Brief on Iran (BOI – 268)


Former National Security Adviser Gen. James Jones says Iranian resistance group should be celebrated-Episode 6:

“For over 40 years, Iranian people and the civilized world have in one way or another struggled with destructive policies and actions of the clerical regime in Tehran. Also for 40 years, the Iranian regime had driven a skewed narrative on this important topic – adversely affecting the lives of the Iranian people and to some extent, international policymaking. A video miniseries – developed and produced by The Hill dissects and explain the relevant developments. We invite you to review the sixth segment of this video series. “

US aircraft carrier, B-52 — dispatched to Mideast over Iran — conduct exercise
The Associated Press, June 2, 2019

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. military says a B-52 bomber and an aircraft carrier dispatched to the Mideast over a perceived threat from Iran have conducted a joint exercise together in the Arabian Sea.
The Air Force said in a statement Sunday that the exercise saw F/A-18 Super Hornets, MH-60 Sea Hawk helicopters and E-2D Growlers from the USS Abraham Lincoln fly with the B-52 bomber.
The Air Force says the aircraft also “simulated strike operations” in the exercise, which took place on Saturday.

The White House dispatched the Lincoln and its strike force to the Mideast in May over an Iranian threat it did not describe at the time. The U.S. pulled out of Iran’s nuclear deal a year ago. Since then, relations have grown tense as America imposes ever-tougher sanctions on Tehran.

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Trump Administration Says It Will Negotiate with Iran With ‘No Preconditions’
The New York Times, June 2, 2019

BELLINZONA, Switzerland — In a second major softening of American policy toward Iran in recent days, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration was ready to negotiate with the country’s clerical leaders with “no preconditions.”

The statement followed President Trump’s comment last week that he was ready to talk to Iranian leaders and was not seeking regime change, overruling a longtime goal of his national security adviser. Mr. Pompeo’s statement also recalibrated his earlier position that the United States would not lift sanctions on Iran unless it complied with a dozen sweeping demands, suggesting that those demands could be part of negotiations instead of preconditions.

Iran’s leaders consider the demands unacceptable.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated sharply in recent weeks, raising fears that the two countries were edging toward war. The less combative language does not change the fact that the Trump administration has tightened economic sanctions on Iran, ordered 1,500 additional troops to the Persian Gulf and revised military plans against Iran.

Even in opening the door to talks, Mr. Pompeo said the United States would continue to try to counter Iran’s support of groups in the Middle East that undermine American interests.

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Iran protests & more

Saudi king slams Iran’s ‘terrorist acts’ at Islamic summit
The Washington Post, May 31, 2019

MECCA, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia’s King Salman slammed Iran over recent attacks targeting the kingdom, describing the incidents on Saturday in a speech before Muslim leaders gathered in Mecca as “terrorist acts” that threaten global energy supplies. It was the monarch’s strongest words yet since tensions spiked in recent weeks between the two regional heavyweights.

Iran had a representative present at the 57-nation summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, but its top leadership did not attend.
The Islamic summit drew political figures and heads of state from countries spanning Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

They come with widely varying policies and priorities, but share a common reverence for the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem, known as the first “Qibla” because Muslims prayed toward it before the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca.

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West can pressure Iranian regime by supporting the people
By Majid Rafizadeh, Arab News , June 3, 2019

The theocratic regime ruling Iran is in trouble. Domestically, it is threatened by its own population, while regionally and globally it is isolated by its own terror and violence. This set of circumstances could set the stage for comprehensive changes that would resolve the endless crisis in favor of lasting peace. All that is required is international cooperation and a clear understanding of the adversarial Iranian regime.

That regime has been threatening the US and its allies for four decades. On numerous occasions, those threats resulted in destruction and the loss of life. Consider the Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon in 1983, the hostage-taking in Lebanon in the 1980s, the Jewish community center bombing in Argentina in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the killings of 600-plus American servicemen who fell victim to explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) built in Iran and shipped across the border to target Americans in Iraq.

More recently, there have been terror plots in Paris and Albania, including targeting the “Iran Freedom” rally organized by the Iranian opposition in June 2018.

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Iran’s Regime Continues to Execute Prisoners Even in Islamic Holy Month – Report
NCRI, June 3, 2019

The Iranian regime continued to hand down and carry out execution sentences during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, according to the latest monthly human rights report published by Iran Human Rights Monitor on Monday.

Islam advises against execution during the holy month of Ramadan but the Iranian authorities publicly hanged a prisoner in the fasting month, Iran HRM wrote in its monthly report for May 2019.
The report added, a political prisoner was sentenced to death on charges of “waging war on God”, “assembly and collusion,” and “membership in the MEK,” referring to the main democratic Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or Mujahedin e Khalq, MEK). The verdict was issued by the branch 28 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court presided by the notorious judge, Mohammad Moghiseh.

34-year-old Abdullah Ghasempour was arrested on May 21, 2018 for setting fire to a Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Basij base, filming the event, and sending it to the MEK media.
Another three men, Mohammad Hossein Ghasempour (Abdullah’s brother), 32, Alireza Habibian, 30, and Akbar Dalir, 34, were sentenced to five and a half years each in prison for “assembly and collusion.” They currently being held in Ward 4 of Tehran’s Evin Prison. They were arrested along with Ghasempour, and are also affiliated with the opposition — the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the coalition which includes the MEK.

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Countering Iran’s Global Terrorism
Written by: OIAC
Remarks By: Nathan A. Sales
Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counter terrorism
November 13, 2018

Thanks for that warm introduction and for hosting me here. It’s a real pleasure to participate in the Washington Institute’s Counter terrorism Lecture Series. A number of my predecessors from the CT Bureau have had the privilege of speaking at this lectern, and I’m honored to be here to keep the streak alive.

Today, I’m going to highlight the United States’ concerns about ongoing terrorism by the Iranian regime and its proxies around the world. Then I’ll tell you what the Trump Administration is doing to counter this global and growing threat. Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. Period. It has held that dubious distinction for many years now and shows no sign of relinquishing the title.

To the contrary, the regime in Tehran continues to provide hundreds of millions of dollars every year to terrorists across the world. It does this, despite ongoing economic turmoil that’s impoverishing many of its people. The beneficiaries of this misbegotten largesse range from Hizballah in Lebanon, to Hamas in Gaza, to violent rejectionist groups in the West Bank, to the Houthis in Yemen, to hostile militias in Iraq and Syria.

We think you will find this report very informative

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