Iran

Iran sanctions revisited

Featured image In his great undoing of the “accomplishments” of the Obama administration, President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the humiliating and destructive Iran nuclear deal. The deal funded a terrorist regime that remains at war with the United States and that continues to avow its dedication to our destruction. There was no bridge too far for Obama in seeking to align the United States with the mullahs of Iran. »

Understanding Iran’s nuclear program

Featured image The Institute for Science and International Security has just released the paper Breaking Up and Reorienting Iran’s Nuclear Weapons Program: Iran’s Nuclear Archive Shows the 2003 Restructuring of its Nuclear Weapons Program, then called the AMAD Program, into Covert and Overt Parts by proliferation experts David Albright, Olli Heinonen and Andrea Stricker. I have embedded a copy of the report at the bottom of this post. Here is the introductory »

Twitter: Yes to Ahmadinejad, no to the Gay Patriot

Featured image Did you know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s former president, is on Twitter? It’s true. On his Twitter account, Ahmadinejad describes himself as “Husband, Dad, Grandfather, University Professor, President, Mayor, Proud Iranian.” A better description would be “Jew hater, Holocaust denier, homophobe, serial human rights violator, and Death to America advocate.” There’s a place on Twitter for a guy like that, but not for the Gay Patriot. Is Ahmadinejad softening on »

Tom Friedman doubles down on magical thinking

Featured image To figure how not to think about events in the Middle East, it’s often useful to consult Tom Friedman. Yesterday, Friedman appeared on PBS with Christiane Amanpour to discuss the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. Friedman looks like a fool in the wake of the murder because last year he wrote a gushing column praising Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, for implementing a “top-down Arab spring.” Friedman »

A deadly attack on an Iranian military parade

Featured image Recently, an acquaintance of my wife returned from a trip to Iran, her country of origin. In addition to noting the runaway inflation and stark increase in poverty, she was surprised by the heightened level of separatist sentiment in various regions. That sentiment took a violent turn in southwestern city of Ahvaz today. Separatists attacked an Iranian military parade, killing at 29 people and wounding 70 more. The attackers disguised »

Pompeo condemns Kerry

Featured image Yesterday morning I revisited former Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry’s coaching of the powers that be in Iran on the fine art of resistance to the Trump administration. Yesterday afternoon Trump administration Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked at a press conference (transcript here) about Kerry’s freelance diplomacy, as Michael Rubin calls it in this excellent New York Post column. Pompeo responded: “What Secretary Kerry has done »

Iraqi protesters torch Iran’s embassy in Basra

Featured image Protesters in Basra stormed the Iranian Consulate yesterday and set the building on fire. The protesters, who also set fire to headquarters of pro-Iranian militias as well as many government buildings, chanted “Iran out.” They also trampled portraits of Iran’s ruler, Ayatollah Khamenei Basra is a majority Shiite city. Thus, as the Washington Post says, the attack on the consulate. . .upended notions of solidarity between Iraq’s Shiite heartland and »

The sound of mullahs whining

Featured image “I love the smell of napalm in the morning” is one of the great lines in Apocalypse Now. Can we adapt the line to Trump foreign policy? In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, I love the sound of mullahs whining all day long. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s oil exports are dropping faster than expected before the Trump administration’s new sanctions are scheduled to »

Bolton’s zero option

Featured image Barack Obama and his foreign policy team led us into an upside down world in which friends were treated as enemies and enemies treated as friends. President Trump has led the great undoing of Obama administration policies on the home front. Senior Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton are instrumental to the great undoing of Obamaian foreign policy. When it came »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 81: The Next Iranian Revolution?

Featured image By the time this episode of the Power Line Show went live, I had scrammed from town on an old-fashioned American-style summer vacation, with the kids in a van, a total-dad roof stack/packing job, lots of fast food, lots of discoveries of local awesome eating joints, etc. Anyway, posts are going to be a bit intermittent this week because I’ll be driving too much. I don’t actually take real vacations »

Iran On the Ropes?

Featured image I confess that even after I boarded the Trump train–basically, when no alternative was left–I didn’t imagine that Trump would prove to be a foreign policy genius. But isn’t that what we are seeing? Improving our trade deals, finally doing something about North Korea, standing up to Putin’s Russia, pushing back against Chinese theft of intellectual property, exposing anti-Semitism and fecklessness in the U.N., getting more contributions from NATO allies–it’s »

Message to the mullahs

Featured image President Trump’s tweet to President Rouhani carried a message to the mullahs. New York Times reporter Austin Ramzy drily observes: “Mr. Trump’s message was apparently in response to a speech on Sunday by Mr. Rouhani, who warned the United States that any conflict with Iran would be the ‘mother of all wars.’” Well, yeah. To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES »

Pompeo tells the truth about Iran

Featured image Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered remarks last night in a speech titled “Supporting Iranian Voices” at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. I have posted the video below (about 25 minutes). The State Department has posted the text of the speech along with its own video of Pompeo’s remarks here. The Los Angeles Times covered the speech here. The place suggests the weight placed on the speech. President »

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 »