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Iranian Imperialism: How the Nuclear Deal aids Iran's Expansionist Policies
Iranian Imperialism: How the Nuclear Deal aids Iran's Expansionist Policies
By Emilia Stark
With the lifting of sanctions against its nuclear program, Iran is on the precipice of acquiring close to $150 billion in frozen assets that, after money used for domestic regime expenditures, will then be used to fund Iranian militant proxies in the region and maybe even beyond.
Even with sanctions, Iran has been able to shape an asymmetrical expansionist campaign in the Middle East in order to spread its influence. In a recent report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, experts detailed what these effects will most likely be, with the resulting research pointing to a boost in Iranian proxy and militant groups in the region.
One way Iran will tip the balance is by using money to influence politics in Iraq by funding the Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs), which are all U.S.-designated terrorist groups with direct ties to Iran’s Quds Force, because it is expected that these PMU commanders will run for the upcoming Iraqi provincial elections and parliamentary elections in 2017 and 2018, respectively. As the report states, an influx of money would “trigger an unprecedented intensification of influence buying in Iraq.” While Iraq is already in major turmoil because of ISIS, this will upset U.S. efforts for democratization and moderation in the Iraqi government thus expanding Iran’s imperialism to its once former nemesis.
Throughout the Syrian civil war, Iran has helped fund and maintain Assad’s regime and will now be able to increase its funding to Syria on a higher level. Iran will provide military power through its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which already the pro-Assad militias, as well as sending an infusion of cash to its Hizb’allah fighters who are also on the ground fighting the rebels. Ultimately Syria and Assad will come to rely on Iran and in doing so Iran will expand its hegemonic reach in the region.
As mentioned, Iran’s main military proxy Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, stands to gain a large infusion of money, as well as the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. These Iranian military operatives were created for the purpose of infiltrating other countries in the Middle East to foster extremism by exploiting local grievances, encouraging sectarianism, and spreading the perverse Iranian slander of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism to those the recruit. These proxy groups, most notably Hizb’allah, have proven successful and have helped subvert regional conflicts and even cause turmoil. Iranian incitement has proven very affective and with more funds it will be able to subvert power in the region by funneling money into its Quds Force to create, foster, and grow Shiite militants in order to extend its power.
While the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) was initially apprehensive of nuclear deal with Iran, they have now made a statement in favor of the deal. However, in an online interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Kissel, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot said that it is clear the Gulf States are really not in favor of the deal and that the statement of support is in name only. The Gulf fears Iranian expansionism and would like to see the United States bomb Iranian nuclear facilities when a bomb is developed. The GCC does not want to publicly oppose the deal because they see Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu as alienating himself with his persistent criticism of the deal and they would like to be stay on the administration’s “good side.” The Gulf States are not naďve, though, and will take steps towards protecting their own interests, but what does that entail? Well, they too will most likely enter the nuclear arms race! So while Obama and his team have tried to stop the proliferation of nuclear arms in the region with Iran, the countries in the Middle East will start taking measures in order to ensure their survival and defense against nuclear weapons. They will also ramp up their support of forces they think will block Iranian expansionism, which means making a common cause with Sunni extremists against Iran like ISIS.
The purpose of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is to stop Iran from attaining a nuclear bomb, but its many flaws will inevitably allow Iran to produce a nuclear bomb ten years from now, and along the way it will continue to slander the U.S. and spread extremism, radicalism, and sectarianism in the region. We are about to enter a new Middle East reality that will have extremists and radicals fighting each other on another level that we cannot imagine, but will soon be our reality.
Hah, if only. Good one, Garylen.
It is absolutely true in war, were other things equal, that numbers, whether men, shells, bombs, etc, would be supreme. Yet it is also absolutely true that other things are never equal and can never be equal - Maj.Gen. J. F. C. Fuller
At that time, I will search out and destroy all of the nations who have come against Jerusalem - Zechariah 12:9
August 17, 2015
Special Dispatch No.6134
Iranian VP And Atomic Chief Salehi Reveals Details From Secret Iran-U.S. Nuclear Talks: Khamenei Made Direct Talks Conditional Upon Achieving Immediate Results; U.S. Conveyed Its Recognition Of Iran's Enrichment Rights To Omani Sultan, Who Relayed The Message To Then-President Ahmadinejad
In an interview published in the daily Iran on August 4, 2015 under the title "The Black Box of the Secret Negotiations between Iran and America," Iranian vice president and Atomic Energy Organization head Ali Akbar Salehi, who is a senior member of Iran's negotiation team and was foreign minister under president Ahmadinejad, revealed new details on the secret bilateral talks between Iran and the U.S. that started during Ahmadinejad's second presidential term. According to Salehi, U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz, whom Salehi knew from his period as a doctoral student at MIT, was appointed to the American negotiation team at Salehi's request, a request which the Americans met within hours.
Salehi added that Khamenei agreed to open a direct channel of negotiations between Iran and the U.S. on the condition that the talks would yield results from the start and would not deal with any other issue, especially not with U.S.-Iran relations. Following this, Salehi demanded, via the Omani mediator Sultan Qaboos, that the U.S. recognize Iran's right to enrich uranium, and received a letter from Qaboos expressing such American recognition, which he relayed to Ahmadinejad.
The following are excerpts from the interview:
Ali Akbar Salehi (image: Tehrantimes.com)
"Q: As part of the negotiations, top diplomatic officials from Iran and America held bilateral meetings, while the first spark of the bilateral talks, which were secret, was lit late in the term of [president] Ahmadinejad. At that time you were at the Foreign Ministry [i.e. foreign minister], and prior to that it was reported that negotiations with America had begun in 1390 [2011-2012]. Could you explain briefly how and why two countries that had had no diplomatic relations for nearly 33 years began to negotiate?
"A: Since the creation of the artificial [Iranian] nuclear dossier, I have been involved in all the details of this challenge, and as a former Iranian representative to the IAEA, I focused on the nuclear issue. Thus, for example, I was interviewed numerous times by international media on this issue, and wrote articles. Later I came to the Atomic Energy Organization [of Iran, AEOI], and after that to the Foreign Ministry. In light of my cumulative experience, I noticed that the members of the P5+1 seemed to not want to arrive at an outcome. In every [round of the] talks, they placed new obstacles for Iran... The other side accused Iran of not being serious in the talks, and said that [then-negotiating team leader Saeed] Jalili was raising unrelated issues and slogans at the talks, instead of negotiating. [However,] since I was knowledgeable on these matters, [I knew] that Iran was serious. Jalili was not acting on his own. There were many committees at the Supreme National Security Council, whose members were from various [Iranian] institutions and organizations, including the AEOI and the Foreign Ministry, which examined all issues. It was in this framework that Jalili was operating.
"Q: Do you believe that the Iranian [negotiating] team had the will necessary to conduct and advance the negotiations?
"A: Yes. Iran aspired to arrive at an outcome, but at this stage I deduced that simultaneous talks with the P5+1 were problematic, because this group does not negotiate under a single head of state. [Catherine] Ashton participated in the talks as representative of the EU, and the three European countries at the talks – Britain, France, and Germany (i.e., the EU3) – saw themselves as a group that was separate from America, China, and Russia.
"Q: According to your description, it seems as though the talks with the P5+1 were more difficult than those with the EU3.
"A: Yes. The nuclear negotiations first began with the three European countries, Britain, France, and Germany, when Rohani headed [Iran's] Supreme National Security Council. They were later joined by the other three countries – America, China, and Russia. That is, the negotiations were with America, China, and Russia + the EU3, and no country was the leader, and it was not clear which [of them] was steering the negotiation. Therefore it was decided that Ashton, and [Javier] Solana before her, would negotiate on their behalf, but actually we saw that the same problems persisted. Thus, for example, when Ashton intended to be flexible and to capitulate on a certain issue in the talks, all it took was one country's objection [to block the move].
"In this situation, things were complicated. In effect, new obstacles were added, instead of removed, at each new round of talks, in accordance with the countries' wishes and intentions...Then I came up with the idea that we should promote a different style [of talks]. At that time (2010-2012), when I was at the Foreign Ministry, [Hassan] Qashqavi, who was deputy foreign minister, went to Oman to deal with the issue of Iranians incarcerated abroad, because we wanted Omani assistance in obtaining the release of Iranians held in Britain and America.
"Q: Why was Oman chosen as a mediator?
"A: We have very good relations with Oman. When [Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei referred recently to a distinguished head of state in the region, he was of course referring to the Omani ruler. Oman is respected by the West as well, and has already mediated between America and Iran, such as in the matter of the American hikers arrested in Iran... When [Deputy Foreign Minister] Qashqavi was there, an Omani official gave him a letter stating that the Americans were prepared to negotiate with Iran and were very interested in resolving this Tehran-Washington challenge. We were also willing to assist in order to facilitate the process, and it looked like this was a good opportunity. At that time, the election in America had not yet begun, but Obama had launched his reelection campaign. The Omani message came during the [Obama-Romney] election rivalry, but there was still time before the election itself. At that time, I did not take this letter seriously.
"Q: Why didn't you take it seriously? Was it because the letter came from a mid[-level] Omani official?
"A: Yes. We were [concerned about] this, because the letter was handwritten and at that time I was not acquainted with the official [who had written it]. Some time later, Mr. [Mohammad] Suri, who was director of an Iranian shipping [company – the National Iranian Tanker Company], visited Oman to promote issues related to shipping and to speak to Omani officials.
"Q: How long after the first letter [did Suri arrive in Tehran]?
"A: He came to me about a month or two after the first letter was sent, and said: 'Mr. Salehi, I was in Oman promoting shipping matters, and an Omani official told me that the Americans were prepared to conduct bilateral secret talks on the nuclear dossier.' It was clear that they were interested in negotiating.
"Q: What exactly was the position of the Omani official whom Mr. Suri quoted?
"A: It was a man named [Salem bin Nasser Al-]Ismaily, who at the time was an advisor for the Omani ruler and who still works for the Omani Foreign Ministry. He had good relations with the Americans and was trusted by Omani officials. I told Suri: 'I am not sure how serious the Americans are, but I will give you a note. Tell them that these are our demands. Deliver it on your next visit to Oman.' I wrote down four clear issues, one of which was official recognition of rights to [uranium] enrichment. I figured that if the Americans were sincere in their offer, then they must agree to these four demands. Mr. Suri gave this short letter to the mediator, and stressed that these were Iran's demands. [He added that]if the Americans wished to solve this issue, they were welcome to, otherwise dealing with White House proposals would be useless and unwarranted...
"All the demands in the letter were related to the nuclear challenge. These were issues we have always come against, such as closing the nuclear dossier [in the Security Council], official recognition of [Iran's] right to enrich [uranium], and resolving the issue of Iran's actions under the PMD [Possible Military Dimensions]. After receiving the letter, the Americans said: 'We are certainly willing and able to easily solve the issues Iran has brought up.'
"Q: With whom was the American side in contact?
"A: They were in contact with Omani officials, including the relevant functionary in the Omani regime. He was a friend of the U.S. secretary of state [John Kerry]. At that time, Kerry was not secretary of state, but head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In any case, after I received an affirmative answer from the Americans, I deduced that the ground was prepared for further steps in this direction. That is why I asked the Omanis to send an official letter to Iran so I could present it to Iranian officials. I assessed that this was a good opportunity and that we could derive benefit from it.
"Q: Up to this point, you hadn't consulted with anyone? You were acting solely on your own authority?
"A: Yes. I sent a message to Omani officials saying, 'Write your letter in an official manner so that our officials will know that it is serious.' That was because up to that point, all discussions had been strictly oral. I told our Omani friends: 'Present these demands officially.' They did so, and I presented the letter to [Iranian] regime officials and went to the leader [Khamenei] to explain the process in detail.
"Q: Did you also give the letter to the president [Ahmadinejad]?
"A: I informed regime officials that such a letter had been received.
After the letter [was received], I went to the leader and told him, 'It is unlikely that talks between Iran and the P5+1 will achieve the results we desire. If you permit it, I can promote another path [meaning a secret bilateral channel with the U.S.].' I later informed him that Oman was officially willing to act as official mediator.
"Q: Which Omani officials signed that letter?
"A: The Omani ruler did. I told the leader, 'In light of the successful cooperation we have had with Oman, who has always tried to positively cooperate with us and has solved several issues for us in the past – such as the release of Iranians held abroad – then if you permit me to, I will also promote this issue with the Omani friends.' We spoke at length on this issue. The leader presented several points and also said, 'We cannot trust the Americans. We have a bitter experience with them following their violation of promises. They have never adhered to commitments and alliances.'
"Later I told him: 'If you permit it, I will work on this issue to give [them] an ultimatum. We have nothing to lose in any case. We either achieve results or not. Also, these talks will be secret, and we will try to prevent them from abusing them.' Eventually he said: 'It is the right course of action to present an ultimatum. I do not object to this but I have a few conditions. First, the talks can only be on the nuclear issue, meaning that no bilateral relations will be discussed. Second, be vigilant so that the talks do not become a game of negotiating for the sake of negotiating, as happens with the P5+1. You will be able to deduce [whether this is the case] in the first or second meeting.' In any case, the leader generally agreed to talks and said 'go advance this issue.'
"At that time there were disagreements in Iran, with each member having his own specific opinion. These disagreements posed a problem. In fact, the leader was my only supporter, but I did not want to trouble him with the minutia if this problem. I received his permission to negotiate and told the Omani side we were prepared to talk. The Americans also insisted that these talks be secret. Later I began to try and coordinate between the relevant domestic institutions but due to the disagreements, I ran into problems trying to advance the issue.
"Q: Did the Supreme National Security Council play a part in these [secret] talks?
