Category: Rovvy Lepor

Turkey’s Actions in Syria Harm U.S. National Security


In last week’s State of the Union Address, President Trump noted the great progress made against ISIS::

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.

In light of recent victories against ISIS at the hands of the United States, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and other armed forces, ISIS is on the verge of total defeat. Since the U.S.-backed coalition began its campaign against the Islamic State in September 2014, ISIS has lost over 40,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria, an area roughly the size of Ohio. And on the day President Trump was inaugurated, there were an estimated 35,000 ISIS fighters.  That translates into a loss of roughly 96% of its territory since 2014 and a loss of over 97% of ISIS terrorists over the past year.  The Defense Department notes that the remaining territory is mostly barren desert.  To illustrate the dramatic territorial losses of the Islamic State, the U.S. State Department released a map last December.

The Kurdish Contribution to the Fight Against ISIS

Unfortunately, many of these gains against ISIS are now at serious risk.  Erdogan is intent on destroying the primary fighting force against ISIS — the SDF.  The SDF is comprised of about 85,000 fighters including the male YPG militia, the female YPJ militia, and Arab militias, and is a U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria.  The Kurdish presence in the SDF is estimated at between 40–70%.  The SDF was established at the behest of the United States in October 2015 under the control of the YPG.

Since the formation of the SDF, this Kurdish-led force has won at least 16 military campaigns against ISIS with no losses.  The SDF led the critically important Raqqa campaign (2016–2017) that resulted in the fall of Raqqa as the capital of the Islamic State in October 2017.

President Trump described it as “a critical breakthrough in [the] worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS.”  He added that it would be necessary for these Kurdish-led forces to play a central role in the transition to a stable and peaceful post-war Syria: “With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.  We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace…”

Turkey’s Military Intervention Against the Kurds

The Turkish military announced on January 20 that it had launched “Operation Olive Branch” in and around Afrin, a city north of Aleppo in northwest Syria. The stated purpose of this military operation is to “establish [Turkish] security and stability on [its] borders and region” and to “eliminate” Kurdish and ISIS “terrorists” in order “to save our friends and brothers… from their oppression and cruelty” and as a matter of “self defense.”

Turkey, along with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA), and other groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, have been engaged in battle with Kurdish forces in Afrin that have already resulted in the deaths of scores of civilians with reports of as many as 500 killed and wounded. According to Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), “Turkey’s only genuine enemy in Syria is the Kurds” and “supports anything that harms the Kurds.”

Subsequent to the onset of Turkish military hostilities, the U.S.-backed SDF rejected Turkish assertions of the presence of Islamic State terrorists. Redur Xelil, a senior SDF official, noted that “the whole world knows Daesh (Islamic State) is not present in Afrin.” 

On January 24, Turkish President Erdogan said that Turkey would expand its military campaign about 60 miles east to the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Manbij with a population of about 100,000.  Erdogan announced that “with the Olive Branch operation, we have once again thwarted the game of those sneaky forces whose interests in the region are different” and “starting in Manbij, we will continue to thwart their game.”

President Trump told Erdogan to “deescalate” the Turkish military campaign and “limit its military actions.”  On January 25, the Pentagon warned that “Afrin operations are impeding the task to eliminate ISIS,” accusing Turkey of assisting the Islamic State by attacking Kurdish militias. Erdogan instead declared a substantial expansion of Turkey’s military campaign, saying that they would not only “clean up” the city of Manbij, but “will continue [Turkey’s] fight until there is no terrorist on our border leading to Iraq.”

Turkey’s Two-Faced Approach to ISIS

Turkey’s approach to ISIS has proven two-faced. Turkey is an unreliable ally against ISIS and its attacks on the Kurdish forces could help ISIS snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, harming the critical national security interests of the United States.

Turkey has been slow to commit to fighting ISIS, and its sporadic strikes were often reprisals for ISIS attacks on Turkey.  Claims that Turkey steadfastly opposes ISIS are contradicted by numerous reports, as well as satellite images of ISIS oil being transported from Syria to Turkey.  During a May 2015 U.S. special forces raid against ISIS leader Abu Sayyaf, a vast amount of evidence was collected “undeniable” proving direct dealing between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members in the oil trade.

Abu Sayyaf was responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern oilfields.  According to a senior Western official “the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”

According to a May 2015 NBC News report, “…oil and gas sales through Turkey are seen as the second-biggest source of ISIS financing…”  In a separate report that year, NBC revealed that ISIS made approximately $10 million a month from its oil trade, down from a high of $40 million earlier in 2015. 

Turkey had long served as a gateway for foreign ISIS fighters to enter Syria, turning a blind eye and even stamping their passports.  This Turkish-ISIS collusion fits a pattern of Turkey’s open or tacit support for other jihadi groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Hamas.

Turkey Threatens US Forces in Syria

Turkey’s military push against the SDF would be an unprecedented assault by one NATO member (Turkey) against a fellow NATO member (the U.S.).  Last November the Pentagon reported that the U.S. had deployed over 1,700 personnel in Syria to support the SDF.  Erdogan demanded that U.S. forces leave Manbij but was rebuffed by Central Command Commander General Joseph Vogel, who stated that withdrawal from Manbij is “not something we are looking into.”  If Turkey continues its planned assault on Manbij, it would directly threaten U.S. troops. According to UK Major General Felix Gedney, the Deputy Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force to defeat ISIS, Turkey’s military operations place the coalition’s mission to defeat ISIS “at risk.”

Bekir Bozdag, the deputy prime minister of Turkey, told CNN that the Turkish offensive would “go to Manbij” if the YPG does not withdraw.  Bozdag directly threatened U.S. troops, saying that “if US soldiers wear terrorist uniforms or are among the terrorists then… we will see them as… terrorists.”

Resolution of Conflict

In light of the strategic necessity of protecting our Kurdish allies, reports that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster assured Turkey that the U.S. would no longer provide weapons to the YPG are very worrying.  If true, it would be a show of U.S. weakness.

The United States and NATO must make it absolutely clear that Turkey must suspend its assault or face serious consequences.  This would include sanctions, any necessary use of force to defend U.S. personnel, and exploration of Turkey’s possible expulsion from NATO.

