Wednesday, August 26, 2015

From Ian:

Dennis Ross and and David H. Petraeus: How to put some teeth into the nuclear deal with Iran
Surely if the Iranians are dashing toward a weapon, especially after year 15, there is a need not to speak of our options but of our readiness to use force. The threat of force is far more likely to deter the Iranians.
The Iranians also should know that if they produce highly enriched uranium — for which there is no legitimate civilian purpose — that we would see that as an intention to make a weapon and would act accordingly. There is no mention of highly enriched uranium in the president’s letter. Although Obama speaks in the letter of providing the Israelis with the BLU-113, a 4,400-pound “bunker buster” bomb, it would not be sufficient to penetrate Fordow, the Iranian enrichment site built into a mountain. For that, the Israelis would need the 30,000-pound massive ordnance penetrator (MOP) and the means to carry it. While some may question whether we would act militarily if the Iranians were to dash to a bomb, no one questions whether the Israelis would do so.
Bolstering deterrence is essential in addressing key vulnerabilities we see in the deal. A blunter statement on the consequences of Iran moving toward a weapon and of producing highly enriched uranium would allay some of our concerns. Providing the Israelis the MOP and the means to carry it would surely enhance deterrence — and so would developing options now in advance with the Israelis and key Arab partners to counter Iran’s likely surge of support for Hezbollah and other Shiite militias after it gets sanctions relief.
Deterrence would be more effective — and full implementation of the agreement more likely — if the Iranians understand that there will be a price for every transgression, no matter how small, and that we will raise the cost to them of de-stabilizing behavior in the region. The president’s letter to Nadler was useful but fell short of addressing our concerns. It is still possible for the administration to do so.
Khaled Abu Toameh: Egypt and the Hamas "Cockroaches"
"What were your four [Hamas] men doing in Sinai? Haven't you denied in the past the presence of any Hamas men in Sinai? So where did these men pop up from?" — Dina Ramez, Egyptian journalist.
The incident also proves that Hamas does not hesitate to take advantage of Cairo's humanitarian gestures to smuggle its men out of the Gaza Strip. Obviously, the four Hamas men were not on their way to receive medical treatment. That they are members of Hamas's armed wing, Ezaddin al-Qassam, speaks for itself.
The Egyptians are particularly fed up with reports about Hamas's increased involvement in their internal affairs and links to terror groups in Sinai.
This practice by Hamas is something that the Egyptian authorities have come to understand, which is why they are refusing to reopen the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt. The question now is whether the international community will understand Hamas's true intentions and plans -- namely to prepare for another war against Israel.
Iranian-Born Jewish Author: Iran Has “Decidedly Won” Its Media War with the West
While Iran has engaged in several conflicts since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, one it “has decidedly won is the media war” with the West, Roya Hakakian, a prominent Iranian-American Jewish author and journalist, wrote in an op-ed yesterday in The Forward.
Hakakian argued that foreign journalists frequently fall into the trap of writing feel-good stories about Iran for Western audiences, as she witnessed while working on a CBS segment about an Iranian political prisoner with the late Bob Simon in 1999. The piece was being produced at a time when Mohammad Khatami, a reputed moderate, was president of Iran.
Hakakian also observed that Tehran granted The Forward permission to send its reporter, Larry Cohler-Esses, to Iran earlier this month with a strange stipulation: Cohler-Esses was instructed to request a letter of recommendation from the leaders of Iran’s Jewish community. Hakakian pointed out the impossible constraint the letter placed on Cohler-Esses:
The demand for a letter should have instantly alarmed the Forward, for it was made based on the bigoted notion that the Jews run a worldwide network which can instantly be activated. Why should an Iranian Jewish leader be asked to recommend an unknown journalist for a visa if not to generate a clear signal to the invested parties as to on whose credit he was getting in and what was expected of him to return with? The Jewish leader who vouched for the Forward was, it seems, mortgaging his freedom in the hopes that Cohler-Esses would not print what might have incited the ire of the regime. Has such a letter of recommendation ever been asked of, say, the Economist or Der Spiegel?
The Israel Project: "The Inspectors"

John Bolton: The Bitter and Unpleasant Choices on Iran
The Vienna deal sets up a choice of bad and worse When Congress returns to Washington in September, it faces one of its most critical decisions in recent years: whether to reject the Vienna nuclear deal and ostensibly stop President Obama from waiving economic sanctions against Iran. Unfortunately, many staunch opponents of the deal, who rightly criticize its debilitating errors, inadequacies, and omissions, nonetheless misapprehend America’s alternatives once Congress acts. They contend that, after blocking Obama’s waiver authority, we should not only maintain the current nonproliferation sanctions but impose stricter ones, both U.S. and even international. Under this theory, Iran would sooner or later be forced to seek new negotiations, in which Washington could extract a better agreement. And in the absence of such an agreement, they argue, “no deal is better than a bad deal.
