Obama Admin Making “Disturbing Counterproposals” to Iran

2655171361Center For Security Policy, Fred Fleitz:

“U.S. negotiators have responded to Iranian intransigence on key issues with creative but sometimes disturbing counterproposals.”

This sentence describing the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran were not the words of Republican critics of President Obama’s Iran policy.  They were part of a lead editorial that ran in the Washington Post on October 3, 2014.

Think about it: the Washington Post is accusing the Obama administration of making disturbing counterproposals to a radical Islamist state-sponsor of terror which is suspected of having a covert nuclear weapons program.

The long list of these disturbing U.S. counterproposals include:

  • Dropping Western demands that Iran disassemble uranium centrifuges.
  • Allowing Iran to keep its large enriched uranium stockpile.
  • Allowing Iran to develop and install advanced uranium centrifuges.
  • Implicitly accepting Iran’s “right” to enrich uranium.
  • No longer insisting that Iran stop construction of the Arak heavy water reactor which will be a source of plutonium when completed.

While the U.S. continues to make disturbing counterproposals and concessions in the nuclear talks, Iran has given little in return and is refusing to cooperate with IAEA investigations into indications that its nuclear program has military applications.  Iran also refuses to provide IAEA inspectors with full access to its nuclear facilities.

I agree with the Washington Post’s concern that President Obama might be tempted to make more concessions to Iran to get a final nuclear agreement before the talks are schedule to end on November 24.  The Post recommends that unless there is a dramatic change in Iran’s positions, the interim deal which set up this year’s nuclear talks should be extended and Iran be threatened with tougher sanctions if it does not agree.

This recommendation does not go far enough.  A diplomatic process to reduce the threat from a nuclear Iran that includes disturbing American counterproposals and concessions is not in the national security interests of the United States.  It is therefore imperative that Congress reject these talks as well as any agreement they may produce and reestablish a responsible U.S. policy on the Iranian nuclear program by placing new sanctions on Iran until it complies with all UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program.

The Nuclear Giveaway

2051705677By Fred Fleitz:

With the Iran nuclear talks now in their endgame and the prospect of a very different political environment in Washington next year if Republicans capture the Senate, Obama officials are in overdrive to achieve their dream of a legacy agreement with Tehran so that President Obama can claim he halted the threat from the Iranian nuclear program. Their goal is to get a final agreement before the nuclear talks are scheduled to end November 24.

While the Obama administration has long been desperate to get such an agreement, two recent ill-advised American concessions and a string of misleading statements and proposals demonstrate how far the White House is willing to go and why it is vital that Congress denounce on a bipartisan basis the nuclear talks and a possible final agreement .

Two weeks ago, the United States floated a proposal to let Iran keep all of its 19,000 centrifuge machines, which Tehran is using to enrich uranium to reactor grade as long as all but 1,500 are “disconnected” and cease enriching uranium. This proposal alarmed many experts because Iran could quickly begin enriching uranium to weapons grade by reconnecting all of its centrifuges.

As generous as this offer was, it apparently did not go far enough for Tehran. The Associated Press reported on September 25 that U.S. diplomats have proposed letting Iran operate up to 4,500 centrifuges if its stockpile of enriched uranium gas is converted to uranium “powder.” This proposal rests on the assumption that such an arrangement would give the international community plenty of time to react to an Iranian “dash” toward constructing a nuclear weapon because it would take over a year for Iran to re-convert low-enriched powder into uranium gas for further enrichment to weapons-grade uranium.

The assumption behind this proposal is false. Both Amos Yadlin, former head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Directorate, and Mark Hibbs, a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment and nuclear proliferation expert, agree that it would take Iran only about two weeks.

A final agreement also appears unlikely to do anything to reduce the nuclear-proliferation threat posed by Iran’s large stockpile of low-enriched uranium. I noted in NRO last November how a 2013 American Enterprise Institute study found that Iran has produced enough reactor-grade uranium since 2009 “to fuel a small arsenal of nuclear weapons after conversion to weapons grade.” The Langley Intelligence Group Network agreed with this assessment and estimated that, from its 20 percent-enriched-uranium stockpile, Iran could make enough nuclear fuel for one bomb and could make another seven from its reactor-grade uranium if further enriched to weapons grade.

Estimates by the American Enterprise Institute, the Institute for Science and International Security, and the Nuclear Proliferation Education Center on how fast Iran could make enough weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear bomb using reactor-grade uranium range from four to six weeks.

This latest proposed concession continues a pattern of misleading statements and proposals by Obama-administration officials on the Iran talks that began with last November’s interim agreement with Iran, which set up this year’s negotiations on a final agreement.

Read more at Center for Security Policy

See also:

Cruz: Nuclear Iran is a Bigger Threat than ISIL

Ted CruzWashington Free Beacon, By Alana Goodman:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) said the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) could lead to a “massive loss of life” in the United States if it is not stopped, but added that he still believes Iran’s nuclear ambitions pose a greater threat to the U.S. than the Islamic State, in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon last week.

The senator also tied Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Obama administration’s Iran policy, and warned the White House against using a military campaign against ISIL as an excuse to appease Tehran.

“As grave as the threat from ISIS is, in my view the most significant threat to U.S. national security remains the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons capability,” said Cruz. “The incoherence of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy will come to full flower if the peril of ISIS is used as an excuse to further appease Iran and facilitate their acquiring nuclear weapon capability.”

He added that “everything President Obama and Hillary Clinton and John Kerry have done have increased the chances of Iran acquiring nuclear weapon capability, and have perversely increased the chances of future military conflict.”

While Cruz has not said whether he will run for president in 2016, his response to one question suggested that the possibility is on his mind.

“What should a strong president do [to prevent a nuclear Iran]? Well number one, I’ve introduced legislation in the Senate, comprehensive Iran sanctions legislation that demonstrates the direction I believe we should be taking,” said Cruz.

Although he noted that he remains supportive of a new sanctions legislation introduced by Sens. Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez, he called the proposals “weak sauce.”

“Kirk-Menendez on its face is pretty weak sauce. It lays out future contingencies in which ultimately sanctions will be re-imposed. That’s not a rational way to negotiate with religious extremists like [Iranian Supreme Leader Ali] Khamenei,” said Cruz.

