Trump Administration countering Iran’s influence in Latin America and winning key support

“The Trump administration’s push to counter Iran’s influence in South America won key support from leaders in the region in recent days, with three Latin American nations officially declaring Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”

The work of Iranian jihadist proxies worldwide is underrated and under reported. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo captures the magnitude of the Iranian proxy problem well in this statement:

 When you see the scope and reach of what the Islamic Republic of Iran’s regime has done, you can’t forget they tried to kill someone in the United States of America. They’ve conducted assassination campaigns in Europe. This is a global phenomenon.

And the phenomenon of narcoterrorism is linked to Iranian proxy Hizballah, as indicated in this exposé by the Washington Times: “Hezbollah moving ‘tons of cocaine’ in Latin America, Europe to finance terror operation.”

“Trump administration homing in on Iran-backed operations in Latin America,” by Guy Taylor, Washington Times, January 23, 2020:

The Trump administration’s push to counter Iran’s influence in South America won key support from leaders in the region in recent days, with three Latin American nations officially declaring Lebanon’s Tehran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras have now officially joined with Paraguay and Argentina in recognizing the designation, with the new conservative government in Bogota joining with Washington in declaring Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a terrorist organization as well.

At a counterterrorism conference in Bogota this week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials underscored the global reach of Lebanon-based Hezbollah — a Shia Muslim militant-political movement and a part of the Lebanese political establishment that Washington has listed as a terrorist organization since the late 1990s.

Hezbollah was a big winner in the political upheaval that has gripped Lebanon this month, with new government made up of appointees nominated by Hezbollah and its allies — a development that has worried both the U.S. and Israel, Lebanon’s neighbor. Counterterrorism analysts consider the well-armed Hezbollah one of Tehran’s most effective military proxies in the region.

Heading into this week’s conference in Bogota, State Department Counterterrorism Coordinator Nathan Sales told the Miami Herald and Nuevo Herald that U.S. officials “know that Hezbollah operatives and facilitators and finance leaders are active” in the loosely governed “Tri-Border Area” between Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay.

U.S. and Israeli officials say Hezbollah orchestrated and executed a 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina that killed 29 people, as well as a 1994 attack on a Jewish center in Buenos Aires that left 85 people dead…..

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

US government hands out tens of millions to Muslim orgs linked to Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood

This is no doubt the work of swamp creatures, i.e., entrenched federal bureaucrats who are happy to defy the Trump’s administration’s agenda. The swamp needs draining, but is fighting back furiously.

“US Gov’t Hands Out Tens of Millions to Islamist Organizations,” Clarion Project, January 23, 2020:

The U.S. government under the Trump administration has handed out tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to Islamist organizations, according to research by Sam Westrop at Middle East Forum (MEF).

As MEF noted, “between 2017 and 2018, the amount of taxpayers’ money given to organizations either influenced or controlled by Islamist activists more than tripled from $4 million to $13.5 million. Under the Obama administration, the amount given to Islamist-linked organizations averaged a mere $1.7 million each year.”

Most recently, in October 2019, the government awarded the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with $100,000 in federal grant government money.

CAIR was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest-ever terror funding case in American history. The government officially ended all partnerships with the organization in 2009 because of CAIR’s connection to funding the Hamas terror group.

Yet, CAIR was recently the recipient of the $100,000 Department of Homeland Security grant as part of its DHS’s Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

In addition to monies given to CAIR, MEF found that the government  gave:

  • $57,000 to the Muslim American Society (MAS). In 2008, federal prosecutors said that “MAS was founded as the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America. Last year, children from an MAS school recited poetry about the killing of Jews
  • $100,000 to Dar al-Hijrah, an extremist mosque in Virginia. A 2002 Customs and Border Protection document stated that DAH is “operating as a front for Hamas operatives in U.S.” A December 2007 document said DAH “has been linked to numerous individuals linked to terrorism financing.”  Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki was DAH’s imam from 2001 to 2002. Al-Awlaki’s sermons were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and Nidal Hassan, who later shot 13 soldiers to death in a jihadi attack at Fort Hood in 2009.
  • $41 million in federal grants to Islamist radicals since 2007 (not including grants given in the  last few months)….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Northeastern University student deported back to Iran over family’s ties to jihad terror groups

“A U.S. official familiar with information reviewed by authorities told CBS News that Dehghani himself does not have ties to terroristic groups, but ‘some very close to him’ do.”

Many in the U.S. think Shabab Dehghani is an innocent victim of official “Islamophobia.” And it is certainly true that no one should be punished for someone else’s misdeeds. At the same time, how can anyone be certain that he doesn’t hold the same views that his family members hold? To how much of a risk is Northeastern University required to expose its students?

