Shut up Ann! I think Trump can do more than one thing at a time
Say it with me kids! What could possibly go wrong?
Obama can still inflict a great deal of damage between now and January 20 — and he appears bent on doing it:
Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.
If there is a Nobel Prize for sheer stupidity, trying to prevent the ayatollahs from building nuclear weapons by bribing them with uranium ought to win it.
Two senior diplomats said the transfer recently agreed by the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran foresees delivery of 116 metric tons (nearly 130 tons) of natural uranium. U.N. Security Council approval is needed but a formality, considering five of those powers are permanent Security Council members, they said.
He really does hate this coutry
This is how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes the diplomatic swindle, known as the “Iran nuclear deal.”
The Koranic term (in Arabic Fatah al-Mobin) refers to one of Prophet Mohammed’s successful guerrilla raids on a Meccan caravan in the early days of Islam.
Rouhani claims the “deal” represents “the greatest diplomatic victory in Islamic history.” Leaving aside the hyperbole, a fixture of the mullahs’ rhetorical arsenal, Rouhani has reason to crow.
If not quite moribund as some analysts claim, the Islamic Republic had been in a rough patch for years.
For more than a year, the government was unable to pay some of the 5.2 million public sector employees, notably teachers, petrochemical workers and students on bursaries, triggering numerous strikes.
Deprived of urgently needed investment, the Iranian oil industry was pushed to the edge with its biggest oil fields, notably Bibi Hakimeh and Maroun, producing less than half their capacity.
Between 2012 and 2015, Iran lost 25% of its share in the global oil market.
Sanctions and lack of investment also meant that large chunks of Iranian industry, dependent on imported parts, went under. In 2015 Iran lost an average of 1,000 jobs a day.
Last month, the nation’s currency, the rial, fell to an all-time record low while negative economic growth was forecast for the third consecutive year.
Having increased the military budget by 21%, Rouhani was forced to delay presentation of his new budget for the Iranian New Year starting March 21.
Against that background that Obama rode to the rescue by pushing through a “deal” designed to ease pressure on Iran in exchange for nothing but verbal promises from Tehran. Here is some of what Obama did:
* Dropped demands that Iran reshape its nuclear program to make sure it can never acquire a military dimension. As head of Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akbar Salehi has said: “Our nuclear project remains intact. The ‘deal’ does not prevent us from doing what we were doing.”
* He suspended a raft of sanctions and pressured the European Union and the United Nations to do the same.
* He injected a badly needed $1.7 billion into Iranian economy by releasing assets frozen under President Jimmy Carter and kept as possible compensation for Americans held hostage at different times. The cash enabled Rouhani to start paying some unpaid salaries in Iran while financing Hezbollah branches and helping the Assad regime in Syria.
* Obama released another tranche of $30 billion, enabling Rouhani to present his new budget with a reduced deficit at 14% while increasing the military-security budget yet again, by 4.2%.
* Banking sanctions were set aside to let Iran import 19,000 tons of American rice to meet shortages on the eve of Iranian New Year when consumption reaches its peak.
* Obama’s lovefest with the mullahs helped mollify the Khomeinist regime’s image as a sponsor of international terror and a diplomatic pariah.
What is the rationale behind Obama’s dogged determination to help the mullahs out of the ditch they have dug?
Some cite Obama’s alleged belief that the US has been an “imperialist power,” bullying weaker nations and must make amends.
Others suggest a tactic to strengthen “moderates” within the Iranian regime who, if assured that the US does into seek regime change might lead the nation towards a change of behavior.
Whatever the reasons, what Obama has done could best described as appeasement-plus.
In classical appeasement you promise an adversary not to oppose some of his moves, for example the annexation of Czechoslovakia, but you do not offer him actual financial or diplomatic support.
Obama has gone beyond that.
In addition to saving Iran from running out of money, on the diplomatic front he has endorsed Tehran’s scenario for Syria, is campaigning to help Iran choose the next Lebanese president, and has given the mullahs an open field in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Secretary of State John Kerry talks of Iran as “the regional power,” to the chagrin of Washington’s Middle East allies.
What if the “deal” actually weakens the “moderates” that Obama wants to support, supposing they do exist?
Obama’s imaginary “moderates” are not in good shape. The Council of Guardians that decides who could run for election next month has disqualified 99% of the so-called “moderate” wannabes, ensuring the emergence of a new Islamic parliament and Assembly of Experts dominated by radicals as never before.
Meanwhile, the annual “End of America” festival, Feb. 1 to 10, is to be held with greater pomp.
With more resources at its disposal, Tehran is intensifying its “exporting the revolution” campaign. Last week it announced the creation of a new Hezbollah branch in Turkey and, for the first time, made the existence of a branch in Iraq public. Tajikistan was also publicly added to the markets where Khomeinist revolution should be exported.
There are no “moderates” in Tehran, and the Islamic Republic cannot be reformed out of its nature. For the remainder of Obama’s term least, expect a more aggressive Islamic Republic.
Did the mullahs deceive Obama? No, this was all his idea.
Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged on Thursday that Iran will likely use some of the tens of billions of dollars its receives as a result of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal to sponsor terrorists.
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists to some degree,” he told CNBC in Davos, Switzerland. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.”
Kerry said there were no indications yet that released funds were being directed “to that kind of endeavor” but that he was “sure at some point some of it will.”
He went on to suggest that the impact in the region of such funding would be limited, pointing to the much larger military spending by Gulf Arab states in comparison to Iran.
“The Saudis alone spend $80 billion a year on defense. The entire Gulf state community spends 130 billion a year on defense,” he said. “Iran spends 15 billion a year on its military activities. So it’s so incredibly disproportionate.”
The U.S., by working with its Gulf state partners, would be able to guarantee their security, he said. It would “stand by them, even as we look for this potential other shift in behavior.”
In Washington, Republican senators responded scathingly.
“Talk about stating the obvious,” the Associated Press quoted Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) as saying, adding that even when Iran’s economy was crippled by sanctions it was funding “guns, not butter.”
“To have them actually now say, ‘Well, we think some of this might go to terrorism.’ D’uh. I mean, really?”
At a press conference with several Senate colleagues focusing on Iran, Ayotte said it had been obvious from the outset.
“Finally Secretary Kerry acknowledged what all of us who have opposed this [nuclear] agreement from the beginning saw was obvious – that when they got this economic relief and lifting of the sanctions that in fact some of that money was going to support their terrorism in the region,” she said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) disputed that Iran’s use of the freed-up funds for terror was merely likely, saying in words directed at Kerry that it was “certain that they will use this money to support terrorism. You might as well as have written the check to [Syrian President Bashar] Assad yourself; you might as well have funded Hezbollah yourself.”
“So all of this cash going into the ayatollah’s pockets won’t stay long,” Graham said. “It’s not going into roads and bridges in Iran, it’s going into war machines throughout the Mideast and to think otherwise is completely naïve.”
In Davos, Kerry said Iranian President Hasan Rouhani had indicated that he wants to use the nuclear deal “as a departure point for something new” – although he conceded that “just saying it doesn’t make it happen. You have to now test it and see where we’re going.”
Kerry told the network Iran would likely get $55 billion in sanctions relief, not the considerably larger sums sometimes reported.
“It’s not 150 billion, it’s not 100 billion. Iran will get approximately – according to the Treasury Department and all of the analysis of our intelligence community – about $55 billion,” he said.
“Why won’t they get the 100 [billion] that some people refer to? Because a large chunk of it is already committed to China, to other countries through loans and long-term commitments that have been made.”
‘This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions’
The IRGC which Kerry referred to is not itself designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under U.S. law, despite efforts by Republican lawmakers to prod the administration into doing so. (While in the U.S. Senate, Kerry opposed such a move, as did then-Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden; Hillary Clinton did not.)
Iran is a primary sponsor of violent anti-U.S. Shi’ite militias in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Iraq (Khata’ib Hezbollah and others). It has also long supported Palestinian terror groups such as Hamas. Hezbollah, Khata’ib Hezbollah and Hamas are all designated FTOs.
Shortly after the nuclear deal was announced last July, Kerry downplayed concerns about sanctions relief money benefitting terrorists, arguing that the Iranian government had more pressing priorities.
“If President Rouhani and his administration do not [use the freed-up funds to] take care of the people of Iran, they will have an enormous problem,” he told the BBC at the time.
In similar comments earlier last year, White House press secretary Josh Earnest conceded that the administration would not be able to prescribe how Iran uses the money its sanctions relief windfall, but said it was “common sense” to expect Tehran would use it to improve the ailing economy, not to increase funding for terrorism or for other destabilizing actions in the region.
“I’m not going to make any predictions about what they are going to do, and I’m certainly not going to be in a position to prescribe what they should do,” he said. “This is a sovereign country that will make their own decisions.”
