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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #800 on: October 03, 2015, 02:06:33 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/iran-soccer-womens-national-team-ian-tuttle
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #801 on: October 11, 2015, 11:23:33 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/12/world/middleeast/iran-tests-long-range-missile-possibly-violating-nuclear-accord.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/iran-deal-violations-missile-test/
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 08:56:04 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #802 on: October 28, 2015, 02:21:24 AM »

 By Bret Stephens
Oct. 26, 2015 6:51 p.m. ET
215 COMMENTS

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action—better known as the Iran nuclear deal—was officially adopted Sunday, Oct. 18. That’s nine days ago. It’s already a dead letter.

Not that you would have noticed by reading the news or tuning in to State Department or White House briefings. It’s too embarrassing to an administration that has invested all of its diplomatic capital in the deal. Also, too inconvenient to the commodity investors, second-tier banks, European multinationals and everyone else who wants a piece of the Iranian market and couldn’t care less whether Tehran honors its nuclear bargain.

Yet here we are. Iran is testing the agreement, reinterpreting it, tearing it up line by line. For the U.S.—or at least our next president—the lesson should be clear: When you sign a garbage agreement, you get a garbage outcome.
Opinion Journal Video
The Israel Project Managing Director of Press & Strategy Omri Ceren discusses the Iranian ballistic missile test and the White House response. Photo credit: Getty Images.

Earlier this month Iran test-fired a new-generation ballistic missile, called Emad, with an estimated 1,000-mile range and a 1,600-pound payload. Its only practical military use is to deliver a nuclear warhead. The test was a bald violation of the Security Council’s Resolution 2231, adopted unanimously in July, in which “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for at least eight years.

Then Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei weighed in on the nuclear deal by way of a public letter to President Hassan Rouhani. “The behavior and words of the U.S. government in the nuclear issue and its prolonged and boring negotiations,” he wrote, “showed that [the nuclear issue] was also another link in their chain of hostile enmity with the Islamic Republic.”

The Supreme Leader’s comments on the nuclear deal have been billed by some reporters as a cautious endorsement of the agreement. Not exactly. They are a unilateral renegotiation of the entire deal, stipulating that the U.S. and everyone else must accept his rewrite—or else.

The best analysis of Mr. Khamenei’s demands comes from Yigal Carmon and Ayelet Savyon of the Middle East Media Research Institute. Demand One: The U.S. and Europe must completely lift, rather than temporarily suspend, their economic sanctions, putting an end to any possibility that penalties could “snap back” in the event of Iran’s noncompliance. Demand Two: Sanctions against Iran for its support of terrorism and its human-rights abuses must also go, never mind the Obama administration’s insistence that it will continue to punish Iran for its behavior.

Next Mr. Khamenei changes the timetable for Iran to ship out its enriched uranium and modify its plutonium reactor in Arak until the International Atomic Energy Agency gives Iran a pass on all “past and future issues (including the so-called Possible Military Dimensions or PMD of Iran’s nuclear program).” So much for the U.N. nuclear watchdog even pretending to monitor Iran’s compliance with the deal. He also reiterates his call for a huge R&D effort so that Iran will have at least 190,000 centrifuges when the nuclear deal expires.

“The set of conditions laid out by Khamenei,” Mr. Carmon and Ms. Savyon note in their analysis, “creates a situation in which not only does the Iranian side refrain from approving the JCPOA, but, with nearly every point, creates a separate obstacle, such that executing the agreement is not possible.”

That’s right, though it doesn’t mean Mr. Khamenei intends to stop negotiating. Instead, like in some diplomatic version of Lord Beaverbrook’s indecent proposal—“Madam, we have established what you are; now we’re just haggling over the price”—Mr. Khamenei has discovered what the administration is. Now he wants to pocket the concessions he has already gained and wheedle for a bit more.

Little wonder that Iran has upped the contempt factor since the agreement was signed. A day after the missile test, Iran convicted Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian. On Monday came reports that Iran may have arrested an Iranian-American businessman in Tehran. Expect similarly brutish insults in the months ahead, all to underline how little Mr. Khamenei thinks of the American president and his outstretched hand.

As for the administration, it would be nice to imagine that it is starting to sense the Ayatollah’s disdain. But it isn’t. The missile test was met by a wan effort to take “appropriate action” at the U.N., whatever that might be. Mr. Khamenei’s letter has been met with almost complete silence, as if ignoring it will make it go away.

Perhaps none of this matters. For all the promises and warnings about the Iran deal, it is nothing more than surrender dressed up as diplomacy. The correlation of forces in the Middle East has shifted in the past year, and Mr. Obama will not lift a finger to restore the balance. Mr. Khamenei knows this, and he is not about to give the U.S. a dignified surrender. Then maybe Mr. Obama knows it, too. He doesn’t seem to mind the ignominy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #803 on: November 12, 2015, 01:56:16 PM »

The Iranian nuclear deal could lead to improved relations between the Tehran and Washington, including the eventual reopening of embassies in both capitals, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Nov. 12, Reuters reported, citing Italy’s Corriere della Sera. However, the United States would need to correct errors committed in the past 37 years and apologize to the Iranian people, Rouhani said. One day the embassies will reopen, he said, but if Washington does not respect its end of the nuclear deal, relations will remain the same. Washington and Tehran are entering a much broader, more public strategic dialogue.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #804 on: November 25, 2015, 12:14:21 PM »

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/427619/state-department-iran-deal-not-legally-binding-signed

State Department: Iran Deal Is Not ‘Legally Binding’ and Iran Didn’t Sign It

resident Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter
-------------------------------------------

What's wrong with putting Iran on the honor system?

[BTW, he prosecuted the tea party more vigorously than the world's largest state sponsor of terror.]
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #805 on: December 19, 2015, 11:05:45 AM »


By
Asa Fitch in Dubai and













 
Aresu Eqbali in Tehran
 
Dec. 19, 2015 10:06 a.m. ET
 
 6 COMMENTS   
 
Iran will ship nine tons of enriched uranium to Russia as it seeks to speed the removal of economic sanctions following July’s historic nuclear deal, the head of its nuclear agency said Saturday.

The transfer would happen “in the coming few days,”  Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the official Islamic Republic News Agency.

Iran had reached an agreement to sell the enriched uranium to Russia, IRNA reported in November, part of an exchange under which the Islamic Republic would also import roughly 140 tons of Russia’s lower-enriched uranium.

The deal is intended to reduce the amount of higher-enriched uranium in Iran’s stockpile.

Exporting the material is one of several steps Iran must take to secure sanctions relief under the nuclear deal, reached with the U.S. and five other world powers this summer.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to put curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have isolated it economically.

Iranian officials have said they hope to complete the other steps next month, including removing the core of the heavy-water reactor at the Arak nuclear facility and decommissioning thousands of enrichment centrifuges.

Preparations had been made for removal of the reactor core at Arak, Mr. Salehi said on Saturday, and this could proceed after documents were signed in Vienna on Monday. He didn’t elaborate on the nature of the documents.

Iran crossed an important hurdle on Tuesday after the International Atomic Energy Agency closed a long-running inquiry into the possible military dimensions of its nuclear program.

The IAEA found that Iran had tried to develop nuclear weapons in the past, but that there was no evidence of such activity taking place after 2009.

But Iran tested ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads in October and November, which U.S. officials called clear violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions. A State Department official said Thursday that the U.S. was still considering its response.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #806 on: December 21, 2015, 08:59:11 AM »


By Jay Solomon
Dec. 20, 2015 6:37 p.m. ET
53 COMMENTS

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration, pushing to support international trade with Iran, has advised the country’s rulers not to worry about new U.S. legislation that clamps visa restrictions on people who have traveled to Iran.

Iranian officials have publicly complained the new U.S. rules will unfairly target travelers who visit Iran and could dampen investment interest in their country.

Secretary of State John Kerry wrote his Iranian counterpart on Saturday to assure him the visa changes approved by Congress last week won’t undermine business opportunities in Iran or violate the terms of the nuclear agreement between global powers and Tehran in July. Mr. Kerry said the administration was exploring ways to ensure visitors to Iran aren’t unfairly blocked from entering the U.S.

He specifically cited the State Department’s ability to expedite visa applications and to issue longer-term, multiple-entry travel documents. He also said the White House had the power to issue waivers to potentially exempt individuals from the new travel laws.

“I am also confident that the recent changes in visa requirements passed in Congress…will not in any way prevent us from meeting our” commitments under the nuclear deal, Mr. Kerry wrote. “We will implement them so as not to interfere with legitimate business interests in Iran.”
Related

    Iranian Hacking Threat Emerges
    Analysis: White House Aims to Safeguard Foreign-Policy Gains

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in New York on Friday that the visa regulations could serve as a de facto new sanction on Iran, in violation of the nuclear deal. He also said Tehran could declare the visa rules a breach of that agreement.

“Now it is clear that this new legislation is simply absurd because no Iranian nor anybody who visited Iran had anything to do with the tragedies that have taken place in Paris or in San Bernardino or anywhere else,” Mr. Zarif told the Middle East-focused website Al Monitor on Friday.

On Sunday, Iranian state TV quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi as saying the legislation contradicts the nuclear agreement.

“Definitely, this law adversely affects economic, cultural, scientific and tourism relations."

Under the nuclear deal, the U.S. and European Union agreed to lift most sanctions on Iran in exchange for it significantly scaling back its nuclear infrastructure. U.S. officials said they believe Tehran could complete these steps by next month.

The U.S. Treasury Department has, subsequently, increased its consultations with international businesses, both inside the U.S. and out, to clarify what types of trade will become legal once the deal is implemented.

The U.S. will continue to block American firms from doing most types of business with Iran, except for the sale of airplane parts and the importing of Iranian carpets and some foodstuffs.

European and Asian firms will be allowed for the first time in a decade to conduct transactions with most Iranian banks and trade firms, according to U.S. officials. These foreign firms will face almost no restrictions on buying Iranian oil and gas.

“The U.S. will not stand in the way of business activities in Iran that are consistent with the [nuclear agreement],” the Treasury Department’s top sanctions official, acting Undersecretary Adam Szubin, said last week.

Some U.S. officials have said in private that they hope sanctions relief can give a boost to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a relative moderate in Tehran’s Islamist political system. Iran is holding crucial national elections in late February. Politicians aligned with the president are expected to campaign on the success of the nuclear deal and the sanctions relief.

“It will certainly affect the political mood in Iran,” Mr. Zarif told the New Yorker magazine on Friday.

Congressional opposition to the Iran deal and the lifting of sanctions, however, remains stiff. A number of U.S. lawmakers, including Democrats and Republicans, have pressed the Obama administration to impose new sanctions on Iran in response to its launching of two ballistic missiles in the past two months.

The United Nations has concluded that at least one of the tests violated a Security Council resolution that bars Tehran from testing missiles capable of delivering nuclear warheads. U.S. lawmakers said the White House needs to punish Iran for the missile tests in order to ensure it abides by the broader nuclear deal.

“If we fail in any way to relentlessly enforce what we’ve got in terms of both U.S. unilateral and multilateral abilities to constrain Iran’s actions, they will take that as a clear signal that we’ve taken our eye off the ball,” Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.), who supported the agreement, said Thursday.

Obama administration officials said they are reviewing the missile tests and wouldn’t rule out imposing new sanctions on Tehran. Iranian officials have claimed that any sanctions focused on the missile tests would also violate the nuclear agreement.

Write to Jay Solomon at jay.solomon@wsj.com
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DougMacG
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« Reply #807 on: December 30, 2015, 10:12:14 AM »

2015 may well have marked a turn in a downward direction for America and for Western civilization.

This was the year when we essentially let the world know that we were giving up any effort to try to stop Iran -- the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism -- from getting a nuclear bomb. Surely it does not take much imagination to foresee what lies at the end of that road.

It will not matter if we have more nuclear bombs than they have, if they are willing to die and we are not.

Thomas Sowell, Dec 2015
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/12/29/remembering_2015_129149.html

More from this column going into other threads.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #808 on: December 30, 2015, 12:19:29 PM »

I see that for the third time Iran has test fired missiles near US Navy ships, this time a mere 1,500 yards away, and yet it appears we do nothing.   

Appeasement ends badly.   cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry
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G M
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« Reply #809 on: December 30, 2015, 03:59:38 PM »

I see that for the third time Iran has test fired missiles near US Navy ships, this time a mere 1,500 yards away, and yet it appears we do nothing.   

Appeasement ends badly.   cry cry cry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

Hey, Iran is a friend now!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #810 on: January 13, 2016, 01:45:33 PM »

I'm confused.  Our speedy two boats were captured because one was disabled, but 24 hours later both were sufficiently operational to bring our guys home?

I've seen footage of the Iranians going through all of the armament on our two vessels, and now this:

http://www.mediaite.com/tv/iran-releases-video-of-u-s-sailor-apologizing-that-was-our-mistake/

I'm a civilian, so someone knowledgeable please explain all of this to me.



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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #811 on: January 13, 2016, 02:56:37 PM »

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2016/01/iranian-regime-warns-missiles-are-locked-on-us-aircraft-carrier-uss-truman/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #812 on: January 14, 2016, 10:49:19 AM »

http://theresurgent.com/what-reagan-did-when-iran-assaulted-a-navy-ship/

Instead, we are going to give them $100-150 BILLION and empty Gitmo of enemy operators.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #813 on: January 14, 2016, 10:56:23 AM »

No URL for this but it rings true to me:

"I hope there are none of my FB friends gullible enough to believe the "strayed into Iranian waters and had mechanic problems" nonsense. But if so:
Matt Bracken's thoughts: "I rarely pull out my dusty old trident, but in this case, here goes. I was a Navy SEAL officer in the 1980s, and this kind of operation (transiting small boats in foreign waters) was our bread and butter. Today, these boats both not only had radar, but multiple GPS devices, including chart plotters that place your boat's icon right on the chart. The claim by Iran that the USN boats "strayed into Iranian waters" is complete bull$‪#‎it‬.

For an open-water transit between nations, the course is studied and planned in advance by the leaders of the Riverine Squadron, with specific attention given to staying wide and clear of any hostile nation's claimed territorial waters. The boats are given a complete mechanical check before departure, and they have sufficient fuel to accomplish their mission plus extra. If, for some unexplainable and rare circumstance one boat broke down, the other would tow it, that's why two boats go on these trips and not one! It's called "self-rescue" and it's SOP.

This entire situation is in my area of expertise. I can state with complete confidence that both Iran and our own State Department are lying. The boats did not enter Iranian waters. They were overtaken in international waters by Iranian patrol boats that were so superior in both speed and firepower that it became a "hands up!" situation, with automatic cannons in the 40mm to 76mm range pointed at them point-blank. Surrender, hands up, or be blown out of the water. I assume that the Iranians had an English speaker on a loudspeaker to make the demand. This takedown was no accident or coincidence, it was a planned slap across America's face.

Just watch. The released sailors will be ordered not to say a word about the incident, and the Iranians will have taken every GPS device, chart-plotter etc off the boats, so that we will not be able to prove where our boats were taken.

The "strayed into Iranian waters" story being put out by Iran and our groveling and appeasing State Dept. is utter and complete BS from one end to the other." - Matt Bracken
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #814 on: January 14, 2016, 01:56:00 PM »




Why U.S.-Iran Relations Can Survive an Election Year
Geopolitical Diary
January 14, 2016 | 01:55 GMT Text Size
Print
(Stratfor)

As soon as U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted his diplomatic approach to reaching a nuclear deal with Iran in his final State of the Union Address Tuesday night, social media erupted with attacks on the president for touting a deal when Iran was holding 10 U.S. sailors whose vessels had strayed into Iranian waters. Between the Dec. 26 firing of unguided rockets near U.S. and French naval vessels and the Jan. 12 detention of the sailors, some observers in the United States — particularly those with a political interest in disparaging Obama's handling of Iran in an election year — could easily draw the conclusion that Iran is up to its old tricks and that the nuclear agreement is cracking even before its implementation.

In reality, though, the sailors were not mistreated during their detention. After a swift diplomatic intervention from Washington and Tehran, the crew was released, and both sides recognized that the naval intrusion was made in error. Rather than underscoring the problems between the two sides, the incident revealed, arguably, just how much progress has been made in the U.S.-Iranian relationship.

What is a Geopolitical Diary?

Unsurprisingly, hard-liners in Tehran and hawks in Washington seized on the public relations opportunity. Clearly echoing the U.S. Navy's recent admonishment of Iran's naval forces over their recent rocket test, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Commander Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi described the U.S. Navy's initial reaction to the incident as "unprofessional" and "irresponsible." The IRGC also took the opportunity to extract and film an apology from one of the U.S. sailors, and in a series of statements made by Iranian officials, he portrayed the IRGC as taking the political and moral high ground against the all-powerful U.S. Navy.

This will be useful political capital for the IRGC ahead of elections for the parliament and for the Assembly of Experts, Iran's most powerful clerical institution. The elections, which are scheduled for Feb. 26, are expected to feature a close race between hard-liners and moderates within Iran's conservative political camp. Moderate clerics, led by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, want to stack both institutions with enough political allies to sustain the more diplomatically measured and more economically liberal approach of the Rouhani government. But that approach involves the difficult task of minimizing the IRGC's role in the state's political affairs. In recent years, the IRGC has been very active in positioning candidates for the parliament, using the institution to shape the nuclear negotiations and other foreign policy matters. Influence in the parliament will be critical to safeguarding IRGC business interests during Iran's economic opening. Given Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's advanced age and health concerns, it is quite likely that the Assembly of Experts, which serves eight-year terms, will decide the ayatollah's successor, making the vote all the more pivotal.

The name "Khomeini" may not evoke an image of moderation in the West, but Hassan Khomeini, the grandson of former Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, may be Rouhani's most important asset. Khomeini is closely aligned with Rouhani and former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Hard-liners' attempts to delegitimize and disqualify Khomeini from the Assembly of Experts election only validate the IRGC's concerns with the young cleric, who will try to claim true revolutionary credentials while the IRGC has enriched itself during the sanctions regime. The IRGC, meanwhile, will try to take the shine off the moderate campaign by arguing that economic life in Iran is no better under Rouhani than before. (Of course, with oil priced at $30 per barrel, life would be just as difficult for Iran under any leader, and it will take time for the economic benefits of eased sanctions to take effect.)

Resuming a hostile relationship with Iran amid growing foreign policy challenges worldwide would severely constrain the United States and sap Washington's ability to deal with emerging threats that extend beyond the Middle East. Iran, too, would rather focus its energies on repairing its economy and defending its sphere of influence as Sunni forces in the region coalesce to push back against Tehran and its Shiite allies. There will be disruptions in the implementation of the nuclear deal — irregularities that will be more pronounced if more radical elements in Washington and Tehran gain political strength. Still, the geopolitical forces underpinning this diplomatic arrangement should not be underestimated.

==============================

Analysis

Editor's Note: Iran and the group of six major powers reached an agreement July 14 after a two-week extension and more than 20 months of negotiations. But the deal is really the culmination of more than a decade of careful diplomacy, at times carefully conducted behind the scenes, following the revelation of the Iranian nuclear program in 2002. In the coming months, the U.S. Congress, the Iranian Supreme Leader and the U.N. Security Council will have to review and approve the deal, which exchanges phased sanctions relief for guarantees and verification of Iran’s commitment to a peaceful nuclear program. Stratfor has long maintained that a nuclear deal between Iran and the United States was inevitable and that such an accord — though unnerving to many of Washington’s traditional partners in the Middle East — would form a cornerstone of the U.S. strategy of maintaining a balance of power in the region.

In light of this historic accord, Stratfor is publishing this chronology of analyses that foresaw this previously unthinkable event.
Thinking About the Unthinkable: A U.S.-Iranian Deal

    March 1, 2010: The United States apparently has reached the point where it must either accept that Iran will develop nuclear weapons at some point if it wishes, or take military action to prevent this. There is a third strategy, however: Washington can seek to redefine the Iranian question. As we have no idea what leaders on either side are thinking, exploring this represents an exercise in geopolitical theory. Let's begin with the two apparent stark choices.

U.S., Iran: Why They Will Now Likely Negotiate

    Aug. 2, 2013: Diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington will improve after Iran's new president assumes office Aug. 4, ending months of speculation over whether Iran and Washington will find accommodation in their nuclear standoff. In fact, in recent weeks both sides have expressed interest in resuming bilateral nuclear talks. Those talks never took place simply because Iran never had to participate in them. Its economy was in decent shape despite the sanctions, its regional geopolitical position had been secure and its domestic political environment was in disarray. But now things are different. Tehran is devoting an unsustainable amount of resources to Syrian President Bashar al Assad in his fight against the Syrian rebellion. And while economic sanctions have not yet forced Iran to the negotiating table, Iranian leaders will likely choose to engage the United States voluntarily to forestall further economic decline. The inauguration of President-elect Hassan Rouhani provides an ideal opportunity for them to do so.

Next Steps for the U.S.-Iran Deal

    Nov. 25, 2013: What was unthinkable for many people over many years happened in the early hours of Nov. 24 in Geneva: The United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran struck a deal. After a decadelong struggle, the two reached an accord that seeks to ensure that Iran's nuclear program remains a civilian one. It is a preliminary deal, and both sides face months of work to batten down domestic opposition, build convincing mechanisms to assure compliance and unthread complicated global sanctions.