"A: No. I was authorized to advance these talks but I had to coordinate with the other bodies, which is exactly what caused problems. Eventually, after receiving the leader's approval, eight months after the necessary coordination was achieved with the head of the Supreme National Security Council [Saeed Jalili], the first meeting with the Americans was held. We sent a team to Oman that included the deputy foreign minister for European and American affairs, Mr. [Ali Asghar] Khaji, as well as several CEOs. The Americans were surprised in the first meeting and said, 'We cannot believe this is happening. We thought Oman was joking. We aren't even prepared for these talks with you.'
"Q: What was the level of the team that the Americans dispatched?
It included Assistant Secretary of State William Burns. They said: 'We only came to see if Iran was truly willing to negotiate.' Our representative gave them the required response and eventually there were talks on this issue. The initial result was achieved and the ground was prepared for further coordination.
"Q: How were the Americans convinced that the Iranian diplomats who were dispatched had the necessary authority?
"A: [Until] that phase, Iran and America had not been allowed to sit opposite each other at the negotiating table. The fact that Iran had sent a deputy foreign minister to the talks indicated its seriousness. The Americans also noticed how seriously [Iran was taking] the issue. At that meeting, Khaji pressed the Americans to set up a roadmap for the negotiations, and eventually the talks of a roadmap were postponed to the second meeting. At the second meeting, Khaji warned the Americans: 'We did not come here for lengthy negotiations. If you are serious, you must officially recognize enrichment, otherwise we cannot enter into bilateral talks. But if you officially recognize enrichment, then we too are serious and willing to meet your concerns on the nuclear matter as part of international regulations.'
"Q: What [Iranian] body backed this demand?
"A: The Foreign Ministry, since the leader gave me guidelines [as foreign minister] and stressed, 'First you must promote important demands such as official recognition of enrichment rights.' We determined that this issue would be a criterion [for determining whether the talks would continue]. We told ourselves that if they postponed recognition of enrichment to the final stage [of the talks], they would turn out to be unserious and these talks would be fruitless.
"Q: When you presented the results of the first meeting to Iranian officials, what did those who opposed the talks say?
"A: They said that the negotiations were useless and that the Americans were unserious in promoting official recognition of Iran's rights.
"Q: You have said that the negotiations started during Obama's first term. Did you consider the possibility that Obama's rival would be elected president and would reject Obama's reassessment of Iran, and that the White House would continue the same inflexible hostility?
"A: No, on the contrary, [although] at that time the race between Obama and Romney was very close, [and] in some polls Romney was even ahead of Obama. [But] the Americans intended to push for good terms in the negotiations with all possible speed. In fact, there was a good atmosphere for talks. This was while I was dealing in Iran [with the issue of] dispatching our representatives to Oman, because I did not want to make any moves without coordinating with other [regime] bodies. Eventually there were many obstacles in Iran [created by opponents to the negotiation], and [then] the American elections came about, and the American negotiating team said: 'We are postponing the talks due to the elections so that we can see the results.' Thus, we lost our chance.
"Of course, at that time we were [still] exchanging various information with the Americans via the [Omani] mediation, and this is documented at the Foreign Ministry. We did not do it in the form of official letters, but rather unofficially and not on paper. The Omani mediator later came to Iran, held talks with us, and then later spoke to the Americans and told them our positions, so that the ties were not severed. But there was no possibility for direct talks.
"Thus, a real opportunity was squandered because, at the time, the Americans were genuinely prepared to make real concessions to Iran. Perhaps it was God's will that the process progressed like that and the results were [eventually]in our favor. In any case, several months passed and Obama was reelected in America [in November 2012]. I thought that, unlike the first time, we must not waste time in coordinating [within regime bodies], so with the leader's backing and according to my personal decision, I dispatched our representatives to negotiate with the Americans in Oman.
"Q: Didn't you have another meeting with the leader about the process and content of the talks?
"A: No. Obviously during the process I wrote a letter to the leader detailing the problems. He said 'try to solve them.' He was always supportive but told me to 'act in a manner that includes necessary coordination [within the regime]. In this situation, I dispatched Khaji to the second meeting in Oman (around March 2013) and it was a positive meeting. Both sides stayed in Oman for two or three days and the result was that the Omani ruler sent a letter to Ahmadinejad saying that the American representative had announced official recognition of Iran's enrichment rights. Sultan Qaboos sent the same letter to the American president. When Ahmadinejad received the letter, several friends said that this move would be fruitless and that the Americans do not keep [their] commitments. [But] we had advanced to this stage.
"We had received [this] letter from Sultan Qaboos that stated the Americans had committed to recognizing Iran's enrichment rights. We [then ] prepared ourselves for the third meeting with the Americans in order to set up the roadmap and detail the mutual commitments. All this happened while Iran was nearing the presidential elections [in June 2013]. At that time, the leader's office told me that I had to cease negotiations and let the next government handle the talks after the results of the elections were known.
"Q: How did the Americans respond to this postponement?
"A: The Americans accepted it. We had also postponed the talks because of the elections in America. Eventually Rohani won the elections. There was a gap between his election [in June 2013] and his inauguration [in August 2013]. Rohani established political, social and other committees. [Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad] Zarif and [another official,] Zamani-Nia, participated in them. At the time, Deputy Foreign Minister [Abbas] Araghchi attended talks with the P5+1 alongside [then-negotiating team leader Saeed] Jalili. I appointed Araghchi as the coordinator and the Foreign Ministry's representative to the committees established by Rohani, so we could update the friends in the Rohani government on the nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. Additionally, I appointed Khaji as the person in charge of reporting on the secret talks between Iran and America [and] presenting papers and documents [about this]. I personally wrote a letter to Rohani and went to him. I said to him: 'We have had these talks with America and we stopped them on the recommendation of the leader. So you can continue this track.'
"When Rohani was updated on these talks, he could not believe it. I said to him: 'You must expedite this issue after your inauguration. Do not abandons this, heaven forbid, so that we do not lose eight months of meetings [with the Americans], as happened in the past.' Things in Iran changed after the elections. President [Rohani], Foreign Minister [Zarif], and the Supreme National Security Council were all coordinated and of the same mind. Therefore, the negotiations sped up and a new chapter in solving the nuclear dossier issue began.
Why didn't American officials send their message [directly] to the Iranian president [meaning Ahmadinejad]? Politically speaking, his status was higher [than that of the officials who handled the talks] and he could have played a more influential role.
"A: They preferred to enter into talks with Iran via the foreign [ministry] channel. At that time there were good ties between the foreign ministers of Iran and Oman, which led to Oman relaying the American message to launch talks.
"Q: Was it only Oman's positive view of the [Iranian] Foreign Ministry that led to this channel being opened?
"A: The Foreign Ministry was just the most accessible Iranian channel for Omani officials.
"Q: You mentioned the pressure applied to you at that time. Considering that atmosphere and the opposition you spoke of, what was your main motivation in seriously dealing with this issue?
"A: That is what all [my] friends ask too. I had dealt with the nuclear dossier since its onset, some 12 years ago. I knew how this challenge began and what problems and issues it created. I had fulfilled roles in various bodies, including the AEOI, the Foreign Ministry, the ministry of science, research, and technology, as well as roles outside Iran. I saw the situation of the [Iranian] people, who were being unjustly subjected to hardship and unnecessary pressure. I thought [to myself]: What is the foreign minister's job in this situation? His job is to push back Iran's enemies, increase [the number of] its friends, and turn enemies into friends so that the international standing of his country could become such that the people would have greater access to international societies and ties. I also wanted to eliminate evil so that I could resolve this issue by any means necessary.
"Q: In fact, you combined a sense of national and ministerial duty with your personal considerations?
"A: Yes. Without [such a sense of duty] no one could have continued [advancing] this issue under this [kind of] pressure. The issue of talks with America was very sensitive. Due to the disagreements, the job became much harder, but I did not let go of this matter until the last minute. Praise God, I am thrilled that we can [now] say that the main part of the task has been accomplished and we have reached the goal. The people are happy and feel assured. It will take a year or two until the agreement [begins] visibly affecting the lives of the people, but the fact that the people are happy that this issue has been resolved and there is calm – this in itself is invaluable for us. It means that a psychological obstacle has been removed, and this was very important.
"Q: What issues were raised in your first meeting with Rohani after he was appointed president?
"A: I gave Rohani a written and verbal report on the talks, as well as several documents I had written. I explained how the talks were conducted and said that the leader had said that, from now on, Rohani would fulfill this responsibility, and once a new foreign minister was appointed, the matter would be promoted as [Rohani] saw fit. Initially he was amazed. He could not believe it. I recommended that he take these talks seriously and promote them, as he indeed did.
"Q: It seems that your view of the negotiations was the same as Rohani's in terms of how to promote them. At that first meeting, did the president give you any new recommendations on cooperating with the new government?
"A: Not at that meeting, but in our next meeting he offered me three roles and gave me a list of priorities, which I accepted. I had no desire to accept an appointment. I must say that I have never aspired to any roles. It is by the grace of God that I was asked to fulfill roles, whether during the terms of Ahmadinejad [2005-2013], [Mohammad] Khatami [1997-2005], [Hashemi] Rafsanjani [1989-1997], and the leader's presidency [1982-1989]. Since the onset of the [Islamic] Revolution and until today, I have fulfilled a series of roles and was never without one. But I never aspired to offer myself for any role.
"Q: What were the three offers that Rohani made?
"A: During [the term of] the ninth government [meaning the first Ahmadinejad government 2005-2009], the ground was set for me to go to Qatar and become the secretary-general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, a role currently held by Dr. [Mohammad-Hossein] Adeli. Another offer was from an Arab country in the Gulf, asking that I advise its president and be responsible for establishing a science complex in that country.
"Q: Is this the UAE?
"A: I don't want to name it. The officials of that country said: 'We want to establish a science complex. You should be in charge of it.' I asked Rohani for permission not to be appointed to any office in his government. I was tired. Rohani's offers pertained to the AEOI and the science ministry. The third offer was to continue serving in another capacity.
"Q: What were the priorities? Could you say where the head of the AEOI stood?
"A: Being the head of the AEOI was the third priority. The science ministry was the second priority, and another role was the first priority.
"Q: What was the extent of your previous acquaintance with Rohani and Zarif?
"A:Previously, in 2002, when the affair of Iran's nuclear dossier began, Rohani was in charge of the nuclear negotiations as the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, and I was Iran's representative to the IAEA and part of the negotiation [team]. Afterwards, when the three European countries – France, Britain and Germany – came to Iran for the negotiations, Zarif [who was Iran's ambassador to the U.N. in 2002-2007,] took part in those talks. So from that time onward we were in constant touch.
"Q: During the time that Rohani and Zarif were marginalized, did relations between you continue?
"A:Yes. When I was in the Foreign Ministry I asked Zarif to return, but he retired and threw himself into studies at the Foreign Ministry university. In response to my request that he return [to public office] he told me 'I'm retired.' Being in the Foreign Ministry, I would meet with Rohani in the Supreme National Security Council, and we were in touch.
"Q: What was the Americans' position in the first meetings between Iran and the P5+1 held during the Rohani government [era]?
"A:After the Rohani government began to operate – along with the second term of President Obama – the new negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 were started. By then, Kerry was no longer an American senator but had been appointed secretary of state. As a senator, Kerry had been appointed by Obama to be in charge of handling the nuclear dossier, and then [in December 2012] he was appointed secretary of state.
"Before that, the Omani mediator, who had close relations with Kerry, told us that Kerry would soon be appointed [U.S.] secretary of state. During the period when the secret negotiations with the Americans were underway in Oman, there was a situation in which it was easier to obtain concessions from the Americans. After the Rohani government and the American administration [of Obama's second term] took power, and Kerry become secretary of state, the Americans spoke from a more assertive position. They no longer showed the same degree of eagerness to advance the negotiations. Their position became harder, and the threshold of their demands rose. At the same time, on the Iranian side, the situation [also] changed, and a most professional negotiating team took responsibility for negotiating with the P5+1.
"Another positive point was that [President] Rohani oversaw the dossier, knew its limits, and as a result succeeded in producing a good strategy to advance the nuclear dossier. At the same time, Rohani took responsibility for everything. Many may have reservations and ask why we were putting ourselves in danger, but Rohani's willingness to take responsibility was very high. There are those who say, from a political standpoint, that he was willing to take a very great risk, because, had the negotiations not achieved certain results, and had the best results not been achieved, he would have faced waves of criticism. But he took upon himself the risk of [such] criticism. In any event, he agreed to take this responsibility, and, God be praised, even God helped him, and he emerged [from the negotiations] with his head held high."
Asked whether Rohani had said anything to bolster Salehi against Rohani's critics, he replied that there were two kinds of critics. One were those with honest and fair criticism that was aimed at improving how Iran operated in the negotiations. The other were those with superficial, politically biased criticism that was motivated by personal ambition and that caused the public to feel concern that the negotiating team was making mistakes in the nuclear negotiations, when the fact was that Rohani was being very careful to abide by the red lines of the regime.
Salehi continued: "There are those who think that the negotiation team made its own decisions in the nuclear issues, while this is not the case at all. [The team] consulted on the issue with the various relevant institutions [in Iran]. Khamenei was involved, both on the general level and in the details. Rohani discussed the details and thus the negotiating team's limits and authority was clarified, and at the next stage the negotiating team attempted to operate in a way that would rake in the maximum concessions [from the Americans] within the framework set [by Khamenei]. They read the terrain. This did not mean settling for the minimum. Sometimes during the negotiations unexpected issues come up, and here Zarif's experience as an experienced diplomat with an extensive diplomatic record can be seen. He oversaw all the international issues closely, and was involved in the smallest details of the nuclear dossier from its very beginning. Therefore, during the negotiations, when unexpected proposals came up, he oversaw [the proceedings] from close up [and] to the best of his ability in order to obtain the outcomes demanded by Iran.
"Q: All right, if a certain issue came up and the negotiating team was unable to make a decision about it on its own, how did the decision-making process go?