“Northeastern Student Was Deported Back To Iran Over Family’s Ties To Terroristic Groups,” CBS, January 22, 2020:

BOSTON (CBS) – Shabab Dehghani, a Northeastern University college student who was detained at Logan Airport and sent back to Iran before an immigration hearing was held, was deported because of his family’s ties to terroristic groups, CBS News reports.

A U.S. official familiar with information reviewed by authorities told CBS News that Dehghani himself does not have ties to terroristic groups, but “some very close to him” do.

Dehghani is studying economics at Northeastern. He’s been studying in Boston for two years, but was stuck at home in Iran in December 2018 after visiting his family as he waited for his student visa to be renewed.

Dehghani’s attorney, Susan Church, told WBZ-TV he was detained starting Sunday night despite having a legal F1 Student Visa, as he tried to get back to school – and said at the time she didn’t know why.

An immigration hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning, but Dehghani was deported before it began.

Judge Richard Stearns said during the brief hearing that there was nothing he could do because Dehghani had already been deported. Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey tweeted Wednesday that he still hadn’t heard from U.S. Customs and Border Protection about why Dehghani was turned away….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Islamic Republic of Iran: MP offers “$3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump”

“U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward as ‘ridiculous’, telling reporters in Geneva it showed the ‘terrorist underpinnings’ of Iran’s establishment.”

Indeed. And if anyone succeeds in doing this, there will be great rejoicing in Washington and mourning all over Iran. It’s a topsy-turvy world.

“Iran MP offers reward for killing Trump, U.S. calls it ‘ridiculous,’” by Parisa Hafezi, Reuters, January 21, 2020:

DUBAI (Reuters) – An Iranian lawmaker offered a $3 million reward to anyone who killed U.S. President Donald Trump and said Iran could avoid threats if it had nuclear arms, ISNA news agency reported on Tuesday amid Tehran’s latest standoff with Washington.

U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood dismissed the reward as “ridiculous”, telling reporters in Geneva it showed the “terrorist underpinnings” of Iran’s establishment.

Tensions have steadily escalated since Trump pulled Washington out of Tehran’s nuclear agreement with world powers in 2018 and reimposed U.S. sanctions. The standoff erupted into tit-for-tat military strikes this month.

“On behalf of the people of Kerman province, we will pay a $3 million reward in cash to whoever kills Trump,” lawmaker Ahmad Hamzeh told the 290-seat parliament, ISNA reported.

He did not say if the reward had any official backing from Iran’s clerical rulers.

The city of Kerman, in the province south of the capital, is the hometown of Qassem Soleimani, a prominent Iranian commander whose killing in a drone strike ordered by Trump on Jan. 3 in Baghdad prompted Iran to fire missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq.

“If we had nuclear weapons today, we would be protected from threats … We should put the production of long-range missiles capable of carrying unconventional warheads on our agenda. This is our natural right,” he was quoted as saying by ISNA….

This month, Iran announced it was scrapping all limits on its uranium enrichment work, potentially shortening the so-called “breakout time” needed to build a nuclear weapon….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Trump in Farsi: “Instead of dragging Iran to ruin, Iran’s leaders must put aside the terrorists”

Remove Trump from office! He is daring to challenge the Left’s favorite world leader!

“‘Put aside the terrorists’: Trump responds to Khamenei in Farsi,” by Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, January 17, 2020:

Trump responded to a tweet Khamenei sent out on Friday, the same day that he gave his first public sermon in eight years. The 80-year-old leader tweeted that America was “villainous” and accused the United States of wanting to stab the Iranian people “in the heart.”

Trump, writing in Farsi, responded, “The noble people of Iran, who love America, deserve a government that will help them achieve their dreams, rather than focusing on killing them for revenge. Instead of dragging Iran to ruin, Iran’s leaders must put aside the terrorists and magnify Iran again!”

Trump previously tweeted in Farsi, which became the most-liked tweet in that language. The tweet racked up more than 370,000 likes.

“To the brave and suffering Iranian people: I have stood with you since the beginning of my presidency, and my government will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely. Your courage is inspiring,” he said last week.

Friday’s tweet earned more than 15,000 likes less than 30 minutes after it was posted….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Nancy Pelosi Should See These Videos From Iran

My latest in PJ Media:

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the vaguest idea of what’s happening in Iran these days; all she knows is that Donald Trump is for it so therefore she is against it. A new series of extraordinary videos, however, pulls back the curtain on the immense anger that ordinary Iranians are now expressing for the Islamic regime. If Pelosi saw them, she would learn a great deal, but there is no chance of that, as she would never risk doing anything so pro-Trump as challenging the brutal and bloody Iranian mullahs.

