Experts concerned about possible UN arms embargo collapse as Iran nuclear talks continue


As it appeared that talks on the Iran nuclear deal would slip past yet another deadline, regional experts warned of the dangers if the UN arms embargo on Iran regarding ballistic missiles and conventional weapons were lifted. Andrew J. Bowen, the Director of Middle East Studies at the Center for National Interest, wrote in The Daily Beast that “lifting the embargo is [a] major capitulation to Iran and one that directly threatens U.S. national security.” Experts, he wrote, have estimated that Russia would sell Iran $7-$8 billion worth of arms in the event the embargo was lifted. Matthew McInnis, a former Iran expert at CENTCOM, was quoted as saying, “Iran is...attempting to develop ballistic missiles to hit U.S. aircraft carriers from hundreds of miles offshore. With more Chinese help it could finally accomplish this goal.” Russia and China have expressed their desire that the arms embargo be lifted. Bowen continued, “Rather than promoting stability, greater access to advanced [weaponry] could empower Iranian proxy forces, partners and terrorist groups…which remain a threat to U.S. interests and to our regional allies, most notably Israel.”

On Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not say definitively whether or not the U.S. would be willing to lift the arms embargo. Pressed by ABC’s Jonathan Karl on the issue, Earnest only said, “What we know is that there are a number of UN Security Council resolutions related to Iran’s nuclear program that are under discussion as part of…an exchange…that is the essence of the negotiations” and that “we have tried to be clear as we possibly can about this, that the kind of sanctions relief that is envisioned…are those sanctions that are applied to Iran’s nuclear program.” When CBS’ Major Garrett called the administration’s position on ballistic missiles "opaque," Earnest conceded that "there are a variety of aspects of this that are opaque.” Last week, a senior administration official suggested that the administration would, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “insist on continued restrictions on arms sales, but declined to say if they would be as comprehensive as those now in place.”


A game app that simulates Iranian missile strikes on Israeli cities was unveiled in Iran on Friday to commemorate Al-Quds Day, the annual Iranian holiday dedicated to Israel’s destruction.Missile Strike, which is downloadable for mobile devices, allow users to “break into the Zionist regime’s air defense and target Israel,” targeting cities such as Haifa, Jerusalem, and Tel Aviv, the game’s developer, Mehdi Atash Jaam, told the semi-official Fars news agency.

This isn’t the first time Iran has used entertainment media to threaten Israel. In February 2014, a video circulating in Iran portrayed a nuclear attack on Israel and referred to it as a “Holocaust.” The film simulated an Iranian response to a military attack on a site within its territory. In November 2013, just prior to the agreement of the Joint Plan of Action, the first interim nuclear accord between Iran and the West, Iranian state television broadcast a simulation of missile attacks on important sites in Israel.

Thousands of people gathered in Tehran on al-Quds Day, the day the app was unveiled, chanting “Down with America” and “Death to Israel.” Protesters burned Israeli and American flags and posters depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, American President Barack Obama, and King Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Iranian leaders frequently refer to Israel’s destruction. “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of #Israel which spares no crimes has no cure but to be annihilated,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted last November. A day later, he tweeted a 9-point list on why and how Israel should be destroyed. (via


Israeli entrepreneurs Or Arbel, Tomer London, Ben Rubin, Uri Haramati, and Itai Danino are spotlighted in Business Insider‘s new list titled, The 38 coolest startups in Silicon Valley. The 38 companies are all private tech firms that have successfully raised venture capital funding. Arbel, co-founder and CEO of Yo, is listed in the opening five picks. “Yo is the almost stupidly simple communication tool that briefly took the tech world by storm in 2014. The one-word correspondence app started out as a side project for Arbel, but it went viral and last year was valued at about $10 million,” the report reads. “Arbel is planning on bringing Yo back with Yo 2.0, which will include your location, a photo, or just the good old original yo.” ZenPayroll’s London is listed with his cofounders Josh Reeves and Edward Kim in the 12th slot on the list for their payroll-processing startup that includes celeb angel investors like Ashton Kutcher and Jared Leto. London, a Technion Institute graduate, counts his first success in the field of entrepreneurship when he won first place in the Technion-led BizTEC competition in 2009. The Business Insider list also includes Ben Rubin, Uri Haramati, and Itai Danino, cofounders of Meerkat live-streaming app. According to the report, Meerkat has raised $18.2 million in funding and has nearly two million users. “However, Meerkat is facing fierce competition from Twitter’s Periscope, another live-streaming app. Despite Perisciope’s advanced features, like the ability to replay videos, Meerkat cofounder Ben Rubin is confident there’s space for both to thrive. When he found out Twitter was launching its competition, he says “it was Saturday – all the team went back to the office to get ready to dive in.” (via Israel21c)

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