Sanctions on Iran are working. Iran’s government is showing signs of beginning to bleed out by flooding the market with liquidity and providing loans to people on the verge of default, mainly the middle class. However, this does not appear to lessen the level of dissent in Iran towards the establishment’s elite who continue to invest outside the country. Sanctions have gone into effect and Iran has been excluded from the SWIFT system.
For the Iranian mainstream, hope remains in regime change according to latest news and social conversation from Iranians who watched the midterm elections. Regime change advocates are waiting to see any foreign policy changes with most Iranians pushing for stronger pressure on the Islamic Republic as part of their longer embattled relationship with the regime over issues of equality, human rights, and economic opportunity spanning decades with or without sanctions.
The Statistical Center of Iran in September showed 5.4% inflation while the Central Bank reported 6.1% that month. The Central Bank and the issue of frozen assets still loom at the supreme court level. If the Central Bank wins it will be a major financial windfall, Peterson wins, it will set a new canon for other terrorism litigation claims and payouts involving multiple governments that have sponsored acts of terrorism in some way. Meanwhile the Revolutionary Guards’ speedboats continue their attempts to control the Gulf, but they do not have the power to sustain Iranian control of the waterway for long against western naval forces.
Panic Strikes International Players
This can all change in an instant. If Iran had a reliable legal and financial system, it would be an excellent trading partner and ally on its way to becoming a major superpower. But as it stands now, today is the anniversary of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks and for CIA experts on Iran who joined Thomas Kaplan’s Counter Extremism Project (CEP) and United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) are engaged in their first meeting with Jean-Charles Brisard who was also Co-counsel, Chief investigator and expert on terrorism and terrorism financing for 9/11 Families class-actions for MOTLEY RICE LLC representing over 10,000 family member victims of 9/11 between 2002-2009.
Recently published testaments by Mike “Thomas Paine” Moore detail the hiding the of Osama bin Laden in Iran after 9/11 and conspiracy to continue the cover up through the secret nuclear agreement involving France, Germany, US, UK, Russia, China, and Iran. Mike Moore implicates former CIA director, John Brennan who initiated the Iran Mission Centre (IMC) and former presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama and presidential candidate Clinton. As panic continues within the conspiracy, Sessions has resigned and Robert Mueller also implicated by Moore has announced the coming of new indictments as Iran continues to threaten war in the Gulf if oil tankers are attacked. Russian Naval Forces prepare to hit Idlib in Syria after numerous violations to the ceasefire. The regional tension is rising once again. Hamas has opened fire on Israel with other Palestinian factions. Iran could become divided between conflicts in Israel and Syria from the Red Sea and Shipping in the Gulf.
US General Shot in Taliban Attack and 8 Taliban Members Sanctioned
U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley died after being shot in a Taliban attack also killing 2 Afghan leaders in Kandahar province where the US mission trains and advises Afghan security forces and assists with counterterrorism operations. 8 Taliban members have been sanctioned including Pakistanis and Iranians with ties to IRGC-Quds Force. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait met recently at the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center and agreed to increase pressure on those providing support for Iran.
Since the US pulled out of Afghanistan, Iran began recruiting US trained fighters from Afghanistan for the war in Syria. Now, “Iran’s provision of military training, financing, and weapons to the Taliban is yet another example of Tehran’s blatant regional meddling and support for terrorism,” stated Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. While Afghanistan’s mining industry also fell apart after the US pulled, the global heroin drug trade using Afghanistan’s extensive poppy farms has risen with the help of Iranian chem labs. Naim Barich among those who were sanctioned recently was designated in 2012 by by the United States under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).
Iranian national, Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi, was designated for providing housing and training for Taliban members at IRGC-QF facilities in Iran. This training at bases like Nehbandan included Afghan youth between the ages of twelve and fifteen years old as far back as 2008 for suicide attacks. Esma’il Razavi was a senior IRGC-QF official in Birjand in 2008 supporting anti-coalition militants in Farah and Herat Provinces. Abdullah Samad Faroqui acquired weapons and military aid from Iran for the Taliban including thousands of kilograms of explosives from the IRGC. The Taliban have used these to target infrastructure building projects like an oil pipeline that has been under construction and a dam that was targeted in order to recruit workers for suicide bombing missions.
Afghanistan remains largely undeveloped, and the Taliban will continue to target building projects in order to keep the Afghan government weak and susceptible to Taliban and Iranian control of resources.
