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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    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
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    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.”
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:51 am on August 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Retail Giant Amazon Faces Investigation for Possible Sanction Violations 

    The Media Express

    According to a recent quarterly report from Amazon, it is under federal investigation after the web-based retailer admitted to selling products to at least one Iranian on the U.S. government’s blacklist of people allegedly associated with terrorism. This is a violation of the sanctions in place against Iran.

    According to the report to its investors, Amazon indicated that it sold approximately $300 worth of goods to this individual that was blacklisted under Executive Order 13224, which was signed by President George W. Bush in 2001. The aim of this order was to disrupt these blacklisted organizations financially, by limiting their financial support structure.

    The products that were sold during the quarter included books, other media, apparel, home and kitchen, jewelry, office, toys, health and beauty, consumer electronics, lawn and patio, automotive and musical instruments. The individual in question was not identified by Amazon.

    In addition to the $300, the…

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  • Masoud Dalvand 9:40 pm on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Has The Iran Nuclear Deal Changed Anything After Two Years? 

    July 14th marks two years of a controversial nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), brokered between the international community, represented by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States – and Germany, with Iran.

    Where are we now? Has Iran changed for the better? Or has Tehran taken advantage of the Obama administration’s concessions to further advance their domestic crackdown, foreign meddling and nuclear/ballistic missile programs?

    We are now at a crucial juncture. The Trump administration is currently weighing all options, including regime change, in their evaluation of a comprehensive Iran policy. As wars in various countries and appeasement with Iran have all proved disastrous, regime change by supporting the Iranian people and their organized opposition is the best viable option.

    The pro-deal camp described Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “reformist” and decided to neglect the massive wave of executions launched during his first tenure. The Iran nuclear deal gave a green light to Tehran, leading to over 3,000 executions during Rouhani’s first term as president.

    Despite all the naive expectations in Rouhani’s second term, there are reports of increasing executions. This month alone 57 prisoners have been sent to the gallows.

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    The regime in Iran is fearing a repeat of widespread protests mirroring those seen rocking its very pillars back in 2009. In response, Iranian regime security forces are seen raiding homes of a long slate of political and human rights activists in Iran, most specifically those supporting the main opposition group, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

    This YouTube video shows a brave Iranian activists declaring “My Vote is Regime Change” on May 19th when the regime held its elections.

    Rest assured Iran will ramp up its domestic crackdown as rifts in its senior hierarchy continue to deepen. To add insult to Iran’s injury, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mentioned his support for regime change through backing domestic opposition at a June 14th congressional hearing.

    Looking abroad, Iran took advantage of the nuclear deal to first convince Russia to launch its Syria campaign in September 2015 and provide the air support needed to help prop up the Bashar Assad dictatorship. Prolonged death and destruction resulted as Syria is bearing nearly half a million dead and over 12 million internally and externally displaced.

    Iraq has also seen the wrath of Iran’s foreign intervention. Under the pretext of the fight against ISIS and the US-led coalition providing air coverage, Tehran’s proxies are literally changing the social fabric of Iraq’s Sunni provinces.

    ISIS may have been defeated in Iraq, but the battle to establish stability and true Iraqi sovereignty has only just begun. Iran’s influence runs deep in this country despite the US spending $3 trillion of its resources, and thanks to Obama’s premature troop departure handing over Baghdad to Tehran in a silver plate.

    Yemen and Iran’s support for the Houthi proxies is no better story. As Obama focused solely on preserving his legacy-defining nuclear deal with Iran, the mullahs continued to support the Houthis financially, logistically and with crucial arms supplies. The country will not see peace unless a strong will is adopted to end Tehran’s deadly involvement.

    Iran’s mullahs have also been fast advancing their ballistic missile program, all in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. Knowing the Obama administration would fail in taking any punishing actions, Tehran carried out numerous test launches after the Iran nuclear deal signing and continued to do so after Obama left office.

    The Trump administration has slapped three rounds of sanctions against Iran. In one instance Tehran cancelled plans for one missile test launch. The mullahs need these test launches to maintain face and curb many internal issues amongst its already dwindling social base.

    Moreover, Tehran’s ballistic missiles have become a leverage to threaten the Middle East. As North Korea continues its ballistic missile advances, a possible trade between Pyongyang and Tehran could be devastating for future regional stability and possibly even world peace.

    “And it’s clear that the regime’s behavior is only getting worse. Their continued violations of the agreement; their work with North Korea on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles only continues to grow… North Korea is already perilously close to the point where they can miniaturize a nuclear weapon, put it on an intercontinental ballistic missile and hit targets in the United States. And the day after North Korea has that capability, the regime in Tehran will have it as well simply by signing a check,” said John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN at a recent Iranian opposition rally in Paris.

    Reports also indicate Iran is continuing to focus activities with the objective of obtaining nuclear weapons.

    In a recent publication the state of Hamburg in Germany reports “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic polices in 2016” [after the Islamic Republic signed the JCPOA deal with Western powers in 2015, aimed at restricting Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief]. Iran sought missile carrier technology necessary for its rocket program.”

    For the road ahead, the Trump administration should adopt a firm policy of first inflicting the true nature of strict measures implemented in the JCPOA, especially the tough inspections of all facilities and holding Tehran in violation without any reservation.

    GOP Senators have made a call on President Trump to find Iran in non-compliance with the nuclear accord. Tehran has enjoyed far too much time to cheat its way around the deal and Washington should bring an end to this.

    Targeting the core entity responsible for these measures is key. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is involved in domestic crackdown, foreign meddling and the mullahs’ nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. To this end, designating this entity as a foreign terrorist organization is long overdue.

    Finally, the Trump administration should lead the international community to first bring an end to the highly flawed appeasement policy with Iran. This will lead to the world standing alongside the Iranian people and their organized opposition movement, symbolized in the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in bringing about true change in order to establish freedom, democracy and a non-nuclear Iran peacefully coexisting with all its neighboring countries.

     

    via Has The Iran Nuclear Deal Changed Anything After Two Years? — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:29 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Today’s sanctions has to be complimented by blacklisting IRGC 

    Shahin Gobadi, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran comments on the designation of 18 entities and individuals affiliated with the Iranian regime for their role in exporting terrorism and in the drive to proliferate ballistic missiles and underscores that todays’ measure has to be complimented by designating the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist entity.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:44 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Blacklisting of Iran’s Terrorists Long Overdue 

    by Heshmat Alavi

    US President Donald Trump sent a very strong message in his ordering of a volley of cruise missiles targeting an airbase of Bashar Assad’s military in Syria. While there are many parties involved in the Levant mayhem, the main target of this message was the regime in Iran, as it has been Assad’s most crucial ally during the past six years of war.

    Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been stationed in Syria from early on, buttressing Assad’s regime years before Russia began its campaign of supporting the regime in Damascus.

    Parallel to its meddling throughout the Middle East and even beyond, the IRGC has also spearheaded the mullahs’ deadly crackdown of the Iranian people in their endless pursuit of freedom, democracy and due civil liberties.

    The IRGC began its foreign meddling from the very early days of the mullahs’ rule in Iran. Seeds were planted in Lebanon by grouping a variety of Shiite terrorist groups under one leadership, known as the Lebanese Hezbollah. The IRGC was, and is today, behind financing, training, arming and directing all Hezbollah activities.

    In October 1983, a Hezbollah suicide bomber guided a heavy truck into a US Marine barracks in Beirut and staged a massive blast that took the lives of 241 American servicemen. In response, the Reagan administration in 1984 designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. This classification stands ground as we speak.

    The Quds Force, known as the spear of the IRGC’s international efforts, was also blacklisted in 2007 by the Bush White House. The Quds Force played a major role in launching proxy groups in Iraq targeting American and other coalition forces.

