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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "fox-news/world/conflicts/iran"

Iranian tanker set to leave Gibraltar despite US warrant to seize vessel

Westlake Legal Group AP19227361143228 Iranian tanker set to leave Gibraltar despite US warrant to seize vessel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a85d2785-8405-5c9e-a7da-1a19bbe588cf

The United States faced an against-the-clock legal battle to re-seize an Iranian supertanker caught in a diplomatic standoff before the vessel’s shipping agent said Saturday he would go ahead with the ship’s planned departure from Gibraltar on Sunday or Monday.

The head of the company sorting paperwork and procuring for the Grace 1 oil tanker in the British overseas territory said the vessel could be sailing away in the next “24 to 48 hours,” once new crews dispatched to the territory take over command of the ship.

“The vessel is ongoing some logistical changes and requirements that have delayed the departure,” Astralship managing director Richard De la Rosa told The Associated Press.

He said the new crews were Indian and Ukrainian nationals hired by the Indian managers of the ship and that his company had not been informed about the supertanker’s next destination.

CAPTAIN OF IRANIAN SUPERTANKER THAT’S TRYING TO LEAVE GIBRALTAR ‘DOESN’T WANT TO STAY IN COMMAND,’ LAWYER SAYS

The tanker, which carries 2.1 million tons of Iranian light crude oil, had been detained for over a month in Gibraltar for allegedly attempting to breach European Union sanctions on Syria. The arrest fueled tension between London and Tehran, which seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz in apparent retaliation.

Analysts had said the release of the Grace 1 by Gibraltar could see Britain’s Stena Impero go free.

But late on Friday, a day after the tanker was released from detention, the U.S. obtained a warrant to seize the vessel over violations of U.S. sanctions, money laundering and terrorism statutes. Washington is seeking to take control of the oil tanker, all of the petroleum aboard and $995,000, unsealed court documents showed.

The latest turn of events come as tensions continue to rise in the Persian Gulf since President Donald Trump last year unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and other world powers. In recent weeks, oil tankers in the region have been the subject of attacks and seizures, dragging among others London and Tehran into a bitter diplomatic row.

The Gibraltar Supreme Court didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on whether the U.S. request had been filed there. Britain’s Foreign Office deferred questions to the government of Gibraltar, but calls and emails to its offices on how authorities planned to respond to Washington’s move went unanswered.

Messages left with the U.S. Embassy in London were not immediately returned.

IRAN USING GPS JAMMERS, PRETEND TO BE AMERICAN WARSHIPS TO TRICK VESSELS, US SAYS

The chief minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, had warned the U.S. that a new legal case would need to be examined by the territory’s courts following the end of the tanker’s detention this week. Picardo said he had been assured in writing by the Iranian government that the tanker wouldn’t unload its cargo in Syria.

Richard Wilkinson, a lawyer representing three crew members of the Grace 1 oil tanker, including its Indian captain, said he was “not aware of any reason why the ship won’t sail on Sunday, as it is to be planned.”

“As far as Europe is concerned, and it’s common ground, there’s been no criticism or complaints that this vessel is carrying oil from Iran, the only problem from the European point of view was the destination of the vessel and that has been sorted,” Wilkinson said.

He also said that he doubted that the U.S. had any jurisdiction to enforce its own sanctions in Gibraltar, where he saw “little political will” to re-seize the tanker.

The time window for a new seizure was also rapidly closing, as workers were seen by an AP crew hanging on a ladder to repaint the vessel’s bow with the name “Adrian Darya 1” over the place where “Grace 1” had already been blackened out.

The ship was reportedly no longer sailing under a Panamanian flag, but no signs of a new one could be seen on Saturday.

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The shipping agent, De la Rosa, said that “if the Americans came forth with some kind of request or specific order, it would have to be looked into by the judges, but I don’t think that’s materialized.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19227361143228 Iranian tanker set to leave Gibraltar despite US warrant to seize vessel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a85d2785-8405-5c9e-a7da-1a19bbe588cf   Westlake Legal Group AP19227361143228 Iranian tanker set to leave Gibraltar despite US warrant to seize vessel fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fnc/world fnc Associated Press article a85d2785-8405-5c9e-a7da-1a19bbe588cf

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Captain of Iranian supertanker that’s trying to leave Gibraltar ‘doesn’t want to stay in command,’ lawyer says

The captain of an Iranian supertanker at the center of a diplomatic standoff no longer wants to keep command of the ship, which is in need of repairs that could impede its immediate departure from Gibraltar, the sailor’s lawyer said Friday.

The tanker — and its 2.1 million tons of Iranian light crude oil — seemed to perform mild maneuvers on Friday but largely remained still, shrouded in heavy fog in waters off the British overseas territory a day after authorities ended its detention for allegedly breaching European Union sanctions on Syria.

The release Thursday, as the United States reportedly maneuvered to re-seize the tanker, came as the head of the Gibraltar government said that Iran had promised him not to deliver the fuel to a sanctioned refinery in Syrian territory, although an Iranian official later disputed that those assurances had been delivered.

Any delay of the vessel’s departure could provide a window of opportunity for the U.S. to mount further legal action and try to again stop the tanker amid growing confrontation with Tehran.

IRANIAN SUPERTANKER RELEASED BY GIBRALTAR, DESPITE LAST-MINUTE US ATTEMPT TO SEIZE IT

Westlake Legal Group AP19227462838185 Captain of Iranian supertanker that's trying to leave Gibraltar 'doesn't want to stay in command,' lawyer says fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 42752528-76d1-53c0-80b5-908d760b03c5

A view of the Grace 1 supertanker is seen backdropped by Gibraltar’s Rock, as it stands at anchor in the British territory of Gibraltar, on Thursday.

