Wednesday, April 06, 2016

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Seven times worse than Hamas: Bernie Sanders by the numbers
Bernie Sanders exacerbated his shockingly under-informed address on Israel from late last month with an interview to the New York Daily News this week in which he casually traduced Israel.
In his March speech — which he said he would have delivered at AIPAC’s Washington policy conference if only they’d let him read it out over satellite — he demanded that Israel remove its blockade from Gaza while simultaneously professing to support Israelis’ “right to live in peace and security.” Needless to say — or rather, evidently, needful to say to Sanders — backing Israelis’ right to live in peace and security entails working to ensure that terrorist groups committed to Israel’s destruction are not allowed to import the weaponry they need to achieve that goal. Demanding that Israel end the Gaza blockade is tantamount to demanding that Hamas be enabled to freely bring in rockets, missiles and all manner of other military equipment to expedite Israel’s demise. Only a politician who supports Hamas — such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan — or one with a grossly inadequate understanding of Israel and its challenges could possibly endorse such a position.
In his New York Daily News interview, Sanders dismally reconfirmed that he falls into the latter category. The would-be president castigated Israel for an ostensibly “indiscriminate” war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, and, while admitting that he didn’t really know the facts, asserted, twice, that Israel killed over 10,000 innocent civilians in the course of that conflict.
Over 10,000 innocent civilians? That’s seven times the self-serving figure asserted by Hamas, the terror group that runs Gaza, and gleefully adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, the sham body that obsessively loathes Israel. According to Hamas, 1,462 civilians were killed. The Israeli authorities believe the true figure was far lower, both because Hamas inflated the overall numbers of combatants and noncombatants killed, and because Hamas deliberately misrepresents many of its own dead gunmen, who often fought out of uniform, as civilians — to demonize Israel, and to minimize its own losses. Israel also stresses that Hamas deliberately placed Gazans in harm’s way by putting its rocket launchers and terror tunnel openings in and around their homes. Finally, Israeli officials note that no civilians whatsoever would have been killed had Hamas not chosen to maintain its violent hostility to Israel, which since 2005 has had no civilian presence and no military presence whatsoever in the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Israel did what much of the world — including Bernie Sanders — would have it do in the West Bank: It left. And war followed.

Why Bernie Exaggerates About Gaza
Had Sanders bothered to think more deeply about the issue, he would have understood that without taking the care that it did, casualties in Gaza would have been as high as 10,000 or even more than that because of Hamas embedding its rocket launchers and fighters in and among civilians, including using hospitals as bases and UN schools as ammo dumps. And while he may regard Israel’s need to take out these targets as optional, Israel’s leaders had the responsibility to defend their people against truly indiscriminate attacks in the form of Hamas rockets and terror tunnels.
But the problem here, as with the entire “progressive” critique of Israel, is that Sanders’ beliefs about the Gaza war are rooted in his misconceptions about the continuing cause of the conflict. He seems to think it’s about Israel having to “improve its relationship with the Palestinians.” But not once in his lengthy comments about the Middle East in the Daily News interview does he note that Israel has repeatedly offered the Palestinians far-reaching territorial concessions in exchange for peace and has been turned down every time. Nor does he care to notice that even Palestinian moderates refuse to accept the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders may be drawn. Pushing for more unilateral Israeli withdrawals, as President Obama has done and Sanders seems to indicate he would also advocate, merely encourages the Palestinians to continue to believe that continued intransigence will eventually isolate the Jewish state. It also gives the Palestinian leadership a pass for fomenting hatred against Israel and Jews that has set off a bloody third “stabbing” intifada.
Sanders doesn’t oppose Israel’s existence, and he can claim both to have lived there briefly and to have relations with Israelis. But his policies do not encourage peace, nor do they do Palestinians held hostage by Hamas in their independent state in all but name in Gaza much good either.
More importantly, he reflects a blame Israel first mindset of the left wing of his party that is as divorced from reality as anything that comes out of Trump’s mouth. While he isn’t likely to become president, Sanders’ mindless repetition of canards about Israel probably sounded like the truth to many of his fans. If, as the age demographics would seem to indicate, those young voters are the future of the Democrats, the party’s divorce from the pro-Israel movement seems to be accelerating. (h/t Yenta Press)
The Mottle Wolfe Show: Israel Gets Berned
[gets good about the 13 min mark] Still feeling the Bern? Bernie Sanders radically over estimates the death toll in Gaza. Is it from ignorance or lack of interest in foreign policy? Also Brian of London joins Mottle to talk about Dubai’s winner of the ‘Best Teacher of the the Year’ award in the married to a terrorist category.

Bernie Sanders: Israel Killed 10,000 "Innocent People" in Gaza
Anyone who knows anything about the conflict is sighing at this point. There's anti-Israel material and pro-Israel material mixed in here almost at random with no regard for reality.
But you get the sense that Bernie Sanders doesn't know much about this or cares, that there may even be good intentions underneath, but that his policy will get set by the left-wing advisers he's listening to. The dominant theme is that he's just not particularly interested. Which in some ways is a plus.
Hillary Clinton will certainly be on a "Get Israel" mission. Bernie Sanders is signaling more anti-Israel views, but ones that he isn't committed to or especially invested in. This is the Democratic Party now. Stick your hand in the box. Find the lesser of two evils.
And then it gets worse.
Israeli victims of Istanbul bomb recognized as terror victims
The Defense Ministry on Tuesday recognized the 14 Israeli victims of last month’s terror attack in Istanbul as official “victims of hostilities,” qualifying them and their families for special state benefits.
On March 19, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest, killing four people and injuring dozens more. Three Israeli tourists were among those died in the blast, and 11 were wounded to varying degrees.
The ministry did not initially recognize the Israelis killed and injured as victims of hostilities, as it was not entirely clear if they had been specifically targeted in the attack for being Israelis or had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But upon consideration and further investigation, the ministry determined “there is a reasonable basis for the belief that the attack was directed at Israelis,” it said in a statement.
As a result, the senior deputy legal adviser to the Defense Ministry, Yedidya Oron, decided to grant the victims that designation.
IsraellyCool: Kay Wilson On i24News Talking UK Payments To Terrorists
Pay attention to the host’s face when Kay tells her story. It’s like he got a kick in the solar plexus. From a camel. A very strong one.
That’s Kay Wilson and Jonathan Sacerdoti (who was in studio instead of on Skype). The issue of the UK and the EU paying blood money to Palestinian terrorists is not going away. The Daily Mail’s petition in the UK shot past 200,000 votes this Sunday. Kay’s story in the Mail on Sunday had a significant part in that.
John McDonnell Campaigning Against Israel
Here’s today’s Labour row, reported in the Evening Standard.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell was today caught in his party’s growing anti-Semitism storm after directing people to a website that has carried “tributes” to suicide bombers.
Labour MPs reacted with fury after learning that in 2014 Mr McDonnell linked from his own web page to the site, which once carried sympathetic articles about at least two bombers.
One of the pieces focused on a man who murdered 19 Israelis outside a nightclub.

Oh come now. The website is run by the Khomeinist outfit “Inminds”. A few seconds are all one needs to see it for what it is – a crude and base hatred site which supports terrorist violence. Try the numerous “Al Quds Day” reports for starters. This is the “We Are All Hezbollah” crowd. In fact, the web archive shows Quds Day reports and pictures of Hezbollah banners on the very page McDonnell recommended.
Israel Demolishes East Jerusalem Park Glorifying Palestinian Terrorists
Israeli police officers from the Jerusalem District and city officials on Tuesday demolished a memorial garden in the Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud in eastern Jerusalem, which was created to commemorate terrorists — or “shahids” (martyrs), as the garden’s founders described them — who have been killed during the current wave of violence in Israel.
The garden was created several weeks ago. Its founders planted saplings and placed images of terrorists alongside each one. They also spray-painted slogans on a nearby wall. The entire memorial was built on public property and, unsurprisingly, without a proper permit.
