The U.S. Is Considering Sanctions Relief for Iran That Will Endanger Israel

In a May 6 press briefing, Rob Malley—the White House’s top envoy to Iran—indicated that Washington might abandon sanctions on Tehran for its support of terrorism and its human-rights violations in exchange for its agreeing to abide by the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Richard Goldberg and Mark Dubowitz explain:

[During the original nuclear negotiations], then-President Barack Obama made one important promise: no matter what, the United States would retain the right to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic to stop the flow of money to its missile program, sponsorship of terrorism, and abuse of human rights.

According to Malley’s interpretation of the JCPOA, the entities provided sanctions relief under the 2015 deal did not just receive “nuclear sanctions” relief. They were given blanket immunity to finance terrorism, missile proliferation [in violation of international law], and human-rights abuses in perpetuity. Any attempt to impose terrorism sanctions on an Iranian bank that is actively financing terrorism, for example, would be a violation of the JCPOA, according to Malley, if that terror bank was initially granted nuclear sanctions relief in 2015.

That is most certainly a shift in U.S. policy—toward Tehran. . . . The danger of a policy that grants Tehran’s largest banks and companies full immunity from terrorism and missile sanctions is on full display today in Israel. Giving a green light to terror and missile finance will vastly expand the terror budget for terrorist groups in Gaza and Lebanon—putting Israel in even greater danger.

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Read more at Dispatch

More about: Barack Obama, Iran, Iran sanctions, U.S. Foreign policy

How China Equips the Islamic Republic to Repress Its People

In its dedication to bringing totalitarianism into the 21st century, the Chinese Communist party has developed high-tech forms of surveillance using facial-recognition software, a vast system of “social credit,” and careful control over its subjects’ cellular phones. Even stricter and more invasive measures are applied to the Uyghurs of the northwestern part of the country. Beijing is also happy to export its innovations in tyranny to allies like Iran and Russia. Playing a key role in these advances is a nominally private company called Tiandy Technologies. Craig Singleton describes its activities:

Both Tiandy testimonials and Chinese-government press releases advertise the use of the company’s products by Chinese officials to track and interrogate Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in China’s Xinjiang province. According to human-rights groups, Chinese authorities also employ Tiandy products, such as “tiger chairs,” to torture Uyghurs and other minorities.

Iran has long relied on China to augment its digital surveillance capabilities, and Tehran was an early adopter of Beijing’s “social-credit” system, which it wields to assess citizens’ behavior and trustworthiness. . . . Iranian government representatives have publicized plans to leverage smart technologies, including AI-powered face recognition, to maintain regime stability and neutralize dissent. Enhanced cooperation with China is central to those efforts.

At present, Tiandy is not subject to U.S. sanctions or export controls. In light of Tiandy’s operations in both Xinjiang and Iran, policymakers should consider removing the company, its owner, and stakeholders from the international financial system and global supply chains.

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Read more at FDD

More about: China, Human Rights, Iran, Totalitarianism, U.S. Foreign policy