Iran’s Supreme Leader Worth $200 Billion

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei / Getty Images

U.S. Embassy: Iran’s Supreme Leader Worth $200 Billion

BY: 

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, estimates that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, owns assets worth about $200 billion.

Last week, the embassy posted on its Facebook page that the regime in Iran is rife with corruption from top to bottom, with Khamenei reaping the most benefits, Iran News Wire reported.

Meanwhile, the embassy added, the Iranian people “languish in poverty because of the dire economic situation in Iran after 40 years of rule by the mullahs.”

Reuters found in 2013, after a six-month investigation, that Khamenei controls exclusively a business empire, called Setad, worth around $95 billion.

“Setad has become one of the most powerful organizations in Iran, though many Iranians, and the wider world, know very little about it,” Reuters reported at the time. “In the past six years, it has morphed into a business juggernaut that now holds stakes in nearly every sector of Iranian industry, including finance, oil, telecommunications, the production of birth-control pills, and even ostrich farming.”

The report also showed how “Setad built its empire on the systematic seizure of thousands of properties belonging to ordinary Iranians: members of religious minorities like Vahdat-e-Hagh, who is Baha’i, as well as Shi’ite Muslims, business people, and Iranians living abroad.”

The regime also exempts several profitable religious institutions, many of which Khamenei controls, from taxes.

As Khamenei and his allies in the regime receive billions of dollars, the Iranian people are suffering from poverty.

Most estimates put Iran’s poverty level at somewhere between 30 and 40 percent, but last year, a member of the Iranian parliament’s Economic Committee said that 80 percent of the country’s population live below the poverty line.

A senior official at the International Monetary Fund said that inflation could reach 40 percent this year as the Iranian economy continues to shrink.

As the economy crumbles, Iranians have expressed outrage at their government’s response to major flooding caused by heavy rain across Iran, claiming that the Islamist regime cares more about crushing protests than helping those who are suffering.

Completing the Shi’a Crescent (Daniel 7:7)

The Crescent on a Hot Plate

Ghassan Charbel

Ghassan Charbel is the editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

The scene was strange in Baghdad in early March 2007. A plane had landed in the country controlled by the “Great Satan”, carrying on board a president that comes from the mantle of the spiritual leader.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saw a crowd of American armored vehicles. The head of the accompanying delegation asked Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari about the scene. He responded that the number of US troops reached 170,000. The visitor was not unaware of this reality – perhaps this was the reason for his visit.

The Iraqi authorities asked US soldiers to open the barricades and to facilitate the passage of the Iranian president’s convoy to the Green Zone, where he met with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. On the way back, soldiers at a US checkpoint insisted on stopping the president’s convoy and it turned out that the troops wanted to take a souvenir photo with the visitor. Ahmadinejad smiled when Zebari told him so, but the Iraqi authorities requested that the president remain in his car for security reasons.

Ahmadinejad did not hesitate to whisper in the ear of President Jalal Talabani that the Americans were temporary visitors and the land remains after the departure of the migratory birds. The Iranian president was keen on visiting the Shiite holy sites in another message about the Iraqi fabric.

Years before the visit, on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq, Tehran witnessed a high-ranking Iran-Syria meeting, in which it was agreed to make every effort to thwart the US offensive. Zebari says Tehran was keen on thwarting the US military presence, which will abutted Iranian territories from Afghanistan; while Damascus was determined to defeat the US occupation and the democratic experiment in Iraq, fearing its spread in its territory.

Also prior to the visit, Tehran and Damascus also implemented a joint decision to prevent the establishment of a pro-Western government in Lebanon, following the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, by besieging Fouad Siniora’s government.

Tehran benefitted from two fixations by Barack Obama’s administration: the first is the military withdrawal from Iraq, and the second is an agreement with Iran over its nuclear ambitions. When Iraqi army units collapsed in front of the ISIS wave from Mosul, Tehran quickly sent weapons and ammunition to Baghdad and Erbil. It considered that the army that collapsed was the one trained by the Americans, who spent billions of dollars on it. It then exerted an extraordinary effort to sponsor the Popular Mobilization Forces that transformed into a “parallel army.”

In Lebanon, the situation has stabilized on an equation that gives Hezbollah the first and final say in big decisions. This has kept Lebanon part of the “crescent of opposition.”

