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Open Letter to the People of Iran:
We, the American People who disavow President Trump’s executive order denying you entry into our country, are writing to say that we stand with you.
We, who oppose this order, are American citizens of all backgrounds, races, religions and creeds. We are old and young, rich and poor, and work in all professions. We are government officials who are refusing to implement this order. We are lawyers who are contesting this order in court. We are journalists who are sharing the stories of those affected. We are ordinary citizens protesting on the streets. We are Americans who believe in democracy and the values enshrined in our Constitution, and we stand with you.
Defense, Intelligence Officials Caution White House on Terrorist Designation for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Senior defense and intelligence officials have cautioned the White House that a proposal to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization could endanger U.S. troops in Iraq and the overall fight against the Islamic State, and would be an unprecedented use of a law that was not designed to sanction government institutions. Defense and intelligence concerns have been expressed at the highest levels over the past several days, as the White House was preparing to roll out an executive order dealing with both Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Muslim Brotherhood, according to administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive matter. (The Washington Post)
Originally published on The LobeLog By, Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr, AIC Board Member
A hundred and fifty years ago, a German physicist derived the concept of “entropy” from the second law of thermodynamics. Since then, entropy has stood for the idea that everything in the universe eventually moves from order to disorder, from structure to formlessness, and from predictability to uncertainty. Entropy is the measurement of that change. It is also the most fitting description of current trends in geopolitics and geoeconomics.
The strategic stabilities of the old order are all in various stages of decay. Some in my country and abroad had come to view the United States as the next best thing to a world government and global policeman. But, even before tweets replaced policy papers in Washington, this conception had become preposterous. The established presumptions no longer operate.
Less than one week after President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, our latest Iran Chat is with Ian Samuel, Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. Ian previously served in the United States Department of Justice in the Office of the Solicitor General and on the appellate staff of the Civil Division. Following his government service, Ian joined the appellate litigation practice at the law firm Jones Day.
Our conversation covers the legal issues surrounding President Trump's executive order as well as Ian’s offer to personally provide legal services to any government employee who refuses to help implement this ban. You can follow Ian on Twitter at @isamuel, and subscribe to his podcast about the Supreme Court at firstmondays.fm/subscribe.
In July 2015, the United States partnered with other members of the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United Kingdom) along with the European Union and Iran to sign the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The plan was officially implemented in January 2016, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of Treasury issued numerous accompanying documents as guidelines on the JCPOA.
Both due to - and also despite - this abundance of language, there is often confusion surrounding what is and is not permitted in U.S.-Iran business operations under the new agreement. Hence, this article seeks to clarify some of these guidelines. Imagine this as “OFAC 101.”
Iran has long had its share of environmental issues including air pollution, water management, and the effects of climate change. But in 2016, major developments in environmental policy in Iran helped boost the country’s “green” status. For instance, Iran passed the Clean Air Bill, imposing fines on excess air pollution, and became the 106th nation to ratify the Paris Agreement in early November 2016. Additionally, the Iranian Department of Environment endorsed several successful environmental campaigns such as “Car-Free Tuesday” and a plan to protect the Persian Leopard.
Since implementation of the JCPOA, Iran’s environmental protection sector has also seen an increase in foreign investment. For example, in 2016, Iran and Germany signed a memorandum of understanding to construct environmentally friendly housing in Hashtgerd and Isfahan. Member of the Board of Instructors at Düsseldorf University in Germany Fereydoun Bodaghi says that Iran could soon attract over $20 billion in investments, and notes that the environmental protection sector seems one of the most promising areas.