Tensions have escalated since President Donald Trump last year unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 nuclear deal signed by Iran and other world powers.

The decision re-imposed sanctions on Iran, stopping billions of dollars in business deals, largely halting the sale of Iran’s crude oil internationally and sharply depreciating Iran’s currency, the rial. More recently, the Persian Gulf has seen attacks on oil tankers and other high-stakes confrontations.

In early July, Tehran seized the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero in apparent retaliation for the detention of the Grace 1. Analysts had said the release of the Grace 1 by Gibraltar could see the Stena Impero go free.

But that prospect remained up in the air on Friday with a lawyer representing three Grace 1 crew members who were released from detention on Thursday casting doubts on the vessel’s immediate departure.

Richard Wilkinson told The Associated Press that the Indian national who commanded the oil tanker until it was detained in early July had asked his Iranian employers to replace him.

“He doesn’t want to stay in command of the ship, he wants to go home, because he wasn’t happy to go back and pick up the broken pieces,” said Wilkinson. “But he’s a professional skipper and needs to wait for a new crew to do a proper handover.”

Westlake Legal Group AP19227457907704 Captain of Iranian supertanker that's trying to leave Gibraltar 'doesn't want to stay in command,' lawyer says fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 42752528-76d1-53c0-80b5-908d760b03c5

A stern view of the Grace 1 super tanker in the British territory of Gibraltar on Thursday.

The lawyer said the tanker had been due for repairs in Gibraltar even before it was seized, which impeded the replacement of certain parts, making the tanker unfit for an immediate long voyage.

Adding to the uncertainty, the next possible destination of the cargo became a point of contention as Iranian and Gibraltar authorities showed disagreement over the terms that led to the ship’s release.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Friday said the country had made no commitments to gain the release of its tanker, while the chief minister of Gibraltar insisted on the written assurances it had received.

The captors of the vessel “raised the issue of commitment in a bid to make up for their humiliation caused by this illegal act and piracy,” Abbas Mousavi said, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

“We announced that Syria was not its destination and we have upheld the same … and reiterated that it was nobody’s business even if it was Syria,” he added.

In response, the Gibraltar government issued a statement saying that “the evidence is clear and the facts speak louder than the self-serving political statements we are hearing today.”

Authorities in the territory at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea didn’t reveal if the vessel was expected to leave any time soon. Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said it was now strictly a matter of the ship’s agents and owners.

“She is able to leave as soon as she organizes the logistics necessary in order to sail a ship of that size wherever it is going next,” Fabian Picardo told the BBC. “It could be today. It could be tomorrow. This is a matter now exclusively for the ship agents and ship owners.”

Authorities in Gibraltar had said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Justice had requested to seize the ship and its cargo, but Picardo said that such a request should be made directly to the territory’s judiciary and not the government.

No U.S. claim had been lodged by the end of business day on Friday, a spokesman from the Gibraltar Supreme Court told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to be identified by name in media reports.

Wilkinson, the Grace 1 captain’s lawyer, said it would be challenging for the U.S. to secure the detention under the argument of applying U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports.

“They seem to want to enforce American sanctions in British territorial waters. Good luck with that,” Wilkinson said, adding that “the U.S. is pretty late in the day.”

“You need to get a formal application to the court, just writing a letter to the government is not enough,” he said.

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Earlier, authorities in the U.S. had announced plans to revoke visas for the country of any crew member on the Iranian oil tanker. Wilkinson said that the measure wouldn’t be problematic for most of the crew, who come from Southeast Asian countries, including India.

In a statement, the State Department accused the Grace 1 of assisting Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in evading U.S. sanctions on oil exports from the country. The Corps is designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. and subject to separate penalties.

Westlake Legal Group AP19227462838185 Captain of Iranian supertanker that's trying to leave Gibraltar 'doesn't want to stay in command,' lawyer says fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 42752528-76d1-53c0-80b5-908d760b03c5   Westlake Legal Group AP19227462838185 Captain of Iranian supertanker that's trying to leave Gibraltar 'doesn't want to stay in command,' lawyer says fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fnc/world fnc Associated Press article 42752528-76d1-53c0-80b5-908d760b03c5

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Iran seizes oil tanker carrying ‘smuggled fuel’ in Persian Gulf, state media reports

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066931510001_6066934767001-vs Iran seizes oil tanker carrying 'smuggled fuel' in Persian Gulf, state media reports Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc d57a992a-94c1-5473-8c97-a7278d4d7acf article

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard last week seized an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf that was supposedly carrying “smuggled fuel” from Iran, state media reported Sunday.

The ship was carrying 700,000 liters [185,000 gallons] of fuel, according to state TV and the semi-official Fars news agency. Seven crew members were reportedly detained during the vessel’s seizure.

IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER INVITED TO WHITE HOUSE, TEHRAN DECIDED AGAINST VISIT: REPORT

The ship was seized on Wednesday near Farsi Island, where an Iranian Guard Navy base is located, the news outlet reported. The island sits in the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Iran, north of the Strait of Hormuz.

“This foreign vessel had received the fuel from other ships and was transferring it to Persian Gulf Arab states,” Gen. Ramazan Zirahi, a Guard commander, was quoted as saying.

Further information on the vessel, and the nationality of crew members, was not immediately clear.

The seizure marked the third such incident involving a commercial vessel in recent weeks — and the second accused of smuggling fuel.

The U.S. Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, told The Associated Press it did not have information to confirm the reports. Maritime tracking experts also said they did not have any immediate information about the incident or the vessel.

On July 18, the paramilitary force seized a United Arab Emirates-based oil tanker, the Panamanian-flagged MT Riah, for allegedly smuggling some 264,000 gallons of fuel from Iranian smugglers to foreign customers.

