Tuesday, July 21, 2015

From Ian:

Amb. Prosor: "When the villain is laughing, you know something is wrong"
Following the Security Council meeting on Non-proliferation (Iran), Israel`s ambassador to the UN, Prosor held a press briefing:
Ladies and Gentleman,
Today, you have awarded a great prize to the most dangerous country in the world.
I hate to be the one who spoils the party, but someone has to say that the emperor has no clothes. Today is a very sad day. Not only for the state of Israel, but for the entire world, even if at this moment, the international community refuses to see the tragedy.
It is a sad day because the international community is taking steps to lift the sanctions on Iran without first waiting to see if Iran complies with even a single obligation in the agreement.
It is a sad day because this agreement gives Iran a seat on the commission which will decide whether or not it has violated the agreement. This is like allowing a criminal to sit on the jury which will decide his own fate.
You haven’t changed Iran’s destructive ideology, which goes beyond proliferating deadly weapons and funding terror.
Amb. Prosor's Press Statement on Iran

There Is No Iran Deal: West, Iran Differ Sharply over Terms
The United Nations Security Council voted 15-0 on Monday to pass Resolution 2231, which endorses the Iran nuclear deal–“the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action [JCPOA] signed in Vienna by the five permanent members of the Council, plus Germany, the European Union and Iran.” However, there are already sharp disagreements between Iran and the rest of the world as to what that deal actually means.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry claims, for example, that the deal does not actually cover its ballistic missile program, as advertised. Restrictions on ballistic missiles are to be ended after eight years, according to the JCPOA. However, Iran says, according to the Times of Israel, that the UN Security Council resolution and the deal do not apply to its own missiles because they “have not been conceived to carry nuclear weapons.”
Similarly, there is confusion as to whether the deal prevents Iran from accelerating its nuclear program after the deal expires, or whether that is just an option. Such (voluntary) restrictions would have to be approved under the Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the Iranian parliament is supposed to ratify, but there is no deadline for it to do so; it could wait until deal expires, in theory.
Alan Dershowitz, who has worked on UN resolutions on the Middle East, suggests there may not have been a “meeting of the minds” on the Iran deal at all: “Is it a postponement for an uncertain number of years — 8, 10, 13, 14, 15 — of Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon? Or is it an assurance that ‘Iran will not be able to develop a nuclear weapon?'”
Mudar Zahran: Will Israel save the world a third time?
As a Jordanian-Palestinian politician, I and many other Arab politicians and decision-makers have come to learn that Israel is vital for our own existence. In fact, Israel has saved us, and the world, from two global disasters.
The first time Israel saved us all was at the beginning of the 1980s, when Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was one of the West's strongest Arab allies. He was against the Islamic Republic of Iran and was viewed as a necessary asset for Western governments and as a regional balance against Iran's might. The West was in love with Saddam to the point of allowing him a nuclear program, which he obtained with France's help.
Just as Iran does today, Saddam said his nuclear program was for "peaceful and civilian use." Saddam's nuclear reactor was built with the approval of the United States. Israel, however, did not buy Saddam's claims, and in 1981 sent its pilots on a mission -- which they were unlikely to return from -- to destroy Saddam's nuclear reactor. As reports confirmed, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was enraged by Israel's actions while President Ronald Reagan's first reaction to the news was, "Boys will be boys." Arab and Western governments condemned Israel's strike and some even spoke of action at the U.N. Unsurprisingly, Western media outlets grilled Israel.
Just nine years later, Saddam occupied Kuwait, threatened the entire Gulf region, and openly spoke of controlling "the Arabs' oil wealth," which could have brought the West to its knees. The U.S. and many Western states had to risk blood and money to get Saddam out of Kuwait, but they did not fear a nuclear attack from him or that he might use dirty bombs. Therefore Operation Desert Storm went smoothly. Had Saddam still had his nuclear program, the entire situation and its outcome could have been different. In fact, Saddam might have stayed in power until today were it not for Israel taking the risk of destroying his nuclear program.
In short, Israel saved the world from a power freak who came close to getting nuclear weapons.

The Iranian Deal and Doublespeak
The substance of what’s wrong with the Iran deal can also be found in the uses and abuses of language surrounding the deal.
It is hard to reconcile that the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran say, directly, that we should not expect them to change in any way, and yet, the U.S. led team of negotiators seems to disregard the plain meaning of these leaders’ actions and words. It may not quite be George Orwell’s “doublethink” in 1984:
“To know and not to know . . . to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic . . .
But it is certainly disturbing.
The Best Deal We Could Get
Ever since Franklin D. Roosevelt realized that he could bypass the need for a 2/3 majority vote from Congress by referring to a treaty as something other than a treaty, presidents have at times called treaties “executive agreements.” The treaty with Iran goes by the name, the deal.
And though discussion might have centered on whether this was a good or bad treaty, calling it a “deal” has not only made it sound like a less than weighty agreement, it seems also to have obscured why we, that is, the West as represented by the US, EU and UK, were negotiating in the first place.
The point of “dealing” with Iran was to prevent it from getting nuclear weapons. Lifting sanctions was to occur in order to stop Iran’s nuclear build up. Since the deal does not accomplish this, the Saudis, Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis, 77% of Americans, and Iranian exiles are free to voice their opposition.
Senior Israeli official laments 'Achilles heel' of Iran nuclear deal
Issues related to Iran’s ballistic missile development program where never on the agenda in its nuclear talks, Dore Gold, the Director General of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told members of the Foreign Press Association at a meeting in Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on Tuesday.
Quoting Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan, Gold said that the missile development program would continue to progress.
Gold warned that within five to ten years Iran will try to have nuclear weapons and Iran’s long range missiles would be a danger not only to Israel but to the world. It’s not just an Israeli problem he said, it’s a global problem. In the not-too-distant future he predicted, Iran will have inter continental ballistic missiles that can hit America.
The Shahab ballistic missile is brought out in Iranian military parades bearing a sign that Israel should be wiped off the map, he said.
There is concern he admitted, that Iranian missiles are now getting well over Israeli air space and can reach Central Europe.
Iran says UN can’t ban ballistic missiles under nuke deal
A statement from the Iranian Foreign Ministry also said that it was “certain” the International Atomic Energy Agency will not request to inspect its military sites.
Under the terms of the nuclear deal, Iran is barred from developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
Iran says it has built ballistic missiles with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles), capable of striking its arch-foe Israel.
But the Foreign Ministry said the UN’s resolution endorsing the deal did not have jurisdiction over its missile development.
“Iran’s military capacities, especially ballistic missiles, are strictly defensive and, as they have not been conceived to carry nuclear weapons, they are outside the scope and competence of the Security Council resolution,” the ministry wrote in a statement.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to implementing its commitments… so long as world powers keep their side of the agreement to lift sanctions in exchange for guarantees that Tehran will not develop a nuclear program,” the statement went on.
Iran Parliament Wants to Revise Nuclear Deal
While the UN Security Council passed the Iran deal in a unanimous 15-0 vote on Monday, Iran’s parliament, the Islamic Constituent Assembly, or Majlis, holds the power to revise or delay key parts of the nuclear deal with Iran–even as President Barack Obama and world powers seek a UN Security Council resolution before the U.S. Congress can review the deal.
On Saturday, the Fars News Agency reported that the Majlis threatened to reject the agreement’s provision on ballistic missiles, which call for an international embargo on missile technology to be extended for eight years–a significant, last-minute concession by the U.S.
Iran wants unrestricted ballsitic missile development and access to conventional arms dealers abroad.
“The parliament will reject any limitations on the country’s access to conventional weapons, specially ballistic missiles,” said Tehran MP Seyed Mehdi Hashemi.
In addition, the nuclear deal says that the Majlis will ratify the Additional Protocol (AP) to the Non-Proliferation Treaty–but it does not say when.
Iran Deal: Europe's Chief Negotiator Sympathized with Iran
Given the capitulation to Iran's geopolitical ambitions represented by the agreement reached in Vienna on July 14, a spotlight is likely to fall on the pivotal role played by Europe's chief diplomat.
Few guessed that while stating the "security of the world" was at stake during negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Federica Mogherini also felt "political Islam" should be a part of Europe's future.
The European Union's unelected High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy made her pro-Islamist remarks in a speech delivered last month in Brussels.
While heading up Europe's combined delegation in the Austrian capital, and purportedly tasked with staving off Iran's nuclear capabilities, Mogherini, a former member of the Italian Communist Youth Federation, also took to tweeting in Arabic.
The assertions made by Mogherini to the Islam in Europe conference, before she left for Vienna, reveal the thinking of a key figure behind the dangerous concessions given to Iran as a result of its continued intransigence and the West's continued surrender to it.
It should therefore surprise no one that Syria's President Assad has congratulated Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on his "great victory" in negotiations from which the Jewish state -- which had the most to lose based on Iran's constant threats to obliterate it -- was excluded.
As talks progressed, the Supreme Leader of Iran was pictured trampling on an Israeli flag, with the accompanying caption on Khamenei's official website reading: "The Zionist regime is condemned to vanish."
Iran deal through a dead attorney’s eye
Iran’s removal from 'axis of evil' places question mark on probe of its role in deadly Argentine bombing
As world powers were celebrating the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran, Argentinians were commemorating the anniversary of the 1994 bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, believed to have been ordered by Iranian agents, that claimed the lives of 85 people. Among the thousands of participants at Friday’s ceremony was the memory of Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who died six months ago under mysterious circumstances while trying to prove that President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner colluded to conceal Iran’s role in the terror attack.
At 09:53 am, the crowd stood still for one minute at the place where a white van carrying 300 kilograms of TNT exploded 21 years ago. To the sounds of a wailing siren, the faces of the victims were shown on the screen.
It was the most crowded memorial service in years, likely in reaction to the death of Nisman, found at his apartment with a gunshot wound to his head on January 18.
"This year's memorial act was different due the death of Alberto Nisman", said Javier Waldman, a survivor who escaped from the rubble that was once the office of the treasurer in the AMIA building.
Nisman’s 15-year-old daughter Lara lit a single candle in memory of her father, and placed it next to the other 85. Mario Averbuch, the father of one of the victims, affirmed that "the bullet that killed Nisman has killed the AMIA case as well."
There was a credible alternative to the Iran deal. Obama just chose to ignore it
Despite all of this, the Obama administration insists that the deal will be effective and that no better deal would have been attainable. To his critics, Obama accuses that if they favour war, then they should say so. But for years, the Obama administration insisted that all options were ‘on the table’ when it came to confronting Iran, and everyone understood this to be reference to possible military intervention. ‘I don’t bluff’ insisted Obama when referring to the use of force in 2012. And yet more recently the President has made plain his belief that there is no realistic military solution to the Iranian threat, rather suggesting that he was indeed bluffing. Many suspected so at the time, not least the Iranians. And therein lies the problem.
When it comes to the military option – an unpalatable prospect to be sure -there is an important role for the military deterrent. That doesn’t mean that the West would have to use military force, but it would need to convince Iran that it was serious about doing so if need be. We shouldn’t forget that the one time Iran appeared to voluntarily halt work on its nuclear programme was during the invasion of Iraq. Clearly the mullahs’ thought there was a real likelihood that they could be next.
The same is true of sanctions. During these negotiations, Obama consistently resisted congressional pressure to have new tougher sanctions ready in the event that Iran walked away from a deal that actually met the West’s security objectives. The threat of yet more sanctions could well have given the negotiators the leverage for securing a deal that was actually robust enough to be taken seriously.
If Iran knew that the West was prepared to stop at nothing to derail any attempts to go for the bomb, then regime might think twice, certainly if it thought its own hold on power would be jeopardised. But in reality, Tehran could see just how badly Obama needed to get a deal signed and they cashed in accordingly. The capitulationist agreement that emerged from Vienna is the result, and history will judge our leaders for not showing resolve and pushing for better.
White House Seeks to Soothe Jewish Community Concern Over Nuclear Deal
Vice President Joe Biden and a team of senior White House officials on Monday attempted to placate the American Jewish community’s concerns about the recent Iranian nuclear deal during an hour-long conference call with leaders and rabbis, according to an audio recording obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Biden spent nearly an hour trying to convince top Jewish leaders to support the nuclear accord and promised them that if Iran ever violates the deal, the United States is still prepared to carry out a military strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear sites.
However, Biden also conceded that the United States needed to sign off on Iran’s inherent right to operate a “peaceful” nuclear program in order to finalize the deal.
This means that in the next decade or so, Iran will be permitted to become a nuclear power with the right to enrich uranium, the key component in a weapon.
Under no circumstances, Biden said, could the Obama administration have secured a deal that fully shuts down Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and prevents it from ever having the ability to domestically enrich uranium.
Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs: Iran Deal a ‘Huge Blunder’
In the long term, despite the limitations imposed by the deal, Iran may still acquire the capability to make a nuclear bomb, because over the course of the duration of the deal, “even if [the Iranians] adhere to the deal and there’s no cheating,” Iran will still be able to have a robust R&D (research and development) program with international legitimacy, Makovsky said. In addition, the deal does not force the Islamic Republic to relinquish its ballistic missile program.
Jonathan Ruhe, associate director of the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy, explained on the conference call that the fate of the nuclear issue is ultimately “contingent on Iran complying [with the deal] and on Iranian non-compliance being detected.”
Detection may not be possible because the deal does not contain an “anytime, anywhere” inspection clause. Instead, the deal’s text specifies a 24-day arbitration process that international inspectors will need to go through in order to access suspicious Iranian facilities.
When it comes to the the gradual elimination of the economic sanctions currently placed on the Islamic Republic, there are apparently no options for the sanctions to be re-implemented if Iran is found to be violating the deal. Instead, the deal states that any new international business contracts that Iran takes on during the course of the deal’s lifetime will be exempt from being re-sanctioned.
“Could [the Iranians] really be deterred [from producing nuclear weapons] if they have little to fear in terms of economic repercussions?” Ruhe asked.
One of the biggest consequences of the deal, according to Makovsky, is that it may release a “nuclear contagion” in the region, with countries such as Saudi Arabia choosing to pursue their own nuclear programs.
“The ultimate solution [to the nuclear threat] is the downfall of this [Iranian] regime,” yet the deal “will solidify it,” added Makovsky.
Saudi Arabia considers its own nuclear options after Iran deal
One likely Saudi Arabian response to the deal its biggest enemy Iran has struck with world powers is to accelerate its own nuclear power plans, creating an atomic infrastructure it could, one day, seek to weaponize.
But while it has recently made moves to advance its nuclear program, experts say it is uncertain whether it could realistically build an atomic bomb in secret or withstand the political pressure it would face if such plans were revealed.
"I think Saudi Arabia would seriously try to get the bomb if Iran did. It's just like India and Pakistan. The Pakistanis said for years they didn't want one, but when India got it, so did they," said Jamal Khashoggi, head of a Saudi news channel owned by a prince.
The conservative kingdom is engaged in a contest for power with the Islamic republic stretching across the region and fears the nuclear deal will free Tehran from international pressure and sanctions, giving it more room to back allies in proxy wars.
Kerry says Khamenei's vow that Iran will defy US is 'very troubling'
US Secretary of State John Kerry said a speech by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Friday vowing to defy American policies in the region despite a deal with world powers over Tehran's nuclear program was "very disturbing" .
"I don't know how to interpret it at this point in time, except to take it at face value, that that's his policy," he said in the interview with Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television, parts of which the network quoted on Tuesday.
"But I do know that often comments are made publicly and things can evolve that are different. If it is the policy, it's very disturbing, it's very troubling," he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei told supporters on Saturday that US policies in the region were "180 degrees" opposed to Iran's, at a speech in a Tehran mosque punctuated by chants of "Death to America" and "Death to Israel".
"Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant US will not change," Khamenei said.
Khamenei Reaffirms "Death to America" Slogan, Calls to Bring U.S. Leaders to Trial

Zarif answers Iranian critics: Nuclear deal preserves our red lines
Iran's foreign minister defended the nuclear deal he reached with world powers after criticism from hardliners, telling the conservative-dominated parliament on Tuesday that most if not all of the country's conditions had been respected.
"We don't say the deal is totally in favor of Iran. Any negotiation is a give and take. We have definitely shown some flexibility," the minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif said.
"I tell you as I told the Supreme Leader, we did our best to preserve most of the red lines, if not all," Zarif said, referring to arch-conservative cleric Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all high matters of state.
Under the historic accord reached in Vienna last week, Iran will be subjected to long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West suspected was aimed at creating an atomic bomb but which Tehran says is peaceful. In return US, European Union and UN sanctions on Iran will be lifted.
The deal must still be approved by Iran's National Security Council and ultimately by Khamenei.
Iran general: US will use nuke deal as pretext for attack
A day after the United Nations Security Council adopted the pact amid recriminations from senior Iranian hard-liners, Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi claimed Washington was using the accord as pretext for a future US military strike against Iran.
“Any Iranian who reads the Vienna documents will hate the US 100 times more [than before],” Naqdi said Tuesday according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.
“The US needs the agreement merely to legalize the sanctions and continue pressure against Iran,” he added.
The remarks by Naqdi, a commander of the volunteer Basij forces, came one day after the UN Security Council unanimously voted to endorse the deal paving the way to lift crippling international sanctions in exchange for curbs on nuclear enrichment.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Obama, Iran, and the Fall of Moral Leadership
With the presidency of Barack Obama, our worst fears have been realized. Not in relation to Israel’s security – although there is of course that – but in relation to a moral American foreign policy.
President Obama’s refusal to hate and fight evil is something I’ve long noted in successive columns going back to the earliest days of his foreign policy. But here, last week, was the President of the United States telling New York Times columnist Tom Friedman that Iran’s disgusting human rights abuses were not his concern, even as he made historic deals with them.
On the very day that the deal’s preliminary structure was announced, President Obama said, “The deal should be judged only for one thing, and one thing only. And that is stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.” He said his deal would not address, and could not be judged, on the merit of opposing Iran’s “bad behavior.”
Firstly, notice that President Obama has a tendency to misuse language. He won’t call terrorism what it is, instead using the term “violent extremism.” But this example of Iran’s murderous mullahs in particular offends the moral sensibilities. Iran is not guilty of “bad behavior.” Bad behavior is when you jump a few spots ahead in line at a movie theatre. Bad behavior is cutting someone else off on the highway. Bad behavior is a kid watching TV when he’s supposed to be doing his homework.
Ex-IAEA Leader: 24-Day Inspection Delay Will Boost Iranian Nuclear Cheating
Allowing Iran to delay inspections of suspect nuclear sites for up to 24 days will facilitate cheating by Tehran on the nuclear deal reached in Vienna, according to the former deputy director of the International Atomic Energy Agency who dealt with past Iranian nuclear cheating.
Olli Heinonen, a 27-year veteran of the IAEA until 2009, also said in the past Iran had “sanitized” two suspected nuclear sites by refurbishing and repainting the locations in an effort to hide illegal uranium enrichment from inspectors.
The former IAEA deputy director voiced skepticism about the inspection provisions for suspected nuclear sites contained in the deal reached with Iran, the United States, and five other nations on July 14.
“Iran has not changed its nuclear course. It’s keeping all the options open” for building nuclear arms, Heinonen said, adding that Iran has signed an IAEA additional protocol permitting short-notice inspections but is delaying ratification for eight years.
In a meeting with reporters, the Finnish nuclear expert said components for nuclear bombs or warheads can be put together in a relatively small space, some 239 square yards in size.
With a dispute settlement process that gives the Iranians 24 days before allowing inspectors in, hiding nuclear arms development work will be made easier, he said.
Bolton: Given Past Behavior, Iran Probably Already in Violation of Nuclear Agreement
Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton warned Tuesday that “there is a substantial risk” Iran is operating secret nuclear facilities that will not be subject to IAEA inspections as part of the nuclear deal announced last week.
“I think they’re already in violation of this treaty,” Bolton said. “That would comport with their behavior in the past. They’ve been planning for it for years. I believe they have facilities we simply don’t know about—at least there’s a very substantial risk of that.”
Iran has in the past attempted to shield its nuclear program from Western eyes by building facilities deep in mountains, where they cannot be attacked or observed.
Bolton maintains that Iran’s leadership is devoted to building nuclear weapons, but is willing to play nice for a few years to get relief from the crippling sanctions regime put in place by the United States and U.N. over the course of decades.
“In the near term they’re going to be Miss Goody Two-Shoes in Tehran,” Bolton said. “They want the IAEA to say we can’t find any military applications, and that’s probably what they’ll get. They want the sanctions lifted and then it’s back to business as usual.”
Krauthammer RAILS: Iran Nuke Deal 'The Worst' Since 'Munich Deal Of 1938'
KRAUTHAMMER: As of this afternoon, by the Security Council resolution, that the administration managed to shoot through before Congress could even speak on this. Iran is no longer a pariah state. It’s now going to be treated like any other state. Open to commerce, to business. Within a couple of years, it will be able to import weapons, the highest developed weapons in the world. It’s economy is about to get a $150 billion injection. It’s going to be allowed to sell its oil, to triple its output to the tune of about $120 million a day. It’s going to have an economic resurgence and it’s dominating the region, threatening our allies. And what have we gotten in return for all of this? A pathway that will guarantee that Iran will not just be a nuclear arms state, but have a large arsenal of nuclear weapons in about 10 to 15 years assuming Iran adheres to the treaty, which I can assure you, it will not.
But in the best case scenario, it creates Iran as a threshold nuclear state of which Obama himself said a couple of months ago, in years 12, 13, 14, there will be zero breakout time — meaning the distance it would have to travel from where it would be, legitimated by the world, to being nuclear armed with a large arsenal is absolutely disappearing. In other words, it would be on the threshold of becoming a nuclear state whenever it wants. This is the worst deal since the Munich deal of 1938.
What US leaders have never understood about Iran
“American rulers have always dreamed of forcing us to change our behavior, and failed,” Iran’s “Supreme Guide,” Ali Khamenei, said Saturday. “Five US administrations took that dream to their graves. The present one shall have the same fate.”
Khamenei’s analysis is not far off the mark. Successive American presidents have worked hard to persuade the Khomeinist regime in Tehran to modify aspects of its foreign policy, so far with no success.
The reason may be the inability or unwillingness of successive US presidents, and a good part of the American political and cultural elite, to properly understand the nature of the Khomeinist regime.
Jimmy Carter believed the Khomeinist seizure of power represented the return of religion to the center of public life.
His administration described Khomeini as “a holy man” and “the Gandhi of Islam.” Carter wrote letters to Khomeini “as a man of faith to a man of faith.” He even ordered the resumption of arms supplies to Tehran.
We all know what that did to Carter.
AIPAC girds for rare high-noon showdown with White House
It will be the DC equivalent of the showdown at the OK Corral. Stepping into the summer haze on Capitol Hill, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee and its allies are set to face off against the ultimate power broker – 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – backed up by a cadre of its allied groups.
The lobbying showdown, over a Congressional vote on the nuclear deal with Iran, represents a rare moment for AIPAC, with the avowedly bipartisan organization publicly splitting with the sitting administration over a major foreign policy initiative.
Even at the peak of tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government earlier this year, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress coincided with the AIPAC policy conference’s lobbying day, the pro-Israel organization worked hard to keep its head above an ugly fray.
AIPAC’s efforts at bipartisanship, and specifically at avoiding picking a fight with the president, extend back decades. For years, the organization has maintained a policy of remaining tight-lipped on budgetary face-offs, preferring instead to focus on completed deals and lobbying successes.
Abraham Foxman: Why Congress must reject the Iran deal
I write this on the last day of my long tenure as national director of the Anti-Defamation League. It has been a highly satisfactory and meaningful 28 years as director and 50 years as a professional at this prestigious organization.
So why am I choosing to write an article on my last day? It is the same imperative that has motivated me all these years: If I see something troubling to the Jewish people, I cannot be still.
And I am deeply troubled at this time by the agreement between the P5+1 nations and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
Many things bother me about the deal and its implications. I say this as someone who recognizes some positive aspects of it. As experts like Rob Satloff and Dennis Ross have pointed out, the agreement buys time by reducing Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium and its active centrifuges, and by providing a significant inspection regime.
In my view, however, these benefits do not compensate for the very real dangers lurking in the agreement.
Washington Post Editor: Nuclear Deal Will Boost Iran’s Destabilizing Behavior
President Barack Obama’s decision to enact a policy of engagement with Iran, rather than opposing its regional ambitions outside of the nuclear deal, will likely lead to an escalation of Iranian aggression, Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Jackson Diehl wrote in an op-ed today.
Diehl contrasted Obama’s Iranian negotiation strategy with how President Ronald Reagan negotiated with the Soviet Union in the mid-1980’s.
Reagan’s insight was that it was possible to strike deals with Moscow on nuclear arms while simultaneously waging an uncompromising Cold War. Obama’s ideology, which he has applied to Cuba and Burma as well as Iran, is that the United States should seek not to defeat its adversaries, but to coax them into more cooperative behavior.
Consequently, Obama has strongly resisted Reagan’s methods. He has starved Syrian rebel forces of the arms and training they seek to defeat Iran’s closest ally. He declined to speak up for Iran’s domestic opposition even when it staged a street rebellion against the regime in 2009. He has never attempted to secure Iranian compliance with human rights norms, as did Cold War treaties with the Soviet Union. At his news conference last Wednesday, he coldly described the possibility of a strengthened Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy army in Syria and Lebanon, as an acceptable tradeoff for the nuclear deal.
It’s The Enrichment, Stupid
Today’s vote by the United Nations Security Council affirming the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the nuclear deal that the Council’s permanent members reached with Iran last week, has been hailed as a means to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. However, it represents a formal departure from the approach that the international community has taken towards Iran’s illicit nuclear program since 2006. Contrary to the claim made by today’s resolution that it reaffirms the Security Council’s “commitment to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,” it undermines the non-proliferation regime by legalizing Iran’s continued defiance of seven previous resolutions, while not insisting that Iran first comply with those resolutions.
The first resolution addressing Iran’s nuclear program was Security Council Resolution 1696, approved on July 31, 2006, which mandated that Iran suspend “all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development” in one month’s time or face possible economic sanctions.
The New York Times reported at the time that “The resolution is the first move by the Council on the Iranian nuclear program that is legally binding and carries the threat of sanctions.” However, then-Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is now Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator, rejected the measure, declaring the resolution “unwarranted and void of any legal basis or practical utility.”
The UN’s action was precipitated by Iran breaking international seals at its Natanz enrichment facility in January 2006, and its decision to resume its nuclear research program in defiance of the United Nations. In April of that year, Iran announced that it had managed to produce low enriched uranium.
Iran continued to defy the United Nations, and the United States announced at the end of August 2006 that it would pursue economic sanctions against Iran.
Experts: Iran Nuke Deal Allows Too Much Enrichment, Has Inadequate Enforcement Mechanisms
Edelman and Takeyh mapped out the administration’s opening position on Iran’s nuclear program and contrasted it to the terms agreed to in the final deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Prior to the 2013 interim accord, the Obama administration’s position rested on relatively sensible precepts. The United States insisted that, given Iran’s practical needs, it should only have a symbolic enrichment program of a few hundred centrifuges, and that the Islamic republic could not be considered a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in good standing until it secured the trust and confidence of the international community in the peaceful nature of its program. These were not just U.S. aspirations but also the position of members of the “P5+1” powers — the five U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.
These prudent parameters were overtaken by a cavalcade of concessions that began in 2013. The administration soon brandished the notion of a one-year breakout period that would allow Iran to maintain a substantial enrichment apparatus, in effect abandoning the goal of preventing development of an Iranian nuclear capability in favor of managing its emergence. The much heralded one-year breakout period will only shrink over time as the JCPOA concedes that Iran can begin phasing out its primitive centrifuges in favor of more advanced ones. Even more troublesome is the agreement’s stipulation that after its limits expire, the “Iranian nuclear program will be treated in the same manner as that of any other non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.” This means that Iran can proceed with the construction of an industrial-sized nuclear infrastructure similar to that of Japan. At that time, Iran could easily sprint to the bomb without risking timely detection.
JPost Editorial: Catching worms
In business, the early bird really does catch the worm and, mindful of that, European firms are rushing with headlong alacrity to do deals with Iran – even though pro-forma the sanctions against the ayatollah regime have not yet been lifted.
Speediest and most impatient of all are the Germans, who cannot contain their zeal to profit. They dispatched a high-level, 60-member delegation topped by Angela Merkel’s second-in-command, along with representatives from such industrial giants as Linde, Siemens, Mercedes- Daimler, Volkswagen, et al.
