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  • Masoud Dalvand 8:43 am on August 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy,   

    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 8:39 am on August 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Senate Delegation   

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi Meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital 

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    Senior U.S. Senate Delegation, Maryam Rajavi meet in Tirana, the Albanian Capital

    Senators also met MEK members relocated from Iraq

     

    On Saturday, August 12, 2017, a senior delegation from the United States Senate meet with Maryam Rajavi, in the Albanian capital, Tirana, and discussed the situation of the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Albania, the latest developments in Iran and the Middle East as well as solutions to end to current crisis in that region.

    Four US senators meet with Maryam Rajavi in Tirana, Albania

    The Senate delegation was comprised of Senators Roy Blunt, Vice President of the Republican Conference, and member of the Appropriation, Select Intelligence, Rules and Administration, and Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committees; John Cornyn, the Majority Whip, and a member of the Judiciary, Select Intelligence, and Finance committees; and Thom Tillis, a member of the Armed Services, Judiciary, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and Veterans’ Affairs committees.

    The meeting, at one of the centers of the MEK in Albania, was initiated by Senator Roy Blunt, as the delegation was on a visit to Albania.

    Led by Senator Blunt, the delegation congratulated the safe and secure relocation of all Camp Liberty residents outside of Iraq and wished them success in their struggle for democracy and human rights in Iran. Having undertaken extensive efforts to ensure the security of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their transfer outside that country in previous years, Senator Blunt described the relocation as a major victory for the Iranian people and Resistance and lauded the efforts of Maryam Rajavi and the Iranian Resistance for the success of this major mission.

    Maryam Rajavi thanked the Senators for their decisive position vis-à-vis the Iranian regime, especially the adoption of a new resolution which imposed sanctions on the clerical regime and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for human rights abuses, the ballistic missile program, and the export of terrorism. She expressed gratitude for the efforts of the U.S. Senate, particularly Senator Blunt, regarding the protection of thousands of MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq, and their safe relocation to Albania.

    US-senators-meet-with-Maryam-Rajavi-in-Tirana-Albania 3

    Maryam Rajavi emphasized that contrary to the propaganda by the Iranian regime’s apologists, the ruling theocracy was rotten to the core and very fragile. Without foreign support, especially the policy of appeasement pursued in the U.S. and Europe, it would not have survived so long. She added that regime change in Iran is necessary and within reach because a viable and democratic alternative exists. Maryam Rajavi said equating regime change by the Iranian people for democracy with war and instability in the region is a sheer lie, the source of which is the Iranian regime’s lobby in western capitals. They demagogically turn the truth on its head, she noted, adding that the overthrow of the Tehran regime was a prerequisite to ending crisis and war in the Middle East.

    Maryam Rajavi underscored the need for imposing comprehensive sanctions on the Iranian regime’s banking and oil sector, expelling the IRGC and its affiliated militias from Syria, Iraq, and other regional countries, taking urgent steps to punish the regime for widespread political executions, especially the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, setting up a commission of inquiry to investigate this major crime against humanity with the aim of bringing to justice the perpetrators, and recognizing the aspirations of the Iranian people and Resistance to overthrow the ruling religious tyranny and to establish freedom and democracy, and a republic based on the separation of religion and state, gender equality, and a non-nuclear Iran.

    The Senate delegation also met with a number of MEK members as well as witnesses to, and victims of, the Iranian regime’s atrocities in Iran and camps Ashraf and Liberty.

    Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
    August 12, 2017

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  • Masoud Dalvand 4:16 pm on August 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy? 

    A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran's Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Ira

    (FILES) A picture dated September 21, 2012, shows a Raad air defense system carrying Taer missiles being displayed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, during an annual military parade which marks Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran. Iranian forces have carried out what they called cyber warfare tactics for the first time as the Islamic republic’s naval units staged manoeuvres in the key Strait of Hormuz, media reports said on December 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

    By Heshmat Alavi

    Following the recertification of Iran’s compliance with a nuclear deal aimed at curbing its controversial nuclear program, there is quite a stir over the Trump administration possibly adopting a regime change policy in the face of Tehran’s belligerence.

    There are those who favor such a trajectory, while Iran lobbyists and apologists have promptly argued otherwise, saying war should not be an option and citing ongoing campaigns in countries across the region to back their opinions.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s strong position of supporting regime change in a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent shockwaves in Tehran and beyond.