    Today, Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani has become a critical figure for the Iranian regime, resembling the face of Iran’s reach abroad. He is known to lead Iran’s efforts in Iraq and Syria, especially, in a campaign aimed at fortifying Tehran’s interests. The Quds Force is specifically fueling sectarian mentalities, pinning Shiites against Sunnis and launching the most horrific massacres amongst peoples who were living in peace alongside each other for centuries.

    Iran’s terrorism reach expanded far beyond the Middle East, including the September 1992 Mykonos restaurant assassination of dissidents in Berlin and the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people.

    Domestically, the IRGC is also the main entity enforcing the mullahs’ crackdown on a restive society, described as a powder keg, demanding true freedoms, civil liberties and to live under an actual democracy.

    July 8th marked the passage of 18 years from the 1999 student uprising in Iran that rocked the very pillars of the mullahs’ rule. Orders were issued to the IRGC paramilitary Bassij thugs to pour into the streets and attack the protesting college students. Many were killed, thousands injured, scores more arrested and tortured in prisons. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, then secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council, personally ordered the crackdown.

    Today, the same oppressive machine is behind a massive execution spree across the country. Rouhani’s first term as president was riddled with over 3,000 executions. 238 executions have been registered in the first six months of 2017. This period has witnessed 12 public executions, including seven women and three individuals arrested as juveniles at the time of their alleged crimes.

    129 of these executions have been based on drug charges and it is worth noting that 5,000 inmates are currently on death row under similar circumstances. These executions are in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

    In the second half of 2017, we will most likely and unfortunately witness a more horrendous wave of executions. The first five days of July already bore witness to 22 executions, two being in public.

    The IRGC’s role in domestic crackdown dates back to the very early days of the mullahs’ foundation. The most horrific episode can be described as the summer 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners. Victims consisted mostly of members and supporters of Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

    To this end it is high time for US, European Union, United Nations and all Middle East and Islamic countries to designate the IRGC based on its true characteristic: a terrorist organization.

    The IRGC is a proven threat to global security and stages ruthless attacks against Iranians inside the country. As a result, the terrorist designation of this entity is long overdue.


    Originally published at http://www.algemeiner.com on July 14, 2017.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:49 am on July 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    ANALYSIS: How to protect Iraq from Iranian influence 

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi in Tehran on June 20 2017. (AFP)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    With the recapturing of Mosul, the rein of ISIS in northern Iraq is coming to an end. This, however, can lead to the reemergence of a far more dangerous threat for the future of this fledgling democracy.

    Iran and its destructive meddling Mesopotamia has devastated this entire nation, leaving at least tens of thousands killed, scores more wounded, injured and displaced.

    Tehran has continuously targeted the Sunni community in Iraq and taken advantage of the war against ISIS to change the very fabric of this minority. Sunni provinces have been the target of this wrath especially after Nouri al-Maliki, described by many as Iran’s puppet in Iraq, reached the premiership in 2006.

    Dark history

    Ever since 2003, with a surge beginning under al-Maliki’s watch, Iran has flooded its western border neighbor with financial, logistical and manpower resources, spearheaded by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

    The track record of Iran-backed proxy groups and death squads in Iraq is nothing short of deadly and atrocious. One group alone, Asai’b Ahl al-Haq, claims to have launched over 6,000 attacks targeting US soldiers from 2006 onward.

    Amnesty International has also filed a disturbing report over Iran-backed militias being supplied US arms by the Iraqi government, only to carry out war crimes targeting the Sunni community.

    War against ISIS

    The defeat of ISIS must not be considered the end of the nightmare. Far from it. General Stephen Townsend, commander of the coalition forces against ISIS, recently emphasized the importance of all Iraqi parties reaching a political consensus in the post-ISIS stage.

    To emphasize his point, Townsend touched on the sensitive topic of Iraqi Sunnis feeling unrepresented in Baghdad.

