Israel demands that as part of "fixing" the nuclear deal with Iran, new sanctions and limitations be placed on all Iranian missiles with a range of more than 180 miles (or 300 kilometers) – including the precision missiles Iran is providing Hezbollah with. Israeli officials say Prime Minister Netanyahu is going to raise this issue during his meeting tomorrow with President Trump at the White House.
France’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that Iran’s ballistic missile program was a major concern, a day before foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was due to visit Tehran.
Bahrain said on Saturday it had rounded up 116 members of an armed network established and supported by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, suspected of plotting attacks on Bahraini government officials and security forces.
UANI IN THE NEWS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will roll into Washington bloodied and bruised from a corruption scandal which is quickly eating alive his inner circle. Despite the domestic turmoil, we’ll likely hear that there is no daylight—anymore—in the U.S.-Israeli relationship. Yet tensions over Syria—namely the contours of the mission and the dimensions of the de-escalation zones—and Iran are lurking beneath the glad-handing, goodwill, and graciousness.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian arrived in Tehran as part of a European drive to salvage the nuclear deal with Iran that President Donald Trump is threatening to scuttle and the Islamic Republic has said it may be forced to abandon.
There is “no doubt whatsoever” that President Donald Trump is prepared to walk away from the Iran nuclear deal if it cannot be fixed to ensure Tehran will not attain nuclear weapons, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States said on Sunday.
NUCLEAR & BALLISTIC-MISSILE PROGRAMS
Iran will not negotiate over its ballistic missiles until the United States and Europe dismantle nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, a top Iranian military official said on Saturday.
Iran said France’s concern over Tehran’s ballistic missile program was “wrong”, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday ahead of the arrival of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Tehran.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND INTERNAL DISCONTENT
Over the past few months, the world has once again been reminded of the gender apartheid long practiced in Iran — and of the bravery of Iranian women languishing under it… So why is Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, the world soccer federation, doing his part to condone the Islamic Republic’s misogyny?
FIFA is still waiting for Iran to allow women into soccer matches, and still resisting sanctioning the country. Just like predecessor Sepp Blatter five years ago, FIFA President Gianni Infantino has returned from a trip to Tehran with a reassurance from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that women won't be shut out of stadiums for much longer.
A small number of Iranian women, risking arrest to protest compulsory head scarves, have rekindled debate about Iran's so-called hijab rule.
After a four-year downturn, trade between Turkey and Iran rose in 2017, as the two neighbors began collaborating in Syria. Judging by figures from the past five years, the political climate between Ankara and Tehran seems to directly affect commercial ties. Their bilateral trade volume contracted during periods when Turkey’s Middle East policies led to closer cooperation with Saudi Arabia and deeper differences with Iran, but perked up in 2017, when the two countries engaged in joint efforts in Syria.
IRANIAN REGIONAL AGGRESSION
The Israeli military was forced last month to engage an Iranian drone launched into Israeli airspace from Syria. Israel’s defensive actions in this case were limited, but the world should take note. There will be more such incidents if Tehran is permitted to continue projecting force throughout the Middle East. To prevent a full-scale crisis, North America and Europe must join Israel in stopping Iran.
U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold talks on Monday that offer a chance to project a common front against Iran but are expected to do little to advance seemingly stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects.
SYRIA & IRAN
French President Emmanuel Macron has asked his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani to put pressure on the Syrian government to end attacks against Syria’s besieged eastern Ghouta region and allow humanitarian aid to flow.
The power supply in Syria’s Aleppo will be boosted this year thanks to new capacity installed by its ally Iran, a step towards reviving the industrial hub whose electricity grid has been destroyed in seven years of war, a Syrian official said. The five power generation plants are part of a deal penned last year by which Iran, a vital supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, will help repair the Syrian power grid, and reflects Tehran’s deepening role in the country.
It really is an axis of evil… Whatever their differences, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China are all so-called revisionist powers. What they want to revise, or erase, is Pax Americana. In Syria, they had an ally, a cause and a plausible outcome. America, by contrast, only had the bonfire of its ambivalence.
When U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sit down in the Oval Office this week, they will both have much on their minds… But the most pressing issue on their agenda is Iran’s efforts to entrench military capabilities in Syria — as a base for attacks against Israel. With Israel’s warnings of this emerging threat proving well founded in light of the February 10 incursion by an Iranian drone, Trump and Netanyahu must consider how the United States can help Israel deter and defend itself from those attacks.
Last month, an Iranian drone reportedly violated Israeli airspace after taking off from a base in Syria. Israel shot it down and then launched a wave of retaliatory strikes against both Iranian installations in Syria and Syria’s own air defenses. Tehran’s brazen provocation may have been surprising, yet is a natural extension of Iranian efforts to transform Syria into a forward base for aggression against Israel. There is still a chance, however, for the United States to limit the Iranian presence in Syria, by putting an end to the misguided policies that encouraged it in the first place.
After years of bloody warfare, Syria has become a “Shi’a colony of Iran,” a Syrian professor who lives in Germany recently told an Israeli conference.
IRANIAN INTERNAL DEVELOPMENTS
The resigned head of Iran's wrestling federation has asked the country's diplomats to take responsibility and support athletes who refuse to compete against Israelis, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported Saturday.
Iran inaugurated a gas processing complex on Wednesday, February 28, that will help the country to stop flaring gas worth of million of dollars.