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  • Masoud Dalvand 10:01 pm on 14 Dec 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    More than 100 Members of US Congress condemn terror plot targeting Iranian opposition. 

    Members of U.S. Congress condemn Iranian regime_s terror plot targeting the June rally in Paris

    More than 100 Members of َََUS Congress condemn terror plot targeting Iranian opposition

    On the verge of the 2018 nationwide uprising against the mullahs’ regime in Iran, senior members of the United States Congress participated in a conference on December 11 held in solidarity with the Iranian people’s uprising for freedom.

    Moderated by Ambassador Adam Ereli, former U.S. envoy in Bahrain and former U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson, the Members of Congress who participated expressed their support for the Iranian people’s uprising and ongoing protests across the country while condemning the regime’s domestic crackdown and foreign support for terrorism. These speakers called for increasing decisiveness in the face of the mullahs’ regime in Iran.

    More than 100 Members of the U.S. Congress took part in this session, also voicing their support for the bipartisan Resolution 1034 condemning the Iranian regime’s terror plot targeting the massive June 30th rally held in support of the Iranian opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) seeking to establish a democratic republic in Iran.

    The Members of the Congress participating included Eliot Engel (D), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Judge Ted Poe (R), Chair of the Terrorism Subcommittee; Sheila Jackson-Lee (D); Brad Sherman (D); Judie Chu (D); and Steve Cohen (R).

    U.S.Congress-Members-Support-Iranian-Protests

    U.S.Congress Members Support Iranian Protests

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  • Masoud Dalvand 9:43 pm on 1 Oct 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    US Releases Report on Iran Regime’s Destructive Behavior 

    US Releases Report on Iran Regime’s Destructive Behaviour

    The US State Department has released an extensive report detailing the Iranian Regime’s “destructive behavior” at home and abroad shortly before the 40th anniversary of the mullahs stealing power.

    The report, entitled Outlaw Regime: A Chronicle of Iran’s Destructive Activities, goes into stark detail about Iran’s support for terrorism, illicit financial activities, abuse of human rights, environmental exploitation, its missile program, a threat to cyber security, and a threat to maritime security.

    The report starts with a letter from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who explains why the US withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal and how the Iranian Regime will suffer as a result.

    He wrote that the current US policy on Iran reflected that Iran is “not a normal state”, arguing that normal states don’t:

    • attack embassies and military installations in peacetime

    • hold hostage citizens of foreign nations

    • jail their own citizens or those of other countries on specious crimes

    • impose severe restrictions on basic freedoms

    • conduct covert assassinations in other countries

    • engage in torture

    • squander their own natural resources

    • proliferate missile technology to dangerous proxies

    • violently suppress legitimate protests

    • serve as a sanctuary for terrorists

    • call for the destruction of Israel and threaten other countries

    • aid brutal dictators such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad

    • fuel terrorist proxies and militias

    Pompeo said that the report served as “a full record of the Islamic Republic’s hostile behavior abroad and its repression at home beyond the continued threat of its nuclear program”.

    The report

    The report makes clear that the Iranian Regime’s support for terrorism has gone on since the start of the Regime, usually driven by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and its Qods Force as well as the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

    The report read: “Today, the IRGC-QF is active across the Middle East and has plotted or carried out terrorist attacks in five out of seven continents. Where it is unable or unwilling to act directly, the Iranian regime has mastered the use of terrorist proxy groups like Lebanese Hizballah, Palestine Islamic Jihad, the Bahraini Al- Ashtar Brigades and the Iraqi Kata’ib Hizballah to conduct terrorist attacks.”

    This support for terrorist groups has been aided by Iran’s continued development of ballistic missiles – in violation of UN resolution 2231 – and its “opaque and fraudulent financing activities”, which have undermined the integrity and security of the global financial system.

    As a result of all of this, the US considers Iran a threat to maritime security in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea and to cyber security, where they have been engaging in unsafe behaviours for a couple of years, mainly through the use of proxies.