“The legislation I’ve introduced would immediately re-impose sanctions on Iran, would strengthen those sanctions to make them as crippling as humanly possible, and then it lays out a clear path to how Iran can lift those sanctions.”

Cruz said both ISIL and the Iranian regime are “radical Islamic terrorists who want to kill us. The one thing on which they agree is killing Americans.”

His comments echoed former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who said earlier this month that Tehran posed a more significant geo-strategic threat than ISIL.

Still, the senator warned that failing to confront ISIL could lead to massive U.S. casualties.

“If we don’t act now and if they are able to consolidate power and control of a nation state with massive oil revenues, the inevitable consequence of that will be a significant and perhaps even massive loss of life here in the United States,” said Cruz.

He criticized the idea of arming Syria’s anti-Assad rebels, saying that many of them were allied with ISIL, and the Obama administration had not provided a clear plan on how to keep the weapons from falling into the hands of terrorist groups.

Cruz also defended his opposition to U.S. military action against the Syrian regime last summer.

“Had the administration gotten what it wanted last summer, there’s a very real chance ISIS would be stronger today than it is right now,” said Cruz.

The potential 2016 presidential hopeful sought to strike a middle ground between the non-interventionist wing of the Republican Party and those who supported President Bush’s “freedom agenda.”

“We have a job to do, and it’s not transform distant countries into democratic utopias,” said Cruz. “It’s not turn Iraq into Switzerland. It’s to prevent people who want to kill Americans from killing Americans.”

“I think it is unquestionably right that we are tired of sending our sons and daughters to distant lands to engage with nation-building,” he added. “But I think it is a profound misreading of the American spirit to confuse that with Americans being unwilling to defend themselves, being unwilling to stand up to serious and real national security threats, and to stand up with overwhelming force.”

Israel Warns of Iranian Sweet Talk; Says Nothing’s Changed

1065by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
September 19, 2014

The international community is allowing the rise of ISIS to distract it from the far more dangerous prospect of a nuclear Iran, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz warned Wednesday. The comments followed his visit last week to the United States, where he met with senior State Department figures William Burns and Wendy Sherman.

“The Iranians are getting almost everything but giving almost nothing,” Steinitz told a Jerusalem news conference in which he expressed his belief that Iran is being far from truthful in its ongoing P5+1 nuclear talks. “Although it is important to defeat ISIS [Islamic State], if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it’s a different world for decades. This is the main threat to global security and should be the priority… I went [to Washington] concerned and I came back concerned,” Steinitz added. “I didn’t hear anything… that gave me hope.”

Senior Israeli military and intelligence figures have issued similar warnings in recent months, indicating that while Iran under President Hassan Rouhani offers the veneer of a more moderate regime, little has changed in Tehran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s firebrand supreme leader, still calls all the shots.

A recently published 80-point International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s compliance – or non-compliance – indicates that Steinitz has genuine grounds for concern. Among its key findings:

19. “Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not suspended all of its enrichment related activities in the declared facilities…”

49. “Iran is conducting a number of activities at UCF, EUPP, FMP and the Fuel Plate Fabrication Plant (FPFP) at Esfahan … which are in contravention of its obligations to suspend all enrichment related activities and heavy water related projects…”

62. “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.”

67. “[A]t a particular location at the Parchin site, the Agency has observed through satellite imagery ongoing construction activity that appears to show the removal/replacement or refurbishment of the site’s two main buildings’ external wall structures … These activities are likely to have further undermined the Agency’s ability to conduct effective verification. It remains important for Iran to provide answers to the Agency’s questions and access to the particular location in question.”

Of the main points in the report’s summary, the following is undoubtedly of significant concern:

75. “While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, the Agency is 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.”

Iranian failure to comply with the interim P5+1 deal struck last year by the U.S. and other leading nations should mark the end of negotiations, said Steinitz, one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s closest allies. Allowing the talks to stumble along gives Iran the benefit of continued relief from international sanctions that dealt a crippling blow to the Iranian economy.

“From our point of view, President Obama’s very important principle and statement that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal,’ is by no means a failure,” Steinitz said. “In a sense, it’s a kind of success… It means standing up for your principles and not sacrificing global security.”

Israeli military officials share concern that Iran is threatens that security through its astonishing subterfuge and double-dealing – presenting a benign face to the world while continuing to support terror organizations such as Hamas in Gaza and Hizballah in southern Lebanon.

In a recent exclusive interview, a senior Israeli naval officer (speaking to the IPT on condition of anonymity), outlined the extent to which Iran continues to try evading international efforts to stem its attempts to arm its proxy armies.

“It is a war against this axis [Iran, Hamas, and Hizballah], and this war on the seas is continuing at the same time as these [P5+1] talks are going on,” the navy official said. “I’m happy that these talks are going on because maybe, maybe, it’s a channel to stop this madness. But at the same time, I know that I will not go back home and rest because of the talks. I will keep working.”

“[Iran] not only uses every possible way to pass on weapons, but they are also passing on information and instructions on how to produce weapons in Gaza. We know for sure that even if rockets and weapons reached Gaza tunnels via the Sinai deserts, they weren’t produced in the Sinai desert. They probably arrived by the sea and came from Iran via the Red Sea ports, or Egypt – of course without the knowledge of Egypt itself.”

In recent years, the Israeli navy has intercepted huge Iranian arms shipments on vessels such as the Frankop (2009), the Victoria (2011), and earlier this year the Klos-C, whose cache of M-302 missiles, mortars, and masses of ammunition were hidden under its legitimate cement cargo.

“We know for sure that … weapons have passed through ports on ships that had no knowledge they were carrying this lethal cargo,” the officer explained. “We know they are using containers that are transported from one ship to another, some of which sometimes stand for days or weeks out in the blazing sun waiting for a ship to take it. If one of these [unstable] containers blows up a lot of innocent people will get hurt. All the time Iran uses innocent people and they don’t care how many of those innocent people get hurt, as long as they achieve their mission.”

