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

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Florida Family Association, July 30, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ayatollah-ali-khamenei2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Senator Chuck Schumer holds the key to dismantling Obama’s deal with Iran.  Please send prepared email to urge Senator Schumer to oppose Iran deal.   http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=495

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Contact information:

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

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

Senator Chuck Schumer chuck_schumer@schumer.senate.gov

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

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

John Kerry Is Blowing the Iran Nuke Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But Kerry had just begun embarrassing himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

Also see:

Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed

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

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

Washington Post, b July 27, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

EMP threat

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

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

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

He was not.

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

“We better start now,” the senator concluded.

Iran Bombshell: It Will Inspect Itself

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

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

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

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

In his questioning of administration witnesses, Risch said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

Come the F*ck On: al Qaeda Is Not Our Ally!

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Daily Beast, by Robin Simcox, July 24, 2015:
A new argument among jihad analysts has it that the makers of 9/11 are now a handy bulwark against ISIS. Um, no.
Enemies becoming friends is seemingly all the rage these days. First Cuba. Then Iran. Now, there are those arguing that al Qaeda must also be brought into the fold. That’s right: the same group which fly planes into our buildings, blows up our tube networks, embassies and longs for the return of the Caliphate.

The argument seems to be catching on. The journalist Ahmed Rashid has recently taken to the pages of the New York Review of Books (“Why we need al Qaeda”) and the front cover of The Spectator (“Al Qaeda to the rescue”) to question whether al Qaeda “might be the best option left in the Middle East for the US and its allies.” The argument goes that the U.S., regional Arab powers and Turkey have a shared enemy in Bashar al-Assad, Iran and its proxies. Al Qaeda not only shares these enemies, it is at the frontline of this fight in Syria and Yemen.

Rashid also says that al Qaeda is going through “dramatic changes” and are now taking a “soft line” on certain issues. Charles Lister from Brookings has also explored potential al Qaeda moderation—with the headline used in his May article for the Huffington Post, “An Internal Struggle: Al Qaeda’s Syrian Affiliate is Grappling with its Identity,” making the group sound more like a 16 year-old goth from Portland than a murderous terrorist organization.

Other, less savory figures have spoken out on other ways in which al Qaeda may be useful. Moazzam Begg—the former Guantanamo Bay detainee—cites Rashidwhile arguing that “the most credible voices against IS have been Islamic clerics traditionally associated with al Qaeda”: Abu Qatada and Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi. These two jihadist theologians’ fatwas have been used to justify barbaric violence for decades. Yet Begg laments the UK government’s reluctance to reach out to such figures, arguing that it would help avert a repeat of the massacre of British tourists that just occurred in Tunisia.

This is largely unsurprising coming from Begg, who has long argued the Islamist cause. Yet as others view al Qaeda as a potentially constructive partner, it is worth exploring this thesis on its merits.

The examples of moderation cited by the likes of Rashid are anything but. A statement from Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, the head of al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, saying that he was under instructions not to use Syria “as a base to launch attacks on the West or Europe” is highlighted as a sign of progress. However, even this concession—as deeply generous as it is—is not because of a lack of desire to kill more Westerners; it is “so as not to muddy the current war” in Syria. A change in tactics should not be confused for a change in strategy.

The al-Nusra Front also remains proud of al Qaeda’s past successes when it comes to mass murder. A propaganda video they just released is heavy on video footage from 9/11—an attack described in the video as “the most effective solution”—and speeches by Osama bin Laden.

Rashid also mischaracterizes the nature of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s behavior in Yemen. He describes AQAP’s capture of territory in Hadhramaut, southeast Yemen, as “remarkably tame,” arguing that they “inflicted little damage, executed nobody, declined to run the local government and instead installed a council of elders to govern.” The residents of Hadhramaut—especially those in Mukalla—seem to remember things differently. Last month, they saw two Saudis murdered in public by the group and then strung up from a bridge, accused of being ‘spies’. There has also been recent reports from those living under AQAP rule in Mukalla that they have burned down markets; intimidated local residents and blown up local mausoleums.

Step outside the Middle East and there are a host of other examples demonstrating that al Qaeda is as brutal as it ever was. Look at the intensity of al-Shabaab’s attacks in Somalia, or the six UN peacekeepers killed by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali earlier this month. The families of the “blasphemers” murdered by al Qaeda’s newest branch in the Indian Subcontinent also probably do not see much evidence of the group’s supposed “soft line”.

After the wars we have waged against the group over the past fourteen years and the blood that has been shed across the world by al Qaeda, it is remarkable to have to argue that they are not a constructive partner in anything the U.S. would ever want to achieve in the Middle East. Then again, we live in strange times. Who would have thought that the U.S. would be willing to militarily partner with the very same Iranian militias in Iraq that were killing their soldiers in the same theater ten years ago?

Something similar cannot be allowed to happen again. Al Qaeda is not our ally. It remains as committed as ever to our destruction and we should never forget it.

