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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

6000 Boys Graduate Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorist Military ‘Summer Camp’

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization held a graduation ceremony Tuesday for the 6,000 Gaza boys who this summer attended its Youth Military Camp in Khan Younis.

Hundreds of Gaza children — budding guerrilla fighters — were dressed by “camp counselors” in battle fatigues and taught to apply the requisite black camouflage grease beneath the eyes on the skin of their young faces.

Palestinian boys participate in a graduation ceremony from the youth military camp sponsored by Islamic Jihad movement in Khan Yunis.

Then they were handed guns with which they showed off their new prowess in aiming and firing weapons at enemy targets (read: Israelis and Jews.)

Boys ages 8 to 21 participated this year in the Fohtwat al-Nassir” military camp run by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Al Aqsa Brigades military arm, the terror group announced.

Menendez Dismembers Iran Deal, Suggests More Robust Deal

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doubled down on his position that the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his American team of negotiators, along with the U.S. partners in the P5+1, is a bad one that should not go into effect.

Menendez did that by holding a highly-publicized address at 1:00 p.m. E.T., on Thursday, Aug. 18, from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in South Orange, New Jersey.

During this address, Menendez meticulously explained why he will not vote for the Agreement and why he will vote to override the President’s veto.

When he completed his analysis, it was hard to understand how anyone could say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is something any country except Iran would support.

AN OIL-RICH NATION DOES NOT NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY

The over-arching question, as Menendez put it, is why Iran, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of oil reserves, needs nuclear power for domestic energy. Given this vast reserve, there is no peaceful use of nuclear energy at all, and therefore no legitimate reason for Iran to have any right to enrichment.

Given Iran’s lack of a peaceful need for nuclear energy coupled with that nation’s repeated acts of “deceit, deception and delay” to evade United Nations Security Council Resolutions and thereby approach being a nuclear weapon state, it is indeed hard to make the argument for this Agreement.

Menendez spoke for nearly a full hour. He explained why Iran does not need nuclear energy and he reminded his audience of Iran’s repeated evasions of inspections.

EVERY RED LINE WAS ERASED

The New Jersey Senator also described the many ways in which the JCPOA falls far short of so many absolute red lines and guarantees made by the U.S. administration during the course of the negotiations.

♦  The original goal was to “fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability,” a “roll-back your infrastructure and we’ll roll-back our sanctions.”

Instead, Menendez explained, the JCPOA is the equivalent of “an alarm bell should they decide to violate their commitments, and a system for inspections to verify their compliance.”

♦ When Menendez asked Secretary of State Kerry about dismantling Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, Kerry said: “They will either dismantle it or we will destroy it.”

Arak will not be dismantled, merely “redesigned.”

♦ The original position was that Iran’s underground Fordow facility would be closed because a peaceful civilian nuclear program would not need to be underground.

Fordow will not be dismantled, merely “repurposed.”

♦ Iran was supposed to “come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.”

Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program at Parchin.

Menendez said that over the course of the negotiations, the original goal of preventing nuclear proliferation instead become merely one of “managing or containing” nuclear proliferation.

Just as alarming is that during the course of the deal under its current terms, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development. By the end of the term of the Agreement, Iran will be in a better position – meaning further along on its path to nuclear weapons capability – than it was before the deal was adopted.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment,” Menendez explained.

In addition, the terms of the JCPOA ensure that the EU and the U.S. will not reintroduce or reimpose the sanctions lifted under this deal. That’s because, if sanctions are reintroduced or reimposed, that will “relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole.” There will be no incentive for any party to this agreement to find any violations, as that would erase any progress that was made.

Russia, Iran to Close Deal on Upgraded S-300 Missile Defense System

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Russia will sign an agreement next week to sell the advanced S-300 missile defense system to Tehran, according to Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan.

Israeli has been pressuring Moscow not to deliver the system to Iran.

But Dehgan was quoted by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) on Tuesday as saying the deal was updated this week and will soon be finalized.

As part of the agreement Iran will receive an updated version of the S-300 system. “We will go to Russia next week to sign the contract. There is no barrier hindering the deal,” he said.

 

Iran’s previous request for three S-300 batteries has been upgraded to four, at a total cost of $900 million, according to Interfax.

“The new contract will differ from the previous contract in that it will have a different price and new terms for delivery,” said a source who spoke to the news agency. “Aside from this, the contract will concern a newer version of the S-300… the modified S-300V4 (export name – ‘Antey-2500).”

The system, allegedly to be delivered sometime in 2016, is “capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) with a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers,” according to the Deagle defense website.

Russia had announced this past April that it would lift its five-year ban on the sale to Iran of the S-300.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Israel at the time that the advanced defense system would not endanger the Jewish State.

