BERLIN – Along with the Iran nuclear agreement, the European Union has agreed to remove sanctions on Iranian entities and individuals deeply involved in terrorism.
Making matters significantly worse from the Israeli and European Jewish perspective is Europe’s decision to allow the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps as it usually called in the West, broad latitude to operate within the EU starting in 2023.
“The EU delisting of IRGC military organizations and personnel is tantamount to a green light for Iran-sponsored terrorism. Likewise, the EU delisting of IRGC financial, engineering, construction, energy and transport sector entities amounts to European approval of the IRGC’s dominance in Iran’s economy, which equates to the continued repression of the Iranian people by a regime that just cashed in on temporarily deferring aspects of its nuclear program,” Ali Alfoneh, an expert on the Revolutionary Guard, and a fellow a the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote.
Europe’s media are not paying attention to some of the fine print in the nuclear agreement that largely affects their citizen’s security as well as that of Israel institutions across the continent.
Alfoneh noted, “After the nuclear agreement signed last week, the United States will maintain most of its sanctions on individuals and entities connected to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the regime’s elite forces for external terrorism and domestic repression. The European Union, however, has chosen a different path: a mass delisting of the Guards on the date the deal calls ‘Transition Day.’” Europe’s “Transition Day” is to take place eight years after the agreement has been formally implemented.
Alfoneh wrote, “barring unforeseen circumstances [implementation] will occur at some point over the next three months. On that day, the EU will delist the IRGC, as well as its Air Force and Missile Command. Most unexpectedly, it will lift nuclear sanctions on the Quds Force, the IRGC’s external arm tasked with ‘exporting the revolution’ and extending support to terrorist proxies.”
The EU is slated to delist Iranian banks such as Ansar and Mehr , which are under sanctions because of their nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons delivery activities. The EU did not object to delisting the notorious Brig.-Gen. Mohammad Hejazi.
Hejazi is a former commander of the Basij militia, Alfoneh told The Jerusalem Post.
“In his 10-year tenure as Basij chief he managed to reorganize the Iran-Iraq War-era volunteer force into a countrywide security force suppressing dissidence down to the neighborhood level. At the time he left, the Basij was organizationally capable of performing its role in suppression of the 2009 uprisings” against the fraudulent presidential election, Alfoneh said.
The signing of the Iran agreement coincides with this month’s three-year commemoration of a joint Iran-Hezbollah terrorist attack in Bulgaria that resulted in the deaths of five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver.
US and Israeli intelligence officials said, shortly after a bomb blew up an Israel tour bus, that the operation was carried out by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its chief proxy, Hezbollah. A senior Israeli official explicitly attributed the bombing to the Iranian Quds Force.
Iranian terrorism has a long history on European soil. In 1989, Iranian agents executed Abdol-Rahman Ghassemlou, head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, in Vienna.
According to a Berlin court decision, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, another of the Islamic Republic’s so-called “pragmatic” presidents, directed Iranian agents to assassinate four Kurdish dissidents in a West Berlin Greek restaurant in 1993.
Now, Iran’s agents and military commanders will get a shot in the arm to carry out their activities in Europe.
While Israeli, Jewish and Iranian dissidents are front-and-center in the minds of Iranian terrorists, Tehran’s long reach will have bloody consequences across Europe.
In 2023, after scores of Iranian terrorists and their organizations are delisted from sanctions, Europe faces dangerous times.
The writer is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense for Democracies.
Less than a day after indicating in a Senate hearing that the Iran nuclear deal would have the US defend Iran from Israel, US Secretary of State John Kerry warned Israel on Friday that a unilateral strike on Iran’s covert nuclear program would be a “huge mistake.”
Appearing on the NBC “Today” TV show, Kerry was asked if the Iran nuclear deal sealed last Tuesday would make it more likely that Israel will either physically strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, or else launch a cyber attack against them.
“That’d be an enormous mistake, a huge mistake with grave consequences for Israel and for the region, and I don’t think it’s necessary,” Kerry answered in an ominous answer.
Just on Thursday he was asked in a Senate hearing about a clause in the deal requiring the West to train Iran to block sabotage attempts against its nuclear program.
