Wednesday, July 15, 2015

From Ian:

Douglas Murray: The Iranian regime is anti-Western and anti-Semitic. Can we really trust its nuclear deal?
Nothing has changed in the rhetoric of the Iranian regime in the thirty six years since it came to power. Nothing meaningful has been shown to have altered in its ambitions. But it is the presumption of this deal that the Iranian regime – a regime which continues to boast of its desire to wipe UN member states off the map – is a rational actor. This is in many ways morally as well as strategically bamboozling. If Iran were led, say, by a group of far-right wing white racist Ku Klux Klan members who had seized the country by force I doubt the American administration would regard it as a rational actor whose word on nuclear ambitions would be accepted and their build-up of conventional weaponry permitted. But the Iranian regime is instead a rabidly racist anti-Western and anti-Semitic regime which sponsors anti-Western and anti-Semitic terrorism around the world. The fact that our governments have just signed a deal with them is surprising. The fact that they have done so without any significant political opposition in the UK is damning.
Well now Iran can look forward to a flood of hundreds of billions of dollars of unfrozen assets. Lobbyists in London, Paris, Moscow and Beijing are already in place and limbered up to start promoting business with Iran. Once that show is on the road it is highly unlikely – whatever else happens – that the sanctions so carefully put in place by previous administrations will be reintroduced. What is highly likely is that after a brief interregnum the Iranian regime will start to lie and cheat and cover-up all over again. Will America or Britain be in a position to do much about it then? Will we have the will? What will happen when Russia sells Iran the anti-aircraft system Moscow has wanted to sell for years and which is now back on the table? What about when, in five years time according to this agreement, Iran is allowed to gain further ballistic technology? What about at any point in the next decade when the inspectors have their first refusal of access to a site, or the sense that the real action appears to be happening elsewhere?
Then Iran will have what the Ayatollahs have always wanted – the time to ‘break out’ and develop the weaponry which their leaders have repeatedly threatened to use. Then, or perhaps a long time before then, Sunni powers in the Middle East region who have become increasingly nervous about the unchecked ambitions of Iran and disenchanted with their ‘allies’ in the West, will compete in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. At some point this will mean that the least stable continent in the world will be armed to the teeth with the world’s most dangerous weaponry.
I know that Greece is important. And I know that the manner in which a fox can be killed appears to matter to a lot of people. But it is also possible – just possible – that what has been going on in Vienna in recent days is more important than any of this and that Britain and the world will rue the day that our global interest became so limited and our diplomatic attention-span grew so wretchedly small.
Michael Oren: Why Israel Won’t Be Celebrating the Iran Deal
The present deal with Iran poses a threat not only to Israel, but to the U.S. and the world
In Israel, one of the world’s rowdiest democracies, politicians rarely agree on anything. Which is why their reaction to the nuclear arms deal with Iran is so unique. For the first time in living memory, virtually all Israelis – left, right, religious, secular, Arabs, Jews – are together calling the deal disastrous.
The reasons might not be clear to many readers of the agreement. According to preliminary reports, its 100 pages contain bewilderingly complex provisions for supposedly delaying Iran from making a bomb. There are international inspections of the Iranians’ nuclear facilities but none that would actually catch them off guard. There are limits to the number of centrifuges with which Iran can enrich uranium to weapons grade, but only for a decade during which not a single centrifuge will be dismantled. And Iran can continue to research and develop more advanced technologies capable of producing nuclear weapons even faster. Most mystifying still, the deal recognizes Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear power without demanding that Iran cease promoting war throughout the Middle East and terror worldwide.
For Israelis, though, there is nothing mystifying about this picture. We see an Iranian regime that will deceive inspectors and, in the end, achieve military nuclear capabilities. We see an Iranian nuclear program that, while perhaps temporarily curtailed, will remain capable of eventually producing hundreds of nuclear weapons.
This is a picture that we’ve all seen before. Back in 1994, American negotiators promised a “good deal” with North Korea. Its nuclear plants were supposed to be frozen and dismantled. International inspectors would “carefully monitor” North Korea’s compliance with the agreement and ensure the country’s return to the “community of nations.” The world, we were told, would be a safer place.
Alan Dershowitz: Does this deal prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon?
Certainly the words of the Iranians are not the same as the words of Obama. Whose words accurately represent the meaning of the contract we are being asked to sign?
The time has now come to be crystal clear about the meaning of this deal. If it is intended to prevent Iran from ever developing nuclear weapons, the President must say so in the clearest of terms and he must get the Iranians to express agreement with that interpretation. Ambiguity may be a virtue at the beginning of a negotiation, but it is a vice in interpreting and implementing a deal with such high stakes.
Recall that former US President Bill Clinton made similar assurances with regard to North Korea back in 1994 – as the accompanying chart shows. But within a few short years of signing a deal that he assured us would require the dismantling of North Korea’s nuclear program, that country tested its first nuclear weapon. It now has a nuclear arsenal. How can we be sure that Iran will not act in a similar fashion?
The deal with Iran has been aptly characterized as a “leap of faith,” “a bet” and a “roll of the dice” by David Sanger in a news analysis for the New York Times. The gamble is that by the time the most restrictive provisions of the deal expire, Iran will be a different country with more reasonable leaders. But can the world and especially the nations most at risk from an Iranian nuclear arsenal, depend on faith, bets and dice, when they know that the last time the nuclear dice were rolled, they came up snake-eyes for America and its allies when North Korea ended up with nuclear weapons.
