Thursday, January 14, 2016

Iran Humiliates Obama, Receives a 'Thank you'

Iran humiliated US with no consequences - Ariel Ben Solomon

Propaganda videos of the soldiers blindfolded and kneeling released by Iranian media humiliated the world’s superpower and shows that Iran can continue its aggressive behavior with no consequences.

The Obama administration will not allow anything to get in the way of the nuclear deal’s implementation and the lifting of sanctions on Iran, they said.

“Test fire ballistic missiles. Check. Fire missiles near US ships. Check. Torch US ally’s missions. Check. Seize US sailors. Check. Get paid,” tweeted Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Iran’s continued aggressive behavior since the nuclear deal was agreed upon last summer gives it, and other rogue actors, the impression that it can act with a rather free hand.

Such a message must be terrifying to Israel and other US-Arab allies in the region.

A grand-slam for Iran, and a huge defeat for the US. Now Iran can continue advancing its ultimate goal of gaining nuclear weapons,” said Harold Rhode, a distinguished senior fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser at the Pentagon.
[Jerusalem Post]

Iran's Treatment of U.S. Sailors - Felicia Schwartz & Gordon Lubold

Iran released a set of videos of U.S. sailors who were released after being captured and detained overnight, raising questions about whether Iran mistreated the Americans or violated international law by using them for propaganda purposes. One video broadcast on Iranian television showed several Americans kneeling with their hands clasped behind their heads. Another showed a U.S. sailor admitting wrongdoing and apologizing.

James Ross, legal and policy director of Human Rights Watch, said it has long been recognized that it is unlawful for governments to use photographs or videos of military detainees for propaganda purposes, including publicly releasing a "confession." "The Iranian government actions would appear to be contrary to the intention of the Geneva Conventions," Ross said.

Even if the boats veered into Iranian waters by mistake, under international maritime law such "innocent passage" should have brought an instruction to leave those waters, not a seizure and detention, according to Navy manuals citing the international standards.
(Wall Street Journal)

Iran Seizing Sailors and the Rogue Delusion - Michael Rubin

It's time to stop deluding ourselves, and to judge Iran by what its actions are rather than what we would wish them to be.

The writer, a former Pentagon official and Resident Scholar at AEI, is the author of Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes.
(American Enterprise Institute)

Iran's Capture and Release of U.S. Sailors - Michael Singh

The U.S. sailors captured by Iran were not immediately released, but were held overnight, questioned, and photographed for media consumption. This incident must be triangulated against other Iranian actions, including its testing of ballistic missiles, a live-fire incident in the proximity of U.S. Navy and commercial shipping vessels, the continued detention of Iranian-Americans, the recent ransacking of the Saudi embassy in Tehran, and Iran's undiminished support for the Assad regime in Syria. All of these point toward continuity, rather than change, in Iran's regional policy.

The writer is managing director of The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
(Wall Street Journal)

Lifting of Iran Sanctions Worries Israel - Alex Fishman

Most of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran will be removed on Friday, U.S. State Department officials said. In light of the impending lifting of sanctions, the regime in Tehran announced it plans on rehabilitating the Iranian military.

Israel views the public missile experiments conducted in recent months by Iran as a move to test international reaction. President Obama's decision not to press Tehran on this issue encourages the Iranians to continue chipping away at the international agreements meant to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.
(Ynet News)

Iran's Humiliation of U.S. Sets the Tone - Ron Ben-Yishai

  • Iran's seizure of American patrol boats in the Persian Gulf has political ramifications that must be considered in Israel. First, Washington's response to the incident testifies to the fact that the Obama administration will not allow anything to get in the way of implementing the nuclear deal with Iran.
  • In a few days the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expected to announce that Iran has met all the basic conditions in the agreement, thus permitting the removal of sanctions. Iran needs sanctions removal like people need oxygen. But the U.S. is behaving as though it is the one who needs the sanctions to be removed, not Iran.
  • Two weeks ago the Iranians tested ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. This was a violation of the ban on holding such tests that is part of the UN Security Council's decision that validated the nuclear agreement. But the president himself ordered a halt to the process of imposing sanctions in response. This is a sign that the U.S. will ignore violations of the Iranian nuclear agreement if they are not too over-the-top.
  • Supreme Leader Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards will do anything to show the Americans that Iran is the enemy of all the U.S. represents. They will not miss any opportunity to humiliate the Americans and show them that Iran has not given in to them.
  • It was the Revolutionary Guards who got the last word. Their hatred for Americans outweighed any other considerations. They distributed the video of the humiliated American sailors and their captors treating them humanely. For Israel, the way the current ruling Iranian regime provoked the Americans through video images should be deeply concerning.
(Ynet News)


Iranian Officials: Capture a Display of Power over U.S. - Russ Read 

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araqchi and Chairman of Iran's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi used Iranian media to commend the recent capture and release of ten U.S. sailors and their two riverine boats.

"This is a sign of our might," Araqchi said to Iran's Fars News. He also noted that the apprehension is a sign that Iran controls the security of the Persian Gulf.
(Daily Caller)

Control of the Gulf 

After Iranian authorities arrested 10 American sailors on Jan. 12, the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hizbullah, argued that the Revolutionary Guards were sending a message to the U.S. that Iran will be willing to clash with it, and at the same time telling the Gulf states not to mess with Iran.

Al-Akhbar's Jan. 14 front page showed the photo of the American sailors kneeling with hands on their heads, under the headline "Tehran to Washington: I Control the Gulf."  

U.S. Thanks Iran for Resolving the Crisis It Created - Eli Lake

Iran's handling of the situation violated international norms, and to pretend otherwise is to define deviancy down.



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