Many believe that Senator Chuck Schumer holds the key to dismantling deal with Iran

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Florida Family Association, July 30, 2015:

Thousands of protesters flooded Times Square on July 22, 2015 to rally against President Obama’s controversial Iran nuclear arms deal.  The rally is specifically aimed at urging Senator Chuck Schumer to rally Democratic opposition against the deal in Congress. “New York Senator Charles Schumer has the votes as presumptive leader to override this deal if he wants,” says Jeff Wiesenfeld, one of the group’s organizers. “If this deal is not stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame.”

The Hill Reports Lieberman: Schumer is key to blocking nuclear deal.

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is pressuring a top Senate Democrat to buck the Obama administration on its Iran nuclear deal to ensure a safer future for Israel. 

Lieberman, the Senate’s first Orthodox Jew, blasted the agreement with Iran on “The Cats Roundtable” with host John Catsimatidis on New York’s AM 970.

He said the deal could be effectively blocked with the help of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). 

“I think it opens the way for a lot of other Democrats to oppose it as well,” Lieberman said of his longtime colleague, who is also Jewish.“Chuck is the key.” 

Schumer, who is likely to become the Senate’s next top Democrat, faces a major dilemma over the nuclear deal. He is both a key ally to both Israel and the White House, facing pressure from both sides on the deal.

Lieberman blasted White House negotiators for a deal that he said would allow Iran to ignore U.S. demands and instead support its own regional allies, which he described as “terrorist.” 

“How can you make a deal with somebody who says they want to kill you?” Lieberman asked, reiterating the stance of Israeli leaders and its supporters who oppose the deal. “Pretty impossible in my opinion.” 

ayatollah-ali-khamenei2

Iran’s Khamenei hails his people for demanding death to America and Israel.  Times of Israel – July 18, 2015Iran’s supreme leader on Saturday hailed the Iranian masses for demanding the destruction of Israel and America, and said he hoped that God would answer their prayers.

At Al-Quds day rallies last week, Khamenei noted appreciatively, “You heard ‘Death to Israel’, ‘Death to the US.’ You could hear it. The whole nation was shaken by these slogans. It wasn’t only confined to Tehran. The whole of the nation, you could hear, that was covered by this great movement. So we ask Almighty God to accept these prayers by the people of Iran.”In a viciously anti-US speech delivered in Tehran four days after Iran and the world powers signed an accord designed to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei praised “the slogans of the people of Iran” which “indicated what directions they’re heading for,” according to the English translation of his speech by Iran’s Press TV.

Here are three key points to consider regarding Obama’s Iran Deal:

  • The Iran deal does not permit anytime, anywhere inspections of Iran’s military facilities.
  • The Iran deal lifts the ban on other countries sending Iran conventional weapons in five years and intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of hitting the United States in eight years.
  • The Iran deal, valued at $150 billion, is worth more than all the U.S. aid to Israel since 1948. $150 billion would go to a single regime that has been a state sponsor of terrorism for the entire 36 years of its existence.

The deal does not prevent a nuclear Iran.  It paves the way for the largest state sponsor of terrorism to obtain nuclear weapons and become a major military power.

Senator Chuck Schumer opposing the Iran deal and successfully preventing its implementation would make him a true American and Israeli hero.  He would be taking a principled stand for the national security of Israel and America over succumbing to partisan politics and strong “friendly fire” from fellow democrats.  He would be a hero in all sense of the word.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to urge Senator Schumer to be a hero for America and Israel by opposing the Iran deal.

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Contact information:

The Honorable Charles E. (Chuck) Schumer
United States Senate
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3203

DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax:    202-228-3027
NY Phone: 202-224-6542

Senator Chuck Schumer chuck_schumer@schumer.senate.gov

Mike Lynch, Chief of Staff:  mike_lynch@schumer.senate.gov

Megan Taira, Legislative Director:  meghan_taira@schumer.senate.gov

John Kerry Is Blowing the Iran Nuke Deal

john_kerry_senator_from_ma-2Frontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, July29, 2015:

It’s hard to imagine a worse salesman for the Iran deal than John Kerry. Kerry couldn’t sell himself to Americans as a presidential candidate. Now he has to sell a nuclear Armageddon to Americans.

National security was Kerry’s undoing during his presidential campaign. He had shot American soldiers in the back during Vietnam to build a base for his own political future. He had eagerly pandered to Marxist-Leninist terrorists who massacred native peoples and burned their churches. He had been for the Iraq War before he was against it and for Assad’s Syrian dictatorship before he was against it.

Now Kerry is supposed to sell the most controversial and explosive national security issue since the Cold War to a skeptical nation. And he’s doing just about as well as you would expect.

John Kerry’s tour of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Council on Foreign Relations came with all the nervous tics, the stumbling statements and erratic claims that everyone has come to expect from the only man who could have possibly made Hillary Clinton’s Secretary of State tenure look good.

Asked whether he really believed that Iran, which is sitting on a mountain of oil and gas, just wants a peaceful nuclear program “to generate electricity”, Kerry admitted that it already has a military program.

Then he insisted that we had to go through with the deal anyway so he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of the ayatollah.

“I mean, do you think the ayatollah is going to come back to the table if Congress refuses this and negotiate again?… I mean, please. I would be embarrassed to try to go out—I mean, what am I going to say to people after this as secretary of State?,” Kerry whined.

The Secretary of State for the greatest nation in the world had been reduced to complaining that he would be too embarrassed to renegotiate the deal. Congress had to play it cool and stop embarrassing him in front of his cool new ayatollah friends.

Kerry couldn’t offer a direct answer to the question because he had already argued that Iran “believed deeply that they had a right to… have a peaceful nuclear program; because they resented the fact the United States had supported Saddam Hussein in Iraq”. Iran did restart its nuclear program during the war with Iraq, and, like most nuclear programs during wartime, it was as peaceful as a bomb.

“O Allah, for your satisfaction, we sacrificed the offspring of Islam and the revolution,” Ayatollah Khomeini wrote after the Iran-Iraq War. The letter quoted the need for “atomic weapons” and evicting America from the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s current Supreme Leader had told top officials that Khomeini had reactivated Iran’s nuclear program, vowing that it would prepare “for the emergence of Imam Mehdi.”

Imam Mehdi was never going to be impressed with a slightly lower electric bill.

Kerry had contradicted himself in a single response, admitting that the nuclear program had reemerged during the Iran-Iraq War while claiming that it was peaceful.

But Kerry’s real focus was always on empathizing with the enemy.

“I know, the degree to which Iran felt isolated by that and the sort of impact of the choices that were made during that period of time. So we’re trying to make up for that now. We’re where we are. We’re not blaming anybody,” he offered in his new role as the Ayatollah’s infidel therapist.

He insisted that 24 days was plenty of time just to get access to an Iranian rogue nuclear site while admitting that, “The breakout time goes down to always somewhere in the vicinity of a month or two.” And he suggested that Iran would become peaceful because he had “friends” who had been to Tehran and told him it was “teeming with young people who all have smartphones.”

And Kerry just wanted to go to Tehran and hang out with all the teeming cool young people and their smartphones.

The need for approval from enemies of the United States was quintessential Kerry. Utterly unwilling to acknowledge that there was a different worldview on the other side of the table, he namedropped his opposite number as “Foreign Minister Zarif, who lived here in New York” as if a man who lived in the city couldn’t possibly be a fanatical enemy of the United States.

That would have come as a surprise to Mahmud Abouhalima or Leon Trotsky.

But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

Challenged on welcoming back a terrorist state to the international arena, Kerry claimed that he had told the Iranians that their chants of “Death to America” were not helpful. Asked about other states getting nuclear weapons to compete with Iran, Kerry quipped that, “You can’t just go out and buy a nuclear weapon. You don’t ship them FedEx, you know.”

If Kerry had been paying attention in the Senate, he would have known that the Khan nuclear network which shipped kits of nuclear equipment and bomb plans, had been caught by Bush shipping crates to Libya. It wasn’t FedEx, but it was close. Bush had managed to achieve a complete shutdown of Libya’s nuclear program, while Kerry had legalized the other beneficiary of the Khan network in Iran.

This would have been a month’s worth of gaffes for any other politician, but for John Kerry, it was just one question and answer session gone wrong.

Kerry had already told PBS that Iran isn’t “allowed” to transfer any of the $140 billion in sanctions relief to terrorists because of a UN resolution, before admitting that Iran would probably do it anyway. Then he had backpedaled by claiming that money wouldn’t make much of an impact on terrorism anyway.

