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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

US Rejects Netanyahu’s Demand that Iran Confirm Israel’s Right to Exist

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The deal with Iran that was approved by President Barack Obama should not include a declaration that Tehran recognizes that Israel has a right to exist, according to the United States.

Two statements last week by Iranian and Israel leaders were arguably just as important if not more important than the framework for a deal that was affirmed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the other P5+1 nations and Iran.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Mohammad Reza Naqdi said that erasing Israel off the map is “‘non negotiable.”‘

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated, “The survival of Israel is non-negotiable,” and he challenged President Obama to include that statement in a deal with Iran.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf tried to bury the issue Friday night with the argument that Iran’s stated desire to wipe out Israel has nothing to do with the deal with that is designed supposedly to stop it from getting a bomb that would be aimed at Israel.

Harf stated:

This is an agreement that is only about the nuclear issue

On the other hand, President Obama stated after the deal was concluded:

I will be speaking with the Prime Minister today to make clear that there will be no daylight, there is no daylight, when it comes to our support for Israel’s security and our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing policies and threats toward Israel.

Obama openly admitted last week that he and Netanyahu have opposing positions on the deal with Iran. He stated, “It’s no secret that the Israeli Prime Minister and I don’t agree about whether the United States should move forward with a peaceful resolution to the Iranian issue.”

But if the president really wants anyone to believe he is committed to Israel’s security, it would be a logical conclusion that he would tell Iran that it really is not very convincing that it  does not want a bomb to destroy Israel when one of its top military commanders says there is nothing to be negotiated when it comes to destroying Israel.

If Iran really does not want to use its nuclear program to develop a bomb, what would be so difficult about telling Tehran to put everyone’s mind at rest and state that Israel has right to exist?

Harf’s answer that in effect said “don’t make things difficult for us” actually is the truth. Iran would never agree to putting in writing that Israel has a right to exist, but there is no need to worry if Iran reneges on the deal because Israel has Obama’s “support for Israel’s security and our concerns about Iran’s destabilizing policies and threats toward Israel.”

Iran’s one-track mind to destroy Israel was succinctly documented  by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic last month. Following are  several statements by Iran and Hezbollah, its terrorist proxy in Lebanon, the past 15 years. However, one must not be concerned by the threats against Israel  and the agreement not to dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure because Israel has Obama’s “unshakeable support” even if he cannot state so in a deal with Iran.

Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

 

Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)

 

Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.’” (2005)

Iran Deal: US and Allies are the Junior Varsity (Little League?)

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

They can’t even coordinate their public descriptions of what the deal entails, that’s how bad it is.

The sort of, kind of nuclear agreement between the P5+1 and Iran makes concrete the previous understanding that U.S. President Barack Obama has been dead wrong about almost every major terrorist threat he has encountered: Al Qaeda is not, as he intoned, “decimated”; ISIS is not a “junior varsity” terrorist network; and Iran is not a partner with whom the west can successfully negotiate.

It looks like the U.S. is the captain of the junior varsity team. And Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will not sugarcoat his assessment.

This “agreement” which is not a deal, is not even the framework of a deal, is, ultimately, an attempt by the Obama administration to rack up at least one foreign policy “achievement” during its tenure.

But that “achievement” confuses an end date to a series of discussions with the attainment of even the modest goals this administration claimed it would reach.

What follows are key details which have been released about the “agreement” reached between the U.S.-dominated allies known as the P5+1 (the junior varsity) and Iran, regarding the latter nation’s nuclear program.

A quick perusal makes clear the U.S. administration’s insistence that  diplomacy would safely ensure Iran would not become a threshold nuclear power was exactly what its critics claimed: a hollow gesture which rewarded Iran with its goal of more time to continue in pursuit of achieving that status. What’s more, the deal which the parties are currently hurtling towards will not only permit but will actually legitimize Iran in its achievement of that status.

CENTRIFUGES

Iran currently has 9,000 operational centrifuges (that is the generally accepted number). The U.S. claims that, under the terms of the new deal, about 3,000 fewer Iranian centrifuges will be operational during the next 10 years, while 5,060 centrifuges will continue enriching uranium during that period.

The U.S. also claims that Iran will not use “advanced” centrifuge models for 10 years, and any development will be in accordance with P5+1 oversight. The Iranians say nuts to that, and will continue doing research and development on advanced centrifuges during the duration of the 10 year period.

Fordow, the uranium enrichment plant built in an underground bunker, will be used for “peaceful purposes.” The U.S. claims that Iran will move two-thirds of its centrifuges out of this facility and will not enrich uranium there for at least 15 years.

In other words, even according to the U.S. version of the facts, and even were one to believe that Iran will strictly adhere to its obligations under this “pre-deal,” Iran gets to continue enriching uranium, thousands of centrifuges will continue spinning, and the underground bunker will have operational centrifuges during the term of the deal.

CURRENTLY ENRICHED URANIUM

The U.S. claims that Iran’s acurrently enriched uranium will be reduced. That is already a three-step default by the allies. Initially, all enriched uranium was to be destroyed. As the result of negotiations the Iranians had allegedly agreed to instead move its already enriched uranium to Russia, where it was to be converted for non-military use.

Instead, the U.S. is reduced to bragging about a mere “reduction” in Iran’s already enriched uranium. And we don’t know what is meant by “reduction” or “neutralization” – another term used in the U.S. fact sheet.

According to a former CIA analyst, “If Iran’s enriched-uranium stockpile remains in the country,” and if it is only converted to powder form, which the Obama administration had previously – erroneously – claimed meant it would be neutralized, “Iran will retain the capability to make about eight or more nuclear weapons in about three months.”  Maybe little league rather than junior varsity players more accurately describes Secretary of State John Kerry and his negotiating team.

Netanyahu Warns Iran-Yemen-Nuclear Deal Axis ‘Dangerous to Humanity’ [video]

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the deal shaping up with Iran on its nuclear program is “even worse than feared” and that the “Iranian-Lausanne talks-Yemen axis is dangerous to humanity and must be stopped.”

He told the Cabinet:

Even as meetings [in Lausanne] proceed on this dangerous agreement, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are overrunning large sections of that country and are attempting to seize control of the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb straits which would affect the naval balance and the global oil supply.

After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is carrying out a pincers movement in the south as well in order to take over and conquer the entire Middle East.

Talks are dragging on in Lausanne, and it is not clear if the P5+1 will strike an agreement. Reports of concessions include Secretary of State John Kerry’s willingness to allow Iran retain 6,000 centrifuges at is main nuclear site, where it can continue to enrich uranium.

Netanyahu has become Public Enemy Number 1 to the Obama administration for his defiant speech in Congress earlier this month, where he warned of a “bad deal” with Iran.

He is winning more backing, not only from Congress but also from The Washington Post and even the London Economist, which is far from friendly to Netanyahu.

The Post wrote in an editorial Friday:

Negotiators — including the supposedly hard-line French, who have taken the lead on the ‘military dimensions’ issue — have reportedly agreed to let Iran’s noncompliance slide. The IAEA’s unanswered questions will be rolled over and rebundled into the new agreement, with a new time line. That means that Iran will have some sanctions lifted before it complies with a commitment it first made eight years ago.

The question this raises was articulated months ago in congressional testimony by nuclear weapons expert David Albright: ‘If Iran is able to successfully evade addressing the IAEA’s concerns now, when biting sanctions are in place, why would it address them later when these sanctions are lifted? In its rush to complete a deal, the Obama administration appears eager to ignore the likely answer.

The Economist wrote on Saturday, “Mr. Obama was right to chastise Mr. Netanyahu over Palestine. But he should not ignore him altogether. This is a vital moment in the Middle East. Mr. Obama may this week embrace Israel’s greatest foe, Iran, by agreeing on the outline for a nuclear deal. As cynical as Mr. Netanyahu may be about Palestine, he deserves to be heard on the risk that a deal will turn Iran from a pariah into a legitimate and overbearing regional power.”

Iran Forces Kerry to Cancel Trip to US and Remain for More Talks

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has canceled a scheduled trip to the United States thanks to Iran’s unsurprising resistance to sign an agreement on its nuclear program three days before a deadline imposed by the Obama administration.

As reported here last night, the headlines about an “imminent” agreement are more of an expression by naïve Western leaders and analysts than they are a reflection of reality.

Kerry was planning to fly Sunday to an event honoring the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Instead, he will be hold more talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif after having going through eight rounds of conversations in four days.

Associated Press journalist Mat Lee tweeted Sunday morning:

Big news from #Iran talks:

Q: How’s it going?

Kerry: It’s going all right. We’re working.

Q: Think we’ll get there?

Kerry: I don’t know.

Kerry and Zarif’s meeting Sunday lasted for 75 minutes.

Anyone betting on an agreement a day before the March 31 deadline should take heavy odds and be prepared to lose.

As for March 31, remember it is followed by April Fool’s Day.

 

 

France Warns There’s ‘Insufficient Progress’ With Iran on Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

French Ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre told a meeting of the UN Security Council Tuesday that “insufficient” progress has been made towards a nuclear deal with Iran.

The UNSC session had been convened specifically to discuss the issue of UN sanctions on Iran.

“Iran must now make difficult choices if it truly wishes to regain the trust of the international community,” Delattre told ambassadors at the session.

Gaps still remain on the issues of sanctions and research and development, Reuters reported. Likewise, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in a briefing in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, that although there had been “substantial progress” in the talks, “important gaps remain… We have an opportunity to get this right,” he added, urging Iran to make the “fundamental decisions” that would prove its interest in peace, not nuclear weaponry.

But as Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu predicted in his speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month, Iran’s behavior reflects anything but an interest in peaceful relations with the West.

An Iranian official scolded the director-general of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiyo Amano, for requiring unannounced inspections of its nuclear sites as part of its inspection protocols.

The request, which Amano contended would reassure the international community and restore Iran’s credibility, harmed negotiations between world powers and Tehran, said Iran nuclear spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi.

Iranian state television quoted Kamalvandi as saying, “It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA’s seasonal and monthly reports.”

The deadline for the talks – conducted with Iran by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — is set for March 31, with a final agreement to be tied up by June 30.

Pressure on Iran Picking Up to Sign a Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

US Senate to Vote on Sanctions If No Iran Deal, EU Sanctions Already Reinstated

The United States Senate has threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not successful in shepherding a nuclear technology deal through talks between world powers and Iran.

The European Union has already reinstated sanctions against 40 Iranian companies, including dozens of shipping firms, in order to increase pressure on Iran to sign on the dotted line.

The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on firms that were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines carrier (IRISL) in January, saying the EU had not proved the IRISL was actively supporting nuclear proliferation.

IRISL attorney Maryam Taher told the Reuters news agency the move was “purely politically motivated and not based on any proper evidence. The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation.”

On Monday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that it could not state definitively that Iran’s nuclear program had no “military dimensions.” Issues meant to resolve suspicions of weaponization work remain, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in his report, despite what he called “good cooperation” from Tehran regarding the November 2013 comprehensive safeguards agreement.

However, he said, “We continue to verify the non-divergence of nuclear material declared by Iran, but we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.”

If international negotiators come up empty-handed this time around (they have already missed one deadline), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at a weekly news briefing “Another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy.”

If an agreement is signed, the lawmakers would pass a bill requiring the president to submit the deal to Congress for its approval. The bill also contains a provision that would temporarily remove Obama’s ability to waive sanctions.

Obama says he will veto both bills.

Negotiators took a break on Friday and reconvene this week as the March 31 deadline inches closer. World leaders will try again to close a deal with a nation whose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for “Death to America,” while its President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that an agreement could still be reached.

US Absence at UN Human Rights Council Debate – Planned With Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Reuters news agency reported the absence of the United States at a scheduled United Nations Human Rights Council debate came as part of President Barack Obama’s “reassessment” of Israel at the international forum. The report, which flashed around the world on the news agency’s international wire network, made headlines in Middle Eastern and other nations whose time zones are six or more hours ahead of the U.S.

However, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the report is patently false.

In fact, the absence of the United States from the forum was indeed a deliberate act indeed, but one coordinated in advance with Israel to protest Agenda Item 7. Israel had asked its friends in the Council not to appear during debate of the Agenda Item, in order to boycott the issue.

A U.S. spokesperson in Geneva confirmed the reason for the delegate’s absence to Israeli officials, who reassured inquiring media.

Both the U.S. and Israel were boycotting the debate, which focusedon ‘Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.’

The UNHRC has passed a mandate to use Agenda Item 7 at every session to debate this specific topic.

For hours, Middle Eastern Arab and African nations ranted on the Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Algeria even accused Israel of genocide.

Although the members of the European Union attended the session, the EU delegates did take the floor to defend Israel during the Agenda Item 7 debate, insisting it should be treated as other nations, and its violations discussed under Agenda Item 4.

Not one other country is deliberately singled out for mandated censure at each and every session of the UN Human Rights Council – including Saudi Arabia, which still allows slavery and beheads criminals, nor Iran, which indulges in public whippings and hangings, nor Sudan, where torture is commonplace, and the list goes on.

In a speech to the Council in Geneva at the start of this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused the UNHRC of obsessions with claims of Israeli violations.

“We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just at the UN Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs,” Kerry vowed.

“It must be said that the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization. It has the potential to limit the good that we have to do,” he added.

Kerry’s well-intended promise may have been forgotten, at least in the White House, however: President Barack Obama is doing everything possible to yank the rug out from under Jerusalem, using rhetoric by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his election campaign as the excuse to claim a lack of commitment to peace by Israel.

“We take him at his word when he said [creation of a Palestinian state] wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” Obama told The Huffington Post last Friday.

Gone were the assurances Obama himself made in a speech to AIPAC during his own political campaign for president in 2008. That was when he vowed to commit, as president of the United States, to “help committed (peace) partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence.” Any agreement with the Palestinian people, he said, “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” he promised.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-absence-at-un-human-rights-council-debate-planned-with-israel/2015/03/23/

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