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The Iran "Deal" - Who's kidding who?


kscarbel2
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Said in his speech this morning two things that show his arrogance and lack of knowledge. 1- "it's open to a rousing debate, but I will veto any changes" so just come out and say it is passed. 2- Said John Keary always"acted in a patriotic manner, from putting on a uniform and going to war (and coming home highly decorated to spending 40 days working out this deal" . Here is a slice of opinions on the deal. . .

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

"I think we have to look at this seriously, evaluate it carefully, but I believe based on what I know now, this is an important step," she said. "There will be a number of issues that have to be addressed. I want to just mention, too, the first is enforcement. This agreement will have to be enforced vigorously, relentlessly. ... This does put a lid on the nuclear program, but we still have a lot of concern about the bad behavior and the actions by Iran, which remains the largest state sponsor of terrorism," Clinton said. "Having been part of building the coalition that brought us to the point of this agreement, I think we will have to immediately, upon completion of this agreement and its rigorous enforcement, look to see how we build a coalition to try to prevent and undermine Iran's bad behaviors in other arenas."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ®:

"After two years of humiliating concessions by President Obama, he has made his deal with Iran. He should have walked away. Iran joins the sad list of countries where America’s red lines have been crossed. The president is playing a dangerous game with our national security, and the deal as structured will lead to a nuclear Iran and, then, a nuclearized Middle East."

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ®:

“Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness, giving concession after concession to a regime that has American blood on its hands, holds Americans hostage, and has consistently violated every agreement it ever signed.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee ®:

“Everyone understands that once you go to a nuclear device that now you’re talking about apocalyptic-type situations. If Iran gets nuclear capacity, we’re now looking at the apocalypse because these people are crazy enough to use it, first against Israel and eventually against us.”

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ®:

“Congress should oppose this dangerous deal. Secretary Clinton should be a voice of reason and oppose this deal. While Secretary Clinton has been the architect of President Obama’s foreign policy, she can do the right thing and prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and oppose this deal.”

Former HP exec Carly Fiorina ®:

"Iran has demonstrated bad behavior for 30 years. We know they have been trying to cheat on this deal. We know they have been funding proxies with a strategic objective of destabilizing the region. We know that when sanctions are lifted, they’ll have more money to fund those same proxies."

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (D):

“This is an important moment in terms of the future of American foreign policy. I look forward to reading and examining the agreement.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ®:

“President Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran will be remembered as one of America’s worst diplomatic failures.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham ®:

“This could be a death sentence for the state of Israel.”

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"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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For what good it will do. fire off your letters to your senators and reps. Its easy with their web sites.

Absolute bullshit! I always come back to one question. IF you aren't going to build a bomb, and IF you have more oil than you need to generate electricity, and If with your oil money you can buy all the nuclear medicine you need, than WTF do you need a nuclear capability for?

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With Irans 30 million barrels of crude ready to hit the market, GM and other auto / truck makers lining up for a new market, defense industries in the U.S and Russia both looking forward to the end of the arms embargo. Investors looking at the BILLIONS of dollars the is soon to flood Iran. You can be sure the the White House and most of our Senate and Congress with listen to the lobbyists and back the Treaty. Of course it will be after a large dog and pony show for the public, so they can say " we tried to stop the treaty".

The 6 training military camps that Iran has in Central America, the Americans held captive by Iran, the "drone" and the Iranian funding terrorist groups were not addressed because the White House said "they are not part of the nuclear negotiations". I would damn well include them ! But lacking Kerry's vast military and diplomatic experience (according to the media and the White House) my opinion would hold no water over Swift Boat Kerry . . . . :whistling:

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"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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I think our snow ball is headed staight for hell! and o bummer is making sure that nothing gets in it's way!......makes you wonder what else he has planned for the next 17 months.

If you're a veteran join the Oath Keepers, if not stock up

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Yea, that Iranian deal haven't turn out nice.

It seemed to me Obama had an interest in the strategial partnership.

