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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Russia to Deliver S-300 Missile System to Iran… Eventually

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Russia’s controversial deal with Iran to sell Tehran a powerful air defense system was completed on Monday. Both sides pronounced the talks – frozen since 2010 — a success.

It’s just that each side defined the term differently.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian openly told Iranian state-run news agencies the deal was a “success” and the system would soon be delivered.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters on Tuesday the deal was not quite sealed, despite a statement by President Vladimir Putin several weeks earlier lifting the ban on selling the arms to Iran.

Following Monday’s talks, Russia confirmed it had indeed decided to delivering its S-300 air defense missile system to Iran. But the Kremlin was decidedly vague on a date.

“The decision on delivering the S-300 to Iran has been taken but the realization of the project will take some time,” said Yevgeny Lukyanov, deputy head of the Russian security council, reported Moscow news agencies.

Russia is being equally cagey with its fellow world powers as they negotiate with Tehran over its nuclear technology program in the P5+1 talks led by the United States.

Iran continues to seek – and sometimes to actually find – ways to circumvent international sanctions imposed on transactions dealing with any nuclear or other energy-related product of Iran. The Islamic Republic is also demanding that all sanctions be immediately lifted upon signing any agreement with the world powers.

However, the Tehran government still refuses to allow unlimited, unfettered access to its nuclear research and development sites upon signing the agreement that would limit its uranium enrichment and other nuclear technology activities.

Because these roadblocks still remain, European negotiators are now telling journalists the talks may not end in success; or at least, they won’t close by June 30, the latest deadline set by the U.S. and Iran.

Russia, and China, are also adding their own roadblocks; neither appears willing to stand firm on the issue of imposing “snap back” sanctions to ensure Iran’s compliance with the terms of the deal.

Hence, perhaps, Russia’s latest dance with Iran – and the rest of the world – as it dangles a delivery date for the S-300 missile defense system before the Islamic Republic.

“As I understand, the time of delivery has not yet come,” Lukyanov told reporters.

No Deal with Iran by June 30 Deadline, Europeans Say

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

“It’s not yet in the bag.”

That was the assessment by British Ambassador Peter Westmacott, who told the Atlantic Council think tank at a panel discussion Tuesday in Washington a deal with Iran does not appear likely by the June 30 deadline, according to a report by The Hill.

French Ambassador to the U.S. Gérard Araud agreed. “It’s very likely that we won’t have an agreement before the end of June – or even after June,” Araud said.

“The Iranians for the moment are obviously not negotiating to get an agreement very shortly.”

The main issues blocking the way to an agreement between the U.S.-led world powers and Tehran remain the details of international inspections of Iranian nuclear technology facilities, and the timing of sanctions relief.

Iran will have to limit the pace of its nuclear technology program in exchange for any relaxation of sanctions, and allow inspectors unrestricted, 24/7 access to all nuclear facilities – which it still bluntly refuses to do.

Talks between the “P5+1″ and Iran have dragged on since last summer, with deadlines having been extended from November and then again from April. The next so-called “final” deadline on talks is set for June 30.

Israel has warned repeatedly that Iran cannot be trusted, and that the current deal being negotiated is a “bad deal.”

Obama’s Irrational Understanding of Anti-Semitism

Monday, May 25th, 2015

The President’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the The Atlantic makes for some incredulous reading.

There’s a lot to write about, but today, I want to pick at one specific point that not only surprised me, but clearly also surprised Jeffrey Goldberg.

I was disappointed that Goldberg, who could have actually asked a serious followup question, instead chose to give Obama a pass on such an important point, when he clearly knew Obama was wrong.

Goldberg questioned one of the many contradictions in the President’s worldview.

He pointed out Obama’s contradictory belief that while anti-Semitic regimes are not rational players, they will still respond rationally and practically to pressure and incentive.

(As an aside, whether Iran is simply driven by anti-Semitism or by a radical Islamic desire, in which anti-Semitism plays a central role, to bring about Armageddon is another important point to discuss, another time.)

When Goldberg pointed out that anti-Semitic European leaders made irrational decisions against their own survival, he was clearly thinking of Hitler as the prime example of that, as were all of us when we read Obama’s statement.

And Nazi Germany is far from the only example that contradicts Obama’s belief (just look how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority use their foreign aid money – building terror tunnels, buying weapons and paying terrorists instead of building hospitals and sewer systems).

Obama then claimed that since anti-Semitic regimes will care about their survival more than killing Jews, they will make rational decisions towards survival, despite their anti-Semitism.

More incredulously, Obama then claimed their anti-Semitism is limited to discrimination and as an organizing tool, “where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest.”

Nothing in the history, actions or decisions of Nazi Germany (and other anti-Semitic regimes) backs up that claim.

Throughout the war, Hitler diverted physical and manpower resources to killing Jews that could have been much better deployed fighting the allies.

And in particular, towards the end of the war, Hitler (and Eichmann, more specifically) chose to continue to transport Jews to the Death Camps, instead of deploying more resources to fighting the allies.

