Tuesday, June 06, 2023

06/06 Links Pt1: Amb. Baker: The UN hypocritically misrepresents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Team Biden Mainstreams Terror Financing in Lebanon

From Ian:

Alan Baker: The UN hypocritically misrepresents the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The UN forgets, or ignores, that Palestinians fire rockets from Gaza into Israel
Wennesland seems to have either forgotten, or has deliberately chosen to ignore the fact that on May 2, just days prior to Israel’s launching its Shield and Arrow operation, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization fired 104 projectiles from the Gaza Strip into Israeli population centers within a span of 24 hours.

Similarly, he failed to mention or condemn the willful and indiscriminate firing of 70 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel between January and April.

While nobody really expects anything positive, let alone balanced or neutral to emanate from any part of the UN, one might nevertheless expect that the one senior official whose function purports to include coordination of the Middle East peace process, would at least make some attempt to address the realities within which he is functioning in an honest and straightforward manner.

ONE MIGHT expect that such a senior UN official demonstrate some iota of reality and pragmatism in regard to what is happening in the area, and conduct himself with the impartiality and neutrality as is required by the UN Charter and associated rules regarding the comportment of senior staff members.

It is surely inconceivable that such a senior official could routinely and glibly condemn Israel for conducting military and police action in response to blatant terror attacks and violence, while demonstrably minimizing the immense level of hostile incitement to hatred and violence against Israel and against the Jews among all senior levels of the Palestinian leadership, as well as within Palestinian civil society.

It is no less inconceivable that Wennesland ignores or minimalizes the ongoing Palestinian preoccupation with planning, organizing, financing and indiscriminately executing rocket and missile attacks against Israel’s civil population centers, as well as their penchant for encouraging and executing individual acts of terror, whenever they feel aroused by the whim or the need to shake up the area.
Israel may cut off ties with OCHA if blacklisted by UN, Erdan warns
Israel could cut off ties with the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) if it is blacklisted for its treatment of Palestinian children, Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan told The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference on Monday.

“There are agencies that are active in our region like OCHA that is in charge of supplying humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians,” Erdan said.

“Whenever they need to report and supply data, they distort the reality. Whatever the Palestinian Health Ministry reports, they take it for granted. Every terror attack we report, even rock throwing and Molotov cocktail throwing, they ignore it,” he said.

OCHA, Erdan charged, has not established a verification mechanism for the information supplied by Israel.

“We cannot continue collaborating with them while they supply member states at the UNSC such a distorted [reality]. They portray a different reality than the one that exists on the ground.

Erdan says government should stop giving visas to UN workers
“My recommendation to our government is to even stop issuing visas to new UN workers that come to Israel,” Erdan stated.

He spoke during an interview conducted by Senior Contributing Editor and Diplomatic Correspondent Lahav Harkov about his role in defending his country against anti-Israel bias at the United Nations in New York, specifically, his efforts to prevent Israel’s inclusion in the blacklist attached to the organization’s annual report on Children in Armed Conflict that is authored by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s office.
Team Biden Mainstreams Terror Financing in Lebanon
So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hezbollah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF). This time around, the White House won’t be delivering the cash on pallets, as Obama did when he bribed Iran. Rather, it will disburse the crisp dollar bills through the U.N. Development Program. The result is the same: The U.S. government’s giant cash pump is working overtime to benefit a terror group that has purposefully maimed and killed hundreds of Americans.

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hezbollah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hezbollah-land. But a small thing like the U.S. becoming massively complicit in financing terrorism hardly causes Team Obama-Biden to bat an eyelid. As the administration’s nominee for the next ambassador to Lebanon, Lisa Johnson, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month, if confirmed she would “continue to advocate for very strong, robust security assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces.” And that’s because “they’re doing a great job of bolstering stability and security in this part of the world.”

No doubt. And as a testament to the exceptional job the LAF is doing, Johnson’s comments came a couple of weeks after Hezbollah fired or allowed the firing of 34 rockets across the border and dispatched a bomber from Lebanon deep into Israel, and a few days before the group put on a large military exercise to which it invited local and international media.

