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Democrat Senators provide final votes on the Iran Nuclear Pact

Maryland  Democrat Senator Barbara Mikulski clinched President Obama’s Iran Nuclear Deal  today by announcing  her support making it  a virtual fait accompli. The President can now veto Congressional Resolutions rejecting the pact.  The Washington Post headline  today  tells the story, “Chris Coons and Bob Casey back Iran deal, putting Obama one vote from major diplomatic victory.”  The Iran nuclear pact comes up for a vote  15 days from now at the latest could be mooted by a possible filibuster or may be ended by a likely Presidential veto of a majority vote  rejecting it in both Chambers of Congress.  It begs the questions of whether there is any means of stopping this dangerous and misguided deal from being implemented. Depending on whether a successor overturns the multilateral agreement that according to the Administration would be a major diplomatic faux pas.

As we have written in a September 2015, NER article there may be more options than simply voiding it as an executive political agreement by a new President in January 2017. Republicans and a few Democrats are seeking to target sanctions against Iranian Revolutionary Guard Leaders and the Ayatollah who own companies that would benefit economically from the release of $100 billion in sequestered funds in U.S. financial institutions resulting from implementing the JCPOA.  There is also increasing interest in several legislative alternatives. That is reflected in a FrontPage Magazine article published today by Robert B, Sklaroff and Lee S. Bender, Esq., “The Only Way to Block the Iran TREATY: Sue Obama.”  Their bottom line:

Emergency Prescription for Senate:  [1]—Pass rule that abolishes the filibuster; [2]—Pass resolution declaring the Iran nuke deal to be a “treaty”; [3]—Defeat the deal; and [4]—Sue President Obama to enjoin him from implementing the deal.

Opinion polls taken of Americans indicate that by a margin of 2 to 1 they urge members of both Congressional Chambers to vote against it.  Trusting that approval of this deal will cut off Iran from all pathways from achieving industrialization of nuclear weapons- whether in a few weeks, months or a decade or more- amount to sleepwalking towards oblivion.   Many analysts and military nuclear experts think that Iran may already have nuclear weapons and shortly the means of delivering them. Further, believing that $100 billion plus of sequestered Iranian funds will be devoted to rebuilding a beleaguered Iranian economy and raising the living standards of Iranians is myopic. It will go to lining the pockets of the Ayatollah Khamenei and Revolutionary Guard leaders. Furthermore, it will fund proxies, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Houthi rebels in Yemen to destabilize the Middle East and conduct low intensity warfare against America, Israel other Middle East allies. The Saudis, Egyptians, Emirates say that if the pact is approved they will develop their own nuclear weapons capabilities. War might likely loom.   President Obama has allegedly  called opponents “crazies,” criticized those who say he’s  anti-Semitic by replying  he doesn’t have a  smidgen of that, while  inveighing the infamous Juden frage- Jewish question , an innuendo  of dual loyalty.  We have witnessed Congress straying from the pathway suggested by Senators Cotton (R-AR), Cruz (R-TX), Johnson (R-WI), Rubio (R-FL) and others that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action should have been treated as a treaty under Article III of the Constitution requiring the advice and consent of the Senate. The result was the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act  of 2015 enacted into law with a stroke of the President’s pen on May 22, 2015.

Following the announcement of the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and the unanimous endorsement by the UN Security Council on July 22, 2015, testimony provided by Administration negotiators, led by Secretary of State Kerry, Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz, and Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman has, if anything, raised concerns about the enforceability of the Iran nuclear pact.  Most appalling they exhibited in their responses to Senate and House Committee Members less than curiosity about the provisions of confidential agreements between the UN nuclear watchdog agency, IAEA and the Islamic Republic of Iran.  They suggested that to do so would interfere with the confidential nature of such activities between the IAEA and the Islamic Republic under UN protocols.  The IAEA in turn requested an estimated $10.5 million annually as the required contribution from the US, a board member of the IAEA, to support their activities inspecting and monitoring Iran’s progress towards an alleged ‘peaceful’ nuclear energy program.

Watch this Yahoo News video of Secretary Kerry at the National Convention Center in Philadelphia, today making the final sales pitch for approval of the Iran Nuclear Pact:

Based on the hearing record, the expert witness testimony presenting contradictory views, Americans now realize that there will likely be less than a robust, intrusive inspection scheme. A scheme that would rely on the UN nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. Instead, Iranian inspection of known military development sites will be used to produce a Road Map of prior military developments enabling release of $100 billion of sequestered funds. Moreover, there already have been breaches of conventional weapons and missile technology purchases, despite the 5 and 8 year sunset provisions under UN Security Council Resolution 1929. There have also been breaches of lifting restrictions on travel bans and assets of more than 800 individuals and entities largely controlled by the Ayatollah, mullahs and Revolutionary Guard elite like Quds Firce Commander Qasem Soliemani.  Paul Alster in his Fox News criticism of the Iran deal  pointed out  that Iran has already launched attacks against Israel via proxies in the country’s North . He also suggest s the diversion of $1 billion of released funds that would go annually to underwrite the support of Iran’s terrorist proxies attacking U.S. ally Israel and others in the Middle East Region. Then there is the delivery of new precision rockets and missiles to Hezbollah, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

