Posted tagged ‘Iran – Middle East’

Forging a new approach to Iran

March 6, 2017

Forging a new approach to Iran, Washington Times, Shahram Ahmadi Nasab Emran, March 5, 2017

iranianoctopusIllustration on the continuing threat of Iran by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

By identifying the gross overreach by the Iranian regime and promising a swift, punitive response, the White House’s stance marked the end of a longstanding American policy of naive appeasement. In so doing, the Trump administration has rightly recognized the true source of instability and existential threat the region faces. Now, instead of issuing broad statements, it must act on a smart strategy for dismantling the key pillars of Iran’s international terror network and stunting the regime’s emboldened overreach.

***********************

Even as the Trump administration seeks to designate the Revolutionary Guard as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, Iran continues its blatant defiance of international norms. Promising “roaring missiles” if threatened, Tehran has test fired several ballistic weapons capable of delivering nuclear material in just the past month. A fundamentally weak regime with dated military capabilities, Iran is attempting to call the United States’ bluff, perhaps to gain leverage in any subsequent re-evaluations of the nuclear deal Tehran struck with the Obama administration. Several blistering statements from the White House backed by a round of sanctions presage the administration’s muscular new approach. But if it hopes to secure the region, it must systematically target the core destabilizing activities of the regime.

In a steady stream of denunciations, the White House pledged tougher U.S. action if the mullahs continue to violate international norms through illicit missile tests, making clear that the Obama era of appeasement is over. “Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened,” an official White House statement read. “We are officially putting Iran on notice.” While many Iranian officials dismissed President Trump’s tough talk on the nuclear deal as empty campaign rhetoric, the president’s appointment of fellow anti-regime hardliner Gen. James Mattis demonstrates his intention to deliver.

Perhaps more importantly, the White House has also challenged the regime’s extended proxy offensives against U.S. allies and friends in the neighborhood. Such actions “underscore what should have been clear to the international community all along about Iran’s destabilizing behavior across the Middle East,” the White House statement continued. Contrary to President Obama’s Middle East policy of abandoning friends and allies and trying to make friends with the adversaries, the Trump administration will fully support its friends. Specifically, this stance challenges Iran’s practice of hiding behind Hezbollah and Houthis militants as it funds and trains them.

Holding a vastly dated arsenal of weapons, Iran is no match for U.S. firepower, leaving only backchannel mercenaries to promote regional dominance. The White House acknowledged this dynamic, specifically characterizing the affront against Saudi forces as being “conducted by Iran-supported Houthi militants.” This link was never recognized by the Obama administration. Such oversight left Iran free to grow and strengthen its hand in these groups, which terrorize the region and undermine our partners. If the Trump administration will craft a strategy for stunting Iran’s proxy network, particularly by cutting funding and armament flows, the region would be far safer and more stable.

Noting Mr. Trump’s concerns about the nuclear deal being “weak and ineffective”, the Trump administration addressed a third key issue in the U.S.-Iranian relationship. Rapidly losing money and influence, the nuclear deal allowed the regime to avoid military confrontation over its development program for which it was grossly unprepared. And despite the intention of weakening the regime and strengthening the Iranian people, rushed U.S. concessions granted the regime an eleventh-hour trickle of lifeblood, both financially and symbolically. By rolling sanctions back, destabilizing behavior was ostensibly met with an influx of funds. As such, the deal signaled that military action against Iran was highly improbable, thus essentially greenlighting the illicit activity that effected warnings and sanctions from the White House over the past month. And despite official remarks by Iranian officials denouncing these statements as naive and weak, the regime would be in dire straits if America turns off the faucet opened by the nuclear deal.

Finally, the administration’s condemnation for Iran’s broader support for terrorism demonstrated clear perspective on the direct threat it poses to international security. In addition to supporting Hezbollah, Iran is currently involved in a life-and-death battle in Syria that includes continuous weapon and militant transfer from Iran to Syria. President Bashar Assad’s downfall in Syria would destroy the linchpin of Iran’s terror apparatus.

Further, any sustainable resolution calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Syria, culling both activity in the country and a pipeline to Hezbollah via the porous borders between Syria and Libya. As Iran finds itself backed into a corner by its regional export of terror, Mr. Trump and his team have many cards to play.