Kerry refused to directly answer a question in the hearing as to whether the US would have to defend Iran from an Israeli cyber attack due to the deal, saying instead “I don’t see any way possible that we will be in conflict with Israel with respect to what we might want to do there, and I think we just have to wait until we get to that point.”
Israeli concerns about the deal have continued to grow, particularly after it was revealed in the hearing that in classified sections of the deal the US agreed to let Iran test its own covert nuclear facilities where nuclear detonation tests have occurred.
Senior Israeli diplomats responded to the revelation with fury, stating that the deal stipulations that Iran will not be subject to any real inspections.
Concerns over the deal were also raised amid the revelation Friday that in Syria, where the Iran-backed regime was allowed through similar self-disclosure to get rid of its chemical weapons arsenal, a large portion of the arsenal was hidden while deceiving the West.
Regarding an Israeli cyber attack on Iran, Israel is already believed to be behind several cyber strikes that successfully halted Iran’s march to the atomic bomb, most famously the 2010 Stuxnet virus. Ironically the attack was also attributed to US President Barack Obama.
Chances of an Israeli airstrike against Iran are reaching a key point, after a top Iranian general announced last week that Iran will unveil new missile defense systems in September including its own version of the Russian advanced S-300 system, which may be able to block a strike on the nuclear facilities.
Pompeo and Cotton met with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna on Friday. During this meeting, it was disclosed that two undisclosed side deals are part of the greater agreement between Iran and the IAEA.
The first regards inspections of Iran’s Parchin military complex. The second has to do with the military aspect of Iran’s nuclear program.
The main agreement is the equivalent of a large bureaucratic press release with many of its most important details shifted over to side agreements governing what the IAEA will actually do. And the most important of these is still secret.
Cotton said: “In failing to secure the disclosure of these secret side deals, the Obama administration is asking Congress and the American people to trust, but not verify. What we cannot do is trust the terror-sponsoring, anti-American, outlaw regime that governs Iran and that has been deceiving the world on its nuclear weapons work for years. Congress’s evaluation of this deal must be based on hard facts and full information. That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny.”
“Even under the woefully inadequate Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, the Obama administration is required to provide the U.S. Congress with all nuclear agreement documents, including all “annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.”
Two key documents are missing from the Iran nuclear deal submitted to Congress, and the two leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee want the Obama administration to hand them over, Chairman Bob Corker said Tuesday.
The Tennessee Republican said he and ranking Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland wrote to request the missing documents, which he said deal with an Iranian military facility at Parchin and a side agreement Iran reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
“We sent a letter today, both of us, asking the administration for the documents,” he said.
As Senator Cotton has said, “That we are only now discovering that parts of this dangerous agreement are being kept secret begs the question of what other elements may also be secret and entirely free from public scrutiny.”
Official White House Twitter account to lobby for the Iran deal (screen capture)
JTA — If you still have burning questions about the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, The White House is there for you — on Twitter.
The White House launched an official Twitter account dedicated to answering questions about the Iran deal on Tuesday morning. In a testament to the interest in the polarizing agreement, the account – aptly named @TheIranDeal – garnered nearly 6,000 followers in the first four hours.
“Tweet us your questions, and we’ll set the record straight,” the account’s description reads. The account was promoted by various members of the administration.
This is the first time the Obama administration has launched a Twitter account dedicated to a single issue.
Congress has about two months to review the deal, although President Obama has said that he will veto any proposed legislation that would foil it.
byJordan Schachtel// Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei went into a conspiracy-laden tirade on Saturday, blaming the “arrogant powers” for getting in the way of the Muslim world’s mission to unite and destroy Israel.
“If the Islamic Ummah were united and relied on their own commonalities, they would certainly be a unique power in the international political scene but big powers have imposed such divisions on the Islamic Ummah to pursue their own interests and safeguard the Zionist regime [of Israel],” Khamenei said in remarks to commemorate the end of Ramadan.
Khamenei also defended Iran’s support for its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, which is a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, and the Assad regime in Syria.
