Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Iran, Israel, the Syrian War, the United States, and Defenseless Cornered Europe
TODAY'S NEWS -- THE MIDDLE EAST IS AT A TURNING POINT. The revelations about the secret Iranian nuclear weapons program made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday have changed forever the Midle East. Even before Monday, there were rumblings in Syria that forbode a confrontation between Israel and Iran, but Monday widened the scope and importance of the confrontation. • • • THE SYRIAN BATTLEGROUND. On Monday, Seth Frantzam wrote in the Jerusalem Post about the Sunday, April 29, night attack on a Syrian military site by Israel : "On Sunday night, a massive explosion rocked an area between Homs and Hama in northern Syria. It began with a fire and then a huge explosion, with what appeared to be ammunition shot high in the air, like a horrid fireworks display. Viewers from several areas around filmed it and reports claimed it even registered on seismic charts. The explosion could be seen for many kilometers. So what happened in Syria? The Syrian regime and its media claimed that military bases came under attack by missiles. According to popular pro-regime Twitter accounts, the details were clear. Explosions struck the 47 Brigade base south of Hama and another area in Aleppo. Immediately, these accounts focused their blame on Israel and said that the base included Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] members from Iran. They were allegedly stationed in among a grove of trees at a base overlooking the village of Maarin al-Jabal near route M5 from Hama to Homs....Four hours after the strikes, around two in the morning, many pro-regime accounts shifted their blame from Israel to the US-led Coalition. The narrative began to form that it was actually a missile strike from the Coalition base at Al-Tanf or from airplanes off the coast with missiles flying over Jordan and striking Hama. Supposedly, the missiles were directed at Iranian bases. A post by Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi shed light on claims by a commander in the pro-regime Latakia Local Defense Forces, that the strike was 'likely an American strike in retaliation for the crossing onto Syrian Democratic Forces positions in Deir ez-Zor.' ” • The "crossing" was reported by Defense Post's Fergus Kelly wrote on April 29 : "The US-led Coalition-backed Syrian Democratic Forces recaptured four villages on the east bank of the Euphrates river to the north of Deir Ezzor city taken in an earlier attack on Sunday, April 29, by pro-Syrian government forces. 'The Syrian regime forces entered four villages in Deir Al-Zour and declared their control over it,' SDF spokesperson Kino Gabriel said in a Sunday statement. 'However, our forces launched an opposite attack, and the four villages regained control of the regime and drove it away.' Later Sunday, the PYD tweeted a video that it claimed showed the SDF had regained control of the four villages attacked by 'the Syrian regime and the Iranians.' " The attack on April 29 by pro-Assad-regime forces on the Euphrates river against US-backed SDF was in an area that is supposed to be off-limits, at least to Russian military. The area was agreed to be a "deconfliction" zone in August 2017 to prevent unintended combat conflict between Russia and the US in that area. • In August, 2017, the Atlantic Council wrote : "While the immediate purpose of the buffer [deconfliction] zone is to prevent fighting between the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- and their myriad respective associated backers -- to focus the fighting on defeating the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), it also reconfigures the battlefield and creates new pitfalls and opportunities....A number of cities and villages along the Euphrates, some in fact bisected by the waterway, and one of the major highways going into Iraq run parallel to the river. If the buffer zone extends all along the Euphrates river, this partition raises the question of how these cities will be divided between SDF and regime, not to mention who will seize control of the road. Assad and his backers, particularly Iran, want a land route from Iraq to Syria and out to Lebanon to ensure their strategic hold on the region. The regime currently controls the military airport in Deir Ezzor [that is, Deir ez-Zor that was attacked by al-Assad forces on April 29] on the southwest side of the Euphrates, placing the highway on the regime side of the buffer zone if it were extended along the Euphrates. After the defeat of ISIS in Mosul, however, the United States can choose to exert control over the highway from the Iraq side of the border. While Iran would undoubtedly want to pressure Iraq to reject US monitoring of the road, Baghdad has been reluctant to defy Washington in the hopes of continued support." • The Atlantic Council prediction of "opportunities" has come true. • • • DEIR EZ-ZOR