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Yesterday, we noted some of the implications of the potentially devastating missile deal between Russia and Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his concern to Vladimir Putin over the deal, as well. While Israel stands to lose the most from the deal, Yaakov Lappin writes that it is a threat to not only the Jewish state but the entire Middle East:
Middle East regional instability is set to worsen after Russia’s lifting of its ban on the delivery of the advanced S-300 air defense missile system to Iran.
Russia’s decision on April 13 to lift the ban is a highly dangerous development, which might well further destabilize the Middle East, and has serious potential to spark new conflicts.
The S-300 is one of the world’s most advanced surface-to-air missile defense systems. Designed as a truck-mounted air defense battery, it can also be used as an offensive weapon, thanks to its long range and ability to track and strike many planes simultaneously.
If Russia follows through on its pledge to deliver the S-300 to Iran, the Iranians could then smuggle these sophisticated weapons into Syria, and from there, use a cross-border network to move the missiles on to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
From Lebanon, the S-300 missiles, which have a range of 125 miles, would not only pose a threat to vital Israel Air Force activity, but could also be used by Hezbollah to target civilian air traffic over Israel, triggering a devastating Israeli response.
In addition, Iran can be expected to try to smuggle the system to the Syrian Assad regime, as it has done with so many other types of weapons. Damascus, too, would in all likelihood use the S-300 to threaten Israeli aircraft over northern Israel.
Both the Assad regime and Hezbollah might also use the S-300 to try to challenge vital missions flown by the Israel Air Force, such as intelligence-gathering flights that help Israel keep an eye on the perpetual, threatening — also Iranian-backed — developments to its north…
The impact that Russian S-300…Read More » Comments (12) »
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015 at 8:28 AM | Stand for Israel
In what seems to be a disgusting annual tradition, The Washington Post reports that Iran will be holding its second annual “contest” featuring cartoons that mock the Holocaust:
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In early May, organizers in Tehran will stage the Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest. Given the horrors of the Holocaust — in which the Nazi regime systematically killed more than 6 million Jews, as well as millions of Roma, homosexuals, political dissidents and other undesirables — and current fears about a rise in global anti-Semitism, an event with that name ought to raise myriad red flags.
An exhibition will feature some of the 839 pieces of “artwork” submitted as part of the contest by artists from more than 50 countries, reports Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency.
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 11:38 AM | Stand for Israel
The threat that a nuclear Iran poses to Israel, the U.S., and the free world is obvious. But the nuclear agreement being made with the Islamic Republic has other disastrous implications. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin writes that Iran’s terrorist allies are already benefiting from the deal:
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[A]mong the chief beneficiaries of a revitalized Iranian economy will be the Islamist regime’s terrorist allies.
The Channel 2 report detailed that Iran has increased its already considerable flow of weapons and cash to its Hezbollah auxiliaries as well as to Hamas. Most troubling is the news that it is not satisfied with helping Hamas rebuild its terror tunnels and replenish its rocket arsenal in Gaza but is also seeking to arm cells of the Islamist group operating in the West Bank. Like Russia’s sale of sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran, these moves are part of the inevitable exploitation of Western weakness by an Iranian regime that understands that it has scored a huge victory in the nuclear negotiations. This is a trend that will get only more dangerous as their economy begins to recover after the sanctions disappear.
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 8:33 AM | Stand for Israel
In today’s Daily Dispatch, we report on Russia’s decision to deliver its advanced S-300 missile system to Iran. This development is even more disturbing, notes The Daily Beast’s Dave Majumdar, because it would make strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities nearly impossible:
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This nuke deal with Iran had better work. Because the Kremlin is lifting a ban on selling a powerful air defense system to Iran that would render an airstrike on Tehran’s nuclear weapons facilities nearly impossible.
The delivery of the new weapon, called the Almaz-Antei S-300PMU-1—known as the SA-20 Gargoyle in NATO parlance—would effectively force the U.S. to rely on its small fleet of stealth aircraft to strike targets inside Iran in case the mullahs make a dash for the bomb. But even those aircraft might have a difficult time.
“This would be a huge deal depending on where they [the S-300s] are based…The Persian Gulf would be an interesting place to fly,” said one senior defense official with experience on multiple stealth aircraft types. “These new [surface-to-air missiles] change the whole complexion…It’s a big move…”
The Kremin’s decision now sends a signal to Tehran that the sanctions that brought Iran to the negotiating table are done—even before a final nuclear agreement is signed. “Clearly, this is the sanctions regime already starting to crack and fall apart in anticipation there will be an agreement [on nuclear issues with Iran] on June 30,” Conley said. “This is the first major signal that regime is coming to an end.”