Probably a try to find support in the part of Eastern world.

Doesn't look like a great achievment.

As for my location that story will have uncomfortable follow.

Getting back of Iran to the oil market means big increase of offer wich means lower costs.

It will not be nice to Russia's oil export based economy and will push down the national currency again.

I myself though am glad that local gwnt and economy will get a cold shower.

It forses them to start thinking basic things better. At least a little bit.

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Никогда не бывает слишком много грузовиков! leversole 11.2012

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Yea, that Iranian deal haven't turn out nice.

It seemed to me Obama had an interest in the strategial partnership.

Probably a try to find support in the part of Eastern world.

Doesn't look like a great achievment.

As for my location that story will have uncomfortable follow.

Getting back of Iran to the oil market means big increase of offer wich means lower costs.

It will not be nice to Russia's oil export based economy and will push down the national currency again.

I myself though am glad that local gwnt and economy will get a cold shower.

It forses them to start thinking basic things better. At least a little bit.

It will end up making allies of Israel and Saudi Arabia. As of today oil dropped to $50 a barrel.

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Always glad to know things go better at some place.

You will probably find out the fuel costs lower soon.

Nothing like that overhere though.

People was getting interested why the fuel costs go higher when the oil cost drops down?

When oil cost went up gvnt said the fuel followed but now they're telling stories about other reasons.

Recently I had to find out those oil costs drop down my personal income either.

Not the end of the world though, i still have enough of old iron to play with.

And the most everybody on here knows we never have a shortage of :tease:

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Никогда не бывает слишком много грузовиков! leversole 11.2012

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.

Not the end of the world though, i still have enough of old iron to play with.

And the most everybody on here knows we never have a shortage of :tease:

один кусок в то время

hope it is correct!

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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один кусок в то время

hope it is correct!

Sorry Paul, not this time.

Those modern international speech systems work good when you need to say loooong :)

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Никогда не бывает слишком много грузовиков! leversole 11.2012

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Sorry Paul, not this time.

Those modern international speech systems work good when you need to say loooong :)

one piece at a time =один кусок в то время

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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one piece at a time =один кусок в то время

Sorry again, this doesn't make sence to me in both languages.

Sometimes i just feel stupid knowing all the words and having no idea what it means.

By some reason it was translated as "one piece at THAT time".

Никогда не бывает слишком много грузовиков! leversole 11.2012

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Sorry again, this doesn't make sence to me in both languages.

Sometimes i just feel stupid knowing all the words and having no idea what it means.

By some reason it was translated as "one piece at THAT time".

Slang is hard enough in any language. I talk to my cousins in Poland / Germany depending on the political times and do not know what a lot of the local words mean. You do just fine, we all under stand you.

The meaning was "I will save old iron one truck at a time."

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Take away the right to vote from people who do not pay taxes, let those who pay decide how our money is spent, then you will see responcible government. The democrats would hate this because most of their support comes from the needy, and they are only victims of liberal policy.

Well said David. Call me crazy but the world (U.S. Included) is in a heap of trouble and likely won't settle down until we have a Third World War and hopefully the allies band together again and can win it. I hate to be all doom and gloom but anytime I look at the news nothing points toward the world gaining common sense, we got politicians running a wild spending Monopoly money that they approved to have printed while they choke our economy down to nothing by ridiculous laws and regs and over taxing big bad business' and try to make any person who disagrees with their point of view out to be a racist, homophobe or religious nut or whatever the latest pc buzz word is.

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The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by the people who vote for a living.

The government can only "give" someone what they first take from another.

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Well said David. Call me crazy but the world (U.S. Included) is in a heap of trouble and likely won't settle down until we have a Third World War and hopefully the allies band together again and can win it. I hate to be all doom and gloom but anytime I look at the news nothing points toward the world gaining common sense, we got politicians running a wild spending Monopoly money that they approved to have printed while they choke our economy down to nothing by ridiculous laws and regs and over taxing big bad business' and try to make any person who disagrees with their point of view out to be a racist, homophobe or religious nut or whatever the latest pc buzz word is.

