Netanyahu to AIPAC: ‘Moral Obligation’ to Speak Against Iran Deal ‘While There’s Still Time’

 

PJ Media, by Bridget Johnson, March 2, 2015:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu rocked the house at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee mega-conference in Washington this morning, teasing his speech to a joint session of Congress tomorrow to focus on his rift with the administration over “the best way to prevent Iran from developing those weapons.”

Netanyahu received a standing ovation from the crowd at the mere mention of his name by AIPAC CEO Howard Kohr, who introduced the prime minister.

And he received thunderous applause, cheers, and an extended standing ovation befitting a rock star when he finally took the stage before the packed crowd of 16,000.

“As prime minister of Israel I have a moral obligation to speak out about these dangers while there’s still time to avert them,” he said of Iran, which “envelops the entire world with its tentacles of terror.”

“The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilate us, those days are over,” Netanyahu said, garnering a massive ovation. “Tomorrow as prime minister of the one and only Jewish state I plan to use that voice.”

“Never has so much been written about a speech that hasn’t been given,” he quipped.

He thanked the Israeli ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, as “a man who knows how to take the heat.”

Still, he said, “reports of the demise of the U.S.-Israeli relations are not only premature, they’re just wrong.”

“My address is not to show disrespect to President Obama or the office that he holds — I have great respect for both,” Netanyahu said, adding he’s been “deeply grateful” for Obama’s support for Israel.

The address also is “not intended to inject Israel into the partisan debate,” he added, noting the military assistance from Congress including the Iron Dome missile defense system. “Working together has made Israel stronger; working together has made our alliance stronger.”

“I regret that some people have misperceived my visit here,” he said. “Israel has always been a bipartisan issue. Israel should always remain a bipartisan issue.”

The purpose of his visit, Netanyahu said, is “to speak up about a potential deal with Iran that could threaten the survival of Israel.”

He framed the disagreement as matter of differing perspectives in the U.S. and Israel, where leaders in Washington worry about the security of its citizens while Israel worries about the survival of its citizens.

“America lives in one of the world’s safest neighborhoods; Israel lives in the world’s most dangerous neighborhood,” he said.

In his nine years as prime minister, Netanyahu stressed, “not a single day, not one day I didn’t think about the survival of my country and the actions that I take to ensure that, not one day.”

“And because of these differences, America and Israel have had some serious disagreements over the course of our nearly 70-year-old friendship,” he said, citing historical instances where Washington called out Israel beginning with David Ben-Gurion’s declaration of statehood.

“Despite occasional disagreements, the friendship between America and Israel grew stronger and stronger, decade after decade. And our friendship will weather the current disagreement, as well, to grow even stronger in the future.”

As the region “descends into medieval barbarism,” he said, Israel is “the one that upholds these values common to us and to you.”

“As Christians in the Middle East are beheaded and their ancient communities are decimated, Israel’s Christian community is growing and thriving, the only one such community in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said, drawing a loud standing ovation.

Of U.S.-Israel rifts: “Disagreements in the family are always uncomfortable, but we must always remember that we are family.”

Jihad, Islamic Jew-Hatred, and ‘Najis’ Doctrine in Shiite Iran: Past as Prologue

Ayatollah Khamenei Facebook

Ayatollah Khamenei Facebook

Breitbart, by Andrew G. Bostom, March 2, 2015:

In light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Congress this week and the continuation of Iranian nuclear talks, it is important to understand Iran’s history of Islamist threats against both Israel and the United States. For Part I of this analysis, click here.

Briefly, Shiite doctrine on jihad evolved to be indistinguishable from its Sunni counterpart by the late 13th century, i.e., open-ended warfare against non-Muslims. Iran’s theocratic Shiite Safavid and Qajar dynasties, its primary rulers from 1501-1925 (i.e., barring a period of Sunni Afghan invasion, internecine turmoil, and the heterodox reign of Nadir Shah, covering ~ 70 years during the 18th century), fully implemented this warfare doctrine, including the notion that jihad was more laudable in the absence of the 12th imam.

Al-Amili (d. 1622), a distinguished jurist under Shah Abbas I, encapsulated these views in his authoritative manual of Islamic Law. He wrote, “Jihad against followers of other religions, such as Jews, is required unless they convert to Islam, or pay the poll-tax (per Koran 9:29)”

Predatory jihad campaigns (under the longest reigning Safavid Shah Tahmasp, r. 1524-1576) waged against Christian Georgia—punctuated by massacre, pillage, enslavement, and deportation—were consistent with this doctrine. The killing of non-combatants during jihad campaigns was fully sanctioned according to the prominent 14th, and 18th (to early 19th) century Shiite jurists, respectively, Allameh Helli [Hilli](d. 1325), and Sayyid Ali Tabatabai (d. 1816). Allameh Helli maintained there was a consensus among Shiite legalists that if defeating the enemy required attacking and killing children, women, and the elderly, then these actions were to be undertaken. Ali Tabatabai invoked Muhammad’s campaigns against the Medinan Jewish tribe Banu Nadir and his siege of Taif to justify such actions

This shared, mainstream Sunni and Shiite doctrine on jihad is the validating context in which Iran’s 1979 Constitutional provision on its self-proclaimed “Ideological Army” must be evaluated. Animated by the ideology of jihad, The Islamic Republic’s aggressive, conquering Weltanschauung, is self-evident.

Invoking Koran 8:60, the 1979 Iranian Constitution declares:

In the formation and equipping of the country’s defense forces, due attention must be paid to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps are to be organized in conformity with this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of Allah’s law throughout the world (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse “Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them” [8:60]).

*** (read more)

Conclusions

The Islamic Republic of Iran melds Islam’s totalitarian religious zealotry—a living embodiment of aggressive jihadism and Sharia supremacism—to Shi’ism’s najis-inspired Jew-hatred. Having forcibly returned its indigenous vestigial remnant Jewish population (i.e., the small minority of those 120,000 post-World War II Iranian Jews who have not fled!) to a state of obsequious dhimmitude, this toxic amalgam of belligerent, if “sacralized” Islamic ideologies animates Iran’s obsession to destroy the autonomous Jewish State of Israel, the initial goal of its larger hegemonic aspirations. Moreover, the Islamic Republic’s “pious” adherence to a jihad martyrdom mentality renders deterrence of its expressed nuclear annihilationist designs on Israel, a dubious proposition. Regardless, Iran’s jihadist proxies, in particular, Lebanese Hezbollah, with itsdemonstrated jihad martyrdom pedigree, and now possessing an estimated 100,000 rockets, could operate with impunity under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.

Deciding to cancel a planned visit to her Iranian homeland, Jewish refugee Farideh Goldin, born (1953) and raised in the Shiraz, Iran Jewish ghetto, made these plaintive observations, in a 2006 essay:

Visiting Iran for the last time in the summer of 1976, I vowed never to return. But during the past few years, the temptation slowly crept into me, like a long-abandoned addiction…My husband has never visited the country of my birth. We had planned to spend a year in Iran after he finished his medical internship…[A] medical conference in Mashad [Iran] seemed to be my best chance to introduce my husband to my first homeland. I made the decision to go with much trepidation, however. I am a woman; I am Jewish; I am a writer; each category subjected me to discrimination and suspicion…That was October 21, 2005. Barely a week later, Iran was in the headlines. Its president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, called for the destruction of the state of Israel: every man, woman and child; artist, farmer scientist, grocer; the young girl whose parents walked from Yemen; my friend who was carried out of Syria in her father’s arms, screaming from hunger; the young man from Ethiopia who left everything behind; …—and yes, my mother, father and sister too. What are they to this fanatic leader but a small price to pay on the road to heavenly redemption? …How could I go back to Iran? I mourn for my parents’ loss of dignity, for all the Iranian Jewish refugees still numb with the political earthquake that tumbled their lives. The hands of evil are strong and long, seeking them still—not with daggers and clubs, as when my parents and grandparents lived in the dark ghettos of Iran, when Jew-haters, encouraged by fanatical mullahs, rampaged through their meager belongings—but now with missiles and atomic bombs.

All the potentially catastrophic dynamics Goldin characterized with such eloquence—and despair—persist, and now, after the delusive and destabilizing “P5 + 1” negotiations process approaches finality, have advanced to a truly imminent stage.

The question arises as to why more than 12-years after the August 14, 2002 revelations about Iran’s Natanz and Arak nuclear installations—6-years under the Bush II Administration, and another 6-years (and counting) during the Obama Administration—sound, practical U.S. geostrategic arguments, and actions, such as those advocated by Professor Matthew Kroenig, have been dismissed. My book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel examines at some length, the origins of this tragic, yet entirely avoidable failure of imagination, and will, rooted in intellectual sloth, and cowardice.

The case for limited, targeted military strikes on Iran’s four known nuclear facilities has been made with cogent clarity by Professor Kroenig, Georgetown University International Relations Professor, and expert on Iran’s nuclear program. Kroenig’s dispassionate May, 2014, study, A Time to Attack, elucidates the profoundly destabilizing threat posed by an Iran armed with nuclear weapons:

From Iran, a revisionist and risk-acceptant state, we can expect…reckless behavior. Iran will almost certainly be willing to risk nuclear war in future geopolitical conflicts, and this will mean that it will be able on occasion to engage in successful nuclear coercion. It also means that, in playing these games of brinkmanship, it will increase the risk of a nuclear exchange.

