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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘nuclear weapons’

Guess What Each of the US Jewish Organizations Are Saying About the Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

We know the Iran deal is bad. How bad it is is we all may be spending the rest of our lives finding out. That is, unless enough members of Congress are able to inject sufficient spine-strengthening and -straightening serum to override President Barack Obama’s already promised veto of any effort to derail the deal.

So let’s take a stroll through the playground of American Jewish organizations and see what they have to say about the proposed deal which allows many of the things American leaders swore would not be permitted and forbids many of the things that were promised would be included.

First, let’s lay out the general parameters of the deal, as they are currently understood, based on analyses of the 159 page document.

According to the Iranians themselves, the deal blesses Iran’s “peaceful” nuclear programs and will lift sanctions from Iran through a new UN Security Council resolution. It allows all of Iran’s nuclear installations and sites to continue, none of them will be dismantled. Plus, research and development on key and advanced centrifuges will continue.

There will be no “anywhere, anytime” inspections. Instead, there will be a mechanism in place that will ensure that at least 24 days elapses before inspectors can visit any facility which Iran decides it doesn’t want visited.

And although the U.S. administration and its representatives repeatedly insisted that the nuclear program deal would have no impact on any other sanctions imposed against Iran, guess what? It does.

The P5+1 have agreed to lift the arms embargo against Iran within five years, and the embargo on missile sales will be lifted within eight years. Of course, the unfreezing of between $100 and 150 billion is perhaps the most frightening immediate effect of the deal. As with the nuclear and military sites, there will be no transparency to ensure that the money does not get funneled into Iran’s other favorite activity: financing global terrorism, especially murderous terrorism directed at Israel.

Most of the major Jewish organizations either blasted the agreement with Iran or punted, assuming a wait and see stance. However, one “pro-Israel, pro-peace” outfit was thrilled with the deal. More on that in the body of the article.

Here they are, summaries of the statements on the Iran deal issued by American Jewish organizations.In alphabetical order.

The Anti-Defamation League unhappy

Usually known for a more even-keeled approach to most administration ventures, the ADL is highly critical of the Iran deal. The ADL leadership said they were “deeply disappointed by the terms of the final deal with Iran” which “seems to fall far short of the President’s objective of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear weapon state.” The ADL leadership praised the administration’s negotiators for sticking to it for so long and for appearing to put off Iran’s ability to become a nuclear state in the short term, but it fails to prevent it for the long term.

The ADL further blasted the “front-end loaded infusion of billions of dollars in sanctions relief [which] will finance Iran’s ongoing global campaign of terror against Israel and other U.S. allies, and be used to further exert its influence across the Middle East, thereby harming U.S. interests.”

While stopping short of calling on Congress to do its best to derail the job, the ADL leadership took the time to urge those debating the matter to do so in a civil and respectful manner.  Some jaded commentators might wonder whether such admonishments are ladled out when the plan of someone considered to be right wing is under attack.

Americans for a Safe Israel angry

Not surprisingly, the small, New York-based, staunchly Zionist organization AFSI is unalterably opposed to the Iran deal. As Helen Freedman, AFSI’s long-time executive director wrote regarding the deal crafted by Obama and Kerry, “there was never any doubt in our minds that this deceitful duo would cross all the red lines and give Iran everything it demands-  and more. Our ‘leaders’ even made it difficult for Congress to do anything to Stop Iran by insisting this is not a treaty, only a ‘deal.’ Only those who applaud the naked emperor will celebrate this travesty.”

American Israel Public Affairs Committee worried

AIPAC’s deep affinity for diplomacy and close connections with the administration as well as members of Congress puts the organization in a bit of a bind. Its statement reflects that dilemma. AIPAC had previously outlined several requirements any deal with Iran had to meet. Those included:”anywhere, anytime” inspections – that ain’t happening; sanctions relief should only come after Iran satisfies all its commitments – nope; any deal had to prevent Iran from the ability to acquire nuclear weapons for decades – not that either; and Iran had to dismantle its nuclear infrastructure – nope again.