When asked about Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s threats to America and announcement that he would continue funding terrorists, Kerry spluttered that he doesn’t “know how to interpret it at this point in time”.

“Death to America” can be surprisingly nuanced when analyzed by a master of nuance like John Kerry.

Kerry had managed to torpedo a plan for air strikes on Syria through his own inept statements. Now he’s sabotaging another administration policy goal.

The more Kerry talks, the more he comes off as a car salesman pushing the latest gently used nuclear Armageddon. He stumbles unconvincingly from one rationalization to another, revealing more about his insecurities than his policies.

Every Kerry argument is a thread and it doesn’t take much tugging on it for the whole dirty garment to come apart in a snarl of rationalizations and half-truths. Like a bad liar, he instinctively contradicts himself. And like a worse liar, he follows it up with false choices and false accusations.

His every argument comes down to some version of “Well what’s your alternative” or “If we walk away now, we lose all credibility”. It’s the argument you expect to hear from a man who has sent his fortune off to a Nigerian prince, not the Secretary of State of the United States.

The conclusion to every Kerry argument is the desperate pessimism of, “We have no other choice.” While Iran’s leadership gleefully celebrates, Kerry tells us that there are no other options. The more he talks, the more he convinces everyone who listens that the United States lost.

Underneath it all is a persistent whine. It’s the tone of an overgrown teenager who just wants to hang out with all the cool Marxist-Leninist rebels, Islamic terrorists and Viet Cong bosses. Somewhere in his mind, Kerry is still a petulant teenager resentful that he has to justify his fun times with Zarif, who used to live in New York and probably knows lots of teenagers with smartphones, by testifying to Congress.

Kerry doesn’t care about Iran’s nukes or its breakout times and he resents having to memorize this stuff. What excites him is giving the finger to America and meeting up with enemies of this country. It’s how he began his career and it’s how he’s ending it now. The more questions he has to answer, the more flustered he becomes because we’re the mean parents embarrassing him in front of the cool ayatollah. 

***

John Kerry Struggles to Explain How Iran Nuclear Deal Benefits U.S.

Ret. Admiral Stavridis: ‘You Can Drive a Truck Through’ Holes in Iran Deal

Also see:

The Iran Deal and the ‘Problem of Conjecture’

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on March 8 in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where he is leading Shiite militias against Islamic State; President Obama at a White House news conference, July 15; Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, June 4. PHOTO: REUTERS/ASSOCIATED PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani on March 8 in the Salahuddin province of Iraq, where he is leading Shiite militias against Islamic State; President Obama at a White House news conference, July 15; Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in Tehran, June 4. PHOTO: REUTERS/ASSOCIATED PRESS/GETTY IMAGES

WSJ, By Niall Ferguson, July 24, 2015:

In making the case for his nuclear-arms-control deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran, President Obama has confronted Congress with a stark choice. “There really are only two alternatives here,” he declared at last week’s press conference. “Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war.”

This binary argument is so central to his administration’s case that the president provided a second formulation: Without the deal, he said, “we risk even more war in the Middle East, and other countries in the region would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs, threatening a nuclear arms race in the most volatile region in the world.”

The president insists that the Iran deal is tightly focused on “making sure” that the Iranians “don’t have a bomb.” It is not, he says, “contingent on Iran changing its behavior” in any other respect—notably the funding of proxy armies and terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East. “The incremental additional money that they’ve got to try to destabilize the region,” according to Mr. Obama, is not “more important than preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Listening to all this, I am reminded of what Henry Kissinger once called the “problem of conjecture.” Writing in 1963, before anyone had devised a way to slow down a Soviet nuclear-arms program vastly bigger than any Iran will ever have, Mr. Kissinger summed up the dilemma that faces any strategic decision maker: “the choice between making the assessment which requires the least effort or making an assessment which requires more effort.” The problem of conjecture is that if a statesman “acts on the basis of a guess, he will never be able to prove that his effort was necessary, but he may save himself a great deal of grief later on. . . . If he waits, he may be lucky or he may be unlucky.”

The key point of the problem of conjecture is that the payoffs are asymmetrical. A successful pre-emptive action is never rewarded in proportion to its benefits because “posterity forgets how easily things might have been otherwise.” Indeed, the statesman who acts pre-emptively is more likely to be condemned for the upfront costs of pre-emption than to be praised for its benefits in the form of averted calamities. By contrast, playing for time is not absolutely certain to lead to disaster. Something may turn up.

To illustrate his point, Mr. Kissinger cited the classic example of the policy of appeasement, which was designed to slow down, not to halt or reverse, the rearmament and expansion of Nazi Germany. If the democracies had moved earlier to contain Germany, Mr. Kissinger argued, “we wouldn’t know today whether Hitler was a misunderstood nationalist, whether he had only limited objectives, or whether he was in fact a maniac. The democracies learned that he was in fact a maniac. They had certainty but they had to pay for that with a few million lives.”

The analogy with 1930s Europe is as overused as it is rarely applicable. But in one respect it is relevant here. Like President Obama today, Britain’s Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was playing for time in 1938, reasoning that a conflict at that point would be worse than a conflict in the future. The conjecture, then as now, was that buying time would improve the relative strategic position.

Whatever Mr. Obama may say, the point of this nuclear deal isn’t just to postpone the Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons by 10 years. For it to be more than a mere deferral, it also must improve the relative strategic position of the U.S. and its allies so that by 2025 they will be in a stronger position to stop Iran from entering the club of nuclear-armed powers. How might the U.S. achieve this?

As the president put it, his “hope is that building on this deal, we can continue to have conversations with Iran that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative . . . in resolving issues like Syria or what’s happening in Iraq, to stop encouraging Houthis in Yemen.” His goal by the time he “turn[s] over the keys to . . . the next president, is that we are on track to defeat ISIL . . . that we have jumpstarted a process to resolve the civil war in Syria, [and] that in Iraq . . . we’ve also created an environment in which Sunni, Shia and Kurd are starting to operate and function more effectively together.”

This echoes Mr. Obama’s illuminating account of his strategy for the Middle East to the New Yorker magazine in January 2014. “It would be profoundly in the interest of citizens throughout the [Middle East] if Sunnis and Shias weren’t intent on killing each other,” he mused. And “if we were able to get Iran to operate in a responsible fashion—not funding terrorist organizations, not trying to stir up sectarian discontent in other countries, and not developing a nuclear weapon—you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran.”

In short, for all the high-flown rhetoric of the president’s speeches, his goal is the classic realist objective of a balance of power in the region. The technicalities of the Iran deal—the number of centrifuges, the size of the enriched-uranium stockpile, the rigor of the inspections regime—need not detain us here. The key question is whether or not slowing down Iran’s nuclear program will increase regional stability. Critics of the deal should acknowledge that it might, for in the realm of conjecture there are no certainties. But the president and his advisers should admit that the probability is very, very low.

“The really important question,” Mr. Obama told the Atlantic magazine in May, is “how do we find effective partners—not just in Iraq, but in Syria, and in Yemen, and in Libya—that we can work with, and how do we create the international coalition and atmosphere in which people across sectarian lines are willing to compromise and are willing to work together in order to provide the next generation a fighting chance for a better future?” The answer: Not this way.

Why should Iran suddenly mend its ways? In return for merely slowing down its pursuit of nuclear weapons, it is being handed up to $150 billion in previously frozen assets, a commercial bonanza as sanctions are lifted, and the prospect of an end to conventional arms and ballistic-missile embargoes after, respectively, five and eight years. All Iran has to do is keep the International Atomic Energy Agency happy that it is sticking to its nuclear commitments. There will be no “snap back” of sanctions if Tehran opts to use its new resources to double or quadruple its support for Hezbollah and Hamas, the Assad regime in Syria, and the Houthi rebellion in Yemen.

Now ask yourself: How are Iran’s rivals likely to respond to this timeline of Iranian rearmament: increased support for proxies this year, upgraded conventional weapons in 2020, ballistic missiles in 2023, and nukes in 2025? The president’s conjecture is that by buying time he also gets closer to a regional balance. The alternative and much more likely scenario is that he gets an arms race and escalating conflict.

Historical analogies must be used with care. Last week the president boldly likened his deal with Iran to Richard Nixon’s opening to China and Ronald Reagan’s strategic-arms-reduction treaty with the Soviet Union. These analogies are misleading. Mao Zedong andMikhail Gorbachev did their deals with the U.S. from positions of weakness. In the early 1970s, the Chinese Communists were threatened externally by the Soviets and internally by their own crazy Cultural Revolution. In the 1980s the Soviets were losing the Cold War not only economically but ideologically. By contrast, though under intense economic pressure because of the U.S.-led sanctions campaign, the Iran regime has been gaining strategically since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and domestically since the crushing of the Green Revolution in 2009.