Kroenig then outlines the tactical obstacles military strikes on Iran’s four established nuclear facilities would confront, from the relative ease of attacking the surface Isfahan and Arak sites, to the difficulty of targeting the underground Natanz and Qom complexes.

…Isfahan and Arak are above ground and therefore are easy military targets. We [the U.S.] could easily destroy these facilities using air- or sea-launched cruise missiles, launched from U.S. B-52 bombers operating outside Iranian airspace or U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf.

Natanz is buried under seventy feet of earth and several meters of reinforced concrete, and Qom is built into the aide of a mountain and is therefore protected by 295 feet of rock. To destroy these sites we would need to use the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. The MOP weighs 30,000 pounds and according to open source reporting, is capable of penetrating up to 200 feet before exploding. Some simple arithmetic (200 feet is greater than 70+ feet) suggests that Natanz doesn’t stand a chance. It is unlikely that the MOP could penetrate into the enrichment chamber of Qom in a single shot (295 feet is greater than 200 feet), but we could simply put subsequent bombs in the crater left from a previous bomb and thus eventually tunnel our way in. Putting multiple bombs in the same hole requires a fair bit of accuracy in our targeting, but we can do it. In addition to destroying their entrances, exits, ventilation heating and cooling systems, and their power lines and sources. The MOP can only be carried on the U.S. B-2 stealth bomber. Since it can be refueled in midair, the B-2 can be sent on a roundtrip mission from U.S. bases in Missouri and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean to its targets in Iran and back home again without stopping. The B-2 could also be escorted by stealthy U.S. F-22 fighters, or F-16s, to protect it against fighter aircraft.

This relatively limited, and very brief campaign consisting of “a barrage of cruise missiles and bombing sorties,” Kroenig observes, plausibly conducted in one night, would almost certainly succeed in its intended mission and destroy Iran’s key nuclear facilities.

Citing four historical precedents where pre-emptive bombing of nuclear facilities achievedthe goal of non-proliferation, decisively—“Nazi Germany during World War II, Iran during the Iran-Iraq War, Iraq several times in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, and Syria in 2007”—Kroenig concludes by enumerating the multiple benefits which would accrue from similarly destroying Iran’s known nuclear installations:

There is absolutely no doubt that a strike on Iran’s nuclear facility would significantly set back Iran’s nuclear progress and create a real possibility that Iran would remain non-nuclear for the foreseeable future. Moreover…[a] strike…would stem the spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and bolster the nonproliferation regime around the world. Furthermore, a U.S. strike would also strengthen American credibility. We declared many times that we were prepared to use force if necessary to stop Iran from building nuclear weapons. A strike would demonstrate that we mean what we say and say what we mean and that other countries, friends and foes alike, would be foolish to ignore America’s foreign policy pronouncements.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Deputy Commander Brigadier-General Hossein Salami made the following comments at a conference held in Tehran, which aired on Al-Alam TV on March 11, 2014:

Despite the geographical distance, we are attached to the hearts of the Palestinians. How is it that our slogans and goals are identical to the slogans and causes of the Palestinians? Why do we strive to become martyrs and risk our lives for the Palestinian cause?  The answer is that the religion of Islam has designated this for us – this goal, this motivation, this belief, this energy – so that we, here, can muster all our energies in order to annihilate the Zionist entity, more than 1,400 kilometers away. We are ready for that moment in the future.

The “Trusting Khomeini-Khamenei-Rohani” brain trust shaping current Obama Administration Iran policy maintains the good general Salami doesn’t mean any of this, and it is somehow mere “cultural bluster.” Conservative “Trusting Montazeri/Green Movement,” self-styled “Iran shenasans” (“Iran experts”) would argue the good general is simply “distorting” Shiite Islam and we must be patient, support the (Soylent) Green Movement of Iranian Jeffersonian Democrats, and at some unstated future time point, “regime replacement” will solve the Iranian nuclear weapons, and all other such problems engendered by the “distortion of Shiite Islam.” Accordingly, we must ignore the hard data that show 83% support for the Sharia in Iran, or the 63% of Iranians who insisted that Iran should continue to develop its nuclear program, even at the height of the period of strictest international economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Till now, those are your Iran policy options from the ones who control such discourse—and current or  planned actions—across the political and ideological spectrum. As a potential alternative to this dangerously misguided policy morass, I queried Professor Kroenig (in early November, 2014) about the possibility of urgent Israeli airstrikes. Kroenig’s  A Time to Attack argues persuasively about the limitations of such an Israeli campaign, Israel lacking any known capability, for example, to penetrate the deeply embedded fortifications of Iran’s Qom/Fordow uranium enrichment facility. However, given what is truly needed two-years from now, hope against hope—a complete U.S. political and policymaking class “regime change”—I offer Professor Kroenig’s temporizing solution until the U.S. regains its geostrategic and moral bearings: 

As a last resort, an Israeli strike– and the year or two of breathing space, at minimum, it would buy– would be preferable to acquiescing to a nuclear Iran.

Finally, the American public, regardless of the attitudes of current political leadership and policymaking elites, appears fully cognizant of Iran’s intentions, and the unacceptable security threat posed by an Islamic Republic armed with nuclear weapons. Polling data from a U.S. national sample of 1800 Americans completed Sunday, November 23, 2014,indicated the following:

  • 85% of Americans do not believe the Iranians’ assertions that their nuclear program is peaceful
  • 81% of Americans do not believe the current government in Iran can be trusted to keep agreements
  • 69% of Americans oppose any negotiated agreement leaving Iran with nuclear capabilities

Hope springs eternal such gimlet-eyed Americans will elect equally astute political leaders also endowed with the courage necessary to authorize targeted military strikes which complete a task Israel will have initiated by 2015: destroying, or severely damaging the Islamic Republic of Iran’s current nuclear development facilities, forestalling, and perhaps even preventing long term, a nuclear weapons-armed Iran.

Illustrative materials, particularly key background doctrinal and historical quotes were reproduced from the author’s Iran’s Final Solution For Israel, re-published with an updated preface November 26, 2014.

Israel and the U.S.: Two (‘Unclean’) Dogs in the Same Fight With Iranian Jihadism

iran1a-640x401Breitbart, by ANDREW G. BOSTOM,  March 2,  2015:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is slated to address Congress Tuesday, March 3, 2015 regarding his concerns over the so-called “P5 (i.e., the U.S., Russia, China, France, and Britain) +1 (Germany)” nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, a week before Netanyahu’s scheduled appearance– which is clearly unwelcome by the Obama Administration– Susan Rice, the Administration’s national security adviser, told PBS’s Charlie Rose, bluntly:

I think it’s [Netanyahu’s address] destructive of the fabric of the [U.S.-Israel] relationship.

Subsequently, Israel National News (on March 1, 2015) repeated unconfirmed allegations from a Kuwaiti newspaper that President Obama personally thwarted a planned Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014, threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they reached their Iranian targets. By Sunday evening (3/1/15), in a statement issued toThe Washington Times, a senior Obama Administration official claimed the Kuwaiti report was “totally false.”

Pair this frank denial of the Kuwaiti story with Ms. Rice’s icy, hostile remark, and it reflects an Obama administration thoroughly, even vindictively dismissive of the Israeli Prime Minister’s grave, rational apprehensions. Mr. Netanyahu appropriately rejects the current negotiations process which abets, and de facto legitimizes, Iran’s nuclear aspirations, under the guise of regulated uranium enrichment for promised non-military uses, while ignoring the Islamic Republic’s long range ballistic missile development, and nuclear weaponization programs. Speaking at Bar Ilan University, on February 9, 2015, Netanyahu offered a plaintive rationale for his Congressional address in early March, highlighting the shared existential threat to Israel, and the U.S:

The true question is whether Iran will have nuclear bombs to implement its intention to destroy the State of Israel. That is something we will not allow. This is not a political issue either in Israel or the U.S. This is an existential issue.

Referencing the disturbing findings of a confidential IAEA report exposed by the New York Times on February 20, 2015 (discussed below), Netanyahu later expressed his “astonishment” that the P5 +1 negotiations had not been abandoned altogether:

Not only are they continuing, there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence.

The Israeli Prime Minister re-affirmed his view of the unacceptable dangers such an agreement posed to Israel, and the international community overall. He also criticized the moral depravity of negotiations with an Iranian regime that continued to actively support global jihad terrorism.

[T]herefore, I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world. [Iran] continues its murderous terror activities around the region and the world, does not, unfortunately, bother the international community, which is continuing to talk with Iran about a nuclear accord that will allow it to build an industrial capacity to develop nuclear arms.

