Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From Ian:
Caroline Glick: Obama, Clinton and the power of mendacity
Over the years, many commentators and observers have argued that Clinton is less dangerous than Obama. Obama they say is an ideologue whereas Clinton is driven by a simple lust for power and, of course, her own convenience. Consequently, she causes damage in little ways – like endangering the lives of US agents – while Obama clears a path for Iran to rise as a regional hegemon and nuclear state.
The problem with this assessment is that it ignores their symbiotic relationship. Clinton has decided that her interests lie with acting like a loyal Democrat and implementing Obama’s policies.
Like Obama, she doesn’t need to worry about the consequences of those policies for the US and the world. Because like Obama, she is sheltered from criticism by a loyal media.
Amiri is dead. Iran is building nuclear plants with Russia. But as the New York Times explained on Monday, “Nobody knows better than President Obama how easy it would be for Donald J. Trump to reverse the policies of the past eight years if he defeats Hillary Clinton this fall.”
Nobody, that is, other than the New York Times, and the Washington Post and CNN and Clinton.
And so they will continue to work together with Obama, to ensure that the public is kept in the dark about the nature of those policies and their horrible consequences for the US and the rest of the world.

Vic Rosenthal: US sends arms to Hezbollah-controlled Lebanese army
Hezbollah has effective control of Lebanon, and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) are thoroughly infiltrated by Hezbollah.
So why is the US providing weapons and equipment to the LAF? There is no way to keep them out of the hands of Hezbollah.
The IDF will be facing these weapons in the near future. Thank you, Barack Obama!

MEMRI: Article In Palestinian Online Daily: The Claim That Jews Are The Descendants Of Apes And Pigs Is Foolish And Primitive
In his column in the Palestinian online daily Dunya Al-Watan (Alwatanvoice.com), Anwar Al-Waridi, a Palestinian poet and author living in Jordan, mocked Muslim clerics who scream about Jews being the descendants of apes and pigs, while Jews control Arab land and have been defeating the Arabs for the past century. According to him, this claim about the Jews is ridiculous, and is indicative of a backwards collective Arab mentality that underestimates the enemy.
The following are excerpts from the article:
"The problem is the Arab collective mentality. The Jews are not the descendants of apes or pigs, but human beings, sons of Adam and Eve. The cry made repeatedly by some of the crazed and primitive Muslim clerics, 'Jews, the descendants of apes and pigs," is shameful. To those who rely on the esteemed verse: 'We said to them, Be apes, despised' [Koran 2:65] or the verse: 'and made of them apes and pigs and slaves of Taghout' [Koran 5:60], [I say as follows]: though there is disagreement among commentators about the meaning of these verses, the favored opinion is that [the Jews] became apes in character, not in form – meaning that they did not physically transform into actual apes, but rather that their attributes became apelike.
"Moreover, the transformation from people to apes [only] happened to some of them [and only] during a certain period, and did not include all Jews. And even if we assume that they did turn into actual apes, and that this happened to all [Jews] – can an ape give birth to a human? How, therefore, can the Jews of today be the descendants of those who turned into apes, in the opinion of these ignorant Muslim clerics? An ape begets an ape and a human begets a human, and therefore the Jews of today are not the descendants of apes or pigs as we scream stupidly and primitively, as though this is a crushing blow to [the Jews]. Moreover, if they are the descendants of apes and pigs, and have managed to defeat us for close to a century – is there honor in being defeated by apes and pigs?



UN vows ‘thorough review’ after Israel says staffer aided Hamas
The United Nations Development Program said Tuesday it was “greatly concerned” by allegations that one of its staffers was helping the Hamas terror group, promising in a statement “a thorough internal review of the processes and circumstances surrounding the allegation.”
Israel said earlier Tuesday it had charged a UN staffer with helping the Islamist movement, the second indictment involving aid workers in Gaza in a week.
Engineer Waheed Abd Allah Bossh, who has worked for the UN Development Program since 2003, was arrested in July and charged in a civilian court in Israel on Tuesday, a government statement said.