Iran Reaches a Nuclear Agreement With the West

    April 2, 2015: After double overtime negotiations in Lausanne, Iran and the six world powers announced a framework deal that largely covers the key sticking points of a nuclear agreement, leaving the technical details to be worked out over the next three months. Though there are several critical ambiguities in the joint statement, on the whole this statement is highly favorable to Iran. The careful wording was designed to enable Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to sell this deal at home and could help stave off U.S. congressional dissent in the months leading up to the June 30 deadline — though this deal will not depend on congressional approval for implementation.

Kicking Over the Table in the Middle East

    April 2, 2015: The United States and Iran, along with other members of the Western negotiating coalition, reached an agreement whose end point will be Iran's monitored abandonment of any ambition to build nuclear weapons, coupled with the end of sanctions on Iran's economy. It is not a final agreement. That will take until at least June 30. There are also powerful forces in Iran and the United States that oppose the agreement and might undermine it. And, in the end, neither side is certain to live up the agreement. Nevertheless, there has been an agreement between the Great Satan and a charter member of the Axis of Evil, and that matters. But it matters less for what it says about Iran's nuclear program, or economic sanctions, than for how it affects the regional balance of power, a subject we wrote on in this week's Geopolitical Weekly.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #815 on: January 14, 2016, 02:53:50 PM »

http://www.allenbwest.com/2016/01/folks-heres-what-i-find-very-odd-about-what-happened-with-iran-and-our-navy-yesterday/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #816 on: January 14, 2016, 02:56:11 PM »

Fourth post

http://www.breitbart.com/middle-east/2016/01/14/exclusive-days-before-sanctions-relief-iran-offers-to-upgrade-relations-with-hamas-terrorists/
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G M
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« Reply #817 on: January 15, 2016, 08:41:33 AM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/obama-admin-blocked-visa-waiver-reforms-upsetting-iran/

From bowing to groveling...
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 10:48:17 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #818 on: January 15, 2016, 02:49:14 PM »

More Than Humiliation: What Did Iran Find?
By Jordan Candler · Jan. 14, 2016
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On the same day Barack Obama gave his final State of the Union, Iran humiliated the U.S. by apprehending 10 U.S. Navy personnel and two vessels. Most amazingly, not a word about it was mentioned by the commander in chief. His team and media lapdogs went immediately into damage control, going so far as to spin the situation as a positive development with the sailors' release. “I’m appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the Iranian authorities,” remarked Secretary of State John Kerry. “Iran has moved from being one of the most despised nations in our history to something that’s a much more comfortable potential partner,” asserted Atlantic editor Steve Clemons. “Iran’s Swift Release of U.S. Sailors Hailed as a Sign of Warmer Relations,” lauded a New York Times headline. Yet hardly anybody stopped to contemplate one reason why Iran may have turned over our soldiers as easily as it did. What if the Islamic regime found all that it needed, something far more valuable — like a trove of sensitive military information?

That’s what one congressman is wondering. According to Defense News, “Rep. Duncan Hunter, a former US Marine and Iraq War veteran, said Iran — a ‘terrorist-sponsoring’ existential threat to the US — accessed US cryptographic and satellite communications, sensors and jammers Hunter believes were aboard the two Navy patrol boats. ‘We’d be stupid to think that they didn’t,’ said Hunter, R-Calif. ‘I’m glad that the sailors are back safe, but there’s no way [the Iranian military] just let those boats sit there, and didn’t reverse engineer, or look at and copy everything that they possibly could.’” Hunter has no concrete evidence, but his suggestion isn’t hyperbolic, either. In 2011, Iran got hold of a CIA drone, the Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel, every inch of which was (and probably still is) studied by the Iranians. The Navy vessels were probably icing on the cake.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #819 on: January 17, 2016, 06:00:56 PM »

http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/17/state-department-agrees-to-pay-1-7-billion-in-us-taxpayer-dollars-to-iran/
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« Reply #820 on: January 18, 2016, 12:46:15 AM »

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #821 on: January 18, 2016, 10:03:22 PM »

Apparently Kerry is now stating that we are not giving (releasing) $100-150 Billion to Iran, but rather only $55 B.

That is one helluva discrepancy!

One of the commentators on FOX explained the Kerry is not counting the loans/debts that Iran is paying off with the money, and simply stating the net cash transfer.  In other words Iran owes $95 and is paying it off while receiving $55 more in cash and this should be called Iran is benefiting only $55.

 angry angry angry
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« Reply #822 on: January 20, 2016, 02:04:04 PM »

Can Iran Change?
By ADEL BIN AHMED AL-JUBEIRJAN. 19, 2016

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — THE world is watching Iran for signs of change, hoping it will evolve from a rogue revolutionary state into a respectable member of the international community. But Iran, rather than confronting the isolation it has created for itself, opts to obscure its dangerous sectarian and expansionist policies, as well as its support for terrorism, by leveling unsubstantiated charges against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

It is important to understand why Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies are committed to resisting Iranian expansion and responding forcefully to Iran’s acts of aggression.

Superficially, Iran may appear to have changed. We acknowledge Iran’s initial actions regarding the agreement to suspend its program to develop a nuclear weapon. Certainly, we know that a large segment of the Iranian population wants greater openness internally and better relations with neighboring countries and the world. But the government does not.

The Iranian government’s behavior has been consistent since the 1979 revolution. The constitution that Iran adopted states the objective of exporting the revolution. As a consequence, Iran has supported violent extremist groups, including Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and sectarian militias in Iraq. Iran or its proxies have been blamed for terrorist attacks around the world, including the bombings of the United States Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 and the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, and the assassinations in the Mykonos restaurant in Berlin in 1992. And by some estimates Iranian-backed forces have killed over 1,100 American troops in Iraq since 2003.


Iran uses attacks on diplomatic sites as an instrument of its foreign policy. The 1979 takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran was only the beginning. Since then, embassies of Britain, Denmark, Kuwait, France, Russia and Saudi Arabia have been attacked in Iran or abroad by Iranian proxies. Foreign diplomats and domestic political opponents have been assassinated around the world.

Hezbollah, Iran’s surrogate, tries to control Lebanon and wages war against the Syrian opposition — and in the process helps the Islamic State flourish. It is clear why Iran wants Bashar al-Assad of Syria to remain in power: In its 2014 report on terrorism, the State Department wrote that Iran views Syria “as a crucial causeway to its weapons supply route to Hezbollah.” The report also noted, citing United Nations data, that Iran provided arms, financing and training “to support the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown that has resulted in the deaths of at least 191,000 people.” The same report for 2012 noted that there was “a marked resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism,” with Iranian and Hezbollah’s terrorist activity “reaching a tempo unseen since the 1990s.”

In Yemen, Iran’s support for the takeover of the country by the Houthi militia helped cause the war that has killed thousands.

While Iran claims its top foreign policy priority is friendship, its behavior shows the opposite is true. Iran is the single-most-belligerent-actor in the region, and its actions display both a commitment to regional hegemony and a deeply held view that conciliatory gestures signal weakness either on Iran’s part or on the part of its adversaries.

In that vein, Iran tested a ballistic missile on Oct. 10, just months after reaching an agreement on its nuclear program, in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In December, an Iranian military ship fired a missile near American and French vessels in international waters. Even since signing the nuclear accord, the supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has defended the country’s ubiquitous slogan “Death to America.”

Recent Comments
American 22 hours ago

Mr. Saudi ambassador should be ashamed of himself. The question really is: Can Saudi Arabia change. Iran is better than Saudi Arabia in...
D. R. Van Renen 22 hours ago

Can Saudi Arabia change by ending dependence on oil the source of Global Warming, beheadings by the dozen, and the terrorist bombing of...
M 22 hours ago

It's stupid how the whole world crying about Al-Nimr and say nothing about the whole terrorism done by Iran since 1979.. The west's problem...

    See All Comments

Saudi Arabia will not allow Iran to undermine our security or the security of our allies. We will push back against attempts to do so.

In an outlandish lie, Iran maligns and offends all Saudis by saying that my nation, home of the two holy mosques, brainwashes people to spread extremism. We are not the country designated a state sponsor of terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation under international sanctions for supporting terrorism; Iran is. We are not the nation whose officials are on terrorism lists; Iran is. We don’t have an agent sentenced to jail for 25 years by a New York federal court for plotting to assassinate an ambassador in Washington in 2011; Iran does.

Saudi Arabia has been a victim of terrorism, often at the hands of Iran’s allies. Our country is on the front line of fighting terrorism, working closely with our allies. Saudi Arabia has arrested thousands of terrorism suspects and prosecuted hundreds. Our fight against terrorism is continuing as we lead multinational efforts to pursue those who participate in terrorist activities, those who fund them and those who foment the mind-set that promotes extremism.

The real question is whether Iran wants to live by the rules of the international system, or remain a revolutionary state committed to expansion and to defiance of international law. In the end, we want an Iran that works to solve problems in a way that allows people to live in peace. But that will require major changes in Iran’s policy and behavior. We have yet to see that.

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir is the foreign minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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« Reply #823 on: January 30, 2016, 11:17:08 PM »

No Prosperity for Iran after Nuclear Deal
by David P. Goldman
Asia Times
January 27, 2016
http://www.meforum.org/5814/iran-no-prosperity
 
As a matter of arithmetic, Iran is flat broke at the prevailing price of hydrocarbons. Under the P5+1 nuclear deal, Iran will recoup somewhere between $55 and $150 billion of frozen assets, depending on whether one believes the Secretary of the US Treasury or one's own eyes. The windfall is barely enough to tide Iran over for the next two years.

P5+1 nuclear diplomacy with Iran went forward on the premise that Iran would trade its strategic ambitions in the region for economic prosperity. The trouble is that prosperity is not a realistic outcome for Iran, which has nothing to gain by abandoning its strategic adventures.

Iran now exports 1.2 million barrels a day of oil. At $30 a barrel, that's $14 billion year (and perhaps a bit more, given that some Iranian light crude goes at a higher price). Iran also sold (as of 2014) about 9.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which might bring in another $4 billion at today's market prices.
As of 2014, the Iranian government spent $63 billion a year, according to western estimates. No data is available for 2015, and the Iran Central Bank doesn't publish data past mid-2013. That brought in a bit over $40 billion a year (not counting gas exports). Iran has a $40 billion hole to fill. Unfrozen assets will tide the country over for a couple of years, but won't solve its problems. This year Iran plans to spend $89 billion, the government announced Dec. 22.

Iran's windfall from the nuclear agreement will barely tide it over for the next two years.

