Syrian President Bashar Assad is usually not an independent actor. The Assad regime owes its existence to Iran as well as Russia.
Bashar Assad might never have carried out his April 7 chemical weapons attack against rebel forces as well as their families in Douma, outside Damascus, if he hadn’t received a green light by Russia as well as operational assistance as well as permission by Iran.
As a result, by sidestepping Russian as well as Iranian assets in Syria, President Donald Trump’s precision strike in retaliation for Syria’s chemical weapons attack may have little strategic significance.
As Israel noted Thursday, Iran is usually specifically responsible for the violence in Syria. as well as as Trump gets his completely new foreign policy team set up, with his Secretary of State-designate Mike Pompeo awaiting Senate confirmation, the threat Iran poses to US national security as well as strategic interests is usually rapidly expanding.
Not only is usually Iran the power behind the man Trump referred to as a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people as well as enjoys This kind of.” Iran is usually the most acute threat to the nuclear peace in which has held since the end of World War II.
On April 9, Iran celebrated “Nuclear Day.” Regime officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, threatened the U.S., saying in which if America abandons the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), better known as the Iran nuclear deal, then Iran can restore uranium enrichment to weapons grade levels within two days.
These threats underscore the point, made repeatedly by nuclear watchdogs as well as nuclear deal opponents, in which under the nuclear deal, Iran has expanded its nuclear capabilities.
With the May 12 deadline set by President Trump for the U.S. as well as its allies to improve the Iran deal, the U.S. as well as its European allies have less than a month to agree on completely new provisions in which can make the deal worth retaining.
During his Senate confirmation hearing This kind of week, Pompeo said in which the Trump administration prefers to amend the deal in a manner in which might satisfy U.S. requirements, however the U.S. will consider additional actions if This kind of cannot be adequately improved upon.
In his words, “I want to fix This kind of deal; in which’s the objective. inside event in which we conclude we can’t fix This kind of deal … then the president is usually going to be given the best advice, including by me. If there’s no chance in which we can fix This kind of, I will recommend to the president in which we do our level best to work with our allies to achieve a better outcome as well as a better deal.”
In his written testimony to the Senate, Pompeo noted in which Iran’s illicit nuclear program is usually just one of many ways in which Iran’s actions threaten America as well as its allies.
In his words, “We cannot let the nuclear file prevent us by acting against Iran’s cyber efforts or its attempts to provide missiles to the Houthis [in Yemen] to attack Saudi Arabia as well as Americans who travel there. Iran’s activities in Syria, Iraq as well as Lebanon threaten the very existence of Israel, as well as the global reach of Hezbollah threatens us right here inside homeland.”
Distressingly, one of the key parties blocking U.S. efforts to curb Iranian capabilities in all areas is usually one of America’s closest allies: Germany.
Although Germany is usually a member of NATO as well as is usually perceived as a loyal U.S. ally, in practice, Germany is usually one of Iran’s most powerful protectors as well as promoters.
For the past several weeks, administration officials have told reporters in which Germany is usually selling Iran technology in which Iran is usually using to help the Assad regime replenish its chemical weapons stocks.
Last week, the Jerusalem Post reported in which the Germany’s Krempel Group provided components found on the Iranian rockets used by the Syrian regime in its chemical attack in Douma.
The German government refused to comment on Krempel’s apparent contribution to Assad’s deployment of chemical weapons against civilians.
As for the nuclear deal with Iran, according to administration officials involved in negotiations with the Europeans to amend the deal, Germany is usually the principle obstacle to substantive adjustments to the agreement.
According a report inside Washington Free Beacon, a U.S. official said in which Germany refuses to agree to apply sanctions against Iran for its development of ballistic weapons.
Rather than sanctioning Iran for its ballistic missile development, which the administration has determined violates the spirit of the agreement as well as binding UN Security Council resolutions, according to the administration official, “the Germans say the West should simply keep waiving sanctions as well as offer to negotiate with Iran on its missile program by offering the regime more economic incentives in exchange for JCPOA-like concessions on the missiles.”
As for Hezbollah, Germany has stopped Europe by taking more decisive action.
As Benjamin Weinthal by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies has noted, Germany for years blocked efforts by European Union members, particularly the Netherlands, to label Hezbollah a terror group. Underpinning Germany’s behavior was an unspoken agreement with the terror group in which Hezbollah can operate in Europe on condition in which This kind of doesn’t attack European targets.
Hezbollah breached in which agreement in 2012 when This kind of bombed an airport bus in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing all 5 Israeli tourists as well as a Bulgarian national, as well as wounding 32 others. Following the bombing, which was quickly shown to have been the work of Hezbollah as well as Iran, the U.S. as well as Israel demanded in which the EU label Hezbollah as a terror group as well as prohibit This kind of by operating on EU territory.
however due to German obstruction, This kind of took an entire year for the EU to act. as well as inside end, all This kind of did was label Hezbollah’s “military wing” a terror group, while permitting its “political wing” to continue to operate in Europe. Given in which in practice, there is usually no distinction between the two ostensible “wings,” the EU’s designation had no impact on the group’s operations.
