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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear deal’

Iran Banks on End to Sanctions, Will Raise Oil Production to 1M bpd

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Iran is already banking on the passage of the nuclear deal it signed with the U.S. and world powers last month in Vienna. Its government plans to raise its output of oil to one million barrels per day within months after sanctions are lifted, according to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh.

In remarks broadcast on Sunday, Zanganeh said, “We are already doing the marketing, and within a day after the lifting of sanctions, we will raise [production] by 500,000 barrels per day.” Within months, he said, production would double to one million bpd.

Much of the current oil production in the Middle East is flowing from Iraqi Kurdistan through Turkey into Europe and elsewhere, although some of the oil still comes from Iran. There may soon be competition from another quarter, however.

Recently the executive director of Russia’s Union of Gas and Oil Industrialists told RIA Novosti, however, that as soon as the situation in Syria is stabilized, Russian oil and gas companies are likely to revive their contracts with that government.

Gissa Guchetl told the newspaper the companies held contracts worth a total of $1.6 billion, that froze their work because of the civil war that has since destroyed that country.

Nevertheless, he said, “If military actions cease and the situation becomes stable … [they] will be ready to renew their activity within a short period of time.” A week ago Guchetl met in Damascus over the issue with Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nadr Halqi and Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Suleiman Abbas.

The two Syrians told Guchetl they are interested in Russian companies supplying crude and other oil products to Syria, and in cooperation with Chinese firms to increase oil exploration in Syrian fields that are safe from “rebel attacks.”

Iranian FM on Regional Tour to ‘Sell’ Nuclear Deal

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif set out on a three-stop tour of the region Sunday to begin an effort to “sell” the P5+1 nuclear deal to skeptical Arab nations in the Middle East.

A number of countries in addition to Israel harbor grave doubts about Iran’s motivations for making the deal, let alone its ability to stick to the terms of the agreement. Among those who view the deal with extreme caution are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

Bahrain is also giving the accord a second look, but finds itself in a difficult position. Host to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the country can hardly say it lacks for protection from Iranian aggression – even nuclear aggression.

That didn’t stop Iran from providing covert assistance and strong encouragement to a Shi’ite-led opposition movement within Bahrain during the Arab Spring. Nor has it apparently stopped Iran from sponsoring nascent terror operations in the country.

A smuggling ring was recently caught trying to bring weapons, ammunition and explosives into the kingdom; authorities told reporters that two of the suspects caught in the sting were Bahraini nationals who received military training in Iran, and who confessed to receiving the contraband from “Iranian handlers.”

Nevertheless, in a speech earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei included Bahrain in the list of “regional friends” Iran would continue to support despite its nuclear deal, along with Yemen, Syria, Iraq and “the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

But Bahrain was not Zarif’s itinerary: on Saturday, Manama announced it was recalling its ambassador to Iran for consultations in the wake of “continued hostile statements made by Iranian officials toward Bahrain,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

Zarif began his tour with a visit to Kuwait, where he was greeted by Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah in a red-carpet welcome at the airport. Within hours Zarif was in talks with Kuwait’s head of state, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

The Iranian diplomat is slated to travel to Qatar and then to Iraq, where he will brief the heads of state in both countries – as he has in Kuwait – on the details of the nuclear deal Iran signed with the U.S.-led delegation of world powers. According to Iranian state-run media, Zarif will also discuss ways to “improve cooperation and fight terrorism” as well.

In the case of Qatar, Iran shares with Doha control over a huge underwater natural gas field, the development of which may come up for discussion due to the imminent lifting of sanctions as part of the deal that was signed.

With regard to Baghdad, Iran months ago sent its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps and other troops to battle Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists which currently control one-third of that country. Most of the Iraqi territory that is not controlled by Da’esh at this point is controlled by Iran.

“Iran and the regional countries are facing common threats that should be confronted through mutual cooperation,” Zarif said, according to the Iranian FARS news agency.

It Was Good to See Sanity in America Last Night

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

You can’t deny that there’s something inexplicably charismatic and compelling about the way President Obama speaks that makes you want to believe his arguments, even as they go against all logic and everything you know is true.

