Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Eye on Iran: Draft Senate Iran Legislation Sets Tough New U.S. Terms For Deal

View our videos on YouTube


Draft legislation responding to U.S. President Donald Trump's refusal to certify the Iran nuclear deal would set tough new terms for the pact, including restoring sanctions if Iran tests a ballistic missile able to carry a warhead or bars nuclear inspectors from any sites... The draft, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, was in the works on Oct. 13 when Trump announced he would not formally certify that Tehran was complying with the international nuclear pact, and called on Congress to write legislation to toughen it. Since then, Corker has met with Senate Democratic colleagues, at least some of whom would have to back the legislation for it to pass.

Saudi Arabia supports U.S. President Donald Trump's stance on Iran after he decided not to certify that Tehran is complying with a nuclear accord, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tues U.S. President Donald Trump broke ranks with other major powers this month by refusing to formally certify that Tehran is complying with the deal, even though international inspectors say it is. Jubeir said the nuclear deal had shortcomings, and that he agreed with Trump's assessment that Iran was working to destabilise the region and was funding militant organisations.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that US sanctions against Iran targeted the country's "malign behaviors" and were aimed at helping the Iranian people take control of their government. Tillerson told a New Delhi press conference after talks with India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj that the United States would not block "legitimate" business activities with Iran by India or any other ally... Tillerson said US actions also sought to limit Iran's other "destabilizing activities" in the Middle East, including its ballistic missile development, "their export of arms to terrorist organisations" and involvement in conflicts in Syria and Yemen.


The Trump administration is realizing that changing Iran policy is difficult-not because Washington's problems with Iran are unclear but because they cannot be addressed without changing the United States' broader policy in the Middle East. In particular, if Washington does not rethink its strategy toward Syria, U.S. Iran policy will remain ineffective.


Beyond our tactical successes in the fight against the Islamic State, the United States is still dangerously lacking a comprehensive strategy toward the rest of the Middle East in all of its complexity. This is the unfortunate legacy that the Obama administration left for its successor. President Trump's call this month for a broader strategy to confront Iran's malign influence across the Middle East was an encouraging indication that the administration recognizes the problem.


There will always be those that ridicule the idea of a pact between Iran and al-Qaeda, due to the Shiite/Sunni divide, but it has been proven many times over, how Shiite Iran will side with radical Sunni groups such as al-Qaeda (AQ) when it comes to fighting a common enemy, and al-Qaeda will do the same, especially when the target is their most hated enemy the US. The belief by certain commanders in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), is if they could persuade al-Qaeda to come on side in any future conflict with the West, with the offer of financial assistance and weapons, as well as the use of the IRGC's vast terror and sleeper network; with the aid of Hezbollah, the result would be catastrophic. In July 2002, soon after the US invasion of Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden went on the run. Seeking a safe haven, the al-Qaeda leader crossed the border near Zabol with his close advisor Ayman al-Zawahiri, and making contact with the IRGC, he was given a safe house. 

While there have been many losers from the Syrian civil war, the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah has emerged as an undisputed winner, making significant advances in its military capabilities. This development, along with the impetus of Iran's nefarious regional role - now explicitly recognized by President Trump's new policy as an urgent challenge - poses a severe threat to an already deeply unstable Middle East. Left unchecked, it is likely to prompt a third Lebanon war - one that would be worse than anything we have seen previously.  Since the 2006 Second Lebanon War with Israel, Hezbollah, the crown jewel in Iran's strategy of regional warfare by terrorist proxy, has been unwavering in its determination to reconstitute itself as a viable military force in Lebanon. By subduing the Lebanese population and infiltrating the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), the group has resurrected its military presence across the country, especially in the south.


Iran has sentenced to death a person found guilty of providing information to Israel to help it assassinate several senior nuclear scientists, Tehran's prosecutor said on Tuesday.  Dolatabadi did not identify the defendant, but Amnesty International said on Monday that Ahmadreza Djalali, an Iranian doctor who studied and taught in Sweden, had been sentenced to death in Iran on espionage charges.  At least four scientists were killed between 2010 and 2012 in what Tehran said was a program of assassinations aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program.

Relatives of Iranian academic and university lecturer Ahmadreza Djalali said he was unfairly sentenced to death for alleged espionage a year after his arrest in Tehran. Djalali's wife Vida Mehrannia, who lives in Sweden with their two children, told Amnesty International that his physical and mental health have sharply deteriorated since he was detained. She added: "We are calling for his release because he has not committed any crime." Djalali holds dual Iranian-Swedish nationalities. 


Fleeing grinding poverty and unemployment, thousands of Afghan Shi'ites have been recruited by Iran to defend the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad. "For me it was just about money," Shams, a former fighter, told Agence France Presse. Hurman Rights Watch says the Iranians refuse to provide accurate figures, but estimates there are nearly 15,000 Afghans fighting for Fatemiyoun. Shams, a 25-year-old member of the Hazara ethnic group, went to Syria twice in 2016 to fight in a conflict that has now been raging for more than six years.  "I went there (Iran) because I was jobless and it was a way to get money for my family," said Shams. "My idea was to find a job in Iran. I had no plan to go to fight in Syria but after a month of being jobless I decided to go. "They were encouraging us saying 'you will be a freedom fighter and if you return to Iran alive you can stay with a 10-year residence permit'."


Iran opened a border crossing with the Kurdistan region of Iraq Wednesday after having closed it following last month's vote in favor of independence in the Kurdish area, Iranian state media reported.  Iran backs the Shi'ite-led central government in Baghdad in its opposition to Kurdish secession, and Iranian-backed militias assisted government forces when they seized a number of Kurdish cities last week.  The decision comes on the same day as the Kurdish Regional Government offered to put their independence drive on hold, stepping up efforts to resolve a crisis in relations with Baghdad via dialogue rather than military means.

Eye on Iran is a periodic news summary from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Eye on Iran is not intended as a comprehensive media clips summary but rather a selection of media elements with discreet analysis in a PDA friendly format. For more information please email

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

No comments:

Post a Comment