Posts

UN IAEA: Iran Violated Nuclear Deal Before it is Even Inked

Amidst frenetic Administration efforts to spin a possible Iran deal comes evidence that it has already been violated given an IAEA Report and analysis by Washington, DC –nuclear watchdog, the Institute for Science and International Security.   Adam Kredo in today’s Washington Free Beacon  reported these last minute developments, Iran Violates Past Nuclear Promises on Eve of Deal”:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) disclosed yesterday that Iran has failed to meet its commitments under the interim Joint Plan of Action to convert recently enriched uranium gas to powder.

While Iran has reduced the amount of enriched uranium gas in its stockpiles, it has failed to dispose of these materials in a way that satisfies the requirements of the nuclear accord struck with the United States and other powers in 2013.

Wednesday’s disclosure by the IAEA sent the State Department rushing to downplay the Iranian violation.

Obama administration officials insisted that despite Iran’s failure to meet its obligations, negotiations were still on track and that Tehran would face no repercussions.

One U.S. official who spoke with the Associated Press on Wednesday said that instead of converting its uranium gas into uranium dioxide powder as required, Iran had transformed it into another substance. The IAEA found that Iran had converted just 9 percent of the relevant stockpile into uranium dioxide.

The official went on to downplay concerns about Iran’s violation, claiming that Tehran was only having some “technical problems.”

The “technical problems by Iran had slowed the process but the United States was satisfied that Iran had met its commitments,” the AP reported the official as saying.

“Violations by Iran would complicate the Obama administration’s battle to persuade congressional opponents and other skeptics,” the AP continued.

David Albright, a nuclear expert and founder of the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), warned that the United States is weakening its requirements on Tehran as a final deal gets closer.

“The choosing of a weaker condition that must be met is not a good precedent for interpreting more important provisions in a final deal,” Albright wrote in an analysis published late Wednesday.

While Iran was not in compliance with the oxidation requirement, the IAEA found that it did get rid of uranium gas that surpassed a self-imposed benchmark of 7,650 kg.

The IAEA’s disclosures are in contrast to comments made by Kerry last summer when he assured observers that Iran would live up to the interim agreement.

“Iran has committed to take further nuclear-related steps in the next four months” and “these include a continued cap on the amount of 5 percent enriched uranium hexafluoride and a commitment to convert any material over that amount into oxide,” Kerry said.

The Israel Project (TIP), which has sent officials to Vienna to track the deal, wrote in an email to reporters that the administration looked like it was “playing Tehran’s lawyer” in a bid to defuse potential fallout from the IAEA’s report.

This is not the first time that Iran has been caught by the IAEA cheating on past nuclear arrangements.

As negotiations between the sides slip past their June 30 deadline and stretch into July, Iranian officials have become more insistent that the United States consent to demands on a range of sticking points.

President Hassan Rouhani also threatened to fully restart Iran’s nuclear program if negotiators fail to live up to any final agreement.

One Western source present in Vienna said the administration is scrambling to ensure that nothing interferes with a final deal.

“Once again, the White House will go to any length needed to preserve the Obama-Iran deal, even if it means covering up Iran’s failure to convert all of the nuclear material as promised,” said the source.

“If they had admitted Iran failed to live up to the letter of the JPOA—as is the case—this one-week extension period of the JPOA would be totally invalidated and the talks would be over,” the source added. “Like they have for months, the administration continues to hide violations and is acting more like Iran’s advocate than the honest broker the American people deserve. “

Will these IAEA/ISIS revelations upend the P5+1 Iran deliberations in Vienna?  We bet the Obama State Department and White House spokespersons will continue the charade of “don’t believe your lying eyes”. All while Iran ‘s Supreme Ruler stiff arms the talks in Vienna with new ‘red lines” trusting that greed by the P5+1 over billions of trade and development deals  will  lift $150 billion in sanctions relief upon inking a deal.  Both Israel and the US Congress are increasing wary of this deal that will provide a nuclear breakthrough by Iran. If achieved the deal  will vault Iran’s  state sponsorship of terrorism.  Iran could develop one bomb to wipe Israel off the map of the world and an ICBM to detonate an EMP over the US fulfilling their Mahdist apocalyptic dream and both Israel’s and our nightmares.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. Energy Secertary Moniz, Secretary of State Kerry and Undersecretary Wendy Sherman taken in Vienna, July 1, 2015. Source: Reuters.

Was the 98 to 1 U.S. Senate vote on the Iran Deal a “rebuke” of President Obama?

At a conclusion of an Iconoclast post on the Twitter battle between Iranian Foreign Minister and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK), set against the backdrop of yesterday’s virtually unanimous vote for the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (INARA), we wrote:

While [Senator] Cotton’s proposed amendment might void the Israel amendment of Rubio, it will make more complicated Majority Leader senator Mitch McConnell’s management of the INARA legislation as he seeks to assure passage early in the week of May 4th.  Stay tuned for developments.

