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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear proliferation’

US Admin Claims ‘No Self Inspections,’ But Iran Alone Chooses Samples to Inspect

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

The bologna surrounding the Nuclear Iran Deal was sliced even more thinly on Monday, Sept. 21.

Remember the alarms raised when a version of one of the confidential secret side deals obtained and reported on by the Associated Press revealed that Iran would be permitted to inspect its own Parchin military site? At least some of Iran’s nuclear weapons activity is suspected to have taken place at Parchin.

On Monday, most of the headlines about the Parchin inspections revealed that what had been suspected was, in fact, the case.

Tehran said that Iranians “independently collected samples” at Parchin with no non-Iranians present.  They later handed over those samples to members of the International Atomic Energy Agency for analysis.

But it wasn’t only Iran that claimed the samples were chosen solely by Iranians, and without any other “inspectors” present.

“It was done by Iranian experts, in the absence of IAEA inspectors,” said Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.”

But that doesn’t worry the pretty little heads of the official spokespeople for both the White House and the State Department. Oh, no. You see?  It means that the Iranians did not self-inspect, according to the talking points placed in front of both of them.

How so?

Well, because the samples were delivered to the IAEA inspectors for….inspection! So all those efforts to make the secret side deals look like something nefarious when in fact they are merely super-duper top-secret – so secret no American has been or will be permitted to look at the text or the details of the deals, and that includes Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. President Barack Obama or even the nuclear physicist Secretary of the Energy Ernest Moniz – agreements between the jolly Iranians and the IAEA.

During the State Department Press Briefing on Monday, State’s Spokesperson John Kirby explained that the U.S. administration is perfectly satisfied with Iran being permitted to choose what samples to gather from (maybe?) the military site widely believed to have been the site of nuclear weapons testing, with no independent oversight.

That argument was apparently a winner for Cong. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL). The DNC chair said she was briefed completely on the details of the inspections process, because she told CNN’s Jake Tapper when announcing her decision to support the deal that the Iranians “absolutely cannot self-inspect.”

The Florida Congresswoman also claimed in that same interview that the inspections regime under the Nuclear Iran Deal are “the most intrusive inspections and monitoring that we have ever imposed or that have ever been agreed to.” One wonders how swampland in Florida is selling these days.

Kirby also restated the official State Department position, which is that it is perfectly comfortable with the fact that the inspections process  to determine whether and how far along Iran’s nuclear weapons program was, is a confidential matter between Iran and the IAEA. That is none of the U.S.’s business, in other words.

Here is the full exchange between State Department Spokesman John Kirby and the AP’s incredulous Matt Lee, with an assist from his colleague Brad Klapper [emphasis added]:

QUESTION: And you don’t have any issue with fact that the inspectors were not allowed in, or that they were not there?

MR KIRBY: I would point you, Matt, to what the director general himself noted, which was that the verification activities at Parchin were conducted in the manner consistent with their standard safeguards practices. So the director general himself made it clear that he was comfortable with the verification process and that it was in keeping with the arrangement that they had made with Iran.

QUESTION: That’s great, but you – so you don’t have a problem with them not being physically present?

MR KIRBY: I’m not going to get into the details of the process itself. That resides inside this confidential arrangement between Iran and the IAEA, so I’m not going to confirm or deny whether inspectors were present here or there. What I am going to say is we’re comfortable that the process was conducted in accordance with the normal procedures and the agreement that the IAEA had already made with Iran.

QUESTION: And so it remains your position that the confidential agreement and whatever it contains is sufficient to investigate? Okay.

MR KIRBY: Absolutely. And again, I’d point you to the fact that Director General Amano made it clear before and I think certainly made the implication today that there’s no self-inspection by Iran in this process.

QUESTION: There – okay. The other thing, at the – that your colleague at the White House seemed to suggest was that the courtesy call that Director General Amano made to Parchin was somehow evidence that – or was evidence that the Iranian military facilities are open and available for IAEA access. Is that really – is that the position of the State Department?

MR KIRBY: Well, in a short answer: yes. I mean, it’s not insignificant that the IAEA and the director general himself – I mean, I don’t know that we would characterize it as a courtesy call –but the fact that he and his team had access to Parchin is not insignificant.

QUESTION: His team, meaning the one person that went with him.

MR KIRBY: Look, I don’t – I’m not going to —

QUESTION: A brief – a brief visit to an empty room at Parchin, you think counts – qualifies as an inspection? That – was that the –

MR KIRBY: It’s not insignificant that they had access to Parchin. The director general himself – and I’m not going to get into the details of his visit or what that – that’s for the IAEA to speak to. But it’s not insignificant that they got – that they were granted access to this.

