August 8, 2017 | Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - Jewish News Service
Amid new US sanctions, how much of Iran’s nuclear deal relief funds terrorism?
As the Trump administration ramps up sanctions against Iran, how much of Iran’s sanctions relief from the nuclear deal of 2015 is funding the Islamic Republic’s support for sectarian conflict and terrorism across the Middle East?
President Donald Trump last week imposed new sanctionsagainst Iran over its ballistic missile program and human rights violations. The sanctions come amid Iran’s reported fueling of the recent Temple Mount crisis and its agreement to bolster relations with the Hamas terror group.
Behnam Ben Taleblu, a senior Iran analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington, told JNS.org it remains unclear how much of Iran’s sanctions relief funds have been diverted to causes such as Palestinian terrorism. But he said that “sanctions relief coupled with the campaign to ‘normalize’ Iran has enabled its fighters, money and weapons to go largely unchecked throughout the region.”
The Trump administration’s new sanctions are part of “a desperately needed strategy, since for over a decade Iran’s regional ambitions and military programs took a back seat to the nuclear issue,” said Taleblu.
Taleblu said Iran’s Shi’a regime “uses the Palestinian issue to drive a wedge between the Arab world and Israel, as well as to mask its ethno-sectarian differences with its Sunni Arab neighbors and bolster its Islamist standing in the region.”
Iran has championed the Palestinian cause since its inception, and an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal “would rob Tehran of that card and render naked its regional aspirations,” said Taleblu.
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