LISTEN to this podcast of the January 17, 2016 Lisa Benson Show with Claudia Rosett on KKNT 960 – The Patriot. Lisa Benson and New English Review Senior Editor Jerry Gordon co-hosted this show with commentary from Board of Advisors member, Richard Cutting.
On Saturday, January 16, 2016 there was a plethora of breaking news. It was kicked off with the lifting of sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program triggered by alleged compliance with terms of the JCPOA political agreement certified by the UN watchdog agency, the IAEA. This was the Orwellian “implementation Day” under the unsigned agreement by all of the parties to JCOPA starting 24/7 monitoring of Iranian enrichment facilities. There was the announcement from Tehran of the swap of five US citizens held hostage in Iran in exchange for Clemency granted by President Obama for seven Iranians convicted or charged with industrial espionage and acquisition of illicit equipment and software for nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Sunday morning, January 17, 2016 there were further developments; the announcement by the US Treasury Office e for Foreign Assets Control of new sanctions against 11 individuals and entities in Iran involved with illicit procurement for ballistic missile development. Iran had launched two precision guided ballistic missiles in tests in October and November 2015 that violated UN Res. 1929 and JCPOA provisions arousing the ire of Congress.
President Obama in remarks on these developments, released on Sunday, said:
“Today’s progress — Americans coming home, an Iran that has rolled back its nuclear program and accepted unprecedented monitoring of that program — these things are a reminder of what we can achieve when we lead with strength and with wisdom; with courage and resolve and patience. America can do, and has done, big things when we work together”.
Watch the President’s YouTube video remarks on this alleged historic political deal purportedly preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons:
To complicate matters there was seizure of 10 U.S. Navy sailors and their Riverine Command boats coincidental with the President’s State of the Union Address before Congress on Tuesday, January 12th. Iran flashed video and pictures of the crews kneeling with hands behind their heads at gunpoint held by IRGC soldiers followed with an apology by the young commander for entering Iranian controlled waters off Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. Earlier on January 6th, a mini earthquake registering 5.5 on the Richter scale was picked by the several seismographic agencies in China, Japan and the US signaling the fourth in a series of illicit nuclear blasts by North Korea. That immediately led to the question of whether it was a mini-hydrogen bomb as promoted in propaganda by Pyongyang or perhaps a test of nuclear warheads. Warheads capable of being fitted on missiles that North Korea had developed and sold to Iran.
In anticipation of these developments we had asked recommendations from a valued guest of the Lisa Benson broadcasts, Shoshana Bryen , senior director of the Washington, DC Jewish Policy Center as to who we might bring on to comment on these developments and the Iran – North Korea strategic alliance. She suggested we contact Claudia Rosett, Journalist in Residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. We followed up on her suggestion and arranged to have Rosett as our guest on the Sunday, January 17th broadcast. That was a fortunate coincident. We had met Rosett in 2009 at a presentation she gave in Pensacola, Florida on the official corruption in the UN Oil for Food program. See our New English Review article; “Claudia Rosett: The UN is Absolutely Corrupt” (February 2009).
Claudia Rosett is an award-winning reporter and commentator. Over the past 35 years, including 18 years as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal from 1984-2002, she reported from Asia, the former Soviet Union, Latin America and the Middle East. Ms. Rosett has testified before six U.S. Congressional committees on topics including corruption under the United Nations Oil-for-Food program in Iraq, and the strategic alliance between North Korea and Iran. Currently she is focused on illicit networks of Iran and North Korea, including shipping traffic. Ms. Rosett holds a B.A. from Yale, an M.A. from Columbia, and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago, with a specialization in finance.
Here are some of the high points raised by Rosett during the Lisa Benson Show broadcast:
- Iran never signed the nuclear deal now being implemented, nor did any of the other parties (the U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China, and Germany).
- This is not a lasting or enforceable deal.
- IAEA monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program guarantees nothing. The IAEA has no power to enforce, only to monitor. Iran can play the same game of chicken as North Korea did, throwing out IAEA monitors when convenient, and carrying on to make nuclear bombs.
- In the deals now going on, both nuclear and the hostage/prisoner releases this past weekend, Iran is cleaning up.
- Remember, Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. The real headline should be: Return of some $100 billion in unfrozen funds to world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
- Iran carried out two sanctions-violating ballistic missile tests this past fall; the only real reason Iran to continue developing ballistic missiles would be to put nuclear warheads on them.
- President Obama, in deciding which Iranians to release in the hostage/prisoner swap, ruled out prisoners detained for terrorism and violent crime, but released violators of sanctions in other words; he pardoned people some of whom had abetted Iran’s weapons and nuclear programs. A damaging signal that the U.S. is not serious about enforcing this nuclear deal.
- Iran will now be able to access roughly $100 billion, or by some accounts more, in unfrozen funds though the actual amount remains murky. We have never been given a full accounting of these funds.
- There has been deliberate obfuscation by the Obama Administration on the terms of this nuclear deal (the secret side agreements between Iran and the IAEA, for instance) as well as the consequences.
- The possibility of Iran and North Korea working together on nuclear missiles is a serious concern. In the 21st century, North Korea is the only country known to have tested nuclear weapons. It is the obvious place for the Iranians to hide a nuclear test, or benefit from the data, in plain sight.
- Israel’s air force destroyed the Al Kibar nuclear reactor that was being built in Syria with substantial help from North Korea. The U.S. should have allowed a similar strike against Iran some time ago, or the U.S. should have carried one out itself.
- We have just seen U.S. sailors detained on their knees before the Iranians before they were released. When have we seen members of the Iranian military on their knees before the U.S? Iran is humiliating America. This is an invitation to other enemies of America to do the same.
The Iran deal is worse than the nuclear deals the U.S. cut with North Korea. North Korea has been making nuclear weapons and conducted four nuclear tests. Iran is even more dangerous, and the consequences here could be much worse.
Our usually astute European listener commented with his opinions:
The Iranian deal agreed and pushed forward by the Obama administration gave in to all Iranian demands and the nuclear watchdog deal by the IAEA is a complete sham. As mentioned numerous times the Iranians have in undisclosed parts of Iran three other nuclear research sites which have never been checked on and where they are continuing enrichment.
The JCPOA is a draft which was to be negotiated and approved but nothing was discussed and the addendums were all kept top secret.
For the P5 the whole deal is a way to boost their trade deficits and they accepted everything that the Obama Administration and the Iranians agreed on.
The IAEA made a complete flop of their controls in North Korea and the same could occur in Iran.
It has been that North Korea is being financed by Iran and they could easily sell nuclear warheads and ship them by plane to Iran.
I sincerely hope that some lawmakers in the U.S. have listened to this broadcast and will take the necessary steps to block the Iranian agreement after the elections.
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EDITORS NOTE: This podcast originally appeared in the New English Review.