Iranian Expansionism Destroying the Middle East

The aggressive expansionism of the Iranian Regime has caused violence and divisions across the Middle East, while their efforts to create regional proxy militias are worsening the situation in three already unstable countries: Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

It is well known that there are numerous Iran-backed Shiite militia groups fighting in Syria for the Assad regime, but some of these groups, like the Hashd Shaabi or Popular Mobilization Forces, are also working in Iraq to hamper peace and stability.

In December, five Christian protesters were shot and injured by members of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia in Bartala, northern Iraq, while protesting as part of a larger group about assaults on Christians by the Shia militia.

Captain Agathon Saleh said: “Many Christians are angry with practices of the Hashd al-Shaabi militia and consider them a continuation of violations committed by the Daesh terrorist group.”

In Yemen, Shiite Houthi militia routinely attacks Yemeni government forces and civilians.

Just last week, the Iran-backed Houthis kidnapped 300 people, mainly the elderly and children, in the town of Adeen. As it came so soon after the death of Houthi commander Abu Abdulrahman Al-Alwi, it is thought that this may have been retaliation.

Yemen’s civil war began in 2014, when the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa and many other cities, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

However, it is in Syria where people have been most affected by Iran’s destabilization campaign as Iran-backed militias attack civilians and moderate opposition groups.

Roughly 18,000 Shiite militiamen are said to fighting in Syria for the Bashar Assad regime, in a civil war that began in 2011 and many of them were recruited by the Iranian Regime or one of its proxies. This includes:

• 10,000 Hezbollah fighters, who Iran deployed there from Lebanon

• 5,000 fighters from Iraq’s Shiite areas, like Baghdad, Najaf, and Basra

• 2,000 fighters from the Afghan Fatimiyun Brigade, who fight in the south of Aleppo, Damascus and Daraa

• 500 fighters from the Pakistani Zaynabiyyun Brigades, who are fighting in the north of Aleppo

On top of this, the Assad regime is using Iran-backed militia groups (or shabiha) to bolster its forces against the Syrian opposition. The 24,000-strong shabiha has been blamed for the killing of many anti-Assad protesters.

The shabiha, believe to be funded by regime supporters including Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf, began to replace soldiers that deserted the Syrian army during the first year of the civil war, and their numbers increased dramatically as the Assad regime started losing power.

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How The World Views Iran’s Role In Syria

By Heshmat Alavi

As protests across Iran experience a variety of ups and downs following a major surge early this year, a wide array of analysts are seen writing about this important country’s domestic and foreign developments.

More recently, concerns for Tehran are also increasing abroad as its international isolation begins to take its toll.

To stand alongside the Iranian people, the international community must raise the cost of Tehran’s belligerence.

In a piece some time ago I discussed How Iran Is Losing Europe, especially taking into consideration the distancing of France from Iran and President Emmanuelle Macron’s improving relations with the United States.

Considering the fact that Iran’s economy is in desperate need of business ties with large French firms, such developments have become increasingly concerning for the Iranian regime’s ruling elite.

President Macron recently threatened military action against the Assad regime in Syria, widely known to be remaining in power thanks to the support of Iran and Russia.

“France will strike” if the Syrian conflict witnesses the use of chemical weapons against civilians, being in violation of international treaties, according to Reuters.

“On chemical weapons, I set a red line and I reaffirm that red line,” Macron added. “If we have proven evidence that chemical weapons proscribed in treaties are used, we will strike the place where they are made.”

Last May Macron emphasized chemical weapons use would represent a “red line” crossing. Updating his position, Macron took advantage of last Friday’s telephone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to weigh in grave concern over signs of chlorine bomb usage against civilians in Syria.

In recent weeks, rescue workers and aid groups in Syria, and the U.S. government, have been accusing Damascus of repeatedly deploying chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against civilians in Ghouta and Idlib.

This highly dangerous chemical substance, which Syria claims to possess legally for purposes such as water purification, can be lethal when used as a weapon and causes suffocation.

The “Syrians for Truth and Justice” organization is reporting how missiles carrying poisonous gasses targeting Ghouta belonged to Iran:

“According to Bellingcat, the munitions used in the February 1 attack are Improvised Rocket Assisted Munitions (IRAMs), based on modified Iranian 107mm rockets. The standard warhead has been replaced with a large pressurized gas cylinder, and tail fins have been added to the rocket.”

Such developments go alongside further troubles brewing for Iran, emanating from strong remarks by other senior U.S. officials and figures.

Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence at a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday:

“Iran remains the most prominent state sponsor of terrorism, providing financial aid, advanced weapons and tactics, and direction to militant and terrorist groups across the Middle East and cultivating a network of operatives across the globe as a contingency to enable potential terrorist attacks.”

