Monday, November 25, 2013

From Ian:

David Horovitz: When the US let Iran off the hook
And as its economy revives, nuclear-threshold state Iran will gradually assert itself as a regional heavyweight, with the leverage and clout to pursue its rapacious territorial and ideological goals, most emphatically including the ongoing effort to weaken and isolate and demonize and threaten Israel. And Israel will find its capacity to respond necessarily limited.
Landau has not entirely given up hope. She notes that a comprehensive deal would need to cover all aspects of the Iranian program, include “highly intrusive verification mechanisms, expose all past weaponization activities and ensure rollback from all military aspirations.” For that to be achieved, she stresses, the international community will have to hold firm on sanctions pressure as Iran complains and obfuscates and argues and exploits divisions in the P5+1 and uses every other trick in the book in the coming months. “You’ll need all possible leverage to get a full deal,” she says. “And without a full deal, you’ve lost.”
Trouble is, the Americans signaled the easing of that crucial leverage in Geneva on Sunday. The US, that is, let Iran off the hook.
Iran deal is riskier than meets the eye
Iran can be expected to spend the next six months trying to divide this shaky coalition, and, aided by the lifting of some sanctions, will seek to whet the appetite of firms from around the world, to lure them back to do valuable business with it in the future.
Today it remains unclear how the White House would respond if the second stage of diplomacy with Iran fails. The US’s military deterrence is deflated, and the Obama administration’s credibility is too badly damaged in the region to cause either Riyadh or Jerusalem to trust the White House’s assurances.
A lack of firm international resolve in responding to failed talks would spell the beginning of the end of the sanctions regime, and leave Iran with its nuclear program intact.
Analysts: Iran Deal “Beginning of End” of Sanctions Regime, U.S. Caved on Enrichment “Right”
More controversially, Iran seems to have secured language under which the international community acknowledges that a comprehensive agreement will still allow Tehran to enrich uranium. The U.S. has long rejected Iran’s claim that it has a “right” to enrich, and last October lead U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman told Congress that “the President has circumscribed what he means by the Iranian people having access… access, not right, but access to peaceful nuclear energy in the context of meeting its obligations.” The interim language, however, describes a future comprehensive solution as involving “a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.” Iranian state media carried boasts by among others Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif that the U.S. had caved on its long-standing position. The U.S. and Britain both flatly denied Iran’s interpretation of the interim language with Secretary of State John Kerry saying as much and the White House further denying it on a late-night background call.
Obama advised Netanyahu of Iran talks in September
In the confines of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on September 30, just after the Jewish high holidays, Obama revealed to Netanyahu that his administration had been engaged in secret, high-level diplomatic talks with the mortal enemy of the Jewish state. Netanyahu’s immediate public reaction betrayed no surprise, but a day later he launched a full-frontal attack on Iran, delivering a blistering speech at the UN General Assembly in which he said the Islamic Republic was bent on Israel’s destruction and accused Rouhani of being a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Congress plans tough Iran sanctions if deal fails
Such distrust that Iran was negotiating in good faith ran across the political spectrum in a Congress that otherwise is deeply divided. And ready-to-go sanctions seemed to have rare bipartisan support across both of Congress’ chambers.
President Barack Obama convinced Senate leadership to hold off consideration of the measure while negotiators pursued an agreement. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada agreed to the request but said his chamber would take up new sanctions in December — with or without an agreement with Iran.
15 Senators Vow New Iran Sanctions
“A nuclear weapons-capable Iran presents a grave threat to the national security of the United States and its allies and we are committed to preventing Iran from acquiring this capability," the group said. “We will work together to reconcile Democratic and Republican proposals over the coming weeks and to pass bipartisan Iran sanctions legislation as soon as possible.”
American Jewish Leaders Censure Nuclear Deal; Lauder Says No Way Iran Will Honor Agreement
“Iran must be judged by its actions, not its words and promises, because they are not worth the paper they are written on,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder told The Algemeiner. “Nothing in the deceptive behavior of Iran and its leaders in recent years should make the world believe that they will honor this agreement.”
Those thoughts were shared by the leadership of Jewish human rights group the Simon Wiesenthal Center: ”The sanctions had the Ayatollahs on the ropes and the U.S. and West let them win the round and perhaps the match,” Rabbi Marvin Hier and Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Algemeiner.
What message is being sent?
‘Always believe the threats of your enemies, more than the promises of your friends,” Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel has said. This wise advice is becoming a cold reality for many of America’s longtime allies in the Middle East, amid an unprecedented breakdown in US foreign policy and credibility in the region.
Indeed, America’s allies in an extremely volatile part of the world have been left stunned by a foreign policy – from Egypt to Syria and now to Iran – which has been bumbling at best and damaging at worst. This foreign policy fumble has serious long-term implications for US national security.
Poll: Israelis don't believe Iran will stop nuclear program
