Tuesday, July 19, 2016

From Ian:

Ron Prosor: Israel’s Counterterrorism Lessons for Europe
As the terrorist threat evolves, so, too, must our response. In Nice, the use of a truck as the murder weapon shows how terrorism is constantly developing new ways to inflict mass casualties.
Israel has bitter experience of this. The method of attack is painfully familiar. Since October, 44 terrorist attacks have used motor vehicles as a weapon against Israelis.
In recent months, a new generation of terrorists radicalized on social media has launched more than 300 attacks in Israel using knives, guns and vehicles. Palestinian social media, and sometimes even official media, have published a flood of material glorifying the knife and the car as a weapon. The same is true of the jihadist groups murdering civilians in France and elsewhere around the world.
In this digital age, terror cannot be met with an analog response. We need to keep up, and Israel has experience and expertise to share.
Critics complain that such defensive actions compromise civil liberties and feed an atmosphere of fear. Yet the threat cannot be wished away, not when the ultimate civil liberty—the right to life without fear of death—is under attack. Preserving these freedoms and civil liberties while responding to terror is a challenge for any country, especially a democracy.
In an age when the internet has turned yesterday’s disturbed loner into today’s radicalized sleeper cell, social-media companies must also take responsibility and play a role.
Muslim, Christian and Jew must be engaged in the defeat of terrorism. Cooperation already takes place under the radar between Israel, Western countries and Arab states. In a fight that is as much a war of propaganda as it is of weapons, the open involvement of Arab and Muslim countries would send a powerful and timely message.

ISIS, Nazism and Iraq destruction
There was a clear progression in intolerance and mass murder leading to ISIS in Iraq. This is similar to how everyday anti-semitism and hatred of Jews helped lay the foundations for mass society accepting Nazism. The ability of many in places like Mosul to turn their backs on persecutions of their neighbors in 2014, is also similar to the way many people were quiet collaborators with Nazism.
There is also quiet collaboration in Western countries.
When I posted a video over the weekend of a peshmerga firing a sniper rifle at ISIS positions, one American intellectual commented that it was “imperialism.” Imperialism to defend against ISIS? To defend minorities, women, to fight against intolerance? There has been a quiescence in almost all wealthy western states to the mass murder and cleansing of minorities in northern Iraq. There are no student movements protesting for these minorities, not one protest, or college-student-led campaign to aid the victims. More than 5,000 Europeans are estimated to have traveled to join ISIS, which is more than ever protested against ISIS. Perhaps that reminds us of so many who willingly joined the Nazis as collaborators in the war, and the few who took up arms as partisans.
It is marvelous that Kurds were able to blunt the ISIS blitzkrieg in 2014. But it is an enduring tragedy that Iraq has been permanently altered and its diverse fabric destroyed in these two short years.
It is unlikely it will recover, even if some minorities return. There is no humanitarian plan for aiding these people, rebuilding their villages, restoring their temples and monuments. It illustrates that while you can defeat genocidal groups, such as what happened in Rwanda or Cambodia, you can never return what was lost.
On Lebanon war anniversary, PM vows ‘iron fist’ response to attacks
Israel will offer a “powerful response” if it is attacked by terror groups Hezbollah or Hamas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday at a ceremony marking 10 years since the Second Lebanon War.
Netanyahu described the 2006 war as “a clash between an extremist terror organization with an Islamist ideology and a free democratic Israel.”
“We are in a global battle. We are aware of the nature of the threats we face, and are preparing for any scenario,” he said at a ceremony at the Mount Herzl military cemetery.
Hezbollah and Hamas, he said, “have established forward bases of Iran on our border. Everything that has happened in the Middle East in recent years is part of the same trend: radical Islamic terror that seeks to shatter liberty and culture with its sword thrusts.
“This terror strikes not only Sarona or Otniel — it strikes in Paris and Nice, Brussels and Orlando. We are in a global campaign. Just as we are well aware of the character of the threats, so we are preparing for every contingency.”

Afghan refugee axe attack wounds at least four on German train
A 17-year-old Afghan refugee wielding an axe and a knife attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany on Monday evening, severely wounding four, before he was shot dead by police, the interior minister for the state of Bavaria said.