“We are deeply concerned based on initial reports that this proposed agreement may not meet these requirements, and thereby would fail to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and would further entrench and empower the leading state sponsor of terror.” Deeply concerned? Even the President’s talking points make clear that AIPAC’s red lines have not been met.

AIPAC, as did several of the other organizations, signaled that it would continue to review the deal and issue updates on its position.

American Jewish Committee worried

The AJC spent the first third of its statement praising the administration’s negotiators and leadership for its attempt to reach an accord. AJC’s executive director David Harris then called on Congress to ” thoroughly review, debate, and, ultimately, vote it up or down.” Towards the end of the statement, Harris finally gets around to venturing an opinion about the deal. He said that the nuclear deal does not appear to address certain “extremely troubling aspects of Iranian behavior.” He then lists out five different concerns of the AJC regarding the deal, including its reign of terror in the Middle East and its Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program (which cannot have a peaceful purpose), and its systematic repression of human rights.

But rather than urging its members to take any particular action, the AJC director concludes his statement by noting that however “Congress decides to vote on the nuclear deal,” Harris concluded, “the need for vigilance regarding Iran will not for a single moment be diminished.”

Endowment for Middle East Truth angry

EMET expressed “profound disappointment” that the deal with Iran is “more deplorable than we had even anticipated. Of particular concern to EMET is that the “Administration has caved on almost every one of its initial criteria. It also pointed out that the Iranian Ayatollah maintained all of his red lines, even those which are contrary to UN resolutions.”

Sarah Stern, the president and founder of EMET said, “we all understand and appreciate that Americans are not eager for armed conflict, but willfully blinding ourselves to the reality of a bad deal does not prevent war.” EMET blasted the deal as a “diplomatic disaster of historic proportions.”

The Israel Project unhappy

TIP’s president, Josh Block, said of the deal with Iran that it “is a realization of the deepest fears and the most dire predictions of skeptics who have, for two years, been warning against exactly this outcome – a bad deal that enriches this tyrannical regime and fails to strip Iran of nuclear weapons capability.” TIP unequivocally called on Congress to reject “this bad deal.” The Israel Project has been providing nearly daily, and extremely detailed, updates and analyses of the negotiations for many months, and is considered extremely knowledgeable regarding both the process and the details of the agreement as it has evolved.

J Street  happy

J Street founder and president Jeremy Ben-Ami once described his nascent organization as “President Obama’s blocking back.” It apparently still sees itself that way. While hedging its bets a tiny bit by calling the deal “complex and multi-faceted,” J Street takes President Obama at his word and concludes that the deal “appears to meet the critical criteria around which a consensus of non-proliferation experts has formed for a deal that verifiably blocks each of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.” Tellingly, the statement does not mention what those criteria are.

Every other organization that praised the negotiators did so for their efforts. Not J Street. J Street congratulated them for bringing the negotiations “to a successful conclusion.”

J Street mentioned the upcoming review of the deal by Congress, but sent its own thinly-veiled threat: Congress should be “mindful of the likely consequences of its rejection: a collapse of diplomacy and international sanctions as Iran pushes forward with a nuclear program unimpeded.”

In other words, unless Congress approves the deal, or fails to override the promised veto, J Street is telling its followers that the alternative will be an Iran with nuclear weapons. You can bet that is how they will couch their calls to supporters in the upcoming congressional review period.

Jewish Federations of North America hmmmm

The parent organization of the Jewish Federations and JCRCs was careful to thank the negotiators for their efforts and to express its support for diplomacy, but clearly signaled its discomfort with the way the deal has shaped up, given Iran’s terrorist history. The JFNA statement expresses its concern: “Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries – including Israel – make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.”

But the JFNA resorted to mouthing the assurances that President Obama has been making – even while the facts regarding them have been changing – for nearly the entire period of the negotiations. The JFNA concluded its statement by urging Congress to give the accord its “utmost scrutiny.”

