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The Iran Election Is Unlikely To Change Iranian Policy: Their Terrorist And Missile Development Activities Need To Be Addressed

ArmchairPoliticianIran, May 21, 2017, by Brad Peery,

Hassan Rouhani was elected president of Iran, having garnered a substantial 67% of the vote. The turnout was strong, with the poles being open for an extra 5 hours.

Prior to the voting, the U.S. signed a sanctions waiver at the very last minute. However, the U.S. is now going beyond the content of the Iran Nuclear Agreement, and has implemented sanctions that initially address Iran’s missile development program. They cover 7 individuals and entities, including a Chinese-based network.

Iran is one of the biggest supporters of Assad” regime in Syria. Earlier in the week, Assad was accused of executing political opponents at a Damascus hospital, and members of his family were sanctioned.

ArmchairPoliticianIran, May 17, 2017, by Brad Peery,

On Friday, May 19, Iran will elect its next president. The two major issues are likely to be the Iran Nuclear Deal, which allow Iran to resume oil exports to Europe, the conclusion of passenger plane deals, and the economy.

The incumbent president, Hassan Rouhani, negotiated the nuclear deal, and is considered a moderate. Trump’s opposition to the nuclear deal could aid Rouhani, because of fear that the election of Ebrahim Raisi, the hard-liner could again isolate Iran. Raisi was allegedly involved in the 1988 mass execution of thousands of prisoners. He is also the favorite of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. Khamenei might rig the election.

Raisi also has the support of two major clerical bodies that declined to endorse anyone in the last presidential election. He has pledged to support the poor with a monthly cash payment equivalent to $65, which is about a sixth of what a menial laborer makes in a month.

According to a report in Al Jazeera, since taking office, Rouhani has brought inflation down to 6.5 percent from 40 percent in 2013. In addition, Iran had a 12.5 percent increase in growth during his presidency.

However, unemployment rates for men and women are currently at 21.8 and 10.4 percent respectively. Youth unemployment is at 30 percent. This is sure to weigh heavily on the minds of the voters. During the televised presidential debates, Raisi lashed out at Rouhani for Iran’s slow economic growth.

Trumps’ opposition to the Iran Nuclear Deal raises serious questions about the deal itself, and whether Iran will be able to build a nuclear weapon at the end of ten years. Also at issue is Iran’s aggression in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, and its’ support of prosy militias that include Hezbollah in Syria and the Houthis in Yemen. However, Iran has economic problems at home and may be stretched thin in its support of terrorist activities.

The U.S. Congress requires the President to report quqrterly on whether Iran is meeting its’ nuclear obligations. Not included in the Iran Agreement is any limits to Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, and they continue to do tests. Technically these tests may not violate UN resolutions, and were not covered by the Iran Nuclear Deal.

ArmchairPolitician.US Opinion: President Trump has questioned the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Language was included in the Agreement that prohibits Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, even after the ten-year period ends. However, the question of how to enforce that on a long term basis needs to be addressed. Also Iran’s missile development activities and support of terrorism in the Middle East also need to be controlled. At this point, we are essentially at war with Iran, even though war has not been declared. The question of regime change in Iran is always a possibility because of Iran’s theocracy and autocratic domination of its people.

See: ArmchairPoliticianIran, March 28, 2017, by Brad Peery,
The US Has Taken Some Recent Steps to Confront Iran, Including Initiating Sanctions on Chinese and Russian Entities.

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