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Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif: Biden ‘more promising’ for the Islamic Republic than Trump

It doesn’t take a genius or “expert” to recognize that Joe Biden would be a better president from the standpoint of the Iranian mullahs. The surprising and embarrassing aspect of this is that so many seem to be ignorant of it or indifferent to it, even as Zarif acknowledges it openly. Biden and the Democrats are a boon for the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran is seeking to expand its influence in the West and elsewhere, and will be enabled to do just that by Biden and his team.

“Why Iran sees Biden as the “more promising” candidate in the U.S. election,” by Elizabeth Palmer and Tucker Reals, CBS News, November 2, 2020:

Tehran — Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has indicated to CBS News that the Islamic Republic’s leadership would prefer Joe Biden win the U.S. election. It was a first for a country that has been reluctant to tip its hand.

Zarif first insisted that Iran‘s government has no preference between President Donald Trump or Biden, but pushed to respond, Zarif said that “the statements by the Biden camp have been more promising, but we will have to wait and see.”…

“What is important for us is how the White House behaves after the election, not what promises are there, what slogans are made. The behavior of the U.S. is important. If the U.S. decides to stop its malign behavior against Iran, then it will be a different story no matter who sits in the White House,” the U.S.-educated diplomat said.

U.S.-Iran relations have disintegrated since President Trump’s unilateral move in 2018 to pull out of the nuclear deal reached with Iran under former President Barack Obama. The Trump administration not only withdrew from that agreement but has since hit Iran with a series of harsh economic sanctions — a “maximum pressure” bid to force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear deal.

The Biden camp has signaled that, if he wins, his administration would attempt to renegotiate the deal hashed out when he was vice president, but the Iranian Foreign Minister insisted to us that that is not Tehran’s hope.

“If we wanted to do that [renegotiate], we would have done it with President Trump four years ago,” Zarif told CBS News, adding that “under no circumstances” would Tehran consider renegotiating the terms of a deal which has since been adopted as a United Nations Security Council Resolution….

“We can find a way to reengage, obviously. But reengagement does not mean renegotiation,” he said. “It means the U.S. coming back to the negotiating table.”…

“I know that Vice President Biden understands that that won’t happen [renegotiate the terms of the nuclear deal], and may act differently,” said the Iranian foreign minister. He expressed hope, however, that Mr. Trump, too, “is capable of acting differently.”…

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EDTORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: ‘America Will Always Rise Up, Stand Tall, And Fight Back’ — Trump Pays Tribute To Flight 93 Heroes At 9/11 Memorial

9/11 Anniversary: President Trump attends memorial ceremony in Shanksville, Pa.


President Donald Trump commemorated the 19th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks by delivering remarks at the United Flight 93 memorial site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Passengers onboard the flight heroically rushed the cockpit and overpowered hijackers on September 11, 2001, forcing the plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania. The plane was the only hijacked flight not to hit its intended target on 9/11. The president spoke shortly after the names of the 40 individuals on the flight were read aloud, with moments of silence and bells ringing following each name.

“The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall and fight back,” Trump stated. “The men and women of flight 93 were mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. Nothing could have prepared them for the dreadful events of that morning. But when the moment came, when history called, they did not hesitate, they did not waiver.”

“Our sacred task, our righteous duty, and our solemn pledge is to carry forward the noble legacy of the brave souls who gave their lives for us 19 years ago,” he closed. “In their memory, we resolve to stand united as one American nation, to defend our freedoms, to uphold our values, to love our neighbors, to cherish our country, to care for our communities, to honor our heroes, and to never, ever forget.”

WATCH:

The president will follow his remarks with a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House on Friday afternoon. The recipient, Army Ranger Sgt. Maj. Thomas Payne, is the first person who took part in the United States’ campaign against ISIS, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the first living member of Delta Force to receive the Medal of Honor.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is also scheduled to visit the memorial site later in the day Friday. He spent the morning at 9/11 memorial services in New York City, also attended by Vice President Mike Pence and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

COLUMN BY

CHRISTIAN DATOC

Senior White House correspondent. Follow Christian on Twitter and Instagram.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Antifa/BLM Rioters Now Screaming ‘Death to America’

My latest in PJ Media, written before they did it again in New York City:

Well, at least now we know where everyone stands. Journalist Andy Ngo reported that last Wednesday night, “around 700 black bloc militants and their supporters rampaged through Oakland, Cal. They chanted ‘death to America’ while starting fires and smashing cars and buildings.” The week before that, according to Townhall’s Julio Rosas, “An American flag was just burned outside the Kenosha County Courthouse. One woman screams, ‘Death to America!’ and kicks the fence.”

Understandably, this has delighted some Iranians. Iranian Ayatollah Lotfollah Dezhkam, Supreme Leader Khamenei’s representative in Iran’s Fars province, stated in a Friday sermon: “The shout of the Iranian nation [is] being heard from the mouths of the Americans themselves: Death to America!”

Dezhkam gloated over what he believed were signs of the imminent demise of the United States: “The entire world has seen with its very eyes that today, America cannot be the main decision-maker when it comes to strategic matters in the world. We are unequivocally informing the American administration, Republicans and Democrats alike: If you’ve shut your ears with cotton balls, remove them [so you can hear]. The sound of America being shattered and of its collapse, is being heard all over the world. The shout of the Iranian nation, which has been leading the fight against America for 40 years, is being heard from mouths of the Americans themselves: Death to America!”…

If we are going to restore some semblance of peace and sanity to the republic, we must make a thorough housecleaning of the educational system from top to bottom, so that students learn what is great about America, not just about what is evil or what the Left represents as being evil.

It won’t be easy. Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster is one small attempt to begin to do this, to restore historical study to a sane, accurate, patriotic basis. If we do not now study and learn what once made America great, we will have no opportunity to make it great again.

There is much more. Read the rest here.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

animals versus human babyThree decades after the ‘Moral Majority’ revolution, after fighting numerous battles for our culture, we can claim victory on, well … hardly anything.

The world is going mad. And it’s not just political madness. It’s madness everywhere.

  • Are we really selling aborted baby body parts? It’s madness.
  • Are we really joining two people of the same sex and calling it marriage? That’s madness, too.
  • Are we really extending the power to get a nuclear bomb to Iran, a nation that has chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel?” That’s complete madness.

Oh, there’s more madness. Much more.

Law-abiding citizens are being turned into lawbreakers for such things as refusing to sell wedding cakes to homosexual couples – while those who were once lawbreakers are now law-abiding citizens, like those who smoke pot in Colorado, Oregon, Alaska and Washington.

It’s still against federal law to smoke weed. Right? But who cares?

And how about this madness: There’s world outrage over a hunter’s killing of a lion in Zimbabwe, but hardly any public outrage over hundreds of Christians being beheaded in the Middle East and Africa by Islamists.

There’s more.

A Florida man was told by a Pinellas County air quality inspector to keep his barbecue smoke in his yard. What? This should make Linda Blair’s head spin all over again.

A New York restaurant owner was fined $5,000 because he used the word “waitress” in an employment ad. An Indian-restaurant owner also was fined $5,000 in New York for trying to hire an Indian waiter.

Maddening, I tell you.

All right, I need to stop or I’ll never get to my point.

I’ve been in the movement of defending America’s traditional, moral and biblical heritage for more than 30 years, first as the editor of Dr. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority Report in 1983, then as president of Christian Action Network since 1990.

The battles back in the day seem small, compared to today’s struggles.

We were fighting abortion and court decisions to kick God and prayer out of the public schools, as well as combatting the relentless chants of feminists, homosexuals and secularists to distort, pervert and destroy the laws of nature and nature’s God.

Three decades later we can claim victory on, well … hardly anything.

Every once in a while we would celebrate a win, such as passing the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman in federal eyes, or the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on homosexuals openly serving in the military, or the Religious Restoration Act, which ensured that religious freedoms were protected from federal overreach.

And we did wage a successful campaign against the National Endowment for the Arts, which was funding some of the most blasphemous, sadomasochistic and sexually gruesome art imaginable.

(My “favorite” was the NEA’s funding of an art project called “Testicle Stretch with the Possibility of a Crushed Face.” It featured a man lying prone on a platform, a rope tied to his testicles that led to a pulley supporting heavy metal weights. If his testicles gave out, his face would theoretically get crushed, giving the art project its brutal and insane name.)

While a couple of these victories remain, the courts, Congress, presidents or federal administrators have gutted most of them.

Now we find ourselves fighting battles that make you wonder whether we are still living in America. It’s as if we’ve been conquered but refuse to admit it.

No army ever came. No outside soldiers ever took over the White House. The American flag still flies. And we still sing the National Anthem at baseball games.