In the Cold War, communism posed a twofold challenge: the Leninist and the Maoist. The U.S. had some success containing the Soviet version in Europe and the Middle East, but struggled to contain the Maoist version in Korea, risked Armageddon to keep Soviet missiles out of Cuba, and failed miserably to save South Vietnam. The Kissingerian solution was to be closer to the two Communist powers than they were to each other.

The U.S. used a mix of détente and containment on the Soviets, and engagement with the Chinese. But Washington also built very strong alliances in Europe and Asia. And the U.S. overtly resisted the ideological challenge posed by both brands of Marxism.

What, by contrast, is the strategy today? Faced with two forms of Islamic extremism, Shiite and Sunni, we are tilting toward Iran, the principal sponsor of the former. We are alienating our allies, moderate Sunnis as well as Israelis. In doing so, I fear, we are stoking the flames of sectarian conflict at all levels, from the local to the national to the regional. And all the while President Obama repeats the hollow mantra that “Islam is a religion of peace.”

To repeat: No one can say for sure what will come of the president’s strategy. It may magically produce equilibrium in the Middle East, as he hopes. But all the evidence points the other way: toward a continuing escalation of violence in the region, and indeed throughout the Islamic world.

According to the International Institute of Strategic Studies’ Armed Conflict Database, total fatalities due to armed conflict increased world-wide by a factor of roughly four between 2010 and 2014. The Middle East and North Africa accounted for more than 70% of the increase.

According to the statistics on terrorism gathered by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, the number of terrorist incidents world-wide quadrupled between 2006 and 2013, while the number of fatalities rose by 130%. In that period, the percentage of fatalities attributable to Muslim groups rose to 92% from 75%.

President Obama’s conjecture is that his nuclear-arms deal with Iran will somehow break these trends. My conjecture is that the effect will be exactly the opposite. Even before he hands over the White House keys to his successor, we shall see that there was no simple, binary choice between peace and war. We bought time. We postponed Iran’s nuclear breakout. But we also stoked the flames of a conflict that doesn’t need nukes to get a lot more lethal than it already is.

Mr. Ferguson’s first volume of a biography of Henry Kissinger will be published by Penguin Press in September.

Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) (Danny Johnston/Associated Press)

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) (Danny Johnston/Associated Press)

Washington Post, b July 27, 2015:

President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.

Worse, Obama didn’t even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency.

In an interview, Pompeo told me that he and Cotton were meeting with the deputy director of the IAEA and the agency’s two top Iran negotiators just days after the nuclear accord was announced, when they asked how the agency will carry out verification at the Iranian military complex at Parchin. IAEA officials told them, quite casually, that the details were all covered in agreements negotiated between the IAEA and the Iranian government. It was the first they had heard of the side deals.

Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”

It turns out that only the two parties — the IAEA and Iran — get to see the actual agreements (though you can see a picture of Iranian and IAEA officials holding up what appear to be the secret accords here).

In other words, Obama is gambling our national security and handing over $150 billion in sanctions relief to Iran, based on secret agreements negotiated between the IAEA and Iran that no U.S. official has seen.

“We need to see these documents in order to evaluate whether or not verification is ample to make such a big concession to the Iranians,” Pompeo says. “No member of Congress should be asked to vote on an agreement of this historic importance absent knowing what the terms of the verification process are.”

In fact, the Obama administration’s failure to transmit these side deals to Congress is a violation of the law. The Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, which Obama signed into law, explicitly states that the president must transmit the nuclear agreement along with “all related materials and annexes.” That clearly covers any side agreements covering the verification of Iran’s compliance.

Susan Rice told reporters the administration “provided Congress with all of the documents that we drafted or were part of drafting and all documents shared with us by the IAEA.” Sorry, that’s not what the law requires.

But the administration cannot hand over what it apparently does not have. For Pompeo, that raises even more troubling questions. “Why on earth is the president letting the negotiations [on verification] be negotiated by someone other than us?” he asks. How can it be that the administration would “do a deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, that’s spent its entire existence cheating, and we would sign off on a deal with them whose core provisions are completely unknown to our side? It’s remarkable.”

What is in the secret side deals? According to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), one of the side deals governing inspections of the Parchin military complex allows Iran to collect its own soil samples, instead of IAEA inspectors. That is like letting Lance Armstrong collect his own blood samples for a doping investigation. “I suspect if we’re able to actually go over [these agreements], you find half a dozen that you would stare at and realize we really didn’t get verification,” Pompeo says.

Congress should insist on seeing the side deals before it votes on the Iran accord. The only way to stop the agreement is for Congress to override the president’s veto through a resolution of disapproval with a two-thirds vote in both houses. That would require 13 Senate Democrats and 45 House Democrats to vote no — which would have been highly unlikely until the revelation of these secret deals.

It remains to be seen whether the revelation of the secret side deals will make it impossible for Democrats to vote in favor of the Iran agreement. How, Pompeo asks, can they explain to their constituents that they voted for a nuclear deal with Iran without knowing how it will be verified?

“My mission in the next 45 days is to convince 45 House Democrats to override the veto,” Pompeo says. “It’s a long climb, but this is important.”

Read more from Marc Thiessen’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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EMP threat

Sen. Johnson asked the energy secretary if he was aware of the 2008 congressional commission report that concluded an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, attack would kill up to 90 percent of the U.S. population within a year, by knocking out the U.S electric grid with the explosion of just a single nuclear bomb over the American heartland.

To the senator’s amazement, Moniz replied he had not.

Johnson asked if Moniz was aware that Iran had practiced EMP attacks with simple scud missiles.

He was not.

Johnson said that alarmed him, especially in light of the details of the Iran deal, because in the seven years since the congressional report, “we have done nothing to protect ourselves” against the EMP threat.

“We better start now,” the senator concluded.

Congress Must Hold Obama Accountable for His Deception Over Iran

impeach-obama-over-iran-deal-b

By lying and withholding information about the agreement, he gives aid and comfort to America’s enemy.

National Review, by Andrew McCarthy, July 25, 2015:

The president “must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate.”

One can imagine hearing such counsel from a contemporary United States senator on the receiving end of President Obama’s “full disclosure” of the nuclear deal with Iran. But the admonition actually came from James Iredell, a champion of the Constitution’s ratification, who was later appointed to the Supreme Court by President George Washington.

Iredell was addressing the obligations the new Constitution imposed on the president in the arena of international affairs. Notwithstanding the chief executive’s broad powers to “regulate all intercourse with foreign powers,” it would be the president’s “duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives.” Indeed, among the most egregious offenses a president could commit would be fraudulently inducing senators “to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them.”

A little over a year ago, I recounted Iredell’s cautionary words in Faithless Execution. They echo an instructive illustration offered by James Madison, the Constitution’s principal author: If the president were “to commit any thing so atrocious” as to fraudulently rig Senate approval of an international agreement, he would “be impeached and convicted.”

RELATED: Is the Iran Deal the Worst Political Blunder of All Time?

Interestingly, the perfidy in Madison’s hypothetical involved summoning into session only senators favorably disposed toward a formal treaty that the president wanted approved. That was more plausible in the late 18th century: Under the Constitution, a treaty may be approved by “two thirds of the senators present” for the vote; and back then, senators coming from far and wide could not fly to the nation’s capital at the drop of a hat.

The hypothetical is telling as we consider Obama’s Iran deal. The Constitution makes treason a ground for impeachment, but it seems to have been outside Madison’s contemplation that a president would actually be so insidious as to use his foreign-affairs power to give aid and comfort to an enemy of the United States. On that score, note that as soon as Obama’s deal was announced, not only was Iran’s foreign minister vowing to continue funding jihadist terror; the regime’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was also extolling the continued Iranian call for “Death to America.”

RELATED: Obama’s Iran Deal Is the Opposite of What He Promised the American People

Madison could not fathom a president who undermines the Constitution’s treaty requirements by the ruse of labeling a treaty an “agreement” or a “joint plan of action.” Still less could he imagine a president who resorts to chicanery in communicating the terms of an international agreement to the Congress. Such duplicity must have seemed inconceivable.

Yet now, it is not just conceivable. It is happening:

Obama’s original stated commitment to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear-weapons power has deteriorated into a deal that enables Iran to become a nuclear-weapons power by abiding by the deal’s terms. The mullahs’ inevitable cheating will merely speed up matters; the outcome is already certain.