Iran's government plans to raise taxes across the board, supposedly to decrease dependency on oil in the government budget. But tax revenues for the fiscal year starting March 2016 are estimated at only $28 billion. Even under the assumption that Iran can sell $22 billion worth of oil, the budget gap will rise to about $40 billion, or about 10% of GDP. In nominal dollar terms, Iran's GDP shrank from $577 billion to $415 billion in 2014, and almost certainly shrank further in 2015.

None of the big projects now under discussion will move the needle far from the empty mark. The long-discussed Iran-Pakistan pipeline might produce revenues of about $3.5 billion a year under ideal conditions, and Iran would pocket a fraction of that.

In December, Iran said that it hoped to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels, earning $22 billion a year, a 50% increase from its present rate. But on Jan. 16, Iran's oil minister Bijan Zaganeh told an incredulous CNN interviewer that it would boost oil output by 1.6 million barrels a day by the end of 2016. Most experts believe that Iran can't pump that much oil if it wanted to, and if it did, it couldn't sell it if it tried.

There are a lot of countries that need to sell more oil, notably Russia. Russia's oil exports to China now exceed Saudi Arabia's. China has good reasons to buy more from Russia, given the convergence of Russian and Chinese strategic objectives in Syria and elsewhere. China clearly wants to improve relations with Iran. President Xi Jinping's Jan. 23 visit to Tehran featured an agreement to increase trade by $600 billion over the next ten years. The question is not whether China wants to trade with Iran, but whether Iran can pay for it. Like Russia, China fears the expansion of radical Sunni Islam in the region, with the potential to spill over into China's Western province of Xinjiang. There are no Shia Muslims in Russia or China, and Iran's sponsorship of Shia jihadists is of little concern to the two Asian powers.

It seems unlikely that China would shift oil purchases away from Russia to Iran in order to help the Tehran regime. China will invest in Iranian extraction, petrochemicals, and infrastructure, but even the most optimistic projections won't do much for Iran's finances.

Unless oil prices rise sharply, Iran's windfall from the P5+1 deal will cover two years' worth of deficits, with little left over for urgently-needed maintenance of existing oil and gas capacity. That may explain why the Tehran regime has played down the importance of the nuclear agreement with the West. The end of sanctions is unlikely to yield much improvement in ordinary Iranians' conditions of live, and the government did not want to raise expectations.

Iran's economy is bad stressed. The official unemployment rate is 11%, but only 37% of the population is considered economically active, an extremely low ratio given the concentration of Iran's population in working-age brackets. Some social indicators are alarming. The number of marriages has fallen by 20% since 2012. "In Iran, the customary marriage age range is 20-34 for men and 15-29 for women...46% of men and 48% of women in those age ranges remain unmarried," according to the national statistics agency. So-called "white marriage," or cohabitation out of wedlock, is so common and controversial that the regime banned a women's magazine last year for reporting on it.

The end-of-sanctions bonanza won't lift Iran out of the economic doldrums.

Economic problems explain part of the falling marriage rate, but the corrosion of traditional values also is a factor. Iranian researchers estimated late in 2015 that one out of eight Iranian women was infected by chlamydia, a common venereal disease that frequently causes infertility. According to the Center for Disease Control, one out of 170 American women carry the infection. The combination of falling marriage rates and epidemic rates of venereal infection point to a society that is losing cohesion. Iran's theocratic leaders are too prissy to gaze at statues of nudes in Italy, but they are presiding over a disintegration of family values unlike anything in the world.

That is especially disappointing to the regime, which has tried to raise Iran's fertility rate from just 1.6 children per female by offering incentives to prospective parents and by reducing availability of contraceptives. If anything, Iran's demographic spiral seems likely to worsen. Iran's population is already aging faster than any in the world, and the young generation's rejection of family life points to catastrophic economic problems twenty years from now.
From a financial vantage point, Iran faces something of a Red Queen effect: it needs more money from abroad merely in order to stay in place, that is, to maintain its existing energy infrastructure. The end-of-sanctions bonanza saves Iran from an economic crash after the oil price collapse, but it doesn't lift the country out of the doldrums.

David P. Goldman is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the Wax Family Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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« Reply #824 on: March 08, 2016, 09:14:34 PM »

http://patriotpost.us/posts/41156
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« Reply #825 on: March 21, 2016, 01:27:03 PM »

Our allies in the Middle East?  Our ally of our ally (Putin)?  Is it because crime is up a totalitarian, Sharia Law governed regime? 

I thought they just "elected" a "moderate" "reformer"!

(It isn't democracy folks.  They didn't elect anyone and they aren't reforming except if that means to become more radical and extreme.)

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/03/18/Why-executions-in-Iran-have-hit-a-27-year-high.html
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« Reply #826 on: March 28, 2016, 10:39:01 AM »


By Mark Dubowitz and
Jonathan Schanzer
March 27, 2016 5:47 p.m. ET
105 COMMENTS

The bruising battle between the president and Congress surrounding the Iran nuclear deal is over. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, despite its many troubling flaws, is already being implemented. Yet now another nasty battle is brewing.

Even as Washington prepared to release an estimated $100 billion in restricted Iranian oil assets and paved the way for Tehran to regain access to the Swift network (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication)—allowing it to transfer funds across the global electronic banking system—the Obama administration vowed that the Islamic Republic would never get the ultimate prize: access to the U.S. financial system or dollar transactions.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew was adamant during a congressional grilling last July. “Iranian banks will not be able to clear U.S. dollars through New York,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, or “hold correspondent account relationships with U.S. financial institutions, or enter into financing arrangements with U.S. banks.”

Yet as Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) noted in a March 22 letter to the White House, Mr. Lew, during a Financial Services Committee hearing earlier that day, “appeared to leave the door open” to Iran getting access to the U.S. financial system. Mr. Royce reminded Mr. Lew of what he said last year, then said he had “received reports from the administration that it is now considering providing Iran with access to the U.S. financial systems.” He repeatedly pressed Mr. Lew: “Specifically, are you considering permitting Iranian banks to clear transactions in dollars with U.S. banks or foreign financial institutions including offshore clearing houses?”

Mr. Lew avoided a direct answer, instead stating that the administration continues to explore ways “to make sure Iran gets relief” from sanctions. With this non-answer, Congress is getting ready for a fight.

It’s not hard to understand why. The Financial Action Task Force, a global antiterrorism finance body, maintains a severe warning about Iranian financial practices. Last month it warned that Iran’s “failure to address the risk of terrorist financing” poses a “serious threat . . . to the integrity of the international financial system.” The Treasury Department also recognizes the danger, in 2011 labeling the Islamic Republic a “jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern.” That finding, which remains in place, cites Iran’s “support for terrorism,” and “illicit and deceptive financial activities.”

What explains this possible reversal? Most likely, Iran demanded it. Secretary of State John Kerry and Foggy Bottom, always fearful that Tehran will walk away from the nuclear deal, may be ready to comply.

Don’t expect the White House to admit this; the administration is more likely to offer a feeble claim that its ability to oversee Iranian dollar transactions could yield better intelligence.

In 2008, however, the Treasury Department banned U.S. financial institutions from processing “U-turns”—temporary dollar transactions between non-U.S. banks and Iranian banks. Treasury determined that the risks simply outweighed the intelligence benefits. Four years later Treasury pushed to ban several Iranian banks, including the central bank, from the Swift messaging system. The threat to the integrity of the global financial system from Iranian banks, it again determined, was too grave, despite the intelligence that could be gathered.

The administration might claim that Treasury could capture dollar-denominated assets when Iran violates the nuclear agreement or uses the greenback to finance terrorism or ballistic missiles. This wouldn’t be realistic. Iran knows the U.S. can freeze transactions that are even temporarily converted to dollars, making it unlikely that they would hold registered dollar accounts in sufficient quantities in banks where U.S. authorities have reach. If anything, they will keep their dollar holdings in offshore accounts or in pallets of cash. If the regime contemplates a nuclear violation or gets wind of new sanctions, it would dump whatever traceable dollar assets it holds.

We may also hear via the administration that we need to provide economic incentives for Tehran to comply with the nuclear deal. Yet during last summer’s debate, administration officials claimed that denying Iran access to the dollar and the U.S. financial system would provide Washington with leverage after the deal was done. Why throw away that leverage in exchange for no new concessions?

The Europeans are permitting Iranian banks to rejoin Swift. That’s their decision. But until Congress can get the intelligence community to verify that Iranian banks have stopped financing terrorist groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas—not to mention money laundering and other financial crimes—you can bet that Congress will oppose Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system.

Messrs. Dubowitz and Schanzer are, respectively, executive director and vice president for research at Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance.
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« Reply #827 on: March 30, 2016, 08:58:22 AM »


The U.S., Britain, France, and Spain have sent a joint letter to the United Nations alleging that Iran's recent ballistic missile tests are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolution 2331, arguing that Iran's tested missiles are "inherently capable of delivering nuclear weapons." The U.S. and its allies contend that 2331 banned Tehran from conducting ballistic missile tests. Nonetheless, the phrasing of the resolution, part of a last minute concession made by the U.S, has given an opening to opponents of further sanctions to argue that the text doesn't explicitly prohibit missile activities.
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« Reply #828 on: April 05, 2016, 02:15:13 PM »

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/04/04/iran-sending-warships-support-hostile-latin-american-nations/
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« Reply #829 on: May 12, 2016, 11:43:28 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/iran-shows-off-third-underground-missile-site/
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« Reply #830 on: May 13, 2016, 01:26:06 AM »

 shocked shocked shocked

I note that Trump's foreign policy speech sure sounded like he said we would war to stop Iran from going nuke , , ,
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« Reply #831 on: May 13, 2016, 09:46:17 AM »

shocked shocked shocked

I note that Trump's foreign policy speech sure sounded like he said we would war to stop Iran from going nuke , , ,

But no problem if Saddam had done the same.  Stopping that is called nation building, creating a power imbalance, lying our way into war.

With Iran, Trump had seemed more concerned with the billions than with the threat.  Seems happy to have them sort out Syria for us.  Remove ISIS set up a shia caliphate terror state in it's place.

If you find a guiding principle in his proposed foreign (or domestic policies), let us know.
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« Reply #832 on: May 13, 2016, 10:29:09 AM »

Hi, Doug

Playing devils' advocate Trump would reply that Hussain was NOT building nukes as we thought and WMD were not found (though I think chemical weapons may have been and most I guess were moved into Syria).   To be fair I was for the Iraq invasion and ousting Hussain WMD or not.  I didn't realize the sectarian violence that would ensue and thought most Iraqis would actually be grateful to the US.

His guiding principle is to do what is best for America.  Each foreign situation has to be assessed individually and risk/benefit assessment made for each situation.  Whether Korea Iran Isis, China , Russia, etc

Just my one cent.
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