    “Our policy towards Iran is to push back on (its regional) hegemony, contain their ability to develop, obviously, nuclear weapons and to work towards support of those elements inside of Iran that would lead to a peaceful transition of that government,” he said.

     Secretary of Defense James Mattis, known for his “Iran, Iran, Iran” description of the source of Middle East dilemmas, followed suit.

    “Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of. It’s going to be very, very difficult,” Mattis said in a special interview.

    It is broadly assumed that the diplomatic pressure and sanctions initiative embarked upon by the White House and Congress are aimed at serving a regime change objective in Iran. The next necessary step would be to make this policy crystal clear to Tehran and all relevant parties

    Such strong statements made by Tillerson and Mattis dig deep into the Iran dossier and realize one stark, and very positive, difference between Iran and its neighbors. In contrast to others, the Iran regime change enterprise enjoys a long-term plan presented by a grass-rooted opposition movement, symbolized in the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    Unfortunately, the campaigns launched in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and even Syria, after former US president Barack Obama said the dictator Bashar Assad must go, all lacked this very necessary element, and the world remains witness in horror of the drastic consequences. Millions left killed and injured, scores more displaced, trillions of dollars literally wasted and entire cities and countries leveled. And the only benefactor has been the mullahs’ regime…, being an entirely different topic of discussion.

    Tehran lobbyists stationed in Washington are heard saying Iran also lacks any such organized opposition capable of delivering anything different from what we have witnessed in other countries. For years they have been inaccurately mischaracterizing the NCRI as lacking adequate organization, support and resources.

    To spare time, one needs only refer to this coalition’s recent July 1stconvention in Paris, held annually, for a glimpse of its social base and international backing. Over 100,000 members of the Iranian Diaspora, joined by hundreds of international dignitaries from all walks of life representing a conglomerate of political trends, shows how the NCRI, and its President Maryam Rajavi, have garnered growing support both inside Iran and abroad to bring about regime change and establish freedom and democracy in their homeland.

    Advocates of the appeasement approach vis-à-vis Iran will further continue quarreling over how the West must continue its effort of seeking internal Iranian elements of moderation.

    Ever since the 1980s a slate of senior Iranian regime officials, including former prime minister Mir Hossein Mousavi, former presidents Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami, and now Hassan Rouhanihave been naively dubbed as “moderates” or “reformists.”

    What deserves comprehension after 35 years of deception is the fact that Iran’s “moderate/reformist” pretext has long surpassed its expiration date. While the Iranian people are yearning for change, there is no such appetite, capacity or potential in Tehran’s ruling mullahs’ apparatus.

    • Mousavi supported the regime’s unnecessary continuation of the war against Iraq, devastating the lives of millions,
    • Rafsanjani supervised a domestic cleansing of dissident voices, and a string of assassinations and terrorist plots abroad,
    • Khatami presided over the 1999 student uprising crackdown and advanced Tehran’s clandestine nuclear weapons drive,
    • and Rouhani’s first term as president rendered the execution of over 3,000 individuals, and the trend continues as we speak with over 100 executions in July alone. Rouhani has also blessed a dangerous spike in ballistic missile advancements by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

    As a result, any form of moderation or reform is nothing but a hoax misused by Tehran to continue misleading and deceiving the international community, while threatening the rise of hardliners if the likes of Rouhani are deserted.

    Returning to the decidedly significant statements made by Tillerson and Mattis, it is high time such game-changing rhetoric receives deserved backing from President Donald Trump himself.

    Iran must feel the heat from Washington’s policies, especially as Tehran prolongs its Middle East belligerence plaguing Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and endures its harassing of the US Navy in Persian Gulf waters.

    America must take the lead in facing Iran over its fundamentalist nature both inside the country and abroad. The Trump administration should begin architecting an international coalition to back the NCRI’s drive for regime change and peaceful democratization of Iran.

    After four decades of utter atrocities, it is the Iranian people’s right to live in peace and prosperity.

    Heshmat AlaviI am a political/rights activist focusing on Iran & the Middle East. I also write in Al Arabiya English, and contributed to The Hill, Algemeiner and Raddington Report. I tweet @HeshmatAlavi

    Source: Is Regime Change Truly The Correct Iran Policy?