“The Americans dub the Lebanese resistance as terrorist and regard Iran as a supporter of terrorism because of its support for the Lebanese Hezbollah, while the Americans, themselves, are real terrorists,” Khamenei said. Hezbollah was originally created by Tehran’s first “Supreme Leader” with the mission to “turn Lebanon to a graveyard for Jews,” according to its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
The Iranian dictator claimed that al-Qaeda and the Islamic State terror group were created by the United States, according to Iran’s state-controlled media. The U.S. “have created al-Qaeda and Daesh [ISIL]” and “support the wicked Zionists [Israel],” he said.
The U.S. cannot criticize Iran’s support for Hezbollah’s “resistance” movement because the U.S. supports the “Zionist, terrorist and infanticidal” Israelis, added Iran’s ruler.
The “Supreme Leader” declared victory over the United States in Tehran’s recent nuclear agreement with world powers, saying, “This is the outcome of the Iranian nation’s resistance and bravery and the creativity of dear Iranian scientists.”
He predicted that in the case of war with the United States, The U.S. “will emerge loser,” PressTV reported.
Khamenei swore to never engage the Americans in dialogue over regional differences, asking, “Our policies and those of the US in the region are 180 degree different, so how could it be possible to enter dialogue and negotiations with them (Americans)?”
In declaring victory over the U.S. in nuclear negotiations, he added, “today, they [world powers] have been forced to accept and stand the spinning of thousands of centrifuges and continuation of research and development in Iran, and it has no meaning but the Iranian nation’s might.”
Noticeably, Khamenei’s more-controversial comments were left out of a CNN story on his remarks.
The following is the full text of the sermons delivered on July 18, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, at the Eid ul-Fitr prayers in Tehran.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. “All Praise is due to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and made the darkness and the light. Yet those who reject faith hold others as equal, with their Guardian-Lord” [The Holy Quran, 6: 1].
All praise is due to Allah Whom we praise, Whom we remember, to Whom we repent, and peace and greetings be upon His beloved and noble one, the best among His servants, our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, upon his immaculate, pure and chosen household, and upon those who guide the guided, especially the one remaining with Allah on earth.
I would like to congratulate all you dear brothers and sisters, the dear people of Iran and all Muslims throughout the world on this auspicious Eid. I advise you who say prayers and myself, to observe divine piety, piousness, safeguarding the inner self and avoidance of sins.
This year, the month of Ramadan was an auspicious month in the real sense of the word. In this month, divine blessings were showered on the people. The signs of these blessings were witnessed in the people’s fasting during the long and hot days of Ramadan, in large Quranic meetings all over the country, in great dua and supplication meetings – where thousands of youth, elderly people, men and women engaged in dua and supplication and where they spoke to their God in a pure and humble way – in donating charity, in the large iftar meals that have fortunately become common for several years now, in mosques, on the streets and finally in the magnificent Quds Day rallies. These are signs of divine mercy. The people participated in these great rallies in a hot summer day while they were fasting and while they had kept a vigil the night before – on the 23rd of the month of Ramadan – on the occasion of the Nights of Qadr.
This is the right way to know the people of Iran. These are the people of Iran. It is the people of Iran who paint such a picture of themselves on the scene of worshipping God during the month of Ramadan and on the scene of fighting against arrogance, each in different ways. Our people should not be known through the hostile words of others. Rather, they should be known through themselves, through their slogans, through their movements and through such magnificent reflections. These are the people of Iran. The picture that the enemy tries to portray about the people of Iran- unfortunately some obtuse individuals repeat this- by using propaganda, is deviant and wrong. The people of Iran are the same people who showed their different aspects and dimensions in this month of Ramadan.
By Allah’s favor, all of you will pass your test today. As well as passing this test, some of you will – by Allah’s favor – receive rewards, gain promotion and achieve spiritual transcendence today. The slogans of the people of Iran showed what our orientations are. On Quds Day, the slogan of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” shook the scene of the country. And these slogans were not particular to Tehran and large cities. The entire country stood under the umbrella of this movement.
Dear God, accept what the people of Iran have done with Your mercy and kindness. Dear God, shower Your grace, mercy and infinite blessings on our people. Dear God, bestow Your mercy and forgiveness on our dear martyrs, our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) and all those people who helped and supported the people on this path.
