The Obama Administration has belatedly come to the realization that Iran really was working on a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, just as Israeli and other intelligence sources said prior to the signing of the nuclear pact with Tehran in 2015. Current and former government officials told the Wall Street Journal that the administration has concluded radioactive particles discovered last year were tied to an Iranian nuclear weapons program, as pointed out by Omri Ceren of the Israel Project.
Two man-made uranium particles discovered in soil samples at the Parchin facility southeast of Tehran by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency were too small to confirm exactly what kind of nuclear weapons work took place at the site. But they were big enough to make it clear that nuclear weapons-related activity was indeed going on there.
Iranian explanations for their presence — chemical storage for use in developing conventional weapons — were not supported by the evidence of satellite imagery and test results.
The issue was raised in an article written by Jay Solomon for the Wall Street Journal, in which the Obama administration was said to have underlined the discovery mentioned in a 16-page December 2015 report by the IAEA indisputably points to an Iranian weapons program, contradicting denials by Tehran.
On Saturday an Iranian government spokesman in fact denied uranium was found at Parchin, WSJ reported, adding the spokesman quoted a 2005 IAEA report that found no “unusual activities” there.
The terms of the pact signed by Iran with the six world powers last July required Tehran to address the evidence compiled by the IAEA showing that Iran had a program to create a nuclear weapon of mass destruction until at least 2003. Iranian officials repeatedly denied the charge.
In exchange for suspending its nuclear technology activities for a 10-year period, Iran would receive the $150 billion that had been held in frozen assets in addition to international sanctions being rolled back.
Now that Iran is receiving all those benefits, however, Tehran’s lies are also becoming clear. And the critics of the deal who were opposing it from the start are citing this latest news as confirmation that opposition of the deal was justified, and that Obama didn’t go far enough in his demands that Iran come clean on its nuclear activities before lifting sanctions in January.
Evidence of the man-made uranium that was found at Parchin has only low levels of fissionable isotopes, according to WSJ. But this can be used as a substitute for weapons-grade materials in the development of nuclear bombs and can also be used as a component in a neutron initiator — a triggering device for a nuclear weapon, WSJ reported.
But now the IAEA is blocked from any further investigation of the Parchin site, thanks to the deal signed last year. And although the deal forces Iran to allow the agency access to “all” suspected nuclear technology sites, that does not include Iranian military sites — where the weaponry is most likely to be developed.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office issued the following statement regarding the dispute between the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and the Obama Administration over US support for Israel’s anti-missile program:
“In the wake of numerous misleading reports, the Prime Minister’s bureau would like to clarify there has been no cut in American assistance. There is an internal debate between Congress and the White House on the size of the annual supplement to the missile defense program.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu is working to anchor this supplement as part of the discussions on the assistance agreement for the next ten years.
“Not only will security assistance for missile defense not be cut, it will be increased.
“The attempt to turn the dialogue with the US into a domestic Israeli political tool is improper; expressions of panic are not warranted,” the PM’s statement concluded.
Following cues from his boss, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized that Americans shouldn’t blame Islam or Islamists for the Orlando terror attack, at a meeting with reporters on Momday, according to a Breitbart report.
“The worst thing you can do is engage in trying to point fingers at one group or one form of sectarianism or another or one division or another. Those are not the values of our country.”
Vice President Joe Biden attacked time and again the Netanyahu government which he said causes the White House “overwhelming frustration,” in a speech at the leftwing J Street organization’s annual gala dinner on Monday. “The present course Israel’s on is not one that’s likely to secure its existence as a Jewish, democratic state— and we have to make sure that happens,” Biden said.
Biden recalled his recent meetings with both Netanyahu and PA Chairman Abbas, concluding that “there is at the moment no political will that I observed among Israelis or Palestinians to move forward with serious negotiations. The trust that is necessary to take risks for peace is fractured on both sides.”
According to Politico, the tone and direction of that Biden reference and his overall speech “seemed to rule out the chances of a final year peace push from the Obama administration.” Perhaps.
