Trump exit from Iran deal most important event in region, Netanyahu tells AIPAC

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Irans nickedocka Federica Mogherini borde genast får sparken

E.U. threatens firms that stop doing business with Iran over Trump sanctions

The move aims to signal to Tehran ”that Europeans are serious” about trying to salvage the nuclear deal, an aide to the bloc’s foreign policy chief said.
 / Updated 
By F. Brinley Bruton, Andy Eckardt and Carlo Angerer

LONDON — European firms that stop doing business with Iran because of reimposed U.S. sanctions could in turn be sanctioned by the E.U., a special adviser to the 28-country bloc’s top diplomat has warned.

“If E.U. companies abide by U.S. secondary sanctions they will, in turn, be sanctioned by the E.U.,” Nathalie Tocci, an aide to E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, told Britain’s BBC Radio 4 on Monday night.

She characterized the measures as an attempt to ”protect European companies.”

Tocci said the move was ”necessary in order to signal, diplomatically, to the Iranians that Europeans are serious” about trying to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.

Hours earlier, the U.S. announced it was reintroducing sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The Trump administration’s decision to walk away from the landmark 2015 Iran pact signed by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — the U.S., Russia, France, China and the U.K. — as well as Germany and the European Union, dismayed and angered longtime U.S. allies and vital trading partners.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson traveled to the U.S. aiming to convince President Donald Trump not to ditch the deal, saying it was working and the only way to halt a regional arms race.

Nevertheless, Trump went ahead and announced on May 8 that the U.S. was withdrawing from what he called the ”decaying and rotten” agreement.

Mogherini told reporters Tuesday that the E.U. was doing its ”best to keep Iran in the deal, to keep Iran benefiting from the economic benefits that the agreement brings to the people of Iran.”

Image: Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini is the E.U.’s top diplomat.Stephanie LeCocq / EPA file

Tocci, the adviser, conceded that potential E.U. sanctions as part of the so-called blocking statute that came into effect on Tuesday were ”politically and symbolically” an important step. The European measures are aimed at allowing firms to recover damages from bodies that enforce American sanctions, and ban companies from complying with the sanctions without E.U. permission.

In 2016, the European Union exported more than 8.2 billion euros ($9.7 billion) worth of goods to Iran, while importing almost 5.5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) from there, according to the European Commission. This is dwarfed by the $1.1 trillion the E.U.-U.S. trade represented in the same year.

Virtually all multinational firms do business or banking in the U.S., leaving European companies vulnerable to American sanctions punishing those operating in and with Iran.

Trump doubled down on his stance on Iran early Tuesday.

At midnight Monday, the U.S. began targeting oil-rich Iran’s automotive industry and civil aviation sector, as well as trade in gold and other metals in a set of punitive measures that had been eased under Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Trump has called for a wholesale overhaul of Iranian regional policies, such as an end to its military support for the Syrian government and regional militant groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The 2015 pact did not curb these actions, one reason Trump has called the agreement ”the worst deal ever.”

International inspectors say Iran has been complying with the deal to curtail its nuclear program.

The U.S. is preparing to reimpose the remainder of sanctions lifted as part of the agreement, and target Iran’s oil sector and central bank in early November.

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Europe versus Iran, sanctions and agreements – Jerusalem Studio 389

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Vad kommer nya IDF chefen att göra åt de 10.000 man starka Iranska trupper som är på väg in i Syrien?

Source: First test for IDF’s Kochavi: 10,000 pro-Iran troops massing to cross into Syria from Iraq – DEBKAfile

This would be the largest pro-Iranian military increment into Syria since the Hizballah intervention of 2014 – and Tehran’s rejoinder to Israel’s warnings.

The 10,000 troops massed on the Iraqi border belong to the large Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) aka the Hashd Al-Shaabi militia, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report. They have been ordered to stand there by Iran’s Middle East commander, Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani. Their commander is one of his deputies, Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi of Iranian descent. This Iraqi force awaits a green light to cross into northern Syria from President Bashar Assad.

It is intended to be Tehran’s response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “advice” to Iran to “hurry up and get out of Syria” ahead of the IDF’s action. Soleimani has responded by “hurrying up” to top up Iran’s forces in Syria, before Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi has had three days to settle into his new job as IDF’s Chief of Staff.

