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

ben_sasse_AP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Group: Iran Operating Top Secret ‘Parallel Nuclear Program’

Published on Feb 25, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

 

Also see:

 

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

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

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

, Feb. 10, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published on Feb 10, 2015 by CBN News

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

Iran and Nuclear Terrorism

1049 (1)By Justin O. Smith:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bibigate – The Contretemps over Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress on Iran’s Nuclear Program

US House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu Washington Times File Photo  5-24-2011

US House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu
Washington Times File Photo 5-24-2011

NER, by Jerry Gordon, Feb. 2, 2015:

Last Saturday night a retired US Navy officer said “I’ll bet you even money that Bibi will withdraw from the proposed speech before a joint session of Congress”. I joshed him and said “I wouldn’t count on it.”

Sunday, I   received suggestions that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu should have a Plan B given the rising contretemps in the media over US House Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to talk about Iran before a Joint Session of Congress. There  was a welter of criticism from the White House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and mainstream media talking heads  included David Brooks of the New York Times and  Chris Wallace and Shepherd Smith of  FoxNews.  They were admonishing Speaker Boehner and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer with terms like “dicey, wicked more for photo op” and “partisan politics” and “unwise for Israel.”  It was ostensibly about the lack of courtesy shown the President by not giving prior notice to the White House of the invitation extended to Netanyahu.  There was pique by certain unnamed senior officials in the White House over what some might call Bibigate.

However, let us remember there was increasing  bi-partisan support for new Iran nuclear sanctions legislation  despite  the President’s warning that he would veto it if it was passed. New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez was particularly incensed at the President for his questioning his motivations.  Menendez said: “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran. And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they are the ones with the original sin.”  Lest, we forget, the President had threatened a veto if increased Iran legislation passed.  It was abundantly clear in the January 16th Joint Press Conference at the White House when the President Obama agreed with  UK PM David Cameron’s remarks, urging Senators on Capitol Hill not to take up new sanctions legislation at a “sensitive time”. Thus, one could speculate that Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu on January 21st to speak to a Joint Session of Congress in early March was a rebuttal to the President.

The rancor over Bibigate was visible in the final week of January into February.  Wednesday, January 28th,CNN released a clip of Fareed Zakaria’s February 1st GPS interview with President Obama.  Obama suggested that a visit with Netanyahu was “inappropriate,” as it was too close to the upcoming March Knesset elections.  The President said, “I’m declining to meet with him simply because our general policy is, we don’t meet with any world leader two weeks before their election, [I] think that’s inappropriate. And that’s true with some of our closest allies.”  Those comments engendered another rebuttal that the White House may have been giving tacit support to the involvement of Presidential Campaign aide Jim Byrd in advising the Labor-Hanuat opposition to Netanyahu in the Knesset general elections.

Friday, January 30th, Jeffrey Goldberg published an interview in The Atlantic with Israeli Ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, a former US Republican strategist and member of the Netanyahu’s inner circle.   Dermer discussed the background for Boehner’s issuance of the invitation to Netanyahu to speak to Congress on Iran. Dermer suggested that while the Prime Minister “meant no disrespect towards President Obama … Netanyahu must speak up while there is still time to speak up”.

That led Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson on the blog Legal Insurrection to opine that Obama’s not offended; he just wants Bibi out of office.

The Hill round up on the Sunday Talk shows had comments from Rep. Paul Ryan on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and Arizona Senator John McCain on CNN’s “State of The Union.”  Over the issue of Speaker Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu Ryan said,” The Invitation to Israeli prime minister was ‘absolutely’ appropriate. I don’t know if I would say it’s antagonizing”.  McCain drew attention to the new low in US Israel relations under Obama saying, “It’s the worst that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.”

Virtually out of nowhere, Sunday, February 1st, commentary from an “Insight” blog post of the Israeli Institute for National Security Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University shed light on a bizarre theory of what was behind Bibigate.  The author of the INSS post, Zaki Shalom, suggested:

The backdrop for the Administration’s expressed dissatisfaction with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s intention to present his position on negotiations with Iran to Congress, creating a rather transparent linkage between Israel’s positions on negotiations with Iran and sanctions, and U.S. willingness to assist in combating the Palestinian attempt to exert international legal and diplomatic pressure on Israel.

