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The Daily TIP: IDF Identifies Hezbollah Commander Who Will Lead Next War Against Israel

Posted by Tip Staff - October 27, 2017

IDF Identifies Hezbollah Commander Who Will Lead Next War Against Israel
Former Argentinian President Defends Secret Agreement with Iran in Terror Probe
Would Iran Back Out of the Nuclear Deal? It Did Before
Israel to Host First Stage of Top Italian Cycling Race Next Year

IDF Identifies Hezbollah Commander Who Will Lead Next War Against Israel

The IDF’s Military Intelligence Directorate has identified the new Hezbollah commander on the Syrian Golan Heights, Munir Ali Naim Shaiti, as defense analysts warn that Israel could be heading for a new war with Hezbollah.

The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday that Shaiti, also known as Haj Hasham, mainly operates out of Syria, where he spearheads the terrorist organization’s southern front in support of the Assad regime. According to intelligence sources, he receives his orders directly from Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the powerful head of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force.

Shaiti is also a close associate of Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He served as deputy chief of Hezbollah’s Bader Brigades, which handles terrorist operations north of the Litani River in Lebanon, before he was appointed head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria in June 2016.

According to Aymenn Tamimi, research fellow at the Philadelphia-based Middle East Forum, Israeli intelligence on Shaiti is probably solid, although “it’s hard to verify as Hezbollah tends not to say much about where exactly its commanders are stationed.”

The strategic importance of the Golan Heights and the deep Iranian entrenchment there has Israel on high alert. The IDF is said to have carried out hundreds of strikes against Hezbollah operatives, weapons convoys, and infrastructure in Syria since January 2013. Israel has also targeted senior Iranian and Hezbollah commanders such as Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of the late Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyeh, and Samir Kuntar, who previously served as Hezbollah’s commander on the Golan Heights.

Former Argentinian President Defends Secret Agreement with Iran in Terror Probe

On Thursday, former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner appeared in federal court and denied that the purpose of the secret pact with Iran was to cover-up Tehran’s involvement in the 1994 AMIA Jewish community center that killed 85 people.

Kirchner “struck a defiant pose” in court and defended the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was secretly negotiated with Iran in 2011, Ben Cohen from The Algemeiner reported on Thursday.

The former president was the last one to appear on the federal court responding to allegations of Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor who was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment in January of 2015, the day before he was due to testify in a closed session of Congress. Nisman accused Kirchner and former foreign minister Hector Timerman, along with others in Kirchner’s administration of covering up Iran’s role in the bombing through the MoU with Tehran.

As part of her twelve page written statement, Kirchner indicated that the pact with Tehran was endorsed by Congress but chose to omit that in 2014 a federal court ruled it unconstitutional. Shortly after his election in 2015, President Mauricio Macri withdrew the previous government's appeal of the court's ruling and voided the MoU.

In one of the most explosive testimonies last week, former intelligence agent and spy Ramon Bogado indicated (Spanish link) that the secret pact with Tehran involved the transfer of nuclear expertise and technology from Argentina to Iran via Venezuela.

Would Iran Back Out of the Nuclear Deal? It Did Before

Adam Kredo of Washington Free Beacon reported this week that Iran was possibly maneuvering to back out of the 2015 nuclear deal, called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), it made with P5+1 nations (United States, Russia, China, United Kingdom and Germany).

One source told Kredo that the Iranians never intended to abide by the deal and now that the Trump administration seems intent on strengthening the deal to eliminate sunset provisions and improve verification, Iran is looking for a way out of the JCPOA while blaming it on the U.S.

It might seem odd that Iran would abandon a deal that was implemented less than two years ago, but in 2005 it abandoned a deal it had made with the United Kingdom, France and Germany less than ten months earlier.

In November 2004, Iran agreed to stop enriching uranium in exchange for political and economic considerations from the EU3. Over the next ten months Iran regularly charged that the Europeans were not holding up their end of the deal, and, in August 2015 resumed enriching uranium in violation of the 2004 deal and prompting the U.S. and Europe to bring the matter of Iran's nuclear program to the Security Council. This led to the imposition of at least six U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Iran as well as the imposition of U.N., U.S. and European sanctions.

Iran had previously violated a deal it had made with the EU3 in 2003.

Please read the complete essay here.

Israel to Host First Stage of Top Italian Cycling Race Next Year

One-hundred-seventy-six of the world’s top cyclists are heading to Israel next year to kick off the 2018 Giro d’Italia, an annual multiple-stage bicycle race that takes place primarily in Italy with a “Big Start” traveling event outside Italy.

Previous years have taken the Giro to Holland, Denmark, Northern Ireland and Belgium. Starting on May 4, 2018, it’s Israel’s turn — the first time a Grand Tour has taken place outside of Europe.

The cyclists will spend three days in the Holy Land.

The Giro will finish three weeks later on May 22 in Italy.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who is no stranger to bringing sporting events to Israel’s capital (he was behind the launch of the Jerusalem Marathon and Formula 1 races in the city), said that having the Giro d’Italia kick off this year in Jerusalem sends a clear message that the city “is open to all.”

Tens of thousands of tourists and cycling enthusiasts are expected to arrive in Israel to experience the Giro d’Italia’s festive atmosphere. The race will also be a boost for cycling’s growing popularity in Israel.

Dignitaries attending a launch event for the Giro in September included Italy’s Sports Minister Luca Lotti; Israel’s Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev; Levin; Barkat; cycling legend Alberto Contador; and honorary president of the Giro’s “Big Start Israel” Sylvan Adams, cited as the driving force behind the development of Israeli cycling and bringing the Giro to Israel.

(via Israel21c)

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