Iran Is Working with al Qaeda

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

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

So why are we working with Iran?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch West’s speech below:

***

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glick concluded with,

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

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

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

Thousands Of Protesters Rally In Times Square Against Iran Nuclear Deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anti-Iran Rally Expected to Draw Thousands in Times Square

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

Breitbart, by Adelle Nazarian, July 21, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

obama_kerry_bikes

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

Screen-Shot-2015-07-18-at-4.50.50-PM-e1437227302793

by IPT News  •  Jul 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

***

Also see:

World View: The Arab World is Disintegrating into War

ISIS video

ISIS video

Breitbart, by JOHN J. XENAKIS, July 19, 2015:

Behind the scenes in the Iran nuclear deal

President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (AFP)

President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei (AFP)

I like to reference Debka’s newsletter because it contains valuable insights into what’s going on, but it is written from Israel’s point of view, and sometimes gets things wrong. This week’s subscriber-only newsletter (sent to me by a subscriber) contains an analysis of the behind the scenes activities that led to the Iran nuclear deal:

  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has been talking about developing nuclear technology, but it really is a bluff, designed to get the US to negotiate the nuclear deal and remove sanctions. Iran has no intention of developing a nuclear weapon while Obama is in office, since the relationship with Obama is more important. — This is plausible, and probably true
  • The Shah of Iran was overthrown by Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini in 1979 with the support of President Jimmy Carter and his national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Shah was double-crossed. — This is plausible, but I have no idea whether it’s true.
  • Brzezinski and his long-time associate Brent Scrowcroft were influential in the new Iran-US deal. — This is plausible.
  • Obama now expects Iran, perhaps naively, to shoulder most of the burden of fighting the Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) in Iraq and Syria. — It’s plausible that Obama believes this.
  • Many Sunni Arab leaders, including Saudi’s new king Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, believe that Obama helped bring about the “Arab Spring” in order to help Iran’s rise. — It’s plausible that Arab leaders believe this, but it’s not possible for Obama or any politician to have caused or prevented the Arab Spring. For that matter, Carter and Brzezinski could not have caused or prevented Iran’s Great Islamic Revolution. These great events were caused by enormous generational changes that could not have been stopped any more than a tsunami can be stopped.
  • Obama turned his back on the Sunni Arab nations because he sees the Arab world as disintegrating into bloody, hopeless wars.
  • The continuing rhetorical fury of Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran agreement has outlived its usefulness, according to some Israeli officials, who feel he should moderate his statements and instead focus on a new strategy to deal with the new world following the agreement.

Generally, the Debka view is consistent with my article “15-Jul-15 World View — Arab views of Iran nuclear deal,” including the fact that Iran is becoming America’s ally, and the Sunni Arabs will be America’s enemy. Debka

The Arab world is disintegrating into war

The same Debka newsletter points out that the number of conflicts in the Arab world is larger than the number of Arab nations involved in the conflicts:

  • Libya has fallen apart and is mired in tribal warfare and war with ISIS.
  • Egypt is plagued by frequent terrorist attacks by both ISIS (as “Sinai Province”) and the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Syria is mired in an endless war pitting Bashar al-Assad’s army plus Hezbollah plus Iran plus Shia militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan versus ISIS plus other jihadists and the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
  • Iraq is in full-scale war with ISIS.
  • Lebanon is poised on a knife’s edge from the spillover of the Syrian war.
  • Jordan is ostensibly stable, but Bedouin tribes’ traditional loyalty to the crown is being undermined, and Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and ISIS are each poised to move in on Amman.
  • Yemen is in a civil war, in which Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations are fighting the Iran-backed Houthis. The battle is being exploited by al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and ISIS to seize large swathes of land.
  • Saudi Arabia is caught up in three wars — Yemen, Iraq and Syria — with grave domestic challenges from the Shias in the east and from the 16-19 year old Sunni youths, nearly a third of whom are without jobs and have set up clandestine cells across the kingdom dedicated to toppling the House of Saud.

On the other hand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman have lined up behind the Iran nuclear deal and have maintained good relations with Iran. In particular, the UAE expects to gain from the Iran’s post-sanctions import and export trade by having Dubai become the biggest free port in the Gulf.

Debka says that the Arab governments are, like Israel, in a state of disarray after being swept aside by the Iran deal, and in a state of gloom over all the wars going on. The Arab nations need to focus on creating a new Arab regional structure to replace the outdated Arab League.

As we have been saying for many years, the Mideast is headed for a major regional ethnic and sectarian war with 100% certainty, and events seem to bring that war closer every week. This is particularly true of last week’s major event, the Iran nuclear deal.

It is impossible to predict the sequence of political events that will lead to this regional war, but the concept of “a new Arab regional structure” suggests one possibility. My expectation is that, sooner or later, the Arab states will unite with ISIS to fight Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, and this new Arab regional structure may be the political mechanism that brings all these Sunni and Arab elements together to fight Iran. Debka

Saudi Arabia conducts major anti-terrorism sweep against ISIS

In a major anti-terrorism sweep across the country, Saudi Arabia has arrested 431 people believed to belong to ISIS cells, “as part of a scheme managed from troubled areas abroad and aimed at inciting sectarian strife and chaos.” According to the Saudi statement statement:

The number of arrested to date was 431 … detainees, most of them citizens, as well as participants holding other nationalities including Yemeni, Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Algerian, Nigerian, Chadian, and unidentified others.