”This is all fantasy. We have been overtaken by events, no matter how Congress votes.
Obama’s mistakes, concessions, and general detachment from Middle Eastern reality for six and a half years make it impossible to travel in time back to a theoretical world where sanctions might have derailed Iran’s nuclear-weapons program.
If Obama can save the Vienna agreement from Congress, he will lift sanctions for the remainder of his presidency. Alternatively, if his veto is overridden and U.S. sanctions remain in place, Europe, Russia, China, and everyone else will nonetheless proceed to implement the deal on their own. (And given Obama’s propensity not to enforce laws with which he disagrees, which he is already signaling in this case, U.S. sanctions will almost certainly prove ineffective.) Either way, it is naïve to think that a new Republican president in January 2017 will find any takers internationally to revive sanctions.
However Congress votes, Iran will still be marching inexorably toward deliverable nuclear weapons.
Deals don’t constrain the mullahs, who see this capability as critical to the 1979 Islamic Revolution’s very survival. Not surprisingly, therefore, existing sanctions have slowed down neither Iran’s nuclear-weapons program nor its support for international terrorism. General James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, testified in 2013 that sanctions had not changed the ayatollahs’ nuclear efforts, and this assessment stands unmodified today. Tehran’s support for such terrorists as Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemen’s Houthis, and Syria’s Assad regime has, if anything, increased. As for the sanctions’ economic impact on Iran, Clapper testified that “the Supreme Leader’s standard is a level of privation that Iran suffered during the Iran–Iraq war,” a level that Iran was nowhere near in 2013 and is nowhere near today.
An Unnamed Problem with the Iran Nuclear Deal
Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was released four weeks ago, one of the provisions that has gotten the least attention has been the so-called “grandfather clause.” The accusation has been made, with which I and many others agree, that the text of the deal obviates any implementation of “snap-back” of sanctions by exempting existing contracts from re-imposition of penalties. So once the initial flood of business washes ashore in the Islamic Republic – once those initial contracts are signed – “snap-back,” even if you could get others to agree to it, wouldn’t do any significant damage.
You can see why the administration might be uncomfortable with that assessment.
Enter Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department’s acting undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, who testified before the Senate Banking Committee last week that “there is no grandfather clause. No provision in the deal gives signed contracts special status.”
Well, except this one:
“In such event [the re-imposition of sanctions], these provisions would not apply with retroactive effect to contracts signed between any party and Iran or Iranian individuals and entities prior to the date of application.”
Please don’t take my word for it. It’s in section 37 of the “Nuclear” heading just following the preamble and general provisions. Page 20.
Report: France Begrudgingly Accepted Nuclear Deal Despite Failure to Achieve Original Objectives
France has begrudgingly acceded a nuclear deal that failed to achieve the original objectives of a gross rolling back of Iran’s nuclear program, mostly for economic reasons, a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece by the former executive editor of the International Herald Tribune said on Monday.
European countries have been notably quiet over the Iran deal, compared with the debate in the U.S. — even in the very countries that were party to the negotiations with Tehran: the U.K., Germany and France.
But now, some commentary has emerged shedding new light on French attitudes. Bruno Tertais of the French Foundation for Strategic Research wrote in Canadian newspaper Le Devoir that European negotiators were forced to climb down from their aims at near-dismantling Iran’s nuclear program over pressure from the Obama administration to get the deal done, wrote John Vinocur in the WSJ.
Additionally, he wrote that a French diplomat had graded the Iran deal a measly “C-plus,” especially as the deal maintains a 15-year sunset clause and allows the Iranian regime to keep thousands of centrifuges spinning.
Republicans Plan New Iran Sanctions After Vote on Nuclear Deal
Opponents of the Iran deal aren’t expecting the Congressional vote next month to go their way, but they are already planning for the day after their loss. Republicans in Congress are preparing several bills to sanction Iran. Even if those never reach a vote, the proposals could be problematic for Democrats well into 2016.
The White House has compared the Iran deal to Obamacare in terms of its historical impact. Republicans agree.
“The analogy to the Affordable Care act is ringing in my ears,” said Representative Mike Pompeo, one of several Iran deal critics developing new sanctions proposals. “The American people get who the Iranian regime is. The American people will reward elected officials who do the right thing.”
All the proposals seek to capitalize on the administration’s promise to keep up pressure on Iran for its non-nuclear mischief, including over its support for regional terrorism and its human rights record. And Pompeo says new sanctions have a chance of passing, even if Congress can't block Obama's deal.
“We’ve seen 400 votes plus for significant sanctions. This wouldn’t be terribly different from that in substance,” said Pompeo. “The arguments would be the same.”
Prager: Why Do Many Jews Support the Iran Deal?
So why do so many American Jews support the deal? Because they 1) are loyal to President Obama, 2) have an intense dislike of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and 3) have an intense dislike of Republicans.
In addition, both Jews and non-Jews often forget that Israel is no longer important to an increasing number of American Jews. Jews are the most left-wing ethnic and religious group in America — in part because Jews are more secular than others and attend college in greater numbers — and the more people embrace a left-wing view of the world the more hostile to Israel they are likely to become.
There are, therefore, quite a number of American Jews who support the Iran deal for reasons having nothing to do with Israel. They only care about America, they say, and the deal is good for America. One presumes that most of these people also believe that pulling all our troops out of Iraq was good for America. It wasn’t. These Jews and non-Jews believe that the answer to evil is negotiation, not confrontation. That there is no historical basis for that belief does not disturb them. These people are still singing “Give Peace a Chance.”
So why do many American Jews — including some supporters of Israel — back the Iran deal? For the same reason the minority of American non-Jews who support the deal do: Their outlook on life has been shaped by the Left.
Chris Christie Slams Iran Deal Alongside Jewish Leaders
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stood beside American Jewish leaders at a news conference on Tuesday, blasting US President Barack Obama and urging Congress to vote against the nuclear deal with Iran.
“Not only is this a bad agreement, but we have the president of the United States directly lying to the American people to try to force this through a reluctant and a concerned Congress,” Christie said at the Chabad House at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
A presidential hopeful, Chrisite used the platform not only to issue heavy criticism of the Iran deal but also to prove himself an avid supporter of the Jewish state.
The event, sponsored in coordination with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, was held with the goal of persuading “the congressional delegation of New Jersey" to oppose the nuclear accord.
Both Christie and Boteach lavished praise on New Jersey Senator Cory Booker as they urged him to come out against the deal.
Jewish congressmen urge end to personal attacks in Iran debate
Three New York Democratic congressmen called for more substance and fewer personal attacks in the debate on the agreement over Iran’s nuclear program.
On Tuesday, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) announced she would support the accord, bringing the total number of Democrats backing the deal to 29.
Reps. Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey and Steve Israel released a statement Tuesday supporting a “serious debate” over the agreement. The statement criticized comparisons between the deal and the Holocaust, as well as accusations of dual loyalty or insufficient support of Israel.
“We remain concerned that individuals on both sides of the debate have resorted to ad hominem attacks and threats against those who don’t share their opinions,” the statement read. “This is unacceptable. It is especially egregious to attribute malicious intent to decision makers who are thoughtfully debating the details and effects of the agreement.”
Prominent New York Rabbi Calls on Congregation to Lobby Congresswoman Over Iran Deal
Prominent New York Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein has told his community members they would be “doing a mitzvah” by lobbying Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) to vote no on the Iran deal this September.
He offered members of his Synagogue, Kehilath Jeshurun, in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, two options to perform this “mitzvah”: signing a petition he said had more than 700 signatures already encouraging Maloney to oppose the deal, or directly calling her office to voice that opinion of the Iran nuclear deal, which opponents have vowed to fight to overturn in Congress when lawmakers return from summer recess.
“All you have to do is simply state that you would like her to vote AGAINST [sic] the Iran deal,” Lookstein wrote.
Ploughshares: The Money Behind the Iran Deal
President Barack Obama has complained multiple times about nefarious lobbies lined up against the Iran deal. Alongside the president, many proponents of the Iran deal negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry argue that there can be no honest reason for the unease and outright opposition to the deal among some politicians other than nefarious money from lobbyists who want war or, at the very least, want to maintain the tense status quo between Tehran and Washington.
It is a theme supporters of the Iran deal have picked up. Trita Parsi, an Iranian-Swede who leads the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and once declared that everything he does, he does for Iran, marked Senator Harry Reid’s endorsement of the deal by declaring it a defeat for big money, a silly statement given Reid’s own partisanship and acceptance of myriad campaign contributions from lobbying groups. “The Iran Project,” likewise reported, “In efforts to sway Iran debate, big-money donors are heard.” The news media has played along. “Big Money and Ads Clash Over Iran Nuclear Deal,” USA Today reported.