    The Iranian Regime is also known to have ignored environmental crises that have led to drought and mass migration in Iran; something not surprising considering their “repeated and systemic abuse of human rights”. The report observes that the Regime’s human rights abuses extend far beyond its borders, with the murder of civilians in Syria and the arbitrary detention of Sunnis in Iraq.

    Pompeo wrote: “Iran is a society with so much greater potential. We want to reach a new agreement with Iran that ensures its nuclear activities are peaceful and that its role in the Middle East is constructive. We seek a deal that ensures Iran does not support terrorism around the world and provides for the greater opportunity to its own people. We are prepared to work with the Iranian regime, but only if it makes major changes. Until then, the Iranian regime can rest assured of our firm resolve to counter their destabilizing activities. Given the record we have published today, they should expect nothing less.”

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:59 am on 28 Sep 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    UN Security Council discusses Iranian regime bellicosity 

    President Trump Chairs UN Security Council Meeting

    President Trump Chairs UN Security Council Meeting

    New York, Sept. 26, 2018 – The Iranian regime came under criticism at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, a session specifically chaired by U.S. President Donald Trump focusing on the threats posed by Tehran’s mullahs and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    President Trump Chairs UNSC Meeting

    President Trump Chairs UNSC Meeting

    Describing the mullahs’ regime as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, U.S. President Donald Trump blasted the Iranian regime’s support for the Assad regime in butchering the Syrian people. Iran’s mullah should never be permitted to obtain nuclear weapons, he highlighted.

    Voicing his position to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Trump emphasized how the Iranian regime used money from the highly flawed deal for terrorism and creating havoc. The U.S. imposed sanctions to confront the Iranian regime’s malign activities, he continued.

    Washington calls on all UN members to cooperate with us in guaranteeing Iran never obtains nuclear weapons, Trump finalized.

    French President Macron Speaks at the UNSC in NY

    French President Macron Speaks at the UNSC in NY

    French President Emmanuel Macron highlighted the Iranian regime’s regional threat, with a special focus on the need to analyze and prevent the Iranian regime’s ballistic missiles program.

    The transfer of missiles to the Lebanese Hezbollah and Houthis in Yemen, both militia groups supported directly by the Iranian regime, were other issues members of the UN Security Council voiced concerns about and sought immediate action.

    Iranians rally in NY to oppose the presence of Rouhani at the UNGA

    Iranians rally in NY to oppose the presence of Rouhani at the UNGA

    Members of the Iranian Diaspora from across the world rallied in front of the UN headquarters in New York for the second consecutive day, protesting the presence of Hassan Rouhani, the president of the Iranian regime, and to echo the demands of thousands of protesters in Iran calling for regime change in their country. Yesterday, the protesters held a similar protest while Rouhani spoke at the 73rd UN General Assembly summit while having to overcome unfavorable weather conditions.

    Iranian diaspora rallied outside UN calling for the ouster of Rouhani from the world body

    Iranian diaspora rallied outside UN calling for the ouster of Rouhani from the world body

    Politicians, religious leaders, members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and representatives of the Syrian opposition delivered speeches at the Tuesday rally.

    Iranian protesters in NY rally to say NO to Rouhani

    Iranian protesters in NY rally to say NO to Rouhani

    The protesters used different methods to put on display the numerous crimes and illegal activities of the Iranian regime. Most concerning in the agenda of Rouhani, who has been received as a state leader at the UN and is being framed as a “moderate” figure by many western politician, is the worrying escalation of executions during his presidency. More than 3,500 people have been executed during six years of Rouhani’s presidency, according to figures published by the Iranian opposition and confirmed by many international human rights organizations.

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 10:20 am on 15 May 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    The gap from top to bottom in the clerical regime of Iran 

    The gap from top to bottom in the clerical regime of Iran

    By Masoud Dalvand

    The blow of US’s withdrawal from Iran Deal and its reflections within the regime is rising every day and worsens the battles of the gangs. One of the latest examples is the conflict between the Assembly of Experts(Khobregan) and the gang of regime’s president Mullah Rouhani Because of Iran Deal and the continuation of this event.

    In this regard, on May 13, a statement was issued by the Assembly of Experts against the Rouhani and in the direction of Khamenei‘s acquittal and blaming on the Iran Deal’s disgrace and called for a Rouhani apology from the people: “It is imperative that the honorable President, honestly and explicitly, apologize to the dear people of Iran for the damage caused by the failure of ” Iran deal” for lack of comply with the red lines drawn by the Supreme Leader of the Revolution and put the experience of “Iran deal” as a light on the way of future.»

    But still -according to a proverb- the ink of this statement not dried, the authenticity of the statement was questioned by a number of members of the Assembly of Experts, and this was denounced. Among the experts, including Mullah Hashem Zadeh Harrisi, stated that “This statement is not all the Experts. The request to apologize the president for the “Iran deal” is not the opinion of the Assembly of Experts … The society is feverish … these events only cause discomfort and despair of the people … ”

    Mullah Moghtadaei was another member of the Assembly of Experts, who stated: “The opposition of Rouhani’s state inside the country, in the current situation, should not be as happy as Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu has.”

    Another expert, Mullah Abtahi, also said that the statement of the experts was not the opinion of all the members and that if I knew I would not sign the statement. And finally there were other people involved in the fight.

    Is this war and fights a continuation of the conflicts and controversies that have always been in the regime, or a new phenomenon and its own characteristics? with a little thinking about these conflicts, we see they are continuation of the same contradictions, but to another credit, we face a new quality of accumulation and congestion and the evolution of those contradictions. Why so:

    First of all, we see now that war and conflict are at the top and the highest point of the regime’s power pyramid.

    Secondly, all organs and institutions of the regime from the parliament to the Assembly of Experts and to the Revolutionary Guards, the government, the judiciary, and so on have involved.

    Thirdly, we also see the gap in these institutions. For example, in the parliament we are witnessing the clash of representatives of the two gangs. Or, in the Assembly of Experts, it was not until now that the experts took a position and made a statement, and some of its members would take a stand and speak against it.

    We see these gaps in the Rouhani’s gang and even within the state. For example, Rouhani’s adviser criticizes to his government minister, or the media criticize it from various positions.

    Is this conflict between the Experts and the government and within the limits of these two institutions above the regime? And why do we call it a fight and a gap at the head of the regime?!

    No! When we say that the struggle at the top of the regime, the war is at the point of Khamenei, which said on Wednesday (May 2, 2018): I said if you want to get the contract, take the necessary guarantees and then close them. One of the conditions I said was that the US president should sign. The respectable officials worked hard and, well, they could not. And then he added: “I do not trust these three countries (European Troika) … If you could make sure that it’s okay, of course I’m unlikely to know. If you cannot get a definitive guarantee, you will not be able to continue.

    This led to various statements in the media by Rouhani’s gang, including in the May 13 meeting, the parliament they chanted Khamenei whose accomplishment “Iran deal”, from the first to the last, was led by Khamenei and was signed. Then the Khamenei’s propagandists said that, they forced Khamenei to made such orders, but Rouhani’s government did not listen to Khamenei’s advices.

    Meanwhile, the government of Rouhani did not keep silent and issued a statement of eight articles entitled “Those who have smashed, now have been creditors instead of apologizing, do not contradict “, replied to the statement of the Assembly of Experts, denounced their position and, in addition to emphasizing Khamenei’s role, was raised. Tell us what to do, tell us what to do if we did not sign, and if we do not do it now, what to do.

    Part of this statement reads:

    “Unfortunately, those who have to apologize for their misplaced positions in the past are creditor for national achievements and are not willing to answer the question of how damaging the outrageous sanctions on the Iranian nation have been and what they have done to prevent them from timely prevention. They are never ready to speak of their inability to provide alternative ways of “Iran deal” and to apologize to the nation for their misleading approach to progress in the country. In an obvious contradiction they were worried about America’s presence in “Iran deal” and the other hand they have been as plaintiff of US’s withdrawal of Iran deal.