The burden of persuasion is now on the Obama administration to demonstrate that Obama was accurately describing the deal when he said that it will “prevent” Iran from “obtaining a nuclear weapon.” It is a heavy burden that will be – and should be – difficult to satisfy.

Netanyahu on Iran deal: The more you read it, the worse it gets
“When we examine this agreement — which is bad in every aspect — when we read this agreement, the picture becomes more bleak and we discover it’s filled with absurdities,” Netanyahu said.
“For example, the agreement gives Iran 24 days’ [notice] before an inspection; it’s like giving a criminal organization that produces drugs a 24-hour warning before performing a search,” he said.
“In addition, the sanction snap-back mechanism is so complicated and serpentine that one needs a PhD to understand it. One clause creates a huge incentive to invest in Iran because it says that the reinstatement of sanctions will not apply to agreements that have [already taken place]. Another section includes the people that were removed from the sanctions list, one of them being Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s global terror arm. It is absurd, terror [meets] nuclear [power],” he said, referring to the commander of Iran’s elite Quds force.
JPost Editorial: Israel must make it clear that America’s security is at stake, not just America’s allies.
The first step in an Israeli-led anti-Iran deal campaign is to enlist leading politicians who are not members of Netanyahu’s government. Figures such as opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni of the Zionist Union and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, among others, will be crucial to the lobbying effort on Capitol Hill, particularly among Democrats.
Opposition to the Iran deal crosses party lines in Israel.
It is not unique to the Likud or to right-wing parties.
It should be the same in the US.
Second, the Israeli campaign against the deal must avoid personal attacks on the US president. Lobbying efforts must focus on the issues. Democrats will rally around their president if they perceive him to be the subject of baseless ad hominem accusations.
Third, Israel must make it clear that it does not oppose – and never has opposed – a deal with Iran. With Hezbollah and Hamas on its northern and southern borders, Israel, more than any other country in the Middle East, has an interest in a diplomatic as a opposed to a military solution to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. If anything, Israel is opposed to the present deal because it actually increases the chances of a military conflict with Iran.
Fourth, Israel should work to form an informal alliance with countries like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that share Israel’s concerns about a nuclear Iran.
Democrats should know that there are Sunni states concerned enough about the Iran deal that they are even willing to cooperate with the Zionists.
Finally, Israel must make it clear that America’s security is at stake, not just America’s allies. America is not doing Israel a favor by opposing the deal. It is also looking out for its own interests.
Opposition head will work with PM against Iran deal, won’t join gov’t
Opposition leader Isaac Herzog said Wednesday he would work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling coalition to thwart the Iran nuclear deal, in a rare show of cooperation.
Herzog met with Netanyahu late Tuesday for an update on the nuclear agreement, which has been roundly criticized by both, as well as by the cabinet.
“I had a meeting yesterday where I learned about the deal and I think it is bad for Israel. [Netanyahu and myself] will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous,” Herzog told Israeli news site Walla.
According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu updated Herzog on the security implications of the deal, which were also reviewed by the cabinet ministers.
John Bolton: Why the Iran Nuclear Deal Won’t Be a Final Deal
Moreover, leaks indicate that the Vienna deal will be implemented in stages, with partial performance from both sides before it “goes live” completely. These significant unresolved areas provide new opportunities for Iran to extract concessions from Obama. Consider just three examples still being disputed even in the last hours:
- Iran’s prior weaponization activities (the military work to take enriched uranium or plutonium and actually create the critical mass necessary for the uncontrolled chain reaction of a nuclear explosion) are far from resolved. Endless disputes and obstruction by Tehran are still entirely possible.
- The extent and nature of inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency are still very much undecided. Whatever paper agreement is reached is worth little until actual implementation, when Iranian concealment, cheating, delay and obstruction can defeat whatever is written.
- The White House claims the parties agreed on a “snapback” mechanism to revive economic sanctions if Iran is found to have violated the deal. This highly questionable assertion turns critically on deciding that there is actually a violation, which itself can be subject to endless dispute and further delays.
These outstanding issues exemplify the enormous loopholes Tehran can already exploit and substantive policy areas where Obama, incredibly, still has more concessions he can make. The entire accord is shaped around the central premise that Iran has lied in the past and will lie in the future. It has already violated its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty pledge not to develop nuclear weapons, not to mention all the commitments made in prior negotiations over the past 12-plus years.
For Israel, Iran deal could signify a renewed military option
Internationally, there seems to be a sense of near unanimity regarding Israel’s inability to carry out a debilitating strike in Iran. Former CIA director and commander of US forces in Iraq Gen. David Petraeus practically ridiculed the notion in a recent conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg in Aspen. Patiently, as though to a group of school children, he noted that Israel lacks the 30,000-pound bomb that the US has and possesses no plane capable of carrying it. Therefore, he left unsaid, Israel has no way to thwart militarily Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
But neither did Israel have any business winning the War of Independence or the Six Day War or the battle on the tarmac in Entebbe. Furthermore, the eight F-16s that buried Saddam Hussein’s nuclear reactor were said to be unable to reach Iraq, over a string of enemy countries, without being noticed, and were too heavily weighted to carry enough gas to return.
