Monday, March 15, 2021

From Ian:

Jared Kushner: On Iran, the U.S. Should Continue to Play the Strong Hand It Was Dealt
The roots of the Arab-Israeli conflict stretch back to when Arab leaders refused to accept the creation of the State of Israel after World War II and spent 70 years vilifying it and using it to divert attention from domestic shortcomings. But today, Muslims are posting pictures of peaceful visits to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, blowing a hole in the propaganda that the holy site is under attack.

The Abraham Accords exposed the conflict as nothing more than a real-estate dispute between Israelis and Palestinians that need not hold up Israel's relations with the broader Arab world. It will ultimately be resolved when both sides agree on an arbitrary boundary line.

While many were troubled by the Biden team's opening offer to work with Europe and rejoin the Iran deal, I saw it as a smart diplomatic move. The Biden administration called Iran's bluff. It revealed to the Europeans that the JCPOA is dead and only a new framework can bring stability for the future. When Iran asked for a reward merely for initiating negotiations, President Biden did the right thing and refused.

America holds a strong hand. Iran is feigning strength, but its economic situation is dire and it has no ability to sustain conflict or survive indefinitely under current sanctions. America should be patient and insist that any deal include real nuclear inspections and an end to Iran's funding of foreign militias.
Mohammed Khalid Alyahya: The Price of Empowering Iran
Since the Biden administration's decision to reverse the designation of Yemen's Houthi militia as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) on Feb. 12, drones and ballistic missiles have targeted Saudi Arabia 48 times. It is a fallacy to understand the region's politics as a contest between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Seen from Tehran, the central contest in the region is between the American alliance system and Iran's self-styled "resistance alliance."

Biden's misconception leads to a number of erroneous ideas: that the U.S. can play a neutral, mediating role between Riyadh and Tehran; that by distancing itself from Saudi Arabia, it creates opportunities for regional stability and understanding; and that it is the Saudi role in Yemen - and not the Iranian role - that has perpetuated the conflict in that country.

Iran has waged a forty-year war to spread its control across the region - not to compete with Saudi Arabia, but to undermine the American alliance system. Iran's network of terrorist groups in the region chant, "death to America," not "death to Saudi Arabia."

Iran's attacks on Saudi Arabian civilian infrastructure, via its proxies in Yemen and Iraq, are reactions to U.S. policy - not Saudi Arabian policy. Appeasing Iran, and punishing U.S. allies, will come at the expense of the entire region.
Abraham Accords: Getting a win-win for Israelis and Palestinians
AT THE END of 2020, as part of the omnibus spending package, Congress enacted the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) with bipartisan support. MEPPA authorized a five-year, $250 million people-to-people peace-building fund and an investment initiative to give the bandwidth and budget to answer the question, “What are we doing to ensure the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians don’t hate one another?” Often an afterthought, MEPPA gives the administration a coordinated way to think about peace-building, not as a series of programs, but as an integrated policy tool.

Congress, wanting to leverage the groundbreaking American investment as well as maximize its efficacy, baked into MEPPA a multilateral element encouraging international donors. In doing so, Congress intended to harness the added legitimacy gained from multilateral endorsement of MEPPA in the eyes of Israelis and Palestinians and ensure equitable burden-sharing.

The Biden administration can use MEPPA to gather additional commitments from both the region and European allies to address incitement, dehumanization and economic disparity between Israelis and Palestinians. In doing so, the administration can utilize MEPPA to further the Abraham Accords, institutionalize new regional dynamics while providing needed economic stimulus to the Palestinian private sector, and deal head-on with adult and youth attitudes that must change if progress will be possible.

The advantages that the Abraham Accords have created should not be quarantined to just the fight against a nuclear Iran. MEPPA offers the ideal way to capture the new regional spirit to elevate aspirations for a just, sustainable and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

MEPPA sets in motion long-term grassroots peace-building combined with joint Israeli-Palestinian economic development projects to support future diplomacy. It also enables an early opportunity for the US to repair relations with the Palestinians, cultivate a foundation of trust between Israelis and Palestinians, rebuild trust with European partners, and capitalize on the regional normalization dynamic in a way that prioritizes Israeli-Palestinian peace. MEPPA can show once again how US taxpayers can amplify and solidify their investment and impact through engaging allies, and how US leadership and innovation is still the indispensable ingredient for meaningful international cooperation.

Israel to push for UN adoption of IRHA definition of anti-Semitism
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan is promoting an initiative that would see the international body adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's definition of anti-Semitism.