The sobriety of Prime Minster Netanyahu’s tocsin of looming calamity is completely validated by the following recent developments, which highlight Iran’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear and conventional military capabilities (directed against both Israel, and the U.S.), all inspired by its openly avowed, bellicose Islamic ideology:

  • An independent report of 102 pp. issued on 11/20/2014, reviewing over a decade of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) analyses (and other investigative findings), concluded (despite repeated, disingenuous countervailing protests) that the Iranian regime continued to engage in “systematic,” “vigorous” combined military, and dual military-civilian efforts “such as enrichment, weaponization, warhead, and delivery system at some stage,” whose ultimate goal was procuring nuclear weapons capability. There were “no serious indications that Tehran has stopped or abandoned this project or intends to do so.” Iran, on the contrary, “has resorted to further secrecy and concealment to keep its program intact and unhindered.” Additional discoveries and data all underscored how “a military program and military related activities” remain “at the heart of the Iranian nuclear program.”
  • A subsequent updated report by the IAEA itself, leaked to the New York Times and disclosed on February 20, 2015, stated that the agency “remains concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military-related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.” Adding Iran had not provided explanations for the IAEA’s queries about all Iranian nuclear-related work, the IAEA report claimed the agency was “not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.”
  • An Israeli TV Channel 2 Wednesday, January 21, 2015 report showed images taken by the Eros B commercial Earth observation satellite revealing that “Iran has built a 27-meter-long missile, capable of delivering a warhead far beyond Europe, and placed it on a launch pad at a site close to Tehran.”
  • Former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz published (on January 22, 2015) a conservative estimate that Iran’s stockpile of low-enriched uranium—which has burgeoned since 2009—could be readily further enriched to provide 6 to 8 nuclear weapons. Reviewing Fleitz’s data, Ollie Heinonen, previously an IAEA official who now teaches at Harvard’s Kennedy School, maintained that Iran could produce a “higher number” of weapons—perhaps as many as 11—from the enriched uranium it has accumulated since 2009.
  • On Tuesday, February 24, 2015, the Iranian opposition group the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) claimed that a complex, dubbed Lavizan-3, on the outskirts of Tehran, was “buried deep underground in tunnels and underground facilities” with “radiation-proof doors” to prevent any leaks that could be detected by the United Nations International Energy Agency inspectors. The NCRI claimed it smuggled out a photograph demonstrating a 1-foot thick lead-lined door which shields the complex from radiation, alleging further that the clandestine rooms and hallways are insulated for sound and radiation leaks so that they would remain undetected. The NCRI also maintained that the Iranian regime has secretly used the site to enrich uranium with advanced centrifuges since 2008, consistent with a long established deceptive pattern of hiding its actual nuclear activities.
  • The presence of Iranian command posts and special forces in the Golan Heights now extends beyond Iran’s pattern of supporting proxy activities (i.e., by Hezbollah). Per May 2014 statements by Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) senior official Hossein Hamedani that were censored and removed immediately after publication in Iran, the command posts are designed to coordinate “130,000 trained Iranian Basij fighters waiting to enter Syria.” A February 13, 2015 essay in the Lebanese publication Al-Akhbar by Nahed Al-Hattar noted, appositely, that while Israel’s nuclear weapons capabilities were constrained due to international considerations, Iran has amassed a “practical, direct and conventional” threat against the Jewish State: “Israel faces a fateful crisis. As much as it feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical, nor does it have anything to do with Israel’s deterrent of using its nuclear weapons, which cannot be used considering the international power balance. The threat has become direct, practical and conventional.”
  • Iran’s Fars News Agency reported February 25, 2015 that at a simulated “life size” U.S. aircraft carrier was destroyed by IRGC missiles during the IRGC Navy’s massive “The Great Prophet 9” war games in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. In a Sunday 3/1/15 follow-up statement, Iranian legislators lauded the IRGC’s naval war games: “Using the hi-tech weapons and complicated and high-precision missiles in these military drills was a clear message to the world that sanctions can never prevent Iranians’ access to the most advanced and state-of-the-art weapons.”
  • On February 11, 2015, during events marking the 36th anniversary of the 1979 “revolution,” the theocratic putsch’s virulently anti-American and anti-Israeli character was re-affirmed. Prominent displays of hatred toward President Obama, shown hanging from a gallows, and Secretary of State Kerry, depicted as a devious fox, were featured. And at a February 11, 2015 address in Kermanshah, Basij commander Mohammad Reza Naqdi declared“The Iranian people calls in unison the slogans ‘death to America’ and ‘death to Israel’. America and Israel will end up like the rest. The Iranian nation’s unity will cause the elimination of these arrogant [countries]…The 5+1 coalition [the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany – who are conducting nuclear negotiations with Iran] is a coalition against humanity and against Islam. The enemies always fear Islam and the progress of the Iranian nation…”
  • Finally, a domino display held in the city of Gonabad, in the Razavi Korasan Province of Iran, February 16, 2015, riveted upon Iran’s nuclear program. Structures made of dominoes simulating obstacles to the Iranian nuclear program—sanctions, the Stuxnet virus, the assassination of scientists—were toppled, being replaced by messages proclaiming Iran’s nuclear accomplishments. Some of the US-related models featured, such as the word “CIA,” the RQ-170 drone, and the US flag, were collapsed. The show concluded with a missile destroying a domino structure of an Israeli flag.

What animates Iran’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons capability, a quest initiated under the combined leadership of Mir Hossein Mousavi (now a “Green Movement” leader), and Ayatollah Khomeini himself, between 1987 to 1988? Though almost universally ignored, or willfully obfuscated and trivialized, Iran’s central abiding motivations are pellucid. Brazenly articulated by its foundational ideologues and governmental decrees, repeated in countless religio-political pronouncements over the intervening 36-years since the retrograde Khomeini “revolution” of 1979, the three pillars of Iran’s hegemonic aspirations remain jihad, canonical Islamic Jew-hatred, and the uniquely dehumanizing Shiite Islamic conception of “najis,” “impurity/uncleanliness,” as it pertains to non-Muslims (which I will elaborate).

For the second part of this analysis, click here.

Netanyahu, Churchill and Congress

Gatestone Institute, by Richard Kemp, March 1, 2015:

There are striking similarities between the objectives of Churchill’s speech nearly 75 years ago and Netanyahu’s today; both with no less purpose than to avert global conflagration. And, like Churchill’s in the 1930s, Netanyahu’s is the lone voice among world leaders today.

There is no doubt abut Iran’s intent. It has been described as a nuclear Auschwitz. Israel is not the only target of Iranian violence. Iran has long been making good on its promises to mobilize Islamic forces against the US, as well as the UK and other American allies. Attacks directed and supported by Iran have killed an estimated 1,100 American troops in Iraq in recent years. Iran provided direct support to Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

Between 2010 and 2013, Iran either ordered or allowed at least three major terrorist plots against the US and Europe to be planned from its soil. Fortunately, all were foiled.

Iran’s ballistic missile program, inexplicably outside the scope of current P5+1 negotiations, brings Europe into Iran’s range, and future development will extend Tehran’s reach to the US.

It is not yet too late to prevent Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons. In his 1941 speech to Congress, Churchill reminded the American people that five or six years previously it would have been easy to prevent Germany from rearming without bloodshed. But by then it was too late.

This vengeful and volatile regime must not in any circumstances be allowed to gain a nuclear weapons capability, whatever the P5+1 states might consider the short-term economic, political or strategic benefits to themselves of a deal with Tehran.

In a few days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the US Congress for the third time. The only other foreign leader to have had that privilege was Winston Churchill. Like Churchill when he first spoke to Congress in December 1941, Netanyahu is taking a risk.

For Churchill the risk was to his life — he had to make a hazardous transatlantic voyage aboard the battleship HMS Duke of York through stormy, U-boat infested waters. For Netanyahu the risk is to his own political life and to his country’s relationship with the United States, given the intense presidential opposition to his speech.

But like Churchill was, Netanyahu is a fighting soldier and, like Churchill, a tough political leader, unafraid to shoulder such risks when so much is at stake. And in both cases, the stakes could not be higher, greater than their own lives, political fortunes or rivalries and affecting not just their own countries and the United States, but the whole of the world.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint session of U.S. Congress on May 24, 2011. (Image source: PBS video screenshot)

There are striking similarities between the objectives of Churchill’s speech nearly 75 years ago and Netanyahu’s today: both with no less a purpose than to avert global conflagration.

Speaking days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Churchill summarized the course of the war thus far but then concluded with a dramatic appeal to the American people for Anglo-American unity to prevent conflict in the future, reminding them that “twice in a single generation, the catastrophe of world war has fallen upon us.”

“Do we not owe it to ourselves, to our children, and to mankind,” he asked, “to make sure that these catastrophes do not engulf us for the third time?”

No less profound, and no less far-reaching, will be Netanyahu’s appeal for American-Israeli unity in the face of a new danger. A danger perhaps even greater than Churchill was able to comprehend in pre-nuclear 1941. Whereas Churchill spoke of a future, as yet unknown peril, Netanyahu will focus on the clear and present threat to world peace if Iran is allowed to produce nuclear weapons.

And like Churchill in the 1930s, Netanyahu’s is a lone voice among world leaders today.

Sen. Ben Sasse: Obama’s Iran Deal Like ‘Getting Your Lunch Money Taken’

ben_sasse_AP

Breitbart, by John Sexton, Feb. 25, 2015:

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska says the deal President Obama is currently negotiating with Iran is akin to “getting your lunch money taken in an alley.”

In a simple video clip posted on Sen. Sasse’s website last week, he argues the administration is “moving the goalposts against our own objectives and interests.” Sasse says the Iran deal, which is still shaping up, is aimed at “explicitly tolerating a renegade nuclear program,” rather than eliminating it as has always been U.S. policy. It’s a deal so bad, Sasse says, he doesn’t “think even Jimmy Carter would make” it.

