U.S. Places Heavy New Sanctions on Iranian Leaders



Headlines from Jerusalem, 25 June 2019

““Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord” Jeremiah 23:24


Following the announcement of sweeping new sanctions on Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, by the White House on Monday, officials with Iran’s clerical regime described the US Administration as “mentally retarded” and declared that the move represented “the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy.” US National Security Adviser John Bolton said in response to the backlash that “The president has held the door open to real negotiations to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its pursuit of ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism and other malign behavior worldwide. All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door.”


Netanyahu Leads National Security Advisers Meeting

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presided over a trilateral meeting at the Orient Hotel in Jerusalem on Tuesday. During his opening comments, with Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, US National Security Adviser John Bolton and the Secretary of the Russian National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev seated next to him, Netanyahu said the summit was “historic because it’s the first meeting between our three countries’ national security advisors in our capital, Jerusalem. I want to thank President Trump and President Putin for agreeing to hold this security summit and for sending their most senior advisers. I deeply value the strong relationships that Israel has with both leaders and both countries.”

Palestinians Protest Bahrain Summit

Large protests were held in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and the Palestinian Authority administered cities in the West Bank on Monday against the scheduled opening Tuesday of talks in Manama, Bahrain, aimed at exploring economic aspects of US President Donald Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” to end the decades-long conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli officials announced on Tuesday that in response to the large number of incendiary kites and balloons which have been sent over the border into Israel from Gaza in recent days, sparking fires which have destroyed hundreds of dunums of crops and forests, Israel will cease supplying fuel to the Gaza Strip until further notice.

Nintendo Opens Outlet Store in Tel Aviv

The movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) Israel suffered another defeat this week when video game giant Nintendo opened a retail store in Tel Aviv’s iconic Dizengoff Center. The store is only the second such facility Nintendo has opened worldwide, following the first one New York’s Rockerfeller Center in 2005.

Israel Blesses the World

Israeli company Watergen, whose products take vapor from the air and convert it into clean, usable water, will soon begin operating in drought-stricken South Africa, thanks to a large grant from the Ford Motor Company. The generators will be installed in schools, health clinics and private homes. “We are thrilled with this shared cooperation. We share the same goals of assisting communities all around the globe,” said Watergen President Dr. Michael Mirilashvili.


The U.S. and Its Allies Can Still Make Iran Blink
Adm. (ret.) James Stavridis, Bloomberg

The U.S. is studying military options other than a strike, according to Pentagon leadership. Those presented to the president will likely include moves like cyberattacks on parts of the Iranian grid. The best approach for the White House right now is to declare the non-strike an effective show of America’s military potential, and then assess whether the Iranians really want to further ramp up aggression. The problem is that it’s hard to see a climb-down for the Iranians at this point. For the U.S., the key strategic effort ought to be winning over the European and Asian allies to condemn Iranian behavior.


Turkey at the Crossroads

Istanbul’s citizens once again voted for mayor on June 23, six weeks after Turkey’s electoral board nullified opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu’s victory in the previous race. As before, Imamoglu campaigned against Binali Yildirim, who was backed by President Erdogan and all the institutional machinery his ruling party can muster. What implications do the results hold for Turkish politics and Erdogan’s political future? To discuss these and other issues, The Washington Institute hosted a Policy Forum with Lisel Hintz, Kemal Kirisci, and Alan Makovsky; Institute fellow Soner Cagaptay moderated the event.


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Today’s news was written and compiled by Aaron Hecht.

ICEJ News is a free email service providing news and comments on Middle East affairs compiled by journalists at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem and supported by donations from subscribers.

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