The Hill, while trumpeting Thursday’s  Senate vote of 98 to 1, noted  what Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was forced to do to assure passage of the compromised version brokered by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD):

Republicans also expressed frustrations that they could not offer more amendments to the bill.

Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) filed a motion to end debate after Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Cotton tried to force a vote on an amendment requiring Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist as part of a final deal.

The move was a reversal of the open amendment process Republican leadership pledged to bring to the Senate.

McConnell said Thursday that he would have preferred that amendments be added to the bill, but that it might have invited a presidential veto.

“If we didn’t face the threats of filibusters, or the blocking of amendments, or the specter of presidential vetoes, this bill would be a heck of a lot stronger. I assure you,: he said. “But the truth is, we do. That’s the frustrating reality.”

But note the actions of GOP 2016 Presidential Contenders, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX):

Rubio slammed the decision not to allow his amendment requiring Iran to support Israel as part of a deal to come up for a vote, saying that some senators are “terrified” of voting against it.

“Apparently there are senators terrified of voting against that amendment, so they’d rather not have a vote at all. So I am deeply disappointed by the direction this has taken,” he said.

But, he added that he would support the final bill, suggesting that it was better than nothing.

“At a minimum at least it creates a process whereby the American people through their representatives can debate an issue of extraordinary importance,” he said. “So I hope this bill passes here today so at least we’ll have a chance to weigh in.”

Rubio’s remarks separate him from his presidential rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) who said on Wednesday that the legislation is a “bad bill.”

But Cruz voted in favor of the bill after voting against ending debate on it.

“I voted no on cloture because we should have insisted on amendments to put real teeth in this bill,” the Texas Republican said. “Ultimately, I voted yes on final passage because it may delay, slightly, President Obama’s ability to lift the Iran sanctions and it ensures we will have a Congressional debate on the merits of the Iran deal.”

Cruz was joined in voting against ending debate by fellow GOP Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa), Tom Cotton (Ark.), Jerry Moran (Kansas), Mike Lee (Utah) and Dan Sullivan (Alaska).

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) was absent for the vote.

In the end, Rubio and Cruz voted for the Corker-Cardin compromise. Given comments by House Speaker Boehner  the measure will easily secure House approval enabling INARA to go to President for his signature.  The measure will give the Senate a 30 day window for review of any agreement that surfaces from the current P5+1 negotiations  and  may require periodic review of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism and ICBM development. At best  INARA  will put a temporary hold on the President lifting sanctions including suggestions giving Iran  ‘signing bonuses” estimated at $30 to 50 Billion. Release of these impounded funds might enable Iran to achieve nuclear threshold status and develop both a nuclear warhead and an ICBM to deliver it for hegemonic purposes. However, should the Senate disapprove the measure on less than an unanimous level, the President can veto it and proceed with his plan to have it ratified by a UN Security Council Resolution.  This would achieve his questionable legacy of allegedly turning Iran from a rogue terror supporting global state terrorism  to a ‘respected member of the world community’. As the hoary English proverb  says: “ if wishes were horses beggars would ride”.

Would this near unanimous Senate vote have been rendered without Israeli PM Minister Netanyahu addressing a joint meeting of Congress  about a “very bad deal” over the objections of President Obama and Democratic Senators? The lone exception to the chorus of Democratic nay-sayers was the original co-sponsor of a tougher version of INARA, New Jersey  Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who was forced to step down as Ranking Member of Senate Foreign Relations because of a Department of Justice indictment for alleged corruption charges.  Or was action on INARA perhaps prompted by the outrage over Senator Cotton’s much maligned letter signed by 46 Republican colleagues  tweeted to Iran’s Islamic Republic leaders about Senate Constitutional prerogatives on approval of treaties and major international agreements?  His twitter war with Foreign Minister Zarif may have been a side show, but the message was clear about the lack of trust in any deal with Iran that isn’t verifiable and transparent.  Senator Cotton’s procedural amendments did precipitate the call for cloture on floor amendments by Majority Leader McConnell.  Cotton’s lone vote against the compromise version of INARA on his valued stand, that any P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran should be in the category of  a treaty requiring a two thirds vote by the senior chamber of Congress may also sent an important message.

Could his protest vote been a prescient warning to his Senate colleagues about the dangers inherent in any P5+1 deal to America and Israel that emerges for review after June 30th?  Again, stay tuned for developments.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Corker Bill, as passed, is worse than useless

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) after the near unanimous vote on Iran Nuclear Review Act (INARA), May 7, 2015.