Sasse opens the clip by noting that Iran has recently expressed interest–once again–in destroying Israel and that it recently played a role in a coup in Yemen which caused the U.S. and other nations to remove their diplomats. Later, Sasse describes Iran as “the undisputed, largest state sponsor of terror in the world.” Given this backdrop, Sasse suggests any policy that softens our approach toward Iran is a mistake, one likely to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

According to the AP, the as-yet-unfinished deal would attempt to limit Iran’s ability to quickly build a nuclear weapon in the next decade. However, the deal would not prevent Iran from running centrifuges used to enrich uranium. Rather, it would limit the number and design of such centrifuges.

President Obama has long claimed that he would not accept a policy of containment when it comes to Iranian nuclear weapons. He told The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg in March 2012 that he opposed such a concession. He also explicitly rejected containment in a speech given at the UN a few months later in 2012. But after the AP story with outlines of the deal appeared Tuesday, even Jeffrey Goldberg said, “If this AP story is correct, then the U.S. seems to be edging, over time, to a policy of Iran nuclear containment.”

As to why the President would negotiate such a seemingly bad deal with an undeniably bad actor on the world stage, Sasse says, “We have a President who sadly appears more interested in the idea of burnishing his legacy than in doing the hard work of admitting that we have a jihadi crisis in the Middle East.”

 

****

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director, Washington Office of NCRI, National Press Club, Feb. 24, 2015

Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director, Washington Office of NCRI, National Press Club, Feb. 24, 2015

More Emerges on Obama’s Phased Nuclear Deal with Iran (newenglishreview.org)

By Ilana Freedman and Jerry Gordon, Feb. 27, 2015:

When we posted late Monday night, February 23, 2015, on breaking news about the phased deal resulting from bilateral discussions between US Secretary of State Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif, we knew from our sources that more shoes would be likely to drop. Last night we received information from these reliable sources on the extent to which the Administration had strayed from its original mandate.  The information was:

  • Secretary of State John Kerry is poised to sign a secret Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the US and Iran that was completed by negotiators on Saturday, February 14.
  • The State Department has received a decision from Eric Holder’s Department of Justice that the MoU does not require approval by the US Senate in the Constitutionally defined process of Advise and Consent for treaties between the United States and other nations, and that therefore Congress will not be consulted.
  • The agreement does not cover the subject of inspections, removing the requirements of having inspections at any of the sites covered by the memorandum.
  • The agreement will allow Iran to have 10,000 enhanced centrifuges that will increase their nuclear program capacity by upwards of 50%.
  • Of the 10,000 centrifuges allotted, all of Iran’s 6,000 existing centrifuges will be converted to the enhanced, next generation versions. The conversion can begin immediately after the agreement is signed. This will enable Iran to achieve a nuclear threshold state in less than two years.  The balance of 4,000 centrifuges will, according to our sources, be supplied by Russia.

It is not known whether other Iranian nuclear sites will likewise fall under this inspection exemption, including military test sites like Parchin and the secret parallel Lavizan site, which was disclosed in Washington on Tuesday, February 24th by the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) in a National Press Club briefing. At the NPC briefing, Alireza Jafarzadeh, Deputy Director of the NCRI’s Washington D.C. office, reported on a secret test site which has been previously identified in reports of the Washington, DC-based, Institute for Science and International Security.

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Iran’s Expansive Role In The Middle East And Latin America, And The Nuclear Negotiations

333893762CSP, by Nancy Menges Luis Fleischman, Feb. 26, 2015:

As negotiations move forward on a nuclear arms agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the United States along with the P5+1 appears to be oblivious to activities of Iran in the Western Hemisphere and other regions of the world.

In the Middle East, Iran has most recently supported insurgencies in both Bahrain and Yemen. The pro-Iranian Houthis just overthrew the American backed government in Yemen which we were working with on terrorism related issues.

In Syria, Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, continue to support the Bashar Al Assad regime with Hezbollah fighting together with Assad’s forces. So far 200,000 people have been killed in Syria with millions dispersed in refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey. Hezbollah now has a perfect excuse to be involved in supporting Assad by invoking the need to defeat the bloody Islamic State. Hezbollah may think that this card could play well in the West which is trying to avoid direct intervention to defeat ISIS and would prefer that local forces to do the fighting.

In Iraq, hundreds of thousands of young Shiites are fighting as part of Iranian-backed militias, with a Shiite sectarian orientation likely to aggravate the sectarian strife prevailing in the country. These militias outnumber the Iraqi security forces, and in addition members of the Iranian revolutionary guards, the pro-Iranian Badr organization, and the pro-Iran Katain Hezbollah are heavily involved, mostly operating outside of Iraqi government control.

In Latin America ever since the election of the late Hugo Chavez to the presidency of Venezuela in 1998, Iran has become more embedded in the region in an effort to spread its influence. Several episodes and activities are illustrative of this point.

A few years ago the late Argentinean prosecutor, Alberto Nisman reported in a 500 page document the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah cells in twelve countries in South America.

For at least ten years if not longer, there have been direct airline flights from Caracas to Tehran. Though these are commercial airlines no passengers are allowed and no one seems to know the cargo they carry but it is believed that weapons and members of Hezbollah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guards might be on those flights. Hezbollah has reportedly trained Venezuelan and other guerillas and has strengthened relations with a number of revolutionary regimes in the region. Likewise, tunnels built across the Mexican-American border are akin to those built by Hezbollah along the Israeli/Lebanese border.

In 2011, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder accused the Iranian Quds Force of plotting to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States. Though Iran vehemently denied complicity, the American government pointed to high officials in the Iranian hierarchy with having approved the plan.

Another Iranian activity that goes largely unnoticed is Iran’s outreach to several small Caribbean nations. In return for financial assistance, these nations have issued passports to Iranian citizens who wish to enter the United States but could not do so using their Iranian passports. Venezuela and a number of other countries connected directly or indirectly to ALBA countries are providing passports to Iranians. One of those holding such a passport is Moshen Rabbani, the man believed to be behind the terrorist attacks against the Argentinean Jewish Community Center (AMIA) in 1994.

Iran has also been the recipient of uranium from Venezuela.

Most recently the government of Uruguay confirmed that an Iranian diplomat left the country after Uruguayan security suspected him of collecting intelligence about the Israeli embassy in Montevideo.

The diplomat was thought to have placed an explosive device near the Israeli embassy early in January. The device was not particularly powerful but investigations carried out by Uruguayan intelligence indicated the possibility of Iran’s involvement in this serious incident. It was not clear to the authorities whether the device was intended to do harm or was just testing their ability to respond.

But what is astonishing about this story is that two months earlier another incident occurred which was intentionally kept out of the public eye by the Uruguayan government. Indeed, on November 24, somebody placed a suitcase near the building that belonged to the old Israeli embassy in Montevideo. Although the suitcase was empty, cameras located a car belonging to the Iranian embassy nearby. Inside there was a man that the police could not identify immediately but it was assumed he was an Iranian diplomat. The police concluded that the empty suitcase was aimed at testing Uruguayan security forces’ ability to respond.

The Uruguayan government apparently decided to expel the diplomat, who himself, is an appointee of the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. That appointee was a vocal anti-Semite, a Holocaust denier and apparently served as a translator in the conversations between Ahmadinejad and the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Furthermore, the man was reportedly working in Uruguay with Muslim converts that have been activists in a radical left wing party. These individuals could well have been potential candidates for terrorist recruitment; an activity Iran has been systematically performing.

Interestingly enough, Uruguay has been and is a friendly country towards Iran (without being a close ally like Venezuela and the other ALBA countries). Uruguay’s outgoing president, Jose Mujica, declared in the past that his country would pursue relations with Iran because it is good and convenient for the country. The Uruguayan foreign minister Luis Almagro was a commercial attaché in Teheran for about five years and under his watch commercial relations between the two countries flourished. Likewise, a Uruguayan parliamentary delegation visited Teheran to strengthen relations and Almagro himself defined Uruguay and Iran as “two countries that fight against injustice and oppression”. (Almagro is the most likely candidate to be the next Secretary General of the Organization of American States).

The incident in Uruguay is another instance where Iran once again displays its nature as a terrorist entity that does not hesitate in using its embassies and the good faith of the host countries to apply its lethal methods. This is what Iran did in Argentina previous to the two deadly terrorist attacks against the Israeli Embassy and the Jewish community center.

Why shouldn’t Iran be doing so if there is no demand for Iran to stop supporting and encouraging terrorism? After all, a year ago Argentina signed a memorandum with Iran where representatives from that country would be part of the investigation into a terrorist attack where Iran remains the main suspect. By the same token, the chief investigator of the terrorist attack, Mr. Nisman, is dead because he dared to investigate a suspected cover up by the Argentinean government-a government that allegedly wanted to exonerate Iran.

Furthermore, the Argentinean foreign minister Hector Timerman summoned the American and Israeli Ambassadors and asked that these two countries stop meddling in Argentinean internal affairs and stop bringing Middle East conflicts to Argentina. The irony of this statement is that Iran chose Argentina as the target of its’ own intense hatred and violence.

Iranians probably laugh at these events where they are being given a pass over and over again. So, the fact that Iranians may have considered an attack on the Israeli Embassy in a country that is friendly to them such as Uruguay shows the ruthless nature of the regime and how little relations or agreements mean to them.

The negotiations between Iran and the P 5 +1 are mainly focused on Iran’s nuclear program. Thus, Iran is treated as a partner in a negotiation over a specific issue but Iran’s terrorist and treacherous nature is not a factor being considered in this equation.

