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April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘United States’

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.

Ted Cruz is Running for President as the anti-Obama [video]

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

In a midnight twitter announcement, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made it official: he is running to become the next president of the United States of America.

Cruz is, like all things iconically Texan, larger than life.

The son of a Cuban activist who was imprisoned and tortured, Ted Cruz is an ardent Evangelical Christian, and a huge supporter of Israel.

A captivating orator, Cruz has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and was the Solicitor General of Texas. He worked in the U.S. Justice Department and at the Federal Trade Commission.

Cruz’s father was an immigrant who washed dishes for 50 cents an hour and spoke no English upon his arrival in the U.S. His mother was the first in her family to attend college.

Cruz graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Alan Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law School professor, said of his former student, that Cruz was “off-the-charts brilliant,” and one of the smartest students ever from Harvard Law School.

On the other hand, the State Department briefings often sound like an elitist jock club chortling at the mention of an initiative or query issued by Sen. Cruz – with both the reporters and the State Dept. spokesperson acting as if Cruz is the team doofus. This isn’t surprising, given Cruz’s unabashed conservativism, his religiosity and his ardent support for Israel, all traits belittled by those progressive elites.

Cruz made his candidacy announcement in a midnight tweet, followed the next day by a formal speech at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

His speech Monday morning, March 23, in Virginia hammered out his core message: with Cruz you’ll have the antidote to all that has gone wrong under the Obama administration. The Texas senator intended to repeal “every word” of the Obamacare legislation and to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service, as well as rescind illegal immigration amnesty.

Cruz also lambasted the educational curriculum standard “Common Core,” which is not only strongly supported by the Obama administration, it is supported by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is considered the front runner in the field of Republican presidential hopefuls.

Cruz elicited the longest and loudest applause from the Liberty University audience when he urged them to “imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel” according to CNN.

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Cruz is the first of several who are expected to seek the Republican nomination. The others, who will be announcing their own candidacies soon, include Bush, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Florida’s Marco Rubio, as well as Congressmen Scott Walker of Wisconsin and New Jersey’s Chris Christie.

The Democratic field is expected to be dominated by former New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Of all the current front-runners, Cruz is also the standard-bearer for positions on Israel and Middle East policies that run counter to this administration’s. He has repeatedly criticized the administration for its own criticisms of Israel and for pandering to the behemoth terrorists in the Islamic Republic of Iran and ISIS, as well as the more moderate in execution – though no less so in hatred – terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority.

 

McCain – “Get Over Your Temper Tantrum, Mr. President”

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

In a strongly worded interview on Sundays’s CNN’s “State of the Union“, Senator John McCain said that President Obama should “get over his temper tantrum” following Netanyahu’s victory.

McCain said, “The President has his priorities so screwed up that it’s unbelievable.”

McCain made it clear that if President Obama didn’t use his veto at the UN against a resolution for a Palestinian State, then Congress would reexamine its funding of the UN in response.

McCain discussed the real regional problems, such as ISIS and Iran, and said the President’s personal issues with Netanyahu are getting in the way of important policy issues.

Report: US Waiting for “Green Light” for Assad Talks

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

An Arab paper in London, Al Rai El-Youm, reports that the US is waiting for the Syrian OK to open up secret back channel talks with the Bashar Assad’s government in Syria, according to Israel IBA news.

The US is waiting for the “green light” from the Syrians, at which point they’ll send a delegation to Damascus.

Last week US Secretary of State Kerry said that in the end the US will have to talk with Assad. The State Department later corrected that statement and said Kerry meant not with Assad himself, but with other officials in his government.

What Candidate Obama Promised the Jews Before Elections [video]

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Candidate Obama said so many interesting things in 2008 when he was trying to get elected — when he wanted that Jewish vote. Well, I mean, if it’s not racist to say that he wanted to get the Jews out to vote for him.

At AIPAC, Candidate Obama said, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

I can only assume that since Candidate Obama promised that before elections, then he wouldn’t have taken any steps during his tenure (any evidence to the contrary) that would contradict that promise, such as getting upset when Jews build homes in Jerusalem, or by demanding building freezes in Jerusalem from the Israeli Prime Minister.

Here is his 2008 AIPAC statement on Jerusalem:

Let me be clear. Israel’s security is sacrosanct. It is non-negotiable. The Palestinians need a state that is contiguous and cohesive, and that allows them to prosper — but any agreement with the Palestinian people must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.