Saudi deal would mean 'end of Arab-Israeli conflict' says Fleur Hassan Nahoum
A historic peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel would mean the 'end of the Arab-Israeli conflict' according to the firebrand deputy mayor of Jerusalem.

Speaking at a special JC event held at the Israeli embassy to discuss Israel’s relationship with Britain over the next 75 years, Nahoum said that she believed work was being done behind the scenes to move towards Saudi-Israeli normalisation.

At the panel event, hosted by JC editor Jake Wallis Simons, the Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely said she was prepared to work with whichever party wins the next election, adding that she enjoyed strong relationships with many of the Labour shadow cabinet.

Hotovely also added that it was time to end the PA’s “horrible pay-for-slay” policy, through which the families of jailed or slain terrorists receive financial rewards, and for UK supporters of the Palestinians to stop demanding Israel’s eradication by chanting the Hamas slogan, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”.

She noted that Neil Wigan, the outgoing British ambassador to Israel, had told her that while his predecessors had spent 80 per cent of their time on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, he had spent the same proportion on other “regional and global” matters - as was only appropriate for two countries that had such a strong alliance and many common interests.

Hotovely also spoke about a dinner with Tony Blair in which the former PM revealed his biggest political regret is “failing to see how corrupt the Palestinian leadership is."
Iran to Reopen Embassy in Saudi Arabia as Blinken Visits
Expert Analysis
“The clash between Vision 2030, the transformation of Saudi Arabia into a more peaceful and prosperous Sunni country, and Vision Khamenei, the supreme leader’s theology of violent Shiite supremacy, will guarantee that this temporary diplomatic reconciliation between Riyadh and Tehran will end in tears for the Saudis. Khamenei’s embassy in Riyadh will be a den of spies and instigators focused on undermining the security and peacefulness of the kingdom.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The Saudi-Iran story is actually a Saudi-China story, with the kingdom viewing the U.S. as an unreliable partner and Riyadh now testing out Beijing as an alternative security broker in the Middle East. As Secretary Blinken lays out a roadmap to dramatically upgrade the U.S.-Saudi partnership, he needs to articulate why betting on China is a losing hand for Saudi Arabia.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“With an Iranian embassy set to open in Riyadh, Washington should treat Iran’s diplomatic offensive as an opportunity to repair relations with traditional partners in the Middle East. Further strain with the pro-American Arab order will only lead to more hedging toward Iran and potentially even China and Russia.” — Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

Power Vacuum Left by U.S.
Ties between Iran and Gulf Arab states have long been strained. This relationship had further deteriorated in recent years as Gulf states saw America slowly withdrawing from the region and pursuing a new nuclear agreement with Iran. As a result, Riyadh sought a rapprochement with Tehran to fill the region’s power vacuum.

The Biden administration has not opposed the improved relationship between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Asked about the issue on June 2, Daniel Benaim, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for Arabian Peninsula Affairs, said, “any efforts that help to end the war in Yemen and to de-escalate tensions in the region are welcome, and this has been a topic of ongoing effort across the region.”

Emily Schrader: German FDP party leader: 'Israel is the most important partner for us'
While the United States and Europe are exploring the potential of returning to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Germany continues to play a key role in the future of Iranian relations with the entire Western world.

With the Islamic Republic reaching record-breaking numbers of executions with 142 in May alone, there is increasing pressure to label the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization in Europe.

General Secretary of the German Free Democratic Party (FDP), which sits in the government coalition, Bijan Djir-Sarai, has consistently called for a new German policy on Iran over the past few years. He was also a key voice in designating Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in Germany, and has strongly opposed the anti-Israel BDS movement in Germany.

Today, Djir-Sarai, who was born in Tehran himself before moving to Germany as a child, says it’s necessary for not just Germany, but the whole European Union to develop a new Iran strategy – and that furthermore, Israel is a key partner in the fight against the Islamic Republic.

