Yemen: A new Mideast flash point?

Saudi army tanks are seen deployed near the Saudi-Yemeni border,
Saudi army tanks are seen deployed near the Saudi-Yemeni border,

By Heshmat Alavi


American Thinker, June 14,  2017
 – With the new U.S. administration blueprinting its Iran policy after escalating developments in Syria and the recent attacks in Tehran, one major battleground between the two arch-rivals is set to be Yemen.  Sitting at the opening of a major waterway through which a significant amount of the world’s seabound oil flows, this country of 27 million has been war-torn and desperately grappling with a famine currently risking the lives of 7 million people.
All the while, Iran and its offspring terror organization, the Lebanese Hezb’allah, are escalating their meddling in a war that has already left more than 10,000 killed and literally leveled the country’s already poor infrastructure.
And while the United Nations has issued pleas for support to boost the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations, signs show that Iran and its Houthi proxies are ignoring these calls.  The larger picture of the Middle East power struggle is casting a long shadow over this entire nation.  It is, however, worth noting that the Saudi-led coalition welcomed a U.N. proposal to hand the port city of Hodeidah, currently the country’s lifeline, to a neutral third party to supervise the urgent flow of humanitarian aid into Yemen.
The Iran-backed Ansar Allah militia group, aka the Houthis, will most likely turn down the proposals.  Such a handover would render the loss of their last remaining port in Yemen, choking the flow of Iran-supplied arms and ammunition.  It is a known fact that Iran’s involvement in Yemen is in line with its broader strategy of encircling the entire Arabian peninsula and upping pressure on its regional arch-rival, Saudi Arabia.
Iran seeks the destabilization of the Gulf States and to ultimately obtain the capability of replacing these governments with rulers loyal to the Islamic Republic’s doctrine.  Iraq is a vivid example of how Iran usurped the opportunity of the 2003 invasion to cast its shadow over this nation, especially during the eight years of former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and eight years of Obama’s Chamberlain-style appeasement.
This is the very philosophy behind establishing and procuring terror cells with the objective of purging government officials and staging attacks targeting the infrastructure of various states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, and the UAE.  Bahrain, particularly, in March busted a terrorist cell linked to Hezb’allah and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
It is a known fact that the IRGC and Hezb’allah are present in Yemen, with their troops and foot soldiers fighting alongside Houthis, parallel to providing much needed training and advice to these forces.
The number of Hezb’allah fighters being captured is on the rise, with such statistics in the first three months of 2017 matching the entire course of 2016.  The death toll of Hezb’allah and IRGC forces also escalated in the first quarter of 2017.
More Iranian equipment across scattered front lines in Yemen is being discovered by advancing Yemeni and Saudi forces.  Further concerning is the fact that Iranian weapons convoys and shipments, consisting of drones and high-tech missiles, have been intercepted on the Yemen-Oman border.
Maritime traffic snaking the Yemeni coast lengthwise has experienced a dangerous rise in attacks staged by the Iranian IRGC and Hezb’allah.  Advisers to these two sources are busily training Houthis how to develop sophisticated drone boats packed with explosives and how to lay mines in Yemen’s Red and Arabian Sea waters.
Recent reports in the media shed light on the Houthis launching their first such attack, targeting an oil tanker in the southern Bab el-Mandeb Strait.  Assailants of unknown identity fired rocket-propelled grenades – a favorite tactic of insurgents – at the 70,362-ton M.T. Muskie, sailing under the Marshall Islands flag, using the strategic waterway heading into the Red Sea entrance, according to Reuters.
Involvement in the attack was denied by the Houthis, despite a history of evidence showing these Iran-supplemented proxies staging attacks on various navy vessels using the narrow water passage.  The Houthis are also known to have direct interest in disturbing the flow of Bab el-Mandeb’s maritime traffic to provide Tehran unprecedented influence over the Red Sea and up north to the Suez Canal .
As tensions continue to escalate in this vital corner of the globe, it becomes imperative for the international community, and especially U.S. allies in the region, to take urgent action against Iran’s meddling, with the aim of curbing its dangerous influence and establishing peace and tranquility in the Middle East.

Heshmat Alavi is a political and rights activist.  His writing focuses on Iran, including human rights violations, social crackdown, the regime’s support for terrorism and meddling in foreign countries, and the controversial nuclear program.  He tweets at @HeshmatAlavi and blogs at IranCommentary.

Source:  Yemen: A new Mideast flash point?

Yemen: A new Mideast flash point?

Iran Commentary

With the new U.S. administration blueprinting its Iran policy after escalating developments in Syria and the recent attacks in Tehran, one major battleground between the two arch-rivals is set to be Yemen.  Sitting at the opening of a major waterway through which a significant amount of the world’s seabound oil flows, this country of 27 million has been war-torn and desperately grappling with a famine currently risking the lives of 7 million people.

All the while, Iran and its offspring terror organization, the Lebanese Hezb’allah, are escalating their meddling in a war that has already left more than 10,000 killed and literally leveled the country’s already poor infrastructure.

And while the United Nations has issued pleas for support to boost the efforts of humanitarian aid organizations, signs show that Iran and its Houthi proxies are ignoring these calls.  The larger picture of the Middle East power struggle is casting a…

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Live Webcast: Meddling of Iran’s regime in the region, Solidarity of Religions against extremism.

