we all know that the IRGC have got a special force called the Quds forces,

    The Quds forces have for a long time been the main foreign policy makers in Iran, in many cases they appoint their staff in the Iranian embassies all over the world.

    According to an U.S. Department of State report about State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview in 2014 “Iran used the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) to implement foreign policy goals, provide cover for intelligence operations, and create instability in the Middle East. The IRGC-QF is the regime’s primary mechanism for cultivating and supporting terrorists abroad.”

    State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview

    The Quds Force is the biggest state sponsored terrorist organization in the world with very close ties to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Bashar Al Assad in Syria, Houthis in Yemen and they are somehow the founder of the sectarian Hashd Al Shabbi in Iraq.

    Qasem Souleimani the head of the Quds forces used to be called the man in shadow in the past but in the recent years or to be more precise since the nuclear negotiations started he have been much more in the media,

    When his first pictures in Iraq and Syria started to appear on social media even Iranian government media outlets were confused whether these pictures have been leaked out by mistake or was really published by the Quds force itself, but soon it became clear that the more the Nuclear negotiations were moving forward the more the Iranian interferences in Syria and Iraq became public and the dead tolls started to rise, so did the number of refugees fleeing the war to take refuge in Europe.

    In a teamwork, while Zarif was playing the public relations role for the Iranian regime and tried to look like the moderate smiling foreign minister, he was benefiting the interferences in Iraq and Syria and playing with it as the strongest card he has got in the foreign policy, especially for the implementation of the Iran Deal.

    It seems like the Nobel Peace Prize committee have forgot that Zarif is the head of the Foreign Policy in Iran and Iran’s Forging Policy is based on export of terror and fundamentalism to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon
    2 2 Replies 18 18 Retweets 18 18 likes
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    The final outcome was that west somehow stopped the Iranian nuclear program for a while but what the Iran gained was to continue interfering in Syria and Iraq and that Obama and many other western countries turned a blind eye on the Iranian interferences in Syria,

    After the Chemical attack in August 2013 Barack Obama concluded that Bashar Al Assad carried out chemical weapons attacks but added that he had “not made a decision” about whether to conduct a military strike in Syria. This is while he had made it clear that a Chemical Attack would be a red line for the United States in Several Occasions.

    Notably Iran and the United States had already opened a secret diplomatic channel and held bilateral talks in Oman on the nuclear issue in March 2013 and Obama knew that a decision about a military strike on Syria will stop the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

    While some European countries are considering the “Iran Deal” as a successful international effort and want to use it as a sample for North Korea they have fully forgot that the same deal forced them to close their eyes by not stopping the Iranian interference in Syria

    Since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution in 2011, an estimated 400,000 Syrians have been killed, according to the United Nations, this is while both Assad and the Iranian Mullahs have proudly announced in many occasions that if it wasn’t for the Iranian interference in Syria, Bashar Al Assad had been overthrown in 2012.

    Mrs. Maryam Rajavi the leader of the Iranian Opposition (NCRI) stated in 2003 that the danger of the Iranian interference in the region is 1000 times more dangerous than the nuclear program.

     

    via Zarif #NobelPeacePrize Nominee for #IranDeal while Export of terror abroad continues. — iranarabspring

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:31 pm on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

    What Iran Needs Are Not Concessions But Sanctions 

    With concerns escalating, North Korea should not lead us to tone down our voice and provide further concessions to Pyongyang and Tehran. We should in fact do the opposite.

    More than two years after the flaws of a deal between the P5+1 and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program have become obvious, a chorus is busy insisting there is no other option. While the rendered pact, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has failed to rein in the Tehran regime, correct measures are available at hand.

    Some argue the JCPOA has successfully slowed Iran’s dangerous drive to obtain nuclear weapons. The Center for a New American Security held a forum titled, “Consequences of a Collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” featuring “a plethora of prominent speakers advocating in favor of preserving the deal, including former senior Obama administration official, Colin Kahl, a chief proponent of the agreement,” according to The Washington Free Beacon.

    We Do Indeed Have Other Viable Options

    The highly controversial Parchin military complex, located southeast of Tehran, was “inspected” by Iran’s own “scientists” to provide samples to the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. That is tantamount to asking a murderer to deliver his DNA, in privacy without any supervision, as evidence to compare with that found at a crime scene where closed-circuit cameras recorded his presence at the time of the crime.