There are already reasons to impose sanctions on Turkey.  For one, its purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system requires the U.S. to sanction Turkey and cut off all US arms sales.  In addition, the US should punish Turkish violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran.  This would include a potential fine of billions of dollars for violations by six Turkish banks.

Considering the critically important role that the SDF and YPG play in wartime and the great influence they will wield in peacetime, it is essential that the U.S. continues to exert its influence in support of our Kurdish allies.  That must include full military support and continued arming of the SDF.  The defeat of ISIS that President Trump demands must be realized for moral and national security reasons.  If President Erdogan gets his way, the SDF is destroyed and ISIS survives.  It is essential that President Trump fully backs the SDF and YPG and displays American strength. 

President Trump is leading the United States to a historic victory against the Islamic State terrorists. On the brink of total U.S. victory against ISIS, Turkey’s Erdogan has ordered an aggressive air and ground military campaign against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS, as well as against other Kurdish militias in Syria. 

U.S. Military Campaign Against ISIS

In last week’s State of the Union Address, President Trump noted the great progress made against ISIS::

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.  One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  But there is much more work to be done.

In light of recent victories against ISIS at the hands of the United States, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and other armed forces, ISIS is on the verge of total defeat. Since the U.S.-backed coalition began its campaign against the Islamic State in September 2014, ISIS has lost over 40,000 square miles of territory in Iraq and Syria, an area roughly the size of Ohio. And on the day President Trump was inaugurated, there were an estimated 35,000 ISIS fighters.  That translates into a loss of roughly 96% of its territory since 2014 and a loss of over 97% of ISIS terrorists over the past year.  The Defense Department notes that the remaining territory is mostly barren desert.  To illustrate the dramatic territorial losses of the Islamic State, the U.S. State Department released a map last December.

The Kurdish Contribution to the Fight Against ISIS

Unfortunately, many of these gains against ISIS are now at serious risk.  Erdogan is intent on destroying the primary fighting force against ISIS — the SDF.  The SDF is comprised of about 85,000 fighters including the male YPG militia, the female YPJ militia, and Arab militias, and is a U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS in Syria.  The Kurdish presence in the SDF is estimated at between 40–70%.  The SDF was established at the behest of the United States in October 2015 under the control of the YPG.

Since the formation of the SDF, this Kurdish-led force has won at least 16 military campaigns against ISIS with no losses.  The SDF led the critically important Raqqa campaign (2016–2017) that resulted in the fall of Raqqa as the capital of the Islamic State in October 2017.

President Trump described it as “a critical breakthrough in [the] worldwide campaign to defeat ISIS.”  He added that it would be necessary for these Kurdish-led forces to play a central role in the transition to a stable and peaceful post-war Syria: “With the liberation of ISIS’s capital and the vast majority of its territory, the end of the ISIS caliphate is in sight.  We will soon transition into a new phase in which we will support local security forces, de-escalate violence across Syria, and advance the conditions for lasting peace…”

Turkey’s Military Intervention Against the Kurds

The Turkish military announced on January 20 that it had launched “Operation Olive Branch” in and around Afrin, a city north of Aleppo in northwest Syria. The stated purpose of this military operation is to “establish [Turkish] security and stability on [its] borders and region” and to “eliminate” Kurdish and ISIS “terrorists” in order “to save our friends and brothers… from their oppression and cruelty” and as a matter of “self defense.”

Turkey, along with the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA), and other groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, have been engaged in battle with Kurdish forces in Afrin that have already resulted in the deaths of scores of civilians with reports of as many as 500 killed and wounded. According to Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), “Turkey’s only genuine enemy in Syria is the Kurds” and “supports anything that harms the Kurds.”

Subsequent to the onset of Turkish military hostilities, the U.S.-backed SDF rejected Turkish assertions of the presence of Islamic State terrorists. Redur Xelil, a senior SDF official, noted that “the whole world knows Daesh (Islamic State) is not present in Afrin.” 

On January 24, Turkish President Erdogan said that Turkey would expand its military campaign about 60 miles east to the Kurdish-held Syrian city of Manbij with a population of about 100,000.  Erdogan announced that “with the Olive Branch operation, we have once again thwarted the game of those sneaky forces whose interests in the region are different” and “starting in Manbij, we will continue to thwart their game.”

President Trump told Erdogan to “deescalate” the Turkish military campaign and “limit its military actions.”  On January 25, the Pentagon warned that “Afrin operations are impeding the task to eliminate ISIS,” accusing Turkey of assisting the Islamic State by attacking Kurdish militias. Erdogan instead declared a substantial expansion of Turkey’s military campaign, saying that they would not only “clean up” the city of Manbij, but “will continue [Turkey’s] fight until there is no terrorist on our border leading to Iraq.”

Turkey’s Two-Faced Approach to ISIS

Turkey’s approach to ISIS has proven two-faced. Turkey is an unreliable ally against ISIS and its attacks on the Kurdish forces could help ISIS snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, harming the critical national security interests of the United States.

Turkey has been slow to commit to fighting ISIS, and its sporadic strikes were often reprisals for ISIS attacks on Turkey.  Claims that Turkey steadfastly opposes ISIS are contradicted by numerous reports, as well as satellite images of ISIS oil being transported from Syria to Turkey.  During a May 2015 U.S. special forces raid against ISIS leader Abu Sayyaf, a vast amount of evidence was collected “undeniable” proving direct dealing between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members in the oil trade.

Abu Sayyaf was responsible for smuggling oil from Syria’s eastern oilfields.  According to a senior Western official “the links are already so clear that they could end up having profound policy implications for the relationship between us and Ankara.”

According to a May 2015 NBC News report, “…oil and gas sales through Turkey are seen as the second-biggest source of ISIS financing…”  In a separate report that year, NBC revealed that ISIS made approximately $10 million a month from its oil trade, down from a high of $40 million earlier in 2015. 

Turkey had long served as a gateway for foreign ISIS fighters to enter Syria, turning a blind eye and even stamping their passports.  This Turkish-ISIS collusion fits a pattern of Turkey’s open or tacit support for other jihadi groups, including Ahrar al-Sham and Hamas.

