December 4, 2020

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10/23 Links Pt1: Israel, Sudan announce deal normalizing ties; Palestinian NGOs sue UK over 1917 Balfour Declaration; Despite VIP treatment Saeb Erakat will continue to slander Israel

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2020/10/1023-links-pt1-israel-sudan-announce.html

From Ian:

In call with Netanyahu, Sudan leaders, Trump announces Israel-Sudan peace deal

US President Donald Trump announced Friday that Sudan will start to normalize ties with Israel, making it the third Arab state to do so as part of US-brokered deals in recent months.

During a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sudan Sovereign Council president General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Trump brought reporters into the Oval Office and announced: “The State of Israel and the Republic of Sudan have agreed to make peace.”

A senior Trump aide, Judd Deere, said that Sudan and Israel “have agreed to the normalization of relations.”

Trump said Sudan had demonstrated a commitment to battling terrorism. “This is one of the great days in the history of Sudan,” Trump said, adding that Israel and Sudan have been in a state of war for decades.

“It is a new world,” Netanyahu said over the phone. “We are cooperating with everyone. Building a better future for all of us.”

“We are expanding the circle of peace so rapidly with your leadership,” Netanyahu could be heard telling Trump, who responded by saying. “There are many, many more coming.”

Trump also was heard taking a dig at Joe Biden, his opponent in the November election saying: “do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi?”

‘Yes, yes, yes’: Why peace with Khartoum is true paradigm shift for Israel

Yes to removal of Sudan from the US list of state sponsors of terror. Yes to a billion-dollar aid package. And yes to normalization with Israel?

The remarkable tale of Sudan turning from a symbol of the Arab world’s rejection of the Jewish state, into its latest potential peace partner, could be summed up by referring to three no’s that, in the span of 53 years, look set to become three yes’s.

Many Israelis still associate Khartoum with the “Three No’s” — “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with Israel” — formulated by an Arab League summit held in the Sudanese capital shortly after the end of the Six-Day War in 1967.

Now, after months of pressure from the US administration, the culmination of efforts to get the Northeast-African Arab country to normalize relations with Israel appears closer than ever, perhaps just days away.

Earlier this week, the transitional government in Khartoum agreed to pay $335 million in compensation to the victims of the 1998 bombings of two US Embassies in Africa (Sudan didn’t perpetrate the attacks, which killed more than 4,000 people, but granted asylum to the terrorists). In exchange, US President Donald Trump vowed to remove the country from its lists of state sponsors of terrorism, where it has been since 1993.

Together with a massive financial aid package for the struggling country — the US has reportedly offered $800 million in aid and investments, but Sudan demands some $3-4 billion — the removal of the terrorism designation is largely seen as a precursor to a normalization deal with Israel.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday spoke with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, applauded his “efforts-to-date to improve Sudan’s relationship with Israel, and expressed hope that they would continue.”

Caroline Glick on Sudan normalizing relations with Israel & social media giants

Josh Hammer: Donald Trump may be the most pro-Jewish president ever

This election, there is no subgroup for whom the stakes are higher than my Jewish co-religionists.

That’s because, for starters, Donald Trump is quite possibly the most pro-Jewish president ever — or at least since George Washington famously assured the Jews of Newport, RI, that each child of the “stock of Abraham” would forever “sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree.”

Through word and deed, President Trump — a father of an observant Jew and grandfather of Jewish children — has repeatedly established himself as a true friend and guardian of the people of the covenant. And in the post-1948 era of Zionism, Trump has been by far the most loyal and transformative friend of the world’s sole Jewish state.

Trump ended decades of presidential timidity and promise-breaking by finally moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. He withdrew the United States from the harrowing capitulation to evil that was the Obama-Biden nuclear accord with Iran and has slapped crippling sanctions on the mullocracy.

He decimated the Islamic State “caliphate” and decapitated Iranian arch-terrorist Qassem Soleimani, both threats to Israel and Jews everywhere. He closed the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington and defunded the Palestinian Authority itself due to its barbaric “pay-to-slay” subsidies.

Trump also cut funding or outright withdrew from three anti-Israel UN bodies: the (grossly misnamed) UN Human Rights Council, UNWRA and UNESCO.

And we’re just getting started. Team Trump has boldly stood up for Israeli “settlements” in Judea and Samaria. The president formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and rolled out the most pro-Israel plan for peace with the Palestinian Arabs that a US president has ever endorsed.

Gantz Hails ‘Major Leap Forward’ as US Reiterates Commitment to Maintaining Israel’s Regional Military Edge

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper hosted a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz, at the Pentagon on Thursday.

“This morning I met with Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin Gantz at the Pentagon where we discussed the security and stability of the Middle East, as well as the United States’ long-standing and continuing commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge,” Esper tweeted.

Gantz tweeted, “Today in DC, months of dedicated work culminated in Defense Secretary @EsperDoD and I signing a joint declaration confirming the United States’ strategic commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East for years to come.”

“The declaration naturally elaborates on the practical measures involved, which I will not elaborate on here, but I will say this: Israel’s security has taken a major leap forward today, thanks to our American Allies,” he added.

The issue of Israel’s military superiority in the Middle East received much attention in recent weeks due to reports that the US was considering selling F-35 stealth fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates after it signed a normalization agreement with the Jewish state.

Saudi Arabia will soon move to normalize ties with Israel, official predicts

A senior defense official on Thursday predicted Saudi Arabia would soon move to normalize ties with Israel.

The comments by the official, who spoke to reporters as Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited America, came amid reports that Sudan was poised to follow the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in normalizing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

“Soon Sudan and later Saudi Arabia will come out of the closet,” the official was quoted saying by Hebrew media, without further elaborating.

Saudi leaders have publicly ruled out forging ties with Israel before a Palestinian state is created, even as they have welcomed the normalization deals between the Jewish state and Gulf Arab states signed in Washington last month.

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo encouraged Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel.

“We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalizing its relationships as well. We want to thank them for the assistance they’ve had in the success of the Abraham Accords so far,” said Pompeo, while hosting Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Washington.

Israel’s secret weapon: 800 channels on social media

“I was born and raised in Tehran. We opened every school day reciting ‘Death to Israel, Death to the United States.’ For eight years we were trapped in Iran, trying to escape. Today, I interact with millions of Iranians on behalf of the Israeli government. I cannot put into words the thrill and satisfaction I feel.”

Sharona Avginsaz is one of Israel’s most important diplomats today. Though not an ambassador, consul or even attaché, she oversees the Jewish state’s most extensive and substantial link with the people of Iran as head of the Foreign Ministry’s Farsi Digital Department.

“We’re dealing with a hostile, enemy nation,” she tells The Media Line. “Our platform is the only way to be present there, to communicate with the Iranian public, to build a bridge to the people in Iran over the regime’s head.”

Avginsaz is part of a surprisingly small team of young, energetic and driven social-media experts operating for the past several years out of the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. Armed only with a computer, an internet connection, a deep sense of patriotism and complete fluency in Farsi or Arabic, this band of keyboard warriors has changed the landscape of digital diplomacy in just a few years.

Their hard work, usually done in the shadows, has come to light in recent weeks with the signing of the historic Abraham Accords with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Berkowitz: Biden win could harm normalization deals with Israel

A victory for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden would harm the burgeoning normalization deals between Israel and its Middle East neighbors, US Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz said in an interview published Thursday.

“I am nervous, if I am just being completely honest,” said Berkowitz, who is assistant to US President Donald Trump and a special representative for international negotiations.

Berkowitz was careful to laud Biden for his support for the Abraham Accords, under whose umbrella Israel last month normalized ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

“I was appreciative when the Biden camp put out a positive statement of support for the accords, because it actually showed that this is something that has bipartisan support in the US,” Berkowitz said.

At issue, he warned was the potential that a Biden presidency would return US policy toward Iran to one of appeasement.

“A different administration would continue to pursue sort of an appeasement-type strategy with Iran and whether its intention is so or not, it is hard to imagine that that would not have negative ramifications on the normalization efforts,” Berkowitz said.

The Gulf Israel Women’s Forum: bridging the Gulf

The UAE-Israel Abraham Peace accords may have been signed by men, but looking at the members of the Gulf-Israel Women’s Forum, it is women who will actualize it.

Founded by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and head of the London Stock Exchange’s Israel market, Justine Zwerling, the goal of the Forum is to unite women from the Gulf and Israel in friendship and business. The Forum is a division of the UAE-Israel Business Council, established to foster shared Abu Dhabi-Jerusalem opportunities, economic cooperation and business partnerships. Established in June, it already boasts 2,500 members.

“At London Stock Exchange Group, we believe that a diverse group of colleagues and a commitment to equal opportunities for all are key to driving innovation and building a culture that reflects our global customers and the communities in which we operate around the world,” says Zwerling.

For Hassan-Nahoum, it’s simple.

“Women are natural networkers and collaborators, and we are very practical.”

This truth was evident from the first Zoom meeting of the forum (of which this writer is a member) where Emiratis and Israelis, native and immigrant, met virtually. At first, perhaps a bit shy, the group warmed up upon noticing the many similarities we had among us.

StandWithUs: The Middle East is Changing

Over the last few months, history has been made in the Middle East. Peace between Israel and the Arab world is no longer a dream. It is now a reality. May peace in the region continue to prosper. 🇮🇱🕊️🇦🇪🇧🇭

In UAE-Israel deal, peace and profits go hand in hand

The historic peace accord signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates last month is already paying dividends.

Large corporations from both countries are establishing joint ventures and negotiating collaborative agreements.

One example is the UAE’s Dubai Ports World, one of the world’s largest port operators, which has signed an agreement with Israel’s DoverTower to buy a stake in the privatization of Haifa Port, Israel’s largest by cargo tonnage.

But the possibilities extend beyond freight and trade. Strategic collaborations across the financial services sector and the biotechnology space are two more areas where businesses from the UAE and Israeli expect to benefit from the Abraham Accords, says Ran Hamou, managing partner at France-based firm Everlaw.

“Each year, many Israeli startups are sold to foreign investors instead of developing their businesses to become major players,” he says. “And UAE funds invest in many foreign companies around the world.”

However, there are very few UAE companies that operate at the global level, Hamou says.

“If a UAE-Israel consortium were able to invest, such a group could [pursue business opportunities] across the entire European Union, and become a major player in that part of the world.”

US Progressives: Peace Deal Between Israel and UAE/Bahrain Terrible for Middle East Peace (satire)

Once upon a time, prior to the advent of Twitter, any relationship between an Arab country and Israel would be cause for celebration, yet given the current climate in the Middle East, some are unsure of the normalization of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain.

While the historic deal between Israel and the Gulf states was lauded by many as a historic accomplishment, there were some who were concerned that it would harm their personal beliefs about how reality ought to be. Meade Benjamin, who is a cofounder of Code Pink, says that the agreement between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain is a step in the wrong direction for the Middle East, and that “we’ll never have peace in the Middle East if they keep signing Peace agreements with Israel.” Code Pink is a progressive organization that seeks to support other peaceful movements in the region like the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hamas, Hezbollah, and just random groups of men who enjoy getting together on Saturdays for those special weekend beatdowns on women and small children.

Also concerned about the prospects for another book deal and speaking tour is former Obama administration official Ben Rhodes, who noted, “I can’t be wrong, history is the problem”. Former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry, who once said that Israel would find itself further isolated and a Pariah state, was last heard crying into a pillow through his bedroom door and refusing to come out.

Palestinian NGOs sue UK over 1917 Balfour Declaration

Palestinian lawyers on Friday filed suit with a Nablus court against the British government over the 1917 Balfour Declaration, which spelled out the United Kingdom’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.

Signed by then-British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, the declaration is considered the historic precursor to Israel’s inception in 1948.

According to French news agency AFP, lawyers representing the Federation of Independent and Democratic Trade Union, International Commission to Support Palestinian People’s Rights, and the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate file a lawsuit in Nablus citing that “the suffering of the Palestinians” stemmed from the Balfour Declaration.

“The British Mandate is at the root of the suffering of the Palestinian people and has paved the way for the violation of their rights and the plunder of their land,” said Munib al-Masri, head of the Federation of Independent and Democratic Trade Unions.

The Palestinians have repeatedly condemned the declaration, which they refer to as the “Balfour promise,” claiming Britain was giving away land it did not own. The PA has tried to get Britain to renege on the historic document in the past but to no avail.

Guatemala designates Hezbollah as terrorist organization

Guatemala designated all branches of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization on Friday, according to the Foreign Ministry. This makes Guatemala the eighth country to designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization in 2020.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed the designation and congratulated Guatemala’s government. “I call on other countries in Latin America to fight the terror led by Hezbollah globally,” said Ashkenazi. He went on to say he was happy to see that diplomatic efforts “led by the Foreign Ministry to label all branches of Hezbollah a terrorist organization are bearing fruit and being recognized worldwide and especially in Latin America.

“The struggle against Hezbollah is a long and difficult one, but we cannot ignore the fact that global efforts against the organization are doing great damage to it, strong expressions of which can be seen by citizens of Lebanon becoming fed up with the organization for the disaster it caused them,” Ashkenazi said.

Guatemala’s recognition comes a day after Estonia announced that it will impose sanctions on Hezbollah, becoming the fifth EU state to take the step of banning Hezbollah in its entirety, following Germany and Lithuania this year.

At a meeting with ambassadors from the region in August, Ashkenazi called on Latin American countries to ban Hezbollah saying that “Terrorism affects all countries, and we have to fight it in a mutual way.” According to Ashkenazi, “The best way to do that is sanctions on Hezbollah.”

‘We aren’t going to ask America:’ Erdogan confirms testing Russian S-400

Turkey’s president on Friday confirmed the country tested its Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, despite objections from the United States.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had every right to test its equipment. “They were tested, they’re being tested,” he announced.

“America’s stance is absolutely not binding for us,” he said. “We aren’t going to ask America.”

Washington has strongly objected to NATO member Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian anti-aircraft system and suspended Turkey from its F-35 fighter jet program, saying the S-400s are a threat to the stealth fighter jets and wouldn’t be interoperable with NATO systems.

It has also warned Ankara that it risks US sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act if the S-400 system is activated.

US suspends Turkey visa services after reports on potential attacks

The US Embassy in Ankara said on Friday it was temporarily suspending all American citizen and visa services at missions in Turkey over credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US citizens in Istanbul.

“The US Mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against US citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the US Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the embassy said.

A US Embassy spokesperson said the statement was issued after an ongoing assessment of security conditions in Turkey.

On New Year’s Day 2017, a lone gunman killed 39 people in an attack at an Istanbul nightclub which was later claimed by Islamic State. It was one of a series of militant attacks that killed dozens of people in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey.

Hamas said to be secretly operating cyber, counterintelligence HQ in Turkey

The Palestinian terror group Hamas is secretly operating a facility in Turkey where it conducts cyberattacks and counterintelligence operations, according to a British newspaper report Thursday.

Citing Western intelligence sources, the Times of London said the headquarters was set up two years ago and is overseen by Hamas military leaders in the Gaza Strip.

The headquarters, which is separate from Hamas’s official offices in the city, was set up without the knowledge of Turkish authorities, the report said.

The facility is reportedly overseen by Samakh Saraj, a senior member of the terror group who reports directly to Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza.

Why is the once rising Joint List falling fast in polls?

Channel 13 stirred waves in the political pool on Sunday evening with the broadcast of a Camil Fuchs poll showing that if elections were held today, a right-center coalition could be formed without the Likud and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to this poll, the Likud would get 27 seats, only three more than Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party (24) and only six more than Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid-Telem list (21).

Bennett and Lapid, together with Blue and White (8) and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu (8), could form a four-party center-right coalition, keeping the Likud and haredi parties out.

That prospect was trumpeted by the network as “dramatic.” And, indeed, it is not an uninteresting political possibility, though a more likely possibility based on the same polling numbers would be the Likud, Yamina and the two haredi parties joining together for a 66-seat coalition.

THERE WAS something else in that poll that was even more significant, but did not garner much attention: Ayman Odeh’s Joint List would fall from the 15 seats it received in the last elections to 11. And while this was the first time that a poll showed a possible center-right coalition without the Likud, this was the third month in a row that the Channel 13 poll showed a significant tumble for the Joint List. In August and September the network’s poll had the Joint List gaining only 12 seats.

More than 2,100,000 tested for coronavirus in Israel since February

Over 2,100,000 people have been tested for coronavirus since the start of the pandemic in Israel, marked at February 24th, according to the MDA.

These were taken at various locations across the country, most notably at nursing home as part of the “Protecting Fathers and Mothers” project meant to prevent the spread of the virus to vulnerable populations.

About 340,609 of these tests were taken at people’s homes, while 717,137 samples were taken at MDA’s Drive and Test facilities operating in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Home Front Command and HMOs across the country. The highest number was in Jerusalem, where 125,454 tests have been carried out within the city.

About 80,988 were sampled in Tel Aviv, of those,73,744 Ganey Yehoshuah. Some 17,986 were tested in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, 25,616 in Ashdod, 24,675 in Hadera, 24,593 in Haifa, 23,066 in Netanya, 20,528 in Kfar Sava, 20,526 in Bnei Brak, 17,806 in Rishon le Zion, 17,142 in Lod, 16,396 in Um al-Fahm, 14,854 in Modi’in Ilit, 14,584 in Beer Sheva, 11,021 in Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut, and 10,518 people were tested in Rehovot. In addition, as needed, Magen David Adom operates additional Drive and Test complexes across the country.

The drive and test facilities continue to operate alongside testing for those who are homebound and in nursing homes and long term care facilities throughout the country.

Israeli-Developed Nasal Spray Stops 99.99% of COVID-19 Infections

Ultra-Orthodox wedding held in Arab town in effort to avoid detection

Police on Wednesday dispersed an ultra-Orthodox wedding held at an unexpected location — the Arab village of Kafr Qasim, east of Tel Aviv.

The reason for the choice in locale was because the bride and groom wanted to avoid detection while holding a wedding that violated coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings, according to a Channel 12 news report Thursday.

Under the partial lockdown in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, weddings, like other outdoor events, are capped at 20 people.

An eyewitness quoted by the network said the revelers played Arabic music over the loudspeaker in an effort to blend into the surroundings.

Israel designates PFLP’s student wing a terror group

Palestinian officials on Thursday denounced a decision by Israel to brand the student branch of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine as a terrorist organization.

Israel, the United States and the European Union consider the PFLP to be a terror group.

On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces Gen. Tamir Yadai said in a statement that the military also now considers the PFLP’s student branch as an “illegal and terrorist” entity.

Yadai, who heads the IDF’s Central Command in the West Bank, said the branch had been for years behind “destructive acts that led to the deaths of many Israeli citizens.”

He accused the PFLP of “recruiting young men to commit acts of terrorism.”

Over 50% of coronavirus patients lie during epidemiological investigation

At least 50% of coronavirus patients lie during their epidemiological investigation, Home Front Command said Thursday.

The tracing of the chain of infection has been severely impacted by people lying during investigations, Home Front Command said, adding that it could not properly track the people they may have been in contact with. As a result, it could not warn people to enter quarantine before infecting others.

Each investigator spends up to four hours per investigation. On occasion it can take less, but this is because after an investigator calls a coronavirus patient, the patient hangs up.

A citizen is not obligated to cooperate with an epidemiological investigator.

Epidemiological investigators are tasked with breaking the chain of infection. However, the task cannot be done without the cooperation of those being investigated, Home Front Command said.

Of those who are infected, at least half of them refuse to admit who they have been in contact with.