National Jewish Democratic Council can't talk

Perhaps not surprisingly, the NJDC takes absolutely no position on the content of the deal and does not state one word about it. Instead, the statement issued by the NJDC focuses on the process of deliberations going forward and the need “to take partisan politics completely out of this situation.” In fact, it preemptively takes those who oppose this deal to task for turning the Iran deal into a “wedge issue” which divides Jews. It appears the NJDC did not take the temperature of its erstwhile center and center-left Jewish organizational playmates, as virtually every one of them, and they all contain large numbers of Democrats, are highly critical of the deal.

Republican Jewish Coalition angry

The RJC called the agreement “a bad deal” because “it is not enforceable, verifiable or in America’s national security interest.” The group called on Congress to stop the deal or “the world will be less safe as the United States will remove sanctions on Iran, and in return, Iran will still pursue nuclear weapons.” The RJC called on all members of Congress to reject the deal.

Simon Wiesenthal Center worried

The Wiesenthal Center’s leadership said they are “deeply worried” about the deal which they said “confirms Iran as a threshold nuclear power” and that “will end economic sanctions against the Mullahocracy.” The SWC called on Congress to review the document carefully and to vote against it if it is as dangerous as it appears to be.

World Jewish Congress hmmmm

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, expressed strong skepticism about the Iran deal. He also mentioned the hard work of the negotiators but repeatedly stated that Tehran has a long history of misleading the world and that there is no reason to trust Iran over the implementation of the deal.

“I fear we may have entered into an agreement that revives the Iranian economy but which fails to stop this regime from developing nuclear weapons in the long terms, which would have disastrous consequences for the entire region and the world.” The WJC urged the international community to stand ready to reimplement sanctions immediately if Iran fails to meet its obligations under the agreement.

Zionist Organization of America angry

No surprises from the ZOA leadership on this issue. If they didn’t use a thesaurus to find every word that means bad to describe this deal, it is only because they have been using those words to describe this deal that way since its infancy.

The ZOA is “deeply horrified, but not surprised by the truly terrible nuclear agreement,” the statement begins. In a highly detailed recitation of how and why the deal is so bad, long-time ZOA president Mork Klein said that the nuclear agreement “is quite simply a catastrophe and a nightmare. It leaves the world standing at an abyss.”

In addition to decrying the lack of spontaneous inspections, the huge boatloads of cash to spend on its terrorist activities and subordinates and the egregiously antagonistic behavior of the Iranian leadership even over the past few days, Klein made another point.

“Two years ago, the Iranian economy was collapsing under the weight of sanctions. President Obama could have intensified pressure and international resolve to compel Iran to relinquish its nuclear program. He never even tried. Instead, he preemptively relieved the pressure on Iran by easing sanctions which enabled Iran to withstand every demand. As a result, we now stand on the precipice of an era of nuclear terror.”

The ZOA, as did several other organizations, urged Americans to call their elected federal representatives through the Capitol Hill Switchboard (202-224-3121) and urge them to oppose the nuclear deal.

****

While there are two outliers, it turns out the Iran deal is so bad that nearly every major American Jewish organization is, at minimum, extremely concerned about it. That’s quite a feat.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama Calls Netanyahu to Assure Him of ‘Concerns’ for Iranian Terror

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

President Barack Obama placed a check mark on his list of duties of protocol night and called Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to assure him that the agreement with Iran ensures “the peaceful nature” of Tehran’s nuclear program. The White House summary of the phone call omitted Netanyahu’s response, which included two major concerns that he raised:

One, the agreement allows Iran to develop extensive capabilities that will serve it in arming itself with nuclear weapons whether at the end of the period of the agreement in another 10-15 years, or earlier if it violates the agreement.

Two, the agreement channels hundreds of billions of dollars to Iran’s terrorism and war machine, a war that is directed against us and against others in the region.

