Tag Archive for: Nuclear deal

Special Issue – Iran Deal 2.0: The New Iran Deal Is Even Worse Than You Thought

Twenty years after 9/11 and 7 years after the first Iran deal, the U.S. government is about to sign a deal that will bring Iran closer to its goal of acquiring nuclear weapons.

In 2012, Clarion Project produced Iranium, a feature documentary exposing how incredibly dangerous it would be to allow Iran to possess nuclear weapons.

It is astonishing how relevant the film still is 10 years later, as the current U.S. administration is on the cusp of announcing a new agreement that would pave the way for this catastrophe. The personalities are different, but the same radical forces are still in control of Iran. The only difference is that Iran is now far better equipped to deliver nuclear weapons anywhere in the Middle East and to parts of Europe.

This special newsletter includes short and still very relevant clips from Iranium as well as a selection of the most important and insightful articles on the current deal and why it’s even worse and more dangerous than the Obama-sponsored agreement of seven years ago.

Please forward this important email to others and help us expose this dangerous new agreement.

Iran’s Leaders Guided by Apocalypstic Beliefs


In Islam, there is an end-of-times scenario in which the Mahdi, a descendant of the prophet Mohammed, returns and leads the forces of the true believers in the final battle with the infidels. What is particularly alarming are the repeated pronouncements of Iran’s leaders indicating their belief that the time for this apocalyptic struggle is now.  Since the 1950s, the threat of nuclear apocalypse and mutually assured destruction has helped deter the use of nuclear weapons.  For Iran’s leaders, that threat is an incentive rather than a deterrent.

A History of U.S. Delusions About Iran’s Goals

The Biden administration’s delusions about Iran have a long history.  Multiple American administrations have made the mistake of believing that there was some package of benefits that could be offered to Iran to dissuade it from developing nuclear weapons. For more than 40 years, the Iranian leaders have shown a single-minded determination to acquire these weapons, and there is no carrot that the U.S. can offer them to give this up.

From its beginning in 1979, the Islamist regime in Iran has viewed terrorism as an essential component of its foreign policy and a tool for waging war against its enemies and spreading Islamic revolution. Iran works with and supports nearly every militant Islamist organization in the world and is the leading sponsor of terrorism worldwide.

Netanyahu’s Powerful and Desperate Appeal

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been among the most powerful and influential voices of opposition to the original JCPOA and to its new and even worse incarnation. His one-minute video is well worth watching:

Essential Details of the New Iran Deal

Iran is Getting Much More Than it Expected

  • In an interview with Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Mikhail Ulyanov said, “Iran got much more than it could expect. … Realistically speaking, Iran got more than frankly I expected, others expected.”
  • The Obama-era agreement sought to keep Iran a year away from a nuclear weapon for 13 years. The new deal appears to leave Iran with half the breakout time (six months) for half as long (seven years).
  • Iran continues enriching more uranium and installing more advanced centrifuges, further shrinking its breakout window.
  • The administration will lift sanctions on a host of Iranian banks and companies involved in terrorism. This will give Tehran immediate access to an estimated $86.1 billion to $130.5 billion in foreign assets to be used for funding its many terrorist proxies around the world.
  • The new deal will lift sanctions on nearly all of the 112 people and entities sanctioned under Supreme Leader’s Office Executive Order. These are some of the most evil and dangerous terrorist leaders and sponsors in the world today. It would also lift sanctions on Khamenei’s personal slush funds.
  • One of the primary beneficiaries of the new deal will be Hezbollah – Iran’s largest and most dangerous terrorist proxy.
  • The new deal also includes a record-breaking $7 billion ransom payment for the release of four Americans from an Iranian jail. Other sources indicate that the ransom payment will be $11 billion.
  • As part of the deal, the Biden administration is considering removing Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) from the foreign terrorist organization list, just after the IGRC launched missiles at U.S. targets in Iraq and continues to threaten the U.S., Israel, and other Western Nations with further missile attacks.

Iranian Plot to Assassinate John Bolton Exposed

  • A U.S. Justice Department official recently exposed the IRGC’s plot to assassinate former U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton.

New Deal is Brokered by Russia and Subject to its Demands

  • While President Joe Biden has promoted strong sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has been relying on Russia to help broker the new agreement with Iran.
  • Russia is using the deal to garner sanction relief over their involvement in the invasion of Ukraine.
  • The Biden Administration has already waived sanctions on Russia’s state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom to allow a $10 billion contract to expand Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr.

Iran’s Ballistic Missile Arsenal Has Grown in Size, Reach and Accuracy

  • Since the original JCPOA was signed seven years ago, Iran has made substantial progress in its ballistic missile program and can now deliver more missiles with greater accuracy to much farther distances. All U.S. bases and allies in the Middle East and parts of Europe are now within range.

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden’s State Department Paving the Way for Iran to Get Nukes, Blames Trump

My latest in PJ Media:

In the course of a lengthy briefing by “senior administration officials” regarding National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s upcoming trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the topic of Iran and its nuclear ambitions came up again and again. Biden’s handlers reiterated that they were determined not to allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to get nuclear weapons, but at the same time maintained that they were intent on bringing the mullahs back into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Barack Obama’s disastrous nuclear deal that paved the way for the rogue Iranian regime to get nukes.

Iran, said the unnamed official who was conducting the briefing, “will be very high on the agenda for Jake’s visit to Israel this week. The discussion will be a continuation of our ongoing consultations on the threat posed by Iran, particularly its nuclear program, but also its destabilizing activities in the region. We share, with our Israeli partners, a deep concern about the advancements in Iran’s nuclear program.”

Iran’s nuclear program, Biden’s handlers would have you believe, is all Trump’s fault: “Following the previous administration’s withdrawal from the JCPOA without much thought or plan as to what would come next — and we’ve just seen this dramatic acceleration of Iran’s nuclear program since then. The U.S. and Israel are totally aligned in our determination to ensure Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon.” He repeated this several times during the call, discussing “the real dangers that — it’s a danger to not just Israel, but danger to the entire international security — of Iran’s rapidly advancing and accelerating nuclear program. We are, I think, both committed to ensuring that Iran — as I mentioned, totally aligned on the fact that Iran will never have a nuclear weapon.”

