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Trump Waives Nuclear Sanctions for “Last Time,” Targets Iranian Human Rights Abusers

Posted by Tip Staff - January 12, 2018

Trump Waives Nuclear Sanctions for “Last Time,” Targets Iranian Human Rights Abusers
Germany Doesn’t Arrest Iranian Cleric Accused of Crimes against Humanity, Lets him Leave
Justice Department Announces Creation of Team to Investigate Hezbollah's Drug Trafficking
Hebrew University Building Albert Einstein Museum

Trump Waives Nuclear Sanctions for “Last Time,” Targets Iranian Human Rights Abusers

Citing his administration's continued concerns with the weaknesses in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, President Donald Trump indicated that he will waive nuclear sanctions on Iran for the last time unless the nations involved in the nuclear deal address the flaws in the deal, The Hill reported Friday.

The Treasury Department also targeted 14 more Iranian individuals and entities involved in human rights abuses and ballistic missile development with sanctions.

An administration official told reporters, "He intends to work with our European partners on some kind of follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime cannot exceed related to ballistic missiles, related to nuclear breakout period... to inspection and that would have no sunset clause."

Currently the deal has a sunset clause after which, even President Barack Obama acknowledged, Iran would have a breakout time for producing enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon of about zero. Trump also wants to stop Iran's ballistic missile development, which has continued despite the United Nations Security Council resolution enacting the deal calling on Iran not to test such missiles. He is also demanding that Iran open up military sites - where its nuclear weapons research is believed to have been carried out - to inspections. Iran has refused to do so.

The official also said that the president has made it clear that this is the "last such waiver" he intends to sign, putting pressure on Congress and the European Union to fix the flaws in the deal.

Germany Doesn’t Arrest Iranian Cleric Accused of Crimes against Humanity, Lets him Leave

Germany has allowed Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, the former head of Iran’s judiciary accused of crimes against humanity, to flee the country on Thursday for Iran, after the cleric received medical treatment for a brain tumor, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post.

Shahroudi, who served in office from 1999 to 2009, stands accused by critics of having ordered some 2,000 executions, including adolescents, during his time as Iran’s top lawmaker. The 69-year-old ayatollah had been in Germany since December 21 on medical grounds.

“Germany has a choice,” Dr. Michael Rubin, an Iran expert with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, told the newspaper. “Does it want to be a safe haven for terrorists and mass murderers? Alas, for Sigmar Gabriel [Germany’s foreign minister], it seems that the answer was and is ‘yes.’ But why should principle matter if German businesses can make an extra million euros?”

Shahroudi escaped on Iran Air’s flight 722 that departed Hamburg for Tehran, while a diverse group of around 80 Iranian dissidents demonstrated at the airport. They demanded: “Arrest Shahroudi!” and chanted “Down with Khamenei! Down with Rouhani!” in video footage that was later posted on social media.

Prominent German Green Party politician and human rights activist Volker told the newspaper: “Germany should not be a sanctuary for such people, who in their country persecute people for political or religious reasons and threaten them with death. The Iranian regime persecutes women who were raped, homosexuals, Baha’is, Kurds and atheists.”

Justice Department Announces Creation of Team to Investigate Hezbollah's Drug Trafficking

In the wake of a Politico report last month that the Obama administration dismantled an investigation into Hezbollah's drug smuggling in order to secure the nuclear deal with Iran, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the formation of a team to investigate the terror group's involvement in the drug trade, Politico reported Thursday.

According to a Justice Department statement, those making up the Hezbollah Financing and Narcoterrorism Team (HFNT) will "begin by assessing the evidence in existing investigations," including those of Project Cassandra, the program that was stymied by the Obama administration.

"The Justice Department will leave no stone unturned in order to eliminate threats to our citizens from terrorist organizations and to stem the tide of the devastating drug crisis,” Sessions said, explaining the impetus for the creation of the team. “In an effort to protect Americans from both threats, the Justice Department will assemble leading investigators and prosecutors to ensure that all Project Cassandra investigations as well as other related investigations, whether past or present, are given the needed resources and attention to come to their proper resolution. The team will initiate prosecutions that will restrict the flow of money to foreign terrorist organizations as well as disrupt violent international drug trafficking operations."

Though the team will be overseen by the Justice Department's Criminal Division, it will cooperate with the department's National Security Division, United States Attorneys' offices, as well as officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

Hebrew University Building Albert Einstein Museum

A former planetarium on the Edmond J. Safra Campus of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is to be repurposed as a $5 million museum and visitors’ center dedicated to the personal archives of renowned physicist Albert Einstein, father of the theory of relativity.

Einstein was among the founders of the Hebrew University. In 1923, a year after winning the Nobel Prize, he came from Germany to give a scientific lecture at the barely finished campus on Mount Scopus. After immigrating to the United States in 1933, he remained active as a member of the university’s Board of Governors and chairman of its Academic Committee.

Before his death in 1955, Einstein had willed his personal archives and the rights to his scientific and non-scientific writings (including his famous E=mc2 formula) to the university. The 55,000-item Einstein Archives, digitized in 2012, is housed at the Safra Campus in the Givat Ram quarter within walking distance of the Israel Museum, Bible Lands Museum and Bloomfield Science Museum.

The idea of a museum to make those archives more accessible to the public has been under discussion for years.

The latest proposal will be cheaper to implement because it uses an existing 500-square-meter structure. The Jerusalem architectural firm Arad Simon won a university-sponsored competition to design the museum.

(via Israel21c)

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