Turkey Threatens US Forces in Syria

Turkey’s military push against the SDF would be an unprecedented assault by one NATO member (Turkey) against a fellow NATO member (the U.S.).  Last November the Pentagon reported that the U.S. had deployed over 1,700 personnel in Syria to support the SDF.  Erdogan demanded that U.S. forces leave Manbij but was rebuffed by Central Command Commander General Joseph Vogel, who stated that withdrawal from Manbij is “not something we are looking into.”  If Turkey continues its planned assault on Manbij, it would directly threaten U.S. troops. According to UK Major General Felix Gedney, the Deputy Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force to defeat ISIS, Turkey’s military operations place the coalition’s mission to defeat ISIS “at risk.”

Bekir Bozdag, the deputy prime minister of Turkey, told CNN that the Turkish offensive would “go to Manbij” if the YPG does not withdraw.  Bozdag directly threatened U.S. troops, saying that “if US soldiers wear terrorist uniforms or are among the terrorists then… we will see them as… terrorists.”

Resolution of Conflict

In light of the strategic necessity of protecting our Kurdish allies, reports that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster assured Turkey that the U.S. would no longer provide weapons to the YPG are very worrying.  If true, it would be a show of U.S. weakness.

The United States and NATO must make it absolutely clear that Turkey must suspend its assault or face serious consequences.  This would include sanctions, any necessary use of force to defend U.S. personnel, and exploration of Turkey’s possible expulsion from NATO.

There are already reasons to impose sanctions on Turkey.  For one, its purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system requires the U.S. to sanction Turkey and cut off all US arms sales.  In addition, the US should punish Turkish violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran.  This would include a potential fine of billions of dollars for violations by six Turkish banks.

Considering the critically important role that the SDF and YPG play in wartime and the great influence they will wield in peacetime, it is essential that the U.S. continues to exert its influence in support of our Kurdish allies.  That must include full military support and continued arming of the SDF.  The defeat of ISIS that President Trump demands must be realized for moral and national security reasons.  If President Erdogan gets his way, the SDF is destroyed and ISIS survives.  It is essential that President Trump fully backs the SDF and YPG and displays American strength. 



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Cancel the Iran Nuclear Deal Now


President Trump has until January 12 to decide whether to terminate or “fix” the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).  Iran has proven to be eminently untrustworthy and unfaithful to the expectations of this deal.  Canceling the JCPOA would mitigate serious risks to the future national security of the USA and the international community, while “fixing” it allows Iran to clandestinely move forward with research and development on its nuclear weapons program with the extra funds it enjoys free of sanctions.  It is essential for President Trump to cancel this disastrous deal, effective immediately.

Influential voices in the White House, including secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defense secretary James Mattis, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, have recommended that President Trump “fix” the Iran nuclear deal rather than cancel it.  However, one option to “fix” the deal “is removing the requirement that Trump certify Iranian compliance” or, alternatively, “changing the law so certification occurs far less often.”  This is meant as a “face-saving fix” for President Trump, who “loathes having to give a thumbs-up to Iran every three months.”

Tillerson told the AP that “the president said he is either going to fix it or cancel it,” adding, “[W]e are in the process of trying to deliver on the promise he made to fix it.”  According to the AP, “while the talks involving the White House, the State Department[,] and Congress wouldn’t increase restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the U.S. enforces the agreement, perhaps persuading Trump that it’s worthwhile for the U.S. to stay in it.”  In effect, the touted “fix” is a misnomer that does nothing practical to change JCPOA substantively, but simply limits President Trump’s authority to review the deal and so far offers no specifics on how to strengthen enforcement.

In his speech on October 13, 2017, President Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “[I]n the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”  A true fix to the Iran nuclear deal cannot be achieved due to serious Iranian violations.  The Iranian regime is inherently and consistently untrustworthy, as proven from the history of work on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, blocking access to all military sites suspected of being part of the program, and far-reaching and enduring support of terrorism.

In addition to Iran’s support for terrorism and advancement of its ballistic missile program, much evidence exists that Iran is using the JCPOA as a cover for its nuclear weapons program rather than its supposed purpose as a hindrance to nuclear weapons capability.

The following constitute some of Iran’s nuclear related violations and probable violations.

Iranian military nuclear sites free of inspection

On June 24, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that “no inspection of military sites can ever be done.”  Reaffirming this sentiment in August 2017, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht stated that “Iran’s military sites are off limits,” noting that “all information about these sites [is] classified.  Iran will never allow such visits.”

Notwithstanding serious concerns about nuclear weapons work done at a number of Iranian military sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sees no need to visit Iranian military sites.  According to a report in Haaretz, Israeli officials stated that the IAEA was provided intelligence from a Western entity “regarding sites the Islamic republic did not report as part of its nuclear program and where, according to suspicions, forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted.”  The officials noted that close to none of the suspected nuclear sites have been visited by the IAEA.

In September 2017, the IAEA admitted that it doesn’t have oversight over Section T of the JCPOA.  Section T is titled “Activities Which Could Contribute to the Design and Development of a Nuclear Explosive Device.”  The IAEA therefore could not verify that Iran was “fully implementing the agreement.”

In addition, according to an October 2017 report released by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), there is a high degree of confidence that four new military sites “involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons program” along with two headquarters are operating in Iran free of inspection.  These six sites operate in violation of the JCPOA and remain off-limits to IAEA inspection.

Illegal nuclear procurement

In 2016, Iran made at least 32 attempts to procure illegal nuclear technology in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a German intelligence report.  According to the report, the attempted procurements “definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation program.”  This follows a previous report alleging Iran’s “clandestine” efforts to seek equipment and technology, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology” from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”  The report adds that “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The implementation of the JCPOA does not seem to have affected this pursuit.  According to Hamburg’s intelligence agency, “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic policies in 2016.”  And an intelligence report from Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg notes that Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.”

Iran never committed to the JCPOA

The Iranian government never accepted the same nuclear deal that the P5+1 accepted in the JCPOA.

Iran may already have nuclear weapons

In a 2015 article, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, an expert in national security matters, provides evidence from an IAEA report that strongly indicates that Iran already has nuclear weapons.