“My men and ships are out there and we have been kept busy, not only with Iran, but with a lot of people who are not willing to accept the State of Israel. [Syrian dictator Bashar al-]Assad is a little more occupied now than in the past and I don’t believe he has aspirations about war with Israel, but he will do whatever he can by using proxies such as Hizballah that will keep Israel and its army occupied.”

Continuing concerns over Iranian deception, together with the new threat posed to Middle Eastern stability posed by the swift rise of ISIS, have brought about an apparent change – if not in public, then seemingly in private – in alliances of convenience between states which formerly would have balked at the thought of working together, the senior officer said.

“If someone in your neighborhood is slaughtering and torturing – like what happened to the American reporters – you understand that you will do everything for him not to be your neighbor,” he said. “You will join hands with a neighbor with whom you may never have been friendly before to make sure the crazy neighbor won’t do you any harm.”

“I won’t go into specific details on cooperation” he adds, “but I will say for sure that every sane human being that is living around here just wants to have a family, a peaceful life, and a place of work. I hope that one day we will see this happen and … I will go out with my flotilla and join hands with the Egyptian navy, Saudi Arabian navy, everyone around us, to make sure we will keep those people out of the Middle East.”

Paul Alster is an Israel-based contributor to FoxNews.com and The Jerusalem Report and blogs at paulalster.com. He can be followed on Twitter: @paul_alster

Who is the bigger threat, ISIS or a nuclear Iran?

AYELET_SHAKED

Israeli Politician Humiliates Obama

By David Sidman:

Israeli parliamentarian and coalition member Ayelet Shaked went where no mainstream media outlet dared to go. She called out Obama’s failure to understand the real danger facing the Middle East and threatening the free world.

Obama stated in an interview with NBC news that “the problem for Sunni states in the region, many of whom are our allies, is not simply Iran. It’s not simply a Sunni-Shia issue,” he added. “Sunni extremism, as represented by ISIL, is the biggest danger that they face right now. And with that understanding, it gives us the capacity for them to start getting more active and more involved.” This means that the commander in chief believes that countries like Saudi Arabia and Jordan are more worried about ISIS than a nuclear Iran.

Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party called out Obama taking to her Facebook page saying that it is “unimaginable that the US President thinks that several thousand terrorists riding around on pickup trucks is more dangerous than Iran as a nuclear power all because of two YouTube videos.” Shaked continued: “ISIS is is a dangerous organization and needs to be confronted in an all-out war, but to dismiss the Iranian threat on their account?” She then pointed out that Iran is at the threshold of becoming nuclear powerhouse and at the same time is sponsoring terrorism throughout the Middle East. Shaked then noted that the “Government of Iraq, while fighting ISIS cried out for help before they began their journey of conquests and Obama refused. Better late than never.”

Its hard to disagree with Shaked’s assessment.  ISIS is gruesome, cruel, barbaric and their beheadings are grizzly but how powerful are they really? Especially compared to Iran?  Let’s compare the two shall we: Iranian sponsored terror has created Hizbullah, Hamas and is responsible for virtually all unrest in Iraq during operation Iraqi Freedom. resulting in the death of 4,486 U.S. service members.

Now let’s take a look at ISIS’s scorecard.  They have primarily massacred unarmed, defenseless Christian and Kurdish civilians as well as several western journalists.

Let us have a look at military capability:

The Iranian military boasts 425,000 personnel respectively. The Islamic Republic of Iran army has 350,000 personnel, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy has 18,000 personnel, and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has 52,000 airmen flying advanced jet fighters such as the F-14 Tomcat.  It has also been confirmed that Iran is one of only five countries that have a cyber army capable of conducting cyber-warfare operations.  Iran has also manufactured their own unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), which can be utilized for reconnaissance operations. Most importantly,, they are on the brink of acquiring nuclear warheads.

Let us compare that with the much talked about ISIS. They have may rifles, machine guns, small arms, M-79 rockets, and have seized several armored personnel carriers and humvees. Although they may not have a Cyber-army capable of conducting cyber-warfare operations on an international scale, they do have iphones and the capability of uploading videos to Youtube!

Now who’s the big bad wolf?

Read more at Shoebat.com

 

Also see:

Iran Fails to Prove Nukes Not for Weapons: Monitors

A test of an Iranian missile (Photo: © Reuters)

A test of an Iranian missile (Photo: © Reuters)

The Int’l Atomic Energy Agency says Iran has failed on two obligations to which it agreed: to give up work on nuclear warheads and detonations.

By Ryan Mauro:

A new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the group tasked by the United Nations with monitoring nuclear activity, says Iran has failed to meet two obligations to prove its nuclear program is not for weapons. The IAEA also admitted that it is unable to know if Iran has hidden nuclear activities.

There were five obligations that Iran committed to as part of its agreement with the U.S. and the IAEA. Two of them, related to evidence of work on nuclear warheads and detonations, have not been met.

A 2011 IAEA report detailed Iranian activity that cannot be credibly attributed to a nuclear energy program. This includes tests of explosives necessary for nuclear weapons, development of neutron initiators that trigger nuclear detonations, construction of underground sites for uranium enrichment and research on nuclear warhead development.

Iran even reviewed logistics for an underground nuclear weapons test. The report concluded, “The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.”

The new IAEA report says Iran is not adequately answering inquiries about work on technologies related to causing nuclear explosions and developing nuclear warheads for its ballistic missiles.

Inspectors are denied access to the Parchin site where a test of high-powered explosives is believed to have been carried out in 2003. Iran has been cleansing the site since at least 2012 and the IAEA says construction there continues.

The Iranians also denied a visa to a specific IAEA inspector for a third time so he could not visit the country.

Page 14 of the document includes an important admission by the IAEA. It states that Iran has not diverted the declared and monitored nuclear material. However, “the Agency is 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.”

The IAEA knows it lacks the capability to detect secret nuclear activity inside Iran. In addition, we know that Iran and North Koreawork closely together on their nuclear and missile programs. Iran’s activities inside its territory could be frozen or even rolled back but continue unabated in North Korea.

