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Iran’s Cheating Heart

Country and Western Icon, Hank Williams wrote a ballad back in the 1950’s, “Your  Cheatin’ Heart”.  Perhaps there is a new version in the international arena, “Iran’s Cheating Heart”.  Iran’s track record of evading inspections by the IAEA under prior Additional Protocols has been, shall we say, less than fulsome. Add to that the Islamic Regime’s non compliance with requests by the IAEA for information on so-called previous military developments (PMD). Especially the barring of inspections at the military explosives test site of Parchin, where there appears to have been concealment  of  tests of nuclear triggers. We raise this because President Obama in his announcement of  the framework for a final agreement to be negotiated by June 30th had talked about “robust intrusive inspections.”  Moreover, he said, “ If Iran cheats, the world will know about it”. Further,  Secretary Kerry when asked during an NPR interview on April 8th about Iran’s PMD said that would be part of the negotiations.

Yesterday, Ayatollah Khamenei in his first public statement on the P5+1 Political Framework  stirred up a hornet’s nest of  controversy about major differences between the State Department Fact Sheet and Iran’s “understanding”.  Khamenei  said that all sanctions would be lifted  immediately upon signing of a definitive agreement, adding that PMD was off the table.  The Wall Street Journal  (WSJ) in its report on these latest disagreements over the political framework announced April 2nd drew attention to what Khamenei said:

It must absolutely not be allowed for them to infiltrate into the country’s defense and security domain under the pretext of inspections. Military officials must not allow strangers into this private domain under the pretext of supervision and inspection, or stop the defensive development of the country.

The WSJ noted this myopic comment of the eponymous senior administration  official:

We see the Iranians working to build support for the deal back home, which is a positive signal of their intent to complete the final agreement.

The Wall Street Journal cited  the usually clear-eyed Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), chief Congressional critic of the P5+1 framework, saying:

As each new day reveals a new disagreement, it’s increasingly clear that Iran, in fact, failed to reach agreement with the United States and its partners on a political framework.

michael-makovsky-Michael Makovsky, executive director of the Jewish Institute  for National  Security Affairs  (JINSA) in  the current  edition of The Weekly Standard dissected the reality of those ‘robust intrusive inspections’ under Additional Protocols between Iran and  the IAEA in an article, “Iran’s Cheating: Can’t Trust, Can’t Verify”. First off, Makovsky notes there is “no Additional  Protocol”:

There is a model Additional Protocol that the IAEA uses as a basis for negotiating a specific agreement with each individual country tailored to its situation. Indeed, this provision opens the door to yet another round of haggling with Iran, making it impossible to know what exact measures Iran will end up being bound by.

But we do know, and this is the second concern, that no Additional Protocol contains the sort of “anytime, anywhere” inspections that UNSCOM provided for and that experts agree is necessary to police Iran’s program. What an Additional Protocol would likely contain, according to the framework agreement, is an expansion of the number of facilities subject to inspections—to include Iran’s uranium mines and centrifuge factories—and stricter requirements for advance notice of any nuclear facilities Iran plans to construct.

On why  the Military test site at Parchin is important:

If Iran decides to sprint for a nuke, however, it won’t do so in a uranium mine; it will do it at one of its enrichment plants, most likely a clandestine plant, potentially hidden on a military base. It is precisely such sites that the IAEA has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get access to for years. Of particular concern has been the Parchin military complex, where the IAEA suspects Iran tested high-explosives for a nuclear weapon. Yet inspectors have never been allowed to set foot on the site, watching instead as satellite imagery showed Iran demolishing the suspected site and paving it over to conceal any evidence of its cheating.

Then there is  Iran’s track record on ‘implementing “ Additional Protocols:

Third, there is the ambiguity of the term “implement.” Iran has previously “implemented” an Additional Protocol. In 2003, about the same time it was cheating on its agreement with the Europeans, Iranian leaders signed an Additional Protocol with the IAEA. Indeed, for the next two years they actually observed it. But in early 2006, Iran announced that it would no longer abide by the Additional Protocol and curtailed inspectors’ access. They could well try to pull the same stunt again. And according to a “fact sheet” released by the Iranian foreign ministry, Iran believes it has only committed “to implement the Additional Protocol on a voluntary and temporary basis for the sake of transparency and confidence building.”

Not only our intelligence but even Israel’s is deficient when it comes to  detecting Iran’s  covert  nuclear program:

U.S. intelligence services have a dismal track record of detecting clandestine nuclear efforts and predicting breakout—in North Korea, Pakistan, and India, for example. Israeli security officials have admitted in private that they too have significant gaps in their knowledge about Iran’s facilities. This is not an indictment of American or Israeli intelligence capabilities; it is simply very challenging to detect covert nuclear activities. Permitting Iran to keep its vast nuclear infrastructure largely intact, as the JCPOA does, only compounds the challenges the United States and the world will have in detecting Iranian cheating.

If Iran has been engaged in cooperative nuclear weapons development with North Korea, as we have written, that compounds the difficulty of detecting covert sites for storage of fissile material and research on nuclear warheads for those  ICBMs it is developing.

Makovsky concludes:

An intrusive inspections and verification regime is the sine qua non of any arms agreement, especially with a congenital cheater like the Islamic Republic of Iran. Unfortunately, the JCPOA fails on this crucial issue, by not demanding complete information about the extent of Iran’s past nuclear weapons research and eschewing “anytime, anywhere” inspections of all facilities. In other words, it is currently worth no more than the paper it might have been written on.

There’s an old Southern phrase in the U.S. that appears apt in the current controversy over what was intended in the P5+1 Political Framework  for a nuclear agreement  with Iran:  “this dog won’t hunt”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is courtesy of Breitbart.

The Iran Framework Disagreement and 50/50 chance of U.S. China War

Last week we anticipated that no deal would be better than a bad deal. But this week it seems hard to know exactly what deal has been agreed. Each of the parties in the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capability seems to have a different interpretation of what the much-heralded framework deal contains or means. But what is clear is that the framework is not only bad, but sloppy.

As HJS’s new briefing out this week makes clear, there is not even any single agreed upon framework proposal in the deal. Indeed, as our briefing outlines, the joint Iranian-EU statement made on 2 April had a number of differences to the one made by President Obama on the same day. Indeed the French fact-sheet on the framework contradicts the U.S. version, with the U.S. one appearing more stringent and implying sanctions relief would be staged – a claim that is, in turn, denied by Iran.

There seems to be an ongoing dispute over what has been agreed in regard to inspections. There is an ongoing lack of clarity on what this all now means for regional proliferation (in particular now that every other country will want to get their own nuclear assurance). And there is a deeply disconcerting anomaly about the number of centrifuges Iran needs. The framework deal seems to allow Iran to have 6,000 centrifuges, when it is generally agreed that the country would require no more than 2,000, if this were truly about the country’s search for nuclear technology limited solely for civilian use.

In all of its negotiations, Iran appears to have played a steady and consistent hand. But this is in stark contrast to the shifting moves by the P5+1. Only eighteen months ago President Obama agreed that the Fordow facility, its heavy water reactor and advanced centrifuges, were not necessary for the development of a civilian nuclear capability. Under the framework that seems to have been agreed in Switzerland, all of these capabilities remain in place.

So why the anomalies and why the uncertainties? Because it seems at present that the P5+1 agreement in Lausanne is aimed more at instilling confidence back home in the West than it is about coming to the best deal to prevent Iranian enrichment and development beyond civilian levels. There has been a steadily rising opposition to this deal from the general public in the U.S. and at the highest levels of experienced policy-makers, bolstered this week by the intervention of Henry Kissinger and George Shultz. The administration in Washington appears to be trying to placate this position while also trying to placate the Iranians. If there is a reason why the framework so far seems such a fudge it is because these two positions cannot be reconciled.

But neither can they both be danced around for long. The end aim of this process should not be to buy off critics of the Obama administration in Washington, but rather to prevent Iran from ever acquiring weapons grade nuclear capability. From the reaction to the agreement so far it seems that the Obama administration has achieved the impressive feat of failing in both these objectives.

