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Iran: Israel will be "razed to the ground" if they attack

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up what he claims is a piece of an Iranian drone.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds up what he claims is a piece of an Iranian drone. Photo: Lennart Preiss / MSC 2018 via Getty Images

Iran's Expediency Council Secretary Mohsen Rezaie said Monday that Tel Aviv would "be razed to the ground if the Israeli regime took any military action against the Islamic Republic," CNN reports.

Why it matters: Tensions between the two countries have escalated as the war in Syria is "spilling over into a wide proxy fight," per CNN. On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country "will act without hesitation to defend ourselves, and we will act, if necessary, not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself."

Khorri Atkinson 10 hours ago
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NYT: Mueller witness tried to influence White House on Gulf states

Interviews and previously undisclosed documents revealed that a witness in Robert Mueller's probe had worked for over a year to convert a Republican fundraiser into a White House influencer to help usher in deals on behalf of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reports.

The backdrop: George Nader, a political adviser of the U.A.E. and Elliott Broidy, the RNC's deputy finance chair, reportedly urged the White House to dismiss Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's support of combative approaches to Iran and Qatar. In another case, Nader promised Broidy over a $1 billion in contracts for his private security company in exchange for deals.

David Philips 13 hours ago
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Expert Voices

Russian obstruction on Syria at UN Security Council demands response

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein speaking during a press conference at the UN Offices in Geneva.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP via Getty Images

Russia used a procedural vote on Monday to prevent UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein from presenting on human rights conditions in Syria to the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Why it matters: To date, Russia has vetoed nine resolutions aimed at intensifying pressure on Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, moves that not only counter U.S. interests but undermine the international system.