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:33 am on July 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    France and US must unite in standing up to Iran 

    Trump Macron

    27144-0yujr3cgczk-plfyx  By Giulio Terzi

    France shares a dubious distinction with my own home country of Italy. Both were among the first to send business delegations and enter into new trade agreements with the Islamic Republic of Iran following the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — what President Donald Trump is famous for describing as “the worst deal ever negotiated.”

    In a joint press conference with his French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron, in Paris on Thursday, President Trump said, “Today we face new threats from rogue regimes like North Korea, Iran and Syria, and the governments that finance and support them.”

    It is yet unclear what exactly the two presidents may have discussed when it comes to Iran, but one can hope they will present a united front standing against the regime going forward.

    High on the list of measures to halt Iran’s destructive behavior is an idea already floated by President Trump in his first weeks in office — designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization and cutting off its access to American dollars.

    Macron, like Trump, took over for a predecessor who played a role in the nuclear negotiations and the associated, conciliatory policies toward the Islamic Republic.

    The question is whether France will continue to look the other way on Iranian misbehavior while pushing French business toward the unstable Iranian market? Or will President Macron reintroduce the extensive demands and high level of scrutiny that had guided French negotiations before the JCPOA was implemented?

    The French government has a particular responsibility to address the issues of Iranian misbehavior that have been shunted to the side.

    The French energy company Total SA announced this month that it would be helping Iran to develop a prominent off-shore gas field. This announcement was eagerly embraced by the mullahs in Tehran, who suggested that it would lead the way to more Western investments in the Islamic Republic, even if Iran continues to push the boundaries of the JCPOA while taking no steps to diminish the threat of terrorist-linked money laundering. In fact, Tehran seems committed to taking full advantage of the new conditions created by the nuclear deal, but without changing a single thing about its malign influence on the region or the world.

    France, of course, had a prominent hand in creating those new conditions, as one of the six parties that helped negotiate the JCPOA opposite Iran. To its credit, the French negotiating team developed a solid reputation for putting the highest demands upon the Islamic Republic. Nevertheless, the world ended up with a rather tepid deal, which offered Iran tens of billions of dollars’ worth of sanctions relief in exchange for fairly modest and completely reversible restrictions on the Iranian nuclear program. Meanwhile, peripheral issues remained entirely ignored, such as Iran’s ballistic missile development and contact with terrorist organizations and rogue states.

    Interestingly, President Macron’s meeting with President Trump takes place almost exactly two years after the nuclear negotiations were concluded. And if Iran was a major topic of discussion, this meeting has the potential to be very significant.

    The fact is that the nuclear deal only addressed one issue having to do with the Islamic Republic. The globally significant issues coming out of that country are manifold, and some of them have the potential for much more immediate and broad-ranging impact.

    Whereas the nuclear deal succeeds in pushing the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon several years into the future, there are other things that could be done right now to quickly halt Iran’s destructive behavior.

    High on the list of such measures is an idea that was already floated by President Trump in his first weeks in office, when he suggested designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization and cutting off its access to American dollars to the greatest extent possible.

    Whether President Trump broached the subject with Macron remains to be seen, but the French president should certainly take it upon himself to make a commitment to confronting Iran’s sponsorship of global terrorism. The IRGC is the main driving force behind that, and it is also perhaps the source of the most severe crackdowns on Iranian activism and civil society.

    In this sense, an international blacklist of the IRGC could serve not only to shrink Iran’s influence on nearby areas like Syria and Yemen but also to greatly diminish the power of the clerical regime at home, thereby improving the prospects for regime change driven by the overwhelmingly pro-Western and democratic Iranian people.

    The French capital was the site of a major international rally for Iranian regime change just two weeks before Thursday’s meeting with President Trump. The opposition coalition known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran held its annual gathering in Paris on July 1, with attendance from tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates and hundreds of political supporters spanning Europe, the Americas, and much of the world.

    NCRI President Maryam Rajavi used the opportunity to call attention to the thousands of protest actions that had taken place in Iran over the past year in defiance of the omnipresent risk of suppression and torture. The popular demand for regime change that was on display in the 2009 uprising is still bubbling beneath the surface of Iranian society, waiting for the conditions to be right for its reemergence. By blacklisting the IRGC, the international community can help to create those conditions and improve the prospects for an Iranian government based on Mrs. Rajavi’s progressive 10-point plan.