Those costs were not low, and they clearly opposed Nazi Germany’s self-interest — unless you understand that anti-Semites view killing Jews as being in their primary self-interest, even greater than their own or their regime’s survival.

I’m not expecting a rational and informed answer from the President.

But worse, it’s clear that Jeffrey Goldberg, who obviously had the same question, apparently wasn’t expecting a rational or informed answer either, and instead gave the President a pass.

Here’s that section of the interview:

Goldberg: Stay with Iran for one more moment. I just want you to help me square something. So you’ve argued, quite eloquently in fact, that the Iranian regime has at its highest levels been infected by a kind of anti-Semitic worldview. You talked about that with Tom [Friedman]. “Venomous anti-Semitism” I think is the term that you used. You have argued—not that it even needs arguing—but you’ve argued that people who subscribe to an anti-Semitic worldview, who explain the world through the prism of anti-Semitic ideology, are not rational, are not built for success, are not grounded in a reality that you and I might understand. And yet, you’ve also argued that the regime in Tehran—a regime you’ve described as anti-Semitic, among other problems that they have—is practical, and is responsive to incentive, and shows signs of rationality. So I don’t understand how these things fit together in your mind.

Obama: Well the fact that you are anti-Semitic, or racist, doesn’t preclude you from being interested in survival. It doesn’t preclude you from being rational about the need to keep your economy afloat; it doesn’t preclude you from making strategic decisions about how you stay in power; and so the fact that the supreme leader is anti-Semitic doesn’t mean that this overrides all of his other considerations. You know, if you look at the history of anti-Semitism, Jeff, there were a whole lot of European leaders—and there were deep strains of anti-Semitism in this country—

Goldberg: And they make irrational decisions—

Obama: They may make irrational decisions with respect to discrimination, with respect to trying to use anti-Semitic rhetoric as an organizing tool. At the margins, where the costs are low, they may pursue policies based on hatred as opposed to self-interest. But the costs here are not low, and what we’ve been very clear [about] to the Iranian regime over the past six years is that we will continue to ratchet up the costs, not simply for their anti-Semitism, but also for whatever expansionist ambitions they may have. That’s what the sanctions represent. That’s what the military option I’ve made clear I preserve represents. And so I think it is not at all contradictory to say that there are deep strains of anti-Semitism in the core regime, but that they also are interested in maintaining power, having some semblance of legitimacy inside their own country, which requires that they get themselves out of what is a deep economic rut that we’ve put them in, and on that basis they are then willing and prepared potentially to strike an agreement on their nuclear program.

Someone please send the President a history book.

Israel Refuses to Pay $1.1 Billion Swiss Court Award to Iran

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Israel says it will not pay a $1.1 billion award to Iran over a dispute dating back to the period of the Islamic Revolution, won by Tehran this week in the Swiss Federal Court.

“Under the laws of trade we cannot transfer funds to an enemy country,” read a statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.

The response came after the court ordered the Eilat Ashkelon Pipeline Company (EAPC), to pay the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) $1.1 billion over a joint venture that began long before the ayatollahs seized Tehran’s government. The plaintiffs also demanded $7 million in legal fees, although it is not clear whether the court approved the charge. In addition, the court allowed Iran to file a $7 billion arbitration claim against the Jewish State.

In 1968, the two countries made a deal to carry oil from Asia to Eilat and on to Europe. At the time, the NIOC delivered 14.75 million cubic meters of crude oil, worth $450 million, to Israel’s Trans-Asiatic Oil (TAO), Ltd.

The oil moved via a pipeline that reached from Israel’s southernmost port eastward to its Mediterranean port of Ashkelon, and then up the coast to its northern port of Haifa.

Today, the EAPC pipeline in Israel stretches approximately 750 kilometers, according to the company’s website.

The ayatollahs cut off Iran’s business with Israel – and its deal with EAPC –as soon as the ruling Shah was eliminated from the government, saying the Islamic Republic did not recognize Israel as a legitimate nation. To this day, Iran still vows to “wipe the Zionist entity from the map of the world.”

Israel seized Iranian assets and launched a counter-suit to offset its own losses after the deal went sour.

Iran Complains Israel Threatened Nuclear Attack

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon threatened to attack Iran with a nuclear bomb according to Iran’s U.N. ambassador Gholam-Ali Khoshrou.

As a follow-up, an Iranian military official made similar comments in a report Thursday by the regime’s Fars (Read: Farce] News Agency, which added that Ya’alon said Israel “will kill kids” in attacks on Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Here is what Ya’alon actually said at a conference in Israel last week when he spoke about what steps Israel might have to take to defend itself:

We should be sure that it is a military necessity….

I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, ‘How did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?’ And he said, ‘When I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision.’

We are not there yet. But that’s what I’m talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.

Iranian ambassador Khoshrou concluded in a letter to the UN Security General Ban Ki-moon:

These remarks amount to the [Israeli] regime’s unwitting admission of possessing nukes.

Press TV, another Iranian propaganda organ, also decided to rewrite Ya’alon’s remarks and reported Wednesday:

Ya’alon…said that Israel might take certain steps in certain cases like what the US did in ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.’

For good measure, Press TV added, “Khoshrou said that Ya’alon’s explicit threat to use nuclear weapons against Iran like what the US did in Japan, and his threats of waging wars against Lebanon and Gaza further unmask the regime’s aggressive nature.”

A senior Iranian military official made up his own translation of remarks by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon

Fars News Agency reported the official’s remarks on Thursday, hours after the Pentagon announced it is selling Israel $1.2 billion sale of weapons, including bunker buster bombs that might be able to penetrate underground cement bunkers covering some of Iran’s nuclear sites.

Khoshrou’s comments and the Iranian media’s fabrications of what Ya’alon supposedly said are a treasure chest for anyone studying Propaganda 101.

Ya’alon said at the conference last week:

If I have to consider opening fire–killing someone, as a soldier, which I did–or as a commander, or today as a minister…my first consideration is what I call the mirror judgment. Whether I can look at myself in the mirror after approving the operation or executing the operation….And I can tell you, looking back, I can look at myself in the mirror.

Ya’alon admitted that soldiers sometimes engage in crimes during counter-terrorist mauves, and he stated:

In certain cases, of course, there is room for criminal investigations. But we should put the line very clearly. If we are talking about crime, like looting or raping – which didn’t happen since I’ve known the IDF — or shooting not according to the rules of engagement, namely killing, murdering, someone who wasn’t armed or didn’t threaten us, man, woman, [not to mention] kids, then there is room to launch a criminal investigation.

Fars either read the Hebrew version of Ya’alon’s comments, or more likely engaged in some very creative writing in reporting:

Ya’alon threatened that ‘we are going to hurt Lebanese civilians to include kids of the family….

In response to a question about Iran, Ya’alon said that ‘in certain cases,’ when “we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations.’ Israel might take ‘certain steps’ such as the Americans did in ‘Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000.’

Iran’s senior military aide Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi warned today that Iran is ready to retaliate if Israel tries to attack. He said:

The Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa…..The Zionists have many problems and they know that Iran is too powerful for them grapple with.

The most difficult weapon Iran has is its propaganda machine, but eventually, “The truth will out.”

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.”

ISIS Takes over Key Iraqi City but US Says ‘Don’t Worry, We Will Win’ [video]

Monday, May 18th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) on Sunday took over the city of Ramadi in one of the last provinces held by government forces, but the Pentagon said Iraqi forces, aided by the U.S. Army, “will take it back later.” But it might need Iran’s help.

A call by the Sunni Muslim government for Shi’ite Muslims to help take back the city is feared by many Sunni Muslims as opening the door for Iran to take over Iraq.

The ISIS executed 503 civilians and soldiers, according to an Iraqi officials in the province of Anbar where Ramadi is located. Iraqi special forces fled the city after more than a dozen fighters were killed by suicide car bombers and before others might become more victims of beheading by the ISIS forces.

The fall of Ramadi followed jubilant announcements the past several weeks that the leader of the Islamic State was seriously wounded and that a deputy commander also was eliminated.

But for every ISIS terrorist who is killed, 10 more replacements come out of the woodwork for the funeral.

The fall of Ramadi is a major setback for the American-aided Iraqi government, but the Pentagon played down the loss and only admitted that it gave the ISIS a “propaganda boost” but defeat

“Ramadi has been contested since last summer and ISIL now has the advantage,” Pentagon “just means the coalition will have to support Iraqi forces to take it back later,” according to Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry could not call the fall of Ramadi a loss. The city “simply target of opportunity,” he commented.

Iranian-backed Shi’ite forces already have answered the call of the Sunni Muslim leader of Anbar. A Shi’ite spokesman said Monday that its fighters will charge in to Ramadi and re-take the city, which is located only 100 miles from Baghdad.

If the Shi’ites succeed, it could be a step towards an Iranian takeover of Iraq and an eventual Iranian Shi’ite Caliphate instead of an ISIS Caliphate in the Arab Middle East .

David Petraeus, who commanded US troops in Iraq during 2007-2008, told the Washington Post in an interview:

If Daesh [ISIS] is driven from Iraq and the consequence is that Iranian-backed militias emerge as the most powerful force in the country – eclipsing the Iraqi security forces, much as Hezbollah does in Lebanon – that would be a very harmful outcome for Iraqi stability and sovereignty, not to mention our own national interests in the region.

Sunni Muslim leaders, especially Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States, might go into action against the prospect of an Iranian-backed Iraq, just as they are doing Yemen where Saudi Arabia-led forces have resumed bombing of Iranian-backed Houthi forces after a five-day humanitarian cease-fire.

Below is a video of armed forces in Ramadi.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/isis-takes-over-key-iraqi-city-but-us-says-dont-worry-we-will-win/2015/05/18/

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