The Iran Liberation Congress, headed by the Los Angeles-based Dr. Iman Foroutan, presents the videos here, as part of its ongoing efforts at “creating the building blocks of a democratic government to guide Iran following the fall of the regime of the Islamic Republic.” The Congress explains that its “members include dissidents within Iran and pro-democracy activists throughout the various communities of Iranian exiles. We are dedicated to the peaceful and complete removal of the Islamic Republic in Iran through nonviolent means (unless we must act in self-defense).”

The goal of the Iranian Liberation Congress appears to be to return Iran to the more secular days of the Shahs, as well as the end of the Islamic regime’s genocidal bellicosity and nuclear adventurism: “We are dedicated to the abolition of any and all programs involved with creating or using weapons of mass destruction, including biological or nuclear weapons. We are dedicated to the preservation of Iran’s territories and their independence. We are dedicated to the separation of religion and state, and freedom of religion for all people. We have chosen to adopt the UN Human Rights Declaration and all of its amendments. After the removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the people of Iran, through universal suffrage, will decide the nation’s future and political system through free and fair elections.”

The videos show that there is a great deal of support for these ideas within Iran itself. In one, protesters chant: “No honor! No honor! Soleimani is a murderer and his Supreme Leader is stupid!” In another, the chant is “We are ashamed of our stupid Supreme Leader!” And in a third, the protesters cry, “Death to the Dictator! Death to the Dictator! Sepah (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) does crimes! The Supreme Leader defends them! Khamenei is a murderer! His rule is void and invalid! Death to the liar! Death to the Liar!”

The forces of the regime, meanwhile, do not appear nearly as fearsome and formidable as they have in the recent past. In one video, the police plead with protesters, when not long ago they would have simply moved in and brutalized them. “This is the Police talking,” says an amplified voice to the protesters. “Please cooperate with the police. On behalf of myself and the Police Force, please accept our condolences. But this is not right that you’re blocking the roads. Please allow the cars to move. I beg you, those who hear my voice. This is the Police.”

I beg you. Can a regime that begs people who hate it to do its bidding be long for this world? Can a regime long survive when protesters against it cry out “We are the children of war. Want to war with us? Let’s do it!”

Meanwhile, demonstrating how extraordinarily out of touch she is, Pelosi downplayed the significance of the protests. On ABC’s This Week Sunday, George Stephanopoulos asked Pelosi: “We’re seeing now demonstrations in the streets of Iran against the regime. Do you support those protesters? And would it be a good thing if they brought the regime down?”…

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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RELATED VIDEOS: From the Iran Liberation Congress


Protestors shot.mp4:
Man: “Were you shot [to woman]? Oh, no! Shot BB gun?”
Woman: “No, real bullet.”
Man: “Put a bandage on her!”


[repeated chanting] “We are the children of war. Want to war with us? Let’s do it!”

“Sepah (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) does crimes! The Supreme Leader supports them!” “Death to the Dictator!”


[repeated chanting] “Death to the Dictator! Death to the Dictator!” “Sepah (Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps) does crimes! The Supreme Leader defends them!”

“Khamenei is a murderer! His rule is void and invalid!” “Death to the liar! Death to the Liar!”

ABOUT – IRAN LIBERATION COUNCIL

The Iran Liberation Congress is creating the building blocks of a democratic government to guide Iran following the fall of the regime of the Islamic Republic. Our members include dissidents within Iran and pro-democracy activists throughout the various communities of Iranian exiles. We are dedicated to the peaceful and complete removal of the Islamic Republic in Iran through nonviolent means (unless we must act in self-defense). We are dedicated to the abolition of any and all programs involved with creating or using weapons of mass destruction, including biological or nuclear weapons. We are dedicated to the preservation of Iran’s territories and their independence. We are dedicated to the separation of religion and state, and freedom of religion for all people. We have chosen to adopt the UN Human Rights Declaration and all of its amendments. After the removal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the people of Iran, through universal suffrage, will decide the nation’s future and political system through free and fair elections.

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

“Iran First!” — Iranians Protest Islamic Rule by Andrew Harrod

“We are of Aryaee [Aryan] race, we don’t worship Arabs,” chanted Iranians during protests that erupted over economic woes on December 28, 2017, and continued for weeks countrywide. Such slogans during popular upheavals rocking Iran until today indicate that after four crises-filled decades Iran’s theocratic Islamic Republic is losing support in a nation with a historically-rooted non-Islamic identity.

The Guardian noted the “sharp nature of some of the slogans” among protesters, “which have challenged the foundations of the Islamic republic.” Some demonstrators chanted “Death to Khamenei” or “Death to the dictator” in reference to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, an inversion of the regime’s well-known “Death to America” chant. The motto “Independence, Freedom, Iranian Republic” similarly appropriated the 1979 Iranian Islamic revolution slogan “Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic.”

Protesters likewise chanted during this period “We don’t want an Islamic republic!” and “Clerics, shame on you, let go of our country!” while one demonstrating Iranian stated that “Islam cannot address our needs.” By contrast, some Iranians chanted “Reza Shah, bless your soul!” in reference to Iran’s secularizing, westernizing Pahlavi dynasty founded in 1925 by Reza Shah, whose son, Muhammad Reza Shah, the 1979 revolution overthrew. Even in Iran’s most religious cities of Qom and Mashhad, rebellious youth shouted “Reza Shah, rest in peace,” “What a mistake we made by taking part in the revolution,” and “Iran haphazard, without the Shah.” Similar public manifestations for “Reza Shah” occurred during April 2018.

Such Iranian demonstrators have rejected the Islamic Republic not just domestically, but also in its foreign policy adventurist support of jihadist terrorist proxies like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria. Anger against the burdens of supporting foreign wars appeared in December 2017 protest slogans such as “leave Syria, think about us” and “Not Gaza, not Lebanon, my life for Iran.” Meanwhile demonstrators vandalized posters of Qasem Soleimani, the global jihad-enabling commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, recently killed in a January 3 American drone strike in Baghdad, Iraq. Later on June 25, 2018, tweets revealed Iranian protesters chanting “Palestine, Syria, are the causes of our miseries.”

The Iranian regime precipitated with subsidized gasoline price increases a new round of national protests on November 15, 2019, during which security forces killed over 1,500 demonstrators. Once again protesters yelled “We don’t want the ayatollahs…Death to the dictator…Oh, Shah of Iran, come back to Iran,” and ripped down anti-American banners and billboards. As national security analyst Ryan Mauro stated in an October 26, 2019 interview, current events show the “Iranian Islamic revolution gasping for air right now” because “Islamist theocrats don’t govern well.”

These various demonstration battle cries validate the analysis of Iran experts at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (IGC). “Today, Persian nationalism espouses an ‘Iran first’ policy, which, since 1979, has been particularly critical of Iran’s Islamic revolutionary foreign policy,” the IGC noted in various 2019 40th-anniversary studies of Iran’s Islamic revolution. “Given the secular nature of Persian nationalism, ordinary Iranians often invoke such sentiments as a means of rejecting the worldview espoused by the clergy, which identifies Iran’s interests as identical to those of the ummah” or “global Muslim community.”

The American Conservative’s Iran analyst John Allen Gay has correspondingly noted that recent Iranian protests exhibit a “dig at the Islamic Republic’s elevation of an Arab-origin religion” and “chauvinist streak in Iranian nationalism.” “Most Iranians consider the current regime as the continuation of 1400 years of Islamo-Arab tyranny and oppression,” a result of seventh-century Arab subjugation, the Iranian-American expatriate Amil Imani has written. His fellow expatriate Sheda Vasseghi has concurred that “Iranians have struggled for 14 centuries not to be part of the homogenous Islamic/Arab world.”

Iranian expatriate author Amir Taheri has accordingly condemned in The Persian Night the legacy of the Islamic Republic’s founding father, the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The “overwhelming majority of Iranian writers, poets, and other ‘producers of culture’ reject Khomeinism as a form of anti-Iranian fascism,” Taheri wrote. Vasseghi also perceived the “ancient struggle between Iranianism and Islamism (Arab culture and philosophy)” in Iran’s 2009 Green Movement protests, a “national uprising of Iranian people versus an Arabized regime.”

Echoing isolationist Iranian protesters, Amani has particularly focused on Iran’s conflict costs. The Islamic Republic has supported

almost every rebel or terrorist group in every Islamic country from East Asia, the Middle East to North Africa, including the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, Houthis in Yemen and even Al-Qaida, at various times….With this damaging behavior directed towards Iran’s national interests, the Islamic Republic won the antipathy of the world community. A proud nation which once was the icon of goodness, friendship and humanism, had now become the symbol of evil, terrorism, homicide, deception and corruption.