That sounds great, but reentering Obama’s awful JCPOA is exactly the wrong way to go about it. The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran explains that among many other disquieting features, the JCPOA allows Iran to delay International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspection requests for up to 24 days — ample time to clean up for the inspectors. The agreement also removes all economic sanctions on Iran. This included the removal of sanctions that had originally been intended to be removed only when Iran definitively gave up its nuclear program; now the Islamic Republic would be given sanctions relief and allowed to continue its nuclear program, only with certain restrictions that would all eventually expire anyway. Sanctions relief allows the Iranian mullahs to finance jihad groups worldwide, as they did with the billions Obama gave them.

On Sept. 23, 2015, two months after the nuke deal was finalized, Khamenei published an article entitled “The Idols Will Be Shattered,” illustrated with a drawing of the Statue of Liberty shattered in pieces. In it, he declared, “The idol of the soul, the idol of pride, [and] the idol of sexual lust; the idol of tyranny and subservience; the idol of global tyranny [that is, the U.S.]; the idol of sloth and irresponsibility; and the other idols that shame the precious human soul—a plan that will spring forth from the depths of the heart will shatter them.” That doesn’t exactly sound as if the JCPOA was a path to peaceful coexistence.

There is more. Read the rest here.

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

Biden Vows to Return U.S. to Iran Nuclear Deal

The Obama/Biden Iranian nuclear deal was a disaster. All it did was delay Iran’s nuclear program, and even provided for Iran to inspect its own sites under certain circumstances. The Iranian mullahs were screaming “Death to America” even as the nuclear deal was being concluded. The mullahs have been pushing for war with the United States for decades, and the nuclear deal was no departure from this imperative. Get the details about just how bad the nuke deal was in The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Iran.

And Biden’s presidency, or rather the presidency of the oligarchy that is propping us up, would return us to that deal. Remember that old joke, the one with the punchline, “Coffee break’s over, back on your heads“? That’s what a Biden presidency would be like after four years of Trump.

“Biden says as president he would take US back into nuclear deal if Iranians return to strict compliance,” IntelliNews, September 15, 2020 (thanks to Henry):

Joe Biden has said that he is “ready to walk the path of diplomacy” with Tehran “if Iran takes steps to show it is ready too”.

Outlining the Iran policy he will pursue if he defeats US President Donald Trump in the November presidential election, Democratic candidate Biden in an opinion piece for CNN added: “If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the United States would rejoin the agreement as a starting point for follow-on negotiations.”

“The bottom line is that Iran is closer to a nuclear bomb today than it was when Donald Trump took office. And Trump has no answer for that. Five years ago, even Russia and China stood with our European allies behind an American-led approach to Iran’s nuclear program,” said Biden, attacking Trump for in May 2018 unilaterally pulling the US out of the nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers that secured concessions on and scrutiny of the Iranian nuclear development programme in return for the lifting of UN sanctions on Tehran.

Biden said he would “make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon” but that “Trump’s Iran policy is a dangerous failure” and that “there is a smart way to be tough on Iran, and there is Trump’s way”….

RELATED VIDEO: Biden’s Bizarre Defense of Iran Nuclear Deal


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

Iran built on stolen property — Trump should take it back

President-elect Donald Trump was right during the campaign to call the Iran nuclear agreement “the worst deal ever negotiated” by the United States government.

Not only did it reward a terrorist state with $100 billion of frozen oil revenues (some say, $150 billion), it dismantled an extensive armature of international sanctions that had cut Iran’s oil exports in half, banned it from the international financial system, and was beginning to threaten the regime with domestic unrest.

Obama tried to set this bad nuclear deal in concrete by incorporating most of its measures into a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

This will make its undoing more complicated than some analysts imagine. It’s not just a piece of paper President Trump can rip up, as a group of American nuclear scientistsimply. The international sanctions regime Obama destroyed took years to build and cannot be reconstructed in a day.

But the incoming president and Congress have other options for ratcheting up pressure on the Iranian regime, options that can be enacted unilaterally.

A group of conservative leaders released a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) on Thursday, commending him for a resolution he introduced in the final days of the last Congress on the restitution of or compensation for property wrongly confiscated by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Totalitarian regimes historically have confiscated property from individuals whose sole ‘crime’ consisted of supporting the previous government,” the letter states.

“When the Islamic regime seized power in 1979, it followed in the footsteps of these earlier totalitarians.”

The letter, and spearheaded by the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, which I chair, recalled Congressional action against previous cases of unjust expropriation, most notably the Helms-Burton Act — also known as the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996 — which penalized foreign companies trafficking in property stolen from Cuban nationals.

“Pro-Castro advocates screamed that Helms-Burton would cause irrevocable harm to the United States with friends and allies around the world. Nothing of the sort occurred,” the letter states.

“We believe the time has come to envisage a similar measure for the victims of the Islamic Republic of Iran, many of whom have become United States citizens, whose properties were unjustly expropriated.”

Signatories to the letter include Colin A. Hanna, President of Let Freedom Ring; Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr, former Pacific Fleet commander; Frank Gaffney, President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy; Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation; Amy Ridenour, Chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research; Ellen Sauerbrey, former Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; and myself.

The letter also won support and was signed by Iranian-American human rights advocates and journalists and by leaders of the American Middle East Coalition for Trump.

On July 7, 1979, the new Islamic state in Iran issued a decree seizing the assets of 51 supporters of the previous regime and their families. A few weeks later, a revolutionary Court issued a separate order confiscating the assets of another 209 individuals and their families.

According to court documents the claimants provided to me, the properties seized included major factories and industrial conglomerates, hotels, private residences, real estate, land, stock, and other holdings, which today are worth more than $100 billion.

In all, thousands of Iranians were directly robbed by the Islamic regime, and millions more were terrorized with the threat of confiscations.

Many of these individuals subsequently fled to America and became U.S. citizens. But few were American citizens at the time of the revolution, and thus have been unable to seek restitution through the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in The Hague, or through U.S. courts.

Their assets were turned over to para-state foundations, known as “bonyads,” which are owned or controlled by the Supreme Leader or the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Despite the extensive sanctions relief included in the bad Iran deal, the IRGC continues to be subject to United States government sanctions because it kills Americans in state-sponsored terror attacks around the world.

Ordinary Iranians understand that the ruling clerics have plundered their country. How else could a village cleric such as “Supreme Leader” Ali Khamenei personally own a commercial empire the U.S. Treasury has estimated to be worth more than $40 billion? A separate 2013 Reuters investigation found that the property confiscations on behalf of Iran’s clerical leadership were about $95 billion.

