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Eye on Iran: Strike Likely Targeted Surface-to-surface Missiles Iran Seeks to Deploy in Syria

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The attack on Syria Sunday night apparently targeted major arms caches, including surface-to-surface missiles that Iran seeks to deploy in Syria, according to assessments.

The United States is urging its European allies and others to impose sanctions on Iran to curb its missile programme, calling it an international threat to peace and security.  

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday on a hastily-arranged visit to the Middle East as the United States aims to muster support for new sanctions against Iran.


Newly confirmed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said President Trump is "unlikely" to stay in the Iran nuclear deal unless he can get "substantial" fixes.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using the Middle East leg of his first trip abroad as America's top diplomat to call for concerted international action to punish Iran for its missile programs. He's also urging Saudi Arabia and its neighbors to resolve a long-festering dispute with Qatar that U.S. officials say Iran is exploiting to boost its influence in the region, including in Yemen and Syria.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday gave a warm boost of support to Israel in its standoff against Iran, saying "the United States is with Israel in this fight."

French President Emmanuel Macron and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke by telephone on Sunday and agreed to work together in coming weeks to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Elysee Palace said in a statement. In a conversation lasting more than an hour, the French president also proposed that the discussions be broadened to cover "three additional, indispensable subjects", Macron's office said, citing Tehran's ballistic missile programs, its nuclear activities beyond 2025, and "the main regional crises" in the Middle East.

The "current conduct of the United States would be in breach of the JCPOA," Rouhani said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. He said that the Trump administration's negative comments about the deal had created "fear and ambiguity for different countries and businesses for their relations with Iran," possibly damaging the country's economy.

The Trump administration moved closer [last] week to dropping out of the landmark Iran nuclear agreement, after efforts by Europe's leaders to persuade President Donald Trump to remain in the accord appear to be falling flat.

"People tend to think about these economic sanctions like an easy 'on-off' switch that can be flipped as required to aid diplomacy, but you are really unleashing financial furies that, once free, are very hard to call off their targets," said Juan Zarate, a former Treasury Department official who helped craft the sanctions and the current chairman of the Financial Integrity Network. Iran never fully reintegrated into the global financial system, even with the nuclear agreement, Zarate said. "In an environment in which the United States is going to expand sanctions, the private market and international banks will likely find it too risky once again to do business with Iran."

French President Emmanuel Macron's talk this week of a "new deal with Iran" may not, in fact, represent anything new nor a deal with Iran... Macron's "new deal," at first glance, appeared an effort to re-brand something already under discussion between the United States and three European allies - Britain, France and Germany - to try to save the existing agreement.

Facing imminent deadlines, President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel largely papered over their differences on trade and the Iran nuclear accord on Friday, stressing instead ties between the longtime allies and their shared goal of a nuclear-free North Korea... Still, Merkel's brief visit, coupled with French President Emmanuel Macron's more lavish stopover earlier in the week, made clear that the U.S. president's divisions with European allies remain substantial.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, standing alongside US President Donald Trump at the White House, said Friday that the existing international accord on Iran is not enough to curb the Islamic republic's nuclear ambitions.

U.S. President Donald Trump has until May 12 to decide whether to perhaps fatally undermine a years-in-the-making nuclear deal with Iran, with the consequences likely to be felt from Middle East war zones to oil markets... So what's at stake if the U.S. withdraws?

President Trump on Saturday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about concerns regarding Iran as the U.S. considers withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal. 

The president should stop waiting for Congress or the Europeans to get serious about renegotiating the JCPOA. Instead, he should force everyone's hand and restore American leverage by reimposing sanctions now. If the president wants an opportunity to demonstrate his deal-making ability, he should drag everyone to the negotiating table and put their commitments to nonproliferation to the test.

Here's What Trump Should Do with the Iran Deal | New York Post Editorial Board

Europe, of course, wants to protect its economic interests by ensuring its companies can keep trading and investing in Iran... So much of this seems an effort to buy time. But the global threat from Iran remains unchanged - and is growing on a daily basis, despite the Obama deal. It's long past time to genuinely mend it, or end it.


The U.S. military will not openly confront Iran, but will instead use indirect means to limit its expansion in Syria, a top commander said... as Western nations consider stepping up their response to Tehran's support for armed groups across the Middle East.


The United States is deeply concerned by Iran's "destabilising and malign activities," new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.

US and Israeli officials issued tough warnings about Iran's activities in Syria and beyond on Thursday, in the lead-up to President Donald Trump's May 12 decision on whether to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran on Saturday welcomed steps towards detente between North and South Korea but warned that the United States was unqualified to play a role since it did not "respect its commitments." 