    In addition to the government itself, supporters of the government and other members of the Rouhani’s gang attacked the Assembly Experts. Including:

    Ali Motahhari‘s reaction to Ahmad Jannati’s letter about “Iran deal” was:

    Do you determine the religious duty of the diplomatic system or your supreme leader?

    Interestingly, the parties to the dispute, despite the fact that they are aware of the danger of the situation and read the unity’s weep of one another, cannot even temporarily establish cease-fire between themselves.

    The reason is that the fuel of this war is a dangerous situation and the prospect of the overthrow of this regime. But they are not able to stop it. Because in the current situation is not the field for compromise, the crisis bedside, in itself, promotes war, but it is important that the ruling gangs with this conflict constantly weak each other and the whole regime and pave the way for the overthrow of the religious dictatorship by the people’s uprising led by the Iranian resistance. This is the logic of history and they do not escape it.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 7:58 pm on 25 Apr 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran Desperate for US to Keep Nuclear Deal 

    Iran Nuclear Deal

     Radio America Online News Bureau April 24th, 2018 – President Trump’s instinct is to scrap the Iran nuclear deal while French President Emmanuel Macron is willing to amend it but not rescind it without another plan in place, but a leading figure in the Iranian resistance says the deal doesn’t stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons but does help the radical mullahs stay in power.

    President Trump has until May 12 to declare whether Iran is in compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA and whether the U.S. will remain a party to the seven-nation agreement.

     

    Alireza JafarzadehA_Jafarzadeh

    deputy director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, says despite Tehran’s bluster about exiting the deal if the U.S. does, the Iranian leaders badly need the agreement to continue.

    “There’s no way the Iranian regime wants to lose this agreement.  They want to do everything possible to keep it because the regime knows that absent this agreement, there’s really not too many other options left for them,” said Jafarzadeh, who says threats to the contrary are nothing but “hot air.”.

    He says that’s because internal unrest is reaching a boiling point.

    “The regime is facing tremendous problems domestically, particularly on the economic side of it.  We’ve seen the uprising going on since December that was built around the economic corruption in Iran and the high rise in prices for very basic food.  Inflation is so high.  Inflation is skyrocketing,” said Jafarzadeh.

    Iran is clamping down on media outlets and social media, so reports of the ongoing protests are hard to find, but Jafarzadeh says they are still going strong and are appearing in many different parts of the country.

    “The protests are continuing ever since they started.  It expanded to 142 cities starting back in December,” said Jafarzadeh, listing off a number of cities seeing major protests in the past several days.

    “Every week there is a new hot spot in Iran.  People are chanting with the same intensity against the regime, making significant demands, none of which the regime can really meet,” said Jafarzadeh.

    He says some chants even explicitly scold the government for blaming its problems on America and stating that only the Iranian regime is to blame.

    Keeping the deal in place is critical for the Iranian leaders because the money that flowed back into Iran from the agreement has been trumpeted as the solution to Iran’s economic problems.

    However, even that good fortune could soon backfire on Iran’s leadership.

    “Once the people realize that all the money that was given to the Iranian regime ended up in the pocket of the mullahs, the ayatollahs, and the Revolutionary Guard.  It was basically the military structure and the clerical structure that benefited from that.

    “Imagine if there’s more pressure built against the regime what kind of political problems it’s going to create for the Iranian regime,” said Jafarzadeh.

    The more pertinent issue for Trump, Macron, and other world leaders is whether the JCPOA is actually preventing the advancement of Iran’s nuclear program.  Jafarzadeh is convinced it doesn’t.

    “The agreement has kept almost all of the nuclear infrastructure of the Iranian regime intact.  It has allowed the research and development of more advanced centrifuges that could actually enrich uranium much faster and more efficiently further down the road.

