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April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘secretary of state’

Obama: ‘Deal Ensures Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons, Will Keep Israel Safe’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Leopards do not change their spots and Iran’s radical Islamist government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism either. U.S. President Barack Obama apparently does, in fact, know that — he just doesn’t think it’s important enough to stop the U.S. from closing a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Why? Because he says he believes it’s the best way to keep everyone, including Israel, safe.

Actually, Obama believes the world powers led by the United States should close that deal precisely because the Iranian government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism. At least, that is the way Obama explained his reasoning in an interview Monday with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. In the exclusive interview, he also said Israelis are right not to trust Iran, but that they can always trust America to be there to help protect them.

The interview was focused in its entirety on the issue of the nuclear deal worked out between U.S.-led world powers and Iran last week, and how it affects the rest of the world, particularly Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of what he has called, from the start, a ‘bad deal” repeatedly urging the “P5+1” world powers to reconsider, and reformat the agreement into a “different, better deal.”

Netanyahu this week expressed his deep concern over the enhanced ability of Iran to promote its terror agenda with newly-increased funds earned when international sanctions are dropped as a result of the agreement.

But Obama told NPR he believes it is more important to keep the focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – via the current agreement – than dealing with anything else Tehran is doing.

“I’ve been very forceful in saying that our differences with Iran don’t change if we make sure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

“They’re still going to be financing Hezbollah, they’re still supporting Assad dropping barrel bombs on children, they are still sending arms to the Houthis in Yemen that have helped destabilize the country.

“There are obvious differences in how we are approaching fighting ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, despite the fact that there’s a common enemy there.

“So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran — and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime.

“But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” he said.

“The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want [Iran] to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.

“So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.

NPR: The demand that’s being made there, of course, underlies a broader concern that Israelis have. You’re suggesting implying through this nuclear that Israel must live another 10 or 15 years and longer with a country that is fundamentally opposed to the existence of Israel. How should Israelis think about Iran in the years to come?

Hillary Clinton Leases Brooklyn Heights Office for Campaign HQ

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

The Democratic campaign machine is starting to crank itself up at last, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to join the race for the White House.

Clinton has just signed a lease in downtown Brooklyn to open a campaign headquarters at 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights.

It’s a fancy location but not too fancy; hip but not snobby and also very accessible, located near 12 subway lines and as many bus lines.

A central spot,reachable by the 90 different ethnic groups that comprise the borough, New York City’s largest.

The campaign leased two floors of the building, which is located across the street from the offices of the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of NY, Politico reported this weekend.

The move also signifies that the Democratic contender for the presidential race is ready to announce: the Federal Election Commission allows 15 days between the start of a candidate’s official campaign activities and filing of paperwork for the 2016 run.

France Warns There’s ‘Insufficient Progress’ With Iran on Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

French Ambassador to the United Nations Francois Delattre told a meeting of the UN Security Council Tuesday that “insufficient” progress has been made towards a nuclear deal with Iran.

The UNSC session had been convened specifically to discuss the issue of UN sanctions on Iran.

“Iran must now make difficult choices if it truly wishes to regain the trust of the international community,” Delattre told ambassadors at the session.

Gaps still remain on the issues of sanctions and research and development, Reuters reported. Likewise, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in a briefing in Lausanne, Switzerland on Tuesday, that although there had been “substantial progress” in the talks, “important gaps remain… We have an opportunity to get this right,” he added, urging Iran to make the “fundamental decisions” that would prove its interest in peace, not nuclear weaponry.

But as Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu predicted in his speech to the U.S. Congress earlier this month, Iran’s behavior reflects anything but an interest in peaceful relations with the West.

An Iranian official scolded the director-general of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiyo Amano, for requiring unannounced inspections of its nuclear sites as part of its inspection protocols.

The request, which Amano contended would reassure the international community and restore Iran’s credibility, harmed negotiations between world powers and Tehran, said Iran nuclear spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi.

Iranian state television quoted Kamalvandi as saying, “It would be much better if Amano only talked about the IAEA’s seasonal and monthly reports.”

The deadline for the talks – conducted with Iran by the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — is set for March 31, with a final agreement to be tied up by June 30.

Pressure on Iran Picking Up to Sign a Nuclear Deal

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

US Senate to Vote on Sanctions If No Iran Deal, EU Sanctions Already Reinstated

The United States Senate has threatened to impose sanctions on Iran if President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are not successful in shepherding a nuclear technology deal through talks between world powers and Iran.

The European Union has already reinstated sanctions against 40 Iranian companies, including dozens of shipping firms, in order to increase pressure on Iran to sign on the dotted line.

The EU General Court lifted the sanctions on firms that were linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines carrier (IRISL) in January, saying the EU had not proved the IRISL was actively supporting nuclear proliferation.

IRISL attorney Maryam Taher told the Reuters news agency the move was “purely politically motivated and not based on any proper evidence. The whole purpose of the EU sanctions is to leverage pressure on the Iranian government to come to an agreement in relation to nuclear proliferation.”

On Monday, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that it could not state definitively that Iran’s nuclear program had no “military dimensions.” Issues meant to resolve suspicions of weaponization work remain, according to IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano said in his report, despite what he called “good cooperation” from Tehran regarding the November 2013 comprehensive safeguards agreement.

However, he said, “We continue to verify the non-divergence of nuclear material declared by Iran, but we are still not in a position to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful purpose.”

If international negotiators come up empty-handed this time around (they have already missed one deadline), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday at a weekly news briefing “Another heavy dose of sanctions would be an appropriate remedy.”

If an agreement is signed, the lawmakers would pass a bill requiring the president to submit the deal to Congress for its approval. The bill also contains a provision that would temporarily remove Obama’s ability to waive sanctions.

Obama says he will veto both bills.

Negotiators took a break on Friday and reconvene this week as the March 31 deadline inches closer. World leaders will try again to close a deal with a nation whose Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Saturday for “Death to America,” while its President Hassan Rouhani expressed optimism that an agreement could still be reached.

U.S. Frees Military Aid to Egypt

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

The United States has agreed to release its promised foreign aid funds to Egypt, frozen since former President Mohammed Morsi was ousted a year ago. Secretary of State John Kerry made the announcement during a visit to Cairo two weeks after President-elect Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn into office following May elections.

El-Sisi, who served as defense minister and field marshal prior to his election, has been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood — which backed Morsi’s candidacy and which took over the government once he was in office — and terrorism in the Sinai Peninsula.

Officials at the State Department said the mostly military aid, totaling some $1.5 billion, will be used to pay existing defense contracts. Kerry also promised to send 10 Apache attack helicopters, which el-Sisi’s forces will use against terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

“The Apaches will come, and they will come very, very soon,” Kerry promised at a joint news conference Sunday in Cairo.

Netanyahu ‘Welcomes’ Kerry with Lecture on PA Terror

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave visiting  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a stark welcome Thursday evening by pointing out to him how the Palestinian Authority incites terror with its celebrations this week after Israel’s freed more terrorists who murdered Jews.

Kerry ignored the comments and spoke of “my friend Bibi” and said is such a “great pleasure” to be back in Israel

He spoke of the sun set on the Old City and how it reminded him of history, but he did not said what history – the Temple Mounts or Al Aqsa mosque.

One of his most amazingly naïve or stupid comments was, “After five months, I think it is safe to say we know what the issues are.”

And he calls himself Secretary of State? If he had read the newspapers 65 years ago, or even 10  years ago, he would have known what the issues are.

Netanyahu repeated for the 5,935th time that he would never surrender Israel’s security, and Kerry paralleled his comments, saying that really knows what is good for Israel’s security.

The Secretary of State also said he is encouraged that an agreement can be made between the Palestinian Authority and Israel can be reached because he saw a recent poll that shows most people want a “two-state” solution.

Does anyone else have any other straws to give Kerry to grab at.

PA Back in Town to Wink at PA’s Loaded Deck of Cards

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority Sunday to rah-rah “peace talks” even though the Palestinian Authority continues to violate the ground rules by threatening it will win recognition by several countries if the talks fail.

“Failure” in PA language means Israel’s insistence to actually negotiate at negotiations instead of signing on the dotted line, which would make Kerry and Obama very happy.

It is no wonder that Kerry, fresh from letting Vladimir Putin saving President Barack Obama from himself, is using the visit to show how much he loves Israel by meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to update him on Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s pledge to get rid of his chemical weapons.

That is the same Assad who said last week that Syria he has no chemical weapons.

The United States knows just as much, if not more, about Assad’s chemical weapons thanks to Israeli intelligence than it does to its own. The most probable positive outcome for Kerry in his visit to Netanyahu will be a great photo-op for Jews to marvel how the Secretary of State thinks so much of Israel.

Of course, Kerry also will spread his wings over Ramallah and talk with Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, even though they met in London exactly seven days ago in London to discuss the “developments in direct peace talks that were resumed on July 14.”

PA and Israeli negotiators pledged to abide the American ground rules and to uncharacteristically be quiet, not update the media on progress or lack of progress and not negotiate through the media.

That rule applies to Israel but not to Saeb Erekat, senior negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, which has broken virtually every agreement it has signed with Israel, under American auspices, the past 20 years.

Erekat last week threatened that if the talks fail, the Palestinian Authority will go back to its two-year-old tactic of simply violating the Oslo Accords again and taking the unilateral move to obtain recognition as an independent country from countries ready to sign up.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), which has senior authority over the PA, distributed to its executive committee a document in which Erekat states that some countries already have promised to recognize the “State of Palestine” if Israel does not grant it all of its political and territorial demands.

Erekat last week also issued a rather thinly-disguised threat of violence.

“We hope that the Israeli government understands that their impunity is evaporating and that it is in Israel’s interest to go for justice and peace rather settlements and Apartheid. Settlement construction shows a lack of seriousness towards the idea of a Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security. We will be contacting different members within the international community in order to make clear to those who are trying to sabotage our efforts, that settlement construction has a price and that this price will continue to grow.

“Some people in Israel continue to believe that the endgame for negotiations should not be peace but rather, further colonization. We call upon all parties that had vigorously advocated for the resumption of negotiations to do whatever is needed to block and to punish the latest decisions made by the Israeli government and the Occupation Municipality in Jerusalem.”

That is pretty strong language for someone who is supposed to be holding “secret peace talks.”

Earlier this month, PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo, always good for an anti-Zionist quote, pitched in and warned that Israel is risking a “political catastrophe” in the PA if it does not simply keep quiet and sign. A “political catastrophe” in the Palestinian Authority can only mean one of two things: an overthrow of Abbas or a new campaign of violence – oops, make that “resistance.”

He accused Israel of encouraging “settlers” to continue “violations” by building homes in Judea and Samaria and areas of Jerusalem claimed by the PA.

Abed Rabbo also violated Kerry’s ground rules by stating, “Until now there has been no progress” in the secret talks and that we’re now seeing what we expected — that there is little hope for their progress, in fact that hope is non-existent and negotiations are futile.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/pa-back-in-town-to-wink-at-pas-loaded-deck-of-cards/2013/09/15/

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