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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘International Atomic Energy Agency’

Obama Calls Netanyahu to Assure Him of ‘Concerns’ for Iranian Terror

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

President Barack Obama placed a check mark on his list of duties of protocol night and called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to assure him that the agreement with Iran ensures “the peaceful nature” of Tehran’s nuclear program. The White House summary of the phone call omitted Netanyahu’s response, which included two major concerns that he raised:

One, the agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities that will serve it in arming itself with nuclear weapons whether at the end of the period of the agreement in another 10-15 years, or earlier if it violates the agreement.

Two, the agreement channels hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran’s terrorism and war machine, a war that is directed against us and against others in the region.

President Obama’s “reassurance” on the aspect of terror was nothing but an expression “of our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel.” He did expound on how his “concerns” will thwart terror.

According to the White House version, President Obama noted that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon while ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

The White House was careful not to admit that Iran has 24 days to hide the evidence between the time that IAEA inspectors will ask to sniff for nuclear weapons development and the time they actually arrive.

“Snap inspections,” which Obama once said would part of the final deal, will not happen.

The President is going through the motions to show Congress how much his administration is Israel’s greatest ally and supporter, and he reminded Prime Minister Netanyahu last night that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will visit Israel next week.

The President told the Prime Minister that the visit “is a reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel, and that the visit offers a further opportunity to continue our close consultation on security issues with Israeli counterparts as we remain vigilant in countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.”

Uh-huh.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet last night that if weren’t for Israel, Iran would have nuclear weapons today. He explained:

The pressure that we applied and the actions that we undertook over the years led to the fact that Iran did not arm itself with nuclear weapons and I can safely say that were it not for Israel’s actions, including by governments that I led, Iran would have already armed itself with nuclear weapons.

And therefore, at present there is one mission – to ensure that it does not arm itself with nuclear weapons in the future.

Kerry Describes ‘Historic’ Nuclear Deal Signed Between World Powers, Iran

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Tuesday morning in Vienna that world powers have struck an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear development program.

In return, Iran will receive billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions to be relaxed in phases as Iran begins to comply with the commitments in the agreement.

According to the 109-page accord, Iran will enrich uranium only up to an amount of slightly less than 4 percent: enough for civilian medical and energy purposes. The Islamic Republic agreed to allow spot inspections – daily inspections, Kerry said – by monitors from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – at its nuclear research and development sites.

That access, however, is not guaranteed – especially at military sites, where the country’s parliament has just passed a law banning entry to any foreign or outside element. Even a delay could last long enough to allow nuclear scientists time to hide evidence of research into atomic weapons.

A three-month extension on talks between Iran and the IAEA to resolve outstanding issues was agreed to and signed this morning with the agency’s director, Yukiyo Amano, Kerry said. “Sanctions relief will only start when Iran complies with its commitments,” he reminded.

In addition, it was agreed the United Nations arms embargo imposed on Iran will continue for the next five years as well. UN restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran could last up to eight more years. Either or both sanctions, however, could end sooner, depending on clearance by the IAEA.

The “snap back” provision that allows sanctions to be reimposed if Iran violates the agreement will also stay in the agreement. Kerry noted this point is particularly important, inasmuch as the negotiators began their talks when Iran’s breakout time to a nuclear weapon was only a total of two to three months – and when the Islamic Republic already had amassed “enough fissile material for 10 to 12 [atomic] bombs.”

Perhaps that is one reason the deal is “not built on trust, it is built on verification,” as President Barack Obama told Americans in a broadcast from the White House carried live on Iranian state television. Obama added that all potential pathways to an Iranian nuclear weapon have been cut off.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in Tehran that a “new chapter” has begun in his nation’s relations with the global community.

Kerry also commented that the signing of the agreement could not guarantee its commitment; rather, “it’s the implementation that will matter,” he said. Nevertheless, despite fiery rhetoric filled with venom and vows by Iranian leaders not to allow outside access to the country’s nuclear sites, Kerry said negotiators talked a different tale at the negotiating table.

“The negotiators absolutely affirmed to us… that they are operating with a full mandate from the President [Hassan]Rouhani, and from the Supreme Leader,” Kerry said. Whether they were telling the truth, however, only time can tell.

“In the negotiation, you lay down the procedures that are expected to be taken and you lay down the consequences for not doing that,” he added.

Report: Iran Deal Reached — on Sanctions Relief

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

A tentative deal on sanctions relief may have been reached between the six world powers and Iran negotiating in Vienna over Tehran’s nuclear development program.

According to a report by The Associated Press, the agreement will still require signatures by senior officials in Iran, as well as those of the U.S. and five other nations involved in the talks.

The most recent deadline set for conclusion of the talks is coming up in two more days: July 7. But that is also not a fixed date. Senior U.S. officials told reporters in Vienna that if necessary, negotiators will push past that deadline as well.