Turning Crisis into Opportunity for Millions of Migrants Currently in International Flux
The 4,000 migrant caravans from Honduras in transit to the Mexico-US border point to two distinct problems that deserve immediate attention. One is the issue of open or closed borders. The other is what to do about the instability causing mass migration.
Multiple mass migrations movements as a result of war, violent crime, and corruption currently threaten the stability of many continents including the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East as millions flee their homes in search for safety and employment opportunities risking everything for a chance to live a better life. Currently Central America including countries Honduras, Africa particularly the countries across the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, and Syria in the Middle East are the biggest refugee crises currently demanding coordinated solutions from multiple countries.
Coordination by not only the superpower destinations for millions of migrants but also the local governments within the regions of which migration is occurring is also needed across Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East because together they make up global trafficking routes which are growing in arms, narcotics, human slaves, and other commodities being traded between criminal organizations. These include both cartels and terrorist organizations active on these global trade routes perpetuating state-level corruption, violent crime, and black market industries.
Job Stimulus From Manufacturing and Development Could Promote Domestic and International Prosperity with Stability
This requires the US, Mexico, Canada, and Europe to create a 3 prong strategy- a migration policy to provide safety and economic opportunity for incoming migrants; a foreign policy of development that can be implemented in host countries; and last a global security strategy that serves to protect individuals inside these countries while combating ongoing threat.
Although the recent caravan of 4,000 migrants allegedly organized by for former Honduran legislator and member of the radical leftist Libre party for political gains in the US midterm elections, these individuals and millions more may present an opportunity both timely and unique. Manufacturing and infrastructure development can be a positive draw for millions of migrants to areas of safety and economic opportunity if the new trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada the North American Trade Agreement and development agendas in allied countries could be coordinated with ongoing response to migration. The employment process could also be utilized for vetting as well as training and international placement. The same model can be applied in fact to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East as ongoing African conflicts and renewed fighting in Syria continue to displace innocent people as well as flush out combatants.
AID in the form of housing, food, medicine and other amenities could be shared with employer responsibilities applied towards job sites for construction and development as temporary relief while local communities are being built or to supplement urban growth around those enterprises. Ultimately the migration crises could be used to promote economic growth across superpowers and developing allied countries enabling the teaming up of employers, managers, and labor.
This is also timely with congressional reform about to take shape on AID programming in which development financing and AID may be rolled up and consolidated under fewer government agencies working internationally.
Are Safe Injections of Heroin Funding the Taliban and the IRGC?
Narcoterrorism is designed to weaken states internally using soft war tactics. Opium killed 64,000 Americans in 2016. Afghanistan is one of the largest producers of opium narcotics with the opium trade representing about 80% of the Afghan economy, and the IRGC in partnership with the Taliban are manufacturing heroin in Iran with key destinations in Europe, Canada, and the US. These substances are also emerging from the Iran-Turkey border according to recent news.
Exploiting NGOs authorized to distribute clean needles and administer safe injections in places like Vancouver and Philadelphia, the legalization or liberalization of narcotics may becoming simply another way to fund terrorism and state level crime. The opium epidemic began in the US with pharmaceuticals in the 1990s and now NGOs are being granted rights and provided funding to distribute legalized narcotics in the form of clean needles and safe injections to addicts. This completes the mapping of narcoterrorism for some states like Iran and militant groups like the Taliban.
“Next year the city will permit an NGO to provide a place for drug users to go and inject themselves with potentially lethal drugs,” reported the Economist.
By supplying countries like China, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Mexico that in turn supply the US through pharmaceutical companies and NGOs and the US directly, border solutions would have to take place along with other legislative actions directed at those industries and enforcement measures checking supply lines in order to shut down the opium epidemic in the US. Narcoterrorism has already had devastating effects on the destabilization of Europe with more and more borders being closed and immigration processes challenged. This in turn traps refugees in the asylum process and geographic areas of increasing danger. So, the liberalization of drug use in the west coincides with increased supply by the IRGC sometimes referred to as the Sepah mafia, Taliban, and others.
“Iran’s security agencies is not aimed at eradicating drug trade production and consumption; it is used to ruthlessly eliminate competing actors in the drug business,” says, Paulo Casaca and Siegfried O. Wolf in Waging Jihad by Other Means Iran’s Drug Business and its Role within the International Crime-Terror Nexus
“Missing-person posters hung from storefront windows. The dealers were all out in the open, calling out brand names, even handing out free samples,” from Kensington in Philadelphia.