“Two things are very clear. Israel, the only democracy in the region, is the most important partner for us… and Iran, the Islamic Republic, is the mother of most of the problems in this region,” says Djir-Sarai.

“I think many times European countries are naive when they talk about Iran, to try to have diplomatic relations with Iran, with this regime, the Islamic Republic, in my point of view, it doesn't work. Today, we have many people in our parliament, who say our policy, our way of thinking about Russia, was naive. I'm sure that one day they will say the same thing about Iran,” he adds.
German schools 'must teach that Jews belong in our country', says antisemitism commissioner
Germany's government commissioner for the fight against antisemitism is demanding compulsory reporting of anti-Jewish incidents in schools.

Commissioner Felix Klein said cases of Jew hate were on the rise across the country, even among teachers.

“It does not only come from the students, but also from the teachers,” he said. “There are sometimes terrible comments, everywhere in the classroom.”

He added it was crucial to have this form of reporting mechanism, so that “no one is then tempted to sweep anything under the carpet”.

Klein also criticised some school textbooks, saying they portray Jewish life “as it was 2,000 years ago: boys read the Torah and girls grind grain.

“There are also devastating images in religious books. Textbooks must make it clear that Jews belong to Germany.”

The Federal Minister of Education and Research, Bettina Stark-Watzinger, said she shared the concerns raised by Klein.

Dr Clemens Escher, her spokesperson, told the JC: “The minister takes the increasing antisemitism in Germany very seriously. Of particular concern is that antisemitism is not a problem of the extreme fringes. We cannot accept that.”

Terrorism Is Spreading throughout Judea and Samaria
With 20 armed terrorist groups operating in Judea and Samaria, Palestinian terrorism is growing daily. The Israel Security Agency assesses that the situation calls for a major military operation against the terrorist infrastructure.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected an American security plan to fight terrorism, and the PA estimates that the escalation will continue.

The Israeli security establishment has begun intensive discussions on the possibility of conducting a widespread military operation in Judea and Samaria against Palestinian terror groups following the shooting attack on May 30, 2023, in which a 32-year-old civilian, Meir Tamari, was murdered near the community of Hermesh.

The attack was carried out by the “Rapid Reaction” unit of the “Tulkarm Battalion,” a joint terrorist body of the Islamic Jihad and Abbas’ Fatah movement. The group was founded by Seif Abu Libda from the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarm, who was killed in a shootout with the IDF in 2022. Amir Abu Khadija, an officer in the presidential guard of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, joined the group’s leaders. The IDF killed Khadija in March 2023.

Islamic Jihad sources say that the murder of Israeli citizen Meir Tamari is part of the organization’s revenge response to IDF activity in Nur Shams and to the targeted killing of PIJ’s military elite in Gaza in May.

The Israeli security establishment is concerned about the spread of armed terrorist groups throughout Judea and Samaria equipped with large stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. There are about 20 armed terrorist groups carrying out attacks. The weapons flow through the border with Jordan, with the purchases financed by Iran. (See “Arms Smuggling from Jordan: Lessons Learned,” Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, May 31, 2023.)

The strategy of the armed terrorist groups is to conduct a war of attrition against the IDF in all of Judea and Samaria and to draw in as many soldiers as possible. Iran sees Judea and Samaria as another front against Israel as part of its strategy of “uniting the fronts.”
Israeli soldier hurt in suspected car ramming attack in Huwara
Is the incident that has injured an Israeli soldier in Huwara an accident or a terror attack?

i24NEWS Middle East Correspondent Ariel Oseran breaks down the latest information from the West Bank

AP & BBC Mislead With Coverage of Tragic Toddler Shooting
Last week, Israeli forces serving near the West Bank Jewish community of Halamish (Neveh Tzuf) were fired upon by Palestinian gunmen.

In returning fire, Israeli soldiers mistakenly fired at a passing car, wounding Haitham Tamimi and his two-and-a-half-year-old son, Mohammed. Both father and son were evacuated to nearby hospitals for treatment, with Mohammed airlifted by an Israeli military helicopter to Sheba Hospital in Ramat Gan where doctors fought to save his life.

