Archive for November 2018

Syria: Wide-ranging Israel air strikes in three waves over Damascus region – DEBKAfile

November 30, 2018

Source: Syria: Wide-ranging Israel air strikes in three waves over Damascus region – DEBKAfile

Syrian sources reported shortly before midnight of Nov. 29, that Israeli air attacks had been ongoing from 21:30 over areas in the Damascus vicinity. Three waves of air and missile attacks had struck Al Kiswah, south of the capital, Qanaqar to the southwest, and Quneitra opposite Israel’s Golan border.

Arab broadcasting stations claimed that flames were rising over Damascus airport from targeted aircraft. Also hit, they reported, were pro-Iranian militias’ command posts and bases, various missile batteries and Hizballah forces.  None of these reports are officially confirmed. However, DEBKAfile’s military sources estimate that even if they are partly correct, Israel is conducting its most wide-ranging assault on Iranian and Hizballah targets in southwestern Syria since its major offensive of May 10 on 52 Iranian and Syrian sites.

The IDF has meanwhile reported that a missile was fired from Syria into Israeli Golan. It exploded on open ground. The spokesman denied any Israeli aircraft were hit by Syrian fire. According to Hizballah’s TV, all IDF bases on the Golan have been suddenly blacked out.

When the news first came in earlier, DEBKAfile posted this report:
Syrian sources, including the official news agency SANA, reported Thursday night that Syria air defenses had repelled “hostiles targets” in the Al-Kiswah region south of Damascus and that the operation was still ongoing. Other sources claimed that the Israeli Air Force had attacked pro-Iranian militia concentrations in the same region. Some said there were Hizballah units present there.

DEBKAfile: If those reports are confirmed, then this will be the third Israel attack by air or missile on targets in Syria since suspending its air strikes following the shooting down of a Russian spy plane on Sept. 17. Before that, Al Kiswah took a number of Israeli air strikes, the last occurring on May 10 against a shipment of Iranian Fatteh-313 missiles landing in Syria. Our military sources add that Al Kiswah is the seat of the Iranian command for South Syria which is headed by Maj. Gen. Hossein Hamadani.

 

Tehran-Beirut cargo flight sparks concerns Iran arming Hezbollah more easily 

November 30, 2018

Source: Tehran-Beirut cargo flight sparks concerns Iran arming Hezbollah more easily | The Times of Israel

Israeli, western officials suspect ostensibly civilian airlines, which once used Syria as a conduit, are bringing advanced military equipment into Lebanon for use against Israel

Illustrative image of a Fars Air Qeshm cargo plane (Wikimedia Commons)

Illustrative image of a Fars Air Qeshm cargo plane (Wikimedia Commons)

An Iranian cargo plane allegedly transporting advanced weaponry to the Hezbollah terror group was spotted flying directly from Tehran to Beirut on Thursday morning, hours before Israel allegedly conducted airstrikes on pro-Iranian targets in Syria.

Israeli and American security officials have long claimed that Iran has been supplying Lebanon’s Hezbollah with advanced munitions by shipping them through ostensibly civilian airlines, including the one that flew into Lebanon on Thursday: Fars Air Qeshm.

However, these cargo planes typically unload their materiel in Syria or stop there en route to Beirut, rather than flying directly into Lebanon, where Hezbollah is based.

According to publicly available flight data, Fars Air Qeshm flight No. QFZ-9964 left Tehran shortly after 8:00 a.m., flew over Iraq, cut northwest into Syria and then landed in Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport some two hours later.

Later, the Boeing 747 jet flew to Doha in Qatar before returning to Tehran.

Iran’s Fars Air Qeshm flight No. QFZ-9964 travels directly from Tehran to Beirut on November 29, 2018. (Screen capture: FlightRadar24)

On Thursday evening, the Israel Defense Forces indicated that the plane had been carrying weapons into Beirut.

Without specifically mentioning the flight, the army’s Arabic-language spokesperson Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee tweeted that Lebanon should stop allowing Iranian planes to bring war materiel into the country, along with a black-and-white satellite photograph of Rafik Hariri International Airport.

افيخاي ادرعي

@AvichayAdraee

التي تسمح بهبوط طائرات إيرانية تحاولون من خلالها نقل أسلحة من

US special representative for Iran Brian Hook said Thursday that Washington has “evidence that Iran is helping Hezbollah build missile production facilities” in Lebanon, without elaborating.

He accused Iran of brazenly exporting missiles to Afghanistan and Yemen, in violation of UN arms bans, including at least one with Persian writing on it.