The UNDP said it was “greatly concerned” by the allegations while Hamas, which has run the Gaza Strip since 2007, denied any involvement.
Despite the claims, the statement said, the UN remained confident it had “robust measures in place” to prevent aid diversion.
NGO Monitor: NGO Connections to Hamas in Gaza Point to Broader Misuse of Humanitarian Funds
Following last week’s allegations by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) – that the manager of the NGO World Vision’s Gaza operations, Mohammed El-Halabi, funneled 60% of the organization’s Gaza budget to Hamas – another international aid employee has been arrested on similar charges. Waheed Borsh, a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) employee since 2003, has been indicted with providing material assistance to Hamas and using his position to aid the terrorist group.
In response, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor noted, “Sadly, the arrest of a UNDP official on terror charges is not surprising considering the organization’s apparent willingness to work with Hamas. To avoid enabling murderous Hamas attacks, and compounding the suffering of people in Gaza, aid groups need to apply surveillance and intelligence technologies, particularly regarding employees and their activities.”
In 2015, NGO Monitor identified UNDP’s complicity in strengthening and enhancing the legitimacy of Hamas in its 2012-2014 “Consolidated Plan of Assistance,” and raised concerns over possible cooperation between UNDP and Hamas institutions. In 2010, the UNDP published a plan detailing its administration of Gaza aid projects, which clearly describes extensive cooperation with “Gaza local authorities.” Such cooperation would make Hamas an official partner in the aid implementation process, casting doubt on UNDP’s ability to ensure that no aid is diverted to enhance Hamas’ terror capabilities.
How your tax dollars are funding Hamas’ next terror war
While America is following, Australia is acting. Last week Canberra announced a suspension of all government aid to World Vision until the Israeli legal process is completed. The United States didn’t. It sounded like the United Nations, instead.
Israel has recently sped up the transfer of humanitarian goods to Gaza, according to a July report sponsored by the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States. It clearly realizes that easing the dire needs of the strip’s 1.3 million people is to its advantage.
Yet Israel can’t compromise on its own security and allow the exploitation of world sympathy and taxpayer dollars to bolster the military capabilities of an organization sworn to annihilate the Jewish state.
So Israel is caught between a rock and a hard place. Hamas has complete control over goings-on inside Gaza.
Israel left the strip a decade ago (even as it’s still accused of being its “occupier”). Now all Israel can do is expose abuse when it finds it.
We can help by withholding funds from international aid groups facilitating such abuse, making sure that our money goes to helping Gazans in need, rather than terrorists.
'The Australian' Editorial: World Vision has seriously betrayed donors' trust
It would be hard to imagine a more egregious betrayal of trust than for money donated to a charity in good faith to end up serving the cause of murderous terrorists who concentrate on killing innocent civilians.
That is what the Gaza-born Halabi stands accused of by Israel's internal security service Shin Bet. It says he has been a lifelong member of Hamas and received military training in the early 2000s before Hamas leaders ordered him "to infiltrate" World Vision in 2004.
According to Shin Bet, he rose through the ranks until he became World Vision's Gaza director, financing weapons and military bases and providing materials for Hamas to construct the maze of tunnels it uses with deadly effect to attack Israel. According to Shin Bet, a project for the "rehabilitation of fishermen" was a cover to equip the terrorists' military marine unit. As Dore Gold, director-general of Israel's foreign ministry says, Hamas works hand in glove with Islamic State terrorists in neighbouring Sinai and is an integral part of Iran's actions in the Middle East.
Rightly, the Australian government has suspended its funding of World Vision projects in Gaza, for which DFAT provided $5.7m in the past three years. While Halabi has reportedly confessed, it would be unthinkable to resume such taxpayer funding until the case against him has been concluded. World Vision's website, shows 71 per cent of its funding in Australia comes from the community and 12 per cent from government.
As Colin Rubenstein wrote in The Weekend Australian:
"diverting humanitarian aid is despicable; diverting it to a militant organisation that carries out attacks on civilians is simply evil."