The army and Mossad spy agency are far from perfect. They have known the taste of failure. But like the negotiations, which were deemed too big to fail, the implications of an Iranian bomb are too severely large to accept or contain. Israel’s military option may not be ideal, and it may only be worthy of execution when the knife is already cutting the flesh, as former Mossad head Meir Dagan once said, but when Ya’alon said Tuesday that, if necessary, “we will know how to protect ourselves with our own power,” one got the impression that it was not a hollow statement.
U.S. Will Teach Iran to Thwart Nuke Threats
The United States and other world powers will help to teach Iran how to thwart and detect threats to its nuclear program, according to the parameters of a deal reached Tuesday to rein in Iran’s contested nuclear program.
Under the terms of a deal that provides Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran and global powers will cooperate to help teach Iran how to manage its nuclear infrastructure, which will largely remain in tact under the deal.
Senior Iranian officials, including the country’s president, celebrated the deal as a victory for the country. Iran’s state controlled media quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that the deal will “remove all sanctions while maintaining [Tehran’s] nuclear program and nuclear progress.”
In what is being viewed as a new development, European countries and potentially the United States agreed to “cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices,” according to a copy of the agreement furnished by both the Russians and Iranians.
This will include “training courses and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to prevent, protect and respond to nuclear security threats to nuclear facilities and systems as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems,” according to the text.
Vienna Dispatch: Nuclear Agreement Reached, Puts Iran on Path to Bomb
A series of collapses – which picked up pace in the days before framework talks last spring in Lausanne, Switzerland and accelerated afterwards – have been blasted by experts for adding up to a deal that is too weak to verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, even during the period before restrictions are lifted. Following those talks, which ended with an announcement on April 2, former Deputy-Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Olli Heinonen noted that even if the deal worked – even if it kept Iran from going nuclear for a decade – the other concessions made by the United States meant that Iran would be “a threshold breakout nuclear state for the next 10 years.”
Analysts have drawn particular attention to American concessions on four core issues: the demand that Iran detail the full extent of its nuclear program including its possible military dimensions (PMDs) to the IAEA, the duration of the agreement, the inspections regime that is supposed to verify a deal, and the structure of sanctions relief.
The deal will stop short of forcing the Iranians to disclose the full extent of their nuclear program, prior to receiving sanctions relief. The IAEA initially referred Iran to the United Nation’s Security Council in 2006 over its refusal to cooperate and continued stonewalling. The Security Council then passed six resolutions that sanctioned Iran for failing to end its uranium enrichment program and come into compliance with its Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations. Despite its commitment in November 2013 to begin working with the IAEA to resolve the differences, Iran has still not made sufficient progress. It partially answered just two of the twelve outstanding questions that the IAEA has about Iran’s past efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
Israel Rebuffs UK’s Hammond Over Wanting Permanent Iranian Stand-Off
Israel rejected on Wednesday comments by U.K. Foreign Minister Philip Hammond earlier in the day that Jerusalem sought a permanent stand-off with Iran over its nuclear program, saying the country sought negotiations with Tehran more than anybody else.
“We were probably the people who pushed harder than anyone else in the world to bring Iran to the negotiating table in the first place,” a diplomatic official told The Algemeiner in response to Hammond, who said Israel does not want any deal with Iran.
“No one was more interested than Israel in a good deal with Iran,” the official said.
Former IAEA Official: ‘The Fix is In’ Regarding Iran’s Past Nuclear Research
The nuclear agreement announced Tuesday says Iran must resolve outstanding questions about its past nuclear weapons research before sanctions are dropped. However, a former IAEA official says of the agreement, “The fix is in.”
Tariq Rauf is a former head of the Verification and Security Policy Coordination Office at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He now works for the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) as an expert on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Rauf says the IAEA has been looking for a way to sidestep a thorny issue about Iran’s past military research into nuclear weapons. Earlier this month he told Bloomberg News, “[IAEA Director Yukiya] Amano is under pressure on finding a way out on the possible military dimension investigation.”
The longstanding questions about possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear research program are supposed to be resolved prior to the dropping of sanctions on Iran. The final nuclear deal announced Tuesday lays out a path to do this. However the promise to resolve these issues is at odds with longstanding Iranian insistence that it has never done any such research. Indeed, President Rouhani claimed again Tuesday, “Iran has never been after atomic bombs.”
So how can the issue be resolved if Iran continues to deny any such research ever took place? “The fix is already in. The Americans have said they don’t want a confession,” Rauf told the Guardian Tuesday. He added, “Amano has said he will give an assessment report, not a conclusion, which is not what the IAEA normally does. His likely assessment by December is that there are unanswered questions, but the agency has what it needs, and it will be rubber-stamped by the board.”
Deal Will Give Iran 24 Days to Cover Up Suspected Nuclear Sites
The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the international agreement signed by Iran and the West, will give the Islamic Republic up to 24 days to hide any illicit nuclear activity from international inspectors.
Under the terms of the deal, the only site Iran may use for nuclear development for the next 15 years will be the Arak facility. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN’s nuclear watchdog organization, will be charged with ensuring that Iran fulfills this obligation. But under the framework agreement, while the IAEA will be able to monitor Iran’s existing reactors at Arak, they will not have unfettered access to other sites that might potentially contain nuclear development activities.
