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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Rouhani’

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.

New Shudders: Guess What Else Team Kerry Gave Away?

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

For the majority of Americans who have already figured out that the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by U.S. President Barack Obama’s team led by Secretary of State John Kerry is a win for the mullahs intent on acquiring nuclear weapons capacity, there’s more nightmare-generating bad news.

Kerry has admitted to various American lawmakers that both Russia and China, as well as Europe will be shielded from any “snapback” in renewed sanctions should Iran be found red-handed violating the few prohibitions contained in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Secretary of State also disclosed that under the deal he and his team deftly negotiated, the testing of ballistic missiles (those nasty vehicles which can be used to deliver nuclear weapons) is perfectly okay.

Why doesn’t the JCPOA cover testing of ballistic missiles, you ask? It is because there is already a United Nations Security Council Resolution which tells them they “should not” test such missiles. Should. Please.

Not to pick a sore point, but the beloved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (so much better than his predecessor Ahmadinejad – this one smiles!) is already on the record dismissing any limitations on Iran’s missile program, including those in the new U.N Resolution.

All of these revelations were discovered by the Washington Free Beacon‘s Adam Kredo, who obtained documents and information from various lawmakers, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

Kerry admitted to Rubio (R., Fla.) that “the United States will work with foreign companies who financially engage Iran to shield them from penalties in the aftermath of Iran violating the agreement,” Kredo wrote.

In an on-the-record statement, Kerry admitted that the Obama administration had confidentially guaranteed the U.S. “would not retroactively sanction companies” doing business with Iran. The U.S. also offered to work with any such companies to help bring them into compliance with any new (snapback) sanctions.

“For companies that have contracts that would otherwise continue after snapback, we have a consistent past practice of working with companies to wind down their contracts,” Kredo quotes from Kerry’s written statement.

All those red lines and “biting” sanctions the Obama campaign crowed about during the last election have turned out to be smiley faces and air kisses now that there are no more elections for him.

‘Peace for Our Time’ – Iran Nuclear Deal Announced on ‘Black Tuesday’

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Iran and the P5+1 powers announced a final agreement shortly after noon (Israeli time) on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. It will take a year to understand if the deal actually stops helps Iran get its hands on a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned yesterday that Israel’s failure to prevent a “bad deal” does not change its determination to use whatever means necessary to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

French Foreign minister Laurent Fabius said the nuclear deal will sufficient for “at least for the period of the first 10 years.”

Congress has 60 days to review the bill, but it will not be able to torpedo it unless there is a wholesale rebellion of Democrats that would prevent a presidential veto of non-approval by legislators.

Rouhani has provided plenty of ammunition for opponents to the deal, having said that Iran still will consider the United States an enemy country.

Iran Legislative Compromises may Cause Nuclear Explosion in Washington

Monday, April 27th, 2015

This week the U.S. Senate will meet to discuss what input Congress will have before sanctions imposed on Iran for violating a slew of U.N. Resolutions regarding its nuclear program can be lifted.

The offerings of amendments by various senators – whether for wholly ideological reasons, for presidential campaign purposes, or a combination and perhaps other factors – may result in a nuclear explosion of a whole other sort than the one the entire process was created to circumvent, and this one entirely within Washington, D.C.

The legislation formally known as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and informally as the Corker or the Corker-Menendez bill, was unanimously approved and voted out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this month.

The INARA which came out of committee imposed a change on the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Until then, Congress played no role.

With the passage of Corker’s bill in its current form, Congressional sanctions against Iran could not be lifted even following a signed agreement with Iran, for 30 days, while Congress reviews the Agreement.

Congress could vote against lifting sanctions if it votes down the final deal, although this would require the vote of a significantly higher number of Senators than most think is likely, and led some critics to say the final version was actually helpful to the administration, despite their feigned annoyance.

The bill in its current state would also require this administration and all future ones to certify that Iran was following the terms of the agreement.

Corker, with the assistance of Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin (D), successfully maneuvered the bill out of the SFRC without any of the threatened amendments which they claimed would kill the deal, and leave Congress with no voice at all.

But, as Corker himself admitted, anything can happen in the “Wild West” of the full Senate floor.

And it looks like quite a few gunslingers are loading up their barrels with various amendments, any one of which may force a serious showdown between the administration and the Senate, between the Democrats and the Republicans in the Senate, and even, perhaps, amongst the Republicans themselves.

Florida’s presidential contender Marco Rubio (R) is busily showing the gathering crowd what ammunition he plans to unload, and he has quite an array in his arsenal. Each of these amendments, if passed, would constitute a condition Iran would have to meet in order for the U.S. to lift the current Congressional sanctions on Iran.

