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April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Iranian Journalist Defects, Says US Team Speaking for Iran

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Amir Hossein Motaghi, an Iranian journalist, defected during the P5+1 nuclear talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, according to a British Telegraph report.

Motaghi said the Iranian reporters at the P5+1 negotiations are primarily there to control the flow of news back to Iran, stating, “My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.”

One of Motaghi’s more disturbing comments was a claim that the US negotiating team was taking a more conciliatory line with Iran than some of the other members of the P5+1 team which is made up of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France, plus Germany.

Motaghi said,

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.”

Amir Hossein Motaghi managed Iranian president’s Hassan Rouhani’s 2013 electoral campaign.

He had heard he was possibly going to be arrested when he returned to Iran.

H/T Omri Ceren

‘Arab-Israel Alliance’ Leaving Obama Isolated

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jabbed President Barack Obama with a stinging remark that although Israel and the United States are friends, fears of Iran and the ISIS have forged a “new partnership” of Israel and “many of our Arab neighbors.”

Netanyahu took the opportunity of being charged with the responsibility to form a new government to say:

We very much appreciate, and will take care to preserve, our alliance with the best of our friends, the United States; however, we will continue to work to prevent the agreement with Iran, an agreement that endangers us, our neighbors and the world. We see eye to eye with many of our Arab neighbors regarding the danger posed by Iran and we also view positively the benefit that this new partnership could have for the region.

The chaos in Yemen has once again embarrassed the Obama administration by exposing another colossal foreign policy failure that has made President Obama increasingly isolated in the region.

Obama and his foreign policy gurus still hold on to the delusion that if Israel simply would agree to surrender every inch of territory that was restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 1967, the sky would be filled with doves of peace, pooping on Jews, instead of rocks and rockets aimed at Jews.

The biggest problem with that policy, which to be fair has been fostered by every administration in the past 40 years thanks to the State Dept., is that the Arabs world couldn’t care less about the Palestinian Authority.

Mahmoud Abbas was supposed to be the messenger for Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab League to force Israel into submission and prepare the way for a Muslim takeover over “Palestine.”

Instead, corruption, mismanagement and the failure to accept the word “compromise” have left the Palestinian Authority a sorry welfare state.

When it comes to keeping the Palestinian Authority alive, it is the European Union that has forked over most of the money while the oil-rich kingdoms pledge billions of dollars and end up giving a few shekels.

Abbas has become nothing but a depreciating tool for the Arab League to use to pay lip service to the masses that Jerusalem will be the capital of a Muslim country.

One big exception has been Qatar, but its money has gone to the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization, which has been boycotted by Egypt but endeared by Turkish President Recep Erdoğan.

Given events in Yemen, both Qatar and Erdoğan, must be fretting and sweating at the idea of Iran’s adding Yemen to its real estate portfolio, which includes a good slice of Lebanon and is trying to move in on Syria.

While the Obama administration and its media groupies try to prove themselves that Prime Minister Netanyahu is isolating Israel, it is the president who is finding himself increasingly alone.

Saudi Arabia was unhappy with Obama last year after he backed off his threat to directly fight the Assad regime, which has begun using chemical weapons against opposition forces.

Add the failures of the Obama administration in Libya, Afghanistan Iraq and now Yemen, and throw in growing signs that he will call a “bad deal” with Iran a “good deal,” and it is no wonder that Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Muslim allies feel more comfortable with Israel than with Washington.

Senate Warns Obama by 100-0 Vote for Pro-Sanctions Amendment

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The Senate sent a warning to President Barack Obama Thursday by passing by a unanimous 100-0 vote a non-binding amendment that approves the cost of imposing sanctions on Iran if the Islamic Republic reneges on a deal that might be signed as early as Sunday.

The vote was non-binding because it will not become law, but the unanimous approval of Republican Sen. Mark Kirk’s amendment makes it clear where the political winds are blowing.

Some Democrats are claiming that the vote makes it easier for Obama to negotiate with Iran because it does not demand the president send a deal to the Senate for review, but Sen. Kirk told Politico:

The bipartisan Kirk-Brown amendment on Iran is now even more consistent with the Kirk-Menendez Iran bill to immediately impose sanctions if Iran cheats. When you vote for the Kirk-Brown amendment, you support Kirk-Menendez Iran sanctions.

If and when legislation comes to the floor to demand a review of a deal, yesterday’s vote may provide the basis for a veto-proof majority.

Iran and the P5+1 are negotiating in Switzerland, and a deal might be signed as early as Sunday, according to Omri Ceren, press director at The Israel Project.

“Rumors are swirling about a deal as early as Sunday the 29th. Lavrov is slated to fly in for the 27th-29th, Kerry is supposed to be in Boston on the 30th, and the Iranians are talking about where they want to move the talks for the signing ceremony,” he told reporters.

The Obama administration’s anxiety for a deal may come at the cost of concessions.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “The U.S. and its diplomatic partners are revising their demands on Iran to address these concerns before they agree to finalize a nuclear deal.”

If Obama breaks his promise that Iran must come up with full disclosure on its nuclear development program, the Senate might be voting on a new bill to scuttle the deal much sooner than expected.

 

 

Congressmembers: No More Money for Talks With Iran

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Some members of Congress are insisting there be a limit to the ongoing negotiations to convince the Islamic Republic to agree not to produce nuclear weapons.

In a letter sent on Thursday, March 26, to the Chair and the Ranking member of the subcommittee on Foreign Operations of the House Appropriations Committee, several members of Congress, spearheaded by Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Lee Zeldin (R-NY), sought the insertion of language in the upcoming foreign operations appropriations bill that would prohibit the inclusion of funding for continuing talks with Iran by the U.S. with the P5+1 member nations.

The letter, addressed to Cong. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Cong. Nita Lowey (D-NY), described the ongoing negotiations with Iran as “dangerous” and a “failed effort” to “ensure Iran never acquires a nuclear weapons capability.”

The letter pointed out that, despite assurances to the contrary, the administration has already made dangerous concessions to Iran, including the decision to permit Iran to maintain a “peaceful nuclear enrichment program.”

As pointed out in the Congressional letter, “there is no such thing as a peaceful Iranian nuclear enrichment program.”

In addition, the March 26 letter recounts the highlights (or, rather, low points) of what is understood to be included in a final deal, which would permit Iran to maintain its current stockpile unmolested now, and then the complete lifting of any restraints on Iran in ten years time.

A House staffer who spoke about the current status of the negotiations with the JewishPress.com was piqued by the administration’s refusal to share details of the deal with members of Congress. The language the administration has employed is particularly irksome. Saying that Congress will “see the agreement” once it is completed is hardly reassuring to those with grave concerns about what it contains.

The staffer explained that while this request to Appropriations, even if implemented, would not kick in for another 19 months, it is significant because Congress needs to continue demanding “it has a role to play,” and this is one way of alerting both the administration and the public that Congress has not yet been heard on this critically important topic. Congress has, essentially, “been left in the dark.”

FORDOW ENRICHMENT TO CONTINUE UNDER DEAL?

The Congressional letter was sent the same day that an absolute blockbuster scoop from the Associated Press revealed yet another dangerous concession allegedly made by the U.S. to Iran: that Washington is poised to allow the Iranians to continue enrichment activities at its Fordow facility. This is the one that is an underground military bunker. Fordow is built into the side of a mountain and is all but impervious to an air attack.

Really? Spinning centrifuges in a bunkered facility? Any members of Congress who are not standing up on their hind legs and demanding the right to review and make changes to a final deal with Iran on what is perhaps the most important treaty of modern times deserves to lose their seat.

RALLY FRIDAY OUTSIDE SENATORS SCHUMER AND GILLIBRAND’S OFFICES IN NYC

And there are some New Yorkers who will be sharing that view with their U.S. Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, tomorrow, March 27, at noon.

There will be a rally in front of the senators’ offices, at 780 Third Avenue between East 48th and 49th Streets in Manhattan. The purpose of the rally is to press the senators to commit to overriding President Obama’s promised veto of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015, better known as the Corker-Menendez Bill.

Neither Schumer nor Gillibrand have stated publicly how they will vote on an override of the president’s promised veto of INARA. Concerned constituents want the senators to be counted among those elected representatives who will demand Congress plays a role in ensuring that any deal with Iran will not allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

Abbas Praises Saudi Attack on Rebels in Yemen

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he supports Saudi Arabia’s attack on Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen

Saudi Arabia has been joined by other oil-rich states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the Gulf States, all of whom said that “they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his people from the aggression of the Huthi militia.”

Egypt, Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan also “expressed desire to participate in the operation,” according to the official Saudi news agency. Egypt said it is ready to provide air and naval power and even foot soldiers, if necessary.

Abbas’ statement lines him up with the ruling Sunni Muslims who fear a Shi’ite Muslim takeover in Yemen will strengthen Iran’s aim at ruling the Middle East.

Bomb Iran, Says John Bolton

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Bombing Iran is the only effective way to stop its nuclear threat in its tracks and prevent a regional nuclear arms race, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote n The New York Times Thursday.

Bolton previously has called on Israel to bomb Iran. With the United States and the other P5+1 powers on the verge of signing a deal with Iran, Bolton wrote that neither sanctions nor a “bad deal” will prevent what he called a “bad situation” from becoming  the “brink of catastrophe”

Bolton wrote:

The arms race has begun….No way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance within Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitical hegemony….

Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.

Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions. Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish interests are complex and conflicting, but faced with Iran’s threat, all have concluded that nuclear weapons are essential.

He pointed out that “Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with South Korea, China, France and Argentina, aiming to build a total of 16 reactors by 2030..” Pakistan, whose leaders recently met with Saudi officials, could supply Egypt and Turkey with nuclear technology, and there always is North Korea ready to make a buck by helping to arm the world with nukes.

“Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required.

“Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

One of the formidable obstacles to an attack on Iran is the difficulty of reaching its underground nuclear sites, but Bolton argued Thursday that there is no need to destroy Tehran’s entire nuclear infrastructure.

It is enough to set back Iran’s nuclear program by three to five years, he said.

He concluded that if President Barack Obama does not stop Iran’s nuclear development program, his “biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East.”

With Minimal US Involvement, Arab Coalition Launches Operation ‘Firmness Storm’ Fighting Iranian Expansionism

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled his palace in the capital city of Aden shortly after the Shi’ite Houthi rebels television station claimed they had taken control of an air base that served U.S. and European troops, Al Jazeera reported. Witnesses described a convoy of presidential vehicles leaving Hadi’s palace. As he was fleeing, Hadi asked the UN to authorize a foreign military intervention in the country.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region—including Israel’s neighbor Hezbollah. Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi’ite Houthi militia, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported, citing Yemeni and Iranian officials say.

And then something new happened last night. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab countries from the region launched operation “Firmness Storm” in Yemen against the Houthi.

Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubair said on Wednesday that a coalition of 10 regional states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, had begun airstrikes against the rebels at 7 PM Eastern time.

“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” al-Jubair told reporters.

Al-Jubeir said the U.S. is not involved in the airstrikes. But CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, said the U.S. probably provides the intelligence.

“The Saudis don’t have the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” he said. “They needed help and it probably come from us.”

An Egyptian official told AFP that Egypt also plans to participate in the Yemen offensive.

The Saudis have announced that Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have “expressed desire to participate in the operation,” Saudi SPA state news agency said.

According to SPA, last week, commenting on the nuclear talks with Iran, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters “the United States will adhere to the negotiations with Iran and will prevent an Iranian development of atomic bomb, but this will not mean we will take our eyes off” the “tendencies of Iran in the region, which is one of the most leading elements of implanting instability in the region.”

Al-Faisal pointed out Iranian intervention in “Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq,” and possibly in other regions. He stressed that these practices must be halted should Iran wanted to be part of the solution in the region, not part of the problem.

This might be a good time to mention Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much maligned, March 3 speech before Congress, when he warned, among other things:

“Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/with-minimal-us-involvement-arab-coalition-launches-operation-firmness-storm-fighting-iranian-expansionism/2015/03/26/

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