    “It hasn’t put any meaningful restrictions on the missile program of the Iranian regime, which is really marching forward with more missile tests on nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.  And it has this ridiculous sunset clause.  In a few years, all those restrictions on the nuclear program are removed,” said Jafarzadeh.

    And he says the hurdles to inspections make enforcement of the existing deal virtually impossible.

    “Most importantly, there’s no serious access and inspection of a number of nuclear sites where the core of the nuclear program of Iran is.  It’s not just the enrichment but the weaponization part of the program.  We exposed at least six nuclear sites we believe need to be inspected,” said Jafarzadeh.

    He says the bottom line is the JCPOA doesn’t stop Iran from getting nukes.

    “As of now, the current restrictions are not sufficient enough to prevent the Iranian regime from developing nuclear weapons further down the road,” said Jafarzadeh.

     

     

     

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 9:39 pm on 13 Apr 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Iranian Silence on Chemical Attack Speaks Volumes 

    The Assad regime’s recent chemical attack against innocent civilians marks another atrocity in Syria’s multi-year human catastrophe. Hospital reports indicate that the victims all showed signs of chemical exposure. In total, there were over 500 casualties and at least 42 confirmed deaths, two of them small children brought into the hospital cold, limp, and foaming at the mouth.

    The attack sparked widespread condemnation from the international community.

    U.S. President Donald Trump called the act “mindless” and a “humanitarian disaster.”

    British Prime Minister Theresa May said the Assad government must be “held to account.” Predictably, the Iranian regime was one of the few silent voices, due to its steadfast support of the Assad regime.

    Alluding to Iran’s inhuman complacency, French President Emmanuel Macron said that Assad’s allies “bore particular responsibility in this massacre.”

    The Iranian regime’s alliance with Syria was born following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Iran has been granted Syrian construction contracts and generally supported all actions taken by the Assad regime.

    Direct Iranian involvement in the attack has not been confirmed, but its silence underscores the absence of moral leadership in the Middle East. Iran is the world’s number-one state sponsor of terrorism and systematically violates the human rights of its own citizens. By proxy, this gives all Iranian allies a green light to commit their own atrocities. Conversely, an Iran committed to international law could dramatically reshape the inter-state accountability dynamics within the Middle East.

    During the uprising in Iran that engulfed as many as 142 cities, one of the key chants of Iranians in the street was, “Leave Syria Alone, Think About us,” a clear popular rejection of the Iranian regime’s nefarious involvement in the violence in Syria.

    If the international community seriously wants to prevent further Syrian atrocities, it must support the Iranian people strive for regime change, in favor of a secular, democratic, non-nuclear form of government. This is a key step in bringing peace to the Middle East.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 6:12 pm on 4 Apr 2018 Permalink | Reply
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    Iran: Consequences Of US Pulling Out Of Nuclear Deal 

    Iran’s Bushehr nuclear plant

    With the announcement of a new Secretary of State and a new national security adviser, many have said that the odds of President Donald Trump pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement have increased.

    Furthermore, it seems very unlikely that the European parties to the deal – the United Kingdom, France and Germany – will be able to guarantee and address the changes that Trump requested.

    For one, the three European countries submitted a proposal to sanction Iran for its ballistic missile activities and its belligerence and interference in Syria. However, the proposal must get unanimous approval and there are already several countries that have expressed opposition, including Spain, Austria and Italy. Italy said that it was very concerned about its interests worth millions of dollars being put into jeopardy.

    Of course no-one can predict how Iran will react if Trump did announce that he was no longer going to waiver sanctions, however it can be safely presumed that the news will not go down well. Some have even said that Iran will immediately start carrying out illicit nuclear activities. The Iranian regime has previously tried to provoke Trump with acts of defiance.

    The regime could reinstall some of its centrifuges that have been out of use for months and it could continue to fine-tune other ones. It could also start to stockpile uranium instead of shipping it abroad or it could enrich it to 20 per cent.

    Some believe that there will be a race to the nuclear bomb. Others say that this is not possible – no matter how much the Iranian regime wants to.

