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Iran nuclear sanctions waived again, but human rights sanctions imposed

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Iran nuclear sanctions waived again but human rights sanctions imposed

President Trump and the United States continue to support the Iran nuclear deal. Today, he signed a 120-day waiver on sanctions that should be imposed on the nation for breaching the 2015 deal. He did so with a promise that this would be the last waiver he’ll sign.

“I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal. This is a last chance,” Trump said in a statement Friday. “In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately.”

At the same time, the administration issued 14 new sanctions against individuals involved in human rights violations during the Iran protests as well as those who support the Iran missile program. These sanctions, while very minor, lend a small amount of credibility to the administration, which has openly supported the protests in the Muslim theocracy.

Further Reading

‘Last Chance’ for Iran, Trump Says, as Sanctions on Tehran Regime Waived Again

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/01/12/last-chance-for-iran-trump-says-as-sanctions-on-tehran-regime-waived-again/US President Donald Trump said on Friday he would waive nuclear sanctions against Iran for the last time to give Washington and its European allies a chance to fix the “terrible flaws” of the 2015 nuclear deal.

A senior administration official said Trump wants the deal strengthened with a follow-on agreement in 120 days or the United States will unilaterally withdraw from the international pact.

If the U.S. Is Not Isolated on the Iran Deal There Is Something Really Wrong With Our National Soul

https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2018/01/12/u.s.-not-isolated-iran-deal-something-really-wrong-national-soul/One of the first lessons you should learn as you transition into adulthood is that you don’t go along just because everyone else is doing something. The arguments for staying in the JCPOA, as best I can tell, is that the other parties (Russia, China, Germany, France, the UK, and Iran) won’t like us if we leave and we’ll lose unspecified money in sales. So a) popularity and b) money. If you want to argue that a deal that is essentially unenforceable and unverifiable prevents Iran from developing nukes, have at it. I’m not going to argue with you because I don’t argue over imaginary happenings.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Foreign Affairs

Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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