QUESTION: Is it your understanding that the director general of the IAEA conducts inspections? Or would that normally be done by —

MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their —

QUESTION: — lower-level people? MR KIRBY: I’m not an expert on their protocols. I don’t think it’s our expectation that he has to personally inspect everything.

QUESTION: Do you think he got down on his hands and knees and —

MR KIRBY: I’d point you to the director general to speak to his personal involvement. I don’t know that that’s our expectation, that he has to, as you said, get down on his hands and knees. But certainly he had access to Parchin, and that’s not insignificant – the first time that that’s been done. If we had this —

QUESTION: Well, do you recall how big a site Parchin is?

MR KIRBY: I don’t. I’m not an expert on the site itself.

QUESTION: It’s rather large.

QUESTION: It’s pretty huge.

MR KIRBY: Okay. QUESTION: So do you think that two people from the IAEA going into an empty room briefly —


QUESTION: — counts – I’m trying to find out whether you guys think or are trying to say that Amano’s courtesy call, his very brief visit – he even said that it was very brief – counts as some kind of an inspection. That’s all.

MR KIRBY: I would point you to what the IAEA has said about their —

QUESTION: Not even the IAEA said this was an inspection, but your colleague at the White House suggested that the fact that Director General Amano was able to briefly visit one room or one part of the site was evidence that the Iranians have opened up their military sites to IAEA access. And I just want to know if the State Department thinks that it’s – thinks the same.

MR KIRBY: We believe it’s significant that Iran granted access to this facility at Parchin for the first time in the history of this issue, both in his visit and the technical verification activities. What’s more important is we look forward to Iran’s fulling implementing its commitments under the roadmap. That’s what matters here. QUESTION: Would you be confident in this being the standard of inspection going forward?

MR KIRBY: It’s not that that is – this is an issue between Iran and the IAEA, and as we said at the very outset, Brad, that having been briefed on the details of that confidential arrangement, the Secretary remains comfortable that it will allow for the IAEA to get the proper access it needs and the ability, through various techniques, of effectively monitoring.

QUESTION: But you don’t think there needs to be – you’re not saying that whatever the confidential arrangements are of future inspections going forward, that they will have necessarily more access than this?

MR KIRBY: That is between the IAEA and Iran to work out. What matters to us, we’re not going to micromanage the inspection activities of the IAEA. It’s an independent, international agency that can speak for itself about what it will or will not do. And as you know, many of those arrangements are confidential and they won’t speak to them. What matters to us, having been briefed on the protocols, is that we remain comfortable, should this – should Iran continue to meet its commitments in keeping with that arrangement, we believe they will get the access and will get the information they need.

So, according to the Obama Team’s talking points, it does not count as “self-inspection” when the Iranians – with no one watching – choose the samples to be analyzed to determine Iran’s nuclear weapons activity.

And the administration and all the elected officials who support the Nuclear Iran Deal, who are prepared to lift sanctions and turn over a hundred billions of dollars to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism, are satisfied with this form of no oversight inspection.

House Passes Resolution Obliging Obama to Follow the Law

Friday, September 11th, 2015

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced, and the House passed, a Resolution intending to require President Barack Obama to follow his obligations under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (Corker-Cardin).

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), both of whom served in the U.S. military, sponsored House Resolution 411. The Resolution was introduced and then approved by a vote of 243-186 on Thursday, Sept. 10, the same date on which the U.S. Senate filibustered the Iran Deal to prevent the House from pushing forward a disapproval vote and requiring members to publicly vote on the deal.

The Resolution points out that despite the President’s obligation under Corker-Cardin “to transmit the agreement, including any side agreements” to “the appropriate congressional committees and leadership,” and the term “agreement” is exhaustively defined as including any

agreement related to the nuclear pro- gram of Iran that includes the United States, commits the United States to take action, or pursuant to which the United States commits or otherwise agrees to take action, regardless of the form it takes, whether a political commitment or otherwise, and regardless of whether it is legally binding or not, including any joint comprehensive plan of action entered into or made between Iran and any other parties, and any additional materials related there- to, including annexes, appendices, codicils, side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.

Because the President has not provided Congress with the documentation regarding the secret side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency, the President has failed to comply with Corker-Cardin.

And because Corker-Cardin has been breached by the President, the 60 day Congressional review period, the Resolution states, has not yet begun to run.

“Despite the reckless efforts by President Obama and Senate Democrats to force the implementation of the terribly flawed Iran nuclear agreement, I am proud of my colleagues in the House for getting it right and passing this important resolution today,” said Pompeo.

