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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Javad Zarif’

The Artful Inaccuracies of Iran’s Foreign Minister

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

As we march towards the July 20 deadline for reaching agreement on stopping the Iranian nuclear weapons program, it is worth gauging Iran’s intentions by looking at the words of its foreign minister, Javad Zarif. On June 13, The Washington Post published an op-ed by Zarif entitled Iran is Committed to a Peaceful Nuclear Program. The op-ed is a skillful piece of propaganda aimed at dismissing skeptics of Iran’s peaceful nuclear intentions. However, Zarif’s arguments are marked by inaccurate assertions, significant omissions, and a threatening tone. The central paragraph of Zarif’s op-ed characterizes the concern about Iran’s nuclear weapons program as a “phobia.”

While reaching a realistic deal is the best available option for the West to prevent such a remote possibility, it may be instructive to take that phobia at face value. Let’s put it to a logical test. If Iran ever wanted to break out, all IAEA inspectors would have to be expelled from the country. Iran’s program would then have to be reconfigured to make weapons-grade fissile material, which would have to be converted to metal, be molded into the shape required for a bomb and undergo countless other complex weaponization processes. None of these capabilities exist in Iran and would have to be developed from scratch. This would take several years — not a few months.

In its assessment of breakout times published last October, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) argued that a breakout time of less than six months would allow Iran to develop a nuclear device undetected:

As in the October 2012 iteration, the estimates in this report do not include the additional time that Iran would need to convert WGU [weapons grade uranium] into weapons components and manufacture a nuclear weapon. This extra time could be substantial, particularly if Iran wanted to build a reliable warhead for a ballistic missile. However, these preparations would most likely be conducted at secret sites and would be difficult to detect. If Iran successfully produced enough WGU for a nuclear weapon, the ensuing weaponization process might not be detectable until Iran tested its nuclear device underground or otherwise revealed its acquisition of nuclear weapons. Therefore, the most practical strategy to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is to prevent it from accumulating sufficient nuclear explosive material, particularly in secret or without adequate warning. This strategy depends on knowing how quickly Iran could make WGU.

Zarif’s “breakout time” estimate differs from that of ISIS as the former includes activities such as weaponization and the creation of delivery systems, both of which could evade detection. ISIS’s breakout time estimate addresses the production of sufficient fissile material to make a bomb. In an analysis of a dubious study that is apparently the basis for Zarif’s claim of a breakout time of “several years,” ISIS researchers observed that the methodology of the study is so systematically skewed, “that it requires all the breakout estimates to be dismissed as woefully too short” and concluded, “[t]his Iranian study is a political tool for Iranian officials to point to as negotiations unfold.”

Later on, Zarif writes, “For years, small but powerful constituencies have irrationally advanced the idea that Iran can produce enough fissile material for a bomb in months.” Thus Zarif shifts the argument from “Iran cannot produce a nuclear device in a matter of months,” which is true, to “Iran cannot produce enough enriched uranium for a bomb in a matter of months,” which is false.

Furthermore, a “logical test” could be applied the other way too. If Iran’s nuclear program has no military aspect, why is it developing ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear payload? If Iran’s nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, why is it planning to build a heavy water reactor when a light water reactor would suffice for any civilian needs? If Iran’s nuclear program only has peaceful aims, why did Iran refuse guarantees for a steady supply of enriched uranium and instead insist on mastering fuel cycle technologies (i.e. uranium enrichment)?  And why has Iran not allowed an on site inspection of the Parchin facility, which is believed to have housed experiments for nuclear detonators? In addition, Iran has asphalted the site hiding evidence of its experiments.

Iran Accuses Israel of Faking Ship Raid

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Iran accused Israel of faking a raid on a ship laden with arms bound for the Gaza Strip.

“An Iranian ship carrying arms for Gaza. Captured just in time for annual [American Israel Public Affairs Committee] anti-Iran campaign,” Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, said Thursday on his official Twitter account. “Amazing Coincidence! Or same failed lies.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington this week to attend the annual AIPAC conference, where he pressed for a tougher U.S. posture in nuclear talks underway between Iran and the major powers.

Israeli troops on Wednesday seized the Panama-flagged ship in the Red Sea. They said the ship was laden with M-302 long-range missiles to be smuggled into Gaza via Egypt.

The missiles, which Israel said originated in Iran, would allow rockets fired from Gaza to reach anywhere in Israel; currently, the range for rockets fired from Gaza is Israel’s south.

Despite Veto Threat and Heavy Pressure, Schumer Supports Sanctions Bill

Friday, December 20th, 2013

The Democratic senior senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, remains on track with the new bi-partisan Iran sanctions bill despite intense lobbying by the White House and the threat of a presidential veto.

The new sanctions bill is called the “Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act.”  It  is co-sponsored by Schumer, New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, and was introduced on Thursday, Dec. 19.

Under this bill, new sanctions would not be imposed until after the six-month negotiations window between the U.S. and Iran passes, or if Iran breaches the interim deal.

But Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif told Time magazine earlier this month that any new sanctions, even ones that take effect after the interim agreement expires, would kill any chance of a more comprehensive deal.

At Thursday’s press briefing, the president’s spokesperson Jay Carney said he saw no need for this sanctions bill and assured everyone that if it becomes law the president will veto it.

“We made it very clear to the Senate that it is not the time for new Iran sanctions. We don’t think it will be or should be enacted,” Carney told reporters.

Schumer said he discussed the sanctions issue with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough Thursday, according to BuzzFeed. The New York senior senator downplayed the idea of bad feelings over the matter between the White House and him, saying he supports the idea of negotiating an interim agreement with Iran, “but I don’t think the reduction of sanctions made much sense.”

“Basically, it’s a judgement call. We have a disagreement with them,” Schumer said. “Many of us believe that by ratcheting up sanctions, not by reducing sanctions, is the best way to produce peace and get Iran to forego a nuclear weapon.”

The bill has 26 co-sponsors. Co-sponsors from the Democratic party include senators Ben Cardin (Md), Bob Casey (PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Mary Landrieu (La.).

 

Iran Nukes Talks to Renew in November

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Talks between Iran and major powers on Iran’s nuclear aims were “good” and will renew next month, the Iranian foreign minister said.

“The talks will continue in a few weeks in Geneva and during this period the members of the P5+1 will have a chance to acquire the necessary readiness regarding the details of Iran’s plans and the steps that they must take,” Javad Zarif said in a post Wednesday on his Facebook page, according to a New York Times translation.

The P5+1 refers to the five permanent veto-wielding members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, the United States, Britain, France and China – and Germany.

Top officials from these nations met from Tuesday to Thursday in Geneva with Zarif, where he presented what he had described in previous Facebook posts as a PowerPoint presentation on what Iran was prepared to do to end the impasse over his country’s nuclear ambitions. He did not reveal the details of the proposal, although in his Facebook posting he said there were “good discussions.”

The major powers suspect Iran of running a nuclear weapons development program; Iran insists its program is peaceful. Under its newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani, Iran has offered increased transparency in exchange for an easing of crippling sanctions.

Iran calls Netanyahu a ‘Liar’ Who Is ‘’Politically Isolated’

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Iran’s charm offensive stopped at the Israeli border Tuesday with its foreign minister calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a “liar” who is “politically isolated.”

Regardless of nods of agreement from more than a few people in Israel who would say the same concerning domestic issues, the “call it like I see it” accusations by Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif are a bit refreshing after all of the “white lies” and charades played out by the American and Iranian presidents and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

It all started – this time around – when Iranian President Mohammed Rohani’s speech at the United Nations last week was in total contrast to the insults and arrogance of his predecessor Mohammed Ahmadinejad.

The world lost a big advantage with the end of the regime of Ahmadinejad, who at least said what he really believes, ugly or not.

Rohani’s replacing Ahmadinejad is like Mahmoud Abba’s replacing Yasser Arafat. Instead of Arafat’s hip on the holster and direct orders to carry out terrorists attacks, Abbas dresses up in a Western costume with peace-and-love dialogue in English while inciting in Arabic.

Now we have Rouhani speaking with President Barack Obama on the phone for 15 minutes, setting the foundation for “negotiations” that are going to get as far as the “peace process” while Iran continues to work its way towards nuclear capability.

Rohani sweet-talked the West, and Obama poured on the honey at the United Nations without mentioning that “all options are on the table,” meaning that military force could be used to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

He saved that comment for his chat with Prime Minister Netanyahu, who refrained from saying what he thinks by telling the president to get off his bottom and start bombing the “red line” that he drew a year ago at the United Nations.

“I believe that it’s the combination of a credible military threat and the pressure of those sanctions that has brought Iran to the negotiating table,” he said, giving up the chant that negotiations are simply a way to give Iran more time to make the red line a distant memory.

But when it comes to Iran and Israel, each country tells it as it is.

“We have seen nothing from Netanyahu but lies and actions to deceive and scare, and international public opinion will not let these lies go unanswered,” Zarif said in an interview with Iranian television broadcast on Tuesday.

“For 22 years, the Zionist regime has been lying by repeating endlessly that Iran will have the atomic bomb in six months,” Zarif added. “After all these years, the world must understand the reality of these lies and not allow them to be repeated.”

Zarif also said the Prime Minister is the “most isolated man at the UN” as he prepared to give his General Assembly.

The diplomatic deceit practiced by the United States and Iran might be a way to mark time until sanctions convince Iran to ditch its nuclear weapons program. It also might a way to mark time until Iran ditches negotiations and builds a nuclear weapon aimed at Israel.

Iran and Israel’s honest and threatening dialogue could be the prelude to war.

They also could be a healthy way to limit a confrontation to a verbal war in order to keep the peace.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/iran-calls-netanyahu-a-liar-who-is-politically-isolated/2013/10/01/

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