Back in October, Iran put the Obama administration in a tough spot. Tehran test-fired a next generation, surface-to-surface ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
The new weapon – dubbed “Emad” – is capable of hitting arch nemesis Israel and although the launch didn’t violate the letter of the nuclear accord, it did apparently violate a UN resolution and that, in turn, prompted a number of US lawmakers to call for a fresh set of sanctions on Tehran.
Of course this isn’t the best time to be slapping the Iranians with more sanctions, which is presumably why The White House delayed a decision on the matter last week.
First, the implementation of the nuclear deal is supposed to bring sanctions relief for Tehran. Any new punitive measures will jeopardize the agreement. If the deal falls apart, it would be a severe blow to Obama’s presidential legacy.
Furthermore, heightened tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia in connection with the latter’s decision to execute a prominent Shiite cleric, have plunged the Muslim world into chaos. Were the US to hit Iran with sanctions now, it might very well come across as a kind of backdoor way of supporting the Saudi position in the middle of a worsening diplomatic crisis.
Knowing that Washington is in a bind, the Iranians have pushed ahead with their vaunted ballistic missile program. As we’ve noted on a number of occasions, Iran has one of the largest ballistic missile arsenals in the Middle East. Here’s the breakdown courtesy of the US Institute Of Peace:
* Shahab missiles: Since the late 1980s, Iran has purchased additional short- and medium-range missiles from foreign suppliers and adapted them to its strategic needs. The Shahabs, Persian for “meteors,” were long the core of Iran’s program. They use liquid fuel, which involves a time-consuming launch. They include:
* The Shahab-1 is based on the Scud-B. (The Scud series was originally developed by the Soviet Union). It has a range of about 300 kms or 185 miles
* The Shahab-2 is based on the Scud-C. It has a range of about 500 kms, or 310 miles. In mid-2010, Iran is widely estimated to have between 200 and 300 Shahab-1 and Shahab-2 missiles capable of reaching targets in neighboring countries.
* The Shahab-3 is based on the Nodong, which is a North Korean missile. It has a range of about 900 km or 560 miles. It has a nominal payload of 1,000 kg. A modified version of the Shahab-3, renamed the Ghadr-1, began flight tests in 2004. It theoretically extends Iran’s reach to about 1,600 km or 1,000 miles, which qualifies as a medium-range missile. But it carries a smaller, 750-kg warhead.
* Although the Ghadr-1 was built with key North Korean components, Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani boasted at the time, “Today, by relying on our defense industry capabilities, we have been able to increase our deterrent capacity against the military expansion of our enemies.”
* Sajjil missiles: Sajjil means “baked clay” in Persian. These are a class of medium-range missiles that use solid fuel, which offer many strategic advantages. They are less vulnerable to preemption because the launch requires shorter preparation – minutes rather than hours. Iran is the only country to have developed missiles of this range without first having developed nuclear weapons.
* This family of missiles centers on the Sajjil-2, a domestically produced surface-to-surface missile. It has a medium-range of about 2,000 km or 1,200 miles when carrying a 750-kg warhead. It was test fired in 2008 under the name, Sajjil. The Sajjil-2, which is probably a slightly modified version, began test flights in 2009. This missile would allow Iran to “target any place that threatens Iran,” according to Brig. Gen. Abdollah Araghi, a Revolutionary Guard commander.
* The Sajjil-2, appears to have encountered technical issues and its full development has slowed. No flight tests have been conducted since 2011. IfSajjil-2 flight testing resumes, the missile’s performance and reliability could be proven within a year or two. The missile, which is unlikely to become operational before 2017, is the most likely nuclear delivery vehicle – if Iran decides to develop an atomic bomb. But it would need to build a bomb small enough to fit on the top of this missile, which would be a major challenge.
* The Sajjil program’s success indicates that Iran’s long-term missile acquisition plans are likely to focus on solid-fuel systems. They are more compact and easier to deploy on mobile launchers. They require less time to prepare for launch, making them less vulnerable to preemption by aircraft or other missile defense systems.
* Iran could attempt to use Sajjil technologies to produce a three-stage missile capable of flying 3,700 km or 2,200 miles. But it is unlikely to be developed and actually fielded before 2017.
In fact, Iran’s missile cache is so large, they’re running out of places to “hide” them. “We lack enough space in our stockpiles to house our missiles,” General Hossein Salami said on Friday. “Hundreds of long tunnels are full of missiles ready to fly to protect your integrity, independence and freedom,” he added.
Yes, “hundreds of tunnels”, like those we highlighted in “Caught On Tape: Inside Iran’s Secret Underground Missile Tunnels.”
The video shown above was first shown on the state-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) channel whose cameras were permitted inside the underground base.
“Those who threaten Iran with their military option on the table would better take a look at Iran’s ‘options under the table,’ namely the missile arsenals. Iran’s known military power is only the tip of the iceberg,” the Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told reporters.
On Tuesday, we got a look at yet another Iranian “missile city” when Speaker of the Parliament Ali Larijani inaugurated a new site. Here’s footage from the event:
As Middle East Eye reports, the new “city” will be used to store the Emad: “Iran’s military has revealed a secret underground ‘missile city’ used to store a new generation of ballistic missiles which the US says are ‘nuclear capable’ and whose test-firing last year broke a UN resolution.” Here’s more:
The Revolutionary Guards Corps on Tuesday released pictures and video of the underground bunker after a visit by Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.
Iran’s Tasnim news agency said the bunker, which it dubbed a ‘missile city’, stores the Emad ballistic missile, which has a range of 2,000km and was first successfully tested on October 10. The US says the missiles are advanced enough to be fitted with nuclear warheads.
It is the second such bunker to be publicised in three months, after the Guards in October revealed a facility dug into an unnamed mountain to store and protect Iran’s advanced weaponry.
Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Guards’s aerospace division, said the facility was only one of many bases scattered across the country.
The publicising of the existence of the bunker comes at a sensitive time in relations between Iran and world powers, who signed an agreement in July to largely curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
And that, in short, should tell you everything you need to know about the degree to which Tehran is prepared to negotiate with Washington vis-a-vis the country’s ballistic missile program.
Iran has always maintained its missile arsenal is for defensive purposes only and thus represents a completely legitimate effort to protect the country from the myriad hostile states in the region. The events that unfolded over the weekend underscore why Tehran is so keen on bolstering its defenses.
But defensive or no, the video shown above represents yet another slap in the face for the Obama administration and will only serve to infuriate already irate lawmakers in the US who, unlike the administration, aren’t in the mood to make any new “friends” in the Mid-East.
Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.
Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?
Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:
Some senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal have privately concluded that a key sanctions relief provision – a concession to Iran that will open the doors to tens of billions of dollars in U.S.-backed commerce with the Islamic regime – conflicts with existing federal statutes and cannot be implemented without violating those laws, Fox News has learned.
At issue is a passage tucked away in ancillary paperwork attached to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, as the Iran nuclear deal is formally known. Specifically, Section 5.1.2 of Annex II provides that in exchange for Iranian compliance with the terms of the deal, the U.S. “shall… license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this JCPOA.”
In short, this means that foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies will, under certain conditions, be allowed to do business with Iran. The problem is that the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), signed into law by President Obama in August 2012, was explicit in closing the so-called “foreign sub” loophole.
Indeed, ITRA also stipulated, in Section 218, that when it comes to doing business with Iran, foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent firms shall in all cases be treated exactly the same as U.S. firms: namely, what is prohibited for U.S. parent firms has to be prohibited for foreign subsidiaries, and what is allowed for foreign subsidiaries has to be allowed for U.S. parent firms.
What’s more, ITRA contains language, in Section 605, requiring that the terms spelled out in Section 218 shall remain in effect until the president of the United States certifies two things to Congress: first, that Iran has been removed from the State Department’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, and second, that Iran has ceased the pursuit, acquisition, and development of weapons of mass destruction.
Additional executive orders and statutes signed by President Obama, such as the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, have reaffirmed that all prior federal statutes relating to sanctions on Iran shall remain in full effect.
For example, the review act – sponsored by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the Foreign Relations Committee, and signed into law by President Obama in May – stated that “any measure of statutory sanctions relief” afforded to Iran under the terms of the nuclear deal may only be “taken consistent with existing statutory requirements for such action.” The continued presence of Iran on the State Department’s terror list means that “existing statutory requirements” that were set forth in ITRA, in 2012, have not been met for Iran to receive the sanctions relief spelled out in the JCPOA.
As the Iran deal is an “executive agreement” and not a treaty – and has moreover received no vote of ratification from the Congress, explicit or symbolic – legal analysts inside and outside of the Obama administration have concluded that the JCPOA is vulnerable to challenge in the courts, where federal case law had held that U.S. statutes trump executive agreements in force of law.
Administration sources told Fox News it is the intention of Secretary of State John Kerry, who negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran’s foreign minister and five other world powers, that the re-opening of the “foreign sub” loophole by the JCPOA is to be construed as broadly as possible by lawyers for the State Department, the Treasury Department and other agencies involved in the deal’s implementation.
