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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

Corker-Menendez Bill So Bipartisan that Even Obama No Longer Objects

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

In what looks like a complete reversal, the proposed legislation intended to impose tough Congressional oversight of the Iranian nuclear deal has been the subject of so much compromise that rather than simply gaining enough Democrats to override President Barack Obama’s threatened veto, it has gained the support of the President himself.

The President said that so long as the legislation passed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, April 13, is not the subject of further amendments, the President will not veto the bill but instead will sign it.

The vote in the Committee in favor of the bill was 19-0. The zero may represent the teeth remaining in the legislation, or it may simply mirror the rounded mouths of the president’s advisers who told him Congress would not dare insert themselves into his foreign policy prerogatives.

At this point some of the details of the compromise legislation have been revealed: the original Corker-Menendez Congressional review period was 60 days after the negotiators concluded their deal, the amended bill which was approved Tuesday afternoon provides for 52 days of Congressional review.

The way it works, according to Omri Ceren of The Israel Project, is this: once the President’s team of negotiators (and their counterparts from the other P5+1 countries) arrive at a deal, Congress then has 30 days to review the details. “If Congress acts to block the deal,” it is expected that the President will veto the blocking legislation, and then Congress will have the additional 22 days to assemble a large enough group of lawmakers to override the veto. They will need 67 senators to join on to a veto override.

A change the White House wanted which was removed from the proposed legislation was requiring the President to certify that Iran was not supporting or itself engaging in terrorism against Americans or the United States.

Two things that Israel supporters wanted that they did not get was, first, language in the bill that would require the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize Israel as a fellow nation, and two, have the deal between the U.S. and Iran be treated as if it were a treaty rather than an executive agreement. Had that been the case, it would have had to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

The next stage is for the House of Representatives to consider the Corker-Menendez bill.

Putin Lifts Ban on Selling Iran S-300 Missiles in Return for Oil

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday lifted the ban for delivering to Iran S-300 anti-missile systems in return for oil in a move that is going to send Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu through the roof.

Putin’s daring move to pocket billions from the emerging deal on Iran’s nuclear program, in which Russia has a huge investment, paves the way to allow Iran to defend itself better against American, Israeli or Saudi missiles.

The S-300 systems would make it more difficult for a retaliatory attack on Iran in the event that Tehran is caught reneging on a deal and caught in the last stages of developing a nuclear weapon.

Russia suspended deliveries of the systems after pressure from the United States, encouraged by Israel, and from other Western countries five years ago.

The missiles-for-oil deal could be worth up to $20 billion.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters that the deal does not violate current sanctions.

“In exchange for Iranian crude oil supplies, we are delivering certain products,” he stated.

Israel has not yet commented on Putin’s lifting the ban on the deliveries of the missile systems but definitely will make it clear to the U.S. Congress that it makes President Barack Obama’s agreement for a temporary framework deal even more problematic.

The deal does not stop Iran from continuing to develop inter-continental ballistic missiles that could easily reach Israel.

Put together ICBM missiles, S-300 anti-missile systems and a “bad deal” and you come up with a nuclear weapon aimed at Israel.

Putin’s announcement Monday is great timing for Republican senators.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will formally draft legislation tomorrow that would prevent President Barack Obama from lifting sanctions against Iran for 60 days while Congress reviews the final deal and possibly vote to keep sanctions in place.

 

 

Echoing Netanyahu, Livni and Herzog Criticize Major Holes in Obama Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Even Israel’s Left are unsatisfied with US President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While US President Obama ignores Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very specific criticisms and recommended amendments of major faults in the P5+1 nuclear deal, which the Prime Minister has dubbed a “bad deal”, the Zionist Union party, led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni added their voices to the criticism, presenting their own alternative plan of action for Israel and the P5+1.

The two Leftwing leaders said the current deal was “problematic” and potentially dangerous over the long term, echoing the Prime Minister of Israel.

They said these problems must be fixed before a June 30th signing.

Among the changes they demanded in their alternate plan of actions, quite similar to some of Netanyahu’s demands, are eliminating Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile, forbidding Iran from using both new or old centrifuges, allowing intrusive inspections, and only a gradual lifting of sanctions.

Unlike Netanyahu, the two want Israel to officially receive a green light from the US as part of an official understanding, where Israel can strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with US permission and backing, if Iran violates the agreement and Israel is endangered.

The duo’s last demand is both understandable and problematic, as Israel doesn’t need a green light from anyone to defend itself from an existential threat, though knowing the US isn’t going to obstruct your attack is important.