Obama is willfully providing material support to the mullahs’ terrorism (a felony violation of federal law) — the deal will inject over $100 billion into Iran’s economy, and Iran brags that it will continue its open and notorious funding of Hezbollah and other anti-American, anti-Western, and anti-Israel “allies” (while the administration splutters that, gee whiz, curbing terrorism was not part of the negotiations).

Obama not only lifts restrictions on Iran’s traffic in ballistic missiles and conventional weapons (which were also not supposed to be part of the negotiations) but also looks the other way while Russia sells the mullahs hundreds of sophisticated surface-to-air missiles — missiles that will be used against American forces when, inevitably, a future president decides to deal differently with our enemies.

Obama’s deal, rationalized as necessary to delay (but no longer to forbid) Iran’s nuclearization, obliges the United States to protect Iranian nuclear facilities from sabotage — i.e., the deal makes America the scourge of erstwhile allies like Israel, with which we have colluded in impeding our actual enemy’s nuclear progress.

Yet, however shocking they may be, these acknowledged concessions do not fully convey the depth of the president’s betrayal. After a few days of misdirection, administration officials now admit that there are “side deals” that the administration has not revealed to Congress and does not intend to make public.

So far, we know of two “side deals” — who knows how many more there may actually be? As the Center for Security Policy’s Fred Fleitz writes in National Review, they involve (a) a full accounting of Iran’s prior nuclear activities (many of which are believed to have been in blatant violation of international law) and (b) access to the Parchin military base, where Iran has conducted explosive testing related to nuclear missiles.

Apropos of these subjects, recall that the administration repeatedly promised there would be no deal, that the president would walk away from the table, unless Iran agreed to a rigorous inspection regiment. Such a regiment minimally requires: (a) complete disclosure of the “possible military dimensions” of Iran’s past nuclear work, in order to establish a baseline for evaluating future conduct, and (b) the ability to conduct credible snap inspections of nuclear facilities.

RELATED: Obama: Witless or Willing?

Despite the administration’s chest-beating about these “red lines,” the Iranians remained alternatively coy and intransigent: When not lying about what cards they were willing to show, the mullahs insisted that Americans would not be permitted to snoop around their country and interfere in their military affairs.

Someone had to cave in, and — you could set your watch on it — that someone is Obama (if, that is, you are one of those who believed he was being honest in the first place). Thus the problem: how to cover up this decisive surrender within the surrender?

So, in his signature “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan” style, the president has come up with a fraudulent scheme: use the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) as a smokescreen. His administration now cynically claims that these critical agreement components — the rationale for lifting American sanctions on and making American commitments to the “Death to America” regime — actually have nothing to do with America . . . they are strictly between Tehran and the IAEA. Translation: Blame the IAEA, not Obama, for the abandonment of Obama’s core commitments.

RELATED: Obama’s Jihadist Stimulus Package

This would be laughable if it were not so offensive — and so perilous. Put aside that the Constitution does not permit the U.S. government to delegate American national security to anyone. The IAEA is not an independent actor. It is an international bureaucracy forged by the United States in the 1950s. Not only is the U.S. is a staple of its governing board; the American people underwrite over 25 percent of its budget. Furthermore, the IAEA reports to the United Nations (to which the American taxpayers’ contribution also far exceeds that of other countries) and, specifically, to the U.N. Security Council (of which the United States remains the dominant permanent member).

Now consider this: Under cover of this IAEA ruse, Obama ran to the Security Council and rammed through a resolution commencing implementation of his Iran deal before Congress or the American people could consider it. He thus undermined American sovereignty and the Constitution by scheming to impose an international-law fait accompli. And he thus undermined American national security by transferring his inspection commitments to an international agency that he knows is not close to being capable of executing them — an agency that will be further hampered by notice restrictions that, as Charles Krauthammer concludes, render the inspections “farcical” in any event.

The Constitution forbids providing aid and comfort to America’s enemies. And the Framers’ notion that a president would be punishable for deceiving Congress regarding the conduct of foreign affairs meant that lawmakers would be obliged to use their constitutional powers to protect the United States — not merely shriek on cable television as if they were powerless spectators.

Well?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Also see:

Iran and the Bomb

From the 'Stop Iran Rally' held in New York city July 22. (Photo: screenshot)

From the ‘Stop Iran Rally’ held in New York city July 22. (Photo: screenshot)

Prager University, By Bret Stephens, May 12, 2014:

Many countries have nuclear weapons, and many more want them. Only one, though, has its neighbors and the world terrified. That country is Iran. Why is everyone so concerned? Because the Islamic theocracy has repeatedly threatened to destroy Israel, sponsors global terrorism, and would leverage the deterrence effect of a nuclear weapon to advance their anti-Western and anti-American interests. Bret Stephens, foreign affairs columnist for the Wall Street Journal explains the one thing you really need to know in order to understand why we can’t let Iran get the bomb — they may actually use it.

As I See It: Arming all sides for nuclear war

Photo by: REUTERS

Photo by: REUTERS

Jerusalem Post, by Melanie Phillips, July 23, 2015:

The “Special Relationship” between America and Britain clearly has one little-known attribute. It inflicts a lethal paralysis on the non-American partner.

Strikingly, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has been increasingly showing that he “gets it” on domestic Islamic extremism.

He has also evolved into the most pro-Israel leader in Europe.

Yet at the same time he has signed up to the appalling farce of the US-led surrender to Iran, thus putting Britain as well as America, Israel and much of the world at risk. So how can he “get it” about bits of what he correctly terms “the struggle of our generation,” but not the rest of it? In a landmark speech he gave earlier this week on Islamic extremism, Cameron showed he is beginning to understand the threat from the Islamic jihad.

True, he repeated the presumptuous mantra that Islamism was “not true Islam.” It would surely be more appropriate to say that Islamism is a fanatical interpretation of Islam rooted in the religion.

And as Cameron went on to make clear, he understands that this indeed is the problem because he boldly placed himself squarely behind those Muslims seeking to bring about an Islamic reformation. To deny that Islamist violence had anything to do with Islam, he said, meant “you disempower the critical reforming voices; the voices that are challenging the fusing of religion and politics; the voices that want to challenge the scriptural basis which extremists claim to be acting on.”

Absolutely.

He also understood that within Islam there was a “spectrum of extremism.” As he said, it was not enough for Muslims to say they abhorred ISIS (Islamic State).

“We’ve got to show that if you say, ‘Yes I condemn terror – but the kuffar are inferior,’ or, ‘Violence in London isn’t justified, but suicide bombs in Israel are a different matter’ – then you too are part of the problem.”

Wow. This was the second time recently that Cameron identified Britain with Israeli victims of terrorism – a bold move in a country where any expression of public support for Israel elicits from the political and cultural elite a sharp intake of breath.

And he went even further by stressing that a key factor behind Islamic extremism was the Muslim world’s paranoia “that Jews exercise malevolent power; or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam.”

This identification of Muslim anti-Jewish hatred with anti-Western jihadi violence is a crucial understanding. And nowhere is this deranged connection more evident than in the genocidal ravings by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Yet this same David Cameron is supporting a so-called deal which commits Britain, the US and others to help put nuclear weapons into the hands of those same genocidal Islamists.

If the P5+1 negotiators had deliberately set out to produce an Orwellian negation of every single thing they purported to be doing, making themselves appear guilty of criminal cynicism, treachery or utter imbecility, they could not have exceeded the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action finalized in Vienna.

This plan has endorsed Iran, the West’s sworn enemy and the world’s principal sponsor of terrorism, as a nuclear threshold state.

The plan allows Iran to keep its nuclear program intact. At best it will delay its nuclear weapons breakout capacity by 10 years.

Crucially, it enables Iran to avoid inspection of all its nuclear sites – probably allowing it to hold the inspectors at bay for months.

Furthermore, the plan is drafted with no acknowledgment of Iran’s murderous behavior.

So with sanctions set to be relaxed, some $150 billion will be released for the regime to boost armaments to Hamas, Hezbollah and anti-West forces in Yemen and Iraq.

Incomprehensibly, the US-led negotiators have also agreed to lift the UN arms embargo – on Iranian ballistic missiles whose only purpose is to hit America and Europe.

Even more surreally still, the US, Britain and the rest have actually pledged to help Iran thwart any attempts to undermine its nuclear program, including sabotage.

Since precisely such clandestine activities have been carried out for years by either Israel, the US or British special forces or a combination of all three in a desperate attempt to slow down the Iranian nuclear program, this commitment is simply beyond belief.