    According to Reuel Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, the main obstacle is the unfinished work on advanced centrifuges.

    Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), is an Iranian diplomat and academic who is probably behind Iran’s large-scale illicit dual-use import network. He has the support of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and, when President Hassan Rouhani became the president in 2013, he was able to make great progress on the country’s atomic infrastructure.

    Gerecht and Takeyh say that it would take years for the Iranian regime to reinstall the high-yield centrifuges. Furthermore, they are currently under surveillance by the nuclear watchdog that is in charge of monitoring Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). If Iran were to reinstall the centrifuges, it would not go unnoticed and there is a high likelihood that military strikes from the US would shortly follow.

    It has also been posited that the Iranian regime will not be quick to take any overly-drastic action if Trump announces a US pull-out of the agreement because it is nervous of the US administration. Especially now that new appointments have been made and the deal-sympathizers have gone.

    The United States is making it very clear that the “golden years” of appeasement are over and one can only hope that one day soon, the Europeans will follow.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:14 am on 16 Mar 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Tillerson, US   

    Tillerson’s Exit Could Doom the Iran Nuclear Deal 

    Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson making a statement on his departure at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on March 13.

    Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson making a statement on his departure at the State Department in Washington, D.C. on March 13.

    Foreign Policy, MARCH 15, 2018 – President Donald Trump’s sacking of his top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, signals America’s likely withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement, and raises the risk of a possible military confrontation with the regime in Tehran.
    The future of the Iran deal was already in serious doubt after Trump issued an ultimatum in January, warning he would pull the United States out of the accord unless European allies or Congress managed to “fix the deal’s disastrous
    But by picking CIA Director Mike Pompeo, an avowed Iran hawk, to succeed Tillerson as secretary of state, Trump sent a clear message that Washington was hardening its stance as a May 12 deadline approaches for the possible reimposition of U.S. sanctions.
    Talking to reporters Tuesday about his decision, Trump cited his disagreement with Tillerson over the Iran nuclear agreement as an example of how the outgoing secretary of state had “a different mindset” than his own.
    “When you look at the Iran deal, I think it’s terrible. I guess he thought it was okay…. So we were not really thinking the same,” Trump said before departing for California.
    In recent weeks, Tillerson’s deputies have worked to hammer out an arrangement with European allies that could preserve the deal while addressing Trump’s concerns about its shortcomings, including Iran’s ballistic missile arsenal and provisions that expire in the next decade and beyond.
    “I think it spells trouble for the nuclear deal,” said Colin Kahl, who served as the national security advisor to former Vice President Joe Biden.
    While Tillerson often found himself on the losing side of many issues at the White House, he was a voice of caution and “he did appear to have some impact in delaying Trump dumping the Iran deal,” Kahl said.
    The next round of talks among the United States and diplomats from the United Kingdom, France, and Germany aimed at salvaging the agreement is due to go ahead as planned in Berlin this week, officials say. And a meeting of all the signatories to the Iran deal, which includes the U.K., France, Germany, Russia, China, Iran, and the United States, is scheduled for Friday in Vienna.
    Despite Trump’s abrupt firing of Tillerson, the outgoing secretary of state’s top aide, Brian Hook, will attend the meetings in Europe, a State Department spokesperson said. Hook was an influential figure on Tillerson’s staff and it’s unlikely he will stay on under Pompeo.
    The 2015 agreement between Iran and world powers, which former President Barack Obama touted as a diplomatic breakthrough, imposed elaborate restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program while lifting an array of U.S. and international sanctions that had damaged the country’s economy. In his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump railed against the agreement as the “worst deal ever,” saying Iran had won relief from sanctions without having to give up enough in return.
    As president, Trump bristled when faced with a U.S. law that required him to regularly certify to Congress whether Iran was complying with the deal and whether the agreement was in America’s interest. In October, Trump told Congress he could not certify that the agreement was in the national interest but stopped short of pulling the United States out.
    Over the past 14 months, Tillerson, along with Defense Secretary James Mattis, repeatedly argued in White House meetings against abandoning the agreement on grounds that it had imposed important limits on Tehran’s nuclear work. Instead, Tillerson proposed trying to address the president’s concerns by negotiating a supplemental agreement or other arrangement with the Europeans, while retaining the benefits of the current deal.
    Trump’s January ultimatum set May 12 as the next key deadline, when he will have to decide whether to re-impose a slew of U.S. sanctions that were lifted as part of the nuclear deal.