Dr Alan MendozaFROM THE DIRECTOR’S DESK

There is a 50:50 chance of a war between the USA and China in the next 15 years. Not my words, but those of Professor Christopher Coker, the world’s leading international relations academic and a visiting speaker at HJS this week.

It would be fair to say that despite its size and growing importance on the world stage, China is a subject under-discussed in the UK. There are very few Sinologists located here, and political and media opinion on the subject tend to be dominated by the economic relationship – with the odd nod to human rights concerns when our leaders think they can get away with pointing out China’s many abuses without incurring its wrath in the form of trade restrictions in return. This is a pattern witnessed across Europe, where the relationship with China has become completely unbalanced in China’s favour, and our leaders are wary of speaking the truth for fear of offending a vital trading partner.

But as Professor Coker reminded us, ‘in times of peace, prepare for war’. China is the only real global challenger to the U.S., and therefore to our own liberal democratic and economic system, but it sees the international system today as made in America. This does not fit with the vision of a nation which was the world’s dominant power before 1820 and sees itself as returning to that trajectory.

Nothing is predetermined of course, and there are doves as well as hawks within the Chinese leadership. But the latter will have been emboldened and even inspired by Russia’s example of remaking the international system in its neighbourhood. Given the many tinderbox situations in East and South East Asia which have China as one of the potential protagonists, is it so far-fetched to assume that China will not at least try to probe the U.S. commitment of security guarantees for many of its neighbours in a bid to start supplanting U.S. influence in its own backyard?

As we have seen over the past few years, our leaders are often fixated by short-term threats rather than the ones just over the horizon. Coker’s analysis reminds us of the importance of vigilance in international affairs. And it deserves to be taken seriously.

Dr. Alan Mendoza
Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society

Follow Alan on Twitter: @AlanMendoza

Iran military endorses a nuclear EMP attack on the U.S.

Iranian Military Documents endorsed an HEMP attack scenario on the U.S. What you are about to read sounds like science fiction; it is not. It is a 21st century weapon we must deal with. This article has not been written to frighten anyone; but we should all be frightened because it would be worse than a million ‘Pearl Harbor’ attacks.

AFP reports:

The U.S. military command that scans North America’s skies for enemy missiles and aircraft plans to move its communications gear to a Cold War-era mountain bunker, officers said. The shift to the Cheyenne Mountain base in Colorado is designed to safeguard the command’s sensitive sensors and servers from a potential electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, military officers said.

The Pentagon last week announced a $700 million contract with Raytheon Corporation to oversee the work for North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command.

Admiral William Gortney, head of NORAD and Northern Command, said that “because of the very nature of the way that Cheyenne Mountain’s built, it’s EMP-hardened.”

Read more.

33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age is a one-hour documentary produced by The Heritage Foundation that tells the story of the very real threat foreign enemies pose to every one of us. The truth is brutal – no matter where on Earth a missile is launched from it would take 33 Minutes or less to hit the U.S. target it was programmed to destroy. Watch the trailer to “33 Minutes” produced by the Heritage Foundation:

33 minutes logoIf the U.S. doesn’t destroy Iran’s ability to develop nuclear weapons civilization as we know it may be destroyed for hundreds of years. This is a frightening scenario but it can and may very well happen. Here’s why.

If Iran were to explode a high altitude nuclear bomb above the U.S., an HEMP (high altitude electro magnetic pulse) would be set off and it is estimated up to 90 percent of the U.S. population would end up dying. This is not science fiction; it is a fact. Iran’s military documents describe such a scenario.

What is nuclear HEMP? A nuclear device set off at high altitude would set off an electromagnetic pulse that would substantially damage or destroy the entire or most of America’s electric grid. The U.S. would be without electric for a year or more. This means we would have no electric, water service, sewer service, refrigeration, heat, communication, hospital service or anything else that requires electricity to operate. What would follow is starvation, chaos and anarchy on a level never before experienced by mankind.

The issue of a nuclear EMP attack was raised in the final hours of this week’s elections in Israel when U.S. authority Peter Vincent Pry penned a column for Arutz Sheva warning of Iran’s threat to free nations wrote:

“Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States.”

A knowledgeable source said that the textbook discusses an EMP attack on America in 20 different places.

Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who is leading an effort to protect the U.S. electric grid from an EMP attack, has recently made similar claims based on the document translated by military authorities.

Once sneered at by critics, recent moves by Iran and North Korea have given credibility to the potential EMP threat from an atmospheric nuclear explosion over the U.S.

Pry has suggested ways for Iran to deliver a nuclear attack: by ship launched off the East Coast, a missile or via satellite.

Either way the result could be destruction of all or part of the U.S. electric grid, robbing the public of power, computers, water and communications for potentially a year.

Iran armed with nuclear missiles poses an unprecedented threat to global civilization.

One nuclear warhead detonated at high-altitude over the United States would blackout the national electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years by means of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A nationwide blackout lasting one year, according to the Congressional EMP Commission, could cause chaos and starvation that leaves 90 percent of Americans dead.

Iranian military documents describe such a scenario–including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States.

Thus, Iran with a small number of nuclear missiles can by EMP attack threaten the existence of modernity and be the death knell for Western principles of international law, humanism and freedom. For the first time in history, a failed state like Iran could destroy the most successful societies on Earth and convert an evolving benign world order into world chaos”. (end quote)

It is reported that Israel has protected much of its electric grid and if attacked by an HEMP it could restore electric within a few days. It has also set up a variety of defenses as well. If Israel can do it, why can’t we.

To protect America there are two things that should be a top security issue that Congress must address without delay.

First Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons or become a threshold nuclear State. Second Congress must quickly pass legislation and funding to ‘harden’ America’s electric grid against an HEMP attack. A nuclear attack can kill thousands; but and HEMP attack could kill millions. Bob Heller

Read more.

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Only Fools Trust Obama or the Iranians

Only fools express any trust in Obama these days or the Iranians who have made him look the fool when no one in their neighborhood or the world trusts a thing they say or do.

After more than six years of listening to President Obama’s unremitting lies, when he says of the latest “accord” with Iran, “It’s a good deal” and standing in the Rose Garden declares that the U.S. and Iran have reached “an historic understanding” the only history being made his own ignominy and idiocy.

It would be historic if anyone could extend either President Obama or the Iranians any trust. Indeed, since the U.S. created its first atomic bombs to end World War II, one nation after another has secured their own nuclear weapons, starting with the then-Soviet Union who built theirs with plans stolen from us!

We have been down this road before. On April 1st Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger offered an abridged look at the quarter-century of negotiations with North Korea which agreed to all manner of terms, signed all kinds of agreements, and joined various international organizations to assure everyone of their peaceful intent. He warned that “No agreement is going to stop Iran. Agreements, and a lot of talk, did not stop North Korea.”

“Iran,” said Henninger, “knows it has nuclear negotiators’ immunity: No matter how or when Iran debauches any agreement, the West, abjectly, will request—what else?—more talks. Iran’s nuclear bomb and ballistic missile programs will go forward as North Korea’s obviously did, no matter what.”

All the back-and-forth between the White House and Congress about the “accord” is essentially meaningless. It is mostly a debate about the treaty-making powers the Constitution extends to the executive branch and, at the same time, limits with legislative “advice and consent” of the Senate. For now the Senate can only wait for whatever is decided by June 30, but it is unlikely Obama will send it the text of the agreement.

To influence the outcome, Congress talks of the sanctions it has imposed on Iran and says it will impose again, but Obama has no legal authority to lift those sanctions, only Congress does.

AA - Javad

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif

The same day the President made the announcement, Javad Zarif, the Iranian counterpart to Secretary of State John Kerry made his own announcement. The U.S. and Iran, he said, had agreed in principle to let Iran continue running major portions of its nuclear program. “None of those measures”, intended to slow Iran’s progress, “include closing any of our facilities. We will continue enriching; we will continue research and development.”