Iran has a history of covering up illicit nuclear developments. In August of 2002, an Iranian dissident group “revealed a secret uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and a heavy water facility at Arak,” the United States Institute of Peace noted.
Nuclear Deal Silent on Iran’s Parchin Military Plant, Bushehr
The Iranian nuclear deal reached in Vienna contains no reference to the Parchin military facility where most of Iran’s past nuclear arms-related work was carried out.
Additionally, the draft agreement made public on Tuesday contains no stated limits on Iran’s Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power facility that analysts say could produce plutonium for dozens of bombs.
Also, the accord will lift international sanctions on several Iranian entities currently engaged in supporting terrorism and building ballistic missiles, including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-Air Force Al Ghadir Missile Command.
The Tehran-based command is a key element in developing nuclear-tipped missiles and is considered to be in operational control of Iranian missiles.
The lifting of sanctions in eight or fewer years will also include removing sanctions on Parchin Chemical Industries—a firm involved in the past in Iranian ballistic missile and chemical explosive work that was possibly related to nuclear arms applications.
WATCH: Iranians celebrate nuclear deal, hail Zarif as hero
The crowd was small at first but as the din of car horns grew louder so did the number of Iranians celebrating a long-awaited nuclear deal in Tehran late Tuesday.
Some said they hoped it would improve their lives and change Iran’s image abroad. Others simply wanted to express their gratitude.
“Thank you Mr. Zarif,” said Parvaneh Farvadi, among the hundreds who assembled at Parkway, a busy intersection in the north of the capital, shortly after sundown.
Her admiration was not confined to Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whose name rang out in song.
“I love John Kerry,” the 32-year-old said of the US Secretary of State who for almost two years has faced Zarif at the forefront of nuclear talks which culminated in Tuesday’s historic deal.
Nuke Deal Removes Sanctions on Iran's Terror Commander
Aside from removing UN conventional arms embargo on Iran after five years, the nuclear deal signed Tuesday by the P5+1 powers and Iran grants several other questionable concessions to the leading state sponsor of terror, unrelated to its controversial nuclear program.
The most glaring of these concessions is seen by some as the inclusion of the name Qassem Soleimani on a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed as expressly detailed in the deal, reports Yedioth Aharonoth.
Soleimani is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander who leads the elite Qods Force, which conducts foreign operations outside Iran's borders and directs the Islamic regime's terrorist activities throughout the world.
While no clear reason was given as to why Soleimani - who is on the official American terrorist list, and whose Qods Forces have murdered American soldiers in Iraq - had individual sanctions against him removed, the move apparently comes due to the shared fight against Islamic State (ISIS) that Soleimani has been leading in Iraq in parallel to American efforts.
Iran's Supreme Leader Posts Photo of Himself Trampling Israeli Flag: 'The Zionist Regime Is Doomed'
A photograph posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official website--as the Obama administration was finalizing negotiations on a deal intended to prevent Iran from building a nulcear weapon--shows the walking stick-waving supreme leader striding across, and apparently glaring at, a painted representation of Israel’s national flag.
The caption on the photo, according to a translation by American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin, reads, “The Zionist Regime is Condemned to Vanish.”
“The Zionist regime is a regime with very shaky pillars,” the caption continues. “The Zionist regime is doomed. The Zionist regime is an imposed regime and was created with intimidation. Nothing created with intimidation can last long and this one will not last long either.”
The photo was posted last Thursday (18 Tir, 1394 on the Persian calendar), on the eve of Iran’s annual “Quds [Jerusalem] Day” – also dubbed “Death to Israel Day” since chants to that effect typically characterize rallies across in the country, along with “Death to America.”
White House Iran strategy: Get U.N. blessing before Congress votes
White House officials said Tuesday that their plan for enacting the Iran nuclear agreement is to first get the United Nations to agree to its terms, including a gradual easing of sanctions, which will put more pressure on Congress to go along with what the world has already approved.
In a call with reporters, officials said the sanctions against Iran that eventually prodded them into negotiations were international sanctions, and said it's now up to the U.N. to vote on the deal announced Tuesday morning.
"We put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic resolution, and that is what we have done," he added.
While many Republicans indicated they oppose the deal, the Obama administration isn't giving them much time to organize. It plans to seek a U.N. Security Council resolution enshrining the steps Obama laid out for phasing in sanctions relief as early as next week.
It will be much tougher for detractors on and off Capitol Hill — such as Israel — to stop the arrangement once the U.N. signs off on it.
Key Democrats skeptical of Iran deal
Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it was “particularly important” for the administration to hold thorough briefings to solidify support on Capitol Hill.
“There are many aspects of this agreement that I need clarification” on, Cardin said. “There are certainly areas of interest and concern.”
Coons, the Delaware Democrat who occupies Biden’s old Senate seat, said that given Iran’s past record of “supporting terrorism globally,” he enters the review process “with a position of suspicion and distrust of Iran.” He added that he must be convinced that the inspections regime and the way the sanctions relief is structured won’t enable Iran’s long-term ability to build a bomb.
Though Democratic leaders said it was premature to try to predict how their caucus will end up voting, liberals are confident at least 34 Democrats will back Obama. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) spent most of the morning poring over the agreement; after he was finished, he issued one of the strongest statements of support on Capitol Hill.
Eventually, he predicted, most of his colleagues would do the same.
“It’s a much better deal than a lot of people would have given the secretary credit for ahead of the negotiations,” Heinrich said of Secretary of State John Kerry. “So I think at the end of the day that there’s going to be adequate support for the president’s position. The reality is the Republicans have nothing as an alternative.”
Analysis: Chuck Schumer Now the Most Important Man in the World
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who is one of two dozen Republicans racing for the White House, on Tuesday challenged Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who will become the Senate Democratic leader in 2017, to turn his back on President Obama and help kill the Iran deal.
“Chuck Schumer is supposed to be the guardian of Israel. He goes around everywhere and says, ‘My name is Schumer. It means guardian of Israel,’” Graham said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“Well, if you care about Israel, you will not put her in this box,” Graham said. “If you care about the United States, you will not allow our chief antagonist to become a nuclear threshold nation guaranteed in nature with no restrictions for them to go beyond that.”
“The Iran drama is only beginning. Assuming that Obama can sell this deal to Congress—Chuck Schumer, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you,” Jeffrey Goldberg wrote Tuesday night. And he’s absolutely right.
Report: Lifting of Iran Arms Embargo Raises Concern among Senate Democrats
The article also quoted Sen. Robert Menendez (D – N.J.) who said, “Listen, the last thing we need to do is give Iran the ability to have the wherewithal to have arms going throughout the region. They’re already involved in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq. … What is lost here is that if we lift the arms embargo, then the Russians freely can sell the S-300 [missile] to them, and that makes it a lot more difficult in the future—should Iran violate the agreement and move towards their nuclear capability for a nuclear weapon—of trying to strike them with the S-300 as a defense missile system. For all of those reasons, it should be a redline. And the intercontinental missile issue should also be a redline.”
The concern expressed by the senators about ending the arms embargo was echoed even by members of the administration. The National Journal cited outgoing Chief of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey and current Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter as opposing Iran’s ability to develop or acquire intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Carter was quoted as saying, “the I in ICBM stands for intercontinental, which means having the capability from flying from Iran to the United States … And we don’t want that.”
Sen Tim Scott: Obama Veto Threat Sign of Weakness
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott blasted not only the deal with Iran on its nuclear program but also President Obama's posture towards Congress regarding the deal.
As he announced the agreement with Iran early Tuesday morning in Washington, President Obama threatened to veto any attempt to vote down or reject the deal in Congress.
"I will veto any legislation that prevents the full implementation of this deal," Obama said.
Appearing on Fox News with Stuart Varney, Senator Scott said the President's statement showed his own lack of confidence in the deal.
Expert: Lifting Arms Embargo on Iran Would Put America’s Military “At Serious Risk”
Lifting the arms embargo was one of the provisions of the agreement that was announced today.
Bowen analyzed three arguments offered to justify the deal: that Iran’s spends less on its military than many of America’s Middle Eastern allies and is, therefore, not a threat to them; that the embargo on conventional arms was imposed as part of the nuclear sanctions and not significant by themselves; and that Iran needs the weapons to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He then showed how each of these arguments is flawed.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states might spend more on military hardware than Iran, but their troops are not as well-trained, so spending alone is a poor way to judge the quality of Iran’s military force. Allowing Iran to upgrade it conventional forces with Russian or Chinese arms “could be devastating for U.S. and [Gulf Cooperation Council] naval and air bases if there are further relaxations on Iran’s acquisition of missile technology.” Additionally, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has stated that he has no interest in working with the United States beyond achieving a nuclear accord, so Iran would hardly be a reliable ally in the fight against ISIS. Allowing Iran access to more and better weaponry “could empower a range of Iranian proxy forces, partners and terrorist groups,” Bowen wrote, which “could endanger U.S. personnel at regional diplomatic and military facilities.”
Canada to keep sanctions against Iran despite nuclear deal
Canada will keep its sanctions in place – at least for now – despite the nuclear agreement Iran has reached with major world powers.
Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson issued a statement saying that Canada “will continue to judge Iran by its actions not its words,” and that the government in Ottawa will examine the agreement carefully before making any policy changes.
“We will examine this deal further before taking any specific Canadian action,” Mr. Nicholson said in the statement.
That means Canada is refusing to follow the course set by its major allies, including not only the Obama Administration in the U.S., but Britain, France, and the European Union. They negotiated the deal with Iran as part of the “P5+1” group that also included China and Russia, and have agreed to lift economic sanctions in return for Tehran’s nuclear concessions.
But Prime Minister Stephen Harper was caught between two allies on this deal. While Washington pushed for a deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against it. So far, Mr. Harper is sticking with Mr. Netanyahu’s doubts – though Mr. Nicholson said that Canada appreciates the “efforts of the P5+1” to negotiate an agreement.
Russia Expects U.S. to Scrap European Missile Defense as Part of Iran Deal
The pro-Kremlin Russia Today notes Russia thinks U.S. plans for missile defense in Europe will be scrapped as part of the deal. If Iran is allegedly giving up on nuclear weapons, the logic goes, Europe will not need that shield anymore.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov cites President Barack Obama on this very topic, years ago. “We all probably remember that in April 2009 in Prague, President Obama said that if the Iran nuclear program issue is sorted out, then the task of creating the European segment of the missile defense system will disappear,” Lavrov said at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.