IS RELATED TO ISRAEL'S NEW IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM REVELATIONS. Reducing the Iranian presence in Deir ze-Zor is related to the determination of Israel to prevent an effective Iranian takeover of Syria -- Syria shares a border with Israel. • The Jerusalem Post reported on April 17 about an earlier April air strike on the T4 by Israeli forces on Iranian-secured air bases in the area between Damascus and Deir ez-Zor, underscoring the Iranian presence in the area : "Released photo intelligence and exposed images demonstrate to the Iranians that Israel knows and understands the Iranian government's intentions in Syria....Aerial photos of Iranian bases in Syria were released Tuesday morning showing the scope of the military relationship between the Islamic republic and the Assad regime. The intelligence includes photographs of a military base in Deir ez-Zor located in eastern Syria. In the photograph, there is proof of Ilyushin planes transporting weapons from Iran to Syria. The photo released illustrates how Teheran was capable of delivering surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) and unarmed aerial vehicles (UAV) to Syria. The photographic intelligence seems to have been released in order to demonstrate to the Iranians that Israel knows and understands what the Iranian government's intentions are in Syria and to reduce the scope of Iranian intervention in Syria. 'Israel will react strongly to any Iranian action from inside Syria,' a senior IDF source told Sky News in Arabic, adding that Iran plans to attack Israel from Syria and gain control of the Arab state though its air force." Former Israel Ambassador to the US Michael Orren later said the same thing. • The April 17 Israeli Intel photos illustrate the threats imposed by the IRGC's ability to send weapons to Syria from Teheran. The IRGC's air force presence is located in five airports in Syria : T4, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor, Damascus International Airport and an additional airfield south east of Damascus. • The JPost says the Israeli Intel photos were released on April 17 after an eventful night in Syria during which Syrian air defense missile systems went off for reasons which are unclear : "A Syrian commander in the regional military alliance reported that the shots were a false alarm. Contrary to this report, Syrian state TV reported that anti-aircraft defenses had shot down a number of missiles in the region of Homs. According to a media unit run by Hezbollah, missiles were fired at an airbase in the Damascus area. In an anonymous report, a Syrian commander attributed the weapon-systems malfunction to 'a joint electronic attack' by Israel and the United States targeting the Syrian radar system." • The reasoning seems rather clear -- the Russian air defense system installed in Syria failed and the Russia-Iran-Assad coalition didn't wantto admit that Israel's air strikes got through the system. • That is probably the same reason that the Russia-Iran-Assad coalition didn't want to give "credit" to the Israleis for the April 29 attack. Blaming the US was a lot more technologically palatable to Iran and Russia. As Frantzman put it in the Jerusalem Post article : "By the morning on Monday...Iranian media even quoted Israeli media in order to claim that the 'Zionists' might have been responsible. Syria’s SANA state media included only a small report on the 'foreign aggression' against the base in Hama....So why did pro-regime accounts spread rumors blaming the Coalition for the strikes? Why did pro-regime media switch from reporting the “aggression” to ignoring it? It appears that because they knew no one could ignore the massive scale of the explosion, there had to be some explanation. It may have been embarrassing for the regime to assert that Israel had been responsible, because then it would have to admit that Russian air defenses were not activated, despite assertions that future strikes would be challenged. This made it easier for pro-regime activists to create a convoluted and complex story blaming the US for strikes from a “new” location near Jordan. But by the morning, such necessities to blame the US for the strike evaporated into a decision to simply move on." • • • WHEN WILL IRAN RETALIATE? The New York Times' published an analysis piece titled "The Real Next War in Syria: Iran vs. Israel," noting that one of the Iranian casualties in the early April strike on the T4 base was Colonel Mehdi Dehghan, leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps's Quds Force's drone unit. The NYT said it remains unclear how the aforementioned strike will sway tensions engendered between Israel and Iran over the latter's presence and entrenchment in Syria, on the backdrop of the attack on the Iranian drone complex created within the Syrian air force's T4 base near Homs early last week -- which was attributed to Israel. The IDF is girding itself for an Iranian retaliation, the Times