This is the result of 18 months of “negotiations” with Iran. In the same way the U.S. caved to North Korea since the 1990s, it has caved to Iran and it has done so with the blessing of the European Union and the other members of the P-5+1, France, Great Britain, Russia, China, and Germany.

For good measure, to show how wonderfully warm the relations between Iran and the U.S. are, within hours after Obama’s announcement, Foreign Minister Zarif accused the U.S. of lying about the details of the tentative framework—“the historic understanding”—saying that the U.S. had promised the immediate termination of sanctions.

The notion that we would know if Iran was continuing its nuclear program because the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be inspecting its facilities is about as credible as similar inspections in North Korea when, in 2002, it cut the IAEA seals on its nuclear factories and withdrew from the non-Proliferation treaty, starting a nuclear reactor. It has pursued its nuclear weapons and missile programs ever since.

In the same fashion as the Soviet Union, China, and Israel, we didn’t know that either Pakistan or India had acquired nuclear capability until after they tested theirs. That’s how we will know when Iran has nuclear weapons. It already has intercontinental missiles with which to deliver them.

As quoted in an April 3 article by Mark Dubowitz, executive director, and Annie Fixler, policy analyst, of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, they cite an unnamed “senior State Department official” as saying “The truth is, you can dwell on Yemen, or you can recognize that we’re one agreement away from a game-changing, legacy-setting nuclear accord on Iran that tackles what everyone agrees is the biggest threat to the region.”

Unless one believes in unicorns and other fantasies, this latest “accord” and what we are being told about it by the President and the State Department is not a great achievement. It is doomed to failure because Iran has had no intention of doing anything other than getting economic and other sanctions removed. Time is on their side as they work to develop their own nuclear weapons.

When Iran tests its first nuclear weapon, Obama should return his Nobel Peace Prize.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

RELATED ARTICLE: Iran Contradicts U.S., Plans to Use Advanced Centrifuges Immediately

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)

Obama’s Foreign Policy Financing Iran’s Terrorist Activities

Aside from the fact that the deal with Iran will leave it in a position to have nuclear weapons within a period of 3 to 12 months at their choice, how can anyone consider lifting sanctions on a country that is engaging in numerous wars and terrorist activities through their proxies in Israel, Syria Lebanon, Gaza, and Yemen?

Iran is at war with Israel via proxies Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran says the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable. Israel is a U.S. ally and Obama aside from giving Iran a path for nuclear weapons is about to lift sanctions on Iran which will allow it to increase its income and upgrade its terrorist activities against Israel and other U.S. allies and throughout the Middle East.

So far Obama has left out an essential element of any deal with Iran. Any final agreement must include Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist. If this is not included in order to survive Israel of necessity must take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Iran “Is Intensifying Efforts to Support Hamas in Gaza” – Con Coughlin

Iran has sent Hamas tens of millions of dollars to help it rebuild the network of tunnels in Gaza destroyed by Israel’s invasion last summer, intelligence sources have told the Sunday Telegraph. It is also funding new missile supplies to replenish stocks used to bombard residential neighborhoods in Israel during the war. Iran has sponsored Hamas’ military operations for years. (Sunday Telegraph-UK)

Netanyahu: Any Final Agreement Must Include Iranian Recognition of Israel’s Right to Exist (Prime Minister’s Office)

Responding to the Iran nuclear framework agreement announced Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Friday after a meeting of the Israeli cabinet:

  • The cabinet is united in strongly opposing the proposed deal. This deal would pose a grave danger to the region and to the world and would threaten the very survival of the State of Israel.
  • The deal would not shut down a single nuclear facility in Iran, would not destroy a single centrifuge in Iran and will not stop R&D on Iran’s advanced centrifuges. On the contrary, the deal would legitimize Iran’s illegal nuclear program. It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure.
  • The deal would lift sanctions almost immediately and this at the very time that Iran is stepping up its aggression and terror in the region. The deal would greatly bolster Iran’s economy. It would thereby give Iran tremendous means to propel its aggression and terrorism throughout the Middle East.
  • Some say that the only alternative to this bad deal is war. That’s not true. There is a third alternative – standing firm, increasing the pressure on Iran until a good deal is achieved.
  • Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly and actively works towards that end. Israel will not accept an agreement which allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period.
  • In addition, Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel’s right to exist.

Defense Minister Ya’alon: Iran Deal Will Increase Iran’s Appetite

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Sunday called the framework agreement “a huge achievement for Iran and a historic mistake for the West.” “Iran is a terrorist monster that funds, trains and arms organizations and entities to wreak havoc among the pro-Western regimes in the Middle East and around the world, and it has no intention of stopping this.” He added that the agreement would set the stage for Iran to “increase its appetite to spread disarray.” (Jerusalem Post)

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Obama “blowing up our alliances to secure a deal that paves Iran’s way to a bomb”

Why is Obama so avid to have this deal that he will make disastrous concessions to the Iranians and throw U.S. allies under the bus to get it? Does he really, really want Iran to have nuclear weapons? Is this really all about enabling Iran to destroy Israel?

“Obama Admin Threatens U.S. Allies for Disagreeing with Iran Nuke Deal,” by Adam Kredo, Washington Free Beacon, March 27, 2015:

LAUSANNE, Switzerland—Efforts by the Obama administration to stem criticism of its diplomacy with Iran have included threats to nations involved in the talks, including U.S. allies, according to Western sources familiar with White House efforts to quell fears it will permit Iran to retain aspects of its nuclear weapons program.

A series of conversations between top American and French officials, including between President Obama and French President Francois Hollande, have seen Americans engage in behavior described as bullying by sources who spoke to theWashington Free Beacon.

The disagreement over France’s cautious position in regard to Iran threatens to erode U.S. relations with Paris, sources said.

Tension between Washington and Paris comes amid frustration by other U.S. allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel. The White House responded to this criticism by engaging in public campaigns analysts worry will endanger American interests.

Western policy analysts who spoke to the Free Beacon, including some with close ties to the French political establishment, were dismayed over what they saw as the White House’s willingness to sacrifice its relationship with Paris as talks with Iran reach their final stages.

A recent phone call between Obama and Hollande was reported as tense as the leaders disagreed over the White House’s accommodation of Iranian red lines.

Amid these tensions, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley met with her French counterpart, Gerard Araud, Monday to discuss a range of issues.

Benjamin Haddad, who has advised senior French political figures on foreign policy issues, said leaders in Paris have not been shy about highlighting disagreements they have with the White House.

“Fance [sic], like other European countries, has negotiated for more than 10 years and endured most of the sanctions’ burden,” said Haddad, a research fellow at the Hudson Institute.

“The French want a deal, but they see no rush and repeat that Iranians need a deal more than we do, and that we shouldn’t fix artificial deadlines that put more pressure on us than Iran.”

One source in Europe close to the ongoing diplomacy said the United States has begun to adopt a “harsh” stance toward its allies in Paris.

“There have been very harsh expressions of displeasure by the Americans toward French officials for raising substantive concerns about key elements of what the White House and State Department negotiators are willing to concede to Iran,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “That is because the clarifications expose just how weak the Americans’ deal is shaping up to be.”

“The meeting between the French ambassador in Washington and the president’s envoy to Paris—not a diplomat but a big fundraiser for his campaigns—comes amid these very harsh words that were spoken privately about the ambassador’s recent comments on the seeming American desperation for a deal, and the tough words that President Obama had for President Hollande in their phone call.”

Strategic differences remain between the United States and its allies over how a final deal should look, the source said. The French remain opposed to a recent range of concessions made by the Obama administration.

“We may agree that denying Iran a nuclear weapon ability is the goal, but apparently the view of what one can leave Iran and assure that is very different,” the source said.

“Clearly these are the differences that must be discussed. I don’t see France suddenly deciding that America is right and French objections to weakness are wrong, nor that silence is preferable to transparency.”

