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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

British MP Accuses UK of Supporting Iran ‘at Expense of Allies’

Friday, September 4th, 2015

By Alexander Apfel

A British Member of Parliament has accused Britain of supporting an “aggressive” Iranian regime “at the expense of our long-term allies in the region” following the British reopening of its embassy in Tehran.

Conservative MP Guto Bebb told Tazpit that UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s hopes for Iran as a reformable regime are “misguided” and also warned that the agreement will spawn a nuclear arms race.

The Aberconwy MP, who called for a parliamentary debate in June to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal then under discussion, added that the latitude given to the Iranian government would have been unacceptable to the UK government a year ago.

Bebb stated that he advocated the continuation of sanctions which he said were proving to be effective measures against Iranian aggression.

Rejecting Philip Hammond’s parliamentary remarks that the deal represented a victory for diplomacy and assurances to Prime Minister Netanyahu in July that it removes the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, Bebb told Tazpit that he is amazed “that the Foreign Secretary seems to consider this a success story; his predecessor Liam Fox considers this to be completely unacceptable.”

He predicted that the deal will likely result in a nuclear arms race in the region beginning with Saudi Arabia. Recounting meetings with representatives of British allies in the region, Bebb claimed that they had all expressed concern for any deal which provides Iran with too much flexibility.

While expressing his concern for Israel’s security, Bebb insisted that fears of a nuclear arms race were not restricted to Israel and that the debate he called “was not an issue for Israel alone.”

Addressing Israel, the MP told Tazpit that it is important to “understand the difference between a peaceful and democratic state that is trying to live within its own borders and Iran that will use its nuclear capacity to dominate the Middle East.”

In July 2014, the British Conservative Friends of Israel, of which Bebb is a member, issued a statement decrying the economic sanctions relief which, they said will serve to embolden terror groups funded by Iran.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Saudis Arrest Mastermind of 1996 Bombing that Killed 19 US Airmen on Iran’s Orders

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) Ahmed Al-Mughassil, the mastermind of the 1996 bombing in eastern Saudi Arabia that killed 19 US airmen and injured hundreds of international service personnel has been arrested in Beirut and is on his way home to the Kingdom, Saudi security officials told Asharq Al-Awsat.

After living in hiding for 19 years, Mughassil’s capture may have been facilitated by the Iranians, who seek to allay their Gulf neighbors’ fears regarding their expansionism in the region.

The Khobar Towers bombing took place on June 25, 1996, in a housing complex in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, located near the Dhahran Aramco national oil company headquarters. The towers were being used as quarters for foreign military personnel. A truck-bomb was detonated next to an eight-story building that housed US Air Force personnel. In all, 19 US servicemen were killed and 498 men and women of many nationalities were injured. Al-Qaeda was the initial suspect in the bombing, but the official US statement named members of Hezbollah as the culprits. In 2006, a US court found Iran and Hezbollah guilty of orchestrating the attack.

“The operation was carried out in coordination with the concerned bodies,” the Saudi security source told Asharq Al-Awsat, without elaborating on what role the Lebanese authorities had in Mughassil’s arrest and transfer.

Mughassil, 48, is believed to be the leader of the Iran-supported Hezbollah Al-Hejaz group indicted by the US court for the 1996 bombing. He was living in disguise in Beirut.

Saudi Arabia has yet to officially accuse Iran of involvement in the bombing, but the US has specifically blamed the Quds Force, an elite paramilitary unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, of orchestrating the bombing. Tehran has denied any connection to the bombing. Asharq Al-Awsat notes that both Iran’s former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and the current president, Hassan Rouhani, have made over the years behind-the-scene-efforts to contain the crisis between Tehran and Riyadh over the Khobar Towers bombing, stopping short of suggesting that Mughassil was served to the Saudis—and the Americans—by his patrons, as a good will gesture on the heels of the Iran nuclear deal.

JNi.Media

US Promises to Protect Israel if Iran Attacks

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

An Obama administration official told Israeli diplomatic journalists Monday that the United States will protect Israel if Iran attacks it.

He also promised that the United States will not sell the F-35 advanced warplane to any other Middle East country besides Israel.

The briefing served the Obama administration’s current priority to make sure that Congress does not reject the nuclear deal with Iran by a veto-proof majority. President Barack Obama has no chance of winning majority support in the Senate, and Illinois Republican Rep. Peter Roskam declared on Monday that a majority of House members have pledged to back a resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal

In the briefing with Israeli journalists, a defense official said that the government’s commitment to Israel’s security is “something US defense officials live on a daily basis.”