Speaking on German public television, Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said it was too early to speculate about the motives of the attacker, who he said was believed to have been living in a home for unaccompanied minors in Ochsenfurt, near the city of Wuerzburg.

The attack comes just days after a Tunisian delivery man drove a 19-tonne truck into crowds of Bastille Day revelers in the southern French city of Nice, killing 84.
It is likely to deepen worries about so-called "lone wolf" attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year.
"The attacker appears to have been a 17-year-old Afghan who has been living in Ochsenfurt for some time," Herrmann said. "He suddenly attacked passengers with a knife and an axe, critically injuring several. Some of them may now be fighting for their lives."
Islamic State claims Germany ax attacker was its ‘fighter’
An Islamic State-run media outlet said the teenage Afghan refugee who carried out an ax and knife attack in Germany on Monday was a “fighter” of the group.
“The perpetrator of the stabbing attack in Germany was one of the fighters of the Islamic State,” the Aamaq news agency said.
The claim came hours after a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker attacked passengers with an ax and knife on a train near Wuerzburg-Heidingsfeld on Monday night, before he was shot and killed by a special police unit.
Four members of a family visiting from Hong Kong were injured in the attack, two critically.
The statement said the attacker was “a member of the Islamic State” group who took action in response to the terror group’s calls urging attacks on countries that are members of the anti-IS coalition.
In France, man stabs woman, her 3 daughters over outfits
Authorities in southern France have detained a man they say stabbed a woman and her three daughters at an Alps resort, apparently upset at what they were wearing.
Jean-Marc Duprat, a deputy mayor for the town of Laragne-Monteglin in the Hautes-Alpes region, says the mother and her girls, aged 8, 12 and 14, were vacationing at a nearby resort when the man attacked them Tuesday morning. He said the man, who is not related to them, was upset they were wearing shorts and T-shirts. He was arrested after he tried to flee.
The condition of the woman and her daughters was not immediately known.
Laragne-Monteglin is 180 kilometers (110 miles) northwest of Nice, where a Tunisian man killed 84 people last week by driving through a crowd on Bastille Day.
JCPA: Why Is France the Preferred Target for Terrorists?
After the murderous attack in Nice, France is sinking deep into depression; the Republic itself and its values sustained a heavy blow on the holiday of freedom.
The French people still have not totally internalized the fact that they are in an existential war, and they are having trouble recovering from the recent wave of terror.
France is the symbol of freedom, enlightenment, and democratic values, which stand in complete contrast to the dark, barbaric ideology of global terror organizations.
France was in the past a colonialist empire that exploited the natural resources of its colonies and repressed the local population.
The presence in France of eight to ten million Muslims strongly affects decision-making in both the political and intelligence domains. Unlike Germany, where most Muslims are Turks, or Britain, where most are from India and Pakistan, in France the overwhelming majority are of North African extraction.
The Europeans, and especially the French, must understand once and for all that jihadist terror cannot be completely uprooted because there is no single, specific target. It is the ideological and religious dimension that holds sway, and it is an entity without borders in all regards.
Europe eyes Israeli technology for spotting lone-wolf terrorists online
European powers are trying to develop better means for pre-emptively spotting "lone-wolf" militants from their online activities and are looking to Israeli-developed technologies, a senior EU security official said on Tuesday.
Last week's truck rampage in France and Monday's axe attack aboard a train in Germany have raised European concern about self-radicalized assailants who have little or no communications with militant groups that could be intercepted by spy agencies.
"How do you capture some signs of someone who has no contact with any organization, is just inspired and started expressing some kind of allegiance? I don't know. It's a challenge," EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Gilles de Kerchove told Reuters on the sidelines of a intelligence conference in Tel Aviv.
Internet companies asked to monitor their own platforms' content for material that might flag militants had begged off, De Kerchove said.
He said they had argued that the information was too massive to sift through and contextualize, unlike pedophile pornography, for which there were automatic detectors.