“The conspicuous Farsi markings is Iran’s way of saying they don’t mind being caught violating UN arms restrictions,” he said.

Brian Hook, US special representative for Iran, walks past fragments of Iranian short-range ballistic missiles (Qiam) at the Iranian Materiel Display (IMD) at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, in Washington, November 29, 2018. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Hook called for increased world pressure on Iran and told journalists at a briefing that the intercepted Iranian weapons presented “irrefutable evidence” that Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region “is a problem that’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

When asked for data that would support administration claims that Iran is increasing support for destabilizing activities in the region, Hook said Iran has spent over $16 billion since 2013 supporting militia forces in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, but did not specify if that spending has increased in recent years.

“Iran must stop testing and proliferating missiles, stop launching and developing nuclear-capable missiles, and stop supporting militias in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain, and Yemen,” he said.

Reported airstrikes on pro-Iran sites in Syria

The Tehran-Beirut flight came hours before Israel reportedly launched a series of airstrikes against Iranian and pro-Iranian sites in Syria on Thursday night.

According to media reports and claims by the Syrian military, missiles were fired at targets in and around Damascus, in southern Syrian near the Israeli border and along the Damascus-Beirut highway, which runs to Lebanon.

It was not immediately clear if the two incidents were related to each other.

Fars Air Qeshm has previously been identified as one of several airlines allegedly acting as transporters of weapons systems for the Iranian military. Some of these have been targeted by US sanctions, though Fars Air Qeshm has not.

Last month, the airline reportedly transferred advanced GPS components to Hezbollah that would allow the terrorist group to turn previously unguided rockets into precision guided-missiles, thus increasing the threat to Israel.

A Fars Air Qeshm airplane was also reportedly bombed in an Israeli strikein September, the target of which was machinery used in the production of the precision missiles, which was en route to Hezbollah, The Times of Israel learned at the time.

The remains of a suspected Iranian aircraft, which was hit in an Israeli airstrike, Damascus, September 18, 2018. (ImageSat International (ISI/Ynet)

During the Israeli air raid, a Russian spy plane was inadvertently shot down by Syrian air defenses, which Moscow blames on Israel.

Israeli officials have repeatedly expressed concern about Hezbollah acquiring precision-guided missiles.

The Iran-backed terrorist militia, with whom Israel fought a punishing war in 2006, maintains an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and missiles — a larger stock than some European armies, with the capacity to strike anywhere in Israel.

Screenshot from a video released on July 22, 2017, and provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows Hezbollah fighters firing a missile at positions of al-Qaeda-linked militants in an area on the Lebanon-Syria border. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

“The difference is accuracy. Missiles are much more accurate, and now there is a tendency [for Iran] to give precision strike capability to its proxies or clients,” Brig. Gen. Ram Yavne, the head of the army’s strategy division, said earlier this month.

“They are far, far from there, but just imagine that they can launch not a rocket that — when you look at the chances — only a few of them would hit an urban area or strategic site, but a very precise missile that can hit, much more directly, a strategic site in Israel,” he said.

In September, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brandished pictures of what he said were Hezbollah missile facilities inside Beirut, including near the airport. Lebanon denied the claim, taking media and diplomats on a tour of some of the sites days later.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, holding up a placard detailing alleged Hezbollah missile sites in Beirut, addresses the General Assembly at the UN in New York on September 27, 2018. (AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

In recent years, Israel has acknowledged conducting hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, which it says were aimed at both preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria and blocking the transfer of advanced munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Israeli Air Force has largely abstained from conducting raids inside Lebanon itself, though it has indicated that it was prepared to do so.

Earlier this year, IAF chief Amiram Norkin showed visiting generals a picture of an Israeli F-35 stealth fighter flying next to Beirut’s airport, in what was seen as a direct message to Hezbollah.

Times of Israel staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Army finds pieces of Syrian missile in Golan field after alleged Israeli strikes 

November 30, 2018

Source: Army finds pieces of Syrian missile in Golan field after alleged Israeli strikes | The Times of Israel

Fragments found of surface-to-air missile fired overnight; Syrian monitors say IAF raid targeted Iranian, Hezbollah weapons depots; Israel mum on raid, denies claim it lost a plane

Syrian anti-aircraft missiles rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense positions and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria, on May 10, 2018. (Government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

Syrian anti-aircraft missiles rise into the sky as Israeli missiles hit air defense positions and other military bases, in Damascus, Syria, on May 10, 2018. (Government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

Israeli troops on the Golan Heights on Friday found a number of fragments of a Syrian surface-to-air missile that was fired during an alleged Israeli airstrike on Iranian and Hezbollah targets in Syria the night before.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the remnants of the missile were found in an open field on the Golan heights. The pieces have been taken in for further examination by the military and the police, the army said.

