Posted tagged ‘Nukes’

Cartoons of the Day

November 15, 2016

H/t Power Line

bill-c-votes
glass-ceiling
beatings
participation
canada-border-patrol

 

H/t Vermont Loon Watch

proper-job
lost

 

H/t Freedom is Just Another Word

nukeaccess 

legacy-1

 

A Nuclear-Armed Caliphate?

August 3, 2016

A Nuclear-Armed Caliphate? Front Page MagazineWilliam Kilpatrick, August 3, 2016

nuke turkey

Reprinted from CrisisMagazine.com.

Much has been made of the Islamic State’s claim to the caliphate. But the Islamic State is fast losing ground in Syria and Iraq, and without a territorial claim, its claim to the caliphate is a shaky one. According to some sources, ISIS has already been preparing its followers for the fall of the caliphate.

Meanwhile, an Islamist power with a much better claim to the caliphate has been gathering strength. Whether the failed coup in Turkey was the real thing or whether it was staged, as some have claimed, President Erdogan’s hold over the Turkish nation has been immeasurably strengthened. As a result, he is now one giant step closer to doing what, some say, he has always wanted to do—namely, to re-establish the caliphate.

The last time the Muslim world had a caliphate, it was centered in Constantinople. The Turkish sultan (who was also the caliph) was the head of the Ottoman Empire—an empire that controlled far more territory than ISIS does or is ever likely to. Then in 1923, following the disarray left by the First World War, a secular government under the leadership of Kemal Ataturk came to power in Turkey and abolished the caliphate soon after.

To many in the Muslim world, this was a world-changing catastrophe. It flew in the face of Muhammad’s intention that mosque and state should be united, and it undermined the case for Islamic law. Moreover, the overthrow of the caliphate affected not just Turkey, but all of the Muslim world. In the late 1920s in Egypt, Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood with the intention of reversing what Ataturk had done. The Brotherhood came close to doing this–at least in Egypt—in 2012 with the election of Mohamed Morsi as president. But Morsi showed his hand too early and was soon deposed by the military under General El-Sisi.

In Turkey, also, it was the military that acted as the guardian of the secular state. And so it remained until the election of President Recep Erdogan in 2002. Even then, Erdogan moved slowly in his efforts to re-Islamize Turkey. He gradually removed top military officers and replaced them with his own men; and he did the same with the police, the judiciary, and other key institutions.

By 2012, some twenty percent of the country’s generals were estimated to be behind bars. Then, with this month’s failed coup, Erdogan moved quickly to arrest some 3,000 members of the military and 3,000 members of the judiciary. In addition, his regime sacked 9,000 workers attached to the Interior Ministry. Within a week of the attempted coup, some 50,000 soldiers, police, judges, civil servants, and teachers had been suspended or arrested.

Erdogan’s power is now nearly absolute—not unlike the absolute power of a sultan. According to some, this has been his goal all along. One indication is that Erdogan has built himself a thousand-room presidential palace that is attended by guards dressed in Ottoman-era uniforms.

If Erdogan does try to establish a caliphate, where does that leave ISIS? Would they go quietly into the dark night of oblivion? Or would they find a place in the new caliphate?

As you may have noticed, alliances in the Middle East are constantly shifting. It’s not inconceivable that ISIS would someday pledge allegiance to a neo-Ottoman caliphate—although such an event might have to be preceded by the demise of their current caliph, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The truth is, Erdogan has been something of a friend and benefactor of ISIS. As Caroline Glick observed in the Jerusalem Post:

Erdogan has turned a blind eye to al-Qaida. And he has permitted ISIS to use Turkey as its logistical base, economic headquarters, and recruitment center. Earlier this year, the State Department claimed that all of the 25,000 foreign recruits to ISIS have entered Syria through Turkey.