"A: There were instances when we were in contact with Iran [i.e., with the leadership]. That was one of the tasks of [President Rohani's brother] Hossein Fereydoun. I would tell him, 'Ask Rohani whether we should do this thing or not.' I remember, for example, about Fordo, the issue of the number of centrifuges there came up. I told Fereydoun to ask Tehran how many they wanted. I consulted on issues like these. I had up-close familiarity with the technical issues, because I had participated in the nuclear dossier from the very start. I was also familiar with its political dimensions, so I could make decisions. An expert cannot make decisions; experts are constantly challenging each other and never manage to make a final decision, and this is natural.
"Q: There are two views about your presence in the nuclear negotiations. According to one, the political [disagreements] in the negotiations were already solved, and that you were there to solve any remaining technical issues. According to the other, the talks reached a dead end on the technical issues [even before the political issues were addressed], and it was essential for you to participate in them. What happened that caused you to join the talks?
"A: I did not participate in the negotiations until January 2015. One day, at one of the sessions with the nuclear council [sic], where Zarif was present, after he'd returned from the Munich conference, he announced that Iran and the P5+1 had reached an impasse on the technical issues. Until they were resolved, [he said] the legal and political issues would not be resolved.
"Q: The main obstacle was technical?
"A: Yes. We had to solve technical problems so that we could [proceed] to seeking a solution to the political issues.
"Q: If the main obstacles were in the technical negotiations, why did you join the talks [only] later?
"A: I joined the negotiations after these [technical] issues came to a head. In late January  I was invited to a meeting, where Zarif presented a report, and said that no progress was being made. [Majlis speaker Ali] Larijani said: 'Salehi, you have to go [to the negotiations].' I didn't say yes, so Larijani and many other friends insisted, and pleaded with me to go. I thought that if I kept refusing, they would think that it was because of egotism and lack of desire to cooperate. I said 'let me think.' There were 48 hours until the next meeting, and I didn't have much of a chance to think. I consulted with members of the [Iranian Atomic Energy] Organization. The main obstacle that had brought the negotiations to a dead end was connected to Natanz – Khamenei opposed [the P5+1's position]. I had to set aside the proposal that was on the table and that had brought the negotiations to this dead end, and present a new plan, but according to outsiders this was an impossible mission. I said, 'I'm willing to go on three conditions. One of them is that my American counterpart must also join the negotiations.'
"Q: So your proposal was essentially that [U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest] Moniz join [the negotiations]?
"A:Yes, and an additional condition was that if my first demand was not met, I would quit the [Iranian] Atomic Energy Organization and participate in the negotiations as Zarif's scientific advisor. A third condition was that American experts would come to Iran and talk to me. I said that as vice president I would not enter into a discussion with their experts, because as far as the protocol was concerned, this would create a bad situation and they would say that Iran would capitulate in any situation. This was not good for Iran, but I was willing to quit and to come to the talks not as vice president but as the foreign minister's scientific advisor. Larijani said 'he's right.' The next day, Fereydoun asked me to come to his office and asked me who my [American] counterpart was. I said, the [U.S.] Department of Energy.
Fereydoun called Araghchi and said, 'Tell [U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs] Ms. [Wendy] Sherman that Salehi is joining the negotiations provided that the American secretary of energy also joins the negotiators.' Araghchi and Sherman were the liaison between Iran and America. Araghchi said in this conversation with Fereydoun that on such short notice it was unlikely that they [i.e. the Americans] would send their secretary of energy. I heard [Fereydoun's conversation with Araghchi]. In short, Fereydoun asked and Araghchi contacted Sherman and a few hours later a report that they welcomed Iran's proposal arrived.
"Q: How many hours did it take before they [the Americans] said yes?
"A: It didn't take long. I went to see Fereydoun in the evening and the next day they responded. This was because of the time difference [between Tehran and Washington].
"Q: The general perception was that because Moniz was brought into the negotiating team, you were brought into the Iranian team?
"A: [On the contrary,] Moniz came because of me. In any case, in February  I joined [the negotiations], and praise God, matters moved forward with Moniz.
"Q: Did you and Moniz study together?
"A: Moniz knew me more than I knew him. I saw him at the annual IAEA meeting. When I was a doctoral student at MIT, he had just been accepted as a staff member. He is five years older than me.
"Q: Did you take one of his classes?
"A: No. He knew me because my doctoral studies advisor was his close friend and right hand man in scientific fields. Even now he is an advisor on many of Moniz's scientific programs. Many of my fellow students are now experts for Moniz. One of them was Mujid Kazimi, who is of Palestinian origin. He recently died. He was two years older than me but we were friends in college. After graduating, he became the head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and was a prominent figure who carried out many programs with Moniz.
"Q: How did Moniz treat you initially?
"A: In light of our prior acquaintance, he was excited. We've known each other for years and he treated [me] very well. Our first meeting was in public.
How did you feel when you heard Moniz was coming [to the talks]?
"A: I was very happy. I was assured. I said that the prestige of the Islamic Republic remained intact [because] an Iranian official would not speak to an American expert but rather would negotiate with a high-ranking American official. This was very important. Second, as I said before, he could make a decision [while] an expert could not. We had a very interesting group meeting. The American experts were same ones who had dealt with disarmament vis-ŕ-vis the Soviet Union.
"I said [to Moniz]: 'I cannot accept your offer for various reasons.' One American expert said, 'We do not accept the basic assumption of your calculations.' I said, 'Tell us what is the basic assumption of [your] calculations so we can work from there.' He said 'we can't do that.' I said to them, 'If you don't accept our estimation, then tell us [yours]. You say that you cannot because this [exposes] your process. If we show [our] calculation, you will know our working secrets.' So then I said 'ok, what do we do now?' The meeting stagnated.
"Later I thought about it... and said 'Mr. Moniz, I am here with full authority from my country. Anything I sign will be acceptable to my country. Do you have full authority as well, or does any result achieved here need to be asked and clarified with officials from other countries?' He said 'no, I have full authority.'
"Q: Did you have full authority?
"A: Yes. In the scientific discussions, I knew the level of [Iran's] demands. I said, 'Mr. Moniz, you made an offer to Iran, and Iran rejects it. I want to ask you a question. If you can answer it [then] I will have no problem with your offer.' I continued and said: 'Show me one place on earth where enrichment is taking place using the method you are demanding of us. If you can give me even a single example then I will sign on the spot and we will become the second country to enrich in this method.' He looked [at me] and then announced that the meeting was over, and we spoke. We had the first private meeting that lasted two or three hours. He said: 'Mr. Salehi, when I was called [out of the negotiating room, it was because] Obama wanted to speak to me. Now I am free [to continue]. What you said is acceptable [but] there are practical problems with your offer.' I said, 'Do you agree? Then I relinquish that proposal.' Eventually we reached mutual understandings on this issue. I said 'let's start from the top.' This diplomatic challenge should be published in a memoir so that everyone can understand how we reached 6,000 centrifuges. It is a very nice story...
"Q: Can we assume that in addition to changing the government, changing the negotiating tactics was one of the keys to unsticking the talks and reaching the final agreement?
"A: This is undoubtedly exactly the case. If the 'second track' [meaning the secret Tehran-Washington channel] hadn't happened, it is unclear how Zarif could have negotiated with the P5+1. Would it have been possible? Each foreign minister [in the P5+1] had his own position and the matter was at a dead end. The 'first track' [with the P5+1] was stuck. Rohani believed in the second track and it was even proven that without it, we would have negotiated for years with no result...
"Q: Do you have [particular] memories of your American counterpart in the talks? I heard that Moniz gave you a gift for the birth of your granddaughter.
"A: To be accurate, I gave him a gift first. The first time I gave Moniz some good honey with nuts. My granddaughter was born on March 3 , when I was at the talks. In the morning I came to continue the talks and didn't know who had told the Americans [of the birth]. They congratulated [me] and asked her name. I said Sara. One American team member said 'my daughter is named Sara too.'
"In the next meeting, Moniz gave me baby clothes and a doll with the MIT logo and said 'raise her so she is accepted to MIT.' I said 'God willing.' You know that MIT is one of the finest American universities – one of the leading universities – and it is hard to get accepted there, and harder for foreigners, especially if you want a scholarship because tuition is very expensive. When I studied for my doctorate 43 years ago at that school (1972), tuition was 5,000 dollars (currently it is 60,000-70,000 dollars), which was a lot of money. Of course I received a scholarship from MIT as part of the ERDA program."
 Iran (Iran), August 4, 2015. Recently, Iranian officials have been giving many interviews on the secret nuclear negotiations with the U.S., in what seems like a competition over the credit for the Iranian achievement, and disclosing details about the talks from their beginning. See MEMRI Special Dispatch No.6131, "Iranian Senior Officials Disclose Confidential Details From Nuclear Negotiations: Already In 2011 We Received Letter From U.S. Administration Recognizing Iran's Right To Enrich Uranium," August 10, 2015.
 Obama administration officials have denied that the release of the Iranians was related to the negotiations. Wall Street Journal (U.S.), December 29, 2013.
 The Farsi word also means "mediator."
 This is confirmed in a report in the Wall Street Journal (U.S.), December 29, 2013.
 It should be noted that Salehi was eventually appointed head of the AEOI.
Jerusalem concerned UN inspectors in Iran will let ‘criminals deliver the evidence’
Jerusalem concerned UN inspectors in Iran will let ‘criminals deliver the evidence’
Dore Gold says Iranians have been pouring asphalt there to make it more difficult to take ground samples and prove previous nuclear activity.
Reports that confidential side-agreements to the recently signed nuclear deal will let the Iranians inspect the Parchin military site on their own is “just another” of the problems Israel has identified in the deal, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said on Thursday.
Gold was referring to an AP report on Wednesday about the draft of a side-agreement stipulating that Iran will be able to use its own investigators to inspect the site 30 km. southeast of Tehran where it has been accused of developing nuclear arms, including nuclear bomb trigger devices, in the past.
According to the AP report, the side agreement would allow Iran to use its own experts and equipment to search for evidence that it has used the site to develop nuclear weapons, something it has continuously denied.
Gold likened this to “allowing the criminal present the evidence.”
The side-agreement in question was one of two concluded between Iran and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, the details of which even the US administration is reportedly not privy to.
Gold said there is already a “big problem” at the Parchin site, since the Iranians have been pouring asphalt there to make it more difficult to take ground samples and prove previous nuclear activity.
“Our experience over the last 20 years is that as soon as a rogue state will be tipped off that they are being inspected, they will begin to modify the facility,” he said.
In 2004 and 2005 the Iranians, after allowing a very limited IAEA visit to what was suspected to be an undeclared nuclear site in northeastern Iran called Lavizan-Shian, destroyed the site and dug out the top soil to a depth of two meters, Gold said. His claim was not confirmed by the IAEA.
“The first rule in any kind of forensic inspection is don’t tamper with the crime scene,” he said, adding that the Iranians are “famous” for doing precisely that.
Gold would not venture a guess whether the revelations about the side agreement would sway anyone in the US Senate or House of Representatives to vote against the deal, adding – however – that the new information “speaks for itself.”
Letting the new information speak for itself is also apparently the reason Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – who has been an outspoken critic of the provision that allows the Iranians 24-days’ notice before undergoing an inspection of an undeclared nuclear facility – has not yet spoken out about the recent revelations.
The IAEA, however, said in a statement on Thursday that the access it will be granted at the site will satisfy its requirements.
“The separate arrangements of the road map are consistent with the IAEA verification practice and they meet IAEA requirements,” the nuclear organization said.
Diplomatic sources said that Israel was following the reports.
Regarding the IAEA’s response, the sources said the only way to clarify matters is for the P5+1 countries to publish all appendices to the nuclear accord. “The more that we are exposed to more details of the agreement, we see that our concerns were right and justified,” one of the sources said.
Statements from Republican lawmakers issued back in July, however, suggest that this information has been available, in a classified setting, for some time. At a Senate briefing on July 23, GOP committee members questioned why Iran would be allowed to collect its own samples at Parchin.
“Even the NFL wouldn’t go along with this,” Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) said, referring to the National Football League’s methods in policing steroid use by its athletes.
One day before the AP published its story, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) made note of these concerns.
“Why would our negotiators decide to negotiate access to other IAEA documents, but not these documents?” Menendez asked. “Maybe the reason, as some members of Congress and public reports have raised, is because it will be the Iranians and not the IAEA performing the tests and providing the samples to be analyzed, which would be the equivalent of having an athlete accused of using performance enhancing drugs submit an unsupervised urine sample to the appropriate authority.
“Chain of custody doesn’t matter when the evidence given to you is prepared by the perpetrator,” he said US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter declined to comment on the Parchin report when asked by a reporter on Thursday. He did say, however, that the US military posture around the Persian Gulf would remain intact throughout the life of the Iranian nuclear deal, and that the US will preserve its military options with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said in response to the reports on Thursday, “The IAEA is not giving over responsibility for inspections to Iran.
“We’re confident, and more than comfortable, with the technical arrangements that the IAEA has to assure that they can properly address concerns with possible military dimensions to Iran’s program in the past,” Kirby said.
Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, a spin-off group from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee devoted to killing the deal, called the revelation a “classic case of the fox guarding the chicken coop.”
“The stunning revelation that the United States government will allow Iran to self-inspect the Parchin site – where the regime likely tested nuclear weapons components – underscores the fatal weakness of the Iran deal,” CNFI said. “It essentially trusts the Iranian regime to gather the evidence at the very site where it has concealed its illicit activities for years.”
Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, was quoted on Thursday as saying “We are confident in the agency’s technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran’s former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade.
“The IAEA,” he added, “has separately developed the most robust inspection regime ever peacefully negotiated to ensure Iran’s current program remains exclusively peaceful.”