World Vision, which spends so much time appealing for donations on television, must do better in supervising how its funds are spent.
Elliott Abrams: Foreign Aid for Hamas
The accused are innocent until proved guilty, although they are said to have confessed. What we can now see clearly is that none of these organizations–UNDP, World Vision, or UNRWA–was ever going to find the facts, fire people, clean out the Hamas agents, and solve these problems. That will require the intervention of donors, and those steps in Germany and Australia are remarkable only in that they have not been followed universally. “Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) called the allegations ‘deeply troubling’ and said in a statement that it was ‘urgently seeking more information from World Vision and the Israeli authorities. ‘We are suspending the provision of further funding to World Vision for programs in the Palestinian Territories until the investigation is complete,’ it said.” Quite right–but what about all the other donors?
The larger question is the culture of foreign aid to the Palestinians, much of which falls under what President George W. Bush once called (in an entirely different context) “the soft bigotry of low expectations” and some of which falls under the category of terrorism, threats, and plain fear.
As to plain fear, look at the last line of the first story, about UNDP: “He is also alleged to have last year persuaded UNDP managers to focus home rebuilding efforts in areas where Hamas members lived, after pressure from the group.” Perhaps Hamas made him an offer he could not refuse. “Pressure from the group” in this context may well mean his life was in danger.
The “soft bigotry” is the failure to hold the Palestinians to global standards. We see this, for example, when it comes to the toleration–by every government, including our own and that of Israel–of the way the Palestinian Authority glorifies terrorism and terrorists, naming parks and schools after murderers and broadcasting on official stations all kinds of anti-Semitic hate. We see it in the failure to reform UNRWA. In these cases, World Vision and UNDP, we probably see both support for terrorism and plain fear. It’s likely that some percentage of local employees in Gaza are sympathetic to Hamas–and it seems likely to me that administrators don’t want to know it. If they came face to face with it, what would they do? Fire them? Turn them in to the Israelis? Start difficult and likely very long back-and-forth communications with headquarters, which likely doesn’t want to know and won’t thank the employee who insists on revealing the truth? Simpler to be blind to what is happening.
UN-siphoned funds pay for Hamas commando marina
The IDF published an aerial photograph via Twitter on Tuesday detailing a marina built by Hamas's military wing in the northern Gaza Strip, which was financed with funds siphoned from the United Nations Development Agency (UNDP).
The aerial photograph depicts the marina extending into the sea, not far from Zikim beach in Ashkelon, as well as a command and observation tower.
According to the indictment filed following an investigation by the Shin Bet, Waheed Borsh, a 38 year-old engineer from Jabalia north of Gaza City, funneled aid resources from the UNDP to the construction of the marina, which the Hamas naval commando unit can use for future operations and training.

Truth Is the Best Propaganda
“Outrage is the power that motivated me,” declared Israeli Major Amit Deri, in a recent conversation with the Haym Salomon Center. Deri is founder of Reservists on Duty (RoD), an Israeli, non-governmental grassroots organization of over 700 reserve officers and soldiers including 150 company commanders, many of whom led Lebanon and Gaza military operations.
Committed to defeating the propaganda war against Israel, Reservists on Duty began as a response to Breaking the Silence (BtS), which smears the Israel Defense Forces with specious accusations of “war crimes.” BtS is a fringe Israeli NGO masquerading as a watchdog group, claiming to monitor the IDF for “human rights abuses,” but manipulating the facts to fit its predetermined conclusions and political positions.
BtS bases its sweeping accusations on anonymous, anecdotal, and unverifiable information elicited from young soldiers discharged from active duty after their mandatory tour of service in the IDF.
BtS activists (former soldiers) approach these 19 to 20 year-olds, urging them to share the traumatic experiences of war. “It’s a cynical way to ‘use’ the young soldiers, manipulating them into believing that talking with BtS is the same as talking with your military buddies, sharing mutual experiences.” When a soldier, after repeated harassment, finally agrees to chat with them, BtS brings recording equipment.