So far, 30 countries have adopted the definition, according to which anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

To enlist the UN to the effort, Erdan recently met with the UN's senior "focal point" on anti-Semitism, Miguel Moratinos, over the weekend. The two discussed options for fighting anti-Semitism as well as the possibility of the UN adopting the IHRA definition of the term in such a way that obligates all of its organizations.

Moratinos is set to meet with central US Jewish organizations on the fight against anti-Semitism.

Such a move, which would likely take a few months, would find officials of countries like Iran in violation of the UN's position when they engage in Holocaust denial.

Erdan said, "Rising anti-Semitism around the world demands we act with additional tools and increase cooperation with the international community to create tools for enforcement against displays of anti-Semitic hatred in the field."

Tunisian Jews Are in Immediate Danger
During his election campaign, Tunisian president Kais Saied accused Israel of being at war with the Muslim world, a message that struck a chord in the hearts of many Tunisians. He also said that any Muslim leader who normalizes relations with the Zionists should be prosecuted for treason. In other words, he deems anyone who maintains relations with Israel a traitor to the Arab umma (nation) and the Palestinian people.

Following his election to the presidency, Saied’s campaign of hate toward Israel expanded to include Tunisian Jews, whom he has called thieves. (He apologized afterward, claiming his words had been taken out of context.)

Thanks to Saied’s influence, Tunisia has changed from an unusually tolerant Muslim country into a typically intolerant Muslim country that does not respect its minorities. A few weeks ago, a Tunisian church was set on fire, and the danger to the country’s Jews is escalating.

Jews lived in Tunisia for thousands of years in relative peace. Only 1,500 Jews remain in the country, most of them on the island of Djerba. They represent one of the last remaining Jewish communities in the Middle East outside of Israel.

The president’s attitude has opened the door to antisemitism among the Tunisian population, which is growing increasingly commonplace. A preexisting hostility toward faraway Israel has turned into open hatred and acts of provocation against local Jews. In other words, anti-Zionism has revealed itself as antisemitism.
Denmark Bans Foreign Funding of Mosques
"The mosque is a gift from Qatar but it's not free. I have always said that they will expect something in return, and this shows that they are making some claims for their money." — Lars Aslan Rasmussen, Copenhagen city councilman.

Officials from nearly all of Denmark's main political parties have expressed their support for the bill to ban foreign funding of mosques.

"It is a real problem if donations are made from organizations that want to undermine fundamental democratic values." — Foreign Affairs Minister Mattias Tesfaye.
Netanyahu orders to halt flights from Jordan
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to stop flights from Jordan after being barred from flying to the UAE on Thursday via the Hashemite Kingdom’s airspace, Maariv, the sister publication of The Jerusalem Post, reported on Sunday.

Transportation Minister Miri Regev approved Netanyahu’s demand and with the instruction gave the relevant bodies 45 minutes to inform their Jordanian counterparts about the change.

The decision was called “borderline insane” by experts in the field. Not only is such a one-sided step a violation of the peace accords between the two countries, according to them, but non-Jordanian planes too would not be able to fly over Israel even if they do not hail from Amman.

Netanyahu was allegedly so angered by Jordan’s refusal to fly over its airspace to visit the UAE, he ordered the move without speaking with anyone else, including top ranking experts who are meant to offer the government guidance within the intelligence or diplomatic communities. Rather than obeying the instruction, the airport officials flatly refused to carry it out, simply posing the Transportation Ministry a series of questions such as: What would happen to planes already in the air that planned on heading to their destination over Israel? Is Israel going to demand US planes also bypass if they come from the east?
Israel vaccinates 700 Jordanian workers in goodwill move
Israel began administering COVID-19 vaccinations to 700 Jordanians who were allowed to return to work in Eilat hotels on Monday. The workers had not been allowed into Israel due to pandemic-related restrictions. The government reversed the policy on Friday at the urging of Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, the Israeli Embassy in Amman and the Jordanian authorities.

The Jordanian workers will have to undergo coronavirus tests and quarantine, in accordance with Health Ministry guidelines, before beginning to work in the Eilat hotels.

“The return of the workers to Israel is another step in strengthening the civil relations between Israel and Jordan,” the Foreign Ministry said.

The move comes amid tensions between Israel and Jordan.
Gantz warns Hezbollah not to ‘test’ the power of the IDF
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday warned Lebanese terror group Hezbollah that it should not test the military capabilities of Israel and the IDF, during the launch of a so-called “resilience center” in northern Israel.

“We’re prepared for every scenario on the northern front. I’d recommend that the Lebanese side not test the IDF’s abilities,” Gantz said in Kibbutz Kabri.

The center will offer psychological help to residents, especially children, who suffer from stress, notably during wartime. In 2006, Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets at Israeli towns during the Second Lebanon War.

“The northern front is currently relatively calm, but we can’t help but recall the decades of volatility in this region, and the many rounds of flare-ups and military operations,” Gantz said.

According to the IDF, Hezbollah has attempted at least two sniper attacks on Israeli troops as retaliation for the July 2020 killing of one of its operatives, one on July 27 and the other on August 26. Both failed.

The Israeli military believes Hezbollah still intends to exact revenge.

“There is no doubt that war or conflict would hurt both sides, but the Lebanese side would feel it unequivocally and powerfully, and testing the power of the State of Israel or of the IDF isn’t recommended,” the defense minister said. Gantz added that “there are thousands of homes in Lebanon with weapons storerooms alongside guestrooms. We have the moral obligation to protect Israeli citizens and we will attack these weapons storerooms.”
Outrage Erupts After Interpol Drops International Warrant for Notorious Palestinian Terrorists Behind Sbarro Bombing
Her husband Nizar Tamimi wrote on Facebook that the move was a result of a year-and-a-half of pressure and that the campaign to expunge her terrorist record was not over.

“Our struggle will continue until her file is completely closed, and we will meet after our prolonged separation and enjoy the free, stable life for which we have yearned,” he said.

The Twitter account @PalesAbroad posted what appeared to be a picture of Tamimi cutting a cake in celebration.

Malki Roth’s father Arnold called Interpol’s move “blunt and unwelcome” on the family’s blog, and said the international group had “succumbed to pressure from the fugitive’s family, lawyers, and clan in Jordan.”

“My wife and I will not give up in our efforts to see this loathsome person — the embodiment of murderous bigotry — eventually brought to justice to answer for her crimes,” he pledged.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, sent a letter to Interpol’s secretary-general urging him to reverse the decision, noting that Tamimi “has publicly shown lack of remorse and claimed her pride for this attack.”

“Palestinian abuses of international organizations — political, legal, cultural, educational — have turned them into battlefields,” he said. “We have heard that INTERPOL has removed Al-Tamimi from its ‘Most Wanted list.’ Such an outrageous step would encourage further terrorism and deny justice and closure for the victims and survivors.”

Gulf States Embrace Israel - and Hebrew
Since the UAE signed the Abraham Accords with Israel last September, thousands of Israeli businesspeople and tourists have flocked to Dubai.

At the same time, the demand for Hebrew courses went through the roof, says director Josh Samet of the Educational Hebrew Institute (EHI) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Students range from those who want to study in Israel to businesspeople, church ministers, doctors, lawyers, tour guides, and even members of the royal family.

For most Arabic speakers, Hebrew is not too hard to learn, as many words and grammar rules are similar.
Report: Top Israeli hospital to treat UAE security forces
Israel's Sheba Medical Center is preparing to offer services to several the United Arab Emirates security forces in the wake of the states' tightening cooperation, the Bloomberg news agency reported Sunday.

Sheba, located in central Israel, is consistently ranked among the top hospitals in the world.

Lt. Col. (res.) Yoel Hareven, director of the International Division and Resource Development at Sheba said that physicians from the hospital will travel to Dubai to initially meet and diagnose 350 diabetes patients in the Emirati Armed Forces, police and firefighting services.

Sheba will collaborate with Dubai-based Al Tadawi Medical Center under an initial three-year contract, he told Bloomberg, adding that Sheba will also be sending physicians to train healthcare personnel at the Medcare Women & Children Hospital in Dubai.

Hareven said Sheba was "moving quickly to establish a permanent presence in the UAE to expand its offerings. The next steps are very, very close."
Abu Dhabi’s Etihad airways pushes Israel launch date to April 6
Dubai: Abu Dhabi’s Etihad airways will launch a twice-weekly service to Israel starting from April 6, 2021.UAE’s national carrier had previously said it would operate daily scheduled flights to Tel Aviv from March 28.

Etihad is also restarting operations on other popular routes. The carrier will have a twice-weekly service to Moscow from March 25; twice-weekly flights to Seychelles, which recently opened up for tourism, will start on March 26.

After Morocco’s recent addition to the ‘green list’, Etihad is offering return fares of just Dh999 on Abu Dhabi-Casablanca flights. The fare is limited to 500 seats on a first come first served basis.