Iran procured equipment necessary for nuclear weapon development[;] … conducted hydrodynamic experiments that, according to the IAEA report[,] “are strong indicators of possible weapon development[;]” … cast and shaped uranium metal into hemispheres for a nuclear implosion device (a sophisticated nuclear weapon design)[;] … [and] verified the design of a nuclear weapon with non-fissile explosive testing in a containment chamber[.] … During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 16 months from the bomb[.] … Iran developed and tested exploding bridgewire detonators, necessary to an implosion nuclear weapon.  During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 6 months from the bomb[.] … Iran manufactured neutron initiators which are used to start a fission chain-reaction in a nuclear weapon[.] … Iran drafted 14 different workable designs for a nuclear weapon to fit inside the re-entry vehicle for the high-explosive [H.E.] warhead of Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile[.] … Iran developed fusing systems for a nuclear missile warhead to perform a ground-burst or high-altitude burst above 3,000 meters.

The Iran nuclear deal cannot be rehabilitated.  The Iranian regime has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy and consistently seeks to use subterfuge to bypass the nuclear deal while moving forward on its dangerous nuclear weapons program.  Illegal procurement of components for the nuclear program, nuclear sites that are off-limits, lack of commitment to the JCPOA, and substantial advancements in the nuclear program all demonstrate that the Iran nuclear deal provides sanctions relief and much needed capital and cover for Iran’s nuclear advances.

The so-called “fix” appears to be mainly an attempt to lull President Trump out of his inclination, and even authority, to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.  The deal must be scrapped – the sooner, the better.

President Trump has until January 12 to decide whether to terminate or “fix” the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA).  Iran has proven to be eminently untrustworthy and unfaithful to the expectations of this deal.  Canceling the JCPOA would mitigate serious risks to the future national security of the USA and the international community, while “fixing” it allows Iran to clandestinely move forward with research and development on its nuclear weapons program with the extra funds it enjoys free of sanctions.  It is essential for President Trump to cancel this disastrous deal, effective immediately.

Influential voices in the White House, including secretary of state Rex Tillerson, defense secretary James Mattis, and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, have recommended that President Trump “fix” the Iran nuclear deal rather than cancel it.  However, one option to “fix” the deal “is removing the requirement that Trump certify Iranian compliance” or, alternatively, “changing the law so certification occurs far less often.”  This is meant as a “face-saving fix” for President Trump, who “loathes having to give a thumbs-up to Iran every three months.”

Tillerson told the AP that “the president said he is either going to fix it or cancel it,” adding, “[W]e are in the process of trying to deliver on the promise he made to fix it.”  According to the AP, “while the talks involving the White House, the State Department[,] and Congress wouldn’t increase restrictions on Iran’s nuclear activity, as Trump also wants, they could strengthen the way the U.S. enforces the agreement, perhaps persuading Trump that it’s worthwhile for the U.S. to stay in it.”  In effect, the touted “fix” is a misnomer that does nothing practical to change JCPOA substantively, but simply limits President Trump’s authority to review the deal and so far offers no specifics on how to strengthen enforcement.

In his speech on October 13, 2017, President Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “[I]n the event we are not able to reach a solution working with Congress and our allies, then the agreement will be terminated.”  A true fix to the Iran nuclear deal cannot be achieved due to serious Iranian violations.  The Iranian regime is inherently and consistently untrustworthy, as proven from the history of work on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program, blocking access to all military sites suspected of being part of the program, and far-reaching and enduring support of terrorism.

In addition to Iran’s support for terrorism and advancement of its ballistic missile program, much evidence exists that Iran is using the JCPOA as a cover for its nuclear weapons program rather than its supposed purpose as a hindrance to nuclear weapons capability.

The following constitute some of Iran’s nuclear related violations and probable violations.

Iranian military nuclear sites free of inspection

On June 24, 2015, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that “no inspection of military sites can ever be done.”  Reaffirming this sentiment in August 2017, Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht stated that “Iran’s military sites are off limits,” noting that “all information about these sites [is] classified.  Iran will never allow such visits.”

Notwithstanding serious concerns about nuclear weapons work done at a number of Iranian military sites, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sees no need to visit Iranian military sites.  According to a report in Haaretz, Israeli officials stated that the IAEA was provided intelligence from a Western entity “regarding sites the Islamic republic did not report as part of its nuclear program and where, according to suspicions, forbidden nuclear military research and development activity was being conducted.”  The officials noted that close to none of the suspected nuclear sites have been visited by the IAEA.

In September 2017, the IAEA admitted that it doesn’t have oversight over Section T of the JCPOA.  Section T is titled “Activities Which Could Contribute to the Design and Development of a Nuclear Explosive Device.”  The IAEA therefore could not verify that Iran was “fully implementing the agreement.”

In addition, according to an October 2017 report released by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), there is a high degree of confidence that four new military sites “involved in various aspects of the nuclear weapons program” along with two headquarters are operating in Iran free of inspection.  These six sites operate in violation of the JCPOA and remain off-limits to IAEA inspection.

Illegal nuclear procurement

In 2016, Iran made at least 32 attempts to procure illegal nuclear technology in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a German intelligence report.  According to the report, the attempted procurements “definitely or with high likelihood were undertaken for the benefit of proliferation program.”  This follows a previous report alleging Iran’s “clandestine” efforts to seek equipment and technology, “especially goods that can be used in the field of nuclear technology” from German companies “at what is, even by international standards, a quantitatively high level.”  The report adds that “it is safe to expect that Iran will continue its intensive procurement activities in Germany using clandestine methods to achieve its objectives.”

The implementation of the JCPOA does not seem to have affected this pursuit.  According to Hamburg’s intelligence agency, “there is no evidence of a complete about-face in Iran’s atomic policies in 2016.”  And an intelligence report from Germany’s southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg notes that Iran sought “products and scientific knowhow for the field of developing weapons of mass destruction as well as missile technology.”

Iran never committed to the JCPOA

The Iranian government never accepted the same nuclear deal that the P5+1 accepted in the JCPOA.

Iran may already have nuclear weapons

In a 2015 article, Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, an expert in national security matters, provides evidence from an IAEA report that strongly indicates that Iran already has nuclear weapons.