Two situations must be highlighted to complete the picture. The pro-Iranian militias alone could not save the Syrian regime. The real rescue came from the Russian military intervention. Russia has become a necessary partner in shaping the Syrian future. The Iranian role in Syria was therefore affected. The Houthis could not include Yemen in the “crescent of opposition”. They were met with Yemeni and Gulf resistance and an international understanding of the decision to go to war there.

The picture changed with the arrival of Donald Trump. He executed his promise. America withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran and imposed “unprecedented sanctions” on it. He went even farther and put the Revolutionary Guards on the terrorist list. Given the political, security and economic weight of the Iranian regime’s “guards,” Tehran’s current tension can be understood. Its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, even suggested that abandoning the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons was one of his country’s options.

With Trump’s determination to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero and the imminent expiry of the deadline of the exemptions on the imports by some countries, it is clear that the region is heading towards a major crisis that could turn into the “mother of all crises.”

Reports leaked from Iran in recent weeks suggest that US sanctions are undeniably painful. Tehran’s experience with the European alternative to the nuclear deal has proven its insufficiency when the US uses its economic and political weight to force countries and companies to choose between the world’s superpower and Iran.

Understanding the effects of the sanctions on Iraq shows that such a policy cannot bring down a regime. However, there is a difference here that should be noted. Saddam Hussein’s regime did not have commitments in many parts of the region, nor was it funding and arming militias involved in conflicts that have become a major part of Iran’s regional presence. Moreover, the declared American goal is to force the Iranian regime to change its policies, not to cause it to fall.

Questions arise: What is Iran doing? And how can it respond? And where? Past experience showed that Iran is fully aware of the danger of engaging in direct military conflict with the US.

The current climate suggests that proxy wars will not be easy either, with a US president whose moves are hard to predict. Inciting a war with Israel, through Gaza or Lebanon, will not be enough to reshuffle the papers, and may be untenable, under the current US administration.

This does not mean that Iran doesn’t have papers. For months, there has been talk in Baghdad about pushing for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, also through the Iraqi parliament. But Iraqi officials recognize the cost of such a step. Their need for the US role goes beyond its contribution to fighting ISIS.

It is clear that the new crisis is not good news for the Houthis, nor for Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government, whose complete formation is currently stalled due to the Iranian-American tension.

Any Iranian attempt to circumvent sanctions through Baghdad would compound difficulties for the Iraqi government. The same is true of any attempt to use the Lebanese arena, which is being carefully monitored by the US.

“The mother of all crises” is not good news for Syria either. Any talk of reconstruction will be delayed if the confrontation escalates, knowing that Damascus did not decide to choose “Russian Syria” over “Iranian Syria.”

The crisis goes beyond the question of Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz. It raises a question about Iran’s ability to bear the sanctions and to keep its commitments in the “Crescent” countries, which feel they are on the way to living on a hot plate waiting for a solution to the “mother of all crises.”

Iran’s Hegemonic Power in the Middle East (Daniel 8:4)

Iran superior power in region

Mehr News Agency

TEHRAN, Apr. 20 (MNA) – In a meeting with Iran-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group, Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri said that under the leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei Iran is the superior power in the region despite of US sanctions.

Head of Iran-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship Group Amir Khojasteh and accompanying delegation had a meeting with Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon Nabih Berri on Saturday.

In the meeting, Nabih Berri said that US has sanctioned Iran over the past 40 years, but Iran has succeeded in overcoming the problems by relying on popular support, guidance of Ayatollah Khamenei and national unity, and is now the region’s superior power.

Heading a parliamentary delegation, Khojasteh arrived in Beirut on Thursday for a two-day official visit.

The Iranian Parliamentarians had also separate talks with some Palestinian officials, including the deputy leader of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas Saleh al-Aruri, Secretary General of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Resistance Movement Ziad al-Nakhala and Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naeem Ghasem during their two-day visit in Beirut.

Iran Hegemony Throughout the Middle East (Daniel 8:3)

Iran: IRGC-Affiliated Proxies From Afghanistan And Iraq Dispatched To Suppress Dissidents In Flood-Affected Areas

by Hassan MahmoudiApril 17, 2019

The U.S. terrorism label for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard formally took effect on Monday Apr.15, amid a battle between the Trump administration and some in Congress over waivers on oil and nuclear sanctions that are due to expire or be extended early next month.