article said, but expects it to be proportional and measured. By revealing last week that the Iranian drone that entered the Jordan Valley through Syrian airspace two months ago was to be used to carry out an attack in the country, Israel wanted to send a message to all of the actors involved -- chiefly Russia -- regarding the fact that Iran is now directly and openly operating against Israel in belligerent actions both on and above the ground, and that this means that the IDF is freed to do its part to stop the Iranian entrenchment in Syria, according to the NYT. • Ynetnews analyst Ron Ben-Yishai preparing for possible Iranian retaliation to a strike on the T4 military base in Syria, vowing a harsh reprisal for any Iranian attack emanating from Syrian territory : "According to Israeli assessments, Commander of the IRGC's Quds Force Qasem Soleimani is planning a retaliatory attack that would be launched out of an Iranian base in Syria using precision-guided missiles or armed drones -- to be launched directly by the Revolutionary Guards rather than by proxies, as they have done before. The Iranian air force's second unit has short and medium-range surface-to-surface missiles, including Fateh-110s missiles and Fajr-5 rockets, as well as Shahab ballistic missiles, whose range is more than 1,300km, rendering them capable of reaching Israel. IRGC airmen are stationed in five Syrian airfields [the T4 airbase, a base in Aleppo, a base in Deir ez-Zor, the Damascus International Airport and the Sayqal airfield south of Damascus]. Each of the five locations now houses an Aerospace Force unit to receive Russian-made Ilyushin Il-76 model military transport planes carrying missiles and other armaments for Hezbollah or missiles and drones to be used directly by IRGC's people. At the outset of the war in Syria, IRGC operatives fought Syrian rebels, but following the Russian entry into the conflict on Assad's side, the Iranian airmen focused on preparations for attacking Israel from Syrian soil. It may be assumed that the Revolutionary Guards' military arm was intended to serve as the long arm of Iran against Israel -- both in times of war and to carry out routine aerial terror and missile attacks. In general, a clear Iranian strategic trend has become evident over the past few years -- one seeking to confront and combat Israel on its own territory to deter it from harming the country's military nuclear program and strategic ballistic missile programs. • • • THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE ANALYSIS. The Washington Institute's Ehud Yaari wrote on April 30 that : "Relatedly, Moscow has already hinted that it may supply Syria with the advanced S-300 air-defense system -- probably manned with Russian personnel -- which would complicate IAF sorties over the country. In recent weeks, neither Israel nor Iran has signaled an intention to reassess its position, and combative rhetoric from both sides has become an almost daily occurrence." Ehud Yaari noted Iran's investment in al-Assad : "The Iranian loss of Syria -- following an investment of no less than $20 billion to prop up the regime -- could reduce a mighty Hezbollah proxy force to an isolated actor in Lebanon, delinked from its Syria-based sources of support and equipment. Iran would thus be blocked from implementing its regional plan, based on surrounding Israel with Iranian allies and forging land corridors from its borders all the way west to the Mediterranean. Still, the Israeli leadership -- with consistent backing from IDF generals -- has opted not to act to speed the collapse of the Assad regime, often on the strength of an implied 'devil we know' argument." Yaari also outlines Israel's position : "Netanyahu has nevertheless articulated a set of red lines : the transfer via Syria to Hezbollah of game-changing weapons, specifically precision-guided missiles; and any attempt to open a new front in terrorist operations along the Golan Line of Separation, where Israel intends to maintain calm. Outside these red lines, however, Israel has taken no actions to degrade Assad's power or threaten regime assets separate from the Iran-Hezbollah deployment in Syria. Both the Israeli security cabinet and the IDF General Staff have repeatedly rejected suggestions to equip certain non-jihadist rebel factions with the weapons they desperately need to fight the remnants of the Syrian army and the Iran-sponsored militias, at some 40,000 strong. This is despite pleas by rebel commanders for anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, heavy mortars, and light artillery....Such a plan, however, never materialized owing to Netanyahu's reluctance to get drawn into the Syrian quagmire and expose Israelis to retaliatory fire from across the border." Yaari also notes the Israeli humanitarian program for Syrian rebels and their families in the Golan Heights buffer zone between Syria and Israel -- now reaching out to 300,000 Syrians. But, says Yaari : "Israel has