The irony, however, is that many of the staunchest proponents of the Iran nuclear deal feed from the same trough of cash supplied by the Ploughshares Fund, a multimillion-dollar group which defines itself as a foundation seeking nuclear disarmament but which has, for several years, taken a consistently apologetic line toward Iran. Now, too often analysts throw around discussion of funding to cast aspersions on those who disagree with them in the policy debate. Often, this is nonsense. Few analysts on either the left or the right are blank slates that simply follow the money. Those staffing NIAC, for example, have always sought an end to sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many had worked for Atieh Bahar, a Tehran-based consultancy close to former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. They are not chameleons, changing their stripes to match their funders. When NIAC policy director Reza Marashi, an Atieh Bahar alum, worked for the State Department during the George W. Bush years, he was not pro-democracy agenda, but was understood to be sympathetic to an embrace rather than isolation of Iran. Indeed, his persistent questions about the recipients of U.S. aid inside Iran raised security concerns. Likewise, when NIAC received a couple hundred thousand dollars from the National Endowment for Democracy, Trita channeled it to organizations close to the Iranian government.
 Traitor Senators Took Money from Iran Lobby, Back Iran Nukes
Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb.
There was no surprise there.
Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.
After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the Iran Lobby’s third Dem senator, didn’t bother playing coy like her colleagues. She came out for the deal a while back even though she only got half the IAPAC cash that Franken and Markey received.
As did Senator Gillibrand, who had benefited from IAPAC money back when she first ran for senator and whose position on the deal should have come as no surprise.
Brave: Two Freshmen Dems Will Oppose Iran Deal
Both Rep. Donald Norcross (D – N.J.) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D – Pa.) have announced that they will stand on principle and oppose the nuclear deal with Iran (a/k/a, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.) I know almost nothing about either of these legislators, but I have tremendous respect for them. They are both freshmen and yet they have both announced that they will stand against their party’s leader, President Barack Obama, even though the President has made it clear that the JCPOA is a priority. I have little doubt that both men understand the risk; the administration has made it clear that it will not tolerate apostasy.
I give a lot of credit to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) too, because he may have jeopardized his chances of a spot in the leadership by announcing his opposition to the JCPOA.
Lieberman and Graham Headline Bipartisan Stop Iran Rally in NYC
Stop Iran Rally, the grassroots movement that brought 15,000 people to Times Square in July, will protest against the dangerous deal with Iran at Senator Gillibrand’s office in New York City on September 1.
US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and retired US Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman will headline the bipartisan rally, where they will deliver a landmark foreign policy speech.
Family members of victims of Iranian terror, including the daughter of an Iranian journalist who died a political prisoner and the brother of a US Navy Seal tortured and killed on TWA Flight 847 by Iranian proxy Hezbollah, will also address the thousands of New Yorkers expected to attend the rally.
The nature of evil regimes will be the subject of an important speech by a child survivor of medical experiments and torture at a Nazi labor camp. “Morale outrage is what New Yorkers feel about this dangerous deal because the Iranian regime has shown itself, since taking the American embassy in 1979, to be vile law breakers with complete disregard for human life,” said Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, one of the volunteer activists coordinating the rally.
Iran reformists implore US Congress: Approve nuclear deal to boost human rights
Iranian pro-democracy activists, lawyers and artists have thrown their weight behind last month's nuclear deal with world powers, hoping it will lead to a promised political opening that President Hassan Rouhani has so far failed to deliver.
Dozens of prominent figures, many of whom have spent time in jail and faced travel or work bans, have recorded short video clips on social media sites this week praising the July 14 accord that will lift international sanctions from Iran in exchange for strict curbs on its nuclear program.
"These video messages show that those who have paid the highest prices for the cause of democracy and human rights in Iran are supporting the deal," Mohammadreza Jalaeipour, a pro-democracy activist who organized the campaign said.
Many of the videos implored the US Congress to approve the deal in a vote due next month, arguing that it offers the best hope of promoting democracy in Iran and is not a capitulation to Iranian hardline factions to which they, too, are opposed.
Students in Tehran Demand to Cancel the Nuclear Deal
Dozens of Iranian students opposed to the nuclear agreement with world powers gathered in front of parliament Tuesday, urging lawmakers to reject the deal, several local media reported.
Both the Iranian parliament, as well as the US Congress, are currently reviewing the deal before voting on it and potentially implementing it.
Congress is expected to pass a resolution next month opposing the deal. President Barack Obama will veto that measure, but Congress could override such a veto - and kill the deal - with a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Iranian lawmakers are believed to be waiting to see what Congress decides.
Students chanted slogans against the "US intrusion in Iran" through the agreement, and also against the "weak Majlis (parliament)," which they said has been "a partner in crime with the government" on the issue.
Some held banners calling the deal an "American Trojan horse to infiltrate Iran."
Iran rejects claims of ‘more nuanced' Israel stance
Iran denied British claims that it had indicated a “more nuanced approach” to Israel, saying Tuesday that such discussions had not taken place and that its attitude toward the Jewish state remained unchanged.
British and Iranian officials had discussed joint cooperation between the two countries as well as regional and international policy, spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham said, according to the Iranian Tasnim News Agency.
But she added that British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had not discussed Tehran’s position on Israel with President Hassan Rouhani.
“During the meeting, our country’s authorities elaborated on our country’s principled and firm stances on the international developments which calls for all-out confrontation against terrorism, occupation and extremism,” Afkham said.
She made clear that there had been no change in Iran’s stance on the Zionist Regime, the agency report said.
Washington Post Columnist: US Must Be Prepared ‘Belligerently’ to Keep Israel Safe
No matter the “bourgeois yearnings” of ordinary Iranians excited by the prospects of a newly open Iran, Iran’s leadership has committed itself to remaining on a steadfast, virulently antisemitic and anti-Israel course, and so the U.S. should be prepared to use its military to ensure the safety of the Jewish state, wrote Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen on Monday.
Writing from Dachau, Germany, where the Nazi regime inaugurated the first of many concentration camps to persecute those the fascist regime deemed dangerously redundant, Cohen explained how the Holocaust was an “immense national effort,” with much of the killing “done by men (and some women) who, on leave, went home to cuddle their kids and pet their dogs.”
“Ordinary men can do extraordinary things, evil included,” he explained.
So while Cohen — who supports implementing the current nuclear deal with Iran — rejects the more extreme posturing that the Vienna pact could lead to another Holocaust or worldwide apocalypse, he hammers home the point that Iran’s leaders, perhaps unlike the country’s people, uphold vastly different values than our own.
He quotes the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said of Israel: “This barbaric, wolf-like, and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated,” and stressed that in calculating foreign policy toward Iran, “only the country’s leadership matters.”
On the trail of Tel Aviv’s ‘delusional’ Iranian Embassy
Balslev had one more insight to offer: “Do you think the folks at the Iranian Embassy in Jerusalem are behind this? I never would have thought they could have enough money for a banner like this.”
The Iranian Embassy in Jerusalem is a project of the Hamabul Art Collective, a group of Jerusalem-based performance artists. According to the project’s website, “We are a group of artists living and creating in Jerusalem, trying to create a new reality, one which we can identify with. A reality of dialogue between the people, not dominated by mass media and governments.”
Is Hamabul behind the banner on a wall that is probably one of the most expensive places in the country to advertise? Did the group suddenly decide to move its “embassy” from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv?
On Hamabul’s Facebook wall, someone posted a photo of the banner alongside the words, “Hamabul doesn’t take responsibility, but we’re pleased.”
Voting Down the Iran Deal Is No Empty Gesture
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond made a high-profile trip to Iran to reopen the British Embassy, which had been closed in 2011 after it was attacked by a regime-authorized mob whose “Death to Britain” graffiti is still visible on the walls. Once in Tehran, Hammond felt obligated to utter the kind of foolish platitudes that are doomed to be disappointed — all about how Britain can now engage with Iran on “the very many issues” where they have “shared interests.”
Does Britain have a “shared interest” with Iran in destroying the state of Israel? In prolonging Hezbollah’s domination of Lebanon? In propping up Bashar Assad’s murderous rule in Syria? In furthering takeovers by Iranian proxies in Iraq and Yemen? In destabilizing the Sunni kingdoms of the Persian Gulf?
Thought not. As the British would say, Hammond’s talking points were “bollocks” or, to put it more politely, “a load of rubbish.”
But his visit was nevertheless interesting and instructive for what it revealed about the rush that Western companies are making — or not — to secure entry into the soon-to-be-open Iranian market. Iranian officials say they want $185 billion in oil and gas investment by 2020. Quite a bonanza, no? But, in fact, fewer than ten British executives accompanied Hammond on his trip — far smaller than the delegations of French and Italian businessmen that have visited Iran.
Iran Nuclear Chief in China to Revamp Arak Reactor
Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) head Ali Akbar Salehi left for Beijing on Wednesday, in an official visit to sign an agreement by which China will redesign Iran's Arak heavy water reactor and purchase the construction of several new small nuclear reactors for the Islamic regime.
Salehi is to be in China for three days according to the semi-official Fars News Agency, which noted that the highlight of the trip is to be the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese officials stipulating that Beijing will help Iran upgrade and redesign Arak.
The move would seem to indicate that China will take a leading role in the heavy water reactor's redesign, even though the Iran nuclear deal left it open as to which world powers would be involved in that step.
The AEOI head is to meet with the chairman of the China Atomic Energy Authority (CAEA) Xu Dazhe on Wednesday evening, and with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi the following evening, according to the Mehr News Agency which is also a semi-official outlet of the Iranian government.
Salehi will also visit several nuclear facilities and research centers in China during his visit according to Iranian media.
Iran, Russia to cooperate in satellites, aircraft industry
Iran's VP for Science and Technology Affairs Sorena Sattari will visit Russia’s MAKS-2015 Airshow today for boosting Iran-Russia cooperation in fields of satellites and aircrafts.
Russia’s aerospace exhibition is held biennially in the Moscow town of Zhukovfsky in late August and this year it will be attended by about 40 countries in the field of space technology from August 25 -31.
More than 40 Iranian firms in the field of space technology will put on display their latest achievements in Russia’s MAKS-2015 aerospace exhibition.
Iranian companies, which enjoy a larger space in the fairground this year, are to present several indigenous systems and equipment including Safir and Simorgh satellite carriers, Rasad, Fajr, and Tolou satellites, a space probe rocket, the mock-up of Iranian spacecraft, and the bio-capsule containing living creatures.
In the previous edition 850 related companies from 40 countries attended the event of which 30 were Iranian.
Deals progress for Russia to build nuclear plants in Egypt, Jordan as leaders visit Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi were set to sign a deal for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Egypt during a meeting on Wednesday in Moscow, a source close to the negotiations said.
According to a report by Russia state news agency Sputnik International, the source it was "possible" that the deal would be signed on Wednesday.
In June, state-owned nuclear-energy company Rosatom delivered a proposal to Sisi for the construction of the plant.
Sisi, Jordan’s King Abdullah, and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan are in Russia for meetings this week.
Sisi met with Abdullah in Moscow on Wednesday and discussed regional developments, Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.
A Conversation With Alan Dershowitz
What sparked the fire to write your new book, The Case Against the Iran Deal?
I’ve been very concerned about this deal and the Iranian nuclear program since 2005 when I started to write about it. I expected it to be a deal that was not acceptable but I didn’t think it would be as bad as this one. I expected that the deal would continue to not cross Obama’s own red lines—namely that the deal would be forever not just ten years. Secondly I expected that there would be very rigorous, 24/7, instantaneous inspections [and] that those rules—those red lines—would not be crossed.
I also didn’t think Obama would be naive enough to take the military option off the table during the negotiations, and that’s what he did and led the Iranians to believe that they wouldn’t face the tiger and could negotiate with us as equals. So when the deal was announced, I had a sleepless night. Then I woke up and sent an email to my publisher. I said ‘I want to write a book about the Iran deal.’ He said, ‘If you can get it in in two weeks we can do it.’ So I sent it to him in 11 days.
My bottom-line understanding of your book is this: Regardless of political inclination, if you are pro-Israel then you have to oppose the Iran deal.
I would put it a little differently: If you are pro-Israel, you have to understand that this is not a good deal for Israel, not a good deal for America. Even the people who are in Congress ratifying the deal don’t think that this is a good deal. So the question isn’t whether this is a good deal or a bad deal; It’s a bad deal. Could we have gotten a better deal? Yes. That’s not the issue. The issue is: Is the alternative worse? That is, would rejecting the deal be worse, would it be worse for Israel, would it be worse for peace, or would it make war more likely?
So we’re presented with two bad choices—a bad deal and, according to the president, an even worse outcome if the deal is rejected. I think that’s where the debate has turned in the last month or so. I think reasonable people can disagree about that second question about whether rejecting would be worse, and that’s why I pose a third alternative in my book.
Much ado about nothing
More than a week has gone by since Channel 2 reporter Ofer Hadad's fabricated news item, billed as an interview and titled "Exclusive: First and unusual testimony from within a Jewish terrorist organization." In reality, the interview with "A." was staged. A. was none other than Omri Menashe, a Channel 2 employee who was dressed up and blurred, and who put on a convincing performance, including shaking knees. Walla reporter Maya Mena blew the lid off the charade, and Maariv reporter Kalman Liebskind later issued his own, detailed indictment.
We have grown accustomed to Channel 2's well-known hatred of the settlement enterprise. We have become desensitized to the sight of Channel 2 Palestinian affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo acting as spokesman for Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in the guise of "exclusive interviews." (Just last week, using a recording of a Palestinian prisoner, Hemo issued threats regarding the bitter fate that awaits Israel should hunger-striking Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan be allowed to perish).
Last week's staged interview brought to my mind the fabricated swearing-in ceremony of the Jewish Fighting Organization (EYAL) back in September 1995. The organization was a fake group, established by Shin Bet security agency informant and provocateur Avishai Raviv. It was set up as an extreme right-wing organization but was actually designed to malign the Right for opposing the Oslo Accords. The fictitious ceremony was broadcast on Channel 1 and sparked loud admonishments and accusatory fingers (at times accusatory fists) in the best leftist tradition. All in all it was another attempt by the Left to silence opposition and curb the public trend against the ultimately bloody Oslo Accords.
