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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran deal’

Official Obama-Netanyahu Statements at White House Meeting

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, D.C. on Monday morning, Nov. 9.

The following are their official statements released by their spokespeople. President Obama:

“Welcome once again Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu to the Oval Office. There’s no foreign leader who I’ve met with more frequently and I think that’s a testimony to the extraordinary bond between the United States and Israel.

Before I get started, I just want to say a brief word about the Jordanian attack that we discovered earlier, the fact that someone dressed in a military uniform carried out an attack at a training facility in which it appears that there may have been two or three U.S. citizens killed and a number of other individuals injured.

Obviously, a full investigation is taking place. We take this very seriously and we’ll be working closely with the Jordanians to determine exactly what happened. But at this stage, I want to just let everyone know that this is something we’re paying close attention to and at the point where the families have been notified, obviously, our deepest condolences will be going out to them.

I also want to extend my condolences to the Israeli people on the passing of former President Navon. Obviously, he’s an important figure in Israeli politics and we extend heartfelt condolences to his family.

This is going to be an opportunity for the Prime Minister and myself to engage in a wide-ranging discussion on some of the most pressing security issues that both our countries face. It’s no secret that the security environment in the Middle East has deteriorated in many areas. And as I’ve said repeatedly, the security of Israel is one of my top foreign policy priorities, and that has expressed itself not only in words, but in deeds. We have closer military and intelligence cooperation than any two administrations in history.

The military assistance that we provide, we consider not only an important part of our obligation to the security of the state of Israel, but also an important part of US security infrastructure in the region, as we make sure that one of our closest allies can not only protect itself, but can also work with us in deterring terrorism and other security threats. In light of what continues to be a chaotic situation in Syria, this will give us an opportunity to discuss what’s happening there.

We’ll have an opportunity to discuss how we can blunt the activities of ISIL, Hezbollah, other organizations in the region that carry out terrorist attacks. A lot of our time will be spent on a memorandum of understanding that we can potentially negotiate. It will be expiring in a couple of years, but we want to get a head start on that to make sure that both the United States and Israel can plan effectively for our defense needs going forward.

We’ll also have a chance to talk about how implementation of the Iran nuclear agreement is going. It’s no secret that the Prime Minister and I have had a strong disagreement on this narrow issue, but we don’t have a disagreement on the need to making sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don’t have a disagreement about the importance of us blunting destabilizing activities that Iran may be taking place.

And so, we’re going to be looking to make sure that we find common ground there.

And we will also have an opportunity to discuss some of the concerns that both of us have around violence in the Palestinian territories. I want to be very clear that we condemn in the strongest terms Palestinian violence against innocent Israeli citizens.

Kerry Plays Pollyanna to Zarif’s Machiavelli

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif at the United Nations on Saturday, Sept. 26, in advance of the General Debate of the U.N. General Assembly which opens on Monday.

Why the State Department issued a press release and video of the absolutely content-less exchange is hard to understand. While Kerry appeared to be conciliatory and eager to please, Zarif was completely no-nonsense and uninterested in even the appearance of being conciliatory or cooperative. He had one issue on his mind: having the Iran Deal implemented “in good faith.”

In the extremely brief press availability prior to the meeting, a reporter asked Zarif whether he could imagine cooperating with the U.S. regarding Syria, if the U.S. insists on Assad stepping down, eventually. The second permitted question was directed to Kerry. The Secretary was asked whether he was going to raise the issue of American citizens being held in Iran.

Perhaps no one will be surprised to learn that neither of the questions were answered.

Secretary Kerry was upbeat and positive. He reminded the reporters that this was the first time he and Zarif were meeting since the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiations in Vienna.

Kerry congratulated everyone on all the work that has been done to keep the process moving and on track. Presumably he was talking about the squelching of all efforts to derail the non-signed, non-treaty treaty.

The Secretary also said that there were “a lot of issues to talk about,” but refused to identify or discuss any of them individually. However, he said “I view this week as a major opportunity for any number of countries to play an important role in trying to resolve some of the very difficult issues of the Middle East.”

Kerry said that peace needed to be achieved in the Middle East generally, and specifically mentioned Syria and Yemen, but refused to be any more specific about issues.

With respect to the question regarding American prisoners being held captive by Iran, Kerry said, “We always talk about American citizens with respect to their detainment in any part of the world, and so you can count on the fact that we will have a discussion.”

The two minute press briefing was then turned over to Zarif.

Zarif wasted no time on congratulations to anyone. He made it clear the only interest Iran has is moving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran Deal) to implementation. He said that is his priority and have full, good-faith implementation may relieve “some of the mistrust that has existed over the past many decades.”

Zarif also suggested that there may be fireworks coming regarding Saudi Arabia, which Iran has charged was at fault for the hajj stampede which killed hundreds of people this week.

The problem with Saudi Arabia is the only specific issue he mentioned, but acknowledged there are other problems in the region which need to be addressed at some point.

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.

The ‘Iran Deal’ Was Not Signed by Iran or Anyone Else

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The Nuclear Iran Deal that is at the epicenter of a Congressional battle and the focus of so much attention for months is not actually any deal at all, as not one of the parties, including any representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has signed the Agreement.

This morning, Sept. 18, Cong. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In that letter Pompeo informed the Secretary that while reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Nuclear Iran Deal), he noted that there are no signatures on the so-called final Agreement.

Without signatures, there can be no legally binding contract.

There apparently is no “Iran Deal.”

Pompeo asked Kerry to provide a copy of the JCPOA with signatures and signing authority, so that members of Congress and the rest of the American people know that the parties to the agreement have “confirm[ed] each country’s commitment to the agreement” and that “makes clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.”

International affairs scholar and Iran expert Michael Ledeen pointed out more than two months ago that Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini would not allow his country to sign the JCPOA. Ledeen’s point then, and today, is that the desperation exhibited by the Obama administration made clear to the Iranian leader that “there is no reason for him to approve a hated deal with the devil. It’s much better to keep talking until all the sanctions are gone, and Iran’s ‘right’ to pursue its nuclear projects is fully recognized.”

It appears that Ledeen’s prediction was dead-on. If there is no signed agreement, even the feeble conditions placed on Iran by Team Kerry’s negotiators are unenforceable.

When asked what then, is the current status of the JCPOA, assuming the administration did not just, oh, forget to distribute to Congress the signed version, Ledeen told the JewishPress.com: “It’s a verbal agreement. It means the diplomats meeting in Vienna thought it was a good agreement, but that is all. It is not enforceable.”

Ledeen said he could not think of any other major international agreement, certainly not any of the portentous nature of the Iran Deal, where lawmakers moved forward to begin implementation without having a signed agreement in place.

“Anyone who has read in the media that the ‘Iran Deal’ was signed has to now know they were lied to, it has not happened.”

So what next?

Congress could, conceivably, pass a law forbidding the lifting of sanctions. That’s been tried, you say? True, but will the same members of Congress who support the deal, the same ones who never read significant portions of the deal, and who had those portions explained to them by people who themselves never read the deal are willing to once again vote against or even bar a vote on a stay on the lifting of sanctions when they know there is nothing preventing Tehran from violating any of the purportedly agreed-to conditions? Will they really?

Cong. Pompeo’s letter to Secretary Kerry follows:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I have reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Islamic Republic of Iran – or at least the parts of the agreement that were provided to Congress by the administration.  As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress.  I look forward to seeing the entire agreement – including the two secret side deals that are part of the JCPOA – so that Congress may continue to evaluate the JCPOA and, depending on the outcome of the vote under the relevant provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, potentially end the current and continuing prohibition of the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

During that review, I found that the copies provided to Congress of the JCPOA are not signed by any of the P5+1 members nor by Iran.  Having never seen an international agreement of this magnitude not signed by the parties or an agent of the parties, I assume this is simply an oversight or an administrative error.  That is, Congress must not have the final version of the agreement that would necessarily be signed.  I request that you provide us with copies of a final, executed copy of the JCPOA.  In the event that the JCPOA has not yet been signed by the parties, please inform us (a) when signatures will be placed on the agreement, (b) what parties will be signing, and (c) which person you anticipate will sign on behalf of each of those parties, including on behalf of the United States.

I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants.  I can find no international agreement of this “historic” nature that was not signed by the parties.  Each of the past five major nuclear agreements to which the U.S. is a party – SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II and the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – were signed by representatives of each nation that was party to the agreement.  This is not a mere formality.  Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing.

A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.  In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.

This is particularly important with respect to JCPOA.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government.  It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it.  Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”

Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement.  I also believe that the United States and its P5+1 partners on the JCPOA should execute the agreement on behalf of their countries.  I look forward to your response.

We all do.

New Shudders: Guess What Else Team Kerry Gave Away?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

For the majority of Americans who have already figured out that the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s team led by Secretary of State John Kerry is a win for the mullahs intent on acquiring nuclear weapons capacity, there’s more nightmare-generating bad news.

Kerry has admitted to various American lawmakers that both Russia and China, as well as Europe will be shielded from any “snapback” in renewed sanctions should Iran be found red-handed violating the few prohibitions contained in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Secretary of State also disclosed that under the deal he and his team deftly negotiated, the testing of ballistic missiles (those nasty vehicles which can be used to deliver nuclear weapons) is perfectly okay.

Why doesn’t the JCPOA cover testing of ballistic missiles, you ask? It is because there is already a United Nations Security Council Resolution which tells them they “should not” test such missiles. Should. Please.

Not to pick a sore point, but the beloved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (so much better than his predecessor Ahmadinejad – this one smiles!) is already on the record dismissing any limitations on Iran’s missile program, including those in the new U.N Resolution.

All of these revelations were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, who obtained documents and information from various lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Kerry admitted to Rubio (R., Fla.) that “the United States will work with foreign companies who financially engage Iran to shield them from penalties in the aftermath of Iran violating the agreement,” Kredo wrote.

In an on-the-record statement, Kerry admitted that the Obama administration had confidentially guaranteed the U.S. “would not retroactively sanction companies” doing business with Iran. The U.S. also offered to work with any such companies to help bring them into compliance with any new (snapback) sanctions.

“For companies that have contracts that would otherwise continue after snapback, we have a consistent past practice of working with companies to wind down their contracts,” Kredo quotes from Kerry’s written statement.

All those red lines and “biting” sanctions the Obama campaign crowed about during the last election have turned out to be smiley faces and air kisses now that there are no more elections for him.

When Liberals Learn the Actual Details of the Iran Deal

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Obama Now Ready to Meet with Netanyahu

Friday, September 11th, 2015

President Barack Obama’s victory in the battle with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Republicans over the nuclear deal with Iran has given him his security blanket for a face-to-face meeting.

President Obama told rabbis in his annual pre-Rosh HaShanah phone call that he plans to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu next month, when the U.N. General Assembly convenes after a summer recess.

Obama said:

Our consultations have already begun with Israeli military and intelligence officials.

My hope is to have a long discussion with Mr. Netanyahu about these issues when he comes to the United Nations during the General Assembly of the United Nations, or immediately after that.

Obama avoided the Prime Minister earlier this year when he addressed Congress, two weeks before Israel’s general elections, which he said precluded a meeting that could be exploited for political purposes.

Now that Netanyahu, if not the United States itself, appears to be the loser in the fight over the nuclear agreement, Obama has not problem meeting him, if no other reason than to gloat.

However, Arab American leader James Zogby wrote an interesting analysis last week in The Huffington Post that shows that although Prime Minister Netanyahu lost the fight to reject the Ian deal, he actually was the winner in the long-term, particularly concerning the Palestinian Authority.

President Obama told the rabbis:

Israel’s long-term security does depend on somehow resolving the Palestinian issue. We’re going to have to work on these issues, and they’re going to be messy and challenging in the years to come.” There’s going to have to be some soul searching in Israel and the American Jewish community because they’re tough questions.

Zogby explained that President Obama will be careful before he pushes his luck with Jewish Democratic Congressmen who supported the P5+1 agreement with Iran.

He wrote:

By throwing what amounted to a political and diplomatic tantrum, the Israeli side succeeded in making itself the center of attention for the Administration and Congress. In the last few months, there were more meetings held, more hours spent, and more effort expended on reassuring Israel and its supporters of America’s ‘unbreakable, unshakable’ commitment, than in any period in our history….

Senators and members of Congress will also now be inclined to make clear their support for Israel. Many Democrats who announced their intention to support the president made sure that their statements declared undying support for Israel. The myth that ‘AIPAC will beat you if you don’t toe the line’ continues to hold strong, and so it can be expected that many members, despite their resentment of AIPAC and Netanyahu’s pressure, will spend excessive time and energy between now and next November playing “make up” by proving their support for Israel.

However, Zogby said that in the longer-term, “The emergence and rapid growth of liberal pro-Israel Jewish groups like J Street and Americans for Peace Now, or non-Zionist Jewish groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, or the expansion of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement on college campuses are all evidence “of a shift in American policy towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

He can credit President Obama with having successful weakened the influence of AIPAC by bolstering the prestige of the left-wing groups, but he doesn’t realize that they have gone so far out in left field that they are leaving “mainstream Jewish” support out of the ball park.

Even if they nevertheless one day are viewed as representing American Jews, probably by including 3-4 million people who simply call themselves Jews, it will be too late because the Palestinian Authority by then will have succeeded in making demands that prove that a new Arab country within Israel’s present borders would mean the end of Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-now-ready-to-meet-with-netanyahu/2015/09/11/

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