US President Donald Trump unveiled a new US strategy for Iran, while outlining the Islamic Republic’s 38-year record of violence since its 1979 coup. He listed the massacres of Americans its proxies perpetrated in Beirut in the 1980s, support for such terrorist groups as Al Qaeda (after 9/11) and Hizballah and fomenting vicious civil wars in Yemen and Syria that destabilized the Middle East.
Trump then listed some of the measures he had approved:
1. Action to counter Iran’s destabilizing operations in the Mid-East and outside.
2. New sanctions to block financial revenue which serves to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The $100 billion Tehran received in sanctions relief for signing the nuclear deal – Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – in 2015 was spent on those activities.
3. The United States will prevent Iran from conducting ballistic missile tests and further developing its ICBM program.
4. Iran would not be allowed to continue its threat to international navigation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba.
5. Tougher sanctions for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), “the corrupt arm of the supreme leader, which has hijacked Iran’s financial assets to foment terror and supply proxies with weapons.” Those further sanctions will apply to the entire IRGC, which controls one-third of Iran’s national economy, including its oil industry and its nuclear program, as well as its agents and the terrorist proxies it runs. He urged US allies to join in this step.
6. International inspections of Iran’s compliance would be tightened. Among Iran’s direct violations of the accord, Trump cited production in excess of 130 metric tons of heavy water, failure to meet commitments on advanced centrifuges, and “intimidating international nuclear inspectors,” who were not allowed to visit military sites suspected of clandestine nuclear weapons activities. He also ordered a review by US intelligence of Iran’s dealings with North Korea.
All these measures and sanctions are potentially capable of shaking the ayatollahs regime to its military and political foundations.
FOOD for THOUGHT by Steven Shamrak
Thank G-d that the Arabs rejected the UN Partition plan in 1947 – now they have no legal claim, under international law, to the land of Israel – Judea, Samaria and Gaza! Arabs were so sure that Jews, who had not recovered yet from the trauma of the Holocaust, would not be able to defend the little scrap of land that the UN (the Ugly Nazi) so 'generously' gave to them, so they arrogantly attacked the newly created Jewish state, which had no army or real weapons! And the rest of the world was eagerly waiting in anticipation that seven advancing Arab/Muslim armies would at last finish what European Nazis started!
Israeli Air Force jets destroyed an anti-aircraft battery well inside Syria on Monday morning, after the surface-to-air system had launched a missile. Israeli recon planes were flying over Lebanon when Syrian SA-5 surface-to-air missile targeted them.
Reconciliation agreement between Hamas and Fatah signed in Cairo; PA President Abbas: Agreement 'final end to division'; agreement reportedly includes deployment of 3,000 PA cops in Gaza, along borders with Israel including Rafah crossing, handover of Gaza administrative control from Hamas to the Palestinian unity government. (This is another attempt to appease international ‘requirements’ – doomed to failure from the beginning!)
US to withdraw from UN cultural organization UNESCO on December 31, 2018, citing its anti-Israeli bias, as reflected by recent decisions naming Hebron Old City 'Palestinian World Heritage Site'; decision also serves as cost-saving measure for US. (This is a step in the right direction - Israel/Jews are used as an excuse for anything!)
Egypt bulldozes at least 140 homes along its border with Gaza to expand buffer zone, in a combined effort with Hamas to prevent weapons and ISIS and other militants from crossing over. (No international 'outrage'!)
After months of allegations and concerns about security firm Kaspersky Lab’s involvement in Russian government hacking efforts. It was reported that Israeli intelligence operatives actually hacked Kaspersky Lab possibly as far back as 2015. The operatives were able to access files and hacking tools on the Kaspersky Lab network that appeared to be stolen from the US National Security Agency, and then reportedly informed their U.S intelligence counterparts of their findings.
Jewish French Culture Minister, Audrey Azoulay, is elected new director-general of UNESCO, criticizing the US and Israel for quitting the organization instead of investing to reform it - which she promises she will.
Iran made dozens of attempts to illicitly obtain missile and nuclear technology, even after it was bound by the nuclear deal with world powers. The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia found that Iran made “32 procurement attempts… that definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation programs.” In an earlier report on 2015, the German intelligence agency found that Iran made 141 attempts to procure similar technologies. (At the same time IAEA chief said that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal)
It was reported that a total of 3,829 housing units in Judea and Samaria would be approved, but less than a quarter of the units in question will receive approval in practice. Shlomo Ne'eman, the head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said "We cannot accept the fact that every Jewish home here requires special approval from overseas. This is not only national humiliation - it is a violation of Israel's independence on its soil... We are not denying the achievements of the prime minister, but we are demanding a courageous move that will change the system. We have to be the sovereign in this land.”
Quote of the Week:
“Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.” - Mohandas Gandhi
(Negotiations and boycotts have not stopped North Korea from developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems, or making threats to attack the US.)
US President Donald Trump struck a blow against the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement on Friday in defiance of other world powers, choosing not to certify that Tehran is complying with the deal and warning he might ultimately terminate it.
Trump announced the major shift in US policy in a speech in which he detailed a more aggressive approach to Iran over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and its support for extremist groups in the Middle East...
The move by Trump was part of his “America First” approach to international agreements which has led him to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks.
His Iran strategy angered Tehran and put Washington at odds with other signatories of the accord such as Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union, some of which have benefited economically on renewed trade with Iran...
While Trump did not pull the United States out of the agreement, aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb, he gave the US Congress 60 days to decide whether to reimpose economic sanctions on Tehran that were lifted under the pact...
Trump warned that if “we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”
Israel is upbeat about US President Donald Trump's announcement of major steps against the international nuclear deal with Iran, but voiced doubt that the tougher tack by Washington could turn around Tehran.