We could go on, but it is moot given the President is likely before Labor Day to line up all of the votes required for him to veto the rejection resolutions voted by the Republican majorities of both houses with a sprinkling of Democrats with moral compasses.  There may never be a vote in the Senate, as Minority Leader Reid has offered up the alternative of killing the vote via a filibuster and resort to the so-called “nuclear option” used for approving Judicial appointment in 2013. That is unless the suggestion by Sklaroff and Bender about the Senate passing a rule banishing the so-called “nuclear option” is adopted.

This brings us to Plan B – a suit by the Senate against the President’s actions brought before the US Supreme Court that might result in a ruling granting the senior Chamber an up or down vote treating the Iran nuclear pact as a treaty.  We believe its time for serious consideration of the Sklaroff Bender proposal as the Senate would have standing whereas individuals may not. That is evidenced by Federal Judge Kenneth A. Marra’s ex cathedra remarks in the Palm Beach Federal District Court in response to a declaratory judgment motion filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch on August 4, 2015. We commend Freedom Watch for bringing that action.

Listen to this 1330amWEBY segment that aired on September 1, 2015 with Mike Bates, Host of Your Turn and Senior editor, Jerry Gordon discussing the Iran nuclear pact and options to overturn it.

Now we have to see whether Senate Majority Republican Leaders have the courage of their convictions to bring such an important landmark case before the Supreme Court to protect Americans from the threat of an Iranian nuclear attack. Presidential hopefuls and Congressional leaders who will speak before a huge crowd of concerned Americans gathered on the back lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on September 9th at the March to Save America  might echo their resolve to sue the President.  That is contingent on whether he carries out his threat to veto the majority vote in both Chambers of Congress rejecting the Iran nuclear pact backed by the opinions of a majority of Americans.

Now it is time for concerted action by those bi-partisan Members of Congress who reject the Iran nuclear pact. Tens of millions of Americans are disturbed by the President’s appeasement of a keystone member of the Evil Axis, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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

President Obama’s Latest Treachery on Iran Nuclear Deal

It has been a spectacular week for Russia and Iran.  Monday, Foreign Ministers Lavrov and Russia and Mohammed Javad Zarif meet in Moscow given the success of the JCPOA negotiations and UN Security Council endorsement to discuss listing weapons sanctions and ways to shore up the flagging fortunes of ally Bashar Assad in bloody Syria, the junior partner in the so-called Axis of Resistance.  That was followed by the announcement of an agreement to deliver on an expedited basis, four versions of the mobile S-300 advanced air defense system for $900 million.  Reuters first reported that Iran plans to sign a contract for four of the S-300 Russian missiles next week.”The text of the contract is ready and our friends will go to Russia next week to sign the contract,” Iran Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan reportedly said.  The earlier version of the S-300 systems were purchased in 2007, but not delivered because of objections by both Israel and the U.S.  Further sales of conventional Arms and missile technology were barred under the 2010 UN Security Council resolution.

A member of the Russian forces guards in front of surface-to-air S300 missiles in a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile unit on the Cape of Fiolent in Sevastopol on March 5, 2014. A military source has told Interfax-Ukraine that Russian commandos have seized control of the anti-aircraft missile systems and are guarding them. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV

A member of the Russian forces guards in front of surface-to-air S300 missiles in a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile unit on the Cape of Fiolent in Sevastopol on March 5, 2014. A military source has told Interfax-Ukraine that Russian commandos have seized control of the anti-aircraft missile systems and are guarding them. AFP PHOTO/ VIKTOR DRACHEV

The S-300 systems basically provides an anti-Missile shield of Iran’s “peaceful “ nuclear program against any U.S./Israeli aircraft  or medium range ballistic missile attack according to  the Pentagon.  Fox News reported “We have long expressed our concerns over reports of the possible sale of this missile system to the Iranians,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told Fox News. Further that “is a very capable weapons system that can bring down U.S. or Israeli jet aircraft.”

How capable are the new S-300 system?   Note this Washington Free Beacon report:

According to the defense website Deagel, the S-300V4 missile system is “1.5 to 2.3 times more effective” than previous systems “in its anti-missile defense capabilities.” The system is “capable of shooting down medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) with a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers.”

