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October 9, 2015 / 26 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

The ‘Iran Deal’ Was Not Signed by Iran or Anyone Else

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The Nuclear Iran Deal that is at the epicenter of a Congressional battle and the focus of so much attention for months is not actually any deal at all, as not one of the parties, including any representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has signed the Agreement.

This morning, Sept. 18, Cong. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In that letter Pompeo informed the Secretary that while reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Nuclear Iran Deal), he noted that there are no signatures on the so-called final Agreement.

Without signatures, there can be no legally binding contract.

There apparently is no “Iran Deal.”

Pompeo asked Kerry to provide a copy of the JCPOA with signatures and signing authority, so that members of Congress and the rest of the American people know that the parties to the agreement have “confirm[ed] each country’s commitment to the agreement” and that “makes clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.”

International affairs scholar and Iran expert Michael Ledeen pointed out more than two months ago that Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini would not allow his country to sign the JCPOA. Ledeen’s point then, and today, is that the desperation exhibited by the Obama administration made clear to the Iranian leader that “there is no reason for him to approve a hated deal with the devil. It’s much better to keep talking until all the sanctions are gone, and Iran’s ‘right’ to pursue its nuclear projects is fully recognized.”

It appears that Ledeen’s prediction was dead-on. If there is no signed agreement, even the feeble conditions placed on Iran by Team Kerry’s negotiators are unenforceable.

When asked what then, is the current status of the JCPOA, assuming the administration did not just, oh, forget to distribute to Congress the signed version, Ledeen told the JewishPress.com: “It’s a verbal agreement. It means the diplomats meeting in Vienna thought it was a good agreement, but that is all. It is not enforceable.”

Ledeen said he could not think of any other major international agreement, certainly not any of the portentous nature of the Iran Deal, where lawmakers moved forward to begin implementation without having a signed agreement in place.

“Anyone who has read in the media that the ‘Iran Deal’ was signed has to now know they were lied to, it has not happened.”

So what next?

Congress could, conceivably, pass a law forbidding the lifting of sanctions. That’s been tried, you say? True, but will the same members of Congress who support the deal, the same ones who never read significant portions of the deal, and who had those portions explained to them by people who themselves never read the deal are willing to once again vote against or even bar a vote on a stay on the lifting of sanctions when they know there is nothing preventing Tehran from violating any of the purportedly agreed-to conditions? Will they really?

Cong. Pompeo’s letter to Secretary Kerry follows:

Dear Secretary Kerry:

I have reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Islamic Republic of Iran – or at least the parts of the agreement that were provided to Congress by the administration.  As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress.  I look forward to seeing the entire agreement – including the two secret side deals that are part of the JCPOA – so that Congress may continue to evaluate the JCPOA and, depending on the outcome of the vote under the relevant provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, potentially end the current and continuing prohibition of the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

During that review, I found that the copies provided to Congress of the JCPOA are not signed by any of the P5+1 members nor by Iran.  Having never seen an international agreement of this magnitude not signed by the parties or an agent of the parties, I assume this is simply an oversight or an administrative error.  That is, Congress must not have the final version of the agreement that would necessarily be signed.  I request that you provide us with copies of a final, executed copy of the JCPOA.  In the event that the JCPOA has not yet been signed by the parties, please inform us (a) when signatures will be placed on the agreement, (b) what parties will be signing, and (c) which person you anticipate will sign on behalf of each of those parties, including on behalf of the United States.

I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants.  I can find no international agreement of this “historic” nature that was not signed by the parties.  Each of the past five major nuclear agreements to which the U.S. is a party – SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II and the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – were signed by representatives of each nation that was party to the agreement.  This is not a mere formality.  Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing.

A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.  In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.

This is particularly important with respect to JCPOA.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government.  It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it.  Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”

Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement.  I also believe that the United States and its P5+1 partners on the JCPOA should execute the agreement on behalf of their countries.  I look forward to your response.

We all do.

New Shudders: Guess What Else Team Kerry Gave Away?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

For the majority of Americans who have already figured out that the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s team led by Secretary of State John Kerry is a win for the mullahs intent on acquiring nuclear weapons capacity, there’s more nightmare-generating bad news.

Kerry has admitted to various American lawmakers that both Russia and China, as well as Europe will be shielded from any “snapback” in renewed sanctions should Iran be found red-handed violating the few prohibitions contained in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Secretary of State also disclosed that under the deal he and his team deftly negotiated, the testing of ballistic missiles (those nasty vehicles which can be used to deliver nuclear weapons) is perfectly okay.

Why doesn’t the JCPOA cover testing of ballistic missiles, you ask? It is because there is already a United Nations Security Council Resolution which tells them they “should not” test such missiles. Should. Please.

Not to pick a sore point, but the beloved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (so much better than his predecessor Ahmadinejad – this one smiles!) is already on the record dismissing any limitations on Iran’s missile program, including those in the new U.N Resolution.

All of these revelations were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, who obtained documents and information from various lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Kerry admitted to Rubio (R., Fla.) that “the United States will work with foreign companies who financially engage Iran to shield them from penalties in the aftermath of Iran violating the agreement,” Kredo wrote.

In an on-the-record statement, Kerry admitted that the Obama administration had confidentially guaranteed the U.S. “would not retroactively sanction companies” doing business with Iran. The U.S. also offered to work with any such companies to help bring them into compliance with any new (snapback) sanctions.

“For companies that have contracts that would otherwise continue after snapback, we have a consistent past practice of working with companies to wind down their contracts,” Kredo quotes from Kerry’s written statement.

All those red lines and “biting” sanctions the Obama campaign crowed about during the last election have turned out to be smiley faces and air kisses now that there are no more elections for him.

Lawmakers Opposed to Iran Deal Introduce Measures Addressing its Flaws

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) have finally done what so many opponents of the Nuclear Iran Deal have been waiting for. Whether their efforts will achieve the goal of opponents will soon be revealed.

The two Republican House members each introduced legislation late on Tuesday, Sept. 8, addressing procedural flaws in the administration’s conduct of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Gohmert introduced a resolution that recategorizes the JCPOA as a treaty (and presidents have no veto power over Senate votes on treaties) and Roskam introduced a resolution which rewinds the clock on Congressional review of the JCPOA because the administration has not provided Congress with all the relevant, required documents relating to the agreement.

Gohmert introduced into the Rules Committee a Resolution declaring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a treaty. The effect of such a move is that rather than two-thirds of the Senate having to oppose the JCPOA, which is the case under Corker-Cardin (the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act), if the JCPOA is classified as a treaty it means that two-thirds of the Senate is required to approve the measure.

As Gohmert explained to the members of the House Rules Committee late on Tuesday, a treaty is “any agreement between the U.S. and another country that affects, changes or modifies an existing treat is a treaty.” Because the JCPOA affects, changes and modifies the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Q.E.D., it is a treaty.

Corker-Cardin explicitly provided that the agreement that the U.S. and its partners was going to enter into with Iran would not lift the embargo on the supply of ballistic missiles to Iran and that the act was only to apply to sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program.

As later became public, the Nuclear Iran Deal includes all kinds of relief for Iran which are totally unrelated to Iran’s nuclear program, such as lifting embargoes on conventional weapons  and ICBMs.

In addition, the two “secret side deals” between the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran only became public well after the JCPOA was announced, and the INARA explicitly requires all the material dealing with the JCPOA be provided to Congress by the administration by Sept. 7.

All of this means, as explained in Gohmert’s Resolution, that Corker-Cardin cannot be the oversight mechanism for the JCPOA, given the many fundamental differences between what Corker-Cardin was written to cover and the many dramatically different aspects of the JCPOA which have since been revealed.

Gohmert’s Resolution also reveals that Secretary of State John Kerry’s explanation for why the JCPOA could not be considered a treaty was a farce. Kerry undermined his own explanation – that no treaties could be ratified by the Senate – by announcing the ratification of treaties by the Senate within days of making that statement.

The Resolution calls for the Senate to deliberate on the ratification of the Nuclear Iran Deal within 30 days of the passage of the Resolution.

Roskam’s effort states that under the INARA, the administration is required to provide to Congress all of the substantive material detailing the agreement, including the so-called “secret side deals.”

The administration has not provided Congress with that material, so the 60-day congressional review period has not begun to run, and won’t begin until all such materials are provided to Congress. And, of course, no vote on the JCPOA can take place until it does.

A hearing on Gohmert’s Resolution, H.J. Res. 64., will take place in the House on Wednesday, Sept. 9, beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET.

US Warns Russia Over Military Buildup in Syria

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

The U.S. warned Russia over the weekend that its military buildup in Syria could further escalate the conflict in the region.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “to discuss Syria, including U.S. concerns about reports suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup there,” the State Department said in a statement. “The secretary made clear that if such reports were accurate, these actions could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation with the anti-ISIL Coalition operating in Syria,” the statement continued.

ISIL is the Obama administration acronym for ISIS, or Da’esh. The two men agreed to continue their conversation at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.

According to American intelligence reports, Russia has delivered prefab housing for hundreds of people and a portable air traffic station to an airfield near Latakia.

The U.S. government warned that Russian air strikes could interfere with current operations being conducted by the United States-led coalition against Da’esh (ISIS) in Syria.

It is also possible that Russian operations could strike opposition forces the Americans support.

The United States and Russia have very different ideas about how to solve the crisis in Syria; on Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called for “early elections” in Syria and suggested bringing “healthy” elements of the opposition to a new coalition government.

But Putin, who had first cleared his plan with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, did not specify which opposition elements would be acceptable.

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.


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.


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.

Kerry ‘Knows’ ObamaDeal Will Make the Middle East a Safer Place

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Anyone who is sure about anything in the Middle East is talking through his hat, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sports the most porous hat in the world.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has reassured the Gulf States he “knows” that the nuclear agreement with Iran will make the world a better place, and the Obama administration is being pressed to “prove” it on the terms of the Sunni oil-rich kingdoms.

They want billions of dollars in weapons, and Qatar dedicated much of Kerry’s visit to insist that the United States force Israel out of half of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

He began his Middle East tour, sans Israel, with talks in Egypt before moving on to Qatar. Despite White House spins to the contrary, the Gulf States are miserably unhappy with the agreement and are keeping their opposition under the surface while exploiting the opportunity to feed the military-industrial complex and shrink Israel.

Kerry said in Egypt:

There can be absolutely no question that if the Vienna plan is fully implemented, it will make Egypt and all the countries of this region safer than they otherwise would be or were.

The United States and Egypt recognize that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities in the region — and that is why it is so important to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remains wholly peaceful.

How does the man know that the deal will make the Middle East safer?

Because he says so, and that’s that.

There have been few people who ever have been able to predict what will happen in the Middle East. Condoleezza Rice, who was Secretary of State in the Bush administration, was “sure” that her move to force democratic elections on the Palestinian Authority would result in a resounding victory for Mahmoud Abbas.

She was one of the few who were shocked that Hamas won the elections.

Kerry’s predecessor Hillary Clinton, who might prove that President Barack Obama really is not the worst president possible, cheered Bashar al-Assad as a “reformer” weeks after the Arab Spring protests broke out in Syria.

President Obama was sure that getting rid of Hosni Mubarak, whose autocratic and undemocratic rule kept Egypt stable, would usher in a new wave of democracy.

He was so sure that he endorsed the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist party, which won the elections. One year later, President Obama enthusiastically backed the removal of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi for a more “democratic regime” headed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is Mubarak Number 3.

And now Mr. Kerry is sure that the ObamaDeal the best thing for the Middle East ever since Islam.

El-Sisi Signs New Election Law for Egypt

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has signed into law new election legislation that expands the number of parliamentary seats for individual candidates.

According to the new law, the number of individual candidates able to win seats in the parliament has increased from 420 to 448. The number of seats allocated to party lists – as in Israel – with quotas for women, youth and Christians – is still limited to 120.

The new legislation opens the way for the country’s electoral committee to schedule a date for parliamentary polls, originally due in March. That date was delayed after Egypt’s Constitutional Court found that part of the current election law was unconstitutional.

In related news, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was in Cairo on Sunday for strategic talks with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The two sides agreed to continue “close cooperation to improve their mutual security, to combat terrorism and extremism and to work together to delegitimize terrorist narratives,” said a State Department spokesperson. The U.S. also welcomed Egypt’s participation in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS.

In addition, the two sides emphasized the importance of attaining a “comprehensive, just and lasting settlement between Israelis and Palestinians which fulfills the vision of the two-state solution in accordance with the agreed principles and international resolutions,” the statement said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/el-sisi-signs-new-election-law-for-egypt/2015/08/03/

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