Thursday, November 07, 2019

From Ian:

Ron Prosor: For UNRWA, the party is over
When I heard that United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East Commissioner Pierre Krahenbuhl resigned, I was shocked. After all, the UN does not have the best track record when it comes to investigating corruption allegations against its own agencies, let alone when it comes to the UNRWA, which until recently had airtight immunity from criticism.

For 70 years, UNRWA has been something of a separate entity in the UN, one dedicated solely to the issue of Palestinian "refugees," alongside the agency that handles all other refugees – the UNHCR. But unlike the former UNRWA never even tried to solve the refugee problem and seemed dedicated to perpetuating it.

Case in point: When UNRWA was founded in 1949, there were around 700,000 Palestinian refugees in the world. Today, their number stands at 5.7 million.

But UNRWA's data must always be taken with a grain of salt, as they tend to artificially inflate. A census that took place in Lebanon in 2017 found that 300,000 people included in the agency's data simply do not exist and that the true number of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon was 66% smaller than stated on its reports.

At the same time, the budgets appropriated to UNRWA put the UN's actual refugee agency to shame.

Not only is UNRWA's budget per-refugee four times greater than that of any other refugee, it employs 30,000 people. The UNRCR, which deals with 70 million refugees, employs only 10,000 people.

But it seems that UNRWA's party is coming to an end.
Head of Shin Bet: We thwarted over 450 terror attacks in the past year
Head of Shin Bet Nadav Argaman claimed on Thursday that the Shin Bet thwarted over 450 terror attacks in the past year. Argaman spoke at the Unmanned Systems Conference, UVID 2019, initiated by Israel Defense.

"We are an agency with excellent people, the best technology and synergy within the agency and with Israeli security authorities, which allows us to have an edge on very challenging enemies," Argaman said. "All that allowed us to thwart over 450 terror attacks in the past year and try to provide the citizens of Israel with safe and peaceful daily life without knowing what happens behind the scene."

Meanwhile, the IDF mapped on Thursday the house of Kassem Shabli, one of the terrorists who carried out an attack near the West Bank town of Dolev in August, in which 17-year-old Rina Shnerb was murdered.

The mapping was done in order to prepare for the demolition of the house in Kfar Kobar on Wednesday night.

Kassem a-Karim Ragah Shabli, 25, a member of the PFLP, has been arrested in the past for involvement in terrorist activities. Kassem provided the explosives that were used in the IED as well as assisted in assembling it, and took part in the killing of Shnerb.

Two other terrorists were arrested for involvement in the attack.

PMW: Why is Martyrdom-death “unique in Palestine”?
Death as a "Martyr" for Allah and for "Palestine" - during terror attacks and other violent confrontations with Israel - has been promoted as an ideal by the Palestinian Authority for years, as documented by Palestinian Media Watch.

The elevated status "Martyrs" enjoy in the PA was recently stressed by a host on official PA TV, who bragged that "Martyrdom in Palestine is unique," because a Martyr's funeral is considered "a wedding." A mother of a "Martyr" present in the TV studio expressed her opinion that death as a Martyr is "an honor":
Official PA TV host: "Praise Allah, I want to say that this Martyrdom always is-"

Mother of a "Martyr": "An honor."

Official PA TV host: "Exactly! Martyrdom in Palestine is unique. We are the only ones who celebrate the news of a Martyr's wedding." [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Aug. 27, 2019]


A Martyr's funeral is considered a wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise in Islam.

These expressions of support for dying as a "Martyr" come as no surprise. PMW has documented numerous mothers and fathers who have expressed joy when their terrorist children died as "Martyrs." This is what the PA has taught them and what is expected of them. The following are examples of mothers praising their dead children's Martyrdom, collected in one video (additional texts below):

"I hold my head high. The honor is mine. I have a son who is a Martyr." [Official PA TV, Sept. 24, 2002]

"[My son] told me: 'In this entire world, I can't think of anyone to marry... I want to marry the Dark-Eyed (i.e., Virgins of Paradise).' I said: 'If these are his thoughts, I wish him Martyrdom.'" [Official PA TV, Jan. 21, 2003]

"I ask Allah to give him the reward of a Martyr... I greet all the people who came today to accompany my son at his wedding (i.e., to the Virgins of Paradise). My son is a sacrifice for the homeland, for Palestine, for Islam, and a sacrifice for all of Palestine." [Official PA TV, Feb. 17, 2018]






Apartheid on Temple Mount: Police Block Jews from Using Drinking Fountains
Zionist watchdog group Im Tirtzu on Wednesday released a video showing Israeli police officers physically blocking Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount from using the compound’s water fountain.