But while the White House lights up in gay rainbow colors in celebration of legalized homosexual marriage, there are no red, white and blue lights on the White House on the fourth of July.

And in Reno, Nev., City Hall replaces the American flag with a gay rainbow flag. Oops, they admitted afterward, they meant to fly the gay flag ALONGSIDE the American flag.

The fact that the head of the DNC can’t explain the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist should tell us a lot.

The president of the United States ignores the laws. The U.S. Supreme Court ignores the Constitution. And Congress, well that’s easy: They ignore the people.

The IRS is using its agents to punish conservatives. If you support anything that America once stood for, you are a hatemonger. If you claim any of your beliefs are grounded in the Bible, you are immediately dismissed as a flat-earth-society lunatic.

Then there’s this particularly harrowing story out of Wisconsin, reported in the National Review:

(Illustration: Roman Genn)

In an article titled, “They came with a battering ram,” the publication exposed how certain Wisconsin officials raided the homes of innocent Americans simply because they publicly supported Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election bid and his “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill.”

Here’s just a small excerpt from this rather frightening story. It’s the story of “Anne” and the police invasion of her home:

Someone was pounding at her front door. It was early in the morning – very early – and it was the kind of heavy pounding that meant someone was either fleeing from – or bringing – trouble. “It was so hard. I’d never heard anything like it. I thought someone was dying outside.”

She ran to the door, opened it, and then chaos. “People came pouring in. For a second I thought it was a home invasion. It was terrifying. They were yelling and running, into every room in the house. One of the men was in my face, yelling at me over and over and over.”

It was indeed a home invasion, but the people who were pouring in were Wisconsin law-enforcement officers. Armed, uniformed police swarmed into the house. Plainclothes investigators cornered her and her newly awakened family. Soon, state officials were seizing the family’s personal property, including each person’s computer and smartphone, filled with the most intimate family information.

When you get a chance, read this remarkable and disturbing article, written by David French. It will send shivers down your spine and make your hair stand on end.

Anne was told by police not to call her lawyer and not to tell anyone about the raid – not her mother, her father nor her closest friends.

She was left with a single question: “Is this America?”

Which brings me to this question: As Iranian citizens chant “Death to America”… are they too late?

RELATED ARTICLE: 405,000 people, 104 bishops sign petition to Pope Francis asking for ‘clarification’ on marriage

Obama’s Iran Nuke Deal: It’s Déjà vu All Over Again

Democratic Party leader Barack Obama is doing in 2015 with the Iran Nuclear Deal what another Democrat Party leader did with a nuclear deal with North Korea in 1994. That Democrat is Bill Clinton, whose wife Hillary is running for the White House in 2016.

Perhaps it is time to read excerpts from what President Clinton said on October 18th, 1994:

Good afternoon. I am pleased that the United States and North Korea yesterday reached agreement on the text of a framework document on North Korea‘s nuclear program. This agreement will help to achieve a longstanding and vital American objective: an end to the threat of nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula.

This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world. It reduces the danger of the threat of nuclear spreading in the region. It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.

[ … ]

Today, after 16 months of intense and difficult negotiations with North Korea, we have completed an agreement that will make the United States, the Korean Peninsula, and the world safer. Under the agreement, North Korea has agreed to freeze its existing nuclear program and to accept international inspection of all existing facilities.

This agreement represents the first step on the road to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It does not rely on trust. Compliance will be certified by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The United States and North Korea have also agreed to ease trade restrictions and to move toward establishing liaison offices in each other’s capitals. These offices will ease North Korea‘s isolation.

[ … ]

Throughout this administration, the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons has been among our most important international priorities, and we’ve made great progress toward removing nuclear weapons from Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and from Belarus. Nuclear weapons in Russia are no longer targeted on our citizens. Today all Americans should know that as a result of this achievement on Korea, our Nation will be safer and the future of our people more secure…

Read the full text of President Clinton’s announcement of a nuclear deal with North Korea click here.

Sound familiar? Here are the comments by President Obama on the Iran nuclear deal:

History shows us what happened with the North Korean nuclear arms deal. Today North Korea is exporting its nuclear and missile technology to other nations, such as Iran, with impunity.

As Yogi Berra once said this is Déjà vu All Over Again.