It is debatable whether everyone in the hapless Obama State Department remembers the president saying that. Also, back in 2009, these bumbling fools were convinced Russia was friendly—hey, Hillary Clinton even gave them a “reset button!”
Years later, in the 2012 presidential election, President Obama would mock his opponent Mitt Romney for warning about the Russian threat. Now an expansionist Russia is knocking on every Baltic door, threatening NATO itself, and displacing U.S. influence in the Middle East while counting on President Obama to continue weakening America’s position, for as long as he remains in office.
The Russians are supposed to be big players in ensuring Iranian compliance with the minimal terms of the nuclear deal, which should tell you a lot about how much wiggle room Iran has to ignore even the few minor concessions it has made.
Ron Dermer: Israeli ambassador: The four major problems with the Iran deal
Israel has long been concerned that the “P5+1” powers would negotiate a bad deal with Iran. But the deal announced today in Vienna is breathtaking in its concessions to an Iranian regime that is the foremost sponsor of terror in the world, is on a march of conquest in the Middle East, is responsible for the murder and maiming of thousands of U.S. soldiers, and vows and works to annihilate the one and only Jewish state.
There are four major problems with this deal. First, it leaves Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure. This is not the hoped for “dismantle for dismantle” deal, in which the sanctions regime would be dismantled in exchange for the dismantling of Iran’s nuclear-weapons making capability. Rather, this deal leaves Iran’s nuclear capabilities essentially intact (the conversion of the Arak heavy-water facility being the notable exception). In fact, this deal allows Iran to improve those capabilities by conducting research and development on advanced centrifuges and building intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear warheads.
To keep Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions in check over the next decade, the P5+1 countries — the five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany — are relying on intelligence and inspectors. Here, the historical record does not bode well. The United States and Israel have two of the finest intelligence agencies in the world. But it was years before either knew that Iran had secret facilities at Natanz and Fordow .
Daniel Pipes: Could the Iran Deal Be the Worst International Accord of All Time?
The United States alone, not to speak of the P5+1 countries as a whole, has vastly greater economic and military power than the Islamic Republic of Iran, making this one-sided concession ultimately a bafflement.
Of the administration’s accumulated foreign-policy mistakes in the last six years, none have been catastrophic for the United States: Not the Chinese building islands, the Russians’ taking Crimea, or the collapse into civil wars of Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. But the Iran deal has the makings of a catastrophe.
Attention now shifts to the U.S. Congress to review today’s accord, arguably the worst international accord not just in American history or modern history, but ever. Congress must reject this deal. Republican senators and representatives have shown themselves firm on this topic; will the Democrats rise to the occasion and provide the votes for a veto override? They need to feel the pressure.
Why Is Obama Abandoning 70 Years of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy?
There are several problems with this line of argumentation but foremost among them is that all the examples these critics cite are of countries that were already de facto nuclear powers and that eventually went on to build the bomb. If Washington’s goal is to simply manage Iran’s entry into the nuclear club, then the proposed nuclear deal can be rationalized. But that is not the case that the Obama Administration is making to Congress and the public, where there is a bipartisan consensus in favor of a policy of prevention.
A deal that allows Iran to keep a uranium enrichment program will not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Instead, it will make an Iranian bomb more likely. It also increases the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region. Then there is the matter of setting a dangerous precedent: It will be impossible for Washington to argue that it trusts Iran with sensitive nuclear facilities but not its friends and allies. To make matters even worse, in the wake of a deal, all of this will happen with the international community’s stamp of approval. Seventy years of successful U.S.-led nonproliferation policy will have been trashed.
In sum, if to this point you have been confused about the arcane technical details in the Iran nuclear negotiations, save yourself some trouble. Unless the negotiators return to insisting on zero enrichment, their efforts deserve zero support.
The Dawn of Iranian Empire
For a more succinct (and, on the whole, accurate) account, go right to the statement issued by Tehran’s official Islamic Republic News Agency. It notes, inter alia:
-) World powers have recognized Iran’s peaceful nuclear program and are to respect the nuclear rights of Iranian nation within international conventions…
-) The Islamic Republic of Iran is to be recognized as a nuclear technology power authorized to have peaceful nuclear programs such as complete nuclear fuel cycle and enrichment to be identified by the United Nations.
-) All unfair sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council including economic and financial sanctions on Iran are to be lifted as per the agreement and through issuance of a new resolution by the United Nations Security Council.
-) All nuclear installations and sites are to continue their work contrary to the early demands of the other party, none of them will be dismantled.
-) The policy on preventing enrichment uranium is now failed, and Iran will go ahead with its enrichment program.
-) Iran’s nuclear infrastructure will remain intact, no centrifuges will be dismantled and research and development on key and advanced centrifuges such as IR-4, IR-5, IR-6, IR-8 will continue.
So far, so familiar — and dismaying. This agreement is a massive capitulation to Iran. Having started negotiations with the goal of ending Iran’s nuclear program, the U.S. and its European negotiating partners are winding up legitimating Iran’s status as a nuclear power in waiting.
But there are some surprises in the final language.