Turkey is also the gateway between Syria and Europe. It is through Turkey that the bulk of Muslim migrants flow into Europe. This gives Erdogan enormous leverage over the future of Europe—a continent which is already reeling from a flood of migrants and refugees. How is the leverage applied? In March, the European Union reached a deal with Turkey that would in essence turn Turkey into a buffer zone against further immigration. Here’s how Foreign Affairs summarized the bargain:

Turkey has agreed to act as a giant refugee holding center, keeping the millions of migrants fleeing conflict in the Middle East from reaching Europe and accepting those sent back from Greece. In exchange, the EU will pay Turkey three billion euros on top of the three billion pledged last November to help care for the refugees. It will also speed up the approval of visa-free travel to Europe for Turkish citizens and revive stalled negotiations over Turkey’s accession to the EU.

So Turkey will keep the Syrian migrants out of Europe as long as Turkish citizens are allowed almost unlimited access to Europe through visa-free travel. The net result is that the Islamization of Europe will continue. And, of course, there’s nothing to stop Turkey from opening up the refugee floodgate whenever it sees fit. Turkey’s control of Mid-East migration gives it the upper hand in its dealings with Europe.

The other part of the bargain is the revival of negotiations to admit Turkey to the EU. If Turkey is ever successful in that endeavor, it would spell game-over for Europe. If Erdogan wants to re-establish the caliphate, and if he is so keen on union with Europe, it is likely that he envisions Europe as part of the future caliphate. This is something that the Ottoman sultans dreamed of, but were never able to accomplish. But Erdogan might be able to pull it off. There is now a very large contingent of Turks in Germany who seem to bear more allegiance to him than to Germany. And all over Europe there exists a fifth column of active and potential Islamists ready to be activated. As for the other four columns, it’s worth keeping in mind that Turkey has the second largest army in NATO (the U.S. has the largest). And with many of the generals who coordinated with NATO now in jail, Turkey’s loyalty to NATO is very much in question.

There is one other factor to consider. During and after the coup attempt, Erdogan shut down Incirlik Air Base, which is home to 1,500 American soldiers as well as other NATO troops. The Turkish government cut off the base’s electricity supply, temporarily suspended flights, and arrested the base commander, General Ercan Van. The base reportedly houses 50 nuclear warheads. The bombs are controlled by the U.S. forces in Turkey, but could they by means sudden or gradual fall under the control of Turkey? And if they did, would the U.S. dare to do anything about it?

By many accounts, Erdogan is a true believer who, in his own way, is every bit as fanatical as the ayatollahs in Iran. The man who built a thousand-room palace for himself might well believe that a restored caliphate should possess all the weapons that befit a great world power. With Erdogan’s latest consolidation of power, an already dangerous world just became a lot more dangerous.

 

Inside the Ring: NSA on North Korea Nukes

May 19, 2016

Inside the Ring: NSA on North Korea Nukes

BY:
May 19, 2016 11:41 am

Source: Inside the Ring: NSA on North Korea Nukes

The National Security Agency took credit in 2003 for uncovering North Korea’s violation of the 1994 Agreed Framework nuclear deal negotiated by the Clinton administration.

A classified internal NSA newsletter, SID Today, states that the agency’s Signals Intelligence Directorate used electronic espionage to discover that the North Koreans were secretly developing uranium enrichment capabilities.

“The U.S. knew that the North Koreans were developing a uranium-enrichment capability — an effort banned by the treaty,” Frances J. Fleisch, deputy production manager for the NSA’s China/Korea product line, wrote in the newsletter’s April 9, 2003, edition. “To the surprise of many, the North Koreans admitted that this was true and declared the Framework to be null and void.”

Read the entire article at the Washington Times.

Saudi has a nuke ! ? ! ?

February 20, 2016

Saudi Political Analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi: KSA Has Obtained Nuclear Bomb. Test May Be Held Soon

Published on Feb 16, 2016

Saudi political analyst Dahham Al-‘Anzi spoke on Russia Today Arabic TV channel on February 15 and claimed that Saudi Arabia has obtained a nuclear bomb. Al-‘Anzi said that the Saudis have acquired the bomb two years ago and that a nuclear test is expected soon. “The superpowers know about this,” he added.