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The following week, the Guard’s naval forces seized a British-flagged vessel in the Gulf in what some Iranian officials suggested was retaliation for the seizure of an Iranian oil tanker in a British Royal Navy operation off Gibraltar. The U.K. says the Iranian oil tanker was suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. Iran denies the ship was bound for Syria but has not disclosed its destination.

The seizure comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran amid the breakdown of the nuclear deal that led the regime to exceed the threshold of low-enriched uranium stockpile as agreed upon in the 2015 accord.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066931510001_6066934767001-vs Iran seizes oil tanker carrying 'smuggled fuel' in Persian Gulf, state media reports Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc d57a992a-94c1-5473-8c97-a7278d4d7acf article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6066931510001_6066934767001-vs Iran seizes oil tanker carrying 'smuggled fuel' in Persian Gulf, state media reports Nicole Darrah fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox news fnc/world fnc d57a992a-94c1-5473-8c97-a7278d4d7acf article

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Brett Velicovich: Dems want to weaken our ability to counter Iranian aggression

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064086579001_6064077251001-vs Brett Velicovich: Dems want to weaken our ability to counter Iranian aggression fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc f4d6dc7b-0e52-5f39-adca-5c18a7047510 Brett Velicovich article

America’s ability to deter Iranian aggression is threatened by the recent vote of the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

The AUMF allowed the U.S. to invade Afghanistan to fight Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The same AUMF could be used by the U.S. military to respond to Iranian aggression in the Middle East if that becomes necessary.

Importantly, the goal of the AUMF when it comes to Iran is not to launch a war, but to deter one. As long as Iran knows the president of the United States is authorized to take military action, Iran is less likely to provoke such action.

HANNITY WARNS IRAN, ‘YOU WILL LOSE,’ CALLING FOR ‘NEXT GENERATION OF WEAPONRY’

Repealing the AUMF ties the hands of the U.S. president, emboldening Iran and raising the chances the Islamic Republic will take hostile action to support terrorism against its neighbors, interfere will shipping in the Persian Gulf, move ahead to develop nuclear weapons, or engage in other dangerous actions

MORE FROM OPINION

The House vote to repeal the AUMF came as part of its vote to pass the National Defense Authorization Act. The Senate has approved a different version of the bill without the AUMF repeal, and now the two chambers must agree on one version of the must-pass legislation.

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In addition, while the House bill authorized $733 billion in annual Defense Department spending, while the Senate bill authorized $750 billion. The smaller amount in the House bill would hinder an effective U.S. response to dangerous actions by Iran, should that become necessary.

Iran has already proven it is willing to disrupt global commerce and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, and to make world less safe at a time where U.S. international leadership and strength is needed the most.

House Democrats seem to be patting themselves on the back out of a belief that revoking the AUMF sends a direct message to President Trump about checking his power. However, what it really does is send a message to Iran about how divided we are in our stance against the Iranian regime.

The House vote is unquestionably a win for Iran. It emboldens Iran because as the regime watches our internal debates, hardliners calculate that we don’t have the strength or will to do what is necessary to win a conflict.

Because we are not united as a country, we look weak in the eyes of Iran’s leadership. That’s a dangerous game to play, given how the Iranian regime thinks. There is no doubt that we will see more Iranian aggression as a result.

The truth is that President Trump’s foreign policy, no matter how unconventional it may seem, has worked in our favor. It keeps countries like Iran and North Korea off-guard. It has been a deterrent.

The president’s moves against Iran have been backed by his belief that any military action against the terrorist regime fell under the authority of AUMF, basically giving him the power to strike without congressional approval in times of need.

Ending the AUMF prevents the president from acting swiftly in the future, which means America may not be able to defend itself quickly enough.

In addition to reducing the president’s power to act to defend our country and cutting military budgets by nearly $17 billion, the House bill would end U.S. participation in Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen, where the Saudis oppose forces backed by Iran.

This is a clear sign that Democrats have no understanding of the threat Iran poses, or how Iran uses its proxy elements to covertly wage war against the West.

The Saudi campaign in Yemen is directed against the Houthi rebels, who are being trained and equipped by the same Iranian officials who were responsible for the deaths of 603 members of the U.S. military during the Iraq war.

If the Saudis lose that fight, Iran will be able to fully turn Houthi attention on U.S. personnel and property in the region, just as it has with other proxy groups in the past. It’s as if congressional Democrats want to reduce America’s defensive capabilities.

Let me be clear. This is not about going to war with Iran. Stopping portions of this bill from taking effect is about deterrence, messaging, and providing all options available if necessary to defend ourselves against the rogue regime’s continued hostile activity.

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The inaction from the international community in stopping Iran’s attacks endangers the world, and Iran’s continued aggression will only increase because the regime will know it can keep getting away with it.

The Iranian regime has already been responsible for many American deaths. If we can’t stand up to Iran with all the tools necessary, we will see many more Americans lose their lives.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY BRETT VELICOVICH

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064086579001_6064077251001-vs Brett Velicovich: Dems want to weaken our ability to counter Iranian aggression fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc f4d6dc7b-0e52-5f39-adca-5c18a7047510 Brett Velicovich article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064086579001_6064077251001-vs Brett Velicovich: Dems want to weaken our ability to counter Iranian aggression fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox-news/newsedge/international fox news fnc/opinion fnc f4d6dc7b-0e52-5f39-adca-5c18a7047510 Brett Velicovich article

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Iran’s president mocks ‘childish’ US sanctions against Tehran’s top diplomat

Iran’s president mocked as “childish” U.S. sanctions targeting the regime’s foreign minister, saying the actions will be a barrier to diplomacy.