Iran procured equipment necessary for nuclear weapon development[;] … conducted hydrodynamic experiments that, according to the IAEA report[,] “are strong indicators of possible weapon development[;]” … cast and shaped uranium metal into hemispheres for a nuclear implosion device (a sophisticated nuclear weapon design)[;] … [and] verified the design of a nuclear weapon with non-fissile explosive testing in a containment chamber[.] … During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 16 months from the bomb[.] … Iran developed and tested exploding bridgewire detonators, necessary to an implosion nuclear weapon.  During the WWII Manhattan Project, at this stage the U.S. was 6 months from the bomb[.] … Iran manufactured neutron initiators which are used to start a fission chain-reaction in a nuclear weapon[.] … Iran drafted 14 different workable designs for a nuclear weapon to fit inside the re-entry vehicle for the high-explosive [H.E.] warhead of Iran’s Shahab-3 medium-range missile[.] … Iran developed fusing systems for a nuclear missile warhead to perform a ground-burst or high-altitude burst above 3,000 meters.

The Iran nuclear deal cannot be rehabilitated.  The Iranian regime has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy and consistently seeks to use subterfuge to bypass the nuclear deal while moving forward on its dangerous nuclear weapons program.  Illegal procurement of components for the nuclear program, nuclear sites that are off-limits, lack of commitment to the JCPOA, and substantial advancements in the nuclear program all demonstrate that the Iran nuclear deal provides sanctions relief and much needed capital and cover for Iran’s nuclear advances.

The so-called “fix” appears to be mainly an attempt to lull President Trump out of his inclination, and even authority, to oppose the Iran nuclear deal.  The deal must be scrapped – the sooner, the better.



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The Keys to True Peace in the Middle East


If the Trump Administration wishes to succeed in achieving true peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors in Judea and Samaria, the U.S. must first recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and must demand a full stop to Palestinian terrorism and incitement against Israel. This makes all the difference between true peace and an empty agreement.

The Trump administration appears determined to finally achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). This attempt to broker true peace between Israel and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (aka the Palestinian Arabs) is doomed to failure unless and until the “peace process” takes a radically different approach toward making peace.

If the Trump administration simply follows the strategy of the previous three administrations (Clinton, Bush, and Obama) it is doomed to also fail in achieving peace. The strategy of the previous administrations was to pressure both sides to negotiate and demand numerous concessions from Israel, from security concessions to transfer of land from Israel to the PA. Such concessions have often led to a significant deterioration in peace, with Palestinian terrorists attacking Israel. One such infamous example was the “disengagement” from Gaza where roughly 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes. Shortly thereafter, Hamas took control of Gaza. Since then there have been three major military conflicts between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

Therefore, if the Trump administration truly wants to see if peace is even achievable, they must take a very different approach than previous administrations. Otherwise, if the U.S. wants to achieve a meaningless declaration of peace signed by both parties on a piece of paper, even if it leads to violence rather than peace, they would simply be proclaiming “‘peace, peace!’ while there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11)

To determine if peace is even feasible, the Trump administration must immediately recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel once and for all and move its embassy to Jerusalem. Israel will never agree to a peace deal that does not recognize Jerusalem as its capital. That recognition must also come from the PA prior to a peace agreement.

By immediately moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the U.S. would initially recognize “West Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel. President Trump could then send the following ultimatum to Mahmoud Abbas: in one year we will recognize a United Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unless the PA stops all incitement against Israel and Jews for that entire year. This includes all forms of encouraging terrorism. In addition, the PA must prevent all terrorist attacks against Israel. If they do not comply, the U.S. will stop all aid to the Palestinians forthwith.

PA controlled media, including television, radio, Internet, and print, all incite Arabs to murder Jews and Israelis. This is also rife in the Palestinian school system. The Jerusalem Post reports that “over 200 U.S. government [i.e., Obama administration] approved textbooks used in hundreds of Palestinian UNRWA-sponsored schools” teach Arab children to murder Israelis “and sacrifice themselves… to drive Jews out of the country.” This incitement reaches to the highest levels of the Palestinian government. In September 2015, Mahmoud Abbas said, “We salute every drop of blood spilled for the sake of Jerusalem. This blood is clean, pure blood, shed for the sake of Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will be placed in Paradise, and all the wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”

The PA must stop naming squares, streets, and institutions after terrorists and must remove all such names and references to terrorists immediately. (One of many examples of this practice occurred in 2010 when the PA named a square after a terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis in 1978. Another is the PA’s frequently honoring the arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who was responsible for the murders of 125 Israelis, including naming a park after him.)

The PA must immediately stop all payments to terrorists in Israeli jails. In 2016 alone, the PA paid $140 million to Arab terrorists who had been imprisoned by Israel and another $175 million to the families of Arab “martyrs.” This accounts for a whopping 7% of the PA’s budget.

The Palestinian Authority must ban all terrorists from running in Palestinian elections. Mahmoud Abbas should start with his own Fatah; after all he is the President of Fatah. The PA continued to show its support of terrorists with the election this month of Tayseer Abu Sneineh as mayor of Hebron, the largest Palestinian controlled city in Judea and Samaria. Sneineh is a terrorist convicted of the 1980 murder of six Israeli Jews, including two American citizens and a Canadian national. Sneineh was a candidate of Abbas’ Fatah Party!

Israel has already demonstrated its willingness to make peace through so-called “confidence building measures” including the 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). Israel has already done its part. To achieve true peace, it is time for Palestinian concessions. For peace to work, President Trump should not insist on a transfer of Israeli territory to Palestinian rule as part of a so-called “confidence building measure.” That would be a path to failure.

President Trump called terrorists “evil losers” and in his speech this week at the Israel Museum said that “we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world” adding that “all decent people want to live in peace.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during his Senate confirmation, said in reference to the PA: “It’s one thing to renounce [terrorism] and another thing to take serious actions to prevent it,” adding that Palestinian leaders have to do “something to at least interrupt or prevent [terrorism]” before there can be “any productive discussion around [Israeli] settlements.”

President Trump stated that Mahmoud Abbas is ready for peace, saying, “I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace.” President Trump should judge Abbas and the Palestinian leadership by its actions and regular incitement to violence rather than by statements made by Abbas in personal meetings with him.

Alan Dershowitz explains the reality on the ground when it comes to PA incitement to violence:

“…when the Palestinian Authority claims to reject terrorism, they reward the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists with large compensation packages that increase with the number of innocent victims. If the perpetrator of the Manchester massacre had been Palestinian and if the massacre had taken place in an Israeli auditorium, the Palestinian Authority would have paid his family a small fortune for murdering so many children. There is a name for people and organizations that pay other people for killing innocent civilians: it’s called accessory to murder. If the Mafia offered bounties to kill its opponents, no one would sympathize with those who made the offer. Yet the Palestinian leadership that does the same thing is welcomed and honored throughout the world.”

If the Palestinians truly want a state, they must start by permanently and immediately stopping all incitement against Israel and Jews in every form. They must stop rewarding and encouraging terrorism. If they are truly serious about peace with Israel, they will stop their terror war against Israel. If the Palestinian Authority does not stop funding, inciting, and committing terrorism against Israelis, there can be no peace deal. 

If the Trump Administration wishes to succeed in achieving true peace between Israel and her Arab neighbors in Judea and Samaria, the U.S. must first recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and must demand a full stop to Palestinian terrorism and incitement against Israel. This makes all the difference between true peace and an empty agreement.

The Trump administration appears determined to finally achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). This attempt to broker true peace between Israel and Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (aka the Palestinian Arabs) is doomed to failure unless and until the “peace process” takes a radically different approach toward making peace.

If the Trump administration simply follows the strategy of the previous three administrations (Clinton, Bush, and Obama) it is doomed to also fail in achieving peace. The strategy of the previous administrations was to pressure both sides to negotiate and demand numerous concessions from Israel, from security concessions to transfer of land from Israel to the PA. Such concessions have often led to a significant deterioration in peace, with Palestinian terrorists attacking Israel. One such infamous example was the “disengagement” from Gaza where roughly 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes. Shortly thereafter, Hamas took control of Gaza. Since then there have been three major military conflicts between Israel and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

Therefore, if the Trump administration truly wants to see if peace is even achievable, they must take a very different approach than previous administrations. Otherwise, if the U.S. wants to achieve a meaningless declaration of peace signed by both parties on a piece of paper, even if it leads to violence rather than peace, they would simply be proclaiming “‘peace, peace!’ while there is no peace.” (Jeremiah 8:11)

To determine if peace is even feasible, the Trump administration must immediately recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel once and for all and move its embassy to Jerusalem. Israel will never agree to a peace deal that does not recognize Jerusalem as its capital. That recognition must also come from the PA prior to a peace agreement.

By immediately moving its embassy to Jerusalem, the U.S. would initially recognize “West Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel. President Trump could then send the following ultimatum to Mahmoud Abbas: in one year we will recognize a United Jerusalem as the capital of Israel unless the PA stops all incitement against Israel and Jews for that entire year. This includes all forms of encouraging terrorism. In addition, the PA must prevent all terrorist attacks against Israel. If they do not comply, the U.S. will stop all aid to the Palestinians forthwith.

PA controlled media, including television, radio, Internet, and print, all incite Arabs to murder Jews and Israelis. This is also rife in the Palestinian school system. The Jerusalem Post reports that “over 200 U.S. government [i.e., Obama administration] approved textbooks used in hundreds of Palestinian UNRWA-sponsored schools” teach Arab children to murder Israelis “and sacrifice themselves… to drive Jews out of the country.” This incitement reaches to the highest levels of the Palestinian government. In September 2015, Mahmoud Abbas said, “We salute every drop of blood spilled for the sake of Jerusalem. This blood is clean, pure blood, shed for the sake of Allah, Allah willing. Every martyr will be placed in Paradise, and all the wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”

The PA must stop naming squares, streets, and institutions after terrorists and must remove all such names and references to terrorists immediately. (One of many examples of this practice occurred in 2010 when the PA named a square after a terrorist who murdered 37 Israelis in 1978. Another is the PA’s frequently honoring the arch-terrorist Abu Jihad who was responsible for the murders of 125 Israelis, including naming a park after him.)

The PA must immediately stop all payments to terrorists in Israeli jails. In 2016 alone, the PA paid $140 million to Arab terrorists who had been imprisoned by Israel and another $175 million to the families of Arab “martyrs.” This accounts for a whopping 7% of the PA’s budget.

The Palestinian Authority must ban all terrorists from running in Palestinian elections. Mahmoud Abbas should start with his own Fatah; after all he is the President of Fatah. The PA continued to show its support of terrorists with the election this month of Tayseer Abu Sneineh as mayor of Hebron, the largest Palestinian controlled city in Judea and Samaria. Sneineh is a terrorist convicted of the 1980 murder of six Israeli Jews, including two American citizens and a Canadian national. Sneineh was a candidate of Abbas’ Fatah Party!

Israel has already demonstrated its willingness to make peace through so-called “confidence building measures” including the 10-month building freeze in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank). Israel has already done its part. To achieve true peace, it is time for Palestinian concessions. For peace to work, President Trump should not insist on a transfer of Israeli territory to Palestinian rule as part of a so-called “confidence building measure.” That would be a path to failure.

President Trump called terrorists “evil losers” and in his speech this week at the Israel Museum said that “we must drive out the terrorists and the extremists from our midst, obliterate this evil ideology, and protect and defend our citizens and people of the world” adding that “all decent people want to live in peace.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, during his Senate confirmation, said in reference to the PA: “It’s one thing to renounce [terrorism] and another thing to take serious actions to prevent it,” adding that Palestinian leaders have to do “something to at least interrupt or prevent [terrorism]” before there can be “any productive discussion around [Israeli] settlements.”

President Trump stated that Mahmoud Abbas is ready for peace, saying, “I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace.” President Trump should judge Abbas and the Palestinian leadership by its actions and regular incitement to violence rather than by statements made by Abbas in personal meetings with him.

Alan Dershowitz explains the reality on the ground when it comes to PA incitement to violence:

“…when the Palestinian Authority claims to reject terrorism, they reward the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists with large compensation packages that increase with the number of innocent victims. If the perpetrator of the Manchester massacre had been Palestinian and if the massacre had taken place in an Israeli auditorium, the Palestinian Authority would have paid his family a small fortune for murdering so many children. There is a name for people and organizations that pay other people for killing innocent civilians: it’s called accessory to murder. If the Mafia offered bounties to kill its opponents, no one would sympathize with those who made the offer. Yet the Palestinian leadership that does the same thing is welcomed and honored throughout the world.”

If the Palestinians truly want a state, they must start by permanently and immediately stopping all incitement against Israel and Jews in every form. They must stop rewarding and encouraging terrorism. If they are truly serious about peace with Israel, they will stop their terror war against Israel. If the Palestinian Authority does not stop funding, inciting, and committing terrorism against Israelis, there can be no peace deal. 