According to the poll, commissioned by Israel Hayom from the New Wave Research Institute, 76.4% of respondents said they did not believe Iran would halt its nuclear program, while only 12.6% said they did believe Iran would put a stop to its program. Eleven percent said they did not know.
The poll also found that 57.8% of Jewish Israelis believe that the U.S. harmed Israeli interests by signing the nuclear deal with Iran. Only 20.6% said that the U.S. did not harm Israeli interests by signing the deal, while 21.6% said they did not know.
Dershowitz: Iran Deal Could Be a 'Chamberlain Moment'
"Iran's goal has always been to create a wedge between Israel and the U.S. They are the smartest enemy the U.S. and Israel have faced in recent years. They have proven they are smarter. We fell for the pretext of a new president with a smiley face. It will only turn out for the best if Congress takes strong action."
Dershowitz, a liberal Democrat, added: "I've become a big Lindsey Graham fan. He saw this coming."
Canada to enforce sanctions against Iran despite nuclear deal
Baird told reporters Sunday Canadian sanctions against Iran will remain in "full force" and that Canada will "evaluate this deal not just on the merits of its words," but on verifiable evidence that Iran respects the terms of the deal.
"I remain deeply skeptical of Iran's intentions with respect to their nuclear program," he said.
"Understandably, Prime Minister Netanyahu leads a country which previous leaders of Iran, a mere months ago, have said they want wiped off the face of the Earth.
"Sanctions have been effective," Baird said. "We will be watching closely."
PA Sheikh: Only Solution for Jews is the Sword
The sheikh, Omar Abu Sara’a, made the remarks in a sermon he gave at the Al-Aqsa mosque during which he blasted the “traitor” Palestinian Authority.
He argued that the Oslo Accords did not bring about any results, and that in fact it is now recognized that they were nothing but a mistake that led to "the sale of land to Jews". He stressed that “Palestine” is holy Islamic land and should not be given up under any circumstances.
The solution, said Abu Sara’a, is in the words of the prophet of Islam Muhammad, who said, "Fight them" and did not say that Jews should be negotiated with. In this context he mentioned the tradition quoted by the prophet Muhammad, where a tree and a stone call a Muslim and tell him, “A Jew is hiding behind me, come and kill him."
Court indicts east Jerusalem man for Hamas fundraising
The Jerusalem District Attorney's Office on Monday filed an indictment against Maged Juaba in the Jerusalem District Court for allegedly serving as a money man for the families of imprisoned Hamas terror operatives.
Juaba, 33, of Jerusalem, was formally charged with membership in a terrorist organization and activities relating to funding terrorist purposes.
‘US intends to seek Iran’s help in solving Syrian civil war’
Having overseen an interim deal with Iran on its nuclear program, the Obama administration now intends to try to involve Iran in wider Middle East diplomacy, including an attempt to find a solution to the Syrian civil war, Israeli television reported Sunday night.
Syria War Has Killed More than 11,000 Children, New Report Finds
The Oxford Research Group, which specializes in global security, said in a new study that there were 11,420 recorded deaths of children aged 17 years and under.
The report, entitled "Stolen Futures: The hidden toll of child casualties in Syria", analyses data from the beginning of the conflict in March 2011 until August 2013.
Syrian Rebels Unite, Call for Islamic State
To that effect, leaders of prominent Islamist opposition brigades announced the establishment of he "Islamic Front" (in Arabic, "Al-Jabhat al-Islam") - calling it "a political, military, and socially independent body."
The founding statement of the new body, which was broadcast Friday, said that the new body "seeks to completely topple the Assad regime in Syria" and "to establish an Islamic state which follows the right path."
PA officials condemn Palestinian suspect in Beirut bombing on Iranian embassy
The Palestinian authorities said that Adnan Mousa Muhammad's participation "in such a cowardly criminal act represents (only) the individual," Ma'an News Agency reported.
"This act serves only the enemies of our cause and the enemies of our nation," they added.
Michael Totten: Blowback is a Bitch
Hezbollah did not invent terrorism, of course. Nor would the Middle East be stable and happy if it weren’t for its suicide bombers. But there is a karmic sort of justice at work now that a terrorist army and its biggest state sponsor are themselves victims of their own deplorable tactics.
That deplorable tactic tells us all we need to know about the perpetrators, too, by the way. Whatever Sunni faction carried out the attack, we know for damn sure they are not freedom fighters. Freedom fighters don’t murder diplomats—not even diplomats representing terrorist states like Iran who declare open season on diplomats—nor do they deliberately target civilians. They will murder anyone and everyone who gets in their way and stomp their boots on the faces of the survivors.
Hezbollah fears more suicide attacks
“We fear that [new] suicide attacks might target [Hezbollah] headquarters and Shiite gatherings such as the [bombings] in Iraq," sources close to Hezbollah's leadership told the daily.
The sources also said that Tuesday’s attacks against the Iranian embassy heralded a “most dangerous” stage.
“It is the stage of suicide attacks that no measure could deal with.”
Egypt: "Why Not Us?"
Egypt has an abundance of natural resources and is situated at the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe. It should be an economic powerhouse capable of providing jobs and economic well-being for its people, who have suffered enough. But no one in his right mind will invest in a country where persecution – and not the rule of law – is the norm.
Until Islamist clerics learn to follow their own advice and stay out of politics – and allow women and Christians to live in peace – Egypt will remain a backwater. Only when Egyptians look within and admit to themselves that it is their own decisions that are really causing so much unnecessary misfortune, will Egypt be transformed to a modern state.

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