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Why Germany Turns a Blind Eye to Iranian Violations of the Nuclear Deal

July 14 2017

Last week, the news broke that German police had found evidence of the Islamic Republic’s efforts to buy nuclear and missile technology forbidden by the 2015 agreement. Charges were filed against three German citizens for violating export laws by selling 51 special valves, meant to be used in a nuclear reactor, to an Iranian company. Nonetheless, Berlin, a party to the nuclear deal, will not take any action against Tehran, for reasons Michael Rubin explains:

[W]henever reports of cheating threaten to derail non-proliferation agreements, governments invested in those agreements are willing to bury the evidence to make a quick buck. Often, the [U.S.] State Department is [also] willing to look the other way in order to keep the process alive. That was the case with Iraq in the 1980s, North Korea in the 1990s, and Iran in the first half of the last decade. . . .

German diplomats have [in the past] not only been willing to excuse Iranian terrorism, but also nuclear cheating. [In] 2003, . . . despite finding that Iran had been developing a uranium centrifuge-enrichment program for eighteen years, and a laser-enrichment program for twelve years, the German foreign minister Joschka Fischer corralled European Union authorities into giving the Islamic Republic another chance.

German leaders might preach human rights and the virtues of multilateralism, but when it comes to the Islamic Republic, the German government’s desire to promote business always trumps holding Iran to account. Yes, Iran likely seeks to renew and advance its nuclear-weapons program. Iranian leaders correctly calculate that even if they paraded a nuclear missile through the streets of Tehran or tested a warhead in their southeastern desert, German authorities would embrace any excuse, however implausible, to look the other way, deny reality, and run interference—all in order to keep trade channels open.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Germany, Iran nuclear program, Nuclear proliferation, Politics & Current Affairs

Israel’s Economy Thrives While the Middle East Disintegrates

Jan. 19 2018

Now that the data have come in from 2017, it is clear that the Israeli economy had another successful year, expanding at a rate higher than that of any other advanced country. Israel’s per-capita GDP also grew, placing it above those of France and Japan. Daniel Kryger notes some of the implications regarding the Jewish state’s place in the Middle East:

The contrast between first-world Israel and the surrounding third-world Arab states is larger today than ever before. Israel’s GDP per capita is almost twenty times the GDP per capita of impoverished Egypt and five times larger than semi-developed Lebanon.

Like any human project, Israel is a never-ending work in progress and much work remains to integrate ḥaredi Jews and Israeli Arabs into Israel’s knowledge economy. Properly addressing Israel’s high costs of living requires more economic and legislative reforms and breaking up inefficient oligopolies that keep the prices artificially high. However, by any standard, the reborn Jewish state is a remarkable success story. . . .

Much has changed since OPEC launched its oil embargo against the West after the failed Arab aggression against Israel in October 1973. Before the collapse of the pro-Arab Soviet empire, China and India had no official ties with Israel and many Western and Japanese companies avoided doing business with Israel. Collapsing oil prices have dramatically eroded the power of oil-producing countries. It has become obvious that the future belongs to those who innovate, not those who happen to sit on oil. Israel has today strong commercial ties with China and a thriving partnership with India. Business delegations from Jamaica to Japan are eager to do business with Israel and benefit from Israel’s expertise. . . .

[For its part], the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement may bully Jewish and pro-Israel students on Western campuses. However, in real life, BDS stands no chance of succeeding against Israel. The reason is simple: reborn Israel has . . . become too valuable a player in the global economy.

Read more at Mida

More about: BDS, Israel & Zionism, Israeli economy, Middle East, OPEC