Here is President Trump’s new strategy on Iran

Published: Friday, October 13, 2017 @ 1:30 PM

President Donald Trump speaks on Iran policy from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Washington.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
President Donald Trump speaks on Iran policy from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Washington.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Here are the White House’s highlights of President Donald J. Trump’s  new strategy for Iran.

Core Elements of the President’s New Iran Strategy

• The United States’ new Iran strategy focuses on neutralizing the Government of Iran’s destabilizing influence and constraining its aggression, particularly its support for terrorism and militants.

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• We will revitalize our traditional alliances and regional partnerships as bulwarks against Iranian subversion and restore a more stable balance of power in the region.

• We will work to deny the Iranian regime – and especially the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – funding for its malign activities, and oppose IRGC activities that extort the wealth of the Iranian people.

• We will counter threats to the United States and our allies from ballistic missiles and other asymmetric weapons.

• We will rally the international community to condemn the IRGC’s gross violations of human rights and its unjust detention of American citizens and other foreigners on specious charges.

• Most importantly, we will deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon.

Background

The Nature of the Iranian Regime under Supreme Leader Khamenei

• For 28 years, Ali Khamenei has been Iran’s Supreme Leader. Before that, he held the office of President for 8 years. In that time, he has shaped the Iranian regime in his image.

• Khamenei and the IRGC have pursued a steady policy of spreading a revolutionary ideology aimed at undermining the international system and many states by force and subversion. His main enemy and rallying point has been and continues to be the United States of America, which he calls the Great Satan.

• Under Khamenei, Iran exports violence, destabilizes its neighbors, and sponsors terrorism abroad. Within Iran, under Khamenei’s rule the Iranian government has oppressed its people, abusing their rights, restricting their access to the internet and the outside world, rigging elections, shooting student protesters in the street, and imprisoning political reformers like Mir Hussein Musavi and Mehdi Karroubi.

The Threats from the Iranian Regime

• The reckless behavior of the Iranian regime, and the IRGC in particular, poses one of the most dangerous threats to the interests of the United States and to regional stability.

• The Iranian regime has taken advantage of regional conflicts and instability to aggressively expand its regional influence and threaten its neighbors with little domestic or international cost for its actions.

• This occurred most recently following the emergence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) from the vacuum created by the Obama administration’s ill-considered withdrawal from the region.

• The full range of the Iranian regime’s malign activities extends well beyond the nuclear threat it poses, including:

o Ballistic missile development and proliferation;

o Material and financial support for terrorism and extremism;

o Support for the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people;

o Unrelenting hostility to Israel;

o Consistently threatening freedom of navigation, especially in the strategically vital Persian Gulf;

o Cyber-attacks against the United States, Israel, and America’s other allies and partners in the Middle East;

o Grievous human rights abuses; and

o Arbitrary detention of foreigners, including United States citizens, on specious charges and without due process.

The Need for a Comprehensive Strategy

• The previous Administration’s myopic focus on Iran’s nuclear program to the exclusion of the regime’s many other malign activities allowed Iran’s influence in the region to reach a high-water mark.

• Over the last decade and a half, United States policy has also consistently prioritized the immediate threat of Sunni extremist organizations over the longer-term threat of Iranian-backed militancy.

• In doing so, the United States has neglected Iran’s steady expansion of proxy forces and terrorist networks aimed at keeping its neighbors weak and unstable in hopes of dominating the greater Middle East. Recently, the Iranian regime has accelerated the seeding of these networks with increasingly destructive weapons as they try to establish a bridge from Iran to Lebanon and Syria.

• The Trump Administration will not repeat these mistakes.

• The Trump Administration’s Iran policy will address the totality of these threats from and malign activities by the Government of Iran and will seek to bring about a change in the Iranian’s regime’s behavior.

• The Trump Administration will accomplish these objectives through a strategy that neutralizes and counters Iranian threats, particularly those posed by the IRGC.

Countering the IRGC

• Supreme Leader Khamenei’s primary tool and weapon in remaking Iran into a rogue state has been the hardline elements of the IRGC.