Haddad said the French are hesitant to rush into an agreement.

“The French want a robust deal with clear guarantees on issues like [research and development] and inspections to ensure that Iranians won’t be able to reduce breakout time during the duration of the agreement (also an issue of discussion), or just after thanks to research conducted during the period,” he said. “That is also why they disagreed on lifting sanctions.”

He also said the French “don’t trust Iran and believe an ambiguous deal would lead to regional proliferation.”

Another Western source familiar with the talks said the White House is sacrificing longstanding alliances to cement a contentious deal with Iran before Obama’s term in office ends.

“The President could be hammering out the best deal in the history of diplomacy, and it still wouldn’t be worth sacrificing our alliances with France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia—key partners in Europe, the eastern Mediterranean, and the Gulf,” the source said. “But he’s blowing up our alliances to secure a deal that paves Iran’s way to a bomb.”…

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Iran deal will not affect their nuclear weapons program — It merely removes sanctions

The nuclear agreement is a ‘placebo’ for the American people but doesn’t treat the disease. Kerry recently asked is there a better way? Yes there is.

To put things in perspective, as far as Iran is concerned the nuclear agreement will have little effect on their nuclear development program; but it is a necessary inconvenience to remove sanctions.

The nuclear talks is a ‘charade’ because they won’t stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons. Iran won’t allow nuclear investigators into sensitive military sites and in any event Iran is quite able to hide its nuclear activities. It is reported in the WSJ today that the U.S. isn’t even able to keep track of Iranian oil tankers that are evading our sanctions. How do they expect to keep track of Iran’s nuclear operations?

(Quote):

“American negotiators and their cohorts are trying to close a deal that would let Iran keep its nuclear program, subject to intricate conditions of monitoring and enforcement. Yet how is a deal like that supposed to be verified? The Obama administration can’t even keep up with the Iran-linked oil tankers on the U.S. blacklist.

Currently, there are at least 55 of these tankers the Treasury Department says are under U.S. sanctions. These are large ships, major links in the oil chain that sustains the Tehran regime, many of them calling at ports from Turkey to China. They are easier to spot and track than, say, smuggled nuclear parts (which, in a pinch, they could potentially squeeze on board).

But Iran has engaged for years in what Treasury called “deceptive practices” to dodge sanctions. These include trying to mask the identities, and sometimes the smuggling activities, of its blacklisted ships by renaming them, reflagging them to other countries, veiling their ownership behind front companies, presenting false documents, and engaging in illicit ship-to-ship oil transfers.” (end quote)

The nuclear agreement is a way for Obama to avoid reality. The only thing that will stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons is to destroy these facilities. The talks and soon agreement is a placebo for the American people but it doesn’t treat the disease.

Knowing that the proposed agreement will allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons, Kerry recently asked do you have a better idea? No one can dispute that Iran has been waging a back door war against the U.S., Israel and now in Yemen against our allies. The reality is we are at war. The better idea is to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities before they have nuclear weapons. The same issue confronted the Allies as Nazi Germany was rearming and we are making the same mistake now.

The below article appeared in the NY Times which is no war monger. Finally even this liberal paper is waking up to the threat of a Nuclear Iran and the nuclear arms race it will spawn. Read the Ambassador’s well reasoned assessment:

Ambassador John Bolton: To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb its Nuclear Facilities

“FOR years, experts worried that the Middle East would face an uncontrollable nuclear-arms race if Iran ever acquired weapons capability. Given the region’s political, religious and ethnic conflicts, the logic is straightforward.

As in other nuclear proliferation cases like India, Pakistan and North Korea, America and the West were guilty of inattention when they should have been vigilant. But failing to act in the past is no excuse for making the same mistakes now. All presidents enter office facing the cumulative effects of their predecessors’ decisions. But each is responsible for what happens on his watch. President Obama’s approach on Iran has brought a bad situation to the brink of catastrophe.

In theory, comprehensive international sanctions, rigorously enforced and universally adhered to, might have broken the back of Iran’s nuclear program. But the sanctions imposed have not met those criteria. Naturally, Tehran wants to be free of them, but the president’s own director of National Intelligence testified in 2014 that they had not stopped Iran’s progressing its nuclear program. There is now widespread acknowledgment that the rosy 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which judged that Iran’s weapons program was halted in 2003, was an embarrassment, little more than wishful thinking.

Even absent palpable proof, like a nuclear test, Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear weapons has long been evident. Now the arms race has begun: Neighboring countries are moving forward, driven by fears that Mr. Obama’s diplomacy is fostering a nuclear Iran. Saudi Arabia, keystone of the oil-producing monarchies, has long been expected to move first. No way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance within Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitical hegemony. Because of reports of early Saudi funding, analysts have long believed that Saudi Arabia has an option to obtain nuclear weapons from Pakistan, allowing it to become a nuclear-weapons state overnight. Egypt and Turkey, both with imperial legacies and modern aspirations, and similarly distrustful of Tehran, would be right behind.

Ironically perhaps, Israel’s nuclear weapons have not triggered an arms race. Other states in the region understood — even if they couldn’t admit it publicly — that Israel’s nukes were intended as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure.

Iran is a different story. Extensive progress in uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing reveal its ambitions. Saudi, Egyptian and Turkish interests are complex and conflicting, but faced with Iran’s threat, all have concluded that nuclear weapons are essential.

The former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, said recently, “whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same.” He added, “if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that.” Obviously, the Saudis, Turkey and Egypt will not be issuing news releases trumpeting their intentions. But the evidence is accumulating that they have quickened their pace toward developing weapons.

Saudi Arabia has signed nuclear cooperation agreements with South Korea, China, France and Argentina, aiming to build a total of 16 reactors by 2030. The Saudis also just hosted meetings with the leaders of Pakistan, Egypt and Turkey; nuclear matters were almost certainly on the agenda. Pakistan could quickly supply nuclear weapons or technology to Egypt, Turkey and others. Or, for the right price, North Korea might sell behind the backs of its Iranian friends.

The Obama administration’s increasingly frantic efforts to reach agreement with Iran have spurred demands for ever-greater concessions from Washington. Successive administrations, Democratic and Republican, worked hard, with varying success, to forestall or terminate efforts to acquire nuclear weapons by states as diverse as South Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, Brazil and South Africa. Even where civilian nuclear reactors were tolerated, access to the rest of the nuclear fuel cycle was typically avoided. Everyone involved understood why.

This gold standard is now everywhere in jeopardy because the president’s policy is empowering Iran. Whether diplomacy and sanctions would ever have worked against the hard-liners running Iran is unlikely. But abandoning the red line on weapons-grade fuel drawn originally by the Europeans in 2003, and by the United Nations Security Council in several resolutions, has alarmed the Middle East and effectively handed a permit to Iran’s nuclear weapons establishment.

The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program. Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure. The inconvenient truth is that only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.

Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities. So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan. An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.

Mr. Obama’s fascination with an Iranian nuclear deal always had an air of unreality. But by ignoring the strategic implications of such diplomacy, these talks have triggered a potential wave of nuclear programs. The president’s biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East”.

John R. Bolton, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, was the United States ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 to December 2006.

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Even Democrats won’t back Obama’s Iran nuclear deal

Everyone knows he is handing the Iranians a license to nuke Tel Aviv. Even some Democrats know. “Democrats won’t back Iran nuclear deal in blow to White House as enough break with Obama to to put veto-proof legislation in the works to stop an agreement,” by Francesca Chambers, Daily Mail, March 16, 2015:

Democratic senators remain irritated with their GOP colleagues who last week sent a letter to Iranian leaders undercutting President Barack Obama, but they will still back bipartisan legislation that would give Congress final say over a nuclear deal.

Enough members of the president’s party have signaled support for that bill and another that would impose new sanctions on Iran if it doesn’t make an agreement with negotiators that the White House would be powerless to stop the measures from going into effect once passed.

The Obama administration and its international partners now have until March 24 to set up the framework for a deal.