    JCPOA advocates say the deal isn’t perfect, yet also claim measures against Iran are ill-founded and can be counterproductive. This is not the case.

    “The administration could discourage global firms from doing business with Iran by leaving open its final position on the deal, and thus placing at risk their business with America,” as proposed in a recent Foreign Policy piece by James Jeffrey, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Turkey.

    Yes, such measures would disappoint Tehran. Yet knowledge of this regime’s nature suggests such actions will not push Iran to the brink of abandoning the JCPOA ship, as they are benefiting from the present terms.

    And yes, the Iran nuclear deal is a multilateral agreement, as European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reminded. Yet also as a reminder, in case of Iran violating the JCPOA terms, the United States can unilaterally launch the “snapback” process and have UN sanctions re-imposed on Iran. In such a scenario there is no need to garner support from Russia or China, both known for backing Tehran, as Security Council veto authority is irrelevant in this regard.

    Appeasement Is a Failed Approach

    With concerns over this issue escalating, the case of North Korea should not lead us to tone down our voice and provide further concessions to Pyongyang and Tehran. We should in fact do the opposite. This dossier should help us realize that appeasement—the same mentality embraced by the Obama administration in blueprinting the highly flawed JCPOA—has placed us where we are today with North Korea.

    Do we seek to trek down the same path with Iran, a state with dangerous influence across the already flashpoint Middle East? One such horrible example is Iran’s involvement in Syria. JCPOA advocates are also describing a “best-case scenario” of providing more concessions to North Korea to muster a “far-from-perfect” pact, similar to the Iran deal, in exchange for Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear development.

    Déjà vu. Haven’t we already experienced this with the Clinton administration’s “Agreed Framework” of 1994? Kim Jong Un recently tested his state’s sixth and most powerful nuclear device, claiming to be a hydrogen bomb. As another harsh reminder, rapprochement with North Korea led to the notorious 2010 sinking of the South Korean destroyer, the Cheonan. It is quite obvious by now that a Pyongyang submarine torpedoed the warship and left 46 sailors dead.

    Does another South Korea naval ship, or a city for that matter, have to be targeted for us to realize that rogue states such as Iran and North Korea will only consider engagement as a sign of the international community’s weakness and take full advantage of it? Or must a U.S. Navy ship in the Persian Gulf come into the crosshairs of Revolutionary Guards’ fast boats for the West to finally open its eyes?

    Some think Iran lacks the necessary will and understands all too well how such a move would spark drastic international measures against its interests. JCPOA advocates (read Iranian apologists) have also delegitimized any concern about Tehran’s intentions by claiming pact violations, such as breaching limits set on heavy water—the substance needed for plutonium-based nuclear bombs—as mere “bumps in the road.”

    This shows those making such arguments either lack the necessary knowledge of Iran’s belligerent nature in the past four decades, or simply fall into the category of Iran lobbyists. Fierce international sanctions left Iran no choice but to succumb to nuclear talks with knees bleeding. More non-nuclear sanctions are needed to make Tehran understand the international community means business.

    “Peace for our time” was the claim made by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in his September 30, 1938 speech concerning the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler. Seventy million people paid the price of that strategic mistake with their lives. Let us finally learn our lesson of appeasement and put aside such an approach for good.

    via What Iran Needs Are Not Concessions But Sanctions — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:34 pm on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ,   

    Trump prepares to wound Iran deal- and then save it 

    Trump

    As a candidate, President Donald Trump described the agreement as “catastrophic” and “the worst deal ever.” | Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

    The president’s national security team finds a way for Trump to wound ‘the worst deal ever’ without killing it.

    Donald Trump’s national security team has unanimously recommended that he decertify the Iran nuclear deal — but that he stop short of pushing Congress to reimpose sanctions on Tehran that could unravel the agreement.

    Trump’s team plans to work with Congress and European allies to apply new pressure on the Iranian regime, according to a strategy developed in an Iran policy review led by national security adviser H.R. McMaster. But the strategy assumes the nuclear deal will remain intact for now.

    The deliberations ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline to certify Iran’s compliance with the deal, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy agenda, were described by a half-dozen sources inside and outside the administration who have participated in the internal debate.

    As a candidate, Trump described the agreement as “catastrophic” and “the worst deal ever.” But the strategy represents a nuanced approach to one of the most important foreign policy decisions of his early presidency. The goal is to allow the president to demonstrate contempt for the agreement and broadcast a new level of toughness toward the Iranian regime — without triggering the international chaos several of his advisers warn would follow from a total withdrawal from the 2015 deal.