Also on Friday, the Syria Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said it identified several of the sites hit in what it said was an Israeli bombardment that lasted “for an hour.”

The Israeli military refused to comment on the raid, but denied a report in Russian media that an Israeli plane had been shot down. The Syrian military claimed its air defenses shot down all incoming “hostile targets” late Thursday. However, many security analysts believe Syria often falsely claims to have intercepted missiles that successfully penetrated its air defenses.

According to the director of the Syria Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdel Rahman, the Israeli bombardment hit two positions in the south of Damascus province, including an area believed to be an Iranian weapons depot near the capital.Once a regular occurrence, reports of Israeli airstrikes in Syria have become increasingly rare in the past two months, after Syria accidentally shot down a Russian spy plane during an Israeli raid, which Moscow blamed on Israel.

According to Abdel Rahmn, two Israeli missiles hit al-Kiswah, where he said there are “weapons depots belonging to the Lebanese Hezbollah [terrorist group] as well as Iranian forces.”

Another missile hit the area of Harfa, near the Israeli border, where there is a Syrian military base, the UK-based monitor said.

In Kisweh, “the depots that were targeted are used to temporarily store rockets until they are taken somewhere else,” Abdel Rahman said.

Illustrative: This photo released on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows flames rising after an attack in an area known to have numerous Syrian army military bases, in Kisweh, south of Damascus. (SANA via AP)

“It appears the Israelis had intelligence that weapons had arrived there recently,” he said.

Explosions were also reported in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, near its international airport, which Israel claims has been used by Iran to supply terror groups with advanced weaponry.

According to the Kremlin-backed Sputnik new site, blasts were also heard near the town of al-Dimas, along the Damascus-Beirut highway, which may indicate that an arms shipment was targeted in the alleged Israeli strikes.

Thursday’s strike was the first time Syria’s air defenses had been called into action since they inadvertently shot down a Russian spy plane and the 15 people on board during an Israeli raid on September 17.

Despite the strained relationship with Russia, Israeli officials maintain that the IDF continues to operate in the country. However, many defense analysts suspect that Russia — with the advanced air defense systems it has in Syria — may be curbing Israel’s ability to rein its arch nemesis Iran’s military presence in the country.

In recent years, Israel has acknowledged conducting hundreds of airstrikes in Syria, which it says were aimed at both preventing Iran from establishing a permanent military presence in Syria and blocking the transfer of advanced munitions to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Israel has designated these two issues as “red lines” that it will take military action to prevent.

However, this has slowed in the past two months following the downing of the Russian plane.

Moscow blamed Israel for the incident and supplied Damascus with the advanced S-300 air defense system — something it had previously refrained from doing following requests from Jerusalem.

The S-300 systems were delivered to Syria last month, but they are not yet believed to be in use, as the Syrian air defense teams still need to be trained to operate them.

 

Police suspect terrorism as Jordanian assaults 2 Israeli coworkers in Eilat

November 30, 2018

Source: Police suspect terrorism as Jordanian assaults 2 Israeli coworkers in Eilat | The Times of Israel

Shin Bet to question suspect over hammer attack at port, which left victims seriously injured; second Jordanian man lightly hurt trying to restrain attacker

Illustrative image of the port of Eilat (Jorge Novominsky/Flash90)

Illustrative image of the port of Eilat (Jorge Novominsky/Flash90)

A Jordanian national employed at the Eilat port in southern Israel was arrested Friday on suspicion of attacking two Israeli coworkers with a hammer.

The two Israelis were badly wounded in the assault, police said.

The Jordanian man was arrested following the incident. Several hours later police said an initial probe had increased suspicions that the attack was a nationalistically-motivated terror act.

The suspect was handed over to the Shin Bet internal security service for further questioning.

In addition to the injured Israelis, who were brought to the city’s Yoseftal Hospital with head injuries, another Jordan worker who tried to restrain the attacker was lightly hurt, Hebrew media reports said.

The suspect, who was not named in reports, began working in Israel on Thursday after receiving a daily work permit from the Population and Immigration Authority, according to the Haaretz daily.

Israel in 2014 granted permission for 1,500 Jordanians to work in the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, which is located directly across the border from the Jordanian city of Aqaba.