Read more at Clarion Project

U.S. Fears ISIL Smuggling Nuclear and Radioactive Materials

Fighters are shown from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State during a parade with a missile in Raqqa, Syria / AP

Fighters are shown from the al-Qaida linked Islamic State during a parade with a missile in Raqqa, Syria / AP

By Adam Kredo:

U.S. and Iraqi authorities have jointly ramped up their efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear and radioactive materials as concerns mount that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) is seeking to recover these sensitive materials and use them in a terror attack.

ISIL now controls about half of Iraq, potentially giving it access to some low-level radioactive and radiological materials, according to a State Department official.

The threat has been deemed “critical” by the U.S. State Department, which announced on Wednesday that it had inked a new deal with Baghdad to ramp up joint efforts to detect and recover sensitive nuclear materials before ISIL and other terrorist entities can get to them.

While the United States currently has no evidence that ISIL has yet to locate these types of materials, there are concerns that lawless areas under the group’s control could be used as a new smuggling route by rogue actors.

“The signing and donation of radiation detection equipment reflect the common conviction of the U.S. and Iraqi governments that nuclear smuggling and nuclear and radiological terrorism are critical and ongoing global threats that require a coordinated, global response,” the State Department said in a statement. “Iraq’s central location and the challenging security environment it faces reinforce the urgency with which these problems must be addressed.”

The United States, which started working on the agreement in 2012, is now providing the Iraqi government with radiation detection and identification equipment, according to the State Department. These tools are expected to help Iraqi authorities “locate, identify, characterize, and recover orphaned or disused radioactive sources in Iraq thereby reducing the risk of terrorists acquiring these dangerous materials.”

The concern is that sensitive materials could be smuggled outside of Iraq and potentially used by extremists.

“There’s always a concern about radiological or radioactive sources,” said a State Department official who would only discuss the issue on background.

While the United States is “not aware of any cases of these types of material being smuggled out of the country thus far,” ISIL could potentially use radioactive materials found in hospitals and some medical devices to create a crude bomb, the official said.

“This is the kind of thing where if ISIL got its hands on enough radioactive sources or radioactive sources of a sufficient radioactivity level and they decided to turn it into a bomb and blow it up in a market, that would be a very unpleasant thing,” the official said, noting that “there’s no indication that ISIL is planning to do that.”

Yet there is evidence that terrorists stole some nuclear materials in Iraq earlier this year.

Iraqi officials revealed to the United Nations in July that insurgents had seized uranium that was being used for research purposes at an academic institution in the northern part of the country.

Nearly 90 pounds of low-level uranium was stolen from Iraq’s Mosul University by “terrorist groups,” Iraq’s U.N. ambassador was quoted as saying at the time by Reuters.

“Terrorist groups have seized control of nuclear material at the sites that came out of the control of the state,” Iraqi Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim wrote in a letter claiming that these material could be “used in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction,” according to Reuters.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon

Also see:

Iran links Iraq role to lifting of sanctions

Iran is ready to join international action against militants in Iraq provided the West lifts crippling sanctions, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday.

His comments followed a call by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Wednesday for all countries in the region, including Iran, to join the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters who have seized swathes of Iraq as well as neighboring Syria.

“If we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side of the negotiations should do something in return,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying.

“All the sanctions that are related to Iran’s nuclear program should be lifted,” he said.

It is the first time that Iran has explicitly linked its readiness to work with the West in Iraq with a lifting of the crippling EU and U.S. sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

Those sanctions are the subject of ongoing talks between Tehran and the major powers that are due to resume before the opening of the U.N. General Assembly next month.

In return for lifting the sanctions, the Western powers are demanding that Iran sharply rein in its nuclear program to ally international concerns about its ambitions as part of a comprehensive deal they are seeking to strike by November.

The Iranian foreign ministry confirmed on Wednesday that discussions were under way with several European governments about the possibility of joint action against ISIS in Iraq.

Zarif said tough negotiations were still under way over what role Iran might play in Iraq and what the reward might be for its cooperation.

“It is still not clear what we have to do in Iraq and what they have to do in return,” the Mehr news agency quoted the Iranian foreign minister as saying.

“And that’s exactly the difficult part.”

Iranian and U.S. officials discussed the jihadists’ lightning offensive in Iraq in June on the sidelines of nuclear talks with the major powers but both sides ruled out joint military action at the time.

Tehran and Washington have had no diplomatic relations since the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution of 1979, although they have had contacts over Afghanistan as well as Iraq.

Threat of Nuclear Iran Looms Due to the West’s Weak Resolve

Iranian nuclear negotiators (Photo: © Reuters)

Iranian nuclear negotiators (Photo: © Reuters)

BY SHAHRIAR KIA:

The sixth and final round of talks between the Iranian regime and P5+1, which started on July 3, is quickly running its course toward its self-imposed July 20 deadline, at which time world powers and the Iranian regime are supposed to reach a final agreement on Iran’s illicit nuclear program and curb the nuclear capabilities of a regime that has already proven to be a regional and global threat without nuclear weapons.

The talks were initially launched with a lot of pomp and ceremony. Accordingly, a lot of optimism was pumped into mainstream media, mainly centered on the positive changes that would supposedly occur now that the Iranian regime’s new president Hassan Rouhani had assumed office, and his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was at the helm of Iranian negotiating team.

Western states rushed to the negotiating table, offering the Iranian regime many concessions and not demanding much in return, seemingly forgetting that this same regime has so far defied six U.N. Security Council resolutions, and Rouhani has previously braggedabout how he had duped the West and preserved the Iranian regime’s nuclear project during his 2003-2005 nuclear tenure.

Also being ignored is the proven fact that no matter who is up front, it is the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei who has the final say on important matters, the nuclear project included.

Now, after many months of ongoing talks, it turns out that the Iranian regime had nothing new to offer and insists on preserving its nuclear program and its potential to produce nuclear arms.

Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who had touted the talks and had high hopes over the prospects of reaching a solution to Iran’s nuclear deadlock, now feels a little disgruntled and dubious about the whole affair.  “What will Iran choose?” he wrote in his June 30 op-ed in the Washington Post, “Despite many months of discussion, we don’t know yet.”

With a few days left on the schedule, many sticking points remain between Iran and world powers, including the number of centrifuges, the much-debated Arak heavy water reactor, the possible military dimensions of the program and the regime’s ballistic missile program, which could be used to launch nuclear warheads to intended targets.

If recent remarks by Khamenei are any indication, the gap between the Iranian regime and world powers is too great and isn’t likely to be bridged within the next weeks. Acknowledging that it is at a critical milestone, the Iranian regime’s supreme leader made it clear in a session with high-profile regime officials that his regime needs 190,000 SWUs (Separate Work Units) as compared to the 10,000 that the international community is willing to concede. He also dismissed any notion of shutting down military facilities or giving up on nuclear research.

Khamenei took advantage of the weak resolve of the international community to taunt the West and affirm that any attempts at further sanctions or possible military action against his regime would fail.

The best result that the talks could yield is a bad deal, one which allows the Iranian regime to preserve its capacity to create a nuclear bomb and make a break for it at a time of its choosing. The only amount of relief U.S. President Barack Obama might draw from the situation is that the catastrophe might not come to pass on his watch.

Read more at Clarion Project

Fmr POTUS Adviser: Iran Talks Deadlocked Over Enrichment

Illustrative photo of a nuclear reactor. Photo © Reuters.

Illustrative photo of a nuclear reactor. Photo © Reuters.

Clarion Project:

July 8, 2014 – Clarion Project hosted an exclusive briefing for diplomats and journalists from all over the world with Dr. Gary Samore, President Obama’s former adviser for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction and the president of United Against Nuclear Iran.

In light up the upcoming July 20 end of the interim agreement between Iran and the P5+1, Dr. Samore spoke about Iran’s current objectives as well as the differences between the negotiating parties.

The main point of contention is Iran’s nuclear breakout capacity. “Iran wants to have the ability to create nuclear weapons on short notice, while the six world powers are not prepared to accept Iran as a nuclear threshold state,” Dr. Samore explained.

Dr. Samore mapped out the current time it would take for Iran to “breakout” and build nuclear weapons. “Right now, on paper, Iran’s breakout time is two to three months. The six world powers are demanding Iran significantly reduce this capability … to make breakout time over one year and to keep that in place for more than a decade.”

However, on this core issue – enrichment capabilities — neither side is willing to make concessions, says Dr. Samore. Further, he explains, “Both sides are very constrained by domestic politics. President Obama can’t sell a nuclear deal to Congress if it allows Iran to retain a credible nuclear weapons option, and President Rouhani cannot sell a nuclear deal to Supreme Leader Khamenei if it requires Iran to give up its nuclear weapons option.”

“But, even if a deal is impossible,” Dr. Samore continued, “I think all parties appear relatively comfortable with the status quo that has been created by the interim agreement. The U.S. and its allies have essentially succeeded in freezing the most important part of its nuclear program with only modest sanctions relief.”

Further, Dr. Samore says that inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency have been highly effective in deterring Iran from breaking their agreements at known nuclear facilities. In terms of covert facilities, ferreting them out is and always has been the job of U.S. and other intelligence agencies.

Due to the current volatile world situation, Dr. Samore expects that the interim agreement will be renewed without changes for another six months. This is due in part, to the political situation in Ukraine, Iraq and the deadlock between the negotiating parties for which a renewal would allow all parties to attain their goals.

Read more at Clarion Project

Iran’s Path to the Bomb

76114095_3c03127b-b8dc-47c0-af9c-66715d0adff4by Charles Bybelezer:

As nuclear negotiations resume between Iran and world powers, it is becoming increasingly clear that any deal signed will be considered negatively by Israel as “ill-conceived.”

According to most estimations, the focus of the talks has shifted from dismantling Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, as demanded by Jerusalem, to creating a verification network that would, ideally, grant inspectors unfettered access to Iranian sites to ensure the peaceful nature of its nuclear operations.

In “Inspections: The Weak Link in a Nuclear Agreement with Iran,” Dore Gold, a former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations and currently an advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, questions “the advisability of erecting a comprehensive agreement with Iran that is so highly dependent upon the efficacy of its inspection system and the willingness of Iran to agree to what some analysts call unprecedented levels of transparency.”

The drawbacks should be evident, especially when considering Iran’s ongoing refusal to grant the IAEA access to its Parchin facility, where the UN nuclear watchdog believes Tehran has conducted military research into the development of atomic weapons. That the underground Fordow nuclear plant remained unknown to the West for years casts further doubt on both the Islamic Republic’s trustworthiness and the ability of monitors to keep tabs on the whole of its nuclear activities.

The fact that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry recently revealed that Iran’s breakout capacity stands at a mere two months should alone obviate any such deal, as this window is surely too close for comfort.

Nonetheless, it appears as though the prospects of reversing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear progress by significantly reducing the number of its centrifuges is off the table.

In the prescient words of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, the “talks are not about nuclear capability…they are about Iranian integrity and dignity.”

But the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism is undeserving of respect.

Read more at Front Page

 

 

 

Negotiations End in Shouts as Iran Draws New ‘Red Lines’

Saseed JaliliClarion Project, BY REZA KAHLILI:

Iran has thrown up new roadblocks to reaching a deal with the P5+1 world powers over its illicit nuclear program.

Three days of negotiations in the fourth round of Geneva discussions ended Friday in arguments and confrontations when the Iranian team presented their country’s new “red lines,” diminishing any hope by the Obama administration to claim victory in its approach to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, according to reports from Iran.

Hossein Shariatmadari, a former torturer and now managing editor of the conservative newspaper Keyhan, the mouthpiece of the country’s supreme leader, in an Op-Ed published Saturday revealed details of the Geneva negotiations and congratulated the Iranian delegation for its steadfast demand that the country has a right to pursue nuclear development.

The Obama administration hoped that with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif showing an eagerness to solve the nuclear issue and address the West’s concerns, there would be a possibility for a negotiated solution. An interim agreement penned last November in Geneva was touted as a “historic nuclear deal.”

Under that agreement, Iran — in return for billions of dollars in sanctions relief — limited its enrichment activity to the 5 percent level with a current stockpile of over 10 tons (enough for six nuclear bombs), converted much of its 20 percent enriched stock to harmless oxide and agreed to allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear plants by the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose inspections were limited to only agreed-on facilities.