Senate dems plot filibuster to dodge iran nuclear deal vote
SENATE DEMS PLOT FILIBUSTER TO DODGE IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL VOTE
Those putting party over country try to conceal their votes from the public.
By Joseph Klein
Democratic senators supporting President Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal with Iran are cowards. They know that a majority of Americans oppose the deal. (http://www.frontpagemag.com/point/25...iel-greenfield) Thus, they are running for cover to avoid going on the record and voting against a resolution disapproving the deal. A filibuster to block a vote on the merits altogether is the Democratic Senate caucus’s preferred way out.
The White House is reportedly pushing the filibuster strategy even though Obama is virtually certain to have enough votes to sustain a veto of a resolution of disapproval passed by both houses of Congress. Two-thirds votes are required in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to override an Obama veto. But if Obama can get out of using his veto pen and expending political capital to sustain it, he is all too happy to hide behind the filibuster fig leaf.
So far only two Democratic senators have declared their opposition to the deal – New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, and New Jersey’s senior senator, Robert Menendez. Assuming they both would vote with the Republican majority to end a filibuster, four additional votes would be needed to reach the magic closure number of 60 and allow the resolution to proceed to a floor vote. Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is doing what he can to corral enough support among his fellow Democrats to prevent the closure number from being reached.
Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told the Associated Press he found it “stunning” that Reid is proposing to block a vote on a resolution of disapproval. "All but one senator voted in favor of having the right to vote on the final deal, so then to turn right around and filibuster it to me is very inconsistent and I think would be confusing to the people they represent," Senator Corker said.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was even more direct, declaring that Reid “wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal.”
A majority of Americans oppose the nuclear deal. Democrats could face a political price if they do not even allow a vote that reflects the majority sentiment. But blind partisan loyalty to Obama trumps their responsibility to the American people. Their excuse, as explained by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), is an insult to American national sovereignty:
“There’s a cost to the international credibility of the country and this president if a motion of disapproval passes the House and the Senate. There is some harm to the country’s standing if we have to go through the charade of the veto.”
The “charade” in play here occurred when the Senate forfeited its constitutional prerogative in the first place to “advise and consent” to treaties by a two-thirds vote of senators present. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPA”), the formal name of the nuclear deal with Iran, deserved to be handled as a treaty that affirmatively requires Senate approval. Instead, in the face of the Obama administration’s threat to treat the JCPA solely as an executive agreement and exclude Congress altogether from playing any role in reviewing the JCPA before it went into effect, the leaders in both houses buckled under. They ended up taking whatever scraps of participation in the process that the Obama administration was willing to offer them.
The Republican majority thereby set a terrible precedent when it agreed to an upside-down procedure under which President Obama will get his way unless both houses of Congress override his veto of a disapproval resolution by a two-thirds vote. Now they are playing defense against the stratagems of Democratic Minority Leader Reid, who plans to take no prisoners. Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hamid Baidi-nejad (http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=249005), presumably speaking for his government, is rooting for Reid to succeed with his filibuster ploy, according to a report last weekend in the Tehran Times.
The response of the Republican Senate majority to the filibuster threat is muddled. When asked whether the majority could beat back a filibuster maneuver, Senator Corker lamented, "I don't know, I don't know."
There is a defeatist attitude emerging amongst opponents of the deal, although some Republicans are looking to the next election to exact a political price from those Democratic senators running in 2016 who side with Reid and Obama. In particular, Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), still reportedly undecided, may be in the crosshairs as a vulnerable incumbent if he ends up supporting Reid and Obama. “If Sen. Michael Bennet filibusters or votes for the Iran deal we will make sure voters know he supported a nuclear deal that threatens our national security,” Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.
Waiting until the 2016 elections, however, is too little, too late, at least as far as the filibuster threat is concerned. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must not only denounce the filibuster ploy, but push through a change in Senate rules to prohibit a filibuster that would prevent an up-or-down vote on something as momentous to national security as the nuclear deal with Iran.
McConnell would not have to look very far for a precedent. Harry Reid provided it back in 2013 when he maneuvered a party line vote to ban the use of filibusters to block votes on presidential nominations.
"A simple majority vote no longer seems to be sufficient for anything, even routine business, in what is supposed to be the world's foremost deliberative body," Obama said at the time in supporting Reid’s tactic. "Today's pattern of obstruction, it just isn't' normal, it's not what our founders envisioned."
In truth, our founders did not envision a situation in which a minority of senators can prevent the Senate from even exercising the crumb left on the table after the majority ceded away the Senate’s constitutional treaty “advice and consent” powers.
Senator McConnell responded to Reid’s initiative against the use of filibusters in connection with nominations this way: "Some of us have been here long enough to know the shoe is sometimes on the other foot. You'll regret this, and you may regret it a lot sooner than you think."
The shoe now is on the other foot. The time has come for Senator McConnell and the Senate Republican majority to put their collective foot down and force the Democrats to vote up or down on the resolution to disapprove Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. They must act immediately to take away the Democrats’ filibuster fig leaf. Each of those Obama loyalists who support the deal should be required to go on the record and be accountable to their constituents for their decision. Even if not playing the full advice and consent role that the founding fathers contemplated with regards to treaties, the Senate will at least have had its say. And the next president can act accordingly to void the deal and punish Iran, including (unlike Obama) supporting congressional initiatives for even harsher sanctions and possible military action, if Iran is found to have violated a single commitment. The large majority of Americans who oppose Obama’s deal deserve nothing less.
Iran Deal: Barbarity Wins
Iran Deal: Barbarity Wins
by Guy Milličre
September 5, 2015
When Israeli Jews are murdered, often barbarically, nearly all European and American media blame Israel and find excuses for the killers.
Forgotten is that the "Palestinian people" and the "Palestinian cause" are a mythic narrative invented by the KGB and Nasser's secret service propaganda machine in the 1960s.
Hamas has an even more genocidal goal: the destruction of Israel and all Jews. For many journalists, that is also a detail not worth mentioning.
The Iranian regime claims non-stop that its main objective is the elimination of Israel and Israeli Jews. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has just published a book, Palestine, detailing his plans to destroy Israel. For most commentators, the book is of no relevance. It does not matter. Leaders of Western countries adopt the same view.
What is at stake in enriching Iran and arming it with nuclear capability is more than the fate of Israel and Israeli Jews: it is also the fate of America -- even if it does not wish to realize that goal yet --as well as values of Western civilization.
As migrants continue to pour over the borders of Italy and Hungary, and from there to spread out into the rest of Europe, the continent is becoming increasingly and irreversibly Muslim. Europe is lost to Islam.
In recent weeks, the Middle East section of most European and American newspapers and magazines included many articles on Muhammad Allan, a hunger striker imprisoned in Israel. Apparently that Muhammad Allan is in jail because he belongs to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad seemed irrelevant. That the Israeli intelligence services know he was preparing terrorist attacks also did not seem to matter . That the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel additionally did not seem to matter.
Muhammad Allan was described as a victim. If he had died on a hunger strike, Israel would be blamed. As he did not die, but suffered brain damage due to self-inflicted starvation, Israel was blamed anyway.
When a member of a Palestinian jihadist organization that has killed Jews and that wants to kill more Jews puts his life in danger, most mainstream media in Europe and in America depict him as a "resister." Negative comments are usually directed against Israel.
When a Palestinian Arab terrorist is killed by an Israeli soldier, most members of the mainstream media in Europe and America blame the Israeli army, even if the person killed was known to have murdered or injured Israeli Jews.
A few weeks ago, when a Palestinian Arab house was set on fire and a baby died in the flames, the perpetrators were assumed to be Israeli Jews. Even though the Israeli government immediately denounced the crime, almost all the reports published in European and American media accused Israel.
When Israeli Jews are murdered, often barbarically, nearly all European and American media blame Israel and find excuses for the killers.
If the murdered Jews lived in the West Bank, they are automatically featured as people occupying someone else's land, and to blame for what happened to them. Such accusations even fall on murdered young children, including babies.
Immediately after the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar in 2011, many newspapers reported that "five settlers" were killed. Some "pro-Palestinian" websites in Europe went even farther; one reported, "Five terrorist Zionists eliminated."
If the murdered Jews lived outside the West Bank, it was harder to belittle them directly, but it did not stop those who said that the murdered had good reasons to kill. Some journalists cite "Palestinian" organizations' press releases claiming the bloodshed was in response to "crimes" committed by the Israeli army. Others, suggesting that the killers were guided by "despair," included the criminals among the victims.
After the November 2014 massacre at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, the French daily, Le Monde, published an article entitled, "Six Killed in Jerusalem." In the article, the murderers shot dead by police were included in the victims' body-count.
CBC News in Canada did worse. The headline of the report on the attack read, "Jerusalem police fatally shoot 2 after apparent synagogue attack."
Despite the massive atrocities committed by the Islamic State in Iraq and in Syria, despite the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria, despite the existence of atrocious dictatorships, this disproportionate pile-on against Israel has a name: the hatred and demonization by racists of an entire country and an entire people.
Demonization works because it uses all sorts of political stereotypes. All the false and collective allegations used to demonize Jews in Europe for centuries are used again. Israel is described as an "imperialist," "colonialist" and "militarist" power, and Israeli Jews are portrayed as ruthless agents of this power. The "Palestinian" killers of Israeli Jews, including civilians and babies, are presented as "freedom fighters" and heroic members of an "oppressed people."
Forgotten is that the "Palestinian people" and the "Palestinian cause" are a mythic narrative invented by the KGB and Nasser's secret service propaganda machine in the 1960s.
Jews in Europe have long been accused of every conceivable evil; now Israel and Israeli Jews are accused of blood libels, the gratuitous murder of innocents. Killers of Jews in Europe were often glorified and described as killers of people who were strangers to the land they lived in. Crimes committed by Jews were used to incriminate all Jews. When Jews were slaughtered, they were often designated as deserving the blame for their fate.
Historians of anti-Semitism explain that in Europe, frequently the hatred of Jews was so common that it made the unacceptable acceptable.
The historian Leon Poliakov noted that, "Without the incessant incitement to hatred of Jews throughout Europe, without the trivialization of the hatred, the attempted extermination of an entire people would not have been possible."
The late scholar Robert Wistrich said that demonization of Israel and Israeli Jews leads to the same kind of hatred. He added that a trivialization of hatred is accepted all the more if it is based on an old hatred: "What did happen could happen again."
Ideas of extermination proliferate in the Middle East; most people do not pay attention.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and Israeli Jews. For many journalists, that is a detail not worth mentioning. Hamas has an even more genocidal goal, the destruction of Israel and all Jews. "The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones , and each tree an stone will say, 'O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him." For many journalists; that is also a detail not worth mentioning.
Official Palestinian Authority television constantly calls for the destruction of Israel. It also glorifies killers of Jews as role models; most commentators just look the other way.
The Iranian regime claims non-stop that its main objective is the elimination of Israel and Israeli Jews. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has just published a book, Palestine, detailing his plans to destroy Israel. For most commentators, the book is apparently of no relevance; it does not matter.
Leaders of Western countries have the same view. They fund the Palestinian Authority (PA), and therefore finance official PA Television. They know that much of the money given is used to pay and train killers of Jews, but evidently they do not care.
They just signed an agreement with the Iranian regime that will allow Iran soon to have nuclear weapons and to receive billions of dollars to finance and arm terrorist groups dedicated to the full destruction of Israel, and Israeli Christians, Muslims and Jews. But evidently leaders of Western countries do not care about that, either.
They are, in effect, acquiescing to genocide; but so long as business can be done with Iran, apparently that is fine with them. If genocide occurred, they would be ready to cheer from the sidelines.
Some journalists and columnists see what is happening and are sounding an alarm. But they are a minority, especially in Europe, where courage seems to have vanished along with a number of Jews.
Some political leaders still have ethical values and shout their indignation. None of them is European. Nearly all of them are American. They understand that silence means consent and that at certain moments in history, it is imperative to take a stand.
What is at stake in enriching Iran and arming it with nuclear capability is more than the fate of Israel and Israeli Jews: it is also the fate of America, even if it does not wish to realize that yet. It is also the fate of Western civilization.
As migrants continue to pour over the borders of Hungary, Italy and Greece, and from there to spread out into the rest of Europe, the continent is becoming increasingly and irreversibly Muslim. Europe is lost to Islam.
Seven decades after Auschwitz, barbarity is fast gaining ground again.
In September, the U.S. Congress may vote -- or try to weasel out of a vote -- to approve or disapprove of the agreement with Iran. Either way, U.S. President Barack Obama has vowed to push the deal through. His decision will have consequences far beyond what we see now. One thing is certain: they will not be good.
Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei (center), is shown meeting in May 2014 with Iran's military chief of staff and the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. (Image source: IRNA)
 Leon Poliakov, Harvest of Hate: The Nazi Program for the Destruction of the Jews of Europe, Schocken Books, 1979.
 Robert Wistrich, From Ambivalence to Betrayal: The Left, the Jews, and Israel, University of Nebraska Press, 2012.
Khamenei Declares He Will Not Honor The Agreement If Sanctions Are Not Lifted NOW
September 4, 2015
Special Dispatch No.6151
Khamenei Declares That He Will Not Honor The Agreement If Sanctions Are Merely Suspended And Not Lifted
In a September 3, 2015 address before Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei referred to the JCPOA nuclear agreement. Following are excerpts from his speech and their implications:
Khamenei Backtracks From The Agreement
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei declared that suspension of the sanctions – as agreed upon in the JCPOA and as adopted in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 – is unacceptable to him. He said that if the sanctions were not lifted, instead of merely being suspended, Iran would not honor its obligations under the JCPOA.
Thus, Khamenei is backtracking from the agreement and dictating a new demand – one that cannot be easily carried out even in the event that the U.S. administration surrenders to it. Procedurally, this would require a reconvening of the P5+1, a change in the language of the JCPOA, and a reconvening of the U.N. Security Council in order to endorse the new demand. On a substantive level, acceptance of Khamenei's demands would undermine the entire concept of the “snap back” of sanctions that the administration argued as one of the reasons justifying the JCPOA.