The current document under consideration outlines which sanctions will be lifted, when and how.

Despite recent proclamations by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei insisting that all sanctions be lifted at once, Iranian negotiators are quietly speaking a different language.

As centrifuges are disconnected, some sanctions will be lifted. As the country’s nuclear stockpile is reduced, more will be lifted. When the heavy water reactor in the city of Arak is converted to produce plutonium that is not weapons grade, then more sanctions will be lifted.

“The actual [sanctions] termination will happen on the date that Iran will have finished its work,” a senior Iranian official told The Wall Street Journal.

A determined U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry carried on with meetings in Vienna on Saturday – July 4 – together with his counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, despite the American Independence Day holiday. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was likewise engaged in talks with his counterpart, Iranian atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi as well, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Yukiya Amano, head of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also told reporters in Vienna on Saturday that he had agreed to end an investigation into Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons research by the end of this year.

“With the cooperation from Iran I think we can issue a report by the end of the year on the assessment of the clarification of the issues related to possible military dimensions,” Amano said.

Since 2011, the IAEA has raised 12 sets of questions about Iran’s nuclear development program. Despite Tehran’s promises of “close cooperation” in November 2013, however, only two of the questions have ever been answered, and those only partially at that.

The Iranian government still refuses to allow IAEA inspectors to question key Iranian scientists. Nor will it allow visits to alleged nuclear sites.

It’s not clear how negotiators plan to bridge that gap to reach a deal that will allow sanctions relief for Iran, and security for the rest of the world.

Syria Asks IAEA for Help Converting Nuclear Reactor

Monday, June 8th, 2015

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has asked the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency for help with a nuclear reactor near Damascus, international media agencies reported Tuesday.

The UN agency is studying the Syrian request to help convert the reactor, which currently runs on highly-enriched uranium, into one that uses lower grade nuclear fuel.

IAEA head Yukiya Amano told reporters Monday that Syria has told the agency it would ship the higher-grade uranium abroad.

However, it is not clear where Syria would ship the higher-grade uranium — Iran is Syria’s closest ally – and neither is it clear what grade its uranium currently is.

Low enriched uranium is defined as that which is enriched to less than five percent of fissile purity. Weapons quality uranium is enriched above 20 percent but that which is used to fuel an atomic bomb is enriched to 90 percent.

Amano said the IAEA is studying the request and has yet to make a decision.

France Warns There’s ‘Insufficient Progress’ With Iran on Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

French Ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre told a meeting of the UN Security Council Tuesday that “insufficient” progress has been made towards a nuclear deal with Iran.

The UNSC session had been convened specifically to discuss the issue of UN sanctions on Iran.

“Iran must now make difficult choices if it truly wishes to regain the trust of the international community,” Delattre told ambassadors at the session.

Gaps still remain on the issues of sanctions and research and development, Reuters reported. Likewise, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in a briefing in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, that although there had been “substantial progress” in the talks, “important gaps remain… We have an opportunity to get this right,” he added, urging Iran to make the “fundamental decisions” that would prove its interest in peace, not nuclear weaponry.

But as Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu predicted in his speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month, Iran’s behavior reflects anything but an interest in peaceful relations with the West.

An Iranian official scolded the director-general of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiyo Amano, for requiring unannounced inspections of its nuclear sites as part of its inspection protocols.

The request, which Amano contended would reassure the international community and restore Iran’s credibility, harmed negotiations between world powers and Tehran, said Iran nuclear spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi.

Iranian state television quoted Kamalvandi as saying, “It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA’s seasonal and monthly reports.”

The deadline for the talks – conducted with Iran by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — is set for March 31, with a final agreement to be tied up by June 30.

Iran’s Zarif Paints Iran as a Lamb, Israel as the Lion

Friday, March 6th, 2015

NBC News reporter Ann Curry had an exclusive interview with the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Javad Zarif, on Wednesday, March 4. Although Curry doggedly asked the foreign minister several tough questions, the answers he gave with a straight face would be award winning, if the interview were meant to be fiction.

Throughout the interview, Zarif hammered away on his talking points which boil down to: Iran has no interest in building nuclear weapons, Iran’s nuclear program is purely peaceful, and Iran has been completely transparent and complied with every inspection and restriction placed upon it; while Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is a liar, is interfering in internal American politics, and Israel is the main aggressor, brutal occupier  and destabilizing force in the region.

Curry asked Zarif whether his country and the global world powers – the P5+1 – were making progress in the negotiations. Zarif responded that they have been able to move forward with many issues dealing with the technicalities because, he said, Iran “said all along that our nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.”

When asked what the major stumbling block is to an agreement between Iran and the P5+1 countries, Zarif claimed it has been the pressure against making the political agreement. He was referring to Israel’s Netanyahu.

Zarif ridiculed Netanyahu who, he said, has been predicting for years that Iran is only one year away from producing a nuclear bomb. Zarif then very calmly explained that there really is nothing to Netanyahu’s hysteria.

Iran is not about building nuclear weapon. We don’t wanna build nuclear weapons. We don’t believe that nuclear weapons bring security to anybody, certainly not to us. So – it’s important for everybody to come to the realization that – this is about nuclear technology, this is about scientific advancement, this is about pride of the Iranian people. It’s – it has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. And once we reach that understanding, once this hysteria is out, once this fear mongering is out, then we can have a deal, and a deal that is not gonna hurt anybody.

Curry, to her credit, contradicted Zarif’s claim that Iran has been transparent. She mentioned the recent statement made by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors that Iran has been stalling and has not been transparent about its nuclear program, even as the negotiations have been ongoing. But Zarif smoothly pivoted, and went off on another tirade about Israel.

there have been allegations that have been made against Iran. Most of them, unfortunately, produced by Israel. And by the way, it’s important to know that Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in our region, is the only aggressor in our region, is the only occupier of other people’s territory in our region. And it still has the audacity to go out and make claims– about others. The prime minister, who is actually responsible for the carnage that took place in Gaza, is accusing a country that has not invaded any of its neighbors, or anybody else for that matter, for over 250 years, more than the life of many nations.

Incredibly, Zarif presented Iran as the ultimate pacifist nation, claiming it has not invaded or “aggressed upon” any of its neighbors, whereas Israel’s record is “disastrous.”

Perhaps Zarif’s greatest punch line was when he claimed that the Middle East has been “facing a very serious threat of extremism, of violence, and that Iran has “been a force for stability in this region.”

Really? Maybe Curry should have asked about Iran’s funding and supplying of weapons to the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah, it’s destabilizing influence in Lebanon, its support for the brutal Assad regime, its murderous activities even in America’s own backyard, Argentina, and the hand-holding and cooperation with North Korea.

Curry did give a little pushback to this pipe dream of a peaceful Iran. She invoked Netanyahu’s statement in his speech to Congress on March 3, when he said Iran “has genocidal ambitions against the Jewish people.”

In a runner-up for best punch line, Zarif then invoked the Purim story, and claimed it was Netanyahu who does not know his own “scripture,” because he said (wrongly) that the Book of Esther is in the Old Testament, and in that scripture it is the Persian King who saves the Jewish people. From there, Zarif leaps over to the fact that there are Jews who live in Iran today who are not being “annihilated,” so Netanyahu is just plain wrong, according to Zarif.

In another effort at pushback NBC’s Curry produced a tweet from the Ayatollah Khameini from seven months ago.  The Ayatollah tweeted, referring to Israel: “This barbaric wolf-like and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime, has no cure but to be annihilated.”

What about that, Mr. Foreign Minister?

Zarif would have none of it, claiming that wanting to annihilate Netanyahu who has “butchered innocent children in Gaza” is not the same thing as wanting to annihilate Jews.

Then Zarif really got wound up and began blaming the Israeli regime for having caused the “oldest crisis in our region,” of having “aggressed upon all its neighbors,” of “occupying people’s territory,” and of “violating human rights on a daily basis.”  Zarif doubled down, saying that this Israel regime “should be annihilated,” because it is a threat to the region, one that engages in the killing of innocent children.

But, Zarif said, “Iran has not invaded any other country. We have not threatened to use force. Just exactly the opposite of Israel. Israel threatens to use force against Iran almost on a daily basis.”    

So, there you have the world according to Zarif. The Middle East is in danger because of the aggressor, the occupier, the evil nation – Israel is the one that has been threatening all its neighbors, while Iran is the stabilizing force for good in the region.

Why would anyone hesitate to sign a nuclear weapons agreement with these people?

Iran Reaches Accords on its Nuclear Program with UN Agency

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Iran reportedly will allow the United Nations to investigate possible military uses for the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

The agreement reported by news services on Sunday was among seven accords made by Iran during meetings with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. The talks began Saturday.

Iran reportedly also agreed to provide information and access to a uranium mine, a nuclear yellowcake plant and a laser center, as well as answer questions about the Arak heavy water reactor.

Press TV, the Iranian state television network, reported Sunday that Iran and the IAEA released a joint statement reviewing progress on an agreement struck three months ago.

The negotiations are separate from Iran’s talks with the United States and other world powers, which are set to restart on Feb. 18.

Under an interim plan first agreed to in November with the world powers, Iran reportedly has frozen most of its nuclear enrichment capability, including not installing or starting up additional centrifuges or using next-generation centrifuges.

In return, the world powers have provided Iran with some economic sanctions relief. Under the deal, Iran will continue to enrich uranium up to 5 percent.

The interim deal is for six months as Iran and the world powers work to negotiate a final deal.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-reaches-accords-on-its-nuclear-program-with-un-agency/2014/02/10/

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