Trump administration sanctions Iran on missile test

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Washington Post


The Treasury Department placed new sanctions Friday on Iran, the first move by the Trump administration in response to a ballistic missile test that led the White House to announce it was putting Iran “on notice.”

The sanctions were imposed on 25 people and entities involved in helping develop Iran’s ballistic missile program, or assisting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force in supporting groups that the United States considers terrorist, such as Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militant group. The administration said the sanctions are not a breach of U.S. commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, that was negotiated by Iran and six world powers, including the United States.

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Iranians fear attacks and economic isolation as Trump gets tough

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Reuters

    People step on U.S. and Israeli north of Tehran

Many Iranians who dreamt of quiet, comfortable lives after a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015 are starting to worry for the first time in decades they might be bombed in their own homes.

Since taking office last month, U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to get tough with Iran, warning the Islamic Republic after its ballistic missile test on Sunday that it was playing with fire and all U.S. options were on the table.

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Donald Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ is no more deserving of protest than 16 countries’ ban on Israeli citizens, says Tory MP

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Independent (UK)

    Former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villier

A travel ban on Israeli citizens by Muslim countries should be protested as well as Donald Trump’s decision to bar people from seven predominantly Islamic countries, a senior Conservative MP has said.

Former Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers made the suggestion at Prime Minister’s Questions. 

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Full Statement by the Press Secretary on Settlements

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The White House


“The American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years. While we don’t believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal. As the President has expressed many times, he hopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region. The Trump administration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.”

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U.S. to Issue New Iran Sanctions

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Reuters

    A ballistic Missile launched in Iran, March 9, 2016

U.S. President Donald Trump is poised to impose new sanctions on multiple Iranian entities, seeking to ratchet up pressure on Tehran while crafting a broader strategy to counter what he sees as its destabilizing behavior, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

In the first tangible action against Iran since Trump took office on Jan. 20, the administration, on the same day he insisted that “nothing is off the table,” prepared to roll out new measures against more than two dozen Iranian targets, the sources said. The announcement is expected as early as Friday, they added.

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Trump Says Settlement Expansion ‘May Not Help’ Peace

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JTA

    President Donald Trump

Settlement expansion “may not be helpful” in achieving peace, the Trump administration said, its first pronouncement on an issue that has for decades confounded U.S.-Israel relations.

The White House announcement Thursday evening comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced major settlement building initiatives in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

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Angry White House Puts Iran ‘On Notice’ Over Ballistic Missile Tests

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Times of Israel

    National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

The Trump administration issued a stern yet ambiguous warning to Iran on Wednesday for testing ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and after Iran-supported Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi naval vessel. Taking the podium at a White House press briefing, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn read a statement that declared the United States was “officially putting Iran on notice.”

Asked to clarify exactly what that meant, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not give a detailed explanation, but told reporters the US wanted to send a message that Tehran could not engage in these activities without eliciting an American response.

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U.K., Turkey Deepen Defense Links as Erdogan Hosts May

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Wall Street Journal

    Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan with British Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Saturday said she and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were deepening their defense links, amid criticism at home that she is putting trade ahead of concerns about the rule of law in Turkey.

Mrs. May said the U.K. and Turkey had agreed to a £100 million ($125.5 million) defense deal that would see British weapons maker BAE Systems PLC help design Turkish jets. The agreement will pave the way for the U.K. to provide future engines, weapons radars and sensors to Turkey, Downing Street said.

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As President, Trump Less Gung-ho about Dramatic Changes in Israel Policy

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JTA

    President Trump at the Congress of Tomorrow Republican Member Retreat in Philadelphia

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Donald Trump have been talking each other up plenty since the latter’s election upset in November. But those expecting Trump to turn his kind words and pledges on Israel into fast action may have to be patient.

The starkest example of Trump walking back concrete promises is his retreat from what he had indicated during the transition period would be an accelerated push to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.

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Ex-Islamist Extremist: UK’s Jewish Students ‘Bullied Under Guise of Criticism of Israel’

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Algemeiner

    Maajid Nawaz

Jews at UK universities are “bullied [and] stigmatized…under the guise that criticism of Israel is not antisemitism,” a reformed Islamist said on his popular British radio program Sunday.

Speaking on LBC talk radio, Maajid Nawaz — who now works to counter Islamic extremism through the Quilliam Foundation — slammed student activists who are supposedly pro-Palestinian for becoming “nasty” and “picking on minorities that have a history in Europe that we should be learning from,” a reference to the Jews’ long history of persecution on the continent.

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