The final draft of the agreement to address all of Iran’s nuclear facilities and activities, along with its missile program, was planned to be finalized this July.

“The Obama administration and its allies were drunken happy after the initial agreement,” said Shariatmadari, who had previously criticized the Iranian negotiating officials for being soft with their Western counterparts. “With this delusion, that with the continuation of negotiations they could wrap up the issue, they had come prepared to Geneva with their demeaning requests of security ‘breakout’ or preventive measures of (possible military dimensions). … To present these conditions as their winning cards on the negotiating table, they could not imagine in their wildest dreams that this time the Iranian negotiators on the other side of the table … were aware of the opponents’ tricks.”

The red lines that the Iranian delegation presented, as stated by Shariatmadari, are:

• The expansion of Iranian nuclear research and development.

• The acceptance of Iran’s need for enrichment on a level that feeds the need of the country (the country has over 19,000 centrifuges, far more than is needed for peaceful nuclear purposes, and would like to expand).

• The preservation of the Arak heavy-water plant (the plant once operational could produce plutonium and serve the ruling clerics with a second path to nuclear weapons).

• No interference or limitation to the country’s military and defensive measures (the Islamic regime is under U.N. sanctions for developing ballistic missiles and it currently holds the largest missile stockpile in the Middle East with ranges capable of reaching as far as Europe).

• The removal of all sanctions at once as opposed to step-by-step relief (the U.N. resolutions and sanctions in place are the results of efforts by several U.S. administrations and over a decade of negotiations).

“These (red) lines, which the enemy had never expected to see, at first caused their disbelief and then their anger to the level of shouts and arguments,” Shariatmadari wrote. “The opponents thought that the conditions set by the Iranian delegates were meant to increase (Iran’s) negotiating power, but when faced with their absolute resolve … they realized that their dreams were swept away and that the Geneva 4meeting had failed.”

According to a source within the regime’s intelligence community, the leadership will not give up its nuclear ambitions, and the Revolutionary Guards see themselves as the dominating power in the Middle East and beyond. They believe that the Obama administration will not engage militarily and that the regime needs to weather the sanctions regime, which has already cracked due to the initial Geneva agreement.

Believing Obama on Iran

Obama_Iran-450x305by :

Brig. Gen. (ret.) Uzi Eilam is an octogenarian who served as the director general of Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission from 1976 until 1985.

Last Friday Eilam gave a head-scratching interview to Yediot Aharonot’s Ronen Bergman in which he claimed that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a decade from completion. He said it is far from clear that the Iranians even want a nuclear arsenal. He accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of cynically exaggerating the threat from Iran in order to strengthen himself politically.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Eilam’s interview was his absolute certainty in his judgment.

Eilam, who hasn’t had any inside knowledge of nuclear issues since 1985, would have us believe that he knows better than active duty Israeli intelligence chiefs and US intelligence directors about the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He even thinks he knows better than the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Israel assesses that Iran already has sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to produce five atomic bombs. As Netanyahu has said, the interim nuclear deal the US and its allies signed with Iran last November only delays Iran’s bomb making capacity by six weeks.

In January, James Clapper, the director of US national intelligence, agreed with Israel’s assessment. In testimony before the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence Clapper said that Iran is already a nuclear breakout state. In his words, “Tehran has made technical progress in a number of areas – including uranium enrichment, nuclear reactors and ballistic missiles – from which it could draw if it decided to build missile- deliverable nuclear weapons.”

Clapper argued that this doesn’t matter because the US’s monitoring capabilities are so trustworthy and advanced that Iran wouldn’t be able to put nuclear weapons together without the US noticing.

Unfortunately there is no reason to believe Clapper is right. Indeed, Netanyahu said as much to US National Security Advisor Susan Rice when she repeated Clapper’s claim during her visit to Israel last week.

And the UN agrees with Netanyahu.

In two reports released in recent days, UN officials have stated that Iran has developed an advanced capacity to hide its importation of components of its nuclear program. According to a Reuters report, this includes hiding titanium tubs in steel pipes and using its petrochemical industry as a cover to obtain valves and other items for its heavy-water nuclear reactor.

According to an AP report, the IAEA is also concerned because Iran is not cooperating with the watchdog group in revealing information about possible military applications of its nuclear program, or allowing the IAEA unfettered access to all nuclear sites.

Iran’s lack of transparency puts paid to the US’s claim that it can monitor all of Iran’s activities. It is far from clear that the US is even aware of all of Iran’s nuclear sites. So even if the US is capable of perfectly monitoring the known sites, it cannot know what it doesn’t know, and so may very well be monitoring the wrong sites.

And yet, despite US’s acknowledgment that Iran already has breakout capacity, and despite the UN’s conclusion that the Iranians are cheating on their international commitments and bypassing sanctions through smuggling activities, Brig. Gen. Eilam, who left the nuclear business 28 years ago, feels comfortable accusing Netanyahu of deliberately misleading the public and the world community.

What gives? It is hard to escape the feeling that there may be a connection between Eilam’s unhinged broadside against Netanyahu and the US’s assault on the credibility of Israel’s nuclear warnings.

On Sunday Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei visited a Revolutionary Guards Corps base. There he was shown what the IRGC claims is a reverse-engineered clone of an advanced US espionage drone that Iran captured in 2011. According to Fox News, after the RAQ-170 Sentinel drone landed in Iran in 2011, the Pentagon presented US President Barack Obama with three different plans to destroy or retrieve the drone.

Obama rejected all of them because “he didn’t want to do anything that could be perceived as an act of war.”

During the same visit, to the IRGC base on Sunday, Khamenei told the commanders to begin mass producing ballistic missiles to use against the US.

In his words, the Americans “expect us to limit our missile program while they constantly threaten Iran with military action. So this is a stupid, idiotic expectation.

The Revolutionary Guards should definitely carry out their program and not be satisfied with the present level. They should mass produce. This is a main duty of all military officials.”

In other words, on Sunday, a declared enemy of the US, that the director of national intelligence acknowledges already has the independent capability to produce nuclear weapons, humiliated and threatened the US.