It turns the US, Britain and the rest from being ineffectually committed to thwarting Iran’s nuclear weapons program into actively conniving at the production of the genocide bomb and the ramping up of Iranian terrorism around the world.

The US revealed its true intentions when it declared that it would now supply both Israel and Saudi Arabia with extra weapons to protect themselves against the Iranian threat.

But since the Obama administration never stops claiming that its plan will neutralize the Iranian threat, why give Saudi and Israel this extra protection? The brutal and terrible answer is that what America, Britain and the rest are in reality now doing is helping arm all sides in the region for nuclear war.

Oh – and Iran hasn’t even signed this nondeal.

So it is a nonexistent non-deal, aka total capitulation by America to an enemy of humanity.

We know why President Obama has done this. As a left-wing ideologue with a pathologically racist chip on his shoulder against white society, he believes that peace and justice will be advanced by empowering the presumed historic victims of America.

Thus embraced by the family of nations, Iran will supposedly turn into a model global citizen. The fatuity of this delusion is being underlined by even more bellicose rhetoric issuing from the apocalypse-now fanatics of the Iranian regime.

But that hardly explains why David Cameron is going along with this suicidal farce. One might speculate that he doesn’t want to split with Britain’s special ally, the US. But I believe there’s a yet deeper obstacle to realism.

The prime minister is a particular and distinctive type of Englishman: decent, humane, rational – but insular. When he came into office he knew nothing and seemed to care less about foreign matters. So he went along with the foreign policy establishment’s instinctive dislike of Israel and appeasement of the Islamic world.

He has been shocked into changing his attitude by recent events – the rise of ISIS and its attraction for so many young British Muslims; the atrocities just across the English Channel at Charlie Hebdo and the kosher grocery store; the slaughter of British tourists in Tunisia.

But he still doesn’t see the bigger geopolitical picture. He doesn’t see that, far from helping the West against ISIS, Iran is merely another front in exactly the same war against civilization.

He doesn’t see that the need to destroy the Iranian regime is part of the same “struggle of our generation.”

He doesn’t see it because, unlike ISIS, the Iranian leaders are the most manipulative and sophisticated dissemblers and long-game players in the world. Presented with naive, decent Englishmen and delusional American ideologues, the Iranians play them for the suckers they are.

Someone should help David Cameron join up the dots, and fast.

Melanie Phillips is a columnist for The Times (UK).

Also see:

Iran Bombshell: It Will Inspect Itself

3386781004Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, July 24, 2015:

This week brought the stunning news that Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) and Representative Mike Pompeo(R., Kan.) had discovered, during a meeting with IAEA officials, the existence of secret side deal between the IAEA and Tehran — a side deal that will not, like the main nuclear agreement, be shared with Congress. So critics of the agreement were understandably eager to hear an explanation from Secretary of State John Kerry when he and other senior administration officials testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday.

The hearing produced a new bombshell: In its investigation of Iran’s past nuclear-weapons-related work, the IAEA will rely on Iran to collect samples at its Parchin military base and other locations.

As a former intelligence analyst experienced in the collection of environmental samples for investigations of weapons of mass destruction, I found this allegation impossible to believe when I heard Senator James Risch (R., Idaho) make it yesterday morning.

In his questioning of administration witnesses, Risch said:

Parchin stays in place. Now, does that sound like it’s for peaceful purposes? Let me tell you the worst thing about Parchin. What you guys agreed to was [that] we can’t even take samples there. The IAEA can’t take samples there. [Iranians are] going to be able to test by themselves! Even the NFL wouldn’t go along with this. How in the world can you have a nation like Iran doing their own testing?

. . . Are we going to trust Iran to do this? This is a good deal? This is what we were told we were going to get when we were told, “Don’t worry, we’re going to be watching over their shoulder and we’re going to put in place verification[s] that are absolutely bullet proof”? We’re going to trust Iran to do their own testing? This is absolutely ludicrous.

The issue became even more interesting when Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), who learned about the side deal from Risch’s question, had the following exchange with Kerry:

Menendez: “Is it true that the Iranians are going to be able to take the samples, as Senator Risch said? Because chain of custody means nothing if at the very beginning what you’re given is chosen and derived by the perpetrator.”

Kerry: “As you know, senator, that is a classified component of this that is supposed to be discussed in a classified session. We’re perfectly prepared to fully brief you in a classified session with respect to what will happen. Secretary Moniz has had his team red-team that effort and he has made some additional add-ons to where we are. But it’s part of a confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran as to how they do it. The IAEA has said they are satisfied that they will be able to do this in a way that does not compromise their needs and that adequately gives them answers that they need. We’ve been briefed on it, and I’d be happy to brief you.”

Menendez: “My time is up. If that is true, it would be the equivalent of the fox guarding the chicken coop.”

The revelation that Iran will collect samples concerning its own nuclear-weapons-related activity makes the whole agreement look like a dangerous farce. This is not just an absurd process; it also goes against years of IAEA practice and established rules about the chain of custody for collected physical samples.

Senator Risch suggested in his remarks that the IAEA would remotely monitor the Iranians’ taking of samples by video. But even if there were a reliable way to ensure that Iranian “inspectors” were carefully monitored, took samples from locations identified by the IAEA, and provided these samples directly to IAEA officials, the process would still be a sham, since it would still place unacceptable limitations on IAEA inspections. To be meaningful, IAEA inspectors must have unfettered access to suspect facilities and be free to take samples anywhere, using whatever collection devices they choose. Only by collecting samples at locations and with methods that Iranian officials may not have anticipated can inspectors reliably find possible evidence of nuclear-weapons-related work that Iran tried to clean up.

That the Obama administration would agree to let Iran collect its own samples at Parchin (where explosive testing related to nuclear-warhead development reportedly took place) and other sites is consistent with reports that surfaced in June (and about which I wrote National Review articles on June 15 and June 17) that Kerry had offered to let Iran off the hook for past nuclear-weapons-related work. Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei reportedly rejected this offer as being insufficiently generous.

Remember also that Kerry told reporters on June 16: “We’re not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another. We know what they did.” Kerry walked back this comment, but I believe it represented part of the Obama administration’s negotiating strategy in the Iran talks.

The Obama administration claims that the Iran–IAEA side deal is a confidential and bilateral arrangement reached between IAEA officials and Tehran, and says that it has been briefed on the deal but not seen its actual language. As I wrote here on July 23, I find this impossible to believe, since the apparent arrangement so clearly reflects Secretary Kerry’s attempt last month to make concerns about Iran’s past nuclear-weapons-related work go away.

I am glad that Senator Risch ignored the Obama administration’s ridiculous demand to treat the side deal as a classified matter. One has to ask, Classified from whom? Certainly not for Iran, since it is a party to the agreement. I believe Obama officials insisted the deal was classified in order to keep knowledge of it from the American people, and possibly from Middle Eastern states such as Israel and Saudi Arabia that oppose the agreement. I also believe that Congress would not know about this matter at all if IAEA officials had not told Senator Cotton and Congressman Pompeo about it.

Possibly making the situation worse, Fox News analyst Monica Crowley said in a tweet yesterday that there are additional side deals. Omri Ceren, managing director of the Israel Project, a nonprofit advocacy organization, e-mailed me yesterday, writing that “the Israelis are saying there will be several more.”

These new developments indicate that not only did the Obama administration negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran that was worse than anyone outside the Obama administration knew only a few days ago, but it also tried to shield a sham inspections process from congressional review, in violation of the law. The entire nuclear agreement is not just a bad deal; it is a deal that now displays the bad faith of the Obama administration toward Congress and the American people. The secret side agreements are yet another compelling reason for a large bipartisan majority in Congress to reject the dangerous nuclear accord with Iran.

Also see:

Iran Is Working with al Qaeda

‘FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF, IS YOUR GOVERNMENT STILL HARBORING AL QAEDA OPERATIVES?’

‘FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF, IS YOUR GOVERNMENT STILL HARBORING AL QAEDA OPERATIVES?’

So why are we working with Iran?

Weekly Standard, by Thomas Joscelyn, August 3, 2015:

On July 21, the Pentagon announced that Muhsin al-Fadhli, an al Qaeda operative who had been wanted for more than a decade, was killed in an airstrike in Syria earlier in the month. Fadhli has been dead at least once before. In September 2014, the United States launched airstrikes against his so-called Khorasan Group (a cadre of al Qaeda veterans plotting attacks against the West), and some officials told the press that Fadhli had perished. That wasn’t true. Still, Defense Department officials are confident they got their man on July 8. The DoD doesn’t usually issue formal press releases for this sort of thing unless there is significant intelligence backing up its claims. The department wasn’t fully forthcoming, however. Its short biography of Fadhli was missing a key word: Iran.

Before relocating to Syria, Fadhli led al Qaeda’s network in Iran. The Treasury Department revealed this fact in a terrorist designation issued October 18, 2012. Fadhli, Treasury reported, “began working with al Qaeda’s Iran-based facilitation network in 2009 and was later arrested by the Iranians.” But he was “released by the Iranians in 2011 and went on to assume the leadership of the facilitation network.”

“In addition to providing funding for al Qaeda activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Treasury said, Fadhli’s network was “working to move fighters and money through Turkey to support al Qaeda-affiliated elements in Syria.” Fadhli leveraged “his extensive network of Kuwaiti jihadist donors to send money to Syria via Turkey.”

Iran didn’t simply turn a blind eye to Fadhli’s activities. The Treasury Department explained that a deal requires al Qaeda’s men to report to the regime. “Under the terms of the agreement between al Qaeda and Iran, al Qaeda must refrain from conducting any operations within Iranian territory and recruiting operatives inside Iran while keeping Iranian authorities informed of their activities.” Al Qaeda benefits from this relationship. “In return” for accepting Iran’s terms, Treasury continued, “the Government of Iran gave the Iran-based al Qaeda network freedom of operation and uninhibited ability to travel for extremists and their families.” Iranian authorities enforce these terms, which were negotiated “with the knowledge” of Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man, by detaining al Qaeda members who do not comply.

There has been surprisingly little discussion of this during the debate over President Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran, even though al Qaeda’s presence on Iranian soil greatly complicates Obama’s vision of a post-deal world.

It is no secret that the president believes the deal with Iran could open the door to a better relationship between the regime and its “Great Satan,” America. “Iran may change,” Obama told the New York Times’s Tom Friedman in an interview published in April, though he tried to tone down his optimism by “emphasizing that the nuclear deal that we’ve put together is not based on the idea that somehow the regime changes.” Still, Obama said Iran could be “an extremely successful regional power” and a “responsible international player,” as long as “it did not engage in aggressive rhetoric against its neighbors,” “didn’t express anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish sentiment,” and “maintained a military that was sufficient to protect itself, but was not engaging in a whole bunch of proxy wars around the region.” Of course, a “responsible” Iran wouldn’t support al Qaeda either.

President Obama and his advisers like to pretend that critics of their Iran deal are warmongers who don’t want a diplomatic resolution or have otherwise been compromised by “lobbying.” But opponents of the deal are rightly concerned about Iran’s clear record of illicit nuclear activities and its decades of anti-Americanism (including killing U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan), antisemitism, and revolutionary fervor, which the regime zealously exports throughout the region. (Iran has actually increased its support for proxy wars during Obama’s tenure in office.)

Iran’s agreement with al Qaeda—exposed by Obama’s own administration, not critics of the Iran deal—puts these concerns into stark relief. It is the administration, after all, that declared Muhsin al-Fadhli a threat to Americans who needed to be killed.

Since 2011, Obama’s Treasury and State Departments have repeatedly said that Iran works with al Qaeda. On July 28, 2011, Treasury unmasked “Iran’s secret deal with al-Qaeda,” saying it allows al Qaeda “to funnel funds and operatives through [Iranian] territory” and is “another aspect of Iran’s unmatched support for terrorism.” Yasin al-Suri, the head of the Iran-based network at the time, and several of his al Qaeda colleagues were designated terrorists. On December 22, 2011, the State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to Suri’s capture—one of the richest rewards offered for any terrorist. “Iranian authorities maintain a relationship with al-Suri and have permitted him to operate within Iran’s borders since 2005,” State said.

On February 16, 2012, the Treasury Department designated Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) for its support of al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Iraq. According to Treasury, the “MOIS has facilitated the movement of al Qaeda operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.” In addition, it “provided money and weapons to al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) .  .  . and negotiated prisoner releases of AQI operatives.” (AQI evolved into the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot that controls significant territory in Iraq and Syria.)

As the Obama administration continued to shed light on al Qaeda’s operations inside Iran, Suri was sidelined. The Iranians placed him under some form of arrest in late 2011. At this point, as Treasury explained in the aforementioned October 18, 2012, designation, Fadhli took over.

Suri wasn’t in Iranian custody for long, however. In January 2014, State and Treasury Department officials interviewed by Al Jazeera warned that Suri was back on the street and “more active than ever.” Curiously, according to these officials, Iran allowed Suri to funnel cash and fighters to the Nusra Front, an official branch of al Qaeda that is engaged in a vicious fight against Iran’s proxies in Syria; it is not clear why. On February 6, 2014, Treasury officially confirmed that Suri had “resumed leadership of al Qaeda’s Iran-based network after being temporarily detained there in late 2011.” Treasury also designated one of Suri’s subordinates inside Iran.

Then, on August 22, 2014, the Treasury Department designated yet another al Qaeda leader who had operated in Iran, a Saudi known as Sanafi al-Nasr. Treasury said that Nasr served as the “chief of al Qaeda’s Iran-based extremist and financial facilitation network” in early 2013. (This was just after Fadhli left for Syria and before Suri resumed his leadership position.) Like Fadhli, Nasr relocated to Syria, where he became a senior member of the Nusra Front. He is also part of the Khorasan Group.

It is likely that Iran had the power to stop terrorists such as Fadhli from leaving Iranian soil. He had been imprisoned in Iran before and could have been again. The regime chose not to, for whatever reason.

Obama’s State Department has repeatedly pointed to this collusion in its annual Country Reports on Terrorism. Previous editions, such as the one published last year, referred to al Qaeda’s network inside Iran as a “core facilitation pipeline” that enables al Qaeda “to move funds and fighters to South Asia and also to Syria.” However, State’s most recent report, published earlier this year, says that Iran “previously allowed” al Qaeda to maintain this network. The implication is that Iran’s deal with al Qaeda is a thing of the past, although the department did not explicitly state this.

Has Iran changed its policy with respect to al Qaeda? There is no clear indication it has, despite the fact the two are at loggerheads in countries such as Syria and Yemen. Iran’s ally, the Assad regime, certainly wants al Qaeda terrorists like Fadhli taken out. And CNN reported last year that Syrian forces had captured Fadhli’s bodyguard, who supposedly offered up intelligence on his boss’s anti-Western plotting. But U.S. intelligence officials contacted by The Weekly Standard in recent months say they think the Iranians continue to allow al Qaeda jihadists to operate inside their country. If the Obama administration has evidence the situation has changed, they should present it.

In the meantime, congressmen and senators worried that the influx of cash Iran will receive under the nuclear deal will make it easier for the regime to sponsor terrorism should be asking some pointed questions. Do Iran and al Qaeda still have a deal in place? Is Yasin al-Suri still facilitating al Qaeda’s operations from inside Iran, as the administration itself warned just last year? Why should we trust the Iranian regime to abide by the terms of the nuclear deal if it is working with al Qaeda terrorists who threaten us?

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

How and Why to Kill the Deal

mideast-iran-election_horo4-e1371313739782Frontpage, by Caroline Glick, July 23, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post. 

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius is a reasonable man. After hearing back to back interviews with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the Obama administration’s pact with Iran’s ayatollahs, he tried to balance them out.

Speaking Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation, Ignatius equivocated that on the one hand, “My takeaway [from Kerry] is that the details of this deal are pretty solid, that it’s been carefully negotiated, that it will hold up for 10 years or more.”

On the other hand, he said, “Netanyahu is right. Iran is a dangerous destabilizing force in the Middle East. So somehow good policy seems to me to use the deal to cap the nuclear threat that Iran would pose for 10 years but work on that other problem.”

Ignatius’s remarks serve to justify supporting the deal. After all, if Obama’s agreement caps Iran’s nuclear program for 10 years, then it’s a good thing. As for the other stuff, it can be dealt with separately.

Unfortunately, while eminently reasonable sounding, Ignatius’s analysis is incorrect. Kerry’s details of the deal are beside the point. The big picture is the only thing that matters. That picture has two main points.

First, the deal guarantees that Iran will develop nuclear weapons. Second, it gives $150 billion to the mullahs.

The details of the deal – the number of centrifuges that keep spinning, the verification mechanisms, the dispute resolution procedures, etc. – are all debatable, and largely irrelevant, at least when compared to the two irrefutable aspects of the big picture.