Unsurprisingly, Amani has judged regime change as the “only option” in confronting the Islamic Republic. “There is absolutely no coexistence with this anti-Iranian regime,” he has observed with unimpeachable logic. “Islamic tyranny, regardless of its form, recognizes no borders” and “is by nature aggressively expansive and invasive.”

Recent Iranian developments suggest confirmation of Amani’s optimistic 2018 assessment that the “rule of the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) is crumbling.” “Nowadays, masses of Iranians are irreparably alienated from a corrupt and oppressive Islamic rule,” what he has denounced as the “1979 Islamic invasion.” Thus “current conditions governing Iran will not last very long. The general discontent and the extent of civil movements coupled with external influences have created a condition which can only be triggered by an explosion” as yet unforeseen. “The Iranian people simply don’t want the mullahs,” but rather consider President Donald Trump “extremely popular,” even a “savior,” he has concluded; Iranians “want regime change and they are ready to die for it.”

Centuries-old struggles between Islam and indigenous Iranian culture are once making their presence felt in the 21st century. How power balances among these factors play out in contemporary, conflicted Iran is a critical concern. Forthcoming articles in this series therefore will examine the history of Iranian nationalism’s interactions with the universal claims of the Arab Muslim prophet Muhammad.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Is Iran Headed for Regime Change?

It’s fine for astrologers and bookmakers to make predictions, but there’s no absolute certainty about what the future holds. That’s true regarding matters of national security—and there the stakes are truly high.

Consider Iran. There is no more risky business than predicting when an authoritarian regime will collapse under the weight of its own putrefaction. Natan Sharansky has an excellent explanation of this phenomenon in his book “The Case for Democracy” (2004).

By their nature, he notes, these regimes are opaque. Their leaders hide the truth from the outside world, their own people—even from each other.

At the same time, they control every element of governance, civil society, the economy, the military, and the media. This makes it really hard to see the cracks that eventually lead to failure and collapse.


In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>


Moreover, there are no relief mechanisms that allow for accommodation, dissent, and change. When under assault from without and within, these regimes can roil with a furious boil until the pressure cooker explodes—a catastrophic failure that takes many by surprise.

How close the Tehran regime is to condition red is anybody’s guess. Today it faces the authoritarian’s worst nightmare: intense pressure from the outside and the inside.

Thuggish regimes excel at handling one or the other. When pressed from without, they rally the people and even use the external threat as a pretext for clamping down on dissent even more harshly. When threatened from within, they ruthlessly suppress opposition voices.

But when these regimes are hammered from both directions simultaneously, they struggle.

Today, Tehran is being jackhammered—and not just by the Trump administration. The foreign ministries of Germany, the United Kingdom, and France have joined in calling out the regime for non-compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and denouncing the regime’s actions as unacceptable.

Iran is on its way to more crippling “snap-back” sanctions.

Meanwhile, inside Iran, the natives are more than restless. Perhaps the most stunning clue of how times have changed from the revolution of 1979 is the stunning video of Iranian students streaming down the street, deliberately refusing to walk over images of the American and Israeli flags on the sidewalk.

Who would have thought we would have seen such a thing in our lifetimes? It may not be quite as startling as taking a sledgehammer to the Berlin Wall, but it is nonetheless stunning.

The protesters aren’t the only challenges the regime faces. Iran’s economy is bottoming out. Its surrogate military forces—bringing death and instability from Syria to Yemen, Iraq, and more—are now under assault themselves throughout the greater Middle East. And its supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is no spring chicken.

No one expects the octogenarian ayatollah to hang on that much longer—and the smart money says a leadership struggle will follow his passing.

But this is not to say that freedom is just around the corner in Iran.

This is a tough bunch of mullahs. They have sustained the revolution for nearly a half-century and show no signs of letting up or losing control. They have doubled down on suppressing internal dissent and are as recalcitrant as ever in their stand-off with President Donald Trump.

Odds are the government won’t just collapse, nor will Iran turn overnight into a “normal” nation like Norway, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pines for.

The most likely scenario is the regime turns a little risk-averse, metering its foreign adventurism so it can focus on stabilizing its internal security. That is what the regime has done in the past when the revolution felt squeezed.

Still, there is no telling what steps or missteps Iran may take—and the U.S. shouldn’t try to guess. The consequences of guessing wrong could be really bad.

The best course now is for Trump to stick to his current strategy, for the simple reason that it is the one best calculated to safeguard U.S. interests.

The U.S. should not press for regime change. For one, it’s not clear that’s an achievable goal. For another, it is far from clear what would come after. There would likely be a whole new set of challenges.