    Former US defense secretary Ashton Carter, who supervised the anti-ISIS effort from early 2015 to January of this year, underscored “chaos and extremism” will follow if the “political and economic campaigns that must follow” fail to render the results needed for Iraq future’s.

    The hidden occupation

    On a side-note, the internal sectarian drives in Iraq are not be considered the result of an especially bloody history. Iraq’s conglomerate of communities experienced peaceful coexistence for over a millennium.

    As Iran began its hidden occupation from 2003 onward, one campaign pillar focused on instigating sectarian strife with the objective of expanding its influence through Shiite communities in strategic areas across the country. Such policies have been carried out vividly in all Sunni provinces recaptured from ISIS control.

    There is no need to divide Iraq into federalized states, as this would deepen the rifts amongst a nation that needs to begin rebuilding the bridges and bonds destroyed.

    Members of Popular Mobilization hold portraits of Ayatollah Khomeini (C), Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L) and Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during a parade marking the annual al-Quds Day in Baghdad on June 23, 2017. (Reuters)

    Independent figure

    Despite all the flaws in the campaign against ISIS, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has the potential to be pulled out of Iran’s influence and act as an independent figure. This is especially true as he has stood in the face of Iran’s pressures, while there remains far more necessary cleansing of the mullahs’ influence in Iraq.

    Following the historic Riyadh summit earlier this year, it is time for the Trump administration, allied with the Arab World, to take serious action curbing Iran’s influence in Iraq.

    All al-Abadi government officials must prove their allegiance to the Iraqi people and not the Iranian regime. The Iraqi judiciary is also heavily under Tehran’s influence, seen specifically when the country’s supreme court last October blocking al-Abadi’s reform package aiming to “decrease the political space — and platform — for sectarian saboteurs and political spoilers like Maliki,” as explained in The Hill.

    Steps ahead

    Iraq now lays in devastation and the road ahead will be difficult. This country needs the correct support from its well-meaning neighbors – not the regime in Iran – and the international community to once again stand on its own and play its expected part in today’s world.

    This is a breakdown of the utmost necessary measures:

    1) Stanching Iran’s influence, especially at senior levels in Baghdad and the security apparatus, and supporting al-Abadi distance from Iran
    2) Confront Iran’s meddling by preventing al-Maliki from regaining the premier seat, and dismantling the Popular Mobilization Units and all death squads, parallel to blacklisting Iran’s IRGC
    3) Supporting the Sunni community in all Iraqi hierarchy and security forces, and establishing an equal method of governance across the country.

    In a recent speech, Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi highlighted how Iran has for 38 years been at war with Iraq and other nations in the region and beyond.

    She underscored, “…the ultimate solution to the crisis in the region and to confronting groups like ISIS lies in the overthrow of the Iranian regime by the Iranian people and it’s Resistance.” That seems to be the only way to protect Iraq from Iran.

    Source: ANALYSIS: How to protect Iraq from Iranian influence

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:29 pm on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran using US victories over ISIS to control Middle East 