After that, a dozen Democratic senators, including Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the highest-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs committee, have said they will join with the GOP majority to pass bills inserting themselves into the process.

One would levy additional sanctions on Iran after June 30 if it doesn’t agree to the final terms of a deal, though monthly waivers would be allowed should more time be requested. The other would give the Senate the power to reject within 60 days any pact the executive branch makes with Iran.

Democrats who spoke with Politico voiced their displeasure with the 47 GOP senators who wrote a letter to Iran notifying the country’s leaders that any contract it makes with the Obama administration would be nullified when a new president takes office in January 2017, whereas most members of the upper chamber would be in office for years to come.

But that hasn’t changed their position on the core issue, they’ve said.

‘The letter’s incredibly unfortunate and inappropriate,’ Heitkamp said.’That doesn’t diminish my support for the legislation that we introduced.’

Michigan Sen. Gary Peters similarly said the missive was ‘simply unacceptable’ and ‘brought hyperpartisanship to an issue that we need to maintain our bipartisanship in.’

He added: ‘That doesn’t change my support for that bill. … I stay firm.’

Blumenthal last week called Republicans’ actions ‘unconscionable’ and bemoaned them for disrespecting the president.

At the time, he said the bipartisan coalition of senators willing to buck the White House was ‘in tatters.’ Blumenthal told CNN that he was determined to ‘stitch it back together,’ though.

A week later it appeared that the group was holding strong and that Senate Foreign Relations Bob Corker, one of just seven Republican senators who did not sign the ‘open letter,’ was correct in predicting last Thursday that the whole thing would blow over.

‘Let a couple days go by. We think there’s going to be really ignited momentum,’ Corker had told Politico. Nobody’s dropping out. We’ve had reaffirmed commitment.’

Meanwhile, Republicans who did sign the letter triumphantly declared on the Sunday news shows that they had no ‘regrets’ about sending Tehran the strongly worded message.

‘I stand by the letter,’ National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Rodger Wicker said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

‘I think it’s interesting that we’ve had so much talk about process, just like we’ve had talk about process with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, rather than dealing with the substance,’ the Mississippi Republican asserted, referring to House Republican leadership’s end run around the White House earlier this year when it invited Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told CNN he thinks it was ‘fair’ for Republicans to explain that Congress will be involved in the process one way or another.

‘I don’t think it was a mistake,’ he said of the message to Tehran.

‘The administration would like to have a distraction, but the point is the subject of the matter,’ the GOP leader said.

‘Apparently, the Obama administration is on the cusp of entering into a very bad deal with one of the worst regimes in the world.’…

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Do we strike now or wait until Iran has nuclear weapons and face a nuclear catastrophe?

Today we can stop Iran’s path to nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation, or we can wait and suffer an unimaginable nuclear catastrophe.

Four nuclear sites are key to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Isfahan, Arak, Natanz and Qom. Isfahan and Arak are above ground and can be destroyed by air or sea launched missiles. Natanz is under an earth berm and reinforced concrete and Qom is built inside a mountain. The U.S. currently has ordinance that can penetrate these two facilities. with its Massive Ordinance Penetrators ( MOP’s). Iran has other nuclear weapons facilities as well but they a much less important.

Sanctions have had little effect on stopping Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons. It is increasingly apparent that the only way to stop Iran’s march toward developing nuclear weapons are targeted air strikes against these four sites. This may also stop Iran’s goal for a Persian Shiite Caliphate and terrorist activities that will surely result in an all out war between Shiites and the Sunni majority.

If the U.S. strikes Iran’s four major nuclear sites it will bear no relationship to the extended wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. No U.S. ground troops will be involved. The destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities likely will take only several days. If the U.S. fails to take action it is likely Israel will. However Israel’s ability to eliminate the threat is probably limited to Iran’s two above ground nuclear facilities. It may set Iran’s nuclear weapons program back a couple of years. However only the U.S. can set it back for many years or permanently.

If Israel takes preemptive action the U.S. will nevertheless be drawn into the fray. Iran knows Obama will not initiate military action, however Iran’s recent naval action attacking a mockup of a U.S. aircraft carrier is a warning to the U.S., if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear facilities Iran will attack U.S. ships in the area.This was the purpose of Iran’s recent naval exercise sinking a mockup U.S. aircraft carrier. Under these circumstances the U.S. should take preemptive action and not wait to be attacked.

The U.S. can prevent nuclear proliferation and ultimately a nuclear catastrophe if it destroys the four key facilities from the air before Iran has nuclear weapons.  Without nuclear weapons Iran has limited options to strike America or Europe. Other nations who would like nuclear weapons are waiting to see what the U.S. does.

In 1939 the world was in a similar place. Hitler’s Nazi Germany could have been stopped before it  invaded Czechoslovakia which allowed Nazi Germany to build a massive war machine. England and France could have easily stopped Germany at that time. They failed to do so and over 60 million people died. We are in the same position now with Iran as England and France were then. We can only hope  U.S. leadership doesn’t repeat the 1939 mistakes. If the U.S. fails to take preemptive action soon a nuclear catastrophe in the future is inevitable.

Read this interesting analysis by Joshua Muravchik:

Joshua Muravchik is a fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

The logical flaw in the indictment of a looming “very bad” nuclear deal with Iran that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered before Congress this month was his claim that we could secure a “good deal” by calling Iran’s bluff and imposing tougher sanctions. The Iranian regime that Netanyahu described so vividly — violent, rapacious, devious and redolent with hatred for Israel and the United States — is bound to continue its quest for nuclear weapons by refusing any “good deal” or by cheating.

This gives force to the Obama administration’s taunting rejoinder: What is Netanyahu’s alternative? War? But the administration’s position also contains a glaring contradiction. National security adviser Susan Rice declared at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference before Netanyahu’s speech that “a bad deal is worse than no deal.” So if Iran will accept only a “bad deal,” what is President Obama’s alternative? War?

Obama’s stance implies that we have no choice but to accept Iran’s best offer — whatever is, to use Rice’s term, “achievable” — because the alternative is unthinkable.

But should it be? What if force is the only way to block Iran from gaining nuclear weapons? That, in fact, is probably the reality. Ideology is the raison d’etre of Iran’s regime, legitimating its rule and inspiring its leaders and their supporters. In this sense, it is akin to communist, fascist and Nazi regimes that set out to transform the world. Iran aims to carry its Islamic revolution across the Middle East and beyond. A nuclear arsenal, even if it is only brandished, would vastly enhance Iran’s power to achieve that goal.

Such visionary regimes do not trade power for a mess of foreign goods. Materialism is not their priority: They often sacrifice prosperity to adhere to ideology. Of course, they need some wealth to underwrite their power, but only a limited amount. North Korea has remained dirt poor practicing its ideology of juche, or self-reliance, but it still found the resources to build nuclear weapons.

Sanctions may have induced Iran to enter negotiations, but they have not persuaded it to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. Nor would the stiffer sanctions that Netanyahu advocates bring a different result. Sanctions could succeed if they caused the regime to fall; the end of communism in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and of apartheid in South Africa, led to the abandonment of nuclear weapons in those states. But since 2009, there have been few signs of rebellion in Tehran.

Otherwise, only military actions — by Israel against Iraq and Syria, and through the specter of U.S. force against Libya — have halted nuclear programs. Sanctions have never stopped a nuclear drive anywhere.

Does this mean that our only option is war? Yes, although an air campaign targeting Iran’s nuclear infrastructure would entail less need for boots on the ground than the war Obama is waging against the Islamic State, which poses far smaller a threat than Iran does.

Wouldn’t an attack cause ordinary Iranians to rally behind the regime? Perhaps, but military losses have also served to undermine regimes, including the Greek and Argentine juntas, the Russian czar and the Russian communists.

Wouldn’t destroying much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure merely delay its progress? Perhaps, but we can strike as often as necessary. Of course, Iran would try to conceal and defend the elements of its nuclear program, so we might have to find new ways to discover and attack them. Surely the United States could best Iran in such a technological race.