Im Tirtzu’s Tamir Baram, who was among the Jews prevented from drinking water on the Temple Mount, said: “We’ve gotten to such an absurd situation on the Temple Mount in which something so elementary as drinking water is being prevented from Jews. For those who forgot, the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site – and we deserve to be treated there with respect rather than with discrimination.”


Netanyahu requests U.S. transfer funds to PA, Trump refuses
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested that Washington allow the transfer of $12 million to Palestinian security forces, but President Donald Trump denied the request, Channel 13 reported.

“If it’s so important for Netanyahu, he should pay the Palestinians $12 million,” Senior White House officials told Channel 13, quoting the president.

Netanyahu's administration was supposedly one of the key factors in Trump's decision to cut aid to the Palestinians in the first place, i24 reported. The cuts were made slowly over time, but the US State Department found that the money was still being transferred to Palestinian security forces, according to Israel National News.

Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, among other Israeli officials, reportedly asked the US to allow the transfer.

"All US security assistance to the PA has ceased," a US official told Axios. "The US security coordinator and his team continue to conduct a security cooperation-only mission. These activities are not funded with foreign assistance resources."

The transfer of funds did not occur, according to Israel National News.
Security Agencies in India on Alert for Possible Terrorist Attacks on Jewish, Israeli Targets
Security agencies in India are on alert for possible terrorist attacks on the country’s Jewish community or visiting Israeli tourists.

News site DNA India reported that both al-Qaeda and ISIS could both be involved in such attacks, as intelligence agencies have traced messages being shared online by the terror groups.

In addition, a jihadist group in the southern state of Kerala may be collecting information on the Jewish community in the district of Kochi. Kochi is home to the Cochin Jews, an ancient community most of whose members have immigrated to Israel.

There may also be plans to kidnap Israeli tourists in the country. India is a popular destination for Israeli travelers, especially for young Israelis who have just finished their military service.

DNA speculated that the terror groups could also be motivated by Israel’s support for the Indian government’s decision to impose direct rule on the disputed Kashmir region.
Netanyahu lauds pro-Israel fmr Canadian PM Stephen Harper
RELATING TO the project that will link Harper’s name in perpetuity with the State of Israel, Netanyahu said that Israel is a hub on many levels, including bird migration from Europe to Africa and back. He saw the center as an important facility for ornithological research, combining beauty and science.

In a reference to the many friendships that Israel has developed over the years with the leaders of different countries, Netanyahu said that, “the best friendship is based on an alliance of values. Stephen has stood up for these values time and again.”

Harper, acknowledging that he is not supposed to be partisan in another country, recalled that he had first come across Netanyahu in the 1980s and had seen him on television when he had “virtually exploded off the screen.” He had predicted at the time that Netanyahu would one day become prime minister of Israel.

Not only did that happen, he said, but Netanyahu had become Israel’s longest serving prime minister and had transformed the country and its image on the world stage.

Harper described Netanyahu as “the most consequential figure in the history of the State of Israel.”
Bipartisan group of US congresswomen visits to show ‘no daylight’ on Israel
A bipartisan delegation of women members of Congress is visiting Israel this week to underline that there is “no daylight” between the Democratic and Republican parties when it comes to ensuring the strength of US-Israel relations, and in supporting Israel as a Jewish, democratic state, the leader of the group said Thursday.

Speaking to The Times of Israel by phone as the delegation toured the country, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida, said the group had met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, and former chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, and found it “heartwarming” to hear how similar they sounded about the imperative to enable Israelis and Palestinians to “live side by side in peace.”

Two other members of the delegation were also on the call — Martha Roby (a Republican of Alabama) and Angie Craig (a Democrat of Minnesota). The delegation also included Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman, Brenda Lawrence, Mikie Sherrill and Susie Lee.

Asked about concerns in Israel that some high-profile members of the Democratic party have been loudly critical of Israel, and that three Democratic presidential candidates — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg — have talked of leveraging US military aid in order to compel Israel to change its policies on settlements and the Palestinians, Wasserman Schultz replied: “Quite the contrary: The message given to us, particularly by Prime Minister Netanyahu, is that he does not perceive or believe that there is any erosion of support.”
Jewish Democratic congressman visiting W. Bank blasts treatment of Palestinians
A Democratic congressman from Michigan has criticized Israel for its treatment of Palestinians following a tour of the West Bank earlier this week.