An important conference on solidarity of religions against extremism.

Solidarity against extremism Live.JPG

Paris, Saturday June 3, 2017 at 1930 Paris time.  The conference is about meddling of Iran regime in the Middle East and against extremism. “Solidarity of Religions Against Extremism.”, “United against extremism on the Ramadan.”.

Below is the live webcast of this session:

Live Webcast of the Conference

Also this link of broadcast of the conference:

Live Broadcast of the Conference

 

Online Campaign: No to Iranian Meddling in the Region. 3 June 2017

Solidarity against extremism.jpg

I would like to inform  about an important conference that takes place in Paris, Saturday June 3, 2017 at 1930 Paris time.
The conference is about meddling of Iran regime in the Middle East and against extremism.  
Solidarity of Religions Against Extremism. United against extremism on the Ramadan. 
By the time the session, will be the  live webcast of this session.

Five Ways for Trump to Put Tehran on Notice

us-president-elect-donald-trump

The new administration can renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal from a position of strength.

By; Michael Makovsky
The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 3, 2017

As the bipartisan opponents of President Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement prepare to address its many shortcomings, they should beware of unwittingly repeating some of his mistakes.
Instead of relying on more sanctions to dismantle or renegotiate the deal, the most urgent need is restoring U.S. credibility and resolve in opposing Iranian aggression and reshaping the Middle East.
Two fundamental misjudgments led to the disastrous nuclear agreement. First, Mr. Obama eschewed credible military threats and relied on congressionally generated economic sanctions to pressure Iran to negotiate. Second, he focused only on Iran’s nuclear program, ignoring its malignant regional misconduct. Free of pressure and scrutiny, Tehran shaped the agreement’s terms and expanded its aggression and influence.
The current policy debate has ignored these mistakes. Instead, it is focused on using sanctions to enforce and improve the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. This narrow approach is counterproductive. The agreement front-loaded Iran’s economic benefits. But it only mothballed elements of its nuclear program; it did not eradicate it.
The U.S. will need years to rebuild a robust international sanctions regime; Iran requires mere weeks to rebuild its nuclear program. Even if Iran remains within the agreement’s framework, it might respond to sanctions by escalating its regional aggression, exerting its own more immediate and dangerous form of leverage.
A proven necessary ingredient in dealing with Iran is a credible military threat. Two examples: Tehran suspended elements of its nuclear program in 2003-04 following the U.S. overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and it never crossed Israel’s 2012 red line over its nuclear stockpile.
As the Trump administration considers Iran policy, including whether and how to enforce, renegotiate or cancel the nuclear agreement with Tehran, here are five policies it can implement to put Iran on notice and regain the strategic advantage:
First, instruct the Pentagon to update contingency plans for the use of force against Iran, including its nuclear facilities, especially in the event of a significant violation of, or withdrawal from, the nuclear agreement. This will communicate a new robust posture and prepare for what might be necessary.
Second, change the rules of engagement for U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf. Provocative Iranian forces should no longer be tolerated but instead, as Mr. Trump stated in his first debate with Hillary Clinton, “shot out of the water.” The U.S. cannot hesitate to do this when the first such situation arises, as it certainly will. This will demonstrate credible resolve to Iran and other global powers, and it should contribute to improved Iranian behavior regionally as well as toward the agreement.
Third, boost the anti-Iran regional coalition. Instead of alienating traditional regional allies as Mr. Obama has done, we must embrace them and collaborate closely. This includes unapologetically supporting the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi insurgency in Yemen; increasing aid for Jordan; supporting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. It also includes bolstering support for Israel through raising U.S. military aid above the recent agreement, backing it strongly against Iran-supported Hamas and Hezbollah, and mitigating negative consequences of the recent U.N. Security Council resolution that Mr. Obama enabled, including by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
Fourth, announce plans to establish a regional missile-defense system—to include Israel and U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf and Eastern Europe, building on the ample infrastructure already in place. To neutralize Iran’s ballistic missile threat, which the nuclear agreement has effectively legalized, Mr. Trump should order that this antimissile shield shoot down any Iranian missiles, test-fired or otherwise.
Fifth, and more challenging, undercut the Iranian crescent forming from Tehran to Beirut. Iran dominates the capitals of Iraq and Syria, both failed artificial, multiethnic states created from the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The U.S. should double down on the post-World War I focus on self-determination and support new political entities that are emerging. In Iraq, that starts with an independent Kurdish state and stationing a U.S. military base there. In Syria, work toward creating Sunni, Alawite and Kurdish entities that could check each other perhaps as part of a confederation.
Sanctions without military credibility have little meaning. Alone they cannot stop Iran from flouting the nuclear deal or inflaming the region. But sanctions coupled with a focused strategy can change Tehran’s calculus. This could enable an eventual renegotiation of the disastrous agreement, or, should diplomacy fail, better position the U.S. and its allies to prevent a nuclear-weapons-capable Iran by other means. It could also transform the region in America’s favor.
Mr. Makovsky, a Pentagon official in the George W. Bush administration.

Source: Five Ways for Trump to Put Tehran on Notice