What combines these cells (which were subjected to security restrictions by not making direct contacts among themselves) is the belonging to the terrorist ISIS organization in terms of the adoption of thought, takfir of society and bloodshed, and then exchanging roles to implement the plans and objectives dictated from abroad.

There have been several terrorist attacks on Shia mosques in eastern Saudi Arabia, and the purpose of the announcement in part was to make it clear to the Shias in the east that the government is doing something. The Saudis claim that they have thwarted six additional planned attacks on Shia mosques.

The fact that over 400 people have been arrested gives an idea of the scale of threat that the Saudis face in ISIS. Saudi Press Agency and AP and Arab News

Massive bomb attack in Iraq market kills over 130

ISIS has claimed responsibility for a massive bomb attack in a crowded open-air market in Khan Bani Saad, a mostly Shia town 20 miles northeast of Baghdad. The death toll is 130 and climbing, making it the biggest ISIS civilian terror attack in the country.

A man in a truck pulled up to the marketplace in the extreme summer heat and said he was selling ice at a discount to celebrate the end of Ramadan. He lured over 100 people to the truck, and the detonated at least one ton of explosives.

Khan Bani Saad is in Diyala province, which borders Iran. It’s the only province in Iraq where Iranian jets are known to have conducted airstrikes against ISIS earlier this year.CNN and AP

OBAMA’S SWINDLE: CONGRESS CUT OUT OF THE IRAN DEAL

AP/Susan Walsh

AP/Susan Walsh

Breitbart, by Joel Pollak, July 17, 2015:

President Barack Obama’s announcement that he will approach the UN Security Council to approve the nuclear deal with Iran, and rescind past resolutions and international sanctions, before Congress approves the agreement, came as something of a surprise to many. When Congress passed Sen. Bob Corker’s Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, and President Obama signed it into law in May, the public understanding was that Congress would have the final say.

It turns out that the President had no such intention. He is exploiting a loophole in the law, which states that the Act only applies to “statutory sanctions”—i.e. those passed by Congress. Other sanctions are within the power of the president to impose or remove. (There is another loophole, too: even statutory sanctions have a waiver provision that allows the president to remove them for reasons of national security.) Corker is reportedly angry, but there is nothing that he can do.

At the time the Corker bill was passed, critics (including this author) focused on the fact that the bill lowered the threshold for passing an international agreement. Instead of requiring a two-thirds majority for approval in the Senate, the Iran deal would now require a simple majority for approval in both houses, and a two-thirds majority to rejectthe deal by overriding the president’s veto.

Other critics, notably Andrew C. McCarthy, warned that the text President Obama gave to Congress would not necessarily be the one that he submitted to the UN Security Council.

But even that criticism assumed Obama would present the Iran deal to Congress first. Instead, he is going to the UN first, avoiding Congress entirely regarding core aspects of the deal.

That means that when Congress considers the deal, it will not be able to review the entire agreement. Certain aspects will be out of its hands and impossible to reverse.

Moreover, if Congress rejects the deal, it will not be able to send world powers back to the negotiating table. The best it can to is retain the sanctions the U.S. has imposed unilaterally—yet the president can still use waivers to lift those.

Unless the UN vote is delayed, there is only one way for Congress to exercise its full oversight powers on the Iran deal: the agreement could be introduced into the Senate as a treaty. That is the only way to stop Obama from implementing the agreement. But that, in turn, depends on Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell allowing such a vote to come to the floor—which he will not.

The problem remains that under the Corker bill, it does not matter whether Congress rejects the Iran deal. Obama will use what he claims to be his executive powers to implement the deal, regardless.

The battle on Capitol Hill may still be worth having, because a deal that fails in Congress will lack legitimacy, especially if two-thirds both houses overrides Obama’s veto. That would embolden Obama’s successor to end the deal, as some Republicans have vowed to do.

Realistically, however, there is only a small chance that a Republican president would revoke the Iran deal unilaterally in 2017, even if he or she could overcome international pressure to retain it, since doing so would provoke Iran to withdraw from the deal and race to the bomb.

The real purpose of the congressional fight over the Iran deal, then, is twofold.

First, Congress must expose the weaknesses of the deal, as well as the many blatant lies told by Obama and his toadies.

For example, there are no “anywhere, anytime” inspections, as promised to us by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes. We are now told by Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman that these promises were just “rhetorical flourishes,” and we have also learned U.S. inspectors will be barred from even entering Iran.

Obama and his hapless team must own this terrible deal—and must be publicly shamed for it, to deter future presidents from the disastrous course of appeasement with America’s sworn enemies.

The second purpose—unspoken, perhaps unwitting thus far—is to prepare the basis for Israel to take unilateral action.

By exposing the Iran deal as a fraud, Congress can lay the foundation for Israel’s later arguments justifying a pre-emptive strike on Iran. It is a cop-out: the U.S. is better able to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, and Israel bears greater risk of retaliation. But it may be the only way to use this calamitous episode in U.S. foreign policy to any positive effect.

Once it is clear to all that the Iran deal is a sham, but that Obama is determined to implement it anyway, the most difficult question will be managing U.S.-Israel relations once Israel strikes.

Will Obama wink and nod? Or will he punish Israel? The time to consider those questions is now.

Also see:

Obama’s age of nuclear chaos

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures as he talks with journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif gestures as he talks with journalist from a balcony of the Palais Coburg hotel where the Iran nuclear talks meetings are being held in Vienna, Austria. (photo credit:REUTERS)

 

Jerusalem Post, by Caroline Glick, July 16, 2015:

On Tuesday, we moved into a new nuclear age.

In the old nuclear age, the US-led West had a system for preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It had three components: sanctions, deterrence and military force. In recent years we have witnessed the successful deployment of all three.

In the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War, the UN Security Council imposed a harsh sanctions regime on Iraq. One of its purposes was to prevent Iraq from developing nuclear weapons. After the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, we learned that the sanctions had been successful. Saddam largely abandoned his nuclear program due to sanctions pressure.

The US-led invasion of Iraq terrified several rogue regimes in the region. In the two to three years immediately following the invasion, America’s deterrent strength soared to unprecedented heights.

As for military force, the nuclear installation that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad built in Deir a-Zour with Iranian money and North Korean technicians wasn’t destroyed through sanctions or deterrence. According to foreign media reports, in September 2007, Israel concluded that these paths to preventing nuclear proliferation to Syria would be unsuccessful.

So then-prime minister Ehud Olmert ordered the IDF to destroy it. The outbreak of the Syrian civil war three years later has prevented Assad and his Iranian bosses from reinstating the program, to date.

The old nuclear nonproliferation regime was highly flawed.

Pakistan and North Korea exploited the post-Cold War weaknesses of its sanctions and deterrence components to develop and proliferate nuclear weapons and technologies.

Due to American weakness, neither paid a serious price for its actions.

Yet, for all its flaws and leaks, the damage caused to the nonproliferation system by American weakness toward Pakistan and North Korea is small potatoes in comparison to the destruction that Tuesday’s deal with Iran has wrought.

That deal doesn’t merely show that the US is unwilling to exact a price from states that illicitly develop nuclear weapons. The US and its allies just concluded a deal that requires them to facilitate Iran’s nuclear efforts.

Not only will the US and its allies remove the sanctions imposed on Iran over the past decade and so start the flow of some $150 billion to the ayatollahs’ treasury. They will help Iran develop advanced centrifuges.

They even committed themselves to protecting Iran’s nuclear facilities from attack and sabotage.

Under the deal, in five years, Iran will have unlimited access to the international conventional arms market. In eight years, Iran will be able to purchase and develop whatever missile systems it desires.

And in 10 years, most of the limitations on its nuclear program will be removed.

Because the deal permits Iran to develop advanced centrifuges, when the agreement ends in 10 years, Iran will be positioned to develop nuclear weapons immediately.

In other words, if Iran abides by the agreement, or isn’t punished for cheating on it, in 10 years, the greatest state sponsor of terrorism in the world will be rich, in possession of a modernized military, a ballistic missile arsenal capable of carrying nuclear warheads to any spot on earth, and the nuclear warheads themselves.

Facing this new nuclear reality, the states of the region, including Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and perhaps the emirates, will likely begin to develop nuclear arsenals. ISIS will likely use the remnants of the Iraqi and Syrian programs to build its own nuclear program.

Right now, chances are small that Congress will torpedo Barack Obama’s deal. Obama and his backers plan to spend huge sums to block Republican efforts to convince 13 Democratic senators and 43 Democratic congressmen to vote against the deal and so achieve the requisite two-thirds majority to cancel American participation in the deal.

Despite the slim chances, opponents of the deal, including Israel, must do everything they can to convince the Democrats to vote against it in September. If Congress votes down the deal, the nuclear chaos Obama unleashed on Tuesday can be more easily reduced by his successor in the White House.

If Congress rejects the deal, then US sanctions against Iran will remain in force. Although most of the money that will flow to Iran as a result of the deal is now frozen due to multilateral sanctions, and so will be transferred to Iran regardless of congressional action, retaining US sanctions will make it easier politically and bureaucratically for Obama’s replacement to take the necessary steps to dismantle the deal.

Just as the money will flow to Iran regardless of Congress’s vote, so Iran’s path to the bomb is paved regardless of what Congress does.

Under one scenario, if Congress rejects the deal, Iran will walk away from it and intensify its nuclear activities in order to become a nuclear threshold state as quickly as possible. Since the deal has destroyed any potential international coalition against Iran’s illegal program, no one will bat a lash.

