WSJ: Capture of Khobar Towers mastermind a reminder of Iran’s history of supporting terrorism

 

The Wall Street Journal editorial board excoriated Iran’s history of supporting terrorism and the cash windfall that will accrue to Iran as part of the nuclear deal signed July 14. On Wednesday, Ahmad Ibrahim al-Mughassil, a member of Hejaz al-Hezbollah who is the reputed mastermind of the 1996 Khobar Tower attacks, was captured in a Saudi-led raid. In this truck bombing that was carried out in Saudi Arabia, 19 U.S. airmen were killed. This is part and parcel of Iran’s aggression and terrorism against the United States: “From the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon to the Khobar Towers to the Iranian-made IEDs that took the lives of many of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran and its proxies have never hesitated to shed American blood.”

The Journal’s editorial board noted that in December 2006, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth found Iran responsible for the 1996 bombing. Lamberth wrote, “The totality of evidence at trial…firmly establishes that the Khobar Towers bombing was planned, funded, and sponsored by senior leadership in the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The court also concluded that “the bomb was built in an IRGC camp in Lebanon and that [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei had approved the operation” and ordered the Iranian government to pay $254 million to families of 17 of the victims.

Iran is set to receive tens of billions of dollars in sanctions relief under the nuclear agreement. The editorial board continued, “We are about to hand $100 billion to this regime simply for promising it won’t build a nuclear weapon – even as Mr. Obama says he’s under ‘no illusions’ that Tehran will use some of its bonanza to fund terrorism.” Matthew Levitt, a terror finance expert formerly at the Treasury Department, and David Makovsky, a distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, have written, “Even if a large majority of the Iranian financial windfall goes to invigorate the moribund domestic economy, a relatively small slice of the $100 billion to $150 billion can go a long way in ramping up what the IRGC is already doing in destabilizing the Middle East.”

 

A poll released this week found that 82% of Americans oppose the administration granting Iran $100 billion in sanctions relief “without the approval of Congress,” The Hill reported yesterday.

The poll, released by Secure America Now, found that 82 percent of Americans — including large majorities in both parties — oppose the White House granting billions of dollars in sanctions relief “without the approval of Congress.”

 

The survey also showed that, when informed about “secret side deals between Iran and the U.N. monitoring agency,” 61 percent of people thought that Congress should vote to kill the deal. Just 16 percent said it should be approved, despite the existence of the side deals. …

 

“It’s not easy to find voters who are comfortable with the secret side deals allowing Iran to self-inspect their own nuclear activities,” Patrick Caddell, a Democratic pollster who helped conduct the survey, said in a statement.

In a recently published analysis, Olli Heinonen, former deputy director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), wrote that the reported side agreement between Iran and the IAEA concerning inspections at the Parchin military facility and suspected nuclear site “[departs] significantly from well-established and proven safeguards practices.”

The full results of the poll are available here.

The poll was released at a time when the administration is seeking to recruit enough Democrats to filibuster the vote over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the nuclear deal with Iran is known. The Corker-Cardin bill, another name for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, passed both houses of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support and gives legislators an opportunity to vote on the agreement.

The results of this poll are consistent with other recent surveys revealing strong public opposition to the deal. Last week, a nationwide poll found that 56% of Americans want their legislators to oppose the JCPOA, while a poll of three critical swing states determined that voters opposed the agreement by a margin greater than 2-1.

An April poll showed that two thirds of Americans support congressional review of the nuclear deal with Iran. (via TheTower.org)

If you consider yourself a dog parent rather than a dog owner, you’ll want one of these. Amazon clearly saw this potential when it chose the Israeli-made Hachiko  dog-collar sensor and mobile app to be among the first hot new products from startup companies in its new Amazon Launchpad. Hachiko’s $39.99 Bluetooth-enabled waterproof clip-on, with a battery that lasts a year, measures the dog’s activities and transmits the data via a free iOS app to doggie’s parents and caregivers. Not only does Hachiko show details of activities such as distance walked, time of walk, duration of walk and a map of the walk, it also generates voice messages about these activities – e.g., “Hey there! I just went with Bob the dog-walker for a romp in the park!” There’s a timeline for adding and sharing photos and comments, and a way to keep track of intakes and outtakes (water, food, waste, treats, medicine). Based on what the dog is doing in real time, the app recommends relevant actions or knowledge segments. For example, if Fifi is home alone, Hachiko can send ideas to keep her entertained. DogTV, anyone? Founded in early 2014 and soft-launched in May this year, Hachiko participated in two Tel Aviv accelerator programs: The Bridge by Coca-Cola and Nautilus by AOL. The company’s investors include AOL, BetaWorks and Metamorphic Ventures, and it already has sales in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, Taiwan, Mexico and, of course, Israel. (via Israel21c)

 


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