BtS uses only snippets of extensive conversations woven together in videos or reports as “testimonies” for distribution in Israel and around the world. The group adds inflammatory and misleading headlines describing violence against Palestinians by soldiers as “official IDF operational policy.” A recent review by Israel Channel 10 reveals that BtS claims are largely baseless or invented.
US threatens 'harsh response' if illegal Arab outpost demolished
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) is expected to submit the ministry’s formal response in the Supreme Court to an appeal by the left-wing NGO ‘Rabbis for Human Rights’, which is demanding demolition orders for an illegal Arab outpost be shelved.
A number of buildings in the illegal outpost, which was constructed near the Jewish community of Sussiya near Hevron, are slated for destruction.
On Wednesday it was reported that senior US officials have been exerting heavy pressure on the Israeli government not to enforce the demolition orders. The report also indicated that American officials had threatened that should the demolitions be carried out, the US response would be extremely severe.
Despite the warnings, on Tuesday Civil Administration forces destroyed a number of illegal buildings in the nearby town of Umm el-Kheir, which had been built along the security fence of Carmel. A number of the buildings had been built with the support of the European Union.
Along with the US, the European Union and UK have also joined in the effort to prevent the destruction of the illegal Arab settlement near Sussiya.
Public views Israel as responsible for all Jews' safety, survey finds
The majority of Israelis believe Israel is responsible for protecting Jews worldwide, a new Diaspora Affairs Ministry survey revealed Tuesday.
Some 1,000 respondents took part in the survey, which found that 79% of Israelis believe Israel is partially responsible for safeguarding Jews worldwide from anti-Semitic attacks. Only 21% said Israel was not obligated to do so.
Some 50% said Israel was responsible for ensuring Jewish survival both in Israel and abroad, a view 20% of those polled did not agree with. Some 92% of respondents said they were concerned on a personal level when they heard about anti-Semitic attacks abroad.
The survey showed a lack of consensus when it comes to how Diaspora Jews should perceive Israel. Some 87% said Diaspora Jews were inextricably linked to Israel because it serves as a potential safe haven. Meanwhile, only 37% said they strongly agree with the statement that "Diaspora Jews can feel safe because Israel is strong," while 63% of respondents disagreed with that statement.
When asked whether Israel's only obligation toward Diaspora Jews was granting them the right to make aliyah, 41% said no, while 35% said yes.
The New Threat of Very Accurate Missiles
Precision-guided medium-range missiles, a relatively new technology, are beginning to proliferate in the Middle East. When they work as designed, they can deliver half a ton of high explosive to within meters of their targets. This means that for many targets, they are almost as effective as nuclear weapons. With their capacity to destroy capital facilities like power plants, the loss of only a few of which would severely harm Israel’s economy, they introduce a new way for Israel to decisively lose a war. Israel will have to get the difficult balance between offense and defense right before the next war or it may not have a second chance.
Throughout history, until 1945, a country was basically safe as long as no enemy army could invade and defeat its army. This basic strategic fact became obsolete with the invention of nuclear weapons, which could be thrown or delivered by plane over a defender’s undefeated army and kill hundreds of thousands of a defender’s population with a single warhead.
The first generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) was not accurate enough to present much of a threat to military or strategic targets. They could not reliably hit close enough to destroy an airfield. But large nuclear weapons, each with destructive effects measured in miles, combined with ICBMs whose accuracy was similarly measured, turned the focus of war thinking toward attacks on cities. This represented a new kind of war.
A special kind of “deterrence” thus became the central topic of strategic thinking: deterrence based on the threat of a retaliatory attack that hurts the country to be deterred, but doesn’t necessarily turn the balance of forces in the deterrer’s favor. This new style of deterrence says, “If you hit me, I will hit you back even if I have to do so in a way that does me no good. I will commit myself to hitting you, regardless of its effect on my situation, to stop you from hitting me first.”
Gaza man infiltrates Israel, evades capture for nearly a day
A Palestinian man who sneaked into Israel from the Gaza Strip evaded capture for nearly 24 hours before he was picked up by security forces on Wednesday morning, the army said.
