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The Daily TIP: Iran Threatens U.S. with “Heavy Response” if it Withdraws from Nuke Deal

Posted by Tip Staff - January 08, 2018

Iran Threatens U.S. with “Heavy Response” if it Withdraws from Nuke Deal
Senior Egyptian Intelligence Officer Asks TV Hosts to Accept U.S. Jerusalem Announcement
Israeli Security Cabinet Holds “Significant” Meetings to Discuss Threat on Northern Border
Israeli Hospital Opens Pilot Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit

Iran Threatens U.S. with “Heavy Response” if it Withdraws from Nuke Deal

Iran has threatened on Monday that the United States will face an “appropriate and heavy response”, if it withdraws from the nuclear accord signed between the Islamic Republic and six world powers in 2015, The Times of Israel reported.

“The international community must be prepared for the US possibly pulling out of the JCPOA,” said Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi, using the technical name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, for the nuclear deal.

U.S. President Donald Trump is an outspoken critic of the accord and promised during his election campaign to dismantle the agreement, which he says is not in the national interest of the U.S. In October, Trump kicked the agreement back to Congress for further review, but has so far continued to waive the nuclear-related sanctions at fixed intervals as required to stay in compliance. The next deadline for Trump to waive sanctions falls on Friday.

“It’s been more than a year that the U.S. president has sought to destroy the JCPOA with all his efforts,” said Araghchi, speaking at the Tehran Security Conference. “We in Iran are prepared for any scenario. The international community and our region will be the biggest loser, since a successful experience in the international arena will be lost,” he added. “Our region will not become a safer region without the JCPOA.”

Foreign ministry spokesman, Bahram Ghasemi, said that a withdrawal from the agreement will lead to an “appropriate and heavy response.” He added: “The US administration will definitely regret it.”

Last week, the U.S. imposed sanctions on five Iranian entities over their involvement in developing ballistic missiles and signaled that more punitive measures are in play in response to the Islamic Republic’s crackdown of anti-government protests. Iran is in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which was passed after the nuclear accord was signed in 2015.

Senior Egyptian Intelligence Officer Asks TV Hosts to Accept U.S. Jerusalem Announcement

A senior Egyptian intelligence officer asked several influential TV hosts in Egypt to urge their viewers to accept President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, according to the New York Times.

In a report published on Saturday, the newspaper said that it obtained audio recordings in which Egyptian Captain Ashraf al-Kholi told the hosts that instead of condemning the decision they should downplay its significance and persuade their viewers to accept it.

In one recording, Captain al-Kholi says: “I am telling you what is the stance of Egypt’s national security apparatus and what it stands to benefit from in this matter of announcing Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, O.K.?.

He further argued that widespread unrest over Washington’s move would “revive the Islamists and Hamas,” adding that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “will become a reality. Palestinians can’t resist and we don’t want to go to war. We have enough on our plate.”

The story was confirmed by TV host Azmi Megahed. The recordings were provided to the New York Times by an intermediary supportive of the Palestinian cause and opposed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Following the report, the Egyptian State Information Service said: “Egypt’s positions on international issues are not derived from alleged leaks from an anonymous source. Rather, Egypt’s positions are conveyed by the president, the minister of foreign affairs and in official statements as well.”

Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement, Egypt submitted a UN Security Council resolution demanding a reversal of the decision, whilst Egyptian state media reported that President al-Sisi had personally protested to Trump. The Security Council resolution was vetoed by the U.S.

(via BICOM)

Israeli Security Cabinet Holds “Significant” Meetings to Discuss Threat on Northern Border

Israel’s security cabinet has convened several times in recent days, holding “extremely significant” meetings to discuss the threats on Israel's northern border, as well as necessary diplomatic activity to prevent Syria from turning into a foothold for Iranian forces, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The Channel 10 report stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held telephone conversations with world leaders and warned them of Iran’s growing influence in Lebanon and Syria through their terror proxy Hezbollah and Iranian-backed Shiite militia forces in Syria.

The discussions are also said to have focused on the "day-after" scenario in Syria with regime President Bashar Assad emerging as the victor. Syrian forces have been regaining significant territory with the help of Russian airpower and Iranian-backed militia, now controlling over 70% of the country, including the Syrian Golan re-taken from rebels in December.

Israeli officials have repeatedly warned of Iranian efforts to establish a foothold along its border and the Islamic Republic’s attempts to smuggle sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Liberman, warned in October that the next war will immediately become a battle on two fronts.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen., Gadi Eisenkot, observed last week that Iran’s hegemonic ambitions in the region pose a multi-dimensional threat to the Jewish State. The first challenge is the Islamic Republic’s desire to acquire nuclear weapons, followed by Tehran’s “tremendous effort” to create a Shiite Crescent from Iran to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain and even the Gaza Strip.

Eisenkot further stated that some 10,000 Shiite militia fighters and an additional 80,000 Hezbollah forces are fighting in Syria on behalf of the Assad regime. Iran funds the Lebanese terror group with $700 million per year and provides another $100 million to other Iranian-backed militia.

Israeli Hospital Opens Pilot Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit

A pilot Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit, opened three months ago at Sheba Medical Center/Tel Hashomer in Ramat Gan, is the first of its kind in Israel and possibly in the world, according to its founder, Dr. Damien Urban, director of oncology at the medical center.

The goal is to help patients cut through medical red tape and receive results of oncological tests — blood work, biopsies, MRIs and CT scans — within two weeks as opposed to the three months this process normally can take.

Urban says the rapid approach is virtually unheard of in the Western world. The handful of rapid diagnostic centers in countries including the U.K., U.S. and Canada focus on specific cancers such as prostate, lung, breast and colon. “But [I have seen] nothing regarding across-the-board cancer testing,” he says.

The Australian émigré and his staff recognized the need to drastically streamline the process in order to get a diagnostic response and a treatment regimen in place quickly and efficiently. “If a person has a cancerous growth in their body, the race against time becomes a critical factor,” Urban says.

“The mental trauma of a patient waiting for results over a three-month period can also have a devastating effect. It literally freezes people in their daily lives, so we are trying to overcome this process with the creation of the Rapid Cancer Diagnostic Unit,” says Urban.

Since it opened, the pilot unit has received some 90 patients with a wide variety of suspected cancers. For the time being, it is open only to Israeli residents. The unit is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of Sheba oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and a nuclear medicine physician giving their time to the pilot project on top of their other duties.

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