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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "David Adesnik"

David Adesnik: To halt Iran’s aggression, Trump must do more to win support for global sanctions

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089181664001_6089181765001-vs David Adesnik: To halt Iran’s aggression, Trump must do more to win support for global sanctions fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik article 50840b18-f77d-55bf-8c53-38fcec375ec0

President Trump missed a golden opportunity to mobilize nations around the world against the grave danger posed by Iran when he spoke to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

The president was right to condemn Iran’s recent devastating attack on a major Saudi Arabian oil facility and oil fields; its virulent anti-Semitism and threats to wipe Israel off the map; its support for terrorist forces; its continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons and long-range missiles; and its oppression of women and many human rights violations against all its people.

But President Trump should have gone beyond his critical comments. He should have called for a unified Security Council condemnation of Iran, along with severe economic and diplomatic sanctions against the Islamic Republic by all U.N. members that would stay in effect until Iran takes responsibility for the recent attacks and agrees to change its behavior.

ROUHANI DOWNPLAYS CHANCE OF TRUMP UN MEETING, SAYS PRESIDENT TOOK TRUST AWAY FROM RELATIONSHIP, IN FOX NEWS INTERVIEW

To be sure, Russia or China might have vetoed such a proposal, but their opposition would show that Europe cannot pretend the U.N. will be able to curb Iran’s malign conduct. And Russian and Chinese action to block tough worldwide sanctions against Iran might convince European leaders that they must apply sanctions of their own instead.

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The purpose of European sanctions would be more diplomatic than economic. American sanctions have already plunged Iran into a deep recession, combined with high inflation and a currency crisis. But Iran has resisted any compromise because Europe’s hesitation gives it hope.

Iran’s refusal to compromise almost worked. Just a few weeks ago, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a $15 billion line of credit for Iran, and Trump seemed ready to go along.

Then-National Security Adviser John Bolton apparently warned Trump that rewarding Iran for its bad behavior was sure to backfire. Bolton was soon out of his job, but Iran quickly proved how right he was.

Only by insisting that Europe finally get serious about pressuring Iran can Trump put an end to the merry-go-round of well-meaning proposals that never actually push Iran to change.

In addition to global sanctions against Iran for its attack on Saudi Arabia, Trump should have called for the other nations to kill the deeply flawed deal designed to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons and restore all previous sanctions, unless Iran returns to full compliance very soon – say within 60 days.

The nuclear deal is set up in a way that any one of the parties can trigger its collapse. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal but did not pull that trigger.

Again, the purpose of killing the deal would be more diplomatic than economic. For as long as the nuclear deal exists, there is a chance for Iran to get what it really wants, which is for Trump to lose the 2020 election and be replaced by a president who will revive the nuclear deal and lift all U.S. sanctions. Take that possibility off the table and Iran will have no way out of the grinding pressure it now faces.

While Trump’s U.N. speech might have been the best opportunity to point the way forward, the door is not closed. Iran’s actions – most recently its attack on Saudi Arabia – have brought the Middle East dangerously close to war. Trump needs to make it clear to our allies that the only way to protect the peace is to unite against the Iranian aggressor – not to be paralyzed by fear.

Earlier this month, Trump gave Iran a chance to come in from the cold. He suggested he was ready to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and left open the possibility of easing some sanctions to encourage Iran to negotiate.

History shows that Iran makes real concessions only when it faces overwhelming and relentless pressure.

But instead of accepting Trump’s good-faith invitation, Iran launched its wave of attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. The damage cut Saudi oil production in half, sending oil prices almost 20 percent higher when markets opened.

Iran denied responsibility. Journalists challenged the Trump administration to present evidence of Iranian guilt. Foreign leaders stayed on the sidelines.

The old playbook seemed to be working for Iran. It was breaking all the rules, but no one seemed ready to hold it responsible. Then things started to change.

First, the price of oil started to come back down. Next, as Trump prepared to address the U.N., the leaders of France, Britain, and Germany said Iran was lying about the attack on Saudi oil fields.

“It is clear to us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack,” the leaders of the three nations said, in a statement. “There is no other plausible explanation.”

No less surprisingly, former Secretary of State John Kerry – who negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran – said Iran’s denials of its attack on Saudi Arabia were nonsense.

The leaders of France, Britain and Germany said they still want to rescue the 2015 nuclear deal, but started to add conditions that sounded a lot like the ones the Trump administration has been asking for.

