Iranian Dissidents Against the Iran Deal (Daily Beast)
We are Iranian activists who share the world's hope for a better future but believe that appeasing the Iranian regime will lead to a more dangerous world.
This deal will provide up to $150 billion to our tyrants and theocrats. This money will not be spent on the Iranian people but rather to enrich a repressive regime.
Thousands of activists continue to languish behind bars (including several Americans) and it is tragic that their release was not included in these discussions.
Those who care about peace should help restore focus to the Iranian regime's brutal human rights records, its support for global terror and role in destabilizing the Middle East. More pressure should be applied to the regime, not less.
One day when the Iranian people are finally free, they will hold an accounting of who stood on their side and who stood on the regime's.
[Signed by 53 Iranian dissidents]
Spanish Officials Condemn Matisyahu Concert Cancellation (Billboard)
The Spanish government has condemned the cancellation of American Jewish musician Matisyahu's appearance at the Rototom Sunsplash festival after he failed to meet demands that he clarify his position on Palestinian statehood.
"Imposing a public declaration (from Matisyahu) puts into question the principle of non-discrimination on which all plural and diverse societies are based," the Spanish foreign ministry said Tuesday.
Some government officials in Valencia also spoke out against the actions of the festival, which receives public funding.
Hope Blooms in Kibbutz Nirim - near Gaza - Adele Raemer (Times of Israel)
For the past 40 years I've lived in Kibbutz Nirim, 1.7 km. from Gaza.
A year ago this community was a battlefield, with close to 60 days of incoming rockets. We were (and still are) a 5-minute jog from our "neighborhood" Hamas attack tunnel.
Most painfully, two of our members were killed, and two more gravely injured.
And despite all that, this summer our community has accepted ten new families as Kibbutz Nirim continues to grow.
30 Moroccan Jewish Youths on Summer Program in Israel (Jerusalem Post)
Thirty young Moroccan Jews flew from Morocco to Israel via Rome last month to participate in a program intended to prepare them for eventual immigration and service in the IDF, organizers said Monday.
News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
- U.S. May Pull Out Sinai Force that Helps Keep Israel-Egypt Peace - Bradley Klapper and Julie Pace
The Obama administration is reviewing the future of America's three-decade deployment to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, fearful the lightly equipped peacekeepers could be targets of Islamic State. Options range from beefing up their protection to pulling them out altogether, officials said.
- The Supreme Leader's New Message to the West - Hassan Lasjerdi
There are some points to bear in mind about Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei's viewpoint regarding Washington's policies.
Some wrongly believe that following the nuclear pact, Iran and the U.S. are set to resolve all the outstanding issues they have in their relations. Some hold the idea that Iran and the U.S. will turn into partners to resolve the crises crippling the Middle East.
Amid these speculations, the Leader has stressed that Iran would keep on practicing its anti-hegemonic, anti-imperialism, and resistance policy. In other words, the Leader has clearly indicated that taking a single step to resolve a number of issues does not mean turning a blind eye to all that has happened in the past, and that the West needs to take more serious and fundamental steps to make up for what it has done in the past. The writer is editor-in-chief of the Tehran Times.
- Islamic State Beheads Syrian Archaeologist
Khaled Asaad, 82, who was head of antiquities at the Roman ruins in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site, has
been beheaded by IS fighters, his family said. (BBC)
- Syria Receives MiG-31 Interceptors from Russia - Gareth Jennings
The Syrian government has received six MiG-31 "Foxhound" interceptor aircraft from Russia. The aircraft arrived at Mezze Airbase outside Damascus, the Turkish BGN news agency reported on Aug. 16. (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
- Netanyahu: Iran Sending Nuke Deal Money to Terror Groups on Border - Adiv Sterman
The Iranian regime is set to increase funding for terrorist organizations bent on Israel's destruction, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday during a visit to the IDF's Northern Command headquarters. "The money that will flow to Iran-sponsored terrorist organizations will be used for one stated purpose - to destroy Israel."
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon noted:
"All is not quiet on the Golan front, and those who seek for it not to be quiet are the Iranians, who are trying to send proxies to conduct terror attacks against us....Representatives of the [Iranian] Revolutionary Guards are in fact waiting for the implementation of this bad deal with world powers in order to bring more money to Hizbullah, more to other terror groups - in both the Golan Heights and the Palestinian arena."