The Guard’s formal designation as a “foreign terrorist organization” — the first-ever for an entire division of another government — kicked in with a notice published in the Federal Register.

The day after the designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization by the US State Department, the Supreme Leader of the Mullahs, Ali Khamenei, met with members of the Revolutionary Guard and expressed his concern about the growing unrest in the country. Faced with the prospect of popular revolts, he urged the IRGC to remain on alert in the capital and the provinces.

“The IRGC is an exceptional force in the country. Whether outside the country or in the country’s towns and villages; the IRGC is on the front line to fight the enemy,” said Khamenei.

The Iranian dictator is terrified by the escalation of social dissent following the catastrophic effects of the recent floods and the astronomical rise in the cost of living, which could turn into a widespread uprising to overthrow the regime.

Following this speech, the clerical regime ruling Iran dispatched hundreds of its extraterritorial elements affiliated to the terrorist-designated Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) from Iraq and Afghanistan to the provinces of Lorestan and Khuzestan, in the west and southwest regions of the country, respectively.

Under the pretext of assisting relief distribution efforts to the flood-hit areas or preventing floods from entering towns and villages, the IRGC uses these proxy units to, in fact, create a climate of fear and suppress any potential unrest.

Following the dispatch of Hashd al-Shaabi militants (Popular Mobilization Forces/Popular Mobilization Units) from Iraq to Ahvaz earlier in the week, the IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency reported that another group of these vicious elements, called “al-Nojaba,” affiliated to the terrorist IRGC Quds Force, have also been dispatched to Iran.

“Convoys of Iraqi al-Nojaba member, with more than 100 light and heavy vehicles, have crossed the eastern Iranian border of Mehran to dispatch to the flood-stricken areas,” the Fars report reads in part.

Reports also indicate that another group of the IRGC-affiliated militants has been brought from Afghanistan to the town of Poledokhtar (Lorestan Province, western Iran) that was also hit by the devastating flash flood last week. This group, known to be recruited by the IRGC Quds Force have been recruited from the neighboring country of Afghanistan to fight in Syria alongside the troops of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, are called the Fatemiyoun Brigade.

The Mullah’s repressive forces have in recent days have been stationed in the flood-hit cities and towns of Khuzestan Province to intimidate and create an atmosphere of fear among the public. Police and security forces in the oil-rich city of Ahvaz have resorted to the arrest and apprehension of citizens since last Wednesday.

IRGC General Qasem Soleimani, the criminal leader of the Quds Force has gone to the flood-affected areas to monitor these repressive measures.

According to the NCRI statement, April 14, 2019, IRGC Colonel Shahin Hasan and said 24 people were arrested on ridiculous charges of “spreading flood rumors” in Khuzestan province.

Among those arrested are peaceful protesters, private aid workers, social media reporters unveiling the extent of the devastating floods, and the regular public who have rushed to the aid of their fellow compatriots in the flood-hit areas.

Professor Walid Phares, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former foreign policy aid, commented on the extraterritorial paramilitary forces affiliated to the IRGC stationed in the flood-hit areas of Iran under the pretext of aid delivery.

“While the Iranian regime sends these paramilitary forces to Ahvaz from Iraq to repress the Arab community living there, some American experts and bureaucrats still think that they are our allies. Donald Trump’s administration must immediately designate the Hashd al-Shaabi as human rights violators,” Professor Phares said.

Iran Prepares to Nuke Up (Revelation 8:4)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran will amplify nuclear development if the United States keeps up political pressure. File Photo by Iran Presidential Office/EPA-EFE

Iran hits back at U.S. for blacklist, threatens nuclear development

By

Nicholas Sakelaris

April 9 (UPI) — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani fired back at the United States Tuesday, saying its decision to give Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a “terrorist” designation was a “mistake.”

The Trump administration on Monday declared the IRGC a terrorist organization, the first time any foreign military branch has received such a blacklist. Tehran responded Tuesday by naming United States Central Command, or CENTCOM, a terrorist organization and the U.S. government as a sponsor of terror.

Rouhani accused the U.S. administration of using terrorism as a tool in the Mideast region as the IRGC actively fights militants.

