• Where the US-Iran Confrontation Is Heading

    Where the US-Iran Confrontation Is Heading

    The slow-motion confrontation between the United States and Iran is heating up, one year after Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

    On Sunday, national security adviser John Bolton issued a terse statement:

    In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.… Read More...

  • Netanyahu Scored a Historic Win. Here’s What to Expect Next.

    Netanyahu Scored a Historic Win. Here’s What to Expect Next.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clinched yet another victory in Israel’s elections on Tuesday, winning a historic fifth term in office that could soon make him the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history.

    Netanyahu withstood a major challenge from political newcomer Benny Gantz, a retired general who had served as chief of the general staff of the Israel Defense Forces. Israeli polls had indicated that Gantz had gained a slight lead in recent weeks, but the final vote count showed that Netanyahu made a final sprint to victory.

    Gantz conceded defeat after concluding that he had little hope of winning the backing of a majority in Israel’s 120-seat parliament, the Knesset.… Read More...

  • Key Questions Remain Unanswered About Trump’s New Syria Policy

    Key Questions Remain Unanswered About Trump’s New Syria Policy

    President Donald Trump signaled a major shift in U.S. policy on Syria with a short tweet on Wednesday: “We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.”

    The president subsequently tweeted that it was time for U.S. troops to come home and that this should not be a surprise in light of his campaign promises to reduce U.S. military involvement in the Middle East.

    Bringing the troops home for Christmas and fulfilling campaign promises are laudable goals, but the administration must be careful not to do this at the expense of long-term U.S.

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  • Senate Vote on War in Yemen Risks Undermining US and Yemeni Interests, While Boosting Iran’s

    Senate Vote on War in Yemen Risks Undermining US and Yemeni Interests, While Boosting Iran’s

    The Senate voted twice on Thursday to challenge the Trump administration’s policies on Saudi Arabia and the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

    In a unanimous vote, the Senate held Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the Oct. 2 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This statement went far beyond what the administration has been willing to say about the crime and signals that Congress is likely to revisit the issue next year.

    Senators also voted 56-41 to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. This vote was particularly notable because it was the first time that a congressional chamber approved a measure that invoked the War Powers Act.

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  • This Little-Known Terror Group Poses a Greater Threat Than ISIS in Syria

    This Little-Known Terror Group Poses a Greater Threat Than ISIS in Syria

    The war in Syria is heating up again this week after recently subsiding from the front pages of newspapers.

    On Sunday, Russia claimed that rebels in northwestern Syria had fired shells filled with chlorine gas near the city of Aleppo. Although the rebels have not demonstrated such a chemical capability in the past, Syria’s Assad regime has repeatedly used illegal chemical weapons to demoralize insurgents and stampede their civilian supporters away from the front.

    Moscow could use this alleged incident as a pretext to resume the postponed offensive against Idlib province, the last major stronghold of Syria’s fractious rebel coalition.

    Already, Russia has resumed airstrikes in Idlib for the first time since the Sept.

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  • EU Risks Dangerous Blowback by Undermining Iran Sanctions

    EU Risks Dangerous Blowback by Undermining Iran Sanctions

    Since the election of President Donald Trump, the European Union and the United States have increasingly disagreed on Iran policy. The divergence widened in May with Trump’s announcement that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement.

    Washington has since reimposed nuclear sanctions on Iran in two rounds in August and November. Meanwhile, the EU has sought to preserve the nuclear agreement by trying to protect Iran from renewed sanctions.

    The EU’s campaign to shield Iran from U.S. sanctions is doomed to fail.

    The biggest European companies already have voted with their wallets and pulled out of Iran. They have a lot more to lose if they are cut off from the U.S.

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  • Iran's Saber Rattling on Persian Gulf Likely to Rattle World Oil Markets

    Iran’s Saber Rattling on Persian Gulf Likely to Rattle World Oil Markets

    The commander of the navy of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Gen. Alireza Tangsiri, warned on Monday that Iran maintained control of the Persian Gulf and that the U.S. Navy did not belong there.

