Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Pompeo: U.S. to Impose “Strongest Sanctions in History” on Iran

Posted by Allison Dreyer - May 21, 2018

Pompeo: U.S. to Impose “Strongest Sanctions in History” on Iran

Paraguay Becomes Third Nation to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

Jewish, Muslim Groups Urge UK Home Secretary to Ban Next Month’s Hezbollah Parade in London

Israeli Drone Company Chosen to Participate in FAA Pilot Program



Pompeo: U.S. to Impose “Strongest Sanctions in History” on Iran

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday that the Trump administration is preparing to impose “the strongest sanctions in history” on Iran after withdrawing from the JCPOA, also known as the nuclear accord, The Times of Israel reported.

In his first major speech as Secretary of State, Pompeo laid out a bucket list of 12 demands for Iran to meet if Tehran wishes to negotiate a new treaty with the United States, and outlined the White House’s plan to curtail Iran’s illicit nuclear activity and “malign” regional behavior.

Pompeo demanded that Iran come clean about all of its past nuclear work, provide the International Atomic Energy Agency “unqualified access to all sites throughout the country”, including military sites, halt its ballistic missile development and testing, completely stop its uranium enrichment, end its support for Middle East terrorist groups, and respect the sovereignty of the neighboring countries.

“We will apply unprecedented financial pressure on the Iranian regime,” Pompeo told the audience at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “The sting of sanctions will only grow more painful if the regime does not change course from the unacceptable and unproductive path it has chosen for itself and the people of Iran,” he added.

“Sanctions are going back in full effect, and new ones are coming,” he warned. “The Iranian regime should know this is just the beginning (…) We will not renegotiate the JCPOA itself,” he vowed.

Pompeo indicated that for the United States all options remain on the table to prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities. Pompeo also threatened to “crush” Iran’s terrorist proxies around the world.”

Outlining the White House’s regional strategy to counter Iran, Pompeo said, “We will ensure freedom of navigation on the waters in the region. We will work to prevent and counteract any Iranian malign cyber activity. We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world.” He continued: “Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”

Pompeo added: “We will continue to work with our allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activities in the region, block their financing of terror, and address Iran’s proliferation of missiles and other advanced weapons that threaten peace and stability.” He also said, “We will also ensure Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon — ever.”

He demanded that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) must end its support for terrorists and that Iran must “end its threatening behavior against its neighbors, including Israel.” Iran, Pompeo said, must also dismantle its entire military infrastructure in Syria.

The IRGC “has flown an armed drone into Israeli airspace and launched salvos of rockets into the Golan Heights from Syria (…) Our steadfast ally Israel has asserted its sovereign right of self-defense in response, a stance the U.S. will continue to unequivocally support,” he observed.

The Secretary made clear that with the strategy the White House announced today the U.S. expects “the support of our most important allies and partners in the region and around the globe. I don’t just mean our friends in Europe.” He also warned that if Europe continues to trade with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions, they will be held “to account.”

Paraguay Becomes Third Nation to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

On Monday, Paraguay became the third country to open its embassy in Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opened the embassy in the Malha Technological Park, the same building where Guatemala inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem last week.

During the ceremony, Netanyahu noted that Paraguay is a “true friend” of Israel. He recalled that Paraguay helped Jews escape Nazi Germany before and during the Holocaust and supported Israel during the partition vote in the UN in 1947. “Paraguay, before but especially under your leadership, took a very bold stance in international affairs and refused to cooperate with the lies directed against Israel,” Netanyahu said.

Meanwhile, in his speech, Cartes indicated that the embassy opening “expresses the sincere friendship and brave solidarity” between the two countries. He also said: “From the depth of my heart, I appreciate this country that courageously defends its right to live in peace and it is building a praiseworthy economically prosperous state that ensures its future and that of its children.”

During his ceremony speech, Netanyahu indicated that cooperation with Paraguay would be “greater in several areas including agriculture, security, and technology.”

In 2016, Cartes became the first Paraguayan president to visit Israel. The President and Prime Minister met for a second time in 2017 in Buenos Aires on Netanyahu’s first trip to Latin America.

Paraguay’s embassy opening comes exactly one week after the United States opened its embassy in an existing consular building in the neighborhood of Arnona in Jerusalem, an area which has been in the hands of Israel since 1948.