Rep. Andy Levin said Wednesday he was enraged by the situation in Susya, where Palestinian villagers are denied water access, while Jewish settlers nearby are granted government-supplied amenities.

“Yesterday, I traveled to the southern West Bank, including the Palestinian village of Susya, which the Israeli government has destroyed twice and currently denies access to water,” he wrote. “Yet we watched the government utility, right before our eyes, lay in pipes right across the village’s land to deliver tap water to an illegal Israeli outpost nearby.” He did not name the outpost.

Israel has several times in the past demolished Palestinian buildings in Susya, saying they were built without permits.

“It was simply incredible. As angry as the situation made me, the resilience of the Palestinian villagers left an even stronger impression,” wrote Levin, a former synagogue president and chair of the steering committee of Detroit Jews for Justice.


French far-left leader accuses Jews of 'violent sectarianism'
The leader of the French far left accused French Jews of inciting to assault him and promoting “violent sectarianism” that he said doesn’t occur among Muslims.

Jean-Luc Melenchon, leader of the France Unbowed movement, inveighed against the CRIF federation of Jewish communities and organizations on Sunday during a televised interview with France Inter.

“Sectarianism’s always been a problem for the republican idea,” Melenchon, who has been accused of anti-Semitic rhetoric in the past, said. “Take CRIF. It practices blatant, violent and aggressive sectarianism, namely against me, right? To the point of encouraging people to hit me during a demonstration like the one for Mirelle Knol.”

Mirelle Knol was a Holocaust survivor who was murdered in her Paris apartment last year, allegedly by a Muslim neighbor. CRIF asked Melenchon and the leader of the rightist National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, not to attend a commemorative march for Knol. Both politicians came to the march, where participants booed them until police escorted them away.

CRIF did not call for violence, which did not occur at the event, and condemned the booing.

Melenchon, who continued to call CRIF “bizarre, folkloristic and ridiculous,” did not name any other group as responsible for sectarianism.
BREAKING: Ex-Twitter Employees Charged For Spying For Saudi Arabia, Reports Say
The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday charges against two former Twitter employees for allegedly spying for Saudi Arabia which analysts believe is the first time that the United States government has accused Saudi Arabia of spying in the United States.

The two former Twitter employees that were charged are Ahmad Abouammo, who reportedly is a U.S. citizen, and Ali Alzabarah, who is a Saudi citizen.

In a statement, the DOJ wrote that the “information could have been used to identify and locate the Twitter users who published these posts.”

Prosecutors alleged that Abouammo “spied on the accounts of three users — including one whose posts discussed the inner workings of the Saudi leadership – on behalf of the government in Riyadh,” The Washington Post reported. Abouammo was also charged for allegedly “falsifying an invoice to obstruct an FBI investigation.

Prosecutors accused Alzabarah of “accessing the personal information of more than 6,000 Twitter accounts in 2015 on behalf of Saudi Arabia,” The Post added. “One of those accounts belonged to a prominent dissident, Omar Abdulaziz, who later became close to Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was killed by Saudi government agents last year.”

A second Saudi national, Ahmed Almutairi, was also charged for allegedly spying as prosecutors say that he acted as a middle man between the Saudi government and the two Twitter employees.
‘They Are Leading by Leaps and Bounds’: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Lauds Israeli Economic Innovation in Policy Speech
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa lavished praise on Israel’s technology sector during a recent major economic policy address to women business leaders in Johannesburg, describing it as a model for his own country to follow.

When it came to growth and innovation, Israel was “leading by leaps and bounds,” Ramaphosa told the 2019 Presidential Dialogue of the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa on Oct. 29.

“They are innovative in a number of sectors in the economy — in agriculture, in maritime, in many other areas,” Ramaphosa said, in remarks that were also broadcast live on South Africa’s national television network.

“They have shown that they can lead, and we can learn a lot from what they do,” he said.

Ramaphosa’s comments about Israel came in response to an audience question from prominent venture capitalist Polo Leteka — the co-founder of IDF Capital, a South African-owned equity firm that invests in businesses owned by black women.

Leteka told Ramaphosa that Israel’s status as a global technology leader had been secured by the financial support of its government.

“It was the government of Israel who put up a challenge fund back in 1992 — it was essentially a matching fund that put millions of dollars into the private sector,” Leteka said. “That’s how the industry there has developed as it has.”
Iran said to pull out of deaf futsal championships to avoid facing Israeli team
After the Iranian Judo federation was banned by international sports authorities from all competitions over its boycott of Israeli athletes, another Iranian sports team has reportedly pulled out of a competition to avoid facing an Israeli squad.

