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North Korea’s Progress in Developing Nuclear Weapons Is Good News for Iran

Aug. 10 2017

Last month, Pyongyang launched what it claims to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM); more recently, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that the Communist regime has also developed the sort of miniaturized nuclear weapon that could be used as a warhead for such a missile. These technological achievements bode well for Iran, according to Ted Poe, and not only because the 2015 nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic resembles the 1994 agreement to restrict North Korea’s nuclear program:

Iran looks to North Korea to support and enable its nuclear ambitions. For years, experts have suspected North Korea of being the key supporter behind Iran’s missile and nuclear programs. Today, many of the missiles Iran would use to target American forces in the Middle East are copies of North Korean designs.

North Korean engineers are in Iran helping to improve its missiles to carry nuclear warheads. . . . Fortunately, Iran is still behind the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in acquiring a nuclear device. But like the ill-fated 1994 agreement with North Korea to halt its nuclear program, the nuclear deal President Barack Obama signed with Iran in 2015 is destined to fail. Once it does, Iran will be able to mount nukes, quickly, on its massive arsenal of ballistic missiles thanks to North Korean assistance that has occurred since the deal was signed. This time, Iran’s missiles will be better protected because North Korea has helped it build as many as thirteen secret underground launch facilities modeled after their own. . . .

According to the Pentagon, North Korea already gave Iran an intermediate-range missile known as the Musudan in 2005, which Iran tested earlier this year. The DPRK used the same missile to develop its new ICBM. Tehran will likely follow the same path to an ICBM—except with its North Korean friends providing tips to accelerate its program. When Iran reaches this threshold, [it] will be able to extend its threats beyond the Middle East and deep into Western Europe to endanger our NATO allies.

Read more at National Interest

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

 

The Palestinian National Movement Has Reached a Point of Crisis

With Hamas having failed to achieve anything through several weeks of demonstrations and violence, and Mahmoud Abbas reduced to giving rambling anti-Semitic speeches, Palestinian aspirations seem to have hit a brick wall. Elliott Abrams explains:

[Neither] Fatah [nor] Hamas offers Palestinians a practical program for national independence. . . . [The current situation] leaves Palestinians high and dry, with no way forward at all. Whatever the criticism of the “occupation,” Israelis will certainly not abandon the West Bank to chaos or to a possible Hamas takeover. Today the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state is simply too dangerous to Israel and to Jordan to be contemplated. . . . There are only two other options. The first is the “one-state solution,” meaning union with Israel; but that is a nonstarter that Israel will reject no matter who is its prime minister. The other option is some kind of eventual link to Jordan.

In polite diplomatic society, and in Palestinian public discourse, such a link cannot be mentioned. But younger people who visit there, Palestinians have explained to me, can see a society that is half-Palestinian and functions as an independent nation with a working system of law and order. Jordanians travel freely, rarely suffer from terrorism, and [can vote in regular] elections, even if power is ultimately concentrated in the royal palace. The kingdom has close relations with all the Sunni states and the West, and is at peace with Israel.

The fundamental question all this raises is what, in 2018, is the nature and objective of Palestinian nationalism. Is the goal sovereignty at all costs, no matter how long it takes and even if it is increasingly divorced from peace, prosperity, and personal freedom? Is “steadfastness” [in refusing to compromise with Israel] the greatest Palestinian virtue now and forever? These questions cannot be debated in either Gaza or the West Bank. But as Israel celebrates 70 years and the “occupation” is now more than a half-century old, how much longer can they be delayed? . . .

The catastrophic mishandling of Palestinian affairs by generations of leaders from Haj Amin al-Husseini (the pro-Nazi mufti of the British Mandate period) to Yasir Arafat and now to Mahmoud Abbas has been the true Palestinian Nakba.

Read more at Weekly Standard

More about: Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel & Zionism, Jordan, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinians