The Iran dilemma of the Saudi crown prince

Posted July 27, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Iran, Iran - regime change, Saudi Arabia and Iran, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman

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The Iran dilemma of the Saudi crown prince, Washington Times, S. Rob Sobhani, July 26, 2017

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Associated Press photo

The first step that Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince can take is to deliver an address to the Iranian people in which he lays out his vision for a peaceful and friendly relation with people of Iran. In this address, Mohammed bin Salman can touch upon the rich history of Iran, its unique culture and heritage, and end by extending his hand of friendship to his natural allies — the people of Iran.

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ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The starting point for any policy that the new crown prince of Saudi ArabiaMohammed bin Salman, adopts toward the Islamic Republic of Iran is to understand two basic facts. First, the Iranian regime continues to be the most serious threat to regional security in the Middle East and the major state sponsor of terrorism. Second, the Iranian people continue to be the most serious threat to the Islamic regime and the only real hope for a fundamental change in Iran.

If Mohammed bin Salman adopts the right policies in his dealings with the Islamic regime, not only will he go down in history as the leader who solved the “Iran Problem,” he will also usher in a new economic dynamic within the broader Middle East. In view of his friendship with President Trump, any new and bold approach by Mohammed bin Salman toward the Islamic regime in Tehran will no doubt have the full support of the president and his entire national security team.

To date Saudi policy toward Iran has not produced the results that Riyadh had hoped would either appease the mullahs or contain the bad behavior of the regime in Tehran. For example, the latest policy decision by Saudi Arabia to confront the Iranian regime by war through proxy in Yemen has not deterred the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The conflict in Yemen is fast becoming a quagmire for Riyadh. According to some estimates, the Saudi effort to confront Iran in Yemen is costing the kingdom around $600 million per month. After spending billions of dollars, Saudi Arabia is not close to thwarting the designs of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to build a beachhead on the Arabian Peninsula by supporting his Houthi allies.

Indeed, the Saudi narrative against the Iranian regime, eloquently enunciated by Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubair, captures the essence of Tehran’s dangerous behavior in places like Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and Lebanon, but it does not address the fundamental underlying challenge: how to deal with a regime that is the mortal enemy of Saudi Arabia.

The overarching policy that Mohammed bin Salman should seriously consider is to adopt a soft-power approach to solving his Iran dilemma. This policy starts by drawing a clear distinction between the people of Iran and their rulers. The first step that Saudi Arabia’s new crown prince can take is to deliver an address to the Iranian people in which he lays out his vision for a peaceful and friendly relation with people of Iran. In this address, Mohammed bin Salman can touch upon the rich history of Iran, its unique culture and heritage, and end by extending his hand of friendship to his natural allies — the people of Iran.

The concrete steps the young crown prince may wish to consider following his address to the Iranian people are as follows: First, he can announce the creation of a fund to pay for the pilgrimage of elderly Iranians to Mecca and Medina. For the average Iranian whose per-capita gross national product has shrunk since the overthrow of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, making the obligatory visit to Islam’s holiest sites has become a financial burden. Mohammed bin Salman can endear himself to millions of Iranians through this act of charity.

Abbas is playing a dangerous game

Posted July 27, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Abbas, Israel's enemies, Israeli concessions to Palestinians, Israeli security, Machpelah House, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian heroes, Palestinian incitement, Palestinian terror at Temple Mount, Palestinians and Jews, Palestinians in Jerusalem

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Abbas is playing a dangerous game, Israel Hayom, Yaron Blum, July 27, 2017

(Please see also, Israel’s public diplomacy challenge. “Of course, the world rightly assumes that no nation would willingly give up what is rightly theirs, and so millions watching from the sidelines throw their support behind the violent side that refuses to compromise.” — DM)

The threat of stopping the security coordination with Israel is likely to turn on Abbas, as Hamas is lurking around the corner, waiting for the opportunity to stage a coup against the Palestinian Authority as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip. The need to calm these players down is of the utmost importance if the wave of incitement is to stop becoming a wave of more lone terrorist attacks.

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The Temple Mount crisis is far from over. The latest excuse for the Palestinians’ riots is Israel’s decision to conduct manual security checks on the Temple Mount complex.

How transparent and pathetic. Everyone with something at stake on the Temple Mount or Al-Aqsa mosque understands that the site has become a fantastic vantage point from which to promote personal interests. For the average Muslims, the Temple Mount and any change in its status quo is a red line. Indeed, this motif prompts millions in the Muslim world to take to the streets and is strong enough to glue the various streams in Muslim and Palestinian communities worldwide together.

Tensions apparently came to an end after an agreement between Jordan and Israel to take down the metal detectors and security cameras installed on the Temple Mount after the July 14 terrorist attack carried out by three gunmen from Umm al-Fahm. Despite this, the Muslim players found an excuse to reignite the playing field. And who are these players’ captains? The Palestinian Authority, Hamas, organizations active around Al-Aqsa, Waqf workers, the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement, and Turkey.

Even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is once again disparaging Israel and its policies, despite agreements between him and Israel, the star of the week is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. From a point of great weakness against rivals in the Fatah movement, such as exiled party official Mohammed Dahlan — not to mention Hamas — Abbas realized that the “Al-Aqsa is in danger” narrative had the potential to add to his failing power. At the moment he is doing everything to ignite the streets, whether through his own voice or through the heads of the Tanzim, one of Fatah’s militant factions, and Fatah itself.

Palestinian Authority and Palestinian security apparatus officials, who had received orders to suspend the security coordination with Israel before its decision to remove security measures on the site, are now calling to further escalate the popular struggle by taking to the streets in protests planned for Friday in the Temple Mount area against the “occupation.”

Abbas’ recent declarations and direct involvement in the escalation stand out in their irregularity and are worrying. Most of all, however, these are new because they do not hide behind excuses. He is not meandering, maybe because he feels that the bullets in his gun are running out and this step can improve his current low position. Abbas is playing a double game: With the U.S. and the international community, he conveys a message of willingness to negotiate with Israel; while on the other hand, when speaking of the Temple Mount crisis, he comes out with contradictory, obtrusive statements on cutting ties, as well as calls likely to be construed as condoning terrorist activity by young Fatah and Tanzim members.

The threat of stopping the security coordination with Israel is likely to turn on Abbas, as Hamas is lurking around the corner, waiting for the opportunity to stage a coup against the Palestinian Authority as it did in 2007 in the Gaza Strip. The need to calm these players down is of the utmost importance if the wave of incitement is to stop becoming a wave of more lone terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, a handful of residents in the Jewish community in Hebron are taking advantage of the situation by invading the Machpelah House, adjacent to the Cave of the Patriarchs, over which they claim ownership. This creates a new and dangerous point of contention, as well as a post the Israeli army and police are forced to protect. Some would understand this development as a provocation for escalation — and it is difficult to argue with that.

Yaron Blum is a former senior Shin Bet security service officer.

Watch: Arabs riot on Temple Mount after metal detectors removed

Posted July 27, 2017 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

56 injured as riots break out in Old City of Jerusalem shortly after Muslim worshippers return to holy site.

David Rosenberg, 27/07/17 17:56 | updated: 18:40

Source: Watch: Arabs riot on Temple Mount after metal detectors removed – Israel National News

At least 56 people were injured in the Old City of Jerusalem Thursday, shortly after Muslim worshippers returned to the Temple Mount following a nearly two-week ban by Muslim authorities on prayer at the holy site.

Riots broke out within minutes as thousands of Muslims flooded the Temple Mount, attacking police officers who responded with crowd-control measures including tear gas, shock grenades, and rubber bullets.

Earlier on Thursday, the Jordanian Waqf – the Muslim trust which manages the Temple Mount – and the Mufti of Jerusalem permitted renewed Muslim prayer on the Mount, after Israel removed security cameras and magnetometer metal detectors at the entrances to the holy site.

For nearly two weeks, Muslims have largely avoided the Mount, praying instead near entrances to the holy site in protest of new security measures following a terror attack by three Arab Israelis who shot and murdered two Israeli Border Police officers earlier this month. Muslim clerics had called upon worshippers to avoid the Temple Mount so long as the metal detectors remained in place.

Shortly before the rioting began, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich spoke at the Western Wall Plaza, to “dispel misinformation” regarding Israel’s sudden decision to remove the metal detectors and security cameras, claiming they were ineffective, “and served no purpose.”

The metal detectors had been installed after authorities revealed that employees of the Waqf had likely assisted the terrorists who carried out the June 14th attack by concealing their automatic firearms in a mosque on the Mount, after the guns were smuggled onto the holy site.

According to reports by the Red Crescent, at least 56 people have been treated both inside and around the Temple Mount complex since the riots broke out.