Israel and Iran were placed in the same group in the upcoming World Deaf Futsal Championships, along with Argentina and Sweden. Israel was due to play against Iran on Saturday.

The Iranians said they wouldn’t show up to the tournament in Switzerland unless they were moved to a different group, Israel’s Kan public broadcaster reported Thursday. When that didn’t happen, they withdrew from the competition entirely.

Futsal is similar to soccer, with five players per side on a small court.

The Iranian team had won the Asia Pacific Deaf Futsal Championships in February.

Iran does not recognize Israel as a country and Iranian sports teams have for several decades had a policy of not competing against Israelis. Iranian passports remind holders in bold red that they are “not entitled to travel to occupied Palestine.”

Last month, the International Judo Federation (IJF) banned Iran from competition indefinitely over the country’s refusal to face Israeli competitors.
Jordan bans Israeli farmers from border enclave
The Jordanian government announced that as of Sunday, Israeli farmers will be banned from entering the Naharayim enclave, Jordan Valley Council head Idan Greenbaum said Thursday.

Under the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan, the Naharayim enclave and the Tzofar enclave were leased to Israel for 25 years, allowing the Israeli farmers living in the enclave to continue managing their farms.

About a year ago, the Hashemite Kingdom announced that it wanted to terminate the lease agreement and take over the two enclaves.

Various attempts were made both in public and in private to change the Jordanian decision, but the decision is apparently final.

About a month ago, a Naharayim farmer in the Jordan Valley approached with an urgent letter to King Abdullah II and asked him to stop the process of restoring the enclave to the possession of the Kingdom of Jordan.

Idan Greenbaum wrote to the Jordanian King on behalf of all the farmers of the Naharayim enclave: "I am taking an extraordinary step of writing directly to you, to prevent what is a disaster for us. I sincerely ask you to have the opportunity to present our suggestions to you or to someone you trust, through a meeting with us at the Island of Peace itself.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas bans rally to commemorate Yasser Arafat
The Palestinian ruling Fatah faction on Thursday accused Hamas of banning Palestinians in the Gaza Strip from holding a rally to commemorate former Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat on the 15th anniversary of his death.

Fatah had called on its supporters to gather on Thursday afternoon at the Square of Unknown Soldiers in Gaza City to mark the anniversary of the death of Arafat, who died on November 11, 2004. Another event, planned for next Monday, has also been banned by Hamas.

The ban came as Fatah and Hamas have been holding indirect negotiations on PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s initiative to hold new Palestinian parliamentary and presidential elections.

Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chairman of Fatah, said that the ban shows that Hamas’s announcement welcoming the new elections is nothing but “slogans.”

The ban, Aloul said, is a “frustrating and unreasonable message” from Hamas.

He said that Fatah was optimistic that matters were moving in the right direction after Hamas welcomed Abbas’s initiative to hold long overdue elections. “But Hamas took this unwise and unexpected decision to ban the event commemorating Arafat,” Aloul added.
Gaza Protests Erupt after Police Throw Arrested Man Out the Window of His Home
A rare public anti-Hamas protest took place in Gaza following the death of a 28-year-old man who’d been thrown from the window of his own home by the terror group’s security services.

Three Hamas police officers arrived at the home of Anan Abu Jameh in the city of Khan Yunis in southern Gaza last Friday. According to the family, the security forces went upstairs to his room, arrested him and then threw him out of the window of his room. He sustained a serious injury to his head and later died from his wounds in the hospital.

"They knocked on the door very hard and as soon as I opened it they said, 'We want Anan,’” said the father. He said he had asked to see a search warrant but was pushed aside by Hamas men who told him they will “do whatever we want.”

The 28-year-old had recently graduated from a local university with a degree in communications and journalism.

The incident led to an uproar among the local residents, who labeled Anan’s death as a "cold-blooded murder." The subsequent protests forced the Hamas police spokesman to make a statement, presenting a different version of events where the 28-year-old was arrested based on a warrant for his arrest.

The police did not specify what the victim was accused of, but claimed Abu Jameh tried to evade the arrest by jumping from his window onto the nearby tree, from where he fell and sustained fatal wounds.

Abu Jameh's family rejected the police’s account of events, calling it a gross lie. The family also added the police didn’t try to investigate the circumstances of their son’s death at any point.