If the Iranian people opt for regime change (and who could blame them?), that’s their business. The people of Iran have a perfect right to cry “freedom.” If they throw the mullahs out, we and the rest of the world will just have to deal with the aftermath.

If the regime hangs on, the mullahs will have to learn to live with being a pariah state, or they will have to take the bold choice of taking Pompeo’s advice and joining the family of responsible nations.

Originally published by Fox News.

COMMENTARY BY

James Jay Carafano, a leading expert in national security and foreign policy challenges, is The Heritage Foundation’s vice president for foreign and defense policy studies, E. W. Richardson fellow, and director of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies. Read his research. Twitter: .


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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Democrats Block Resolution Supporting Iranian Protesters

House Democrats blocked a vote on a resolution proposed by a ranking Republican supporting Iranian protesters against their government.

The resolution condemned the Iranian government for

  • killing 1,500 Iranian citizens who were protesting their government
  • shooting down the Ukraine International Airlines commercial plane
  • repeatedly lying to its people and the world about the plane

The resolution also called on the Iranian government to refrain from violence and grant freedom of expression, assembly and and human rights to the Iranian people.

The move to block the vote supporting the Iranian protesters was seen as a partisan maneuver to prevent the Republicans from taking credit for the resolution. House Democrats say they will propose their own resolution.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who proposed the resolution, tweeted his disapproval at the conduct of the Democrats.

Meanwhile, while Iranian protesters risked their lives on the streets of their country:

  • The Iranian regime weighed in on the upcoming American presidential elections, saying, Bernie Sanders is “wiser than most” American politicians. Iran undoubtedly is pleased with Sanders’ criticism of President Trump’s Iran policy and Sanders’ proposal to take U.S. money earmarked for foreign aid to Israel and give it to Hamas.
  • A group of Senate leaders asked the Trump administration to investigate a non-profit group called the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) for potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires groups to disclose their activities on behalf of foreign nations.
    As reported by The Washington Free Beacon, “The council, a pro-Tehran advocacy group with deep ties to the Iranian regime, played a key role in the Obama administration’s pro-Iran ‘echo chamber,’ which misled Congress and the American people about the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.”
  • Canada is investigating allegations that Iran is harassing families trying to bring back the remains of their loved ones who died in the shooting down of the Ukrainian plane by the Iranian government.
  • As much as Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has made a name for herself denigrating the policies former President Barack Obama, CNN revealed that almost all of her Middle East policy team formerly worked for the Obama administration.
  • According to an assessment made by the Israeli army’s military intelligence wing, Iran may have enough enriched uranium for a nuclear bomb by this spring. The assessment also stated that it would take another two years for the uranium to be sufficiently weaponized to be placed into a warhead.
  • A well-known Iranian State TV anchor resigned, apologizing “for lying to you on TV for 13 years.”

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EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Florida: Iranian Muslim found on bridge with knives and $22,000 in cash

Probably just a circus performer. Relax, you greasy Islamophobe.

“Police release name of Iranian national found with knives on Flagler Memorial Bridge,” WPTV, January 10, 2020 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach police are investigating after they say a man believed to be an Iranian national was found with several knives on the Flagler Memorial Bridge on Friday.

According to Palm Beach police, a citizen called about a suspicious person in Bradley Park.

Police said the man, later identified as Masoud Yareilzoleh, had no known address and was detained by officers. The police department said he was released from custody later in the day on Friday.

Yareilzoleh’s car was found at Palm Beach International Airport. Authorities said the vehicle was searched and cleared. It’s unknown why his car was at the airport.

In addition to the knives, police said Yareilzoleh had $22,000 in cash on him when he was detained….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

VIDEO: DHS Strategy on Human Trafficking Aims to Put Issue Front and Center

Americans need to be talking more about the problem of human trafficking in order to successfully combat it, the nation’s acting homeland security secretary says.

“We as Americans, again, are not talking enough about this issue,” Chad Wolf said during an event Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation, adding:

Let me make myself clear. In 2018, the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline reported nearly 11000 cases of human trafficking that same year. One of our essential partners in the nation’s clearinghouse, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, received more than 18.4 million reports of online child sexual exploitation and abuse. That’s over 50,000 reports per day.

Wolf assumed office in November as acting secretary of  the Department of Homeland Security.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

He told his Heritage audience that the department’s launching of a comprehensive plan—called the Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking, the Importation of Goods Produced with Forced Labor, and Child Sexual Exploitation—meant ultimately to end the scourge of such practices.

