I’ve stated here on these pages before the real threat in the Middle East is not Russia or Syria. The real threat to peace in the Middle East is Iran, and the forces they have deployed and employed throughout the region. Russia and Syria are just facilitators to Iranian mischief in the region. President Trump had good reasons to call off the Iran Nuclear Deal analyzing the facts of what was going on. I don’t know how you get the money back paid to them by the previous administration.
In a recent speech given at the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlined twelve demands Iran must meet for the US to consider another deal. These twelve demands are stiff and far reaching.
Here is the list of demands SecState Pompeo oultined in his speech:
- Declare to the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA a full account of the military dimensions for Iran’s nuclear program, and permanently abandon all work on the program.
- Stop uranium enrichment and pursuit of plutonium reprocessing. This includes closing down their heavy water reactors at Bandar Bushehr.
- Provide the IAEA with access to all sites throughout the country.
- End proliferation of ballistic missiles and halt further launching or development of all nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
- Immediately release all U.S. citizens, and citizens of our partners and allies.
- Must end support to Middle East terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizations.
- Respects the sovereignty of the Iraqi Government and disarm all Shia Militias currently fighting inside Iraq.
- End support to Houthi militias by finding a peaceful solution to Shia settlements in Yemen.
- Withdraws all military forces under the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) or Quids Forces, Commanded by Major General Qasem Soliemani fighting throughout Syria.
- End support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, and cease support to senior Al Qaida leaders hiding throughout Afghanistan.
- Stop support to all Quids Forces terror and militant organizations worldwide.
- Cease all threatening behavior against Iran’s neighbors and US allies in the region. This includes all ballistic missile testing and launches, threats to all international shipping through the Arabian Gulf, and cyber warfare attacks on countries throughout the region.
Until Iran can meet these demands, the US will impose very harsh sanctions on the Iranian regime and specific people associated with their leadership. There are not many options open to the international community. The Israeli Defense Force recently sent their Air Force into Syria and destroyed a big portion of the Iranian military infrastructure located there. The IDF twitter page showed Israeli Air Force weapons destroying a fifth generation Surface-to-Air Missile system on a runway at T4 airbase.
The Iranians would love to see the US get involved in this fight because it would bring their Russian allies to the battlefront. Putin’s Russian Air Force has very capable aircraft and SAMs operating from Khmeimim Air Base south of Latakia Syria. Google Earth has very good imagery of this forward operations location if you want to take a look.
Meanwhile, the US waits for a response from Iran on our demands.
About the author, Mark Hasara
Author of Tanker Pilot: Lessons from the Cockpit, Mark Hasara is a retired US Air Force pilot with 24 year in the KC-135 airborne tanker. He is a speaker and aviation industry consultant in campaign planning and cockpit architecture. Follow his weekly newsletter “On the Nations DIME”.