• The IRGC’s stated purpose is to subvert the international order. The IRGC’s power and influence have grown over time, even as it has remained unaccountable to the Iranian people, answering only to Khamenei. It is hard to find a conflict or a suffering people in the Middle East that the IRGC’s tentacles do not touch.

• Unaccountable to Iran’s elected leaders or its people, the IRGC has tried to gain control over large portions of Iran’s economy and choke off competition, all the while working to weaken and undermine Iran’s neighbors and perpetuate the chaos and instability in which it thrives.

• The IRGC has armed Bashar al Assad and guided his butchering of his own people in Syria and has cynically condoned his use of chemical weapons.

• The IRGC has sought to undermine the fight against ISIS with the influence of militant groups in Iraq under the IRGC's control.

In Yemen, the IRGC has attempted to use the Houthis as puppets to hide Iran’s role in using sophisticated missiles and explosive boats to attack innocent civilians in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as to restrict freedom of navigation in the Red Sea.

• The IRGC has even threatened terrorist attacks right here at home. Senior IRGC commanders plotted the murder of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Adel Jubeir, on American soil in 2011. But for exceptional work by our law enforcement and intelligence officers to detect and disrupt this egregious act, the IRGC would have conducted this terrorist attack and assassination in our own capital and would have killed not only a Saudi Arabian diplomat, but a host of other innocent bystanders at a popular restaurant in Washington, D.C.

• The IRGC, which repeatedly displays reckless hostility and disregard for the laws and norms that underpin the international order, threatens all nations and the global economy.

• Our partners in the international community agree with us that the IRGC’s reckless behavior threatens international peace and security. They agree that the IRGC is fanning sectarianism and perpetuating regional conflict. They agree that the IRGC is engaged in corrupt economic practices that exploit the Iranian people and suppress internal dissent, human rights, and Iran’s economic prosperity.

• For all these reasons, we want to work with our partners to constrain this dangerous organization, for the benefit of international peace and security, regional stability, and the Iranian people.

The Iranian Nuclear Program and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

• The Iranian regime’s activities severely undercut whatever positive contributions to “regional and international peace and security” the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) sought to achieve.

• Even with regard to JCPOA itself, the Iranian regime has displayed a disturbing pattern of behavior, seeking to exploit loopholes and test the international community’s resolve.

• Iranian military leaders have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of their military sites. These statements fly in the face of Iran’s commitments under JCPOA and the Additional Protocol. Not long ago these same organizations hid nuclear facilities on military sites.

• This behavior cannot be tolerated; the deal must be strictly enforced, and the IAEA must fully utilize its inspection authorities.

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SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches at Cape Canaveral 

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 5:30 PM

SpaceX preps for overnight launch of “state-of-the-art” communication satellite at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo: SpaceX)
SpaceX preps for overnight launch of “state-of-the-art” communication satellite at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (Photo: SpaceX)


SpaceX lit up the night sky over the Space Coast this weekend with the launch of the Telstar 19 Vantage satellite around 1:50 a.m. Sunday.

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The space launch company said Saturday that its Falcon 9 rocket was vertical on the launch pad at Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

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Telstar 19 Vantage is described as a “state-of-the-art, high throughput satellite optimized to serve growing markets in the Americas,” said Dan Goldberg, Telesat's president and CEO.

Telstar 19 Vantage will help improve mobile communication signals from Latin America to Northern Canada.

Following the launch, SpaceX will also attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage on its droneship, “Of Course I Still Love You,” in the Atlantic Ocean.

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1 dead, 1 injured in Nevada church shooting, officials say

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 8:03 PM
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:35 PM

File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)(Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

A man fatally shot one person and injured another at a Nevada church during service Sunday afternoon, officials said. 

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One person is dead. The other victim was taken to a hospital with a leg injury, Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford told KOLO. The identities have not been released. 

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The suspected gunman, John Kelley O’Connor, 48, walked into Fallon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around 1 p.m., started firing, then left and walked home. He is in custody, Tedford told KOLO

“Our hearts go out to the family members of those who have lost someone and those who were in the church today where the tragedy occurred,” Tedford told KOLO.

The shooting happened in front of about 50 other parishioners, KOLO reported.