President Obama’s “reassurance” on the aspect of terror was nothing but an expression “of our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel.” He did expound on how his “concerns” will thwart terror.

According to the White House version, President Obama noted that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) “will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon while ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward.

The White House was careful not to admit that Iran has 24 days to hide the evidence between the time that IAEA inspectors will ask to sniff for nuclear weapons development and the time they actually arrive.

“Snap inspections,” which Obama once said would part of the final deal, will not happen.

The President is going through the motions to show Congress how much his administration is Israel’s greatest ally and supporter, and he reminded Prime Minister Netanyahu last night that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter will visit Israel next week.

The President told the Prime Minister that the visit “is a reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel, and that the visit offers a further opportunity to continue our close consultation on security issues with Israeli counterparts as we remain vigilant in countering the Iranian regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.”

Uh-huh.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet last night that if weren’t for Israel, Iran would have nuclear weapons today. He explained:

The pressure that we applied and the actions that we undertook over the years led to the fact that Iran did not arm itself with nuclear weapons and I can safely say that were it not for Israel’s actions, including by governments that I led, Iran would have already armed itself with nuclear weapons.

And therefore, at present there is one mission – to ensure that it does not arm itself with nuclear weapons in the future.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Kerry Travels to Vienna for Final (?) Nuclear Talks with Iran

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to return to the negotiating table on Friday for another round of nuclear talks with Iran.

“Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Vienna, Austria on June 26 to participate in the ongoing EU-coordinated P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran,” spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement Thursday.

The delegation led by the U.S. includes Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia.

The six world powers are trying to reach an agreement with Tehran that would allow spot inspections of all Iranian nuclear facilities by United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors.

Under the agreement Iran would halt its uranium enrichment and nuclear technology development for the next ten years, in exchange for the UN lifting the crippling sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic.

Thus far, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has nixed the terms of the deal, despite an offer from the delegation to provide everything Iran needs to produce peaceful nuclear energy, which Iran claims is all it seeks.

Among the items being offered are “high-tech light-water nuclear reactors and other state-of-the-art nuclear equipment,” according to a secret eight-page document obtained earlier this week and revealed exclusively by The Associated Press. Dated June 19 and entitled “Civil Nuclear Cooperation,” the report appears to call Iran’s bluff – but as Omri Ceren of The Israel Project noted in a response brief, it’s not that simple.

“Some country in the P5+1 will be helping the Iranians develop next generation centrifuges in a facility impenetrable to American and Israeli bombs,” Ceren contended. He added that “any country that wants to sabotage that development will be unable to do so, because the program will be protected and maintained by a major power.”

Although the centrifuges will be spinning non-nuclear elements during the course of the ten-year agreement, they will be primed and ready to enrich nuclear fuel the moment the agreement ends.

“The international community will literally be investing in helping Iran achieve a zero breakout,” Ceren warned.

The negotiations, which have already been extended twice before, are scheduled to conclude on June 30.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Has 80 Nuclear Warheads, Says Swiss Research Unit

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said Monday in a report that estimated the world’s number of warheads fell from 22,600 to 15,850 since 2010.

Most of the drop is due to a reduction in stockpiles in Russia and the United States, it reported. However, the Institute also pointed to “extensive and expensive long-term modernization programs” in both countries.

SIPRI researcher Shannon Kile said in a statement:

Despite renewed international interest in prioritizing nuclear disarmament, the modernization programs under way in the nuclear weapon-possessing states suggests that none of them will give up their nuclear arsenals in the foreseeable future.

The 1968 Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty recognizes three other countries as legally armed with nuclear warheads — China with 260, France with 300 Britain with 215.

Israel, whose policy of “ambiguity” does not admit or deny the presence of nuclear warheads, formerly was estimated by other sources to have at least 200 nuclear warheads.

SIPRI estimates that India has 90-100 warheads and that Pakistan has 100-120 warheads.