    Tangsiri said Iran had full control of the gulf, as well as of the Strait of Hormuz, which leads into it.

    “We can ensure the security of the Persian Gulf, and there is no need for the presence of aliens like the U.S. and the countries whose home is not in here,” he said.

    Although it is not clear what he meant by “control,” Iran’s Islamist dictatorship long has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if it is attacked or unable to export its own oil through the strait.

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  • Pompeo Stands Up for the Iranian People in Major Speech

    Pompeo Stands Up for the Iranian People in Major Speech

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a Reaganesque speech on Iran at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Sunday.

    The speech, titled “Supporting Iranian Voices,” was a powerful and clear-eyed assessment of the damaging impact that Islamist ideology and revolutionary policies have had on the Iranian people.

    Addressing the Iranian people, as well as Iranian-Americans invited to attend the event, Pompeo denounced Iran’s tyrannical regime for “[forty] years of kleptocracy. Forty years of the people’s wealth squandered on supporting terrorism. Forty years of ordinary Iranians thrown in jail for peaceful expression of their rights.”

    Noting the recent wave of anti-regime protests that has roiled Iran since last December, Pompeo made a clear declaration: “I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you.

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  • Iranian Protests Underscore Regime’s Vulnerability

    Iranian Protests Underscore Regime’s Vulnerability

    On Sunday, protests spontaneously erupted in Tehran, Iran’s capital, as cellphone shop owners shut down their shops and demonstrated against the plummeting value of Iran’s currency, the rial, which has devastated their businesses.

    The next day they were joined by merchants in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, a key constituency for Iran’s clerical regime. The bazaar merchants played an important role in funding the Islamist extremists led by Ayatollah Khomeini, who hijacked Iran’s broad-based 1979 revolution.

    Khomeini famously downplayed the importance of economics for the revolution, which he maintained was “not about the price of watermelons.”

    But Khomeini’s successors do not have the luxury of ignoring Iran’s deteriorating economic situation.

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  • The Terrorists of the Islamic State Are Far From Finished

    The Terrorists of the Islamic State Are Far From Finished

    A Wisconsin woman, Waheba Issa Dais, was charged on June 13 with providing material support to the Islamic State terrorist group, also known as ISIS.

    Federal prosecutors allege that the 45-year-old mother of two hacked social media accounts in order to recruit on behalf of ISIS. Furthermore, Dais is said to have provided instructions on how to make explosives and suggested potential targets for attacks, such as street festivals, summer celebrations, and churches.

    The arrest underscores the continuing threat posed by ISIS. Although it has been dealt a string of setbacks in Iraq and Syria, it continues to attract supporters drawn to its Islamist extremist ideology, which it disseminates on a wide array of social media platforms.

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  • Hamas Hides Behind Smoke and Mirrors to Attack Israel

    Hamas Hides Behind Smoke and Mirrors to Attack Israel

    Much of the news media’s coverage of Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem linked the ceremony to Palestinian riots along Gaza’s border with Israel, suggesting that there was a cause-and-effect relationship.

    That is a false conclusion. The Gaza border riots were orchestrated by Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist terrorist organization, as part of its “Great March of Return” propaganda campaign against Israel.

    The campaign sought to underscore the Palestinians’ self-proclaimed “right of return” by tearing up the border fence, ostensibly to allow Palestinians to “return” to homes that they had abandoned or been forced to leave in the 1948 war that led to the creation of modern Israel.

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  • What US Should Do as Protests Escalate in Iran Against Islamist Regime

    What US Should Do as Protests Escalate in Iran Against Islamist Regime

    Iran has been rocked by a wave of protests against the Islamist regime since Dec. 28.  Popular demonstrations ignited by smoldering resentment about Iran’s mismanaged economy quickly escalated to political denunciations of Tehran’s rulers.

    President Donald Trump was quick to offer support to the protesters in a series of tweets. At 7:44 a.m. New Year’s Day, he tweeted:

    Iran is failing at every level despite the terrible deal made with them by the Obama Administration. The great Iranian people have been repressed for many years. They are hungry for food & for freedom. Along with human rights, the wealth of Iran is being looted.

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