now suffered a major strategic failure with far-reaching implications. Instead of watching the demise of the Assad regime, Israel must cope with the presence of a formidable Russian air force contingent next door and a steady encroachment of Iran toward its border....the arrival of the Russian air force on the scene since September 2015 has slowly enabled Iran to secure Assad's control over 60 percent of the country. Not only has Iran managed to stabilize the Assad regime and pacify much of his territory, it has also obtained a great degree of influence over decision-making in Damascus, become a dominant actor in the war, and begun to solidify its military presence in Syria. It has achieved the latter two ends by acquiring bases and deploying advanced facilities, constructing myriad militias outside the framework of the Syrian Arab Army and its irregular auxiliary forces, and establishing plants for production of missiles, precision guidance systems, and ammunition. Israel is faced not only with a preserved Assad regime -- a vital ally to Iran and Hezbollah -- but also with the emergence of Iranian military power next door....Contacts between Israel and Iran through a variety of Track II channels, quietly organized in past years, have failed to produce any prospect for near-term tacit understandings. Messages exchanged via European diplomats have likewise resulted once again in deadlock. The Iranian representatives simply refuse to consider any restriction on their activities in Syria or toning down of their calls for the destruction of the 'Zionist regime.'....Setting aside the United States and Israel, quite a few regional players have a stake in preventing Iran from effectively taking over Syria. Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, and Jordan share the same distaste for what has been termed the 'Shia Crescent,' with Syria as its center of gravity. Each of these countries can be induced to contribute in different ways to a 'stop-Iran' effort. Whether by extending funds, military assistance, or aid for reconstruction, these states can help deter Assad from total surrender to Iran's wishes, and reinforce the rebels' hold in southern Syria and the regions east of the Euphrates." TWI concludes : "But, above all, to prevent an all-out Israel-Iran war, which could easily expand to Lebanon and Gaza, the United States must lend its support to a sustained Israeli campaign to destroy—when necessary and possible—Iranian facilities in Syria and continuously raise the cost of the IRGC effort, to the point that both Teheran and Damascus will have to reconsider the viability of Soleimani's project." • • • THE NETANYAHU PRESENTATION CHANGED THE ISRAEL-IRAN DYNAMIC. Before Monday, the world was trying to assess the impact of the new French-American detente in the form of the Macron-Trump friendship. France24 noted that “Macron, who calls Trump often, has emerged as something of a ‘Trump whisperer’ at a time when the American president’s relationships with other European leaders are more strained.” Macron was honored with the first state visit of Trump’s presidency. The Jerusalem Post said the main result of the new Franco-American relationship "will be felt in the Middle East. Trump has been talking about withdrawing from eastern Syria and seeking to find other countries that would fund, and support what remains of the US footprint. France is one of the main countries to step forward in this respect. Macron has also voiced support this week for a 'new accord' related to the Iran Deal. Trump has been a harsh critic of the deal and his new National Security Advisor John Bolton and Mike Pompeo...are also critics of Iran." Macron had suggested that Washington and Paris work to contain Iran in the region and curtail its ballistic missile program, which have been fired by Iran’s Houthi allies in Yamen at Saudi Arabia. Iran’s missiles also threaten Israel and other US allies. Trump wants any new deal to cover Iran’s nefarious influence in Syria, Yemen and the region. Macron also spoke about a “new framework” in the region and has said that the US and French role in eastern Syria can be used to achieve some sort of peace." The Jerssalem Post said ; "For Israel, this is welcome news because it means that two of the world’s great powers appear to understand the Iranian threat the way Jerusalem has been warning for years. Now the question is what concrete steps will actually be taken in Syria and other places." • Then came Monday, April 30. Iran's 5-year effort to cement its palce as the de facto ruler of Syria, its billions spent on destabilizing Saudi Arabia through its proxy Houthis in Yemen, its easy victory in the nuclear deal over a practically complicit Obama and his weak European allies -- all came tumbling down into a new container. The Netanyahu presentation of the secret Iran nuclear weapons program changed everything. • Israel Hayom revealed on May 2 more details of the daring Mossad operation in Iran : "Hadashot evening news reported Tuesday that on January 31, 10 days before an Iranian drone breached Israeli airspace and was downed by an Israel Air Force Apache helicopter, the Iranians discovered the massive security breach, attempted to chase after the perpetrators, and were even 'right on their tail.' Nevertheless, the Mossad agents managed to get the documents and themselves out of Iran. Most of the details surrounding the daring mission remain classified, including the codename the spy agency assigned the operation. Once the sensitive material arrived in Israel, numerous discussions were held to determine what to do with it. Some believed that, similar to past instances, the information should be anonymously leaked to foreign media outlets. Ultimately, however, due to a combination of factors, the decision was made to go public with the information without compromising intelligence sources and methods." Israel Hayom's report covered world reaction to the Netanyahu bombshell : "Netanyahu's press conference garnered considerable coverage by the foreign press, shining a light on the issue ahead of US President Donald Trump's impending May 12 decision on whether to extend sanctions relief or withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran altogether. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Netanyahu said Iran does 'not want the world to know what I showed the world yesterday.' Addressing concerns that recent events could lead to a regional war, Netanyahu said, 'Nobody is seeking that kind of development.' Netanyahu also rejected the claim that he had revealed little that was not already known by the international community, saying that had world powers had this information in 2015, they would not have agreed to the deal. In its main editorial, meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday said Netanyahu 'delivered a broadside to the Iran nuclear deal' ahead of Trump's May 12 deadline. The newspaper said Iran is trying to preserve European support 'amid uncertainty' surrounding its nuclear program. 'Netanyahu says he has 'conclusive proof' Iran lied about its nuclear weapons program,' the British Daily Telegraph said in its headline. The New York Times also covered the developments. 'Israel says secret files detail Iran's nuclear subterfuge,' the paper said in a headline. However, according to the Times of London, Israel has 'yet to convince' Europe on the nuclear deal." • • • EUROPE IS THE ROADBLOCK TO STOPPING IRAN NUCLEAR AGGRESSIVITY. On Wednesday morning, Israeli intelligence officials were expected to hand over the most important documents, including those that Netanyahu did not reveal Monday, to intelligence officials from Germany, France, Russia, Italy, China and Britain, as well as to the International Atomic Energy Agency. • In an opinion piece in Israel Hayom, Colonel (ret.) Dr. Eran Lerman, former deputy for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel's National Security Council and the vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, wrote : "Israel's decision on Monday to reveal its incredible intelligence operation in Iran that procured the massive archive on 'Project Amad' -- the Iranian nuclear weapons project proving the extent of Iran's deception on the 'possible military dimensions' of its civil nuclear program in its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers -- was made to influence the immediate and public struggle over what Europe's position will be on Iran." Colonel Lerman notes coreectly that : "The American administration does not need to be convinced: National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (until recently the head of CIA) and US President Donald Trump himself see no differently on this matter than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Americans were not the reason why it is important to produce a dramatic media event. The situation is more complicated for the trio of skeptical European leaders : French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. But even before Israel's decision to reveal Iran's deception, a process of change began to emerge starting with Macron's friendly visit to Washington and followed up in the framework of the coordination between France, Germany and the UK. The detailed information Netanyahu presented Monday can potentially reinforce and hasten this process before the moment of truth in Washington and in European capitals, as Trump is expected to withdraw from the agreement on May 12 in an effort to bring Iran back to the negotiating table." Colonel Lerman's point is that "to reduce the discrepancies between the three European leaders and the American administration, as well as in an effort to convince the US to remain in the existing agreement, the three are ready -- after a long time opposed to any change -- to push for a new, expanded deal, even if the idea greatly enrages the Iranians. In a speech in Washington, Macron outlined four pillars of such