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July 3, 2015 / 16 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Nancy Pelosi Will Oppose Iran Deal Legislation

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) will oppose Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R) legislation that allows Congress to review President Obama’s Iran deal, according to a report in The Hill.

Pelosi warned that the proposal by Senator Corker threatens to kill Obama’s deal.

Pelosi said, “Senator Corker’s legislation undermines these international negotiations and represents an unnecessary hurdle to achieving a strong, final agreement.”

But not all Democrats aren’t on the same page with Pelosi.

Rep. Steve Israel (D) implied that Pelosi was a partisan-based decisions when he said, “If President Bush had proposed this deal, I would demand the right to review it and to vote on it. President Obama is proposing this deal, I reserve the right to read it and vote on it… It shouldn’t matter who the president is, Congress has a constitutional responsibility to weigh in on deals of this magnitude and that’s exactly what we should do.”

There are apparently enough votes in Congress and the Senate for the proposal to pass, but President Obama has threatened to use his veto if it does.

If all the Republicans support the measure, only 45 Democrats would be needed to override the President’s veto.

Iran Warns US on Sanctions: ‘All or Nothing’

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Iran has threatened to scuttle the Obama administration’s “key parameters” for a deal to cover its nuclear program and said Washington’s “fact sheet”  misrepresents last week’s agreement.

Sure enough, before the ink hardly has dried on the arrangement, agreement or key parameters – depending on your spin – Iran has warned that President Barack Obama must annul all sanctions.

The State Dept. Fact sheet states:

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.

As we have written here before, any agreement between the West and Iran or the Arab world simply is a basis for another argument.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the “fact sheet” as fiction and stated on Sunday, “During the negotiations, we have always planned for the termination of the economic, financial and banking sanctions and we have never negotiated on their suspension, otherwise, no understanding would be made.”

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday, “We expect for the anti-Iran sanctions suspension piece to happen generally within the first year, but again, if Iran takes these steps more quickly, then the suspension can come more quickly.”

Iran’s deputy lead negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi contradicted her and said, “This is a wrong impression about the Lausanne understanding [that] explicitly states that the sanctions will be annulled; all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions will be removed in the first stage.”

Now that Iran has a temporary deal in hand, it is acting as if it has the upper hand. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is desperate for some kind of achievement on paper than can mask his countless failures. A deal might even win him a Nobel Peace Prize and give President Obama’s justification for having prematurely received it in his first term of office, before he by his own admission had not done anything to earn it.

Foreign Minister Zarif warned on Sunday Iran can walk away from the deal just as easily as Obama can threaten to do so.

He told Iranian television:

Either side in this agreement can, in the case of the other side violating the agreement, cease its own steps.

As with Palestinian Authority “negotiations” with Israel, under the iron fist of the Obama administration, it already is clear that Iran already is negotiating in public to push Obama further against the wall.

The more he pushes, the more Congress might push back and ditch the deal.

Sen. Feinstein Declares Deal with Iran Does not Endanger Israel

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein declared on Sunday that the framework arrangement with Iran does not threaten Israel’s survival.

The Jewish Congresswoman, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama,. who is facing a backlash from many Democratic Congressmen because of the deal and his harsh attitude towards Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

 

Netanyahu’s Spokesman: Do You Really Trust Iran to Allow Monitoring?

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Israel took its campaign to ditch the deal with Iran to American media Friday with interviews on Fox News and MSNBC with a single message that Iran cannot be trusted.

That would not seem to be such big news or a surprise on the Israeli side of the Mediterranean Sea, but millions of Americans believe the Obama administration that they can count on Iran to allow monitoring of its nuclear faculties and research.

“The deal leaves Iran with an enormous and extensive nuclear infrastructure,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark told MSNBC. “It doesn’t close down, not even one uranium nuclear facility, not one.”

Regev added, “Why is Iran building intercontinental ballistic missiles? They’re not building them to attack Israel. They can do that. They are building intercontinental ballistic missiles to hit … targets in the United States. They’re a threat to you, too.