 

House Judiciary Committee Officially Approves Effort to Launch Investigation of Comey, Lynch

Posted July 27, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: Clinton cover ups, Clinton Foundation, Clinton investigation, Comey and AG Lynch, Comey leaks, Comeygate, Democrats, House Judiciary Committee

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House Judiciary Committee Officially Approves Effort to Launch Investigation of Comey, Lynch, BreitbartMatthew Boyle, July 26, 2017

Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee has officially approved an effort to launch an investigation into former FBI director James Comey’s leaking activities and apparent mishandling of a federal investigation by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The new investigative effort, authorized by the passage of the amendment in the Judiciary Committee, 16-13 along partisan lines, digs deep requesting documents and information related to Comey’s leaks of conversations he had with President Donald Trump before Trump fired him. According to the Washington Post, Democrats on the committee were infuriated Republicans pressed forward with the probe.

“This is the most astonishing moment I’ve ever experienced in the Judiciary Committee,” one Democrat, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), said. “To take a question about the firing of James B. Comey and turn it into a question about Hillary Clinton? The chairman has left the room. Justice has left this room. Common sense has left this room. A lot of stuff has left this room, and maybe never entered it.”

The amendment was offered by Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), and Mike Johnson (R-LA). It passed Wednesday evening, authorizing the opening of the Judiciary Committee probe. It remains to be seen if subjects of the investigation will cooperate, and if they do not cooperate it remains to be seen if the Committee will use its broad subpoena power to compel document production and testimony.

It also remains to be seen if House Speaker Paul Ryan will support the probe, or intervene and use his power to block it. Ryan’s spokesman has not responded to Breitbart News’s requests for comment on this matter.

“There is little question that members of Obama’s administration repeatedly broke protocol throughout their investigations into Hillary Clinton,” Johnson told Breitbart News in an emailed statement. “What is unclear, however, is why we have received few answers over the past twelve months to our questions about their actions, especially concerning the former attorney general and FBI director. The House Judiciary Committee has continued to seek answers on various issues of interest stemming from their hearings and oversight responsibilities. This is simply an effort to finally get some of those important questions answered.”

The effort was first reported by Breitbart News on Tuesday, when a draft copy of the amendment was circulated demonstrating these conservatives’ efforts to probe deep into the left’s network of leaks and corruption.

The probe is wide-ranging and includes a mandate for the House Judiciary Committee to dig deep into Lynch’s order to Comey that he should refer to the criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server as a “matter,” not an “investigation.” Clinton was the failed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

The probe also will press for document production regarding Comey’s communication with Columbia University Law Professor Daniel Richman, Comey’s friend, of conversations Comey had with President Trump. Richman was the vessel through which Comey leaked to the media details of those conversations with the president after his firing, with an apparent intent of using the media pressure from said leaks to spark the launching of the special counsel investigation of the Russia scandal. That special counsel investigation is being led by Comey’s longtime friend Robert Mueller, another former FBI director.

The investigation will also, per the amendment passed by the House Judiciary Committee, dig into Comey’s decision to “usurp the authority” of Lynch by making his “unusual announcement” that Hillary Clinton would not face criminal charges over the email scandal. It will inspect Comey’s knowledge of the firm Fusion GPS, the firm that made the fake news anti-Trump dossier that Comey brought to Trump’s attention when he was president-elect, and look at any “collusion” between Comey and Mueller—the special counsel leading the Russia probe now—especially regarding Comey’s leak through Richman to the media.

The probe, too, will look into Comey’s potential knowledge of “unmasking” of intelligence and surveillance collected on Donald Trump’s campaign or transition teams—and specifically any role that former National Security Adviser Susan Rice played in that.

But that’s not all: The probe will dig into potential immunity deals given to “co-conspirators” in Hillary Clinton’s email server scandal, including specifically Cheryl Mills, Heather Samuelson, and John Bentel.

It will also look into matters related to the Clinton Foundation’s influence from foreign governments and specifically the Uranium One deal exposed by Clinton Cash—whereby Russians obtained ownership in U.S. uranium assets. And it will investigate the infamous tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch in Phoenix at Sky Harbor International Airport.

Biggs, one of the sponsors of the now approved amendment to officially launch the committee probe, told Breitbart News in an interview before the measure was introduced that the American people want answers to these questions.