Obama could argue the sky is green and we live on Mars and he looks forward to the vigorous debate on the subject, and you’d want to believe him–if he was saying it in front of you.

Perhaps it’s his smile and intonations, maybe its his choice of words and body language, or his reality defying messages of hope and belief. It’s like Count Dracula’s hypnotism, you find yourself drawn into Obama’s blah blah blah.

I too have watched him speak about his nuclear deal, and I find myself just wanting to believe him…

…until I read the transcript and see everything Obama ignored, left out, wrongly disparaged, factually manipulated, spun, straw-manned and incorrectly argued.

But you finally understand how America voted for Obama’s TV presence, despite everything.

Last night I watched the Stop Iran Rally as dozens of speakers got up, each with varying degrees of eloquence (or lack of eloquence) attacking the Iran deal using history, logic and facts, as ten thousand people rallied in Times Square.

It was good to see and hear sanity in America. It was good to see there are still Americans who aren’t bamboozled and hypnotized, and are seemingly immune to Obama’s gaze and silver tongue.

But I was also bothered and uncomfortable that this appeared to have been a predominantly Jewish-led event. A pro-Israel event.

It should not have been, but it was very much directed at Senator Charles Schumer and other Jewish Democratic Congressmen, who perhaps hold the keys to stopping this bad deal, so the speakers were trying to appeal to their greater Jewish values.

The truth is, the Iran nuclear deal is a far greater threat to America – “the Great Satan,” as Iran calls it –  than to Israel.

This deal also undermines everything the United States has fought for in the Middle East all these years, in the name of “diplomacy”.

This deal rewards the same Iranian terrorist state that provided material support to Al Qaida for 9/11, the Iran that undermined American efforts to rehabilitate Iraq, the Iran that cheated and lied their way to 2 months away from a nuclear weapon (despite Obama’s initial denials), the Iran that apparently still maintains secret nuclear weapons testing facilities in Parchin and other locations, and are, of course, still holding American citizens hostage, just to touch the tip of the iceberg.

While it was good to finally voices of sanity in America coming together and speaking out, I also fear there is too much money coming in from removing the sanctions, that the threats will be pushed under the rug for the profit and short term gains.

And when a new Farsi-speaking Middle East emerges, the US and the world will shrug their shoulders, bunker down, and turn to Israel to find new and innovative ways to defend themselves from Iran’s expanded global terror network pumped up on nuclear steroids.

They’ll ask themselves, as they awaken from their stupor, how did we get here and what do we do now?

And by then it will be too late.

Did Kerry Lie About ‘Anytime Anywhere?’

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) Did Secretary of State John Kerry lie when he told the press and a number of legislators that the coming Iran nuclear deal involved “Anytime Anywhere” inspections? Did he offer this version of the truth while knowing too well the most the Iranians were going to accept was a 24-day warning before an inspection could be carried out?

Some Congressional leaders have told Bloomberg that they had been under the impression that Kerry was pressing Iran to allow UN inspectors access “anytime, anywhere” to sites suspected of nuclear activity.

Kerry denies it. When John Dickerson, host of Face The Nation asked him point blank on Sunday: “What happened, Mr. Secretary, with anytime, anywhere?” Kerry answered: “Never — this is a term that honestly I never heard in the four years that we were negotiating. It was not on the table.”

Kerry proceeded to lecture that “there’s no such thing in arms control as anytime, anywhere. There isn’t any nation in the world, none, that has an anytime, anywhere. And the truth is, what we always were negotiating was an end to the interminable delays that people had previously [imposed].”

In other words, in Kerry’s view, the 3-week span between requesting access to a facility and the inspectors being let in, is a victory of sorts. There will be no more delays — after those 3 week notices. Now “we have a finite time period. That’s never happened before. And we have one nation’s ability to take this to the Security Council to enforce it. That is unique. And we think it was a huge accomplishment to be able to get this finite period,” Kerry insisted.

Dickerson asked, “Just to check the record here, Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser, said in April “you will have anywhere, anytime, 24-7 access.”

Kerry responded: “Well, we do, but — we have access to Fordow, access to Natanz, access to these places.”

“I don’t know if he was referring everywhere, but an access resolution of an IAEA challenge for a suspected facility that’s undeclared, this is a breakthrough agreement which has a finite period that our intel community, and our scientists — and here is one of the foremost nuclear scientists in the country telling us that that is — there is no way for them to hide that material or do away in 24 days,” Kerry repeated.

Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Senator Bob Corker told Bloomberg: “I could have sworn that he had said that, but I know it’s been a topic of discussion for a long, long time.”

Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Senator Richard Burr told Bloomberg: “I think I heard Secretary Kerry use that term once.”

“Any lack of access, delay in time, or lack of being able to verify should be a concern to us,” Burr added.

Congresswoman Janice Hahn (D-Ca) holds that the deal should assure “anytime, anywhere” inspections.

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Ca) told the House in June: “The goal of the ongoing P5+1 negotiations is to guarantee that Iran never develops a nuclear weapon. As Congress assesses the final deal, I am going to draw upon a recent publication which is entitled, ‘Negotiations with Iran: Five Requirements for a Good Deal,’ which details the following five components: one, mechanisms supporting strong verification, including anytime, anywhere inspections of all Iranian nuclear and military facilities…”

Back in April, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, a nuclear physicist who negotiated the technical details of a framework nuclear accord, told Bloomberg: “We expect to have anywhere, anytime access.”

On Sunday, Dickerson asked Prime Minister Netanyahu: “President Obama once said that he had Israel’s back. Do you think that he’s betrayed you here with this deal?”

Zarif Rejoicing: Iran Deal ‘Ruined’ Israeli Plans Against Iran’

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) Since they reached an agreement with the West, which has just been approved by the UN Security Council, the official Iranian media (is there any other) have been celebrating the regime’s victory.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in parliament on Tuesday that his country’s nuclear agreement with the 5+1 powers has “ruined the Zionist regime security plan against the Islamic republic.”

He also said that “Iran has further declared to everyone that its nuclear enrichment, facilities, research and development would not be stopped.”

Zarif went to the parliament with the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi to present the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

“The prolonged and breathtaking nuclear agreement between Iran and the six powers indicated that the Islamic republic would negotiate but cannot be blackmailed,” Zarif said, pointing to the Israelis’ anger at the deal as an indication that “Iran is a powerful country in the region and across the globe.”

Zarif declared that Iran’s successful nuclear negotiations mean that “nobody would dare to threaten the Iranians.”

In a similar vain, last week, the leader of Iran’s Jewish community Haroun Yashayaei, published an article titled “Your Time Is Over Mr. Netanyahu,” focusing on the central concern of the Iranian regime, namely, will the Israelis attack.

“The Israeli prime minister was daydreaming and when the Americans had announced that the military option against Iran was no longer on the table as negotiations were the best solution for Iran’s nuclear issue, Netanyahu made a fuss by claiming that, even without the support of the United States, his army will carry out a military attack on Iran,” Yashayaei wrote, noting that “even when his own military commanders told Netanyahu that realization of his dream was neither possible, nor proportionate to the capabilities of the Israeli regime and army of Israel, he still didn’t understand that his time is over.”

Yashayaei further called Netanyahu “so narcissistic that none of these developments can deter him from following his delusional goals.”

So they’re still a little worried.

US Defense Secy Ash Carter: Israel’s Security is ‘Top Priority’

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

America’s defense secretary says Israel’s security is a “top priority” for him.

That is what U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at their meeting in the Prime Minister’s Office this morning in Jerusalem.

The meeting was a first stop of three in the region for the American cabinet secretary, and a first cabinet-level state visit to Israel for the Obama administration.

Carter arrived here Sunday night, and met yesterday (Monday, July 20) with his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

“Israel’s security and military edge are a top priority for America, our military, and for me,” the American defense secretary told reporters at a joint news conference.

Perhaps so — but the U.S. agreement with Iran in essence legitimizes the Islamic Republic as a nuclear “threshold state” according to senior Israeli defense officials.

The move also enables Iran to more easily finance and otherwise sponsor terror groups such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad – all of whom operate against Israel in venues around the world.

Carter began his visit to the region in Israel in an attempt to allay concerns over the nuclear deal reached with Tehran last week in Vienna.

He plans to continue on to Jordan and Saudi Arabia where he hopes to calm similar fears in both Sunni nations as well as address the ongoing operations against Da’esh (ISIS). A number of other state leaders involved in that effort will travel to Jordan to meet with Carter and Jordanian military officials about the issue.

Netanyahu Meth Metaphor Focuses Debate on Inspections as AIPAC and J Street Battle It Out

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) As President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu were fighting for media attention over the Iran deal on Wednesday, one statement by Netanyahu seemed to cut through the verbiage. Criticizing the 24-day notice inspectors would have to give before entering to inspect Iran’s nuclear sites, Netanyahu told NBC’s Lester Holt:

“You don’t have inspections within 24 hours—you have 24 days before you can inspect any site that you find suspicious in Iran. 24 days. Can you imagine giving a drug dealer 24 days’ notice before you check the premises? That’s a lot of time to flush a lot of meth down the toilet.”

Besides revealing that he is probably a fan of the series “Breaking Bad,” Netanyahu also put his finger on the very essence of the deal’s faults, putting into simple words the deep mistrust many have felt regarding the efforts of the 5+1 negotiators to present it as comprising a reliable concession on the part of the Islamic Republic.

The image of Iranian scientists flushing down their yellowcake while IAEA cops are waiting outside could easily go as viral as the poster of an ACME style bomb Netanyahu presented in his UN speech last year. And the 3-week wait period before inspections will undoubtedly become a central talking point for critics of the deal, inside and outside Congress.

AIPAC, which on Wednesday finally took a stand urging the defeat of the deal, and risking its relationship with the White House for a long time to come, ran the quality of inspections as two of its top talking point:

“The proposed deal does not ensure “anytime, anywhere” short-notice inspections.

“The proposed deal would disconnect and store centrifuges in an easily reversible manner, but it requires no dismantling of centrifuges or any Iranian nuclear facility.”

In defending the White House’s position to its followers, J Street’s Iran Deal Facts, while warning against “powerful forces” that “have lined up in opposition; not just fighting against this deal, but against any realistic option with Iran short of all-out war,” also centers on the issue of reliable inspections.

On its website, the group announces:

“Opponents of this agreement say Iran will cheat their way to a nuclear weapon — Not without us knowing in time to stop them. That’s why this deal is so important: by subjecting Iran to the most intrusive inspections regime in history, it leaves nothing to trust.”

And, the J Street promise is:

“Inspections at all nuclear sites. 24/7/365 monitoring. Tracking every ounce of uranium. It all adds up to unprecedented assurance that Iran cannot cheat their way to a weapon undetected.”

How does that statement sit with the Netanyahu meth inspection metaphor? J Street does not answer directly, but links to three outside sources, all of which agree with Netanyahu that unannounced inspections are not included in the deal, explaining why that’s not a bad thing.

J Street links an article titled “Inspecting Iran anywhere, but not anytime,” by Mark Fitzpatrick, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

You should read the entire article, whose gist is that it’s unreasonable to expect that Iran would allow undeterred, continuous access to its facilities. “As much as one might aspire also to seeing ‘anytime, anywhere’ inspections in Iran, unconditional demands are unrealistic,” Fitzpatrick writes.

If you read the entire piece, which is an apologia for the White House and for Iran’s nuclear ambitions (“No sovereign country, especially one under the repeated threat of airstrikes, would willingly expose its defenses.”), you’ll get to the final paragraph, which would have made a great SNL sketch:

“Iran has suggested that the IAEA could be allowed to take environmental samples near the desired location, while not being permitted to actually go to the location. This may be Iran’s alternative to an IAEA request for base access. Sampling close enough to the facility in question may allow officials to determine whether any activity took place using nuclear materials.”

It’s like taking soil samples from under the meth makers’ caravan…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-meth-metaphor-focuses-debate-on-inspections-as-aipac-and-j-street-battle-it-out/2015/07/16/

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