The most pleasant surprise is the “snapback” provision which would, in theory, at least, allow the reintroduction of sanctions should Iran violate the agreement. It had been widely feared that “snapback” would require a vote of the U.N. Security Council, which would allow Russia or China to veto such a resolution. Instead, the agreement sets up a Joint Commission — composed of the European Union, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, China, and Iran — to adjudicate disputes over implementation. It would only take a bare majority of the commission to reinstitute sanctions, which means that the U.S. and its European allies could re-impose sanctions even without the support of Russia and China.
Iran deal: Obama's global multiculturalism gone mad
Widely billed as the first post-American president, Barack Obama has now nailed his colours firmly to the mast, to be left there for posterity. While most politicians would at least claim that they entered the political fray so as to leave the world a better place than they found it, the nuclear deal with Iran proves beyond doubt that Obama intends to bequeath a more dangerous one.
His thinly veiled excuse is that something had to be done with Iran, and that there was no appetite for a military intervention that may not have worked anyway.
But this misses the point. The deal we have which kinda offers some sort of verification, and kinda prevents further enrichment, and could kinda be enforced if they renege and kinda expires in a decade or so anyway, frankly amounts to a capitulation.
In yet another instance of Obama's defeatist stance, the administration approached the whole situation without truly understanding (or without wanting truly to understand) that the West held all the best cards.
Our military capacity is vast compared with Iran's, as is the economic stick we could wield if we wanted to. This should not have been a process where two equal parties came together and hammered out a deal.
It should have been almost wholly one-sided. While we could not have dictated terms entirely, we could have surely shown who was boss.
Here’s the Truth About 6 of Obama’s Iran Deal Claims
Months of Iranian pressure on the United States brought its fruition. Iran got a deal that legitimizes its nuclear program, rewards its defiance of international treaties and obligations, and provides it with additional billions of dollars to continue its terrorist activities in the Middle East.
Here are the White House’s most egregious misinterpretations of the deal, looking at claims President Obama made during his remarks about the deal this morning.
1. “A comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The concluded deal does not prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon in the future. The deal imposes temporary restrictions on Iran’s illegal nuclear program.
After their expiration, Iran will have better resources to pursue more advanced nuclear technologies and potentially build a nuclear weapon faster than would be the case had sanctions remained in place.
The deal also allows Iran to obtain currently restricted materials to advance its ballistic missile program.
Time to Call Obama and Kerry What They Are: Traitors
The real traitor was always in the White House. And it’s time we called his foreign policy what it is.
Obama and Kerry have not made this deal as representatives of the United States, but as representatives of a toxic ideology that views America as the cause of all that is wrong in the world. This is not an agreement that strengthens us and keeps us safe, but an agreement that weakens us and endangers us negotiated by men who believe that a strong Iran is better than a strong America.
Their ideology is that of the screaming anti-war protester denouncing American forces and foreign policy anywhere and everywhere, whose worldview has changed little since crying, “Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh. NLF is going to win” in the streets. The only difference is that he now wears an expensive suit.
Their ideology is not America. It is not American. It is the same poisonous left-wing hatred which led Kerry to the Viet Cong, to the Sandinistas and to Assad. It is the same resentment of America that Obama carried to Cairo, Havana and Tehran. We have met the enemy and he is in the White House.
US Official Dismisses Israeli Concerns Over Iran Deal : No One Takes Netanyahu Seriously
A senior U.S. official dismissed Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s stated concerns over the Iran nuclear deal announced on Tuesday, claiming that nobody pays attention to the PM anyway, Israeli Channel 2 news reported.
“Nobody takes any of Netanyahu’s proclamations seriously,” the official said, “nobody listens to him.”
During an interview with MSNBC later in the day, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to Netanyahu’s criticism of the deal.
Asked in the interview what he thought of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reference to the deal as a “historic mistake,” Kerry responded, “Well, he said the same thing about the interim agreement, and he was wrong.”
Kerry described the prime minister’s comments as “way over the top.”
“He doesn’t even know what the concessions are that we have not engaged in,” he said, “because we haven’t made concessions.”
John Kerry: Israel is ‘Safer’ Because of Nuclear Deal
Shortly after the agreement was announced earlier on Tuesday, Netanyahu called the deal a “historic mistake” saying that “far-reaching concessions” were made by the world powers to Iran that will lead to Iran receiving “hundreds of billions of dollars with which it can fuel its terror machine and its expansion and aggression throughout the Middle East and across the globe.”
Kerry rejected those comments, saying that Netanyahu “said the same thing about the interim agreement, and he was wrong.”
“Israel is safer,” Kerry said.
President Obama called Netanyahu on Tuesday to talk about the Iran deal, saying that it “will not diminish our concerns regarding Iran’s support for terrorism and threats toward Israel,” according to a description of the call provided by the White House.
The White House announced that Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will travel to Israel next week as a “reflection of the unprecedented level of security cooperation between the United States and Israel.”
Following Iran deal, a deafening Arab silence
As the agreement between Iran and the superpowers was announced Tuesday morning, Saudi newspapers went to print with headlines about surveillance cameras in mosques and a minor cabinet reshuffle.
For a kingdom currently engaged in a proxy war with Iran in Yemen, the utter Saudi silence on the looming nuclear deal was deafening. The word “Iran” was also nowhere to be found on the front pages of dailies in Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
“There’s an [Arab] sense of disappointment mixed with shock,” said Uzi Rabi, director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle East research at Tel Aviv University. “These countries, and especially Saudi Arabia, are trying to come to terms with the materialization of their worst fears.”
The most immediate result of the Arab sense of desperation will be the start of a regional arms race, Rabi estimated. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and even Turkey will begin to develop scientific nuclear programs.
Israel’s UN Ambassador: World Will Pay the Price for Iran Deal
Israel’s U.N. ambassador warned on Tuesday that “tomorrow, the rest of the world will pay the price” for the nuclear deal with Iran announced earlier in the day.
“On the dawn of this new day, [the Iranians] can lean back comfortably, and act without limitations, with newfound economic prosperity, and with a broad smile on their faces,” said Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor.
The Israeli envoy emphasized Iran’s recent calls for the eradication of Israel, most recently during the run-up to the emphatically anti-Israel “Quds Day,” a national Iranian festival meant to show solidarity with the Palestinian cause but also serve as a stark reminder of the Islamic Republic’s deep loathing for Israel.
“The Iranians have woken up today to the dawn of a new day. It is very similar to the dawn of the previous day, in which they were a religiously fanatic state that seeks the annihilation of another nation, and acts to fund and promote terror all over the world,” he said.
US Envoy Admits Iran Deal May 'Unnerve' Forces Fighting ISIS
Retired general John Allen, the US special envoy for the coalition against Islamic State (ISIS), admitted Tuesday that some of Washington's allies in the war with ISIS would be unnerved by Tuesday's nuclear deal between the West and Iran.
"For many of the members of the coalition, Iran has been, is and probably will remain one of the principal sources of threat to their national security," he said.
"I won't speculate on the outcome of the announcement made this morning with respect to whether it will fundamentally change Iran's behavior, but it's of course a very important question for all" coalition members, Allen said.
‘Stop Nuclear Iran’ Rally Next Wednesday at Times Square
A mass rally that might attract tens of thousands of people is scheduled for next Wednesday 5:30 p.m. (EDT) at Times Square in New York City.
Police have planned for thousands of people to show up, but Tuesday’s agreement with Iran and the explosive opposition from Israel and the Jewish community in the United States is likely to draw much larger crowds.
The long-rage forecast is for temperatures in the 80s (Fahrenheit) and a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms.
Speakers at the rally include:
Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law Professor; John Batchelor, Radio Host WABC-AM; Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of the Jerusalem Post;
David Brog, Executive Director, Christians United for Israel; Steven Emerson, founder of The Investigative Project on Terrorism; Frank Gaffney, founder of the Center for Security Policy;
Edgar Davidson: The Iran deal: the comparison with 1938 is wrong and here is why
The 1938 deal at least attempted to address the core problem: To stop the militaristic intentions of a murderous antisemitic dictatorship (Germany). The 2015 deal legitimizes and funds the militaristic intentions of a murderous antisemitic dictatorship (Iran).
Savings? Not When We’re Going To Get Nuked Anyway By Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Finance (satire)
Let me get this straight: you want me to worry about affordable housing, the cost of living, defense expenditures, struggling Holocaust survivors, fiscal responsibility, and a crumbling health care system, while none of that is going to matter in a few years when Iran gets the bomb? Get real. Me, I plan to liquidate the State’s assets and throw the biggest goddamn party you ever saw. Get it while the gettin’s good.
Does anybody seriously think the mullahs of Tehran aren’t going to cheat, sneak, defy, bribe, and bully their way to a nuclear weapon as quickly as possible? Sure, some residual sanctions might slow them down by a few months, but all that will cease to matter once Iran has a nuclear weapon. There’s literally no down side for the Ayatollahs in ignoring the deal and continuing to develop those weapons. No one can credibly argue that Russia will agree to reimpose sanctions when violations are inevitably revealed, so bye-bye deterrent to non-compliance. And bye-bye to financial responsibility of any sort, because when the Middle East goes all mushroom cloud, you folks who rambled on and on about the deficit and the budget are going to feel pretty silly. Canape, anyone?
I encourage all of you to follow my example. Junior will not need to attend university, because there will be no university, and no Junior, for that matter. We are all going to fry, every last non-cockroach between the Mediterranean and the Indus River, and possibly everyone else on Earth, too. This afternoon I’ll be holding a conference for the heads of all municipalities and local governments on quick ideas for how to transform public bomb shelters – which will be pretty much useless in the coming nuclear apocalypse – into night clubs where we can live out our remaining days in one constant party.
Kerry, Iran's Zarif Recommended for Nobel Peace Prize (not satire)
Critics accuse US Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif of having sealed a nuclear deal on Tuesday that will lead to a regional nuclear arms race in the Middle East - but the two may be on their way to winning a Nobel Peace Prize.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading Swedish think-tank, has recommended Kerry and Zarif for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for their leading roles in the nuclear deal, reports the International Business Times on Wednesday.
Tariq Rauf, director of SIPRI's Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Program and formerly chief of Verification and Security Policy at the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from 2002 to 2011, said the two deserved a Nobel prize.
He called the Iran nuclear deal the "single-most important multilateral agreement in decades," comparing it to the 1996 Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on nuclear detonation testing - critics have compared the new deal to a similar one reached with North Korea in 1994, which around a decade later enabled the Communist regime to obtain nuclear weapons.

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