“This mistake will unite Iranians and the IRGC will grow more popular in Iran and the region,” the Iranian leader said. “Who are you to label revolutionary institutions as terrorists? You want to use terrorist groups as tools against the nations of the region. You are the leader of world terrorism.”

Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also renounced the U.S. move.

“[The IRGC] is on the front line of confronting enemies of our revolution and has always defended the country,” he said in a speech to members of the guard. “America has failed to block our advancements.”

The leaders made their remarks on Iran’s Nuclear Day Tuesday, and Rouhani said the United States is taking a great risk with its decision to call the IRGC “terrorist.”

“If you pressure us, we will mass produce [nuclear] advanced centrifuges,” he said.

Rouhani touted Iranian achievements in nuclear technology and the installation of advanced centrifuges at a uranium enrichment facility in Natanz and Fordo. Iranian lawmakers chanted, “death to America” on Tuesday as they held an open session of parliament.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contended the IRGC works to destabilize the Middle East by supporting militant organizations that are already on the U.S. blacklist, like Hamas and the Islamic State. He said the IRGC “masquerades” as a legitimate military branch as it carries out terror campaigns worldwide.

Not everyone in the Trump administration supports the move — some national security officials said it could incite violence against U.S. troops in the Middle East. Tehran made similar threats Monday. State Department officials, however, downplayed the potential risks and Trump said the designation expands the scale of pressure on the Iranian regime.

The Showdown with Iran (Daniel 7/8)

Editorial: U.S. moves closer to a showdown with Iran

The Post and Courier

Iran is making worrisome strides in bringing Iraq into its sphere of influence, with projects to link Iran and Syria with a highway and railroad through Iraq and a port in Syria. This poses a distinct new threat to Israel, a nation Iran has sworn to destroy.

President Donald Trump’s options for dealing with this dangerous development are limited. But if he cannot find a way to modify Iran’s behavior, the prospects of a major Middle East war will become a serious national security problem.

Mr. Trump’s decision on Monday to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, taken over protests from the Pentagon, is both a reaction to recent Iranian gains and an effort to convince Iraqi politicians of a cost if they support Iran’s armed proxies in Iraq. The designation allows the application of economic and travel sanctions to persons doing business with the IRGC, which has supplied arms and training to a number of Iraqi militias that are also active in Iraqi politics.

The New York Times reported last month that the Pentagon recommended against the decision on the grounds that Iran would respond by targeting the 5,200 U.S. troops in Iraq as well as American forces elsewhere. On Monday Iran threatened to do just that, declaring the U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization.

A sign of Iran’s success in wooing Iraq (and squeezing its leaders with militias more responsive to Tehran than Baghdad) came in last month’s visit to Iraq’s capital by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He signed a series of agreements with Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi expanding cooperation in energy, trade and the railway project.

We want to forge very close relations with Iraq,” President Rouhani said, and a member of his delegation was quoted in the Irish Times as saying Iraq offers Iran a way around U.S. economic sanctions.

During a return visit to Tehran last week, Mr. Abdul Mahdi was urged by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to get rid of U.S. troops in Iraq “as soon a possible.” That U.S. military presence is critical to the support of the remaining several hundred American troops in Syria.

A debate is underway in Iraq over the continued presence of U.S. troops. A pro-Iranian political party with a strong Iran-backed militia may have the balance of power in the Iraqi parliament.

As matters stand, the U.S. could be forced out of Iraq and Syria within months. Iran has carefully built its political base in Iraq, as it did in Lebanon between 1980 and 2007 when its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, emerged as the dominant political force. Iran is also firming its grip on Syria, and Syria has leased the port at Latakia to Iran.

Meanwhile, the United States says Iran is resuming preparations for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. Last month the State and Treasury departments sanctioned more than two dozen Iranian individuals and companies connected to an Iranian military organization they accused of restarting work on nuclear weapons using front companies to buy prohibited materials from Russia and China.

These troubling developments are the fruit of a consistent long-range strategy by Iran to confront Israel with overwhelming force, a strategy the Obama administration, in pursuit of a narrow nuclear agreement, chose to ignore, leaving Mr. Trump with the awkward position he now faces in Iraq.

If Israel goes to a war footing against Iran — it is close to one now — the United States will be morally obliged to support it against Iranian-led forces that have the potential, when the projected rail and road links through Iraq to Syria are completed, to be far more formidable than anything Israel has yet faced. That time may not be far off.