By identifying the gross overreach by the Iranian regime and promising a swift, punitive response, the White House’s stance marked the end of a longstanding American policy of naive appeasement. In so doing, the Trump administration has rightly recognized the true source of instability and existential threat the region faces. Now, instead of issuing broad statements, it must act on a smart strategy for dismantling the key pillars of Iran’s international terror network and stunting the regime’s emboldened overreach.

Ahead of Netanyahu-Trump talks, Abbas woos Iran

February 13, 2017

Ahead of Netanyahu-Trump talks, Abbas woos Iran, DEBKAfile, February 13, 2017

He is warning Trump that the US embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem and the strengthening of US-Israeli ties would be countered by a parallel enhancement of Palestinian relations with Tehran. The message to Vladmir Putin is that, even though he is fully engaged in Syria, he can’t afford to abandon the Palestinians; Abdel-Fatteh El- Sisi, the Gulf rulers and Jordan’s monarch are put on notice that if they have a problem with rising Iranian influence in Baghdad, they had better be prepared to find Tehran’s imprint in Ramallah too.

**********************************

EXCLUSIVE: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) has pivoted towards Iran in a move to pre-empt a possibly impending US embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the friendly talks scheduled to take place in Washington Wednesday, Feb. 15, between President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

This is revealed by DEBKAfile’s exclusive intelligence sources.

Our sources report that the Abbas has opened a direct channel of communications between Ramallah and Tehran as a permanent fixture. Fatah Central Committee member Jibril Rajoub is in charge of the Palestinian end of the relationship and will lead the first official Palestinian delegation to Tehran.

For some months now, he has served as Abbas’s senior spokesman and the Palestinian Authority’s “foreign minister.” In the third week of January, Rajoub declared: “In our opinion moving the embassy to Jerusalem is a declaration of war on the Muslims.”

Two weeks ago, Palestinian and Iranian delegations met secretly for the first time in a European country. Two more encounters followed and dealt with such urgent matters as the fate of Palestinians stranded on Syria’s battlefronts and in former refugee camps. They also discussed the Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon and their problematic relations with Iran’s Shiite surrogate, Hizballah.

At their third meeting, the Iranian delegates asked where the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah stood vis-a-vis a political resolution of the Syrian conflict. They decided to talk about this some more at the next Iranian-Palestinian meeting on a date this month and a location yet to be arranged.

As part of his pivot towards Tehran, Abbas made sure to send the Palestinian Authority’s warm congratulations to Iran’s rulers on the anniversary of their Islamic revolution: He asked God “to bring more stability and prosperity to Iran and its brotherly people as they celebrate this occasion, and more progress and advancement the brotherly relations between our peoples.”

Abu Mazen’s pro-Iranian shift is intended as a signal to five parties, DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report: President Trump, the Presidents of Russian and Egypt, the rulers of the Gulf Emirates and King Abdullah of Jordan.

He is warning Trump that the US embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem and the strengthening of US-Israeli ties would be countered by a parallel enhancement of Palestinian relations with Tehran. The message to Vladmir Putin is that, even though he is fully engaged in Syria, he can’t afford to abandon the Palestinians; Abdel-Fatteh El- Sisi, the Gulf rulers and Jordan’s monarch are put on notice that if they have a problem with rising Iranian influence in Baghdad, they had better be prepared to find Tehran’s imprint in Ramallah too.

Iran tests ballistic missile in defiance of UN resolution, US officials say

January 30, 2017

Iran tests ballistic missile in defiance of UN resolution, US officials say, Fox News, January 30, 2017

President Trump on Sunday spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, a conversation in which the two “agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and of addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” the White House said in a statement.

A ballistic missile launch could potentially fall under “destabilizing regional activities.”

The launch also comes a day before Jordan’s King Abdullah arrived in Washington for meetings with Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Mattis.

*****************************

Iran conducted a ballistic missile test in yet another apparent violation of a United Nations resolution, U.S. officials told Fox News on Monday.

The launch occurred at a well-known test site outside Semnan, about 140 miles east of Tehran, on Sunday.

The Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile flew 600 miles before exploding, in a failed test of a reentry vehicle, officials said. Iran defense minister Brigadier Gen. Hossein Dehqan said in September that Iran would start production of the missile.

U.N. resolution 2231 — put in place days after the Iran nuclear deal was signed — calls on the Islamic Republic not to conduct such tests. However, this is at least Iran’s second such test since July. The resolution bars Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests for eight years and went into effect July 20, 2015.

Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology,” according to the text of the resolution.

The landmark nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, however, does not include provisions preventing Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests, and Iran claims the tests are legitimate because they are not designed to carry a nuclear warhead.

President Trump on Sunday spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, a conversation in which the two “agreed on the importance of rigorously enforcing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran and of addressing Iran’s destabilizing regional activities,” the White House said in a statement.

A ballistic missile launch could potentially fall under “destabilizing regional activities.”

The launch also comes a day before Jordan’s King Abdullah arrived in Washington for meetings with Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary Mattis.

Get to Know Iran’s Terrorist ‘Ambassador’ to Iraq

January 25, 2017

Get to Know Iran’s Terrorist ‘Ambassador’ to Iraq, Clarion Project, Shahriar Kia, January 25, 2017

(Please see also The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Has Become More Influential and Powerful. — DM)

iran-revolutionary-guards-atta-kenare-afp-getty-with-ira-masjed-640-320iIranian Revolutionary Guards. (Photo: © ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images). Inset: Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi (Photo: Twitter)

In contrast to international political norms, Iran’s embassy in Iraq is not under foreign ministry authority. The IRGC enjoys complete hegemony over this diplomatic post.

Iran’s new ambassador appointment in Iraq provides a clear insight into the terrorist nature of the mullahs’ intentions, and Tehran’s specific objectives of continuing a policy of lethal meddling in Iraq — while using the country as a springboard for further intervention in Syria and beyond.

This is a challenge the new U.S. administration and Congress should meet with a firm policy calling to end Iran’s destructive role in the Middle East.

************************************

Iran’s new ambassador to Iraq is part of a terrorist network, an advisor of the notorious Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force. Brigadier General Iraj Masjedi replaces Hassan Danaii Far, himself a senior IRGC member.

“The Iranian embassy in Baghdad is considered a strategic post outside the country and the ambassador is a highly important figure,” notes the state-run Asre Iran daily.

Masjedi is often quoted by Iran’s media as a senior advisor to the terrorist Quds Force commander Qassem Suleimani, also sanctioned by the West and under a travel ban.

According to the Saudi news site Al Arabiya, “The Revolutionary Guards considers the Iranian embassy in Baghdad of strategic importance within the states that are subject to Iranian influence.

“Since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, all the ambassadors of Iran to Iraq were members of the Revolutionary Guards.”

In contrast to international political norms, Iran’s embassy in Iraq is not under foreign ministry authority. The IRGC enjoys complete hegemony over this diplomatic post.

Far’s specific mission in Iraq was literally to purge all members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), through attacks launched by the Quds Force and affiliated Iraqi proxy groups. The MEK was able to resettle all its members to Europe (which is a different discussion).

Masjedi has a dark record of playing a major role in suppressing the Iraqi people and specifically leading genocidal attacks targeting locals of Diyala Province, a melting pot bordering Iran where Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and others used to live in peace prior to Iran’s covert occupation of Iraq from 2003 onward.

The highly-respected, Saudi-founded pan-Arab news outlet Asharq Al-Awsat writes, “…commanders of the Quds Force who supervise the Shi’ite militia leadership in Iraq are Brigadier Generals Mohammed Shahlaei, Mojtaba Abtahi, Iraj Masjedi and Ahmad Forouzandeh, who are all directly supervised by the Quds Forces Commander Qasem Soleimani.”

Masjedi is a loathed figure in Iraq for his efforts to completely restructure the province’s social fabric. He is known for his remarks justifying Iran’s military presence in Iraq.

“The enemy charged towards Iraqi cities and reached Samara and Karbala, and near Iran’s borders in Diyala. And you expect us to remain silent?” he said.

“We must strategically deepen our struggle,” Masjedi explained on January 31t, 2015, shedding light into the dangerous mentality of an individual now appointed as Iran’s top diplomat in Iraq.

This statement is significant when taken together with the fact that Iran remains designated as the leading state sponsor of terrorism and has taken advantage of the Obama administration’s failed policy of delivering Mesopotamia on a silver platter to Tehran’s mullahs.

The IRGC has stationed around 7,000 armed Quds Force-affiliated elements in various cities across Iraq.

Masjedi strongly agrees with senior Iranian officials who underscore the necessity for Iran to support Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and send troops and Shiite militias to the Levant.

“War in that region [i.e., Syria] is in ways providing security for [Iran],” he said.

The people of Aleppo and Diyala have no doubts about the active role that Iran, the IRGC and the Quds Force are playing in the region.

Masjedi is also known for his comments regarding the battle for the city of Fallujah, a former Islamic State stronghold west of Baghdad, emphasizing, “The involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the battle of Fallujah was in order to preserve Iran’s status as a Shiite center in the world. We are defending Iran and its borders.”

“The next step of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was been the formation of the massive Basij [mobilization] force that is faithful and a friend of Islamic Iran, such as the Iraqi Hashd al Shabi [PMF], which has been established as a powerful army with our organizing and our experience in the Sacred Defense [Iran-Iraq War],” Masjedi said according to a Long War Journal report.

“Many of the militias that are part of the PMF remain hostile to the United States, and some have threatened to attack U.S. interests in the region. One of the more influential militias within the PMF, Hezbollah Brigades, is listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. Several influential PMF leaders, including the operational leader of the PMF, are listed by the U.S. as global terrorists,” the LWJ report adds.

Iran’s new ambassador appointment in Iraq provides a clear insight into the terrorist nature of the mullahs’ intentions, and Tehran’s specific objectives of continuing a policy of lethal meddling in Iraq — while using the country as a springboard for further intervention in Syria and beyond.

This is a challenge the new U.S. administration and Congress should meet with a firm policy calling to end Iran’s destructive role in the Middle East.

“The regime in Tehran is the source of the crisis in the region and killings in Syria; it has played the greatest role in the expansion and continuation of ISIS. Peace and tranquility in the region can only be achieved by evicting this regime from the region,”said Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi, President of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Has Become More Influential and Powerful

January 25, 2017

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Has Become More Influential and Powerful, Iran News Update, January 24, 2017

(Please see also, What Is Iran’s Policy-Making Mechanism? — DM)

10611

The IRGC has successfully suppressed domestic opposition. Examples  include supporters and leaders of the Green Movement, and religious and ethnic minorities such as Kurds, Sunnis and Arabs. As well, other political factions, such as the moderates, have come to the conclusion that they need the blessing of the IRGC in order to survive politically.

The reintegration of Tehran into the global financial system is deepening, and more countries are committing themselves to trade with Iran and investment in its markets.The IRGC and the office of the supreme leader are the main beneficiaries of the increased revenues, which have been diverted into upgrading the IRGC’s military capabilities.  Iran’s lawmakers voted to increase the military budget despite the high unemployment rate.

Regional stability was an obstacle for the IRGC’s objective of expanding its influence beyond Iran’s borders. Rafizadeh writes, “In fact, it was through domestic conflicts that the IRGC expanded its stranglehold by penetrating other countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, and gave birth to several critical Shia proxies. In the long term, these proxies increase Iran’s political and ideological influence.”  He adds, “The more tensions and conflicts there are, the more the militaristic role of the IRGC increases in the region in order to achieve its regional ambitions. This has led to a vicious series of heightened conflicts.”

Once the child that Iran’s Islamic revolution gave birth to, the IRGC is now becoming the father of the Islamic republic. This can only be reversed if global powers or a coalition of regional nations stand against the IRGC’s increasing influence in the region.

*************************************

Majid Rafizadeh, Iran¬ian-American political scientist, Harvard University scholar and president of the International American Council, writes in an article for The National on January 23, 2017 about the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, who were given birth to during Iran’s 1979 revolution.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, after becoming the country’s second supreme leader in 1989, gave considerable power to the IRGC, while sidelining other powerful clerics.

Although the IRGC still had obstacles preventing it from expanding its influence, recent developments suggest that those barriers are being lifted, allowing Iran’s military to be the key decision-maker in Iran’s policy-making.

Many people, who once had considerable amount of political weight and influence, which counterbalanced the IRGC’s increasing power, do not play a crucial role any more. The late Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, who was one of the founding fathers of the Islamic republic was sidelined by Khamenei towards the end of his life, still enjoyed a considerable amount of political legitimacy in creating challenges for the IRGC and others. However, Rafsanjani died this month.

