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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear Iran’

Zarif: Iran Will Allow Inspections but Only When it Wants

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Monday that Iran never will allow unrestrained access to the countries’ infrastructures.

The April 2 tentative agreement reached between Iran and P5+1 on Iran’s nuclear development is to be followed by an “Additional Protocol” once a final agreement is signed by the June 30 deadline imposed by President Barack Obama.

Zarif stated:

The Additional Protocol never allows excessive and unreasonable access to the countries’ infrastructures; rather it provides a regulated framework which is today being implemented in about 124 countries.

He added that implementation of the Additional Protocol is “voluntary” and that “the existent regulations prevents a misuse of accesses” by the IAEA to Iran’s nuclear facilities.

His statements turn the whole objective of the agreement on its head. Instead of the United States and the other P5+1 countries inspecting Iran’s nuclear plants to make sure it is not guilty of “misuse” of nuclear technology and enriched uranium, it is the Islamic Republic that is to make sure the IAEA does not “misuse” its access.

Zarif also said there will no such things as “inspections.” Instead, they are “access based on a clear and managed framework.”

But what about insistence by President Barack Obama and other Western leaders that there will be no restrictions on access?

All of that is just rhetoric to “pacify” pressure groups, according to Zarif.

He was quoted by The Tehran Times as saying, “Excessive demands [by the P5+1] would only prolong talks and would bring no result for the side that seeks excessive demands.”

Saudi Arabia Snubs US Summit on Iran

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s new King Salman has screamed its irritation with President Barack Obama’s eagerness to cooperate with Iran on its nuclear program by snubbing a U.S. summit and sending his crown prince instead.

The monarchy explained in its sudden announcement that King Salman won’t attend the planned meeting at Camp David because he is too busy with the crisis in Yemen.

The official version is the king cannot attend “due to the timing of the summit, the scheduled humanitarian cease-fire in Yemen and the opening of the King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid.”

Two days earlier, the White House played up the expected meeting between President Barack Obama and King Salman as a venue “to build on their close consultations.”

Close consultations?

Since King Salman ascended to the throne in January after the death of King Abdullah, there have been drastic shifts in Riyadh’s attitude in public. It has been more open about its opposition to how President Obama and the rest of the P5+1 is making a deal with Iran on its nuclear development as an end in itself instead of a means to putting an end to the threat of a nuclear Iran.

It also is scared stiff of Iran’s open desire to take over the entire Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are on the same page. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu went to Washington to preach his gospel against trusting Iran, and President Obama refused to meet him since the speech was two weeks before the general elections in Israel.

Obama was looking forward to meeting King Salman as another opportunity to show how he can continue on a one-way street with Iran while bringing along a passenger who is going the other way.

King Salman, like Prime Minister Netanyahu, is not playing Obama’s political posturing.

There are some analysts who are insisting that the king’s absence from the summit is not a “snub” Obama and that the crisis in Yemen is more urgent.

But U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with King Salman on Thursday and said, “I’ll see you next week.” Kerry also was with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Juber when the cease-fire in Yemen was announced.

On Friday, Saudi Arabia sent signals that it was not certain King Salman would arrive, and the kingdom confirmed the king’s absence on Saturday.

The Obama is spinning that it is business as usual with Saudi Arabia and the relationship is as strong as it has been in quite some time, just like it always assures Netanyahu of Washington’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel while it walks with Iran towards a nuclear weapon.

The Washington Post quoted a State Dept. source as saying:

They did not mean it as a snub. They were not trying to send a message.”

The newspaper also quoted Johns Hopkins International Studies lecturer Jean-Francois Seznec as saying, “I do not think this is a snub. I think on the other hand that it is a proof that the Saudis want substantive talks.”

Okay. It’s not a snub. In diplomatic language, it is “a message we aren’t happy with Obama.”

In other words, a snub. Or if not that, a spit in the face.

Or as was said by Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “The king’s decision suggests that, despite all of this, he thinks he has better things to do with his time.”

In other words, a snub to get the message across to President Obama that Prime Minister Netanyahu is not alone.

So who’s coming to the party at Camp David besides the crown prince of Saudi Arabia?