At this point the U.S. strategy could well be to try to reach an agreement with Iran where the latter would be allowed to enrich uranium at a low level. However, there could be a possibility that if Iran decides to develop nuclear weapons, it could take the Iranians a short time to develop them from the moment they make the decision to do so.

The examples of Iran’s activities show several negative signs. First, if Iran can betray friendly countries like Uruguay, why wouldn’t it betray the P5+1? Likewise, what makes us think that we can live with a terrorist subversive Iran that not only has good chances of having a dominant role in a post-ISIS Syria and Iraq but also expands its influence and activities beyond the Middle East including regions as far as Latin America (from where Iran can strike the U.S. via a terrorist attack or by placing missiles in friendly countries such as Venezuela or Nicaragua)?

Iran presents a very complex challenge. Iran’s non –nuclear, threat is not being discussed, nor considered. This possible nuclear arms agreement should not be treated, as if it were something comparable to a commercial transaction. After all, as a nation state, Iran for the last thirty five years has been the foremost exporter of terrorism.. As the United States along with the P5+1 continues with its negotiations with Iran, they might question whether as a non-nuclear power, Iran presents a threat to world peace and stability and if so how will that play out once they were to become a nuclear power.

New Docs Reveal Osama bin Laden’s Secret Ties With Iran

osama_bin_ladenWeekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, Feb. 29, 2015:

This week, prosecutors in New York introduced eight documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as evidence in the trial of a terrorism suspect. The U.S. government accuses Abid Naseer of taking part in an al Qaeda’s scheme to attack targets in Europe and New York City. And prosecutors say the documents are essential for understanding the scope of al Qaeda’s plotting.

More than 1 million documents and files were captured by the Navy Seals who raided bin Laden’s safe house in Abbottabad, Pakistan in May 2011. One year later, in May 2012, the Obama administration released just 17 of them.

While there is some overlap between the files introduced as evidence in Brooklyn and those that were previously made public in 2012, much of what is in the trial exhibits had never been made public before.

The files do not support the view, promoted by some in the Obama administration, that bin Laden was in “comfortable retirement,” “sidelined,” or “a lion in winter” in the months leading up to his death. On the contrary, bin Laden is asked to give his order on a host of issues, ranging from the handling of money to the movement of terrorist operatives.

Some of the key revelations in the newly-released bin Laden files relate to al Qaeda’s dealings with Iran and presence in Afghanistan.

A top al Qaeda operative asked bin Laden for permission to relocate to Iran in June 2010 as he plotted attacks around the world. That operative, Yunis al Mauritani, was a senior member of al Qaeda’s so-called “external operations” team, and plotted to launch Mumbai-style attacks in Europe.

As THE WEEKLY STANDARD first reported, the al Qaeda cell selected to take part in al Mauritani’s plot transited through Iran and some of its members received safe haven there after the planned attacks were thwarted.

In the memo to bin Laden, a top al Qaeda manager wrote, “Sheikh Yunis is ready to move and travel.” The file continues: “The destination, in principle, is Iran, and he has with him 6 to 8 brothers that he chose. I told him we are waiting for final complete confirmation from you to move, and agree on this destination (Iran). His plan is: stay around three months in Iran to train the brothers there then start moving them and distributing them in the world for their missions and specialties. He explained those to you in his report and plan.”

Bin Laden’s reply is apparently not included in the documents.

Other intelligence recovered in the raid on the al Qaeda master’s home show that al Qaeda and Iran were at odds in some ways. Iran detained a number of senior al Qaeda leaders and members of Osama bin Laden’s family. Al Qaeda forced Iran to release some of them by kidnapping an Iranian diplomat in Pakistan. Some of the newly-released files provide hints of these disagreements as well, including a suggestion that one of bin Laden’s sons may complain about the jihadists’ treatment in Iran once he was freed.

The same June 2010 memo to bin Laden that includes Yunis al Mauritani’s request also includes a section on the al Qaeda leaders who had returned to Pakistan from Iran. One of them is Abu Anas al Libi, a bin Laden lieutenant who was captured in Tripoli in 2013. Upon being freed, al Libi was reassigned to al Qaeda’s security committee and asked to move to Libya to take part in the anti-Qaddafi revolution. Al Qaeda granted al Libi’s request.

Although Iran and al Qaeda have had significant differences, there is much intelligence showing that the two continue to collude.

During President Obama’s administration, the Treasury and State Departments have repeatedly exposed the formerly “secret deal” between the Iranian regime and al Qaeda that allows the terrorist organization to shuttle operatives around the globe. Some of those operatives included Yunis al Mauritani’s men.

The June 2010 memo to bin Laden indicates that al Qaeda had a significant presence in Afghanistan at the time.

“Our groups inside Afghanistan are the same as for every season for many years now,” bin Laden’s subordinate wrote. “We have groups in Bactria, Bactica, Khost, Zabul, Ghazni and Warduk in addition to the battalion in Nuristan and Kunz.” (Bactria and Bactica may be transliterated incorrectly and actually reference other provinces.)

“We have very strong military activity in Afghanistan, many special operations, and the Americans and NATO are being hit hard,” the memo continues.

The author, who is likely Atiyyah Abd al Rahman (later killed in a U.S. drone strike), says that al Qaeda had recently cooperated with the Haqqani Network in a major operation in Bagram. “We cooperated with Siraj Haqqani and other commander down there (Kabul/Bagram),” Rahman writes to bin Laden. Siraj’s father, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was one of bin Laden’s closest allies. The Haqqani network and al Qaeda have fought side-by-side for years and the Haqqanis continue to provide shelter for al Qaeda’s men in northern Pakistan.

Al Qaeda’s description of its own presence in Afghanistan is directly at odds with the assessments made by U.S. military and intelligence officials, who have portrayed the group as having only a small number of fighters and being geographically isolated.

Other revelations include the following:

Senior al Qaeda leaders discussed potential negotiations with Al Jazeera over the copyrights for the jihadists’ propaganda films and footage. Al Qaeda also wanted to play a significant role in an upcoming documentary produced by the channel.

Al Qaeda believed the British were ready to cut a deal to get out of Afghanistan. If al Qaeda left the Brits alone, one file contends, the UK was willing to pull out from the country.

Al Qaeda was in direct contact with Al Tayyib Agha, a Taliban leader who has served as Mullah Omar’s emissary. The U.S. government has held direct talks with Agha in an attempt to broker a peace deal in Afghanistan. The Taliban has rejected the goals of those talks, however.

Al Qaeda was monitoring the situation in Libya, and noted that the “brothers” in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) were operating in Benghazi, Derna and elsewhere in eastern Libya. Members of the LIFG went on to help form Ansar al Sharia in Derna and other al Qaeda-linked groups, some of which took part in the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attack.

Bin Laden advised his subordinates that they should contact Abu Mohammad al Maqdisi, a well-known jihadist ideologue, to see if Maqdisi would agree to have one of his books shortened before being more widely disseminated. Bin Laden’s words show how much respect he had for Maqdisi. The Jordanians have routinely imprisoned Maqdisi, but recently let him out of detention so that he could denounce the Islamic State, which has emerged as al Qaeda’s rival. This shows how al Qaeda is using the Islamic State to portray itself as being more moderate.

Thomas Joscelyn is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Also see:

David Ignatius Reveals More Disturbing Details of Obama’s Nuclear Sell-Out to Iran

jk2CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Feb. 25, 2015:

In an article published today, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, a notorious Obama administration apologist, provided his latest endorsement of the president’s deeply flawed nuclear diplomacy with Iran.  Ignatius also discussed some worrisome U.S. concessions to Iran that have not been previously disclosed.

During testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry denied that the United States has proposed a final nuclear deal with Iran last only ten years.  Although the ten-year limit has been leaked to many journalists, Ignatius confirmed that Obama officials want a deal with a “double-digit” duration of 10 to 15 years.

Ignatius also confirmed that a final deal will likely allow Iran to operate about 6,000 uranium centrifuges.  He noted the Obama administration’s justification for allowing this: strict monitoring and intrusive inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities that will limit the “break-out time” – the time for Iran to make enough nuclear fuel for one weapon – to a year or more.   (Click HERE to read the Center for Security Policy’s analysis of this issue.)

Ignatius failed to mention that the Iranian government has never fully cooperated with IAEA inspectors, refuses to answer the IAEA’s questions about weapons-treated nuclear activity, and did not allow IAEA inspectors to inspect all of its nuclear facilities during the nuclear talks.  Ignatius also was strangely silent on yesterday’s revelations by the NCRI, an Iranian dissident group, that Iran has been operating a secret facility where it has been developing advanced uranium centrifuges and may be enriching uranium.

Ignatius’ column revealed some shocking new Obama administration concessions to Iran.  According to Ignatius, although Iran will not be permitted to install more advanced centrifuges in a final agreement, it will be permitted to conduct “limited” research on advanced designs.  Existing operational “non-permitted” centrifuges would be “dismantled,” either by pulverizing them or simply unplugging them.

So according to Ignatius, the Obama administration has proposed allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium with thousands of centrifuges, ‘non-permitted’ centrifuges may only be turned off, and Iran will be permitted to continue to develop new centrifuge designs.  Ignatius does not explain the purpose of Iran’s uranium enrichment.  It can’t be to make nuclear fuel for Iran’s Bushehr power reactor since that would take about 200,000 centrifuges (Iran currently has about 19,000).  As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has explained, there is only one purpose for Iran’s uranium enrichment program: to make nuclear bombs.