At a minimum Iran’s capture of the US drone indicates that the US capacity to monitor Iran’s nuclear capabilities is vulnerable and imperfect.

As for the ballistic missiles, they should be of utmost concern to the Europeans and the Americans. Iran doesn’t need ballistic missiles to attack Israel with nuclear weapons.

It can use artillery, not to mention a human being playing the role of Enola Gay.

But rather than condemn Iranian espionage and aggression, over the past week, Obama administration officials have launched a full court press against Israel.

Read more at Front Page

Video: Dr. Andrew Bostom on Iran’s Final Solution for Israel

Published on Apr 19, 2014 by Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors:

The so-called “P5 +1″ interim agreement with Iran was announced on November 24, 2013, amidst great fanfare, and giddy expectations of continued diplomatic success. Ostensibly, these negotiations were going to eliminate Iran’s ability to produce nuclear weapons, and constrain the regime’s hegemonic aspirations, including its oft-repeated bellicose threats to destroy the Jewish State of Israel.

Less than three months later, punctuated by cries of “down with the U.S.”-and “Death to Israel”-Iranians took to the streets en masse, February 11, 2014, commemorating the 35th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic putsch, which firmly re-established Iran’s legacy of centuries of Shiite theocracy, transiently interrupted by the 54-year reign (r. 1925-1979) of the 20th century Pahlavi Shahs.

Many alarming developments since the P5 +1 deal was announced epitomize the abject failure of a delusive and dangerous policymaking mindset I have dubbed, “The ‘Trusting Khomeini’ Syndrome,” in my new book Iran’s Final Solution For Israel. This “Syndrome” is named after infamous Princeton International Law Professor Richard Falk’s February 16, 1979 essay, “Trusting Khomeini,” dutifully published in the The New York Times. The parlous denial-born of willful doctrinal and historical negationism-evident in Falk’s February, 1979 essay, now shapes formal U.S. policy toward Iran, merely updated as “Trusting Khamenei,” Iran’s current “Supreme Leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who succeeded Ayatollah Khomeini. I further maintain that the sine qua non of this crippling mindset-bowdlerization of Islam-currently dominates policymaking circles, running the gamut from Left to Right. 

To understand the profound dangers of policies toward the self-proclaimed Islamic Republic of Iran which remain willfully blind to Islam, Dr. Bostom addressed the following questions: What is the Sharia? What are the uniquely Islamic institutions of jihad, and its corollary institution, dhimm¬itude, and how do these institutions relate to the Sharia? What are the similarities and differences comparing Sunni (the [vast] majority sect of Islam) and Shiite (Shi’ism being Islam’s largest minority sect) doctrine on jihad and dhimm¬itude? What is the Shiite doctrine of najis? What are the major antisemitic motifs in Islam’s canonical texts-the Koran itself (i.e., as glossed in the major Koranic commentaries, classical and modern), as well as the “Traditions” of Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, and the nascent Muslim community? What are the similarities and differences comparing Sunni and Shiite eschatology-end of times theology-and how central are the Jews to this doctrine (i.e., what is their described role, and fate?), from the Sunni and Shiite perspectives? How were these doctrines applied in Iran, and what was their effect upon the Jews of Iran, between the 16th, and early 20th centuries? Are these living doctrines, espoused and presently applied in contemporary Iran? For example, has the Sharia been applied in Iran since 1979 (especially vis-à-vis non-Muslims), and what is its current popularity in the Islamic Republic (as measured objectively, not anecdotally)? Most importantly, how is Iran’s historical application of these doctrines, in aggregate, to its Jewish minority population, relevant-and manifest-in the contemporary Islamic Republic’s posture toward Israel, and the U.S.?

 

Much of the material in this presentation is also covered in this article at Family Security Matters:

U.S. Accommodation of Totalitarianism, From the Soviet Union to Iran

Excerpt:

download (96)The 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. Iran’s expressed aggressive, hegemonic aspirations in this foundational document- animated by the ideology of jihad-are self-evident. Thus, invoking one of the Koran’s key verses sanctioning jihad war, 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]).

Khomeini’s Iran has indeed embraced jihad “as a central pillar of faith and action,” demonstrated notably by the unending campaign of vilification and proxy violence (via Hezbollah, in particular) against the “Zionist entity,” Israel. This struggle epitomized what Khomeini’s Iran viewed as its “sacred struggle to cleanse the region and the world of Muslim and non-Muslim infidel blasphemy.”

A compelling illustration of how well the U.S. Department of State once understood the true nature of jihad as a normative Islamic institution-circa 1880-was provided by Edward A. Van Dyck, then US Consular Clerk at Cairo, Egypt. Van Dyck prepared a detailed report in August, 1880 on the history of the treaty arrangements (so-called “capitulations”) between the Muslim Ottoman Empire, European nations, and the much briefer U.S.-Ottoman experience. Van Dyck’s report-written specifically as a tool for State Department diplomats- opens with an informed, clear, and remarkably concise explanation of jihad and Islamic law: 

In all the many works on Mohammedan law no teaching is met with that even hints at those principles of political intercourse between nations, that have been so long known to the peoples of Europe, and which are so universally recognized by them. “Fiqh,” as the science of Moslem jurisprudence is called, knows only one category of relation between those who recognize the apostleship of Mohammed and all others who do not, namely Djehad [jihad[; that is to say, strife, or holy war. Inasmuch as the propagation of Islam was to be the aim of all Moslems, perpetual warfare against the unbelievers, in order to convert them, or subject them to the payment of tribute, came to be held by Moslem doctors [legists] as the most sacred duty of the believer. This right to wage war is the only principle of international law which is taught by Mohammedan jurists;

Confirming that present day Iranian foreign policy remains animated by jihad,  less than three weeks after the November 24, 2013 announcement of the P5 +1  interim agreement, during an interview which aired December 11, 2013, Iranian Middle East analyst Mohammad Sadeq al-Hosseini, provided a candid assessment of the negotiations. El-Hosseini, a former political advisor to both Iran’s alleged reformist ex-President Khatami, and the Khatami regime’s erstwhile Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Ata’ollah Mohajerani (also deemed a “moderate”), underscored the ancient Islamic doctrinal bases for the contemporary Iranian theocracy’s geo-politics. Invoking the armistice “Treaty of Hudaybiyya” agreement between Muhammad and the 7th century pagan Quraysh tribe of Mecca, which Islam’s prophet-warrior unilaterally abrogated as soon Muhammad’s jihadist forces achieved the military superiority needed to vanquish his Meccan foes, el-Hosseini declared:

This is the Treaty of Hudaybiyya in Geneva, and it will be followed by a “conquest of Mecca.”

Consistent with Muhammad’s tactical formulation when waging jihad, “War is deceit” (from the canonical hadith “traditions” of the Muslim prophet), the Islamic doctrine of sacralized dissimulation, “takiya,” or “kitman” (“concealment”; “disguise”), and the modern parallel of Soviet Communist deceit and conspiracy (especially during arms control negotiations), el-Hosseini also noted,

Incidentally, for your information, when you conduct political negotiations with Iran, you lose even when you think you have won. The [Iranians] have raised the level of uranium enrichment far beyond the level they really needed, so that when the level would be lowered, they would emerge victorious.

Igor Lukes essay, “Linguistic Deception and U.S.-Soviet Arms Control Treaties,” (from the landmark 1988 Joseph S. Douglass, Jr. essay collection Why the Soviets Violate Arms Control Treaties), noted the striking similarity between Soviet “linguistic maneuvers” and takiya/ kitman, the Islamic doctrine of deception:

It is hard to ignore the existence of clear parallels between the defensive deceptions of Islamic kitman and the more global linguistic maneuvers of the Kremlin decision makers…[D]eception and conspiracy were to become a way of life of all communist movements. Indeed the long careers of Philby et al. [Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby (d. 1988) was a high-ranking member of British intelligence, and Soviet double agent, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1963, having been an operative of the Soviet NKVD/KGB, as part the spy ring now known as the "Cambridge Five"] demonstrate that kitman is as Soviet as it is Middle Eastern.

El-Hosseini, in his December 11, 2013 discussion, further insisted the Geneva deal augured America’s eventual jihad conquest during Iran’s ongoing “fierce war with Americans on all levels.” While this claim appears dubious, at present, El-Hosseini contended, appositely, that the agreement marked near-term U.S. capitulation to Iran’s oft-repeated threat to destroy Israel by jihad-including via nuclear weapons.

Obama had to make a great retreat. He was forced to accept a handshake from President Rohani [Rouhani], whom he considered a kind of Gorbachev or Sadat, so that the day would not come when he would be forced to kiss the hands of [Secretary General of Lebanese Hezbollah]Hassan Nasrallah and [Supreme Leader of Iran] Imam Khamenei, so that they would hold their fire in the great war that was prepared to annihilate Israel.

Eighteen months earlier (on June 6, 2012), Iran’s Fars News agency published an interview with el-Hosseini during which he quoted sura (chapter) 59, verse 14 of the Koran, a reference to Muhammad’s brutal, sanguinary jihad conquests of Arabian (especially Medinan) Jewry, that concluded with the capture of Jews’ final refuge at the Khaybar oasis:

This matter is exactly the meaning of the Koranic verse, “They will not fight against you all together except in fortified cities, or from behind walls.”… The circumstances of Khaybar [are present today as well, because the Jews are fighting] from behind a wall. This means that they have reached the limit of their capabilities and options, and are no longer willing to leave their homes. Consider that Israel is a small and very narrow coastal country and does not have the strategic or geopolitical ability to defend itself, and it could disappear at any moment. These people could flee en masse. As [Yahya Rahim] Safavi said, under circumstances of all-out war, a million Israelis will flee the occupied territories [i.e., Israel] in the first week [of the war]. This is no exaggeration.

Amir Taheri’s pellucid, if trenchant December 16, 2013 analysis exposed how U.S. (and European) diplomacy was easy prey for Iran’s negotiations jihad, “Three Card Monte” tactics:

Having claimed that he had halted Iran’s nuclear project, Secretary of State John Kerry might want to reconsider. He and his European colleagues, like many of their predecessors, may have fallen for the diplomatic version of the Three Card Monte played by the mullahs since they seized power in 1979. Khomeinist diplomacy has never aimed at reaching agreement with anyone. Instead, the regime regards negotiations as just another weapon in the jihad for ensuring the triumph of “true Islam” across the globe. The regime can’t conceive of give-and-take and compromise even with Muslim nations, let alone a bunch of “Infidel” powers. If unable to impose its will on others, the regime will try to buy time through endless negotiations. In Three Card Monte, suckers stay in the game in the hope of getting it right next time. A similar hope ensures outsiders’ participation in Khomeinist diplomacy’s version of the trick.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Meanwhile Iran’s deception continues even as the Obama administration unfroze Iranian assets totaling $550 million on April 10 and another $450 million on April 15. The United States has now released $2.55 billion to Iran since February, when the scheduled cash infusions first began.

Iran Claims Covert Op. Against Plutonium Reactor

nuclear eactorBy Ryan Mauro:

Iran is developing two tracks towards nuclear capabilities: Uranium enrichment and plutonium reprocessing, the latter of which is what Iran’s North Korean allies used. In the latest apparent covert operation against Iran, the regime says its plutonium-based reactor was targeted for sabotage.

Iran says the purpose of its Arak heavy water reactor is to make medical isotopes and thermal power. It runs on uranium but produces spent fuel that contains plutonium, a material that can then be reprocessed for nuclear bomb construction.

The joint nature of the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea means the regime will have an experienced hand guiding it if it pursues this option. Notably, North Korea restarted its plutonium plant around the same time as Iran halted construction at Arak. This is also the method used by India and Pakistan to build nukes. Iraq and Syria also tried it but were stopped by Israeli airstrikes.

The regime announced earlier this week that enemy intelligence services had tried to trick Iran into installing faulty pumps at the site. Iran predictably claimed that the covert operation failed.

If true, it would fit a pattern of other apparent covert operations against Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranians were provided with rigged equipment for its Isfahan uranium conversion site as early as 2005, leading to the contamination of uranium at the Natanz enrichment facility.

Read more at Clarion Project