There are five other Gulf States besides Saudi Arabia, and only two of them are sending a king. Two Gulf monarchs are not in good health. The third is from Kuwait, but its king, like King Salman, is sending his crown prince.

Salman’s absence could be seen as a snub to Obama’s administration, said Jon Alterman,

In one of the understatements of the year, Bloomberg News quoted Mustafa Alani, an analyst at the Gulf Research Center in Geneva, as saying that “after six years of empty promises, hesitation, and indecisiveness” by Obama, the Gulf States have a “very deep lack of trust” in his administration.

Hosni Mubarak learned what it means to have friends like President Obama, who panted after the Muslim Brotherhood before turning his back on the political party that he finally realized is a terrorist organization.

Netanyahu knows exactly how mixed-up Obama is when he equates Israeli security interests with America’s.

Saudi Arabia knows how much Washington can be trusted to stand by a decision to bomb Syria because of its use of chemical weapons.

Yes. Obama stepped back by stating that the Assad regime gave up its chemical weapons, which does not exactly explain evidence that surfaced last week of a chemical weapons attack on rebel strongholds.

State Dept.: Iran ‘Hoodwinked Countries but This Time It’s Different

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

An assistant Secretary of State has said that Iran “hoodwinked” Latin American countries and did not honor agreements, but Foggy Bottom says nuclear talks are a separate issue, so don’t worry.

Following are remarks from Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere to retirees on Foreign Service Day Friday:

The involvement of Iran in the Western Hemisphere is never benign. I want to underscore that: it is never benign. Iran signed an enormous number of agreements with countries in the region, almost none of which have come to any real fruition or benefit for those – for the countries of the hemisphere….

I do think that there are fewer countries that get kind of – that kind of get hoodwinked by Iran.

She also said that economic sanctions on Iran have made it difficult for it to follow through with several agreements and that Iran’s desire to be a greater influence in the West requires close monitoring.

First of all, sanctions work. Second of all, Iran cannot be trusted.

The third statement would seem to be that the United States cannot trust Iran to honor an agreement on its nuclear activity and should not lift sanctions, but the State Dept. differs.

Associated Press reporter Matt Lee asked State Dept. spokesman Jeff Rathke on Friday to explain otherwise, and here is how he tried to wiggle out of Logic 101:

That is a separate issue from the nuclear talks which are focused on Iran’s nuclear program…: I think there’s a difference between the types of agreements you’re talking about.  You’re referring to agreements …on economic cooperation and other such things.

What we’re talking about in the nuclear context is, first of all, a situation where there is a unified international community where there are international sanctions, a wide variety of them, UN sanctions, United States sanctions, European Union sanctions, as well as others, that put pressure on Iran and also that make it in Iran’s interest to deal with those sanctions and to negotiate on the nuclear program.

And how about the billions of dollars that would flow into Iran’s coffers when sanctions are lifted in return for a deal? “Are you not concerned at all that what you don’t see now in terms of a growing Iranian threat in the Western Hemisphere will become a concern if Iran suddenly has a windfall of billions and billions of dollars in money? Lee asked.

No problem, Rathke answered.

“We have separate ways of dealing with other problematic behavior by Iran, whether it’s in regional context, whether it’s support for terrorism, and so forth.  So that’s why we’re focused on the nuclear issue.  And if Iran meets all of its required steps under an eventual joint comprehensive plan of action, then the world will be a safer place because of it.” he said.

Note the two-letter word “if.”

But didn’t Asst. Sec. of State Jacobson say Iran’s presence in the west is “never benign”? So this time it will be different?

“Well,” Rathke said, “we remain concerned about those – about Iran’s activities and we will remain vigilant about them and we retain the tools to deal with them.”

Vice-President Joe Biden is very concerned, or at least that is what he said last week to a Washington think tank, to wit:

“Despite good reasons to think that most of it [money] will go to urgent domestic needs, some or all of it may fund further mischief in the region.”

Rathke reiterated “we are vigilant.”

Therefore, so the “logic” goes, Obama won’t get hoodwinked.

 

Netanyahu Tells US Think Tank Obama’s Deal with Iran Endangers Mideast [video]

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a Washington think tank Friday that the proposed deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear program “would make the world would a much more dangerous place.”