    Administration officials cautioned that the strategy has not yet been finalized, and that it could change before the president makes an official announcement.

    But Secretary of Defense James Mattis hinted at the approach early Tuesday when he told a congressional panel that he believes the deal is in America’s interest and that Trump should “consider staying in.” Appearing alongside him, Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the agreement has “delayed the development of a nuclear capability by Iran.”

    Though their rhetoric was far more positive about the deal itself than Trump’s, it is consistent with a White House strategy of decertifying the agreement without pushing Congress to dissolve it through sanctions — and may preview an administration effort to signal to Congress and U.S. allies that Trump is not withdrawing from the deal.

    Iran has warned that if the U.S. reimposes sanctions, Tehran might restart its nuclear program. Some experts and former Obama officials say that could begin a spiral toward possible military confrontation.

    Congress requires the president to certify Iranian compliance with the deal every 90 days. International inspectors and Trump officials like Dunford say that Iran is meeting its technical obligations. But Trump must also declare whether the agreement remains “vital to the national security interests of the United States,” and he is unlikely to do so.

    Under the law, Congress would then have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose sanctions lifted by the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in return for limits on Iran’s nuclear program.

    Trump is expected to act as early as next week, though White House officials said an exact date has not been set. After he does, administration officials are expected to press Republican lawmakers not to reimpose nuclear sanctions, which would effectively unravel the agreement in the eyes of the Iranian government and many U.S. allies.

    In return, Trump officials, led by McMaster, plan to reassure congressional Republicans — virtually all of whom opposed the deal — with a pressure campaign against Iran.

    That campaign is at the heart of McMaster’s policy review, due Oct. 31, which has been conducted quietly as the debate over the nuclear deal has played out in public. The new policy is expected to target Iranian-backed militias and terrorist groups, including Lebanon-based Hezbollah, and the financial web that facilitates them.

    Of particular focus will be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the administration will designate as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time the military wing of a regime will have earned the label.

    The IRGC is the country’s most powerful security organization but also controls large portions of the Iranian economy. The U.S. designated the IRGC’s elite Quds Force as a terrorist group in 2007, and the IRGC itself has been sanctioned for nuclear proliferation and for human-rights abuses. But the entire IRGC has never been designated a terrorist group.

    Critics of the deal are taking a wait-and-see approach to the new strategy. “Just going after the IRGC, while certainly having a lot of virtues, it’s not a complete strategy. … The IRGC has a very large presence in Syria. What are you going to do about that? You have to see how the pieces all fit together,” said Eric Edelman, who served as undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration.

    Trump has twice certified Iran’s compliance with the terms of the nuclear deal, first in April and then in July. But he bridled in July when advisers presented him with a binary choice of certifying or decertifying.

    During an Oval Office meeting with Tillerson, McMaster and former presidential advisers Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, Trump unleashed a tirade in which he demanded more options and adamantly refused to recertify the deal. Tillerson and McMaster warned him that if he declined to do so, and Congress moved to reimpose sanctions, he would spend the rest of his term embroiled in a bitter debate over the merits of the agreement with allies and foes alike.

    The president ultimately bowed to his advisers, but only after what one senior administration official described as a “knock-down, drag-out fight” that lasted several hours.

    “If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal shortly after the Oval Office meeting. “I think they’ll be noncompliant” by the next deadline, he said.

    McMaster has worked for months to produce what White House officials consider a third option that avoids Trump’s previous frustration. Neither the White House nor the NSC responded to requests for comment.

    “One of the options [presented to the president] is to decertify, continue to waive the statutory sanctions, slap on new non-nuclear sanctions, roll out a new strategy, and then make the case to the Hill that this is not the time to reinstate the nuclear sanctions and there will be a broader strategy to strengthen the deal,” said an Iran policy expert familiar with the administration’s thinking on the issue.

    Mattis, McMaster and other administration officials privately complain that the Obama administration allowed the nuclear deal to distort its wider policy toward Tehran, and have told Trump it is possible to challenge Iran on other fronts without breaking the agreement.

    Inside the administration, the debate pitted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who favored recertification, against others who subscribed to the views expressed by Mattis and McMaster. A smaller camp, including U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, pushed hard for decertification.