Rafsanjani had significant power as a member of the Assembly of Experts, which is given the power to supervise, elect or remove the supreme leader. After his death, the IRGC is now much stronger, suggesting that the next supreme leader will be under the IRGC’s influence. If the IRGC controls the next supreme leader, it rules Iran’s political establishment unequivocally.

While the nuclear agreement remains in place, the Iranian government’s global legitimacy expands, leading to less scrutiny from the international community on how the IRGC treats domestic opposition.

The IRGC has successfully suppressed domestic opposition. Examples  include supporters and leaders of the Green Movement, and religious and ethnic minorities such as Kurds, Sunnis and Arabs. As well, other political factions, such as the moderates, have come to the conclusion that they need the blessing of the IRGC in order to survive politically.

The reintegration of Tehran into the global financial system is deepening, and more countries are committing themselves to trade with Iran and investment in its markets.The IRGC and the office of the supreme leader are the main beneficiaries of the increased revenues, which have been diverted into upgrading the IRGC’s military capabilities.  Iran’s lawmakers voted to increase the military budget despite the high unemployment rate.

Reuters reported, “Iranian lawmakers approved plans to expand military spending to 5 per cent of the budget, including developing the country’s long-range missile programme which US president-elect Donald Trump has pledged to halt. The vote is a boost to Iran’s military establishment – the regular army, the elite IRGC and the defence ministry.”

Regional stability was an obstacle for the IRGC’s objective of expanding its influence beyond Iran’s borders. Rafizadeh writes, “In fact, it was through domestic conflicts that the IRGC expanded its stranglehold by penetrating other countries such as Lebanon and Iraq, and gave birth to several critical Shia proxies. In the long term, these proxies increase Iran’s political and ideological influence.”  He adds, “The more tensions and conflicts there are, the more the militaristic role of the IRGC increases in the region in order to achieve its regional ambitions. This has led to a vicious series of heightened conflicts.”

The IRGC, more than ever before, is capable of exploiting the rise of Sunni extremist groups such as the ISIL, not only to justify its military presence in the region, but also to increase its global legitimacy by arguing that it is fighting extremism. Without a specific agenda for fighting ISIL, western powers have allowed a certain amount of leeway to the IRGC.  Additionally, some global and regional powers have been reluctant to address counterbalancing the increasing role of the IRGC across the region for economic or geopolitical reasons.

Although founded as a theocracy, Iran is becoming more of a military state as the IRGC pursues its regional ambitions. According to Rafizadeh, “We are more likely to witness the increasing influence and domination of the IRGC domestically and regionally as several major obstacles against Iran’s military have been lifted.”

Once the child that Iran’s Islamic revolution gave birth to, the IRGC is now becoming the father of the Islamic republic. This can only be reversed if global powers or a coalition of regional nations stand against the IRGC’s increasing influence in the region.

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror

January 11, 2017

Obama’s Enabling of Palestinian Terror, Front Page MagazineJoseph Puder, January 11, 2017

abbasobama

When we consider last month’s United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSC) 2334 that passed with deliberate U.S. abstention and later, justified in a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, it makes the adage below come to mind. The Midrash (commentary on part of the Hebrew Scriptures) tells us, “He who becomes compassionate to the cruel will ultimately become cruel to the compassionate.”  Maimonides wrote in The Guide of the Perplexed that “the wicked and calculating person who killed intentionally and was sentenced to death – if he seeks sanctuary among us, we must not provide him with asylum, and not have mercy upon him, because compassion toward the wicked is cruelty to all beings.

In supporting the Palestinian regime that seeks the destruction of the Jewish State as its ultimate goal, the Obama administration is being compassionate toward the wrong party.  The Obama administration is knowingly and deliberately supporting the creation of another unstable Arab authoritarian regime that has failed its people.  Mahmoud Abbas, like Arafat before him, albeit more subtle, seeks the same goal: undermining the Jewish state, and replacing it with an undemocratic Palestinian state.  Abbas wouldn’t return to the negotiating table unless he is heavily bribed, and like Arafat, at the crucial moment when all reasonable concessions had been made, he walked out.