The war will come sooner than later with Irans new found power, China, Central America and the U.S. military give aways. Sadly or maybe a blessing in the end, there will be attacks and battles fought on U.S. mainland. From the open borders, the 20 million plus illegals and the Middle Easterners and Asia. Remember that Obozo said he wanted to create? A private army more powerful the our military?...MS13, Mexacali Mafia, and a dozen others that swelled the population with open borders.

My comfort is that there is not one person in my household or immediate family with out formal weapons training.

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Ayatollah Khamenei says US remains Iran's enemy, vows no change in US relations

The Financial Times / July 18, 2015

Iran’s supreme leader and ultimate decision maker Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed on Saturday that there would be no change in the country’s hostile relations with the US and anti-Israel approach in regional policies regardless of the fate of the breakthrough nuclear deal with world powers.

In a move clearly intended to appease hardliners — his main popular base who feel demoralised with the compromises Iran has made in the nuclear agreement — he highlighted Iran’s achievements such as retaining around 6,000 centrifuges.

Iran and major world powers — US, UK, France, Russia, China and Germany — made one of the most significant diplomatic breakthroughs of the post-cold war era last Tuesday reversing economic isolation for the Islamic republic in return for limits on its nuclear programme.

“Whether the agreement is approved [by the US Congress and Iran’s parliament] or not, we will not stop backing our friends in the region including the oppressed nations of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon who will continue to enjoy our support,” the Ayatollah said in a speech to mark the end of holy fasting month of Ramadan. “Our policies against the US will not change.”

He said that holding nuclear negotiations with the US had been justified by reasons of “expediency” but that there could be no similar talks on crises in the Middle East or mutual relations that have been severed for more than three decades.

Although Iran’s hardliners are largely quiet over the nuclear agreement, they are upset with compromises the Islamic regime has made during talks with the “Great Satan” — the US — which they consider the country’s arch enemy.

Ayatollah Khamenei assured his supporters that he had not bowed to US pressure.

“Five US presidents since the revolution have wished to see Iran submit to them but they either died with those dreams or are lost [in US politics],” he said. “You [President Barack Obama] will also fail to materialise this dream of making Iran bow.”

The Islamic regime believes the US has pursued an unspoken policy of regime change since the 1979 Islamic revolution and continues to do so by provoking domestic dissent.

“No exploitation of the [nuclear] agreement will be allowed,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, in comments which echo his concerns about Iran’s reformist opposition feeling emboldened to demand more political freedom after the deal.

The supreme leader is, however, a strong supporter of the nuclear accord and for the third time since Tuesday thanked centrist president Hassan Rouhani and the nuclear negotiating team led by foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He has not commented on the details of the deal but keeps the route open for Iran’s retaliation if the US Congress blocks the agreement. He reiterated that the agreement should be thoroughly studied and go through legal channels.

The US Congress must vote on the deal within two months following a measure passed this year to give the legislature a greater say in the landmark agreement. Mr Obama has vowed to veto any effort by Congress to block the agreement. Opponents would need to ensure a two-thirds majority in both the House and the Senate to overcome the threat of a veto.

Should that happen, Iran’s legislative body — dominated by conservative forces — is expected to voice its opposition to Iran’s compromises and respond to what would be seen as sabotage by the Congress.

Iranian analysts think it unlikely that any political or military faction would be able to intervene to stop implementation of the agreement thanks to the strong support Ayatollah Khamenei has thrown behind the agreement which the country’s economy direly needs.

Under the deal, by early 2016 all the major economic sanctions against Iran would be lifted, breathing life into its financial system and energy market.

Sanctions relief will be triggered by Iran’s verified compliance with measures to wind back its nuclear programme and introduce close international monitoring.