From a practical military standpoint, the sale of the S-300 would directly challenge the U.S. position that “all options are on the table” should Iran try to subvert the nuclear deal. The addition of the powerful missile defense system would make punitive airstrikes against Iran extremely difficult.
Tuesday, April 14th, 2015 at 8:20 AM | Stand for Israel
As we note in today’s Daily Dispatch, Iranian news reports that Tehran will begin using its fastest centrifuges as soon as the ill-conceived nuclear deal with the West takes effect. But Iran’s nuclear program is only a means to an end, writes the always insightful Michael J. Totten. The Islamic Republic’s ultimate goal is to become the predominant power in the Middle East:
The chattering class has spent the last couple of days pontificating on and bickering about the so-called nuclear “deal” with Iran, but largely missing from the conversation is a recognition of the Iranian government’s ultimate goal—to become the regional hegemon. Its nuclear weapons program is simply a means to that end…
…but one thing at least should be clear: the Iranian government is and will continue to be a pernicious force in the region regardless of any agreement. Even with a good deal from our point of view, replacing a rapid expansion of Iran’s nuclear weapons program with sanctions relief and economic growth will at best be a wash.
Many in Washington seem unbothered by Iran’s ultimate ambitions and are only concerned with Iranian nukes. In an interview on NPR in December, President Barack Obama said a deal could break Iran’s isolation and enable the country to become, as he put it, “a successful regional power.”
Iran, though, is already a successful regional power…
Zoom out and look at the rest of the region. One Middle Eastern state after another has disintegrated into schismatic abstractions controlled by rival armed groups. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen are all, as scholar and analyst Jonathan Spyer put it, “living in the time of the militias,” many of which moonlight as international terrorist organizations.
Iran backs armed factions in four out of five of those countries—Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, undisciplined Shia militias in Iraq, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The only reason it has no footprint in Libya is because Libya has no natural Shia constituency for Iran to throw its weight and…Read More » Comments (9) »
Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 at 8:25 AM | Stand for Israel
In today’s Daily Dispatch, we again raised concerns over the impending nuclear deal that the U.S. and other Western powers seem determined to make with Iran. One Western nation is not so enthralled with the idea of a nuclear Iran, however. Arutz Sheva reports that the United States’ neighbor to the north is skeptical of the deal, and will not lift its sanctions against the Islamic Republic:
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The Canadian government has not shared US President Barack Obama’s enthusiasm over the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program last Thursday, by which the Islamic regime continues enriching uranium at reduced levels in exchange for the removal of sanctions.
Canadian Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson responded to the deal, warning that the Islamic regime may still be able to obtain a nuclear weapon even with the agreement.
“We have to make every possible diplomatic effort to ensure that Iran will never be able to achieve the ability to develop a nuclear weapon,” said Nicholson, noting such a development could spark a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
The foreign minister added that “Iran’s track record is not one that encourages trust.”
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 11:42 AM | Stand for Israel
Iran is desperate to have the capacity for nuclear weapons – and the West should be desperate to prevent it from obtaining such capabilities. This same scenario has already occurred with another menacing nation. Writing at Israel Hayom, Michael Tuchfeld likens what is occurring with the Iranian nuclear talks with previous agreements made with North Korea:
One day in October 2013, researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s U.S.-Korea Institute who were examining satellite images of the North Korean Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center saw vapor rising and water flowing out from the reactor’s cooling system — a sign that the reactor was, suddenly, in operation. The reactor, which produced plutonium for nuclear bombs, was closed following a February 2007 deal with six world powers, after the United States agreed to unfreeze $25 million in North Korean bank accounts and to provide food shipments. The reactor’s cooling tower was dismantled over several months, and the process was broadcast on international television. The United States was praised for the accomplishment, and the president declared that the efforts to stop the North Korean nuclear program had borne fruit.
Less than two weeks after the first discovery, the researchers saw that construction was underway at Sohae Satellite Launching Station to adapt the facility for the use of long-range ballistic missiles. The initial agreement to dismantle the Yongbyon facility was signed in 1994. In return, the Koreans were promised that they could build two nuclear reactors to provide electricity. It became clear to everyone that the regime in Pyongyang was making a mockery of all the agreements signed in recent years and that the North Korean nuclear program was in its heyday. So far, the Koreans have carried out three nuclear tests, two of them while U.S. President Barack Obama has been in office.
