Iran’s Western Partners Have Blood on Their Hands

Dec. 30 2016

With the relaxation of sanctions on the Islamic Republic, European governments and corporations, ignoring the ethical and national-security consequences, have rushed to arrange for all kinds of trade and investment. Giulio Maria Terzi writes:

Italy has led the way. Following the former prime minister Matteo Renzi’s example, government ministers have announced dozens of initiatives and programs with their Iranian counterparts. These initiatives involve not only trade but also defense. The Italian navy, for example, has carried out joint anti-piracy exercises with Iran. . . .

Major sectors of the Iranian economy are dominated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, an internationally recognized terrorist organization. . . . It is difficult to do business in the country without enriching the armed group and its front companies and helping to support its activities, which include kidnapping, politically motivated arrests, terrorism, cyber espionage, and cyber terrorism. Iran’s Western partners risk having blood on their hands. . . .

Iranian officials who should be indicted for crimes against humanity are instead attending meetings with European governments. The Continent’s leaders seem to be ignoring Tehran’s repeated, explicit threats against the state of Israel, its support of international terrorism and Islamic extremism, and its involvement in crimes against humanity in Syria.

In Iran, Europe’s silence is taken as encouragement; it has emboldened the mullahs to persist with abuses, even in the face of rising dissent and anger among the Iranian people, particularly the youth. Challenges to the regime’s aggression abroad and violence against its own citizens cannot be expected to come from anywhere within the regime itself. They will only come if brave Iranian activists and the international community work together to put pressure toward progress.

Read more at Politico

More about: European Union, Iran, Italy, Politics & Current Affairs

The State Department Seems to Be Covering Up Palestinian Incitement

July 26 2017

Last week, the U.S. State Department released its annual report on global terrorism in the year 2016, and, for apparently the tenth consecutive year, the report defended the Palestinian Authority in language identical or nearly identical to that used in years before. For example, the 2016 report notes that “The PA has taken significant steps during President [Mahmoud] Abbas’s tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.” That same sentence also appeared in the department’s reports for 2015, 2014 and 2013. Similar repetition of language from those years and years earlier can be found across the report.

What’s going on? “Two prominent former Israeli diplomats are charging that the State Department is recycling parts of its old reports in order to whitewash the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incitement to violence,” Rafael Medoff writes, quoting the former Israeli diplomat Alan Baker:

[According to Baker], State Department officials seem to be “taking previous reports and copying them, making slight changes where they consider it relevant,” instead of objectively assessing the PA’s most recent behavior.

Baker said that not only has the PA failed to take “significant steps” against incitement, but “the opposite is the case—their own actions, statements and publications, naming streets and squares after terrorists, formally paying fees to terrorist families, all point to a distinctive step backward in violation of Palestinian commitments pursuant to the Oslo Accords.”

The result, Baker said, is that “the Palestinians see it as a license to continue and as support for their struggle. If the State Department closes a blind eye, this is tantamount to giving a green light.”

[According to a second Israeli diplomat], the State Department slants its reports about the PA because the department “fears that its own words will be used to buttress congressional efforts to cut aid to the PA. . . . ”

Read more at JNS

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinian Authority, Politics & Current Affairs, State Department