Two days later, Guatemala opened its embassy in Jerusalem as well.

Other countries have expressed a desire to move their embassies to Jerusalem including the Czech Republic and Romania. In upcoming weeks, it is expected that Honduras will announce its embassy move to Jerusalem.

Jewish, Muslim Groups Urge UK Home Secretary to Ban Next Month’s Hezbollah Parade in London

A Hezbollah march, due to take place in central London in honor of Al Quds Day next month, would put both Jews and Muslims at risk, community representatives of both faith groups warned Home Secretary Sajid Javid in a joint letter. Al Quds Day is promoted internationally by Iran.

The Evening Standard reported that the Campaign against Anti-Semitism and the Muslim-led anti-extremism group Faith Matters warned the government that the march would provoke divisions among Jews and Muslims.

“It [Quds Day] is a rallying point for anti-Muslim bigots who wish to portray all British Muslims as terrorist sympathizers, and for anti-Semites, who admire Hezbollah’s stated mission to seek out and murder Jews around the world,” the letter said. It added that Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s “sworn mission is the genocide of Jews.”

The letter further described Hezbollah’s flag, which features an assault rifle alongside a dagger, as “bloodcurdling,” warning its presence at the rally would “embolden those who seek to incite hatred” and make “a mockery of counter-extremism initiatives.”

The letter concluded with an appeal to the Home Secretary. “We write to you jointly as a British Muslim and a British Jew who are allies in the fight against racism and extremism,” it said, urging Javid not to allow extremists and their supports to take to the streets of London.

While Hezbollah’s military wing is banned in Britain, it’s political wing is not – a distinction Hezbollah’s own leadership rejects. Deputy Secretary-General, Naim Qassem, mocked the distinction, saying in 2012: “We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hizballah on one hand and the resistance party on the other…Every element of Hizballah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, are in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority.”

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, and Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, called on the British government for Hezbollah to be outlawed in its entirety so that the parade, on June 10, can be stopped.

“While Hezbollah sympathizers marched through the streets without interruption, police demanded that anti-terrorist protesters move out of the way,” The Israel Project Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz observed about last year’s Qud’s Day march. “The extremists were rewarded. The terrified public punished. Evidence of a truly broken moral compass,” she concluded.

Israeli Drone Company Chosen to Participate in FAA Pilot Program

Israeli drone logistics company Flytrex has teamed up with the North Carolina state government to participate in a groundbreaking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot program that will bring Flytrex’s food-delivery drone technology closer to rollout in the United States.

The FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Integration Pilot Program pairs up state and local governments with private companies in order to accelerate the safe deployment of drones above America. The program is intended to help the US Department of Transportation and the FAA craft new rules that allow more complex low-altitude operations.

It’s a significant step for Flytrex, whose CEO Yariv Bash last year told ISRAEL21c that he expected Flytrex would first expand into Africa or Eastern Europe because the FAA was working on a universal air-traffic management system for drones that would only be completed in 2020.

Now that Flytrex is part of the FAA pilot program, the sky may soon be the limit for retail-to-your-door deliveries of everything from toothpaste to sushi. While Bash readily admits that Amazon will undoubtedly own the biggest chunk of the drone delivery business, “if we can have a fraction of the rest of the market,” it will still be a very profitable business.

“This is a breakthrough moment for drone deliveries, the start of an exciting new era,” Bash told ISRAEL21c. “Commercial drones represent a far safer, cheaper, faster and eco-friendly mode of transportation than existing delivery options, and this stamp of approval from the FAA is an invaluable stepping stone to getting widespread drone delivery off the ground.”

In 2017, Flytrex began a pilot program with UkrPoshta, the Ukrainian Postal Service, to deliver packages weighing up to 3 kilograms as far as 23 kilometers round-trip at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour. Flytrex also conducted a test with a pharmaceutical company in Africa to deliver drugs to users in hard-to-access locations.

Flytrex doesn’t manufacture drones. Rather, it has created a cloud-based backend that allows customers to operate an entire fleet of drones remotely. Think of Flytrex as the FedEx of the drone-delivery world; FedEx doesn’t manufacture trucks or planes but provides the software and human infrastructure to make the most of existing tools.

(via Israel21c)

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