Obama will be deeply bitter if Congress rejects his “historic achievement.” He can be expected to do as little as possible to enforce the US sanctions regime against his Iranian comrades. Certainly he will take no military action against Iran’s nuclear program.

As a consequence, regardless of congressional action, Iran knows that it has a free hand to develop nuclear weapons at least until the next president is inaugurated on January 20, 2017.

The other possible outcome of a congressional rejection of the deal is that Iran will stay in the deal and the US will be the odd man out.

In a bid to tie the hands of her boss’s successor and render Congress powerless to curb his actions, the day before the deal was concluded, Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power circulated a binding draft resolution to Security Council members that would prohibit member nations from taking action to harm the agreement.

If the resolution passes – and it is impossible to imagine it failing to pass – then Iran can stay in the deal, develop the bomb with international support and the US will be found in breach of a binding UN Security Council resolution.

Given that under all scenarios, Tuesday’s deal ensures that Iran will become a threshold nuclear power, it must be assumed that Iran’s neighbors will now seek their own nuclear options.

Moreover, in light of Obama’s end-run around the Congress, it is clear that regardless of congressional action, the deal has already ruined the 70-year old nonproliferation system that prevented nuclear chaos and war.

After all, now that the US has capitulated to Iran, its avowed foe and the greatest state sponsor of terrorism, who will take future American calls for sanctions against nuclear proliferators seriously? Who will be deterred by American threats that “all options are on the table” when the US has agreed to protect Iran’s nuclear installations and develop advanced centrifuges for the same ayatollahs who daily chant, “Death to America”? For Israel, the destruction of the West’s nonproliferation regime means that from here on out, we will be living in a region buzzing with nuclear activity. Until Tuesday, Israel relied on the West to deter most of its neighbors from developing nuclear weapons. And when the West failed, Israel dealt with the situation by sending in the air force. Now, on the one hand Israel has no West to rely on for sanctions or deterrence, and on the other hand, it has limited or no military options of its own against many of the actors that will now seek to develop nuclear arsenals.

Consider Israel’s situation. How could Israel take action against an Egyptian or Jordanian nuclear reactor, for instance? Both neighboring states are working with Israel to defeat jihadist forces threatening them all. And that cooperation extends to other common threats. Given these close and constructive ties, it’s hard to see how Israel could contemplate attacking them.

But on the other hand, the regimes in Amman and Cairo are under unprecedented threat.

In theory they can be toppled at any moment by jihadist forces, from the Muslim Brotherhood to ISIS. It’s already happened once in Egypt.

The same considerations apply to Saudi Arabia.

As for Turkey, its NATO membership means that if Israel were to attack Turkish nuclear sites, it would run the risk of placing itself at war not only with Turkey, but with NATO.

Given Israel’s limited military options, we will soon find ourselves living under constant nuclear threat. Under these new circumstances, Israel must invest every possible effort in developing and deploying active nuclear defenses.

One key aspect to this is missile defense systems, which Israel is already developing.

But nuclear bombs can be launched in any number of ways.

Old fashioned bombs dropped from airplanes are one option.

Artillery is another. Even suicide trucks are good for the job.

Israel needs to develop the means to defend itself against all of these delivery mechanisms. At the same time, we will need to operate in hostile countries such as Lebanon, Syria and elsewhere to destroy deliveries of nuclear materiel whether transferred by air, sea or land.

Here is the place to mention that Israel still may have the ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. If it does, then it should attack them as quickly and effectively as possible.

No, a successful Israeli attack cannot turn back the clock. Israel cannot replace the US as a regional superpower, dictating policy to our neighbors. But a successful attack on Iran’s nuclear program along with the adoption of a vigilantly upheld strategy of active nuclear defense can form the basis of a successful Israeli nuclear defense system.

And no, Israel shouldn’t be overly concerned with how Obama will respond to such actions.

Just as Obama’s nuclear capitulation to Iran has destroyed his influence among our Arab neighbors, so his ability to force Israel to sit on the sidelines as he gives Iran a nuclear arsenal is severely constrained.

How will he punish Israel for defying him? By signing a nuclear deal with Iran that destroys 70 years of US nonproliferation strategy, allows the Iranian regime to grow rich on sanctions relief, become a regional hegemon while expanding its support for terrorism and develop nuclear weapons? Years from now, perhaps historians will point out the irony that Obama, who loudly proclaims his goal of making the world free of nuclear weapons, has ushered in an era of mass nuclear proliferation and chaos.

Israel can ill afford the luxury of pondering irony.

One day the nuclear Furies Obama has unleashed may find their way to New York City.

But their path to America runs through Israel. We need to ready ourselves to destroy them before they cross our border.

