All the President’s Men: Iran’s Cabinet Candidates

Vahid Salemi/AP

While humans lack the ability to see into the future, we do possess the power to analyze our world to predict what the future has in store for us. The result of Iran’s so-called presidential election back in May rendered a second term for the incumbent Hassan Rouhani. During Iran’s short election season, lasting no less than a month, the mullahs’ cunningly downgraded crackdown measures, decreasing executions and increasing social freedoms to lure the general public into polling stations.

Nevertheless, the all-male slate of cabinet candidates presented by Rouhani to the parliament for approval provides a dark insight of what awaits the Iranian people and the international community. To make a long story short, these are names consisting of former Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) members, hostage takers, executioners, torturers and thieves.

This is a signal of Iran fuelling a future of further wars, crackdown, massacres, exporting terrorism and fundamentalism, and killing sprees targeting the region’s nations.

While Iran apologists and the appeasement camp misled the international community to naively describe Rouhani as a smiling “moderate,” his first term rendered over 3,000 executions and went mostly neglected. Knowing the Obama administration desperately needed a legacy-defining foreign policy achievement, Rouhani and the mullahs saw a green light to press the gas pedal on executions.

After deactivating the gallows shortly for the May elections, the mullahs returned to their true nature and resorted to over 100 executions in July alone. This consists of an average of at least one execution every eight hours.

This should be a wake-up call for European states that have banned executions altogether, and yet are willing to signature lucrative economic deals with Tehran, such as Airbus, Total and Renault.

Rouhani’s list of cabinet candidates has raised quite a stir. After providing a variety of promises during his election campaign, he failed to present even a single female minister candidate. Only under a wave of protests and pressures did Rouhani give in to naming three female vice presidents, providing nothing more than symbolic roles.

There are also reports indicating Rouhani ran through his candidates in close coordination with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. This goes against Iranian political norms — Khamenei is known to have a say in a number of specific candidates, including the key ministers of defense, foreign affairs and intelligence.

Anger mounted during his first term over Rouhani’s ironic decision to appoint Mostafa Pourmohammadi as his justice minister. Pourmohammadi is known for his direct role in the notorious 1988 massacre of over 30,000 political prisoners, mostly members and supporters members of the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

And while Pourmohammadi is set aside in Rouhani’s second term cabinet, his replacement, Alireza Avaie, is adding insult to injury. Avaie also played a leading role in the 1988 massacre in Khuzestan Province, southwest Iran. The Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held a press conference in September unveiling Avaie’s involvement in executions of Younesco Prison in the city of Dezful. The majority of Iran’s Arab community are resident in the country’s southwest regions.

Other names in Rouhani’s cabinet indicate a bleak second term riddled with crackdown measures and going back on all election season promises.

Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi is appointed to serve as the new minister of communications and information technology. This is an individual who entered the mullahs’ hated Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS) at the age of 21, becoming involved in interrogations, torture and censorship in his early days.

During the 2009 uprising Jahromi was appointed as the MOIS Director of Surveillance. He is known to have expanded this department and his appointment is seen as Rouhani’s attempt to confront the PMOI/MEK’s increasing popularity amongst Iran’s population through social media networks. Iran is known to have a young and very active social media population of over 40 million users.

Amir Hatami is set to become Iran’s new defense minister. Joining the ultraconservative and repressive IRGC Bassij paramilitaries at the age of 12, Hatami is known for his active and enthusiastic participation in the regime’s crackdown and killing campaigns. He is amongst the Bassij members tasked to join Iran’s classic army and quickly rose the ranks to provide the mullahs the influence they sought in this force. Hatami also played an important role in identifying, arresting and eliminating any army member showing even the slightest sign of patriotic devotion and acting against the mullahs’ interests.

Habibollah Beetaraf, Rouhani’s candidate for the new labor minister, was amongst the so-called “college students” who stormed the US Embassy back in 1979 and took 52 American diplomats hostage. He was one of the first IRGC members and participated in literally herding teenagers and even small children into minefields during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.

