An Update from CUFI Action Fund
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As we were sitting down to write last week’s Action Update, news was just coming out about the blast in Beirut. This week, we’ll share what’s been reported, and what we feel must come in the wake of this horrific tragedy. In addition, we’ll look at broader nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. The common denominator in all these troubling events is, unsurprisingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Beirut Blast

As anyone reading the news is aware, last week there was a horrific blast at the Beirut port in which 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated. The explosion laid waste to a massive swath of the city and killed at least 160 people while wounding thousands more. The highly explosive material had been stored at the port for years after being seized from a Russian ship.

Since the blast, the Lebanese people have taken to the streets demanding the corrupt, incompetent thugs that run their country, and are therefore responsible for this tragedy, be replaced. And earlier this week, the Prime Minister and his entire cabinet resigned. This is a good first step towards bringing Lebanon out of the death spiral in which it presently finds itself. But it’s not enough.


Changes at the top in Beirut will have no lasting impact as long as Hezbollah remains the de-facto ruler of the country. The President of Lebanon, who did not resign, has been allied with the terrorist organization for years.

Moreover, Hezbollah’s culpability here is not just that it uses mafia tactics to ensure its largely incompetent candidates sit in power. An Israeli news outlet reported recently that “Hezbollah apparently planned to use the ammonium nitrate stockpile… against Israel in a “Third Lebanon War.” This tracks with what we know about Hezbollah’s affinity for ammonium nitrate as stockpiles of the explosive fertilizer have been discovered in Hezbollah warehouses and safehouses in Cypress, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The only way the people of Lebanon will be able to rebuild their country and avoid such tragedies in the future is if they rid themselves of the terrorists in their midst and their cartel of corrupted leaders. Lebanon has a choice: remain a terrorist front in Iran’s imperialist war against the West and the rest of the Middle East or rid themselves of the Islamic Republic’s foot soldiers on Lebanese soil.

Speaking of Iran

Despite the fact that the Iran nuclear deal has been proven time-and-again to have been nothing more than a windfall for Tehran, and despite the fact that the Trump administration’s maximum pressure campaign against Iran has borne fruit, there are still some in the foreign policy elite that think a return to the JCPOA is a good idea. Well, Israel disagrees. And so too Arab countries across the region.

Recently both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have expanded their domestic nuclear programs. They aren’t yet developing nuclear weapons, but they aren’t sitting idly by and waiting for another nuclear accord to enable Tehran to develop the weapon first. Critics of the Iran nuclear accord noted that its failings could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. These latest moves by Riyadh and the UAE indicate those critics were right.

If the UAE or Saudi Arabia go down the path to nuclear weapons, it’ll be because they were pushed there by the foreign policy Utopians who ignore all of Iran’s actions and most of their words, and insist on making a deal with the world’s most maniacal regime. Saudi Arabia and Gulf States want stability in the region, and that’s part of the reason they have come out in unanimous support of renewing the UN arms embargo against Iran – which is set to expire on October 18.

American leaders from both sides of the aisle would do well to listen to the Arabs and Israelis when it comes to Iran. After the Iranian people themselves, the first victims of Iranian malevolence are always Arab and Israeli. There should be no return to hopelessly flawed Iran nuclear accord, and the UN Security Council should extend the arms embargo against the world’s leading sponsor of terror.


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