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Iran: Playing With Diplomacy

As the latest deadline in the international negotiations with Iran expires today, millions of Iranians are on the streets. They are not marching because of the talks, nor are they marching because it is the last Friday of Ramadan. They are marching because this latest ‘final’ day of negotiations is also ‘Al-Quds Day’ and thus an annual opportunity – inaugurated by the late Ayatollah Khomeini – to take to the streets and chant ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel.’

Back in Geneva, America’s negotiating team are presumably immune to the import of such occasions. A couple of weeks ago, when the Iranian Parliament decried the idea of international access to Iranian military and nuclear sites, the Parliamentary session ended with representatives on the floor chanting ‘Death to America’. In many ways this goes to the heart of the fallacy that is happening in Geneva. Because the American administration seems to see the Iranian regime as an entity that is open to change; one that desires normalisation not as a short-term tactic but as a long-term wish. When this US administration looks to Tehran it does not see an illegitimate regime which survives on a diet of anti-Western hatred, but a plausible negotiating partner. Whatever it is that President Obama and Secretary Kerry think they see in the unsmiling faces of the Ayatollahs is something which is hard to see in Iran on this day of all days.

On Wednesday this week, The Henry Jackson Society held a panel event with experts on Iran – including Emanuele Ottolenghi – who considered this latest round of talks. One issue which arose was the question of the endless extensions to the Geneva talks. On and off, the P5+1 have been at this process for several years now. And yet every time there appears to be the presumption that, as the Iranians run down the talk’s deadlines again and again, a couple more days will solve it. Is it really likely, after years, that the problems will be solvable given another 48 hours? Or is it more likely that the Iranians are stalling?

This past week it appeared for a moment that the latest Iranian gambit was to demand a lifting of the UN arms embargo on Iran. In reality, this was probably no more than an attempt by the Iranians to split the European and the Americans from the Russians and Chinese. As the representatives of the international community go through another final round of talks, and attempts to schedule in the next final round as well, is there not another possibility here? Is it not in fact possible that the Iranians are in a position akin to that of Yasser Arafat at Camp David?

On that occasion it did not matter how long the Americans and Israelis kept at the negotiations for. It did not even matter that in the end the Israelis put more on the table than at any time before. What mattered was that Arafat never intended to sign a deal – not just not the deal in front of him, but any deal. It is the hope of the American representatives in Geneva that the Iranians desperately want a deal. But the deals they are considering keep offering them more and more and yet, they still don’t take them. Is it not possible that the millions of people marching through Iran today, rather than the negotiators in Geneva, are the ones who are really speaking on behalf of the regime?


FROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK 

mendozahjsLike a slow motion train wreck, the Eurozone crisis sparked by Greece’s parlous position continues to command attention across the continent. Although in an extraordinary turnaround from the position unfolding earlier in the week – when the Greek people rejected an austerity deal designed to secure a third tranche of bailout funds – it now appears that their irresponsible leaders have reversed position and submitted a package to Greece’s creditors that is even tougher than that previously rejected, and which does not mention debt relief at this juncture.

In this column last week, I suggested that Greece’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, was largely to blame for the situation of Greece careering towards Grexit through a series of political missteps. I think this view has been vindicated by a new development that has evidently pleased Eurozone leaders and the financial markets judging by their immediate positive reaction.

Having won his snap referendum by stoking up Greek nationalism and the sense of defiance that has been the hallmark of Greek resistance to overwhelming odds against them in the past, it remains to be seen how Tspiras is going to be able to sell one of the more remarkable political climbdowns of recent years to his people. He has evidently decided that the costs of a likely Grexit resulting from the seductive siren song of “an end to austerity and business as usual” are too high to bear. But having encouraged Greeks to support this idea, he will now have to convince them that there is no alternative to a negotiated deal.

While the beginning of the end – it does of course remain to be seen how any deal agreed will be implemented – of this saga should be welcomed, this has hardly been the EU’s, or Liberal Democracy’s, finest hour. The Eurozone has been exposed once again as a political project masquerading as an economic one, with no sense of how it will resolve this contradiction.  And Liberal Democracy’s ideals have been shaken by the Greek Prime Minister’s abuse of a direct democratic referendum process that says more about his personal political needs than those of the nation, and which will now be reversed without the Greek people having any say in the final outcome. Let us hope Europeans can learn from this shambles or else many more tears will follow from where Greek ones have already been shed.

Dr Alan Mendoza is Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society

Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Iranian girls show their hands, marked with the words “Down with USA,” at a demonstration in Tehran.