The Trump administration imposed financial sanctions on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in an effort to further pressure Iran to end its belligerent activities in the Persian Gulf region.

The move to penalize Zarif, an architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal who perceived as a more moderate figure in the Islamic Republic, follows Trump’s earlier executive order placing sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SANCTIONS IRANIAN DIPLOMAT; FEINSTEIN DERIDES ‘MISTAKE’

Westlake Legal Group 800 Iran's president mocks 'childish' US sanctions against Tehran's top diplomat Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc cf803033-d0d9-553f-80c0-4efad183d80b article

In this photo released by the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (Associated Press)

President Hassan Rouhani mocked the Trump administration in a speech in western Azerbaijan province, saying “They have started doing childish things.”

“Every day they claim: ‘We want to negotiate with Iran, without any pre-conditions’. and then they put sanctions on the country’s foreign minister,” he added.

Though the sanctions target Zarif personally, they won’t stop him from traveling to New York for official United Nations business, in accordance with America’s international obligations.

“It has no effect on me or my family, as I have no property or interests outside of Iran,” Zarif himself tweeted about the U.S. move.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have been heightened ever since the Trump administration pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and then imposed punitive sanctions on the Iranian regime, sending the economy into freefall.

IRAN CALLS POMPEO’S OFFER TO ADDRESS IRANIAN PEOPLE IN TEHRAN A ‘HYPOCRITICAL GESTURE’

But in recent months, Washington and Tehran were on a constant brink of war after the regime attacked oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and later shot down an unmanned American drone.

The attack on the drone prompted President Trump to order military strikes on the regime – only canceling them at the last minute over concerns of potential casualties on the Iranian side.

Iran also seized a British tanker earlier this month. The regime said the seizure was a response to British authorities seizing an Iranian tanker on route to Syria, though the U.K. says the tanker was seized because it carried oil and was in violation of sanctions against the Syrian regime.

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The Iran nuclear deal also unraveled in recent months amid the failure to force the European powers to provide economic relief amid U.S. sanctions, prompting the regime to announce that it’s openly exceeding limits on its nuclear activities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 800 Iran's president mocks 'childish' US sanctions against Tehran's top diplomat Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc cf803033-d0d9-553f-80c0-4efad183d80b article   Westlake Legal Group 800 Iran's president mocks 'childish' US sanctions against Tehran's top diplomat Lukas Mikelionis fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox news fnc/world fnc cf803033-d0d9-553f-80c0-4efad183d80b article

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James Carafano: Iran — Will Pompeo and Tehran talk soon? Here’s why it just might happen

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064331434001_6064304603001-vs James Carafano: Iran -- Will Pompeo and Tehran talk soon? Here's why it just might happen James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0cc190e8-d55f-5529-82e7-457b9cff468c

So far the Trump administration has been as dependable as a Rolex. When global actors threaten American interests, Trump takes notice. Washington then pressures with one hand and offers an off-ramp with the other.

Iran is a case in point. Secretary of State Pompeo just renewed the U.S. offer to renew negotiations without preconditions. He even offered to jump on a plane to Tehran. Only time will tell if they take him up on his offer.

But will Iran ever ask?

IRAN TEST-FIRES MEDIUM-RANGE BALLISTIC MISSILE, US OFFICIAL SAYS

Maybe.

For starters, the situation in the Gulf looks more stable than it did a week ago. That shouldn’t be surprising. Granted, some pundits couldn’t wait to proclaim that DEFCON 5 was just around the corner. But both the U.S. and Iran have stated publicly and repeatedly that neither are up for armed conflict. It’s often wise to give more weight to the pronouncements of officials in the know than pundits in the studio.

What seems to interest Tehran most right now is keeping its options open. Last week the regime seized a British-flagged tanker and declared its intent to increase its uranium enrichment program. Both moves seemed born of the desire to strengthen its position for future negotiations.

Iran also announced it is holding “constructive” talk with the Europeans over JCPOA – the Obama era nuclear deal from which the U.S. withdrew last year. Clearly, the regime is looking to gain leverage with places like Berlin and Paris in these talks as well.

MORE ON THIS

At the same time, however, Tehran did some major finger-waving, warning the Europeans not join in an international effort to help police the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran will likely fail to keep other nations from joining the U.S. in countering the threat of Iranian piracy in the Gulf. Moreover, it is quite likely that, following Brexit, the new British government under Boris Johnson will switch sides on the Iran Deal and side with the U.S. in side-lining the agreement.

Iran doubtless is closely watching U.S. domestic politics. Even as they map out plans for four more years of dealing with Trump, they surely are hoping that impeachment or some other crisis will distract or weaken the administration in the near term and produce a more compliant administration in 2021.

Also under Tehran’s microscope: U.S. negotiations with North Korea and the Taliban. The mullahs are looking for signs that Trump’s attention span for complex, protracting foreign policy conundrums will wane and lead to the U.S. walking away from its responsibilities.

The negotiations with Kim are particularly relevant. If the North Koreans can snooker Trump into a deal where they get to keep their nuclear weapons, then the Iranians might conclude they can play rope-a-dope with the White House as well.

In contrast, if the U.S. president drives a hard denuclearization bargain with North Korea’s Dear Leader, then Tehran will know that they are really up against it. Since Pompeo just announced there are no plans right now for a third leader summit with North Korea, it does seem Trump, at least for now, is sticking to his hard bargaining position.

Talks with the Taliban hold the mullahs’ interest for other reasons. There is not yet consensus within the administration on how to proceed in Afghanistan. Some want to convince the president to find an excuse to cut and run. Others argue nothing – certainly not U.S. interests – will improve if the Taliban is allowed to run amok again in Afghanistan.

