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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

 

Why Cutting U.S. Funding for Palestinian “Refugees” Is the Right Move

Jan. 22 2018

Last week the Trump administration announced that it is withholding some of America’s annual contribution to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the organization tasked with providing humanitarian aid to Palestinian refugees and their descendants. To explain why this decision was correct, Elliott Abrams compares UNRWA with the agency run by the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), which provides humanitarian aid to refugees who are not Palestinian:

One of [UNHCR’s] core missions is “ending statelessness.” [By contrast, UNRWA’s] mission appears to be “never ending statelessness.” A phrase such as “ending statelessness” would be anathema and is found nowhere on its website. Since 1950, UNHCR has tried to place refugees in permanent new situations, while since 1950 UNRWA has with its staff of 30,000 “helped” over 5 million Palestinian “refugees” to remain “refugees.” . . . UNRWA has three times as large a staff as UNHCR—but helps far fewer people than the 17 million refugees UNHCR tries to assist. . . .

The argument for cutting funding to UNRWA is not primarily financial. The United States is an enormously generous donor to UNHCR, providing just under 40 percent of its budget. I hope we maintain that level of funding. . . . The argument for cutting funding to UNRWA instead rests on two pillars. The first is that UNRWA’s activities repeatedly give rise to concern that it has too many connections to Hamas and to rejectionist ideology. . . .

But even if those flaws were corrected, this would not solve the second and more fundamental problem with UNRWA—which is that it will perpetuate the Palestinian “refugee” problem forever rather than helping to solve it. . . . [T]hat the sole group of refugees whom the UN keeps enlarging is Palestinian, and that the only way to remedy this under UN definitions would be to eliminate the state of Israel or have 5 million Palestinian “refugees” move there should simply be unacceptable. . . .

Perpetuating and enlarging the Palestinian “refugee” crisis has harmed Israel and it has certainly harmed Palestinians. Keeping their grievances alive may have served anti-Israel political ends, but it has brought peace no closer and it has helped prevent generations of Palestinians from leading normal lives. That archipelago of displaced-persons and refugee camps that once dotted Europe [in the aftermath of World War II] is long gone now, and the descendants of those who tragically lived in those camps now lead productive and fruitful lives in many countries. One can only wish such a fate for Palestinian refugee camps and for Palestinians. More money for UNRWA won’t solve anything.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Israel & Zionism, Palestinians, Refugees, U.S. Foreign policy, UNRWA