The opening of the garden was reported on Arab social media sites. As stated, upon learning of its existence, police and city officials removed the saplings and the photographs of the terrorists, and erased the graffiti. The Jerusalem District Police said it was aware of the identities of several suspects and would soon bring them in for questioning.
Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said, “The police will continue to act decisively against any display of incitement and support for terror against Israel.”
Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas: We are prepared to discuss with Israel ending of ‘mutual incitement’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday he was prepared to work with Israel to stop and monitor “mutual incitement” between the two sides.
Abbas told visiting Romanian journalists in his office that he has called for the reformation of the Palestinian-Israeli-American committee for monitoring incitement that was established 15 years ago, and that he was working toward the achievement of a two-state solution by establishing a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on the pre-1967 lines that would live in peace and stability alongside Israel.
“We want to hear a clear statement from the Israeli government that it believes in the two-state solution,” Abbas said. “If it agrees to this, the beginning of the solution will be ready and we will negotiate about the other issues.”
Abbas said settlements were the major obstacle to peace and they, therefore, were “demanding a full cessation of settlement activities in the Palestinian territories.”
The Palestinians, he said, are seeking a UN Security Council resolution that condemns settlements and calls for an immediate cessation of settlement activities.
MEMRI: Marwan Barghouti: End Security Coordination With The Occupation, Strive For Comprehensive Intifada
In recent month, Fatah leader Marwan Al-Barghouti, who is serving five life-sentences in Israel for orchestrating terrorist attacks during the second intifada, was mentioned again as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud 'Abbas as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA). This occurs against the backdrop of recent criticism of 'Abbas's performance as PA president and as Fatah and PLO chairman, as well as 'Abbas's own statements that he will not run in the next presidential elections. Barghouti's wife Fadwa said on February 24, 2016 that her husband planned to submit his candidacy for president.
Barghouti enjoys wide support among the Palestinian public, especially among Fatah activists. Fatah officials, including PLO Executive Committee secretary Saeb Erekat and Fatah Revolutionary Committee secretary Amin Maqboul have declared that they support him for president. His supporters realize the problem posed by his being incarcerated in Israel, due to which he has been dubbed "the Palestinian Mandela" and compared to this South African leader who led his people's struggle from prison.
In the past year a campaign supporting Barghouti for president has been waged on Facebook. For example, in May 2015 a "Barghouti for President" hashtag was launched, and in December 2015 a Facebook page was dedicated to a "campaign of loyalty to the imprisoned commander Marwan Barghouti." In response to Fadwa Barghouti's announcement that he planned to participate in the presidential elections, this page stated that "the imprisoned commander Marwan Barghouti has heeded the will of the Palestinian street and declared his intention to run for president. This decision is a crucial [step towards] correcting the course of the Palestinian cause and rescuing the national movement."
Khaled Abu Toameh: Why the Palestinians Are Calling to Overthrow Abbas
Abbas has used the dirtiest words: Peace with Israel. Abbas, of course, was speaking to the Israeli public, and not to his own people. He has always sent a conciliatory message to Israelis, but this is the same Abbas who whips his people into a frenzy by telling them that Jews are "defiling the Aqsa Mosque with their filthy feet," and the same Abbas whose media and officials glorify Palestinians who murder Israelis.
Abbas has only himself to blame for this morass. Like other Palestinian leaders, Abbas has become hostage to his own anti-Israel poison.
Perhaps this time, the international community can hear the truth: the Palestinian leadership does not educate the Palestinian people for peace with Israel. That is the real obstacle to peace.
PMW: PA Chairman Abbas: All of Israel is an "occupation"
Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas speaks in different languages to different audiences. To his own Palestinian population Abbas defines all of Israel as an "occupation." In an interview on official PA TV, Abbas stated that Palestinians have been occupied since Israel's establishment in 1948:
"We have been under occupation for 67 or 68 years (i.e., since Israel's establishment in 1948). Others would have sunk into despair and frustration. However, we are determined to reach our goal because our people stands behind us."
[Official PA TV, March 11, 2016]
To foreign audiences, however, Abbas implies acceptance of Israel's legitimacy, pledging that he is in favor of the two-state solution with Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace.
Meeting with a delegation of Jews, Abbas said:
"We strive for peace through the establishment of the Palestinian state, which will live in peace and stability alongside Israel."
"We are experiencing difficult days, and despite all that is happening, we still hold our hand out to you, in order to establish peace and put an end to the loathing and [spilling] of blood between us. Therefore, we are trying to hold dialogue with all groups of the Israeli society."
[Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, March 29, 2016]
Massive illegal Arab city sprouts up 'under the radar'
During a discussion on Wednesday morning in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Subcommittee, the Regavim movement that tracks illegal Arab construction exposed that a new illegal Arab city has sprouted up on a military firing range in the southern Har Hevron region of Judea.
The ongoing illegal construction spans tens of thousands of dunams, and includes the establishment of hundreds of residential buildings, schools, clinics and mosques.
Foreign sources, including the European Union (EU), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Abu Dhabi are funding the illegal development of roadway and electricity infrastructures which are spreading out ever further over dozens of kilometers.
Back in the 1980s a small number of Bedouin families lived in temporary dwellings on firing range 917.
Throughout the Subcommittee hearing, representatives of the IDF Civil Administration claimed that the new illegal city was a "collection of buildings" in three demarcations prepared by the Civil Administration's planning authorities in the latter half of the 1980s.
Israel, Egypt ministers hold rare meet on nuke summit sidelines
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz met Thursday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to discuss regional issues, including gas development and preventing “radioactive terrorism.”
The meeting between the two officials marked the highest level convention of senior ministers in both countries since the ouster of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, following the 2011 uprising in the country.
The two met in Washington, where they are set to attend a top-level nuclear security summit hosted by President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday and Friday.
Tourism Ministry defends map of Jerusalem's Old City omitting Arab landmarks
The Tourism Ministry on Tuesday defended its official visitors’ map of Jerusalem’s Old City, which omits numerous historic Arab and Christian landmarks, while featuring dozens of Jewish sites.
The map in question, which has the ministry’s logo affixed to it, highlights only one Muslim site, the Dome of the Rock, and five Christian sites, among its 57 locales of primarily synagogues, yeshivas, and numerous other Jewish sites, Haaretz initially reported. While there is an image of the Temple Mount’s al-Aksa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, it is not named.
Moreover, the daily accused the ministry of contributing to the “Judaization” of Jerusalem by noting “all the buildings occupied by Jews in the Muslim Quarter.”
Full power restored to West Bank after PA takes step to pay down NIS 1.74b. debt
Electricity was restored to full levels in the West Bank after the Palestinian Authority transferred NIS 20 million to the Israel Electric Corporation on Wednesday. The payment goes toward paying down its NIS 1.74 billion debt, and stop a series of rolling electricity cuts.
Last week, electricity was halved in Jericho, from 15 megawatts to 7.5 MW, followed by Bethlehem on Monday and Hebron on Tuesday.
IEC officials, a team of senior PA officials and Hadash MK Ayman Odeh worked out the current “temporary arrangement” that immediately transferred over the NIS 20m. An additional meeting was held to formulate a short-term payment schedule.
The IEC has given the negotiation teams seven days to work out a complete debt payment agreement. Otherwise, the company warned it will again reduce electricity flows and expand it to other Area A cities in the West Bank in an attempt to prevent the debt from growing.
WATCH: Hamas Commanders Training Islamic State Troops in Sinai
The Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt, Wilayat Sinai, released a video showing militants training for the organization’s ongoing battle against the Egyptian army.
However, the two men leading the session are wearing the uniform of Hamas’ military wing rather than the customary IS uniform. This confirms Israeli claims that the two organizations have strong ties to each other. A still from the video appears below confirming the dress of the combatants.
islamic state sinai training
Israel has maintained that Hamas offers Wilayat Sinai military training in exchange for help in circumventing Egyptian surveillance of weapons smuggling, as Breitbart Jerusalem previously reported.