Wolf said the strategy is built around five pillars: prevention, protection, prosecution, partnership, and enabling DHS.

“The strategy establishes ‘victims first’ as a DHS-wide policy,” he said.

“As a department, we’re going to continue to balance our law enforcement responsibilities with victim assistance specialists from Immigration and Customs Enforcement immediately attending to the needs of victims. The strategy directs us to train law enforcement to be trauma-informed and survivor-informed and understanding the victims of these crimes have experienced horrors that are sometimes unspeakable.”

The strategy also calls for expanding ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations Victim Assistance Program.

A big part of the new strategy is working with tech companies to eradicate sexual abuse and human trafficking online, Wolf said.

“Our science and technology director will be developing new analytical software [and] digital forensic tools to address these crimes, such as those that begin to develop investigations of livestream abuse,” Wolf said.

The acting DHS secretary defined livestream abuse as when “children [are] forced to appear in front of a web-connected camera to be subjected to sexual abuse, which is then livestreamed over the internet.”

“As you can imagine,” Wolf said, “the nature of livestreaming of abuse makes it difficult for law enforcement to identify a victim.”

In order to respond to such crimes, he said, DHS is going to incorporate training on how to spot livestream abuse cases so they can be investigated and added to the agency’s advanced cybertraining.

It is important to collaborate with tech companies to make it easier to find and bring down human traffickers, Wolf said.

“Currently, when tech companies hand over information on child sexual exploitation for use by investigators, it’s often unreadable and unusable,”  he said. “This inhibits our law enforcement reaching children in danger quickly. Moving forward, we continue to partner with tech companies to find solutions to format that information as best as possible by law enforcement officers.”

Wolf also said that combatting human trafficking takes a toll on the officers who work on such cases day in and day out:

Imagine sitting behind a computer for eight or more hours a day, viewing child sexual abuse material, searching for clues to identify victims so that law enforcement can rescue children in serious danger.

Imagine being that officer [who] uncovers a group of workers living in slave-like conditions in a shed. Imagine the horrors that these individuals go through. This strategy is going to ensure that we place the health and well-being of our employees first.

COLUMN BY

Rachel del Guidice

Rachel del Guidice is a congressional reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Send an email to Rachel. Twitter: @LRacheldG.


A Note for our Readers:

This is a critical year in the history of our country. With the country polarized and divided on a number of issues and with roughly half of the country clamoring for increased government control—over health care, socialism, increased regulations, and open borders—we must turn to America’s founding for the answers on how best to proceed into the future.

The Heritage Foundation has compiled input from more than 100 constitutional scholars and legal experts into the country’s most thorough and compelling review of the freedoms promised to us within the United States Constitution into a free digital guide called Heritage’s Guide to the Constitution.

They’re making this guide available to all readers of The Daily Signal for free today!

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Mexican border police on red alert over report of four Iranians with explosives attempting to cross into US

Remember: anyone in favor of border controls is racist and xenophobic.

“Mexicali border on red alert for the next 72 hours,” by Alexandra Rangel, KYMA, January 10, 2020 (thanks to the Geller Report):

…MEXICALI, B.C. (KYMA, KECY) – Mexicali Police Chief Maria Elena Andrade confirmed that a red alert has been issued at the Mexicali border due to a possible Iranian terrorist threat.

According to Andrade, the terrorist advisory was received Thursday from Customs and Border Protection in Arizona.

“We received reports that four nationals of Iran possibly carrying explosives were going to attempt to cross the border in the area of San Luis to Mexicali. We were told it was three men and a woman to be on the lookout for, “ said Andrade.

Upon the alert issued, Operation Shield has now been activated in Mexicali.

According to Andrade, all law enforcement in the city is currently on high alert.

The chief said CBP asked Mexicali law enforcement to issue the alert for the next 48 hours, but Andrade said she has extended the alert for 72 hours….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Democrat Silence on Support for Iranian Protesters

Days into the brave protests by Iranian citizens against their corrupt and brutal regime, Democrat airwaves were silent.

While protesters began calling out the lies of the Iranian regime over its handling of the downing of a Ukrainian Airlines commercial plane and demanding the resignation of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, until Monday, there were no words of support by high-ranking Democrats or any of the 2020 Democrat presidential contenders.

As journalist Yashar Ali, who is of Iranian decent, tweeted:

Instead, Dems were busy tweeting out their disapproval of President Trump’s hit on Iranian arch-terrorist Qasem Soleimani and sending condolences to the Iranian public – most of whom were celebrating the demise of such an evil influence on the world.