A Congressionally-enacted Iran Assets Recovery Plan would be a powerful weapon the ruling clerics in Iran could not ignore.

Not only would it bring justice to some of the many victims of the Islamic state in Iran, it would put the Iranian regime’s foreign partners on notice.

Traffic in stolen property at your peril. A regime founded on theft will end up bankrupt, in jail, or dead.

Iran to build seven new nuclear plants by 2020

A country whose leaders constantly make its citizens scream “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, of course: Barack Obama and John Kerry promised us that their nuke deal would secure peace in our time.


“Iran to Build Seven New Nuke Plants By 2020,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, April 29, 2016:

Iran is offering to help the global community construct nuclear power plants, according to a top official, who said that Iran would be home to seven new nuclear plants by 2020, according to recent remarks.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, announced on Friday that Iran has the technology and know-how to help the world’s advanced nations construct nuclear power plants.

Iran is currently holding talks with a variety of nations aimed at cementing new deals to construct new nuclear plants, Kamalvandi was quoted as saying in the country’s state-controlled press.

“Besides Bushehr nuclear power plant and two other plants being constructed in Iran, four others will be built by 2020,” Kamalvandi announced.

Iran has been working with Russia to construct several new nuclear plants in the country.

“The Islamic Republic is pursuing a plan “to build at least one nuclear power plant every 15 years,” Kamalvandi said in separate remarks this month.

“After this stage, we will have a better opportunity in different fields, including increasing the number of power plants, and we are in talks with different countries to attain this goal,” he was quoted as saying….


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‘Iran will now have more resources to divert to terrorism’

Can’t argue with that, Bibi.

“John Kerry Says the Middle East Is ‘Safer’ Thanks to Iran Deal Implementation — But That’s Not What Netanyahu Says,” by Sharona Schwartz, The Blaze, January 17, 2016:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran would free up more money for the Islamic Republic to pursue terrorism.

“What is clear is that Iran will now have more resources to divert to terrorism and its aggression in the region and around the world, and Israel is prepared to deal with any threat,” Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting, according to a transcript released by his office.

Netanyahu’s assessment stood in stark contrast with that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who a day earlier said that both the world and the Middle East were now safer thanks to the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.

“Today … the United States, our friends and allies in the Middle East, and the entire world are safer because the threat of a nuclear weapon has been reduced,” Kerry said Saturday in Vienna.

The Israeli leader vowed that his government would monitor “all of Iran’s international violations, including regarding the nuclear agreement, the ballistic missile agreement and terrorism.”

He also urged other countries to “enact severe and aggressive sanctions against each violation.”

“Were it not for our efforts to lead sanctions and thwart Iran’s nuclear program, Iran would have had nuclear weapons some time ago. Israel’s policy is exactly as it has been – not to allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapon,” Netanyahu added….

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America Is Broken

Despite whatever President Obama said during his state of the union address, America the beautiful is broken.  Obama’s state of the union speech reminded me of his 2004 Democrat convention oratory.  His address was filled with socialist idealistic imagery, with attempts at igniting a passionate and mindless following by a misled and ill-informed sea of people willing to help him shove America over the cliff and unto the ash heap of history.

There were the typical political style utilization of numerous half-truths, hyperbole and non-sequiturs to make mostly non-existent and partisan points, while forging ahead with politics as usual.  To sum it up, it was a speech that became the hallmark of Barack Hussein Obama’s progressive political career.  There are some who believe he has retreated to his anti-American roots as a community organizer.

President Obama’s final presidential state of the union address provided a huge supply of sop to his far left anti-liberty political base.  It was also creatively molded to seem like a motivational speech of encouragement to a nation that in reality he disdains.  I am sure that Mr. Obama hoped that his speech would hoodwink  Americans into believing his presidency to be one of optimism, humanism, statesmanship and bi-partisan outreach.  Sure, if one is ignorant and totally void of understanding, Obama achieved that goal.  Taken in a vacuum, Obama’s speech probably secured that goal.

However, as time will reveal, it may quite likely be as ineffectual as using one of the “first black president” Bill Clinton’s state of the union speeches to characterize his presidency in isolation from Monica Lewinski.  “We the People” of America must refuse to accept the dregs of political leadership and raise our expectations.

Perhaps Americans should take a remedial course on civics, the constitutionally mandated role government and elected officials, including the president.  It has been said that knowledge is power.  As long as the people of America are either indoctrinated against the truth or simply not taught it in the first place, our rights will continue to be trampled away by big government.  At the same time, our republic as a whole s diminished in stature, power and wealth.

If president Obama truly desired to bring about a healing of the wounds his seven years has inflicted upon our republic, he could have done so during his state of the union address.  But rather, he remained on his long traveled path of promoting his doctrine of failed and wicked social, moral and political destruction.  Unfortunately, over 40 percent of the American people agree with Obama along with millions of illegal immigrants, Obama is emboldened in his gruesome goal to fundamentally change America into a land of muck, mire and misery.

The United States of America was envisioned as a blessed republic of “We the People” where the government was to be a servant of the sovereign citizens of our nation.  The government was also meant to be a mighty sword against evildoers and enemies of our republic, not a brutal beast of tyranny against law abiding sovereigns like you and I.  My Dad used to tell me that our nation and the government are both a reflection of the people of America.  Right now that is not a pretty picture ethically, morally, spiritually, or economically.

Throughout the duration of the president’s fifty nine minute state of the union speech he told half-truths and outright lies as well.  One major fib was his description of ISIS enemies as people riding around on pickup trucks and that they are not a threat to America’s existence.  The fact that he could say that with a straight face is jaw dropping.  Mr. Obama either forgot or chose not to mention that many murdering ISIS terrorists are cruising around in well fortified armored vehicles left behind by United States forces.  The Muslim ISIS are also heavily armed and with firearms and are plundering all whom they encounter, especially Black Africans and Christians.

I find it very interesting and telling how the president took people to task for daring to complain about or promote standing up to Muslims, who have come into America with a stated mission to change her.  But not once during Obama’s state of the union speech did he address the horrendous treatment of Christians or the millions of Black Africans who exist under the boot heel of Muslim abuse and humiliation.  Dear reader, it is put up or shut up time for us.  The status quo no longer has the ability to maintain or more importantly contain the forces of evil that are continuing to unite and attempt to beat America into submission to the will of enemies, both foreign and domestic.

