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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘IAEA’

US Admin Claims ‘No Self Inspections,’ But Iran Alone Chooses Samples to Inspect

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The bologna surrounding the Nuclear Iran Deal was sliced even more thinly on Monday, Sept. 21.

Remember the alarms raised when a version of one of the confidential secret side deals obtained and reported on by the Associated Press revealed that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own Parchin military site? At least some of Iran’s nuclear weapons activity is suspected to have taken place at Parchin.

On Monday, most of the headlines about the Parchin inspections revealed that what had been suspected was, in fact, the case.

Tehran said that Iranians “independently collected samples” at Parchin with no non-Iranians present.  They later handed over those samples to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency for analysis.

But it wasn’t only Iran that claimed the samples were chosen solely by Iranians, and without any other “inspectors” present.

“It was done by Iranian experts, in the absence of IAEA inspectors,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.”

But that doesn’t worry the pretty little heads of the official spokespeople for both the White House and the State Department. Oh, no. You see?  It means that the Iranians did not self-inspect, according to the talking points placed in front of both of them.

How so?

Well, because the samples were delivered to the IAEA inspectors for….inspection! So all those efforts to make the secret side deals look like something nefarious when in fact they are merely super-duper top-secret – so secret no American has been or will be permitted to look at the text or the details of the deals, and that includes Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. President Barack Obama or even the nuclear physicist Secretary of the Energy Ernest Moniz – agreements between the jolly Iranians and the IAEA.

During the State Department Press Briefing on Monday, State’s Spokesperson John Kirby explained that the U.S. administration is perfectly satisfied with Iran being permitted to choose what samples to gather from (maybe?) the military site widely believed to have been the site of nuclear weapons testing, with no independent oversight.

That argument was apparently a winner for Cong. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). The DNC chair said she was briefed completely on the details of the inspections process, because she told CNN’s Jake Tapper when announcing her decision to support the deal that the Iranians “absolutely cannot self-inspect.”

The Florida Congresswoman also claimed in that same interview that the inspections regime under the Nuclear Iran Deal are “the most intrusive inspections and monitoring that we have ever imposed or that have ever been agreed to.” One wonders how swampland in Florida is selling these days.

Kirby also restated the official State Department position, which is that it is perfectly comfortable with the fact that the inspections process  to determine whether and how far along Iran’s nuclear weapons program was, is a confidential matter between Iran and the IAEA. That is none of the U.S.’s business, in other words.

Here is the full exchange between State Department Spokesman John Kirby and the AP’s incredulous Matt Lee, with an assist from his colleague Brad Klapper [emphasis added]:

QUESTION: And you don’t have any issue with fact that the inspectors were not allowed in, or that they were not there?

MR KIRBY: I would point you, Matt, to what the director general himself noted, which was that the verification activities at Parchin were conducted in the manner consistent with their standard safeguards practices. So the director general himself made it clear that he was comfortable with the verification process and that it was in keeping with the arrangement that they had made with Iran.

QUESTION: That’s great, but you – so you don’t have a problem with them not being physically present?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to get into the details of the process itself. That resides inside this confidential arrangement between Iran and the IAEA, so I’m not going to confirm or deny whether inspectors were present here or there. What I am going to say is we’re comfortable that the process was conducted in accordance with the normal procedures and the agreement that the IAEA had already made with Iran.

QUESTION: And so it remains your position that the confidential agreement and whatever it contains is sufficient to investigate? Okay.

MR KIRBY: Absolutely. And again, I’d point you to the fact that Director General Amano made it clear before and I think certainly made the implication today that there’s no self-inspection by Iran in this process.

QUESTION: There – okay. The other thing, at the – that your colleague at the White House seemed to suggest was that the courtesy call that Director General Amano made to Parchin was somehow evidence that – or was evidence that the Iranian military facilities are open and available for IAEA access. Is that really – is that the position of the State Department?

MR KIRBY: Well, in a short answer: yes. I mean, it’s not insignificant that the IAEA and the director general himself – I mean, I don’t know that we would characterize it as a courtesy call –but the fact that he and his team had access to Parchin is not insignificant.

QUESTION: His team, meaning the one person that went with him.