“Thanks to God’s blessings, I can tell the nation that the Islamic Republic of Iran is strong and powerful and is getting stronger day by day,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“We do not welcome any war and will not embark on a war but in case there is a war the one who has to leave the scene with shame is the aggressive US.”

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300x200_Iran.jpg?1412949672

The dimensions of Obama’s craven surrender to Iran are becoming more and more clear.

Yesterday, the administration circulated a draft UN Security Council resolution to remove UN sanctions from Iran. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) 45%‘s cute little committee isn’t going to finish it’s ‘debate’ until mid-September. The fact that there will be no UN sanctions in place by then calls into question exactly what purpose this particular iteration of Failure Theater is accomplishing other than demonstrating the Senate’s irrelevance on foreign policy.

The agreement also bars US inspectors from participating in IAEA inspections:

"U.S. and Iranian officials confirmed Thursday that no American nuclear inspectors will be permitted to enter the country’s contested nuclear site under the parameters of a deal reached with world powers this week, according to multiple statements by American and Iranian officials." Source:Washington Post OP-ED

"OPERTUNITY IS MISSED BY MOST PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS DRESSED IN OVERALLS AND LOOKS LIKE WORK"  Thomas Edison

 “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy shit, what a ride!’

P.T.CHESHIRE

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Things I like about "The Donald."

  • I don't believe he can be "bought" by the lobbyists. (That's why the DC insiders and RNC hate him.)
  • I trust him to put good, strong, qualified people in cabinet positions and sweep out a lot of the trash.
  • He isn't shy. If he makes a mistake or chooses the wrong people, I have no doubt he will fire their ass in a mid-course correction.
  • With all the promises he has made, his huge ego will require him to make good on those promises. The man prides himself on accomplishments.

Can you imagine Hilary's fear if she has to debate Donald one-on-one?

The guy has sharp elbows and rough edges but he may be our best option...

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Pentagon chief Carter not offering new arms deal to Israel

In the face of Israeli outrage over the Iran nuclear accord, the Pentagon is moving quickly to reinforce arguably the strongest part of the U.S.-Israeli relationship: military cooperation

(Proof of that successful military cooperation being, e.g. Israel’s intentional sinking of the USS Liberty in which they murdered 34 American sailors)

But officials say Washington has no plans to offer new weaponry as compensation for the Iran deal (absolutely not today at least, but next week is possible and next month virtually certain).

Defense Secretary Ash Carter left for Tel Aviv on Sunday to push ahead with talks on ways the U.S. can further improve Israel's security — not just with Iranian threats in mind, but an array of other challenges, including cyberdefense and maritime security.

Israel also has expressed concern that U.S. sales of advanced weaponry to Gulf Arab states has the potential of offsetting, to some degree, Israel's qualitative military edge.

Aides said in advance of the trip that although Carter strongly supports the Iran deal, he had no intention of trying to reverse Israeli opposition to it. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the deal as a mistake of historic proportion.

Carter is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, as well as with Israeli generals, and visit troops in northern Israel. He plans to stop in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, U.S. allies whose leaders also are worried about implications of the nuclear deal.

On the day the Iran accord was announced, Carter issued a statement saying the U.S. is "prepared and postured" to help Israel improve its security, although he offered no specifics. He added that the U.S. would "use the military option if necessary" to protect its allies, to "check Iranian malign influence" and to ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf.

(Israel, for some time one of the wealthiest nations in the world, should finance its own security improvements. That a broke America continues to provide them with funding and free weaponry, and this on top of their arrogant refusal to stop building in the West Bank, is simply unbelievable............darn Israel have some well-connected US "friends" and good lobbyist in Washington)

The U.S.-Israel defense relationship has deepened in recent years, even as tensions between the two over how to contain Iran's nuclear program has grown.

The U.S. has invested hundreds of millions in an Israeli air defense system known as Iron Dome, designed to shoot down short-range rockets, mortars and artillery shells fired into northern Israel from southern Lebanon and into Israel's south from the Gaza Strip. The U.S. has worked with Israel on anti-missile systems and a wide range of other defenses.

