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The Daily TIP: Experts: Israeli ties with Arab Countries improving due to Iran Threat

Posted by Tip Staff - October 20, 2017

Experts: Israeli ties with Arab Countries improving due to Iran Threat
MP Blasts UK Government for Pushing Business with Iran While British Citizens are Detained
The Iranian Nuclear Forgiveness Deal
Israeli Paralympic Teens win Eight Medals in European Games

Experts: Israeli ties with Arab Countries improving due to Iran Threat

The praise offered by both Israel and Saudi Arabia to President Donald Trump for his speech on October 13 outlining a new United States policy towards Iran, Agence France-Presse reported Friday, is the latest outward sign that "shared concerns over Iran are indeed nudging" Israel and much of the Arab world closer together.

The AFP report was carried by both The Times of Israel and Arab News.

AFP quoted Netanyahu who said. "When Israel and the main Arab countries see eye-to-eye, you should pay attention, because something important is happening," and, who, last week, called Israel ties with the Arab the "best ever."

While AFP observed that no Arab leaders have publicly echoed Netanyahu's sentiments, neither have they contradicted him.

Uzi Rabi, a Tel Aviv University professor and expert on Saudi Arabia, told AFP that there are indications of "coordination" between Israel and Saudi Arabia concerning the threat both face from Iran.

“There are Saudis meeting Israelis everywhere now, functioning relations based on shared interests,” Rabi observed.

“For several of the Sunni Arab states in the region, particularly in the Gulf, there is a growing sense that the major contemporary faultlines in the region now revolve around the perceived threat from Iran and militant Islamism,” Kristian Ulrichsen, a professor focused on Gulf affairs at Rice University told AFP.

Ulrichsen expected that in the coming years, economic and security ties between Israel and the Arab world will become more open.

MP Blasts UK Government for Pushing Business with Iran While British Citizens are Detained

A British Member of Parliament has accused the government of caring more about lucrative business deals with the Iranian regime than British citizens arbitrarily detained in the Islamic Republic.

In an essay published Wednesday in The IB Times, Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, wrote that the government was “unwilling to escalate action any further” to bring home British citizens “so as to not jeopardise the UK's developing relationship with a state once viewed as irreconcilably hostile.”

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who was visiting family in Iran with her toddler, was detained at Tehran’s airport in April 2016, separated from her child, and subsequently sentenced to five years in prison for attempting to overthrow the government.

Until recently, conversations of temporary release were ongoing, but earlier this month Iran handed the British-Iranian charity worker new charges.

Since she was arrested at Khomeini Airport last year, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's physical and mental health has deteriorated and she was denied legal representation. Iran does not recognize dual citizenship and dual nationals like Zaghari-Ratcliffe are denied access to the embassies of their second nationality.

“The problem with this approach is that while it may be reaping dividends for the shareholders of British companies expanding business with Iran, it is not providing anything that resembles payback for Nazanin or her family,” Siddiq wrote, adding that “A year and the half down the line, and with the very real threat of 16 years imprisonment now hanging over her, business as usual is simply unacceptable.”

The Iranian Nuclear Forgiveness Deal

In the weeks before President Donald Trump announced that he would decertify the Iran nuclear deal, supporters of the accord argued that the deal was working and that any attempt to question its effectiveness or to withdraw from it would be dangerous, would put the United States at odds with its allies, and would undermine international law.

For example, in late September, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the deal, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that "In eight consecutive reports, the IAEA has confirmed that it’s working."

This is incorrect. For example, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) twice found that Iran had surpassed the heavy water limit allowed. The second time, the Islamic Republic violated the cap even though it was warned by inspectors that it was in danger of surpassing its allowed limit. Despite the warnings, Iran continued to produce heavy water, exceeded the limits imposed, and suffered no consequences. In his op-ed, Kerry also wrote that contrary to critics, "it was Iran that had to pay up front." He noted that Tehran had to remove much of its enriched uranium, disable many of its centrifuges, and shutter its heavy water reactor. But this is misleading.

The impasse over Iran's nuclear program came to a head in 2005 when Tehran unilaterally abrogated a nuclear agreement it made with Britain, France and Germany, leading to a series of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed resolutions and sanctions.

Please read the complete essay here.

Israeli Paralympic Teens win Eight Medals in European Games

Three gold medals, two silver and three bronze medals were brought home to Israel by young Paralympic hopefuls on Israel’s first team to compete in the European Para Youth Games held in Liguria, Italy, October 9-15.

Some 600 teenage athletes from 24 European countries participated in the Paralympic-style competitions in 11 sports: archery, athletics, bocce, football 5-a-side, football 7-a-side, goalball, judo, table tennis, sitting volleyball, swimming and sailing.

Seven of Israel’s eight medals were won in swimming, by Arik Malyar, Ron Wolpert and Ami Dadaon. Liad Levi won the bronze medal in bocce. “This was my first competition abroad,” said Dadaon. “I was particularly excited to stand on the podium and sing Hatikva with a loud voice.”

“It is very important that the future generation of Israeli swimmers be exposed to international competitions,” said Karen Leibovich Swet, the swimming division coordinator for the Israel Paralympic Committee. “The industry is highly acclaimed so it is very important to invest in and develop it.”

Organized by the European Paralympic Committee in partnership with the Italian Paralympic Committee, the European Para Youth Games aim to develop younger athletes toward elite competition. At the end, Israel ranked 12 out of the 24 participating countries.

(via Israel21c)

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