Also see:

  • The Deal Wasn’t About Iran’s Nukes (commentarymagazine.com) – The administration readily caved on Iran’s nukes because it viewed the matter only as a timely pretense for achieving other cherished aims. These were: (1) preventing an Israeli attack on Iran; (2) transforming the United States into a more forgiving, less imposing power; (3) establishing diplomacy as a great American good in itself; (4) making Iran into a great regional power; and (5), ensuring the legacies of the president and secretary of state as men of vision and peace.
  • Iran Deal: Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle (clarionproject.org) Instead of disarming Iran, the nuclear deal disarms America, Mauro says. “It keeps Iran’s nuclear infrastructure in place, but removes America’s ability to defend ourselves economically and militarily by lifting the sanctions and the arms embargo.”

  • Iran Deal Dangerous & Disconnected from Reality (understandingthethreat.com) – The United States government is giving Iran – a nation which has clearly and openly declared its commitment to global jihad in it’s Constitution and elsewhere – a free pass to billions of dollars, open trade to prepare itself for the coming war, and all it needs to get the nuclear weapons it longs for. Can this not be called “Treason”?

  • Iranian President Crows Deal Recognizes Country’s Nuclear Status (investagativeproject.org) – Tuesday marked “a day when, historically, the largest countries in the world and the superpowers officially recognized Iran’s nuclear activity,” Rouhani said after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was released between Iran and the P5+1 in Vienna.

    Iran, he said, accomplished its four main objectives from the negotiations.

    “The first was to continue the nuclear capabilities, the nuclear technology, and even the nuclear activity. The second was to remove the mistaken, oppressive, and inhuman sanctions. The third was to remove the Security Council resolutions that we see as illegitimate. The fourth was to remove the nuclear dossier from Chapter VII of the UN Charter and the Security Council in general.”

  • IPT Shillman Fellow Pete Hoekstra and Amb. James Woolsey break down the Iran nuclear agreement (investigativeproject.org)

  • Iran Bans U.S. Inspectors from All Nuclear Sites (freebeacon.com) – 

    Under the tenants of the final nuclear deal reached this week in Vienna, only countries with normal diplomatic relations with Iran will be permitted to participate in inspections teams organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

    The revelation of this caveat has attracted concern from some analysts who maintain that only American experts can be trusted to verify that Iran is not cheating on the deal and operating clandestine nuclear facilities.

    The admission is the latest in a series of apparent concessions made by the United States to Iran under the deal. Other portions of the agreement include a promise by the United States to help Iran combat nuclear sabotage and threats to its program.

Obama Makes the Worst Trade in US History: Israel for Iran

iran-oabmaThe Blaze, by Benjamin Weingarten, July 14, 2015:

On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, a despicable and disastrous betrayal has become clear: President Barack Obama has traded Israel for Iran.

In the annals of the history of American foreign policy filled with pages of willful blindness, amorality and often State Department-led folly, there are few things more substantively and symbolically egregious than this fundamental transformation.

Consider the two nations of which we are speaking: One is the largest state sponsor of terror in the world, run by genocidal jihadist theocrats who in their Twelver Shiite theology seek to bring on the apocalypse by destroying the cradle of world civilization. The other is a bastion of liberty, plurality, dynamism, creativity and innovation, despite being surrounded by myriad hostile regimes.

In a sane world, it would be unthinkable, unconscionable, and un-American for us to turn on the state of Israel – the front line of Western civilization against barbarians who seek to take us, and who are fast taking themselves, back to the seventh century.

But then we are in year seven of the Obama presidency, an “Alice in Wonderland” world in which the seemingly perverse has become the norm, all in the name of regressive progressivism.

While Americans focus on the seen of beheadings or the destruction of ancient artifacts by Islamic State in high definition, that shock our collective conscience, the unseen is that Iran is quietly becoming the hegemon in the Middle East – and perhaps in the eyes of President Obama, America’s top ally in the region.

The easing of sanctions allowing billions of dollars of wealth to flow to a tottering economy and allowing thecontinued enrichment of uranium – will provide legitimacy to a terrorist regime and show the world that – like Neville Chamberlain’s England – America has chosen to appease evil rather than confront it.

Meanwhile, as DEBKA asserted in a recent memo, Iran has concurrently been “taking up forward positions in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, where they are busy fashioning a Shiite Crescent that encircles Sunni Arab states as well as Israel.”

(Image Source: DEBKA)

(Image Source: DEBKA)

America under this president has consciously chosen to stand by all the while. As Tony Badran wrote in a stunning analysis at NOW [emphasis mine]:

In one of Obama’s several letters to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, he reportedly presented finalizing the deal on the nuclear program as the gateway to a broader regional partnership, especially against Sunni extremist groups like the Islamic State (ISIS).

This partnership is central to Obama’s broader objective of extricating the U.S. from the Middle East and leaving in place a new security structure, of which Iran is a principal pillar. His tacit policy from Baghdad to Beirut has been to partner with Iranian-backed forces as the boots on the ground in the campaign against Sunni extremists. In Iraq and Lebanon especially, the U.S. partnership with Iranian assets and Iran-dominated state institutions has created a de facto condominium between the U.S. and Iran. 