Khamenei Gives The Majlis Authority To Approve Or Reject The JCPOA
In his address, Khamenei gave the Majlis authority to approve or reject the agreement, a move that President Hassan Rohani had tried to prevent, being aware of the fact that many Majlis members were critical of the agreement.
The fact that Khamenei decided to backtrack from the JCPOA immediately after it had become clear that President Obama had the votes to sustain a veto, indicates one of two possibilities:
Either Khamenei, aware that he was making an impossible demand, was trying to sabotage the JCPOA (a possibility supported by his transfer of authority to the Majlis), or else he was taking advantage of Obama's perceived surrender to all his demands and was trying to extract additional concessions by reopening the negotiations.
Furthermore, following Khamenei's directive to transfer the authority regarding approval of the JCPOA to the Majlis, spokesmen for the ideological camp in the Majlis have launched a public campaign against the JCPOA and against any compliance with the agreement on the part of Iran – as is incumbent upon it in the JCPOA – prior to the lifting of the sanctions.
Below are the main points of Khamenei's address:
The Majlis Must Discuss And Make A Decision About The Nuclear Deal
"Jurists and experts should examine the issue regarding the legal aspects of the agreement. In general, it would be inappropriate for us to sideline the Majlis from the process of examining the agreement, as I mentioned to President [Rohani]. I am not advising the Majlis whether to accept or reject the agreement… The final decision is the responsibility of the people’s representatives in the Majlis. I do believe that the Majlis should not be kept out of [the process] and that the representatives of the people need to make a decision on it."
The Negotiations With The U.S. And The Issue Of The Sanctions
"Although we spoke with six countries, the main party that we faced in the talks was the U.S. administration. The American officials speak impertinently, and this must be dealt with… The Americans talked about maintaining the framework of the sanctions. If the framework of the sanctions is to be maintained, why did we negotiate? We negotiated [with the Americans] in order to have the sanctions lifted, and the sanctions will be lifted. Now, if we are supposed to uphold this framework … this completely contradicts the reason for Iran's participation in the talks to begin with.
“Otherwise, what was the point of our participation in the talks? We would have continued to do what we were doing [prior to the talks] …
“The fact that we sat down and held talks and made concessions on certain issues was mainly in order to have the sanctions lifted. If the sanctions are not going to be lifted, there will be no agreement…
“[Our] officials [i.e., Rohani’s government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs] should make this clear. No one should say that the [Americans] are saying [that the sanctions will only be suspended] just in order to persuade their opponents at home. I do believe that there is indeed an internal debate in the U.S., which is a genuine dispute. I do not believe that this is [just] for show. Indeed, they do disagree, and we also know the reason for this. But we must respond to what is being said officially [by the Americans] – because if we do not respond, what the other side says will be enforced…
“They say that they will suspend [the sanctions] or freeze them. This was not in our interest. Obviously the sanctions must be lifted. We said “immediately” and they interpreted “immediately” [in a certain way] and I didn’t make a point of it.
“Our colleagues [i.e., the negotiating team] here interpreted “immediately” in a certain way, figured out a solution, and I did not object to it. Ultimately, however, the sanctions must be lifted. Freezing or suspention [of the sanction] is unacceptable to me.
“If they suspend [the sanctions], we too will suspend [what is incumbent upon us]. If we are to implement what [is required of us], the sanctions must be [actually] cancelled.
"True, the other side says that some of the sanctions are not theirs to be lifted. We say in response that [with regard to those sanctions] we will use our [legal] rights to stop them. But regarding [the sanctions that are] in the hands of the American and European governments – those must be totally lifted.”
“Another issue is the way the [Americans] talk on matters not connected to the nuclear issue. The ladies and gentlemen in the American elite are talking the same way as the English did in the 19th century. This shows that [the Americans] are two centuries behind the world and behind history. The world has changed, and the superpowers no longer have the capabilities and the power to do what they did then.
"On the other hand, the party with which they are now dealing is Iran. It is not a backward country in some continent, to whom the Americans can allow themselves to speak whatever way they like. No. This is Iran, [a country] that has known capabilities, and others capabilities that are not [yet] known, but that will be seen [only] when they are put into action.
“It is inconceivable that you should constantly threaten [us].
"The Americans say that they expect the Iranian government to act differently. Differently from what? Differently from Iran’s past? No. Such a thing will never happen, [because] it means violating Islamic rules and relinquishing loyalty to Islamic values. This is what they mean by “differently”. That will never happen.
“No one will ever do such a thing – not the government, not the Majlis, and not the officials. And even if someone would want to do such a thing, the people and the regime of the Islamic Republic would not agree with him. What they mean by “differently” is that Iran will enter into the framework of the American policy in the region.
“America has a certain policy and certain positions in the region. One of them is that the U.S. administration should have absolute control over Syria and Iraq, and that it expects Iran to enter this framework. This too will never happen.
“They expect our senior officials, our government, and our politicians to act for the sake of this policy. This will never happen. Among the things they say that irritates us is that the nuclear agreement opened up opportunities for America, both within Iran and outside it. This is part of the American discourse. I tell our colleagues in the government and the people in charge not to allow the Americans to take advantage of such opportunities within Iran and to exert every effort to prevent America from taking such opportunities outside Iran. The closer the Americans get to such opportunities, the more humiliation, misery, and backwardness expand among the nations."
“I said the [following], and I emphasized it: No talks with the American side should be held except on the nuclear issue. I said this both to Foreign Ministry officials and to the other officials. The reason is that the American position is diametrically opposed to ours.”
 See Rohani's speech on August 30, 2015, President.ir/fa
 Farsi.khamenei.ir, September 3, 2015.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7TH | 23 ELUL 5775
Lawmaker Says Obama Can’t Legally Lift Sanctions Until Congress Receives IAEA-Iran Side Deals
SEPTEMBER 7, 2015 12:48 PM 2 COMMENTS
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President Barack Obama does not have the power to lift sanctions against Iran until Congress receives the side arrangements between the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Iran, argued Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KY) and constitutional litigator David B. Rivkin Jr., in an op-ed piece for Washington Post on Monday.
Though a September 17 date has been set for Congress to vote on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the 60-day clock for congressional review of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal actually has yet to begin, the pair said, because the White House failed to provide lawmakers with crucial side agreements between the IAEA and Iran.
The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which Obama signed in May, defines the agreement to be reviewed by Congress as not just the JCPOA, but also “any additional materials related thereto, including . . . side agreements, implementing materials, documents, and guidance, technical or other understandings, and any related agreements, whether entered into or implemented prior to the agreement or to be entered into or implemented in the future.”
Pompeo and Rivkin, who is also a a senior fellow at the Washington, D.C. think tank, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies — that has focused heavily on the Iran deal since its announcement in July — wrote that failing to provide lawmakers with this agreement legally prevents the president from waiving or limiting sanctions on Iran. This could create legal difficulties for the Obama administration once the deal is adopted (in October) and then most likely implemented early next year.
The two called on Congress to confront the president over his failure to follow the legislative protocol he enacted. They called for a resolution declaring the president has not complied with his obligations under the act, and is therefore unable to lift sanctions against Iran.
National Security Adviser Susan Rice said late July, when the side agreement leaked, that this separate document was “secret,” but that the White House was aware of its contents and would share them with lawmakers in closed-door settings.
Pompeo, who has been leading the calls for the Obama administration to release the IAEA-Iran agreements to the public, noted in July the existence of two such side deals — one regarding weapons-related activity at the Parchin military base, where Iran may have tested detonation devices; and the other a road map for solving outstanding concerns over the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program, which have vexed the international community for more than a decade.
The former agreement concerning Parchin caused a stir when the Associated Press released a document showing that Iran would be able to provide its own evidence and environmental samples to the IAEA.
Laundering Iran's Nukes
Laundering Iran's Nukes
by A.J. Caschetta
September 9, 2015
What remains unknown is why President Obama and most of his party want a nuclear Iran.
The goals of the diplomatic process have changed tremendously from the beginning, when President Obama regularly claimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon is "unacceptable," and that only his unique brand of personal diplomacy could prevent it. Rather than "prevent" or "block" Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, as the president and Secretary of State Kerry falsely claim, the deal assures Iran of legally acquiring one.
By weaponizing its nuclear program, Iran has violated every agreement it has signed. Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program is being cleansed and validated at the behest of the Obama administration. These terms make the JCPOA deal unknowable. Signing it is not an act of diplomacy; it is surrender.
There is only one flaw in the JCPOA laundering scheme. In a true money-laundering scheme that involves an outlaw and a legitimate party, the money launderer receives a fee for the service provided; in this trade, the U.S. gets nothing from the JCPOA. The U.S. does not even get back one of the Americans held hostage by Iran.
Let's come clean. Let's finally recognize the so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for what it is -- a laundering project designed to legitimize Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Like a money-laundering scheme by which illegally-earned or stolen money is cleansed or laundered through a legitimate business, Iran's illegal nuclear weapons program is being cleansed and validated before the world's eyes at the behest of the Obama administration.
The goals of the diplomatic process have changed tremendously from the beginning when President Obama regularly claimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon is "unacceptable" and that only his unique brand of personal diplomacy could prevent it.
But now, even the most generous (or naive) reading of the deal acknowledges that, at best, it delays an Iranian nuclear weapon by 10 to 15 years, after which the Islamic Republic of Iran emerges with a full-blown legal nuclear weapons program. Rather than "prevent" or "block" Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, as the president and Secretary of State John Kerry falsely claim, the deal assures Iran of legally acquiring one. It is like telling a jewel thief caught red-handed that if he stops stealing jewels for 15 years, all charges against him will be dropped and he can keep his ill-gotten booty.
Although much of the public debate has centered on the details of the restrictions that will be dropped in 2030, many people believe that Iran will cheat on the deal. And since the ultimate arbiter of Iran's compliance with the JCPOA will be the United Nations, it is fair to assume that its record of failure will continue. This seems very probable, as it is Iran that will present much of the evidence to "prove" that it is in compliance.
Regrettably, since the beginning of the century, when Mohammad ElBaradei was the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Iran has made significant advances in its covert, illicit nuclear program.
As Iran played cat-and-mouse games with the inspections, ElBaradei studiously avoided confronting the regime and soft-pedaled its violations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. For this work, ElBaradei was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Some critics of the deal cite Ronald Reagan's advice to "trust but verify." However, the verification process involves a 24-day waiting period between requesting an inspection and gaining access to an Iranian nuclear site.
Some commentators are placated by the claims of Secretary of Energy and Obama diplomat Ernest Moniz that 24 days is insufficient to hide the kinds of work that Iran has agreed to halt. But after first learning that only IAEA inspectors will be allowed to inspect sites, it was revealed that none of them will be Americans, and we have now learned that only Iranian inspectors will be allowed at crucial military sites such as the Parchin complex. That looks like too much trust and too little verification.
Another objection often cited is that no one, including John Kerry and Ernest Moniz, even knows what the JCPOA is. The exact contents of the JCPOA deal remains a mystery, much like the fictitious fatwa banning nuclear weapons that was allegedly issued by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is frequently cited by Obama -- yet has been seen by no one. Parts of the JCPOA are hidden, not only from the public, but even from American diplomats, as Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, admits. Ernest Moniz dismisses our willful ignorance of the JCPOA's terms as standard operating procedure, and John Kerry says we must respect the process that allows the IAEA and Iran to have secret side deals undisclosed to any of the P5+1 signatories. But these terms make the JCPOA deal unknowable. Signing it is not an act of diplomacy; it is surrender.
Iran acquired nuclear technology in 1957 through the U.S. Atoms for Peace program. Recipients of the Eisenhower Administration's nuclear largesse were required to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is regularly updated with various safeguards and protocols.
By weaponizing its nuclear program, Iran has violated every agreement it has signed.
The JCPOA is rewarding these violations. It also signals to all countries, good and bad, that now is the time to break treaties with the U.S., when the likelihood of a serious response is low or absent altogether. Surely Iran's leaders have noticed the U.S. response to Russia's violations of the Budapest Memorandum, its invasion of Ukraine and the Crimea and its moves in the Arctic Circle. Surely, they have also noticed the U.S. response to China's construction of islands that are military bases throughout the South China Sea.
So while it is unlikely that Iran will suffer any consequences for cheating (assuming the U.S. even learns of any offenses), there is almost no reason to cheat. The terms of the JCPOA are so one-sided that soon Iran will emerge with all the nuclear weapons it wants, as well as intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them to the "Great Satan". And then it will be too late.
There is only one flaw in the JCPOA laundering scheme. In a true money-laundering scheme that involves an outlaw and a legitimate party, the money launderer receives a fee for the service provided; in this trade, the U.S. earns nothing from the JCPOA. The U.S. does not even get back one of the Americans held hostage by Iran. Iran will not admit to any culpability for murdering Americans around the globe, much less pay reparations for them.
There has not even been a perfunctory, empty promise to cease funding terrorist groups and threatening genocide against Israel and America.
Iran's Foreign Minister and chief nuclear negotiator, Javad Zarif (left), is very, very pleased with the recent nuclear deal. Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (right), is not unclenching Iran's fist in its relations with the West.
It is hard not to conclude that the JCPOA was designed from the beginning to ensure that Iran would get a legitimate nuclear weapons program, confirmed with the imprimatur of the United States and the United Nations. What remains unknown is why the president and most of his party want a nuclear Iran.
IAEA to Consult Iran over Nuclear Deal 'Ambiguities'
IAEA to Consult Iran over Nuclear Deal 'Ambiguities'
UN atomic watchdog organization mum on details of inquiry, which follows torrential criticism over patchwork nuclear deal.
By Arutz Sheva Staff
The UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday that information provided by Iran regarding its nuclear program contained "ambiguities" and that it was seeking clarification from Tehran.
"The IAEA submitted on 8 September questions to Iran on ambiguities regarding the information Iran provided to the IAEA on 15 August 2015," the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said.
It gave no further details, saying in a statement that "technical-expert meetings, technical measures and discussions will be organized in Tehran prior to 15 October 2015 to remove the ambiguities identified by the IAEA."
Under a landmark deal agreed by Iran and six major powers on July 14, Tehran will dramatically downsize its nuclear program in exchange for relief from painful international sanctions.
The accord is aimed at ending a 13-year standoff by making it extremely difficult for Iran to develop nuclear weapons, an aim strenuously denied by Tehran.
But separately, the IAEA also wants to probe allegations that at least until 2003, Iran's nuclear program had "possible military dimensions" - in other words, that it conducted research into making a nuclear weapon.
To this end, Iran and the agency agreed to a "road map" - also on July 14 - with the aim of the IAEA being to complete all meetings and visits in its investigation by October 15 and to issue a final report by December 15.
Iran provided the IAEA with a dossier of information on August 15 that included "explanations in writing, and related documents," according to the agency.
Neither Tehran nor the IAEA have given any more details on the information provided, other than agency chief Yukiya Amano saying it was a "substantive volume" of material.
An IAEA spokesman told AFP on Wednesday that the agency has conducted a "rigorous and thorough review of the information" provided by Iran.
Iran has said that the allegations that it sought to build a bomb - including that it conducted relevant explosives tests at the Parchin military
base - are groundless and based on faulty intelligence provided by its enemies to a gullible and partial IAEA.
Last edited by Paparock; 09-09-2015 at 04:27 PM..
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST | 8 TISHRI 5776
The Truth About Mr. Obama’s Iran Deal
SEPTEMBER 20, 2015 12:28 PM
Yedidya Atlas and Rubin Margules
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There is strident public disagreement between those who support President Obama’s “Iran deal” as a “good agreement” or at least the “best deal one can achieve given the alternative” (i.e.“no deal”), and those who perceive it as a “bad deal,” to the extent that “no deal is better than a bad deal.” Particularly in view of the Senate vote earlier this month, to better understand which side is more accurate in its analysis of the situation, let us remove emotions and party affiliations/loyalties from the discussion and examine the bare facts:
What does Iran get from the agreement?
The agreement allows Iran to ultimately possess a nuclear weapons arsenal and become a regional hegemonic power without changing its rogue policies of “exporting the revolution” (read: massive state support of international terrorism, destabilizing regimes, etc.) or development of advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying a nuclear warhead not only to all of Europe but even to American shores – all this besides holding U.S. and other Western hostages with impunity.
The agreement, as noted by a recent report by the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, legally and safely provides Iran with “the capability to shorten the time required to produce such an arsenal within the next 10-15 years (including the production of fissile material, weaponization, acquiring delivery systems, and improved military capabilities to protect the military nuclear program), so that it would be practically impossible to stop it.”
And this assumes Iran will abide by the agreement and wait. Given Iran’s past record of concealing its nuclear activities, its blatant declarations of hostility towards the U.S. and Israel even before a Congressional vote, and its regime’s openly fanatical Islamic (Shi’ite) aspirations, the situation is far worse.
Even President Obama, speaking before the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and leaders of the Jewish Federations who congregated recently at the White House, openly declared “…I keep on emphasizing we don’t trust Iran. Iran is antagonistic to the United States. It is anti-Semitic. It has denied the Holocaust. It has called for the destruction of Israel. It is an unsavory regime.”
Therefore Mr. Obama declared: “We create[d] a verification and inspection mechanism across the entire nuclear production chain within Iran that is unprecedented — more rigorous than anything that has ever been negotiated in the history of nuclear nonproliferation.”
Except in reality neither Americans nor Canadian inspectors are allowed into Iran; any area of Iran that the Iranian regime designates “military” cannot be inspected (e.g. the Iranian veto on any foreign inspections at Parchin military base, where Iran has been developing nuclear weapons);
Iran can object to any inspection and delay it at least 24 days, and, according to the Wall Street Journal, up to three months.
And last but not least, there are two secret side deals to the agreement between Iran and the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the Obama administration and its own negotiators are not privy to, which Secretary of State Kerry admitted as much to Congress during the recent hearings.
So Mr. Obama cannot even explain what he means when he declares: “A verification and inspection mechanism…….that is unprecedented — more rigorous than anything that has ever been negotiated in the history of nuclear nonproliferation,” because even he has no idea what the verification deal is. So the so-called “anytime, anywhere” inspections he repeatedly promised during negotiations do not exist.
Another one of Mr. Obama’s whoppers is his claim that “One of those commitments was that Iran would not get a nuclear weapon…. This deal blocks every way — every pathway that Iran might take in order to obtain a nuclear weapon.”
This isn’t true even if Iran can be trusted to keep its word, since immediately following the life of the agreement (10-15 years at best), Iran can complete its nuclear bomb in a matter of months — including warheads for the Iranian intercontinental ballistic missiles that President Obama and Secretary Kerry agreed that Iran can finish developing outside of the agreement.
As part of the full-press aggressive selling of “the Deal” to a justifiably skeptical Congress, one of the great falsehoods is the so-called “snap-back sanctions.”
This is to justify the wholesale release of more than $100 billion of sanctions that took a decade to put together – the very economic sanctions that forced the Iranians to the negotiating table. But the Iranians, who entered negotiations initiated by the Obama administration already during the time of Iranian President Ahmadinejad behind the backs of America’s allies in the Middle East understood the Americans have no red lines that cannot be crossed.
Hence, the agreement excludes everything but nuclear weapons development, and that is wholly dependent on an untrustworthy Iran suddenly, and, for the first time, keeping its word. And if it doesn’t, Mr. Obama lamely claims he can get his European partners to the agreement – including Russia — to agree to reinstate the sanctions even though they are all lining up to do business with the Iranian market.
As law professor and author Alan Dershowitz, a man who identifies himself as a liberal Democrat who voted for Mr. Obama twice, pointed out in a recent column: “We (America) took off the table the option of rejecting the deal by publicly acknowledging that if we do so, we will be worse off than if we accept even a questionable deal. Yes, the president said he would not accept a ‘bad’ deal, but by repeatedly watering down the definition of a bad deal, and by repeatedly stating that the alternative to a deal would be disastrous, he led the Iranians to conclude we needed the deal more than they did.”
“But the real losers were those countries — our allies — who were not even allowed to participate in the negotiations,” Prof. Dershowitz notes. “Virtually every Middle Eastern leader, with the exception of Syria’s Assad, opposes this deal. Nor do they feel bound by it, since they did not have a vote. The deal was imposed on them, in much the same way the Chamberlain-Hitler deal was imposed on Czechoslovakia in 1938. The difference is that Czechoslovakia did not have the means to defend itself, whereas Israel and some of its Sunni neighbors do have the capacity to try to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal — which the mullahs would use to increase their hegemony over the area and to threaten Israel’s security through its surrogates, Hezbollah and Hamas.”
Hence, as radio host and commentator Dennis Prager recently concluded: “The more one knows about the Iran Deal, the more obvious it becomes that it is not a deal so much as it is a fraud. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of a fraud is “something that is meant to look like the real thing in order to trick people.” Sadly, the price for this fraudulent deal – which didn’t have to end this way – will be paid by America’s closest allies and the even the American people themselves.
Last edited by WABA; 09-21-2015 at 07:00 AM..
The End of Arms Control in the Second Nuclear Age?
The End of Arms Control in the Second Nuclear Age?
by Peter Huessy
October 26, 2015
The United States may have come to the end of traditional nuclear arms control. Since 1972 the United States and Russia have signed seven major nuclear weapons treaties, beginning with the SALT I agreement in 1972 and concluding with the 2010 New Start treaty; however, upwards of 65% of all nuclear warheads in the world still remain under no treaty limits, mainly because countries with such arsenals have no interest in agreeing to nor the technical means to verify, such controls.
Between 1972 and 2015, the number of U.S. and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons peaked at roughly 13,000 in each country's arsenal, then declined to between 1,800-2,500. This reduction represents a cut of more than 80% in their respective deployed arsenals, a remarkable accomplishment.
Despite this progress, advocates of what is termed "global zero" are pressing the United States to reduce even further its deployed and stockpiled weapons to no more than 500-1000 strategic weapons.
The problem, if examined closely, is that such proposals will simply make the military balance between the two nuclear powers, Russia and the United States, highly unstable.
There is, for example, in Congress, one legislative proposal that adopts such a warhead ceiling. It would unilaterally eliminate American nuclear bombers and land-based missiles through attrition, while significantly cutting the planned twelve new nuclear-armed submarines to eight. So radical is this proposal that -- while Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are arming themselves to the gills and seizing territory in regions such as the Arctic Circle, the South China Sea and the Middle East -- it would reduce America's nuclear "assets" from over 500 missiles, bombers and submarines to just a few nuclear-armed submarines.
An adversary would thus only have to take out two submarine bases -- Kings Bay and Bangor -- and 2-3 submarines at sea to disarm the United States of its nuclear weapons altogether. Such a U.S. surrender to aggressive, expansionist, authoritarian powers would markedly heighten security dangers to the United States and its allies.
The U.S. nuclear "triad" consists of nuclear warheads mounted on platforms based at sea, in the air and on land.
Thankfully, there is a strong bipartisan consensus in Congress not to pursue such further reductions. This agreement seems in large part due to three factors: Russia's increasing bellicose international behavior, a huge Russian advantage in both tactical nuclear weapons and warhead production capacity, and Russia's massive nuclear modernization.
Retired Admiral Richard Mies, the former Commander of the United States Strategic Command, says of the imbalance between the U.S. and Russian nuclear warhead stockpiles: "They reflect a growing disparity in total warheads because of the large Russian advantage in small, short range tactical nuclear warheads that are not subject to any arms control limits."
Further, according to the Admiral, "we have dramatically and unilaterally drawn down our tactical nuclear forces in contrast to Russia. To my knowledge, our unilateral disarmament initiatives have done little to promote similar initiatives in our potential adversaries, and at the same time, they have reduced our arms control negotiating leverage. In that sense, the lead-part of the 'lead and hedge strategy'—the idea that if we lead, others will follow—has proven illusory."
The Russians have between 2,000-6,000 tactical, or theater, nuclear weapons while the United States deploys 500 such weapons -- all in the NATO European Theater.
A second area that concerns the Admiral is that Russia also has the capability to build upwards of 2,000 new nuclear warheads a year. The United States cannot at the moment produce nuclear warheads on a sustained basis beyond 10 or 12 a year, although there are approved plans to build a "responsive" nuclear infrastructure capable of doing more in the future.
While Moscow's nuclear arsenal exceeds that of the United States, there is no current arms control agreement to address these disparities. Monitoring such small nuclear weapons and weapons production capability by satellite is nearly impossible. Thus, the assurances that the U.S. can always "verify" deals with its adversaries is totally inoperable in this case.
Are there better nuclear arms control and deterrent policies that the U.S. could pursue? Yes there are.
The U.S. first needs to start with a strategic pause in traditional U.S.-Russian strategic nuclear arms control. Thankfully, there is now a strong consensus in Congress to do just that.
The next item for the U.S. is to strengthen and maintain nuclear deterrence even as it explores possible future nuclear initiatives.
Given the extraordinarily heavy Russian and Chinese strategic nuclear modernization efforts --- consisting of a combined four new land-based missile types, a new strategic nuclear bomber and cruise missile, and two new submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles -- the U.S. faces a formidable nuclear threat that it must seriously continue to deter. By the time there has been a complete modernization (by 2020) of the Russian nuclear missile force, the U.S. will not yet have built a single new strategic nuclear weapon for its arsenal.
Fortunately, the strong bipartisan Congressional consensus could remedy the alarming weakness in America's nuclear deterrent. It is currently, across the board, roughly 35-40 years old.
The budget for this badly needed nuclear modernization is scheduled to increase, during the next decade, from $24 billion annually to $31 billion. If one compares this amount to the $65 billion that the U.S. spent on nuclear matters at the height of the Cold War, it is less than half. Certainly, by comparison, the cost required is a relatively modest, but necessary, investment in the nation's security.
To help with this effort, the Congress and administration need to get rid of the defense budget caps. Removing them should be America's #1 arms control and nuclear deterrent priority. If the U.S. funded the needed nuclear modernization effort within the budget caps, it would do grave harm to other conventional capabilities. The current administration and Congress should remove the caps now.
What then should be next for a new President and Congress in 2017?
As one looks at the nuclear landscape, Great Britain, France, Israel, China, Pakistan, India, and North Korea have no legal limits on their nuclear arsenals. The U.S. and Russian deployed tactical and strategic reserve stockpile weapons also must be included in that category as they also are under no treaty limits.
Thus, up to as much as 65% of the world's nuclear arsenals have no arms control limits. In rough terms then, many thousands of nuclear warheads -- probably between 6,200-7,500 -- now under the control of those nine nations, have no treaty or legal limits.
How then should one focus on preventing the use of nuclear weapons, as well as seeking to control and limit those warheads beyond the reach of current traditional arms control agreements?
As the Yale professor Paul Bracken explains in his book, "The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics," controlling the central strategic nuclear weapons in the U.S. and Russia once made great sense: "Previously, all decisions involving mushroom clouds ran through Washington and Moscow. But, he explains, things are different now. "Today there are nuclear triggers in Islamabad and New Delhi, Pyongyang and
Beijing... and maybe someday soon, Tehran."
What to do?