WATCH: Iranian Revolutionary Guard reveals underground missile base

October 14, 2015

WATCH: Iranian Revolutionary Guard reveals underground missile base

Source: WATCH: Iranian Revolutionary Guard reveals underground missile base – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

http://tinyurl.com/pwrxzv4

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Wednesday revealed an underground bunker in which it stores long-range ballistic missiles, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Footage of the underground missile bunker was aired on Iranian state television. According to Fars, a number of ballistic missiles were shown in the underground tunnel including a model with a range of 2,000 kilometers.

Fars quoted Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace branch, as saying that the missiles represented the next generation of Iranian long-range missile technology.

The missile bunker shown is one of many that are buried as deep as “500 meters below the high mountains,” Fars reported.

Iran state television showed on Sunday what it said was a successful launch of the new Iranian missile, named Emad, which appears to be Tehran’s first precision-guided weapon with the range to strike its regional enemy Israel.

A total of 220 of Iran’s 290 lawmakers praised the missile test on Wednesday, announcing their full support of measures that “strengthen Iran’s defense capabilities.”

The US State Department said that the missile test was an apparent violation of a UN Security Council resolution and Washington will raise it at the United Nations.

“We’ll obviously raise this at the UNSC as we have done in previous launches,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, noting the test appeared to be a violation of U.N. Security resolution 1929.

He and White House spokesman Josh Earnest both said the issue was separate from a deal Iran struck in July with six world powers, which seeks to curb Tehran’s atomic program in return for having sanctions against it eased.

Ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under Security Council resolution 1929, which dates from 2010 and remains valid until the July 14 nuclear deal goes into effect.

Once the deal takes effect, Iran will still be “called upon” not to undertake any ballistic missiles work designed to deliver nuclear weapons for a period of up to eight years, according to a Security Council resolution adopted in July.

The resolution says that when the deal is in effect countries will be allowed to transfer missile technology and heavy weapons to Iran on a case-by-case basis with council approval.

However, at the time the resolution was drafted, a U.S. official called this provision meaningless and said the United States would veto any suggested transfer of missile technology to Iran.

Speaking on Tuesday, White House spokesman Earnest made clear countries could more to stop the flow of ballistic missile technology to Iran.

“That is work that requires international cooperation,” he said, adding that Washington was ready to work with Gulf allies to counter Iran’s ballistic missile program.

Khamenei Publishes Book About The Annihilation Of Israel

September 5, 2015

Khamenei Publishes Book About The Annihilation Of Israel

By Missing Peace

Source: Khamenei Publishes Book About The Annihilation Of Israel | Missing Peace | missingpeace.eu | EN

Khamenei during meeting with IRGC veterans

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, just published a book in which he outlines a ‘slow and painful’ strategy to annihilate Israel.

The 416-page book, titled Palestine, was edited by Saeed Solh-Mirzai–but received full approval from Khamenei’s office and is thus Khamenei’s most authoritative document regarding his views on the issue, the Goldstone Institute think tank reported.

The book was published only weeks after six world powers, including the United States, reached a controversial agreement about Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Khamenei’s plan for Israel will promote “the hegemony of Iran” while it will remove “the West’s hegemony” from the Middle East, the Ayatollah claims in the book. How this goal will be reached is described in detail by Khamenei.

“Israel has no right to exist” is the central theme of the book. Khamenei uses three words to describe the destruction of Israel. “One is “nabudi,” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha,” which means “fading out.” And finally, there is “zaval,” meaning “effacement,” the Gatestone Institute reported.

The annihilation of Israel will not be achieved via conventional warfare, Khamenei argues, but via a never ending string of terror attacks and low-intensity conflict that will make life unbearable for the Israeli Jews.