Rubio wants to require Iran to recognize the state of Israel. He also wants Iran to release American prisoners being held, such as Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) wants the administration to certify that Iran is not supporting terrorism targeting Americans at home or abroad.

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) want a provision which would require Congressional approval of the deal, rather than simply the right to defeat it.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has said he will introduce an amendment that will require the administration to treat this deal with Iran as a treaty and not simply an executive agreement. The difference, of course, being that Congress plays a full partnership role with respect to a treaty, and almost no rule in an executive agreement.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-ARK), prime mover behind the Congressional Republican’s open letter to Rouhani, which supporters of the administration claimed was treasonous, said he agrees with Johnson. “A major arms control treaty with the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism should be treated as a treaty,” Cotton said.

“The president should have to get 67 votes for a major nuclear arms agreement with an outlaw regime,” said Cotton. He wants to lower the number of votes needed to reject a deal from 60 to 51.

All those packing amendments are Republicans. “I have not heard of a single amendment on the Democratic side,” said Foreign Relations ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Md.), who worked closely with Corker to keep the SFRC members in line during the vote in that committee.

One option being discussed which would appease the opponents of the current bill, and still avoid incorporating language that may prove insurmountable for the Iranians, is to allow the inclusion of a “sense of the Senate” provision. This means the concerns would be raised in the narrative portion of the bill, but those points do not become an enforceable part of the legislation.

Debate in the Senate will begin on Tuesday, April 28. Once the bill is voted out of the Senate, it then has to be taken up in the House of Representatives.

Netanyahu Warns ‘Bad Deal’ with Iran Repeats Appeasement to Hitler

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned that the “bad deal” with Iran repeats the sin of appeasing the evil Nazi regime.

In his remarks at the beginning of Holocaust Remembrance away, the Prime Minister  said:

Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a “master race” to replace it in controlling the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state.

The Prime Minister said that before World War II, “The free world tried to appease the Nazi regime, to gain its trust, to curry its favor through gestures. There were those who warned that this compromising policy would only whet Hitler’s appetite, but these warnings were ignored due to the natural human desire for calm at all costs. And indeed, the price was exacted not long later, and it .was too heavy to bear – six million of our people were slaughtered in the Holocaust….

“Today, evermore threats challenge the human civilization. Radical Islamic forces are flooding the Middle East, destroying remnants of the past, torturing the helpless, murdering innocents. They hope to establish caliphates, more than one, like in the Middle Ages. At the same time, the extremist regime in Iran is oppressing its people; it is rushing forward and submerging the Middle East in blood and suffering – in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Gaza and across the border of the Golan.”

Netanyahu stressed that Iran not only is accumulating a stockpile of ballistic missiles but also is exporting terror by openly trying to take over parts of the Middle East while appeasers remain blind to reality.

Prime Minister Netanyahu quoted the Prophet Isaiah:

For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples.

He commented, “The determination and lessons that were acquired in blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place. The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized. The West is yielding in the face of Iran’s aggressive actions. Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the nuclear program in Iran – a country that clearly states its plans to exterminate six million Jews here and elsewhere, to eradicate many countries and many regimes – the superpowers back down. They are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities, and even allowing it to expand them later on, regardless of Iran’s actions in the Middle East and around the world.

“As the civilized world is lulled into slumber on a bed of illusions, the rulers of Iran continue to encourage subversion and terrorism, and disseminate destruction and death. The superpowers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting ‘Death to America; Death to Israel.’

“They turn a blind eye to the scenes of execution of those who oppose the regime and the members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also again hinted that a new Sunni Arab-Israeli alliance is taking place in the face of the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“The bubble of this illusion is going to burst. Democratic governments made a critical mistake before World War II, and we are convinced – and I must say that many of our neighbors are too – that they are making a grave mistake now too,” the Prime Minister declared. “It is possible that this partnership with many of our neighbors, the partnership in identifying threats, is the foundation for the partnership in forging a better, safer and more peaceful future in our region

Iran Warns US on Sanctions: ‘All or Nothing’

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Iran has threatened to scuttle the Obama administration’s “key parameters” for a deal to cover its nuclear program and said Washington’s “fact sheet”  misrepresents last week’s agreement.

Sure enough, before the ink hardly has dried on the arrangement, agreement or key parameters – depending on your spin – Iran has warned that President Barack Obama must annul all sanctions.

The State Dept. Fact sheet states:

U.S. and E.U. nuclear-related sanctions will be suspended after the IAEA has verified that Iran has taken all of its key nuclear-related steps. If at any time Iran fails to fulfill its commitments, these sanctions will snap back into place.

The architecture of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions on Iran will be retained for much of the duration of the deal and allow for snap-back of sanctions in the event of significant non-performance.

U.S. sanctions on Iran for terrorism, human rights abuses, and ballistic missiles will remain in place under the deal.

As we have written here before, any agreement between the West and Iran or the Arab world simply is a basis for another argument.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed the “fact sheet” as fiction and stated on Sunday, “During the negotiations, we have always planned for the termination of the economic, financial and banking sanctions and we have never negotiated on their suspension, otherwise, no understanding would be made.”

State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf said Friday, “We expect for the anti-Iran sanctions suspension piece to happen generally within the first year, but again, if Iran takes these steps more quickly, then the suspension can come more quickly.”

Iran’s deputy lead negotiator Seyed Abbas Araqchi contradicted her and said, “This is a wrong impression about the Lausanne understanding [that] explicitly states that the sanctions will be annulled; all nuclear-related economic and financial sanctions will be removed in the first stage.”

Now that Iran has a temporary deal in hand, it is acting as if it has the upper hand. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is desperate for some kind of achievement on paper than can mask his countless failures. A deal might even win him a Nobel Peace Prize and give President Obama’s justification for having prematurely received it in his first term of office, before he by his own admission had not done anything to earn it.

Foreign Minister Zarif warned on Sunday Iran can walk away from the deal just as easily as Obama can threaten to do so.

He told Iranian television:

Either side in this agreement can, in the case of the other side violating the agreement, cease its own steps.

As with Palestinian Authority “negotiations” with Israel, under the iron fist of the Obama administration, it already is clear that Iran already is negotiating in public to push Obama further against the wall.

The more he pushes, the more Congress might push back and ditch the deal.

Iran Counting on Obama’s Weakness

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

With the P5+1 nuclear talks resuming in Vienna, many observers are sensing optimism that a deal with Iran is within reach. After dropping their insistence that Iran give up enriching uranium in order to gain Tehran’s acquiescence to an interim nuclear deal last November, the U.S. and its allies appear to be confident that another few meetings will produce an accord that will put an end to the confrontation with the Islamist regime over their efforts to build nuclear weapons.

The best they hope to achieve is an agreement that will lengthen the time Iran needs to convert its stockpile of uranium into nuclear fuel rather than the end of the program that President Obama promised during his 2012 reelection campaign.

But the administration and its supporters seem to think that rather than take the chance that the West will strengthen rather than weaken economic sanctions on it, Iran will do the smart thing and sign on the dotted line. While that won’t really end the nuclear threat, it will grant President Obama the appearance of a diplomatic victory and lead to the end of a sanctions policy that is already in danger of unraveling after the interim deal.

But rather than play ball with Obama, Iran’s leaders look to be playing hardball. As Haaretz reports, both Supreme Leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani issued statements yesterday that make it clear they are in the talks to win them, not to merely acquiesce to a process that is already paving a path to nuclear capability for them.

In speaking to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, Khamenei mocked the notion that the country would go along with any limits on its ability to produce and deploy ballistic missiles. Meanwhile, Rouhani, the man President Obama and other advocates of the talks have depicted as a “moderate” whose victory in a faux election last year set the stage for reform of the brutal theocracy, said the best the U.S. could hope for in the talks was “transparency” and that the Islamist regime would accept no limits on its nuclear technology.

While Washington will, no doubt, dismiss the statements as mere posturing for a domestic audience that won’t impact the talks, these declarations come at an inopportune time for the Obama administration. They raise the possibility that Iran is planning to back away from any deal, even one as weak as the interim accord signed by Secretary of State John Kerry last November, much in the same manner that it has torpedoed past agreements at the last minute. But even if that is not the case, these comments make it likely that the U.S. will have to ante up even more than Obama thought in order to get Iran to sign a deal that already amounts to appeasement.

It should be remembered that Rouhani’s credibility with the regime’s supposed hardliners rests with his exploits as a nuclear negotiator a decade ago when he took the West right up to the brink of a deal about enrichment and then backed away leaving the Bush administration and its European allies looking silly. Obama and Kerry were warned that this might happen again before they embarked on their most ambitious attempt at engagement with Iran. But while they still hope to get a deal, even if it is nothing more than a thin veil on Western approval for a robust Iranian nuclear program that could easily lead to a weapon, there’s every chance that the they’ve been led down the garden path by Khamenei and Rouhani.

Anyone wondering why Iran is acting with such confidence should look to Europe and Russia. Sanctions were already undermined by the interim deal, but with Europeans not interested in enforcing the existing restrictions, let alone tightening them to create an embargo that would give the West its only hope of spiking the nuclear threat, Iran is confident they are doomed. With Europe now facing the prospect of being forced to confront Russia after its aggression against Ukraine, there is even less appetite for squeezing Iran than even just a few months ago.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/iran-counting-on-obamas-weakness/2014/05/14/

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