Africa, as demonstrated in an earlier blog, is an important trafficking continent with systematic attacks coordinated across countries by different networks over time to create an arc of instability in which illicit trafficking is made easier. Somalia is an important country on that arc connecting the Middle East to the African continent. Iran has been awarding $150m annually to the Somali terrorist organization, al-Shabaab. The primary objects of trafficking are not only narcotics, but also weapons, humans, and counterfeit material. The IRGC is the military arm of Iran and key instrument to maintain Iranian interests in Africa and Latin America. Iran’s Heroin exports coincide with legalization of drug use in Europe, Canada, the US.
Nearly a year ago, on October 16, 2017 Iraqi and Iran-backed paramilitary forces captured the oil province of Kurkuk from the security forces and Peshmerga of Kurdistan. Now, Kurdish activists are calling for a one hour strike in protest to military rule scheduled for the one year anniversary of the event. The land is currently in dispute, the Kurdish people under Iraq’s military rule, and the institution of new customs points between Kurkuk and Erbil has initiated a price war. Kurdish businesses located in Erbil are encouraged to close their shops beginning at 9 in the morning.
In Turkey, over 150 Kurds have been arrested with over 50 thousand in prison in Turkey. Mehmet Serif Camci who is HDP’s Diyarbakir provincial Co-chair, Kibriye Evren, Abdurrahman Gok, Semiha Alankus, Cihan Olmez, and Nurettin Turgay were among those recent arrests.
At a recent press conference in New York, two Kurdish journalists, Majeed Gly and Rahim Rashidi from Rudaw news network approached President Trump on the Kurd’s hour of need. The president said, “We are helping them… Kurds are great fighters. And they are a great people.” The US and Saudi Arabia are supporting the Kurd’s fight in the region and working to set up investment ventures to develop Kurdish lands.
President Trump will use the “full span of United States power and use every available tool to combat terrorism at home, abroad and in cyberspace.” Singling out Iran, Pakistan, and others, the strategy contains coordinated efforts between “civil society and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments,… private sector partners and foreign allies.”
According to the strategy, ISIS and Al Qaeda remain the top Islamic terrorist network threats and Iran the most prominent state sponsor of Islamic terrorism having evolved into more complex and geographically dispersed coordination. Saudi Arabia is not mentioned directly in the strategy but may be seen as a spear head with UAE against the Islamic Republic and allies in Syria, Pakistan, and Lebanon judging by the lead it has taken on behalf of the United States in the assistance of the new Kurdish state, Yemen, and joint missions with Israel.
In the past, this was tried to an extent with the GCC, the Arab countries in the GCC even when provided the latest military equipment were not able to keep up with either the training nor the maintenance of the technology. Energy still continues to be the main income for these states and kingdoms, so the increased role of counterterrorism missions in the region will drive energy and economic diversification among emerging industries regionally.
Meeting the Challenges of Mobility and Reach
As networks have moved into Africa in search of weaker states and greater unprotected resources, there are some perhaps more logistical reasons for the use of partners and other outside organizations. During the Obama administration the US largely relied on drone war tactics that presented challenges the distance required to travel. Often by the time a drone reached its destination it would have to turn back to refuel.
The US has a very limited reach into the African continent with very few bases all of which are quite small. It’s diplomatic relations with African countries is also underdeveloped with very few embassies and ambassadors representing US interests. Much of the continent is within the geopolitical spheres of the Chinese and Russians and White House document downplays the scale of militant extremist proliferation globally and does not draw attention to the coordination between groups over large geographic areas.
The Trump strategy suggests utilizing support on the ground making use of partners’ knowledge of local resources available and geographic accessibility. The integrity and capability of counterterrorism partners then is crucial to uphold. There is also a question of sustainability and continued cooperation over time. This will require the ongoing development of diplomacy, building of infrastructure, and economic development in these areas as China and Russia have begun. However, the US will have to decide on the terms of these engagements and how it will compete with existing players. Countries like Somalia where oil was recently discovered may be able to use this competition to its advantage to stabilize and build up the country of Somalia an important location across from war torn Yemen and along a major Red Sea shipping passage.