Updating Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Arsenal

Updating America’s Nuclear Arsenal for a New Age

April 8, 2019, 8:00 AM EDT

Destroyer of worlds.

Photographer: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

More than at any time since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, nuclear war may be something to worry about. At the moment, tensions between India and Pakistan, North Korea’s small arsenal, Iran’s nuclear program, and the U.S. withdrawal from its treaty with Russia on intermediate-range nuclear missiles are all roiling the status quo of global security.

But the U.S. can best prepare for the next nuclear age by sticking with the two-pronged strategy that worked so well during the Cold War: deterrence combined with arms control. That means pursuing two seemingly contradictory goals: seeking to shrink the number of nuclear weapons around the globe, while simultaneously maintaining and improving a nuclear arsenal potent enough to dissuade adversaries from doing anything stupid.

The difference is that there are now three great powers involved. The U.S. needs to modernize its arsenal to counter rising threats from China and Russia, and pursue arms-control treaties with them both.

On the diplomatic side, President Trump should welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin’s willingness to extend the New START agreement, which drastically reduced overall U.S. and Russian arsenals but is set to expire in 2021. Eventually, China should be persuaded to join the pact. Though still well below the START limits, its arsenal is growing. And the U.S. should seek to renegotiate the abandoned Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty as a trilateral pact that also includes Beijing.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has much work to do to modernize its own nuclear-weapons systems. The military was helpfully promised upwards of $1 trillion over 30 years for the project.

The priority should be the submarine fleet, the leg of the U.S. nuclear triad that best combines stealth, mobility and accuracy. The Navy needs full funding to replace its aging Ohio-class ballistic-missile subs with the new Columbia class, scheduled to enter service in the early 2030s.

The ground-based leg of the triad consists of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground silos in the Great Plains. These would cause such vast damage, they would be useful only in the event of an existential crisis. Given this limitation, it makes little sense to entirely replace them. The Air Force should instead upgrade the Minuteman, and could cut its numbers considerably.

That leaves the air leg, which now depends on outdated stealth technology and archaic B-52 bombers. The Air Force is buying at least 100 B-21 Raiders, but unless this new long-range plane proves capable of penetrating ever-more-sophisticated air defenses, it won’t be more than a stopgap. Long term, the service needs to consider drones, air-launched missiles and other cutting-edge alternatives to manned planes.

At the same time, the Pentagon needs to upgrade the weapons themselves, placing a new emphasis on its stockpile of less-powerful tactical weapons that can be “dialed down” to lower yields. The enemy is more likely to fear that the U.S. will really use an atomic weapon if it is not as destructive as the one dropped on Hiroshima.

Russia has reportedly adopted a doctrine known as “escalate to de-escalate,” which involves using limited numbers of such lower-yield weapons to buy time in the event its conventional military finds itself overmatched by U.S. or Chinese troops. Of course, this approach gambles that there could be such a thing as limited nuclear war.

The Pentagon also needs to catch up with Russia and China in developing hypersonic glide missiles that can evade ground defenses after re-entering the atmosphere, and to work on missile defenses capable of destroying enemy vehicles at launch rather than in mid-course. To develop such a deterrent, the U.S. will first have to build a vast network of space-based detectors and greatly expand research on high-energy lasers.

Deterrence can be grim business, in that it involves building more deadly nuclear capacity. But this strategy has helped avert nuclear war between superpowers for decades. A 21st-century reboot should aim to do the same.

—Editors: Tobin Harshaw, Mary Duenwald.

To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net .

Iran Tells Iraq to Kick the US Out

© AP Photo / Vahid Salemi

Iran’s Supreme Leader Urges Iraq to Ensure US Troops Leave “as Soon as Possible”

Earlier in the day, Iran vowed to equate US troops to the Daesh* if Washington designates its Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organisation.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, during a meeting with his Iraqi colleague, called on Baghdad to ensure that US troops leave “as soon as possible”, according to his official website.

“You must make sure that the Americans withdraw their troops from Iraq as soon as possible because expelling them has become difficult whenever they have had a long military presence in a country”, Khamenei was quoted as saying.