    Western voices should be focused on promoting the kind of future for Iran that will make it both a stable and a moral investment. President Macron and President Trump can take the lead in this, and if their talks in Paris demonstrate progress, other Western leaders will definitely take note, as well as the disenchanted Iranian people.

    Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, is a member of United Against Nuclear Iran’s Advisory board.


    Originally published at http://www.foxnews.com on July 13, 2017.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:14 pm on May 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    Alireza Jafarzadeh on Arab Islamic American Summit – NewsMax TV 

    23 May 2017–Alireza Jafarzadeh interview with Bill Tucker of NewsMax Tv discussing Arab Islamic American Summit, President Trump speech in Riyadh, coalition of 50 Arab and Islamic states against the Iranian regime, and the selection of Hassan Rouhani for the second term as the Iranian regime’s president

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:50 am on May 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    ANALYSIS: Adopting a different approach on Iran 

    Signaling a major buzz topic in Washington these days, with the international community waiting anxiously, the new US administration is on the verge of implementing a significant Iran policy overhaul.

    America nearly lost all of its influence in the Middle East as a result of a devastating engagement policy captained by the Obama-Kerry team, all in a desperate effort to obtain Tehran’s consent in completing the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

    The impact of the support by the Obama Administration of the Arab Spring did the rest, as main Arab allies came under immense pressure.

    US President Barack Obama delivers remarks on nuclear deal with Iran at American University in Washington August 5, 2015. (File photo: Reuters)

    Considering Obama’s yearning to seal the JCPOA as the foreign policy hallmark of his legacy, he was seen succumbing to literally any and all demands made by the Iranians. Tehran understood and used this leverage to issue threats of walking away from the deal.

    While President Trump has not torn up the deal as candidate Trump pledged, his administration has taken the lead to strongly criticize Iran’s current behavior in the Middle East that poses a major threat to America’s strategic position and the security of regional allies.

    The Trump administration, unlike its fledgling predecessor, is weighing on how to bring Iran’s mischievous behavior under control and have it completely halted.

    Selling a false deal

    The pro-JCPOA camp sold the deal to the international community by claiming Iran’s mullahs’ would become more moderate and begin acting reasonably.

    Let’s review the facts on the ground:

    – The Middle East is in carnage, with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and proxies launching deadly killings in Syria in support of Assad, massacring Sunnis and other minorities in Iraq, supporting Houthi militants in Yemen, and the Lebanese Hezbollah, just to name a few.

    – Tehran is continuing its ballistic missile program full speed ahead, preparing to couple the project with an ongoing secret nuclear weapons drive, as exposed recently by the Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

    – Military confrontations between US-Arab allies and Iranian forces continue, as shown in the Gulf and the Bab Al Mandab.

    – Flagrant human rights violations and increasing domestic crackdown. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, now seeking a second term, has presided over 3,000 executions.

    We were reminded recently by US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley ,when she referred to existing Security Council resolutions banning Iran from importing or exporting arms, and end all ballistic missile testing.

    Haley clearly indicated Trump will not allow such measures slide, as we witnessed far too often under the Obama watch.

    “The United States will work closely with our partners to document and address any actions that violate these resolutions,” Haley said. “We must take a stand against Iran and Hezbollah’s illegal and dangerous behavior.”

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also raised eyebrows in remarks unseen from America’s top diplomat for many years. Iran continues to enjoy the top ranking of the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. The nature of sanctions being vital to the national and security interests of America, and its regional allies in particular, will be a major topic of a new JCPOA review.

    Fresh sanctions

    Meanwhile, a new bill seeking to slap fresh sanctions against Tehran for continuing its illicit missile program is in the preparation process in the House of Representatives.

    Sanctions and economic pressures are a major leverage the US enjoys against Tehran. Blocking access to the global banking system and compelling companies and various institutions to choose between America’s $19 trillion economy and Iran’s half a trillion should not make the decision any harder.

    Irony lies in the fact that Obama initially boosted US sanctions against Iran, only to ignore Iran’s highly belligerent proliferation activities and support for terrorism.

    A recent Politico report highlighted how the Obama administration even released Iranian arms dealers apprehended by US authorities and dropped international arrest warrants seeking others. To this end, Obama literally risked US national security for the sake of appeasing Tehran’s mullahs.

    The Trump administration is set to draw a major line in the sand. Beefing up sanctions could be a major policy change adopted by the new White House. To take steps further, Washington should seriously consider designating the mullahs’ Revolutionary Guards as a foreign terrorist organization for its role in Iran’s meddling and supporting terrorism, extremism and Islamic fundamentalism across the Middle East, Tehran’s ongoing military development programs -especially the ballistic missile drives – and horrific human rights violations across the country.

    Missed opportunity

    In 2009 Obama missed the opportunity to support the Iranian people’s cry for freedom and democracy, and now the new US administration cannot stand again on the sidelines. Supporting the Iranian people and their organized opposition, currently openly represented by liberal movements such as the NCRI, seeking a democratic, secular and non-nuclear Iran, living in harmony with its regional neighbors and returning to the international community as a responsible member, could be a starting point.

    If Washington would be able to address these options in full, not falling into the trap of removing the Iranian regime under the umbrella of “bringing democracy”, but supporting a growing liberal democratic opposition, a better future for Iran is possible. This will take time, during which economic and political pressure should be increased on the regime. Appeasing the mullahs will not reap any positive rewards, Tehran will not see any need to change at all.

    – Dr. Cyril Widdershoven is the co-writer of this article.

    via  ANALYSIS: Adopting a different approach on Iran — Iran Commentary

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 8:14 pm on April 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    President Trump should blacklist Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to reduce the risk of war 

    President Trump should blacklist Iran's Revolutionary Guard to

    by Alireza Jafarzadeh

    In late March, multiple reports indicated that the Iranian regime was escalating its intrusion into Yemen, where Iran-backed Shiite rebels control the capital and much of the north and west of the country. Tehran has consistently denied its role, but there is a history of Iranian enhancement of the capabilities of the Houthi, whose exploits include missile attacks deep into Saudi Arabia and attempted strikes on U.S. Navy vessels.

    It is crucial that President Trump break this cycle of violence. The simplest and most immediate way of doing so is by undermining the wealth and power of the IRGC — something that truly should have been done long ago.

    The National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a report in February detailing the growth of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ training program for foreign-based terrorists and paramilitary fighters. Many new arrivals in Yemen are Afghanis who served under IRGC command in Syria.

    The sharing of personnel between Syria and Yemen confirms that the sectarian tensions on display in those conflicts are symptoms of a region-wide crisis that is being exacerbated by Iran. They serve as glaring examples of how meddling spearheaded by the Iranian regime is turning national conflicts into proxy wars which directly challenge Western interests in the region.

    A recent report by the Critical Threats Project sheds new light on the Iranian role in the intrusion into Yemen, identifying drone technology and other Iranian weapons allowing the Yemeni rebels to extend their reach. That report also highlighted a surge in foreign fighters, suggesting that Iran might be applying tactics like those used in the Syrian Civil War.

    The IRGC continues to flaunt its presence in regional conflicts to overstate its supremacy. This goes hand-in-hand with IRGC fast-attack vessels ignoring all attempts at radio contact and all warnings to harass U.S. Navy ships. Several close encounters have been reported since the new administration took office.

    It is clear that the escalation in Yemen is just the beginning. The IRGC will continue its overreach until directly confronted, or until it achieves the regional dominance it clearly seeks.

    The dangerous IRGC antics have reportedly more than doubled since the conclusion of nuclear negotiations in July 2015. Incidents in the final months of the Obama administration necessitated warning shots from the American ships, to which IRGC and other Iranian officials responded with boasts that the Islamic Republic is prepared to take on the U.S. military before it backs down from its interventions in the broader Middle East.

    The administration is already reviewing the possible designation of the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, which would effectively blacklist the group from international markets and greatly reduce the risk of Western capital making its way into the hands of terrorists. The strategy has received considerable support from Congress, with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee working on a sanctions bill that would similarly apply terrorism-related sanctions to the entirety of the IRGC.

    There has also been some push-back, mostly from lobbyists affiliated with the Iranian regime, arguing that designating the IRGC would increase the risk of war between Iran and the U.S.