    2

    by Russ Read
    Iran is using the ongoing to offensive against the Islamic State to establish one its top priorities — control over the Middle East from its own borders to the Mediterranean Sea. U.S.-backed forces participating in Operation Inherent Resolve have steadily increased their victories over the Islamic State in the past year, giving Iran an opportunity to create what is known as a “land bridge” to its allies in Syria and Lebanon.
    As U.S. victories increase, so too does Iranian influence.“Advances by Iranian allies and proxies appear intended to help Iran establish a secure land corridor extending from Iran to Lebanon, enabling Iran to better supply its main regional ally, Lebanese Hezbollah, which supports pro-Iranian forces in Syria,” said the Soufan Group, a strategic security intelligence firm, in a brief published Wednesday.
    This land bridge serves a dual purpose: first, it allows Iran to provide Hezbollah with weapons and supplies without risking detection by Israel. Second, it expands Iran’s political influence across the Middle East.
    The invasion of Iraq in 2003 opened up a major opportunity for Iran. Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was a sworn Iranian enemy, and with him out of the way, the Islamic Republic could attempt to sow influence over Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslim population. The rise of ISIS was even more favorable to the Iranian cause. Iraq’s decision to incorporate the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) into the Iraqi Security Forces in response to the ISIS juggernaut entrenched Iranian influence in the armed forces.
    Indeed, the Iraqi commander of the PMUs has praised Iran’s role in supporting his forces. Iran has been happy to portray itself as a liberator.
    “We thank (Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah) Seyed Ali Khamenei and (Secretary General of Hezbollah) Sayed Hassan Nasrallah for supporting us in the fight against Daesh,” said Popular Mobilization Committee head Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis on Monday, as reported by Iranian government affiliated Tasnim News.
    The U.S. considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization, and Muhandis was convicted for helping plan the bombings of the U.S. and French embassies in Kuwait in 1983.
    Iran wasted no time sending Qassem Soleimani, the notorious leader of its Quds Force, to Iraq to aid in retaking the country from ISIS. Soleimani has not shied away from Iran’s gains since — in fact, he has publicly acknowledged that Iran’s support for proxy groups from the Palestinian territories to Iraq has increased its regional influence.
    Like ISIS, Iran’s proxies intentional provoking sectarian conflict in order to seize power. As the Soufan Group noted, Iranian and Hezbollah-supported militias in Syria have intentionally pushed against ISIS in Sunni Muslim areas, driving out inhabitants. The PMUs in Iraq have also been a cause for concern. Sunni politicians in Iraq are apprehensive that the PMUs could ignite sectarian conflict in the early days after the end of an operation to retake Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city which has a Sunni majority.
    PMU members had previously been accused of serious human rights abuses in other captured areas across Iraq. As a result, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi claimed the PMUs would not be allowed to enter Mosul. However, PMU leaders pushed to be included in its liberation. Undeterred, their forces have a major presence around the city’s surrounding outskirts.
    The liberation of Mosul on Saturday presents a potential flash point as the common fight against ISIS could be replaced with sectarian conflict. Arab countries across the region have already voiced their concern over Iran’s meddling in the Middle East, and the remnants of Iraq could only exacerbate that problem at a regional level. With a limited footprint in the region, the U.S. ability to prevent such a situation is extremely limited
    originally published in dailycaller
     
  • Masoud Dalvand 5:31 pm on June 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    How Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Financial Empire Funds Terrorism 

    This short video shows how the Supreme Leader Ali Khamene’i empowered the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) to build a financial empire and dominate much of the Iranian economy and financial system and where the money ends up in funding international terrorism in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere and how the money is used to fuel the Syria war. The video explains that it is time to designate the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). This 3 minute video clip is made based on the newly published book, “The Rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Financial Empire: How the Supreme Leader and the IRGC Rob the People to Fund International Terror.”

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 4:44 pm on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions 

    The regime in Tehran continues to be in a state of shock after the passage of unprecedented United States Senate sanctions on Thursday targeting Iran’s ballistic missile program, support for terrorism in the Middle East and flagrant human rights violations.

    Many of the new measures imposed on Iran are far more complex than any sanctions even prior to the Iran nuclear deal. There is no need for the Trump administration to tear up the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as these new sanctions provide the US President vast authority for further punitive action. This new initiative also contains a classified amendment believed to describe Iran as an extremely dangerous state.

    The threats

    Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir highlighted the importance of this threat after a recent meeting with his British counterpart in London.

    “If Iran seeks respect it must bring an end to supporting terrorism, bombing embassies and spreading sectarianism… Iran also supports terrorism, meddles in others’ affairs, fuels sectarianism, and dispatches the Revolutionary Guards in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” he said.

    Further signs of the mullahs’ devious intentions are seen as Iran is reported to provide cruise missiles to Yemen’s Houthis and resulting in a grave threat to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb waterway, according to the US.