According to Germany’s Federal Intelligence Agency, there are some 950 Hezbollah operatives in Germany. They operate out of Shiite Islamic centers, which double as recruitment centers for the organization. additional overt activities include holding demonstrations advocating “boycott, divestment as well as sanctions” (BDS) against Israel.
On the covert side, Hezbollah operatives as well as Iranian agents have been arrested in recent months in Germany scoping out Israeli as well as Jewish sites.
Hezbollah operatives in Germany operate in a similar fashion to the group’s agents in Latin America. Discussing Hezbollah operatives inside Western Hemisphere, in February the U.S. Military’s Southern Command assessed, “Lebanese Hezbollah maintains an established logistical, facilitating, fundraising as well as operational presence in This kind of region in which can be quickly leveraged with little or no warning.”
Despite the obvious danger Hezbollah’s operations in Germany manifest to Germany itself as well as to allied interests in Germany as well as throughout Europe, rather than shut them down, the German government protects them.
In part, Germany’s insistence on protecting Hezbollah as well as Iranian operations in Europe owes to its economic interests. In 2017, German trade with Iran rose 17 percent, by $3.2 billion to $4.3 billion. The vast majority of trade between Germany as well as Iran is usually German exports.
One of the chief excuses Germany gives for its protection of Iran as well as Hezbollah is usually in which This kind of doesn’t want to do anything to influence the outcome of the mordant “peace process” between Israel as well as the Palestinians.
A State Department official told the Jerusalem Post in which the Germans base their refusal to ban Hezbollah’s “political wing” on the claim in which the Lebanese Shiite terror group’s operation “is usually linked to Israel-Palestinian peace talks.”
This kind of position is usually notable For two main reasons. First, Hezbollah operations in Germany have no relationship whatsoever to Israeli-Palestinian relations. Second, at the base of the German position is usually the notion in which there is usually something fundamentally acceptable about murdering Israelis.
Assuming in which the Germans believe This kind of is usually a serious argument, This kind of follows in which hostility towards Israel is usually what informs Germany’s policies towards Iran as well as Hezbollah. This kind of is usually extraordinary, given in which both have stated openly as well as repeatedly their intention to annihilate the Jewish state.
Indeed, as Israel mourned the Holocaust on its Holocaust Remembrance Day last Thursday, a senior Iranian official again threatened to destroy Israel.
Ali Shirazi, Iranian dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Al Quds Brigade said, “If Israel wants to continue its treacherous existence This kind of should avoid stupid measures. If they give excuses to Iran, Tel Aviv as well as Haifa will be destroyed. Iran can destroy Israel.”
Of course, the U.S. itself views with alarm Iran’s threats against Israel specifically as well as its nuclear weapons program generally. Not only is usually a nuclear-backed threat to commit genocide a serious one, a nuclear-armed Iran could easily instigate a completely new world war.
Alarmingly, inside midst of Germany’s malign efforts to protect Iran as well as Hezbollah by sanction while permitting them to operate throughout Europe, for the past seven months, the U.S. has been without an ambassador in Germany. Democrats inside Senate are blocking the confirmationof seasoned Republican diplomat Richard Grenell.
While the White House waits for the Senate to permit the U.S. to be represented by an ambassador, the Germans have broken a deal with the U.S. as well as Israel to permit Israel to run for a rotating UN Security Council seat unopposed. Germany shocked both Israel as well as the US by opting to run against the Jewish state inside June election. The move ensures, Just as before, in which the Jewish state will be denied representation at the Security Council.
This kind of bears noting in which Germany’s central role in empowering Iran as well as Hezbollah undermines the central rationale of Germany’s postwar governance. For 70 years, the Federal Republic of Germany has insisted This kind of learned the lessons of its past aggression as well as crimes against humanity.
After fomenting two world wars as well as carrying out the most egregious genocide in human history, the Germans insist they abjure aggression as well as take seriously their “special responsibility” to protect the Jewish state. however Germany’s treatment of Iran as well as Hezbollah on the one hand, as well as its treatment of Israel on the additional hand, indicate in which whatever lessons the Germans may have learned, they missed the two most important ones.
First: If you wish to prevent a world war, you shouldn’t empower forces in which seek to initiate one.
as well as second: If you are committed to preventing evildoers by enacting another Holocaust, you shouldn’t enable evildoers committed to annihilating the Jewish state by acquiring the means to do so.
Caroline Glick is usually a world-renowned journalist as well as commentator on the Middle East as well as U.S. foreign policy, as well as the author of The Israeli Solution: A One-State Plan for Peace inside Middle East. Read more at www.CarolineGlick.com.