“It’s really too early to understand the motive,” Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman told KOLO. 

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) shared his condolences on Twitter

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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Man drowns trying to save 3 boys from rip current

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 9:20 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

A man jumped into the Outer Banks in an attempt to save three boys caught in a rip current and was himself pulled out to sea on Thursday. 

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Kenny Ray Gooch, 32, of Powells Point, tried to save his girlfriend’s 12-year-old son,  who was swimming near the Kitty Hawk pier with two teens, when they were pulled 75 yards out by a rip current, WTKR reported.

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Gooch rushed in to help but was pulled out to sea and disappeared. 

Bystanders rescued the 12-year-old. The 19- and 14-year-old made it back to shore on their own, according to WTKR

Gooch was later found by water rescuers who brought him to shore but were unable to revive him, according to WTKR. 

Gooch is the eighth victim of the Outer Banks surf this year. Two years ago nine people died. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Some Ritz products recalled for potential salmonella presence

Published: Sunday, July 22, 2018 @ 3:21 PM

Mondelez Global LLC has voluntarily recalled some Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits products (not pictured) due the potential presence of salmonella in an ingredient. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Mondelez Global LLC has voluntarily recalled some Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits products (not pictured) due the potential presence of salmonella in an ingredient. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Some Ritz products are being voluntarily recalled due to the potential presence of salmonella.

Mondelez Global LLC announced the voluntary recall in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Saturday.

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The affected products are some Ritz Cracker Sandwiches and Ritz Bits products. According to a news release, the products contain whey powder as an ingredient, and the whey powder supplier has recalled the ingredient due to potential salmonella.

Related: Bread, Swiss Rolls sold at Walmart, Food Lion, H-E-B recalled for potential salmonella presence 

Salmonella infection can lead to death for young children, frail people, elderly people and others with weakened immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.

The specific products under recall are below. Images and UPC numbers of specific products are at the Mondelez International website.

  • Ritz Bits Cheese Big Bag, 3 ounces, best when used by dates 3/7/19 through 4/13/19.
  • Ritz Bits Cheese, 1 ounce, best when used by dates 3/7/19 through 4/13/19.
  • Ritz Bits Cheese, 12 pack carton, best when used by dates 3/8/19 through 4/13/19.
  • Ritz Bits Cheese, 30 pack carton, best when used by dates 3/3/19 through 4/13/19.
  • Ritz Bits Cheese, 1.5 ounce, best when used by dates 3/8/19 through 4/13/19.
  • Ritz Bits Cheese, 3 ounce Go Packs, best when used by dates 3/7/19 through 4/12/19.
  • Ritz Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, 10.8 ounces, best when used by dates 1/14/19 through 2/11/19.
  • Ritz Cheese Cracker Sandwiches, 1.35 ounces, best when used by dates 1/14/19 through 2/11/19.
  • Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches With Cheese, 10.8 ounces, best when used by dates 2/5/19 through 2/6/19.
  • Ritz Bacon Cracker Sandwiches With Cheese, 1.35 ounces, best when used by dates 2/5/19 through 2/6/19.
  • Ritz Whole Wheat Cracker Sandwiches With White Cheddar Cheese, 10.8 ounces, best when used by dates 2/4/19 through 2/5/19.
  • Ritz Whole Wheat Cracker Sandwiches With White Cheddar Cheese, 1.35 ounces, best when used by dates 2/4/19 through 2/5/19.
  • Ritz Everything Cracker Sandwiches With Cream Cheese, 10.8 ounces, best when used by dates 2/6/19 through 2/8/19.
  • Ritz Everything Cracker Sandwiches With Cream Cheese, 1.35 ounces, best when used by dates 2/6/19 through 2/8/19.
  • Mixed Cookie Cracker Variety, 20 pack, best when used by dates 2/1/19 through 2/4/19.
  • Mixed Cookie Cracker Variety, 40 pack, best when used by dates 1/31/19 through 2/5/19.

Customers with the impacted products should discard the products. There have been no illnesses reported to the company related to the recalled products.

No other Mondelez Global LLC products are in the recall. For more information, customers can contact the company at 1-844-366-1171 24 hours a day.

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