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May 25, 2015 / 7 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Iran deal’

Rubio’s ‘Poison Pill’ May Force Democrats to Get Off the Fence on Israel

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio’s insistence  on amending the proposed Senate bill for review of a deal with Iran by requiring  the Islamic Republic to recognize Israel is beginning to make Democrats squirm.

Iran has repeatedly stated that Israel should be wiped off the map. It is building Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and by all accounts, except Tehran’s, is not far from being able to obtain a nuclear warhead.

It doesn’t take an evangelist Republican to connect the dots despite Iran’s position that it would never never even dream of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

Iran never would accept Rubio’s proposal that it recognize Israel, at least not in Ayatollah Khamenei’s lifetime, and Rubio knows it.

So does President Barack Obama, who warned on Wednesday he would veto a Congressional bill if it makes negotiations with Iran impossible.

Democrats, especially the Jewish ones, also know that supporting the president and voting against the suggestion that a Muslim country recognize the Jewish state will be recorded in the history book on warped thinking, with the notion the way to peace is to allow an enemy to scheme to destroy an enemy instead of dismantling the scheme, admitting defeat and recognizing that the enemy is its own hallucinations.

Where is Shimon Peres when we need him? Peres has said dozens of times that “one makes peace with enemies, not with friends.” The cliché is more ridiculous than it is trite, but if that is his philosophy, why isn’t he out there backing Rubio?

The Senate began on Tuesday to debate the proposed law that any deal with Iran on its nuclear development must be submitted to Congress for review.

President Obama originally said he would veto such a law, but after Republic Sen. Bob Corker toned down its original language so that the legislation would have a veto-proof majority, he changed his mind.

That was until Rubio, who has announced he is running to be the GOP’s presidential nominee next year, came up with seven amendments,  known as the “poison pills” because there is no chance Obama and Iran would accept them.

Besides demanding that Iran recognize Israel, the Florida Republican wants Iran to release American it is holding. He also demands that sanctions having nothing to do with Iran’s nuclear development be retained on Tehran.

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, Jewish and strongly identified with Israel, blocked Rubio’s effort on Wednesday to bring the “recognize Israel” amendment to a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I appreciate the senator from Maryland’s passion,” Rubio said, “but I want a vote on the amendment,” and he intends to do so when the bill comes to the floor of the Senate.

Rubio has managed to scare Republicans as well as Democrats.

Several GOP Leaders are angry with Rubio because his “poison pill” amendments would destroy the bi-partisan support for a watered-down bill for Congressional review of a deal with Iran.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a strong backer of Israel, said he would vote against Rubio’s amendments.

Graham explained:

I don’t think anybody is going to accuse Lindsey Graham of being anti-Israel. I’ve been working for a year … to put this coalition together. And failure is not an option.\

Politico reported that “GOP leaders appear to siding with Rubio [and] so far, they have not moved to orchestrate Republicans to vote against problematic amendments.”

Rubio has the Democrats in a tight corner. He said, “Do Democrats not support Israel?”

The oddity is that Democrats are holding their collective breath for Corker, a Republican, to convince Rubio to back off or convince his colleagues to vote against the amendments.

US Sends Destroyer to Persian Gulf after Iran Boards Freighter

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The U.S. Navy Farragut destroyer is speeding to the Persian Gulf Wednesday after Iran boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged freighter that the regime said had trespassed into its waters while sailing through the key oil and gas tanker route of the Straits of Hormuz, also known as the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Navy fired shots at the ship, which the Pentagon says was in international waters.

The United States also has ordered an aircraft carrier to remain on standby in another mini-crisis that Iran seems to have created to put pressure on the Obama administration during the new round of talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran on an agreement to allow Tehran to continue its nuclear development program.

The Marshall Islands, once an American territory, is independent of the United States but has a “free relationship” with Washington that includes a security pact.

A spokesman for the Maersk shipping company said that the vessel charted by Rickers Shipmanagment was in international waters and was sailing from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with cargo that could range from  “anything from food to machinery to electronics,” he said.

Rickers spokesman Cor Radings wrote in an e-mail to The New York Times he does not know of any previous incident of Iran seizing a ship in open seas. He stated, “I cannot exclude it has happened before, but would believe we have to go back” to World War II.

Last week, Iran caved into American and Western pressure and turned back one of its ships that was approaching Aden, Yemen with a cargo of what was assumed to be weapons for Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Jeff Rathke, the State Dept.’s tight-lipped spokesman, told reporters Tuesday:

It’s a key concern of the United States to ensure that sea lanes in the region remain open and safe… We remain committed to our regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.

So what is the United States going to do about it, especially since the United States has what Rathke called a “security compact” with the Marshall Islands?

“Is the U.S. prepared to use force to defend the Marshall Islands?” one reporter asked.

Rathke answered,” “Well, I think that’s premature to jump to that conclusion.”

And did Iran commit an act of piracy or aggression?

Rathke:  “I’m not going to apply an adjective to it right now. We are following the situation very carefully, but I’m not going to label it.

Well, does the United States condemn it?

Rathke:” Well, again, we’re gathering more information. I don’t have a further reaction at this point.

But what about the security compact that Rathke said “gives the U.S. authority and responsibility for security and defense matters that relate to the Marshall Islands, including matters related to vessels flying the Marshallese flag?”

Well, he says, “Certainly, that’s something we’re looking at.”

And could it be, just possibly by a stretch of the imagination, that Iran the seizure and previous threats from Iran to block the Persian Gulf are linked to the proposed nuclear negotiations?

Rathke, of course, “is not going to speculate on what their motives might be.

In case you missed it, Kerry said yesterday:

We are, in fact, closer than ever to the good, comprehensive deal that we have been seeking, and if we can get there, the entire world will be safer.

If finalized and implemented, (an agreement) will close off all of Iran’s possible pathways to the nuclear material required for a nuclear weapon and give the international community the confidence that it needs to know that Iran’s nuclear program is indeed exclusively peaceful.

And if the United States does not agree, Iran will close the Persian Gulf and raise the price of oil as part of its program to make the entire safer.

Russian Hackers Reading Obama’s Personal E-mails

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Russian hackers who invaded President Barack Obama’s personal e-mail last year were far more successful than previously reported, The New York Times reported Sunday.

No classified information was hacked, but the invaders were able to read President Obama’s personal correspondence with diplomats and e-mails concerning policy and legislation.

The hackers penetrated the State Dept.’s unclassified e-mail system and Obama’s unclassified account.

The invasion, although it did not reach classified information, could be extremely embarrassing for the Obama administration. It is assumed that the hackers were working with or for the Kremlin.

“This has been one of the most sophisticated actors we’ve seen,” one senior American official told the newspaper. “It’s the Russian angle to this that’s particularly worrisome,” another senior official said.

The president reportedly writes on personal emails about subjects ranging from his golfing to efforts by Republican Congressmen to hamper his proposed deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

If the mails reach the office of Russian President Vladimir Putin, he might learn secrets about how President Obama missed an easy putt on the 17th hole, or perhaps what he really thinks about Sen. Bob Corker, who initiated the bill that would require Obama to submit to Congress for review any final deal with Iran.

If President Obama wrote to a diplomat about what he really thinks about Putin, the Russian president will read some unflattering remarks, assuming Obama does not see him as a “warm friend.”

And what does Obama write about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his emails? He also is probably not described as a “warm friend.”

The White House is not revealing the content of the material that was hacked in order not to hint to the Russians how much investigators know about the computer invasion.

And perhaps the Russian hackers now know what many Americans would like to know about Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal account for State Dept. correspondence.

President Obama not only knew about Clinton’s routine of using her personal account for government business but also wrote to her on her private account, “hdr22@clintonemail.com.”

After Obama told CBS News that it was “through news reports” that he’d learned that Clinton was using her personal account, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “The president — as I think many people expected — did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with the secretary of state.”

The Republican National Committee accused Obama of misleading the American public by having said he knew of Clinton’s practice “through news reports.”

Any questions about Obama’s correspondence with Clinton can be directed to the Russian hackers.

Russia Backs Down and Says Iran Won’t Get S300 System in ‘Near Future’

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Russia has backed down on delivering the advanced S-300 advanced anti-missile system to Iran in the “near future,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Russian media on Thursday

Moscow announced two weeks ago that it was lifting the bean of selling Iran the S-300, causing “concern” in Washington and fierce anger in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Russian president Vladimir Putin last week that Israel would bomb the S-300 systems if Iran were to ship them to Syria or the Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Tass News agency quoted Ryabkov on Thursday as saying:

I do not think that it is a matter of near future. It is far more important that a political and legal decision has been taken to open up such an opportunity

Before the ban, Iran had paid nearly $170 million in advance for five of the anti-missile systems that would make it more difficult for Israel or any other country to attack Iran.

Russia’s retreat will somewhat calm down a storm in Congress, where support is growing to cripple the emerging deal with Iran after President Barack Obama and the other P5+1 countries agreed to a temporary framework arrangement.

Netanyahu Warned Putin of Israeli Attacks on Weapons to Hezbollah [video]

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Vladimir Putin that Israel will attack weapons that Iran or Syria tries to ship to Hezbollah, according to a Defense News report of the conversation between the two leaders last week.

The official statement after their hour-long talk simply said that the Prime Minister criticized Russia’s sale of the S-300 advance anti-missile system to Iran as a “direct result of the dangerous deal on the table” between Iran and the P5+1 countries.

What was not reported was Netanyahu’s warning to the Russian president that Israel’s “red line” is any attempt by Iran or Syria to transfer, to place any advanced weapons in the hands of Hezbollah, Iran’s world-wide proxy terrorist network operating out of Lebanon.   Syria and Hezbollah are heavily armed with Russian weapons, and Hezbollah’s missile arsenal is considered to be larger than almost any army in the world.

Defense News reported this week, “Israel is monitoring ‘active and ongoing leakage of Russian material,’ including SA-22 short-range and SA-17 medium-range air defense systems, via Syria to Iranian-backed Hezbollah allies in Lebanon.”

It quoted an Israeli official as saying:

We’ve discussed this with our friends in Washington and Europe and made multiple demarches to Moscow over a period of weeks and months.

Our red line policy is clear: We view unauthorized third-party transfers of Russian-origin equipment as legitimate targets.

In plainer English, if Iran tries to move a Russian s-300 antimissile system to Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon, Israel will make sure it doesn’t get there.

There was no hint of the warning in the official press release of the conversation between Putin and Netanyahu, which stated, “Israel views with utmost gravity the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran, especially at a time when Iran is stepping up its aggression in the region and around the borders of the State of Israel.”

Israel has attacked Hezbollah-bound weapons in Syria at least five times in the past two years, including a strike in January on weapons and a military unit planning to attack Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

Israel previously has made it clear that it will strike to stop the transfer of “game-changing” sophisticated weapons and chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

However, Israel does not appear prepared to attack Russian weapons, including the S-300 systems, to Iran.

Netanyahu has done his best to express anger at the Russian sale of the S-300 to Iran.

Israel will take the unusual step of not sending its ambassador to Russia for Saturday’s annual victory parade, which this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The United States, France and Germany have snubbed the parade because of Russian’s belligerency in Ukraine, which Israel has no trouble overlooking.

The Foreign Ministry did not cite the sale of the Russian-made S-300 anti-missile systems to Iran as the reason for boycotting the parade.

Some people have tried rationalizing the snub by explaining that attending the parade would require violating the Sabbath.

Benny Briskin, the Director of International Programs of the Russian Jewish Congress, was quoted by Metro website as saying, “Jews in Israel, especially at a state level, do not have the right to participate in ceremonies which are somehow connected with travelling [on the Sabbath]. If the Israeli president – the top public official of the country – publicly violates the Sabbath even for the very best occasion, it might lead to a scandal, up to the dissolution of the government.”

That would be a nifty explanation if it weren’t for the fact the Israel is sending low-level officials to the parade.

Khamenei Mocks Obama Officials’ Silly Bluffs’

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Ayatollah Seyed Khamenei mocked the Obama administration for “silly bluffing” and charged the United States with creating a “myth” of nuclear weapons to portray Iran as a threat.

The most “vital threat” to the Middle East really is the United States and the “Zionist regime,” declared Iran’s highest authority.

While he belittled the White House, Iran’s senior military commander insisted that there is no way that Iran ever will agree to inspections of its military facilities.

Open inspection of Iran’s nuclear facilities is one the biggest holes in the framework agreement with Iran that was approved by President Barack Obama. He stated after the P5+1 concluded the framework deal with Iran:

Iran has also agreed to the most robust and intrusive inspections and transparency regime ever negotiated for any nuclear program in history.  So this deal is not based on trust, it’s based on unprecedented verification.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards deputy-commander Gen. Hossein Salami said on Sunday:

We would not allow such demands [for inspections] even in their dreams to be realized; military centers should be protected against any such violations; a foreign inspector in our garrison would mean occupation of our soil, since it has all our defensive secrets. This would mean national humiliation as well.

So much for “robust and intrusive inspections.”

The word “humiliation” is a key, a term that you will not find in any agreement between the West and Iran because it is something that the United States simply does not understand.

The White House conveniently shoves away Iranian hate language, such as “Death to America” as nothing more than hot air for the “domestic audience.”

The Obama administration psychologists figure that if they let Iran spout off, it will please the folks back home while the Islamic regime secretly plays by Western rules and agrees to what it signs.

“Humiliation” is one of the biggest – if not the biggest – obstacle to any agreement with any Islamic country.  The obvious example is that accepting Israel as a country is humiliation.

Iran has to sell to its citizens a deal that humiliates the United States. The more Iran’s leaders scream “no inspections” and “no sanctions,” the harder it will be for it to lie to the “domestic audience.”

Khomeini’s latest rant rejects the idea that Iran even dreams of having nuclear weapons. Instead, he charged that “the most vital threat posed to the world and the region is the US and the Zionist regime which meddle and kill people anywhere they deem to be necessary without any control or commitment to conscience or religious principles.”

Khamenei’s belittling of the Obama administration works to the favor of Republicans  and makes some Democratic Congressmen feel a bit silly, to use Khamenei’s word, by backing  the president.

Republican U.S. Senator Bob Corker, who helped initiate and draft the bill to give Congress the right to review any final deal with Iran, told CNN on Sunday that lifting sanctions will be phased, a concept that Iran has totally rejected before the ink was dry on the April 2 temporary agreement.

GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio warned on Face the Nation that the United States might have to take military action if Iran does not toe the line.

“We don’t want that to happen, but risk of a nuclear Iran is so great that option must be on the table,” Rubio said.

Obama Saves ‘Never Again’ but Steers Clear of Mentioning Iran

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

President Barack Obama recognized Holocaust Remembrance Day that was marked in Israel on Thursday with a  splendid statement against anti-Semitism while ignoring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s remarks last night  that noted that Iran is preparing to murder 6 million Jews in Israel with a nuclear weapon.

Obama dutifully said, “Never Forget” and “Never Again” and added:

Yet, even as we recognize that mankind is capable of unspeakable acts of evil, we also draw strength from the survivors, the liberators, and the righteous among nations who represented humanity at its best.

With their example to guide us, together we must firmly and forcefully condemn the anti-Semitism that is still far too common today. Together we must stand against bigotry and hatred in all their forms. And together, we can leave our children a world that is more just, more free, and more secure for all humankind.

Netanyahu has asked that if President Obama is so sure his deal with Iran can stop the regime in Tehran from procuring a nuclear warhead to be aimed at Israel, all Iran has to do to signal its peaceful intentions is to recognize Israel as a country.

Obama rejected the idea out of hand, explaining  that  it is not practical because it would ruin his deal with the Islamic Republic.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-saves-never-again-but-steers-clear-of-mentioning-iran/2015/04/16/

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