Two years ago the Pentagon committed to providing advanced radars for Israel's fleet of fighter jets and KC-135 refueling aircraft, and making Israel the first country to buy the V-22 Osprey hybrid airplane-helicopter.

Washington authorized Israel to build the next generation F-16 after the US Air Force declined it. It was called the Lavi program, and of course, it was U.S. funded! After Israel decided it was cheaper to continue buying rather than build, the Lavi program engineers helped China create the Lavi (F-16 II) in the form of the Jian J10 fighter. Israel a U.S. ally?.....you make the call.

A March 1992 report by State Department inspector general Sherman Funk, "Report of Audit: Department of State Defense Trade Controls", states that alleged Israeli violations of US laws and regulations "cited and supported by reliable intelligence information show a systematic and growing pattern of unauthorized transfers ... dating back to about 1983".

Just two months ago Washington announced a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel for a range of missiles and bombs, including bunker busters that can penetrate reinforced defenses to reach underground targets. Not included is the Pentagon's biggest bunker buster bomb.

Israeli officials insist they are not prepared to discuss American "compensation" for the Iran deal, saying that would imply acceptance of the accord. Israel believes there are loopholes in the deal that will pave the way for Iran to eventually emerge as a nuclear power.

Cabinet Minister Yuval Steinitz, Netanyahu's point man on the nuclear issue, told reporters "there is no real compensation for Israel" if Iran develops the capacity to make nuclear weapons. While he said that Israel will discuss "almost everything" with the U.S., he said Israel's focus right now is voicing its opposition to the deal.

The two countries have been holding talks on renewing a 10-year defense pact set to expire in 2018. Under the current deal, Israel receives about $3 billion in military aid from the U.S. each year. That number is likely to increase when the deal is renewed, and possibly before then.

Obama has indicated he is open to new ways of improving Israeli security, but he has played down the idea that ending economic penalties on Iran will drastically alter the balance of power in the region.

"Do we think that with the sanctions coming down, that Iran will have some additional resources for its military and for some of the activities in the region that are a threat to us and a threat to our allies? I think that is a likelihood," Obama told a White House news conference on Wednesday. "Do I think it's a game-changer for them? No."

Some private analysts also suggest the concern about Iranian ascendancy may be exaggerated.

"Naturally, with the lifting of sanctions there's going to be concern by Israel and Saudi Arabia that Iran will become 'normalized' in the region. However, I think Iran is still going to face a certain amount of isolation," Dalia Dassa Kaye, director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy, wrote in an analysis.

Obama's principal military adviser, Gen. Martin Dempsey, met with Netanyahu and Israeli military officials just last month. The Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman told reporters with him in Israel that once an Iran nuclear deal was struck, Israeli and U.S. officials needed to "quickly and comprehensively" discuss the way ahead.

"It will be incumbent on both of us to make sure that we provide the kind of reassurances that the state of Israel has always counted on us to provide. But we are going to have to do the same thing with the Gulf allies," Dempsey said, alluding to deep concerns in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that removing sanctions on Iran would make it a greater regional danger.

Dempsey said he understands why Israelis believe a nuclear deal will give Iran room to accelerate its funding of surrogate Shiite groups like Hezbollah.

"I share their concern," Dempsey said.

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  • 1 month later...

Associated Press / August 20, 2015

The U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency has agreed with Iran that Iranian experts and equipment will be used to inspect Iran's Parchin military site, located in not far from Tehran, where Iran is suspected of conducting covert nuclear weapons activity more than a decade ago.

Iran has agreed to cooperate with the U.N. in answering longstanding allegations about possible past work to develop nuclear weapons at its Parchin plant - but only with the Iranians conducting the inspections themselves. Iran would collect its own environmental samples on the site and carry out other work usually done by IAEA experts. The IAEA will be able to review the Iranians' work after the fact. The deal on Parchin was between the IAEA and Iran. The Obama Administration was not a direct party to the agreement, but was aware of it.