I have no illusions that this will be easy. It will require difficult decisions on both sides. But Israel is strong enough to achieve peace, if it has partners who are committed to the goal. Most Israelis and Palestinians want peace, and we must strengthen their hand. The United States must be a strong and consistent partner in this process — not to force concessions, but to help committed partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence. That’s what I commit to do as president of the United States.

Candidate Obama also said, “But Israel is strong enough to achieve peace, if it has partners who are committed to the goal.”

Notice the qualifier that Candidate Obama put in that statement – “if” – if Israel had a partner for peace.

I can only assume that since it is absolutely clear that Israel doesn’t have a partner on the other side, then what Candidate Obama promised to the Jews before elections, would be respected by President Obama.

Candidate Obama promised to “not to force concessions” – such as settlement freezes, or threatening to not use the UN Veto, just to name two things that pop to mind.

After all, we should believe what Candidate Obama told us. Otherwise, I would be seething, infuriated and unimpressed.

Unfortunately the disparity between Candidate Obama’s pre-election statements and President Obama actions, “new positions and comments” have forced me to “reassess”…

Here’s a link to entire text of Candidate Obama’s AIPAC speech. It’s worthwhile to read what Candidate Obama also said about Iran.

You might want to check out Elder of Ziyon’s article on Obama’s pre-election Iran statements:

If you abandon your dangerous nuclear program, support for terror, and threats to Israel, there will be meaningful incentives — including the lifting of sanctions, and political and economic integration with the international community. If you refuse, we will ratchet up the pressure.”

I wish we could hold him to that.

Iran’s Rouhani Optimistic ‘Possible to Reach Agreement’ on Nuclear Deal

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani appeared optimistic on Saturday about the chances of reaching a deal with the U.S. and world powers on Tehran’s nuclear development program.

“In this round of talks, shared points of view emerged in some of the areas where there had been a difference of opinion which can be a foundation for a final agreement,” Rouhani told the IRNA state news agency.

“I believe it is possible to reach an agreement and there is nothing that cannot be resolved,” he added, after a visit with wounded military veterans at a rehabilitation center.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told media on Saturday that world powers agreed “substantial progress” had been made on “key areas.”

That having been said, however, the UK, U.S., France and Germany were more reserved in their joint statement on how much farther the negotiators had to go in order to reach an agreement.

“We agreed that substantial progress had been made in key areas although there are still important issues on which no agreement has yet been possible,” Hammond said. “Now is the time for Iran, in particular, to take difficult decisions,” he said.

Iran Talks Stuck Over What Stops First, Nukes Or Sanctions

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

by Ilan Shavit

The timing for lifting international sanctions on Iran is now a major hurdle before an agreement can be reached on limiting its nuclear program by the deadline, March 31 deadline, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing American, European, and Iranian officials.

The Iranians now insist that UN backed sanctions on their energy, finance, and transportation sectors are terminated as the first phase of the deal. The other side wants a gradual removal of the sanctions over several years, depending on Iran’s compliance, especially in its cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections.

A senior European diplomat told the WSJ the Iranians “say it’s a deal breaker. They don’t want it at all,” adding that “there’s no way that we would give up on that…. No way.”

Stalemate.

The same official said the U.S. and the Europeans expect the process of lifting the restrictions on Iran to last at least one year, more likely two.

However, the process of lifting the sanctions could start as early as a few weeks following the signing of the deal, the WSJ notes. This would include Iran starting to reclaim its frozen assets in Western banks, to the tune of $100 billion.

According to Bloomberg, the IAEA is willing to accelerate the assessment of the Iranian program, but expects Iran to significantly improve its cooperation with monitors.

“We are prepared to assist them in the resolution of all outstanding issues,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said on March 2. “Iran needs the confidence of the international community.”

The IAEA says Iran is yet to turn over key documents and permit them access to key sites as well as face time with scientists who have worked on the nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu, bolstered by his decisive victory in Tuesday’s national elections, on Thursday demanded the broadening of the sanctions on Iran, to force its leadership to give up not just its nuclear program, but also end its support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

Netanyahu told NBC News: “The most important thing is that the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program would depend on Iran’s change of behavior, that it would stop supporting terrorism, stop its aggression against just about every country in the region, and stop calling [for] and threatening the annihilation of Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/iran-talks-stuck-over-what-stops-first-nukes-or-sanctions/2015/03/20/

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