Currently popular on the left is the conventional idea, most recently promoted by the completed nuclear non-proliferation review conference in New York last spring for a "Middle East nuclear free zone." Such an idea is most likely to be avoided: it is primarily a rhetorical vehicle just to attack Israel's nuclear deterrent, rather than a more useful effort to, for example, fully eliminate Iran's nuclear capability, which the U.S. and the JCPOA are empowering.
A more serious problem that needs to be addressed are the dangerous implications of Russia's current reckless nuclear policy. Senior Russian officials repeatedly talk about using nuclear weapons in a crisis much as former Chicago Mayor Daley said about voting: it should be done "early and often."
According to one study, since 2009 Russian officials have threatened to use nuclear weapons against the U.S. and its allies more than two dozen times. Such Russian nuclear threats undermine the stability and security of NATO and America's European and Asian allies. Such nuclear belligerence has also prompted the American administration to prepare new war plans for a potential Baltic battle against Russia.
In light of this danger, what useful work then might be done now and by the next administration?
First, Congress should approve, and potential leaders of the next administration should quickly announce, their support to fund and even accelerate the modernization of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. This should include capabilities that strengthen tactical nuclear deterrence, especially in Europe. The modern U.S. nuclear deterrent umbrella over more than 30 NATO allies is one of the prime reasons most of America's allies have not sought to build nuclear weapons themselves --- the U.S. makes them feel safe. That is a big "arms control" advantage, as it limits the number of nuclear-armed nations in Europe, thus making nuclear deterrence a more manageable task.
Second, the U.S. should lead an effort to seek both nuclear force structure and decision making transparency between India and Pakistan. If each country is reassured how the other would act in a crisis, there is less likelihood that these two nuclear-armed powers would use nuclear weapons against each other. Whatever the ambitions of each and notwithstanding Pakistan's support of terrorist organizations, a nuclear exchange between the two nations would be catastrophic.
Third, the U.S. should enlist its Asian allies to press China for transparency in its nuclear expenditures, nuclear force structure and nuclear deterrent policies. Some have likened this quest to asking Al Capone how many guns he has. But the US should still pursue such information. Currently, estimates of China's nuclear forces are little more than a guessing game among China "experts." As China expert and former top Department of Defense official Michael Pillsbury warned recently, China is hiding its hegemonic ambitions while steadily modernizing its nuclear forces.
Fourth, the U.S. Congress should establish an outside-Iran monitoring group with bipartisan and independent experts -- a "Red Team" -- with necessary capabilities and clearances and access to intelligence data on Iran. The group would assess on a regular basis the implementation of the JCPOA. This effort should highlight Iran's nuclear, terrorist and missile-related actions, and recommend to Congress and the administration corrective changes to American and allied policy.
Critical to this effort should be the enhancement of the 2003 Proliferation Security Initiative, the better to interdict nuclear and WMD technology being shipped to and from rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Russia and China.
And fifth, most importantly, with the North Korean, Chinese and Russian nuclear and missile capabilities in mind, the United States and its allies should, as quickly as possible, take action to protect the United States and its electrical grid from missile-delivered nuclear electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) threats, especially with the adoption of both the Shield Act and the bipartisan-supported Critical Infrastructure Protection Act.
The U.S. should also adopt a global missile defense plan, including enhanced U.S.-based missile defenses that can deal with EMP threats. Of particular concern is that the U.S. has no missile radar capability looking south from the continental United States, as well as no advanced missile defense bases. Missile defense is a strong component of arms control as well as deterrent policy in that it can dissuade U.S. adversaries from building dangerous missile arsenals and also protect the U.S. and it from coercive and terrorist nuclear missile threats.
Even if any one of these five objectives would be a formidable challenge to a new administration, it is necessary to work on all of them to improve the security and safety of America and its allies. This is indeed an expanded view of arms control but in this nuclear age, it is an American security imperative.
 The 2010 New Start treaty between the U.S. and Russia calls for a reduction in deployed strategic nuclear warheads of no more than 1550. But because bombers are only calculated at one warhead, (even if the planes carry 8-12 such weapons), the actual "deployed" level is higher than the official ceiling. The treaty also only limits strategic nuclear weapons "in the field" and actually being carried ("deployed") on long-range bombers, silo and mobile land-based missiles and strategic submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Stockpiled, reserve and tactical nuclear warheads are not limited.
 The proposal to reduce the U.S. strategic deterrent to 500-1000 warheads has beenproposed by many American "arms control" organizations, including Global Zero, Ploughshares Fund, the Arms Control Association, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. See also Maxwell paper #54 by Lt Colonel David Baylor, "Consideration of US Nuclear Force Structure Under 1000 Warheads."
 Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) has proposed that the U.S. nuclear arsenal be unilaterally reduced to 8 submarines of which roughly 2-3 might be on patrol at sea at any one time given Navy operational requirements. This quantity would reduce the entirety of the U.S. nuclear deterrent to five targets -- three submarines at sea and two Navy bases where the submarines would be home-ported.
 Tactical nuclear warheads are defined as those weapons carried by short-range platforms such as fighter-bombers, rockets and missiles. Satellites generally cannot determine the number of warheads being carried by such platforms, thereby making it virtually impossible to verify any kind of treaty limits on such weapons. In addition, without extraordinary cooperation including on-site inspections, there are also no means by satellite and other verification measures accurately to determine the production capability of the Russians.
 Undersea Warfare: "The Strategic Deterrence Mission: Ensuring a Strong Foundation for America's Security" by Admiral (Ret) Richard Mies, Spring 2012. All the quotes in this section from Admiral Mies are from this article or personal communication with the author.
 The U.S. government has plans to increase the U.S. production capability of nuclear warhead pits to between 60-85 per year by 2030. According to top nuclear expert Jon Medalia of the Library of Congress, "the Department of Defense (DOD) requires the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to have the capacity to make 50-80 pits per year by 2030." He also noted in an earlier report "the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act requires the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which manages the nuclear weapons program, to produce them at a rate of 80 pits per year for 90 days in 2027." The conference report for the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act, released September 30, 2015, states that "the capability and capacity to produce, at minimum, 50 to 80 pits per year, is a national security priority." It does not contain a date-certain for this to happen, but states that "delaying creation of a modern, responsive nuclear infrastructure until the 2030s is an unacceptable risk to the nuclear deterrent and the national security of the United States."
 Verification of the number of relatively small nuclear warheads or munitions that can be carried by relatively short-range missiles and
airplanes is impossible to determine by technical means such as satellites.
 Russian and Chinese nuclear modernization programs have been detailed in two presentations on May 26, 2105: Rick Fisher, "China's Nuclear Build-Up—Implications for American Security Strategy" and April 14, 2015, Mark Schneider, "Russian Nuclear Modernization. The Ukraine Crisis and the Threat to NATO." Mark Schneider, of the National Institute of Public Policy, also addresses the question of whether lack of revenue may impact the Russian modernization plans:
"There may be some impact, but the bottom line is that nuclear weapons are their highest priority and the last thing that will be cut. They [the Russians] have just announced a 17 percent increase in nuclear missile production. The disparity in modernization is monumental. Right now there is not a single new strategic missile or bomber in production in the U.S. Russia says it has modernized half of its strategic missile force and will complete modernization by 2021. They will also start adding newly produced Tu-160 strategic bombers by 2021. Even if you assume a two or three year delay by The defense budget caps, if maintained, will produce the oldest and smallest Air Force in our history and an Army and Navy smaller than the US maintained just before World War II.
 For this estimate, I received a great deal of help from Mark Schneider of the National Institute of Public Policy (NIPP), and Hans Christensen of the Federation of American Scientists. See for further information http://fas.org/issues/nuclear-weapon...uclear-forces/
 Here is an excerpt from the report of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the review conference:
"During the period, the Islamic Republic of Iran continued to fully support all international and regional efforts towards the establishment of a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East. Likewise, Iran maintained its principled position to vote in favor of all resolutions on the establishment of such a zone... In this context, the Islamic Republic of Iran officially declared its readiness to participate there Mark Schneider has testified before Congress on the extent to which Russian nuclear policy reflects a willingness to use nuclear weapons early in a crisis or conflict. For example, on October 14, 2011 he noted:
"In 2009, Russian National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev revealed that the doctrine allowed for first use of nuclear weapons in regional and localconventional war, which was not evident on its face. In February 2010, Russia released a new military doctrine. Like the 2000 version of the doctrine, it reserves the right of nuclear retaliation again Annual Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition, Air Force Association, September 2015,China's view of United States Air Force, Dr. Michael Pillsbury.
 Information on the Shield Act and Infrastructure Protection Act can be gotten from EMPACT America as well as from the office of Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ), the prime sponsor of the legislation.
 NPR, Bracken interview, November 8, 2012, "Author Warns 'Second Nuclear Age' is Here."
We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War
October 28, 2015
Special Report No.43
Breaking Report: Challenging Khamenei, Rafsanjani Demands That Iran Fulfill Its Obligations Under The JCPOA, And Reveals: We Had Nuclear Option In Iran-Iraq War
By: A. Savyon, U. Kafash and E. Kharrazi*
On October 26, 2015, Hashemi Rafsanjani, the head of Iran's Expediency Council and the political rival of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, gave a comprehensive interview to the website "Iranians' Nuclear Hope." In the interview, he says that, during the Iran-Iraq war, Iran kept the nuclear option in case it felt threatened or required this option, but chose not to act in this direction.
Rafsanjani also personally comes out against Khamenei's directives regarding the JCPOA by calling on Rohani's government to meet Iran's obligations under this agreement from July 14, 2015. This is in direct defiance of Khamenei, who on October 21, 2015 ordered Rohani's government to delay meeting these obligations until nine new conditions he has added to the JCPOA have been met. Rafsanjani stresses in the interview that the majority of the Iranian people, some 80-90 percent, support the JPCOA as it was presented in July, thus creating a potential for fermenting a civil uprising against Khamenei.
Furthermore, Rafsanjani admits that both he and Khamenei were personally in charge of the development of Iran's secret nuclear program: he during his term as the Majlis speaker and later as president, and Khamenei during his presidency and later during his service as Supreme Leader. In fact, Rafsanjani reveals that, during his presidency, he sought to develop the Arak heavy water facility, in the plutonium track, and invested resources in it, though at another point in the interview he rebuts domestic criticism by explaining that Iran's concessions regarding the Arak facility do not harm Iran's national interest since the main use of the plutonium track is "for military purposes." By these statements Rafsanjani confirms suspicions that Iran tried to establish a military nuclear project.
By the very act of calling to meet Iran's commitments under the JCPOA and thereby gain international legitimacy for Iran's peaceful nuclear program, Rafsanjani exposes Khamenei as one who insists on the military nuclear option and challenges him to relinquish this option so as to let Iran take its rightful place in the international arena.
The following are translated excerpts from Rafsanjani's interview.
Rafsanjani On Nuclear Weapons
Asked to give details on Iran's nuclear activity in the first years of the Islamic Revolution, he said: "The previous regime [of the Shah, that was brought down in 1979] often referred to nuclear issues... and began to deal with very extensive work... and the Germans were meant to build the reactor at Bushehr...
"After the Revolution, the work at Bushehr was halted... Within Iran, some said that we must abandonthe [nuclear] activity... and some said that we must start the research and the actual work from scratch... In the end, it was decided to continue the [nuclear] work...
"The Germans found an excuse not to come [to continue the work in Iran]... When we despaired of the Germans, we began to talk with the Pakistanis. In Pakistan, there was a scientist named Abd Al-Qadeer Khan [the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb]. I took a trip to Pakistan and I wanted to see him, but they did not let me see him... I went twice to Pakistan but I didn't see him. Khamenei also did not see him. But during the [1980-88 Iran-Iraq] war, we both dealt with it [the nuclear project], since we had to begin the [nuclear] work. Apparently Abd Al-Qadeer Khan believed that the Islamic world had to have a nuclear bomb, and he also built Pakistan's nuclear bomb... The Pakistanis agreed to help us somewhat... Some of the nuclear activity began during the war.
"Iraq came near to [uranium] enrichment [but] Israel destroyed everything. But the first time, on September 20, 1980, our air force bombed the nuclear facilities at Osirak [Iraq]with four airplanes, and I think that in late 1980 the Israelis destroyed the facilities completely with two fighter jets...
"In 1981, the atmosphere was such that we had to arm ourselves with deterrent measures... since we thought that this war could continue another20 years, according to the late Imam [Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini]... [But] now we have arrived here [at the stage after the JCPOA] and there is no need for us to turn to military nuclear matters."
"Q: "Iran's doctrine was always 'nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none.' To the world, Iran stands behind this doctrine. How do you explain this doctrine in our regime to foreign and domestic elements?
"A: As I have said, when we started the [nuclear] work, we were at war, and we wanted to have such an option for the day our enemies wanted to use nuclear weapons. This was [our] state of mind, but things never become serious.
"However, we took seriously the non-military uses [of the nuclear project], and so we invested money and did a great deal of work. We worked in various areas and also taught a great deal. We dispatched students and invited scientists and many other things of this sort. The principle of our doctrine was the use of nuclear [energy] for peaceful purposes, even though we never abandoned [the idea] that if we were some day to face a certain threat, and if it became necessary, then we would have the option of going to the other side [i.e. to develop nuclear weapons]. But we did not have a plan to do this, and we never deviated [from civilian use]...
"I was so deeply involved in work [on this matter] that in the final days of my government... I personally approved $25 million for the heavy water reactor in Arak, which at that time was to be built in Alamut in the Qazvin [region]...
"Q: The Majlis said that the JCPOA endangers Iran's national security... Do you think [it does]?