The biggest hole in the “key parameters” agreement with Iran is that issue of monitoring its nuclear facilities.

Regev told MSNBC:

We have seen, and I think you would probably agree with this, we have seen over the years monitoring is highly problematic when you’re dealing with authoritarian, totalitarian regimes committed to concealment. There’s a whole question what to inspect, where do you inspect, what do you know, what do you not know? And to base your defense, the defense of my country, the defense of the region, and the defense of the United States on inspectors when their value is at least questionable, we think is very precarious.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning to Congress last month not to make a “bad deal” with Iran was only the first and certainly not the last step in Israel’s attempt to convince legislators to overturn the arrangement with Iran.

Regev’s appearance on two major American television networks makes it clear to President Barack Obama that the Prime Minister is not concerned about their personal relationship and that Israel will exercise its right to try to change American foreign policy that direct affects the country.

Regev told Fox:

This agreement that is on the table puts a lot of emphasis on the issue of monitoring. But we all know that monitors when they work with authoritarian or totalitarian regimes that they play games with monitors.

We didn’t see monitors work, not in Iraq, we didn’t see them work in Syria; we didn’t see them work in Libya… Monitors cannot work effectively with an authoritarian regime.

It’s an abasement agreement on monitors. ‘Come in and look. ‘ Where are they going look? What – is the Iranian regime really going to allow them to go anywhere they want to go? I doubt it very much.’

Obama and Netanyahu’s Different Versions of Same Phone Call on Iran

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

The White House and the office of the Prime Minister issued two statements on a phone call between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu after the “key parameters” of a deal with Iran were announced, and it is difficult to believe they were referring to the same conversation.

President Obama called Prime Minister Netanyahu after the fuzzy agreement, as reported here, was announced, and according to the White House, Obama said:

The President emphasized that, while nothing is agreed until everything is, the framework represents significant progress towards a lasting, comprehensive solution that cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb and verifiably ensures the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

He underscored that progress on the nuclear issue in no way diminishes our concerns with respect to Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism and threats towards Israel and emphasized that the United States remains steadfast in our commitment to the security of Israel.

The readout of the call also referred to Netanyahu’s re-election, saying that Obama told the Prime Minister “that he has directed his national security team to increase consultations with the new Israeli government about how we can further strengthen our long-term security cooperation with Israel and remain vigilant in countering Iran’s threats.”

The White House did not refer at all to what the Netanyahu had to say, a clear message that he cares about what Israel thinks about the deal as much as he cares what Congress thinks.

The difference is that he has to deal with Congress, which can ditch the agreement, if it wants.

Obama did not want to tell anyone what Netanyahu said in the conversation because it would work against public opinion that the president wants to beat back Congressional opposition.

The office of the Prime Minister said of the phone call:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to US President Barack Obama this evening and expressed Israel’s strong opposition to the framework agreement with Iran which poses a grave danger to Israel, the region and the world.

Netanyahu said, ‘A deal based on this framework would threaten the survival of Israel. Just two days ago, Iran said that the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable, and in these fateful days Iran is accelerating the arming of its terror proxies to attack Israel.

This deal would legitimize Iran’s nuclear program, bolster Iran’s economy, and increase Iran’s aggression and terror throughout the Middle East and beyond.

Such a deal would not block Iran’s path to the bomb.  It would pave it.’

Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Some members of Congress are insisting there be a limit to the ongoing negotiations to convince the Islamic Republic to agree not to produce nuclear weapons.

In a letter sent on Thursday, March 26, to the Chair and the Ranking member of the subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the House Appropriations Committee, several members of Congress, spearheaded by Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), sought the insertion of language in the upcoming foreign operations appropriations bill that would prohibit the inclusion of funding for continuing talks with Iran by the U.S. with the P5+1 member nations.

The letter, addressed to Cong. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Cong. Nita Lowey (D-NY), described the ongoing negotiations with Iran as “dangerous” and a “failed effort” to “ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapons capability.”

The letter pointed out that, despite assurances to the contrary, the administration has already made dangerous concessions to Iran, including the decision to permit Iran to maintain a “peaceful nuclear enrichment program.”

As pointed out in the Congressional letter, “there is no such thing as a peaceful Iranian nuclear enrichment program.”

In addition, the March 26 letter recounts the highlights (or, rather, low points) of what is understood to be included in a final deal, which would permit Iran to maintain its current stockpile unmolested now, and then the complete lifting of any restraints on Iran in ten years time.

A House staffer who spoke about the current status of the negotiations with the JewishPress.com was piqued by the administration’s refusal to share details of the deal with members of Congress. The language the administration has employed is particularly irksome. Saying that Congress will “see the agreement” once it is completed is hardly reassuring to those with grave concerns about what it contains.

The staffer explained that while this request to Appropriations, even if implemented, would not kick in for another 19 months, it is significant because Congress needs to continue demanding “it has a role to play,” and this is one way of alerting both the administration and the public that Congress has not yet been heard on this critically important topic. Congress has, essentially, “been left in the dark.”

FORDOW ENRICHMENT TO CONTINUE UNDER DEAL?

The Congressional letter was sent the same day that an absolute blockbuster scoop from the Associated Press revealed yet another dangerous concession allegedly made by the U.S. to Iran: that Washington is poised to allow the Iranians to continue enrichment activities at its Fordow facility. This is the one that is an underground military bunker. Fordow is built into the side of a mountain and is all but impervious to an air attack.

Really? Spinning centrifuges in a bunkered facility? Any members of Congress who are not standing up on their hind legs and demanding the right to review and make changes to a final deal with Iran on what is perhaps the most important treaty of modern times deserves to lose their seat.

RALLY FRIDAY OUTSIDE SENATORS SCHUMER AND GILLIBRAND’S OFFICES IN NYC

And there are some New Yorkers who will be sharing that view with their U.S. Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, tomorrow, March 27, at noon.

There will be a rally in front of the senators’ offices, at 780 Third Avenue between East 48th and 49th Streets in Manhattan. The purpose of the rally is to press the senators to commit to overriding President Obama’s promised veto of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, better known as the Corker-Menendez Bill.

Neither Schumer nor Gillibrand have stated publicly how they will vote on an override of the president’s promised veto of INARA. Concerned constituents want the senators to be counted among those elected representatives who will demand Congress plays a role in ensuring that any deal with Iran will not allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

Pressure on Iran Picking Up to Sign a Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

US Senate to Vote on Sanctions If No Iran Deal, EU Sanctions Already Reinstated

The United States Senate has threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not successful in shepherding a nuclear technology deal through talks between world powers and Iran.

The European Union has already reinstated sanctions against 40 Iranian companies, including dozens of shipping firms, in order to increase pressure on Iran to sign on the dotted line.

The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on firms that were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines carrier (IRISL) in January, saying the EU had not proved the IRISL was actively supporting nuclear proliferation.

IRISL attorney Maryam Taher told the Reuters news agency the move was “purely politically motivated and not based on any proper evidence. The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation.”

On Monday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that it could not state definitively that Iran’s nuclear program had no “military dimensions.” Issues meant to resolve suspicions of weaponization work remain, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in his report, despite what he called “good cooperation” from Tehran regarding the November 2013 comprehensive safeguards agreement.

However, he said, “We continue to verify the non-divergence of nuclear material declared by Iran, but we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.”

If international negotiators come up empty-handed this time around (they have already missed one deadline), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at a weekly news briefing “Another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy.”

If an agreement is signed, the lawmakers would pass a bill requiring the president to submit the deal to Congress for its approval. The bill also contains a provision that would temporarily remove Obama’s ability to waive sanctions.

Obama says he will veto both bills.

Negotiators took a break on Friday and reconvene this week as the March 31 deadline inches closer. World leaders will try again to close a deal with a nation whose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for “Death to America,” while its President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that an agreement could still be reached.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pressure-on-iran-picking-up-to-sign-a-nuclear-deal/2015/03/25/

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