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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Seeking $25 Billion Iran Sale Boeing Kept Pro-Deal Advocate Pickering on Payroll

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

It can be safely said that Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of the Iran nuclear deal, as it is going to drink up about $25 billion of Iran’s thawed funds—released as a condition of the deal—in a sale involving 109 aircraft. On Thursday The Daily Beast revealed that Boeing worked hard for this money, paying off top talent to go public in support of embracing the Islamic Republic back into the family of civilized nations.

Career Ambassador Thomas Pickering, one of the highest ranking US Foreign Service employees, whose four decades in the foreign service included ambassadorship in Israel (1985–1988); Russia (1993–1996); and the United Nations (1989–1992); who served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2000, was a shill for the aircraft manufacturer, quietly taking money from Boeing to use his reputation in strongly supporting the Iran nuclear deal: Pickering testified before Congress, wrote letters to high-level officials and op-eds for The Washington Post and other major publications, never disclosing the fact that he was on the Boeing payroll.

It should be noted that Pickering did not conceal the fact that he serves on the board of directors of the American Iranian Council, which is devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and the US. He just didn’t want folks to know he was also pimping for Jumbo.

Neil Gordon, an investigator for Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog organization, told The Beast that Pickering “has a direct connection to Boeing,” and should have been honest about his work for Boeing when he testified before Congress on the deal. He could also mention it below those op-eds in major newspapers.

“I think it’s necessary for the public debate,” Gordon said. “It’s necessary for the public to fully realize the participants’ financial interests. Some of them might have a direct financial stake in a particular outcome.”

Boeing certainly had $25 billion worth of financial interest in the Iran nuclear agreement. With the deal Iran got its $100 billion plus interest that’s been frozen in US and world banks since 1979, and US companies could sell Iran their goods again. And one of Iran’s most burning need right off was updating its ancient fleet of passenger airplanes.

On June 19, 2014, Pickering testified before the House Armed Services Committee in favor of a comprehensive agreement with Iran, and did not mention Boeing in the disclosure form he handed the committee before his testimony. He also kept Boeing out of his bio that the House kept on file.

According to The Beast, Pickering confirmed to them via his Boeing corporate email address: “I was a Boeing employee from 1/2001 to 6/2006. I was a direct consultant to Boeing from 7/2006 until 12/2015 when‎ contract for consulting was moved to [Pickering’s company Hills & Company International Consultants] for my work.”

In September 2015, Congressman Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) issued a press release stating, “I spent hours discussing the matter with Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who served as US Ambassador to both Israel and Russia, and later to the United Nations. In no way does my support of the Iran Nuclear Agreement signify my trust in Iran, nor does it signal that I do not feel strongly about preserving and enhancing the US-Israel relationship.”

True, but it does signify Takai’s trust in Thomas Pickering’s integrity, which appears, in retrospect, foolish.

Pickering wrote a long op-ed for Tablet, the Jewish magazine for inquiring leftist minds, with the presumptuous headline, “A Guide for the Perplexed: The Iran Nuclear Agreement.” But nowhere under that clever homage to Maimonides superb book of philosophy did the ambassador mention how the deal benefits the Pickering bank account.

However, in that same Tablet article, Pickering wrote: “It is estimated that Iran will have access to $50 billion (all in foreign banks and all Iranian money) upon sanctions termination,” noting that “Opponents believe this can and will be used to support Iranian activities in the region favoring Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Assad regime in Syria among others,” and “Supporters argue that conclusion is far from certain. Iran has many very expensive priorities including repairing its oil-production base and stimulating its domestic economy.”

And buying $25 billion worth of Boeing aircraft, with a taste of that going to the corrupt career diplomat.

JNi.Media

Former Mossad Chief Tamir Pardo Joins Board of ‘United Against Nuclear Iran’

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Former Mossad director Tamir Pardo is joining the board of directors of the American ‘United Against Nuclear Iran‘ organization, an international non-profit group intent on raising awareness about the dangers posed by the Iranian regime.

“The world’s leading powers should not ignore the clear dangers posed by the Iranian regime, which threaten the personal safety and freedom of people both inside the country’s borders and in the world at large,” Pardo said. “I am proud to join the board of this important organization.”

Members of the group include former heads of the CIA, U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman and a number of other senior officials from around the world.

The organization was founded in 2008 by U.S. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross.

UANI operates at an international level, working to convince domestic and global corporations not to do business with Iran.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton also has joined the group, as has former Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Other members include former Spanish foreign minister Ana de Palacio, and former Australian defense minister Robert Hill.

Hana Levi Julian

Something Big Is Happening In Syria But Despite Warnings By 51 US Diplomats Obama Refuses To See It

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

[Initially published at Western Journalism]

On Thursday last week, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal revealed that 51 American diplomats had signed an internal State Department memo that harshly criticized President Obama’s Syria policies. The diplomats also called for airstrikes against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, the papers reported.

Robert Ford, America’s former ambassador to Syria, said that there has never been a “dissenting message” that was signed by so many diplomats within the State Department.

“The normal number for a dissenting message is two, three, four, five people. So it’s really remarkable. It says that a large number of people who work on different parts [of Washington’s policy on the Syrian conflict] are all in agreement that it’s failing. I see American diplomats who are frustrated like I was when I resigned in 2014,” Ford told France 24.

Ford thinks the diplomats’ memo won’t cause Obama to change his ways or adjust his policies in Syria. He said he was sure the message was directed at Obama and not at Secretary of State John Kerry.

Kerry seemed to prove Ford right when he was questioned about the protest letter by reporters during a visit to Copenhagen in Denmark. The secretary of state even seemed to side with the diplomats when he said, “It’s an important statement, and I respect the process very, very much.”

The New York Times, citing unnamed diplomats, reported that Kerry “has told President Obama that he is operating without any leverage in Syria and that unless the United States increases the pressure on Mr. Assad, the embattled leader will simply wait out the end of Mr. Obama’s term.” Kerry wants the administration to “consider a wide range of military operations to alter the equation in Syria’s civil war,” the Times wrote.

The internal dissent within the Obama administration over the president’s policy toward al-Assad in Syria has been brewing since August 2013, when Obama stunned his staff, Kerry and then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel by suddenly reversing an earlier decision to order airstrikes on al-Assad’s forces after the Syrian dictator used chemical weapons against his citizens, killing 1,400 Syrians.

“That decision destroyed any credibility the administration had with Russia, Iran or Assad himself,” Reuters reported Friday, citing a former Defense Department official involved in Syria policy.

But Obama seems to be unfazed by the unprecedented criticism of his diplomatic corps.

Jennifer Friedman, his deputy press secretary, told reporters that the president is “always open to new and different ideas when it comes to the challenges in Syria” but that he does not see a “military solution to the Syrian crisis, and that remains the case.”

State Department spokesman John Kirby was even blunter on Obama’s refusal to listen to the recommendations of his diplomatic staff.

“There isn’t any U.S. efforts to target Bashar al-Assad. That’s not part of the calculus,” Kirby said during apress briefing Friday, while it had become clear that the U.S.-backed rebel groups in Syria are systematically being wiped out by al-Assad and his allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin showed this weekend he understood the ramifications of Obama’s stubborn refusal to take action against al-Assad’s brutal regime.

Putin poked Obama in the eye by ordering his air force to bomb positions of U.S.-backed Syrian rebels near the al-Tanaf crossing on the Syrian-Iraqi border last Friday.

The attack on the New Syrian Army and the Ahmad al-Abdo Martyrs Brigades led to condemnation by Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who thought that perhaps the Russians had made a mistake and acted on poor intelligence.

If Carter would have been willing to open his eyes and to read the latest updates on what is happening in eastern Syria, he would have understood that the Russian action is part of a new plan that has been concocted by Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and the al-Assad regime.

The Russian-led coalition is gearing up for a major offensive that aims to retake eastern Syria from the Islamic State and other rebel groups. The Lebanese news site NOW reported this weekend that “Iran, Russia and Syria have agreed on a ‘large action plan’ for a ‘very big battle in the Deir Ezzor’ province in which Hezbollah will play a ‘central role.’”

On Monday NOW reported that Hezbollah had “established a new military faction called the Zayn al-Abidin Brigade, named after the fourth Shiite Imam, who survived the Battle of Karbala in 680.”

NOW thinks that the move is related to the Syrian war only. However, when one takes a good look what is happening in Iraq where Iranian-backed militias have just opened the gateway to the Anbar province by driving Islamic State out of Fallujah, a different picture emerges.

Iran has a vested interest to capture the eastern Syrian desert because that would open a pathway from the Iranian-Iraqi border via Fallujah and the Anbar Province all the way to southwest Syria, where it wants to establish a new beachhead close to the border with Israel on the Syrian Golan Heights.

As Western Journalism reported Monday, Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has been spotted in the vicinity of Fallujah, where he oversaw the battle against ISIS.

Soleimani is now on his way to Syria, where he will oversee the imminent new offensive in eastern Syria that was first reported by the Hezbollah-linked website Akhbar.

As astute observer Jennifer Dyer pointed out on Liberty Unyielding, the Russians have no intention to head home after the Syrian war is over. They need control over Tartus and the coastal plain in northwest Syria. The Iranians, on the other hand, are very much interested in eastern Syria.

The Russian airstrikes therefore could very well be a payback for the Iranian assistance in consolidating al-Assad’s rule over western Syria, including the port city of Tartus that is home to a Russian naval base.

This brings us back to the leaked memo of the disgruntled State Department diplomats.

It could be that by leaking this document to the press, they issued a last-minute warning that without American intervention something bigger than the survival of al-Assad’s regime will be at stake.

If nothing is done, Iraq and Syria may cease to be independent states and instead could become satellite states controlled by the two new powers that seek to dominate the Middle East: Russia and Iran.

Yochanan Visser

Obama Administration Admits Iran Worked on Nuclear Weapons

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Obama Administration has belatedly come to the realization that Iran really was working on a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, just as Israeli and other intelligence sources said prior to the signing of the nuclear pact with Tehran in 2015. Current and former government officials told the Wall Street Journal that the administration has concluded radioactive particles discovered last year were tied to an Iranian nuclear weapons program, as pointed out by Omri Ceren of the Israel Project.

Two man-made uranium particles discovered in soil samples at the Parchin facility southeast of Tehran by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency were too small to confirm exactly what kind of nuclear weapons work took place at the site. But they were big enough to make it clear that nuclear weapons-related activity was indeed going on there.

Iranian explanations for their presence — chemical storage for use in developing conventional weapons — were not supported by the evidence of satellite imagery and test results.

The issue was raised in an article written by Jay Solomon for the Wall Street Journal, in which the Obama administration was said to have underlined the discovery mentioned in a 16-page December 2015 report by the IAEA indisputably points to an Iranian weapons program, contradicting denials by Tehran.

On Saturday an Iranian government spokesman in fact denied uranium was found at Parchin, WSJ reported, adding the spokesman quoted a 2005 IAEA report that found no “unusual activities” there.

The terms of the pact signed by Iran with the six world powers last July required Tehran to address the evidence compiled by the IAEA showing that Iran had a program to create a nuclear weapon of mass destruction until at least 2003. Iranian officials repeatedly denied the charge.

In exchange for suspending its nuclear technology activities for a 10-year period, Iran would receive the $150 billion that had been held in frozen assets in addition to international sanctions being rolled back.

Now that Iran is receiving all those benefits, however, Tehran’s lies are also becoming clear. And the critics of the deal who were opposing it from the start are citing this latest news as confirmation that opposition of the deal was justified, and that Obama didn’t go far enough in his demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear activities before lifting sanctions in January.

Evidence of the man-made uranium that was found at Parchin has only low levels of fissionable isotopes, according to WSJ. But this can be used as a substitute for weapons-grade materials in the development of nuclear bombs and can also be used as a component in a neutron initiator — a triggering device for a nuclear weapon, WSJ reported.

But now the IAEA is blocked from any further investigation of the Parchin site, thanks to the deal signed last year. And although the deal forces Iran to allow the agency access to “all” suspected nuclear technology sites, that does not include Iranian military sites — where the weaponry is most likely to be developed.

Hana Levi Julian

Iran Claims It Foiled ‘Bombing, Terrorist Attack Plots Across Country’ by ‘Takfiri’

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said it had foiled a number of bombing and terrorist attack plots across the country. In a statement on Monday, the ministry said the operation was one of the biggest of its kind against Takfiri terrorists in Tehran and some other provinces.

Takfiri is a common Shiite reference to Sunni Muslims who accuse them of apostasy. The accusation itself is called takfir, derived from the word kafir (unbeliever), which sounds a lot like the Hebrew kofer-heretic. Accusing other Muslims of being takfiris is a sectarian slur, used heavily since the start of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, in which Shiite and Suni forces are facing each other, with the Shiites being allied with the Alawites, who are an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

The only group with the authority to declare a member of an Abrahamic religion a kafir are the scholars of the ulema — Imams of important mosques, Sharia judges, and teachers of the major religious universities. But with so many splinter groups growing out of the Wahhabist/Salafist tradition and splitting mainstream Suni Islam, any Muslim today feels free to call another Muslim a takfir.

And so Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has identified the members of takfiri groups who were aiming to plant bombs in Iran “especially during the holy fasting days of Ramadan.” According to the report, those infidels were arrested, their bombs were safely detonated and their equipment was seized.

Further information will be provided after more investigations and interrogation of the culprits.

Have a joyous Ramadan.

JNi.Media

America’s Boeing Signs 100-Aircraft Deal with Iran

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

The U.S.-based Boeing aircraft manufacturer has signed a contract to provide Iran with 100 planes, according to Ali Abedzadeh, head of Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization.

The news was published Sunday in the state-run ‘Iran‘ daily newspaper. The deal must still be approved by the U.S. government.

“Of the 250 [passenger] planes in Iran, 230 need to be replaced,” Abedzadeh told the newspaper. He added Iran had signed a contract with Boeing to provide 100 of the aircraft.

It’s the first time Iran has purchased anything from Boeing since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to Reuters.

Hana Levi Julian

Huckabee: Hillary Clinton Would Be a Disaster for Israel

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

“Hillary Clinton will be a disaster for Israel,” former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told Walla on the sidelines of the 2016 Herzliya Conference Wednesday. Huckabee, an early dropout in the GOP presidential race, suggested Clinton would continue President Obama’s policy regarding Israel. “And I don’t think anyone would say that Israel-US relations have been good under his leadership over the last eight years,” he commented.

In his address to the conference, Gov. Huckabee said that “every friend of Israel is a friend of the United States and every enemy of Israel is an Enemy of the United States.” He also suggested that “America is looking into the mirror and sees Israel.”

Huckabee noted that the greatest common foe facing Israel, the US and the free world was “radical Islamic ideology that takes us back to the 7th century.” He then reiterated: “We have a common enemy and that enemy is radical Islam that wishes to destroy civilization itself and wishes to turn the clock back to centuries ago.”

Mentioning the past week’s two acts of terror, one killing four in Tel Aviv, followed by the mass shooting in Orlando, Fl. that killed 49, Huckabee said that the argument about whether the Orlando shooting was a terror attack or hate crime is “ridiculous. All terror is based on hate.” He said that he feared that sometimes people were afraid “to call out the common enemy of radical Islam in case we offend someone,” but went on to state that he was offended when “innocent people were murdered in the name of an ideology that wishes to destroy all semblance of peace.”

He referred to the “Ill-fated and tragic deal to trust the Iranians,” saying that “here can be no deal with those who believe its okay to murder people” because of their race, religion or ethnicity. “It’s impossible to enter into any agreement with the present leadership of Iran… I hope and pray that it will be rescinded.”

Focusing on the Israeli-Arab conflict and the talks about a two-state solution, Huckabee said that the idea is naïve and cannot be realized “unless both sides agree that the other side has a fundamental right to exist.” He said that until there were no longer schools in Judea, Samaria and Gaza celebrating the death of Jews, there could be no solution. He added that there was no magical formula for the issues but that the basic issue of radical Islam and one people wanting to destroy another and celebrating every time someone on the other side was killed had to be solved first. “This is not a conflict about land, or about power, but about existence,” he asserted.

“Neither Israel nor the United States is perfect but we do have a system of laws that we insist are abided by… we do not name streets after or make heroes out of terrorists.”

Huckabee also focused on the issue of Jerusalem, saying that “the notion that Jerusalem should be divided is nonsense…. Only one nation in the world every claimed it as its capital… it is never even mentioned in the Quran… At some point we have to come to grips that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, not because it has been since 1948 but because it has been for 3000 years and it has to be accepted.”

Returning to his original point, Huckabee concluded, “We have to recognize that if it’s good for Israel then it’s ultimately good for the United States and if it’s good for the United States then it’s ultimately good for Israel… the similarities between the two countries are just too glaring to ignore… our alliance is too precious.”

He said that Israel’s sovereignty, safety and security had to be protected because Israel was just the first “domino” and the United States would follow. “Anyone who comes after you is after us next,” Huckabee said.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/huckabee-hillary-clinton-would-be-a-disaster-for-israel/2016/06/16/

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