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Boeing’s Contract with Iran Harms National Security


In recent months Boeing has signed contracts with Iranian airlines for the sale of over 100 state-of-the-art aircraft. Iran has a history of supplying terrorists with advanced weaponry on commercial airplanes and the U.S. government must not allow Boeing to sell aircraft to Iran.

Iran regularly uses commercial aircraft to transfer advanced weapons to the Syrian regime in support of the brutal Syrian civil war that has left approximately half a million dead. Iran also arms Hizb’allah with weapons and missiles via commercial aircraft.

Despite this, Boeing chooses to callously and treacherously turn a blind eye to the usage of Boeing aircraft in the service of terrorists who threaten U.S. national security and that of key allies such as Israel.

Hizb’allah is a terrorist proxy army of Iran responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings that claimed the lives of 305 people, including 241 U.S. peacekeepers. Hizb’allah was also responsible for starting the 2006 Lebanon War against Israel.

Boeing may argue that pursuant to the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) it’s perfectly legal to sign aircraft contracts with Iranian airlines not currently sanctioned. They may note that the Boeing deals with Iranian airlines would support close to 118,000 U.S. jobs and offer an important boost to the economy.

The Boeing deals made to date would provide up to 140 American-made aircraft. They include a December 2016 contract with Iran Air valued at $16.6 billion for the purchase of eighty new aircraft, including fifty 737 MAX 8s and thirty 777s and an April 2017 Boeing contract with Aseman Airlines valued at $3 billion for the sale of thirty 737 MAX airplanes (with an option for an additional thirty, allowing for a $6 billion cost for sixty aircraft). Iran has said that it negotiated with Boeing to pay only about $8 billion for the Iran Air contract. In addition, Aseman Airlines would also likely only pay approximately half of the announced contract amount.

In 2011, the U.S.Treasury Depeartment sanctioned Iran Air for its employment by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for its transport of “military related equipment.” On January 16, 2016, pursuant to the Iran nuclear deal, Iran Air was officially delisted from the Treasury Department’s list of sanctioned entities. While it may seem to the casual observer that Iran Air has ceased support for terrorism and the Syrian regime since being delisted from sanctions, that could not be farther from the truth.

In congressional testimony, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies testified that from Implementation Day of the Iran nuclear deal on January 16, 2016 through March 30, 2017, 690 commercial flights participated in airlifts from Iran to Syria. Half of those flights (345) were flown by Iran Air (114) and Mahan Air (231). These airlines undoubtedly ferry weapons and fighters to support the Syrian dictatorship and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

While Mahan Air is still under U.S. sanctions, the state-owned Iran Air is fully capable of transferring aircraft to Mahan Air. There are currently only thirty-four aircraft in the Iran Air fleet, two of which were delivered this year by Airbus. Overall, Iran plans to add approximately 500 airplanes to its commercial fleet of about 251 aircraft, effectively tripling its commercial air fleet.

While this would improve the safety of Iranian air travel, it would come at the steep cost of substantially advancing the capability of Iran to quickly arm Hizb’allah with advanced weapons that would threaten Israel and the region. Dr. Ottolenghi notes that Iran Air, with its dramatically expanded air fleet, would likely act as a front for other Iranian airlines that support the Syrian regime and Hizb’allah.

On July 12, 2016, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon revealed that Hizb’allah has 120,000 missiles aimed at Israel -– a whopping seventeen times the number of missiles it possessed just a decade earlier during the 2006 Lebanon War, estimated at 7,000! Then, in November Danon informed UN Security Council members that “The Iranian Al-Quds Force packs weapons, ammunition and missile technology to Hezbollah in suitcases and puts them on Mahan Air flights,” adding that “these planes fly directly to the airport in Lebanon or Damascus and from there the weapons are transferred on the ground to Hezbollah.”

Boeing’s focus on achieving lucrative deals with Iranian airlines that could net them upwards of $10 billion to $20 billion dollars (depending on final amount agreed by the parties) potentially comes at the expense of the lives and the well-being of an untold number of innocent civilians suffering the ravages of the Syrian civil war. In addition, the very real threat to life and limb of millions of Israelis posed by a strengthened Hizb’allah terrorist organization are all too clear.

In an April 10, 2017 letter to President Trump, Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Peter Roskam urged a stop to the Boeing deal, stating:

…Iran Air, Mahan Air, and other privately and publicly-owned Iranian commercial airlines use commercial aircraft to transport weapons, troops, and other tools of war to rogue regimes like the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and militant groups like the Houthi rebels in Yemen… Compelling evidence indicates that commercial Iranian airliners remain pivotal in delivering military support to terrorist groups and dictatorships around the Middle East.

By supporting these terrorist groups and rogue regimes, Iran’s commercial airlines have American blood on their hands…

The U.S. Treasury Department outlined Iran Air’s support of terrorism and terrorist-related activities in its 2011 press release announcing sanctions, as follows:

Iran Air has provided support and services to MODAFL and the IRGC through the transport and/or transfer of goods for, or on behalf of, these entities. On numerous occasions since 2000, Iran Air shipped military-related electronic parts and mechanical equipment on behalf of MODAFL…


Iran Air has shipped military-related equipment on behalf of the IRGC since 2006, and in September and November 2008, Iran Air shipped aircraft-related raw materials to a MODAFL-associated company, including titanium sheets, which have dual-use military applications and can be used in support of advanced weapons programs.


Rockets or missiles have been transported via Iran Air passenger aircraft, and IRGC officers occasionally take control over Iran Air flights carrying special IRGC-related cargo. The IRGC is also known to disguise and manifest such shipments as medicine and generic spare parts, and IRGC officers have discouraged Iran Air pilots from inspecting potentially dangerous IRGC-related cargo being carried aboard a commercial Iran Air aircraft, including to Syria.


Additionally, commercial Iran Air flights have also been used to transport missile or rocket components to Syria.

At best, the tunnel vision, or at worst, the careless indifference to the potential loss of life of so many by these Boeing-Iran deals indicate that Boeing is acting in bad faith with the American people and with U.S. National Security. Such contracts threaten the safety and security of not only American allies such as Israel, but of the United States itself.

Therefore, the U.S. Congress and President Trump must put an immediate stop to the Boeing aircraft sales to Iran.