DaphneAnson: Blonde on Blond: A Blonde's Bombshell
"Why have jihadist terrorists made France Europe’s bloodiest battlefield? Simple answer: Because France let in the most Muslims."
So writes Australia's most-read (and most controversial) columnist, conservative Andrew Bolt, in the wake of the Nice atrocity. He goes on, inter alia, in the Herald-Sun:
"This link between immigration policies and terrorism largely explains why the French are the greatest victims of Europe’s jihadists.
It also explains why we are fools not to change our own immigration policies to protect ourselves.
No European Union country has a higher proportion of Muslims than France — up to 10 per cent of its population, or six million people, though statistics are vague, and vary.
Yes, numbers don’t tell the whole story, but they do count....
France has the most Muslims, and that is why four people were killed, three of them children, in an Islamist attack on a Jewish day school in Toulouse four years ago.
That is why 20 people were murdered in Paris in last year’s Islamist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket....
That is why 130 more people were murdered in Paris last November in an Islamic State assault on restaurants, a concert hall and a football stadium.
French Jewish woman hurt in Nice attack dies of injuries
A Jewish woman who was badly injured in Nice on Thursday night when an armed truck driver plowed into a crowd has reportedly died of her injuries.
Raymonde Mamane, 77, and her sister Clara Bensimon, 80, were located in a local hospital on Friday afternoon, where they are both on respirators in critical condition, the Ynet news site reported.
Mamane succumbed to her injuries on Sunday, according to reports in the ultra-Orthodox media outlets Hamodia and Kikar HaShabat.
“She was a wonderful woman, dedicated to her family,” acquaintances of the family told Kikar HaShabat. “The entire community is in shock. At first they couldn’t find the sisters but after searching far and wide, they located them in serious condition in the hospital. Who would have believed that we would be here today eulogizing her? It is a huge loss to the community and a great shock to everyone.”
Muslims Were The Real Victims Of The Nice Terror Attack, The BBC Explains
More bad news from Nice: we learn from the BBC that local Muslims have been getting the cold shoulder from their kuffar neighbours. “People who yesterday would embrace me warmly are now cold towards me,” says one.
And all because of the unfortunate and terribly unfair coincidence that the man who mowed down over 100 people in a truck just happened to be called Mohamed, of Tunisian descent, and allegedly yelling “Allahu Akbar” as he went about his murderous spree.
“The worst affected by these attacks are us, the Muslims. We have seen an increase in abuse and threats,” complains local man Ahmed Mohamed.
Another – Abdul Moniem – has some sage things to say about not pointing the finger of blame.
“You have to distinguish between different types of crime. Are these crimes that relate to terrorism? Or are these individual criminal acts? In this case what happened was a terrible crime and shouldn’t be treated as terrorism. The criminal who carried out this attack did not pray or fast…he had social and relationship problems. It was this that led him to hurt people.”
TIME Makes Omar Mateen the Victim
How TIME magazine is reporting an update on Omar Mateen is shameful.
A new document was released that reveals Mateen, the Islamic terrorist who perpetrated in Orlando the worst terrorist attack in America since 9/11, was taunted for being Muslim.
TIME seemed almost sympathetic to Mateen, while also refusing to name his true nature, opting for the more neutral "Orlando nightclub shooter" instead:
Omar Mateen was reportedly taunted with derogatory epithets related to his religion while working as a contract guard at the St. Lucie Courthouse, according to the documents. The insults came from deputies and others, according to the Associated Press.
The report goes on to explain that "the shooter" countered the insults by telling his taunters he has ties with other terrorists, like those who attacked Fort Hood and the Boston Marathon. The FBI ultimately decided those threats weren't credible enough.
UN Human Rights Bodies Silent on Turkey’s Massive Crackdown
Despite the crackdown, there has been no public reaction from the U.N. human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein or from U.N. entities in Geneva that focus specifically on arbitrary detentions and judicial independence.
A Geneva-based non-governmental organization that monitors the U.N.’s human rights bodies, U.N. Watch, called for them to speak out.