 

Off Topic:  Silicon Valley’s version of Sharia takes root

November 30, 2018

Source: Malkin: Silicon Valley’s version of Sharia takes root

This is a tale of two young, outspoken women in media.

One is a liberal tech writer. The other is an enterprising conservative new media reporter. One has achieved meteoric success and now works at a top American newspaper. The other has been de-platformed and marginalized. Their wildly different fates tell you everything you need to know about Silicon Valley’s free speech double standards.

Some smug elites will downplay Twitter’s disparate treatment of these users by arguing that private tech corporations can do whatever they want and that no First Amendment issues have been raised. But this battle is about much more than free speech rights. It’s about whether the high-and-mighty progressives who monopolize global social media platforms truly believe in nurturing a free speech culture.

By punishing politically incorrect speech and making punitive examples of free thinkers, tech titans are enforcing their own authoritarian version of Silicon Valley sharia — a set of both written and unwritten codes constricting expressions of acceptable thought in the name of “safety” and “civility.”

Laura Loomer was suspended permanently from Twitter over the Thanksgiving holiday for this tweet — and I quote in full: “Isn’t it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate ‘women, LGBTQ, and minorities’ is a picture of Ilhan Omar? Ilhan is pro Sharia(.) Ilhan is pro-FGM(.) Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish.”

Ilhan Omar is the newly elected Democratic Muslim congresswoman from Minnesota who is indeed pro-Sharia. Omar equivocated on a state bill to increase penalties against female genital mutilation. It is a fact that gay people are oppressed and killed under Sharia. It an undeniable truth that women are abused and forced to wear the hijab. Omar has accused Israel of hypnotizing the world, attacked its “evil doings,” and has said she supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the Jewish state.

Twitter booted Loomer, who is Jewish, off its site for expressing her well-supported opinions, which the social media giant called “hateful conduct.” She has been labeled a “far-right activist” for her mainstream views. As she noted in a new statement posted to her website Tuesday: “I am just one example of someone who has been banned for discussing issues on social media that big tech companies have deemed as untouchable. All across the world, people are being silenced, censored, and even jailed for having online discussions about Islam, immigration, jihad, and Sharia. I was banned for posting facts about Islam. In other words, non-Muslims are being subjected to Islamic blasphemy laws on social media, progressively.”

If Loomer were a left-wing “Islamophobia”-invoking feminist who practiced undercover or gonzo journalism to go after Republicans, she’d be hailed as an innovative disruptor instead of dismissed by establishment elites on both sides of the political aisle.

Now contrast the fate of 30-year-old Sarah Jeong, who was named an editorial writer at The New York Times in August. Her left-wing colleagues and admirers applauded her “verve and erudition.” And they made much of her diversity status as a “young Asian woman.” This person-of-color shield gave Jeong immunity to post several years’ worth of hateful tweets attacking white people.

“White men are bull(expletive)”;

″#CancelWhitePeople”;

“oh man it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old white men” and ”(expletive) white women lol.”

She has tweeted ”(expletive) the police” and “cops are (expletive)holes,” derided fraternity members and athletes wrongfully accused of rape and fumed about “dumb(expletive) (expletive)ing white people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”

Let’s review: Loomer was kicked off Twitter for calling out Sharia and a culture that promotes hatred of gays, boycotts of Jews and subjugation of women. Before the permanent suspension, Loomer — who had built up a following of more than 250,000 — had her blue check removed and was silenced during the midterm elections when her investigative work was making a difference. She called out Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey for anti-conservative bias at a congressional hearing and was mocked by establishment detractors in both parties.

Meanwhile, Jeong sits on her perch on The New York Times editorial board after using Twitter to spew hatred against all men, all cops, the entire white race — and Twitter. Jeong denies Silicon Valley’s political bias and selective speech suppression, which she has dismissed as a “paranoid fantasy.”

Every day that blue check marked hate-monger Sarah Jeong gets to tweet while Laura Loomer remains silenced reminds us of how powerful social media conglomerates have rigged the free speech playing field.

It’s no fantasy. It’s a nightmare.

Michelle Malkin (writemalkin@gmail.com) is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on CRTV.com. She writes for Creators Syndicate.

Off Topic: Judge Drops Case Against Muslim Mutilators 

November 30, 2018

 

 

A federal judge dismisses charges against doctors and family members who broke a longstanding, never-enforced, federal law against female genital mutilation. Wait until you hear how the judge justifies his decision. Bill Whittle Now deals with the moral and Constitutional ramifications.

