By Gil Elan
The Iranian nuke deal
As of this writing, more details are coming out about the “bad deal” negotiated between Iran and the U.S. that is supposed to be initialed, if not actually signed, March 24. As explained in this briefing last week, the “deal” assumes that with certain “restrictions” and “controls” Iran would require at least 12 months to reach “breakout stage.” That would enable it to construct a nuclear weapon.
According to reliable sources both here and in Israel, the so-called “deal” does not resolve in any way the fact that Iran was, according to reliable reports, including one by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, just 2-3 months away from “breakout” back in November 2013. It increases the number of advanced enrichment centrifuges Iran can assemble and operate and does not limit the quantities of enriched uranium Iran can stockpile. It does not address the weaponization program or the construction and testing of long-range missiles.
According to several Israeli and Arab sources, what Iran is “promising” in exchange for turning a blind eye on its nukes, is that it will “help” the U.S. led coalition against ISIS, and will not declare itself nuclear armed until spring 2017 (do the math…).
If, after Netanyahu addresses Congress March 3 (as of this writing it has not been changed), the kind of “deal” outlined above is still signed, then a regional Sunni coalition together with Israel may take the necessary action to do what the “deal” won’t — stop Iran from acquiring nukes.
The growth and spread of ISIS
In the past few days we have seen a video of the brutal beheadings of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS on the shores of the Mediterranean in Libya. This is clear proof that ISIS is expanding the territory of the Islamic State and now controls parts of Northern Libya.
Tuesday we learned from the police chief of the western Iraqi town of al-Baghdadi that ISIS fighters, having just captured that town, horrifically burned alive over 45 Shiite members of the Iraqi military forces. Claiming that “a compound that houses the families of security personnel and local officials were now under attack,” Col. Obeidi pleaded for help from the Iraqi government and the international community.
The huge significance of this town falling to ISIS is that the large Iraqi Ain al-Asad air base, where about 320 US Marine “advisors” are training members of the Iraqi army’s 7th Division, is just 5 miles away. The base itself was attacked by ISIS, including several suicide bombers, just last Friday. They were eventually repelled by Iraqi troops backed by U.S.-led coalition aircraft. This time, according to the Pentagon, no U.S. troops participated in the fighting.
But with ISIS reinforcements now swarming into al-Baghdadi, the next attack is just a matter of time.
It’s clear to me that rather than being “degraded and eventually destroyed,” ISIS is expanding, strengthening, and casting its dark Islamist jihadist shadow over more and more areas and people, while our leaders here and in Europe are debating what to call them…
Here’s my suggestion: devout Islamic Jihadists, who are following literally and precisely the clear and unequivocal orders given to them, both in the Quran and the Hadith, by whom they believe is the “perfect man” and the “final messenger” chosen by Allah, Mohammed.
In their ideology, they are continuing the conquests, proselytizing, enslaving and destruction that he started, and ordered to continue, exactly as they understand and interpret his very words.
They are not a mutation of Islam. In their eyes, and, historically they have a case, they are the original, conquering, subjugating Islam.
We are not at war with Islam. An overwhelming majority of Muslims around the world do not blindly follow all the original words of the Quran, or wartime sayings of the Prophet. They put them in historical context.
But until the Ulema, the collective spiritual leaders of Islam today, either very publicly change the texts or the context of some of the original passages…we will continue to be at war with the Jihadis.
And this will not be a three year war or 30 year war. It will only end when either:
1. One side accepts the superiority of belief of the other, or
2. All the Islamic schools of Jurisprudence rule clearly and irrevocably that Islam can and must live side by side with all other religions in peace, understanding and harmony.
Agree or disagree, that’s my opinion.
Lt. Col. (IDF res) Gil Elan is President and CEO of the Southwest Jewish Congress, and a Middle East analyst. Email: email@example.com. Upcoming briefings and SWJC events are listed at: www.swjc.org. DISCLAIMER: Opinions are the writer’s, and do not represent SWJC directors, officers or members.