In recent months Boeing has signed contracts with Iranian airlines for the sale of over 100 state-of-the-art aircraft. Iran has a history of supplying terrorists with advanced weaponry on commercial airplanes and the U.S. government must not allow Boeing to sell aircraft to Iran.

Iran regularly uses commercial aircraft to transfer advanced weapons to the Syrian regime in support of the brutal Syrian civil war that has left approximately half a million dead. Iran also arms Hizb’allah with weapons and missiles via commercial aircraft.

Despite this, Boeing chooses to callously and treacherously turn a blind eye to the usage of Boeing aircraft in the service of terrorists who threaten U.S. national security and that of key allies such as Israel.

Hizb’allah is a terrorist proxy army of Iran responsible for the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings that claimed the lives of 305 people, including 241 U.S. peacekeepers. Hizb’allah was also responsible for starting the 2006 Lebanon War against Israel.

Boeing may argue that pursuant to the Iran nuclear deal (aka the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA) it’s perfectly legal to sign aircraft contracts with Iranian airlines not currently sanctioned. They may note that the Boeing deals with Iranian airlines would support close to 118,000 U.S. jobs and offer an important boost to the economy.

The Boeing deals made to date would provide up to 140 American-made aircraft. They include a December 2016 contract with Iran Air valued at $16.6 billion for the purchase of eighty new aircraft, including fifty 737 MAX 8s and thirty 777s and an April 2017 Boeing contract with Aseman Airlines valued at $3 billion for the sale of thirty 737 MAX airplanes (with an option for an additional thirty, allowing for a $6 billion cost for sixty aircraft). Iran has said that it negotiated with Boeing to pay only about $8 billion for the Iran Air contract. In addition, Aseman Airlines would also likely only pay approximately half of the announced contract amount.

In 2011, the U.S.Treasury Depeartment sanctioned Iran Air for its employment by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) for its transport of “military related equipment.” On January 16, 2016, pursuant to the Iran nuclear deal, Iran Air was officially delisted from the Treasury Department’s list of sanctioned entities. While it may seem to the casual observer that Iran Air has ceased support for terrorism and the Syrian regime since being delisted from sanctions, that could not be farther from the truth.

In congressional testimony, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies testified that from Implementation Day of the Iran nuclear deal on January 16, 2016 through March 30, 2017, 690 commercial flights participated in airlifts from Iran to Syria. Half of those flights (345) were flown by Iran Air (114) and Mahan Air (231). These airlines undoubtedly ferry weapons and fighters to support the Syrian dictatorship and terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

While Mahan Air is still under U.S. sanctions, the state-owned Iran Air is fully capable of transferring aircraft to Mahan Air. There are currently only thirty-four aircraft in the Iran Air fleet, two of which were delivered this year by Airbus. Overall, Iran plans to add approximately 500 airplanes to its commercial fleet of about 251 aircraft, effectively tripling its commercial air fleet.

While this would improve the safety of Iranian air travel, it would come at the steep cost of substantially advancing the capability of Iran to quickly arm Hizb’allah with advanced weapons that would threaten Israel and the region. Dr. Ottolenghi notes that Iran Air, with its dramatically expanded air fleet, would likely act as a front for other Iranian airlines that support the Syrian regime and Hizb’allah.

On July 12, 2016, Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon revealed that Hizb’allah has 120,000 missiles aimed at Israel -– a whopping seventeen times the number of missiles it possessed just a decade earlier during the 2006 Lebanon War, estimated at 7,000! Then, in November Danon informed UN Security Council members that “The Iranian Al-Quds Force packs weapons, ammunition and missile technology to Hezbollah in suitcases and puts them on Mahan Air flights,” adding that “these planes fly directly to the airport in Lebanon or Damascus and from there the weapons are transferred on the ground to Hezbollah.”

Boeing’s focus on achieving lucrative deals with Iranian airlines that could net them upwards of $10 billion to $20 billion dollars (depending on final amount agreed by the parties) potentially comes at the expense of the lives and the well-being of an untold number of innocent civilians suffering the ravages of the Syrian civil war. In addition, the very real threat to life and limb of millions of Israelis posed by a strengthened Hizb’allah terrorist organization are all too clear.

In an April 10, 2017 letter to President Trump, Senator Marco Rubio and Congressman Peter Roskam urged a stop to the Boeing deal, stating:

…Iran Air, Mahan Air, and other privately and publicly-owned Iranian commercial airlines use commercial aircraft to transport weapons, troops, and other tools of war to rogue regimes like the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad, and militant groups like the Houthi rebels in Yemen… Compelling evidence indicates that commercial Iranian airliners remain pivotal in delivering military support to terrorist groups and dictatorships around the Middle East.

By supporting these terrorist groups and rogue regimes, Iran’s commercial airlines have American blood on their hands…

The U.S. Treasury Department outlined Iran Air’s support of terrorism and terrorist-related activities in its 2011 press release announcing sanctions, as follows:

Iran Air has provided support and services to MODAFL and the IRGC through the transport and/or transfer of goods for, or on behalf of, these entities. On numerous occasions since 2000, Iran Air shipped military-related electronic parts and mechanical equipment on behalf of MODAFL…


Iran Air has shipped military-related equipment on behalf of the IRGC since 2006, and in September and November 2008, Iran Air shipped aircraft-related raw materials to a MODAFL-associated company, including titanium sheets, which have dual-use military applications and can be used in support of advanced weapons programs.


Rockets or missiles have been transported via Iran Air passenger aircraft, and IRGC officers occasionally take control over Iran Air flights carrying special IRGC-related cargo. The IRGC is also known to disguise and manifest such shipments as medicine and generic spare parts, and IRGC officers have discouraged Iran Air pilots from inspecting potentially dangerous IRGC-related cargo being carried aboard a commercial Iran Air aircraft, including to Syria.


Additionally, commercial Iran Air flights have also been used to transport missile or rocket components to Syria.

At best, the tunnel vision, or at worst, the careless indifference to the potential loss of life of so many by these Boeing-Iran deals indicate that Boeing is acting in bad faith with the American people and with U.S. National Security. Such contracts threaten the safety and security of not only American allies such as Israel, but of the United States itself.

Therefore, the U.S. Congress and President Trump must put an immediate stop to the Boeing aircraft sales to Iran.



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