During Abu Jameh’s funeral in Khan Younis a rare anti-Hamas demonstration erupted, with the participants chanting: “Hamas are murderers.”
Middle East: The Anti-Iran Revolution is Well Underway
Iran's attempts to expand its malign influence throughout the Middle East have suffered a severe setback as a result of the unprecedented anti-government protests that have erupted in Lebanon and Iraq in recent weeks.

The most obvious source of discontent in these two key Arab states has been the endemic corruption that has taken hold in both Beirut and Baghdad; in both countries, it has been the prime motivation in persuading tens of thousands of demonstrators to take to the streets.

The desire to end corrupt practices and force the governments in Beirut and Baghdad to undertake a radical overhaul of their respective countries' governments is, though, only part of the story.

The nationwide protests taking place in both Arab states are also driven by a burning desire to end Iran's blatant attempts to turn them into de facto fiefdoms of Tehran.

Iran's attempts to seize control of the political agenda in Lebanon dates back to the early 1980s, when Iran established its Hezbollah militia in the southern part of the country to launch a series of terrorist attacks against Israeli forces operating in the area. Since then, Hezbollah -- with Iran's backing -- has gradually extended its influence in the country to the point where Hezbollah is now widely recognised as Lebanon's most influential political organisation.


Seth J. Frantzman: U.N. slams bleeding Iraqi protesters for closing roads, harming oil supply
The Special Representative for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq slammed protesters for closing roads and disrupting oil on its way to ports, raising the ire of Iraqis who wonder why the UN cares more about oil and roads than people’s lives. It came days after the UN Secretary-General visited Turkey and appeared open to a plan by Turkey to settle Syrian refugees in an area that 200,000 have been forced to flee from due to fighting, leading to questions about the overall UN blind-spot on suffering in the region.

Jeanine Hennis, a Dutch politician who serves as a diplomat and Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq, tweeted on Wednesday that the protests in Iraq, where more than 200 protesters have been shot by security forces, are disrupting critical infrastructure.

“Also of grave concern. Responsibility of all to protect public facilities. Threats, closure of roads to oil installations, ports causing billions in losses. Detrimental to Iraq’s economy,” she wrote.

It was undermining fulfilling the protesters’ legitimate demands.

“Losses to whom?” wondered the Twitter account Mosul Eye, which is run by survivors of the ISIS occupation of Mosul. “Most young Iraqis have no work. The schools are bare. The hospitals are completely unsupplied. No electricity. No assurance of clean water.”
JCPA: Iran’s Strategy: Negotiate Using the Threat of Reneging on Its Commitments
Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi said Iran would begin transferring nuclear materials to the Fordow site on November 6, 2019, as part of its fourth phase of reneging on its nuclear agreement obligations. He made it clear that the nuclear agreement prohibited Iran from transferring any nuclear material to Fordow, “but Iran is in the process of transferring nuclear material to the site.” He added that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was updated that the transfer of nuclear materials – before being fed into centrifuges – would take place on November 6, 2019. The spokesman said that by the end of the week, Iran would provide reporters with more details on the nuclear issue.

On November 5, 2019, President Hassan Rouhani said that he instructed the AEOI to implement the fourth stage of moving away from Iranian commitments to the nuclear accord. He said that like the previous stages of Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement, these steps are “reversible,” and if the other nations that also signed the deal will fulfill their side of the agreement and restore Iran to their previous position (January 2017), then Iran will return to fulfill their commitments. Rouhani noted that the IAEA would be allowed to monitor their activities.

The Iranian president said that the facility in Fordow currently has 1,044 centrifuges in which uranium gas will be injected, in direct violation of the nuclear accord, where it was agreed that the centrifuges would be operated in a vacuum without being injected with gas. Under the agreement, Iran also pledged to drastically reduce the number of centrifuges at the Fordow enrichment site and banned uranium enrichment by 2031. At the same time, Rouhani made it clear that Iran continues to be committed to behind the scenes negotiations with several countries to resolve the crisis. Rouhani claims that Iran “had hoped to achieve results before taking these current measures, but that didn’t happen; No results were achieved, so we had to take this fourth step.”
IAEA accuses Iran of evading attempts to probe uranium production – report
The top inspector for the UN’s nuclear agency has reportedly accused Iran of evading attempts to gather information on Tehran’s uranium production at a warehouse that was flagged by Israel and where particles were found earlier this year.

