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Weekly Radio Alert
  DAILY ALERT Tuesday,
July 7, 2015

In-Depth Issues:

Rafsanjani: Israeli Regime to Be Wiped Off Map (IRNA-Iran)
    Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Monday that the forged Israeli regime is temporary as eventually one day this alien existence will be wiped off the map.

When Palestinians Die in Palestinian Jails - Khaled Abu Toameh (Gatestone Institute)
    Three Palestinian men were found dead in their jail cells in the West Bank and Gaza this past week, but their stories did not attract the attention of the international media or human rights organizations.
    Had the three men died in Israeli detention, their names would have most likely appeared on the front pages of most leading Western newspapers.
    Shadi Mohamed Obeidallah and Hazem Yassin Udwan were found dead in their jail cells in Bethlehem, while Khaled Hammad al-Balbisi died in Gaza. The PA and Hamas claimed the men committed suicide.

Islamists to Target Egyptian Pyramids, Sphinx - Dan Cruickshank (Telegraph-UK)
    "When Egypt comes under the auspices of the Khalifa [Caliphate], there will be no more Pyramids, no more Sphinx, no more idolatry," British Muslim political activist Anjem Choudary told me.

Palestinian Envoy in Chile Denies the Existence of the Jewish People - Shiryn Ghermezian (Algemeiner)
    PLO Ambassador to Chile Imad Nabil Jada'a advocated a conspiracy theory of Zionist global domination and claimed that the PLO "does not recognize the existence of the Jewish People," at a Conference for Peace in Palestine and Israel on May 15 in Santiago.