What all sides do agree on is that way forward requires a political settlement – one can be and will be enforced and which has the support of the Afghan people.

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The Iranians are watching to see what kind of deal Trump holds out for. If he stays committed to a tough and enforceable settlement, they will have to treat Trump as a formidable negotiating opponent. If he folds in Afghanistan, they’ll draw a different lesson.

Don’t expect Iran to rush to the negotiating table, but clearly, they are thinking, planning and plotting for the day they might have to. Pompeo probably won’t have to pack for a trip to Tehran anytime this year. But flight plans are always subject to change.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM JAMES JAY CARAFANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064331434001_6064304603001-vs James Carafano: Iran -- Will Pompeo and Tehran talk soon? Here's why it just might happen James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0cc190e8-d55f-5529-82e7-457b9cff468c   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6064331434001_6064304603001-vs James Carafano: Iran -- Will Pompeo and Tehran talk soon? Here's why it just might happen James Jay Carafano fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 0cc190e8-d55f-5529-82e7-457b9cff468c

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Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety

As tensions heat up with Iran and North Korea over nuclear weapons, a majority of registered voters thinks the rogue nations pose a risk to the country’s safety.

Sixty percent say North Korea poses a real national security threat to the U.S. – and an equal number think the same of Iran.

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Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC1 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article
Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC2 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

“What’s interesting here is the stability of threat perception,” says Republican pollster Daron Shaw, who conducts the Fox News Poll along with Democrat Chris Anderson. “Despite changes in the partisanship of the White House and shifts in geo-politics, the percentage of Americans who see Iran and North Korea as threats has been quite consistent.”

Additionally, 53 percent support military action to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while 57 percent support military action to curtail the expansion of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program (a record-high).

Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC3 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

More voters oppose military action against North Korea (36 percent) than do on Iran (30 percent).

Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC4 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

The latest Fox News Poll (July 21-23, 2019) was conducted before Iran fired a medium-range missile on Wednesday and North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday.

Democrats are more likely to think North Korea (68 percent) poses a threat to national security than Iran (57 percent), while Republicans say the opposite (Iran 65 percent a threat vs. North Korea 53 percent).  Independents are equally concerned about both (58 percent each).

Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC5 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

Voters are dissatisfied with how President Trump is handling the two nations.  His job ratings on Iran (39 percent approve-46 disapprove) and North Korea (39-49) are underwater by 7 and 10 points, respectively.

Voters are also downbeat about the global reputation of the United States, as over half (54 percent) think the U.S. is less respected around the world today compared to four years ago.  Twenty-nine percent believe the country is more respected, while 14 percent say “about the same.”  

Those most likely to believe the country is less esteemed include Democratic women (89 percent), liberals (85 percent), suburban women (66 percent), nonwhites (64 percent), and voters under age 45 (57 percent).

Republicans are largely alone in thinking the U.S. is more respected: 58 percent feel that way, while 83 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents say the country is less respected.

Westlake Legal Group GRAPHIC6 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

Conducted July 21-23, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,004 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.

Westlake Legal Group 1000-15 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article   Westlake Legal Group 1000-15 Fox News Poll: Six in ten say Iran, North Korea pose a threat to US safety Victoria Balara fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/columns/fox-news-poll fox news fnc/politics fnc fe15deb0-e4e8-5f6f-9b01-423064f9cf7f article

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Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis

After more than four years of fighting, many of the dreams and livelihoods of those trapped in Yemen’s capital Sana’a have been dashed and hopes that the bloodletting will end anytime soon, have been laid to waste.

“We’re all depressed, everyone is poor, everyone has lost their jobs,” Nasser, a 58-year-old, Sana’a-based father and former logistics coordinator from a medical company abroad which has had to stop working in Yemen, told Fox News. “Life was going well until the war came, now everything is suspended. The worst thing, is people have now lost their hope.”

But beyond the physical decimation civilians are enduring – upwards of 100,000 people have been killed and 80 percent of the 29 million population are in need of humanitarian assistance nationwide – the psychological toll of the conflict is ravaging entire families.

According to Nasser, their community was devastated by news last month that a father killed his three daughters – aged 7, 10 and 14 – before turning his gun on himself.

“People are really traumatized psychologically. (We think) he became isolated, many fathers think that they are responsible for this bad situation and not being able to take care of their families,” he said. “People don’t want to join the violence groups, but they are feeling there are no more choices. People believe now that every side of the war doesn’t care; nothing will change.”

YEMEN’S CHILD SOLDIERS FACE LONG ROAD AFTER SEXUAL, PHYSICAL ABUSE

This isn’t the only horrific incident. Nasser also revealed that around a year ago, a man killed himself in addition to his three very young sons. Some suspect that it is that sense of hopelessness – married to a fear that the only avenue for male youths is fighting – is having some alarming consequences.

Westlake Legal Group sana2 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Children displaced from their homes in Sana’a amid the protracted conflict (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

In 2017, a 40-year old woman in Yemen’s Ibb province is said to have committed suicide by swallowing a poisonous concoction – after first poisoning her two daughters, aged 9 and 12 – according to The New Arab.

The war in Yemen was sparked in the months after the Iran-backed Houthis took over the capital Sana’a and other pockets of the country in late 2014; prompting neighboring Saudi Arabia and allied countries to form a coalition in an attempt to dislodge the opposition militia. But such a goal has not been met as the conflict drags on.

