Friday, July 17, 2015

Iranian Nuclear Arms Agreement: It Must Pass All Players and Work


Those who got the deal.... thus far: Congrats...

The Key: This GOP-run Congress
(a wild-card as it were)



Thus far and related to the pending agreement being ratified by the P5+1 nations are these related articles:


1.  “Republican Lawmakers Vow Fight to Derail Nuclear Deal:” The New York Times, July 14, 2015

2.  “A Poll: The Public Backs Nuclear Deal with Iran by 2-1 Margin:” NBC News, June 30, 2015 

3.  “Overwhelming Consensus by Nuclear/Other Experts Favors Agreement with Iran:” Lobe Log Foreign Policy, July 6, 2015 

4.  “Obama's Remarks on the Agreement (Transcript):” Roll Call, July 14, 2015 

5.  “$1.4 Million Ad Targets the Agreement:” Politico, June 23, 2015

This Atlantic article raises concerns about the “Iranian Nuclear Agreement” here. The theocratic regime that rules Iran—a regime that is a committed and proficient sponsor of terrorism, according to John Kerry’s State Department—will be more powerful tomorrow than it is today, thanks to the agreement it has just negotiated with the Obama administration, America’s European allies, and two U.S. adversaries as well.

This sad conclusion is unavoidable. The lifting of crippling sanctions, which will come about as part of the nuclear deal struck in Vienna, means that at least $150 billion, a sum Barack Obama first invoked in May, will soon enough flow to Tehran. With this very large pot of money, the regime will be able to fund both domestic works and foreign adventures in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq, and elsewhere. 

It is hard to imagine a scenario—at least in the short term—in which Hezbollah and other terror organizations on the Iranian payroll don’t see a windfall from the agreement. This is a bad development in particular for the people of Syria. Iran, as the Assad regime’s funder, protector, and supplier of weapons, foot soldiers, and strategists, is playing a crucial role in the destruction of Syria. Now Syrians will see their oppressor become wealthier and gain international legitimacy (legitimacy not just for Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, which this deal will leave in place).

Here is a bit of what the State Department says about Iran’s role in what might be the world’s most awful war: “In 2014, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of primarily Iraqi Shia and Afghan fighters to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people in Syria.”

And yet the deal, though representing a morally dubious compromise with a terror-supporting theocracy, might be, from the perspective of U.S. national security, a practical necessity.
Israel Reactions – all over the angry spectrum – samples:

Naftali Bennett, a member of Israel's Inner Security Cabinet, said the nuclear deal with Iran marked 'a new dark and sinister era for the world.  Speaking to CNN's Chris Cuomo, Bennett said in part that “… 20 years down, if a nuclear bomb explodes in London or New York, we'll know that we can trace it down to July 14, 2015. We're preparing for everything we need to do to defend ourselves.”  

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely called the deal “… a historic surrender by the West to the axis of evil headed by Iran.” She went on to say that “… Israel would act with all means to try and stop the agreement being ratified.”  That is a clear threat to try to use Israeli influence to block the agreement in the Republican-controlled Congress. (My insert: Which would be a very bad move that we do not need – keep the politics out I underscore).
After long, fractious negotiations, world powers and Iran struck the historic deal earlier today - an agreement aimed at averting the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.

Politics in Play – samples across the board as it were:

“It is a possible death sentence for Israel. This is the most dangerous, irresponsible step I've ever seen in the history of watching the Mideast.” ~ Senator and Presidential Candidate Lindsey Graham (R-SC) 

Graham further added: “Barack Obama and John Kerry have been dangerously naive about the Mideast in general. They've taken it to a new level and any senator who votes for this is voting for a nuclear arms race in the Mideast, voting to give the largest state sponsor of terrorism $18 billion.”

GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said Obama had “… abandoned his own goals and the deal would likely fuel a nuclear arms race around the world.” 

John Kerry for his part said he does not expect it to be definitively rejected, telling reporters: “I really don't believe that people will turn their backs on an agreement which has such extraordinary steps in it with respect to Iran's program as well as access and verification.”

Note: Iran is not likely to receive many of the benefits from the lifting of sanctions until next year because of the need to ratify the deal and verify its implementation.

Iranian Stance:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, their representative. The U.S. and Iran are two countries that have been bitter enemies since 1979, when Iranian revolutionaries stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.  Mr. Zarif said, in part: “I believe this is an historic moment. Today could have been the end of hope on this issue, but now we are starting a new chapter of hope. Let's build on that.” (Note: Zarif was educated in the U.S. and knows us and our ways quite well).

This from one conservative Iranian Lawmaker, Alireza Zakani: “Celebrating too early can send a bad signal to the enemy.” (Quote in Fars News agency).

From Syria:  

Iran was congratulated by Syrian despot Bashar al-Assad, who has been backed by Tehran throughout his country's four-year conflict, who said in part: “… the coming days will witness a strengthening of the constructive role played by Iran in supporting the rights of nations.” (Part from his Facebook page). 


HOPE FOR THE WORLD OR LICENCE TO KILL: 8 KEY POINTS IN THE DEAL: 

  1. Billions of dollars in sanctions imposed by the United States, the EU and the UN will be lifted in return for Iran agreeing long-term curbs on a nuclear program that the West has suspected was aimed at creating a nuclear bomb. 
  2. Iran retains right to conduct research into enriching uranium for 10 years, without stockpiling it. 
  3. Iran will remove two-thirds of its installed centrifuges and get rid of 98 per cent of its stockpile of uranium. 
  4. Iran agrees to continuation of a UN arms embargo on the country for up to five more years. 
  5. Similar condition put on UN restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Tehran. 
  6. UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. 
  7. However, access isn't guaranteed and could be delayed, a condition critics will say gives Tehran time to cover up any illicit activity. 
  8. West says Iran had accepted a 'snapback' mechanism, under which some sanctions could be reinstated in 65 days if it violated the deal.
Thanks for stopping … now we hope for the best while keeping this in mind vis-à-vis the GOP now in charge of Congress: Expect their very worst.

Prior to this agreement article here – good reading – from the Economist.

Finally, this from President Obama’s - his veto threat – from PBS/News Hour seen today here via this YouTube clip:


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