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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 Threats Posed to Israel by a Palestinian State

Oct. 23 2017

To the IDF reserve general Gershon Hacohen, the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank would, given the current circumstances of the Middle East, create a graver danger for the Jewish state than either Iran or Hizballah. More damaging still, he argues, is the attitude among many Israelis that the two-state solution is a necessity for Israel. He writes:

Since the Oslo process began in the fall of 1993, dramatic changes have occurred in the international arena. . . . For then-Prime Minister Yitzḥak Rabin, Oslo was based on the superpower status of the U.S. . . . At the time, the Arabs were in a state of crisis and aware of their weakness—all the more so after the U.S. vanquished Iraq in the First Gulf War in the winter of 1991. . . . It was that awareness of weakness, along with the PLO leadership’s state of strategic inadequacy, that paved the way for the Oslo process.

[But] over the [intervening] years, the America’s hegemonic power has declined while Russia has returned to play an active and very influential role. . . .

Something essential has changed, too, with regard to expectations in the Israeli-Palestinian sphere. At first, in the early days of Oslo, the expectations were of mutual goodwill and reconciliation. Over the years, however, as the cycle of blood has continued, the belief in Palestinian acceptance of Israel in return for Israeli concessions has been transformed in the Israeli discourse into nothing more than the need to separate from the Palestinians—“They’re there, we’re here”—solely on our own behalf.

The more the proponents of separation have honed their efforts to explain to Israeli society that separation is mandated by reality, enabling Israel to preserve its identity as Jewish and democratic, the more the Palestinians’ bargaining power has grown. If a withdrawal from the West Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian state is a clear-cut Israeli interest, if the Israelis must retreat in any case for the sake of their own future, why should the Palestinians give something in return? . . . Hence the risk is increasing that a withdrawal from the West Bank will not only fail to end the conflict but will in fact lead to its intensification.

Read more at BESA Center

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli Security, Oslo Accords, Russia, Two-State Solution