Iran’s industry, mines and trade will be managed by Mohammad Shariatmadari, famous for actively playing a part in the regime’s crackdown and plundering. He is heavily involved in managing Khamenei’s conglomerate, known as the “Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam” – Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, controlling a large percentage of the regime’s economic empire. $95 billion is this massive entity’s estimated capital.

This lineup provides a dark glimpse into what the future will bring for the Iranian people and neighboring nations. For example, following July’s execution spree, the mullahs’ regime reportedly sent 13 individuals to the gallows on August 10th alone.

This atrocity included 11 hangings in a mass killing in the city of Birjand, eastern Iran; one execution in a small town in northern Iran; and the horrific execution of 20-year-old Alireza Tajiki, arrested at the age of 15 at the time of his alleged crime.

Amnesty International demanding Tehran halt this hanging fell on deaf ears and Iran’s mullahs once again proved their sinister cruelty and lack of respect for any humane values and international laws.

Rouhani’s second term will bring nothing but additional economic and social devastation, parallel to political crackdown, destructive meddling across the region and continuing Iran’s ballistic missile/nuclear drives. Rouhani neither has the will nor intention to bring about any meaningful change in this regime’s foundations, infrastructure, nature or approach.

What else is expected from an individual who for 40 years has actively participated in the regime’s oppression and warmongering. Rouhani was the first Iranian regime official to call for public executions to teach the Iranian people a lesson.

Despite claims otherwise, Rouhani is part and parcel of the mullahs’ establishment, and he, too, seeks to maintain this system intact and in power. Hence, the international community needs to understand no change will emerge from this medieval, reactionary-minded regime.

The Iranian people and their organized opposition finally deserve the support and recognition they have been deprived of for the past four decades.

Advertisements

Trump Must Pressure Iran

Iran was involved in a long slate of aggressive measures up to the very doorsteps of President Donald Trump taking the helm in Washington. This concerning pattern of escalating extremism ironically increased following the Iran nuclear deal sealed between the P5+1 and Tehran, despite many in the West arguing such an accord would rein in the mullahs. And now, a new U.S. president has rightfully pinpointed “radical Islamic terrorists,” of which the root lies in Iran.

Further to the mullahs’ advantage was the Obama administration’s reluctance to adopt any serious stance against Iran running its Shiite extremist rampage across the region. Obama’s White House only imposed sanctions considered anything but harsh.

This paved the path for Iran to unleash its Shiite puppets and proxies throughout the region, cementing sectarian strife and as a result pushing more Sunni youth to join ISIS and other radicals.

Obama’s nuclear deal, with all its flaws made evidently clear, only placed speed bumps in Iran’s quest for the bomb. This came at the heavy price of America losing the trust of its regional allies, disheartening them also in their efforts against Iran-supported terrorism in their backyards.

President Donald Trump has rightfully pinpointed the root of all crises in the Middle East.

“We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones — and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth,” he said.

This is exactly where the Trump administration has an extraordinary opportunity to begin launching a widespread strategy vis-à-vis Tehran, targeting specifically the disease Iran is spreading: meddling across the region and fueling sectarian emotions.

While the international community was focused sealing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran used the opportunity to storm Syria and Iraq with Shiite militias dispatched from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and its own paramilitary forces, all commanded by the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

While Obama continuously boasted the JCPOA campaign, Iran’s Middle East interference reached a point where 11 Arab states unprecedentedly voiced their rage by accusing Iran of supporting terrorism and completely disrupting the sheer Middle East fabric.

Iran’s atrocities had reached the point that even Secretary John Kerry’s State Department cited Tehran’s scope of “activities to destabilize the region” in designating Iran as the world’s state sponsor of terrorism.

President Trump and his team can easily take action by simply covering the numerous loopholes left by the Obama administration. U.N. travel bans on senior Iranian figures, including IRGC Quds Force chief Qassem Suleimani. This individual is known to travel across the Middle East and literally wreak havoc by commanding Iran’s Shiite militias.