 

 

 Europe beats Iran’s war drums 

November 30, 2018

Source: Column One: Europe beats Iran’s war drums – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

BY CAROLINE B. GLICK
 NOVEMBER 29, 2018 20:10
Column One: Europe beats Iran’s war drums

Last Saturday, Iran’s “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani called Israel “a cancerous tumor” in a speech at the regime’s annual Islamic Unity Conference.

Rouhani’s fellow speakers included deputy Hezbollah chief Naim Qassem and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. Both terror bosses called for the destruction of the “cancerous tumor.”

With the predictability of a Swiss clock, the Europeans rushed to condemn Rouhani. The EU in Brussels condemned Rouhani. The German Foreign Ministry condemned Rouhani. And so on and so forth.
We could have done without their statements.

Just two days after Rouhani’s Jewish cancer speech, his representatives sat down with senior EU officials in Brussels to discuss Iranian-EU nuclear cooperation in the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal. Following the talks, EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini’s office put out a statement claiming that the sides “expressed their determination to preserve the nuclear agreement as… a key pillar for European and regional security.”

As Mogherini and her colleagues were sitting with the Iranians, the Wall Street Journal reported that the French and German governments have agreed to set up a back channel, in the form of a joint corporation, owned by European governments, whose job will be to arrange for payments for Iranian exports in a manner that bypasses and so undermines US financial and trade sanctions on Iran.

How are we to understand Europe’s behavior? What is possessing Germany and France and Brussels and even Britain, (which is reportedly considering joining the Germans and French in their sanctions-busting operations) to stand with Iran against the US?

It isn’t because Iran has proved its good intentions to them. To the contrary, over the past six months, Iran has plotted three terror attacks in Europe. In June, Iranian operatives murdered a regime opponent in Holland. In July, Belgian authorities prevented an Iranian plot to attack a regime opposition rally in Paris. And in October, Danish authorities intercepted an Iranian terror squad en route to assassinate the head of an organization of Ahwaz Arabs, Iran’s Arab minority that suffers from harsh repression at the hands of the regime.

These terror plots are not the only way that Iran is working to threaten European security even as European leaders endanger their ties with the US to enrich Tehran. Ahead of his meeting with the Europeans in Brussels on Monday, Ali Akhbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s nuclear agency, warned that if Europeans choose to comply with US sanctions and stop purchasing Iranian oil, Iran will ditch the nuclear deal and restore its activities to enrich uranium to 20% purity, something Iran purportedly suspended in the framework of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Salehi told Reuters, “It is very easy for us to go back to what we were before – even to a better position. We can start the 20% enrichment activity. We can increase the amount of enriched uranium.”

Maybe the Europeans are working to undermine US sanctions and save the Iranian economy because they are afraid of the Iranians. But since Europe’s intense efforts to appease Iran have been met with continued Iranian terrorism, it is irrational to think that repeating this failed policy will protect them in the future.

As Brian Hook, the US State Department’s Iran policy chief put it to reporters when the Denmark terror plot was revealed, “It is very strange to us to see this Iranian regime would spend so much time trying to keep the Europeans on its side, while at the same time conducting bomb plots and assassination attempts in Europe.”

It’s possible that the Europeans are motivated to work on behalf of Iran against the US by an uncontrollable hatred of US President Donald Trump. Speaking to Britain’s Independent, a senior European diplomat said that the Europeans are empowering Iran so that Trump won’t be able to get the satisfaction of seeing them agree with him that Iran is a threat.
In his words, “We want to play it smartly so that Trump doesn’t say, ‘See, I told you these weak Europeans will eventually understand the real nature of Iran.’”

In other words, according to the quoted diplomat, the Europeans would rather shut their eyes to the reality of Iran’s aggression and empower the terror sponsoring ayatollahs than acknowledge that Trump is right and that Iran poses to danger to Europe that mustn’t be countenanced. And indeed, while the Danes initially recalled their ambassador from Tehran and called on the EU to impose sanctions against Iran in retaliation for the terror plot in Copenhagen, within weeks, the Danish ambassador was back in Tehran and the EU had opted not to impose any sanctions in response to Iran’s terrorist operations in Europe.

Jew hatred is another possible explanation for Europe’s embrace of a regime that calls daily for Israel’s destruction and works directly and through its Hezbollah and Hamas proxies to achieve its murderous goal. CNN’s survey of European Jew hatred, released this week showed yet again that hatred of Jews remains a powerful force for political and social mobilization in Europe today.

As for antisemitism, according to a senior administration official, although Mogherini is the mouthpiece for the EU’s Iran policy, she is not its author, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is.