WHAT DOES THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SAY?

In response, the Obama administration and other supporters say the wider agreement say it is focused on the future, with ample inspections, and that the side accord between Iran and the IAEA is focused on Iran's activities in the past and therefore is not central to the overall deal.

HOW UNUSUAL IS THE AGREEMENT ON PARCHIN?

Any IAEA inspection of a country suspected of nuclear irregularities is usually carried out by agency experts. They may take swipes of residue on equipment, sample the air or take soil samples in attempts to look for signs of clandestine work on atomic arms or other potentially dangerous unreported activity.

The document on Parchin, however, will let the Iranians themselves look for signs of the very activity they deny - past work on nuclear weapons. It says "Iran will provide" the agency with environmental samples. It restricts the number of samples at the suspect site to seven and to an unspecified number "outside of the Parchin complex" at a site that still needs to be decided.

The U.N. agency will take possession of the samples for testing, as usual. Iran will also provide photos and video of locations to be inspected. But the document suggests that areas of sensitive military activity remain out of bounds. The draft says the IAEA will "ensure the technical authenticity of the activities" carried out by the Iranians - but it does not say how.

In contrast, the main nuclear deal with Iran gives IAEA experts greatly expanded authority compared to what it has now to monitor Iranian nuclear activities as it works to ensure that Tehran is hewing to its commitments; reducing the scope and output of programs that Iran says it needs to generate energy but which can also be turned to making the fissile core of atomic weapons.

WHY IS THE PARCHIN AGREEMENT IMPORTANT?

Any indication that the IAEA is diverging from established inspection rules will discredit the agency, the world's nuclear watchdog with 164 members, and feed suspicions that it is ready to overly compromise in hopes of winding up a probe that has essentially been stalemated for more than a decade.

Politically, the arrangement has been a matter of interest for American opponents of the broader separate agreement to limit Iran's future nuclear programs, signed by the Obama administration, Iran and five world powers in July. Critics have complained that the wider deal is built on trust of the Iranians, while the administration has insisted it depends on reliable inspections.

The separate agreement on past nuclear activities does not affect the broader deal signed in July. And it doesn't appear yet that the revelation will change any votes in Congress for or against a resolution of disapproval, which President Barack Obama is expected to veto if it passes.

HOW DID THIS AGREEMENT HAPPEN?

It’s all a matter of political priorities.

The Obama administration's main focus in the broader Iran deal - signed by the U.S., Iran, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - is crimping Iran's present nuclear activities so they cannot be used in the future toward making a bomb. Faced with more than a decade of Iranian resistance to IAEA attempts to probe the allegations of past weapons work at Parchin, there may be a willingness to settle for an agency report that is less than definitive - and methods that deviate from usual practices.

The IAEA also appears to have recognized that Iran will continue to insist the allegations are lies, based on false U.S., Israeli and other intelligence. After a decade of stalemate it wants to close the books on the issue and allow the U.N. Security Council to do so as well.

The alternative might well have been no inspection at Parchin any kind.

WHAT DOES THE IAEA SAY?

Director General Yukiya Amano says, "The arrangements are technically sound and consistent with our long-established practices. They do not compromise our ... standards in any way." He says agreements with Iran on clearing up the nuclear arms allegations "are confidential and I have a legal obligation not to make them public - the same obligation I have for hundreds of such arrangements made with other IAEA member states."

WHAT DO OTHERS SAY?

NSA spokesman Ned Price politically correct comment is: "We are confident in the agency's technical plans for investigating the possible military dimensions of Iran's former program, issues that in some cases date back more than a decade. Just as importantly, the IAEA is comfortable with the arrangements, which are unique to the agency's investigation of Iran's historical activities."

Olli Heinonen, in charge of the Iran investigation as IAEA deputy director general from 2005 through 2010, says he can think of no similar arrangement - a country essentially allowed to carry out much of the probe of suspicions against it.