an agreement : first, preserving the status quo, which despite its weaknesses currently hinders the Iranian project, specifically enrichment; second, gaining leverage to end Iran's ballistic missile program; third, a more vigorous international response than in the past to Iranian regional acts of subversion, from Yemen to Lebanon; fourth, and most importantly for all of us, because this is what will decide how the face of the region looks and what dangers stand before us in several years, is to demand that Iran discuss limitations on its nuclear program and the enrichment program after 2025." • • • DEAR READERS, that Europe has thus far refused even to admit that Iran lied to get the nuclear deal -- never mind that it should pay a heavy price for doing all along what it will be able to do unbridled in a few years -- exposes the danger that Europe constantly poses to itself and to the world. Agreeing to rewrite the components of the Iran nuclear deal without recognizing that its essence is a sham will only make Iran believe that its freedom of action until now can continue, no matter what deal is re-negotiated and no matter how hard Europe tries to pretend that it cares about the calamities inherent in a nuclear Iran. • Israeli Intel's solid evidence should, in a sane world, lead to unanimity in Europe about what needs to be done. But, that will not happen. European governments and legislatures, and the European Union's un-elected bureaucrats and political leaders -- for the most part cast-offs from member state political parties that want rid of them -- will not see the truth because they do not want to. Their recent history of reviling anything that touches Israel, of siding with the terrorist Palestinians and their clique in the UN as they attempt to make Israel a worldwide pariah, play against any sense that Israel actually could be right. Add to that the European leadership's hatred of Donald Trump -- whom they see as a right-wing rabblerouser who will only encourage their own growing populist parties who challenge the EU elite's hegemony over quasi-rebellious member states -- and we see the political, ideological coffin that Europe is building for itself. • Israel Hayom calls it " Europe: Appeasement at all costs." When, as Ireale Hayom writes : "EU foreign policy chief Frederica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif emerged side by side to read a joint statement in English and Farsi affirming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal....An overly ecstatic Mogherini and her Iranian colleague spoke about a 'historic day' and stressed that 'with courage, political will, mutual respect and leadership, we delivered on what the world was hoping for: a shared commitment to peace and to join hands in order to make our world safer.' Since that day, this mutual commitment to peace has been seen in Syria and Yemen, where Iran has taken part in bloodbaths capable of igniting a regional conflagration at any given moment." As Israel Hayom poiints out : "The joint statement failed to mention, explicitly or implicitly, Iran's past efforts to develop nuclear weapons. It essentially absolved Iran of having to address the existence of any military nuclear project and accepted Iran's claim that all of its atomic endeavors were for civilian purposes. The historic event would have been very different had the joint statement included an Iranian declaration along the lines of : 'In the past, we had a military nuclear program. We are giving it up for the sake of world peace.' " • Now, we hear European governments and Mogherini saying that "the Iran nuclear deal is not based on trust about Iran's intentions; rather it is based on tough verification, including measures that allow inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency unprecedented access to Iran's nuclear program." It is too little too late to save Europe from itself. Israel Hayom asks the right qiestions : "Has Mogherini lost faith in the Iranians? And if not, why, and how will this affect ongoing compliance with the deal? And if the agency's inspections are so meticulous, why did Mossad agents have to carry out a daring operation to find and extract Iran's military nuclear archives? Why was this archive not handed over to the IAEA and destroyed, with even greater efficiency than the United Nations has thus far exhibited in destroying the Syrian regime's weapons of mass destruction arsenal? After all, Iran promised it would not seek nuclear weapons under any circumstances." • Prime Minister Netanyahu is too world-wise and street-smart to believe that European countries will experience a conversion about the Iran nuclear deal in the wake of Israel's intelligence coup. But, Israel's revelation will allow the Europeans to amplify pressure on Teheran to accept the idea of a re-negotiation to the nuclear deal, at the request of the United States and Israel -- not because Europe believes a re-negotiation is needed, but because it is