However, deployment of such a system in Iran would complicate any military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, Israeli security officials said.

Within the same month, Israeli fighter pilots carried out a joint military exercise with their Greek counterparts over the Aegean Sea, where they simulated attacks on an S-300 system deployed in Crete. According to a report in Israel Defense, the drill included 150 Greek jets and 10 Israeli jets.

One of the pilots who flew a sortie was IAF commander Major-General Amir Eshel, alongside his Greek counterpart. Eshel told Israel Defense the S-300 could be a “very tough but not insurmountable challenge” for the IAF.

Iran is also hoping to buy fighter jets from Russia, according to The Moscow Times, but the report did not detail which aircraft were under discussion. Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan did not provide further details, Reuters reported.

It is likely, however, the purchase will be part of an attempt to upgrade Tehran’s fleet, which at present consists of U.S. jets, for which it cannot acquire spare parts or upgrades.

 

Full Text of Speech on Nuclear Iran Deal Given by Sen. Menendez

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Remarks Prepared for Delivery:

“For twenty three years as a member of the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, I have had the privilege of dealing with major foreign policy and national security issues. Many of those have been of a momentous nature. This is one of those moments.

“I come to the issue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, with Iran, as someone who has followed Iran’s nuclear ambition for the better part of two decades. I decide on whether to support or oppose an issue on the basis of whether, it is in my judgment, in the national interest and security of our country to do so.

“In this case a secondary, but important, question is what it means for our great ally — the State of Israel — and our other partners in the Gulf.

“Unlike President Obama’s characterization of those who have raised serious questions about the agreement, or who have opposed it, I did not vote for the war in Iraq, I opposed it, unlike the Vice President and the Secretary of State, who both supported it. My vote against the Iraq war was unpopular at the time, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

“I also don’t come to this question as someone, unlike many of my Republican colleagues, who reflexively oppose everything the President proposes. In fact, I have supported President Obama, according to Congressional Quarterly, 98 percent of the time in 2013 and 2014. On key policies ranging from voting in the Finance Committee and on the Senate Floor for the Affordable Care Act, to Wall Street Reform, to supporting the President’s Supreme Court Nominees and defending the Administration’s actions on the Benghazi tragedy, his Pivot to Asia, shepherding the authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to stop President Assad’s use of chemical weapons, during the time I was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to so much more, I have been a reliable supporter of President Obama.

“But my support is not – and has not been driven by party loyalty, but rather by principled agreement, not political expediency. When I have disagreed it is also based on principled disagreement.

“The issue before the Congress in September is whether to vote to approve or disapprove the agreement struck by the President and our P5+1 partners with Iran. This is one of the most serious national security, nuclear nonproliferation, arms control issues of our time. It is not an issue of supporting or opposing the President. This issue is much greater and graver than that.

“For me, I have come to my decision after countless hours in hearings, classified briefings, and hours-and-hours of serious discussion and thorough analysis. I start my analysis with the question: Why does Iran — which has the world’s fourth largest proven oil reserves, with 157 billion barrels of crude oil and the world’s second largest proven natural gas reserves with 1,193 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — need nuclear power for domestic energy?

“We know that despite the fact that Iran claims their nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, they have violated the international will, as expressed by various U.N. Security Council Resolutions, and by deceit, deception and delay advanced their program to the point of being a threshold nuclear state. It is because of these facts, and the fact that the world believes that Iran was weaponizing its nuclear program at the Parchin Military Base — as well as developing a covert uranium enrichment facility in Fordow, built deep inside of a mountain, raising serious doubts about the peaceful nature of their civilian program, and their sponsorship of state terrorism — that the world united against Iran’s nuclear program.

Netanyahu: Israel is ‘Ready for Any Eventuality’ Posed by Iran

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, accompanied IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot on Tuesday (August 18) to tour the northern district and scan the Lebanese border.

The prime minister and defense minister then visited the IDF Northern Command headquarters, where they were briefed by GOC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi.

Speaking with media, Netanyahu addressed the ongoing threat to Israel posed by Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Syria. “The ruler of Iran, [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei, said yesterday, and I quote, ‘We will take all measures to support all those who fight against Israel.’

“Iranian Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif said in Beirut a few days ago, at a meeting with the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, and I quote, ‘The nuclear agreement has created an historic opportunity to stand against the Zionist entity.’

“What we have said all along is being seen as correct and accurate. The money that will flow to Iran in the wake of the nuclear agreement will serve it to strengthen the terrorist organizations operating against us, in its name and under its auspices, in the avowed goal to destroy Israel.

“The IDF is strong. The State of Israel is strong. We are ready for any eventuality. Those who try to attack us – we will hurt them,” Netanyahu warned.

Defense Minister Ya’alon concurred. “I would like to commend IDF soldiers and commanders in general, and those of Northern Command in particular, for safeguarding our borders and maintaining quiet along them, despite what is happening on the other side, for their professionalism, which is allowing thousands of tourists to travel throughout the north.

“On the Golan Heights it is not quiet and those who do not want quiet are the Iranians, who are trying to use proxies to carry out attacks against us.

“Representatives of the Revolutionary Guards are currently waiting for the implementation of the bad agreement that is being formulated with the major powers in order to send more money to Hezbollah and the other terrorist organizations, both on the Golan Heights and in the Palestinian arena.

“Of course, the IDF is prepared; it will continue to not allow violations of sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

“In Judea and Samaria as well, as you have seen, it is not quiet. There are attempted knife attacks on an almost daily basis.

“Again, I would like to commend IDF soldiers and Border Police personnel for responding quickly and professionally against all those who try to raise a hand or a knife against IDF soldiers or civilians.

“We will continue to not allow any terrorist element to attack our soldiers and civilians. Moreover, we will continue to take various steps against terrorism.

“This week I approved the demolition of more terrorists’ homes, terrorists who already committed their crimes, as part of our deterrent moves to prevent terrorism,” he added.

Swiss Lifting Sanctions on Iran, Invite others to ‘Pass Through’?

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Even before Iran has met conditions contained in the Nuclear Iran deal, the ever-eager Swiss have begun lifting sanctions on Iran in a show of support for the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners with Iran. They are also darn happy with their good relations with Iran.

The Swiss Federal Council announced the decision it reached on Aug. 12 to officially list sanctions beginning on Thursday, Aug. 13. The Swiss government had been engaged in direct dialogue with Iran and had already suspended the sanctions in Jan. 2014.

In announcing that it was lifting certain sanctions, the Swiss government explained the path it had taken.

In recent decades, Switzerland has pursued a consistent, neutral and balanced policy with regard to Iran. In part due to its protecting power mandate for the USA, it has always been committed to dialogue and to keeping communication channels open. At the same time, Switzerland has always defended its own values and views. Today Switzerland is perceived in Iran as a reliable and credible discussion partner.

As of Thursday, the ban on precious metals transactions and requirements to report trade in Iranian petrochemical products, as well as the transport of Iranian crude oil will be lifted.

The value above which reporting and licensing obligations are triggered in relation to money transfers from and to Iranian nationals was increased tenfold.

Despite Switzerland’s eagerness to improve its bilateral relations with Iran, those sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council will remain in force for the time being, according to the Swiss government.

And if the JCPOA fails, the Swiss government “reserves the right to reintroduce the lifted measures.” In other words, it may “snap back” sanctions if Iran is caught cheating. Then again, it may not.

The Swiss government’s statement included other curious language. In addition to making clear its support for the global nuclear negotiations with Iran, it specifically stated it wished to “signal that Switzerland’s positioning with respect to Iran, which was developed and maintained over a number of years, should be used to promote a broad political and economic exchange with Iran.”

Whether that language invites other countries to deal with Iranian crude oil using the Swiss as a pass-through is unclear.

Iranian Oil Production Rises in July

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Iranian crude oil production rose to 3.13 million barrels per day in July.

The hike brought Iran’s oil production to its highest level in two years, according to the monthly report by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The figure was an increase of six tenths of a percent from the previous month.

According to the OPEC accountant, however, Iranian oil production was actually at 2.86 million bpd – still a healthy increase of 1.1 percent over June.

Iran’s pre-sanction production was at 3.6 million bpd of crude oil.

Iran was among the 12 OPEC members contributing to overall gains in production last month, said OPEC, which reported that crude oil prices dropped by at least $10 per barrel.

The organization blamed “the outcome of the P5+1 talks on Iran’s nuclear program” as well as financial concerns in Greece and China for the market conditions.

In January, Mohsen Rezaei, secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council said that exports had dropped by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd), pulling out more than $100 billion in lost revenue from the country due to the sanctions.

Under the terms of a November 2013 agreement, Iran is allowed to export some oil in exchange for its commitment to restrict some of its nuclear research activities, UPI noted in a report on Tuesday.

More to the point, the newly-signed nuclear agreement between Iran and the U.S.-led delegation of world powers has begun to lead numerous global energy firms, from Royal Dutch Shell to Italy’s Eni, to visit with an eye toward reviewing potential business opportunities with the Islamic Republic.

Last December, Iran was already producing just under 2.8 million bpd, about 20 percent less than its production levels in 2011.

At present, however, Iran is limited to exporting approximately one million bpd, and to six nations, under the terms of existing sanctions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iranian-oil-production-rises-in-july/2015/08/11/

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