On Tuesday afternoon, soldiers monitoring the closed-circuit cameras along the southern border with Gaza noticed the man cross into Israeli territory in the Eshkol region, an army spokesperson said.
“Forces located the unarmed suspect earlier today,” the spokesperson said on Wednesday afternoon.
Though troops were called to the area soon after the man crossed into Israel, they were unable to locate him. It was not immediately clear how he eluded them, the spokesperson said.
The man was found by Border Police officers over six miles (10 kilometers) inside Israeli territory, hiding near some greenhouses outside the town of Netivot, Channel 2 news reported.
Israeli Navy Marks Milestones at German Shipyards
Two teams of Israeli Navy specialists are working full time with German shipyards in Hamburg and Kiel to build Israel’s sixth strategic submarine and design the backbone of Israel’s future surface fleet.
Both mega projects — the estimated $2 billion, three-vessel Dolphin-class air independent propulsion (AIP) program and the estimated €500 million (US $560 million), four-ship Sa’ar-6 corvette program — are subsidized in part by the German government.
They also involve extensive Israel-unique engineering modificatoins, which a top officer in Israel said benefits not only the Israeli Navy but the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) shipyards, too.
“Building for the Israel Navy enriches your brand as a marine company,” Rear Adm. Yossi Ashkenazi, head of the Israeli Navy's Materiel Command, said of TKMS, the Kiel-based prime contractor for both programs.
IDF Prepares for Hizbullah Invasion
Anyone travelling this summer through the northern part of Israel or, more specifically along the northern border, will see another, different border. The sun beats down hard when you drive along the border, but if you listen to the assessments of senior IDF officers, this summer will only be hot because of the temperatures. This time, Hezbollah will try to avoid engaging in a confrontation with Israel. Every warfighter, officer and reservist reporting to the Lebanese border memorizes the following axiom from the very first second: the beautiful green scenery around here is misleading. It can change from heaven into hell in the blink of an eye. The only question is in whose shift will evil arrive and the Lebanon border will become the focal point of a war the likes of which the Israeli rear area never experienced.
On the one hand, Hezbollah is undergoing a crisis: the Iranian tap is still closed, Sunni refugees are escaping from Syria and threatening to change the demographic balance between the different communities in Lebanon, and above everything, 45% of Hezbollah's regular fighting OrBat is physically deployed in Syria, where it is intensively involved in a war against the rebels, at the command of Hezbollah's Iranian masters.
A Mutual Balance of Terror
The military competence of Hezbollah – the result of the combat friction in Syria – is improving, but the number of warfighters as well as morale are declining. IDF are aware that certain operations – if carried out – could escalate into an all-out war. On the opposite side, Hezbollah also treads very carefully, so that none of their explosive charges or antitank missiles should lead to the war that both sides are trying to defer to the maximum extent possible. So, it may be concluded that a mutual balance of terror is in effect. A part of that balance of terror involves Hezbollah's efforts to establish a feasible option for a ground incursion into Israeli territory.
Islamic Movement deputy leader under house arrest for incitement
Deputy Head of the Islamic Movement in Israel Sheikh Kamal Khatib was placed under house arrest Tuesday on suspicion of inciting violence.
Khatib was arrested on Monday night by the Northern District Police after intelligence indicated he urged followers to take violent action over "the danger posed to the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israel's actions on the holy site."
Khatib was arraigned before the Nazareth Magistrates' Court on Tuesday morning. The police sought to remand him to custody, but the court denied the motion, placing him under house arrest for five days and imposing restrictions on whom he could contact during this time.
The court did, however, allow Khatib to leave his home to pray at a nearby mosque.
"I was arrested because they [the police] said what I wrote on my Facebook page was incitement to violence," Khatib said following his arraignment. "This is additional proof that the Israeli government and its police force are trying to silence people and infringe on the Arab sector's freedom of speech. I have the right to express my opinions on Facebook and anywhere else."
