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Tuesday’s news that Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had withdrawn the U.S.-Israel Strategic Partnership Act from the committee’s active agenda is quite troubling. The bill, which broadened American-Israeli cooperation in areas such as defense, intelligence, energy and homeland security, had bipartisan support (it was co-sponsored by more than 60 senators) and was assured of passage in the full Senate.
It cannot, however, reach the Senate floor for consideration until a positive committee vote and it was withdrawn by Sen. Menendez at the insistence of ranking committee member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) that an amendment be added related to the current nuclear talks with Iran. The Corker amendment, which is adamantly opposed by the White House, would have forced President Obama to submit any deal with Iran to Congress within three days and empower Congress to hold hearings on the agreement.
Sen. Menendez reportedly called off the committee vote so that Democrats running for reelection in November wouldn’t have to vote on the legislation and choose between supporting the pact with Israel and opposing the president on Iran (a not unreasonable concern on Sen. Menendez’s part).
What is particularly irritating is that it is becoming clearer by the day that the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program are mere window dressing and the Iranians are poised to emerge well ahead of the game with a nuclear weapons capacity intact. Reports on the talks almost unanimously conclude they are going nowhere with Iran openly taunting the West and ignoring key provisions of last year’s interim agreement that was supposed to lead to a final agreement later this year.
Last Friday, Iranian officials claimed the West was making “excessive demands” and cautioned that “The Iranian nation has shown that pressure…always backfires.”
One of the major Western concerns is the fate of the Arak research reactor, which the West believes is key to future Iranian nuclear development. The Iranian deputy foreign minister recently said the Arak reactor would remain a heavy water facility and continue operation with 40 megawatts of power – both critical to the production of plutonium, which is essential in the making of nuclear bombs.
Last week it was reported that Iran is exporting 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, well above the export cap Tehran agreed to last November as part of the interim agreement. The Iranian oil minister told the Wall Street Journal that Iran plans to continue to increase exports despite the agreed to cap.
And then there was the speech last week by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to a gathering of nuclear scientists. He said Iran agreed to the talks with the West to “break the hostile atmosphere” and persuade the international community that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons. But he went on to say:
These talks need to continue but all must know that despite continuation of the talks, activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of nuclear research and development won’t be halted at all…. None of the country’s nuclear achievements can be stopped, and no one has the right to bargain over it.
Perhaps the most ominous indication of where the talks are going was the report last week that Saudi Arabia has invited the Iranian foreign minister to Riyadh in a move to settle differences between the two countries. The regional archenemies have been at each other’s throats for years and there was much talk of Saudi Arabia’s desperate secret pact with Israel to stop Iran’s march to a nuclear weapons capacity. But the Saudis have apparently concluded that Iran is on the ascendancy.
This all suggests that Sen. Corker may be on to something in seeking congressional oversight of any agreement with Iran. But the retreat on the strategic partnership legislation caused by President Obama’s outsized belief in the prospects for a real agreement with Iran raised an important question: Exactly what part of Iran’s duplicity does the president not get?
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Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive
There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN
Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well
Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.
Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly
What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?
Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach
The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi
The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”
“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.
And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.
Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel
Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?
It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.
Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?
There was something else of great importance in play – something we would have liked to see him take into account before deciding to stand with the boycotters.
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
Beyond the particulars of this tragic death, however, we should all be concerned about the possibility that a criminal prosecution in a major American city is being driven by fear of mobs in the street.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/what-part-of-irans-duplicity-doesnt-the-president-get/2014/05/21/
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