Despite VIP treatment Saeb Erakat will continue to slander Israel

It fills me with no pride that senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat was this week given VIP treatment for acute novel coronavirus at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem. It does not make me feel moral or altruistic, nor does treating him represent the “finest Jewish ethics,” as some commentators have gushed. Israel is a light unto the nations without having to treat an enemy like Saeb Erekat.

In fact, I am not sure Israel’s Minister of Defense should have approved Saeb Erekat’s request for emergency treatment in Israel. It is not at all certain that “Jewish values” require us to heal him, and I am quite certain that Erekat doesn’t deserve it. If Erekat is nevertheless benefiting from Israel’s ultra-benevolence, it is because we hopelessly want to believe that (almost) every person was created in the image of God.

Many Israelis and Jews worldwide are extraordinarily proud of the fact that Israeli hospitals treat hundreds of Palestinian Arabs and Arabs from countries that do not recognize Israel’s right to exist, especially innocent children. It is a fine humanitarian thing to do; and maybe, just maybe, the Arab kids who are saved by Israeli doctors might one day be a bridge towards peace.

But I never have bought the assertion that Israel has an “obligation” to do so stemming from its “responsibility for the occupation” or from some sweet-sounding and misinterpreted halachic dictum. Nor do I believe that the world truly grants Israel credit for such humanitarian effort. Few have tempered their political hostility towards this country in recognition of its medical kindheartedness.

MEMRI: Lebanese Writer: Iran Seeks To Intimidate Iraq’s Sunnis, Kurds, Embarrass Iraqi Security Forces To Keep Iraq Under Its Hegemony

On October 20, 2020, the daily Al-Arab, which is UAE-affiliated and based in London, published an op-ed by Lebanese writer Khairallah Khairallah in which he discussed Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s ongoing series of visits to some of Europe’s capitals in relation to the recent security challenges his government is facing.

Al-Kahdimi set out on his tour just two days after reports of the abduction and murder of a group of Sunnis in Iraq’s Salahuddin province, and the vandalization of the Baghdad offices of a Kurdish political party. On October 17, ten bodies were discovered near the village of Farahat in Balad. The bodies belonged to a group of Sunni villagers, including some minors, who were abducted a week earlier. The area is controlled by Asa’ib Ahal Al-Haq, an Iran-backed militia.

Also on October 17, pro-Iran groups attacked the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in Baghdad after senior KDP member and former Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari accused Shi’ite militias of operating outside the law, implying that they are responsible for the attacks on foreign diplomatic missions in Iraq.[1]

Commenting on these two incidents, the writer suggested that the deteriorating security situation in Iraq is being orchestrated by Iran in order to intimidate Iraqi Sunnis and Kurds, embarrass the Iraqi security forces, and foil the efforts of Iraq’s Prime Minister to restore his nation’s sovereignty. The writer argued that Tehran is nevertheless failing to notice the growing tendency among Iraqis, including Shi’ites, to resist Iranian influences, as evidenced in the ongoing protests calling for reform. He further stresses that Iran’s declining economy under U.S. sanctions haa left Tehran with little space to maneuver, adding that the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election is Iran’s last bid to help its economy.

‘Dumb mistake’ exposed Iranian hand behind fake US election emails

Government analysts and private sector investigators were able to rapidly attribute to Iranian hackers a wave of thousands of threatening emails aimed at US voters because of mistakes made in a video attached to some of the messages, according to four people familiar with the matter.

Those failures provided a rare opportunity for the U.S. government to identify and publicly announce blame for a malicious cyber operation in a matter of days, something that usually requires months of technical analysis and supporting intelligence.

“Either they made a dumb mistake or wanted to get caught,” said a senior US government official, who asked not to be identified. “We are not concerned about this activity being some kind of false flag due to other supporting evidence. This was Iran.”

Attribution to Iranian hackers does not necessarily mean a group is working at the behest of the government there. Iranian officials denied the US allegations.

“These accusations are nothing more than another scenario to undermine voter confidence in the security of the US election, and are absurd,” said Alireza Miryousefi, spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York.



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