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The Daily TIP: Expert: Official Corruption in Wake of Nuclear Deal is Driving Iranian Protests

Posted by Tip Staff - January 11, 2018

Expert: Official Corruption in Wake of Nuclear Deal is Driving Iranian Protests
In Epic Twitter Rant, Khamenei Blasts U.S., Israel for Iran Protests, Threatens a “Response”
Expert: During 13 Years in Power, Abbas Has "Exacerbated Crisis of Corruption" in the PA
Ailing Gaza Teen Receives Kidney Transplant in Israeli Hospital

Expert: Official Corruption in Wake of Nuclear Deal is Driving Iranian Protests

The recent protests against the Iranian regime have been fueled by the corruption of the government that has ruined Iran's economy since the 2015 nuclear deal Lee Smith, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, wrote Wednesday in an analysis for Real Clear Investigations.

Smith described the protests as political but driven by economics.

Though the nuclear freed up billions of frozen funds and relaxed sanctions on Iran's banking sector, regular Iranians have not benefited from the economic growth.

Smith explained:

Economies under authoritarian regimes like the one in Tehran always reflect the country’s political architecture. The allocation of financial resources and privileges is how an authoritarian regime dispenses political favors and indicates its political preferences. Protests about the economy are by definition protests against the political structure of the regime.

At the top of the hierarchy in Iran is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) which serves both to enforce Iran's internal security and also serves to run Iran's "expansionary foreign policy." The IRGC also controls up to 40% of Iran's economy including "“the oil industry, infrastructure development, construction, manufacturing, electronics, and the most lucrative import-export contracts.”

The IRGC and other regime insiders, according to Saeed Ghasseminejad, who specializes in Iran’s financial sector at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, have availed themselves of loans from Iran's banks and failed to repay them, meaning there is less money available for ordinary Iran's to obtain loans.

In Epic Twitter Rant, Khamenei Blasts U.S., Israel for Iran Protests, Threatens a “Response”

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's, said in a string of comments posted on his Twitter account on Tuesday that the “U.S and Zionists” were behind the anti-government protests in the Islamic Republic and threatened this action would have consequences.

"U.S. officials should know that, firstly, they have missed their target: and if they target Iran again, they will fail. Secondly, they have inflicted damage upon Iran in recent days, and they should know this won't be left without a response," Khamenei tweeted.

The supreme leader also boasted about Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East and the political and military advances it enjoyed in the 2010s. The Obama administration launched a round of dialogue and rapprochement with the regime that ultimately resulted in the nuclear accord signed in 2015.

“The U.S. President says the Iranian establishment is terrified by their power,” Khamenei wrote. “Well, if we were so terrified by you, how did we kick you out of Iran in late 70s and send you packing, out of the entire region, in the 2010s?” he asked.

“The U.S. is utterly angry….They're angry at everyone and everything, the nation, the establishment, and the Islamic Revolution of Iran; because they've been defeated by your great movement,” Iran's Supreme Leader continued.

He also denied the grim economy conditions in the country. “Iranian people have lived a life of dignity and honor, and by God's grace their economic problems will be solved!” Khamenei claimed.

Expert: During 13 Years in Power, Abbas Has "Exacerbated Crisis of Corruption" in the PA

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected to a four-year term 13 years ago this week, has presided over an "exacerbated crisis of corruption" in the PA even as he has practiced "his own distinct style of nepotism" to enrich his family, Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote Tuesday.

While Abbas was initially favored as a reformer and spoke as a reformer, his tenure has been marked by his reneging "on many of his pledges and exacerbated the crisis of corruption and autocracy within the Palestinian Authority."

Initially, Abbas had been appointed Prime Minister of the PA in 2003 in an effort to dilute the power of his predecessor Yasser Arafat. He was elected to the presidency two months after Arafat died in a Paris hospital.

Despite surrounding himself with many who were considered to be reformers, including economist Salam Fayyad, when Fayyad's efforts at reform put him at odds with Abbas, Fayyad "was unceremoniously forced out."

Abbas actually failed in his boldest attempt at reform when he pushed ahead with legislative election in 2006.

In recent years, "Abbas has since increasingly clamped down on civil society, freedom of expression, and the activities of his political rivals." This included arresting the leaders of a teachers' protest a few years ago; implementing "draconian" laws to stifle criticism of his leadership on social media; and purging members of Fatah who opposed his rule.

Abbas's misrule has resulted in "political regression in the West Bank."

Ailing Gaza Teen Receives Kidney Transplant in Israeli Hospital

A 13-year-old boy from the Gaza Strip received a lifesaving kidney donation from his brother, an undergraduate student in Algeria, in an operation performed at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

It wasn’t the first time the boy, K., had traveled to Israel for treatment. He was born with a hereditary kidney defect, leading to hospitalizations and surgeries at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and Sheba Medical Center in central Israel.

A complex plan was constructed to bring M., another brother, across the Mediterranean from Algeria to Israel, despite the lack of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He arrived through Jordan in mid-August and was reunited with his family after spending a long period apart. Testing by Rambam’s Pediatric Nephrology Institute deemed M. a suitable donor.

The successful surgery was performed in early November by Dr. Aaron Hoffman, director of the Department of Vascular Surgery and Transplantation, along with Dr. Ahmad Asaliyah, Dr. Ran Steinberg, Dr. Israel Eisenstein and Dr. Shirley Pollack.

“About one-third of all pediatric kidney transplants performed at Rambam since 2014 have involved children from the Palestinian Authority and Jordan,” said Richard Hirschhaut, National Executive Director at American Friends of Rambam Medical Center.

(via Israel21c)

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