“The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program,” the three European leaders said. That was their very polite way of saying it was a very big mistake for the nuclear deal to impose restrictions on Iran that would only last for around 10 years – even though Iran has been pursuing nuclear weapons for three decades.

The Europeans also said the nuclear deal has to address “regional security,” which means Iran should stop funding terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and stop bankrolling the war crimes of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. That is exactly what the U.S. has been saying, but critics at home and abroad insisted it was simply too much to ask from Iran.

Boris Johnson, the new British prime minister, went even further than his French and German counterparts. He criticized the many flaws of the nuclear deal, and then added: “I think there’s one guy who can do a better deal … and that is the president of the United States. I hope there will be a Trump deal.”

For all these reasons, the wind was clearly at President Trump’s back when he got up to address his fellow world leaders Tuesday morning. He did not mince words when it came to Iran.

“The regime’s record of death and destruction is known to us all,” Trump said. “They conduct ritual chants of ‘Death to America’ and traffic in monstrous anti-Semitism.”

“Hoping to free itself from sanctions, the regime has escalated its violent and unprovoked aggression,” Trump added, referring to the assault on Saudi Arabia, which followed multiple Iranian attacks this summer on targets in the Persian Gulf.

But what comes next?

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“All nations have a duty act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” Trump told his fellow leaders. That much is true, but Trump should have used his address to be more specific about how others can add to the pressure on Iran.

Without prodding, European leaders are likely to return to their passivity on Iran. Speaking after Trump, President Macron said it is time for the U.S. and Iran to resume negotiations, so the next provocation does not lead to war.

Yet if Iran cannot admit what it did in Saudi Arabia and what it has done elsewhere, there is no point to negotiations.

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History shows that Iran makes real concessions only when it faces overwhelming and relentless pressure.

Trump should have expected the kind of bad advice he received from Macron, which is typical at the U.N. And he should have made clear that unless other nations make Iran pay a price for its aggression and threats, Iran will have no reason to change its behavior.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089181664001_6089181765001-vs David Adesnik: To halt Iran’s aggression, Trump must do more to win support for global sanctions fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik article 50840b18-f77d-55bf-8c53-38fcec375ec0  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6089181664001_6089181765001-vs David Adesnik: To halt Iran’s aggression, Trump must do more to win support for global sanctions fox-news/world/united-nations fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik article 50840b18-f77d-55bf-8c53-38fcec375ec0

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Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6050740154001_6050734248001-vs Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations Mikhael Smits fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik c5e37d4b-b342-50bb-b45d-dc98ae300ea4 article

Will the U.S. launch a military strike against Iran to retaliate for that nation’s downing of an American surveillance drone Thursday?

We don’t know, but U.S. forces are in position and ready to attack if ordered by President Trump. And of course, no one knows how Iran would respond to a U.S. attack if it takes place.

In a story based on unidentified sources, the New York Times reported that Trump ordered strikes against a small number of Iranian military targets but canceled plans at the last minute Thursday night.

US CALLED OFF RETALIATORY STRIKE AGAINST IRAN IN LAST MINUTE: SOURCE

“The operation was underway in its early stages when it was called off, a senior administration official said,” the Times reported. “Planes were in the air and ships were in position, but no missiles had been fired when word came to stand down, the official said.”

The U.S. military and intelligence community have likely identified the most suitable targets for a potential counterattack against Iran, or determined whether a different type of pressure will be most effective.

American economic sanctions have wreaked havoc on the Iranian economy – one reason Iran is trying to stare down the Trump administration. The U.S. could push even harder or on the sanctions, or perhaps President Trump will select a covert response.

Iran has shown that it likes to escalate one notch at time, testing just how far it can go without provoking a response from American forces it cannot hope to match in a direct fight.

The important thing is that the U.S. must make clear to Iran that the Islamic Republic does not have a free hand to attack the U.S. or its allies.

We don’t know who leaked the story to The New York Times about the supposedly canceled U.S. attack on Iran, but the leak may have been a deliberate attempt by Trump administration officials to send a loud and clear warning to Iran without actually engaging in armed conflict.

Iran bragged Thursday that it shot down the U.S. drone near the Persian Gulf. The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps called the attack a “clear message to America.”

But even before the report of a canceled U.S. attack on Iran, President Trump had a clear message of his own for the radical Shiite regime in Tehran: “They’re going to find out they made a very big mistake,” the president told reporters in the White House.

Trump also told reporters he had not yet decided whether the U.S. will launch retaliatory strikes to punish Tehran for what the U.S. military described as an “unprovoked attack” in international airspace more than 20 miles from land.