He spoke through a video message at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where Vice President Joe Biden insisted the deal was “reasonable” and that the United States “has Israel’s back.”

Netanyahu said reminded his audience that Iran “repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel” and has created “terrorist bases across three of Israel’s borders in Lebanon and Gaza and now on the Syrian Golan.

The Prime Minister asserted:

The international community cannot let Iran’s aggression in the region — in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen and elsewhere – to continue under the protection of an Iranian nuclear umbrella. And the international community cannot afford to let the planet’s foremost sponsor of terrorism have nuclear capabilities with which to terrorize the entire world….

The Lausanne framework….would make the world would a much more dangerous place…. Now there are those who say that the Lausanne framework will make Israel safer.

As the prime minister of Israel I can tell you categorically this deal will endanger Israel — big time. But it’s not just Israel that will be in danger: The Middle East and the entire world will be threatened.

Biden told the think tank, “Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other. They [Iran] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material. Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”

What he didn’t say is that Iran has gotten that far while Obama and Biden were in office. Netanyahu is saying that the proposed deal guarantees that Iran can achieve its goal.

The vice-president said that the United States will go to war with Iran if necessary to keep it from procuring a nuclear weapon.

The inference from Netanyahu’s position is that war can be prevented if Iran can be stopped from becoming a nuclear power, which is why the Prime Minister told the think tank, “A better deal is necessary. A better deal is possible. A better deal must and can be achieved. But if not, no deal is better than this bad deal.”

US Sends Destroyer to Persian Gulf after Iran Boards Freighter

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

The U.S. Navy Farragut destroyer is speeding to the Persian Gulf Wednesday after Iran boarded a Marshall Islands-flagged freighter that the regime said had trespassed into its waters while sailing through the key oil and gas tanker route of the Straits of Hormuz, also known as the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Navy fired shots at the ship, which the Pentagon says was in international waters.

The United States also has ordered an aircraft carrier to remain on standby in another mini-crisis that Iran seems to have created to put pressure on the Obama administration during the new round of talks between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran on an agreement to allow Tehran to continue its nuclear development program.

The Marshall Islands, once an American territory, is independent of the United States but has a “free relationship” with Washington that includes a security pact.

A spokesman for the Maersk shipping company said that the vessel charted by Rickers Shipmanagment was in international waters and was sailing from Saudi Arabia to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with cargo that could range from  “anything from food to machinery to electronics,” he said.

Rickers spokesman Cor Radings wrote in an e-mail to The New York Times he does not know of any previous incident of Iran seizing a ship in open seas. He stated, “I cannot exclude it has happened before, but would believe we have to go back” to World War II.

Last week, Iran caved into American and Western pressure and turned back one of its ships that was approaching Aden, Yemen with a cargo of what was assumed to be weapons for Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Jeff Rathke, the State Dept.’s tight-lipped spokesman, told reporters Tuesday:

It’s a key concern of the United States to ensure that sea lanes in the region remain open and safe… We remain committed to our regional partners and to maintaining security in the maritime environment.

So what is the United States going to do about it, especially since the United States has what Rathke called a “security compact” with the Marshall Islands?

“Is the U.S. prepared to use force to defend the Marshall Islands?” one reporter asked.

Rathke answered,” “Well, I think that’s premature to jump to that conclusion.”

And did Iran commit an act of piracy or aggression?

Rathke:  “I’m not going to apply an adjective to it right now. We are following the situation very carefully, but I’m not going to label it.

Well, does the United States condemn it?

Rathke:” Well, again, we’re gathering more information. I don’t have a further reaction at this point.

But what about the security compact that Rathke said “gives the U.S. authority and responsibility for security and defense matters that relate to the Marshall Islands, including matters related to vessels flying the Marshallese flag?”

Well, he says, “Certainly, that’s something we’re looking at.”

And could it be, just possibly by a stretch of the imagination, that Iran the seizure and previous threats from Iran to block the Persian Gulf are linked to the proposed nuclear negotiations?

Rathke, of course, “is not going to speculate on what their motives might be.