According to the administration, today Iran needs a year to use the nuclear materials it is known to possess to make a nuclear bomb. Other sources claim that Iran requires several months to accomplish the task.

Since these materials will remain in Iran’s possession under the deal, if Iran abandons the agreement, it will need at most a year to build nuclear weapons.

Then there are the unknown aspects of Iran’s nuclear program. We must assume that Iran has ongoing covert nuclear operations in unknown installations through which it has acquired unknown capabilities.

These capabilities will likely reduce the time Iran requires to make bombs.

Under the deal, the US and its negotiating partners are required to protect Iran’s nuclear assets from sabotage and other forms of attack. They are required as well to teach Iran how to develop and use more advanced centrifuges. As a consequence, when the agreement expires, Iran will be able to build nuclear bombs at will.

If Iran remains a threat, the deal bars the US from taking any steps to counter it aside from all-out war.

The agreement ends the international sanctions regime against Iran. With the sanctions goes any prospect of an international coalition joining forces to take military action against Iran, if Iran does walk away from the deal. So sanctions are gone, deterrence is gone. And that leaves only war.

In other words, far from diminishing the chance of war, the deal makes it inevitable that Iran will get the bomb or there will be a full scale war, or both.

Then there is the jackpot payback.

Who knows? Maybe the mullahs will use their $150b. to finance new women’s universities in Tehran and Mashhad, and a seminary for Islamic liberalism in Qom.

Or maybe the money will be used to fund insurgencies and proxy wars and terror campaigns throughout the region and the world.

The extraordinary thing about the deal is that the only person who gets a say in how that money is spent is Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And Khamenei has been pretty clear about how he intends to use the cash.

In back to back anti-American rants on Friday and Saturday, Khamenei repeatedly threatened the US and extolled calls for its destruction. Speaking in front of a banner at Friday prayers which declared “We will trample America,” Khamenei praised calls for “Death to America.”

Saturday he promised to continue to fund and sponsor terrorism and proxy wars. Just as notably, he refused to commit to upholding the nuclear deal with the US and the other five powers.

As far as the Obama administration is concerned, now that the UN Security Council has anchored the agreement in a binding resolution and so given the force of international law to a deal that guarantees Iran will receives the bomb and $150b., the deal is done. It cannot be walked back.

But this is not necessarily true. Congress may have more power than it realizes to kill the deal before Iran gets the money and before its other provisions are implemented.

Over the months leading up to the conclusion of negotiations last Tuesday, Obama refused to acknowledge that he was negotiating a treaty. Rather he said it was nothing more than an executive agreement.

Consequently, he argued, the US Senate’s sole authority to ratify treaties by two-thirds majority would be inapplicable to the deal with Iran.

Obama also said he would further sideline Congress by anchoring the deal in a binding UN Security Council resolution. This resolution would force Obama’s successor to uphold the deal after he leaves office.

Obama mitigated his position slightly when Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, drafted the Corker-Cardin bill with veto-proof majorities in both houses. The bill, which Obama reluctantly signed into law, requires Obama to submit the deal to an up or down vote in both houses. If more than two thirds of Senators and Congressmen oppose it, then the US will not abrogate its unilateral sanctions against Iran.

In other words, Obama agreed that if Congress turned the Constitution on its head by replacing the two-thirds Senate majority required to approve a treaty with a two-thirds bicameral majority necessary to disapprove his executive agreement – then he wouldn’t go to the Security Council until after Congress voted.

When Obama betrayed his pledge and went to the Security Council on Monday, he gave Congress an opening to reconsider its position, ditch the restrictive Corker-Cardin law and reassert the Senate’s treaty approving authority.

As former US federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy argued in National Review last week, by among other things canceling the weapons and missile embargoes on Iran, the six-power deal with Iran went well beyond the scope of the Corker-Cardin law, which dealt only with nuclear sanctions relief. As a consequence, Congress can claim that there is no reason to invoke it.

Rather than invoke Corker-Cardin, Congress can pass a joint resolution determining that the deal with Iran is a treaty and announce that pursuant to the US Constitution, the Senate will schedule a vote on it within 30 days. Alternatively, Congress can condition the Iran deal’s legal stature on the passage of enabling legislation – that requires simple majorities in both houses.

Dan Darling, foreign policy adviser to Republican Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul wrote Monday that senators can use Senate procedure to force the Foreign Relations Committee to act in this manner. Darling argued that House Speaker John Boehner can either refuse to consider the deal since it is a treaty, or insist on passing enabling legislation under normal legislative procedures.

Monday Netanyahu explained that by keeping US sanctions in force, Congress can limit Iran’s capacity to move beyond the current sanctions regime even after it is canceled. Every state and firm considering business opportunities with Tehran will have to weigh them against the opportunity cost of being barred from doing business with the US.

Iran for its part may walk away from the deal entirely if Congress acts in this manner. If it does, then the US will not be obligated by any of the deal’s requirements. The continued viability of the Security Council resolution will be something for the lawyers to argue over.

The devil in Obama’s deal with Iran is not in the mind-numbing details, but in the big picture. The deal guarantees Iran will get the bomb. It gives the Iranian regime $150b.

To secure these concessions, Obama has trampled congressional authority.

If the American people think this doesn’t advance their national interest, they should encourage their congressional representatives to ditch Corker-Cardin and use their full authority, as a co-equal branch of the government, to scupper it.

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Iran Nuke Deal Protest Scheduled Outside Schumer’s Office

schumerFrontpage, by Daniel Greenfield, July 23, 2015:

At yesterday’s rally against a nuclear Iran, there were probably at least as many signs against Schumer as against Iran. Schumer is viewed as playing both sides, expressing concerns while secretly letting it all happen. And the pressure is mounting.

A protest targeting Schumer has been scheduled for today at 11 AM.

Hikind added, “Senator Schumer says he will “do the right thing.” These are unprecedented times and it’s time to stop this deal, which is disastrous for America and our allies in the Middle East. This will define your legacy. I am sure you will not allow partisan politics or any other considerations to cloud your judgment.”

“I call upon all New Yorkers to join me in front of Senator Schumer’s Manhattan office at 780 Third Avenue to let him know how you feel. Senator Schumer is a powerful voice in Congress and he needs to hear from you. Now is not the time to be silent.”

Schumer has been keeping a tight lid on his position.

Sen. Charles Schumer raised his hand to stop questions Tuesday when a Post reporter asked for his position on the Iran nuclear deal.

Approached in the basement of the Senate, New York’s senior senator — who is almost always available to the press — refused to answer where he stands on the agreement.

The Post on Monday had provided a list of 10 questions (re-presented at right) for him to consider.

“I’m studying [the issue], like I said before,” Schumer said tersely.

When the reporter tried to follow up, Schumer held up his hand to shield his face and walked into an elevator on his way to a Dem powwow.

Usually the most dangerous place to be was between Schumer and a camera. Now suddenly Schumer is avoiding the spotlight and feeling conflicted.

Schumer is telling supporters he needs to support President Obama in order to become Harry Reid’s replacement as Senate minority leader, his life dream.

And Obama’s J Street backers are not being subtle about their threats.

“For a member of the Democratic Party who aspires to a leadership position to override a presidential veto on a matter of crucial foreign policy — arguably the most important foreign-policy accomplishment that this president will be putting forward — would be something that would be a serious decision to make,” said Alan Elsner, spokesman for J Street, a liberal Jewish-advocacy group that supports the agreement.

Schumer has been virtually mum since the deal was announced last week.

Ex-Congressman Allen West Explodes Over Iran Deal During Fiery and Emotional Times Square Speech

obama_kerry_bikesThe Blaze, by Jason Howerton, July 22, 2015:

Former Florida Congressman Allen West absolutely exploded over the Iran nuclear deal during a fiery speech at a “Stop Iran Deal Rally” in New York City’s Times Square on Wednesday. The Republican strongly criticized President Barack Obama’s leadership on the issue, calling him a “weakling” and “charlatan.”

West asked the crowd of thousands “what message” the United States is sending by negotiating with the “number one state sponsor of terrorism” and a country that is holding “four Americans hostage.”

“No different than the last time we had a weakling in the White House when we had 52 Americans being held hostage,” he added, referring to the Iranian hostage crisis during the Jimmy Carter administration.

Later in his fiery speech, West accused Obama and other administration officials of “surrendering” to the Republic of Iran.

“I want President Obama to know one thing,” West said. “You may say that you have done something that no one else has done. You know why no one else has done it? Because it’s a damn stupid thing you just did.”