“This resolution is crucial to reining in the president and forcing him to live up to his obligation under Corker-Cardin, which he himself signed into law just a few months ago. The lack of access to the roadmap makes it impossible for a member of Congress to support this agreement; therefore, the president must show Congress the agreement in its entirety. A bad deal with Iran is not worth risking the safety of Kansans and the American people. I will continue to work hard and do everything in my power to stop this agreement.”

Following the passage of the Resolution, another opponent of the Nuclear Iran Deal, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), said “President Obama broke the very law he signed by failing to provide Congress with the Iran-IAEA side agreements. Withholding these documents from the American people and their elected representatives completely discredits the transparent review process the Administration was legally obligated to provide. In light of this vote, I believe the House should pursue legal action against the Administration for its blatant disregard for the law.”

HRC Top Aide: Hillary Paved Go-Ahead on Iranian Enrichment

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

An explosive report revealed today that former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s senior foreign policy negotiator met with the Iranians in Oman in late 2012, a meeting which ultimately led to the decision to allow Iran uranium enrichment capability.

At that time both Clinton and her then-boss, U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as the United Nations Security Council, were completely opposed to allowing Iran to enrich uranium at all as any part of a deal.

By the time Clinton left office, after months of meetings on this topic in Washington, she had concluded that the mullahs would be permitted to maintain at least some capacity to produce nuclear fuel, according to Sullivan, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sullivan, who now serves as a senior Clinton campaign adviser, was sent by Clinton to Oman to negotiate with Iranian representatives. Sullivan was 35 years old at the time, which was a concern to the Iranians.

Without uranium enrichment rights, the mullahs would not give the “diplomatic track” any traction. So the U.S. caved on that most critical component.

“Mrs. Clinton hated the idea of allowing Iran that capacity, said her aides, but became open to a change in policy if Tehran agreed to serious restrictions on its nuclear program,” the Wall Street Journal reported, but “she hadn’t committed to the shift or to enrichment on a large scale, they said.”

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty forbade Iran from having any operational centrifuges. Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action ultimately negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners, Iran would be permitted to maintain 5,000 centrifuges. And once the deal sunsets, in ten years, Iran will be able to expand from this number to full industrial scale. Sullivan is credited with being one of the main architects of the deal.

Clinton has been largely circumspect about the Nuclear Iran Deal since leaving office. She publicly, but reservedly supported it, but the role her office played in the decision to allow enrichment was not made public until now.

During Clinton’s presidential campaign, she has met with many Jewish groups and donors. Her campaign officials are acutely aware that this issue is of great concern to Jewish supporters.They are simultaneously promoting her as responsible for this epical change in U.S. foreign policy, while portraying her as deeply concerned about the anxieties expressed by opponents of the deal.

Clinton will be giving an address on the Nuclear Iran Deal Wednesday evening, Sept. 9.

Bad Day for Nuclear Iran Deal Opponents

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, Sept. 1, three members of the U.S. House of Representatives announced they were supporting the Nuclear Iran Deal. As the afternoon wore on, word came that first Senator Bob Casey (D) of Pennsylvania, and then, to close out the afternoon, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) also came out in favor of the agreement.

The three members of the House of Representatives who said they will support the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action are Rep.s Patrick Murphy (D-FL-18), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) and Adam Smith (D-WA-09). None of these were real surprises.

But people were quite hopeful that Casey might swim against the tide. In fact, his statement announcing his support went on for 17 pages.

Casey, like so many other politicians who say they will vote to support the deal, admits that the chances of Iran cheating are significant. He began his analysis with this understanding.

So why support it?

Casey weaves a tale punctuated by “there is no alternative,” and “our allies have decided this is the best deal.” He also cites the letter from 36 U.S. military officials endorsing it (ignoring the letter from more than 200 retired officers opposing it) and mentioned that certain Israeli military leaders support it (ignoring the universal opposition to the deal across the Israeli political spectrum, including its defense department.)

Casey concluded his statement strongly endorsing the need for the U.S. to ensure Iran understands the U.S. will take military action if Iran attempts to develop a nuclear weapon, and stating that the U.S. should aggressively work to curtail Iran’s destabilization of the region through its terror proxies and direct participation in terrorism.

His constituents should watch to see whether Casey does anything to make this happen, because it is doubtful this administration will do any such thing.

Coons told the Washington Post that he was still undecided as recently as ten days ago. But he called Vice President Joe Biden, whose Senate seat Coons now holds, and that conversation finally convinced him to support the deal.