Breitbart Jerusalem also revealed that jihadis in Gaza appealed to the leader of IS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, saying that the arrangement ignores their persecution by Hamas authorities.
Fearing jihadis, US said to mull pulling troops from north Sinai
The Obama administration may order the movement of some US and international troops into the southern Sinai, and is discussing such a move with Egypt and Israel, according to a CNN report Tuesday.
The two Middle East countries signed a peace deal in 1979, agreeing that a Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) mission would monitor compliance.
There are 707 US troops in that mission, the largest contingent in the 12-nation force of some 1,600 soldiers.
Most of the peacekeepers are stationed at El-Gorah camp, near the Gaza Strip. Under the reported move, they would be transferred to a base near Sharm al-Sheikh, in the less-restive southern peninsula.
US officials, according to the CNN report, say that MFO soldiers can be replaced by unmanned sensing technology that can fulfill the duty of monitoring the Egyptian-Israeli border.
Is Hezbollah involved in the biggest prostitution network ever exposed in Lebanon?
Lebanon has been bustling in the past few days following the discovery of the biggest prostitution network ever operated in the country. While pro-Hezbollah newspapers deem that the Lebanese organization aided in exposing the network, anti-Hezbollah social media activists have launched an attack against the organization, claiming that one of its members was the network's head.
The prostitution network, revealed by the Lebanese police in the coastal city of Jounieh, north of Beirut, included 75 women, most of them Syrian. The network's operators convinced the women to leave their homeland and move to Lebanon by offering them apparent jobs at Lebanese restaurants.
Inspected by 18 guards at the brothel, the women were obliged to serve as prostitutes 20 hours a day. If a woman's client did not like the way he was treated by her, she would have been hit, tortured or sexually harassed by the network's operators.
The network, which started operating in 2011, was not only a prostitution network, but also an ISIS-like human trafficking network, in which the operators sold or hired out women to other networks.
Panama Papers: How German Biz May Have Empowered Venezuela to Forge Passports for Hezbollah
The massive legal firm data leak known as the Panama Papers have exposed business dealings that allowed the government of Venezuela under Hugo Chávez to use Cuban money to purchase advanced passport technology from Germany. Venezuela would later be accused of falsifying passports for Hezbollah terrorists.
The revelation surfaced as part of the 11.5 million documents leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, later handed over for aid in analysis to a number of journalistic outlets, most prominently the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The ICIJ has set up a website to help parse the information in these documents, and one website specifically for the revelations surfacing on the government of Venezuela.
It is there that the ICIJ has revealed in a Spanish-language report that Mossack Fonseca helped the governments of Cuba and Venezuela establish a shell corporation to engage a German technology company to buy state-of-the-art passport printing technology.
To flee Lebanon's trash crisis, family heads to Syria
Imagine living near a trash dump so putrid that you would rather move to war-torn Syria.
That's what Fayyad Ayyash, his wife Riham and their four young daughters plan to do next week, leaving behind their home in Lebanon for neighbouring Syria.
Their modest two-storey house in the town of Naameh, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the Lebanese capital, directly overlooks the infamous and odorous landfill by the same name.
"We're going next week. In Syria, there's a possibility I might die. Here, we'll definitely die," Fayyad tells AFP.
From his grassy backyard, dozens of large trucks carrying tonnes of waste can be seen -- and smelled -- lining up to add their load to the "trash mountain."
The July 2015 closure of the notorious landfill lies at the heart of Lebanon's trash crisis, which has seen rivers of trash spread across the Mediterranean country, triggering protests nationwide.
Egypt satellite operator drops Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Manar
A leading Arab satellite operator cut transmission of Hezbollah’s television channel Al-Manar on Wednesday amid soaring tensions between the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group’s backer Iran and Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia.
“Nilesat informed the [Lebanese] telecommunications ministry of the need to stop transmitting Al-Manar channel through the Nilesat satellite,” Lebanon’s National News Agency reported.