But the apparent conflict between the re-opening of the loophole and existing U.S. law leaves the Obama administration with only two options going forward. The first option is to violate ITRA, and allow foreign subsidiaries to be treated differently than U.S. parent firms. The second option is to treat both categories the same, as ITRA mandated – but still violate the section of ITRA that required Iran’s removal from the State Department terror list as a pre-condition of any such licensing.
It would also renege on the many promises of senior U.S. officials to keep the broad array of American sanctions on Iran in place. Chris Backemeyer, who served as Iran director for the National Security Council from 2012 to 2014 and is now the State Department’s deputy coordinator for sanctions policy, told POLITICO last month “there will be no real sanctions relief of our primary embargo… We are still going to have sanctions on Iran that prevent most Americans from… engaging in most commercial activities.”
Likewise, in a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy last month, Adam Szubin, the acting under secretary of Treasury for terrorism and financial crimes, described Iran as “the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism” and said existing U.S. sanctions on the regime “will continue to be enforced… U.S. investment in Iran will be prohibited across the board.”
Nominated to succeed his predecessor at Treasury, Szubin appeared before the Senate Banking Committee for a confirmation hearing the day after his speech to the Washington Institute. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) asked the nominee where the Obama administration finds the “legal underpinnings” for using the JCPOA to re-open the “foreign sub” loophole.
Szubin said the foreign subsidiaries licensed to do business with Iran will have to meet “some very difficult conditions,” and he specifically cited ITRA, saying the 2012 law “contains the licensing authority that Treasury would anticipate using… to allow for certain categories of activity for those foreign subsidiaries.”
Elsewhere, in documents obtained by Fox News, Szubin has maintained that a different passage of ITRA, Section 601, contains explicit reference to an earlier law – the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or IEEPA, on the books since 1977 – and states that the president “may exercise all authorities” embedded in IEEPA, which includes licensing authority for the president.
However, Section 601 is also explicit on the point that the president must use his authorities from IEEPA to “carry out” the terms and provisions of ITRA itself, including Section 218 – which mandated that, before this form of sanctions relief can be granted, Iran must be removed from the State Department’s terror list. Nothing in the Congressional Record indicates that, during debate and passage of ITRA, members of Congress intended for the chief executive to use Section 601 to overturn, rather than “carry out,” the key provisions of his own law.
One administration lawyer contacted by Fox News said the re-opening of the loophole reflects circular logic with no valid legal foundation. “It would be Alice-in-Wonderland bootstrapping to say that [Section] 601 gives the president the authority to restore the foreign subsidiary loophole – the exact opposite of what the statute ordered,” said the attorney, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations over implementation of the Iran deal.
At the State Department on Thursday, spokesman John Kirby told reporters Secretary Kerry is “confident” that the administration “has the authority to follow through on” the commitment to re-open the foreign subsidiary loophole.
“Under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president has broad authorities, which have been delegated to the secretary of the Treasury, to license activities under our various sanctions regimes, and the Iran sanctions program is no different,” Kirby said.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the G.O.P. presidential candidate who is a Harvard-trained lawyer and ardent critic of the Iran deal, said the re-opening of the loophole fits a pattern of the Obama administration enforcing federal laws selectively.
“It’s a problem that the president doesn’t have the ability wave a magic wand and make go away,” Cruz told Fox News in an interview. “Any U.S. company that follows through on this, that allows their foreign-owned subsidiaries to do business with Iran, will very likely face substantial civil liability, litigation and potentially even criminal prosecution. The obligation to follow federal law doesn’t go away simply because we have a lawless president who refuses to acknowledge or follow federal law.”
A spokesman for the Senate Banking Committee could not offer any time frame as to when the committee will vote on Szubin’s nomination.
The Obama administration tried to persuade Argentina to “provide the Islamic State of Iran with nuclear fuel” back in 2010.
President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner made these accusations during her speech this week to the General Assembly.
Nuclear fuel is a key component in nuclear weapons.
The United States mainstream media ignored this story for some odd reason?
UPDATE – Here is President Kirchner’s speech to the UN General Assembly.
(relevant accusation starts around the 19:45 minute mark)
When the Argentinians asked the administration to put it in writing – all communications ceased and the administration went silent.
The White House knew it would be unpopular with the American public.
President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner, a leftist, made the claim Monday at the United Nations.
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner claimed Monday afternoon at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City that in 2010, the Obama administration tried to convince the Argentinians “to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel,” reported Mediaite.
Kirchner said that two years into Obama’s first term, his administration sent Gary Samore, former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Argentina to persuade the nation to provide Iran with nuclear fuel, which is a key component of nuclear weapons.
Kirchner’s full remarks are as follows, per the Argentine president’s official website:
“In 2010 we were visited in Argentina by Gary Samore, at that time the White House’s top advisor in nuclear issues. He came to see us in Argentina with a mission, with an objective: under the control of IAEA, the international organization in the field of weapons control and nuclear regulation, Argentina had supplied in the year 1987, during the first democratic government, the nuclear fuel for the reactor known as “Teheran”. Gary Samore had explained to our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Héctor Timerman, that negotiations were underway for the Islamic Republic of Iran to cease with its uranium enrichment activities or to do it to a lesser extent but Iran claimed that it needed to enrich this Teheran nuclear reactor and this was hindering negotiations. They came to ask us, Argentines, to provide the Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear fuel. Rohani was not in office yet. It was Ahmadinejad’s administration and negotiations had already started.”…
Kirchner went on to say at the U.N. that when Samore was asked to provide the request in writing, all communications immediately ceased and Samore disappeared…
On Thursday, 42 Senate Democrats voted to filibuster a resolution of disapproval of the Iran nuclear deal. That unprincipled partisan move not only deprived the Senate of a vote on the deal that the body had granted itself by a 99-1 vote earlier this year. It also seemed to close off any chance that Congress could block the implementation of the pact championed by President Obama. Indeed, the filibuster engineered by the Democrats ensured he would not even have to veto the resolution that was passed by the House on Friday. Understandably that has caused most observers to stop talking about the failure of the deal’s critics to stop it and instead to start discussing exactly how quickly Iran will start getting the money and sanctions relief President Obama has promised it. But some opponents are not giving up.
In Politico, Senator Ted Cruz writes that the fight isn’t over. Cruz echoes the defiance of House Republicans who correctly point out that as long as the text of a side deal between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency is kept secret, the administration hasn’t complied with the Corker-Cardin bill and it can’t be put into effect. He says that means any implementation of the agreement will be illegal and that Congress can act in such a way as to make that position stand up. That raises two questions. The first is whether his stance is correct. The second is whether opponents of the president’s policy believe further resistance is not only futile but also counter-productive. Though Congressional leaders are inclined to view anything Cruz says as ill-advised, he might not only be right but his plan of action could lay the foundation for Obama’s successor to throw the deal out.
Let’s concede up front, as Cruz does himself, that nothing the House or the Senate does at this point will prevent President Obama from putting the deal into effect. The administration doesn’t concede that the Iran-IAEA agreement is part of the actual deal and will, on the strength of the Senate filibuster treat it as if Congress has approved it.
Yet as I noted last week, House Republicans such as Rep. Mike Pompeo, who have raised the question of the side deal, are exactly right. The text of the Iran Nuclear Review Act of 2015 put forward by Senators Bob Corker and Ben Cardin, was clear that every aspect of any nuclear deal signed by the West with Iran had to be disclosed to Congress before the 60-day review period, during which a resolution of disapproval might be put forward and could be triggered. Since the Iran-IAEA deal about inspection of the Parchin military site has not been divulged to Congress, the review period did not begin when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action embraced by the president was presented to Congress in July.
A majority of the House has embraced this stand, and Cruz asks House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to jointly endorse that position. He also would like McConnell to schedule a symbolic sense of the Senate resolution that would state that the deal would not have been ratified had it been presented, as it should have been, as a treaty and had to follow the Constitutional process that would have required 67 votes for approval.
Lastly, Cruz wants the Congressional leadership to issue a formal warning to banks that are currently holding the billions in frozen Iranian assets that the deal would have to release to Tehran. They would be told that if they listen to President Obama and let the funds go to the Islamist regime they risk being hauled into court and face onerous civil and perhaps even criminal penalties once a new administration is sworn in.
Some Republicans – especially Boehner and McConnell – are inclined to view anything Cruz says as self-serving and a recipe for endless and pointless strife. He has made a lot of enemies on his own side of the aisle since entering the Senate in January 2013. McConnell is still angry over Cruz calling him a liar in July during their dispute about the renewal of the Export-Import Bank. Nor has the GOP leadership forgiven him for helping to push Congress into the 2013 government shutdown or his threats about another one this year about defunding Planned Parenthood.
Yet in spite of their hard feelings, they should be listening to him on this issue.
