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UK Foreign Secretary and US ‘Share the Same Assessment’ of Increased Iran Threat

May 19, 2019 Peace and Conflict

British Flag. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The United States has been warning that the threat of Iranian violence against their interests is higher than normal, and the United Kingdom agrees. UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Twitter on Thursday said that he and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had discussed Iran recently and “we share the same assessment of the heightened threat posed by Iran. As always we work closely with the US.”

The concerns expressed UK’s top diplomat were similar to those delivered by his counterpart in Germany, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, during a speech on Thursday published by the German Federal Foreign Office. “What happened in the past few days—the acts of sabotage against ships and pipelines—are signs that these dangers are concrete and real,” said Maas. Last week, an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia was attacked by rebels supported by Iran and two Saudi oil tankers were believed to have been sabotaged by Iran, according a report in U.S. News & World Report. … Continue Reading

Israeli President Pushes EU-Style Economic Peace for Middle East

May 15, 2019 Peace and Conflict

President Rivlin at at Europe Day Reception. Photo courtesy of Mark Neiman, Israeli GPO – gpoeng.gov.il)

A peace treaty won’t be enough to bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told European Union ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret—but the best peace plan might just be something with which the EU is very familiar. “I believe that we in the Middle East need to learn from the experience of the European Union which succeeded because it was established on the basis of economic cooperation and mutual obligation,” Rivlin was quoted as saying on Wednesday in an Israeli press release.

“By creating a shared economy and bringing people together through trade, the EU created a solid basis for durable peace. We all dream of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between all the peoples of the Middle East. If we want to realize this dream, we should take a similar approach.”

Speaking with Giaufret and other European ambassadors, Rivlin made it clear that the recent conflict with terrorists in Gaza shows that peace is not a simple matter and it can’t just be on paper. “In the Middle East, like in Europe, there are no short cuts,” said Rivlin. … Continue Reading

Iran Says US Won’t Start War Because of Counterattacks on Israel

May 12, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Could the US end up battling Iran at sea? US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. Illustrative. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jordan Crouch/Released.

Tensions between the United States and Iran are high—with the Americans sending an aircraft carrier strike group and a Patriot anti-missile battery to the region due to the Iranian threat—but it’s Israel who would be attacked in a US-Iran confrontation according to a key Iranian legislator. Iranian Parliament’s Vice-Speaker Ali Motahhari was quoted by the Fars News Agency as saying that the US is “not ready for a war, specially when Israel is within our range.”

Iran has long verbally assailed Israel and has even written that Israel “should be wiped off the earth” on a missile during a test in 2016, as reported by Fars at the time. With the US being a key ally of Israel, a US-Iran war could be used as an excuse by Iran to attack Israel in response given that the US homeland is believed to be well out of Iran’s missile range.

The latest tensions between the US and Iran come as Tehran has started to withdraw from the global nuclear deal in response to a failure of Europe to mitigate US sanctions on Iran. The US Defense Department on Friday announced on their website that the Patriot battery and a marine transport ship would be joining an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force in the Middle East region “in response to indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our interests.” … Continue Reading

Iran Partly Pulls Out of Landmark Nuclear Deal, Will Increase Nuclear Fuel Stockpile

May 8, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Radiation Warning Symbol. Public Domain.

The Iranians on Wednesday announced that they were suspending some of their commitments under the nuclear deal with the major world powers in response to what they considered a failure by Europe to compensate Iran for the renewed sanctions by the United States, according a report by Iran’s PressTV. The US withdrew from the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last year, reinstituted sanctions and recently ramped up sanctions on Iranian oil exports even further in an effort to curb malignant Iranian behavior.

In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani informed via letter the remaining partners to the JCPOA—the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Russia—that they were backing off their agreement to limit the size of their low-enriched nuclear fuel and heavy water stockpiles. This came in response to what Rouhani said was a failure by Europe to fulfill their promises to take practical steps to uphold Iran’s economic benefits under the JCPOA in the face of American sanctions.

The US warned Iran’s steps move it closer to a nuclear weapon capability. … Continue Reading

Four Israelis Killed, Hamas Moneyman Assassinated as Gaza Terrorists Fire Hundreds of Rockets

May 5, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative results of past Gaza attack. Photo Courtesy of IDF Spokesperson.

Four Israeli civilians had been killed as of Sunday afternoon and dozens more wounded as terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched hundreds of rockets at Israel over the weekend, including more than 600 rockets in 36 hours according to an IDF Twitter post. Included among the Israeli dead was one civilian murdered when terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at his civilian car. Israeli Prime Minister’s Officer spokesman Ofir Gendelman said of the attack on Twitter, that
this “is what Palestinian terrorists do: murdering innocent civilians.”

The Times of Israeli reported that the other three civilians were killed as a result of the rocket attacks, while the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted to Twitter that more than 90 injuries had been caused by the attacks as of Sunday afternoon.

In response, the Israeli military struck Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) targets in Gaza—including the assassination of a terrorist who transferred funds from Iran to the terror groups. An IDF Twitter post said that 280 terror targets had been “destroyed” in Gaza as of Sunday afternoon, and furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implied a ground operation in the Strip could be on the table by referencing troop buildup. … Continue Reading

Israel Foiled Suicide-Bombing Attack Planned on or around Election Day

April 28, 2019 Peace and Conflict

Home in Ma’ale Adummim Settlement in Judea and Samaria region. Illustrative. Photo by Joshua Spurlock.

A Hamas suicide-bombing recruit who had scouted out targets and purchased a vehicle for an attack planned for or around Election Day in Israel was arrested last month thanks to efforts by the Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the IDF. The terrorist—23-year-old Yehiye Abu Dia—was recruited by senior Hamas operatives from Gaza via the internet and was told to target the Ma’ale Adumim community near Jerusalem in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank. An ISA press release noted that Hamas told Abu Dia to “monitor the best site for the attack” where “there would be a high concentration of buses, civilians and soldiers.”

While Hamas is based in Gaza, an ISA official noted the plot shows the terror group’s ongoing effort to launch terror attacks in the Biblical heartland of Israel.

“The Hamas terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip is constantly working to recruit Hamas operatives from the Judea and Samaria to carry out murderous terror attacks in order to undermine the security and stability of the area,” a senior ISA official said in the press release. … Continue Reading

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