Biden acknowledged the attack on a Jerusalem bus by Arab terrorists that took place on the same day he was sharing his frustrations regarding the Netanyahu government’s lack of willingness to pursue the two-state solution. Biden condemned the bombing, saying it had been done by “misguided cowards.” He offered prayers to the injured and their families. Which is probably more realistic at this point than anything else the administration could do to promote its goals in the region. That should be frustrating indeed.
Biden began his speech with praise for another guest of honor, young, first-term MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Camp – Labor), who reminded him, he said, of the time he had run for the Senate at the age of 29. “May your views once again begin to have a majority opinion in the Knesset,” Biden said.
Not likely. In fact, if Labor ever wants to be a contender in Israeli coalition politics, it’ll have to move to the center—as the majority of its members have been advocating—which could mean the dropping of needless indulgences like Shaffir.
Towards the end, Biden said, “We are Israel’s maybe not-only friend, but only absolutely certain friend.” That statement will be tested in November, after the elections, when the US Administration will have to decide whether or not to veto a UN Security Council resolution unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state.
State Dept. Spokesperson John Kirby’s daily press briefing on Thursday touched on the ominous possibility that the Obama Administration will wait until after the November election, so as not to steer Jewish votes away from the Democratic candidate, and then, in a final splash of power, just before going down from the world’s stage, blow up a landmine in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s face and support or fail to veto a UN Security Council resolution creating a Palestinian State and ordering the hasty removal of all Jewish presence on the “wrong” side of the 1967 border.
We redacted and edited the exchange to make it a tad more entertaining. But one can smell the danger hidden in the spokesman’s evasions. Barring divine intervention, the Obama gang is planning to install a Palestinian State and create facts on the ground so that the next Democrat in the White House will have to start from that point, rather than with today’s murky uncertainty.
We join the conversation that’s already in progress…
Reporter: On Security Council resolutions – will you consider either supporting or failing to veto a resolution on settlement activity in the West Bank?
Kirby: …We are very concerned about trends on the ground and we do have a sense of urgency about the two-state solution. We will consider all of our options for advancing our shared objective of lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but I’m not going to comment on a draft Security Council resolution. Okay?
Reporter: What does that mean, we do have a sense of urgency for a two-state solution?
Kirby: It means exactly what it says and what I’ve been saying from the podium here for months and months and months.
Reporter: So you see a sense of urgency to get to a two-state solution?
Kirby: Sure we do. We very much would like to see a two-state solution realized, yes.
Reporter: I don’t understand.
Kirby: I don’t know what’s not to understand about “we have a sense of urgency.”
Reporter: Well, because there’s only, like, eight months left of the Administration. … You had a sense of urgency back in 2009; you had a sense of urgency when Secretary Kerry took over in 2012.
Kirby: So as time gets shorter, we shouldn’t have a sense of urgency?
Reporter: But if you had a real sense of urgency, you would’ve done something already, right?
Kirby: We have consistently had a sense of urgency.
Reporter: Does that mean, when you say you have a sense or urgency about this, that you’re going to try to cram something in that results in a two-state solution by the end of this Administration?
Kirby: I’m not going to hypothesize on future actions, whatever we continue to do or continue to consider, I don’t know that I would say it’s about cramming. It is about trying to move forward in a productive way towards a two-state solution. And as I’ve said before, we also look to the sides to enact the right kind of leadership to get us there, because ultimately it has to be done by them.
Reporter: But you’re not automatically opposed to a UN Security Council resolution that would call for a two-state solution?
Kirby: We’re not going to comment on this informal draft resolution.
Reporter: I’m not asking you to comment on this informal one. I’m saying that if a resolution presented itself that was evenhanded, in your view – not one-sided or biased against Israel – that called for an end of settlements, called for an end of incitement, and also called for the creation of two states, would you automatically oppose?
Kirby: Well, without getting into those provisions that you listed out there and making a judgment about that, I’d go back to what I said before, and that’s we will consider all of our options for advancing a shared objective, a two-state solution.
Reporter: And that would include a resolution?
Kirby: We’ll consider all options to advance a two-state solution.
Reporter: When you spoke of urgency, did you mean that the urgency comes from the possibility that the two states [solution will go] beyond reach?
