Poster of Bashar Al Assad at a Butcher’s shop in Tehran, warning customers “we don’t sell meat on credit”.
Something has been puzzling me: its obviously in Obama’s interest (politically and in terms of his legacy) that the Iran nuclear deal succeeds, and that the moderates are strengthened in Iran through foreign investment in Iran’s economy. So why has the US Department of Justice not provided guarantees to big European banks about doing business with Iranian companies?
A recent article, part of which I am quoting below, may have answered my question. Penned by Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo who is also a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, the article published today in Foreign Policy states:
I know that the CIA, Treasury Department, National Security Agency, and others work closely to keep tabs on the IRGC’s operations.
And how exactly do they do that? According to Congressman Pompeo (who is also a Tea Party member):
By using a huge, wall-sized poster, the Treasury Department delineates which Iranian individuals, government officials, and military commanders are tied to terrorism and which evasion mechanisms they are utilizing.
The poster’s hard lines and dashed lines map the constantly changing IRGC. It provides an impressive visual representation of the advanced network the IRGC maintains in dozens of critical industries. With this poster and many other tools, our intelligence community tries to keep a pulse on the members of the IRGC’s terrorist regime.
Great, so why doesn’t the Obama administration use this information to state which Iranian companies are “clean” from IRGC connections so that foreign businesses to do business with them? Well, here is where it gets tricky:
But the poster also contains enormous blank spaces and question marks. There are areas that we wish were filled in, but are empty. Despite the incredible amount of U.S. manpower and resources put into the maintenance of this sophisticated chart, there are many unknowns and imperfections.
So by the look of things, the US itself is not exactly sure about the exact extent of the IRGC’s presence in various companies in Iran. Therefore how can the Department of Justice issue guarantees to big banks about doing business in Iran?
You can read the entire article here.
The city of Mosul has been under ISIS control since June 2014. The Iraqi government together with the coalition forces is planning to retake the city, apparently in the next month or so.
However, according to retired US Army Colonel Daniel Davis, retaking Mosul could ignite a far bigger war in Iraq, this time between Shia and Sunni militia forces who are planning to defeat ISIS. According to Colonel Davis:
As reports continue to emerge from the liberation (once again) of Fallujah earlier this summer, yet again Shia militia are being investigated for large scale executions of Sunni civilians in the aftermath of the “liberation” of the city, as happened in Tikrit before.
Furthermore, there is no single command over Sunni and Shia militias which would supervise the attack to retake Mosul. Davis also states that once the city is taken over, there would be an urgent need for humanitarian assistance for the residents of Mosul. These risks could mean that:
“Separately, without more help than we’re giving now, the headlines that are now dwelling on the humanitarian disaster in Syria, especially Aleppo, could easily shift to Mosul. Europe could suffer a whole new refugee crisis. That was another issue stressed by both Minister Mustafa and General Yassin. “If significant changes are not made before the battle begins, we will have a humanitarian catastrophe,” Mustafa said.
You can read the rest of Colonel Davis’s assessments from his recent trip to Iraq here.
Being an Iranian born Israeli, when it comes to the question of Muslim women wearing the Islamic Hijab, I have seen both sides of the story.
On the one hand I am aware of and support the right of women to choose if they want to wear the Hijab. I am against the forced veiling of women in Iran by the regime. What makes this practice even more unacceptable is that the regime does this in the name of Islam and holding Islamic values, when at the same time the regime itself is ruled by deeply corrupt Islamic clerics. Lets remember that the supreme leader of Iran who is considered by his supporters to be God’s representative to all Shiites (Valiy-e Faqih) controls a financial empire estimated to be worth $95 billion.
On the other hand, given the choice, some women in Iran like the Hijab. The same in other Middle Eastern countries. They like to dress modestly and conservatively, in accordance to their social and religious beliefs and values. They don’t like to be ogled at by unknown men or worst, to be approached by them and wolf whistled or being offered indecent sexual proposals. Its kind of a protection system for them. I remember vividly when the Tehran Bus company (Sherkat-e Vahed ) segregated buses: men to the front, women to the back. To many of us, at first instance this sounds like sexism. However I remember how happy some Iranian women were, because they were sick of being touched up and sexually harassed by unknown men in Tehran’s often crowded buses where everyone is pushed together like sardines.
Kudos to the Hollywood actress Mayim Biyalik (who stars in the Big Bang Theory) for highlighting the modesty angle of the Hijab on her Instagram page (which has 1.5 million followers). Mayim is herself an observant Jew. Thank you Mayim.
Muslim women are sometimes criticized or accused of being 'oppressed' because of the way they dress…but modest dress doesn't translate to oppression. Guest writer and clothing designer Zahra Aljabri – winner of the @BlogHer #BlogHer16 Pitch Competition – discusses her choice to dress modestly and how others' assumptions about modesty impact her life. (Link in bio)
In July an unknown UAV penetrated Israel’s airspace from Syria. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) did everything to bring it down, to no avail. This included firing patriot missiles and sending an F-16 fighter jet to shoot down the drone, all of which proved to be unsuccessful. Because of its small size and agility, the UAV stayed in Israeli airspace for apparently half an hour, which must have seemed like an eternity to the IDF.
Well, the story just got more interesting.
According to Arie Egozi who writes for the reputable aviation magazine Flight Global, Israeli military sources now suggest that the UAV was probably:
a Searcher 2 designed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) which was being operated by Russian forces deployed within Syria.
So it was one of our own UAVs which we sold to Russia. So that also means that the Russians are most probably using Israeli made UAVs in their campaign to defend Iran and Hezbollah’s ally Bashar Al Assad in Syria! These spy drones were sold to Russia in 2010 as part pf a $400 million arms package, well before the Syrian civil war started, but as history has shown, you never know where your weapons end up at.
בזמן כהונתו כנשיא איראן בשנות ה90, מוהמד חתאמי בראיון טלוויזיה חשף סוד (דרך המתרגם שלו) על בינימין נתניהו. אני פשוט לא מבין איך התקשורת הישראלית פספסו את זה!
אתם יכולים ליראות את כל הראייון פה