Two very different dialogue proposals are on the table for the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, one from a historic enemy, Israel, proposed in conjunction with a crucial partner, the United States. The other is from a historic rival, Iran, which shares the same neighborhood and faith. The choice the Arab countries ultimately make could determine the future peace and prosperity of the region.

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Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Quds (Jerusalem) Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is among the most popular public figures in Iran, where supporters see him as a selfless national hero who has been fighting Iran’s enemies.

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Every year about 70% of the fatalities in Tehran are caused by respiratory and heart failure that is directly or indirectly associated with the air pollution. Nationwide, 80,000 people died prematurely due to pollution in 2012, according to official figures.

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European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said all sides must abide by terms of the agreement

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on February 10 that Brussels is committed to the full implementation of the nuclear deal with Iran, and that she came away reassured from her meetings with US officials that Washington shares that commitment.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council, Mogherini said she found “common ground” with the Trump administration on the deal that seeks to cut off Iran’s pathways to building a nuclear bomb. Mogherini said: “I heard from my interlocutors the intention to make sure that the deal is 100 percent implemented.”

“It is a clear European shared interest to preserve the agreement,” she added.

The EU, she said, will monitor in a “very strict manner” the implementation of the deal “in its entirety, from all sides.” The nuclear deal was struck between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, and Germany in 2015. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has found Iran to be complying with the terms of the agreement. Mogherini’s statement was a clear message to the United States to also stick to its commitments.

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Iran is testing the weight of US President Donald J. Trump’s words with its latest missile tests, said an Atlantic Council analyst.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have been ratcheted up as Trump and his National Security Advisor Michael Flynn said they were putting the Islamic Republic “on notice” in response to Iran’s ballistic missile test on January 29 and an attack the next day by Iranian-backed rebels on a Saudi warship off the coast of Yemen. US officials said on February 8 that Iran had tested yet another missile.

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In its first weeks, the Trump Administration openly castigated terrorism as America’s primary threat and underlined it anti-Iranian orientation. It also announced its intention to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem and its readiness for a partnership with Russia against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL). Unfortunately, taken together these moves are mutually contradictory. If the United States is to make progress against both ISIS and Iran without worsening the challenges to US interests, it must think more coherently and strategically about those challenges in the Middle East.

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This week a photo of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appeared on social media in front of the ruins of Persepolis. Ahmadinejad’s supporters quickly spread the photograph on Facebook and Twitter with election-like endorsements, even though his candidacy for another term as president has been tacitly barred by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

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Since his election, US President Donald Trump has taken steps that harm the Iranian people by suspending visas to the United States. Trump has also adopted harsh rhetoric toward the Iranian government over missile tests and attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. So far, however, he has not carried out a threat to dismantle the landmark nuclear deal that went into full implementation a year ago. This suggests that he will not attempt a “repeal and replace” strategy for an agreement that took several years and the strenuous efforts of diplomats and technocrats from seven nations to achieve.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is known, verifiably prevents Iran from developing nuclear weapons for at least another fourteen years. Iran is not allowed to possess sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to make a single nuclear device, and it cannot build the infrastructure needed for a plutonium path to a bomb. Round-the-clock monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), including mine-to-centrifuge scrutiny of nuclear fuel, impedes any covert dash to nuclear weapons.

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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) sees order as a ‘gift’ to hardliners in Iran

US President Donald Trump’s executive order that curtails immigration and the rights of refugees is illegal, has “catastrophic implications” for the United States, and is a “gift” to hardliners in Iran as it paints all Iranians as a security threat to the United States, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on January 30.

“This ban on immigration from Iran to the United States is a gift to the hardliners at a moment in which we should not be giving them gifts,” said Murphy, noting that it comes at a particularly delicate time for the moderates in Iran soon after the death of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani on January 8. “This is a movement that does not need another body blow, and yet they got it,” said Murphy.

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Iranians are in shock and dismay following the implementation of President Trump’s executive order halting refugee acceptance and banning entry of people from seven Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia.

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