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April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Iran deal’

Khamenei and Netanyahu Reach Agreement: No Deal Better than Bad Deal

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Who said Iran and Israel can’t agree to anything?

The Islamic Republic’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei said on Iranian television, “It would be better not to reach an agreement that to have a bad deal,” the Hebrew-language Maariv website reported.

Sound familiar?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been saying all along that “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Of course,  their definitions of a “bad deal” are far from similar, but, as President Barack Obama would say, we have a basic agreement on which to advance a peace process.

 

Ex-Sec’y of States Kissinger and Shultz Blow Up Obama’s Deal with Iran [video]

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Two former secretaries of State have co-authored a thoroughly reasoned and blistering condemnation of the Obama administration and the rest of the P5+1 agreement with Iran, but the government totally rejected their comments.

Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, both of whom were as far as possible from being considered pro-Israel, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Obama’s approach to Iran that can lead the Islamic Republic to the capability of easily ditching the deal, procuring a nuclear weapon and leaving the United States holding an empty bag.

They stated that Obama’s approach is full of holes that risk an even more volatile Middle East, and wrote:

For Iran to be a valuable member of the international community, the prerequisite is that it accepts restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East and challenge the broader international order.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf, as seen and heard in the video below, dismissed Kissinger and Schultz’s article as nothing more than “big words and big thoughts.”

She pointed that they did present an alternative while ignoring one that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has constantly suggested – a better deal.

President Barack Obama’s defense has been that his deal is the best possible, and therefore he is trying to sell it as if it is a “good deal.”

The two former secretaries of State’s rejection of his policy is a severe blow to his defense, even if they did serve in Republican administrations. The Senate reportedly is only two votes short of a veto-proof majority to pass a bill demanding that the proposed deal be subjected to Congressional review.

Kissinger and Schultz wrote, “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests—and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years….Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”

Their criticism of the arrangement with Iran focused on problems of verification, enforcing the conditions, re-establishing sanctions, and the failure of Obama’s policy to link political restraint with nuclear restraint, setting the stage for Iran to fulfill Israel and Sunni-ruled powers such as Saudi Arabia that Tehran will destabilize the entire region in an effort to control it.

They wrote:

Unless political restraint is linked to nuclear restraint, an agreement freeing Iran from sanctions risks empowering Iran’s hegemonic efforts… [Iran must accept] restraints on its ability to destabilize the Middle East.

Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.

Harf’s unconvincing response was:

I didn’t hear a lot of alternatives. [I] heard a lot of, sort of, big words and big thoughts in that piece.”

In a perfect world, of course we would have an agreement that would do all of these things. But we are living in the real world, and that’s the responsibility of the secretary to negotiate where we can see if we can get this one issue dealt with….

We have always said that once you start linking the nuclear issue, which is complicated enough on its own, with all these other issues, it’s really hard to get anything done.

That is why the Obama administration has dismissed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran signal that it does not want to destroy Isle simply be recognizing the country. The president said that is a lousy idea because it is not practical, meaning it would make a deal impossible. The “deal” has become the ends and not the means, and that is why Harf, Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and all of the other administration sages look like used-car salesmen.

Obama Espouses his Iran Strategy: If, If, If and Blind Hope

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Unofficial presidential spokesman and New York Time columnist Thomas Friedman interviewed President Barack Obama Saturday and unwittingly revealed a presidential strategy towards Iran that is based on plain hope and lots of conditional “ifs.”

In the interview under the title “The Obama Doctrine and Iran”, President Obama elevated Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the clear leader in the campaign to bury the emerging deal that is supposed to make sure Iran cannot get its hands on a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Netanyahu already has led off a media blitz with interviews on several American television networks on Friday, a strong follow-up to his candid speech to a joint session of Congress last year in which he warned of a bad deal.

President Obama’s defense of last week’s temporary framework for a final agreement with Iran in June expressed his optimism and hope but did little to convince anyone who is undecided whether the emerging deal is worthwhile.

His assumption – giving it the old college try for diplomacy is better than trying force that cannot force Iran into submission – is the underlying difference in views between Israel and the president.