While Congress can’t actually stop Obama from acting as if the deal is legal, it should be taking all appropriate steps to defend its rights as it fights a rear-guard action against a nuclear agreement that is a dangerous act of appeasement. Congress can sue the president over this and should. As it happens, earlier this week a Washington D.C. federal judge ruled that the much-mocked Congressional lawsuit against the president for rewriting the ObamaCare law without proper legislative authority can move ahead. That means a similar suit that might be pursued about the illegal implementation of the Iran deal is also theoretically viable.
The president gained a victory when Senator Corker foolishly allowed himself to be gulled into writing a bill that created a reverse ratification process that let the deal be passed with only 42 Senate votes rather than Constitution’s mandate of 67. But that also means that it does not have the force of law and can be thrown out with legal impunity by his successor. Even if it takes years to win in court, a suit that points out the illegal nature of the implementation will make it easier for a Republican president to do that. That will make the threats of legal consequences for the banks that deliver money to Iran even more credible. Congress should also move ahead with legislation toughening the sanctions on Iran and making it difficult if not impossible for Obama to move forward with his goal of détente with the Islamist regime.
Though it feels like the fight over Iran is over, Cruz is right that it doesn’t have to be that way. For now, Obama will have his way but by not conceding the battle, Boehner and McConnell will be preparing the way for this appalling betrayal of principle by the president to be eventually discarded, as it should have been had not Congressional Democrats valued partisan loyalty over their responsibility to defend the U.S. and its allies. Establishment Republicans can roll their eyes at Cruz, but he’s right about this. Democrats now own Iran and its crimes for the foreseeable future and the GOP as well as friends of Israel should not be shy about pointing who are the guilty men and women who backed appeasement. Not giving up isn’t a waste of time. It’s actually the prudent and the politically smart thing to do.
Previous posts have discussed the jurisdictional and statutory questions involved in possible judicial challenges to sanctions relief pursuant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Here I will sketch what seems to me the most effective way of ensuring prompt judicial review of these issues – a two-pronged litigation strategy involving both Congress and the several states. At the end, I’ll return to some questions about congressional standing in response to insightful comments by Prof. Josh Blackman.
The first step would be for the House to challenge any sanctions relief declared by the President. Such a case raises novel and complex standing questions. While a recent D.C. Federal court decision opens the door to such suits, it is not clear how wide, and the House may be found to not have standing. Yet even in such a situation, the suit could be important.
Even if a House suit fails on standing grounds – and there is no disgrace in a case not being judicially revieable – it would help shape judicial perceptions of the equities of subsequent suits involving states, where standing will not be in question. That is, the House’s vigorous assertion in court of a separation of powers violation, even if not ruled on, could give added credibility to subsequent separation of powers claims in litigation involving the states. If Congress tried but failed on a jurisdictional issue, it still gives the substantive issue the dimension of a major dispute between co-equal branches about federal statutes and foreign trade legislation, rather than states questioning Executive decisions.
For example, when the Line-Item veto act was passed, some congressmen who opposed it challenged it in court. They were found not to have standing (this does not weaken congressional standing in our case, where it would be the House in its institutional capacity, not simply a few members on the losing side of a vote bringing the suit). However, subsequently, when New York City and private groups affected by the Line Item Veto brought suit, their justiciable and ultimately successful case may have seemed more serious in light of the prior legislative challenge.
The states’ role
Dozens of states currently have Iran sanctions in place. Many of these are tied to the federal sanctions scheme, such that the state sanctions automatically terminate when the federal ones do. The simplest strategy for states is to insist on the ongoing validity of their sanctions even after President Obama purports to order sanctions relief.
The states can follow the House’s lead, and say they do not regard Corker-Cardin as having been complied with, and thus their sanctions remain in place. Indeed, the non-compliance with Corker-Cardin will protect state laws from preemption, as even the robust version of “executive policy” preemption in Giaramedi does not apply when the executive policy is blocked by express legislation.
(So far I, have assumed the the Executive will argue that Corker-Cardin gives him broad new sanctions cancellation power that he will purport to use; obviously, the existence power depends on compliance with that authorizing statute. If the Executive merely purports to be using previous waiver authority, which I doubt he will be content to do, then there is a reasonable argument, though no slam-dunk, that such authority is frozen pending Congress’s review of the full deal.)
State sanctions offer many routes to judicial review. First, the state can itself bring enforcement actions. State and lower federal court rulings in enforcement suits would also give courts an opportunity to rule on the legality of sanctions relief, but would not immediately bind the federal government.
However, the ongoing enforcement of such sanctions will put the Administration in a bind. On one hand, it will want the Justice Department to bring a prompt preemption challenge against the state laws. On the other hand, that would squarely expose the Administration’s Corker-Cardin compliance to judicial review, and a judgement would be fully and generally binding on the Executive. Even if the odds were against such a ruling, that would be a huge risk for the Administration to take with one of its signature accomplishments, especially right before an election.
On the other hand, the Administration would not be able to sit back and watch states enforce their sanctions. Indeed, President Obama seems to have promised Iran to not abide by such a scenario. The regulatory uncertainty of ongoing state sanctions would have a significant deterrent effect on companies, while the ongoing legal uncertainty over the sanctions relief would itself tend to destabilize the deal. And the President would have to worry that a possible successor could refuse to defend the deal in court, without having the expressly repudiate it, much as Obama declined a few years ago to defend the constitutionality of a federal law in United States v. Windsor.
Faced with this dilemma, and generally confident of the strength of its position, the Administration will most likely bring a preemption challenge, or intervene in a state proceeding, allowing for quick judicial review of the issues.
Congressional standing is now a real possibility because of the D.C. District Court’s ruling in House of Representatives v. Burwell. Josh Blackman argues that the House’s claims about the Iran deal would not meet the test set up by Judge Collyer in the case, while at the same time criticizing the distinction that test is based on. I am sympathetic to those criticisms. In the broader picture, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ultimate decision on the institutional legislative standing will not depend on the precise test articulated by the District Court, and if it arrives at the same result, it may be based on somewhat different reasoning. Thus a broad qualification is in order – the analysis of House standing is quite speculative as the entire doctrine of such standing is at this point quite uncertain.
Judge Collyer required the House to assert a constitutional injury for itself, not a statutory one, or a complaint about the Executive’s improper enforcement of the law. However, as Judge Collyer understands, constitutional claims are typically embedded in a statutory matrix, not floating around in the legal ether. Indeed, typically private citizens cannot sue to enforce constitutional rights directly, without a statutory cause of action. The question the House would raise is not simply whether the president complied with Corker-Cardin, but whether subsequent sanctions relief violates the separation of powers.
The most fundamental point is that Congress could not exercise its legislative powers – the power to make binding votes on things – without the relevant materials. In effect, the non-transmission prevented congress from exercising its legislative function within the relevant legal framework. This is an issue of the president not just nullifying Congress’s vote, but precluding it.
Furthermore, characterizing the House’s injury depends in part on how the Executive characterizes its subsequent sanctions relief actions. If, as some argue, Corker-Cardin does not merely authorize the president to use preexisting waiver and suspension authorities, but rather to actually cancel existing sanctions legislation, the constitutional issues loom particularly large. In this view, Corker-Cardin effectively delegates a retroactive veto power to the president to cancel existing pieces of legislation. While sanctions and trade laws typically contain provisions for suspension or termination by the president upon certain contingencies, that authority is typically for the restrictions within the authorizing piece of legislation itself. In other words, each law has its own suspension provisions.
It would be fairly novel, I believe, for Congress to give the president cross-statutory nullification authority, not triggered by any particular executive findings – that is for a statute to authorize the president to cancel provisions of other statutes. This has some echoes of the line-item veto (yes, of course there are differences). But one need not say the delegation is impermissible to say that there is a separation-of-powers problem.
Delegated power to strike down duly enacted statutes is a fairly vast grant of legislative power; in this case, without any apparent limiting principles. Such broad delegation could only be done pursuant to explicit legislative authorization. If that authorization is conditional, i.e. conditioned in Corker-Cardin on reviewing the full agreement, then whether those conditions have been met becomes a very important separation of powers question.
Even if Corker-Cardin merely authorizes the president to use preexisting sanctions relief authority, rather than grant new ones, that authority is now modified by Corker-Cardin itself. Thus sunsetting sanctions without providing for the required prior congressional review could be cast as a legislative act by the president – permanently changing the effect of existing laws in a way not pursuant to law.
To paraphrase Judge Collyer’s standing ruling in Burwell into Iran deal terms:
Properly understood, the Non-Cancellation Theory is not about the implementation, interpretation, or execution of any federal statute. The Executive has cancelled existing statutory provisions regarding sanctions without congressional legislation – not merely in violation of any statute, but in violation of U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2, requiring bicameralism and presentment for such action.
Of course, the Executive would then argue that the cancellation was pursuant to congressional authorization in Corker-Cardin, and the House would respond that Corker-Cardin does not apply because the review period was not triggered. So non-compliance with the transmission requirements regarding deal documents would certainly be a big part of the issues in the case, but it would not be injury claimed by the House.