The statement comes amid reports about the White House’s plans to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC, part of the Iranian armed forces) a foreign terrorist organisation (FTO) on 8 April.Iran to Equate American Military With Daesh if IRGC Included on US Terror List – MP

Earlier, the Foreign Policy magazine reported, citing US officials, that the administration of President Donald Trump is considering the possibility of cutting diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq as soon as this year or the next.

On 26 March, the United States introduced a new round of sanctions against Iran by adding 16 entities and nine individuals to the sanctions list over their alleged financial support of the IRGC and other units of the Iranian Armed Forces.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have escalated since Washington withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement last year and reinstated sanctions against Tehran. The nuclear agreement envisaged the gradual lifting of sanctions in return for Iran keeping its nuclear programme peaceful.

Iran’s Hegemony Continues (Daniel 8:4)

Iran’s Deception Continues

05 April 2019

Terrorism

By Mehdi

Newly revealed information from the U.S. military points to Iran being responsible for the deaths of 608 U.S. troops in Iraq since 2003. The U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said earlier this week that the information is being revealed now because military reports have been de-classified.

To put this figure into perspective, he explained that this represents 17 per cent of all casualties from 2003 to 2011.

Many of these deaths were caused by highly lethal bombs – explosively formed projectiles, or EEPs as they are known. Iran manufactured these devices and sold them to a number of Shiite militias that it supports across the region, especially those in Iraq.

Previous estimates put the number of deaths at around 500. Of course, there have been thousands of Iraqis that have been killed by Iran’s proxy groups too.

Iran’s belligerence is something that the United States under the Trump administration has been very keen to tackle. President Trump announced last year that the country would no longer remain party to the one-sided nuclear deal because Iran’s malign acts cannot be ignored.

Furthermore, he highlighted that the nuclear deal does nothing to curb the nuclear threat from Iran. He stated that it did nothing but increase the chances of a nuclear arms race in the region.

A large number of documents were seized by Iran and this nuclear archive is something that must be examined very carefully. There are indications from these documents that Iran had been deceptive about its activities during the nuclear deal negotiations and that it has lied about where it truly was in nuclear development.

The Institute for Science and International Security and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies have been trawling through the nuclear archives to find indications about where Iran was carrying out nuclear activities.

The institute also reported recently that Iran had been deceptive about the activities being carried out at its underground Fordow plant. It indicated that Iran is still trying to keep the enrichment site open.

It is expected that more and more information will come to light showing that Iran cannot be trusted and that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was founded on Iran’s deception and lies.

Previous administrations, especially the Obama administration, believed that Iran would become more moderate if concessions were granted. However, Iran has proven, time and time again, that it does not respond to concessions. Tough policies and sanctions are the only way to force the Mullahs into curbing its behaviour. Even then, it is not because Iran wants to cut down on its belligerence – it is because it is being left with no choice.

It is important that foreign governments, especially in the European Union, work together to curb the Iran threat. It is clear by now that Iran must be dealt with in a firm manner. Broader sanctions must be put in place and Iran must be held accountable for its actions. It should no longer be left to spread chaos.

The Growing Iranian Nuclear Horn

IRAN LIKELY STILL DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS – SURVEY

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF

Netanyahu warns against nuclear Iran at 2012 UN General Assembly. (photo credit:” REUTERS)

Nearly half of Middle Eastern survey respondents say they are skeptical that Iran has stopped working to achieve nuclear weapons, according to a poll taken by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and reported by the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom.

The latest survey conducted by professional pollsters on behalf of the ministry found that 43% of Middle Easterners say Iran did not stop its nuclear program. The number of North American respondents who believe similarly is also high at one-third or 33%.

The survey also asked whether or not respondents were interested in their countries having ties with the Jewish state. In general, 75% of respondents believe that ties with Israel can be beneficial to their countries.

When broken down by Middle Eastern countries, 43% of Iraqis, 42% of Emiratis and  41% of Moroccans said they were in favor of ties with Israel. On the other hand, only 32% of Tunisians, 21% of Algerians and 23% of people from Saudi Arabia said they were in favor of such ties.

According to the report, the survey also examined how much respondents agreed that the Palestinian Authority is a roadblock to regional peace. Strikingly, the majority of respondents had no opinion: 53% in the Middle East, 52% in Western Europe and 51% in North America.

A senior official from the Foreign Ministry told Israel Hayom that “when it comes to the Palestinians, the important figure is actually how uninterested the global public is in the conflict.”