On Thursday, January 30, 2015, the Senate Banking Committee voted out a ‘softer’ version of the Kirk –Menendez Sanctions legislation by a vote of 18 to 4, including six Democrats.  As reported by The Hill, the legislation:

… Would impose sanctions on Iran if a comprehensive agreement to roll back its nuclear program is not reached by June 30 and would allow the president to waive sanctions indefinitely for 30 days at a time.

However, the bill would be shelved until March 24th for a possible floor vote.  Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) said, “All of us understand it’s not going to be voted on before March 24”. While the measure may portend a possible override vote should President Obama veto it that still requires Senator Menendez to keep the group of 17 Democratic Senators who support this version of sanctions legislation in the bi-partisan alliance.

Israeli concern over a weak final agreement by March 24th  is reflected  in a  Times of Israel report published  Sunday, February 1st,” US sources deride Israeli ‘nonsense’ on Obama giving in to Iran.”  Israeli  sources contend that Iran is likely to get 80 % of what it is seeking- the ability to continue enrichment with  upwards of 9,000 centrifuges, especially the advanced IR-2s. The Israelis believe that would give Iran nuclear breakout within weeks.  Add to that mix Iran flaunting pictures in a ToA  report of a Medium Range Ballistic Missile (MRBM) capable of covering all of Europe. That is to be followed in 2015 to 2016 by one cap ICBM range. Of course there a number of us who believe that Iran may already have purchased nuclear weapons from rogue regimes, but may lack nuclear warheads, which are likely to be supplied by North Korea to be mounted on those ICBMs.

Especially as the President observed, there is less than a 50/50 chance of reaching an agreement. Then assuming the current polls are correct and Bibi retains the ability to form a new Knesset coalition after the March 17th election, he may speak with both authority and strength.

As a  usual astute observer of Israel from Europe, Imre Herzog, opined when I wrote him on my side bet “you might win the bet”.

Also see:

“Change” and “hope”, where have we heard that before?

Leftist Israeli group V-15 seeks ‘change’….’hope’….for new elections

Published on Feb 2, 2015 by Kenneth Sikorski

Bwhahahahahaha

”Insight to Israel / Hershey’s for Heroes Tel Aviv, in front of the National Press Office as the Likud party is about to hold a press conference after filing a legal complaint against outside groups (V-15) and money that are seeking to alter the outcome of the March elections with the narrative, said and unsaid, “Anyone but Bibi”.”

Experts: Iran Now a Nuclear-Ready State, Missiles Capable of Hitting US

nuclear IranNewsMax, By William R. Graham, Henry F. Cooper, Fritz Ermarth, and Peter Vincent Pry, Feb. 1, 2015:

Regardless of intelligence uncertainties and unknowns about Iran’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, we know enough now to make a prudent judgment that Iran should be regarded by national security decision makers as a nuclear missile state capable of posing an existential threat to the United States and its allies.

On Jan. 22, The Jerusalem Post reported that Iran deployed a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “whose range far exceeds the distance between Iran and Israel, and between Iran and Europe.” It was also shown on Israeli television.

Iran’s development of an ICBM at this time would be consistent with unclassified U.S. intelligence community reports that in 2013 warned Iran could test an ICBM by 2015.

Iran and others claim the missile is not a military ICBM for delivering nuclear warheads but a peaceful Space Launch Vehicle (SLV) for orbiting satellites.

This is a distinction without a difference.

Iran has a demonstrated capability to orbit satellites weighing over a ton, which means it could also deliver a nuclear warhead against the U.S. or any nation on Earth.

Indeed, Iran has orbited several satellites on south polar trajectories passing over the western hemisphere from south to north, as if practicing to elude U.S. Ballistic Missile Early Warning Radars and National Missile Defenses, which are oriented to detect and intercept threats coming from the north.

Moreover, the altitude of these satellites, if they were carrying a nuclear weapon detonated over the center of the U.S., was in all three cases near optimum for generating an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) field across all 48 contiguous United States. EMP could cause a protracted blackout of the national electric grid and other life-sustaining critical infrastructures.

Iranian military writings describe eliminating the United States with an EMP attack. Rep. Trent Franks in congressional testimony given in December 2014 noted that an official Iranian military document, recently translated by the intelligence community, endorses making a nuclear EMP attack against the United States. The document describes the decisive effects of an EMP attack no fewer than 20 times.

Iran has missiles capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, but does Iran have a nuclear warhead?

Seven years ago, in 2008, Mohammed ElBaradei, then director general of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), warned that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon within six months. The IAEA nuclear watchdog has repeated this warning every year since.

On Jan. 20, 2014, former IAEA Deputy Director General Olli Heinonen warned that Iran could build a nuclear weapon in 2-3 weeks. He also acknowledged that this estimate is based only on Iran’s known capabilities — not on what Iran may be capable of doing, or may already have done in secret facilities. Iran has underground facilities suspected of being used for nuclear weapons development to which the IAEA has repeatedly been denied access.

Nonetheless, IAEA has discovered Iran has experimented with implosion technology, necessary for making more sophisticated nuclear weapons. IAEA also discovered plans for a nuclear warhead that could fit on Iran’s missiles.

We know from our own experience that developing a re-entry vehicle (RV) for a nuclear missile warhead is not all that difficult. The U.S., working from scratch and using the technology of over 50 years ago, in 1955, developed its first RV for the Thor, Jupiter, and Atlas missiles in just a few years.

Nor is it necessary for Iran to test a nuclear weapon in order to develop a missile warhead.

Israel, we know from the defection of Israeli nuclear scientist Mordechai Vanunu and other sources, developed a sophisticated array of nuclear weapons, including missile warheads, without testing. South Africa, too, before dismantling its nuclear arsenal, deployed nuclear weapons and designed a missile nuclear warhead without testing.

However, Iran and North Korea are strategic allies. Iranian scientists reportedly have participated in North Korea’s nuclear tests.

If Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons, it will be the first nation to go through the great trouble and expense of developing an ICBM capability without first having nuclear warheads to make the missile militarily useful. Historically, every other nuclear missile state has always developed nuclear weapons first, before long-range missiles.

The fact of Iran’s ICBM capability and their proximity to nuclear weapons necessitates that Iran be regarded as a nuclear missile state — and as a menace to the entire world — right now.

Congress and the president should give high priority to passage of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act and the SHIELD Act, which will protect the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures from EMP attack.

Holes in the National Missile Defense need to be patched, and the U.S. nuclear deterrent modernized.

Regime change ousting Iran’s oppressive mullahs through popular revolution should be encouraged. The CIA used to be good at this.

Dr. William R. Graham served as President Reagan’s science adviser, administrator of NASA, and chairman of the Congressional EMP Commission. Ambassador Henry F. Cooper was director of the Strategic Defense Initiative and chief U.S. negotiator to the defense and space talks with the USSR. Fritz Ermarth was chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board, and served in the Congressional EMP Commission, the Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA.

Iran: Unafraid and Undeterred

New-Iranian-President-Hassan-Rouhani-encouraged-by-Obamas-positive-tone-NBC-News-645x325-450x318rontpage, by Caroline Glick, Jan. 30, 2015:

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Israel’s reported strike January 18 on a joint Iranian-Hezbollah convoy driving on the Syrian Golan Heights was one of the most strategically significant events to have occurred in Israel’s neighborhood in recent months. Its significance lies both in what it accomplished operationally and what it exposed.

From what been published to date about the identities of those killed in the strike, it is clear that in one fell swoop the air force decapitated the Iranian and Hezbollah operational command in Syria.

The head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, the head of its liaison with Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah’s longtime operational commander Imad Mughniyeh who was killed by Israel in Damascus in 2008, were killed. The younger Mughniyeh reportedly served as commander of Hezbollah forces along the Syrian-Israeli border.

According to a report by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira, a Hezbollah expert from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Iranian losses included three generals. Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Alladadi was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps liaison officer to Hezbollah and to Syrian intelligence. He was also in charge of weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Gen. Ali Tabatabai was the IRGC commander in the Golan Heights and, according to Shapira, an additional general, known only as Assadi, “was, in all likelihood, the commander of Iranian expeditionary forces in Lebanon.”

