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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘p5+1’

European Union to Open Iran Office

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

The European Union intends to open a new office in Iran.

The announcement was made in a statement marking the one-year anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — the nuclear deal signed with Iran by the five world powers led by the United States — whose numerous violations by Iran have been actively ignored by all the signatories.

“One year after the conclusion of the landmark deal… the European Union is pleased to note that the JCPOA is being implemented,” the EU said in its statement, released Thursday. “This demonstrates that with political will, perseverance and multilateral diplomacy, workable solutions can be found to the most difficult problems.”

Although, as the EU noted, economic and financial nuclear-related sanctions were indeed lifted in accordance with the agreement, Iran has repeatedly violated its end of the deal with tests of long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads and other activities.

Ironically, in its statement the EU said it “acknowledges that clarity regarding the lifting of sanctions is key to allow a full reengagement of European banks and businesses in Iran…For Iran to fully benefit from the lifting of sanctions, it is also important that it overcomes obstacles related to economic and fiscal policy, business environment and rule of law.

“The European Union and its member states stand ready to cooperate with Iran in these areas and to provide technical assistance, including on compliance with FATF requirements, and to consider the use of export credits to facilitate trade, project financing and investment.”

Money certainly does “make the world go round,” particularly in Europe, and the European Union is more than happy to help Iran spend as much of it as possible, as soon as is feasible, after the United States released some $150 billion in formerly frozen Iranian assets.

It is clear that everyone’s hands were washing each others’ in the JCPOA agreement signed in July 2015 in Vienna, and which is being reaffirmed this week in Tehran.

“The European Union reaffirms its commitment to further developing relations with Iran, in particular in areas such as trade, energy, human rights, civil nuclear cooperation, migration, environment, fight against transnational threats such as drugs, humanitarian cooperation, transport, research, education, culture and regional issues.

“In this regard it takes note of the final joint statement from the visit to Tehran of the High Representative with a group of Commissioners,” the statement continued.

“The European Union supports a strategy of gradual engagement that is comprehensive in scope, cooperative where there is mutual interest, critical when there are differences and constructive in practice.

“As part of that, the European Union intends to open an EU Delegation in Iran.

“The JCPOA is for the benefit of the entire region and creates the opportunity for improved regional cooperation that should be seized by all parties.

“The European Union calls on all parties to work towards a cooperative regional environment and to help reduce tensions. The EU reaffirms its commitment to help make an improved regional situation a reality.”

Hana Levi Julian

U.S. to Buy Heavy Water from Iran

Monday, April 25th, 2016

The United States has cut a deal with Iran to purchase heavy water from the Islamic Republic, according to a report posted on the Hezbollah-linked Al Manar website.

The report quoted PressTV as saying Iran will sell 32 metric tons of heavy water to the U.S.

Heavy water is used in certain types of nuclear reactors, where it acts as a neutron moderator to slow down neutrons so they are more likely to react with the fissile uranium-235 than with uranium-238, which captures neutrons without fissioning.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs, Abbas Araqchi told PressTV in Vienna on Friday the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran reached an agreement on the sale with a U.S. company before a joint commission meeting between Iran and the P5+1 group.

The agreement was reportedly signed following three months of negotiations.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Demands World Powers Punish Iran for Ballistic Missile Violations

Sunday, March 13th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Foreign Ministry on Saturday night to contact the six major world nations who signed a nuclear deal with Tehran and “demand immediate punitive measures be taken in the wake of Iran’s repeated and gross violations on the missiles issue.

“This is an important step in and of itself, and is also a test of the major powers in enforcing the nuclear agreement,” Netanyahu said.

The statement followed a series of Iranian military weapons tests last week that ended with Tehran crowing that it could now reach Israel with a long-range ballistic missile capable of destroying the Jewish State. The Islamic Republic even inscribed the missiles with a message in Hebrew that read, “Must destroy Israel.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari claimed Thursday (March 10) the missile drills did not violate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JPCOA) nuclear agreement between Tehran and the six major world powers.

Speaking to journalists, the spokesperson said the missile exercises also did not go against Resolution 2231 of the United Nations Security Council.

“Despite some Western allegations, the ballistic missiles fired in the nationwide exercises did not violate the JCPOA or the UN Resolution 2231.

“The short- medium- and long-range ballistic missiles fired during the drills were for deterrence and defense,” he said. “None of them could carry nuclear warheads, which by the way, is not in Iran’s defense doctrine,” he added.

Israeli intelligence experts said, however, the long-range ballistic missiles tested on Wednesday were indeed capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

Ansari claimed that Tehran had issued a statement following the adoption of the UN Security Council Resolution 2231 endorsing the JCPOA, which stipulated, “Iran will continue to take the necessary measures to strengthen its defense capabilities in order to protect its sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity against any aggression and to counter the menace of terrorism in the region.

“In this context, Iranian military capabilities, including ballistic missiles, are exclusively for legitimate defense. They have not been designed for WMD capability, and are thus outside the purview or authority of the Security Council resolution and its annexes.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) began the ballistic missile exercises last Tuesday, March 8. Called ‘Eqtedar-e Velayat‘, the command, tactical and special exercises were intended to test advanced missile defense systems as well as “showcase the deterrence power and the clout of the IRGC forces in defending the country’s territorial integrity against foreign threats,” according to the semi-official FARS news agency.

The drills were held in different geographical locations, using ballistic missiles fired from silos in Central Iran and mountain ranges in the North. The IRGC also fired two Iranian-made “Qadr H” ballistic missiles from the Eastern Alborz Mountains as part of ongoing IRGC drills.

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted by FARS on Wednesday as saying Iran’s long-range ballistic missiles can fly 400 kilometers above the ground to hit targets at 2,000 kilometers “within 12 to 13 minutes.”

Israel Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon sent an urgent letter to members of the UN Security Council this weekend calling for condemnation of Tehran’s test launch of the ballistic missiles this week.

“Iran continues to disregard its obligations to UN resolutions,” Danon wrote. “This latest provocation makes it clear that the ‘smile campaign’ of the current regime is nothing more than a smokescreen to disguise the real intentions of the ayatollah regime.”

Danon added that the missile tests were “a gross violation” of Security Council resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement and which restricts Iran from launching missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Hana Levi Julian

Emirati Business Leader Slams Obama, Euro Leaders on IranDeal

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

An Emirati business leader and writer has stepped out on a limb to harshly criticize the nuclear deal with Iran reached by U.S.-led world powers.

Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor slammed the side deal reached between Iran and the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency in a series of articles written last month in the UAE English-language daily The National, all of which were gathered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

The Emirati businessman wrote that this deal proves that an organization “known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring” has been politicized by the agreement’s signers. Bluntly, he wrote, the signers are either seeking to cut lucrative trade deals with Iran or, in the case of U.S. President Barack Obama, are aiming to cement their legacy.

Al-Habtoor wrote that the self-monitoring arrangement agreed to by the IAEA belies Obama’s assertion that the deal between Iran and the P5+1 would enjoy “unprecedented verification.”

He added that he cannot understand why Iran, with its unbroken record of hostility to the West, is being treated so deferentially in comparison with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

“When I first learned from the news that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had signed a secret agreement permitting Iran to self-monitor at least one of its major nuclear sites, I shrugged off the news as a figment of someone’s heated imagination,” he wrote.

“It is inconceivable that the world’s nuclear watchdog, known for its professionalism and stringent monitoring, would sign off on something so bizarre – or so I initially believed.

“Iraq, whose nuclear activities, both civilian and military, were dismantled following the Gulf War, certainly did not get off that lightly. Even after years of intrusive inspections, the IAEA under the directorship of Mohammed ElBaradei declined to present Iraq’s deserved clean bill of health to the UN Security Council prior to the US-led invasion.

“Yet the Islamic Republic of Iran, that has been spinning thousands of centrifuges to enrich uranium beyond accepted civilian levels and has refused to come clean on its past activities in this sphere, is trusted to inspect itself.”

This disparity, he pointed out, fuels suspicions that the agreement, and its “farcical verification procedures,” are part of a broader strategy of deliberately empowering Iran to fit a geopolitical end-game.

“My view broadly reflects the opinions of many of Iran’s neighbors, who are rightly fearful that the lifting of sanctions will see Iran’s coffers overflowing into the hands of its armed proxies.

“President Obama has repeatedly countered our concerns on the grounds that curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions for 10 years is better than no deal. I did not find his arguments credible then, but now that the existence of secret side agreements have come to the fore, my suspicions that Iran is being deliberately empowered to fit a geopolitical end-game are heightened.

“I would love to know why a country that has been hostile to Western powers and their allies since its inception in 1979 is being so rewarded. Or is this animosity with the West just a farce to fool us?” In a second article also in August, Al-Habtoor slammed European countries, as well as the U.S., for the sudden change in their attitude towards Iran.

He noted that European countries, which until very recently was treated Tehran as a bitter enemy, are now rushing headlong to reopen their embassies there and to invite Iranian leaders to visit their capitals. This, despite the fact that Iran has given no indication that it means to change its ways, such as the suppression of minorities and its support of terrorism.

“European capitals are eyeing up lucrative trade deals and planning to reopen their embassies in Tehran. Iranian-Russian trade is set to expand exponentially… Iran’s oil industry is gearing up to expand production of crude to pre-sanctions levels, which could see already depressed oil prices spiraling to new lows.

Hana Levi Julian

The ‘Iran Deal’ Was Not Signed by Iran or Anyone Else

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

The Nuclear Iran Deal that is at the epicenter of a Congressional battle and the focus of so much attention for months is not actually any deal at all, as not one of the parties, including any representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has signed the Agreement.

This morning, Sept. 18, Cong. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. In that letter Pompeo informed the Secretary that while reviewing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Nuclear Iran Deal), he noted that there are no signatures on the so-called final Agreement.

Without signatures, there can be no legally binding contract.

There apparently is no “Iran Deal.”

Pompeo asked Kerry to provide a copy of the JCPOA with signatures and signing authority, so that members of Congress and the rest of the American people know that the parties to the agreement have “confirm[ed] each country’s commitment to the agreement” and that “makes clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.”

International affairs scholar and Iran expert Michael Ledeen pointed out more than two months ago that Iran’s Ayatollah Khameini would not allow his country to sign the JCPOA. Ledeen’s point then, and today, is that the desperation exhibited by the Obama administration made clear to the Iranian leader that “there is no reason for him to approve a hated deal with the devil. It’s much better to keep talking until all the sanctions are gone, and Iran’s ‘right’ to pursue its nuclear projects is fully recognized.”

It appears that Ledeen’s prediction was dead-on. If there is no signed agreement, even the feeble conditions placed on Iran by Team Kerry’s negotiators are unenforceable.

When asked what then, is the current status of the JCPOA, assuming the administration did not just, oh, forget to distribute to Congress the signed version, Ledeen told the JewishPress.com: “It’s a verbal agreement. It means the diplomats meeting in Vienna thought it was a good agreement, but that is all. It is not enforceable.”

Ledeen said he could not think of any other major international agreement, certainly not any of the portentous nature of the Iran Deal, where lawmakers moved forward to begin implementation without having a signed agreement in place.

“Anyone who has read in the media that the ‘Iran Deal’ was signed has to now know they were lied to, it has not happened.”

So what next?

Congress could, conceivably, pass a law forbidding the lifting of sanctions. That’s been tried, you say? True, but will the same members of Congress who support the deal, the same ones who never read significant portions of the deal, and who had those portions explained to them by people who themselves never read the deal are willing to once again vote against or even bar a vote on a stay on the lifting of sanctions when they know there is nothing preventing Tehran from violating any of the purportedly agreed-to conditions? Will they really?

Cong. Pompeo’s letter to Secretary Kerry follows:

Dear Secretary Kerry:


I have reviewed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the P5+1 and Islamic Republic of Iran – or at least the parts of the agreement that were provided to Congress by the administration.  As you know, pursuant to H. Res. 411, the House of Representatives considers the documents transmitted on July 19, 2015 incomplete in light of the fact that the secret side deals between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Islamic Republic of Iran were not provided to Congress.  I look forward to seeing the entire agreement – including the two secret side deals that are part of the JCPOA – so that Congress may continue to evaluate the JCPOA and, depending on the outcome of the vote under the relevant provisions of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, potentially end the current and continuing prohibition of the lifting of sanctions on Iran.

During that review, I found that the copies provided to Congress of the JCPOA are not signed by any of the P5+1 members nor by Iran.  Having never seen an international agreement of this magnitude not signed by the parties or an agent of the parties, I assume this is simply an oversight or an administrative error.  That is, Congress must not have the final version of the agreement that would necessarily be signed.  I request that you provide us with copies of a final, executed copy of the JCPOA.  In the event that the JCPOA has not yet been signed by the parties, please inform us (a) when signatures will be placed on the agreement, (b) what parties will be signing, and (c) which person you anticipate will sign on behalf of each of those parties, including on behalf of the United States.