    In the end, the recommendation from the president’s national security team, which last met about a month ago to discuss the issue, was unanimous. Though Tillerson continues to favor recertification, according to two administration officials, one said that he disagrees with the president on so many issues that he has learned to “pick and choose his battles.” When it became clear that the rest of the president’s advisers were coalescing around a third option, he opted to sign on.

    The question is how congressional Republicans, particularly foreign policy hawks, will respond to the White House’s pleas. Administration officials have not yet begun making their case to GOP senators, many of whom campaigned against the Iran deal.

    They include Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who, in remarks Tuesday evening to the Council on Foreign Relations, was to push Congress to “begin the work of strengthening it and counteracting Iranian aggression, with the threat of sanctions and military action if necessary,” according to advance excerpts of his remarks.

    Originally published at: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/03/trump-iran-nuclear-deal-243427

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:37 pm on September 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 9/11, , , September11th,   

    Revisiting Iran’s 9/11 connection 

    By Heshmat Alavi Special to Al Arabiya English Monday, 11 September 2017

    16 years have passed since that tragic day, September 11, 2001, when over 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in the “the largest mass casualty terrorist attack in US history.” The course of modern history changed as we know it.For more than 15 of these past years the policy of appeasement has withheld the international community from adopting the will needed to bring all the perpetrators of this hideous crime to justice.

    Iran has a history of fueling foreign crises to avoid responding to its own domestic concerns. 9/11 provided the window of opportunity to derail world attention to other states and buy Tehran crucially needed time.

    Unfortunately, the regime ruling Iran has been the main benefactor of the 9/11 aftermath. As a result of two wars in the Middle East the entire region has been left wide open for Tehran to take advantage of and spread its sinister ideology and sectarianism.

    It is hence necessary to highlight Iran’s role in 9/11 attacks and demand the senior Iranian regime hierarchy involved in blueprinting and implementing this attack to be held accountable before the law.

    Warmongering history

    For the past four decades Iran has been ruled by a clerical regime that is simply incapable of providing the society’s needs and demands. To this end, Tehran has resorted to a policy of exporting the “Islamic Revolution” by meddling in neighboring and distant countries to create havoc.

    History has recorded how Iraq invaded Iranian territories and caused the beginning of the devastating eight-year-long Iran-Iraq War. Several months before Iraq launched its military attack, Ayatollah Khomeini, accused of hijacking Iran’s 1979 revolution, described then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as a “hypocrite” and a “threat for the Iraqi people.”

    Khomeini went as far as calling on the Iraqi people to “place their entire efforts behind destroying this dangerous individual” and the Iraqi army to “flee their forts” and to “rise and destroy this corrupt individual, and appoint another individual in his place. We will support you in this regard.”

    Fast forward more than two decades, and again with Iraq in its crosshairs, Iran began what has been described as a very complicated effort to literally deceive the US intelligence community.

    Ahmad Challabi, dubbed as “The Manipulator” by The New Yorker, was Iran’s front man in feeding the US false information regarding Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction to justify Washington’s 2003 invasion of Iraq. The war ultimately eliminated the main obstacle before Iran’s hidden occupation of Iraq and full blown meddling across the Middle East.

    Looking further west in the region, Iran ordered Bashar Assad in Syria and former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to facilitate the escape of thousands of al-Qaeda prisoners. This development, parallel to the ruthless crackdown of the two countries’ Sunni communities, led to the rise of ISIS.

    This entire episode provided Iran the necessary pretext to justify its presence in Iraq and Syria, especially through tens of thousands of proxy forces.

    Iran’s Revolutionary Guard troops march, during a military parade commemorating the start of the Iraq-Iran war 32 years ago, in front of the mausoleum of the late revolutionary leader Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 21, 2012. (AP)

    The 9/11 facts

    bipartisan commission in Washington investigated the 9/11 attacks reported strong evidenceexists showing Iran “facilitated the transit of al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers.”

    Up to 10 of the 14 hijackers involved in 9/11, and specifically behind obtaining control of the four aircrafts, were allowed passage through Iran from October 2000 to February 2001. Reports indicate Iran has a history of ordering certain instructions to not harass transiting al-Qaeda members.

    Such documents also show Iran’s offspring, the Lebanese Hezbollah, trained alongside al-Qaeda members during the 1990s, leading to the former possibly adopting the latter’s suicide bombing tactics.

    “…al-Qaeda may have collaborated with Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, a key American military barracks in Saudi Arabia. Previously, the attack had been attributed only to Hezbollah, with Iranian support,” according to a TIME report.