Obama rejects Netanyahu’s call for Iran to recognize Israel

President Obama will not even raise the issue let alone make it a condition of the nuclear talks that Iran must stop threatening the destruction of Israel. Obama chooses to ignore the fact that through its proxies in Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and by sinking a mock-up of a U.S. carrier Iran continues its aggression without pause during the nuclear talks. Obama is entitled to his own opinion but not the facts which he chooses to disregard.

At the same time Obama claims giving Iran a path to nuclear weapons is the best way to protect Israel and the U.S. Obama’s reasoning is so flawed that it is impossible to make sense of what he says.

Obama knows it is only a question of time before Iran has nuclear weapons. In effect he inadvertently acknowledged that his main interest was to negotiate a deal that would keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons while he was still president, when he told Thomas Friedman in an interview “I have been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch”. Obama knows that once Obama removes U.S. and UN sanctions there is nothing to stop Iran from developing their nuclear weapons whenever they wish.

He also said he doesn’t trust Iran but that the U.S. is powerful enough to protect itself (meaning) if Iran obtains nuclear weapons. Obama has never addressed the issue how will the U.S. deal with Iran when it has nuclear weapons.

So the ultimate question is—Should the U.S. and Israel take military action against Iran’s nuclear sites now or wait until Iran has used or can reciprocate with nuclear weapons?

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Obama Rejects Netanyahu’s Call for Iran to Recognize Israel – Kendall Breitman

“The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” President Obama said in an interview with NPR on Monday.

“We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing….If suddenly Iran transformed itself to Germany or Sweden or France, then there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.”  (Politico)

Israel Suggests Ways to Make Iran Nuclear Deal “More Reasonable” – Isabel Kershner

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, on Monday presented a list of desired modifications for the final agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, due to be concluded by June 30, that he said would make it “more reasonable” and close dangerous loopholes.

The Israeli list includes: An end to all research and development activity on advanced centrifuges in Iran. A significant reduction in the number of centrifuges that can quickly become operational if Iran breaks the agreement and decides to build a bomb. The closing of the underground Fordo facility as an enrichment site, even if enrichment activities are suspended there. Iranian compliance in revealing its past activities with possible military dimensions. A commitment to ship its stockpile of enriched uranium out of Iran. And the ability for inspectors charged with verifying the agreement to go “anywhere, anytime” in Iran.

Steinitz said that the suggestion that there was no alternative to the framework agreed in Lausanne, or that Israel had not put forward an alternative, “is wrong.” “The alternative is not necessarily to declare war on Iran. It is to increase pressure on Iran and stand firm and make Iran make serious concessions and have a much better deal.”
Regarding Obama’s statement that America would back Israel in the face of any Iranian aggression, Steinitz said, “We do appreciate it.” But he added that an Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be an existential threat to Israel. “Nobody can tell us that backing and assistance are enough to neutralize such a threat,” he said. (New York Times)

See also Ten Questions on the Nuclear Deal with Iran – Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz (Times of Israel)

Verifying Iran Nuclear Deal Not Possible, Experts Say – Bill Gertz

Despite promises by President Obama that Iranian cheating on a new treaty will be detected, “the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action will not be effectively verifiable,” said Paula DeSutter, assistant secretary of state for verification, compliance, and implementation from 2002 to 2009. Arms control experts challenged the administration’s assertions that a final deal can be verified, based on Iran’s past cheating and the failure of similar arms verification procedures.

U.S. intelligence agencies, which will be called on to verify the agreement, have a spotty record for estimating foreign arms programs. A 2007 National Intelligence Estimate falsely concluded that Iran halted work on nuclear weapons in 2003. The IAEA, in a 2011 report, contradicted the estimate by stating that Iran continued nuclear arms work past 2003, including work on computer modeling used in building nuclear warheads.

DeSutter said the transparency measures announced at best could detect quantitative excesses at known locations, but not secret illegal activities, like those that Iran carried out on a large scale in violation of its obligations under the NPT.

David S. Sullivan, a former CIA arms verification specialist, said past cheating by Iran was confirmed as recently as July 2014. “Why are we negotiating for a new agreement, when existing Iranian NPT violations remain in effect, ongoing, and unresolved, suggesting that Iran is unlikely to comply with any new agreement?” Sullivan said. “The negotiations started as an attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear weapons program, but now they have legitimized it.”  (Washington Free Beacon)