Despite being deemed the poorest country in the Middle East even before war broke out, young Yemenis sought to enroll in universities or start businesses, the notion of taking up arms back then was something of a far-flung profession.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

People inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, May, 16, 2019. Yemen’s human rights minister says heavy fighting is underway in the country’s south as rebel Houthis push to gain more territory from government forces and their allies. The clashes come as the Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes on the capital, Sanaa, earlier on Thursday, targeting the Houthis and killing at least three civilians. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Nasser also bemoaned that the once tight trust that existed between neighbors and friends and family members has all but eroded.

“We’ve lost the connections between people, we have lost the trust,” he continued. “People don’t want to leave their homes anymore.”

The summer in Sana’a has also seen a rash of violence between tribal groups aligned with the Houthis. And after the surprise announcement earlier this month from the United Arab Emirates – a close ally in the Saudi-led coalition – that it would be imminently drawing down its ground troops from Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition also announced over the weekend that it had launched a renewed operation to take out air defense positions and ballistic missile depots in the Yemeni capital.

According to one Sana’a local, Hussain Albak, the situation inside the city is “getting worse every day” with prices of food and goods rising and more and more Yemenis have to sleep in the soiled streets and can “only find an income through begging.”

“I have never seen so many Yemenis begging for money. Sana’a has become really crowded,” Albak lamented. “There is no tap water, no government electricity. We have to buy from a private company and the prices are so high.”

Westlake Legal Group sana1 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Homeless fill the streets of the Houthi-controlled capital, Sana’a in Yemen (Provided to FoxNews.com)

He noted that while some schools are open, they aren’t like what they used to be given that teacher’s salaries have not been paid in months.

“Hospitals are open, but there is nothing in them. The blockade is preventing medicines from reaching us,” Albak continued, referencing the sea, land and air campaign ignited by the coalition. “And when it does, it is so expensive that it is impossible for poor people to get them at a public hospital.”

Nasser, who has two sons aged five and eight, can only afford to send his oldest to school and even that is poor quality and mostly centered on “religious lessons and indoctrination.”

Earlier this month, a Houthi-operated Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) sentenced 30 political opposition victims – known academics and political figures – to death, in what Amnesty International characterizes as a “flawed legal process” and “trumped-up charges.”

Westlake Legal Group sana3 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

A young boy seeking help in the government-controlled Ma’rib having escaped Sana’a (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

Amnesty accused the SCC of unlawfully rounding up “persons they deem to be opponents or even just critics,” and has “documented the increased use of the SCC in targeting religious minorities.”

“Houthi forces have arbitrarily arrested and detained critics and opponents as well as journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community, subjecting scores to unfair trials, incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance,” Amnesty stated, also accusing the internationally-recognized Yemeni government has threatened and arbitrarily detained activists.

AFGHAN WOMEN FEAR RENEWED CHAPTER OF SHARIA LAW AND REGRESSION OF RIGHTS UNDER TALIBAN’S THUMB

With hostilities raging, crucial land routes in recent months have been shuttered – making it extremely dangerous and difficult for aid groups to access vulnerable civilians in the region, according to UNICEF relief reports. Moreover, the United Nations was forced to make it clear in June that it would not allow the Houthis to divert humanitarian aid to their supporters; rather than those civilians who are most in need, thus halting much of the assistance program to Sana’a.

“Yemen’s health care infrastructure, particularly in front line areas, has been decimated by shortages, attacks on hospitals,” said Defense Priorities Director Benjamin H. Friedman. “The biggest concerns are disease, infant mortality, malnourishment, and poverty.”

In his view, both parties to the conflict are to blame for the ongoing mayhem although the coalition is behind many more deaths and destruction.

“I do not foresee any changes in government for Sana’a soon. It does not appear that the Houthis are close to losing control of it,” Friedman asserted. “What is more likely is a stabilization of their rule, and perhaps a power-sharing deal with Yemeni rivals.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8196f955834a4ee5bcf31bf73002525e Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

In this Jan. 3, 2017 file photo, tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts to fight pro-government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

One former White House National Security Council official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Fox News that initially there was some public tolerance for the Houthis among the population because they were seen as “fighting back against foreign aggressors,” but poor governance has led to a widespread dissatisfaction with “how poorly the Houthis are governing in Sana’a.”

“Government offices now have Houthi representatives making decisions that they just don’t have the expertise or knowledge to make competently. Houthi mismanagement and poor governance are making the already outrageous humanitarian situation worse,” the source said. “But mostly, Yemenis living under Houthi rule don’t rise up against it because they are unclear of the alternative.”

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Indeed, many look to security-wracked other parts of the nation and draw conclusions it could always be worse.

For one, Albak surmised that the prices of most basic things have tripled throughout the course of the protracted conflict, and despite the steep challenges of life amid war, acknowledged that “Houthi control was good so far” and a better alternative to being controlled by a terrorist outfit such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which operates in the south of Yemen.

“I don’t know how we are all surviving. But we are,” Nasser added. “We hope there will be a peace agreement and an end to this, but the leaders need to remember that can be no peace without justice.”

Westlake Legal Group 69a5b450-ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article   Westlake Legal Group 69a5b450-ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis

After more than four years of fighting, many of the dreams and livelihoods of those trapped in Yemen’s capital Sana’a have been dashed and hopes that the bloodletting will end anytime soon, have been laid to waste.

“We’re all depressed, everyone is poor, everyone has lost their jobs,” Nasser, a 58-year-old, Sana’a-based father and former logistics coordinator from a medical company abroad which has had to stop working in Yemen, told Fox News. “Life was going well until the war came, now everything is suspended. The worst thing, is people have now lost their hope.”

But beyond the physical decimation civilians are enduring – upwards of 100,000 people have been killed and 80 percent of the 29 million population are in need of humanitarian assistance nationwide – the psychological toll of the conflict is ravaging entire families.

According to Nasser, their community was devastated by news last month that a father killed his three daughters – aged 7, 10 and 14 – before turning his gun on himself.

“People are really traumatized psychologically. (We think) he became isolated, many fathers think that they are responsible for this bad situation and not being able to take care of their families,” he said. “People don’t want to join the violence groups, but they are feeling there are no more choices. People believe now that every side of the war doesn’t care; nothing will change.”

YEMEN’S CHILD SOLDIERS FACE LONG ROAD AFTER SEXUAL, PHYSICAL ABUSE

This isn’t the only horrific incident. Nasser also revealed that around a year ago, a man killed himself in addition to his three very young sons. Some suspect that it is that sense of hopelessness – married to a fear that the only avenue for male youths is fighting – is having some alarming consequences.

Westlake Legal Group sana2 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Children displaced from their homes in Sana’a amid the protracted conflict (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

In 2017, a 40-year old woman in Yemen’s Ibb province is said to have committed suicide by swallowing a poisonous concoction – after first poisoning her two daughters, aged 9 and 12 – according to The New Arab.

The war in Yemen was sparked in the months after the Iran-backed Houthis took over the capital Sana’a and other pockets of the country in late 2014; prompting neighboring Saudi Arabia and allied countries to form a coalition in an attempt to dislodge the opposition militia. But such a goal has not been met as the conflict drags on.

Despite being deemed the poorest country in the Middle East even before war broke out, young Yemenis sought to enroll in universities or start businesses, the notion of taking up arms back then was something of a far-flung profession.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

People inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition forces, in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, May, 16, 2019. Yemen’s human rights minister says heavy fighting is underway in the country’s south as rebel Houthis push to gain more territory from government forces and their allies. The clashes come as the Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes on the capital, Sanaa, earlier on Thursday, targeting the Houthis and killing at least three civilians. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

Nasser also bemoaned that the once tight trust that existed between neighbors and friends and family members has all but eroded.

“We’ve lost the connections between people, we have lost the trust,” he continued. “People don’t want to leave their homes anymore.”

The summer in Sana’a has also seen a rash of violence between tribal groups aligned with the Houthis. And after the surprise announcement earlier this month from the United Arab Emirates – a close ally in the Saudi-led coalition – that it would be imminently drawing down its ground troops from Yemen, the Saudi-led coalition also announced over the weekend that it had launched a renewed operation to take out air defense positions and ballistic missile depots in the Yemeni capital.

According to one Sana’a local, Hussain Albak, the situation inside the city is “getting worse every day” with prices of food and goods rising and more and more Yemenis have to sleep in the soiled streets and can “only find an income through begging.”

“I have never seen so many Yemenis begging for money. Sana’a has become really crowded,” Albak lamented. “There is no tap water, no government electricity. We have to buy from a private company and the prices are so high.”

Westlake Legal Group sana1 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Homeless fill the streets of the Houthi-controlled capital, Sana’a in Yemen (Provided to FoxNews.com)

He noted that while some schools are open, they aren’t like what they used to be given that teacher’s salaries have not been paid in months.

“Hospitals are open, but there is nothing in them. The blockade is preventing medicines from reaching us,” Albak continued, referencing the sea, land and air campaign ignited by the coalition. “And when it does, it is so expensive that it is impossible for poor people to get them at a public hospital.”

Nasser, who has two sons aged five and eight, can only afford to send his oldest to school and even that is poor quality and mostly centered on “religious lessons and indoctrination.”

Earlier this month, a Houthi-operated Specialized Criminal Court (SCC) sentenced 30 political opposition victims – known academics and political figures – to death, in what Amnesty International characterizes as a “flawed legal process” and “trumped-up charges.”

Westlake Legal Group sana3 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

A young boy seeking help in the government-controlled Ma’rib having escaped Sana’a (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

Amnesty accused the SCC of unlawfully rounding up “persons they deem to be opponents or even just critics,” and has “documented the increased use of the SCC in targeting religious minorities.”

“Houthi forces have arbitrarily arrested and detained critics and opponents as well as journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community, subjecting scores to unfair trials, incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance,” Amnesty stated, also accusing the internationally-recognized Yemeni government has threatened and arbitrarily detained activists.

AFGHAN WOMEN FEAR RENEWED CHAPTER OF SHARIA LAW AND REGRESSION OF RIGHTS UNDER TALIBAN’S THUMB

With hostilities raging, crucial land routes in recent months have been shuttered – making it extremely dangerous and difficult for aid groups to access vulnerable civilians in the region, according to UNICEF relief reports. Moreover, the United Nations was forced to make it clear in June that it would not allow the Houthis to divert humanitarian aid to their supporters; rather than those civilians who are most in need, thus halting much of the assistance program to Sana’a.

“Yemen’s health care infrastructure, particularly in front line areas, has been decimated by shortages, attacks on hospitals,” said Defense Priorities Director Benjamin H. Friedman. “The biggest concerns are disease, infant mortality, malnourishment, and poverty.”

In his view, both parties to the conflict are to blame for the ongoing mayhem although the coalition is behind many more deaths and destruction.

“I do not foresee any changes in government for Sana’a soon. It does not appear that the Houthis are close to losing control of it,” Friedman asserted. “What is more likely is a stabilization of their rule, and perhaps a power-sharing deal with Yemeni rivals.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-8196f955834a4ee5bcf31bf73002525e Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

In this Jan. 3, 2017 file photo, tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels chant slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts to fight pro-government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)

One former White House National Security Council official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Fox News that initially there was some public tolerance for the Houthis among the population because they were seen as “fighting back against foreign aggressors,” but poor governance has led to a widespread dissatisfaction with “how poorly the Houthis are governing in Sana’a.”

