The Pyongyang-Tehran Axis

Iran N. Korea axis

By Richard Goldberg and Mark Dubowitz

Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2018 – Defying precedent and conventional wisdom, President Trump says he’ll meet in May with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Mr. Trump wants a sustainable deal that leads to North Korean denuclearization. The president’s critics scoff, and even his supporters are rightly skeptical. But Mr. Trump has conditions: His policy of maximum sanctions pressure will remain in place, Pyongyang must commit to the goal of denuclearization upfront, and it must refrain from missile or nuclear tests during talks. That may give him some leverage.
But if there’s one thing that would help Mr. Trump to succeed, it’s fixing the fatally flawed nuclear deal with Iran. The Iran-North Korea axis dates back more than 30 years. The two regimes have exchanged nuclear expertise, cooperated widely on missile technologies, and run similar playbooks against Western negotiators. The fear: Tehran is using Pyongyang for work no longer permitted under the 2015 nuclear deal while perfecting North Korean-derived missile delivery systems back home.
Iran and North Korea both began their pursuit by acquiring designs and materials from Pakistan’s infamous A.Q. Khan proliferation network. Reports of more extensive cooperation haven’t been confirmed: Iran reportedly sent its nuclear chief, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, to a North Korean nuclear test in 2013. Last summer North Korea’s second-highest-ranking official reportedly visited Iran for 10 days. In early 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Pyongyang and Tehran could be cooperating to develop a nuclear weapon.
Missile cooperation is extensive. Iran’s Shahab-3 nuclear-capable ballistic missile, whose 800-mile range means it can hit Israel, is based on North Korea’s Nodong missile. The 1,200-mile-range Khorramshahr missile, which Iran showed off last year, was derived from North Korea’s BM-25
For years Iran watched Pyongyang play the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations to advance its nuclear and missile programs. The Kim regime demonstrated how a relatively weak country could persuade the U.S. to yield on major concessions along a patient pathway to nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Islamic Republic followed North Korea’s lead when it negotiated the enrichment of uranium and potential reprocessing of plutonium on its own soil, crossing what for years had been an international red line. In exchange for short-lived restrictions on its nuclear program, missiles and conventional arms, Tehran will soon have industrial-size capabilities to enrich uranium and possibly reprocess plutonium for atomic weapons, nuclear-capable missiles, and hundreds of billions of dollars in sanctions relief.
Mr. Trump appears determined to regain American leverage. On Jan. 12, he declared that he would reinstate the most powerful economic sanctions against Iran by May 12 unless Europe agrees to join the U.S. in fixing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. His demands: Eliminate the deal’s sunset provisions, constrain Iran’s nuclear-capable missile program, and demand intrusive inspections of Iranian military sites. All of these conditions would be tied to a snap-back of powerful U.S. and European Union sanctions if Iran was found in breach.
To date the Europeans have refused to budge, especially on the sunset provisions, perhaps not believing Mr. Trump will leave the deal. They are adamant that nothing must be done to jeopardize the JCPOA, which they see as an important foreign-policy accomplishment—not to mention a lucrative one, with billions of dollars of potential Iranian business for their companies.
If Mr. Trump caves in to European pressure on the sunset provisions, the agreement will grant Iran a legitimate nuclear program with weapons capability within a decade. In that case, the president will be hard-pressed to get North Korea to agree to permanent denuclearization. If he agrees to let Iran keep testing nuclear-capable missiles that threaten Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates or Israel, North Korea will expect the right to test nuclear-capable missiles to hit South Korea, Japan and Guam. If he buckles on an Iranian nuclear breakout time of less than one year or on the development of advanced centrifuges that enable an easier clandestine nuclear sneak out, he will signal to Pyongyang that it, too, can withstand American pressure. Then Pyongyang can resume its march to nuclear-tipped missiles that hold America and its allies hostage.
Former Obama-administration officials warn that if Mr. Trump abandons their Iran nuclear deal, North Korea will view the U.S. as an untrustworthy partner. The opposite is true. The North Korean dictator wants to talk because the Trump administration’s campaign of maximum economic sanctions pressure is working.
But if the president agrees to a fictional fix to the JCPOA, or if he responds to a stalemate by backing down from the threat to reimpose maximum economic sanctions, North Korea will see Mr. Trump as a paper tiger. Conversely, if North Korea sees that Iran is held to tough nuclear and missile standards, backed by the credible threat of crippling sanctions, Mr. Trump will be better positioned to make it clear to Pyongyang that he means business.
The path to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula thus runs through Tehran. If Mr. Trump fixes the fatal flaws of the Iran deal, or even if he scraps it because the Europeans balk, his high-stakes North Korean gamble may yet succeed. Even if it doesn’t, he’ll have stopped Iran from following North Korea’s path to nuclear weapons and the missiles to deliver them.
Mr. Goldberg is a senior adviser and Mr. Dubowitz chief executive at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Source: The Pyongyang-Tehran Axis

