• 2018-12-01

    Upon securing most of its war goals in Syria, Iran appeared to shift its objectives toward establishing a military presence in that country while upgrading Hezbollah's fire precision and effectiveness in Lebanon. But once its Syrian facilities came under increased Israeli fire, Tehran began moving some of these activities into Lebanon, knowing that Israeli strikes would be more complicated there due to the escalation potential. Yet the prospect of Hezbollah acquiring or producing advanced "precision" weapons is Israel's main redline, and could put the parties on a collision course that leads to conflict in Lebanon. This new Policy Note by TWI experts Katherine Bauer, Hanin Ghaddar, and Assaf Orion examines Tehran's objectives, Russia's regional goals, and the way these translate to long-term threats and short-term risks for Israel. If Hezbollah continues working on precision missiles inside Lebanon, Israel may feel compelled to respond one way or another. To avoid a disastrous escalation, the international community will need to plan ahead and take concerted action on several fronts: UNIFIL's shortcomings, increased sanctions on Iran's commercial airlines, U.S. aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces, ministries headed by Hezbollah officials, and State Department transparency regarding its intelligence on Iran's activities in Lebanon.

  • 2018-09-24

    Less than a month after Iran’s consulate in Basra was attacked, a group of terrorists claiming to be members of the Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz attacked a military parade in the capital of Iran’s Khuzestan province, killing 25 people and wounding many more. When the Basra consulate incident took place , some commentators in Iran speculated that the attackers also wanted to target Khorramshahr and Abadan. Now it seems that they were not too wrong.

  • 2018-09-21

    During his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, President George W. Bush named Iran as one of three countries forming an “axis of evil.” The other two were North Korea and Iraq. According to Bush and his neocon backers, these three nations posed a threat to our security and the security of our allies. They “sponsor terror” and are actively seeking or already in possession of weapons of mass destruction with which to “threaten world peace.” ...

  • 2018-08-17

    The State Department’s Iran Action Group will mostly focus on “nukes, terrorism, and the detention of American citizens.” […] Hook said the group’s work will center on the 12 demands made of Iran by Pompeo in a speech in May, adding that the focus will mostly be “around nukes, terrorism, and the detention of American citizens arbitrarily detained.” In that speech, Pompeo warned “of unprecedented financial pressure in the form of the strongest sanctions in history” if Tehran did not comply with the U.S. demands.

  • 2018-08-03

    In the past few days, the Internet has been flooded with a frankly silly rumor about the US soliciting Australia’s assistance in preparing an attack on Iran. Needless to say, that report does not explain what capabilities Australia would possess which the US would lack, but never-mind that. […] In one of these reports, Eric Margolis has described what such a US attack could look like. It is worth quoting him in full: …

  • 2018-07-30

    Oded Yinon, whose 1982 paper for Kivunim (Directions) entitled “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s”, is often used as a reference point for evidence of an Israeli aim to balkanise the surrounding Arab and Muslim world into ethnic and sectarian mini-states, was recently interviewed. He discussed the notoriety of the document which came to a wider audience a few years later after it was translated into English by Israel Shahak. ...

  • 2018-06-01

    This fact sheet provides a rough overview of U.S. military bases and facilities in the Middle East. Compiled from publicly available information, this listing presents a picture of a variety of facilities the U.S. either maintains or retains access to throughout the region. Due to the fluctuating nature of U.S. military operations in the region, it is not possible to put together a complete picture of the entirety of U.S. forces’ deployment. As the wars in Iraq and against ISIS have ebbed and flowed, so has the U.S. presence in the region.

  • 2018-05-25

    The question is: has the Trump administration already made a decision to go to war with Iran, similar to the determination of the Bush administration to invade Iraq in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington? ...

  • 2018-05-21

    The US secretary of state has set out 12 tough demands for inclusion in a new nuclear treaty with Iran. The conditions, listed by Mike Pomepo during a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, on Monday, will require Iran, in his words, to: ...

  • 2018-05-21

    So what should it be? We must begin to define what it is that we demand from Iran. First, Iran must declare to the IAEA a full account of the prior military dimensions of its nuclear program, and permanently and verifiably abandon such work in perpetuity. Second, Iran must stop enrichment and never pursue plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing its heavy water reactor. Third, Iran must also provide the IAEA with unqualified access to all sites throughout the entire country. Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of nuclear-capable missile systems. Iran must release all U.S. citizens, as well as citizens of our partners and allies, each of them detained on spurious charges. Iran must end support to Middle East terrorist groups, including Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Iran must respect the sovereignty of the Iraqi Government and permit the disarming, demobilization, and reintegration of Shia militias. Iran must also end its military support for the Houthi militia and work towards a peaceful political settlement in Yemen. Iran must withdraw all forces under Iranian command throughout the entirety of Syria. Iran, too, must end support for the Taliban and other terrorists in Afghanistan and the region, and cease harboring senior al-Qaida leaders. Iran, too, must end the IRG Qods Force’s support for terrorists and militant partners around the world. And too, Iran must end its threatening behavior against its neighbors – many of whom are U.S. allies. This certainly includes its threats to destroy Israel, and its firing of missiles into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It also includes threats to international shipping and destructive – and destructive cyberattacks.