“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful,
I swear by the time,
Most surely man is in loss,
Except those who believe and do good, and enjoin on each other truth, and enjoin on each other patience” [The Holy Quran, 103].
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and peace and greetings be upon our Master and Prophet, Ab-al-Qassem al-Mustafa Muhammad, and upon his immaculate and infallible household. And greetings be upon the Imams of Muslims and supporters of the oppressed, especially upon the Commander of the Faithful, the Mistress of all women, Hassan and Hussein – the children of mercy and the Imams of the guided – Ali ibn al-Hussein Zayn al-Abidin, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ja’far ibn Muhammad, Musa ibn Ja’far, Ali ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn Ali, Ali ibn Muhammad, Hassan ibn Ali and Hujjat al-Qaem al-Mahdi, Your representative among Your servants and trustworthy ones in Your land.
The first thing that I would like to say in the second sermon is to greet and congratulate all the brothers and sisters who say prayers and to advise them to observe piety.
The events that occurred in our region during the month of Ramadan and before that, were and still are bitter events. Unfortunately, some vicious hands made the blessed month of Ramadan bitter for the regional peoples. Many Muslim peoples in Yemen, Palestine and Syria experienced difficult days and fasts because of the evil plots of the enemies. All these events are important to our people.
Another issue is a domestic one: the issue of the nuclear negotiations. I deem it necessary to raise a few points in this regard. The first point is a word of thanks to officials in charge of these long and arduous negotiations – the honorable President and particularly the negotiation team who really made great efforts and worked hard. They will certainly be divinely rewarded whether the document that has been prepared will- through its determined legal procedures- be ratified or not. We have said this to those brothers in person as well.
Of course in order to ratify this document, there is a clear legal procedure that, by Allah’s favor, has to be taken. We expect that these officials take the interests- interests of the country, interests of the people- into consideration by paying careful attention, so that when they deliver the matter to the people, they can do so with their heads held high in front of Allah the Exalted as well.
The next point is that by Allah’s favor and grace, no one will be allowed to take advantage of this document in any way and to undermine the fundamental principles of the Islamic Republic whether this document is ratified or not. The defense capabilities and the security area of the country will- by God’s grace- be protected although we know that the enemies have placed great emphasis on these areas. The Islamic Republic will never give in to the enemy’s greed in the area of protecting its defense capabilities and security- particularly in this environment filled with the enemies’ threats.
The next point is that whether this document is ratified or not, we will not abandon our regional friends: the oppressed people of Palestine, the oppressed people of Yemen, the people and government of Syria, the people and government of Iraq, the oppressed people of Bahrain and the sincere mujahids of the Resistance in Lebanon and Palestine. These people will always enjoy our support.
The next point is that our policy towards the arrogant government of America will not change in any way despite these negotiations and the document that has been prepared. As we have said many times, we have no negotiations with America on different global and regional issues. We have no bilateral negotiations with America. Sometimes, we have negotiated with them in exceptional cases such as the nuclear issue and we have done so because of our interests. The nuclear issue was not the only case. There were other cases as well which I have referred to in my previous public speeches. The American policies in the region are 180 degrees the opposite of the policies of the Islamic Republic. The Americans accuse Hezbollah and the Lebanese Resistance – who are the most self-sacrificing forces in their country in the area of national defense – of terrorism. There is no injustice worse than this. This is while they support the terrorist child-killing government of Zionism. How can one do business, negotiate and reach an agreement with such a policy? There are other cases as well and I will expand on them in other speeches.
Another point is about the Americans’ blustering in recent days. In the recent days that the negotiations have been concluded, the American excellencies – their male and female officials – are busy blustering. Each of them is blustering in a different way. Of course, this is alright with us. Their domestic problems force them into blustering. They claim that they have dragged Iran towards the negotiating table, that they have made Iran surrender, that they have obtained such and such concessions from our country and other such claims. However, the truth is something else. They say that they have prevented Iran from building nuclear weapons, but this has nothing to do with our negotiations with America and other countries. They themselves know this and sometimes they have spoken about the importance of the fatwa that bans nuclear weapons.