Israeli Firm Tracks Ship Movements Worldwide - Amir Rapaport (Israel Defense)
    Dozens of analysts at the Windward Company in Tel Aviv track the movements of Iranian ships around the world.
    Windward provides intelligence to Israel as well as to dozens of navies and other organizations interested in irregular vessel movements.
    Their clientele includes international customs agencies, immigration agencies and financial investment houses that need to know how much oil and other commodities travel around the globe.
    Windward, which monitors more than 200,000 vessels worldwide at any given moment, is the only organization that currently monitors shipping activity continuously.
    It provides a maritime picture based on data provided by satellites and coastal radar systems, and transmitted by the vessels themselves.
    Since 2010, each vessel is obliged to continuously transmit its location along with details about its cargo. Any ship that stops transmitting will become suspect immediately.
    Windward has spotted hundreds of cases of maritime smuggling.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Iran Wants UN Arms Embargo Lifted - Jay Solomon
    Iran is pushing for a UN arms embargo to be completely lifted in the wake of an emerging nuclear agreement, a senior Iranian diplomat said Monday. U.S. officials have said a new UN Security Council resolution must be drafted as part of any final agreement to lift sanctions, but that the resolution must maintain elements of the arms embargo and other restrictions. Current resolutions ban Iran from producing nuclear fuel, mining uranium, and developing ballistic missiles that could be used to carry an atomic bomb. Iran is also under a broader UN arms embargo that seeks to prevent it from aiding and arming political and military allies in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and the Palestinian territories.
        The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), sharply criticized Iran's calls for a lifting of the arms embargo and the curbs on its missile program. He noted, "With tens of billions of sanctions-relief cash likely coming, Iran now wants free rein to arm Hizbullah terrorists, assist Assad in Syria, and aid Houthi rebels in Yemen."  (Wall Street Journal)
  • White House Says Iran Will Use Sanctions Relief to Fix Economy, Not Support Terror - Adam Kredo
    White House officials on Monday held a private conference call with members of foreign policy groups to discuss ways of pressuring Washington lawmakers into supporting a nuclear deal with Iran. Matt Nosanchuk, an official in the White House Office of Public Engagement, told participants: "With respect to criticisms that any agreement that affords sanctions relief will open the floodgates so that Iran receives all this money it can then pour into its nefarious activities in the region, our response to that is they're doing it anyway....Our expectation is that sanctions relief will go into bolstering the Iranian economy and not into supporting all these other activities."  (Washington Free Beacon)
        See also Unfrozen Iran Funds Could Have Dramatic Effect on Regional Balance of Power - Dennis Ross
    Under the proposed deal, Iran would, within six to 12 months, have access to what are now frozen accounts that may total as much as $150 billion. Even if it chose to use 90% of those funds to address real domestic needs, $15 billion could have a dramatic effect on Iran's ability to use Hizbullah and other Shiite militias to pursue its "resistance" agenda in the region and continue to shift the balance of power in its favor. The writer is a former special assistant to President Obama and National Security Council Senior Director. (Politico)
  • Iraq Falls Apart as Iran-Backed Forces Keep Islamic State at Bay - Jonathan Spyer
    The nearest positions of Islamic State are just 65 km. away from Baghdad. Islamic State is surely already organizing in the city, unseen, as it did in Ramadi, Mosul and Fallujah. The form that the defense against the Sunni jihadists is taking is seen at every intersection, on every wall, on every corner: the banners of Iraq's Shia militias. The defense of Baghdad against Islamic State is not taking place in the name of Iraq. The men doing the fighting are there as Shi'ites. This applies even to many or most of those wearing the uniforms of the official Iraqi Security Forces.
        The leadership of three of the most powerful militia bodies is linked to Iran. The Badr Organization, the Kata'ib Hizballah group and the Asaib ahl al-Haq receive direct assistance from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Saraya al-Salam militia of Moqtada al-Sadr is also pro-Iranian and aided by Iran but maintains a greater degree of independence. The writer is director of the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. (The Australian)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Netanyahu: "Breakdown," Not "Breakthrough," at Iran Nuclear Talks
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on Monday: "Today we face the possibility that a deal will be signed with Iran, which is the foremost state-sponsor of terrorism in the world.... Every day, more concessions are made and every day the deal becomes worse and worse. I could say that what we see in Vienna is not a breakthrough, but more like a breakdown, a breakdown of the principles that the P5+1 committed itself to uphold."
        "This deal will pave Iran's path to a nuclear arsenal. It will give them a jackpot of hundreds of billions of dollars with which to continue to fund their aggression and terror....When you have such a bad deal that resembles more and more the deal with North Korea, the conclusion is simple....Better no deal than this very bad deal."  (Prime Minister's Office)
  • Israeli Arab Teachers Indicted for Backing IS, Pushing Jihad in Class - Marissa Newman
    Five Arab Israelis from southern Israel, three of whom are teachers in Israeli schools, were indicted for supporting the Islamic State, the Israel Security Agency said Monday. The teachers were accused of promoting jihadist ideology in their classes, "taking advantage of their status to win over people for the sake of Daesh [IS], among students and teachers, within the school walls." Several of the suspects, most of whom hailed from the Bedouin town of Hura, also planned to travel to Syria to join the ranks of IS.
        The Israel Security Agency "stresses that the vast majority of the Arab public in Israel opposes the Islamic State, to the point of disgust with the organization, and that the involvement of teachers in advocating for IS and the activities attributed to them is a cynical exploitation of their role."  (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • The U.S. Response to Iran's Cheating Is a Worrying Omen - Editorial
    A recent controversy over Iran's compliance with the interim accord now governing its nuclear work is troubling. The deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium, but required that amounts over a specified ceiling be converted into an oxide powder that cannot easily be further enriched. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran met the requirement for the total size of its stockpile on June 30, but it did so by converting some of its enriched uranium into a different oxide form. Rather than publicly report this departure from the accord, the Obama administration chose to quietly accept it.
        When a respected independent think tank, the Institute for Science and International Security, pointed out the problem, the administration's response was to rush to Iran's defense - and heatedly attack the institute. This points to "a U.S. willingness to legally reinterpret the deal when Iran cannot do what it said it would do, in order to justify that non-performance," institute President David Albright and his colleague Andrea Stricker wrote. In other words, overlooking Iranian cheating is easier than confronting it. Albright is a physicist with a long record of providing non-partisan expert analysis of nuclear proliferation issues. (Washington Post)
  • How Academic Efforts to Boycott Israel Harm our Students - Jill S. Schneiderman
    In March 2014, I stood with 27 Vassar College students at the Auja Spring in the West Bank together with Palestinian environmental educators. This learning experience almost didn't happen due to opposition from faculty and students at our own academic institution. I am a tenured geology professor who teaches about the connections between land and water resources and social justice.
        Several months before the trip, my course and the study trip associated with it were subject to a boycott debate on campus. Protesters bearing anti-Israel signs stood chanting outside my classroom; students were pressured by their peers to drop the course. I would have liked for the students holding placards and chanting slogans outside my classroom to come inside and debate in full sentences. By fostering narrow perspectives, bullying stymies learning and is anti-intellectual.
        I understand that what happened at Vassar is happening at academic institutions across the country. Instead of engaging in debate, students and faculty are shutting down avenues of inquiry and blocking attempts to examine difficult issues. The writer is a professor of earth science at Vassar College. (Washington Post)

Missiles and the Nuclear Negotiations with Iran - Michael Eisenstadt (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)

  • Iran is now insisting that UN sanctions on its ballistic missile program be lifted as part of a long-term nuclear accord, a development that highlights the importance Tehran attaches to its missile arsenal.
  • Iran is believed to have the largest strategic missile force in the Middle East. Its medium-range ballistic missiles could deliver a nuclear weapon if Iran were to build such a device.
  • Many observers remain concerned that personnel and facilities tied to Iran's missile program were, and may still be, engaged in work related to possible military dimensions (PMD) of the nuclear program.
  • Iran has a likely inventory of more than 800 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles including the Shahab-3 (1,000-1,300 km.) and Qadr (1,500-2,000 km.) that can reach Israel. Tehran has built this massive inventory so that it can saturate and thereby overwhelm enemy missile defenses. Its conventional missiles could serve as decoys that enable nuclear missiles to penetrate defenses.
  • Washington and its partners must insist that Tehran respond to the IAEA's questions about past engineering studies, design work, tests, and other elements of the PMD file prior to the lifting of sanctions.
  • There is also a need for a UN Security Council resolution that would impose limitations on Iran's missile R&D work and threaten real consequences for those who assist Iran's missile program. Failure to do so would signal tacit acceptance of activities that could enable Iran to deploy its first nuclear weapon atop a medium-range missile.

    The writer is director of the Military and Security Studies Program at The Washington Institute.

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