The strategy aims to cut off any financial servicing to individuals, organizations, and countries participating in terrorist activities and will likely take place with further imposing of sanctions and tariffs and the control of aid as a coordinated effort abroad and prosecution of convicted parties inside the US. Civil Military Operations (CMO) could be utilized in place of some aid, medical, and provisions providers overseas where corruption has been problematic in those programs.
From Migration to Voices of Inner Strength
The policy focuses on immigration as the primary tool of terror networks operating inside the county and uses the border as the main line of defense against threats from within. However the US government recently awarded grants to Muslim organizations with known affiliations to terrorists. $250,000 was awarded to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) all organizations based in the US.
Even though open borders have been exploited in the past, the US needs to be careful not to exclude one of the most informed demographics which is the immigrant community. Many legal migrants fleeing weakened states overrun by terrorist organizations have been undervalued and underutilized in counterterrorism efforts especially when it comes to raising awareness. This community has been silenced and intimidated in the past by the mainstream media agendas and commercial interests. Islamic Nationalism touted in the mainstream media is often used to intimate nonviolent Muslim communities and secular minded immigrant communities which have fled Islamic forms of government like the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt, and others.
These of voices of strength and wisdom in dealing with these matters are quick to recognize subversive practices by terror networks especially the processes of establishing extremist footholds at local levels across western countries. If the president is taking seriously his focus on WMDs, explosives, cyber operations, and propaganda, joint task forces have yet to impact communications in the US. Private companies that have been accused of suppressing counterterrorism speech while promoting Islamic forms of nationalism that condone and defend the use of violence. Terror franchising efforts using propaganda by groups like ISIS have particularly targeted young women online within child bearing ages and boys as young as 10 and 11.
These recruiting practices using news and social media and even games need to come to the forefront of public discussion, public school systems, state university campuses, family organizational structures, and other community centers. Schools, police, and investigators need to develop and participate in awareness programs teaching children and parents about the predatory practices of online terror networking in the 21st century. These kinds of programs incorporating youth, parents, schools, and police forces can only have a positive effect on the levels of school shootings in the US.
The training and further provisioning of police forces is especially crucial as they are in the unique position of also playing a role in curbing prison radicalization to militant forms of Islam in US prisons, another one of President Trump’s goals. These forces are still suffering from cutbacks and regulations from previous administrations which has retarded these efforts.
Infrastructure as Fortification to Cyber and Terror Threat
More pressure than ever before is put on the private sector to form public private engagements in these joint efforts especially in the areas of critical infrastructure development in the US, in the global reach of multinational companies, and in the immense spending power of capitalist enterprise. Water, energy, transportation, and communications are all big ticket items in securing the country from cyber attack at a crucial time when much of the country’s critical infrastructure is suffering from age, wear, and neglect. New technology and the public private partnership approach with may help stimulate heavy industry, building, and job creation over these long-term projects.
Major agreements are already taking shape in tandem with other missions to break down monopoly control in the interest of the general welfare. AT&T currently engaged in litigation with the FCC recently sold data centers to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners for $1.1 billion. These mass acquisition will have another effect of increasing the flow of capital in the economy. AT&T said it will pay down debt with the sales of its recent acquisitions. In 2016, Verizon also sold a massive data center portfolio including 29 facilities across 15 metro areas in the US and Latin American to Equinix for $3.6 billion. CenturyLink sold 57 data centers in North America, Europe, and Asia for around $2.15 billion.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has become one of the dominant military powers in the Middle East active in many international conflicts and a constant threat to regional stability. Learn about the revolutions and social movements that make up the turbulent history of modern Iran. Explore the world of the ancient Persian Empire, the establishment of Shia Islam in Iran, and experience the moving events of the 20th century to present day in this powerful documentary series years in the making.
In the oppressive grip of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, protesters in the streets of Iran call for the end of the Islamic Republic and the return to the peace and progress of the last ruling dynasty. Get to know the people of Iran today, what they are fighting for, and why foreign help may be needed to throw off the yoke of Iran’s duplicate military powers used to suppress its own population.
Experience the rise and fall of the Soviet Empire through the life and work of Grisha Bruskin. Born to a Jewish family in Moscow at the end of WWII, Bruskin rose to fame as an intellectual and artist in an underground social movement that questioned the Soviet way of life beneath the radar of the ruling elite. His work exposes the undocumented history of what became known as, “the Soviet situation,” and expresses the sentiments of generations lost to communist rule.