Again, to put it in language of Judge Collyer’s opinion:
The House of Representatives as an institution would suffer a concrete, particularized injury if the Executive were able to cancel duly enacted federal legislation without a valid congressional authorization.
The YouTube page of Iranian “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei has released a new video titled “if any war happens,” which casts a particularly threatening tone in predicting that the Islamic Republic would defeat the United States should war break out between the two sides.
The video begins by quoting President Obama when he mentioned that the United States could quickly dispose of Iran’s military apparatus, should the U.S. need to deploy the military option to stop Iran from becoming armed with a nuclear weapon.
Next, a photo of the White House appears, with the Ayatollah’s voice in the background stating, “A U.S. official has said that he can destroy Iran’s army.”
“I do not want to say anything more in this regard. Our predecessors used to call such statements, ‘boasting among strangers,’” Khamenei adds, as another image is shown of an individual pulling a weapon out while standing next to two men who appear to be a portrayal of Americans in cowboy hats.
The video then highlights Iran’s military arsenal, and includes a short animation of ships storming a “USS NAVY” warship, while also showcasing its homemade tank, and a U.S. drone that Iran claims it has reengineered for its military’s use.
Next, the video flashes to a photo that shows two missiles along with a Hezbollah flag and a photo of its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
“We neither welcome nor begin any war,” the Ayatollah’s voice continues, while an animation appears of an Iranian missile being fired at U.S. troops in Afghanistan. “They must know that should any way break out, one will emerge humiliated out of it,” he adds.
“One will emerge humiliated out of it,” and it “will be invading and criminal America,” Khamenei concludes, as a photo is shown of American soldiers carrying a coffin draped with an American flag.
The video concludes with a photo of Khamenei marching among Iran’s military leaders with the caption, “Iranian Army.”
Khamenei’s provocative video comes just days after he threatened to annihilate Israel within the next 25 years.
“Firstly, you will not see 25 years; God willing, there will be nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years. Secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists,” the Iranian dictator tweeted Wednesday.
The same day, the Mullah pledged that Iran would never again negotiate with the “Great Satan” America following the nuclear accord between world powers and Tehran.
Iran has discovered an unexpectedly high reserve of uranium and will soon begin extracting the radioactive element at a new mine, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization said on Saturday.
“I cannot announce (the level of) Iran’s uranium mine reserves. The important thing is that before aerial prospecting for uranium ores we were not too optimistic, but the new discoveries have made us confident about our reserves,” Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by IRNA.
Salehi said uranium exploration had covered almost two-thirds of Iran and would be complete in the next four years.
After decades of efforts, Iran has achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle, ranging from the extraction of uranium ore to enrichment and production of fuel rods for nuclear reactors.
Salehi said uranium extraction was set to begin at a new mine in the central province of Yazd.
Referring to the July nuclear agreement reached between Iran and world powers, Salehi gave an assurance that the deal would not slow down the country’s nuclear industry or bring it to a halt.
Of course, certain limitations have been accepted in the course of the nuclear talks, the official noted.
However, he said, they are not going to impede the country’s progress in the nuclear field.
It looks like the thousands of protesters outside the U.S. Capitol may have persuaded at least one Congressman to rethink Obama’s nuclear deal.
Speaker John Boehner reportedly has agreed to vote on a resolution introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL). The resolution will state that Obama has not complied with the law by not submitting the full Iranian nuclear deal to Congress.
Looks like pressure from the House conservative Freedom Caucus membership has forced House Speaker John Boehner to agree the House will not pass a resolution disapproving of President Obama’s Iran deal. Instead, the House will apparently vote Friday on the resolution introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), which will state that Obama has not complied with the Corker-Cardin law because he has not submitted the full Iranian nuclear “agreement,” which that law explicitly defines to include all “side deals,” between third parties (including the Iran-IAEA side deals).
The House is also anticipated to now vote on a second resolution, which would state that because the President has failed to submit the “agreement” defined by Corker-Cardin, the President has no corresponding authority to lift any existing Iranian sanctions.
The move by Boehner came after Freedom Caucus members threatened to vote down a planned resolution disapproving of the Iran deal, leaving the House on record as approving the deal. This threat was designed to leverage Boehner via potential political embarrassment, and encourage GOP leadership to consider the Roskam alternative, which will both delay congressional action on the Iran deal, as well as provide a stronger legal basis upon which to challenge any presidential action lifting sanctions.
An estimated 200 retired generals and admirals put pen to paper and sent a letter to Congress to advise them to reject the nuclear deal pressed by President Obama, saying the world will become a more dangerous place if it’s approved.
“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter stated.
It was addressed to House Majority Leader John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The writers say the “agreement as constructed does not ‘cut off every pathway’ for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons,” an apparent reference to the terminology President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry used to tout the benefits of the deal.
“To the contrary,” it continues, “it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding the deal.”
The generals and admirals say the agreement will let Iran enrich uranium, develop centrifuges and keep up work on its heavy-water plutonium reactor at Arak.
And also of concern, they write: “The agreement is unverifiable. Under the terms of the [agreement] and a secret side deal (to which the United States is not privy), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will be responsible for inspectiOns under such severe limitations as to prEvent them from reliably detecting Iranian cheating.”
The letter references the widely reported 24-day delay that was given Iran to keep out inspectors, under the terms of the forged deal. And it also mentions the facet of the agreement that “requires inspectors to inform Iran in writing as to the basis for its concerns about an undeclared site,” and says such allowances are inappropriate and dangerous.
“While failing to assure prevention of Iran’s nuclear weapons development capabilities, the agreement provides by some estimated $150 billion… or more to Iran in the form of sanctions relief,” the letter states.
And their conclusions?
“As military officers, we find it unconscionable that such a windfall could be given to a regime that even the Obama administration has acknowledged will use a portion of such funds to continue to support terrorism in Israel, throughout the Middle East and globally,” they wrote, summarizing the agreement is a danger to the world.
“Accordingly, we urge the Congress to reject this defective accord,” the letter wraps.
Among the signers: Admiral David Architzel, U.S. Navy, retired; Admiral Stanley Arthur, U.S. Navy, retired; General Alfred Hansen, U.S. Air Force, retired; Admiral James Hoggs, U.S. Navy, retired; and General Ronald Yates, U.S. Air Force, retired.
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.
The Iran Lobby had even tried, and failed, to turn Arizona Republican Jeff Flake. Iran Lobby cash had made the White House count on him as the Republican who would flip, but Flake came out against the deal. The Iran Lobby invested a good deal of time and money into Schumer, but that effort also failed.
Still these donations were only the tip of the Iran Lobby iceberg.
Gillibrand had also picked up money from the Iran Lobby’s Hassan Nemazee. Namazee was Hillary’s national campaign finance director who had raised a fortune for both her and Kerry before pleading guilty to a fraud scheme encompassing hundreds of millions of dollars. Nemazee had been an IAPAC trustee and had helped set up the organization.
Bill Clinton had nominated Hassan Nemazee as the US ambassador to Argentina when he had only been a citizen for two years. A spoilsport Senate didn’t allow Clinton to make a member of the Iran Lobby into a US ambassador, but Nemazee remained a steady presence on the Dem fundraising circuit.
Nemazee had donated to Gillibrand and had also kicked in money to help the Franken Recount Fund scour all the cemeteries for freshly dead votes, as well as to Barbara Boxer, who also came out for the Iran nuke deal. Boxer had also received money more directly from IAPAC.
In the House, the Democratic recipients of IAPAC money came out for the deal. Mike Honda, one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Iran Lobby backed the nuke sellout. As did Andre Carson, Gerry Connolly, Donna Edwards and Jackie Speier. The Iran Lobby was certainly getting its money’s worth.
But the Iran Lobby’s biggest wins weren’t Markey or Shaheen. The real victory had come long before when two of their biggest politicians, Joe Biden and John Kerry, had moved into prime positions in the administration. Not only IAPAC, but key Iran Lobby figures had been major donors to both men.
That list includes Housang Amirahmadi, the founder of the American Iranian Council, who had spoken of a campaign to “conquer Obama’s heart and mind” and had described himself as “the Iranian lobby in the United States.” It includes the Iranian Muslim Association of North America (IMAN) board members who had fundraised for Biden. And it includes the aforementioned Hassan Nemazee.
A member of Iran’s opposition had accused Biden’s campaigns of being “financed by Islamic charities of the Iranian regime based in California and by the Silicon Iran network.” Biden’s affinity for the terrorist regime in Tehran was so extreme that after 9/11 he had suggested, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran”.
Appeasement inflation has since raised that $200 million to at least $50 billion. But there are still no strings worth mentioning attached to the big check.
Questions about donations from the Iran Lobby had haunted Kerry’s campaign. Back then Kerry had been accused of supporting an agreement favorable to Iran. The parameters of that controversial proposal however were less generous than the one that Obama and Kerry are trying to sell now.
The hypothetical debates over the influence of the Iran Lobby have come to a very real conclusion.
Both of Obama’s secretaries of state were involved in Iran Lobby cash controversies, as was his vice president and his former secretary of defense. Obama was also the beneficiary of sizable donations from the Iran Lobby. Akbar Ghahary, the former co-founder of IAPAC, had donated and raised some $50,000 for Obama.
It’s an unprecedented track record that has received very little notice. While the so-called “Israel Lobby” is constantly scrutinized, the fact that key foreign policy positions under Obama are controlled by political figures with troubling ties to an enemy of this country has gone mostly unreported by the mainstream media.
This culture of silence allowed the Iran Lobby to get away with taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times before the Netanyahu speech asking, “Will Congress side with our President or a Foreign Leader?”
Iran’s stooges had taken a break from lobbying for ballistic missiles to play American patriots.
Obama and his allies, Iranian and domestic, have accused opponents of his dirty Iran deal of making “common cause” with that same terror regime and of treason. The ugly truth is that he and his political accomplices were the traitors all along.
Democrats in favor of a deal that will let a terrorist regime go nuclear have taken money from lobbies for that regime. They have broken their oath by taking bribes from a regime whose leaders chant, “Death to America”. Their pretense of examining the deal is nothing more than a hollow charade.
This deal has come down from Iran Lobby influenced politicians like Kerry and is being waved through by members of Congress who have taken money from the Iran Lobby. That is treason plain and simple.
Despite what we are told about its “moderate” leaders, Iran considers itself to be in a state of war with us. Iran and its agents have repeatedly carried out attacks against American soldiers, abducted and tortured to death American officials and have even engaged in attacks on American naval vessels.
Aiding an enemy state in developing nuclear weapons is the worst form of treason imaginable. Helping put weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists is the gravest of crimes.
The Democrats who have approved this deal are turning their party into a party of atom bomb spies.
Those politicians who have taken money from the Iran Lobby and are signing off on a deal that will let Iran go nuclear have engaged in the worst form of treason and committed the gravest of crimes. They must know that they will be held accountable. That when Iran detonates its first bomb, their names will be on it.
Two leading U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to release secret letters to foreign governments assuring them that they will not be legally penalized for doing business with the Iranian government, according to a copy of a letter sent Wednesday to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) disclosed in the letter to the State Department that U.S. lawmakers have been shown copies of several letters sent by the Obama administration to the Chinese, German, French, and British governments assuring them that companies doing business with Iran will not come under penalty.
The Obama administration is purportedly promising the foreign governments that if Iran violates the parameters of a recently inked nuclear accord, European companies will not be penalized, according to the secret letters.
Congress became aware of these promises during closed-door briefings with the Obama administration and through documents filed by the administration under a law requiring full disclosure of all information pertaining to the accord.
The issue of sanctions on Iran has become a major issue on Capitol Hill in the weeks since the Obama administration agreed to a deal that permits Iran to enter the international community in exchange for temporarily constraining its nuclear program.
Iran will receive more than $150 billion in sanctions relief as part of the deal and many of its military branches will be removed from international sanctions designations.
“The documents submitted by the Administration to Congress include non-public letters that you sent to the French, British, German, and Chinese governments on the consequences of sanctions snap-back,” Kirk and Rubio wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry.
“These letters appear to reassure these foreign governments that their companies may not be impacted if sanctions are re-imposed in response to Iranian violations of the agreement,” they claim. “While Administration officials have claimed that this is not the case, we think it is important for the American public to be able to read your assurances to foreign governments for themselves as their elected representatives review this deal in the coming weeks.”
Kirk and Rubio are demanding that the Obama administration release these letters to the public so that the full nature of the White House’s backroom dealings are made known.
“We therefore request the Administration to publicly release these letters, which are not classified, so that the full extent of the Administration’s non-public assurances to European and Chinese governments can be discussed openly by Congress and analyzed by impartial outside experts,” they write.
“Given the conflicting interpretations hinted at by the deal’s various stakeholders, it would also ease congressional review of the deal if you were to receive assurances from the other members of the P5+1 about the guidance they will provide to companies about the inherent risks of investing in Iran due to Iran’s ongoing support for terrorism and use of its financial system for illicit activities and the potential for sanctions to snap back if Iran violates the nuclear agreement,” the letter states.
As Iranian companies and government entities are removed from sanctions lists, they will be permitted to do business on the open market. A number of governments, including the Russia and Italy, have already expressed interest in partnering with Iran.
U.S. lawmakers remain concerned that if Iran violates the nuclear accord, sanctions will not be reimposed in a meaningful way.
“The conditions under which foreign investment in Iran would proceed under the nuclear agreement remain unclear,” Kirk and Rubio wrote. “On July 23, 2015, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that companies that have invested in Iran would ‘not be able to continue doing things that are in violation of the sanctions’ if sanctions snap back.”
“Foreign investment in Iran will involve long-term contracts in many cases, however, and some interpretations of the Iran agreement indicate these contracts might be protected from the snap-back of sanctions by a so-called ‘grandfather clause,’” they write.
Under the terms of the agreement, sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a paramilitary force known to commit acts of terrorism across the globe, will be lifted.
A multi-billion dollars financial empire belonging to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei also will be removed from sanctions lists, according to the parameters of the deal.
Heckuva deal, Johnny
Iran, in an unusual arrangement, will be allowed to use its own experts to inspect a site it allegedly used to develop nuclear arms under a secret agreement with the U.N. agency that normally carries out such work, according to a document seen by The Associated Press.
The revelation is sure to roil American and Israeli critics of the main Iran deal signed by the U.S., Iran and five world powers in July. Those critics have complained that the deal is built on trust of the Iranians, a claim the U.S. has denied.
Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani attends a meeting of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders in Tehran on September 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, File)
The U.S. must call both Russia and Iran to account for “already violating” the nuclear agreement, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said Thursday. He was responding to a reported trip to Moscow by Iran’s Qods force commander, who is subject to U.N. travel sanctions.
“[Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani] is the chief commander for Iranian foreign forces outside of Iran who carry out their assassinations and carry out their attacks,” Royce told CNN.
“And the fact that he would violate the sanctions prior to it being lifted upon him, by jumping the gun – this gives us the opportunity to call the Russians to account, and the Iranians to account, for already violating this agreement,” he said. “And we should do so.”
As a P5+1 partner, Russia – a U.N. Security Council permanent member – is supposed to help enforce the nuclear agreement which the six powers negotiated with Tehran.
Following reports that Soleimani traveled to Moscow last month and met with President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Iran deal critics are asking: If Russia gets away with hosting him, what does that say about its likely response to any future Iranian cheating on the nuclear agreement?
Although the Obama administration agreed as part of the nuclear deal that U.N. sanctions against Soleimani and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force will be lifted, it says that will only happen in “phase two” of the agreement’s implementation – in about eight years’ time.
Any travel abroad by him ahead of that point would be in violation of the U.N. travel ban, under which all member states are required to deny him entry.
In a letter to President Obama, Royce has requested “a determination of whether the travel of Soleimani took place, its purpose, and whether it was in violation of United Nations sanctions.”
“Since the Iran agreement was signed, senior administration officials have testified that there would be no relaxing of sanctions against Iran for terrorist activity,” he wrote. “The reported free travel of Qassem Soleimani and the continuing arming of Iranian proxies throughout the Middle East is a direct challenge to that commitment.”
State Department spokesman John Kirby told a press briefing Thursday that Secretary of State John Kerry in a phone conversation with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov “raised concerns about the travel to Moscow by IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani.”
Later in the briefing, however, Kirby revised his wording, saying he could not independently confirm that the visit had indeed taken place, but that Kerry “has seen the reports of the travel and expressed his concerns [to Lavrov] about those reports.”
Fox News first reported on the alleged visit last week, citing unnamed Western intelligence sources.
Then Reuters reported that an “Iranian official, who declined to be identified,” confirmed that the trip had taken place, saying Soleimani had discussed “regional and bilateral issues and the delivery to Iran of S-300 surface-to-air missiles and other weapons.”
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, however, quoted a Kremlin spokesman as denying the claim (although the report’s wording left open the possibility that the denial was specifically in relation to a Soleimani-Putin meeting, rather than about whether the visit took place at all.)
Soleimani’s name appears on a list of Iranian individuals and entities in line for sanctions relief, annexed to the nuclear agreement.
Hours after the deal was announced in Vienna on July 14, a senior administration official, briefing reporters on background, was asked about Soleimani’s inclusion.
“IRGC commander Qassem Soleimani will not be delisted at the United Nations at phase one; he will be delisted at the U.N. at phase two when the underlying designation authority terminates,” the official said.
That would only occur “after eight years into the deal, so sanctions are not being lifted early on Qassem Soleimani,” the official said.
Since then, Kerry has stressed that U.S. sanctions – as opposed to U.N. ones – against Soleimani will “never” be lifted.
Soleimani is accused of directing Shi’ite militias that carried out deadly attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq during the war there. According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman nominee Gen. Joseph Dunford, he was responsible for the deaths of at least 500 U.S. soldiers and Marines in Iraq.