Security Boosted on Major Highway to Prevent Terror
Police presence along Highway 443 and the surrounding area has been heightened, after a special assessment of the security situation there between top-ranking officers of the IDF, Israel Police, and Border Police.
Earlier this month, a 26 year-old Israeli man was injured after an Arab terrorist stabbed him at a gas station along the highway, in Beit Horon.
To counter the growing terror threat along the highway - which integrates Israeli and Palestinian drivers despite being in a critical area of Israel, between Modi'in and Jerusalem - the police have decided to deploy Special Forces, a security source revealed to Walla! News.
"[The decision] is already bearing operational fruit," he said.
Local residents along Route 443 have expressed concerns on a daily basis about their safety, the source added, and many motorists have chosen to take the nearby Route 1 highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem instead to avoid security risks. This, despite frequent traffic jams and renovation work on Route 1.
Watch: Palestinian Propaganda Mocks 'Captive IDF Ducks'
A Palestinian Arab YouTube channel registered in the "West Bank," and entitled "hareka Tube," posted an animated propaganda clip on Tuesday dehumanizing IDF soldiers as ducks and claiming five of them were captured in Gaza during Hamas's terror war last summer.
The wild claim is an exaggeration of the actual captives: the bodies of two fallen IDF soldiers are being held by Hamas and two Israeli civilians who entered Gaza fell captive; one of them, Avraham Mengistu, entered last September due to mental illness.
The animated clip presents the soldiers as ducks frolicking around before being easily captured by Hamas, and presents the Israeli government as having abandoned them.
The video, featuring a song in Hebrew with Hebrew and Arabic subtitles, can be seen below in its English subtitled version that was released by the channel the same day.
In the description of the Hebrew version of the clip is written: "five ducks, an animated clip presenting how the state of Israel abandons its soldiers after they fall prisoners of the Palestinian resistance in Gaza, and how 'the state' continues to mislead the Israeli public about the number of its missing soldiers and what their fate truly is."
Dog Photo Convinces Leftist Pundit Bibi is Hitler (not satire)
Igal Sarna, a leading writer in Yediot Aharonot, is known for his extremely harsh anti-Netanyahu invective, but he may have outdone himself in a Facebook post Monday.
In the post, Sarna features a photo of Netanyahu and his dog, Kaiya, shortly after the prime minister posted the photo to his Facebook page.
“How much light Kaiya has brought into our home! If you are thinking of getting a canine, find an adult dog to rescue. You won't regret it,” wrote Netanyahu.
"God, I mean, you are the son of a historian,” barked Sarna. “Did you not see, at home, when a dictator posed with a German Shepherd dog? No photographic memory? Smile like that for the refugees. Smile like that for the middle class that you are killing. Smile like that for the people who voted for you. (And how much did you sweat with the photographer for that relaxed air? The book. The pen. The glasses. The hair. And the dog, who would rather look at the photographer in the end).”
PreOccupied Territory: Mossad Also Recruiting Octuple-Agent Octopuses (satire)
Hamas spokesman Akhta Boutun said the organization had recruited and trained upwards of thirty individual octopuses for its new cephalopod commando unit, but that not a single octopus had successfully inflicted even one casualty on Israelis in the seven months since the unit formally began operations. An investigation into the murky workings of the top-secret unit raised suspicions that several, if not all, of the octopuses had been bribed, cajoled, blackmailed, or otherwise persuaded to feign combat operations against Israeli targets while in fact conducting espionage for the Mossad and Israeli military intelligence.
An effort to interrogate, discipline, and reorganize the unit initially appeared successful, but within weeks the combat statistics had not changed: Molotov cocktails were consistently exploding long before they reached their targets or not at all; rocks hit other Palestinians from behind; and cameras set up to record only Israeli soldiers’ reactions to provocation, not the violent provocation itself, were activated too early and had their angles switched so they actually showed the Palestinian violence.
Repeated efforts to stabilize the cephalopod commandos followed the same pattern, but with each iteration, the creatures were able to provide more detailed and more sensitive information on Hamas training procedures and tactics to their Mossad handlers. “We’re this close to shutting down the operation entirely if things don’t improve,” said Boutun. “It only just occurred to some senior analysts that the octopuses might have been compromised even before our agents got to them. We hadn’t developed procedures for such a scenario.”
“I’m telling you, those Zionists have their tentacles everywhere.”
Why Isn’t Gaza Being Rebuilt?
Gaza is an independent Palestinian state in all but name, and its government believes its main purpose is to wage a war on Israel to end the “occupation.” But by occupation, it doesn’t refer to an effort to get the Israelis to withdraw from the West Bank or even Jerusalem. Rather, as Hamas tells us over and over again in the public statements made by their leaders and its charter, occupation refers to all of Israel. Their war is not a limited one but an existential conflict whose only goal is to end Israel’s existence. It maintains its tyrannical control over the strip by trying to focus public anger at the Israelis and their Fatah rivals in the West Bank.
The reconstruction problem is terrible for the people of Gaza, but it also points out how the propaganda about Israel creating a humanitarian crisis there is a myth. Every day truck convoys of food, medicine and construction material approved by the joint commission run by United Nations, the PA and the Israelis arrives. But somehow that has not resulted in the rebuilding of homes since, as the Times reports, homeowners who are able to purchase the needed material resell it on the black market. That ensures it winds up being used, alone with Iranian aid smuggled into Gaza, to build more tunnels along the border with Israel or other military projects. Everyone knows that the joint monitoring system has failed to stop the use of international aid for Hamas terror projects.
Meanwhile, as the Times notes, 37,000 tons of cement allowed in by Israel sits unused in warehouses. This is largely due to Hamas incompetence and the fact that the Arab world is dubious of sending money to Gaza that won’t be used to help people.
This is a tragedy, but sympathy for suffering Palestinians and criticism of Israel won’t make anything better for them. Had the Palestinians used the Israeli withdrawal to build a free society and their economy, it might have thrived. Instead, the bloody Hamas coup enabled the terror group to transform the strip. But instead of a prison, it is a terror fortress.
Nearly 650 massive supply trucks entered Gaza on Tuesday from Israel -- as usual.
More than 20,000 tons of supplies entered Gaza on Tuesday (August 25) via the Kerem Shalom crossing, according to the IDF Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
The 648 trucks, which bore 20,260 tons of goods, brought items such as medical supplies, food, construction materials and electronic devices.
The phenomenon is not new. The crossings are open every day and supply trucks make the trip daily, trundling in to the region with goods, and sometimes out of the region with exports bound for the port in Ashdod or elsewhere.
Most of the time, the deliveries are allowed to continue even during military conflicts — and sometimes when Gaza rocket fire is being aimed at Israeli civilians.
The process is a slow one, however, because each truck must be painstakingingly inspected to ensure that no contraband is hidden among the supplies.
PreOccupied Territory: Abbas Asks Arab States For More Funding Toward Villas (satire)
The ambitious real estate projects for Fatah leaders face delays and risk not being completed soon if additional funding does not come through, warned Abbas aide Marwan Twanett. “If our brethren in the other Arab states do not make good on their pledges of last year, there is the real risk of the Palestinian people becoming disillusioned with its leadership, which will necessitate harsh repression of dissent,” he said. “This is all the more urgent in light of the American district court decision to penalize the PLO and Palestinian Authority financially for involvement in attacks more than a decade ago, as if those deaths even matter right now, when Abbas himself cannot finish his new palace.”
But even if the pledges made toward the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip are completely fulfilled – to date only a fraction of the would-be donors have made good on them – Palestinian coffers would remain hundreds of millions, if not billions, in the red. “Blaming the Zionists for this predicament is all well and good, and every thinking, feeling human must agree,” continued Twanett. “But that does not excuse the de facto reneging on the promises of aid. We cannot cut the pensions to the families of our martyrs and imprisoned fighters – their honor far outweighs the needs of an unemployed father of six. And without multiple impressive homes, what is the point of a leadership position? Clearly, the only variable that can be changed at this juncture is the resolve of our Arab brethren to pay up.”
Leaders of those Arab and Muslim states have demurred, partially out of fear that the funds would only contribute to further fighting and destruction. “I would be the last person to deprive my brother in resistance Abu Mazen from achieving his architectural and residential ambitions,” said Turkish spokesman Gudman Yafterbad. “But there is just too much instability for us to be sure that any funds we provide will in fact be used for their express purpose.”
“What if, Allah forbid, somebody uses the money to provide jobs, infrastructure, rule of law, or – I can’t believe I’m saying this – accountability?” He stressed. “That would undermine everything we are working for.”
Egypt strips 3 of citizenship for becoming Israeli
Egypt’s Interior Ministry revoked the citizenship of three of its citizens, because they acquired Israeli citizenship.
The three, Rivka, Samuel and David Daniel received Israeli nationality without permission from the Interior Ministry, The Cairo Post reported on Monday.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab stripped a total of five Egyptians of their citizenship, with the other two appearing to be Palestinians, according to the country’s Official Gazette.
Mohamed al-Besheity is accused of joining a foreign military without permission from the Defense Ministry.
His family is known to mostly reside in the Gaza Strip, according to the report.
Palestinians have had difficulty getting Egyptian citizenship.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 12 years and over 25,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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