I am confident that you intended for the JCPOA to be signed by each of the P5+1 participants.  I can find no international agreement of this “historic” nature that was not signed by the parties.  Each of the past five major nuclear agreements to which the U.S. is a party – SALT I, SALT II, START I, START II and the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – were signed by representatives of each nation that was party to the agreement.  This is not a mere formality.  Those signatures represent the commitment of the signatory and the country on whose behalf he or she is signing.

A signature also serves to make clear precisely who the parties to the agreement are and the authority under which that nation entered into the agreement.  In short, just as with any legal instrument, signing matters.

This is particularly important with respect to JCPOA.  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has made clear that he does not believe that JCPOA is legally binding on his nation, saying, “If the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is sent to (and passed by) parliament, it will create an obligation for the government.  It will mean the president, who has not signed it so far, will have to sign it.  Why should we place an unnecessary legal restriction on the Iranian people?”

Given the many benefits that will accrue to the ayatollahs, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and other unsavory elements of the Iranian regime, I believe that Iran should, at the very least, bind itself to the few requirements placed on it under the JCPOA by signing the agreement.  I also believe that the United States and its P5+1 partners on the JCPOA should execute the agreement on behalf of their countries.  I look forward to your response.

We all do.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

British MP Accuses UK of Supporting Iran ‘at Expense of Allies’

Friday, September 4th, 2015

By Alexander Apfel

A British Member of Parliament has accused Britain of supporting an “aggressive” Iranian regime “at the expense of our long-term allies in the region” following the British reopening of its embassy in Tehran.

Conservative MP Guto Bebb told Tazpit that UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond’s hopes for Iran as a reformable regime are “misguided” and also warned that the agreement will spawn a nuclear arms race.

The Aberconwy MP, who called for a parliamentary debate in June to discuss the Iranian nuclear deal then under discussion, added that the latitude given to the Iranian government would have been unacceptable to the UK government a year ago.

Bebb stated that he advocated the continuation of sanctions which he said were proving to be effective measures against Iranian aggression.

Rejecting Philip Hammond’s parliamentary remarks that the deal represented a victory for diplomacy and assurances to Prime Minister Netanyahu in July that it removes the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, Bebb told Tazpit that he is amazed “that the Foreign Secretary seems to consider this a success story; his predecessor Liam Fox considers this to be completely unacceptable.”

He predicted that the deal will likely result in a nuclear arms race in the region beginning with Saudi Arabia. Recounting meetings with representatives of British allies in the region, Bebb claimed that they had all expressed concern for any deal which provides Iran with too much flexibility.

While expressing his concern for Israel’s security, Bebb insisted that fears of a nuclear arms race were not restricted to Israel and that the debate he called “was not an issue for Israel alone.”

Addressing Israel, the MP told Tazpit that it is important to “understand the difference between a peaceful and democratic state that is trying to live within its own borders and Iran that will use its nuclear capacity to dominate the Middle East.”

In July 2014, the British Conservative Friends of Israel, of which Bebb is a member, issued a statement decrying the economic sanctions relief which, they said will serve to embolden terror groups funded by Iran.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

President Rivlin Warns not to Accept Iran ‘with One Click of a Pen’

Monday, August 31st, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin received foreign ambassadors Monday with a thinly veiled warning that the P5+1 deal with Iran doesn’t mean that “with one click of a pen, Iran becomes a member of the club.”

At his second ore-Rosh HaShanah reception for more than 100 foreign envoys since he became president,

President Rivlin said:

Iran continues to threaten stability in the region and around the world. Their backing of terror, in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and Iraq, makes Iran’s nuclear ambitions, truly terrifying – not just for Israel, but for all.

It cannot be that with one flick of a pen, Iran becomes a member of the club, and instead the world turns to single out the victim of Iran’s aggression. It cannot be that in one moment of diplomacy the reality is changed so completely. We know too well that real political change requires education, confidence building, and dialogue. None of which can happen overnight.

Cameroon Ambassador Henry Etoundi Essomba, speaking as dean of the diplomatic corps, wished the Jewish People a happy new year and noted that “on the humanitarian front, Israel can be proud to belong to coalition of countries always prepared to assist people facing humanitarian crises around the world – as was the case after the earthquake in Nepal.”

He said nothing about Iran or the nuclear agreement.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/president-rivlin-warns-not-to-accept-iran-with-one-click-of-a-pen/2015/08/31/

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