Despite the fact that our nation’s standard of living is now lower than any time since the Korean War, or that the military is not the powerhouse it still was, even under the George W. Bush administration, or that the government schools are aiding our enemies by indoctrinating students against America and all that is good etc. etc. it is not yet over for our great republic.  All we have to do is seek providential guidance, reestablish real education and God’s forgiveness for allowing the destruction being heaped upon this country.  Then establish and stick to the political will to conduct the nation’s business in a manner that benefits our republics best interest.  Will it be difficult? Absolutely, but more importantly it will be well worth the effort.

God Bless You, God Bless America and May America Bess God.

Iran Agreement Currently in Violation of Existing U.S. Law

A key passage in the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers violates an existing America law – a law signed by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2012. This means that if the agreement is currently implemented, the U.S. will be in violation of its own federal law.

The revelation was made public by Fox News, quoting senior U.S. officials involved in the implementation of the nuclear agreement.

According to the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), if Iran complies with the terms of the agreement, the U.S. is obligated to “license non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by a U.S. person to engage in activities with Iran that are consistent with this [agreement].”

Simply put, this means foreign companies that are subsidiaries of U.S. companies will be allowed to do business with Iran.

However, according to an existing federal law, the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (ITRA), these same foreign subsidiaries are specifically forbidden to do business with Iran until two conditions are met:

1. Iran must not be designated as a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” by the U.S. State Department (as it currently is).

2. Iran must cease pursing, acquiring and developing weapons of mass destruction.

The president of the U.S. must personally certify to Congress that these two conditions have been met before foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies are legally allowed to do business with Iran.

As for the first condition, Iran is has not been removed from the State Department’s list of “State Sponsors of Terrorism.”

As for the second condition, the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency reported today on the successful test of a new long-range, Iranian surface-to-surface ballistic missile.

In light of this test, implementing the agreement would not only be in violation of current U.S. law, it would also be a flagrant violation on Iran’s part of the agreement itself.

One of the conditions of the nuclear deal is that current UN restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missile program will remain in place for eight years. UN Security Council Resolution 1029 currently forbids Iran from developing ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear weapon. The resolution also forbids test launches of any missiles using ballistic technology.

“To follow our defense programs, we don’t ask permission from anyone,” said Iran’s Minister of Defense Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan.

Dehqan said it is Iran’s first long-range missile that can be precision guided until it reaches its target.

Less than two months after the deal was formalized, a senior figure in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, announced, “Some wrongly think Iran has suspended its ballistic missile programs in the last two years and has made a deal on its missile program … We will have a new ballistic missile test in the near future that will be a thorn in the eyes of our enemies.”

A variation of Iran’s Shahab-3, this new long-range missile, dubbed the Emad (Pillar), has a range of 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles) and is accurate within 500 meters (547 yards).

According to a report by Anthony Cordesman, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the missile is capable of carrying a 750 kg (1,653 pounds) payload.


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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry explains a point of the agreement to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif (Photo: © Reuters)

VIDEO: An analysis of President Obama’s disastrous Iran Nuclear “Deal”

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the TEA Party Fort Lauderdale. The topic was the nuclear deal with Iran. Please take the time to listen to my remarks.

Iran’s Supreme Leader: Muslims must ‘shatter’ the U.S., the ‘idol of tyranny’

He seems to delight in making it absolutely clear to the world just how spectacularly he fooled Barack Obama and John Kerry, and got what he wanted out of them without being diverted from his genocidal plans to the slightest degree.

Khamenei-destroy-America“Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei In Article Marking Hajj: ‘The Idols Will Be Shattered,’” MEMRI, September 24, 2015:

On September 23, 2015, to mark the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei published an article on his website Farsi.Khamenei.ir titled “The Idols Will Be Shattered,” accompanied by an image of a shattered Statue of Liberty.

Following are excerpts from his article:

“… The study of the lesson [of the Hajj], and implementing it, are the source of a blessing that could renew the lives of the Muslims, bring them prosperity, and save them from the troubles that afflict them, in this era and any other. The idol of the soul, the idol of pride, [and] the idol of sexual lust; the idol of tyranny and subservience; the idol of global tyranny [i.e. the U.S.]; the idol of sloth and irresponsibility; and the other idols that shame the precious human soul – a plan that will spring forth from the depths of the heart will shatter them. Then, liberty, honor, and health will replace dependence, hardship, and humiliation.

“Oh brothers and sisters making the pilgrimage from every nation and every country, delve deeply into the word [i.e. “hajj”] that teaches the divine wisdom; examine precisely the source of the Islamic world’s troubles, particularly in western Asia and in North Africa; define for yourselves a mission and a responsibility in accordance with [your] potential and individual and public tools; and exert yourself in them.

“In these days, the evil policy of America in this region is causing war and bloodshed, destruction, displacement, poverty, backwardness, and religious and sectarian division. On the other hand are the crimes and occupying activity of the Zionist regime in Palestine, which have reached the height of injustice and crime. [The Zionist regime] continually disrespects Al-Aqsa Mosque and tramples the blood and money of the oppressed Palestinian people.

“You Muslim [pilgrims] – this issue is your top priority. You must ponder it, and know that with which you are charged under [the law of] Islam. The senior clerics, politicians, and cultural figures have a weightier mission, in the fulfillment of which, unfortunately, they are remiss. Instead of dealing with sparking religious schism, instead of remaining passive in the face of the enemy, and instead of engaging in trivial matters, the clerics, politicians, and cultural figures [respectively] must all identify the great pain of the Islamic world, and must accept and implement the mission with which God has charged them.

“These events that evoke weeping and that are taking place in the region – in Iraq, in Yemen, in Bahrain, in the West Bank, in Gaza, and elsewhere in Asia and Africa – are the greatest woes of the Islamic ummah.

“The plots of the global tyranny [i.e. the U.S.] in this matter must be identified, and ways to resolve [this matter] must be considered. The nations must demand this of their governments, and the governments must be true to their responsibilities…”

“Signed, Ali Khamenei

“September 18, 2015.”


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Iran: “The U.S. had no alternative but giving up its excessive demands”

“She said the United States ‘was forced into negotiating’ the deal with Iran due do the ‘failure of the U.S. policy of sanctions and threats.’” Actually the sanctions were working fine to limit Iran’s activities, and the threats are all coming from the Iranians, not from anyone else.