In yet another reminder of Iran’s troubles regarding the controversial nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton emphasized in a FOX News TV interview of only three months remaining to U.S. President Donald Trump’s deadline regarding a decision over the accord’s future.

Promises were made Tehran would join the community of civilized nations as a result of this deal. The result, however, has been anything but.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday renewed his government’s call on Iran to withdraw from Syria, accusing Tehran of destabilizing the Middle East through military presence.

“Iran needs to withdraw its military, its militia from Syria, and allow a hope for the peace process to take hold in Geneva,” Tillerson emphasized at a news conference in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

As argued extensively in the past, an interesting insight is now provided into how Washington can impose meaningful pressure on Tehran at a time when protesters are chanting for Iran’s regime to “Let go of Syria, think about us.”

New York Post article reads in part:

“Now is the time for Trump to re-establish a robust military deterrent toward Iranian expansionism in close collaboration with regional allies. His administration declared the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist entity in October, and he should target key Guards’ bases and weapons in Syria accordingly. Such an approach could help prevent a larger-scale conflict.”

Iran understands how more money pumped abroad will flame their already crisis-riddled political status quo back home.

Washington may particularly be focusing on also closing Iran’s “land bridge,” connecting Tehran to Damascus to easily influence the entire region and connect to the Mediterranean.

Iran’s regime is very vulnerable following the recent uprising. Public unrest and the protesters’ demands for fundamental change are Tehran’s Achilles’ heel.

Identifying and supporting the very element that can realize this change is crucial.

 

via How The World Views Iran’s Role In Syria — Iran Commentary

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How the Iranian Regime Is Waging a Proxy War in the Middle East

Slide4

NCRI: The Iranian Regime has been merging its proxy groups across the Middle East with existing local defence forces in various countries, which become a part of that country’s army.

This is evidenced in an April 2017 memo from the Syrian armed forces, which stated that the defense forces would replace the Iranian proxies eventually. This may lead you to believe that Iran is removing itself from the Syrian conflict, but this is simply untrue.

They are removing their proxies to go to other places in the Middle East, but once the ideology has been spread, the local defense groups will become Iranian proxies themselves and can become far more influential if everybody thinks that the Iranian Regime is not involved.

This tactic has been used by the Iranian Regime already in Iraq with the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) and Lebanon with Hezbollah, two groups that are now immensely in their respective countries and its political system. The Iranian Regime has deployed the PMF and Hezbollah to Syria and other areas of conflict and even used them to train terrorists.

The groups are even known to work together, as a video of Qais al-Khazali, the leader of PMF affiliate Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, at the Lebanese-Israeli border in December shows. In the video, Khazali states that he is there with Hezbollah to oppose Israel.

 

This move doesn’t reduce the number of Iranian proxies involved in conflicts across the Middle East, but increases them. There are then more pro-Iran regional militias to help create Iran’s dream of a Shiite Crescent across the Middle East, which would make it easier to create more proxies by supporting more local defense forces.

Through the Shiite Crescent, the Iranian proxies could spread across Europe and eventually across the world if they aren’t stopped.

The Regime’s overall goal in creating more proxies is to export the Iranian Islamic ideology across the region and eventually the world, just as it already has done in Iraq and Lebanon.

Iran regime's millitias

Iran regime’s militias 

Ahmed, a Hezbollah member, said that there are also Hezbollah factions in Syria and Iraq, which share the same ideology and regional goals.

He said: “All of these factions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon will fight side by side with each other in the next war.”

That is a very worrying prospect for anyone concerned about Iranian aggression and expansionism, national sovereignty, peace in the Middle East, and extremist Islamic ideology.

This is another reason that the Iranian Regime should not be allowed to reach its 40th anniversary in 2019

 

 

 

 

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Iran Regime Is a Threat to Us All

Iran threat

Houthis Terrorists supported by the Iranian regime

NCRI – The Iranian Regime was founded on the principal of exporting their revolution- including their widely discredited interpretation of Islam- to the rest of the world. They have never given up on this idea and continue to pursue world domination through the use of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and proxy militias to fight for them.

The Iran- sponsored Houthi militia in Yemen sought to overthrow the internationally recognised government, and replace them with former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Houthis captured the capital of Sana’a, and the Iranian Regime rejoiced at controlling another capital in the Middle East, but faced opposition from a Saudi-coalition, which stepped up the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Bruce Riedel, director of the Intelligence Project at the Brookings Institution, stated: “Iran is gradually increasing its support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen. Rather than eliminating the Iranian presence in the country, the Saudi-led war is giving Tehran the opportunity to become more influential there than ever. The Houthis … will need Tehran’s backing more as the stalemate continues … A war designed to weaken Iran is actually helping it against its regional rival.”

