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Tim Pearce

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Iran is curbing its aggressive tendencies and beginning to take small steps toward cooperating with the United States in the Middle East.

Tehran is taking intentional steps to avoid further conflict with the United States in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election in November. Iranian leaders are afraid that aggressive action on their part could benefit President Trump in the election, according to The New York Times.

Years of intense pressure by the United States to curb Iranian aggression in the Middle East is beginning to pay dividends, the State Department said.

“Pressure works,” U.S. special representative for Iran policy Brian Hook told the Times. “For over three years we have contained and countered Iran through deterrence and diplomacy. The regime is also broke because of our sanctions. Iran’s leaders today face a choice: either negotiate with President Trump or manage economic collapse.”

Trump has ramped up pressure on the Iranian regime since pulling the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reasserting strict sanctions on Tehran. Iran is now facing political upheaval at home because of worsening economic conditions, as well as the outbreak of the coronavirus.

To ease tensions in the lead-up to the U.S. election, Iran has largely stopped using proxy militias and terror groups across the Middle East to launch attacks on U.S. forces. Iranian naval forces in the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane, have cut down attacks on shippers and are staying away from U.S. military vessels after threats from Trump.

Tehran has backed off its influence on Iraqi politics, choosing not to interfere against the election of a U.S.-backed prime minister to lead the Iraqi parliament earlier this month. Last month, Tehran negotiated a prisoner swap in the U.S., offering an imprisoned U.S. Navy veteran for an Iranian-American doctor who U.S. forces were holding.

Analysts say that Iran’s new tactics should not be misinterpreted as a change of its overall strategy and ambitions. The loss of General Qasem Soleimani, who was responsible for coordinating Iran’s various militias and terror groups, was a blow to Tehran’s influence throughout the Middle East. That, along with increasing pressure from U.S. sanctions, has forced Iran into a defensive position.

Tensions between Tehran and Washington reached a boiling point around the start of the year when Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Soleimani, Iran’s top general and terror leader.

In late December, Iranian-backed militia launched rockets into an Iraqi airbase, killing several Iraqi soldiers and one U.S. contractor. The U.S. military responded with airstrikes against several militia targets in the region that killed at least two dozen militia members.

On December 30, Iranian officials inspired a violent mob to attack the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, prompting Trump to approve a Jan. 3 drone strike that killed Soleimani. Fearing open conflict with the U.S., Iran responded to Soleimani’s killing with several rocket strikes against an Iraqi military base where U.S. troops were sanctioned. No U.S. or Iraqi soldiers were killed in the attack, and the U.S. declined to respond as Trump’s red line – no more dead Americans – was not crossed.

Author: Tim Pearce

Source: Daily Wire: ‘Pressure Works’: Two Years After Trump Scrapped The Iran Nuclear Deal, Tehran Is Beginning To Cooperate

Georgia State Rep. Vernon Jones endorsed President Trump on Tuesday, becoming the first Democrat in the state to buck his party and support the GOP president for reelection.

Jones touted Trump’s handling of the economy and issues impacting black Americans in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Georgia lawmaker represents a heavily Democratic district that covers parts of DeKalb and Rockdale counties.

“It’s very simple to me. President Trump’s handling of the economy, his support for historically black colleges and his criminal justice initiatives drew me to endorse his campaign,” Jones said.

“This is not about switching parties. There are a lot of African-Americans who clearly see and appreciate he’s doing something that’s never been done before,” Jones continued. “When you look at the unemployment rates among black Americans before the pandemic, they were at historic lows. That’s just a fact.”

Jones first won a seat in the Georgia legislature in 1993 and served until 2001 when he left to become DeKalb County’s chief executive. He stayed in that position until the end of his second term in 2009. He tried and failed to run for the U.S. House and Senate and to be DeKalb County sheriff. He rejoined the Georgia House in 2016.

“A philosopher once said, ‘One courageous man in the crowd is a majority.’ I’ve got the courage to express my convictions,” Jones said. “I believe that Donald Trump is the best person to lead this country going forward.”

Jones endorsement comes on the same day the former President Barack Obama endorsed his former vice president and the likely Democratic nominee for president, Joe Biden. Obama endorsed Biden in a video released on social media Tuesday.

“I’m so proud to endorse Joe Biden for president,” Obama says. “Choosing Joe to be my vice president was one of the best decisions I ever made and he became a close friend.”

Obama named his endorsement after every challenger to Biden had dropped out the Democratic primary. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the last to suspend his campaign and he endorsed Biden on Monday. Reports on Tuesday said pressure from Obama to unite the party was a driving factor in Sanders’ decision to endorse.

“It’s no great secret Joe that you and I have our differences, and we are not going to paper them over. That’s real,” Sanders said in his endorsement of Biden. “But I hope that these task forces will come together, utilizing the best minds and people in your campaign and in my campaign, to work out real solutions to these very, very important problems.”

As The Daily Wire reported at the time:

“Sanders’ endorsement isn’t entirely unexpected — after all, he endorsed his former competitor, Hillary Clinton, after losing the nomination in 2016. But Sanders seems to be making things easier on the Democratic party this time around, endorsing his top competition for the 2020 Democratic presidential endorsement within a week of dropping out of the race and well before all of the state-level primaries finished.”

“Democrats likely hope that an early partnership between Biden and Sanders can help bring reticent Sanders supporters into the Democratic Party’s fold. According to a poll taken earlier in April, most Sanders supporters plan to cast their ballot for Biden, but a handful of hardliners are still holding out.”

Author: Tim Pearce

Source: Daily Wire: Georgia Democrat Bucks Party, Backs Trump For Reelection

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