The United States and Israel have announced a newly formed task force. The two nations will work together to insure that the new sanctions the United States has imposed on Iran will be more than empty threats — they will be enforced. The first set of sanctions is already in place. The second set will snap into place on November 4.
The second set of sanctions will address the oil industry — the blood that courses through the veins of the Persian nation. And the United States is hopeful that, once imposed, these new sanctions will land a knockout punch to Iran’s economy compelling them to be more flexible on nuclear issues and less generous on funding worldwide terror.
Since the August sanctions began Iran has been suffering, but still functioning economically. When the next set of sanctions hits them, Iran will have no significant revenue coming in. They will be cash poor with almost no foreign cash entering their country. Oil is their life blood.
Every nation in the world has its own motivations and priorities, each behaves in ways that best maximize and facilitate their own goals. The partnership between Israel and the United States is a natural outgrowth of the relationship between the two countries. They are allies in this fight because they clearly see what most other countries are blind to. The United States and Israel see eye-to-eye on the dangers Iran poses to the world. The rest of the world makes excuses for Iran's actions.
Iran is a significant threat to the very existence of Israel and Jerusalem is acting to reduce that danger. The danger Iran poses to the United States is real — but not as imminent. That Washington is acting so forthrightly and speaking so candidly about Iran is refreshing and out of tune with previous administrations.
Other administrations, and it doesn't matter which side of the aisle they hailed from, recognized the Iranian threat but wobbled when it came to actually standing up to Iranian leadership. Like many other Western countries, previous U.S. administrations spoke out about the dangers, but did very little to stop Iran’s march to nuclear capabilities. Israel stood alone in the battle by taking action, not merely using words, in the battle against Iran.
Those days are over.
Commenting on the agreement between the United States and Israel a U.S. official said: “Treasury’s illicit finance team works closely with counterparts in Israel on efforts to counter the financing of terrorism, money laundering and other illicit finance schemes and sanctionable conduct emanating from Iran,”
Israeli Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, who has met with his U.S. counterpart Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin in order to further strategic economic ties between the countries said: “The economic sanctions led by the U.S. on Iran are proving themselves [effective] ... They contribute to the removal of the threat to Israel’s security and to the security of the entire free world, and this is why we should be thankful to the U.S.... The joint team that we have established will be of great importance in tightening sanctions on Iran.”
If there is one thing world leaders have learned from President Donald J. Trump it is the power of the tweet. They have learned how to send their message directly to their constituents and to tell them what is happening without the filter of the media. Moshe Kahlon learned this lesson well and tweeted: “We are working with true friends in Washington, and together are looking after Israel’s security interests.”
In longer form Kahlon also said: "The economic sanctions that the United States is leading against Iran have proven themselves. They contribute to removing the threat to Israel's security and to the security of the entire free world, and for this we must thank the U.S.... The joint team that we have established will be of great importance in tightening the sanctions on Iran. This is great news for the State of Israel."
This was the fourth time Mnuchin and Kahlon have met since taking office. They worked closely on the sanctions issue before the task force was formed, but that was informal cooperation. Now the stakes have been raised and become more public. Now they have a mutual, formal decision and a formal declaration. It's official. The United States and Israel are united against Iran.
Wobbler nations, those who are afraid to act against Iran, will take exception to this joint U.S./Israel action. Some will say that this action isolates the United States and Israel and damages any potential regional cooperation. Previous U.S. administrations would have probably said exactly that.
Thankfully, things are different today. Hopefully — most probably, this decision will make the world a safer place for everyone, wobblers included.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. To read more of this reports — Click Here Now.
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