In the end, they would pack their bags and leave the country for another country in the West–or return to their country of origin–because many Israelis have dual citizenship, the Iranian Supreme Leader thinks. This same way of thinking caused Yasser Arafat to launch the Second Intifada, but Israelis never even contemplated leaving the country during the five years of continuing terror.

Khamenei writes that his strategy for the annihilation of the Jewish State has nothing to do with anti-Semitism but with “well-established Islamic principles.”

The overriding principle is that Israel was established on territory that belongs to the Ummah (Islamic nation) and, therefore, is part of the Dar al-Islam (house of Islam). Such land can never be ceded to non-Muslims and must be brought under Muslim control again.

There are, however, three other reasons Khamenei gave for the mandatory destruction of Israel.

The first is that Israel, which he labels “adou” (enemy) and “doshman” (foe), is the ally of the “Great Satan” (United States) and is conspiring with the U.S. in an “evil scheme” to dominate the heartland of the Ummah.

The second reason is that Israel has become “Kaffir al-Harbi,” a hostile infidel because of the numerous wars it fought against Muslim armies.

The third reason Israel must be destroyed is that it “occupies” Jerusalem, the third holy city in Islam, according to Khamenei, who is honored with the title “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem” on the cover of the book. He writes that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to pray in Jerusalem one day.

Khamenei is counting on increasing “Israel fatigue” in the international community that makes it more likely that the world will force his version of the one-state solution upon Israel, he thinks.

What is this solution?

The Supreme Leader wants to organize a referendum among at least 8 million Palestinian Arabs and their descendants and only 2.2 million Israeli Jews, those who did not immigrate to Israel.

The United Nations would run the affairs in the new country until the referendum takes place; and after that, Khamenei would be willing to let the Jews continue to live in the new “Palestine” as second-class citizens (Dhimmi’s).

Khamenei also boasts that Iran was behind the Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 and the 22-day long war with Hamas in Gaza last year.

In his book, Khamenei denies the Holocaust and writes that he regards it as “a propaganda ploy” or a disputed claim. “If there was such a thing we don’t know why it happened and how,” he claimed.

Amir Taheri, the Iranian journalist who wrote the Gatestone article, added the following:

Khamenei has been in contact with professional Holocaust deniers since the 1990s. In 2000, he invited Swiss Holocaust-denier Jürgen Graf to Tehran and received him in private audiences. French Holocaust-denier Roger Garaudy, a Stalinist who converted to Islam, was also feted in Tehran as “Europe’s’ greatest living philosopher.”

It was with Khamenei’s support that former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set up a “Holocaust-research center” led by Muhammad-Ali Ramin, an Iranian functionary with links to German neo-Nazis who also organized annual “End of Israel” seminars.

Despite efforts to disguise his hatred of Israel in Islamic terms, the book makes it clear that Khamenei is more influenced by Western-style anti-Semitism than by classical Islam’s checkered relations with Jews.

His argument about territories becoming “irrevocably Islamic” does not wash, if only because of its inconsistency. He has nothing to say about vast chunks of former Islamic territory, including some that belonged to Iran for millennia, now under Russian rule.

Nor is he ready to embark on Jihad to drive the Chinese out of Xinjiang, a Muslim khanate until the late 1940s.

Israel, which in terms of territory accounts for one per cent of Saudi Arabia, is a very small fry.

Khamenei’s book has been published in Farsi, the language of Iran. An Arab translation is expected soon.

 

Two Hundred Retired Generals, Flag Officers Call on Congress to Reject Iran Deal

August 27, 2015

Two Hundred Retired Generals, Flag Officers Call on Congress to Reject Iran Deal

BY:
August 26, 2015 2:02 pm

Source: Two Hundred Retired Generals, Flag Officers Call on Congress to Reject Iran Deal | Washington Free Beacon

John Kerry

John Kerry / AP

Nearly two hundred retired generals and admirals sent a letter to Congress asking members to oppose the Iran deal, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The retired officers warned in the letter that the nuclear deal was “unverifiable” and would “threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States” by providing Iran a 10-year path to a nuclear bomb and handing the regime $150 billion in sanctions relief:

In summary, this agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies. In our professional opinion, far from being an alternative to war, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action makes it likely that the war the Iranian regime has waged against us since 1979 will continue, with far higher risks to our national security interests. Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord.