Obama assumes nothing can stop from getting a nuclear bomb if it wants it, and therefore it is best to try to engage it, change its personality, culture and character and maybe, just maybe, it will become a new creature.

Netanyahu and Israel, with more experience than the entire world when it comes to negotiating with the Muslim world, know that force, whether economic or military, is the only language it understands and that there is such a thing as Iran or an Arab country surrendering, even if they call it a cease-fire in order to uphold their honor.

One of President Obama’s weakest arguments in his interview with Friedman was that the policy of “engagement” has succeeded. After pointing out that Cuba does not threaten the United States but Iran does, he nevertheless compared them.

Obama said:

You take a country like Cuba. For us to test the possibility that engagement leads to a better outcome for the Cuban people, there aren’t that many risks for us. It’s a tiny little country. It’s not one that threatens our core security interests, and so [there’s no reason not] to test the proposition. And if it turns out that it doesn’t lead to better outcomes, we can adjust our policies.

The same is true with respect to Iran, a larger country, a dangerous country, one that has engaged in activities that resulted in the death of U.S. citizens, but the truth of the matter is: Iran’s defense budget is $30 billion. Our defense budget is closer to $600 billion. Iran understands that they cannot fight us. … You asked about an Obama doctrine. The doctrine is: We will engage, but we preserve all our capabilities.

His entire defense of engagement with Iran is based on the defense budget. It is not clear why he even mentioned Cuba since he admitted there is no comparing the tiny country with Iran.

Friedman, Obama’s favorite interviewer, did not bother the president with nuisance questions, such as what followed the Obama administration’s engagement with Syria, for starters.

Iran Warns US on Sanctions: ‘All or Nothing’

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Iran has threatened to scuttle the Obama administration’s “key parameters” for a deal to cover its nuclear program and said Washington’s “fact sheet”  misrepresents last week’s agreement.

Sure enough, before the ink hardly has dried on the arrangement, agreement or key parameters – depending on your spin – Iran has warned that President Barack Obama must annul all sanctions.

The State Dept. Fact sheet states:

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.

As we have written here before, any agreement between the West and Iran or the Arab world simply is a basis for another argument.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the “fact sheet” as fiction and stated on Sunday, “During the negotiations, we have always planned for the termination of the economic, financial and banking sanctions and we have never negotiated on their suspension, otherwise, no understanding would be made.”

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday, “We expect for the anti-Iran sanctions suspension piece to happen generally within the first year, but again, if Iran takes these steps more quickly, then the suspension can come more quickly.”

Iran’s deputy lead negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi contradicted her and said, “This is a wrong impression about the Lausanne understanding [that] explicitly states that the sanctions will be annulled; all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions will be removed in the first stage.”

Now that Iran has a temporary deal in hand, it is acting as if it has the upper hand. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is desperate for some kind of achievement on paper than can mask his countless failures. A deal might even win him a Nobel Peace Prize and give President Obama’s justification for having prematurely received it in his first term of office, before he by his own admission had not done anything to earn it.

Foreign Minister Zarif warned on Sunday Iran can walk away from the deal just as easily as Obama can threaten to do so.

He told Iranian television:

Either side in this agreement can, in the case of the other side violating the agreement, cease its own steps.

As with Palestinian Authority “negotiations” with Israel, under the iron fist of the Obama administration, it already is clear that Iran already is negotiating in public to push Obama further against the wall.

The more he pushes, the more Congress might push back and ditch the deal.

Sen. Feinstein Declares Deal with Iran Does not Endanger Israel

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein declared on Sunday that the framework arrangement with Iran does not threaten Israel’s survival.

The Jewish Congresswoman, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is a strong supporter of President Barack Obama,. who is facing a backlash from many Democratic Congressmen because of the deal and his harsh attitude towards Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

 

Netanyahu’s Spokesman: Do You Really Trust Iran to Allow Monitoring?

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Israel took its campaign to ditch the deal with Iran to American media Friday with interviews on Fox News and MSNBC with a single message that Iran cannot be trusted.

That would not seem to be such big news or a surprise on the Israeli side of the Mediterranean Sea, but millions of Americans believe the Obama administration that they can count on Iran to allow monitoring of its nuclear faculties and research.

“The deal leaves Iran with an enormous and extensive nuclear infrastructure,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark told MSNBC. “It doesn’t close down, not even one uranium nuclear facility, not one.”

Regev added, “Why is Iran building intercontinental ballistic missiles? They’re not building them to attack Israel. They can do that. They are building intercontinental ballistic missiles to hit … targets in the United States. They’re a threat to you, too.

The biggest hole in the “key parameters” agreement with Iran is that issue of monitoring its nuclear facilities.

Regev told MSNBC:

We have seen, and I think you would probably agree with this, we have seen over the years monitoring is highly problematic when you’re dealing with authoritarian, totalitarian regimes committed to concealment. There’s a whole question what to inspect, where do you inspect, what do you know, what do you not know? And to base your defense, the defense of my country, the defense of the region, and the defense of the United States on inspectors when their value is at least questionable, we think is very precarious.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s warning to Congress last month not to make a “bad deal” with Iran was only the first and certainly not the last step in Israel’s attempt to convince legislators to overturn the arrangement with Iran.

Regev’s appearance on two major American television networks makes it clear to President Barack Obama that the Prime Minister is not concerned about their personal relationship and that Israel will exercise its right to try to change American foreign policy that direct affects the country.

Regev told Fox:

This agreement that is on the table puts a lot of emphasis on the issue of monitoring. But we all know that monitors when they work with authoritarian or totalitarian regimes that they play games with monitors.

We didn’t see monitors work, not in Iraq, we didn’t see them work in Syria; we didn’t see them work in Libya… Monitors cannot work effectively with an authoritarian regime.

It’s an abasement agreement on monitors. ‘Come in and look. ‘ Where are they going look? What – is the Iranian regime really going to allow them to go anywhere they want to go? I doubt it very much.’

US Rejects Netanyahu’s Demand that Iran Confirm Israel’s Right to Exist

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The deal with Iran that was approved by President Barack Obama should not include a declaration that Tehran recognizes that Israel has a right to exist, according to the United States.

Two statements last week by Iranian and Israel leaders were arguably just as important if not more important than the framework for a deal that was affirmed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the other P5+1 nations and Iran.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Mohammad Reza Naqdi said that erasing Israel off the map is “‘non negotiable.”‘

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated, “The survival of Israel is non-negotiable,” and he challenged President Obama to include that statement in a deal with Iran.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf tried to bury the issue Friday night with the argument that Iran’s stated desire to wipe out Israel has nothing to do with the deal with that is designed supposedly to stop it from getting a bomb that would be aimed at Israel.

Harf stated:

This is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue

On the other hand, President Obama stated after the deal was concluded:

I will be speaking with the Prime Minister today to make clear that there will be no daylight, there is no daylight, when it comes to our support for Israel’s security and our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing policies and threats toward Israel.

Obama openly admitted last week that he and Netanyahu have opposing positions on the deal with Iran. He stated, “It’s no secret that the Israeli Prime Minister and I don’t agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue.”

But if the president really wants anyone to believe he is committed to Israel’s security, it would be a logical conclusion that he would tell Iran that it really is not very convincing that it  does not want a bomb to destroy Israel when one of its top military commanders says there is nothing to be negotiated when it comes to destroying Israel.

If Iran really does not want to use its nuclear program to develop a bomb, what would be so difficult about telling Tehran to put everyone’s mind at rest and state that Israel has right to exist?

Harf’s answer that in effect said “don’t make things difficult for us” actually is the truth. Iran would never agree to putting in writing that Israel has a right to exist, but there is no need to worry if Iran reneges on the deal because Israel has Obama’s “support for Israel’s security and our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing policies and threats toward Israel.”

Iran’s one-track mind to destroy Israel was succinctly documented  by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic last month. Following are  several statements by Iran and Hezbollah, its terrorist proxy in Lebanon, the past 15 years. However, one must not be concerned by the threats against Israel  and the agreement not to dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure because Israel has Obama’s “unshakeable support” even if he cannot state so in a deal with Iran.

Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

 

Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)

 

Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.’” (2005)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-rejects-netanyahus-demand-that-iran-confirm-israels-right-to-exist/2015/04/05/

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