The lowest moment from what was probably the lowest speech of his presidency – so far. David Harsanyi, watching this, asks a good question:
Imagine what would have happened if Bush had said that Democrats were caucusing with Saddam Hussein?
12:50 PM – 5 Aug 2015
The GOP opposes the nuclear deal because they think it’s too favorable to Iran and not favorable enough to America. The hardliners in Iran’s parliament oppose the deal for the opposite reason. Insofar as they both want the deal to fail, I suppose that’s “common cause.” But then, as Harsanyi says, it must also be true that Barack Obama made “common cause” with Saddam Hussein since both of them thought the Iraq war was a bad idea. Obama thought it was a bad idea for U.S. and Iraqi security whereas Saddam thought it was a bad idea for his own personal security, but the reasoning is immaterial apparently. All that matters to “common cause” is how the parties to an issue align. Or at least, 12 years after the invasion of Iraq, that’s all that matters now. I wonder what Democrats like Steve Israel, who came out against the Iran deal yesterday, thought when they found out today that they’re on the same side as the worst fanatics in Iran’s government.
Actually, Obama’s insult may be worse than it at first appears. The major theme of this speech, as it always, always is – and always disingenuously – when Obama talks about diplomacy with Iran is that the only alternative is war. Reportedly he went so far today in a private meeting with Jewish leaders as to claim that Iranian rockets will rain down on Tel Aviv if the GOP-led Congress blocks the deal, because that will lead to war with Iran and war will lead to Iranian reprisals against Israel. Never mind that Iranian-made rockets already rain down on Israel every few years thanks to Hezbollah and that the sanctions relief Iran is getting from this deal will help pay for more of them. Never mind too that Israel’s own prime minister seems to think reprisals are a risk worth taking in the name of stopping an Iranian atomic bomb. The point, at least to Obama, is that only a warmonger would oppose this terrible deal, which all but endorses an Iranian bomb 10 years from now. Equating the Republicans in Congress with Iran’s hardliners was his way of suggesting, I think, that both of those groups actually seek war with each other in the name of advancing their own political interests. There’s no such thing as good-faith opposition to an Obama policy, at least outside the Democratic caucus. If GOP hawks hate his nuclear deal, it can only be because they’ve got Gulf War III on the brain and refuse to let some master stroke of diplomacy deter them.
In fact, that’s basically an Iranian talking point coming out of the president’s mouth, that some elements of the U.S. government are stone-cold fanatics who’ll accept nothing short of war with Iran. You hear a lot of Iranian talking points coming from the White House lately, curiously enough: Ed wrote this morning about John Kerry warning his former colleagues in Congress not to “screw” the country’s lunatic supreme leader by torpedoing a deal he kinda sorta supports. Here’s another choice bit from the same interview when Kerry was asked why we would agree to advanced enrichment 10 years from now by a country that’s sworn it’ll destroy Israel:
Though he says he is in tune with this set of Israeli fears, he does not endorse a view widely shared by Israelis – and by many Americans – that Iran’s leaders, who have often said that they seek the destruction of Israel, mean what they say. “I think they have a fundamental ideological confrontation with Israel at this particular moment. Whether or not that translates into active steps to, quote, ‘Wipe it,’ you know…” Here I interjected: “Wipe it off the map.” Kerry continued: “I don’t know the answer to that. I haven’t seen anything that says to me – they’ve got 80,000 rockets in Hezbollah pointed at Israel, and any number of choices could have been made. They didn’t make the bomb when they had enough material for 10 to 12. They’ve signed on to an agreement where they say they’ll never try and make one and we have a mechanism in place where we can prove that. So I don’t want to get locked into that debate. I think it’s a waste of time here.”
That’s some fine PR for the mullahs: They haven’t tried to destroy Israel yet, and as far as what the future holds, who knows? And yet it’s the GOP, according to this guy’s boss, that’s making common cause with Iranian lunatics, not the White House. Over to you, Michael Weiss:
Please posit these two news stories, conveniently placed side by side.
2:03 PM – 5 Aug 2015
Two clips for you here, one about “common cause” and the other of Obama acknowledging that, sure, some of the money Iran gets after sanctions are lifted will go towards funding terror. This too he defends as if his deal was the only possible outcome of the negotiations: Sanctions relief was always going to be part of a nuclear agreement, he notes, so if you oppose that, you oppose diplomacy altogether. That would be a fair point if the agreement had produced something more meaningful for the U.S., like a permanent end to Iranian nuclearization. If the program had been “dismantled” rather than simply slowed down for 10 years, even Netanyahu could have gone along with it; the benefit would have been worth the cost of some extra cash in Iran’s terror treasury. Instead they got the money and we got nothing more than a 10-year respite from having to decide what to do about a fanatic Shiite regime with nuclear “breakout” capacity. And you know what the weirdest part of all of this is? For all their demagoguery and desperation in pushing this deal, Obama and Kerry don’t need to sell it at all. There’s nothing the GOP can do to stop it. The purchase has already been made in Congress. Obama and Kerry are getting nasty here not because they think it’s essential to getting Democrats to buy in but because, I think, they simply resent having their diplomatic master work criticized so sharply. It’s personal.
Today President Obama gave a speech at American University, urging acceptance of his nuclear deal with Iran. It was the usual exercise in deception and demagoguery, and he skated up to the edge of accusing opponents of the deal – a majority of Americans, apparently – of treason.
After some initial reminiscence about the Cold War, Obama leaped right into misrepresenting the agreement’s terms:
After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.
The “prohibition” consists of a pious declaration by Iran which it can repudiate at any time. The agreement contains no provisions that will permanently impede Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons. The provisions that (if adhered to) would materially impede Iran’s nuclear weapons program expire in no more than 15 years.
Next, the president offered up a revisionist history of the war in Iraq–a topic of dubious relevance at best:
[M]any of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal.
Whereas others who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case in favor of the Iran deal–Joe Biden, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, for example. So what? Next comes a breathtaking series of lies:
I said that America didn’t just have to end that war – we had to end the mindset that got us there in the first place. It was a mindset characterized by a preference for military action over diplomacy; a mindset that put a premium on unilateral U.S. action over the painstaking work of building international consensus; a mindset that exaggerated threats beyond what the intelligence supported.
No American administration has ever preferred war to diplomacy. The war in Iraq was anything but unilateral, as more than 20 countries participated in the U.S.-led coalition. And the intelligence on Iraq’s WMDs was not exaggerated, as we know from the now-public October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate. (Nor, as we now know, was that intelligence entirely wrong.)
Obama recites Iraq’s recent history, but leaves out a key point:
Today, Iraq remains gripped by sectarian conflict, and the emergence of al Qaeda in Iraq has now evolved into ISIL. And ironically, the single greatest beneficiary in the region of that war was the Islamic Republic of Iran, which saw its strategic position strengthened by the removal of its long-standing enemy, Saddam Hussein.
Obama neglects to mention his own role: in 2011 he prematurely withdrew all American troops from Iraq, crowing that Iraq was then “sovereign, stable and self-reliant,” a fact that Vice-President Joe Biden hailed as one of Obama’s “great achievements.” Iraq was sovereign and stable but not, as military leaders warned, entirely self-reliant. It was Obama’s needless withdrawal of the last American troops that allowed Iraq to spiral toward chaos and permitted ISIS – the Islamic State in Syria – to move into Iraq. But Obama has never once in his life taken responsibility for anything.
Who is to blame for Iran’s nuclear program? Why, President Bush, of course!
When the Bush administration took office, Iran had no centrifuges – the machines necessary to produce material for a bomb – that were spinning to enrich uranium. But despite repeated warnings from the United States government, by the time I took office, Iran had installed several thousand centrifuges…
IAEA reports indicate that Iran’s Natanz facility had around 5,500 centrifuges when Obama took office, and over 15,000 by May 2015. With the Fordow facility, Iran now has around 19,000 centrifuges operating. But it’s all Bush’s fault!
As always, Obama misrepresented the terms of the agreement. These are issues we have written about many times, so I won’t address those misrepresentations in detail. But here are a couple:
If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place. We won’t need the support of other members of the U.N. Security Council; America can trigger snapback on our own.
Sheer fantasy. Much of the sanctions relief that Iran most craves can never be taken back–most notably, the $100 billion to $150 billion in frozen funds that will soon flow to Tehran. Further, all commercial deals that are entered into during the period of sanctions relief are excepted from future sanctions.
Even with those huge loopholes, the “snap back” is a fiction. Even U.S. sanctions will not “snap back” automatically; they will have to be reimposed by Congress and implemented over a period of time. We will have no control over whether the E.U. reimposes sanctions. The supposed “snap back” mechanism is limited to U.N. sanctions, and, as I wrote here, it is doubtful whether paragraph 37 of the agreement, the purported snap back provision, would actually cause U.N. sanctions to be reimposed based on the vote of one member of the Security Council.