Earlier this month, a group of 36 flag officers sent a dueling letter to Congress in support of the nuclear deal. The letter was organized with help from the White House, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

 

Here the full letter :

http://apps.washingtonpost.com/g/documents/world/read-an-open-letter-from-retired-generals-and-admirals-opposing-the-iran-nuclear-deal/1703/

 

Report: ISIS Can Now Build A ‘Devastating’ Dirty Bomb

June 11, 2015

Report: ISIS Can Now Build A ‘Devastating’ Dirty Bomb, Truth RevoltBradford Thomas, June 10, 2015

isis_bomb

According to Australian intelligence reports, the Islamic State has now seized enough radioactive material to build a potentially devastating “dirty” bomb. The reality of the threat has Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and the Australia Group, a WMD watchdog comprised of 40 nations, sounding the alarm.

The Independent reports:

The Isis militant group has seized enough radioactive material from government facilities to suggest it has the capacity to build a large and devastating “dirty” bomb, according to Australian intelligence reports.

Isis declared its ambition to develop weapons of mass destruction in the most recent edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, and Indian defence officials have previously warned of the possibility the militants could acquire a nuclear weapon from Pakistan.

According to the Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, Nato has expressed deep concerns about the materials seized by Isis from research centres and hospitals that would normally only be available to governments.

The threat of Isis’s radioactive and biological weapons stockpile was so severe that the Australia Group, a 40-nation bloc dedicated to ending the use of chemical weapons, held a session on the subject at its summit in Perth last week.

Bishop presented intelligence reports last week at the Australia Group meeting about the threat of the Islamic State’s use of chemical weapons and confirmed that the reports were from Australian intelligence.

The Independent notes that some military experts believe ISIS will be particularly active in the coming months. Military affairs think tank Institute for the Study of War warned that ISIS “is likely to begin and end Ramadan with attempted spectacular military offensive actions in Iraq and Syria.”

In December, ISIS reportedly claimed it had already built a dirty bomb, but the claim was not confirmed.

US finds peeling back the Iran sanctions onion no easy task

June 10, 2015

US finds peeling back the Iran sanctions onion no easy task, Israel Hayom, June 10, 2915

(For Obama, principles are as flexible as words.

Humpty words

— DM)

143393177342310791a_bU.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew | Photo credit: Reuters

Under the sanctions developed over decades, hundreds of companies and individuals have been penalized not only for their roles in the country’s nuclear program but also for ballistic missile research, terrorism, human rights violations and money laundering.

Officials say the administration can meet its obligations because of how it interprets nuclear sanctions.

For example, they say measures designed to stop Iran from acquiring ballistic missiles are nuclear-related because they were imposed to push Iran into the negotiations. Also, they say sanctions that may appear non-nuclear are often undergirded by previous actions conceived as efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

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

The Obama administration may have to backtrack on its promise that it will suspend only nuclear-related economic sanctions on Iran as part of an emerging nuclear agreement, officials and others involved in the process told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The problem derives from what was once a strong point of the broad U.S. sanctions effort that many credit with bringing Iran to the negotiating table in the first place.

Administration officials vehemently reject that any backtracking is taking place, but they are lumping sanctions together, differently from the way members of Congress and critics of the negotiations separate them.

Under the sanctions developed over decades, hundreds of companies and individuals have been penalized not only for their roles in the country’s nuclear program but also for ballistic missile research, terrorism, human rights violations and money laundering.

Now the administration is wending its way through that briar patch of interwoven economic sanctions.

