Iran

U.S. foreign policy: from bad to worse in 2016?

Featured image 2015 was a bad foreign policy year for America. Our enemies in Tehran won a pathway to prosperity and additional regional influence without losing the ability to obtain nuclear weapons within 10 to 15 years, or sooner if they choose. Our enemy in Moscow enjoyed an enormous expansion of his influence in the Middle East and continues to menace U.S. allies in Europe. Our enemy in Damascus, propped up by »

Elliott Abrams on spying on allies

Featured image At NR’s Corner, Elliott Abrams gives his take on the report that the Obama administration spied on the Israeli government. Abrams served for many years as a U.S. foreign policy official and is, of course, a leading pro-Israel advocate. Thus, his is a voice I wanted to hear on this potential scandal. Abrams believes there should be a strong presumption against spying on allies. He also believes that we should »

Report that NSA spying on Israel reached Congress raises abuse of power questions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report that the NSA spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his government, and that the spying included intercepting communications with members of Congress. I included in the post the Journal’s brief discussion of the rules that apply to U.S. surveillance that reaches such members. According to the Journal: A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence »

Report: Obama’s NSA spied on Israel, Congress, and Jewish Organizations

Featured image President Obama announced two years ago that he would stop eavesdropping on leaders of U.S. allies, after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs. According to The Wall Street Journal, this meant an end to spying on French President François Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders. However, Israel apparently failed to make Obama’s list of true allies. The Journal reports that »

Obama’s latest effort to appease Iran

Featured image The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration has advised the rulers of Iran not to worry about new U.S. legislation, signed into law by President Obama, that clamps visa restrictions on people who have traveled to Iran. The assurances came after Iranian officials publicly complained that the new law could dampen investment interest in their country. Here’s the background, as explained by The Tower. After the San Bernardino »

The Iran Deal: From Bad to Worse

Featured image The Iran nuclear deal has faded from the headlines. That must mean things are going well, right? Just kidding. Amir Taheri brings us up to date: Last month the president sent his Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to Vienna to twist the arm of International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano into issuing a favorable report on the state of the Iranian nuclear program. The yes-or-no question Amano faced was simple: »

Reading Jim Scanlan in Tehran

Featured image From time to time, I have directed the attention of Power Line readers to the work of James P. Scanlan. Specifically, I have linked to and discussed his analyses of disparate impact theory in various contexts involving allegations of discrimination. Years ago, Jim wrote a piece for the Midwest Quarterly on a very different subject — nuclear deterrence. It was called “Facing the Paradox of Deterrence.” The paradox Jim posited »

What manner of deal is this?

Featured image Rep. Mike Pompeo has elicited the letter below from the Department of State explaining the nature of the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. What manner of deal is this? According to Assistant Secretary of State Julia (“If that really is your name”) Frifield, the deal is not a treaty. The deal is not an executive agreement. The deal is not even a document signed to represent the »

The Iran deal for dummies

Featured image MEMRI’s Yigal Carmon has what he calls a Daily Brief summarizing leading aspect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action among Iran, the United States and others regarding Iran’s nuclear program. It is a most peculiar deal. Carmon calls his summary “The emperor has no clothes.” John wrote about it here. Carmon’s exposition opens with these observations (footnotes omitted): What is mistakenly perceived as an agreement under the title of »

Iran attacks, cyber edition

Featured image Jay Solomon reports in today’s Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Detects Flurry of Iranian Hacking” (accessible via Google here). The Israel Project’s Omri Ceren takes note and comments in an email message (with the usual footnotes!) that I thought readers would find of interest: The WSJ revealed last night that there has been a “surge” in Iranian cyberattacks against U.S. officials, journalists, and activists who work on Iran. At least some »

Inside the fraying US-Israel ties

Featured image On October 23 the Wall Street Journal published the page-one story by Adam Entous on the United States’ intelligence activities directed against Israel. Given the headline “Spy vs. spy: Inside the fraying U.S.-Israel ties” (accessible here via Google), the story was full of revelations including measures taken by the United States to deter Israeli military action against Iran. Entous works the national security beat at the Journal, and his story »

Is Iran Already Violating the Nuclear Deal?

Featured image Yigal Carmon, the president and founder of the Middle East Media Research Institute, is a former Israeli civil servant, a counterterrorism adviser to prime ministers Yitzhak Shamir and Yitzhak Rabin, and a participant in Israel’s peace negotiations with Syria in the early 1990s. He is, to the best of my knowledge, a reliable observer of Middle Eastern events. At MEMRI, Carmon makes two points. First, Iran has not actually ratified »

Ryan Zinke for Congress. . .and the Senate

Featured image What’s the most significant development in American electoral politics since the election of President Obama? Some say it’s the deepening division within the Republican Party. Others say it’s the beating Democrats have taken at the state and local level of politics. Here’s a third possibility which is related to the second: the success of Republican Senate and House candidates in Red States. This success is nearly complete in the South »

P.S. I hate you

Featured image You may have missed the news earlier this week that Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published a letter of guidelines to Iranian President Hassan Rohani on the execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). MEMRI’s Y. Carmon and A. Savyon explain: “Intended as an historical document aimed at assuring Iran’s future, the letter was posted on Khamenei’s website in Persian and tweeted from his Twitter account and posted »

Russia and Iran running neck-and-neck in Obama-humiliating sweepstakes

Featured image Iran and Russia are competing to see which nation can humiliate President Obama more. Russia got off to a flying start with its intervention in Ukraine and its “assistance” to Obama in the non-enforcement of the president’s red line against the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria. Iran, its economy crippled by the U.S. led sanctions regime, was falling way behind. But the mullahs trumped Putin »

“Early signs of Russian intent”

Featured image That’s the front page headline of today’s Washington Post (paper edition). The story is about signs in August that Putin was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria. Despite these signs, the Obama administration was “caught flat-footed” when the Russian offensive materialized two months later. In a larger sense, “Russian intent” has long been clear. Putin has said he consider the fall of Soviet power a geopolitical catastrophe. He wants »

A word from their Supreme Leader

Featured image We have yet to see the fatuous fatwa allegedly promulgated by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khameni denouncing the development of nuclear weapons. Yet it has repeatedly been cited by President Obama and others in support of the deadly arrangement into which we have entered with Iran regarding its nuclear program. See, e.g., MEMRI’s reports here and here. The foreboding John Fogerty/Creedence Clearwater Revival song could be put to good use: »