Ignatius also revealed the latest Obama administration concession to address Iran’s Arak heavy-water reactor which will be a source of about two weapons-worth of plutonium per year when completed in about a year to 18 months.  Iran constructed this reactor in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.  U.S. and European government previously demanded this reactor be dismantled.  The U.S. and its European allies reportedly backed away from this position over the last year by offering to let Iran operate the Arak reactor if steps were taken to ensure that it produced little plutonium either by a redesign (an irreversible approach) or fueling the reactor with enriched uranium.

According to Ignatius, “negotiators seem to have agreed on a compromise that will halt construction well before Arak becomes ‘hot’ with potential bomb fuel.”  This appears to mean that construction of the Arak reactor will proceed without any alterations to its design or fueling and Iran will be trusted to halt construction just before the reactor is operational.

Ignatius fails to answer two crucial questions about the Arak reactor.  Why does Iran need a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor?  Why has the United States proposed to let Iran to continue construction of this reactor?

As we learn more about the outline of a possible nuclear agreement with Iran, it is becoming more obvious that the Obama administration has made dangerous concessions that will not prevent or slow Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons out of its desperation to get a nuclear agreement with Tehran.  Ignatius’ column also suggests the Obama administration is kicking several difficult issues down the road for a future president to deal with such as Iran’s uranium centrifuges and its plutonium-producing Arak reactor.

Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News last night that the Iranian nuclear negotiations are “simply catastrophic.”  I agree.  Congress needs to respond to President Obama’s nuclear sell-out to Iran by demanding an end to the nuclear talks and passing new sanctions requiring Tehran to comply with all UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.

Group: Iran Operating Top Secret ‘Parallel Nuclear Program’

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 24, 2015:

An Iranian dissident group known for exposing key aspects of Iran’s secret nuclear work claims it now has evidence of “an active and secret parallel nuclear program” operated by Tehran.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), also known as the MEK, said in areport released Tuesday it has found concrete evidence of an “underground top-secret site currently used by the Iranian regime for research and development with advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment,” according to a copy of the findings.

The NCRI, an Iranian opposition group, is known for making big reveals about clandestine nuclear work in Tehran, though its findings have been disputed in the past.

In its latest report, which comes as nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West hit a critical juncture, the NCRI presents evidence of a clandestine nuclear site in Tehran that has continued to perform advanced nuclear research in the enrichment of uranium, the key component in a bomb.

The NCRI claims to have found over a decade-long investigation that the secret military site has been covered up by Tehran under the guise of an Intelligence Ministry center, according to the report.

While the information could not be independently verified, the NCRI claims to have vetted and corroborated the information with multiple sources over many years.

“Despite the Iranian regime’s claims that all of its enrichment activities are transparent and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, it has in fact been engaged in research and development with advanced centrifuges at a secret nuclear site called Lavizan-3, in a military base in northeast Tehran suburbs,” the report concludes.

The site has operated in secret since at least 2008. Iranian regime scientists have used it to conduct critical research into uranium using highly advanced centrifuges that more quickly enrich the substance to levels necessary for a nuclear weapon, according to the findings.

The Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) is said to be “directly responsible” for guarding the underground site and preventing it from being detected by Western inspectors.

Part of the key concern among critics of the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran is that the regime has a history of obfuscating its nuclear program. Many of the research sites have not been fully acknowledged by Tehran, leading some to suspect that even under a nuclear deal, Iran could continue to pursue its controversial work in secret.

The NCRI claims the site is located in the suburbs of Tehran, deep underground and only accessible by an elevator leading to an underground tunnel.

“The underground facilities are dual-layered to prevent radiation and sound leaks,” according to the report.

The NCRI said the site provides firm proof that while negotiators are working to hammer a deal, Tehran’s nuclear work continues unabated.

“Research and development with advanced centrifuges in highly secret sites are only intended to advance the nuclear weapons project,” the report states. “While the regime deceived the world into believing that it had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, it had been in fact heavily involved in excavating tunnels and preparing this nuclear site from 2004 to 2008.”

The dissident organization is urging the United States to make any further talks contingent on Iran admitting to the site and permitting the entry of inspectors.

“If the United States is serious about preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, it must make the continuation of the talks predicated on the IAEA’s immediate inspection of the Lavizan-3 site,” it states.

The NCRI’s report was released at a critical time in the Obama administration’s diplomacy with Iran.

Reports emerged earlier this week that the United States is considering allowing Iran to retain the majority of its nuclear infrastructure under a final deal.

The deal is shaping up to be a two-phased agreement, according to the Associated Press. This means Tehran would be subject to restrictions on its work for around a decade before they are lifted.

The NCRI maintains that the Iranian regime cannot be trusted to negotiate in good faith.

“The notion that the mullahs will abandon their nuclear weapons program [through] nuclear talks is a misguided narrative, which is the byproduct of the mullahs’ duplicity and western economic and political expediency,” it states in the report.

The White House, State Department, and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) received copies of the report several hours before it was made public to reporters.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

***

 

Also see:

 

Iran’s Peace Letter from a Poison Pen

In case you haven’t heard, peace is about to break out in the Middle East.

I realize it doesn’t look like that from the headlines: The government just fell in Yemen; Islamic State forces are threatening U.S. Marines in Iraq’s Anbar Province; Hezbollah is vowing revenge against Israel for killing the son of one of their beloved mass murderers.

But then there is Iran. Thirty-six years after the Islamic Revolution, the mullahs may finally be warming up to the Great Satan. On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sent a letter recently to President Barack Obama saying he was open to a more direct alliance against the Islamic State, if negotiators could iron out a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. Khamenei has even said publicly he was open to a deal. Secretary of State John Kerry has been meeting with his counterpart, Javad Zarif. The meetings! The channels! The back channels! Diplomacy!

It’s the kind of thing that gets the hearts of our Iran-watchers palpitating. Over the years, Iran has sent a string of envoys to meet with Westerners to explain that their country’s war against the U.S., Israel, Sunni monarchies, ethnic minorities, gays, journalists and dissidents is all a big misunderstanding. Deep down, many of Iran’s leaders just want peace, these emissaries say, but they always end up getting undermined by the hardliners. Now, the hardliner of all hardliners, the supreme leader himself, is talking about peace too. And he’s even suggesting an alliance against a common foe. Any day now, he will lead the crowd in chants of “Life to America!”

All of this is tempting. The U.S. has little to show for its on-again-off-again war against Iran, and the two nations’ interests should be aligned in the war on terrorism that began after Sept. 11, 2001. The Sunni Islamists of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State consider the Shiites who run Iran to be apostates of the true faith. Iran has been fighting them in Syria and now is fighting them in Iraq. Why can’t bygones be bygones?

But before declaring Iran’s president his generation’s Gorbachev, it’s worth considering some bad news. To start, Iran has had an opportunistic relationship with al-Qaeda over the years, despite the whole apostasy problem. A year ago, the Treasury Department laid a lot of this out in a designation about al-Qaeda’s network in Iran. Terrorist operatives based in Mashhad, near Iran’s border with Afghanistan, were allowed to facilitate the transfer of al-Qaeda fighters from Pakistan to Syria through Iranian territory. After 9/11, Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, cut a deal with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps to allow family members to live in Iran while they moved from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Iran was also a key base in the last decade for al-Qaeda operatives such as Saif al-Adel, who was kept under a house arrest so loose he was able to write a semi-regular Internet column and help plan al-Qaeda’s war against the Iraqi government.

OK, opportunistic relationships can change. FDR and Stalin were allies against the Nazis, but after the Third Reich collapsed, the U.S. and the Soviet Union fought a cold war. Why can’t Iran and America be new allies in a war against the Islamic State? In many ways they already are.

The problem is: Iran really loves terrorism. Since 1979, it has used terrorism as a tool of statecraft like no other nation. In his testimony Thursday before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Nick Rasmussen, the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Iran and Hezbollah “remain committed to conducting terrorist activities worldwide and we are concerned their activities could either endanger or target U.S. and other Western interests.”

Iran’s leaders have been implicated in terrorist attacks in South America, Europe and the Middle East. The Justice Department in 2011 accused Iran of attempting to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington at a popular Georgetown restaurant, Cafe Milano. For the Islamic Republic to give up its predilection for terror would require a cultural revolution inside its defense establishment. What would the Quds Force be without car bombers and kidnapping?

Some might argue that the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, a supposed reformer, signifies just this kind of change. But there is little evidence he is opening up Iranian society. State executions of gays and arrests of dissidents continue. Even though Rouhani tweeted in 2013 a Jewish New Year message to his followers on Twitter, the regime remains steeped in ugly anti-Semitism. In response to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last month, a cultural center in Iran with close ties to the regime announced a Holocaust cartoon contest. Despite Rouhani’s campaign promises, the leaders of the country’s green movement, the people who took to the streets to protest the 2009 elections, remain under house arrest or brutal detention in the country’s prisons. If Iran is unwilling to stop terrorizing its own people, why should anyone think it will stop terrorizing the citizens of its historic enemies?

And this gets to the most important argument as to why an alliance with Iran is a recipe for more war. Iran has been a partner of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as his troops continue to massacre his own people, causing a death toll conservatively estimated to be north of 129,000. In Yemen, Iran-supported Houthi rebels drove the Obama administration this week to shutter its embassy and CIA station in Sana’a, setting back a crucial war against al-Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate. Iran-supported militias in Iraq threaten the Sunni Arab population, driving many potential Sunni allies into the arms of the terrorists. Iran’s participation in a coalition against Islamic State forces, while seemingly helpful, threatens to turn a fight against a terrorist group into a bloody, regional sectarian war.