PreOccupiedTerritory: Left Calls Ban On Armed Uprisings Undemocratic (satire)
Leading figures in Israel’s progressive political community have denounced laws prohibiting coups d’état – especially by means of weapons – and called those laws a violation of democratic principles and thwarting the will of the people.
Prominent MKs from the Labor, Joint List, and Meretz parties joined dozens of social activists at a rally today to promote strategies to topple the Likud-led government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. While several of the speakers called for strengthening activities to attract votes and assure a coalition of the Left a majority in the next elections, several called the attendees’ attention to laws that define armed insurrection as a felony with severe penalties such as life imprisonment, and characterized those laws as undemocratic, as they seek to prevent an entire class of people from attaining power.
“Regardless of what the voters want, the people are fed up with this government,” insisted Opposition leader Isaac Herzog. “Concern for The People has always been the province of the political left. The People must have their will expressed in real terms, and voters keep getting in the way. Sometimes the only way for that assertion of will to happen is by force of arms, and it is a cynical exploitation by the established government to adhere to laws pronouncing such an assertion illegal.”
New Israel Fund Director Rachel Liel sounded a similar note. “The right-wing extremists currently in power hide behind such high-minded concepts as a State monopoly on the use of force, and the maintenance of the public order, but we know that’s a façade,” she charged. “They’re afraid – afraid that the will of the masses will rise up and dethrone them!” The crowed booed.
Israel intercepts Gaza-bound shipment of commando knives
Israeli security personnel at the Kerem Shalom border crossing into the southern Gaza Strip earlier this week foiled an attempt to smuggle dozens of commando knives into the Palestinian enclave, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.
During a search of a vehicle, Defense Ministry guards and Shin Bet operatives uncovered two boxes containing professional-grade 30-centimeter (12-inch) commando knives hidden in a shipment of tools.
Officials also recently intercepted a shipment destined for the Palestinian electric company in Gaza containing concealed graphite strips, the Government Press Office said in a statement, noting the raw material is often used to make rocket fuel.
The knives and graphite were confiscated, and Israeli security services have launched investigations into both smuggling attempts.
Hamas official: Prisoner exchange talks with Israel underway
The Hamas terrorist organization is negotiating a prisoner exchange with Israel that would see the release of two Israeli civilians and the remains of two Israel Defense Forces soldiers held in Gaza in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, an unnamed Hamas official said Wednesday.
During an interview with Israel Radio, the official said Hamas would only move forward with the talks after Israel releases hundreds of Palestinians who were rearrested after they were freed in a 2011 deal brokered with the Gaza-based group to secure the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
When asked if Hamas would provide a sign of life from the Israeli civilians, the official said that “everything comes at a price,” and the negotiations would take place out of the media spotlight.
Hamas is holding the remains of soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in the 2014 Gaza war, as well as 29-year-old Avraham Mengistu and Juma Ibrahim Abu Anima.
Eight Palestinian operatives injured in Gaza tunnel collapse
Eight Palestinian tunnel operatives were wounded in a tunnel collapse early Wednesday morning in the northern Gaza border town of Shuja’yya, according to Ma’an News Agency.
All of the wounded tunnel operatives were transported to the Shifa hospital in Gaza City.
Speaking to Ma’an, Ashraf al-Qidra, a Gazan Health Ministry spokesperson, said, “Eight wounded individuals from Shuja’yya arrived at the Shifa hospital as a result of an accident.”
Qidra added that the tunnel operatives are in mild to moderate conditions.
The report did not mention the affiliation of the tunnel operatives.
A number of tunnels have collapsed on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad tunnel operatives recently including four in the past month.
After the IDF uncovered a tunnel extending into Israeli territory in April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that Israel has developed a cutting-edge tunnel technology to locate tunnels.
Nonetheless, it is not clear if Israel has played any part in the recent collapses.
Ramallah invalidates new degrees from top Gaza university
The Palestinian Education Ministry declared Tuesday that it would no longer recognize new degrees from Al Aqsa University, the Gaza Strip’s largest academic institution.
