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  • 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

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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:58 pm on October 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    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 6:46 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 9:28 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Coalition for a Democratic Syria, , , ,   

    CDS decries the consideration of Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif  for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize 

    iranarabspring

    PRESS RELEASE
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: Natalie Larrison, 501-520-8522natalielarrison@gmail.com
    10/5/17

    CDS decries the consideration of Iranian FM Mohammad Javad Zarif
    for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

    unnamed

    Washington, DC – The Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS) decries the consideration of Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in the international nuclear negotiations.

    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has listed Foreign Minister Zarif and Federica Mogherini on its shortlist of nominees for this year’s Peace Prize for their involvement in negotiating the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was intended to limit Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon.

    While some have lauded the deal as a victory for nonproliferation, the deal has undeniably emboldened Iran to doubled down on its support of the Assad regime in its assault on Syrian civilians. Iran and its militias continue…

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  • Masoud Dalvand 7:34 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    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
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    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 7:07 am on September 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    The NCRI Women’s Committee condemns the assassinations of two Syrian activist women in Istanbul 

    The NCRI Women_s Committee condemns the assassinations of

    The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran condemns the cowardly murder of Orouba Barakat and her daughter, Halla Barakat. The two Syrian activist women were stabbed to death in their apartment in Istanbul.

    The Women’s Committee extends sincere condolences to the Syrian Opposition and particularly to the combatant women of Syria. Many news agencies have attributed the assassinations to the Assad dictatorship.

    Mrs. Orouba Barakat was a veteran figure of the Syrian Opposition who played a serious role in exposing the crimes of Bashar Assad particularly in the regime’s medieval prisons. She had done research on the practice of torture in these prisons. Her daughter, Halla Barakat, was also a Syrian activist and a journalist working with the opposition’s TV, the Orient News. Mrs. Orouba was familiar with the Iranian Resistance and especially respected the PMOI women and their struggle against the religious dictatorship in Iran.

    The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

    September 23, 2017

    Source: The Women’s Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran website

     
  • 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

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:32 pm on August 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    ANALYSIS: Is this the beginning of a new era for Iraq without Iran? 

    The military phase of the fight against ISIS is winding down after the liberation of Mosul, and the battle for the nearby town of Tal Afar is predicted to end soon. This has provided an opportunity for Iraq to begin distancing itself from the influence gained by Iran following the disastrous 2003 war, and returning to its […]

    via ANALYSIS: Is this the beginning of a new era for Iraq without Iran? — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    New sanctions on Iran, now it’s time for a new US policy too 

    Alireza Jafarzadeh Foxnews

    On the second anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, some argue that the agreement succeeded in slowing Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon. However, the restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program are only limited, as is the international inspectors’ access to the country’s illicit facilities.In addition, in areas unrelated to the nuclear agreement,
    the Iranian regime’s behavior has only gotten worse over the past two years. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has escalated its nefarious activities in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, has deliberately sought out close encounters with American warships, and has boasted of new Iranian military equipment.
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     The White House’s efforts to enforce a harder line on Iran policy is well justified and the president’s signing into law of H.R. 3364, which included a title, “Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017” is a step in the right direction.
    In June, the National Council of Resistance of Iran revealed details of the escalation of the Iranian missile program, proving the nuclear threat to be real. The opposition coalition identified more than 40 sites for missile development, manufacturing, and testing, all of which were under the control of the IRGC. What’s more, at least one of those sites was known to be collaborating with the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, known by its Farsi acronym SPND, the institution tasked with weaponization activities related to the Iranian nuclear weapons program. SPND activities have continued since the JDPOA.
    Such revelations clarified what should already be common knowledge: Iran’s nuclear weapons activities have continued. Even worse, myopic focus on the nuclear issues has distracted attention from the Iranian regime’s terrorism sponsorship, regional intervention, and human rights abuses.
    If the IRGC continues to acquire more wealth through its large-scale control of the de-sanctioned Iranian economy, combined with continued lack of access to the nuclear sites of SPND, Iran will undoubtedly deliver a nuclear weapon.
    To its credit, the US. has taken steps toward addressing the underlying problem of the IRGC’s expanding control over Iranian affairs. Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump urged the administration to review designating the IRGC as a terrorist organization. With the new Iran sanctions bill now signed into law, the administration should expand all anti-terror sanctions to the whole of the IRGC, including its affiliate entities and associated financial and economic arms.
    This is a meaningful start to a new Iran policy that is comprehensive in its aims and in its enforcement. Toward that end, the US should work with the UN and EU to evict the IRCG from the combat zones in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. This will help protect the West and its allies, as well as empower the Iranian people, who are seeking regime change and are more than capable of bringing it about on their own.
    Without serious sacrifice, Western powers must do their part. The Iranian regime must be more isolated and financially handicapped by the United States. It must also be subject to pressure not just over its nuclear program but also over a range of current and past crimes, including illicit missile testing, escalating regional and sectarian conflicts in the Middle East, and the 1988 massacre of political prisoners. The United States should subject all major human rights violators of the Iranian regime, including dozens involved in the horrific 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. Many of the perpetrators of this crime currently hold key positions in the Iranian regime.
    These pressures will make a profound difference in the future of Iran, if coupled with reaching out to the people of Iran and their organized opposition. They will succeed in diminishing the power and influence of the IRGC; bolster the Iranian people and the prospect of the emergence of a truly democratic Iranian government.
    Alireza Jafarzadeh, the deputy director of the Washington office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, is credited with exposing Iranian nuclear sites in Natanz and Arak in 2002, triggering International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. He is the author of “The Iran Threat” (Palgrave MacMillan: 2008). His email is Jafarzadeh@ncrius.org , and is on twitter @A_Jafarzadeh.
    Originally published in the   foxnews
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:30 pm on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Sanctions Bill,   

    Trump Signs Iran Sanctions Bill 

    Donald-Trump

    August 2, 2017. President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill imposing sanctions on Iran, after the legislation overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate. The firm financial sanctions were supported by lawmakers in both parties, The bill itself targets Iran and North Korea as well as Russia.
    The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto proof numbers, upping stress on Trump to sign the legislation.
    The measure targets Iran’s ballistic missile program, its support for terrorism and human rights violations, and yet it would still comply with the Iranian nuclear deal. Specifically, it imposes sanctions on any foreign person or foreign entity that does business with an entity already designated by the administration that has a connection to Iran’s ballistic missile program. These sanctions, for example, could apply to any financial institution or any foreign company that provides key parts or components to Iran’s missile program.
    In recent days, The United States and three Western allies Called Iran’s latest launch of a satellite-carrying rocket “a threatening and provocative step” that is “inconsistent” with a U.N. resolution endorsing the 2015 agreement to rein in its nuclear program.
    In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, obtained Wednesday by the media, they complained that Iran’s Simorgh space launch vehicle, if configured as a ballistic missile, would have the range and “payload capacity to carry a nuclear warhead.”
    The U.S., France, Germany and the United Kingdom said this is “inconsistent” with a provision in the 2015 resolution adopted by the Security Council calling on Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”
     
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