“Iran: The Americans Had ‘No Option’ Besides a Deal,” by Elad Benari, Arutz Sheva, September 12, 2015 (thanks to Lookmann):

Iran’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the United States had no option but to strike a nuclear deal with Tehran, after a Republican bid to block the agreement failed, AFP reports.

President Barack Obama hailed as a “victory for diplomacy” Thursday’s Senate vote during which a Democratic minority staved off the bid to sink the nuclear deal.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham, however, played down his comments saying it was “explicitly paradoxical,” the official IRNA news agency reported.

She said the United States “was forced into negotiating” the deal with Iran due do the “failure of the U.S. policy of sanctions and threats”.

“The U.S. president, fruitlessly, tries to claim the results of the nuclear negotiations, but the truth is … the U.S. had no alternative but giving up its excessive demands,” Afkham claimed, according to AFP.

“The world would definitely be safer when the U.S. administration ends its authoritarian behavior and prevents the destabilizing and warmongering actions by its allies,” she added.

Afkham was taking a jibe at Obama who also said that the Senate vote was a “victory… for the safety and security of the world”.

Even after the signing of the deal with the West, Iranian leaders have continued their anti-Western rhetoric. The Islamic Republic has continued to gloat over what it sees as western powers’ “surrender” to Iran by agreeing to the agreement….


Op-ed: The “Candy” the Mullahs Gave to Obama

Iran’s Supremo: Israel will not survive the next 25 years

Florida Senator Bill Nelson (D) Confronted about his Support for Iran Nuke Deal

A concerned Floridian confronts Sen. Bill Nelson about his SUPPORT of the Obama Iran Deal in Reagan National Airport, on the day after the Stop Iran Deal Rally in Washington, D.C.

Watch his reaction.


The Iran deal bait-and-switch – The Boston Globe

Senate Republicans Doing Nothing to Stop Obama’s Lawless Iran Treaty

An Interactive Timeline of 73 Islamist Terror Plots Since 9/1/2001

This Retired Navy SEAL’s Brother Was Killed by Hezbollah. Why He’s Against the Iran Nuclear Deal

Senate Democrats Block Vote to Reject Iran Nuclear Deal, Handing Obama Victory

A Flawed Deal: How the Iran Deal Threatens Britain’s Security

This latest policy paper by Centre for the New Middle East at the Henry Jackson Society, A Flawed Deal: An Assessment Of The Iranian Nuclear Agreement, undertakes one of the most comprehensive and exhaustive assessments of the Iran agreement to date. The centre’s study reveals the key nuclear and non-nuclear flaws of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Arguing that concessions to Iran have long-lasting and damaging security ramifications, the paper concludes that JCPOA will ultimately fail in its aim of ensuring Iran does not become a nuclear breakout power.

The agreement signed by Iran and the P5+1 powers in July 2015 was described by President Barack Obama as an “historic deal” that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Despite many inadequate aspects of the deal that have been exposed during its scrutiny in Congress, the White House has continued to defend the agreement. The British government has fully supported the Obama administration in this position and unlike in the U.S., there has been no serious debate of the JCPOA by parliamentarians in the UK.

While the deal is as yet unimplemented and the Iranian regime remains deeply hostile to the West and British national interests, the British government has already rushed to renew diplomatic relations with Iran, reopening Britain’s embassy in Tehran, and sponsoring business ties in preparation for the lifting of sanctions. Nevertheless, the regime in Iran remains unreformed and we are yet to see practical progress on curtailing Iran’s extensive nuclear infrastructure.

The briefing paper identifies four key flaws with JCPOA:

  • Provisions for inspections of nuclear sites restrict immediate access to Iran’s military facilities by international weapons inspectors.
  • Should the terms of JCPOA be violated by Iran, the re-implementation of sanctions would not be immediate but rather a protracted diplomatic process.
  • The temporary nature of JCPOA does little to prevent Iran from rebooting its quest for nuclear capabilities once the deal expires in ten years.
  • The lifting of the international arms embargo against Iran will embolden the regime, advancing Tehran’s ability to arm terror proxies and allies in the region such as Assad.

Tom Wilson, Resident Associate Fellow at HJS and author of the briefing paper, commented:

“The Iran agreement clearly fails to meet the international community’s primary objective of guaranteeing that Iran won’t be able move toward producing nuclear weapons. Ultimately, this agreement legitimises Iran’s formerly illegal nuclear programme, leaving Iran as a threshold nuclear power. It’s incredibly worrying that this deal hasn’t been properly scrutinized here in Britain.

The British government appears to have gone along with Obama’s plan unquestioningly and now we are to reopen our embassy in Tehran at a time when the regime remains deeply hostile to British interests and has done nothing to earn our trust.”

A Flawed Deal: An Assessment Of The Iranian Nuclear Agreement is available to download here

VIDEO: DEFEAT the Iran Nuke Deal

The Principled Candidate Promotion Project (CCC PAC) has release a new video titled, “No to the Iran Nuke Deal!” The video explains in 1 minute why members of Congress must defeat the Iran nuclear weapons deal.

CCC PAC in an email states, “Our message to Congress will be clear:  if you vote YES on Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, we will defeat your re-election bid and bring an end to your political career.  Time is of the essence, so please stay tuned as we update you on our efforts to DEFEAT the Iranian nuclear deal.”

RELATED ARTICLE: Donald Trump: Nuclear deal calls for U.S. to defend Iran against Israeli attack

End Looms for Congressional Action on the Iran Nuclear Pact

While the Congress is on summer recess until it reconvenes just after Labor Day, the President, his White House staff and loyal Congressional supporters are engaged in briefings and discussions with 15 undecided Senators and 30 House Members endeavoring to gain their support for the Iran nuclear pact. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced in Vienna on July 14, 2015. A week later on July 22nd, the Iran nuclear pact was unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council. The President is seeking to buttress the vote count under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015. Congressional rejection of the JCPOA might trigger a Presidential veto.

With each Senate and House Hearing on the Iran nuclear pact, more was revealed about why it might not pass muster. Especially concerning were revelations about the handling of IAEA inspections of suspected military development sites in Iran by Iranian inspectors. These developments have called into question the delivery of a Road Map by the IAEA in October that might release upwards of $100 billion in Iran’s sequestered funds. Critics think the release of those sequestered funds may not be used for shoring up the country’s economy. Instead, they contend it may simply be used to bolster destabilizing activities in the Middle East via Iran’s proxies, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the Houthi in Yemen.