North Korea, where the Institute said it was difficult to access “technical progress,” was estimated to have 6-8 warheads.
It added that its estimates are not as reliable for Russia and China as they are for the United States.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

“Iran Satellite Linked to ICBMs with Nukes’ – Fox News

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Iran launched in February a satellite with technology that could “contribute” to the development of an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, Fox News reported.

The report was based on a U.N. panel of experts, which said that Iran intends to launch three more satellites by next March.

A variant of the 1,000-mile range Shabib-3 missile, which is believed to be able to carry a nuclear weapon, was used to launch the satellite

The negotiations between the Obama administration and other P5+1 countries with Iran over its nuclear program do not deal with the ICBMs.

If Iran were to agree and abide by terms of a final agreement, its ICBM program would continue unabated and could allow the Islamic Republic to attack Israel with a nuclear weapon procured from another country, such as North Korea.

Fox News noted that the U.N. panel concluded from an earlier report that a previous satellite launch “was related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons,” in violation of U.N. sanctions.

President Barack Obama is trying to assure Americans, and Israelis, that Iran will not violate terms of the final deal that is supposed to be concluded by the end of this month.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Report: Islamic State Excavating Destroyed Syrian Nuclear Site

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Syrian residents from villages near the destroyed Syrian nuclear site, Al-Kibar, around 60 kilometers from Deir A-Zor report that members of Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh) have been excavating the destroyed Syrian secret nuclear facility.

Syrian Rebels took over the area from Assad’s forced in 2013, and a year later, Islamic State took it over from the Syrian Rebels.

Residents who visited the area also report seeing empty metal barrels, and are now afraid that more radioactive material has been released.

Islamic State may be looking for radioactive materials to make a dirty bomb, or perhaps they may even believe they might find a nuclear bomb underneath the rubble.

In 2007, the Israeli Air Force destroyed the secret Syrian nuclear facility in Operation Orchard, after which the Assad regime quickly removed much of the dirt from the site, and then replaced it, covering it over with tons of new dirt, to hide the facility’s purpose from international inspectors.

At the time, the Syrian regime used civilian vehicles to remove the dirt.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was finally able to confirm in 2011 that the Al-Kibar site was a secret nuclear facility.

In 2009, Germany’s Defense Minister, Hans Ruhle, said that Iran had financed the construction of the nuclear reactor in Syria, and North Korea was supplying the construction material, at a cost of between $1 billion to $2 billion.

The CIA has also said it was a nuclear facility built for military purposes.

Assuming the local reports are true, this is disturbing.

H/T NZIV/Rotter

Jewish Press News Briefs

Obama Trying to Convince Israel to Sign Non-Proliferation Treaty

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

An American official is in Israel to try talk with officials about a regional conference on making the Middle East a nuclear-free zone.

Israel is assumed to have approximately 200 nuclear warheads, if not more, but the government retains a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” in which it does not deny or admit the possession of nukes.

No other country in the Middle East has nuclear power, and Israel’s assumed nuclear stockpile is considered a strong deterrent to enemy Arab countries.

The Arab world has been pressuring American governments for years to force Israel to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would be an admission the country has nukes and could open the door for Arab countries to insist they also want nuclear power.

Asst. Secretary of State Thomas Countryman is in Israel towards the conclusion of this month’s once-every-five years review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A Middle East conference on mass destruction weapons was supposed to take place in 2012 but never came to fruition.

Arab countries have failed to convene a regional conference with terms that are weighted against Israel, which has indicated it might join the NPT if there were peace with the Arab world.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Thursday:

The NPT review process is in its final week in New York. There’s no final text on this issue of the Middle East conference. We are working to ensure that a final text meets our interests and those of Israel. Both the United States and Israel support the creation of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. We’re closely working with our Israeli partners to advance our mutual interests, including preserving the NPT.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-trying-to-convince-israel-to-sign-non-proliferation-treaty/2015/05/22/

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