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June 30, 2015 / 13 Tammuz, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘iran nuclear deal’

Netanyahu Addresses Obama Via YouTube, Since the Telephone is Broken

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

The entire world, except President Obama, seems to have heard Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very specific criticisms and recommended amendments and alternatives to Obama’s current nuclear proliferation deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Perhaps hoping the President will pay attention if he hears the message through a more hip venue, Netanyahu has released his criticisms and recommendations via a YouTube video.

Next time the President says he’s still waiting to hear Netanyahu’s alternative plan, just send him this link.

Netanyahu points out that Iran is continuing its support of global terrorism, while refusing to agree to even the most basic of terms, including effective inspections and dismantling its nuclear capabilities with which it can still produce nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu reiterated “again” the two main components of his alternative to Obama’s “bad deal”.

1) “A better deal would significantly roll back these [nuclear development] capabilities”, and that includes shutting down the illicit underground nuclear facilities that Iran hid from the international community for years – something, quite surprising, Obama’s bad deal doesn’t do.

2) “Instead of lifting the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear facilities and program at a fixed date, a better deal would link the lifting of the restrictions to an end of Iran’s aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.” – In simple terms, Iran must not have the capability right now to make nuclear weapons, and the only time it should be allowed to have that capability, and apparently even have it completely unrestricted, is when it decides to join the community of nations as a member in good standing, and not as the neighborhood thug.

Netanyahu points out that Iran needs this deal more than anyone, and as such, this is the opportunity to reassert the world’s original demands, which Obama has backed down from.

He finishes off saying the global community should not allow Iran to have an easy path to nuclear weapons which will threaten the entire world.

A very clear message.

IRAN: US Won’t Inspect Military Sites

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

A senior Iranian military official said that Iran’s military sites will not be open for inspection in any nuclear deal, according to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency.

Iranian officials have already announced “clearly and explicitly” their opposition to the inspection of the country’s military and defense facilities, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said on Friday.

Jazayeri added, “The American side’s insistence on attending Iran’s military centers can be evaluated with regard to the repressed and unattainable wishes of the White House officials,” according to The Iran Project. Jazayeri also said that US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter didn’t know what he was talking about:

“Such remarks either show the low understanding of the speaker or stem from the overwhelming bias of the American negotiating side.”

Back in November 2013, Jazayeri said that the US would not attack Iran, and Iran would continue to develop its nuclear capabilities. He was right.

Someone’s confused about what was agreed on in Lausanne. It’s just not clear who that is.

NY’s Schumer Not Puppet for Obama on Iran ‘Deal’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Many hard-core Israel supporters thought all hopes of preventing a bad Iran deal was lost when powerful New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D) recently learned he would soon attain a long-coveted starring role in Washington, D.C.

With long-time wheeler-dealer Nevada Senator and minority leader Harry Reid’s announcement that he would retire in 2016, Schumer is the one who will step into that coveted role.

And with the center of power so close within reach, few thought Schumer would risk bucking the White House on the Iran “deal” it is desperate to make.

Schumer’s support is considered essential for an override of President Obama’s promised veto of proposed legislation to insert Congress into the review process of any nuclear power deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Such review is embodied in what is known as the Corker bill after its sponsor, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Under the Corker bill, Congress would have 60 days to review any final agreement with Iran before U.S. sanctions could be lifted.

When Schumer co-sponsored the legislation a few weeks ago, informed spectators lashed out at those who cheered the senior New York senator, pointing out that being a bill’s co-sponsor was not money in the bank either for the senator’s vote on the bill’s passage or, more importantly, for a Schumer vote to override the president’s veto.

However, on Monday, April 6, Schumer finally came out publicly with a strong endorsement of the Corker bill.

“This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect to have a classified briefing in the near future,” Schumer wrote in an email to the Politico website.

“I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur,” Schumer said.

Schumer’s strong statement declaring his support for Congressional review of an Iran agreement was released after the contours of the proposed framework began circulating last week.

Given Schumer’s stature and his presumptive central leadership role in the future, it is believed the number of legislators required for an override of the president’s veto will be attainable.

Congressional role in the Iran nuclear weapons agreement signals an early failure for at least one aspect of the administration’s hoped-for deal with Iran.

Netanyahu Says It Is ‘Astonishing’ that West still Talks with Iran

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday morning, “It is astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks are with it are proceeding.”

He is trying to keep security at the top of the agenda in the election campaign and briefed ministers on “Iran’s attempt to increase its foothold on Israel’s borders even as it works to arm itself with nuclear weapons.”

Netanyahu added, “Iran is trying to also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command…..

The coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence.

“The agreement that is being formulated between Iran and the major powers is dangerous for Israel and therefore I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world.”

 

Overwhelming Majority of Americans View Fear a Nuclear Iran

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Seventy-seven percent of Americans view the development of nuclear weapons by Iran as a critical threat to the United States, according to a new Gallup poll.

An even larger number, 84 percent, responded that the Islamic State and international terrorism are critical threats.

And what about the Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict?

It is down in sixth place, after military power of North Korea and Russia, with 49 percent viewing it a critical threat and 41 percent seeing it is an “important” threat. Next in line are the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the economic power of China.

Gallup concluded:

ISIS and international terrorism loom largest in Americans’ minds as critical threats to U.S. interests. In a winter that has seen acts of unspeakable terrorism, with Obama seeking authorization for military action against the Islamic State, Americans are clearly concerned about Islamic militants and terrorists.

The conflict in Ukraine may not worry Americans as much because they see it as more of a threat to Europe than to the U.S.

And that helps explain why President Barack Obama does not want Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu talking to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, even if there were not elections in Israel.

He would rather distract Americans and talk about the peace process, but no one really cares.

 

 

Obama Plotting to Undermine Netanyahu’s Speech in Congress

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

President Barack Obama is gearing up for a publicity blitz to undermine Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s visit to the United States and speech in Congress March 3, the Associated Press reported Friday evening.

The president’s advisers apparently have rejected an idea that Obama rebut Prime Minister’s speech that willow focus on the Iranian nuclear threat and the president’s softball approach towards Tehran.  A rebuttal could work in favor of Netanyahu, giving him press coverage that Obama wants to be negative. Obama might have a tough time proving that Netanyahu’s analysis is wrong.

The president has said he won’t meet Netanyahu because it is so close to elections in Israel that a meeting would be considered as interference in favor of him.

But interference is at the top of the agenda of the White House, which has made no secret that it would love to see an Israeli center-left coalition that endorses the “peace process” that even the Palestinian Authority has rejected but which remains has become a religious rite for Washington’s foreign policy gurus and their enthusiasts in Israel.

The Obama administration’s most obvious snubs of Netanyahu are its directing senior officials not to attend the speech and, so far, it’s not scheduling a leading name to speak at the annual AIPAC conference, which Netanyahu will address and which traditionally has been a political Super Bowl for Republican and Democratic candidates to outsmart each other in proving how much they love Israel.

The second-guessing is that President Obama will fulfill his political obligation by sending a third-level politician to speak. In 2012, the president address AIPAC but that was the year he was running for re-election. Biden appeared in 2013, and last year Kerry spoke.

Secretary of State John Kerry will be out of the country when Netanyahu speaks, but he hasn’t yet figured where to go. Ditto for Vice President Joe Biden, who will dutifully ditch his usual role of attending joint session of Congress, especially when a foreign leader is speaking.

Obama’s advisers have other tricks up their sleeves, according to the Associated Press.

Senior security officials might pop up on Sunday television news programs

The more that Obama can show that his relationship with the Netanyahu is bitter cold, the more the Herzog-Livni duo, which dubs their new merged parties as the “Zionist Camp, can win headlines by the eager Israeli establishment media that has gleefully sponsored the “Dump Bibi” campaign.

In the Short Run, Biden Might Well Keep his Promise that Iran Won’t Get Nukes

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

{Originally posted at author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

It’s not just the promise, of course.  It’s the Bidenesque way he makes it:

Monday, Biden had to remind Israeli leaders that the U.S. is not seeking a negotiation with Iran at Israel’s expense.

“I have heard so much malarkey about our position on Iran,” Biden said. “We will not let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon, period. I would not put my 42-year reputation on the line if I were not certain when I say it. We mean it.”

Daniel Greenfield casts a doubt or two on that 42-year reputation, and that’s fair enough.  We would be fools to take seriously such assurances from Joe Biden.

But there are reasons why Iran may well delay that moment of focused provocation when the radical Islamic regime proves itself nuclear armed.  If the Iranians don’t have the means to offer that proof yet, they are very close to it – so close that it is now their choice how fast to move, and in what way.

Where we are

Iran now lacks only the public demonstration of uranium enrichment to a weapons-grade level (above 95%), and a detectable warhead detonation.  To talk of a “breakout” capacity – a bomb-in-waiting – as something we are still looking for is now misleading.  Using such terms suggests that there is something more we need to see from Iran, before we officially set the breakout watch.

But the reality is that there is nothing we have yet to see that we can reliably expect to see.  We’ve reached the point at which it is prudent to assume the breakout watch has already started – and imprudent not to.

Fifteen years ago, Iran did not have a reliable uranium enrichment process; did not have an industrial-scale infrastructure for enrichment; did not have a stockpile of enriched uranium; did not have her own uranium production capacity; did not have a detonator mechanism for a uranium warhead; did not have a missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and did not have anything close to an intercontinental missile capability.

As little as six years ago, moreover, the United States had more than enough ready combat power, between our Air Force and Navy, to quickly strike a meaningful blow against an Iranian nuclear infrastructure that was still comparatively rudimentary and geographically concentrated.

Both of those conditions have changed significantly.  Iran now does have all the things she lacked in 1999: enough low-enriched uranium for at least 7-8 warheads; a proven enrichment process, including enrichment to higher purity (19.75%); an industrial-scale infrastructure, with geographic dispersion; an indigenous uranium production capacity (see here and here); a tested detonator mechanism for a nuclear warhead; at least one medium-range ballistic missile series that could deliver a nuclear warhead; and a satellite/rocket program advanced enough to support ICBM testing in as little as 1-3 years.  Iran has acquired almost all of these things since UN sanctions were implemented in 2007, and under the regime of IAEA inspections.

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

Reminder: Nothing has interrupted the trend of Iran’s uranium enrichment. Red column shows low-enriched UF6 stockpiled (versus total cumulative enrichment in blue), once Iran began enriching some stock to 20% in Jan 2012. Although Iran has “downblended” her 20%-enriched stock, the rate of increase in the total stockpile of 5% LEU has been robust: 17% from 11/13 to 11/14. (Data source: IAEA)

American military power, in the meantime, has declined to such an extent that mounting a quick, comprehensive strike on the Iranian infrastructure is no longer feasible.  We couldn’t do it quickly.  Not only could we not do it quickly; we couldn’t do it without first restoring the readiness of military units we no longer keep at their highest readiness level.  It would take months to prepare for a comprehensive strike campaign – and would require the prior allocation of special funding from Congress.

Where Iran once wanted to be

Iran’s vision for the future has been shaped, as everyone’s has, by the consequences of the Arab Spring.  It has also been shaped by the withdrawal of American power under Obama.

Four or five years ago, Iran took as a given the U.S. posture in the larger Middle East.  That posture included a key strategic presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan; close partnerships with almost all the Gulf Cooperation Council nations; special relationships, including military cooperation, with both Egypt and Israel; and unchallenged supremacy on the regional seas.

Iran’s basic objective was to peel America’s partners away through the pressure of proxy insurgencies (and other underhanded tactics), and thus squeeze us out of the region.  The first-order purpose of having the bomb was to immunize Iran against retaliation in that process, as the USSR had immunized itself with a nuclear “deterrent” force when it worked through proxy conflicts in the Cold War.

Iran also set her sights on chokepoints in the regional waterways, from the Strait of Hormuz through the Red Sea and all the way to Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar.  No one was close to having a navy that could challenge the U.S. Navy, but even great navies are vulnerable in chokepoints.

At a kind of eschatological-strategic level, meanwhile, just as the Arab Spring was unfolding in early 2011, Iranian TV was running a mullah-approved “documentary” that outlined a scheme of military preparation for the arrival of the “twelfth imam.”  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad figured as a great military commander from Shia prophecy in this fantastical oeuvre, which depicted a dénouement in the armed conquest of Jerusalem.  (“Rescuing” Jerusalem had already figured for years in Iranian policy rhetoric, as well as in the concept of some major military exercises.)

Where Iran now wants to be

In the years since Obama took office, much has changed.  One thing hasn’t, and that’s Iran’s interest in gaining leverage at critical chokepoints in the regional seaways.  But some of the focused urgency has been bled out of the pressure campaign against America’s regional partners, in part because of the Arab Spring, and in part because Barack Obama has been doing an excellent job of peeling them away from us himself.

The momentum of Iran’s efforts has shifted to a new, more geographically focused vector, one that as recently as 2011 appeared to be unthinkable.  Where once Iran was confined to putting general pressure on various American partners in the region, and perhaps maneuvering to leapfrog nearby territory in which we seemed established – Iraq, Jordan, Israel – Iran can now realistically contemplate making an “internal” line of communication (LOC) through that territory.  She might accomplish that by proxy first, and then, eventually, exploit the LOC directly.

In fact, with much of the territory in question now disputed between ISIS and a weak Iraqi government, Iran has all the more reason for being there, with advisors and military equipment.

The bonus?  The U.S., weakened and compromised as our power is, has signed up to do at least some of the fighting against ISIS.  If Iran plays her cards right, American forces will open her strategic LOC through the heart of the Middle East for her.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/in-the-short-run-biden-might-well-keep-his-promise-that-iran-wont-get-nukes/2014/11/13/

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