    Critics of the nuclear agreement welcomed Tillerson’s departure.

    “The selection of Mike Pompeo at State should remove any doubt about the president’s intentions,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “Two months to go and President Trump will snap back the most powerful economic sanctions against Iran unless there’s a real not a fictional fix to the Iran nuclear deal.”
    Omri Ceren, managing director of the Israel Project, a Washington organization that works on Middle East issues, said that with or without Tillerson’s exit, the president had made clear he would not keep sanctions relief in place without concrete improvements to the agreement.
    “In recent days the Trump administration has, if anything, been toughening its stance on what it would take to make the Iran deal worth staying in,” Ceren said.
    If Trump opts to reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran after May 12, European Union officials have warned that Brussels might try to block the American measures and protect European companies investing in the Iranian market. But analysts said European banks and other firms are already reluctant to do business in Iran due to the threat of a possible “snap-back” of U.S. sanctions and don’t want to lose their access to the vast American market. A U.S. withdrawal could wreck the agreement, scaring off European investment that Iran saw as a key reward for agreeing to limit its uranium enrichment and other nuclear work.
    If the deal unravels and Iran concludes it has no economic incentive to hold back on its nuclear work, then Tehran could expel U.N. inspectors and head down a fast track to building nuclear weapons — possibly in a matter of months. Under that scenario, the United States — and Israel — may decide to take military action to prevent Iran from obtaining the bomb or at least slow down a bid for nuclear-tipped missiles.

    Source: Tillerson’s Exit Could Doom the Iran Nuclear Deal

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:32 am on 26 Feb 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Geneva, Human Rights Council, , , Nikki Haley, , US   

    U.N. Slammed by Haley Over Planned Address by Iran Regime’s Minister Involved in Massacre of Political Prisoners 

    AFP: A protest is planned in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva next Tuesday, when Avaie is due to speak

    US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley slammed the world body’s Human Rights Council on Sunday, saying it should be “ashamed” for inviting an Iranian minister, sanctioned for known human rights violations, to speak at the council’s annual meeting in Geneva this week. Haley said that the council was “discredited” by Iranian Justice Minister Alireza Avaie’s slated address to the body’s membership, adding that it only reinforces the United States’ criticisms of the UN and threats to defund the world body.

    “The Human Rights Council should be ashamed to allow Mr. Avaei to address its membership,” Haley said in a statement.“Yet again the Council discredits itself by allowing serial human rights abusers to hijack its work and make a mockery of its mandate to promote universal human rights. This does nothing but reinforce the United States’ call for much needed reforms at the Council for it to be viewed as a good investment of our time and money,” she said.

    Avaei’s appearance alongside some 100 other government ministers and dignitaries from around the world has drawn widespread criticism from both Iranian and international activists. Members of the Iranian opposition now living in exile say that Avaei also played a key role in the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, a year in which Amnesty International says some 5,000 prisoners were executed over the course of mere months. Iranian opposition groups put the figure closer to 30,000. “Allowing Avaie to address the Human Rights Council is disgraceful and would make a mockery of the United Nations and its human rights mechanisms,” Shahin Gobadi, a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, told AFP earlier this week. “This must not happen.”Avaei was sanctioned by the European Union in 2011 on the grounds that as Tehran’s top prosecutor he was “responsible for human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, denials of prisoners’ rights, and an increase in executions.” A protest is planned in front of the UN headquarters in Geneva next Tuesday, when Avaie is due to speak.

     
  • Masoud Dalvand 11:16 am on 8 Feb 2018 Permalink | Reply
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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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