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Amidst Regional Tensions, Russia, US and Israel to Hold ‘Unprecedented’ Trilateral Meeting

June 18, 2019 Peace and Conflict

The United States’ Bolton, Israel, and Russia will all meet next week. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US National Security Advisor John Bolton in Jerusalem. Illustrative. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

National Security officials from Israel, the United States and Russia are set to meet together next week in what Israel’s leader has called an “historic and unprecedented meeting in Jerusalem.” Netanyahu made the comments on Tuesday, one day after the United States increased its troop deployment to the Middle East again amidst tensions with Iran.

The trilateral world power meeting in Jerusalem has been planned for weeks, with a report in May from The Times of Israel saying the meeting was expected to focus on Syria­­, including Iran’s military buildup in that country and US troop pullout from there. On Tuesday in comments published by his office, Netanyahu said the meeting “is a very important summit for ensuring stability in the Middle East during turbulent times.”

He continued, “What is important about this trilateral meeting, of the two superpowers in the State of Israel is that it greatly attests to the current international standing of Israel among the nations.” … Continue Reading

Iran Will Exceed Fuel Limits in Nuclear Deal Later This Month

June 17, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative photo of Netanyahu discussing Iran’s “secret nuclear files”. Photo courtesy of: Amos Ben-Gershom (GPO)

Following the Iranian decision to withdraw from some of the limitations under their nuclear deal with world powers, the Islamic Republic’s nuclear fuel supply has increased to the point that they will exceed the limits on nuclear fuel storage under the atomic agreement on June 27. Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi informed the world of Iran’s progress on Monday, noting that his country intends to walk away from more of their requirements if their economic demands of Europe are not met by the end of their 60-day deadline on July 7.

Enriching uranium for nuclear fuel beyond what is needed for civilian power—including significant enhancement to medical research levels previously reached by the regime’s program before the deal—is on the table according to the spokesman. Nuclear weapons enrichment-levels—an even further step in nuclear fuel efforts—were not mentioned in the report.

Still, the specter of Iran speeding back to activity levels achieved prior to the nuclear deal hangs threateningly, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Iran should be punished by the world community if they exceed what’s permitted under the accord. “Should Iran make good on its current threats, and violate the nuclear agreement, the international community will need to immediately impose the sanctions regime that was agreed upon in advance, the ‘snapback sanctions,’” Netanyahu was quoted by his office as saying Monday. “In any case, Israel will not allow Iran to achieve nuclear weapons.” … Continue Reading

UN Nuclear Watchdog Says Iran Increasing Nuclear Fuel Production

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog on Monday said Iran’s nuclear material production was growing, the BBC reported, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) leader also expressed he was “worried” about the overall situation. That same day, Iran’s Foreign Minister had the audacity to point the finger at Israel’s defensive nuclear program as a threat in the region.

Per a report by the Fars News Agency, Mohammed Zarif referenced comments made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a year ago outside the Dimona nuclear plant warning Israel’s enemies in general of the severe consequences of attacking Israel. That not-so-subtle self-defense rhetoric, however, pales in comparison to the Iranian comments about destroying Israel, in self-defense or otherwise. And Netanyahu pointed to that hostility in turning the tables on Zarif in comments on Monday.

“Zarif is lying again. Iran is the one that openly threatens, every day, to destroy the State of Israel. Iran continues to entrench itself militarily in Syria. And today, the IAEA reports that Iran is accelerating its nuclear program,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “I repeat: Israel will not allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons that threaten our existence and endanger the entire world.” … Continue Reading

Iranian Leader Tweets ‘Deal of Century’ Peace Plan ‘Will Never Be Realized’

June 6, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Iran’s leadership remains anti-Israel.
Illustrative official meeting. Photo Courtesy of UN Photo/Evan Schneider

The Supreme Leader of Iran took to Twitter to slam the Middle East peace plan of United States President Donald Trump, dubbed the “Deal of the Century”, and declared that it would “never be realized”. Meanwhile, he has his own “peace plan” and it involves stacking the deck against the Jews and destroying the State of Israel at the ballot box.

In a speech marking the end of Ramadan on Wednesday, Ayatollah Khamenei said that Iran’s youth of today would see the Palestinians take over “Palestine” according to a series of posts on Twitter. Khamenei also rejected the American peace plan, despite its involving key Muslim nations with plans for an economic summit later this month. The Iranian leader’s extremist form of Islam was in play, as he tapped into his religion to hope for divine assistance to scuttle the Trump peace plan.

“The purpose of the summit is to implement the treasonous, vicious US plot that they call ‘Deal of the Century’. Of course this will not happen and the Deal of the Century will never be realized, God willing,” said a post on Khamenei’s official English Twitter page. … Continue Reading

Israel Responds with ‘Strong Action’ against Syria after Another Missile Attack

June 2, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Israel’s capital is not far from the heart of Syria. Israeli signpost showing distance between Israel, Syria in Golan Heights. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

For the second time in less than a week, an attack from Syria was launched against Israel—this time in the form of two rockets on Saturday. In response, Israel struck at the Syrian military, hitting two artillery batteries, observation and intelligence posts and an air defense battery, according to the IDF’s English Twitter page. Said the IDF tweet, “We hold the Syrian regime accountable and will firmly operate against any attempt to harm Israeli civilians.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear the order to “take strong action” came from him following security discussions, according to comments released by his office on Sunday.

“We will not tolerate firing at our territory and we will respond with great force to any aggression against us,” said Netanyahu. “This has been the consistent policy that I have led, together with the government, and this is what we will continue to do for the security of Israel.” … Continue Reading

US Increases Troop Deployment to Middle East in Response to ‘Campaign’ by Iran

May 26, 2019 Peace and Conflict

US fighter jets are among the troops being sent to the Middle East. Illustrative. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Michael Holzworth.

The United States is adding to an already-increased deployment in the Middle East— due to an ongoing threat assessment of a “campaign” by Iran—sending a dozen fighter jets as part of a 1,500 troop force. The US Defense establishment on Friday described the troops as defensive in nature and include extending the deployment of a Patriot missile defense battery already sent to the region, making the number of new troops less than 1,000, according to a press briefing posted to the US Defense Department website.

The American military posturing comes amidst multiple attacks against US interests and allies in the region that the US has attributed to Iran or its proxies. “I wouldn’t just call them threat streams, I’d call them a campaign designed by the Iranians against US interests, US forces and our partners in the region,” Vice Admiral Mike Gilday said during the press briefing, stating these threats range from the Strait of Hormuz that’s critical to the ocean transport of oil to Yemen and Iraq.

“…The reason I described it as a campaign is because you’re seeing activity across multiple domains—across the sea, from the air and on the land—by either Iranian forces or proxies. And so it’s more complicated than just a single threat stream. And they’ve acted on it.” … Continue Reading

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