The fact that the men were willing to risk exposure by traveling together along the border with Israel indicates how critical the front is for the regime in Tehran. It also indicates that in all likelihood, they were planning an imminent attack against Israel.

According to Ehud Yaari, Channel 2’s Arab Affairs commentator, Iran and Hezbollah seek to widen Hezbollah’s front against Israel from Lebanon to Syria. They wish to establish missile bases on the northern Hermon, and are expanding Hezbollah’s strategic depth from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to the outskirts of Damascus.

On Wednesday night, Yaari reported that the Syrian military has ceased to function south of Damascus. In areas not held by the al-Qaida-aligned Nusra Front and other regime opponents, the IRGC and Hezbollah have taken control, using the Syrian militia they have trained since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

The effectiveness of Hezbollah’s control of its expanded front was on display on Wednesday morning. Almost at the same time that Hezbollah forces shot at least five advanced Kornet antitank missiles at an IDF convoy along Mount Dov, killing two soldiers and wounding seven, Hezbollah forces on the Golan shot off mortars at the Hermon area.

While these forces are effective, they are also vulnerable. Yaari noted that today, three-quarters of Hezbollah’s total forces are fighting in Syria. Their twofold task is to defend the Assad regime and to build the Iranian-controlled front against Israel along the Golan Heights. Most of the forces are in known, unfortified, above ground positions, vulnerable to Israeli air strikes.

THE IDENTITIES of the Iranian and Lebanese personnel killed in the Israeli strike indicate the high value Iran and Hezbollah place on developing a new front against Israel in Syria.

The fact that they are in control over large swathes of the border area and are willing to risk exposure in order to ready the front for operations exposes Iran’s strategic goal of encircling Israel on the ground and the risks it is willing to take to achieve that goal.

But Iran’s willingness to expose its forces and Hezbollah forces also indicates something else. It indicates that they believe that there is a force deterring Israel from attacking them.

And this brings us to another strategic revelation exposed by the January 18 operation.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdolahian told Iran’s IRNA news agency that the regime had told its American interlocutors to tell Israel that it intended to strike Israel in retribution for the attack. The State Department did not deny that Iran had communicated the message, although it claims that it never relayed the message.

While the Obama administration did perhaps refuse to serve as Iran’s messenger, it has worked to deter Israel from striking Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria. Whereas Israel has a policy of never acknowledging responsibility for its military operations in Syria, in order to give President Bashar Assad an excuse to not retaliate, the US administration has repeatedly informed the media of Israeli attacks and so increased the risk that such Israeli operations will lead to counterattacks against Israel.

The US has also refused to acknowledge Iran’s control over the Syrian regime, and so denied the basic fact that through its proxies, Iran is developing a conventional threat against Israel. For instance, earlier this month, Der Spiegel reported that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility in Syria. When questioned about the report, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf sought to downplay its significance. When a reporter asked if the administration would raise the report in its nuclear negotiations with Iran, Harf replied, “No, the upcoming talks are about the Iranian nuclear program.”

Until this month, the White House continued to pay lip service to the strategic goal of removing Assad – and by inference Iran, which controls and protects him – from power in Syria. Lip service aside, it has been clear at least since September 2013, when President Barack Obama refused to enforce his own redline and take action against the Assad regime after it used chemical weapons against its opponents, that he had no intention of forcing Assad from power. But this month the administration crossed a new Rubicon when Secretary of State John Kerry failed to call for Assad to be removed to power in talks with the UN envoy in Syria Staffan de Mistura. Right before he met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Kerry told Mistura, “It is time for President Assad, the Assad regime, to put their people first and to think about the consequences of their actions, which are attracting more and more terrorists to Syria, basically because of their efforts to remove Assad.”

IRAN’S PRESENCE on the Golan Heights is of course just one of the many strategic advances it has made in expanding its territorial reach. Over the past two weeks, Iranian-controlled Houthi militias have consolidated their control over Yemen, with their overthrow of the US-allied government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Rather than defend the elected government that has fought side-by-side with US special forces in their Yemen-based operations against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the administration is pretending that little has changed. It pretends it will still be able to gather the intelligence necessary to carry out drone strikes against al-Qaida terrorists even though its allies have now lost power.