The sale starts on March 15, 2021 and ends the next day. Guests who book between March 16 and March 28, 2021 will have return fares starting from Dh1,995 in economy, and business fares from Dh9,995. Travellers can jet off anytime between 24 March – 30 June 2021.

The service will operate with an initial twice weekly flight using a three class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Morocco Hopes for Israeli Tourism Boost When Flights Resume
Morocco hopes its improved ties with Israel and centuries-old Jewish history will help it offset some of the tourist trade it has lost to the global pandemic by bringing a surge of Israeli visitors once flights restart next month.

The two countries agreed in December to resume diplomatic ties and relaunch direct flights — part of a deal brokered by the United States that also includes Washington’s recognition of Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara.

“I was quite afraid to go previously, because it’s an Arab country, even though I was told that tours there were fine. Now that there is peace, I think I can go without fear,” said retired Israeli teacher Rivka Sheetrit, 69, who wants to see where her parents once lived and her forefathers were buried.

“When the skies reopen I plan to go,” she said.

Morocco was home to one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East for centuries until Israel’s founding in 1948. As Jews fled or were expelled from many Arab countries, an estimated quarter of a million left Morocco for Israel from 1948-1964.

Today only about 3,000 Jews remain in Morocco, while hundreds of thousands of Israelis claim some Moroccan ancestry.
Combined UAE-Israel teams to feature in rugby 'friendship tour'
The first international rugby fixture between UAE and Israel will be followed by a game between scratch sides made up of a mixture of Emirati and Israeli players.

Israel will arrive this week for what the two unions are terming a “friendship tour”, ahead of a programme of seven-a-side matches at Dubai Sports City on Friday, March 19.

The 2020 Dubai Rugby Sevens was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Reuters2021 Dubai Rugby Sevens to take place over National Day weekend

The all-Emirati UAE side will play against Israel’s national Olympic sevens team in four-quarters of a game in rugby’s abridged format.

The players will then be mixed into two new teams, to be known as Israel-UAE Blue and Israel-UAE White, for three more segments of matches.

Mohammed Al Zaabi, a UAE Rugby Federation board member, says the matches have been arranged to reflect the normalisation of ties between the countries since last August.

He says the series will show “sport reinforces its important role in the historic Abraham Accords peace agreement between the two countries”, and hopes it can help improve rugby in UAE and Israel.

“We hope very soon to do our part with such a visit to Israel, and can give our women’s team the opportunity to play a match against Israel in Tel Aviv,” Al Zaabi said.

“For our future vision, we are eager to grow this relationship with the Israeli federation and the national teams there, to share expertise between all the teams. We hope it will improve both our levels.”
Shalva Band performs with UAE musicians in unity concert
They say music has no boundaries and the Shalva Band, a musical group comprising musicians with special needs, proved it as they performed with musicians from the United Arab Emirates in a moving rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” intended to send a message of unity, peace and cooperation.

Shalva released a clip of the virtual performance on Facebook. The Shalva Band is accompanied in the performance by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. The song is sung in English and Hebrew by the Shalva Band and in Arabic and English by Emirati musicians, including Tareq Al Menhali. The song was produced in honor of Shalva’s 31st anniversary celebration, which was organized around the theme, “Building Bridges to the Future.” The classic tune was chosen to be the anthem for this budding partnership with Emirati musicians because of its uplifting message.

The guest speaker at the celebratory dinner for the Shalva anniversary was H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE Ambassador to the United States and one of the key architects of the Abraham Accords. The accords have expanded opportunities and collaboration between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain. “It is an honor to participate in the American Friends of Shalva’s 31st anniversary event,” said Otaiba. “The United Arab Emirates shares Shalva’s unwavering commitment to improving the lives of people with disabilities. In the UAE, those with intellectual disabilities or special needs are referred to as people of determination, in recognition of their achievements across different fields. The collaboration to create the special rendition of ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ demonstrates how we must all continue to work together – regardless of nationality, religion or culture – to promote positive social change and foster more inclusive societies.”
From bankruptcy to the Burj: The mysterious rise of Dubai macher Naum Koen
It was supposed to be one of the first dividends of peace.

On December 7, one of Israel’s premier soccer teams, Beitar Jerusalem, announced with great fanfare that it had sold 50 percent of its shares to an Emirati businessman sheikh.

The sheikh, who now goes by Hamad bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, is one of the lesser-known members of Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

But the broker in the deal was also a newcomer on the world stage. His name was Naum Koen, a Dubai-based Russian-Israeli businessman who introduced himself as the sheikh’s top adviser.

