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October 5, 2015 / 22 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘nuclear’

Iran Nuclear Deal Looking Unlikely, Says Merkel

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A deal to freeze or roll back Iran’s nuclear development program is looking unlikely as a final deadline for talks approaches.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin Tuesday during his state visit to the country the current reality shows no promise of a deal between world powers and Tehran. She added that Iran’s nuclear technology has advanced considerably over the last decade, but said if a comprehensive agreement was reached, it might prevent further development.

Merkel also told Rivlin that Germany remains completely committed to the safety and security of the State of Israel; a diplomatic relationship that has lasted 50 years, officially as of this week.

Both leaders stressed their mutual regard and friendship for each other in their meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, despite differences of opinion on what do regarding Iran.

In his response, Israel’s president said that tougher sanctions are likely to prove more effective in controlling Iran’s race towards the bomb than the current measures that are in place.

Rivlin added that if attacked, Israel reserves the right to defend herself to the best of her ability.

Why sell German arms to Israel?

At a visit to a school in Berlin prior to her meeting with Israel’s president, Merkel was questioned by a student over Germany’s decision to continue to sell arms to the Jewish State.

Merkel answered that Germany is obligated to defend Israel because six million Jews lost their lives under the Nazi regime during World War II.

The question, however, reflects a growing anti-Zionist trend in Germany that one can see in the rising number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

The chancellor told the student that Germany continues to believe in a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. She added that she would raise the issue with Israel’s president – which she did – but made it clear that the issue of Israel-PA politics was separate and apart from that of Israel’s defense.

“We sell weapons to Israel, which is often under attack, because we believe that Israel must have the ability to defend itself,” she said.

Earlier this week, Israel and Germany signed an agreement for the purchase from Germany of four new naval vessels to protect Israel’s Mediterranean offshore oil and gas rigs. The reciprocal deal also includes a purchase from Israel of military hardware; most likely that with which the vessels will be equipped before they are delivered.

AIPAC Opposes Iran Nuclear Agreement Act Amendments

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

In an effort to ensure “bipartisan support” for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is opposing amendments to the bill.

Noah Pollak, executive director for the Emergency Committee for Israel, posted a letter online that was sent to all senators, asking them to oppose proposed changes.

“We know that senators will offer amendments on a wide range of initiatives, many of which AIPAC would ordinarily support,” said the letter.

“However, our paramount consideration during Senate consideration of this bill is to ensure speedy enactment of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Act by preserving its broad, bipartisan support – so that Congress assures itself a seat at the table in deliberations on any nuclear agreement with Iran.”

Among the amendments being considered was one by Republican Senators Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio that would add a requirement for Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of any nuclear deal.

The two senators added the proposed amendment Thursday as an agreement was being completed on how to deal with some 66 amendments submitted for the bill. The senators are trying to avoid a presidential veto of the measure.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article misidentified Noah Pollak as an AIPAC official.

GOP Senator Hits Back at VP Joe Biden, ‘What Does He Know About Foreign Policy?’

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

As the controversy heats up over the U.S.-led talks between world powers with Iran about Tehran’s nuclear development program, so does the latest spat between the White House and senators who sent a letter to Iran.

The partisan divide has deepened between nearly all the GOP senators who signed that letter, organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), and President Barack Obama.

Several Democrats who also signed on to the letter were called “traitors” in a headline on the front page of Tuesday’s New York Daily News.

Vice President Joe Biden hit back in a long, angry statement late Monday, charging that the letter “sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments – a message that is as false as it is dangerous.”

Cotton responded Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” with equal vigor, bluntly questioning the Obama administration’s competence in foreign policy – and specifically, the acumen of the vice president.

“Joe Biden, as [President] Barack Obama’s own secretary of defense has said, has been wrong about nearly every foreign policy and national security decision in the last 40 years,” Cotton said.

“Moreover, if Joe Biden respects the dignity of the institution of the Senate he should be insisting that the president submit any deal to approval of the Senate, which is exactly what he did on numerous deals during his time in Senate,” he added, as quoted by Politico.

Obama Administration, VP Joe Biden Escalates Spat Over Senate Letter to Iran

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The Obama administration is escalating its fiery spat over an open letter sent by a group of senators to Iran: this time Vice President Joe Biden, who spent 30 years as a leading senator in the Congress, hit back hard in response.

“The letter sent on March 9th by 47 Republican Senators to the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressly designed to undercut a sitting president in the midst of sensitive international negotiations, is beneath the dignity of an institution I revere,” Biden said in a statement late Monday.

The letter warned that any deal signed by the president can be nullified during the next administration. “The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time,” the senators pointed out.

“This letter, in the guise of a Constitutional lesson, ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American president, whether Democrat or Republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States,” Biden contended.

“Honorable people can disagree over policy. But this is no way to make America safe or stronger,” he said.

“In thirty-six years in the United States Senate, I cannot recall another instance in which Senators wrote directly to advise another country-much less a longtime foreign adversary – that the president does not have the constitutional authority to reach a meaningful understanding with them,” Biden wrote.

