web analytics
September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘National Iranian American Council’

Brandeis Commencement Speaker Leads Iran Cheerleader Squad

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

All those concerned about the dangers of Iran obtaining the ability to produce nuclear weapons have been closely watching the negotiations between Iran and the U.S. and its partners in the P5+1.

Perhaps no country has been more concerned about that danger than Israel, the nation which the Iranian leaders continue to brazenly threaten with annihilation.

It is reasonable to conclude that those who are urging the negotiators to proceed apace, to succumb to Iranian threats and demands without integrating ironclad precautionary methods are not overly concerned about the safety of Israel.

Given the university’s past “sister” relationship with Al Quds University, perhaps that explains Brandeis’s willingness to offer Ambassador Thomas Pickering – the Iran cheerleader and harsh critic of Israel – an honorary degree as this year’s Commencement featured speaker.

But what about Iran’s human rights record?

Don’t Brandeis students think hanging gays and summary executions are sufficiently objectionable to protest a pro-Iran commencement speaker?

And yet, Brandeis University is having as its 2015 commencement speaker an ardent supporter of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ambassador Thomas Pickering.

A few weeks ago JewishPress.com exposed Pickering’s disdain for Israel and his demands that the U.S. stop coddling the Jewish State and only making demands on the Palestinian Arabs (we’re not kidding).

The lack of a response from the university shows that Justice Brandeis’s namesake university doesn’t care so much about Pickering’s lack of support for Israel’s current leadership. But Israel’s existence? Or how about human rights?

STRONG SUPPORT FOR IRAN’S DEMANDS REGARDING ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM

It is now clear that Pickering is at the forefront of those advocating for the rights of Iran to continue with its nuclear program, without ensuring every possible cautionary step be taken, and for the as-soon-as-possible rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran, human rights failings be damned.

This year’s planned commencement speaker at Brandeis is anxious to improve U.S.-Iran relations. And “improve” means increasing recognition of and hospitality towards the Islamic Republic by the U.S., without any necessary concomitant improvement in, oh, say, antagonism voiced by Iranian leadership towards the U.S. or any of its allies. Or even any improvement in its treatment of its own citizens.

Pickering has a leadership role in the big three pro-Iran diplomatic organizations: the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), the American-Iranian Council and the Iran Project. All three of these entities are focused on normalizing relations between the U.S. and Iran without demanding Iran first improve its appalling human rights record.

Pickering and his colleagues were delighted when the administration announced the P5+1 pre-Agreement Agreement, back on April 2; they immediately lauded the deal.

And then, when there was so much pushback, not only from the Israeli leadership, or from the Republican leadership, but from the leadership of the Democrats in Congress, Pickering and his pals began playing defense for the deal.

Pickering and his pals at the American-Iranian Council feared that the Congressional proposal might “hamper a speedy resolution to the nuclear deal as well as the AIC’s broader goal of rapprochement between the United States and Iran.”

They did not want to lose the momentum that had seemed to have been gained at Lausanne (momentum that began sputtering as soon as the fact sheets put out by the U.S. and Iran differed dramatically on significant points).

The AIC was horrified that Congress might “undermine all the progress and goodwill” that the negotiators had achieved in Switzerland.

“We remain steadfast in our support for a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear issue that would remove a major issue that has bottlenecked a broader rapprochement between the US and Iran,” AIC advised on its website.

Lawmakers: Obama Watering Down Iran Sanctions, PA Punishment

Friday, December 14th, 2012

There are some in Congress who are fed up not only with the unilateral actions taken by the Arab Palestinians to subvert the agreed-upon path to Middle East conflict resolution, but also with this administration’s repeated efforts to create unlevel footing such that Israel is doomed to stumble and fall on the world stage.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO5), is one long-time supporter of Israel who is deeply unhappy about recent events that endanger the Jewish State, and the reluctance of this administration to aggressively block – and sometimes is the one that needs blocking – of those actions.

In response to the Arab Palestinian effort to upgrade their status at the United Nations from non-state to state non-member observer, pro-Israel, pro-peace (the real kind) members of the U.S. Senate moved to impose consequences on the Arab Palestinians for thumbing their noses at the Obama administration and Congress and for shredding the remnants of the Oslo agreements.

Even before the U.N. Resolution passed, Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and James Inhofe (R-Okla. ) introduced amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act to cut funding to the PA and to close the PLO mission in Washington, D.C., which is what the Arabs were told would happen if they moved forward with their U.N. ploy.  Pro-Israel groups such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the National Council of Young Israel and the Zionist Organization of America condemned the U.N. resolution and urged that stiff consequences be imposed.

However, when the NDAA was reported out of the Senate in early December, the amendments designed to enforce consequences on the PA for its unilateral U.N. action had been stripped from the bill.  There was some speculation at the time that it was pressure from the White House, or even that it was  left-wing anti-Israel political heft that forced lawmakers to remove those measures.

According to Washington, D.C. journalist Alana Goodman, the amendments were removed because of Senate procedural rules. She wrote,

The amendment was dropped from the bill because of a technicality in Senate procedure, according to Senator Lindsey Graham’s office, which sponsored it.

“Once cloture was invoked, the amendment was not eligible for a vote because it was not technically germane to the legislation,” said Graham spokesperson Kevin Bishop.

Cong. Lamborn believes that “the NDAA is too far along in the process – it is going to conference, probably by next week” – to affect aid to the PA through that vehicle, but he told The Jewish Press that concerned members are already working on vehicles to impose the necessary consequences on the Arab Palestinians.

THE PATTERN CONTINUES WITH WATERING DOWN IRAN SANCTIONS

But Lamborn is also deeply concerned with continued efforts by the administration to “water down” the latest sanctions on Iran.  While U.S. administration cheerleaders continue to extol their efforts in passing “biting” sanctions, there have been reports that even in the latest efforts to sanction – i.e. punish, deter, prevent wrongdoing – Iran for moving forward on its path towards nuclear weaponization, this U.S. administration insists on weakening the efforts.

The latest sanctions which passed unanimously through the Senate on Nov. 30 as part of the NDAA, would blacklist Iran’s energy, port, shipbuilding and shipping sectors, and impose new barriers to Iran’s ability to obtain insurance for those industries.  It would also greatly increase U.S. support for human rights in Iran and impose harsh penalties on those who divert humanitarian assistance to other purposes.

But Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council’s Spokesman, explained that it is “the White House’s view the sanctions aren’t needed and aren’t helpful at this time,” according to Josh Rogin in White House Opposed New Iran Sanctions,” in Foreign Policy.

Journalist Rosie Gray posted in an article the administration’s redlined draft of the Senate amendments to the current Iran sanctions bill she said were submitted to the Armed Services Committee of the House and Senate.  One of the most significant proposed changes is the doubling of the time in which the sanctions would take effect, from the 90 days which the Senate proposed, to 180 days.  Gray said the document was provided to her by a Democratic source.

Gray writes,

The bill as passed by the Senate would bar transactions with businesses owned by Iran’s government, which are on a Department of the Treasury list of “specially designated nationals,” or SDN’s. The administration wants to prevent this part from applying to any of these business entities that aren’t already flagged for terrorism, human rights abuses or proliferation. The administration also wants to remove sanctions from metal providers.

Perhaps of greatest concern is that the administration continues to insert or offer additional waivers to countries, thereby undercutting what other wise might actually be biting sanctions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/lawmakers-obama-watering-down-iran-sanctions-pa-punishment/2012/12/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: