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May 28, 2015 / 10 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

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?

Obama Finally Forced to Admit Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Time ‘Zero’ in 13 Years

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

It took a lot of pressure and many more speeches and harangues by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu than anyone probably wanted to hear, but at the end of the day, it paid off:

U.S. President Barack Obama was finally forced on Tuesday to admit the truth: In 13 years – if not fewer – Iran’s breakout time to an atomic bomb will be zero.

That means the world will have practically no warning whatsoever as to when Iran actually reaches its nuclear weapons capability – if it has not already done so by then, without telling anyone.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Obama told NPR News that for the first decade following the new deal reached last week with world powers led by the United States in Lausanne, Switzerland, Tehran will be capped at 300 kilograms of enriched uranium. The president insisted this was not enough to convert to a cache of weapons-grade fuel.

But then the president said this:

What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero.

By then, restrictions on Iran’s enriched uranium stockpiles will have been eased for the two years prior – in Years 11 and 12 – which means there will already have been two years in which to gather enriched nuclear fuel.

The admission confirms just one of a long list of concerns that Israel’s prime minister had underlined to the U.S. Congress – and to the rest of the world – in his repeated explanations of why “an even greater danger” exists that Iran could “get to the bomb by keeping [this] deal.”

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz on Monday issued a government statement outlining “the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” in the agreement. The document also showed “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.”

Among the changes demanded by Israel to the current agreement between Iran and world powers prior to the June 30 final deadline (which the United States has ignored):

  • Bar further Iranian research and development on advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges;
  • Significantly reduce the number of centrifuges available to Iran for it to reactivate in violation of the deal;
  • Close down the Fordow underground enrichment facility;
  • Require Iranian compliance in detailing previous nuclear activities with potential military dimensions;
  • Ship Iran’s stockpile of lower-enriched uranium out of the country;
  • Ensure “anywhere-anytime” spot inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The document (click here for the PDF file) also made clear – as has Netanyahu, repeatedly in statements to the media – that the current agreement “ignores the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program to Israel.” The prime minister emphasized that a “better deal” can and must be reached with Iran, “an enemy of the United States whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the region and to call for the destruction of Israel.”

The document pointedly calls attention to the fact that under the current agreement:

  • Not a single nuclear facility will be shut down;
  • Iran is allowed to continued advanced uranium centrifuge enrichment research and development;
  • Iranian intercontinental ballistic missile program development is altogether ignored;
  • Sanctions that could be used to regulate Iran’s compliance are instead removed.

Included in the document are 10 questions aimed at those who negotiated this deal and support its passage into law:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This removes the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement, and make Iranian compliance less likely.

American Jews Rethink Loyalty to Democratic Party Over Iran Deal

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Jewish leaders in the United States are starting to rethink the instinctive ties the community has had with the Democratic Party from time immemorial.

The change of heart comes in the wake of the deal signed last week with Tehran allowing it to pursue nuclear technology development and research.

Last week, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough met with a group of Jewish Democratic Congress members to discuss the issue. According to a source who was present at the meeting, McDonough was told that to help “sell a very unpopular deal to our constituents…” President Barack Obama would have to “increase his popularity with our constituents,” Fox News reported.

He was also advised to suggest the president tone down his war with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – or at least avoid “getting into a daily argument” with him, as one person at the meeting reportedly put it.

Bottom line, however, was that the Democratic party is losing its credibility with Jewish voters, and their leaders as well, because Jewish concerns do not seems to be as important as America’s nuclear deal with Iran.

Given the fact that the deal constitutes an existential threat to the State of Israel – and that U.S. leaders are refusing to add a condition that Iran also “recognize Israel’s right to exist,” the loss of Jewish support is no surprise to anyone with a brain.

Republicans will work hard to transform this into new Jewish support for the GOP in the 2016 presidential race, but their ability to recruit the group to the ranks of conservatives has yet to be determined.

Israel’s security cabinet last week unanimously voted to oppose the deal, which does not dismantle Iran’s nuclear technology program, nor does it adequately enforce limits on Tehran’s uranium enrichment activities.

Israel is not the only country is the Middle East made uneasy by the agreement: Saudi Arabia is outraged, as are a number of other Gulf nations. So are Lebanese and moderate Syrian opposition forces, who contend the deal opens the door for a flood of new funding from Iran to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Approximately $150 billion in Iranian funds is likely to be unfrozen shortly, according to Syrian coalition representative in exile, Monzer Akbik. “This will help Assad a lot,” he told The New York Times.

Syrian activist Aboud Dandachi, currently living in Istanbul, also made his disgust clear: “Set up a theocracy in Idlib, fund terror groups worldwide & then Obama will give you your heart’s desire,” he tweeted last week.

And then there’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah, which wields heavy influence and control in Lebanon and Damascus.

Hezbollah and Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps are also fighting alongside the Syrian government troops to crush moderate Islamist opposition forces. Oddly, they have done little to fight back against radical Islamist groups such as Al Qaeda-backed Jabhat al-Nusra, and Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, known as Daesh or ISIS.

In Yemen, Iran is strongly backing Houthi rebels who destroyed that country’s legitimate government and now are dismantling the rest of its capital and other cities.

But closer to home – for Israel, anyway – Iran long ago armed Gaza terrorist groups to the teeth. Now Tehran has committed itself to arming jihadist groups in the West Bank as well, stating last week, again, that the annihilation of the State of Israel is “non-negotiable.”

Given Iran’s commitment and its new freedom to continue to develop nuclear technology, Jews in America have good reason to re-evaluate their loyalty to a political party with little interest in their own concerns.

Have they awakened too late? It’s too soon to say.

Lausanne Talks May Be Camouflage for Iranian Nukes in North Korea

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Iran’s dragging on the negotiations with the P5+1 on an agreement covering its nuclear program may be one of the biggest con jobs in modern history, camouflaging secret nuclear development in  North Korea, which has been providing technology and advice to Tehran.

North Korea was caught red-handed helping the construction of a nuclear facility in Syria, heavily backed by Iran, when Israel bombed the site in 2007.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that Iran since 2012 has deployed personnel at a North Korean military base near China, which along with Russia has been the biggest investor in Iran’s program to reach nuclear capability.

North Korea, which already is a nuclear threat to the world, would love to see Iran in possession of a nuclear bomb to help it threaten the West. Evil always has an insatiable appetite for more evil.

Iran is the trickiest of tricksters. It has pulled the wool over the eyes of the Obama administration and its predecessors, which is not difficult considering that their foreign policy advisers are blind to foreign cultures and assume everyone in the world thinks like and acts like Americans and that shaking hands means a deal is a deal.

The talks in Lausanne are a great stage for the Islamic Republic to act as if it is hanging on to every possibility to refuse to concede to the West, as if doing so would delay its being able to point a nuclear weapon at Israel.

But if a deal finally signed, and if that happens it won’t be much before one minute before President Barack Obama’s self-imposed deadline, it won’t take into account possible Iranian nuclear development in North Korea. The menace from the Far East has sent hundreds  of scientists and technicians to Iranian sites.

Tehran also has a healthy, or unhealthy, delegation in North Korea. The Daily Beast reported.

Larry Niksch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., estimates that the North’s proceeds from this trade with Iran are ‘between $1.5 billion and $2.0 billion annually…..

Iran has bought a lot with its money. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, thought to be Tehran’s chief nuclear scientist, was almost certainly in North Korea at Punggye-ri in February 2013 to witness Pyongyang’s third atomic test. Reports put Iranian technicians on hand at the site for the first two detonations as well.

The North Koreans have also sold Iran material for bomb cores, perhaps even weapons-grade uranium….

In 2011, The Trumpet wrote,” Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst for the Rand Corporation, an intelligence company used by the U.S. military, says, “There’ve been stories of Iranians at the nuclear tests in North Korea. So if information is really being shared then you’ve got a much more dangerous situation, because most people would argue that the North Korean nuclear program is out ahead of Iran, and we don’t want Iran having that assistance.”

So let’s say Iran signs an agreement – and remember, this in only a “framework” agreement, one of the Obama administration’s favorite terms and which always turns out to be a basis for more concessions in a supposed final agreement.

A deal would not prevent Iran from buying enriched uranium from North Korea, and the Islamic Republic will have plenty of cash to do so because a deal will be accompanied by the removal of sanctions.

If a deal is signed by midnight March 31, Iran can celebrate April Fool’s Day by opening up its sites for inspection, after all traces of nuclear weapons research are removed, and carry on  freely in North Korea to assemble a nuclear weapon.

The Daily Beast wrote very succinctly:

The  Iranians could be busy assembling the components for a bomb elsewhere. In other words, they will be one day away from a bomb—the flight time from Pyongyang to Tehran—not one year as American and other policymakers hope.

It also pointed out the obvious other probable partner in evil, namely China, which has invested millions in Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. China previously has violated U.N. Security Council resolutions by sending to Iran materials that could be used for building atomic bombs.

Bomb Iran, Says John Bolton

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Bombing Iran is the only effective way to stop its nuclear threat in its tracks and prevent a regional nuclear arms race, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations wrote n The New York Times Thursday.

Bolton previously has called on Israel to bomb Iran. With the United States and the other P5+1 powers on the verge of signing a deal with Iran, Bolton wrote that neither sanctions nor a “bad deal” will prevent what he called a “bad situation” from becoming  the “brink of catastrophe”

Bolton wrote:

The arms race has begun….No way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance within Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitical hegemony….

Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.

Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions. Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish interests are complex and conflicting, but faced with Iran’s threat, all have concluded that nuclear weapons are essential.

He pointed out that “Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with South Korea, China, France and Argentina, aiming to build a total of 16 reactors by 2030..” Pakistan, whose leaders recently met with Saudi officials, could supply Egypt and Turkey with nuclear technology, and there always is North Korea ready to make a buck by helping to arm the world with nukes.

“Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required.

“Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

One of the formidable obstacles to an attack on Iran is the difficulty of reaching its underground nuclear sites, but Bolton argued Thursday that there is no need to destroy Tehran’s entire nuclear infrastructure.

It is enough to set back Iran’s nuclear program by three to five years, he said.

He concluded that if President Barack Obama does not stop Iran’s nuclear development program, his “biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East.”

With Minimal US Involvement, Arab Coalition Launches Operation ‘Firmness Storm’ Fighting Iranian Expansionism

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled his palace in the capital city of Aden shortly after the Shi’ite Houthi rebels television station claimed they had taken control of an air base that served U.S. and European troops, Al Jazeera reported. Witnesses described a convoy of presidential vehicles leaving Hadi’s palace. As he was fleeing, Hadi asked the UN to authorize a foreign military intervention in the country.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region—including Israel’s neighbor Hezbollah. Iran has supplied weapons, money and training to the Shi’ite Houthi militia, as Tehran steps up its regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported, citing Yemeni and Iranian officials say.

And then something new happened last night. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab countries from the region launched operation “Firmness Storm” in Yemen against the Houthi.

Saudi ambassador to the U.S. Adel al-Jubair said on Wednesday that a coalition of 10 regional states, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, had begun airstrikes against the rebels at 7 PM Eastern time.

“The operation is to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent the radical Houthi movement from taking over the country,” al-Jubair told reporters.

Al-Jubeir said the U.S. is not involved in the airstrikes. But CNN military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona, a retired U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, said the U.S. probably provides the intelligence.

“The Saudis don’t have the intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance capability,” he said. “They needed help and it probably come from us.”

An Egyptian official told AFP that Egypt also plans to participate in the Yemen offensive.

The Saudis have announced that Pakistan, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan have “expressed desire to participate in the operation,” Saudi SPA state news agency said.

According to SPA, last week, commenting on the nuclear talks with Iran, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told reporters “the United States will adhere to the negotiations with Iran and will prevent an Iranian development of atomic bomb, but this will not mean we will take our eyes off” the “tendencies of Iran in the region, which is one of the most leading elements of implanting instability in the region.”

Al-Faisal pointed out Iranian intervention in “Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iraq,” and possibly in other regions. He stressed that these practices must be halted should Iran wanted to be part of the solution in the region, not part of the problem.

This might be a good time to mention Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s much maligned, March 3 speech before Congress, when he warned, among other things:

“Iran’s goons in Gaza, its lackeys in Lebanon, its revolutionary guards on the Golan Heights are clutching Israel with three tentacles of terror. Backed by Iran, Assad is slaughtering Syrians. Back by Iran, Shiite militias are rampaging through Iraq. Back by Iran, Houthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.”

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pressure-on-iran-picking-up-to-sign-a-nuclear-deal/2015/03/25/

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