“This letter sends a highly misleading signal to friend and foe alike that that our Commander-in-Chief cannot deliver on America’s commitments – a message that is as false as it is dangerous.”

“The decision to undercut our president and circumvent our constitutional system offends me as a matter of principle. As a matter of policy, the letter and its authors have also offered no viable alternative to the diplomatic resolution with Iran that their letter seeks to undermine.”

Obama Accuses GOP Senators of ‘Common Cause with Iran Hardliners’

Monday, March 9th, 2015

President Barack Obama responded Monday to an open letter sent to Iran by 47 Republican Senators to Iran, about the limitations of any agreement signed by his administration with Tehran acquiescing to a nuclear development program the Congress may not like.

Obama accused the senators — who included three presidential candidates — of aligning with Iranian hardliners.

The letter said that any such agreement signed by the president or Secretary of State John Kerry might only last as long as Obama remains in office because it is formatted as an “executive agreement.”

“It’s somewhat ironic to see some members of Congress wanting to make common cause with the hardliners in Iran. It’s an unusual coalition,” Obama told reporters in a brief news conference in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon.

Asked what might happen following any agreement signed by the U.S. and world powers if Congress does not like the deal, the president replied, “If we do (sign) then we’ll be able to make the case to the American people.”

47 GOP Senators Send Open Letter to Iran

Monday, March 9th, 2015

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama may sign a 10-year deal with Iran this month, but if the Congress has its way, that agreement won’t be worth the paper it’s written on, once Obama is out of office.

All 47 Republican senators banded together to send an open letter about the deal to Iran this week. The letter warned that nation’s leadership that any nuclear deal signed by the Obama administration without Congressional support would be a “mere executive agreement.”

As such, the letter went on, “the next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded that the “letter is a continuation of a partisan strategy” and said the lawmakers were “interfering in a delicate moment” in the talks, which are due to resume on March 15. The deadline for an agreement is March 31.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) spoke with CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer on Monday and explained that the letter to Iran simply meant, “If this is a bad deal, it will be revisited. We are going to represent the views of the American people.

“Iran has said it does not understand our governmental system. This is a civics lesson for Iran, and I think that’s perfectly appropriate… This just says that the deal better represent U.S. interests as well as Iran interests… If it’s a bad deal, then there will be repercussions.”

The move was organized by freshman Senator Tom Cotton, but signed by the Senate’s entire Republican party leadership, as well as three presidential candidates, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Because the Congress has been blocked from having any role to play in the negotiating process, lawmakers are very frustrated. As long as the agreement does not have to be ratified by Congress, the Secretary of State or the president can sign the document at the executive branch level, leaving the legislative branch with no role.

Dermer: ‘When Israelis and Arabs Are on Same Page, People Should Pay Attention’

Monday, March 9th, 2015

Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, warned a cable news interviewer on Sunday that it pays to pay attention “when Israelis and Arabs are on the same page” about the threat to the region presented by Iran. Dermer was speaking to CNN about last week’s speech to the U.S. Congress by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, which ruffled more than a few feathers in the Obama administration.

Nevertheless, Israel’s military intelligence chief is slated to visit the United States this week. Major-General Hertzi HaLevy is scheduled to meet with U.S. defense officials, although it is not clear whether he will also meet with newly-appointed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. HaLevy, who was appointed in September, will also attend a fundraiser for Israel. The visit has been described as routine.

Last week Netanyahu warned lawmakers about the dangers to Israel from the deal being negotiated by the U.S. and world powers with Tehran over its nuclear development program.

On Sunday, CNN‘s Michael Smerconish interviewed Dermer on the State of the Union program about reaction to the prime minister’s speech. “Well, hindsight is always 20/20 and we regret very much that there was a perception, a partisanship before the speech,” Dermer said.

“That was the last thing we wanted to do was inject Israel into your partisan debate. Israel has always been above politics in the United States and it’s important for the U.S./Israeli alliance that it remained above politics and the prime minister made that clear in his speech on Tuesday.”

Dermer underlined, however, that the prime minister meant what he said when he told Congressional lawmakers that Israel is prepared to stand alone if necessary:

“What he is saying is that Israel always reserves the right to defend itself. We have in Iran a regime that threatens Israel with annihilation and that works every day in order to destroy Israel.

“They have surrounded Israel with three terror tentacles in the north in Lebanon through Hezbollah, on the Syrian Golan. They have maybe a couple of thousand of Iranians who are there now through Hamas and Islamic jihad in Gaza.

“So, you have these three terror tentacles around Israel and Iran is vowing to annihilate Israel and we cannot accept the situation where Iran would develop a nuclear weapon to achieve that goal.

“But understand it’s not just a threat to Israel, it’s a threat to the region and it’s a threat to the world,” Dermer pointed out.

“What’s interesting, Michael, is that Israelis and Arabs are on exactly the same page when it comes to the Iranian issue. And when Israelis and Arabs are on the same page, people should pay attention. That happens about once a century.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/dermer-when-israelis-and-arabs-are-on-same-page-people-should-pay-attention/2015/03/09/

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