The ministry’s headquarters in Ramallah said it “formally withdrew its recognition” of degrees for new students enrolling at the university, and that those degrees would not to qualify graduates for work or further education, the official PA news site Wafa reported.
For recent graduates and students currently enrolled at the university, degrees will not be accepted unless they are personally signed by the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, Dr. Kamal al-Shirafi, the statement said.
The ministry called on Gaza’s students to enroll in other institutions.
German police detain alleged high-ranking IS member
A German special police unit has detained an allegedly high-ranking member of the Islamic State group in the southwestern town of Mutterstadt.
The German news agency dpa reported Tuesday that the man, whose identity was not given, was detained after a tip from a prison inmate in the western city of Gelsenkirchen.
Dpa reported the information about the suspect came in connection with alleged threats against the German Bundesliga soccer league. It did not further elaborate the threat.
The state interior ministry of Rhineland Palatinate, where Mutterstadt is located, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Telegraph: UK Must Not Upgrade Relations with Iran while Citizens are “Being Used as Pawns”
The case of British charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran since April, charged with scheming to enact the “soft overthrow” of the Iranian regime, and separated from her two-year-old daughter, should prompt a reconsideration of whether the UK should normalize relations with Iran, an editorial in The Telegraph, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, asserted on Sunday.
Calling the case “shocking,” the editorial pointed out that Zaghari-Ratcliffe is one of several dual-nationals who have been detained by Iran. “Many suspect that they represent ‘bargaining chips’ for a regime whose continued ruthlessness was demonstrated this week with the execution of a nuclear scientist who had previously taken refuge in America only to be lured home and hanged,” The Telegraph wrote.
Iran’s continued detention of dual-nationals in order to extract further concessions “will come as a rude awakening for those who thought that the bargaining was over once the nuclear deal had been signed.” Given Iran’s behavior, the newspaper rejected the opinion of those who wish to “upgrade Britain’s diplomatic representation in Iran” to having a full ambassador. “While the citizens of this country are being used as pawns by Iran,” the editorial concluded, “no such step should be contemplated.”
Iran’s Atomic Energy Chief Rejects Rumors of Waning Nuclear Activity; Boasts Imminent ‘Tsunami’ in Industry
Iran’s atomic energy chief rejected rumors that the country’s nuclear activity is waning, and announced plans for a serious boost, the regime aligned news outlet Tasnim reported on Tuesday.
According to the report, AEOI head Ali Akbar Salehi told a gathering in Tehran of members of the Iranian foreign policy NGO the Professional Center for Journalism, “With all my scientific, technological and administrative experience in the nuclear field for some 50 years, I insist that the nuclear industry has not been shut down and the work is going on.”
To illustrate, Salehi said that President Hassan Rouhani’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Baku yesterday included a discussion of the construction of two new nuclear power plants. He said that once the $10 billion project is formally approved by both leaders, it will cause a “tsunami” in Iran’s nuclear industry.
As The Algemeiner reported, last month, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said that Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani called on Salehi to draw up plans for a nuclear plant whose express purpose was to enrich uranium.
Iran-Backed Rebels Use Hospitals as Human Shields
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels are using hospitals as military command posts, thereby deliberately putting the lives of innocent civilians at risk, according to a new report into Yemen's long-running civil war.
Hostilities in the Yemeni conflict resumed at the weekend following the collapse of peace talks in Kuwait. The talks came after Houthi fighters, who are backed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards, rejected a U.N.-sponsored peace plan and announced the establishment of a 10-member governing body to run the country.
Within hours of the peace talks ending, the Saudi-led military coalition, which is backed by both the U.S. and Britain, had resumed air strikes against Houthi rebel positions in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a. Initial reports said that at least 21 people, the majority of them civilians, had been killed, including a number of workers in a potato chip factory in Sana'a. In addition, the international airport at Sana'a was shut down by the airstrikes after Saudi coalition officials notified airlines that incoming flights would be barred for 72 hours.
It is the first time in five months that Sana'a has been bombed by warplanes from the coalition, which also includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan and other Middle East countries.



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