Much like the Global Magnitsky Act, which allows the United States to sanction officials of foreign governments of human-rights abuses, the Iran Human Rights and Hostage-Taking Accountability Act is intended to make Iranian officials pay a personal cost for their bad deeds. This could include seizing property owned by Iranian officials in the United States, imposing travel bans on officials (and their families), and blocking them from making personal financial transactions. Nothing the United States has tried has deterred Iran from continuing this particular bad habit. Making punishment personal for those who enable, carry out and defend Tehran's terrible tradition of hostage-taking might just be the answer to this decades-old puzzle.


Direct conflict between Israeli and Iranian forces is increasingly likely in Syria as Tehran pursues a permanent military presence there, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis warned on Thursday.

Israel's envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday that Iran had recruited at least 80,000 Shiite fighters which it was training at a base just over five miles from Damascus.


U.S. citizens provided services, materials, and equipment for use by their company in Tehran, Iran.


To say the apparent breakthrough in relations between North Korea and South Korea could prove to be of major historical significance is an understatement, but the Middle East remains the geopolitical hot spot more likely to send ripples through global markets in the weeks ahead. Indeed, expectations that President Donald Trump in May will pull the U.S. out of the international agreement designed to curb Iran's nuclear program, effectively reimposing sanctions on one of the world's largest crude exporters helped send oil futures to more-than-three-year highs this month.


"About 100 indictments" have been issued in connection with protests that took place in late December 2017 and early January 2018, the Prosecutor of Tehran Province, Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, announced in an interview with Mizan, the Iranian Judiciary's official news agency, on April 26.

Iran confirmed on Sunday that it had arrested a British-Iranian academic on security charges, state media reported, the latest in a string of arrests of dual nationals in the Islamic Republic over the past few years.

A week before International Labor Day, when labor rights groups typically hold demonstrations around the world, at least 13 labor activists have been summoned in Iran's Western provinces of Khuzestan and Kurdistan, the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) has learned.

Human rights attorney Mohammad Najafi is facing charges from three different courts and years of imprisonment in Iran for publicly arguing that local police concealed the true cause of death of a young man in their custody.


Iran's regional militia allies have vowed retaliation for the death of Houthi leader Saleh al-Sammad in Yemen, the Iranian media reported. The Houthi rebels as well as Iran's regional militia proxies said they would hold not only Saudi Arabia but also the United States accountable for the killing of al-Sammad.


Iran has developed an experimental local cryptocurrency, a government minister said on Saturday, days after the country's central bank banned trading in digital currencies including bitcoin.


"I don't think Kim Jong Un is staring at the Iran deal and saying, 'Oh, goodness, if they get out of that deal, I won't talk to the Americans anymore,'" Pompeo said. "There are higher priorities, things that he is more concerned about than whether or not the Americans stay" in the Iran deal.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis played down concerns on Thursday about whether a potential U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal would undermine attempts to strike an agreement with North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. "Some people point out that this could impact on the North Korea negotiations. But I would say in that case, in light of Kim's family and himself breaking every international treaty, every agreement they've ever made ... I'm less concerned with that ripple effect right now," Mattis told a Senate hearing.

Friday's historic pledge by the leaders of the two Koreas to work to denuclearize the Korean peninsula should give U.S. President Donald Trump a stronger hand to renegotiate the treaty curtailing Iran's nuclear programme, Israel's intelligence minister said.


Lucrative Qatari hostage payments bankrolled a feared Al Qaeda-linked militant group in Syria, one that has grown to become the most effective and powerful extremist faction in the war-ravaged country where it has imposed its extremist vision and kidnapped an American journalist, wealthy Gulf royals, UN peacekeepers, and even a group of nuns. In at least one of those cases - the kidnap of nine Qatari royals and 16 Qatari nationals by a Shiite militia in southern Iraq - Doha siphoned millions, according to Iraqi officials, to that very group: the Nusra Front, now leading an Islamist alliance known as Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS).


Iran has emerged as the most influential foreign player in Iraq since U.S.-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003. Iran and Iraq are Shiite-majority countries that share centuries-deep cultural and religious ties - and a 900-mile border. The Islamic Republic has used these advantages to permeate Iraq's political, security, economic, and religious spheres.


A man armed with a BB gun and Buck knife burst into Iran's consular offices in Washington on Wednesday morning, held a male victim at gunpoint and caused about 10 people to lock themselves in a bathroom out of fear of violence.

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.