In a touching scene filmed by Israel’s Channel 12, the sheikh’s son, Muhammad, wearing a black-and-yellow Beitar scarf over his long white robe, turned to Koen and said, “I’d like to say thank you again to my big brother who opened the doors of peace and love and harmony between the two countries.”

“Thank you very much, your highness,” Koen said to the sheikh’s son. “As we say in Hebrew, mazal tov, mazal tov, mazal tov.”

“Mazal tov, mazal tov, mazal tov,” the sheikh’s son replied heartily, in Arabic-accented Hebrew, as the two men embraced.

The Beitar Jerusalem sale was one of the most publicized business partnerships struck after Israel and the UAE signed a historic normalization agreement in August 2020. The sheikh promised to pump $90 million into the soccer club in the coming decade.

The deal was symbolic on many levels. Some of Beitar’s fans have become notorious for racist outbursts against Arabs, and the sale of half the team to an Emirati sheikh appeared to usher in a new era of tolerance and brotherhood. “We want to set an example to both nations that Jews and Muslims can work together,” said the sheikh.

But on February 11 the deal fell through. Beitar withdrew its application for approval of the sale following an Israel Football Association probe into the sheikh’s finances.
Alan Baker: The Upcoming Palestinian Elections – Analysis
While there is no explicit provision in the Oslo Accords prohibiting participation in the elections process by “terrorist movements” as such, it may however be assumed that any party – Hamas and Fatah included – the official platform of which advocates unlawful or non-democratic realization of its aims – may indeed be refused by the Central, or District Elections Commissions of the Palestinian Authority, which oversees the elections.

Clearly, the Hamas charter advocating the usurpation of Israel through terror, as well as its acknowledged terror activity within, and emanating from the Gaza Strip, could and should certainly serve as a factor in disqualifying Hamas from participation in the elections.

While both these parties participated in the previous elections, the present circumstances, and especially the radicalization of Hamas and its internationally acknowledged terror activity, could represent a factor in persuading the new US administration, the Middle East Quartet, the EU as well as individual European states, to coordinate the necessary action to prevent participation by Hamas in the elections.

With respect to east Jerusalem, Annex I to the Declaration of Principles determines that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have the right to participate in the election process. Pursuant thereto, the Elections Annex to the Interim Agreement (Article IV) details arrangements regarding campaigning, polling, international observation and voting.

The question – both for Israel, as well as for the US administration and for the other countries that consider themselves “stakeholders’ in the Israel-Palestinian dispute – remains the dichotomy between welcoming any movement toward democratic governance among the Palestinians on the one hand, but at the same time, actively preventing participation in such elections by the Hamas terror movement.

Such participation could undermine the integrity of the elections and place further doubt on any possibility of advancing the peace negotiation process.

The writer is an attorney and ambassador (ret.), director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs and head of the international law program at The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and member of Mivtahi Israel – Forum For a Safe Israel (FFSI).
Palestinians: Jerusalem Arab vote voids US recognition of Israeli capital
The majority of the Arabs in Jerusalem are not Israeli citizens and hold Israeli-issued ID cards in their capacity as permanent residents of Israel.

Two other senior Palestinian officials, Mutasem Tayem and Nabil Sha’ath, on Sunday said Jerusalem Arabs would cast their ballots in Israeli post offices in east Jerusalem neighborhoods located within the boundaries of the Jerusalem Municipality.

Jerusalem Arabs would also be allowed to present their candidacy in the Palestinian Authority’s parliamentary and presidential elections, they said.

“Jerusalem is an occupied city and the capital of the future Palestinian state,” PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said. He was responding to Kosovo’s decision to open an embassy in Jerusalem. The move was in violation of international resolutions and would have “repercussions in the near future,” he said.

The PA was in contact with the new US administration, which supports the two-state solution and opposes Israeli unilateral steps, Abu Rudaineh said.

“Israel knows that real peace requires the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital,” he said. “There will be no settlements within the borders of the Palestinian state.”
PMW: Female terrorist murderer joins teachers, journalists, and politicians as Palestinian role model on International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day worldwide is both an opportunity to focus on equal rights for women and an opportunity to highlight talented and successful women. So too in the PA. Only in the PA the opportunity to parade female role models is exploited to parade female terrorists.