At their September 16, 2008 meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert agreed to forgo sovereignty over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site, and proposed that in the framework of the peace agreement, the area containing the religious sites in Jerusalem would be managed by a special committee consisting of representatives from five nations: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinians, the U.S. and Israel.  The advisors and Fatah officials heard that Olmert laid out for Abbas not only the details of the agreement but also a large map upon which he outlined the borders of the future Palestinian state.  Abbas, like Arafat in July, 2000, walked out.

Considering Palestinian terrorism incited by Hamas and the Palestinian Authority against Jewish civilians and soldiers alike, it becomes clear that the Obama administration has shown compassion toward Palestinian aspirations and contempt for Jews aspiring to settle in their ancestral regions of Judea and Samaria.  The Administration would be quite content on a “judenrein” West Bank.   In fact, the U.S. and its European allies support the PA with huge grants, portions of which goes to pay salaries to Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands and their families.  They have likewise funded Palestinian-Arab construction projects, built illegally throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem.

The Obama administration has also shown compassion for the Iranian regime by ending the economic sanctions against the radical Islamic Iranian regime, which hangs gays and lesbians as well as juveniles.  Amnesty International reported on January 26, 2016, that “Iran remains the leading executioner of juvenile offenders.”  The New York Post reported on August 3, 2016 that “The Obama administration quietly shipped $400 million stacked on wooden pallets in an unmarked plane to Iran in January – just as Tehran was releasing four Americans who had been detained there.”  This was done to appease the Islamic Republic, which is the leading state sponsor of terror around the world, and that has taken Americans in Iran as hostages.

U.S. Mideast mediator Dennis Ross pointed out that the Obama administration was so enamored with the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Rouhani, that it “showed readiness to accept an industrial-scale Iranian nuclear program and not to roll it back.”  The Obama administration was willing to bend its principles in order to foster a relationship and perhaps an alliance of sorts (against the Islamic State in Iraq) with the Ayatollahs regime that promised “to wipe Israel off the map.”

In the summer of 2009, the Iranian people voted for freedom and against the choices of the theocratic regime that oppressed them. They demonstrated in the millions with signs that read “Obama, are you with them or with us.”  Obama did not respond. He proved to have little compassion for the oppressed.

In Syria, the Shiite-Iranian Revolutionary Guards and their supported Iraqi-Shiite militias, as well as the Lebanese-Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, are murdering hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrian Sunni Muslims, Christians, and others civilians with impunity.  They are bolstering the dictatorship of the Alawi (offshoot of Shiite Islam) minority ruler Bashar Assad.  The Russians have also joined in the killing of Syrian civilians in the name of combatting so-called “terrorists.”

The Palestinians of Hamas and the PA raise their children on hate and expound on the destruction of the Jewish state in schools, mosques, in the media, and in their policy directives.  The Palestinian intolerance towards Jews and Christians is deeply embedded, but due to political correctness, it has never been sufficiently reported in the western media, or by western governments.  Under the Palestinian regime, Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuse by Muslims. There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion. Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are directly responsible for many of the human rights violations. Muslims who have converted to Christianity are in the greatest danger. They are often left defenseless against cruelty by Muslim fundamentalists. Some have been murdered.

There is a clear dichotomy in determining who the compassionate side is, and who is the cruel. It comes together perfectly clear in the Syrian civil war arena.  Thousands of Palestinians are fighting on behalf of the Syrian dictator, and help in slaughtering the Syrian people who are fighting for their freedom.  The Palestinian radical group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) led by Ahmed Jibril, provided the Assad war machine with intelligence and ground support, when he laid siege to the Palestinian populated Yarmouk refugee camp.  The PFLP-GC, once a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) joined the Assad troops in killing fellow Palestinians.

Conversely, Israel has opened its hospital gates to wounded Syrians, both civilians and soldiers.  Prime Minister Netanyahu announced last month “We are prepared to take in wounded women and children, and also men if they are not combatants. Bring them to Israel, we will take care of them in our hospitals as we have done with thousands of Syrian civilians. We are looking into ways of doing this. It is being explored as we speak.”  Netanyahu added, “The suffering is great, and the one initiative we took is to help – as I said – thousands of Syrians who are sometimes mutilated beyond belief. We help them. I offered to do more today. I don’t know if we can resolve [the crisis in] Syria, but we can help mitigate some of the suffering. That is the best that Israel can do.”