Tragically, Mohammed Tamimi passed away from his wounds several days later.

In reporting on this incident, both the Associated Press (AP) and the BBC misled their readers regarding the nature of this incident while also providing a skewed context for the rise in violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

AP & BBC: Did Israel Deliberately Target Palestinian Toddler?

The AP’s headline and opening paragraphs seem to imply that Israeli soldiers intentionally shot Palestinian toddler Mohammed Tamimi.

The wire service repeatedly mentions that Tamimi was “shot by Israeli troops” while never once mentioning the IDF’s assertion that the car he was in was mistakenly shot at.

The closest the AP comes to providing its readers with the IDF’s account of this incident is in the third paragraph when it writes that “The Israeli military has said soldiers opened fire after gunmen in the area shot at a nearby Jewish settlement.”

However, this one sentence completely fails to convey to its readers the essence of the IDF’s statement, which is that the car was mistakenly shot at while soldiers were pursuing the Palestinian gunmen and that the Israeli Army “regrets harm to [non-combatants] and works to prevent such incidents.”
The lessons of the deadly Egyptian cross-border attack
Days after the three Israeli soldiers were killed by a rogue Egyptian police officer in a cross-border terror attack, the Israel Defense Forces is reexamining all aspects of its security and operation protocols along the 128 mile border.

The review encompasses all IDF activities along the border, starting at the micro-tactical level—including the 12-hour guard shifts that members of the Caracal (Wildcat) and Bardelas (Cheetah) co-ed territorial battalion members reportedly had to endure.

Disturbingly, former soldiers have gone on record on social media as stating that some shifts lasted even longer, even up to 17 hours.

The lack of adequate change-overs of personnel stationed at the border posts is a closely related tactical problem, as is the number of soldiers stationed at each post. The practice of stationing only two soldiers per position looks likely to be phased out.

The lack of set radio contact and communications checks now appears to have been a localized issue and not one that affected the entire brigade.

A central focus of the review is likely to be what commanders feel is a dangerous sense of complacency that set in within the 80th (Edom) Division and the Paran Brigade that are responsible for securing the Egyptian border.

That complacency, it appears, stemmed from the frequent successes that IDF units in the area had, with police cooperation, in combating cross-border narcotics trafficking from the Sinai Peninsula.

With drug smugglers seeing their chances of successful runs drop from 50% to 20% in 2021, and with over 500 smuggling attempts successfully thwarted or disrupted last year, it seems that laxity set in.
Netanyahu and El-Sisi argee joint investigation after Egypt attack killed three IDF soldiers
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi have committed to undertaking a joint investigation following a horrific terrorist attack on the Israel-Egypt border which killed three IDF soldiers.

In a call on Tuesday, June 6, El-Sisi extended his “deepest condolences” over the incident and Netanyahu thanked the Egyptian leader for agreeing to a “thorough and joint investigation."

An Israeli readout of the call added: "The two leaders expressed their commitment to continue strengthening the peace and security cooperation that is vital to both countries."

Meanwhile, the terrorist who killed three Israeli soldiers over the weekend was identified on Monday, June 5 as Mohamed Salah Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, 22, was drafted into the Egyptian military last June and stationed along the Israeli border as a police officer.

He had complained repeatedly about his military service and recently went absent without leave for 18 days.

The Israel Guys: BREAKING: 3 IDF Soldiers Killed On Egyptian Border | Is This TERROR or WAR?
Three IDF soldiers were killed on the Egyptian border on Saturday in what seems to have been a terror attack. Officials in Cairo claim that this was not terror but merely an accident. Josiah breaks it all down on the show today.

Also, in New York, 40,000 people gather for the annual Celebrate Israel Parade.

Court clears man of raping Holocaust survivor, 82; says it’s not certain she objected
The Nazareth District Court on Monday acquitted a man of raping an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor after judges said prosecutors did not convincingly show that the alleged act was not consensual.

