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

3 NYC Ds Disappoint Area Residents and Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Three members of the New York City Congressional Delegation came out in favor of the Nuclear Iran Deal on Monday, Aug. 31.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), said that after much review and discussion, she now believes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is “the most effective means by which the United States and her allies can achieve the goal of preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weaponry.  It will set new rules of engagement regarding nuclear capabilities with one of the world’s most hostile and menacing regimes.  As one of the premier state sponsors of terrorism in the world, the Iranian regime has made its intentions clear through words and actions that it will, if left unchecked, create a nuclear weapon.”

Clarke is entitled to support the deal, but, as the saying goes, she is not entitled to create her own facts about it. She is incorrect when she included the following in her statement:

Through this agreement, Iran must allow full access at all times to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor every aspect of its nuclear supply chain, to verify that Iran fulfills its pledge not to develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. Inspectors will be able to access and monitor all sites ‘where necessary, when necessary’ to ensure Iran’s compliance with the agreement. Only when Iran has fully implemented the agreement will the economic sanctions be removed.

In fact, one of the major criticisms directed against the Nuclear Iran Deal is that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry dropped their initial insistence that there would be “anywhere, anytime” inspections by members of the IAEA of suspected nuclear sites. Instead, if there is a suspicion that Iran is developing nuclear weapons in a previously undisclosed site, various procedures need to be followed, which means Iran will have nearly a month before any inspectors are allowed to enter the site.

Clarke represents a district which is heavily populated with Orthodox Jews. Her district is in Brooklyn and includes Crown Heights and Flatbush. Clarke had been the focus of intense attention by neighborhood residents and politicians who oppose the deal.

Community resident Yaacov Behrman told the JewishPress.com that congresswoman Yvette Clarke personally told him several months ago she would review the deal and that she would reject a bad deal.

‘I brought her message of hope back to the community. Tonight we all feel betrayed,” Behrman said.

The other two New York Democrats who announced they will support the Nuclear Iran Deal on the same day are Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5) and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-7), who represents parts of Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Lower Manhattan and Queens.

Velázquez issued a statement in which she said “after several months of deliberation, it is my deeply held belief that the JCPOA is the best option we have for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in the near term. I will support the agreement when it comes before the House for a vote.”

Announcing his support for the deal, Rep. Meeks said ““In my review, I placed great importance on the verification and inspection process,” and he also claimed that if “Iran violates the deal, sanctions will snap back into place.”

Weeks represents Far Rockaway, Jamaica, Queens and parts of Manhattan.

New York politicians and community leaders opposed to the deal are already discussing potential candidates to challenge those elected officials who vote to support the deal.

UK, Iran Reopen Embassies, But No US ‘Comeback’ Yet

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Britain reopened its embassy in Tehran on Sunday, as Iran did the same in London.

Persian language graffiti scrawled in 2011 is still marked in red on the lime green walls of the British embassy in Tehran. Above the portrait of the queen is written: ‘Death to the English.’

In Tehran, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond was in attendance to mark the occasion. In London, former foreign secretary Jack Straw did the honors at the reopening of the Iranian embassy in South Kensington.

The moves come four years after the UK embassy was trashed by a mob in November 2011. Among the rioters were members of the brutal Basij Iranian militia force.

Hammond told reporters in Iran there is a “huge appetite” from UK businesses who wish to invest and create conditions for British banks to finance trade deals with Tehran. Also in attendance in Tehran, in fact, was a trade delegation, and the exchequer secretary to the treasury, Damian Hinds. The officials are hoping to discuss possible future trade opportunities during their visit.

The low-key ceremony heralds a renewal of economic and other ties between Iran and Europe. It came in response to the agreement last month between Iran and U.S.-led world powers on a nuclear deal that eventually will lift sanctions from the Islamic Republic.

Foreign ministers from Italy, France and Germany have all been to Iran already. Most of Europe, in fact, has diplomatic relations in Tehran.

Despite America having led the efforts to arrange the agreement, Tehran has given the United States a cold shoulder.

Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif told reporters on Sunday the “illogical attitude” of the United States towards Iran means the time is not yet ripe for a similar move with Washington DC.

“It seems that there needs to be a change in that kind of attitude and behavior on the part of the U.S.,” Zarif said. “So the situation is different with the U.S.”

In the early days of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iranian students destroyed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and seized hostages, whom they held for 444 days. Diplomatic ties have been frozen since that time.

President Barack Obama has vowed to veto any measure from the Congress that moves to disapprove the nuclear deal. If Obama’s veto is not overturned by the Congress, he will have succeeded in launching the process of lifting a wealth of sanctions that have choked the Iranian economy and helped to hold back its nuclear weapons development.

Obama Offers His ‘Deal or War’

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

This critical period during which Congress is mulling over the nuclear deal made by U.S. negotiators and their P5+1 partners with Iran has turned into a hotly contested debate between those committed to preventing the deal from being approved and those who are desperate to ensure that it will be approved.

Yesterday, Aug. 4, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke to thousands of Americans and explained why he believes the deal is a bad one. It boiled down to “Keep or Cheat.” However Iran decides to act under this agreement, it will attain nuclear threshold status.

Today President Barack Obama gave a midday televised speech from American University in Washington, D.C.. During the speech he ridiculed those who criticize the deal, and explained why, according to him, the choice is either the deal or war.

Obama sought to compare the current situation in which Iran is seen by many as threatening the U.S. and its closest allies, and perhaps the world, to the time in which the Soviet Union, also a supporter of terrorist proxies, was considered the global danger.

This comparison is useful because the tensions and stakes were similar, and the danger was handled through diplomacy, rather than a resort to war.

Of course, diplomacy is not a generic concept, and its success depends greatly on the diplomats involved and the deals they are able to strike.

This American administration and its negotiating team are not the teams who handled the Cuban Missile Crisis, nor have they woven treaties like the SALT and START Treaties. In fact, one clear red flagging difference is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is not a treaty, or at least is not being called one, with all the consequences that entails.

The President agrees with many of his critics about one factor: the importance of the issue. He described the deal and the foreign policy debate surrounding it as “one of the most consequential” the United States government has engaged in, in years.

Unfortunately, unlike Netanyahu’s speech, which was entirely respectful of President Obama, this one was smug, threatening, nasty and insulting, especially regarding Netanyahu, but also towards any other critics of the deal.

In refusing to take the high road, it may be that Obama lost the opportunity to win over those who were wavering. Or, and perhaps more likely, the threats he raised, including the specter of disaster that will befall the United States should the deal be rejected, may be sufficient to capture those who are susceptible to such tactics.

Time will tell.

In the hour-long speech, the President reiterated what he and the other proponents of the deal have been touting since the JCPOA was signed two weeks ago. This is the best possible deal, snap-back of sanctions will be available if Iran cheats, the inspections regime covers all contingencies (but while admitting the Iranians will have 24 days before inspectors can visit contested sites, Obama promised “we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in.”)

A careful review of the speech, however, reveals several significant inconsistencies.


The President spent a great deal of time deriding the idea that sanctions would be enough to deter Iran from driving towards its nuclear weapons goal, and ridiculing the idea of America going it alone on sanctions should Congress reject the deal. He pledged that should Iran cheat, “we can catch them, and we will.”

He then said, “If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of the other members of the U.N. Security Council, America can trigger snap back on our own.” So what happened to the idea that America can’t go it alone? Or that sanctions are sufficient?

E-Mails Show Clinton without a Clue on How to Relate to Israel

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Hillary Clinton’s e-mails expose what President Barack Obama has tried to hide – a  person with absolutely no values or principles except to be politically correct.

The U.S. State Dept. on Friday released more of her hidden e-mails, and they show her as being uncertain and without a clue on relations with Israel.

She desperately sought advice in 2009 when she received advanced notice that the U.N.-sanctioned Goldstone Report thoroughly condemned Israel for alleged war crimes in Operation Cast Lead against Hamas missile attacks on Israel in late 2008 and early 2009. The voluminous report  was based on information that its author Richard  Goldstone later found out to be biased and led him to retract most of his criticism.

His original conclusions were devastating, and Clinton’s e-mails reveal she did not know what to think, according to the correspondence published by Vice News.

Clinton wrote her adviser Jack Sullivan:

What’s the guidance on what I should say? Mitchell just reported to me how strongly the Israelis feel that the POTUS and I speak out forcefully about it now.

And they said if there’s a vote in the UNGA that’s the end of the peace process. What do you know?

Mitchell at my request is calling [then-White House Chief of Staff] Rahm [Emanuel] and [US Ambassador to Israel] Dan Shapiro to report and be sure POTUS knows before he tapes shows today.

Clinton also showed no confidence about how to deal with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the issue of building for Jews in “settlements” in Judea and Samaria.

Sandy Berger, who was her adviser as well her husband’s when he was president, e-mailed her:

The objective is to try shift [sic] the fulcrum of our current relationships with Bibi from settlements – where he thinks he has the upper hand – to ground where there is greater understanding in Israel of the American position and where we can make him uneasy about incurring our displeasure

Two weeks after e-mailing Sullivan on the Goldstone Report, Clinton e-mailed Berger, apparently referring to Netanyahu’s’ agreement to freeze construction:

Let me know how you think today played.

She did not ask for information. She did not ask for the meaning of the Goldstone Report or the freeze.  All she was worried about was how to react and how to play the game.

President Barack Obama does the same, but Clinton has been caught.

Clinton is campaigning as the greatest friend of Israel since God, Whom she has not yet e-mailed for advice.


Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015


Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.

They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.

Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.

The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Referring to Iran, he said:

What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.


What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.

And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?

Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.

If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.

Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.

He said:

We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.

It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that  their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.

Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.

He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.

Second Take on Iran by AIPAC: Congress Must Stop this Bad Deal

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Following the announcement of the Iran- P5+1 nuclear deal, JewishPress.com summarized the major Jewish American organizations’ positions on the Iran deal. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee initial statement was rather pareve, but today’s statement, based on a fuller review of the document, is a clear thumbs down and call to action.

AIPAC has concluded that the deal falls short on all five areas it had concluded were critical: inspections, possible military dimensions, sanctions, duration and dismantlement.

The deal, AIPAC told its membership, “would facilitate rather than prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.”

AIPAC concluded that the deal would further destabilize the Middle East, including encouraging an arms race in the region.

In contradiction to what the negotiators and President Obama told the nation, AIPAC insisted that the alternative to the proposed deal is not war.

Calling on its members to inform their legislative representatives, AIPAC said the agreement must be rejected and sanctions on Iran must be maintained while efforts are made to negotiate “a better deal that will truly close off all Iranian paths to a nuclear weapon.”

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kerry-describes-historic-nuclear-deal-signed-between-world-powers-iran/2015/07/14/

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