MR KIRBY: Look, I don’t – I’m not going to —

QUESTION: A brief – a brief visit to an empty room at Parchin, you think counts – qualifies as an inspection? That – was that the –

MR KIRBY: It’s not insignificant that they had access to Parchin. The director general himself – and I’m not going to get into the details of his visit or what that – that’s for the IAEA to speak to. But it’s not insignificant that they got – that they were granted access to this.

QUESTION: Is it your understanding that the director general of the IAEA conducts inspections? Or would that normally be done by —

MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their —

QUESTION: — lower-level people? MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their protocols. I don’t think it’s our expectation that he has to personally inspect everything.

QUESTION: Do you think he got down on his hands and knees and —

MR KIRBY: I’d point you to the director general to speak to his personal involvement. I don’t know that that’s our expectation, that he has to, as you said, get down on his hands and knees. But certainly he had access to Parchin, and that’s not insignificant – the first time that that’s been done. If we had this —

QUESTION: Well, do you recall how big a site Parchin is?

MR KIRBY: I don’t. I’m not an expert on the site itself.

QUESTION: It’s rather large.

QUESTION: It’s pretty huge.

MR KIRBY: Okay. QUESTION: So do you think that two people from the IAEA going into an empty room briefly —


QUESTION: — counts – I’m trying to find out whether you guys think or are trying to say that Amano’s courtesy call, his very brief visit – he even said that it was very brief – counts as some kind of an inspection. That’s all.

MR KIRBY: I would point you to what the IAEA has said about their —

QUESTION: Not even the IAEA said this was an inspection, but your colleague at the White House suggested that the fact that Director General Amano was able to briefly visit one room or one part of the site was evidence that the Iranians have opened up their military sites to IAEA access. And I just want to know if the State Department thinks that it’s – thinks the same.

MR KIRBY: We believe it’s significant that Iran granted access to this facility at Parchin for the first time in the history of this issue, both in his visit and the technical verification activities. What’s more important is we look forward to Iran’s fulling implementing its commitments under the roadmap. That’s what matters here. QUESTION: Would you be confident in this being the standard of inspection going forward?

MR KIRBY: It’s not that that is – this is an issue between Iran and the IAEA, and as we said at the very outset, Brad, that having been briefed on the details of that confidential arrangement, the Secretary remains comfortable that it will allow for the IAEA to get the proper access it needs and the ability, through various techniques, of effectively monitoring.

QUESTION: But you don’t think there needs to be – you’re not saying that whatever the confidential arrangements are of future inspections going forward, that they will have necessarily more access than this?

MR KIRBY: That is between the IAEA and Iran to work out. What matters to us, we’re not going to micromanage the inspection activities of the IAEA. It’s an independent, international agency that can speak for itself about what it will or will not do. And as you know, many of those arrangements are confidential and they won’t speak to them. What matters to us, having been briefed on the protocols, is that we remain comfortable, should this – should Iran continue to meet its commitments in keeping with that arrangement, we believe they will get the access and will get the information they need.

So, according to the Obama Team’s talking points, it does not count as “self-inspection” when the Iranians – with no one watching – choose the samples to be analyzed to determine Iran’s nuclear weapons activity.

And the administration and all the elected officials who support the Nuclear Iran Deal, who are prepared to lift sanctions and turn over a hundred billions of dollars to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism, are satisfied with this form of no oversight inspection.

IAEA Nixes Resolution to Control Israel’s Nukes

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Israel has once again escaped an attempt by the Arab bloc to force Israel to submit its nuclear facilities to international scrutiny.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted overwhelmingly against the resolution sponsored by Egypt calling for international monitoring of Israel’s nuclear facilities.

This year’s proposal – which is presented annually – was voted down by 61 member nations, including the entire European Union.

Forty-three nations supported the resolution and 33 countries abstained from casting a vote.

The office of Israel’s prime minister hailed what it called a “great victory for Israel in the international arena” following the vote, held Thursday at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s 59th General Conference in Vienna.

“In recent weeks, there has been a combined national effort, led by the Prime Minister and the National Security Council, the Foreign Ministry, and the Atomic Energy Commission,” the office observed in a statement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday night that he personally had spoken directly with more than 30 presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers about the importance of the issue.

“I explained that there was no place to hold a discussion of this kind as long as the main problem in the Middle East is Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons and its clear declarations regarding its intention to destroy the State of Israel.

I welcome the fact that the gap in Israel’s favor was significantly larger than the votes in previous years,” he said, adding that he thanked all the countries that supported Israel, and “especially the U.S., Australia and Canada.

“I thank the EU for voting as a single bloc in favor of Israel against the decision,” he added.

The resolution included a clause referring to Israel’s nuclear arsenal as a “permanent threat to peace and security in the region,” and would have forced the Jewish State to become a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, thus placing Israeli nuclear facilities directly under IAEA supervision. Israel has never formally acknowledged any possession of nuclear arms, and maintains an official position of “atomic ambiguity.”

Egypt itself is presently in the process of negotiating construction of its own nuclear facilities with Russia, which has been involved in producing nuclear plants for Iran for more than a decade.

Legal Bombshell Could Block Nuclear Iran Deal, if Congress Has the Nerve

Friday, September 11th, 2015

After the Senate’s filibuster of the Nuclear Iran Deal on Thursday, Sept. 10, perhaps the only remaining way for Congressional opponents of the Nuclear Iran Deal to block the measure is if Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) authorizes the House of Representatives to sue President Obama for failing to comply with the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Corker-Cardin).

That avenue is wide open, at the moment, thanks to a decision by a Federal District Court in Washington, D.C. issued on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

The court in House of Representatives v. Burwell found that the House has standing, that is, the right, to bring a lawsuit against the executive branch of the U.S. government. The issue in the Burwell case is the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

The legal basis for the potential lawsuit would be the failure of the White House to comply with the requirements laid out in Corker-Cardin. Under that legislation passed earlier this year, the White House had to provide Congress with all documents relating to the Nuclear Iran Deal, whether codicils, side agreements, or any other agreements bearing on the issue, with or between the parties.

As was discovered this summer, there are two secret side agreements dealing with Iran’s nuclear program, the only parties to which are Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The administration has never provided Congress with any documents relating to those side agreements. As was revealed yesterday in the JewishPress.com, the administration claimed, with a straight face, that it has provided Congress with all the documentation it has. The administration was able to make that claim because not one member of the U.S. government has a single piece of paper or digital notation regarding those side deals – those were all left with the Iranian negotiators and the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The Iranians physically threatened to harm IAEA members if information about the secret side deals were shared with Americans, the Washington Free Beacon noted, quoting the Iranian Fars news service.

Of course the administration knew that Corker-Cardin required it to produce documentation regarding the side deals. Perhaps for this reason, first the administration tried to hide the fact that those side deals existed.

But the existence of those side agreements was discovered anyway, by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), two U.S. legislators trying to represent the interests of America, who traveled to Vienna to meet with IAEA officials in July, and who were told about the side agreements then.

Once the existence of those side deals became known, the administration officials still hid critical information about them – even to themselves, if they can be believed – although those officials had to know they were violating Corker-Cardin all along by allowing every jot of documentation to remain beyond U.S. borders.

Think about the growing mound of lies and obstructions surrounding Messr.s Obama and Kerry’s Nuclear Iran Deal. What is in it that they are so convinced Americans would revolt if the truth about it were known?

Which brings Congress, finally, at this very late date, to the possibility of litigation.

This only works if the House of Representatives, as an institution, brings the case, and that requires Boehner’s approval. Although Boehner has been late to the party, he has now become alive to the need for a vigorous legal attack on the flawed legislation itself and on the administration’s abrogation of its obligations under Corker-Cardin.

Perhaps this newfound interest stems from very serious challenges to his leadership. Those challenges are coming from Republicans on his right who have been the strongest opponents to the treaty as a threat both to the United States, as well as to Israel and the rest of the civilized world.

If Boehner has finally awakened and is prepared to use all the tools at his disposal as leader of the Republican majority in the House – which has strongly and consistently opposed this capitulatory deal – something historic may happen.

State Dept Spox: No Worries, Parchin has No Nuclear Dimensions

Friday, August 28th, 2015

A report by the entity responsible for ensuring the peaceful development of nuclear energy worldwide and the one upon which the world depends for monitoring Iran’s nuclear activity revealed that over the past few months Iran has been working on and adding to a building at its Parchin site.

Parchin is an Iranian military complex located southeast of Tehran. It is the focus of speculation regarding possible testing of weaponization of nuclear material by the Iranians.

A November, 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency report revealed satellite imagery of certain structures and chambers or vessels which indicate that Iran conducted various activities consistent with nuclear blast assessments.

But the U.S. State Department, according to its spokesperson during a public briefing on Thursday, Aug. 27, has already conclusively determined – or at least concluded – that no such activity has taken or is taking place. Not to worry.

The confidential IAEA report issued on Thursday, Aug. 27, obtained by Reuters, said: “Since (our) previous report (in May), at a particular location at the Parchin site, the agency has continued to observe, through satellite imagery, the presence of vehicles, equipment, and probable construction materials. In addition, a small extension to an existing building” appeared to have been built.

The report was generated as part of the IAEA’s inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran’s past nuclear activity. Such “PMD”s, as it is known, were a serious point of discussion in the lead-up to the July 14th Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the U.S. and the other member nations of the P5+1.

Many expressed great disappointment that there is nothing included in the JCPOA regarding PMDs. That issue, along with inspections of Parchin itself, are covered by the two side agreements which are exclusively between Iran and the IAEA.

According to Reuters, the IAEA says any activities Iran has undertaken at Parchin since U.N. inspectors last visited in 2005 could jeopardize its ability to verify Western intelligence, suggesting Tehran carried out tests there relevant to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. Iran has dismissed the intelligence as “fabricated.”

“It’s funny that the IAEA claims there has been a small extension to a building … Iran doesn’t need to ask for the IAEA’s permission to do construction work on its sites,” Reza Najafi, Iran’s envoy to the agency, was quoted as saying by ISNA news agency.

State Department spokesman John Kirby‘s response to a media question about building at Parchin not only echoed Najafi’s response, but put the rabbit in the hat. Nukes? What nukes?

Here are the question and answer from the briefing:

QUESTION: There was just one element I wanted to ask you about. I think the report – without getting too much into the details, I mean, it confirmed broad compliance. But there was some mention of the Parchin base again and about construction or other activity that was going on there. Independent of the report, is that something the United States has noted and is also concerned about?

MR KIRBY: Well, I’d say, without getting into the specifics here – as I said, we’re not going to do that – I think it’s important to remember that when you’re talking about a site like Parchin, you’re talking about a conventional military site, not a nuclear site. So there wouldn’t be any IAEA or other restrictions on new construction at that site were they to occur. (emphasis added)

In other words, Kirby, representing the official position of the State Department, has declared that Parchin is simply a regular military site and, despite earlier reports by the IAEA and believed by many analysts, there is no and was no PMD activity there at all.

Not to worry.

US Experts: That Activity in Parchin Site is No Road Renovation

Saturday, August 8th, 2015

(JNi.media) Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif on Saturday rejected US media claims about suspicious new developments at the Parchin facility, complaining that the Western media “have no other goal but to create an atmosphere of misunderstanding,” IRNA reported.

“The comments show that all the claims raised against the Islamic Republic of Iran on the issue are baseless,” Zarif insisted, adding that “it has been announced that a road building project has been implemented in the area.”

But the US-based think tank Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS, that’s actually their name, since 1993) is insisting that’s no road work over there, pointing to satellite images that show vehicles and containers being moved at Parchin.

Parchin is a military complex, some 19 miles southeast of Tehran. In July, the Iranian UN mission declared that there was no nuclear weapon production on the site and that the suspicions about Iran reactivating the site are born by a misconception caused by road reconstruction opposite the Mamloo Dam, which is located near the complex.

The UN International Atomic Energy Agency is very suspicious about Iran’s Parchin facility, and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has voiced concern about the kind of access the IAEA expected to have there.

“We cannot get [IAEA head Yukiya Amano] to even confirm that we will have physical access inside of Parchin,” Corker told reporters last week.

We probably will not.

ISIS said the satellite images were taken after Iran signed its deal with the 5+1 world powers on July 14.

“This renewed activity occurring after the [signing of the deal] raises obvious concerns that Iran is conducting further [cleanup] efforts to defeat IAEA verification,” the think tank’s report states.

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday that a cleanup effort, if one is taking place, would be “cause for concern.” But he insisted the US is confident it knows what’s taking place at Parchin and is able to detect nuclear activity at any Iranian site.

“You can’t cover up past nuclear activity very easily. It lasts for decades, even longer,” Toner said.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest played down the possibility of Iranian efforts to restart nuclear works, but also said he wasn’t at liberty to discuss specific intelligence matters.

Royce Submits Congressional Bill to ‘Disapprove’ IranDeal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (CA) has submitted a bill to disapprove the nuclear deal between the U.S., world powers and Iran.

Congress has until September 17 to approve or disapprove of the agreement that was signed on July 14 under the Iran Nuclear Review Act signed in May by President Barack Obama.

The announcement means the Republican-led Congress will make an effort to pass the resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 64, rather than a resolution of non-binding approval.

A resolution of disapproval would prohibit the White House from lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran, probably killing the deal entirely. If the resolution passes, Obama may be expected to veto it.

Royce wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that it was “imperative” for lawmakers to see the so-called “side deals” being negotiated between the Islamic Republic and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency while the agreement is being debated in Congress.

“While this may not be typical IAEA practice, there is nothing typical about the Iranian threat or this nuclear agreement,” he wrote. “Reviewing these side agreements is critical to Congress understanding whether Iran intends to pass that test… It is clear to me that this issue deserves more scrutiny by the Committee. Indeed, all Members of Congress should have access to the separate arrangements negotiated between Iran and the IAEA,” he continued.

“The ‘separate arrangement’ agreed to between the IAEA and Iran regarding inspection of the facilities at Parchin will almost certainly be regarded by Tehran as a precedent for IAEA access to future suspicious sites in Iran.

“I have little doubt that ‘side deals’ of today will become central to the agreement’s verification provisions tomorrow.

“These ‘separate arrangements’ have the potential to seriously weaken our ability to verify the agreement as a whole.”

The White House called the ‘arrangements’ between the IAEA and states standard and confidential. However, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano is slated to present a closed-door briefing to members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Aug. 5.)

Longtime former IAEA deputy director Dr. Olli Heinonen, who headed the agency’s arms inspections , currently of Harvard’s Belfer Center, expressed his opposition to the nuclear agreement Tuesday in a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

ObamaDeal Exposed: It’s not ‘Secret’ from Congress but not in Writing

Friday, July 31st, 2015

The State Dept. was caught in yesterday’s press briefing claiming there were no “secret deals” with Iran but admitted that it has no written copy of the arrangements it is defending.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee questioned spokesman Mark Toner at Thursday’s press briefing about many Congressmen’s concerns over IAEA access to Iran’s nuclear sites under the nuclear agreement.

Republican Sen. Bob Corker has said that IAEA director Dr. Yukiya Amano did not accept an invitation to testify at Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the deal.

Toner declined to say whether Dr. Amano should testify but added:

There’s [sic] no secret deals, and we heard that expression thrown out constantly over the last couple of days. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The IAEA, which is the one that verifies – will verify this deal, does create arrangements with countries under what’s called the Additional Protocol.

And Under Secretary Sherman has already had a secure briefing with the House leadership talking about this arrangement, and we’ve continued to provide or we will continue to provide those briefings in a classified setting, as needed….

So the perception that this has somehow been – that Congress hasn’t been looped in on this, and what we know about these arrangements is, frankly, incorrect. But they’ve had to take place in a classified setting.

Fine and dandy, but the reasonable assumption is that someone knows about the arrangements.

Lee told the spokesman:

But the notion – you said the notion that Congress hasn’t been looped in, but you haven’t been looped in because you guys haven’t read it.

Toner admitted:

We haven’t received a written copy of it, but we have been briefed on the contents.

And Lee retorted:

So someone with a photographic memory has looked at it and copied everything down in their brain and then repeated it up on the Hill?

Toner fidgeted and explained that “nuclear experts with much bigger degrees than I can ever attain have looked at this and their comfort level with it is good.”

But that does not answer the question, “If there is no secret deal, why isn’t a written version available?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obamedeal-exposed-its-not-secret-from-congress-but-not-in-writing/2015/07/31/

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