“My constituents ask the same questions that so many people want to know the answer to, and that is why have all these investigations stopped?” Biggs said. “There was a whole lot of fire there and they just seemed to end when the new administration came in and I think there’s two or three reasons,” Biggs said in a brief phone interview on Tuesday afternoon. “Number one, I think you want justice and that leads to number two—if you don’t have justice and you’re not following the rule of law then government and lawmakers and those who enforce the law are held in derision by the public. They lose faith and confidence in those they elect and so I think this is really important to get back to those basics and find out what happened and so that’s why I think it’s important.”

Gaetz, another original sponsor, said in an emailed statement that this is a step in the right direction. “It’s time for Republicans in Congress to start playing offense,” Gaetz said.

And Jordan, the fourth original sponsor, added that Democrats have for years “obstructed justice,” but they will no longer succeed.

“For the past several years, Democrats have obstructed justice and blocked every Congressional investigation imaginable,” Jordan said in an emailed statement to Breitbart News. “Now they want to investigate? Ok, let’s investigate! Both parties have criticized James Comey over the past year for his performance as FBI director. Even Sen. Feinstein says there should be an investigation into Loretta Lynch and James Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation. Let’s have a special counsel for that and see how serious Congressional Democrats are about getting to the truth.”

Iran claims successful rocket test 

Posted July 27, 2017 by josephwouk
Categories: Uncategorized

Source: Iran claims successful rocket test – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

BYREUTERS
 JULY 27, 2017 17:39
The test was reportedly conducted to anger the US.
Iran rocket launch

Rocket launch in Iran. (photo credit:FARS)

Iran has successfully tested a rocket that can deliver satellites into orbit, state television reported on Thursday – an event likely to raise tensions with the United States because of its potential use in a ballistic missile.

“The Imam Khomeini Space Centre was officially opened with the successful test of the Simorgh (Phoenix) space launch vehicle,” state television said. “The Simorgh can place a satellite weighing up to 250 kg (550 pounds) in an orbit of 500 km (311 miles).”

“The Imam Khomeini Space Centre … is a large complex that includes all stages of the preparation, launch, control and guidance of satellites,” state television added.

The United States this month slapped new economic sanctions on Iran over its ballistic missile program, and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East had undercut any “positive contributions” from a 2015 accord curbing its nuclear program.

The measures signaled that President Donald Trump wanted to put more pressure on Iran while keeping in place the accord between Tehran and six world powers, which he has in the past condemned.

On Saturday, Iran announced the launch of a new facility to produce a missile that can target fighter planes, unmanned aerial vehicles, cruise missiles and helicopters.

In 2013, Iran said it had successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, which officials hailed as a major step towards their goal of sending humans into space.

But in March, an official said the state-run space agency had cancelled a project to launch a human into space because of high costs.

US seeks to test Iran deal with its new inspections

Posted July 27, 2017 by danmillerinpanama
Categories: IAEA, Iran scam, Iran secret deals, Iranian military sites, Iranian nukes, JCPOA, Parchin, Trump and Iran, Trump and Iran scam

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

US seeks to test Iran deal with its new inspections, Times of IsraelJosh Lederman and Matthew Lee, July 27, 2017

(It may be significant that Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon, rather than Secretary of State Tillerson, was sent to discuss the proposal with European members of the European Commission monitoring the “deal.” — DM)

US President Donald Trump speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 26, 2017. (AFP/SAUL LOEB)

Trump faces another certification deadline in three months, and it’s far from clear that either new inspections or any “fixes” to address whether his concerns will be in place by then. Trump told the Wall Street Journal this week he expects to say Iran isn’t complying, setting a high bar for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other aides to persuade him otherwise.

“If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump said.

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A refusal by Tehran to allow monitors in military sites could give Trump the excuse he wants to cancel the nuclear agreement.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal that US President Donald Trump desperately wants to cancel, senior US officials said.

The inspections are one element of what is designed to be a more aggressive approach to preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. While the Trump administration seeks to police the existing deal more strictly, it is also working to fix what Trump’s aides have called “serious flaws” in the landmark deal that — if not resolved quickly — will likely lead Trump to pull out.

That effort also includes discussions with European countries to negotiate a follow-up agreement to prevent Iran from resuming nuclear development after the deal’s restrictions expire in about a decade, the officials said. The officials weren’t authorized to discuss the efforts publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The inspections requests, which Iran would likely resist, could play heavily into Trump’s much-anticipated decision about whether to stick with the deal he’s long derided.