He continued: “If people are upset because of what I’m saying, I really don’t care. Because I had a father that stood at World War II…I gave 22 years of my life to make sure that that great beacon of liberty, freedom and democracy continues to stand. And I have a nephew, I have friends that are still serving on the front lines — and my commitment is to the oath that I took on 31, July, 1982, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

Organizers estimated roughly 10,000 people attended the rally on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Watch West’s speech below:

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Times Square Anti-Iran Deal Rally Draws Record Crowd, Will Congress Listen?

Caroline Glick’s speech was almost as fiery as Allen West’s. She began saying she came to the rally:

“From the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem. And one thing’s for sure we came home after two thousand years of yearning and we aren’t going anywhere. And to all the mullahs in Iran, all the ayatollahs and their friends in Hamas, in Hezbollah, we’re not going anywhere, Am Yisrael Chai [the nation of Israel lives]!

Glick gave the crowd two points to remind Chuck Schumer about deal. The first of which was the agreement:

“Gives the mullahs $150 billion as a signing bonus, one-hundred-and-fifty-billion -dollars. As my grandmother in Brooklyn would have said, that’s real money. That’s real money that you’re putting the hands of murderers! That you are putting in the hands of people who every day chant, death to America and stomp on the flag of the United States!”

The second point was that even if Iran abides by the agreement, “in ten years’ time it can build nuclear weapons at will and we’re not even talking about cheating.”

“So Senator Schumer, Representative Nadler, Representative Engle, what don’t you understand, what do you need to study, what isn’t clear here? Is there a question of what you must do if you wish to raise your hand in public and say, I am a man of honor?

No question. No details! Look at the big picture!  You know what to do, unless you have no honor and no shame!”

Glick concluded with,

“Tell your lawmakers. Tell your friends. Tell the President of the United States to kill this deal. To preserve life, to preserve liberty, to preserve freedom, this deal must be killed. Thank you, God bless America, Am Yisrael Chai.”

The rally ended at 8:30 after the NYPD gave the organizers and extra hour over their permit  as many of the speakers ran over their allotted time. During the closing rush, the final three speakers were called up at once to deliver a trimmed down message.

In the end it was a great start, a giant crowd excited by the speakers to do what Frank Gaffney founder of the Center For Security Policy told them to do, “Urge Congress to kill this deal before it kills us.” 

Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Times Square Against Iran Nuclear Deal

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)  Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Times Square Wednesday evening in protest over the recent landmark nuclear deal with Iran.

As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, some 10 thousand are rallying in solidarity with signs and voices raised against the nuclear deal.

Protest organizers proclaim: “Washington is prepared to give Iran virtually all that it needs to get to the bomb. To release $150 billion to Iran will result in the expansion of worldwide terror.”

Former New York Governor, and Presidential contender, George Pataki joined the chorus of voices urging lawmakers to block the deal.

“Reject this deal. Protect America. Protect Israel and protect the world from freedom,” Pataki said.

The Stop Iran Rally Coalition — which claims to be a bi-partisan group — is also calling out Sen. Charles Schumer, saying he “has the votes as presumptive leader to override this deal….If this deal is not stopped, New York voters will know whom to blame.”

Sen. Schumer said in a statement Wednesday that he wasn’t ready to make a decision on the deal yet.

“I’ve read the agreement and I’m seeking answers to the many questions I have. Before I make a decision, I’m going to speak at length with experts on both sides,” the lawmaker said. Read more

Anti-Iran Rally Expected to Draw Thousands in Times Square

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http://stopiranrally.org/video-stream-tune-in-live-on-wednesday-in-times-square/

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, July 21, 2015:

Thousands of people are expected in New York’s Times Square on Wednesday evening to protest a “bad deal” with Iran, and to urge Congress to vote down the new nuclear accord.

The “Stop Iran Rally” will take place between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. Over 100 organizations are sponsoring the rally which will be live-streamed via Breitbart News here.

Prominent international experts from military, government, academic and media backgrounds will be addressing the crowd. Featured speakers include Caroline Glick (Jerusalem Post Columnist), Alan Dershowitz (Harvard Law professor emeritus), George Pataki (former Governor of New York and current Republican Candidate For President), Monica Crowley (Fox News Political Commentator), James Woolsey (former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency),

, Former Congressman Allen West (R-FL), and Col. Richard Kemp, Ret. (former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan).

The Iran deal will exclude U.S. nuclear inspectors from international teams inspecting Iran’s nuclear sites. The deal will allow Iran to delay some inspections by at least 24 days, and may not allow access to “undeclared” nuclear sites on military bases. After several years, the deal will it allow Russia and China, among others, to supply Iran with conventional weapons and, later, ballistic missile technology. The deal also leaves four American detainees in limbo, as Obama has not negotiated for their release.

According to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll, 77% of Americans believe U.S. sanctions against Iran should be kept in place.

The deal has already been approved, 15-0, by the UN Security Council – bypassing Congress, despite the understanding that Congress would have the final say in the matter. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 will effectively remove international sanctions–which are separate to those imposed by the US and EU–within 90 days.

Obama has said time and again that he would veto any rejection of the deal by Congress; the question is whether both houses of Congress can muster the two-thirds majority needed to override the president.

In an interview with Breitbart News, Pataki lambasted President Obama’s decision to bypass Congress, saying it might “be a violation of his oath in office…He signed the law allowing Congress to reject this deal in 60 days and had not even provided Congress with five days to review the terms of the deal before going to the UN.”

Following years of calls for “death to America” and “death to Israel,” Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei again took to the airwaves this week to reiterate his government’s unwavering hostility towards “the arrogant government of the United States,” assuring his countrymen that even after the nuclear deal is solidified, Iran’s policies toward America “will not be changed one bit.”

Khamenei declared that Iran’s support for terrorists in the region would remain,unwavering. “We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon.” Iran is the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, and part of the $150 billion in frozen assets that the Obama Administration has promised to release into their hands will go towards supporting Iran’s military and terrorist proxies.

Pataki told Breitbart News that the nuclear accord is no “deal” at all, and likened it to “a one-sided surrender [rather] than an actual agreement. There’s no question in my mind that his benefits Iran which calls for death to Israel and America.”

Col. Richard Kemp told Breitbart News that “Iran is well-known to be sponsoring terrorism through its proxies in the Middle East,” adding that the additional $150 billion it receives “will undoubtedly go towards sponsoring terrorism” along with a newfound “confidence” with which to carry out militaristic endeavors against the West.

Kemp said he has no doubt that the nuclear technology could be transferred to terrorist groups by Iran, noting that “the deal cannot fail. It will enable it to do whatever it likes in the region….All [Iran] needs to do is to threaten to rescind from the deal which will be catastrophic for Obama” and his legacy.

“Iran will now have the ability to up its funding of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah which are set on the destruction of Israel.”

Similar rallies are planned this week in cities nationwide, listed here.

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Iranian Leader Encourages ‘Death to America’ Chants After Nuclear Deal

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by IPT News  •  Jul 20, 2015

Iranian leader Ali Khamanei reiterated the “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” slogans and called the United States a state sponsor of terrorism in two public addresses marking the conclusion of the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, the Middle East Monitoring and Research Institute (MEMRI) reports.

“The slogans of the Iranian nation on Al-Qods Day show what its position is. The slogans ‘Death to Israel’ and ‘Death to America’ have resounded throughout the country, and are not limited to Tehran and the other large cities. The entire country is under the umbrella of this great movement [of ‘Death to America’],” Khamanei said while holding a rifle, during a public address broadcasted on IRINN TV and translated by MEMRI.

On the same day, Khamenei addressed diplomats and special guests, accusing the U.S. for promoting terrorism and defended Hizballah.

“What, [the American politician] are calling [Hizballah] terrorists?! They call Iran a ‘defender of terrorist’ because of its support for [Hizballah]. Defenders of terrorists?! It is you! You are the ones who have created ISIS! You are the ones who have been cultivating terrorism! You are the ones who have been nurturing the filthy terrorist Zionist! You are the defenders of terrorists, and you should be brought to trial for supporting and assisting terrorism,” said Khamenei in a speech aired on Iranian Channel 1, according to MEMRI’s translation.

Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani claimed that the world superpowers recognized a nuclear Iran immediately after the announcement of a deal regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He also boasted that Iran will maintain over 6,000 centrifuges.

It is important to emphasize that issues related to Iran’s human rights record and global sponsorship of terrorism were not part of the negotiations. Many experts and critics of the deal believe that sanction relief and the lifting of weapons embargoes will enable the Islamic Republic to enhance its regional hegemonic ambitions and international terrorist activity.

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