Iran’s days of rage on Soleimani anniversary have their limits

Iran sends ‘harsh’ message …

This week Iran commemorated the two-year anniversary of the Jan. three US drone strike which killed Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander (IRGC) Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), in Baghdad, with speeches, threats and rockets focusing on US bases in Iraq.

  • Gen. Esmail Ghaani, Soleimani’s substitute, vowed retaliation, saying “We will get revenge that you will not forget for the rest of your life.” 

  • Iran-backed forces in Iraq and Syria attacked amenities internet hosting US-led worldwide coalition forces in opposition to the Islamic State, as Shelly Kittleson and Jared Szuba report.

  • An Iraqi PMF Commander instructed Ali Hashem that these assaults are supposed to ship “a harsh message to the Americans while making sure no drop of blood is spilled,” and likewise present a “show of power” within the Iran nuclear talks happening in Vienna.

  • In Gaza, Mahmoud al-Zahar, member of Hamas politburo, throughout Soleimani’s commemoration ceremony, mentioned that the IRGC commander “was the first to fund the resistance government formed after the 2006 elections to pay the salaries of its employees, aid poor families and back the resistance programs,” Mai Abu Hasaneen studies.

  • Need to know: US mission in Iraq: There are approximately 2,500 US troops in Iraq and 900 in Syria. As of Jan. 1, US troops are not in a fight mission in Iraq, and can now be targeted on coaching, advising, aiding, and intelligence-sharing. The shift “does not impact operations against ISIS or logistics in Syria.”

…whereas ‘bits of progress’ in nuclear talks

Iran’s days of rage don’t lengthen to the Iran nuclear talks happening in Vienna.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian mentioned on Jan. 7, that he stays “convinced” a deal can nonetheless be reached and “bits of progress have been made in the last few days.”

Earlier this week, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price famous, “There has been some progress relative to the beginning of December in identifying the hard issues left to be negotiated,” as we report right here.

…and Israel plans for an Iran nuclear deal

In a “complete about face,” studies Ben Caspit, Israel now assesses that the world powers and Iran will agree on a brand new nuclear accord this yr.

And Israel can stay with that, a senior Israeli safety official instructed Caspit, given the shut collaboration between Washington and Jerusalem.

  • “The Americans completely understand our concerns and explain to us that if the Iranians rush to nuclear capability once the agreement expires, they would will be dealt with aggressively,” the official mentioned.

  • The US will “bolster and improve our military advantage over the region and they have promised that if Iran achieves nuclear breakthrough at any given moment, they would block it with all the means at their disposal.”

  • Israel will in the meantime press for an extension of sundown clauses, which finish restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in 2025 and 2030, which Israel has at all times thought of the best flaw within the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

  • Israel is urgent for aggressive implementation of “snapback sanctions,” which means if Iran violates the settlement, the US would set off a mechanism to reimpose sanctions on Iran, Barak Ravid of Axios studies.

  • “We can expect that if an agreement is reached, it will be accompanied by a significant American package for Israel and its allies in the Middle East,” concludes Caspit. “The agreement with Iran may include additional clauses enhancing it — or it may not. Either way, Israel seems to have accepted the fact that it does not stand a chance of diverting the march of history.”

Need to know: Iran nuclear deal

  • Link to the JCPOA and UN Security Council decision 2231(2025) right here.

  • The crux of the deal is financial sanctions aid for Iran in return for Iran’s compliance with constraints on its nuclear program, enforced by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to guarantee that Iran doesn’t purchase a nuclear weapon.

  • The Trump Administration withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, so the US delegation isn’t “in the room” on the ongoing nuclear talks in Vienna.

  • The remaining events to the JCPOA are Iran, China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United States, and the European Union.

  • The IAEA reported in August 2021 that Iran was enriching uranium at 60 p.c, properly above the three.67 p.c cap within the JCPOA. HEU at 90 p.c purity is required for nuclear weapons. In September, the IAEA mentioned that Iran’s restrictions on entry to its amenities had been significantly compromising the company’s oversight.

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