All this stemmed from the July 24th meeting in Moscow by Iran’s controversial Quds Force director Gen. Soleimani with Russian President Putin and Defense Minister Shogui endeavoring to expedite these deliveries of S-300 air defense systems and other weapon systems, including advanced Russian jet fighters to replace aging US fighters from the era of the Late Shah. That would complement the deliveries of Chinese stealth Jet fighters under a $10 Billion oil barter agreement. While objecting to the Russian sale to Iran of advanced S-300 missile deal, State Department press spokesman Admiral  John Kirby suggested  that it was excluded from the JCPOA terms lifting  both  conventional weapons and missile technology  sanctions under the 2010  UN  Resolution 1929 five and year  sunsets provisions.

Parchin Test Site 7-2015

Parchin Iran Military Explosives Test Site.

Then there was the exclusive AP report of its examination of one of the secret side deals between Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The AP had been given access to the secret deal by a senior official of the IAEA on conditions of anonymity. The AP report of its examination of the secret side deal revealed   that it gave Tehran, the authority to use its own inspectors to deliver findings on alleged prior military developments for explosive nuclear triggers at the contested military site of Parchin. Iran for years had barred  IAEA inspectors access to Parchin and other known sites under the pretext that it would violate the Islamic Regime’s national security.  U.S. Intelligence has recently said that digital photos show the site being ‘sanitized”. The board of the IAEA, including the US and some of the P5+1 partners,  contemplate acceptance under the terms of the JCPOA  lifting upwards of $100 billion plus in sanctions relief slated for December of this  year based on the delivery of the PMD inspection reports. The reactions of the White House and presumably President Obama on vacation on the offshore island of Martha’s Vineyard stretch credulity.  They simply repeated the explanations by the President and White House press spokesperson Josh Earnest dismissing issues of trustworthiness of Iran’s Mullahs. The meme was the highly intrusive and robust IAEA inspection regime of the JCPOA would catch Iranian cheating instantly enabling punitive snapback of sanctions.

When  queried by journalists at yesterday’s State Department Daily Press Briefings, Press Spokesperson, Admiral John Kirby contended that  the IAEA  Director General Amano briefed both Chambers of Congress in closed door sessions on IAEA Iran inspection terms stating that the side deals  were “routine” and exemplary of the “robust intrusive” inspection regime. Further, he repeated the line that the US and other P5+1 already knew what Iran did a decade ago in prior military developments in violation of the non-proliferation treaty.  These PMD reports by the IAEA were to establish a baseline for the “intrusive, robust” inspections over the 10, 15 and 25 terms of the JCPOA. Now, given the AP report on this secret side deal between the IAEA and Iran it is questionable whether the entire agreement can assure any compliance by Iran.

Watch this C-Span video clip of State Department spokesman Admiral John Kirby at yesterday’s Daily Press Briefing:

The reaction from Republican leaders in both Chambers was incredulity.  That was underlined by statements by two experts on nuclear inspections, former IAEA Deputy Director Ollie Heinonen of Harvard’s Belfer Center and David Albright of Washington, DC –based, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS). The AP report on the IAEA side deal with Iran noted these comments:

House Speaker John Boehner said, “President Obama boasts his deal includes ‘unprecedented verification.’ He claims it’s not built on trust. But the administration’s briefings on these side deals have been totally insufficient – and it still isn’t clear whether anyone at the White House has seen the final documents.” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce: “International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period.” John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator, said, “Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the U.N. in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.”

The Israel Project Daily Report noted Heinonen stating “that he knew of no other instance in which a country under scrutiny was allowed to conduct its own investigation.” Albright of ISIS, “called this arrangement “unprecedented and risky.” Albright warned that “ambiguity over Iran’s nuclear weaponization accomplishments and residual capabilities risks rendering an agreement unverifiable by the IAEA.”

Notwithstanding these developments Democrat Senators continued signing up yesterday signed up in support of the President’s nuclear pact with Iran.  Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, who succeeded Senator Kerry, said in a statement to the Boston Globe, yesterday:

I have concluded that diplomacy remains our best tool to secure a nuclear-weapon-free Iran, That’s why I intend to support the Iran nuclear agreement when it comes before Congress in September.”

This agreement is far from perfect and carries risks. But I believe our negotiators achieved as much as they reasonably could, and that if strictly implemented, this plan can be effective.

In contrast to Markey and other loyal Democrat Senators, we suggest that they heed the warning of colleague New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez at his Seton Hall University address:” Hope is not a national security initiative … if Iran is to acquire a nuclear bomb, it will not have my name on it”.

The perfidy of the Obama Administration is exposed each day, yet the cupidity his claque of supporters of the Iran nuclear pact in the Congress like Senator Markey and other Democrats in both Chambers of Congress is appalling.  Witness the mind numbing comment by House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA: “I truly believe in this agreement”.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov in Moscow on August 18, 2015.