The White House now has 32 Senators who have announced support for the agreement. It only needs one more Democrat to ensure that any congressional effort to defeat his veto of legislation opposing the deal, should he need one, will fail.

And as the numbers increase, the White House is surely beginning to hold out hope that its supporters in Congress will be able to filibuster and thereby prevent any vote against the agreement at all. Senate supporters would need 41 votes to achieve that.

Eleven Senate Democrats have still not revealed how they will vote. Opponents of the deal need each one to go their way or the agreement will be approved.

The remaining fence-sitting senators to watch include Ben Cardin of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who is up for re-election in the fall, as is Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, and New Jersey’s Cory Booker.

3 NYC Ds Disappoint Area Residents and Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Three members of the New York City Congressional Delegation came out in favor of the Nuclear Iran Deal on Monday, Aug. 31.

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), said that after much review and discussion, she now believes that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is “the most effective means by which the United States and her allies can achieve the goal of preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weaponry.  It will set new rules of engagement regarding nuclear capabilities with one of the world’s most hostile and menacing regimes.  As one of the premier state sponsors of terrorism in the world, the Iranian regime has made its intentions clear through words and actions that it will, if left unchecked, create a nuclear weapon.”

Clarke is entitled to support the deal, but, as the saying goes, she is not entitled to create her own facts about it. She is incorrect when she included the following in her statement:

Through this agreement, Iran must allow full access at all times to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors to monitor every aspect of its nuclear supply chain, to verify that Iran fulfills its pledge not to develop or acquire a nuclear weapon. Inspectors will be able to access and monitor all sites ‘where necessary, when necessary’ to ensure Iran’s compliance with the agreement. Only when Iran has fully implemented the agreement will the economic sanctions be removed.

In fact, one of the major criticisms directed against the Nuclear Iran Deal is that President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry dropped their initial insistence that there would be “anywhere, anytime” inspections by members of the IAEA of suspected nuclear sites. Instead, if there is a suspicion that Iran is developing nuclear weapons in a previously undisclosed site, various procedures need to be followed, which means Iran will have nearly a month before any inspectors are allowed to enter the site.

Clarke represents a district which is heavily populated with Orthodox Jews. Her district is in Brooklyn and includes Crown Heights and Flatbush. Clarke had been the focus of intense attention by neighborhood residents and politicians who oppose the deal.

Community resident Yaacov Behrman told the JewishPress.com that congresswoman Yvette Clarke personally told him several months ago she would review the deal and that she would reject a bad deal.

‘I brought her message of hope back to the community. Tonight we all feel betrayed,” Behrman said.

The other two New York Democrats who announced they will support the Nuclear Iran Deal on the same day are Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5) and Nydia Velázquez (D-NY-7), who represents parts of Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, Lower Manhattan and Queens.

Velázquez issued a statement in which she said “after several months of deliberation, it is my deeply held belief that the JCPOA is the best option we have for preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon in the near term. I will support the agreement when it comes before the House for a vote.”

Announcing his support for the deal, Rep. Meeks said ““In my review, I placed great importance on the verification and inspection process,” and he also claimed that if “Iran violates the deal, sanctions will snap back into place.”

Weeks represents Far Rockaway, Jamaica, Queens and parts of Manhattan.

New York politicians and community leaders opposed to the deal are already discussing potential candidates to challenge those elected officials who vote to support the deal.

Now More than a Dozen Democratic Reps Against Nuclear Iran Deal

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) became the 13th Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announce that she will vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners.

First elected to Congress in 1993, Maloney represents most of Manhattan’s East Side, as well as Queens and Brooklyn. Her district includes the United Nations and the Empire State Building.

Last night Congresswoman Maloney issued a statement opposing the JCPOA.

Maloney said she gave the agreement, “which is one of the most important issues to come before the U.S. Congress in decades,” thoughtful and detailed study, examining the issues, reviewing classified materials, speaking with administration officials, consulting with experts on both sides and listening to community leaders and constituents on both sides.

After tipping her hat to the President and Secretary of State for their diplomatic efforts, she said she had to oppose the agreement “as a matter of conscience.”

Maloney said, as have virtually everyone of the elected officials who have come out in opposition to the deal, that its fatal flaw is that “the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons.”

She pointed out that even given the restraints imposed by the deal, and as the President himself has acknowledged, the breakout time for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state at the end of the deal will have shrunk down to almost zero.

The absence of  so-called ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections and the lifting of embargoes on conventional weapons and on intercontinental ballistic missiles – for which there is no peaceful use – are all gravely troubling, as is Iran’s continued bankrolling of terrorist regimes throughout the Middle East, which will only be made easier by the infusion of billions of dollars as the result of lifting sanctions.

