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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran deal’

Zarif: Iran Will Allow Inspections but Only When it Wants

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Monday that Iran never will allow unrestrained access to the countries’ infrastructures.

The April 2 tentative agreement reached between Iran and P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear development is to be followed by an “Additional Protocol” once a final agreement is signed by the June 30 deadline imposed by President Barack Obama.

Zarif stated:

The Additional Protocol never allows excessive and unreasonable access to the countries’ infrastructures; rather it provides a regulated framework which is today being implemented in about 124 countries.

He added that implementation of the Additional Protocol is “voluntary” and that “the existent regulations prevents a misuse of accesses” by the IAEA to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

His statements turn the whole objective of the agreement on its head. Instead of the United States and the other P5+1 countries inspecting Iran’s nuclear plants to make sure it is not guilty of “misuse” of nuclear technology and enriched uranium, it is the Islamic Republic that is to make sure the IAEA does not “misuse” its access.

Zarif also said there will no such things as “inspections.” Instead, they are “access based on a clear and managed framework.”

But what about insistence by President Barack Obama and other Western leaders that there will be no restrictions on access?

All of that is just rhetoric to “pacify” pressure groups, according to Zarif.

He was quoted by The Tehran Times as saying, “Excessive demands [by the P5+1] would only prolong talks and would bring no result for the side that seeks excessive demands.”

Saudi Arabia Snubs US Summit on Iran

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman has screamed its irritation with President Barack Obama’s eagerness to cooperate with Iran on its nuclear program by snubbing a U.S. summit and sending his crown prince instead.

The monarchy explained in its sudden announcement that King Salman won’t attend the planned meeting at Camp David because he is too busy with the crisis in Yemen.

The official version is the king cannot attend “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.”

Two days earlier, the White House played up the expected meeting between President Barack Obama and King Salman as a venue “to build on their close consultations.”

Close consultations?

Since King Salman ascended to the throne in January after the death of King Abdullah, there have been drastic shifts in Riyadh’s attitude in public. It has been more open about its opposition to how President Obama and the rest of the P5+1 is making a deal with Iran on its nuclear development as an end in itself instead of a means to putting an end to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

It also is scared stiff of Iran’s open desire to take over the entire Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are on the same page. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Washington to preach his gospel against trusting Iran, and President Obama refused to meet him since the speech was two weeks before the general elections in Israel.

Obama was looking forward to meeting King Salman as another opportunity to show how he can continue on a one-way street with Iran while bringing along a passenger who is going the other way.

King Salman, like Prime Minister Netanyahu, is not playing Obama’s political posturing.

There are some analysts who are insisting that the king’s absence from the summit is not a “snub” Obama and that the crisis in Yemen is more urgent.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with King Salman on Thursday and said, “I’ll see you next week.” Kerry also was with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Juber when the cease-fire in Yemen was announced.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia sent signals that it was not certain King Salman would arrive, and the kingdom confirmed the king’s absence on Saturday.

The Obama is spinning that it is business as usual with Saudi Arabia and the relationship is as strong as it has been in quite some time, just like it always assures Netanyahu of Washington’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel while it walks with Iran towards a nuclear weapon.

The Washington Post quoted a State Dept. source as saying:

They did not mean it as a snub. They were not trying to send a message.”

The newspaper also quoted Johns Hopkins International Studies lecturer Jean-Francois Seznec as saying, “I do not think this is a snub. I think on the other hand that it is a proof that the Saudis want substantive talks.”

Okay. It’s not a snub. In diplomatic language, it is “a message we aren’t happy with Obama.”

In other words, a snub. Or if not that, a spit in the face.

Or as was said by Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “The king’s decision suggests that, despite all of this, he thinks he has better things to do with his time.”

In other words, a snub to get the message across to President Obama that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not alone.

So who’s coming to the party at Camp David besides the crown prince of Saudi Arabia?

There are five other Gulf States besides Saudi Arabia, and only two of them are sending a king. Two Gulf monarchs are not in good health. The third is from Kuwait, but its king, like King Salman, is sending his crown prince.

Salman’s absence could be seen as a snub to Obama’s administration, said Jon Alterman,

In one of the understatements of the year, Bloomberg News quoted Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Geneva, as saying that “after six years of empty promises, hesitation, and indecisiveness” by Obama, the Gulf States have a “very deep lack of trust” in his administration.

Hosni Mubarak learned what it means to have friends like President Obama, who panted after the Muslim Brotherhood before turning his back on the political party that he finally realized is a terrorist organization.

Netanyahu knows exactly how mixed-up Obama is when he equates Israeli security interests with America’s.

Saudi Arabia knows how much Washington can be trusted to stand by a decision to bomb Syria because of its use of chemical weapons.

Yes. Obama stepped back by stating that the Assad regime gave up its chemical weapons, which does not exactly explain evidence that surfaced last week of a chemical weapons attack on rebel strongholds.

Senate Passes Bill that Puts Armlock on Obama Making a ‘Bad Deal’

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The Senate voted 98-1 Thursday to limit President Barack Obama’s ability to make a “bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear program.

The lone opponent was Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill into law, which President Obama will sign after having originally threatened to veto any bill that gives the Congress the right to review a final deal with Iran.

The bill, unless it is amended, gives Congress 30 days to review the deal, a change from the original 60-day review period that was proposed until Democrats forced a compromise that also blocked amendments that would make a deal with Iran impossible. One of the most explosive proposed amendments called for Iran to recognize Israel as a condition to an agreement on limiting and supervising its nuclear development.

Most significantly, the bill prevents Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until the end of the 30-day review period, assuming Congress does not scotch the deal. President Obama would have the power to veto a Congressional rejection.

Iran has not yet reacted to the passage of the bill in the Senate. It has been adamant in demanding that all sanctions be lifted immediately when a deal is signed, which won’t happen once President Obama signs the bill into law.

 

“This bill as drafted will provide some political cover to Senate Democrats to say they have voted to provide strict scrutiny and congressional approval of an Iran deal,” Texas Republican Ted Cruz said in the Senate this week.

He conceded that the bill won’t stop a deal, “no matter how terrible it is,” but the political fallout from a Congressional rejection and a presidential veto would be explosive, especially when taking into account that the campaigns for presidential nominees are underway.

 

North Korea Will Nuke US If It ‘Forces Our Hand’

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

A senior North Korean official told CNN Thursday that the country will use a nuclear weapon to strike the American mainland if the United States “forced their hand.”

The rare interview was conducted with Park Yong Chol, deputy director of the regime-linked DPRK think thank called the Institute for Research into National Reunification.

Park said North Korea needs to continue developing its nuclear arsenal, which he said can hit American soil, to “counter the U.S. threat.”

When questioned about” human rights abuses in North Korea, Park fired back, “The U.S. President and other high-ranking administration officials have acknowledged really severe forms of punishment on inmates in detention. If you talk about human rights in the DPRK, we will talk about human rights in the U.S.”

Park’s threat to use nuclear weapons if the United States “forced its hands” is particularly worrisome because of the country’s close links with Iran and Tehran’s development of a nuclear warhead. North Korea has provided technologies to Iran, and an alleged Israeli strike on a nuclear facility under construction in northern Syria four years ago killed several North Korean scientists.

Park’s claim that North Korea can nuke the United States is not accepted by many American officials, but there is no questioning the threat to U.S. bases in South Korea.

The Breaking Defense website reported that former Pentagon strategist Van Jackson said that American missile defenses in the Pacific are “woefully outgunned” and that Patriot launchers and Navy ships could not defend American bases.

Diplomacy with North Korea not only has failed but also has allowed it to become a nuclear power.

Given North Korea’s close ties with Iran, it is far from certain that the Obama administration is not repeating the same scenario with its negotiations with the Islamic Republic over the future of its nuclear program.

State Dept.: Iran ‘Hoodwinked Countries but This Time It’s Different

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

An assistant Secretary of State has said that Iran “hoodwinked” Latin American countries and did not honor agreements, but Foggy Bottom says nuclear talks are a separate issue, so don’t worry.

Following are remarks from Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere to retirees on Foreign Service Day Friday:

The involvement of Iran in the Western Hemisphere is never benign. I want to underscore that: it is never benign. Iran signed an enormous number of agreements with countries in the region, almost none of which have come to any real fruition or benefit for those – for the countries of the hemisphere….

I do think that there are fewer countries that get kind of – that kind of get hoodwinked by Iran.

She also said that economic sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for it to follow through with several agreements and that Iran’s desire to be a greater influence in the West requires close monitoring.

First of all, sanctions work. Second of all, Iran cannot be trusted.

The third statement would seem to be that the United States cannot trust Iran to honor an agreement on its nuclear activity and should not lift sanctions, but the State Dept. differs.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke on Friday to explain otherwise, and here is how he tried to wiggle out of Logic 101:

That is a separate issue from the nuclear talks which are focused on Iran’s nuclear program…: I think there’s a difference between the types of agreements you’re talking about.  You’re referring to agreements …on economic cooperation and other such things.

What we’re talking about in the nuclear context is, first of all, a situation where there is a unified international community where there are international sanctions, a wide variety of them, UN sanctions, United States sanctions, European Union sanctions, as well as others, that put pressure on Iran and also that make it in Iran’s interest to deal with those sanctions and to negotiate on the nuclear program.

And how about the billions of dollars that would flow into Iran’s coffers when sanctions are lifted in return for a deal? “Are you not concerned at all that what you don’t see now in terms of a growing Iranian threat in the Western Hemisphere will become a concern if Iran suddenly has a windfall of billions and billions of dollars in money? Lee asked.

No problem, Rathke answered.

“We have separate ways of dealing with other problematic behavior by Iran, whether it’s in regional context, whether it’s support for terrorism, and so forth.  So that’s why we’re focused on the nuclear issue.  And if Iran meets all of its required steps under an eventual joint comprehensive plan of action, then the world will be a safer place because of it.” he said.

Note the two-letter word “if.”

But didn’t Asst. Sec. of State Jacobson say Iran’s presence in the west is “never benign”? So this time it will be different?

“Well,” Rathke said, “we remain concerned about those – about Iran’s activities and we will remain vigilant about them and we retain the tools to deal with them.”

Vice-President Joe Biden is very concerned, or at least that is what he said last week to a Washington think tank, to wit:

“Despite good reasons to think that most of it [money] will go to urgent domestic needs, some or all of it may fund further mischief in the region.”

Rathke reiterated “we are vigilant.”

Therefore, so the “logic” goes, Obama won’t get hoodwinked.

 

Kerry Hysterical over Opposition to Obama’s Deal with Iran

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke directly to Israelis on television Saturday night to denounce what he called “hysteria” over the emerging deal with Iran to ensure it does not reach nuclear capability.

The question is: Who is more hysterical, opponents to the deal, whom Iran is helping with increasingly belligerency, or the Obama administration that is offering the same sales pitch every day?

Two days after Vice-President Joe Biden told a Washington-based think tank that the proposed deal is not about trust but about verifications of Iran’s nuclear development, Kerry told Israel’s Channel that Israel can be assured that “we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon.”

He said:

There’s a lot of hysteria about this deal. People really need to look at the facts, and they need to look at the science behind those facts.

It is not clear what he meant by “science” unless he was referring to the promises that inspectors will be on duty “24/7″ in Iran, which for years has pulled the wool over the eyes of every United Nations effort to inspect what is going in at its nuclear facilities, at least the one which are known.

Kerry stated Saturday night, “I say this again – we will not sign a deal that does not close off Iran’s pathways to a bomb and that doesn’t give us the confidence – to all of our experts and global experts – that we will be able to know what Iran is doing and prevent them from getting a nuclear weapon….

“We will have inspectors in there every single day. That’s not a 10-year deal. That’s forever. There have to be inspections.”

Iran last month declared categorically that no inspectors will be allowed at its military sites.

Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Maj. Gen. Hassan Fairuz Abadi declared:

The armed forces will not allow anyone to enter military sites.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ruled out any “extraordinary supervision measures.”

President Obama has dismisses Iran’s statements that contradict last month’s temporary agreement as nothing more than talk for domestic use only.

Netanyahu Tells US Think Tank Obama’s Deal with Iran Endangers Mideast [video]

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a Washington think tank Friday that the proposed deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear program “would make the world would a much more dangerous place.”

He spoke through a video message at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where Vice President Joe Biden insisted the deal was “reasonable” and that the United States “has Israel’s back.”

Netanyahu said reminded his audience that Iran “repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel” and has created “terrorist bases across three of Israel’s borders in Lebanon and Gaza and now on the Syrian Golan.

The Prime Minister asserted:

The international community cannot let Iran’s aggression in the region — in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen and elsewhere – to continue under the protection of an Iranian nuclear umbrella. And the international community cannot afford to let the planet’s foremost sponsor of terrorism have nuclear capabilities with which to terrorize the entire world….

The Lausanne framework….would make the world would a much more dangerous place…. Now there are those who say that the Lausanne framework will make Israel safer.

As the prime minister of Israel I can tell you categorically this deal will endanger Israel — big time. But it’s not just Israel that will be in danger: The Middle East and the entire world will be threatened.

Biden told the think tank, “Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other. They [Iran] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material. Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

What he didn’t say is that Iran has gotten that far while Obama and Biden were in office. Netanyahu is saying that the proposed deal guarantees that Iran can achieve its goal.

The vice-president said that the United States will go to war with Iran if necessary to keep it from procuring a nuclear weapon.

The inference from Netanyahu’s position is that war can be prevented if Iran can be stopped from becoming a nuclear power, which is why the Prime Minister told the think tank, “A better deal is necessary. A better deal is possible. A better deal must and can be achieved. But if not, no deal is better than this bad deal.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-tells-us-think-tank-obamas-deal-with-iran-endangers-mideast-video/2015/05/02/

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