Kirby: A sense of urgency about the importance of getting to a two-state solution, which has been a consistent point that we’ve made.
Reporter: But there’s a difference between consistency and urgency.
Kirby: What’s the difference?
Reporter: Well, if it’s always urgent, then it’s never more urgent than before.
Kirby: Well, I don’t know that I’d agree with that. Sometimes something can be always urgent and consistently urgent —
Reporter: You sound like a Foreigner song. (Laughter.) … There’s a song called Urgent. Maybe you’re too young to remember —
Kirby: No, I remember that. (Laughter). I know – I remember the song. I didn’t like it.
For the record, here’s the refrain from Foreigner’s memorable ending to Urgent:
“It gets so urgent / So urgent / You know it’s urgent / I wanna tell you it’s the same for me / So oh oh urgent / Just you wait and see / How urgent our love can be / It’s urgent.
“You say it’s urgent / Make it fast, make it urgent / Do it quick, do it urgent / Gotta rush, make it urgent / Want it quick / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / Urgent, urgent, emergency / So urgent, emergency / Emer… emer… emer… / It’s urgent.”
Reporter: There are those within the President’s party, certainly the former Secretary of State, that say that simply the venue itself is not the place to impose a solution from without. I just want to be clear that you think that, because you’re considering all of your options, you may consider the UN Security Council to be the venue to impose —
Kirby: I don’t – I’m not going to elaborate on my answer to you. I think I’d point you back to what I said before.
Reporter: Let me just follow up on this just for a second, okay? I mean, seeing how time after time you call on the Israelis to refrain from settlement activities, to cease settlement activities, you call them illegal and so on, but in fact they don’t really listen much to what you have to say. So in that case, in that situation, why not have a forum in the United Nations where the world can collectively come up with some sort of a resolution that they all agree on, which is the cessation of settlement activities? Why would you be opposed to that? Why can’t you say that you would support this at the United Nations?
Kirby: Again, I’m going to point you back to my original answer, which made it clear we’re not going to comment on a draft resolution that’s only been informally presented in New York, and that, as I said, we’ll consider all of our options to try to get to a two-state solution. So I think I’m just not going to go any further than that, Said. I know that’s not satisfying for you, but that’s really where we are right now.
(The conversation we refer to starts around min. 43:50)
Dateline, Moscow, Syria – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew from Damascus to Russia Tuesday night to thank president Vladimir Putin for saving his life and keeping in power, for the time being.
Assad has not left Syria since the Arab Spring swept through the country in 2011. He rode out the storm for a couple of months, backed by the Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who called him a “reformer,” before his heavy hand of suppression boomeranged into civil war.
So far, the alternative to Assad is a worse barbarian.
President Barack Obama says there will be no peace in Syria so long as Assad is in power. Fortunately, what he says means less and less in the world, especially in the Middle East and particularly in Syria, where Putin has outfoxed and out-smarted President Obama to fill the vacuum of power.
Putin’s massive military support for Assad, ostensibly to attack the Islamic State (ISIS) but in reality to protect the Assad regime from revel groups, Al Qaeda and a host of other enemies, has erased the overdone predictions that Assad is about to disappear, one way or the other.
Everyone has been saying that for four years, including Israel’s then Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who public stated that he would be toppled within six months. That was three years ago.
News of Assad’s visit was kept secret until Wednesday morning, when the Kremlin released a transcript of the Putin-Assad meeting. The Syrian president may have returned to Syria already.
Moscow is just about the only place on earth he could have visited without fearing that he might never return to Syria, unless in a coffin, if he were lucky.
The world’s “most dangerous man,” as Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Joel Brinkley once described Assad, was given a royal welcome by Putin, for whom Assad is a pawn.
Assad said during the visit:
First of all I wanted to express my huge gratitude to the whole leadership of the Russian Federation for the help they are giving Syria.
If it was not for your actions and your decisions the terrorism which is spreading in the region would have swallowed up a much greater area and spread over an even greater territory.
We are ready to make our contribution not only in the course of military actions in the fight against terrorism, but during the political process
The United States is the big loser in the Middle East chess game. It lost credibility long ago with the make-believe “peace process” that has left Kerry somewhere on another planet.
It remains to be seen whether Russia one day will be sorry for trying to be in charge of the Syrian-Iranian axis if the eternal Muslim hatred of outsiders trying to tell them what to do explodes in Moscow’s face.
For the time being, strange as it seems, Israel is a winner, despite the constant threat of Iran’s nuclear development that Russia has helped fund.
Assad is a butcher, dictator, a despot and corrupt, just like almost every other Middle East ruler. However, it was clear from the fall of Hosni Mubarak that the alternative of anarchy is even worse.
If Assad can remain in power, especially if Putin calls the shots, Israel can feel more secure that the Syrian his hatred of Israel and his threats to capture the Golan Heights will remain rhetoric.
Another bonus is that with Russia in charge, the United States will make less trouble.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Madrid on Monday that the French proposal for foreign troops to maintain order on the Temple Mount is “not needed.”
It was a rare public statement that put Kerry and Israel on the same side and which was expressed hours before Israeli officials spoke to their French counterparts in Jerusalem that the idea is, to be polite, insane.
Kerry told reporters:
We don’t contemplate any change, but nor does Israel. Israel understands the importance of that status quo. What is important is to make sure everybody understands what that means. We are not seeking some new change. We are not seeking outsiders or others to come in….
We need to have clarity.
It is ironic that his remarks were made in Madrid, where the United States launched the “peace process” with the presence of then-Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir, Jordanian and Egypt leaders, and President George H. W. Bush.
The “clarity” that Kerry said is lacking today has been messing ever since the Madrid conference. It is speculation to ask what would have happened if there had been no “peace process,” but the facts are that since 1991, the ensuing Oslo Accords set the stage for the Oslo War, aka the Second Intifada.
Israel has erased every red line except for the Temple Mount and the “refugee” issue. Concessions have cost the lives and limbs of thousands of Israelis who have been victims of Palestinian Authority “resistance,” the Arabic code word for terror.
The Arabs in Gaza, Judea and Samaria have paid a price not only in casualties but also with a miserable political and economic life that had flourished under the “occupation” until the Egyptian-born Arafat wore his camouflage of a “Palestinian” when he blew in from Tunisia.
Here is what President Bush told Congress several months before the Madrid Conference:
Peace will only come as the result of direct negotiations, compromise, give-and-take. Peace cannot be imposed from the outside by the United States or anyone else
And now Secretary of State John Kerry, even if he had enough common sense to dismiss the absurd French proposal, announces that “clarity” is needed.”
There never has been clarity since 1991 because the Americans and the Europeans cannot understand that Israel and the Arabs world never were talking the same language. The Arab understanding of “peace” is the Jewish State of Israel becoming the Arab state of Palestine.
Ever since, the United States has done the opposite and has imposed conditions on Israel, leaving a “consensus” that a future Palestinian Authority country would include all of Judea and Samaria except for large Jewish population centers such as Maaleh Adumim and Gush Etzion. Israel would have to rely on the PA to protect Jews form terrorists.
That “consensus” no longer exists because the Palestinian Authority, contrary to Bush’s statement, understands “compromise” as “you give, I take.”
It only was a matter of time until the Temple Mount became the excuse for terror and lies that Israel is trying to change the “status quo,” at the same time that the entire Arab world is trying to change it by declaring, “No Jews allowed.”
Today, Kerry’s simple words that rejected the French proposal for foreign troops are nothing short of a shock for the Arab world. The Palestinian Authority, which called for U.N. intervention to stop alleged “excessive violence” by Israel, never intended that and never would accept non-Muslims guarding the Temple Mount.
But the fact that Kerry said out loud that Israel understands the need to preserve the status quo is a clear signal to Mahmoud Abbas that he also has to do so.
The Arab arson of Joseph’s Tomb and the attacks by Palestinian Authority police on Jews who arrived at the holy site have finally forced the Obama administration to take a stand, and it clearly is not with an ISIS-like theology against non-Islamic holy sites.