In case you missed it, Kerry said yesterday:

We are, in fact, closer than ever to the good, comprehensive deal that we have been seeking, and if we can get there, the entire world will be safer.

If finalized and implemented, (an agreement) will close off all of Iran’s possible pathways to the nuclear material required for a nuclear weapon and give the international community the confidence that it needs to know that Iran’s nuclear program is indeed exclusively peaceful.

And if the United States does not agree, Iran will close the Persian Gulf and raise the price of oil as part of its program to make the entire safer.

2nd Generation Holocaust Survivors Fear Nuclear Iran

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

A Bar-Ilan University study reveals that the adult children of Holocaust survivors are more preoccupied with the threat of a nuclear Iran than their peers whose parents are not Holocaust survivors.

The university reported the study as Israel prepares to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day Wednesday night and Thursday.

The study, entitled “Transmitting the Sum of All Fears: Iranian Nuclear Threat Salience Among Offspring of Holocaust Survivors,” was published in a recent issue of Psychological Trauma, an American Psychological Association journal dedicated to the study of trauma and its aftermath.

Dr. Amit Shrira, of the Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, set out to test the hostile-world scenario among second generation Holocaust survivors. Hostile-world scenario is a term coined by Israeli researcher Prof. Dov Shmotkin to describe one’s image of actual or potential threats to one’s life, or more broadly, to one’s physical and mental integrity.

Shrira first studied a total of 106 people. Sixty three of the participants were born after World War II ended in 1945 and whose parents lived under a Nazi or pro-Nazi regime. Participants in the comparison group of 43 were also born after 1945, but their parents, of European origin, either immigrated to Israel before the war or fled to countries which were not under Nazi occupation.

Three main findings resulted from the study:

Second generation Holocaust survivors exhibit greater preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear threat than the comparison group.

Second generation Holocaust survivors are more sensitive to nuclear threat, and the more they are interested in the subject, the more general anxiety they report.

Second generation Holocaust survivors show not only more preoccupation and sensitivity to the Iranian threat, but also a more ominous outlook on the world in general – a world of threat and significant danger that can fall upon them, providing  proof of hostile-world scenario in this group.

To ensure that the results were accurate, Shrira performed a replication, an identical study on a second sample of 450 (comprised of 300 second generation Holocaust survivors and 150 comparison participants).  The same results were found, giving additional validity to the findings.

“In second generation survivors we most often see that they are a group with resilience and mental resources, and they generally exhibit good functioning on a daily basis. But they do have vulnerabilities which can be manifested during times of stress,” says Dr. Shrira.

Putin Lifts Ban on Selling Iran S-300 Missiles in Return for Oil

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted the ban for delivering to Iran S-300 anti-missile systems in return for oil in a move that is going to send Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu through the roof.

Putin’s daring move to pocket billions from the emerging deal on Iran’s nuclear program, in which Russia has a huge investment, paves the way to allow Iran to defend itself better against American, Israeli or Saudi missiles.

The S-300 systems would make it more difficult for a retaliatory attack on Iran in the event that Tehran is caught reneging on a deal and caught in the last stages of developing a nuclear weapon.

Russia suspended deliveries of the systems after pressure from the United States, encouraged by Israel, and from other Western countries five years ago.

The missiles-for-oil deal could be worth up to $20 billion.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that the deal does not violate current sanctions.

“In exchange for Iranian crude oil supplies, we are delivering certain products,” he stated.

Israel has not yet commented on Putin’s lifting the ban on the deliveries of the missile systems but definitely will make it clear to the U.S. Congress that it makes President Barack Obama’s agreement for a temporary framework deal even more problematic.

The deal does not stop Iran from continuing to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles that could easily reach Israel.

Put together ICBM missiles, S-300 anti-missile systems and a “bad deal” and you come up with a nuclear weapon aimed at Israel.

Putin’s announcement Monday is great timing for Republican senators.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will formally draft legislation tomorrow that would prevent President Barack Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran for 60 days while Congress reviews the final deal and possibly vote to keep sanctions in place.

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/putin-lifts-ban-on-selling-iran-s-300-missiles-in-return-for-oil/2015/04/13/

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