Much the same may be said in reply to objections that airstrikes might not reach all the important facilities and that Iran would then proceed unconstrained by inspections and agreements. The United States would have to make clear that it will hit wherever and whenever necessary to stop Iran’s program. Objections that Iran might conceal its program so brilliantly that it could progress undetected all the way to a bomb apply equally to any negotiated deal with Iran.

And finally, wouldn’t Iran retaliate by using its own forces or proxies to attack Americans — as it has done in Lebanon, Iraq and Saudi Arabia — with new ferocity? Probably. We could attempt to deter this by warning that we would respond by targeting other military and infrastructure facilities.

Nonetheless, we might absorb some strikes. Wrenchingly, that might be the price of averting the heavier losses that we and others would suffer in the larger Middle Eastern conflagration that is the likely outcome of Iran’s drive to the bomb. Were Iran, which is already embroiled in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza, further emboldened by becoming a “nuclear threshold state,” it would probably overreach, kindling bigger wars — with Israel, Arab states or both. The United States would probably be drawn in, just as we have been in many other wars from which we had hoped to remain aloof.

Yes, there are risks to military action. But Iran’s nuclear program and vaunting ambitions have made the world a more dangerous place. Its achievement of a bomb would magnify that danger manyfold. Alas, sanctions and deals will not prevent this.

RELATED ARTICLE: An End to Iran’s Containment? – Editorial (Washington Post)

PODCAST: Obama’s Policies in the Middle East Destablizing World Security

I recently did a talk radio interview with former U.S. Federal Judge Joe Miller, USMA ‘89, the host of the Joe Miller Show. As a former counter terrorist intelligence operative who was on the DOD Task Force after 9/11 which reported to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, I served in nine counter-terrorist operations, was recruited as an Arabic linguist by Special Warfare Group ONE in order to deploy with SEAL Team ONE, was an armed Federal Law Enforcement Officer in DHS, and was assigned as an Intelligent Analyst in the FBI after graduating from the FBI Academy in Quantico.

Listen to my interview on the Joe Miller Show:

I voiced my concern that for the past 6 years, the Obama administration’s policies in the Middle East have been destructive for the stability of the region. The Obama administration’s foreign policy has shifted support from the United States’ 60 year traditional alliance with friendly Sunni countries (Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates) to Iran, the world’s number one major sponsor of terrorism with Shite ruling class. Iran regularly declares that it is enemy of the “Great Satan”, the United States, who has been killing and maiming thousands of members of the US Armed Forces for 36 years.

The Obama administration’s absence of a foreign policy in the Middle East has resulted in Iran filling the void by taking control of Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Lebanon with Afghanistan and Bahrain in their gun sights.

The Obama administration’s policies toward Iran has been facilitating Iran’s development of nuclear weapons for the last two years. The foreign policy of the Obama administration continues to embrace the terrorist state of Iran, while continuing to reject military aide for friendly Sunnis countries in the Middle East (the request for urgent military aide for Jordan, Egypt, Kurdistan, and the Assyrian Militia have been denied).

If the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations permits Iran to continue the development of nuclear weapons and eventually obtain nuclear weapons, that agreement will result in a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, and might set the stage for Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities, which might result in the outbreak of World War III.

President Obama — Please explain how you will prevent a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?

President Obama, please explain to me how you will prevent a nuclear arms race among the various Muslim countries in the Middle East and elsewhere as your nuclear agreement with Iran will surely cause it?

Hopefully you and your close advisers understand that Iran’s neighbors in the Middle East including Turkey, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan are already preparing their own nuclear programs as depicted in the below graphic. What do you think will happen if Iran has a “clear path to the bomb”?

TTH1747G1CC

For a larger view click on the image.

A “Good Deal” Needs to Bolt the Door on the Iranians Getting a Nuclear Weapon – Ronen Bergman interviews Gen. David Petraeus (Ynet News)

  • “To accept that Iran’s nuclear ambitions over the years have been exclusively peaceful would require a willing suspension of disbelief….The International Atomic Energy Agency has extensively documented the so-called ‘possible military dimensions’ of the Iranian program, which clearly indicate that – at least until a few years ago – the Iranians were conducting activities whose only rational explanation is that they wanted a nuclear weapons capability.”
  • “History suggests, however, that countries that get to that [nuclear] threshold do not stay there. And regardless, based on everything we know and see about the Iranian government, we cannot allow them to be on the brink of having a nuclear weapon.”
  • “To my mind, a ‘good deal’ needs to bolt the door on the Iranians getting a nuclear weapon. In this respect, certainly large swaths of the program need to be dismantled or at least altered. I don’t know that this requires an end to enrichment, but certainly it would seem to me that there need to be substantial limitations on how much enriched material Iran can possess and the percentage to which they can enrich, as well as restrictions on the research, development, and deployment of new, more sophisticated models of centrifuges.”
  • “An extremely robust inspections program is also necessary – going beyond the Additional Protocol of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. In fact, the inspections regime is, in my mind, the most critical component of a deal.”Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus served as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, and head of the CIA.

Why Did Ayatollah Khamenei Come to the Table? – Ben Cohen interviews Michael Ledeen

Ladeen: It’s conventional wisdom that Iran came to the negotiating table because of sanctions. I’m not sure that’s correct. It may well be that Iran came to the negotiating table because President Rouhani and Foreign Minister Zarif convinced the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, that if they went to the table, they would get everything they wanted from President Obama. Because, they said, America’s will has been broken, and the Americans are prepared to make endless concessions just to keep talking.

I’m not convinced that there’s going to be a deal with Iran. Khamenei doesn’t want to deal with U.S., he wants to destroy us. He says that every week – sometimes every day. So why should he make a deal when he’s getting everything from us now without a deal?

You have the moderate Arab countries who are, all of a sudden, talking to Israel, working out joint plans and contingencies with Israel. What can they do? If Iran is going nuclear – and there’s not a leader in the Middle East who doesn’t believe that Iran is going nuclear – then they have to defend themselves. And if America isn’t available, who is?

Dr. Michael Ledeen, a former consultant to the U.S. National Security Council, Department of State, and Department of Defense, is a Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Fathom-BICOM)

From Russia with Love: A Nuclear Suppository for Obama

The ballistic missile with Obama’s name on it, paraded in the streets of Moscow last Monday, was only an imitation – but the sentiment was genuine.

Looking like a gigantic allegorical suppository for the American president, the green twelve-foot rocket emblazoned with the hammer and sickle over a red star brought up Cold War memories of real intercontinental missiles the Soviet government would parade in Red Square as a vague threat to its enemies. There was no vagueness this time: in large print letters, the message on the rocket said, “To be delivered to Obama in person.”

Russian missile for Obama from Rashkin

The occasion was the Day of the Defenders of the Motherland – a big annual celebration of the creation of the Red Army in 1918 by Leon Trotsky. To be sure, Trotsky’s name had not been attached to this holiday ever since his removal from power and assassination by Stalin. Additionally, the country has since changed its name, borders, ideology, the system of government, and renamed the very holiday in question.

Still, the holiday spirit runs strong, along with patriotic rallies, propaganda posters, and nationally televised bombastic military-themed concerts puffed up by a full roster of Kremlin-approved celebrities.

It’s also dubbed Men’s Day, as all Russian men and boys receive greetings and gifts from women and girls – a rather manipulative hetero-normative reminder that all male citizens belong in the army.

unnamed (18)In a way, this mirrors Women’s Day on March 8th – another originally communist holiday that comes twelve days later, when women and girls receive greetings and gifts from men and boys, as men volunteer to help around the house and do women’s work in the kitchen – which may also be seen as a hetero-normative reminder of a woman’s place on all other days of the year.

This year Ukraine officially canceled the celebration of Russia’s military holiday, belatedly joining other ex-Soviet republics that had suffered the wrath of the Red Army. In contrast, Vladimir Putin’s government has boosted the celebration even further, making February 23rd an official day off and using it to crank up the already excessive Russian patriotism.

