The U.S. & Israel Signed A Secret , Far-Reaching — Memorandum Of Understanding — On December 12, 2017 Aimed At Thwarting Iran’s Nuclear & Ballistic Missile Progress 

The U.S. & Israel Signed A Secret , Far-Reaching — Memorandum Of Understanding — On December 12, 2017 Aimed At Thwarting Iran’s Nuclear & Ballistic Missile Progress
     The December 28, 2017 edition of the Times of Israel (ToI) is reporting that the U.S. and Israel concluded a Secret agreement aimed at thwarting, and defending against Iranian nuclear and ballistic missile progress.  The publication notes that dramatic understandings’ were agreed [to] at the White House on December 12, and signed by the two countries’ national security staffs,” citing Israel’s Channel 10 television network.
     The ToI noted the agreement was a result of “intensive talks between the representatives of the major American and Israeli Intelligence and defense hierarchies; and led by the U.S. and Israeli National Security Advisers, LTG. H.R. McMaster and Meir Ben-Shabbat.  Israel’s Channel 10 reported –citing American and Israeli sources — that the document is designed to translate into “steps on the ground,” which would be overseen and implemented by joint U.S./Israeli intelligence and defense teams.  “One such team,” Channel 10 reported, “will deal with Iranian activity in Syria”; and Tehran’s support for their Lebanon-based Hezbollah group; while “another team will deal with both diplomatic and intelligence activities designed to grapple with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.”
     “A third joint team.” will focus on Iran’s growing ballistic missile program; and, Tehran’s efforts to build accurate missile systems in Syria and Lebanon,” Channel 10 reported.
     “Finally,” Channel 10 reported, “a fourth joint U.S./Israeli team would oversee any escalation by Iran and/or Hezbollah,” in any of these areas.
     Obviously, one of the primary goals of one of these teams will be to determine if Iran is indeed honoring the terms of the nuclear agreement, or instead cheating and pursuing a clandestine nuclear weapons program.  That task will be easier said than done, since some of the most likely places Iran might use to violate the agreement, were not included in the inspection regime as outlined in the Iran nuclear agreement. Tehran’s pursuit of a robust ballistic missile program, as well as enhancing the military capabilities of its proxy – Hezbollah – in Lebanon and Syria; and, the establishment of contingency base operational sites in Lebanon and/or Syria will be areas of intense focus.  Left unsaid is what role, if any, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, other Arab states might play in these efforts.  While some of these same nations may publicly criticize the agreement, they may well cooperate in the shadows.  It is also unclear if the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem will undermine any secret/ clandestine Arab/Muslim support to try and keep Tehran in check.
     New York Times columnist and author Tom Friedman recently told CNBC that “The dysfunction and rivalries within the Sunni Arab world generally have prevented forming a unified [Arab] front up to now, which is why Iran indirectly controls four Arab capitals today:  Damascus, Sanna, Beirut, and Baghdad. 

     With respect to Iran, Mr. Friedman expressed concern on the asymmetry regarding how Iran conducts its proxy ‘war/s’ versus Riyadh’s money.  “Iran has developed the muscles [ecosystem] of how to build underground networks and use proxies in order to extend their influence,” and strategic reach.  “Tehran,” Mr. Friedman said, “in essence ‘controls’ four Arab capitals:  Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad, and Sanna; and, they’re controlling them ‘wholesale.’  They’re not even paying for it,” in essence extending their sphere of influence and strategic reach on the cheap.”
     “Riyadh,” on the other hand, Mr. Friedman said, “has not developed these muscles,” of how to organize and utilize underground networks and proxies to do their bidding.  “They are used to writing checks;” and, “have no experience nor history,” of building this kind of network; and, represents a real ‘asymmetry’ between Iran and Saudi Arabia.  
 “Between Tehran And Tel Aviv — Is Butter”
     “Between Tehran and Tel Aviv is ‘butter,” Mr. Friedman warned.  “Iran is pushing, pushing, its Quds/Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s force [and the Lebanese Hezbollah deeper] into the Golan.  Israel is watching Iran build military bases in Syria; and, at some point — Israel is going to strike back.  Israeli newspapers have been  frequently publishing satellite imagery, showing Iranian forces/surrogates, constructing these ‘bases’ in various parts of Syria.”
     Thus. one understands the background that facilitated this most recent Secret agreement.  RCP,

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