The post-Houthi-conquest goal of the administration’s policy in Yemen is to seek a national dialogue that will include everyone from Iran’s proxy government to al-Qaida.

The idea is that everyone will work together to write a new constitution. It is impossible to understate the delusion at the heart of this plan.

With the conquest of Yemen, Iran now controls the Gulf of Aden. Together with the Straits of Hormuz, Iran now controls the region’s two maritime outlets to the open sea.

Far beyond the region, Iran expands its capacity to destabilize foreign countries and so advance its interests. Last week, Lee Smith raised the reasonable prospect that it was Iran that assassinated Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman two weeks ago. Nisman was murdered the night before he was scheduled to make public the findings of his 10-year investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. According to Smith, Nisman had proof that Iran had carried out the terrorist attacks to retaliate against Argentina for abrogating its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.

Earlier this week, during Obama’s visit with the new Saudi King Salman, he got an earful from the monarch regarding the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But it seemed to have no impact on his nuclear diplomacy with Teheran. The administration believes that Iran and Saudi Arabia will be able to kiss and make up and bury a thousand- year rivalry between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam because they both oppose the Islamic State. This too is utter fantasy.

Israel’s January 18 strike on Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria showed Israel’s strategy wisdom and independent capacity.

Israel can and will take measures to defend its critical security interests. It has the intelligence gathering capacity to identify and strike at targets in real time.

But it also showed the constraints Israel is forced to operate under in its increasingly complex and dangerous strategic environment.

Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Free Fire Zone – Bring it Bibi

Published on Jan 30, 2015 by securefreedom

PM Netanyahu of Israel is coming to do the work President Obama won’t- Tell the truth about the threat of Iranian nukes.

Iran Truth Squad Briefing

3634283604 (1)

 

 

Center For Security Policy, Jan. 28, 2015

Streaming Live 1:30 pm est Wed Jan 28th US Capitol Building Washington, DC

President Obama, in his January 20th State of the Union address, stated: “…for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.”

This assertion is false. Iran continues to pursue its nuclear program unabated, constituting a paramount national security threat to the United States and its allies. The Center for Security Policy will hold a panel discussion on the true state of the Iranian threat, and what Congress must do to prevent Tehran’s realization of its nuclear ambitions.

WHO:

  • Dr. Andrew Bostom, Author, Iran’s Final Solution for Israel: The Legacy of Jihad and Shi’ite Islamic Jew-Hatred in Iran
  • Clare Lopez, Vice President for Research and Analysis, Center for Security Policy; former CIA operations officer
  • Fred Fleitz, Senior Fellow, Center for Security Policy; former Senior Professional Staff Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; former Chief of Staff to then-Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton; former CIA analyst

With remarks by:

  • Rep. Trent Franks (Arizona, 8th District) (invited), Member, House Armed Services Committee; Chairman, House EMP Caucus

Dem Senator: Obama’s Talking Points Come from Iran

 

Frontpage, By Daniel Greenfield On January 21, 2015

Obama accused Senator Robert Menendez of being in the pay of the Jews. Or as he put it, donors.

Senator Robert Menendez, a Cuban-American, whom Obama’s people have already been going after on Iran for a while now, was already none too thrilledabout the Castro deal Obama made, snapped back after the State of the Union.

 At a hearing on Iran this morning, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was unambiguous on where he stands regarding the administration’s Iran policy — despite President Obama’s attempted scolding last week of pro-sanctions Dems.

“The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,” Menendez said.

“And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they are the ones with original sin. An illicit nuclear weapons program going back over the course of 20 years, they’re unwilling to come clean on,” he continued. “So I don’t know why we feel compelled to make their case, when in fact … they get to cheat in a series of ways and we get to worry about their perceptions.”

Menendez is obviously right, but it’s startling to hear that coming from a Democratic Senator. It also sounds more likely that Obama’s Iran nuclear veto can be beaten.

U.S. to Award Iran $11.9 Billion Through End of Nuke Talks

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Hassan Rouhani / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Jan. 21, 2015:

The Obama administration on Wednesday paid $490 million in cash assets to Iran and will have released a total of $11.9 billion to the Islamic Republic by the time nuclear talks are scheduled to end in June, according to figures provided by the State Department.