With full support of the government-controlled media, national chauvinism is now spilling over the state borders, as gangs of armed “patriots” flock to eastern Ukraine, eager to show the uppity ukrops their place in Pax Russiana. Jingoism dominates Russia’s online forums and social media, as well as the streets and city squares, with rallies that support Putin, military adventurism, and Pax Russiana, while at the same time trashing everything non-Russian, especially America and Gayrope (a new Russian slur deriving from “gay” + “Europe.”) The stunt with the Obama-targeted missile is merely a small piece in the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle called Russia.

According to the Levada Center, a Moscow-based independent polling organization, America is seen negatively today by 74% of the Russian population (60% also have a negative view of Europe), and 69% believe the United States is a hostile nation. At the same time, after the break-up of the USSR in the early 1990s, only 10% of Russians viewed the U.S. negatively. What happened?

The Levada Center has registered four waves of anti-American and anti-Western sentiment in Russia – in 1999 (the war in Serbia), in 2003 (the war in Iraq), in 2008 (the war in Georgia), and in 2014 (the war in Ukraine), with today’s wave being the strongest in the last 20 years. Sociologists also believe that Russia’s public opinion is shaped largely by the government-run media, with more than one half of the respondents admitting they couldn’t form opinions independently.

Russian most popular politicians

It would be fair to say that every such wave of anti-Americanism in Russia (and to some extent around the world) has been orchestrated and paid for by the Kremlin’s powerful propaganda machine, which deploys two parallel narratives – one for the foreigners and one for domestic use. The domestic narrative is always a variation of the same formula: “Once again, the Motherland is under attack from American imperialism. The West has always hated Russia. Out of sheer hatred they want to humiliate us and push Russia out of its traditional spheres of influence. To survive, our nation must unite around a strong leader and his party.” The leader is, of course, Vladimir Putin; the party is United Russia.

During the first wave of post-Soviet xenophobia and anti-Americanism in December of 1999, Putin conveniently upgraded his position from Russian prime minister to Russian president. It is hardly a coincidence that now, during the fourth and strongest anti-American wave, Putin’s approval rating has risen to an astronomical 86%. The survey was taken on February 23rd, the same day the Russia-to-Obama rocket was spotted in the streets of Moscow.

Russian missile for Obama from Rashkin

A sign at a pro-Putin rally in Moscow showing America and Europe as two rats biting at Ukraine, and Russia as a cute red squirrel. The caption says, “Time for rodent control?”

This only means that about the same number of Russians also share a paranoid obsession with Ukraine, honestly believing that Vladimir Putin is fighting an epic and noble battle against the American aggression launched by the CIA through its Ukrainian proxies.

A similar narrative existed during Russia’s invasion into Georgia in 2008, when the Russian media referred to the Georgian president Saakashvili as America’s puppet.

In the days of the Maidan protests in Kiev last year, a number of protesters had been taken away and beaten by national security, which at the time was largely run by Russia’s FSB. Between the beatings, the interrogators demanded a “volunteer confession” that the protests had been organized by American agents and paid for in dollars. No such “confessions” had been obtained.

From the start of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Russian media cooperated with the Russian intelligence in trying to find evidence of American presence in the war zone. All they have found was a broken foreign-made rifle, a damaged Hummer vehicle, and a two-second video footage of a British anti-land-mine activist in Mariupol, whom the Russian media described as an American cutthroat mercenary.

In the absence of facts, fakes will do. The government media, with the assistance of an army of paid online activists have launched a slew of rumors, conspiracy theories, and internet fakes – for example, presenting footage from Iraq as coming from Ukraine, or publishing wild-eyed “eyewitness accounts,” the latest of which included an apocalyptic story of drunken American Negroes dancing on top of Ukrainian tanks while pointing guns at terrified civilians. A separatist warlord once posted a “humorous” story online about how one dark night he saw an “American Negro” jumping out of a burning Ukrainian tank and immediately taking off his clothes, hoping that his black skin would help him to blend with the night.

Barack Obama receives a similar race-baiting treatment, with many online cartoons and posters mocking his race and portraying him as a monkey. On Obama’s birthday last year some “patriotic” Muscovites unveiled a large street banner picturing the U.S. President as “three wise monkeys.” Later that evening, the wall of the U.S. embassy in Moscow became a screen for a crude animated laser show picturing Obama eating a banana.

anti-Obama sign in Moscow

In this context, a missile for Obama in the middle of a patriotic rally hardly raised any eyebrows. A bigger problem is the fact that this agitprop rocket was conceived and signed by a Valery Rashkin (pronounced as “Rushkin”), a notoriously belligerent member of the Russian parliament and the leader of the Moscow branch of the Communist Party. The picture shows him proudly pumping his fist in front of his art project. Putin’s policies to restore the USSR obviously make this communist leader a happy camper.

A week earlier Rashkin fell under a new round of EU sanctions for promoting war in Ukraine, along with nineteen individuals and nine organizations whose assets held in EU countries have now been frozen, accompanied by an EU-wide travel ban. In total, Brussels has already sanctioned 151 individuals and 37 companies in Russia and eastern Ukraine.

Russian missile for Obama from RashkinThe new blacklist caused an overwrought reaction in the Duma, which quickly became the subject of ridicule in social media. The indignant head of the education commission Nikonov (United Russia) took the floor to defend his communist colleague by saying, “If they (in Europe) are all Charlie, then we are all… Rashkin!”

The following day, the Russian-speaking Internet was filled with “Je suis Rashkin” Internet memes, Tweets, and spoofs.

Rashkin himself responded to the sanctions by saying that in WWII his father entered Berlin without any sanctions and he was hoping that history would sort it out like it did in 1945. Standing next to his rocket, the leader of Moscow communists explained his stunt as follows: “Someone today is conspiring against my Motherland. I am the son of my father, I wanted to send a present. This present doesn’t abide by any sanctions either. It will fly wherever the Motherland wishes it to fly.”

A crowd of communists, several thousand strong, carried red flags, portraits of Soviet leaders, and the Obama-designated rocket through Moscow streets to Revolution Square, where they held a planned rally with Rashkin as a speaker. “The United States is causing destruction, violence, and bloodshed all over the world. We must stop these rapists and murderers, we must fight to defend the sovereignty of our great nation,” said the member of the Russian parliament and head of the commission on ethnic policies.

The next speaker was Gennady Zyuganov, head of Russia’s Communist Party, claiming that the West doesn’t want Russia to be strong and powerful and that they only “need our resources, our talent, and our land. That is why they have imposed their sanctions and continue to choke us any way they can. That is why they have unleashed the bloody war in Ukraine, directed by the CIA, unscrupulous diplomats, outright Nazis, Banderites, and corrupt oligarchs.”

Leader of Russia’s communists Gennady Zyuganov is not only a long-serving member of the Russian parliament (since 1993), but he is also a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (since 1996). Additionally, in 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012 he was a candidate in Russian presidential elections and came in second every time. Zyuganov and Rashkin exemplify the pre-approved pool of candidates in Putin’s Russia circa 2015.

Rashkin - Red Army hat

To be fair, the Kremlin’s political technologists are hard at work trying to misrepresent the reality of Russia’s pool of candidates by manufacturing and promoting political opposition which it can control, while marginalizing the independents. As a result, the only “viable” opposition leaders in Russia are the Soviet-style communist Zyuganov (4% of the vote) and the psychotic nationalist Zhirinovsky (5% of the vote). Both are grotesque scarecrows; compared to them Putin looks like a knight in shining armor to most Russians and appears a lesser of two evils in the eyes of the West.

After the fall of the USSR Russia had a real chance to develop a civil society, modernize its economy, and join the family of Western nations as an equal. Instead, as many independent Russian analysts believe, Vladimir Putin has squandered that chance, choosing to control the population by cultivating fear and hostility towards the outside world as a means to shift the blame for Russia’s continued problems and to divert attention from his and his circle’s abuse of power.

