Experts have reinforced concerns among US allies in the Middle East that Iran will use the influx of funds it will receive from an emerging deal to bolster its support for terrorism and further destabilize the region.
A Financial Times
article on Wednesday claimed
that the recent American decision to restore military aid to Bahrain, in spite of the regime’s brutal crackdown on demonstrators in 2011, is the latest attempt to reassure Gulf allies wary of a nuclear deal that enriches Iranian coffers and fails to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure
, leaving Iran as a nuclear threshold state
. Gulf States worry
that any deal would allow Iran to advance its hegemonic ambitions in the region. The Wall Street Journal
reported that Iran could receive $30-50 billion
simply for signing an agreement with Iran, prior to its implementation. The Financial Times revealed
that following a deal, the release of frozen funds and increased oil sales could leave Iran with more than $100 billion over the next year.
Experts have disputed the Obama administration’s claims that Iran would use sanctions relief primarily for domestic needs. Spending on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the entity tasked with spreading Iranian influence abroad while suppressing dissent at home, has increased
by 48%. Furthermore, Iran’s destabilizing activities
in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have grown, all while under significant sanctions pressure. Iran spends approximately $200 million
per year on Hezbollah and up to $15 billion per year
to support the Assad regime in Syria. An Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Karim Sadjadpour, stated
, “If they [Iranian regime] have more money, they will continue to spend it in the same way.” Former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council, Michael Singh, writes
that Iran is likely “to spend any financial windfall from a nuclear agreement on both domestic and foreign priorities... The two are not mutually exclusive.” Former Senior Advisor on Iran at the State Department, Ray Takeyh, similarly warned
that the “massive financial gains from the deal would enable the Islamic Republic’s imperial surge.” Iran is currently the principal power broker in four Arab capitals: Beirut, Sanaa, Baghdad, and Damascus.
If the administration makes a bad nuclear deal with Iran, Congress should reject it, Josh Block, CEO and President of The Israel Project, wrote in an op-ed for The Miami Herald Tuesday. The Israel Project publishes The Tower.After noting that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei rejected a number of conditions that would make a deal effective—conditions that President Barack Obama has said would need to be part of an acceptable deal, Block observed that instead of walking out, “the administration seems prepared to cede ground to Iranian intransigence.”
Secretary of State John Kerry even indicated that Iran might not have to disclose its past atomic research. The International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, has said this information is critical to detecting and understanding future violations. America’s red lines on centrifuges, the Iranian military facility at Fordo and Iran’s nuclear stockpiles, have been shoved aside as well.
The AP reports that the administration is now seeking to repeal both nuclear and non-nuclear sanctions. All this as Iran continues supporting Bashar Assad, sponsoring global terrorism, committing egregious human-rights abuses against its own people and developing ballistic missiles — and that’s not all. As the requirements for a deal have crumbled, Iran has pushed dangerously toward regional hegemony. Through its terrorist proxies, Tehran now controls Arab capitals in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.
If the deal that comes out of the ongoing negotiations “makes the United States and our allies demonstrably safer for decades,” Block wrote, Congress should support the deal.
If, however, the administration proposes an agreement that rewards Iran for decades of bad behavior, and fails to meet the needed standards, Congress must push back forcefully to protect our national security and global interests, and those of our allies.
Block argued in The Baltimore Sun last week that the “dismantlement” of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure must be part of any final nuclear deal with Iran. (via TheTower.org)
There’s good news out of Tel Aviv for the people facing corneal transplants.
Prof. Abraham Katzir, head of the Applied Physics Group at Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, suggests a radically new way to seal the incisions in the eye using a technique he devised called temperature-controlled laser bonding. “Every year, for 50,000 Americans on the verge of losing their sight, corneal transplants are the only option. It is a torturous procedure followed by many months of painful recovery caused by sutures left in the eye,” said Katzir. “Using our special optical fiber, we were able to seamlessly bond corneal tissue without causing damage to the surrounding eye or leaving lingering stitches." He and colleagues from the university and from Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center described the procedure in a recent issue of the Journal of Biomedical Optics
. Katzir’s group developed optical fibers made of silver halides. The fibers deliver an infrared laser beam that heats spots on the edges of an incision in a carefully controlled manner, and also deliver infrared light from the heated spot to an infrared detector, which monitors the temperature. This makes it possible to heat each spot to just the right temperature –140 to 150 degrees F — to create a strong bond without causing thermal damage. (via Israel21c