HOW CRUCIAL IS PARCHIN TO THE OVERALL DEAL?

The spin U.S. intelligence officials are putting on this hot potato is that they do not consider the Parchin inspections a critical part of the broader deal (according to one official, commenting only on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to be quoted). To sooth American opponents, the U.S. is claiming [officially] that it believes most weapons work occurred there in 2003, and the site has been thoroughly cleaned up since then.

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  • 11 months later...

U.S. Sent Cash to Iran as Americans Were Freed

The Wall Street Journal  /  August 3, 2016

Obama administration insists there was no quid pro quo, but critics charge payment amounted to ransom

The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said.

The money represented the first installment of a $1.7 billion settlement the Obama administration reached with Iran to resolve a decades-old dispute over a failed arms deal signed just before the 1979 fall of Iran’s last monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The settlement, which resolved claims before an international tribunal in The Hague, also coincided with the formal implementation that same weekend of the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Tehran, the U.S. and other global powers the summer before.

“With the nuclear deal done, prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well,” President Barack Obama said at the White House on January 17—without disclosing the $400 million cash payment.

Senior U.S. officials denied any link between the payment and the prisoner exchange. They say the way the various strands came together simultaneously was coincidental, not the result of any quid pro quo.

“As we’ve made clear, the negotiations over the settlement of an outstanding claim…were completely separate from the discussions about returning our American citizens home,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “Not only were the two negotiations separate, they were conducted by different teams on each side, including, in the case of The Hague claims, by technical experts involved in these negotiations for many years.”

But U.S. officials also acknowledge that Iranian negotiators on the prisoner exchange said they wanted the cash to show they had gained something tangible.

Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas and a fierce foe of the Iran nuclear deal, accused President Barack Obama of paying “a $1.7 billion ransom to the ayatollahs for U.S. hostages.”

“This break with longstanding U.S. policy put a price on the head of Americans, and has led Iran to continue its illegal seizures” of Americans, he said.

Since the cash shipment, the intelligence arm of the Revolutionary Guard has arrested two more Iranian-Americans. Tehran has also detained dual-nationals from France, Canada and the U.K. in recent months.

At the time of the prisoner release, Secretary of State John Kerry and the White House portrayed it as a diplomatic breakthrough. Mr. Kerry cited the importance of “the relationships forged and the diplomatic channels unlocked over the course of the nuclear talks.”

Meanwhile, U.S. officials have said they were certain Washington was going to lose the arbitration in The Hague, where Iran was seeking more than $10 billion, and described the settlement as a bargain for taxpayers.

Iranian press reports have quoted senior Iranian defense officials describing the cash as a ransom payment. The Iranian foreign ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The $400 million was paid in foreign currency because any transaction with Iran in U.S. dollars is illegal under U.S. law. Sanctions also complicate Tehran’s access to global banks.

“Sometimes the Iranians want cash because it’s so hard for them to access things in the international financial system,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on the January cash delivery. “They know it can take months just to figure out how to wire money from one place to another.”

The Obama administration has refused to disclose how it paid any of the $1.7 billion, despite congressional queries, outside of saying that it wasn’t paid in dollars.

Lawmakers have expressed concern that the cash would be used by Iran to fund regional allies, including the Assad regime in Syria and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization.

The U.S. and United Nations believe Tehran is subsidizing the Assad regime’s war in Syria through cash and energy shipments. Iran has acknowledged providing both financial and military aid to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and deploying Iranian soldiers there.

But John Brennan, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said last week that there was evidence much of the money Iran has received from sanctions relief was being used for development projects. “The money, the revenue that’s flowing into Iran is being used to support its currency, to provide moneys to the departments and agencies, build up its infrastructure,” Mr. Brennan said at a conference in Aspen, Colo.

The U.S. and Iran entered into secret negotiations to secure the release of Americans imprisoned in Iran in November 2014, according to U.S. and European officials. Switzerland’s foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, offered to host the discussions.

