If you have not been paying attention, the last thing you heard was that Syria had used sarin gas attack on civilians in 2013. President Obama’s “red line” was washed pink in an agreement with Russia to remove the weapons and destroy them at sea. The U.N. Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) special coordinator Sigrid Kaang, in a remarkably precise statement, said 96% percent of Syria’s declared chemical weapons were destroyed. Not 95% or 87% or 43.5%, but 96% on the nose. Secretary of State Kerry said: “In record time, even amid a civil war, we removed and have now destroyed the most dangerous chemicals in the regime’s declared stockpiles.”
It was good PR, but as a solution to a deadly violation of international law, it was a huge, gaping failure. The word “declared” is the giveaway — Syria was allowed to tell inspectors what it had and where, and the inspectors were allowed only to touch those sites. It you think they cheated, you are right.
This week, the Israel Air Force destroyed a “research center” in Syria, one that “researched” chemical weapons. The attack came the morning after U.N. investigators said the Syrian government was responsible for a sarin gas attack in April 2017. Israel has conducted approximately 100 strikes inside Syria in the six years of civil war, not to change the course of battle or support one side over the other, but to eliminate weapons and facilities deemed unacceptable threats to Israel — including missile factories, a nuclear reactor and now a chemical weapons factory.
Here is the lesson. Focus on the real regional threats and push off peripheral issues.
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According to the initial narrative of the Khomeinist ideology, the “perfect state” which Muslims should aspire to was the brief period during which Ali Ibn Abi-Taleb exercised the Caliphate against a background of revolts and civil war. However, it now seems that Khomeinist zealots have found another “ideal model” outside the world of Islam.
That model is the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, better known as North Korea, which Khomeinists present as living paragon of heroic resistance against the American “Great Satan.” The daily Kayhan, believed to reflect the views of “Supreme Guide” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently ran editorials praising North Korea’s “brave defiance of Arrogance” by testing long-range missiles in the face of “cowardly threats” by the United States. In one editorial last month, the paper invited those who urge dialogue with the US to learn from North Korea’s “success in humiliating the Great Satan.”
The editorial provoked some critical responses from the “reformist” wing of the ruling clique with President Hassan Rouhani’s unofficial spokesman expressing regret that Iran was being asked to downgrade to the level of “a pariah in a remote corner of Asia.”
Nevertheless, last month North Korea’s nominal “president” Kim Yong Nam whose official title is Chairman of the People’s Assembly was given red carpet treatment during a 10-day visit to Tehran at the head a 30-man military and political delegation. He was granted a rare two-hours long audience with Khamenei. During his stay, he inaugurated North Korea’s new embassy which includes an expanded military cooperation section.
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It’s not just that, as with North Korea today so with Iran tomorrow; just as “negotiation” was supposed to persuade Pyongyang to park its nuclear weapons programme only for us to find to our apparent surprise that it has now tested yet another nuclear device, so the “negotiated” Iran deal will result before long in our finding to our apparent surprise that it has moved from being the world’s number one terrorist threat to being the world’s number one nuclear terrorist threat.
It’s also not just that Iran and North Korea are working hand in glove in their infernal joint enterprise (although with very different philosophies) to develop the nuclear weapons by which they can either blackmail, attack or destroy the west or commit a further genocide against the Jews; that Iranian scientists and military brass have been reliably tracked to North Korea inspecting or witnesing its nuclear weapons programme development; and that almost certainly Tehran has outsourced some if not much of that programme to Pyongyang.
No, what reveals the west to be truly pathological in its apparent desire to commit suicide is that even now it downplays or flat-out denies the nature and extent of the threat posed to it by Iran; downplays or denies the way in which the west has helped immeasurably empower the most dangerous state on the planet and continues to do so; and still downplays or denies not just that Iran is a potential threat but that it is already responsible for killing untold numbers of westerners, both civilians and military forces including many British and American soldiers in Iraq, in its self-declared, almost five-decade war against the free world.
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Iran’s admission that it is providing military and financial support to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas is a potential violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 – which prohibits the Tehran regime from exporting weapons without the Security Council’s approval, Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the UN, said on Thursday.
Accusing Iran of showing its “true colors,” Haley’s remarks came after Yahya Sinwar – a Hamas military leader who currently serves as Prime Minister of Hamas-controlled Gaza – praised Iran earlier this week for providing “strategic military support” to the terrorist organization. This was a “stunning admission,” Haley said.
“Iran must decide whether it wants to be a member of the community of nations that can be expected to take its international obligations seriously, or whether it wants to be the leader of a jihadist terrorist movement,” Haley declared in a statement. “It’s long past time for the international community to hold Iran to the same standard that all countries who actually value peace and security are held to.”
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Much separates Iran and North Korea, but the two have plenty in common when it comes to nuclear ambitions. Whenever they move to appease the West, they somehow get closer to realizing their goals, while the world fumbles to curtail them.
The world recently marked two years since Iran and the West signed a landmark nuclear agreement, and much has been said on the issue.
Those who support the deal celebrated it, saying it was the best alternative and that Iran’s compliance with the terms of the agreement, apart from several minor violations, proves its success. Those who opposed the deal (myself included) have pointed out that it has enabled Iran to be readmitted into the family of nations, and the alliance it has since formed with Russia, which I believe was forged only because of the deal, has allowed it to become a regional power. Iran’s control of the axis between Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, and Beirut will one day lead to a bloody struggle, both with Israel and with the Sunni Arab states, which see Iran’s expansionist aspirations as a threat to their very existence.
Recently, ostensibly in an unrelated move, North Korea took a major step towards creating a nuclear balance of terror toward the US by testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could potentially hit the American heartland. Pyongyang saw this move as necessary to ensure that under no circumstances would Washington pressure it to change its ways, thus ensuring the isolated nation’s complete freedom in navigating its future course.
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Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) warned that the West is ignoring the greatest threat to global security in its fight against ISIS, trading away long-term strategic security for short-term tactical gains.
In an opinion piece published by The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Bennett argued that while ISIS had captured the West’s attention, the Tehran regime has been quietly expanding its influence across the region, working to establish radical Shi’ite hegemony over large portions of the Middle East.
“Since its 1979 revolution, Iran has sought to become a dominant world power capable of instilling Islamic rule on as many people as possible. The Iranian regime finances and supports armed militias in other countries and is the world’s top exporter of terror.”
While ISIS atrocities have sparked outrage, Bennett claims Iran represents a far deadlier long-term threat, one which could extend far beyond the Middle East.
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