Several Republican Senators and House Members are drafting legislative proposals for rejection of the Iran nuclear pact or re-setting the 2006 Iran Sanctions Act in 2016. They are proposing possible amendments of the JCPOA, endeavoring to make it a better deal. The President has chosen a partisan path that does not welcome bi-partisan deliberation. There are various  contending options. They encompass resolutions to reject the pact and schedule a vote as a treaty, assuming the President may have the votes to override a veto. As we have discussed in the August edition of the New English Review, there is also possible litigation that might achieve the same end.

Polls taken of Americans by Quinnipiac University show a consistent 2 to 1 edge among respondents urging members of both Congressional Chambers to reject the Iran Nuclear Pact with deep divisions along political lines. The American Jewish opinion, reflected in several polls, is also divided on support for the President’s plan. Polls by the alleged ”pro-Israel, pro-Peace” J Street Group depict more Jews in favor of the President’s position. Further, there have been revelations of campaign contributions to Democrat Senate and Congressional Members by Iranian American Political Action Committees.

Traditional centrist groups like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League have come out opposing the Iran nuclear pact. Secure America Now and AIPAC are actively opposing the Iran nuclear pact. AIPAC established an affiliate, Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, solely devoted to blitzing messages in TV ads and social media. They even provide direct links for constituents to contact their Senators and Congressional Representatives to express their views.

As August was ending, Stop Iran Now! Rallies occurred across the U.S. on Sunday, August 30, 2015 in Boston, Miami and Santa Barbara. More such rallies are planned leading up to a major event in Washington, DC, A March to Save America. It has been long hot summer recess for Members of Congress in their states and districts holding town hall hearings to gauge the pulse of constituents on the President’s nuclear deal with Iran.

President Obama at America University in Washington, August 5, 2015. Source: Reuters

The President’s Address at American University

Prior to going on a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama gave a partisan major address at American University in Washington, DC on August 5, 2015. President Obama used the venue of American University’s new Center of International Service in our nation’s capital to present a 55 minute speech directed at undecided Democrat Senators and Representatives in Congress.

He suggested that the nuclear pact with Iran was better than the alternative: war. The Wall Street Journal noted the hortatory and accusatory rhetoric of the President Obama’s remarks:

Congressional rejection of this deal leaves any U.S. administration that is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon with one option: another war in the Middle East. So let’s not mince words. The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war.

Following the President’s speech, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN) told reporters:

The president is trying to turn this into a partisan issue, but there is bipartisan concern.

He went out of his way lambasting the opposing Republican majorities in Congress as the party of warmongers. He tied them to the legacy of the Bush II Wars in Iraq suggesting the outcome was the morphing of Al Qaeda in Iraq into the Islamic State or ISIL. He said the cost was thousands killed, tens of thousands injured at a price of a trillion dollars. He told American Jews that he had improved the Jewish nation’s qualitative military edge with commitment of billions in conventional military aid. He implied that support would enable Israel to overcome the Islamic Regime’s existential threats of “Death to America, Death to Israel, Death to Jews,” notwithstanding Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s holocaust denial and antisemitism. Obama criticized Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opposition to the JCPOA for Iran’s nuclear program. He suggested that Netanyahu’s alternative of simply “squeezing” Iran’s theocratic leadership was not a better solution, and might lead to war. On the contrary, Netanyahu has argued that the current Iran nuclear deal actually provides multiple pathways for Iran to achieve nuclear breakout, leading to possible war.

In a post speech dialogue with Washington pundits, the President deepened his partisan criticism of Republican opponents to the Iran nuclear deal. Gerald Seib, who writes a daily Capitol Column for The Wall Street Journal reported the President saying:

There is a particular mindset that was on display in the run-up to the Iraq war that continues to this day. Some of the folks that were involved in that decision either don’t remember what they said or are entirely unapologetic about the results. This mindset views the Middle East as a place where force and intimidation will deliver on the security interests that we have, and that it is not possible for us to at least test the possibility of diplomacy. Those views are prominent now in the Republican Party.

Watch President Obama on this C-Span video of his American University speech, August 5, 2015:

President Obama, Jewish Federation of North America webcast, White House 8-28-15. Screen Capture YouTube.

The President’s Message to Israel and American Jews: “We’ll treat you like family.”

There is a song by the pop group Alabama, “Down Home,” that goes: “Down home, where they know you by name and treat you like family. Down home, a man’s good word and a hand shake are all you need.” The tag line ‘we treat you like family’ has become an overworked turn of phrase by hundreds of national and local advertisers, including used car mega dealer, CarNation.

President Obama picked up on that theme in a 45 minute White House interview Friday August 28, 2015, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA) and the Council of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (COPMAJO). President Obama on the August 28th webcast said:

The bond between the United States and Israel is not political. It is something that grows out of family ties and bonds that stretch back generations, and shared values and shared commitments and shared beliefs in democracy. And like all families sometimes there are going to be disagreements. And sometimes people get angrier about disagreements in families than with folks that aren’t family.

He held the ties between the US and Israel as “sacrosanct “and hoped that relation would improve after the discussions and presumably the upcoming Congressional vote:

As soon as this part of the debate is over, my hope is that the Israeli government will immediately want to rejoin conversations we started long before on how we can enhance Israeli security in a very troubled neighborhood,

He was hoping to mollify a national webcast audience with a Congressional vote on the Iran nuclear pact looming in Congress. His other key points were that the deal “would cut off Iran from all pathways to a bomb, sparing Israel from an existential threat.” Moreover, that achievement would enable the US to concentrate on preventing Iran from supplying more missiles to Hezbollah. While acknowledging that the mullahs exhibited bad behavior towards the US and Israel, he was less concerned with “taunts.” He was placing reliance on an agreement that had “robust verification and compliance with intrusive inspections.” Inspections that from leaked IAEA confidential protocols with Tehran were alleged by pact critics to be conducted by Iran at military sites, like Parchin. Just prior to the webcast there were reports from the IAEA that nuclear testing may have been conducted at the Parchin military site. That raises questions of whether a Road Map of such prior military developments could be delivered by October to potentially release $100 billion in sanctioned funds to Iran in December. The President suggested that if such cheating was discovered that both US and multilateral sanctions could be “snapped back.” However this seems increasingly difficult given the arbitration commission established by the JCPOA that includes Iran. Further, the rush by European partners in the P5+1 to cash in on development projects in Iran may practically preclude that.

