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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘sanctions’

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “We Will Not Allow Iran To Have Nuclear Weapons”

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – After the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated on Saturday that Iran has made all the necessary steps to fully implement the international nuclear agreement with the P5 +1 countries, both the US and EU removed previously imposed sanctions on Iran.

During a meeting with his cabinet earlier this morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that Israel would still continue to closely monitor Iran’s activities.

“Pursuant to the nuclear agreement with Iran, Israel will continue to monitor all international violations by Iran including the nuclear deal, the agreement on ballistic missiles and terrorism,” said Israel’s Prime Minister.

“Israel’s policy was and continues to remain exactly as it was, not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” added Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister also spoke of the need for the international community to reenact sanctions against Iran in light of any action by Iran that violates the international agreement on its nuclear enrichment program.

“The international community must impose severe, hard sanctions for each violation,” stressed Israel’s Prime Minister. “If it had not been for our efforts to move ahead with the sanctions and to stop Iran’s nuclear program, then Iran would have already had nuclear weapons.”

A “snapback” provision in the Iran nuclear agreement allows for the P5+1 countries to automatically re-impose sanctions on Iran in response to any Iranian violation of the nuclear agreement. However, critics doubt the usefulness of such a provision, arguing that the “snapback” process is both convoluted and vague.

Netanyahu also addressed terror threats emanating from Iran’s continued aggression in the region.

“What is clear is that Iran will now have more means to turn to its terrorist activity and aggression in the region and the world, and Israel is prepared to handle any threat,” Netanyahu stated.

Iran Humiliates US on Ballistic Missile Sanctions

Sunday, January 17th, 2016

(JNi.media) If you thought America suffered its biggest humiliation when US Navy soldiers were forced on their hands and knees for the benefit of the cameras before being granted their freedom — after having committed the international crime of a navigational error — think again. According to a Reuters exclusive, the day before the Obama administration was about to impose new sanctions on Iran in late December, for violating the UN prohibition on developing long range ballistic missiles, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told Secretary of State John Kerry if the sanctions are declared, the four prisoner deal that was going to be the cherry on top of the Iran nuke deal sundae would be pulled. And Kerry acquiesced.

There were several long distance conference calls between Kerry, some top aides, and President Barack Obama—who was vacationing in Hawaii—and they all decided it was better to blink on the sanctions and not risk the chance to free the four dual-nationality Americans in Iranian captivity.

And so the Obama administration “delayed” a package of limited sanctions penalizing Iran for test-firing ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to Israel and Europe.

Unlike the US, which has kept quiet on the capitulation to Iran’s long range missile ambitions, the Iranians have been bragging about it. Ever the victim in its own narrative, Iran made its threats public vociferously, merging the two separate sets of sanctions, one imposed on its nuclear program, the other a UN Security Council resolution against its ballistic missiles program. Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli-Larijani, chief of the Iranian Judiciary, declared last week: “For them to say, ‘we have lifted sanctions as regards enrichment, but we can adopt new sanctions for missile activities and the human rights issue’ is not sensible or acceptable. With such an approach, they would take the Islamic Republic of Iran to the point of a revision on the JCPOA issue.”

A US official on Saturday insisted there was no connection between the nuclear deal and the release of the four Americans. But, as Reuters reports, Kerry’s decision not to call Iran’s bluff in December shows how months of clandestine negotiations to free the Americans were completely intertwined with the implementation of the nuclear deal.

You can get over a nasty bit of Iranian choreography forcing helpless US Navy men on their knees. But having given up the sanctions weapon on Iranian illegal ballistic missile development goes a long way to curtail US options in the region. Even without a fully developed nuclear weapon, Iran today may be capable of sending conventional warheads to Tel Aviv and a good part of Europe. When would the Administration start imposing sanctions—when there are forests of those missiles at the ready, targeting the Jewish State?

Iran Releases Jason Rezaian +4 in Prisoner Exchange with Major Concessions

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmat and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, four dual US-Iranian citizens were released from an Iranian jail on Saturday by Iran in an apparent prisoner exchange with the United States.

Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015.

The four were transported to Switzerland, and will then continue on to to a US base in Germany.

A fifth American citizen, Matthew Trevithick, was released in a separate deal.

Former FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson was not released.

In exchange, the US will offer clemency to 7 Iranian prisoners, 6 of them who hold dual US-Iranian citizenship: Nader Modanlou, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afqahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Sabounchi.

The Obama administration also delayed a  series of sanctions that were supposed to be imposed on Iran, after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would derail the prisoner exchange, according to an Haaretz report.

FARS reports that part of the deal includes US dropping its charges against 14 Iranians for trying to transfer arms to Iran:  Saeed Jamili, Jalal Salami, Matin Sadeqi, Alireza Moazzemi Goudarzi, Mohammad Abbas Mohammadi, Kourosh Taherkhani, Sajjad Farhadi, Seyed Ahmad Abtahi, Gholamreza Mahmoudi, Hamid Arabnejad, Ali Moattar, Mohammad Ali She’rbaf, Amin Ravan and Behrouz Dolatzadeh.

Dropping the charges, will apparently allow them to travel freely outside of Iran without fear of arrest via Interpol or setting off warning flags, according to a Politico report.

FARS originally also reported that the US will also demand Interpol end its investigations of Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Jewish Center in Argentina, but that has subsequently been removed from their website.

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson, still missing in Iran

 

Related story: As Its $100 Billion Are Released Iran Buying 114 Airbus Planes

 

Obama Signs New Hezbollah Sanctions Law

Sunday, December 20th, 2015

The Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization is facing a new battle after Golan Heights chief terrorist Samir Kuntar was killed in an Israeli air strike on the outskirts of Damascus.

The terrorist group has lost nearly a third of its total number of guerrillas fighting in the savage civil war on behalf of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, backed by Iran and Russia.

But now the terror group also faces new financial problems in the United States.

The Hezbollah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015 was formally signed into U.S. law on Friday afternoon by President Barack Obama.

The legislation, which imposes tough sanctions on banks that do business with the Iranian proxy terrorist organization, reached the president’s desk after its unanimous approval Wednesday in the House of Representatives. The legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate last month.

The law is a “strong, bipartisan bill,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Friday. “We continue to work with Congress in a bipartisan way to ensure that we maximize the tools available to us to thwart Hezbollah’s network at every turn, and we look forward to working together as we implement these new authorities,” Earnest said.

“The U.S. government has made significant progress and will continue to further disrupt Hezbollah’s terrorist capabilities by targeting the group’s financial support infrastructure.”

Erdogan to Quit If Putin Proves Claim Turkey Imports Oil From ISIS

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed back at claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Ankara buys its oil from Da’esh (ISIS).

The exchange took place on the sidelines of the COP 21 global conference on climate change taking place in Paris.

“We have received additional data which unfortunately confirm that this oil, produced in areas controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist organizations, is transported on an industrial scale to Turkey,” Putin said, according to the Hurriyet Daily News, a Turkey-based newspaper.

“We have all grounds to suspect that the decision to down our plane was motivated by the intention to secure these routes of delivering oil to ports where it is loaded on tankers,” Russia’s TASS news agency also quoted Putin as saying during a news conference on the sidelines of the climate talks.

Speaking to reporters in Paris, Erdogan denied the claims, saying Turkey obtained all its oil and gas imports “through the legal path… We are not dishonest so as to do this kind of exchange with terrorist groups. Everyone needs to know this,” he said. “If evidence of this kind is found, let those who find it present it,” he added, according to TASS.

Erdogan labeled the accusations “slander” and vowed to resign if the claims were in fact proved.

“I will say something very strong here. If such a thing is proved, the nobility of our nation would require that I would not stay in office,” he was quoted by the state-run Andolu news agency as saying. “I am asking Mr. Putin, would you stay in that office? I say this clearly.”

Nevertheless, Erdogan clearly was also mindful that his nation cannot afford to alienate mighty Russia, and appeared to be working hard to avoid it. In his remarks he described Moscow as a “strategic partner,” adding, “Even if it is just a piece of string remaining … we don’t want ties to be cut. How Russia will proceed, I cannot know.”

Ultimately, however, Erdogan said that continued Russian sanctions against his country would be met with those of Turkey – but not yet.

“Let’s act patiently and not emotionally,” he told reporters. “Let’s let their chips fall as they may, then if we have our own chips, we’ll let those fall.”

IAEA Chief Warns No Guarantee All of Iran’s Nuclear Material is for Peaceful Activities

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The head of the United Nations agency monitoring the Islam Republic’s compliance with the deal signed with world powers in July warned in prepared remarks on Thursday that he cannot guarantee that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”

Yukiya Amano, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told the November meeting of the agency’s 35-member board of governors in Vienna in his introductory statement that he was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.” (Italics are Amano’s)

“The Agency has continued its monitoring and verification activities in relation to the Joint Plan of Action,” he continued.

“October 18th was Adoption Day for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was agreed between Iran and six countries and the EU in July this year. On the same day, Iran informed the Agency that, effective on Implementation Day, it will provisionally apply its Additional Protocol and fully implement the modified Code 3.1.

“The Agency is conducting preparatory activities related to the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA, including verification and monitoring of the steps Iran has begun taking towards the implementation of those commitments.

“The activities set out in the Road-map between Iran and the Agency for the period to October 15th were completed on schedule. A wrap-up technical meeting took place between Iran and the Agency on November 24th.

“Next week, I expect to provide my final assessment on all past and present outstanding issues, as set out in my report of November 2011, for action by the Board.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States and the other five world powers involved in negotiations with Iran over the nuclear deal from the outset that the terms being considered — and which were eventually agreed upon — left inspectors no way to assure Iran’s compliance with the agreement.

The deal was allegedly intended to prevent Iran from completing its race to achieve an atomic weapon of mass destruction, and from gifting or selling the technology or the weaponry itself to other enemy entities, such as radical Islamist terrorist organizations like Hamas, whose charter includes a declared intent to annihilate the State of Israel.

In other ways, however, it was more likely intended to get ‘business as usual’ back on track with the Islamic Republic, which has since seen European nations politely rushing to invite Tehran to gradually renew economic and diplomatic ties.

US Senator Chuck Schumer: American Sanctions Can Stand Alone

Wednesday, August 12th, 2015

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has come back swinging after liberal groups egged on by the White House have attacked his integrity and financial base in an effort to discredit his decision to oppose the nuclear deal with Iran.

The MoveOn.org advocacy organization has mobilized its thousands of members to withdraw financial support for Schumer, who is positioned to become to leading Democrat in the next Senate.

That move came immediately following Schumer’s announcement that he would vote against IranDeal, after days of reviewing the data and maintaining silence on the matter.

Finally, when the senator made his decision, he pointed out there were other ways to deal with Iran.

“Let’s not forget, those secondary sanctions are very powerful,” Schumer told a news conference in New York during his announcement last week. “We have that powerful tool and if used, I think that’s a better, better chance in a very difficult world than an agreement that is so totally flawed.”

Sanctions aimed at international firms who do business with Iran can force European allies and trade partners back to the negotiating table, says Schumer. And such sanctions will hurt Iran.

Sanctions aimed at corporations such as the French oil firm Total, for instance, would send the message that if it chooses to deal with Iran, it will not be able to do business with the United States, he said.

Asked if he would try to convinced his fellow senators to vote with him against the deal, Schumer said yes, but added that “anyone who thinks you can force somebody to vote with you in the Senate doesn’t understand the Senate.” He added bluntly, “This is a vote of conscience.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-senator-chuck-schumer-american-sanctions-can-stand-alone/2015/08/12/

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