web analytics
April 27, 2015 / 8 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Iran’s First Female Ambassador Since 1979 Islamic Revolution

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Iranian news agencies are reporting the Islamic Republic is preparing to appoint its first female ambassador since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham, one of the country’s highest-profile female public figures, has been tapped for the appointment according to the semi-official FARS and Mehr news agencies. It is not yet clear to which country Afkham would be assigned.

If the appointment is confirmed, Afkham would become the second female ambassador in the history of Iran. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi served as Iran Ambassador to Denmark in the 1970s.

President Hassan Rouhani has presented himself to the international community as a moderate and during his 2013 election campaign promised to improve the rights of women in the country. In 2009 Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was credited with having appointed Iran’s first female minister.

Domestic reform in Iran, as elsewhere in the Middle East, is a process that can take decades and is measured in micro steps, rather than milestones – a reality that few Westerners understand.

Girls as young as age 10 are forced into Islamic marriages in Iran, and as in other Muslim-majority nations, there is also a high rate of domestic violence. Neither issue is considered unusual in the Islamic world, although more community leaders are at least beginning to recognize it is a matter for “discussion.”

In October 2014, 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed in Tehran by hanging for killing a man who tried to rape her. A massive flood of international appeals to the Iranian government on her behalf to stay the execution proved worthless.

Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for killing a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was sentenced to death by a Tehran court in 2009 and the verdict was upheld in by the country’s Supreme Court. The scheduled execution, however, was delayed by several months following reception of an online petition bearing 240,000 signatures, urging her release.

Jabbari herself admitted to having stabbed the victim once from the back but said another man had actually done the killing. Amnesty International said her claim was believed never to have been properly investigated.

Those ‘United States’ Determine Their Own Sanctions Against Iran

Monday, April 13th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have the right to negotiate a nuclear deal on behalf of the country with Iran — but that doesn’t mean individual states won’t have a say in the matter.

The Executive Branch in America’s government is about to find out just how much power can be wielded by individual states when they are of a mind.

Some two dozen states have already enacted measures of their own, punishing companies operating in certain sectors of the Iranian economy. For instance, public pension funds worth billions of dollars in assets have been ordered to divest from the firms, and some have been barred from public contracts.

A specific example is Becton Dickinson and Co., a U.S. medical supplies company that sells to Iran legally under current federal regulations. In 2013 and 2014, Michigan divested $45 million from the company. Oddly, the company seemed completely unaware of the loss until contacted by reporters for a comment on the matter. It then issued a statement saying its trade with Iran is authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees federal sanctions.

More than a dozen states have implemented regulations that do not allow their restrictions to expire until and unless Iran is no longer designated to be a supporter of terrorism, and/or if all U.S. federal sanctions against the Islamic Republic are lifted. These conditions will be difficult to meet, to say the least.

In Kansas and Mississippi, state governments are reportedly considering additional sanctions to target Tehran.

“Our investment sanctions are not tied in any way to President Obama’s negotiations with the Iranians,” Florida GOP State Senator Don Gaetz told Reuters.

“They would have to change their behavior dramatically and we would not be necessarily guided by President Obama or any other president’s opinion about the Iranians,” Gaetz said. The state senator sponsored legislation in 2007 that punished companies with investments in Iran’s energy sector.

At least a dozen states contacted by the news agency said they were not considering changing their sanctions against Iran even in the event a deal negotiated with Iran were to be signed. Some said they would need to adjust their legislation to accommodate the divestment policies vis a vis the new federal status if a deal were signed.

In all of the states, the divestment measures had bipartisan support and typically were signed into law by Republican and Democratic governors alike.

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.

Echoing Netanyahu, Livni and Herzog Criticize Major Holes in Obama Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Even Israel’s Left are unsatisfied with US President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While US President Obama ignores Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very specific criticisms and recommended amendments of major faults in the P5+1 nuclear deal, which the Prime Minister has dubbed a “bad deal”, the Zionist Union party, led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni added their voices to the criticism, presenting their own alternative plan of action for Israel and the P5+1.

The two Leftwing leaders said the current deal was “problematic” and potentially dangerous over the long term, echoing the Prime Minister of Israel.

They said these problems must be fixed before a June 30th signing.

Among the changes they demanded in their alternate plan of actions, quite similar to some of Netanyahu’s demands, are eliminating Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile, forbidding Iran from using both new or old centrifuges, allowing intrusive inspections, and only a gradual lifting of sanctions.

Unlike Netanyahu, the two want Israel to officially receive a green light from the US as part of an official understanding, where Israel can strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with US permission and backing, if Iran violates the agreement and Israel is endangered.

The duo’s last demand is both understandable and problematic, as Israel doesn’t need a green light from anyone to defend itself from an existential threat, though knowing the US isn’t going to obstruct your attack is important.

The two added that Israel and US must hold immediate and deep strategic discussions before the agreement is signed. It appears that currently, at the highest level, those discussions are not happening.

The pair said, the US that needs to make clear to Iran, that US military action is still on the table, if Iran violates the agreement with the P5+1.

Obama Spins Tale that Netanyahu Offered no Alternative to Iran Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traded shots on the proposed deal with Iran through separate statements that continue what has become a conversation of the deaf.

The Prime Minister two weeks ago stated that a better deal would be one that “would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure [and] link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”

He added:

Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.

President Obama said on Saturday:

The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it [the deal]. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked –w hat is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.

The key word is “good” because Obama insists he has come up with a “good deal” that Netanyahu asserts is a “bad deal.”

Obama’s reasoning is that Iran will reject a “better deal,” which would mean “no deal,” exactly what Israel, Republicans, and some Democrats have said is better than a “bad deal.” For Obama, “no deal” is worse than a “bad deal” that he insists is a “good deal.”

It’s enough to drive a card player nuts, and since Iran is dealing most of the cards, it is the only one who knows what joker it has up its sleeve.

An outstanding example of President Obama’s frame of mind  that a deal is an end and not a means is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander said that eliminating Israel is “non-negotiable.” The Prime Minister responded that Iran’s recognizing Israel should be “non-negotiable.”

Obama replied that the idea simply is not practical. So forget it.

It also is not practical to make sure that Iran does not have the infrastructure to obtain a nuclear bomb in the future. So forget it.

Netanyahu said Saturday at a tradtional post-Passover Mimouna celebration, “To my regret, all of the things I warned about vis-à-vis the framework agreement that was put together in Lausanne are coming true before our eyes.

“This framework gives the leading terrorist state in the world a certain path to nuclear bombs, which would threaten Israel, the Middle East and the entire world. We see that Iran is being left with significant nuclear capabilities; it is not dismantling them, it is preserving them. We also see that the inspection is not serious. How can such a country be trusted? …

“We see that the sanctions are being lifted, immediately, according to Iran’s demand, and this is without Iran having changed its policy of aggression everywhere, not just against Israel, but in Yemen, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Middle East and through global terrorist networks. The most dangerous terrorist state in the world must not be allowed to have the most dangerous weapons in the world.

President Obama’s turning a deal with Iran into an end and not a means is illustrated in an article on The Hill website Saturday, in which it outlined five keys areas where the United States made concessions to Iran in order to reach a temporary framework agreement:

Banning uranium enrichment: Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use…The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

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.

Khameini: ‘No Deal is Better than a Bad Deal’

Friday, April 10th, 2015

The man the Iranians refer to as their “Supreme Leader” told the world on Thursday, April 9, that whatever terms were discussed at Lausanne by negotiators from the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany, with Iran are “non-binding.”

Ayatollah Ali Khameini spoke on television as part of Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology.The two points Khameini addressed head-on and emphasized as essential from his perspective are ones on which the West cannot give ground over: first, the immediate lifting of international sanctions imposed because of Iran’s nuclear activity as soon as a deal is reached, and second, the barring of access by any international monitoring personnel to any Iranian military facilities.

Both of those points are flatly contradicted by what the U.S. has confirmed were agreements reached in the Lausanne parameters.

According to the ironclad U.S. position, sanctions on Iran will only be lifted when that country can prove it is in compliance with its nuclear commitments. Sanctions will not be lifted simply on the date an agreement is reached, which Khameini claims is an essential component of any deal.

The Iranian cleric described the U.S. description of agreements reached at Lausanne as “wrong on most of the issues,” and claimed it “distorted reality.”

“All sanctions should be removed just when the deal is reached. If sanctions removal depends on another process, then why did we start to talk?” he asked.

Khameini’s insistence was echoed by Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s president: “We will not sign any agreements unless, on the first day of the implementation of the deal, all economic sanctions are totally lifted on the same day,” he said.

The U.S. has said that under the framework understanding recently reached, the Iranians have to address the International Atomic Energy Agency’s concerns about possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.

But Khameini was adamant that international inspectors will not be permitted to inspect and monitor Iran’s military bases.

“”Iran’s military sites cannot be inspected under the excuse of nuclear supervision,” Khameini said.

The Ayatollah has been much more circumspect about the nuclear deal than have, for example, the Americans. The Obama administration has been lobbying Congress very hard about the importance of the deal, while the Iranians have been cautious in their descriptions.

Khameini has commandeered a refrain uttered repeatedly by U.S. President Barack Obama, mostly to quell the concerns of his harshest critics, “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

When the Iranian cleric says “no deal is better than a bad deal,” however, it sounds more like a warning that his team will walk away unless their demands are met.

“It is not even clear whether the talks will bear fruit and lead to an agreement … But I will welcome a deal that preserves the honour of the Iranian people and we always say that no deal is better than a bad deal.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/khameini-no-deal-is-better-than-a-bad-deal/2015/04/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: