Thursday, May 18, 2017

  • Thursday, May 18, 2017
  • Elder of Ziyon

The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Trump administration on Wednesday announced new sanctions against Iran aimed at its ballistic missile program.
At the same time, the administration is taking a step to adhere to the 2015 deal to restrain Iran’s nuclear program by signing a sanctions waiver for Tehran, as stipulated in the pact, a senior administration official said.
Also on Wednesday, the State Department released its report on Iran’s human-rights record, emphasizing abuses in the country’s prison system and its detention of foreign nationals, including American citizens, the official said.
The moves come just days ahead of Iran’s elections and before President Donald Trump is scheduled to travel to the Middle East to meet with America’s Gulf allies and Israeli officials to discuss new measures to counter Tehran’s influence in the region.
“The actions that the administration is taking today are intended to highlight that the U.S. moving forward intends to address all the various aspects of Iran’s destabilizing and hostile behavior,” the official said. “So the message today is that we continue to take action against these and other aspects of Iran’s negative behavior that affect the U.S.’ security and that of our allies.”
The sanctions target seven individuals and entities, including two senior Iranian defense officials and a China-based network the U.S. says has supported Iran’s ballistic missile program, the official said.
The official said the U.S. had notified China of the pending sanctions.
One Iranian defense official who is sanctioned facilitated the sale of explosives and provided other support to Syria, the official said. Another is the director of an Iranian organization that is responsible for the Iranian regime’s ballistic missile program.
One would think that J-Street would be thrilled that, at least for now, the Trump administration is keeping the Iran deal, and instead is working on other Iranian outrages against human rights and peace.

But, no.

J-Street has officially outed itself as an explicit supporter of the Iranian regime, no matter what it does.

The organization claims otherwise, but read this letter they sent supporters:
There's a lot going on in the news, and this may not be on your radar this week, but Congress is considering legislation that risks killing the Iran deal.

The Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act (S.722) has the worthy goal of putting pressure on Iran to combat some of the truly despicable activities of its authoritarian regime. Unfortunately, the bill -- as currently written -- is so broad in its language that many experts see it as undermining or even violating the nuclear deal President Obama achieved to block Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons.[1]
The footnote points to an article in Foreign Policy from March by  Antony J. Blinken, Avril Haines, Colin Kahl, Jeff Prescott, Jon Finer, Philip Gordon and Robert Malley.

It talks about the Corker-Menendez bill, which does some things similar to the sanctions announced by the White House.

Here's what the FP article says:
[T]he bill adds new conditions that must be met before Washington can lift sanctions on certain Iranian parties in the future, including sanctions we are already committed to remove if Tehran continues to comply with the nuclear deal. According to the draft legislation, lifting sanctions on such Iranian entities would require a certification that they had not supported or facilitated ballistic missile or terrorist activity. This provision is unnecessary and could give Iran an excuse to undermine the deal. It is unnecessary because once nuclear-related sanctions are removed years from now, as required by the JCPOA, nothing in the deal prevents the administration in power from immediately using legal authorities already on the books to re-designate any individuals or entities that support terrorism or Iran’s ballistic missile program. And it is problematic because gratuitously adding new conditions could be read by Iran as unilaterally altering the terms of the deal, casting doubt on our future compliance. This could provide Iran a pretext to take reciprocal action — such as adding conditions to the performance of its own commitments. If our Chinese, European, or Russian negotiating partners agree that we are altering the deal, the international consensus necessary to keep pressure on Iran to abide by the deal could erode.
[Also],  by mandating sanctions on any person or entity that “poses a risk of materially contributing” to Iran’s ballistic missile program, the bill introduces a standard that is overly broad and vague. Such a loose definition could potentially be used to impose sanctions in violation of the JCPOA — particularly when in the hands of an administration that is overtly hostile to the deal.
J-Street's "experts" are arguing that any sanctions being lifted against Iran must be lifted no matter what unsavory non-nuclear activities the sanctionees are doing, like supporting terror, or building ballistic missiles, or anything else. Protecting the holy JCPOA is a "get out of jail free card."

To J-Street and the JCPOA's supporters, seemingly anything that might upset Iran is off the table. And Iran should have the veto power over any US legislation that might hurt its feelings, because it can retaliate by claiming the US is altering the JCPOA.

Anti-semites claim that Jews control America. Here, the supposedly Jewish J-Street group is saying that Iran should have an implicit veto over any legislation that might upset it and give it a hissy fit.

All while J-Street claims that the US should be tough on Iran.






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