If Iran refuses inspections, Trump would finally have a solid basis to say Iran is breaching the deal, setting up Tehran to take most of the blame if the agreement collapses. If Iran agrees to inspections, those in Trump’s administration who want to preserve the deal would be emboldened to argue it’s advancing US national security effectively.

The campaign gained fresh urgency this month following a dramatic clash within the administration about whether to certify Iran’s compliance, as is required every 90 days.

Trump was eager to declare Tehran in violation, even though the International Atomic Energy Agency that monitors compliance says its infractions are minor. At the urging of top Cabinet members, Trump begrudgingly agreed at the last-minute to avoid a showdown for another three months — but only with assurances the US would increase pressure on Iran to test whether the deal is truly capable of addressing its nuclear ambitions and other troublesome activities.

Trump faces another certification deadline in three months, and it’s far from clear that either new inspections or any “fixes” to address whether his concerns will be in place by then. Trump told the Wall Street Journal this week he expects to say Iran isn’t complying, setting a high bar for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and other aides to persuade him otherwise.

“If it was up to me, I would have had them noncompliant 180 days ago,” Trump said.

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) heads into the Senate Chamber at the US Capitol, in Washington DC, July 26, 2017. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

To that end, the administration is seeking to force Iran to let in IAEA inspectors to military sites where the US intelligence community believes the Islamic Republic may be cheating on the deal, several officials said.

Access to Iran’s military sites was one of the most contentious issues in the 2015 deal, in which Tehran agreed to roll back its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in sanctions relief.

Last week in Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency is based, Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon floated the proposal to the European members of the Joint Commission that oversees the deal, one official said. Britain, France and Germany joined the US, Russia, China and the European Union two years ago in brokering the deal with Iran.

To force inspections of new sites in Iran, the US would need to enlist the support of the IAEA and a majority of the countries in the deal. But the US has run into early resistance over concerns it has yet to produce a “smoking gun” — compelling evidence of illicit activity at a military site that the IAEA could use to justify inspections, officials said.

Among the concerns about a rush toward inspections is that if they fail to uncover evidence of violations, it would undermine the IAEA’s credibility and its ability to demand future inspections. So the US is working to produce foolproof intelligence about illicit activity, officials said. The officials declined to describe the intelligence activities or the Iranian sites the US believes are involved.

Senator Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, alluded to the strategy during an event hosted Wednesday by The Washington Post. Corker said the US was trying to “radically enforce” the deal by asking for access to “various facilities” in Iran.

“If they don’t let us in, boom,” Corker said. “You want the breakup of this deal to be about Iran. You don’t want it to be about the US, because we want our allies with us.”

As a candidate, Trump threatened to rip up the deal that US President Barack Obama brokered. As president, Trump has yet to take that step, as his administration finishes a broader Iran policy review expected to conclude in August.

Satellite image of the Parchin facility, April 2012 (AP/Institute for Science and International Security)

The other major step to try and address what Trump has deemed flaws in the deal involves ensuring that Iran can’t revert to old behavior once the limitations on its program “sunset” over the next decade-plus. The US State Department said Trump has directed his administration to “work with allies to explore options” for dealing with that and other shortcomings. Talks are under way with the European countries about a supplemental deal, though it’s unclear how Iran could be persuaded to sign on.

The deal’s provisions for inspections of military facilities, or “undeclared sites,” involve a complex process with plenty of opportunities for Iran to stall. Tehran can propose alternatives to on-site inspections, or reject the request, which would trigger a 24-day process for the Joint Commission countries to override the rejection.

That could drag on for months. And under ambiguities built into the deal, it’s unclear whether Iran must allow IAEA inspectors into military sites, or whether the Iranians can take their own environmental samples and send them to the IAEA for testing, as was allowed under a 2015 side agreement that let Iran use its own experts to inspect the Parchin military site.

Even if Trump declares Iran in violation of the deal — a move that would invigorate his conservative base — he could still leave Iran’s sanctions relief in place.

American businesses are eager for the deal to survive so they can pursue lucrative opportunities in Iran. The aviation industry recently signed billions of dollars of contracts to sell passenger plans to Iranian airlines, including a $16.6 billion deal for Boeing.

This filth lives among us , WHY DO WE ALLOW THIS ????????

Posted July 27, 2017 by joopklepzeiker
Categories: Uncategorized

In a truly appalling sermon given on American soil, Islamic preacher Ammar Shahin, called for a worldwide genocide of every single Jew. The preacher even explained why he believes the genocide must happen.

H/T World Israel News news@worldisraelnews.com