Tuesday, June 30, 2015

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Iran secretly passed to the White House beginning in late 2009 the names of prisoners it wanted released from U.S. custody, part of a wish list to test President Barack Obama’s commitment to improving ties and a move that set off years of clandestine dispatches that helped open the door to nuclear negotiations. The secret messages... included a request to blacklist opposition groups hostile to Iran and increase U.S. visas for Iranian students, according to officials familiar with the matter. The U.S. eventually acceded to some of the requests, these officials said, including help with the release of four Iranians detained in the U.S. and U.K.: two convicted arms smugglers, a retired senior diplomat and a prominent scientist convicted of illegal exports to Iran.... With a deal in sight, some worry the U.S. will give up too much without getting significant concessions in return.

The Israel Project has released a factsheet to journalists covering the Iranian nuclear talks in Vienna. It includes this amazing list of principles the White House has been willing to throw under the bus to pursue a nuclear deal:

  • -- China expansionism: Last week the NYT reported that the Obama administration has been loath to pressure China on a range of issues because they need the Chinese on Iran.
  • -- Russia expansionism: Articles have been circulating since 2014 suggesting the same thing is going on with Russia, and that Obama has taken a soft line on Ukraine because he needs the Russians on Iran (even Roger Cohen (!) rushed last November to editorialize against what he called the Iran-Ukraine tradeoff).
  • -- Middle East alliances: Differences over the Iran deal have badly undermined Washington's traditional alliances with Jerusalem and Riyadh.
  • -- Syria/U.S. WMD credibility: The President declined to enforce his Syria red line against the reintroduction of weapons of mass destruction to modern battlefields, shredding the U.S.'s nonproliferation credibility and leaving the French seething in the process. Administration spokespeople have been left trying to convince reporters that chlorine bombs don't count.
  • -- IAEA credibility: The IAEA has been kneecapped as the P5+1 global powers moved to conclude a deal with Iran, a country that still owes the agency answers on a dozen unresolved questions.
  • -- UN sanctions credibility: The U.S. has looked the other way while the Iranians busted through binding U.N. sanctions and has ceased providing information to a U.N. panel charged with monitoring the integrity of the U.N.'s sanction regime.
  • -- Iranian human rights: Obama administration officials kept the Green Revolution at arm's length so as not to inflame Tehran's paranoia about regime change.
  • -- Congress/Democrats: The President and his allies have repeatedly clashed with Congress, including with Congressional Democrats, over Iran diplomacy. There have been two full-blown media campaigns, each lasting several weeks, in which sitting Democratic lawmakers were accused of being warmongers beholden to Jewish money. Versions of those accusations came from administration spokespeople talking to reporters from White House and State Department podiums.
The US standing in the world is immeasurably worse in the reckless goal to appease the world's major state sponsor of terrorism whose pursuit of the ultimate weapon is barely hitting a speedbump as a result of the imminent deal.



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