Maloney ended her statement with a poignant comment:

What we wanted out of this agreement was peace. But before the ink was dry, the Mullahs were declaring, “Death to America.” Some believe that if we can just delay Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a more moderate regime in a country with a young population will assume power and abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We can hope for the best, but we need an agreement that assumes the worst.

Maloney had been the object of intense pressure by both sides of the Nuclear Iran Deal. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, a delegation from MoveOn.org gathered in front of her office, calling on her to vote in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A grass roots coalition of opponents of the JCPOA also gathered, asking that she oppose the deal. Hours later Maloney issued her statement opposing the deal.

One American who feels strongly about the deal and shared his views with his congregation is Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, of Congregation Kehilath Jeshuran on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Rabbi Lookstein told the JewishPress.com that he discussed the Iran deal with his congregation and urged them to call their elected representative – Maloney – and tell her their own views of the deal.

For his part, Lookstein said he feels very strongly that the deal is a bad one. He said “it gives Iran a path to nuclear weapons, it provides a tremendous infusion of money which will be used to foment terror in the Middle East, and it gives Iran an opportunity to continue to build its weapons.”

In addition, the JCPOA “will once again provide them with access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to attack the United States,” according to Lookstein.

He said, the deal “is very bad for the U.S. and a terrible one for Israel. The entire political spectrum in Israel stands united against the deal.”

Menendez Dismembers Iran Deal, Suggests More Robust Deal

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doubled down on his position that the Nuclear Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and his American team of negotiators, along with the U.S. partners in the P5+1, is a bad one that should not go into effect.

Menendez did that by holding a highly-publicized address at 1:00 p.m. E.T., on Thursday, Aug. 18, from the Seton Hall School of Diplomacy and International Relations in South Orange, New Jersey.

During this address, Menendez meticulously explained why he will not vote for the Agreement and why he will vote to override the President’s veto.

When he completed his analysis, it was hard to understand how anyone could say the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is something any country except Iran would support.


The over-arching question, as Menendez put it, is why Iran, which has one of the world’s largest reserves of oil reserves, needs nuclear power for domestic energy. Given this vast reserve, there is no peaceful use of nuclear energy at all, and therefore no legitimate reason for Iran to have any right to enrichment.

Given Iran’s lack of a peaceful need for nuclear energy coupled with that nation’s repeated acts of “deceit, deception and delay” to evade United Nations Security Council Resolutions and thereby approach being a nuclear weapon state, it is indeed hard to make the argument for this Agreement.

Menendez spoke for nearly a full hour. He explained why Iran does not need nuclear energy and he reminded his audience of Iran’s repeated evasions of inspections.


The New Jersey Senator also described the many ways in which the JCPOA falls far short of so many absolute red lines and guarantees made by the U.S. administration during the course of the negotiations.

♦  The original goal was to “fully dismantle Iran’s nuclear weapons capability,” a “roll-back your infrastructure and we’ll roll-back our sanctions.”

Instead, Menendez explained, the JCPOA is the equivalent of “an alarm bell should they decide to violate their commitments, and a system for inspections to verify their compliance.”

♦ When Menendez asked Secretary of State Kerry about dismantling Arak, Iran’s plutonium reactor, Kerry said: “They will either dismantle it or we will destroy it.”

Arak will not be dismantled, merely “redesigned.”

♦ The original position was that Iran’s underground Fordow facility would be closed because a peaceful civilian nuclear program would not need to be underground.

Fordow will not be dismantled, merely “repurposed.”

♦ Iran was supposed to “come absolutely clean about their weaponization activities at Parchin and agree to promise anytime anywhere inspections.”

Iran will not be required to disclose the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program at Parchin.

Menendez said that over the course of the negotiations, the original goal of preventing nuclear proliferation instead become merely one of “managing or containing” nuclear proliferation.

Just as alarming is that during the course of the deal under its current terms, Iran is allowed to continue its research and development. By the end of the term of the Agreement, Iran will be in a better position – meaning further along on its path to nuclear weapons capability – than it was before the deal was adopted.

“The deal enshrines for Iran, and in fact commits the international community to assisting Iran in developing an industrial-scale nuclear power program, complete with industrial scale enrichment,” Menendez explained.

In addition, the terms of the JCPOA ensure that the EU and the U.S. will not reintroduce or reimpose the sanctions lifted under this deal. That’s because, if sanctions are reintroduced or reimposed, that will “relieve Iran from its commitments in part or in whole.” There will be no incentive for any party to this agreement to find any violations, as that would erase any progress that was made.

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