Monday, October 16, 2017

Iran's Freedom to Pursue Nuclear Ambitions

"Given these problems, it's actually difficult to argue with a straight face that the deal improves our national security. That's before we even contemplate Iran's ongoing harassment of our military personnel or their support for international instability in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, let alone Tehran's longstanding and expanding patronage of terrorism and violent extremism."
"After the deal is decertified, Congress and the Trump administration can bring Iran back to the negotiating table to regain some of the leverage President Obama carelessly flushed away. Without leaving the deal, we can seek concessions from Iran that should have been in there from the start. We can establish some red lines on Iran's behavior, and put in place plans to actually enforce them. The Revolutionary Guard Corps sanctions are a great first step."

At best, the JCPOA pauses Iran's development of nuclear weapons temporarily.

"Next, we'll have to deal with support for Hezbollah, Iran's most violent and powerful proxy. Beyond that, the United States must work with our allies to contain Iran's regional influence, sharing intelligence, enhancing cooperation and even arming nations, such as our Sunni Arab allies, that share our interest in keeping Tehran in check."
Gregg Roman, director, Middle East Forum
"The president of the United States has many powers. Not this one."
"The deal has prevented and continues to prevent and will continue to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon."
Federica Mogherini, foreign policy chief, European Union

"[The White House and Congress should] consider the implications to the security of the United States and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine [the Iran agreement]."
Joint statement, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Theresa May, President Emmanuel Macron

"Keeping faith to an agreement is absolutely fundamental in international diplomacy. And this is exactly what the president is putting into question."
"[Not backing the agreement] would have a disastrous consequence with regard to the Middle East."
"Perhaps a nuclear race would be ignited. It would drive a real wedge into international relations between the U.S. and Europe. And it would make North Korea even more complicated because the credibility of the United States would suffer."
Norbert Rottgen, chairman, foreign affairs committee, German parliament
Iranian worshippers shout anti-U.S. slogans at weekly Friday prayers in Tehran on Friday, October 13, 2017, AFP

U.S. President Barack Obama led negotiations that ended up giving the Iranian Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Presidential Guard chiefs the fig leaf of legitimacy in their claims they had no interest whatever in developing a nuclear program aimed at achieving atomic weapons. Enabling them through the agreement to continue their furtive underground experiments and their collaboration with North Korean scientists in both nuclear research and ballistic missiles was a disaster to begin with.

The first impact of the agreement was the release of hundreds of millions in oil money held back from Iran through the sanctions program to free up the Islamic Republic of Iran's straitened financial circumstances resulting from the success of the sanctions imposed upon it as penalty for its illegal building of nuclear sites and the ongoing research directly aimed at achieving nuclear success in its ongoing search for Middle East dominance. Its financial base restored, Iran lost no time in re-funding its favoured Hezbollah and Houthi militias in Lebanon and Yemen.

It returned to its support of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's butchery against Syrian civilians and resumed its bellicose threats of annihilation against Israel while consolidating its hold on Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen to form the solid base of Shiite power it has been  working toward so strenuously. The fiction that Iran is disinterested in nuclear weapons and wants only to produce domestic nuclear power and radio-isotopes for medical use belies the nature of a regime  whose passion is sectarian dominating power.
During the rally, held after the Friday prayers, the protesters chanted slogans such as “Death to Israel” and “Death to the US” and “Death to Britain.” Press TV/Iran
European leaders stress that in their opinion President Donald Trump backing away from the Iran nuclear deal would serve to distance the Western alliance, harming efforts to addressing potential dangers from Tehran and North Korea; they plan to carry on in support of the agreement, and state that Trump's authority does not permit him to shelve the deal that a UN resolution placed into international law. After all, when the agreement was signed all the signatories were immensely pleased with themselves; group portraits were of smug, satisfied faces.

Despite knowing that Iran had no intention of other than appearing to honour the agreement. As they had done with previous agreements, which even Iranian President Rouhani, present at those previous agreements in a leading capacity then as now, later bragged that Iran had pulled the wool over the international communities' eyes. Signing the current agreement did not leave a chastened Iran, uneasy over its support for terrorism, and its responsibility for the deaths of tens of thousands of people. It left a triumphant Iran, satisfied it could continue to re-embark on its trajectory of nuclear  attainment.

Iranian MPs took selfies of E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after the swearing-in of Iran's president in Tehran on Saturday. (Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

Federica Mogherini in her guise as an influential EU official became a personal advocate for Iran and was not the least bit abashed to do so, appearing in the Iranian parliament to profess her trust in its leaders and their intentions. Choosing to ingratiate herself with Iranian lawmakers and conveniently overlooking the regime's constant existential threats against a member of the United Nations, and its role in funding terrorism, persecuting its own political dissidents, its wholesale and gruesome capital punishment and its threat to Middle East stability.

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