In contrast, President Trump’s tweet in Farsi in support of the Iranian protesters, garnered the most “likes” in the history of Persian Twitter, as noted by  Saeed Ghasseminejad, a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

The tweet read: “To the brave, long-suffering people of Iran: I’ve stood with you since the beginning of my Presidency, and my Administration will continue to stand with you. We are following your protests closely, and are inspired by your courage.”

The Democrats’ lack of support for the Iranian protesters did not go unnoticed by the president who retweeted the following meme (causing the likes of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to fall into an apoplectic Islamophobia fit).

By Sunday and then on Monday, Democrat radio silence was feebly broken by Joe Biden and Amy Kloucher, respectively, the latter of whom tweeted out weak and vague words of support for the “right to peacefully protest in any country, including Iran.”

Biden mainly used the opportunity to take a dig at Trump and his “reckless policies (that) needlessly endangered our interests in the Middle East.”

While Iranians doing just that were being shot in the streets by the regime security forces, the rest of the 2020 Democrat political contenders remained silent.

It was a shameful response for members of a party which prides itself on being a champion of human rights.

In the meantime, House Minority Leader Republican Kevin McCarthy announced his plans to introduce a resolution in Congress in support of the Iranian protesters:

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EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

The wall is going up, and illegal immigration is down!

Americans spent years telling Washington to fix our country’s broken immigration system. But career politicians ignored the will of voters and pushed “solutions” that left special interests happy and most citizens frustrated.

Donald J. Trump won the Presidency promising to end that stalemate. Now, despite shocking levels of resistance from Democrats in Congress, the rule of law is being restored at our nation’s doorstep. Mile by mile, President Trump is keeping his promise.

Watch: Out with the old, in with the new wall!

The 100th mile of border wall construction was announced on Friday—a “milestone achievement,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said.

“New wall has been constructed in every border state from California to Texas. This is a milestone for our entire country, and this would not have been possible without the President’s steadfast determination and leadership,” Wolf said.

“Walls work,” he added. They’re “an undeniable impediment to human smugglers, drug traffickers, and other criminals who have exploited our lack of effective border infrastructure.” The wall comes as part of a much larger strategy by President Trump to curb illegal immigration, including new deals with countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, to protect our asylum system for those who need it most.

The progress in the past year alone has been staggering. Last May, monthly border apprehensions skyrocketed to more than 144,000 in the midst of our National Emergency, leaving resources for our law enforcement officers stretched to their limits. Now, illegal immigration is down for the seventh straight month.

“The President listened to his operators on the front lines,” Wolf said. As a result, not only was border wall funding secured, but the President made sure our officers have the tools they need to get the problem under control. That means all-weather roads, lighting, enforcement cameras, and other enforcement technology.

The result? Since border wall construction began in Tucson, Arizona, illegal crossings are down 24 percent. In San Diego, California, they’re down 27 percent. And in Yuma, Arizona, they are down over 78 percent.

“Trump touts court ruling allowing military funds for border wall construction.”

Watch: 100 miles of border wall—and counting


Video of the day: America is WORKING!

 

Friday’s jobs report builds on what is perhaps the biggest storyline of the Trump Presidency: the blue-collar, working-class economic boom that began 3 years ago.

The headline numbers, such as the unemployment rate remaining at a 50-year low of 3.5 percent, show how the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders. The most powerful takeaway, though, is what the Trump Economy is doing for historically disadvantaged communities:

  • Wage growth for workers now outpaces growth for managers.
  • Wage growth for those without a bachelor’s degree now outpaces growth for those with a bachelor’s degree or higher.
  • Wage growth for the lowest earners now outpaces growth for the highest earners.

The only ones shaking their heads today are the “experts” who told us that President Trump’s economy would be a mess. For everyone else, it’s a great time to be on the job.

The Wall Street Journal: “Manufacturers Increase Perks to Get New Hires to Move”

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VIDEO: Iran — University students refuse to walk over US, Israeli flags, boo those who do

Forty years of anti-American and anti-Israeli propaganda, and this is how much Iran’s Islamic regime is hated within Iran.

“Students at Beheshti University of Tehran Refuse to Walk Over U.S., Israel Flags, Boo People Who Do,” MEMRI, January 12, 2020

On January 12, during the second day of protests in Iran following Iran’s acknowledgment of shooting down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, students at Beheshti University in Tehran refused to walk over giant American and Israeli flags drawn on the ground. They booed people who did, and shouted at them that they had “no honor.” The video was uploaded to Twitter.

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RELATED VIDEO: Behind the Scenes of the Soleimani Hit

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.