In November, the Houthis attempted to fire a ballistic missile towards Riyadh International Airport in November, which was the first missile to be aimed at such a densely-populated area.

The Iranian-made missile was thankfully destroyed in flight by Saudi forces before it could do any damage, but it is clear that the Iranian Regime at the very least supplied the missile and quite possibly order the attack. It is believed that the missile was disassembled, smuggled into Yemen, and reassembled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its Lebanese-based proxy Hezbollah.

The US considers this attack as evidence that Iran has violated two United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on the Yemen crisis and Iran’s missile program.

The Houthis have since followed this up another attempted missile attack on Riyadh in December, but this was once again thwarted by the Saudis. However, the Iran-backed Houthi warned that these attacks mark a new chapter, because now Saudi palaces, military bases, and oil facilities, are within missile range.

Iran’s use of proxies is widespread in the Middle East. Iran armed Shiite militants in Bahrain as part of an effort to bring the country back under Iran’s control- despite Bahrain gaining independence nine years before the Regime took power- and in November, the militants created an explosion on a major oil pipeline in Bahrain to slow the supply of oil to Saudi Arabia.

With the help of their proxies, Iran does not need to get their hands dirty and have widely escaped the consequences of their actions.

When the US threatened sanctions against Iran for noncompliance with the nuclear deal (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA), IRGC Major General Mohammed Ali Jafari threatened to launch ballistic missiles on any US military base within 1,200 miles (the range of their ballistic missiles). Ironically, Iran’s use of ballistic missiles is one of the things that Donald Trump sees as a violation of the JCPOA.

Following those comments, US Representative Ron DeSantis responded: “Iran’s behaviour… has only seemed to get worse. … The present course is untenable and Iran’s threatening behaviour is likely to increase in frequency.”

In 1983, Iran attacked a US Marines barracks in Lebanon and killed 241 American service members using its terrorist proxy Hezbollah. There is no reason to suspect that they would not do so again.

Iran also threatened France after various French politicians raised concerns about the Iranian missile program, Iranian expansionism, and called for a political dialogue on the subjects.

IRGC Brigadier General Hossein Salami said: “If Europe wants to turn into a threat, we will increase the range of our missiles… we have no limitations for the range of our missiles in technological terms.”

Anthony Chibarirwe wrote on The Trumpet: “These [European leaders were] exercising caution even in their efforts to preserve the JCPOA nuclear deal with Iran. But they aren’t doing so because they trust Iran or because they want it to go nuclear; they are doing so because they distrust and fear this belligerent Iran so much that they choose appeasement rather than confrontation. But their idealist school of thought will not solve the problem.”

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VIDEO: One way to counter Iran’s aggression? Change the map of the Middle East

The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests

The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests

Fox News, Dec. 25, 2017 – Iran’s geopolitical ascent is the most significant and dangerous development in the Middle East this century. But while the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy properly identifies Iran as among the important challenges to U.S. security interests, it doesn’t offer a concrete strategy on how to counter Iran’s growing regional power.

President Trump should follow the example of President Reagan, who pursued an offensive strategy to undermine the Soviet Union that included supporting indigenous anti-communist insurgents around the globe. Today, America should support indigenous forces that oppose – and seek independence from – Iranian domination.
Reversing the strategic threat posed by Iran will require a continued U.S. military presence and military aid to local forces in Syria and Iraq. It will also require greater support for our regional allies, such as Israel and Jordan, which must contain the provocative actions of Iran and its proxies. But this defensive posture will not suffice even to contain Iran, let alone transform its trajectory.
The United States also needs to recognize Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen for what they are: failed, artificial constructs now dominated by Iran. Iran has taken advantage of ISIS’ crumbling caliphate to increasingly consolidate control over these four nations.

 

The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests, and it’s time to upend it.