The penalties are significant. Sanctioned foreign governments, companies or individuals are generally barred from doing business with U.S. citizens and businesses, or with foreign entities operating in the American financial system. The restrictions are usually accompanied by asset and property freezes as well as visa bans.

Negotiators hope to conclude a final nuclear deal by June 30. According to a framework reached in April, the U.S. will be required to lift sanctions that are related to Iran’s nuclear program but could leave others in place. President Barack Obama can suspend almost all U.S. measures against Iran, though only Congress can revoke them permanently.

“Iran knows that our array of sanctions focused on its efforts to support terrorism and destabilize the region will continue after any nuclear agreement,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told a gathering of American Jews in a weekend speech. U.S. officials will “aggressively target the finances of Iranian-backed terrorist groups and the Iranian entities that support them,” he said, including the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and Iran’s Quds Force.

The Treasury Department’s sanctions point man, Adam Szubin, has been tasked with sorting out the mess, according to U.S. officials, though no clear plan has yet been finalized.

Officials say the administration can meet its obligations because of how it interprets nuclear sanctions.

For example, they say measures designed to stop Iran from acquiring ballistic missiles are nuclear-related because they were imposed to push Iran into the negotiations. Also, they say sanctions that may appear non-nuclear are often undergirded by previous actions conceived as efforts to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

The officials who provided information for this story spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the private discussions.

After years of negotiations, U.S. officials believe a deal is within reach that for a decade would keep Iran at least a year from being able to build a nuclear weapon.

In return, the U.S. would grant billions of dollars in relief from sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy. But the whole package risks unraveling if the U.S. cannot provide the relief without scrapping sanctions unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program.

Administration officials say they are examining a range of options that include suspending both nuclear and some non-nuclear sanctions, a step that would face substantial opposition in Congress and elsewhere. Under one scenario, the U.S. could end non-nuclear restrictions on some entities, then slap them back on for another reason. But Iran could then plausibly accuse the U.S. of cheating on its commitments.

U.S. President Barack Obama has spoken about Iran potentially recouping up to $150 billion in assets trapped overseas. The process for how that would take place is still being worked through, said officials.

The Iranian Central Bank may prove the most glaring example of the administration’s dilemma, and officials acknowledge there is no way to give Iran the sanctions relief justified by its compliance without significantly easing restrictions on the institution.

The bank underpins Iran’s entire economy, and for years the U.S. avoided hitting it with sanctions, fearing such action would spread financial instability and raise oil prices. By late 2011, with Iran’s nuclear program advancing rapidly, Obama and Congress did order penalties, declaring the bank a “primary money laundering concern” and linking its activity to ballistic missile research, terror financing and support for Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The effects were far-reaching: Petroleum exports fell by 60%, Iran suffered runaway inflation, cash reserves dried up and industrial output in several sectors plummeted. And Iran agreed to talk about its nuclear program with the United States and five other world powers.

Now that the nuclear agreement is so close, Iran wants these sanctions lifted. The administration officials say all sanctions on the bank are nuclear-related.

Lew told the Jewish conference in New York that a nuclear accord would include the suspension of all “secondary” oil, trade and banking restrictions — those that apply to U.S. and non-U.S. banks, as well as foreign governments.

Many of these measures overlap with American sanctions tied to Iran’s nuclear program, and that has officials considering new sanctions to keep certain Iranian institutions under pressure.

Eliminating the secondary sanctions across the board could have wide-ranging implications, making it easier for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and its police, intelligence services and paramilitary groups to do business.

That possibility has Iran’s rivals in the region, including Israel and the Sunni monarchies of the Middle East, gravely worried.

“I share their concern,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, said Tuesday in Jerusalem.

“If the deal is reached and results in sanctions relief, which results in more economic power and more purchasing power for the Iranian regime, it’s my expectation that it’s not all going to flow into the economy to improve the lot of the average Iranian citizen,” he said.