Russian most popular politicians

If a president’s goal is to become a national hero but he can’t do it by improving his country, Plan B is to create the appearance of heroics by means of media manipulations and byzantine political technologies. The latter worked for Putin: according to a survey conducted early February by Public Opinion Foundation, 72% of Russians would have voted for Putin today, with only 5% distrusting their president. The annexation of the Crimea only added to his popularity. Analysts believe the current crisis may actually be a boon for Putin, as the average Russian is likely thinking, “If he could pull off getting us the Crimea, he’ll find a way out of this crisis as well.”

On the international arena, Plan B means dragging the rest of the world down to his level by sabotaging other economies and stirring political turmoil abroad, making Russia look stable and prosperous in comparison.

Russian Aryan mythologyBy choosing Plan B, Putin has pushed the Russian society thousands of years back, into the age of mythology with its hierarchy of gods, heroes, and monsters. In compliance with the state-approved zeitgeist, Russia’s cultural elites are filling the post-communist void in their souls with ancient Slavic mythology and “Aryan” pseudoscience, submerging into the depths of imaginary history, resurrecting forgotten words, notions, and meanings, and defining Russia as the Third Rome.

In other words, they are doing pretty much everything the cultural elites in Hitler’s Germany did when they tried to resurrect the pre-Christian Aryan mythology and lifestyle, defining themselves as the Third Empire, better known to us as the Third Reich.

The parallels in cultural attitudes are striking – and yet, in the mythological hierarchy of today’s “Third Rome,” the Third Reich was populated by monsters. According to the same mythology, the monsters have now reappeared in Ukraine, and Pax Russiana is once again standing up to the noble task of stomping them out. As a bonus, this view allows the participants to re-enact the mythologized heroics of the Great Patriotic War, better known to us as WWII. The circus pleases the plebs, and lowering vodka prices also helps.

A decade of mind-boggling oil revenues may have made Putin look like an invincible superhero, but easy petrodollars have also bloated his ego and made him detached from reality. The rest of the nation simply jumped on the presidential bandwagon. Now that the oil prices have dropped by half, Russia is back to square one: a poor and paranoid outcast, with crumbling currency, junk credit rating, and residual delusions of grandeur.

Superhero Putin is now asking his citizens to “sit tight for a couple of years, it’ll get better,” while his sidekick, prime minister Medvedev, threatens the world with a terrible “boom” and “ka-pow.” The sidekick’s sidekick, deputy prime minister Shuvalov, follows suit by declaring that for Putin’s sake Russians will be happy to eat less and live in the dark.

Quite fittingly, Putin has begun to exchange regular friendly messages with Kim Jong Un. North Korea’s dictator is expected to visit Moscow on May 9th to attend the Victory Day military parade in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory in the Great Patriotic War. Both must be looking forward to comparing notes on how to maintain a long and productive career as an international outcast. The Russian media is already producing stories claiming that life in North Korea is not as bad as Western imperialists would want us to believe. Whether Russia is ready for the Ten Principles of Juche remains to be seen, but latest opinion polls indicate that Russia’s positive view of the authoritarian China has grown as high as 77%.

According to a running joke among his critics, Putin has turned Russia into a Burkina Faso with nuclear rockets. And if you’re a member of the Russian parliament, you can even have a personal rocket, or at least a cargo-cult imitation thereof, or perhaps a rocket-shaped voodoo doll, on which you can write the name of your true enemy: Barack Obama.

Russian most popular politicians

EDITORS NOTE: This column was first published in FrontPage Magazine, now with added illustrations. The featured photo is courtesy of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – KPRF.ru

Rock Iran’s Casbah!

We wrap up a historic week of education (or is that edutainment) on the serious issue of Iran’s quest for thermonuclear destructive capability. Creatively, Tom and his team analyze the use of rock & roll music to protest the Iranian Revolution of 1979. In particular, our focus is the well-known song by the British Punk group, The Clash, entitled: “Rock the Casbah.”

Not only does this early 80’s protest piece make some amazing points but this song clearly underscores the undeniable Clash of Civilizations between Islam and the West. With us as a special quest is spokesperson for the Defenders of Liberty Motorcycle Club, the “Wall.”

Do not miss this very informative and entertaining wrap up to a very important week!

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The West has Forsaken the non-Nuclear Iran Pledge

Prime Minister Netanyahu is right. The West led by President Obama has forsaken its non-nuclear Iran pledge. It is looking like Obama’s pledge was one more of his ‘red lines’ he never intended to keep. The recent testimony by Secretary of  State Kerry to the Senate that Iran will not be permitted to construct nuclear weapons is a lie.

If it isn’t a lie, then why has the Senate and the American public been kept in the dark about the details; and why is Obama afraid to have Netanyahu speak to the Congress? The answer is Obama has decided to cooperate with Iran’s Ayatollah to give them a path to develop nuclear weapons as long as it doesn’t happen during Obama’s presidency.

The Obama administration is about to unleash double-speak to explain that the Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a peaceful program because they haven’t found any bombs yet. Kerry and Obama must explain why a peaceful program is located in bomb proof caves and at locations that Iran will not allow the U.N. nuclear inspectors to visit; and explain the existence of another secret uranium enrichment site.

The real reason Obama is infuriated with Netanyahu is that Netanyahu is about to expose the truth to Congress and the American public. If this wasn’t the case Obama should welcome pressure from allies so he can extract a better deal from Iran. Instead he is joining with Iran against Israel and U.S. allies to create a path for it to develop nuclear weapons.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Iran Opposition Unveils Secret Tehran Uranium Enrichment Site” – Despite the Iranian regime’s claims that all of its enrichment activities are transparent…it has in fact been engaged in research and development with advanced centrifuges at a secret nuclear site called Lavizan-3,” Alireza Jafarzadeh, deputy director of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said Tuesday. The site was in a military base in the northeastern suburbs of Tehran and has underground labs connected by a tunnel.

“Since 2008, the Iranian regime has secretly engaged in research and uranium enrichment with advanced…centrifuge machines at this site,” Jafarzadeh said. The NCRI has made several important revelations in the past of the existence of secret nuclear sites in Iran. (AFP)

Iran Practices Military Attacks on Mock U.S. Aircraft Carrier – Ali Akbar Dareini Iran’s Revolutionary Guard launched large-scale naval and air defense drills near the Strait of Hormuz on Wednesday in which dozens of speedboats swarmed a replica of a U.S. aircraft carrier. State TV showed footage of missiles fired from the coast and the fast boats striking the mock U.S. aircraft carrier. Last month the Guard’s navy chief, Adm. Ali Fadavi, said on state TV that his force is capable of sinking American aircraft carriers. (AP-ABC News)

Iran nuclear deal, ISIS threat stimulating Sunni powers to unite – even with Israel – Arab leaders and officials have been meeting frequently in past weeks, likely discussing the threat of Islamic State and the Iranian threat.

As the US and Shi’ite Iran inch closer to a nuclear deal that many Sunnis and Israelis don’t trust and as Islamic State’s reach spreads, Arab leaders are frantically consulting on how to deal with the threats and some may consider a covert alliance with Israel, a former Pentagon Middle East adviser told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

Harold Rhode, a senior fellow at the New-York-based Gatestone Institute and a former adviser at the Pentagon, said he saw the possibility of a “temporary tactical alliance with Israel” by Sunni Arab states.

The fatal flaw in the Iran deal: A sunset clause?—Charles Krauthammer – The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the “right to enrich.” It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reported its concern “about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed . . . development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”

Bad enough. Then it got worse: News leaked Monday of the elements of a “sunset clause.” President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Iran would reenter the international community, as Obama suggested in an interview in December, as “a very successful regional power.” A few years — probably around 10 — of good behavior and Iran would be home free.

The agreement thus would provide a predictable path to an Iranian bomb. Indeed, a flourishing path, with trade resumed, oil pumping and foreign investment pouring into a restored economy.