Iran has also taken advantage of Obama’s negligence — aiming to safeguard his previous Iran-JCPOA legacy — to pursue its ballistic missile ambitions and carry out major test launches. This has been in violation of U.N. Resolution 2231, and President Trump can easily begin holding Tehran accountable.

Iran came to the nuclear negotiations following continuous revelations made by Iranian opposition National Council of Resistance (NCRI) and under pressure from international sanctions. This policy has worked once and it can work again. President Trump and his team should care less about Iran’s remarks or reactions in threatening to “burn” the JCPOA.

Iran’s financial pipeline, established through a windfall of billions provided to Iran under the nuclear pact, should come to an end, and licenses revoked for Airbus and Boeing deals. Iran’s airlines are known to provide manpower and weapons to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad and Lebanese Hizb’allah.

These efforts only promote further killings and, as previously explained, instigate a Shiite-Sunni conflict across the Middle East. Iran is profiting from the existence of ISIS, using this phenomenon as a pretext to justify its presence in Iraq and Syria.

President Trump can also team up with Congress under a new bipartisan effort aiming to curb Iran’s destabilizing role in the region. A strong foundation can be found in the Preventing Destabilization of Iraq and Syria Act of 2016 aiming to mandate new sanctions against foreign states and terrorist organizations.

This initiative must include Iran, as the mullahs are known to “threaten the peace or stability of Iraq or Syria,” as the bill explains. U.S. allies can benefit extremely, especially the Gulf Sunnis that Obama sidelined in the past eight years.

“The regime in Tehran is the source of crisis in the region and killings in Syria; it has played the greatest role in the expansion and continuation of ISIS. Peace and tranquility in the region can only be achieved by evicting this regime from the region,” said NCRI President Maryam Rajavi.

The NCRI is an umbrella dissident group including the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

And yet the nail in the coffin for the mullahs would be for the Trump administration to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Iranian people in their struggle to establish freedom and democracy. Nearly two dozen former senior U.S. government officials provided such a game-plan to President in a hand-delivered letter encouraging his administration to work with the NCRI.

Such initiatives send clear messages to Tehran about the unacceptable nature of its current involvement in the flashpoint Middle East. As President Trump takes actions to diminish Iran’s role across the region, especially from backing Assad, sectarian friction will diminish and all efforts can focus on ISIS.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/01/trump_must_pressure_iran.html#ixzz4XbuXARGf
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

Donald Trump’s Possible Iran-To-Do List

One year into the highly boasted Iran nuclear deal, the work of the Obama administration dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the world witnessed how Iran returned the favor. Tehran continued to cause havoc across Syria with a conglomerate of Shiite militias rampaging and massacring innocent civilians. Iran also launched provocative war drills further destabilizing the flashpoint Persian Gulf region. We were also witness to how Qassem Suleimani, the notorious commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, was paraded in Falluja, Mosul and Aleppo. All in all, Tehran has taken advantage of Obama’s craftsmanship to accelerate its aggression across the region. As a result, President Donald Trump has before him a slate of available to-do measures against Iran.

Washington, under Obama, remained unfortunately mute in response to Tehran threatening America’s Middle East allies through known saber-rattling tactics. The Obama White House continuously ignored Iran’s threats and only responded with non-nuclear sanctions, aimed mainly at maintaining face amongst his critics.

To this end, Obama’s foreign policy in 2016 specifically paved the path for Iran to embark on a more emboldened journey throughout the Middle East.

The JCPOA shortcomings have been discussed to a full extent, as we have witnessed Iran’s nuclear drive only delayed, especially since Tehran has twice exceeded its heavy water production limit. In the process the West ear Deal, has lost significant leverage over Iran.

President Trump has the opportunity to adopt a policy aimed at isolating Iran by making Iranian intransigence come at a high cost for the regime. The Trump administration can take on issues that have always been vital with Iran, and far beyond the JCPOA’s reach. This most specifically involves a strong approach vis-à-vis Iran fueling Middle East crises through the spread of its Islamic fundamentalism mentality.

Through the course of JCPOA talks, Iran used the opportunity to dispatch tens of thousands of Shiite proxy militias from Afghanistan, Pakistan, its own forces and … to Syria to shore up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. This sparked eleven Arab states to take unprecedented measures voiced in a recent letter accusing Tehran of supporting Middle East terrorism and demanding a halt in Iran meddling in their internal affairs. Even the U.S. State Department could not neglect this troubling reality and once again designated Iran as the world’s leading state-sponsor of terrorism.

Needed now is a comprehensive drive to pressure Iran. The tools and assets available before President Trump are plenty and the first step in the right path would be to correctly and strongly enforce existing sanctions. A policy which, unfortunately, the Obama administration simply refused to abide by.

Senior Iranian officials, including Suleimani, are under a United Nations travel ban that the previous administration failed to enforce. This goes alongside Iran feeling no fear of any accountability as it launched numerous ballistic missile tests and streamlined frequent arms shipments to Yemen, neglecting the U.N. embargo in this very regard. The JCPOA was enshrined by U.N. Resolution 2231, and yet such measures by Iran have gone without any international response, thanks to the Obama administration’s continued silence. Here is another platform where the Trump administration can make it crystal clear for Tehran that the tides have changed and the mullahs’ can no longer count on Obama’s golden era.

Iran has also enjoyed the benefits of a major windfall resulting from the JCPOA, and President Trump can bring this to an end. Licenses for Airbus and Boeing deals can be revoked by the U.S. Treasury Department and conditioned on the mullahs halting their use of various Iranian airlines to transfer personal and arms to Assad and the Lebanese Hezbollah. And Iraq should be pressured by the U.S. to restrict its airspace to Iranian planes flying for such dangerous intents.

While the Obama administration drastically failed to live up to its Syria red line, the new administration in Washington has before it a chance to draw clear lines in the sand.

  1. Assad and Iran’s militias must be ordered to end all hostilities and attacks, especially against civilians that have resulted in uncountable cases of massacres.

  2. Iran must pull out all Shiite militias from Syria and dismantle the Popular Mobilization Units, acting as the Iraq IRGC parallel to the Iraqi classic army.

  3. Iran’s human rights violations must be curbed, especially the horrific practice of executions, including women and juveniles, public floggings and limb amputations. All this has continued under the so-called “moderate” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

  4. Despite its flaws, the JCPOA regulations must be abided by Iran and enforced meaningfully by the international community, bringing an end to all existing loopholes.

This would resemble the right start for the Trump administration to springboard into reining in Iran’s regime. And yet, the Trump administration has potential to further broaden its agenda and bring an end to all of the mullahs’ unacceptable practices. A recent letter, signed by a rare bi-partisan slate of former senior U.S. government officials, and hand-delivered to President Trump encourages Washington to work with the Iranian opposition represented by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Iran’s regime has left no choice but for the U.S. and the international community to start a new campaign of pressuring all its assets to make Tehran understand the costs of continuing such behavior. Rest assured that after four decades of failed appeasement, the only option available is a comprehensive agenda of tough policies to confront the mullahs.

Originally published in The Daily Caller

Trump and U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran

00By Shahriar Kia

The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States has wreaked havoc among the regime in Iran. Iran’s lobbying groups in Washington are going the distance to influence Trump’s foreign policy vis-à-vis the mullahs in Tehran. Continue reading “Trump and U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Iran”

Intel: Iran Using Commercial Planes to Smuggle Weapons to Terrorists

mahan_air_boeing_747-400_kvw
Mahan Air is affiliated to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards

Obama admin accused of facilitating Iranian terror by approving new airplane sales

BY:  – November 24, 2016 1:00 pm

The Obama administration has given clearance to Western airline manufacturers to sell planes to Iran at the same time the Islamic Republic is using commercial airliners to smuggle weapons and other illicit arms to Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, according to new intelligence and congressional communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. Continue reading “Intel: Iran Using Commercial Planes to Smuggle Weapons to Terrorists”