According to the commands of the Holy Quran and Islamic sharia, we consider building, keeping and using nuclear weapons as haraam and therefore, we will not do so. This has nothing to do with them and with these negotiations. They themselves know that this is the truth. They know that what prevents the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons is not their threats and intimidating behavior. There is a religious barrier behind this and they know the significance of this fatwa, but they still claim that it was they who prevented Iran. They are not honest with their own people and they do not tell them the truth. On various other matters, they say that they have adopted such and such a measure about Iran’s nuclear industry and that they have forced Iran to surrender, but they can only see Iran’s surrender in their dreams.
From the beginning of the Revolution until today, five other U.S. presidents died or were lost in history dreaming that they would force the Islamic Republic to surrender. You too will enjoy the same fate. You too will never achieve the dream of forcing the Islamic Republic to surrender.
There was one point in the statements that the American president made in recent days: he admitted to America’s past mistakes. Of course, he said a hodgepodge of things. He admitted that the Americans made a mistake in Iran on the 28th of Mordad. He admitted that the Americans made a mistake in helping Saddam Hussein. He admitted to two, three mistakes, but he did not mention tens of others. He did not speak about the 25-year oppressive and treacherous rule of the second Pahlavi monarch. He did not speak about the many instances of torture, looting, massacre, disaster and calamity that were caused by America. He did not speak about the destruction of the Iranian peoples’ dignity and America’s efforts to trample upon their domestic and foreign interests. He did not speak about the Zionists’ domination, the killing of Iranian passengers on a passenger plane and many other things. Nonetheless, he mentioned a number of mistakes.
I would like to offer a friendly word of advice to these excellencies: today – after the passage of many years from the 28th of Mordad, the eight-year war and the defense that the Islamic Republic put up there – you acknowledge that you have made certain mistakes. I would like to say to you that you are making a mistake in the present time as well. In the present time too, you are busy making mistakes in different places in the region and particularly towards the Islamic Republic and the people of Iran. In a few years, someone else will turn up and show you your mistakes, just as today you are admitting to the mistakes that your predecessors made. You are making mistakes as well. Therefore, you should awaken, correct your mistakes and understand the truth. You are making grave mistakes in the region.
What I want to say to the people of Iran is that by Allah’s favor and grace, the Islamic Republic has become powerful and strong. It has become stronger on a daily basis. It is 10, 12 years now that six great global powers – which are among powerful countries in the world in terms of economic wealth – have been sitting in front of Iran, trying to prevent it from pursuing its nuclear industry. They have said this openly. Their real goal is to open the nuts and bolts of the nuclear industry. They have said this to our officials many years ago. In the present time too, they pursue the same dream. The result of a 10, 12-year struggle with the Islamic Republic is that they have been forced to tolerate the operation of several thousand centrifuges in the country. They have been forced to tolerate the continuation of this industry in our country. They have been forced to tolerate the development of this industry and the continuation of research on it. Research and developing the nuclear industry will continue. The cycle of the nuclear industry will continue.
This is what they have been trying to prevent for many years, but today they have signed on paper that they have no problem with our nuclear industry. Apart from the power of the Iranian people, what other meaning does this have? This has been achieved because of the people’s resistance and steadfastness and our dear scientists’ courage and innovation. God’s mercy be upon the likes of Shahriari, Rezainejad, Ahmadi Roshan and Ali Muhammadi. God’s mercy be upon our nuclear martyrs. God’s mercy be upon their families. God’s mercy be upon a people who stand by their truthful claims and rights.
I would like to raise another point which is the last one. An individual has said that he can destroy Iran’s army. Our predecessors used to call such statements, “boasting among strangers” [audience laughs]. I do not want to say anything more in this regard. If those who will hear this statement want to know the truth and if they are willing to use their experiences correctly, they should know that should any war break out – of course we do not welcome and begin any war – he who will emerge humiliated [literally: “head-cracked”] out of it, will be transgressing and criminal America.
“In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful When there comes the help of Allah and the victory,
And you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies,
Then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness. Surely He is oft-returning to mercy” [The Holy Quran, 110].
Greetings be upon you and Allah’s mercy and blessings