Our sources note that permission for this large force to cross the border and link up with the Syrian government’s army would present Gen. Kochavi with his first major test. Tehran is anxious to find out whether Israel – or the US – means to actively halt this major troop buildup by bombing it from the air. If the PMU fighters are not stopped as soon as they set foot on Syrian soil, the Iranians will have won this round and feel able to safely augment the PMU force of 10,000 fighters by pouring thousands more into Syria.

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Donald konfronterar Nancy, högaktningsfullt

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Kör Iran i konkurs NU

Source: Bankrupt Iran – Opinion – Jerusalem Post

It has long been known that the Iranian regime under the rule of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos.

BY MIKE EVANS
 JANUARY 15, 2019 23:45

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with people of Qom, in Teheran, Iran.

It has long been known that the Iranian regime under the rule of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos. The frenzied mix is a toxic poison combining apocalyptic fanaticism with terrorism. In September 2010, this writer arranged the Fox News Channel’s first and only interview with then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York City with the assistance of Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Just before the interview, all Iranian politicians were asked to leave the room as Iranian mullahs entered. They sat side by side in a line of chairs facing Ahmadinejad and, I suppose, prayed to the Mahdi, who they believe is the last descendant of Mohammad and will one day dominate a world under an Islamic caliphate, entreating the Mahdi to empower their leader.

In meeting with Iranian ministers at their hotels for four years during UN gatherings, I had noticed that the mullahs and their wives always shopped at high-end department stores. In my last meeting with the ministers, I observed that because of pressure from the US sanctions against Iran, their purchases, contained in cardboard boxes from various hardware stores, were filled with items unavailable in Iran. Yet Iran’s leaders were not shy in declaring that sanctions would not deter them from continuing with their goals for developing nuclear fusion.

During his tenure and under stiff sanctions by the West, Ahmadinejad proceeded to increase Iran’s interest rate to 21%, causing the populace of his country to become increasingly worried about the economy and the toll on future income. The sanctions imposed by world leaders had an effect – although Ahmadinejad denied the squeeze, and Iranians were instructed to buy dollars only when traveling.

Hoarding of US currency became de rigueur in aristocratic circles in the country. It was the currency to covet, but it soon required government permission to purchase dollars. The sanctions seriously worsened the value of the Iranian rial. One anonymous Iranian politician averred that the economy was the worst since the Iran/Iraq war.

The countries that joined forces to impose sanctions on Iran did so in hopes of restricting the amount of currency available to purchase the materials and expertise needed to continue its nuclear pursuits. The weaker rial triggered a run on gold and foreign currency and further exacerbated the problem as Iranians withdrew savings in order to make their purchases.

With the imposition of new sanctions by the US, it could be that we will see a repeat of the tactics used to overthrow the Shah of Iran in 1979. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini engineered the overthrow of the shah with oil-related strikes. He took full advantage of the media for his purposes. The Ayatollah began to urge the workers in Iran – from oil workers to garbage haulers – to go on strike. Students were encouraged to riot in support of the working class. The strikes proved to be very effective at creating dissention. The strikes spread from the Tehran oil refinery to the oil refineries at Isfahan, Abadan, Tabriz and Sharaz. In one week, oil production fell by three million barrels.

Should the Iranian people again employ that strategy against their government, blood might well flow in the streets of the villages, towns, and cities of that country. When the people revolted following Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election in 2009, President Barack Obama did nothing to help them defend themselves against reprisals. They would, I imagine, be very reluctant to try a second time unless the US rallies behind them and the Western press is supportive. If that does not happen, then there is little chance of a successful revolution in Iran.

One of President Donald Trump’s initial objectives was to reverse the Obama nuclear deal with Iran. During his campaign, Trump called the Iranian deal the worst ever, and from his first day on the job, he would be determined to ascertain that Iran was in total conformity with all Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) requirements. In hindsight, he should have immediately demanded transparency and accountability regarding any and all agreements made between Iran and the Obama administration. Mr. Trump needed to be certain that all ambiguities regarding site inspections, enrichment levels, and other issues were addressed and rectified.

Even with the sanctions in place, the question must be asked: What do China, India, Korea, Turkey, Italy, Japan, the UAE, Spain, France and Greece all have in common? In descending order, each country purchases crude and condensate from Iran. President Trump needs to inform these 10 countries that if they do business with Iran, the US will no longer do business with them. Within 90 days, it is highly likely that Iran would be bankrupt, and the Iranian people would be moved to overthrow the Khamenei regime as they did with the shah.

The writer is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author with 89 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late President Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was the chair. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative.

 

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