An IDF officer said that hundreds of Hizbullah members are present in the Syrian Golan, and that Tehran has been behind several recent attacks against Israel. According to Israel Channel 2 TV, Hizbullah has also upped its presence on the Lebanese border with Israel, joining the Lebanese Army on patrols and exercises, despite limits set on the group's movements in south Lebanon after the Second Lebanon War in 2006. (Times of Israel)
- Elderly Jewish Woman Struck by Muslim Woman on Temple Mount - Daniel K. Eisenbud
In a video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Brenda Rubin, who moved to Jerusalem from the U.S., describes being punched by a Muslim woman on the Temple Mount after being besieged by Muslims chanting of "Allah Akbar."
"That was my first time on the Mount and it was a very important thing for me, and this woman in black came in between our line and gave me a big punch under my rib on my side....And it was really painful just that somebody could feel that they could come and, using the name of their god, go ahead and hurt us." (Jerusalem Post)
- What Happens If Congress Says No to the Iran Deal? - Kim R. Holmes
Robert Satloff, the executive director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, recently suggested that Congress vote "no" and re-adjust the terms of the Iran nuclear deal to correct some of its flaws. Most experts believe it would take until spring 2016 at the earliest for Iran to comply with the terms of the agreement. Since none of the U.S. sanctions will be suspended by then, there would still be time for the U.S. to take remedial measures to strengthen the deal.
Among these could be reaching understandings with European partners "on the appropriate penalties to be imposed for a broad spectrum of Iranian violations." Other actions could include a clearer declaratory policy that military force will not be taken off the table, and ramping up tougher sanctions against Tehran's terrorist and other non-nuclear activities that destabilize the region.
Strong sanctions are what forced whatever concessions Iran made. Keeping or strengthening sanctions enhances America's bargaining leverage. Even if Congress disapproves the deal, that leverage will remain.
If Tehran responds to a congressional "no" vote by thumbing its nose at everybody, it will only be back where it started, which is not where it wants to be. Sure, the Iranians would bluster and threaten, but they would have no choice but to return to the bargaining table if they want the sanctions eliminated.
The secretary of state called the prospects of a better deal a "fantasy." He's got it backwards. The real fantasy is the administration's promise that the current agreement will eliminate Iran's nuclear capability. The writer, a former assistant secretary of state, is a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
See also A Better Deal with Iran Is Possible - Robert Satloff (Atlantic)
- What If Congress Demands that the Iranian Nuclear Deal Be Improved? - Ophir Falk and Michael Segall
There is a distinct possibility that the U.S. Congress will disapprove the Iranian nuclear deal or demand it be improved. Will the sides then return to the table to broker a better deal?
Iran will prefer renewed negotiations to war. The lifting of sanctions and the return to the family of nations remain prime Iranian interests. Iran knows it has a lot to lose if it walks away or turns to war. Aside from the fact that returning to the nuclear negotiations table will show a pragmatic side and score points in public opinion, it is very unlikely that Iran will waive the $150 billion expected to come its way once the final deal is struck and sanctions are lifted.
If a revised agreement will improve the inspections framework whereby upon suspicion Iranians will receive a 24-hour notice rather than a 24-day notice; if the Iranians will truly be limited in their enrichment of uranium - forever; and if enforceable penalties for Iranian violations will be clearly set, then the democratic process being played out now in America will have been well worth the effort. Ophir Falk is a PhD. candidate in International Relations at Haifa University. Lt. Col. (ret.) Michael (Mickey) Segall is a senior analyst at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
A Proposal for a Better Iran Deal - Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (New York Post)
- Advocates of the deal argue that a good deal that would have dismantled critical elements of Iran's nuclear infrastructure isn't attainable. I don't believe that. And I believe we could still get a better deal and here's how: We can disapprove this agreement, without rejecting the entire agreement.
- We should direct the administration to re-negotiate by authorizing the continuation of negotiations and the Joint Plan of Action - including Iran's $700 million-a-month lifeline.
- A continuation of talks would allow the reconsideration of a few critical issues, including:
- Immediate ratification by Iran of the Additional Protocol for access to suspect sites
- A ban on centrifuge R&D for the duration of the agreement to ensure that Iran won't have the capacity to quickly break out
- Close the underground Fordow enrichment facility
- Resolve the "possible military dimensions" of Iran's program
- Extend the duration of the agreement to at least 20 years.
- At the same time, the president should unequivocally affirm and Congress should formally endorse a Declaration of U.S. Policy that we will use all means necessary to prevent Iran from producing enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb, as well as building or buying one, both during and after any agreement.
- We should authorize now the means for Israel to address the Iranian threat on their own in the event that Iran accelerates its program and to counter Iranian perceptions that our own threat to use force isn't credible.
See also Full Text: Sen. Menendez on Iran Nuclear Deal at Seton Hall University, Aug. 18, 2015 (Sen. Menendez)
Unsubscribe from Daily Alert.