Iran

Inside Israel’s Tehran heist

Featured image Last week the Israeli government briefed a few select reporters on the dramatic Mossad heist of documents from Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The government invited these reporters to review key documents from the heist. The government briefing included either David Sanger or Ronen Bergman from the New York Times and Gerald Seib from the Wall Street Journal. The Sanger/Bergman account of the heist is published as “How Israel, in Dark »

Anti-Iran protests rock southern Iraq

Featured image I wrote here about an emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime. A key element is making the regime pay for its regional adventurism, which has become quite unpopular with the Iranian population. This can be accomplished by making Iran’s adventurism increasingly costly and humiliating the regime by thwarting its ambitions. As Jonathan Speyer explained it: A strategy seeking to contain further Iranian gains and then to roll Iran back »

From the Islamic Republic

Featured image Herewith a round-up of recent news items from President Obama’s friends in the Islamic Republic of Iran. If the authorities of the regime weren’t terror-loving murderers giving their all for Allah, they might be funny: • AFP and Times of Israel staff, “Iranian general blames water woes on Israeli ‘cloud theft.’” Excerpt: An Iranian general on Monday accused Israel of manipulating weather to prevent rain over the Islamic Republic, alleging »

A Trump-Putin deal on Syria?

Featured image According to David Ignatius of the Washington Post: “The catastrophic war in Syria is nearing what could be a diplomatic endgame, as the United States, Russia and Israel shape a deal that would preserve power for Syrian President Bashar al -Assad in exchange for Russian pledges to restrain Iranian influence.” Is this true? The words “is” and “could be” leave me unclear whether Ignatius is speculating or reporting what he »

Will Trump Topple the Ayatollah?

Featured image Barack Obama pursued the fantasy of a U.S.-Iran alliance and sought to build up Iran as a regional power. Beyond sheer perversity, it was hard to see a rationale for this strategy. President Trump has sensibly reversed it. Seeing Iran’s mullahs as our bitter enemies–let’s not overthink this, “Death to America” does not lend itself to a subtle, counterintuitive interpretation–Trump has sought to weaken them both externally and internally. This »

Netanyahu congratulates Iran’s soccer team

Featured image Iran’s national soccer team received a hero’s welcome on its return to Tehran from the World Cup. The team missed out on the Round 16, but only narrowly. It defeated a decent Moroccan team, drew with Portugal, the current European champs, and lost 0-1 to Spain, one of the tournament favorites. That defeat could easily have been a draw or even a victory. Benjamin Netanyahu, a soccer fan, praised the »

Tehran’s Grand Bazaar shuts down as protests mount

Featured image Tehran was rocked by protests today. Protesters confronted police officers in front of parliament and swarmed Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, forcing its closure (according to this account, though, merchants themselves initiated the shutdown to protest skyrocketing prices). Rising prices and other economic woes are, indeed, at the heart of the protests, which in recent days have also forced the closure of major shopping centers in Tehran. Iran’s economy seems to be »

Watching soccer in Tehran

Featured image Did you know that, for the past 38 years, women in Iran haven’t been allowed to attend men’s soccer matches? I didn’t, though I wasn’t surprised to learn that this is the case. The ban was finally lifted yesterday, for Iran’s second World Cup match. At the last minute, the government decided to admit women to the Azadi Stadium in Tehran to watch a broadcast of the Iran-Spain match, played »

The Iran factor revisited

Featured image In its 2004 report the 9/11 Commission compiled and summarized the evidence of Iran’s links to al Qaeda. The report is accessible online here and easily searchable. Middle East Quarterly highlighted the commission’s findings on each of four threads concerning Iran here. Iran has always denied any involvement with al Qaeda. See, for example, the 2017 CBS News report “CIA docs from Osama bin Laden raid suggest Iran-al Qaeda link.” »

And now this

Featured image The Free Beacon’s Adam Kredo reports: Iranian officials, in a first, have admitted to facilitating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. by secretly aiding the free travel of al Qaeda operatives who eventually went on to fly commercial airliners into the Twin Towers in New York City, according to new remarks from a senior Iranian official. Mohammad-Javad Larijani, an international affairs assistant in the Iran’s judiciary, disclosed in Farsi-language »

Obama caught lying…again

Featured image Glenn Reynolds could have trademarked his expression of exasperation “I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about my carbon footprint.” I have a similar feeling about of exasperation complaints of President Trump’s challenges to veracity. Reading Marc Thiessen’s great column today about newly revealed disgraces committed by Team Obama in furtherance of the Iran deal, I don’t want to hear another goddamn word about Trump’s lying. Here is the »

All they are saying

Featured image Last week YnetNews posted the Reuters story reporting that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was caught on tape Thursday joining a crowd in a chant calling for the destruction of Iran’s enemies—among them the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel. The chant broke out after a speech delivered by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held in Tehran. The crowd then takes up the chant of “Death to »

The emerging strategy to undermine the Iranian regime

Featured image Several sources report an Israeli attack on a military airport in central Syria, an area where Hezbollah militias are located. There are conflicting reports about whether the attack was successful. Syria claims that its air defense system thwarted the attack. Syrian rebels say Israeli missiles destroyed that air defense system. The Israeli government has yet to comment. Jonathan Spyer, writing in the Jerusalem Post, provides context for the growing number »

After the deal

Featured image This morning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered his first public address on President Trump’s termination of the absurd and humiliating nuclear deal with Iran. The speech came less than two weeks after President Trump’s May 8 announcement that the United States would withdraw from President Obama’s deal with the Iranian regime, a/k/a the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. Heritage President Kay Coles James introduced Secretary Pompeo and then »

Kerry’s Logan Act crime spree

Featured image Former Trump campaign adviser Jason Osborne has been following the continuing adventures of John Kerry with Iranian officials. The latest chapter of Kerry’s conniving is taking place in Paris. Whatever Kerry is up to, I think we can be sure it is not calculated to advance the national security of the United States. Like a troubled teenager, he’s hanging out with a bad crowd. What an unsavory character. After his »

Warning: Don’t show this man…

Featured image Iran’s Supreme Leader (as he styles himself) wants it to be known that he is mightily unhappy with President Trump. That is what I deduce from Josh Delk’s story reporting in the Hill that “Iran’s supreme leader trolls Trump with photo of himself reading ‘Fire and Fury.'” If Fire and Fury is the Supreme Leader’s book of the week, let us recall that “Death to America” is the Supreme Leader’s »

A cynical moan about leaving the Iran deal

Featured image President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal has produced much hand-wringing from its supporters. Some of the angst is understandable. Former administration officials and many in the foreign policy establishment thought the deal was our best option for dealing with the threat of Iran developing nuclear weapons. I don’t agree, but acknowledge that the path Trump has chosen carries considerable risks (as, of course, did Obama’s). However, one »