He also asserted that Iran’s continued declaration to annihilate Israel “doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t sign a deal that decreases the likelihood they will be a nuclear state.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has argued that ObamaDeal actually paves the way for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. If that is the case, the Obama administration in effect is creating an existential threat to Israel and then proposing a solution that makes Israel dependent on Washington.

Similarly, the promise not to sell F-35 warplanes to other countries n the region, most notably Egypt and Saudi Arabia which have expressed interest in buying the plane, eventually could be used as a tool to force concession from Israel. For example, President Barack Obama, or his successor, could warn Israel that if does not surrender to the Palestinian Authority, Washington will sell the F-35 to Egypt.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

US Bribing Saudi Arabia with $5.4 Billion Missile Sale after Iran Deal

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Saudi Arabia may buy $5.4 billion worth of PAC-3 missiles as part of an effort by the Obama to soothe Riyadh’s anger over the nuclear agreement with Iran.

The State Dept. approved the Lockheed missile sale, which also would be another plum for the military-industrial complex.

Lockheed stated, “Lockheed Martin is supporting the US government and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia as they discuss the potential sale of additional PAC-3 Missiles as part of the upgrade of the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Netanyahu: ’24-Day Window for Inspections Really is 3 Months’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu turned up the heat on Thursday to fry the nuclear deal with Iran.

He brought up new arguments against ‘ObamaDeal” and pointed out that the much-talked-about notice of 24 days before Iran must allow inspections of its nuclear facilities is actually three months.

Prime Minister Netanyahu explained during a briefing  that if Iran does not agree to allow inspections after notice of 34 days, it can delay them by appealing to a committee, which would have 30 days to discuss the issue.

If the committee does not accept the appeal, Iran could delay inspections for another 30 days by involving the U.N. Security Council.

The delays would give Iran almost 90 days to cover up activity that violates the agreement.

He appealed to Congress to bring out a veto-proof majority against the deal, saying that such action would “avert the greatest danger of Iran becoming a legitimate nuclear threshold power in 10 years.

He added:

The more a person learns about the agreement, the more he opposes it.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also stressed that the Sunni Muslim countries, headed by Saudi Arabia, are “outraged by the agreement.”

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

 

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.

They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.

Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.

The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Referring to Iran, he said:

What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.

Allies?

What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.

And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?

Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.

If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.

Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.

He said:

We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.

It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that  their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.

Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.

He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kerry Skips over Israel in Middle East Trip

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

When President Barack Obama says Israel his back, does he mean he is turning his back?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is conveniently skipping over America’s closest ally this week during a trip that will take him to neighboring Egypt as well as Egypt, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

The reason or skipping over Israel is obvious: The Obama administration’s single-minded objective right now is to make sure Congress does not reject “ObamaDeal” with a veto-proof majority.

President Obama’s declaration that he wants an “honest discussion” on the controversial agreement with Iran has its limits. After Kerry was told by Republican senators last week that he was “fleeced” and “bamboozled” by Iran, he does not want to walk into lion’s den.

But the State Dept., of course, has a different version of why Kerry is not stopping over Israel.

Spokesman John Kirby explained to nosy reporters at Monday’s daily press briefing:

It’s just not part of the parameters for this trip. It’s not – it wasn’t a deliberate decision not to go. There’s an awful lot to cover in eight days, as you can see. It’s literally – it’s an around-the-world trip.

He has been in touch with Prime Minister Netanyahu many, many times over the last several weeks in terms of discussing the deal and the parameters of it. So it’s not as if we aren’t in constant communication with Israeli counterparts about this.

The last call that I see to the Prime Minister took place on Thursday the 16th of July.

A journalist pointed out that was more than week ago, bur Kirby maintained, “Yeah, but that’s not that long ago.”

“Constant communication” is subjective.

The truth is that Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu do not have much to talk about. They can argue until they are blue in the face, but it is not going to get anyone anywhere, even though it would be a boon for the media.

Kerry may not find Egypt much friendlier, but at least he can count on Cairo not enabling the freedom of expression and speech that he doesn’t like in Israel, unless it is in his favor.

He will be in Cairo on Sunday for a session of the U.S.-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, a forum that “reaffirms the United States’ longstanding and enduring partnership with Egypt,” in the words of the State Dept.

That is the same phrase the United States uses for all of its wonderful friends, such as Israel.

On Monday, Kerry will meet with Gulf States officials in Doha, where Saudi Arabia will take the lead to lecture him in private what Netanyahu says in public: The deal with Iran is suicidal, and the war on the Islamic State (ISIS) needs to be more aggressive.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-skips-over-israel-in-middle-east-trip/2015/07/28/

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