Witness the meeting in Zurich this week with Swiss and Iranian businessmen following the lifting of sanctions by the Swiss government. The Swiss Ambassador to Tehran extolled the virtues of the Islamic Republic of Iran as “a pole of stability in a region.” He spoke in front of a cartoon depicting two doves defecating on the head of Israeli PM Netanyahu. The Swiss Federal Foreign Affairs Department promptly issued “regrets” over the incident. This despite evidence that Tehran, to the contrary, persists in destabilizing behavior.

The President trivialized Iran’s economic importance by saying that Iran is not a “super power.” Despite having a beleaguered economy, the Supreme Leader Khamenei has diverted billions over decades as a state sponsor of terrorism designated by the US State Department since 1999.

He also suggested that the release of more than $100 billion in sanctioned funds would be devoted to restoring an economy whose GDP had plummeted by 20 percent. He took credit for that while Congress had passed sanctions before he begrudgingly signed off on them. He justified the ability to snap back sanctions based on the alleged record of compliance by Tehran over the past two years under the terms of original framework that released modest amounts of funds. He alleged that when Tehran lagged in compliance, there were temporary halts in release of funds until time was afforded to correct issues.

The question and answer portion of the interview with the President focused on questions from viewers including antisemitic rhetoric emerging in the debate over the Iran pact. Other questions from viewers across the country dealt with maintaining the qualitative military edge of Israel and whether reconciliation with Israel could be achieved despite disputatious relations with PM Netanyahu. The President’s response on the debate over the pact allowed him to turn the question back on the Jewish Federation and COPMAJO representatives. He touted the support from New York Jewish Congressman, Jerrold Nadler. Nadler had become the subject of intense protests by local  New York Jewish officials and Holocaust survivors in his Manhattan Brooklyn District. The Times of Israel reported how the President responded:

I would suggest that in terms of the tone of this debate everybody keep in mind that we’re all pro-Israel,” he said. “We have to make sure that we don’t impugn people’s motives.

At the conclusion of the JFNA and COPMAJO interview the President remarked:

I’m hopeful that members of Congress get behind this deal. And I promise you that nobody’s going to have a bigger stake in implementing it effectively than me.

Watch this YouTube video of the JFNA and COPMAJO webcast with President Obama:

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) Ranking Member with Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Source: AP

Dilemma facing the Democrat Undecideds

The White House JFNA and COPMAJO sponsored interview capped a hectic week for President Obama fresh back from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation. He is preoccupied with trying to shore up support among the remaining 15 undecided Democrat Senators, especially six: Michael  Bennet of Colorado, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chris Coons of Delaware, Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, Corey Booker of New Jersey and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon. All of these key undecided Democrats have been assiduously courted by the Senate whip team supporting the President and both pro and opposing local groups in their home states.

According to a Politico report, J Street conducted a poll in Colorado showing that 62 percent of Jewish voters supported the President’s position. Sen. Bennet, up for re-election in 2016, has been inundated with thousands of phone calls from constituents opposing the President’s position.

New Jersey Republican Governor and Presidential hopeful Chris Christie beseeched freshman Senator Booker at a Chabad House news conference at Rutgers University to follow the lead of his fellow New Jersey Democrat colleague in the Senate Bob Menendez and New York Senator Charles Schumer, both of whom have opted to reject the Iran nuclear pact in the upcoming Congressional vote. Christie said:

For Sen. Booker this morning, the people of your state, the people of this country and the people of the world are counting on you to be a strong, direct and powerful moral voice. To look your President in the eye — to look our president in the eye — and say, ‘No, Mr. President. Not this time.’

Blumenthal, a supporter of punishing Iran sanctions has promised his largely liberal base in Connecticut that he will deliberate on his position. He met with Soros-backed MoveOn.org and with local opponents to the Iran nuclear pact. Former Senator Joe Lieberman suggested that, “I hope and pray he opposes the agreement. This is the kind of agreement that Dick Blumenthal never would have negotiated.” Blumenthal is also up for re-election in 2016.

Coons of Delaware, a Democrat member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will announce his decision on September 1, 2015 at the University of Delaware. His colleague in the Delaware delegation, Sen. Tom Carper announced his support for the President’s position. Oakley of Oregon, while a nominal undecided, probably has been marked down by the Senate Democrat whip team as a probable in the President’s vote count.

The big unknown is Maryland Senator Cardin, ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee and co-author of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) passed in May. He demonstrated concern over the IAEA side deal and later revelations about Iranian inspections during Committee hearings on the nuclear pact. Normally aligned with the Administration on most issues, perhaps because of the largely Orthodox Jewish presence in Baltimore County and many calls from constituents, he is genuinely conflicted. Cardin is expected to announce a decision prior to the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK)

The Resurrection of the Filibuster Threat

Monday August 24th, President Obama flew out to Las Vegas to appear at a Democratic fundraiser for the successor to Senate Democrat Minority leader, Harry Reid. The following day, Tuesday, August 25th, Reid floated a trail balloon for a possible filibuster that might succeed in delaying or precluding a vote on any Senate Resolution opposing the President’s Iran nuclear deal. CNN Politics reported:

“I felt cautiously optimistic that we would have enough votes to sustain the President’s veto, and that seems pretty clear to me, but we’ll see,” Reid told reporters after an event with President Barack Obama Monday in Nevada, according to a transcript provided by Reid’s staff. “As far as procedurally stopping this bill from moving forward, I hope — I know it’s a long shot — but I hope that it can be done.”

Freshman Republican Senator from Arkansas Tom Cotton immediately issued the following statement:

Harry Reid wants to deny the American people a voice entirely by blocking an up-or-down vote on this terrible deal. He is obstructing because he is scared. He knows that a majority of Americans and Senators oppose this dangerous deal, and that its only chance for survival is if he and the president ram it down the throats of the American people.

CNN Politics suggested that the exchange between Reid and Cotton indicated that the Democrat may have the votes in hand to scupper the vote on the Iran pact:

Overriding a veto would require Republican senators to get 13 Democrats to join them, the threshold for ending a filibuster to hold a vote is lower — 60 votes instead of 67. That Democrats are eying preventing a vote, and not just sustaining a veto, points to increasing confidence that their party members won’t break ranks.

Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman for Reid, added Tuesday that, “If Senator Cotton is upset with the 60-vote threshold, we recommend he discuss it with the Republican leadership since they were responsible for bringing the bill to the floor that set up a 60-vote threshold.”