“Never before in modern history has a democracy ordered the arbitrary removal of thousands of judges, only to be met with complete radio silence from the entire U.N. human rights system,” said U.N. Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
That “silence,” he said, had emanated from the high commissioner, the Human Rights Council, the U.N.’s “special rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers” and from the “working group on arbitrary detention.”
“The Turkish government’s massive purge and ongoing round-up of thousands of judges, prosecutors, police officials, military officers and soldiers, gives every indication that these lists were prepared in advance, just waiting to be used at the opportune moment,” said Neuer.
“There is no modern precedent for a democracy – let alone one that sought E.U. membership – to trample the rule of law on this scale with the removal of thousands of judges, and by carrying out thousands of arbitrary detentions.”
Despite detente, Erdogan may find Israel too good a scapegoat to resist
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is likely to start blaming Israel for the attempted coup that threatened to depose him over the weekend, due to a perceived connection between the Jewish state and the cleric he accuses of instigating the putsch, a leading Israeli expert on Turkey said.
Erdogan blames the Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, now in exile in Pennsylvania, for instigating the failed coup. Gülen, who denies the allegations, has had ties with various Jewish groups and in the 1990s met with Israel’s chief rabbi and a senior Israeli diplomat.
“Even though Turkish and Israeli leaders are saying that the coup won’t affect the rapprochement between the two countries, in my mind it’s just a question of time until Erdogan starts talking about Israel in the context of the coup,” Bar-Ilan University’s Efrat Aviv told The Times of Israel on Tuesday.
The Turkish president might wait until the normalization process between Ankara and Jerusalem has been concluded before publicly scapegoating Israel, surmised Aviv, who focuses her research on modern Turkey and Gülen’s spiritual movement. “But I have no doubt that this will happen. I don’t think that Erdogan will accept Israel with open arms.”
Hamas: We 'Panicked' at First Reports of Turkish Coup
The Hamas leadership “panicked” as news of the military operation to oust Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came in on Friday, a top official in the movement told Breitbart Jerusalem.
Late Friday night, when it seemed like the coup d’état was materializing, Hamas leaders feared they were about to lose their chief supporter, and the most fervent proponent among world leaders of lifting Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip, he said.
“The Turkish president wasn’t only a friend of Hamas, but a bulwark that fended off international and Arab pressure on us,” a Hamas leader said.
During the first hours of the upheaval in Turkey, Hamas leaders in Gaza and Qatar were in ongoing contact with the movement’s office in Turkey.
“With every report of a takeover of a TV channel and every announcement of the plotters, the anxiety level in Gaza and Qatar rose,” he said, adding that it was exacerbated by reports in the Arab media that were overwhelmingly celebratory.
“When reliable news sources report that President Erdogan has sought asylum in Germany, no wonder people get stressed,” he said. “It became real when he was addressing the masses on his mobile phone, indicating the great distress he was in.”
 After Losing An Eye, First Responder Recounts Harrowing Struggle With Armed Terrorist
Shuki Gilboa served as a volunteer on the Kiryat Arba security team and was seriously injured while responding to the terror attack on June 30 in which 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was killed.
“It took time for the IDF to arrive,” Gilboa recounted during an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Our security team was the first on the scene as we all live close by.”
Gilboa was on the way to meet his wife when he received an urgent notification from the Kiryat Arba security team that an Arab was spotted climbing the fence and was inside Kiryat Arba. Gilboa picked up his M16 rifle and ran to the Kiryat Arba Yeshiva High School, which he assumed to be the most likely target of a potential terrorist attack.
After arriving at the school and understanding that it was secure, he began to search the surrounding area in coordination with the rest of the security team. During the search, another member of the security team heard strange noises coming from the Ariel house.
As the security team was about to enter the house, Hallel’s father, Rabbi Amichai Ariel, arrived and entered the house with Shuki and Chanoch Kahane, another member of the security team. Rabbi Ariel immediately ran to the children’s bedroom where Hallel was sleeping and found his daughter lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds.
Gilboa heard Rabbi Ariel scream, “They killed her!” and realized that the terrorist was still in the house.