Iran claims that the U.S. drone was in Iranian airspace, but this denial is no more credible than Iranian protests of innocence that followed last week’s attacks on a pair of oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Despite U.S. surveillance footage that showed an Iranian vessel pulling up alongside one of the two damaged tankers last week, foreign leaders demanded additional proof. It seems they now have what they were looking for.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel now says there is “strong evidence” Iran was behind the attacks.

In Washington, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., — the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – confirmed that “there’s no question that Iran is behind the attacks” and said, “the evidence is very strong and compelling.”

This pattern of Iranian aggression makes it essential for the U.S. to show Tehran that Iran will pay a price for its dangerous provocations. Whereas last week’s attack targeted foreign ships, this time Iran knowingly went directly after an American military aircraft. Its decision to attack an unmanned aircraft, however, may reflect a careful, high-stakes calculation.

Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly communicated to Iran that if it killed a single American there would be a punishing U.S. response. Thursday’s Iranian attack may have deliberately stopped just short of Pompeo’s line.

This should not be surprising. Iran has shown that it likes to escalate one notch at time, testing just how far it can go without provoking a response from American forces it cannot hope to match in a direct fight.

This is one important lesson of Iranian-sponsored attacks on American troops during the war in Iraq, which cost hundreds of American lives. When the U.S. sought to avoid a confrontation, Iran turned up the temperature. When U.S. forces pushed back, Iran retreated.

So far, despite stern warnings from President Trump after previous attacks, Iran has not paid a price. Rather than waiting for the U.S. to act, the Iranians struck again by shooting down the U.S. drone.

There is every reason to believe this pattern will continue if the U.S. does not match the firm words of President Trump and top administration officials with firm action.

Of course, the Trump administration does not want a war in the Gulf, so its response should be carefully calibrated. This likely explains why the president seemed to offer Tehran a face-saving way out of a confrontation of its own making.

In reference to the attack on the U.S. drone, Trump told reporters Thursday that it was “hard to believe it was intentional,” speculating that the attack was a mistake made by an Iranian officer “who was loose and stupid.”

There are two problems with this approach.

First, Iran is a highly centralized dictatorship. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls all the shots. No one would think of shooting down a U.S. drone without permission.

Second, if the U.S. gives Iran a pass on the grounds of a supposed mistake by one person “who was loose and stupid,” the lesson will be that America would rather make excuses for its enemy than confront aggression. The likely result would be more Iranian aggression.

The U.S. is prepared for a conflict with Iran if it erupts. The Trump administration has increased U.S. combat power in the Persian Gulf, approving a request from the U.S. commander in the region to deploy an additional 1,000 military personnel.

In addition to holding Iran accountable, it is important to keep in mind the strategic value of the skies and seas where this conflict is playing out. More than 20 percent of the world’s seaborne oil moves through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

In April, Iran threatened to close the strait, something it often threatens to intimidate its neighbors and the U.S.

America is now the world’s leading producer of oil, but if Iran were able to close the strait, the action could still lead to global oil shortages that would hurt American consumers and consumers in other nations.

Importantly, the skies above the strait give the world a valuable look into Iran’s malign behavior. Iran knows the stakes, and has attacked drones to prevent the U.S. from capturing evidence.

Earlier this month, Yemeni rebels known as Houthis who are backed by Iran shot down a high-altitude drone with Iranian support. Just last week, Iran fired at and missed at U.S. drone over the site of the oil tanker attacks.

Iran may also have been hoping its own forces could recover the remains of the drone they shot down. U.S. drones have advanced intelligence-gathering capabilities, and Tehran wants to acquire U.S. technology for its own drone program.

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Losing a drone is also expensive for the U.S. Variants of the drone shot down by Iran cost $120 million to $200 million, making it the most expensive unmanned aircraft in the American arsenal.

The important thing is that Iran immediately feels, even if it does not yet understand, that it does not have a free hand to attack the U.S. or its allies. Actions by both sides in the coming days and weeks will determine if the Iranian attack on the U.S. drone will escalate into a far more serious military confrontation.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6050740154001_6050734248001-vs Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations Mikhael Smits fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik c5e37d4b-b342-50bb-b45d-dc98ae300ea4 article  Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6050740154001_6050734248001-vs Mikhael Smits, David Adesnik: Drone attack – Iran needs to know it will pay a price for its risky provocations Mikhael Smits fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc David Adesnik c5e37d4b-b342-50bb-b45d-dc98ae300ea4 article

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