Women’s rights activists panned the decision and urged prosecutors to appeal it at the Supreme Court, while attorneys for the woman said they did not know how to break the news to her.

According to prosecutors, Adel Hayeb, 43, raped the woman and caused her injuries that required emergency surgery. At the time of the incident, Hayeb was under supervision by authorities following his release after 14 years in prison for raping a 70-year-old woman.

Justices Asher Kula, Danny Sarfati, and Renana Galpas-Mokady found that “it was not proven that the accused raped the complainant without her consent” or that she had said “‘no’ time and time again.”

They said that it was also not shown that the woman “showed passive resistance in one way or another — from which the accused could learn that the complainant refused to have a relationship that was compatible between them.”

Presiding Judge Kula noted that the woman “did not testify in a coherent and consistent manner, and avoided giving answers to some of the questions, both in the hearing before us and in the police investigations as well.”

He emphasized that Hayeb is not without fault and had “certainly” violated the provisions of the supervision order imposed on him.

“He is the one who made blatant sexual suggestions to the complainant,” Kula said. “However, from there to being accused of brutal rape, the distance is long, even very long.”
Saudi Media: Israel struck secret Iranian unit in Syria
Was the Israeli airstrike on Aleppo last month aimed at a secret Iranian unit operating in Syria?

The Saudi Al-Arabiya News claims that the airstrike, which was attributed to Israel in the Syrian city of Aleppo at the beginning of May, disabled the city's international airport and killed a Syrian soldier, was meant to strike an operation of the Iran Unit 18340.

According to the report, the Iranian unit operates in Syria to manufacture missiles and precision weapons for the Iranian Quds Force.

The secretive unit is a joint Iranian-Syrian venture and includes engineers and commanders from both the Iranian and Syrian militaries who work to create and improve the Syrian military and the Quds Force's precision missile project.

"Israel struck weapons manufacturing sites in Aleppo belonging to Unit 18340. The unit is commanded by Joad Sulimani and aids the Quds Force in manufacturing and supplying weapons," the report stated.

Leading Palestinian anti-corruption activists questioned for ‘slander’
Palestinian Authority security forces on Tuesday summoned two prominent anti-corruption activists for interrogation, sparking condemnations from several Palestinian civil societies (NGOs) and human rights activists.

The two, Azmi Shuaibi and Isam Haj-Hussein, are the heads of The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity (AMAN), a Palestinian NGO that seeks to combat corruption and promote integrity, transparency and accountability in Palestinian society.

In Ramallah, several Palestinians protested the summoning of the two activists and called for prosecuting Palestinian officials suspected of involvement in financial corruption.

The protesters said the activists were summoned for interrogation because they had exposed the involvement of the office of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a corruption case concerning dates produced in the settlements in the West Bank.

According to AMAN, Shuaibi and Haj-Hussein were summoned for interrogation about a report the group released on May 17 titled “Reality of Integrity and Anti-Corruption in Palestine 2022.”

The group said Shuabi, who serves as Advisor of AMAN’s Board of Directors for Anti-Corruption Affairs, and Haj-Hussein, AMAN’s Executive Director, were summoned for interrogation on after the Abbas’s office filed a complaint against them for “defamation.”

Exclusive: The Significance of Reza Pahlavi’s Visit to Israel
And with few allies around him in the Middle East, Pahlavi’s visit to Israel reflected support from one of the region’s and the world’s powers.

While some delegitimized his visit as insignificant, many viewed it as a bold move and a strong message to the ayatollahs.

Pahlavi spoke about a democratic secular Iran and emphasized a Middle East that must defang an extremist regime whose people have suffered from hunger while funding the radical Hizbullah, Houthis, and Hamas with billions of dollars for more than four decades.

In the eyes of many in this part of the world, who have lived and seen what the Iranian regime has done to its neighbors for four decades through its terror proxies in the region, Pahlavi’s visit sent a loud and clear message. The intention of returning to Iran is solid, and Israel’s support is solid, too. His visit also occurred when Iranians stopped burning Israeli and U.S. flags and realized their only enemy is the turbaned, powerful ayatollahs.