Palestinian stabber shot by troops dies of wounds
A Palestinian who was shot upon stabbing two Israeli soldiers on Monday has died of his wounds, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Mustafa Baradeah, 51, attacked the soldiers with a knife near Al-Aroub, north of Hebron on Highway 60 in the southern West Bank on Monday before being shot, according to the army.
He was taken in critical condition to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem where he died later that day, a spokeswoman said.
The two soldiers, who were lightly injured in the head and hand, respectively, received medical treatment at the scene and were taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood.
House of Sarona market terrorist to be demolished
IDF forces and civil administration officials mapped out the house of terrorist Younes Ayash Mousa Zinn for demolition in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday). Zinn planned the Sarona market attack, in which 4 people were murdered.
In addition, IDF and Border Police forces arrested 14 suspected terrorists overnight in Judea and Samaria. 10 of those arrested are suspected of activity designated as "popular terror" - namely violent riots, rock-throwing and firebombings, as well as other disturbances of the peace through violence directed against civilians and security forces.
The arrests were made in several different points spread out over the Judea and Samaria region, including checkpoints, towns and villages.
The IDF spokesman in a statement: "The IDF will continue to act with determination against the terror in Judea and Samaria, as part of the general effort to thwart any attacks directed against the citizens of Israel."
Bill fining Facebook, Twitter for not removing incitement to terror gets ministers’ approval
Legislation fining social media sites that do not remove content encouraging terrorism received the coalition’s approval on Sunday, as part of the government’s efforts to curb online incitement.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill by MK Revital Swid (Zionist Union) and others that gives social media providers like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter 48 hours from the time the incitement is posted to remove it. The social media site must have its own reasonable monitoring means.
If the site does not remove the incitement, it will be fined NIS 300,000 per post. If there is proof the site knew about the content encouraging terror and still did not remove it, the fine will be increased to NIS 400,000. If the post is mentioned on major news sites or newspapers, the social media site will be responsible for knowing about it.
Children given military training in Hamas summer camps
Approximately 30,000 Palestinian children and teenagers have signed up to attend Hamas' 25 summer camps in the Gaza Strip.
The camps run by the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, include military training with live fire, combat tactics, and religious indoctrination.
In an announcement marking the opening of summer camp the al-Qassam brigades declared: "The responsibility to liberate Palestine and return all the stolen rights of the people is common to all sects and groups in society, and is to be fulfilled by inculcating the culture of the struggle into every house in Palestine, as we do in the 'pioneers of liberation' summer camps."
They emphasized that the importance of inculcating these militaristic values stems from the necessity of preparing them for future challenges of "actions for restoring the rights of Palestinians."
The Hamas' youth group also encourages young Palestinian girls to attend the camps.
Hamas sentences 3 Gazans to death for spying for Israel
A Hamas-run military court on Tuesday sentenced three Gazans to death and three to prison, charging them with being informants for Israel.
A 57-year-old man from Gaza City was convicted of passing intelligence to Israel for over 20 years, including the location of Hamas’s tunnels, hideouts, rocket caches, as well as the houses and cars of the terror group’s fighters, a source in the Gaza military court told the Palestinian news site Safa.
A man in his 50s from Khan Younis as well as a 35-year-old from Rafah were also sentenced to death for passing information to Israelis, the report said.
Additionally, the military court source said a Gazan man who worked with Israel from 2006 to 2010 had his sentence lightened from life in prison to 15 years following an appeal.
The report did not give any information about the prison sentences of the other two men charged with being informants.
Islamic Jihad man killed as Gaza tunnel collapses
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror operative was killed in the Gaza Strip Monday night when a tunnel used by the group collapsed east of the town of Khan Yunis, according to various media reports.
Two more operatives were said injured in the tunnel mishap. It was not clear whether the structure was an attack tunnel leading towards Israel or another type of infrastruture used by the terror organization.
It was the second deadly tunnel collapse for the group this month and the 14th such incident reported since the beginning of the year. On July 10 a man was killed as an underground passageway being dug in northern Gaza collapsed.
Islamic Jihad said on its website that 28-year-old Ibrahim Hussein al-Masri was a member of the al-Quds Brigades, the group’s armed wing.
