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Posts Tagged ‘Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act’

Dem Whip: WH Aide ‘Out of Line’ Calling Congress ‘Warmongers’

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Last Thursday, a junior member of the White House administration publicly took an extremely impolitic swipe at certain members of Congress, including members of her boss’s own party.

She called them warmongers.

Bernadette Meehan is a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.  Meehan is someone who, until last month, showed up in Google searches more often for her role as a mentor to graduates of Boston College, her alma mater, than for her role as a policy spokesperson.

Less than two years ago, Meehan was writing a blog for the Boston College Career Center, telling BC students about her career as a Foreign Service Officer.

But last week Meehan blasted members of Congress who are actively supporting the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act – more than a dozen of whom are Democrats – labeling them the equivalent of warmongers. She attacked them for daring to proceed towards enacting legislation that cannot trigger sanctions on Iran unless Iran defaults on the alleged commitments it has made with the United States and the rest of the P5+1 (The United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany) in what is known as the Geneva Interim Agreement,  an attempt to ensure that Iran ceases to enrich materials which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

And then this week, Congress’s Democratic party Whip Steny Hoyer got into the act.

Hoyer was none too pleased to have members of the White House staff criticizing his home team.  The specific legislation Meehan attacked is in the Senate, but Hoyer took umbrage not only because members of his party were castigated, but also because the House already passed legislation many months ago which would increase sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday, Jan. 15, Hoyer gave Meehan a tongue lashing, without naming any names, of course.

“There have been some that have suggested in the White House that those folks were more interested in war than they were in the resolution by peaceful means,” Hoyer said.

In addition to declaring such a position unequivocally false, Hoyer also referred to Meehan’s statement as “irresponsible” and said it should be “clarified and retracted” by those who made it.

Stating what should not have to be said out loud, but which was demanded by the situation, Hoyer flatly announced: “Nobody believes, as far as I know, that going to war with Iran is anything but a dangerous objective that none of us would seek.”

This is Meehan’s full statement about the Iran Nuclear Weapons Free Act, which was released on Thursday, Jan. 9. The language upon which most critics focused is underlined:

This bill is in direct contradiction to the Administration’s work to peacefully resolve the international community’s concerns with Iran’s nuclear program. We know that this proposed legislation would divide the international community, drive the Iranians to take a harder line, and possibly end negotiations. This bill would have a negative bearing on the sanctions regime too. Let us not forget: sanctions work because we convinced our partners to take the steps that we seek. If our partners no longer believe that we are serious about finding a negotiated solution, then our sanctions regime would suffer.

If Congress passes this bill, it will be proactively taking an action that will make diplomacy less likely to succeed. The American people have been clear that they prefer a peaceful resolution to this issue. If certain members of Congress want the United States to take military action, they should be up front with the American public and say so. Otherwise, it’s not clear why any member of Congress would support a bill that possibly closes the door on diplomacy and makes it more likely that the United States will have to choose between military options or allowing Iran’s nuclear program to proceed.

Iran Interim Agreement to Start Two Months After Announcement

Monday, January 13th, 2014

In November the world was told that the P5+1 countries with Iran had entered into an agreement known as the Geneva Interim Agreement.

Not exactly.

On Sunday, Jan. 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the Interim Agreement announced nearly two months ago will finally become effective on Jan. 20.

Kerry said that for the next six months Iran will be taking steps to live up to “its commitments,” including “rendering the entire stockpile of its 20% enriched uranium unusable for further enrichment.”

Kerry said that the United States and its P5+1 partners will exercise “extraordinary vigilance” in ensuring that Iran lives up to those commitments as it monitors Iran’s activities along with the members of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

In exchange for Iran fulfilling its commitments, “limited and targeted relief” will be made to Iran.

“The $4.2 billion in restricted Iranian assets that Iran will gain access to as part of the agreement will be released in regular installments throughout the six months. The final installment will not be available to Iran until the very last day,” Kerry explained.

No details about the timetable for those relief installments was revealed.

Okay, now that we finally know, sort of, what the Interim Agreement is about and when it will begin, a question arises.

What did the previous announcement mean if the details and even the date of implementation had not yet been worked out?  Maybe that one was the Almost Interim Agreement and now we are finally scheduled to soon activate the Interim Agreement.

But next up for these hardy negotiators is what even the eternal optimist Kerry describes as a much harder task: “negotiating a comprehensive agreement that resolves outstanding concerns about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Yeah, that one is going to be tough. Because many people paying attention to this issue do not believe that Iran’s nuclear program has anything peaceful about it. In fact, even Iran’s usual allies, Russia and China, agreed to sanctions against Iran that were sufficiently painful they induced Iran to come to the negotiating table.

But just as the sanctions became sufficiently severe as to gain the attention of the Mullahs in Iran, the Obama administration is now adamantly opposed to even holding out the threat of reimposing sanctions.

This, despite Team Obama’s constant touting throughout the last presidential campaign its strength by having imposed “biting sanctions” against Iran.

The administration is now warning congress not even to pass an “Interim Agreement” to impose sanctions should Iran not comply with its commitments under the Interim Geneva Agreement.

Kerry warned in his public statement on Sunday:

We now have an obligation to give our diplomats and experts every chance to succeed in these difficult negotiations. I very much appreciate Congress’ critical role in imposing the sanctions that brought Iran to the table, but I feel just as strongly that now is not the time to impose additional sanctions that could threaten the entire negotiating process. Now is not the time for politics. Now is the time for statesmanship, for the good of our country, the region, and the world.

Opponents of the view that Iran does not need to have the threat of renewed and robust sanctions landing on it within nanoseconds of a verified lapse in its commitments under the Interim or any other Agreement, not surprisingly, nodded politely and did the opposite.

Within hours of Kerry’s announcement of the impending implementation of the Interim Agreement allegedly made two months ago, Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)  issued a statement of his own.

In his statement, Kirk reminded Americans that the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act is the bipartisan product of a majority of the U.S. Senate. Those senators believe it is absolutely essential for there to be a metaphorical weapon drawn, but with the safety catch firmly on, aimed at Iran.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/iran-interim-agreement-about-to-start-two-months-after-announced/2014/01/13/

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