Today’s $490 million release, the third such payment of this amount since Dec. 10, was agreed to by the Obama administration under the parameters of another extension in negotiations over Tehran’s contested nuclear program that was inked in November.

Iran will receive a total of $4.9 billion in unfrozen cash assets via 10 separate payments by the United States through June 22, when talks with Iran are scheduled to end with a final agreement aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear work, according to a State Department official.

Iran received $4.2 billion in similar payments under the 2013 interim agreement with the United States and was then given another $2.8 billion by the Obama administration last year in a bid to keep Iran committed to the talks through November, when negotiators parted ways without reaching an agreement.

Iran will have received a total of $11.9 billion in cash assets by the end of June if current releases continue on pace as scheduled.

The release of this money has drawn outrage from some Republican lawmakers who filed legislation last year to prevent the release of cash due to a lack of restrictions on how Iran can spend the money.

These cash payments by the United States have been made with no strings attached, prompting concerns that Iran could use the funds to finance its worldwide terror operations, which include the financial backing of Hamas, Hezbollah, and other rogue entities.

Senators—including Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.), and John Cornyn (R., Texas)—sought last year to put a hold on the cash infusions until the White House could certify that Iran was not using the money to support terrorism.

Kirk, who is preparing to offer legislation that would tighten sanctions on Iran, said that the ongoing payments could help Iran fuel its terror empire well into the near future.

“Between November 2014 and July 2015, the interim deal’s direct forms of sanctions relief will allow Iran access to roughly $4.9 billion in frozen money,” Kirk told the Washington Free Beacon “That’s equal to what it’d cost Iran to fund Hezbollah for as much as 50 years.”

The Pentagon estimates Iran has spent $100 to $200 million per year funding Hezbollah.

Entities likely to receive support from Iran include the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the legislation suggests.

When final negotiations between the United States and Iran failed in November, negotiators decided once more to extend the talks through June of this year. The terms of that extension granted Iran the 10 payments of $490 million, a State Department official said.

“With respect to sanctions relief, the United States will enable the repatriation of $4.9 billion of Iranian revenue held abroad during the extension,” the official said.

The first two payments were made in December, followed by Wednesday’s payment.

The next release is scheduled for Feb. 11, with two more scheduled for March. The rest of the frozen cash assets will be given back to Iran on April 15, May 6, May 27, and June 22, respectively.

Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), said the ongoing release of these assets has provided Iran with a critical “financial lifeline.”

“The Obama administration provided Iran with a financial lifeline through both direct sanctions relief and the de-escalation of sanctions pressure that helped the regime stabilize its economy after a severe sanctions-induced economic crisis in 2012 and 2013,” Dubowitz said. “It is not a surprise that this has increased Iranian negotiating leverage and hardened the supreme leader’s nuclear intransigence.”

In addition to decrying the lack of restrictions in place to ensure that Iran does not use the released funds to sponsor terrorism, critics of the sanctions relief protest that Iran is benefitting while the United States receives little in return.

Iran has continued to enrich uranium under the interim deal, adding what one critic, Rep. Brad Sherman (D., Calif.) referred to as “about one bomb’s worth” to its reserves.

Iran also has continued to make advances on the plutonium track, which provides it with a second path to a nuclear bomb.

President Hassan Rouhani of Iran announced last week that the country has begun constructing two new light water nuclear reactors, a move that the U.S. State Department said is permissible under the terms of the interim agreement.

Also see:

Obama Straight Up Lied about Iran’s Nukes Tonight: Their Progress Hasn’t Been ‘Halted’

3634283604CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Jan. 21, 2015:

By claiming in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that “for the first time in a decade” progress in the Iranian nuclear program has been halted and Iran’s enriched-uranium stockpile has been reduced, President Obama continued an unfortunate pattern of behavior by his administration on this issue: He outright lied.

President Obama’s claims aren’t even close to being true. Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium has surged since 2009 and has continued to increase since an interim nuclear agreement with Iran was agreed to in November 2013.

The number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium has steadily risen throughout Mr. Obama’s presidency, rising from seven to at least eight over the last year.