The two added that Israel and US must hold immediate and deep strategic discussions before the agreement is signed. It appears that currently, at the highest level, those discussions are not happening.

The pair said, the US that needs to make clear to Iran, that US military action is still on the table, if Iran violates the agreement with the P5+1.

Obama’s Jewish Support Sinks to 50 Percent

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Jewish voters’ support for President Barack Obama has sunk from 61 percent in January to only 50 percent in March, according to a new Gallup poll.

The gap between approval of the president by Jews and by the national average has narrowed to only 8 percentage points for the first three months and 4 points for the last month.

The emerging deal with Iran and President Obama’s attacks and affronts to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are the reasons for the drop in support among Jews.

Among Orthodox Jews, defined as those who attend synagogue at least once a week, the approval rating is only 34 percent.  Support among Jews who do not have a college degree was only 39 percent compared with 62 percent among those with a higher education degree.

Jewish women approve of President Obama by 11 percentage points more than men over the past 15 months, while the national average is only 6 percent points between women and men.

The question is whether President Obama’s drooping popularity among Jews will be translated into support for a Republican presidential candidate at the polls.

If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, Jewish support for her is expected to rise sharply.

Republicans should not jump for joy too soon, author Josh Zeitz told Politico.

“As was the case then, today, most American Jews cast their votes as concerned American liberals and moderates, not as foreign proxies for the Israeli government,” he said.

Zeitz added:

But that doesn’t stop the GOP from hoping.

There’s always a place for tradition. Every year during Passover, Jews open the door in expectation of the Prophet Elijah, who will someday herald the coming of the Messiah. And every four years, the pundits await the great Jewish embrace of the Republican Party.

As it was said then, so it is said now: Next year in New Hampshire.

Obama Spins Tale that Netanyahu Offered no Alternative to Iran Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu traded shots on the proposed deal with Iran through separate statements that continue what has become a conversation of the deaf.

The Prime Minister two weeks ago stated that a better deal would be one that “would significantly roll back Iran’s nuclear infrastructure [and] link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program to a change in Iran’s behavior.”

He added:

Iran must stop its aggression in the region, stop its terrorism throughout the world and stop its threats to annihilate Israel. That should be non-negotiable and that’s the deal that the world powers must insist upon.

President Obama said on Saturday:

The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it [the deal]. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked –w hat is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.

The key word is “good” because Obama insists he has come up with a “good deal” that Netanyahu asserts is a “bad deal.”

Obama’s reasoning is that Iran will reject a “better deal,” which would mean “no deal,” exactly what Israel, Republicans, and some Democrats have said is better than a “bad deal.” For Obama, “no deal” is worse than a “bad deal” that he insists is a “good deal.”

It’s enough to drive a card player nuts, and since Iran is dealing most of the cards, it is the only one who knows what joker it has up its sleeve.

An outstanding example of President Obama’s frame of mind  that a deal is an end and not a means is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement after Iran’s Revolutionary Guards commander said that eliminating Israel is “non-negotiable.” The Prime Minister responded that Iran’s recognizing Israel should be “non-negotiable.”

Obama replied that the idea simply is not practical. So forget it.

It also is not practical to make sure that Iran does not have the infrastructure to obtain a nuclear bomb in the future. So forget it.

Netanyahu said Saturday at a tradtional post-Passover Mimouna celebration, “To my regret, all of the things I warned about vis-à-vis the framework agreement that was put together in Lausanne are coming true before our eyes.

“This framework gives the leading terrorist state in the world a certain path to nuclear bombs, which would threaten Israel, the Middle East and the entire world. We see that Iran is being left with significant nuclear capabilities; it is not dismantling them, it is preserving them. We also see that the inspection is not serious. How can such a country be trusted? …

“We see that the sanctions are being lifted, immediately, according to Iran’s demand, and this is without Iran having changed its policy of aggression everywhere, not just against Israel, but in Yemen, the Bab el-Mandeb, the Middle East and through global terrorist networks. The most dangerous terrorist state in the world must not be allowed to have the most dangerous weapons in the world.

President Obama’s turning a deal with Iran into an end and not a means is illustrated in an article on The Hill website Saturday, in which it outlined five keys areas where the United States made concessions to Iran in order to reach a temporary framework agreement:

Banning uranium enrichment: Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use…The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Obama Mocks Netanyahu’s ‘Red Line’ Cartoon with Inaccurate Sketch

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

The White House Wednesday tweeted a diagram promoting the nuclear deal with Iran that directly ridiculed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s “red line” cartoon in the United Nations three years ago — but the White House version also was full of inaccuracies.