    Actually, the opposite is true. The IRGC is pushing vigorously to draw the U.S. into proxy wars throughout the Middle East, none of which shows signs of reaching a peaceful conclusion as long as the IRGC remains involved. In contrast, since Trump put Tehran “on notice” following its January 29 ballistic missile test, the regime has shown willingness to cancel additional tests for fear of serious consequences.

    The IRGC has no interest in prudent cost-benefit analysis. As long as it is operating freely, unconstrained by economic sanctions, it will continue to antagonize all of its adversaries. To avoid war, the United States needs to show strength and decisiveness. Backing down will only embolden the IRGC and increase the risk of war.

    The only hope for a peaceful resolution to any of the regional crises is to confront the IRGC by political and economic means. The measures are already on the table. It remains to be seen whether the Trump Administration will step up and subject the IRGC to the blacklist it so richly deserves.

    A_Jafarzadeh 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 isJafarzadeh@ncrius.org“>Jafarzadeh@ncrius.org.

    Source: President Trump should blacklist Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to reduce the risk of war

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:55 am on April 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    U.S. Foreign Policy Shifting Under Trump Administration 

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    The Media Express

    In the years of the Obama presidency, foreign policy was focused on finding ways to advance the U.S. agenda with appeasing and rapprochement. Under Trump, however, that policy has undergone a definite shift.

    Iran has been warned that all options are on the table, including military force, particularly in light of Iran’s missile tests earlier this year. But North Korea is also in this administration’s sights. Top Trump administration officials warned Tuesday that North Korea’s latest failed missile attempt was reckless and an act of provocation, while assuring allies in the region that the U.S. was ready to work to achieve peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

    Vice President Mike Pence offered support to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, as the trip focused primarily on the nuclear intentions of North Korea.

    download (1) Mike Pence

    “We appreciate the challenging times in which the people of Japan live with increasing…

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  • Masoud Dalvand 10:24 am on April 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
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    How Trump and Congress can coordinate against Iran? 

    How Trump and Congress can coordinate against Iran

    By Heshmat Alavi

    In recent years one of the most divisive foreign policy subjects in Washington has been none other than Iran. The deal sealed by the Obama administration with other world powers aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program and altering the regime’s gross behavior, saw its way through Congress without a single Republican voting in favor. President Donald Trump made it a hallmark of his campaign to adopt a tougher stance against Tehran. Recent developments have once again brought Iran at the top of the congressional agenda with the weighing of new initiatives.

    President Trump has not defined the exact nature of his approach against Iran, despite unprecedentedly placing the regime “on notice.” The Obama administration went through intense Iran policy debates, and to this end many members on Capitol Hill have become experts from the time they have spent on this matter, far beyond any other subject. As White House officials continue to weight their variety of options, Congress can seize the initiative to present an assertive perspective able to gain the backing of both executive and legislative branches.

    A slate of core components should be included in this congressional effort.

    Lawmakers should begin their measures by expressing their view for the need to carefully oversee Iran’s strict compliance with the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). While disagreements have flared in the past in this regard, a consensus being established in Congress and the White House that vigorously enforcing the deal is the best roadmap to holding Iran accountable for probable future violations.

    A bipartisan congressional panel should be established to guarantee correct JCPOA implementation and holding hearings to maintain the subject high on the general foreign policy playbook. Congress should also raise the costs of Iran’s potential violations, to force the regime to think twice about taking such a path. This would involve sanctions far beyond those triggered if the deal collapses entirely.

     Congress should also call for and support a new series of law enforcement activities, military/intelligence actions, sanctions, and weapons interdiction to blunt Iran procuring for its network of proxies scattered across the region. This can include a variety of low-profile measures targeting the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Quds Force, along with their proxies. This would provide a major boost in the pushback against Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen.

    Congress should support the Trump administration’s new effort to improve ties with Arab Gulf allies nearly broken under Obama’s watch for the sake of the Iran nuclear deal. A variety of options, including weapons sales and different methods of cooperation, are available in this regard. Establishing a broad multinational task force with its Gulf partners should be a major priority for the U.S. Such a relationship would enhance exercises/training campaigns, intelligence sharing, and joint operations. Such an entity can employ attacks on different targets deemed necessary, such as Iran’s proxy groups and other terrorist networks across the region.

    Do not be mistaken, however, there is no intention to promote a pro-war campaign against Iran, as launching such a campaign would play into the regime’s hands. The silver bullet or nail in the coffin against Iran, at least for now, is for Congress to pass a bill designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization. This is the measure that will send the necessary signal to Tehran that neither America, nor the international community, will no longer tolerate their belligerence of any nature.

    Such a move will prevent any further wars in the region, support the Iranian people against the very entity behind Iran’s domestic clampdown and human rights violations, and weaken the regime in its entirety prior to the crucial May 19th presidential election. Congress can thus set the stage for the Iranian people to pour into the streets, similar to the 2009 episode, and express their true feelings about the mullahs’ hideous rule.

     

    Originally published in American Thinker

    via  How Trump and Congress can coordinate against Iran — Iran Commentary

     
    • commercial mortgage loan 1:55 am on June 9, 2017 Permalink

      It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate
      to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
      I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group.
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      Liked by 1 person

    • Masoud Dalvand 5:12 pm on June 9, 2017 Permalink

      Hello dear friend, Thank you for kind words, about your suggestion for a donate button, I have to say I’m a political/human rights activist in the Iranian Resistance, I made this blog free, I don’t have any money for upgrade my blog, so I can’t add a donate button. This is my response to your comment. thank you so much for your support, you are great, you can introduce my blog to your friends and ask them follow me. Thanks again, I hope see you again. Good luck.

      Like

  • Masoud Dalvand 4:58 pm on April 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , U.S. Foreign Policy   

    Forecast – Increasing Isolation for Iran 

    Forecast – Increasing Isolation for Iran

    After enjoying eight “golden” years of President Barack Obama’s all-out appeasement approach, the mullahs in Iran are feeling the wrath of isolation, with senior international figures lashing out at the regime in Tehran and calling for action against it.
    British Parliament members from all leading parties registered a resolution discussing crimes of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) against the Iranian people and its terrorist meddling across the Middle East. The move calls for the expulsion of the IRGC and all its dispatched proxy foot-soldiers spread out across the region.
    Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker called Iran the world’s greatest state sponsor of terrorism, saying:
    Regionally, we’ve seen an escalation in Iranian intervention. Iran, along with its allies in Russia, has continued to prop up Assad at the cost of countless lives in Syria. Iran’s support to the Shia militias in Iraq threatens the interests of Sunnis and Kurds alike, not to mention the Shia in Iraq…Iran is arming the Houthis in Yemen, who are in turn attacking our Saudi allies and targeting our ships… Iran remains the foremost state sponsor of terrorism. It counts Lebanese Hezbollah – an organization that has killed hundreds of Americans – as among its closest allies.
    US Senator Robert Menendez delivered a speech on Tuesday on his proposal to increase missile sanctions on the Islamic Republic and completely embargo the IRGC, explaining:
    Many of us rightly predicted that an Iranian regime that prioritized funding terrorism over the well-being of its own citizens would see sanctions relief as a cash windfall for their terrorist proxies across the region. And on terrorism, we feared that much of Iran’s new economic capacity would be used to propagate violence…It is no surprise then that Iran has not suddenly transformed into a responsible member of the international community. Rather it remains an agent of instability throughout the Middle East, a nefarious actor that continues to undermine American national security interests and our efforts to partner with countries throughout the region working to protect civilians and build democratic governance structures.
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his criticism of the deal sealed between Tehran and world powers in July 2015, describing it as a “windfall” gift to Tehran. He said that the US can now take action against Iran’s financing, training and arming of terrorists, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and proxies in Syria.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested designating the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

    The above remarks can and should be seen as preparatory measures for the next round of practical actions. It is worth noting, however, that in the world of politics nothing is resolved overnight. Each practical action requires the undergoing of a process in stages.
    Unlike Obama, President Donald Trump and his administration are confronting Tehran, causing the regime to become nervous about the road ahead. This is why it has been attempting to save face. For example, the Iranian Foreign Ministry just blacklisted 15 US companies — a move that even Iranian media outlets are ridiculing. After all, it is obvious that  it is the mullahs suffering from a weak and weakening economy, not the US.
    With presidential elections in Iran to take place in May, rest assured that the regime will be trekking very carefully not to light a spark under Iran’s societal powder keg  — and unleash an explosion of nationwide uprisings similar to those in 2009. At that time, Obama was new in office and abandoned the demonstrators to the regime’s iron fist. Today, Trump is in the White House, and has a very different attitude.
     
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