It’s hard to know exactly what kind of deal, if any, will emerge from Iran’s nuclear negotiations in Geneva with the U.S. and other great powers. But if Obama believes he can purchase Iranian counter-terrorism cooperation with concessions on its nuclear program, he is paying Iran twice and getting very little in return.

It’s also possible that Khamenei’s messages have been lost in translation. With apologies to Mel Brooks, it could be that when Iran’s supreme leader said he wanted “peace,” he meant: a piece of Yemen, a piece of Iraq, a piece of Syria, a piece of Gaza, a piece of Lebanon. You get the picture.

To contact the author on this story:
Eli Lake at elake1@bloomberg.net

Worse than no strategy – Obama’s ‘secret strategy’ accommodates the leading sponsor of terrorism

Illustration on Obama's secret strategy to promote Iranian hegemony by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Illustration on Obama’s secret strategy to promote Iranian hegemony by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

, Feb. 10, 2015:

It seems like only yesterday that President Obama was being criticized for having no strategy to counter the jihadi threat. In fact, it was about 10 days ago. Peggy Noonan’s Feb. 1 Wall Street Journal column was headlined: “America’s Strategy Deficit.”

Since then, a different perception has been taking root: Mr. Obama does indeed have a strategy — a “secret strategy,” one that is alarmingly misguided.

According to this theory, he believes that fighting terrorism requires accommodating the regime long recognized by the U.S. government as the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

He may also see the Islamic republic not as a rival to the Islamic State but as a more moderate alternative — despite the fact that Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, has repeatedly declared hostility toward America the foundation of the Islamic revolution.

The president appears to believe that Sunni jihadis can be countered by Shia jihadis. Last week, the Islamic State demonstrated its barbarism by immolating a Jordanian pilot. That should not cause us to forget that Iran’s rulers supplied militias in Iraq with improvised explosive devices used to immolate American soldiers, that they are supporting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad who has used chemical weapons to scorch the lungs of his opponents, and that they are continuing to illicitly develop nuclear weapons capable of immolating millions.

Michael Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, has not just speculated about Mr. Obama’s “secret strategy.” He has painstakingly combed through the record and produced a 9,000-word report persuasively establishing that Mr. Obama, since early in his presidency, has been in pursuit of a “comprehensive agreement” that would allow Iran to become what the president has called “a very successful regional power.”

Understand what that means: Iran would be the hegemon of the Middle East. Some states would accept Tehran’s authority, striking deals and kowtowing in order to survive. Europeans would accommodate Iran, based on its control of the flow of Gulf oil. Israel and Saudi Arabia, nations that Iran’s rulers have threatened to wipe from the map, would be left to fend for themselves.

Some Sunnis would almost certainly turn to al Qaeda and the Islamic State to help defend them from Shia domination. Indeed, the Islamic State rose in response to the extension of Iranian power in Baghdad after America’s withdrawal from Iraq, coupled with Mr. Obama’s decision not to support non-Islamist Syrians who had rebelled against the Assad dictatorship.

Mr. Doran cites evidence that in the first year of Mr. Obama’s first term, there were more White House meetings on Iran than any other national security concern. Detente with Iran was seen as “an urgent priority,” but the president “consistently wrapped his approach to that priority in exceptional layers of secrecy” because he was convinced that neither Congress nor the American public would support him.

A year ago, Mr. Doran further reports, Benjamin Rhodes, a member of the president’s inner circle, told a group of Democratic activists (unaware that he was being recorded) that a deal with Iran would prove to be “probably the biggest thing President Obama will do in his second term on foreign policy.” He made clear that there would be no treaty requiring the Senate’s advice and consent.

The president believes that “the less we know about his Iran plans, the better,” Mr. Doran concludes. “Yet those plans, as Rhodes stressed, are not a minor or incidental component of his foreign policy. To the contrary, they are central to his administration’s strategic thinking about the role of the United States in the world, and especially in the Middle East.”

Those plans also explain why the president has refused to use tough sanctions, or even the threat of tough sanctions, to force Ayatollah Khamenei to choose between his nuclear weapons program and economic collapse. Mr. Doran writes: “For Obama, to force a confrontation with Khamenei would destroy any chance of reaching an accommodation on the nuclear front and put paid to his grand vision of a new Middle East order.”

Mr. Doran’s piece was published in the online journal Mosaic on Feb. 2. Four days later, Mr. Obama released his 2015 National Security Strategy (NSS). It contained nothing about the “secret strategy.” In fact, it contained nothing that could be called a strategy.

That appraisal is widely shared. For example, David Rothkopf — who served in the Clinton administration, “voted for Barack Obama twice” and now edits Foreign Policy magazine — called the NSS “a brief filed by the president in defense of his record to date” and “a mishmash leavened by good intentions but unintentionally spiced up by oversights, misrepresentations, and a bad track record.”

Last Friday, national security adviser Susan Rice reassured an audience at the Brookings Institution that “the dangers we face are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or the Cold War.” But if Iran becomes nuclear-armed, other despotic regimes will follow, greatly increasing the likelihood that terrorists will get their hands on nukes and, sooner or later, use them.

Remember that American leaders of both parties similarly minimized the threat posed by al Qaeda prior to Sept. 11, 2001. Is the lesson of that day, as Ms. Rice implies, that we should worry only about existential threats — confident that we can absorb lesser doses of death and destruction? Or should we have learned instead to do all we can to prevent our enemies from inflicting such punishment now and in the future?

This is a debate worth having. But it will be inhibited so long as the president insists on hiding his views, leaving it to a few exceptional scholars to read between the lines.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.

The Watchman: Iran’s Moves in the Middle East and Why You Should Care

Published on Feb 10, 2015 by CBN News

On this week’s edition of The Watchman, we sit down with former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger and White House correspondent Bill Koenig to discuss Iran’s dangerous advance throughout the Middle East and what it means for America and Israel.

Will America Put ‘Boots on the Ground’ to Retake Mosul from ISIS?

AFP PHOTO / ALI AL-SAADI

AFP PHOTO / ALI AL-SAADI

Breitbartby JOHN HAYWARD, Feb. 9 2015:

According to comments from a U.S. Central Command official toCNN, a major ground offensive to dislodge ISIS from Mosul could be coming in April, and American ground forces could be part of it.

This ground force would supposedly be small, assisting the Iraqi army in a primarily advisory role. At present, the Pentagon is evaluating the strength of the Islamic State’s defenses to determine if American troops will need to accompany the Iraqis into battle.

Much depends on whether the ISIS offensive into Iraq has truly stalled out, due to logistical problems, casualties, and a slowdown in the number of foreign fighters imported by the Islamic state as reinforcements. Most encouragingly, the official quoted by CNN claimed ISIS members were “protecting their families by sending them out of Mosul,” suggesting that they know an offensive is coming and doubt their ability to hold the crucial Iraqi city. It was also considered a promising development that ISIS gave up on pouring resources into a battle for the Kurdish city of Kobani, which suffered through months of see-saw battles.

The air campaign around Mosul is focused on cutting off its ISIS occupiers from supplies and reinforcements. Kurdish peshmerga units recently seized three important bridgeheads on the west bank of the Tigris River to the north of the city, which should help isolate the ISIS units inside Mosul when the big Iraqi push to recapture the city begins.

The Islamic State has been characteristically horrible in its treatment of the conquered city. Over the past couple weeks, they have been on a rampage against religious sites they find disagreeable, using construction equipment to level buildings after looting them of relics and books. At least one mosque that did not measure up to ISIS standards was destroyed.

As Fox News explains, one of the things that sets off the ISIS terrorists is the presence of mausoleums on mosque grounds, which they consider “heresy” because the “Faithful” might end up offering prayers to the dead, instead of directing all prayers to Allah. Although, the Islamic State has been certified 100 percent Islam-free by the Obama administration.

ISIS has also set about conscripting the youth of Mosul into its army, ordering families with more than one son to surrender one of their boys for military service to fulfill their “sacred obligation to defend Islam against the infidels,” as one resident told NBC News. NBC also relayed claims from the vice president of Iraq that a network of underground resistance fighters in Mosul has been conducting attacks against ISIS.

It will be necessary to soften up Mosul as much as possible for the invasion because, as the Washington Post observes, Iraqi military units have relatively little experience at brutal house-to-house urban combat, and it would be politically difficult for the Iraqi government to send either Kurdish forces or Iran-backed Shiite militia units into the city. U.S. air support would have to be more precisely targeted in an urban battleground, which is why some number of American boots will almost certainly be on the ground when the battle for Mosul begins.