“Government offices now have Houthi representatives making decisions that they just don’t have the expertise or knowledge to make competently. Houthi mismanagement and poor governance are making the already outrageous humanitarian situation worse,” the source said. “But mostly, Yemenis living under Houthi rule don’t rise up against it because they are unclear of the alternative.”

GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Indeed, many look to security-wracked other parts of the nation and draw conclusions it could always be worse.

For one, Albak surmised that the prices of most basic things have tripled throughout the course of the protracted conflict, and despite the steep challenges of life amid war, acknowledged that “Houthi control was good so far” and a better alternative to being controlled by a terrorist outfit such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) which operates in the south of Yemen.

“I don’t know how we are all surviving. But we are,” Nasser added. “We hope there will be a peace agreement and an end to this, but the leaders need to remember that can be no peace without justice.”

Westlake Legal Group 69a5b450-ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article   Westlake Legal Group 69a5b450-ContentBroker_contentid-3d725d5e49994a70adf21b6f78f43271 Family murder suicides in Yemen highlight depths of war-induced mental health crisis Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world/conflicts fox-news/health fox news fnc/world fnc bed9851d-2c20-52c5-84ac-a509284938ae article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Van Hipp: Trump has shown great restraint on Iran. Now here’s what must happen next

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061839274001_6061848129001-vs Van Hipp: Trump has shown great restraint on Iran. Now here's what must happen next Van Hipp fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article ae00e80b-9280-5c13-b899-3e313c46c38a

Iran’s recent actions show President Trump made the right decision when he scrapped the Iran nuclear deal.

Within just months of the signing of the nuclear accord in 2015, Iran was making a mockery of it by firing at least six ballistic missiles. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu provided strong evidence that Iran was cheating long before inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) revealed that Iran had surpassed uranium enrichment levels provided by the agreement.

Knowing that the Iran deal was not permanent, but would expire in 2025, President Trump’s goal has been to get a better deal and ensure that Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon. The White House position has been that maximum pressure will continue until its leaders alter their course of action.

US WARSHIP MAY HAVE DOWNED SECOND IRANIAN DRONE IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ, OFFICIALS SAY

President Trump has shown great restraint to this point. He knows his sanctions are working, but has properly positioned military assets in the region to protect U.S. military personnel and ensure the Strait of Hormuz remains open.

Europe, because of the range of Iran’s ballistic missile capability, has been much more vulnerable to the Iranian threat. Iran’s continued bad behavior is slowly causing our European allies to see Iran for what it is. And the recent appointment of former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore as U.S. Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has been one of President Trump’s best national security picks. A former Army intelligence officer who chaired a congressional advisory panel on how to respond to terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction, he’s the right person to convince our European allies to join our maximum pressure campaign on Iran.

It’s important to remember there’s a huge disconnect between the Ayatollah and his henchmen who rule the country, and the Iranian people.

The sanctions and maximum pressure campaign are forcing the Islamist regime to focus on its own problems. For years, Iran has been one of the chief enablers and financiers of the North Korean nuclear and ballistic threat. Now, with 50 percent inflation and food prices that have risen 85 percent, Iran does not have the excess cash it used to have to engage in mischief.

Sen. Marco Rubio said it best when he called Iran “a terroristic regime that needs to be reigned in.” Iran’s actions have resulted in 11 Arab countries calling it a state sponsor of terrorism at the United Nations.

In my book, “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It,” I write that “growing and sustaining energy production is the key to a strategy of starving Islamists of funding.” The United States is now the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. Countries like Iran can’t blackmail us anymore. The U.S. is holding the cards.

To this point, the U.S. has made the right moves with regards to Iran. What we do next will be absolutely critical.

It’s important to remember there’s a huge disconnect between the Ayatollah and his henchmen who rule the country, and the Iranian people. Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late Shah of Iran, has been an outspoken proponent of a democratic Iran. In his book, “Winds of Change,” he notes that after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, Iranians gathered in large numbers and held candlelight vigils while chanting slogans in support of America. As expected, the Islamist regime cracked down on the people.

And remember the 2009 Iranian protests where hundreds of thousands took to the streets? Some six U.S.-based Farsi speaking satellite TV stations had had a profound impact, especially on the Iranian youth, by exposing them to western values and ideals  We need to do what we can to recreate that situation. Let’s up the pressure on the Ayatollah and his stooges and communicate directly to the Iranian people with more Farsi speaking programming on Alhurra (satellite TV channel funded by U.S. Government) and other media platforms.

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Lech Walesa, the former President of Poland, and leader of Poland’s “Solidarity Movement” which brought down communism had great praise for President Ronald Reagan and his similar strategy of communicating directly to the Polish people and bypassing the state-controlled and censored network. Reagan had increased funding for Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and Radio Liberty. As Walesa, the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize Winner said, “It is not conceivable that it would have happened so quickly and so effectively if not for Voice of America.”

The world is beginning to see Iran for the brutal terroristic regime that it is. The United States has made all the right moves to this point.  Dusting off the old Reagan playbook on Poland and communicating directly to the Iranian people can help the Iranian regime to feel the heat at home and force them to do a better nuclear deal for the free world. And, executing the Reagan playbook might work for the Iranian people just like it did for the people of Poland.

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Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061839274001_6061848129001-vs Van Hipp: Trump has shown great restraint on Iran. Now here's what must happen next Van Hipp fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article ae00e80b-9280-5c13-b899-3e313c46c38a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061839274001_6061848129001-vs Van Hipp: Trump has shown great restraint on Iran. Now here's what must happen next Van Hipp fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/politics/executive/national-security fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article ae00e80b-9280-5c13-b899-3e313c46c38a

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