In one of its news broadcast on the occasion of International Women’s Day, official PA TV chose to single out 4 women as “role models of honorable and fighting women”: A poet, a photographer, terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi, and Fatima Barnawi who placed a bomb in a movie theater:
Official PA TV newsreader: “For [International Women’s Day] March 8, the Palestinians are remembering role models of honorable and fighting women, including Martyr Dalal Mughrabi (i.e., terrorist who led murder of 37, 12 of them children), poet Fadwa Touqan, fighter Fatima Barnawi (i.e., terrorist, placed a bomb in a movie theater), and the first female Palestinian photographer Karima Aboud.”

[Official PA TV News, March 9, 2021]

Having introduced the four, PA TV explained the “achievements” of each one. Murderer Mughrabi was referred to as “the Bride of Jaffa.” Her achievement was to lead a group of male terrorists and to “establish the Palestinian republic in the heart of the occupied territories.” Mughrabi with others hijacked a bus and took the Israeli civilian passengers hostage - all of whom were either murdered or injured. The bus is said to be the “Palestinian republic,” established “in the heart of the occupied territories,” – that is north of Tel Aviv. Terrorist Barnawi was named “one of the most veteran female Palestinian prisoners” and whereas the bomb she placed in a movie theater failed to explode, PA TV chose to illustrate her story with an image from a car bombing in 1948 in which 58 were murdered and 140 wounded, possibly to make her even more “heroic”:

PA honors “role models of honorable and fighting women,” including murderer Dalal Mughrabi

Biden Can Trigger a Regional War by Reviving the Nuclear Deal
Governments in the Middle East have a valid reason to be concerned about the nuclear deal. They have already witnessed its negative consequences.

[T]his would have not been the outcome if Israel and other regional powers had been part of the negotiations.

The composition of the current negotiating team, similar to the previous one, completely excludes those on Iran's doorstep. In an approach reminiscent of the bygone colonial era, it remains a policy set by governments thousands of miles away.

Arab nations have already seen the consequences of the previous attempt at striking a nuclear deal. The Iranian-armed Houthis simply ratcheted up efforts to cause death and destruction in Yemen, and Hezbollah escalated its involvement and control of large swathes of Syrian territory.

By returning to a deal which brought nothing but heightened destruction and instability to the region, the Biden administration would be abandoning old allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia – which at least has begun instituting reforms -- and instead empowering a regime that remains an existential threat to the entire Middle East.
Israel is not to blame for the failure of the Iran nuclear deal
Israel fought tirelessly to explain every fault, loophole and danger in the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and did all it could to persuade the U.S. to quit the agreement. Netanyahu's presentation of the stolen Iranian nuclear archive was just the push needed to convince then-president Donald Trump that the whole accord was based on lies and deceit. Unfortunately, President Joe Biden's team is now working hard to return to this horrendous deal.

There are clear facts that show how the current situation differs from that of 2015. These facts include Iran's advancement of its nuclear program since 2018, as well as new findings shown in the archive leak and in reports from the UN over the past two years.

Iran has used every lifting of restrictions provided by the accord to push forward its uranium enrichment, bolster its technological capabilities, and produce advanced centrifuges.

Iran has acquired the advanced technological methods needed for quick production of weapons-grade materials, regardless of what the 2015 deal said. A return to the 2015 deal will allow Tehran to install new advanced infrastructure at its covert facilities and obtain enough enriched uranium needed for the bomb.

Findings today show that Iran's road to getting the bomb was far smoother than originally predicted. The IAEA's strict inspections were the single most viable and effective tool of the deal, but even these inspections ultimately proved to be useless.

As we predicted, the deal failed not because of Israel, but because the accord failed to achieve the very goals it set out to accomplish. It is clear that the old deal cannot achieve those goals now.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard inaugurates new underground missile facility
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Monday inaugurated a new underground facility designated for missile storage, the country’s state TV reported.

The report quotes Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami as saying that cruise and ballistic missiles will empower the force’s navy even more. The TV report showed footage of scores of missiles in an enclosed space resembling an underground corridor.

It did not say where the facility is located nor how many missiles are stored there.

Since 2011, Iran has boasted of underground facilities across the country as well as along the southern coast near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. Iran claims to have missiles that can travel 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), placing much of the Middle East, including Israel, within range.

Last July, the Guard launched underground ballistic missiles as part of an exercise involving a mock-up American aircraft carrier in the Strait of Hormuz, highlighting its network of subterranean missile sites.

Iran has developed its homegrown ballistic missile program as a UN arms embargo prevents it from buying high-tech weapons systems.

The underground tunnels help protect those weapons, including liquid-fueled missiles that can only be fueled for short periods of time.

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