“I think they will invest in their surrogates. I think they will invest in additional military capability.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is under U.S. sanctions because of its proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. But because the U.S. views the corps as so pernicious, the administration is considering new measures to help block it from meddling in the internal conflicts of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen.

Of the 24 Iranian banks currently under U.S. sanctions, only one — Bank Saderat, cited for terrorism links — is subject to clear non-nuclear sanctions. The rest are designated because of nuclear and ballistic missile-related financing, while several are believed to be controlled by the Revolutionary Guard.

Will they be cleared for business with the world? U.S. officials still cannot say one way or another. Congress, too, has not received a list of banks and institutions that would be released from sanctions under the deal.

If the United States cannot deliver on its promises, it could take the blame for a collapse of the years-long negotiations toward a nuclear deal, putting the world — in the words of Obama and other U.S. officials — on a path toward military confrontation. At the same time, an Iran unburdened by sanctions could redouble efforts toward nuclear weapons capacity, while international unity and the global sanctions architecture on Tehran fray.

European Leaders Demand Regime Change in Iran

June 3, 2015

European Leaders Demand Regime Change in Iran

Call on Iran to allow international inspectors to take inventory of Iranian military sites

BY:
June 3, 2015 5:00 am

via European Leaders Demand Regime Change in Iran | Washington Free Beacon.

Some 200 European officials are calling for Iran’s hardline Islamic government to be dissolved and for the country to allow international inspectors to take inventory of all Iranian sites suspected of housing an illicit nuclear weapons program, according to a letter sent to European Union (EU) Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday.

The delegation, comprised of 221 members of the European Parliament from 28 EU member states, slams Iran’s “destructive meddling” throughout the region and criticizes its human rights record, which is ranked among the worst in the world.

The delegation also backs regime change aimed to bring down Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and his hardline inner circle of allies, according to the letter, which was spearheaded by Friends of a Free Iran (FoFI), a European Parliament group formed in 2003.

This regime change would include Iran becoming “a democratic pluralistic republic based on universal suffrage, freedom of expression, abolition of torture and death penalty, separation of church and state, a non-nuclear Iran, an independent judicial system, rights for minorities, peaceful coexistence in the region, gender equality and commitment to Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the letter reads.

While the leaders did not take an explicit stance on the ongoing negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, they demanded the country immediately allow inspectors to take inventory of its military sites.

Iranian leaders have rejected this demand multiple times in recent months.

“Iran needs to adhere to all UN Security Council resolutions with regard to its nuclear program and it should respond to all outstanding [International Atomic Energy Agency] questions while allowing intrusive inspections of all its military and non-military sites, whether declared or undeclared,” the letter states.

The European leaders also condemn Iran’s support for terrorism in the region, including in Iran, Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere.

“The destructive meddling of Iran in the region is of growing concern,” they write. “Amnesty International has disclosed many details on the war atrocities in Iraq of the Shia militias affiliated to Iran. Iran is at the heart of the crisis in this region and not part of the solution. If fundamentalism and extremism is to be uprooted in this region, Iran’s destructive influence and interference should end.”

The leaders also single out Iran Quds Force for contributing to atrocities in Syria.

“The active participation of the [Quds] Force, Hezbollah and other Iranian backed militias in the defense of [Bashar al-]Assad dictatorship has so far led to the death of 300,000,” the letter states. “Concurrently, Iran has expanded its dominion over Yemen.”

In addition to Iran’s expansion outward, it stepped up efforts within the country to silence democratic activists.

An Iranian artist, for instance, was sentenced to 12 years in prison this week for drawing cartoons lampooning members of the Iranian parliament.

It also sentenced to death a blogger accused of insulting the prophet in his writings.

Executions in Iran also have hit record levels under President Hassan Rouhani.

“The situation of human rights in Iran needs to be heeded in all relations with this country,” the European officials write. “Iran should end the executions, free political prisoners, stop the repression of women and respect the rights and freedoms of the Iranian people.”