The below chart from a recent Center for Security Policy analysis illustrates the increase in Iran’s enriched  uranium stockpile and the number of nuclear weapons Iran could make from its enriched uranium since Mr. Obama became president — no sign of the president’s proclaimed decline. (Click here to view the entire analysis.)

pic_corner_012115_iranWhile it is true Iran stopped enriching uranium to the 20 percent uranium-235 level as required by the November 2013 interim agreement, and is diluting 20 percent–enriched uranium to reactor-grade, this concession has had a negligible effect in reducing the threat from Iran’s nuclear program.

Most of its enriched uranium stockpile happens to be at the reactor-grade level, and Iran can convert that material into enough weapons-grade fuel for one nuclear bomb in 2.2 to 3.5 months, only about two weeks longer than it would take to do so using 20 percent enriched uranium.

The United States has offered huge, one-sided concessions in its talks with Iran that will allow the country  to continue to enriched uranium, will not force it to give up its enriched-uranium stockpile, and will not require a halt to construction of a plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor.

Iran has failed to cooperate with the IAEA during the talks and cheated on the interim agreement by testing advanced centrifuges.

Based on these factors, I could only conclude in a November 21 NRO article that the Obama administration has no interest in an agreement to stop Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and has instead quietly decided to contain an Iranian nuke program.

Congress must ignore the president’s ridiculous claim that new sanctions against Iran would set back progress made in the nuclear talks and alienate our allies. These talks were fatally flawed from the beginning and are certain to produce a weak, short-lived deal that will destabilize the Middle East.

This is why 14 national leaders signed a Center for Security Policy letter to congressional leaders last November calling on Congress to repudiate the nuclear talks and pass new sanctions against Iran until it complies with all relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Sanctions legislation in the House and Senate is reportedly close to obtaining veto-proof majorities.  Even if President Obama vetoes new sanctions, passing legislation to impose them will send a clear message to Iran and the world that the American people do not support the nuclear talks and that a future U.S. administration is likely to ignore any agreement reached in them and start over.

Iranian commander: We have targets within America

Hossein-Salami-10-e1391313435440 (1)By Reza Kahlili:

A top commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards boasted Saturday that his forces have plans in place to attack the United States from within, should the U.S. attack the Islamic Republic.

“America, with its strategic ignorance, does not have a full understanding of the power of the Islamic Republic,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised interview. “We have recognized America’s military strategy, and have arranged our abilities, and have identified centers in America [for attack] that will create a shock.”

Reports indicate that terrorist Hezbollah forces — allies of Iran — have infiltrated the U.S. and have mapped out targets.

“We will conduct such a blow in which they [America] will be destroyed from within,” Salami said.

This is the second warning by a high-ranking officer of the Guards in two weeks. The chief commander of the Guards, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Jafari, addressing Secretary of State John Kerry, said on Jan. 24 that a direct conflict with America is the “strongest dream of the faithful and revolutionary men around the world.”

Kerry had previously said that if Iran did not live up to the agreement reached in Geneva on its nuclear program, “all options are on the table.”

“Your threats to revolutionary Islam are the best opportunity,” Jafari had said. “Muslim leaders for years have been preparing us for a decisive battle.… Do you know how many thousands of revolutionary Muslims at the heart of the Islamic revolutionary groups around the world are awaiting for you to take this [military] option from the table into action?”

Gen. Salami went further, saying the Revolutionary Guards have taken into consideration America’s military ability and different scenarios under which the U.S. could attack Iran via a limited missile or air strike, or even a ground attack.

“All operational bases of the enemy in the region in whatever capacity and location are within our firepower,” Salami warned. “The American military option does not make a difference for us, and they can use this option, but they will have to accept the responsibility of devastating consequences.”

Salami asked whether America could control the spread of any war with the Islamic Republic: “Can they preserve their vital interest in the region in the face of endless attacks by Iran? Can they keep their naval assets and the Zionist regime [Israel] secure?”

Salami said that with the U.S. economy and debt, America is in no position to engage Iran militarily.

The general then taunted Washington, citing Iran’s political and cultural influence in Iraq. “The current has changed for the Americans so much so that they invest [by invading Iraq] and others [Iran] benefit.”

Read more at Daily Caller