    Evidence shows that five years later, “Iran and Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah being involved ‘firsthand’ in the 9/11 terrorist attacks,” an Al Arabiya feature said.

    Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei with Revolutionary Guard commander Mohammad Ali Jafari on May 20, 2015. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, File)

    Facilitation and execution

    In early 2016, Judge George Daniels of New York “condemned Iran for facilitating the execution of the terrorist attacks that hit both New York and Washington.” This lawsuit provided an in-depth look into nearly 300 cases of Iran’s involvement in funding terrorism and collaborating with terror organizations, including al-Qaeda.

    “The trial revealed that bin Laden, current leader of al-Qaeda Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh – assassinated in 2008 – and other Iranian attaches had met in Sudan to establish an alliance supporting terrorism,” the piece adds.

    To those who may argue Shiite Iran would never support a Sunni al-Qaeda, it is hardly unprecedented to find such backing by Tehran for non-Shiite terror groups. Sunni terrorists that share Iran’s goals, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad, alongside those who target US interests, have for long enjoyed Iran’s support.

    As mentioned above, “Iran also played an important role in supporting al-Qaeda in Iraq, the progenitor of ISIS. As Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan noted in their 2015 book ‘ISIS: Insider the Army of Terror,’ AQI head Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was ‘based in Iran and northern Iraq’ for ‘about a year’ after fleeing Afghanistan following the arrival of US-led coalition forces in Operation Enduring Freedom,” according to The Washington Times.

    As cited earlier, Iran also stands accused of having “foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks,” according to a 2011 court filing quoting two Iranian intelligence service defectors. These individuals were “in positions that gave them access to sensitive information regarding Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” the piece continues.

    The court went on to demand damages due to Iran’s “direct support for, and sponsorship of, the most deadly act of terrorism in American history,” according to The New York Times. The suit also contends that in addition to facilitating the 9/11 hijackers training and travel, Iran and Hezbollah played an important role in the escaping of numerous al-Qaeda operatives by providing safe haven inside Iran.

    “… 9/11 depended upon Iranian assistance to Al Qaeda in acquiring clean passports and visas to enter the United States,” the NYT cited Thomas E. Mellon Jr., a former lawyer for the 9/11 victims’ families, saying by quoting ten specialists working on Iran and terrorism.

    “I am convinced that our evidence is absolutely real—that Iran was a participant in the preparations for 9/11,” Mellon said in another interview with The Daily Beast.

    “Iran has not lived up to the spirit of the agreement, and they have to do that,” Trump said. (AFP)

    Lack of will

    Iran would have every interest in facilitating the 9/11 attacks to divert international attention onto its rivals, while providing the opportunity for its forces and proxies to take full advantage of rendering mayhem across the region. A glance of the current status in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon proves this point.

    For too long investigations have failed to shed the necessary light into Iran’s role into the 9/11 attacks. Even the Commission, accused of never properly grappling the question of Iran’s knowledge prior to 9/11, nearly neglected very important facts gathered by the US National Security Agency about Tehran’s deep involvement in this regard.

    The Commission “failed to delve into the files of the National Security Agency, where the Iran intelligence was waiting to be discovered, until the final stages of the commission’s inquiry,” according to Philip Shenon’s The Daily Beast article.

    “… my suspicions are that the Iranians were probably much more involved than we are led to believe,” Middle East political scientist Dr. Joseph A. Kéchichian said to Al Arabiya.

    Staffers formerly working for the 9/11 commission have complained that much of the remaining NSA’s pre-9/11 terrorism database has gone un-reviewed to this very day. This goes as far as suggesting a long slate of 9/11 secrets may have remained hidden for the past 16 years. Do we not owe more to the 9/11 victims and their families?

    There is promise seen in the new US administration as it continues to turn up the heat on Iran. Yet until a lack of will prevents the launching of a new genuine inquiry into Iran’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks, it is up to us writers and journalists to dig deep and expose Tehran’s relations with terror groups across the globe, especially those involved in the horrific acts that changed our world 16 years ago today.

    All this becomes ever so necessary as Tehran covertly pursues its nuclear weapons drive and overtly seeks payload delivery capability through ballistic missiles. We must learn from the mistakes made in regards to North Korea and go the limits to prevent a rogue regime such as Iran from going down the same path.

    Originally published in english.alarabiya

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: