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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear deal’

Emirati Business Leader Slams Obama, Euro Leaders on IranDeal

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

An Emirati business leader and writer has stepped out on a limb to harshly criticize the nuclear deal with Iran reached by U.S.-led world powers.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor slammed the side deal reached between Iran and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency in a series of articles written last month in the UAE English-language daily The National, all of which were gathered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The Emirati businessman wrote that this deal proves that an organization “known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring” has been politicized by the agreement’s signers. Bluntly, he wrote, the signers are either seeking to cut lucrative trade deals with Iran or, in the case of U.S. President Barack Obama, are aiming to cement their legacy.

Al-Habtoor wrote that the self-monitoring arrangement agreed to by the IAEA belies Obama’s assertion that the deal between Iran and the P5+1 would enjoy “unprecedented verification.”

He added that he cannot understand why Iran, with its unbroken record of hostility to the West, is being treated so deferentially in comparison with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

“When I first learned from the news that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had signed a secret agreement permitting Iran to self-monitor at least one of its major nuclear sites, I shrugged off the news as a figment of someone’s heated imagination,” he wrote.

“It is inconceivable that the world’s nuclear watchdog, known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring, would sign off on something so bizarre – or so I initially believed.

“Iraq, whose nuclear activities, both civilian and military, were dismantled following the Gulf War, certainly did not get off that lightly. Even after years of intrusive inspections, the IAEA under the directorship of Mohammed ElBaradei declined to present Iraq’s deserved clean bill of health to the UN Security Council prior to the US-led invasion.

“Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran, that has been spinning thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium beyond accepted civilian levels and has refused to come clean on its past activities in this sphere, is trusted to inspect itself.”

This disparity, he pointed out, fuels suspicions that the agreement, and its “farcical verification procedures,” are part of a broader strategy of deliberately empowering Iran to fit a geopolitical end-game.

“My view broadly reflects the opinions of many of Iran’s neighbors, who are rightly fearful that the lifting of sanctions will see Iran’s coffers overflowing into the hands of its armed proxies.

“President Obama has repeatedly countered our concerns on the grounds that curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions for 10 years is better than no deal. I did not find his arguments credible then, but now that the existence of secret side agreements have come to the fore, my suspicions that Iran is being deliberately empowered to fit a geopolitical end-game are heightened.

“I would love to know why a country that has been hostile to Western powers and their allies since its inception in 1979 is being so rewarded. Or is this animosity with the West just a farce to fool us?” In a second article also in August, Al-Habtoor slammed European countries, as well as the U.S., for the sudden change in their attitude towards Iran.

He noted that European countries, which until very recently was treated Tehran as a bitter enemy, are now rushing headlong to reopen their embassies there and to invite Iranian leaders to visit their capitals. This, despite the fact that Iran has given no indication that it means to change its ways, such as the suppression of minorities and its support of terrorism.

“European capitals are eyeing up lucrative trade deals and planning to reopen their embassies in Tehran. Iranian-Russian trade is set to expand exponentially… Iran’s oil industry is gearing up to expand production of crude to pre-sanctions levels, which could see already depressed oil prices spiraling to new lows.

Iran Issues New Demands on the Nuclear Deal (It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over…)

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Iranian government is now demanding the finished nuclear deal be re-opened for negotiation, again.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded earlier this month that sanctions be lifted entirely, rather than simply suspended as agreed in the nuclear deal signed in July.

This past weekend, the demand was repeated by a top Iranian official ahead of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, where informal negotiations often take place on the sidelines. On September 28, Iranian officials plan to meet with the entire P5+1 delegation that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran, according to Iran’s FARS news agency.

However, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly plans to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in the coming days in New York over the issue. According to Fox News, a State Department official said there will be no further negotiation.

“We’ve long said that we’re not going to comment on or react to every statement attributed to the Iranian leadership,” the official told FoxNews.com. “Our focus is on implementing the deal, and verifying that Iran completes its key nuclear steps under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). There is no renegotiation, and the nuclear-related sanctions relief that Iran will receive once the IAEA verifies that it has completed its nuclear steps is clearly spelled out in the text of the [agreement].”

The ayatollah has said, however, that unless sanctions are lifted entirely, “there will be no deal.” According to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Khamenei warned if sanctions are only suspended, Iran too will only “suspend” the nuclear activities listed in the agreement.

In the text of the agreement, there is a reference to “lifting” the sanctions, but the White House has promised that sanctions “will snap back into place” if Iran violates its end of the deal.

According to MEMRI, it’s not that simple. The talks on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly may provide a forum for new negotiations over further concessions to Iran. Outright “lifting of sanctions” would constitute a “fundamental change” to the deal, MEMRI pointed out, because “lifting the sanctions, rather than suspending them, will render impossible a ‘snapback’ in case of Iranian violations.”

Three Iran leaders announced already last July, however, that Iran intended to openly violate at least part of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

“Just as we refrained from complying with UN Security Council resolutions, we can do so with regard to 2231,” explained senior negotiator Abbas Araghchi in an interview on Iranian Channel 2 broadcast on July 20, 2015, picked up and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The three leaders, President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and Araghchi, who also serves as deputy foreign minister, emphasized in the interview that Iran has no intention of abiding by the UN resolution, which includes both the JCPOA and Annex B – the list of points with which Iran disagrees, including the issue of sanctions on the Iranian missile development project. Rather, Iran seeks to abide only by the JCPOA.

Following the passage of UNSCR 2231, the Iranian foreign ministry issued a statement noting, “Iran does not attach legitimacy to any restriction and any threat. If UNSCR 2231 will be violated by Iran, it will be a violation of the Security Council resolution and not of the JCPOA, similar to what happened 10 years ago when we violated Security Council resolutions and nothing happened.

“The text of the JCPOA notes the fact that the content of the JCPOA and of the UN Security Council resolution are two separate things,” the statement read.

During the interview, Araghchi said that there had been tough bargaining between the Iranian and American delegations over the issue of the arms embargo on Iran and the sanctions related to Iran’s missile development project.

Treasury Official Explains How US Will Stop Iranian Terror Financing

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The U.S. says it will continue targeting Iranian support for terror even with the nuclear deal that is set to lift sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

U.S. Treasury acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes Adam Szubin testified Wednesday before a Senate Banking Committee on the matter along with Wendy Sherman, undersecretary of state for public affairs.

Szubin said it will take at least six to nine months for Iran to fulfill the necessary conditions for initial sanctions relief to begin. “It will take until at least 2022 — even with sanctions relief — for Iran to get back to where it would have been absent our sanctions,” he claimed. “Iran has foregone approximately $160 billion in oil revenue alone since 2012, after our sanctions reduced Iran’s oil exports by 60 percent. This money is lost and cannot be recovered,” Szubin said in written testimony.

In addition, if Iran is found to be violating any of its commitments under the deal, U.S. sanctions could be reimposed “in a matter of days,” he maintained.

“When the JCPOA goes into effect, there will be no immediate relief from UN, EU, or U.S. sanctions. There is no ‘signing bonus.’ Only if Iran fulfills the necessary nuclear conditions—which will roll back its nuclear program and extend its breakout time five-fold to at least one year—will the United States lift sanctions. We expect that to take at least six to nine months. Until Iran completes those steps, we are simply extending the limited relief that has been in place for the last year and a half under the Joint Plan of Action. There will not be a cent of new sanctions relief.

“Upon “Implementation Day,” when phased relief would begin, the United States will lift nuclear- related secondary sanctions targeting third-country parties conducting business with Iran, including in the oil, banking, and shipping sectors. These measures were imposed in response to the security threat from Iran’s nuclear program; accordingly, they will be suspended in exchange for verifiable actions to alleviate that threat.

“As we phase in nuclear-related sanctions relief, we will maintain and enforce significant sanctions that fall outside the scope of this deal, including our primary U.S. trade embargo. Our embargo will continue to prohibit U.S. persons from investing in Iran, importing or exporting to Iran most goods and services, or otherwise dealing with most Iranian persons and companies.

“Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York, hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks. Nor will Iran be able to import controlled U.S.-origin technology or goods, from anywhere in the world. In short, Iran will continue to be denied access to the world’s principal financial and commercial market. The JCPOA provides for only minor exceptions to this broad prohibition.”

“As we address the most acute threat posed by Iran, its nuclear program, we will be aggressively countering the array of Iran’s other malign activities,” Szubin went on.

“The JCPOA in no way limits our ability to do so, and we have made our posture clear to both Iran and to our partners. This means that the United States will maintain and continue to vigorously enforce our powerful sanctions targeting Iran’s backing for terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.

“In the last two months alone, for example, we designated 11 Hezbollah military officials and affiliated companies and businessmen. We will also continue our campaign against Hezbollah’s sponsors in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force; Iran’s support to the Houthis in Yemen; its backing of Assad’s regime in Syria; and its domestic human rights abuses. We will also maintain the U.S. sanctions against Iran’s missile program and the IRGC writ large.

Royce Submits Congressional Bill to ‘Disapprove’ IranDeal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (CA) has submitted a bill to disapprove the nuclear deal between the U.S., world powers and Iran.

Congress has until September 17 to approve or disapprove of the agreement that was signed on July 14 under the Iran Nuclear Review Act signed in May by President Barack Obama.

The announcement means the Republican-led Congress will make an effort to pass the resolution of disapproval, H.J. Res. 64, rather than a resolution of non-binding approval.

A resolution of disapproval would prohibit the White House from lifting U.S. sanctions on Iran, probably killing the deal entirely. If the resolution passes, Obama may be expected to veto it.

Royce wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry that it was “imperative” for lawmakers to see the so-called “side deals” being negotiated between the Islamic Republic and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency while the agreement is being debated in Congress.

“While this may not be typical IAEA practice, there is nothing typical about the Iranian threat or this nuclear agreement,” he wrote. “Reviewing these side agreements is critical to Congress understanding whether Iran intends to pass that test… It is clear to me that this issue deserves more scrutiny by the Committee. Indeed, all Members of Congress should have access to the separate arrangements negotiated between Iran and the IAEA,” he continued.

“The ‘separate arrangement’ agreed to between the IAEA and Iran regarding inspection of the facilities at Parchin will almost certainly be regarded by Tehran as a precedent for IAEA access to future suspicious sites in Iran.

“I have little doubt that ‘side deals’ of today will become central to the agreement’s verification provisions tomorrow.

“These ‘separate arrangements’ have the potential to seriously weaken our ability to verify the agreement as a whole.”

The White House called the ‘arrangements’ between the IAEA and states standard and confidential. However, IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano is slated to present a closed-door briefing to members of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (Aug. 5.)

Longtime former IAEA deputy director Dr. Olli Heinonen, who headed the agency’s arms inspections , currently of Harvard’s Belfer Center, expressed his opposition to the nuclear agreement Tuesday in a news briefing at the National Press Club in Washington DC.

Obama Warns US Jews ‘Israel Will Bear the Brunt’ If Nuke Deal Nixed

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

President Barack Obama warned American Jewish leaders Tuesday if the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran is shot down, Israel eventually will pay the price in rocket fire on Tel Aviv.

Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met in the White House Cabinet Room with 20 Jewish leaders several hours after an Internet address to North American Jewish leaders by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader followed his speech with a question-and-answer session drawn from some 2,000 pre-submitted questions from the 10,000 who had registered to participate in the webcast, sponsored by the Jewish Federations and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

During the two-hour meeting with Jewish leaders from across the religious and political spectrum that followed Netanyahu’s plea for American Jews to fight the deal, Obama tried to debunk the prime minister’s arguments.

Sources at the meeting said Obama said a discussion focused on “personal attacks” – rather than the “merits of the deal” – could threaten the unity of the American Jewish community and also the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship.

But Netanyahu specifically said in his own address – emphasized, in fact – that he was not making a personal attack. “A huge majority of Israelis oppose the deal,” he said. “So this is not a partisan issue in Israel. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue in the United States either.

“Nor is it a personal issue. This isn’t about me. And it’s not about President Obama. It’s about the deal. I’m asking you to rise above partisan politics as we in Israel have risen above it. Judge the deal on its substance and on its substance alone. The more people know about the deal, the more they oppose it,” Netanyahu said pointedly.

Obama also said that he truly believes that if the deal will be rejected by Congress, the ultimate result will be a military strike. “But the results of such a strike won’t be war with Iran,” the president allegedly said.

Iran isn’t going to aim its weapons at the United States, pit its annual budget of $15 billion against the U.S. military and the American budget of $600 billion, he said. Obama went on to describe instead a terror scenario similar to that which awaits Israel and the U.S. as described by Netanyahu, given the billions of dollars to be infused into the Iranian economy as a result of the soon-to-be lifted sanctions from the deal.

American and Israeli targets will be attacked by armed terrorist groups on Israel’s borders, and Iranian proxies who will ram aircraft carriers, the president allegedly said. “They will fight this asymmetrically. That means more support for terrorism, more Hezbollah rockets falling on Tel Aviv.

“I can assure that Israel will bear the brunt of the asymmetrical response that Iran will have to a military strike on its nuclear facilities.”

In his speech, Netanyahu was clear and to the point on this: “There’s one claim that is the most outrageous – that those who oppose this deal want war. That’s utterly false. We in Israel don’t want war. We want peace. Because it’s we who are on the front lines.

“We face Iran’s terror on three borders. We face tens of thousands of Iranian rockets aimed at all our cities. We face Iran, whose regime repeatedly calls for the destruction of the Jewish State.

“We face Iran whose terrorist proxies try to kill Jews every day.

“Israelis are going to be the ones who pay the highest price if there’s war and if Iran gets the bomb.

“I oppose this deal because I want to prevent war, and this deal will bring war. It will spark a nuclear arms race in the region and it would feed Iran’s terrorism and aggression. That would make war, perhaps the most horrific war of all, far more likely.

Chuck Schumer Explodes as 60 Jewish leaders Look On

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) Sen. Charles Schumer was meeting with some 60 Jewish American leaders in Washington DC last week, when he couldn’t take the pressure any more, and by pressure we mean the voices of Jews everywhere telling him to vote with the Republicans, against President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal.

One source told The NY Post that Schumer, who is about as even tempered as they come most days, “exploded” in the meeting.

On his Monday press conference in his Midtown office, which included his distant cousin, comic actress Amy Schumer, the Senator said he would discuss gun control, or anything else, really, just not how he would vote on the Iran nuclear deal.

“This is such an important decision that I will not let pressure, politics or party influence [me],” Schumer said.

Schumer has received an estimated 10,000 phone calls to his office over the past two weeks, most of them from opponents of the Iran agreement.

Iran Openly Refuses UN IAEA Inspectors Access to Military Sites

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The Iranian security adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei explained in a broadcast interview last week that United Nations nuclear inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency would not be given access to Tehran’s sensitive military nuclear sites.

Ali Akbar Velayati made the statement in a broadcast interview with Aljazeera on July 31, 2015 (clip# 5026) that was monitored and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“First, allow me to emphasize that the issue of the missiles and of Iran’s defensive capabilities were not part of the negotiations to begin with,” Velayati said.

“No matter what pressure is exerted, Iran never has negotiated and never will negotiate with others – America, Europe, or any other country – about the nature and quality of missiles it should manufacture or possess, or about the defensive military equipment that it needs. This is out of the question.

“We in Iran will independently determine what military equipment we need in order to defend our land, the regime of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian people, and the interest of our country.

“Therefore, we will not hesitate to obtain these weapons, with the exception of nuclear weapons or WMD, such as chemical weapons, which are internationally prohibited.

“Therefore, the missile issue is not a part of the nuclear agreement with the P5+1.

“Any different statement about this is baseless.

Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden. The entry of any foreigner, including IAEA inspectors or any other inspector, to the sensitive military sites of the Islamic Republic is forbidden, no matter what,” Velayati stated firmly. (italics added)

The interviewer asked: “That’s final?”

“Yes,” Velayati replied. “Final.”

He went on to say, “Israel does not dare to attack Iran. The moment it initiates such a thing, important Israeli cities will be razed to the ground.

“The U.S. accuses us of supporting terrorism and terrorists in the region. We ask the Americans: ‘Who are those terrorists?’ Their answer boils down to Hezbollah.

“Is Lebanese Hezbollah a terrorist party? We are proud of Hezbollah. It defends its existence and the existence of the Muslims, the Arabs and the Lebanese. Hezbollah was the first to deal Israel a real defeat.

“We are proud to be supporting Hezbollah, while America deems this support to constitute support of terrorism.

“First of all, we should sit down and define what terrorism is and who is a terrorist. We believe that if you defend your land you are not a terrorist.

“We are committed to the Vienna agreement,” he reiterated.

“How do you view the recent Security Council resolution?” asked the interviewer.

“We are not necessarily required to accept everything decided by the Security Council,” replied Velayati. “Let me give you an example that is important to us and to you.

“The Security Council might make resolutions in favor of Israel. We would not accept or recognize these resolutions. This is what the Arab and Islamic countries would do. They would not recognize these resolutions.

“There were quite a few UN Security Council resolutions which ran counter to the interests of some countries that did not recognize them.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not succumb to any international resolution that contradicts our strategic interests and our sovereignty.

“However, with regard to the Vienna agreement, if it wins the support of the legal authorities in Iran, Iran will be completely committed to it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-openly-refuses-un-iaea-inspectors-access-to-military-sites/2015/08/03/

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