"A: The foundations of Iran's security are so strong that this matter constitutes not even the slightest threat to Iran... Our missile defense is not part of the JCPOA and we did not even get into this issue [in the nuclear negotiations]... We made concessions on privileges, and received rights. When they see that we are reducing our enrichment units [i.e. centrifuges] from 20,000 to 6,000 or even fewer, this will be a privilege for them [i.e. the West]. The fact that they are funding the conversion of the heavy water [reactor at Arak] into a different type that has no plutonium but still has all the elements of a heavy water [reactor] – this is cutting-edge technology, and constitutes advancement for us. We do not want plutonium, because it is meant for military matters [i.e. military nuclear uses]. As far as I know, [the JCPOA] poses no national threat, and the guarantees that it will be implemented are not unilateral [i.e. they apply to the other side as well]. If they violate [it], then we can violate [it] as well."
Rafsanjani Comes Out Against Supreme Leader Khamenei's Orders
Rafsanjani's statements also show that he is the only public figure in Iran who is challenging the orders issued by Khamenei on October 21, 2015 regarding the implementation of the JCPOA. He stressed in the interview that Iran needs to meet its obligations asoutlined in the July 2015 agreement – the process that Khamenei has been delaying. Laying the groundwork for rebellion against Khamenei, he said that the majority of Iranians – 80% to 90% – support the July version of the JCPOA. He also brushes aside Khamenei's new conditions for Iran to implement the JCPOA, and calls on him to silence the minority in Iran that opposes it – even though Khamenei himself heads them. He said:
"Eighty to 90 percent of the people agree to the process of the JCPOA, and want to get out [of the nuclear dossier]. 'The concerned' [i.e. the ideological camp] know this. The Majlis sessions that preceded the vote [on the Majlis plan on the JCPOA] cost 'the concerned' dearly... because they affiliate themselves, in a way,with the leader [Khamenei] and it is as if they are expressing the leader's view. The leader has a tongue, and, more than anyone else, is capable of speaking [his ownmind]. He could have prevented them [from speaking], and there was no need for the feud and the arguments [in the Majlis]. It is very bad that they behaved like this in the Majlis. But this is the method of the leader [Khamenei], who lets others speak their minds. It would not have been bad if [the ideological camp] had acted morally and in accordance with national interests...
"Q: What would you say are the most important achievements in the agreement?
"A: First, there will be cooperation between Iran and advanced nations in the world. After the sanctions are lifted, we will realize how many problems we had [because of them]. There is still no one who wants todiscuss the damage done to us, because it isn't over yet and the time to talk about it hasn't yet come. In any case, the sanctions will be suspended and we will to some extent be compensated for them.
"After that, we will advance in the progress [of the nuclear plan] and our operations will be better. Then, our international situation will be better. Our situation in the world has become bad, and so far the Iranians have earned some respect in the world. But the warmongers [among us] think that our honor lies in being loved by the world's extremists – which is always easy, and can always be achieved.
"We are a great nation, and we must speak and operate in the world and share in the [administration of] world affairs. Iran can gain great weight in the world. The most important achievement is being officially recognized as a member state in the nuclear club, on which there has thus far been no agreement. They agreed for us to enrich [uranium], for us to have a reactor, and for us to use it for civilian purposes however we wish. In the nuclear issue, there are advanced nations and backwards nations, for example Japan, whose situation is like ours. Some 30-40 countries have the right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, but no right to engage in the military aspect. We will be like them.
"Q: How do you think Iran should act in the path to implement the JCPOA?
"A: We must put into action what we have signed."
*A. Savyon is Director of MEMRI's Iran Media Project; U. Kafash and E. Kharrazi are research fellows at MEMRI.
 Inhnews.ir, October 26, 2015.
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's Letter Of Guidelines To President Rohani On JCPOA Sets Nine Conditions Nullifying Original Agreement Announced July 14, 2015, October 22, 2015.
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei's Letter Of Guidelines To President Rohani On JCPOA Sets Nine Conditions Nullifying Original Agreement Announced July 14, 2015, October 22, 2015.
 Inhnews.ir, October 26, 2015.
IAEA top dog admits:
IAEA Top Dog Admits:
Cannot Conclude That “All Nuclear Material In Iran Is In Peaceful Activities”
BY ROBERT SPENCER
The consequences of Obama’s nuclear deal have not yet become manifest, and probably won’t for quite some time. But it is increasingly clear that they will be catastrophic.
“UN: No assurance all of Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful,” Associated Press, November 26, 2015:
VIENNA (AP) — Iran is reducing its nuclear activities under a deal with six world powers, but a senior U.N. official says he cannot guarantee that everything it is doing is peaceful.
International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano spoke Thursday to the IAEA’s 35-nation board.
Amano says he is “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran,” and thus cannot conclude that “all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
His comments reflect IAEA constraints on monitoring Iran. But Amano said Tehran will soon enact an agreement giving his agency greater inspection powers….
Obama administration clears path for Iran
OBAMA ADMINISTRATION CLEARS PATH FOR IRAN
Give an inch, they take a mile...
By Joseph Klein
Iran is already in flagrant violation of its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions referenced in the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed on July 14, 2015, by Iran, the five permanent members of the Security Council and Germany. Nevertheless, the Obama administration is making excuses for Iran. It is still on track to reward Iran soon with the freeing up of over $100 billion in frozen assets and the lifting of economic sanctions.
First, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was not able to complete the full investigation of Iran’s suspected past work on a nuclear explosive device, which was supposed to be a precondition for moving forward with implementation of the JCPOA’s terms. Even with the limited information it was provided, including samplings and photographs taken as a result of Iran’s own self-inspection, the agency concluded that, at least through 2009, Iran had conducted such activities. The agency also stated in its report that Iran had appeared to cover its tracks at its Parchin military site:
“Since the Agency’s first request to Iran for access to the particular location of interest to it at the Parchin site in February 2012, extensive activities have taken place at this location. These activities, observed through commercial satellite imagery, appeared to show, inter alia, shrouding of the main building, the removal/replacement or refurbishment of its external wall structures, removal and replacement of part of the roof, and large amounts of liquid run-off emanating from the building…The Agency assesses that the extensive activities undertaken by Iran since February 2012 at the particular location of interest to the Agency seriously undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification.”
Despite the unanswered questions and even some evidence of a cover-up, the Obama administration and its negotiating partners closed the book on the IAEA’s investigation of Iran’s past nuclear arms related activities. Whatever may have happened in the past is ancient history, according to the thinking of the Obama administration. It is time, Secretary of State John Kerry said, for the IAEA to “turn its focus now to the full implementation and verification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” Yet if the “JCPOA cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon,” as the White House claims on its website, why is the Obama administration interpreting the JCPOA in a way that would not apply it to cutting off Iran’s pathway to the delivery of a nuclear weapon?
Whitewashing Iran’s past nuclear arms related work has been followed by utter inaction in the face of Iran’s current launching of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. Iran reportedly launched such missiles both in October and last month. Indeed, Iran is not even trying to hide what it has done. It claims that it will do whatever it wants in connection with its missile program, irrespective of existing Security Council resolutions prohibiting such activities. After the October launch, for example, Iran’s Defense Minister declared, “We don’t ask permission from anyone.”
An investigation of the first missile test launch was undertaken by the Security Council’s Iran Sanctions Committee at the request of the United States and its Western allies. Following a briefing on December 15th by the Chair of the Iran Sanctions Committee criticizing Iran’s action as representing a clear violation of existing Security Council prohibitions, members of the Security Council blathered but took no concrete measures to enforce its resolutions.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who is presiding over the Security Council this month, complained that “instead of an effective, timely response, the Security Council has dithered.” She added that “we have seen a troubling tendency to look the other way when these measures have been willfully violated in recent months.”
Ambassador Power is right, but she should be taking her complaint to her bosses, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. They have used twisted logic to draw a distinction between enrichment and production of nuclear materials for use in developing a bomb on the one hand, which the JCPOA covers, and missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads on the other hand, which the administration argues is not covered by the JCPOA. Kerry has actually gone so far as to agree with Iran’s position that the JCPOA does not prohibit Iran from test firing its missiles, even though the JCPOA itself and the Security Council resolution that adopted the JCPOA(Security Council Resolution 2231 (2015)) refer explicitly to pre-existing Security Council prohibitions still applicable to Iran’s missile program. Those missile-related embargo resolutions are terminable upon certain conditions set forth in the JCPOA, but remain in effect until those conditions are met.
“The issue of ballistic missiles is addressed by the provisions of the new United Nations Security Council Resolution [UNSCR], which do not constitute provisions of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” Kerry wrote in a letter to Senator Marco Rubio quoted by the Washington Free Beacon. “Since the Security Council has called upon Iran not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology, any such activity would be inconsistent with the UNSCR and a serious matter for the Security Council to review,” Kerry added.
In defense of his and Iran’s position that the missile tests do not constitute a breach of the JCPOA per se, Kerry is presumably relying on a footnote buried in Annex V of the JCPOA, stating: “The provisions of this Resolution do not constitute provisions of this JCPOA.” This means, according to Kerry, that no matter how many times Iran fires its missiles designed to carry nuclear weapons, such action will not stop the gravy train of economic relief the JCPOA provides to Iran from rolling along. Let the Security Council worry about it, says Kerry, while Iran continues to openly defy its existing resolutions.
Regrettably, as Ambassador Power observed, the Security Council has “dithered.” Relying on it to take any meaningful action against Iran regarding its missile launchings is doomed to fail so long as Russia (and possibly China) are ready to use their veto power. Obama and Kerry were willing to take that gamble in order to keep Iran from abandoning the deal. They crafted the deceptive strategy of using Security Council Resolution 2231 adopting the JCPOA to supposedly give the JCPOA the force of international law, while at the same time contending that the pre-existing UN Security Council missile program prohibitions referenced in that same resolution and the JCPOA itself have nothing to do with the JCPOA. They have done so by drawing an artificial line between stages of the end to end nuclear weaponization program cycle to suit Iran’s demands. The uranium enrichment/plutonium stage for production of nuclear fuel usable to develop a nuclear bomb was separated out from the development of a missile capable of delivering it for the purposes of JCPOA implementation and enforcement, even though Iran itself had insisted on introducing the subject of its missile program into the final negotiations of the JCPOA.
It is the first stage of the nuclear weaponization program cycle where Iran has made the most concessions. It is obligated to sharply reduce the number of centrifuges it will have running and to get rid of 98% of its enriched uranium supply, which will be subject to verification by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. Reportedly, Iran is proceeding along this path, earning a gold star in Kerry’s book. Iran also must convert its Arak heavy water facility that was originally designed to produce plutonium. But Iran is playing a shell game. Iran has a long pattern of using negotiations to suspend certain nuclear-related activities on which it has achieved sufficient technical competence for its purposes, while continuing to work unimpeded on the next stages of the nuclear weaponization cycle where it needs to develop further technical competence.
Iran has already mastered the technology and operationalization of uranium enrichment sufficient to make enough nuclear fuel suitable for producing a nuclear bomb. Moreover, it will still be permitted to conduct further advanced research and development in this sphere during the term of the JCPOA. The focus of the Obama administration and its negotiating partners on limiting Iran’s activities in the enrichment stage is fighting yesterday’s battle. What Iran cares most about now is perfecting the technology of delivering a nuclear weapon fitted onto a missile that has been tested and proven to launch successfully.
Iran's testing of ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons calls into serious question Iran's intentions going forward in complying with the JCPOA overall. Iran is offering specious legalistic justifications, with John Kerry’s support, for walling off its nuclear capable missile testing and development work from JCPOA implementation and enforcement. This ruse demonstrate once and for all how fatally flawed Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran is proving to be.
Last edited by Paparock; 12-18-2015 at 08:48 PM..
Iran Refuses To Fulfill Its Obligations Under JCPOA
December 20, 2015
Special Dispatch No.6240
At Last Moment, Iran Refuses To Fulfill Its Obligations Under JCPOA, Demands That U.S. Lift Sanctions First, In Complete Contradiction To The Agreement
At the last moment, Iran is refusing to fulfill its obligations under the JCPOA. According to the agreement, it is now Iran's turn to meet specific obligations, and once the IAEA confirms it has done so, the West will take measures to ease or suspend some of the sanctions. However, Iran is now demanding to make an essential change to the agreement so that the U.S. first acts to lift the sanctions and only then will Iran meet its obligations. In a December 18, 2015 interview with The New Yorker, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that some political issues still need to be resolved, hinting at the sanctions, before Iran fulfills its commitments. He also said that Iran is "not dismantling anything, only uninstalling some centrifuges and reconstructing the Arak reactor."
The following are excerpts from the interview:
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif (Image: Almanar.com.lb)
"Where does the Iran nuclear deal stand? What is your timetable to complete steps pledged in dismantling part of the program?
Zarif: We're not dismantling anything. We are uninstalling some centrifuges and reconstructing the Arak reactor, modernizing it. . . . The remaining activities that we need undertake will not take more than several days, less than two weeks.
"Is there a projected day for implementation?
Zarif: Well, we need to resolve still some political issues. . . . There are obligations on the other side that we have to make sure are implemented before we start the final stage of our implementation. . . . So once these are finalized, the practical measures that need to be implemented on our side will start. So I'm not saying two weeks from today. I'm saying two weeks from the time we settle all the difficulties.
"What does Iran see as the challenges to implementation that remain?
Zarif: I think the most important challenge that remains is this mentality in Washington that sanctions have been an asset, and some people want to find even an excuse to keep them or an excuse to reintroduce them. I don't know whether they've looked at the record of how sanctions actually produce exactly the opposite of what they wanted to produce."
"About three dozen senators have written a letter to the President and called on him not to lift sanctions.
Zarif: They didn't want the President to accept the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to begin with. There are more than three dozen members of our parliament who do not want us to implement J.C.P.O.A. So I think that we're even."
 See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Report No. 1213, Will The West Ease The Sanctions Even Though Iran Is Not Meeting Its JCPOA Obligations?, December 17, 2015.
 Newyorker.com, December 18, 2015.
 All ellipsis marks are in the original interview.
Ahmadinejad and Barack Obama 1 Hand Against Israel?