    As Iran also continues its destructive support for Shiite groups in Iraq, Vice President Ayad Allawi voiced concerns over Tehran of fomenting sectarian rifts across the country prior to next year’s parliamentary election.

    And Iran will also continue its efforts in Syria, as many parties are seeking land grabs to ensure their interests in the post-ISIS era. Knowing this, Tehran is seeking leverages in the region to have negotiating ammunition, especially considering the sweeping actions exerted through the new US Senate resolution.

    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)

    ‘JCPOA 2, 3 and 4’

    Section 5 of this bill enforces sanctions on the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC). Any individual providing services to an entity identified in this executive order will result in that individual being placed in the US sanctions list. There is no longer any temporary measures and the individual or entity will be permanently sanctioned.

    All government and non-government branches having any cooperation with the IRGC bear the potential of being blacklisted. Prior to the JCPOA around 600 individuals and entities were blacklisted and the JCPOA delisted around 400. However, with the approval and implementation of this new bill we can forecast a few thousand individuals and entities being blacklisted as a result.

    One sign of Iran’s shock is seen in the fact that the regime’s parliament has postponed its response to the Senate bill after a two-week recess. This is no ordinary sanctions bill against Iran and can be considered a mother initiative paving the path for far reaching sanctions against Tehran that bear no need for legal legislation, as they will become operational through executive orders.

    In the regime’s circles these new sanctions have been described as the end of the JCPOA and the beginning of enormous challenges. Demands by the international community will be increasing and there may be even calls for measures dubbed in Iran as “JCPOA 2, 3 and 4,” covering Iran’s ballistic missile program, meddling and support of terrorism in the region, and their human rights violations dossier.

    Iranian state media outlets have gone as far as describing the new sanctions as “black holes” and the “mother of all sanctions.” The future of Iran’s ballistic missiles are currently considered very dark as these sanctions target all IRGC activities.

    New revelations

    The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) US Office released a statementannouncing their upcoming Tuesday press conference “to reveal information on key centers for production, testing and launching ballistic missiles by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC)” and “details (including satellite imagery) on four of the most important missile centers, including one closely linked to Tehran’s nuclear program. In addition, a dozen of hitherto-unknown centers involved in various aspects of production, testing and launching of ballistic missiles will be made public. Information on the role of North Korean experts involved in the construction of these centers will also be discussed.”

    These new sanctions have the IRGC in its crosshairs and seek an end to Iran’s support for the Guards’ regional action and ballistic missiles program. However, the comprehensive nature of this new bill will slowly but surely expand to all organs of the regime in Iran.

    This can be considered the unofficial end of the JCPOA, without the US ever needing to officially tear the accord apart. All previous sanctions are returning, with additions, and yet there is no violation of the Iran nuclear deal whatsoever. The main question here is how will Tehran react?

    The sanctions are returning for one reason and one reason only. The US has come to realize the regime in Iran is in no position to provide any response whatsoever to the new sanctions. To this end, the time has come to in fact levy far more pressure and sanction all branches of the Iranian regime.

    The road ahead

    In the mullahs’ dictionary such setbacks are described as “drinking from the chalice of poison” and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, along with all senior Iranian officials, very well know they must prepare their entire apparatus, ranks and files, for such chalices in the not so distant future.

    These sanctions couldn’t have come at a worse time for Tehran considering the fact that the NCRI is currently preparing for its annual convention scheduled for July 1st in Paris. As Saudi statesman and diplomat Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud stood alongside over 100,000 Iranians from all over the globe in last year’s event, this year’s rally will be joined by hundreds of prominent political dignitaries from the US, Europe and the Middle East.

    This will send a strong message to the international community] that Iran enjoys a major alternative seen in a powerfully organized opposition led by NCRI President Maryam Rajavi and her 10-point-plan envisioning a bright future for a free, liberal and tolerant Iran of tomorrow.

    via  ANALYSIS: Iran’s future after new US sanctions — Iran Commentary

     
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