Being compassionate toward the Palestinian’s aspirations to destroy the Jewish state in stages by forming a terrorist supporting state, the Obama administration is being cruel toward the Jewish state, which seeks to defend its people from the ongoing Palestinian terror.

Straun Stevenson Blames President Obama for the Legacy of Death and Destruction in Middle East

January 8, 2017

Straun Stevenson Blames President Obama for the Legacy of Death and Destruction in Middle East, Iran News Update, January 8, 2017

(Please see also, In its Last Days, Obama Administration Clings to Hope of a Positive Role for Iran. — DM)

obama-750

Struan Stevenson, president of the European Iraqi Freedom Association, former member of the European Parliament representing Scotland (1999-2014), president of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq (2009-14) and chairman of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup (2004-14), writes in his January 6, 2017 article for UPI, that the legacy of President Barack Obama will be death and destruction in the Middle East. His vision cooperation between  the United States and Iran “has unlocked a Pandora’s box of conflict and sectarian strife across the zone.”

During the closing days of the Obama administration the controversial nuclear deal with Iran and his policies regarding that ruthless regime have allowed the mullahs to threaten the security of the Middle East, and perhaps, while Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Turkey have tried to prevent Iran’s aggressive expansionism in the region.

The U.S. and other countries is the West failed the Syrian opposition and allowed a civil war to continue into its seventh year, costing hundreds of thousands of lives, and setting off the huge migration crisis in Europe.

$150 billion of frozen assets were released to Iran by the U.S. as part of the nuclear deal, which the Tehran government was expected to use to shore up their economy, on the brink of collapse. Instead, the regime redouble its spending the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and Quds Force, both of which are listed terrorist organizations in the West and are involved in many conflicts in the Middle East. Not only does Iran support Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and Yemen’s Houthi rebels, it funds and supplies Hezbollah in Lebanon and the brutal Shi’ia militias in Iraq.

The nuclear deal has been breached, which Stevenson says demonstrates Iran’s complete disdain for the West. Two Qadr-H missiles were fired last March, in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution tied to the agreement. “Israel must be wiped out” was marked on the missiles, and the test firing took place on the day that the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was visiting Israel. Vladimir Putin sent the first shipment of Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Iran last August.

President Obama attempted to make deals with the so-called “moderate” and “smiling” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which he interpreted as having a green light for Tehran’s expansionist policy. Rouhani is in fact in charge of a government which has executed around 3,000 people since he took office in 2013, ten just this year. Mass hangings are now carried out in public, even in football stadiums. Many of the officials in his government were complicit in the 1988 massacre of some 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were part of the opposition People’s Mojahedin of Iran. In fact, it was supervised by Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, who is Rouhani’s justice minister.

Obama began his administration by agreeing with Iran, and backing Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister in Iraq. Stevenson writes, “Maliki was a puppet of the mullahs, doing their bidding by opening a direct route for Iranian troops and equipment heading to Syria to bolster the murderous Assad regime. Iran’s support for Maliki in Iraq and for Assad in Syria, two corrupt dictators who repressed and brutalized their own people, resulted in the rise of Daesh, also known as the Islamic State.Thanks to U.S. acquiescence over Tehran, Daesh grew and became a threat to the whole world.”  He continues, “Obama compounded this grievous mistake by providing American military support and air cover for the genocidal campaign being waged by pro-Iranian Shi’ia militias in Iraq. Once again Iran exploited its role in ousting Daesh as a means for implementing its ruthless policy of ethnic cleansing to annihilate the Sunnis in Iraq’s al-Anbar Province. Horrific sectarian atrocities were committed during the so-called “liberation” of the ancient cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. The Shi’ia militias, who formed the main part of the force fighting to recapture these cities from Daesh and are now engaged in the battle to recapture Mosul, are led by Gen. Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian terrorist Quds Force. Soleimani has also played a key role in Syria and the massacre in Aleppo.”

Tehran is gaining strength in Iraq. The Iraqi army is poorly trained, and the Iranian has Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s agreement to allowing Iranian-funded militias to take control of military operations. Political disarray in Baghdad, has paved the way for Iran to consolidate its hold in Iraq.

The unenviable task of trying to sort out the Middle East mess will be left to President-elect Donald Trump. Many people on his team believe that Iran is the main source of conflict in the Middle East and poses a greater threat to the West than North Korea or even Russia. It will be interesting to see how Trump will fare.