so weak that it knows that only the United States, and eventually Israel, can save it from itself. • President Trump, partly because of the influence of French President Macron, the only European who seems to understand the situation the world is in, will likely do one of two things, according to Israel Hayom -- either temporarily extend sanctions relief until a re-negotiated deal is agreed or renew sanctions until an acceptable deal is presented to him within a specified time. Israel Haytom says that : "Unlike the Europeans, Trump understands that the Iranians are making a mockery of everyone. The Europeans now have no choice but to admit this and help, even if involuntarily, remove the mask from the ayatollah regime." • But, there is also the third possibility. It is that President Trump will de-certify the nuclear deal. Scrap it. Start over. Why do that? Exiled Iranian activist Dr. Kazem Moussavi, who lives in Germany, says despite its bravado, the Iranian regime has been rattled by Israel's exposure of its nuclear archives. Moussavi told Israel Hayom that the flurry of Twitter comments by Iranian officials following Monday's revelations, especially those by Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, indicate Teheran's growing concern over what may come next. Moussavi says : "To understand the importance of the archival material exposed by Netanyahu, you have to first realize that Iran's nuclear program is the product of the Islamic republic's apocalyptic and anti-Semitic worldview and its global goals, which the regime believes it can promote only through anti-Western and anti-Israeli policies that include, first and foremost, constant military armament and a nuclear program." He added that in the current political climate in Iran, nuclear armament combined with an appeasement policy is the only way for the regime to hold on to its power....Netanyahu's presentation of the archival material caused serious demoralization among regime officials and significantly weakened it, all while bolstering the Iranian public, which this year has again taken to the streets to protest against oppression and for freedom, equality and democracy." he said. Moussavi insisted that : "The European position is cynical. The Europeans are important political and economic partners of the fascist religious regime in Iran. Europe and Germany thought the regime could be changed through internal reforms and consciously reduced awareness to the danger this regime poses to world security and to Israel....The agreement guarantees the regime's survival during its implementation while giving it billions of dollars with which it can sponsor terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. Europe and Germany are silencing the fact that the murderous actions by Iranian terror units in Syria are the main reason why Syrians flee to Europe." • Those words could have been spoken by President Trump -- and, in fact, they have been, over and over, since 2015. The Syrian takeover by Iran -- its determination to re- inforce Hezbollah and Hamas so that they can "missile" and "tunnel" Israel out of existence -- with Israel as the prime target of all Iran's anti-Semitic hatred, is the fundamental reason that Europe must join the US in scrapping the nuclear deal and once again sanctioning Iran into submission. As Moussavi well says : "The world is already at war with Iran. There is an ongoing war in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and on Israel's borders, not only because of Hamas' and Hezbollah's presence there but also over the massive Iranian military presence [in Syria]....Europe must stop supporting Assad and if Europe truly wants peace, it should take the Israeli revelations as an opportunity to change its policy toward Iran." • The Iranian regime is "humiliated" after a daring Mossad operation seized scores of secret documents, says former Pentagon official Harold Rhode, a fluent Farsi speaker who spent 28 years at the Pentagon and studied in Iran before the 1979 revolution there, and who is now associated with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He said his view stems from a wave of recent Iranian infighting. The Iranian regime is “quaking in its boots,” according to Rhode, who notes that many Iranians are laughing at the Islamic regime on social media. Rhode said the average Iranian “would like nothing more than to wake up and have this nightmare regime over with and again proudly be accepted as members of the international community.” • But, Europe doesn't take bold steps and it will not change. Its appeasement stance is bereft of logical concern for its own safety. It has become, in effect, the needy welfare recipient of the United States -- unable to care for itself, unwilling to speak up for the few values it retains, unable to defend its borders, unaware that it is the target, long before the US, of the Iran to which it loves to sell its goods and services -- and its cornered, dying soul.