At least 18 people, most of them reportedly members of Hamas, have been killed in this year’s collapses.
As secret accord is revealed, Israel complains: Iran deal ‘intensified’ nuke problem
A previously secret addendum to the internationally negotiated nuclear deal with Iran reinforces Israeli concerns over the agreement and Iran’s ability to rush towards the bomb if it so chooses, an Israeli government official said Monday.
The senior official told The Times of Israel that Jerusalem’s greatest concern about the nuclear deal with Iran “was and remains that after about 10 years, it would leave Iran with an industrial uranium enrichment capacity that would enable the regime to produce the fuel for many nuclear bombs in a very short time.”
The nuclear agreement “removes the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program based on dates certain, rather than on changes in Iran’s aggressive behavior, including its support for terrorism around the world,” the senior official said. “The deal doesn’t solve the Iranian nuclear problem, but rather delays and intensifies it.”
According to the secret document, obtained Monday by The Associated Press, key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program imposed under the accord will ease in slightly more than a decade, cutting the time Tehran would need to build a bomb to six months or less from present estimates of a year.
The document is the only part linked to last year’s deal between Iran and six foreign powers that hasn’t been made public. It was given to the AP by a diplomat whose work has focused on Iran’s nuclear program for more than a decade, and its authenticity was confirmed by another diplomat who possesses the same document.
US denies secret document that would allow 2027 Iranian nuclear breakout
The US response came in light of an AP report Monday that the news agency had allegedly obtained a so-far publicly undisclosed document that lowers the time the Islamic Republic would need to develop a nuclear bomb to six months after the restrictions of the agreement are lifted.
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA accord significantly reduces Iran's nuclear program for the first 10 years that it is in effect.
According to the deal's agreed upon terms, Iran's nuclear breakout period during the first decade of the deal is said to be at least a year.
The US State Department official noted that the US has "always been clear" that Iran's nuclear breakout period would be shorter after the first decade of the deal's adherence.
Yet, he underlined that "the breakout time does not go off a cliff nor do we believe that it would be cut in half, to six months, by year 11."
State Dept Caught off Guard by New Report on Iran Nuclear Restraints Being Lifted
A reporter asked Toner about the report during the State Department daily press briefing.
“The AP has just released a story saying that they’ve obtained a document that shows that key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program would be eased in slightly more than a decade and that these restrictions, once they’re eased, would allow Iran to make a weapon within six months as compared to a year. Any knowledge of that or response to the report?” the report asked.
Toner shook his head and said, ““Uh, no, no—I’m sorry, you said it’s an AP report based on—”
“A document that they have obtained,” the reporter interjected.
“A document from—whose document I guess is my question,” Toner said. “Honestly, I don’t have any reference to that. We stand by the JCPOA [the official acronym for the Iran nuclear deal] and our belief that it will continue to prevent Iran from being able to pursue any pathway to obtain a nuclear weapon. And as to any alleged document, I just can’t speak to it at this point in time.”
The AP report comes a few weeks after Germany’s domestic intelligence agency wrote in its annual report that Iran had tried to obtain illicit nuclear technology from inside Germany after it signed the nuclear accord with the United States and five other world powers last year.
Iran defends secret document easing nuke program restrictions
Iran’s foreign minister on Tuesday defended a nuclear deal provision that allows Tehran to begin ramping up its nuclear program after 10 years, a day after the secret document was revealed, leading to concerns over the effectiveness of the landmark nuclear deal.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said the document, submitted by Iran to the International Atomic Energy Agency and outlining plans to expand Iran’s uranium enrichment program, was a “matter of pride.”
He said it was created by Iran’s “negotiators and experts.”
Zarif’s remarks, carried by the semi-official Fars news agency on Tuesday, followed revelations the day before of the confidential document — an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal signed last year with world powers — that Iran gave the IAEA.
The document, obtained by The Associated Press in Vienna, outlines Tehran’s plans to expand its uranium enrichment program after the first 10 years of the nuclear deal, essentially allowing it to get within six months or less of building a nuclear weapon well before the deal’s 15-year expiration date.