The Swiss have represented the U.S.’s diplomatic interests in Iran since Washington closed its embassy in Tehran following the 1979 hostage crisis.

Iranian security services arrested two Iranian-Americans during President Obama’s first term. In July 2014, the intelligence arm of Iran’s elite military unit, the Revolutionary Guard, detained the Washington Post’s Tehran bureau chief, Jason Rezaian, and charged him with espionage.

A fourth Iranian-American was arrested last year. A former FBI agent, Robert Levinson, disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in 2007. His whereabouts remain unknown.

The Swiss channel initially saw little activity, according to these officials. But momentum shifted after Tehran and world powers forged a final agreement in July 2015 to constrain Iran’s nuclear program in return for the lifting of most international sanctions. A surge of meetings then took place in the Swiss lakeside city of Geneva in November and December.

The U.S. delegation was led by a special State Department envoy, Brett McGurk, and included representatives from the CIA and FBI. The Iranian team was largely staffed by members of its domestic spy service, according to U.S. officials.

The discussions, held at the InterContinental Hotel, initially focused solely on a formula whereby Iran would swap the Americans detained in Tehran for Iranian nationals held in U.S. jails, U.S. officials said.

But around Christmas, the discussions dovetailed with the arbitration in The Hague concerning the old arms deal.

The Iranians were demanding the return of $400 million the Shah’s regime deposited into a Pentagon trust fund in 1979 to purchase [Grumman F-14] U.S. fighter jets, U.S. officials said. They also wanted billions of dollars as interest accrued since then.

President Obama approved the shipment of the $400 million. But accumulating so much cash presented a logistical and security challenge, said U.S. and European officials.

One person briefed on the operation joked: “You can’t just withdraw that much money from ATMs.”

Mr. Kerry and the State and Treasury departments sought the cooperation of the Swiss and Dutch governments.

Ultimately, the Obama administration transferred the equivalent of $400 million to their central banks. It was then converted into Euros, Swiss francs and other currencies, stacked onto wooden pallets and sent to Iran aboard an unmarked cargo plane.

On the morning of Jan. 17, Iran released the four Americans: Three of them boarded a Swiss Air Force jet and flew off to Geneva, with the fourth returning to the U.S. on his own.

In return, the U.S. freed seven Iranian citizens and dropped extradition requests for 14 others.

U.S. and European officials wouldn’t disclose exactly when the plane carrying the $400 million landed in Iran. But Iranian news said the cash arrived in Tehran’s Mehrabad airport on the same day the Americans departed.

Revolutionary Guard commanders boasted at the time that the Americans had succumbed to Iranian pressure. “Taking this much money back was in return for the release of the American spies,” said Gen. Mohammad Reza Naghdi, commander of the Guard’s Basij militia.

Among the Americans currently being held are an energy executive named Siamak Namazi and his 80-year old father, Baqer, according to U.S. and Iranian officials. Iran’s judiciary spokesman last month confirmed Tehran had arrested the third American, believed to be a San Diego resident named Reza “Robin” Shahini.

Friends and family of the Namazis believe the Iranians are seeking to increase their leverage to force another prisoner exchange or cash payment in the final six months of the Obama administration. Mr. Kerry and other U.S. officials have been raising their case with Iranian diplomats, U.S. officials say.

Iranian officials have demanded in recent weeks the U.S. return $2 billion in Iranian funds that were frozen in New York in 2009. The Supreme Court recently ruled that the money should be given to victims of Iranian-sponsored terror attacks.

Members of Congress are seeking to pass legislation preventing the Obama administration from making any further cash payments to Iran. One of the bills requires for the White House to make public the details of its $1.7 billion transfer to Iran.

“President Obama’s…payment to Iran in January, which we now know will fund Iran’s military expansion, is an appalling example of executive branch governance,” said Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), who co-wrote the bill. “Subsidizing Iran’s military is perhaps the worst use of taxpayer dollars ever by an American president.”

 

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