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Iran Is on Its Way to Becoming the Next North Korea

April 21 2017

The looming crisis with Pyongyang, writes Alan Dershowitz, demonstrates the dangers of the nuclear agreement with Tehran:

The deal signed by Iran in 2015 postpones the Islamic Republic’s quest for a nuclear arsenal, but it doesn’t prevent it, despite [the] unequivocal statement in the preamble to the agreement that “Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will [it] ever seek, develop, or acquire nuclear weapons.” Recall that North Korea provided similar assurances to the Clinton administration in 1994, only to break them several years later—with no real consequences. . . . The body of the agreement itself—the portion Iran believes is legally binding—does not preclude Iran from developing nuclear weapons after a certain time, variously estimated as between ten to fifteen years from the signing of the agreement. Nor does it prevent Iran from perfecting its delivery systems, including nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.

If we are not to make the same mistake with Iran that we made with North Korea, we must do something now—before Iran secures a weapon—to deter the mullahs from becoming a nuclear power, over which we would have little or no leverage.

Congress should now enact legislation declaring that Iran’s reaffirmation that it will never “develop or acquire nuclear weapons” is an integral part of the agreement and represents the policy of the United States. . . . [In addition], Congress should authorize the president to take military action against Iran’s nuclear-weapons program if it were to cross [specified] red lines.

Read more at Gatestone

More about: Iran nuclear program, North Korea, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs, U.S. Foreign policy

 

Hamas Sets Its Sights on Taking over the PLO

Oct. 20 2017

Examining the recent reconciliation agreement between the rival Palestinian organizations Fatah and Hamas, Eyal Zisser argues that the latter sees the deal as a way to install its former leader, Khaled Meshal, as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and thereby the Palestinian Authority. It wouldn’t be the first time something like this happened:

Even the former Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat . . . took the PLO leadership by force. His first steps, incidentally, were with the Fatah organization, which he cofounded in January 1965 in Damascus, under Syrian patronage. Fatah was meant to serve as a counterweight to the rival PLO, which had come into existence [earlier] under Egyptian patronage. Arafat, however, was relegated to the sidelines in the Palestinian arena. It was only after the 1967 Six-Day War that he exploited the resounding defeat of the Arab armies to join the PLO as the leader of Fatah, which led to his gaining control over [the PLO itself].

Meshal [most likely] wants to follow in Arafat’s footsteps—a necessary maneuver for a man who aspires to lead the Palestinian national movement, particularly after realizing that military might and even a hostile takeover of [either Gaza or the West Bank] will not grant him the legitimacy he craves.

It is hard to believe that Fatah will willingly hand over the keys to leadership, and it is also safe to assume that Egypt does not want to see Hamas grow stronger. But quasi-democratic developments such as these have their own dynamics. In 2006, Israel was persuaded by Washington to allow Hamas to run in the general Palestinian elections, thinking the Islamist group had no chance of winning. But Hamas won those elections. We can assume Meshal will now look to repeat that political ploy by joining the PLO and vying for its leadership.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Fatah, Hamas, Khaled Meshal, Palestinian Authority, PLO, Politics & Current Affairs, Yasir Arafat