Today, the Iranians generally refuse to chant “death to Israel and America” or step on those countries’ flags painted on the ground. However, they do recognize their need for assistance. They are mindful that their country should not be torn apart. They also know that supporting Crown Prince Pahlavi may be the only lifeline to grab onto to stay afloat.

The historical record provides lessons. The Iranians have been neglected for decades, and the ayatollahs have become more assertive. But throughout history, we have seen the downfall of dictators. Sadly, the current regime will continue without strong support for a viable, prospective solid leader. Pahlavi’s visit reminded them of the glory and the allies they once had. It also reminded them that Israel was never an enemy. Finally, Israel sent them a message. “They are not alone.”

Pahlavi needs support, and the people of Iran must be given the right to choose what is best for them. The visit to Israel was a bold move by Prince Reza, and the Iranians need to unite behind a leader who is accepted in the region. This visit, I believe, sent a strong message to the ayatollahs, a message I hope will be followed by decisive actions.

Pahlavi’s visit to Israel conveyed an important message about his need for political and media support. However, beyond the ceremonies and the social network campaigns, Pahlavi is the only realistic hope to forge a united front to unseat the ayatollahs.
Iran again slams Azerbaijan for ties with 'Zionist regime'
Iranian pro-regime Fars News said that Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had responded to Azerbaijan after reports emerged on Saturday that Azerbaijan had advised citizens against traveling to Iran. Nasser Kanani, of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, was quoted as slamming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan for the decision, claiming that the policy was linked to the visit of Israel’s President to Baku recently. He called Israel’s president, the head of “the fake, child-killing and occupying Zionist regime.” Tehran appears to be increasing its rhetoric against Baku in recent months.

According to Turkey’s Anadolu media, “Azerbaijan on Saturday advised its citizens against traveling to Iran after it sent a note of protest to Tehran over a missing Azerbaijani student.”

That report noted that “citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan are strongly recommended not to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran without necessity, and those entering this country should remain as vigilant as possible," the [Azerbaijan] Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

Furthermore, the Turkish report said that on Friday, “Azerbaijan sent a note of protest to the Iranian side in connection with the arrest of Azerbaijani citizen Farid Safarli, whom the Iranian authorities accuse of espionage.”

Iran claims to welcome Azerbaijan citizens with open arms
Iran is apparently outraged. The Iranian Foreign Ministry said that “the one who should scare the people of Azerbaijan is the Zionist regime, not a civilized and Islamic Iran.” Iran claims it still greets Azerbaijan citizens with open arms as “brothers and sisters.” Iran says it wants to continue to engage with Baku.

Israel President Isaac Herzog and the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held discussions of the Iranian threat in Baku in late May, we reported. At the time we noted that security was increased for that visit. Israel’s Foreign Minister also visited Baku in April. There have been two rounds of arrests for those linked to Iran’s activities in the last six months in Azerbaijan.
Bipartisan group of lawmakers urges Biden to step up Iran deterrence, push for U.N. sanctions snapback
Senate and House lawmakers from both parties are set to urge President Joe Biden to step up efforts to deter Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapon, including working with European allies to prepare to initiate the snapback of United Nations sanctions on Iran.

Two as-yet-unreleased congressional letters, led by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and James Lankford (R-OK) and Reps. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), are a lobbying priority for AIPAC’s Policy Summit in Washington. The letters, which vary somewhat in their precise content but carry a consistent message, were obtained by Jewish Insider.

“It is imperative today that we strengthen our efforts to deter Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. We must make Iran understand, in no uncertain terms, that further advances in its nuclear program will be met with unified international action,” the Senate letter reads. “We urge you to restore this posture of deterrence and provide leadership to strengthen the resolve of the international community.”