Bloomberg, in a report Thursday, cited two officials as saying that Massimo Aparo told diplomats in a closed-door meeting in Vienna on Wednesday that the Islamic Republic was “evading attempts to discover the source of manmade and natural uranium particles detected at a warehouse in Tehran.”

The extraordinary meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors was convened by Cornel Feruta, the organization’s acting head, to discuss the latest concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, the report said.

In September, Reuters reported that traces of uranium were found at a facility in Tehran that was alleged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be a “secret atomic warehouse.”

Iran has not provided an explanation for why uranium was found at the site to the IAEA, which is investigating the facility in the Iranian capital, the news agency reported at the time.
Top Iranian Official Targeted by New US Sanctions Is Wanted by Argentina for 1994 Bombing of AMIA Jewish Center
One of the nine top Iranian officials targeted by new US sanctions on Monday is wanted by the Argentine authorities for his alleged involvement in the 1994 terrorist bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in downtown Buenos Aires.

Ali Akbar Velayati was among the list of senior aides to the Tehran regime’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sanctioned by the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) in order to “block funds from flowing to a shadow network of Khamenei’s military and foreign affairs advisors who have for decades oppressed the Iranian people, exported terrorism, and advanced destabilizing policies around the world,” an OFAC statement said.

Velayati was Iran’s foreign minister at the time of the AMIA atrocity on July 18, 1994, when 85 people died and hundreds more were wounded when a van packed with explosives was driven into the Jewish organization’s main building in the Argentine capital. He was also alleged to have been present at a meeting of Iranian security officials in the city of Mashhad on Aug. 14, 1993, where the decision to bomb the AMIA building is understood to have been taken.

In July 2018, Argentine Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral requested Velayati’s arrest by Russian authorities while he was on an official visit to Moscow. Velayati met with Russian President Vladimir Putin one day after Corral’s request was issued.

Judge Corral originally issued international arrest warrants in 2006 for Velayati and seven other Iranian and Lebanese operatives wanted in connection with the AMIA bombing. Corral also tried unsuccessfully to secure Velayati’s arrest under the same warrant in 2016, when the Iranian visited Singapore and Malaysia.


Mike Pompeo: Iran positioning itself for rapid nuclear break-out
Iran has positioned itself to rapidly break out into a nuclear power by resuming uranium enrichment at Fordow, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

“Iran’s expansion of proliferation-sensitive activities raises concerns that Iran is positioning itself to have the option of a rapid nuclear breakout,” Pompeo said.

The biggest obstacle to build a nuclear weapon is stockpiling enough fissile material — highly enriched uranium or plutonium — for the core of a bomb. A central objective of the 2015 deal was to extend the time Iran would need to do that, if it chose to, to a year from about 2 to 3 months.

Tehran’s latest "nuclear escalations" reflect the regime’s intentions all along: to extort the international community into accepting its violence and terror while it undermines the sovereignty of its neighbors. Members of the international community who are rightly concerned with Iran’s latest attacks and provocations should imagine how Iran,” Pompeo said.

He called on the international community to supports sanctions against Iran.
MEMRI: Even As UK, France Acknowledge That Iran Is Violating The JCPOA, The Trump Administration, After Ostensibly Withdrawing From It, Continues To Preserve It – By Means Of Its Waivers For Civilian Nuclear Cooperation With Iran
On November 5, 2019, Iran announced that it was taking its fourth step to cut back on its obligations under the JCPOA nuclear agreement. This step includes reviving uranium enrichment at the Fordo nuclear facility and activating an array of advanced centrifuges that will enable it in future to double and triple its enrichment capability. In effect, Iran is systematically stripping the JCPOA of all meaning, ostensibly with the approval of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

France and Britain have issued a public response to this fourth step by Iran, saying for the first time that it is violating the JCPOA.[1]

Although the U.S., in May 2018, announced its withdrawal from the JCPOA,[2] it is in effect preserving it by continuing to grant significant waivers to the U.S. sanctions. These waivers allow some countries to help Iran develop its nuclear program under the heading of development for civilian needs – allowing Europe, Russia, and China to continue to uphold the agreement (see for example July 2019 statements on this matter by then-U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton on the continuation of the waivers[3]).

This report will set out the significance of this fourth step in Iran's withdrawal from its obligations under the JCPOA, as explained by two top regime officials, and will discuss the ramifications of the third step – the cancellation of the JCPOA's research and development timetable for it – for the development of Iran's nuclear program. These ramifications were previously discussed in a MEMRI report published in October.[4]




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