“The management of Nilesat said the reason for the request… was that it had violated their agreement by airing programs that provoke sectarian strife and sedition.”
Nilesat did not immediately comment when contacted by AFP at its Cairo headquarters.
The cut came ahead of a planned visit by Saudi King Salman to Egypt, which operates the Nilesat satellite.
Hezbollah Fighters Growing More Disillusioned, Only In It For The Money
Low-level members of Hezbollah are growing increasingly frustrated with the Iran-backed terrorist militia, with many saying that they just want to be paid so they can go home.
Hanin Ghaddar, the managing editor of the Lebanese news website NOW, came to this conclusion after interviewing after interviewing a number of young men who have been fighting for Hezbollah in Syria.
Hezbollah’s appeal, Ghaddar wrote, originally stemmed from its connection to the “three pillars of a Lebanese Shiite identity”: resistance to Israel, “the collective memory of the battle of Karbala” (a key event in the early Sunni-Shiite split), and allegiance to the Ayatollah of Iran under the philosophy of Wilayat al-Faqih, or the “rule of the jurisprudent.”
Iranian Arms and the Spirit of the Deal
Speaking at the end of a nuclear security summit on Friday, President Obama argued that while Iran was living up to the “letter” of the nuclear deal it made with the West, it was still violating the “spirit” of the pact. But, as I noted yesterday, he framed the problem as one in which it was the Islamist regime and its potential Western business partners that would lose out. Actions such as violations of missile test bans or shipping weapons to Hezbollah might scare away foreign investment. But he didn’t seem to think the consequences of Iran’s provocative behavior went farther than that. The president’s confidence in the wisdom of his policy of engagement is such that he views those Americans who continue to point out the foolishness of his policy as being the moral equivalent of Iran’s Islamist hardliners. Though he doesn’t wish to be accused of ignoring Iranian behavior, he nevertheless treats it as insignificant. But yesterday, we got a reminder of why other nations in the Middle East, both Israel and its Arab neighbors, regard the question of the spirit of the deal very differently.
On Monday, the U.S. Navy announced that it had intercepted an Iranian arms shipment headed to Yemen. As arms transfers go, even those undertaken by Iran, it was not that big a deal. In the past, Iran has been caught shipping missiles to Hamas in Gaza by the Israeli Navy. Transfers of munitions of all kinds to Hezbollah forces in Lebanon that are intended either for use against Israel or to facilitate the employment of the terror group as Iranian auxiliaries in defense of the Assad regime in Syria are routine. Put in that context, sending a wooden dhow – a traditional Persian Gulf vessel — into the Arabian sea laden with a shipment of AK-47 rifles, rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, and machine guns is not that big a deal.
But in the context of Iran’s efforts to aid the Houthi rebels in Yemen, it is no small affair. Though President Obama still clings to the illusion that the nuclear deal enables Iran to re-enter the community of nations, Tehran had a very different purpose in pursuing negotiations with the West. It wished to end its economic isolation and revive its economy, but it was also determined to preserve its nuclear option, to accept no restraints on its ability to carry on as the leading state sponsor of international terror, and to be free to pursue a foreign policy whose aim was regional hegemony. That is exactly what President Obama gave them in the nuclear deal.
UAE Ambassador: One Year After Nuclear Framework, Iran is “Dangerous as Ever”
One year after Iran and world powers announced the framework for the nuclear deal, “the Iran we have long known—hostile, expansionist, violent—is alive and well, and as dangerous as ever,” Yousef al-Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the United States, wrote in an op-ed published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.
The UAE would have much to gain from peaceful relations with Iran, including “[restoration] of full trade ties, energy cooperation and cultural exchanges, and [starting] a process to resolve a 45-year territorial dispute,” wrote al-Otaiba.
However, since the nuclear deal, “Iran has only doubled down on its posturing and provocations,” the ambassador argued.