Bostom Discusses Obama’s Nat’l Prayer Breakfast Speech, Islam as a ROP, Iran, Muslim Reformer M.Z. Jasser, and More

 

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By Andrew Bostom, Feb. 7, 2015:

Audio link (just under 40 minutes): https://soundcloud.com/blazebooks/islam-scholar-dr-andrew-bostom-on-whether-islam-is-a-religion-of-peace-iran-and-much-more

Again, I referred to this two part essay “Jihad Begot the Crusades”, from 2005: Jihad begot the Crusades (1); Jihad begot the Crusades (2)

As for “Slavery”, since the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, see this comparison of U.S. and Ottoman Slavery: Sesquicentennial Comparisons: Black Slavery in America and Ottoman Turkey

The Inquisition and its (Prototype?) Antecedents The Muslim Mihna (an intra-Muslim Inquisition imposed by the inappropriately “lionized” Mutazilities), and more immediately (i.e., to the Inquisition) the Almohad Persecutions are discussed in these essays: Mutazilite Fantasies: Dross in Islam’s “Golden Age of Reason” (The Muslim Mihna); Maimonides and the “Meshugga” Prophet; & The Cordoba House and the Myth of Cordoban ‘Ecumenism’ (the Almohad Persecutions)

For additional understanding of my brief discussion of Muslim reformer Mohammed Zuhdi Jasser, see these essays: Sharia Über Alles (polling data of Muslims across the globe, and within the U.S., Jasser uniformly ignores) Blog: Zuhdi Jasser’s Predicament — And Ours (his apologetics, which, when challenged, devolve into angry lashing out)

These recent discussions of Iran (in print and video), and certainly my book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel, cover aspects all of what I alluded to on Iran: Jihad, Najis, & Islamic Jew-Hatred, The 3 Pillars of Iran’s Hegemonic Aspirations: My 1/28 Appearance on The Iran Truth Panel; Message to Michael* Ledeen on Mousavi, Montazeri, and the Soylent Green Movement; End the Bush-Obama Fecklessness: Destroy Iran’s Nuclear Facilities Now; Updated Author’s Preface to “Iran’s Final Solution For Israel”; A True Iranian Reformer, and His Movement?

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Update, Feb. 9, 2015 : Benjamin Weingarten gives his synopsis of the interview at The Blaze:

Let me start with the Civil War — I mean this is a president who — we can excuse him for his ignorance of Islamic theology and Islamic history, you know despite his nominal background in Islam as a child. But excuse me, but the abolitionists were Christians, and the United States literally went to war with itself, unlike any other society before, to extirpate the longstanding, thousand year longstanding evil of slavery in virtually every human civilization. It’s just appalling that he doesn’t even grasp that fundamental decency about this country.

…[I]f you look at what he’s [President Obama’s] referring to in terms of the Crusades…if I could just share with you something that I wrote ten years ago [from Bostom’s “Jihad Begot the Crusades,” parts 1 and 2]…

The jihad is intrinsic to the sacred Muslim texts, including the divine Qur’anic revelation itself, whereas the Crusades were circumscribed historical events subjected to (ongoing and meaningful) criticism by Christians themselves. Unlike the espousal of jihad in the Qur’an, the constituent texts of Christianity, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, do not contain a form fruste [incomplete] institutionalization of the Crusades. The Bible sanctions the Israelites conquest of Canaan, a limited domain, it does not sanction a permanent war to submit all the nations of humanity to a uniform code of religious law. Similarly, the tactics of warfare are described in the Bible, unlike the Qur’an, in very circumscribed and specific contexts. Moreover, while the Bible clearly condemns certain inhumane practices of paganism, it never invoked an eternal war against all of the world’s pagan peoples [for example like Koran 9:5does…].

The Crusades as an historical phenomenon were a reaction to events resulting from over 450 years of previous jihad campaigns.

So I just did what I could back then to put some of this…blather in context. And then of course he [President Obama] goes on and talks about the Inquisition.

Well…Islam too has had its inquisitions. It’s had its inquisitions against other Muslims dating back to the 9th century…and it also had a horrific inquisition…in the 12th century, imposed upon the Jews in particular, who were massacred, pillaged and enslaved by the tens of thousands, and then forcibly converted to Islam. And some practiced crypto-Judaism, and they were subjected to the same practices curiously that were adopted by the inquisitioners in the same region, so you could argue this might have even been a historical prototype, just within a couple centuries later.

Bostom added:

And the big difference Ben, I think, is that we in the West, as religious and non-religious people, criticize all of these ideologies — whether they’re religions like Christianity and Judaism, or whether they’re very, very horrible secular totalitarian ideologies like Nazism and Communism.

All of the baggage that we have accumulated — and we have accumulated a lot of baggage, unlike in Islamdom, is open to criticism. And that is a profound difference Ben.

Iran and Nuclear Terrorism

1049 (1)By Justin O. Smith:

Feckless negotiating with Iran over the past decade, especially these past two years, have burned an image of a miserable Chamberlain-style failure in the minds of the American people, as President Obama and Secretary Kerry have allowed the greatest threat in the 21st century to become our reality. For all intents and practical purposes, Iran is now essentially a nuclear armed missile state, and rather than pursue more negotiations, the at risk nations, such as the United States, Britain, Germany, France and much of Europe and Israel, must seriously consider a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, before its weaponry can be perfected and mass produced. And even then, small nukes handed to Iran’s proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah, will remain a threat, as long as the Ayatollahs hold their iron grip on Iran.

All the political analysts have been speaking in terms of “if” Iran achieves a nuclear weapons program, when all the evidence suggests that Iran already has one. Long held Shahab-4 missiles with a 2500 mile range and the February 2, 2009 orbit of the Safir-2 Omid _ “Hope” exhibits that Iran has an intercontinental delivery system. Iran also has received an A.Q. Khan warhead design from North Korea, as well as a Chinese warhead design, and it has a currently undetermined amount of near weapons grade uranium, due to its maintenance of a number of secret facilities.

Iran has acknowledged the existence of 19,000 centrifuges, with 9,000 currently operating. These 9,000 centrifuges can produce enough weapons grade plutonium to produce approximately three nuclear missiles in a year. If Iran reduces this number to 7,000 and keeps much of its uranium enriching technology, as John Kerry and others have suggested, experts warn that any reduction in centrifuge efficiency is reversible more quickly than a straight decrease in the number of centrifuges.

While Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani claimed in his February 4th speech that Iran “neither covets nor aspires to acquire nuclear weapons”, there remain many within the Ayatollah hierarchy who would refute this. Rouhani’s opposition states fairly correctly that Sipah-e-Sahaba, an intensely anti-Shiite Islamofascist group, has close ties to Pakistan’s military and intelligence establishment, which stokes Iranian fears of a nuclear first strike by Pakistan. They are also concerned that Riyadh has invested heavily in the Pakistan nuclear program and can get a nuclear weapon at will, which plays a large part in Iran’s nuclear quest.

And, as an unrepentant sponsor of terrorism for thirty-five years, Tehran has made no secret of its desire to wipe Israel/ “Little Satan” and America/ “Big Satan” off the face of the earth, while it has systemized terror as a primary mechanism for accomplishing it goals and exporting its worldview and Islamist ideology. In this context, despite any security issues Iran may have with Sunni nations like Saudi Arabia, the United States must not allow Iran to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons, under any circumstances.

Over the past year the world has seen Iran use its Quds Force and Revolutionary Guard in Iraq and Hezbollah in Syria. We witnessed Iran trade arms and munitions for black-market oil with the Islamic State. And then, Iran threatened to send millions of jihadists to Gaza to fight in the “struggle” against Israel. The news from Iran is never good.

Since Iran already views itself as advancing the Islamic hegemon in the region, just think of the influence Iran will exert throughout the entire Middle East, once it is prepared to fully unveil its real nuclear capabilities. It is already exerting great influence through its finances and military, and in the aftermath of the Iranian backed Shiite Houthis taking control of Sana’a, Yemen, the Arabic media now refers to Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and Sana’a as “the four capitals of Iran”, which Iranian media calls a “victory for the [Islamic] revolution.”

Does anyone believe that the Ayatollahs will not find a way to detonate a nuclear weapon in New York or Chicago, especially with the U.S’s current porous border situation? __ or Tel Aviv?

Although Iran has previously launched several satellites on a south to north trajectory, in an attempt to elude U.S. Ballistic Early Warning Radar, Iran will seek “plausible deniability”. As I wrote on November 30, 2013:

“Utilizing numerous deceptions, such as tramp steamers off the U.S. and European coasts or physically crossing porous borders, it would not be too difficult for Iran to target 29 critical sites in America and the West, identified numerous times by successive Iranian presidents.”

As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke with Greta Van Sustern (Fox News) on January 27th, he observed:

“If we continue on the path we are with the Iranians, they’ll wind up with a nuclear capability … and one day have a [nuclear] bomb. He’s about to make the biggest mistake of this presidency.”

While Obama has previously stated that a nuclear armed Iran represents a “profound” national security threat to the U.S., his Chamberlain-style appeasement tactics have greatly alarmed opponents of Iran’s nuclear program, especially considering that Olli Heinonen, former IAEA Deputy Director General, warned (Jan. 20, 2014) that Iran could build a nuclear weapon within two to three weeks. They see Iran on the cusp of a rapid nuclear break-out, while Obama gives Iran more time to stockpile more uranium, time that the world can ill-afford to give a rogue regime with so much blood on its hands.

With Iran’s Ayatollahs stalling for time and possibly stockpiling an untold number of nuclear warheads (scores?) and Obama and Kerry legitimizing major pieces of Iran’s nuclear program, this U.S. administration and world leaders are failing at a critical juncture of history that demands decisive action, not an unacceptable bad deal that leaves nuclear capabilities in Iran’s hands. Decisive action is needed to stop a defiant Iran, protect U.S. interests and halt a rising Islamic dawn and an era of nuclear terrorism.