Posted tagged ‘Tillerson’

Trump names David Schenker new Middle East head at State Department

January 13, 2018

Trump names David Schenker new Middle East head at State Department, DEBKAfile, January 12, 2018

Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been conducting a quiet revolution in the department to replace the professional diplomats who led former administration policies for appeasing Iran, promoting certain Arab and Muslim circles and antagonizing Israel.

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David Schenker, a director at the prestigious Washington Institute for Near East policy, is to be assigned the top Middle East post at the State Department, as part of the ongoing shakeup ordered by President Donald Trump. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Schenker, a friend of Israel and expert on Syria, Lebanon, Hizballah, Jordan and Islamist terror, is a former senior adviser to Donald Rumsfeld, when he served as defense secretary in the George W. Bush administration. He is the second non-diplomat to receive a high State Department appointment since Trump entered the White House. As assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, he will follow Andrew Peek, a former military intelligence officer, who was named deputy assistant secretary of state for Iraq and Iran.

Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have been conducting a quiet revolution in the department to replace the professional diplomats who led former administration policies for appeasing Iran, promoting certain Arab and Muslim circles and antagonizing Israel.

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal

October 5, 2017

Time for Trump to Decertify the Iran Deal, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, October 4, 2017

(President Trump has two options: (1) he can certify that Iran is not developing nukes and is also in compliance with the JCPOA in all other respects or (2) he can decline to do so. In view of the acknowledged inability of the IAEA to conduct meaningful inspections of military and other non-designated sites, President Trump has no way to determine that Iran is not developing nukes. In the absence of even minimal evidence that Iran is not developing nukes, it seems very unlikely that he will certify compliance.

President Trump does not need to go so far as to certify that Iran is not in compliance, as he should perhaps explain to Tillerson, Mattis et al. Any belief held by Tillerson, Mattis et al that, regardless of the lack of evidence of Iranian compliance, the Iran scam is a “good deal” for America is irrelevant. — DM)

Mideast Iran Nuclear Deal

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activities would be occurring . . . .

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For all the talk of “morons” Wednesday — did Rex Tillerson call Donald Trump a moron and what does that mean, if anything — the real issue for those not transfixed by media gotcha games is the certification, or not, of something truly moronic:  the Iran Nuclear Deal (JCPOA).

In normal times, devoid of mass murderers and endless natural disasters, the looming October 15 certification decision on this deal would be front and center in the national consciousness.  It still should be because, ultimately, it is even more important than hurricanes and psychopathic killers. It’s about nuclear war.

The biggest mistake of the Obama years was not the Affordable Care Act — that can be fixed eventually — but the Iran deal, which has already resulted in massive catastrophe, causing irreparable damage. Iran, financially enriched by the agreement, has been able to play a growing and truly evil role throughout the Middle East (and even South America), but especially in the unending Syrian civil war through its brutal own Revolutionary Guard and its bloodthirsty Hezbollah cutouts. This war has undoubtedly changed the character of Europe forever by creating millions of refugees. Every one of our lives has been or will be affected by it, directly or indirectly. (Reminder: One of the Paris Bataclan theatre terrorists who slaughtered 130, more than twice Las Vegas, held a Syrian refugee passport.) Even now, as ISIS is being pushed back, Iran, not us or our allies, is moving in to take control of their territory. We can be sure the mullahs will use it to build children’s hospitals and cancer research institutes — either that or murder thousands more in the name of the Twelfth Imam.

Obama’s motivation to make this deal, to choose the mullahs’ side in the more than thousand-year-old Shiite-Sunni blood feud that comes to us as a horrifying ghost from the pre-Middle Ages, remains one of the great mysteries of our time. It was the kind of agreement only State Department bureaucrats could love or, for that matter, see. In that sense, the Iran Deal is a perfect “Swamp” agreement. Nobody really knows what’s in it, deliberately so — just like the Affordable Care Act, actually. Only in this instance, Nancy Pelosi did not have to tell us to sign it to know what’s in it, because it was never signed in the first place — nor intended to be.  It was simply put in place — Constitution be damned — over the heads of an impotent Congress by Obama and his claque of unwise wise men and women.

But that was then and this is now. According to The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo:

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will not formally certify Iran as in compliance with the landmark nuclear agreement, a move that could kill the agreement and set the stage for Congress to reimpose harsh economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to multiple U.S. officials and sources familiar with the situation.

While some senior Trump administration officials—including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis—are pushing for President Donald Trump to preserve the deal, it has become increasingly clear the president is frustrated with Iran’s continued tests of ballistic missile technology and rogue operations targeting U.S. forces in the region, according to these sources.

Let’s hope that Tillerson and Mattis won’t prevail if that really is still their opinion. You would think given Kim Jung-un getting almost as much media attention for his missiles as Stephen Paddock for his guns, and the longtime documented alliance on military matters of Iran and North Korea, they would be ready for another strategy. After all, looked at from afar (actually not that far) the JCPOA mirrors the approach many administrations took to North Korea. There are minor differences, but they all came down to “give them some money so they play nice.” How did that turn out? Perhaps I’m naive, but getting tough with tough guys for a change just might be worth a try.

It seems that Trump gets this. According to Eli Lake: “The centerpiece of Trump’s new Iran strategy will be the designation of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, placing it in the same category as al Qaeda and the Islamic State.”

The Revolutionary Guard is responsible for approximately 15 percent of Iranian GNP. Designating them a terror organization, which they indubitably are, would result in a substantial financial hit to the mullahs. The Swamp, of course, will object. That’s not how the game is played. But the truth is, the Swamp game is destructive to our country and the West, not mention factually absurd.

Omri Ceren, whose ongoing reporting on this “deal” has been invaluable (as has the work of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Mark Dubowitz), explained why in a recent email:

Last week IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] chief Amano revealed the IAEA has been unable to verify Iran is fully implementing the nuclear deal, specifically Section T which prohibits certain activities related to “the design and development of a nuclear explosive device,” because Iran has barred inspectors from military sites where those activites would be occurring,

Deal? What deal?

Your turn, Mr. President.