Lest we conclude the spread of Iran’s tentacles throughout the Levant primarily endangers Sunni jihadists, the title of a recent paper from MEMRI spells out the real casualty: “From The Mediterranean to the Golan, Iran Builds Active Front And Direct Military Presence On Israel’s Border To Deter Israel And Further Ideology Of Eliminating The Zionist Regime.”

MEMRI quotes from a columnist for the Lebanese Al-Akhbar paper:

Israel faces a fateful crisis. As much as it feared the Iranian nuclear program, it never imagined that Iran would be standing on its border even before its nuclear agreement with the Americans was complete. The Iranian threat to Israel is no longer theoretical…[t]he threat has become direct, practical and conventional.

President Obama’s strategy during this time, as DEBKA pithily put it, has been to make:

…sure Israel was well supplied with all its material security needs. This enabled him to boast that no U.S. president or administration before him had done as much to safeguard Israel’s security.

But behind this façade, Obama made sure that Israel’s security stayed firmly in the technical-material-financial realm and never crossed the line into a strategic relationship.

That was because he needed to keep his hands free for the objective of transferring the role of foremost U.S. ally in the Middle East from Israel to Iran, a process that took into account the ayatollahs’ nuclear aspirations.

This process unfolding over recent years has left Israel face to face with a nakedly hostile Iran empowered by the United States.

To pause for a second, it bears emphasizing: Today analysts are discussing Iran as the center of stability and top ally in the Middle East, referring to a “special relationship” between America and a genocidal, Jew-hating, jihadist regime. Nary anyone has stopped to acknowledge the monumental, shameful and, dare I say, treasonous implications of this fact.

Those in the Middle East however are fully awake to this metamorphosis, which is why Egypt has perhaps become Israel’s staunchest ally, and why several Arab nations – which may still detest Israel’s existence, but not as much as they fear their own survival — are effectively siding with Israel against Iran.

That the Obama administration was rebuffing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu several days before he was even scheduled to speak in front of Congress – that the Obama administration even had to producetalking points about its support for Israel — evinces the Israel-Iran trade.

Nations, like friends, should not have to recite talking points to prove their allegiance. And actions speak louder than words.

***

We have two choices:

We can believe that President Obama genuinely thinks Iran — an enemy of America since 1979, whose proxies have been responsible for countless terrorist attacks against our citizens and our interests – will cease its nuclear weapons program, and serve as a stabilizing influence in the Middle East.

Alternatively, we can believe that President Obama knows that the Iranians are committed to undermining Israel and the interests of the West.

If we conclude the former, there is slightly less cause for concern.

Yet if we conclude the latter, we must also conclude that America’s president has knowingly aided, abetted or enabled Israel’s worst enemies – led by Iran – in the Middle East, presumably under the logic that global social justice demands it.

Israel – a free, tolerant and modern nation – has morphed through the propaganda of the global Left into a colonialist, apartheid state. Those who seek her destruction are considered by the Left to be legitimately aggrieved, and “lest we get on our high horse,” as the president likes to say, don’t forget about the Crusades.

In the Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Saul Alinsky world of progressive elitism in which President Obama considers himself a global citizen in good standing, what is moral and just is to redistribute power from America’s historical allies (the oppressors) to America’s historical enemies (the oppressed).

Hence President Obama’s “open hand” foreign policy towards “clenched fists,” a policy declared from the beginning of his presidency under which he has aided the global jihad generally and Iran specifically.

Those who argue that President Obama’s foreign policy has been one of retreat are only half right: The president has stepped back from the situations that most require American leadership and moral clarity in support of our allies against evil, while interjecting himself needlessly in other situations – implicitly or explicitly – on behalf of our enemies.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in President Obama’s trade of Israel for Iran.

Ben Weingarten is a frequent Blaze contributor, Host and Producer of TheBlaze Books podcast, Editor of TheBlaze Books and Publishing Manager, focusing on defense.

***

Also see:

The Deal with Iran: How to Make Lemonade out of Lemons

1499Middle East Quarterly, by Alexander H. Joffe
The Times of Israel
July 14, 2015

It is always perilous to predict what future historians will say. But regarding the nuclear deal with Iran, it is likely historians will observe the remarkable fact that at the moment of its greatest weakness, Iran’s enemies suddenly reversed course. In the name of enticing it not to build nuclear weapons, they dismantled years of carefully built economic and political sanctions, saved its crumbling economy, and empowered the regime against its domestic and foreign enemies, including the West itself.

Doing so they accepted Iran’s attacks and insults, left its nuclear enrichment program intact and under minimal supervision, guaranteed Iranian threats to neighboring countries and efforts to expand regional hegemony, and did nothing to help the Iranian people, who struggled under harsh repression. Whether it will have succeeded in preventing Iran from building a nuclear weapon is unlikely. What is certain is that a new period of instability will have been created — that period is already upon us.

Taking advantage of Iran’s opening to the world is now a vital goal for Western intelligence.

It is an extraordinary moment in world history, perhaps a turning point, based, as many such moments are, on an extraordinary convergence of lies and self-delusions. But for those interested in the two goals of an Iran free of nuclear weapons and free of religious fascism, perhaps it is also a moment of opportunity. Iran is about to undergo a kind of opening to the world. Taking advantage of that is now a vital goal for Western intelligence and public diplomacy. It is the art of the making lemonade out of lemons.

Western businessmen are already flooding into Iran seeking deals, selling all manner of wares in exchange for Iranian cash. Those businessmen, the various branch offices they will establish, and the goods they will sell, represent an important opportunity for Western intelligence agencies to gather information and to subvert the Iranian regime.

One simple method are thumb drives, containing viruses to disrupt computer networks, encryption tools to evade official Iranian surveillance and firewalls, and perhaps even Western music, literature, and movies to subvert repressive traditional values, and classics of Western political thought to inspire Iranian society toward a liberal democratic future. Jazz and rock, blue jeans and samizdat literature played roles in the collapse of communism; their 21st century analogs should be enlisted to help Iranian society reform itself.

New access to Iran means new opportunities to undermine its regime.

In reality, this sort of ‘subversion’ should have been an important goal for Western public diplomacy and intelligence work all along. But there is no evidence that significant efforts have been made, especially under the Obama administration. Iranian jamming of Western broadcasts and Internet censorship have been extensive and have gone unprotested by the West, as has repression of dissidents and even the imprisonment of American citizens.

New access in Iran means new opportunities to introduce cyber weapons such as Stuxnet into Iran’s strategic computer systems. Stuxnet and its variants were designed to slow and damage computer controlled systems in Iran’s nuclear centrifuges, apparently with success. But they were eventually detected, and bizarrely, the Obama administration leaked information that led the trail back to the US. Iran’s computers were hardened against attack.

New cyber weapons aimed at Iran’s nuclear program, along with missiles, military radars and aviation, regime communications and record-keeping, and much more, are all likely under development in the West — or should be. Certainly Iran is developing its own cyber weapons, and has virtually unlimited access points to introduce them. But its weapons are aimed Western banks and critical infrastructure, such as electric grids. It is in everyone’s interest that more targeted cyber attacks on the Iranian regime and its weapons systems succeed first.

The opening to the West is — or should be — a counterintelligence nightmare for Iran.

More access to Iran increases its vulnerability, as will more trade. Iran has long acquired items legally and illegally, including computers, industrial machinery, and materials for its weapons programs. With increased trade come more opportunities to sabotage equipment by introducing computer viruses, contaminating materials used in specific industries, and delivering products that do not meet stated specifications. One result may be that nuclear weapons programs can be slowed and that computer and communications systems can be monitored and disrupted. Another is that all imported trade goods become suspect, requiring expensive counterintelligence monitoring and testing. Openness should have a high price for Iran, both real and imagined.

Human intelligence opportunities directed against Iran will also increase, albeit slowly. Businessmen and academics have always been spies, and opportunities to recruit spies and saboteurs. More fundamentally it will increase the opportunity to innocently distribute information about the West through direct contacts. Keeping track of Westerners will in turn require more Iranian counterintelligence efforts. Here, too, the costs of Iran’s opening to the West should be made as high as possible.

Access to Iran’s people also raises the potential to eventually inspire them to overthrow the repressive theocratic fascist regime. Iran’s vulnerability to ethnic uprisings is often underestimated. The Persian-led regime rightly fears Ahwaz Arab tribes in the southwest, ethnic Baluch and Pashtun in the east, and Azeris and Kurds in the northwest. All these have long histories of rebellion against the Persians, and the regime is highly sensitive to the West stirring dissent.

More access will not easily bring such dissent about, much less the arming of ethnic dissidents. Indeed, such activities seem utterly antithetical to the Obama administration, which could not even be moved to support the Green movement that arose after Iran’s corrupt 2009 elections. But putting the regime under stress is an important means to bring about its transformation or demise. At the very least more broadcasts and translations should be aimed at these minorities, bringing them the news that they have not been forgotten by the West.

Even if the territorial integrity of Iran is somehow taken for granted by the West, the values of the regime cannot. The rights of ethnic minorities in Iran, and human rights generally should become a Western demand, supported by tough negotiations and public diplomacy. Such demands featured prominently in American relations with the Soviet Union and should have an equally central place in dealings with Iran. Of course, they will not under Obama, but perhaps they will under the next president.

In all this, Iran’s paranoia should be exploited to the fullest. The opening to the West is — or should be — a counterintelligence nightmare for Iran and they should be forced to devote scarce resources and increase internal repression to try and stay one step ahead. Iran’s youth are already deeply alienated against the regime and to some extent Islam itself. How to increase alienation is a paramount strategic goal for the West.

More positively, the opening to Iran must be seen as an opportunity for the West to promote its own values, of openness, tolerance, liberty and human dignity. If it does not, then those values no longer exist in the West, just as they do not in Iran.

Alexander H. Joffe, a historian and archaeologist, is a Shillman-Ginsburg fellow at the Middle East Forum.