To be sure, while the Germans are keenest to rake in the benefits of dealing with Tehran, they have special incentives to appear righteous. And so Vice Chancellor and Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel advised the Iranians to “improve their relations with Israel,” recognize it, etc.
Gabriel solicitously offered Germany’s unsolicited mediation services. To be sure, had he loudly shouted his moralistic message in Farsi, in the center of Tehran, it’s doubtful the ayatollahs could repress their derisive laughter.
However, this lip service was paid only in an interview to the German paper Bild, making it little more than inconsequential.
Iran dismisses Germany’s call for Israel recognition
Iran brusquely dismissed a German official’s appeal that it recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist, saying its stance is not going to change following the signing of a nuclear accord with world powers.
“We have totally different views from Germany on certain regional issues in the Middle East and we have explicitly expressed our viewpoints in different negotiations,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said Monday, according to the Fars news agency.
She added that “this is not something new.”
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel had warned Sunday at the start of a three-day visit to Tehran that Berlin could not accept Iran’s questioning of Israel’s right to exist, and that such attitudes could harm business relations between the two countries. He also said Germany would be willing to mediate between the two enemies.
The Left’s Nuclear Fairy Tales
Before the stresses and strains associated with sitting behind the Resolute Desk had turned President Barack Obama’s hair grey, the president still paid homage to the childlike liberal fantasies with which he was preoccupied as a Chicago-based activist. When he still believed that his own force of personality could command the tides to recede, and while he maintained the adoration of a world happy to see anyone other than George W. Bush in the Oval Office, the president lent his support to that most prototypical of “progressive” goals: the rolling of the clock back to a time before mankind split the atom. The fantasy of “global nuclear zero” is a disquieting example of the left’s preference for comforting fictions. The nuclear accord this administration recently reached with the Islamic Republic of Iran has exposed the left’s steadfast refusal to appreciate the forces that govern nuclear deterrence and nonproliferation.
In light of the ballyhooed Iran deal, President Barack Obama’s supporters should review a speech he delivered in Prague in April of 2009. It is a testament to this administration’s commitment to transforming soothing bromides into actionable policy.
“Some argue that the spread of these weapons cannot be stopped, cannot be checked – that we are destined to live in a world where more nations and more people possess the ultimate tools of destruction,” the president insisted, adopting his favored tactic of rejecting a “false choice” that the more seasoned among us would call opportunity costs. “Such fatalism is a deadly adversary.”
“If we believe that the spread of nuclear weapons is inevitable, then in some way we are admitting to ourselves that the use of nuclear weapons is inevitable,” Obama fretted. After issuing this bizarre pronouncement, Obama went on to declare that the United States would serve as an example of a nuclear state leading the way by unilaterally dismantling and failing to modernize its nuclear arsenal. As for present and aspiring nuclear states around the world, he advocated the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime. “Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something,” he added. They’re laughing in Tehran.
Massive Addition to John Kerry’s Home Built to Store Expected Nobel Peace Prize (satire)
US Secretary of State John Kerry is so confident of winning the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize that he has broken ground on a dramatic expansion of his stylish Beacon Hill property.
“The award will be hermetically sealed and kept in an underground aquarium the size of 20 Olympic-size swimming pools. Mr. Kerry asked me to call SeaWorld and purchase the most exotic freshwater fish in the world. Just as it takes a wild diversity of marine life to build the ocean’s ecosystem, it took the cooperation of the world’s great leaders to reach the historic nuclear deal with Iran,” Chauncey Gardner, the Secretary of State’s landscaper and consultant on Middle East affairs, said.
“I can’t lose. Who else are they going to give it to? The Pope? His boss gives him free reign. You try gently persuading the Iranian Foreign Minister to return to the negotiating table in Geneva while an indecisive, micromanaging, egomaniacal boss back home is gnawing your brains out,” Kerry confided to Gardner.
In related news, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has built a giant pool of deadly electric eels. “This predator is one of the ocean’s great terrors. Like our plutonium plant, electric eels give off enough juice to kill humans, or at least stun a horse. They’re such an inspiration.” Khameini said.

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