You don’t need to be particularly clever to make the comparison between the North Korean nuclear issue and that of Iran…
The Iranians, just…Read More » Comments (3) »
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 8:48 AM | Stand For Israel
Those of us who stand for Israel and for freedom have been appalled at the West’s seeming inability to stand up against Iran during the ongoing nuclear talks. But, perhaps this lack of fortitude in the face of extremism and evil should not be so surprising, writes Gatestone Institute’s Uzay Bulut, as many in the West have lost the capacity and will to criticize Islamist terror:
In the eyes of most Islamists — whether or Sunni or Shia — nothing is cheaper or more worthless than human life. It can be seen in the accelerating rate of executions in Iran since the “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani arrived on the scene, and in the ghoulish slaughters committed by ISIS.
As terrorists throughout the Muslim world lay down their own lives to bring death, the U.S. and Europe silently watch Islamic terrorism in Sudan, in Pakistan, in Iraq and Syria by ISIS, in Nigeria by Boko Haram and especially in Iran by the Mullahs’ regime, which the P5+1 (the permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) deludedly still seem to think will turn nuclear warheads into plowshares.
U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers continue talks past deadline after deadline to give Iran — one of the most corrupt, repressive and genocidal countries on the planet – a nuclear weapons capability to threaten the rest of the Middle East, the U.S. and Europe. Granting nuclear capability is seen as a reward for lying, cheating and breaking treaty after treaty. What a brilliant precedent for everyone else.
The West seems to have lost the will to criticize political Islam. Not speaking out or taking action against Islamists is a sickness not only of the current U.S. government; many intellectuals also seem to suffer from it…
Why then is Hamas a “more acceptable” terrorist group than ISIS? Because it targets Jews? How can Hamas’ Western sympathizers be so sure that the same extreme Islamic jihadist groups will not target them, “the infidels,” in the future, as they say they will?
If these…Read More » Comments (14) »
Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 at 8:32 AM | Stand For Israel
Stand for Israel has kept you updated regarding the impending nuclear deal with Iran – the dangers it creates, the questions that have arisen, and the need to ward off a “bad deal” that will leave Israel, the U.S., and the free world at risk. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Dr. Jeffrey Herf says that these discussions are very important, but the Iranian regime’s anti-Semitism must also be dealt with:
In the coming weeks, debate about the P5+1 deal with Iran will focus, as it must, on the details of the deal itself and whether, as President Obama claims, it will prevent Iran from getting the bomb or rather, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has warned, it paves Iran’s way to the bomb and poses a threat to Israel’s security and survival. But behind that debate, I suggest that there should be another one, a conversation about anti-Semitism and the way the United States has responded to the anti-Semitic regime in Tehran.
The case against the agreement has been made well by David Horovitz. He and others have pointed out that the agreement leaves the infrastructure of Iran’s nuclear weapons program intact. Mark Dubowitz and Reuel Marc Gerecht, two well-informed experts on Iran’s nuclear program and the sanctions regime affiliated with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, described the deal in an April 3, 2015, the Wall Street Journal essay as “Iran’s Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America.” They point out that the Obama administration “has never adequately explained” why Ayatollah Khamenei “would sell out a three-decade effort to develop nuclear weapons…”
In an interview this weekend with The New York Times, Obama tried to reassure Israelis. After six years of speaking rarely about Iranian anti-Semitism he acknowledged that ”the activities that they [the Iranian leaders] engage in, the rhetoric, both anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, is deeply disturbing.” He then said “what we’ve also seen is that there is a practical streak to the Iranian regime. I think…Read More » Comments (15) »
Monday, April 6th, 2015 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel
We have been following the nuclear talks with Iran very closely – and what any agreement would mean for the United States, Israel, and the rest of the free world. Now, The New York Times is reporting that Iran has agreed to a framework, but that key issues and a final agreement have not been resolved:
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Iran and European nations said here tonight they had reached a surprisingly specific and comprehensive general understanding about next steps in limiting Tehran’s nuclear program, but officials said that some important issues need to be resolved before a final agreement in June that would allow the Obama administration to assert it has cut off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.
Both Germany’s foreign office and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said that key parameters of a framework for a final accord had been reached, with the details to be negotiated by June 30. But Western diplomats cautioned that on several of the key issues that were debated here for the past eight days between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, there were still significant differences.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015 at 1:37 PM | Stand For Israel