Washington Post editorial board criticizes administration’s response to Iranian aggression


Addressing Iran’s expanding role in the Middle East, The Washington Post editorial board wrote on Thursday that “the Obama administration has declined to counter increasingly aggressive efforts by Iran to extend its influence across the Middle East and seems ready to concede Tehran a place as a regional power at the expense of Israel and other U.S. allies.” On Friday, the Iran-backed Houthi militants announced that they had taken over the Yemeni government and dissolved parliament, having previously seized the capital (causing nervousness in Riyadh) and forced the resignation of the U.S.-allied president. An Iranian general crowed about this “historic victory for the Iranian Islamic revolution.” Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah confirmed that the group and Iran were bolstering their presence in the Golan Heights. Iran’s increasing influence in Iraq, according to analysts Michael Weiss and Michael Pregent, “has resulted in a wave of sectarian bloodletting and dispossession… usually at the hands of Iranian-backed Shia militia groups…” Iraq’s current Minister of the Interior belongs to an Iranian proxy group that has committed severe human rights violations.

President Barack Obama told NPR last December that Iran had the potential to be a “very successful regional power” if it were to make concessions on its nuclear program. The Weekly Standard noted, “In the same interview, President Obama acknowledges that Iran sponsors terrorism and wants a nuclear bomb.”  In a recent essay, Michael Doran, a scholar formerly at the Brookings Institution and now at the Hudson Institute, argues that Obama has an overarching strategy of “integrating Iran into the international diplomatic and economic system.” The analyst David Daoud contended in The Tower last December that “the President is quietly attempting to cement a new American regional vision in which Iran is to play a central role.” At the end of last year, Secretary of State John Kerry said he “welcomed any Iranian military action against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq as ‘positive,’” Agence France-Presse reported. In the fall of 2014, President Obama sent a secret letter to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to assure him that “the U.S.’s military operations inside Syria aren’t targeted at Mr. Assad or his security forces,”  which are propped up by Iran in a conflict that has claimed over 200,000 lives.

America’s Arab allies have expressed their anxiety about Iran’s expanding regional footprint. The Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom wrote in December 2013 that his country’s Western allies “have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.”


Can your smartphone screen your breath to detect cancer? That could happen someday soon, if the Sniff-Phone project from Israel comes to fruition. The Sniff-Phone is the latest low-cost nanotech diagnostic tool proposed by Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Prof. Hossam Haick, developer of the Na-Nose breathalyzer technology now heading toward commercialization for detecting diseases including lung cancer. The Sniff-Phone would link the same technology to a smartphone to provide non-invasive, fast and cheap disease detection. Embedded micro- and nano-sensors would “read” exhaled breath and then transfer the information through the attached mobile phone to an information-processing system for interpretation and assessment. A research consortium headed by Haick recently received a €6 million ($6.8 million) European Commission grant to develop the product. The award-winning nanotechnologist said it will be “tinier and cheaper than disease-detection solutions currently, consume little power, and most importantly, it will enable immediate and early diagnosis that is both accurate and non-invasive. Early diagnosis can save lives, particularly in life-threatening diseases such as cancer.” Consortium members include Siemens; universities and research institutes from Germany, Austria, Finland, Ireland and Latvia; and Israeli company NanoVation-GS Israel, a Technion spinoff headed by graduates of Haick’s laboratory that is focused on using nanotechnology to diagnose pneumonia in low-resource regions of the world. (via Israel21c)



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