• 2020-01-28

    Hezbollah and Iran have “put down roots” in South America in America’s backyard, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week in an interview with a Bloomberg reporter. Unlike the interview Pompeo gave Friday with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, where he cursed at her and accused her of lying, Pompeo’s statements hyping Iran’s national security threat south of the border received almost no notice from a press glued to impeachment proceedings. Why is Pompeo suddenly directing increasingly heated rhetoric towards Iran and its proxies in South America

  • 2020-01-28

    Several sources in the past several days have analyzed the Iranian missile strikes on US forces at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase which took place more than two weeks ago on the 8th of January 2020 as a retaliation for the US assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani. The reports have focused on several topics and methods ranging from satellite image interpretation, videos of missile launches and incoming missile strikes to analysis of on-site photos of (unexploded) Iranian missiles in and around the targeted airbases in Iraq. In this analysis we will look closer at the satellite imagery to give us more insight on what happened at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase and to help us answer some questions like what kind of missiles did the Iranians use, what kind of targets did the Iranians aim for (or destroy) and what kind of information can we derive in terms of accuracy of the Iranian missiles.

  • 2020-01-28

    President Donald J. Trump’s Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People: Peace to Prosperity. A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People

  • 2020-01-25

    Millions of Iraqi citizens recently gathered together to participate in a "million-strong” march, the biggest demonstration during the history of Iraq in the capital Baghdad to demand the withdrawal of all U.S. forces. Al-Sadr, whose party holds the most number of seats in Parliament, seized on the public anger over the drone strike that killed Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleiman to call “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations.” [...] I have no doubt in my mind that his assassination will have an impact, not only on the future of U.S.-Iran relations but in the region and beyond. Here are twelve consequences I can point to in the aftermath: ...

  • 2020-01-23

    Immediately after the US strike and the killing of Soleimani, the Gulf Arab states employed diplomacy and diplomatic language to try to defuse the crisis. Saudi Arabia dispatched Deputy Defense Minister (and former ambassador to the United States) Khaled bin Salman to Washington where he met with President Trump and other high-ranking officials. Bin Salman’s message was to urge the United States to exercise “restraint.” That seemed to have been the buzzword all around. Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani visited Iran and met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and urged Iran to do the same. His visit to Tehran was followed by that of the Qatari emir himself. Meanwhile, Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, made a public statement calling on all parties to put “wisdom, balance, and political solutions above confrontation and escalation.”

  • 2020-01-23

    The bottom line is that modern aerospace power provides America asymmetric options to succeed in meeting challenging security situations. When dangerous circumstances unfold—as most recently evidenced with Iran’s malign behavior—the courses of action available to leaders are governed by what is in their toolkit at the time. Ensuring we possess disproportionate advantage in our defense demands wise preparation. Solutions in the modern era are complex and take significant time to generate. Decisions made today to rapidly increase inventories of the F-35 and B-21 will shape advantageous security options for America well into the future.

  • 2020-01-21

    President Donald Trump and Iran’s leaders, notably the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have long been locked in confrontation. They feed on one another, for reasons both of foreign policy and domestic politics. For the most part, so far the confrontation has been “manageable.” That time is moving toward an end, with only a handful of options.

  • 2020-01-17

    The National Iranian American Council (NIAC), and its sister organization NIAC Action, are American civil-society organizations working on behalf of members of the Iranian-American community and the broader American public. At a time when our nation is bitterly divided, NIAC is an important voice in our public debate on issues of enormous consequence for all Americans — and particularly for Americans of Iranian heritage — including heightened tensions in the Middle East and the risk of war, policies like the Muslim travel ban and extreme vetting, the rise in domestic hate crimes, and the protection of civil liberties. We are deeply disturbed by the letter from Senators Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Mike Braun insinuating that this Iranian-American organization has dual loyalties, is somehow less American than other organizations in this space, and should be subject to a Justice Department investigation. While these Senators may have profound differences in opinion with NIAC, particularly on the question of escalation and potential war with Iran, the Justice Department is not the forum to resolve those debates. These tactics have no place in our political process or our national discourse, and risk turning our Justice Department into a political tool to intimidate and silence voices that disagree with whichever administration is in power. We are concerned that everyone involved in contentious policy debates, regardless of political persuasion, will be at risk.

  • 2020-01-15

    „And Israel, after initial self-congratulation (amongst the Netanyahuists) has understood that Iran has ‘stepped-up’, and not ‘stepped back’. Veteran Israeli security corresponded Ben Caspit writes: “The letter of Gen. William H. Sili, commander of US military operations in Iraq, was leaked and then rapidly disseminated among Israel’s most senior security figures on Jan 6 … The content of the letter — that the Americans were preparing to withdraw from Iraq immediately — turned on all the alarm systems throughout the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. More so, the publication was about to set in motion an Israeli “nightmare scenario” in which ahead of the upcoming US elections, President Donald Trump would rapidly evacuate all US forces from Iraq and Syria. “Simultaneously, Iran announced that it is immediately halting its various commitments regarding its nuclear agreement with the superpowers, returning to high-level uranium enrichment of unlimited amounts and renewing its accelerated push for achieving military nuclear abilities. “Under such circumstances,” a senior Israeli defense source told [Caspit], “We truly remain alone at this most critical period. There is no worse scenario than this, for Israel’s national security … It is not clear how this letter was written, it is not clear why it was leaked, it is not clear why it was ever written to begin with. In general, nothing is clear with regard to American conduct in the Middle East. We get up every morning to new uncertainty.”” 

  • 2020-01-15

    Both European and Gulf allies are distancing themselves from Washington as a result of escalating tensions with Iran. European leaders blame Trump for withdrawing from the nuclear deal without offering an alternative, and Gulf leaders do not want to serve as the battlefield of this US-Iranian confrontation nor to encounter additional Houthi attacks. While this European and Gulf neutrality restrains the American diplomatic effort, it also limits Tehran’s ability to retaliate in the Gulf. Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi told the Iraqi parliament on January 6 that upon arriving in Baghdad, Soleimani was carrying the Iranian response to the Saudi message of de-escalation. Iran might want to maintain this détente with Gulf leaders.

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