Mogherini, like the Germans and French, insist that their continued commitment to the 2015 nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is working to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. Ahead of the meeting with Salehi on Monday, EU Energy Commissioner Arias Canete said the deal is “crucial for the security of Europe, of the region and the entire world.”
He said the agreement is working to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions and that “we do not see any credible peaceful alternative.”

The mendacity of Canete’s statement, and similar ones by Mogherini, is stunning. At least since April 30, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exposed Iran’s nuclear archive, which Mossad officers seized from a Tehran warehouse in late January, nothing Iran says about its nuclear program or activities can be taken seriously. The very existence of the nuclear archive, and the great efforts the regime took to preserve it made clear that the Iranian regime has never had the slightest interest in curbing, let alone abandoning its ambition to develop a nuclear arsenal. The archive preserved all of the knowledge that Iran amassed since the early 1990s towards the development, testing and deployment of nuclear warheads.

Salehi himself made clear that the nuclear sword of Damocles is still dangling over the world’s throat. Salehi warned the Europeans that if they fail to protect Iran from US sanctions, the consequences will be “ominous.”

“The situation is very unpredictable,” he warned.

The Iranian nuclear archive, Europe’s willingness to provoke an open breach with the Americans to continue transferring money to Iran, and Iran’s own brinksmanship in the face of US sanctions tell us that much of the discourse about the nuclear deal has been misplaced and the purpose of the deal has been misconstrued.

Unlike what we have been told – and what we have been telling ourselves, the deal isn’t a non-proliferation effort. It isn’t geared toward blocking Iran’s nuclear operations.

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is nothing more than a payoff. Salehi admitted as much this week when he said, “If we cannot sell our oil and we don’t enjoy financial transactions, then I don’t think keeping the deal will benefit us anymore.”

The Obama administration, in conjunction with the EU, concluded a deal which no one ever signed. It involved the US and Europe, (along with Russia and China) transferring billions of dollars to Iran in cash, providing Iran with billions of dollars of sanctions relief and agreeing to business deals worth additional billions to the Iranian economy.

In exchange, Iran offered them nothing.

It is impossible to credit any of Iran’s purported actions to contain or curtail its nuclear activities because the agreement contains no effective inspections mechanism. Under the JCPOA, Iran can avoid UN inspections of its nuclear installations by simply calling them military installations.

The purpose of the deal then wasn’t to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons at all. This is why then-president Barack Obama, then-secretary of state John Kerry, their underlings and their EU colleagues couldn’t care less when, during the negotiations, Israel provided proof that Iran couldn’t be trusted and that the agreement as concluded wouldn’t prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. This is also why the Europeans responded to Israel’s seizure of Iran’s nuclear archive with a shrug of their shoulders. They aren’t arms controllers. They are appeasers.

The purpose of the nuclear deal was to enrich and empower the Iranian regime. And in this context, Iran’s determination to leave the deal if the dollars and euros stop flowing is entirely reasonable. So, too, the Europeans are right that to preserve the deal, they must do everything in their power to continue enriching Iran.

Once we understand the actual nature of the deal, we can recognize the true danger of Europe’s pro-Iranian, anti-American actions.

Israel and many Arab states have made clear that they will go to war against Iran if that is the only way that Iran can be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The purpose of the US economic sanctions is to achieve the goal of blocking Iran’s nuclear efforts without war. If the Iranian economy collapses, or if the regime is overthrown, or both, Iran will likely abandon its nuclear weapons program without war. If Europe is successful in scuttling US sanctions, the likelihood of a major war will rise tremendously.

In response to the Wall Street Journal report, US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell told the Jerusalem Post’s Benjamin Weinthal that the US will contemplate sanctions against French and German entities that seek to evade sanctions against Iran.
In his words, “The US will consider sanctions on those entities participating in these tactics.”

Maybe the Europeans are motivated to stand with Rouhani and his fellow genocidal antisemites in the Iranian regime out of hatred for Trump or for America as a whole. Maybe they’re motivated by Jew hatred.

Maybe they simply want to keep paying off the Iranians in the hopes that Iranian regime terrorists will continue to focus their terror efforts in Europe on Iranian dissidents and Jews and leave them alone.

Maybe they are motivated by old-fashioned greed.

Whatever is motivating them, the time has come to make them pay a price for their hostile behavior. Because if they aren’t forced to back down, by US sanctions and other means, then the world will pay a devastating price later, in the form of a war that might have been prevented were it not for European perfidy, prejudice and cowardice.