Both letters argue that the administration should work with allies to implement the snapback of U.N. sanctions if Iran crosses the 90% purity threshold needed for weapons-grade enrichment. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. attempted to initiate the snapback device in the 2015 nuclear deal allowing any participant to unilaterally reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran, but the effort was rejected by other signatories following the U.S. withdrawal from the deal. Action by the European signatories to the deal — the United Kingdom, Germany and France — would be necessary to implement snapback sanctions, but they have been reluctant to do so.

Biden administration officials have said that diplomacy remains their preferred path to putting Iran’s nuclear program in check, although negotiations have been publicly stalled for months. The Senate letter casts a skeptical tone on such efforts.

“Congress stands united behind the long held bipartisan position that Iran must never be allowed to obtain a nuclear weapon,” the Senate letter reads. “It is crucial for your administration to remain aligned with Congressional efforts related to Iran’s nuclear program and not agree to a pact that fails to achieve our nation’s critical interests. We urge you to take meaningful steps to curb Iran’s destabilizing activities and deter the regime from pursuing this nefarious ambition any further.”

The House letter sends a similar message, calling for a stronger deterrent message.

“The United States must increase its efforts to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability and to communicate to Iran, without any ambiguity, that any further progress in its nuclear program will result in severe consequences,” it reads. “Iran cannot be allowed to advance its nuclear program with impunity.”

Iran unveils its first hypersonic missile
Iran on Tuesday revealed what it claimed was the regime’s first hypersonic missile, according to official Iranian media.

The “Fattah” missile was presented at a morning ceremony attended by Iranian President Ebrahim Rahisi, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander-in-Chief Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami and other top officials, IRNA reported.

The missile has a range of 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) and a maximum speed of Mach 13-15, according to the report.

“This missile targets the enemy’s anti-missile systems and is a big generational leap in the missile field,” said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force.

In November, Hajizadeh claimed that Tehran had developed a hypersonic missile that could reach Israel in 400 seconds (just under 7 minutes). Iran’s Sobh-e-Sadegh newspaper published the threat in Hebrew on its front page.

Last month, Iran presented to the world a new ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (around 1,240 miles) and capable of carrying a 1,500 kilogram (approximately 3,300 pound) warhead.

The fourth-generation Khorramshahr-class missile is Iran’s longest-range projectile to date and is capable of reaching Israel.
Has Iran developed its own hypersonic missile?
Iran unveiled a new advanced hypersonic missile dubbed "Fattah" Tuesday morning, at an event attended by President Ebrahim Raisi, head of the Revolutionary Guards Corps Hossein Salami, and other senior Iranian officials. According to Tehran, it reaches a range of up to 870 miles (1,400 km) and is able to evade "all enemy air defense systems."

Iranian IRGC-linked account says it will kill Israeli LGBTQ+ community members
The Telegram channel for “Islam World Resistance”—a group affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—announced on Saturday that it seeks to murder Israeli LGBTQ community members in response to the annual LGBTQ parade in Jerusalem.

The IRGC-linked group wrote on Telegram: "March of homosexuals in the occupied holy Al Quds city. After killing these impure [homosexuals], where should we bury them on the earth to not make the earth dirty?”

Al Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem and is by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Jerusalem gay pride parade attracted 30,000 people on Thursday.

The account of “Islam World Resistance” has 15,735 subscribers and it reports on the IRGC-controlled militia Basij. The United States government sanctioned the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

Iran’s regime has executed between 4,000 and 6,000 members of the gay community since the 1979 Islamic revolution, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable.

The Iranian-born Israeli Beni Sabti, an expert on Iran from the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security, told the Jerusalem Post that the Iranian regime's lethal homophobia “is a common thing. Of course, they hate homosexuals like they hate Jews or other minorities. It is kind of part of their policy. They don’t even hide it. They really talk about the destruction and extermination of homosexuals.“

He added that the regime does tolerate thinking of minorities. “It is such a Nazi thing. The regime makes a lot of propaganda about these things. There are so many channels by the IRGC or other conservative establishment and if you don't know the Iranian regime well, you cannot know it comes from the regime itself. It is all like a concert by the regime.

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