Al-Otaiba cataloged many of Iran’s recent destabilizing actions in the Middle East, including its ballistic missile tests in October, November, and March; its capture of American sailors in January; its proposal to buy $8 billion worth of arms from Russia; its weapons shipments to Houthi rebels in Yemen; and its arming of terrorist cells in both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Roskam Scoffs at Iranian Complaints Over Nuke Deal
Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) dismissed recent complaints by Iranian officials claiming that the United States is violating the comprehensive nuclear agreement by discouraging Western companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic.
Senior Iranian officials on Monday expressed outrage over efforts led by Roskam to discourage Western investment in Iran. The Iranians claims that this violates the nuclear agreement.
Roskam dismissed Iran’s concerns on Monday, telling the Washington Free Beacon in a statement that Western companies must choose between doing legitimate business or funding Iran’s global terror activities.
“Western companies have to make the determination themselves whether or not they want to make their employees and shareholders complicit in funding terrorism,” Roskam said.
The flare up revolves around a recent op-ed penned by Roskam in the Wall Street Journal. Roskam warned in the piece Western companies from entering the Iranian economy.
Obama Administration Denies New Concessions To Iran
The Obama administration on Monday denied reports that it is considering a plan to grant Iran unprecedented access to the U.S. dollar and American financial markets but left open the possibility that the Islamic Republic may be able to access the U.S. system via foreign banks.
State Department Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that the Obama administration was “not planning to grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system,” but expressed uncertainty as to whether the comprehensive nuclear agreement permits Iran access to U.S. currency through foreign banks.
“I’d have to look back and see if it was in the original text,” Toner said. “I don’t recall it [having been in the deal text].”
The administration’s denial comes amid multiple reports claiming that officials are considering a range of new concessions to Iran that expand beyond the purview of the nuclear deal. The Washington Free Beacon reported early Monday that lawmakers in Congress have launched an investigation into claims that the administration misled lawmakers about the deal last summer.
Kerry: Iran ‘Absolutely’ Deserves Access to U.S. Dollars as Part of Sanctions Relief
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Iran deserves access to U.S. dollars out of fairness because Tehran has met its core obligations under the nuclear agreement despite strong bipartisan opposition to such a move in Congress.
Kerry was asked about the recent effort by the Obama administration to give Iran limited access to the dollar currency in an interview on Morning Joe.
The show’s panel pointed out to Kerry that Iran has increased its destabilizing activities and anti-Western rhetoric since the Iran nuclear deal was put into effect in January and questioned whether the U.S. should expand its sanctions relief given the Islamic Republic’s aggressive behavior.
U.S. will block sale of Russian Su-30 fighter jet to Iran, official says
A U.S. official confirmed Tuesday that Washington would not allow Russia to sell its Su-30 fighter jets to Iran.
Thomas Shannon, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, said the U.S. would use its veto power in the U.N. Security Council to block the sale of any of the warplanes to Iran.
“We would block the approval of fighter aircraft,” he told a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, noting that any such sale would have to be approved by the Security Council, Reuters reported.
The Su-30 is an advanced fighter aircraft built for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions.
Erdogan: Anti-Semitism is a crime, Islamophobia should be too
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with CNN ensured that Jewish citizens living in Turkey will be safe, and slammed European countries for not heeding his terror warnings.
When asked by CNN correspondent Christine Amanpour about the heightened threat towards Jews in Turkey, Erdogan firmly replied: "We have a very significant number of Jewish citizens and they have always been safe and secure where they are in Turkey."
He continued: "They have their own synagogues and schools and media outlets, which have always been secure and safe. Time to time I get together with the rabbis, with religious leaders, leaders of congregations and I talk to them, and wherever a need arises we do everything we can to meet those needs."
On the alarming trend of anti-Semitism in Turkey and across Europe, Erdogan said: "I am one of the first political leaders officially declaring that anti-Semitism is a crime," he said, adding "I expect an official declaration that Islamophobia is a crime against humanity as well. Islamophobia emerged from the Western countries and this is a challenge that we all together need to surmount."

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