Maintaining Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in their existing forms is unnatural and serves Iran’s interests. There is nothing sacred about these countries’ borders, which seem to have been drawn by a drunk and blindfolded mapmaker. Indeed, in totally disregarding these borders, ISIS and Iran both have already demonstrated the anachronism and irrelevance of the borders.
Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen are not nation-states as Americans understand them, but rather post-World War I artificial constructs, mostly created out of the ashes of the Ottoman Empire in a colossally failed experiment by international leaders.
With their deep ethno-sectarian fissures, these four countries have either been held together by a strong authoritarian hand or suffered sectarian carnage.
Indeed, the principal vulnerability of Iran’s regional strategy is its dependence on brutal regimes to rule lands riven by ethno-sectarian fissures. The United States should exploit this vulnerability by supporting those forces in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen that oppose Iran’s domination and seek greater self-determination or independence from their own capitals.
The result could be transforming these failed states into loose confederations or new countries with more borders that more naturally conform along sectarian lines.
Any redrawing of political relationships or borders is highly complex, and the United States cannot dictate the outcomes. But we can influence them. We would need to deeply examine each country for its unique qualities and histories, and consult closely our regional allies before deciding upon a policy.
Here are some examples of policy conclusions that the U.S. government might draw:
·         We might cease supplying arms to Iraq and declare our support and strong military aid for an eventual Iraqi Kurdish state, once its warring factions unify and improve governance. We could support a federation for the rest of Iraq.
·         For Syria, we could seek a more ethnically coherent loose confederation or separate states that might balance each other – the Iranian-dominated Alawites along the coast, the Kurds in the northeast, and the Sunni Arabs in the heartland. We could also demonstrate we are not anti-Shia Muslim by improving relations with Azerbaijan, a secular Shia country bordering Iran that seeks a closer relationship with the United States.
An added potential benefit of this approach could be a fomenting of tensions within Iran, which has sizable Kurdish and Azeri populations, thereby weakening the radical regime in Tehran.
Some might argue this approach impractical, destabilizing and offers Iran new opportunities.
Perhaps, but the region’s current trajectory is more dangerous. The burden is on the United States to adapt its policy to the dissolving of borders and responding to Iran’s aggression.
Iran is not a status quo power content to consolidate its winnings; its emboldened radical regime is intended to dominate the region and destroy Israel. An Iranian-Israeli conflict looms ever closer as Iran establishes bases and missile factories in Syria, posing a second front in Israel’s north.
In addition, Americans must concentrate on Iran’s continued development of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles that could eventually reach the U.S. homeland.
Artificial states have been divided or loosened before with some success, such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, which are all post-WWI formations. Bosnia and Herzegovina have also managed as a confederation.
President Trump should take the offensive to Iran. The current political structure of the Middle East serves Iran’s interests, and it’s time to upend it.

#fox-news, #iran, #irgc_out, #middle-east, #nuclear-deal, #nuclear-weapons, #us-policy-on-iran

Mullahs’ Regime in Crises Explosive Situation in Iran & Meddling in other Countries

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Iran Regime’s Khamenei Is Modern Hitler

New Hitler

NCRI Staff

NCRI – No one should use the term ‘modern-day Hitler’ lightly. Hitler was responsible for one of the worst genocides in the 20th century and when most people compare modern politicians to him, they are trivialising that.

However, there is one leader to whom that comparison applies without a shadow of a doubt: Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran.

In a recent New York Times interview, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman not only called the Iranian regime’s top mullah, “the new Hitler of the Middle East” but also warned that, as we saw from former British PM Neville Chamberlain, “appeasement doesn’t work”.

Prince Mohammad noted that the last thing anyone wants is for Iran to repeat the actions of Nazi Germany across the Middle East.

The problem is that the Iranian Regime is already repeating history, as many Iranian dissidents, human rights groups, and families of political prisoners have long reported.

Prince Mohammad comparison of Khamenei to Hitler is not extreme, it’s not shocking, and the most newsworthy thing about it is that some people fail to see the similarities.

• Dictator hell bent on controlling the world even if it means ruining their country in the meantime? Check.

• Oppressing and imprisoning religious and ethnic minorities? In Shiite Iran, minorities such as the Baha’i, Kurds, Christians and Sunnis are routinely oppressed.

• Secret Police to enforce security at home and abroad? This would be the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its paramilitary branch, the Quds Force

• Taking control of other nation states under the pretext of fighting a foreign enemy? For Khamenei, it is the proxy control of Yemen and Syria in order to expel ISIS.

• Taking control of all news media and turning it into propaganda? Since President Rouhani came to power hundreds of journalists have been imprisoned, tortured and even executed.

• Able to gain appeasement from the West through a maligned deal aimed at curbing their ability to wage war? This would be the 2015 Iran nuclear deal

It is now time to confront the mullahs for their destabilizing behaviour, especially now that Iran had threatened to launch ballistic missiles against Europe after receiving criticism from the French President Emmanuel Macron.

Laura Carnahan wrote: “The irony of Iran’s actions to Hitler’s speeches to blaming its enemies for driving Germany into the ground in the aftermath of World War I is striking and serves as a reminder that repeating the mistakes of the 1930s today will only lead down a path of regional conflict and even more suffering for the Iranian people.”

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