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How the Iranian Regime Is Using Its Proxy Groups and How the US Can Tackle Them

The Iranian Regime has a network of foreign proxy groups all across the Middle East, from large formal organizations like Hezbollah to small splinter groups like Asaib Ahl al-Haq. This means that Iranian influence is spreading further than ever before and is doing so in increasingly diverse ways. How can we stop them?

At a Policy Forum at The Washington Institute on February 2, Hanin Ghaddar, the Institute’s Friedman Visiting Fellow and a veteran Lebanese journalist and researcher, spoke about the Iranian Regime’s control of Lebanon via Hezbollah and explained the political balance is a mere illusion in Lebanon because of Iran.

He explained that because of Iran’s power over Hezbollah, the Regime has been able to build a land bridge across the Middle East through Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, which the mullahs will use to transport weapons, troops, and money to its terrorist proxies (including splinter groups) across the region, and expand its power even more.

At that same forum, Phillip Smyth, a Soref Fellow at the Institute and a researcher at the University of Maryland, explained that if the US wished to tackle these Iranian-backed groups, they must recognise that they are all connected.
Even though it may seem as if the groups are divided along religious or ethnic or political grounds, they are all reading from the Regime’s script. They are paid from the same coffers, following the same idealogy, and fightinging the same battles.

Smyth said: “Understanding Iranian ideology will allow Washington to counter it more effectively. Iranian operatives know how to work with individuals and splinter groups, while U.S. policy tends to be more binary in determining allies and adversaries. Going forward, U.S. officials should learn how to better utilize religious networks in the region. They should also take advantage of the fact that Iran overestimates its influence in certain quarters, particularly within the Iraqi army.”

Both speakers agreed that because of the speed that the Iranian Regime was recruiting fighters via their proxy groups, the fighters were no longer as loyal to the cause or as well trained, which was also a way to attack the Iranian Regime.

Ghaddar said: “The United States can take several steps in response… In the short term, supporting anti-Iran and anti-Hezbollah candidates in the May elections could harden the line between the state and Hezbollah. In the longer term, Washington would be wise to draw red lines in Syria and stick to them.”

 

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“U.S. Policy on Iran: What Next After IRGC Terror Designation?”

US Policy on Iran 11/21/2017

Sen. Joe Lieberman and Gen Chuck Wald at “US Policy On Iran: What Next After IRGC Terror Designation?”, moderated by Prof. Sasch Sheeahn from UB.
Click on the follow link for watching all conference:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yoKMMlqLAlKQ?t=24s

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Newt Gingrich on “The New U.S. Policy on Iran: The Way Forward”, NPC

Hon. Newt Gingrich on “The New U.S. Policy on Iran: The Way Forward”, National Press Club, 10/20/2017. The event was organized by Organization of Iranian American Communities-U.S. (OIAC).

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Fox interview with Maryam Rajavi on Trump new Iran policy

After President Donald Trump announced his new policy on Iran on 13 October 2017, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi welcomed this position and called for a free Iran. Watch part of the Fox report which contains Mrs. Rajavi’s position.

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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.

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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 

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