It is true that if Iran lives up to its commitments, it will gain access to roughly $56 billion of its own money – revenue frozen overseas by other countries.
This is a very recent and highly dubious talking point. Until the last week or two, as I wrote here, every source I am aware of has long estimated Iran’s frozen assets at $100 billon to $150 billion. In fact, the Treasury Department, which John Kerry cited as the source for the administration’s new number, pegged the frozen assets at “approximately $100 billion” in sworn testimony before a Congressional committee in January of this year. And that is just a down payment on the economic benefit that Iran’s mullahs will receive from the end of sanctions.
No doubt the worst portion of Obama’s speech is the one that has gotten the most attention. Note how Obama walks right up to the line of accusing Republicans in Congress of treason:
Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.)
No, but it is what Iran’s rulers believe. Iran’s Supreme Leader frequently leads mobs in chants of “Death to America.” Does Obama think he is kidding?
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
If Obama had said that the Republican caucus is making common cause with Iran’s hardliners, it would have been an unambiguous accusation of treason. By phrasing it the other way around–the hardliners are making common cause with Republicans–Obama gives himself a slight margin of deniability. But either way, it is a disgusting slander.
It is also delusional. Iran’s hardliners are the regime in power. The mullahs are not aligning themselves with Republicans; on the contrary, they are trumpeting the fact that they got everything they wanted in their negotiations with John Kerry and Barack Obama. But Obama can’t, and won’t, confront that reality. He will just go on slandering his political opponents and lying to the American people.
Barack Obama is a terrible president, but he is a worse man.
State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said he was unaware of reports that claim Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear site on Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported that Congress has received evidence from the intelligence community that Iran is sanitizing a suspected nuclear military site at Parchin.
Toner was asked if the State Department has seen the report.
“The U.S. intelligence community has informed of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin in broad daylight days after agreeing to the nuclear deal with world powers,” the reporter said. “The new evidence, which is classified, satellite imagery picked up by U.S. government assets in mid and late July showed that Iran had moved bulldozers and other heavy machinery.”
“I’ve not seen those reports until you just spoke to them,” Toner said. “But, you know, we’ve been very clear that the joint agreement that we plan that you can’t hide nuclear activity. There are traces that remain.”
Toner clarified, saying that he could not elaborate.
“But I can’t speak to that specific instance you’re talking about,” Toner said.
Skeptics of the nuclear agreement have concerns about confidential side deals between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency that detail the inspection procedures into Iran’s suspected nuclear sites like Parchin.
U.S. SENATE HEARING ON THE OBAMA REGIME’S IRAN NUCLEAR AGREEMENT
While Secretary of State John Kerry and President Obama do their best to paper over the brutality of the Iranian regime and force through a nuclear agreement, Iran’s religious leader has another issue on his mind: The destruction of Israel.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has published a new book called “Palestine,” a 416-page screed against the Jewish state. A blurb on the back cover credits Khamenei as “The flagbearer of Jihad to liberate Jerusalem.”
A friend sent me a copy from Iran, the only place the book is currently available, though an Arabic translation is promised soon.
Obama administration officials likely hope that no American even hears about it.
‘Reclaiming Muslim lands’
Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is “nabudi” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval” meaning “effacement.”
Khamenei claims that his strategy for the destruction of Israel is not based on anti-Semitism, which he describes as a European phenomenon. His position is instead based on “well-established Islamic principles.”
One such principle is that a land that falls under Muslim rule, even briefly, can never again be ceded to non-Muslims. What matters in Islam is ownership of a land’s government, even if the majority of inhabitants are non-Muslims.
Khomeinists are not alone in this belief.
Dozens of maps circulate in the Muslim world showing the extent of Muslim territories lost to the Infidel that must be recovered.
These include large parts of Russia and Europe, almost a third of China, the whole of India and parts of The Philippines and Thailand.
However, according to Khamenei, Israel, which he labels as “adou” and “doshman,” meaning “enemy” and “foe,” is a special case for three reasons.
The first is that it is a loyal “ally of the American Great Satan” and a key element in its “evil scheme” to dominate “the heartland of the Ummah.”
The second reason is that Israel has waged war on Muslims on a number of occasions, thus becoming “a hostile infidel,” or “kaffir al-harbi.”
Finally, Israel is a special case because it occupies Jerusalem, which Khamenei describes as “Islam’s third Holy City.”
He intimates that one of his “most cherished wishes” is to one day pray in Jerusalem.
Khamenei insists that he is not recommending “classical wars” to wipe Israel off the map. Nor does he want to “massacre the Jews.” What he recommends is a long period of low-intensity warfare designed to make life unpleasant if not impossible for a majority of Israeli Jews so that they leave the country.
His calculation is based on the assumption that large numbers of Israelis have double-nationality and would prefer emigration to the United States and Europe to daily threats of death.
Khamenei makes no reference to Iran’s nuclear program. But the subtext is that a nuclear-armed Iran would make Israel think twice before trying to counter Khamenei’s strategy by taking military action against the Islamic Republic.
In Khamenei’s analysis, once the cost of staying in Israel has become too high for many Jews, Western powers, notably the US, which have supported the Jewish state for decades, might decide that the cost of doing so is higher than possible benefits.
Thanks to President Obama, the US has already distanced itself from Israel to a degree unimaginable a decade ago.
Khamenei counts on what he sees as “Israel fatigue.” The international community would start looking for what he calls “a practical and logical mechanism” to end the old conflict.
Khamenei’s “practical and logical mechanism” excludes the two-state formula in any form.
“The solution is a one-state formula,” he declares. That state, to be called Palestine, would be under Muslim rule but would allow non-Muslims, including some Israeli Jews who could prove “genuine roots” in the region to stay as “protected minorities.”
Under Khamenei’s scheme, Israel, plus the West Bank and Gaza, would revert to a United Nations mandate for a brief period during which a referendum is held to create the new state of Palestine.
All Palestinians and their descendants, wherever they are, would be able to vote, while Jews “who have come from other places” would be excluded.
Khamenei does not mention any figures for possible voters in his dream referendum. But studies by the Islamic Foreign Ministry in Tehran suggest that at least eight million Palestinians across the globe would be able to vote against 2.2 million Jews “acceptable” as future second-class citizens of new Palestine. Thus, the “Supreme Guide” is certain of the results of his proposed referendum.
He does not make clear whether the Kingdom of Jordan, which is located in 80% of historic Palestine, would be included in his one-state scheme. However, a majority of Jordanians are of Palestinian extraction and would be able to vote in the referendum and, logically, become citizens of the new Palestine.
Khamenei boasts about the success of his plans to make life impossible for Israelis through terror attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. His latest scheme is to recruit “fighters” in the West Bank to set up Hezbollah-style units.
“We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006 and in the 22-day war between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip,” he boasts.
Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.”
Khamenei’s book also deals with the Holocaust which he regards either as “a propaganda ploy” or a disputed claim. “If there was such a thing,” he writes, “we don’t know why it happened and how.”
This is what Iran’s leaders are preaching to their people and their allies in the Middle East. Do we really want to give succor?
These deals are literally secret and they are certainly on the side from the main agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations. So what else is the White House lying to us about?
From The Hill:
White House: Iran-IAEA pacts are not ‘side deals’
By Jordan Fabian | July 23, 2015
Agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are not secret “side deals” to the main nuclear pact between Tehran and six world powers, the White House said Thursday. “This does not represent some sort of side deal,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.
They are separate deals from the agreement between the P5+1 nations and they are secret. So they are secret side deals. Why try to lie about it? And if the White House is willing to lie to us about this, what else are they about?]
Republicans have seized on the existence of what they call “side deals” between Iran and the IAEA to build support against the deal in Congress…
It’s not just Republicans. Several Democrats have also expressed concerns about these secret side deals. Including Democrat Senator Ben Cardin (Md.), who, along with Senator Corker, sent a letter to Kerry demanding the text of these two side deals.
Earnest dismissed those concerns, saying lawmakers have all the information necessary to judge the deal, which limits Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
“I know there has been a suggestion by some Republicans [sic] that there are some agreements that were cut off to the side,” Earnest said. “The fact is, this is a critical part of the agreement.”…
So Earnest admits these deals are a critical part of the Iran agreement. Even though they were not negotiated by the US. And, in fact, the US will not eve be allowed to see the deals between the IAEA and Iran.
Earnest acknowledged that information regarding the Iran-IAEA pacts was not provided to lawmakers Wednesday during classified briefings for House and Senate members held by Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.
And never mind that on Wednesday Susan Rice has specifically promised that Congress would be given that information at that classified briefing. From The Hill: “Rice said the documents between Iran and the IAEA are not public, but the administration has been informed on their contents and will share details with members of Congress in a classified briefing on Capitol Hill.”
But Earnest pledged that lawmakers will receive classified briefings on the bilateral pacts. “Our negotiators will, in a classified setting, have a conversation with those members of Congress about what exactly the IAEA is seeking,” he said.