U.S., Russia Criticize UN Chief over Nuclear Report Critical of Iran
The United States and Russia both criticized United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday for overstepping his mandate in a report on the implementation of a Security Council resolution backing a nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.
Most U.N. sanctions on Iran were lifted in January when the U.N. nuclear watchdog confirmed that Tehran fulfilled commitments under its nuclear deal with Britain, France, Germany, China, Russia and the United States. But Iran is still subject to a U.N. arms embargo and other restrictions.
U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman briefed the 15-member Security Council on Monday on Ban's first bi-annual report on the implementation of the remaining sanctions and restrictions on Iran.
"The United States disagrees strongly with elements of this report, including that its content goes beyond the appropriate scope. We understand that Iran also disagrees strongly with parts of the report," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the council.
Power said "while some have argued that to be balanced, the report should give Iran a chance to express complaints about sanctions relief under the deal," the Security Council did not mandate Ban to report on such issues.
Iran gets first missile shipment for S-300 system
Iran has received the first batch of missiles for the S-300 missile defense system, the Iranian Tasnim news agency reported on Monday.
The news agency said the missiles indicate that Moscow is supplying Tehran with the advanced S-300 PMU2 system rather than the PMU1, information it said has been kept under wraps.
Russia began delivery of the S-300 missile defense system to Iran in April, according to the Iranian foreign ministry.
The sale of the S-300 system has been reported by both Russia and Iran as imminent since the signing of the nuclear deal last year.
In April, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jaberi Ansari told local media that the delivery of the system had already begun.
Cotton: Obama Lied to Nation About Details of Secret Iran Nuke Deal
A leading member of the Senate committees on intelligence and armed services told the Washington Free Beacon on Monday that the Obama administration lied to Congress and the American people about the parameters of last summer’s nuclear agreement with Iran.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.), responding to questions from the Free Beacon, said he was “truly shocked” by breaking reports earlier this afternoon showing that the Obama administration struck a secret side deal with Iran that would lift key nuclear restrictions on the country in less than a decade, placing it within six months of a functional nuclear weapon.
The report was touted by deal critics as a smoking gun proving that the Obama administration misled the public about the deal’s contents in order to stymie opponents. The deal was touted as keeping Iran from a bomb for 15 years, but the new disclosures reveal that Iran could be six months away from a bomb within a decade of the deal.
Multiple congressional inquiries seeking documents and information about the administration’s secret diplomacy with Iran have been rebuffed in recent months.
Cotton told the Free Beacon that the latest reports, first published by the Associated Press, are not surprising to him and comport with past nuclear agreements that were hailed as stopping North Korea from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
“It would not be surprising to me at all to these those restrictions in the nuclear deal lifted, or Iran violate them in the meantime,” Cotton said in response to questions from a Free Beacon reporter during an event hosted in downtown Cleveland by the Atlantic‘s Steve Clemons.
Iran Tells Family of Arrested British Woman to Pressure UK Government to Make “Exchange”
The family of a British-Iranian woman who was arrested in Tehran earlier this year was told to pressure the British government “to reach an agreement” in order to close her case before trial, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was visiting family in Iran with her toddler, was detained at Tehran’s airport in April, separated from her child, and charged with the “design and implementation of cyber and media projects to cause the soft toppling of the Islamic Republic,” the state-run IRNA news agency reported. Her husband, Richard Ratcliffe, called the charges “preposterous.” Ratcliffe told Reuters that his wife was told by an interrogator in late June that her case would be closed if some sort of deal was made with the British government. Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s mother was reportedly told when visiting her daughter at the notorious Evin prison that the deal involved some sort of “exchange.”
Iran does not recognized dual citizenship, so dual nationals like Zaghar-Ratcliffe are denied access to the embassies of their second nationality. The British Foreign Office has raised Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, but officials have not been allowed to visit her.
The arrests of the dual citizens are frequently the work Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a powerful group that controls an estimated one-sixth of Iran’s economy and that has been strengthened in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal. The IRGC has arrested at least six dual-nationals in recent months, Reuters reported, noting that it was “the highest number of Iranians with dual-nationality detained at one time in recent years to have been acknowledged.”

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