Omri Ceren, Managing Director for Press and Strategy at the Washington, DC –based Israel Project was cited by Seth Lipsky in a New York Post article calling the filibuster tactic by the Senate Democrat minority leader Reid, “a “staggering betrayal” and “stab in the face.” Americans in a leading poll have urged Congress to reject the Iranian deal by a 2 to 1 margin.  Ceren further noted:

The pro-Israel community worked in a bipartisan fashion with Congress to give the president breathing room for negotiations while protecting legislative prerogatives. He thinks the Senate Democrats therefore owe Americans an up-or-down vote.

Republicans Work on Options

Meanwhile, the Republican opposition is working on new legislative options, should either a filibuster or veto override result in approval for the Iran nuclear pact and lifting of $100 billion in sequestered funds to Tehran in December. The target of the legislative initiative is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards whose elite leaders like controversial Quds Force commander Gen. Qasem Soleimani are among more than 800 persons whose travel bans and asset restrictions will be lifted by the JCPOA. Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. John Barraso (R-WY) said in a Wall Street Journal article, “Iran has a long rap sheet, and I want to continue to prosecute Iran for its bad behavior.” Republican Presidential hopeful Florida freshman Senator Marco Rubio is preparing sanctions specifically directed at Iran’s Revolutionary Guard leaders. The creation of new sanctions or the resetting of the 2006 Iran Sanctions Act, due to expire in 2016, might present a quandary for Democrat Presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton and others. The proposal addresses the Islamic Regime’s support for terrorism and human rights abuses. Moreover the Obama White House is concerned that any moves to impose these proposals might trigger a reaction by Iran to scuttle the JCPOA backed by the EU3, Russia and China. There already have been comments by Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and others to that effect. Another option is one being promoted by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) resetting the 2006 Iran Sanctions Act which is scheduled to sunset in 2016. Under their proposal, the reset sanctions would have no set term and would bar investments by US firms of more than $20 million in Iran’s key energy sector.

Larry Klayman, Esq.  Freedom Watch.

Litigation to Pursue the Treaty Option

In the August NER, we wrote about the possibility of another means of quashing the Iran nuclear pact, litigation overturning the JCPOA and treating it as a treaty. In the run up to the passage of the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, there were amendments by Republican Senators Cotton and Johnson that the pact be considered as a treaty and subjected to a two-thirds vote upon the advice and consent of the Senate. Later in Senate Banking Committee hearings on the Iran pact, Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies suggested that the deal should be amended, eliminating the sunset provisions and the so-called snap back sanctions. As precedent for possible amendment of the JCPOA, he noted more than “250 bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements and treaties from the Cold War Era.” Secretary Kerry in House Foreign Affairs testimony in late July 2015 contended that it was impossible to get a treaty passed by Congress. That was in response to a query by Congressman Reid Ribble (R-WI),” For 228 years the Constitution provided a way out of that mess by allowing treaties to be with the advice and consent of [two-thirds] of U.S. Senators. Why is this [Iran deal] not considered a treaty?”

When we published “How Best to Overturn the Iran Nuclear Pact” in the August 2015 New English Review, we reviewed several options. One proposal suggested by Dr. Robert B. Sklaroff entailed direct litigation by Congress before the Supreme Court under provisions of the US Constitution seeking a ruling treating the Iran nuclear pact as a treaty requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. We wrote:

That proposal entailed independent Congressional litigation on demonstrable Constitutional legal grounds regarding executive overreach. If the Senate was granted standing on direct appeal, based on the B. Altman SCOTUS ruling, it might result in a predisposed SCOTUS rendering a positive ruling thus quashing the Iran nuclear pact. Further, the ruling might unfetter the hands of any successor to President Obama on inauguration day in 2017 to undertake remedial actions. Such actions might reduce the current existential threats to both the US and Israel.

On August 4, 2015, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch filed a motion in the Palm Beach Florida Federal District court seeking a declaratory judgment overturning the Iran nuclear pact.  Constitution Daily reported:

Almost as soon as the lawsuit landed on the docket of District Judge Kenneth A. Marra, the judge ordered Klayman to offer reasons why the case should remain alive, as a genuine controversy under the Constitution’s Article III. The judge noted that his court would have no choice but to dismiss the case, if Klayman is unable to show that he would personally suffer a legal injury if the review process for the Iran deal went forward, or is unable to convince the judge that how the deal is being handled in Congress is anything other than a “political question.”

Probably the toughest test for Klayman is his attempt to prove that he has “standing” to sue, in the Article III sense of showing a personal harm, because the Supreme Court in recent years has been regularly tightening the restrictions on the right to file lawsuits in federal courts. That trend, though, has not met with universal approval among federal judges.

The difference between the Klayman Freedom Watch filing and the proposal that Sklaroff and lawyer Lee Bender have proposed is that the Senate would have standing to bring such an action under Constitutional law. At issue is would the Senate Majority Leader bring such an action should Congress fail to pass a resolution rejecting the Iran nuclear pact.

Should such litigation succeed in obtaining a Supreme Court ruling approving a treaty vote by the Senate, it would have a major advantage: the ability to examine the underlying negotiation documents. That prospect was the subject of a Wall Street Journal opinion article by Jerome S. Marcus,An Informed Vote on the Iran deal.” Marcus is a talented litigator who brought the Z Street case against the IRS with resulting victories in both the DC Federal District and Circuit Court of Appeals. Marcus in the WSJ opinion article describes his personal experience working as a young attorney with legendary State Department legal adviser, Judge Abraham Sofaer, during the Reagan era on clearance of the Strategic Defense Initiative under the 1972 ABM Treaty. He describes going back to foundational documents in the National Archives during the first 40 years following the adoption of the Constitution. He concluded:

The 1854 edition of Thomas Jefferson’s “Manual of Parliamentary Practice,” published after his death in 1826, concurs on this issue: “It has been the usage for the Executive, when it communicates a treaty to the Senate for their ratification, to communicate also the correspondence of negotiators.” The manual also reports precedents showing that, in cases where such material wasn’t initially sent to the Senate, it was requested by the Senate and, in each instance, provided by the executive branch.

The lesson for today is clear: When a legislative body is deciding whether to approve an international agreement, especially one as important as the recent nuclear agreement with Iran, its members have the right to access the agreement’s negotiating record. Members of Congress should demand that record now, and they should examine it, before they cast their votes next month.


Iran Deal Backed by 31 Democratic Senators

Dems help Obama near historic capitulation

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.