Netanyahu’s cartoon, which was headlined around the world, show a red near the top of a bomb to get across his point that “there is only one way to peacefully prevent Iran from getting atomic bombs and that is by placing a clear red line on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”

Wise guys at the White House dreamed up a similar diagram with an opposite message and with the help of a blue line at the bottom of the bomb to illustrate that Iran has a zero chance of developing a nuclear bomb under the administration’s proposed deal.

“Under the framework for an Iran nuclear deal, Iran uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon will be shut down,” the chart reads.

There is one problem with the diagram. It is not true.

President Obama has actually bragged that Iran will be limited to “only” 6,000 centrifuges, all of which can produce uranium, which would be low-grade. The sketch accurately states that under the deal, there will be “no production or stockpile of highly enrich uranium.” Experts have said that 6000 centrifuges is enough to produce a bomb.

But a picture tells a thousand words, in and this case, they all are wrong because that little blue line clearly shows Iran would have “0%” enriched uranium, which is a lie.

The Obama administration’s diagram also claims that Iran would be 90 percent on the way to a bomb if there is no deal, but that statement only makes Netanyahu’s argument stronger as Iran is so close to achieving that, it could easily violate the deal and achieve its goal while the world argues about whether to impose stiff sanctions after the fact.

President Obama also admitted this week, that in just over a decade — with the deal, Iran would be able to get the bomb before anyone would even notice. The State Department tried to walk that one back.

Jacques Hymans, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Southern California and an expert on nuclear proliferation, told Vox.com last year:

As long as they have those centrifuges sitting there, the deal is really walking on thin ice.

Below is the White House’s latest gimmick to sell the nuclear deal with Iran.

The White House's inaccurate sketch.

The White House’s inaccurate sketch.

 

 

Ex-Sec’y of States Kissinger and Shultz Blow Up Obama’s Deal with Iran [video]

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Two former secretaries of State have co-authored a thoroughly reasoned and blistering condemnation of the Obama administration and the rest of the P5+1 agreement with Iran, but the government totally rejected their comments.

Henry Kissinger and George Schultz, both of whom were as far as possible from being considered pro-Israel, wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Obama’s approach to Iran that can lead the Islamic Republic to the capability of easily ditching the deal, procuring a nuclear weapon and leaving the United States holding an empty bag.

They stated that Obama’s approach is full of holes that risk an even more volatile Middle East, and wrote:

For Iran to be a valuable member of the international community, the prerequisite is that it accepts restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East and challenge the broader international order.

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf, as seen and heard in the video below, dismissed Kissinger and Schultz’s article as nothing more than “big words and big thoughts.”

She pointed that they did present an alternative while ignoring one that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has constantly suggested – a better deal.

President Barack Obama’s defense has been that his deal is the best possible, and therefore he is trying to sell it as if it is a “good deal.”

The two former secretaries of State’s rejection of his policy is a severe blow to his defense, even if they did serve in Republican administrations. The Senate reportedly is only two votes short of a veto-proof majority to pass a bill demanding that the proposed deal be subjected to Congressional review.

Kissinger and Schultz wrote, “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests—and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first 10 years….Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”

Their criticism of the arrangement with Iran focused on problems of verification, enforcing the conditions, re-establishing sanctions, and the failure of Obama’s policy to link political restraint with nuclear restraint, setting the stage for Iran to fulfill Israel and Sunni-ruled powers such as Saudi Arabia that Tehran will destabilize the entire region in an effort to control it.

They wrote:

Unless political restraint is linked to nuclear restraint, an agreement freeing Iran from sanctions risks empowering Iran’s hegemonic efforts… [Iran must accept] restraints on its ability to destabilize the Middle East.

Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.

Harf’s unconvincing response was:

I didn’t hear a lot of alternatives. [I] heard a lot of, sort of, big words and big thoughts in that piece.”

In a perfect world, of course we would have an agreement that would do all of these things. But we are living in the real world, and that’s the responsibility of the secretary to negotiate where we can see if we can get this one issue dealt with….

We have always said that once you start linking the nuclear issue, which is complicated enough on its own, with all these other issues, it’s really hard to get anything done.

That is why the Obama administration has dismissed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence that Iran signal that it does not want to destroy Isle simply be recognizing the country. The president said that is a lousy idea because it is not practical, meaning it would make a deal impossible. The “deal” has become the ends and not the means, and that is why Harf, Obama, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and all of the other administration sages look like used-car salesmen.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ex-secy-of-states-kissinger-and-shultz-blow-up-obamas-deal-with-iran/2015/04/09/

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